Irish Bishop: “I am not the slightest bit concerned about making the Church strong again.” Apostasy Writ Large…

Ireland: Homily of Bishop Donal McKeown [pictured right] for Vocations Sunday Mass broadcast by RTÉ
Good Shepherd Sunday 12 May 2019

Every year in Derry Diocese, we have Mass in the local football stadium for all the children who have been confirmed during the course of the year. Last June we had a stand packed with 2,700 children and their teachers – complete with banners, hats, painted T-shirts and lots of music. For my homily, I asked whether they all remembered what the bishop had said. Not surprisingly, the answer was a resounding ‘no’! And then I told them what I remembered from all the Confirmation ceremonies – of all the children who had been photographed with me at their local Confirmation ceremonies, only one had held my hand and then given me a hug afterward. In some ways, she was the smartest child of all of them because she had a big heart and knew how to show it. This, I suggested, is what the Holy Spirit desires for each of us. And then I pointed out that this girl had Down’s Syndrome. Of course, since she was the smartest child there, we invited her down to the front – and the whole crowd stood to cheer her.

There is much discussion about the future of organized Christianity in Ireland. My own take on that is simple. I am not the slightest bit concerned about making the Church strong again. I am interested only in whether we are fit for purpose in bringing Good News to the vast numbers who are in need of mercy and healing. Jesus did not set up the Church to look after itself. The People of God exist only to seek out the lost and to offer them love and healing in Jesus’ name. Jesus was not interested in setting up groups of self-referential followers who would be concerned mainly with providing services for their own dwindling numbers. Pentecost put an end to that notion. Faith means encouraging people to have big hearts and knowing how to show it.

And there is a huge need for big hearts.

It seems increasingly clear that, in such a cultural context, Christ’s disciples are called by the Good Shepherd, not to catch up with everybody else, but to seek out the thousands who pay the price for the fragmentation, uncertainty, suicide and loneliness that seems to benefit some – but infects many with ‘an epidemic of loneliness’[1]. In his own day, Jesus’ eye fell on those who were harassed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). Anything less than that is a betrayal of the mission that Jesus gave his disciples. That needs big hearts.

And how is Church expected to carry out that ministry? It seems to me that there are three areas.

Firstly, Jesus was concerned with building relationships, bridges not walls. One core ministry of God’s people is to build welcoming communities. The Gospels are clear that Jesus went out to lepers, gentiles and public sinners. He told them that the Father loved them where they were – but loved them too much to leave them where they were. Pope Francis calls us to be a Church that is going out from itself and to build up our unity within the Body of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ can never prioritize lifting the drawbridge to keep people away from encountering the Good Shepherd. That needs big hearts.

Secondly, Jesus was also known as the Teacher. He spoke to His followers by proclaiming their dignity and the mercy of the Father. He spoke about sin and forgiveness, right and wrong – and our shared call to be holy as God the Father is holy. Because He was so clear in his teaching, many hated Him. The Church is called to be a place where individuals and groups can grow in uncomfortable faith together, as disciples of the Rabbi from Nazareth. That needs big hearts.

Thirdly, Jesus wanted to make the Father known and loved. One of the Gospels tells us that Jesus gathered disciples to be with Him and to go out (Mk 3:14). The first emphasis was not merely on teaching laws, though Jesus was also clear that, if anyone keeps His words, the Father and Jesus will make their home in that person (Jn 14:23). Those who hear the voice of the Good Shepherd follow His ways and not merely their own. The Gospel not only comforts the afflicted but afflicts the comfortable. That needs big hearts.

In a changing Irish Church, some people imagine that lay involvement means laity doing more ‘to help poor Father do all his jobs’. I prefer to see the Good Shepherd model of Church as one where those in leadership roles (be they ordained, consecrated or lay like the great Jean Vanier) – by proclaiming the Word, by the liturgical celebration of the mystery of faith and a prophetic way of life – form the whole people of God for their mission of bringing Good News to every hurting corner of their parish and of the world. That calls for heroism and generosity to a fault. But Jesus’ example called for nothing else. Any changes in Church structure must serve that mission and nothing else.

