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. Spectacular, Charlie. Once again you clarify the issues and fine points, giving us much on which to focus in contemplation.

    I am amazed at how many Catholic clergy and laity, in a great number of apostolates and dioceses, are bending over backwards to excuse Pope Francis. A common line is, “Well he didn’t formally change doctrine. Even a Pope is entitled to his personal opinion.” My Goodness! When is a faithful Christian entitled to the personal opinion that what God has declared as sin is actually not sin? Added to this problem is the reality that this Pope, more often than not, speaks imprecisely for the whole world to hear. The clarification either never comes, or, when it does, it’s an expression of ambiguity rather than clarity.

    Hard as it is, I welcome God’s delay. May each of us learn the lessons He wishes to teach us in this delay.

    PS That image is incredible!

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Charlie, I’ve been following you for about eight years, and many times have been astounded by your insights, historical knowledge, perspective and reasoned arguments, but never as much as by this post. Bravo, and many, many thanks.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Excellent article, however, I would like to add one point. The encyclical looks to the same earth utopia that the Masons espouse. In fact, the head of freemasonry in Spain came out after this encyclical and stated there is what the masons have said for years.
        This is no Christo-centric brotherhood that the pope is describing. He is, I believe, trying to align the Vatican with UN objectives and promote Christian values without Christ – purely worldly. His views on globalization, lack of borders, Working with UN to change education worldwide, idolatry in the Vatican, etc. leave all of us without a shepherd.
        I do agree that God will take care of this and that we must trust Him. For more is coming, maybe even more threatening and the Lord has us all in his school if trust. We need to pray-for the magisterium and for those who are being lead astray and may jeopardize their souls.
        God bless you for your insights. Thank you.

        Liked by 8 people

  3. Lots to read, definitely the early Church didn’t petition Rome for charity.

    It is what it is, I’m not making any excuses for Pope Francis anymore, I wash my hands of him, no-one condemns Pope Francis more than Pope Francis himself, leave God deal with him. For the little people, it’s better to focus on the works of John Paul II until this whole mess is sorted out.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Charlie, you have outdone yourself with this one. Awesome! I was trying to explain to my husband about Bellarmine’s positions about heretical Popes and your column popped into my email.  I have been reading two great books about the lives of the North American martyrs Sts. Isaaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf et al. Those burly of soul, MEN of God Jesuits, true sons of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Xavier, must be rolling in their graves at the actions and posturing of Francis  and at the sad piece of trash their Order, once the warrior knights of the Catholic world, has become.  Carry on my friend.  Love in Christ and Mary Judy Johnson Sent from Mail for Windows 10 From: A Sign of HopeSent: Monday, October 26, 2020 6:02 PMTo: jnursester@gmail.comSubject: [New post] Tutto Fumo e Niente Arrosto charliej373 posted: " 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"

    Liked by 6 people

  5. A ton of meat to this post. So much so that I will have to reread it several times.
    This statement -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.- hit a cord with me. My Protestant friends are asking what in the world is the Pope doing? One thing it is causing is to learn more about our church. I guess we can be thankful for that aspect. It is a humbling time as I was once very proud of the church.(St. John Paul’s time).

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Love Babylon Bee, Mick! I received my “The dogma lives deep in me” t-shirt yesterday from Abby Johnson’s website–“And then there were none”. Perfect timing!

        Liked by 6 people

  6. Charlie, among all the columns you have written for both websites, this is the best you have written , bar none. Keep saying your rosary, pal!

    Blessings, prayers and love to everybody !

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Yes, I have seen that case being made this week – as it has been made so many times before. If so, why won’t the Vatican make a simple, clear clarification? Sorry, I have been the main spokesman and crisis manager for several statewide officials. You don’t respond to the little stuff…you do get out there immediately to correct any really big ones that would undercut your core message. That the Vatican serially does not tells me they don’t intend to – and the message that is getting out is as the Pope intends it to…while hoping that others will make high hopes excuses for it.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. There is no doubt that the remarks made by Francis were not taken out of context. Just like the Pachamamma event was not taken out of context. It is all plain to see.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. Reminds me of George Weigel, I believe, involved in responding to Church sex scandal criticisms of JP2 ‘S absence of guidance early on.
        Apparently one big weakness of this beloved Pope was in Administration and so he just didn’t catch many logistical details that needed action; that like now, probably, is glaringly ignored or even covered up by Vatican staff.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. It seems whenever you approach this subject about the Pope with priest and Catholic faithful. they always say the same thing. His words are taken out of context.. This has been 7 long years of this nonsense. I know we should not be saying this out loud, but that Marxist Liberation Theology is rearing it’s ugly head..
        I believe Heaven will intervene soon.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Bingo. Exactly Liberation Theology which StJPII condemned as not Christian on any level. And yet, we see Cardinals and Bishops at the Vatican bowing to Pachamama. I know none of them have said the Rosary for years because you could not pray it, have any knowledge of it, have any love of the BVM and bow to that monstrosity on an altar of the Eucharist. And I wonder with PF’s pronouncement on civil unions, what his fidelity to the image of the Holy Family is or will become.

          Liked by 4 people

    2. Catholic News Agency and O’Connell provided the missing context from the Televisa interview.

      Alazraki asked [Pope Francis]: “You waged a whole battle over egalitarian weddings, of couples of the same sex in Argentina. And later they say that you arrived here, they elected you pope and you appeared much more liberal than what you were in Argentina. Do you recognize yourself in this description that some people who knew you before make, and was it the grace of the Holy Spirit that gave you a boost? (laughs)”
      According to America Magazine, the pope responded that: “The grace of the Holy Spirit certainly exists. I have always defended the doctrine. And it is curious that in the law on homosexual marriage…. It is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage. But what we have to have is a law of civil union (ley de convivencia civil), so they have the right to be legally covered.” —Catholic News Agency, October 24th, 2020

      Fairly straightforward what he was talking about. We have to have that law? A false dilemma. I can think of dozens upon dozens of other Catholic approaches off the top of my head that involve real Charity and Mercy. Naturally those require real, hard work. What he suggests at best –– if I manage to contort my thinking into a complex pretzel shape to give him the benefit of a doubt –– is a lazy pastoral approach, and on a slippery slope to boot.

