Tutto Fumo e Niente Arrosto

By Charlie Johnston

 

By now, everyone knows that Pope Francis has come out endorsing civil unions for homosexuals and their right to create a family. I reckon they are breaking the ice skates out in hell about now.

It is, of course, an affront to all faithful Christians, but I have thought for some time this all signifies something even larger. I think God is sifting each of us. But He is sifting the hierarchy in a very perilous and intimate way. God always accomplishes His will. As is so beautifully promised in Isaiah 55, the Word of God is never without effect. When He sends it out, it never returns to Him empty. When man has grown far from the Lord, when man’s love has grown cold, the Lord prefers that man come back to Him out of love – and so indulges man’s very disobedience and apostasy for a time to give us the chance to return out of love. If we persist long enough and hard enough, then the Lord rains judgment and justice on us. Read the Old Testament with fresh eyes. It is the same pattern over and over. God always gives us enough rope to pull our way back to him or to hang ourselves. Terrifying is the ultimate state of those who mistake God’s patience for His permission – or approval – of their rebellious apostasy. Right now all of us – and the Bishops in particular – are being sifted to reveal who we will serve.

Keep in mind that every moment in time that ever was or ever will be is present to God right now. Throughout the Old Testament and salvation history since the coming of Christ there have been periods of great turmoil and dispute. These are mankind’s turns in God’s winnowing fan. It persists for a time – sometimes years, sometimes decades, sometimes even centuries – and then passes on, leaving us a renewed people with a refined understanding of what God wants of us. Never is there any threat that God is going to be ousted from His throne or that His Church is going to perish.  When man’s love grows cold, when his fidelity wanes, errors grow exponentially. God indulges these errors for a time, giving man a chance to come back to Him out of love. In eternity, it is already decreed how it will end. The questions, then, are what does God intend by allowing this sore to fester and what does God want of me.

As I have intimated before, I thought that, after accepting the offering to Pachamama on the altar of Christ, when Pope Francis made clear that he knew what it was and considered it right and proper to accept it there, it opened up a fundamental breach with Christ in the Church. I think, at that moment, the Pope became guilty of formal heresy – and ceased to be recognized as Pope in heaven.

(A brief digression…a person is guilty of material heresy when they subscribe to a position that is objectively heretical. But they may or may not know it to be so, so they do not become excommunicate until they understand the issue at stake. If, knowing the heresy for what it is, they persist in it, they are guilty of formal heresy and are excommunicate. The Church Militant is much less precise in enforcing excommunication than the Church Triumphant. Thus, St. Joan of Arc could be wrongly condemned by Church authorities as a heretic – and a generation later be rehabilitated and ultimately recognized as a saint. But the Church Triumphant always recognized her as a saint – and awaited the humble correction of its error by the Church Militant. This is very bad news for those who think themselves pro-choice Catholics: they may skirt the transient errant judgment of the Church Militant for a time, but the judgment of the Church Triumphant is already sealed against them, unless they repent. And the Church Militant will, in time, come around to the decree of the Church Triumphant.)

Despite that conclusion, I did not – and will not – join the ranks of those who tirelessly seek to depose the Pope or come up with innovative arguments for why he was never Pope in the first place. I take my cue on this from David in his strife with King Saul. David would not become a co-conspirator with King Saul in evil, but he would not strike against the man who, upon becoming king, was anointed by God – for what God anointed was only God’s to depose. It was through the combination of David’s fidelity AND obedience that God ultimately made him king -and Israel a great nation.

Only one Pope that I know of – Honorius – has ever been formally declared a heretic and excommunicated – and that was posthumously. St. Robert Bellarmine, the great post-reformation Doctor of the Church, considered at length the possibility of a sitting heretical Pope, and how such an eventuality should be dealt with. On the one hand, Bellarmine argued, a Pope guilty of formal heresy would automatically be excommunicated and was no longer Pope, for an ex-communicant can enjoy no jurisdiction over a Church he is no longer part of. On the other hand, Bellarmine noted that a Pope is answerable only to God, so there is no council which has the jurisdiction to judge him. Partisans in the divide often emphasize one or the other declarations of Bellarmine at the expense of the fullness of his teaching. Sedevacantists (people who, because of some dispute with the occupant, belief the seat of Peter is vacant – that there is no legitimate Pope) emphasize only the automatic excommunication for formal heresy – and then presume juridical authority over the Pope, which Bellarmine explicitly stated that no one on earth has. Ultramontists (people who believe whoever is the sitting Pope is infallible in all things and has absolute spiritual and political authority) emphasize the lack of jurisdiction over a Pope while ignoring Bellarmine’s teaching on the very real possibility of formal heresy on the part of a Pope.

Bellarmine spent his life expounding on the extent AND the limitations of both spiritual and temporal authority. He counseled the Pope and Bishops to stay away from political questions that they lacked either jurisdiction or competence for and defended the Church’s spiritual prerogatives against assaults by secular authorities. Bellarmine even cautioned Church authorities against condemning Galileo for supporting Copernicus’ heliocentric theory ( long since proven) of our solar system – on the grounds that a condemnation on a subject that, ultimately, the Church had no authority over or competence in, could lead to a huge black eye for the Church and impair public reverence for those areas it DID have authority over. As you might guess, much of my position on such matters is informed by the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine. Contrary to those who like to emphasize only the part of Bellarmine’s teaching that is convenient to them, I think Bellarmine is informed by the lengthy conflict between David and Saul. We must not collaborate with what is objectively evil, but must not strike who has been anointed by God. I am no expert, but as I read Bellarmine, no council of Cardinals can condemn or depose the Pope. The only thing such a council could conceivably do is declare a vacancy and convene a conclave to elect a new Pope – and Bellarmine seemed dubious about that proposition. As unsatisfying as it might be, he seemed to think that that was up to God – and that we are called to trust that God will take care of it while, like David, living both fidelity to God and humble obedience to the authority set over us. That, my friends, is a daunting task, indeed.

We get down, then, to the two fundamental questions: what does God intend by allowing this turmoil to persist and grow – and what does He want of me?

 

Everything Hidden Shall be Revealed

I have argued for some time now that in this first phase of renewing the faith of the world, God intends that all things be revealed. I think that process has been going on since the Revelation 12 sign in the sky that happened on Sept. 23, 2017 – and the process now is fully engaged in the hierarchy of the Church. So what is being revealed?

Let us first look at Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.  This is the most disingenuous encyclical I have ever read. There is nothing even close. It is sort of a “beauty pageant” form of theology, bereft of insight or serious purpose. I will just take on three areas of deep deficiency for now.

  • It is ahistorical – and reveals that the Pope is alarmingly ignorant of historical facts or intentionally seeks to mislead his readers. First, Pope Francis approvingly quotes several passages from the Koran, passages that sound good, but apply only to fellow Muslims. The Koran has two sets of rules for conflict – one for fellow Muslims and another for infidels. The nice-sounding passages invariably come from the rules for conflict with fellow Muslims. The rule for dealing with infidels is that they must convert or die. You can check it for yourself. The Koran is only about as long as the Book of Psalms in the Bible. Second, the Pope engaged in revisionist history by suggesting that there was no evangelical component to St. Francis’ visit to Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil 800 years ago, only a hope to foster mutual brotherhood. While there is dispute among historians whether the visit was primarily evangelical or diplomatic, both schools acknowledge that St. Francis sought to open the affected area up for formal Christian teaching – a profoundly evangelical purpose. St. Francis succeeded in his diplomatic purpose, as the sultan did allow some formal Christian places of worship in his territories. The Pope’s aspirational hope for brotherhood between the two faiths is a possibility with the Sunni Muslims, who are not terribly enamored of the bloodier commands of the Koran. That hope is not advanced by just ignoring the often violent efforts of Shiite Muslims to enforce those bloodier commands on infidels – and it is fundamentally dishonest to pretend they are not there at all in an effort to evade the central issue.
  • It contradicts established Church Doctrine. The Pope unilaterally declares that both the death penalty and war are always, everywhere, and under all circumstances forbidden, contradicting 2000 years of careful formal Church Doctrine on both subjects. He flatly contradicts Pope Leo XII on the right to private property – and does not even attempt to deal with the Church’s teaching on the subject prior to his own ascent to the papal throne. Contrary to what Pope Francis apparently thinks, a Pope may not unilaterally pronounce doctrine except in very constrained, carefully defined circumstances – and this is not one of them. Even in those narrow circumstances, he may never contradict defined Church Doctrine, only develop it.
  • It is long on political pronouncements and short on spiritual guidance. On the former, the Pope has little or no authority; on the latter he has heavy, often decisive authority. He pretends to the former. He demands the end to national borders and the taking down of walls (except the one that completely surrounds Vatican City), gives precise instructions on how we are to “care” for the environment (through complete submission to a globalist authority he approves of), and encourages the establishment of a globalist autocracy that will direct us all in how we must behave in an obvious effort to strip us all of the free will which God, Himself, endowed us with.

