How Much Further Until We Hit Bottom?

By Charlie Johnston

I am in Alabama right now, to spend Thanksgiving with family. I’ve been quiet for the last week – mainly out of sheer exhaustion from several month’s intensive work.

At this time last week I arrived in Baltimore for the annual Bishop’s Conference. I attended Michael Voris’ protest rally. It was on the commercial pier of the Inner Harbor, maybe a football field away from the Marriott Hotel where the conference was held. When he is on and carefully regulates his rhetoric, Voris is an indispensable man in these times. He was on last week.

The rally drew over 500 people from across the country. Imagine my surprise, when I got there, to find a fellow I know right from my home Parish. There were seven speakers, culminating with Voris. Some were more incendiary than others, but for the most part, the rhetoric was restrained and focused. The most intense gut-punching moment came when a middle-aged gentleman named James spoke. He is the fellow who was abused by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, beginning when he was 11 years old. Previously profiled in the New York Times, James revealed his full identity for the first time at this rally. Shaking when he went up to the microphone, he was visibly trembling and shaking throughout his speech. He fully found his voice, though, when he delivered the line that gripped the crowd and threw them into wild applause. Noting that Christ’s law is more important than clerical secrets, James thundered, “It’s not Francis’ Church; it’s Jesus Christ’s Church.” That summed up the hurt, the anger, the bafflement of everyone there.

Some had voiced concern before the rally that this might degenerate into a rad-trad Antifa mob. The Bishops even had extensive security checking everyone before they could enter the event arena. The screening was not near as extensive as at a Presidential event, but it was similar to an airport. The security staff was simultaneously amused and bemused. They did their jobs, but obviously seemed to think this was the lamest “mob” of dissenters ever – kind of like being hired to keep the Smurfs from getting out of hand. I don’t blame the Bishops for exercising an excess of caution: it was the most palpable evidence of all that they have some

Crowd gathers at the Silent No More Rally in Baltimore. I am sitting near the lower right of the picture.

idea of how bad and explosive the situation has become. Though very blunt, throughout the rally, Voris continually emphasized that the laity have no authority over the hierarchy, except to demand reform through our voices and with the power of the checkbook, that a big part of our job was to support those Bishops who were working for real reform and real fidelity to the Magisterial faith. A key message was for disheartened Catholics to stay the course.

The Vatican upended the apple cart of this conference just as it began. While the Bishops had planned to make a tentative beginning towards accountability, Pope Francis ordered, through the Congregation of Bishops, that the American Bishops take NO action. When the Synod on Youth is promoting homosexual and transgender activism, the Vatican’s buzzword is “synodality.” When the Bishops in America seek to seriously address and correct abuses, suddenly the Vatican is effectively telling them, “We don’t need no stinking synodality. Shut up and do what you’re told.”  It was a stunning directive that visibly deflated many of the Bishops, kind of the Pope’s “Let them eat cake” moment. Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich continued his “Baghdad Bob” routine, immediately jumping up to say this order proved that, “…the Holy See is taking this crisis seriously,” then launching into an obviously well-prepared speech defending the Vatican. That performance was amazing to me. I was born into a deeply fundamentalist family in the south. My great-grandfather was a snake-handling fundamentalist preacher. I heard a lot of anti-Catholic bigotry and smears growing up (which, thankfully, my actual parents seemed immune to). Imagine my surprise, at this stage of my life, to find that the most virulent anti-Catholic bigots I have ever encountered wear Bishop’s Mitres. Of course, it is kind of par for the course in our topsy-turvy world. Russia officially defends Christian faith while America officially persecutes it. The Pope and his chief allies busy themselves working to undermine the actual words of Jesus and His Apostles – while a former billionaire playboy who is now President of the United State defends and respects those of traditional faith. Somewhere in the last few decades we got stuck in a “Backwards Day” that won’t seem to ever end. It is “Groundhog Day” with a malignant twist.

There were Bishops who remained passionately vocal about reform – and the root of the problem. San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann, and Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample were bold and candid in urging serious, effective action. Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, earned special mention because he not only called for reform and accountability boldly: he was the only Bishop who strolled over and spent time visiting and talking with the protesters. This is a Bishop who relishes the “smell of the sheep.” I was particularly (perhaps inordinately) pleased because I had cited each one of these Bishops in a list I published a few months back of Bishops I trust and admire.