      And again, no clarification of the matter from the Vatican.

      Liked by 9 people

  7. Bottom Line … These-Days:
    1) Spiritual = Jesus I Trust in You.
    2) Temporal = Common Decency, Sense and Principals enshrined in The Ten Commandments, US
    Constitution & Bill of Rights.
    3) Keep Your Powder Dry.
    4) When in Doubt. Review Steps 1-3


    Liked by 13 people

  8. A big test right now (and from now on) is not to let ourselves hate the enemy though we hate what he’s doing. If we hate the evil-doers we endanger our souls and give the devil a double victory. Jesus was absolutely clear, we are to love everyone, at all times, no exceptions, no matter what.

    Liked by 12 people

  9. Charlie great great piece!!! I know what you mean for I too think Pope Francis has caused much confusion!!! 😩

    This paragraph:

    “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.” CJ

    If you only knew how many times you have inspired me to try harder to become a “soldier for Christ!” And I thank you!!! Thank you for saying “yes!” For all of us squirrels 🐿! Gonna print this out tomorrow and have a great feast! Lol. God bless!


  10. Wow!!!

    “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.” CJ

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pope Francis continues to remain an enigma to me. I don’t like his style and am most definitely not a fan of his politics. I try to be both charitable and level headed about these continued reports. Unfortunately, I don’t have hours to research context or veracity of each new reported utterance. They always seem to conflict with other Francis statements. If memory serves me (and it may not) I thought he made statements affirming church teaching on traditional marriage, sex outside of marriage and opposing homosexual adoption. Hearing these reports makes me scratch my head. I’d be inclined to believe our media isn’t being honest. But then Pope Francis seems to have an affinity for Fr. James Martin… My time is better spent praying

    Liked by 7 people

  12. The translation by the media on the Pope’s statement was incorrect. The Pope stated that families of origin should not turn their back on SSA members….not that they should start their own family. The civil union comment was correctly translated however.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Charlie,
    Never have I, in the 7 years I have been reading your essays, been so glad that you are there.
    This would be terribly frightening without your guidance. I so appreciate your perseverance, your understanding and wisdom. You have brought order and perspective out of chaos. My husband and I so appreciate you! Praying for you.

    Liked by 11 people

  14. Charlie, I don’t get the “king Saul” argument, your other point of God giving enough rope for those to either repent & return or hang themselves with I relate to. Pope Francis desired the power back in the 2005 enclave, and made sure he got elected to pope in 2013, I don’t see how that ever made him annointed ever, maybe he was annoited as priest or bishop, but was he ever annoited as Pope? I don’t even see it being the case since he first took office.

    If you’re point is we shouldn’t get involved in that mess, I prefer plain & simple reasoning, rather than trying to make Pope Francis fit a particular mould.


  15. Hi everyone . Been quite awhile since I’ve spoken here . On October 13 of this month ( the anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima , my daughter her husband and myself got to see this in our South Dakota sky .
    I have never seen anything so vivid or intricate . Yes I’ve seen a ring around the sun or sun dogs when it was really cold ,but this was at 10:30 am . 65 degrees . Very unusual and that it happened on that particular day ? Rebecca and myself both have a strong devotion to Mary , so it was very meaningful and I know people here will appreciate this and I hope it uplifts you . Now I’m hoping it works for me to share the pictures my daughter took .

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Hi, Rancher! So good to hear from you! Not too far back (maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago), I was thinking about you and wondering how you were doing. Glad you’re back. 🙂

      The sky that you saw sounds amazing, but the links that you sent can’t be opened (at least not in Chrome). Is there another way that you can send them? Or maybe Beckita or SteveBC or MP has an idea for how to make it so that we can see the pictures.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. As ever, photo or any image sharing on Word Press requires a specific format for sharing. If anyone wishes to do so, simply click on “answers to techie questions” which is found in the MENU, upper right hand corner.

        Great to hear from you, sodakrancher!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. SteveBC my daughter sent the 2 pictures I tried to share here on an email . I was able to share them to Facebook , but I tried to copy them off fb which did not work either . Would there be an email I could send them to either you or Beckita ? And if you thought they were interesting enough you could share them on here ?
          Or if anyone wants to go to Facebook , my name is Allan Knippling . If you look me up on Facebook the pictures are there not too far down my timeline . You will know them when you see them .


      2. Thank you Mick . I try to read Charlie’s writings here . I like his perspective on things . I do a little on Facebook too , but I have a little trouble keeping up with all of you in the comment section lol .
        I have been going through a tough divorce the last couple years . Just getting that done ,so trying to keep my chin up . I keep all of you in my prayers . Obviously some interesting times we are in . Always keeps a person wondering what will be next
        Thank you for reaching out .
        Look me up on Facebook Allan Knippling . If you’d like to see the pictures . They are not too far back on my timeline . You will know them when you see them
        Take care

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Rancher, the photos are stunning! I’m glad that they got put up here because I’m not on Facebook. Praying for you and your intentions. I know life is super busy, but I hope to see you around the comment section once in a while… we miss the family when we don’t see them now and again. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      1. That day was also Rebecca and Mikes anniversary ,which they picked that day because it was the anniversary of the miracle . And she lives in Wisconsin ,so was another “ coincidence “ that they were visiting here on that day .

