POPE FRANCIS, THE JESUITS and SYNCRETISM

Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ, Father General of the Jesuit Order

(From our friend, Desmond. ~BH)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Does the Catholic Church believe that one “religion” is as good as another? OR, can the faith that comes to us from the Apostles accept the belief that the basic dogmatic beliefs of all the religions in the world are essentially the same? What do you believe or think about those two questions?

How you as a Christian answer those questions essentially determines your most visceral reaction to several recent events in Rome surrounding the Amazon Synod. What are they? They are:

1. The allowance into the Gardens of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – in solemn procession – statues that Pope Francis himself described as “pagan idols.” He is even reported to have blessed one of them. The idol was brought there for pagans in the garden to fall down and worship – in the presence of the pope and several cardinals.

Have you read the Old Testament histories lately about God’s reaction to Jews allowing worship of statues of the pagan gods, Baal and Moloch, in Jewish sacred precincts? Read up on the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews, etc., as a very basic primer on God’s reaction to the same. He lifted His protective hand over the Chosen People – due to their willful allowance and practice of idolatry.

2. The Church of St. Mary in Traspontina near the Vatican in which the carved wooden statues of a naked pregnant woman representing “Mother Earth” were part of exhibits on the Amazon region during the Oct. 18, 2019 Synod of Bishops for the Amazon in Rome.

Frankly, all of this sounds distressingly familiar to the errors called syncretism and idolatry. What are they? Their following definitions come from Fr. John A. Hardon S.J.’s 1980 “Modern Catholic Dictionary.” Fr. Hardon, who was a theological advisor to Pope Paul VI, composed this dictionary with the full approval of now St. Paul VI.

Definition of syncretism

“The effort to unite different doctrines and practices, especially in religion. Such unions or amalgams are part of cultural history and are typical of what has occurred in every segment of the non-Christian world. SYNCRETISM is also applied to the ecumenical efforts among separated Christian churches and within Catholicism to the attempts made of combining the best elements of different theological schools. BUT in recent years, the term mainly refers to misguided claims that religious unity can be achieved by ignoring the differences between faiths on the assumption that all creeds are essentially one and the same. (Etym. Greek synkrētizo, to unite disunited elements into a harmonious whole; from synkrētizmos, federation of Cretan cities.)”

Now, let us look at Fr. Hardon’s definition of idolatry. It is comprehensive and I encourage all to go through it prayerfully.

Definition of idolatry

“It is literally “the worship of idols”; it is giving divine honors to a creature. In the Decalogue, it is part of the First Commandment of God in which Yahweh tells the people, ‘You shall have no gods except me. You shall not make yourself a carved image (Greek eidolon, idol] or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.’ (Exodus 20:4-5)

The early Christians were martyred for refusing to worship idols, even externally, but practical idolatry is a perennial threat to the worship of the one true God. Modern secularism is a form of practical idolatry which claims to give man ‘freedom to be an end unto himself, the sole artisan and creator of his own history.’ Such freedom, it is said, ‘cannot be reconciled with the affirmation of a Lord who is author and purpose of all things,’ or at least that this freedom ‘makes such an affirmation altogether superfluous.’ (Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church, 51)

Idolatry is always gravely sinful. Even under threat of death and without interiorly believing in the idol, a Christian may not give divine honors to a creature, thereby violating the duty of professing faith in God.”

Thus ends Fr. Hardon’s definition of Idolatry. It must be recognized that Pope Francis stated that in allowing the inclusion of pagan idols in the presence of pagan worshippers of such idols, there was “no idolatrous intent”. But the resultant open scandal to what Pope Benedict XVI used to call “the little ones in faith” was palpable worldwide. So many Catholics were scandalized by the act in the Garden. So many Protestants, who are not themselves anti-Catholic were predictably horrified, scandalized towards the Church. Yet, one might initially consider Pope Francis’ disclaimer as a satisfactory answer. You might, were it not for the fact that he subsequently allowed the same thing to reoccur within St. Peter’s Basilica itself. It must also be recognized that in formally allowing such pagan idol worship to be performed within said precincts of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, there is no reasonable way to view that allowance as anything other than accommodating such actual idolatry by those pagans present who fell down and worshipped those pagan idols. The old expression comes to mind, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” And the level of scandal grew.

Why would a Pope accommodate such things to occur – either in the precincts of St. Peter’s Basilica or close by in a Catholic parish church which was housing and displaying for public view such pagan images? That is the parish Church from which the two young Catholic men seized several carved wooden pagan statues and threw them into the Tiber River. As a number of bishops and Catholic theologians have opined, theirs was a 21st century simile of the opposition of the seven Maccabees brothers in the Old Testament. All seven of them were martyred for their refusal to worship or in any way accommodate such worship.

With that question, we have now set the stage for a discussion of the comparison of how a Jesuit pope, Francis, and a legendary faithful Jesuit theologian who was a papal theological advisor, Fr. John Hardon, and some other Jesuits I personally knew and know could be so diametrically opposed as to what constitutes syncretism or idolatry. They also see the danger of scandal to the Church in different ways. Why? How?

I was Jesuit trained, both by dissident Jesuits and by some wonderfully faithful ones. Therefore, I will not be merely guessing in my answers to the questions posed above. When it has all been presented, you will understand as to why – even though I am so personally opposed to those events which accommodated worship of pagan carved images by pagans in precincts of the Catholic Church during the Amazon Synod – I was not in the least bit shocked when I saw that a Jesuit, even a Jesuit pope might do so. Why? Because in the normal course of events, one must be surprised in order to be shocked. I wasn’t surprised – because I became completely familiar over the last 55 or so years with the mainstream of contemporary Jesuit thought as present in their seminaries and universities.

All my love in Christ,

Desmond A. Birch

173 thoughts on “POPE FRANCIS, THE JESUITS and SYNCRETISM

    1. Beckita … angry ocean tonight so we’ve stayed put..Mike & I just had big laugh…we’ve been in 6 different beds in 10 days😂😂😂 catch-up to Charlie wannabe👍

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  1. I just read this piece and am not sure if what to make of them. My confusion is greater, not less.

    I have read a piece from Crisis, National Catholic Register (2) and now this.

    Crisis said: ” The answer to the question of ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ Is Yes! ” Our view the entire pachamamma incident based on the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation. The National Catholic Register reported not that the questions were answered by not answering but that they were answered ambiguously. And now this piece that seems to call the pachamamma incident ‘idolatry ‘.

    What am I to believe?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Michaela, First, I believe Pope Francis to be a man who considers himself a true a pure Catholic.

      Second, the photo of the stated of former Superior Geberal, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, a former head of the Jesuit Order even during my Univesity years in the 1960’s considered himself to be a solid faithful Catholic. Yet many of the policies and practices he introduce to or strengthened in the Jesuit Order have been disastrous to the faith of many. Those practices convinced many Catholics there was nothing wrong with accomodating seeing native pagan images and practices inside Christian environs as something which would merely inculturate Christianity within Pagan cultures. In fact, history has demonstrated that is NOT the effect it most commonly has had.

      The idolatry during the Amazon Synod occured when pagans fell down and worshipped pagan idols [that is what the Pope called them] first in the Vatican Gardens, and later within St. Peter’s Basilica itself. It occured again within a Catholic Parish Church a short way from the Vatican. And it was idolatry which was pre-known would occur. That clearly amounted to accomodating pagan worthship within hallowed ground and hallowed Church properties [the gardens of the Vatican, then St. Peters Basilica itself, then in the St. Mary in Traspontina parish church.

      The scandal to those whom Pope Benedict XVI has historically referred to as the Catholic ‘Little ones of faith’ – were scandalized in distressingly large numbers. Large numbers of them remain scandalized.

      Large numbers of Protestants who are not haters of the Catholic Church were horribly scandalized when they saw that obviously pagan idolatry, worship of pagan idols on hallowed Christian ground.

