10 March: Feast of St John Ogilvie…

A LETTER FROM FR JOHN OGILVIE SJ

On 9 March 2015 an ecumenical vespers was held at St Aloysius church in Glasgow, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ.

Fr Dermot Preston gave the homily, that you can listen to [here]… in which he read this letter: [extracts follow – click here to read the entire letter] 

St John OgilvieDear Fr Preston,

My name is Fr John Ogilvie. I understand that you will be preaching this evening as part of the celebrations of my 400 years. I’m sorry not to be there – well, I’m not actually… I’m in a far better place. And the weather is much better.

I hear that you are the Provincial of the British Jesuits. As a Scot in those days, having left Leith, I found myself entering the Jesuits in what you would now called the Czech Republic – ‘Bohemia’, as it then was. I came to London just once, but it was only a short visit. There was great persecution in England in those days and, as I was being trained, I met many brave English and Welsh Jesuit priests and brothers on the continent awaiting their mission. Impressive men; but like me, many of them didn’t live to old age.

As I look back I have been reflecting and, for what it is worth, I offer you a few thoughts for your homily tonight.

Firstly I am delighted that so many people and ministers of so many Christian denominations can come together for such an occasion. At the end of my trial, after I had been condemned to death, I made a point of going to shake the hands of all the judges: this was not some stunt – I sincerely meant it. Certainly some annoyed me greatly by their petty mindedness, and some were so caught-up in their own issues they couldn’t see beyond the skin of their own noses, but despite our formidable differences, I quite liked a lot of them and held them all as beloved children of the living God. It fills my heart with great joy that companionship is possible in your day…

Secondly, I would hope that in your homily you do not dwell on the past and please do not focus on me. I have a name and you know some things about me and my life – perhaps not as much as you think, as actually not one of you is certain of the year in which I was born! – but through the 2000 years of the history of the Church, I am just a single raindrop in a Glaswegian thunderstorm. Thousands, perhaps millions of human beings have died violently in Christ’s name over two millennia. Many of these people have never been named; for some, their story of martyrdom is forgotten by history and known only to the heart of God. They are the heroes of the Church.

In your own time there has been an unprecedented upsurge of persecution of Christians across the world. According to one secular Human Rights group based in  Germany, 80% of all acts of religious discrimination in your world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

Notice I don’t say ‘Catholics’ because now the struggle has changed: if truth be told, the complex discussions about the differences in Christian theology which brought about my death are a luxury which is irrelevant for many people of your day. Look around you, Father Provincial: in Africa, in Asia, the Middle East, parts of Europe and central America, just to stand in the Shadow of the Cross automatically marks you out for torture and death. Faith and belief are distilled to the very basics; Presbyterians, Methodists, Salvation Army Pentecostalists, Baptists, Anglicans, Orthodox and others stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics in announcing their faith not with any complex declaration of creed, but merely by indicating that Christ, the Son of God came down upon this earth for the salvation of humankind, and they have styled their life on that belief. It is important to emphasise what unites Christians rather than focussing on what divides.

Finally, perhaps it would be important to tell the people tonight about what it means to be a martyr. This is especially true when the word itself might be used to describe a man or woman who wraps himself or herself in explosives and devastates a Church or a Synagogue or a Mosque. A Christian can never be someone who brings destruction on others in the name of Christ. A Christian martyr is someone who acts as a witness – a person who gives up their life, that others might live…

There is so much fear and uncertainty and greed in people’s daily lives that it is so tempting to lash out at other people – to inflict fear on others, to use physical violence or the deadly weapon of a gossipy tongue to drag them down. It can give a moment of pleasure, but ultimately it is a futile action. The cycle of vendetta and recrimination which you can see spiralling-down through families and nations through the centuries, draws the life-blood from all that is human.

In my own small way, I tried to do as Jesus did. I did not trade insult for insult. Instead I looked at Jesus before his persecutors and took him as my example; he absorbed their hatred, he absorbed their anger, he absorbed their misunderstanding and somehow – shockingly – he stopped it dead in its tracks.

Every act of human kindness, every fragment of LOVE contributes to this redemption of the world, whether it is a hand of friendship or a bitten-tongue holding back an insult. No act of witness goes to waste.

So, work for the time when people might come to you and ask you to show them a martyr, a faithful witness to the faith; work for that time when you no longer need to point to my painting or shrine – but you can point to yourself and the congregation that surrounds you.

Your devoted Jesuit Brother in Christ,

John
Firstborn son of Walter Ogilvie of Drum-na-Keith. 

Comment:

A Happy Feast Day to one and all! 

But, hang on…That’s not REMOTELY the letter that St John Ogilvie would be writing, were he to communicate with us today.   He would begin, no question about it, by lamenting the fact that the Mass for which he had sacrificed his life’s blood was no longer in “ordinary” use, but dubbed “extraordinary”, with those who love it, as he had loved it, treated like village idiots, even at the highest level in the Church.  That’s one topic which St John Ogilvie would certainly include in his letter today – can you think of any others?

As well as spending some time discussing “that letter”, however, we are also invited to  post our favourite prayers, poems and hymns  in honour of the Saint, and –  in the interest of enjoying some Good Clean Fun – we may post jokes and comical stories, as well. Just go easy on the mean Scots jokes… Athanasius tends to take those personally.  He once wrote a letter to an English newspaper where he said:  “If you print any more jokes about mean Scotsmen I shall stop borrowing your paper.” And he took to the streets a few weeks ago there, with an empty glass in each hand when the weather forecaster said there would be a nip in the air…

Happy Feast of  St John Ogilvie! 

107 responses

  1. Editor,

    We have long known that the Jesuits at St. Aloysius are no longer Catholic in any real sense of the word. St. John Ogilvie, if he were alive today, would surely shun them as he would shun leprosy, for they are to the Catholic soul what leprosy is to the body.

    Read this piece of emotional claptrap again from that pretend letter:

    “Notice I don’t say ‘Catholics’ because now the struggle has changed: if truth be told, the complex discussions about the differences in Christian theology which brought about my death are a luxury which is irrelevant for many people of your day.”

    And so we ask ourselves: What becomes of the infallible dogma ‘outside the Church no salvation’? Well, for these apostates it disappears into thin air. They speak of truth yet silence one of the fundamental divine truths neccesary for salvation. And all for the new religion of human respect. These Jesuits are well overdue defrocking, so detrimental are they to true charity.

    One thing is absolutely certain, these modern Jesuits would not have been persecuted or martyred during the Reformation because they are more Protestant than the Protestants. They would have been sitting at the top table with Cranmer, Cromwell, Knox and all the other apostates of the day talking social justice while destroying the Catholic religion.

    • Athanasius,

      As usual, you have hit the nail on the head. If we are to take the theology of your standard 21st century Jesuit (christology, ecclesiology, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue) and apply it to Church history, one of the first casualties would be the very concept of martyrdom.

      The martyrs who faced down the Roman Empire would be, on this analysis, misguided at best. They should have split the difference and sacrificed to the emperor in the name of social harmony. And what of figures like Thomas More and John Fisher. Their deaths have evidently no value beyond historical curiousity since they were wrong in their belief that the Catholic Church is the only true Church, and that there cannot be a portion of the true Church which is headed by an earthly king.

      That the faith of these Jesuits is incompatible with that of the martyrs should be enough to induce an examination of conscience. Some hope!

      • Prognosticum

        Exactly right! And that’s what prompted Archbishop Lefebvre to declare: “The martyrs sacrificed their lives for the faith. Now they sacrifice the faith” How profound those words are.