I came away pondering the nature of courage and principle, of how God uses deeply flawed people to accomplish His will. I have mentioned before that Voris sometimes lets his narrative get ahead of the facts. At the same time, no one speaks as boldly as he does in a time that calls for real boldness. At a time that calls for demonstration and protest by the faithful more than any other I have lived or even read of, Voris is the only one who organized such a focused, serious protest rally in the country. The Bishops in America, as a group, is the only organization I know of that makes Congressional Republicans look like profiles in courage. Yet they were prepared – even eager – to take some tentative first steps to take these things seriously. The crisis is making us all into something different than what we have

Michael Voris speaks at “Silent No More” Rally in Baltimore

been. Honorable, but timid, men are finding reserves of courage they never knew they had. Honorable dissenters are refining themselves to be effective rather than just loud. I can’t help but think we are all being thrown into the Divine Refiner’s smelter, burning away the dross of our personalities down to the pure metal. There are going to be a lot of surprises along the way – some good, some deeply disappointing.

I am sad that the Vatican’s stonewalling is leading to a multitude of secular state investigations of the Catholic Church – and probably a major federal investigation, as well. I am saddened because I well know that the majority of those investigating the Church will be anti-Catholic bigots who want to destroy her…and that they are being enabled by the anti-Catholic bigots inside the Church who continually assault the faith. Yet, in this, too, though I do not understand, I know that God has a perfect plan – and that these things must come. They will eventually lead to renewal.

Even as you read this, great heroes are being formed and great saints are rising. It is in the mud and blood of terrible strife that such are formed. In the midst of the growing strife around us, keep an eye out for the seedlings of heroes and saints that are rising.

When confronted with an old building that has gone to seed, architects must make a critical decision: Is the damage reparable or is it so severe they must clear the ground and start anew? I have said, on occasion, that the history of Christianity is the history of Western Civilization is the history of Christianity. If our culture were an old building, it would need extensive remodeling just to be condemned. The Divine Architect has a plan. Do not let the fact that we are witness to the razing of the old distract you from anticipating His raising of the new.

 

96 thoughts on “How Much Further Until We Hit Bottom?

  1. I’ve been pondering in this vein as well, Charlie: “I am saddened because I well know that the majority of those investigating the Church will be anti-Catholic bigots who want to destroy her…and that they are being enabled by the anti-Catholic bigots inside the Church who continually assault the faith. Yet, in this, too, though I do not understand, I know that God has a perfect plan – and that these things must come. They will eventually lead to renewal.”

    And so it has been throughout salvation history, when we stiff-necked knuckleheads refuse to bend, God allows our enemies to rough us up so that our suffering prompts a moment of clarity, an awakening of the need to repent and return to Him.

    Amen to this: “Do not let the fact that we are witness to the razing of the old distract you from anticipating His raising of the new.” Amen. Amen.

    Liked by 21 people

    1. “…the majority of those investigating the Church will be anti-Catholic bigots who want to destroy her…”

      This line also caught my attention. I can imagine (hope) these investigators, delving into witness testimony and observe the peace, forgiveness the victims have for their attackers. may be led to truth and conversion, one and all.

      Liked by 12 people

  2. I’ve heard of prophecies that say the US Catholic Church will someday separate from the Vatican. I’ve always assumed that meant a schism due to the US Church being led by bad people (anti-magisterial) and the Vatican by good people (pro-magisterial). Yet here is perhaps the earliest sign that such a separation might come because the US Church gets its act together and really begins to rebuild the Church overall and return to a pro-magisterial stance even as the Vatican shades more and more into anti-magisterial weirdness. Topsy-turvy world indeed.

    If the United States is being used by God to reform the rest of the secular world, as seems increasingly to be the case, then perhaps it is to be the US Church, its hierarchy, and its laity who will be used by God to reform the rest of the religious/spiritual world. Is there another country that shows signs of doing these at a significant enough level to be fully effective? I don’t think so, although a few appear ready to be partners. Perhaps the hotbed of the Church’s renewal will form, is in fact already forming, here in the US.