      That part has set the stage for the discussion to follow on how so many Jesuits cannot see the horrendous harm allowing let alone inviting such actions has done in the past – and quite obviously continues to do today. Their lack of comprehension of horror of such idolatry in the eyes of God [as is clearly demonstrated in Scripture] has been caused by the common thread of the way theology has been taught in Jesuit universities and especially in Jesuit seminaries for well over half a century. And there is a history of this kind of thing in the Jesuit Order going back for centuries.

      As stated, the first piece which you read it an introduction to the subject of how and why so many Jesuits cannot see the horrendous harm down by the allowance of the continuation of such pagan practices inside or beside the Church.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

      Liked by 3 people

    2. It was idolatry on the part of the pagans who were present. They fell down and worshipped those pagan idols from the Amazon region. This outcome was known beforehand.[i.e., it was known that the pagans in attendance intended to worship those pagan idols on consecrated ground, and eve in St. Peter’s Basilica itself. Those who so worshipped those pagan idols were the idolaters. Those who accommodate, who allow it, were the source of the ensuing scandal Christ and His Church.

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      1. I don’t think I am understanding correctly. If one intentionally allows for idol worship in their “house,” how does that not make one an idol worshiper? Especially since all those in the Vatican had prior knowledge that this was going to happen and the extensive knowledge of Christianity to know that it is wrong. I am sure it is a poor analogy, but if I allow a wigi board to be used in my home, even if I don’t partake, I am allowing the practice, I know what the practice entails, hence I am culpable for the outcomes of that practice (potential demonic influence).

        If anything, to me, it makes the situation even worse that Vatican officials knew what the pagans were going to do in Christ’s house and did not have the longing to stop it on, as you say consecrated grounds. Shows the complete absence of supernatural faith. Anyway you look at it, they are culpable for idol worship, just as the idol worshipers themselves.

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        1. I wrote nothing which differs from what you said, other than one thing. What you do not appear to understand is this: Jesuits in particular have been conditioned’/brainwashed in their universities and seminaries to believe that allowing pagan idols to literally co-exist with Christian faith and symbols – is OK – just so long as you make it clear with words that their pagan idols is merely a cultural practice and is not based in any form of actual divinity. As a pope so many years ago observed, that has been tried and failed over and over again. What happens is that introduces pagan worship in Christian services – the result of which is that the pagans never see the point that there is only one true God. Rather, they view Him as another of many gods. In the case referred to, the Jesuits were ordered to cease allowing or accommodating ‘ancestor worship’ in various parts of Asia. The more it changes, the more it stays the same. They will not obey.

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      2. But Desmond the only worship should be of the Eucharist in the tabernacle. Allowing worship of the idol in proximity to the consecrated host equates the two, does it not? At the very least it does in the mind of the pagan. It seems to me it only confuses the rest of us and creates doubt. Whatever Francis has in his head many many Catholics don’t have the time or training to explore his meaning or subtle definitions. Plus the enemies of the faith will use the controversy against Him. Some of us just want to rest in Jesus. How does condoning pagans to worship a thing made of rock or wood in a Christ’s house teach them Christ? When PF doesn’t answer questions asked it just comes across as petulant and angry. I still don’t get his not allowing any contrary science on climate at his summit a few years ago. Conversely I was appalled when he invited only global warming advocates many of whom also advocate for population control.

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        1. And, what did you think I thought which was different. I’m simply trying to explain to people who wish to try to understand Pope Francis (and most Jesuits on this point) how and why they arrive at a point where they could accommodate or allow pagan images in the precincts of the Vatican and in St. Peter’s itself. I’m posting this because so so many people have asked me that question directly – from this group – and in numerous other venues both off and on the Internet.

          p.s., If you do not understand the reasoning those Jesuits were taught in Jesuit Universities and Seminaries – you will have little success in convincingly explaining its error to those who are wavering. I’m writing this for the people who are not satisfied with mere condemnation of something they don’t truly understand – but also see and wish to have the advantage of understanding its source when speaking to those who are confused.

          All my love in Christ

          Desmond

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          1. Desmond you misunderstand my point. I actually do appreciate all you said and that your starting point in effect is the Eucharist. I am thankful for your explanation of Jesuit philosophical and theological divergence of the new from the old. I am a graduate (and so too my husband) of Jesuit universities and sent my son to a Jesuit prep high school and university. I have asked myself this question for years, “What the heck happened to the Jesuits?” As I look back the change was subtle but it was there even in the early 1970’s. The first hint was when I transferred from St Joseph Philadelphia to Loyola Baltimore because of a job change. I was assigned an appointment to review my transcript/courses. The interviewer was a man in suit and tie. It was only at the end of the appointment when I stood up to leave that I noticed his name plate on the windowsill perpendicular to his desk that he was a priest. Why was he not wearing his collar? I guess it still bugs me even today. I will be forever grateful for my son’s formation and education at St Joseph Prep. They did train his brain (3 years of Latin) but sending him there from 2 counties away (from suburb to inner city) taught him to live in the real world at large. I am convinced that male educators are essential to the formation of male teens. How old fashion is that! Once again I thank you for your explanation and many need it. Many too are so busy with family, health and parish issues to look up and appreciate Francis’s nuances. Even so, confusion reigns. And yet they don’t particularly want to talk about it.
            I understand Francis quashed the married Amazonian priesthood. Is this so?

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  2. Desmond says one must be surprised to be shocked. I wonder, must one be surprised or shocked to be scandalized? I don’t think so. While being shocked or surprised might heighten the level of scandal, it seems to me that the scandal of a little one isn’t much affected by whether or not he understands the intent of the scandalizers once the scandalization has occurred. In fact attempting to resolve or even reduce scandals strikes me as being as ineffective as a judge in a courtroom telling the members of the jury to disregard testimony. Sure I am called to forgive, but isn’t part of forgiving setting up the situation such that the offense does not keep on coming, and coming, and coming?

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      1. @JLynnByrd: Totally agreed that mercy is not dependent on perfection nor is forgiveness. However, it seems to me that you are conflating mercy and forgiveness.

        Doesn’t mercy require repentance on the part of the sinner, the offender? Absolution, not mercy, even requires the intent of the repentant sinner not to sin again along with contrition, of course. Forgiveness from me for the scandalizer is an act of my will (no matter how I feel) and doesn’t require change, repentance, or even recognition that the scandalizer has caused scandal.

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        1. What I sought to imply with my closing sentence was simply that under the umbrella of God’s love/mercy, I believe that we are called to forgive unconditionally. I’m more of a *big picture* versus *hair splitting* kinda gal, as a rule. Thinking along different ends of a spectrum are necessary for proper balance, and I employ a sliding scale as I deem necessary when warranted I am just not feeling the need to be anything more than lighthearted in the response that I gave, at this time on this matter.

          “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”

          King James Version (KJV) ❤

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          1. @JLynnByrd: Dear Jenn, your lightheartedness wins the day. We are called to forgive unconditionally. The mystery of mercy and justice being two sides of the same coin is a mystery that remains in God’s hands because He alone knows all things.

            My hair splitting comes from having accepted the lie that my unconditional forgiveness is the same as me being a doormat. Believing this lie allowed me to become complicit in being used and abused. This perception contributed to continued offense by offenders and a non-Christ-like example until I discovered a piece of true unconditional forgiveness–the answers to these questions: What part do I play in NOT being a party to continuing offense? What do I do to change myself or the situation so the offender stops offending? Someone can only abuse or use me as much as I allow them to do so. Always, I forgive.

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            1. III, I understand.

              At the suggestion of my confessor, many times, I am back to attending a 12 step program. I too have the same struggles. The serenity prayer is helpful as is the mantra that I have been repeating often, “I did not cause this, I cannot control it and I cannot cure it.” It has truly been a Godsend for me.

