Archbishop Chaput to Pope: Cancel Youth Synod – Fix Bishops Instead!

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is asking Pope Francis to call off the Synod of Bishops on young people this October to focus instead on the life of the bishops.

“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” the archbishop said at an Aug. 30 conference at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a report by the website LifeSiteNews.

In its place, the archbishop suggested that the pope “begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” the archbishop said.

Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirmed the archbishop sent the letter to the pope, but he offered no additional comments.

The archbishop gave his comments about canceling the synod during a panel discussion called the “Cardinals’ Forum,” sponsored by the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics and the Cardinal John Krol Chair of Moral Theology, both at the seminary.

The archbishop, who is set to participate in the synod on youth, was one of three panelists speaking on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” the theme of the Oct. 3-28 synod in Rome.

Hundreds of bishops and young people representing youth from across the globe will engage in discussions at that meeting and typically, the pope attends some synod conferences. After the gathering’s conclusion, the bishops make recommendations to advise the pope as he formulates pastoral policy to address the specific issues discussed.
Pope Francis had previously confirmed Archbishop Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as one of only five American bishops to attend the synod, all of whom were elected by their peers in the USCCB.

The other church leaders planning to attend are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB vice president; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

Calls for reform in the Catholic hierarchy have risen throughout the summer as the clergy sexual abuse scandal has intensified, with bishops across the globe coming under scrutiny for their potential role in covering up cases of abuse of children and young adults.

And confidence in the credibility of Catholic bishops has been eroding in the wake of allegations against the former Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report on 70 years of clergy child sexual abuse in the state and the explosive letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former U.S. papal nuncio, alleging the cover-up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse by bishops in the United States and in the Vatican.

In an Aug. 30 letter to the pope, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns asked for an extraordinary synod to address issues in the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.

“The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” the letter said. It suggests that this synod should include topics such as “the care and the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.”  Source

Comments invited…  

81 responses

  1. Not convinced that this is anything but Virtue Signalling by these Bishops, who cannot fail to know what has been going on for years and kept quiet.Looks like the game is up and these Bishops want to be seen as the ‘Good Guys’….The Dubia was a damp squib, Benedict got us the current Pope,for which he should hang his head in shame. The SSPX sits on the fence albeit hiding behind +Vigano.

    • St Miguel,

      What you say may be true of some – even many, if not most – of the bishops but we need, in charity, to give some of them the benefit of the doubt. In any case, in a spirit of “better late than never”, let’s welcome any move to “Fix Francis”.

  2. While we are in discussion, have a dekko at this load of stuff coming through.

    I cannot possibly believe that ANY of this is/was unknown to any/all of the new virtue signalling squad…old saying ‘he that protesteth too much’.

    Can anyone on this blog now contemplate how the SSPX could EVER have hoped to refloat the Titanic…with the arch anti traditionalists who openly despise any true believers?

    ANYONE who has EVER worked in ANY organisation know the back stabbing and scandals going in the offices….always comes out eventually.

      • St Miguel,

        I HAVE removed the link but note. I had a telephone call from another blogger who alerted me. I am not at my computer today, so have come in especially to delete this because the link took that blogger to HER gmail account as it took ME to mine.

        Please would everyone read the link before posting; If it says gmail etc and inbox, then you are NOT copying an article – you are copying your link to your own gmail account.

        I hope this is clear.

    • St Miguel,

      “Can anyone on this blog now contemplate how the SSPX could EVER have hoped to refloat the Titanic…with the arch anti traditionalists who openly despise any true believers?”

      Of course not. Whoever spread that rumour that, “with God all things are possible”, should be shot at dawn.

      The Society should remain firmly exactly where it is and then, when God has sent someone or some group to do their prophetic duty, things will be sorted out, with His help, and THEN the Society can return to regularisation. Simple.

      • Editor,

        You must have been spooning peanut butter directly out of the jar and into your mouth when you posted that, since your tongue was stuck firmly in your cheek…. 🙂

        As for the Society remaining firmly exactly where it is…uh…where exactly is that?

