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. Thank you father for this remiss… Aminds me of a time O’course as I sat through The Mass as I looked on old father slow as he was known. He would titter through Mass at some old memory he may have had, as I looked at him though I could not but wonder. There were three priests who totaled 180 year of their devotion in the order in this parish, (old Dominican order) which started about the 1100’s in this parish. The country of the Americays of course was but a thought then I have to suppose.

    True indeed for you father as I looked on at those old crones who told us of how they lived in Africa, some dark corner of the world way back then. I think that also as I look on at some old crone of a priest in this parish now. That fellow serves The Mass at all occasions, con celebration I often think as I wonder as to just why people loose faith for such a small few bad apples in one barrel. Alas I have no short retort to some who tar all with one brush. I tend now to try to mind me own business just hoping for some discernment of the future.

    I have not read all the posts on here father, but do be assured you, as are all our local workers of faith are ever in our missive. There is one priest in this parish who crosses the road it seems as he would prefer not to meet me. Entirely me own fault of course as I do tend to ask quare questions. This hand of providence I have to wonder as I see upper echelons brought low of late. It is the way of the world in our world one has to suppose as providence will test mettel. It would from the thought of this Charlie’s curmudgeon…You are doing okay. We here support you. You are here for the long haul as this old trucker O’life will get you your own special Mass here in my parish…

    You pilgrim!!! just keep truckin on…

    Dia agus Mhuire duit, Mac.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Praying for Fr. and for you, as well, Beckita. If you can, pls also say a prayer for two friends who have recently passed away, Chip and Ray. It’s greatly appreciated. God bless.

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      1. For the sake of the Church, I wish it was something other than the proclaimed agenda, Joe. I really do. A priest wrote his assessment of the agenda in an email to Rod Dreher which is found here. When a priest of the stature of Msgr. Charles Pope expresses concerns, I listen. As I mentioned yesterday, at the very least, the three issues which Msgr. Pope sees as critical to address, in order to restore moral credibility, simply are not even mentioned in the agenda or any other press releases coming from the Vatican. In solidarity of prayer, with all here, for our Church.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Sorry, Joe. I removed the link. We have a longstanding policy at this site in which we don’t link to the National Catholic Reporter. As a one from another country, I’m quite sure you didn’t know that the writers from this online site have been largely anti-Catholic while promoting disobedience to the Teaching Magisterium. Hopefully there’s another link you might use which we could clear.

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  3. I’m hoping that enough Pressure is being applied on Rome that The Bigs & their Staff Weenies have figured out that Cover-Up Days are over!!?? ….. Let Us Pray!

    MILINET & Net Articles for Christians – 20 February
    ====================
    Covington Catholic High School student’s legal team sues Washington Post
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/covington-high-students-legal-team-sues-washington-post

    Ending the silence on sex abuse: Vatican holds summit
    https://www.apnews.com/b79f8f13a6b54e9f87bdd7abb4c02c4f

    Catholic church cardinals urge end of ‘homosexual agenda’
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47302817

    LGBT group severs links with Navratilova over transgender comments
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47301007

    Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/trump-administration-launches-global-effort-end-criminalization-homosexuality-n973081

    Chick-fil-A just did something incredible that has liberals losing their minds
    https://culturewatchnews.com/chick-fil-a-just-did-something-incredible-that-has-liberals-losing-their-minds/

    Leftist Ideology and the Corruption of the American Military–William Boyd, USMC
    http://theagonist.org/essays/2019/01/26/essays-boyd-leftist-ideology-and-the-corruption-of-the-american-military.html

    The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age–VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/strange-paradoxes-race-environmentalism-immigration-gulf-between-rhetoric-and-reality/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

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  4. Beckita
    I had forgotten about your ban on NCR. After seeing your notice of censorship I read up about it and saw that apart from its bad rep from some quarters it has been the recipient of many top awards from the Catholic Press Association. It also seems to have been very anti abuse and cover up by the clergy. Just out of foreign interest can you tell me if the CPA is also proscribed? Apart from the source the content of the article appeared kosher to me. The point I was making is that the make-up and purpose and agenda of the bishops meeting has long been defined. I am sure the good Msgr is well intentioned but is he entitled to demand that its eventuation be judged on an agenda of his own making rather than that intended or defined by The Church. It sounds like he will be judging another meeting but not the meeting intended. This conveniently provides ammunition to attack Pope Francis before the first shot is fired and undermine any good that the meeting may accomplish. The article I provided gave comprehensive coverage of the officially intended agenda which includes far more than merely addressing child abuse and cover-up. As such its source did not seem to matter. Its content was accurate.
    Your link to Dreher confirms my fears and demonstrates a prejudicial antagonism to Pope Francis so endemic in the press of his kind. As such it is not Catholic at least by general understanding of the word.
    Of course the way of ASOH has long since diverted and deviated from the way of Pope Francis.

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    1. Joe, I have not made an assessment of this summit and don’t intend to until after it takes place. I am NOT hopeful about it, though. If, every once in a while, you would criticize an actual abuse, your complaints would make more sense. Did you complain when Pope Francis made Cdl. Kevin Farrell, one of those most heavily implicated in the abuse scandal, the Camerlengo? I understand you not complaining about Cdl. Cupich heading the US delegation, as you are not an American. But Cupich is adamantly opposed to Church teaching on homosexuality (except when he can falsely use it to justify getting rid of an orthodox cleric). He is the least credible Bishop in America who is not actually under active investigation. You continually cite these abuses promoted by Pope Francis as blessings of mercy of some sort. I will tell you this: if, despite the negative indicators, this summit takes real and effective action, I will say so, despite my deep misgivings about Pope Francis. If it is just more of the same whitewash – saying nice things while elevating the morally compromised and the theologically suspect, will you candidly acknowledge it…or give us a strained explanation of why it is really an amazing blessing?

      The antagonism to Pope Francis by many here and in the ranks of the faithful is NOT prejudicial, but rational based on his actions. To continually paint his offenses as blessings is a prejudicial support for him despite his actions. You would help us all better to modify our thoughts if you trumpeted the Pope’s actual virtues instead of working some alchemy to make his offenses seem like virtues. All that accomplishes is to convince me you have a dramatically different definition of virtue than I do.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Sure enough. We ought to be able to take an occasional elbow in these challenging times or what hope of not completely crumbling? I did have to reread this line once or twice: “The antagonism to Pope Francis by many here and in the ranks of the faithful is NOT prejudicial, but rational based on his actions.” Sound as stated. Unspoken, but obvious, is that there are many antagonists who are prejudicial and/or not rational to some degree… some to a grave degree. It’s always a good time to take stock of ourselves, lest we start swinging at loved ones because we’re raw from the real trouble makers. It happens.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Just a thought there now Charlie as I read this. I should I suppose trust the insights you seem to have, an education which this old fool of 13 left school for emigration. Surplus to requirement really way back then as we were really reared to just go away, send us back yer wealth of course as political elite would buy islands as my old ma would await my remittance from abroad.

        Francis like Mr Trump it would seem to me to be where they are for a purpose. We really have no knowing of just how those persons are where they are in this point of time. Makes me wonder really as I read on sites such as here… Jesus I trust in You… Makes me wonder also as I try to say those words. For me sins really all I could say in where we are now… Jesus, try to show me how to trust in You. Those people who are in our world now are there for a reason of which we really have no real great knowing…

        Seems to me like a kaleidescope of events as Most Holy Mother seems to cry a lot on some sites I visit. Glib really as the words fall easily from our lip as of how we trust Her Son. Just a thought there now Charlie as I notice so many names of Celtic origin in world/catholic events. Strange that I wonder as I recall histrionics of old Celtic monks going forward during those dark ages. One only has to look at those times of when that old dove of Iona sent his mission forth. Bell, book and candle as they left their mark on cities/streets all oer Europe… A belt of the Celts really as those auld hoors may well hae been right as to Easter.

        I will finish now Charlie as I take my little stupid deaf doggie out to do a wee,wee. Tap the ground an hope to inform…

        Dia a Charlie agus go leir..Mac.

