John Bosco’s Prophecy – The Synod at the Crossroads

(I have had many people contact me regarding the Pope talking about decentralizing the Church, following a more participatory model. Naturally, many people are getting the vapors, fearful that this means each synodal sect can choose whatever doctrine it wants -and the Church will come apart. My friends, I say this in the best sense possible: Get a grip. The Pope specifically said, in discussing this, that “Doctrine will not be touched.” Cardinal George Pell confirmed that the Pope insisted on that.

This deserves a complete column – and I will do that after the Synod is finished. But two things here: First, do not get your news on the Church from secular establishment sources. It is not just that they are hostile to the faith, but they are utterly theologically illiterate. It is like getting agitated because a five-year-old says your dissertation on nuclear physics is messed up. Second, stop looking for the flaw and judge righteous judgment. So many people are so fearful that the Pope is going to contradict doctrine and, thus, invalidate the promises of Christ, that they look for it with every statement he makes. Stop it or you are going to drive yourselves nuts. Be deliberate and judge righteous judgment.

The Pope is looking at gently restructuring the Church in the form of the Family of God rather than a mere classroom. Done properly, it will set many things right. I will write at length about it after the Synod is over….but I have LONG been hoping for this. This Pope is going to steer us through the Storm, re-evangelize the world, and prove a worthy guardian of the Magisterium. He has entered the beginning of his greatness, Watch and see.

Instead, today I will reprint this piece by Fr. Regis Scanlon from the Capuchin Franciscan’s News Blog. It addresses the Synod as it goes forward.-CJ)

fork in river

By Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap.

John Bosco’s Prophecy (Part II): The Synod at the Crossroads | Capuchin Franciscans – News Bloghttps://apis.google.com/_/scs/apps-static/_/js/k=oz.gapi.en.FQbFrCcUwfc.O/m=auth/exm=plusone/rt=j/sv=1/d=1/ed=1/am=AQ/rs=AGLTcCOo5FDoxwvcQYEjk9nMkV5s4eMmxA/t=zcms/cb=gapi.loaded_1https://apis.google.com/_/scs/apps-static/_/js/k=oz.gapi.en.FQbFrCcUwfc.O/m=plusone/rt=j/sv=1/d=1/ed=1/am=AQ/rs=AGLTcCOo5FDoxwvcQYEjk9nMkV5s4eMmxA/t=zcms/cb=gapi.loaded_0https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js// 3e3):(d.fillText(String.fromCharCode(55357,56835),0,0),0!==d.getImageData(16,16,1,1).data[0])):!1}function e(a){var c=b.createElement(“script”);c.src=a,c.type=”text/javascript”,b.getElementsByTagName(“head”)[0].appendChild(c)}var f;c.supports={simple:d(“simple”),flag:d(“flag”)},c.supports.simple&&c.supports.flag||(f=c.source||{},f.concatemoji?e(f.concatemoji):f.wpemoji&&f.twemoji&&(e(f.twemoji),e(f.wpemoji)))}(window,document,window._wpemojiSettings);

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About charliej373

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

  1. Becky-TN says:

    Holy Family, Pray for Us!

    Like

  2. BD says:

    St. Joseph (also Joseph is my middle name) deserves to be recognized as the third column per se as he is so often forgotten.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nancy says:

      St. Joseph is also known as the terror of demons–from the litany of St. Joseph. On October 13, 1917, he appeared holding the Child Jesus and blessed the world. In a forward to the book St Joseph, Patron of the Triumph (author: Father Richard Foley, S.J.),
      Dr. Mark Miravalle wrote: The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is a Triumph of the Church, and the greatest intercessor for the Church, after the Mediatrix of all graces, is he who is the spiritual Foster Father of the Church. Simply put, St. Joseph is the Patron of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
      Dr. Miraville went on to explain that since St. Joseph is the foster father of Jesus, the Head, so he is to the members of the Body of Christ. He is our spiritual Foster Father.
      I also think that St Joseph, patron and safeguard of families, is our powerful intercessor in the coming persecutions of the Church through the persecution of the family.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. YongDuk says:

    I recommend to thwart the enemy that we–this means you many who follow Charlie–start to reign sentimentalism… Christ was not sentimental. He was sober and knew himself. Supporting each other is not sentimentalistic, but is sobering: live soberly, live the truth, call a spade a spade and see the place of suffering, see the place of entrusting, see the place of letting anxieties be in God’s Hands Which care for the sparrow.

    I love this site and I think I understand Charlie’s avocation to read these posts. but too often they are ego-… sorry Charlie ego-centric or egotistical coy expressions.

    Paul was brazen against those who saw Christ Crucified in Galations to call them fools who gave into sentimentalism to say to them live the spiritual life which is the path of simplicity, the simple way, the Little Way of St. Therese, not the path of sentimentalistic ways…

    It is like the Shepherd, who sits down enveloped in his wool mantle and keeps watch against the sheep. It ain’t no party. BUT HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS THERE TO DO. To sit and be the WATCHMAN. Ugh. BE the WATCHMEN and BE the WATCHWOMEN (to wax PC — sorry Charlie).

    Does anyone follow Charlie and not see Feb 11? Please look. Please settle. Please don’t be sentimentalistic. Know from someone who has fallen from heights, but who God’s mercy has healed. Be the sober and watchful apostle and shepherd supporting and protecting and seeing this site as an outlet for sentimentalism.

    St Michael the Archangel defend and translate who I say to the well-intentioned here

    +Yong Duk

    Liked by 2 people

    • mmbev says:

      OK. I’ll admit it. I’m not the brightest light bulb here. But.for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the dickens you just said. No, really. I don’t understand what you just wrote. It doesn’t seem to make any sense to me.

      Hello. Am I the only person who is experiencing this?

      Liked by 5 people

      • joanp62 says:

        mmbev, I think Yong Duk is from another country, and English is not his or her first language. That said, their English is pretty good. It’s also possible they used Google Translate and it did not come out perfectly. I have a customer who speaks Spanish only and my Spanish is limited. When I need to email her, I type my message in English in Google translate and it translates it into Spanish for me. The Spanish that my customer then reads, may not be perfect, and maybe even contain some strange expressions in the Spanish version.

        Liked by 2 people

        • joanp62 says:

          That said, I think Yong Duk is saying that they see too much emotionalism from us and not enough straightforward directness. That is their opinion, and again, I do believe there are translation problems on both sides as well.
          Patience for and from all! God Bless.

          Like

        • Beckita says:

          Yes, Joan! And I will add that translating Chinese to English via Google Translate always has the Chinese person in our home laughing aloud. Every single time I’ve plugged in Mandarin characters the passage has had serious errors. You get the gist but it is oh-so-lacking in fully communicating true meaning.

          Like

      • Connie B. says:

        Oh my goodness, Bev! You gave me a great laugh out loud! Yong, with gentle questioning —
        I don’t know if you are complimenting Charlie or “dissing” him! 🙂

        Like

      • I’m not claiming to be smart, mmbev, but YD’s comments seem pretty clear to me. I don’t necessarily disagree with any of the points (because I’ll always endeavor to apply any good advice first of all to myself), but if I’m honest, I don’t really find the method all that effective, at least from the standpoint of St. Therese’s Little Way which I happen to be very fond of.

        I actually see quite a bit of sobriety in the NRS family –– occasional ego, sentimentality and levity notwithstanding. Heck, we’re human. So someone wants to share the fact that they like a mustard on their hotdog… well, that just says to me that their approachable and that I needn’t be intimidated by them. Of course we know that we’re not the ‘best’, and neither did Jesus choose the best in His Apostles (in some respects). What if He had? Hm, I suspect that the vast majority of folks would have been disheartened from the get go, thinking that God was only calling holy souls to attain something that was seemingly unreachable, when in fact He calls us all (just as we are).

        I also see the sobriety here, even if it’s sometimes subtly veiled in our small comments, because I can also recognize the various degrees of hard work and very real suffering in the setting of these momentous times we’re living in (which can be scary for folks). Sometimes Charlie even gets some ‘attack’ comments from detractors. I’m sure that Charlie is not fond of that situation, but I’ll bet he’s the first to have some compassion for them, recognizing their fear even when they’re lashing out at him.

        At any rate, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always express myself well here and stay on track, so please cut everybody some slack and consider that the comments represent just a mere snippet of the totality of what we live, and don’t always reflect the best part. Sometimes just the human part.