We face many challenges in making organized Irish Christianity fit for purpose. But on this Sunday, the big-hearted Good Shepherd who has sought us out sends us out. If we expect something different for the Church, perhaps we haven’t really heard today’s Gospel.  [emphases added]  Source

Comment: 

It’s a while since I’ve heard/read this reference to “organised Christianity” – it was a popular euphemism during my days as a student teacher when, clearly, it was a means of diminishing the  importance of Christ’s Church. After all, “organised Christianity” might refer to every group of Christians – from the Salvation Army to the Church of England – working in the field, so to speak.  The “field” of glorified social work, that is, posing as Christianity.  To be honest, I am lost for words to describe my thoughts about this apostate bishop who has no clue as to the nature and purpose of Christ’s Church.  I will close, then, quoting Bishop Schneider [pictured below] who warned those “shepherds of the Church” referring to the fire at Notre Dame, who are, in fact, “spiritual arsonists”. 

“God will not indefinitely and shamelessly be mocked by so many Shepherds of the Church today, through their betrayal of the Faith, their sycophantic serving of the world and their neo-pagan worship of temporal and earthly realities.  To them are addressed these words of Christ, ‘I tell you, unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’ (Lk 13:5)  Source

Well?  Which of these two “shepherds of the Church” is speaking the truth, thinkest thou?  Can’t be both of them, as one couldn’t care less about the Church and the other warns of hell-fire for those bishops who couldn’t care less about the Church…   

Ed:  I will send the link to this thread to Bishop McKeown, not that it will make a blind bit of difference – “blind” being the operative word (“..they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14)…   

22 responses

  1. It’s obvious that this bishop has lost the plot, not to mention the faith. To say that he is not at all concerned about making the Church strong again, is risible. What if the CEO of any failing commercial Company said that? Talking about making a fool of oneself! One way to help “organised Christianity” would be for all the bishops who think like him to resign.

    No wonder the abortion campaign won the referendum in Ireland. With bishops like him, who needs enemies?

  2. The bishop speaking the truth is obviously Bishop Schneider. Bishop McKeown is an apostate. That’s as clear as day. He thinks “organised Christianity” (whatever that is) is just another name for the Church because he goes on to say “Jesus did not set up the Church to look after itself. The People of God exist only to seek out the lost and to offer them love and healing in Jesus’ name.”

    What the heck does that mean? He says what he thinks the Church is not, but what does he think the Church is for? “Lost” used to refer to souls on the path to Hell but there’s no mention of anything supernatural in his so called homily, definitely no mention of Hell.

    I don’t know why the Pope keeps telling young people to go into their dioceses and make a mess because the bishops are doing that fine by themselves, without any help.

  3. What he’s trying to do with this “I don’t care about making the Church strong again” is make himself appear to be more clever than Christ.

    He’s a typical modernist, and his homily made me think of what Pope St Pius X said in Pascendi: “They are possessed of the empty desire of having their names upon the lips of the public, and they know they would never succeed in this were they to say only what has always been sad by all men.” (#43, The temerity of the Modernists.)

    The poor Irish. No good bishops, as far as I’m aware. Yes, I’m afraid apostasy is “writ large” in that country of lost souls, once the great land of saints and scholars.

  4. After sending Bishop McKeown the link to this thread first thing this morning, I have had the following brief email exchange with him:

    FROM BISHOP MCKEOWN

    ‘When I am weak, then I am strong’ 2 Cor 12:10

    Was St Paul an apostate apostle as well?!

    DMcK

    MY REPLY…

    A non-sequitur, Bishop McKeown. There is no way that St Paul undermined Christ’s Church by calling it mere “organised Christianity”. St Paul travelled far and wide to bring souls into the Church. You are driving them away by your neglect and false teaching. Remember, we won’t always have Pope Francis; one day (soon, hopefully) we will have a sound Pope who will restore the traditional Catholic Faith. Then you will either have to do an about-turn or formally leave Christ’s Church. Ends.

