The Pope and the Wolves

Dream-of-St.Jean-Bosco-collage1

The Vision of St. John Bosco

By Charlie Johnston

Some friends and readers have quizzed me on how I can be so indifferent to Pope Francis’ often provocative comments on environmental issues, the economy, and the philosophical infrastructure that make human freedom possible. After all, I firmly believe, with historical evidence to back me, that many of the practical “solutions” the Pope sometimes espouses actually impoverish all but a few and often enslave multitudes.

Climate Change is the third great environmental scare of my lifetime. A decade and a half ago it was  Global Warming. Two decades before that it was the unstoppable new Ice Age. Whatever the latest scare fad, the answer the statists give is always the same: destroy the livelihoods of millions and make them absolutely dependent on the state while centralizing power in a very small elite cadre. In less than a decade, the environmental hoaxes of the last half-century will be recognized as the great scandals and perversions of scientific inquiry they are. From the intentional distortion of data at East Anglia, the ruthless suppression of dissenting views in peer-reviewed publications, and the relentless rent-seeking of the politico-media-environmental complex, this house has been built on lies, corruption, and the raw pursuit of power. When your primary tools of inquiry are banishing and suing critics and threatening to imprison any who dispute you, that is not science at all, but the ruthless pursuit of a political agenda.

Most of the economic enthusiasms of the Pope are those that have impoverished vast wastelands of humanity, from the Soviet Union to Eastern Europe to Cuba and those countries in the Americas that succumbed to the seduction of a planned economy.

Pope Francis sometimes seems downright dismissive of the principles of subsidiarity in political and economic affairs so clearly enunciated by his predecessor, St. John Paul the Great, in the Encyclical, Centesimus Annus. In fact, the Pope seems to be a bit of an enthusiast for centralized, comprehensive governmental power. The puzzle is that he seems oblivious that this very philosophy brought the world the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Nazi Germany – which murdered more innocents in a century than all the religious wars in history combined ever killed.

A century ago, the political and economic ideas the Pope seems taken with were respectable, if not particularly well-conceived. That was before they were tried extensively and proven to be universally and consistently disastrous. There is little reason to support them now except for the pursuit of power at the expense of evidence, logic and experience. They are merely an idealistic fig leaf to cover a ravenous zeal for power.

So why do I remain not only supportive, but downright enthusiastic, about this Pope? Well, there is the fact that for all the sturm und drang, Pope Francis has been completely solid on faith and morals. That is more than enough to remain supportive, but does not really explain my enthusiasm for him. The enthusiasm comes from things I have been shown over the years, and my experience with the unexpected. God’s ways really are not man’s ways – and sometimes we have to wait for Him. But with patience borne of experiencing how surprising the Lord can be, you can see tantalizing hints of what He is up to.

First, while frequently annoyed by stale leftist nostrums, even in politics I took a bit of a cavalier attitude to them. I was shown long ago that, as the Storm entered its fullness, all those progressive nostrums which seem so consequential, would be quickly blown away like so much chaff. There is really nothing of substance to them. Already we see it begun. In America, political officials refuse to take Islamic radicals serious, even refusing to call it by its proper name, while insisting the best way to defend ourselves is to disarm potential victims. Not surprisingly to anyone except denizens of the Washington Post and New York Times, public support for gun rights and the NRA are at an all-time high. Reality intrudes. Given the anemic quality of our economy (and to merely call it anemic is charitable) even staunch leftists are occasionally, in baffled wonder, writing essays on whether massive government spending and regulation of all sectors of the economy are, in fact, the way to prosperity. Reality intrudes. Some of those same leftists, with black humor and grim irony, are now heard to occasionally say that “racist” is a term to haul out when you are losing an argument. Reality intrudes. Nowadays, when the president speaks, no one but commentators and politicians care much what he says. The commentators and politicians only do so because it is their job. Most people have already dismissed him as not being a serious man. He can add to our problems, but not relieve them. Reality intrudes. The statists have crippled themselves: having taken the willing media captive, almost all they hear is what they want to hear, so it is very slow to sink in that they have already lost the argument as the debate rages on. Their ideology has become as substantial as dandelion puffs on a windy day – and they think they remain in control because the wind has not yet carried them off. When it does, it will effortlessly blow it all away. I was warned that, in the fullness of the Storm, the greatest danger would be posed by those who pretend to orthodoxy; orthodoxy of faith and commitment to the ideals of human freedom. So why should I get over-excited on the errant temporal things that I was long ago shown would be blown away by God, Himself? I get annoyed, but I don’t waste much time with those problems. Meantime, I durst not ignore the more obscure problems that soon enough will loom large. For me, the temporal things the Pope speaks errantly of are things I was shown decades ago that the Lord will wipe away. Since those are the only substantial areas in which I disagree with him, why get overly excited about it? I don’t.

Though I had no clue what the Pope appointed to guide us through the Storm would look like physically, I did know much about some of his characteristics. He would be filled with missionary zeal, which he would exercise with a joyful, downright swashbuckling panache. He would clearly be a man on a mission. I was disturbed at the election of Pope Benedict. I love him. What a refined, approachable intellect he has! His book, Jesus of Nazareth, is, in its way, every much as sublimely a breathtaking achievement as Handel’s Messiah. But he didn’t match up with the characteristics I had seen. I was also given to expect that he would endure the Storm. Though I was kind of gleeful in telling my priest director that Benedict would NOT just be a caretaker Pope because of that, I remained a bit unsettled. I figured I must have misunderstood something along the way. When Benedict announced his resignation, I was shocked and shaken. I told one of my Priests that this was a specific error on my part that brought much into question, for I had expected Benedict to endure the Storm. My Priest, wiser than I at the moment, gently said, “He may well endure, Charlie. Just not as Pope.”

When Pope Francis was elected from Argentina, my heart leapt in my chest. In explaining to my Priests about Our Lady of Tepeyac before the turn of the millennium, I told them she had come to evangelize the New World from the Old under the European title of Our Lady of Guadalupe – but now the Old World was in worse spiritual shape than the New, and she would re-evangelize it under her proper American title of Our Lady of Tepeyac. I saw this Pope coming from the New World as the beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy. Within a month, my heart was leaping again, for Pope Francis completely fit the characteristics I had been shown of the Pope who would guide us through the Storm.

Shortly afterwards I saw an astonishing picture of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict standing together. The thought came to my mind that, dressed all in white, they looked like two pillars. I immediately was taken by the thought, for I had long been taken by Don Bosco’s vision of the ship passing through two pillars out of a storm. It was imagery that resonated with me, for I had two pillars, benedict and francis.jpgalways seen the Storm as a ship of refuge passing through a violently stormy sea, ultimately to safety. In his vision, the two pillars represent Our Lady and Christ in the Eucharist. Here I was seeing a visible manifestation of the two pillars. Again, my heart rejoiced, for I thought God in His mercy had, indeed, given us two pillars of faith in these times, a Holy Pope filled with missionary zeal, going forth to all the world and a Holy Pope Emeritus who, like a rudder, would remain largely hidden and silent, but would give stability to the ship as it made its perilous way to the shore of safety.

All that I had expected up to that point had been fulfilled, but in a way I had not expected at all. It deepened my trust of God even as it reminded me that God’s ways are not man’s ways – and that I, too, must be careful of judging by human expectations.

I was again caught off guard as I slowly realized how ill-informed Pope Francis is on the secular matters of economics, science outside his specialty, and the philosophical infrastructure of human freedom. I was appalled at how superficial his analysis of such things were. On temporal matters except for the social issues, Barack Obama and Pope Francis are near mirror images of each other. In Obama’s case, he knows his objectives advance the Culture of Death and concentrate power in a few hands. Pope Francis truly intends to help the poor…but in this case, his misguided idealism empowers the advocates of the Culture of Death, even though it is not what he intends.

I know something about misguided idealism. When I was a young man, I was obviously both very idealistic – and very talented at mobilizing people and getting them to march for a common cause and at enunciating a message that resonated with people. My naievete made me easy prey for some shrewd politicians at the local and county level who wanted to benefit from my talents to enhance their power. I was an environmentalist. Actually, I still am, but at that time I took my fellow environmentalists at their word as to their motives. A flaw of human nature is that we usually think our own motivations and drives are the same as most everyone else’s. I did not yet understand that “professional” environmentalists use their nice-sounding cause as a fig leaf to cover their naked grasp for power – and that most of their policies actually do serious damage to the environment. But my imputation of my own motives to those around me was the leverage they needed to manipulate me to the service of their ends.