        “You are wrong to criticize this or that, to desire that everybody should adopt to your view of things. Since we want to be little children, little children do not know what is best. Everything seems right to them.” — St. Therese of Lisieux

        God Bless,

        MP

        Liked by 3 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Hear! Hear! Michael. Too many people confuse serious with somber – and somber scolds make for terrible evangelists. I like my readers, their liveliness, their wit…and most of all how they LIVE IT always. That is the acid test. And you folks pass the acid test. If this ever became a somber place, I would quit this and start a new one. Let the dead bury their dead…this is for the living!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          Profound, MP. Thank you and thanks be to God that: “He calls us all (just as we are).”

          Like

      • Petra says:

        mmbev: I think Yong Duk is one of Charlie’s readers for whom English is a second language. So the message can be very confusing, unless you kind of “read between the lines” and try to see the essential point.

        I think the point he (and I don’t know if Yong Duk is a he or a she, so I’m using the he for convenience) is making is that many of us seem too sentimental. I think he is saying following Christ is hard, and serious and real love is not egocentric, and perhaps he finds the posts and comments here too sentimental. I think he meant Sept. 11th in the reference to the date, meaning, remember the horror of that day and act with sobriety when dealing with life.

        God bless, mmbev.
        P.S. Hope things are all okay with you. Praying for your continued well being.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fran says:

        You made me chuckle mmbev. But in all honesty, I read it twice, and I still don’t get it, so I’m with you.

        Like

    • Kati says:

      Yong Duk,

      Jesus was fully GOD and fully MAN. Therefore, sentimentality is a part of that. This does not mean that he was not also sober and understood the truth. He IS the truth!
      Tell me, Yong, if he was not “sentimental,” then why did He weep? Like, mmbev, I am not sure here of what you are trying to say.

      Like

    • NancyA says:

      I understood the point. I am pretty sure Yong Duk’s first language is not English, but I get what is being communicated.

      When I first started reading here I would not comment because I knew each comment I thought to make was coming from pride. The more I read, the more intimately involved I FELT with the other readers, so that I wanted to communicate among them/you all. I believe that Yong Duk is at that crossroads, too. Sometimes the commentary can seem “sentimental” but that is ok, because it’s like a family here and emotional ties are there. It may be a cultural line, though…

      Liked by 4 people

    • Carol says:

      Yong Duk: You referenced Feb 11, 20??, so what is the importance of this date? You say to please look and to please settle, look where and settle what?

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I wasn’t sure, either, Carol. I left on my pilgrimage on Feb. 11, 2011 – and it is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes (which is why I left that day – it was fundamentally a healing mission). I think the language barrier may be clouding things. I am not really sure whether he was accusing me of being overly sentimental or all of you or all of us. In any case, I am a bit more indulgent with people who have some obvious language issues with English. I am pleased that they take the time to try to translate this into their own language – and it is far too easy to misunderstand their intent because of the language obstacles. In other comments, he has seemed serious, so I am inclined to let him expand a little to make sure we are getting what he means.

        Liked by 2 people

        • YongDuk says:

          No, Charlie, you are not at all sentimental. I am sorry. ‘was’ was a mistranslation. Yes, to Nancy. Yes, to everyone, but there is sentimentalism and sentiments (akin to community vs. communism) — ~ism’s being the extreme), please sometimes I read the comments — not the playful ones about mustard and catsup/ketchup — and sometimes they seem leaning a bit towards emotionalism (not emotions, which like sentiments and, yes, Christ in His Humanity) as opposed to a certain sobriety that echoes the prudence that Charlie’s comments always amazingly have.

          Charlie has a mastery of prudence, even when speaking playfully or flustered as he said he felt in one question and answer session.

          Sorry to have caused controversy; I was hardly trying to accuse anyone, but at the same time I think… I think sobriety — not somberness — a joyful peace is what I meant to say; that is, the watchman/watchwoman (trying to make a PC joke) point.

          My prayer for each of us, I humbly say, is that we all learn that prudent sobriety and the joyful peace that Charlie has.

          Can I say I had a Catherine of Siena moment and be understood and forgiven?

          Liked by 9 people

          • YongDuk says:

            (I meant wolves, not sheep–they look the same when dressed up as each other 😀 )

            Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Well, you keep at it, Yong Duk. We’re glad to have you here…we may just have to draw you out from time to time to make sure we understand. So we won’t take offense at you if you won’t take offense at us when we try clarify things you say. Thank you for joining us.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Oh Yong! I just posted a response and am now reading this comment of yours. Thanks for your clarification.

            The only remaining issue for me is that I wonder just how prudent Charlie’s comments were here:

            *I am amused enough that I have not even looked toward the brick pile just yet.
            *Well, Mick, I know I have the digestive system of a dog.
            *As Arnold Shwarzenegger said in one of his movies….”Ah’ll be back.”
            *I howled with laughter and told her I had long ago told one of my priests that my ultimate ambition was to be the patron saint of poor schlubs.
            *Ha, Ed, as I said…some of this tour has been like an AA meeting.
            *A Jersey prayer: “Let go and let God. Bada-bing.”
            *I always clear comments that make me laugh, AJ!
            *Well, given who I am…and given how much I wanted the Cubs to win…you can see why this would cause mixed emotions in me.
            *Because it is my team…and it has not won in my lifetime, my father’s lifetime, or my late grandfather’s lifetime.

            Seriously, all these quotes evoke greater empathy for our Holy Father who is constantly being quoted out of context.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YD, that was pretty clear to me as well, but I have to admit that I wasn’t really seeing the language/translation hurdle like everyone else. Sorry to admit, but I even thought that your user name was just some kind of a clever take on “Young Duck.” Don’t I feel like the idiot!

            At our big family dinner table growing up we sometimes just showed up to eat (imagine that), but typically it was pretty animated, where verbal sparring and wit ruled. Sometimes you’d get stuck with a dinger, but we never really felt the need for apologies. We knew that we all loved each other without question, and besides, we all sobered up pretty quick when Ma gave us that particular look of hers punctuated by, “clean up these dishes and the rest of this dinner mess… and that means everybody!” Naturally, we all scrambled to get it done, because we knew full well what she really meant.

            This started as a gloomy day, then mmbev really got my laughing. Then I had a chance to laugh at myself, now I’m just joyful with the rest of the NRS’ers. Not a bad day.

            God Bless the whole family,

            MP

            Liked by 2 people

          • Katherine says:

            Oh, I think maybe Young Duk was just trying to give us an honest warning against the kind of sentimental spirituality that can cause someone to rely too heavily on abstract ideas and thoughts which of themselves evoke a comfortable emotional response, which could possibly fail us when put to the test. I like Charlie’s practical and straight forward approach too. I wouldn’t worry about anyone here, though it’s nice of Duk to caution us. I believe that what many have expressed in this forum is simply a style of spirituality, an expression of personality and an expression of excitement over things that Charlie has said. Charlie’s basic premise of a rescue is, after all, worthy of celebration! Abstract thoughts, holy daydreams, which evoke emotional responses can be a lifesaver too and buoy us up when taking the next right step is kind of hard. Emotions are powerful motivators. When ordered by love, they are like the wind in our sails.

            Liked by 4 people

          • Sentimentalism as a concept in moral philosophy or sentimentality as in not taking things as seriously as we should? Us Americans probably don’t grasp the seriousness of the current situation as well as those in other parts of the world. I was standing in the local supermarket the other day looking around at the incredible abundance and it struck me that we are probably not prepared mentally for genuine deprivation. You are probably right; we just don’t realize it yet. We may look back on these last peaceful days and say “Oh how naive we were. We had no idea how much we had until we lost it.”

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            Nice reply MP and YD, we love you! I find this Web site very helpful as it is a place with like minded people where I feel free to open up, in a nice way of course, and connect with others. Outside of here, there are few people who understand this. Also, from a sober perspective, yes, I have been doing some prepping (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone); within reason though. More importantly, I have been praying and preparing spiritually. I am still human and have emotions and feelings which were given by God. As the scripture says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul. This would include emotions, feelings and sentimentality AND it would include intellect, wisdom, thought, action, etc… it is what I like so much about the Catholic faith. It marries together the human and the faith element. It makes sense since Jesus is (not was) fully human and fully divine.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            I love a part when Jesus heals the little girl, brings her back to life. While everyone is ooing and aahing, Jesus directs them to “give her something to eat.” Makes me think that Jesus never neglects the ordinary – and that dying must be a hungry business.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            Just thought I would put in my two cents. Hooray! Future deacon, you hit the nail on the head again. It is good to prepare for times ahead. God gives us the tools we need, and some folks maybe have a little more to give, and thus, your response to God’s call to holiness. I love when people keep putting out there that we must always remember. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. We cannot say this for ourselves, but, we are all works in progress towards holy sainthood. Big smiles from pam, from NJ!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kati says:

            Hello Again YongDuk!

