From the Fiery Furnace

Fiery furnace

(This was a comment by a faithful Priest who is a longtime reader and occasional commenter here. It describes the view from the pulpit from those who, despite the trials of these times, endeavor to live their mission with fidelity and fortitude. I liked it so much I reprint it, with permission, as a stand-alone column. I use a pseudonym for the Priest.-CJ)


By Fr. Victura

I’d like to offer a point of view almost never publicized, from an ordinary foot soldier on the Church’s front lines. I have labored for 21 years in the priesthood, preceded by six years in the seminary, and I have never seen any direct evidence of homosexuality in the priesthood, or the seminary, at all. Not even once. Everything I have learned about homosexuality in the priesthood has come from second hand accounts, stories from decades past, and news reports. But I myself have precisely zero direct knowledge of it.

You might never have heard any priest say this before, but I assure you, my experience is not unique. I’ve spoken about this with other priests, and have concluded that the reason priests will not mention this is because we do not wish to imply that a problem does not exist. We know a problem exists. We know that more than 80% of the abuse cases in the priesthood are homosexual in nature. None of us wants to distract attention from that problem. However, I believe it is important to know the problem is not ubiquitous, as most think it to be.

Every priest I know, without exception, is striving to live his vocation to the best of his ability in the most hostile environment in his lifetime. The bishops do NOT have our backs. We are frightfully vulnerable. A priest’s life is all the more difficult knowing that many or most of the souls in the pews hold him in perpetual suspicion of crimes he would never commit.

We willingly accept this current state of affairs. The Church must be purified. The active agent of the Church’s purification must be humility. Humility is the milk on which the infant of charity is nursed to health, and humility is learned by the willing acceptance of humiliations, from the hand of God’s providence. This purification must come for the bishops first, and the rest of the clergy second.

The entire body of the clergy, from Pope to the simplest parish priest, must pass through the crucible of humility in order to regain the prophetic voice it has lost, through decades of easy compromise with modernism, and worldliness.

St. Teresa of Avila once said that humility is like the foundation of a building. The deeper the foundation, the higher the architect intends to build. Similarly, the deeper the humility of a soul, the higher God intends to build it up in his service. If our current depths are any indication of the divine plan, it appears that our Lord plans to rebuild the Church, monumentally.

Until the Church is renewed, I implore you three things. First, do not suspect all clergy of the worst behavior. Did you know that, at this moment, many faithful priests are at their breaking point? They are striving to be faithful to their sacred calling, and are simply worn out from too much work (many priests are working twice as hard as they ought, because there are about half as many priests as there ought to be), and from little to no support from their bishops or from the faithful.

Secondly, take heart in knowing that most priests are quietly striving to be faithful, and are in fact doing so. All is NOT rotten in Denmark.

Thirdly, if you know a good priest, please encourage him in very subtle ways. Greet him with a smile and a simple wave of the hand. Write him a tiny hand-written note to say “thank you.” I assure you, your small effort will make a world of difference. You may save a good priest from losing hope, and enable him to continue to offer God’s grace to a world that needs it more than ever before.

Thank you, and God bless you!

370 thoughts on “From the Fiery Furnace

  1. Beautiful – thank you Father! I must admit that my experiences with priests have been mostly very positive in my life. So thank you to you and all the men and religious who have anwsered the call of God.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. I concur completely. This Martel book that is coming out on the subject is another hit on the Church. I suspect is about as truthful as a Dan Brown novel. It is hard to understand how anyone could take such gossip and hatred seriously. Please pray for discernment before reading any such books or articles on the clergy and our Bishops. Thank you Fr. Victoria for saying what most of us priests have been thinking. Thank you Charlie for sharing the article.

    Liked by 15 people

  3. Thank-you for this. It is my experience also that our priests are holy and faithful.
    Being right here next to the Seminary at Mt. Angel Abbey, meeting and knowing the seminarians and then priests, I can say that I have never met a homosexual priest TO MY KNOWLEDGE.
    In truth, their only shortcoming in my experience has been more that the priests are not strong enough in their homilies, but they do not abuse their people.
    I’m glad to say that we do encourage our priests & pastors. Here in Oregon with our excellent Archbishop Sample, we are blessed. ✝️
    Thank-you, Charlie, for sharing this with us.
    I pray for all here, daily.
    God bless us – everyone!
    Katey in Oregon

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Thank you, Fr., for this message. I work with many priests, at the seminary and outside of it. None of them are homosexuals. But the vast majority of them feel not only vulnerable, but a bit crushed by the abuse scandal and, the fact that as you state, so many of the faithful are accepting false ideas based upon guilt by association. I frankly don’t know how they can take it year after year?

    You also hit the nail on the head when you stated that the bishops [in my experience many of them] do not have the priests’ backs.

    I am quite familiar with one case wherein a priest was falsely accused by one man [who was probably hoping for a financial payoff from the diocese] who could not get a fair hearing with his Bishop.

    So the priest took his case to Rome, twice, won on both occasions – and the Bishop still will not reinstate him. That bishop is a bully-coward of the worst possible stripe. One false accusation – with zip, zero, nada, corroborative evidence – and he suspends a great priest.
    [BTW, The bishop is fairly well know.] I was stunned when I first heard of this outrageous behavior by the Bishop – because I knew of his reputation for orthodoxy. Since then, nothing surprises me anymore.

    All my love in Christ


    Liked by 13 people

    1. Desmond, your account of a falsely accused priest reminds me of the well-known case of Fr Gordon MacRae, longtime emprisoned priest and yet (easy for me to say!) doing well to fulfill his priestly duty – this is one courageous heart. Yet again, Charlie has smashed it with his lead image. It is a tortuously hot fire that Fr Victura and all priests are stepping into these days and yet the One who loves them to death is right there in their midst to be their conduit to peace and utter joy. The rest of us have our work cut out for us to quell the fire but we also have the Mother extraordinaire to guide us. And this is going to be an extraordinary week – with the perfect Sunday Gospel to shine a light on the way! Come Holy Spirit! Come Lord Jesus! May the Father’s Will be done on earth as in heaven!

      Liked by 8 people

  5. Thank you, Father, for your dedication and perseverance! In our diocese, we have devoted and holy priests– several of whom I call friends. I have also had some very difficult experiences with several priests, one who inappropriately approached my 14 yo son and who is still floating around this diocese, even though there is documented evidence of his homosexual contact with minors. The bishop at that time was also a thorn in my side, for permitting this priest to stay here, as well as allowing a myriad of other things contrary to church teaching to continue in our diocese. Side note– I read that our diocese is at the top of the list of homosexual friendly dioceses– or some such designation. I spoke to the pastor of a church who many years ago, permitted a Dominican priest from St. Louis, MO to give a pro homosexual talk at his parish. When I questioned this pastor he told me that there was nothing in the bible against homosexual acts and that Pope John Paul II was an out of it old man. I could go on, but I certainly don’t believe all priests are guilty. There are, however, many priests in our diocese who have blatantly proven that they don’t believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church. But I would encourage everyone to give every member of the clergy the benefit of the doubt if they don’t have first hand knowledge of the man. I really care and pay attention to what’s going on and go to the source when I want answers. I recently wrote a note to one of our diocesan priests and just asked him if he believes that homosexual sex is a sin and if sex is only permitted between a man and woman married (to each other)!! He hosts a gay potluck once a month– and they don’t promote celibacy– he showed”Brokeback Mountain” one month. He hasn’t responded to me. It’s great you haven’t experienced anything inappropriate. I know several priests who have. 3 priest friends left the seminary for a while because of the homosexual mess. If this post is too negative, don’t clear it— I will understand.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I might appear to have never experienced anything “inappropriate” from my post above. However I was speaking of the Diocese I have lived in now since I was 28 years old. I am well aware there are dioceses which are not like mine [Denver]. We left one which was a nightmare to come here the first year we were married.

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        1. Thank you. It was not a ‘cool place’ when we first arrived in Nov., 1969. It was, in fact, one of the worst in the USA. By the 1980’s, it was one of the three worst. What changed things was 3 doctrinally faithful Bishops in a row – the 3rd being in place today. The 2nd began a topnotch faithful seminary. And now you know the key to understanding why we now have a ‘cool place’.

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          1. So true, Desmond—so, so true! We here have suffered from wont of a good and holy Bishop. We have no bishop right now and are being overseen by Archbishop Kurtz–who was one of the bishops quick to condemn the Covington boys–ick!! Not holding out hope for a good one, as it appears from the lack of bishops who are brave and speak out, that there aren’t many good ones out there.

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    2. Thank you both Desmond and Kim for your comments as well as Fr. Victura. All of you allow us to keep the current problems of the Church in balance. I am in a diocese where many problems occur. From the pulpit, we are told that if we have a problem with homosexual relations and same sex marriage, then we have to get over it. I know personally men who have been approached by homosexual priests. One man said, a year after converting to Catholicism , that the priest he had befriended as a mentor met him at the door of the rectory one day and told him “this has to stop”. confused my friend asked what and the priest told him “I cant do this anymore because I am attracted to you”. I suppose one could see that as a blessing in that the priest cut off the association due to his disorder and challenge to his chastity. Coming originally from KC MO, I knew two priests who were homosexual and had been moved about in order to keep them out of the lime light. They were part of the credibly accused list that latter came out.
      I am deeply pained by what is happening in the Church. I keep myself grounded on the fact that the church is made up of human being who struggle with concupiscence. To the extent we fight our urges, we sanctify the Body. I know as many VERY HOLY priests that suffer so much for all these revelations and I remain in faithful contact not only for their support but theirs for me. I need them as much as I hope they need me. It is a terrible but grace filled time when Saints are made.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. So true,Kris. I knew our Holy Mother Church had some problems, but had no idea of the extent of the problems. Knowledge is painful, but I rejoice in the fact that this knowledge will lead to the cleansing that is so desperately needed.

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Thank you Father Victura and Father Stephen, for sharing your hearts and for your fidelity to Christ and His Church. I pray for you and your brother priests daily. I begin my classes with my students with prayers for you all. In my little corner of the world i share these stories with people and ask them to support their priests with prayer and friendship. I have begun to write to my Bishop and all Bishops, to among other things, publicly support and defend their faithful priests and remove the ones who aren’t. I don’t write this to pat myself on the back- I am only doing what I should. I am one of many who does this and more. I write it with the hope that it is a comfort and encouragement to you. I pray that Jesus will use our prayers and sacrifices to console and strengthen you. May Jesus and Mary hold you safely and deep in their Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Fr. Victura, I had the honor to meet you when you made a trip to our diocese a couple of years back. If you ever have occasion to return, I’d love to buy you coffee (or maybe tea… I kind of can’t stand the smell of coffee). 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Thanks for your words, Father. I really think that being a faithful Priest is in itself today a demonstration of sanctity.
    I have never met a homosexual Priest, or at least I do not have knowledge of priests that I know that are homosexual. Two of my husband’s childhood friends became priests, one unfortunately died very young. Both showed great determination choosing to become priests. But they chose little congregations so they did not go to a diocesan seminary.
    Last summer when the Viganò letter was rendered public, my husband asked the opinion of a friend of ours, a lady and former teacher who has worked in Rome in various projects with Italian Dioceses and with various bishops. About the homosexuality of a couple of Italian known bishops, she confirmed that it is true and that is a known fact by the people that work in the field. I do not know if she referred to their homosexual tendency or homosexual practice.
    Surely homosexuality is a problem in the Church.
    Nonetheless, I personally have seldom suspected sexual misdemeanors regarding my parish priests. Rather I’m observing, at least here, two wrong attitudes, the first consisting of priests behaving like clerks or employees that is avoiding to communicate the great marvel of our salvation. So there is no place for invoking miracles, invoking the power of God, the real intervention of the Holy Ghost in our Life. And if the Priest seems to disbelieve the power of Christ, how am I in the pew get excited about my faith? I suffer from a chronic illness, only very few priests have ever told me to hope in a healing for example . The second attitude is more political. I call them Cattocomunisti. The Church for them is mainly an organization that will do social activities, for the poor , the minorities, against racism, against the mafias, etc.. A Priest in One of the parishes I attend has become so keen on supporting migrants who come to Italy, that he preaches against the Italian Minister of Interior , Salvini, who stopped immigration from Africa to Italy (or at least he is trying to stop it). He always makes us pray for migrants during Mass. But, as my husband observed, it seems that for this priest any other problem has disappeared in Italy, so no more prayers for the millions of unemployed persons, never a prayer against abortion,often hints that our Government is reviving fascism etc etc.
    In my opinion both are disturbing attitudes. Nonetheless I do not know if I, in their places, could do better. The times are really difficult for Priest. What I observe is that few and few people attend Church and for many it is merely a commodity .
    Perhaps I’m hoping in a macro event , something that will renew our civilisation, a direct intervent of God, but most probably we will have to work patiently with his help to bring about this change.
    Hope I managed to express myself clearly in English.
    Have a good day all of you.
    I have prayed for you Father.
    Lilia from Italy

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Well said Father! Much appreciated!

