Public Trust is Withering Away

By Charlie Johnston

Ironically, the Inspector General’s (IG) Report released yesterday had profound echoes to former FBI Director James Comey’s exoneration press conference for Hillary Clinton: it is brutal in its list of devastating evidence but modest in the conclusions it draws from those stark facts. Unlike Comey’s press conference – and contrary to many press reports – it does NOT exonerate either the FBI or the Justice Dept. Rather, it leaves it for those Constitutionally charged with making such judgments to make them. It actually does what Comey’s press conference two years ago should have done: lays out the facts and leaves it for proper authorities to draw appropriate conclusions – and then let the people of this country hold those authorities to account for the judgments they make.

I was disheartened at press and conservative reports on the IG Report. Almost all said it did not find any evidence of political bias – after listing a mountain of specific evidence of it. Ah, but that is not what it said. Rather, it said it did not find that such bias “directly affected investigative decisions.” All that means is that they found no specific instance of FBI officials baldly saying they must enter into a conspiracy to protect Clinton and take down Trump.

I have watched with dismay as solidly conservative and civil libertarian Congressmen, over the last year, have repeatedly looked to the (then) coming IG report to settle the matter. That is as feckless and evasive as former Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch’s delegation of the charging decision on Clinton to the FBI Director. Congress is Constitutionally charged with oversight over the Justice Dept. and FBI, not the IG. The IG is an investigative arm charged with finding the facts. Congress is charged with drawing the conclusions and acting. I am sick to death of officials desperately trying to find someone else to take the fall for actually doing the job they were elected to do. The IG Report gives them the evidence. It is time for Congress to (as we like to say on this site) “Joan up” and do its job.

The one thing I would like to see the president do right now is fire FBI Director Christopher Wray. After this report, chronicling a horrifying culture of extensive and systemic corruption at the top levels of the FBI, Wray’s press conference should have soberly explained how he was going to correct these abuses. Instead, he pretended the report exonerated the FBI. If he is too stupid to know what a terrible indictment this report was, he should go. If he is too corrupt to acknowledge the plain facts, he should go.

*******

I was angry to find that several Bishops at the annual Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ft. Lauderdale suggested the imposition of “canonical penalties” against those Catholics who disagree with them politically on how best to defend human rights, specifically on matters of immigration. Canonical penalties include denial of the sacraments or excommunication.

Many Bishops are “open borders’ advocates. Despite the disreputable unseemliness of Vatican officials calling for the tearing down of walls on national borders while carefully maintaining the wall that completely surrounds Vatican City, that the powerful and wealthy should make provisions to protect those who are in need or under persecution is a matter of faith and morals. But ‘open borders’ is simply a political means advocated to accomplish that end. It is a political means that I think is short-sighted and counter-productive. I do not think a nation must destroy its borders and all laws protecting them to help the downtrodden any more than I do that the wealthy have the obligation to house homeless people in their children’s bedrooms to solve that problem. It is even more troublesome that so many Bishops look favorably on the sort of autocratic and corrupt societies that create conditions which cause their people to want to flee. That the Vatican plays footsie with Communist Chinese authorities, while undercutting Catholics in China who have endured torture and martyrdom for defending the faith disgusts me. Too many (though it is still a minority) Catholic authorities are servile before real brutal nations – while imperious in their comments to free nations. It makes for empty virtue-signaling photo ops, but does NOT make for effective witness. I have what I think to be better political means: lobby brutal countries to respect religious and other human rights, forge alliances with nations that can give culturally compatible asylum to refugees from brutal nations, then support those efforts both financially and logistically. Have liberal lawful immigration policies that recruit financial sponsors – so that the virtue signalers don’t do all their “good” works with other people’s money. It is possible that the Bishops are right in their preferred means and it is possible that I am right – but both sets of means are directed to the same end, so they are merely political. Ah, but if some of the Bishops at the U.S. Bishops Conference have their way, no matter how effective my preferred political means, I could suffer canonical penalties for not doing it their way.

This comes at a time when the Church is roiled because too many of its officials are either flaccid in defending defined doctrine in the Magisterium or are openly opposed to it – which is a big part of their actual job and authority. To have them thunder and threaten canonical penalties on matters of politics, which is not part of their authority, is particularly disheartening. It does not enhance their authority, but dilutes it. The fact is that excommunication and other canonical penalties are matters of discipline that are never infallible; they can be reversed, even after death, as with the case of St. Joan of Arc. When a Bishop excommunicates someone from the Church Militant on political grounds, it may or may not stand the test of time – but, in the process, he risks his own excommunication from the Church Triumphant unless he repents of abusing his spiritual authority for mere political means.

*******

We are at a perilous moment. As public officials desperately try to shift responsibility away from themselves on duties that are dangerous, and religious authorities desperately try to conform to the world rather than evangelizing it, public confidence in foundational institutions is in precipitous decline. This is why, though slowly, I am talking about the Ballad of the Ordinary Man. I do not think, this time, that authorities are going to lead the way out of troubles. Rather, I think that those leaders will end up following ordinary men to courageous ends that the elite cannot yet fathom or even seriously contemplate.  Every day, I think and pray in terms of how best to boldly Proclaim the Kingdom with clarity and conviction that may inspire people to new hope and new resolve. I fail repeatedly, but this is always where my thoughts and intentions lie. There is a great artificiality that has settled over Western Culture. Leaders rarely proclaim what is in their hearts or take responsibility for what is their actual duty. Instead, they vie with one another for how they can show themselves to be more virtuous than thou. People sense the strained imposture of it all.

This site’s old friend, Dan Lynch, is rallying ordinary people to take the lead in restoring fidelity throughout the faith. In the final paragraphs of a recent piece, he gives a challenge and a call to all:

“…Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, former president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, said that the faithful not only have the “right of free speech” in the Church, based on “the sense of faith and love,” but also that they – according to their knowledge, responsibility, and prominent positions – “sometimes even have the duty to communicate [their opinion] to their spiritual shepherds when it is about the well-being of the Church.” He therefore concludes, “It would be time for the Magisterium to pay appropriate attention to this witness of Faith.” Read more here.

I am calling upon all faithful Catholics to make a Pledge and Petition to pray at least one rosary per week, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe named Protector of the Pontiff by Pope Benedict XV, for the intention that the truths listed in the Pledge be affirmed, supported, obeyed and taught by priests, bishops and the Pope, and all religious and laypeople united in the one, true, holy and apostolic Catholic faith and to petition them to do so.

In the movie, Braveheart, Robert the Bruce, the rightful heir to Scotland, was uncertain, weak and vacillating. It was the valor and fortitude of William Wallace, a commoner, that recalled the Bruce to his proper duty. Now is the time for the rise of a battalion of William Wallaces – not to overthrow lawful authority, but to recall officials to their rightful duty.

It is a little thing, but a small prayer I say frequently to Our Lady is, “O Lady, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee. Make haste to befriend me and, from the hands of the enemy, heartily defend me.” It heartens me. Maybe it will be helpful to you.

155 thoughts on “Public Trust is Withering Away

  1. ALL IN for the weekly Rosary, invoking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for priests, bishops and the Pope, we well as, all religious and laypeople that they be united in proclaiming the one, true, holy and apostolic Catholic faith.

    May all manner William Wallaces and St. Joans of Arc – of every stripe – rise up!
    St. Catherine of Sienna, pray for us.
    Onward Christian Soldiers!

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Hi Pat. I like saying: Things are upside down and backwards. Sadly, I’ve seen so many in my immediate family change with the times since the mid 1970’s — most of them, in fact, even devout Catholics. They’ve gradually adopted leftist ideologies like frogs in a pot of heating water or, better yet, like small fish being swept downstream by a torrent — although this implies ignorance rather than a conscious choice. Most likely they’ve simply chosen not to fight. They just accept these pervasive, degenerate changes washing over our nation. “Go with the flow”….it’s so much easier than fighting an entire culture gone awry.

      Well even without my faith, it’s obvious how black is now white and white is black.

      So we patiently await Our Lord, manning our posts, praying….

