Rock Solid

Rock Solid

By Charlie Johnston

Enemies of the faith have entered the Church – and some hold high orders, priests and bishops even. But that does not make Pope Francis a traitor. I am a St. John Paul Catholic. Many people think because Pope Francis gives all their say, that he must be one of the betrayers. They thought the same last year and were rudely awakened. There is another explanation…that Pope Francis is firmly exposing the heretics. Certainly, he has exposed more for who they are than my hero, St. John Paul, ever did. They cannot hide any more but stand exposed. Does anyone think people just started following heretical clerics in the last few years? They have been doing so for generations and it is getting worse and worse. St. John Paul and Pope Emeritus Benedict proclaimed sound doctrine boldly – gave all who would hear a solid foundation of truth. And the heretics stayed safely cloaked in empty platitudes. Pope Francis appealed to their vanity – and they revealed themselves.

I can think of only two reasons for people to fear about the Pope…that Pope Francis is not doing it as they would – which is not a solid basis for fear at all. He has been effective at esposing heretics. The second reason could be fear that Jesus was not telling the truth when He said He had founded His Church on the rock of Peter – and that that rock would not fail. I cannot help much with that fear, except to say I will trust that Jesus was telling the truth. When the Pope does something weighty that I think deserves criticism I will – as I have previously – offer careful and respectful criticism of him. But I will NEVER doubt that the Holy Spirit is guiding him to restore the Church. To do so is not to doubt the Pope, but to doubt the promise of Christ. A fearful thing, indeed.

I know many good Catholics are filled with fear and, like American pioneers, are imagining there are two Indians of heresy behind every tree. But to doubt the Pope is being guided by the Holy Spirit is not to doubt him, but to doubt Christ. I will Never do that – and neither should any of you. Many scary things are happening. They are going to get scarier before all is said and done. But the rock of Peter is one of the lodestones to guide us through this Storm. Before the Lord sets all things right He must bring all things to light. The latter step is nearly accomplished. I do not doubt for a minute that He will use these things to set things right…however it may look at any given moment.

I do not begrudge some of you your case of nerves and fear. But if you leave the Church where will you go? Make no mistake, if you raise yourself definitively against the Pope, you have left the Church. It terrifies me that so many value their own immortal souls so lightly that they will doubt the promises of Christ so easily at the first signs of trial. It makes me think maybe they do not believe in God at all. You have no idea how heavily this weighs on me. I will NEVER deny the office of the Pope. Ever.

Mark Mallett wrote a marvelous piece on this today, which I reprint in its entirety below. I do not make these comments from irritation at being contradicted, but because if you fall prey to this anti-pope heresy, you risk becoming part of that satan’s final gleaning before he is routed. Stop it. For the sake of your immortal souls, just stop. And now, for Mark Mallett’s Magnificent Piece:

Papolatry?

Pope Francis in the Philippines (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

papalotry |pāpǝlätrē|: the belief or stance that everything the Pope says or does is without error.

I’VE been getting bagfuls of letters, very concerned letters, since the Synod on the Family began in Rome last year. That stream of worry didn’t let up the past few weeks as the closing sessions began to wrap up. At the center of these letters were consistent fears regarding the words and actions, or lack thereof, of his Holiness Pope Francis. And so, I did what any ex-news reporter would do: go to the sources. And without fail, ninety-nine percent of the time, I found that the links people sent me with heinous charges against the Holy Father were due to:

  • words of the Holy Father taken out of context;
  • incomplete phrases extracted from homilies, interviews, etc. by the secular media;
  • quotes that were not compared to earlier statements and teachings of the Pontiff;
  • Christian fundamentalist sources that, relying on dubious prophecy, theology, and bias, immediately paint the Pope as a false prophet or heretic;
  • Catholic sources that have bought into heretical prophecy;
  • a lack of proper discernment and theology on prophecy and private revelation; [1]cf. Prophecy Properly Understood
  • poor theology of the papacy and Christ’s Petrine promises. [2]cf. Jesus, the Wise Builder

And so, I have written time and again to explain and qualify the Pope’s words, to point out the errors in the mainstream media, the error’s in theology, and even the false presumptions and paranoia in the Catholic media. I simply waited for the transcripts, homilies, published apostolic exhortations or encyclicals, read them cover to cover in their proper context, and responded. As I said, ninety-nine percent of the time, the interpretation of the reader was wrong for the reasons above. Still, I received this letter yesterday from a man purporting to be a faithful Catholic:

Let me make this simple for you. Bergoglio was elected by demons. Yes, the Church will survive, thanks be to God, and not you. Bergoglio was elected by demons. They attempt to subvert the Church by attacking the Family, and promoting every sort of illicit, however popular, sexual relationship. Are you stupid? Stop it—you are going astray. In the name of Jesus, stop your obstinance.

While most readers have been far more charitable, I have been accused more than once of papalotry, of being blind, of not listening to my conscience, of being… stupid. But, as I wrote this time last year, many of these people are acting on a Spirit of Suspicion. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what the Pope says: if he says nothing, he is therefore complicit with heresy; if he defends truth, then he is lying. It’s both sad and funny how these souls, in defense of orthodoxy, transgress the very heart of the Gospel—which is to love your enemy—by spewing the most astonishing venom toward the Pope.

Still, with the closing remarks of the Synod for October, 2015, Pope Francis has once again demonstrated his orthodoxy. But I doubt it will make a difference with those who believe that the Pope is best friends with the Antichrist.

But before I speak about this past year’s Synod, I feel it is necessary to repeat these crucial points:

  • A pope is only infallible when he is pronouncing ex cathedra, that is, defining a dogma that the Church has always held as true.
  • Pope Francis has not made any pronouncements ex cathedra.
  • Francis has, on more than one occasion, made ad lib remarks that have required further qualification and context.
  • Francis has not changed a single letter of a single doctrine.
  • Francis has, on several occasions, stressed the imperative of fidelity to Sacred Tradition.
  • Francis has boldly waded into matters of climate science, immigration, and other fields that one may safely disagree with when they are out of the Church’s divinely appointed jurisdiction of “faith and morals.”
  • Being pope does not mean the man is not a sinner nor does it
    make him, by default, a strong leader, a great communicator or even a good shepherd. The history of the Church is pocked by pontiffs who were in fact scandalous. Peter, thus, is both the rock of the Church… and sometimes a stumbling stone.
  • An “anti-pope” is someone who has not been canonically elected to the papacy, or who has taken over the papacy by force.
  • Pope Francis is validly elected, and therefore holds the keys to
    the papacy, which Emeritus Pope Benedict resigned. Pope Francis is not an anti-pope.

Last, it is necessary to repeat the teachings of the Catechism regarding the ordinary exercise of the Magisterium, which is the teaching authority of the Church:

Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 892

THE SYNOD OF SATAN?

I would describe it as “panic”—the stream of news stories, reports, and conjecture that has issued forth from the media during both last year’s and this October’s Synod on the Family. Don’t get me wrong: some of the proposals put forth by certain Cardinals and bishops were nothing short of heresy. But the panic ensued because Pope Francis “hasn’t said a word.”

But he did speak—and here is the part that has me absolutely baffled as to why so many Catholics have not paid attention to this. From the very beginning, Pope Francis declared that the Synod was to be open and frank:

…it is necessary to say all that, in the Lord, one feels the need to say: without polite deference, without hesitation. —Greeting of Pope Francis to the Synod Fathers, October 6th, 2014; vatican.va

Typical of both a Jesuit and a Latin American, Francis urged the Synod participants to lay it all out:

Let no one say: “I cannot say this, they will think this or this of me…”. It is necessary to say with parrhesia all that one feels.

parrhesia, meaning “boldly” or “candidly.” He added:

And do so with great tranquility and peace, so that the Synod may always unfold cum Petro et sub Petro, and the presence of the Pope is a guarantee for all and a safeguard of the faith. —Ibid.

That is, “with Peter and under Peter” to ensure that, in the end, Sacred Tradition will be upheld. Furthermore, the Pope said that he would not speak until the end of the Synod until all the prelates had made their presentations. This speech was repeated again, for the most part, at the beginning of the 2015 sessions.

And so, what happened?

The Synod Fathers spoke boldly and candidly, leaving nothing off the table, and the Pope said nothing until the end. That is, they followed the instructions set forth.

And yet, both those in the Catholic media, and many who wrote me, were utterly panicked that prelates were doing exactly what the Pope told them to do.

I’m sorry, am I missing something here?

Besides, Francis clearly declared:

…the Synod is neither a convention, nor a parlor, nor a parliament or senate, where people make deals and reach compromises. —October 5th, 2015; radiovatican.va

Rather, he said, it is a time “to listen to the soft voice of God who speaks in silence.” [3]cf. catholicnews.com, Oct. 5th, 2015 And that means also learning to discern the voice of the deceiver.

PETER SPEAKS

Now, I am not diminishing in any way the gravity of some of the proposals that some Cardinals and bishops made that indicate the presence of not only apostasy in the Church, but even the possibility of a coming schism. [4]cf. Sorrow of Sorrows It’s unfortunate that these proposals were made public, since the reporting gives the impression that these are official positions. As Robert Moynihan pointed out,

…there have been “two Synods” — the Synod itself, and the Synod of the media. —Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan, October 23rd, 2015, “From Rome to Russia”

But we’re not talking about modernists or heretics; the issue here is the Pope, and the allegation that he is a conspirator with them.

And so, what did the Pope say after everyone else had their say? After the first meetings last year, the Holy Father not only corrected both “liberal” and “conservative” bishops for views that were unhealthy, (see The Five Corrections), Francis made it unequivocal where he stood in a rather stunning speech that garnered a standing ovation from the Cardinals:

The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”. —POPE FRANCIS, closing remarks on the Synod; Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014 (my emphasis)

And then, at the close of the 2015 sessions, Pope Francis asserted that the Synod was not intended to find ‘exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family,’ but to see them ‘in the light of the Faith.’ And he affirmed this Faith once again, as he has on numerous occasions:

[The Synod] was about urging everyone to appreciate the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, based on unity and indissolubility, and valuing it as the fundamental basis of society and human life… apart from dogmatic questions clearly defined by the Church’s Magisterium… and without ever falling into the danger of relativism or of demonizing others, we sought to embrace, fully and courageously, the goodness and mercy of God who transcends our every human reckoning and desires only that “all be saved” (cf. 1 Tm 2:4). —insidethevatican.com, quoted from Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan, October 24th, 2015

While I cannot quote his entire speech, which is well worth reading, the Pope echoed his predecessors by stressing the heart of the Gospel, which is to make known the love and mercy of Christ.

The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy (cf. Rom 3:21-30; Ps 129; Lk 11:37-54)… The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn 12:44-50). —Ibid.

This is precisely what Jesus said:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)

TRUSTING JESUS… OBEYING THE POPE

Brothers and sisters, it is not papalotry to defend the office of Peter, much less defend the holder of that office, particularly when he is falsely accused. Neither is it wrong for those of you, alert to the swelling apostasy and false prophets among us, to wonder whether the Holy Father’s approach is the right one. However, more than proper decorum, more than simple courtesy, it is imperative that we strive to preserve the unity of the Church [5]cf. Eph 4:3 by not only praying for the Pope and all clergy, but by obeying and respecting them even when we may not like their pastoral approach or personality.

Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)

For example, one may not agree with Francis’ embrace of “global warming”—a science fraught with contradictions, fraud and outright anti-human agendas. But then, there is no guarantee of orthodoxy for the Pope when he pronounces on matters outside of the deposit of faith and morals—whether it is on climate change or who is going to win the World Cup. Nonetheless, one should continue to pray that God will increase in him wisdom and grace so that he may be a faithful shepherd to Christ’s flock. But too many today are looking for absolutely any sentence, photograph, hand gesture, or comment that will “prove” that the Pope is another Judas.

There is papalotry… and then there is zealotry: when one thinks he is more Catholic than the Pope.

The Lord publicly proclaimed it: ‘I’, he said, ‘have prayed for you Peter that your faith may not fail, and you, once being converted, must confirm your brothers’… For this reason the Faith of the Apostolic seat has never failed even during turbulent times, but has remained whole and unharmed, so that the privilege of Peter continues to be unshaken. —POPE INNOCENT III (1198-1216), Can a Pope Become a Heretic? by Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, Oct. 20th, 2014

 
 

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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137 Responses to Rock Solid

  1. In His Hands says:

    I am reminded of Peter’s emphatic words to Jesus that he would never deny Him. Yet, ‘before the cock crowed the next morning Peter had denied Him 3 times.’ While I have busied myself tsk tsking at those (even in my own family) who either doubt or outright renounce Pope Francis, this thought now makes me hopeful. Perhaps, for some, this rejection of the Pope is only a type of parallel to Peter; a temporary weakness from which they will humbly recover and return to the barque with fervor, strengthening the rest of us.

    Let us pray and offer sacrifices for our brothers and sisters who think they see wolves at the helm and safety in the waters.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. JoyInTheLord says:

    Our Lord Jesus CHRiST, look kindly on Thy vicar, Pope Francis, that he may be filled with the Holy Spirit as he leads us through the storm. Give him the grace to stand fast and to hold on to the command of Thy Ship even as the storm is at its fullest. Amen.

    Liked by 10 people

  3. Anne says:

    Over the last several years there has been a rise of a process called Visible Thinking. I know educators are one group who have been given Professional development in this .
    Simply put….. It draws out what is going on in a person’s head …… Exposes thought…. For all to see, discuss.
    I think the Pope is a master at it.
    He has not done the many courses available….. He is full of the Holy Spirit!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. mmbev says:

    “Do you also want to leave?”

    And PETER answered Him, “Master, to whom shall we go? We have become convinced and believe that You are the Holy One of God.”

    John 6: 67

    We, too, echo. “To whom shall we go?”, and keep our feet firmly planted in the boat….unless we’d like to step over the edge of the only safe place into the cold, freezing water and drown.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky-TN says:

      Oh mmbev,

      This Scripture passage is probably the most dear to my heart. “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life” Whenever I doubt, this verse always comes to mind (thank you Holy Spirit). I lived too long away from Him – I went the other way. Been there, done that, DON’T want to go back!

      God Bless,

      Becky

      Liked by 3 people

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      All aboard the barque. Have plenty of life saving devices ready too. We must be among the voices defending our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, while saving souls in the process. So in grand Jesuit form, as Pope Francis’ namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, was reported to have said, “Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Matthew says:

        I always find myself a little frustrated when people trot out this false quotation. St Francis of Assisi NEVER said this. Words will always be necessary since actions alone do not reveal the intention or motive of the actor. Our Lord always acted so that people would be drawn to Him so that He could TEACH the people. Actions are never enough.
        Matthew

        Liked by 1 person

        • the phoenix says:

          Your insight is hugely appreciated, Matthew! Methinks I tend to overestimate that people will understand merely by watching.

          Like

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          No worries Matthew, the quote was prefaced by what St. Francis was reported to have said. I believe some people can hear but not listen, and do strongly contend that living the faith is a profound way to teach too. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Another gem of wisdom, MMBev. Thank you. 🙂

      Like

  5. YongDuk says:

    Thank you for posting Mark’s peace, Charlie!

    I love the flabbergastration of his: I’m sorry, am I missing something here?

    Admittedly much more delicate than my “why the poppycock is steam coming out of people ears about this?”

    Now, Doug and Beckita, I think we will see the Freedom for the Priest start to come through in this statement he makes:

    “The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord.” — Pope Francis, Closing Remarks, Oct 24, 2015

    All this focus on this, and I am sorry to rehash this or seem to–I have been waiting and may still yet have more to wait–will hopefully give the Priest in the Confessional or in the Communion line the courage to offer a “simple” blessing/benediction and not Absolution (including that which the Eucharist entails) and the Divorced and the Remarried the courage to come to the confessional as Doug states with that spirit of contrition and holy longing in potentia even if Sacramental Absolution cannot be give for the Same Reason that the Sacrament of the Eucharist cannot, as well as up in the Communion line with an courageous and honest asking just for a blessing with their families (such as with arms crossed as I have seen in America in Roman rite churches). Nothing grieves me more than the thought of giving the Eucharist to someone in the State of Mortal Sin …for reasons I can’t fully explain… so that Priests and that the Faithful (including those entrenched/enmeshed in unFaitful situations) will hopefully have this on the table to have a happy and emboldened resolution to all the difficult pastoral situations and no longer have the onus of giving the Sacraments (and even being forced by other Biships/Priests to give them [yes, sadly, Beckita, they cannot all be Padre Pios silently taking their silence imposed as penance {correct term?} as the Saint did].

    And to know Bishops and Priests alike will have a new found freedom in the pressure cooker of human esteem with the situation of so many divorced and remarried makes me smile at the pastoral clarity that shall, I believe — I hope — shall ring forth in time for this Year of Mercy!

    Oh, Priests, be Priests of the Lord, please, even if not for your own souls and those of your flock, but for the Heart of our Mother!!

    St Ezekiel and St Padre Pio, o.p.n.

    Liked by 4 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Just yesterday I mentioned to one of my NRS friends some heart-felt thoughts regarding non-Catholic women who have had one or more abortions. The Year of Divine Mercy is for all of God’s children, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. As Pope Francis stated yesterday, “The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord.”

      Pope Francis has announced the provision that, during this Year of Divine Mercy, all priests (and not just bishops) may forgive this sin through the Sacrament of Confession. Honestly, there’s nothing like this sacrament, in my experience.

      While I fully support the Church’s teaching (as I understand it) that this sacrament is for Catholics, I would not want a non-Catholic to have to go through a lengthy process to become Catholic before being able to receive the powerful healing offered through the sacrament ~ or something close to that. Blessings are effective as well (in fact, that’s what Father Gabriele Amorth, the prominent exorcist, calls exorcisms: blessings). Such a blessing within the confessional could, in fact, lead a person to full communion with the Catholic Church.

      Just my thoughts . . . .

      Like

      • YongDuk says:

        There are pastoral reasons for a person who is baptized non-Catholics, but who in preparation to come into Full Communion with the Church is admitted earlier to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; this very example is one such reason. Glory to God for the joy and the freedom and the healing, the loosing of shackles, it has afforded those in that need.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      YD, I look forward to the final document.

      Like

    • Beckita says:

      Truly, YD, there has always been “freedom for the priest to come through” this statement you quote: “The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord.” — Pope Francis, Closing Remarks, Oct 24, 2015

      This is not a new statement; it was the mission of Jesus and has been continued down the ages, both upheld beautifully and also, sadly, abused throughout Church history. Pope Francics is highlighting the Lord’s of mission in a special way right now because our times demand that he do so.

      Doctrine and dogma have never changed and never will. Even while discipline itself is man-made and can be changed however much the Church desires, it deserves to be honored and respected. Why? We must remember the authority to enact discipline is God-given. “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18; see also 16:19)

      So right now, and through the ages, there are priests, all over the world, extending the Lord’s command to proclaim God’s mercy as they embrace every Church doctrine and dogma and follow current Church guidlines while preaching the Gospel, adminstering the sacraments and fulfilling every aspect of their priestly role, living in persona Christi in heroic ways.

      The issue I addressed previously are the abuses. There is no conflict in embracing both Magisterial teaching and pastoral practice. I maintain pastoral practices rightly flow from Church teaching on doctrine and dogma and, I add, this must be accomplished while respecting current Church discipline.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pam Nicholson says:

        Oh, yes! pam, from NJ.

        Like

      • YongDuk says:

        “And I am in awe of his formation!”

        Charlie, Doug and Beckita, et al.:

        Beckita, I guess I am not sure if we are talking about the same apple or a barrel of apples with different apples in them. (I am partial to fuji apples and more sour apples from mountainous random regions of America.)

        I have tried to keep biographical information off this page as this is an outlet for me. As a son who loves his mother who strayed into too many of these websites (e.g. LttW as well as Charlie’s) and I found Charlie to be toothsome (i.e. earthy, wholesome, authentic, unabashed, unpretentious, laughably more human than most and I am in awe of his formation!) And I am in awe of his formation!

        I have been silent or relatively silent for my character.

        I have been in formation and formed those in formation, teaching in both a Western (Roman) Rite seminary and an Eastern Rite seminary. I have been blessed and I have been …I have been formed and Charlie’s formation is very clear to my soul, if I can say that humbly.

        Beckita, my concern, please know with all the authenticity of what my name indeed signifies (if you speak Chinese it may begin with 勇德 as the proper translation) that my heart is for those I have been blessed to be in formation with and for. I honor you (esteem you) for your own missionary soul in going to China! I honor your orthodoxy and orthopraxis, but there is more than just what I sense from you (and I singled you out above for this reason in calling to mind what Padre Pio suffered at the hands of his order and his local Ordinary knowing how you might respond, not seeing the several pastoral aspects I was more or less clearly speaking on).

        I honor you for tending to and caring for the Elderly Priest upstairs. You are blessed. But tending to a Priest and tending to a Flock [o’ ’em] is completely different.

        It is on my heart prudently or imprudently to share this, but I share this with you in mind Beckita as you seem to be extremely blessed with Holy and Courageous Priests around you; I say with peace and love of Mary in my heart that I have not always been so blessed, but I have been blessed always and in every way to be able to hold them before God crying out for Mercy for them: Glory be to God for His Strength!

        When I was in my Third Year of Seminary, for some unknown reason, my faculty advisor, who is/was a very gifted and holy, beautiful and charismatic (in the secular sense of that word) Priest, asked me to pray over him. I do not know why. I do not know what he sensed, but I knew at that point that blessings that God had in my life and how unworthy I was of such gifts. He may have heard about the gifts I had, but I kept them hidden at seminary to the best of my knowledge out of prudence. I knew that praying over him or anybody for that matter could well get me expelled from Seminary as that such thing was more than frowned upon, especially my knowing God might choose to reveal something to him through me.

        I prayed over him. I still see everything clearly. (It is humbling, yet was for my formation.)

        This Priest aspired to a powerful spot in the Chancery. I did not know this prior to praying over him. I cannot even fathom why he would knowing how blessed he was (if I were as blessed as he is/way, there would be no miscommunication in my writing here 😉 ) But when I prayed — and I hear echoes of this in Charlie’s writings — I saw it and I warned him that he was a very special Priest, very gifted in his preaching style and in his integrity which rang out both to us seminarians and to that parish flock where he ministered.

