By Charlie Johnston
Today (Monday, Feb. 21) is the day the Canadian Parliament will decide whether Canada will try to reclaim some vestige of liberty from newly-minted tyrant Justin Trudeau (formerly just a doofus) or join him in open warfare against the Canadian people. Today the Parliament must decide whether to revoke his assumption of extraordinary emergency powers or confirm them.
Over the weekend, many Canadian police went full Gestapo on the peaceful protesters. A government minister suggested they find out which Canadians had ever spoken admiringly of Donald Trump so the government could seize their bank accounts, too. Already, some multi-national companies are quietly making plans to get their money out of Canadian banks altogether. Frankly, ordinary Canadians of all stripes should do the same, particularly those near the border who could easily move their cash to American regional banks. Even if the Parliament lifts the emergency order, I don’t know how well the Canadian banking system can weather the revelation that, in Canada, ALL money in banks is the government’s money, to be seized from account holders at the prime minister’s whim and for holding the “wrong” political views. I say regional banks because the big boys in American banking have shown that, even if they can’t just seize your money for the wrong political views, they are eager to “partner” with leftist governments to surveil you.
While astute commentator Derek Hunter thinks the Canadian people will fold, I think the repeated provocations and brutality of Trudeau’s minions may very well spark a genuine revolution on our northern border if the government does not back down instead of doubling down. Thanks be to God, the brave Canadian truckers have sparked grass-roots imitators around the globe, including here in America. The authoritarian globalist project, which would make all citizens of every nation into subjects of a small but incredibly arrogant and ignorant ruling class, is going down. We owe a debt of gratitude to those truckers. O Canada, indeed!
I’ve got two talks this week; in Columbia, Maryland on Wednesday and then in Manassas, Virginia on Saturday. For information or to sign up, go to the CORAC website and click on the meeting you would like to attend.
Obedience to legitimate authority in its lawful powers is a virtue. Politically, in America, government is theoretically by the consent of the governed and protects legitimate protests and demonstrations. It has been a long time since this has been practically true, but the fact is that, in America, publicly elected officials are servants of the public and have a duty to obey the public’s collective will, except in areas that would constrain the natural rights which each citizen has been endowed with from birth by almighty God. Each citizen has the duty to obey the laws enacted by public consent while retaining the right to protest or work for the change of those they think are wrong at election. The servants in this system have been getting right haughty of late – and have even assigned their duties to a host of bureaucrats who have been elected to nothing, who issue decrees with arbitrary imperialism that have no relation to the consent of the governed.
In this climate, political dissent in the form of protest, demonstration, and even civil disobedience has become a duty, even an obligation, for people who are free and sovereign. But the questions must always be asked: who has legitimate authority, how is it legitimately expressed, and what are the actual constraints on that authority in order that organized dissent does not degenerate into chaos and anarchy.
A week and a half ago, CORAC had a banner weekend. Many of our members near the Canadian border were busy supporting the Canadian truckers, while many of our members near Scottsdale, Arizona, were busy participating in the “You Shall Not Pass” demonstration headed by Jesse Romero against the satanist convention being held in that city that weekend.
It was a very successful demonstration in which a lot of friendships and connections were made for future endeavors.
Before the event, several members of CORAC had noted that Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted had asked that Catholics in his Diocese (which includes Scottsdale) refrain from public demonstration, lest it give even more attention to the satanists. Instead, he asked, that Catholics spend extra time in adoration and in private prayer groups. I was in communication with both the local and the national teams on the question – and I told them that since the Bishop had asked, rather than ordered, it was a matter for each one’s individual conscience. I have come to believe that I was mistaken, despite the fruits that arose from the physical demonstration.
Bishop Olmsted is one of the best Bishops in the country, if your matrix is consistent orthodox defense of Scripture and the Magisterium. He is a Bishop to be admired and emulated.
There is not a real question of obedience in this matter as it is, indeed, a case in which each person can make a prudential judgment. In fact, Romero, who organized the physical demonstration against the satanists, met with Bishop Olmsted for 90 minutes to discuss what he had planned. The Bishop confirmed that, while it was not what he preferred, it was within the prudential judgment of each Catholic. In Crisis Magazine, Romero discussed the conversation he and Bishop Olmsted had and the statement the Bishop approved for his website:
“It was the classic example of people coming together united in creed, united in faith, and discussing like grown men and nobody lording over each other, nobody saying… There was no clericalism, is what I’m saying like, “I’m a bishop, shut your mouth. Here’s what’s going to happen, and that’s it. Get out of here. You and your wife get out of here.” There was none of that stuff.
This Bishop is such a genuine human being, such a holy man. I’ve always known that he was holy, but this meeting took my love for him to a higher level. He allowed me to speak, Eric, uninterrupted for 30 minutes. He goes, “I want to hear from you, Jess, and your wife Anita.” And so we did. We basically laid out our case.