      Liked by 14 people

      1. I’m redirecting here a bit, Steve, but even two years ago I couldn’t believe that there existed a person who could actually begin to turn our ship, the Uncle Sam, around. So much destruction has been done over many decades that it seemed an impossible mission. No way, no how, and certainly not one man. The rushing current may yet send our tattered ship over the falls into ruin, but Trump in his sturdy icebreaker and strong tow-line has actually moved the nose of vessel away from the edge.

        It’s hard not to see God’s hand at work here.

        Liked by 10 people

        1. God’s plan is truly unfolding in an unexpected and amazing way, Patrick. Unlike anything one might imagine and we all play a crucial part.
          No matter how minor or mighty our contributions seem, how great is our deed and the merit when we carry it out selflessly. ❤

          Liked by 6 people

        2. Nor I, Patrick Daniel. I would point out that Trump isn’t doing this alone. As I watch him lead us through this awakening, I often think of Lao Tzu’s comment that the best leadership is when the people end up saying, “We did it ourselves.” If you watch, you will see constant strategies and efforts to get people in Congress and out there on Main Street to step up and make their voices heard. *We the People* are being called to wake up and exercise our God-given authority as the earthly Sovereign of these United States. It is brilliant, it is awesome, and it might actually work.

          When all is said and done, and the heavy lifting time is over, we may all realize we cannot dishonor the efforts of Trump and so many others by allowing ourselves to go back to sleep. The key that defines long-term success from Trump’s leadership is that we relearn how to “do it ourselves” and remain actively committed to exercising that authority for decades and centuries to come. God is central to this. Our form of government is fit only for a moral people.

          Liked by 11 people

    2. Pat, your “oh so true” comment reminds me of the opening lines of the brilliant novel written in 1948 by George Orwell, 1984;

      “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

      Winston Smith is the name of the protagonist – he works for the Ministry of Truth whose slogan is;

      WAR IS PEACE
      FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
      IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

      Anyone who is interested in reading it can find a free e-copy at this site and elsewhere;

      https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Wow, Dr. Dave. I read 1984 in 1980, and somehow remember those words! Thank you very much for the link.

        The most memorable books from my childhood are (in order):

        * The Hobbit
        * 1984
        * Animal Farm
        * Brave New World
        * Fahrenheit 451

        Liked by 2 people

          1. You and I have exactly the same books on our list, Patrick. Great books, aren’t they? Strangely enough, I just yesterday lent a copy of Screwtape Letters to a friend who is a new Christian (under 2 years old in the Lord) who is attempting to learn and deal with demonic interference in her life.

            She’s making great steps forward; a couple of days ago she collected all her books written by New Age and/or Psychic authors, put them all in a black plastic bag, and threw them in the trash can! Hallelujah! Then, the next day, she just happened to find an old set of Tarot cards in the back of a draw – they were also donated to the Garbage Disposal Company. Praise the Lord!

            Liked by 5 people

  2. All in, Beckita!

    Angels, nor Our Lady, much less Our Lord speak to me Charlie, except through the Guest of our Soul, but it’s quite clear that we are in the spiraling winds when Donald Trump is the standard bearer leading the charge. Donald Trump, brother. Love it. God is good, and a wicked sense of irony it seems

    Liked by 9 people

  3. I am a news junkie. I listened to the IG report discussed on Fox and then flipped over to a liberal site to see how the other side was viewing it. My goodness, what a difference! Two years ago, I was stunned while watching Comey come up his recommendation. It was replayed yesterday with the IG report. Sometimes I feel like I am watching a modern day version of The Taming of a Shrew.
    I am really confused on the whole bishop thing that you mentioned Charlie. My husband and I read it and couldn’t believe it. Why aren’t they saying the same thing about abortion? Why do those Catholic politicians get to get up in public and proclaim abortion is a wonderful thing? I just don’t get this.
    Then I have to take a step or five back and remember to give thanks in all things. Turn to God and also turn it over to God, keep my head down and my hand to the plow I was given.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. OMG! I said the same thing to my husband last week and again this morning after Mass. I couldn’t believe he worked immigration into today’s sermon again! After being lectured for 30 minutes by our Priest about separating children from their immigrant parents at the border and how we need to accept everyone, as it’s the Catholic thing to do and then he mentioned Cardinal Dolan’s comments about immigration this morning, I said he didn’t mention Cardinal Dolan’s rebuke of Jesuit Father Thomas Reese’s recent suggestion that pro-lifers give up on that and promote contraception instead. In fact, he has never once in the years I’ve attended this church said anything about abortion. In my mind, that is a more horrific sin than separating children at the border. It’s so upsetting to me that I have taken to praying the Hail Mary while he is lecturing us on the SJW policies of the Catholic Church during his sermon. We are going to go to Missoula next Sunday for Mass because it is at the point where we don’t want to hear it anymore. It’s like they are trying to brainwash everyone. There was even a handout in the bulletin.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Charlie, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over the Bishops imposing canonical sanctions against those who oppose their political agenda. If they do it will be meaningless. Consider how Canon 915 is not enforced against the proabortion politicians. And how despite the Bishops forbidding proabortion politicians from receiving honors and awards from Catholic colleges many such ”Catholic” colleges continue to invite these individuals as commencement speakers. The Bishops talk a good game but that’s about it.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. You actually make my point, Eddie. I WANT the officials of my Church to be prudent and influential. That they are so unconcerned with prudence or showing respect to any who disagree with them makes them largely irrelevant in the public square. We are worse off because of it.

      St. John Paul II made an impassioned plea against capital punishment in St. Louis in 1999. I was there. I would severely limit capital punishment, but I was not completely against it. St. John Paul recognized the legitimate authority of temporal officials, recognized that there may be circumstances in more primitive societies where it is the only effective means of keeping the public safe, then appealed to those authorities in advanced societies to join him in opposing it. He persuaded me – largely out of deference to him…and appreciation for the respect he showed for the legitimate problems those who are responsible for it must deal with. Contrast this with these guys insisting they have plenary power over a political issue and threaten to excommunicate those who disagree with them. I know it is not a serious threat…but it could only come from men who are not serious.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Charlie, I’ve thought a lot about this and have concluded that capital punishment for all but one type of crime should never be allowed. The one exception is the group of leaders at the head of a government. If the leader of a country and/or his immediate supporters use fear and the sword against their own citizens and are later found guilty in a lawfully constituted court, they need to die by the sword and be executed.

        The first reason is that as the leader of a government to which the people have given (or the leader has taken) coercive power, they bear a profound and unique responsibility to use that power appropriately. If they do not, and their citizens become subjects and are brutalized by the regime, that leader and his immediate supporters should be subject to execution as a real and sobering consequence when they choose to fail that responsibility.

        The second reason is because they inevitably rule through a network of others (as per the “Divine Right of the Elite to rule”), all of whom together rule through fear. If the core of that network is removed from power but not executed, the people who lived in fear of that core group can never truly be free of the fear that that core group will somehow arrange events so as to return to power. The people who were brutalized by that leader and his core group deserve to be free, and justice demands that the core group be permanently removed through execution.

        In thinking of events in our world today, it does occur to me that this transition to a new world will require God to remove many of the group that now so oppresses the people of this world. I also believe that the IG report is the merest first step in a months-long process (years-long, really) to remove the core group that has been suppressing and brutalizing Americans and those in many other countries. For that reason, I believe that executions for some of these people may turn out to be considered by those who bring these evil people to justice in a lawful manner. By my arguments above, such fatal judgments would be not only morally appropriate but even morally required.