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      3. Charlie
        When I refer to abuse I refer to the abuse of minors and young adults by homosexual predators. I object very strongly to you saying that I endorse abuse of any kind. To create that confusion in the minds of readers is a heinous offense on a par with false news. I take this opportunity to clarify the allegations you have made against me.

        Are the abuses to which you refer the appointments of prelates to positions for which you consider them to to be totally unsuitable. I have not entered into this debate precisely because as you say I am not American and am not so well informed on American Church Politics as to be able to counter your charges.I am however sufficiently informed by sites such as Where Peter Is and by good Catholic Family Men such as Stephen Walford and Mark Mallett as to see the necessity to stand by Francis and defend him at every opportunity.

        I hope your exercise of journalese does not convince anyone that my convictions are a case of trying to magically turn base metal to gold but require scraping off the muck thrown at the face of Francis by those who should be shielding him from attack. All that glisters is not gold but when that muck is removed invariably the gold shines through. It was always there. The gold of The Son.
        “All that glisters is not gold
        Often have you heard that told.
        Many a man his life has sold
        But my outside to behold,
        Gilded tombs do worms enfold.”
        I do not intend selling out to any gold diggers.

        Rod Drehers article drawn to out attention by Beckita is entitled “The Sham Rome Meeting.” It has not even taken place. If this is not prejudicial what is. It goes on to say that there is no indication that it is intended to do any good. It goes on to suggest that most people think it is about promoting the popes agenda rather than protecting people from clerical abuse. What a load of toxic rubbish. Let me show you some of the intended blessings of this coming meeting of bishops.

        The Feb. 21-24 Vatican meeting is not only about keeping children safe from harm worldwide but rather Pope Francis wants church leaders to have a full understanding of the devastating impact that clerical sexual abuse has on victims. This a critical moment for the universal church in addressing the sexual abuse crisis and will be an important moment for developing a clear path forward for dioceses around the world. The meeting will promulgate a commitment to zero tolerance, work for greater transparency, including the release of names of clergy accused of abuse, and encourage all religious orders to adopt a similar policy and cooperate with civil and legal authorities. It will place the support and pastoral care of survivors first. It will begin a lifelong journey that requires a partnership between the laity and clergy in responding to the failures of episcopal leadership by holding bishops accountable for the crimes against children and vulnerable adults.

        Pope Francis understands very well the degree of suffering in the United States because of abuse, but is calling a global meeting because he understands this to be a global issue. He seeks both a comprehensive understanding of past failings, as well as global solutions moving forward.
        This meeting intends all church leaders to take ownership for their failures fully in order to ensure they are not repeated. This will require clearly defining responsibilities and establishing responsiveness, transparency, and accountability, particularly for bishops. Pope Francis has made it clear that he sees safeguarding as part of his call for a change of culture, by reform of how we approach ministry is approached. He acknowledges that in addition to being a crime, sexual abuse of minors by clerics is about the corruption of ministry.

        The February meeting is intended to represent the beginning of a worldwide reform that will need to be ongoing and will involve a process of initiatives on regional, national and diocesan levels. It has already been agreed that the February meeting cannot be cosmetic or superficial, that either it will be successful, or it will be a disaster for the church and the victims of abuse.

        The meeting will include a penitential liturgy because Pope Francis wants it. He said abuse survivors are going to be a part of that liturgy too, just as they have been consulted in advance of the meeting and will be listened to during it. The main goals of the meeting are to make bishops realize and discuss together the fact that the sexual abuse of minors is not only an egregious phenomenon in itself and a crime, but it is also a very grave symptom of something deeper, which is actually a crisis in the way we approach ministry which some call clericalism and others call a perversion of the ministry.

        All solutions and approaches resulting from the meeting are intended to be lived concretely on the local level, “n every parish, in every school, in every diocese, otherwise they will not be effective. To that end it has been noted that a movement must be made away from panic-driven policies that put the good name of the institution above all other considerations” recognising that in the end, those policies do reputational damage to the institution and they are actually also counterproductive. The meeting is planned to take the form of a “synodal” journey involving sharing information, reflections, prayer, penance and proposals for concrete action.

        In my humble opinion these are blessings enough to fill the four day meeting and more meetings will be needed to further clear clerical air of the pollution of homosexual filth, corruption and cover up..

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        1. That’s a lot of ink to refuse to answer the question as to whether you actually support investigating these abuses and cover-ups. But let me clarify my earlier answer to your question about Cdl. Farrell. No, I do not take the word of credibly accused clerics in the absence of actual evidence or an investigation any more. But I do NOT think you support abuse nor I have ever said anything like that. I question your commitment to accountability for those who do if they hold a lofty enough religious title, but I do not think you support abuse. In the end I think yours is the lament of the young fellow in the aftermath of the “Black Sox” baseball scandal a century ago: “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” (Several players of the White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series, including popular “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, in a gambling scandal.)

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          1. You have obviously missed my previiys short and clear answer to your question Charlie made on Feb 20 at 11.09. in which I clearly state my support for investigation. And how you can conclude that I do not support accountability for perpetrators and cover up merchants of abuse is beyond me. I hope you admit accountability for your misrepresentation of my views.

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            1. Yes, in your short comment you said you are in favor of accountability. But it is always in a general sense: when it comes to specific accountability and investigation of someone who has not already been adjudicated, you do things like ask the provocative question, “So do you think Cdl. Farrell is a liar” to shut down further investigation. I do understand. I used to be in the “trust” camp. Now I am in the “trust, but verify” camp. I suspect you are still in the “trust” camp.

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              1. Its funny but since working from home I do not wear shoes (I have chronic pain in my feet) but while I am a shoeless Joe I am not legless. FYI I belong in the trust and wait for verification camp. Pope Francis has been thrown to the pack of dogs that surround him and he has just correctly identified their camp. I have a primary duty of care for Pope Francis not the dogs.

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                1. My long-haired Chihuahua/Trail Dog is no bigger than my boot. That said, I’ve seen this tough little gal fearlessly chase herds of free range cattle on the Tonto Verde Ridge. As usual, I took her out in the desert this morning first thing, into yet more, unusual and heavy rain. Good news for the cattle that are out in the fresh desert greenery eating heartily, but my wee dog, although she doesn’t mind getting wet, doesn’t like getting her feet wet. A quirk of Chihuahua’s I suppose. The only solution I have to that, thus far, is to carry her to little dry spots I hunt down and plop her right there. Struck me this morning that maybe I should just get her a wee pair of boots.

                  Liked by 3 people

                    1. Aw, Jen, you had to say “cute.” I was going for “practical,” and besides, she thinks of herself as Cattle Herder, Trail Boss, Terror of the Desert. Hee-hee, I actually went online to see if I could find a set.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. I thought I was getting a Border Collie when I got her as a pup from some shady Craig’s List add. In my defense, I was scrambling because my youngest was heart broken over our last trail dog unexpectedly passing, Wasn’t a couple of months later that I finally had to concede getting flim-flammed. Fortunately she turned out to be a great trail dog and she’ll look good in boots. Might have to add some wee mittens and a cowboy hat, because it’s actually snowing here tonight in the Arizona desert. Strange times having me feeling like I’m in Denver.

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      4. Thank you for all your responses. It is a confusing time to be sure. Very good and faithful Catholics are at odds about these things, vacillating between feeling guilty for having certain opinions about what the Holy Father is doing and then feeling like maybe they are being too hard on him and that he is doing just fine and that people are making up things.. I so don’t want to believe these things, but it is better to know and believe them than it is to be surprised down the road. But how confusing! Still they are beautiful surprises like having random strangers mention the Catholic Church and want to know about her in the midst of these crisis’ as well as people wanting to know more about Mary and her Rosary. All of these beautiful gifts which are like brownies for the soul. Thank you for the encouragement!

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    1. I find the bbc.com/news/world-Europe obviously biased, even their wording is prejudicial. I don’t claim to have the answers but I can recognize bias when I see it.

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      1. I too have reservations about Cardinal Cupich but like Pope Francis he too should be assessed on the words that come out of his mouth not the words put into his mouth and by what he does and who he is and not by derogative caricature. We shall see what transpires but expectations of the meeting have already been judged to have been “managed” precisely because the privately proposed agenda differ from that proposed by the Church. It is like saying Brexit should focus on the Commonwealth and not on Europe. Brexit is Brexit. You get my point? Personally I believe the bishops’ meeting will reach further in its considerations than is suspected by some and will introduce material for further deliberation and action. God’s will be done. As said – it is more of a process than an event.

