Fr. Regis on the Synod

(This piece, written by Fr. Regis Scanlon, just appeared in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, a magazine that ought to be getting ever more attention. I thought it perfectly illustrates why I so admire Fr. Regis. He has a lively and original mind, constantly seeking to evangelize. While both his homilies and his writing are straightforward and direct, cutting right to the heart of the matter through all the clutter, he is always upbeat, charitable – and funny. He loves to laugh. I once joked with him that had he not been a Priest, he would have made a great stand-up comedian. In Denver, Fr. Regis works tirelessly to build the Julia Greeley Home for homeless women, which I will wrote more about in the next few weeks. Meantime, this piece is one of the two best and most insightful pieces I have read concerning the Synod on the Family. Please read it in its entirety. You will come away knowing more than you did before.-CJ)

How the Synod of 2015 Ignored the Real Problem, 50 Years in the Making

It’s hard to believe now, but at the beginning of the year, Synod 2015 was predicted to be a possible game changer for the Church. According to various media reports, the Synod promised to be: “stormy,” “intense,” a time of “great expectations,” and (the ultimate, irresistible comparison), “the equivalent of the Super Bowl.”1 Instead—to continue the game analogy—it may be more accurate to say the Synod ended in a draw.

Yes, it did result in some direct exchanges, even challenges, and produced an acceptable document. The bishops who were so eager to raise the “red flag” questions about the irregularly married being able to receive communion, have returned to their cathedrals and universities, apparently satisfied that they were able to make their case. While they did not convince the majority of the bishops, they continued to voice words of dissent about the decisions of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.2 In other words, it appears that we’re back to business as usual.

It’s probably too much to ask that sophisticated, self-confident bishops, who feel secure in their theological positions would change their minds about anything. No, the real danger to the Faith is the likelihood that “ordinary” Catholics around the world are still confused about the truth when it comes to divorce, remarriage, and communion. If you doubt that this is the case, here’s a test: round up a small group of Catholics and ask them: “What was the main message of the Synod? What did the Synod finally say about Church teachings about the Eucharist, and Catholics who had divorced and remarried outside the Church?”

I think you’ll find that everybody believes exactly what they believed before the Synod—and that the Synod’s final document didn’t do a thing to change their “opinion.” That’s because the Synod failed to inspire. The Synod should have been a rousing defense of the Catholic faith. It should have strengthened Catholics, and focused their minds on the truths of the faith, so they could stand up and defend the Church’s teachings on faith and morals in the midst of a degenerate society—in fact, in a degenerate world. But most of all, the Synod should have resulted in strong, unambiguous, concrete action by the Pope and the bishops, aimed at solving the faith and moral divisions occurring within the Church. Yes, that’s right—within the Church.

The bishops knew this—at least, we can assume most of them did—but for some reason they drew back from engaging in the fight for truth. They sorely needed the famous reminder from St. John Paul II: “Be not afraid.”

Perhaps, fear is the real problem in the Catholic Church today. It certainly looks like that. There is a fear that the world will hate us. There is a fear of ridicule. There is a fear that to stand up against modern ideas will produce a backlash that cannot be contained. Fear is a powerful force, and when it’s combined with a pride that is rooted in the desire to be loved and accepted by the world, the result is that the Church appears to be powerless. (We know the Church isn’t truly powerless—“The gates of hell will not prevail” (Matt. 16:18)—but at this point in history, she is appearing that way to the world, and sadly, to many Catholics.)

This problem—fear, combined with a pride that seeks the love of the world—is as old as the human race. But when it invades the heart of the Church, it becomes like a cancer. It goes to the core of our Catholic faith. In other words, it’s unhealthy that so many bishops and pastors are worrying about winning approval from the world, and from each other, as if they were members of a stuffy country club. Whether it’s caused by fear, ambition, or “political correctness” doesn’t matter. It would be healthier if they would have a roll-up-the-sleeves, knock-down, drag-out fight about what they really believe.

Could it be that the desire to get the fight started, and to bring it out in the open, was what Pope Francis had in mind when he chose Cardinal Walter Kasper (a key radical) to give one of the initial talks at Synod 2015? It certainly seems to fit with Pope Francis’ advice to the young on July 25, 2013, at World Youth Day. He told them to go back to their dioceses, and make a “mess.” He said: “I want trouble in the dioceses.”3 Even though the official Vatican translation of the Pope’s words toned down his speech, everyone knows this Pope has come to stir things up.4

It’s my belief that, yes, the Holy Father is trying to breathe some fight into the Church by showcasing what we’re up against, as for example, by clearly showing the desire by some powerful bishops (like Cardinal Kasper) to transform the Church into the world’s “buddy.” The Holy Father’s tactics have caused many Catholics (I hear from them all the time) to think that this Pope is weak. I do not agree. I am persuaded that, in his own clever way, Pope Francis is drawing out all the opponents into the open, onto the battlefield. It’s as if he’s silently encouraging the Church: “It’s time to fight back!”

But fighting back takes strength, and right now the Church appears to be weak because fear, worldly ambition, and pride have resulted in a sickness of leadership called “dissent.” I believe the sickness of dissent can be traced to three very specific moments in history: when numbers of bishops, theologians and teachers decided to reject three Church documents. This rejection, on a worldwide scale since the mid-20th century, has resulted in a growing sickness in the Church, whose main symptom is a lack of will. This sickness has led to a widespread, institutionalized dissent which now has come out into the open, most recently in the events surrounding Synod 2015.

I would like to explore, in detail, the effects of dissent from these three core documents. They are: (1): The Second Vatican Council’s 1964 “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” (Lumen Gentium), which clearly established the authority of the Pope; (2): the 1965 encyclical, Mysterium Fidei, re-proclaiming the truth that the Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Christ; and (3) the great, pro-life prophecy of Pope Paul VI, promulgated in his final encyclical, Humanae Vitae (1968). Each of these documents represented historic teaching moments in the Church, and each of them was rejected, almost immediately, by great numbers of Church leaders. Over time, the result has been a great diminishing of the Church’s teaching strength. While we must continue to hope for the best, it’s clear that the ability of the Church to teach the Catholic Faith has become largely paralyzed by an eagerness to be accepted by the world, and a fear of “pushing back.”

As we know, dissent within the Church is found throughout the world. However, for simplicity’s sake, let’s use the Church in the United States as our main model of how the dissent, that rose from the rejection of three, key Church documents, became institutionalized in documents, parishes, universities, and in seminaries.

Lumen Gentium (1964): Institutionalized “dissent” begins in the Church
For the past 50 years, Catholics, especially bishops and theologians, have been dissenting from no. 25 of the Second Vatican Council’s 1964 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), which taught that everyone must “adhere to” the decisions of the Pope in matters of faith and morals ”with a loyal submission of will and intellect … even when he does not speak ex cathedra.” And this means that “the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”

Even prior to the Second Vatican Council, however, a theological opinion had been gaining traction, namely that a person could dissent from a pope’s non ex cathedra “faith and moral” teachings as long as he had good reasons. Gradually, this opinion worked its way into the theological training of seminarians.5

So, many Church leaders, who were under the impression that they were just following the advice of good theologians, perhaps inadvertently, rejected an essential teaching in no. 25 of Lumen Gentium. And now the Church is in the position of a man who leaves a small wound untended: by ignoring an apparently insignificant lesion, he must now contend with a cancer that has grown and multiplied throughout his entire body. This lesion—which began when dissent over Lumen Gentium went largely unchallenged in 1964—festered and grew, leading to the next stages of rebellion and, ultimately, to the widespread divisiveness we see in the Church today.

After 1964, the ugly cancer of dissent metastasized when great numbers of prominent Catholic leaders (beginning with theologians, professors and intellectuals) publicly rejected the two other crucial documents: Mysterium Fidei (Divine Life), and Humanae Vitae (Human Life).

Mysterium Fidei (1965): Dissent over the truth of the Eucharist
Mysterium Fidei supported and bolstered the core teaching of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) which taught as a dogma of divine faith that, at the words of consecration of the Mass, there is a “conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and the entire substance of wine into the blood” of Jesus Christ, a change the Church calls “transubstantiation.”6

However, when this teaching from the Council of Trent was defended by Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei, bishops and theologians boldly dissented. They rejected Pope Paul VI’s statements in numbers 44 and 46, that the Eucharist is not merely a “symbol” but rather the “physical ‘reality’” of Christ which is “bodily” and “substantially” present.”

In fact, the German Jesuit Karl Rahner, one of the most prestigious theologians of the 20th century, with influence around the world (and with a powerful following in the United States), offered this statement in his Theological Dictionary about the meaning of “transubstantiation”: “Hence transubstantiation means a change of finality and being in the bread and wine, because they are raised to being symbols of Christ who is present there, and invites men to spiritual union.” 7

Rahner’s view, which reduced transubstantiation to a mere change in the bread and wine as a “symbol” or sign of Christ, spread throughout the Church like a wildfire. The Catholic Bishops in the United States even permitted a bestselling book , Christ Among Us, to be used as a catechism for children and adults for well over a decade, starting in 1969—until the Vatican made the bishops remove the imprimatur.

This book sold between 1.6 million to 2 million copies, and continued to sell even after the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith ordered Archbishop Peter L. Gerety of Newark to remove the imprimatur.8 In this book, the author, Anthony Wilhelm, explained transubstantiation in the following, very un-Catholic, manner: “When we say that the bread and wine ‘become Christ’ we are not saying that bread and wine are Christ, … (but) … that the bread and wine are a sign of Christ present, here and now, in a special way—not in a mere physical way, … “.9 So, beginning about fifty years ago, throughout the United States, in countless classrooms, religious education courses, and even in seminaries, the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation was gradually diminished or cheapened. It was replaced by the heresy that, after the consecration, Christ is not “bodily” and “substantially” present, but is in the Eucharist merely as a “sign” or “symbol” (Code of Canon Law, no. 751)

Humanae Vitae (1968): Dissent intensifies and hardens within the Church
However, the biggest firestorm of dissent was still ahead. It came in 1968, with the release of the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, the magnificent defense of life, and the rejection of the idea that human beings are morally free to interfere in God’s creation of life.

Let’s remember that Paul VI had kept an open mind about artificial birth control. He commissioned a major study to determine if, in addition to abstinence, there was a non-contraceptive method which the Church could approve, as a possible manifestation of God’s will. While the commission could not find another non-contraceptive method, they decided on their own: that in some cases contraception, itself, could be used because it was not intrinsically evil. Paul VI, exercising his papal authority, came to the conclusion that the commission had no authority to change a 2,000- year-old Church doctrine, and that no, God’s will did not permit the use of artificial birth control in any manifestation.10 Could there be a clearer sign that the Holy Spirit was truly guiding this fearless Pope? Of course, the world was outraged. The uproar of dissent that came from the United States, and around the world, was deafening. 11

Since then, that dissent has affected (and infected) everything in our world. As Paul VI predicted, when sexual activity is absolutely separated from the God-given gift of procreation, social chaos follows. We can see the effects for ourselves. Men and women are now free to “use” each other sexually, and the result has been the devaluation of marriage, and a culture of broken families. Abortion is legal, widely accepted, and has led to the “Culture of Death,” which has successfully persuaded people, and governments, to embrace euthanasia, and “mercy” killings. This evil culture has brought misery into every aspect of our lives, from widespread pornography and sex trafficking, to violence directed against women and children, to mayhem and killings on colleges campuses and public places, to the collapse of the very concept of wholesome family life. No one in 2015 can deny that our society today is drenched in violence, and every kind of perversion.

Paul VI warned of this national and global collapse of Christian values in no. 17 of Humanae Vitae. However, most influential Catholics ignored his warning that to open the floodgates on contraception was to open a “Pandora’s Box” of evils. As soon as the encyclical was published in 1968, dissenting bishops and theologians pounced. They first targeted no.14 from the document, by rejecting the teaching that contraception is “intrinsically wrong” or evil, and that no one could morally practice it in any circumstance without committing grave sin.

From there, dissent from within the Church grew and hardened. No doubt acting from what they thought was an accepted theological opinion with regard to non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium, the then National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) in 1968 responded to Paul VI’s teaching on Humanae Vitae by publishing their “Pastoral Letter on Human Life in Our Day.” In this document, the bishops hold to the opinion (and continue to hold to this day), that: “The expression of theological dissent from the Magisterium is in order only if the reasons are serious and well-founded; if the manner of the dissent does not question or impugn the teaching authority of the Church, and if such (dissent) does not to give scandal.” 12

In many respects, “Human Life in Our Day” was a good document, and supported the teachings of the Church. But, this statement, quoted above, was used to support all kinds of dissent, because it implied that it was permissible to reject a teaching of Vatican II essential to “The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church”—namely, the requirement to “submit in will and intellect” to the teachings of the Pope, in all matters of faith and morals, even “when he does not speak ex-cathedra.” But in actuality, this teaching in no. 25 of Lumen Gentium put to rest (as incorrect) the opinion that one could dissent from a papal teaching of faith and morals when a pope does not speak ex cathedra. Bishops and theologians, therefore, could no longer appeal to this theological opinion.

In 1968, at the time of the publication of “Human Life in Our Day,” Cardinal Joseph Bernardin became the first secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Undoubtedly, he had a great influence on the writing of this document. Later, when Cardinal Bernardin was Archbishop of Chicago, he left no uncertainty about the exact meaning of the U.S. bishops’ 1968 statement when, as part of his own legacy, he stated that “limited and occasional dissent” from the magisterium of the Church is “legitimate.”13

After the highly influential and media-savvy Cardinal Bernardin aligned himself with the concept of legitimate dissent, the die was cast. Along with the official publication of “Human Life in Our Day,” the idea spread everywhere that dissent was permissible in every way, including dissent from the Pope. For all intents and purposes, dissent was seen as a legitimate choice for Catholics, among both religious and laity. Tragically, among many bishops and theologians in universities and seminaries, and in religious books, dissent was now “institutionalized” in the Church in the United States, and throughout the world.