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              1. Similar mantra to mine, JLynn. Along with: “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” AND “I don’t know what you are going to do about it, but this is what I’m going to do. I care that it’s hard or puts you in a difficult spot, but this is what I’m going to do.” AND “I love you. If you have questions, ask. Good luck!”

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              1. @Doug: Would you agree that there are those who prove themselves to be untrustworthy to such an extent that trust having not only NOT been earned but betrayed (especially with gaslighting techniques) to the point of psychopathy becomes the breaking point. Complicity in the psychopathy is the indicator for me that the time has come to brush the sand off one’s sandals and move along, with unconditional forgiveness, of course.

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    1. I am hesitent to delve into this…

      “it seems to me that the scandal of a little one isn’t much affected by whether or not he understands the intent of the scandalizers once the scandalization has occurred.”

      “as ineffective as a judge in a courtroom telling the members of the jury to disregard testimony.”

      “Sure I am called to forgive, but isn’t part of forgiving setting up the situation such that the offense does not keep on coming, and coming, and coming?”

      *******

      Huh?

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      1. Like Desmond said, “That is perhaps why I even said or implied that, ‘one be surprised or shocked’. The rest of the comment was based upon the impression that somehow one followed the other. They don’t. As I stated, I was not surprised or shocked. But I was scandalized. I simply wasn’t surprised, because to me it was ‘same old same old’ coming from Jesuit training and formation. It was simply my way of explaining that to me it WAS just more of the same from Jesuit environs.”

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      2. @SeanSullivan17: I hope that the discussion that has commenced makes my first and third points that you hi-light clearer.

        As to the second point, scandal like gossip is really hard to undo once it’s gotten ‘out of the bag’, It’s kind of like testimony in a courtroom that is ordered dismissed. Is it possible to totally un-hear or un-see something that has already made its mark on one’s brain especially if the point was accompanied by shock or surprise? That was my point on the second quote.

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    2. That is perhaps why I even said or implied that, “one be surprised or shocked”. The rest of the comment was based upon the impression that somehow one followed the other. They don’t. As I stated, I was not surprised or shocked. But I was scandalized. I simply wasn’t surprised, because to me it was ‘same old same old’ coming from Jesuit training and formation. It was simply my way of explaining that to me it WAS just more of the same from Jesuit environs.

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      1. @Who takes responsibility for this scandal from the highest height? What is a lay person to do to stop the scandal that just keeps on coming?

        It’s all good for Desmond being scandalized but at the same time “not being surprised or shocked” because its just (Ho, Hum) situation normal, Jesuits being Jesuits and all that. Or more precisely, SOME Jesuits being like SOME Jesuits and no end in sight with THE top honcho a Jesuit himself of the SOME Jesuit-type environs, it would seem.

        I think DMG puts my own sentiments best: “I don’t think I am understanding correctly. If one intentionally allows for idol worship in their “house,” how does that not make one an idol worshiper? Especially since all those in the Vatican had prior knowledge that this was going to happen and the extensive knowledge of Christianity to know that it is wrong. I am sure it is a poor analogy, but if I allow a wigi board to be used in my home, even if I don’t partake, I am allowing the practice, I know what the practice entails, hence I am culpable for the outcomes of that practice (potential demonic influence).

        If anything, to me, it makes the situation even worse that Vatican officials knew what the pagans were going to do in Christ’s house and did not have the longing to stop it on, as you say consecrated grounds. Shows the complete absence of supernatural faith. Anyway you look at it, they are culpable for idol worship, just as the idol worshipers themselves.”

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  3. Wonderful piece Desmond I tried to “like” it and probably 200 other comments but my stupid iPhone won’t permit ..grrrr…but with Gods grace someday I will …anyhow…. things are getting real TNRS ASOH🙏😇🤗🥰🐿

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  4. I just watched the DVD: LOVE AND MERCY: FAUSTINA” a wonderful documentary on Mercy. So much more… one dialogue resonated with me and I relate here.. God came to a poor, humble soul, not to us Ph.D.’s (intellectuals) because her soul (mind) was open and ours were closed.

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      1. https://www.shopmercy.org/love-and-mercy-faustina.html

        “The Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is a religious community of consecrated priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. In America, the members of the Congregation are perhaps best known for their work promoting the message of Divine Mercy from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They are also known for their devotion to Mary Immaculate, dedication to praying for the poor souls in Purgatory, and active service to the Church.”

        https://www.shopmercy.org/who-are-the-marians/

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  5. Thank you Desmond.
    We need to also look at the “heretical messages” from Our Lady of Peace in Medjugorje. There is only “one” Church that Jesus founded. Not “all” religions are the same. We are not all on “different colored” buses headed to the same place. The demonic would like us to believe otherwise. We must be prudent and discern carefully what is true and what is idolatry.

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    1. San San, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Medjugorje did not say all religions are the same. She did say that man made the divisions in Christianity; God didn’t. And she is said to have commented that an individual of another religion was a holy person.

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      1. This may be a no-brainer for our learned readers but I’m unsure as to what is the correct theological mindset to have in this predicament: Our city has a growing Indian community employed by a global aerospace/ defense industry. The 500+ families are wanting to build a new Hindu temple on the outskirts of town, ( b/c land is sloped properly; and they have outgrown their current location.) Besides praying for their conversion to the true faith, is it ok to pray that the new larger temple is not built, or would that not being respectful of all religions. Any input is welcomed. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Apparently these practices will not be shut down in the modern day because they are somehow approved by Francis and he is the one who would need to move to shut it down. …..None of us are perfect Catholics, but the First Commandment would seem to be an easy one to understand and live. The Jesuits want to be inclusive much like the political Left in the U S. While a Catholic may show respect for everyone’s free will and cultural beliefs, I find it appalling and reprehensible that any priest (let alone the Pope) would allow pagan worship inside a Catholic Church. I am the first to say that I am an imperfect person, but this First Commandment is the core of all Christian faith and I believe that to minimize it in any way puts a Christian person (people /organization) on the road to perdition. And our Bible shows us very clearly that this is true…..Aquinas41, I understand what you are saying in your article and I thank you for your commentary….. It seems to me that the Jesuits run many universities in the US and the world. All of them are becoming more liberal, I believe, as are most universities. I think that the Jesuits’ pride in their intellectual endeavors has allowed them to arrive at this point. …In any case, planning and allowing the presence and worship of a pagan image inside a Catholic Church was certainly the last straw for me in regard to my impression of the current papacy.

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      1. @StJudithWannaBe: YES! What you said. When is enough going to be ENOUGH? What will it take? Child sacrifice on the altar of St. Peter’s? Or just New GIRM-required bowls of indigenous earth on the altars of Our Lord around the WHOLE world during the Sacrifice of the Mass?

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      2. I don’t know how it’s possible for us to muck up the first Commandment either, but here we are, and the world is full of idolatry. In calling out the worthlessness of false religions in Jeremiah 7, God specifically mentions “burning incense to Baal and following other gods you have not known,” in addition to stealing, murder, adultery and perjury. Oh, how many names could we give to idolatry in our own day? The list is virtually endless. I also don’t know how it’s possible to read Jeremiah 7 and not convict ourself first.

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        1. It really is a balancing act, MP and Judith. We notice what is wrong and we want to be able to discuss it – judging with righteous judgment the behaviors and words, without condemning or judging hearts or sowing seeds of bitterness, division, and harsh judgement within ourselves or those around us by what we think, say and do. Gosh yes on examining ourselves for the idols in our own lives, the compulsions, the over-attachments, anything that stands as a block to full union with God. And even then, we have this disarray all around which we must face and for which we pray that we be an antidote, speaking, praying, and doing as we remain anchored in the unity of MERCY and JUSTICE. Passion of Christ, strengthen us.