            From my perspective, there is nothing to forgive. It was simply a bit of misunderstanding by most all of us. I see now that you have a good understanding and a great sense of humor! 😉 I am very glad that you are posting here.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you for posting YongDuk. I especially am drawn to your statement: “See the place of letting anxieties be in God’s Hands Which care for the sparrow.” This is one of my daily prayers for all who visit here.

      Yong, we are certainly a collection of varying individuals here with all kinds of personalities and backgrounds. I understand there are many who visit from countries around the world. I have had the great gift of visiting every continent but two and I am always amazed at how God loves diversity, in the best sense of that word. There are so many, varied and unusual-to-me ways of living. There are things done in some cultures which I could never do, food which I could never convince myself to eat (roasted big, fat, juicy rats as a West African delicacy – no way), ways of living so different from my own and I had to acknowledge a different way does not always mean a better or worse way, it’s just different. And in all of these differences, well, MP says it best today, God: “calls us all (just as we are).” He loves us just as we are.

      I pose an idea: Could it be that what looks like sentimentalism may actually be a culturally acceptable way of expressing oneself or someone’s true need to work through a difficult area of his/her life?

      What I have discovered in reading Charlie’s archived posts, with all the comments as well (There are many jewels in those comments.), is that there is a beautiful balance of comments made here which reflect very serious, very caring, deeply spiritual, joyously playful, most insightful, thought-provoking, very-willing-to-assist, determined people in this online family. As we each take up our crosses, in my view, we most definitely are proclaiming St. Therese’s Little Way by embracing the simple yet powerful message: Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.

      Please stay with our family, YongDuk. Keep posting! I’m praying for you and all here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • YongDuk says:

        Alas, it was indefensible except as a St Catherine of Siena moment (via Bl. Raymond of Capua).

        You all–the regulars made me laugh–thank you! Definitely in agreement about encouraging each other while the day is still today (Heb 3:13) with all the emotions and all.

        Pray for me would you…

        And Carlos 😛 Always happy to be humbled!

        And forgive me for waxing sentimental: thank you for your prayers today; I felt them from some of you, as it changed a few situations in ministering a few times today! Perhaps this was indeed a stroke of Providence language barriers and sheep alike!

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          By gum, Yong, I think you are already getting into the spirit of this website!

          Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            You know my cousin, Gum??!! (joking)

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            “Perhaps this was indeed a stroke of Providence language barriers and sheep alike!”
            Amen, YD! If you like exquisitely beautiful music, you might enjoy listening to the installation ceremony of Archbishop Anthony Fisher last year in Sydney, AU. There was a heartwarming welcome song sung by a youth group. If you listen in at 1:30, you can consider “We Welcome You to This Place,” as appropos to you from us, as it was for the dear Archbishop.

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Oops, YD! (I hope it’s OK to give you that nickname… I believe in traditional Chinese style Yong is your last name, yes?) Anyway I failed to give you the link for your welcome song:

            Like

          • Carmen says:

            Beckita, Thank you so much for sharing this video. Kevin and I were in Sydney last November and were blessed to participate in morning mass for a few days. Such beauty!!! There is another Carmen posting here now…not sure how to change that so our comments aren’t confused with one another. Steve??? help!!!

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Hi, Carmen-the-original! The next time you post (say in answer to my reply here), look below the area where you are entering your text. You will see three lines. (You can ignore the third line.)

            The first line is for your email address, and that field must be filled out before you can post your comment. That email address should always be the same. It is the one item that WordPress uses to distinguish you from everyone else.

            The second line asks for a screen name. When blank, it says “Name (required)”. I am presuming this is where you entered “Carmen” earlier, and it should be in there again when you reply to this comment of mine to thank me incredibly profusely for telling you how to fix your issue. 😀

            Instead of just writing “Carmen” in that field, write something unique to you. My screen name is “SteveBC” and so far, nobody has used that name. There is at least one “Steve” on this site, but my “SteveBC” is, so far, unique to me.

            You could say “Carmen-by-the-Sea” or “Carmen37” or “CansasCarmen” if you’re from Kansas, or whatever. Something nobody else is ever likely to duplicate by chance. Put that into the second field and post your comment. That should work from now on. Just check each time you want to post a comment to make sure that field still has your unique version of Carmen in it.

            I will tell you that I don’t know if your previous comments, like the one just above where you asked for help, will start showing the new unique screen name or continue to say “Carmen.” I *think* all your comments will reset themselves to your new screen name, but you will have to check to see exactly what does actually happen on your past comments, like the one above.

            Thank Beckita, too, because she alerted me to your request for help. I hope what I’ve suggested actually does the trick, but if not, post another comment, and I will keep checking for a while to see how it goes. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Dear Carmen & SteveBC, you are responding to my comment and not Beckita’s and she is not being notified.

            Like

          • Doug says:

            I think you. Should make your screen name “Carmen the Original”

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Sorry, Carlos, but I couldn’t do otherwise. There are no more Reply levels available to provide better focus. Everything on this thread under your original entry has to be a reply to your earlier entry. Everyone’s going to have to sort things out for themselves. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • No problem at all. I posted that to make sure Carmen gets a notification.

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Actually, Carlos, I’ve subscribed to receiveing copies of all that is posted here daily. It’s a bit of a committment and a challenge because of how WordPress is set up, especially when folks are responding to more than a few of Charlie’s major posts each day, but it’s worth it to me.

            Like

          • Yes, it gets a bit messy sometimes. Just wanted to make sure Carmen knew you were responding to her. God bless!

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Ah, got it, Carlos. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          What a gift for you to be there, Carmen! I stumbled on the video and was mesmerizied by the regal power, dynamism and beauty of the cathedral setting, but most especially the music.

          I love simplicity and realize our Savior came to us in poverty. At the same time, I viewed the installation as a reflection of the Book of Revelation describing the Heavenly banquet to which we on earth are united. I’m ready to do whatever God wills for me in this life AND I am homesick for Heaven and can hardly wait to be THERE in the Holy City visibly experiencing how everything and everyone gives constant Glory to God!

          PS Hello Kevin!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. carmen says:

    I would ask any of your readers who are concerned about Pope Francis and this synod to recall that in 1968 Pope Paul VI reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching and morality with the promulgation of Humanae vitae. At the time the consensus opinion among the Bishops was to “relax” the Church’s teaching and to allow artificial birth control. But Pope Paul VI surprised everyone. Well, the God of surprises as Papa Francis likes to call Him may have a surprise in store for all of us at the conclusion of the synod.

    Liked by 2 people

    • kathyk1 says:

      If I recall correctly, just about the only Bishop in Pope Paul VI’s corner on Humanae Vitae was the future Pope St. JP II. And most of the Bishops took it upon themselves to “relax” the Church’s teaching by encouraging artificial contraception through individual conscience, wink wink, nudge nudge. I think Pope Francis will have to make an ex-cathedra statement to head off this passive-aggressive path once again. And if he does, how could schism not result? We must storm heaven for the grace to keep us in the safety of the Church, and light for those who already have one foot out of the boat..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Nicholson says:

        But, the church has already been divided due to the wink, wink, etc., which was not given official anything by any bishop or priest. There was, and still is, faction of the church who prefer to do things the way they want to do them, and that is schism. The church is in a state of schism due to this scandal, but, scandals caused by those who knew exactly what they were doing when they entered the priesthood, God help them. They are priest sons of God, so we have to pray especially hard for them that they have epiphany for conversion of the heart to orthodox teaching of the faith, so they will correct themselves both in word and deed to the faithful at large. It does no one any good to continually point fingers at those who have the same problem we all have, we are all sinners, and we prefer to sin for our own selfish reason, but, in the end, we will be held accountable for our choices we made in life, so go to confession often. Priests, bishops and cardinals who have lead the flock astray are held to a greater accountability because they know the faith and until they decide to correct their ways and be to the flock what they are meant to be as princes of the church, we have to pray very hard for them to wake up. Prayer helps and it is a very powerful tool for conversion. Let us all be at it. Blessings to all. pam, from NJ.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kristen Martinez says:

    Thank you for this, Charlie!! God bless you for bringing hope!

    Kristen Martinez

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jaykay says:

    I think St. Joseph is “coming into his own” at last! My parish church last year took a beautiful statue of him carrying the Holy Child from the side of Our Lady’s altar, where it was somewhat overlooked (not that he’d mind 😉) and put it in a much more public place, with its own new candle-array(?) and it’s very popular. It’s a beautiful manly image, if I could put it that way, a real inspiration for men, I personally think.