    Liked by 21 people

    1. STEVEBC,
      US Catholic Church? The majority of US Bishops do not have the moral testosterone to make that a reality! How subdued they become at the order of the pope to stop addressing the clerical homosexual abuse of the innocent.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. Dear Beckita,
          YES! The definitive victory belongs to God in Whom I have placed all my Faith, Hope, Trust. and Love. After the election of 2018, I am in despair of any man’s efforts to Make America Great Again and, by the grace of God, look to the intervention of God in history through the glorious Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Praying that you, and each of us, are imbued with Christ’s Peace, Joseph. Truth is, NO ONE knows exactly what God’s Plan is and how He will bring it to fruition. Truth also is, God works through, with and in His children to bring what He begins in us to completion. I’m really yearning for our Mother’s Triumph too, yet I know without reservation, God expects each of us to do the part He has ordained for us to accomplish His Designs. Trump, in and of himself, is an ordinary man. It just so happens that God, in His Mercy, has chosen to answer our prayers by working through this man to save us from a much worse fate had HRC been elected in 2016.

            Another point Charlie made, which is not to be missed, speaks to the purpose of this seemingly hopeless time after the elections: “I can’t help but think we are all being thrown into the Divine Refiner’s smelter, burning away the dross of our personalities down to the pure metal. There are going to be a lot of surprises along the way – some good, some deeply disappointing.” I heartily concur with Charlie.

            This is a time to continue trusting God, both directly *and* in the ways He works through mere mortals to fulfill His Plan. This is a time to remember, as we may grovel in pleading for God’s Help, that n.o.t.h.i.n.g. good in life is good without Him, the Infinite Source of all Goodness. This is a time to also remember, God has a pattern of waiting til the eleventh hour to come to our rescue. This is a time to hold each other up and remind one another: We CAN do this; we were BORN to do this. Praying a PMT for you, Joseph, and sending you Abraham that his fortitude may be infused in you to refresh and strengthen your spirit.

            Liked by 3 people

      1. Joseph, that is absolutely true right now. But what if the actions of the Vatican create a change of heart in the US Church or if the lower levels of the hierarchy and the laity here in the US force change from below in circumstances where the Vatican resists? I wasn’t saying the US Church *is* standing up. I was merely conjecturing that the prophecies have two interpretations, either that the US Church goes from bad to worse and wrongly secedes from the Vatican and overall Church, or that the hierarchy and laity here in the US do for some reason “man up” and resist the Vatican so as to reform it from below. Speculation on my part in light of the prophecies. Who knows what may happen in this topsy-turvy world?

        Liked by 8 people

    2. Steve BC,

      No matter how bad how much things get, even if there are two or three popes, heresy, and schisms galore, we must stay in communion with the Bishop of Rome as St. Athanasius did, even when Pope Liberius failed under duress. We may even found our bishop out of communion with the Pope, but like English recusant Catholics, we cannot let that be grounds to sever our communion with the Bishop of Rome.

      The laity, we should keep in mind, cannot excommunicate or break communion. All we can do is excommunicate (break communion) for ourselves personally. Remember, you are in communion with your bishop who is in communion with the bishop of Rome, the Pope.

      Most of us do not realize it, but we are in an inmpaired state of no communion with Constantinople, but in actual schism with Moscow because their patriarch is notin communion with the Pope.

      What is communion? The abiliy to receive (communicate) the body and blood, soul and dividnity of our Lord and savior Jeus Christ from a priest who is subject to a bishop who can receive communion from the Bishop of Rome. That is why ad limina visits are so important.

      My friend, let us keep fasting and praying for renewal!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. James, what especially caught my attention in Steve’s comment is this possibility: “….the hierarchy and laity here in the US do for some reason “man up” and resist the Vatican so as to reform it from below.”

        I see that not as some sort of rupture in communion, but as a collective body of US clergy and laity effecting some sort of current day Catherine of Sienna intervention.

        Whatever God wants, may we be listening and ready to act.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Beckita,

          I was addressing Steve BC’s first comment where he stated:

          “I’ve heard of prophecies that say the US Catholic Church will someday separate from the Vatican. I’ve always assumed that meant a schism due to the US Church being led by bad people (anti-magisterial) and the Vatican by good people (pro-magisterial).”

          Somehow my comment ended up after Steve BC’s second comment, where it makes little sense . . . well, all we can say is whoops! Just makes it interesting. Anyway, I have heard the same prophecies as Steve, but, I simply do not worry about them. As for what happens, nothing can separate me from Peter, even if he is a heretic like Honorius. It is not my job to judge Peter’s heresy, but to pray for him.

