Our Turn in the Box

Theoden King2
“Dark have been my dreams of late – but I feel as new-awakened”

By Charlie Johnston

It is often said by conservative (and moderate) commentators that the hard left destroys everything it touches. When you look at establishment news outlets, entertainment, sports, even comedy, it is hard to disagree. Just in the last 100 years, rulers of socialist nations have murdered between 100-120 million of their own people. Venezuela is just the latest prosperous country to have been ruined by the seductive promise and brutal reality of socialism. That so many schooled young people now prefer socialism to capitalism, despite the hard evidence of the last century, is evidence of how the hard left has destroyed education, turning it into indoctrinating credential factories without serious content. I will note that it is a neat trick that they have persuaded so many to pay for their own indoctrination. Forcefully lobotomize a healthy generation while persuading them to pay for the privilege…that is a trick worthy of Houdini.

But in trying to destroy the Church, the hard left has made a fatal error. Oh, there will be a terrible battle, perhaps one of the greatest battles in Church history. The Church, though, is not dependent on the protection of feeble men for its defense: its defense is guaranteed by the Majestic Christ, Himself. Thus opens Waterloo for the hard, atheist left.

It was a thunderbolt of a weekend. We had a visiting Priest on Sunday. It would not bother me, at this point, if a Priest chose not to discuss the scandals at all until things have shaken out a bit. For heavens sake, though, if you are going to address it, do not just try to spin the news. I don’t think most politicians are very good at spinning. Clerics are terrible at it. This Priest mentioned that we were all probably shocked at the results of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. He noted that almost all the abuses happened more than a decade ago, so we need not worry – those sort of things are long in the past and it’s all better now. He did not mention the McCarrick scandal or Abp. Carlo Maria Vigano’s allegations at all, apparently believing none of us would have noticed it if he didn’t mention it. I could not believe it. If one of my clients did something that tone deaf, treating people as absolutely stupid with such happy talk, I would have resigned. It was a great way to make sure no one ever took you seriously again. Unbelievable!

Though there must be a formal investigation in order that all righteousness be fulfilled, Abp. Vigano’s allegations are solidly credible. Dr. Robert Moynihan’s “Inside the Vatican” Newsletter is one I long ago subscribed to for its balance and accuracy – and solid grounding in verifiable, factual, information. Moynihan takes this very seriously. His is one of many similar assessments from serious, sober people. I do not know Vigano, but I have two friends who do – and their assessment is the same. Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, who issued such a clear-headed and blunt statement after the revelation of the original McCarrick scandal, has done it again on this one.

Certainly, there is no doubt that a large coterie of Bishops have taken power who hold a form of religion, but deny the power of it (See 2 Tim 3:1-5). While the headline portion of Vigano’s accusation is that Pope Francis knew, yet covered up and even promoted a vicious abuser to high power within the United States, the larger take-away is that sexual immorality – and an effort to re-define sexual sin into no sin at all, has become systemic in the Church’s hierarchy – and that this is not just a refutation, but an absolute betrayal, of Christ. Clerics who have abandoned their faith have told themselves that it is because of their superior intellectual enlightenment (though they sure don’t dare wrestle with the work of Aquinas, Augustine, or John Paul; they just ignore it). They have abandoned any sense of sin for psychological excuses. They have traded intellectual rigor for ideological pretensions. It is clericalism taken to its logical and horrific conclusion. They treat the Church as a man-made institution which is a means to gain power and influence. Having treated Christ, the devil, and authentic Apostolic Exhortations as mere metaphors, it is easy to seek to deny Christ – for it is merely to “refine” what they already think is a set of rules made by men. For, of course, there is no actual God in their minds…only power to be had and exercised.

Should investigation confirm that Pope Francis knew and did what he is alleged to, for his own good, he should resign and begin a life of true prayer and penance. Yet I find myself largely unconcerned with that matter. You see, I do believe in God – and that He exercises His sovereign will for the good of His people. So He will allow such an offense to continue until it has fully accomplished what He intends it to…and no longer.

It is the depth of the rot in the hierarchy that has been revealed. There will be more, no doubt, but the heart of it stands naked before us now. In revealing this God has sent the ball back into our court. We, the laity, will have to act with deliberation, decisiveness and charity to acquit ourselves more honorably than much of the hierarchy has.

We always had the right, even the duty, to demand that we be fed the solid meat of sound doctrine (see Galations 1:6-10), but we insisted upon treating the most abusive Priests with the same deference as those who kept fidelity to the faith. In doing so, we empowered the predators while marginalizing the faithful pastors. We must not allow our anger to lead us to replace the old error with an equal and opposite new error: attacking the faithful pastors along with the abusers in a rage at all. We bear great responsibility for the rise of the predators. If we had not allowed a formulaic response to replace the command to judge righteous judgment, if we had not been seduced by the permissiveness that the acceptance of sin as okay allowed us to indulge in, we would not be here.