        As for the Jesuits. That Society should be disbanded as quickly as possible. Once the great champions of orthodoxy, they have become in our time the authors and peddlers of the Modernist heresy. Lucifer certainly found a back door entrance into that Order.

  2. Very well said, Athanasius. Would that some hidden Catholic, accidentally strayed into that ecumenical betrayal, had stood up and quoted the words of the saint at his martyrdom:

    “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.

    • Christina

      Alongside the words quoted by St John Ogilvie said at his martyrdom, he also threw his Rosary beads into the crowd present. These were caught by
      John ab Eckersdoff, a Calvinist nobleman. He later became a Catholic tracing his conversion to the incident and the martyr’s beads.

  3. We’ve been very blessed in that none of our children have lapsed. But what a price we paid. we were fortunate to see the writing on the wall just in time. Yes, just in time. We kept them away from all things “Catholic” including schools. I almost weep for the good Catholic parents who have lost their children to the Faith BECAUSE of the Catholic Church.

    Can anyone explain why Bl. John Ogilvie is listed on our traditional calendar rather than Saint?

  4. I guess “the letter” proves that, whether we are speaking of an historical figure, or a living one, it is risky, and wrong, and probably sinful, when people, with their own agenda, seek to misinterpret, or over interpret, or misrepresent what your speeches, or writing, or indeed your life, mean, or witness to, for their own malign ends.

    Truth, and context, are everything especially when dealing with great theological issues.

    • Fr Arthur,

      For goodness sake, St John Ogilvie is a Catholic martyr, who died in defence of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and for refusing to deny His Faith.

      If you cannot see what the Jesuits are doing by having the temerity to put words into the mouth of this great martyr saint that are a million miles from the sacrifice he made, then there’s something wrong with you – with bells on.

      Please don’t try to defend that scandalous letter as you’ve tried to defend Pope Francis’ ridiculous reply to Alessio in his book. Don’t even think about it.

      • Editor

        In writing what wrote I actually agreed with some of what you wrote. I didn’t defend the “letter” once. The so called “letter”, in parts, distorts, with no obvious evidence, what most likely The Saint may feel as he looks down from , Heaven today. Just as some people, elsewhere, distort what an adult wrote of his childhood, thought then to speak of what he, as a much older adult, may think the same topic today.

        • The system seems to post whilst I am still trying to proof read. It is a shame you can’t properly correct before post, or even amend published texts. A correction:

          Editor

          In writing what I wrote I actually agreed with some of what you wrote. I didn’t defend the “letter” once. The so called “letter”, in parts, distorts, with no obvious evidence, what most likely The Saint may feel as he looks down from Heaven today. Just as some people, elsewhere, distort what an adult wrote of his childhood, and use what he thought then to speak of what he, as a much older adult, may think the same topic today.

          Please note ,too, not all of the letter is wrong. I assume, St John would listen to The Church on all matters, and not selectively.

          • Fr. Arthur, full marks for pertinacity! The case of the letter and the children’s book cannot be compared. The Jesuits do not ‘misinterpret, or over interpret, or misrepresent’ – they INVENT. Bloggers here do not invent – they directly quote the exact words written for the ‘benefit’ of 6 – 10 year-old children (only one was 13). You have persistently blogged dishonestly, trying to justify your modernist views by the ridiculous argument that these immature young souls will somehow understand that the Pope will ‘grow out of it’. You are apparently addicted to this blog, but have no intention of listening to the solid arguments, based on what the Church has always taught, presented by some of the bloggers here who are keeping me sane in these insane times. Do you intend to raise your current ‘idee fixe’ on every thread?

          • Fr Arthur,

            I understood your purported meaning, but it didn’t wash, sorry.

            I really can’t add to what Christina has said so clearly, except to emphasise that nobody here has “distorted” what the Pope said to children in his book. I’m not going to keep repeating myself, I’ve made it very clear that by not using his bad behaviour as a child to teach his young, impressionable readers that he was wrong and that was because he clearly didn’t have a clue about the importance of the Mass, he is guilty of setting a very bad example to those children. We can only speculate, then, that his purpose was either to amuse them and make himself seem “cool” in their eyes, or to maliciously poison their minds against the old Mass. You pays your money and you takes your pick.

            You can’t see it. There IS a blindness about today, notably among clergy and bishops (but not excluding the laity who go along with everything – how many, for example, will buy that book and give it to children just because it’s written by a pope? Numpties.)

            So, I put it down to your spiritual blindness, rather than attribute deliberate malice but, whatever the reason, you are just not seeing the truth of matters in this crisis. It really is tragic.

            I hope you will think seriously about coming to our Conference where you will hear sound priests speaking about these issues and meet others who are as concerned as the bloggers here about the worsening crisis in the Church today.

            • On the contrary, I pointed out that with all your knowledge of childhood psychology, and parenting skills, your children still made other choices, and yet you are suggesting The Pope was a bad teacher, and rounded on the Jesuits, and suggested I know nothing too.( It surely is coincidence The Pope is a Jesuit and you don’t seem to like him either.)

              I am not convinced this is the forum for asking prayers in such an instance, and the clear indication is that you attribute much blame to The Jesuits. You listed various references to them, and their centres. Why not ask for prayers on a site more suited to that without a dig at The Jesuits? Charity shows itself in many ways.

              However, The Church says parents are the primary educators of children, and they assisted in that by The Parish Community, and The School.

              • Fr Arthur,

                Your mind is about as confused as it is possible to get.

                If good parenting skills and knowledge of child psychology were all that is required to ensure that children keep the Faith, that would be absolutely wonderful. If only.

                Christina has given a crystal clear description of how her children came to lapse from the Faith and it echoes, precisely, other stories I’ve heard from heartbroken parents.

                She’s put it all a tad more charitably that I am about to do, having had a younger brother whom my mother and the rest of us presumed was being taught the Faith in his “Catholic” school, but was not. Remember, parents don’t go up to demand evidence that their child is being taught properly in English or Maths lessons; history or science. They take it for granted, at least until the child fails exams, and even then, in those days, parents took the teachers’ word for it that it was the fault of their offspring for not studying properly or not having the required level of ability. Same with the Faith. If we couldn’t take it for granted that children were being taught the Faith properly and by committed teachers and priests in a Catholic school, what on EARTH was/is the point of these schools?

                No, the responsibility for the lapsation of so many young people today, including Christina’s sons, is their contact with BAD priests. Very bad priests. The priest who told Christina that she “might not like what I tell them to do in the end” was (and if still alive, no doubt still IS) a very bad priest, probably an apostate.

                And, frankly, any priest who does not admit that and cannot see it, and would blame a concerned parent for seeking prayers on a Catholic blog for her lapsed children, is ALSO a very bad priest. And if – after all the evidence that this Pope is a shocker and an extremely bad teacher, an apparently proud man seeking popularity, continues to defend him, then there is something seriously wrong, either with your intellect or your spiritual eyesight. Spiritual blindness is widespread in the Church today. You are clearly suffering from it, unless you are deliberately and maliciously determined to adhere to your false devotion to this terrible pope. Culpable ignorance is something that will face many if not all papolatrists at their judgment – certainly those who have had this error corrected many times on this blog alone. I’d say, think again, before it’s too late. We’re getting pretty tired of teaching YOU only to find you determined to stick to your false beliefs.

                • Editor, sorry to stray more off-topic, but you are along the right lines here:

                  ‘The priest who told Christina that she “might not like what I tell them to do in the end” was (and if still alive, no doubt still IS) a very bad priest, probably an apostate.”