        For any who would now say to me that I am being way too dramatic and that there are no members of our political leadership or their associates who could possibly deserve such a fate, all I can say is that I believe that several more months or a year or two from now, there is a good chance that nobody with open eyes will seriously make that protest.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Steve;
          I was waiting for a third reason when and why capital punishment would be justified. Here’s mine: Christian charity demands it. Counter intuitive, but think about it. How could [insert your favorite murderous psychopathic tyrannical oligarch here] ever POSSIBLY have true remorse and maybe just a tiny little sliver of repentance for their crimes? Even if it’s just milliseconds before the trap door of the gallows drops out from under them, that’s all God needs to work with. For example, how could a serial rapist (whose wife recently ran for president) ever achieve the Beatific Vision if he were to die in his current state of grave mortal sin? They say climbing the stairs to the gallows has a way of focusing the mind.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Christopher J, that’s an interesting idea. My concern with using it, though, is that it could apply to anyone, not just those entrusted with coercive power in a government. I think any grounds not tied to a specific betrayal of such responsibility will spread into other crimes. I’ve seen people recently start saying that child abusers should get the death penalty. If someone is falsely accused of that (and many have been), subjecting them to capital punishment is killing an innocent. I don’t want our society ever to go there.

            A leader of a country who abuses his power to subject his country’s citizens to torture and murder and who uses fear to cow them does so in a very public way. There can be no doubt among the vast majority of people that he is guilty of such and is found guilty in a properly constituted court or tribunal. I want to emphasize: there can be no doubt when a people exercises capital punishment against a former leader.

            God will always get His chance to save such a leader. We don’t need to worry about that. What we need to worry about is us improperly killing an innocent man or woman for any old crime we think should deserve capital punishment. There are many kinds of horrific crimes, and some or many of us may be so upset about a particular type of these crimes that we demand capital punishment be applied.

            An objective limitation is absolutely necessary to limit our use of capital punishment. Without that limitation, we cannot allow ourselves to use it *at*all*. Breaking the trust of the people of a country and torturing and murdering its citizens using the power of their government against them is fundamentally different from all other crimes. This means that nobody becomes subject to this type of punishment unless they first become the leader of a country, something that is rare indeed among 7 billion people. You can be a good leader, or you can be an incompetent or bad leader, and not be subject to capital punishment. Only if you are a leader who actively and provably uses the power of the government against its people to create fear, to oppress, and to murder are you at risk of this punishment.

            The *fact* (that history proves) is that imprisoned leaders can and do escape from imprisonment, return to their supporters, and retake control. It is that very real threat that must be dealt with, and *currently* the only way I know to eliminate that threat is to eliminate the keystone of that network via properly constituted imposition of capital punishment.

            Beyond that one type of use we cannot allow ourselves to go, no matter how much we may want to. And if that one type of use is used by some to justify/apply capital punishment in other areas of more common crimes, then we will have to eliminate capital punishment entirely despite the risk of a murderous leader returning to power. Further, and on the other hand, as soon as we can figure out an equally certain way to eliminate the threat of a murderous leader returning to power, then we should end capital punishment even for that specific type of crime.

            This is like fire. If we do not objectively and firmly limit its use, its use will spread, and we *will* have innocent blood on our hands at some point. And God will hold *us* responsible for that.

            Liked by 5 people

              1. You are welcome, Christopher J. I’m pleased that my occasional contributions here are seen as helpful. I must say that this site has so many wonderful contributors that I am often amazed. Charlie and Beckita are obviously the central figures in our community, but you and I and so many others each contribute our good thoughts and our heartfelt prayers, creating an oasis of challenging thought and loving inspiration. It is a blessing. 🙂

                Liked by 5 people

            1. Steve, what if the Never Trumpers used your exception to go after Trump for what they consider abuse of power? It is obvious to Next Right Steppers what you mean by torture and abuse but remember when abortion advocates turned ‘for the health of the mother’ on it’s head? Also, Christopher, walking to the gallows may convert a few but time to soak in God’s mercy might just convert more;
              Consider the killer of St. Maria Goretti.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Well Kris, we certainly get a lot of perspectives here. If I had my druthers, abusive leaders would go into exile. Capital punishment, in that case, where they certainly have a following, just seems to me to be a way to spiral into never-ending violence. Certainly, that has been the case in a lot of third world and totalitarian nations. Often, brutal leaders hold on brutally to power for fear that if it slips away at all, they will be executed. I think it is a formula for unending violence and tumult.

                Before St. John Paul II evangelized me, there were two main components that had to be fulfilled for me to agree to capital punishment: first, it had to be extremely heinous and second, the standard of guilt had to be beyond the shadow of a doubt – in short, no doubt, not beyond a reasonable doubt.

                I remain glad that people here can have dramatically different takes on issues without degenerating into the ugliness and vitriol that marks modern discourse.

                Liked by 2 people

              2. Kris R., I’ll make three points.

                First, there is a huge and obvious difference between a potential abuse of power in firing the head of the FBI and a leader who systematically kills hundreds of thousands or millions of his own citizens and who is later tried and convicted of that by his countrymen in a legitimate court of law. But that brings me to my second point,

                Second, if we as a world cannot keep the focus on those who lead a country and create a large network of supporters to torture and kill their own citizens, then this solution is no solution at all and would have to be abandoned. As we all know, there is no such thing as “a little abortion.” It metastasizes into all sorts of justifications for more murder. The Israelis tried “a little torture” but after a few years, they saw a slow but steady expansion of torture into other uses. Ultimately, they decided they had to make it illegal. As I said above, if we the people cannot strictly limit capital punishment, then it must be eliminated completely.

                Third, Charlie is right to call this all into question due to knock-on effects. As a great example of this, the International Court has had a major chilling effect on obtaining the removal of deadly leaders via resignation and exile to another country, simply by its willingness to charge such leaders later after they have left power and left their support network.

                In Napoleon’s day he was exiled to an island. He escaped and made of Europe an abattoir of war and death. In 1990 Saddam Hussein was at the airport 45 minutes away from flying out of Iraq and abandoning his network, when our government halted operations and allowed him to come back into power. He later killed thousands and thousands of his own citizens and terrorized millions more for another 10-15 years. His sons were even more murderous than he and had almost 15 years to perfect their horrific tendencies. That all ended when Saddam was lawfully executed by his own people. It has taken 15 years for Iraq to regain some semblance of real order, and they have a long way still to go. I have to ask, would Iraq have escaped that 15 years of instability if Saddam had been imprisoned on Elba? Or would it have experienced an even worse time?

                I sometimes wonder what our history would have been like if Hitler had lived as a *public* figure after WW2 had ended and his support network had not been executed in part in the Nuremberg trials. I think we could have had many years of strife and instability that we did not have in our actual timeline. Would, or even could, Europe have healed? And what if Hitler had not voluntarily retired but had worked assiduously (as he did in the 1920s) from jail to continue to advance his cause? No jail is completely isolating. His poisonous ability to corrupt people would have somehow continued to leak out to the world, to possibly devastating effect.

                If we could arrange a system where such leaders could go into exile and be cut off from their network, and their exile could not be rethought later by people who think they are doing good by exercising a kind of double jeopardy, and the leader’s network would dissolve despite the leader remaining alive, I would be all for that and would happily toss all use of capital punishment onto the dust heap of history.

                I don’t like capital punishment *at*all*. But I also don’t like the idea that a leader can betray his trust so greatly and have as his only possible fate the “comfy chair” of a cushy retirement with full medical benefits while remaining as a living stimulus for his network of supporters to remain together and continuously working to get him released and returned to power, thus leaving his traumatized citizens in constant fear and his country unable to move forward.

                I don’t see any perfect solution. I just happen to think that taking capital punishment off the table for this specialized case is both a desirable idea and a premature idea. A conundrum. Talk to me again in two years. We might all have very different opinions then as compared to now.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. “But I also don’t like the idea that a leader can betray his trust so greatly and have as his only possible fate the “comfy chair” of a cushy retirement with full medical benefits while remaining as a living stimulus for his network of supporters to remain together and continuously working to get him released and returned to power, thus leaving his traumatized citizens in constant fear and his country unable to move forward.” You mean like Obama and Hillary? Wish they would both disappear and let Trump do the job he was elected to do.