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          1. Beckita, the Bible clearly shows us how offended God the Father was (and certainly is) by false gods and idolatry. I specifically speak of false idols like the golden calf. I do not see how one can minimize this sin. I do not even think it is a balancing act. Yes, there are many sins and offenses against God. One might say that pursuit of wealth is a kind of idolatry of money. However, if one uses the wealth for the Good, then there is a balancing act going on. I am the first to admit I have sin in my life. However, New Age is entering the Christian churches via many ways. This is really Old Age belief which begins with false gods…..I recently told my students that every posture in yoga represented homage and worship of thousands of Eastern gods. I have an Asian American in the class who indicated that this was absolutely true. I asked him if he practiced Yoga. He did not, However, my Christian students clearly did not see the conflict in belief systems……I can only say that even though I know I have sin, and may not recognize all of my sins yet, this particular act by Francis truly repulsed me a way that struck me deep in the heart. On this matter the teachings and lessons of the Bible are clear: Jesus is the only Way, Truth and the Life. My statements are not so much a criticism as a clear statement of truth at a time when truth must be proclaimed without hesitation when a lie attempts to subvert the greatest of all commandments. Yes, we can pray for our brothers and Francis. I always ask for prayers for myself. We all need prayer. Nonetheless, a lie can never be accepted as truth, especially as this historical moment when confusion reigns.

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            1. When Trump said Roe vs Wade must be overturned, we all rejoiced. Why? He spoke the truth. Loudly, clearly and with conviction. Finally!!!… The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit must rightly be adored, magnified, glorified and be given thinks for our blessings especially in their own Home. I would never ask them to move over one single millimeter to make room for false gods to appease a crowd or political / cultural group , no matter which group of people that may be, no matter how nice they may seem to be. It is not a crowd that a Christian seeks to please. It is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I think every Christian from every Christian church can easily agree that this is true.

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          2. Agreed, and I always take full ownership/responsibility for my words. Heck, even Des and Charlie have had to reassure folks who don’t know them that they are open-minded, light-hearted, at peace, etc… and sharing with a charitable delivery! Not entirely their fault, obviously, as a fair chunk rests in the ears of the hearer. I say give the other the benefit of a doubt in discussions. Heck, I’m typically always calm and grinning, and don’t think there’s the slightest risk of having to guess on those rare occasions when I’m off kilter. This is not one of them.

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            1. Ahh, shades of YD’s grasshopper. Is that in any way related to “repeat rant,” newly coined by a kindred spirit of yours? You both keep me grinning and youthful.

              “Ripples help aerate the pond and keep it vital, lest it become a stagnate swamp.” (I’m obviously trying to pass off my thought as ancient wisdom.) Where’s YD when you need him?

              When we were kids, it was usually a case of who could heft the largest rock and make the biggest splash. That usually led to bodies launching… CANNONBALL!

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              1. Yes MP.  I miss the wise bishop.  But then, I have to imagine he is busy fighting off evil heresies in the Church.  Maybe he will be the Saint to rescue the Church?  Well, I do have identical twin girls.  I thought about naming them Pete and Re-Pete, but Lambzie would not have a go of it.  However, this reminds me of a joke.  Two people were talking and 1st says, “Two twins, Pete and Re-Pete were on a boat.  Pete fell off followed by Re-Pete.  Who fell off last?”.  2and says, “Re-Pete”.  1st says, “Two twins, Pete and Re-Pete were on a boat.  Pete fell off followed by Re-Pete.  Who fell off last?”.  2and says, “Re-Pete”.  1st says, “Two twins, Pete and Re-Pete were on a boat.  Pete fell off followed by Re-Pete.  Who fell off last?”.  2and says, “Re-Pete”……….—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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      3. I completely agree with you! The Jesuit pride in their intellectual ability has resulted in their belief that they are intellectually superior to the “little ones” who may not have all the extensive theological degrees they have, but work to ground their faith in humility and eternal truth, which allows them to strive for God’s actual will and live within the freedom and joy of the perennial teachings of the church.

        Unfortunately, I believe many Jesuits have come to despise the simple, little ones.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. There is nothing wrong with a solid theological background. What is wrong with the vast majority of the Jesuits is that they don’t have it. They for the most part have a skewed version of theology is not in the main faithful to the teachings of the Church. That is a regrettable fact. The only way to affectively combat the erroneous ideas found in so many Jesuits – is to know the theological teachings of the Church oneself.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. I understood exactly what you were saying here Desmond… spot on per usual! Love your insight and knowledge of the products of eschatology and so much more of the church … What a crazy time in which we live 😩

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  7. I was neither shocked nor surprised. Just felt scandalized (or maybe in my face kind of betrayed?). I, how ever hard I find it to do, I pray for Pope Francis. He is and has been pulled by the satin strings too, like all of us! We all need to be prayed for! I think my prayers along with millions of others, has helped Pope Francis. May we all continue to pray! Never never quit!

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  8. Dagnabit it I mean satan, not satin. However, using that mistake, I am sure the satan would love to be known as the satin! 3 souls released from purgatory on that misspelling?

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  9. Keep it Simple:

    God’s Commandments first.
    Scripture supports God’s Word.

    The pope allowed that which the early martyrs died for because they would not permit such idolatry in the House of the Lord. Nor concede to participate in such acts of idolatry.

    Scandal to the innocents. It is no wonder my protestant friends think the Catholic church is not Christian and the whore of Babylon.

    It appears the Vatican is showing it’s true colors and are part and parcel of the machinations off the elites of the world.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. For a second there, I thought this was a repost. It has me thinking again about so much idolatry in the world (who can take its measure?).. as well as that sorry (mildly perplexing) incident with the wooden effigies. At the time, that felt a bit like wading through the muck of the day, only to find interlopers in the kitchen upon returning home… eating our food, breaking our stuff and peppering our walls with graffiti. Considering all the idolatry in the world again, maybe that’s overstating it, but it felt something like that at the time.

    I came upon a couple of Bible passages that helped immensely, then and now. Jeremiah 7:1-9. That’s a bit odd, because Jeremiah has never typically been one of my go-to’s for comfort. The other was a snippet from Matt 10:26… “for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Admittedly, that one is both comforting and challenging (somewhat alarming) as I consider the mess of idolatry to clean up in my own house (me).

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Thank you Desmond and Charlie for this great article. It spells things out in a way that I haven’t seen. I have known Jesuits over the years, but I don’t have a picture from the inside. Thank you for this honest definition of “syncretism” and “idolatry”.

    Second, I was very happy to hear the release of the Amazon Synod Apostolic Exhortation did not include married clergy or women deacons. I found it to be a moment of hope and joy. God’s Will and prayers, I think. I am very heartened by this, even if it is just a breath in the midst of the storm. Worth celebration.

    Someday, it will be interesting to know if the “pachamama” splash in Tiber had anything to do with the above declarations. Just wondering.

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  12. We have two very Powerful women in the United States, both taught by Jesuits and both think they are very good Catholics. Melinda Gates wife of Bill Gates from Microsoft, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker ot the House.. Both push Abortion and Population control. Both very wealthy.

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      1. StJ, I hear all you’re saying! Your comment above about yoga and your students was great/ that you had the courage to tell them the truth. I graduated from a wonderful Catholic college a little before you, and may have been in one of the last classes that had a fantastic faith-filled education. (We used to process to First Friday Mass in our gorgeous chapel, as one example.) The nuns at the women’s college were RSCJ; boy are they off the rails now and you’d never know they’re nuns since there’s no habit at all. When my mother was educated by RSCJ’s they were at the pinnacle!

        Yes, I’m scandalized by all this. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived through a very different era. I don’t care what people say about the 50’s, because the Church was the center of life, and where I was (in different places with a military father), there was holiness. Those nuns and priests made me what I am today, and gave me an unparalleled foundation.

