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. thank you Charlie. Not only will the guilty be persecuted but I believe that many of those who are innocent will be persecuted as well. We must pray for the entire church, those in the wrong as well as those in the right.

    I found this report of how Aldo Maria Valli came to meet Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and received his report which he released to the public. Reading this reminds me of a John Grisham novel. I feel the need to pray for the safety of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò while this information is coming out and until the full investigation is done.


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  2. Not that I wanted to jump at this opportunity so quickly, however, thank you Charlie for opening the door to this possibility telling people that I thought in Spirit Daily 2 days ago…a priest wrote an amazing response as to how this is to be understood and how to go about solving. https://spiritdaily.org/blog/news/mailbag-a-penetrating-analysis-of-abuse-crisis. It is still there today in the “mailbag” heading. Which is why I hope all will read that Spirit Daily Mail bag article. The paragraph #3 I felt is prob the most critical of lines “3. A bishop can do no greater disservice to his flock than to lie; lying is immeasurably more destructive than scandal given by sexual turpitude, jobbery, or peculation. Any lie, regardless of gravity or occasion, gives his hearers reason to believe that the apostles lied about Christ and that the Church is lying when she claims to be a reliable transmitter of divine teaching. If a bishop, a successor of the Apostles, has lied to me about what he knew about a priest before re-assigning him, why should I believe that he is telling me the truth when he says that Christ rose from the dead, or that it is God’s will that I refrain from sex outside marriage?…” Wow! There you have it. It is 18 paragraphs long. 18 mind blowing considerations. Worth the 10 minute read. Take care and be safe.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. I abhor lies. (I can self analyze as to why but no need to go there…).
      My dad used to be a landlord. One of his tenants lied to him and when he found out, he told her that going forward, he would have to assume everything she said was a lie. She was insulted and told my dad so, demanding an explanation. Dad calmly stated that he was not smart enough to tell the difference between her lies and the truth and since she had already proven herself capable of lying, he would need to assume everything she said was a lie (unless proven otherwise).
      Right now I find great wisdom in this approach.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. PS. To clarify: Christ IS truth and what He teaches is truth. Tracing church teachings back to their source (Christ) establishes the validity of the teaching. It is fallen man who brings the need for caution.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. We certainly are living in those “interesting times”. I’m appreciating the commentary you are all offering, thank you.

    I have a question I would like to hear an opinion on, if anyone has an idea. It was touched on by one person in a blog commentary I was reading, then no one responded and I’ve never seen it touched on elsewhere. It’s important, I believe.

    1. We have heard how thousands of homosexuals were invited — even purposely placed — into seminaries in the 20th century, reportedly with an agenda to help destroy the Catholic Church from within — that “hundred years” thing where sa… tan was given the extra power to effect his last-ditch damage to God’s church. Whether one believes that story or not (I expect it’s true), there’s no doubt that thousands of homosexuals got in and enjoyed an environment of immoral license.

    2. An unrepentant, and decidedly active, homosexual is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. You can not marry if there is obstruction to the Sacrament, and likewise no seminarian in that life practice could be ordained a Catholic priest if he is naturally excommunicated.

    3. So, those unrepentant seminarians eventually went through the motions of being “ordained”, but such ordinations could not have been valid.

    3. Therefore, all those thousands of seminarians-turned priests have been out there in Catholic churches all these decades passing out invalid sacraments. And none of the people in the pews know it — they think they are receiving the Eucharist, when they are not.

    Is this the way of it? Think how many false priest are out there, faking it, for millions of the faithful. Right?

    Coming into the church in 1997, I was comforted by the teaching that valid effecting of the sacraments does not depend on the character — whether holy or sinful — of the priest, but this is a while different situation, one where their own ordination would never have been real to start with.

    If so, this situation is even deeper, graver, than we have thought. And the effects eternal.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I really hope that is the truth of it, Charlie. I would think that wilful, mortal sin against such a teaching of the church would, indeed, excommunicate one. That’s what was proposed on the commentary I read, and I thought it sounded pretty accurate — it’s a grave rebellion. Thank you for your response. If there are any canon lawyers reading, feel free to add!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Well, here’s what the CCC says about abortion wherein the penalty of excommunication is named:

          2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

          On the other hand, here’s the CCC entry on homosexual acts and there is NO mention of a penalty involving excommunication. (I have never ever heard or read of the Church attaching the penalty of excommunication to the sin of homosexual acts. But I will ask the canon lawyer in this house about it when I can.)

          Chastity and homosexuality
          2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
          2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Father just shared the list of offenses which incur automatic excommunication and active homosexuality is not in the list:
            1. abortion
            2. apostasy
            3. absolution of an accomplice
            4. breaking the confessional seal
            5. desecration of a host
            6. physical attack on the Pope

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        2. No, willful, mortal sin is, in most cases, alleviated by Confession. In the case of abortion, there is automatic excommunication – which requires a Bishop’s permission for a Priest to forgive it in Confession. But thanks be to God that most serious sins do not rise to that level, lest we all be automatically excommunicated regularly.

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            1. You don’t know that the Franciscan had not gotten permission afterwards. I had a Priest I know see a woman who was struggling with this and he gave her a conditional absolution, reporting it to the Bishop afterwards who confirmed it. There was no further need to contact her.

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              1. not a theologian but from what i have read, if my memory serves me correctly to be excommunicated for abortion one has to be older than 16 and know at the time it is an excommunicative act. not discover it afterwards. meaning you cant automaticaly excommunicate yourself without knowing it at the time.

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            2. Pat,
              In many Diocese the Bishop has given all his priest the power to absolve the sin of abortion. It may be that the priest that gave you absolution is from such a place.

              Liked by 5 people

              1. You are correct, Joseph, about the beautiful gift of Mercy which Pope Francis extended by way of granting every priest the privilege of absolving the sin of abortion. As I recall, though, Patrick shared that he had confessed some years ago, before Pope Francis was elected pope.

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                1. Patrick,
                  The Supreme Law which is above all canon law is the salvation of souls. When you sincerely confess your sins to a priest, you are forgiven ALL your sins. God’s unfathomable mercy is not dependent on any human law.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. My Pastor has often remarked when Jesus forgave, he forgave all sins, not just one. It also took me awhile to comprehend His unfathomable mercy.

                      Pray the Stations of the Cross immediately after confession and obtain a Plenary Indulgence (PI). For yourself and/or Holy Souls in Purgatory. Complete remission of punishment due to our sins.
                      Strive for Holiness. Each day.

                      I have obtained a Plenary Indulgence each day for the past ten days or so. (At least I hope so…) Anyhow, it has been a wonderful feeling and has allowed me to offer the PI for Souls I know or to Strangers. Pick a person in the local Obituary…sponsor an Obit.

                      Then ask the Holy Soul not to pray for you but for… conversion of Muslims, Atheists, etc.

                      The world will change, be transfigured and be lit A flame.

                      Liked by 6 people

                    2. Sean, this is awesome. But why not ask the Holy Soul to pray for you AND for the conversion of Muslims, atheists, etc.? I read in a book somewhere that when one offers the Rosary (or other prayer) for multiple intentions, it is as if a separate Rosary were offered for each intention… the prayer “pie” doesn’t get divided into n pieces; instead, it gets multiplied into n pies. So I would figure that the Holy Souls’ prayers could be multiplied over multiple intentions, too. Just a thought. 🙂

                      Liked by 5 people

            1. Interesting question, tunaonfriday. I just asked the resident canon lawyer here and he said even if a seminarian had evil intent, such as those described by Bella Dodd who were communist plants, the ordination was valid because the man wanted to be a priest and the bishop consecrated him.

              Liked by 1 person

        3. I think the Bishop or Pope has to directly excommunicate someone – as in Henry VIII’s case. I don’t think you can be excommunicated for being in a state of mortal sin, unless it is public enough for the Bishop/Pope to be aware of it and it reaches some kind of threshold. I heard a similar question on Catholic Radio today regarding sacraments officiated by McCarick and others in this state of sin – the sacrament still holds, because it is Jesus administering the sacrament through a very flawed instrument.

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Since a marriage is invalid if one of the couple in his mind and heart has decided secretly at the time of the marriage not to have children, could there be a similar invalidation in holy orders if the candidate either lies or has mental reservations?

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  4. Actually I’m feeling more like a Sam Gamgee…
    “It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
    The ones that really mattered.
    Full of darkness and danger they were,
    and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
    Because how could the end be happy.”

    Liked by 13 people

  5. “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.”

    This sentiment warms me despite current events become increasingly chilling.

    Liked by 19 people

  6. Thanks Charlie well done! As a priest I am well aware of the danger of pride and the lack of humility. It is so common among priests, however, we must learn to take ourselves very lightly. One of my favorite stories is about St. Jean Vianney. He was so bereft of natural talents that he had to completely trust in God in order to be a good priest. Once when he intercepted a petition to have him removed as the pastor, he read it carefully, noting all his faults and failings listed boldly in writing, and signed it! God is so good to us all and will prevail through us if we just try to do the little we can with what he has given us.

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    1. Fr. Peter,
      I just loved your last line…”God is so good to us all and will prevail through us if we just try to do the little we can with what he has given us.” Thank you so much Father, I’m feeling a bit weak after a tough weekend. I am trying….

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  7. As a person in the pews with little connection to the inside scoop, my reaction to all this is a deep and terrible sadness. The image that comes to me in prayer is standing near Mary, who is once again, today, at the foot of the cross watching her son’s body on earth be beaten and tortured. Silent, devoted to her son in agony, and trusting in the Father. Mary, may I draw near, take your hand, and draw strength to imitate you in this dark time. May the Holy Spirit who over shadowed you, fill our hearts with the Truth and Love of Jesus.

    Liked by 18 people

  8. For a second I thought the picture at the top of the post was Charlie in a Lord of the Rings costume. My bad!
    I have been in a blue funk since all this happened. I tend to believe the accusations but I know from experience that I am so far removed from any true knowledge of what went on that I really have nothing but faith in Jesus’ love for his church and Mary’s protection. NCR has a story today implying that Pope Emeritus Benedict did not put prohibitions against McCarrick.

    I have a lot of reading yet to do on this subject – but I fear I’m just not in the loop enough to make a fair judgement. Taking the next right step is a challenge when you’re not sure what you’re stepping into.

    I’m also heartbroken about the status of the church in Ireland, my Irish grandparents must be horrified.

    Today I did something I’ve never done before – I wrote letters to three priests who have been especially good to me over the years. I thanked them for their help during difficult times and their ministry – which I’m ashamed to say I had neglected to do until now. I think I’ll write to more priests, and make a habit of thanking them more often. I don’t know what the truth is regarding anyone else’s behaviour beyond my own experience with that person. I will do as Mary suggested in her most recent Medjugorje message – speak less and pray more.

    Saints preserve us!- as grandma would say.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Madkat, the article to which you link is from the National Catholic Reporter–a publication which is known as the National Catholic Distorter in certain Catholic circles. In my own view, as a source of news it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on; and I’m apt to take many if not most of the articles in it with several grains of salt.