    Pray for this bishop.

  5. I couldn’t believe this homily. What a scandal for a Successor of the Apostles to say that he’s not interested in making the Church strong again! He claims he is only interested in bringing the Good News. Isn’t bringing the Good News to others leading them to Christ and His Church? Is he claiming that this can be done outside of the Church? That’s what it looks like. This bishop is clearly leading souls astray.

    The bishop has a purely worldly notion of what the Church is. A “welcoming community”? Is that really his first priority? Certainly a welcoming community is nice, but it’s a purely human consideration.

    I do wonder why these men became priests. Why bother being celibate if you don’t actually believe in the Church as it was instituted by Christ?

  6. “Jesus did not set up the Church to look after itself.” Straight out of the mouth of Pope Francis. Could His Excellency be attempting to score brownie points with his boss?

    Tragically, he seems to have forgotten who his real Boss is….and, here on full display is the reason that Ireland has become a viciously pagan country.

    As for “organized Christianity,” the Catholic religion, and only the Catholic religion, represents and embodies Divine Order. Any other religion masquerading as Christianity is nothing but disorder, the mark of the Devil. Therefore, to speak of “organized Christianity” is a complete absurdity and a contradiction with itself.

  7. Do you all remember the Catacombs Pact? This Pope and his sycophants are creatures straight out of that inverted, anti-Church thinking. Here are some quotes from the “Prayer On the Pact of the Catacombs”:

    Lord give us simple names, take our titles from us,
    as one takes down paintings from a mouldy wall;
    open the window so the sun of justice may enter.

    Lord, may we not be in the company of the rich, the
    powerful, so as to be rich and powerful like them,
    but let us be companions of the poor, so that with
    your grace, we too may become poor.

    Lord help us not to defend doctrine if it only ensures
    our privileges, our sacred prejudices, our little daily
    envies, but help us to proclaim the Gospel every day,
    with amazement, peace and love.

    Lord, may we never again be accomplices in the
    economy that kills, in the politics of exclusion, but
    instead make ours a friendly feast, a house of
    friendship, a space for the dance.

    Give us the lay status of your Son [sic!!!!], so that we do not
    turn religion into a power that exclude and
    humiliates.

    This entire Pontificate can be summarized by this Marxist-pagan drooling gibberish. This is the well from which is drawn everything we’ve seen and heard in the past 6 years.

    • RCA Victor,

      No, I hadn’t seen that image! Will save it now, though!

      Yes, it all boils down to creating a Christ (a nice, anything goes, Christ) minus His Church. Spot on.

  8. Bishop McKeon replied to my email as follows…

    Thank you for your opinion on this matter. I am sorry of you take offence at the phrase ‘organised Christianity’.

    I do not believe that we have met. So, I am curious to know how you can accuse me of driving people away by my neglect and false teaching. And it is intriguing that you can also feel competent to decree that I should formally leave the Church!

    I ask that you pray for the Church in Derry that we can all have the wisdom to know how to speak the fulness of the Gospel to our generation.

    DMcK

    MY REPLY…

    Dear Bishop McKeown,

    I apologise for the delay in replying to your message – I have been out all day and only just returned. On the drive home, I listened to a Radio 4 discussion about mental health and how it is now spiralling to worrying levels. I kept thinking of the Pope, Bishops and clergy as this discussion progressed. Will explain why when I’ve answered your questions.

    I’ve got no reason to “take offence” at the phrase “organised Christianity”. Last week we had a discussion on the name of the Church, when I defended the historical name of the Church – which is the Catholic Church – against those who prefer the Protestant inspired “Roman Catholic Church”. Those on the other side of the debate do, at least, have some kind of logic to their argument, seeing “RC” as being a means of showing their love for Rome and the papacy. The original inspiration – to allow the Reformation Protestants to promote their branch theory that the Catholic Church was wider than those who affiliated to “Rome” – does not trouble them, which mystifies me!