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        1. READ MY COMMENT BELOW. I didn’t prejudge anything. I simply tested Cupich’s remarks as to whether they answered the question – or whether he responded with a totally ‘NON-SEQUITUR [the argument does not follow from the premise] statement.

          Now there are only two possible explanations for Cupich’s Non-Sequitur remarks;
          1) He is TOO INTELLECTUALLY SLOW to realize that his answer was not an answer to the question posed about 80% of the abuse involving homosexual acts, or,
          2) Cupich is not mentally slow – but is actually highly intelligent enough to inject a very carefully nuanced non-sequitur response to the question – a response whose result is to divert attention from the subject of the question – HOMOSEXUAL CLERICS BEING INVOLVED IN 80% OF THE CREDIBLE ABUSE CHARGES.

          I personally think it is much more just and charitable to accuse a cardinal of being highly intelligent – than to accuse him of being incredibly stupid. [It is obvious that Cupich is highly intelligent.]

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    1. This is extremely confused thinking. “Yes, 80% of the abuse is homosexual in nature. But homosexuality is no cause, at all, for the abuse. Instead, it is just that the homosexuals had an ‘opportunity’ to do it. That’s the real problem.” What??? ” Yes…yes…the real problem is that we gave the homosexuals the opportunity to do it…” Ok. Well that certainly puts that issue to bed.

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      1. I happen to know a fair number of celibate Catholic males. They are totally chaste – and offer up the sufferings of their cross to Christ.

        Such have assured me that the cause of the homosexual attacks on youth by a small percentage of the Catholic Clerics – IS ABSOLUTELY CAUSED BY THE FACT THAT 1) THEY ARE HOMOSEXUALS – WHO DO NOT CARRY THEIR CROSS WELL, AND RATHER, THEY GIVE IN TO THE KIND OF LUST WHICH THE CHURCH REFERS TO AS ‘INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED’. THEY ASSURE ME THAT THE CAUSE OF CLERICAL HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE IS ‘ENTIRELY’ ATTRIBUTABLE TO THEIR HOMOSEXUALITY.

        But they are speaking from intimate knowledge of homosexuality. They are not answering facts with cliches meant by those who create those cliches to disguise and mask over the obvious.

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    2. Cupich actually dodged – refused to answer the question.

      He NEVER answered the woman’s question about: Since 80% of the confirmed abuse occasions in the U.S. were by adult homosexual clerics abusing teenagers – through homosexual acts – is the gathering in Rome going to address that.The man appointed to run this meeting in Rome [Cardinal Cupich] was as intellectually dishonest and slick as you can get.

      Gee, it isn’t the fact that homosexual clerics are buggering teenage males and men in their younger 20’s that’s the problem.

      ACCORDING TO CUPICH, ET AL, THE PROBLEM IS ONLY RELATED TO HOMOSEXUAL CLERICS HAVING OPPORTUNITY TO BUGGER VICTIMS. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THOSE HOMOSEXUALS WERE ALLOWED TO BE CLOSE TO YOUNG POTENTIAL NON-HOMOSEXUAL VICTIMS.

      Now – the ABOVE is a classic case OF A NON-SEQUITUR ARGUMENT to present to an intermediate level class on logic. This argument is as deliberately evasive and phony as a $3.00 bill.

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    1. Not intended to be, Joe. The question is, is there anything Pope Francis has done at all that you find questionable? If not, that is fine, but you can hardly expect people here to regard you as an objective observer rather than a relentless apologist for whatever he does, in that case.

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      1. It could be that Joe, like many of us, are zealous in our love and honor for the Pope(s).
        “…we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff. —Unun Sanctum, Bull of Pope Boniface VIII ”
        It is ingrained in some of us to defend them and, right or wrong, you will find us hot, not lukewarm, in our defense of them because of this. It may be considered intellectual gymnastics to square the hole we are encountering these days but the church gives us a mandate to connect the dots in reason of it’s authority and keeper of divine truth. “They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. —POPE PIUS XII”
        I know there seems to be a fine line between “adhering loyally to the Pope” and what we are “required” to believe what exactly it is the Pope is saying that we need to be loyal to?
        There are several other quotes or links to this requirement that I have read right here on this blog and I’m sure our readers are familiar with some of them (particularly you Backita who seem to have an amazing “recall” of past posts). One of them from the church itself tells us to “interpret” the statements of our Holy Father and Prelates in the light of “accepted magesterial teachings” and not to leave such statements “open ended” since they must flow seamlessly with accepted truths or be considered anathema. The question then arises ‘who is interpreting what they really mean and who among us have the authority to decide what was ment by them in the first place in light of this accepted truth’? Those that interpret them outside the accepted norms are not really interested in magesterial teachings in the first place- proven by thier lack of obedience to the magesterial mandate to do so.
        But it is not for us to decide if the Pope is perfectly right or not, Christ has done this Himself in His promise that His church will not fail.
        “The pope isn’t an absolute sovereign, whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary, the ministry of the pope is the guarantor of the obedience toward Christ and His word. —POPE BENEDICT XVI”
        “Christians should bear in mind that it is Christ who guides the history of the Church. Therefore, it is not the Pope’s approach that destroys the Church. This is not possible: Christ does not allow the Church to be destroyed, not even by a Pope. If Christ guides the Church, the Pope of our day will take the necessary steps to move forward. If we are Christians, we should reason like this. —Vatican Insider, Dec. 23rd, 2017”.
        I like the idea that we can agree to disagree on the site. It is in being challenged by a differing opinion that truth is sought out more rigorously. God Himself said through Mary of Agreda that He allows this in order to bring about a greater understanding of truth.
        “Doubt serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investigation of truth. Therefore controversies of the teachers fulfill a proper and holy end. They (controversy) are also permitted in order, to make it known, that real science dwells in my Church more than in the combined study of all the holy and perfect teachers, and that she can make them wise above the wisdom of the worldly wise; that there is above them One, who is the Prompter of the wise (Wis. 7, 15)
        (Mary of Agreda: City of God).

        Liked by 2 people

  5. This was sent to me by one of the men who went with us on our trip to Mexico City to see the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is from Dr. Michael Scherschlight of the Holy Family School of Faith. It is long – a little over an hour. Some of you may already have seen it. But, if not, and you are working on your computer or doing something in the kitchen and can set up your tablet to listen to it – and glance at the screen when he shows the picture of the Tilma — it is really a great talk!

    As Charlie says, this is why we have hope for what is to come in this crazy world!

    Mike’s talk on the Victory of Mary this week. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok9_hJd0Z2M

    I hope the link comes through!

    This is the link to the school of faith if you are not familiar with it. Started at the direction of our Archbisop Naumann!!!! A great one!

    https://schooloffaith.com/

    Connie B.

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  6. Again Charlie – simply as a matter of fact – and I understand that you reject my self critique out of hand – but I suffer neither from normalcy bias nor papal positivism. There are some however whose dark mirror, in my humble opinion, consistently distorts the image of Our Holy Father. They seem to suffer from their own bias. There are many people who are in a better position to see more and further, who are better focused than myself and far better qualified and who consistently see Pope Francis thru a lens that reflects the image of Jesus. They are the the look outs on the Crows Nest of the barque of Peter. I listen to them from the galley even though the nest bears my name. Such lookouts may not always be the sage of the earth but invariably be the salt of the earth. Just as political opposition has done its damndest to subvert the legitimate aims of Donald Trump so have various factions tried to undermine the present papacy. And for the same reason – he cannot be controlled. Pope Francis will never subdue the Spirit. Because of this I will neither criticise nor accuse The Holy Father. That is neither my place nor inclination. If he goes off course from time to time the Holy Spirit sets him right. But it is clear that in the majority of such presentations someone is interfering with the compass so that it gives a false reading. No matter how faulty the compass true north is always true north. I do not demand that people see me as an objective observer but rather as one from the book of Jude whose duty is to save those in danger of damnation for what I see as rash judgement and the scandal of schismatic propaganda. I am under no illusion that the likes of Msgr Pope want to tear down Francis although they do distort his plans. I cannot change their lens as they cannot change mine. As you yourself have said my commentary lacks in depth research and erudition but it does not lack love and that is what matters. Love covers a multitude of sins. Thank God.