        Years later, having left this continent to teach and serve on others, I returned only to learn that what I warned him of had occurred: he was stuck in the Chancery of a very large Archdiocese.

        Beckita, this was such a beautiful Priest and still in many ways is. But he lost something in becoming entrenched and enmeshed in the Chancery life.

        So many Priests (and Bishops) are as such. This is what I was alluding to.

        If you are so blessed not to know this and be aware of this: Glory to God.

        But please, from my heart which holds these Choirs of Ordained, please know there is not always the Freedom that I speak of and wish for Doug, and anyone else in formation.

        I am not speaking of orthodoxy or orthopraxis, I am speaking of the reality of Bishops and Priests in the trenches. Were that they all did have the courage to be as heroic as you say, but we are talking the same thing and I am flummoxed at the “Truly, YongDuk” and “Honestly, YongDuk”, when I just want to be simple… and smile…

        I dare not say more.

        Look back to this phrase in this context: And to know Bishops and Priests alike will have a new found freedom in the pressure cooker of human esteem with the situation of so many divorced and remarried makes me smile at the pastoral clarity that shall, I believe — I hope — shall ring forth in time for this Year of Mercy!

        You are correct, they have always had that Freedom, but, Beckita, like this beautiful Priest, whose soul was shown to me, they aspire to ranks and hierarchies to which they were not called and so at times fail and fall tragically. They do not have the courage to endure censures has St Padre Pio had.

        And so, my final prayer remains:

        Oh, Priests, be Priests of the Lord, please, even if not for your own souls and those of your flock, but for the Heart of our Mother!!

        +YoungDuck

        Liked by 4 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Beautiful YongDuk. Beautiful.

          Liked by 1 person

        • MarieUrsula says:

          I did sense a depth of formation and experience in you, and I am grateful that you are here with us. Thank you, YongDuk.

          Like

        • Beckita says:

          WOW, YongDuk aka YoungDuck aka YD aka Man with a Heart of Gold!!! I completely understand. You have evoked laughter and tears. Thank you for opening your heart here. Of course, I had no idea of your background.

          One thing we share, from differing life experiences, is a great love for priests, YD. You in the seminaries with whole flocks of ’em, as you say. Me, also in the trenches, where each precious one by precious one has been part of my life and I have been praying for them, sacrificing for them, being a sounding board for them, including them in my family (both as a child and as an adult), helping them in any way possible, as well as mobilizing others to do so, and this has been part of my life since I was a young child.

          YD, unfortunately I personally know too many who are not holy and courageous, who need the love and prayers of people to rescue them, for the very reasons you have mentioned and more, for we know God is so merciful and prayer is so powerful.

          That being said, the one for whom I am blessed to care is incredibly holy and courageous. (It was initially honed when he was a nine year old pumpkin in the minor seminary looking down the barrel of a Japanese soldier’s gun during the Second Sino-Japanese War.) He, too, has a history of teaching in the seminary in his early priestly life. He is just what I had tried to convey as a model of a priest: one who upholds orthodoxy and lives orthopraxis, from which springs the most edifying, merciful, tender, soul-saving pastoral approach to each one in the flock for which he cares and, as Pope Francis would exhort, goes far into the peripheries to reach. He has gifts which make him a man of deep prayer and a magnet for souls both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. He is the epitome of God’s Love and Mercy. There is brilliance and great knowledge in this holy man which is saturated in humility and service. I not only have the privilege to provide care, I am honored for the God-given gifts infused in me so that we collaborate in all manner of ministry. In countless ways, daily, I see living proof that a priest can be BOTH rooted in truth while ever teaching as well as living this truth AND pastoral in his priestly life, living the fullness of being in persona Christi.

          You have been speaking from the depth of your experiences, yearning for this: “Oh, Priests, be Priests of the Lord, please, even if not for your own souls and those of your flock, but for the Heart of our Mother!!” Amen. Alleluiah, YD! This heart cry of yours has been my very own. May Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, bring this dream to life.

          Chickita Beckita now bows to Young Duck at the strike of a simply beautiful gong!

          Like

        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Oh, YongDuk, I waited for a while to really say something to you that seemed somewhat important to me but I had to wait, and waiting is still something (patience) I must work on all the time being sometimes feeling so cooped up as I am disabled, with so little I feel I can do for the Lord. I am so glad you have said what you have said because it is all true, every word of it. I often have contemplated on this very thing. I see my own bishop who seems in some human aspects to be content, but, not truly joyful. But, I also have come to understand that this also is a suffering. It may be for a variety of reasons known to God alone why they suffer so. I have seen priests suffer false accusations of purported scandals and kept from their ministry, yet, celebrating mass only in their home, but, it gave him time to reflect more on his ministry, and he is not a young man.

          So, I thank you for this important narrative. This gift of yours is somewhat of a cross, but, seems God decided you were to bare it. I pray that you will bless all folks who are suffering on this site and all those they are asking intercession for. I know you are not a saint, but, just the same, you have a powerful gift and you understand the implications, but, God sees you as He does. He allows you to suffer this for souls. God knew us first and He will decide where our path in this life ends, and all the suffering in the world, still belongs to Him. Many blessings and prayers. This has truly given me goose bumps, for I have heard the truth as it has been given to you. pam, from NJ.

          Like

        • Pam Nicholson says:

          Just another reply to YoungDuck. Your narrative gives me so much joy for this reason. We have every reason to be joyful of the sorrows and suffering in the world right now, as a great thing is happening in the state of North Carolina. An organization known as tedeumfoundation.org (please go visit the site) is building a seminary and monastery which is going to be a light in the darkness especially to those contemplating the priesthood. This is my way of shouting my faith from the rooftops. I believe we need to have a more material spiritual center where people can see God is working through people who work to continue to build this beautiful seminary in the South. They need it. They need our support and our prayers. So, to follow up with our prayers for the priests, we are seeing a great light coming due to our prayers, and our suffering is not in vain. God is truly in our midst, so let’s keep watching His Finger as He points the way! Blessings to all. pam, from NJ.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Doug says:

          YD, I have very tasty Courtland apples I grow in my yard. I have had 3 apple trees and cut 2 trees down because they did not produce. It reminds me of the gardener who wanted to cut down the fig tree and the man asked to fertilize it and tend it one more year and if it did not bare fruit, then he could cut it down.

          Seriously, I am humbled by your posts. What has convinced me about Charlie is the abundance of good fruit from his messages. I am here to help him help encourage people along the way.

          Like

        • Doug says:

          Hi YD, I don’t know if you get this, but just re-reading it. I want to re-affirm my support for you and all priests. Beckita, YD is spot on about you. I see similar when my Lambzie articulates her thoughts how blessed you are and how blessed I am to have the wife I do.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Carmelite says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Charlie. I am so tired of hearing, ‘and what did the pope say? Nothing! Why doesn’t he say something against these heresies??’ I keep saying, just sit back and wait till it is all over.
    So thank you again. Your words and Mark’s are very wise indeed.
    Praying for all here.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Joseph77 says:

    Charlie,
    I agree 100%! The promises of Christ are forever! The Catholic Church has stood solid on the Rock of Peter for 2000 years and will forever! Thank you Charlie for a great defense of Pope Francis!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. gettimothy says:

    I do not begrudge some of you your case of nerves and fear. But if you leave the Church where will you go?

    John 6:
    66 After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.
    67 Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?
    68 And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

    Bless you, Charlie.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. BD says:

    Great timely article that should serve as a reminder to us all…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. johnmcfarm says:

    Being new (not quite confirmed yet) I feel my usual reluctance to speak on these matters regarding the Pope publicly. But, this is a subject for all I believe…even for non-Catholics who are with Christ to sincerely espouse about.

    Pope Francis is controversial not by his openness but by his shadows. Some, like yourself Charlie and to be frank my son believe he is either inviting (in order to gently set straight) or as you imply to expose. I think if his intent were to expose we would see retribution against the priests, bishops and cardinals who question traditional doctrine. To my knowledge we are not seeing that, except in the case of the Polish priest who came out of the closet admitting he was in an active homosexual relationship and wanting the Church to approve of these relationships. My son adheres to the idea that Pope Francis uses an “Alexandrian” strategy to win over those not in tune with Catholicism for one reason or another. I remember when a reporter mentioned to the Pope that a Communist organization claimed he would make a good communist…the Pope responded that maybe the communists would make good Catholics. My son would say that he was inviting those non-believers to take another look at faith in something other than secularism.

    I have differing view on this. I read what the Pope had to say about climate change…he literally calls for a world governing body to forcibly bring about worldwide changes in reducing carbon emissions. He also has been very derogatory about capitalism and is undoubtedly influenced by socialism (Marxism). As Charlie has mentioned…and as I have been learning in Catechism and from watching EWTN (also concerned about this Pope) the Pope as a man is fallible. Indeed, there have been some pretty bad Popes in history, but according to what I have been learning and as Charlie espoused Popes are infallible when it comes to actual Doctrine. Indeed, watching a panel of Catholics on EWTN about this subject they claimed that even the Popes who were truly bad men never committed heresy as Popes. They were always true doctrinally in what they stated as Pope.

    My differing view is that all men are men, except Jesus Christ who as we all know was both man and God. All men are subjected to temptation and evil. These are simple facts no one can reasonably deny. As St. John Paul ll believed I have also believed that Marxism and indeed modern liberalism is owned by satan. So, when I see a man who embraces a world governing body to more forcibly “fight” climate change…which in every scenario would result in mass starvation and probably wars all over the third world and who embraces Marxism I have strong doubts about the man. The fact that the shadows this man creates which is building doubt is troubling.

    But, is the apostolic, universal Catholic church doomed if it has a Pope which has succumbed to temptation? No, of course not. We do not believe the Pope is God, just that in direct matters of doctrine that the Holy Spirit works through him to ensure the sanctity of what is espoused. The man is secondary and almost not important to that. So, my intent is to embrace my God and the Catholic church ever tighter, falling away because of any man would be counter to my faith in God.

    Remember also, the Christian churches are all under threat right now. Unlike what is being reported some Protestant denominations are suffering from schisms…no Protestant church has in whole embraced abortion or homosexual “marriage” that is misrepresentation by the liberal media and those who are against God. The portions of those denominations which remain faithful are still faithful to God and their Church…maybe a lesson some Catholics need to consider. We don’t fall away from God for what a man or men have done. God and the Christian churches will survive these attacks, the question is will we remain faithful.

    It is quite interesting that what may be the saving grace for the Christian faith will be from the third world countries…not Rome, or the western “developed” nations. Boy, that has God’s hand all over it! But, that is another subject.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Understand, John. Thankfully, God sees not just who we are, but who we are going to be. And when this Pope with the klunky political and economic ideas carries us safely through the Storm back to the Master, people will say all the more, “Look what God has wrought!”

      Liked by 4 people

      • JoyInTheLord says:

        “Look what God has wrought!” I think that nicely sums it up, Charlie. For the Church is no man’s but His.