    However, I can see no logic whatsoever in replacing the name of Christ’s Church with the phrase “organised Christianity”. Not least since it’s never BEEN so “disorganised” with the worst pope in history instructing the uncatechised youth to take charge, run the Church, and especially, to “make a mess” of it. Not my idea of “organised”.

    Of course, the rationale, no doubt, is ecumenical; the pretence that we’re all Christians, Protestants of every hue and Catholics. No difference. Jesus was all about mercy and healing, blah blah. Not, of course, true. Not remotely. Christ was about sin and salvation. He came to save us from Hell, not from poverty, which, He warned, we would always have with us.

    You are correct in believing that we have never met, and yes, I will happily explain my observation that you (not alone among your brother bishops) are, indeed, driving people away by your neglect and false teaching. I will detail some of my observations on this matter, with an assurance that I do so without any desire of hurting your feelings but, Bishop, your feelings will be the last thing on your mind if you end up – to where you are currently heading – in Hell. I refer you to Bishop Schneider’s warning (which is published on our blog about your homily) – it’s not my opinion, it’s his prophetic warning, as a fellow bishop. In any case, since you ask, here goes…

    Your homily for Good Shepherd Sunday purports to be about vocations – to mark Vocations Sunday… yet, astonishingly, you make absolutely no distinction between the priestly vocation and the lay vocation. It’s not as if we are living during a period of abundant priestly vocations. In your homily, all are merged together in “organised Irish Christianity”. So, first up, you are not preaching a key teaching of the Church, that the ordained priest must stand OUT from the rest of us, because Christ stood out in His time, which is why, as you mentioned, He was so hated; he did not mince his words. “He taught the people with authority and not like their own scribes” as we read in the Gospel. The priest, is an alter Christus – another Christ – in the world, a concept which has inspired countless young boys and men to aspire to the priesthood. Who would want to aspire to the priesthood after hearing your homily, where the adjective “great” was applied only to the lay vocation with not a mention of any of the wonderful priest saints who have inspired vocations down the centuries. So, too, priests are celibate because Christ was celibate – not because some pope decided it was a good idea to pin it onto the job. All of the above, I heard, routinely in sermons when I was growing up, thankfully, just before the Vatican II revolution took firm hold. In my parish, vocations to both the priesthood and the religious life were frequent occurrences. We also had Legion of Mary praesidia, the Children of Mary, and the St Vincent de Paul Society. To this day, I can think of several friends who are now religious Sisters and at least one parishioner who remains a priest – albeit a modernist like the majority. That’s NOT how he was formed, though, in our parish. The seminary took care of that.

    To be clear, though, I did not “decree” that you “should formally leave the Church” – that is to twist my words. I said that we will not have Pope Francis forever, thanks be to God, that we will eventually have a sound pope who will restore the Faith and I pointed out that you would then be faced with the choice of having to conform to the truths of the Faith which have been either neglected or rejected during the post-Vatican II years, or formally leave the Church – and I say “formally” Bishop, because it is as clear as day that you, like so many others (certainly in Ireland as in the UK) have in fact left the Church. Sad to say, you have become so embroiled in ecumenism, with the seed planted and thriving in your mind and soul, that the dogma must be ditched which teaches that “Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” (properly understood – those ecumenical friends of yours may well be saved, but if saved they are, it will be through Christ’s Church, not their own man-made religions).

    A final word, as I intimated at the start of this message, about the Radio 4 discussion to which I listened on my drive home today. Various experts were debating the possible reasons for the rise in mental health issues and – at the time I switched on – the point was made that there is now a whole area known to psychologists and psychotherapists as “eco anxiety.” Some people are so taken in by the whole “Green” agenda, and so worried by it, that they are making themselves ill. One woman said she had even thought of killing her children, to save the planet. Unbelievable. This is the vacuum where “God” and the Catholic Church should be.