    And I can’t help but recall that the Holy Father, as one of his first public acts, put a crown of flowers at her image in Sta. Maria Maggiore. Plus, let’s also remember his very public advocacy of confession, also walking the walk by kneeling in public at a confessional in St. Peter’s. What more can we ask? Yep, adding all in all, he’s steering the barque towards the two pillars. Dear friends, we’re in safe hands with this captain. J.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. teddy says:

    Don Bosco’s dreams about hell helped me get my (spiritual) act together. Still not even close to where I want to be, but on my way thanks to him. St. DB pray for us!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. marlonancy says:

    One day after communion I felt God telling me to look at an image. I looked at it and he said this is a great intercesor. I thought it was St. Peter as I got close to the image I realised it was St. Joseph. I felt God telling me that he is the only human being who prayed for Mary and Jesus. That is why he is a great Intercesor.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Pam Nicholson says:

    Charlie, I think I stated in answer to a recent comment that it is the responsibility, catechetically speaking, that parents must do all they can with all the tools the church has given us, to get our kids and our spouse to Heaven. I don’t think that this will ever change. Kids, so many of them, come from broken homes and have felt the pain of parents who decide that they no longer wish to be married to the same person anymore for whatever reason that might be. Parents refuse to see the suffering children must undergo at the behest of the decisions their parents make which will affect them for the rest of their lives and into their own relationships. So, kids today have very little chance of surviving divorce and the hate that they are painfully aware of that their parents have for each other. We baptize the kids, we get them to CCD, and, somewhere along this faith journey, this child will most likely be a victim of the parents’ divorce. Where are the parents as true examples of the faith then? Hate breeds hate. Kids deserve better. And, with time and care that only the truth will come out of the catholic church’s teachings, will kids understand that their faith is in their own hands. I know. I lived it for a long time. I have a niece who lived this while she was in CCD, and then she never went back to mass. I have seen her at her dad’s funeral go up to receive Holy Communion, but, she had no real understanding of the importance of getting to confession. There is so much healing that has to happen within the family, And I pray with all my heart that all kids who have had this experience come to understand that as adults, they now have their faith journey in their own hands, but, God is right there waiting to hear them ask for His guidance. What is more worthwhile than knowing we have a God who loves us so much He was willing to die such a death for us. If they ask for the truth and seek it, they will find it! Blessings. pam, from NJ.

    Like

  10. Michaela says:

    Thanks for Fr. Scanlon’s article, Charlie. Here’s my response –

    So, the encyclical, “Humanae Vitae” wasn’t an “ex cathedra” pronouncement? I have always treated it as such. Wow. I teach a medical model of NFP and am immersed in this issue and I missed that. If we are picking and choosing what we agree with in Pope Francis’ recent encyclical (based on what we consider to pertain to moralsand what is debatable science), I can see how other Catholics did the same for Humanae Vitae. It’s a confusing problem that most people aren’t equipped to sort out on their own and do need their pastors to help them.

    I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Pope Francis to make a more definitive “ex cathedra” statement. and would force the issue now that people are listening to him. I pray that the Holy Spirit guides him in this area. Would be a great help in turning the children of the sexual revolution (including priests and bishops) around. And, I think sacramental marriage should be denied to those who disagree with HV, just as it should be denied to Catholics who don’t agree with “until death do us part” or who intend to practice polygamy, or who don’t intend to bring their children up Catholic etc Sacramental marriages should be reserved for those ready to separate themselves from the world’s values.

    Marriage prep should be more a time of spiritual formation and discernment where couples wrestle with the hard teachings of their faith, and learn disciplines of prayer and scripture study etc. similar to preparing for the vocation of the priesthood or religious life. The goal should be to decide if they want to try to conform themselves to Christ instead of to the world and to help them develop the means to do so. Maybe in the past this wasn’t needed, but the chain of faith has been broken. And our priests need to be the ones to lead this formation.

    Also, I don’t think it would overwhelm priests to take leadership in marriage prep instead of turning it over completely to lay people. I have taught intros to NFP at marriage prep classes where the leaders themselves had never used NFP (but they regretted it after learning about NFP during the class). I’d ask if people had heard of Humanae Vitae, and only a tiny percentage had. The Theology of the Body and NFP did strike a chord in some, but most couples reacted indifferently if not with scepticism or even hostility. That would have been the time to work through their objections but the hour was up and had to move on to the next presenter. When I worked in DC, Msgr Pope warned me not to try to give a naive picture of NFP but to acknowlede the sacrifice involved. I took his advice..

    But I can see now that the time to discuss Church teaching on human sexuality is in adolescence when young people are sorting things out in their souls.. I never thought that it would be possible to turn the sexual revolution around, , . but the young clients who come to me voluntarily (not forced to by marriage prep) are a sign of hope to me. They’ve received good teaching from their families and parishes. Also, women who learn NFP later in life commonly regret that they didn’t learn about the “awesome” details and sacredness of procreation as teenagers. So, Charlie, that’s probably the next right step for me – to help prepare my priest to teach HV to the young people. so that they will know the “why” when I come around with the biology. Sorry this was such a long post, but Fr. Scanlon got me on my hobby horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matthew says:

      A note on “infallible” or “ex cathedra” statements:
      First infallibility only applies to issues of faith and morals.
      The Church can teach infallibly in three distinct ways. The first is the most common: Tradition. If a teaching in the area of faith and morals has always and everywhere been held by the Church than it is held to be infallibly taught. examples of this would be various creeds that have been developed, e.g. the Apostles’ Creed. The second is less common: the teaching of ecumenical councils that have been approved by the pope, e.g. Nicea, Ephesus, Trent, etc. (n.b. this applies to the dogmatic and moral teachings of these councils not their disciplinary teachings. e.g. Nicea decreed that bishops are not to be moved from one diocese to another. This is not infallible.) The third is rarest: an individual statement of a pope which is made to settle some question of faith or morals. Usually this includes some indication that he is invoking his authority as the Successor of Peter to definitively teach. Clearly the decrees on the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption meet this standard.
      So I would agree that the teaching contained in HV is infallible but not by papal authority but rather by the universal Tradition of the Church. Some years ago Dr. Janet Smith put together a collection of essays called either “Humanae Vitae: A Reader” or “Why Humanae Vitae was Right.” It contains a very good essay defending this idea that while HV is not an infallible document nonetheless the teaching it contains is infallible.
      I hope this helps.
      PAX,
      Matthew

      Liked by 1 person

    • vicardwm says:

      I agree, Michaela. It is pretty clear that it was an infallible statement, and Fr. Brian Harrison has a treatise out on the Internet that convincingly shows that. By the way, even if HV itself was not infallible, the teaching against contraception is infallible by virtue of being taught always and everywhere in Church history (this is called the ordinary magisterium)

      Here is part of HV 14…”We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.”

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  11. jeanneg8 says:

    I found myself agreeing and then thinking hard… and ultimately saw the beauty of the Holy Family inherent in the solution.

    Like

  12. Phillip Frank says:

    I think Pope Francis decentralizing the church may be a way of keeping its enemies from destroying it with one centralised blow.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Hopenjoy says:

    Amazing to read this article on Humanae vitae on my 12-year “anniversary” of having my tubal ligation reversed…because of reading this amazing, challenging writing by the Pope. In 2001, after experiencing God’s presence in our marriage bed (we were married in 1984), I woke up with the full intent to read Humanae vitae, which I was only vaguely aware of. It completely resonated with me, and I knew I had “not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4), and began researching and praying about a tubal reversal. It took two years of intercessory prayer, fasting and rosaries, then suddenly the Lord changed my husband’s heart, the money appeared for the surgery and airline tickets, and the surgery was scheduled for me at age 40. The first time we made love fully and completely open to life, I cried with utter joy. We’ve been open to life ever since, no more children here on earth but I believe our marriage has been incredibly blessed and enriched. The Lord has even promised me that being open to life will be a huge factor in my husband’s conversion. So, no wonder the satan and the world is against such beauty and truth. It saves souls…it saves marriages…it saves people.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. NancyA says:

    I am a big fan of Archbishop Chaput, and I tend to “claim” him, even though I am in a great diocese just outside that archdiocese. He’s “my” archbishop, along with my own diocesan bishop. (like I claim the Philadelphia Orchestra as “mine” when we do have a Symphony in C based in South Jersey) I just read his latest article on the Synod, and it goes right to the heart of things. He especially points out that the synod of the press is NOT the synod he is attending.

    Quoting part: “These past three weeks in Rome have been strange and hopeful at the same time. Strange, because the synod reported in the media and the synod actually taking place at the Vatican are rarely the same creatures.