This is just a thumbnail sketch of the fatal problems with this parody of an encyclical. When skimming through it, I thought that this is what John Lennon’s song, Imagine, would be had Lennon been pompous, tone-deaf, and incapable of coherently explaining an idea (even a wrong one) concisely and coherently. I sympathize with all the commentators who have joined the Sisyphean task of trying, once again, to explain what the Pope really means in a way that does not trash Scripture and Magisterial Church Doctrine. For the first three years of his papacy, I was one of them, for it is a terrible thing to contemplate a Pope that does not share your Catholic faith. At some point, though, it becomes an extended argument over how many Jesuits can dance on the head of a pike (the answer is none – though they can be impaled on it, one by one). Compounding the fact that specific political approaches to fundamental issues are beyond the authority and competence of spiritual authorities is that the political programs offered by the Pope and most of our Bishops are so banal, insipid, and downright absurd. Let me offer a brief digression to illustrate the problem.

Until the rise of the rabid left, all sectors of American society were agreed that the American founders had erected a work of genius in forming our Constitutional system. The real genius, though, lay in the method they used to develop this system. There was no cant (bumper sticker slogans) in their debates over the subject. On all proposals, they looked at both the real benefits and real problems they would entail. Thus, no one advocated pure democracy under the banner of “all people deserve to be free.” They candidly acknowledged that all previous efforts at forming a democracy had degenerated into chaos and a war of “all against all” within a generation and collapsed. So they went about the serious business of finding stabilizers and protections that would allow a free, self-governing people to endure. You cannot lastingly solve a problem without honestly acknowledging the problems with your proposed solution and developing palliatives to those problems. The founders were both practical and humble, taking responsibility for the real-world consequences of their policy rather than stubbornly clinging to abstract ideas long after those ideas had obviously failed. The first American compact was the Articles of Confederation – an over-reaction to relentless British governmental centralization. Within a decade, American statesmen saw that the compact they had formed was so weak and decentralized that it prevented effective action or national unity – so they went back to the drawing board, determined to craft a system that would both defend liberty and actually work. They could not have done it had they not dealt candidly with the facts, humbly accepted responsibility for their acts – both good and bad, and worked to preserve the good while correcting the errors.

Both the Pope and most Bishops Conferences refuse to do this. Three quick examples:

  • The Pope’s prohibition against war. Should Europeans in the 1940s have simply rolled over and let Hitler take over the continent rather than resist? Should it have done so 30 years earlier when it was Kaiser Wilhelm who sought to subjugate the same? Is there any difference between aggressor and defender that is worthy of note? The Pope’s prescription would condemn equally both the man who starts beating someone and the one who defends himself from the beating. But the aggressor doesn’t care about the condemnation, so this prescription leaves men and the world defenseless against aggressors. Maybe the Pope envisioned exceptions in his mind – but that doesn’t mean much if he won’t deal candidly with them and speak, as many great saints and Doctors of the Church have throughout Church history, about how to delineate what is just and what unjust without denying people the right to self-defense. This is just insipid virtue-signaling without any actual virtue.
  • Open Borders. This is the current default position of the Pope and most Bishops – as the only acceptable means of caring for those in oppressive or impoverished nations. The effect is that spiritual leaders hector wealthy nations while giving a pass to those nations whose policies have impoverished their people, without offering any advice on how to create prosperity. In fact, the Pope’s favored mechanism – authoritarianism – has almost universally led to impoverishment. No nods to reality or history here. In 1991 Pope St. John Paul issued his brilliant encyclical, Centesimus Annus. Though not its primary intent, it was a brilliant and concise exposition of how to create prosperity in every land – and it was directed to every country in the world. Through the principle of subsidiarity, it clearly expounded on how countries should effectively govern collectively while protecting individual human liberty. It held all governmental leaders to account for the decisions they made, while illuminating a path to prosperity and freedom – and was grounded in Scripture and the Magisterium. That was just 29 years ago. Today, the preferred method of dealing with such things by our Catholic hierarchy is to look approvingly on looting and ransacking the already prosperous with no guidance on how to develop the habits of heart and mind or the policies that would create prosperity. The preferred prescription of our current hierarchy would make us all into Venezuela. This only covers one aspect of the problem; the Pope and Bishops similarly do not address at all that open borders is the single most important factor facilitating human trafficking. You can be for open borders and against human trafficking, I suppose, but you are not a serious person or thinker if you can’t see the contradiction involved.
  • Health Care. Almost all Catholic religious authorities support some form of nationalized health care, under the guise that all people deserve health care. Again, more beauty pageant critical thinking. All people should have access to health care, but the question is how most effectively to accomplish that goal. Unless you address the significant declines in innovation and quality that have accompanied every nationalized scheme, you are not serious. Unless you acknowledge that such systems invariably create either overt or covert “death panels” that decide who will have access to scarce resources (always made scarcer by nationalization) you are not serious. Unless you envision that provision of health care can easily become a politicized weapon of control by partisan governments, you are not a serious person. I am not reflexively against nationalized health care. Shoot, the founders, by dealing candidly with the real problems historically entailed by self-government, developed an approach that worked and protected citizens from the depredations of a depraved government. Perhaps something similar could be developed with health care – but it can’t without serious people dealing with the real and obvious problems. And I sure won’t support absurd systems that can only take us down in order that some un-serious people can feel virtuous.

Catholic religious authorities think that if they dress up their feckless proposals in scholastic prose (the formal approach of St. Thomas Aquinas and such), it makes those silly proposals elegant and refined. They seem completely unaware that putting lipstick on a pig does not make it elegant and refined. It’s still just a pig with lipstick on. The English translation of Fratelli Tutti is, “All Brothers.” The English translation of the title of this article is “All Smoke and Mirrors.”

There are two fundamental problems in how this has all devolved. First, the Bishops seek to delegate the good they propose to do to an overarching secular government. The early Church did NOT lobby Rome to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, care for the wounded and comfort the afflicted. Instead, they built hospitals, schools, relief programs and much more. They undoubtedly knew that Rome did not care what their policy preferences were. The shrewder among them knew that if they enabled Roman power in hopes of coercing it into doing the good Christ commanded them to do, Rome would gladly take on the enhanced power to coerce the Church into doing what the state commanded. This is so obvious and predictable it astounds me whenever a prelate of any sort is surprised when the government mandates coverage for abortion in health policies or seeks to force Christians to violate their consciences on issues of marriage, family and life. Feed the wolf and, when he is strong enough, he will eat you.

The second fundamental problem is more subtle and pernicious. The Church rightly long ago condemned any form of spiritual millenarianism as heresy. We don’t get heaven until we actually get…heaven. Somehow, it has stumbled its way into implicitly endorsing a sort of secular millenarianism: man can create his own heaven on earth with just enough idealism and coercion from elites. Too many Church leaders imagine themselves to be that enlightened elite even while demonstrating the politically analytical prowess of a sophomore – a high school sophomore, not a college student. (Well, perhaps I exaggerate, but only because college sophomores aren’t what they used to be.) Too many in our hierarchy are silly political dabblers and are not spiritually serious. The very term, “pontificate,” means to smugly and self-righteously bloviate on subjects one has little knowledge of or authority over. A sad, but not inaccurate, state of affairs.

The spiritual and secular realms are deeply complementary. In a healthy society, they are intimately intertwined with each area playing its position well – and not trying to intrude on its partner’s position. Church authorities cannot reform secular dysfunction by trying to take the reins and running it themselves – or by delegating its prestige to state actors and presuming to order them what to do. Rather, the Church must focus on spiritual and eternal things, teaching men to seek salvation and giving them the means and sacraments to do that well. When the Church focuses on that, governmental offices are filled with people who, well-formed in spiritual doctrines and focused on salvation, do the good that they can while respecting the right of conscience of those they serve. The Church’s job is to form solid Christians. When it does that well, the ranks of civil authority are filled with solid Christians.