While the bishops surely did not intend it, one of the most shocking things about this dissent from Humanae Vitae was the moral confusion it created in the minds of lay Catholics. Practically every bishop in the United States in 1968 knew that Catholic couples sincerely wanted to know what the Church position was on contraception. (That was the whole reason Paul VI had called a commission together—to explore the issue!) Catholics everywhere had very serious questions to ask: “Is contraception a serious sin?” “Can a Catholic use the ‘pill’ and still receive communion?”

The moral confusion created by the dissent from Humanae Vitae raised new questions when Pope John Paul II visited the United States in 1987. He was asked directly by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): “How should the Church in the United States respond when “good Catholics” say they cannot accept the Church’s teaching on human sexuality, contraception, divorce, and remarriage, abortion, etc.?” Implicit in the question was the question which arose at Synod 2015: “Can these ‘good Catholics’ still come to communion?”

Clearly, St. John Paul II understood the implied question, because he replied that: “It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teachings of the Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce, and remarriage … (and) on abortion.” Then the Pope immediately made this point: “It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a ‘good Catholic’ and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error (italics added) that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States, and elsewhere.”14 John Paul II’s answer could not have been more simple, or more clear: If you dissent from the Pope’s teaching on matters like contraception and divorce and remarriage, it is “gravely” wrong to receive communion.

In addition, seldom noticed in John Paul II’s answer, but nevertheless clearly there, is this truth: It is not just using contraceptives that bars a person from receiving communion, but the mere dissent, or not adhering in “will and intellect” to the Pope’s decision, that contraception is evil, that bars a Catholic from communion. The logical conclusion is that even cardinals, archbishops, and theologians who dissent are barred from receiving communion.

What’s more, St. John Paul II’s answer was absolutely in line with the teachings of Vatican II. The requirement to assent to all papal magisterial teachings in matters of faith and morals, even when he does not speak ex cathedra, in order to receive the sacraments, was no doubt part of the “step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine (of the Church)” which was the hoped for goal of the Second Vatican Council.15

The Effects of Dissent: Silence in the pulpits and throughout the media
Given that the pope’s answer in 1987 was completely ignored, it is important to repeat that John Paul II could not have been clearer: It is “a grave error” to dissent from the Magisterium on contraception, divorce, and remarriage, and still to receive holy communion. But this moral teaching, contained in the words of John Paul II, never reached the Catholic people in the United States—at least not from the pulpits, or from religious teaching documents.

But why? Why didn’t the bishops make this decision and instruction known to Catholics in the United States? Were they afraid to be “politically incorrect?” The New York Times reported what John Paul II said to the U.S. bishops, but few, if any, Catholic news sources reported his reply, despite the fact that this question was pressing on the minds of so many American Catholics.16 It is as if, when it came to this critical issue, the American Catholic hierarchy, theologians, and Catholic news sources were afraid to connect the mind of the Vicar of Christ to the minds of American Catholics.

For example, America magazine ran an editorial on Oct. 3, 1987, about the exchange between the Pope, and the U.S. Bishops titled: “The Pope and Bishops: ‘Telling It Like It Is.’” Curiously, the editors of America themselves failed to “tell it like it is” when they failed to report the other side of the story, that the Pope had clearly stated that dissent bars one from the sacraments! In fact, I doubt that most Americans today even know that this question was settled by Pope John Paul II in 1987—that no Catholics may receive communion if (1) they deliberately and intentionally dissent from the Pope’s teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil, or (2) use contraception themselves.

Unchecked, the cancerous sickness of dissent has continued to spread. Yes, the Pope had clarified this issue on contraception and communion, but the American hierarchy appeared to not disclose this matter to the Catholic media and people. On the other hand, Catholic resistance (the politically popular view) grew and hardened over the nature and role of the Church (Lumen Gentium); the Eucharist (Mysterium Fidei), and human life and love in the family (Humanae Vitae).

The result has been a spreading of the sickness of dissent throughout our whole culture, and into the very heart of family life. After all, it is only a matter of logic. If a Catholic can simply decide that it’s OK to “disagree” with the Magisterium of the Pope in a matter of faith and morals (which is the lesson taught by 50 years of unchecked dissent) then it’s OK to rebel against other Church authorities closer to home, such as the local bishop, pastor, teacher, mom, dad, and the rest of the family. The result is what we see today in homes throughout society: Families are wounded by disrespect, lying, fighting, and seduction, and the end result is often family breakups, divorce and remarriage, which in turn has led to the instability and violence we see on our streets and in public places.

The Church must face this cultural tragedy with courage and honesty! What can we learn from this state of sickness in the Church? Our first task is to make the correct diagnosis: While the Synod of 2015 identified “the family” as the main problem on the agenda, in actuality, the first problem the Church needs to tackle is the cancer of dissent which continues to spread throughout the Church body itself. Next, let’s not waste time lamenting this loss of “health;” what can be done now to correct this “legacy of dissent”?

First, the Church in the United States (represented by the USCCB) must correct the harm done by the grave error in “Human Life in Our Day.” While the error may have been inadvertent, and the language poorly understood, and while the document offered general support for the pope’s encyclical on life, its approval of dissent as a valid option for Catholics has, in the long run, proved to be devastating to the Church. Should this error be corrected through future teaching documents, or in a letter specifically addressing the issue of dissent? That’s for the bishops to decide, but it must be done.

The bottom line is: Catholics in the United States have a right to ask: “Does the present USCCB agree with all the pronouncements made by the USCCB in 1968, namely, that ‘licit dissent’ from papal teaching is compatible with being a ‘good Catholic’”? Unless the USCCB is willing to correct the concept of “licit dissent,” it will continue to encourage—even if inadvertently—a concept of dissent which is not permitted by core Church teachings.

Equally important, the USCCB should identify and support the pronouncement of John Paul II in 1987 that dissent from Humanae Vitae bars a person from receiving communion. I believe that unless this correction is made by the teaching authorities of the Church (namely, the bishops) the Church will continue to descend into more confusion and infighting. If, however, Church leaders together, or individually, acknowledge and rectify these mistakes of the past, then the Church can move forward to resolve the doctrinal confusion.

What is this doctrinal confusion? The Church must define the nature of the Church, the Eucharist, and human sexuality in a final, authoritative form. But how would the Church teach such a huge, historic lesson? I think the answer is that we need another Synod. Better yet, given the grave perils we face in the Church, and in the world, perhaps the real answer is that we need a third Vatican Council. If such a historic milestone is ever reached, there is one more major action the Church should take: She should canonize Paul VI, and declare him a Doctor of the Church for his magnificent defense of the Constitution of the Church, the Mystery of Faith, and of Human Life.

After all, from the vantage point of our sad 21st century, we are experiencing the chaos and violence which Paul VI saw so clearly, almost 50 years ago, as the consequence of turning away from God’s law, which the Church has properly defined as the “Culture of Life.” It is time to definitively and categorically proclaim, ex cathedra, certain truths of his teachings found in these documents. Then, we can honestly move forward, and begin the necessary work to change our modern “Sodom and Gomorrah” to a modern day “Nineveh.” But we need to do it soon, before it is too late (Gen. 19; Jonah 3).

  1. John Allen Jr., “Forecast: 2015 Synod of Bishops will be just as stormy as the last time,” Crux, Feb. 3. 2015.
  2. Edward Pentin, “German Bishops: ‘WE Are Not Just a Subsidiary of Rome’,” National Catholic Register, Feb. 27, 2015.
  3. Raymond Arroyo, “The ‘Messy’ , Alluring Grace of Pope Francis,” National Catholic Register, August, 1, 2013.
  4. Apostolic Journey to Rio De Janeiro on the Occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day Meeting with Young People from Argentina, Address of Holy Father Francis, Thursday, July 25, 2013.
  5. Dr. Ludwig Ott, p. 10; J. M. Herve, Manuale Theologiae Domaticae, 19th edition, Vol. 1 (Westminister, Md: The Newman Bookshop, 1943), 523.
  6. Henry Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, Thirtieth Edition, no.884.
  7. Engelbert Gutwenger, Encyclopedia of Theology: The Concise Sacramentum Mundi, “Transubstantiation” ed., by Karl Rahner (New York: Crossroads, 1984), pp. 1754-1755.
  8. April L. Goldman, “Book’s Popularity Tests the Vatican,” New York Times, November 29, 1984.
  9. Anthony Wilhelm, Christ Among Us, 5th revised edition (San Francisco: Harper Collins Pub., 1990),  the cover and p. 216. My emphasis.
  10. Benjamin Mann, “New documents reveal inner workings of papal birth control commission,” Catholic News Agency, Mar. 16, 2011.
  11. Richard A. McCormick, “‘Humanae Vitae,’ 25 Years Later,” America, July 17, 1993.
  12. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Pastoral Letter on Human Life in Our Day,” Nov. 15, 1968, no. 51.
  13. Joseph Bernardin, “Address on the Common Ground Project,” Oct. 24, 1996, Origins: CNS documentary service (Nov. 14, 1996), 353-356.
  14. Apostolic Journey to the United States of America and Canada, Meeting with the Bishops of the United States of America, Address of His Holiness John Paul II, Minor Seminary of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles) Wednesday, September 16, 1987, Part II, no. 5.
  15. Pope John XXIII, “Pope John’s Opening Speech at the Council,” found in The Documents of Vatican II, edited by Walter M. Abbott, S; J. (New York: Corpus Books, 1966), p. 715.
  16. New York Times, “Papal Visit; Pope Counsels Bishops to Hold to Christ’s Teaching in the Face of Dissent.” Sept. 17, 1987.

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avatar About Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap.
Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap., was ordained in Aug. 26, 1972. He is currently in the process of developing the Julia Greeley shelter for homeless, unaccompanied women in metro Denver. He is spiritual director and chaplain for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Denver, as well as being one of the spiritual directors for the Missionaries of Charity in the western United States. He was director of prison ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, from 1999 to 2010; a chaplain for Missionaries of Charity at their now-closed AIDS hospice, Seton House, and at Gift of Mary homeless shelter for women in Denver from 1989 to 2008; and in 1997, he was sent by Mother Teresa to instruct Missionaries of Charity in Madagascar and South Africa on the subject of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist . His articles have been published in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Catholic Faith, Soul Magazine, Pastoral Life, and The Priest. He has also made two series for Mother Angelica’s EWTN: “Crucial Questions,” “Catholic Answers,” and “What Did Vatican II Really Teach?”

 

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, Culture, Discernment, Family and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

194 Responses to Fr. Regis on the Synod

  1. SteveBC says:

    I’m wondering if anyone can tell me why Pope Paul VI, who clearly understood the importance of Humanae Vitae, did not speak ex cathedra on it in order to avoid any lack of clarity or any possibility of dissent and confusion right from the start. This of course brings up a more fundamental question which is how does a pope determine that he must speak ex cathedra on any particular matter?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Charlene says:

      Hello SteveBC,
      So very grateful to Charlie for posting “Fr Regis on the Synod”.

      As for your question…..Steve here are some links that may help you find the answer. When the internet opened up (what seems so long ago) the teaching of the Catholic Church are at anyone’s finger tips…..so I hope this will help. It is hard work to go to good sources but it is worth it in the long run. PRAYERS YOUR WAY.
      https://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/AUTHUMVT.HTM
      https://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P6HUMANA.HTM

      Liked by 5 people

    • Beckita says:

      One perspective, Steve, is that Human Vitae was not a new teaching. It reaffirmed existing Church teaching in light of the current day and time with its scientific developments bringing forth new temptations. Placed in the context of the satan’s all out attacks at every level of society, this scripture comes to mind: “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires,” (2 Timothy 4:3)

      To throw another thought, an important one, into the mix: http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=369701

      Liked by 9 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Charlene and Beckita, thank you for the links. I have “squirreled them away” into my ToDo list for later review. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • The Church hesitates to proclaim teachings “Ex Cathedra” that should be clearly known by the natural law, because it is a very slippery slope. Once the Church starts doing that, then people will start assuming that anything that *hasn’t* been formally denounced Ex Cathedra must be okay. Then all of a sudden every perverse innovation that the sick modern mind comes up with is deemed “okay” by Catholics until it is denounced Ex Cathedra, to the grave detriment of souls.

      The Assumption of Mary could never be known by the Natural Law, hence the Ex Cathedra proclamation of it. But the natural law itself condemns abortion, auto-eroticism, fornication, homosexual acts, artificial contraception, etc.

      That being said, considering the confusion of the times, Fr. Regis makes a good point that perhaps these proclamations should nevertheless occur. (Sadly though I must say — don’t hold your breath!)

      Liked by 14 people

  2. BlessedIam says:

    And now I understand why it was a long time before i heard the term “true presence”. It WAS because I was taught it was a symbol.
    Thank you Fr. Regis

    Liked by 5 people

    • Annie says:

      That is heartbreaking to hear. I grew up with terminology such as “True Presence” and “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”, and others seldom heard now. Perhaps many of the flock here are much younger than I, and have not had the privilege of the “good nuns” we had all those years ago. To know what I was given, even through college when it was a true Catholic education, makes me eternally grateful to God and those who taught me. Of course we continue learning and growing all of our lives but how blessed I am for the foundation! It’s one of the few times I can be grateful for my age 🙂

      Liked by 7 people

  3. Gary says:

    The priests of that time while 3 years of papal refection on contraception allowed the dissenters time to pass the buck when the laity questioned the morality of contraception. The greatest generation was told the they could use contraception as a matter of conscience. And so Humanae Vita was too late in coming the horse already escaped the barn door. And so fueled sexual immorality in my generation.
    As to this pope shaking things up I don’t really know if this is by design or accidental, but I do know that if he was trying to shake things up in the Chicago archdiocese the faithful there do not need
    to be shaken up; we did not need a Cupich but rather a Paprocki. And this decision did not follow the usual process but was made personally by the pope.This decision was made with out Cardinal Burke who was ousted before the Cupich decision of whom Burke would never have considered as successor to Cardinal George. So it seems that rather than shaking up the dissenting Cardinals and bishops it seems the pope is going after the faithful Cardinals and Bishops and thus the laity who by all accounts are already gone to heresy and heterodoxy.