We must insist on orthodoxy from the pulpit. The only protocols and procedures that we need are Scripture, the Gospels, and the actual Magisterium. Period. That does not mean we suddenly start substituting our judgment for that of our shepherds. But again, you do not need a theological degree to know that when a cleric starts opining that “Thou shalt not fornicate” actually means fornicate to your heart’s content that you are suffering an apostate – and not a man of God.

Some will be tempted to have the laity take over the governance of the Church. A big chunk of the hierarchy is discredited because it repudiated the teaching of Christ. Do NOT repeat their error. It is Christ who gave the governance of the Church into the hands of the hierarchy. Follow Christ. Rather, empower those many Bishops and Priests who have kept faith, who obviously do believe in God. There are many Bishops who are going to have to go or be repudiated. We have been here before. Thanks be to God the wolves thought they were winning. Otherwise, they would never have so openly revealed themselves. Already, the smear machine has grown up against Abp. Vigano. I thank God for that, as well, for it further reveals who the wolves are.

Some will want to repudiate Vatican II as the source of the problem. I sympathize with them, though I reject their conclusion. Certainly, the visible problems in the Church correlate with Vatican II – but correlation does not imply causation. Already, vast swaths of clerics were succumbing to a puerile intellectual pride, kidding themselves that God was a fairy tale, a useful one for enhancing their own power, but a fairy tale, nonetheless. Had there been no Vatican II, the growing cultural forces of the anti-Church would have burst forth, simply using a different excuse for their apostasy than “the spirit of Vatican II.” St. John Paul was a prime architect of the documents of Vatican II – and his papacy gave the authentic interpretation of it. The authentic purpose of Vatican II was to have the Church engage energetically with the world in order to more effectively evangelize it. The purpose of the perverting “spirit of Vatican II” that so many clerics used to justify their abuses was to conform the Church to the world. Embrace the former, reject the latter. That is the only approach consistent with the authentic Magisterium.

Over these last five years I have told you repeatedly that many things are not going to be as you expect and that your formulaic approaches are not going to be sufficient. You are going to have to actively judge righteous judgment every step of the way. Some men are made such that they will gladly suffer great peril rather than abandon their faith, but will retreat in anger, shame, and resentment at a little humiliation. You are going to fail at some things, you are going to be wrong about some things, some of your cherished certainties are going to fall. Your faith is dependent on none of these things and your duty is not suspended because of your errors. If your faith is dependent on your certainty that you have it all figured out, it is just a subtle form of pride – and you know what pride goeth before. Follow the example of King David who, after he sinned grievously of his own fault, got up again at the behest of the prophet and lived his duty, even so. You will fail, you will err, you will sin of your own fault. God knows all of this. He waits to see whether, after each failure, you will get up and start again, humbly living your duty with steadfast resolve even though your fault is ever before you – thus trusting to Him, and not to your own virtue. Do not think this is an excuse for those monsters who have infiltrated the hierarchy. There is a world of difference between one who falls, even grievously, and one who actively plots to undermine Christ. King Theoden is forgiven his error and received back into good fellowship: Bishop Wormtongue can only be banished. Be Theoden, not Wormtongue, and all will be well in God’s own time. And what a glory it is to know that God has chosen each of us to live in this great time when He is renewing His Church and His people. Strive to live your duty well.

300 thoughts on “Our Turn in the Box

  1. Gradually, more bishops are releasing official statements. Here’s the release from the solid, holy Bishop Paprocki who led his entire diocese in making the preparation for consecration to Jesus through Mary using 33 Days to Morning Glory.

    Statement from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki Regarding the Testimony of the Former Apostolic Nuncio

    SPRINGFIELD – The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has revealed a set of facts and circumstances that are deeply troubling as they relate to the awareness, actions, and inactions at the very highest levels of the Church. Archbishop Viganò has provided his written testimony stating that Pope Francis “must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests. In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him.”

    When asked about this aboard the papal plane on his return flight from Ireland on August 26, Pope Francis said, “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this.” Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate. Given the gravity of the content and implications of the former Nuncio’s statement, it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered. Toward that end, Pope Francis, Vatican officials and the current Apostolic Nuncio should make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) McCarrick and provide the accountability that the Holy Father has promised.

    In this regard, I concur completely with the statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who yesterday “reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”

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    1. This is good news! I love Bishop Paprocki, and had the pleasure of working with him behind the scenes when I volunteered at Marian Conferences in Chicago. He was fondly referred to as the *hockey playing bishop*.

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  2. Charlie, by now it must have crossed your mind, or been noted here, that your March to Washington may not be to the Congress or White House, but to the Chancery or Papal Nunciature.