          In judging justly, we have to understand that only those in authority can make the canonical (legal) judgement as to whether Peter is in heresy. And those authorities can only remonstrate with him, like Paul, but they cannot judicially (canonically) judge the first see.

          In the crisis of Pope Liberius, we had Athanasius Bishop of Alexandria who lead the way. In the crisis of Pope Honorius, we had Maximus the Confessor who lead the way. In neither case did did they canonically judge the Pope. but dealt with the issue.

          Beckita, I am sorry to run so many things together as I have been sick lately and crazy busy. But, as a lawyer, I can say that Francis’s actions to intervene at the Council of Bishops signals the end of our institutional Church as we have known it (not the end of the Church!), as Jeff Anderson and his lawyers now are exploiting the breach that has been opened by Pope Francis in the wall of the Church’s legal defences. The sad part is that much good will be lost and there will be a plundering of the Church not seen in the English speaking workd since the 1530s (suppression of the Monasteries) and 1540s (suppression of the Chauntries). The good news is that, not only is this part of the purification and housecleaning that Our Lady is undertaking, but as Charlie has repeated over and over to us, is that God has a plan and we must trust in Jesus.

          Charlie, I appreciate your work. Thanks and have a great Thanksgiving!

          In fact, a blessed thanksgiving to everyone of the Next Right Step, Mick, Steve BC, Beckita, Doug, Patrick of SD, Michael Patrick, Jlynnbyrd, Snowy, SanSan, Joseph Fazio, Little One, Sean, Lucy, Grandma, Kim Sevier and everyone I (sorry!) overlooked!

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ah! Now I get you, James. Well said on all points. Here’s news of one such legal action to hold the USCCB and the Vatican to account: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-us-bishops-face-class-action-lawsuit-from-victims-of-clergy-sex-abuse-79829

            Let us invoke the intercession of St. John Vianney to rouse the hearts of all priests as St. John’s own incorrupt heart begins a tour of the US… http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/u.s.-tour-of-st.-john-vianneys-incorrupt-heart-begins-for-purification-refo

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Hey, James, has your St. Michael relic stone arrived yet? I’ve been trying to get hold of Colleen by e-mail and by phone for 3 weeks, but to no avail. Any suggestions?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I finally received it yesterday! Last Wednesday, I received notice from Paypal that it was finally shipped. That is when you will know. Hold in, there, and offer up the frustration!

          By the way I still have not roasted the two funny squashes. They look so pretty, I have left them on my table!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. That’s odd: Sorry to interject, but I received my relic stone from Colleen this week, even though it had been backordered. I’ll look for the slip to see if any other contact info for her.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Marie, thanks for your input. I have called and left 3 voicemails; a fourth time I called, I couldn’t leave a message because her mailbox was full. I sent an e-mail on October 30 and am still waiting for a reply.

            I’m glad you got your relic stone. I’ll keep trying; and if you come up with any additional contact info, I’d be glad to have it. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

      1. Poland has been a spiritual trailblazer and powerhouse in so many inspirational ways, Guy. At the same time, this moment in salvation history-in-the-making requires all hands on deck and we, in America, do have some solid, courageous bishops priests, religious and laity. We do. I think there are particular problems in this country to which our own bishops and priests have the responsibility to tend.

        No matter where in the world one may live, we really are living the Ballad of the Ordinary Man, including ordinary bishops, priests, religious and laity.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Charlie. Just wanted to say that last month, I was at a funeral of a personal friend in New Braunfels, Texas, where Bishop Strickland of Tyler presided and spoke in her honor. They had been close friends for several decades. After the Mass, he and I accompanied her remains to the herse waiting out front while everyone else was still inside the church. Divine Providence managed that I would have a moment alone with him. What did Our Lady do? She gave me the courage and holy boldness to place my hand upon the good Bishop’s heart as I spoke to him these words: Bishop, Father, please, please , please never cease to be the holy man of courage and compassion that you are. Never cease to defend the Truth with Charity, even unto death”. As I finished speaking, he just stared at me with tears in his sweet , paternal eyes. I left there realizing I had just encountered a saint. I think Our Lady touched him in the very depths of his heart . It was visible. And clearly, still is
    DEO GRATIAS…

    Liked by 41 people

  4. By observing with the freedom of one who believes in Christ, but belongs to no organized church, I see that there is a simple virtue attached to the Pope’s directive to thwart reform originating from USA bishops– the virtue of consistency that reveals with great clarity there is truly a leadership problem. In Charlie’s well noted backward world where such as the Russians feign to support Christianity while USA liberal progressives attack it (as they seek to assert an authority of Man higher than God), the Pope now continues to reveal that he is a failing leader.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Charlie, you have this in quotes…is it Saint Gabriel???