    Share with your priests that we love and appreviate all of you! May we love more to offset the hate of others.

    In humility ask for help. There are laity who need to know you need help and tell them exactly what you need/want. 😀

    I am teaching my son to begin mass by thanking God for our priest.

    Thank you for sharing these words! Off to write notes!

    Liked by 7 people

  10. From Luz de Maria revelation Feb 14th (translated Spanish to English via google):

    As requested, this is a segment of Luz de Maria’s revelations. Luz goes onto say to pray for the U.S.A.and other countries. I found interesting, “…the devil is claiming souls…”

    All the greater determination to pray for conversion of sinners.


    {Jesus speaking}
    ” My children, I carried the cross of each one of you, I carried your sins and humanity reduces it with concepts so depressing that even My Angels cry for it. MY PASSION THEY SEE IT LIKE A SHOW, LEAVING FROM THE SIDE THE LOVE OF MY FATHER BY ITS CHILDREN.

    How some of those who think they represent represent me!

    Exalt the ideologies, man is magnified before the power to kill those who are helpless and innocent, so the Demon, magnified by sins against the Gift of life, now claims his booty, that of the souls of those who dictate death sentence to the innocent.


    My people, the closer they are to the fulfillment of the Revelations that My Mother and I have given for the world so that all men may convert and save the soul, the more strategies Antichrist uses against My children and children of My Mother so they are lost.

    Sacred Scripture is forgotten, annulled by some and distorted by others at will, in order to minimize me as King and Lord of Heaven and Earth (Cf. I Tim 6:15, 1,17).

    They must believe in Our Trinity and as faithful children open their conscience so that they understand that sin leads them to misery, to fatigue and that the Devil will not offer them a state of permanent joy, but gives them to states of euphoria to make them dirty. the soul and contaminate the brother.”


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    1. ‘Luz de Maria’ goes on to speak of ‘the warning’ I think described elsewhere. Just after I posted this morning, a reading in the Divine office jumped off the page:

      Catholic Study Bible [2 Peter 1:10-11]

      10 Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall;

      11 so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      I may be incorrect, but I think the above is our offering at the mass. Offering all our deeds, works, prayers in union with the Eternal, everlasting Holy Sacrifice (of the Mass). What better manner can we ‘confirm your call and election’ than to participate and merge our prayers. If anything, I have been zealously trying to obtain a Plenary Indulgence (each day) [usually for a Holy Soul in Purgatory] to offer in the daily mass offering.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. With your love poured out on them, you are such a dear friend to the Holy Souls, Sean. I appreciate deeply that they can pray for our intentions and needs even as they rely on us to intercede for their swifter passage, through their own fiery furnace, to make their way Home. God bless you and your ministry to the Holy Souls.

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    1. Thanks for asking, Christopher. Resolving Father’s heart health issue is a work in progress. The medical team thinks there’s a blockage and next week he’s scheduled for imaging. I look at it this way: he’s never had any surgery in his 90 years and he was hospitalized for the very first time at the age of 88. Awesome record! So, here he is at the age of 90 needing some medical attention. I’ll just bet he’ll end up having an angioplasty procedure which may well require a stent or stents and, then, he’ll be feeling better than he has for a long while. With nitro on board, we’re off to substitution ministry because a brother priest is recovering from surgery. It should be a careful yet gorgeous drive through winter wonderland. Part of the journey has us driving around Flathead Lake, the largest inland lake west of the Mississippi, and into a wee city which sits near the west entrance to Glacier National Park.

      Thanks to All for your prayers for Fr. Wang!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Safe and happy trails, Beckita and Father Wang.

        Flathead Lake is beautiful. A family who are friends of mine have owned a summer place on its banks for many decades. One of the cousins, a well-known artist and devout Catholic, has a house across the lake. Enjoy your days in this gorgeous place!

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        1. Thank you, Sr. Bear. Sitting at the Copper Mountain Coffee spot and have just ordered our lunch. Whew! What an intense drive around the East Shore. We’ve been in a snow globe driving… gorgeous yet slick as the dickens but we’re here, Praise God! God’s Blessings upon All.

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      2. Backita, I had not idea where you were from, till I saw Flathead Lake. I went to College with a number of young men from Whitefish. Kalispell & Bozeman. I got to know that ‘neck of the woods’ in Montana very well over the years. [I met them at St. Martin’s College {now University} in Western Washington.] Where does Fr. Wang live?

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        1. Ah, Desmond! Then you know well its beauty. We have just said good-bye to a priest from Tanzania who was assigned to the Diocese of Helena for a few years. He had earned a degree from St. Martin’s before coming here. Fr. Wang has lived in Missoula since 1967. My kids grew up calling him “Grandpa” and they’re 37 and nearly 40 now. My first journey to Shandong, China, where Father was born, was in 1995 when God fulfilled his prayer and dream of 50 years: Father, with his brother, also a priest, baptized their entire clan. Fr. Wang likes to say God wiped out in one afternoon what the evil one had prevented for 50 years. I became godmother to all 64 Wangs baptized on that beautiful autumn day and have been blessed with more Chinese godchildren in succeeding trips over the years. After my husband died in 2005, we put an addition on Father’s home and I have been in residence with him, tending to his care in old age, – turned 90 last October – assisting and collaborating in ministry, with the blessing of our then bishop who was installed as Bishop of Las Vegas, Nevada about a year ago while we continue in this interregnum period.

          What continually surprises me about the Flathead Valley are the most interesting people who move to that area. A world renown violinist, Wai Mizutani, teaches in the community college there. To this day, I haven’t had the opportunity to ask what brought him to the region. He showed up at Father’s 90th and added exquisite beauty to our music-making at the Mass of Thanksgiving and at the party. Eyes are never dry when Wai is playing. On the weekend, we met a partly-retired ophthalmologist who was part of the team which invented soft contacts. He’s now instrumental in tending to Fr. Robert Spitzer’s eye care and there’s belief that it can be recovered.

          Truly grateful you are with us in this community in these days, Desmond, and I read with great interest your FB contributions.

          Liked by 2 people

              1. Beckita–they love Tanzania—they’ve been there about 2 1/2 years and have a year and a half left. I plan to go see them there, but it’ almost 24 hours of travel time to get there so I’ve been procrastinating! He is a diplomat, attached to the embassy at Dar. They have been previously stationed in Mexico City and the Dominican Republic.

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      3. I know Western Montana fairly well. Went to College [St. Martin’s] in Western Washington with a number of guys from Whitefish, Kalispell, Bozeman, etc. I didn’t know you were from Montana.

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        1. I was raised in northwest Iowa and moved to Missoula with my husband after I had whisked through my undergraduate work. After my husband completed his BS in forestry, we were off to West Africa, serving in the Peace Corps. With the completion of that experience, we hitched a ride on a Danish logging ship, working as deck hand and cook while we headed for Shoreham, England. Abandoned that ship (felt like a tugboat in the rough waters of the Atlantic) in the Canary Islands, flew into Madrid and took a train to Amsterdam where we purchased a VW bug and tent so we could be vagabonds, exploring Europe for more than three months before returning to the States and moving back to Missoula. Love Montana!

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  11. I appreciate Fr “Victura’s” service and the admonition of he/this thread that we support The Faithful Clergy and each other …. just as was directed by Our Lord ….. but … it ain’t gonna be easy as we have come to the point where we don’t know, exactly, who the Good Guys are anymore??!!! We live in a Church where The Good Guys have been intimidated, silenced or driven-out. Pope Benedict spoke of his “Fear of the Wolves” when he ascended to the Papacy. Fr “Ventura” feels the need to remain anonymous for, no doubt, good reasons?
    It, of course, is our own fault as we have, these past 50+ years, allowed The Bad Guys to infiltrate, spread their poison and rise to “leadership” positions ….. and bringing their ilk with them! ;-(
    Same, SAME in our USA Society as a whole! Fifty Years of PC, dumbing down education, mores & Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” Tactics have brought The Republic to the brink of The Abyss …. and the very same “Sort” have “done a job” on Our Church.
    We live in a society where “regular folks” have retreated into the safety of their homes with their Made in China electronic devices. Suspicion, doubts, confusion and fear of what’s out there have closed down shopping malls, “down-town”, theaters, restaurants ….. and Churches ;-(
    In my own little World we just disbanded our Military Officers Association Chapter ’cause the old guys were dying off and no new blood was coming down the pipeline.
    Many fraternal, civic and church organizations are struggling for members …. and most importantly members willing to do anything! It’s where we are then! ;-(
    I have no doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ will prevail …. and better than ever! 😉
    I do have grave doubts about The Republic! ;-(

    MILINET – Plus: Articles for Christians – 16 February
    Disgraced former cardinal McCarrick dismissed from priesthood: Vatican

    Bombshell book alleges a Vatican gay subculture, hypocrisy

    Vatican envoy to France under investigation for sexual assault


    ‘The Road to Shariadom’ in America–Janet Levy

    I chose not to read the gory details of the below. Headlines were enough .. You too I’d expect?
    “Report: Planned Parenthood Operates Over Half of U.S. Abortion Clinics”
    “Report: Female Genital Mutilation of Babies on Rise in UK”

    Democrats Seek to ‘Affirm the Dignity’ of LGBTQ by Ridding Tax Code of ‘Gendered Language’

    U.S. raises pressure on Maduro via sanctions, aid airlift

    Government, Not Its Shutdown, Is The Real Problem

    Nigerians Head for the Polls as Religious Freedom Activists Call for U.S. Special Envoy


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    1. Someone I dearly love got in the habit of saying (when the theme was still even referenced), “I love you, but…” Maybe that was around phase III of the slide in the relationship. For my part I view it as something fairly straightforward: either love, or don’t love. Seems the conditions are either just lukewarmness and/or us just not being fully honest with ourselves. Hopefully we love. With all that TRULY entails. (Not an admonishment, CD. I’m thinking out loud and telling myself first of all.)

      Jesus told us that we will know them by their fruits, and indeed that gem was planted amidst a much larger picture in Matthew 7 and beyond.