      You might be interested in this article from the UK’s Catholic Herald:


      The Ed McFadden mentioned in the article is the current Secretary of Communications for the Archdiocese of Washington (D. C.), and he has confirmed certain details of Vigano’s version of the happenings which are the subject of the above article.

      The article begs the question: Why, at Vigano’s request and without any argument or discussion, did Wuerl cancel the meet-and-greet between McCarrick and the potential seminarians, if he was (as he has claimed) unaware of any sanctions imposed upon McCarrick by Benedict XVI?

      Liked by 13 people

      1. Exactly, Mick! Glad you caught that. Many true Catholics believe the word “Catholic” should not even be allowed in their title. I guess we have to ask who their diocese’s bishop is and why he allows this. It has been asked many times! The National Catholic Register is also a good alternative, owned now by EWTN, if I remember correctly. So much caution is called for, with so many rebels trying to refute “the bombshell” testimony according to their own agenda. God bless and strengthen us all!

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  9. Thank you Charlie. I truly cherish your commentary reaching me here in middle Minnesota.

    Last month our little mission church Our Lady of Fatima closed after over 70 years of service. This, because some of the laity did not not like our newly-assigned priest from India. Father KK was an exceptionally good priest but was attacked with prejudice, without cause. Ultimately he was allowed to retire for ill health and returned to his monastery in India. This three years ahead of time.

    Our marvelous Bishop supported him.

    The take-away: If we speak against a priest, the devils wil gather every false word and satan will present these to Our Father. Graciously Our Father held Father in His Arms and released him from service. God made it clear that if we didn’t love and support the priest He gave us we would go without.

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    1. AnneEstelle: So sad to hear how Father KK was treated. Been to several churches lately with foreign born priests. One is Fremont CA were both priest are from India and they tell of the enormous cultural blowback to them in order to become Roman Catholic priests in their native country. Father Joy didn’t even have the money to buy a pair of shoes for seminary. They are lovely and extraordinary. Was at another church near Katy TX and the pastor is from Viet Nam. Was there a year ago for Pro life Sunday and he gave one of the most extraordinary homily on abortion. I think OLF mission church missed out on a wonderful experience.

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  10. Well, the seas have become a little rough and we are all getting a little seasick. Wonderful post Charlie with much of your usual great analysis. Your warnings of not making the mistake of taking things to extremes are points well taken. It has been a great concern of mine. We can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. And that last paragraph revisits so many good ‘marching orders’ that I know I, at least, cannot hear too many times.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 8 people

  11. Thanks, Charlie. There’s a lot unfolding these days in our Country and in our Church. That is a ray of light. God is in control. Perhaps the rescue is just beginning.

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      1. My thoughts exactly, Beckita.

        We have been prepared for these times by Charlie and others ~ by the grace of God Almighty.

        Notably, if one follows the Q community info, we can see God’s complementary action in the secular realm, led by the United States. This really struck me recently while praying the Our Father:

        “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Yes, Sr. Bear. And this brings my own thinking to the idea that evil is not increasing – although it makes sense that the evil one has surged full force to do as much damage as possible before Our Lady’s Heart triumphs completely. It only SEEMS evil is winning, yet, one dimension of what is happening is the power structures, hidden for too long, from plain view in order to facilitate ongoing evil, are being exposed and, in this exposure, are crumbling. Not a stone will be left on stone.

          Liked by 8 people

    1. Both the USCCB and the forces of laity pressing for accountability will continue their work and their efforts to dialogue with the Holy See in order to set up an investigative committee.

      The AG of Pennsylvania was on the news today stating that there is evidence in their report which shows there was a Vatican cover-up, so there will be secular voices probing to uncover the full story as well. In Chile, bishop offices were raided. In this country, talk of futher investigating the Church under the RICO Act is a possibility because there were cases where priests were moved across state lines.

      Back to within the Church,…as we’re engaged in the 54 Day Rosary Novena – for which it’s never too late to join – nothing is impossible for God and through our prayers and fasting the Holy Spirit may well inspire and open doors for solutions which we cannot yet see.

      Liked by 11 people

    1. Dave, thanks for the re-post of this excellent homily. Very much aware of Bishop Gracida’s efforts, posted on his site. Initially, I though he was off base in his thinking. I have reconsidered this since viewing a telling video with former Cardinal McCarrick, in his own words, describing the lead up to the conclave in 2013. Here it is, again:

      Excerpted from the video:

      “We sat down. This is a very brilliant man, a very influential man in Rome. We talked about a number of things. He had a favor to ask me for [when I returned] back home in the United States.

      But then [the influential Italian] said, ‘What about Bergoglio?’

      And I was surprised at the question.

      I said, ‘What about him?’

      He said, ‘Does he have a chance?’

      I said, ‘I don’t think so, because no one has mentioned his name. He hasn’t been in anyone’s mind. I don’t think it’s on anybody’s mind to vote for him.”

      He said, ‘He could do it, you know.’

      I said, ‘What could he do?’

      He said, ‘[Bergoglio] could reform the Church. If we gave him five years, he could put us back on target.’

      I said, ‘But, he’s 76.’

      He said, ‘Yeah, five years. If we had five years, the Lord working through Bergoglio in five years could make the Church over again.’

      I said, ‘That’s an interesting thing.’

      He said, ‘I know you’re his friend.’

      I said, ‘I hope I am.’

      He said, ‘Talk him up.’

      I said, ‘Well, we’ll see what happens. This is God’s work.’
      That was the first that I heard that there were people who thought Bergoglio would be a possibility in this election.

      McCarrick went on to say in his talk that when his time came to speak to all the cardinals prior to the vote, he urged them to elect someone from “Latin America” who could identify with the poor.

      He then went on in his talk to praise Pope Francis to the American Catholic students as a “pastor” greater than previous popes. “I think we have maybe never had a ‘pastor’ in so long a time,” he said.

      He continued: “[Francis] has an understanding of human nature, an understanding that, though he says some things that maybe would surprise us, but the interesting thing is that if you examine what he is saying, it is what the Church has said all the time. Maybe not what the canonists have said all the time, or what different theologians have said all the time. But the teaching of the Church all the time is the teaching of Pope Francis.”

      McCarrick predicted at that time that Francis “if he has two years, he will have changed the papacy.”

      “The longer he is in, the more I think it is likely that we could say that he has changed the papacy,” he stated.

      (All of this is discussed in this article from 2017: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/they-gave-pope-francis-four-years-to-make-the-church-over-again.-heres-how)

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I finally had time to sit quietly and listen to Father Altier yesterday. I had bookmarked it since Father Z had it on his site days ago. I was cheering at his boldness and truth and felt validated in having believed for many years the things he revealed (because of all that I’ve read). It was sent on to several friends and I hope it spreads far and wide, as well as other revelations. Catholics have a right to know all these things. Of course there’s even more, as in Father Gobbi’s messages. Most people can only digest just so much at one time. It will all come out.

      It’s hard to understand, but we were created to live in this time. Charlie has said it and also St. Louis de Montfort, among others. We just have to see where the Lord and Mama lead us.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Related to abortion and confession. My bishop, and many others, gave us permission to absolve penitents the sin of abortion and receive them back into the Church right there in confession years ago. It was reiterated during the Year of Mercy. So it is standing policy in many dioceses. Just leave the responsibility to the confessor. He also may have special permission if it isn’t granted to all the priests of the diocese. The Year of Mercy special confessors remain in many dioceses as well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thanks, Kim. When I first viewed this interview, I thought of Pope Benedict’s prophecy about the future of the Church in which he said we would be small and poorer, perhaps unable to inhabit the beautiful edifices we had formerly erected. Why? Because we hear the AG from Pennsylvania referring to the reassignment of priests – who had committed crimes – moved to dioceses in other states. That has many in law enforcement speaking to making RICO charges. Add to that the removal of the statutes of limitations and we’ll surely lose Church properties in order to compensate victims..

      And, how often, Maria Esperanza expressed her vision of a future Church in which she saw smaller communities of people gathered round and centered on the Eucharist.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. When the natives start getting restless, you can tell we have entered some dark dark areas. :12″Its time to For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. 13Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). ” Several years ago, my grandchildren and I decided to learn this beautiful Ephesians 6, then we purchased an 8 ft tall full cardboard armor knight from Amazon, painted it and put it in the front glass window. I think It’s time to get another one. That old one finally fell apart. But It is time again to get another one. Don’t you think!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. When I ran a 40 days for life prayer campaign, we had a copy posted of Epeshians 6:10-18 at the front door of our meeting house. I asked everyone to pray upon entering especially when exiting.

      Thinking now to have tee shirts made with this verse on the back…

      Liked by 6 people


    Liked by 6 people

  15. I remember many years back when Cardinal Ratzinger was put in charge of the investigation of sexual abuse in the church some charged him with neglect. In the article the writer contended that Ratziger has some 800 people under him and not only was it impossible for him to know about every single investigation, many investigations led to fraud on the part of the supposed victim.
    There is always an effort to discredit the Church and we must be mindful of how ingenious this effort can be especially when a few antichristical hecklers use these instances to rouse up disdain for Her.
    It would be an amazing sacrificial act for the Church if Her Pope were to resign because of his and others failings especially if done in the spirit of penance toward Her sins and as a sign for real change.
    I’m sure there are unknown circumstance behind all this and our Pope and probably many others did not plan doing anything wrong and thought to spare the faithful from scandal more than just to hide Her inner failings. I do not think anyone will disagree this will cause many to leave the faith. For millennium the church has policed itself and kept Her corruption out of the public spotlight for this very reason. Unfortunately, this interior policing has led to conspiratorialt rot from the inside which allowed those with a separate agenda to use this policy for no good.
    The question then is what is better for the church- secrecy and self policing to avoid scandal
    or an open air policy which may cause scandal and defections?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Well said, Phillip. It IS impossible for the Holy Father, alone, to have all the details of what is transpiring all over the world, let alone in the Holy See. We so need an investigation and the Holy Spirit to descend in cleansing, inspiring ways as we seek truth, accountability and greater transparency.

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  16. Conchita said, “The church will be cruelly torn by “something like a schism” as a sign that we are close to the events prophesied at Garabandal.

    There is nothing ‘formulaic’ in the simple reception of the messages of Garabandal and Akita and no true believer in their prophesies would claim to know the full details of their unfolding. But we have enough from The Blessed Mother to have faith in them.

    Mary said “Pray very much the prayers of the rosary. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.” Uncomplicated reception of this message is not formulaic but is indeed a formula for salvation.

    Uncomplicated regard for the prophesies of Garabandal and Akita is not simplistic but simple. Mary did not provide an alternative or better way to see or live the messages. We have what we have and it offers the more abundant life.

    This is a matter of faith and therefore by its very nature cannot be treated as a matter of knowledge. To do so would confer a formulaic approach.

    Formulaic sophistry has no place in the messages of Our Blessed Mother. She is The Seat of Wisdom and we do well to sit at her feet in the shelter of her mantle. From there we can fight all the battles to which we are called.

    I have just heard that seats have become available that will enable me to make a quick visit on my way back home to New Zealand to the chapel of The Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam.

