The Future of the Catholic Truth Blog 

From the Editor…

Some time ago, I announced that I had decided to close the blog. Being the official administrator I had the casting vote, so that was that.   There were a number of reasons for this decision, chief among them that I felt there were not enough people signing up and contributing to the discussions.   Following my announcement, I received a number of representations, by phone and email, both from individual bloggers and from readers who sought to change my mind.  I appreciated all the arguments in favour of keeping the blog open, but I remained resolute in my decision. Right up to the moment when our hard-working blogger, Petrus, put some points to me that really did take me by surprise.   In short, it was his story, which he emailed to me only yesterday and which is published below, that made me change my mind.  As a trusted adviser said when I told her, “we’ll never know how many other ‘Peters’ are out there, to whom the blog has, similarly, made a huge difference in their lives.”  So, read on and tell me if you think I’m right to reverse the original decision to close, instead keeping the blog open… OR am I a Scots version of  Theresa May, dithering and changing my mind at every turn?  Don’t answer that!   Anyway, below, read Peter’s pitch to keep the blog open – and tell us if you think he has a point.  Also, feel free to offer ideas for future topics or suggest any improvements you’d like to see;  if it’s within our power, we’ll be glad to oblige. Just don’t suggest sacking Petrus – that’s out of the question! 

From Petrus… 

At the Catholic Truth Conference of June 2012, I gave a keynote address outlining my journey from Modernist Catholic, to Church of Scotland elder, back to Modernist Catholic and finally to the Traditional Catholic faith. In this address, I outlined the role the Catholic Truth apostolate played in that process. In this article, I want to specifically focus on the role the Catholic Truth Blog has played in that journey and my subsequent eleven years attending the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively.

Back in 2008, the blog wasn’t the first contact I had had with Catholic Truth. I had already subscribed to the newsletter for over eight years. Not only did I subscribe to the newsletter, I had a couple of letters published and exchanged emails with the editor – the first occasion being when I read criticism of Catholic education in the newsletter. I’d just qualified as a teacher in a Catholic school and was livid that a Catholic publication would slate Catholic education. In this email, I took great pleasure in telling the editor that those involved with Catholic Truth were excommunicated because they denied the authority of an Ecumenical Council!

Despite my initial condemnation of Catholic Truth, and my Modernism, I volunteered to meet with the editor. However, a priest put me off by defaming the professionalism of the editor, telling me that she had a “failed teaching career” (nothing could be further from the truth). So, I pulled out. In fact, I just didn’t turn up!

During my three years as a Protestant, I lost interest in the newsletter and subsequently missed the launch of the blog. It was only when I returned to the Faith that I returned to reading Catholic Truth. By this time the blog was up and running. I took this as an opportunity to prove my re-found fidelity to the Catholic Faith and set out to put these schismatics to rights!

However, it didn’t quite work out as I planned. The clarity of the comments, alongside the charity of the bloggers had a profound effect on me. I began to wonder what went wrong with my Catholic formation and made a decision that I wouldn’t allow this to happen to my children. The bloggers exercised tremendous patience with me. The best piece of advice I received was to attend the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for six weeks and I was assured that I would never want to return to the Novus Ordo Missae. This advice changed my life.

Not only has it changed my life, it’s changed the life of my wife, who, whilst not contributing to the blog, is a regular reader. Its coverage of issues in education was instrumental in our decision to home educate our children. Thanks to the blog, only our oldest child has been to a Novus Ordo Mass, but thankfully he has no recollection of it. So, the influence of the blog extends beyond me personally.

I became a regular blogger because it was the only place I could receive support and guidance as a Catholic, outside of the Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. Eleven years later, I am still there, perhaps not as much as I once was due to family and work commitments. It’s not all been plain sailing, I’ve had more arguments and fallings out with the editor than I’ve had hot dinners! [Ed: always his fault 😀 ) However, if I’m honest, I have to say that without the Catholic Truth Blog I might not be where I am now. Without the friendship of the editor and the extended Catholic Truth team, family life in our household would be vastly different… and not for the better. I wouldn’t hesitate in saying that the Catholic Truth Blog has been the most important contribution to authentic Catholic life, both in Scotland and far beyond, in the last twelve years. Please, God, long may it continue!