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    1. Just so there is no misunderstanding here – I can safely assume that a critique of Cupich’ handling of the question about 80% of the abuse victims – were abused through homosexual acts – I can safely assume that that is not be construed as an attack on Pope Francis … RIGHT?

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  7. I am so close to becoming Orthodox at this point. Not that they don’t have their problems, but they DON’T have a Francis.

    An article today states deaf South American students were sexually abused for DECADES, Francis knew about it and did nothing. Is there anything this hierarchy is going to do but wring its hands and whimper, “Oh Dear.”?

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    1. Briana,
      Leaving the Catholic Church is not the answer. The Pope is the Pope and he is the head of the Church. The problem is displayed in the Book of Gomorrah 1100 AD) written by Fr. Peter Damian (Feast day February 21) tomorrow. It is readily availble on amazon and is a great read with homosexual/ pedophilia solutions:

      Homosexual’s- Kick them out of the Priesthood.

      Pedophilia- Lock them up in a Monastry cell, exercise them daily by walking on the monastry grounds, each elbow held by a heterosexual clergy brother/priest then escorted back into his cell and locked up. For life.

      Heterosexual Priests with attraction to woman- penance. usually fasting for a decade or more. Then and only then may they be allowed back into Priestly duties.

      Harsh?

      Yes.

      I feel the Pope chose these dates specifically to address this issue. Feast days in consecutive order: Feb. 21- St. Peter Damian,
      Feb 22- The Chair of Peter,
      Feb 23- St Polycarp (Disciple of the Apostles)

      wow. What a line up!

      I am no fan of Pope Francis. When all the Liberals swooned over him including those fallen away from the Church… I thought “oh great, now we’re in for it”.

      He may not be ‘my cup of tea’ but he IS the Pope and he does make stupid remarks. Which the press (our best friends {tongue-in-cheek humor} 😦 devour 🙂

      I pray for Pope Francis’ intentions daily, including for those of President Trump!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I can’t leave, I’m just sickeningly frustrated by such little gumption to fix things. My frustration got the better of me yesterday after reading about the accusations coming out of South America.

        I cannot tell you how many parents are trying to hold the faith of their families together, and their teenagers are now refusing to be confirmed, young adults are leaving the church, and parents are deciding to not have their children progress in their sacraments (another reason to restore the order of the sacraments!).

        I was reading about St Damien today. Fortuitous that his feast day is the start on this Abuse Summit. I’m not going to go so far as to say the Pope did it purposely, especially when he works so hard (with his appointments and doublespeak) to undermine the very good others (Vigano) are trying to accomplish. I’m thinking that God is speaking to them Himself.

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    2. You’re obviously not that familiar with Eastern Orthodoxy. Example: Russian Orthodoxy led and continues to lead efforts to force all the Eastern Orthodox to knuckle under to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. They have propaganda-wise cooperated with Russian President Putin’s plots and plans to force Ukraine to knuckle under to the Russian Socialist Govt. They propagandized to protect Putin when he had Russian troups MURDER Eastern Ukrainians [especially Eastern Ukrainian Catholics] in his invasion of Eastern Ukraine. The Greek Orthodox consider themselves to be the spiritual and intellectual center of Eastern Orthodoxy – and are in almost constant combat with Russian Orthodoxy. Eastern Orthodoxy is in a virtual snake pit of intrigue. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople – is head of the historic center of Eastern Orthodoxy [AND HE IS VERY FRIENDLY TOWARDS CATHOLICISM]. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church is constantly trying to undermine him. If you wish intrigue, envy, resentment, hatred of those in other branches, & open cooperation with mass murderers such as Putin – all rolled into one exciting ball – then Eastern Orthodoxy might be your cup of tea. But I doubt that is where you are coming from. Satan always tries to tell us the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But it isn’t. Oh, by the way, you will also find there some massive doctrinal problems, E.G., they deny the existence of Purgatory, and they deny that the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son, denies that the two ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage are the two consenting parties, the man and the woman – through the exchange of their mutual vows. [You’ll find that it isn’t greener, it is rather in significant parts dead grass.

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        1. Oh, I understand the level of frustration. I happen to have some of it.

          I too, I also have compassion for those who attempt to leave. I have even more compassion for them when they discover that sexual abuse is much higher among Protestant Clergy than it is among Catholic clerics. I have tremendous compassion for those who try an Eastern Orthodox interegnum, when they then slowly and painfully admit to themselves the doctrinal chaos/free-for-all which exists in Eastern Orthodoxy & the continual internecine warfare and bitter strife between so many its numerous branches.

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    3. It’s in times like these, Briana Elizabeth, that we ordinary Catholics are called to live our faith and cling to Christ regardless of what some of our earthly leaders do. So it has been through the ages.

      It’s not always easy. This blog site is a good place to be, because its leaders and members love the Catholic Church, discern and pray together, acknowledge what needs to be reformed, work for that in our personal circles, and support one another.

      Be strong, take heart.

      Liked by 6 people

  8. Hi charlie!

    With the above insightful article from a priest concerning the challenge of living a holy priestly life, the following is a similar comment from a priest who spoke on another website. This priest’s comment is also a prudent and holy solicitation to us laity to pray to Heaven for Divine guidance.

    He writes: Here is how I think the laity can help priests. Let your bishop know that you don’t mind being offended and disturbed by a priest who preaches the truth. The truth is meant to sting, just like medicine. Priests are fishers of men and all fish fight. It’s normal. Let the fishers of men catch the fish already. It requires a hook. Here’s another analogy for what it is that we priests often have a really really hard time with. We see ourselves as the ground troops. We are ready to rush the field and conquer souls for the kingdom. Yet, in battle, the field troops (priests) require the big guns (bishops) to shell the field ahead with artillery. Sadly, today, we priests stand ready to rush the field, waiting for the artillery from above, only to realize that the bishops (or their staff) shell us, not the enemy! Confused and not knowing what’s going on, we then wonder if we should turn around and go after the bishops because they are attacking us! Things are all jacked up right now. So, laity, pray for us and pray for bishops to have the courage to allow their troops to fight! Shell the enemy, not us! Give us the room we need to do the grunt work. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, give us heroic, holy, and zealous bishops who back up their troops!”

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  9. The truth is the truth in and of itself and opinions and arguments don’t change it but may often make it harder to discern. There are varying degrees of bias in most positions taken and in order to try to get at the truth it has to be filtered out. I try to avoid taking sides even when I find a particular source most trustworthy. I still am obliged to discern each statement from anyone on its own merits. I find it particularly difficult to overlook disdainful attitudes that color the opposition and show disrespect for others who are in themselves trustworthy. It may even damage an otherwise sound position and engenders a lack of respect for such said person. Ponting out articles or presentations that support the chosen position do little to little to support that position if they appear to be themselves obviously biased and do not offer valid reasoning. I reserve judgement also and must be patient to ascertain how everything is finally settled and the truth comes out. I hope and pray that the summit will be fruitful.

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  10. Gosnell movie.

    My instinct on the the Detectives prowess and fortitude was spot on. Contained in the Gosnell DVD special features is an interview with the prosecutor attesting to Det. Woody’s resilience. She states without his tenacity and determination, the case/trial would not have occurred. She attests he is one of the ‘great’ men of the world.

    This movie is a must see Worldwide. As I have related to one and all, this is a great example of proper, dedicated, Police work exhibited by a no nonsence, take charge Cop. He exhibits the finest behavior, tenacity and ownership of a case…i.e. investigation.

    Det. Woody, from one cop to another, Thank you!