    Like

    • Petra says:

      Archbishop Cupich did not inspire my confidence of his orthodoxy when this past December (December 11, 2015) he said, when asked about whether Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which requires ministers of the Eucharist to withhold Communion from those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” should be followed in the case of those who are known to be living an actively gay lifestyle: “When people who are in good conscience working with a spiritual director come to a decision, then they need to follow that conscience. That’s the teaching of the Church. So in the case of people receiving Communion in situations that are irregular that also applies. The question then was: Does that apply to gay people? My answer was: they’re human beings too. They have a conscience. Thy have to follow their conscience.” He continued: “They have to be able to have a formed conscience, understand the teaching of the Church, and work with a spiritual director and come to those decisions. And we have to respect that. It’s not up to any minister who is distributing the Eucharist to make a decision about a person’s worthiness or lack of worthiness. That’s on the conscience of those individuals,” he added.”
      http://catholiccitizens.org/news/63502/archbishop-cupich-again-insists-people-in-homosexual-unions-can-receive-communion/

      This example came immediately to mind as I read Fr. Scanlon’s article regarding what he terms, “institutionalized dissent.” One can hardly wonder at the confusion among the laity when an Archbishop of a major diocese makes this kind of statement. This “appeal to conscience,” is the loophole that permits heterodox and even heretical ideas to be preached and spread within the Church, while the promoters of such remain “Catholics in good standing.” I really would have almost no confidence that the USCCB could or would actually fix any of this. More suffering for the Body of Christ, I’m afraid.

      God blees.

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        The appointment of Archbishop Cupich is the one thing that utterly baffles me. From everything I have read (and it is a lot, beginning on the night his appointment was announced – including some files that have since been scrubbed from the web) he is an anti-Catholic bigot. He prides himself on “listening” to all – except faithful Catholics of any stripe who follow the Magisterium. Those he persecutes and oppresses. I rarely speak about the man because I just don’t understand him and how such a fiercely anti-Magisterial Catholic could have been appointed to one of the most important sees in the USA.

        Liked by 3 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Sigh… I understand how… or do you mean that rhetorically?

          Now would be a perfect time for a status update on the comet, but for my head hanging low.

          Liked by 4 people

          • charliej373 says:

            I was speaking somewhat rhetorically, but it was a bit of a shock. With Cdl. Burke playing a pivotal role in the naming of Bishops in America under Pope Benedict, I had gotten accustomed to consistently high-quality, Magisterially orthodox appointments.

            But now about that comet….

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            There is comet coming? When?

            Liked by 1 person

          • YongDuk says:

            Driving past CHOP yesterday, I blessed Addie… even if not directly in her presence and all the Children there and those therein suffering.

            I had great joy despite thinking about the Roman Curia and the Rhetorical above, reflecting back on Paul VI and Mysterium Fidei. Fr. Regis is right. That …hold on is it an encyclical or an apostolic exhortation?… That Encyclical is very much brushed aside. As much as I read and we read the Vatican II documents and even orthodox-ically Mystici Corpus Christi, this one was overlooked.

            It is a joke amongst Priests, or just wacky Priests, to say “of happy memory”, but change happy to fond, fond to “when I was a child/adolescent/youth/young man/seminarian/ordinand/newly ordained/etc” then you have a sense of what that term means, of what that signifies that you now are writing about Mary or Marian Devotion or other Theological premises which those before you, who formed you wrote and you see the joy… So Pope Paul VI wrote joyfullly on the Eucharist… And Pius XII wrote on the Church and the Eucharist and Vatican II wrote on Both. And do you see? The joy!

            The Great Joy of being a Pope?

            To write and say, humbly, “Wow!”?

            Of Happy Memory…

            To not feel betrayed and not to betray…

            So many fools out there condemn or belittle, if not condemn, the Novus Ordo.

            How many of you realise that the Novus Ordo’s prayers are from the most Ancient Sacramentaries before the Frankish influences infiltrated Liturgy? How many of you realise the Grace that Rome is to the World in the use of Latin? It is terse. It is concrete. It is not Greek or Syriac or other. It gives concreteness in Liturgy and [Canon] Law in the same terseness so that one does not wonder what does this or that mean. Paul VI realised that and allowed the Restoration of the Novus Ordo with that in mind. But then, the abuses… from the Dissenters and Such…

            Frankly, I scratched my head when I heard that he was up for Beatification at first. Under him so many abuses proliferated. But then I prayed the Holy Spirit. Without Paul VI, we would not be where we are.

            How many of you would have separated the wheat from the chaff prematurely? How many of you see that God has allowed that more and more and more? Painful? Yes. But don’t blame the Hierarchy, blame yourselves and your predecessors who should have learned from Fatima and those Three Children to pray and fast. We are now all in this mess and we are all now faced with God’s Mercy who has allowed things to progress that the chaff is falling out… And the Wheat will remain.

            The Novus Ordo is good. It is flexible. It has more Scripture. It has cycles to foster Priests to preach on more options…. And Paul VI is to thank, despite all the controversy that surrounds it.

            I have not idea why I waned so eloquently on this subject, but I did… oh, because I was driving home and I was thinking about Addie in Philly and Myong Hee whom I ask your prayers for as she has pancreatic cancer and I thought, wow, despite Cupich and McCarrick, the Mass is still Potent, Efficacious, Glorious… And despite the Betrayals, I shall say Mass tomorrow and rejoice! And that is what matters, when I meet you all in Heaven or on Mt. Meeker (but I doubt that unless you, Charlie, would ask your Angel for me, but then I would give a long, long Homily on the Angels and Our Lady and make a bunch of tangential joke while soaring like an Eagle hoping you all would be carried aloft into ethereal spheres!).

            Liked by 5 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Marvelous contemplation, YD. My favorite line here is, “How many of you would have separated the wheat from the chaff prematurely?” Oh, that we all would be more docile and let God be God. So often I have been grateful that God treated me with mercy rather than judgment…how could I possibly insist, then, that He immediately apply His judgment to others rather than His mercy?

            Liked by 4 people

          • Doug says:

            YD, I will light a candle for Myong Hee.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            And I especially appreciate: “We are now all in this mess and we are all now faced with God’s Mercy who has allowed things to progress that the chaff is falling out… And the Wheat will remain.” Amen and Alleluia! BTW, YD, you are already soaring like an eagle and we are the better for God’s Grace pouring forth through you!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yong Duk says:

            Meh, Beckita, the highest compliment I have ever been paid after a Homily is from a ninety-year-old Southern African American Black Daily-Mass-Attending Lady who came up to me after Mass one day and said, not referring to my accent by any means, “I have no idea what you are talking about most of the time, but I love being lifted up and soaring with you in contemplation just listening!”

            Liked by 3 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            YD, that is precious! Often times I feel the same way and not because of an accent, but that your wisdom along with your spirit soars *over my head*, and I smile and “like” the post knowing that your words are no doubt brilliant, witty, or both.

            Liked by 3 people

        • 1.2012 says:

          All this “matters of conscience” line of reasoning has opened the door to the “dictatorship of relativism”. Consciences must be formed according to the truth, and it has always been taught that the Truth is fully found in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Truth does not change over the centuries, hence the famous statement I always love use from Cardinal Newman, ” To know history is to cease being Protestant” which ofcourse equally applies to us Catholics. Originally the title of “protestant” was to protest against the authority of the Catholic Church – the bishops in union with the pope. The same applies today, but I would add that this protestanism has entered into the minds of many Catholics too. I will always work to help people understand the fullness of the truth, certianly not easy in many, many cases but try we must. Pax et bonum!
          Thanks for the posting Charlie!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Bob says:

            Reading Benedict I always remember the many times he said love and truth. If we tell the truth with love we will be ok and for me it helps for me to remember my need for His mercy lest I become proud.

            Liked by 2 people

      • adagio89 says:

        So his answer was a version of ‘Am I my brothers keeper?’

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Edward weber says:

    The American bishops have really screwed up the church by denying the truth to families who desperately need to be set free from the lies of contraception. Where are those who will stand up and take the cross and lead their sheep with the truth. Thank God that my wife and I received the grace through the Holy Spirit to live a fruitful marriage and have 10 children. We read Familiaris Consortcio and relished St John Paul II ‘s teaching which protected and gave us direction during the 80’s and 90’s, Contraception has screwed up the minds of so many in parishes today. Few realize that contraception is the cause for breast cancer. We heard a great teaching on that about 15 years ago. Thanks for addressing the truth with this blog.

    Liked by 7 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Just a quick note…there is evidence of a profound link between abortion and an increased incidence of breast cancer, which the abortion culture tries to cover up at all costs. I am not aware of any serious studies showing a similar link between contraception and breast cancer. Do you have a solid reference available?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mdasteel says:

        Here’s a metanalysis published in the “mayo Clinic Proceedings” 2006 by Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, Charlie:
        http://www.polycarp.org/statement_mayo_clinic_article.pdf
        And here’s the Polycarp Institute page with the first video at the bottom showing Johnette Benkovich interviewing Dr. Kahlenborn. Discussion of the study starts at minute 20.04.
        http://www.polycarp.org/

        Liked by 8 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Thank you so much for this, steel. I was unaware of this. One of the great things that has grown here is that we have so much expertise here, we really do learn – and by pushing for credible sources, we develop confidence that what we learn is accurate. Now I have a new arrow for my quiver. Thank you!

          Liked by 11 people

          • Bob says:

            A simple comment here. Several years ago it became known that hormone replacement therapy among women was increasing breast cancer risk. As the contraceptive pills alter normal female hormone levels that is a likely explanation for some of the increased risks but I am sure others have studied the details in more depths. Messing with hormones should be easy to grasp simply I think.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Patricia says:

            There has been a lot of work done also regarding the pill causing young women to choose the wrong mate. A girl’s pheromones are changed when she is on the pill and the young man attracted to her and vice versa may not be the young man she would have chosen if her hormones were not out of sinc via the pill. It can be googled pretty well to read the research. A great CD by a catholic professor, at Dallas University, I think, does a good job explaining it.

            Liked by 3 people

      • Charlie, here is the monograph from the IARC (International Agency for Cancer Research)- Page 6 shows breast cancer causes and lists Oral Contraception. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/Table4.pdf

        Liked by 3 people

      • LukeMichael says:

        These studies Charlie are referenced in the drug inserts that accompany the contraceptive products. Not proof. Just data. There is also some evidence to support their use as a cancer preventer in the case of some cancers, such as endometrial cancer.

        Nonetheless, many doctors prescribe these drugs without ever mentioning these risks.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Great comment Edward! I remember the now Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, S.J. telling me that you could “count the bishops on one hand” in this country who were faithfully fulfilling their duties. These men of Catholic Inc. have really done serious damage. We never hear anything – anything at all on the sin of contraception, which is of course the precursor to abortion. My wife and I have eight children 13 and under here and three more in Heaven. And we stand out in almost every church we enter. “Are all those your children?” and even “Don’t you know how it works?” etc. I’m sure you heard plenty of similar ignorant comments. We are living to witness the fulfillment of the Prophecies of Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century) – Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador. See MercyRadio.com for those and others that show what is going on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        Divine, certain forms of contraception such as the birth control pill, the morning after pill, depletes the woman’s ability to form the life giving wall in which a fertilized egg attaches to in utero for gestation and are thus aborting embryos in the instances where conception has taken place.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. TLM says:

    Wow, good question Steve! Excellent article and analysis on how the Church became so divided and confused on ‘faith and morals’ after Vat ll. I also remember hearing one Priest say that Humanae Vitae was pretty much flatly rejected by a good number of Bishops in this country. The issue of artificial contraception was the lynch pin for the decent, chaos and destruction that we now see going on even with our own Bishops.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m reading the book “The Jesuits” by Malachi Martin. The Society of Jesus was set up as the pope’s special men. They pledged complete obedience to the pope in the beginning. By the mid twentieth century, they didn’t want to obey the pope anymore. There were tens of thousands of them. They betrayed our pope. This is all very simplified, but my question is this. Pope Francis was a Jesuit. He was young when they started to dissent from the pope and lived through all the changes. Now that he is the Vicar of Christ, will he be the one to draw the Society of Jesus back to obedience to the pope because they will trust him?

    Like

    • Fr. Malachi Martin was a great (former) Jesuit Priest who was still able to offer private Mass, which he did every day after his request to be released from the Jesuits was granted. He was a true “Vatican insider” who knew what was happening (which is one of the reasons he got out of the Jesuits). He used to be a guest from time to time on a radio show here in Detroit and back in the very late eighties/early nineties I spoke to him a couple times on air … interesting tidbit, he told me his favorite saint was St. Faustina (she wasn’t declared a Saint until 2000). He loved the message of Divine Mercy. I bought and shelved his last book “Windswept House” shortly after it was published. It remained shelved for many years until I finally got around to reading it … Three days after I finished the book, Pope Benedict resigned, which completely freaked me out. If you read that book, you’ll understand why. The thing to remember when reading any “Catholic” work of fact or fiction is the doctrine on Divine Providence! God is and always will be in the drivers seat! We should never “fret” about internal corruption in the Church. Jesus said that scandals were inevitable. Our job is to “Trust” in Him – to acknowledge Him, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to others.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Snowflakesdancing says:

        Divine Mercy, Amen! So be it! So be it!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bob in Minnesota says:

        Divine Mercy Network, like your web name.
        I do not want take the time to read the book, would you summarize what you are communicating as to Pope Benedict resignation.
        Others here would like to know also, I am assuming this.
        Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • HI Bob and anyone else interested in this summary … Thanks! Let me say, it’s not pretty! But then again, the Crucifixion isn’t pretty.