                  Liked by 3 people

                2. You make some good points, Steve. With regard to your second point about the world keeping focus on who truly deserves capital punishment and abandoning the solution if it failed, I have a little story…
                  My sister and I were shopping with my aunt. We came across a home decor item that we both wanted but there was only one. We began negotiating with each other when my aunt said, “So easy to obtain, so difficult to get rid of”. Neither of us purchased it. My point is, once you have the law, it would be difficult to get rid of. Again, I use the law supporting abortion as an example.
                  I agree with you that there are brutal and horrible people who deserve capital punishment but I maintain that man does not have a very good record of getting it perfectly right; God does. Having said that, I do like pondering the opinions of this Next Right Step family.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Kris R, I totally agree that humans rarely if ever get this kind of issue right. That’s why I have left ways out of this – if we can come out with a better solution than this, I would certainly believe we should switch to it immediately.

                    However, I do want to point out that I’m not talking about a law, particularly a new law passed here in the US. It’s more an accepted custom, and it was applied relatively well in Iraq with Saddam Hussein. When a people comes out from under the rule of a mass-murdering psychopath like Hussein, they obviously have the right to arrest and try that ex-leader. Provided that they use a legitimate court of law and process, they would certainly have the right to lock that ex-leader up for life. The question is whether they should also have the right to impose capital punishment on that ex-leader. I think any person who accepts or takes leadership of a country should know that there will be consequences, very serious consequences, for him (or her!) if he uses terror against his citizens, turns them into subjects, and feeds on their lives.

                    Any country can currently impose the death penalty on that and other crimes. Many do not, but some do. We allow capital punishment in the US, including for treason, and civilian courts and military tribunals have imposed capital punishment under various circumstances for treason and a number of other particularly egregious crimes.

                    My point is this: We in the US have (in my opinion and by my argument) way too *much* use of capital punishment. By advocating for allowing capital punishment only for leaders who murderously abuse their citizens, to whom the leader owes a duty of care, I am in effect saying that we in the US should eliminate capital punishment for all other types of crime. So out in the real world, my proposal would greatly *reduce* the current use of capital punishment.

                    In my eyes I’m willing to allow this type of punishment in the case of people who use their power as the leader of a country to act in an ongoing murderously predatory fashion against their citizens because I feel that use of the “comfy chair” is not a deterrent to this kind of leader. How best can we deter our leaders from feeding off of us? How best can we denature his supporting network of people and ideas and emotions, and how best to prevent *any* risk of him recreating his opportunity to continue killing his citizens? I contend that allowing capital punishment in this one instance both reduces the use of capital punishment overall to its barest minimum around the world and focuses it on the one place where it might actually do more good than evil.

                    In cases like Hussein or Hitler, guilt and intent are *never* in doubt. There is no risk whatsoever of executing an innocent man. The court that tries him must establish the seriousness of his crimes, of course, as a prerequisite. Once that is done, then the court must choose a punishment. If the comfy chair of resignation and exile is acceptable to all, then fine. If lifelong incarceration in a maximum security jail is acceptable, also fine. But if the crimes are so horrific and there is reason to believe the man and his network will not dissolve but will instead continuously work to return to power and to killing, then the court should be allowed by the country’s constitution to impose capital punishment on the leader and perhaps on his core supporters. And if that man caused widespread destruction and death in neighboring countries, those countries acting together should be able to act via a properly constituted court or tribunal in the same manner.

                    For no other crimes, no matter how disgusting, should capital punishment be allowed or acceptable, primarily because of the risk that an innocent person could be executed. My proposal provides a path to that outcome around the world.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. Well Steve, I can see you’ve pondered this a great deal. I pray for a society in which evil has no place in the heart of mankind. Until then, I dunno…

                      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yeah, they look the other way when “Catholic” politicians behave like liberals or express liberal sentiments but i don’t doubt for a second their resolve to come down with a vengeance against those lay-Catholics who question or rebel against the culturally imposed post-christian liberal dogmas.

      Liked by 8 people

  5. When the IG report broke I thought, can’t wait to read Charlie’s take on this one! And the Bishops Conference… oh my…
    Church politics threaten me to despair more then US politics.
    I recently had a comeuppance which truly humbled me. The fix was to admit I did it, say I was sorry, and ask forgiveness. So simple but yet so difficult. Oh how I wish all who are guilty would just say, “I did it, I’m sorry, please forgive me”and then accept the consequences of their actions. I’m tired of watching them spin the web of deceit. I’m adopting Charlie’s prayer:
    O Lady, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee. Make haste to befriend me and, from the hands of the enemy, heartily defend me.”

    Liked by 12 people

  6. Interesting.
    I found myself pondering the movie Braveheart just a day or two ago and thinking about the struggle for “freedom” that we all seem to have in this world.
    It is said: “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” and in its telling we “wrestle NOT with flesh and blood” but with the duty of our soul to reach out into the spirit world to help us with this enemy of the spirit.
    Our Lady at Fatima said: “if men do not stop offending God, there will be a second and greater war….” She was referring to our spiritual nature and its effect on creation here- sin and have a physical war. Stop sinning, no war.
    I think it was Lucia who said that we barely missed a nuclear war after pope JPll consecrated the world to Our Lady. Possibility the vision of the ‘flaming sword’ from the Third Secret of Fatima that Our Lady held back with her Grace was that revelation ahead of its fruition? Afterwards that part of the vision the Angel cries, ‘penance, penance, penance’. Was he indicating the future duty of mankind and a remedy for something else?
    I was talking with my wife and I told her that apostasy was worse than war because in a war only our bodies die but through ingrained apostasy, our eternity dies. Will penance remedy apostasy? Will the penances inflicted upon the church be from above or do we choose our own?
    Charlie mentioned the “dynamic tention” of the universe and how all things effect each other.
    Once we, the Kings of creation, stop the “dynamic flow” of grace from above by our rejection of God, this dynamic tension will crumble and creation (within God’s will to allow and limit), will crumble too.
    So now, as we endure the crumbling, we are forced to suffer its effect- a type of universal suffering or “penance” for those of us who feel the spiritual shipwreck now upon us.
    God save us.
    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. “Possibility the vision of the ‘flaming sword’ from the Third Secret of Fatima that Our Lady held back with her Grace was that revelation ahead of its fruition? Afterwards that part of the vision the Angel cries, ‘penance, penance, penance’. Was he indicating the future duty of mankind and a remedy for something else?”

      First,
      Five (5) First Saturday devotion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary &
      Nine (9) First Friday Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

      These devotions are as stated, devotions. Not particulary mandated by the Church, but highly recommended in our times.

      *******
      If I may {translate} the Angels cries:
      ‘Indulgence, Indulgence, Plenary Indulgence’.

      This past week I have sought to positively gain a Plenary Indulgence via reciting an indulgence prayer immediately after receiving Communion, aka Jesus, aka (the Eucharist)

      Penace? Yes. What better remedy? Full remission of punishment from our sin by gaining a Plenary Indulgence and a lot of partial indulgences! Better yet, offering indulgences for the Souls in Purgatory. More better, asking those Souls (not to pray for you) but for the conversion of sinners.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Each and every time you receive a Plenary Indulgence (Equals) = a clean slate. Cleaner than the school chalk board, subway car or internet advertisements.

        Frequent Confession.
        Prayers for the Pope’s intentions,
        Reception of the Eucharist &
        an Indulgence prayer…

        Daily mass.
        Each and every time during the offertory we are able to “eternally” place our ‘thoughts, desires, emotions, etc ‘ in union of the Eternal Sacrifice.
        Further, during the Consecration, we may offer our petitions to God the Father who refuses nothing at this moment in time,

        In my mind, there is no better demonstration of living in God’s Will than to be completly removed from sin & punishment than continually seek to obtain His gifts via the Sacraments, prayers and indulgences.

        This, (in my thoughts) is to promote the Immaculate Heart of Mary reign Of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. SS,
      Although I do like your take on the angels message and I’m sure some of what you say is contained there in, but I think the penance the angel was referring to was for men still on earth.
      An indulgence pertains to the period AFTER this life.

      In the Roman Catholic Church penance is a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.
      A penitential discipline imposed by church authority.