Comments invited…   

72 responses

  1. That is a wonderful story and the perfect reason for keeping the blog open.

    I know that I speak of a lot of people when I say what great news it is that the blog is not to close after all. It’s the only really Catholic presence on the internet in Scotland. Petrus’s story and this news has made my day!

      • It is with a great sigh of relief that I read that you will keep this site open. Although I do not make many contributions, I do read it very regularly and I much appreciate both its presence and the contributors also. Thank you Madam Editor. God bless. Ad multos annos.

        • John,

          I almost missed your comment – thank you for your kind encouragement.

          Your contributions are always more than welcome, and all the way from sunny Australia. Which reminds me, I must check out the latest on Cardinal; Pell’s appeal. Praying that he is released soon.

  2. Dear Editor,

    I commend you for your excellent work over the years with Catholic Truth. Though I am rather limited in what I can contribute since I’m an ocean and half a continent away in Kansas, USA, I have always appreciated seeing your posts and knowing that someone in Scotland was still in the fight for the faith.

    I also commend Petrus for his wonderful conversion story. He presented very clearly why Catholic Truth should remain firmly planted where it is and should continue to be the beacon shining from the land of the Scots till the whole Church is made right again.

    This is the work of the Catholic press, or as we’d say nowadays, Catholic media–to hold the line of the faith and work to convert souls to the Church. I think if we search our memories, we all have similar stories to tell. For myself, if it had not been for TAN Books, the Remnant (in the days of Walter Matt), the Maryfaithful (of the late Fr. Frederick J. Nelson), the Angelus (in the days of Fr. Hector Bolduc and Fr. Carl Pulvermacher, OFM Cap.), and of course Our Lady’s Rosary, I would have lost my way in the early days of the Novus Ordo and lost my mind in one of the state universities in New York State. As it was, I had long searching to do before I found my vocation and the niche Our Lord and Lady wanted me to fill. But I can say without hesitation that without the view of the wider world of Tradition through the Catholic press, I would have been isolated. As it was, I know I felt in those early years that I was the only one who knew what had happened to the Church, but that there was nobody to support my knowledge with theirs or assist me to find my place in the fight.

    So Petrus is absolutely right, Editor. As long as God gives you the strength, keep up the good fight for the faith with this blog. And when you feel you can go no farther yourself, I’m sure Our Lady will send you someone to take the reins from you, to continue to help souls like Petrus to find the truth and save their souls and the souls of others. May Our Lord and Lady continue to bless you and your blog with all the graces necessary in the long fight for the faith and the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

    • Gandalfolorin,

      Absolutely delighted to hear from you!

      I am overwhelmed by the generous comments on this thread, not least from your good self. I can only repeat what I said in my farewell speech on retirement from work, suitably adapted for the blog decision: if I had known you were all going to say such nice things about the blog, I’d have threatened to close it down ages ago” 😀

      Petrus’s story is truly encouraging and it served to remind me of the wonderful truth that God will use anyone, anywhere, including we humble bloggers (even in not-so-sunny Scotland!) to contribute to His work of salvation.

      However, it also serves to remind me that, for God to achieve His will in our lives, we need to co-operate with His grace, and so Petrus, himself, has played no small part in finding his true home in the traditional Mass and Faith. God had big plans for Petrus – that is clear now, and I don’t just mean that he is an excellent blogger, columnist, and video-contributor for CT… Drum roll…

      For those who may have lost touch with Petrus’s family situation, I think you will be delighted to learn that he is now a father of five children, soon (in October) to become six. Please remember that intention (a sixth safe delivery) in your prayers. His children are a delight and his lovely wife is very generous in the time she allows him to participate in the CT apostolate. Most women would be complaining. But not Mrs Petrus. As long as he’s home by the agreed deadline, she’s fine with it. Otherwise…

      Not sure when that photo was taken 😀

      How interesting, Gandalfolorin, that your own story is fairly similar to that of Petrus – it underlines for me the fact that it is a sobering and humbling thought to realise the importance of the written word, and how it can be used by God to achieve great things for the salvation of souls.