        • Yes, RCA Victor,

          I was being very VERY sarcastic in that reply to our beloved St Miguel. Where is the Society right now?

          Well, I’ve had a letter today from a reader quoting his reply from the UK District Superior on this, so watch out for the November edition!

          It’s in the “you couldn’t make this up” category!

    • Can anyone on this blog now contemplate how the SSPX could EVER have hoped to refloat the Titanic

      St Miguel,

      This is a tough time, but the Church will prevail thanks to those who will remain faithful as well as root out corruption.

      There are encouraging signs all around us. On another thread I posted about vocation trends which show that if trends remain the same, then the SSPX will have more priests than the Jesuits in 20 years.

      Imagine what a Church, where the SSPX is a bigger dog than the Jesuit Order, looks and sounds like. Things are going to change, we just need to persevere and have patience.

      20 years sounds like a long time, but its not really. (Says he who recently realised he graduated from University 19 years ago!).

      That gives me great hope, that I might get to witness a better time in the life of the Church. And at that time, my daughters will be young adults starting to make their own way in life, so if the Church is in better shape (across the board) then how much more likely is it that they will choose to continue in the faith?

  3. I think it would be interesting – i.e. very revealing – to post excerpts from the “Preparatory Document” for this Synod. Here’s one, from the Introduction:

    “…the Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today. By listening to young people, the Church will once again hear the Lord speaking in today’s world. As in the days of Samuel (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-21) and Jeremiah (cf. Jer 1:4-10), young people know how to discern the signs of our times, indicated by the Spirit. Listening to their aspirations, the Church can glimpse the world which lies ahead and the paths the Church is called to follow.”


    1. The Church has decided to examine herself, as if she knows nothing about how to lead young people? Is the Church a blank slate?
    2. The Church calls young people to accept a call to the “fullness of life and love”? What is the precise meaning, if any, of this strange term? (Well, we know what Fr. James Martin’s meaning would be…) And what happened to the call to holiness and salvation?
    3. The Church intends to ask ignorant, un-catechized young people about the most effective ways to “announce” the Good News? “Lead us, O Blind People, and tell us where we should go!”?
    4. The Church should now “listen” to young people, instead of teaching them? What are we listening for? Young people speaking in the false tongues of homosexuality, paganism, atheism, Marxism, environmentalism and open borders?
    5. The Lord is speaking through ignorant, un-catechized, paganized young people…but not through the Church? Well, obviously not through the modern Church, which has been hijacked and obscured by wicked men who teach sin and blasphemy.
    6. Young people know how to discern the signs of the times? Where will they look – into their cell phones? On Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram? How about into a crystal ball, or at a séance, or a psychic reading?
    7. The signs of the times are indicated by the “Spirit”? Which “Spirit”? Obviously not the Holy Spirit.
    8. Young people can help the Church glimpse the world which lies ahead? Sure, if this keeps up, a world without the Church, a world turned away from God, a world drowned in sin.
    9. Ignorant, un-catechized young people know which path the Church is to follow? How do they know better than Our Lord, His Apostles, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and all the Saints?

    In short, this Introduction is obviously a piece of diabolical excrement, designed to set the stage for more detailed diabolical excrement.

    I will post other excerpts as time permits, but I encourage our other bloggers to do the same.

    • RCA Victor,

      Many thanks for that analysis of the extract you’ve selected – showing the sheer infantile level of the alleged Faith of those running this daft synod.

      I’ll take a look later myself to find another paragraph, as you suggest, because the more we expose this nonsense, the better.

      You remark about no mention of “holiness and salvation” exposes the lie that these nuts want to bring the young to understand “the Good News” – a nicely useful term that can mean whatever someone wants it to mean and is widely interpreted as meaning Jesus died to save us, so we are all saved. That way, we can avoid uncomfortable discussions about the Ten Commandments.