      In the Roman Catholic Church an indulgence is granted by the Pope for the remission of the temporal punishment in purgatory still due for sins after absolution.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Here’s a document, which reviews the teaching on the gift of indulgence, released by the Vatican when we began the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Manual of Indulgences, found here, is a great read. It’s amazing how, by an act of the will – such as exerted in a morning offering – the ordinary deeds of one’s entire day can become offering for partial indulgences to bless and assist our friends, the Holy Souls. I read the manual after attending a retreat on purgatory which included teaching gems concerning heaven. The material presented included both Catholic teaching and reflection on excerpts from private revelation in which the Lord had taught about purgatory. Most of all, retreatants went home with the lack of fear concerning purgatory, for it really is a school of learning infused in the suffering, learning how to love. All that said, the ongoing work of offering and praying for the Holy Souls IS a great way to grow in a life of love, sanctifying ourselves and greatly assisting those who cannot rise to Heaven without our help.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thanks Beckita! I downloaded the Manual of Indulgences (kindle version) and read we obtain many partial indulgences without knowing. Cheers!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It IS amazing, Sean. At this juncture, I’m offering the daily plenary and beau coup partial indulgences for the holy souls so I make that part of the morning offering. In turn, I love to ask them for help. Win. Win. God bless you, Sean!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks like a little set back in the Rescue, however God makes good from bad. The Satan is probably gloating over all of the turmoil as are his followers. There is good news: the sun came up this morning and looks like it will set tonight. Let’s keep praying and fighting. God’s blessings to all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Well, Bill, as I have said, I have come to consider the Rescue a process, not an event – a process that began last Sept. 23. From my perspective, we ARE the harbingers of Rescue, we ARE the hands and feet of God on earth. Events that reveal to us that our leaders are not going to get us there, that we don’t get to the finish line until we take responsibility for it seem to me not to set us back from the final chapter of Rescue, but bring us closer. I think we will have a lot more seeming setbacks on the road to the final chapter, even as we continue on our pilgrim way. On my pilgrimage, I had a lot of rough, discouraging days…but I moved ever closer to my destination. I think we are in the same situation here…just don’t look back!

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Right. “don’t look back”. Just what Lot and family were told prior to God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. By the way, Lot dragged his feet in fleeing. And, yes, disobedience has a price. God has not changed -all still applies today. [Gen.19: 15-26] So, don’t pine for the “good old days’, they weren’t.

        Happy Father’s Day, Heavenly God, Our Father, and Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I experience that feeling sometimes, too, Al. Then I remember:

          But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
          (1Cor 12:9)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes; however, it’s not an easy nor obvious process at times. Sometimes we have to ask the questions that others are not brave enough to ask. Life is a journey of hills & valleys to contemplate and learn from…

            Like

  8. I was confused as to what “the truths listed in the Pledge were” but found them on Dan Lynch’s web site. Click on ‘recent piece’ highlighted in Charlie’s comments about Dan Lynch. It will take you directly there.
    Sorry if I’m pointing out what is obvious to the rest of you. I’m tired. Sad, but refuse to be depressed by Church events. Trusting in God’s Providence. Heading to bed. Good night.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. So some bishop wants to impose canonical penalties on border guards who are, in the eyes of the world, working stiffs who don’t make much money. Meanwhile many bishops look the other way when rich, powerful Catholics like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry who support abortion rights approach the altar to receive the Eucharist. I’m sorry if a detect a lack of integrity and backbone.

    Liked by 12 people

  10. I remember in the summer of 2016 (July i think it was) hearing a talk that you (Charlie) gave and at the end of it you started ticking off names of prominent democratic leaders and power brokers briefly stating their crimes and then stating emphatically “They going to jail!” As i watched the video i remember thinking “Amen!” as you methodically listed off the names and crimes of some of the most corrupt individuals in head government positions. Virtually all Obama appointees.. At the time, i felt that justice was imminent and the Benevolent D would drop some heavy justice on our feckless and moribund ruling class.

    But then the election happened, then Trump’s inauguration and now we’re 500+ days into his first term i i’m not so sure anything is going to happen. I hope it happens but i’m not holding my breath. I feel that as this point we are well beyond political solutions. I do not believe that our corrupt leaders will be driven out by the non-corrupt leaders but by the citizens themselves.

    In other words, i await the March. Because that’s really the only thing that;s going to fix any of this. Nothing less than the active and forceful action of the people that love this nation and the principles it was founded on.

    Equivocating press conferences don’t fix anything. But boots on the ground? That’s a start.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Two interesting challenges – one for the Holy Father from Fr Regis Scanlon, https://www.hprweb.com/2018/03/the-dilemma-of-pope-francis-the-2018-world-meeting-of-families/ and another for the bishops from Michael Voris, (not on my regular radar but a helpful read for me) https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-silence-agree

    I have put the challenges to myself in both articles and am now off to Confession (while it is still freely available!)

    BTW, our local Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Greg O’Kelly (helping out in the absence of Archbishop Phillip Wilson) has come out strongly against attacks on the Seal of Confession and deserves open support from other bishops and the laity.

    Liked by 8 people

        1. Tonight here in New Zealand TVNZ broadcast a programme about “Conversion Therapy”. This therapy has been criminalised in various countries. It is about helping those struggling with same sex attraction. It seems there is a drive on to criminalise such efforts here. No surprise. The homosexual lobby is above challenge or criticism here in New Zealand. God help us.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Feeling your pain on this issue, Joe. Fortunately, in the US, the law banning conversion therapy is, thus far, legislated state by state. According to one statistic, there remain 41 states who are free to offer this help to those who seek it. Oh but the supporters of this insanity regarding determining one’s sexual identification are push push pushing to outlaw conversion therapy in every state, claiming it’s abusive. (Once again, good is evil and evil is good.) Deliver us O Lord!

            Liked by 1 person

  12. FBI: Their acts prove their bias. The old Venezuela (before Chavez) was modeled on the United States Constitution and its establishment of the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. When Venezuela began to break down it was evident that the Legislative branch could stop Chavez, but after threats and a few arrests, it capitulated. I thought the Judiciary was the last line of defense for law and order. But Chavez took that down too. This is exactly what Obama was doing sub rosa. We have been privileged to be made aware of the hypocrisy of all levels of our government. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn recent statement about cultish supporters of President Trump (never mind the absolute cult of Obama) is case in point. It always shocks me at the level of disregard all R and D congressmen/women have for “the people” and the Constitution.

    But even as I am horrified by what is happening in my country; I am even more so as to what is happening in my church. I think that there is little doubt that Pope Francis supports gay marriage and his silence this August in Ireland will be proof. Father James Martin’s, an advocate of gay marriage, invitation to the World Meeting of Families in Ireland as keynote speaker by Pope Francis is support of the LGBT agenda. I wonder if the bishops will have to toss Holy Family Sunday and the image of the Holy Family itself because it most certainly doesn’t fit the LGBT agenda. Neither does Saint Paul.

    Can support of abortion be far behind? Euthanasia? When Pope Francis held his “meet” on climate change and the planet, the council had only population control and abortion advocates on it who not coincidently were also atheists. Opposition advocates to this world view tried to join the council but were rejected. So the council was stacked. Now priests are advocating for Planned Parenthood, abortion and population control. It open opposition to Catholic Pro Life groups who work and support women and their babies for years, relentless work based on their love of Christ and truth.