    And thus my pilgrimage will be complete, a pilgrimage to honour my earthly mother in the celebration of her 90th birthday and to honour my heavenly Mother in the special places she has chosen to recently visit.

    In these places Mary has given us a formula for faith that is essential to survival in these present times. And when her words are fulfilled the body of her Son will be renewed just as the body of Fr Louis Andreu will be renewed on the day after the Miracle.

    Pope Francis is the Pope of this end of times and he will preside when the conscience of the world is corrected in The Warning and when the world will be drawn to conversion to The Catholic Faith in The Great Miracle. I for one will remain in the barque of Peter until then. This vision is not formulaic. It is a vision of faith, universal in its presentation and purpose.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Joe, what a beautiful pilgrimage you have travelled, with memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for thinking of us and prayers for the rest of your travels and safe return home.

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  17. I will continue to keep the lines of communication open with my bishop and others in the chancery regarding the Inter Faith Prayer Service that has taken place in the Cathedral annually for the last several years. The difficulty when addressing the facts of the matter are that each invited pastor, rabbi, or imam is allowed/invited/expected to speak from the ambo on the altar of the Cathedral. This creates the appearance of universality especially for poorly catechized faithful as well as non-Catholics who attend.

    The well meaning people at the chancery including the bishop refuse to take information about Islam including verses from the Koran and the Hadith. They cite documents of Vatican II, namely Nostra Aetate and Lumen Gentium, to support their strategy. Each year that I have contacted the organizers and the bishop or vicar general I have implored them to change the venue for this event to a non-sacred space. Again, they cite Vatican II documents as well as the USCCB’s initiatives for conducting these services in sacred spaces. I have not given up, but these above documents from Vatican II are being used to justify this practice in spite of the reality of Islam that daily meets everyone’s eyes and has for the last 1400 years. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Purchase a book titles “Profit of Doom” by Craig Winn. It is available for free online http://www.prophetofdoom.net

      I had (at one time) this book, the Koran, the sunnah, hadith of bukhari, Reliance of the Traveler. As I read the book by Winn, I cited his references along with these books. I read about two hundred pages and had to put it down. It is evil. Beyond evil. At this time, I reflected it was not doing any spiritual good for me to know these ‘truths’ of Islam. I realigned myself with the Gospel and reflections/ readings pertaining to the Catholic Faith.

      I post this as a reference. Winn opens up and displays the Islam religion for what it is and what it is not. Whom does it owe alegiance and by its fruits shall you know the tree. Heaven is described as a burning furnace with streams of lava around whereupon allah goes down into the pit to torment sinners.

      Here is a brief selectionof Winn with references cited. On page two paragraph 2 describes succintly the religion. http://prophetofdoom.net/pdf/POD_Quran_Surah_053_The_Star.pdf

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I should have concluded with this verse from Philippians. I did prayer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (03:10 hrs) for the conversion of Islam, the woman to be headed in Saudia Arabia and for her executioners.

        Catholic Study Bible

        Philippians 4:4-8

        4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

        5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.

        6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

        7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

        8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. {my favorite quote}

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Lastly, perhaps on this feast day on the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, may we all pray for his intersession for the conversion of Muslims, all those who favor the religion of Islam and for the end to Materialism.

          Liked by 5 people

      2. Thank you, Sean. Yes, our public library even has Winn’s book. It’s a huge volume and Winn does a thorough job of citing hadith, Koran, and historical facts. However, he doesn’t give suggestions for dealing with a bishop, the chancery, or the well-meaning people who organize Interfaith shindigs or dialogues.

        Dr. Bill Warner is also a champion of dissecting the facts of Islam. His dynamic battle map that compares jihad to the crusades elicited this response from my pastor, “I didn’t know Islam was so destructive.” That gave me hope, but since then there has been only crickets from him, our legislative liaison, and the chancery as a whole regarding information I’ve sent about Islam.

        This is the point for which I am reaching out for suggestions: I am well informed about Islam. What effective actions can one take to dissuade similar confusing actions to occur in our sacred spaces?

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        1. “What effective actions can one take to dissuade similar confusing actions to occur in our sacred spaces?”

          Tell your Bishop, Pastor to watch Mother Angelica.

          As I type this reply, I am watching a repeat of a Mother Angelica Live Classic on this exact topic.

          On Human respect: On the Liberal Trap. “I will say anything to make them happy to our own detriment…We have more fear of men, of society, than we of God, and God is our Judge and I am going to be judged by God, I am going to spend the rest of my life with God, if I don’t, I am going to {inaudible} {she gestured THUMBS DOWN}”

          (EWTN Mother Angelica, Live Classics retrieved on 8/28/18) {Spiritual Blindness: call to Holiness, minute mark :24 11/19/1996}


          Have your say, write a letter providing solid and verifiable references, then let it go.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Sean, thank you again. Like I said, I won’t give up. Mother Angelica is a great suggestion. Having the pertinent link and time stamp will be helpful.

            Already for the past 3 years I have written letters to only those individuals in charge. Before last year’s InterFaith Prayer Service (IFPS), I sent an email cc to ALL priests and deacons in the diocese including our bishop and legislative liaison. My husband and I went to speak with the legislative liaison, a deacon, in person on two occasions. He was the only one to reply to the email.

            Finally, because of scheduling conflicts on the day of the “big event”, daily Mass had to be assigned to the basement classroom. The IFPS, having precedent, took place in the nave and sanctuary of the cathedral. The bishop sat in his chair seeming to preside over the service. After Mass a group of six of us quietly entered the nave, knelt in the second pew from the back (as far away from the “main event” as possible), and prayed a rosary of reparation. We were not asked to leave, but we were asked to pray more quietly.

            Besides Mother Angelica, what else can be done? Anyone?


            1. William Kilpatrick of “the Catholic Thing” online magazine dated today August 29, 2018. He speaks of an upcoming Faithkeepers film displaying the current situation in the East and the apathy of the west.

              “As the Faithkeepers film points out, Christians in the Middle East face extermination. In 1915, Christians comprised 20 percent of the Middle Eastern population. Today the number is 4 percent and still declining…”

              “…Future Church historians will wonder at this gross inversion of priorities. They will wonder how the Church became so absorbed with sensitivity to sexual sub-cultures that it lost sight of a grave external threat to its very existence. They will also wonder why Church leaders in the early 21st century seemed more concerned with showing solidarity with Islam (witness the USCCB’s anti-Islamophobia campaign) than in showing solidarity with persecuted Christians.”


              Liked by 3 people

            2. III, our pastor invited Muslims to use our church for an open house to garner public confidence for the village to allow them zoning for a constructing a mosque. I was beside myself with grief and let my pastor know how upset I was with his handling of his flock during a confession on the feast of the Holy Rosary, the battle of Lepanto, of all days. He explained that he is responsible for all of the souls in the parish. I suggested that *they* should allow us to have a Rosary Procession around their newly obtained property. That of course has not happened.
              I do not have the answer you are seeking III. What I can offer, is that during prayer and reflection, I it occurred to me that nothing is lost in God’s economy. Since we know that there are and will continue to be Muslim converts, no doubt the pastor’s decision plays into God’s plan unfolding. I pray it is for the benefit of our community. I trust God and I let it go, having had my say. Should an opportunity present itself to speak up on the matter again, I surely will. In the meantime, I do as Our Blessed Mother just recently suggested, I speak less, and I pray more. ❤ Abba's got this!

              Liked by 6 people

              1. Thank you, JLynn. Sometimes one can get to feeling pretty isolated. One of the intentions I’ve included in my rosary for quite a while is for the conversion of all the Nations of Islam, individual Muslims, and particularly Muslim women. God will answer this prayer in the fullness of time with the fullness of grace. That’s how I see His economy of grace–nothing is wasted. Ever.

                Liked by 6 people

                1. “…particularly Muslim women.” As I read your words, I was reminded of a quote that Muslims would be converted through Our Lady (Fatima, the daughter, etc.) Bishop Sheen perhaps? So your rosary for them is perfect!

                  Liked by 3 people

    2. I had thought of stating don’t worry about prayer in the Sacred spaces within our Church as Jesus is in the Tabernacle. I didn’t since I did not want to be impolite toward any sensitive reader. Though, perhaps God is telling me something as this article is published, to day, describes exactly that. It figures I should have watched Mother Angelica sooner:)


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      1. Thank you, again Sean. I don’t mean to be obtuse or impolite, but I fail to see how the article that you link to on the power of the Eucharistic Presence of Our Lord for physical and spiritual healing has anything to do with the duty we faithful have to do our utmost to protect Him from disrespect, blasphemy, and perhaps–in the case of IFPS– even sacrilege.

        I guess that in my original comment along with asking for suggestions for actions to take regarding IFPSes, the primary point I was trying to make is that with documents from Vatican II like Nostra Aetate and Lumen Gentium, it seems to me that there will be no reaching those in the chancery until those documents are interpreted in light of tradition rather than through the modernist, universalist lens that they most commonly are.

        Also, (and perhaps–please correct me if I’m wrong–I would be one of the “sensitive ones” you were being considerate of for declining to mention not worrying about an Interfaith Prayer Service being held in a sacred space) is it not an affront to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in the tabernacle as well as a scandal to “little ones” in the pew to allow the sanctuary and the ambo for a speaking platform for any non-catholic? But especially for the local imam who has been practicing da’wa and using taquiyya at every opportunity in this community through the community college and local media over the last fifteen years?

        Sean, how does an IFPS not add insult to injury to Our Lord? Would you agree that another tragedy occurs precisely because of the permission and even out right promotion that is given by our church authority?

        I can only judge appearance; God judges hearts. Our bishop has taken the USCCB’s stance on open borders and unlimited immigration to heart. I’ve talked to him in person and approached him through a letter. His answer is silence.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “…we faithful have to do our utmost to protect Him from disrespect, blasphemy, and perhaps–in the case of IFPS– even sacrilege.”

          Contained within the article is description of an Exorcism. Please read again for your clarification. Simply, the Demon seemingly overwhelmed the Exorcist who at wits end just let him ‘have a go’ at Jesus in the Monstrance. The demon lost. The demon ran toward the altar and ceased all forward motion just prior to the Monstrance as if it hit a wall.

          This is the intent of my suggestions. It is also part of my reply to ‘just let it go’. Jesus is in charge. You have done your duty. Let Him run things awhile.


          Here are two resources for Vatican two source documents. I have briefly read a couple publications and can state I find them orthodox (in my opinion). I have found it is in the interpretation by others who ‘go hog wild’ in their viewpoints and state an opinion which in my minds eye clearly wrong. (no pun intended)



          Liked by 3 people

  18. Tonight, I read the September, 2018, newsletter from Renewal Ministries. A comment following Ralph Martin’s “Dear Troubled Catholics” : ” There is no situation too dire for the power of God. But in human terms, hope is undermined when leaders downplay the extent of a crisis. You feel like a new, more hopeful stage in the battle is being reached when the full scope of the enemy’s attack is finally revealed, however terrible it may be.” There is also a beautiful, heartfelt prayer on page 5.
    http://www.renewalministries.net/?module=Home (the newsletter is in the archives and I can’t seem to get a link for it) It’s a good read.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. As usual, columnist Ross Douthat (author of “To Change a Church”) provides a sober and balanced look at the latest revelations. (Don’t be afraid of the NY Times link, he is one of the very few NY Times columnists who is even moderately Conservative). Charlie, I wonder what you think of Douthat?