    Yet, instead of the Pope, hierarchy and clergy preaching the Gospel promise of Christ that we have nothing to worry about, that our Heavenly Father knows our every need, but we mustn’t worry – as the pagans do – about what we are to eat, drink or wear; instead of preaching that, and making the Church stand OUT from the uncritical crowd, we have priests, like the Irish priest we featured in our newsletter a couple of editions back, who encouraged his parishioners, in his weekly bulletin, to “be part of the solution to plastic pollution.” Crackers. GK Chesterton, the famous English writer, and Catholic convert from Anglicanism, needs to be quoted more often: “Only dead fish go with the flow. Live fish swim against the current.” In short, instead of Churchmen (or should that be the leaders of “organised Christianity”) following the secular crowd, they need to be true shepherds and remind us all that we have here a merely earthly city – that our true home is in Heaven. Not to mention that we’ve had loads of these eco-anxiety scare stories before and NONE of them has come true. We’re still here to tell the tale.

    I do, indeed, offer my prayers, for what they are worth, for the Church in Derry and I trust that I, too, can rely on your prayerful support. I also thank you, Bishop McKeown for your goodness in replying to my emails – I do appreciate that, very much.

    Kind regards.

    Ends…

      • Nicky,

        Absolutely. He wrote again and I have replied again but not got the time to organise those to post on the blog right now. All in due course!

        It’s clear that Our Lady’s prophesy of a “diabolical disorientation” has come true; there’s no other way to explain what has happened at hierarchical level.

        • Editor,
          Saint John 12,40: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them!”
          What an appalling responsibility!

          • Lionel,

            I think if bishops really understood their responsibility, they would be terrified of death and judgment.

  9. Bishop McKeown could be a poster boy for the failing Church of Vatican II.

    He says:

    I asked whether they all remembered what the bishop had said. Not surprisingly, the answer was a resounding ‘no’!

    Hmm, with such brilliant Bishops its no wonder the mess the Church is in, eh? Of course, lets just make a big joke of it, eh? That will solve everything.

    we invited her down to the front – and the whole crowd stood to cheer her.

    A nice story, for sure, but nice stories do not get anyone into heaven. Nor do they get people out of their beds for Sunday mass.

    This is all the Church offers people today – a bit of a joke, some soppy sentimentality and, of course, some waffle about “mercy” and “healing”. This pretty much sums up every novus ordo mass I have ever attended.

    The Gospels are clear that ….

    Woah, steady on Bishop. So many of your brothers seem decidedly unsure about what the Gospels say – often referencing the lack of tape recorders during Our Lord’s time on earth.

    If we take that modern approach, how can we be sure about anything? Also, I reckon clarity is the last thing that Pope Francis desires, on any matter.

    a changing Irish Church

    A failing Irish church, more like.

    I am not the slightest bit concerned about making the Church strong again

    This is probably the most concerning statement. The Church should be strong, in terms of the faith of its adherents, the number of the same, plus vocations, the clarity and defence of its teaching etc.

    Look how, when he founded His Church, Our Lord spoke of it being founded on a rock (as Castles often are, like Edinburgh for example) and how the gates of hell would nor prevail against it.

    This type of language very much suggests strength and a robust nature. Sadly the modern Church displays the very opposite of these original characteristics.

    Also note that Our Lord spoke of His “Church”, not His “organised Christianity”.

    I am sure these modern Bishops must have a machine – the “Vatican 2 waffle generator 3000” or something, which automatically generates this kind of speech at the press of a button!

    • RCA Victor,

      I’ve heard of Anthony Murphy before – I think he was involved in the publicity about Maynooth seminary, exposing the gay cabal there.

      It’s great that there is a layman over in Ireland calling the bishops to account. Long may he continue.

    • RCA Victor,

      We featured that young man in our newsletter some months back – he is very much a leading light in Ireland and we are delighted to support him 200%

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