                  He was a most charismatic Scottish Catholic priest teaching, where I met him, at Manchester University. That he introduced us to all the wrong psychologists, philosophers, and theologians I now know too late. A little group of us Catholic teachers in a larger post-grad group thought he was the bees’ knees! It was after the pre-nuptial ‘Catholic’ talk that another thing he said began to open my eyes. It was “I don’t care what they believe about the Real Presence in Africa. I want only to relieve their poverty”. Shortly after this he ‘left’ the priesthood and married.

              • I know priests who blame the Jesuit for the malformation – and I mean Jesuit priests! They are notorious, despite their glorious beginnings and wonderful defence of orthodoxy when they were first established. That’s gone now and they are liberals.

            • Christina

              Many adults I know became Catholics because they were inspired by their Catholic partner.

              I also know some who no longer practice as Catholic as their home life was not Catholic in a way they could comprehend, and they sought a more inclusive, and loving, expression of faith, and the witness of their partner, and their faith, stood out.

              • Fr Arthur,

                “Partner”? “Partner?”

                Do you mean “spouse” – “husband” – “wife”?

                That’s a red flag, as our American cousins would say. A HUGE red flag – especially in a priest. Suggests you think that cohabitation is acceptable or, at least, that you will conform to the “reality” of it. I have relatives who cohabit and never have and never will, call their cohabitee their “partner”. When I introduce them to others, I use their names only: this is my (relative) X and this is Y. End of.

                Like all modernists, your beliefs are generic. Your last paragraph does not tell us anything. We are left to speculate about what kind of “practice” at home would be the kind of Catholicism that they “could not comprehend”

                Nor do you explain what sort of “expression of faith” might be “more inclusive and loving”.

                All generic. Means nothing. Hints of an attack on the traditional devotions such as family rosary but doesn’t spell it out.

                You’re not about to change, I suspect, so let’s use this as a test case.

                Please explain, in words of one syllable, what the heck you mean by your above post.

                1) do you think it is OK to talk about “partners” since so many Catholics cohabit and we have to get real – not them. They don’t need to get real, the reality for them being Hell unless they repent and turn away from their objectively mortal sinful lifestyle. But then again, oops, I forgot, God is “merciful” – i.e. He really doesn’t give a hoot about sin any more, in the Gospel According to Papa Francis.

                2) what the heck does your second paragraph mean. Spell it out. We’ve had enough waffle.

                • Editor, I can spell it out! The second paragraph of Fr. Arthur’s post addressed to me:

                  “I also know some who no longer practice as Catholic as their home life was not Catholic in a way they could comprehend, and they sought a more inclusive, and loving, expression of faith, and the witness of their partner, and their faith, stood out.”

                  Is his suggested possible explanation as to why my son left the Church. The home life I provided and he experienced was not Catholic in a way he coud understand and so the more loving, ‘inclusive’, etc., expressions of faith of his protestant wife ‘stood out’ and so he chose protestantism.

                  Fr. Arthur is certainly consistent. Yesterday he was throwing out accusations of malignancy in those traditionalist Catholics who disapprove of many of Pope Francis’ public actions and sayings. Today it is an accusation of calumny in the discusson of his kneeling at the mandatum. Also today we have his theory, above, as to why Catholics lapse – traditional Catholicism, faithfulness to the pre-modernist magisterium, is a big turn-off compared to the loving inclusiveness of protestant sects and protestantised Catholics.

                  • He is also ‘twisting the knife’ following on from a recent discussion. Thank God I have never encountered such a priest, even in the days before I rediscovered my faith.

                  • Well said, Christina. Fr Arthur is, indeed, a Modernist, with bells and ribbons on, and it would seem a Modernist who is determined to remain one, unlike the priest reported in Christian Order some years ago who took up the challenge to read Pascendi and then said, honestly, that he saw laid out there every single one of his beliefs and every single one of them condemned. It was a turning point for him.

                    I must email Rod to ask if he could send me a copy of that article or letter, as I’d like to publish it in our newsletter for the benefit of the wilful clergy and laity who refuse to admit that they are adhering to sheer heresy.

                  • Christina

                    Actually, unlike you, who publicly denounce your son as an apostate, and the Jesuits in general, I have used generalities

                    • Fr Arthur,

                      I don’t think you realise just how upsetting Christina has found your responses to her comments – if you check out a recent post, you will see that she feels unable to blog here any more. I have tried to find the references to Confession etc. which she mentions but am not succeeding. Will check another thread, but for you to falsely accuse her of publicly denouncing her son as an apostate, is outrageous. Like everyone else here, Christina’s identity is known only to me. Her son’s identity is known to none of us. So, there is nothing “public” about her remarks about her son’s apostasy, and she is to be commended for asking for as many prayers as possible for him. I have expressed concerns about members of my own family, many times. And believe me, I’d only be calling them “apostates” were I in one of my rare charitable moods.

                      As for the Jesuits – any who are not apostates need our prayers, big time. Not least because I can’t hear any of them speaking out in this crisis. Indeed, when the late Father Hugh Thwaites SJ, wrote a letter for publication to Catholic Truth – a short letter, which hardly set the heather on fire because it was charitably worded and not remotely personal about anyone, an objective letter commenting on a book, in fact, that he praised and thought our readers might like to read, he was punished and made to suffer a great deal by his idiot Superior. I have spent long hours trying to remember the name of the nasty deacon in Aberdeen who alerted his Superior to the letter, but try as I did, and I still do, I cannot remember it, which is a pity because I promised Fr Thwaites at the time that when it was safe to do so, that is, when Father was no longer in danger of further persecution, I would publish that scoundrel’s cowardly betrayal. That time is now, so if anyone knows his identity, please let me know as my memory will be jogged. Poor, gentle Father Thwaites. May he rest in peace.

                      So, please consider that, whether or not you are using the name of the blogger in your posts, it is obvious to whom you refer. You have been less than pastoral with Christina, even in this one short comment alone, so listen up – we want to see some of that much lauded “mercy” in action, on this blog, please and thank you.

                • I said partner because some become Catholics before Marriage, and some after. It was clumsy to try and distinguish between the two. I object to anyone speaking of their “husband” or “wife” if they are not married, and therefore I would only say spouse if I mean spouse.

                  With regards the second paragraph, I have an advantage over a lay person as often I am privileged to hear things from the perspective of a “child” and parent, or a husband and wife. Many “children” tell me that their parents rammed religion down their throats, and were lacking in concepts of love and mercy, and were rule bound, and far removed from what they know The Church teaches, and that their version of Christianity was a burden. Parents usually tell me that they did their best but their little treasures were seduced by the world, In some cases, I can clearly see what the child meant!

                  • Fr. Arthur,

                    I note that my previous response to you re the Mass has not been acknowledged. Indeed, you haven’t acknowledged a single comment I have addressed to you since coming on the blog, and I’m not the only one you’ve ignored. Is there a reason for this or are you just bad mannered?

                  • Fr Arthur,

                    “Partner”?

                    That is a very weak excuse and excuse it is.

                    BEFORE marriage, nobody should have a “partner” unless it’s a business partner.

                    They are either living at home with parents/or alone in own accommodation, and engaged to be married or they are shacked up with someone whom they may or may not later marry, but unless they’re in business together, they are not “partners”. It’s accepting and using the language of the enemy that is unacceptable in any Catholic, especially a priest. What am I saying? We have a Pope who uses the “g” word when speaking of the disorder of homosexuality, so it’s hardly surprising that the clergy are into the same shameful capitulation to the ways and language of the world.