It reached a head when I was chairman of a regional sanitary commission. As their influence grew and their position was solidified, my allies got more radical. They had embarked on a project of forcibly taking farmers’ land through eminent domain at bargain prices. They would not win in court, but they worked from the “deep pockets” theory: if they just appealed every courtroom loss, the county’s money would not run out but their targets would grow weary or go broke. It worked. They also put a near halt to necessary infrastructure improvements, such as roads and sewer lines. Internally, I was fighting them on these things and our disputes were growing more public. At one point, my mentor’s sidekick (most believed him to be the leader of the movement, but he was only its mouthpiece) plaintively asked me why I was fighting them, for I had been one of the county’s original environmental activists. I archly told him, “If I loved horses, I would not think it obliged me to become a horse thief.”

My mentor was both head of a municipal government and Chairman of the County. Things came to a head when he summoned me to his municipal office for a meeting. He began by saying everyone knew I was his heir apparent when he retired and he fully supported that, but we needed to maintain unity during this controversy. I asked him to just tell me what I was missing. I was adamant that, at least, farmers should get a fair price for their land. I was particularly upset about the denial of sewer lines. We had one unincorporated area on septic that could not continue that way. It had already had three cases of hepatitis and was a danger to children. It was unconscionable that the county would not approve sewer lines when the money was there. “This causes real environmental and health hazards,” I said, “ it looks more like power is the issue than the environment.” He exploded. “Of course it is about power, Charlie, it always has been. It’s time for you to grow up,” he said. “Now look, here’s what I’m going to do for you: I’m going to put you on the slate for assessor at election next year.” I was stunned. The sitting assessor had been entirely loyal to him. I asked what would happen to the man. “He can’t help me much. You can. He’s out,” he said. I can’t describe how horrified and shocked I was. He had made the same mistake I had been making: he assumed that my foundational motives were, at bottom, the same as his. But I was not a wolf.

Though my mentor was a 20-year incumbent, I started working to find and manage a slate of candidates against him and his slate (eight seats total). Most everyone laughed at my fool’s mission and how I had gone crazy, tilting at windmills. On election night, I went up to the courthouse where everyone around the county gathered to wait for returns. Several people told me consolingly that I had run a great campaign for my slate, but you can’t unseat a 20-year incumbent. When a prominent judge told me the same, I had had enough. “The surprise of the night is not going to be that we win, but how big we win,” I growled. When the returns came in, the weakest member of our slate garnered near 62% of the vote against his opponent. We cleaned house in a landslide. In the process I learned that if you want to be true, you must vet the things you are inclined to agree with more vigorously than those you are not. To judge righteous judgment, you truly must be as wise as serpents as well as gentle as doves.

I was appalled to see that the Pope’s sometimes gauzy idealism ignited a certain triumphalism among the worst elements in the Church. The wolves no longer hid in the woods, but thought sure their hour had come round at last and boldly took to the open field. Before the first session of the Synod on the Family, some of the heterodox Bishops claimed they “spoke” for the Pope. Imagine their surprise when the Pope closed the session with a marvelous statement of charitable orthodoxy. But it was only a setback, they thought. Those who would consign spiritual means to the service of transitory political ends stacked the deck to assure the Pope that dubious claims of  “climate change” were the greatest crisis facing the world. He followed their lead.

After the mixed results of 2014, losing the assault on faith and morals at the Synod despite their high hopes but winning the temporal tug-of-war on temporal matters, the wolves upped the ante, using a little raw power to try to muscle things their way. In the follow-up to the Pope’s Encyclical on the Environment, the Vatican Secretariat shut out all credible skeptics of climate change, inviting only those pro-abortion, pro-state centralization voices from around the world to their conference on how to address the matter. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chairman of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, proclaimed that the Pope’s opinion on “climate change” is Magisterial teaching and to dissent from it is mortal sin. Never mind that the Pope, himself, said in the encyclical, itself, that it is NOT Magisterial teaching. Bishop Sorondo is determined to bind the consciences of the faithful on what is their prudential responsibility AND authority. It is not the first time a Bishop has been determined to have his way regardless of what the Pope, the Magisterium or Canon Law says. Ask St. Joan of Arc. Some of the German Bishops, stunned by their unexpected loss at the first session of the Synod, threatened to break away and exercise their own magisterial authority in Germany. Shades of Henry VIII! The Vatican Secretariat, the political arm of the Vatican, having the press on its side, was determined not to have a repeat of the embarrassment of the first session of the Synod. It wrote its own working document for the second session and set up the process so that Bishops were not allowed to vote on items in it. Heaven forbid that the political arm of the Vatican actually allow the men charged with the actual decisions have any real influence on their plans! Thirteen Bishops corrected that by sending a private letter to the Pope. The General Secretariat tried to mischaracterize it to the public, but the Bishops took back their decision-making authority. An unsung hero, Cardinal Peter Erdo, put a stop to the affront of the politicized working document. This marvelous piece in First Things about what really happened at the Synod, by George Weigel, covers how the majority of Bishops took back control from a General Secretariat that tried to impose its heterodox will on them. Though it is a long article, you should read the whole thing. You will become a fan of Cardinal Erdo and see how seriously the great majority of Bishops took their responsibility to both the faith and the faithful. As Weigel notes,

Thus, in the first half hour of his talk, Erdő set the discussions of Synod 2015 on a solid foundation built from the Scriptures and the magisterium of the three preceding pontificates, thereby tacitly rejecting the false premise that the fathers could start from scratch in considering marriage and the family in the ­twenty-first century. The signs of the times, he concurrently made clear, should be read through the lens of divine revelation.”

Entirely unheralded, this session of the Synod went a long way to reforming the Synodal process – firmly re-establishing that synodal managers and the general secretariat are the servants of the world’s Bishops, not their masters. The final document was entirely orthodox. It was a far more ultimately crushing defeat for those who seek to assault Church doctrine than the first session of the Synod was.

On substantial matters of faith and morals, the wolves have accomplished absolutely nothing. Though they had high hopes because of his congeniality to them, on theological matters of substance, they have not swayed Pope Francis a single inch. They have NO substantial victories. They have created divisions on temporal matters on which the Pope has none but routine advisory authority. Pope Francis is an idealistic man; one who, I suspect, credits those around him with the same altruistic idealism. He is also, I suspect, a more charitable man than I am. He has remained as solid as steel on faith and morals, even as some wolves he is congenial to continually misrepresent him as “their man.” Those who do not recognize his congeniality for the patience it is and his unbending proclamation of orthodoxy with charity as the strength it is -rather than a source of leverage – will ultimately see him clean house as intensely as I did when I realized how badly some had manipulated my idealism.

What the wolves have accomplished with the help of their sometimes willing and other times ignorant media allies, is to sow confusion among the faithful. Not one in a hundred faithful Catholics know what a triumph for orthodoxy the final document of this session of the Synod was. Some orthodox Catholics have gotten on such a heresy hair-trigger that they are ready – even eager – to believe the worst about the Pope and skeptical of the solid, consistent evidence of his theological orthodoxy. Some orthodox Catholics have gotten so dismayed by the Pope’s often klunky political statements that they are ready, even eager, to believe he is equally klunky theologically. Judge righteous judgment. Before pronouncing judgment on any action of the Pope, first fully vet it to make sure you know what you are talking about. If you think the Pope was talking about homosexuality when he made his “Whom am I to judge” comment and you have criticized him for it, you are almost as guilty as the defamatory media. He was talking about whether the subject priest’s expressed contrition was genuine. This routine defamation of the Holy Father is an important accomplishment for the wolves.

But in their reckless vanity, the wolves have unwittingly accomplished some other things. The same false picture that is dismaying some orthodox Catholics, combined with the authentic missionary zeal of the Pope, have led some people who had abandoned the faith to take another look. Some who were alienated have developed a real affection for Pope Francis. Many who came for the sizzle will end up unexpectedly staying for the steak.

