By Charlie Johnston
On the weekly podcast Dr. Joe Brickner and I do, we have started having guests. Our first guest was the eschatologist Desmond Birch. We talked about where we really are in salvation history (kind of a palliative for the explosive effusion of sites focusing on prophecy these days). We also talked about hope, both spiritual and practical, and how to be that sign of hope as times seem to get darker. We will work to get guests who can give insight on various current events; on what we are doing at CORAC, on items of general interest, and of solid initiatives that you may want to be a part of. I will give a link each week to that week’s podcast and what it is about.
A week from Saturday I will begin my annual (sometimes even semi-annual) tour giving talks, heartening the faithful, and building the pool of friends we have in CORAC. My first talk of the year will be in Niceville, Florida – near Pensacola. If you are in the area and would like to come and visit with me and some folks who share your fundamental principles, just click on the link and sign up. As usual, there is no charge involved. To keep up with the schedule of when I will be in your area, check in at the “Scheduled Meetings” tab at the CORAC site. Meantime, the meetings for the next month will include:
Feb 5: Niceville, FL
Feb 12: Cleveland, GA
Feb 19: Leonardtown, MD
Feb 23: Columbia, MD
Feb 26: Manassas, VA
A friend from Vermont called to tell me of the plight of a Priest I have met and talked with – and liked, Fr. Peter Williams. He is the pastor of Holy Family Parish in Springfield, Vermont. Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Burlington Diocese ordered all Priests in the Diocese to get the Covid shot or to get tested for Covid every other week and wear masks at every Mass. Williams refused. Bp. Coyne told him to get it done or be suspended. Williams refused again – and refused to leave his parish. Instead, Fr. Williams maintained he has canonical rights and has retained a canon lawyer to plead his case. He says he will stay in place until he is canonically removed from his post.
Now the Diocese is trying to establish that he is mentally ill in order to remove him – a go-to move of the old Soviet Union to justify getting rid of annoying dissidents. This is not the first time I have heard of this tactic being used by Bishops who want to get rid of a Priest who annoys them. It is hideous for some Bishops to so eagerly adopt such Communist tactics – and is a smear against those honest Bishops who actually try to care for a Priest in crisis by getting a mental evaluation. When the malicious politicize health issues to get their way, it discredits the use of those tools when they are actually needed.
Sadly, there are more than a few Bishops who have instituted draconian Covid policies for their Priests and other personnel. Some of these are Bishops I have otherwise respected. Some have even issued a Covid shot mandate to attend Mass. I don’t recall the Lord saying, “Come to me, all ye who are fully vaccinated.” These Bishops will have to account to the Lord ultimately – and suffer being revealed as irresponsible fools for this policy in this life – and that right soon.
I can understand why Bishops, in the early stages of these Covid events, would have thought going along with the government was the prudent course. But to mandate an experimental therapeutic that had not been fully tested; that animal tests had shown had many side effects, including deadly ones; and to mitigate an illness that had well over a 99% survival rate for those who actually got the illness, was irresponsible madness. To double down now that hard evidence is collapsing both the Covid narrative and the Covid shot narrative is downright criminally irresponsible. To mandate Covid shots is to mandate that people accept a substantial risk of blood clots, strokes, neurological disorders and sudden death in order to mitigate against coughs, runny noses and gastric distress – and it turns out the mandated experimental therapy does not even work very well at mitigating these symptoms.
I understand that Bishops cannot be experts in all – or even most – fields. When you accept a leadership role you make a solemn commitment to defend those you lead. Of course it is reasonable to follow the advice of authorities at first. But you are obligated to pay attention. When a large number of credentialed authorities in the same field sound the alarm that this is potentially dangerous – and are systematically censored and threatened with revocation of their medical licenses, you better investigate, yourself. It is your duty. Those Bishops who still have draconian Covid policies in place have betrayed their flocks and have betrayed Christ. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. I have sadly had this conversation with several people close to Bishops I otherwise like who have bought into the madness with draconian dictates. They are not protecting their flocks; they are thinning the herd – and had what they needed to make a more prudent decision from the start. Shoot, it literally violates the Nuremberg Protocols to force anyone to get a medical treatment he objects to, and especially one that is untested on humans and in which most of the animal trials had disastrous results.
My Archdiocese literally took the lead nationwide in providing conscientious objectors with religious exemption letters. Thanks be to God. May more wake up and do the same, for though they may not perceive it, they are in God’s winnowing fan right now – and those issuing decrees without wisdom are not going to fare well.
We have gotten off to a nice start on our winter funding drive for CORAC. This week, your generous donations added $5,000 to our coffers. I’ll be able to pay next month’s bills. Our monthly costs average around $11,000. This covers accounting services, banking, administration, legal retainers, web hosting and development, supplies and my travel. Everything we do is free of charge to the recipients (though those signing up for some courses, such as homeopathy, may have to purchase supplies. We have no financial stake in those and get nothing from the suppliers representatives recommend.) My travel costs are largely confined to gas and economical hotels (Ha! Last year, I did get a Marriott Residence Inn – the only premium hotel I really like – but got it for $58 per night). It is a joy to me to get out and talk with the faithful, encourage the faithful, and help give an organizing jolt to different areas. Yes, it can be exhausting – and is certainly labor intensive – but it truly is a labor of love and is a big part of what has allowed us to build a community of friends across the country. On two occasions, I have seen up close and personal how powerful this community can be: when my car broke down in Stockbridge, Massachusetts a year ago and when Covid laid me low for two months. People both in Stockbridge and in Montana – where I spent three weeks in bed – were there to help me get, first, my car back on the road and then, myself. I have delighted in the many people we have gotten emergency supplies to who have called to tell me their full stories the last two months. We are a community. I don’t have much in the way of money, but I have plenty of fortitude that allows me to get up and get after it. Thank you for the fuel you give that allows us to continue to grow and build a genuine national network of faithful people who are determined that we will give each other heart and do the same for all who join us in darkening times.
God bless and keep you all.
Find me on Gab at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.
The Corps of Renewal and Charity (CORAC)
18208 Preston Rd., Ste. D9-552
Dallas, Texas 75252