    • RCA Victor,

      I went to the section on “accompaniment” and read this bit:

      “In the task of accompanying the younger generation, the Church accepts her call to collaborate in the joy of young people rather than be tempted to take control of their faith (cf. 2 Cor 1:24). Such service is ultimately founded in prayer and in asking for the gift of the Spirit, who guides and enlightens each and everyone.”

      There is no explanation of what “taking control of their faith” means and I looked up the Corinthians verse and it just says not to “lord it over” someone’s faith but that cannot surely mean that the Church cannot teach the faith and correct false beliefs?

      I think the young people going to that synod are only going to end up more confused than ever.

      • Lily,

        The Remnant has been having a field day with that ludicrous term “accompanying” – or, as the disgraceful Cdl. Wuerl once said about homosexuals, “We must walk with them.” Walk where, Your Eminence? Into scandal, perversion and mortal sin?

        It’s just mealy-mouthed, compassionate-sounding language to attempt to hide the real message of the “New Theology,” which boils down to this:

        If it feels good, do it.

        As for “taking control of their faith,” that’s right out of the mouth of Francis, whose never-ending evil demagoguery targets “rigidity” and its related adjectives, including “Doctors of the law.” It is just another way of saying “We don’t teach, we learn.” Fine print: “Because teaching, like proselytizing, is triumphalistic!”

        Now I’m going to take a break and see if I can find an ocean with any plastics floating in it….maybe cleaning that up would absolve me of my sins against the environment….

        Bless me, Father, for I have exhaled CO2….

        • RCA Victor,

          Your smart alec comment about plastic at the end of your reply to Lily, made me laugh heartily, but not quite as heartily as the following notice in the bulletin of an Irish church, which I just HAVE to publish in our November edition – if I can get the priest to offer a comment, all the better. I’ll sure try, you old son of a gun…

          FROM PARISH BULLETIN OF ST MARY’S CHURCH, DIOCESE OF KERRY, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND, 2nd September, 2018 (sent to us by an Irish reader, received, timeously, in today’s post)

          SEASON OF CREATION begins this Saturday 1st, Parish brochures are available at the back of the church introducing this year’s action focus in the diocese “Be part of the solution to plastic pollution: See, Judge, Act!” An evening providing inspiration, hope and action to protect our Common Home. Screening of the documentary Plastic in Paradise by Derrynane-based Vincent Hyland, followed by a Voice Ireland recycling workshop will be held on Wed. 19th Sept. @ 8pm in John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Killarney. Free event. Everyone welcome. Ends.

          (Polite) words fail – utterly…

          • Editor,

            Apparently the old (1967) movie The Graduate has been more influential than we could have ever suspected:

            • RCA Victor,


              I’ve just emailed the PP, and should have included that video clip. I told him his NOTICE was posted on our blog, so here’s hoping he finds it. I’ll be posting my letter to him in the November edition. Suffice to copy my concluding words here:

              Our Lady of Fatima, who prophesied this diabolical disorientation, pray for us!

    • Crofterlady,

      Spot on. I totally agree. It should be cancelled, and, as Archbishop Chaput & Co indicate, another synod to deal with the faithlessness and laxity in lifestyle/morality etc of the episcopate the world over, should be organised, without delay.

  4. Vatican II at the judgment after decades of lies and repression and deception! Will they finally understand?
    And they are preparing to canonize probably the most calamitous pope among those we have ever had, the one who was not afraid to impose the Church’s liturgical destruction!
    “A tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33).
    Papal dignity and authority were perverted and discredited and devalued and at final ridiculed through the fault of the successors of Pius XII!…

    • Lionel,

      Every word a jewel – you are totally right in your assessment of the decades of lies, repression and deception after Vatican II. Well said.

  5. Well, folks, after a day away from the blog, I came in prepared to launch a new thread but I see that this one has only attracted 7 comments, so I can’t see that my proposed new thread would fare any better.