This is not a new thought with me. Back when Pope Francis came to Philadelphia in 2016, I started to become deeply disturbed with his consistent emphasis on the temporal and his neglect of the spiritual. On December 11, 2016, I published a piece entitled, “The Politicization of Doctrine is a Blunder.” It concluded with these two paragraphs:

“This is a time when the spiritual authority and prestige of the Church should be carefully shepherded and guarded. St. John Neumann once encapsulated the heart of shepherding prudence by stating that if a Bishop did not HAVE to speak on a matter, he SHOULD NOT speak on it. I pray that authorities of the Church will not add to the confusion that is rising in the world, but I am aware that some of these things must come.

I have been and will remain a consistent defender of the Church against illicit assaults on its legitimate authority by the imprudent ambition of the polis. But I will also be a consistent defender of the polis against any illicit assaults on its legitimate authority by imprudent clerical ambition.”

St. Robert Bellarmine is not the only Doctor of the Church to write on the extent and limitations of spiritual and temporal authority and how properly they should interact together, but he wrote most extensively and precisely on the subject. The current hierarchy would do well to study him. While few understand it, our hierarchy in a very intimate way, is now in God’s winnowing fan. Best they should reform themselves out of love for Christ and His people. If they do not focus on what is actually their responsibility, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

What Does God Want of Me?

The hierarchy was established by Christ, Himself. Yet from the beginning, some of the Apostolic seats have been held by wicked men. Judas was appointed by Christ, Himself. We hold these treasures in earthen vessels. Christ knew that Judas would succumb to wickedness, so what was His purpose in appointing him in the first place? What did Christ intend to teach us? I think a big part of it was so that we would understand that corruption is ever a part of human nature, even among the most exalted spiritual offices. We need the hierarchy. It is established for our good. Yet would our duty of obedience to the hierarchy the Lord established extend to collaborating with Judas in betraying the Lord – because Judas was an Apostle? Heaven forbid!

I don’t know all the answers by a long shot. But I think God is refining and defining what the authentic apostolate of the laity should be. I think the Lord is clarifying that first of all we are all brothers and sisters under one Lord in the Church, the hierarchy charged with teaching, guiding and forming the faithful in the practice of the faith and the laity acting and living as leaven in the dough to fill the whole world with a Christian conscience. Each of us will be judged by how well we performed the vocation that Christ gave us. I would not work to overthrow the hierarchy, but neither would I become a co-conspirator with Judas in betraying Christ. It is a knife’s edge we all walk now, for God is simultaneously teaching us something deeper while reforming His Church and renewing the faith of the world. We are all going to make some mistakes along our way. Let us be rigorous with ourselves and charitable with others. Those who are right in big things will often be wrong in smaller things while those who are wrong in big things will often be right in smaller things. Even if I am right that Pope Francis is no longer acknowledged in heaven, he is still so acknowledged on earth. We need neither to collaborate in an assault on the faith nor try to strike down the Lord’s anointed. The safest path forward is to always acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us, even as evil dysfunction rises.

We are all in God’s winnowing fan now. He tests us to see who we will serve. Those who serve the world or their own ambitions will be cast out. It is God who will judge us. As for me, I am determined to serve the Lord and His people as best I can. That is a more difficult task than it has ever been, but navigating these shoals will, in the end, bring us to safe harbor. The ripples from this disordered splash have deeply disturbed the harbor, but Scripture and the Magisterium shall remain, unbroken by the efforts of those outside and those inside the Church to molest them.

To the Bishops I say, keep yourself recollected that you are not primarily politicians, diplomats, administrators or even theologians: you are Apostles of the Living Christ – and will be judged by Him for your fidelity in living His Charge. Remember, He did not hesitate to cast a third of the angels out of heaven. To the rest of us I say, keep in mind that we are the people of God, called to repair our ship when she has sprung many leaks – without scuttling her. Do not be surprised by the fiery trial that has come among us. These things must come. He who endures to the end will be saved – and see the salvation of God.

At the end of his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said, “With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” We would do well to contemplate that counsel now, neglecting neither the call for charity nor the call to strive on to finish the work in which we are engaged. Above all, it is time to get candid and get serious. Though we know it not, we are all giving witness to who we are in God’s deposition chamber right now – and all things will be revealed before judgment is pronounced.

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351 thoughts on “Tutto Fumo e Niente Arrosto

  1. I spent the past hour listening to a podcast of our beloved Priest who shall not be named…
    https://www.veritascaritas.com

    His Our Lady of Fatima presentation is wonderful and should be listened to one and all. Particulary in our present time. Virgin of Revelation.

    https://indefenseofthecross.com/marian-apparitions/virgin-of-revelation/

    I watched another recent podcast with this beautiful Priest who awaits the day when he ventures back into anonymity… I do not think so. He is a gifted educator.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Biden campaign responds to the explosive Bobulinski allegations by ignoring it. Well, unless you count someone in their crime family pinching the damning documents (obtained and shipped by FOX) in the wee hours from some normally reputable and efficient shipping facility. Imagine that.

    Personally, I think they’re working overtime feverishly so this doesn’t break and fall on them like a mountain avalanche. Well, a little squirrel convinced me this is going to break no matter what they do.

    Hold on to your hats, folks.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It’s explosive! The Biden Family is possibly more corrupt than the Clinton’s. But worse than selling out America to China, children are abused and trafficked. It’s all on Hunter Biden’s hard drive. Pray for our innocent children. Pray for an end to the abominations against the innocent.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Who can fathom how horrific?! This evil is another dimension of the culture of death, spawned from contraception and abortion. When a culture denies the value of life at conception, all manner of disorder springs forth.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. A book title comes to mind: “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil,” by Hannah Arendt. The book, published in 1963, details the Nazi crimes of Adolph Eichmann, and the public’s unwillingness to consider what was being perpetrated in their midst.

        If the revelations about Joe Biden and the “Biden Crime Family” are proven, it will become apparent that, with active complicity of the MSM and others in forming our opinions, many people of good will have enabled his schemes for many years. We haven’t dug for the details on things we have known, starting with the plagiarism more than three decades ago. Alas, I think Joe Biden’s not the only one who has betrayed us. I think more will be revealed.

        During these days, I do not want us to become a cynical nation, but a nation of citizens who are “clever as serpents and gentle as doves.” I pray that we will learn from these experiences.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. IMPORTANT TECHIE UPDATE FOR CORAD FORUM USERS:

    There’s been some issues with folks trying to register/login in on the forum. To avoid those issues, make sure to when you enter or come up with a username, it doesn’t contain any spaces or special characters. When you eventually login, be sure to enter that username and the exact password that you came up with.

    Also, your login credentials for the old tnrs forum don’t work on the new CORAC forum. Sorry, but you’ll have to register at https://corac.co/community anew.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have tears seeing the picture of St. Martin of Tours in Louisville (link above). It’s my daughter’s church and I have seen it and gone to Mass there. It’s exquisite in architecture and holiness.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Charlie, I have read your posts for years and this one is outstanding. Perhaps more on a personal level than others. Tonight in my evening prayer before reading this, I asked for guidance in the avalanche of all the “points of view” – political, spiritual, on the Church, etc.
    I really appreciated the David and Solomon reference. God’s finger is on the outcomes of who is chosen Pope, President, and all the events of life – way down to why I lost my credit card today. I cannot live apart from that view or I would be in a mighty swirl of confusion. God has His reasons and He calls me to obedience to live humbly when I can’t figure it out myself . The best response I have to the papal silences after scandals is to pray for Pope Francis to get a clue.
    The other point I really connected with is that we don’t get heaven here and now. Some of the “Public Health” response to this pandemic seems to have an implied goal that no one should get a cold, flu, or infection. My work in IT at a major Boston Hospital is overwhelmed with dealing with COVID since March. The money and medical resources thrown at the response to the pandemic is nearing a point of insanity. And it continues to grow – less infections or not.
    In Healthcare, the Economy and Education, the left seems convinced their secular paradise is achievable “this time”. What brings me to despair is how we as a country have let this happen over the last 60 years – the ungodly secularists have taken over schools at all levels, corporations, entertainment, and churches. And I went along to get along – not seeing it for what it was, and not challenging the lies where I could have. Jesus’s fury with “blindness” hits home. Lord, have mercy!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “Some of the “Public Health” response to this pandemic seems to have an implied goal that no one should get a cold, flu, or infection.”

      That’s correct. We biological organisms have now criminalized disease. There are now draconian penalities imposed when one dares to succumb.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Marianne,

      I liked your post. What struck me was your last statement regarding how could we have let this happen. I think many many, if not most people do not change unless something smacks them in their day to day life. I think it is a lot easier to apathetic than to do something. The ME,ME culture certainly has not fostered any lasting self giving.

      And after we are smacked awake, people start to pay attention to the world around them. However my take is that they start asking who did this why, what is going to happen, and by whom to make them stop etc. It does not seem to register on them that they are a big part of the problem. And we all know until we are flat on our back that it finally forces us to look up.