    Pope Francis has also re-invigorted Liberation Theology which can be described as church sanctioned communism. It was condemned by Saint John Paul II and Benedict as not Christian and as communism. Probably because they both lived through that system and saw its destruction of individuals, families and systems that feed the population, free speech, uplifted enormous numbers from poverty and protected it from wholesale murder. Back to Venezuela….case in point.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. JOANNE1950,
      I think it is important to recognise a few things.
      Pope France lived through the evolution of a “communist like” take-over just as St.PJPll and Pope Benedict XVl did.
      I think because Pope Francis uses the “language” of Liberal Theology to become “all things to all men ( 1 Cor 9:22), that any truth contained in his words has been tarnished by the media/Left or ultra-conservative. But just as Jesus and St Paul did, he uses the concerns and language of the day/era to communicate the fullness of truth and when read within this light, a much different “agenda” than what the enemy gives through it’s many mouth-pieces, comes to light and then and then-“he who is on the side of truth, hears His voice.”(John 18:37).
      We still have the great enemy to contend with who from the very beginning twisted the words of God (no, you will not die, but become LIKE God….) and he still “twists” the truth even from the words and actions of Jesus’ Vicar.
      Another point is our duty to use just reasoning when considering what God is doing through His instrument.
      Charlie calls it Judging Rightous Judgement (if I remember it correctly) and we have a moral duty to do this with fear and trembling when it comes to our leaders, especially the popes.
      “True Christians understand the reality of celebrating the Chair of St. Peter in a liturgical manner that this is not just commemorating a relic from the past. They are acknowledging the presence of a holy and living trust that has been given to Christians: the papacy. They recognize that this is no mere human institution, but a divine one that requires their cooperation – their prayers, sacrifices, and support.”
      Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange

      “…no one can excuse himself, saying: ‘ I do not rebel against the holy Church, but only against the sins of evil pastors.’ Such a man, lifting his mind against his leader and blinded by self-love, does not see the truth, though indeed he really sees it well enough, but pretends not to, in order to deaden the sting of conscience. For he sees that, in truth, he is persecuting the Blood, and not Its servants. The insult is done to Jesus just as the reverence was His due.” To whom did Jesus leave the keys of this Blood? To the glorious Apostle Peter, and to all his successors who are or shall be till the Day of Judgment, all of them having the *same authority* which Peter had, which is *not diminished* by any defect of their own. —St. Catherine of Siena

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Joanne, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this (probably not, given that the media have intentionally blacked it out for not-hard-to-guess reasons), but I just got an e-mail from The Catholic League about some recent comments by Pope Francis:

      https://www.catholicleague.org/pope-says-gays-cannot-form-families/

      It seems clear to me that Pope Francis actually believes in, supports, and teaches what the Church as always believed, supported, and taught about marriage: that marriage is between one man and one woman. God bless him for saying what he did, and may God bless and help him in the days and years ahead.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Mick. However, there is Jesuit Father James Martin and what he preaches. I know many including family members who cult like follow him. These same people support abortion and have distain for anyone who does not. So if has the church not changed at all then what is all the fuss about Pope Francis? Confusion abounds.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree, Joanne: confusion abounds. However, I am extremely heartened by what the Holy Father said about abortion over the weekend. He minced no words, and he pulled no punches:

          https://hotair.com/archives/2018/06/18/pope-francis-abortion-nazi-style-eugenics-white-gloves/

          Father James Martin is a wreck. Hard cases like him need lots of us to pray and sacrifice for him. In the meantime, let’s “take the win” and thank the Lord for the Holy Father’s statements regarding abortion and family. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Thanks for that, Mick. And he apparently said pretty much the same thing when he was a Cardinal in Argentina. Not that one ever hears that on MSM, of course!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I will be happy to be obedient to the Bishops’ desires when they in fact begin to deny Our Lord’s Body and Blood to politicians and newspersons who are on the record supporting abortion, euthanasia, and the sexual abomination of our times…

    Liked by 3 people

  14. What a wealth of info on this site..wow..there are so many layers to this cake😲

    We were greatly affected here in Norwalk/Sandusky Ohio by the roundup of corsos Mexican workers. Big raid of border control agents. Some kids were at school and some babies were with babysitters as both parents were working. We have a strong Mexican presence in Our parish. They always do dance & drum roll through the streets and into our church for Our Lady of Guadalupe feast. They dress up & do reenactment in cold weather ..barefoot! !! They do reenactment on Good Friday too & it looks very painful. I am so sad for them all. Our Monsignor cried at pulpit. St Paul’s is trying to help them. Monsignor said it is hard for them because it would take 17 years for them to get a work permit. ..by then they would starve to death. I don’t know what the answer is & I know right is right & wrong is wrong, but these are very sad & strange times indeed.

    God save us all..

    btw..I’m just learning about our Lady of Emittsburg MD.. does anyone know anything about this one? It seemed very interesting. .thank you. .xoxo TNRS

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have been intimately involved with Our Lady of Emmitsburg, Linda. I actually was part of a team that went to the Holy See, years ago, seeking a new investigative commission. Aware of injustices, such as no member of the three priest commission ever witnessing even one apparition, excluding scientific testing that had been done and when three well-known theologians came to defend and explicate the content of the messages, not one was asked a single question… rather, the discussion centered around the parking problems that emerged from so many travelers to the little town.

      The alleged mystical experiences there brought widespread support and division. The alleged seer was spiritually directed by a wise and erudite mystical theology scholar and Carmelite priest, Fr. Kieran Kvanaugh, known for his extensive studies in and translations of the works of St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. He is a firm believer. Now deceased and world renown Mariologist Fr. Rene Lauretin wrote extensively in support of OLOE. There are many others and there are many erudite people who vehemently criticized and made a case for the messages being inauthentic.

      I believe, much like St. Faustina’s private revelations, the messages and Our Lady’s presence in Emmitsburg will be vindicated – most likely by the unfolding of events. In fact, there is material, now in the hands of officials at the Holy See, which was gathered by the renowned scientist, Dr. Ricardo Castanez Gomez who has done extensive work, establishing the DNA connection among the worldwide Eucharistic miracles. For now, though, the official statements by the Church concerning those apparitions compel us to let them rest in the hands of Mother Church. Standing ready, at any time, should we be called to defend, given what we are privy to know, why we believe Our Lady was truly there. Equally standing in obedience to legitimate Church authority which, for now, states that these messages are not worthy of belief. Trusting God in this and in all things.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you so much Beckita!
        I find this amazing!!! I am so proud to be your friend knowing that you were on the team for it’s cause! wow! I will be studying it further and i just find it so heartening to hear all the words of Our Beautiful Mother in Heaven and that of Our Lord and all the heavenly court! What incredible…incredible, times in which we are living! To think that we were all chosen to live in this era of transition, either side we end up watching it from is just simply jaw dropping and mouth covered by hand!!!!
        Thanks again Beckita!!! xoxo TNRS

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s so interesting to hear about, Beckita. Many years ago, I went to the Phoenix area church where Gianna Talone was involved with some other young people in apparitions of Blessed Mother. I always wondered what had become of them, but had heard that Gianna went to Emmitsburg. May all God’s Truth be revealed soon and defeat the evil.

        Always waiting for your “take” on events, Charlie! Thank you!

        Liked by 2 people

  15. I am not the least surprised that bishops who want to excommunicate those faithful who oppose their political views on global immigration and open borders. Their tyrannical demands are a logical progression of “closet Democrats” who expose and impose their views by their silence in the face of evil and the statements they make by their public actions.

    See the group of bishops protesting at the USA-Mexico border? See Pope Francis protesting the candidate Donald Trump by celebrating Mass at the border? See photos of archbishops and priests giving to and permitting pro abortion politicians receive Holy Communion? See the archbishop and priests celebrate a high, funeral Mass for the most radical and disgraced Democrat politician? See the archbishop inviting the homosexuals to parade with their flag in a religious parade? And, what is excruciatingly painful and agonizing to witness: Pope Francis’ betrayal of the Chinese underground church, accepting China’s communist priests!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Heartened by an Irish GP who refutes the so called conscience protection element in the Irish abortion referendum just passed. Praying for all the Irish who are standing tall in defending life:

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks Beckita, and all here.

      The next Rally for Life is in Belfast city centre on Saturday 7th July. I, and many friends, will be there. We have lost a battle – a major battle, it’s true – but we are NOT lying down – as they’d just love us to! Northern Ireland is still abortion-free and we’ll fight to keep it that way, until the Truth finally dawns and can begin to spread again on this benighted Island.

      God bless. J.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Thanks again all friends here. This is the website of Precious Life, the Northern Ireland Pro-Life campaigners. Bernie Smith, their Chairperson, is a true warrior.

          http://www.preciouslife.com/

          During our referendum campaign we couldn’t ask for financial support outside the Republic (hah!) of Ireland, because we abided by the rules (not that the other side did, but that’ll never be reported). But this is different. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK (and now Ireland, God help us) not to have been taken by abortion “laws”, and they are still strongly resisting. Please help them. I hope this is ok to ask. Friends, believe me, this is the last part of Western Europe not to have bowed the knee to Baal. We need to support them.