        OK, rant over 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Theresa,

      Nancy Pelosi is a graduate of Trinity College in Washington, D.C. It was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. It is now called Trinity Washington University. Like most Catholic colleges, it went off the rails years ago. As far as I know, Nancy never did graduate-level work with the Jesuits.

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        1. No, she graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame, an all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore which was run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. But her world-view is very compatible with much of Jesuit thinking of the last hundred years.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. This comment is in reference to a Reply post made by Beckita on “After God’s Own Heart” on Feb 11th: “Tucker Carlson spoke of it last evening and Rod Dreher wrote of it: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-plague-pushes-china-to-breaking-point-coronavirus

    I strongly recommend that you read the above article linked on what is happening in China. I have been hesitant to mention things when they come up in brief social media posts, and then the posts are removed, accounts shut down, and people disappear. It is hard to substantiate such claims, and I would never want to spread fear or rumor. But I do think that the truth is important and facts are also. I have concerns about the truth not being reported from China.

    There are common and widespread reports of people who are dying undiagnosed with the Coronavirus, and then their bodies are being cremated. There are and probably never will be any official record of these deaths in connection to the virus. The Chinese government has been striving to put a positive face on things. Negative reports on news and social media have been clamped down on. Only positive messages, such as the new hospitals and people doing better are allowed. Other stories are deleted and social media accounts closed, if the reports are negative, showing inadequate medical care, overwhelmed workers, or people forcibly removed from homes and then detained, some until they die. I say this with some hesitancy. It is very difficult to determine whether some of these stories could be fabrications or exaggerations; however, when you hear them over and over from different sources, they need to be given at least some consideration. An opportunity for our prayer and discernment.

    Another sad point is that the Chinese government no longer allows Christian / Catholic funerals. No clergy, prayers, limits of family attending to about one dozen. (This is from EWTN’s The World Over on Feb 13th, report with Cardinal Joseph Zen, toward the end of the hour program.)

    This is to say that the situation in China may be worse than they want us to know. So far, the situation outside of China seems to be still under control, at least for now. All indications are that the small clusters and outbreaks outside of China have been handled well in countries with strong medical care systems, including our own. We are blessed to be in this situation.

    I encourage all of you to continue to pray for Divine help this COVID-19 (new name for this Coronavirus), for all of the people who are sick, their families and friends, for the medical workers: doctors, nurses, technicians, staffs who are putting themselves at risk everyday. Please join me in praying also for the government and public health workers who are making decisions that will affect us all.

    God’s blessings to all of you and your families. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Deon, I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet; but to say that the Director of the CDC does not sound optimistic about COVid-19 is an understatement:

      https://www.zerohedge.com/health/its-coming-cdc-director-warns-coronavirus-become-widespread-throughout-united-states

      Also, the WHO seems to have changed its tune about coronavirus situation in China, and to have become suspicious of the Chinese government’s numbers:

      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/china-says-nearly-2000-doctors-nurses-infected-shortages-medical-supplies-persist

      Liked by 3 people

  14. All just disgusting to me. Scandalous events keep piling up. Our pope’s behavior cannot be whitewashed for me. But I believe he is definitely here for God’s good purpose.

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    1. And I don’t know if I am being accused of whitewashing – I most certainly am not.

      I do however know a great deal about the ‘conditioning’ on the issue of ‘inculturation’ that they receive in their theology classes. They are taught that it is OK ACCOMMODATE some pagan practices and beliefs – if that will make the pagans more comfortable in their newfound Christianity.

      As in all errors, there is an element of truth in that. For instance, I’ve had Catholic students from Polynesia and Micronesia who back home sing their hymns and psalms in their incredibly beautiful native language. They sing harmonies which are in beautiful tonalities we do not know in the West. Many of their hymns of praise sing of gifts from God – which we have never even seen – let alone experienced. All of those are in harmony with God’s Revelation – with no hint of error nor false worship. Those kinds of inculturation are wonderful and keep God’s beauty and bounty ever before their eyes.

      But the Jesuit cant on this is that as long as old pagan practices are just understood as part of their culture – no harm is done. Where can and does that view so common amongst so many Jesuits lead?? We saw where that can and does often lead Jesuits – in the Pachamama displays which were worshipped as idols by attendees. At the very least, those worshippers of Pachamama ACTED just like pagans. And their acts were idolatrous.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Definitely didn’t think you are whitewashing. I’m really referring to all that has transpired in the years past, that people (including me at first) bent over backwards trying to explain and defend—the confusing things Pope Francis has said and done.

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    2. I can’t help but wonder how “normal” seeing pegan idol worshiped is for Pope Francis?
      When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, she appeared as a native girl adorned with native symbolism which was the language of the local Indians (hieroglyphics). These hieroglyphics are present today on the tilma and show how She communicated her message to the Indians.
      When Moses first manifested his presence to the Egyptians, he turned his staff into a snake, a more pegan-like act when compared to today’s understanding of how God manifest Himself but apparently using a colloquial form to intimate His power.
      There is a lot of mixing of pegan/Christian symbolism still present in Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa, New Orleans, and elsewhere. If by the Jesuit teachings Pope Francis has received and the culture he grew up along side of have saturated him, I can see how he may understand things differently- dispite how we who did not grow up alongside such behaviors are scandalized by it.
      I must admit, I didn’t know how scandalized I was until I saw the video of those idols being shot-putted into the Tiber. I got excited and a sence of satisfaction came over me! For me, it is foreign to see pegan idols much less idol worship of this kind (I see plenty of the monetized kind). I just wonder if in Francis’ world, it is not strange. If Francis is concerned with converting/keeping these local populations of mixed worshippers over the “stiff” Western cultures who seem to be loosing their faith in droves this is not unlike the massive loss of Catholics during the protestant revolution while Our Lady converted a similar number to Catholicism in Mexico.
      God never closes a door without opening another.
      Just my two cents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “…she appeared as a native girl ”

        She appeared as a Metizo, a person of mixed race. The symbolism is far greater as she united both peoples; Spanish & Indian.

        For one and all I highly recommend “A Handbook on Guadalupe” ISBN 1-60114-006-1

        Liked by 3 people

      2. In this case, the historic precedence is that a previous pope warned the Jesuits about the fact that this blatant worship of pagan idols – or ancestor worship, etc., keep those being evangelized from truly and fully converting to the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Numerous leading Jesuit ‘thinkers’ in the last two decades have admitted in writing that they truly see no real difference between Christianity and other religions. And THAT is exactly why the Church has previously ordered the Jesuits to stop encouraging such practices. The Jesuits – as an order – have not obeyed.

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      3. God had Moses and Aaron use a staff to demonstate that the power of the God of Israel was dominant over all pagan idols and god – that they were impotent before the one God of Israel. The staff of such men was in those days a sign of their authority and power. The Egyptian pagan priests/magicians’ power came from the devil. The power of Moses and Aaron’s staff’s came from the All-powerful God of Israel.

        God gave them this order,
        “Exodus 7:9 When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord commanded; Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts. 12 For every man cast down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”

        The Omnipotent God of Israel foresaw the Pharaoh’s priests trying to duplicate the power of the miracle from the staff held by Aaron. So in signal that their alleged miracle was a joke, God had the snake formed from his staff swallow up the alleged power of the Egyptian pagan false gods.