      So, thank you, again; it’s been great to hear from you – and feel free to drop by anytime, as often (or seldom!) as you can manage. You’re always welcome here. We have our regular Ohio blogger (RCA Victor), our sometime (I forget which State) blogger Margaret USA, but nobody – except you – from Kansas, so be assured always of a warm welcome.

      • Dear Madame Editor,

        I’m in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia (where we declared our independence 243 years ago come this July 4th 😉).

        Seriously, I beg you in the name of Our Lady of Sorrows to keep Catholic Truth Scotland going.

        So far as I know, CT is the only site in Europe that is connected with the Fatima Center USA and promotes the full Message of Fatima.

        If (God forbid!!!) you close down CT, there will be millions in the UK and around the world who won’t have the opportunity to learn about the full Message of Fatima.

        So I beg you – please, please, please keep CT going!

        Yours in Christ the King,

        Margaret USA 🇺🇸

        • Margaret USA,

          That’s it… Pennsylvania… how could I forget! Thank you for not taking offence at my poor memory.

          And thank you for emailing me this link to a very interesting account of the positive reaction of teenage boys to the TLM.

          Thank you, too, for your kind encouragement to keep open the blog – I hadn’t even thought that we are the only site in Europe connected to the Fatima Center… WOW!

          So, take it as done and dusted – we’re here for the duration. Indeed, one of my young Great Nephews offered his opinion on the proposed closure of the blog when he urged me to keep it open and then “never to mention closing again” – OK, but I reserve the right to consider closure when the Consecration of Russia has been completed 😀

  3. I don’t know if you have “left field bleachers” in Scottish sports venues (as in American baseball), but that’s where I was, spiritually, when I returned (reverted) to the Church in 1999, and my conversion story would probably make Editor and Petrus turn pale. However, I had already reverted when I came across “Catholic Truth” in 2008, and that only because I received a surprising invitation to address their Conference. I resisted stubbornly at first, but was eventually lured to Scotland by promises of plentiful chocolate and free Columbo re-runs in my hotel room.

    That said, I vote against “blogsit.” This blog is far and away the best source of Catholic truth, precision, clarity and sanity on the Internet. We do have our sidebar moments, but so what? We’re only human, imperfect creatures (except for Editor, of course…). And one more thing: we address the errors and scandals of our clergy by presenting and affirming what we have received from Tradition, not by ad hominem attacks and the screwball theories that are so rampant on so many blogs today.

    I should add that I have an additional motivation for wanting the blog to remain open: I’ve never before had paychecks with so many zeros….

    • RCA Victor,

      It seems like only yesterday I was en route from the airport to your hotel, having picked you up when you came to speak at our 2008 Conference. If you recall, I failed the very first intelligence test when you asked me for the statistics for the population of Glasgow, and I replied “quite a lot of people plus me…” I remember telling a friend who came up from England later that year to see me, and she replied “You see, that’s the question a man would ask… I woman would say ‘where are the shops?’! That made me feel better. I knew/know where all the shops are!

      As for your talk. How could I forget it? I mean, there was a modernist religious Sister at that Conference and she said that YOUR talk was her favourite of the day. Reflect… 😀

      As for those zeros – your comment above has earned you a raise… add two. Instead of $000.000, you are now on Senior Management pay at $000.000.00 😀

      Seriously, RCA Victor, I’m taking this opportunity to thank YOU for all your work on this blog – your contributions are always worth reading and you are a genius at finding just the right link/article(s) to post.

      So, a very big “thank you” – well, for now anyway. It’ll be back to normal tomorrow!

  4. Thanks for also leading me to see the Errors of your ways Ed 👍. Only kiddin of course. What a Marvellous letter . When Christ said when he returns will he find any Faith on Earth am sure that the Answer will be yes . God Bless All .

    • FOOF,

      As always, you make me laugh – “the error of my ways” indeed. As if 😀

      You are more than generous in your encouragement – much appreciated. At this rate, you, too, will be promoted to Senior Management – by Christmas 2050 at the latest 😀

  5. Editor,
    I totally agree with Petrus.
    Please, remain, no one will take over!
    Whatever the number of participants, your blog is still a very useful mode of reflection and exchanges…

    • Lionel (Paris),

      Thank you – that point was made by a lot of the people who contacted me to encourage us to remain open; and I’ve come to realise that they are right. Doesn’t matter how many or how few are contributing, as long as the content is sound.