    Amen to this: “Do not let the fact that we are witness to the razing of the old distract you from anticipating His raising of the new.” Amen. Amen.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Ha! Decades ago I was dating a delightful woman. I said something pithy and she asked, “Is that Shakespeare?” I chuckled and said, “No, it’s Johnston.” She gave me the business for weeks after that for being big-headed…but I reminded her that SHE was the one who mistook me for Shakespeare.

          Liked by 14 people

  6. Can I please ask you to say a prayer for a man named Bill that our family knows. Please pray for his conversion before he dies. He is in hospice and they say he may pass in the next 24 hours. I do not think he knows the love of God. Thank you.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Thank you all who are praying for Bill. I personally do not know him, but my husband and son both do. My husband visited him twice last week in hospice and asked him if they could pray and he said no. When my husband asked him if he had been baptized, he got angry and didn’t want to talk. My husband said Divine Mercy chaplets at his bedside while he slept and left a St. Benedict medal on his bedside table. A lot of people are praying for him. God has not given up on him! Please keep the prayers coming for his conversion. The doctors do not think he has much longer. Thank you all!

        Liked by 3 people

  7. As a premium member of Church Militant for many years, it must be noted that Michael Voris’ “Vortex” talks are not the only thing he produces. He has a wealth of solid Catholic talks and material on his premium member site. His “One True Faith” talks are the best catechists talks you will ever hear. He has numerous, well researched, information on everything that has happened in the Church for the past 70 years. Well worth a look for anyone wanting to seek the truth.

    Every year Church Militant has a “Retreat at Sea” which I’ve attend for the past 3 years. Best retreats I’ve ever attended.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. “How much further till we hit bottom?” I think thoughts like this and “How long, oh Lord, can this go on?” on an increasing basis as I look at the news and goings on in the world. But God is firmly in charge; let’s keep up prayer and sacraments!

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Thanks for your always insightful posts and the info on the protest at the bishops’ tea party. I couldn’t go because my husband fell in the back yard and broke his hip. (He’s 81, but he’s recovering.) Does anybody else think that the Cupich-Wuerl plan is a classic case of the fox being placed on guard at the henhouse? I think the renewal must be close or they wouldn’t be so desperate as to reveal themselves as openly as they are.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. The sentence about “the former playboy millionaire ” resonates with me , Charlie.
    Just yesterday it happened the usual censorship of a Christmas show in a kindergarten or primary school here in Italy, that is to say the school manager prohibited a sacred representation of nativity which had been scheduled for a long time because it could offend other religions . Who were the only ones to publicly complain about it? Certainly not the catholic hierarchies , but some conservative politicians, among which Matteo Salvini, who is divorced twice . A strange situation indeed but they are the most vocal in defending Christianity and also traditional family against gender and relativism. Certainly they also gain votes, so it is not without a poltical gain. Anyway , it is odd to see how the official Church position is silence.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Lilia F.:Maybe he just recognizes when falsehoods are made into truth like gender redefinition & that relativism is as an attack on the foundations of Italy. As much as they try to force this garbage down our throats, there is an inner core that knows truth. In a way they are trying to take you back to pre-Christian Rome. The new martyrs are the aborted babies cheered on by the roaring crowds of leftists. They want you to toss the image of the Holy Family, the Nativity because it too closely defines truth. They want to reinstitute pre Christian Rome where victims were the price in tribute to the state. Think about it – slavery presumes the ownership of another human. The only way to justify aborting a baby is to claim your ownership over that small human. The only way to know this as falsehood is through Christ. Reconstituted slavery. Reconstituted pre Christian Rome. Everyone needs to stand up and speak up. You need to gather together and speak up.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Thank you Charlie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections of the last week, it was a crazy week watching the bishops conference on tv. Thank you for the last closing sentences of your article.
    If our culture………