          I believe that Fr. Martin was using “fiction” to communicate certain facts that many people do not want to consider as possible. In fact, he said as much before he died.

          Now with that said, let me be crystal clear so that I don’t get attacked as some conspiratorial nut-job. I am simply providing a summary of the book in response to this request and repeating the fact that I was freaked-out (technical term) by the fact that two or three days after I finished Windswept House, Pope Benedict suddenly resigned. Why? Because getting the current Pope to resign is one of the major goals of the dark forces presented in this book.

          Early in the book Fr. Martin wrote: “The Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer was effected within the Roman Catholic Citadel on June 29, 1963; a fitting date for the historic promise about to be fulfilled. As the principal agents of this Ceremonial well knew, Satanist tradition had long predicted that the Time of the Prince would be ushered in at the moment when a Pope would take the name of the Apostle Paul. That requirement — the signal that the Availing Time had begun — had been accomplished just eight days before with the
          election of the latest Peter-in-the-Line.”

          A disgusting Satanic Enthronement Ritual is reported to have been conducted on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul simultaneously in the Vatican chapel of St. Paul and in the United States, connected via phone line. Among those participating were Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Laity. Here is a link to an excellent article published in Crisis Magazine in 2010. href=”http://www.crisismagazine.com/2010/windswept-house-fr-amorth-says-devil-is-at-work-inside-vatican”>Crisis Magazine article re: Windswept House. As you will read in the article, Fr. Martin openly claimed that “95% of the story was based on actual events and 85% of the characters were based on real people.”

          After Pope Benedict resigned I called a certain Priest I know well who has spent his entire long life spreading the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion … and who spent over ten years living in Rome. When I told him I had finally read Windswept House and that I was calling him because of the Pope’s sudden resignation, he said something along the lines of “well, it’s funny you should mention this because I happen to have in front of me a list of the fictional names Fr. Martin presented in the book, matched-up with the names of the [supposed] actual people involved.” That conversation was something I’ll never forget.

          The point of the enthronement was to “open the door of the Church to the Devil’s influence, and lead to the destruction of Catholicism from within.” One of the major ways the enemy is working to accomplish this, as a fruit of the enthronement, is to undermine the central authority of the Papacy and Windswept House presents a very convincing picture of how this work is being accomplished, including presenting a very cleverly crafted series of events that put the current Pope (in the story) into a position where he must resign. And as I said, after leaving this book on my shelf unread for over ten years, three days after I finished it, Pope Benedict suddenly resigned. It was surreal to say the least.

          The book ends with a scene that leaves things in the air … one is not 100% sure what happens, but it’s safe to say the current Pope does resign. I make that point because it’s important to mention that the Satanic forces at work in certain high placed people presented in the book do not have a specific incoming Papal replacement who is working directly with them. In other words, even if everything presented in this work of fiction is true, it does NOT mean that Pope Francis is one of them. If Fr. Martin was right and the list my Priest friend has is correct, Pope Francis was not on the list of those involved.

          The greatest consolation is knowing that no matter what, the gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ and His Church … But as with the Old Testament character of Job (an archetype of the Church) it appears that things will soon get to a point where from all external appearances, it will seem that everything is lost, just as it did with Job. But it will not be lost. Job came close to losing heart, but he held on and was eventually rescued. And that is what we must do … With Charlie’s help and each other’s prayerful support we must hold on to Christ and His Church no matter what!

          Trust even more!

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Mercy, I thought a bit before clearing this. Though it is a synopsis of a work of fiction, some invariably think it is a description of actual events. So I want to emphasize that this is a synopsis of a WORK OF FICTION.

            Malachi Martin was an amazing man. There is much in him that is deeply profound – and much in some of his work that I found deeply offensive and errant. I credit much of it to the fact that he was so involved in exorcisms. The people most commonly in danger of possession or influence are exorcists – not because they are weak, but because they spend so much time on the field of battle. The longer you are on the battlefield, the more likely the enemy is to wound you. Certainly, Martin was no hothouse flower. So I recognize the wild beauty of much of what he produced without failing to acknowledge the particularly ugly and dangerous thorns that often accompanied it.

            Liked by 5 people

          • Patricia says:

            Mercy,
            In 1987, via Medjugorje, I came back to the church. In 1988, I read Malachi’s book, “The Vatican”. Immediately after reading it, I bought ten copies and gave them out to my family and friends and begged them to read it. I knew some of it was fiction but that it was based on truth. It explained to me how and why we had derailed. From the first paragraph in the novel,where the young priest steps over the white line of demarcation between the Vatican and Nazi Rome, to the end, it had the ring of truth. I then knew I had to go to Rome and stand where that line had been. The following year I did go to Rome with a local group including two close friends. A priest, stationed in Rome at the time,who has spent his life devoted to St. Fausinta and the Divine Mercy Message, contacted the three of us and took us on a 12 hour tour of Rome to see everything we should see. I do not remember how he was in contact with us or how he was to do this for us but he did. Unfortunately, our tour group was being led by a priest who was on leave from ministry. His tour did not include these very holy places. This man would go back into ministry and a few years later testify at the state house in Boston in favor of gay marriage with nary a word or reprimand from the Chancery. But that’s another story.
            The truth of Malachi’s books and interviews were born out for me starting on that trip and in the following years. From the “The Vatican”, I was given to know, for the first time, the extremely central and powerful place the Catholic Church had held in the world. Consequently, I was stunned into the truth of the Magisterium of the Church. In 1999, I read Windswept House and my close friend, who had been on the 1989 Rome trip, and now was a Divine Mercy apostle, gave me that list. He remained a close friend of what I suspect is the same priest you are talking about. Over 15 years later, the names on that list, some now dead, are right on point.
            Maybe I have a lively imagination, but I never doubted the enthronement, the underground gay mafia, the satanists, the displacement and silencing of priests and bishops and all the disgusting rest of the story. Over the years, I was a lobbyist and ran into the wall of obstinacy of that group that would not and will not allow the truth to be told or the work to be done for pro-life and traditional marriage at the state and national level. I remember saying in 1999 to a very important person in the field that if the then Cardinal had told Ted Kennedy in no uncertain terms that he (the Cardinal ) would go public on the scandal that Ted was causing regarding partial birth abortion, it is very likely the procedure would not have been upheld. Three votes were responsible for that vote and Ted Kennedy was one of them. Partial birth abortion: a satanic ritual endorsed at the highest level of the United States. I believe Charlie when he says that the two parties are dead men walking. They just do not know it yet but we do.

            Liked by 1 person

      • ann says:

        I have been reading Fr. Martin’s books since the 1970’s. His book Jesus Now was instrumental in giving me an intellectual conversion back to the Catholic faith after having returned to Christianity via a protestant denomination. God’s grace poured through his books for me. I also at one time had a series of tapes of his talks. He was truly prophetic. For those of us lost out in the wilderness of post Vatican II dissent in the 70’s and 80’s he was sanity itself. I was devastated when he was killed. Windswept House is a frightening “faction” ( as opposed to fiction) but every word rings true. He used to say he was watching the sky every day for the Blessed Mother. I like your comment about just trusting that God is in the driver’s seat. Scandals are inevitable but the hard part is watching souls being swept away. That is what is difficult to comprehend. I do believe that after the year 2000 something happened–a deep sea change. I felt it in my spirit and pondered it, not sure what I was sensing, but it felt much like the way it feels in January when winter is so fixed, so immutable seemingly, but then you get a whiff one morning, just a whiff of air that promises spring. It’s gone almost before it comes, but then the days start slowly to get longer….well, my analogy is this. Grace was at work in the dark, unseen, unheard until all of us began to notice families with lots of children in the pews, young priests on fire with love for the priesthood, for the Church and above all for Our Lord in the Eucharist. Slow incremental changes that suddenly added up to significant movement. I see this here in my area at least.

        Liked by 2 people

      • No, no, no, no, no, guys! Not Malachi Martin. This is not where you should be getting your info on the devil and exorcism. It is FICTION! And lurid fiction, at that. Read Fr. For tea’ s book or Fr. A M O R T H.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Patrick of South Dakota says:

      Fr. Martin also wrote a terrifying novel about exorcisms entitled “Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Excorcism of Five Living Americans.” It’ll raise the hair on the back of your neck. Before his death, I used to hear him on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.

      Michelle,

      I went to a radical Jesuit university in Cincinnati called Xavier. The errors promoted by this bunch of aged, rebellious hippy-Priests will make steam come out of your ears: bread with fat and leavening, Homily by female Protestant minister, Tabernacle hidden in side room, gender-neutral reading of the Gospel, to name a few. But I met one excellent priest named Father Cyril Whitaker, SJ, who would substitute at nearby parishes, lead Eucharistic and Marian processions, and offering Latin and Tridentine masses. He assured me that the Jesuit seminary was full of young men coming up the ranks who were absolutely on fire for the Faith. He called them “The God Squad.”

      And when I learned Pope Francis was Jesuit, I groaned at first. But knowing what I know now from TNRS, I’m glad he is who he is, and that he’s Jesuit because that means he’s smart and logical, and knows the Faith to the letter.

      There is hope for our Church.

      Liked by 7 people

      • charliej373 says:

        I have recommended Malachi Martin’s book, “Hostage to the Devil,” judiciously to friends I thought could benefit from it rather than just be terrified by it. It gives such a good flavor of how the devil actually operates and covers a wide spectrum.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Patrick of South Dakota says:

          I should add this book isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s quite graphic in places. What makes it terrifying is because it’s real, based on audio transcripts from actual exorcisms conducted in the 1960s. It’s frightening how the devils have access to information to use against us and can even physically assault us. I read it at a time I was turning back to the faith, and it shook me to the core. This book helped give me a nice push.

          Liked by 6 people

          • Bob says:

            I read it and found the psychology of how evil infects souls painful to read and yet helpful in understanding we must trust in God as our enemies are not meek or little!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Bob says:

          I thought also of how he showed the seductiveness of evil in some of the cases and when Carl for example was being delivered he realized how he had consented to evil during the process. The warning here is to guard our hearts. As i had been into drug induced mysticism and false drug induced experiences of “enlightenment” one of the more chilling books I read was one called “Riders of the Cosmic Circuit” by a protestant writer named Tall Brooke who had also delved into false mysticism and he made the hypothesis in his book about eastern gurus and avatar figures who claim to be “enlightened” may have so emptied their own personalities in the eastern meditation process that their minds and hearts became a void in which the demon could enter and as the personality had been emptied the seeker could be opened to a “Perfect possession” in which the personality had no longer an ego or will to turn back.
          http://www.equip.org/article/riders-of-the-cosmic-circuit/

          Liked by 2 people

          • Patrick of South Dakota says:

            Bob, I bet you have some interesting stories from your journey into mysticism. But you can probably say now that you are indeed enlightened to have moved away from those other philosophies to Christ who is the Truth.

            I’ve met a bunch of people who demonstrated certain degrees of possession or demonic influence, tho I’m no expert. I’ve actually heard from several women who have described seeing/feeling a dark presence (incubus spirit?). One gal said she had a tempting thought along the lines of accepting help from the Devil — and a dark form immediately appeared in her room — but she became terrified and called upon her Christian faith to order it away. Two other women I know ( one of whom is my ex-wife) described feeling “pressure” of an unseen being on top of them which presented like a sexual assault.

            A Czech friend of mine — a very international man, multilingual — described allowing spirits to hitch a ride within him as he flew about the world. He said there is a point where the request is made by the spirit and then he consents. He made it sound like they were harmless travelers. He said he sometimes takes on the characteristics or desires of these tag-alongs, figuring some of them were female.

            I said, “Stan, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, letting spirits in like that.” (Understatement) He didn’t think it was a big deal, but I thought, oh boy is he playing with fire! My friend is prone to extreme depression, suicidal ideation, and believes he manifests the world around him.

            All I can say is that demons are real and are tirelessly engaged in battle against us.

            Liked by 2 people

          • ann says:

            Bob–great comments. Guard our hearts. Absolutely!! Can’t be stressed enough, in these days more than ever. I have warned friends, young people, any one over the years who would listen about the dangers of seemingly harmless practices. It amazes me how so many people have fallen into yoga exercise without realizing the very deep pitfalls and dangers. Ouija board is another. Anything with even the slightest whiff of new age or occult connections. But it is so pervasive these days, so attractive, so reasonable…so goes the party line. When I was in high school a priest warned us away from such things very emphatically because he had personal experience with some young people who had gotten themselves mixed up in it and one of them he was unable to help. Chilling. But at least he sounded the warning.
            On the subject of Malachi Martin, I think I agree with Charlie’s reservations. As an old Nazarene Church woman I knew used to say, “take the meat and leave the bones.” There’s much meat but some bones too. Again, I let God sort it out. I will always be grateful to him for the books that helped me get a handle on the craziness of the “spirit” of Vatican II.