3_popes, faith hope and love

The Popes of the Storm: Faith, Hope and Love

Meanwhile, all the wolves stand exposed and revealed. This could not have happened under Popes Benedict or St. John Paul, where the wolves were careful to maintain their camouflage. I do not say this is the Pope’s plan…I do not think he could have accomplished this without sin if it was intentional. But an honest heart with some blind spots could. God has a plan – and as I have often said, when we love Him and hold fast to Him, He uses both our virtues and our flaws to accomplish His will. Pope Francis is an absolutely honest servant of the Most High and a Missionary of Mercy and Love to all the faithful.

 

The satan knows he cannot defeat the Church or destroy the Lord’s Anointed Holy Father. So he uses every stratagem he can to separate as many of the faithful from the Church and to their destruction through this rising Storm as he possibly can before he is routed and the faithful are Rescued. That is what all this confusion is – and always has been – about: to lure the orthodox away from the ship of safety, to gain leverage from their doubts that God really meant it when He said that the faith of Peter would not fail.

There are many wolves who stalk Pope Francis, but he is not their prey. We are.

I tell you again. Pope Francis IS the Pope of the Storm. God knew what He was doing when He allowed his election. Stay to the Barque of Peter as the Storm rises, hold fast to Christ, take cover under the mantle of Mary – and love your Papa.

About charliej373

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

412 Responses to The Pope and the Wolves

  1. Sr Lorraine says:

    I really enjoyed this piece; thank you, Charlie. It’s wonderful to read because you forthrightly speak about some of the things that have troubled people about Pope Francis, while clearly affirming that those are not the essentials and he is not leading us astray when it comes to doctrine.
    The two pillars are very intersting; I hadn’t thought of that. In Don Bosco’s dream the pillars represent the Eucharist and Mary. The pillar of the Eucharist is aptly represented by Pope Benedict, who had a very high concern for the liturgy. Perhaps his decree giving a wider latitude to the use of the Latin Mass will be seen as one of the most consequential things he has done.
    The pillar of Mary is aptly represented by Pope Francis. Since the beginning it has been clear that he is a very Marian pope, deeply devoted to Our Lady. I remember right after his election he went to St Mary Major to dedicate his papacy to Mary.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This piece is filled with wisdom.
    It’s obvious that God has groomed you well. What you’ve been shown, what you’ve endured, your pilgrimage, and your vast experience in politics – all of it – has prepared you to be a Sherpa.
    Not only a Sherpa… a humble Sherpa.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Karen says:

    Thank you Mr. Johnson. Recall the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I thought of this saying when I read your latest entry. I believe Pope Francis knows what he is doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MarieUrsula says:

    I was in Scotland for Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit to the UK in 2010. I remember watching on TV at a Jewish friend’s house in Glasgow the meeting between the Pope and Queen Elizabeth at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. These two elders demonstrated such humble respect for each other. Pope B16’s homily at the very large outdoor venue in Glasgow was masterful. It occurred to me then, and I know it has occurred to others, that Queen Elizabeth has been a very conscientious queen. She has also visited more than one Pope at the Vatican, a gesture of true good will, imho.

    Also coming to mind is Pope Francis’s recommendation this year or last to a jetload of journalists that they read “Lord of the World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. Msgr. Benson was an English Anglican priest (son of the archbishop of Canterbury) who became Catholic and, in 1904, a Catholic priest. He published the novel in 1907 and died seven years later at forty-two. One aspect of that novel is that (prompted by The Storm as described in the novel) the existing kings and queens of various countries came to Rome and knelt before the vicar of Christ, effectively ending centuries-old schisms.

    These things considered, the following caught my eye a few minutes ago:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/12060481/The-Queens-speech-is-set-to-be-the-most-overtly-Christian-yet.html

    Queen Elizabeth is a hardy soul. May she live through and beyond late in 2017.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      MarieUrsula, I love Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson. “Lord of the World” is an incredible book. Maybe I’ll re-read it over the Christmas holiday (some nice, light Christmas reading, haha). Msgr. Benson also wrote three children’s books: A Child’s Rule of Life, Old Testament Rhymes, and Alphabet of Saints. I bought them nearly 2 decades ago, and they are among the most treasured books in our home.

      Like

  5. Mary says:

    Thank you for this post Charlie. I found myself weeping through most of it. I have always defended Pope Francis but in the back of my mind, I felt unsure of him. I know that God knows what he is doing and that he will not leave us orphans, but still I doubted Pope Francis. The two pillars make perfect sense to me, perfect sense. I will refer to this post and reread it many times as it is such a source of comfort to me. God bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • luvmercy5775 says:

      Two pillars seems the perfect analogy for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. The first a great intellect, the second leading with the heart. Justice tempered with mercy –revealed through His Son/sons.

      Once again Psalm 85:10 seems appropriate. ” Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Laurie says:

    I always loved the story of St. Francis and the wolf of Gubbio; it sounds as though there are parallels here. I had heard just one short interview following this synod and was unclear about what had been concluded. Thanks for your reflections and for pointing us to Weigel’s summary; I had not realized how bad the state of things is in Northern Europe, but how heartening that others took a stand and prevailed.
    I am idealisic too. This year I had to evict renters who had occupied and sealed off access to my downstairs. The worst is over, but I was truly shaken to learn how disrespectful and destructive persons can be.
    Your posts, so full of wit and wisdom, often make me laugh aloud–the “sizzle/steak” comment, for example, really had ME howling. I am so happy to be challenged to learn here and improve.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. marlonancy says:

    Charlie,
    Thank you for this post. I love Pope Francis and Pope John Paul but it is with Pope Benedict that I identify with the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. marlonancy says:

    Charlie,
    Thank you for this post. I love Pope Francis and Pope John Paul but it is with Pope Benedict that I identify with the most.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. luvmercy5775 says:

    It occurs to me that the two pillars analogy may also be applied to the present day roles of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

    Judaism stresses the first five books of the Bible — the Torah. Here we find rules for living in health and harmony in this world — as well as the penalties for breaking them.

    The revelation of a just God.

    “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Deut. 30:19

    On the other hand, the first five books of the New Testament, the four Gospels plus Acts, reveal the story of His mercy. But it must be accepted and applied to work. We still reap what we sow. Jesus paid the penalty but He also said, “Go and sin no more.”

    The revelation of a merciful God.

    House of Judah. House of Israel. Two houses, one family.

    “You are my witnesses say the Lord. “

    Liked by 4 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Dear Love–That is such a gift!!! God gave the old Law to show us what sin looked like. Back then, the best of the best tried and failed. Now that Jesus died for our sins, we have Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Sacramental Marriage, so we can be forgiven of our sins and we can follow the path to holiness. I can’t imagine how difficult life would be without the Church. –Jane

      Liked by 3 people

    • kari says:

      You are absolutely correct, that was God’s plan- two witnesses- Is 43. And these are most likely the same witnesses from the book of Revelation. They shall become one stick in the Father’s hand and there shall be one King over them. Ez 37

      Like

  10. Maggie says:

    I do not know about his “missionary zeal” but I am surely going to be patient and wait on the Lord. I agree that all the machinations of men can be blown away in an instant like so much chaff in the wind. My trust is in our Lord Jesus christ and his Blessed Mother. I am willing to watch and wait and see if this is the pope to lead us through the storm. We have an example in blessed Pius the ninth. He entered the papacy as a revolutionary but he became a holy reactionary. This certainly can happen again. The battle belongs to the Lord. And in the end the immaculate heart of Mary will triumph. This is a time of trial. We see that many of the elect are being led astray. We must keep our focus entirely centered on the truth.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Tom Harrington says:

    Dear Charlie, thank you for ‘The Pope & the Wolves’ – helps a lot! I’m sure many have happily followed Pope Francis and many have despised him. Still many like me have not judged him but have been confused, searching for an answer. Throughout my faith life I have had JPII and Benedict as my defenders of sanity, of traditional sensibility. Pope Francis is very different – he has seemed to defend my adversaries: “new-thinkers”. Yet we have our Lord’s promise to preserve the faithfulness of the Church. Your article gives me the confidence to wait for the answers.
    – Tom from Georgia

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Bob says:

    Yes I agree on the faith Francis has proved himself to be true and focused on God’s mercy, which he emphasized from his beginning when he spoke of how God looked at him with mercy: but on some of these side issues he is ill informed and I do hope we as a world will soon be given the grace to separate the wheat from the chaff as John once said so we can hold to what is true and stop wasting our time on the rest. Protecting the environment and confronting what truly makes our world worse is necessary but some ideas on these things seem misguided as many have said here. .