      Again, V98, I really appreciate your witness and would love for you to follow up again. I was particularly struck by your mention of being “vulnerable,” as that theme has been an almost constant companion on my journey for months. Vulnerability. A very worthy theme to not only contemplate, but to fully embrace.

      Solid direction from you, V98, in this (I summarize as I understand it): 1) Don’t get cynical, 2) Trust in the Good, 3) Encourage.

      I find that kind of list infinitely more valuable than trying to compile lists of good and bad eggs.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. It has been my practice since I started the novenas of communions 25 years ago to also send angels to questionable or liberal priests who I encountered because I reasoned that they needed angels to guide them more than anyone. I felt assured the angels would not aid them in their disloyalty but would guide and aspire them to rise above their failings. We can do nothing better than pray for all priests especially those who are not living up fully to that vocation to which they have been called.
      May the Holy Spirit continue to protect and guide us as we journey on in this growing intensity of the Storm and progressing of the Rescue on the way to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. May God bless us all.

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    3. Crewdog, just a side note in response to your statement that you have doubts about our Republic’s survival. Many years ago, I was privileged to see and hear Fr. Gobbi, the founder, with Our Blessed Mother, of the Marian Movement of Priests. He said this in response to a query and I have endeavored here to remember it as best as I can. He said, “It seems to me that – and I have no direct word from our Mother but it is a strong intuition – that America will survive. It may be changed but this country will come through the trials because it was founded in a strong belief in God.”

      May God chastise His country back to His Heart and then bind up our wounds. May God bless and renew America.

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    1. Please don’t ask me how I know, but McCarrick is already planning to leave the Monastery where he was sent by Francis to spend his life in prayer and reparation. The monastery is the Capuchin one in Victoria, KS. It is truly beautiful there. Evidently McCarrick is privately filthy rich – so I suppose he will spend his waning year(s) living it up. Dear God, help that man to truly repent before he dies.

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      1. My understanding is that, unlike religious order priests who take the traditional vow of poverty, diocesan priests do not. Generally, their “salaries” from the diocese are modest, and they get diocesan pensions and likely social security after retirement. However, if they somehow acquire other money along the way, they don’t have to turn it in to the order’s communal fund as a religious order priest would. The question is: How does a given priest acquire the money? Some do so legitimately; i.e., through good investments over the years. Others . . . ? Who knows? I’d say sometimes ethically, sometimes not.

        Another thought about the now-laicized Ted McCarrick leaving the monastery where he was sent by Pope Francis: It seems that, with laicization, Mr. McCarrick would no longer be under obedience to Pope Francis; thus, he would be free to leave the monastery, just as any other lay person could choose where to live.

        I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong.

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        1. You can have had it before you were ordained, or hsve inherited it. A Catholic is morally bound to follow an order from an Ecclesial court. His sentence for what he did is established in Canon Law.

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          1. It should be added that the order for him to go to a monastery for prayer and penance is the usual canonical sentence for clerics who have sexually abused boys, seminarians or other vulnerable males – and the offense is immensely worse for a bishop who does so by abuse of his authority over seminarians.

            Such clerics are sent to monasteries for prayer, & hopefully, repentance, and penance. In the quiet of a monastery there is a much greater opportunity for such a man to reflect on what they have done, see the immensity of the sin, and cry to heaven for forgiveness. Most commonly, only after such admission to themself – will they then make Sacramental Confess, and then make heartfelt reparation while still on earth. Then they can make amends to God for the temporal punishment they will face in purgatory if they do not do sufficient prayer and penance here.

            THAT,IS WHY IT IS SUCH A BAD IDEA FOR HIM TO LEAVE THE MONASTERY. If and when he leaves, who will he most readily find for company outside the monastery? If we think about it, he is most likely to fall back in with ‘bad company’, who will try to assure him he did nothing wrong.

            If he came to me for advice on what he should do, I would advise him to take up permanent residency in a solid monastery.

            All my love in Christ


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            1. Well said, Desmond. Your words bear a burden, a joyful one, for us to intercede for Mr. McCarrick. To know these odds for his future is a call to intercession, to act on Our Lady of Fatima’s exhortation to pray for sinners. She said too many poor souls go to hell for lack of prayer and penance from believers.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Yes, you are right. Our Lady of Fatima told us that a couple of years more than a century. Now she probably expects us serious Catholic to have comprehended the seriousness of that message. I have so many people I offer up my communions for – the pro-aborts yesterday. My next Eucharist is going to be for McCarrick, and all those clerics who have abused boys and seminarians.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. In solidarity with you and all here who pray for these intentions… for the conversion and salvation of souls. Too, our Father in Heaven d.e.s.e.r.v.e.s. reparation for these sins and our own… another repetitive request of Our Lady in her authentic messages. I love to ponder the many people shining as so many lights – all the while hidden in the bosom of the Church – powerfully beaming intercessory prayer into the Hands of our Mother that She may present them to the Father. The intercessors are blessed light shining in the darkness of these days.

                  Liked by 1 person

        2. It should be added that; when a priest – any priest – is ordered to live out his life in prayer and penance in cases such as this, it is NOT primarily to punish him, but its primary purpose to work toward his realizing the enormity of his particular sin – and repentance for them.

          It’s primary purpose is to afford such a grave sinner a chance to truly wake up and smell the coffee about his most grave sins. Even if he repents, but does not do penance for such heinous acts, can one imagine the purgatory which would await him. [That is the biggest reason why leaving the monastery is such a bad idea.]

          Why are such sins called most grave? Because the Church has traditionally referred to such as CRIMEN PESSIMUM [“the foulest crime”] – understood to mean any external obscene act, gravely sinful, perpetrated or attempted by a cleric in any way whatsoever with a person of his own sex.

          If McCarrick avails himself of flight from that Monastery with all his money awaiting him, the odds are that [since he has never admitted any shame, guilt, or repentance for all of the seminarians and minors he authoritatively intimidated into being ‘buggered’], the odds are he will rather live the ‘life of Riley’ with other birds of the same noisy feather — rather than in prayer and penance in the relative silence of a monastery, therein hopefully hear the voice of God calling him to repentance & doing penance.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Desmond, I appreciate all of your comments in response to my being “happy to be corrected if I’m wrong.” I am not a canon lawyer. I know men who left the priesthood and were laicized, later married, and have led regular Catholic lives. It stands to reason, though, that in cases like Mr. McCarrick’s, the details of canon law would be different.

            I also completely agree with you that his leaving the monastery was a really bad idea, for all of the reasons you state. In one of the December blogs here, we discussed the case of an Idaho priest who was sentenced to 25 years in prison (for participation in Internet child pornography, mainly as a customer) with no possibility of parole. This amounts to a life sentence, because he is 72 and not in good health. In my opinion, prison is the best place for him to be ~ a safe place for prayer and penance, with better medical care than he’d get on the outside. My continued prayer for him is that he would truly acknowledge, first to himself, what he has done and return wholeheartedly to Christ.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Marieursula, thnk you. I thiught that was it. Priests who on their own, voluntarily, are in an entirely different position – personal reasons – are in an entirely different position than those condemned of grave moral faults of onekind or another- who have laicization imposed on them by dint of ecclesial court ruling and then sentence by the Pope.

              Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you Father, thank you Charliie for publishing this. It seems there are pockets of impurity which means there are areas of purity. This is heartening. May I remember to pray for a heavy layer of humility in my armor.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Well said. I read something similar in a Dean Koontz novel a long time ago that has stayed with me for probably 30 years: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but so is the road to heaven.” It just depends on your attitude toward the intentions; but where there is a negative God always provides a positive. Thank you for a beautiful uplifting for me today!!

      Liked by 6 people

  13. So thankful that the purification of the Church has begun. I anxiously await the day that the Two Hearts reign on Earth, if not for my sake then the sake of my grandchildren and theirs. So thankful for ALL the good and holy priests. Pray to live in His Divine Will. Thank you Charlie, so much, for posting this letter.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Thank you, Fr. Victura, Fr. Stephen and any other priests here, for your faithful service and sacrifice. Two more names I can add to my lists of priests for whom I offer this prayer penned by Cardinal O’Connor.

    A Prayer for Priests
    By John Cardinal O’Connor

    O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your sons who are close to you because of their priestly ordination and because of the power which they have received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs them so much. Be their comfort, be their joy, be their strength, and especially help them to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy.

    Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests. You have given them to us for OUR needs. We pray for them in THEIR needs.

    We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, anointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.

    Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.

    We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.

    We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests, for Your priests and for ours. Amen.

    Liked by 9 people

  15. Father, thank you for your column. Regrettably, my experience has been the polar opposite. I know too much and I have personally witnessed the wrath of the lavender mafia and have suffered retaliation from them. I have told Charlie some of it, but the rest is better left forgotten.

    You have been blessed by being spared this.

    I would note that my friend, Father Allan McDonald at his website SOUTHERN ORDERS has an article that I would recommend others check out, as a spiritual reconnaissance of sorts, “You heard of the talking horse, Mr. Ed; will Mr. TED be the talking canary?” Father Allan, I dare say is on the money, here.

    Finally, a mantra I received from my friend Linda Noscewicz:

    “Pray a lot and don’t judge others; Love God and your sisters and brothers. ”

    She put it together in August 2013, but I recently edited it for her too make it more memorable.

    Love and hugs to everyone!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. James, I, too, have been wondering if the former priest, Ted, will be that singing canary. I actually pray so if God deems it good for the cleansing of the Church. Amen to your friend’s mantra. Hugs and Love to you as well.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It was just a week ago today that I wrote, in the piece, “A Terrible Resolve“,” that I expected some grand gesture ahead of the Summit on Sexual Abuse, “perhaps the laicization of former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick as a sop to cover over the fact that no real reform is likely to be allowed at this summit.” Lo and behold, yesterday I got the news that McCarrick has been laicized – shortly before the announcement that Cardinal Farrell, yet another morally compromised and theologically suspect Bishop, has been named Camerlengo. McCarrick was the sop to the suckers in the pews – and Farrell was the signal that we can take our concern about sexual abuse and its systematic cover-up and shove it. Sorry, I’m angry. The Church is going to be cleansed, but not by the guys at the top…and no amount of calling their hideous abuses “amazing mercies” or “wonderful changes” is going to square the circle of the abusive regime that is plaguing the hierarchy right now. This is Christ’s Church. Period. And no amount of sophomoric sophistry trying to convince me that good is actually evil and evil is actually good is going to persuade me. If the summit led by Cdl. Cupich, the least credible Catholic Bishop in America who is not actually under active investigation, is anything other than the crown of all the hideous embarrassments of the last year, I will be shocked. The only thing left is to find whether our actual faithful Bishops will find their voices. And by the way, any I hear who claim that actually defending the faith is too political are useless to me and to the faithful who cry to heaven for reform and fidelity.

        Liked by 13 people

        1. Charlie, I long ago ( or so it seems) gave up looking to the higher ups in the Church or politics to fix anything. I trust none of them. They live in their own world of power and money thinking they are in control. They aren’t. So I don’t waste my time or even anger on them. They have taken enough from me. They get no more.
          But the everyday man/ woman. They are worth watching. The parish priest, the homeschooling mom, and the blue collar dad who daily do their duty. They seek neither praise nor credit, only their daily bread. Soon enough those who think they are powerful will find out they are little more than worms. (I was going to say ants but ants actually work so I changed it to worms. ) Yes, even this will pass. Soon enough we will all know that GOD is in charge. I will find my joy in the little things until the big things are right again. Having said all this, I kinda like hearing you get a bit riled up. It reassures me we are in good hands here at ASOH.
          Kris R.