    He points out that people tend to engage in “team thinking” along ideological lines, which leads them to put up with a great deal of corruption among their own ideological allies, or perhaps to put inordinate trust in someone because they are “on our team.” The Pope has been doing this for awhile now, as he points out. Cardinal Danneels was pulled out of retirement by Francis to participate in the 2015 Synod on the Family, and he was previously caught on tape trying to cover up abuse. JPII was perhaps unwilling to see the evil in Maciel because he was a supposed Conservative.

    What’s the lesson? As Douthat says, putting on ideological blinders always ends not in theological victory, but in shame and disaster. We, including the Pope, are not God. We really aren’t wise or smart enough to use the gravely corrupt in service of “greater good” and doing so in secret always ends badly. The unfortunate thing we are seeing now is a Pope who, instead of purging rot in the church, talks about purging it but doesn’t do so when the rot agrees with him theologically. He also seems to be unable to see that he is being ideological. He tends to call theological conservatives “ideological” but those “on his side” shepherds. Dangerous thinking.

    Final point, Douthat does not call for the Pope to resign, but to fix the problem. Resigning, perhaps, is a cop-out. Let’s pray, hope and press him to do so. May the Lord open the Holy Father’s eyes that he may see what is happening here!

    Liked by 6 people

  20. This quote from a message given to Mirjana in Medjugore on September 2nd, 2013 is highly relevant to the current Church turmoil:

    For the sake of Jesus, for the sake of my Son, love those whom He has called and long for the blessing only from the hands which He has consecrated. Do not permit evil to come to reign. Anew I repeat – only along side your shepherds will my heart triumph. Do not permit evil to separate you from your shepherds. Thank you.”

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    1. As ever, beautiful and potent words from Our Lady of Medjugorje, David. It is a sobering reminder to support while listening to and working along side our good shepherds who are faithful to their role even as we seek truth to hold to account those shepherds who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. And, oh so sadly, the wolves are as present as the good shepherds to whom Our Lady refers. And the Church herself, to which Our Lady ever defers, has processes and canonical penalties for those shepherds who have chosen evil ways. Jeremiah delivered a strong rebuke, a word from the Lord Himself concerning the errant shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1)

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  21. How much more false witness will come to light? Pope Francis is certainly being crucified. No surprises there. Satan has always been a liar and a murderer. His instruments of torture include calumny, conjecture, inuendo, nuance and gossip.

    Gänswein: Benedict will not comment on Vigano’s accusations
    by Joe Dantona

    “The private secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict denies reports which claim that Benedict confirmed the reports of former Vatican diplomat Vigano.

    The claim that the former pope confirmed the reports is devoid of any truth and has no basis in reality.

    Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, has rejected the claim that the former pope confirmed the accusations of former Vatican diplomat Carlo Vigano.

    “Pope Benedict has not commented on Archbishop Vigano’s ‘Testimony,’ nor will he,” Gänswein told this publication [Tagespost]. The claim that the former pope confirmed the statements is completely devoid of truth. Says Gänswein: “Fake news.”

    The Archbishop refers to a report from the New York Times, in which Timothy Busch, a member [of the board of governors] of the American news channel EWTN, is quoted. According to that report, the Pope Emeritus confirmed the accusations that Vigano had raised.”

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      1. Hi Frank
        I really do wish that I could getchya all and help save your souls if they need a hand. I am under no illusion about the bias in newspapers. I used this one because it aligns with my persuasion that Pope Francis is once again being hog tied. I am not alone in this discernment.

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            1. I did not complete my reply to you Islam. May I ask what makes you think that Benedict’s resignation was incomplete? There is nothing in my reading that can support such a view.


              1. Thank you for asking, Joe, since I believe this is a most important point. I can not take credit for this reasoning, but the thesis gives me hope.

                At his audience before resigning Pope Benedict said:
                “The ‘always’ is also a ‘for ever‘ – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God.”

                -Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger
                27 February, 2013
                Papal Audience

                To be clear, Pope Benedict said, “I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but IN THE SERVICE OF PRAYER I REMAIN, SO TO SPEAK, IN THE ENCLOSURE OF SAINT PETER.”

                Pope Benedict’s personal Secretary, Ganswein, explains here that earlier on February 11, 2013 speaking in LATIN the Pope retained part of the munus:

                “The momentous resignation of the theologian pope represented a step forward primarily by the fact that, on February 11, 2013, speaking in Latin in front of the surprised cardinals, he introduced into the Catholic Church the new institution of “pope emeritus,” stating that his strength was no longer sufficient “to properly exercise the Petrine ministry.” The key word in that statement is munus petrinum, translated — as happens most of the time — with “Petrine ministry.” And yet, munus, in Latin, has a multiplicity of meanings: it can mean service, duty, guide or gift, even prodigy. Before and after his resignation, Benedict understood and understands his task as participation in such a “Petrine ministry.” He has left the papal throne and yet, with the step made on February 11, 2013, he has not at all abandoned this ministry. Instead, he has complemented the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi shared ministry again the invitation contained in the motto that the then Joseph Ratzinger took as archbishop of Munich and Freising and which he then naturally maintained as bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis,” which means “fellow workers in the truth.” In fact, it is not in the singular but the plural; it is taken from the Third Letter of John, in which in verse 8 it is written: “We ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.”
                Since the election of his successor Francis, on March 13, 2013, there are not therefore two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up either his name, or the white cassock. This is why the correct name by which to address him even today is “Your Holiness”; and this is also why he has not retired to a secluded monastery, but within the Vatican…

                It can be seen by the Latin that the key word is munus. Pope Benedict did not surrender the total munus; therefore, as he said himself he has not abandoned this ministry–his resignation was incomplete. Since there can never be two Peters only one, Francis is actually not on the throne. He is in fact an Antipope and thus does not have the guarantee of infallibility.

                Joe, this is much to contemplate. But there is even more that has to do with the message of Fatima and a difficult DECISION that Our Lady said the Holy Father would make.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Well, this is an interesting theory, but a theory only. I don’t subscribe to it, though you make a rational case. I accept Pope Benedict’s resignation at face value. He says he freely chose; I believe him. I think it makes sense that, as he saw how huge the problem had become in the Church, he honestly felt it was bigger than he could handle at his age – so he left out of love for the Church. It is not the first time a Pope has resigned; I doubt it will be the last. The Pope Emeritus title seems to me just an extension of the Bishop Emeritus title that is universal for retired Bishops.

                  As for Fatima, you are going to have to help me out here. I am not familiar with any quote of Our Lady about a Pope having to make a very difficult decision. I am aware that Fr. Joseph Schweigel, after he was sent to interview Sr. Lucia at length about the visitations, said that he believed a Pope was going to have to make a “victorious, triumphant, but difficult and heroic decision.” Is that the quote you are citing here rather than actual words of Our Lady?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yes, Charlie, it is a theory only. I agree that Pope Benedict chose his decision freely. His own statements as well as his personal secretary’s statement seem to indicate that fact clearly. Perhaps his freedom in deciding as he did was made in light of having read both the description of as well as Our Lady’s interpretation of the 3rd Secret. Perhaps by deciding to retain a part of the munus, what he freely and maybe even heroically chose was to keep the office safe from the diabolical rot that surrounded him and that he was powerless to do anything about.

                    Yes, again, Charlie. Fr. Schweigl SJ is the one who in 1952 at Pope Pius XII’s request visited Sr. Lucia and asked her a total of 31 questions. He wrote an article that was published in a journal from the Russicum College in Rome in 1956 entitled, “Fatima and the Conversion of Russia”. The full quote that you are familiar with can be found on page 15 of the article. This is it in full: “The Third Secret [of Fatima] deals with a victorious, triumphal decision by the Pope, triumphal, yes, but also difficult and heroic”.

                    At his final General Audience of February 27, 2014, Pope Benedict spoke about his decision to resign:
                    “In these last few months, I have felt my strength diminish and I have asked God with insistency in my prayers to illuminate me with his light and make me take the best decision. I took this step in full awareness of its gravity and novelty but with profound serenity of spirit. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make difficult, painful choices, always keeping the good of the Church in mind and not ourselves.” (from the Vatican Press)

                    Indeed it is a theory, Charlie, but such a theory that gives rise in my mind to scenes akin to the Lord of the Rings. An heroic and free decision made with certain knowledge of the enemy that he alone would face in order that the guarantee of infallibility would not be transferred but would remain safely resting upon him. All the while the darkness reveals itself for what it has grown to be and Holy Mother Church is protected not by “the bishop in white” but by the Holy Father who has had much to suffer.

                    With this theory, there is no need for an antipope to resign because by definition an antipope has never been a pope and the See of Peter is not been vacant.

                    “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”


                    1. Also, Canon Law 342.2 is not clear to me when it speaks of a “properly manifested” resignation. What are the specifics of a properly manifested papal resignation? Could one proper manifestation be that the resignation is a complete and total resigning of the complete and total munus? I for one do not know.

                      Can. 332 §1. The Roman Pontiff obtains full and supreme power in the Church by his acceptance of legitimate election together with episcopal consecration. Therefore, a person elected to the supreme pontificate who is marked with episcopal character obtains this power from the moment of acceptance. If the person elected lacks episcopal character, however, he is to be ordained a bishop immediately.

                      §2. If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. The translation I read of Fr. Schweigel’s quote was, “The Third Secret supposes a victorious, triumphant, but difficult and heroic decision” by a particular Pope. Pretty close, but read either way, it is not the words of Our Lady, but the interpretation of Fr. Schweigel.

                      I should say, whatever misgivings I have, I do NOT regard Pope Francis as an anti-Pope. He was validly elected and, if there was a question on the matter, all the Cardinals had ample opportunity to make their objections known. Their assent validated the election. I do not think, at all, we get out of any mess here through some clever technicality. As I have written repeatedly, I think we laity bear our share of responsibility for letting things get to this pass. It is going to take each of us taking up our share of responsibility, holding offenders to account, committing to holiness, and insisting on the solid meat of sound doctrine. There literally will be no deus ex machina here. God calls us to clean up the mess we have made.

                      Liked by 2 people

          1. To some here it may seem that my attitude to the present level of crisis in the Church is somewhat casual but nothing could be further from the truth. It has affected me directly and personally for more than 50 years.

            Over that time I have watched our sacred structure disintegrate.

            My Faith is one of integration and so it is not by chance that even my profession is founded on the conviction that structure governs function. When the structure is subjected to forces that shake the structure to its very foundations then we are in trouble.

            Providentially the foundations of our Faith are not only human constructs but also Divine. The Divine Construct is Sacred Tradition, in Jesus Christ Himself, and this guarantees the preservation of function albeit with renovation and repair.