    Like

  13. Maria Mayol says:

    Dear Charlie,
    Very, very interesting! I’m really getting excited about Pope Francis and look forward to things unfolding. I know that he incites a lot of controversy because of his off-the-cuff communistic-sounding comments and his ignorance about the “global warning” fallacy. By the way, check out a 15-year old Israeli Boy’s near death experience. Just google “Israeli Boy”. You may already be familiar with it. He says that Gog is President Obama and that Obama and his army will invade Israel. Have you heard about this? Maybe I missed it in your blog. He says that Gog (Obama) will be buried in Israel (his mother, Stanley Anne Dunham, was Jewish).

    Like

  14. Beckita says:

    Thank you, Charlie. I took my time savoring this post, yet another primo piece! You cut through the chaos and confusion of the deepening Storm, imparting clear knowledge, insight and understanding. There is just so much on which to comment and the bottom line, for me, is the appreciation of how you constantly hone our minds and hearts in the safe and fitting support of Pope Francis.

    I also took the time to read Weigel’s outstanding assessment of what happened at the Synod. It is also a long piece and worth every word as he untangles the misperceptions and outright disinformation, at every complicated and contorted level, with clarity. Most of us are quite busy with holy day prep but if one does not have the time to read Weigel’s report at the moment, I believe it just cannot be skipped, especially if any of us are in communication with critics of His Holiness.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Kris says:

    Thought I would share this great link to the possibility that science has shown once more that the Shroud and the veil of Oviedo are real! Fascinating!
    http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2013/12/25/the-christmas-miracle-scientific-evidence-of-the-virgin-birth/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marie says:

      Thanks, Kris for posting this; will share with my son, (who’s going through a faith crisis), when he’s home over break from grad school-the usual intellectual pride clouds faith scenario. Hopefully this and grace will bring him back, sooner rather than later.

      Like

  16. Rick says:

    Thanks so much Charlie for this piece and your consoling words. It is good to know that the NWO elites will be tripping over their own arrogance and taken by surprise by unanticipated results and the conversions of some of the very people they are using to accomplish their sad agendas. History has proven these types wrong and will do that same in this era, despite all their efforts to pull out all the stops this time around. All the evil in the world stands no chance against the Blessed Mother her desire to unite us. Extremely trying yet ultimately great days ahead it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. luvadoxi says:

    Wow Charlie! Thank you for helping lift my spirits about the Faith and this Pope. And what a great story from your personal life–way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kelly S says:

    Charlie, thank you so much for this article. I’ve long loved Don Bosco and his dreams and when you showed the picture of the two popes and described them as our pillars it took my breath away!
    —KellyS

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Michael King says:

    Hi Charlie, Father Michael King here from Ontario. I’ve written to you once or twice before. I have always found you among the most believable visionaries in the contemporary Church and love your simple words of guidance for navigating the present storm;”Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.” That said, and I write the following with respect, I often find American Catholics seem to interpret the teachings of the Church through the filter of their pre-existing political beliefs and preferences (usually Republican among orthodox Catholics). Could it be that Pope Francis has something worthwhile to say in those areas concerning which you disagree with him?

    Liked by 3 people

  20. John Francis says:

    Thank you Charlie. Many points buoyed my spirit in that I’m not alone.
    john from Philly

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Phillip Frank says:

    The quote below is from The Pontifical Council titled,
    Jesus Christ. The Bearer Of The Water Of life.
    Reading this and hearing of Pope Francis’ desire for the environmental movement seem to be in conflict with one another.
    Charlie, could this be the “blunder” you mentioned that Pope Francis will make?
    I do not assume that he is interested in or actually for this deception, but that he is a victim of it.
    Quote;
    The perennial philosophical question of the one and the many has its modern and contemporary form in the temptation to overcome not only undue division, but even real difference and distinction, and the most common expression of this is holism, an essential ingredient in New Age and one of the principal signs of the times in the last quarter of the twentieth century. An extraordinary amount of energy has gone into the effort to overcome the division into compartments characteristic of mechanistic ideology, but this has led to the sense of obligation to submit to a global network which assumes quasi-transcendental authority. Its clearest implications are a process of conscious transformation and the development of ecology.(30) The new vision which is the goal of conscious transformation has taken time to formulate, and its enactment is resisted by older forms of thought judged to be entrenched in the status quo. What has been successful is the generalisation of ecology as a fascination with nature and resacralisation of the earth, Mother Earth or Gaia, with the missionary zeal characteristic of Green politics. The Earth’s executive agent is the human race as a whole, and the harmony and understanding required for responsible governance is increasingly understood to be a global government, with a global ethical framework. The warmth of Mother Earth, whose divinity pervades the whole of creation, is held to bridge the gap between creation and the transcendent Father-God of Judaism and Christianity, and removes the prospect of being judged by such a Being.

    In such a vision of a closed universe that contains “God” and other spiritual beings along with ourselves, we recognize here an implicit pantheism. This is a fundamental point which pervades all New Age thought and practice, and conditions in advance any otherwise positive assessment where we might be in favor of one or another aspect of its spirituality. As Christians, we believe on the contrary that “man is essentially a creature and remains so for all eternity, so that an absorption of the human I in the divine I will never be possible

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, this gets very much to the heart of things.

      Like

    • Mack says:

      In defense of Pope Francis–and I have been critical of his excessive interest in political and environmental issues and his particular take on it–I don’t think what he has been saying is anywhere near what this document is talking about. The document speaks of a philosophy that is essentially pantheistic. Pope Francis has never said anything like that. For example, in Laudato Si he writes: “The Bible teaches that every man and woman is created out of love and made in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26).” He is teaching the Biblical view of creation.
      I do agree that the pope seems to have a naive faith in global government and bodies like the UN. But that is quite different from the sort of “consciousness transformation” that the document speaks of, even if it seems they are alike.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Phillip Frank says:

    I was referring to the parallelism of the language used not the actual intent of Pope Francis and these interconnections being decifered by those without a rudder seeing it as full acceptance.
    Rather simple I think, one warning of the New World Order Deception, the other using some of the same NWO language in favor of it.
    Again, I do not think Pope Francis is even remotely involved in this NWO

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ktfjmt says:

    If I may ask, Mr Johnston, do you have links to articles that would inform me of “the philosophical infrastructure that make human freedom possible”? For those surving The Storm – what will be the guiding principles for building a just Catholic Christian society? Thank you if you see this and can help.

    Sincerely
    John Taylor

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You should read the summary for newcomers – linked at the top bar, and then use the search feature to pull up articles on the “Rescue.” I have written and spoken of it often, but there are several thousand pages of material here now. You might also check out the “Visit Videos” at the top bar and pull out the “Birmingham Video.”

      Basically, it will be a perfectly normal world. We will be given another chance. The rules of science, economics, and such will not be changed, It is our hearts that will be changed. I have often said the culture right now is so toxic it is like living in inner-city Detroit. You are besieged from all sides, even if you do your best. After the Rescue, it will be kind of like Mayberry – where it is assumed that people build each other up and treat each other with kindness. Perfectly ordinary – it is hearts that will be transformed. But it is important that we remember what we went through, for I am told that the next time there is a mass apostasy, it will herald the end.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Eric says:

        It is extremely difficult to envision how so many hearts will be converted for our world to get to that place, and how much healing and deliverance will be necessary thru that process.

        Like

      • RMD says:

        Charlie, not you too? Please stop with the Detroit bashing already. As one who grew up there and lived in the area most of my life, I can assure you that there are still many very good and honorable people living there. One example being the Capuchin monastery, in the heart of Detroit, that has run a soup kitchen for over 80 years and is where Fr. Solanus Casey’s tomb is. Detroit needs lifting up, not more piling on. Thanks, Bob

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Point taken, Bob. I love Chicago – my home, but there is no doubt that its political class has made a much uglier and more dangerous city than it once was. I guess I’ll be more impressed when citizens of the city quit complaining about outside forces and do something about the left-wing Democrats who have run their cities for over a half century or longer.

          Like

        • dianebelv says:

          RMD, I’ve joined bus trips to the Solanus Casey Center a couple of times in downtown Detroit, and really enjoyed my time there. The center is a wonderful place.

          Like

    • Doug says:

      Welcome here John!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      Echoing Doug’s Welcome to you, John!