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  3. There is already a call from Church Militant to go and make your presence felt outside the Bishops conference in November. I believe there are already nearly two thousand signed up. In case anyone is interested.

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  4. I was happily surprised this morning to learn that my bishop, Joseph Tobin of Providence (not the Tobin who has been named in the ongoing disaster), has called for an investigation into the charges raised in the testament of Arch-bishop Vigano. His short statement from the website of the diocese is as follows:

    “August 30, 2018

    Bishop Tobin weighs in on the divide in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church

    The current firestorm in the Catholic Church sparked by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s letter containing accusations against our Holy Father, Pope Francis has caused several members of our diocesan family to ask for my reaction on the matter, which has prompted these thoughts.

    First, I need to emphasize that I do not have any privileged information about this matter, nor do I have the facts necessary to come to a definitive, impartial judgment. Nonetheless, the allegations lodged by Archbishop Viganò involving Pope Francis are substantive, and need to be investigated in a prompt and just manner.

    The present impasse in the Church, unfolding on an international level, has caused confusion and division among the faithful, even locally. Only Pope Francis can resolve the serious crisis in which the Church now finds herself, and I respectfully urge His Holiness to address this matter as soon as possible. The future direction of the Church, its spiritual welfare, and the faith of God’s people, are at stake.

    In the meantime, I remind myself and the faithful of the Diocese of Providence that Pope Francis is the duly elected Bishop of Rome. He is the Vicar of Christ, our Supreme Pastor, and our spiritual father. Regardless of our perception of current events, the Holy Father needs and deserves our respect, our prayers and our affection, now as much as ever. Members of a family do not abandon their father, even in difficult times.”

    I find the statement to be measured and appropriate.

    I was still working on my letter to Bishop Tobin and wondering why I didn’t really feel it was finished. Happily, I am now going to have to do a substantial rewrite.

    Thank God. I think, answering the 54 day Novena for the Nation and the Church, Our Lady is powerfully interceding for the pouring out of grace.


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    1. Humbly, JT Branigan, wouldn’t that be Thomas J. Tobin? Wonderful bishop, he was our bishop many years ago when we lived in Ohio. How unfortunate that he shares a surname with “the other” Bishop Tobin! 😦

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      1. You are correct Lin. It is Thomas J. Sometimes my typing gets ahead of my brain. I am not certain of his full history before he came to Providence. Some of his prior assignments were in Pennsylvania so I was uncertain what his position would be on the latest developments. I find his response to be a hopeful beginning.

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  5. I have watched in horror as more and more stories have been published – by credible sources such as The American Conservative. They allege perverted behavior; betrayal of trust, financial corruption, evasions and lying. Has anyone noted – especially among the clergy – the utter sacrilege of this all and the implicit insult to almighty God? I remember one priest making reparation by fasting and an all night vigil……..where are the rest? Do we not fear God and His righteous justice? Wasn’t Jerusalem utterly destroyed and the Jewish nation scattered by these same sins? Lord God, remember our weakness and accept our repentance. We have gravely sinned against You and Your Love. Remember the sacrifice of Your Son and the sorrows of Mary. We have no other hope.

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    1. Yes, CJ, the revelations are horrific and, it seems, even some of those among the clergy have lost their faith. The hoped-for complete investigation to come will shed light on that which MUST be corrected. As ugly as it is now, we can take consolation in knowing that these revelations coming to light now set us on a path, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, to purify the Church and restore her splendid Beauty.

      Yes, the need for reparation is paramount, CJ. I have actually read of many prayer initiatives rising from individual clerics and laity, from parishes, and from whole dioceses. Many report that they are also fasting – which many from our ASOH community have agreed to do, in solidarity, on Fridays, while others have noted they follow the directive of Our Lady of Medjugorje to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. It is so easy to lose sight of the VAST majority of the the clergy who are good and holy. I know many a priest who has read the locutions contained in the book:

      And these priests are responding to Jesus’ Call to them to repair for their brother priests. How beautiful is that type of prayer and sacrifice! Even the laity who have read the book have taken seriously Jesus’ request to make reparation for the clergy. And everybody wins as we’re all sanctified in the offerings, grace washes over the souls of the guilty – hopefully received as an inspiration to repentance and latched onto for the sake of conversion, and God the Father receives the satisfaction which His Justice rightly demands. Mercy and Justice are not opposites; they are intimately intertwined in a great mystery of our faith. I know many, both laity and clergy, who are requesting and/or offering Masses of Reparation, invoking the Precious Blood of Jesus over all that is. In fact, many of these same folks have for years included prayers of reparation in their daily Rule of Life, having been sensitive to Our Lady’s request for reparation, re-echoed in SO many places in this Age of Mary.