        Like

      • Mark Gaylord says:

        Another version of “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?”. I do think this Pope will be seen as a true cornerstone, a great structural rock.

        Liked by 1 person

    • LukeMichael says:

      I have to say that I object to your characterization of what the Pope believes but it is not accurate. I follow the Holy Father closely and read original sources and not remarks that have been non-contextualized by secular writers. I have NEVER seen him criticise capitalism but only unfettered capitalism which is the practice of the vice known as greed.
      In addition Marxism is “atheistic materialism”, no? Read Marx if you do not believe this. Do you think the Pope is an atheist?

      On the environment and economics, the Pope is fallible. I do not agree with him. But he is not wrong about the sinful behavior or the irresponsibility that attend those issues and we would be remiss not to hear him out.

      OK, phew, the bee is out of my bonnet!😅

      Liked by 8 people

      • El ingeniero de Tepeyac says:

        I agree with what Luke Michael has written. Pope Francis is a champion for the under-trodden and marginalised and has been since his days as a priest and bishop in Argentina. He disagrees vehemently with ‘liberation theology’, the melding of communism/socialism and Catholicism. He is as he has stated “a son of the Church”. He will not change Church doctrine.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. bflocatholic says:

    Amen, Charlie! And Amen, Mark!

    To quote a friend, “Safe in the barque of Peter.” God willing, that is where all of us will remain.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Joseph77 says:

    P.S. Reminded of the threat of Napoleon to the Pope: “I will destroy the Church!” The Pope replied, “The priests have been trying to destroy the Church for over a thousand years. They have not succeeded and neither will you!”

    Liked by 13 people

  13. Becky-TN says:

    Awesome, Charlie & Mark!

    Like

  14. SanSan says:

    I love you Dear Lord…..Are we there yet? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. JSM says:

    You said this: “I can think of only two reasons for people to fear about the Pope”…

    I can give you a third reason. I struggle with lack of belief all the time. The world often seems to make more sense to me through the eyes of atheism. The roots of that are a long story, but I hate it and I fight it. One good thing it has done is that it has lead me from being a “cafeteria Catholic” (for lack of a better term) to a passionate Catholic. I have realized that if a God of truth does exist, He must have left us a deposit of truth. Looking through history, the only place I can find that is in the unchanging Catholic church.

    So when I see the possibility of doctrinal change, it scares me. The issue that has kept me up nights is the possibility of offering Eucharist to divorced and remarried Catholics (remarried outside of the Church.) Like Cardinal Burke, I don’t see how this can be done and still claim doctrine has not been changed.

    I don’t know how many people like me are out there, but this has been very scary times for me…because of there are doctrinal changes (or the equivalent), where does someone like me go? Those with a strong faith should not fear; if God exists, then everything else you say in your article is true. For folks like me, though, the fear is strong.

    I appreciate your prayers, and the prayers of anyone who might read this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      That’s simply what is at the heart of reason two – which is the fear that there is no God. Faith is an act of the will. Live it and it will grow. But you have described very well – and with real honesty – what the real source of fear in item two is. If you fear doctrine will be changed, fear that there is no God is what is at the root. If you know there is God, you behold these things and may argue – but start from knowing that doctrine will not be changed. This is, of course, complicated by multitudes of people who confuse the differences between doctrine, discipline and practice…and is further complicated by the fact that some of the most ignorant about such things speak the most authoritatively about them. But you have well described what the heart of it all is.

      Liked by 9 people

    • JoyInTheLord says:

      “Be not afraid.” These words were Pope Saint John Paul II’s exhortation and the oft’ repeated words in the Bible (forgot how many times).

      You’re not alone, JSM. At one time in the confessional box, my former parish priest gave me as a penance to combat this ‘fear’ is to always say, “Jesus, I Trust in You.” So that I won’t forget to say this short prayer, I made it my ‘password’ to my laptop.

      It has helped me a lot.

      Liked by 3 people

      • NancyA says:

        my password on my PC is 2JesusthruMary. 😀 (for a while it was “nogarbage”… these are for the sake of the children, and my husband when they ask me to use it, “and what’s the password, again?” lol! )

        Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          Nancy, not a good place to list your password. If you are on the internet, it is possible for a savvy person to get into your computer. I suggest to change it.

          Like

  16. Jennifer says:

    This is just another unveiling. Frankly, as a convert of 20 years, I am surprised that people didn’t already see the division which already exists. Oh, how I used to get persecuted by Catholics for having “too many children” or being “too religious”. I used to say that there was already a split (conservative vs liberal but they just hadn’t filed for divorse yet. All is well…this must happen because it is part of the purification we all need.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Anne says:

      I agree totally Jennifer. The split has been obvious for many years……. Sadly very evident in our “catholic” institutions.

      Hey are Aussie Jen? I am listening to new cd ……. I rarely buy cd’s….. This one is Anzac Spirit by Lee Kernaghan. Fantastic ….. Lyrics say so much. Lee was allowed access to Australian library to read historical letters of diggers to loved ones.
      Song by Sara storer brings to tears…. 3 sons lost in war.
      Hey Americans …… Get some Aussie history… Worth googling …… Along with Song of Australia by Colin Buchananand leeKernighan.
      We have a river up north called the Pentecost

      Like

  17. a fool says:

    The JOB of the Pope is : All that he does are “for the greater glory of God and for the slavation of souls through Christ Our Lord!” Leave Caesar’s Sand Box to Caesar! The Pope needs not to play in Caesar’s sand box, his is already too big for him to handle. If he is able to get every Catholic on earth is to say one Our Father in Spirit and in Truth, there are over i billion Catholics joined in hearts, minds and will that effort will move the Heart of God to renew the face of the earth. There would be no fear of Globle Warming nor Hunger! God is the source for all that is good, He only wants our love and trust in HIM! He alone can perform Miracles!
    “The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me around.” Descernment ~ take care of what is most important at hand, then, go and take care of the poor, they will forever be around! The most importent issues are the legalization of Mortal Sins. How and what the faithful must do so not to Offend God should be the Prim Concern for the Pope!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. sandy says:

    Charlie – when I sat down to read the Denver Post this morning, I remembered your advice from a recent column not to put trust in articles written by the “theologically illiterate”. From an article in this morning’s Denver Post: “Catholic bishops called Saturday for a more welcoming church for cohabitating couples, gays and Catholics who have divorced and civilly remarried, endorsing Pope Francis’ call for a more merciful and less judgmental church.” Also, “In a final speech to the synod, Francis took some clear swipes at the conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else.” And, “Only the 275 synod “fathers” were allowed to vote – none of the handful of women was invited to participate – even though one of the “fathers” with voting rights wasn’t even a priest, much less a bishop”. It is so disappointing and so frustrating. Articles like this make for such an easy trap that will ensnare well-meaning Catholics into believing that our Pope will not stand faithful to the teachings of the Church. Thank you for this article Charlie. I am printing it out and inserting it into our newspaper for my husband to read and to not lose heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JoyInTheLord says:

      As baptized Catholics, it is our calling to correct things like these. During downtime, when I come across blogs and news items’ comments sections that spew malice and confusion, I try to set straight anything that I see is out of line. It is easy to google ‘Catholic Answers’ for help anyway.

      No, I do not engage in debate; I have no time for it. I just say what is right and move on. I let the Holy Spirit take care of the debate.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        I have had a few people from my home town of Denver tell me I have to see this piece – that is the most toxic and false piece of reporting they have ever seen in a major paper. I will look at it when I get back home. I don’t like to argue with the utterly religiously ignorant, but when they attack the faith of people who are already muddled, I swometimes wade in.

        Like

        • Petra says:

          I just shake my head in dismay when I read obvious bias in the paper. There was an article in today’s Sunday’s paper about David Daleiden and his undercover *sting* of Planned Parenthood. The caption under a very large unflattering photo of him was “David Daleiden, 26, developed an elaborate ruse in order to gain insider access into Planned Parenthood in a bid to try to prove it illegally sells what he calls aborted “baby body parts.””

          I raised my eyebrows. “…what he calls aborted “baby body parts.”??? I don’t know what else you would call them. Disposed of fetal tissue? Probably.

          The article goes on to say he “..sweet-talked his subjects.” and “Alcohol played a central role in Daleiden’s project. Several of his subjects were caught talking glibly with a cold beverage in hand. Critics call it a trick to loosen tongues and elicit embarrassing jokes…”
          I just shook my head. I saw some of the videos. In no way did it appear he coerced anyone or never did it seem like anything except the “subjects” were more than pleased to be talking about this business with him.

          What I find so incredible is that we just recently heard the story about the woman at the head of NAACP in Seattle, Rachel Dolezal, posing as a black person, even claiming a black man who is not her father was her father, no one demonized her for it. Some even defended her public deception as legitimate, because she “felt” black.

          I believe most of the media has so lost a sense of objectivity that they no longer even see the bias. It’s only to those of us outside their belief system that it is so evident.
          God bless.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            I believe there is a huge effort by all or most media outlets to convey a false message that morality is dead. We must keep it alive because it is alive within us which came with us when we were born. These people who make the final decisions of what gets reported, how it will be reported, etc., have given their immorality nod to publish stories where all sense of morality is pushed out into those thin little columns. So, it may be there, just a little too small to see with a blind heart. Morality is of God, and they do not want any sense of morality to mess up their stories so people will believe their atheistic rhetoric as long as they need to do it so we will all just say, “so what?”. We must keep doing what they do, push morality like nobody’s business, because that is of God. pam, from NJ.

            Like

  19. Christene Bartels says:

    First, allow me to apologize for this very, very long email! I am one of your longtime readers, Charlie, and I just need someone to pour this out to. Thanks for listening!!! And God bless you for the wonderful community your have gathered here!!