                    So, pre-empting your likely question, how would I refer to people who are not married but living together in various types of partnership.

                    Simple: there is X and there is the person X is living with. Clear enough and leads to no confusion.

                    As for your final paragraph, very nasty.

                    You, as a priest, hearing someone using their (perceived, imagined or even maliciously invented) childhood experience as a stick with which to beat their parents and excuse their lapsation, should beware of falling for the tales, be a tad more savvy.

                    Any adult who blames their parents for their own negligence or bad behaviour, is an immature adult, with bells on. That’s been my view for many years now and I can see no reason to change my opinion. I’m aware that there are some exceptional cases where bad childhood experiences may have detrimental effects later on (sociopaths spring to mind) but not parents who are guilty of nothing more than trying to raise their children as good Catholics. The fad is now of yawn yawn proportions.

                    For example, I once heard the wife of a good friend of mine blaming her husband’s mother for being too strict with him. I was amazed since her husband had been the last of a large family and positively doted on by one and all. When I asked for an example, the wife said that when he was a boy, he continued to wet the bed longer than usual, and got what for, and the trauma never left him. I actually laughed in her face and said “balderdash”! I knew his mother well in those days, and as it happened, I recalled a conversation on that subject when the mother said that of all her children, he was the only one NEVER to have had that problem! Wife looked quite taken aback and asked if I’d like more tea.

                    So, not sure if that was the “child” blaming mother (doubt it) or a rather unpleasant wife getting at an in-law. I’d lost touch with the mother so wasn’t tempted to clipe, but believe me, it would have been a real temptation. I detest this custom, imported from American pseudo-psychology, of blaming everything on childhood experiences. Ridiculous – and it won’t wash at our judgment because God has given us all intelligence and free will, together with commandments to know, love and serve Him in this world, through the Church which He has established for our salvation. Priests who encourage such balderdash as this “well, we said the family rosary so I’m scarred for life” or “my parents insisted we go to Mass on Sundays on pain of mortal sin” so I’m totally off religion, need to remind these numpties that their parents also insisted they go to school for fear of parents ending up in prison or the kids ending up in care. That won’t stop them sending their own kids to school, will it?

                    Gimme strength, reading all this shallow thinking. Gimme, I repeat, STRENGTH!

                    PS you have a darn cheek saying your comment had not been acknowledged when it was only posted this evening and this is the first I’ve seen it, given that you have ignored almost every comment from Athanasius, and probably others. Thoroughly documented comments which you can’t answer, of course. But don’t demand instant responses to yours – yours come into the “soundbite” category – easy and quick to throw together but needs time to offer an adequate reply. In the same category as the atheists who cry “why is there evil in the world if there is a God?” Easy to say, takes time to reply.

                    • Tell me in seeking to write a brief answer on a blog would you write every time girlfriend or boyfriend or fiancée and fiancé or just write “partner?

                      I challenge people who speak of their husband or wife when they are not married.

                      With regards reasons for lapsation, I have an advantage over you in that I have had hundred of such conversations – possibly thousands – and in many cases it is an ongoing relation ship, and I know all parties in the relationship.

                      You might also note that I had also quoted one of your replies in one of my own:

                      Fr Arthur says:

                      March 12, 2016 at 5:55 pm

                      Editor

                      On hundreds of occasions I have spoke thus to parents:

                      “…… it is perfectly possible for a child to lapse despite having been brought up in the best of Catholic homes, with daily devotional practices.”

                      Further, often the disclosures come in a conversation where the maturity, wisdom, and self insight of the person is clearly evident.

                      I well remember attending a funeral where a priest, who at preached at the advance request of the deceased, spoke well of the deceased at the homily, and then after we left the Mass he was heard to say “no wonder their children lapsed”. It was perhaps a tad hypocritical but he had known all the family for decades and that is why he was asked to preach. Clearly in his words in Church he could not tell the truth, as such. That would not have been very edifying.

                      To get a clearer understanding of how a person thinks, whether The Pope, or a lowly priest, it is always necessary to read/listen to all they say, and hear and read it in context.

                  • Over the years I’ve heard that old cliché many times, “religion was rimmed down my throat”. Perhaps in some cases it was, I don’t know. But when you try to delve a little deeper and find out what that means, it’s usually something to do with false freedom and almost always to do with sexual licence. I’ve never, ever heard anyone saying, “Oh I wish my parents had spoken more of mercy”.

                    • I have an advantage over you. The conversations I have had have not been casual conversations down the local pub, but considered reflective people on a journey of faith. I have also met many of the parents!

                  • Athanasus,

                    Funny you saying that because I have been reading all over the blog and can’t find anywhere that Fr Arthur replies to you!

                    You’ve boxed him in. He can’t answer. LOL!

                    • Nicky I have a right to reply to who I wish, and I can assure you that the reasons for not replying to some people is nothing to do with their wisdom or intellect. Indeed the opposite is true in some cases.

              • Fr. Arthur

                There is only one “faith” and it is the Catholic Faith. Are you unaware of the Church’s infallible teaching, or do you just reject it? How can you, a Catholic priest, speak of “a more inclusive faith”. What is this nonsense you spout?

                And I have to say that I agree with editor. Your use of the word “partner” instead of spouse is hugely significant and worrying.

                • This reply is to Fr Arthur above:

                  You have no idea of the nature of the conversations I’ve had with people. It’s very judgemental of you to assume because I’m a layman these conversations have been casual, or have taken place in a pub. So much for Vatican II breaking down barriers between priests and people if that’s the attitude of a modern priest! Clearly you believe only priests are capable of giving advice of a spiritual nature.

                  • I may be wrong but on this very blog people have denounced the idea that anyone but a priest should give “spiritual advice” Indeed one of the central themes of this blog is clerics have become social worker types who no longer preach Christ. So, no you are misrepresenting what I have said, and attributing to me a false dichotomy, when in fact your suggestion that you give spiritual advice would be anathema to many who post here,

                    I assume, at the upcoming conference, you will feel free to explore your role as Spiritual Director.

                    Further, I am sure on quantity alone I am sure I have more experience than you, and that people come to me precisely because I am a priest who role is to share what The Church actually says, and officially in Christ’s name.

                    I note too someone is unhappy to share “top billing” with Fr Mann. I don’t know who it is, but its sounds a tad arrogant.

                  • Fr Arthur,

                    “I note too someone is unhappy to share “top billing” with Fr Mann. I don’t know who it is, but its sounds a tad arrogant.”

                    I have no idea what you mean by saying someone is “unhappy to share top billing with Fr Mann.” Absolutely NO idea.

                    Please explain and give a verifiable source for this claim. WHO is unhappy, and where was this stated? Nobody has said any such thing to me. Nobody. So, please enlighten us.

              • Fr Arthur,

                I think we can take it as a given, that Christina’s son enjoyed a very good home life, not remotely “extremist” and that the reason for his lapsation will be due – as the lapsation in most of our families, mine included – to the influence of ignorant teachers and bad priests.

                Roll on the day when we have some sound priests going out into the highways and byways, after the fashion of St Francis de Sales and other great missionaries, to bring back the lost sheep and to point out that their “partner’s faith” is founded on sand, and cannot save them. Yes, roll on that glorious day. And ecumenism be (literally) damned.

                • With respect you and I don’t know how her son experienced his home life , and I haven’t claimed to do so. We cannot make assumptions.

          • The WordPress system doesn’t have an edit button for bloggers, which is a pity, I agree. I have asked WordPress about it, so I imagine that sooner or later, they will add that facility, as they do take on board complaints and suggestions.