      And with the brilliant group of bloggers we have here, not least from the land of Notre Dame (!) how can it be otherwise!

      • Editor,
        Indeed, you have a brilliant group of bloggers!
        It is absolutely indisputable, I wonder if you have not selected them!
        I am sure that you had been an excellent teacher!…

        • Lionel,

          That falsehood about my “failed teaching career” came, originally, from a priest in England, where I had been forced to resign from the post of Head of Religious Education in a Catholic Sixth Form College following a campaign by militant modernists. Unfortunately for him, on one of the occasions that he peddled this falsehood, one of my former students was present and he pointed out that this was just not true, that the A Level results, for example, had improved year after year following my appointment. For a priest in Glasgow to repeat this falsehood, thus defaming my professionalism, is scandalous.

          And – something the above student may not have known but which is a matter of record because our attendance figures for General RE classes in sixth form colleges had to be sent to a central body – the attendance at the General RE lessons (where there was no academic exam and certificate award, and thus were notoriously poorly attended across the sector) rose dramatically while I was in post, and were the highest in the sector in England at that time. I had created a programme of lessons which tied up Catholic teaching with the contemporary controversies, to allow students to see and understand the reasons for the Church’s teaching. That programme infuriated the modernists – one of the most vociferous of whom moved, in due course, I was told, to an ecumenical college 😀 Here are a few extracts from the Department booklet under the heading Course Content:

          The Origins Debate

          Did you know that belief in evolutionary theory may clash with key Christian teaching? We seek to promote informed debate on the issues.

          Examining Sexual Morality – Education in Chastity

          How DOES one explain why the Church seems to be out of step with modern society on sex? A study of Catholic teaching in a positive light makes all the difference!

          Religion in Literature

          What do poets, novelists and playwrights have to say about God and the human condition?

          Would you believe it?

          Examining the supernatural is always thought-provoking. For example, DID Mary, the Mother of Christ really appear to three children in 1917? IS there really a Hell?

          Living Catholicism

          “Just because the Pope says it, I don’t need to accept it…” In this module we examine the roots and extent of the Church’s authority in the lives of ordinary Catholics.

          The above are just a few examples – there were others, including medical ethics, priesthood, religious life, spiritual helps, e.g. pilgrimages etc. A favourite of mine was “Gospel or Human Values?” – spot the difference!

          Anyway, I conducted “satisfaction” surveys with the students (as per the fashion in education at that time) and received very positive feedback – including from students who were not Catholics.

          After my resignation, an elderly priest in the diocese sent me a newspaper cutting from the local newspaper reporting that the sixth form students in that college were protesting having to attend General RE, regarding it as a waste of time, when they could be getting on with A Level work. Attendance had dropped dramatically after my resignation.

          It is shameful that any priest would tell people that I had a “failed” career without ever meeting me, let alone discussing the reasons for my resignation and my history of results. For the record, too, note that the English priest who launched that falsehood went on the record in the diocesan newspaper to promote, in very positive vein, Eucharistic Services on Sundays if no Mass available. Need I say more?

          So, thank you Lionel for your kind support. I definitely wouldn’t class myself as an “excellent” teacher – I was always aware of my shortcomings – but to accuse me of being a “failed” teacher is unjust given that I was not allowed the opportunity to defend my professionalism.

          • Editor,
            All the more reason to continue the blog! after this ignominy, it is more than ever necessary…
            I suspected that you had been downright PERSECUTED by the “ravening wolves”…
            Congratulations, for me you are a hero.
            I must admit that I am proud of you; continue this salutary work! do not be fooled by these people! they are simply apostates who have invested the sanctuary and who dare speak to us of love and fraternity in length of speech; but their words produce only “poisoned fruits”…

            • Lionel,

              Thank you for your more than generous words, but I don’t think of myself as having been “persecuted”. I’m not the only teacher who has been targeted by modernists in Catholic schools, truth be told. I remember hearing about one young man in an English archdiocese who was called in and “encouraged” to look for a teaching post using his other qualification (I think he was qualified to teach English as well as RE). The very typically modernist religious Sister RE Adviser promised him a good reference if he applied for an English post but they just couldn’t, she insisted, have pupils being taught the rosary during RE lessons (when, I dare say, they could be learning about the Muslim call to prayer!)