            Like

          • Bob says:

            I studied these things after coming to the faith as these experiences seemed so real at the time I struggled to understand them in view of Truth and concluded they were demonic deceptions. Thus the dangers of an emptying type of prayer or meditation without focus on Jesus. Although Catholic saints and mystics talk of an emptying and “dark nights” these are the work of God and John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila remind us that prayer begins with meditation on Christ and Him crucified and God leads to the stillness, we don’t create it ourselves. I once experimented with what was called “Centering prayer” and found it over time to be a type of self hypnosis and a cheap imitation of the stillness which God may grant us poor sinners short experiences of. CP was an attempt to use a so called prayer word to create the emptiness while trying to find an “easier softer way” as they say in 12 step groups, to find contemplative prayer as if we could do for ourselves what only God by grace can do. Thus the pride and self idolatry can enter again.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Yes, Bob. Matthew 12:45 notes that if you just “empty” yourself, seven demons worse than the first take up residence. You must fill yourself with Christ.

            Liked by 2 people

      • Jacquie says:

        Yes, Patrick, I read it. I thought it very interesting if not frightening. No, not your usual bedtime reading.

        Liked by 3 people

        • diane says:

          Patrick I also read that book years ago and balanced it with a joyful uplifing prayer book, it is not for the faint hearted. So much information you guys give, it is mind boggling how everyone is able to fortify this group. God is so good to all of us. I went to mass this morning and remembered the NRS group and asked God to continue strengthening our hope. God Bless you all. Have a wonderful Tuesday.
          Love. I do. Diane

          Liked by 3 people

      • janet333 says:

        Something I read recently

        “Bl. Elizabeth Canori-Mora had pointed to the significance of those of the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola (the founder of the Jesuits – the religious order of Pope Francis) in the coming restoration of the faith during the reign of the Angelic Pope:

        Early in 1821 Our Lord said to her, “I will reform my people and my Church. I will send zealous priests to preach my Faith. I will form a new apostolate and send the Holy Ghost to renew the world. I will reform the religious orders by means of new holy and learned reformers. They will all have the spirit of my predilect son Ignatius of Loyola. I will provide my Church with a new pastor, who is learned, holy and full of My Spirit. With holy zeal he will reform My flock.”
        “He told me many other things about this renovation. Many sovereigns will support the Catholic Church and be true Catholics, placing their scepters and crowns at the feet of the Holy Father and Vicar of Jesus Christ. Many kingdoms will abandon their errors and return to the bosom of the Catholic Faith. Entire peoples will convert, recognizing the Faith of Jesus Christ as the true religion.”

        1Timothy 4:1,
        Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,

        Liked by 2 people

        • Patrick of South Dakota says:

          Exciting! The Spirit of Ignatius! Nice to know he’ll help straighten things out.

          I often wonder what my job(s) will be in Heaven…
          …of course, I have to get there first!

          Liked by 3 people

  7. ignatius75 says:

    Thank you for posting this incredible article, Charlie. As a convert to the faith for 20 years, I now have a clearer picture of why so many “cradle Catholics” question, dissent, ignore and/or leave the Catholic Church! They were and have not been properly catechized, supported and encouraged by the Church to be able to understand and believe the never ending Beauty, Splendor and Truth of the Church. How very sad! So many are missing out on the opportunity to be united with Truth.
    I’m so grateful to the Holy Spirit who led me to you and your blog, Charlie. God bless you and keep you.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. Joanne Newnam says:

    The legacy of dissent has also created an assault on the Sacrament of Penance. Dissent created so much confusion on the simple question of What is Sin? Why bother to examine one’s conscience if the Eucharist is simply a symbol? So if the priests in local churches and the bishops are wondering why the Confessional lines have diminished the legacy of dissent is its explanation. My church formation took place in the 1950’s and 1960’s and in the day you would trip over the people who did not go to Communion because they had not been to Confession. But, boy, did a sea change happen after Vatican II but especially in the last 30 years of so. This can be laid at the feet of the idea that Communion’s definition as the Real Presence or the Real Body and Blood of Christ has either been diminished or lost. Why go to Confession if the Eucharist is nothing more than a symbol? Have we all become Protestants? I use to have many heartfelt Christian discussions with my Protestant (Presbyterian) friend. And she grilled me like crazy. She was a great proponent of biblical quotes. These discussions always sent me scrambling to a corner chair with the Bible in one hand and the Catechism in the other. But the one thing I always had in my head was the drilling of the catechism questions and answers that we learned from the 1st grade on. (God bless those saintly habited nuns) And here’s the difference. I would say, Mary, Christ said at the last supper, This is My Body, This is My Blood. She would say that it was only the bread and wine offered as a memory of Him. And I would say, Mary, Christ didn’t say this is a symbol of Me, He said this is Me. In any case the dissent maybe far more universal in the Church than I realized but isn’t it ironic that the most recent visible faces of that dissent was the German bishops? I have said for a long time that a schism is developing in my beloved church. And sometimes I think the next thing I am going to hear out of the American bishops and Catholic universities, is that ir is my duty to submit to euthanasia for the “good” of the planet aka global warming. But then again who would have thought that some theologians would be teaching that abortion isn’t always necessarily evil?

    Liked by 4 people

  9. zeniazenia says:

    Hi Steve, Fr. Scanlon refers to the major problem as the ‘cancerous sickness of dissent’. He agrees with Popes Paul VI and John Paul II that our faithful assent to magisterial teaching even when not ex cathedra, has an beneficial effect of forming our consciousness, so it is an important additional part of the process toward our sanctity.
    ‘The requirement to assent to all papal magisterial teachings in matters of faith and morals, even when he does not speak ex cathedra, in order to receive the sacraments, was no doubt part of the “step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a –formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine (of the Church)”– which was the hoped for goal of the Second Vatican Council.15

    Liked by 4 people

    • YongDuk says:

      If you look at Pope Benedict, he stalwarty said that he would rather a small, faithful Flock…

      Benedict was and is very much aware of the End Times we are in. (I am not sure I totally agree with you, Charlie, on where we are in regards to the End Times, but I defer to you, having the Angelic Connexions. Or it may be as I may have said indirectly before [n.p. Fr. Gobbi], all the use of the term, “End Times”, was so as to lead people to serious preparation for the “Storm” and from the Storm into the Final Battle at the Time of the Final Apostasy. [It is also interesting that my central focus has always been on the question of dissent from the Hierarchy in all of its subtle forms being what leads to that Final Apostasy. This article crystalises that concern with the idea of a cancer that lies dormant and then grows back, &tc.])

      To me a small, faithful Flock is a Holy Flock that calls down upon the World bounteous graces, as opposed to one that commits innumerable Sacrileges that make be made reparation for.

      I encourage you all to read Mysterium Fidei:

      http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium.html

      Liked by 5 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Oh, don’t defer to me if you disagree on a matter of serious note, YD. I am given more raw information, but I have to try to figure it out. My wonderful Priests – and a few friends – have often been helpful in refining my understanding of what I am shown. And they have often been most helpful when they have most vigorously disputed with me. What I know is that this Storm will degenerate to where it seems to many as if we have reached the end, but that it is God’s renewal of His people and His Church and He will rescue us and give us one more chance before the final apostasy. I do my best knowing that with certainty, but I do not pretend to any certainty as to where that fits into the best eschatological timelines. I really take a blue collar attitude toward my work: my job is to give people heart to endure the next few years, trusting God and acting as a sign of hope. My focus is probably more narrow and intense than many imagine.

        Liked by 5 people

        • RickN says:

          Please pardon my lack of ignorance Charlie, but what do you mean by the final Apostasy. Are we not in Apostasy now? I thought that the storm was coming to us because we already have turned our back on God. Are you saying that once God rescues us with the help of our Mother (which has to be miraculous) we will live a period of peace until the final Apostasy which some people refer to as The Apocalypse or Armageddon?

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Rick, there have been mass apostasies since the beginning of time. The flood, the many apostasies of Israel which prolonged their time in the desert, the tower of Babel. The final apostasy would be the last apostasy before the end. We are certainly in a mass apostasy right now, but it is not prelude to the end; it is prelude to Rescue, a final chance. So we are in another of a long line of apostasies, but we are not in the final apostasy.

            Liked by 3 people

        • Charlene says:

          In theses times please know many including myself are forever grateful for this blog.

          Liked by 3 people

      • zeniazenia says:

        Dear YD, Thank you for the homework. What a grace to read this encyclical as a group. -ZJ

        Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        Thanks, YD. I’ve bookmarked the encyclical and will read sections, day by day.

        For you, and all here, There are others, including Pope Emeritus Benedict, who believe these “End Times” in which we currently find ourselves do not yet comprise the events of the End of Time, rather, these times precede the inauguration of the Period of Peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima: “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity”. (Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima Thursday, 13 May 2010)
        As food for thought, here’s the larger article from which I discovered the quote:
        http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com/2015/09/pope-benedict-xvi-on-chronology-of.html

        When he was still Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, Pope St. John Paul II made an often quoted statement concerning the confrontation in which many believe we are now engaged:
        “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.
        “We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.” I also remember this beloved saint making more than a few references to the New Springtime in the near future.

        In a beautiful and scholarly book, The Splendor of Creation, which I read more than ten years ago, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, tapped into writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Mystics to lay out his case for understanding that we are at the door of the fulfillment of Our Lady of Fatima’s promised Period of Peace. (Fr. Joe is a leader in teaching about the Gift of Living in the Divine Will as he wrote his doctoral thesis on this topic.) In Frank Rega’s review of the Splendor of Creation book, he says: “Catholic writers and mystics during the last century have frequently referred to a future era of peace using a variety of expressions such as: the Second Pentecost, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus, and the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”

        I had been exposed to these ideas before finding Charlie so that when I began reading what is here, it completely resonated with my understandings.

        Liked by 9 people

        • YongDuk says:

          Okay, I think I struggle with the Era of Peace, not that it is not possible, but that the degree of conversion that is necessary… Don’t get me wrong: I do believe it will happen. I do expect miracles for it to happen.

          I just struggle with the pattern of history including Adam and Eve in the Garden and the length. And it has been on my heart for years: [mid-late 2020s]. I don’t know how or why and or remember where, but it has been.

          Don’t mind me, though 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            YD, thank you for this. I deeply respect the struggle coming from one who is at once erudite and humble. (It’s an incredible combination you know!) I’m just a little puppy dog who’s been blessed to be lapping up these drops of spiritual refreshment over the years. I also respect your reference to the patterns, yet a movement within me simply says God is doing something new.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Well I think it is on your heart for good reason! Jesus told Luisa Piccarreta that He renews the world every two-thousand years (after the first two thousand with the Flood and after the second two thousand with the Redemption) — the mid-late 2020s correspond to the actual 2,000 years’ mark after Redemption (for redemption itself was actually likely several years before 2033). Jesus tells her that this third renewal is none other than the fulfillment of the Our Father — the Reign of the Divine Will “On Earth As It Is In Heaven”

            Liked by 5 people

          • Oops, sorry, meant to say “Redemption itself was actually likely several years before 33 AD” (as Jesus was likely in reality born several years before 0 AD — even Bl. Ann Catherine Emmerich was shown this)

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            I can see it happening YD as the influence of evil will be contained. We will still have free will and can sin, but the confluence of evil tempting, pushing, drawing and pulling in all ways unrelentlessly will subside in large part. My recent trip to Medjugorje has given me this insight. The influence of a particular sin that has plagued me for years is gone. This was a great gift and mercy. I have a renewed hope for after the storm. I am greatful you are here YD. There will be great need to chatichize after the storm. I suspect that if I make it through the Diaconate, that may be a primary roll for me. We will need good bishops to train up the new recruits. I hope I encourage you.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          There’s the pattern, Daniel and YD.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the link to Mysterium Fidei, Father. I will make this my Lent Offering.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was thinking about this at length on Sunday, among the many other worthy posts/comment threads. I think we’re all mostly looking at the same thing from different perspectives. One thing that’s clear to me: we sunk here by degrees and we’ll rise there by degrees. I can only wonder about the details.

        I wanted to make a little video snippet of Sunday’s journey so I could at least share some of the sights and sounds with you. I ended up condensing the 3-hour trek into 3 minutes of video. Sorry, there were no coots, squirrels… comets, or any other signs and wonders.

        http://sweetwaterhaven.com/searching_upriver.html

        I came across a couple of old friends upriver who were peacefully going about their business, but were happy to see me nonetheless. That particular moment has been a long time in the making (by my reckoning), considering how skittish they were when we first crossed paths. It took me 3 hours to find them on Sunday, but you could also include numerous other treks, 100’s of miles, and many other encounters as a part of that cycle as well. All things considered, it’s been a lot of work… one little step at a time.

        Funny how quickly the laborious details and sense of time fades, while I can still recall the experience in a moment and instantly immerse in a fresh joy. Yep, I’ve also got that usual grin as well.

        God Bless,

        MP

        Liked by 6 people

        • Snowflakesdancing says:

          Very nice site you have MP, so many beautiful pictures!

          Like

          • …so many beautiful things that God has blessed us with! I can understand with all the ugliness in the world how we can occasionally pause to look at a ‘train wreck’ and even be tempted to dwell on it, but I feel for the folks who get stuck in that posture. Even in the worst scenes/situations there’s always something of God to behold if we’re looking for Him.

            In the end, I may only have a mere whiff of a memory of a squirrel reference to hang on to, but that would be enough.

            God Bless,
            MP

            Liked by 5 people

        • YongDuk says:

          MP, thank you kindly for writing! I was thinking today that I had not heard from you in a while and was hoping you were ok…

          Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          It’s always a joy to visit your site, MP. You would have loved the ministry drive last weekend, albeit you would have exited the car to climb the craggy-rocked mountainsides to commune with the big horn sheep. (In a sleepy state I referenced them as mountain goats but no… they were sheep.) Thanks for sharing the link.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Vanessa Joy says:

    Wow!! Simple , direct, and a profound clarification of what our Church teaches! Amen is an understatement . Thank you Fr. Regis!!