      I often think of the frog in the pot of water in which the temperature is gradually increased. Each time the frog becomes accustomed to the new temperature, and then the next increase until the frog finds himself being roasted. And by then it is to late.

      But not for God’s children as long as we are willing to seek God’s mercy and repent we are never late because we will at last be the embrace of Our Lord. Because God’s love for us is so infinitely incomprehensible, He will wait to the very last millisecond of our life for us to utter help me Lord for I am a sinner. Thank God for God. and God Bless

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie,
    What an excellent post giving us historical references and teachings, advise needed to frame our understandings and a direction that focuses where we should address our actions, especially starting with getting ourself in order for Our Lord as best we can.
    Earlier in the pope’s election as supreme pontiff, I saw a clip of him on an airplane indicating in vague terms, that were not clarified, regarding homosexuality. His final words were “whom am I to judge”. I thought as the holder of the keys to safeguard our deposit of faith, he would elaborate his wording so he could indicate the difference from being a homosexual and those that practice homosexual acts as a male union.
    Over the following course of his papacy, I have seen this approach quite often and have been quite frustrated by it. I always left something was wrong. When I was young my mother would always stress to us 9 kids that as lay people, we possessed from God the “sense of the faithful”. She was really good at rooting out so many liberal issues in our young parish during the late 50’s until she died. It is that sense that hit me regarding Francis on numerous occasions, especially when he would say, “this is my personal opinion. I believe now it was a lot more than an opinion, but really part of a plan. As we know, he and his minions are caught up in such deception, webs of lies, half-truths and intimidation.
    He is using these characters to do his bidding and spiritual leaders, even government leaders, are using these unclarified and half truths to implement these ‘reforms’ and spiritually empty policies claiming that was their interpretation of his soldiers and his hierocracy. Many civil laws and church teachings are being modified or even abolished because of either blind naiveite, or for plain old devious purposes. This is of course part of the plan to condition societies and people to the New Norm as Lead by the most recognized spiritual leader of the world.
    I think people reject that this type of evil can even exist in a pope, and will defend him no matter what, to their own peril. With so many apathetic and/or uninformed church goers these days, it does seem to be open season for Satan to Infect many here all over the earth.
    As you have indicated, God is flushing out these people and their plans. While we have seen some of the goals of the hieratics, I am sure there is much more to be revealed, as well as much hardship for God’s faithful flock. Only God knows and is taking care of things as he chooses. I accept that I need to work on me first, I will fall, and in doing so get up, take the next right step toward God so I can be a sign of hope to my family and those dear to me.
    Don’t stop praying and trust in Our Lord.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. I just watched How to Blind Satan by Christine Watkins on YouTube.
    It was given to Elizabeth Kindelmann about the Flame of Love, and miracles surrounding it.
    To bind satan:https://flameoflove.ph/flame-of-love/
    Attend Mass, including daily mass
    Go to Confession, regularly
    Visit the Blessed Sacrament, including night vigils
    Say the Unity Prayer:
    Jesus: “This prayer is an instrument in your hands. By collaborating with Me, Satan will be blinded by it; and because of his blindness, souls will not be led into sin.”

    May our feet journey together,
    May our hands gather in unity,
    May our hearts beat in unison,
    May our souls be in harmony,
    May our thoughts be as one,
    May our ears listen to the silence together,
    May our glances profoundly penetrate each other,
    May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father.
    Amen. *(May 4, 1962)
    * This prayer summarizes the essence and the goal of the message of the FLAME OF LOVE: the union of love with God and the call of love of Jesus to each one of us. It constitutes the way to live our life. Our thoughts, words, actions and even our silences, closely united to Jesus, obtain by Him, with Him and in Him, an eternal value.

    Say the Flame of Love Rosary: https://voices4life.blog/2019/02/27/guide-to-pray-the-flame-of-love-rosary/ Hail Mary…Holy Mary, Mother of
    God, pray for us sinners, spread the effect of
    grace of Thy Flame of Love over all of
    humanity, now and at the hour of our death.) Our Lady says you will help convert the world.

    Offer up your daily chores

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oh yes, Sorrowful. This devotion has often been mentioned in this community. Charlie featured several guest posts back at TNRS from our friend of the site, now deceased, Tony Mullen, who was the fist National Director of the Flame of Love Movement in the USA.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. I ran across this interesting article about what MAY be happening under the surface in this election. I immediately thought about Charlie’s preferred mo for ascertaining the public’s mood — stop in at the local diner, order a cup of coffee and a piece of pie, and just watch and listen to what is going on.

    https://mises.org/power-market/will-nonpolitical-silent-majority-stop-left

    The author presents this startling observation: “If “Did Not Vote” was a candidate she would have gotten 471 electoral votes in 2016.

    Biden 51 electoral votes. Trump 16 electoral votes. Did Not Vote 471 electoral votes.

    Biden has been beating the bushes to drive people to the polls based on Covid. “Trump doesn’t have a Plan!”

    Trump has been beating the bushes with an appeal to “Law and Order.”

    “If we do in fact see a major surge of voter behavior, it’s useful to consider the sort of voter who may be turning out to cast a vote for the first time. Both sides have their own preferred narrative here: Democrats see a nation of politically oppressed groups that can be activated by tapping into their sense of injustice, while Republicans see a “silent majority” that wants, to quote @realDonaldtrump, “LAW AND ORDER!”

    Historically, the demonstrated preference of American voters has firmly been political apathy. In 2016 ….

    …. The question, then, is which candidate makes the best appeal to the “antipolitical”? ….

    …. Now we’re told that American democracy depends on protecting voters from potential “disinformation.” The most obvious example is social media’s treatment of files allegedly found on a lost laptop, which Big Tech has desperately tried to hide from American voters. The New York Post, one of America’s oldest newspapers, remains locked out of their Twitter account for daring to publish the content.

    While this episode highlights important questions about the relationship between Big Tech and society, this is simply an example of a larger trend of the progressive left pushing politics beyond elections. While the political agenda of Facebook and Twitter may have a more direct impact on how we use the product than how Gillette targets its advertising or what the next woke flavor of Ben and Jerry’s is, the Left and its corporate allies have made the decision that politics is too important to not be talked about.

    But what if normal Americans do not want to be lectured to? Particularly when those lectures come from the people who engage in such performative hypocrisy as celebrating massive protests in the name of “social justice” while scolding you for going to church?

    If “bread and circuses” really are all that is needed to keep the masses content, what happens when you pervert pastimes into “soy and political lectures”?

    What if there is a large section of the country that did not vote for Trump in 2016, sees plenty of faults with the man and his policies, but sees him and his tweets as far less dangerous than self-righteous lefties who use their social media to get random people fired? …

    ….. Perhaps real populism in America is simply letting people raise a family and grill in peace? …”

    THIS IS SIMPLY AN EXAMPLE OF A LARGER TREND OF THE PROGRESSIVE LEFT PUSHING POLITICS BEYOND ELECTIONS — and into the most intimate aspects of life in America.

    Well, well, well. BINGO! ” I’ll have another cup of coffee and maybe a small slice of that apple pie, hon.” This author may have stumbled on the key to this election.

    What does it take to generate a historical surge in voting which appears to be happening this time around? How do you get a substantial segment of apathetic, a-political people up off their butts and into a polling booth? What kind of people would break

    My preferred “tell” in support of this thesis on the 2020 election: The crash in TV ratings of major professional sports leagues in an almost visceral reaction to being lectured to by vastly overpaid athletes and greedy, fearful “woke” owners.

    But what if normal Americans do not want to be lectured to? What if real populism in America is simply letting people raise a family and grill in peace? What if work, recreation, CHURCH, and just enjoying an outdoor restaurant meal without being hassled by a masked peaceful protestor jamming a bullhorn in your face and pouring your drink over your head —— are places beyond politics .. a red line … which the Left has charged across, over and beyond in their lunge for power?

    What pollster is measuring this question?

    I think the Church, and particularly the Pope, should go to school on this thesis. Is what we are witnessing in the Church a similar effort to — in effect — push religion beyond religion and into politics and other areas of living where we believe it lacks competence and authority?

    Maybe real believers just want to attend Church, receive the sacraments and simply raise their families and grill in peace?

    The Pope and the Hierarchy may not be polling this portion of apathetic and a-political Christians who just want to be left alone.