            In the meantime, if I see an obvious typo, I go in to correct it (e.g. I have just inserted “I” in your post which read “in writing what wrote” – so obvious typos will be corrected by me when I see them.

            In addition, bloggers sometimes email to ask me to remove or add something, so I am happy to do that although, obviously, it depends on when I see the message; as soon as I see the request, I action it, so that’s the best I can offer for now.

          • Fr. Arthur,

            Just one question: When the pope wrote of his childhood sins when serving Mass, did he sum up by advising the little boy not to imitate his youthful impiety?

            If, as you suggest, the Pope was only innocently recounting this episode from his life, though God knows how he can without some sort of regret, then why not end by advising others not to imitate him?

    • Fr. Arthur

      The ecumenical gathering at which this letter was read out is itself condemned and reprobated by the pre-Vatican II Magisterium. As a priest you should know this. The letter was just an incidental piece of heresy read out at a forbidden marriage of doctrinal truth and error.

      • Athanasius,

        I posted this further up, but it went into the wrong place, so here it is again:

        I have been reading all over the blog and can’t find anywhere that Fr Arthur replies to you!

        You’ve boxed him in. He can’t answer. LOL!

  5. Most of the Jesuits I have come across are syncretists as regards both ecumenism and world religions. I have never been able to understand why they embraced celibacy in a Church which is, by their reckoning, a prima inter pares at the very most. Maybe this is why so many of them come across as car crashes in terms of their humanity and psychology. It was not so with the pre-Vatican II Jesuits. They were austere, certainly, but they were full of humanity.

    I remember asking a Jesuit whom I knew very well if he would still enter the Society if he had his life to live again. ‘No,’ he said after some consideration. ‘The Society into which I entered no longer exists.’ And maybe this was why he was plagued for much of his life by a serious drinking problem. The poor man was a traditionalist at heart, but he had gone with the flow in the modernisation of the Society after Vatican II, and this did not sit well with his conscience. When I myself was toying with a Jesuit vocation, he did everything in his power to dissuade me, and for this I am eternally grateful.

    • Prognosticum

      That’s very sad about that Jesuit. If only more priests had had the courage to stand against the flow, instead of going along with it, things might have turned out differently for them and maybe, like me, he’d only been addicted to Diet Coke (!) Sorry for being facetious – I’m a very bad girl, but not without sympathy for your priest friend. God help him and others like him, but to any who are still struggling to go with the modernism being thrust upon them, I say, please think hard about the alternatives. Papolatry isn’t one of them…

      June 18th, Celtic Park, Glasgow, 1pm – book your tickets now, as they’re selling like hot cakes, thank God!

      PS Note for Therese and Christina – your ticket orders have just arrived in the post! Will send off your tickets later today.

  6. Christina,

    I can only begin to understand your concern over your son.

    The Jesuits are still in the grip of an institutional pride which prevents them from seing how far they have strayed from the mind of Ignatius. At the root of this is a kind of gnosticism by which they have received a special understanding of the revelation which has not been given to the mainstream Church.

    The simple truth is that they have embraced liberal Protestantism. The sooner they disappear, the better.

  7. I have not yet read Malachi Martin’s “The Jesuits,” but I wonder if that book, and others, trace the role of these apostates in the germination and growth of the VII revolution.

    • RCA Victor

      I fear not. The Modernist infiltration of the Church began at the turn of the 20th century, and possibly even a little before that. It was advanced chiefly by Jesuits such as George Tyrrell and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    • RCA Victor, don’t dilly dally any longer. Get that book and read it ASAP. You will then understand how that once-great order fell so completely from all grace, and how Pope Francis was formed.

  8. Christina

    Take heart from the heroic example of St. Monica. The faithful prayers of a loving mother will not be lost on her son. I will also remember him in my prayers.

  9. Thank you, Therese, Athanasius and Prognosticum. I do pray to St. Monica, and it is so consoling to know that I will have the help of your prayers as well.

  10. You wrote “Have you no elementary knowledge of child psychology”? And yet someone you raised, who thinks differently to you, is an apostate?

    I assume The Church doesn’t think he is an apostate!

    • Fr. Arthur

      Modernist Churchmen don’t think any apostate is truly apostate these days. It’s only the Traditional Catholics who get attacked and censured while every schismatic and heretic under the sun gets prasied. Haven’t you noticed this?

  11. Now was that not a nice ecumenical talk. When there was so much ‘Faith’ in Scotland one wonders why John Ogilvie returned at all Why did he? Well of course we cannot say in this gathering of friends that he came to restore the Catholic Faith so Fr. Preston was more interested in Communities of Love a Christian Church. Of course, Christian Marriages are collapsing, the young find nothing in the Church that attracts them and give their lives to adultery, living together, and experiencing failed marriages, and thousands of children are living without the love of a Father or a Mother but what cares Fr Preston. When they were at St Aloysius College they were taught to be generous to the poor and that is all they need to be Christians. He obviously believes that St John Ogilvie believed the same. And anyway why bring up doctrine and spoil his beautiful friendship with Protestant Churches. “There is more that unites us as Christians than divides us” is the worn out cliche. Yes he is very united in denying the teachings of Christ who claimed his teachings were ‘the way, the truth, and the life’. And oner false misrepresentation of St John Ogilvie. He did not remain silent before those who accused him, he spoke up for the Church, her teachings, and the Papacy. But of course times have changed and nobody speaks up for the things anymore. Especially not Fr Preston, so he had a lovely little evening with his friends, insulted the memory of St John Ogilvie, and will carry on with his mission of Love, not for Christ and His Church, for for Scotland and the Ecumenical cause where there is apparently more that unites us than divides us. As long as ignorant Catholics keep their mouths shut.

  12. Fr Arthur

    I am not a member of the St Pius X society and I have openly disagreed with then on many occasions but I still prefer them to many mainstream priests and laity. The Pope, a bishop, or a priest is first of all our teacher. Every opportunity he has to teach a child should be something he takes seriously and he should seek to increase their knowledge about the liturgy whenever he can. When he spoke he was dismissive of what is meant by the priest having his back to the people, and he was dismissive of the language being used in the Mass with no teaching on why Latin was spoken This would have a very negative effect on the child and make him dismissive of Traditionalists. I think that was what the Editor was trying to tell you. I do not think that an Ecumenical setting was the right place to discuss St John Ogilvie and indeed as I have said I thought the whole approach was offensive to Catholics. Or is offending Catholics OK as long as you do not upset Presbyterians.

    • John Kearney,

      That is a fantastic post from you and I agree with every single word, 100 percent.

      If only we had priests in the mainstream, like the SSPX priests we hear about, the laity would not be misled by the modernists like, I’m sorry to say, Fr Arthur who just doesn’t take in what everyone here is saying to him but just wants to stick with the mainstream view. Having said that, I know mainstream priests who are very critical of Pope Francis and think he’s really doing a huge amount of damage to the Church. The trouble is, they can’t say that in the pulpit, so the majority of congregations are in ignorance about how bad this pope is. A friend of mine was talking to me the other day about how bad things are in her parish, with all the liturgical abuse, among other things, but when I said it was all down to the pope, she was really surprised and asked me if I didn’t “like” Pope Francis! She thought he was giving a great image of the Church!

      Thanks for that great post – I think it couldn’t be clearer. I totally agree with you.