    I am a convert to the Catholic faith since 1995, brought into the Church through Mother Mary and St. JPll. I often describe my journey of faith as having wandered in the desert for 35 years, chasing down many a mirage before finding the true Oasis, brimming with unimaginable abundance and a river of Living Water from which to drink. Twenty years later, I am still filled with wide-eyed wonder.
    A few years ago, I had my faith shaken to its very core and in a panic of fear, doubt, and anger I ran back out into the desert. You can say that God and I had our “comin’ to Jesus” moment out there, if you don’t mind a phrase from my Pentecostal days. I was not a happy camper. Like a pouty, spoiled, bratty teenager I squatted down in that desert and refused to budge until God explained himself.
    And you know what…….He did. But only when I was willing to listen. He squatted down there in the desert with me, along with Mother Mary, my, (by now) exasperated Guardian Angel and I’m sure a host of others, and they waited. And when I was ready, they took me by the hand and brought me home. I believe I am so much the better for my self-imposed exile because out in that desert I grew up. But what I came back to is beyond my belief!
    I am going to try to say my next comment in the most charitable way possible, but to be honest, I am so appalled and heartbroken by the spirit of outright rebellion and vitriol, slander, gossip, innuendo and sheer ugliness coming from within the ranks of the self-anointed “orthodox” “true” and “faithful” Catholics that I doubt it will be very charitable.
    Jesus established HIS church, repeat HIS church, upon the Rock Peter. Today Pope Francis is that Rock. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide HIS church, repeat again, HIS church, through the Pope and the Bishops (Magisterium) in communion with him, which He has done for two thousand years. Period. End of discussion.
    I don’t care about obscure lists from 13th century monks, veiled references to “anti-popes”, apocalyptic visions filled with carnage and mayhem, or a respected “orthodox” Cardinal or Bishop repudiating the Pope. If they lead me to believe that my precious Mother Church is in ruins and that my only recourse is to head out into the desert on my own, it is a deception.
    In Luke, a conversation between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah is recorded in the Transfiguration. In it, they discuss the Exodus Jesus was to accomplish in Jerusalem. The analogy is breathtaking! Like Moses, Jesus is leading the People of God through the desert of this world to the Promised Land, Heaven, through His Church. And He is NOT taking the scenic route! It is time for the laity to get a grip, put on their big boy and big girl pants, and GROW UP!
    What has happened to TRUST?? Trust in the promise of Christ that he would be with us until the end of the age THROUGH HIS CHURCH and that the Holy Spirit would faithfully guide that Church through Peter. It seems to be nothing but a quaint, antiquated notion these days!! When did it just get tossed out the window? And WHY?? And what exactly do we have left without it????
    How did we get to the point where “faithful”, “orthodox”, “true” CATHOLICS find it perfectly reasonable and, in fact, RIGHTEOUS to accuse the POPE of heresy, apostasy, malfeasance, duplicity, of being an anti-pope, a fraud, a deceiver, and, in some circles, practically the spawn of Satan himself! Where did all of this soul-sucking fear and fury come from???
    Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. To storm the gates of a city in ancient times was to attack, overtake, and vanquish it. Satan and his “kingdom” is the one under siege, not the Kingdom of God and His Church! Yet we seem to think we are the ones who need to baton down the hatches, run for cover, and hide! We are the Church Militant and we are in battle, whether we like it or not. Battles are not won by cowering in a corner and wringing our hands in fear and angst or, conversely, sticking a knife in the back of our leader because we think that mutiny is a better course of action that following. We go into battle with unshakeable confidence in our leader, courage in the midst of chaos, and the willingness to sacrifice all on the battlefield because we know that the only thing that matters is the victory. As St. Paul exhorts us; put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, gird your loins with Truth, shod your feet with peace and GET MOVING!
    Three-and-a-half years ago I was thrown from my horse and, at the age of 51, became a quadriplegic. You may think that was the event that shook my faith to the core. It wasn’t. It was my rescue! I awoke in the hospital filled with most inexplicable joy and peace I have ever known and it has not left me for ONE MOMENT since! That was when I was FINALLY ready to listen and Jesus promptly scooped me up in His arms and brought me HOME! And I ran to the warm embrace of my Blessed Mother and took shelter in her Immaculate heart and NOTHING will ever tear me away again!
    So let Satan and his demons rage! Let the Storm unleash its fury! Let’s the forces of darkness gather. I, for one, am ready for the battle!

    Liked by 26 people

    • charliej373 says:

      He healed you through your infirmity. God bless you, Christian soldier! I would rather die defending the faith than live betraying it. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you, Christine!

      Liked by 9 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Amen!

      Please, Christine, kindly pray for my friend, Anja, who is in the same situation as yours (but from a car when teenage), but only a nominal Catholic.

      Like

      • Christene Bartels says:

        Thank you for your kind response! One of the MANY blessings of my injury is I have the luxury of time and quiet to pray. I will lift her up to the shelter of Mother Mary’s heart each day as I’m sure many of these wonderful people here will also! Every moment of our lives, no matter the circumstances, is precious, sacred, and important to God! I will pray that she may see the beauty and joy and peace that He has in store for hers! Peace!

        Liked by 3 people

        • jaykay says:

          “Every moment of our lives… is precious, sacred and important to God”

          You said it, Christene. In Him we live, move and have our being. And our every moment is precious to Him because He desperately yearns that, after this our exile, we’ll be with Him in everlasting joy. But how much we waste our moments! Would that I, who have never had a serious ailment in my life, as you have had, truly bring this to heart and really thank Him. I don’t, of course. You’ve encouraged me, and I daresay all here. God bless you. J.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Nancy says:

      God bless and keep you, Christene. I have printed your comment and will keep it in my “prayer” book to read when I get discouraged. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • LukeMichael says:

      Christine, Love your comment here. Personal conversion stories are the best and we love hearing them. Wasn’t it St Paul, the fearless Gospel witness, who said “it’s time to put on your big boy and big girl pants?”
      Let us all pray for his intercession!

      Jesus is reality!

      Liked by 1 person

    • galadriel6 says:

      Christene, this brought tears to my eyes! Thank you thank you thank you for writing this!! You said so eloquently what I have been thinking. Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • JoyInTheLord says:

      I question the sincerity of those sedevacantists who speak of ‘faith’ uncharitably. How could faith exist without love? We fall in love with the Catholic Faith because of Its beauty! And Its beauty is adorned with reason and action!

      Liked by 1 person

    • audiemarie2014 says:

      Christene, your post is one of the most powerful I have read! Thank you for sharing your beautiful and strong testimony. I don’t think you can know how much you’ve encouraged me. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carla says:

      Christine

      Your story has really touch my heart. In the hardest moment of your life, so many people would have lost hope. And you found it! Your comment comes at a perfect time for me.
      A very dear cousin to me is sick in the hospital with a virus in her spinal column, it has affected her so much, she cannot walk. She is such a driven person, she is a lawyer, very smart, making a lot of money, has a beautiful house, doesn’t lack of anything material, but I have never seen her truly happy. I think she would change it all to have a family.
      I am praying for her that through what she is living right now, she may come to know Our Lord, the Universe’s most awesome healer. To get very close to Him and see this trial as a blessing and not a burden, to find peace and happiness in trial and suffering.
      Your story has given me a lot of hope for her. Would you please say a prayer for her? Her name is Connie.
      Thank you

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        I have asked the Lord to send Abraham, the patron of my pilgrimage, to comfort and guide Connie. What many people think is a problem with my back was actually a problem created by my spinal cord being deprived of fluid. I did not know, but learned, how devastating that is. Tell Connie I know…and I have lived well and joyfully, though with much pain and fatigue, since then. Get it contained and there is joy ahead – even if there may be some debilitation, too.

        Like

      • Thank you for your kind, kind words! I will lift her up to the shelter Mother Mary’s heart each and every day!! There is no surer way to find the beauty, peace, and joy that is awaiting her in Jesus!! God bless!!

        Like

    • NancyA says:

      Christene, your comment is very, very close to what Bishop Barron spoke about in his keynote address at the WMOF. It really struck me. The gates of hell being what we are on the MOVE AGAINST, that IT has to fear US, if we will just keep on the move!

      God bless you…

      Like

    • Petra says:

      Christene Bartels asked: “How did we get to the point where “faithful”, “orthodox”, “true” CATHOLICS find it perfectly reasonable and, in fact, RIGHTEOUS to accuse the POPE of heresy,…”

      I think the short answer is the horrific heterodoxy and even outright heresy many of these orthodox Catholics lived through in their local parishes when the changes were made to the Mass and pastoral practices after Vatican II. In my opinion, they are jumpy and afraid, because after the loss of John Paul II, who righted many wrongs, and Benedict XVI’s resignation, they are afraid the Catholic Church will be led into error as have some of the other Christian congregations such as the Anglicans and Episcopalians.

      My dad used to have an expression; “Put a cat on a hot stove, and you’ll never get him near a cold one.” I think these orthodox faithful Catholics have jumped off a hot stove, and so getting them to listen when something sounds even a little like heterodoxy come out of the Pope’s mouth is impossible. 🙂 They see the cold stove, and they run! 🙂

      Christine, thank you for your powerful witness! I imagine you have some kind of computer aid to help you write, and I’m so glad you give such a wonderful witness to the power of God to heal our spirits, even while leaving our bodies broken. You are a sign of hope!
      God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        Nicely said, Petra. Makes a lot of sense.

        Like

      • Thank you for your kind words! And thank you for helping me see this crazy time in the world and the Church through different eyes! As a convert, I don’t have that rich texture in my faith that only someone who has deep roots in the life of the Church is so blessed to have!! God is so, so good and He has each of us here in this moment in time for a reason and a purpose. That is why I am so thankful that I found Charlie and this beautiful blog. I need to be reminded constantly to keep it simple! Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope! Blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kim sevier says:

          Thank you so much Christene for your sharing. Your words are beyond inspiring. Petra– you too.
          I absolutely love old movies. I was recently watching “The Green Years”. A young orphaned Catholic boy goes to live with non Catholic relatives but clings to his faith despite difficult odds. One scene dealt with his First Communion — the beautiful way the film depicted the Holy Mass and how reverent and sacred it was brought tears to my eyes. Of course this was pre- Vatican II.
          About a year ago we left a parish that I had attended most of my long life to go to a parish with a pastor who engenders the reverence for which I thirsted. The behavior there is witness to the glory of the Eucharistic Miracle.

          Liked by 3 people

  20. David says:

    I guess we’ll know for certain where the Pope stands in another few weeks. One thing I’m perplexed by is to my knowledge the Synod fathers did not speak to the destructive effect abortion and contraception has on the family. How you can convene a Synod on the family and omit placing these issues center stage, or even discussing these issues at all, is beyond me. Some might say the Synod fathers have made these issues central however I’m the victim of listening to “bad press” but again we’ll have the answer to this in a week or so.

    Like

  21. Becky-TN says:

    Woohoo! Beautiful!!!!

    When St.Pope JPII was dying, I sat on my sofa and SOBBED saying, “Oh no! What will happen to the church now.” “What if one of those “liberal” Cardinals gets elected, etc…The Church is doomed!!” Oh, ME of little faith!!! God protects HIS church. While some of the things Pope Francis says makes me cringe at times, he is the Pope! He has said nothing against Church and Morals.

    Last year at the Synod, I was again having one of those “Oh No” breakdowns. Strangely, a scene from the Green Mile movie came into my thoughts and didn’t leave until I read Pope Francis’ closing statements with Charlie and Mark’s posts. It’s the scene where Wild Bill is being brought into the prison and John Coffee has his face pressed up against the cell bars saying “Careful, Careful”. The scene didn’t leave my mind, the words: “careful, careful” always there. Like I said, Pope Francis says some things that make me cringe, and sure I’d love for him to really “stick it to” those liberal Catholics by saying more, but that’s not his way. Jesus came to save the sick, He said so. Now, He also said that he didn’t come to save the righteous, even though those righteous were still sinners. The righteous are those trying everyday, staying faithful to His church everyday NO MATTER what is going on around them. Yes, we are still sinners, but there are people who are so lost, and again I think the Holy Father is going to have to go another route to help them to be open to the GRACE of God to respond. But his route is one that most “righteous” don’t see as the “right” way, OUR way.

    Careful, please, careful!!! In the end, each one of us will be accoutable to God by how we as “individuals” respond. Do we like the ways the media distorts things, of course not, but that doesn’t mean we just stop doing the RNS. Do we wish the Pope said more, in the way we want it, sure. We have to TRUST Him (Jesus). mmbev posted the scripture when the Lord asked Peter after the Bread of Life discourse: “will you leave me now?”. Our response should be “where else would we go Lord, you have the words of everylasting life”

    God Bless all!