      Like

  24. Miriam says:

    Hello all! I’ve been following on the sidelines the last couple of months, but felt the nudge to jump into the conversation with this post, “The Pope and the Wolves”. This piece (as with many others) has given me much to think and pray about. It also stirred memories from 2013, when we were in the sede vacante, and I was inspired to write a song called “A Pilgrim’s Way.” I received the idea for the chorus from Pope Benedict’s final Wednesday address, and his words came rushing back to me when reading this post on TNRS…here’s the passage from Benedict that has stayed with me:
    “[These years] have been a stretch of the Church’s pilgrim way, which has seen moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments. I have felt like St. Peter with the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days in which the catch has been abundant; [then] there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church it has ever been – and the Lord seemed to sleep. Nevertheless, I always knew that the Lord is in the barque, that the barque of the Church is not mine, not ours, but His – and He shall not let her sink. It is He, who steers her: to be sure, he does so also through men of His choosing, for He desired that it be so.”
    (http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-final-general-audience-full-text)

    …And for anyone who’d like to hear that song, you can hear it here (with the lyrics): https://soundcloud.com/miriam-rebecca/a-pilgrims-way

    God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you so much, Miriam – especially for your surrender to the simplicity of faith. Gald to have you in the Barque of Peter just as the winds are beginning to howl.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Welcome, Welcome, Miriam! Thanks for joining our Family in commenting here and thanks, too, for providing the link so that we could hear your beautiful music! It’s inspired!!!

      Many here, even at this late hour, have found that reading the archived posts with ensuing comments builds a solid background for understanding our times, in light of God’s Plan, as well as the foundational message of Acknowledging God, taking that next right step and becoming a sign of hope.

      One archived piece I’d like you to consider is this: https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/finally-the-song-of-thanksgiving/ The closing line notes: “This is the song of thanksgiving that rises in the world as rescue comes. I did check with my angel…and those of you who want to are welcome to put on a melody atop this ostinato.” There was a point in my life when I did a LOT of composing and had a congregation so willing to bring to life the songs Holy Spirit had tucked into this heart. So while I’ve been enamored by the idea of creating a melody for the ostinato (LOVE Taize music!), the actual calling is not there… yet.

      I’d love to see how the Holy Spirit might evoke a melody from your gifts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Miriam, that is absolutely breathtaking!

      Like

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Miriam, your song and your voice (that IS you singing, right?) are very, very beautiful.

      I loved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s parting words to the faithful and his separate talk with the cardinals. His talks were so very personal, uncharacteristically so. They gave a glimpse of how a truly humble yet extraordinarily intellectually and spiritually gifted man felt while serving as the successor of Peter.

      On his last day in office, here in a forest in Oregon where I live, a rainbow appeared across the meadow. It appeared in late morning and traveled across the sky for about five hours until it merged into Green Ridge on the eastern side of the basin. Considering the precise physical requirements for rainbows, I interpreted this as a sign of Amazing Grace. I knew that all would be well.

      Like

    • dianebelv says:

      Your song (and voice) is beautiful Miriam! Thank you for sharing that with us. Welcome Aboard! You are very welcome here! Listening to your song, I got the chills at one point, which I normally only get at Mass!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Dave says:

    Very wisely stated, Charlie. I probably am less concerned about what some people fear at blunders by our Holy Father. He is doctrinally sound, spiritually a giant, and speaks what he means. God bless you. I’m new here but have heard about you from friends here in Denver.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome here, Dave. Glad to have you. One of my closest Priest friends in Denver tells me he gets asked about me all the time. With a big grin he says, “I don’t know about his prophecies – but he’s not nuts!” (I think I will tell him he can say I am a little squirrelly). I appreciate your comments on Pope Francis. I was telling a close friend who deals with these sorts of things that I am getting worn out with all the panic over him. The more I see of him, the more heartened I get – despite the confusing things. God works in strange ways…but boy, does this Pope have the heart of a servant, impassioned for his Master and for the souls in his care.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Echoing Charlie’s WELCOME, Dave!

      Like

  26. dianebelv says:

    Hi Charlie! I just read this story tonight and I’m wondering if you have read it also? I understand that you may not want to put it on your blog, but I am sending it for your information. I think you’ll find it interesting. Maybe the Pope reads TNRS? :o) God Bless You and Yours and A Blessed Christmas to you and all the NRS folks!

    Here is that story:

    “In a grim speech, the Pope said that the current chaotic state of the world marks the beginning of the “end times”, and that this time next year the world is likely to be unrecognisable.

    Francis, who previously announced the beginning of World War 3, had labeled this year’s Christmas as a “charade” during a Mass at the Casa Santa Maria earlier in the month.

    “We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war,” he said earlier in December.

    The Pontiff, who turned 79 on Thursday, elaborated on his views this weekend, telling a crowd, “While the world starves, burns, and descends further into chaos, we should realize that this year’s Christmas celebrations for those who choose to celebrate it may be their last“.

    “Unless the path to peace is recognized, we must weep for those innocent victims who grow by the day, and ask God for forgiveness. As Jesus and God weeps, I do too“.

    from I.W.B., time.com, fox, and many more sources.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Remnant Clergy says:

    Unfortunately you will see the veneer stripped away as Francis will create a great schism and the one-world pagan Church. Please do open your eyes, as the deliberate ambiguity and omissions are all part of the plan. Holy Communion for adulterers? Not wanting the conversion of the Jews? Why aren’t such errors of Cardinal Kasper and such corrected? Because they are part of the diabolical plan. Have you ever wondered why nearly one million people signed a Filial Appeal petition asking Francis to *clearly* state the teachings of the Church. Read St. Francis of Assisi about God allowing a destroyer rather than a true pastor.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Okay, every once in a while I allow one of these apostates through to demonstrate what I deal with:

      A) No Holy Communion has been allowed for people who are in irregular marriages.

      B) The errors of Cdl. Kasper were rejected – in both the first session of the Synod and the second.

      C) The supposed “prophecy of St. Francis” you speak of was long ago proven to be a fraud, made of whole cloth several centuries after his death.

      When you – and your fellows who have been sniping at me – continually resort to bearing false witness to support your apostate aims, it is you who will be held to account, not Pope Francis. My advice to you is to go to Confession and then trust what Jesus, the Lord says, about preserving His Church and the faith of Peter. And if you won’t do that, why not, at least, become an honest Protestant instead of pretending to be Catholic while trying to torpedo the Church from within. I get along pretty well with honest Protestants. Shrieking saboteurs, not so much.

      For my regular readers – and for the sedevacantists prowling about – when I actually publish one of these for demonstration purposes, I get inundated with a bunch more. I don’t clear them. You want to talk about issues, fine. You want to start by blasting Pope Francis as illegitimate, that is banned here – except that occasionally people might see what is out there in the fever swamps.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. pbecke says:

    Intriguing and insightful post, Charlie, but with 180,000 people across the globe dying each day from starvation, pointing the finger at Red China in particular seems ill-informed, imbued by propaganda.

    The fact that politicians are power people who only use the first and second commandments as fronts does not invalidate the merits of statism. School-teachers who lived and worked in Red China said they had never come across any other people as happy as the Chinese. Moreover, leaving a hotel door unlocked was not viewed as an invitation to robbery, mugging or rape.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You obviously have read next to nothing of my work – or the comments here. I don’t do cheap drive-by stuff or propaganda. When you take the time to get familiar with the material – just the basic intro stuff at the top will do – and look at how we comment here, you will see. We agree and disagree freely, but we do NOT club each other with blunt instruments. After getting up to snuff, if this site is congenial to you, we will welcome you. If you want to dispute any points, have at it, but we don’t routinely accuse each other of propaganda here and we take the time to get familiar with the arguments each makes in some depth before commenting. Then we do it respectfully, rather than insultingly. Again, if that intrigues you, we will welcome you. If not, there are plenty of sites where you can score cheap points against each other without bothering to actually understand or address the arguments presented. They will welcome you. Here, not so much.

      Liked by 3 people

  29. Gabriel says:

    I’m afraid you’re wrong about the pope in regards to his stance on economic and environmental issues. WHY is it that the pope is labeled an ignoramus about the economy when he reminds people that GREED is a sin? After all, the oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23), and defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4) are counted among the Four Sins considered so grave that they “cry for vengeance from heaven”, along with murder (Gn 4:10), sodomy (Gn 17:20-21).