          Liked by 11 people

        2. EWTN is providing a repeat airing of “A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing”, with all the past scandals, events and political actions by the Church. This documentary on Saul Alynsky is bringing insights anew… again.

          Liked by 5 people

        3. Charlie,

          It loojs like the pope is on the radar of WWG1WGA

          Something to happen this week, which may bring to light Vatican corruption and the change we are praying for.

          Take heart. God is good!

          Liked by 4 people

        4. Charlie, the tentacles are deep, and run into the laity. 30 years ago and 25 years ago I was propositioned with offers of power and position if I did certain things. In this capacity I would be a layman and married with offers in academia or K Street, my choice. Some of my colleagues went down that road. So, there are others out there in positions of power to protect and enable these people. By the grace of God I did not go down that road.

          Yes, Charur Lord will certainly purify his bride, the Church.

          Liked by 3 people

        5. I pray, pray, pray that the good, solid bishops find their voices. And even if/when they do, I already hear the lyrics of the Battle Hymn of the Republic approaching us as they come to fruition:

          Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
          He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
          He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
          His truth is marching on.

          Liked by 6 people

        6. “Sorry, I’m angry.”
          -Charlie Johnston

          “He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.”
          -Thomas Aquinas

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Amen, Christopher. And, now, as Charlie noted, Cardinal Ferrell has been elevated as Camerlengo. Really?! Praying always that the whole sorry pus n stuff that has festered for years and years in the hidden recesses of the hierarchy is fully removed with wounds cleansed and, not just healed, but transformed! as ONLY God can do. In the meantime, we continue doing the little we can right before us, placing all our offerings on the Cross of Christ where He can magnify our wee contributions as we pray, pray, pray and do penance, penance, penance and chop, chop, chop that wood as we carry, carry, carry the water.

            Another heartbreaking, anger-provoking yet necessary revelation about to burst on the scene:

            Liked by 4 people

          2. Christopher, I’ve seen the above alleged citation of Aquinas other times before:

            “He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.”

            I’ve never been able to find an actual citation for that text, which text is ‘quoted’ all over the Internet.

            As fortune would have it, I have just finished assisting seminarians writing a paper on Thomas’ teachings on anger. We went through the well known Q. 158 et al. of the Summa. I have never been able to find any of Aquinas’ other writings which includes this text either. Subsequently, I’m open to any authentication of any attribution of this to Aquinas if one actually exists somewhere, and if so to know it. [My opinion is that the style of this piece does not sound quite like the Aquinas I know.]

            I write this not to criticize, but rather;
            1) to ask if anyone here has or can find such a citation for the source of this text actually being from any of the writings Thomas Aquinas himself, and
            2) to caution so many of my fellow faithful Catholics in this group about the danger of citing serious texts without citation.

            I know none of us here would want to accidentally miss-cite something in the name of faithful Catholic teaching — only then to be publicly challenged by someone not so faithful, challenged for the citation as to where Thomas wrote it [andthen not be able to come up with the proof].

            Just to remove any possible doubt on where I stand on the matter: I am rightfully and thoughtfully upset by what appears to be the possibility that the upcoming ‘Summit on Sexual Abuse’ might become a ‘whitewash job’ on the current existence of active homosexuals in the priesthood, and on prelates [who in either the past or the present] cosseted them.

            All my love in Christ


            Liked by 6 people

            1. Awesomeness, Desmond. I love seeking truth and clarity. If you, of all people in this community, have never been able to determine if this quote attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas actually came from him, I wonder if it can be found online. I’ll take a peek once we’re off the road and home again.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Desmond,

              I agree. It does not sound like Thomas, as it seems too judgmental and intemperate to be Thomas.
              I suppose if it was anywhere in Thomas’s works, it would be in De Malo (On Evil).

              To follow up on what Desmond wrote, there is an abundance of apocryphal works attributed to many of the patristics and medieval fathers of the Church. Sometimes these works are good, such as Pseudo-Dionysius. Others times they are best remembered as historical curiosities, such as Pseudo Gregory of Nyssa’s work Against the Jews.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Frankly, James, my intuitive guess is that this text originated with someone who thought he was a Thomistic theologian or some such thing – putting together some paper, essay, pieces claiming to synopsize Aquinas.

                Another guess is that it might have come from someone not even remotely qualified to translate either the philosophical or theological works of Thomas – who badly botched the translation job. [Hope that didn’t sound too harsh – but I’ve seen exactly that on many on occasion.]

                In my experience, there is nothing quite as dangerous in either theology or philosophy than a well-intentioned ‘wanna-be’. That kind never means to do harm. They usually simply don’t understand the great difference between what they think they know – and what they don’t know.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Desmond,

                  I really like what you wrote here and I do want to get back to you on it. In fact, your first paragraph is very similar to what I wrote a friend after reading paper from a graduate school professor a few days ago. All too many Thomists are not true followers of Thomas, and fairly enough, this could be said about others schools.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Ah, I think with two people who are serious about St. Thomas saying it is not an actual quote, one a professional and the other the most gifted amateur I have ever met on the subject, I think we can safely conclude it is not an actual quote – though I think the sentiment is not far off from St. Thomas. In some ways, I think it could be a honest effort to paraphrase Aquinas’ thinking on “righteous anger,” which he did write extensively about. Maybe the two of you could comment a bit on that. Meantime, one of my favorite quotes ever:

                    “Be wary of unsourced quotes you find on the internet.” – Abraham Lincoln 😉

                    Liked by 4 people

                  1. LOL. That is too funny, but true. Desmond, I have had a court appearance for a client and now have to prepare for a full blown bench trial. And, I just wrote another brief. I apologize, I have forgotten what I was going to discuss with you.

                    I remember being young saying I was a Thomist, Scotist, Neo-Platonist, etc. Then I realized I was a Christian and these were only philosophical methodologies. I realized I could conceivably read a plethora of articles by Thomists on Thomas and not only never read Thomas, but miss the point of Thomism – Jesus Christ. This is not to criticize Thomas, of course.

                    I tried to go through all the following material, but it is too much, with too much angst. Instead, I read St. Catherine of Genoa again. So, I must pray more for everyone here.

                    I had the extreme pleasure/joy/happiness/blessing of serving a divine liturgy for All Souls Saturday this past weekend and then the vigil Sunday Divine Liturgy. A most glorious grace to chant St Paul’s epistles before the Father. Desmond, I do not know if you have seen the Church’s Bible series from Eerdmanns that Robert Louis WIlken is editing. A very good ancillary to the late Thomas Oden’s Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, but with larger quotes to prevent the problem with Oden’s work where it seemed like the quotes were taken out of context or the thought was not fleshed out.

                    Liked by 1 person

        7. I wonder so very often where the courageous priests are. I know personally a priest who has information and is afraid to speak up because of something happening to him. He is afraid of martyrdom: a gift and admonishment straight from the mouth of Jesus. Death hurts. Immediate access to heaven is worth it. And the good of all this holy Church may depend on it. Where are all the men of valor? I offered to take his info to the right place at the soonest possible time. He has rejected my calls and overtures. I could use a little humbling down so I accept that this is not my mission. Yet. I will never accept that these sons of Mary and disciples of Christ and His apostles are not up to the task. Prayers for each and every one of them. Come forward, Good Men. We need you!

          Liked by 1 person

      2. If anyone understands the predictability for Homosexual violent reaction to things/people they see as dangerous or hostile to them, it is Uncle Teddy. [For those who do not know it, the homosexual community has the highest rate of murder of their associates – of any ethnic group.] If he were to publish such a book, or article, a number of the people he would be outing are active homosexuals. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t give him more than 90 days to six months to live after he published such an expose.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Point well taken, Desmond. How naive of me. Thank you for these thoughts. They speak to why so many prelates and priests are silent in the face of knowing so much. The word “mafia” is aptly chosen in conjunction with the homosexual subculture, e.g. Lavender Mafia and St. Gallen Mafia. Deliver us O Lord.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Beckita, The priest director of our Mens Chorus in College, was found dead years later in a closet of his apartment. His nude body was found with his hands bound in front of him, and a plastic bag tied around his neck. I never learned further details – hard as I tried to do. There were also implements and other evidence of homosexual behavior in the apartment.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. This has the markings of the evil one all over it: seduction, sin, sordidness, slavery and suck the life out of you. In this case, both spiritually and temporally.

              We press on in TNRS aware that oh! how we need divine intervention!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. OK, I’m evidently a NEWBIE here or somewhere else, or TNRS is an acronym for something I know by its whole name. Heeeeelp. I’m guessing that RS might mean “Right Step’? But I can’t even guess what the TN would then mean ‘TAKE N…’?

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. You totally got it, Desmond. When Charlie first established his blog, he named it TNRS (The Next Right Step). At the beginning of last year, we moved on over to this our ASOH (A Sign of Hope) site. Both acronyms are derived from the foundational, core message that Charlie has proclaimed and promoted for our sanity – based on clinging to faith with True Trust in the Lord no.matter.what. – and that we fall not into panic and overwhelming fear when the most difficult days of this minor chastisement (The Storm) are upon us and the Father immerses us in the effusion of His purifying grace… because God has a Plan. The full and life-giving dictum is Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you. Really, though, it is a way of life for all times and seasons. No wonder Charlie chose St. Thérèse of Lisieux as one of the patrons of these sites. Pope St. John Paul II is another patron. MAN… I’ll bet he’s praying his heart out as he accompanies us through this transition into the New Springtime.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Well done. 😉 Desmond, you wrote yesterday that you discern we’re in the minor chastisement. Not having a copy of your TTT book in my possession, can you give us, perhaps, some golden nuggets about what brings you to this discernment? I’ve actually seen what you’ve written on your FB page about it. Of particular note, I think, is your post from December 16th of last year. God bless you, your students and all your work.


    2. Thank you James
      While I found Fr Victura’s witness to the truth of his experience it also left me with the thought that it could be used to let those in the clergy who practise and promote homosexuality, off the hook. Even though Fr Victura acknowledges there is a problem I can still hear their voices proclaim “What is all the fuss about. It just doesn’t happen.” This was my experience over 30 years ago.
      When I was in seminary the Rector covered up the terrorism to which students , especially younger ones, were subjected by homosexual gangs. I was told to keep it quiet to avoid empowering it. I did not. The senior student promoted homosexual movies with posters on the walls of his room. We were forced to support groups such as “Quest” which is still going. Even a hint of opposition to their homosexual propaganda was immediately crushed. Documentation of the record of homosexual behaviour such as cottaging from and at the seminary that was readily available has now all but gone from the internet. There were well known clubs in London that homosexual and other types of perverted priests and students attended. Outings (not a pun) to such clubs were organised at the seminary. The spiritual director who was also a counselor to the laity was a practising homosexual and vehemently denied that any priest acted in persona Christi in the performance of his sacred duties. He claimed this placed too great a burden on the shoulders of a priest. One of my friends who did not know this man was a pervert consulted with him and was hit on by him. My friend was furious and shocked but his complaints went nowhere. The vocations director had a criminal record of sexual offenses. When I confronted one of the worst student offenders with his homosexual activity he stood before me with a straight face and denied it all with extremely camp tone and gestures saying he did not even know what homosexuality was. And all this was at senior seminary. Homosexuality was also rife at junior seminary. One of the priests there who I thought was straight was subsequently convicted of abuse. Recently historical charges have been brought by a former altar boy at my childhood parish against a priest who refused to let me be an altar boy. He only wanted boys who would submit to him and I had stood up to him at the tender age of 8 or 9 so I was rejected by him. Thank God. Even in 2013 on pilgrimage to Garabandal an elderly and infirm pilgrim spoke to me how his life-long services to the church had been curtailed because of his opposition to some of the unintended and non-approved local developements introduced after Vatican II and the disgraced Cardinal O’Brien. So there you have my experience. All single Catholics live under the same rules of continence – homo or hetero – but as Pope Francis says homosexuality has no place in a seminary. It is time that wholesale, unjust and indiscriminate suspicion and condemnation of priests was ended and I am sure Fr Victuras witness will help facilitate this change. Hopefully it will also promote better support for good priests. But I would caution everyone against any credence in the voice of active homosexuality – after all it originates from the one who was a liar and a murderer from the start.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. I see my search for Quest has opened a can of worms if which I was unaware being separated from that unholy group by over 30 years and half a world. There is lots about it online including The Vortex. Ah well I did say I was too busy working to do extensive research.