    Tragically, We have a church of amiguity, vagarities, and politeness . As a Catholic convert from the Protestant faith , which I passionately practiced with my one instrument, (the Holy Bible), I made a lot of noise and certainly I was out of tune for over 25 years. What attracted me to the beauty and harmony of our Catholic faith, I found the authority of the Pope and the as the conductor with over 2000 years of Church magisterium. It was truly beyond inspiring as I had experienced many voices in the body of Christ who claimed to rightly divide the word of God! I joyfully discovered that we have our Cachetism and the Magisterium to guide us to experience the fullness of truth.

    Fourteen years later, as an Orthodox Catholic , I am deeply perplexed and saddened why our priests, bishops and Cardinals continue to seem embarrassed to be fully Catholic . Last year by God’s grace, I had the opportunity to meet with my Bishop. I cried over all the liturgical abuses, lack of clarity and forthrightness about our priests fail to encourage the practice all the teachings of the Church. I said to my Bishop, ” I did not become a Catholic to remain a Protestant.” Stony silence and a nervous laugh shortly followed. My appointment ended with a prayer. I asked him to please take my grave concerns to heart as I see much confusion in my local parishes from the Protestant Kumbya feel good hit moments during the consecration as children and parishioners gather around the altar within a country club like atmosphere chatter during the peace of Christ. My heart weeps and gratefully our God in heaven has given me an oasis of faithful Catholic community to

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Vanessa Joy says:

    Sorry I was not finished with my post … It is quite early and I pushed send by accident
    Anywho…. I have a wonderful orthodox Catholic Church I attend on Sunday’s and not minding the over 40 minute drive both ways !

    We must speak into the darkness with joy and laughter as it stuns our smorgsboard priests and laity who believe the lies of our culture of death and embrace the pepper while forgetting we are the salt of the earth.
    Saint John Paul pray for us!

    Liked by 8 people

    • mdasteel says:

      Bravo for speaking to your Bishop so honestly!
      I was always told that Catholics shouldn’t “church shop”, but I’ve finally found that a necessity. Just can’t stomach the silliness anymore. Luckily I have moved and my local parish is wonderful. No clapping for the choir after Mass.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Kim sevier says:

    Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. YongDuk says:

    I am still hopeful that there will be a revitalisation and thus a revisitation of the norms of dealing with the tough issues within the Sacrament of Reconciliation that will aid the heterodox [clergy] in coming back to orthodoxy and thus true medicine and healing in the Confessional and not a lie of lollipops and rainbows.

    Liked by 11 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh, that it will be so! I do not want the destruction of those clergy whose love has grown cold, but that their love would be renewed, burning with fresh ardor. We need them. As the Lord said, the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

      Liked by 10 people

  14. Judy Bonish says:

    Great read. We just celebrated Sanctity of Human Life Sunday & my church & several other Catholic Churches in our community & nearby never even mentioned it. Not one word. Has the Church come to just accept abortions as a way of life & ignore the tragedy. I’m very upset with the Archdiocese of Detroit & the church in general.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      For what it is worth, Judy, I met a lot of wonderful Priests AND Archdiocesan officials when I was in Detroit last summer. We all have problems, but there are more faithful and committed clerics than most know right now. I hear from hundreds of them, sincerely and determinedly praying and contemplating how to revitalize the faith in their flocks and among their colleagues. Hang tight…we are at the dawn of a great awakening.

      Liked by 10 people

      • janet333 says:

        Thank you Charlie…I think we have to keep a balance. After listening to anti papists, both Protestants and Catholics screeching at me how our Church is NOW finished because of the wolves in sheeps clothing…. who they say are teaching heresy and leading the flock astray…. it is also good to hear about our wonderful faithful priests and Bishops. Has the Church really changed that much in 2000 years? The Arian heresy was backed by many bishops yet thankfully at the Council of Nicea of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance only two bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed, which condemned Arianism. Hasn’t the Church been assaulted from within and without since it’s foundation?

        God Bless You

        Liked by 2 people

    • Frank says:

      Look on the bright side, Judy. The Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit has some outstanding, orthodox faculty members — Dr. Ralph Martin (he had a book way back in 1982 called the “Crisis of Truth”), Dr. Janet Smith (maybe the leading academic defender of Humanae Vitae), Dr. Mary Healy (who has written a study guide on JPII’s Theology of the Body), Dr. Phillip Blosser and others. The young men in priestly formation at Sacred Heart are receiving instruction from some very prayerful, holy and smart people. Sadly, these fine people wouldn’t be hired at most Catholic universities simply because of their orthodoxy.

      Liked by 7 people

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Sister Judy,
      Detroit? see/meet/listen to Fr. John Riccardo and/or “Christ is the Answer.”
      Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth, MI
      AVE MARIA RADIO

      ROCK-SOLID!

      Liked by 6 people

      • Josh in IN says:

        100% agree. Fr. Riccardo is outstanding.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Monica Higginbotham says:

        Wonderful things are happening in the Archdiocese of Detroit! I love Fr. John Riccardo and all that is being done by Renewal Ministries. Plus Ave Maria Radio is located in Ann Arbor. Teresa Tomeo and Al Kresta–many of my favorites are there.
        It gives me hope!

        Liked by 4 people

      • I’ve been blessed to know Fr. John Riccardo for years. He baptized the first two of our eight children. He is a very holy Priest! Please pray for him! And just a few months ago my wife’s brother, Fr. John Simoneau was assigned at his parish as an associate (keep him in prayer too!).

        Prior to entering the Priesthood our Lord appeared to John Riccardo and asked for his heart. (I’m paraphrasing) John said yes and our Lord reached into his chest. When John was medically examined prior to entering Sacred Heart Seminary, the doctors asked his parents when their son had heart surgery … which he never had. The doctors said something like, “that’s impossible, because your son has scar tissue on his heart which can only be there as the result of open heart surgery!”

        I can’t recommend Fr. Riccardo highly enough. For anyone interested in listening to him, check out the Mobile App I did for his parish (like our other apps it’s free and available for Apple and Android … search for “Kruse Solutions” in either app store to download)

        Liked by 3 people

      • victura98 says:

        I’m so glad everyone here loves Fr. John Riccardo. I have been listening to him for years. Fr. Riccardo has something beyond mere learning, or mere zeal. Many zealous and well-learned priests fail to move hearts like he does. He is a voice “ever ancient, ever new.”

        Liked by 2 people

  15. rdlafleur says:

    I do not claim to be knowledgeable in everything the church teaches. I don’t usually go into reading articles such as this. I think in to much of a simple way and normally most of which goes over my head.
    So let me get this straight. Catholic as the word means universal if I am correct. So how can the bishops in the united states (which by the way is where I live) be a part of the universal (catholic) church and be teaching/instructing thoses of us in the U.S. something different? I don’t understand how this could be allowed to happen. If the people are being falsely led don’t the leaders know the consequences of a false teacher? To lead anyone away from the truth of Christ?
    I pray everyday to be lead by God into how I lead my life. I try to believe what l see that the church teaches (even though some things are hard for me to understand, l will believe them).
    I have been praying for unity in the body of Christ and will continue this prayer. Christ deserves so much more than what we the ones who claim to follow him are giving him.

    Liked by 9 people

    • charliej373 says:

      You are right that Catholic means universal, rdla. Unfortunately, the dissent popped up universally, as well. And Europe is in far worse shape than the Americas. But the Church has always been on a pilgrim journey back to her Spouse, and that journey has often been marked by trials, troubles, fights, and errors. Moses dealt with the same.

      Liked by 9 people

      • rdlafleur says:

        Thank you for your response. I will continue to pray for the body of Christ to unite with each other by uniting with Jesus.

        Liked by 6 people

      • YongDuk says:

        I think the heart of the problem lies with sin — well, not to say something utterly, ridiculously obvious.

        If you look at one particularly large Particular Church in the Northeast of America, as an example–but by far not the only example, but one that shook things up in the States–you will see the heart of the problem.

        One Priest with an addiction or one sin, lets say lack of temperance in regards to alcohol, sees another Priest with another addition regarding another sin of intemperance, let’s say lust, who both then see another Priest with another sin of intemperance, …let’s not go down this road too much as we know where it goes… They, who are brothers, did not speak out, did not correct, did not call back to faithfulness each other at the root of the matter–for decades. And from this permissiveness of one intemperance to another intemperance to another intemperance to scandal upon scandal.

        In other words, if I am a Priest or a Bishop–Auxiliary or Ordinary–I have the obligation to challenge my Brothers, not to police, but to challenge in brotherly love. But if I have an addiction to a certain sin and I say to another Priest that you are wrong to be committing another certain sin and need help with your addiction, that means that you too have to change. And that’s the problem. Priests didn’t want to change themselves; they did not / do not desire Holiness at all costs. (You can apply this likewise to the sin of dissent, not just intemperance.)

        Now, if one Priest says to another Priest you are addicted to such and such a thing, then that Priest is ostracised. So, maybe it is not always the best thing to do. But the Bishop is supposed to be a Father and you go to him out of love and concern. Or you have a Spiritual Director, etc.

        I have heard of a few cases where a lowly Seminarian in that Archdiocese went to the Spiritual Director and said to him: I know with certainty that this gentleman is a pedophile. He was told to keep his mouth shut. So, what happened? It’s in the News.

        Then you have the case of a Bishop who tried to tow the line of Orthodoxy in New York and the Majority of his Priests signed a public letter that they will walk on him if he persists in making Orthodox changes.

        But then you have the Example of Good Bishops in the States… Courageous, heroic to Witness, despite the threat of Moral Martyrdom.

        But it takes honestly leading to self-knowledge to humility, longing for Holiness.

        And if the Laity was holy… that would help too.

        Liked by 15 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, it truly is a mess…and sometimes the people who speak loudest about one part of the mess are, themselves, involved in another mess. It is how any organization gets corrupt. It is part of why I try to make this site a place where we can engage in fraternal correction gently, while building each other up…a little way of showing by living it that fraternal correction can – and should – be a means of building each other up rather than cheap gamesmanship.

          Liked by 13 people

          • Bob says:

            I was thinking today that with this year of mercy our Pope has declared that although it is hard to confront sin and even in matters of pastoral care some priests are reluctant to address things as abortion, for example, as they know parishioners have had abortions and they don’t want to cause more pain. But with the year of mercy we must remember that it is not merciful to allow the sick to die of their disease but that they may be cured. And as St Paul says, “How blessed are the feet of those who bring good news” which includes mercy and freedom from our sins.

            Liked by 7 people

        • Bingo! Y.D. You hit the nail on the head. We lay people do the same thing to each other. Make an excuse for that person’s sin because I don’t want to be called out for mine. And there is also the splinter in one eye and beam in the other issue too. Sigh. I guess I just have to hunker down and reform myself.

          Liked by 7 people

        • Beckita says:

          And imagine a world with holy laity at praying for the clergy!!!

          Liked by 5 people

          • YongDuk says:

            It is a Paul VI says in Mysterium Fidei:

            31. But there is something else that We would like to add that is very helpful in shedding light on the mystery of the Church; We mean the fact that the whole Church plays the role of priest and victim along with Christ, offering the Sacrifice of the Mass and itself completely offered in it. The Fathers of the Church taught this wondrous doctrine. (24) A few years ago Our predecessor of happy memory, Pius XII, explained it. (25) And only recently the Second Vatican Council reiterated it in its Constitution on the Church, in dealing with the people of God. (26) To be sure, the distinction between the universal priesthood and the hierarchical priesthood is something essential and not just a matter of degree, and it has to be maintained in a proper way. (27) Yet We cannot help being filled with an earnest desire to see this teaching explained over and over until it takes deep root in the hearts of the faithful. For it is a most effective means of fostering devotion to the Eucharist, of extolling the dignity of all the faithful, and of spurring them on to reach the heights of sanctity, which means the total and generous offering of oneself to the service of the Divine Majesty.

            Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, YD, on the Mysterium Fidei quote!

            Liked by 2 people

        • Petra says:

          YD: Love your commentary on the personal sin of priests who do not fraternally correct each other in private, which eventually becomes a public scandal.

          The minute the first pedophilia cases came out in the news I thought of the Scripture: “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3

          It’s true of whether you do bad, or good, in private.
          God bless.

          Liked by 5 people

        • Lynette says:

          YD,
          I had a priest, someone at the time in our chancery, tell me that (regarding the sins in the brotherhood of priests) the hypocrisy makes you angry and the anger makes you hypocritical. And no one ever talks of it. I felt a great and heavy sadness when he told me of this desperate cycle. I understood why we could not get very far in promoting our NFP classes.
          How could there not be a New Springtime if these falsehoods were rejected and conversion of hearts took place? I believe in miracles and in His perfect timing to save the most number of souls. Lord, grant me the grace.

          Liked by 3 people

        • 1.2012 says:

          I couldn’t agree with you more YD!!! Great comments.

          Like

  16. Mike says:

    Dear Charlie,
    This question is unrelated to Fr. Scanlon’s article but I wanted to ask. I know that I’m not alone when I say that I draw much consolation and hope from your posts and the comments of the other readers of this blog. Perhaps this is something that you are unable to share, but I was wondering if you anticipate whether we as a community will still be able to communicate via this blog during the height of the storm. Or might there be several months, or even a year or more, where there is no Internet connectivity?