    The issues of modern family life are complex. They have great importance for the future of the Church and the world. So the work of this synod matters. True to his style, Pope Francis has encouraged an open and frank spirit from the start. Differences among the synod fathers – including serious differences on serious matters – are part of the natural flow of discussion.

    Bishops at the synod need to deal with such matters candidly. Otherwise, nothing good can result. But “warring camps” simply don’t exist. The mood among the synod fathers has been far friendlier than any commentators seem to imagine. There are no “revolutionaries” or “reactionaries” in the synod hall – only bishops sincerely trying to face sensitive issues and chart the right course for the Church in the light of the Gospel.

    Which brings me to why this synod experience has also been hopeful.”

    the rest here: http://catholicphilly.com/2015/10/think-tank/archbishop-chaput-column/as-the-synod-closes-the-road-ahead/
    I especially like his close: “The point is: Whatever develops in the short term from this synod, God remains with his Church. We should cultivate that peace in our hearts. We need to trust in God’s Word, and we need to pray for and trust the Holy Father. Otherwise we defeat our own discipleship. Confusion – as I was famously misquoted, out of context, a year ago – is of the devil. We shouldn’t be part of it.

    It will be good to be back in Philadelphia. It will be good to be home. We have a lot of great work to do together.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dear friends,
    Here in BA, the Pope Francis’ former diocese there is a group, not a small one that has decided to follow a man, a self appointed pope of sorts, who affirms and teaches that the current Pope is an impostor, an anti-pope. A dear priest and former friend of mine fell for that crude theology (I assign that confusion to senility) and has ceased all contact with me, a loss indeed but a loss I can live with. I do not need heresy, I have enough troubles as it is. I felt confused by the news coming since March 2013: the Pope said this, the Pope did that, etc. etc. and I had to meditate on what was going on. Two things came to mind immediately. The first was that Our Lady warned us of a cloud of devilish confusion coming upon the Church. The second was the prophetic dream of St. John Bosco. St John Bosco is very dear to Argentines for he did a lot of work here, personally and through his mission. In his dream he does not see any anti-pope, he does not see any defeats: he sees a vessel in crisis that makes it to port safely with divine help. That vessel is obviously the Church and I might add, as a personal conclusion, that we are approaching the final moments of that prophecy. Many men, some misguided, some weak, some wicked infiltrated, are now sitting at that Synod and all of them will feel the effect of the Holy Spirit moving them in the direction of truth. Whatever the outcome the truth of the Faith will remain unchanged. We may have to fight for it until God intervenes personally. The benefit I got from this prophetic dream is the confidence that no matter who is sitting in the Throne of Peter, everything will turn to be all right. God is in charge, God does not change. If men try to make God change they either will be changed themselves or perish. Expect God’s commentary in the days following the completion of the Synod. It may be the beginning of a “learning experience” for all of us and for our Church leaders too.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Fran says:

    Thank you for your comments above Charlie. I couldn’t agree more!

    Like

  17. I will wait for Charlie’s full comments on the Pope’ s plans but I want to echo the caution to reserve judgement. When I first read the news story I was concerned but after reading it carefully again I was hopeful. I think he may be talking about creating a model of subsidiarity within the Church in administrative, not doctrinal matters. It could, in theory, be a model for secular governments to follow.he is ,I’m guessing, proposing it at the time of the Synod because the theory of subsidiarity is that all government should be centered around whatever is good for the family since it is the family that is the building block of society. Maybe. Just a hunch.

    Like

  18. Rita Warfel says:

    I agree with and act on the advice I recieve from you Charlie. God bless you.

    Like

  19. exceptionallyso@gmail.com says:

    Very, truly important to hear you respond to these questions:

    1. Hasn’t the motu proprio already affected a massive change in the Catholic understanding of marriage? (45 days?!) If so, does this change your assessment that the Holy Father will prove a “worthy guardian of the Magisterium”?

    2. The Pope’s stated that “Doctrine will not be touched” — but has failed to make clear the line between “doctrinal” and “pastoral” changes. Is communion for the divorced-and-remarried a pastoral issue? Is the confusion on this subject his responsibility?

    3. You’ve stated that the Holy Father is now entering his greatness — and that progressive cardinals would soon become the his greatest adversaries. If this were true, why hasn’t the Pope *already* remedied the wide range of synodal procedures — from the secrecy to the makeup of the drafting committees — that are manifestly unfair?

    These issues are described in greater detail by serious Catholic thinkers — men like Douthat, Weigel, and Royal. Their concerns are real. They don’t have the “vapors.”

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      1) The pathetically impoverished marriage preparation of the last two generations has dramatically changed the understanding of marriage for most Catholics. The motu proprio is a first step to bringing it back to where it should be. That it does not comport with what you think it should be does not invalidate it.

      2) The Pope has repeatedly stated that “Marriage is an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman,” most recently at the opening session of this year’s Synod. Is that not clear enough for you? He has said it repeatedly. Or is it your judgment that he should shut down discussion immediately, that those bishops in dissent should go underground to sabotage the institution rather than expose themselves?

      3) Why the Pope has chosen to adopt his timeline and strategy instead of your preferred methods is undoubtedly a provocation to you. If you want to criticize his choices, you may do that freely, but to darkly hint that it means he borders on heresy is poppycock.

      I listened to all manner of people who should have known better last year get near faints about how the Pope was going to “change doctrine” at that session of the Synod. I said it was poppycock then – and so it turned out to be as the Pope closed the session with a ringing, clear, but charitable statement of orthodoxy. They were wrong then about what would happen. Now George Weigel has commented on disturbing trends among too many Bishops at the Synod, but I have not heard him question the orthodoxy of the Pope. Ross Douthat had the vapors at last year’s session and has had them again this year. To believe that the Pope could Magisterially reverse settled doctrine is to question the trustworthiness of the promises of Christ. If Christ’s promises are unreliable, He is not God and this discussion is an absurdity. I know He is God, so I trust His promises.

      Liked by 3 people

      • MarieUrsula says:

        I see what you mean, Charlie. Confusion abounds and is fostered. Be alert, everyone ~ and cling to the Barque of Peter even if you have to tie yourself to the mast with an unoccupied rope.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        Thank you for clarity, Charlie!!!

        Without realizing you had written this comment in the wee hours of the morning, I had clicked on the side bar of recent comments and responded to YD below with the closing to my post paraphrasing your very closing here. At first I thought to write, “Sorry to be redundant.” On second thought I’m happy bells are ringing out the Truth here today. So here, again, is the Scriptural reference of Christ’s promise:

        I think much of the steam is coming because people fear the Pope will change Church doctrine . He won’t. He can’t. Why? Because we have the assurance of divine protection from Jesus, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

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      • exceptionallyso@gmail.com says:

        More heat than light. If you’re interested, I ask follow-up questions below.

        “1) The pathetically impoverished marriage preparation of the last two generations has dramatically changed the understanding of marriage for most Catholics. The motu proprio is a first step to bringing it back to where it should be. That it does not comport with what you think it should be does not invalidate it.”

        My opinion is irrelevant; I’m interested in yours. The motu proprio provides for fast-track annulments, making it possible to granting the judgment in as little as 45 days. From Douthat:

        The changes do not merely streamline the existing annulment process, as many expected, by removing a mandatory review of each decision. They promise a fast-track option, to be implemented at the discretion of local bishops, that would allow annulments to be granted in no more than 45 days if both parties consent and certain personal factors are involved. Since that list of factors seems capacious and varied, in effect the pope is offering bishops the chance to expedite most annulment petitions involving consenting ex-spouses, without fear of rebuke from Rome.

        To confirm: you believe that this is a positive and necessary development and that it speaks well of the Pope’s ability to defend the Magisterium?

        “2) The Pope has repeatedly stated that “Marriage is an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman,” most recently at the opening session of this year’s Synod. Is that not clear enough for you? He has said it repeatedly. Or is it your judgment that he should shut down discussion immediately, that those bishops in dissent should go underground to sabotage the institution rather than expose themselves?”

        Again, the reply is non-responsive: I asked whether the Pope is responsible for the evident confusion, even among the cardinals at the synod, over whether issues such as communion for the divorced-and-remarried are doctrinal or pastoral. What say you?

        And though I don’t think it’s relevant to the point at hand, I will address the your question: “Is that not clear enough for me?” The pope is responsible for synodal procedures and statements which have generated a tremendous lack of clarity about Catholic teaching. Do you agree? If not, why does LifeSite report “A considerable majority of U.S. Catholics are in conflict with Church teaching on abortion and marriage, a new study says, and a startling number of those also believe Pope Francis backs homosexual ‘marriage.’ [7/28]”

        And, again, though it isn’t relevant to the question at hand, I will address your contention that I prefer that the Pope “shut down discussion immediately, that those bishops in dissent should go underground to sabotage the institution rather than expose themselves.” With all due respect, this seems like an obvious mistake: the German bishops expressed their dissent in public, for all the world to see, well prior to the Synod. They exposed *themselves* We didn’t need a Synod cleverly-crafted to “reveal” them.