      Amen to your closing prayer, CJ. God is so close to us in our sinfulness. It has been so from the very beginning. When asked who is the perfect parent, the only answer can be: God the Father. No dysfunction in the family in the beginning, but look how life turned out for the Perfect Father and His kids. Yet, He knows we are made of dust. His Justice AND His Mercy were expressed in response to our initial human failing, the original sin. In God’s Justice, the succeeding generations have been in need of the waters of Baptism to truly put on the Person of Christ… and, still, we suffer so much from concupiscence and every kind of nearly unbearable human suffering. AND Oh! How Abba’s Mercy rolled forth with the promise of Our Mother and Her Son, the Messiah, Whose Redemption is Infinite, reaching to these very days, ready to save us yet again.

      We’re at another turning point, a time to “Choose or Perish” said St. Gabriel to Charlie. (Have you ever noticed how St. Gabriel is present whenever God is ready to act in extraordinary ways connected to the Salvation of Souls?) I love Scott Hahn’s book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. The book is based on the theme of how we stiff-necked humans continually, throughout salvation history, break the Life-giving Covenant which Abba extended to us, His children. And here we are yet again, as in the Garden. We DO have a choice to repent, to become part of the solution, to ultimately exert our free will to LOVE as God LOVES.

      These lyrics from the musical, Children of Eden, poetically express our current juncture in salvation history-in-the-making.

      Japheth & Yonah:
      This step is one again our first
      We set our feet upon a virgin land
      We hold the promise of the earth
      In our hands…

      Add Noah & Mama:
      No flood from heaven comes again
      No deluge will destroy and purify
      We hold the fate of man and men
      In our hands…

      Add Family:
      Now at this dawn so green and glad
      We pray that we may long remember
      How lovely was the wrold we had
      In the beginning…

      All except Father:
      Of all the gifts we have received
      One is most precious and most terrible
      The will of each of us is free
      It’s in our hands

      And if one day we hear a voice
      If he shouold speak again, our silent father
      All he will tell us is the choice
      Is in our hands

      Our hands can choose to drop the knife
      Our hearts can choose to stop the hating
      For ev’ry moment of our life
      Is the beginning…

      There is no journey gone so far
      So far we cannot stop and change direction
      No doom is written in the stars

      All except Father:
      It’s in our hands…

      We cannot know what will occur
      Just make the journey worth the taking
      And pray we’re wiser than we were
      In the beginning
      It’s the beginning
      Now we begin…

      Children of Eden
      Grant us your pardon
      All that we leave to you
      is the unknown

      Children of Eden
      Seek for your garden
      You and your children to come
      Some day to come home

      Blessed be God in His Justice and in His Mercy!

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  6. I wholeheartedly agree with Archbishop Chaput:

    Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told a conference that had met to discuss the “young people” of the Church that in light of the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church he had written to Pope Francis asking him to cancel the upcoming Youth Synod set to take place in Rome.

    “The bishops would have absolutely no credibility” in the upcoming Youth Synod, Chaput told the Cardinal’s Forum, an annual gathering to provide academic formation of seminarians and continuing education for lay people, yesterday. The synod’s planned dates are set for October 3-28, 2018.

    The August 30 panel discussion, which took place at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, was on the topic of “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Some 300 participated in the event.

    Archbishop Chaput said the Youth Synod should be canceled.

    “I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” he said.

    Instead of having a youth synod, the Archbishop proposed that a synod should be held to address the topic of the bishops themselves.

    “I have called on him (Pope Francis), in its place, to begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” he said.


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    1. What a great idea that would be. I remember reading the Lifesite piece back in March, about the “ideas” young people were putting forward – or rather, were more likely being manipulated into putting forward – and being very uneasy.

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  7. Another call for a synod, an extraordinary one: Dallas Bishops and Priests Ask Pope to Hold Extraordinary Synod to Bring About Systemic Change (Sounds excellent to me!)

    Saying that “the current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” Bishop Edward J. Burns and priests in the Diocese of Dallas have petitioned Pope Francis by letter to hold an Extraordinary Synod, a meeting of the Church called for a special and urgent purpose, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application.

    The letter, penned by the bishop and unanimously approved and signed by priests serving on consultative boards representing priests throughout the diocese, was delivered to the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. today to be directed to Pope Francis as soon as possible.

    The letter also notes the past clergy abuse scandals in the Diocese of Dallas and “a recent revelation of one of our own who has harmed his parish terribly and has fled” in reference to allegations against Rev. Edmundo Paredes at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Dallas.

    The letter asks that topics include “the care for the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.” The letter goes on to state that the synod topics “should address abuse of power, clericalism, accountability and the understanding of transparency in the Church.”

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  8. Love the fire in Fr. John Hallowell:

    And another:

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  9. Calls for people in the Church to be authentic are rising… and that’s a good challenge!