    It was to be entitled, Supporting Archbishop Vigano: Why No UK Bishops on this list?

    It fits perfectly onto this thread, so I post it now for comment, for those who are interested.

      • RCA Victor,

        Good question; where ARE those 500 UK priests who signed that letter – I think Cardinal Nichols took them to task at the time. It seems, though, that any attempt to protest about anything in the Church these days, turns out to be a damp squib. Few have the energy, it seems, or the fighting spirit to persevere – Cardinal Burke and the Dubia being a case in point.

    • I don’t think it is that bloggers are not interested, Editor, I suspect that we are disheartened by the endless silence from all the British bishops on anything of any doctrinal significance. I bet I could write the pretentious drivel that passes for so called pastoral letters from the bishops. They never deal with anything that might make people sit up and listen. Same as the priests. I recently asked our curate why sermons are so lacking in catechesis. He replied that they were directed to simply explain the readings. Well that is rubbish! Every Gospel could provide an opportunity for teaching the Faith with a bit of effort. As for contributing to the blog, well I read it and the newsletter pretty much every day but only comment occasionally because much of it comes down to the same thing: one big lament about Pope Francis and the dereliction of the clergy. After a while it just saps the spirit. Even the SSPX does not seem to be doing too well just now. It is just depressing. So let’s cast around for something, anything positive. Please!.,

      • Elizabeth,

        Count me in! I could DO “disheartened” for, not only Scotland, but the wider UK. Believe me. So, I do understand what you are saying…

        There is no obligation to contribute to the blog – I’m aware of that. Except that when I don’t appear, I find myself on the receiving end of texts and phone calls! Seems to be obligatory for moi! And, to be honest, for all the reasons you have given above, I could see it all far enough. It does all seem pointless at times – such as… well… all the time, these days!

        We actually closed the blog once before, since we felt we could do more good blogging on the better known, more popular blogs, but found that, to our disappointment, we were too “extreme” for those and more often than not, our comments were not published. However, things have changed now, and thanks to Francis, more and more people are becoming, at last, aware of the seriousness of the crisis, so it may be that we won’t need to renew our blog next year (May, I think) which would leave us free to “cast around for something, anything positive” to discuss with like-minded Catholics on the more popular blogs. We’re giving serious thought to that – and your thoughtful comment has reinforced my own thoughts on the subject. Time to move on, as they say these days 😀

        I’d only add one key point. While it is certainly not pleasant, wearing in fact, to go over and over these scandals, we should not allow it to “sap” our spirit. In a sense, we are privileged to be living through this particular crisis in the Church, and honoured to be granted the grace to see the truth of it all. Still, I think you have expressed the general view, and you have done so succinctly and with thought. So, thank you for that.

    • Bishops in Europe will not support Archbishop Vigano because they think it concerns the United States; that must be their argument. They adopt a low profile. They do not want to be fired. It is as simple as that.
      For them it is a very embarrassing situation!…

  6. Happy birthday, Mother Mary. I well remember when our dear PP bought a cake for the year 2000. The dear man was too “traditional” for our protestant parish and was eventually “retired”.

  7. As for that list on Lifesite, good on those bishops. Our lot either agree with the perverts or some of them are hankering after a red hat! Also, I don’t see any SSPX bishops’ names either!!

  8. That is so appalling but even sadder to say, no longer surprising. I personally know if one young man who hung himself after being abused at a school run by religious and another man abused at junior seminary by thugs in cassocks” (his words) who went on to spend much of his life in prison as a lifer. He did return to his faith on his deathbed and spent a lot of time trying to make young inmates see how their lives were being wasted. Much much closer to God than his abusers ever were. And if anyone touched my little grandsons I would not like to think what I would do to them.

  9. Shocking! According to that priest’s report there was not a single priest or religious at that seminary who was chaste and holy, all were sexual predators. What a judgment they face in eternity for their actions!