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  11. Well Briana – Your words certainly look like incitement to Schism, Infidelity, sarcasm and calumny, with exorbitant malice aforethought in poorly informed and unsourced commentary. Did you even bother to check on the many sites that actually defend Pope Francis? It would be so easy to shoot you down in flames but sadly your own words have already done that. I hope you will turn back before before the flames block your retreat. YOU REALLY THINK OUR HOLY FATHER WOULD STAND THERE AND WATCH HELPLESS DEAF BOYS BEING SODOMISED AND DO NOTHING? This is the Pope who put his own life at risk rescuing victims of the military junta in Argentina.This is the pope who threatened to punch anyone who even used bad language in the presence of his mother. In my opinion your charge is obscene. He has more courage and wisdom in his little finger than all the dubia combined. I doubt the Orthodox would help. I suppose their stance on the Immaculate Conception and divorce are acceptable to you because they reject the primacy of Pope Francis. May God lead us all to the truth safely and soundly. Not my truth but THE TRUTH.

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    1. JoeCro,
      You are on quite a verbal roll, what we here in the States call a Tirade. As I read your comments to Briana Elizabeth, today’s Gospel reading came to mind, particularly verse 33.

      Catholic Study Bible

      Mark 8:27-33

      27 And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”

      28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.”

      29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

      30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.

      31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

      32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

      33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

      {BREAK}
      Visually I think your commentary in the past day or so…this may be a better illustration:

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Why in heavens would you change the subject like this, Joe? You know very well that Cdl. Farrell is one of those primarily implicated in the scandals and the cover-ups. This is the thing that drives me nuts, sometimes. When confronted with a point you can’t deal with, you issue a non-sequitur. Your question is EXACTLY what the predators have used to cover their tracks. Do you or do you not support full investigation of this?

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Sorry to disappoint you Charlie – I am not that clever and definitely not that devious. I sit with Nathaniel and hope the Lord has the same opinion of me.Of course I support full investigation but do not claim the right to dictate its parameters or terms of its conduction nor to appoint investigators.

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  13. Now that’s what I’m talking about! There is a trickle of strong words emerging from the clergy. Praying for a big gusher! Don’t know if someone else posted this, but it is awesome.

    A Brave Priest’s Powerful Response to Gay Clergy: “Nobody Forced You to Become a Priest” | ChurchPOP
    https://churchpop.com/2019/02/20/a-brave-priests-powerful-response-to-gay-clergy-nobody-forced-you-to-become-a-priest/?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8bT7l4ytViDONFsQz-npXN9OvbJOVkzk3VDRnED_FaXtT4G2hPpblR0uwW5INuMnUqJOzu6j91kzsbqkIyMUsEQqt6RA&_hsmi=70117136

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  14. Why not just ask him? The Pope.

    Anyone remember that Q & A session some time back with the Pope and a small slice from the flock? It was broadcast on a major network in the U.S. and was nicely done. Very heartwarming at the time. Also, I was contrasting that with visions of the typical White House press conference with the Pres. and the press (the press…. supposedly on behalf of the U.S. people). That all led to trying to craft a short, precise question for the Pope, not the sort that is typical of the press… what, with all the posturing preamble to the real question that sometimes does or does not come.

    I whittled it down to this: Papa, what better time than now for the shepherd to defend the flock –– at all costs?

    Originally that sorta started out thusly: Your Eminence, considering all the sheep carcasses littering the prairie, as well as all the dying and wounded…” Yeah, that was sorta the press preamble version and a bit to formal for my tastes, considering my imaginary one-on-one Q & A with the Pope. There were a bunch of other versions that I scrapped as well.

    You know what? Apparently it isn’t an easy thing to send of an email to the Pope, as I gave it an honest search this morning.

    Hm. Nothing left for it but to turn the question on myself. Hey, MP, what better time than now for a hired hand to…

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  15. Indeed Joecro, you are to be commended for your dedication to the defense of Pope Francis as we all are obliged to do. However anything taken to an extreme too easily results in imbalance. Granted the Pope is guarded by infallibility but as you well know even this has its limitations. We on the other hand must treat these limitations with proper respect and due diligence. In recognizing apparently questionable or confusing statements of the Pope we are not right in condemning him. We may not understand but we are not justified in forcing answers where none are available. However ignoring these things as if they don’t exist in not the answer either. There is a difference in seeking to be right as opposed to seeking the right. God leaves us with many mysteries as a test of our willingness to trust in Him. We must avoid as it says in today’s gospel, “Thinking in the ways of man and not in the ways of God.” We are obliged to be open to the truth or elements of it even in criticisms offered to us in recognition of the dictum “humility is truth.” We are all called to humility and to be seekers of the truth.
    The strength of this community lies in our willingness to be open to the contributions of all with due respect and to question or modify the contributions of others carefully and without rancor. This is a marvelous community. May God guide us and preserve us.

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    1. These are difficult times for all of us. I have several close friends who want to think the best, and I listen carefully to them. I do get quite annoyed when someone tries to act as if there is no problem at all. I respect a vigorous defense…until it ventures into Baghdad Bob territory. But the depth of the problems create a real trial for all of us…and I think we are all trying to find our way in nearly unprecedented circumstances.

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      1. I agree Charlie. These are difficult times.Sometimes folks are honestly confused by events.

        However, when I draw the line on certain opinions, usually is when someone publicly walks up to a huge elephant in the middle of the room, all the time doggedly looking anywhere but in the middle – even when some walks up the elephant, touches it, and the elephant bellows – they say they cannot see it. When someone points such a situation out – it is not a violation of charity – but a love of truth.

        However, trying to deny the obvious through platitudes or cliches is never part of real charity. Why? Because real charity always faces facts squarely – because real charity loves the true above all.

        And I know you well enough to know that in my experience – I’ve never seen you try to deny an elephant’s presence. 🙂

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    2. Just a Sojourner
      Charlie has done a good job of dismissing me as a mindless extremist in my defence of Pope Francis. As such he has presented me as one complicit in cover up and abuse and only recently partially withdrawn those allegations. Sadly it seems you have been taken in by this broadcast. As you say I am perfectly aware of the limits of Papal infallibility. This has never been in question. The fact that I have come to the defence of Francis in so called confusing or questionable matters and directed readers to sources which offer a positive and rational perspective on his words and actions proves that I have not ignored them. Of course Charlie has crushed any source that differs from his opinion in cinsidering clerical abuse. He insists in condemning Pope Francis. So I ask you where does the drive to be right reside? I have absolutely no desire to be right at the expense of truth. As Stephen Walford says “If we do not trust his (the pope’s) magisterium then our issue is not with him but with the Holy Spirit, and that raises questions about our own spiritual lives.” I realise Charlie regards Stephen as a lightweight but there are many commendable and well sourced articles in “Where Peter Is” that deal with Pope Francis. In this regard I often recall the words of Conchita of my beloved Garabandal,
      “You may question the pope or even criticise him but salvation is in his hands.” That is good enough for me. Despite Charlie’s rejection of the traditional understanding of the witness of Garabandal – an understanding endorsed by many saints, scholars, genuine mystics and popes- insisting on his own interpretation based on God knows what – I contend that a problem may also reside in a too narrow approach to Petrine authority. For instance Pope Paul VI override local church authority to proclaim his support for Garabandal and to promote the world wide dissemination of its history and messages. Of course he was largely ignored. No surprises there as Garabandal was first to declare that the souls of many cardinals, bishops and priests were heading to hell. If the authority of Pope Paul, now a saint, had been better regarded who knows what would have transpired. Just so if timely compliance with Mary’s request at Fatima had received compliance how many lives and souls would have been saved. Charlie made a point of informing me that when I last volunteered to leave the forum because of our differences that not one person expressed regret at my going or requested my return. I am not here for myself but for The Church. St Ambrose said “Where Peter us there is the Church. Where the Church is there is no death but eternal life.” That’s why I am here.

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      1. Joe, this is the end of this subject for a while. You are right that I regard Stephen Walford as a lightweight – and the quote you cite indicates why. A Pope does not have an individual Magisterium. The Church has a Magisterium, which the Pope is obliged to defend. He may refine it but he may not contradict it. I will close with one other authority, St. Paul in Holy Scripture, specifically Galatians 1:8…”But even if…an angel from heaven, should preach to you a Gospel contrary to that we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

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          1. A Pope does NOT have a Magisterium. The Church does – and the Pope is to be its guardian. Just as a President cannot make up his own Constitution, but is bound by the one he enters under. I know some of Pope Francis’ men have been trying to say he has his own Magisterium – but it is sophist nonsense which reveals the cupidity and ignorance of the men who spout it. That really is NOT hard to understand by anyone. You are really getting deep in the woods with this comment, Joe. There is one Church and one Magisterium which have sheltered many Popes. The same Magisterium that was associated with Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, Pope John Paul I, Blessed Pope Paul VI, St. John XXIII – and all Popes are one and the same. It does not change its spots because of the transient occupant of the Throne of Peter.