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  10. Call to Arms.
    Don’t forget to unite Rosaries today 1st Month with Cardinal Burke’s storm Heaven Rosaries for the good of Holy Mother Church.
    The good Cardinal remembers all who join in at Holy Mass on the first of the Month.

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  11. I appreciate the insight of Fr. Dwight Longenecker:

    “I always try hard to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt and it is always necessary to consider the possibility that gossip has circulated, become exaggerated and the parties accused are innocent. It could be that the pope simply errs on the side of mercy. He has a history of reducing penalties for priests accused of sex abuse as Catholic Herald reports…”


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  12. Hi Charlie, Beckita, and RNS family. I miss you all. Charlie I was comforted by your post, thank you again. As you know I dont comment here much these days but I do read the posts and many of your comments. Always insightful.

    This current cleansing is painful but will result in a Christ lead out come. God wins, He always wins. He will this time too. I think it’s time to get small, be humble and in prayer and
    sacrifice for our Church in humilty.

    Speak less pray more but when we do speak, speak Truth in charity.

    The Vigano translations and source articles have been done at my home over the last month, by a Rome correspondent, who is our frequent house guest. She is a very holy, prayerful, consecrated lay single with an advanced theology degree. She speaks with Vigano and many other global Church leaders from our kitchen table almost daily. We help QC their articles.

    Sadly, there is much more to come. And the sATAN will not just give up and leave. So this will get worse before better. But as Charlie wrote, what an honor that God choose us to be His faithful at this time in history.

    With love and affection…Rich

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    1. Great to hear from you, Rich. SO agree about the painfulness in purification and the needed response to pray and sacrifice in simplicity and humility. Praying for truth to be revealed at all levels. Prayers for you and your dear ones and all here.

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  13. Beckita,
    I think since the time we are in is the “storm of storms”period we who are close to and concerned with the things of heaven should and will be shaken to our core.
    I also consider that truth and goodness and what’s what is being turned on its head because these are the times that even our structures in these things are being shaken and tested.
    We must always be mindful that our nature is a fallen one and we are dependant on God and His supernatural grace to rise above this.
    Sin and temptations tests us for weaknesses and we then can decide if we will “serve or not serve” the Lord.
    And so it is happening.
    Charlie makes the point that we have to “own” our decisions-right or wrong, and this is the sticking point because our decisions will ultimately contain a little of both.
    Faith, Hope and Love are our real calling, everything else is passing away.
    These events remind me a little of what it is like when a child finds out their parents aren’t perfect. Their worldview is somewhat shattered and some rebel against them and start a life of dissipation. Others recognise the humanity in them and find it all a little funny.
    Other, who love thier parents, don’t change too much from this revelation having been properly formed and solid in themselves and able to withstand the shifting tides of life with grace and confidence that these things happen.
    I think God allows such things so we will never become too dependant on anything but Him.
    He is a jealous God you know…

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    1. So wise and true, Phil. We MUST be shaken from the illusion that we can do anything good without God. Charlie also conveyed – paraphrased – that any idol which keeps us from total reliance upon Him will be burned out of us. I’ve noticed that people who have been committed believers in the Lord have been suffering for a while in ways that have tested their faith to the max… and in the trials, their spiritual muscles have strengthened beyond previous ability. As i see it, all the better to minister to those around us when the Storm hits full bore. I love God’s jealousy which keeps Him intimately engaged in all our joys and sorrows. He is the expert at using our self-made messes to draw us back and the sure and certain truth that He draws good from evil is an extraordinary joy as we carry on in our ordinary ways.

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      1. So unbelievably true. In some ways, He seems to have us feel the shame and horror of others’ sins as if we are doing the same sins. He is calling us to prayer, repentance and mercy for others. We are so dependent upon His mercy now, which calls us to prayer and repentance.

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    2. Phillip,
      Thank you for so beautiful a comment! Yes, we must be totally, unconditionally, irrevocably and eternally abandoned to our loving and merciful God, Who is All in all.

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  14. I agree with Charlie… God will straighten this mess out with Pope Francis. I just feel there are things that we don’t know. God knows all. There was a very interesting talk in the first hour of the Drew Mariani show yesterday (Friday Sept 1) with Dr. Mark Miraville whom I like and respect very much. He said not to talk against the Holy Father. It was very interesting. God save us all as crew dog often says! May Our Lady’s Heart Triumph asap. I can’t even imagine what more surprises God has in store for us all! lol xoxo TNRS BTW… I’ve been filled with this strange joy lately…even when things are not well.. has anyone else been noticing that too? Seems different lately, and I keep hearing in my soul…don’t worry about how “they” behave…You behave as I want you to…. God alone