    So widespread is this problem now in the world, not just in the Catholic Church but everywhere, in every walk of life, that I am convinced it relates to Apocalypse and the devils being loosed from Hell to spread over all the earth. These predators don’t need “counselling”, the modern world’s non-answer to everything, THEY NEED EXORCISED.

  10. Athanasius,

    Sorry to contradict you, but had they been possessed it would have been better for them and the Church, because their personal responsibility would have been diminished. What is described here is very much diabolical ordinariness: a situation of widespread, reiterated, serious sin being allowed to multiply unchecked in context in which consciences seem to have died a death.

    But this is the kind of thing which can happen when priests don’t pray, when they don’t examine their consciences, when they make bad confessions, when they don’t engage in proper spiritual direction…. The list could be expanded for many pages. But the long and the short of it is that if priests don’t fight the spiritual combat, the Enemy will destroy them and destroy them utterly. It is as simple as that.

    Trouble is, for more than a few decades the spiritual combat has been considered passé. Like much else, it needs to be revisited and urgently so.

    • Prognosticum

      I will not disagree with your observations, which could well explain the present situation. My reference to exorcists was with a view to more the lesser demonic control called “obsession” rather than “Possession”. I still think there’s a very strong element of this at work.

  11. Editor, up above you said to Elizabeth:

    “In a sense, we are privileged to be living through this particular crisis in the Church, and honoured to be granted the grace to see the truth of it all.”

    I’ve racked my brains for years now to make sense of that statement which I have heard many times but unfortunately, I cannot. I admit that I would have prefered to have lived in a holier era.

    • Olaf,

      I am not sure that there ever has been a ‘holier era,’ as you put it. This is why Church history is a very necessary counterweight to much Catholic contemporary discourse which tends to be short on memory.

      Our Lord himself was betrayed by one of his own who even participated at the Last Supper; Peter denied him; the Apostles, bar one, were all martyred. There was the Arian Crisis, the Great Schism, the Protestant Reformation … at Vatican I the German bishops walked out.

      Focusing more narrowly on the immorality of the clergy, we have seen this before. Just think of St. Peter Damian, St. Bernard of Siena, the eve of the Protestant Reformation, etc.

      Be it from within or without, the Church is always vulnerable.

      Much of our trouble is that we have been spoiled by a long line of saintly Popes, and not a few saintly bishops, which induces us to think that it has always been so. The truth is very different.

      But we must not despair. As awful as this crisis is, it is a good thing if it leads to our purification.

      • Prognosticum

        The various crisis you refer to at different periods of Church history are indeed well documented, but they were geographically limited to one or a few countries. The present crisis is unprecedented in that it is global and it impacts on both faith and morals at the same time. The other unique aspect of the present crisis is that it reaches right up to the Pope himself. Ok, there’s the example of Honorius I and Liberius, but their failings were due more to weakness and human respect than lost faith (not to mention morals).

        So Olaf is actually correct to suggest that there have been holier times for the Church, despite the failings of certain prelates and clerics. That’s why there’s a host of saints for all centuries yet none in this era, excepting perhaps Archbishop Lefebvre, the Athanasius of our day.

        • Athanasius,

          The Arian crisis and the pre-Reformation were certainly global if by ‘global’ one understands the geographical extension of Church at those times. But it is important to understand that the Holiness of the Church, like her unicity, her catholicity, and her apostolicity are essentially gifts bestowed on her by Christ.

          It is not helpful or even realistic to even try to conceive of Holiness of the Church as a function of the personal holiness of her shepherds. Personal holiness, as we all know, is a somewhat variable quality and only death can put a seal on it. Where there is life there is the capacity for repentance and sanctity of life.

          There may have been happier times, ostensibly, but to say they were holier you would have to be God.

          • I would add a thought that always comes to me always on 2 November: looking back, who are the holiest people you have met in your life?

            When I look back, it is clear that it certainly has been given to me to meet saints. Sure, some were of the clergy, some religious women, but the majority of the saints I have met were women for whom the world would not have given tuppence.