    Liked by 6 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t know about that, Mike, but I was assured from above that I will be able to reach and encourage all those who need it during the Storm (with a few short gaps occasionally). I don’t know how that will be accomplished, but I have come to trust such assurances. When I really started contemplating that this might be real and I might have to act, there was no effective Internet and I wondered how I could reach out to the many people I needed to – to seed the world with that encouragement. It is true that eye has not seen and ear has not heard. So though I often do not know the how, I leave that to God. I have found Him to be quite resourceful in keeping His promises. 🙂 He will not leave us without recourse.

      Liked by 13 people

  17. Robyn says:

    Ahhh! There’s no better way to start the week than with morning mass, a cup of coffee and this breath of fresh air ! Now that I’ve had all three look out Monday, here I come! Thank you Fr. Regis. Thank you Charlie for posting this.

    Liked by 9 people

  18. victura98 says:

    Within the last seven to eight years, the landscape of the Church has changed dramatically, from my vantage point, at least. The dark cloud of militant secularism among society, and hostility to Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, that has spread so much in recent years, has not been without its silver lining. In my first decade of priestly service (I was ordained in 1998, hence the ’98 in my screen name) I fought many of the battles Fr. Scanlon describes in this article. Fighting against dissent within the Church felt like fighting a forest fire with a squirt gun…hopeless, and endless! But then without warning, things began to change. I felt a change between 2005-2010, wherein many dissenters simply stopped showing up for Mass and dropped out of parish life, for the most part. These were the secularists, by and large. It seemed that many of them had become honest with themselves…if I do not really believe this Catholic faith, why bother fighting? It’s easier to sleep in on Sunday mornings!
    As a consequence, I do not have many of these fights anymore. Instead, I discover many well-intentioned but often poorly catechized souls who take true doctrine as a hungry man takes a hot meal…eagerly and with deep gratitude. Furthermore, I sense among the faithful a strong desire to evangelize those who are not coming to Mass, and to do so with patience and charity. After a forest fire, they say, the ground is so densely packed with nutrients that new growth is inevitable. From my vantage point, the fire is no longer burning, and now there is much new growth that needs patient, loving, persevering care. It’s getting better out there, and I hope it encourages you to know! 🙂

    Liked by 26 people

    • charliej373 says:

      And many of the secularists are beginning to feel the stirrings of a deep hunger – noticing that their spiritual “bellies” are empty, and have been for a long time. Oh, that we might stand firm in truth while welcoming back the prodigals with charity.

      Liked by 13 people

    • YongDuk says:

      Victura, I said the same thing a few weeks ago and thought reading Regis’ article that maybe I am crazy and have been buffered and am now out of touch.

      Thank you for confirming that I am not and what I felt from my perspective is as you feel!

      As Charlie says in response to you here, I expect miracles–well, HE expects ordinary miracles… 😉

      Liked by 12 people

    • Beckita says:

      Amen, Victura! Having been on staff at a local parish for 30+ years, now retired yet still very connected to the inner workings of parish life, I have seen, in my little corner of the world, the very changes you describe… not only within the laity but also in the priestly formation of the more recently ordained as evidenced in the ways they lead and minister to their flocks. Add to this reality the events now unfolding and my heart skips with joy at Charlie’s statement: “Oh, that we might stand firm in truth while welcoming back the prodigals with charity.”

      Liked by 9 people

    • That, indeed, Father, is a great source of encouragement. Thank you.

      Liked by 4 people

  19. We all know what the “bully pulpit” is … I wonder why the most media savvy Pope in history, who obviously understood these three issues of dissent, didn’t use his bully pulpit more effectively? He realized that he was being ignored and undermined. Just look at what was done to undermine and discredit the official Catechism before it was released – from within the Church! (see the book “DOA: The Ambush of the Universal Catechism” on Amazon)

    It’s a mystery to me that in a world of such instant communication, when a Pope no longer has to necessarily rely on the traditional means of communicating (either secular or religious) that he wouldn’t make more effort to reach people directly. Actually he did a lot by starting World Youth Day! Thank God.

    Anyway, this also reminded me what our Lord said to His disciples in Mark 9 when they asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out a certain Evil Spirit and He said to them: “This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” The spirit that wouldn’t come out until Jesus arrived was a “deaf and dumb” spirit. Interesting. In many ways the Church has become both “deaf and dumb” … She doesn’t really hear what is going on (and most certainly don’t hear Her). And She certainly doesn’t speak out as She should.

    When they are practiced, Prayer and Fasting are two things that no one necessarily sees happening. And there is no worldly recognition for them. When serious regular prayer and serious regular fasting are not practiced by Bishops … the direct descendants of the Apostles … the fruits are now clear! In plenty of places – especially in the U.S. – the Catholic hierarchy is comfortable and fat (two signs that prayer and fasting are probably not happening enough or at all). Plenty of country clubs and low handicaps abound abound for them while Catholics in the pew basically never hear anything at all about all three issues that Fr. Scanlan addresses.

    Bishops are Priests and Pastors of Souls first and the Patron Saint is St. John Vianney, a man known to pray and fast constantly! A man of true mortification who slept about 3 or 4 hours a night and who only had one meal a day, consisting of a glass of buttermilk and maybe a potato – for like 30 years straight. I think he slept on the ground as well, just to suffer a little more for those in his care, uniting all to the Suffering Christ. Check out Fr. George Rutler’s great book “The Cure D’Ars Today: St John Vianney” on Amazon for more on this great saint.

    Unless there is some miracle to change things, the only way this Church is going to be renewed is through suffering and blood. That’s why I agree that this growing Storm is an act of Mercy and that we should not pray for it to be averted. In my estimation the best thing that could happen would be for an outright open persecution of the Catholic Church … which is most likely the reason why Satan is working so damn hard to make the world and the Church buddy buddy. Unfortunately the miserable creep continues to be quite successful. I recall some approved Catholic prophecy that says something like – When the Church and the world are one, that is when the chastisement will happen.

    The best thing we can all do is to redouble our efforts to PRAY & FAST and to share the message of Divine Mercy … the very last hope of mankind.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mack says:

      I’m surprised that you think Pope John Paul didn’t “make more effort to reach people directly.” He was the first pope to start traveling widely, during which he met and spoke to more people than any other pope in history. He was a true pastor and I don’t think he could have done more than what he did. Given the culture of dissent in the Church, if he had tried to be hard with people and basically say, “I’m the pope, obey or else,” it would only have hardened the dissent. I believe the Holy Spirit inspired him to reach out like he did. He probably realized he couldn’t do much with the hard-core dissenters, so he went directly to the people.

      Liked by 2 people

    • As a note of encouragement, my parish priest who is really young (probably late 20s or early 30s) always leads us in prayer in Eucharistic Adoration. He is the first one to kneel before the Holy Eucharist in full view of everyone. And no, he does not stand or sit after 10 minutes. He is kneeling the entire duration of the adoration which is an hour. He stands only when to conclude with the Benediction. God has blessed us with this young priest.

      Liked by 10 people

    • MarieUrsula says:

      Saint John Paul II also initiated the enormously labor-intensive, consultive production of the new universal Catechism of the Catholic Church ~ the first such catechism, I believe, since the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s. As I recall, all bishops in the world played a role in reviewing and giving input.

      The primary edition, in French, was published in 1993. Authoritative translations followed soon after. This catechism, in various languages, is on the Vatican’s website.

      One thing the CCC did and does is to enable Catholics who really want to know what the Church teaches simply to look it up in the authoritative text rather than in any number of other catechisms, text books, etc., that might include inaccurate spins.

      In other words, instead of playing the heavy himself, Saint John Paul II helped to equip the laity to know their faith even in cases where their own bishops were sources of confusion.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. J Martin says:

    “How hard it is to be Catholic but how happy the Catholic.” – Pope Paul Vl
    As a cradle Catholic, who only learned my faith in my young adult years I whole heartedly agree!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Thank you Fr. Regis. If only we would all pray,
    O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
    From the desire of being esteemed,
    Deliver me, Jesus.
    From the desire of being loved…
    From the desire of being extolled …
    From the desire of being honored …
    From the desire of being praised …
    From the desire of being preferred to others…
    From the desire of being consulted …
    From the desire of being approved …
    From the fear of being humiliated …
    From the fear of being despised…
    From the fear of suffering rebukes …
    From the fear of being calumniated …
    From the fear of being forgotten …
    From the fear of being ridiculed …
    From the fear of being wronged …
    From the fear of being suspected …

    That others may be loved more than I,
    Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

    That others may be esteemed more than I …
    That, in the opinion of the world,
    others may increase and I may decrease …
    That others may be chosen and I set aside …
    That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
    That others may be preferred to me in everything…
    That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

    Liked by 7 people

  22. Deborah says:

    So I did read the article to the end and I was so happy I did.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. MarieUrsula says:

    Father Regis’s excellent article mentions the especially prophetic section No. 17 in Humanae Vitae, which is worth reprinting here:

    Consequences of Artificial Methods

    17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

    Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

    Limits to Man’s Power

    Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions, in the light of the principles We stated earlier, and in accordance with a correct understanding of the “principle of totality” enunciated by Our predecessor Pope Pius XII. (21)

    Back to MarieUrsula:
    Is he right on or what!?

    As I write, various supporters of the Little Sisters of the Poor are submitting their briefs to the Supreme Court as the Little Sisters continue to resist the federal government’s attempt to force them to pay for employee health insurance that covers contraceptives (including abortifacients). And the Little Sisters are just one of many plaintiffs throughout the country, as most of us know. BTW, one of my favorite groups in support of the LIttle Sisters of the Poor and fighting against the HHS mandate for several years is called Women Speak for Themselves. I won’t include a link to their website, but it’s easily found ~ the name dot com.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Nancy says:

    a long time ago, I found a prayer book at adoration. It was called The Wound in the Heart of Jesus. It was full of prayers and meditations on intercession for bishops and priests. I wish it was still in print–the author is Kathleen Keefe.
    My thought is that if we are holy, we will have holy priests and if priests are holy, they will have holy parishes.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. LukeMichael says:

    When I first returned to the Church my biggest obstacle was how could artificial conception be a bad thing? I read Humanae Vitae. I was stunned by the insight, beauty and prophecy in that document. I dove back in to Church water and sprinted a few laps! Now I’ m on the marathon swim.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Jill Marie says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Charlie. A swell of emotion accompanied my reading. If my question has been addressed elsewhere by you or TNRS family, let me know. I’ll search & find. So many insightful & stirring comments to read – don’t want to take up time with a repeat.

    I’ve heard that God will hold priests accountable for the souls lost under their care. The “souls lost” part troubles my heart in light of this post. I think of my sister who once worshiped the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration and now, as a Protestant, views with contempt our honoring of the Blessed Mother. I worry about my mom who dutifully attends weekly mass & receives communion yet hasn’t been to confession in decades due to hardness of heart, ignorance of church teachings, clergy scandals… My cousin who left the Church to pursue gods of wealth, prestige, & pleasure – and his brother & family, occasional church goers who believe being “a good person” is the ticket to heaven. Too numerous to count are my cherry picking friends, especially w/r to abortion, marriage, etc. We all received our sacraments of baptism, confirmation, & marriage under priests who preached “God loves you” but not much more. I often wonder how God’s justice handles the straying of those who never truly learned the faith and, through priests’ omissions or even lies, were allowed (encouraged) to pursue lives that led them away from the Truth.

    God respects free will, but how could He permit these souls to be lost, possibly for eternity? Considering the poor formation we received (sometimes detrimental) combined with the exponentially growing evil in the world since that time, I can’t help but think we were set up to fail. (How do you turn to God’s mercy when you don’t think you need it? don’t know of His mercy? don’t know about Him?!) I’m not blaming God. I realize generations of sinful decisions along with our own concupiscence have brought this about, but it’s still difficult for me to understand. Discovering St. Faustina & Divine Mercy, I clung to the hope that Jesus would appear to family at the moment of death, and perhaps for the first time they would understand His love. How could anyone not say “Yes” to Him then? Yet, every time I hear about souls being lost, I come to the conclusion that even at this last offering of profound Mercy, our Lord is still being rejected. This fills me with immense sadness and, I’m ashamed to admit, some bitterness as well (given above context). Certainly, learning about the Storm and Rescue provided more hope and even joy . God in His great mercy is giving people another chance to turn to Him! But, much fear rolled in as well. How bad must it get in order to save my family, a very opinionated and stubborn stock? My greater fear – Are they too ingrained in their mindsets & behaviors of indifference, ignorance, pride or doubt to see Truth when it appears? Will the Storm/Rescue be so inconceivably miraculous that only eyes and hearts filled with pure evil won’t see and understand? Is it possible that despite this, some will remain blind and continue to reject Him? (My God, could I reject You? Only through God’s grace did I somehow manage to hang on to my faith and eventually learn more about it. How much more is my responsibility to pray, fast, offer suffering for, and try to love those I speak about? Yet, even with such knowledge, even with awe & gratitude for all He is and has done for me, even with the intense emotions aroused at the thought of lost souls, I fail so miserably… Will I be able to cling trustfully to His Mercy so I can be a sign of hope? ) Don’t’ have to comment on those latter questions – worries got the best of me & the overflow began 😉 I suppose I’m simply wondering about God’s mercy and subsequent justice of those souls affected by lack of Church teaching due to clergy dissent, indifference, and fear. (Feel free to delete all but this last sentence. It takes me a while to finally get to the point. Sorry for the rambling…)

    Thanks to all who answer. This tech-challenged gal hasn’t figured out how to respond to subsequent comments so if you don’t hear back, please know that I read all with a heart eager to learn and filled with gratefulness for your replies!

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I am working on a piece that delves into this. For now, I would say NEVER underestimate the scope and ingenuity of God’s mercy. It is a mystery, but it is deeper than you probably think.