    Yes, capitalism and the free market boosts economies, but it also spawns materialism, consumerism, greed and injustice, as can be seen in many countries where capitalism is the bulwark of the economy. The pope never condemned capitalism but rather, took issue with the warts and abuses which are the product of capitalism. After all, it was Jesus who said one cannot serve both God and Mammon.

    As for the environment, the pope is right on that too. We have all seen pictures of toxic lakes, dead rivers and destroyed environments; if man is capable of destroying not only nature but man himself—what makes you think man cannot pollute the atmosphere to the extent of causing an imbalance in climate and weather patterns? After all, it was Jesus who said that in the last days “On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”-Luke 21-25

    Man has managed to systematically destroy human life to the extent of creating a Culture of Death, what makes you think this does not extend to the destruction of the environment itself?

    Yes, the Political Left thrives on the motto “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, and they use the environmental disasters as political footballs. But the Political Right does so as well, as environmental issues often means the curving of big business and a cut into the profit$. As for the actual scientific data regarding Global Warming, yes there has been global warming in ages past eons ago; but the cause for alarm today is the fact that the warming is happening on a much faster pace than ever before. To understand what is happening, picture the line on a rising stock on the NY Stock Exchange. If you zoom in to look at short periods of data you will have rises and plunges in the stock line. But if you zoom out to see the big picture you will see the trend going UP UP UP.

    It’s no coincidence that on the side supporting Global Warming you have throngs of scientists, while on the side that rejects the premise you mostly have politicians..

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      No, Gabrielle, you DON’T have throngs of scientists on the side of Global Warming. That famous 97% business they love to quote – that came from a little survey of less than 40, all whose livelihoods are dependent on Global Warming grants from government. It is astonishing under the circumstances that they had three dissent. You have huge numbers of ACTUAL scientist involved now pooh-poohing the anthropogenic part.

      Greed has nothing to do with the laws of economics. And those laws say that the sort of “solutions” the Pope touts have always impoverished the poor. This is strangely incoherent. You care so much about the poor, you want to make it far worse for them and make far more of them? And in the process, you want to adopt systems that, as they break down, have always done great damage to the environment?

      One of the rules here is that feeling the right way does not relieve people from coming up with solutions that actually do some good instead of making things worse. Thank you for helpfully telling me I am wrong about these things. It would have been even more helpful if you would have added some facts and evidence supporting it instead of intense feelings that it must be so, because you feel it so intensely. I kind of expected a better critique from you.

      Like

      • Gabriel says:

        Again, the pope is not condemning capitalism, but rather the abuses that exist in a system where the poor are eaten exploited in the name of profit and greed. Unless of course you deny the existence of sweat shops and slave labor which obviously qualify as one of the Four Sins crying out for vengeance from heaven. Yes, most of the products you buy are produced by cheap labor in third world countries. Capitalism may be the best system for producing wealth but you are in denial if you do not think that certain nations and people are exploited in the name of profit, and that is what Pope Francis is taking aim at. To portray the pope as an anti-capitalist is simply spreading misinformation. As for the environment and Global Warming, from your profile it doesn’t look like you are a climatologist, which means that you are putting your trust in those who say that man-made Global Warming is a hoax. But there are plenty of non-political scientific resources which present the reality of a rapid pace of warming. For example see: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/noaa-analysis-journal-science-no-slowdown-in-global-warming-in-recent-years.html

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Gabriel, you seem sincere, but you are throwing up a straw man that confuses the issue rather than illuminates it. (Actually, several straw men). I did not say the Pope condemns capitalism – and the business about denying sweat shops, slave labor and such is a complete non sequitur. Rather, I said the Pope’s seeming preferred solutions almost invariably make the problem worse. And getting back to your non sequitur, you know where slave labor and sweat shops are most common? In the very countries that most vigorously centralize power and run a command economy. It is as if I told you were picking up some weight, so you need to start eating 10 jelly donuts a day to solve the problem. When you state a problem, if you offer a solution, it needs to actually help rather than hurt. That I think your proposed solution is absurd does NOT mean I deny the problem.

          Then, you note I am not a climatologist. No, but what does that have to do with anything? I assigned many people to do research on various topics and in various fields that are not my specialty. When they brought me their results, I expected them to be able to answer my questions on it coherently and in a way that made sense. If they could not, they went back to the drawing board or they did not work for me for long. That is why we usually have generalists making final decisions. I don’t need to be a chef to know whether the food is good, nor do I need to be a mechanic to know whether my car is running properly. Those who do have specialized expertise are expected to answer questions, accurately explain how a system should work, and back their conclusions up with data that actually support it.

          Here are some problems with the mercenary science that clings like remoras to government statists who want support for centralizing power:

          1) Fifteen years ago, the NOAA, which you link to, said that satellite data was the most accurate possible. Then the satellite data showed that global warming stopped almost 19 years ago. Now the NOAA has reversed position – for no discernible reason other than that the satellite data does not support their conclusion – and their jobs are dependent on saying there is global warming.

          2) There have been a host of scandals – not least, the doctored data at East Anglia. Dissenters are banned from peer-reviewed magazines, then it is claimed that no serious scientist publishes in peer-reviewed publications. Because they are not allowed to make their case. That is not science; that is an extortion racket. Advocates are not trying to win with better documentation and evidence, but by suing, intimidating and threatening the jobs of those who don’t toe the line. Again, that is not science. With Mark Steyn’s recent publication of “A Disgrace to the Profession…”, climatologists – and hard scientists in related fields – have been coming out of the woodwork to denounce the fraudulent and strong-arm tactics used by statist politicians and their mercenary clients in scientific institutions to enforce uniformity instead of actual research and debate.

          3) ALL the major predictions of these mercenary scientists have failed and been proven wrong over the last five decades. ALL of them. It is a record of failure that makes the ’63 Mets look downright competent.

          You have substituted worship of credentials for a respect for competence. If a financial analyst, however well-credentialed, constantly got it wrong, you would be prudent to dismiss him. Before I take these guys seriously, they need to get a few predictions actually right. They have yet to get out of the gate with one.

          Now it is the job of the generalist to ask incisive questions. Here are a few I use:

          1) Is global warming real? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. The climate is a complex dynamic system with millions of feedback loops. It is constantly adjusting and reacting to millions of factors. Too many laymen – and some mercenary scientists – treat it as a static system and develop the vapors any time anything changes. Dynamic systems are ALWAYS changing. What you have to determine is whether the changes are outside of normal cyclical fluctuations.

          2) If global warming were happening, what would be the bad and good effects? Through the ’70s, activists were almost universal in their belief that some warming would be very beneficial, increasing crop yields and arable land and reducing drought. But when the “unstoppable” coming new ice age of the ’70s abruptly stopped and a slight warming trend was detected, suddenly activists did not believe some warming would be a blessing. Instead, they treated it as a new crisis, needing the same solution as the old, opposite one. Massive power shifted and centralized into the hands of the very people who had just gotten it entirely wrong. Again, that is not science, but ideology.

          3) If it is happening, is it man-made? Certainly man has an effect. Man is one of the millions of factors that play into the feedback loops – and he is certainly a big one. But so far, the suspects raised of man-made causes are dubious. Global temperatures have both cooled when large amounts of CO2 have been in the atmosphere and warmed when those gases have diminished – and vice versa. In each of these cases, there is usually a brief period where a measurable effect is seen, then a feedback loop kicks in and things stabilize. The single thing that seems to have the biggest effect is solar activity, over which we have no control. But even there, the feedback loops kick in to stabilize things unless there is something overwhelming and sustained.

          4) If it were man-made, would the proposed solutions make things better? Even the climate change advocates say that their proposals would have little discernable effect on the environment over the next century. Rather, they argue, it shows we care and are doing something. That is the most contemptibly idiotic argument of all. Let us cast tens of millions into grinding poverty, reduce first-world countries into third-world hellholes, so that upper middle class westerners can feel good about themselves?! Those who seriously advocate that are likely to find themselves experiencing some very real and uncomfortable warming in the next life.

          The best actual evidence I have seen is that we are in a mild cooling trend over the last few centuries. Within the decade long peaks and valleys associated with long-term trends, there is more than a little evidence of that. It is a gentle trend, but if it persists, give it a little time and you will be hearing again about the new unstoppable ice age. Just like when I was a teenager. Remember – you heard it here first…and I am not even a climatologist. Just a fellow who knows that a horse chestnut and a chestnut horse are not the same thing.