            The dual nature of the foundations of our Faith which is perfectly integrated in the hypostatic Nature of Christ means that the Church is not only earthquake proof but also hellquake proof.

            We simply have to do our part as best as we see fit in the deconstruction and reconstruction of our Church. We may differ in our approach to this task but our end is the same – to cooperate with Christ and His Mother in the saving of souls.

            My faith in the messages and prophesies of Garabandal is central to the integration of my Faith in my life. But the life in my Faith is that of Christ. “I live, not I, but Christ lives in me.” My job is to decrease that He may increase and to go out to all nations.

            The Lady of All Nations is the piece that completes and complements Fatima and Garabandal. Only in Garabandal have we been warned of “many and presumed” apparitions of Mary whose purpose is to divert us from The Truth.

            Mary told us in 1962 that “Many Cardinals, many bishops and many priests were heading to perdition and bringing many souls with them.”

            Pope Paul VI asked that the messages of Garabandal be made known to the world. As with Fatima, the Church did not comply. It was too scared. It had literally been caught with its pants down.

            It seems that our education is now solely in the hands of God and will be given in The Warning. This will prepare the world for conversion to the true Faith. Our education will be personal, private and persuasive. It will cover every sin we have ever committed.

            As such The Warning is not so much a revelation of our sins but an education about them.

            It is past my bed time here in Scotland. I have spent the day with my mother whose physical and mental faculties are disintegrating but whose spiritual state is intact. She told me she has to write her sins down on a piece of paper for confession so she does not forget them. And her priest always reminds her to tear it up so it does not “go round the parish.” Now there is Faith against which the gates of hell will never prevail.

            I am to tired to check over this so please excuse any mistakes. Good night all xx

            Liked by 6 people

        1. Joe,

          Since Pope Francis has been elected pope, I have prayed that the Lord protect him from the assassin’s bullet, that he bless him with good health and with a long and fruitful pontificate. I asked the Lord to give Francis His vision for the Church and the world. I never prayed that the Lord make him think like me. I did this in spite of the gratuitously critical remarks he makes about orthodox Catholics, his elevation of progressive bishops to the Cardinalate and his endlessly off-the-cuff remarks that sowed confusion. I never criticized him to my friends or in print. I did say to my wife and one other person that, in my heart of hearts, I was disappointed in Francis.

          Right now a seismic event is rocking the Church. The lavender mafia that has been talked about for almost 40 years is no longer the paranoid fantasy of right-wing crack pots. The revelations about Cardinal McCarrick prove that it has existed all along. Moreover, what many astute observers have maintained over the years, this network is can be linked to the “scandals” that first rocked the Church in 2002.

          Forget about Archbishop Vigano’s revelations. Look how Francis and his advisors and appointees have reacted recently to the “scandal”. Francis’ first reaction to the abuse scandal in Chile was to accuse the victims of “slander”. With the history of the last 16 years, how could he say such a thing? A pope doesn’t talk like this. Moreover, he said he hadn’t heard from any of the victims even though Cardinal Sean O’Malley said he “hand delivered” a letter to Francis from one of the abuse victims.

          Recently 48 seminarians from the major seminary in Honduras wrote a letter complaining about a gay subculture that had a strong influence in the seminary. What was Cardinal Madriaga’s response? He issued a statement that there was no gay culture in the Honduran seminary. Moreover, Madriaga, one of Pope Francis’ “gang of nine”, called the seminarians “gossipers”. This is flat out disgusting and I’m sure it disheartened the seminarians who spoke out.

          Bishop Joseph Tobin, elevated to Cardinal by Francis, denies a gay subculture exists in the Archdiocese of Newark. This denial was his response to testimony anonymously given by six Newark priests to Catholic News Agency regarding a gay activity in the Archdiocese. You question their anonymity? If there’s one thing priests and seminarians have learned is that if you go to the “boss” (bishop, seminary rector, vicar general) with accusations of abuse or immorality, odds are that you’re the one who’s going to punished.

          There’s been a pattern of “there’s nothing to see here” among Francis, his advisors and the men he has elevated to be Princes of the Church regarding recent revelations.

          Pope Francis has opened himself up to just criticism. Unless he has a change of heart, I do not see his papacy ultimately being successful. I am worried that men like Blasé Cupich, Joseph Tobin and Kevin Farrell will be voting for the future pope in the next conclave. Meanwhile, Archbishop Chaput, who has been in Philadelphia for seven years, is the first Archbishop of Philadelphia in 100 years not to receive the Red Hat. And please explain to me the rehabilitation of Cardinal Gottfried Daneels?

          Christ will triumph in the end. But, in the short run, the jury is out. I believe the ultimate verdict will be decided on whether we have a change of heart and a course correction.

          Liked by 10 people

          1. Oh Frank
            From your response I see I have failed utterly in my endeavours. Did you read my comment? Did you pause and ask for guidance before replying? Some of your questions are above my station and I cannot answer them.
            In his famously misrepresented “who am I to judge” Francis specified his opposition to the gay lobby from the word go. He has upheld Church teaching on homosexual behviour.
            He has been clear that full communion with the Life of the Church is the last step in a process, not the first.
            His very silence in the face of the doubia is a mark of his annointing – they know they know the truth amd have been perfectly capable of interpreting and presenting Francis in that light. They have chosen not to. Cardinal Madriaga’s response was not the Pope’s response. Francis does not condemn orthodox Catholics but stands up to those who are rigid in their opposition to change which is at the heart of Petrine authority. Who knows about Chaput and Daneels? I don’t and I daresay you don’t. Pope Francis is not so much concerned with the success of his papacy as with helping us to develope a better personal relationship with Jesus and our neighbour. Honi soit qui mal y pense. All schism and apostasy is away from and against Rome. New skins for new wine. Those who would reform the reform will split the skins and The Church. Francis is responding to the plaintiff call of Christ from within his prison in the Church “Let me out.” The gays have come out of their own volition. Christ awaits the will of The Father as does Francis. None if his accusers nor any of the charges levied at him convince me of his guilt. Presumption of innocense must prevail. The jury may be out but so are the gays and they rejoice in the corruption and chaos with which they have infected the Church. I often refer to my old mum in my comments and I remember her saying over 40 years ago that homosexual behaviour was the most currupting presence in the world but like Francis, she would not condemn the sinner. That was not her job.
            I have spent most of my holiday recovering from a chest infection and am still quite ill. It is 1.20 am and I am exhausted, sick and tired of Catholics condemning our Holy Father and witnessing against him. I feel it is now time to shake the dust from my sandals. May right prevail.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. JoeCro, I am holding out with you. I am not at all convinced that Pope Francis is guilty. I have carefully read both sides of this and I stand right here with you… “Presumption of innocense must prevail.” (and Doug can give you a BING for your ‘s’ 😉
              I don’t care if end up being wrong. I just can’t and won’t judge this. Either way I will continue to pray for him and for God’s mercy!
              I spent some time talking with Fr. Steve tonight, which was really nice because I have not been able to talk with him in a long time, and I told him where I am standing on this and he was happy with it. That’s enough for me.
              I do wonder, if he is innocent and says so himself, how many people will believe him? I see this same thing happening with President Trump as well. It’s amazing to me! Every level is being flooded with Light.
              May God’s will be done in ALL things!

              Liked by 5 people

          2. You have the right to be dissapointed and bitter. Most good Catholics are facing this stark reality right now. Everyone has their own way to approach this problem. The most critical realization is that God does have control of this, and he uses people in many various ways. Some will suffer deeply, moreover, this suffering is nothing compared to the spiritual side of this issue, which will be incredible. Stay close to our Blessed Mother, and she will crush the head of satan. She promised. We know this. And love your Holy Father in heaven with all you have. He is aware of your pain! He will use it to help those who need help. We don’t heel if we don’t start to forgive. The worst is yet to come, and your mindset and faith is critical.

            Liked by 7 people

  22. Can you believe this @&*+!!!?? The Lavender Mafia & Special Friends are out to destroy Vigano and anyone one else that exposes/opposes their AGENDA! …. an AGENDA that seems to be in near Lock-Step with Blase’s ChiTown Democrat Pals!! Let’s PRAY that The Great Cleansing happens ….. SOON!!

    “Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich has dismissed recent allegations made by a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., saying that Pope Francis has a “bigger agenda” to worry about, including defending migrants and protecting the environment.”

    “Cupich dismisses Viganò claims as a ‘rabbit hole”


    Liked by 10 people

    1. Many rabbit holes and they all need cleaning out and closing up. Much scattered evil, not enough coherency in Catholic doctrine and Truth right now. Old ‘stitch’ is a clever one, prowls around and scatters his evil doings. Need much more emphasis on the plan for recovery…and our Blessed Mother’s directives. Dig deep into your being, and give God your all! Remember…keep the goal in sight. “This too shall pass…”

      Liked by 6 people

  23. Good read, lots of good points. Thanks Charlie.

    Liberalism isn’t just a societal political view, it’s a way of thinking, and it’s found in organizations & churches too.

    Liberalism is a dangerous ideology because it tries to make everything equal (including the sinful things) even to the point of being intolerant to God & Christianity; the reality of sin is denied. In religious institutions, there’s the mentality that the group (Liberals) can overrule God’s words & commandments by simply voting against those, thinking God has to accept their ruling & will; Liberals try to justify sins as not sinful anymore or sin doesn’t exist.

    The Liberal way of thinking is a prideful, self entitled, & self gratified way of thinking that puts men & women above God, like the devil’s first temptation.

    Leftist thinking is very dangerous and has links to freemasonry; there’s definitely a rebellious & defiant attitude towards God.

    Liked by 9 people

  24. Another excellent bishop speaks. We need a thorough investigation.

    August 29, 2018

    Dear Faithful of the Archdiocese,

    Last Sunday witnessed what many are calling a “bombshell” in the Church: the publication of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s “Testimony,” alleging corruption and coverup at all levels of the Church based on his long and extensive personal knowledge.

    I came to know Archbishop Viganò well during the years he served as Apostolic Nuncio here in the United States. I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to “strengthen his brothers in the faith,” and who would do so at great personal sacrifice and with absolutely no consideration given to furthering his “career” – all of which speaks to his integrity and sincere love of the Church. Moreover, while having no privileged information about the Archbishop McCarrick situation, from information I do have about a very few of the other statements Archbishop Viganò makes, I can confirm that they are true. His statements, therefore, must be taken seriously. To dismiss them lightly would continue a culture of denial and obfuscation. Of course, to validate his statements in detail a formal investigation will have to be conducted, one that is thorough and objective. I am therefore grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for recognizing the merit of finding answers that are “conclusive and based on evidence,” and I join my voice to that of other bishops in calling for such an investigation and for taking any corrective action that may be necessary in light of its findings.

    I was named a bishop on July 5, 2002, three weeks after the USCCB meeting in Dallas that approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and still at the height of the drama of revelations of sex abuse of minors by clergy.

    At that time, I was asked to conduct a prayer service at the conclusion of a conference on family life hosted by the diocese that attracted participants from around the world. I met there an Australian priest with whom I was acquainted during our years of study in Rome, and he congratulated me on my appointment. I replied, “Thank you, but this is not a good time to become a bishop.” I will never forget his response to me: “But it is a good time to be a great bishop.”