        Liked by 2 people

  16. A priest friend of mine called the encyclical tutti frutti.

    What a good description, Charlie– walking on a knife’s edge. But prayer gives us training wheels! My family knows that I’m deeply interested in our Church and several members have recently reached out to me to talk about the pope, some clergy members and our Church. It’s definitely getting the attention of many.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Whenever a pontiff speaks, it must always be assumed he is intending to speak with true fidelity to the magisterium & traditions of our Judeo-Christian faith as given by Christ through the Catholic Church. This does not mean mistakes, misunderstandings, or acts of malice by others does not interfere with this. From my own perspective it seems Francis tends to trust that most people are intending to find and do the will of God regardless from wher they they come or what they believe. It should be realised, (though I may not be correct) that in the lower Americas the political terms “liberal” & “conservative” appear to have slightly different meanings than they do in Europe or in the upper Americas (Canada, U.S., Iceland & Greonland). This may explain the seemingly distrustful stance Francis has towards those who are more traditional taking them to be as Pharisees not realising those in whom he places his trust may have some Sadducees mixed in their ranks. That being said it is extraordinarily difficult to govern. It does not help that in many traditional circles the material works of mercy tend to be lacking whereas the spiritual works of mercy are in great abundance. With the progressive circles the spiritual works are lacking and the material are in over abundance. Then as in 1789 & again in 1917 there is the lack of proper catechises within the entire Church which has allowed for Satan to make incredible gains against the Kingdom of God not seen since the days of Noah. The list can on & on. I do not believe the Holy Father has lost his mandate, but I do believe he is attempting to save the present civilisation through a last ditch effort of spiritual transformation whereas God has begun to remove & replace it as in the days of Noah. We shall see what comes of all of this, it may take a little ora et labora on our part but it will happen.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I must clarify. By “material” I mean temporal issues: science, ecology, political issues, economic issues. I agree with Charlie on this:

        “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. …”

        Christ must always be put first in our lives. Yes, we should do our part to be good stewards of the earth, aid the poor, widows and orphans of the world, love our neighbor, etc. When we put Christ first,then all the rest will be resolved in good time. Those who strive to be good Christians in word and deed will do the most good to change the world for the better. But it will never be a perfect world. We will never have Heaven until we get to Heaven. There will always be hardships. Christ said that the poor would always be with us. Illness will always be with us. From the time of birth, we will always be moving toward death. Death is inevitable. This is he human condition and we must carry our crosses, just as Christ made clear.

        Putting Christ first demands that each of us fight sin. Today there are many people that reject the idea of sin and punishment for sin. While Christ is extremely merciful,he also demands that we go and sin no more.

        Sin is the reason for the many problems of the world. It allows more and more of a foothold to Darkness. Jesus is the Light. When we are in a state of grace, the Light shines brightly and we allow Christ to work in our lives and the world.

        Liked by 6 people

    1. R Say M: And, yet, there is Pachamamma and the worship of Mother Earth. I was taught from a very young age “not to waste”! And, yes, the plastic waste in our oceans is a crime. So many dispensing systems could be changed to reduce the waste but Mother Earth is not equal to the BVM. Pachamamma did not belong on any altar. Thank God for Vigano, Strickland, etc. And there is no denying that the church sex scandal was 10% pedophilia but 90% homosexual abuse and PF has done little to mitigate it by keeping those who supported it in our seminaries.

      Liked by 5 people

  18. I take some heart in this quote from Bishop O’ Malley ( I know, I know): “Pope Francis has seen civil unions as a way for governments to provide protections and health care for couples in long-term, committed relationships, whether they be siblings or friends or partners. Such arrangements are not always of a sexual nature.” There was more along the same lines.
    Also, Al Kresta, wrestling mightily with his unfavorable feelings about the Pope’s unclarified words, provided many quotes that have himself more heartening: that Francis called homosexual acts gravely wrong; that gay marriage is an oxymoron; that the meaning of civil type unions in Argentina meant only like in the quote above, and more.
    I can only guess Francis figures if some poor chumps learn of his words, they‘ll also have access to researching clarification — not always realistic even assuming clarification is settling.
    To offset all this, go Judge Barrett ! Her summarizing acceptance speech was the best of it all!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Caelids, we don’t have a Return to Top button, but we do have an archives pop-up. Click on “Menu” in the top right corner of this browser page, and the sidebar will slide in from the right side. Scroll almost all the way down the material in the sidebar to the “Archives” pop-up. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  19. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! – 🙂







    HullyGee!!! Flu way down but China Plague Wa–aay Up. Nothing to see here …. Move Along!

    Let US Pray that this weaponization of China Plague by the Global Left Elites Back-Firs Big …. Worldwide! Elexctins next week will give US an indication ……





    Liked by 5 people

  20. I just wish Church leadership would stop endlessly rambling on about topics that are outside their authority and that they are completely clueless about. There seems to be no intellectual structure behind what the Pope and his ideological allies say. What separates the Catholic Church from most of the Protestant sects and Islam is that it holds to both Faith and Reason. Many Church leaders today seem devoid of reason and suspect in faith.

    There’s no way that we can know the heart of Pope Francis or what his intentions are. We should default to assuming good intentions because doing otherwise creeps into the territory of judgment and won’t help us. We can, however, make reasonable analyses of fact based on what is publicly evident. Even if the Pope’s words are being spliced together incorrectly, he has seen the final edits and given full approval to the editor. It is unreasonable to believe that is accidental because although the Pope doesn’t have nearly the reasoning capacity of JPII, he’s not a moron.

    It does seem that Pope Francis is giving at least passive assent to what are essentially Masonic ideas. Is it out of ignorance? Malice? Are we just missing something that he knows and we don’t? There is really no way to know. It’s probably not important for us to decide. We need to pray for the Church and agree with the Pope when he supports doctrine and Tradition, disagree when he doesn’t and hold fast to the truth. There have been plenty of instances where Popes have entered bad political alliances and brought temporal ruin to the church and themselves.