        And finally:
        “3) Why the Pope has chosen to adopt his timeline and strategy instead of your preferred methods is undoubtedly a provocation to you. If you want to criticize his choices, you may do that freely, but to darkly hint that it means he borders on heresy is poppycock.”

        Again: it’s not my opinion about the Synod procedures that matters — it’s that of the Cardinals, including Cardinal Pell. Do you think the Pope adequately responded to their concerns about the unfairness of the procedures….and did so to the extent that he’s readily identifiable as an adversary to progressive wing?

        Regardless, I made no “dark hints” that the Pope’s positions border on heresy. None whatsoever. If you care to correct the record, I’d appreciate it — if not, I’ll ask your readers to make their own assessment about my original post.

        And, too, I think dismissing someone as serious-minded (and brilliant!) as Ross Douthat with a peremptory “he’s got the vapors” is beneath your calling.

        To sum up: lots of heat, little light. I’d still appreciate an answer to my original questions — your opinion matters to me, and I don’t believe these subjects are adequately addressed in your original article and in the reprint you posted today.

        As you point out, it’s our right to question the Pope’s management of Church affairs. I happen to think he’s an exceptionally holy man who’s made serious mistakes in communicating Catholic teaching…Much like every other person in the history of the Church. But this latter fact — along with his manifest successes — do not relieve us of the responsibility to honestly identify his mistakes in judgment. Such questioning does not entail, as you imply at the end of your post, that I’m denying the divinity of Christ.

        …Not the Christ who, according to Matthew, said that the gates of Hell wouldn’t prevail.

        Nor the Christ who, according to Luke, asked if, when He returned, he’d find faith on earth.

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      • We shall be bettered by this experience. It is easy to trust a great Pope with lots of energy, a powerful intellect, and other desirable qualities. What is hard is to love Peter, mainly because he is like us: he is not as deep as John, not as intellectual as Paul, not as fiery as James but God in His wisdom chose Peter and granted him a prayer: that his faith won’t fail. Our part on all these events is to contemplate Peter and see where the big lesson is. This is a very important lesson for the whole Church but few will have the wisdom to take full advantage of it.

        https://casorosendi.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/on-giving-thanks/

        Liked by 2 people

        • Maeb says:

          And Peter went astray in Antioch, and took many with him, until Paul stood up to his face and corrected him about his attempt to divide pastoral practice from truth. (He had withdrawn from eating with the uncircumcised while the Jerusalem Christians were visiting, even though he had had a special revelation – three visions, an angelic message, and an order from the Holy Spirit – telling him he should associate and eat with them). He knew the truth, but trimmed to accomodate others. Thank goodness for the Pauls.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Very nice correlation.

            Like

          • Absolutely! On a curious note Antioch in Asia Minor [αντιοχεια (antiócheia) Latinantiōchĭa] The city was founded in the year 300 B.C., by Seleucus Nicator and later renamed (if I am not mistaken) after Antiochus Epiphanes, the king that defiled the Temple of God at the times of the Maccabees. 2 Maccabees 5:11–14 and 2 Maccabees 6:1–11. Epiphanes means “God Manifest” and for all we know he may have been a forerunner of many antichrists that were still to come. I do not know the etymology of αντιοχεια but it sounds like “against the west” at least in the old pre-Latin dialects of southern Europe (anti: against + oc: west.) Just a curious coincidence.

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Carlos, while I love speculations on roots and such, I think a more positive and beautiful speculation could be posited than the route yours seems to suggest on Antioch (Against the West) and Antioch / Syria being the place where the reunification gets its impetus…

            As you likely know, there are Two Feasts of the Chair of Peter, one in Rome and one in Antioch. In the Western Church, the Roman Rite following Vatican II, this was combined into the one currently known on February 22, which is originally the Feast of the Chair of Peter in Antioch. (The other in Rome being January 18.)

            Antioch, besides the obvious Biblical New Testament references, is the Mother Church (See/Patriachate) of the West Syriac Liturgical Traditions. Amongst these Syriac Liturgies is the Syro-Byzantine Liturgy which owes much of its form to St. John Chrysotome, who hailed from Antioch and brought the Syriac liturgical tradition to Byzantium even before Byzantium was considered one of the Patriarchates. This of course is [evolved into] the main Liturgy of the Byzantine Orthodox (not to mention the Byzantine Catholic) Churches. (The Anaphorae of the Syriac Liturgies that I know all include one directly attributed to St John Chrysostomehaving hailed from there.)

            Wouldn’t it be fabulous if the current situation in Antioch — instead of being “Against the West” — doesn’t turn for the West instead as Charlie I thinks.

            So not only is there the beauty of the Syriac people being the major translators of Greek texts (educational, literary, philosophical, medical, religious, etc) into Syriac and then into Arabic (which were then preserved in Babylon / Chaldea and then found their way into Moorish Spain and from their into the hands of the Scholastics [e.g. Aristotle having been lost / overlooked to the West]), but perhaps the beauty of the place that the reunification really gets its start, just as the term Catholic was first recorded by St Ignatius of Antioch and the Followers of The Way were first called Christians!

            (My own foible qualification: I write this loosely from memory, so if there are any lapsed or too generalized generalizations that is why. 🙂 )

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          • YoungDuk: I said “on a curious note.” I was not even speculating, nor setting doctrine. I’ll say this much. I can’t make much sense of the rest of your comment, please forgive me. English if my fifth language…

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    • YongDuk says:

      On the Contrary, as the CCC (1960) reads, “The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known ‘by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.’ The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.”

      I answer that, …well, I reply it’s unquestionably pastoral based upon doctrinal grounds!

      I think even St Thomas Aquinas would have to agree with Scripture, viz., Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram. Aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, Et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam: Et tibi dabo claves regni Caelorum and the fact that the Pope has such authority to call into the light the tough pastoral questions based upon tough doctrinal points.

      I posit that to this tough doctrinal position, as you may see it, Exceptionallyso, is the simple foundation of the natural law of what marriage is, finding beautiful echoes in Malachi by God Himself: For I hate divorce!

      God didn’t need to clarify that He does not hate divorcees, but He did clarify that divorce and remarriage is adultery. How to deal with the divorcees is pastoral (pastoral theology, moral theology, etc.)…

      Why not be simple and joyful and leave it up to God, Who “revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit” and draw near to Him in the childlike trust that He Who Is knows what He was doing when He gave St. Peter those Keys and Who says you need to have to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

      S. Ioannes Paulus PP. II, o.p.n.

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      • YongDuk says:

        Meaning Mt 18:3: unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Just a note: so many folks who divorce have so much hurt, not only from baggage of the present marriage they contemplate divorce in, they also have so much baggage from their childhood. I know a person who was admittedly, and still is, not one to turn to her faith when she already has so many ways she feels she would prefer to handle hurt and anger — she drinks a lot, and mocks those who turn to Christ first. If people turned to their better understood catholic faith before going through years of hurt and anger, maybe they would be less open to divorce. I think many people who are married think about divorce at one time or another and some more than others, but, we need to be truly open to asking the church for help, and there are three parties to deal with: the man, the woman and Jesus Himself who is in the marriage with the couple whether they know it or not. When we sin as a couple we force our culpability for this on Christ who never leaves the sacrament of marriage. I had to learn this as a new catholic and a lot of reading. If Christ is part of your sacramental marriage, He has known exactly what has been going on and He expects or asks us to go to Him for help, just like anything else we would ask His help in, but, this is a sacrament from God, not from man, so, it belongs in a clerical setting with all the parties who also need to go to confession with all the hurt they have done, to receive contrition and absolution. We must remember we are a wrong-doer and one who has been wronged, but, we were not wronged by Christ. He is a witness to what we do to each other. Let us all try to remember the importance of Christ’s presence in all the sacraments, and maybe we will have less openness to divorce. pam, from NJ.

          Liked by 1 person

  20. YongDuk says:

    One more thing to help clarify, shed light, make me smile like a child rejoicing in God’s New Law, that is, as opposed to the Old Law (Old Testament) not to wax too St. Thomas Aquinian…

    Has anyone every heard of a Priest in certain pastoral situations (I mean the by “certain” not any and every situation) ever refusing absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a divorced and remarried person? What about the Anointing of the Sick (which also carries with it the Grace of absolution from sins)?