    What he said to me then can be said to every Catholic at this time. The Church is in need of purification. Purification is always painful. My dear victims: you know this more than anyone; please know of our prayers and love for you, and that we continue to be here for you, to support you and help you to heal with the resources we have available.

    I believe God is beginning this painful process of purification for us now, but for it to work, we must cooperate. God has always raised up great saints in similar times of turmoil in the Church. I call on all of us to rededicate ourselves to prayer, penance and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so that God will bless us with this grace.

    Please know of my gratitude to you all: to you our priests, who remain close by your people, lending them support and pastoral care in this time of crisis; to you our deacons, who assist priests in this responsibility and bring the Gospel to those for whom it would otherwise be inaccessible; to you our victims assistance coordinators and to all who support victims on the painful path toward healing; to the faculty and administration of St. Patrick’s Seminary for your hard work in providing deep and healthy formation for our future priests for the renewal of the Church in our corner of the Lord’s vineyard, and to our seminarians for your fervor and generosity in responding to the Lord’s call of priestly service; and last but not least, to you, our people, for your prayer, for your love and concern for the Church, which now moves you to demand change that is effective and decisive, and for your support of our priests.

    May God grant us all the grace to be the agents of change and purification that He is calling us to be at this time.

    Sincerely yours in our Lord,

    Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
    Archbishop of San Francisco

    Liked by 17 people

  25. That’s five so far: Bishop Cordileone, San Francisco, California; Bishop Olmestad, Phoenix, Arizona; Bishop Stickland, Tyler, Texas; Bishop Morlino, Madison, Wisconsin; and Cardinal DiNardo, Houston/Galveston, Texas. Thank you, God, for your good shepherds. Give them and us fortitude for the long haul.

    Liked by 9 people

  26. Another great bishop speaks:

    Archbishop Coakley’s Response to Viganó Testimony

    News Releases

    August 28, 2018
    Feast of Saint Augustine

    Dear brother priests, deacons, consecrated women and men and members of the lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City,

    The August 22 release of the eleven-page “testimony” of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, has sent shock waves throughout the Catholic Church. This document merits, indeed it demands deeper examination and verification of each of its claims. Like so many, I am deeply troubled by the assertions contained in this unprecedented document.

    While I lack any personal knowledge or experience of the details contained in his “testimony,” I have the deepest respect for Archbishop Viganó and his personal integrity. His claims, yet to be investigated or substantiated, confirm the urgency of a thorough investigation of Archbishop McCarrick’s advancement through the ecclesiastical ranks given his history of alleged abuse, involving seminarians and young people. I lend my voice and support to that of Cardinal DiNardo, President of the USCCB, and so many of my brother bishops in asking for such an investigation.

    This is a very dark moment in the history of our beautiful, but wounded, Catholic Church. We are called to prayer and penance for the purification of the Church and our bishops and priests must set the example. It calls for a renewed commitment to vigilance, transparency and accountability from our shepherds and indeed for the whole Church. Only prayer, penance and deeper conversion will guide us through this dark period.

    I am encouraged and finding consolation as I reflect on the Lord’s promise to Peter that “the gates of hell will not prevail” against his divinely established Church. We have his promise, “I am with you always.” Let us cling to that promise! God is faithful. God is with us.

    Please pray for all victims of abuse, especially those harmed by members of the clergy. May God deliver us from this deadly scourge! Please pray for me and for all our priests and deacons.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
    Archbishop of Oklahoma City

    Liked by 14 people

    1. In the early 2000’s I went to a Catholic Youth conference in OK City with 3000 Catholic youth who were amazing. From 5 states. Late into the day, early evening, we left our conference center, and walked down an almost empty street to the OK City Memorial. We quietly sang songs to Mary and Jesus, and prayed the Rosary, the entire way. Upon entering the Memorial, it was stunning, and mind blowing. Then just at dusk as the sun was going down, the night city lights came on, and we crossed the street to where a Catholic Church has been destroyed in the blast. But there in that incredible night, was a statue approx 15′ high, with the spotlight beam lighting facing up so all could understand. Stood a statue of our Lord, in white, long gown and long white hair, with his hand covering his eyes in great sorrow, and the inscription below read: “He Wept!”. I will never forget that moment, you could hear the angels and nothing else. The youth just stood in complete silence as the impact hit them. You can see the statue on the internet. Look it up. The picture that is worth one thousand words. May the Lord forgive us our sins! May the Lord Bless and protect our faithful prelates!

      Liked by 9 people

    2. For your consideration, the letter from Bishop Robert Gruss of the Diocese of Rapid City regarding the scandal.

      “The recent revelations regarding the allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and allegations in the published report from the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report concerning child sexual abuse by clergy in many of the dioceses in that state and the lack of appropriate response by some bishops over many decades is not only quite disturbing, but sickening…”

      The complete statement:


      Liked by 1 person

    1. Read it earlier today, Frank, and thought how hard this crisis is for some and how much we need to continue praying for those who are tempted to jump ship.

      Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Conversion, pray for us.

      Liked by 7 people

  27. An opportunity for the lay faithful to sign a petition, requesting the Holy Father for a thorough investigation. As the wording of the petition closes:

    Therefore, as the sheep entrusted to your care by the Good Shepherd, conscious of our authority as children of God the Father who have been purchased by the Blood of His beloved Son, we ask for an immediate, full and exhaustive investigation be made into these allegations so that the moral witness of your person, and that of the senior hierarchy of the Church, may be exonerated of all suspicion of incompetence, neglect, and evildoing.

    We ask that this investigation be conducted by persons whose authority, neutrality, and moral witness, be universally self-evident, so that its exoneration of you, Holy Father, will be effective in restoring your person and the sacred Office you hold to the Church and to the world.


    Liked by 3 people

  28. The Vigano document has certainly brought to a head the opposition to Pope Francis that has been increasingly emerging from within the Catholic community. That opposition has dismayed me for two reasons.

    1. Pope Francis is so clearly a good and holy man!
    2. As Pope, all Catholics should have a deep respect for the man who holds that holy office. They should have a similar respect for all he says.

    Here is a prayer by Fr John Hardon at the end of a lecture on the papacy:

    Lord Jesus, You gave us the papal primacy as a continuation of the exercise of Your own authority on earth until the end of time. But we know, dear Savior, how well we know, this papal authority has many enemies. Give us, we beg, the courage to defend the authority of the Bishop of Rome. But above all, give us the humility to obey the teachings of Your vicar on earth, being sure that by obeying him, we are obeying You and by obeying You, we are loving You here on earth as a prelude to our everlasting love of You and by You in heaven. Amen.

    None of the above is meant to indicate that the Pope cannot make mistakes. But it should lead us to pay attention to all he says and be very very wary of deciding that we know better!

    Vigano’s document makes so many accusations that it is not easy to focus on any one of them! But let’s take the most important one (or the most controversial!). That Pope Francis knew of the accusations against McCarrick but “continued to cover for him”. There are so many reasons why Pope Francis might remain ‘friendly’ to McCarrick. Jesus most certainly remained friendly with Judas right to the end! Is that not a good enough reason for the Pope’s behaviour?

    Vigano’s accusations about ‘Benedict’s sanctions’ against McCarrick being ignored or even ‘put aside’ by Francis seem unlikely to me as there seems no specific evidence of what these sanctions might have consisted, let alone whether Francis was aware of them. What we do know is that when Francis became aware of the recently uncovered crimes of McCarrick, he acted immediately and decisively.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. SO true, David, about the respect due to Papal authority. Praying, watching, reading and hoping that what is before our eyes right now ends, via a thorough investigation, with the Holy Father being vindicated if he is innocent. At the same time, I think it is wisdom to remain open to judging with sincere righteous judgement the events unfolding before us while striving to not fall into either extreme:
      1. Going into denial mode despite evidence being revealed
      2. Scorching others with rage

      I am one who welcomed Pope Francis with open arms. I have defended his actions to SO many, including a good number of local clergy. In these days, I take pause as there is, in my view, mounting evidence that requires such a next right step in order to evaluate the information coming forth at this time. You have given your opinion concerning Archbishop Vigano’s testimony. Many are they who agree with you… many are they who decidedly disagree. Still, what we do not know FOR CERTAIN far exceeds what we do know.

      For me, one indicator that the charges may well be true comes from listening to the numbers of prelates and clergy who have, personally, known and worked with Archbishop Vigano and who speak of him as a man with integrity. We simply NEED a complete investigation.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Beckita
        Here on ASOH the blow torch has swept over the face of Pope Francis but so far I have seen no mindless denial or scorching from the general membership. Have you? The way of caricature is in itself the way of censorship and character assasination. It is good to be part of a group that allows divergence of opinion without acrimony.


        1. Surely, Joe, Pope Francis is feeling the heat as is every one of his brother bishops as the call for a thorough investigation rightly rises from their ranks.

          I stand by my comment, meant as a self-check for me and for any person, here at ASOH and wherever we think and interact. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

          “At the same time, I think it is wisdom to remain open to judging with sincere righteous judgement the events unfolding before us while striving to not fall into either extreme:
          1. Going into denial mode despite evidence being revealed
          2. Scorching others with rage”

          I am ever grateful for the comment policy, moderators and commenters who interact in respectful ways even as we disagree at times.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Beckita,
            I accept what you say but am surprised that you felt, you of all people, could fall into denial of observable and evidential truth. I am even more surprised that you of all people feel vulnerable to the temptation to, in a fit of raging temper, burn someone who disagrees with you.

            This seems totally ad odds with the considered and temperate personality whose presence here has given comfort and guidance to so many. I can only presume you are trying to be a model of humility and reason. I sincerely hope your “self check” proves to be effective.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Just as a reminder – Pope Francis immediately surrendered himself to full and impartial investigation. He is the one who, as ever, is most in danger of a roasting by those whose motives are more in line with those of hell than heaven. I am, as you say, certain that our Holy Fatheris feeling the heat but daresay it is the heat of the Hearts that burn with love for him and the heat with which his heart returns that love. May he always remain in that love and may we add fuel to his fire as we are consumed with him in The Flame of Love.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. For me, it is both-and. I do believe the investigation must include each and every bishop in the Church, including the Bishop of Rome. AND I love this Holy Father and wish him nothing but the best. Since his election, it has been my earnest prayer, each night, that somehow, some way the Holy Spirit would allow Pope Francis to feel the love of his flock.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Beckita
                  How could he not feel the love of his people? He is obviously loved and admired by old and young alike and by saint and sinner, by Catholic and non Catholic. The most frequent comment made to me about Pope Francis by non Catholics is “This one is different. He is a good man.”
                  Pope Francis was first to volunteer himself to full and impartial investigation with regard to the abuse scandal. There is absolutely no need to insist on his investigation. He has already accepted this cross. He presented his own shoulders to its weight. There are so many parallels between the Passion of Jesus and the passion of Francis. It is a shameful thing for Catholics to persecute and prosecute their pope. The cross is s shameful death. And yet even if he was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt my faith in God and His One True Church would not falter. For now I see my job as that of Simon of Cyrene. At every chance I will squeeze my shoulder in with his under the cross. It is the least I can do for my Holy Father.