    Like

  22. Reader says:

    Charlie,

    I think you’re a good guy and very much hope that you are a prophet, too — we’re in a terrible mess and we need God, badly. I think the Pope is a holy man and I love the Church and will never go anywhere…All that said, I’ve got to repeat an assertion I made earlier:

    The Holy Father didn’t use the Synod to expose heretics; they exposed themselves, well prior to the Synod, in public and for all the world to see.

    What do you think about this assertion?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Not bad at all, Reader. I do not speak of whether the Pope intended to expose heretics – but whether he did or did not, they are exposed. God uses even our errors to advance His kingdom. So you may be exactly right. But this was useful. I did not know how bad the German Bishops were, en masse, before the Synod. I did not know how good the African Bishops were, en masse, before the Synod. I have a whole file of names to pay attention to now that I did not have before. So this exercise has certainly been very useful to me.

      Liked by 6 people

  23. Katherine says:

    My husband and I are members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, though initially I was Roman rite. I switched because my husband and his family are all Ukrainian and love their liturgy. I felt I should switch to be a better part of the church my husband had chosen, and I really do like the Eastern traditions. Switching rites was like going back in time: to a time when we were all just “Catholics” and the homilies were more about enlightenment and exhortations to personal holiness. It’s very peaceful. I am looking forward to a time when we all are simply Catholics, under the Pope. I never thought I would see the day when people challenged the pope’s authority, using painful historical allusions, misinformation, interpretations of visions, lengthy articles on what constitute’s “legitimacy” . . . even throwing a few Church Fathers into the arguments. My initial reaction to all of this was “this is WAY too complicated to be from God, sounds more like the sly twisting of facts from the devil”. Meaning, I believe that God would never make it so complicated and difficult for us to stay true to Him. I believe Jesus’ promise to His Church, first and foremost. It amazed me to watch so many alarmist headlines when nothing had actually been DONE yet, and nothing contrary to the faith proclaimed. It was just like watching the weather channel for a coming storm. Everyone gets hyped up and clears the store shelves of bottled water . . . and then mercifully the storm suddenly lessens and it turns out to be nothing. Meaning, the Big Bad Pope didn’t huff and puff and blow the Church down. I feel sorry for those who think that they are protecting the Church when in reality they are trying to tear it apart from the inside. I think I’ll start praying harder for them.

    Like

  24. Christine says:

    Excellent piece! I have had NON Catholics believe some of the Anti Pope stuff but no Catholic I know believes it. I have also had non Catholics tell me how much they love Francis. We have nothing to fear in Pope Francis.

    Like

  25. BlessedToLiveNow says:

    Such amazing comments! Thank you Charlie for reposting Mark’s piece, he is such a deep writer and I truly appreciate what you are both doing. Pope Francis is “my Pope”, as it was in February 2013 that I was discerning my path as a new Christian and upon his election knew that I should become Catholic, so I think I “get” him and what he is doing, because he “got” me. I have purposely decided to keep away from the Synod shenanigans until it’s over and read the details slowly and prayerfully. It reminds me of going to a sports game. I used to go with my dad to Portland Trailblazer games and rather than watching the game, I would watch all the people getting so worked up over how the referee called a shot, the performance of the athletes, etc. These were folks who looked like they might get winded taking out the trash. Synod watching is similar, whether we let the principalities take us down with Synod distraction or Kardashions, it is taking us away from God!

    Thank you Christine for your testimony, so moving and a great reminder for us all. It is through suffering that I knew/know that I am LOVED! You are are a witness of His love!

    Praise Jesus and Our Lady of Tepeyac for sparing Mexico!

    Liked by 2 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Nice handle, “BlessedToLiveNow.” 🙂 I also didn’t lose any sleep at all during the Synod ~ at least not over angst about the Synod. On the other hand, hardly a day passes when yet another example of the harshness of these times doesn’t penetrate my awareness and sometimes keep me up during the night. Much of the culture has become such a Lernaean Hydra, all writhing poisonous heads intertwined, that only God ~ and the Blessed Mother, Undoer of Knots ~ can safely straighten things out. BTW, Welcome Home to the Church.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. LJD says:

    I would like to ask the group and Charlie a serious question. I have thought for years about joining the Orthodox Church for years now. The Divine Liturgy as they celebrate it just calls to me Andy find it so much more Spirit filled than the avg Sunday mass. I am friends with many good catholic priests and I like their masses, but Eucharistic ministers giving me communion bothers me very much. I have been to a Latin mass and I find it much more proper in its respect with regard to the altar and Eucharist, the liturgy of the east as it has been celebrated for 1700 or so years just calls to me. I can’t put it any other way. The theological perspective also just seems more anointed to me. Some examples are their view of grace, theosis, and even the Filioque. This is not to say at all that the west is void of the Divine presence, but it’s a struggle for me to get there. It naturally flows when I read a book of eastern theology or attend the liturgy of St John Chrysostom. To be honest, I love Pope Francis and he is a big reason I remain. I see what he does and I just feel him trying to move back to the original balance of the Roman patriarchs in the early church. There is of course more to it for me, but this is a good summary for now I guess. It’s been something that has weighed on me and I thought I would bring it up to this community that I have grown to love and respect. Thank you all and God bless you all

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I am well aware of the virtues of the Orthodox, LJD…though you will find a few gaping holes there as well. How about this: stay where you are until the end of 2017 when I am told the Rescue will have come? That way, either you will have kept careful faith if all I say proves true – and if it does not, it will not matter what I say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • YongDuk says:

      LJD:

      Any Catholic can attend any Catholic Divine Liturgy / Mass / Qurbona.

      If you feel drawn to one of the many Eastern Liturgies / Rites and their respective Churches and their respective Orthodox equivalent [There are 22 such examples of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, such as the Ukrainian Catholic Church and one of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. The exception being the Syro-Maronite Catholic Church.], why not just do that?

      You would remain Roman Rite, but you can freely attend any close to you. Just learn their tradition so as not to offend (e.g. receiving only on the tongue in most cases, standing when you might kneel in the Roman Rite).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Katherine says:

      Everything about what you love about them can be found in the Eastern rites within the Catholic Church. Not many people know that there are Eastern but NOT Orthodox rites within the Church. I am a Ukrainian Catholic, we celebrate the St. John Chrysostom Liturgy. We fully follow Pope Francis. I agree with you, it is a beautiful Liturgy. I love the emphasis on God’s action as Trinity. I love the prayers, I love the chants, . . .although sometimes the Roman side of me wishes for a little more variation once in a while. I love the sense of awe and grandeur. I changed rites because of my husband, though. I wanted to be more fully united in faith. It’s a wonderful rite, and you should go and find a Ukrainian Catholic Church and go once in a while. But weigh carefully whether or not you should actually change rites: it can only be done once.

      Liked by 3 people

    • LJD says:

      Thank you all for your thoughts and responses. Charlie, I had a feeling you would say that and I am pretty much leaning in the direction you advised. You have proven to be a man of great humility, integrity, and character that I hold in high esteem. Your opinion is highly regarded because of your testimony. I am also going to probably do what YD and Katherine have recommended. I will most likely be speaking with the priest at the closest Ukranian parish to my home. I will confess I dont know much about what Katherine mentioned about switching over rites only once. I am pretty ignorant in that regard. Thank you all again.

      Like

  27. LJD says:

    PS-I hit post comment before adding this. I am fully aware of the unity prophecies made by Charlie here, so it may just be a non issue in the near future. I have been pondering the thoughts and studying the eastern church for over 6 years now though, way before learning about and following Charlie’s writings. I don’t see it so much as “converting” to Orthodoxy as much as finding a charism. I guess a way to compare it like someone who joins a Franciscan order as opposed to Jesuits because their spirituality feels more at home there. Anyway, end rant. Thanks for listening.

    Like

    • YongDuk says:

      LJD: I am sure you may be aware of Catherine de Hueck Doherty, the Foundress of Madonna House.

      She was a Russian Orthodox Convert to the Roman Catholic Church. She brings the Rich Spiritual Tradition of Russian Orthodoxy in part to her ministry. You might find some relief for your beautiful thirst there, if you have not already.

      There are loads of writings in that vein, you need only turn to the Eastern Fathers, such as Ss. John Climacus or Isaac the Syrian (or of Nineveh). While not easy, they are a wealth and still very relevant, while being before the Schism(s). (Some contest that Isaac the Syrian was more Nestorian and influenced by Origen’s Apocatastasis Panton, not to mention Neoplatonism. You can still read him and get a kick out of his beautiful terms, such as “swaddling innocency in Divine Providence.” Those theological points have been hashed out looking at the Syriac manuscripts, so they become sort of fun to consider in the context of Mercy and the juicy nature of the 4th to 7th Century. My friend and colleague from Harvard swears by the Ge’ez (Ethiopian) Fathers. I don’t read Ge’ez, so that might be a stretch to recommend. 😉 )

      There are many, many others… And many out there who secretly or openly love the Eastern or Desert/Dessert (which is it, Carlos?) Fathers. You might be surprised that many around you are hungering for their Wisdom. (Personally, I also love Evagrius of Pontus, but I only have a really fun copy of him in both French and Syriac.)

      Like

  28. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    You know I am less sanguine than you are about the quality of the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter. I know my history and know the sometimes seriously flawed men who have occupied that office. However, I am struck by the faith of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor, “If the anti-Christ, himself, were validly elected pope in Rome, I would kiss his foot.” Her faith says it all – even if the worst guy is elected God’s Promise still trumps all.
    As for me and my house, we will trust in the promises of the Incarnate Word!
    Thank you for your on-going prayers.
    PAX,
    Matthew
    PS: For the record, I DO NOT think Francis to be the anti-Christ. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. A well educated priest told me last night: “We must not distinguish one thing the Pope says from another. We must obey everything. If he tells me to say Mass in my pajamas, I say Mass in my pajamas.” This is papolatry.

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Absolutely! Good example, Mary Ann.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Matthew says:

      Mary Ann:
      I think it kind of scary that this was a “well educated” priest. Personally I think it is going to be one of the unintended (?) consequences of Francis’ papacy – that is that the papal office will resume its rightful place. In the aftermath of Vatican I, the declaration of papal infallibility combined with a string of popes that were both good men and learned teachers ( Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI) a kind of extreme ultra-montanism arose – papolatry, to use your word. The authentic role of the papacy, that of Guardian of the Deposit of Faith and Arbiter of Last Resort for issues of Faith and Morals, has been blurred with other roles – chief evangelizer / missionary, chief devisor of pastoral strategies, etc. While I have some concerns regarding Francis’ plan for “decentralization”, perhaps that is what I am getting at.
      I understand that a piece of the problem is our culture and media. Never before in the history of the Church has every word spoken by a pope been instantly accessible by virtually every Catholic. I am far from convinced that this is a good thing. To think that for most of Christian history it has been possible to live a good life, even be a saint, and to have known nothing more about the pope than perhaps his name. The media, of course. love a Spokesman so they can get their sound bite.
      Words are like money – the more of them you use (print) the less value they have.
      With that I will stop writing.
      PAX,
      Matthew

      Like

  30. Another Karen says:

    Thank you both, Mark and Charlie. If not for you and your steadfast support of the Pope, I cannot honestly say where I would be right now given the situation and the confusion. I commit COMPLETELY to the bride of Christ and the current successor in the chair of Peter. That said, much damage control to do in the short term with loved ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Donette says:

    Charlie, I pondered over this statement of yours in the above posting…”Pope Francis is firmly exposing the heretics.” May I assume when you use the word “heretics”, you are speaking of those who are participants in the Synod?