        There was nothing secular in that demonstration – as was miraculously summarily proven.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thank you all for your corrections/additions to my comment. I agree with them but they do not address the point I was trying to make.
          I was using Moses and Our Lady’s use of indigenous things/times mostly to point out how they would be viewed by us TODAY and how shocked we might be.
          If Francis’ view of things “today” are understood by his culture, experience and training, it stands to reason those views might look different to a Westerner.
          I do not argue that some Jesuits are disobedient to mother church or what is or isn’t pagan or idolatry for that has been firmly established by the church. My point is how Francis might see those who come from a country where there is a lack of Christian history/worldview and how this differs from those who come from a Judeo/Christian history and world view and how he may be focusing on this dynamic in his approach. His statement “who am I to judge” gives some insight into his thought process when it come to the least of our brothers and how he gives the benefit of a doubt towards their “good will”. Pope Benedict commented that he did not know what the mystery of Islam is and what it could mean for the future, he considering Islam’s conversion may be a similar event as the Jews conversion will be once they are reunited to the church when this original branch is grafted back to the vine.
          Desmond makes a similar inference to this in his statement above: “Those kinds of inculturation are wonderful and keep God’s beauty and bounty ever before their eyes”. The point is that cultural behaviors can be edifying and though practiced through a pagan understanding of God can still be a devotion of good will on their part. We must remember where they are comming from…pagan practices not Judeo/Christian ones. I do not condone bringing these practices into the church but does Francis feel in order to bring these people into the church it may require some acceptance to their cultural ways so they feel accepted? Obviously, there is the thin line between a desire to convert and the mistake of syncretism.
          And so insues the argument.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. P. Francis grew up in Argentina, primarily in the city. The fact is Rome had repeatedly warned the Jesuits that their methods were in many cases only getting indigenous peoples to add the God of the Christian to their panoply of pagan deities. THAT was and is the problem with their approach. The indigenous natives who fell down and worshipped the pagan earth ‘goddess’, Pachamama —- did not give such an honor to images of Jesus. Anyone should be able to understand the import of that contrast.

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            1. It is only natural that indigenous people lacking the direct revelations from God fall into worshiping as god the most powerful things they observe around them and turn them into idols. There is nothing profound in this that should lead anyone privy to God’s revelations to honor this as such. Refusing to carry out Christ’s command to go and teach all nations all that He has taught us through the Apostles and His Church is to violate our most basic and solemn duty. Elevating ancient human wisdom above or equal to Devine revelation is setting up an idol in and of itself. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. jas

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        2. And in proving this miracle, Pharaoh still did not believe and repent.  How exasperated our heavenly father must get with is creatures….—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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          1. He gave Pharaoh numerous miracles – but still no conversion from pharoah (7 miracles if my memory serves me correctly). He gave Paul 1 – and intellectually honest Paul converted.

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      4. When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, she spoke the native Aztec language and took on an appearance which was an indigenous look. However, her message was totally Christian and, specifically, Catholic.

        “According to the accounts, the woman, speaking to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language (the language of the Aztec Empire), identified herself as the Virgin Mary, “mother of the very true deity”.[3] She was said to have asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor.

        Based on her words, Juan Diego then sought out the archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, to tell him what had happened. Not unexpectedly, the bishop did not believe Diego, but on the same day Juan Diego saw the young woman for a second time (the second apparition). The story continues saying she then asked him to keep insisting.

        On Sunday, December 10, Juan Diego talked to the archbishop for a second time. The latter instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, and to ask the lady for a truly acceptable, miraculous sign to prove her identity. That same day, the third apparition occurred when Diego returned to Tepeyac and encountering the same woman, he reported back to her the bishop’s request for a sign; she consented to provide one on the following day (December 11).[4]”

        As we all know, several miraculous signs were given.

        As the Mother of God, Our Blessed Mother, Mother to all of us, can and does appear in various ways. There are many black Madonnas, such as the Virgen de Montserrat I believe this signifies her all encompassing motherhood to all peoples. However, her message never deviates from the truth. There is never a pagan idol at her side. If one were to appear, then we would certainly conclude that the vision of Our Blessed Mother is / was totally false.

        The Blessed Mother leads us to Christ alone.

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      5. Just one final thought… “shot putting” those into the river would have been preferable to what I saw in the actual video which consisted of lining them up on the stone railing of the bridge and pushing them in the drink (where they were subsequently fished out). Yes, wood floats. I think the last one got a tepid backhand into the drink, but not sure from the video. We’re certainly a long, long way from Mattathias and his sons, aren’t we.

        Next time anyone comes across a wooden idol, JUST BURN IT! No need to post a video to youtube. We’ll take your word for it.

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        1. MP,
          The big hurdle here is instead of a foreign ruler asking us to “idol worship” it’s our own ruler!
          Well, he isn’t really asking us to idol worship but to: “nothing to see here, just move along”.
          My conundrum to it all comes from the superstitious use/beliefs of things here in the West-such as a rabbits foot, black cats, horse shoes, lucky shorts (Michael Jordan), etc. Some are also guilty of using”sacramentals” in a ‘get out of jail free’ kind of way. Not sure if I were to brandish some of these things in church if I would get a similar treatment by wearing say, a native American ‘dream catcher’ or some other Western originating totem pole like ornament or another. I think most people here would NOT be scandalized by someone in church using some of our Western types of superstitious garb/trinkets. My point is how we view the ingrained use/acceptance of such nonsense and how trivial we see it the same in SA with some of the local superstitions being considered just as silly to them as ours are to us?
          Of course, nobody is bringing a Ouiji board or pentagram into our church, placing it on the alter and bowing down to it. I get that. I think that would definitely scandalize us here. But you can see how allowing the more “harmless” types of “strange gods” into a culture has denature our focus when it comes to recognising the danger of the bigger ones.
          Seems the simple act of “shot putting’ an idol into a river can help realign that focus.
          I know it did for me.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yup Phillip.  Decon bug spray is 3% poison and 97% inactive ingredients.  The 3% is effective at killing….—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

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          2. Des asked us a straightforward question, Phil, though I don’t imagine he was thinking, “I’m going to start here… then we’ll end up precisely here.” Still I imagine, based on his vast experience, he had a pretty good idea what field we’d end up in, no doubt having been there on many an occasion with other pupils.

            The one word he gave was “syncretism,” and surely we all know that our One True Faith comes to us from God Himself, whereas the countless false religions of the world have one source as well. satan. Whether they appear as a mishmash of confusion and/or evil intent from other men, or not.

            My one word was “idolatry.” Yes, pachamama, but expanded to consider it in its fullest and countless, often subtle, forms. Call it my most visceral reaction. And to be clear, I hate the sin, but not the sinner.

            Syncretism. Idolatry. Confusion. Culpability. Scandalizer. Forgiveness. Hesitation. Balance. Simple. Disgusting. Perspective. Those are just some of the other “one words” we saw here from other folks. Personally, I was most deeply moved by the word “forgiveness” from this exercise.

            I was also moved by your reaction, which I think is typically “nimble” and not stiff necked. That you would move to convict –– or at least question –– your own thought first, before the apparent thoughts and actions of another (in this case Pope Francis), speaks volumes. The words and actions of another are important, but no amount of analyzing them will get us to the pinpoint truth of the matter. God knows, and that’s enough for me.

            One would have to understand that I was again commenting on idolatry in its many forms, using the figure of the wooden effigies and comparing that to the situation of idolatry as seen in the Book of Maccabees. I admire their response to that horror. Sadly, I can’t say the same about our tepid response. Just consider the current state of affairs and all the idolatry in the world!

            Hand wringing, hair pulling, nervous sweat beading, etc. is a start, but we gotta get serious about this.

            Having participated in the first part of this lesson so far, I like this plan: Forgive, then burn every last vestige of idolatry in myself.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Desmond,  I just started reading your book and love it!  Here is the bulk of our monthly storm letter which I think apropos as it ties into your post.  It is good to put a name to what I wrote below, about making all religions equal, as I have not heard of the word syncretism before.  It fits and from my perspective, goes way beyond the church as I have written below. 

    For this month’s storm meeting, I would like to talk about a heresy creeping into the Catholic church and how it is being disguised so that its effects are subtle, but with devastating consequences.

    I have heard two terms used to relate to this topic.  The first term is “Modern Innovations” and the second is “Free Masonry.”  My main focus here is regarding Free Masonry and how it is being branded as a modern innovation.