              So, I’m not unique, believe me. Uniquely glamorous, slim, witty, intelligent, yes, all of that I grant you – but I’m no hero, more’s the pity. 😀

    • Stephen,

      Whoever you are, you are not on our emailing list and a quick look at our hard copy mailing list doesn’t show up any “Stephens”. Also, given that it’s not that long since we reduced our mailing list, having explained to readers that they needed to give me written permission to keep sending it if they wished to remain on the list, it’s a bit odd that you are now asking to be removed, and that in such an insulting manner. In short, you are not on either of our mailing lists, so there has to be a reason for your intervention here. If “Stephen” is not your name, then you need to write to me under your own name and I will – with great joy, to the point of delirium – remove you from our mailing list. We are definitely NOT into casting pearls, if you get my drift…

      So, if you’re not really “Stephen” and/or you’re NOT on our mailing list, do you know what my best guess is? Well, only a few moments ago, I received an email from someone who knows the identity of the Glasgow priest who spread the falsehood that I had a “failed” teaching career.

      Guess why he emailed just now? Guess what he wanted me to know?

      Drum roll…

      He wanted me to know that that same priest is a failed priest – that he has abandoned his priestly ministry. What a turn up for the books.

      Is that YOU “Stephen”? If so, you are in my prayers, but NOT on our mailing list.

      God bless

  6. I can hardly add to what others have said so eloquently, except to confirm that the pay cheques do contain many zeros! My only sorrow is that too few take advantage of the blog to interact with fellow Traditional Catholics. Many more need to contribute to the blog. We already know that many read it.

    One thing that seems to have come out of the comments thus far is that many long time contributors like myself now find that we don’t have the same time we once had, which is why it is so important that more readers contribute. No need for degrees in theology, patristics, philosophy or even English to participate, just a shared love of the faith and a shared zeal for the salvation of souls.

    Yes, we have our differences of opinion at times because we are human, as someone else remarked, and we do make mistakes, though with the best of intentions, but the fact is we do what we can in very trying circumstances. Traditional Catholic resources like this blog are rare today and should be taken advantage of by those who genuinely care about their salvation. Reading is perfectly fine, but contributing is even better.

    • Athanasius,

      You have given many hours of contributions to this blog and we fully appreciate your time and energy. The fact that you have a very demanding job, which entails hours of driving (tiring in itself) plus important home commitments, is a rebuke to those who make weak excuses for not participating in our humble efforts to counteract the damage being done to the Church’s teaching and credibility by the ongoing (and apparently never-ending) scandals hitting the headlines day in and day out.

      A huge “thank you” for your contributions… and these are not mere words of gratitude – watch those zeros increase over time ( a very LONG time 😀 )

      • Editor

        If I remember correctly “electronic logic” consists of a combination of ones and zeros. You need to take a basic technology course to compliment your accountancy skills!!

        Many thanks for your kind words and for your understanding of the many demands on my time these days. I will still try to contribute as often as I can, especially when all those new bloggers realise their duty and come on bursting with zeal.

  7. If ever there was a time to fold up and go home – it is not under this very bad pontificate. Confusion lies, and cover-ups are the order of the day – Catholic Truth is a beacon of light in these dark times.

    • Graeme,

      Not a man, as the Scots song goes, “tae throw a word away”!

      Thank you very much for your kind, succinct, words of charitable encouragement. “A beacon of light”… no small compliment, hugely appreciated.

      • Yes, I second what Graeme has said. We need the blog more than ever, we are coming, I think to very crucial times. It is evident that this blog is not not just a Scottish blog but a world wide blog that is desperately needed. If you close it, you leave a vacuum for enemies of the Catholic Church to fill and souls will be lost through the confusion.

        • Jean Marie,

          Thank you for your encouraging words. Yes, the idea that – if we closed – we would be creating a vacuum which might be filled by modernists, was an argument that did give me pause for thought at one point.