          Liked by 3 people

      1. JoeCro, what a treacherous jungle your seminary experience was. I can’t imagine how it would be to be a young man with high ideals of priesthood finding himself surrounded not only by fellow seminarians but also by seminary leaders living and pushing an agenda clearly opposed to the teachings of Christ and of the Church.

        That you have remained a faithful and devout Catholic is a testament of God’s Grace.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. I personally know many many priests today, who survived such a horror of a seminary. They usually knew their philosophy and theology prior to entering seminary, or some almost lone faithful Catholic on the seminary staff took them under their wing and guided them through the rats nest of error.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Yes Desmond I also know such priests. From my time in that particular seminary great and holy priests came forth. They neither touched the scandals nor were touched by then. Their lives were lives of prayer, study and good works keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus and their ears attentive to their vocation. You knew there was something very special about these men from the outset. Something which was lacking in myself.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Joe, many seminaries have changed for the better. It boils down to the Bishop, as Father stated. Bad bishop, bad seminary. I saw all too many vocations destroyed 35-30 years ago. Father is blessed that he did run into what we experienced.

        I have helped many seminarians in the last ten years, and there are many good priests out there who need our support and prayers. I will be handing out some St. Michael stones over the next week to some priests who will need them.

        And, for the record, Joe, I am a Garabandal man, too.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Yes James I agree, much has changed for the better. I now know of no dodgy prelates or seminarians. All the ones I know are good priests and fine men. I am pleased to hear you too believe in the messages and revelations of Garabandal.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. On further investigation I have discovered that the rector of my time later took a courageous stand as a bishop against the homosexual lobby and valiantly defended the faith in these matters to his own cost.

            Liked by 4 people

          2. Joecro– I heard about a movie that is out now, called “The Birdhouse”. It almost sounds like the writers got the idea from it from Garabandal. Evil spirits invade and if you look at them you die. Everyone had to stay indoors and cover their windows.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Kim, You seem to have confused the prophesies of the Three Days of Darkness with the prophesies of Garabandal. There are some commonalities but they quite separate prophesies. It would be like saying the ideas here have been taken from Garabandal. Once again some commonalities but different prophesies.

              Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769–1837) is the most known seer of the Three Days of Darkness and describes the event in this way:

              There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy. All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.[2]

              Marie-Julie Jahenny (1850-1941), known as the “Breton Stigmatist”, expanded upon the story of the Three Days of Darkness, saying that it will occur on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday when all of Hell will be let loose to strike at those outside their homes and those without a lit blessed candle of 100% pure wax.[3]

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        2. James, I pray that you are right about the current state of seminaries. I had mixed feeling when the lone seminary in my home city closed down – that had nothing to do with seminarian abuse (or now after all these years do I ask – did it?). My consternation then was about the modernest trend. I have friends who are parents of young priests who I’m sure would never have even considered the possible threat of power led homosexuality and thank goodness for that – now of course they might be asking their sons different questions. Will there be an unexpected fall-out of all this? Placing all our concerns in your holy hands dearest Mother.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Karen,

            We need to pray. This cannot be emphasized enough. Prayer is the vehicle of faith, hope and love. Prayer can do all sorts of wonders. We can dwell too much on the evil, which is wasting time better spent on prayer. Go to mass, go to confession, pray the rosary, make your life a living prayer. Every prayer counts and helps to reform for the Church.

            Liked by 6 people

  16. I found this column reassuring and uplifting. Just what I needed! For too long I (we?) have been concentrating on the glass as half empty instead of half full. I find that as things get uglier, I retreat more and more into my little world. I make my circle smaller instead greater. It’s my way of dealing. It’s time to expand. It’s time to grow in faith and trust. It’s time to grow in the most important duo of humility and obedience.
    To look to the lighter side, when I can’t control the big things in my world, I control the little things. You should see my tea drawer! I made an insert that allows each type of tea it’s own little nest. And my sock drawer…, I OCD’d it beautifully! Ankle, crew and knee highs each given their own area.
    Guess there’s a positive to every negative. 😊

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Kristen, be sure that the circle doesn’t grow to small to evangelize & Catechize. Where to start? If you parish is typical, there will be no shortage of people therein who do not know the Church’s teachings.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Me too. I remember when Pope St. JP II was asked why he had a personal preacher. He responded, “Because I need to have the Gospel proclaimed to me every day.”

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  17. Thank you for sharing your views, and feelings, Fr. Victura and Fr. Stephen.

    There is a lot to unpack in what you both have communicated in a way we don’t usually hear from our Parish priests.

    Couple of things in reaction:

    First, analyzing the situation the frontline priests find themselves in today. A lot of people will recognize, and be able to relate to, the problems inherent in Middle Management positions in any large organization. Be it the military, government, business …. or the Church.

    The key similarity …. Middle Management is under the gun to get things done. Produce results for the organization. To keep the wheels grinding no matter what. The show must go on. Somebody has to get the job done and that somebody is YOU.

    The key notion here is the word MIDDLE. In large organizations …. especially large vertical organizational structures… like the Church … Middle Managers like the Pastors and priests of a Parish … have to get the job done with precious little support from those above or those below in the organizational chart.

    In business the plant manager is viewed with suspicion from the workers below in the organizational and as a convenient scapegoat for the 10th floor suites often miles away at HQ.

    The pressure inherent in that kind of position with that kind of responsibility with that kind of absence of key support above and below could lead a man or woman to drink. And it does.

    …… “Every priest I know, without exception, is striving to live his vocation to the best of his ability in the most hostile environment in his lifetime. The bishops do NOT have our backs. We are frightfully vulnerable. A priest’s life is all the more difficult knowing that many or most of the souls in the pews hold him in perpetual suspicion of crimes he would never commit.” ……

    Well, there it is. “We are frightfully vulnerable.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. No support from above or below.

    Pressure of this sort can be coped with so long as business operates “normally”. So long as the customers are happy. So long as the revenue meets expectations. Add in some unexpected “problem” or, in the case of the Church, which threatens the “expectations” like scandal and the pressure becomes unsustainable.

    That this piece was even written is a sign of the pressure on our Catholic Church priest middle managers on the frontline.

    A couple of consequences I can foresee ….. a wave of retirements of older priests … a wave of departures from overburdened priests who just “quit” and tell the Bishop to “take this job and shove it” …. a lot of difficulty recruiting willing and enthusiastic Middle Manager Pastors from the ranks who will dread promotion into a killer job at particularly difficult parishes … at least for a time serious problems in attracting young men to the priesthood and young woman to the religious life. And yes, a wave of substance abuse.

    Middle Manager Pastors are tossed to the wolves by the Chancellory and as you say “viewed with suspicion” by those in the pews. Wait a year or two and watch what happens when the collections dry up and the financial pressures mount on the Parishes and the priests manning those parishes. When the revenues don’t meet “expectations”.

    Something has to give.

    I posted a couple of days ago about the Ideal and the Attack. One’s Ideal is that which motivates one to get up out of bed in the morning and tackle the day. It is one’s strength and at the same time one’s greatest point of weakness. Why the point of weakness? Because that is the vector the Devil will use to destroy you or, more properly, to get you to destroy yourself. If you lose your Ideal you are in deep trouble.

    The Ideal for a priest, one would surmise, is his VOCATION. His strength and his weak point. Attack his vocation and you are a long way to bagging the target. He’ll never see the Attack coming in. Out of left field. Out of the sun. Out of the blue. “I never imagined that could happen to me.”

    For many, not all but many, Catholics in the pews the Ideal is FAMILY. Attack the family and you are a long way toward bagging the target. They never see it coming. “Not my son!” “Not my daughter!” “Not my husband!” “Not my wife!” Not MY VOCATION which is MY FAMILY. Never see it coming. Out of the sun. Out of the blue. Devastating effects.

    I think we have to be sober about the Attack on our priests. It is an Attack on the Church’s Middle Management. The guys who are under the gun to get things done. Take them out. kneecap them, blind side them, in ways they never see coming and you are making progress toward taking down the Church as a whole. No organization can withstand the destruction of its Middle Management ranks.

    The homosexual phenomena is a particularly devious demonic Attack vector on the Church. This piece by Fr Victura throws light on what may be the real intent of the Attack … the effect on the vocations of ALL the priests carrying the load. Call it an indirect Attack. It’s the collateral damage the Devil is delighting in. Bagging targets that don’t even know they are targets and under attack.

    I think the good news is that once properly understood the Attack on our priest Middle Managers, and the Attack on our hierarchy, and the Attack on our souls of the Laity in the pews will be confronted and repelled. It all seems to be related doesn’t it?

    God does not abandon his People. Not Top Management, Not Middle Management, Not the Lay Workers in the Field. The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

    My advice to the Priests: Pray the rosary. Particularly the Sorrowful Mysteries. Read and re-read and re-read Jeremiah 29 4:14. Exile comes in a thousand million different forms. So does the Attack. Bloom where you find yourself planted in Exile these days.

    Jeremiah 29 7

    “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

    Tough duty. Bloom where you are planted. Where I have carried you into exile. Work for it? Seems that the Christian life is not about spending time enjoying the rose garden. This is VOCATION.

    A week or so ago Msg. Charles Pope had this to say in his talk at the Institute for Catholic Culture on Angels and the spiritual combat raging all around us:

    “The Church is a Battleship not a Cruise Ship.”

    The crews of Battleships have got to learn how to detect and respond to the Attack that comes upon them. Because they have enemies. Because they are made to go in harm’s way.

    This is for all of us. Tough duty. Hierarchy, Middle Manager Priests, and Laity. Gotta bloom in the stinky places we are all planted in Exile. Gotta hold on during the Attack. All of us.

    But, ah! The reward is great! Picking up your stinky rotten cross and following Christ along your own personal Via Dolorosa. It leads to the words : “And Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

    The point toward which the Christian life points is the Via Dolorosa. All the way to Calvary.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I must say, too, in the many parishes where I’ve worshiped and worked, when the pastor is faithful to the Teaching Magisterium, I have seen many a faithful lay person standing by the pastor’s side, supporting him in any and every way possible.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Storm Tracker Ed, great thoughts on this piece. I loved the connection with business, as I can easily relate to that. “Bloom where your planted,” my dear mom used to say that all the time, God rest her soul. And, your quote from Msgr. Pope, saying “The Church is a battleship, not a cruise ship,” really resonates these days.
      God bless us all!