    If you permit, I would like to play devil’s advocate in the following few sentences.

    I can remember the old saying, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then one can pretty much assume it is a duck.” Better yet, permit me to use the words of Jesus, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

    My generation and the previous generation were silenced about using the term “heretics” and people today throw around the word schism like they know what they are talking about. We were encouraged to use the term “modernists”. And one of the sources of information for this term that was made public was the book by Peter Hebblethwaite, titled Paul VI, The First Modern Pope. Every Roman Catholic knew that what saved this Pope was “Humanae Vitae”, the encyclical publicized in July, 1968 and every writer, blogger, and supernatural claimant to seeing and hearing Mary and Jesus races to that encyclical to use in his defense.

    Now, I believe, the term modernists prefer is “progressive”. We know who they are and we know which ones have passed on to their just and deserved reward and we know who still creep about the walls of the Lord’s House in their ghostliness. We need not have Pope Francis reveal them.

    I’m also not sure to whom you refer they are being revealed, for we still see the results of their progressivism in our devastated churches – the Lord in His prison, cast to the side, the images of our heroes discarded or smashed and virtually unknown by the present generation of youth who are ignorant about so many Roman Catholic traditions that to list them here would make this reply interminably longer then it already is, people denied the right,( not from Vatican II, but from the “Spirit of Vatican II) to kneel before their Lord when receiving Him; old ladies castigated for saying the Rosary in Church if they continued it as Mass began and we now hear loudly from the pulpit about churches being closed or merged, the remorse of the lack of priests, the disappearance of people from the pews and the tone behind it all implying “It is all the fault of the lay people….they don’t do enough.”

    Our Popes do not need a defense team to defend them even though there does seem to be a huge roster of defenders ready and able to do so. Our Popes have God. I must admit, when Aggiornamento opened the windows of the Church, the dirt and dust that entered did make the spotless white cassocks somewhat grey in some cases, but we did not worry. We knew the Mother of the Church, Mary, was the laundress and we had St. Michael and his sword and we neither worried nor cared when or where he might thrust it as long as our heavenly visitors got the job done. Our job was to Wait on the Lord, Watch with the Lord and Pray, Pray, Pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which we have no idea exactly how or when that will take place.
    So here many of us are, reading avidly Charlie’s posting, hoping that we will get a glimpse of God’s Plan given to him, Charlie, by (we hope) an angel.

    Our last word to the Lord is Fiat! May Your Holy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven!

    Like

  32. MarieUrsula says:

    FYI, for at least two hours now, there has been a rainbow here across the meadow. Another time I observed something like that was the last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s active pontificate ~ THAT rainbow lasted all day.

    “When the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature ~ every mortal being that is on earth.” (Genesis 9:16)

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Doug says:

    I look forward to the final document. I would bet it’s focus will be to elevate the family and it’s importance relative to the faith and formation of children and couples.

    Like

  34. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Charlie!
    Thank you for all you do and your obedience!
    I have a simple question- at the Rescue,
    Will Protestants and Catholics still be separated –
    Or will we all become one body and worship together ?
    I am praying for no more division.
    Thank you Charlie

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You must be relatively new here, Jacqueline, as I have written and spoken frequently about that. We will all be one. During the balance of the Storm, we are to treat all faithful Christians – Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox – and faithful Jews as full and equal partners in the work before us. And we are to treat all people of good will of whatever faith as true neighbors. God, Himself, will see to the unity after the Storm. It will be like a joyful family reunion where everyone brings a dish.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Yvonne says:

    Thank-you, Thank-you, to both Charlie and Mark. Both of you are such a blessing to God’s people and I am so grateful to Him for giving you to us for this time,

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Pam Nicholson says:

    Thank you for a rock solid piece we should all take to heart. It is good to see that we can remember what the gospels are all about, not what they are not about. Do the gospels include gay marriage and what to do should two men or two women want to have a marriage blessed by the church? No. Homosexuality has already been spoken of as being an abomination period. End of story. There is no discussion in gospels so this is not part of what a synod is about. I think this writing has pretty much sewn up what the pope did, why he did it and what was meant to be the final outcome of the synod on the family. We are all members of God’s family, but, if we choose to remain outside and put ourselves above what Christ Himself has said, and made it clear through His disciples what He wanted them to teach and why He came here in the first place, that is our choice. We have free will. Jesus said never to be afraid, and He meant it for a good reason. He knew what would happen, as we are so frail and sometimes forget that God is above all things, and all things will be dealt with by God in His way, not what we think He should do. Let us be sincerely humble and obedient to what God asks of us, as He continues to be ever present in all He said He would be to us. Thanks again for a strong and important piece we must all take to heart, or freely go somewhere else and make ourselves our own pope. There are already too many popes, but, the one I will follow is Peter the Rock, the pope of the people, but, first, God’s pope. God bless all. pam, from NJ.

    Like

  37. jeanneg8 says:

    Thanks Charlie… I needed to hear your wisdom today!!!

    Like

  38. Anne says:

    Just had a thought. Lapsed catholics who are in irregular relationship situations are not going to care what the pope or synod say. Others who are still in “the Church on their terms” will not necessarily care either!
    So then what! Will scary events change them… An enlightenment….or what????
    Yes …. The year of Mercy is coming but many will not think they need it!
    Yet we all need it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Anne, I qualify as a lapsed Catholic. Whether lapsed or not, I am single and have no children, so in an immediate sense the details of the Synod’s work matter little to me personally. However, I *am* extremely concerned that the influence of a properly defined and clarified approach to the family will now filter out to the rest of the world, because the policies of the Left are destroying so much of what works and is beautiful.

      Also, I enjoyed watching *how* the Synod carried out its business and even more so, was happy to see the beginning of a real change in how the Church will work with people in the future, thanks to Pope Francis’ continuing work to put flesh on the bones of these changes.

      I suspect that out of the entire population of lapsed Catholics, I was very much *not* the only one watching carefully. Your concerns are not misplaced for some but perhaps not for as many as you think. I suspect that there are many people increasingly paying attention and waking up over the past several years.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pam Nicholson says:

        All that is beautiful about this world can never be destroyed. Those who seek to destroy this will themselves be destroyed by their own worst aims. It is all about control. The fact that you are a so-called, “lapsed catholic” indicates that you appreciate all that God has given which is beautiful and you do not relish the thought of having to see only the darkness their message brings, that is, those who seek to pound all the good into the ground which will only turn into yet another beautiful flower or tree. The fact that you are single and have no children, you have chosen a vocation, that of a single adult who is learning how to live out this vocation. It is a holy estate, believe me. If all single catholics sought to truly live out their faith in their chosen vocation, what a saintly society it would be. Go ahead and be a saint in your chosen vocation. We are all meant to be great saints, so go live it! Praying for all single catholics, I am, pam, from NJ.

        Like

      • jaykay says:

        Steve, bless you for your always to-the-point comments, which I greatly appreciate. However, I think that the Synod’s conclusions about the divorced and remarried matter to us all, whether married or single. We’re all part of the same Body, so because we’re unmarried doesn’t mean we’re sort of on the sidelines for this and other such matters as, for example, abortion or contraception or any of the other horrors of the modern fascination with sexuality. They’d love to put us there, of course, as it advances the agenda. I do hope I haven’t taken you wrongly on this, and I know you’ll forgive me if I have, but here in Ireland (and undoubtedly in the US also) we single men are so often told, by the proponents of change in the areas of the family, children… you know what I mean, the very battlefield of our society, that we should just shut up.

        Anyway, I hope I haven’t got you wrong. I have the strong feeling I haven’t. Bless you and all here. J.

        Liked by 2 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Jaykay, if you will reread my first paragraph, I think you will see that you and I are very much on the same page. The details of the Synod’s work on the family don’t matter much to my current situation in an *immediate* or direct sense. I’m not a husband or a father. I’ve never been married or divorced. I don’t need an annulment.

          However, because I live in a society, and because I see that society as increasingly a society oriented toward death rather than life, I believe that what now proceeds out of the Synod’s work into our world matters enormously to me and to all single people, just as it does in this same sense for all married people and especially to people with children of their own.

          Our society needs healing, and the family “issue” is part and parcel of the core problems that need healing and eventually from which healing must flow into our larger world. If this is not done right, nothing good will arise for anyone. If it is done right, much good will flow from it, even for single people.

          I hope that helps clarify where I stand. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

      • Anne says:

        Thank you so much Steve for your gorgeous reply. What times we are in!!!

        Like

  39. Anne says:

    Just chose April writing to read…….. The calm before the storm….. 1-5 months possible time for storm to break… That time has passed ….. Can we relax now? No … I would say more extension of astounding Mercy.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      That could be, Anne…more likely I was just wrong in MY estimation of how long before the “invasion of Poland” moment based on where things were. The only time I posit specifically is the Rescue late in 2017. I posit specific THINGS that must come before that.

      Like

  40. Adolfo Marte says:

    Mr. Johnston thank you so munch for you mission , our ,,lord JESUS & MARY be with you always.
    I like you opinion on a comment by Fr. Kramer .
    Thank you. GOD BLESS

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Sorry, Adolfo, I edited the entire piece out. Fr. Paul Kramer is a sede-vacantist who thinks he knows better than the Pope and better than Christ. Anything from him is banned from this site. He is an apostate trying to pull people down with him. May he repent and return to the Holy Church.

      Like

  41. Jean S says:

    I read this article the other day and thought it was really good, so please don’t take me wrong in what I am about to say…I’m not a pope-basher and I certainly don’t doubt the power of the Holy Spirit to protect the faith.

    But today, I read an article at (I think) abc news about the pope and the Synod, and immediately felt a sick feeling in my gut. I would just like to understand why it is that every time I read something this pope says, I feel sick at heart or offended? Nine times out of ten, when I’m told it just a bad interpretation, I am not comforted whatsoever when I go and read the source.

    If I am not mistaken (and I could be since I have a terrible memory), you said this pope will make a rather colossal mistake during his pontificate. Well, I think letting the progressives run loose at the mouth and ending the Synod with an impression that defending established doctrine is somehow unmerciful is the biggest mistake of the millennium…and we’re only just getting started into the millennium. Regardless of intent, the weapons are sharpening on that impression and any hope of a unified consistent expression of the Catholic faith has been diminished for a very long time.

    The pope makes very vague, broad characterizations of large groups of people and then labels and criticizes them without defining who the “who” are, but always appearing to mean the orthodox conservative whose simply stating the 2000 teachings of the Church. It gives the enemy wide latitude to come in and take the resisters-to-change down at the knees.