          God bless y’all. J.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Not only is this okay to ask, Jay, I heartily endorse it. The right to life is foundational in our efforts to rebuild a culture of life and hope to stave off the darkness, along with the sanctity of marriage and the centrality of the family. God bless you for your efforts.

            Liked by 5 people

          2. Jaykay, thanks so much for providing the link for Precious Life. I’m really glad that they are able to take donations. Praying for the cause of life in Northern Ireland.

            Liked by 3 people

    1. Jo, I edited out the video link. It’d be better if you could give a summation of the main points which you’d like to convey or are concerned about from the talk by Pastor Lindsay Williams. I noticed he endorses certain individuals who give investment advice and others who give health advice in light of current troubles in the world. Mr. Williams makes some fantastic claims, I think, such as being invited to be the chaplain of the elite of the world. He quotes sources which would take a long time to responsibly vet before clearing for posting here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I looked at Pastor Lindsay Williams website. It is just a series of prophetic “teasers” about some upcoming disaster, but to get more information you can buy his DVD.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Jo, forgive me, but I am up to my ears in alligators most of the time. I just almost never look at videos…it takes far too long. If I started, I would have almost no time for anything else. I read extremely fast and can skim printed material…but I just get too many people wanting my take on videos they like – and just don’t look at any.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I have been contemplating the third mystery of Fatima and the death of St Sebastian – patron of the church in Garabandal as tomorrow, 18th June, is the anniversary of the final message given in Garabandal in 1965.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Blessed Feast of St. Sebastian, Joe. May he and all the martyrs intercede for us in these days. May we follow in Sebastian’s footsteps by pressing on, in the face of persecution, to preach the Gospel in our words and in our deeds.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. These are only thoughts rolling around my mind. I drove over to Hamilton went for a walk and said my rosary then went to confession and mass and Communion and finished with my ongoing novena to the Sacred Heart. The priest spoke briefly at the end of Mass about the feast of St John The Baptist on the 24th June. He heralded and prepared The Way. This is our winter solstice. Christmas is our summer solstice. Does six months or the solstice have anything to do with the prophesies. Who knows! No one would survive unless those days were cut short. The third secret describes a bishop in white being brought down by guns and arrows – the new and the old. St John heralded in the new testament and his mission embodied the three non negotiables of Faith: The Word of God, The Sacraments and Outreach (according to our priest. )

    The old Church cannot be restored but it will be made new and in this way the gates of hell will not prevail against it. “Behold I make ALL things new.” St Michael heralded The Second Sojourn of Mary on this earth – her visitation to us – first among people of her own blood in Garabandal. Just as Jesus first reserved his mission to the Jews of His day.

    And soon to the whole world in the events yet to unfold with Mary leading the charge to Triumph. It is indeed nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune for the sake of Jesus. This suffering is the better part. Martha’s sister chose the better part.

    St Sebastian was brought low by physical arrows. And forever he will be associated with the second sojourn of Mary in Garabandal and the Eye of God in the chapel of which he is patron. Garabandal is a continuation of Fatima.

    In this we contemplate the mystery of the reality of God’s place in our lives. All devotion is rendered useless and meaningless without that. As we reach out to others in this contemplation God reaches out to us through those we help whether by prayer or action. This is true encounter.

    And as the arrows reach their mark so we die unto ourselves and live only for Christ. If only I could live better the sacred messages I have been given. They sang the answer during communion “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.”

    Still thinking.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. There are two crosses on the hill behind Garabandal – one near the Pines and one at the End of The Way of The Cross which is set at same calculated height of the cross at Calvary. I wonder if this second cross and hill is the one at which the pope will meet his end.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not to be contraire, but to add to the contemplation, it is interesting to note what Sr. Lucia had to say when the third secret was released in 2000 by the Church. Among additional comments, “Sister Lucia responded by pointing out that she had received the vision but not its interpretation. The interpretation, she said, belonged not to the visionary but to the Church. After reading the text, however, she said that this interpretation corresponded to what she had experienced and that on her part she thought the interpretation correct. In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered.”

      The Church’s thoughts on the third secret include favoring a more symbolic interpretation. Of course, this was written when, then, Cardinal Ratzinger was the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the dicastery charged with oversight on private revelation. Lots to ponder and it will be most interesting to see, in the end, how all is brought to fruition.

      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for that Becks.

        I too had contemplated a symbolic interpretation of the third secret. I understand that for a symbol to have any real value it must always point to a greater reality. That is the power of symbolism. It does not destroy reality but opens and expands it to expose possibility and implication. It builds on reality – it points to the truth.

        Thus the hyperbole of faith is revealed to be indeed the more abundant life as it says in todays mass readings. We do not live by sight but by faith.

        But in this faith we do live by insight and vision. Thus St Lucia’s revelation offers an end to the old and a fresh start.

        The following is taken from a comment of Glenn Hudson the main authority on Garabandal.

        “Conchita’s Aunt Antonia testified to having heard the visionaries say in ecstasy that “if we don’t amend our ways, Russia will take possession of the whole world.”

        Now, I am friends with Thomas Fahy who wrote the book ” Suddenly & Unexpectedly “.
        Tom Fahy confirmed to me on Sept. 15, 2017 , that when he interviewed Albrecht Weber in 2006 for research for his book “Suddenly and Unexpectedly”, Albrecht told him that when the Pope returns from Moscow there would be a revolution at the VATICAN”, involving Northern Spain,Italy & France, from the advance of ” Communism “.

        AT THE VATICAN.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. It really will be fascinating to live through the events now unfolding and those to come as we make this transition to a New Beginning. Some years ago, I participated in an online Divine Will prayer group headed by Tom. Interestingly, he chose to integrate, into his book, the messages given to Fr. Gobbi as well as those given in Garabandal, Akita and Fatima and I just ordered a used a copy for $1.99. Should be a great read. Thanks, Joe.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Something quite amazing has just happened in that I have discovered that that Thomas Fahy has a Divine Will center here in Tennessee. I had never known anything about this. Because of what you and Joe have written here, I now understand that I have an incredible resource only a few hours from me. As I read many of the details of this Center for the Divine Will, I was astounded to discover many connections which are most important to me … such as the complete obedience of these people to the Church…and the connection including the actions of St. Padre Pio. Please pray that I will know and do the Will of God in following up on all of this.

            I also ordered this book you have been speaking about. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

            1. How wonderful for you, Kati! Praying for your intention, seeking wisdom and discernment from Holy Spirit for you. My dear friend, Fr. Bart – who has studied and is spiritual director for a Divine Will group – always cautions people who are interested in the gift of Living in the Divine Will, that it’s important to study and pray with those rooted in sound theology in the Church. There have been abuses. Living in the Divine Will well means that the spirituality integrates well with everything granted us from the Teaching Magisterium. As Father further has said, in some places it’s like “crazy town” out there. You nailed it, Kati, when you said it’s important to have complete obedience to the Church. God bless you on your journey in this spirituality.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. It is an interesting read Beckita.
        Pope Benedict XVI never recanted as pope what he said about the Fatima message (although he has on other things). I would think this may have raised his view on it to a higher status than when he was a “mere” prefect.
        He does make quite the point about the third vision being what he believes it’s interpretation to be. But God and His plans are always a massive undertaking and include movements inacted from the very beginning of creation until its end and much of it will remain a mystery to us even then.
        One point I think a bit vague in its telling is that Lucia did not know what the third secret ment.
        She did.
        It was because of her deference to church authority that she did not give her opinion- but she did so by her timing on its release:
        “Before giving the sealed envelope containing the third part of the “secret” to the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Sister Lucia wrote on the outside envelope that it could be opened only after 1960, either by the Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiria. Archbishop Bertone therefore asked: “Why only after 1960? Was it Our Lady who fixed that date?” Sister Lucia replied: “It was not Our Lady. I fixed the date because I had the intuition that before 1960 it would not be understood, but that only later would it be understood. Now it can be better understood. I wrote down what I saw; however it was not for me to interpret it, but for the Pope. ”
        I think this clearly states that she knew what the message was about in its essence but like all good deciples realised she could not fathom ALL it truly contained and that it was not her duty or right to decide what to tell the world.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Insightful reflection, Phil. I believe that no one on earth, not even the Vicars of Christ, each one privy to the third secret over the years since 1917, can fully fathom the meaning of its contents. And so it has been throughout salvation history with prophetic utterances. We can simply look to the original Peter, made the very rock upon which Christ’s Church was founded. Peter, and his fellow Apostles but for John, fled in fear after Jesus was arrested. Peter, with his own ears, saw and walked and listened and learned all contained in the Gospels – and more, not written down – from the Original Source, Jesus our Master and Lord. Still, we can be sure and certain that God has a Plan for our welfare, not our woe. No matter how gnarly and putrid are the messes we make, with repentance and a change of heart, it is also true that “…we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