      Liked by 4 people

  18. Our collections in the average parish are actually going up in our Diocese. The average pastor has a lot of support from below – in most of our parishes. The difference, is that we have a Diocese which is highly traditional in nature. We also have no shortage of vocations. My parish has two priests, pastor and assistant, and two more priests in residence. Yes, it’s a large parish. But our ship is manned like it was in the 1940’s when I was a boy. The key to it is a string of faithful bishops – who demand that seminary classes are faithful/orthodox. You men considering the priesthood see a seminary which is ‘full’. There is no sense of desperation here – but rather hopefulness.

    Liked by 9 people

  19. Thank you Father Victora. I think the average lay person, such as myself, seldom takes the time to think about the toll the present crisis is taking on our parish priests. I will add you to the list of priests that I pray for each day.

    My wife and I have a cabin in the north woods of New England. Catholics are a distinct minority in that area. When there we attend Mass at the closest parish church. The pastor is young, nowhere near forty, and is in charge of what used to be two parishes in towns twenty-five miles apart. He is conservative, orthodox and has worked very hard in the few years he has been pastor to improve the liturgy and the spiritual live of the parish. One Sunday last fall I was at Mass with a friend of mine who has been devastated by the current mess to the point of no longer attending Mass regularly. On the ride home after Mass my friend could not stop talking about how the pastor’s reverence and love of the Lord was apparent in the homily, in the way he prayed, even in the way he handled the sacred vessels on the alter.

    A few weeks later, at Christmas, I really felt the Spirit telling me to do something I have never done before. I sat down and wrote a letter to Father, thanking him for his work and telling him how his way of offering the Mass was such a consolation to my friend who is struggling so hard with the situation in the Church. I received a thank you note from Father a few days after I mailed my letter. I really sense God was trying to wake me up through this little exchange to be present and aware of how our priests and religious need our prayer, support and encouragement more than ever before.

    To be a Catholic, ordained or lay, at the present moment is to live in a conundrum. Our situation is complicated, confusing, comprised of many layers and of many conflicting interests. We hope for something to quickly and conclusively rectify things, to make all things well, but it often appears that our answers come slowly and in a multitude of small pieces. We pray that Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, Mary, will save us from our fate yet we still do not see the answer.

    It was in days like these that Habakkuk wrote, after reciting a long list of complaints to God about the condition of his people:

    I will stand at my watch
    and station myself on the ramparts;
    I will look to see what he will say to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

    Then the LORD replied:
    “Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald may run with it.
    For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.

    Stand our watch, station our ourselves on the ramparts. Take the next right step, as small, or as disconnected as it may seem in the face of current events. The answer will come. In the Lord’s good time it will come, not too early, nor too late.


    Liked by 12 people

  20. Padre Vicente is one of the good ones. Very faithful to the teachings of the Church. When I or my wife about Church teachings we knew we could get it correctly from him.

    His respect and love for the Body and Blood of Jesus was evident in every consecration of the Host.

    His love and veneration for the mother of his savior, Mary, was shown when he taught the congregation at Mass the song, Ave María.

    He reminded me of Padre Pio in that he would spend extra hours in the confessional acting in persona cristi to help people make good confessions and bringing them back to God’s embrace.

    Unfortunately, when he needed the help of his pastor and his bishop, they turned their backs on him.

    A priest in his late 70s turned out to pasture with no financial aid.

    I wrote him a letter thanking him for all he had done for me; from his sermons, for his reverence of the Eucharist, for his orthodoxy, for his love of Mary.

    I loved him like a brother and I cried when he left the parish.

    Liked by 8 people

  21. Father, take heart. Not all people in the pews are thinking about this problem. When other people bring this problem up to me, I respond by saying “the devil will infiltrate where ever he can (boy scouts, sports, church…) to take down the best of all we have. It doesn’t mean it’s all bad. People have ‘cracks’ that he will try to seep into and corrupt. The church is bigger than all of us. It’s not about the people spreading the message so much….but about the message of Christ. I go to church because I like the message. I don’t suspect my priests of any sexual issues. I respect them for giving me God’s message, and pray for them to stay strong. My closet isn’t clean. It is not for me to throw stones. What ever we do here on earth we will have to face with God. God Bless you and keep spreading God’s love.

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Thank you Beckita and tge Crux article informs us that the author is “openly gay.” And for this reason I ended my comment above with the following quite.

        To be quite clear I believe Fr Victura’s article is trustworthy and timely. Such proclamation of truth is absolutely essential to real change.

        That, however, does not mean we should throw caution to the wind. Satan is indeed cunning. Here we see how both cover up and exposure of homosexuality are ammunition in his murder of The Truth.

        “But I would caution everyone against any credence in the voice of active homosexuality – after all it originates from the one who was a liar and a murderer from the start.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly Joecro. For sure our Mother’s adversary will continue to pile on for his own evil purposes as we who love our Church strive to support God’s work of revealing, cleansing and healing Holy Mother Church.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right Beckita and Joecro, you have to be careful of articles. I read early this morning in an article entitled, “Sorry times: gay catholic priests speak out.” It is listed in the center column. I found it tugging on my heart strings in sympathy and had no ready answers. As I was leaving the 9::00 o’clock mass later, it came to me just how diabolic this article was and how ensnaring it could be. It too gave unbelievably high percentages for gay clergy. The Satan is far too clever. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us and protect us, lead us to all holiness and truth.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Diabolic is right, just a sojourner. The lie rooted in the culture of death, for those with SSA, is that if one can just “be” who s/he is, (aka engage in sexual activity with those of the same sex) everyone will be so guilt-free and happy. What a whopper. God simply did not wire us to find joy and happiness in grievous sin. Maranatha!

        Liked by 3 people

  22. At least a few Good-News Stories 😉

    Articles for Christians – 17 February
    A Soul Healed

    The nun who changed my life and helped me lose 80 pounds by stressing this one word

    Trump Shows Love to the Unborn on Valentine’s Day

    Stop Sneering at Evangelicals for Supporting Trump–James Arlandson

    How Income Tax System Works… This is brilliant. I’m happily surprised that someone has made a cartoon video …… as explained by an accounting firm . Quite informative.

    I hate posting stories like the below but we simply can’t keep pretending that all is well.
    This abuse was long ago and we have been assured that “Stuff Like This” ended 30 years ago ..??.. but this endless 20 Year Drip, Drip, Drip of Scandal ……. ;-( …….. We have to know the Truth and Root-Out the Perverts & Marxists before any serious rebuilding can occur!!!!

    Inside the horrifying, unspoken world of sexually abusive nuns

    Phony Hate Crimes have become a nasty tool of The Usual Suspects in their efforts to divide the USA along Race, Sex and Religious lines. …. and keep BoobLand USA in an uproar. I can’t help but wonder how many Church Scandal claims are PHONY? ABCNNBCBS-PBS/NYT/WashPo tend to go quiet when Fake Crimes get exposed.



    Liked by 6 people

  23. My wonderful college Chaplain is in the hospital at the moment, he is in his last hours or days. Please say a prayer for him during his last moments on earth. He’s one of those unforgettable people. An Irishman with the gift of the blarney (and I remember once he got permission to say Mass in Gaelic, just one of the languages he was fluent in), a marine chaplain, a gentle confessor and a truly joyful pastor. He touched so many lives. A friend of mine remarked that sometimes we think of priests as being alone, because they have no wife and no kids . . . but this man showed everyone what kind of a rich life the priesthood was meant to be. He’s joyfully married to the Church, and he has hundreds of children to whom he was a true Father. I wish you guys could see my facebook page, all lit up with photos, prayers and stories about how this one man touched their lives. This is what a parish and a pastor is supposed to look like to each other.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Praying that your dear college chaplain has a peaceful, holy death, Katherine. May he be accompanied by Our Lady to meet Her Son and may his precious soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Prayers for all of you who love him so.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you all, for your prayers, Father passed away during the hour of mercy this afternoon after his assistant chaplain celebrated Mass in his room. He had a truly holy and peaceful death.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh Katherine, what a time to be born to Eternal Life: the Hour of Mercy! (I was actually born to this life at the Hour of Mercy.) May your dear friend and spiritual Father, a good, holy priest, pray for us unceasingly as we make our way through this transition.

          Liked by 3 people

  24. Thank you Fr. Victura! I agree. The parishes in my city are really good and humble, & parishioners are very grateful and blessed. Thank you for tip #3, we don’t always appreciate them enough 😊

    Liked by 6 people

  25. Totally off topic………
    Beckita – thank you soooooooooooo much for the link to the Seraphic mass association. I requested a novena be said for a special intention. Not only do I receive my mass prayers but it also helps the mission outreach! This is a wonderful source for prayers and intercessions. Thank you – thank you – thank you. Blessings and prayers for all squirrels! CJ

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Beckita. I finished Charlie’s angels today and will start Fr. Wang’s angels tomorrow. With the snow off the roads I will work at getting caught up and back on track until my left hip replacement operation on 4 March. With my heart problems the surgeon is concerned of the possibility of a heart attack brought on by the anesthetic. Taking precautions for that. I would appreciate prayers and intercession for my family’s sake if things go wrong. Thank you and may God bless you all.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Thank you so very much. jas. I know Fr. Wang will be gratefully touched by your generous offering. We will start praying right now for a successful surgery and swift recovery for you. Also praying for your family and their needs, even now, jas.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Praying for you J.A.S. that all will go well and that you’ll be dancing a jig with that new hip in no time! I had two heart attacks in the period of time between my hip replacements and my major back surgery, and yet my back surgery went well with no problems…so I’m praying the same for you!

          Liked by 2 people

  26. Charlie, as the most documented person on American history once stated. I could work on continents, Capone could work within districts…Smedley Butler.

    Please Charlie, this is a personal thought as I do weary of this long sorrow…

    Butler of course is a name of renown in my old parish…


  27. Tonight my reading of The Book of Jude spoke clearly to me of the present state of Church affairs (pun intended.) This book is short but meaty and full of roughage to move us through purgation.

    “At the end of time, there will be men who will make use of sacred things for the sake of their impious desires.”

    “To some you must be compassionate because they are wavering, others you must save by snatching them from the fire, to others again you must be compassionate but wary, hating even the tunic stained by their bodies.”

    Does it speak to you too?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It surely does, Joecro. I think we’ve been living what this passage bespeaks for many, many years. In this “Age of Mary,” as many call it, a time marked by prolific Marian activity in the Church and world, began when our Mother appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré. As many know so well, Our Lady said: “Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.” Looking at what we’ve been through since 1830 (Cardinal Spellman of New York, now in the limelight with accusations, was born 59 years after the apparitions in Paris), and what we are now living, I believe our dearest Mother was already about the business of preparing us to receive the graces we would need to do whatever Her Son tells us to do. May we remember to heed Our Lady’s lesson to St. Catherine: the graces are available to us but it is we who must request them.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. This is from one of Ida Peerdeman’s (Our lady of All Nations) Eucharistic experiences:
        She heard “It was not for nothing that the Bride of the Lord was sent to the earth. Bring her among the nations.
        Understand this well: also the Lord needed his Mother in order to attain life. Life comes through the Mother. Hence she must be brought back again into your churches and among the nations and you will witness the revival.”