    If certain bad things must come, they probably won’t come in ways that we prefer or expect. God can use good intentions but also stupidity, naivete or malice to bring about what needs to be done. The only difference really is the final fate of the good willed, stupid, naive or malicious soul whether they be a Pope or us. It’s probably wiser to worry about our own motives and actions more so than the Pope’s, and try to fall into that “good will” category rather than stupid, naive or malicious.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Of course, only God knows the intent of every heart, yet, we are called to judge with righteous judgement which includes discerning behavior and words. I look at Pope Francis’ latest encyclical and statement on civil unions from the wider scope of all his papacy. On important aspects of Magisterial Teaching, I see a Pope who is pushing the envelope and beyond for the sake of a “new paradigm.” So true that we don’t know how God will work all these things together for good. Also true that it’s important to pray for his soul and the Church as I’d say most, if not all, in this community already do. Maranatha!

      Liked by 5 people

  21. Great post Charlie, lots to unpack.
    Thanks for the definitions for the less erudite among us.
    Have to admit, I’m a bit of a ultramoantist (people who moan sharply in pain whenever the sitting Pope says things that go against the teachings of Catechism of the Catholic church )

    Liked by 6 people

  22. ACB confirmed as expected. Despite my fears about Donald Trump as stated earlier, do I hear a french horn in the distance?? I think I do and I am heartened by the massive prayer support going up now by so many. I have often thought of prayers as artillary against evil and boy do we need it now before the close in fighting begins.

    Liked by 7 people

  23. Charlie – or anyone – I ask for assistance. I belong to several Catholic groups, and fairly uniformly, there have been expressions of dismay, anger and dread over the latest encyclical. I have tried to be quiet because I have read some other posts where we, the readers, are being told to “stay calm and stay in the boat”. I believe this message anticipates that there will be yet another exodus from the Church in the direction of Byzantine, Orthodox rite churches or protestant churches. Please, if you would, evaluate my thinking so that I can propose this where I see this exodus occurring:

    “Jesus said, ‘And will you leave me too?’ And Peter said, ‘Where else would we go? You have the words of everlasting life.'” Essentially, by staying in the boat, enduring the bad teaching, the possible heresy or heterodoxy and being obedient to Christ, whose church it truly is, we are not showing our affinity with an errant person but the office of Peter, who said that the gates of Hell would not overcome it. So the proposition is that we keep on keepin’ on, placing all our love and obedience in Christ, we ‘correct’ the Holy Father in love and charity, and continue to be a sign of Hope for all our brothers and sisters. Did I get this right? I keep hearing we must be “obedient” to the Holy Father and the bishops, but I keep wondering how to be obedient to someone who is putting out errant teaching?

    As for all the others, our evangelization efforts are to tell our brothers and sisters about the Truth as contained in Scripture, the Magisterium without denigrating, calumniating or detracting the Holy Father or the bishops. This is how I see it, or interpret it.


    Liked by 5 people

    1. MichaelA, these are some important thoughts you’re preparing. Beautifully written. In times like these, perhaps, it’s better to stress remaining obedient to the true Teaching Magisterium rather than to a particular Priest, Prelate or Pope. I also like to say that I wouldn’t shoot myself in the foot by walking away from Eucharistic Jesus. He’s the food which perfectly nourishes and nurtures. I’ve also posed this question, in a gentle way, to some and it brought the ranting one to silence: “What will you say to Jesus when He asks you: ‘Why did you desert Me in the height of My Church’s Passion Time?'”

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Ironically I just asked the same question on this site that Peter asked Jesus. Where else can I go? Where else is the Eucharist? It’s not like heresy hasn’t happened before in the church. As Charlie has stated above, sometimes it is resolved in a few days but sometimes it takes a hundred years. So you must find the path to Christ himself, tune out the noise and hold on to Him for your life. I sometimes have acted or thought in contrary to Day 2 of the Surrender Novena. “It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and they try to take care of those needs themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s (or in this case their father’s) way.”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Such wise words, Beckita. I love this line and is so true about you and many here…”The dogma is strong in this one.” I pray we all can stay the course to the triumph of Mary.

        Liked by 2 people

  24. Thank you Charlie, one of your best ever. It forces me to give up on my hope that the pope will finally offer some explainitory remarks on his misstatements (“Hope springs eternally in the human breast.) and finally end his apparent vow never to offer responses to any criticism lest his responses should also bring more never ending criticisms, a safe but unsatisfying answer leaving the original basic problem still intact. I give a “nice try” to those making feeble attempts at trying to fabricate excusive replies for his misstatements. As you say, “A pig with lipstick is still a pig.” May God save us because our feeble attempts without His help never will. May the Holy Spirit continue to protect , bless and guide all here. jas

    Liked by 6 people

  25. Here is an incredible sign of hope– so proud of Melvin Cole. I’ve been hanging out there– it is beyond joyful to see what this young man is doing in Memphis to fight poverty and violence. He had a conversion when he was in prison. He had joined a gang at 14– looking for love and a place to belong. He promised Our Lord that when he got out he would change his life and help at risk boys to get on the right trajectory. He’s had a boarding school for 9 years and has had miraculous success.


    Liked by 6 people

      1. Yes, Jen, and it’s our job to watch and pray, listening to God’s nudges so we can continue to do whatever He asks.

        Little One, Charlie’s piece at TNRS: “Through a Glass Darkly” is a foundational reminder that so much of what will evolve is God’s Alone to reveal as it happens.

        Liked by 3 people

  26. Thank you, Charlie, for your analysis. Francis’s statements and the internet furor they have caused is very difficult to put into perspective. I quickly browsed through you posting at lunch but will be back to take it in slowly and thoughtfully.

    I would like to share some of my thoughts which I posted at another site late last week (I apologize, I do wander away at times to take in what other Catholic folks are discussing.) Here are my words made to some folks who from their comments seemed close to leaving the Church or in declaring Francis the anti-pope:

    Coming from a Pentecostal/Charismatic former life there is an approach that I learned from some of my early mentors in my walk with Christ. When faced with intractable intransigence, such as willful refusal to accept scripture, or the Church’s moral law, from an adult child, family member, spouse, or acquaintance they would attempt to convert, convince, to talk the person into accepting the truth. After a time of doing this, if the person still overtly and stubbornly resisted, all discussion, persuasion, preaching would stop and the intransient would be “given to God”. Intense pray for the intransient would continue but the verbal campaign to convert them would cease. The prayer for them would be for God to deal with them in whatever way He needed to bring the person to the truth. I suppose this constitutes a form of spiritual tough love.