    Liked by 4 people


  8. Great picture of Father Z’s mama back in 1961 when she graduated from the police academy. It’s his birthday today and like all good children, they honor their mama on their birthday. Kudo’s to Father Z and special prayers for his mother.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. So heartening to hear EWTN pulling regularly scheduled programs and replacing them with speakers emphasizing the vital, overriding importance of voting pro-life. No-one is hesitating to make it clear that the Democrats aren’t that party. A brave, valiant and Godly stand. Please pray for EWTN’s protection and blessing.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You say-Squirrel! This was even before Charlie’s squirrel. At work, when someone would go off in a completely different direction during a conversation, the other person would say Squirrel!. Kinda like jinx, double jinx, you owe me a soda. Now, I’m getting squirrelly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Really? Dictatorship of relativism, antichurch, & topics that shed light on the attacks on the Church? If I didn’t know better, I say I’d say Pope Francis timed his reckless comment to draw attention from this book.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I’ve noticed this pattern in the past, Al. It can occur on any subject, and of course it may be simply coincidental at times. However, whenever there’s a church sex scandal that’s making headlines, in a day or two, you can usually rely on a thought provoking comment on an alternate subject from Pope Francis.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We’ve already under-reacted & overreacted, dismissed as incompetence to acknowledge worst case scenario, but perhaps we should take a closer look at what the headlines drowned out and diverted attention from.

            I got a bit deeper into Benedict XVI’s and see information that relates to what we discuss on Charlie’s blog.

            Like

  10. File this under *Miscellaneous*.

    As of 3:15 Friday, October 30th I will be retired. Wish me luck in this new phase of my life.

    Wait, scratch the pagan ‘wish me luck’ part. Please pray for me.

    I love you all and check out the avatar pic. I finally figured out how to add one. 🙂 And yes, I’ve been playing with my food since childhood. Why stop now? 😀

    Liked by 7 people

    1. A big Congratulations to you on your retirement Christopher! May everything be just “peachy” for you! (I’m going with the fruit theme of your avatar!) Seriously sending up prayers on your behalf!

      Like

  11. I remember, back in the day, when Rush used to say about the fancy looped ribbons folks used to wear on their lapels in various colors signifying one plight or another were merely symbolism over substance. Charlie has stated a similar stance along the lines of folks just vainly writing checks vs. pulling their sleeves up for a cause. Smoke and mirrors!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. On the Laura Ingraham show Thurs night, Kim Strassel said Donald Trump is fighting 2 opponents, the media and Biden; then Lara Logan said 3 opponents, the third being the FBI.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He’s also fighting Satan and all his legions who know that the USA is the last best hope for humanity. Abp Viganó is giving the president all the best advice he can. I pray that the president listens to it. If I could get the president’s ear, I would advise him to get some serious prayer going with faithful American bishops and a team of Catholic exorcists to conduct an exorcism of the whole continent, and then organize a Christian, Jewish prayer effort. Not much time but now is the time.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Beckita – it would be good also to enlist as many exorcists who are willing to exorcise the US, Canada and Mexico and do it this weekend or Monday at the latest. You can smell the stink of sulphur everywhere.

          Liked by 4 people

      1. Funny moment listening to Dr M. Taylor’s commentary where he states, “the letter was released via qanon…..I don’t even know what that means..” ,

        The good Dr. will learning !

        On a side point, there is no ambiguity to Vigano’s statements.
        You know who first introduced ambiguiry? The serpent with, “Did God really say?”

        Liked by 3 people

  13. BIG NEWS this morning:

    October 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – His Excellency Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has written yet another open letter to President Donald J. Trump. Read it in its entirety below. It is available in PDF by clicking here. Read it in Italian here.

    ***

    OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    DONALD J. TRUMP

    Sunday, October 25, 2020

    Solemnity of Christ the King

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to address you at this hour in which the fate of the whole world is being threatened by a global conspiracy against God and humanity. I write to you as an Archbishop, as a Successor of the Apostles, as the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America. I am writing to you in the midst of the silence of both civil and religious authorities. May you accept these words of mine as the “voice of one crying out in the desert” (Jn 1:23).

    As I said when I wrote my letter to you in June, this historical moment sees the forces of Evil aligned in a battle without quarter against the forces of Good; forces of Evil that appear powerful and organized as they oppose the children of Light, who are disoriented and disorganized, abandoned by their temporal and spiritual leaders.

    Daily we sense the attacks multiplying of those who want to destroy the very basis of society: the natural family, respect for human life, love of country, freedom of education and business. We see heads of nations and religious leaders pandering to this suicide of Western culture and its Christian soul, while the fundamental rights of citizens and believers are denied in the name of a health emergency that is revealing itself more and more fully as instrumental to the establishment of an inhuman faceless tyranny

    A global plan called the Great Reset is underway. Its architect is a global élite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations. In several nations this plan has already been approved and financed; in others it is still in an early stage. Behind the world leaders who are the accomplices and executors of this infernal project, there are unscrupulous characters who finance the World Economic Forum and Event 201, promoting their agenda.

    The purpose of the Great Reset is the imposition of a health dictatorship aiming at the imposition of liberticidal measures, hidden behind tempting promises of ensuring a universal income and cancelling individual debt. The price of these concessions from the International Monetary Fund will be the renunciation of private property and adherence to a program of vaccination against Covid-19 and Covid-21 promoted by Bill Gates with the collaboration of the main pharmaceutical groups. Beyond the enormous economic interests that motivate the promoters of the Great Reset, the imposition of the vaccination will be accompanied by the requirement of a health passport and a digital ID, with the consequent contact tracing of the population of the entire world. Those who do not accept these measures will be confined in detention camps or placed under house arrest, and all their assets will be confiscated.

    Mr. President, I imagine that you are already aware that in some countries the Great Reset will be activated between the end of this year and the first trimester of 2021. For this purpose, further lockdowns are planned, which will be officially justified by a supposed second and third wave of the pandemic. You are well aware of the means that have been deployed to sow panic and legitimize draconian limitations on individual liberties, artfully provoking a world-wide economic crisis. In the intentions of its architects, this crisis will serve to make the recourse of nations to the Great Reset irreversible, thereby giving the final blow to a world whose existence and very memory they want to completely cancel. But this world, Mr. President, includes people, affections, institutions, faith, culture, traditions, and ideals: people and values that do not act like automatons, who do not obey like machines, because they are endowed with a soul and a heart, because they are tied together by a spiritual bond that draws its strength from above, from that God that our adversaries want to challenge, just as Lucifer did at the beginning of time with his “non serviam.”

    Many people – as we well know – are annoyed by this reference to the clash between Good and Evil and the use of “apocalyptic” overtones, which according to them exasperates spirits and sharpens divisions. It is not surprising that the enemy is angered at being discovered just when he believes he has reached the citadel he seeks to conquer undisturbed. What is surprising, however, is that there is no one to sound the alarm. The reaction of the deep state to those who denounce its plan is broken and incoherent, but understandable. Just when the complicity of the mainstream media had succeeded in making the transition to the New World Order almost painless and unnoticed, all sorts of deceptions, scandals and crimes are coming to light.

    Until a few months ago, it was easy to smear as “conspiracy theorists” those who denounced these terrible plans, which we now see being carried out down to the smallest detail. No one, up until last February, would ever have thought that, in all of our cities, citizens would be arrested simply for wanting to walk down the street, to breathe, to want to keep their business open, to want to go to church on Sunday. Yet now it is happening all over the world, even in picture-postcard Italy that many Americans consider to be a small enchanted country, with its ancient monuments, its churches, its charming cities, its characteristic villages. And while the politicians are barricaded inside their palaces promulgating decrees like Persian satraps, businesses are failing, shops are closing, and people are prevented from living, traveling, working, and praying. The disastrous psychological consequences of this operation are already being seen, beginning with the suicides of desperate entrepreneurs and of our children, segregated from friends and classmates, told to follow their classes while sitting at home alone in front of a computer.

    In Sacred Scripture, Saint Paul speaks to us of “the one who opposes” the manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, the kathèkon (2 Thess 2:6-7). In the religious sphere, this obstacle to evil is the Church, and in particular the papacy; in the political sphere, it is those who impede the establishment of the New World Order.

    As is now clear, the one who occupies the Chair of Peter has betrayed his role from the very beginning in order to defend and promote the globalist ideology, supporting the agenda of the deep church, who chose him from its ranks.

    Mr. President, you have clearly stated that you want to defend the nation – One Nation under God, fundamental liberties, and non-negotiable values that are denied and fought against today. It is you, dear President, who are “the one who opposes” the deep state, the final assault of the children of darkness.