    So, therefore, lest there be contention about Sacramental Theology regarding the Sacrament of the Eucharist, If a divorced and remarried person can receive absolution in certain situations… why the poppycock is steam coming out of people ears about this? (Did I use poppycock right, Charlie?)

    Please be at peace: God is bigger than the Boogieman!

    +YungDuk

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I think it may be because confession and anointing are sacraments specifically for people in mortal sin, but Eucharist is not supposed to be taken in a state of grave sin.

      Like

      • YongDuk says:

        I will concede theologically Anointing of the Sick to that point, Charlie. However, as you know, the Sacrament of Reconciliation requires the intention of not returning to the same objectively sinful situation. (e.g. A Priest can’t absolve a penitent from adultery if they have no intention of not continuing to commit adultery.)

        That I believe is the crux of the pastoral examination going on here: it is a question of Sacramental Theology (Doctrine) being applied to this pastoral situation. In other words, what is or are there the concrete “certain” situations in which a person can receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. The follow and flow logistically into each other: one has to be in the State of Grace to receive the Eucharist; one living in sin seems not to be; can this be reconciled?

        I think that is actually good news for Priests who face this in the Confession. The guess work in a sense being taken out : can I or can I not give absolution… etc.

        Makes me smile to think about still in God’s Goodness and Mercy in such a culture of divorce!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      I was denied absolution by my confessor, an Opus Dei priest, many years ago for being divorced and civilly remarried. We subsequently moved and began attending a church in a new diocese. In my new parish, the priest that assisted me in my annulment also offered means for me to return to the Sacraments of Confession and Communion, which my husband and I in good faith made the necessary sacrifices to allow.
      This Sunday, October 25th that same priest will preside over our Sacramental Marriage Blessing after which my husband and I will no longer need to live as brother and sister.
      My self-imposed shame and guilt from my divorce kept me from seeking the church’s assistance in my annulment for years. Doing so finally, I was flooded with the grace poured out by kind and caring clergy & tribunal advocates, and founding my way back to the Eucharist. The shared sacrifice of chastity enabled my husband and I to reflect more on our love and commitment to each other and our faith. I am grateful for the experience. I felt like I had fallen and was picked up, dusted off, and re-polished in the process. Don’t we all need to shine for the One who is the Light of the World?

      Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        What a beautiful witness of lived faith you have shared here, jlynn! Praying for you and your husband with congratulations on your convalidation ceremony!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Doug says:

          This so reminds me of a talk by a priest that has stuck with me for about 15 years. He gave council to teens and often got questions like “how far can I go with my girl friend?”. Sounds like an honest good question, but his reply was amazing. He said “you are asking the wrong question.” “This question reveals how you are only looking at what you can get.” “The question that should be asked is: how can I make you more holy? How can I respect you and encourage you to grow closer to God?” This priest was and still is packed with wisdom.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Doug says:

        Beautiful, just simply beautiful!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Maeb says:

        Lovely. But bear in mind that Cdl Schonborn and others who want communion for the civilly remarried specifically rule OUT the continency necessary.

        Like

        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Oh, Maeb, this lady went through everything she was told to do which was to please God first, so, no matter who wants what, jlynn and many others have done what they were asked to do, they were humble and obedient to their God. I find it a bit disheartening that there are those who have such a good faith but seem to forget about the issues we must face as beloved children of God in His Church. If a cardinal is out of step, or a bishop or priest for that matter, with the purpose of why there is an annulment process at all, they will be held accountable at a very high level. Let us never forget the lengths this lady and others I know have done to be as obedient and humble to what they were told to do to finally have their marriages blessed by the church. It is a rigorous process and goes to the very depths of what we have all been told the catholic faith is from the time we first learn the first important precepts of what it is to believe what God asks us to believe. I know that Pope Pius X was not one to encourage any faithful to place themselves, above what pleases God most. Blessings. pam, from NJ.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            We were joined together in Holy Matrimony last evening in the course of our regular 6:00pm mass with about 500 our of parish family members in attendance. My husband who is a Methodist and was sort of just going along through the motions. He did not understand or appreciate all the fuss. Yesterday he was glowing. A good friend who was recently divorced and had fallen away from the church came to mass to support us and was touched by the experience too. How Great Thou Art was played during communion and I could not stop the tears from flowing down my face. It was a sign to me that you were all with us in spirit too. At the end of the mass Father had a basket of wedding mints (I knew nothing about) to hand out to our unexpected guests. We were showered with hugs, handshakes, congratulations and blessings. My nieces, one of which is my goddaughter, were in attendance too. Their mom and dad (my sister and brother-in-law) stood in as our witnesses. The grace of God was seen, felt and experienced on so many levels. If we could just appreciate His love, direction and mercy, what a world it would be. Praise be to God for His never ending love and patience in giving us the ability to get it right, stay on the path of light, and forever be close to His heart, while healing and caring for our own in the process.

            Liked by 6 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Congratulations, jlynn – and may your marriage be long and ever joyful.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Wonderful! Just simply wonderful! I am so happy for you Jylnn!

            Liked by 1 person

          • barb129 says:

            Congratulations jlynn….what a blessing and joy!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Best wishes and prayers for a long and happy life together, jlynn!!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful news.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Petra says:

            jlynnbyrd: Congratulations and many blessings to you and your husband. The ceremony and celebration sounds just wonderful! What a day to remember! And now you can receive the Eucharist and go to Confession and receive absolution again on a regular basis! How happy I am for you. May God bring you ever closer to Him so that you and your husband may rejoice in heaven with Him forever.
            God bless.

            Liked by 2 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Many blessings and peace and joy and a special Angel of Protection for you all I pray!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            You sure have mine, YongDuk. Thanks for the angels. I need them more than you know. God bless. pam, from NJ.

            Like

          • YongDuk says:

            Ha! Sorry Pam, I will pay for you for that too.

            I meant congratulations to jlynn.

            😉

            Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      YungDuk, there are important spiritual criteria for absolution to be given. Absolution is given in confession because the penitent expresses sorrow for sins and the intent to amend or change his/her life. Think of the traditional Act of Contrition prayer which contains the necessary conditions:
      O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are
      all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

      (I’m going to use the “sin” word here, knowing that we all are sinners. No one is immune. I wrote someone recently that I do love the Greek word for sin which translates to: “miss the mark.” Indeed, we mere mortals miss the mark and make corrections on a daily basis.
      Sin is mortal when it meets three conditions:
      1. The sin is of grave matter.
      2. The sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner.
      3. The sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner.)

      So, if a divorced and remarried-out-of-the-Catholic-Church person has no intention of changing the current status as a sexually active partner with the husband or wife, absolution cannot be given. If the penitent has worked out an arrangement where s/he will live as brother and sister in the civil marriage, absolution is given.

      In the case of the Anointing of the Sick, if there’s an illness without danger of death the above conditions apply. If the Anointing of the Sick is being given because of danger of death, absolution can certainly be given because death would bring a permanent amendment of life.

      Now, there is another area of confusion which has arisen in this passion time for our Church. Not all priests fully uphold the doctrine and dogmas. I have had people come to me personally for advice in many a confessional scenario which just wasn’t right with the teaching and guidelines of the Church. I have only directed the individual to a different confessor and said we both have the responsibility to bring this priest to prayer. God is so merciful and there are so many good people praying for priests..

      YD, I must tell you, I live in residence with and provide care for an elderly priest whose birthplace was Shandong, China. While I am certain that the correct answer has been conveyed in my response, I thought it might bring you confidence in the reply to know when I just repeated to Father what I have written, he gave his thumbs up approval.

      I think much of the steam is coming because people fear the Pope will change Church doctrine . He won’t. He can’t. Why? Because we have the assurance of divine protection from Jesus, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      YD, my understanding is this is ok. The issue where there is steam is married Catholics who are divorced and remarried outside the church without a proper anullment are asked to abstain from communion out of respect. As far as I know, they can still go to confession and receive the anointing of the sick. They can receive communion too if they remain chaste (no sexual relationship) with their new spouses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beckita says:

        Doug, those who are remarried outside the Church cannot receive absolution if they still have sexual relations so confession would not be a possibility if this was the case.

        I admire the sacrifice couples make when they choose to live as brother and sister while awaiting the annulment process to be completed. jlynn gave a beautiful witness to this when she posted this morning.

        Like

        • YongDuk says:

          Again, Beckita, this is the Pastoral question at hand: what are the “certain” situations that will allow it.