    I am at that point with Francis. I believe he is Pope. I believe many of his statements can be seen at best as profoundly confusing and will lead to extreme misinterpretation of the Catholic faith. I believe that this is not good for the faithful, or the world at large.

    I do not believe any discussion, complaints from Cardinals, bishops, theologians or the laity will change his preconceived notions. I sense that the people surrounding him are totally unwilling, and/or incapable of convincing him to change. I give him to God. May God do whatever He must to bring Francis to where God wants Francis to be. I pray for him every day and will continue to do so. I will pray intensely for the Church and for the people, that the minimum amount of damage be done and that the Holy Spirit will heal those wounds.

    The Church will survive. God’s will shall prevail. I may not live to see its revival but I believe it will come. In the meantime, I will try to be as faithful as I can to Christ, the Holy Spirit, scripture, the sacraments, the magisterium as has been handed down to us. I will ask Mary’s intercession for the Church. I will try to be an example for those I love and those with whom I come in contact.

    For me this is the next right step.


    Liked by 12 people

      1. The problem about this controversy is that it is not the first insignificant incident by Pope Francis. Sorry to say this, but the longer this Pope is in office, the more he seems to be a wolf in a sheep’s skin. This Pope is not as vocal about protecting the unborn as he is about protecting the environment. This Pope appoints many leftist cardinals, who themselves seem to be wolves in sheep skin. Adding recently 13 new cardinals “brings the number of cardinal electors appointed by Francis to 57 percent of total electors, increasing the likelihood that the next elected pope will share Francis’ vision for the Church.”/LifeSiteNews/.
        This might be a key set up for a future Pope-Antichrist if there is one to come…

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Thanks Charlie, we can always count on you for clarification on issues regarding the pope, the hierarchy, and our church. This is a lot of good info to digest and will be reading it over a few more times.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sent this picture of Justice to my daughter and granddaughters (22 and 19yrs) saying– So good FOR AMERICA, BABIES, WOMEN, MEN, MANKIND:

      Here’s the rant back from my daughter:

      This is a horrible day for our LBGTQ friends, civil liberties, health care and the climate. She has not remained neutral by being paraded around the white house – there are so many other issues at stake – I’m so thankful we live in CA – The earth is burning and she thinks climate is a ‘contentious’ issue. As an originalist she should hang up her robe, no women were allowed to serve when the document was created.

      I’m very worried about the ACA and if it is repealed what that will do to the future of healthcare and medicare. Do we want to make it ok for people to be fired for being gay?

      The hurtful thing to me is you know how I feel so why would you knowingly send me something like this? Do you think I agree or it will change my mind?

      My reply:

      There’s always hope for change in you Susie. Do you think reading the Chronical will change our minds? You must of since you have it sent to us. The Epoch Times will be on your doorstep for Christmas 😉

      Justice Amy is a good and Godly woman. She will be fair and support the Constitution of the United States

      I share this with TNRS on how we must continue with love to push back on the feminist brainwashing that our children received in school and society. Jump in with any thoughts or better ways of dealing with all of this on the front lines. Prayer ongoing everyday. I’m “Monica”.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. SanSan– I love Monica and ask her for prayers every day. What a great saint for you to emulate. When talking with friends or family on the opposite side of the political spectrum, I work at staying unemotional. A long time ago I found that if you lose your cool you lose.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Good Morning, SanSan,
        Another friend in my bible/book study sent a letter from her som from CA to our group. The letter could be interchangeable with your daughter’s letter. She was desperate to know how to respond to her son. My response was to let the debate go. Pray, pray, pray for him. With my own son who loves to debate, I have gotten to the point of knowing God loves him so much more than i do and to leave him in God’s hands. Pray that God puts people in his life to point the way to God. I sure muck it up when I take the “problem” back out of God’s hands. I hope this helps in some way. Those adult children-phew, more gray hair.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Reminds me a little of Nero setting the city on fire and blaming Christians for it to ensure their persecution. Satan has updated his tactics slightly, but the gist remains. I’ll pray for your daughter and all of us deceived by Satan and his minions that God enlightens hearts and minds.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. It’s unfortunate SanSan, but it seems like such deep-seated believers like your daughter do not change until a great personal life crisis enters their lives.
        Keep planting the seeds, obviously they are felt or she wouldn’t be so effected. Her fear of loss for those who she states could be a turning point if you mention their immortal soul being lost for eternity- a much greater loss than mere a job or some societal position which are always transient. This is the driving force of true love, the other is of some form of comfort. Why would someone advocate for a brief period of happiness to give up an eternity of it with those we love? Even those we love the most we cannot be with at all times while we are here on earth.
        No matter how hard she tries to ignore them these things will stay in the back of her mind and when something happens to open her to there reality, they will fruition.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thank you all for prayers and support. My daughter had a great personal life crisis 2yrs ago when her husband got cancer. He’s in remission now, but at the time she never turned to God, just kept “good thoughts” and “fingers crossed”. 😦

          Everyday my prayers are for the illumination of her heart and mind. Everyday I say to our Dear Lord, whatever it takes Lord – Thy Will Be Done.