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Amen, for the sake… Just this morning, I read an excerpt from Michael Brown’s writing about Our Lady of America. In haste, I lost it and would like to find it again as Michael wrote that Our Lady had used the word “co-redemptrix” in conversation with Sr. Mildred. BD, if you’re reading this, do you recall your friend, Sr. Millie, ever referring to Our Lady in this way? Such a title has been a stumbling block for many and I respect the struggle and dialoguing which has ensued. I understand that the prefix “co” is based on the Latin word “cum” meaning “with.” And in redemptive suffering, we’re all wee co-redeemers. I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. (Col 1:24)

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Beckita. This morning has a lead article on Our Lady of America. Although it does nor refer to Co-Redemptrix, it stresses the importance of the US in God’s plan for the world. Though not as dramatic as Garabandal along with specific promises, I see it as just as important as Garabandal as Garabandal is a fleshing out and a continuance of Our Lady of America messages to an ever growing sinfulness in the world. I see it as all part of the now growing Storm and the process of the Rescue. It also occurs to me that all of the demons of hell have been released upon the earth and perhaps we are being called to bring about a large release of the angels from the nine courts of angels to be released through the Jesus King of all Nations communion novenas to aid in our defense for as Jesus said there are innumerable angels in those courts available to be sent. I would encourage all who are able to join in this devotion. I do not participate in many devotions but I consider this one to be perhaps the most important. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us, lead us to all holiness and truth as we continue to discern the next right step in preparation to be a sign of hope to those around us when the great need comes upon us.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Yes, sojourner. That lead article is the very same one to which I linked in my comment. There actually are promises given in the messages from Our Lady of America. Some dire warnings as well. All authentic messages are important to God, for He is their Author. To your closing thought: Amen.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. A vision described by Luz de Maria…

              “OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

              Our Lord granted me a Vision:

              He showed me a blue sky, totally clear. In an instant Heaven opens and our Blessed Mother appears. I clearly saw how from the palms of Her Hands rays of light come out towards those who suffer on Earth because they are faithful to Her Son.

              These rays coming from the Hands of Our Mother come directly to the hearts of these brothers and sisters, and feeling the Love of our Mother they are taken out of what surrounds them and Peace floods their souls.

              I saw other brothers and sisters who were being held back without continuing on God’s way, and the rays coming from our Mother were reaching their hearts, and faith was strengthened in them.

              Then Our Mother said: “IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH.”


              Liked by 2 people

              1. Even 300 years ago, our Lady, as to be expected, was claimed to be instrumental in helping mankind through her intersession as God had intended from the first:
                (* added by me).
                “In the eighth chapter of the Proverbs, Wisdom says of Itself, that It was present in the Creation, ordering all things conjointly with the Almighty (Prov, 8, 30). And I said above (No. 54) that this Wisdom is the incarnate Word, who with his most holy Mother was present, in spirit, when God resolved upon the creation of the whole world; for in that instant the Son was not only coexistent in divine essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but also the human nature, which He was to assume, was foreseen and conceived as the prototype of all works in the divine mind of the Father. Conjointly with Him was also foreseen as present the human nature of his most holy Mother, who was to conceive Him in her most pure womb. In these two Persons were foreseen all his works, so that on account of Them (speaking in a human way) He overlooked all that could offend Him in the conduct of the men and angels that were to fall; for the conduct of the latter was an inducement rather to desist from the creation of the human race and of the things that were to subserve for their use.

                135. The Most High looked upon his Son and upon his most holy Mother as models, produced in the culmination of his wisdom and power, in order that They might serve as prototypes according to which He was to copy the whole human race. Thus the rest of men depended on these Two as *Mediators between themselves and God.* He created also the necessary material beings required for human life, but with such wisdom, that some of them also serve as symbols, to represent in a certain way these two Beings, which He primarily intended and to which all others were to be subservient, namely, Christ and most holy Mary.”
                ( Mary of Agreda; City of God).

                Liked by 2 people

  28. For what it’s worth, I’ve never encountered a priest who seemed “off” in a manner that would lead me to suspect he was abusive or wanton. I have at times perceived a sense of defeat. We the faithful have done our part to scandalize or discourage the clergy. I sadly expect good priests to be scapegoated and I intend to pray in a special way for priests who suffer (and have suffered) unfairly.

    Liked by 7 people

  29. Another excellent piece has been published about turning to Our Lady of America and heeding her warnings and pleas, written by your friend, Charlie: Fr. Regis Scanlon O.F.M.Cap. I appreciate Fr. Regis’ treatment of the “punishments.” Oh how punishing it is to live the rotten fruit of what our choices have wrought. Full article found here.

    In her messages, OLAmerica calls for heartfelt perseverance in offering penances and this brings to mind, Fr. Richard Heilman’s newest prayer initiative which begins on Thursday and includes a special emphasis on praying for priests. As Father wrote in his email sent this morning:
    CALL TO ACTION – REPARATION 54: We need to pray … and pray HARD!! To all the United States Grace Force, I write to you to ask you to join in this very important 54 Day Rosary Novena called, “Reparation 54.” Anyone interested, who has not had the opportunity to sign up, can visit Father’s site here:

    Back to Fr. Regis’ piece… What, particularly, strikes me, is your mission, Charlie, – in which we all have a share as sherpas in our own locales – in light of Our Lady of America’s plea: “I come to you, children of America, as a last resort . . .” Praying, in advance, for your possible upcoming journey around America for the purpose of heartening the faithful. May you not only touch those of us who already know you, but may Our Lord and Our Lady open wide the doors for you reach those who are not yet aware of the life-giving message of TNRS, so critical for these times.

    Our Lady of America, pray for us.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Fr. Heilman is an Internet friend of several years. Fr. Scanlon is a dear local friend going back to 1982 if I’m not mistaken. I simply cannot express how strongly I agree with this initiative. In my opinion, we are on the brink of the disasters associated with the Minor Chastisement described in ‘Trial, Tribulation & Triumph’.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I met Sr. Mildred in the early 1960’s as a young nun. We had the original statue made and kept it at our Carmel. I pray that we as a country heed Our Lady of America’s call to holiness and especially, as she says, among the young.

      Liked by 6 people

  30. HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!! …… & PRAY for Our President!!

    HeartLight Daily Verse – 18 February

    Romans 8:38-39
    I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Separation is something we fear whether it’s from a child, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a friend, or from God. Because Jesus bore the separation from God, becoming and going to the cross, we can know we won’t have to ever be separated from God’s love.
    Great Father of all peoples, thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me the promise that nothing can separate me from your love. Please fill me with your Spirit and make me more aware of your accompanying presence in my life today. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
    Visit for more

    The decades long festering scandals of The Church make it very difficult for even Good Clergy to defend themselves, The Church or The Faithful. As Charlie has pointed out, this Sex Scandal Synod may end up being nothing but Smoke, Mirrors, Vatican-Speak with a few aged prelates and “low hanging fruit” scapegoated!??
    I’ve got the feeling, considering the handpicked attendees list, that the outcome documents and press releases have already been written?

    MILINET & Net – Articles for Christians
    Good Bishops Willingly Defy Hostile Cultural Elites

    Haunted by McCarrick

    Catholic Church credibility on the line at abuse meeting

    Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers


    THE ‘OUT OF CONTROL’ TOUR – Derail this filth.

    An article that could be rewritten for Christians and their LeftStream churches!

    It’s Time For America To Break Up With Liberals

    CBS’s Lara Logan on Media Bias: ‘Unless You Seek out Breitbart,’ You Won’t See the ‘Other Side’

    Obama Declared 12 ‘National Emergencies,’ Yet Media Did Not Mind At All


    Liked by 5 people

  31. Fake news…
    Big radiation scare at the Grand Canyon…

    Let’s look at the facts: Uranium is an ALPHA Particle emitter. Meaning it travels approximately two (2) inches. Meaning you have to be in intimate, close proximity to the source.

    Radiation travels in a linear manner, i.e. straight line
    Skin (human skin) protects against alpha radiation.

    Meaning: I’ll be the HERO and pick up the buckets and place them away from contact. The crew donning plastic cafeteria gloves were well protected….

    Oh, btw, the Uranium was contained within five gallon buckets. The plastic alone shielded against the radiation. If, and only if a subject came close (within two inches) they would be exposed BUT their own skin protects. If a cut in the skin was open then a minute dose may occur.

    Radiation mitigation:

    The less Time you spend near a radiating object, the greater distance between you and the object and the shilding you place between you and the object shall protect.

    Five gallon buckets with lids in addition to Human safety gear otherwise kneon as skin PROTECTS against ALPHA radiation.

    Oh btw, every household in America and perhaps the Free world has at least ONE Alpha emitter:
    smoke detector

    “Some smoke detectors contain a small amount of the alpha emitter americium-241. The alpha particles ionize air within a small gap. A small current is passed through that ionized air. Smoke particles from fire that enter the air gap reduce the current flow, sounding the alarm.

    The isotope is extremely dangerous if inhaled or ingested, but the danger is minimal if the source is kept sealed. Many municipalities have established programs to collect and dispose of old smoke detectors, to keep them out of the general waste stream.”

    NOTE: “The isotope is extremely dangerous if inhaled or ingested, but the danger is minimal if the source is kept sealed” => don’t eat it.

    P.S. The ‘Safety Manager’ who is a Veteran Army Helicopter pilot should go back to his day job… hel’ll make more money flying than peddling usless inflammatory stories.

    P.P.S. If it were Plutonium…

    …it would be the same story…Alpha emitter
    Alpha decay, the release of a high-energy helium nucleus, is the most common form of radioactive decay for plutonium

    Liked by 2 people

  32. How scientific is secular/atheist science? Extreme exaggerated dating of things to fit evolution’s timescale. Cherrypicking & even fudging data to fit the paradigm of evolution. Denial of God, denial of Noah’s worldwide flood, denial of the Bible’s Old Testament antiquity (at least starting with Moses). Hiding discoveries, even threatening colleagues carriers if they report anything than contradicts the paradigm of evolution. There’s a lot of bad biased un-in science out there…

    Good science is seeking the truth, not trying to fudge or reinterpret the data by cherrypicking to promote a fake paradigm of God-lessness…

    So what is truth? I wish I knew, all I can say is there’s lots of lies out there, and even what’s mainstreamed and taught in schools could be fake…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen, Joecro. As you know, it’s still the 19th here but we pray in solidarity for this intention. I will add that those children of heroic virtue, Sts. Francisco and Jacinta, assiduously prayed and fasted while offering penances for adults as well. To that end, may their intercession also be strong for an end to all homosexual activity among the ranks of the clergy – stemming from same sex attraction and/or LGBT etc. activism. May the good prelates be silent no more and raise their voices that Mother Church be set free from any demonic strongholds and may they proclaim the fullness of the Gospel.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I agree Beckita: the vast majority of cases of abuse of children and young adults has been homosexual. This is the underlying evil that drives the crisis. As you know the ploy of the homosexual lobby is to manipulate the media into reporting paedophiliac abuse by clergy as an issue entirely separate from homosexuality. The cover up of abuse is the cover up of homosexuality. I agree, as does Pope Francis, that homosexuality has no place in seminaries or the priesthood and when it is used by members of the clergy to oppress and terrorise others and to corrupt and cover up truth it should be brought to light and removed. I am sure that your added prayer will be readily answered by the little saints.