          Having said that, I don’t see modernists running a blog for any length of time. The truth has power – modernism doesn’t. It would soon fizzle out.

  8. Delighted to learn that the blog may remain open. As others have said it is a beacon and also a sanctuary for traditional Catholicism.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. You were among the first to plead the case for keeping open the blog, so I’m glad to oblige!

      I know that you have experienced great difficulty for a long time now, trying to log in, so thank you, too, for persevering with that problem. Welcome back!

  9. Editor,

    I’ve been thinking about why this blog does not appear on the “blog rolls” of the well-known blogs, like Rorate Caeli or Father Z (I’m not going to name others). Just speculating here, but I think one reason might be that we almost always discuss articles from other websites, rather than original material from yourself or key bloggers.

    With that in mind, following up on Athanasius’ comment that we need to get more readers to contribute, it might be interesting,to post articles from the newsletter more often – articles which, unlike the blog, are usually original.

    Also (and I don’t know how to do this), another way to experiment with attracting a wider audience, and thus more contributors, is to get this site included on the blog rolls of some of the prominent blogs.

    Granted, more contributors means more moderation work for your good self, but hey, you’ve probably seen every Columbo re-run at least 20 times by now, haven’t you? 🙂

    • RCA Victor

      I’m not so sure these blogs you mention avoid linking Catholic Truth because of a lack of original articles, etc.. It’s much more likely to be a throwback to the days when the SSPX and associated sites were considered persona non grata schismatics. They mostly see the error of their ways now but perhaps can’t bring themselves to suddenly start linking to sites they previously criticised or wrote off as “divisive”. Just a theory, though with a little past experience that makes me more convinced.

      • Athanasius,

        Good point. That thought had actually crossed my mind briefly, but then I thought, “Nah – surely they can’t be that stiff-necked!” I suppose they certainly could….

        Now, if only they knew how your SSPX District really feels about this blog!

      • RCA Victor

        It is only a theory and I could be completely wrong. I was, as you recall, banned from Fr. Z’s blog because I dared to challenge his insistence that the SSPX was a schismatic organisation. That was many years ago but a similar hostility came my way at that time from a more notable blog, which I will not name here now. It was the time when I was contributing a lot more to this blog (in my leisure days!) and was having articles published in the Remnant, the SCO and the Angelus, which obviously made both my own name and my blog name more widely known. I remember sending correspondence to the moderators of the blog in question numerous times, nothing objectionable or hostile, yet I never once received a response from any of them. It really hit home to me when a parent of one of those moderators died and I sent him a personal email of condolence, promising prayers for the soul of the deceased. I did not receive the courtesy of a reply even then, which really was disturbing. That, for me, was carrying hostility too far. Hence my theory, which could also be paranoia!!

        • Athanasius,

          It seems the modern Church is so fractured and disoriented that both the leftists (e.g. Pope Francis and his cabal) and the traditionalists have developed lists of “enemies of the regime.”

          This pervasive short-fused hostility points to a lack of charity in both camps: not only regarding their attitudes towards each other, but among traditionalists, there is also the frequent appearance of what Michael Matt called “the circular firing squad.”

          In short, the Catholic Church has become a collection of feuding ideological sects, just like the Protestants. Well played, Satan….but your time is almost over…

          • RCA Victor

            “circular firing squad”, a good turn of phrase from Michael Matt.

            I think the problem amply demonstrates that Catholics need a strong and healthy Church hierarchy if they are to maintain discipline and charity. When that’s missing, as it has been for 50 odd years, then of course those who are forced to go into emergency survival mode can, and sometimes do, get it wrong. Hence Sedevacantism on the one hand and the Indult types on the other with some other varieties in between, with all rigidly sticking to their own perceived form of Traditionalism. For me the only one who got it right from the start was Archbishop Lefebvre. His personal saintliness together with great wisdom and 6 decades of service to the Chruch and the Popes suited him ideally to know where lines must be drawn. Too many were led by Modernist propaganda to reject the Archbishop and his priestly Society for many years, only now realising that they were wrong. Had it now been for this one Archbishop and what he did to preserve the Mass of the saints and martyrs, there would be no Mass of the saints and martyrs today. Every Traditional group that has the Mass owes their eternal thanks to Archbishop Lefebvre.