          I will never give up on her. I never have and I never will.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Dear SanSan, I am reminded of my own dear mother who worried for my eternal soul and probably prayed for me for years too. I once said something she didn’t like about the BVM ( truly have forgotten what it was). I was in me 20’s. She was so offended by it that she wrote to me a 6 page letter expressing her anger and correcting me. Now keep in mind that letter was handed to me not mailed to me. She walked it from her bedroom to me in the living room. I have never forgotten the admonition. I think of her every time I say the Rosary. Plus I also had the locked in memories of my grandmothers walking to daily Mass, praying the Rosary and little note books keeping track of individual novenas for various grandchildren and causes. Be hardened SanSan, never give up, be Monica every day. Never forget to say I love you. Let Jesus do the rest. Love to you.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. The ‘blank memo pad’ memes are outstanding.

      My favorite pIcture, by far, is her kissing her husband at the Whithouse swearing in ceremony.

      ACB and Sydney Powell are two wonderful role models for girls and women. What a blessing.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I concur, Timothy, on the kissing photo. 🙂 What a great candid shot! They’re taking a quick opportunity for a little congratulatory smooch while Melania and President Trump are walking through the door, with Justice Thomas waiting just inside. If someone can find and post the photo, I think Squirrels would appreciate it. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

  28. Deliver us, O Lord, from all movements which promote socialism. Whew Boy! Perhaps Fratelli Tutti and civil unions were just a warm-up to the “Economy of Francesco”


    “We have entered the era of communal wealth and a new economy is needed,” said Bruni, who teaches political economy at the Libera University Maria Santissima Assunta in Rome…

    According to the organizers, the Economy of Francis officially aims to propose ideas that “move and live for a fairer, more fraternal and sustainable economy and give a soul to the economy of tomorrow…”

    A key figure behind the event is the U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs, a population control advocate and ardent critic of President Donald Trump, who will speak on the theme of “perfecting joy: two proposals to let life flourish.”

    One of the leading architects of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which includes targets for “reproductive health” worldwide (a euphemism for “safe” abortion and contraception), Sachs believes next month’s event will be “world changing” and “so productive for the coming generations.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I would say that communism is going to wake up from its 30 year slumber and find a lot of fellow travelers all over the world, including the USA, eager to receive it. I read the story earlier. Come, Lord Jesus. Thy Kingdom come!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Well Michaela, living in CA, which is mostly “godless” — I would agree with you. Most of America’s leaders come out of CA — people are so brainwashed here.

        The murder, abuse, trafficking of children is an abomination screaming for justice. Come Lord Jesus!

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Well, I think it’s going to continue to look increasingly ugly and take an epic amount of endurance. Looking at your avatar I’m reminded of the “Golden Boy” because of your golden hair. My dad was buds with him back in the day at UND. I’m speaking of Paul Hornung, the only guy ever to win the Heisman trophy with a losing record for the season (The Irish were 2-8 in ’56). Didn’t matter though, as the guy played tirelessly and with great enthusiasm, winning smaller battles all over the field on both sides of the ball. He would later go on to play at the Packers for the great Vince Lombardi, my favorite coach of all time.

          Yeah, Hornung was a bit of a rascal to say the least. Once at dinner, he told me that my dad would have never made it through college without his academic assistance. To which my dad busted out laughing at the obvious fib. Good thing this is a team ‘sport’ we’re playing here, as I think we all know at this point that we’re going to have to play all four quarters to the gun, leaving every last little drop on the field.

          Third and long, down by seven. So… halfback run right off tackle, on two!

          Liked by 3 people

          1. MP, I love your stories about your youth. And I also love your sports metaphors… I might not always understand jokes, but sports analogies I get. Thanks.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Good Morning, Mick-“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play” remember that song? (Ok, maybe not right now…I let the dogs our, 4 am our time and one started to bark…funny, how neighbors frown on barking dogs at 4 am…anyway, I go running out to get them, miss the first step down, fly pass the 2nd step and land on my side in a crusty snow bank on the deck. Ouch…sitting with an ice pack on my shoulder now. Can handle a rosary however.)

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              1. Ha, HttP: “Center Field”! 🙂

                Incidentally, the one year that I played softball–5th grade–I played center field. I was terrible. I love to watch baseball, though, probably because of attending so many games in which my older brothers played. I especially love my Cubbies. After they won the Series in 2016, I made myself a rosary in their team colors. I get happy every time I pray on that rosary.

                I’m really sorry about your early-morning mishap. I’ll pray for a quick healing of your shoulder.

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                    1. What a sweetie. Thank you for your prayers. All of this baseball stuff reminds me of my mother, God rest her soul. After she died and we had to go through her stuff we found a trophy she had for playing softball as a teenager. My great grandmother was one of the people who housed women soft ball players way back when. You know, “A League of Their Own”. She lived in Racine, Wisconsin.

                      Liked by 1 person

              2. Hey, at least you ran the play with enthusiasm, http, and I have to say that your playing conditions sound an awful lot like Lambeau Field. That’s worth a Lombardi quote: “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” Well done.

                Liked by 2 people

            2. In that case, I’ll tell you something funny regarding my dad as an epilogue (but just your basic, straightforward story). Wasn’t thinking so much about Hornung and my Irish lately (5-0/#4), as I was about my Dad. If ever there was a loyal son of Notre Dame, in the fullest sense, he was right up there.

              Turns out my middle kid has been thinking a lot about his grandad lately too, and is enthused about hearing old stories. So I was trying to look up something online last night, and got some curious images in the search results showing some books he wrote with my oldest sister (“Accounting At Your Fingertips”). I had long since forgotten about that stuff, and admittedly, break out in hives at the mere thought of accounting books (or any such tome). Nonetheless, I sat there mouth agape, staring at the book covers. Lo and behold, there were squirrels on them.

              Well, what do you know. Apparently Pops was a NRS’er in the day too, and I’m henceforth associating him with the Fighting Five-Seven (ok, small metaphor). As a bonus, my kid decided to go over to grandma’s house on Saturday to watch our boys take out Georgia Tech. Or, just more shakin’ down the thunder, if you prefer… but, I can definitely hear my dad’s distinct laughter in the thunder!