    This gives me great Hope to stay the course.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. “Backward Day/ Groundhog Day with a malignant twist” Had to smile at your ironic humour. I wonder how much of this is related to age? Are there any youngsters who comment here? Clearly the bishops conference is composed of older men. Things/mores seem to be in the hands of a younger group – I would say even middle-aged folk are different now. I understand that “it is the Principle”! However, our generation – like the greatest generation – is fading. I always fall back on Medjugorje. There our Mother speaks and instructs and guides. She has created a cadre of youth who will have an effect on the church and the world. And who knows what else she will accomplish?! It gives me such hope when I look at the chaos – and wonder if my individual prayers have any effect. Here’s an “oldie but goodie”: keep on truckin’!!! blessings and prayers for all – and thankfulness that you are here.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Amen, CJ. And I LOVE that Our Lady of Medjugorje comes on the 2nd of each month, specifically, to pray for those who do not know the love of God. Day by day, in solidarity of prayer that ALL may know how very much God loves each of us.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Bottom up certainly seems to be the path for the U.S. Church. Perhaps because of our peculiar and exceptional culture and national personality. Americans don’t like to be told. See King George III. Nice man. Wanted nothing but the best for his subjects. Those hard headed knuckleheads in the colonies just didn’t get it. That’s the ornery, cranky unpredictable America and Americans for you.

    IMO and in my experience dealing with the diocesan hierarchy the key to laity “leverage” with the Bishops and ultimately with the Vatican is going to be the local PASTORS. The pastors have to man up. They have to confront their Bishops. They may have to confront their peers and colleagues. IMO the LEADERSHIP function, in a political sense, is going to have to come from PASTORS at the parish level. If you don’t have the Pastor on your side, who calls the shots for the Parish from a canonical position of authority, the laity is extraordinarily constricted in what it can do.

    The key to the pastors is the laity. The laity has to back them up. The pastors and the laity have got to work together. The pastors have got to carry the message to the Bishops. “Look, this is what I am up against in my parish. I am going to do the right thing.” Pastors are intimidated by the Diocesan Administration. They can be moved on a minutes notice. It takes a special breed of courage to stand up to your boss with your career on the line.

    But if we don’t get that we are in for a long siege with the Hierarchy which is intimidated by the Pope.

    Canon law is the key to both the pastors and the Bishops. Essential for the laity. The laity has rights. Individuals have rights. I think it is no mistake that it is EXTREMELY difficult to find a good cannon lawyer to take up either an individual’s canonical case or a pastor’s canonical case or a parish’s canonical case.

    As we have seen defense of the Canon Codes and the Magisterium it represents and codifies is of paramount importance in the days ahead. Good canon lawyers not on the hierarchy’s or the Vatican’s payroll will be essential. We need to find some way to support the ones we have now and to develop more of them. Bring “Justice” to the Church. When your average canon lawyer is making his or her living at the behest of the Bishop that is a tall order. Think of a Supreme Court consisting of 9 Ruth Bader Ginsburg clones. Same goes for our moral theologians and philosophers who make their intimidated living in the Universities trying to keep their heads down.

    The key to it all. All of it. Pastors at the local parish level with guts. Plenty of guts. Determined to save the Church and the souls of their flock. I believe they can be developed and encouraged and, yes, organized but only with a determined laity’s help and support and backbone willing to go to the mat right along with those men of courage. If they don’t see any of the laity behind their backs when they go down to the chancellery to have it out with His Excellency then ….. well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. So agree with what you say, Ed. Lotsa gumption needed from both the clergy and the laity. In addition to all you have noted, I will add that in the view of the gutsy priest who lives in this house, there are plenty of times when a lay person is better suited to a task and also better heard by the local ordinary than the diocesan clergy. Appreciate so much the core message promoted here as it is the gold standard for navigating the rapids of the current Church waters.

      Liked by 5 people

  14. Yes… Lots of issues with Church & Pope… Looking at all other Catholic prophecies out there can be frustrating because there’s a mix of some prophecies saying one thing and other prophecies saying the opposite.

    Is the Pope good or bad? I don’t know. His acts of piety, humility, & charity seem artificial even fake to me & others; were those acts done in front of media to make himself look legitimate? Controversy follows our Pope everywhere he goes; is he doing it on purpose or is it fake media trying distort everything like what they are trying to do with Trump?

    This past Sunday’s reading talked about the branches of fig tree being tender before summer and the explanation was that thought current times seem bad, there’s hope of good times in the future.