            One woman I knew was the live-in porter in a very swanky appartment building. It was the residence of senior judges, physicians, lawyers, academics, etc. She was very much of the people and not the fairest of lassies, but her heart was of pure gold and she was very much loved. She went to Mass every day in life and did good to other people even on her meagre salary. Above all, I never — never — heard a bad word about anyone pass her lips.

            And like her I am sure that there are thousands in Christ’s Church whose merits and fidelity outweigh the spiritual dross.

            We are all called to be great saints. But we should remember that great saints are not usually people who have never sinned (Peter, Augustine, Francis, Ignatius …).

            • Prognosticum

              I agree with you on the point of “ordinary” saints, such as the woman you speak of. Only God knows how many such saintly souls live in obscurity in our midst. My point, however, is that the clerical saints, those who once stood out for their sanctity, have all but vanished. I hate to say this but my observation is of fat-faced (and bellied) prelates and priests today who are absent of that look of sanctity from their countenance. You can definitely see holiness in a holy priest’s face, it’s a supernatural thing that’s hard to explain. Well, today’s clergy, for the most part, don’t have that look. Indeed, a sizeable number of them have no priestly presence whatsover, some even looking like old boozers. It’s not the way priests and prelates used to look. Something is definitely missing from the countenance.

              • Athanasius,

                I agree with this. I remember as a child the parish priest we had always seemed to have a “glow” about it.

                I have to say that I think the observstions you make about priests today also extends to some Traditional priests.

                • Petrus

                  I have to say that I haven’t noticed this phenomenon so much in Traditional priests, although one comes to mind. It’s primarily the Bishops and Cardinals I see it in, this absence of priestly holiness from their faces. And it has to be said that Pope Francis is the first Pope I’ve noticed who doesn’t have that look of pontifical holiness in his face. They just look like men off the street who have been dressed up in clerical clothes. It’s a phenomenon of these times, but just watch for it.

            • Prognosticum,

              You pose a very interesting question indeed; my answer to it is that the holiest person I met in my life, was my mother, RIP. She was self-effacing, self-sacrificing and entirely charitable in a way that I just have not witnessed in anyone else.

              But, no, I’m not going to trot out old clichés such as “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…” 😀 In this case, it would be a lie. My beloved mother was unique, in my experience, truly saintly, and that saintliness was demonstrated, in a most unusual and unexpected manner, at her death. So, while I’m convinced that she endured her purgatory on earth – in her final illness, when she was manifestly in pain – in keeping with our Catholic custom, I pray for the repose of her soul every day, “just in case” and knowing that the prayers will benefit another soul(s) in Purgatory if, as I firmly believe, my mother is among those souls whom we celebrate on 2nd November, Feast of All Saints.

          • Prognosticum

            I think we may have to agree to disagree on this. By holier times I suppose we mean times when more people co-operated more fully with grace, hence the multitudes of saints. Of course the holiness of the Church is never in doubt, since it is a divine institution, but it is by the utilisation of that holiness by the clergy and the faithful that marks out holier from less holier times. And holier times means happier times.

            There is no question, then, that the world has seen holier times by reason of more Catholics, and indeed non-Catholics, corresponding with the graces that come through the holy Church. Today the same graces are still available for sanctification, but far fewer souls avail themselves of them in comparison with past times. There’s no doubt at all that these present times are the most secular and pagan of any era in the Church’s history, the Apocalyptic times of which Our Lady spoke at Fatima. Hence the absence of saintly priests and prelates, or at least the near absence.

    • Olaf

      The privilege I think Elizabeth is referring to is the spiritual martyrdom that every faithful Catholic is asked by Our Lord to suffer for Him. Martyrdom of the body, as in the days of the early Christians, is a lesser suffering than a protracted martyrdom of the soul. We are unworthy of the grace of the Traditional Catholic Faith and to hold fast to it during this time of global apostasy. It’s hard, no question about it, but it’s also a privilege.