    For this reason, it is necessary that all people of good will be persuaded of the epochal importance of the imminent election: not so much for the sake of this or that political program, but because of the general inspiration of your action that best embodies – in this particular historical context – that world, our world, which they want to cancel by means of the lockdown. Your adversary is also our adversary: it is the Enemy of the human race, He who is “a murderer from the beginning” (Jn 8:44).

    Around you are gathered with faith and courage those who consider you the final garrison against the world dictatorship. The alternative is to vote for a person who is manipulated by the deep state, gravely compromised by scandals and corruption, who will do to the United States what Jorge Mario Bergoglio is doing to the Church, Prime Minister Conte to Italy, President Macron to France, Prime Minster Sanchez to Spain, and so on. The blackmailable nature of Joe Biden – just like that of the prelates of the Vatican’s “magic circle” – will exposehim to be used unscrupulously, allowing illegitimate powers to interfere in both domestic politics as well as international balances. It is obvious that those who manipulate him already have someone worse than him ready, with whom they will replace him as soon as the opportunity arises.

    And yet, in the midst of this bleak picture, this apparently unstoppable advance of the “Invisible Enemy,” an element of hope emerges. The adversary does not know how to love, and it does not understand that it is not enough to assure a universal income or to cancel mortgages in order to subjugate the masses and convince them to be branded like cattle. This people, which for too long has endured the abuses of a hateful and tyrannical power, is rediscovering that it has a soul; it is understanding that it is not willing to exchange its freedom for the homogenization and cancellation of its identity; it is beginning to understand the value of familial and social ties, of the bonds of faith and culture that unite honest people. This Great Reset is destined to fail because those who planned it do not understand that there are still people ready to take to the streets to defend their rights, to protect their loved ones, to give a future to their childrenand grandchildren. The leveling inhumanity of the globalist project will shatter miserably in the face of the firm and courageous opposition of the children of Light. The enemy has Satan on its side, He who only knows how to hate. But on our side,we have the Lord Almighty, the God of armies arrayed for battle, and the Most Holy Virgin, who will crush the headof the ancient Serpent. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).

    Mr. President, you are well aware that, in this crucial hour, the United States of America is considered the defending wall against which the war declared by the advocates of globalism has been unleashed. Place your trust in the Lord, strengthened by the words of the Apostle Paul: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). To be an instrument of Divine Providence is a great responsibility, for which you will certainly receive all the graces of state that you need, since they are being fervently implored for you by the many people who support you with their prayers.

    With this heavenly hope and the assurance of my prayer for you, for the First Lady, and for your collaborators, with all my heart I send you my blessing.

    God bless the United States of America!

    + Carlo Maria Viganò

    Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana

    Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

    Liked by 5 people

          1. Well, I think that we should be trendsetters and just get a jump on the rush, and start calling her “St. Bear” henceforth. A hundred years from now, we will be lauded for our foresight. 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

    1. The series on Fatima and the Apocalypse session 8 & 9: the 3rd secret. Our beloved Catholic Priest brings this up. The conference is dated (i believe) 2016. I have posted a link to the full conference in this thread and have posted in CORAC region 2 thread.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also of interest. Time magazine dedicated its October 23 issue to “The Great Reset.” Of course, it’s presented with the usual attractiveness of utopias promoted by the rich and powerful. The resulting realities are much different. You can find this article, and the pictures of some of the promoters, by typing “Time magazine the great recent” in your search bar. Megan and Harry are quite involved.

      O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. God bless Archbishop Vigano. God bless President Trump. Praying that this open letter, opens the hearts and minds of those who have voted for Biden, or are thinking about it. It’s in God’s hands.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. While I agree with most of what you write Charlie & have always been a big fan, I find it very irresponsible of you to provide a link stating that the Pope is for civil unions as that is far from the truth. Everyone here, please read this – https://www.ltdw.org/uploads/2/5/1/5/25153387/pope_francis_on_same_sex_unions.pdf and listen to Fr. Iannuzzi’s 10/24 radio show – https://radiomaria.us/learning-to-live/
    There is a movement underfoot to oust the Pope which will leave an opening for the Anti-Christ 2 Thess 2 so please be careful of which side you choose.

    Like

    1. Brenda, we, at this site, are on God’s side and will follow wherever He leads. While I have communicated with Fr. Ianuzzi and studied his writings on LITDW, Father simply gives his opinion on what has and is transpiring with the Pope Francis, an opinion with which many disagree. I see what Charlie sees: the dichotomy between the words and deeds of this Holy Father. Again and again, Pope Francis has spoken in ways that leave the faithful doubtful of Church teaching and then, this Pope goes into silent mode (as he has with this latest confusion over same-sex civil unions) or speaks with ambiguity rather than clarification. He has appointed people to pontifical councils who do not believe in all Magisterial Teaching. As an evangelizer in China, I am horrified at how this Pope threw the underground Church in China under the bus with the Vatican-Chinese accord. Horrible. We maintain a deep respect for the Office of the Vicar of Christ on this site and we pray continually for Pope Francis. Still, God uses humans in the hierarchy and we have had human failings at the root of Church problems in the past. Rather than irresponsible, I think of Charlie having the guts to speak truth with charity in this current crisis, thus providing a lifeline for the shaken up and confused faithful to remain in the Barque of Peter when Christ desires us to partner with Him to renew and anoint the Bride of Christ as He heals her raises her in great splendor! God’s Peace and Blessings. (edited typos ~ BH)

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Hi Beckita, I appreciate your reply very much. That’s great that you are familiar with Fr. Iannuzzi’s work. I would again recommend that you listen to his 10/24 radio show as he explains in great detail the translation of the Pope’s words in his comments on “civil unions”. If we all want the truth, then I believe it’s very important to see the issues from all sides. I remember very fondly reading the article you wrote on the Chinese priest who lives with you. I may have mentioned that we were very blessed to visit the home of the nephew of Cardinal Kung here in CT about 10 years ago. When Cardinal Kung was allowed to leave China, he came to Stamford, CT to live with his nephew & family. We brought a Franciscan friar with us who said Mass in Cardinal Kung’s chapel & were able to visit the room he lived in until his death. We support the Cardinal Kung Foundation financially & pray for his beatification so, like you, I have not been happy with the Pope’s treatment of China either. My thought is that we’re being sorely tested to be faithful to the dogma of Papal Infallibility in this times. This is one of Fr. Iannuzzi’s most enlightening articles not he topic -https://www.ltdw.org/uploads/2/5/1/5/25153387/the_situation_in_the_church_today.pdf

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        1. Brenda, I’m familiar with these references to private revelation and the interpretations which Fr. Ianuzzi holds. Here’s the thing, though. With respect to this Priest, he is not ordained by any Church authority to have the final say in interpretation. Doesn’t matter how smart he is, how much studying he’s done or what honors and accolades he has earned.

          For just one example, those messages given through Vassula about the Holy Father were given during the papacy of Pope St. John Paul II. I believe they refer to him and the rampant disobedience with which he contended in those years.

          There are many others who have weighed in on interpreting messages such as the Volumes of Vassula. (I have read them all.) No one but God knows exactly what is happening under the radar and what will happen as we move forward.

          I’m happy you’re here and you’re always welcome even as we must agree to disagree on Fr. Iannuzzi’s interpretations.

          I’ll also add that when we were back at TNRS, Charlie invited me to become managing editor of TNRS and I continue here. Whenever I would survey the archives at TNRS, I was always impressed with the beau coup number of pieces (at least 60, maybe as much as 80) which Charlie wrote about interpreting prophecy. Because of his lessons shared with us, I began to hold ALL prophecy ever so loosely in my hands so as to remain open to what God actually IS doing, the better to focus on Him rather than the narrative a spiritual person has created after having read much Scripture and many a message of private revelation.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. It is not far from the truth, Brenda. It is the truth. And if it is far from the truth, why won’t the Vatican give a clear clarification? I know you don’t want to believe it – and I know the various ultramontists don’t want to believe it…but if you follow the facts without torturing them to fit a preferred narrative, there it is. I am wrong sometimes, but when have you ever seen me make scurrilous accusations for which there is not substantial evidence? As Joe Biden would say, “C’mon, man.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Brenda My immediate response to your allegations against Charlie I see also in his response. I n my words were, “I see, Brenda, that you have fallen to the worse malady inflicting the people of this age, believing what they want to believe without sufficient basis for their choice, e.g. Fr. Iannuzzi. Bad choice. You seem to be ignorant of the fact that no one even the College of Cardinals can oust the Pope. Only he can resign or God can remove him from this life. May God protect us all, especially His Church. jas

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Dear Sojourner, what is the problem with Fr. Iannuzzi, may I ask? The concern is the the Pope will be “forced” to resign.