      • Margaret Mary,

        Yes, it would seem that most priests and prelates have publicly abandoned Our Lord by their silence. However, there are a few priests who have resorted to other means to address Pope Francis’ nonstop scandals, like this:

        http://en.denzingerbergoglio.com/

    • John Kearney,

      Good post – but I’m wondering what are your points of disagreement with the SSPX.

    • The Pope was recalling his childhood memories, if you overlook that you miss the point.

      As I have said before, if the child didn’t understand The Pope is a priest, and has been chosen to lead The Church because he loves Christ, His Church, and The Sacraments then most probably it is unlikely the child would write to him and not a pop singer, film star or a famous sports idol.

  13. Last week I came across a photo of my oldest son’s First Holy Communion. There were 12 children in that photo and none of them, except my son, now practise the Faith. How tragic. I often think how easy it was for my parents who didn’t even have to think about passing on the Faith; it just happened!! What alerted me was seeing all my siblings’ offspring lapsing, one after the other. I didn’t really see the reasons back then but it warned me to be on my guard when my own came along. Then when my sister told me her son’s R.E. teacher wasn’t practising, I decided to steer clear of Catholic schools and it has paid off 100%, thank God.

    • Thank you CrofterLady… My own Catholic faith was receiving one hammer blow after another at that period. The nuns I taught with were suddenly leaving the convent and marrying, or changing the RI syllabus so that I could no longer teach the faith as I had received it; the rite of Mass that had nurtured me and that I loved had disappeared and it was to the protestantised rite that I was taking my children; the priestly home visits, sodalities, Legion of Mary, plainsong choir disappeared from parish life, to be replaced by bossy parishioners arranging and interfering in it, and pop-mad youth bringing drums and guitars into the denuded sanctuary; I should have been able to see the rottenness in the Church for the diabolical work that it was, and that was a huge culpable failure.

      • Christina,

        I am very happy to disagree with you on this occasion because, taking on board all that you say, you are STILL not to blame, either for your own “going along” with the changes in the beginning (me, too) and for not seeing the signs in good time – took me the best part of 20 years, although, happily, I was still at the slim, glamorous etc stage, so it’s not all bad… 😀

        I say the exact same thing about myself, but the reason for our trusting attitude is precisely that we just could not imagine the kind of evil being perpetrated in the name of the Church by those in authority, from the top down to the local pony-tailed PP. We just couldn’t imagine it. There has been no precedent for this in the entire history of the Church. As one priest pointed out to me recently, in the company of some of our regular readers/bloggers, even those notoriously immoral popes did not fail in their governance of the Church as the modern popes have done and are doing.

        It is perfectly possible for a child to lapse despite having been brought up in the best of Catholic homes, with daily devotional practices. Doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with the practices. I’ve seen homes where one child lapsed in young adulthood while another(s) were faithful and went on to bring up strong Catholic children in their own families.

        Some will lapse whatever – free will is just that: free will.

        • For the record I have not said any one person is to blame. I have addressed generalities. I have said it is unjust to blame The Pope, and a worldwide Religious Order that has faithfully served The Church.

          • The past tense is very much of the essence here. I cannot with the best will in the world, and with the great affection I feel for many Jesuits, living and dead, see how the Society can be said to have faithfully served the Church in the years since ‘the’ Council.

          • Fr Arthur,

            Be LESS concerned about blaming this awful Pope unjustly – he can’t keep his mouth shut and seems as addicted to microphones as your good self appears to be addicted to this blog. I feel NO sympathy for Pope Francis who is doing to the Church across the world what he did to the Church in Argentina – destroying it.

            If you think that the Jesuits are faithfully serving the Church, you need help.

            Take a stroll up to the Jesuit church in Glasgow next time the Gonzaga Lectures are running. If that’s fidelity to the Church, I really AM slim, glamorous, fashionable etc. Yip, they’re that bad.

        • Editor

          On hundreds of occasions I have spoke thus to parents:

          “…… it is perfectly possible for a child to lapse despite having been brought up in the best of Catholic homes, with daily devotional practices.”

            • Lupine,

              Your question is off topic so I’ve removed it There is a pro-life thread, the 40 Days for Life thread, so once you’ve expressed your own intention of going on the mini-bus to the vigil, you can ask your question. Otherwise, presume the best.

          • You are right in what you say given that the sacrament of baptism, like the other sacraments, does not cancel our created liberty, and we live in a world under under the influence of Satan. The Christian is always free to choose to reject Christ, and with him his Church, without this being necessarily anyone’s ‘fault’ in a narrow sense.

            But, in my experience, the reason most young people lapse today has very little to do with Catholic homes, or if so, only to the extent that Catholic homes reproduce the mindset of parish, diocese and bishops’ conference.

            If you strip the faith of its history, of its supernatural dimension, and ultimately of its truth, and reduce it to just a human fraternity based on good will and good works, you can hardly be surprised if people repudiate it as irrelevant. For just men and good works existed in Israel and amongst the pagans before and after Christ came. They exist today in every walk of life, be it Catholic, Christian, Muslim, agnostic, or atheistic.

            But just men and good works were never the essence of Catholic Christianity. It was that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was made man in the womb of a Virgin for our salvation, and only in this Name can we be saved. Not only, but this Christ is sacramentally present in his Church where he is continually worshipped and which is the only placed where, by divine ordination, he is manifested in his completeness.

            When the human dimension of Christ and the faith are exalted at the expense of the supernatural dimension, the radical novelty of the Gospel is expunged and heresies abound. Let it not be forgotten that Marxism and its little brother, socialism, are both Christian heresies whose essence is the most ancient and perennial heresy of all: the temptation to anticipate the end times and create heaven on earth by human fiat.

          • So why make a parent on this blog feel guilty because her children lapsed? Rhetorical question. If she’d had them sitting around praying with New Age stones and going to Yoga classes, you’d be all tea and sympathy. But the thought that they just might have been brought up with traditional devotions, WOW – that explains the lapsation.

            I can almost read your mind…

            • Actually you can’t. I also reposted one of your own comments of the benefits of a traditional family home. In my own home we had daily family Rosary. So no you can’t make assumptions except it seems about every clergyman who isn’t a member of The SSPX, but is faithful to The Church.

        • Editor, the times we are called to live in are evil, but I am not sure that they have no precedent. I am thinking of the fourth century, when the majority of bishops were heretics.

          But these unfaithful times were prefigured in the old alliance. No sooner had Moses ascended the mountain than the Isrealites took to fashioning the golden calf.

          • Prognosticum,

            Our times absolutely have no precedent. The Arian crisis, as I’ve said a million times on this blog and in the newsletter, doesn’t even come close.

            NEVER in the history of the Church have we had a Pope like this one. NEVER.

            Our Lady didn’t appear prior to the Arian crisis to warn the faithful, but she did appear prior to Vatican II to warn us to “pray much for the Holy Father” and said – according to Cardinal Ciappi – that “the crisis in the Church begins at the top”

            And that’s without mentioning Quito, in the 17th century, when Our Lady warned of a massive crisis to come in the world and the Church, where morals, especially marriage, would be attacked and that “those who should speak out, will remain silent”

            No. This crisis is without precedent. Believe me.

      • Christina, do not despair, because as you were taken in, so were countless cardinals, bishops and priests as they precipiated into a media-driven search for ‘relevancy’.

        I too took an age to see through the vanity of it all, especially as regards the liturgy. It is truly difficult to come to the conclusion that you have been caught up in a process of mass delusion, but there it is.