    Of late I have been reading messages from Luz de Maria de Bonilla who is a purported visionary in South America.  I must first emphasize that she is not officially approved by the church.  However, she does have a bishop’s imprimatur on her messages.  It is not her local bishop. So I am not sure how much weight this carries. She has some pretty interesting things to say that are pretty dire. I am currently weighing this against my understanding of scriptures and what our Church teaches as well as reading Desmond Birches book, “Trial, Tribulation & Triumph”.

    One common theme she keeps mentioning with regularity is Free Masonry and how it has infiltrated the church and our culture.  My first thoughts when I read this were: 

    “hmmm.  Free Masonry?  Isn’t that those lodges or groups of guys that get together and do charitable things?  Don’t they believe in God? Their temples seem pretty vacant.  I never see people going in or out of them.  It just does not seem like they would have much influence.  How could they be of concern? Why does this keep being mentioned by this visionary?” 

    As such, I thought it would prove very instructive for me to do some further research on Free Masonry.  So I read Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical entitled “Humanum Genus” on Free Masonry.  This encyclical was written back in April, 1884.  After I read it, its reasoning and warning became crystal clear to me.  Ergo, how much is at stake here.

    First, I laugh when I hear people say that the Church needs to modernize or “get with the times”.  Usually what this really means is that the Church needs to embrace abortion, contraception, homosexual marriage, etc.  There are many who believe that the Church’s teachings are outdated and that morality needs to change with the times.  This is termed “Modern Innovations”.  Free Masonry feeds right into this and I will explain how, in a summary manner, by highlighting some key tenants of Free Masonry.

    Below are various quotes from Pope Leo’s encyclical.

    “Human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God;  they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence,”

    How can this be seen today?  I see science and intellectualism becoming God and atheism at work here.  If anything is not seen or observed in the physical world, then it does not exist.  I understand this as denying God’s transcendent existence.  Only the real world exists and there are no such things as transcendent, absolute truths. This logically concludes that morals do not exist except only in the context of what society or culture defines.  This gives rise to relativism.

    “the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church.”

    Boy, how much does that speak to today?  There has been an attack on the church to completely divorce it from having any part or influence in civil government since God was officially kicked out of school in 1963 in the U.S.  Try and pass any kind of law today and use the argument that the Bible speaks out against it.  What would occur if someone used the Bible to show Homosexuality is a sin?  That person would instantly be branded as a racist today and because he referenced the Bible, his claims would be automatically dismissed.  The above quote was very prophetic for our times.

    “they thereby teach the great error of this age—that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.”

    This belief, I surmise, is one of the most dangerous of all.  As Catholics, we understand that truth and salvation come through our Church.  In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through me.”  Stating that all religions are equal takes our precious faith and assigns it a place of irrelevance.  Our faith no longer has the moral high-ground.  Other religions such as the God of the Muslims are just as equal.  

    Have you ever got an email asking a question and it was addressed to multiple people including you?  What happens if you do not answer the email?  What happens if no one answers the email because everyone is too busy? The email becomes irrelevant.   An expression I have heard at work is “an email to everyone is an email to no one”.  I have experienced this.  Thus, at work, I am careful to address emails to a singular person if I am requesting or asking for something.  Then the person has no excuse.  

    The above Free Mason belief is like that.  If all faiths are the same, then no faith matters and we are then not responsible to any faith.  Jesus is God became man and through his life, death and resurrection, he has brought eternal life to the man who accepts this.  (Hallelujah!)  There is no other faith that brings salvation to mankind. However, our faith does not hold that God will not save people from other faiths.  Our Catholic faith teaches that God can make provisions for those “officially” outside the faith.  This is a great mystery and mercy of God and is very, very different from saying that all religions are the same.

    In the recent synod of the Amazon, the working document actually contained a section that stated, “all religions are willed by God” effectively equating all religions as the same.  We will see soon whether the final document has this error removed or not. I pray it is removed.

    Here are some further highlights from the encyclical that keenly illustrate the above position.

    “although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction………But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none;………all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature…….When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality.”

    Here is the result as highlighted, 

    “If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded.”  

    Translated—everything goes!  Morality then becomes what man defines and not what God defines:  Homosexuality is OK, fornication is OK,  abortion is OK, Transgenderism is OK and the list goes on and on.  We cannot defend against this amoral onslaught because we are not allowed to in the public arena, because religion is not allowed in government and God has been rendered irrelevant.  Can you see the progression here?  There is now no restraint to the evils allowed in our society.  It all depends on who is in control of government.  It then becomes a huge power struggle for who maintains control.  In another highlight the encyclical states:

    “the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice”. Further, “that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent………that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract – that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together”

    Wow!  How prophetic is this?  It was not until the mid 1800s in the U.S. that marriage became regulated by the government.  Think about this.  Who instituted marriage?  The government or God?  It is in Genesis that God instituted the marriage sacrament and Jesus upheld it in his teaching in the Gospels when he stated in Mark:10:7, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh and what God has joined together, let man not divide.”  Marriage is a sacrament.
    It is not contract.  When one gets married, it is in the eyes of God and it is therefore an indissoluble covenant, not a contract.  This is why the church does not accept divorce but rather requires annulment.  A contract can be broken if terms are not met.  A covenant is a promise and cannot be broken.  Why is this so important?  Because it cements the covenant of salvation that God has made with us.  God will not break his promise like we may do.  

    The other equally important part of this covenant is in teaching for our children.  As Catholic Christians, we have an awesome responsibility to the care of our children to lead them to faith and salvation.  The biggest part of demonstrating this to our children is the faithfulness that we have as husband and wife.  It models God’s faithfulness to our children and inspires them to trust and feel secure.

    Here is yet another encyclical highlight that attests that Free Masons ascribe to socialism and communism as preferred forms of government:

    “It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place……in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.”  

    Ergo, for socialism and communism to take hold, God has to be completely removed from government.  Government then becomes God.  And here is yet another thought from the encyclical on the evolution towards socialism and communism:

    “Now, from the disturbing errors which We have described the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists; and to their undertakings the sect of Freemasons is not hostile, but greatly favours their designs, and holds in common with them their chief opinions.”

    And further, Pope Leo’s encyclical shows how Free Masonry places the blame on the Church that man suffers poverty.

    “Proclaiming with a loud voice liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it was owing to the Church and to sovereigns that the multitude were not drawn out of their unjust servitude and poverty, they have imposed upon the people, and, exciting them by a thirst for novelty, they have urged them to assail both the Church and the civil power. Nevertheless, [the expectation of the benefits which was hoped for is greater than the reality]; indeed, the common people, more oppressed than they were before, are deprived in their misery of that solace which, if things had been arranged in a Christian manner, they would have had with ease and in abundance. But, whoever strive against the order which Divine Providence has constituted pay usually the penalty of their pride, and meet with affliction and misery where they rashly hoped to find all things prosperous and in conformity with their desires.”

    Think of what I bracketed above in terms of all the “free” stuff that the democratic presidential candidates are promising?  Their track record?

    Below is a brief summary of the progression:  

    Rationalize that God is not who he says he is or does not exist at all. Render our faith irrelevant and completely divorce any influence religion has on civil government or society.  Destroy marriage as a sacrament or covenant. Unleash a license for all kinds of immorality. Sew the seeds of discontent. Usher in socialism and communism.  

    Doesn’t that sound a lot like what we see today in our country and the greater world?

    Finally, I will end with a highlight of what Pope Leo concludes about the Free Masons sect, 

    “Let no one be deceived by a pretense of honesty.  It may seem to some that Freemasons demand nothing that is openly contrary to religion and morality; but, as the whole principle and object of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful.”