          Like

      2. Hi Charlie, why wouldn’t I want to believe it? I don’t expect the Pope to be perfect by any means. Follow the facts??? Have you listened to Fr. Iannuzzi’s radio talk on the translation of what Pope Francis actually said? The reason I provided a link to it is that I think we all want to know the truth & Father’s explanation was alot more detailed & nuanced than I expected. I have great respect for Fr. Iannuzzi as he is a very well-educated theologian (& exorcist) who has the experience of living in Rome & being familiar with how the Vatican operates 1st hand. He also is quite gifted in languages & is extremely well-qualified in the area of translation so I think it’s worth a listen just to gain a more full understanding of what is going on. You’re entirely right in that you don’t make scurrilous accusations as a rule. I’m practically your #1 fan, lol. That’s why I was disappointed that you provided a link to LifeSite as they (John Henry Weston) seem to be always highlighting the Pope’s inadequacies which is very dangerous imo. Like so many of you here, I totally agree that our Holy Father needs to be much more vocal & clear about all these ambiguous statements we keep hearing about. I love to be wrong, so don’t worry about hurting my feelings :).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A spirited defense. I don’t agree with you or Fr. Ianuzzi on this (and I did get an advance copy of his comments), but I respect the way you defend your case. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with disagreeable people. It is a poignant pleasure, in this case, to be disagreeing with such an agreeable woman. I’m glad you’re here.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Thank you for your response Charlie. I’m always happy to “agree to disagree”. If you don’t mind, what do you disagree with specifically in Fr. Iannuzzi’s comment? Did you listen to his translation on his radio show? I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly disagree with it as Father speaks several languages & is a master translator. No one can argue that point.

            Like

            1. With respect, Fr. Ianuzzi has done some good things – but I think he has a tendency to fit the facts to the interpretation he wants to be true.

              I would not publicly disparage him. I have no big quarrel with him. But I do not consider him an entirely credible source – even if he is a sometimes useful one. His interpretations, I find, are sometimes more aspirational than analytical. But no, I do not have the admiration for him that you do. I do believe that he genuinely wants the Pope’s comments to be innocuous, but he is putting his finger on the scales to try to make it so. For alternative interpretations, here is one from a native Spanish speaker on LifeSite. The most favorable interpretation comes from the Jesuit magazine, America, which still concedes the Pope supports civil unions for homosexuals. One of the more balanced takes on it I have seen comes from the Catholic News Agency. Cardinal Burke has weighed in in his usual erudite fashion.

              As I said, I have no big issue with Fr. Ianuzzi, but I found his explanation unpersuasive here.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Thank you so much Charlie, I really do appreciate your responding back to me. So my next question to you is what can we (lay people) do in regard to this sad situation with our Pope, besides pray? Is it worth all the ink that is being spilled in regard to how “off the mark” our Pope appears to be? What you focus on increases so does all this focusing benefit us & if so, how? Do you think that our Pope will be forced to step aside leaving a dangerous opening for the anti-Christ. My personal take is that this is a test of all of us to be faithful to Papal Infallibility. Looking forward to reading your links.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Great to have you commenting WP. Interesting thing to me is that the current Pope’s missteps are not at all about Papal infallibility. In fact, rarely does a Pope actually speak “ex cathedra.” On the contrary, this test of faith for each of us involves the very foundation of our faith: “Do I fully accept and live Christ’s Teachings?” No more cafeteria Catholic. No more of the attitude that I know better than Holy Mother Church’s Teaching Magisterium. Just a wide embrace to receive and live the Teachings of Christ. God’s Blessings, WP.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. So sorry Beckhita, that I put my name in the wrong spot!. You stated more my point actually. Hoping & praying that the Pope’s sad comments will help many return to the true teachings of the Church. Thank you!

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Brenda, I’m with you on this thought. I have some favorite lines from Scripture that I lean into at times like this, such as, Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 🙂

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                  2. Romans 8:28, my favorite bible verse! Beckita, what are your thoughts in regards to Fr. Iannuzzi’s concern that if the Pope is forced to resign (as Vigano & others seem to be pushing for) that will leave an opening for the anti-Christ based on 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7?

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                    1. Hey Brenda, glad you remain with us. I think Fr. Iannuzzi and those who collaborate with him who believe the Antichrist is nigh are on the wrong track. The spirit of antichrist has been a force to be reckoned with throughout salvation history. But THE Antichrist comes at the very end of time, which this is not. We had a guest post, in March of last year, on this very topic. It was written by Desmond A. Birch, author of the eschatological book, Trial, Tribulation and Triumph. Here’s Desmond’s explication for why this is *not* the time of the Antichrist: https://asignofhope379.com/2019/03/05/the-middle-coming/

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Dear Beckhita, I will certainly read Desmond’s article. I apologize that I haven’t kept up with every post here. I can’t really go into it all but you are very much confirming what I have been sensing so I really can’t thank you enough for the clarity you have given me. Let’s keep our Holy Father very much in prayer! Heaven help us!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Oh yes, Brenda. Definitely keeping Pope Francis and all the prelates, clergy, religious and laity in prayer. It’s a Passion Time for our Church and Easter Sunday always caps the Triduum with God’s Glory!

                      Liked by 1 person

        2. It may not be the Pope but his close administrators…. I dont think so but you never know. Here is the last audio file for the Priest speaking on Fatima. It is over an hour long… dont worry, listen to the opening few minutes on a coin promulgated by the Vatican honoring the 100th year of Fatima.

          Eleven minutes in… is chilling to the bone and we all should be screaming for our fellow Christians.

          http://www.veritascaritas.com/series/fatima-and-the-apocalypse/

          Liked by 1 person

      3. I wonder if this is part of his “make a mess” theory.
        “Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 25, 2013 / 12:18 pm MT ().- Pope Francis told a gathering of some 30,000 youth from his homeland that they are to “make a mess,” shaking up the comfort, self-satisfaction and clericalism of a Church closed in on itself.

        “What do I hope for from World Youth Day? I hope for a mess … that the Church takes to the streets. That we defend ourselves from comfort, that we defend ourselves from clericalism,” the Pope told a group of pilgrims from Argentina during this week’s World Youth Day.”
        https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-to-youth-shake-things-up-bring-church-to-the-streets

        Liked by 1 person

  16. “A canon Law question. This is NOT about telling folks how to vote but it is about voter information. The ?? Is not a politician like Joe Biden subject to an automatic excommunication for his active support and legislation to promote abortion both by his legislative voting and by his vocal statements? If this is true why have not our bishops and priests been telling folks that Joe Biden is NOT a Catholic in good standing even though he has been advertising himself as a Catholic”
    I asked this ?? to my pastor who is a canon lawyer on our parish FB page and boy did I get heat for it from other readers and my pastor will respond later I assume. We will have to choose both individually and as a nation and we all believe that God will hold us accountable for our choices. The choices, sadly, are becomming more firmly set on both sides I do believe.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Keep those prayers coming, please. I have mimicked his symptoms this weekend, however, I have no underlying conditions. We received the Padre’s positive results today. With upping the vitamins and supplements for treatment and with prayer, I’m confident we’ll get through this.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for asking, Steve. Father received anti-viral support which really smacked a wallop to the virus, freeing him of most symptoms but fatigue. Now, he’s building up strength again. Praise God. I’m 4 days behind him with symptoms and, in addition to the vitamins and supplements which we’ve been taking, a friend sent me a wonderful homepathic that’s taming symptoms for me: Boiron Oscillococcinum.

            Liked by 1 person

  17. Prayer request: Pray the Rosary 12 midnight thru 12 Midnight October 31st

    Luz De Maria message from Jesus
    https://www.revelacionesmarianas.com/index.htm

    {Translation Spanish to English via Google Translate}

    Beloved People of Mine:

    RECEIVE MY BLESSING, STAY WITHIN MY LOVING HEART.

    At the end of the month offered to the beloved and miraculous prayer of intercession of the Holy Rosary, it is My Will that as a Generation they repair the profanations, heresies, sacrileges, offenses and renunciations with which they have despised Divine Love and have welcomed the Devil and his machinations, thus attracting demonic evil on Earth.

    ON OCTOBER 31ST FROM THE FIRST HOUR, THEY SHOULD SPIRITUALLY SHAKE HANDS AND START IN A SINGLE HEART OF WORLD UNITY THE PRAYER OF THE HOLY ROSARY DEDICATED TO MY BLESSED MOTHER, AS INTERCESSOR OF HUMANITY BEFORE MY DIVINE WILL.