    Like

    • Doug says:

      Jean, my recommendation is to not pay attention to any regular news network that says anything or comments on the pope. They are notorious for twisting his words or not showing the whole picture to generate controversy or make look like he supports their progressive viewpoints. What Charlie has published here from what the pope has said is marvelous. Also pull his writings from the Vatican Web site. Pope Francis is right on in faith and morals.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jean S says:

        The problem is that many of his authentic quotes bother me. It’s not his doctrine that bothers me, it’s his style…and the way he leave so much room open for the regular news to take advantage. If you take all of his quotes, end to end, from the beginning of his papacy until now that reference those unnamed “those who..” you will come to see what I mean. I think truth is absolute and good/evil is black and white. It’s when we start toying with the idea that there is some room for discussion in between that we end up in a big fat mess. That’s where I think this Synod is going to go.

        Case in point: “Francis said the synod it (the Synod) had “laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the church’s teachings and good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.””
        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-takes-swipe-at-conservative-bishops-as-synod-on-families-ends/

        I mean, really? Who is hiding behind such teachings and what constitutes hiding?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Jean, again, I have had criticisms for some things the Pope has said on non-spiritual things. But when you say things should be black and white in clarity, I really think you need to think hard about that. Look with fresh eyes at the many things Jesus said. He had an often subtle, knife’s-edge message that sometimes seemed to contradict itself (“whoever is not against us is for us”-Mark 9:40; “He who is not with us is against us.”-Luke 9:50) You had to look at the larger context over a period of time to get precisely what Jesus meant…and even then there are depths. When you offer a standard to be satisfied that Jesus would not have met, you need to adjust your expectations before you abandon the Pope, lest the same criteria would disqualify Christ.

          A big problem is that people want immediate gratification – even (maybe especially) the pious. God is unfolding His plan of Rescue. You will either trust or not trust. But He is going to shatter everyone’s expectations to deliver them from their hidden vanity. Do what is right in front you that you need to do – then wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Jean S says:

            Therein lies the problem Charlie, expressing upset over attacks to the truths I was raised to know and understand in no way suggests that I am abandoning the pope but today unfortunately it is often interpreted that way. Yes there are nuances in the teachings of Christ…but on the larger things, there are absolutes and intrinsic evils and the Bible is very clear about what they are. Look at what the intrinsic evil of homosexuality has wrought for our culture and Church since its been forced upon us? There are no nuances about it and yet we are now going to abandon that term for one more gentle that no one on planet earth will understand so the homosexual movement can continue unabated. I do trust God to fix all of this and my upset is over the actions of Catholics against Catholics more so than anything else. That’s what gets me about this pope is that he fuels the fire of controversy and by his vagueness gives people excuses for heresy whether he means it or not. I think the most difficult thing to swallow for me in all of this is the suggestion that I am abandoning the Church, failing in faith of the Lord’s promise to protect it, or somehow lacking in mercy because I am upset about the blatant attack on truth going on in Rome and many areas of the Church right now and I am being labeled from within for wanting to do something about it…even if it is only to complain.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            I understand venting, Jean. I do plenty of it myself. But when you write, you need to stay anchored in facts. I know that the world is calling homosexuality something other than it is – and some bishops are trying to, also. But when has this Pope ever called it other than what it is? If I have missed something on that score, I will be glad to be corrected on it, but I have watched the Pope’s actual words in context pretty carefully – and while he says some peculiar things sometimes, I have not seen him hedge on this. It is why I try to stay anchored in facts and am quick to apologize for my occasional rants. The danger is that hyperbole, common to venting, can easily give way to defamation, which then gives way easily to rebellion.

            I used to tell candidates and officials – who in large areas, are subject to criticism and attacks all the time – to never give counsel to their fears. When you do, your usefulness drops dramatically.

            Like

          • Doug says:

            Jean, I understand what you are saying and have to admit, I have struggled on some things I have heard too, but caution you on taking things you hear at face value. Jesus came eating and drinking with sinners and associated with people who were considered anathema to the Jewish faith back then and he was excoriated for his association. In order to save these people he associated with them. At the same time, he never compromised the Jewish faith. I think this Pope is acting in similar manner.

            Like

        • Mick says:

          Charlie, this is not germane to the very excellent points you are making, but I wanted to make a math-geek observation.

          Years ago, I used to be puzzled and troubled by the seeming contradiction of Mark 9:40 and Luke 9:50. Then I decided to analyze them in terms of propositional logic (“if p then q”), It turns out that “Whoever is not for us is against us” and “Whoever is not against us is for us” are in fact logically equivalent statements and therefore are not contradictory (they are contrapositives of each other; and, as contrapostives, they must either both be true or both be false).

          Or, perhaps this is germane to your point: To the casual observer, some of Jesus’ statements appear contradictory or even scandalous; but when one examines the larger context (in this case, logic/reason, of which God is the “embodiment”), one sees that Jesus is always correct in his words and actions.

          I’m glad you’re finally home. I hope you can get some much needed rest before the stuff hits the fan. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            That was my point, Mick. There is no contradiction there, if you put both statements in context. Out of context they look directly contradictory. That is why I say judge righteous judgment.

            Like

      • Pam Nicholson says:

        And, what you and Charlie say is true! Did I just say that? Yep, I mean it. We must also decide for our own sake and the sake of other whom we are trying to evangelize at this time of mercy where we will get the best news regarding faith and morals and that includes what the pope said, and, even what those in the hierarchy say. So often, I had read L’observatorre Romano, and even they did not get things right about what then, Pope John Paul II was saying. (I converted in 1992 so I am a late bloomer with this stuff. I do recall how much bashing I did of the catholic faith, and I hope that I have made up for that in some small ways.) We become what we learn so let us all find the best most credible information sources out there. Kudos to Charlie, Doug and many others for their getting the truth out there. pam, from NJ.

        Liked by 1 person

  42. El ingeniero de Tepeyac says:

    Good afternoon Mr. Charles Johnston,

    It appears that the financial prognosticators are now stating that it looks like the world could be experiencing a recession in the next 18 months. I know that for the manufacturing sector in which I work, sales have slumped in the 3rd quarter and it’s not looking good for the 4th quarter either. This along with the geo-political changes and wars appears to be pushing the world into a chaos. Each of these things by themselves might not be of grave import but together they might be enough to wreak havoc in the political and financial systems. It reminds me of the American saying “little strokes fell great oaks” where the great oaks are the US economy, financial stability and military security while the little strokes are the multitude of armed conflicts around the world, the over extended credit and development of China and the unstable political situation of Europe.

    God bless you and your work and all of those who strive to do the Next Right Step

    Liked by 3 people

  43. jaykay says:

    Charlie, thank you for re-publishing this characteristically solid piece by Mark Mallett, which I had just read, as it happens, before coming here. My Lord, I just wish that so many soi-disant “traditionalists” would take to heart the words of Psalm 42, in the form of the Mass that they love, recited by Priest and server at the foot of the Altar i.e. at the foot of (the rock of ) Calvary: “quare tristis es, anima mea, et quare conturbas me, dum affligit me inamicus. Spera in Domino…” etc.

    Do they actually believe it? It means: ” why are you sorrowful, O my soul, and why do you trouble me, when the Enemy is afflicting me? Hope in the Lord…” Yes, folks, hope in the Lord. And yes, the enemy is afflicting us. Always has. But take a little look inside yourselves to see he hasn’t slipped inside you before you rush to judge the lawfully-appointed successor of Peter. And stay with the Rock He put His Church on. You are not your own little popes.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Gary says:

    As Michael Voris pointed out recently all of these heterodox heretical bishops cardinals and priests were promoted by the “Great” Pope JPII and Pope Benedict. And Pope Francis has his heretic Cupich in Chicago. One wonders what they were thinking.

    http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/the-vortexbenedicts-fingerprints

    In the end Pope Francis said nothing, He criticized both sides but mostly the prelates defending orthodoxy for being dead stones. I guess the new definition of being perfect as the Father is perfect is being a dead stone. In the end these German prelates are going to do what they want the whole Church to do anyway. Just as Cupich will not “politicize” the Communion rail and gave Communion to Governor Rauner a non Catholic, and other well known staunch defenders of secular paganism, so he and they too will continue to baste in their firm conviction that one’s conscience is the true arbiter and pope of the Truth another heresy coming from the 60’s, completely missing a “well formed” conscience.

    I tend to think that this pope is not cleverly allowing the heretics to expose themselves but rather unwittingly allowing flatulent carbon emissions to poison the Church’s spiritual air.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Nicholson says:

      But, the new wine is coming. Never lose faith in this. But, the new wine will not be placed in old skins. Watch and pray. A wonderful thing is happening in North Carolina, a beautiful testament to St. JPII, a seminary and monastery where Eucharistic Adoration is at the center of all the work yet to be done to complete this work God wants in the South. We have a beautiful shining beacon growing brightly there, and only those who wish to live and work the orthodoxy of the faith along with the rosary with Eucharistic Adoration is at the centerpiece of God’s plan there. My heart is on fire for reporting this, Go to tedeumfoundation.org, and see what God is doing in North Carolina regarding the new wine, the priesthood. This is mostly where we will find our Heaven on Earth, the priesthood. God bless each and everyone! pam, from NJ.

      Like

  45. Petra says:

    Gary: I really like how you express yourself. I wish I had such a command of the language to pack so much meaning into so few words. Instead I tend to rattle on and still don’t think I get my point across precisely.
    Although I do see those actions in our leaders, I don’t come to the same conclusion as you do. I guess having lived in Chicago all my life makes me somewhat thick skinned when it comes to less than stellar leaders, whether they be political or clerical. I have found, like an old tree, regardless of the environment if the sun keeps shining and the rain keeps raining, heck, I keep growing. What I mean is, other bishops and archbishops and cardinals have come along before, and we got heterodox rhetoric instead of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, but you could almost say it was a kind of pruning – those who were weak or dead in faith left. Those who were not may have been cut back, but continued on stronger. Those who listened to the heterodox grew spindly and actually live according to worldly teachings for the most part. They aren’t strong, and when the wind blows and the rains come, well….
    Yes, I would love an orthodox bishop in Chicago. But God tests us. Way back when, since we weren’t getting it from the pulpit, the onus was on me to learn what orthodox Church teaching was. Once I have learned it, I tend to turn a deaf ear when I hear things contrary to it, even if it comes from a cardinal or bishop. I may not be able to rely on the clerics to tell me the right thing. My method was to get books published before 1960 that had Imprimaturs, and to read and consider those teachings, and to get a copy of the JPII catechism, and trust that. I think that’s what constitutes a well formed conscience. Only then can I rely on my conscience to make decisions.
    Deceivers come and go. Bad leaders come and go. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is forever.
    God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. CrewDog says:

    This will not end well. There appears to be an ongoing “Civil War” in Rome ……….. details to emerge ;-(

    “Vatican Arrests Cleric, Laywoman Suspected of Leaking Secret Documents”
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/pope-francis-vatican-arrests/2015/11/02/id/700126/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LukeMichael says:

      This will end well. The gates of hell will not prevail against Christ and his Church! Please read the Abyssum post about Pope Francis’ last address to the Curia before his retirement.
      Some of it is esoteric but the last two paragraphs really explain where we are! I really love the guy!

      though beautiful. The last two paragraph ifs explain where we are

      Liked by 1 person

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