        Liked by 3 people

  33. From Fr. Regis Scanlon’s excellent piece:
    “Our Lady, ever the good mother, didn’t conclude her visits on a note of despair. She announced through Sr. Mildred that God was giving America a special gift — one which she herself relied on in this world — the protection of St. Joseph.” and
    “If fathers turn to St. Joseph by praying to him and imitating his virtues, like honesty and chastity, they will receive the moral strength and courage to be good fathers. St. Joseph told Sr. Mildred that ‘Through me the Heavenly Father has blessed all fatherhood, and through me He continues and will continue to do so till the end of time.’”
    I think that now is the time for St. Joseph. He is the Patron of the Universal Church. He is the Foster Father of our Redeemer and, therefore, the spiritual foster father of the Mystical Body of Christ. His appearances with Our Lady at Knock and Fatima (as well as with Our Lady of America), seem to indicate, to me at least, that he has a part in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, his spouse.
    Since Our Lady trusted him and Our Lord obeyed him and they both loved him, why should we not do the same?
    My favorite title for him is “Terror of the Demons.” That always reminds me that his intercession is powerful in the spiritual warfare of today.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Some random thoughts from the desert this morn’…

    For the Pray’ers: Woke up tired to a chill near freezing to take the dog out back into the desert. I was tired having slept a bit restless last night, repeatedly waking up. I took it as a good opportunity to pray though. About 30 yards out into the desert, I came upon some large satanic symbols someone had scrawled into into the desert sands behind the house. Maybe they figure they were putting me on notice, but I’d say they’re mistaken. Our prayers continue to put such as these on notice.


    For the Worriers: For the first 4 decades of stomping around the desert I never encountered a rattle snake (unless you count the big fat one sleeping lazily under scrub in the Grand Canyon… and only then because I had some good eyes back in the day). Other than that, not one. Trekked out with a friend one day a couple of years back for some fresh air, but also for a good opportunity to evangelize. Seems he was preoccupied with running into rattlers, since he mentioned it more times than I can count. About half way out, sure enough, a rattler tried to strike his leg from his side of the trail. Oh, I’ve seen rattlers since that day –– darn near stepped on a Mojave one day –– but it has not curtailed the stomping around to the slightest degree. Heck, I go out more, and for the numbers people I have to say the odds are in my favor.


    For the Steppers: Sitting under a mesquite tree last Sunday, watching about 70 mustangs enjoy the rich greenery from all the heavy, recent rains. I could hear numerous voices heading my way, carried downwind from about 1.5 mile off. Sometime later, I could pick out all sorts of bright apparel. Hm. Probably snowbirds with some family in town. Oh, what a ruckus and spectacle they made. But here’s the thing, in spite of enjoying the space and quiet of the wilderness, I found myself absolutely delighted by the whole thing.

    Gosh, they dearly wanted to get close to those mustangs, so I considered popping out of my concealment to have a quick chat. You should have seen the looks on the faces of those horses, eye-balling that group. Mulling it over for a bit, I came up with a better plan. After picking out a strategic route, I worked my way in a wide flank, using the cover of washes and scrub, and letting only those mustangs know I was there. Once they seemed reassured, I sorta gently worked them in the direction of that group. Worked perfect. Oh, camera phones were snappin’ and the kids were especially delighted by the wild encounter. Yeah, they were yammering away, but I count it as a blessing they didn’t go so far as to bust out in show tunes, as another group did way back.

    However small our effort, any day with praying, trusting and stepping is a worthy day.

    Stoke the fires of hope.

    Liked by 8 people

  35. AM Article Dump.

    MILINET & Net: Articles for Christians – 19 February
    The below are HeadLines for articles in NYSlimes & WashCompost. I ain’t paying to read them!:

    The Vatican’s Secret Rules for Priests Who Have Children

    Southern Baptists Announce Plans to Address Sexual Abuse

    Vatican Hopes Meeting on Child Sex Abuse Will Be a Turning Point

    The Vatican finally needs to offer more than thoughts and prayers on sexual abuse–WaPo Editorial

    Murders of Religious Minorities in India Go Unpunished, Report Finds

    Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness–ANDY NGO

    Venezuelan who escaped socialist nightmare slams Green New Deal

    California’s gun seizure program hits hurdles


    Democrats Don’t Want ICE Notified When Illegal Aliens Try to Purchase Guns

    Allen West: The Real Dreamers – Our American Angels

    ‘Suppression,’ Debunked: Study Concludes Voter ID Laws Do Not Depress Voter Turnout

    If The Bigs meeting in Rome think thay can continue The Cover-Up, I’m PRAYING they will be badly disappointed!



    Chinese Cardinal: Vatican Has Kept Secret the Text of Deal With Atheist Regime on Naming of Bishops

    The Usual Hate-USA as Founded Suspects.

    Who’s Behind the Green New Deal? Big Money Backs Ocasio-Cortez Socialist Dream Project

    Charlie Daniels: Will America Pull Back from Edge of Socialism or Go Over the Side?


    Why Does the MSM Keep Falling for Obvious Hoaxes?

    CNN contributor Kirsten Powers finally apologizes for tweets about Covington boys, says comments were ‘lacking in grace’

    Civil rights activist calls for Jussie Smollett’s arrest, claims he could have triggered ‘race war’

    Champions of the Poor Sink the Poor in NYC

    Controversial liberal pastor has purity rings melted down into vagina sculpture, gives it to Gloria Steinem with a hug

    Why the latest US Navy deployment to the Black Sea is unusually special

    Hypnotizing the World: Omar Has Ties to Radical Anti-Israel, Anti-American Group


    Liked by 3 people

  36. What is the Vatican “summit” up to? I am disappointed to learn that they are now, loudly,speaking of “pedophilia” as the “monster” that needs to be addressed. Well. Whew. That is sure comforting. Pardon the sarcasm, but, come on…

    Clearly it is true that pedophilia is a monster. Has any credible clergy member, ever, throughout all of history, asserted otherwise?!

    Despite Fr’s post above, it still seems to me that the real monster is homosexuality in the priesthood (and, perhaps more precisely, the acceptance of homosexuality as a licit lifestyle by the upper levels of the hierarchical Church). The acceptance of homosexuality is the acceptance of a view of human sexuality that is expressly at odds with the teaching of Word of God (Jesus Himself).

    I know this ground has already been plowed here, ad nauseum, but homosexuality is a grave disorder. It seems to be widely accepted at the higher levels of the Church hierarchy. This is again evidenced by the summit’s unwillingness to even consider it, and, apparently (if you believe Cardinal Cupich’s comments regarding the scope of the summit), this is being done at the Holy Father’s direction. It would appear that the Holy Father expressly set the scope of the summit to deal with “the abuse of minors”, thereby emasculating the content of the summit and rendering it nothing more than, as Charlie seems to have implied, a show. Something put on to placate. I’m not sure who it’s supposed to placate. Those comforted by it need no placation. Those disturbed by it are decidedly NOT placated.

    Anyway, God is always good! I’m not. I get a little cranky now and then.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I get cranky too, Joe. But I’m over it, I think. I expect nothing positive whatever to come from the hierarchy. They are the problem— they like the way things are. The lavendar mafia is the majority, or at least the majority of the clergy who have the big power. Maybe the remedy is something apocryphal, or maybe our civic authorities will bring the evil crashing down. But clearly, the smugness of the hierarchy signals that we must not expect a sudden change of heart and repentance by them. The infinitesimal percentage of bishops who boldly speak out in truth has been a tremendous shock to me, and quite an education. Now we know–it’s a fact. Just got to face the reality of the clergy at this time in history. When the uncle Ted news came out, I pined for a dramatic and immediate cleansing of the clergy. Out out out! all you homosexual priests and those who cover for them! Oh well– didn’t happen. Anyway, this is just the opinion of one who’s trying to be a faithful Catholic.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You know, Kim, Desmond’s contribution about how violence reigns in the homosexual group when they react “to things/people they see as dangerous or hostile to them” and the fact that “the homosexual community has the highest rate of murder of their associates – of any ethnic group” has me wondering if these very realities have caused fear among the prelates about coming forth with truth. If so, it really would take heroic virtue for them to speak up. And God’s Grace is sufficient for them to do it.

        Joe and Kim, as to the agenda of the summit which begins on Thursday, I think Msgr. Charles Pope nailed the problem with the agenda in his article to which Charlie linked in his piece, A Terrible Resolve. The summit will be devoid in addressing, in even an introductory fashion, the three big issues which Msgr. Pope rightly names as of essence if the meetings are to have credibility:
        (1) The summit must focus on more than the sexual abuse of minors.
        (2) The summit must establish a way forward to establishing greater accountability for bishops.
        (3) The summit must speak to the link between homosexuality and sexual abuse by clergy.
        We got skunked on these three critical elements of substance which must be addressed if we are to be God’s tools in cleansing, healing and reforming Christ’s Church.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You may be right about the fear of the lavendar mafia, Beckita. Msgr. Vigano is in hiding! One of my spiritual advisors who is a canon lawyer was trying to explain to me, a hard headed emotional person, that obedience to their superiors comes in to play also. As sketchy as Pope Francis is, they still have to be obedient, or be separated from the church. I may have that wrong, though. It’s all so confusing. But I’m blessed to have dear friends who are devoted to our Church, with whom I can toss around thoughts and ideas. And I count the people on this site in that category!❤

          Liked by 5 people

        2. Regarding reacting “to things/people they see as dangerous or hostile to them,” one can surely speculate as to how that may apply to clergy, but why the need to single them out any more than the laity or numerous other segments of society? It’s an increasingly human response in these times, like the raging wildfire’s becoming so much more prevalent and unpredictable.

          What was it that CJ said about fire… something about comparing a wildfire to one contained in a furnace. Ahh, the sort that gets purposefully stoked in the belly of a locomotive or to provide warmth to the structure…

          There are numerous examples throughout history of how people not only weathered these things, but most importantly how they worked to fix these things on behalf of the King (maybe better to say how they let God help them in all ways to build up The Kingdom). Consider the reigning example in The Gospel. There, God Himself came to show how He does it, all the while painstakingly training His friends and exhorting them to follow His Way.

          There were serious problems in the Sacerdotal class of that time. Many parallels, clearly, but perhaps problems of a different variety (unless you just want generalize it all under sliding from holiness to sin). Makes we wonder. Why didn’t Jesus just head straight for the Temple and get ‘er done? Yes, I know the episode with the moneychangers. The moneychangers.

          Also, can anyone show me out of the Gospel passages where Jesus encouraged His friends to focus their energy on the Priests? Maybe you could say that would come in time (steps down the road), but I can’t help thinking about how history repeats and how much the need to evangelize and reevangelize… over and over again, right where we’re at. TNRS.

          Is the smoke of satan only bellowing up in Rome? Good gravy, isn’t it a thick miasma wafting throughout the entire world, threatening to blind and choke to death even the best little ones?!

          Lean into Jesus. This same Jesus who came for all sinners and continues to call and heal souls… souls, first of all. Seriously what happens if we follow right there? With the souls right there, starting with our soul? Out with the confusion, the cynicism, the unbridled anger, etc…. in with the holiness.

          Victory will not be had with mere ‘knives and swords’ (literally… and the myriad names we give our teddy bears).

          Sorry, apparently I just don’t know any other tune.

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Agreed Kim. This, commingled with Dolan’s nonsensical refusal to act in the face of Cuomo’s open and scandalous behavior, and the nearly deafening silence from our shepherds (most of them), really makes it easy to think that they do not have the backs of either their faithful priests, or their flocks. It really makes one wonder who the bishops actually think they are serving.

        Oh well. I’m going to go back to working on my own faults (im told by those close to me that I have a few more to work through before im perfect:) and let the folks at the summit, and the other politicians, do what they do.

        It sure is frustrating though – working to follow this Church. Sometimes I feel like I’m angry at God because he put people in charge of His church.

        But I guess that’s His call. Not mine.

        God bless!

        Liked by 4 people

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