              Liked by 3 people

    2. Beckita, Oct. Surprise? Nothing is a surprise anymore. Eyes wide open. Watch The Remnant with Michael Matt, AB Vigano, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Look up DAVOIS and Educational Conference. It’s all there in living color.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. So, to “give a soul to the economy of tomorrow,” the pope advocates embracing the soulless Marxism of the past? Yeah, THAT makes perfect sense–about as much sense as claiming devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary while allowing (and sometimes even appearing to promote) veneration of an idol that shall not be named.

      Liked by 7 people

    4. I can’t help this, I am angry: “One of the leading architects of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which includes targets for “reproductive health” worldwide (a euphemism for “safe” abortion and contraception), Sachs believes next month’s event will be “world changing” and “so productive for the coming generations.”
      Fr. Heilman put something up: https://www.romancatholicman.com/what-if-abortion-opened-the-portal-to-satans-100-year-unbinding/
      How long, O Lord, are we going to have to put up with these “errors” even coming in the smoke of the satan that has seeped into Your Church? No, I am not despairing. I am determined. We owe the coming generations better than this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So well said, Joyful. As we lament in waiting on the Lord, I do think we can also thank Him for all He has done to mitigate what we’re experiencing. The slumber of believers has contributed to bringing us to this point as if God is allowing us to ask ourselves: “How’s that working out for you?” I LOVE your closing thoughts. Harnessing anger is a beautiful thing!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. “Enemy-occupied territory–that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” (C.S. Lewis) and also Fr. John Riccardo’s book Rescued

          Liked by 1 person

  29. Great piece, Charlie. Thorough yet succinct. Francis’ pronouncements appear to also be part of the great test on where we all, from prelate to pleb, stand with Christ and the Church he left us. We would do well to honestly and regularly wrestle with the questions you propose. Thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. HTTP, yes, I fully expect trouble on 11/4. Of note are two items I think are occurring. First, I think Trump will win so decisively on 11/3 that all the lawfare efforts will disintegrate, and it will be very difficult for protests to get any real traction in the larger population. If this happens, it will be a big kudo to the Electoral College approach. Second, I have seen some reports, currently sketchy, that National Guard units are being activated in various places (like Philadelphia) tomorrow and Friday. If anyone here knows any people in the NG, you might want to ask if they are being activated and let us know. I *am* concerned about Democrat governors using the current reports of Covid resurgence to shut down polling places on Election Day when many Republicans usually vote in person. I must presume that the Good Guys know all about this particular scheme and have the means to counter it.

        Liked by 7 people

  30. I can only suggest that one study the history of antipopes and consider the situation that we have with a Pope “Emeritus” Benedict XVI and a “Pope” Francis. It should raise a red flag.

    I was alerted to the opinion that the False Prophet of Revelation “could be” an antipope (an invalidly elected “Pope”) by reading “The Book of Destiny” by Rev. Herman Bernard Kramer (it’s available on-line) back in the 1980’s (the book was written prior Vatican II) so I was sensitized to look at the situations surrounding Papal Elections to ensure that Canon Law – which binds even a Pope until he promulgates a change – was followed.

    Ann Barnhardt (I know…she’s pariah) has 2 videos that delve into the “data set” on this issue. They are available on her website.

    Her arguments confirmed what I already suspected.

    I will just add, nothing that Cardinal Bergoglio says or does disturbs me in The Faith in the least. I pray no one is scandalized into leaving the Catholic Faith because of him.

    Keep the Faith
    John Taylor

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A “red flag” YES, we should be watchful & diligent of his actions. Let’s pray & hope Bergoglio isn’t the “false prophet”, because if he is a false prophet, a antichrist will surely be nearby.

      Prayers to stop his mischief are should be seriously considered, done, & not underestimated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To this thought, I would add that hyper-focusing on the enemy’s work can become counterproductive to what God is doing as He reveals all that has been hidden. We are a community of Christ’s Hope, so while we acknowledge Him and all that is around us, we dwell on His Plan and put more energy into hearing His whispering, the better to take our next right steps and build each other up as we tend to the prayer of doing, bringing Christ’s Light to those around us.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have this to say to anyone seriously contemplating leaving the Church:

          Where will you go? The antichurch is everywhere and has infiltrated every part of society including other Christian denominations, in some cases their problems are worse than ours.

          We are aware of the of Pope Francis’ antics and where it could potentially lead, it’s not getting ignored, minimized, nor getting swept under the rug, let us turn to prayer that evil will be minimized for the sake of the elect. A past Pope once said when pressured for the contents of the 3rd secret of Fatima “This is how we defeat evil” as he held up his Rosary before the crowd before him.

          We aknowledge what is happening in the world and in trust aknowledge Jesus all the more.

          Liked by 3 people

  31. Charlie, it is funny that you should mention the John Lennon song, “Imagine”. I always had such an intense dislike for that song. It speaks of believing in nothing…Nothing to live or die for. Just hand over everything you ever believed in for a satanic promise of peace…..I have always been surprised by number of people who like it.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. If a antichrist were to make a appearance on the scene right now, he would be heralded as hero & saviour of problems, the monster wouldn’t come out until later when his power is secured like Hitler. The devil presents himself as a angel of light as Maxism, Communusm, Atheism, Secularism, and Socialism masquerade as morally & ethically good, but later show tbeir true colors when established.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. The anitchrist will show “signs and wonders that will fool even the Elect-if that were possible”, which it is not. The “elect” are not fooled by the enemies “wonders” but it will be so similar to the evidence that Christ used to show He was God [“believe in the signs I do” (John 10:38) ] that they will be highly convincing but the elect know Christ has already come so the anitchrist’s signs will be from an obvious imposter to them.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I hope and pray that is so, Phillip Frank. There are some I suspect are prime *elect* candidates that have fallen hook, line and sinker for masks and have even made facial gear trendy. I have complied less than a dozen times with covering my face, each time offering it up. I walked away from a catechist role that would have forced me and the students in my care to comply with the extreme measures that I sense are not from God. All other times during the last eight months, I resisted the tyranny and challenged the non-existing enforceable laws. Most are giving away our God-given freedoms without even batting an eye. If we just accept it to *get along*, isn’t that generally what has led us to the crises we face at this point in time? I do wonder. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Oh Jen– that’s exactly what I believe. This mandate seems so diabolical to me it is absolutely creepy. It seems a lot of people are frightened and think that they will be protected as will others if they wear masks. Others just go along to not cause a scene. I don’t wear one because I really don’t think it helps, but also because I think the real reason behind it is to condition us to obey their every command. I can really imagine eventually being arrested because of my refusal to mask up. It just blows my mind that almost everyone is going along with it. Who knows? Maybe I’m really wrong about this. It sure does give my the willies.