            2. Joe, I am a sinner. I fall. An examen is critical to growth in holiness. And I REALLY want to be a saint someday! I am SO grateful for the company which we keep here in this Family of Faith, for I believe the desire to be saints who LOVE the Lord and LOVE those He places on the path with us is in the heart of each one of us… as Pope St. John XXIII has been credited with saying: “We are saved in bunches like grapes.” May we be the goofy kind!

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Speaking of goofy, I immediately thought of this clip after reading the above thread. It’s one of my favorite scenes from “Saving Private Ryan.”

                These are not normal times either. And certainly we’re all a bit like the green NCO heading into even more uncertain times. All I can think is to be docile. Stay nimble. Travel light.

                Liked by 3 people

    2. David,
      You are like the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the ways of The Lord.”
      “Well done good and faithful servant” is the cry that will echo your call.
      I suppose I could have just ticked the ‘liked’ box but your eloquence deserves much more. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe Pope Francis is the Pope. I believe Bishop Vigano provided a truthful testimony. I also believe a conspiracy may exist among men who decided to select politically the best pope for their means (agenda).

        Did not Mother Mary state (paraphrase) in Fatima unless Russia is consecrated to her Immaculate heart the errors (sins) of communism would overwhelm the world? Have we not witnessed this? In America now? In Latin America for the past thirty years?

        We who hold the Blessed Sacrament in our mouths, intimately merging ourselves with God yet squabble among brethren about trivial matters.

        For me, the basics matter, nothing else.
        Reconciliation (confession) of my sins to a Priest, ordained through the Catholic Church;
        Reception of the Eucharist;
        Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence

        Making sure I am right, clean, pure (as much as I can) in God’s eyes.

        David & Joe:
        As an American, I heard this rhetoric before, please insert OBAMA in lieu of FRANCIS (appropiate titles of course)

        “1. Pope Francis is so clearly a good and holy man!
        2. As Pope, all Catholics should have a deep respect for the man who holds that holy office. They should have a similar respect for all he says.”

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sean
          Please explain what you mean by your comment on rhetoric addressed to David and myself. This is a genuine request for clarification. I laughed at one of my cousins from Derry last week. He quoted another Irish wit “When you say something, say nothing.”

          Our Lady talked about those ‘basics’ to which you refer but added the exhortation “First lead good lives.” The basics need this as a base.

          When Conchita of Garabandal was asked what she wanted after her visions she replied “Love God and do his will.” She also emphasised the importance if keeping the commandments.

          I daresay that most Catholics would struggle to recall what these are. Yet these are the basics plus the command to love not only our neighbour but also our enemy. Now that can be hard….but all things are possible with God. I usually start by praying for the willingness.

          So please indulge me and explain what you meant.

          PS I am glad to hear you believe Francis is Pope. That’s a good start.


          1. Rhetoric is defined as:

            -the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

            -language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.

            I perceived David’s response and your manner of describing allegiance to Pope Francis as similar to thise who worship former American President Obama. When confronted with evidence of error or in this case sexual abuse and homosexual proclivity within the ranks of the Catholic Church they respond in a defensive manner. The manner (rhetoric) of wording caused me to reflect its similarity.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sean
              The word “rhetoric” was not the problem. The problem was your attitude but if such abuse and misrepresention as that contained in your expressed perception of David and myself, is good enough for Pope Francis, it’s good enough for me. Lets leave it at that.


          2. I think Sean is saying that he read those portions of David’s comment through the lens of a “cross examiner”. Meaning that he (Sean) is saying he will evaluate the present situation based solely on the evidence and not on mere statements about the person to whom the evidence pertains (which can be misleading, wrong, or irrelevant).

            The example he gave was Obama – a person relentlessly praised by the media but who, when you looked at the evidence – was clearly one of (if not the) worst president in American history. That being said, i don’t think Sean was directly comparing Obama to Pope Francis. Only that we should let the evidence speak for itself in all situations.

            That’s my take anyway.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Here is a revelation dated August 10th from Luz de Maria. she speaks of “the Warning”:

        “Beloved children, examine yourselves, look within each one of yourselves and look for the instants when you went away from, offended, hurt, mistreated My Son, how you have grieved the Holy Spirit! and ask for forgiveness from the heart.

        You have in front of you the constant Call before the Warning (1) arrives, in order that it does not find you asleep. Being by Divine Order it will not be able to be explained by science. It will be a great enigma that all men will recognize as coming from God, even those who are not believers.

        Beloved, seconds before the Warning, the Earth in its entirety will be overtaken by silence and then all will be alone with God. The Warning is internal and personal, it will allow conscience to show you what your personal life and action have been. This, children, is an act of Mercy so that individually you reach the state where you see yourselves as you are, without dissimulation, without masks: as you are.

        How have you lived?
        In what state have you lived?
        Are you creatures of good, are you love and are you truth?
        What is the intention accompanying your works and acts? …

        THIS AND MORE IS WHAT WILL DETERMINE THE SUFFERING OF THAT INSTANT AND AFTER THE WARNING. With the Warning the end of evil will not come; on the contrary, those who see the evil in which they are living and do not repent will rebel against God, not accepting the sight of themselves with so much evil inside.

        Do not turn away from My Son: keep offering Him your acts, your good deeds, your good wishes towards your brothers and sisters and the care of Nature. Do not look to see whether others cooperate or do not cooperate; be righteous and… My children preach with their testimony, not judging their fellow men.

        Be those who fulfill the Divine Will, comply with the Commandments of God’s Law, draw near to My Son, adore Him in spirit and truth (cf. Jn 4:23).”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sean
          Thank you for this but the one aspect of the Warning that is missing in the witness of most, is the fact that, rather than a mere revelation of our sins, it will EDUCATE US ABOUT SIN, our own sin in particular. We will understand what sin is and precisely why each different kind of sin is sin eg the difference between lying and stealing and how they impact differently on the state of our souls. The fury of those who refuse to change after this education will know no bounds because it will be clear to them that they have damned themselves by their choice. The choice once made will be all but irreversible because it will be so well informed and as Our Lady said in Akita because of the increase and gravity of sin the time will come when pardon will not be available. Then they will really feel the heat! Conchita said that, depending on the state of our souls at the time, what each of us will be given is a sign, a grace or a punishment. In other words a Warning. We will find ouselves alone before God with our sins. No wonder this time of mercy will also be a time of great fear and distress so bad that we would rather die than endure it even for the shortest period. So we have been told. That is why we must prepare.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. JC. I believe you that the Vatican is aware of the timing of the coming chastisement. Perhaps we are very close too, time will tell. Jim Sinclair, a very well connected individual including being the Executive Chairman of the Singapore Precious Metals Exchange, just went on the record this week saying he has been asked for several years when would the financial system collapse? He said “The When is Now”. He suggests we should all prepare for what is coming. 😦

              Liked by 1 person

  29. Praying, watching, reading, and discerning.

    “Gay” Parade in Rome with @JamesMartinSJ and a bishop close to the papal inner circle

    John Paul II in 2000 on the parade:

    “I feel obliged, now, to mention the well-known demonstrations held in Rome in the past few days.

    In the name of the Church of Rome I can only express my deep sadness at the affront to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and the offence to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics throughout the world.

    The Church cannot be silent about the truth, because she would fail in her fidelity to God the Creator and would not help to distinguish good from evil.

    In this regard, I wish merely to read what is said in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which, after noting that homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, then states: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

    These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (CCC, n. 2358).

    On the Vatican website. https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/angelus/2000/documents/hf_jp-ii_ang_20000709.html

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Joseph Sciambra, a formerly active homosexual who is now living a chaste life, works to bring to the awareness of those who would listen the people within the Church who promote active homosexuality as well as the events which use Catholic events and properties as a platform for homosexual activists.
    He speaks, now, to concerns mounting for the Synod on Young People.


    Liked by 4 people

  31. I read and reread as many letters and comments as my little mine will allow me to. We are in the spin
    cycle waiting for the final rinse and it appears we may be spinning for a while before that final rinse.
    My hope is that from this we will be better Catholics. One thing about our faith is that we are called to become a better people and with reconciliation, communion and acts of mercy and acts of charity we can grow to be who God created us to be. Our effort to be a better person is unlimited because God’s grace is unlimited. We are to be a more virtuous people. The gift of the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon us, we just have to ask for wisdom, counsel, knowledge, understanding, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. Then we will have its fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Our love has to be exempt of prejudices and fear, our joy is to be overflowing, peace that can only come from God and a kindness and goodness that are so natural they will be mindless. Passion of Christ strengthen our faith. Gentleness and self-control will be effortless. We are to rise above the machinations of satan and allow our spirit to rise above his antics and touch the very face of Christ. We are bumping our heads on his tricks and falling into his traps to easily. We are to be a better people. All this is noise and it will get violently noisier, but we will be stronger for the battle. From Exodus 14:14, The Lord will fight for you. You only have to be still. To be still means to keep your spirit calm with prayer, St. Catherine of Siena “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”. Everyday I awake I ask God to help me be a better person, I am a sinner and I fall short, but I pray always to recognize of sins quickly in order to confess them and move on, I pray away distractions with a Sweet Hail Mary and offer of misguided thoughts for the conversion of a soul (I discovered that when I do this the distractions lessen because the evil one certainly does not want to be accredited with a conversion). Read your prayers if you get distracted, read scripture, read about the saints who struggled with the same struggles you do, but be a better
    person. May God Bless us all. Love. I do. Diane

    Liked by 6 people

  32. Wow great comments on a variety of subjects that are all related. Charlie, thank you for this thought provoking site. On a number of occasions I’ve asked our Lord to slap us silly. Well I guess He has. There is more going on then my mind can process. Fortunately, He has been giving me words of knowledge as I need them to weather the storm. As my priest has said, stay focused on Jesus.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. HullyGee! Ol’ Blase is Lookin’ & Actin’ just like a typical Lefty … that he is ;-( He can’t and/or won’t address The Facts so he resorts to Crying Racism, Bigotry and Homophobia. Methinks the “gentleman” doth protest too much. His Special Friends in Low Places will attempt to cover for him but I’m guessing de Rats will be jumpin’ ship in short order … Please God …. and The Great Cleansing!!

    “Chicago Cardinal Says Allegations Against Pope ‘Because He Is a Latino”



    Liked by 4 people

  34. Actually, it feels more like we are leaving a lengthy pre-soak stage, sitting in our own hot, filthy water. The agitation phase is just starting and a harsh soap has yet to be added. I think we are a long, long, long way off from the rinse and spin phases. We haven’t even been washed yet!

    But once we finally do make it through to the final rinse, those clothes that weren’t ripped to shreds will go into the dryer with flowery “spring-fresh” dryer sheets. Then we will be at Mount Meeker, enjoying our clean clothes.