After the meeting, well right after I spoke, he agreed. “You’re right, Jess. This is a prudential decision. I, as a bishop, or no other bishop can tell you how to act upon this issue. You have to make that decision for yourself.”
Let me read to you what he’s allowed me to post on my social media channels. We came up with a statement. He says, “Go ahead and let people know the synopsis of our meeting.” It’s on the website azriseupfaithful.com page two. And here’s what he’s allowed me to put out, him and father John Nahrgang. I’ll read it.
“I, Jesse Romero, a faithful son of the Church am in communication with the Diocese of Phoenix. I met with his Excellency Bishop Olmsted and Father John Nahrgang, Vicar for Evangelization and Education. It was clarified at our meeting and agreed upon that assembling for prayer in front of the Saguaro Hotel on February in 11th, 12th, 13th falls under the definition of a prudential judgment.
“A Prudential judgment is an evaluation of a situation where we use the virtue of prudence in order to determine the best approach to resolving the issue at hand. When faithful Catholics disagree on a matter of Prudential judgment, the key difference is over the particular application of a moral principle, not the moral principle itself. The moral principle in play here is confronting evil, and we all agree on its importance.
“Now, Bishop Olmsted has invited the faithful to apply this principle in this way.” He put out this letter called A call for the Faithful to Unite in Spiritual Warfare before our meeting. So, he’s allowed me to put this out on social media he’s. So, with the Bishop permission and Father John, I continue.
“Catholics may discern with the help of God in examining their conscience whether they’re also at peace with gathering in front of the hotel to pray in reparation for the evil being done and for the conversion of the participants. We can all agree that we must all unite in prayer. Let every person listen to God speaking through his or her own conscience and not look down on anyone else for their decision.”
So, that was what he’s allowed me to put out in public. I share this with you and your audience. Again, I’m impressed with the way he treated me and my wife with such dignity and such respect.”
There is, however, the question of deference. When I appoint a department head or committee head, anyone with responsibility in a particular area, it is my habit to defer to them in how they carry out their duties. Similarly, if a person has taken responsibility for something outside of my scope, I generally defer to them, even when they do it in a manner different than I would, so long as it is geared towards the greater goal. I well know it is all tougher than it looks, so I always give people of good will who have accepted responsibility a lot of latitude. If I do that in mere secular situations, how much more should I do it in spiritual situations?
I have long said that we should obey our Bishops – even those waging war against Scripture and the Magisterium – in their legitimate authority. (That is not as tough as it sounds: most Bishops who are at war with Scripture and the Magisterium don’t make a lot of pronouncements from their legitimate authority. They make a lot of political statements, on which they have no authority, or they try to undermine clear Scriptural authority – and they lack authority to countermand Jesus Christ).
In the case of a Bishop who has been steadfast in his defense of the faith, I think our duty in honor is even greater. Though we may honorably disagree on the means to approach a matter that is within each of our prudential territory, I think we ought to live solidarity with the Bishop in deference to his wishes, particularly when he has been such a profound witness to Christ as has been Bishop Olmsted.
As I pondered how I had handled this situation, I got a note from a Catholic man I much respect, who has substantial experience with solid deliverance ministries. He wrote:
“I think it’s great that people are resisting the Satanic convention with prayer. However, out of fraternal concern for those planning to ignore Bishop Olmsted, I want to share my experience with deliverance ministry. That experience is that demons will use any instance of disobedience – their specialty (non serviam) – to gain a foothold in the souls of the disobedient. In one case, a demon told an exorcist that he didn’t have to listen to him because he didn’t have the permission of the local bishop to perform exorcisms. The priest was a few miles outside of his home diocese. So, I’m concerned for the spiritual wellbeing of those who are not listening to the bishop and going to protest the convention in person. Certainly, Jesus is infinitely more powerful than Satan, but he also was obedient even to the point of death.”
This brought to mind one of my favorite passages of Scripture, Luke 2:51-52. When Jesus is returning from the Temple after getting separated from Mary and Joseph:
“And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Think of that: God, Himself, was obedient to people He had created in order that all righteousness be fulfilled.
One of the key tenets of CORAC as I initially envisioned it is that we are not called to overthrow legitimate authority; rather, we are called to work for the restoration and fortification of legitimate authority. Whenever I have privately corrected a Priest, I have made great pains to go to confession with him within the week. I figure if I pointedly ask that he obey the legitimate authority of Scripture and the Magisterium, I should demonstrate my willing obedience to his legitimate authority.
I am very glad for the stand our people took. We did do an online Rosary for three days – which was in full accord with the Bishop’s wishes. But in the future I will ask that we completely defer to the wishes of the local Bishop in such matters, particularly when he is such a steadfast defender of the faith as Bishop Olmsted. Our aim, after all, is not to blow the house up, but to rebuild and fortify it.
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