  14. Christina,

    I did not grow up Catholic, sadly (well…considering what happened during the 60s, maybe…fortunately), so I cannot imagine what the Vii revolution was like, but I would like to add my encouragement to Editor’s splendid one above, esp. this: “… we just could not imagine the kind of evil being perpetrated in the name of the Church by those in authority, from the top down to the local pony-tailed PP.”

    How were you to know, or any other faithful Catholic in the pews for that matter, that the Faith was being forcibly replaced by a different religion, while attempting (and failing) to masquerade as the same one? Why would you have suspected that such a thing could happen?

    I daresay there was enough “cognitive dissonance,” as they used to call it, between the hammer blows that were raining down upon you vs. your knowledge that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail,” to warrant a delayed reaction.

  15. On the subject of the Faith being replaced by a different religion, a fact convincingly demonstrated by our new priest blogger, not to mention the Jesuits, I’ve been wondering why we don’t emphasize that reality more often and more insistently – because it is true. We keep reacting to the latest scandal as if the clergy were deliberately trying to destroy everything, but I don’t think they are, mostly. I think the essence of this “diabolical disorientation” is that the Catholic Faith has been replaced by a syncretistic version of Protestantism and Freemasonry, with a few Catholic accidentals thrown in for cover, (as well as stealing, just like the Protestants, the sacraments of the true Faith) and that the useful idiot clergy (and the clueless faithful who go along with them) actually think this new religion is a new and improved version of the old one.

    Consider this (I know, these are generalities and there are exceptions):

    1. The new religion has its own liturgy, a re-hashed version of Cranmer and Luther, designed to imitate a Calvinist communion service, one which is ” a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass,” and a “banal, on-the-spot product.”

    2. The new religion has its own dogma, which constantly “evolves” to suit the latest requirements of human respect and sin.

    3. The new religion has its own shadows of priests, whose role as alter christus is thoroughly obscured by their role as “presider.”

    4. The new religion has its own version of Communion, i.e. no longer a sacrifice but a memorial meal.

    5. The new religion has its own style of pope, i.e. a media darling adored by the world.

    6. The new religion has its own “saints” and its own calendar.

    7. The new religion has its own vestments.

    8. The new religion has either its own architecture, or adapts and strips the architecture of the real Faith in order to suit its secularized banality.

    9. The new religion no longer rests upon Divine Revelation and Tradition, but instead looks forward to a Teilhardian “Omega Point” as its goal.

    10. The new religion has its own language, starting with the novel word “dialogue.”

    And on and on ad nauseam, I’m sure I’ve forgotten several important things. So I wonder if it would be helpful, in addition to repeatedly pointing out the errors of individuals, to add this foundational critique to our discussions.

    • RCA

      And the new religion acknowledges the fact that keeping your wee red light on in the television or fridge during the night is a lot worse than murdering unborn and unwanted babies.

      It also accepts that trying to put a round peg into square holes is the done thing nowadays.

  16. (To make my point in a much less long-winded way, the clergy whose errors we criticize aren’t deliberately, for the most part, trashing the Faith, in my opinion. They are simply being faithful to their new religion – though I bet they would be hard-pressed to say exactly what that new religion is.)

    • RCA Victor,

      That’s what I think. The modern priests, like Fr Arthur, really do believe their “new religion” as you say. They think they are correcting OUR errors! LOL! That is exactly right, IMHO.

    • RCA

      If any one of them encounters trouble defining their ” new” religion I will make it easy for them: it is called Protestant.

      For those in Scotland, they are prodisants.

  17. I have been following all the current blog topics with interest, and some bemusement where Fr Arthur is concerned, cannot really work out whether he writes with priestly conviction or just to stir everyone up. But the topic of lapsation in families is one that hits home. I am the eldest of thirteen cousins, all or most of whom were raised as traditional Catholics in pre Vatican 11 days. Only three of us still practice the faith.
    I am sure that the current indifferentism in the church is largely to blame together with the lack of true and visible holiness in parishes. Some one commented that in our childhood days the priest would often visit our homes and so would be the first one we go to in times of trouble. Also parishes had sodalities, youth clubs, social clubs (not always a good thing I know!) the parish featured much more in our lives than once a week for Sunday Mass.
    The cousin to whom I am closest had a huge problem accepting the death of her father and received little help from her priest. I once went to a Sunday Mass there and was absolutely appalled at the noise, the chat, the disrespect to the Blessed Sacrament despite the priest appealing for quiet before Mass began. I simply cannot imagine that happening in my childhood parish. no wonder that my cousin has sadly stopped attending and her children never go. There is nothing to attract them.

    It is so sad when one realises all that has been lost within a generation. And now what few young priests there are have never known the Catholicism we grew up with. And there are serious doubts about what is taught in the seminaries today too. We need some sort of seismic change and soon.

    • I have just seen this. Not everyone who has been hurt/damaged by their parental upbringing lapses or joins another faith. Some go into sleep mode, or, as it were, are crying inwardly.

      We are kidding ourselves if we think there is a parental manual for Catholic parents, and that, if there were, everyone has read it.

      The priest that The Editor quoted on Marriage, at first sight, appears to have been damaged by his experiences in the family home. His view on non doctrinal issues about marriage has surely been shaped by what he witnessed. The Church, rightly says, Marriage is a lifelong union, between a man and a woman, but it accepts some marriages fail, and allows separation, but it also says some marriages were never marriages when it grants an annulment. Try to imagine being a child raised in a difficult Marriage.

      Likewise some individuals have a distorted image of God’s love and mercy, or sin, or practically any aspect of our faith. Imagine that person being the first teacher of the faith.

      Therefore, what I am saying is that in my experience of priesthood, and having spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of people, that some people, and their faith, have been stunted, or damaged, by their upbringing.

      I might l also add, as I have said earlier, that these conversations normally take place in a formal setting, and are not a casual conversation down the pub, and the other person is usually seeking, but not always, to grow their faith, as it were, or come back. They are not throwing blame around casually, but exploring why they feel what they do, about what they do, and are seeking healing.

      I might add that in seminary, although, I heard it long before that. people are discouraged from talking about God, as father, not because of feminist ideology, but because some people cannot relate to the notion of a loving father, and it will hurt and impede them, Likewise, problems arise with speaking of a loving mother.

      I cannot also say I have seen at first hand , but not within my own family, people who publicly are loving, gentle, self-giving, and yet within the home are demonised tyrants. (In more than one example I know that from their spouse, and adult children.)

      People should remember that their upbringing is not the same as that shared by everyone else, and, likewise, even when people believe they are, and have, done their best for their families the other people in the relationship may experience things differently, and as this blog show “good” Catholics do disagree as to what constitutes handing on the faith, faithful to Holy Scripture, and Tradition..

      • May I also comment on the lament about lack of devotions/solidalities and clergy visits:

        I have not worked in one Parish where they do not have Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament at least sometime during the week, and often more than once, and in most of those parishes there have been lay organisations such as The Knights of Columba, The UCM, The Legion of Mary or similar. (In a significant number of Parishes I know there is 7/24 Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament, or it is for as long as possible.)

        Further, parish life has changed. Try and organise Sacramental Preparation for children and you are competing with sports classes, gym, ballet and who knows what, and even extra classes to help with their SAT’s, or GCSE’s. Likewise, School Governors Meetings, Adult Catechesis, Parish Pastoral Councils, and Finance Committees take their toll. If you do eventually get to a house, people are out doing the aforesaid leisure/sport activities, or doing overtime and shift work.