          Liked by 7 people

          • victura98 says:

            Charlie, this “reply” is worthy of publication, in its own right. Sincerely, it could easily be a stand-alone article that would benefit many readers. Please consider disseminating this to a wider audience, if possible.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Thanks, Victura. I have a hard time searching comments (no key words to guide me), so with this one I copied it into a Word Document which I put in a folder I have labeled “templates.” That way I will be able to reach in easily and reprint or rework into an article when the need arises. I should have done that long ago, but by starting now, that will help when new waves of readers come on and ask old questions.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Gabriel says:

            If you read carefully, Pope Francis is taking aim at unbridled capitalism. Thus he stated:

            “Unbridled capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to receive, of exploitation without looking at the person.”

            The problem is the myriad of bloggers and web reports spinning the pope,s words to fashion their own conclusions. But if you did your homework you would realize that pope Francis is simply echoing what Pope Benedict XVI had said before. Benedict repeatedly slammed, denounced and condemned unbridled capitalism. Simply do a search for Pope Benedict and Capitalism, and you will find the headlines. So why do you criticize Francis and not Benedict? And read Benedict’s Encyclical on capitalism and the economy “Charity in Truth” and you will find the same solutions given by Francis.
            As for sweatshops and slave labor, you asked where these are most common. Realize that sweatshops and slave labor are usually found in poor countries that produce all the goodies that are in high demand in rich countries where consumerism and materialism are rampant and the worship of mammon is a common. In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict lamented:

            “Confronted with the abuse of economic power, with the cruelty of capitalism that degrades man into merchandise, we have begun to see more clearly the dangers of wealth and we understand in a new way what Jesus intended in warning us about wealth.”

            In another chapter, Benedict decries how the wealthy have “plundered” Africa and the Third World both materially and spiritually through colonialism. “Instead of giving them their God, the God that is close to us in Christ, and welcome from their traditions all that is dear and great … we brought them the cynicism of a world without God, in which only power and profit matters”. He also criticized the lifestyles of the wealthy, citing “victims of drugs, of human trafficking, of sexual tourism, people destroyed on the inside, who are empty despite the abundance of their material goods.”

            So I am perplexed as to why Pope Francis is treated with such disdain, when Pope Benedict had said the same and much more, regarding the injustices brought by unbridled capitalism. And his solutions are echoed by Francis.

            As for Global Warming, I notice your sources are laymen bloggers. I showed you the graph published by NOAA. Again, like the line on a rising stock market chart, there will be rises and dips, but the big picture shows the rapid trend which is warming at an alarming rate. As for the scandals, yes there was some exaggerations by the rank and file, but the proof is in the pudding. All the glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Look at this:
            http://chicagoweathercenter.com/blog/the-proofs-there-for-all-to-see-the-planets-glaciers-virtually-all-of-them-are-melting-as-the-planet-warms-5-trillion-tons-of-ice-has-melted-in-greenland-and-antarctica-alone

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Actually, the ice cap in both the Arctic and the Antarctic have been increasing in recent years – and quite dramatically in the Antarctic. But wait long enough and it will recede again. Dynamic fluctuations. Glaciers often melt from the top as they gather bulk below. That has been going on for at least 6,000 years continuously.

            I don’t know, at this point, whether you are sincere or not. You argue against points I have not made…do not address the points I make, then argue vigorously on something I have not said as if it is at the heart of the matter. Let us stipulate that crony capitalism is not free market economics at all – it is, in fact, economic fascism. That is STILL not an argument in favor of systems that have consistently made poverty worse. Sadly, most of the people who argue most vociferously against the ills of capitalism seem downright enthusiastic about crony capitalism. I’m sorry, but I think we are done here.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, Charlie!!! And I was just going to write what you commented, Victura! I realize not everyone has time to read the comments after each major piece but OH! what a loss to miss the ensuing discussions with your further illuminations, Charlie.

            Before my last bout of illness, followed by holy days prep, I had started my own project of another reread through the archives in which I had been simply copying your comments from the discussions, Charlie. I had been pondering several ways to collate them, when our TNRS answering service team began hatching a few ideas. (SteveBC dubbed me some sort of coalescer. I told him if it was a coal-whatever that had anything to do with global warming I quit!) Seriously, I’ll be happy to share my results with you, Charlie, as I plan to dig back into the work in the New Year. It should make many of your response gems, in their many facets, much more accessible to you!

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Charlie, I agree with Victura. Also, I was wondering if perhaps your response to Gabriel would make a good TNRS Answers FAQ? Steve, Beckita, Ellen, thoughts?

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            It well might, Mick. I largely leave those decisions to you who handle it. Sometime, I will probably rework it for a piece, but right now I am busy working up the Family of God theme that is going to dominate for a time and I want to get the foundation laid solidly for that on the main body of the site.

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            I know everyone would like to put this issue to bed with a superb, diamond-clear TNRS post or FAQ. It’s both too complex and too likely to be ignored by those who have contracted the AGW illness.

            There are enormous efforts, whole websites, books, movies, etc., dedicated to explaining why CO2 is good and we need more of it, and that the sun is now in a cooling phase for the next several decades, and that NOAA, James Hansen, Michael Mann, and East Anglia have manipulated ground-based data and ignored satellite data, built models that give hockey sticks even when the model is fed random data, and written massive GCMs (Global Circulation Models) so dependent on initial conditions and provided with unjustified positive feedback mechanisms that they are worthless.

            Yet still the nattering nabobs go on about humans burning up the planet.

            I recommend that instead of trying to persuade people that human-caused global warming is not only a crock but actively dangerous to humans, animals and especially plants now starved for CO2, we ask Charlie to declare the subject outside the purview of this site and his mission and then toss any comment that refers to human-caused global warming except *perhaps* in a humorous or satirical way.

            This site already has enough material on the subject. Prayer for the nabobs is the only remaining effective method of conversion. Someday, God will act and the scales will fall from their eyes. It doesn’t look like anything else will work.

            I’m not as upset as my words above might indicate. However, I’ve been trying to persuade people about this literally since 1998 when it first became obvious to me that it was a fraud, and I’m tired of talking about it. I know Charlie gets tired of answering the same questions frequently, but at least those questions are about his mission and what is coming and what can be done to meet what is coming, all of which are directly related to the purpose of this website. The AGW subject is not within that group of questions.

            I would like to recommend that we move on.

            Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            SteveBC, for the time being as the topic relates to Our Holy Father, Pope Francis in many cases and is cause for confusion, clarification is key. Just my 2¢ worth.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kim sevier says:

            Yes Stevebc– beating a very dead horse! I second your proposal.

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Okey doke, Steve. 🙂

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            I think you’re very wise to suggest moving on, Steve. At the same time, what I do like about just one FAQ to refute the concept of “climate change caused by humans” is the ability to give at least one reference for those sincerely asking. People may then take it or leave it, agree or disagree. Done. Bless and release.

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Beckita, I’m of two minds on this. In my experience the primary reason that people who favor the AGW hypothesis become willing to switch is their perception of the credibility of the person saying it’s not real. Around my neighborhood where people know me as credible, if a neighbor asks (and they have), I now simply say something like, “I’ve looked into it in detail and find no reason to agree that it is true and many reasons to state that it is not.” Then they say, “Oh, OK.” and they go on with their life.

            Like Pope Francis we here on this site have no apparent credibility on this issue. Many of us have discussed this earlier, so a search will show to those interested what we’ve said. Again, though, we don’t happen to have the credibility chops to go up against the people who say it’s real and who have previously “persuaded” our visitors. Those people are scientists, public figures, and so on.

            I think it reasonable for Charlie to approve new comments from new visitors asking about this issue, or for Charlie to deny the comments. I would suggest that Charlie approve them more often than not, and then he could say something like the following:

            “We’re happy to have you visit and welcome you to our community. We no longer discuss this issue in detail, but many members of this community, some with serious credibility on this matter, have commented extensively in the past. The clear consensus is that humans do not have significant effects on climate and that the next few decades may very well see the globe cool as the sun quiets. Although comments cannot be searched directly, you can use the Search field to find Posts where I may have dealt with this issue (often in relation to Pope Francis). I also encourage you to go back and read all Posts to date and to read as many of the comments below those posts as you can. You will find a wealth of information on all sorts of subjects (including climate change) in the material already on this site.”