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      2. Joecro. I don’t doubt that you are sincere but that in itself does not make you right on any individual point. Your supposition that I am merely a reflection of Charlies words is demeaning at best. I specifically stated I do not take sides but weigh each statement on its own merit. I purposely made each point as an independent observation none of which you addressed but chose to paint me with a broad brush. I know you can be better than that. This is not about me nor about you per se but mainly an exhortation to strive for the truth primarily. I would like to see an end to any cult of personality. It serves no good purpose. Peace to all here.

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  16. One of these days there will be a battle at the END of this world in a place & event called Armageddon, on one side the Lord of Hosts who created the universe the almighty, on the other side will be “the stupids” who will think they even stood a chance to compete with God… Calling it a “battle” is being generous, as even if God decides to just let angels & saint do the fighting, the stupids will still get slaughtered.

    Pride = Stupidity, and we all go there every now and then, but the level of stupidity on that last day will “ epic, legendary, and supreme”.

    Nowadays we have to put up with another group of stupids, who are probably not as supremely stupid as those people at Armageddon, but there’s no reasoning with the anti-God left. God doesn’t cease to exist because some people refuse to believe in him, God’s words & commands are not up for debate or votes for rejection or nullification. Why would anyone in their right mind reject God’s generous gift of eternal life & happiness? All you have to do is be good & love God back in return…

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  17. Charlie,

    Because of your political background, would it be safe to say that you are part of the “alliance” to overcome evil in our govt.? And do you know what will be revealed about the Pope? And is that is one reason you wish to encourage us and defend the Catholic Faith?

    What shall we say to fellow Catholics when all will be revealed?

    Like many I am so sick of the evil and corruption in the world! It is exhausting!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do a lot more work in political and pro-life circles than I speak publicly about. I think it is fair to say I am in regular contact and consultation with key groups and figures. But I do NOT know precisely what is going to happen. Very simply, my lifelong understanding has been that there would be a horribly grave crisis throughout the world in my lifetime. I accepted a lifetime of training designed to help me encourage people to get through the terrible Storm and keep faith when much would be conspiring to destroy it. I know many think that I am given specific instructions to be followed to the letter. Not like that AT ALL. I have been directed to certain areas of study and endeavor. Basically God showed me the large scope of what would happen, instructed me on some of the primary dangers of the time, and set me to do my best to help guide us through. I came up with the “next right step” as my guiding light, but almost all the decisions on how to proceed are my own – and thus fully my responsibility. It is important to God that we submit ourselves entirely to Him AND that we do not blame Him for the inevitable mistakes we make. It will be all of us, acknowledging God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope that will herald the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. If I gave a detailed plan, that would be just one light. My job is to help spark all to give their all in service to God and neighbor – and then we will be guided by the brilliant light of millions committed to God and neighbor.

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      1. Inspirational…

        Future has always been a matter of choices, God like a parent acts accordingly…

        I’m tired too, the insanity out there makes me sad and discouraged, I thought I was going to break down crying yesterday…

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  18. Al, the “stupids” are thus because of thier denial of the Truth. Once they deny Truth His Spirit retreats and takes away His gifts of understanding, knowledge and wisdom. What they are left with is this condition you called “stupid”.
    Quite (super)natural me thinks.
    “Let the dead bury the dead” is another analogy of this. They have already been “slaughtered” by sin and their memory removed from the face of the earth and as Jesus refers to them as already dead which in fact, spiritually, they are as they have stopped being the salt of the earth and are only good for being thrown out and trampled under foot.
    We are already in a life and death struggle for our souls as we wrestle and fight the good fight and run the race to keep the faith. So we need to hold on and as we grow as wheat among the weeds may we have entangled ourselves among some of them with enough love to pull some of them up and out along with us to salvation.

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    1. I agree entirely about the need for love “to pull some of them up and out along with us to salvation.

      But ignoring evil, or covering for it, or changing the subject or direction when people point out the obvious danger inherent in the fact that 80% of the sexual abuse comes from one source is virtually suicidal for not just our Church – but our Western Culture

      Show that kind of percentage in any discussion on most any subject – except where people are thinking with their glands instead of their brains – and debate ends in the face of those kinds of numbers.

      Most of the priests I know – especially the ones I work with understand that unless this problem is dealt with – openly and totally honestly – with no spin doctoring allowed to mask the fact that; 1) it is primarily a problem stemming from the ranks of those homosexual priests who refuse to carry their cross of total chastity, this problem is going to get quantumly worse. i.e., It isn’t heterosexual priests who are bullying and/or buggering teenage boys and seminarians. All of those perpetrators are homosexuals.

      I pray for McCarrick – and pray deeply. But I would never allow him – or any of those like him to be around a seminary – or seminarians. That is what is what must be nipped in the bud. Several Popes have now stated that in the future, men with homosexual tendencies should not be considered for the priesthood.

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    2. Hi Phillip
      Your comment on “the stupids” made me think of the words of Jesus:
      “For those who have little what little they have will be taken away. For those who much more will be given. “
      The stupids are those whose abuse and neglect of grace are left with nothing – lost souls hoisted by their own petard and dropped into the hell of their own making. By their denial of The Truth.
      “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
      I have just been to the sleep clinic – my heart is in trouble – my bad – perhaps some oxygen will also help my head. It seems I have had severe sleep apnoea for years. They can tell this from my oxygen saturation levels. They say it takes years to get that low.

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      1. I’ve had sleep apnia or years. Have used all the suggested fixes. I have to sleep with oxegen supplement. CPAP machines gave me lung infections no matter how thoroughly cleaned. Not everyone has that problem. I have to sleep almost upright in a recliner.

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      2. Joecro. Something more to add to my prayers for you. Some time ago I was given a word of wisdom that went, “Suffering not offered up to heaven falls back on the earth like so much litter.” Litter is not a word I would have used but I got the point. With it came the infusion of understanding that the degree to which we accept suffering increases its merit and the degree to which we reject suffering decreases its merit. Obvious perhaps but is that not the way of most simple truth yet the statement of it has impact. I took it seriously and added to my morning prayers, “I offer up all the prayers, acts, joys, and sufferings of this day unless otherwise designated for…” Let nothing go to waste. I have been careful not be presumptuous and ask God for sufferings knowing what a weakling and coward I am but pray I may be able to accept the sufferings He chooses to send me. “Lord without you I can do nothing but with your aide I can do all things.” May God heal you Joe of your sufferings and infirmities according to your needs and according to his Holy Will.

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    3. Yes… I wanted God to take me out of the game last night, later I found myself strangely comforted over the thoughts of I was crazy for thinking that I could convince the “stupid” to change their their minds, we can only lead by example and pray for others, after that we are powerless to change another’s free will.

      I should be more down, but I feel a weight lifted off of me, in I can’t help everyone…

      I am a nobody trying to fix things (my engineering/technical side), but not everything is fixable, I am living in these times I’m weak and incompetent….

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        1. All we have is our ability to “choose”, it can be frustrating when things still go bad despite our willingness to choose good…

          I am thankful for the times God helps me through the tough days, as I call out to God and Our Lady for help during those times.

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      1. I don’t think it is “we” who do the fixing anyway Al. God does not NEED us. He chooses to extend His glory by including us in it but we are the tiny mustard seeds that God expands by His power in a cooperative way to become the “largest” and thus effective builders of the Kingdom. Our influence is always His influence through the Spirit dwelling in us. With out this Spirit, we are only clanging drums or empty shells.
        It is good you feel these great losses as God feels them too. But don’t fret about it and loose the joy you need to always have as a believing, trusting Christian.
        God has got this.
        Trouble we have in the world, but He has overcome the world.

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        1. Something like that, we’re dealing with things outside our “normal” experience. It’s easy to say God will take care of it, and not bother with anything, but are we doing more harm than good by doing nothing? We should be doing something, but we have to be in the proper humble mindset first.