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    1. Linda, there *are* many things which we don’t know for certain; there *are* other things being brought to light. I like and respect Mark Miravalle too. I actually was on a pilgrimage with his wife in 2003. There is a distinction to be made about how we speak about the Holy Father and it’s about what is in our hearts when we speak of him. If we are sincerely concerned about some of Pope Francis’ deeds, we must be able to speak with respect about even the difficult things. If we relish tearing him down and only wish to trash his reputation, that is a serious problem called sin. If we speak in order to sort out what is before us and try to understand what is unfolding while being ready to NRStep in whatever ways prompted by Holy Spirit, that is not a problem, for we are constantly judging and discerning in life. God know. He KNOWS each of our hearts. And “Jesus also said, ‘Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with a righteous judgment.'” (John 7:24) It is true that God WILL straighten out this mess, as you say, and it is also true that He invites us, each one of us – albeit in different ways – to be His hands and feet, His instruments, to act for Him and in His Name in order to set things right with the Lord. God bless us all.

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      1. Yep, Beckita– one thing that I’ve noticed in the last year or so is that I’m wrong a lot! Opinions about people or situations have proven to be the opposite of what I had thought. I have kind of an “accounting” brain. I want everything to be black and white and to fit neatly into its own little box. Nope! The Holy Spirit is mercifully showing me the error of my ways. I was so angry a few weeks ago about the horrendous information being revealed. I’ve shifted to being more joyful that our Church will be refreshed and beautiful because of this. Not angry, don’t hate anyone. Just pray God’s Will be done. No clue how this will all turn out– probably not at all as I would guess. And I’m trying to not guess! I can’t fathom the behavior of the Pope or many of the hierarchy, but not letting it steal my peace. God bless you all. What a wonderful community. Who’d have thought several years ago that this is what would transpire as we travel down the road together?

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    1. Thank you, Rich, for reminding us of this excellent homily which has been shared several times at ASOH since it was released. Some say it reminds them of what Bella Dodd, the former communist who was converted by Venerable Fulton Sheen, had said in a public testimony: “In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the [Roman] Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations… I, myself, put some 1,200 men in [Roman] Catholic seminaries.” It reminded me of the locutions given to Fr. Gobbi which prompted him to establish the Marian Movement of Priests in the early seventies. In those locutions, Our Lady spoke of ecclesiastical masonry. And here we are…

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    1. Smiling, thankful, as I just replied to Rich about how this homily continues to show up here… which is a good thing. I see, by your link, this time it’s in video format. Fr. Altier is a good, solid priest.

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      1. oops- missed that as it seems like the posts may have been going through moderation together or when another one was posting. That is very funny for sure!

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  15. After doing more reading and more searching I finally had to stop. I cannot take this. I have been in a ton of pain with all of this, not because I doubt my allegiance to Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ, but because so many everywhere online are attacking him outright now, and because this is causing others to doubt him, some to even leave the Church, doubting that God is in complete control and that Hell can never prevail against His Church. It is tearing at the heart of the Church. What JoeCro said about presuming innocence is so important!
    Fear, Judgement, Anger, Doubt… all demonic.
    I asked the Lord, begged Him to show me where He wants me to stand on this because I do not want to be contrary, to belittle other’s views and because I fear being deceived, taking a wrong turn and offending Our Lord just like anyone else here… and this is what He gave me, and led me to immediately after asking.
    And so this is where I am standing…firmly!
    “The reverence you pay to [priests] is not actually paid to them but to Me, in virtue of the Blood I have entrusted to their ministry. If this were not so, you should pay them as much reverence as to anyone else, and no more. It is this ministry of theirs that dictates that you should reverence them and come to them, not for what they are in themselves but for the power I have entrusted to them, if you would receive the Sacraments of the Church….

    So the reverence belongs not to the ministers, but to Me and to this glorious Blood made one thing with me because of the union of divinity with humanity. And just as the reverence is done to me, so also is the irreverence, for I have already told you that you must not reverence them for themselves, but for the authority I have entrusted to them. Therefore you must not sin against them, because if you do, you are really sinning not against them but against me. This I have forbidden, and I have said that it is my will that no one should touch them.

    For this reason no one has excuse to say, „I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sins of evil pastors.‟ Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness…. It is Me they assault, just as it was Me they reverenced. To me redounds every assault they make on my ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse. Whatever is done to them I count as done to Me….