            If that doesn’t appeal, then I recommend that Charlie pull together a simple Post on the subject written from his perspective and gathering whatever information he deems fit to include (including about Pope Francis in relation to this issue), and then after that he can simply point people to that post. If it’s a Post, we can all have one last orgy of commenting on that subject, and it will be done. That’s actually not a bad way to deal with any lingering major issue – Charlie writes a Post and we all add our comments, and then it’s down and done.

            Liked by 3 people

          • YongDuk says:

            What AGW?

            Like

          • Regina says:

            AGW stands for Anthropogenic Global Warming

            Like

        • Beckita says:

          Great points, Steve! There are several very good ways to make this helpful for sincere commenters. I do agree with Victura that this most recent comment is worth a page.

          YD, I do believe AGW=anthropogenic global warming… yes, Steve?

          Like

  30. Robert Cunningham says:

    Charlie

    Just an FYI that Michael Brown linked the Pope and the Wolves article to his Spirit Daily site today. I have read many of his books and he is a good Catholic journalists. My family and I also met him and his family a few years ago in Dallas when he put on a retreat there. He does somewhat strike me as someone cut from the same cloth as you: ordinary folk doing extraordinary work

    Robert

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Regina says:

    Our priest once said: “would you put your father on the pulpit and tell all he does wrong to the community to hear” he then added :”neither do we want to do this to our spiritual Father”

    My personal observation is that when he speaks I do not always understand because I think he does not give structure to his message.

    it is like if I wanted to talk to my husband about candles while he is digging a hole in the garden to plant potatoes…

    I still pray for our Pope and as long as the intimate part of our Faith is not in trouble… it’s fine.

    Thank you for all your research… we appreciate each word written…

    Liked by 3 people

  32. william neu says:

    Charlie,

    With all due respect how in the world can you say this pope is rock solid on Faith and morals?
    Have you seen the breath-taking wordsmithing of this man? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Dlt6gzB-4 (10 min video)

    Thank goodness some prelates are enlightened enough to see through his verbose rhetoric of answering questions with an ambiguous drawl of another question; then brave enough to stand up and state Catholic Truth, publicly: http://aleteia.org/2015/11/30/cardinal-sarah-and-bishop-schneider-respond-to-pope-francis-comments-on-intercommunion/

    Charlie, Can you please email me and explain how you can justify your support of this twisted garbage of intercommunion. And now it appears he wants to use the handy tool of excommunication (in an anti-canon law way) as a magic wand to achieve his “reforms”: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/papal-critics-threatened-with-excommunication-as-year-of-mercy-begins

    Please take a good heavy, long and determined look at the links found in the the last link above. And please get back to me about this Faith and morals stuff. I simply cannot see your point of view. Have you seen any of these stories?

    Bill

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Actually, William, I had read and seen all of them. I very much appreciate you putting up the formal links to bolster your case, though. That makes it much easier for people to follow your argument.

      I was speaking of faith and morals in the formal sense of Magisterial teaching – and those matters which are within the Pope’s legitimate authority. Pope Francis certainly says more than a few things in an off-the-cuff, ambiguous manner. That has led to some misinterpretation – and some legitimate doubt about where he is coming from. Shoot, it encouraged the wolves I spoke of to feel confident that he would be with them on formally proclaimed Magisterial teaching. But it is striking and notable that on formal teaching, he has been entirely orthodox. People could certainly have been led to wonder what he was going to do based on some of the things he was saying. But as his formal proclamations have remained solidly orthodox, there should be a growing confidence that, despite the “messes” he sometimes seems to delight in making, he remains a solidly orthodox Pope.

      Even in the example you cite there is substantial ambiguity. The way he phrased it led some (and with good reason, I might add) that he was inviting people into Communion without being actually in communion with the Church. It could also be interpreted as an invitation to the woman to conversion – to actually enter into full communion. Now I would – and often did with my clients – advise a more precise way of speaking that is not easily misinterpreted. Yet I think the Pope leads with his heart…dearly wanting this woman to come into full communion…but stays steady on formal doctrine. That is often messy. It can – and has – created uncertainty.

      As for the Cardinal who suggested automatic excommunication for those who disagree with the Pope, I am not sure whether that was just ignorant jack-assery or wolfish jack-assery, but it certainly is offensive and ignorant and has no place in the discussion. I have already said there are many wolves on the prowl in both the Vatican and the Curia.

      But God does have a plan. I suspect, but do not know, that it will ultimately capture more converts than what most realize right now. Certainly, I have no doubt this woman felt the Pope’s heart reaching out to her. What a glory it would be if hers reached back fully. In any case, it is perfectly legitimate to argue over whether a particular statement of the Pope’s is ill-advised or not. But he has solidly stuck to orthodoxy in his formal proclamations on faith and morals.

      I appreciate you offering me your email address for further discussion. I am so swamped, though, that I keep the discussion here. If you have a point you think I have missed or not given sufficient emphasis to, just send a note to the tnrs.answers@gmail.com. They are very good at passing on to me those things I might have missed. But your largely courteous tone (a few blunt objects there, but mostly courteous) fits here okay. I only ban those apostates who insist the Pope is the False Prophet or an anti-pope. Arguing about whether he is on target or not is fine. Just don’t be surprised to get a few sharp elbows to go with those you give. Thanks for joining the discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Bill, as a Roman Catholic Bishop, with fairly substantial education both secular and theological, I always ask myself why do people come on this site to spar with Charlie when Charlie’s mission as demarcated on this site is to prepare people spiritually for the Storm. Charlie clearly speaks on people being united to the Barque of Peter to ensure their enduring and to minister to others for the sake of helping them endure the Storm.

      There are several priests here as well and others far more well versed in theology than the sound bites and such above.

      Happily we too would be willing to defend our Holy Father…

      Liked by 6 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Thanks, YD. Actually, a little sparring is kind of like a grindstone – it keeps me sharp. I was thinking of you at midnight on Christmas, YD!

        Liked by 3 people

      • Kim sevier says:

        Oh YongDuk thank you for that message. What a great place this website is. I am continually warmed by the joy and support and love that permeates. Sure does seem like we are in a very unique environment here. Is this a preview of life after the rescue? Or did someone already posit that? Love to you all my spiritual family!

        Liked by 4 people

      • docallanw says:

        YD, I hold a masters degree in theological studies and I, too, stand with Our Holy Father! Thanks for your brilliant comments.
        Merry Christmas!

        Liked by 2 people

  33. Regina says:

    Thank you so much, Charlie! I have just now join in and already my heart is bubbling, with your words of encouragement about Pope Francis. I got caught in the web of uncertainty,… why not now pray for our Faith, our Pope and also for God’s grace to come and set things right, when they are not, or perhaps even help us see His purpose in all things.

    We will pray for this site to continue to be guided by the Holy Spirit…

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Charlie, traveling on business is one of my least favorite activities, but it does have the upside of allowing some time to catch up on some past posts you made that I need to catch up on.

    Thank you for this article. This Pope is really somewhat of an enigma to me, but I think your balanced approach to him has really helped me keep a level head with respect to him. I witness friends of mine in a sort of uncontrolled apoplectic state with everything the Pope says and does, thinking at every turn schism awaits. And yet, I myself have been left nearly speechless with many of his views on governmental and economic matters, and his embracing of the legitimacy of climate change. I think it is very important and valuable for you to remind us that the Pope can at once be a great and moral man and is put in place for us for this season and for a reason, while still validly separating the things that are not part of that path and to the extent possible limiting our concern with them.

    I remember reading an article on a Catholic website that had some people out of sorts over something or another with respect to Francis, and one of the comments – presumably a faithful Catholic – wrote “Ugh. I am sooo ready for this Papacy to be over.” I wondered to myself if the person who wrote that realized they had just openly wished for the death of the Pope. And whether or not that person would mourn the Pope’s death whenever that time should come. It seems so contradictory to what a faithful Catholic should be feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, you are so right, Diatribe. We are in deeply treacherous waters…and the best men in a storm are those who get more deliberate and steady as the winds and waves rise, not those who are constantly reacting with hysteria.

      Like

  35. Daughter of the Church says:

    This answers questions we’ve had about the Pope. Seems that evil man Soros Paid the left to silence the Pope on critical issues.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/30/george-soros-paid-left-wing-groups-to-silence-pope-francis-on-abortion/

    Like

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