            Liked by 2 people

              1. Ha, Charlie– my brother feels as I do. There have been a couple times he has had to wear a mask– on a flight and to get his haircut. He wrote across the front of it– DOESN’T WORK.

                Liked by 4 people

            1. The masks have been deemed, not only by medical experts, world-wide, but the CDC and WHO (not reputation orgs) have back peddled too. Masks are not the protective shield they were made out to be. There are reports of pneumonia, a new facial acne, oxygen deprivation, as well as numerous other side effects and/or contraindications linked to the overuse of masking, not to mention it is a muzzle, so to speak and we are being led to heel, not heal, imho. It is mind numbing!

              Liked by 4 people

            2. “Masks with Messages ™” sound like a great idea!

              I recently saw that research partly from Anthony Fauci himself and partly from others has now shown that most of the people who died from the Spanish Flu did not die of the flu virus but of bacterial pneumonia. In fact, it appears that every body from that period that was tested was found to have died that way. What this means is that their masks killed them by the millions. “The maskless buried the masked.” The Spanish Flu was the first time in history that masks were used widely, and once people figured out how bad they were, masks for general use after that pandemic were strictly avoided.

              The reason is that masks are comparatively good at collecting upper respiratory viruses (which we all carry at least seasonally and which pose no real threat) and helping you rebreathe them back into your lungs partly into your upper lobes and partly into your *lower* lobes. When you breathe respiratory viruses into your lower lobes, they cause sufficient changes to the environment in those lobes to allow bacteria to get established and create bacterial pneumonia.

              They also significantly increase the likelihood that you will get Covid-19. 71% of all recent Covid cases have been in people who always wear masks, and an additional 15% in people who almost always wear them. That’s 86%! About 3% were in people who never wore masks.

              I would like to repeat: Masks are a mechanism to change relatively harmless upper respiratory infections into damaging/expensive/fatal lower lung bacterial infections, AND *bonus* they significantly increase the probability that you will get Covid-19.

              Most people scoff when I tell them masks are outright dangerous, but the facts indeed support that. You get no benefit against viruses in return for significantly higher risk of damage or even death. Not a great bargain!

              When required to wear a mask (at my mother’s residential facility and at church), I never wear my mask over my nose, to minimize this specific risk. In church, when speaking aloud or singing out through the mask, I stop speaking or singing until I have completed my in-breath through my nose. I try to breathe in through my nose and never in through the mask.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Wow Steve– you continue to be a great source of info. Thanks! I wish people would see the light. I keep contacting our local authorities about mask mandate. Can you suggest any good sources to share about this? Especially Spanish flu and masks?


              2. I recommend internet searches on these issues, because there are loads of articles from all different directions. Over time, you’ll find that the evidence points to masks being useless against viruses and (believe it or not) bacteria and being actively dangerous in a number of different ways. The following article discusses the 71%/85% masked cases and is representative of other such articles:


                The most thorough write-up of mask-related problems that I can find today is a two-piece article located here:


                The two article pieces are here:

                Click to access Mask_Risks_Part1.pdf

                and here:

                Click to access Mask_Risks_Part2.pdf

                Part 1 talks about mostly the hazards of breathing in fibers from the mask itself. The second dives into bacterial matters and the Spanish Flu. They are quite consistent with what I have read from many other sources.

                However, the politics of publication mean that mostly the right side covers these matters, while mostly the left side says masks are totally wonderful. In my opinion, masks should be outlawed completely. They are useless in all applications, and they cause long-term damage whenever used. If a person must use a mask, he or she should never cover the nose, breathe only through the nose, and when speaking, should never breathe back in through the mouth.

                One last fact: Many masks are made in China. Do you trust them not to deliberately contaminate those masks before shipment?

                Liked by 3 people

                1. SteveBC, thanks for the above facts about masks. The other night I was browsing on pinterest, which I had stayed away from for several years. There are products that are being pushed now for “maskne”, acne caused by wearing masks. Even kids are supposedly getting it. With all the unbelievable stuff that’s happening, and now we have maskne. For crying out loud.


                  1. Audie, I haven’t heard that one, but dentists are calling people whose teeth and gums are deteriorating “mask mouth.” I’ve seen pics of people with severe staph infections on their face where their masks had been. I had no idea when we all started out on this grand mask adventure that masks could be actually dangerous as opposed simply to being inconvenient or a market of sheeplehood, but that is what I have found. Masks are seriously dangerous and are more dangerous the longer you use them. Who knew that they killed millions of people in the Spanish Flu period? Not me. I was shocked to hear that. But you know, when I did hear that, I was almost completely *unsurprised* to see that one of the authors of that research was Tony Fauci. What does that tell you?

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  32. Outstanding article, Charlie. Two insights really stood out: (1) “The Church’s job is to form solid Christians. When it does that well, the ranks of civil authority are filled with solid Christians” and (2) “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.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. He was the Papal Nuncio to the US under Pope Benedict and, early on, Pope Francis. I don’t agree with all of his takes – and think he errs in trying to figure out exactly what is going to happen and why this has all happened. But he is a courageous son of the Church who, like so many, in absolute anguish is trying to work his way through how all of this could have come to pass.

      Liked by 4 people

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