    By not paying Me reverence in the persons of My ministers, they have lost respect for the latter and persecuted them because of the many sins and faults they saw in them. If in truth the reverence they had for them had been for my sake, they would not have cut it off on account of any sin in them. For no sin can lessen the power of this sacrament, and therefore their reverence should not lessen either. When it does, it is against me they sin.” 6

    St. Catherine has once again come to my rescue. I love her, and she is a Doctor of the Church! She came to my rescue 30 years ago as well. I pray it will help and if this has already been posted- sorry, I have not read all the comments yet! I Love you all and praying…and shaking! Lord have Mercy!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So true, Snowy, that the office of the priesthood deserves every respect. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks clearly to the validity of the sacraments, even when a cleric is struggling with serious sin.
      1584 Since it is ultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation through the ordained minister, the unworthiness of the latter does not prevent Christ from acting.76 St. Augustine states this forcefully: As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ’s gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains dear and reaches the fertile earth…. the spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled.77

      How our prayers are needed, as much as ever, for the weak in faith who are being tempted to jump ship. Again, the outright attackers who are going after Pope Francis with vindictive malice are revealing their hearts as are those who are striving to look at what is before us, to understand what is being shown, that they may, in an informed way, pray and seek the Lord’s guidance on personal next right steps in order to become part of the solution(s) needed to weather this Church Storm and contribute to the rebuilding that is now needed. From the beginning of his Papacy, I couldn’t stomach the all out attacks on Pope Francis. And, to this day, I will not go to such sites to read or comment.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Yes, it’s just better to avoid it! But sadly, almost everywhere you read, wow, even most of the headlines are so bad they literally make me feel sick.
        I did notice that Michael Brown on Spirit Daily is doing a good job of weeding out the bad ones and giving a more balanced approach…one of the very few!
        💚 Onward we march! 🐿🐿🐿

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      2. Beckita,
        Herein lies what Charlie made clear, that those things we hold dearest would be torn from us and we would have to make hard decisions.
        Snowy publishes a doctoral truth from St Catherine about how far we are allowed to go into judging rightousness and how God has placed a limit on our right to judge those in authority.
        The thorny path to truth is treacherous my friends and the narrow path lined with arrows and self deceit. Don’t allow the enemy to push you past the point of grace into sin by overstepping your right to judge what is not your right to judge and end up abandoning the very edifice you are saved through.
        I went to confession today and told my pastor about the great cloud of confusion that has descended over me by the scandals. He couldn’t help but ask me “do you think that we (priests) aren’t just as upset about this as you, maybe even more so?” After saying this, he started tearing up- physically upset about his world crumbling around him.
        I couldn’t help but be reminded that the fathers of the church (bishops, cardinals and the pope) are his fathers and the heads of his family scandalized and broken for him in a much more personal way than it was for me.
        After a brief moment he asked me to go online and listen to a song that helped console him in this time.
        Here it is:

        May it console you too.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Thank you for sharing this music, Phillip. The lyrics are wonderful. Your comment caused me to take pause and reread the passage from St. Catherine, whose dialogues I, too, love. And I maintain, even as the Lord gives caution in the passage Snowy shared, He is, right now, looking to us and counting on us to *not* be enablers of dysfunction, deception, or any kind of abuse within our Church.

          The words of Our Lord given to St. Catherine are a mandate to extinguish evil gossiping as well as the judging of a priest’s heart when we see him sinning. The application of them in this state of where we are in the Church calls *also* for prudence in acknowledging that abuse of anything or anyone thrives in secrecy. We *must* be able to speak meaningfully and openly about what we are living, for when done justly and charitably we can be enLIGHTened and inspired with solutions. To speak of what is before us and sort through what we are processing is hard work to do it well.

          A prayer this evening for your pastor and for you, Phil. Prayers for all in our Church who are weeping, silently and aloud, because of what we all have wrought. May God’s Justice and Mercy reign.

          Liked by 7 people

        2. Dear Phil, Thank you for sharing this. How honest and humble of your pastor to share this with you. What a call to stay united in prayer and speak truth in love like you and your pastor did. God bless him and all the priests and bishops and cardinals grieving over this betrayal.

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    2. Lovely Snowie
      In Garabandal Our Lady told the seers “If you see an angel and a priest – first acknowledge the priest because only he can consecrate.”

      I was at vigil Mass last night here in Renton Scotland, said by the African priest who has been appointed to the parish. Like in my other home New Zealand it is foreign missionaries who are keeping the Church going here. He spoke about the old fast from midnight and reverence for the Eucharist and even mentioned mortal sin and hell but not in the old fire and brimstone way. He was very impressive.

      I was also given a wee reminder about how vulnerable we are to events beyond our control in a small and rare earthquake we had here in Helensburgh, Scotland, this week. I had just been there for lunch with my old mum.

      The locals were startled by a deep rumbling and shaking just as the Church has been.

      I utterly refute any assertion that Pope Francis has in any way sanctioned child abuse. That is what the media and the homosexual lobby would have us believe.

      While it is still a dreadful abuse of power the seduction of grown men at seminary is quite different to the sexual abuse of defenceless and innocent children that should always be condemned in the most severe way.

      Jesus Himself tells us that better had those sinners put a millstone around their own necks and thrown themselves into the sea. There is clearly no return from this crime against the little ones.