    That special date is offered to Satan through rites and human offerings on behalf of his followers and it is MY PEOPLE’S OBLIGATION NOT TO REMAIN LIABLE BEFORE THESE DEMONIC ACTS, BUT TO GIVE TRUE LOVE, FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY IN UNITY ALL MY PEOPLE, SO THAT THE HOSTS OF EVIL DO NOT COVER THE LAND OF THEIR EVIL.

    Beloved People of Mine:

    The tricks of evil attack the weak minds of man, leading them to act within the guidelines of the enemy of the soul. My People are disobedient, they ignore Me, they ignore Me and they confront Me, devastating My Word, leading My People to surrender to the already established world order ruled by Satan.

    My people, humanity misses freedom, which it has lost, submerging itself in dependence on the orders of the world elite that leads to spiritual chaos, persecution, diseases for man overcome, the pain of hatred between nations and the apostasy of the Faith.

    Pray My People, pray, the Eagle is shaken by the attacks of his opponents.

    Pray My People, pray, the earth is shaking in its belt, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic suffer.

    Pray My People, Europe does not belong to the Europeans, it suffers the invasion from within.

    Pray My People, pray, the Southern Cone is strongly purified.

    Be obedient to the instructions of My Mother, the disease will be conquered, not before humanity passes through the sieve.

    Keep being obedient and true so that they keep in the unshakable Faith. You are not alone, I keep you protected if you do not renounce Me.

    Love My Mother, your Mother, invoke her:

    QUEEN AND MOTHER OF THE LAST TIMES,
    FROM THE CLAWS OF EVIL, SEIZE ME.

    I am a refuge for my people. Come to me.

    Your Jesus

    HAIL MARY PURE, WITHOUT SIN CONCEIVED
    HAIL MARY PURE, WITHOUT SIN CONCEIVED
    HAIL MARY PURE, WITHOUT SIN CONCEIVED

    COMMENT OF LUZ DE MARÍA

    Brothers:

    Our beloved Lord Jesus Christ vehemently alerts us to the danger that increases over humanity and leads him to be a puppet of evil that has proposed to fulfill his strategy so that humanity is prey to the antichrist, without noticing it.

    A humanity against the Sacrosanct Trinity is a humanity that goes towards suffering and desolation.

    We are called to pray and repair, this Call of Our Lord Jesus Christ should not be missed or taken lightly in times of such global upheaval.

    Let us join the Call for reparation and pray the Holy Rosary covering the entire day of October 31 in particular.

    Let’s not back down, let’s be creatures of Faith.

    Amen.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Sean for posting this. I tried, but kept falling asleep, then I woke up, and continued with Mother Angelica on EWTN, at six am. I’m sure others in our family saw this also and are trying.,

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I asked my Guardian Angel to wake me. I awoke at 2358 hrs. commenced my prayer with the Rosary. I fell asleep, woke, fell asleep… took me two and a half hours to pray five decades.

        I clicked my light on, a little before three to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (a usual ‘roll call’ for me) I prayed the Chaplet, St. Gertrude’s prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. After a while I prayed to my Guardian Angel to get a restful sleep until my usual morning prayers…

        I awoke quite refreshed and as of this afternoon, still have not had my afternoon nap:)

        Thank you God for my Guardian Angel.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Ok. So my husband sent me this story, and I will put it out there saying, I want to believe this.

    That all he meant was about civil unions being the only licit means of legally recognizing same sex partnerships, and that ‘gay marriage’ is an impossibility, an affront to the laws of God. The author takes pains to quote P Francis over the years and even his background in Argentina to prove he has consistently upheld church teaching. The active homosexual deserves and has a right to one’s family of origin, is what was meant (despite the creative editing of the filmmaker), NOT that homosexuals have a ‘right’ to adopt children and create a ‘family’ of their own.

    The reasoning is not tortured and the Pope’s words are not strained to support the author’s thesis. It makes a lot of sense. However, I can think of reasons to decry what the Holy Father has done.

    Does anyone want to comment on this article? I don’t want to write Francis off.

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/throughcatholiclenses/2020/10/pope-franciss-words-on-civil-unions-distorted-by-editing/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Catholic+For+All+Seasons&utm_content=45

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    1. Unless Pope Francis were to come out and say, “here’s precisely what I meant,” not a single person is going to know what he truly meant. That’s why clear-headed commentators continue to point out the total lack of a clarification (that in itself speaks volumes), scratching their heads as to why he would speak of the this issue in such worldly terms at all, present a false dilemma (as if it’s do nothing and watch them suffer, or do this and things will be better), and all this on a slippery slope.

      Did Jesus ever propose the least compromises with sin, even if it seemed like a nice thing to do? Of course not. So too, the Catholic/Christian is armed with everything they need to effectively take Christ to all who are suffering and in need of healing. In fact, it’s my only takeaway from all this. The ball is in our court.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. “The Pope’s aspirational hope for brotherhood between the two faiths is a possibility with the Sunni Muslims, who are not terribly enamored of the bloodier commands of the Koran.”

    Charlie, I think you meant to say Sufi Muslims, not Sunni Muslims. The Wahhabis who preach and practice terror all over the world are Sunnis. The men who attacked us on 9/11 were Sunnis. Most if not all of the terror attacks in the U.S., from Ft. Hood to San Bernardino, were carried out by Sunnis. The majority of the world’s Muslims are Sunnis. Shiites are in the majority in only a few places, notably Iran.

    But Sufi Muslims are generally non-violent. They have a mystical and contemplative spirituality that gives them something in common with Christian monks. And like Hasidic Jews, they seek ecstasy in God’s presence, especially in singing and dancing (the “whirling dervishes” being a well-known example). The mystical poet Rumi, whose love poems to God are popular with many Christians, was a Sufi. A Christian and a Sufi Muslim could indeed peacefully dialogue.

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    1. No, I meant Sunni. It would have been an error to say Sunni’s never engage in terror – but they are the large branch of Islam that is often willing to negotiate and live without it. All the countries that have negotiated peace agreements with Israel these last few months have been Sunni-led. The Wahabi’s are the fundamentalist sect of the Sunni branch of Islam – but they no more define it than Cardinal LeFebvre defined Catholicism.

      Sufi’s are a small subset of all Islam – and mostly come from the Sunni branch. The Sufi’s are similar to the charismatic branches of Christianity that appear in both Catholicism and Protestantism.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. “I think, at that moment, the Pope became guilty of formal heresy – and ceased to be recognized as Pope in heaven.”

    I am so thankful to see you say this!
    But I have a more difficult time making myself recognize him as Pope on earth. Thank you for the David and Saul analogy. That helps a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband and I just came back from adoration– that always produces peace. Several churches in our area are having 40 hour adoration leading up to the election.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My diocese rarely ever does a exposition of the blessed sacrament, this begs the question on whether they see any value in adoration.

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          1. Thank God for such a great blessing is made available, in other places diseased with liberalism or the dictatorship of relevetism God merely reduced to a concept or optional nice idea. It’s no wonder why everything is messed up.

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  21. Did you guys get your election stolen? Infowars was showing Trump leading & winning, and mainstream media kept holding back the results refusing to report Trump won a state or declared Biden won the state prematurely. It looks like globalists made sure the fix is in this time by having Biden reported the winner all night long.

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  22. Has the election become a Gethsemane moment or a Martha moment John 11: 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

    I can’t really see…

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    1. It’s a disgusting moment, Al, to see the corruptocrats who have been committing crime after crime while never having been held to account, proceed with attempting to steal this election by any fraudulent, criminal means possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If by some miracle Trump manages to stay president, I don’t see how this will ever end short of declaring the globalists terrorists and hunting Soros and his buddies like Saddam Hussein or like Hitler & his Nazis.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. For sure, there’s lots of work ahead of us. God does have a Plan and if we continue to acknowledge Him, He’ll inspire solutions. Therefore, we follow His nudgings and take all our next right steps to the best of our ability.

          Liked by 2 people

  23. Many of us are still stumbling around trying to figure out “to what extent” do we fight back this evil. Is it humanity’s job to expose this enemy in the light and fight them openly, or do we just wait praying & hoping for a “Illumination of Conscience” which might never happen while the enemy continues it’s proxy war until we’re at their mercy…

    Which path is the correct path? I don’t know…

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    1. Al, I think it’s exactly Beckita’s “He’ll inspire solutions. Therefore, we follow His nudgings and take all our next right steps to the best of our ability.”

      All of us at once.

      I would add, the best next small steps. Which might still be harder than pride admits — but if with God, effective!! Watch for effect.

      Liked by 1 person

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