          The things “we” do is “choosing” not actual “fixing”. Some days just go bad because many people simply choose the proud mindset of “ME”.

          I do believe that God “needs” our “yes” if he is to help us individually. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around how we effectively choose God on the bigger issues, as waiting around doing nothing is the worst thing we can do…

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          1. When her earliest inquisitors asked St. Joan of Arc why she had to go to battle – that if God wanted to save France He could just do it – she replied that it was for her to fight the battle and God to give the victory. We so neglect the prayer of “doing” because we treat God as our servant rather than act as His by doing.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Here’s an article from a Sister of Mt. Carmel on St. Joan of Arc. I read this some time ago and thought it had some good insights. https://www.faith.org.uk/article/july-august-2004-joan-of-arc-why-is-she-a-saint

              This little excerpt sorta jumps out:

              “It is a myth invented by the English, and perpetuated by George Bernard Shaw, that it was against Canon Law for a woman to wear man’s clothing. Nonetheless she took no pleasure in warfare, fighting and the footgear of battle. She merely did what she had to, with a practical common sense. But she was only a young girl after all, one who sacrificed all her natural expectations and sensitivities to the task in hand. God alone knows how many other souls he had tried to approach to do this task for him and found only arrogance, invincible spiritual ignorance or cowardice, before he went to this fragile but open vessel and filled her with such extraordinary power.”

              Liked by 2 people

  19. Just to be clear. I blame homosexuality 100% – it is a deadly spiritual virus – the most corrupting presence in the world. I did not need any pope to tell me this – my old mum had to nurse those suffering the horrible effects of sodomy. It was she who first told me, many many years ago, that it was corruption at its worst. But like her mother she was always careful not to harm or persecute those who had given themselves to it. There was a post VII document/publication that referred to the exorbitant malice that lay under its skin. But I can’t find it. The malice is now up front, up close, and personal. I am under no illusion where the problem lies. What came first – the chicken or the egg? Homosexuality or clericalism. The answer is plain – Satan was a liar and a murderer from the start. Clericalism came later. We are made in God’s image and likeness – male and female – not male and male. Homosexuality corrupts the image of God and is the original perversion of love.

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        1. Okay, Joe, we’re going to take a break. Not a ban, but a break. I had several people privately send me notes yesterday asking why I let you go on such personal, bullying tirades and completely take over a thread, regardless of what the subject at hand is about. I like to keep a comfortable, free-wheeling atmosphere here – and I thought of establishing some new rules on subject matter and length of comments. But then I realized that you are the only one that consistently abuses the free-wheeling ethos I have set. I realize how mightily you are likely to complain about how badly you are being abused, how we are all a cabal against Pope Francis, how you are the only defender of God here, etc. Enough already. You constantly use specious and shifting logic, then define “faith” as agreeing with you whether by logic when it is agreeable, by illogic when it is not…and then moving into melodramatic pathos when all else fails. I am instructing the moderators that I am the only one who will clear your comments for the time being. It is bad enough that I allow you to insult me ad hominem at will, but I have allowed you to do the same to some good-willed commenters here. I have failed the community these last few days.

          Perhaps you would like to start your own site where you can talk at will about whatever moves you. If you do so, I will put up a link every now and again so people who are interested can visit. But I will not allow you to abuse the good people of the community I founded to try to force the conversation only into channels approved by Joe.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. For the record, when someone says that the issue here is “What came first – the chicken or the egg? Homosexuality or clericalism.” — when that is said in a discussion about the cause and cure of the problem of homosexual abuse and assault of teenagers and young men, it should be obvious it is an attempt to shift the blame off of the blatantly obvious 80% perpetrators.

            Thank you, Charlie. I’m used to communicating in environments where ordered logical thought is the order of the day — where [unlike leftist environs] it is not acceptable to try to shout down or obfuscate rather than discuss what others say or write. And that was the convivial atmosphere here for the first few days I was reading and posting.

            I hope that will return now. Thank you.

            [And I bear Joe no ill will. He is suffering what I have for years and it is no fun – sleep apnia and heart trouble – triple bypass almost 2 1/2 years ago. I hope medical treatment can improve his health.]

            Liked by 1 person

            1. We ought to see a real beauty in logic. Sometimes there are examples, although quite ordered and correct, that are not something I’d go so far to ‘hang on a gallery wall.’ As for the healthy creative side, it still follows a logical process. Logic and creativity are not mutually exclusive. There’s also some terribly bad art out there that doesn’t deserved to be called art. Disorder maybe.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. My intended meaning was the exact opposite of your interpretation, Desmond: I was, in fact, placing the primary blame squarely on the shoulders of homosexuality. I was simply saying that homosexuality was there long before clericalism and has always been a source of corruption in the clergy. As you quite correctly surmise my commentary is not in line with the discipline of acadaemia. That is because I am not an academic. Your world of academic endeavour is far to tough for me as I could see from some of your recent exchanges. I note that in those exchanges you objected, like myself, to words being put in your mouth. In the past, some priests were said to be six feet above criticism in their preaching from the pulpit. Those “six feet” constituted clericalism. They presumed and were accorded status far above their standing and their merit. Its a bit like the old attitude to doctors who were never to be questioned or contradicted on their pedestal of professional opinion. I was most definitely not trying to shift the blame. I was, in fact, explaining why I blame homosexuality. I understand your misunderstanding and I hope you will rediscover the haven of conviviality here that you feel I have destroyed.

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  20. I had a question from someone about – did I have sons, and given the current state of affairs – would I encourage any of them to enter a seminary?

    The answer is that Jean and I have 6 children, 4 of them boys [now men] the oldest is 49, the youngest is 32. The three oldest are married, and the youngest is in Grad school.

    But if things were different, and they were still young, or if asked this question about any of my grandsons, my answer would be the same. Only if they attend a ‘healthy’ seminary – meaning there is zero tolerance of any homosexual activity or obvious inclination – from either staff or seminarians.

    There are a growing number of such seminaries in the U.S. I know this and I – even at my advanced age – still tutor and teach in such a one.

    It is not all that difficult to get such an arrangement. The majority of U.S. Bishops are really hurting for vocations. Usually, a good prospect can ask his Bishop if he may attend Seminary X, or Y, or Z. If the Bishop says yes, no problem. If he says no, I would advise the seminary prospect to look into other Dioceses – till he finds a bishop who will send him to one of the ‘healthy’ seminaries.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bumped into a woman who I know in our church basement last Sunday. Her son recently left a famous seminary in a major archdiocese led by a very famous prelate. He couldn’t take the homosexual climate there. This seminary was in the news several months ago concerning this scandal and it was a major embarrassment to the Cardinal Archbishop. It’s naive to think that things have been cleaned up in many seminaries.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear All,

        I lay awake much of last night thinking about what it will take to ACTUALLY STOP the ongoing wave of sexual abuse of teenagers and young men – not just in seminaries – but also in parishes?

        I THINK I CAME UPON THE ANSWER IN A SOMEWHAT PARALLEL PROBLEM OF ESSENTIALLY EVIL BEHAVIOR.

        IT IS THE PROBLEM OF HAZING AT GREEK FRATERNITIES IN THE U.S., AND CANADA. EACH YEAR IT ENDS IN THE DEATH OF YOUNG MEN IN THE GREEK FRATERNITY SYSTEM AT U.S. COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

        I went through Freshman hazing in 1959. The deaths in other colleges and universities that year were all over he newspapers. WHY HASEN’T IT STOPPED – DESPITE THE PUBLIC OUTCRY THROUGHOUT MY ADULT LIFE.

        Here is an excerpt from a 2017 Washington Post article about deaths that previous years from hazing of Freshmen.

        “While there is no official list of hazing-related deaths nationwide, the Los Angeles Times recently quoted Hank Nuwer, a journalism professor at Franklin College in Indiana who has been studying hazing for decades, as saying he has counted AT LEAST ONE DEATH EACH YEAR FROM HAZING SINCE 1959 IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, most of them involving fraternities and alcohol.”