      Pope Francis would give his life for the children of abuse. He is a good shepherd, a good priest, a priest forever after the order of Melchisidek. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.

      How I long for The Warning when the conscience of the world will be corrected. Until then I will presume my pontiff is innocent. He and Jesus are the little ones of God and their Father will deal with their abusers.

      In Scotland we refer to a child as a wean. (Pronounced wayne as in John Wayne) a wee ane or wee one. Our weans are our most precious of Gods gifts and the love that Holy Father demonstrates for them is exemplary. God bless the Pope.

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    1. Mary, that is amazing that you brought this book up! I was speaking to my mom yesterday and she’s dealing with Alzheimer disease, but she shows no signs of it when we talk about anything spiritual or to do with the Church. Anyway, I was asking her if she could pack up a few books for me and she asked three times in as many minutes if I wanted The Hiding Place! I finally said yes, though I have read it several times. I thought it would a really good book to read again- obviously she did too! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Snowy
        When I leave my mum will either not know I have been here or will not remember I have gone. My family is already torn apart by resentment etc. Its almost like the Church in miniature. Like your mum, mine seems to settle and clear with spiritual or church matters. At the start and end of each day my sister Dorothy sits in front of her and holds her hands. She closes her eyes while Dorothy leads her in prayer…. mostly prayers mum taught us as children. That moved ne to tears. Dorothy is not particularly religous. I may have already posted this so maybe I am already repeating myself. My cousin Bernie from Ireland has just died with Allzheimers diagnosed at the age of 50. God save us.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Dorothy is a living icon of LOVE, Joe. Praying for the repose of the soul of Cousin Bernie, for the family and all who love Bernie. Prayers, as ever, for your domestic church of origin and for the too many families – literally everywhere – who are torn asunder in the aftermath of the enemy’s work. May we all take hope in the sure and certain truth that God heals all division and that nothing is impossible for Him.

          Liked by 4 people

        2. Prayers for your Mum, Dorothy and the rest of your family. In the midst of all the difficulty there are some very beautiful gifts like Dorothy. May she be blessed for her acts of kindness.

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        3. Joe, my dear mother’s name was Dorothy. May her soul rest in peace. I have offered a prayer for the repose of Bernie’s soul. He was far too young to have had to suffer and succumb to such a dreaded disease. God bless all who love him in their mourning of his untimely death.

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        4. Oh, I’m so sorry Joe, it’s very painful going through this, I’ve dealt with it several times in my own family. I’ll keep your family in my prayers.
          Anyway, I don’t think you have posted this before- if you did I missed it- becauuuse maybe I forgot too 🤭 hahaha.
          Isn’t it wonderful to see people open up to love, even going through this? It gives so much hope! I am just amazed how the Lord does this and how true love and joy calms them and removes the confusion, fears and insecurities, even if only for a few moments!! True Love makes everything better even when it’s painful!
          We will all be whole and filled with joy when we are together in Heaven with Jesus and Mary!!

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I’ve been thinking about our dears, Snowy and Deereverywhere. I’ve lost the personal emails that I had stored on my laptop in my latest computer *crash*, along with many others. 😦

            I pray you and yours are doing well. Would love to hear from you!! ❤

            Liked by 3 people

              1. Welp… so much for my skills of observation! Didn’t even notice the date. I hope and pray that dear Snow and Deereverywhere are doing OK.

                Liked by 2 people

  16. People twist the real meaning of the 4 pope prophecy given through Conchita of Garabandal: that after John XXIII there would be only 4 more popes. The prophecy really had nothing to do with the future number of popes, or who is the pope now, just that after Benedict it would be the end of an era, and the beginning of another.(one in which we will see the Tribulation, Warning, & Miracle ) It was MARKING A PERIOD IN TIME. So many saints have declared the authenticity of Garabandal and Padre Pio suggested in writing that we delay faith in the conversations between Mary and the seers at our peril. Conchita told us that a synod – a word unknown to her – would be associated with the prophesies. After their preview of Tribulation and Chastisement the seers asked Our Lady to take the children that they might be spared the dreadful ordeal. Our Lady said they woukd be adults when the events came to pass. They are all well into adulthood now. We await only the pope’s visit to Moscow. After his return there will be a revolution at the Vatican involving Nothern Spain, Italy and France. And this will just be the start. The media wants news. It will have it in superabundance. The times they are a changing – now!!!!!

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    1. The point I am making is that Pope Francis cannot resign without negating the prophesy of four popes given at Garabandal. This will have to come to pass before anything else. Otherwise Our Lady would have said the prophesied events would happen after five more popes. But she said after four more popes after the death of John XXIII. So in my view Pope Francis cannot resign for now. Thank God.

      Liked by 2 people

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