    • Olaf,

      Well, all I can say to you is that if you cannot see that (given the many crises already part and parcel of the Church’s history) we are “privileged to be living through this terrible crisis, given that we have been granted to see the truth of it all” and thus be in a position to tailor our apostolic lay vocation accordingly, in order to make a difference, that is, to help restore the Faith… then I have to assume that you would prefer to be in one of two states; either, as with the majority of modern Catholics, live in blissful ignorance, unaware of any such crisis OR that other group who consider the Church to be moving with the times, not in crisis but moving on … that you would have preferred to have been free in your conscience to go off and buy a plane ticket, book accommodation to go over and welcome the Pope to Ireland… ?

      THAT is the choice. I prefer to thank God for the great grace of “being negative all the time” (as I’m frequently accused) – that is to say, the great grace of seeing the nature of the crisis and thus be in a position to sit down with the two gentlemen who cornered me in 1999 for the purpose of persuading me to agree to edit a one-page publication. They thought it would be good to alert other Catholics to the dire state of the Church in Scotland but, as we have found to our disappointment, most don’t want to know – I have a friend who told me a week or two ago that I am the only person she knows who doesn’t “like” Pope Francis! When we first started the newsletter in 1999, and I sought her active support, she told me that she wasn’t interested “just wanted to enjoy her life”. She’s still having a ball, by the sounds of it. Tells me that she never hears her PP say anything is amiss in the Church (I happen to know him and he wouldn’t admit anything was amiss in the Church if St Peter’s Basilica disappeared overnight.)

      I’m going to spend the forthcoming week doing some serious cleaning in my humble home. I’d much prefer if the place were spotless already, but the choice is stark. Either I roll up my sleeves and fix the place, or I admit that I just don’t care… Just think of the scandal, though; the editor of Catholic Truth doesn’t care about the environment…?! How can we keep this shocking news from the Pope?!

      I was faced with that same choice in 1999. Either ACT as is your Confirmation duty, to do whatever little you can to help restore the traditional Faith into which you were born, in the place where you were born, or show, by your IN-action that you simply don’t care. That’s what I said to myself. And yes, I do talk to myself from time to time – especially when I need an expert opinion!

      So, Olaf, given the choice now, would you still opt to live in a perceived “holier era” or – on reflection – will you thank God for the great graces He’s given you to recognise the nature of this current diabolical attack on Christ’s Church and, who knows, perhaps help strengthen others struggling because of the horrendous scandals, decadent clergy, and appalling pontiff?

      • Editor,

        You’re right in what you say, of course, but I can understand Olaf’s feelings on the matter. There have been times when I, too, wished that we were all living in a holier time. Human weakness (or cowardice), I suppose.

        • Athanasius,

          Of course – like you, I fully understand Olaf’s desire for living in a crisis-free Church. It certainly would have been easier, I imagine, to defend the attacks on the divinity of Christ by a bunch of theologically confused miscreants in the 4th century crisis, than our lot which is having to uphold just about every dogma of the Faith, not to mention the fundamental moral law, against attacks by the Pope himself – no question about that.

          It is, of course, perfectly natural to wish that this suffering would pass us by – we have the example of that state of mind from Our Lord Himself !

          So, be assured, I don’t think of that perfectly natural desire as either human weakness or cowardice. Not at all.

          Given the choice, I’d opt to be taken back in time to the 14th century, in order to tag on to Catherine Benincasa (now St Catherine of Siena) as one of her disciples. I’d have been a very good proof-reader of her letters, although I say so myself 😀

            • Petrus,

              You reckon? Would you say I could look like this (bearing in mind that telling lies is a sin…!)

              Sister Mary-Evangeline of the Never-ending Books…

          • Editor

            I’ve always had ideas about building a time machine. Now it seems appropriate to make a start. I’ll build one with some passenger carriages on it!