        What is the result? THERE HAVE BEEN ARTICLES IN THIS YEAR’S NEWS ABOUT THE GREEK FRATERNITY SYSTEM BEING IN A STAGE OF COLLAPSE LARGELY DUE TO COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS SUSPENDING GREEK LIFE ON THEIR CAMPUSES. In this case, the problem is the system itself. And that system is gradually being shut down.

        BUT – in seminaries and parishes ‘the system’ isn’t the problem. The problem is a small percentage of perpetrators of sexual abuse. Who and what are those perpetrators? Homosexual priests.

        IN THIS CASE, THE ONLY SOLUTION WHICH IS GOING TO ACTUALLY WORK – IS TO BEGIN SYSTEMATICALLY SCREENING OUT HOMOSEXUALS FROM THE RANKS OF SEMINARY STAFF AND THE SEMINARIANS THEMSELVES.

        That does not mean we don’t love the those who carry the cross of same sex attraction. It means we love the seminarians, the priesthood, and our Church established by Jesus Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You say “the system” isn’t the problem but that “the only solution … is to begin *systematically* screening out homosexuals from the ranks of seminary staff and the seminarians themselves.” That sounds like a systemic problem to me.

          God bless you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Frank if you intend these comments to be taken seriously that is one thing, as a humorous play on words that is another. Which is it? If meant to be serious, I would reply that you seem to be immersed in a quagmire of semantic confusion. “The system” is a noun form of system and is used to connotate a structure of basically actions and rules whereas “systematically” is an adverb form to describe the nature of a course of action. The two are related but different. I admire your clever use of words.

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            1. Really good insights/comments lately, JAS. I’m delighted as well that the conversation isn’t solely being had amongst the logicians and linguists. What a boring and debilitating conversation that would be.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you for your kind words MP. I am glad if I am able to be of benefit to the community. I and my soon to be 15 years wife live a somewhat secluded life so I don’t get much chance to interact with people. Perhaps this way may be somewhat of an answer to my long time prayer, “O Lord what do You want me to do with the gifts You have given me so that I may use them to serve You?” I am happy to be able to contribute to the good work of this community. And even better, I get to work from home especially since I will be laid up by my hip replacement surgery due this Monday, for a couple months.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Logic is NOT a lone/stand alone skill. any more than part of a sentence can convey well the meaning of the whole.

                Towit: When I wrote,

                “I’m used to communicating in environments where ordered logical thought is the order of the day — where [unlike leftist environs] it is not acceptable to try to shout down or obfuscate rather than discuss what others say or write.”

                That WHOLE complete sentence conveyed the understanding that ‘ordered logical thought” was being used in the sense of being a part of adult discussion, juxtaposed toany intentionally RUDE behavior, disruptive behavior – e.g., to “shout down or obfuscate rather than discuss …”.

                Mature normal adult logical discussions also do not normally include ‘non-sequitur’ arguments or positions – those which do not follow the point they claim speak against or counter, but are intentionally presented AS IF they actually did so follow.

                TODAY, where does one find such adult discussions – which can and do include humor, history, personal experiences, etc., etc.?

                We don’t often find them in political discourse in the USA today – especially over vital issues such as abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, etc. Why? Because those on the morally wrong side have figured it out that they have been losing on those issues for a long time – WHEN they are discussed calmly and respectfully. Those leaders on the morally wrong side of those issues finally admitted this to themselves about 10 years ago. Since then they have left behind such things as calm honest discussion, left for the tactics of “shout down or obfuscate rather than discuss.” We can add to that the now proverbial name calling against those who dare to publicly disagree with them.

                These tactics have been unfortunately spreading to other venues. However, the creator/owner of this page made it publicly clear he would not put up with such things here. This did not surprise me, as I’ve known him for some time. We are even fellow parishioners. We have much experience with each other’s constant willingness to discuss the most sensitive subjects with calm and consideration, with respect for the other person’s right to hold a different opinion [as long as it doesn’t violate Church Teaching. There has never been any wanna-be bullying by either one of us. There are two reasons; 1) we are both mentally and emotionally mature, raised to act like gentlemen, and serious Catholic men.

                To quote Cardinal Newman, A gentleman is someone who can disagree without being disagreeable.”

                All my love in Christ

                Desmond

                Liked by 2 people

                    1. See if this helps, Desmond: https://docs.google.com/document/d/101rxaodZEThnZPdVRw3tWmiFfinaepdO1ZSveiGEkOI/edit

                      Hey Everybody! I’m alive and Charlie has it exactly right: a lot on my plate, but catching a second wind – well maybe a fourth or a fifth – and I’ve been reading comments (and of course Charlie’s posts, at least the ones I haven’t memorized yet 😉 ) as I can. I’ll have an update again and soon. Love you all. Thank you for your prayers which = pure gold.

                      Liked by 1 person

                1. Upon reflection, “boring” was a bad choice of word, even considering my mindset in that instance was lighthearted and leveraging some humor. Could just be an off day for me. I didn’t say that logic was a stand alone skill. I did reference logicians and linguists. Folks who know me already know I harp on balance, so maybe understood a bit better. I suppose Charlie can bar me from the discussion at any time if he finds me disagreeable.

                  Honestly, I’m only mildly uncertain if that last part was a scold, an insult, or a “hey, here’s a little something about me so you understand where I’m coming from.” So you know, I’m serious but often fairly casual about it. If it’s a scold, thanks for caring.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Communication is so tricky. So easy to misunderstand and to be misunderstood. Even when you are face to face. Heard about an exercise in which someone makes a statement and the other repeats back what he thinks the first one meant. So often, there is misunderstaning.

                      Liked by 2 people

        2. My brother was hired By the government to council, treat and study pedifiles many years ago when it was still considered a “mental disorder” to be homosexual. One of the treatments they used was showcased in the 1971 movie Clockwork Orange where the main perpetrator (heterosexual) was treated with a nauseating drug when aroused by certain images. My brother confessed to me that one of the amazing aspects of these pedifiles was that they believed society misunderstood thier relationship with the children-that it was love not abuse, and that one day we would finally come around to thier way of understanding that this is a good!
          The “intrinsic disorder” professed by the church and the “loss of the natural order” professed by the Bible shines brightly in this statement.
          Desmond, to “fix” this problem we need to fix societies inability to see what is truly “good”. The disorder of human sexuality in society has led us to this point…the “pox” or outward sign (homosexuality) of the internal malady (infidelity of every kind).
          (Rom 1:21-25). If the pederasts get thier way, they will convince this perverse generation that thier acts are acts of love and need protection. Once society accepts evil as good, there is no end in sight but to devolve into open, legal, accepted homosexual behaviors of every stripe. That’s what the Bible tells us happens and happened in Sodom and Gomorrah.
          And we know what God eventually does to cities/ nations like them….

          Liked by 2 people

          1. ‘Society’ is never ‘cured’. From the infancy of the Church She has had to deal with a wide range of problems – from the inside to the outside. The infant Church had to deal with rampant immorality – particularly with contraception, abortion and infantacide. She beat those evils with Her internal holiness. That is also ehat is required to beat a corrupt society today.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I was asked to explain my post above a little further.

              There is an old saying in philosophy [and theology] that: “You can’t give what you haven’t got/or do no possess.” The Church can begin to convert members of society only once she is perceived in Her members as being clean Herself. That’s how it worked when Christianity conquered the Pagan Roman Empire without a spear or a sword.

              Her members were sufficiently mature Christians that, they could walk into the Coliseum or Circus Maximus peacefully singing hymns – to face lions, crucifixion, or blood thirsty gladiators.

              Most importantly, there was no credible scandal in the Church Herself. No pagan could credibly say to the Church, ‘Physician heal yourself’.

              We will convert individual members of society, at least in large numbers – only when we have cleaned up our own act. And we can only credibly do that if and when people see in us someone who can actually love his enemies.

              In the Coliseum, the spectators are reported as saying, “See how they love one another.” THAT WAS ONLY ONE OF THE THING WHICH WAS SAID. What the spectators marveled at even more was that it was obvious those Christians actually loved their murderers.

              How many of us already consistently love our enemies? I ask, because I can assure you that amidst the scandals which surround us right now – only signsof faith that bright can reach hearts closed to Christ.

              All my love in Christ

              Desmond

              Liked by 2 people

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