          Liked by 1 person

      3. I read this link. Settles so many suppositions and faux reports of the third secret and the consecration of Russia. I searched but couldn’t find a date on the report. Just wonder it was written before 1989? aka fall of the Iron Curtain? The prophecy fulfilled. I read that there has been a resurgence of the Faith in Russia. Thanks.

        Like

        1. Sorry to have overlooked your question, Joanne. If I understand you correctly, you’re asking about the document from the Holy See and it was released in the year 2000.

          Like

  20. It was not far from here that I had my one and only locution – I had become quite agitated as I considered the terrible death Jesus went through and asked Him what now sounds like a totally inappropriate question. I said to Him, “What was in it for you.” His response was as clear as it was short, “You.” And in that moment my relationship with Jesus became truly personal. We’d only just begun.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. From experience too Joe, I know that a one-word locution can be a life changing experience. On that occasion I was praying in thanksgiving after Holy Communion and stumbling over an appropriate word to use when I heard near my ear “propitiate”. It was a new word for me and I thought I need to look it up when I get home but how to remember it? Being convent educated I word-associated it with “novitiate, and pro”! I learnt that praying with the heart is creates an open channel where two-way communication can take place in any number of ways.

      Speaking of that convent: in 1966, my first year at boarding school – Sacred Heart College, Ballarat run by the Sisters of Mercy – there were two nuns, siblings, Sisters Mary Raphael and Mary Columbanus from memory, who introduced us to Garabandal with a very concerned attitude. I had known about Lourdes and Fatima from watching, as a nine or ten year-old, the films Bernadette and Fatima at my grandparents home and I had no problem believing that Heaven would intervene in our lives in such a way.

      Looking back, I am surprised that our Ballarat Sisters were up to date with our Lady’s Messages – less than a year after the event: The second message of the Virgin It came shortly before the end of the apparitions, on 18 June 1965.

      “As my message of October 18 has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over.

      Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts.

      If you ask for His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings.

      I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think about the passion of Jesus.”

      Even though I had just turned twelve and was struggling being away from my family, I wasn’t scared but I did take it seriously.

      Liked by 5 people

          1. What a laugh – thanks Karen. I love Australia and Australians and have been to Ballarat and Adelaide. I managed to obtain a relic of Mary McKillop for my grandneice who lives in Canberra and my nephew lives in Brisbane.

            Like

      1. Still in Ballarat karen? Visited sovereign hill 2 years ago. Fun day.
        My mothers grandparents landed in Ballarat…. Had 11 children… And grandmother ran a school…started a school in Sebastapol. I had no idea of this family history til recently…. Thanks to Trove website.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Funny…. That never occurred to me. Must say had a day at school today … Wet weather…. Showed them Hugh Jackman in the Greatest Showman singing From Now On. In interview he says he was not meant to sing in rehearsal because just had a cancer removed from nose. Could not help himself when this song came up. Sheer joy to watch. Kids loved it.

            Liked by 1 person

  21. Hopefully Becks will post the photo of the cross in the mist I took on my first pilgrimage in 2013 and the little plaque showing the same elevation as calvary.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Happy Father’s Day gentlemen!
    What a great blessing you are to your families.
    And to our Great God and Father in Heaven…Happy Father’s Day, Abba!

    Liked by 5 people

  23. I compare the past 40 years, and clearly see a loss of compassion, mercy, forgiveness, charity, and love of others, as society is be de-Christianized. Years ago you leave your house & vehicle unlocked, and people would respect other people’s space. People were much closer to neighbors in their neighbourhood and socialized with their neighbors. I look around today and it feels like I’m living on a different planet.

    It wasn’t hard for Liberals to erode away the Christian cement that stabilized society, in most Christian countries all the Liberals has to do was water down Christianity by promoting multiculturalism and plurality to the point that they people denied Christian values and removed these from mainstream society, then the next phase of the Liberals plan was to indoctrinate society with anti-Christian values.

    We all know 2+2=4, but Liberals convinced most of society that anything + anything = 4, and has even gone as far promote that if 2+2=Christianity, then anything other than 2+2 will = 4. What a mind job!

    I’ve got nothing against people of other backgrounds, but the Liberals have weaponized multiculturalism to promote apostasy in the world…

    It’s going to take an intervention from God to fix this mess…

    Liked by 5 people

  24. …….. and, sadly, trust in The Church is withering away ;-( ….so …. Jesus I Trust in You! 😉
    Voris is correct! The Global Left be they in The Church or Secular World are quite simply intolerant, and violently so ofttimes, of other viewpoints. The late Bill Buckley said it best 60 years ago:
    “Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.”

    “Tyrant Speech”
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-tyrant-speech

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Charlie has been constant in his reply to this question whenever it comes up: He’s sorry he ever mentioned menses.

      Since God has purpose for all that he reveals and/or does in our lives, I sometimes wonder if the rise and activity of the menses character has been some kind of marker for Charlie as to where we are in the Storm. Whatever is God’s purpose in revealing this to Charlie, Charlie invariably redirects us to the things we can do, those little things right before us which fill each of our days.

      God bless you, Joe, and all here.

      Like

  25. https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/why-be-or-continue-to-be-catholic
    An important read….by REV. JAMES V. SCHALL, S.J.

    As a “remnant” of Holy Mother Church, I will stay in the “bark” of Peter, holding tightly to the mast, until I am delievered into the arms of my Savior.

    It will be tough to continue to swim upstream, especially when the “reality” of those around me, does not T up with my “reality”, a reality that Holy Mother Church has handed down to me and that I believe completely.

    Anyone care to join my table of “one”.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. In the latter part of 1590 St Aloysius Gonzaga had a vision of the Archangel Gabriel who told him he would die within a year. While caring for a victim of the plague he contracted the disease which would be the cause of his death.

    Shortly before he died he had another vision and told his carers that he would die on the octave of Corpus Christi. This was confirmed with his death/feast on June 21 1591.

    I took his name for my confirmation and the Jesuit school I later attended was St Aloyius College. He is patron of youth and health care providers. Although I am no longer young I am a health care provider.

    He is one of the many Jesuits whose heroic lives and deaths have inspired my faith. The latest, of course, is Pope Francis whose sainthood, I believe, will not be much longer in the making.

    St Aloysius makes me think of the beautiful prayers at the foot of the altar said before the start of the Tridentine Mass – “I will go in unto the altar of God.”to which the server replied, “Unto God who gives joy to my youth.” At the age of six I was already an altar boy.

    Unlike St Aloysius I had no direct idea what lay ahead. But Charlie’s celestial visitor goes by the same name as his. So indirectly perhaps we at ASOH are all graced with forewarning which enables us to better prepare for the days ahead and the greater things to which we are born.

    My school motto was the maxim of St Aloysius, “Ad majora natus sum” : I am born to greater things.

    St Aloysius, pray for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. St Aloysius died holding his crucifix and staring at his Christ as he tried to pronounce the name of Jesus.

    (The maxim was the motto of my school – not the saint – but I am sure he lived by it striving for excellence in all things.)

    Liked by 1 person

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