    I know this letter is more a long treatise on Free Masonry and it’s devastating consequences than a concise “Storm Meeting Notice.”  But I strongly believe we must clearly understand that Freemasonry IS insidiously permeating our whole culture now. It may well be the foremost reason why we have experienced rapid moral cultural decline over the past 50 plus years; and that decline is rapidly accelerating!  Pope Leo’s encyclical was way “ahead of its time” and very prophetic of our times.  

    After reading his encyclical, I clearly understand Luz de Maria’s alarm regarding Free Masonry.  

    It is not just a bunch of old guys meeting in a lodge, but is a hideously demonic conspiracy infiltrating our culture.  So when I hear someone say, “The Church needs to keep up with the times”; I reply, “This is backwards!”  “The church is way ahead of its time and it is the culture that is behind the times or frankly, relapsing backwards into paganism.
    Ergo, Pachamama ”  In terms of Modern Innovations, the church does not need to update itself to conform to the culture, but rather the culture needs to update itself to conform to the Church.  

    “Humanum Genus” is an encyclical well worth reading.  

    We look forward to seeing those who can join us.  May God richly bless each one of you and have mercy on us all.

    In Him,

    Doug and Jacki

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Dear Doug, in addressing your ‘certainty’ issue with the alleged seer. The only ‘ordinary’ whose imprimatur carries any weight vis-a-vis writings, is that of the Ordinary/Bishop of the alleged ‘seer/visionary/locutionist/etc. The imprimatur of another bishop in such cases plus a dime, is not worth a cup of coffee at a coffee shop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Des, I that that might be the case.  So this applies in writing a book too?  You have to have your ordinary apply the imprimatur?—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

        Like

        1. A layman doesn’t have to have an imprimatur to write and publish a book. But if he wants one that means anything, the imprimatur must come from either his own bishop – or lacking that – get one from the ordinary of the publisher.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Doug, this encyclical on Freemasonry is a gem, and yes, we see it playing out in our time, even played out, past tense/ it’s happened. I was directed to this gem years ago as I believe the Holy Spirit directs us to spiritual truths we need to know.. It should be read by all, IMHO.

      Additionally, Mother Mary revealed a number of things to Father Gobbi about Freemasonry and it’s presence in the Church also. When we look at the Church, our government and society, etc. we see this evil which seems to overlap with Communism.

      We don’t focus on evil, but as Mother Angelica used to say, we must know the enemy we’re fighting.
      Mother Mary, crush the serpent under your heel!
      God bless you all!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes Annie.  It is a gem and really supports what Desmond wrote.  It is a demonic conspiracy.   What I left out is what  do we do as Christian’s? What is our responsibility?  This will be the discussion of our storm meeting as we meet this Saturday.—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Thanks Becks.  Folks will be showing up in about 1/2 hour.  We will pray five decades of the Rosary with special intentions, have a nice pot luck supper (yum) and because we are Catholic, will have a little wine.  After, we will have a discussion on Freemasonry.  I will introduce Desmonds book.  Beautiful people coming!—- Sent from Doug’s Back Pack

            Liked by 4 people

  16. Charlie still in Miami we went by Haagen Dax and Mike bought me cup of rum raisin and gift card for someone else we know who likes Haagen Daz!!!👍 his idea he says whenever he sees Haagen Daz he thinks of vous😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. added comments from
      POPE FRANCIS, THE JESUITS and SYNCRETISM (repost with missing text added)
      Posted on February 14, 2020 by Beckita
      give us THE NEXT RIGHT STEP
      aquinas41
      February 14, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you very much Beckita, One of the slickest ways Satan has of leading down the garden path, is to whisper in our ear the idea that: the person we believe broke part of God’s moral code, or who merely did something we didn’t like is, unlike us, without possible excuse.

      This is one of the times and issues in which Satan tries to whisper the loudest to us. He whispers, “After all, anyone should know better than that what so and so did” [whatever it is].

      This is one of those times which Jesus foresees in salvation history – where we will be tempted to break His rule of “Judge not lest you be judged.” He is speaking in that place of what will happen if we even subtly try to get away with judging the heart of the other – or to think we are ’better’ than they are. How soon in such situations Satan can get us to forget our own character flaws.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

      Liked by you and 4 other people
      Reply

      Beckita
      February 14, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Amen, Desmond. The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican has timeless value.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. A Dominican. a Franciscan and a Jesuit all wound up in Heaven before the throne of God Himself at the same time. The Dominican stepped forward and thanked God for the grace to spend eternity with Him. God said, “You did well, my son. Come sit by me.” The Franciscan came forward and praised God for His mercy so that he could also spend eternity with Him. God said, “You also have done My Will well, my son. Come sit by me.” The Jesuit came forward and said.”I believe You are sitting in my seat”

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Excellent homily by Fr. Calloway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYuJhEZHj84
    He discusses the importance of St. Joseph in these times especially the need for consecration: we need to come to Jesus through Mary AND Joseph. One of the start dates for the consecration is this Sunday, Feb 16 for the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19. It has been 150 years since St. Joseph was declared the patron of the Universal Church–he who is named the Terror of Demons.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. YeAh now we are in Hollywood Florida for a little R & R nice away from business of Miami…Dear Lord I like Mayberry Norwalk Ohio so much better! Ha! But there are mysterious people and extremely holy people everywhere… met this wonderful girl at our hotel who helped clear plates at the self serve area… we were there 3 days and I loved her immediately and she too seemed gravitated to me…I brought up How Saint Valentine was martyred. She said she had just finished a novena to him , She still has African dialect so I asked her if she knew immaculatta and about Rwanda genocide. She said her mother or aunt . survived it and knew of immaculatta from Rwanda although she herself grew up in different area!

    Then she proceeded to tell us that she has had 3 dreams and the last one was about 3 days of darkness. She said to prepare…honestly I had goosebumps the whole time she was talking.. I gave her my warning book I’m reading for she hasn’t yet heard about that and told her about our site TNRS ASOH so I’ll be inviting beautiful Melissa to our group too. If I’m not mistaken, I believe she says she also sees her guardian angel but only if she prays enough 😇 This girl exudes the love and joy of God what an honor to meet someone such as she in the heart of Miami❤️🙏😇

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My new pastor is from Rwanda, Linda. But his most frightening life experience happened when he was assigned to a parish in West Africa. The civil war in Liberia was spilling over the border into Sierra Leone and Fr. Pascal and his brother priest who also stayed in the rectory found themselves staring at the end of rifles belonging to the soldiers who had invaded the area. The paramount chief of the village got wind of this dilemma and sent his own soldiers to convey that the invaders were not to harm these men as the chief claimed them as his children and invited the rebel soldiers to his home for a meal. Fr. Pascal and companion took off on foot, walking 500+ miles into Guinea where Fr. P became friends with a certain Bishop Robert Sarah. I only wish Fr. P’s friend would visit him here one day. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes and I’ve had lots and lots of time to ponder things…been on my mind about “detention camps” Charlie spoke about but didn’t quite understand prophecy yet… I’m thinking maybe this coronavirus??? Randomly heard about another one out of Africa???? Hmmmm.,.God save us all and set the world ablaze ❤️🔥💥🌎🌏🌍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But I am ready to get back home to Jesus and adoration and serious stuff…lol…I showed Melissa my screen shot last night which is Our Lord in monstrance at adoration., she so cooly clicked her fingers and said, “Girl…you ain’t messing around!!!” I got the biggest chuckle!! Love that girl❤️😇

        Liked by 3 people

  20. Still having a bit of trouble getting to main menu on new phone so I’m asking for prayers for my son Frankie and wife Julie… they’ve been married for 10 years and have been having no success at childbearing. They won’t talk to me directly but here say is they are not doing well😭 the pressure had been to great and they are both adrift . Thank you. It breaks my heart but I know God has a plan…I believe you all are part of it🤗😘😇 thank you so much!!! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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