    Liked by 9 people

  35. May this sign of hope be re-echoed throughout the Church:

    On Tuesday, August 26th, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, gathered with a crowd of about 1500 at St. Joseph Church to pray in reparation, to seek forgiveness for the failures of Church leaders and to pray for the healing of victims of abuse. After the procession to the sanctuary, the bishops lay prostrate in front of the altar as a sign of humility and surrender to the will of the Father.

    Liked by 13 people

  36. Beckita: Thanks for the picture. If it is sincere, that’s a start. (I have to think about how cynical I am becoming. I may have to repent of that.) Praying while prostrate before the Eucharist can be a humbling and powerful experience.


    Liked by 5 people

  37. 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. Wow…thank you, Charlie😘😘😘

    Liked by 4 people

  38. And Jesus Himself warned us of all that is transpiring even today.

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves… I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.” (Matt 7:15; Acts 20:29-30)
    Our Lord also said the Church will enter Her glory only through a final Passover:
    “According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by “distress” and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching… The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.” —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 672, 677
    And Her final remedy?
    Those who persevere to the end and become purified and holy through the fiery trial.
    “The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity.” —POPE JOHN PAUL II,

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yes. We must become holy.

      Twenty-five years ago to the day I was in the Superstition Mountains standing at the bottom of Hell’s Canyon (the name we gave it only after the ascent… we being me and my wife and a very large, wild trail dog I had transported down from Alaska). Actually, he mostly just looked wild with his jet black coat and ice blue eyes. He also had a white triangle on his chest and two white socks on his fore paws. Yep, he was a solid trail dog… engineered for it… but I digress.

      Hell’s Canyon. Looking up, following a memorable trek to Reavis Falls, I nearly wanted to throw up as I took measure of the vertical challenge between us and the truck. Nothing for it but to just head up, taking the dog’s lead, or sit there working it out in our heads while daylight was waning.

      For starters, it was over 100 degrees and there was that usual horsefly trying to knock me off balance. What little water remained was was long since warm. We decided on the shortest distance between two points so there was no discernible trail. The rocks were sharp and the ground was littered with cactus spines and thorny scrub. Our legs started cramping 100 yards up and the dog needed to be carried about two-thirds of the way. About 60 pounds added to the load. Tempers were raw. There was a swarm of bees first, then gnats for the duration. About 2500 feet of painstaking vertical.

      Half way up our calf muscles locked up, and frankly I was just about ready to plop down and call it quits, eventually leaving our bleached bones where we sat… another mystery to add to the lore of the Superstitions.

      Instead, I looked up and spied “Bing” (that was our dog’s name… yep, named him after Bing Crosby) on a rocky ledge… just about right to accommodate our small trail tent. So I limped up there and pitched it with swollen hands, being careful to keep the gnats out. I don’t remember how long we slept there, but there was still hot daylight when we emerged.

      There were plenty of travails the rest of the way, but somehow that peaceful pause seemed to do the trick. Can’t say we didn’t doubt making it on many occasions though.

      I recall all this as we’re discussing this call to holiness. The perspective seems an awful lot like staring up from the bottom of Hell’s Canyon, some twenty-five years ago.

      I asked my wife tonight if she remembered the climb. Of course she did. I also asked her what stood out in her mind as the main reason we were successful in getting back to the top.

      “Don’t recall. I guess I just wanted us to get up to the top and live,” she replied. “That, and I did a lot of praying.”

      My thoughts exactly. That, and I didn’t want to let either of them down.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Your Hell’s Canyon episode reminds me of a particularly grueling track I took in 1999 in the Tamaulipan mountains of Mexico.
        I was an active ball player in those days and was in pretty good shape but I had sprained my ankle during a game (we won!) and it was still creaky and sore.
        We had tried to drive our 9 passenger Suburban up to the top of a 10K mountain but the road proved more suited for goats than our couch on wheels, so we decided to start the next morning on foot.
        Our guide was a local who knew of a footpath we would use to reach the “ranch” where our goal species (Thamnophis mendax) was known to live.
        Well, for a flatlander like me, the walk was easy but the altitude was quite another story! The other members of our group lived in higher elevations and they moved through the ascension with ease but for the Florida boy 100 feet above sea level is the highest it gets ’round here and my heart beat like a crazy drum most of the trip up.
        When we hit a plateau I’d return to normal within minutes, at the surprise of my amigos, but when we returned to the ascent I was dragging behind again.
        After about 8 hours, we reached our goal only to have to turn around and head back with diligence as we had run out of time in order to get back before dark!
        The moral of the story is it is said it is not the goal but the road to it that counts the most, that what we do along the way and what we leave behind is important.
        We never did get our mendax but for me, a cherished memory and lasting friendships were made and hopefully, will remain for all eternity.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Ha, Phillip…when I was merely 19, a couple of my friends and I got involved in a bar fight in the little town of Digby, Nova Scotia. Ultimately, we hightailed it out of there and headed west as quick as we could. After 50 miles, the road just ended in ocean. For the first time, we got out a map to see where we were. We had driven up a little peninsula to the sea. The only thing was to turn around and head back the way we came. We drove right past the “scene of the crime,” again, but fortunately, all was quiet.

          It was entirely my fault. After a few drinks, I started flirting with a lumberjack’s girlfriend. To make things worse, she flirted right back. Alas, the lumberjack and his buddies were not amused. So my advice to all young men is, leave lumberjacks girlfriends alone – and if you can’t – plan your escape route before you begin, not after.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Hee, hee. Love a good story, maybe especially those in the self-deprecating vein. So it’s that sort of story we’re going to recount, eh? Oh, wait… Phil and I had better not get too carried away.

            That’s the beauty of a good story. A coupla’ good lessons at the end to tie it up nicely. Funny, but I always seem to leave the lesson at the end implied.

            The End.

            And as they finally crested the top of the ridge, spilling what they could of their blood, sweat and tears… behold, their Merciful Lord was there to greet them with a loving smile and embrace beyond description and compare. And to one He handed a small river stone, to another a mere snail, to another a well-worn map… and to the next (fill in your blank here)…

            The End.

            Then the Lord said, “Ah, no. Let us begin. Chapter Two…”

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sound advice for sure Charlie. I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m in a bar with a bunch of lumberjack’s. Tough bunch they are! 😉


          3. Wow, Charlie! I also have a Digby, Nova Scotia story from way back! When I was 14, I was a troubled runaway teen. A couple friends and I hitchhiked from Toronto, Ontario and ended up in Nova Scotia. After a week of up-to-no-good travelling around Nova Scotia, we ended up in Digby. We met a group of young adults at the Beer Store, partied all night and they paid for our ferry trip across the Bay of Fundy to New Brunswick the next day. At fourteen, it seemed like a fun town to me. Of course, now as a mom and grandma, I think back and wonder why a group of guys and girls in their 20’s would party with 14-year-olds. Crazy lumberjacks, I guess. 😂

            Liked by 2 people

      2. I love hearing about married couples who pray, MP. It is something I wasn’t exposed to growing up (besides the token Grace before meals), even though we were church-going Catholics. It is probably the most important dimension of a successful marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. I find it hard to believe that the Pope/Vatican would try, These-Days, to sneak anybody with a “Cloud of Suspicion” out of the USA but ……!!?? Sadly, I hope they do try another Bernard Law Abscond Op ’cause the hue-n-cry would RIGHTOUSLY fuel the demand for The Great Cleansing!!:

    “Breaking News Exclusive: Wuerl Bombshell”



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, CD, I saw this yesterday too and thought it to be an example of how Church Militant sometimes does go over the top with sensational headlines not always backed by firm evidence. Then, as I read Cardinal Wuerl’s letter to the priests of his diocese, I thought the CM story is bunk as the cardinal’s letter does not reflect the thoughts of someone who’s leaving the scene. Your opening line said it best, CD.

      August 30, 2018
      Dear Brother Priest,
      I very much look forward to our time together on Labor Day, first in prayer and then in conversation. With all the disconcerting news and terrible revelations that have happened, and with such rapidity, I recognize that I have not been as close to you as I need to be to help you and me minister to the people we both love and serve.

      Last Sunday at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, as so many of you did in your own parish church, I offered Holy Mass – a Liturgy focused on the spiritual context for so much of the pain, suffering, darkness and disillusionment brought on by the sexual abuse of children and young people by priests and its cover-up by bishops. Whatever our response to this spiritual crisis, it has to begin at the altar – and in prayer.

      As so many of you did, we prayed first for the survivors – those who bear the scars of abuse. On too many occasions over these past three decades as a bishop, I have sat with survivors and their families to listen, to try to be present, to pray and often simply to cry together.

      At the Cathedral, as I am sure you did, we also prayed for the whole Church – the Body of Christ – wounded by the shame and horror of these egregious actions. It is our people who also bear a deep hurt because they love their Church and do not know what is coming next. Thank you for being there with them, even when there is so little to say, other than prayer. Your, and I hope my own, ministry is the beginning of some healing.

      My prayers and what I asked of those at Mass are also for you. Each priest – all of us – somehow bears the joys and sorrows of one another because we are all rightly seen as sharers in the priesthood. Your ministry is a precious gift to those you serve – to the Body of Christ. I want you to know my desire – even if I have not well expressed it – to be close to you. In the rush to get information to you, I failed to share fully with you my spiritual and fraternal care and offer you and our faithful people a strong sign of pastoral leadership. I hope this effort today and our Labor Day gathering will clearly show my great appreciation, not to say affection, for all of you, my brother priests and the recognition of your efforts to be pastorally present to our people in their struggles.

      I ask you, as I did at the Cathedral, for prayers for me, for forgiveness for my errors in judgment, for my inadequacies, and also for your acceptance of my contrition for any suffering I have caused, as well as the grace to find, with you, ways of healing, ways of offering fruitful guidance in this darkness.

      This Sunday in our churches all across this great archdiocese, I ask you please to let your people – the men, women and children – we love and minister to and hold in our pastoral care know that I do recognize and share their pain. Let them know I wish I could wipe it away even though that is simply not possible. I would give anything, as would all of us, to turn the clock around and have the Church do everything right. But I do join them in sorrow for all that has happened. I plead for their prayerful support as I with you and them try to do whatever I can to
      help move this Church closer to the pathway that leads us from this darkness.

      At the Mass this Sunday that I shall celebrate, I hope to offer some thoughts on how we as a Church – all of us laity, religious and clergy – might begin with faith strengthened in prayer to discern that level of reform rooted in accountability and transparency that would permit the Church to enter a new era.

      Finally, we need to hold close in our prayers and loyalty our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Increasingly, it is clear that he is the object of concentrated attack. At each Mass we pray for him
      by name. As we do so with our voices may we do so as well with our hearts.

      Dear brother in the Lord, I hope you will sense something of my anguish for those who have suffered and my sorrow for any of my failures to be there for both the abused and all who now feel a sense of alienation.
      In my heart, I now ask myself what is the way I can best serve this Church, that I too much love.

      Would you please let the faithful you serve know of my love, my commitment to do whatever is necessary to right what is wrong, and my sincere solidarity with you and them.

      Faithfully in Christ,
      (His signature which didn’t copy: Donald Cardinal Wuerl)
      Archbishop of Washington

      Liked by 1 person

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