            • Athanasius,

              I’ve heard it said that I’ll be remembered long after I’m gone (not in a complimentary way, believe me) but nobody has ever suggested I was remembered way back in the 14th century. WOW! Time travel is… was… is going to have been… confusing!

  12. Lily

    It certainly seems posible that Cardinal Wuerl could end up in jail, and rightly so. He was very pro McCarrick knowing about his proclivities.

    • Athanasius/Lily,

      I was speaking with a journalist this morning who opines that Wuerl is DEFINITELY heading for jail..

      Maybe RCA Victor can enlarge on this, but apparently there is every likelihood of Grand Jury hearings, and, while the shredders will have been put to work, that won’t deter them, because they will study the GAPS in information/paperwork.

      Hotting up, methinks. Hotting up. Even here on earth!

  13. Editor

    The only reason I refuse to sign petitions of this sort is because I will not lend credibility to the myth that Popes and prelates are free to resign, like company CEO’s. A bad Pope can be called upon to abdicate and bad prelates can be stripped of the sacred office they have abused, laicised even, if their scandals are that bad. It is for Pope Francis to be seen to lead the way on this by stripping Cardinal Wuerl of his Cardinal’s hat and sending him into penitential exile for all the world to see. If Francis hesitates then he needs to be encouraged to abdicate so that a good Pope can be elected to help cleanse the Church.

    • Athanasius,

      I have to confess, mea culpa, that I didn’t think of that. I would say that I’m really stupid at times (most times!) but a friend said I’m too hard on myself, that I’m not stupid, that I just have some real bad luck with thinking. Well… put it this way…

      • Editor

        The last line puts me in mind of the modern academic approach to student examinations. There is no “fail” in a test, just “yet to achieve”. That’s a nice way of puting it!

        Anyway, you’re anything but stupid and I’ll be expecting a big back hander for saying so.

        • Athanasius,

          Speaking of “yet to achieve,” years ago I worked in a Federal agency with a very politically correct lawyer. So PC was she that, when describing the raucous black families who had disrupted her son’s high school graduation ceremony with endless shouts and cheering, she described their behavior as “an alternate form of courtesy”! Heaven forbid she could have described them as “rude”!


          Just for a little comic relief, you should post a thread asking what are the most outlandish, mind-bending, reality-denying PC quotes we’ve ever heard.

          • RCA Victor,

            I’ll do my best to organise that “little comic relief” in the next day or two – assuming that we’ll be able to find sufficient such “reality-denying/outlandish etc” PC quotes to keep a thread going. So, stand by!

            In the meantime, here’s a thought…

    • Athanasius,

      I’m afraid the only housecleaning Francis will do is whatever is enough to save his own skin. Meanwhile, we all need to pray for Abp. Vigano, since apparently the Vatican’s intelligence apparatus is looking for him.

      Of course, if the Vatican’s intelligence apparatus is anything like the rest of its apparatus, the good and faithful Archbishop has little to worry about….

  14. Editor, in reply to this question you posed:

    “So, Olaf, given the choice now, would you still opt to live in a perceived “holier era” or – on reflection – will you thank God for the great graces He’s given you to recognise the nature of this current diabolical attack on Christ’s Church and, who knows, perhaps help strengthen others struggling because of the horrendous scandals, decadent clergy, and appalling pontiff?”

    I’ve been thinking about it and yes, I agree. I do have, as do other Catholics, the duty to do something about this awful crisis, something to console Our Lord. Are the little things, such as prayer and fasting as per Mark 9:29, sufficient, or are greater things asked, I wonder? I mean I do have a gun licence!!

    • Oops! Olaf, I thought you’d typed “I mean, do I have a gun licence” as in the question without the punctuation! Sorry!

      And now that I know you do HAVE a gun, the answer is yes, definitely, greater things are required of thee! 😀

    • RCA Victor,

      I’ve just been reading your One Peter Five link and found myself saying over and over again: and remember, this is a POPE!

      It really is beyond belief.

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