        I personally think, except for possible servicemen or women, Boarding Schools are an anachronism, and are contrary to the underlying Church Teaching. Before the recent Council a living wage was defined as one wage/salary to keep a family, and logically the Mother would raise the children, and parents are the primary teachers of their children. And yet, I suspect, many “Traditionalists” here were sent, or sent, their kid’s to boarding schools. However, today even day schools, including in well to do middle class areas, have breakfast clubs, and after school clubs, and many are collected from them by the child minder. (Much of this is now paid for by The State.) From morning until night children may not see much of their parents. The parents, are often, out working!

        Unless a priest becomes a burglar, and does some moonlighting, there is no reason to visit a home, as no one is in, and even then he will have to fit the visits around the meetings etc.

      • I find this bizarre in some places. I’m not really sure what point you are making. You seem to be staying the obvious. A lot of the scenarios mentioned are quite extreme and not typical of ordinary family life.

        What I can say is this. None of the scenarios you mention are justification for watering down of the Church’s teaching. None of the examples justify the so-called “pastoral approach” touted these days by the Francistas.

        Just because some parents have failed in their duty to raise their children in good Catholic homes does not mean that we need more of the same failed approaches.

        Yes, contributors to the blog do disagree from time to time on parental techniques. But most, if not, agree that the pillars of family life are the Traditional Mass, the family Rosary and the traditional teaching the Church. We need more of this, not modern claptrap where (false) mercy trumps God’s Law!

        • No where has I suggested watering down Church teaching. Please show some honesty in your replies.

          As I have said I, unlike you, have spoken to hundreds of people, over decades, about these matters.

          • Fr Arthur,

            “As I have said I, unlike you, have spoken to hundreds of people, over decades, about these matters.”

            How do you know? You don’t know anything about me, so I’m very surprised to see you say “unlike you”.

            I have to say, Father, that it terrifies me, given your “modernism on steroids”, that you have been giving advice for decades!

            • Actually, I have been given insights into the person who writes as Petrus because he has written about himself here, and elsewhere. I won’t, as is not appropriate, share what biographical details I have gleaned, but I think I can say I was a priest before long before you reached adulthood. I also assume that as you are not in ordained Ministry, and you say you are a layman, that your day job doesn’t give you access to hundreds of people of people seeking individual spiritual guidance.

              Further even “Modernist” Rome says lay people can be Chaplains, and as I said earlier the general thrust of this blog, to which you are a regular contributor, is that lay people cannot be Spiritual Directors.

              Therefore, which part of these statements, or the general thrust of this blog, would you wish to dissent from? Are you saying that as a Lay Catholic, who I believe home-schools, you are acting as an unofficial Chaplain and Spiritual Director to others?

              • The same Vatican Document (1997 Instruction on the roles of ordained and laity) that prohibited (without ever enforcing it) the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, also forbade the use of titles such as Chaplain to lay people – again never enforced.

                I have briefly scrolled up and cannot find any comment where Petrus is claiming to have acted as a spiritual director, so I’m guessing that you are twisting something he has said about conversations – perhaps in an advisory capacity – with others.

                Speaking with friends or confidantes about spiritual matters doesn’t make someone a spiritual director. I frequently speak with people on such matters but would be horrified if they considered me in that way.

                I suspect that you are being unfair to Petrus, who, whatever his faults, is a very honest person. I know that some day, come what may, he will return that tenner I lent him five years ago… 😀

                • I suggest you carefully re-read article 8 of the 1997 document. It does, not , anywhere ban their use, but it restricts their use. Therefore, if restrictions are put in place their use must be lawful.

                  • I should have said prohibited their habitual use (as we see it in parishes today) – Article 8 clearly states that a number of abuses are to be avoided including “the habitual use of EMHC at Mass, thus arbitrarily extending the concept of “A great number of the faithful”

                    In other words, a packed church (even if you can find one) is not a reason for their use.

                    Regarding lay chaplains:

                    “It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor”, “chaplain”, “co-ordinator”, “moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or priest.” (Article 1, Practical Provisions: Need for an Appropriate Terminology, Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests, 1997)

                    Now, I will be away from the blog for most of the rest of today so please do not expect instant replies to comments.

              • I am surprised that you think only chaplains and spiritual directors can give spiritual advice! As the editor says, the laity can give spiritual advice and just simply listen to problems of others, without being formal spiritual directors etc. In fact, some of the most useful spiritual advice I have been given has come from friends.

                The issue here is that you seem to think that because you claim to be a priest, you automatically have a greater insight into the spiritual advice given to by families. I don’t think this is necessarily the case.

                I’ve noticed this attitude amongst the laity too. There are just some issues that I wouldn’t immediately discuss with a priest. However, there are some who think we need to ask a priest’s advice on everything. Perhaps it was this daft attitude that fuelled the cry for more lay participation and led to a rising up of the laity to such an extend that we have lay people acting like priests, whilst the priests act like lay people!

                • Actually, what I have emphasised is the number of people I have encountered over decades. I am also confident that on this very blog the idea that a religious sister/or lay person act in an official way giving “spiritual advice” is deemed anathema.

                  I would also add I have encountered people who are not wedded to a view of Church which is alien to her own understanding of herself, and others on the fringes of The Church. In other words a whole spectrum of people, and not people who think I am an expert even though the Church wouldn’t endorse my thinking, or ministry.

                  In other words I have been selected, trained, and ordained, and have more than the endorsement of a fan club!

                  • Fr. Arthur

                    “I am also confident that on this very blog the idea that a religious sister/or lay person act in an official way giving “spiritual advice” is deemed anathema.”

                    As long as they stick to teaching Catechism then no one here would have a problem with that.

                    “I have encountered people who are not wedded to a view of Church which is alien to her own understanding of herself…”

                    Yes, you have encountered them here and wherever else you’ve met with Traditional Catholics. And it’s not “Church”, it’s “The Church”.

                    …and others on the fringes of The Church.”

                    Yes again, you need to beware liberal innovators on the one hand and sedevacantists on the other. Two extremes that are very dangerous to faith. Cleave to Tradition, to what has been handed down, and you can’t go wrong. The faith of the saints and martyrs, that’s the only way to heaven.

                    “I have been selected, trained, and ordained, and have more than the endorsement of a fan club!”

                    I am glad to hear that you are not for priestly fan clubs. It’s a pity that a sizeable majority of your confreres are.

                    As for being chosen by Our Lord for the priesthood, remember this:

                    “Many are called but few are chosen” and “To whom more is given, more is expected”

                    As Archbishop Lefebvre said in respect to the stance he took against the Modernist revolution post-Council: When I go to my judgment I do not want to hear those terrible words fall from Our Lord’s mouth, saying: And what did you do with your priesthood? You helped destroy the faith along with the rest of them”.

                  • Alas, no, Father. If you were ordained after Vatican II you were selected and ordained because of your liberal views.

                    • Now that is a valid point, Petrus! It is a fact that Traditional minded men were consistently rejected for seminary, or if they got to seminary, were soon sifted out and chucked out.

                      I remember one American priest telling me that he went to a diocesan seminary somewhere in the States, can’t remeber where. He was pulled aside by the rector and told that reciting the rosary and other devout prayers, as he did a lot every day, would distance him from the people. He was advised to see a psychiatrist for his piety problem!

                      Needless to say, he left there and went an SSPX seminary. He is now a perfectly solid Catholic priest of many decades.

                      I know of another case in the US, and this is factual, where during the summer break those seminarians remaining at the seminary often watched pornographic videos. Some were even advised as seminarians to date women so that they knew what they were giving up and could make an educated choice.

                      It is horrendous.

                      I wonder of Fr. Arthur has ever read the book “Goodbye, good men”!

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