    From a human perspective all seems lost & beyond salvation in terms of Church & society, but what is impossible for humanity, is nothing to God, so we have to wait, see, pray, and act ethical. (by Christ’s standards not by society’s)

    At this point it would not surprise me if Rome fell, but Christ promised the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

    Society is in need of major overhaul so that the unjust will never rise to power again. Democracies & Republics have a Achilles heel, that the Devil has exploited through the globalist banking cartel that seeks a one world government with Communism as it’s template.

    I’m doing what I can here in my region to wake up people to the dangers of Liberals & their policies. It’s a tough job trying to explain why the anti-God Left is immoral & evil, when so many have turned their backs on religion & faith.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. PS : Oh I just have to share another thought that came to me about Bishop Strickland as I was praying the Rosary and gently falling off to sleep (it is late now over here in France where I am at the moment….) . It illustrates a concept in Mystical Theology that is called per visibilia ad invisibilia , or how the temporal reflects the spiritual … and that is why we are supposed to behave like observant children as we glean much information for prayer from events that surround us. Right ? Welllllll…. Bishop Joseph Strickland is from Tyler, Texas. Right? And in case you did not know it yet…Tyler ,Texas is…the ROSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD ! HA ! How amazingly poetic is that ! He gets the rose business… and he gets The Rose… Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart ! Plus his name is Joseph, the one who loves to give roses to Our Lady ! Imagine what our Church would look like if every living Bishop fell in love with Our Lady and offered Her spiritual roses ? O Mary , conceived without sin, pray for all Bishops to have loving recourse to thee !

    Liked by 11 people

  16. Bishop Fulton Sheen God rest his soul, will go down in history for being the only man who Boldly told the Truth as it was handed down by the Apostles.

    While it is comforting to hear there are Brave Heart Bishops in United States who come forward like voices in the wilderness and still proclaim the Truth. May God send a saint to shout from the roof tops, in proclaiming the Faith of our Fathers. And the crucial need for fidelity to that Faith.

    All the confusion, betrayal and bedlam we are confronted with comes down to Men of God breaking their vow of Chastity, make before God at their ordination.

    Mind you the breakdown in marriage could reflect in the laity what we are forced to accept from the Clergy. Broken marriages in the end are broken vows made before God in Holy Matrimony.

    Maybe God is forcing us to see as a Church, how gravely He has been offended by our infidelity to the promises we made. We answer as a ‘people’ even when we have not committed the sin on an individual basis. Take Ireland and the vote for perverted marriage and abortion. A sin by a people as a whole, while many individuals did not vote/act in favour of defying the Commandments of God. IMHO

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Insightful, Julia: “Maybe God is forcing us to see as a Church, how gravely He has been offended by our infidelity to the promises we made. We answer as a ‘people’ even when we have not committed the sin on an individual basis.”

      Liked by 2 people

  17. “May God send a saint to shout from the roof tops, in proclaiming the Faith of our Fathers. And the crucial need for fidelity to that Faith.”
    Michael Voris is that “saint” who is shouting boldly in the wilderness– His Truth! God provides. We only have to listen and learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Putin villain or hero? I would post articles I’ve read on the topic, but it’s probably better that people find their own web articles on this controversial subject.

    1) Yes Putin is former KGB, but God forgives those who seek redemption.

    2) Putin is a nationalist, probably loves his country and hates those who want to destroy Russia; this isn’t a crime.

    3) Putin is anti-globalist, he opposes the anti-Christian new world order and the beastly globalist bankers.

    4) Russia was eventually consecrated and Our Lady of Fatima did say Russia would be converted.

    5) Putin is villainized by the anti-God left, just like they villianize everyone else who don’t follow them, and we know the anti-God left are big time liars just like their master Satan.

    Seeing how the anti-God left similarity hates Trump, let’s hope Trump can get re-elected despite all the fake news favouring the anti-God left’s lies.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. HAPPY THANKSGIVING CHARLIE AND BECKITA AND EVERYONE HERE AT TNRS ASOH! GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND MAY YOU ALL BE HAVING A BEAUTIFUL DAY WHERE EVER YOU ALL ARE! I AM MOST THANKFUL FOR ALL OF YOU! GOD SAVE ALL HERE!

    Liked by 8 people

  20. Saint of the day!!

    I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith. Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life. – Miguel Agustin Pro

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Charlie,

    I can see why it was so hard for people to believe what you foretold!

    Will the third ballad of the Ordinary Man be released after the next upsetting reveal?

    Thank you for all of your training!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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