      Liked by 8 people

    • Hi Jill,

      Reading your comment struck a cord with me because I have struggled with all those same thoughts many times. Remember this from the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion communicated so profoundly by St. Faustina … Our Lord gave all of us a tremendous promise when He said: 186 +Today Jesus said to me: “I desire that you know more
      profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some
      sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: 187 “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.”

      And –

      1397 The Lord said to me: “The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.”

      Jesus wants the Eternal Salvation of all those close to you immeasurably more that you do. So our response must be to TRUST in what He is saying here. Just imagine Jill, we know the prayer “most pleasing” to Jesus Christ! And it is a prayer for “conversion” that is “always heard and answered.” We don’t need to see the conversion. We might sometimes, and that’s nice. But what really counts is Eternity. And that is why there is Purgatory. Jesus is promising all of us that He will grant our loved ones the “grace of conversion” and that is all that matters. The only tool the Devil has to try and stop us is to make us doubt! And he can’t “make” us do anything. So decide with your Will – make the final choice once and for all and say it out loud: “Jesus, I TRUST in You!” When a doubt appears, rinse and repeat!

      And remember, set your clock for the 3 o’clock Hour of Mercy and remember some more words of Jesus: 1320 “At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion….”

      Liked by 6 people

    • Petra says:

      Jill Marie: As I read your piece I thought of wolves attacking a flock of sheep – killing and dragging off as many as they can. Jesus often likened us to sheep – really hapless creatures blithely going along while the wolves circle for the kill. In my mind, the wolves are all the things that lead our family members away from God. And we worry, when they die, they will not see God.

      You said, “God respects free will, but how could He permit these souls to be lost, possibly for eternity? Considering the poor formation we received (sometimes detrimental) combined with the exponentially growing evil in the world since that time, I can’t help but think we were set up to fail.” I see what you mean: that it must lessen culpability if you have insufficient information to make a true free will choice to reject God. But even if we were “set up to fail” we cannot excuse ourselves when we knew the right thing and did the wrong.

      I am sure God knows each and every heart to the very core, and knows exactly how many times He gave the ability to turn away from sin, and was rebuffed by the person, and how well that person knew what they were doing. We really don’t know that about people, but God does. As much as we worry for their souls, remember God is working to effect their salvation, sometimes through you and through the benefit of your prayers and sacrifices. It is HIS work, and we are His assistants. We’re blessed to be called in to help, but we do not bring about the salvation of anyone in a direct sense. God alone does that. Remember, He is Good. He is Just. He loves them even more than YOU do, and wants their salvation more than YOU do, and is doing all He can, including engaging your help, to save them. (Do you think it is one of the satan’s ploys to get us to forget WE are not the Savior, and to become frustrated and upset when we think our efforts to save our loved ones are fruitless?)

      You and I only know pretty superficial things about other people’s souls. We really can never say, given outward appearances, whether someone in their heart isn’t like the tax collector at the back of the synagogue, afraid to even look up, saying privately in their inner selves, “Have mercy on me O God, a sinner.” We can hope. We can pray they will receive the grace to do that, at least. We can sacrifice so God can justify bestowing such graces on them. We don’t have to know if what we are doing is “working.” We just have to do it and trust God sees and is at work.

      Don’t get frustrated by the appearances. Just live a really good life, be a good example, treat them with love and respect, hope for their salvation, pray for them, and ask God’s mercy on them. Know your catechism so that you can act as an apologist to their questions, if they ask you something. Just remember even if they seem to reject God and you, you have no idea if they don’t go home that night, and in the moments before they fall asleep they think, “Oh, how I wish it were as easy for me to believe as it is for her.”

      God bless.

      Liked by 6 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Dear Jill, Charlie, Phillip, Petra and Divine have replied to your questions with messages of God’s merciful love and promises. Jesus did ask St. Faustina to pray the stations of the cross at the 3 o’clock hour as well as the chaplet that He taught her to pray for conversions. This 30 minute video combines the chaplet and stations and might be helpful so you may not tire of praying daily for conversions at the 3 o’clock hour. Love Zenia Jane

      Liked by 3 people

    • Josh P. says:

      Hi Jill Marie. My thoughts on this, outside of what everyone else has said, is that is seems to me that a person’s spiritual growth is a very tricky sort of thing from a salvation standpoint. What I mean is, the more ignorant you are, the less culpable you are in your sins, since you had only a small understanding of the evil you committed. So I think the fact that your family and friends are ignorant is part of God’s salvation plan for them.

      Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      Hi Jill,

      We can blame the poor formation some of us received but in the end it is up to us to search for the truth. God isn’t sitting back leaving us in our ignorance. He is truly reaching out…. and if you think about it He is using you also to help your family and friends, They might not be listening now, but later they will think about all you have said.

      After the death of my baby brother..(I was 15 at the time)… I joined the Spiritualist Church, reading everything on New Age teachings. Somehow I combined the real truth of the faith that I had been taught in school, with these false teachings. I remained in this ignorance for over 20 years, until I came across a special edition newspaper on the seriousness of the times and the many apparitions taking place in the world. I was ‘bowled’ over and became determined to find out more. I had asked Our Lady to let me know if going to the Spiritualist Church was a sin..and within a few days received an article explaining the dangers of spiritualism.

      The internet was still not widely available at this time so I read all I could about the Catholic Church from books…but oh how wonderful to finally have everything at my fingertips when I did get a computer. The only problem was that now I was reading messages from false seers! I really had no idea that satan could do this kind of thing. He even allows prayers and devotions… if in the end he achieves his goal!

      But anyway what I am really trying to say is that God is reaching out to those of little and no faith, whether they had a good formation or not, but they are refusing at this time to listen to His calling – the world is so much louder. They will need a massive wake up call and it’s on it’s way.

      God Bless you..keep up the prayers. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  27. Phillip Frank says:

    Jill Marie,
    One of the prayers in the Divine Mercy prayerbook mentions that we, the faithfull, carry the weight of the whole whole world on our shoulders. If this be true, than we do effect those we pray for as it is God’s will that we be His hands and feet. I tell my family that if the Satan cannot push us into error, he will pull us there. In this, there is a point in our spiritual lives where we can go too far like being so heavenly bound we are no earthly good, or being super apostles who go so far as to say “can anyone be saved”? When we decide the crises is too big or the sinner is too far gone or decide somehow we are the ONLY one who is working on the problem, we are being pulled by the satan. When Jesus said, If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…..” He was referring to the fact that with Him all things are not only possible but accomplished. That tiny grain of faith you possess becomes attached to the omnipotence which is God and that omnipotence is what gets the job done, not you or your tiny bit of faith. But God desires to increase His glory through you a mere speck of a creature by your act of free will joined to His act of perfect will.
    So don’t let the enemy push you or pull you past the goal line, God is there already waiting for you to catch up. Faith ( belief) hope ( trust) and love ( obediance) are your recipe for success.

    Liked by 10 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, perfectly stated, Phillip!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Amen. Amen. Amen. Thank you for your wisdom shared, Phillip.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome, P. F. I needed that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sandy says:

      Thanks for the insight post Phillip. I can relate to Jill’s situation. Yours and the other responses are so helpful. Such wisdom is here in these discussions it is awesome! 🙂
      It is so easy to get frustrated and to feel responsible for the full conversion of our inner circle. I have felt the pull you mentioned. This discussion made me think of the 33 day consecration to Mary and how we offer all of our prayers to her intentions. It has been difficult for me to do that and to not still pray for my intentions. I think that means I need more hope (trust) and to shake off the vanity of feeling responsible when in reality I am a speck whose flawed attempts are only made perfect by God.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Ger Moran says:

    Charlie A chara.Hello Charlie, not the most friendly of oldozers as I don’t really comment on any of what you write in quite a ling time. I tend to disagree with a lot of what you say, tend to get a little heated, as to some of what you say. Not all that educated, and mostly let my cynicism,  school of hard knocks and mostly a life not so well lived get in the way of a more coherent mail.I did like reading of Judas and would have liked to point out to those who care to listen of him being born to a purpose. Who are we to judge as to just where he resides ?The piece on our imminent collapse, para-dimes of modern democracy/lack of republican tenets. Lack of. Most of those worries of God given power/usury as defined by The Christ could really have been summed up by mention of the world being controlled by The Federal reserve, The London Mile, our world being a lie really by those who control such things. Your Judeo/ Christianity figures in there also but alas it is not within the remit of a bad scribbler such as I. We really should know though who it was denied The Christ as their breed are still afoot at their plans. Time means little to that grouping of mechanics on engine of machinations aided by quite the wily old, old foreman.The Synod of course was quite the read, worthy of St Augustin I have to suppose, but again alas the scribbler considered it a tad  heavy. The piece you did on DNA was quite the little gem though as I thought of that Most Lovely Lady. I have wondered of many a year as to such a Lovely gift to be given to a humble old saint. What on earth he may have known as he fumbled with those little beads as he may have held them in his hands. If you hold Them in just the right way, They do represent our DNA I often thought as They just seem to mimic something un-heard of as we should see Them in a twisted line with The Crucified Christ at Their head.In any regard as you will well know of some of my more sane scribbles. I do not take you to task with any of the aforementioned. We both know I feel you have walked the walk. As may have I and a lot of people who read you. I would like to say I wish to believe you are right in your summations of things to come. The blood and cries of untold suffering deserves of so many centuries cry out for vengeance. Thankfully it is the will of some  just god or other and not I who would deal out justice, I think I would get carried away as to some of the things I have seen, and yet also may have done.I would somehow like if this were an anonymous mail for a private reason, but you may if you wish post it and to adapt/change it in any form you like. It is meant really for those in Ireland who read you but others may find some merit in to their own situation. Just one of many old thoughts as I had some politicians visit me here. There is to be an election in Ireland shortly.. Needless to say those cretin/elite/knowitall charlatans for the most part have to come about to meet their employers to gain permission to kick the can a little further down the road. One party of such ilk were here last evening which got me to thinking. One of that lot gave me some literature of promise to make my life better yet again. It made me think as to a counter to those buffoons. I have since went to a local place and got some small cards of That most Holy Lady of Tepeyac. Here now Charlie is a cunning plan to counter their promises. I am going to promise to read their promises on condition they read the promise on the small card I give them…………Got it in one I hope Charlie. You could also get some Divine Mercy cards, anything really of your choice. Simple choice really. You read their promise, they read The Promise of The Word. I did try to promote your piece which you did on our national radio, not a lot of success really as I have been a persona non grata on such places in my country over many years. I don’t have the luxury of a radio or TV anyway, but you do have some Irish readers which are quite a bit more eloquent than I so I’m quite sure though you could make some kind of workabout though as to that if you let Irish people know of their possibility to suggest you or your like to the national radio of any country. For now for me it has to be a work in progress on a local level. One soul at a time hopefully. I really am looking forward to doing this locally as I have ordered some more little messages to pass out to those we see but once every few years. I may also try this with family and friends, but then from my scribbles you may have deduced I really don’t have all that many friends. I do notice a few people cross the street as they espy me. For my sins I think I imagine a priest or so who seems to avoid me…………….Aye Charlie, you sent me a link…………No avoidance.Beannacht leat A Charlie, Dia agus Mhuire dhuit. I hope you find some small merit in this old meander. Would it were we could all thumb our noses at our Irish political elite. Leading the vanguard of our world in affrontary to God after centuries of being looked down on for The One True Christ. I just know Mother has taken note of our faith and endurance. We will prevail as is the will of The Father, never ever to forget a Mother who loves.Anon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Well Ger, I choose to print this anyway. Sure, it is a bit of a ramble, but it is a ramble with a certain artistic charm. You Irish have such a lovely lilt. Thank you for your steadfast, realistic and practical faith and fortitude.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Anon. says:

        Hah A cara there you you auld coot. I had thought you may print it. sorry to your readers if it turned into a wall O’text as I did paragraph it I thought as I wrote you. I promise to be a tad more careful in future, but I am ever changing e mail addy’s and proxies so was unsure of how it would turn out as I posted the reply to your mail with links.

        I only noticed that as I had re read my mail to you . You may have been aware of this dozer being one who may have annoyed you with some of my older comments, but thank you in any regard as to this short compliment, (I think ?). I do hope others have found some use of my idea of our political hacks which will be of use to some of your Irish readers in particular as to your extended links. We don’t really have much contact with politicians other than when they go about with their tipped hats and begging bowl of spiel. We are the old boxer in a ring of seeming defeat. We need to make every punch a good one I feel.

        Good wishes Charlie, agus Beannacht Libh arsa tu fein, and those you love. May the rains fall always softly on all of our faces in those times.
        Och Aye,,,,, Anon.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Joe says:

      Ger, Love your post here. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t cross the street when I saw you coming.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Anon. says:

        Must be something to do with the strange questions I ask of people I meet. I like to think I’m a better thinker/ speaker than what some on old fora used to call my Oscar wannabe way of writing………….

        Dia dhuit. A chairde.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Vivi says:

    Charlie i ve been reading a lot of the financial markets lately. It seems we are in the riding stage getting ready to crash at any moment. Whats coming is not what people are expecting. Are you going to give us a tylenol dosis before we hit hard?

    St Joseph pray for all of us especially all children of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Deborah says:

    Enjoying all these comments as much as the actual article itself. Thanks for all the words of Wisdom!

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Vivi says:

    Loved it Luke!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. meggie says:

    Dear Charlie,

    Please, I beg of you, have mercy for the following questions. please. I value your opinion , whats up with Planet X and the again,whats this movement of mothers demanding to breastfeed in public”? To me, that demeans the dignity and mystery of a woman, but Ive been called old fashioned for this. What is all of this? And yes, I live in Florida and we all see another “sun” in the sky, we have for months. Im really about to give up the fight.

    Like

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