          Sorry, I was merely replying to ExceptionallySo… Didn’t mean to get into Sacramental Theology and such… Rather the distinction between doctrinal and pastoral…

          I bow out. 🙂

          +YoungDuck

          Like

          • Beckita says:

            Honestly, YongDuk, there are absolutely NO times when a priest may forgive someone in a state of sin when the penitent chooses to remain in sin. If a priest does this, he has abused his power and is responsible before God for doing so. Objectively, that is the wrong thing to do because absolution requires true repentance which demands that the penitent turns away from sin.

            The word “pastoral” is abused so often today. True pastoral practice flows from a bedrock of embracing and upholding the doctrinal and dogmatic teachings of our faith given to us by Jesus Himself.

            If you have an opportunity to do so, please listen to today’s edition of “The World Over”on EWTN. Raymond Arroyo engages in a discussion with Fr. Gerald Murray and Robert Royal based on their update concerning the Synod proceedings. You’ll hear some preposterous assertions being posed in the name of “pastoral practice.” Oh how Fr. Gerry Murray guides the listeners back to the truth of our faith in clear and splendid ways!

            Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            Becita,I am sorry. I think I assumed that my references to pastoral, moral and sacramental theology and the nuances between them were generally understood and understandable in the distinction I meant them to mean in trying to make my point based upon the reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1920 above.

            Sadly, I also probably made the same error in referencing Bl. Raymond of Capua when mentioning St. Catherine of Siena in assuming what qualification that would imply as opposed to St. Catherine’s own direct writings.

            I am sorry, but I do conclude that I am very limited linguistically in crafting my arguments so that their full impact and intention is understable.

            I honestly meant that I bow out. God bless you all; thank you, Charlie!

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Well, Young Duck, this Old Buzzard thinks you ought to persist. During my travels I spoke once to a small group of atheists. It was polite, even warm. At one point, a young woman who was a lawyer frowned and said a comment of mine to her was condescending. I repeated a comment she had made to me a few moments before and asked, “You think that wasn’t condescending to me?” Her face colored as she said she didn’t mean it to be. I told her I knew that…we really were having a pretty good talk…but it was like we were speaking different languages to each other…so let us stipulate that no offense is intended and muddle through as best we could, assuming each other’s good will. She thought that made good sense and we continued.

            So Yong, I think we all are confident of each other’s good will now – so let’s just muddle through, even while knowing that some things are going to come out a bit fractured or forced.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Oh YD! I agree with Charlie. I must apologize from my end for not quite getting your points and, I assure you it happens, between native English speakers/writers all the time. Charlie gave an example of just that, didn’t he?

            You wrote with clarity: “That I believe is the crux of the pastoral examination going on here: it is a question of Sacramental Theology (Doctrine) being applied to this pastoral situation. In other words, what is or are there the concrete “certain” situations in which a person can receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. The follow and flow logistically into each other: one has to be in the State of Grace to receive the Eucharist; one living in sin seems not to be; can this be reconciled?”

            You said so well that the theological and pastoral “flow logistically into each other.” When you wrote of applying the doctrinal teachings to the pastoral situation, I thought of all the abuses (so many related to liturgy, the sacraments and religious education) that occur in the name of being pastoral. For too long now, on a personal level, people have tried to distort or deny theological truth in misguided compassion. That’s why I made the counterpoint that doctrinal teaching must be the bedrock, that is the starting point, for consideing how to pastorally care for each person.

            Thanks for your clarification concerning that fact you were referencing the pastoral questions happening in the Synod right now. What I have written above applies exactly to the discussions which were part of the Synod now coming to a close in Rome. I do hope you might be able to watch the rerun of this week’s “The World Over” with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN. There is a little shading of fear expressed that doctrine might be altered. Beyond that unnecessary worry, Fr. Gerald Murray and Robert Royal speak soundly, with the mind of the Church, about combining theological truth with pastoral care.

            Thank you for deciding to remain here, YD. God’s Peace and Blessings upon you, your family and all here!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            YD, I will defer to Rome too. Thanks!

            Like

        • Doug says:

          Yes Becketia. That makes sense. My understanding is this does not require an anullment. With that said is it possible to go to confession in that state and receive absolution for other sins? I think the answer is no if you are cognizant of this sin. Make sense? Thank you!

          Like

          • YongDuk says:

            Ok, Charlie… I shall.

            Beckita: just to clarify I am talking about the pastoral question at hand at the Synod going on in Rome.

            Doug: I like your attitude, but I am not sure that it quite makes sense when we are all awaiting clarification from Rome, so I will defer to Rome waiting for Rome.

            St Thomas Aq: Sorry for trying to be playful playing off your Summa Theologiae with the “On the Contrary” and “I answer that” above…

            YoungDuck: You should have kept your mouth closed unless you wanted to elaborate on all of the nuances of the question at hand, including the nuances of the CIC/CCEO and the notion of public scandal… You know what they say about assuming!

            Michael Patrick and Charlie: I love your comment on the next page or so… that is what I was trying to say about Mt 18:3 and being childlike and why I am smiling at the Freedom in the tough pastoral questions at hand that I believe will come out.

            Bl. Raymond of Capua: I am really sorry that St. Faustina outshines you on your feast.

            St. Catherine of Siena: LOL

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Doug, I’m not exactly sure what “this” refers to when you say: “… this does not require an annulment.”

            I’m going to take YongDuk’s lead and make a reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this time with reference to confession: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1484.htm

            Each time we confess, according to the CCC, we must make an individual and integral confession in order to receive absolution. So when a priest gives you absolution, he believes you have honestly made a good confession, that is you have fully confessed all mortal sins.

            Like

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            I was strongly advised bordering on being sternly warned by my Opus Dei confessor not to return to confession or to take communion until I received an annulment and had my new marriage sacramentally blessed. He asked me if I had any questions or concerns and then asked again if I was clear on what was required of me to return to a state of grace and be a “Catholic in good standing.” It was a bit of a sting, but the truth can hurt. He was not judging me, he cares about my salvation. The priest was not talking to me in that confessional, Jesus was through him. Sigh.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            That’s right, jlynn, He was telling you what would please Him most through this priest, in persona Christi, whether this priest is Opus Dei or otherwise. God loves us more than anything. When will people understand that He is asking so little of us when He shows us by His actions that He has so much more for us? So, I join your sigh. Only God has all the answers, and only God will always give us what we need, no matter how much one of us has to hurt. We hurt Him so much when we choose to do things without His input. He does not wait around for us to do the right thing tho. We must obediently and humbly want to love Him so much, it hurts or can hurt. I think right now of St. Pio. How He so loved God he was willing to suffer from early childhood for the love of God. We can want to be saints. We can be this if we choose it freely and lovingly. Your faith will sustain you, jlynn. God bless. pam, from NJ.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Hi Beckita, yes. This I understand. I think it is ok to still go to conffession even if you know you are not fully repentent. This is ok as long as both the priest and penitent recognize this and absolution is deferred (not formally given). In this case, the priest can be charitable, still give advice and pray in a non sacramental sense. This is not true confession, but there is hope that prayers and advice lead to true repentance. To me this is being pastoral and still being faithful to the dogma.

            As a non Catholic at the time, I went to a priest on a Cursillo retreat and asked for prayer and advice. It was funny since it was confession (in my ignorance, I did not know it at the time). He was kind and gracious and prayed with me and did not grant me absolution being obedient to the church. It was still a beautiful moment and after becoming Catholic, confession has much deeper meaning to me. I still have so much growing to do. God bless you and YD!

            Like

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            Hey, man, God knows your heart is in it even though you humbly sought some consolation, and eventually, with more prayer, humility and obedience to what God wants, you knew to hang in there. You were found by God to be one who would deserve greater understanding and mercy. Did this time while you were waiting hurt a little bit? Then, it was worth it! Now know you will be future deacon. You stick close to God and that’s what He wants, and you show Him you want to please Him most. May you be aptly rewarded in many signal ways through graces in great abundance. I love your humility, man! pam, from NJ.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            It did not hurt since I was ignorant. I think there are graces to being obedient in these situations. God knows the heart. There is also what is known theologically as the baptism of desire. It is all about respect. If I was in a huff because I could not get absolution, would I really be repentant? None of this goes without notice by God. So no need to fret or worry.

            Like

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            True! I sometimes wonder if I fully know my own heart as well as God does. We are human and have so many frailties, and sometimes we can become a bit too scrupulous. I know, I have been there. The heart knows what the brain refuses to see sometimes. We can trust it more than our brains. I know I have decided my brain needs a break from all the unnecessary worry I put myself through. I think we just are always learning, especially what the heart can do so much better than any brain. Blessings! pam, from NJ.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            Yes! We are God’s little children. It is not about being perfect “per se”. It is about love. God reads the heart.

            Like

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