            It really is that simple, I think.

            • Athanasius,

              Agreed on both counts – the shepherds have been struck, so the sheep are acting like the Hatfields and McCoys….or lemmings.

              I have to wonder, were the great Archbishop still alive today, how he would be responding to the current leftist regime, aka pontificate. Much more forcefully, I would hope, than do his successors.

              • RCA Victor

                Yes, I think Archbishop Lefebvre would have been a lot more vocal about Francis’ Pontificate than the present leadership. Sadly, saints of his calibre don’t come along very often.

                • Athanasius, and RCA Victor,

                  Please don’t get mad… keep the heid (tr “head) for RCA!) but one of our English readers sent me a link to a highly controversial article about Archbishop Lefebvre – he sent it a few weeks back but I’ve only managed to read it through this afternoon. I decided not to post it as a separate thread in case it caused mayhem, with complainants signing up from all over the place, so when I noticed that you two were discussing the Archbishop, I thought – voila! (or WOW! RCA…) I’ll post it here…

                  This article places a huge question mark over the sanctity of Archbishop Lefebvre but – as the author points out – there’s no use in reacting with angry emotion and dismissing the claims as false and fantastic, both of which they may well be. The writer is asking for someone who supports the SSPX to actually do some serious research, if they wish to disprove these claims, and guess who I think is best placed, the most likely brains, to do just that? I’ll narrow it down. Two people on this blog. Narrow further… two men… Narrow further again… one Scotsman and one American… You got it. 😀

                  Here’s the link

                  Remember, keep the heid… To work!

                  • Editor,

                    Speaking from the heid, this is an interesting coincidence, since a couple of days ago I received an email from “Preserving Christian Publications,” a traditionalist publishing house, concerning this question: “Why had Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Campos, Brazil “condemned” Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira?”

                    The email linked to an article, which may be found here:

                    I can’t really clear up any confusion regarding +Lefebvre’s alleged Masonic membership, but I am aware of a little background:

                    1. The Tradition in Action group, which is somewhat related to TFP (TIA’s founder, Atila Guimaraes – the foremost disciple of de Oliveira – was actually kicked out of the TFP because of his 11-volume set on Vatican II) has had a wild hair about the SSPX for a long time. Apparently the feeling is mutual, judging from the article you link.

                    This bad blood, in fact, has recently spilled over into a controversy down in Quito.

                    2. The claim that +Lefebvre was a Mason seems absurd on its face, given his opposition to the Vatican II agenda subsequent to the Council, and the various severe punishments levied against him by ecclesiastics who were themselves either Masons or Communists, or both.

                    3. As far as I am aware, the “Priory of Sion” is an entirely fictitious organization, worthy perhaps of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code.”

                    4. The article linked to the first one, entitled “Archbishop Lefebvre Used to Say the New Mass,” features an alleged letter from Dominican Fr. Guérard des Lauriers to the Archbishop. In fact, the TIA asks its readers for confirmation at the end of the article.

                    At any rate, all these shadowy claims and counterclaims leave readers merely chasing their tails, with the only guaranteed result being a flushed complexion.

                    Perhaps, if you really want to open a can of worms, you could invite the disputing parties here to lay out their claims for our inspection….though I doubt the SSPX would respond.

                    • RCA Victor,

                      I knew I could rely on you (and Athanasius) to cast light on the TIA claims.

                      What you have uncovered above is sufficient to cast serious doubt on “these shadowy claims”. So, well done. That’s your Christmas bonus for 2050 secured 😀

                      PS – do you NOW see why I’ve long had reservations about TIA? I could never quite put my finger on it, but I’m always slow to take anything they publish too seriously.

                  • Editor

                    I have hastily written and delivered the following refutation to TIA

                    Dear TIA

                    You may recall from the Gospels that Our Blessed Lord was unjustly accused, condemned and crucified by His enemies. Throughout His torment these enemies insisted that the burden of proof was on Him, the accused. It was for Christ to prove His innocence of the many false circumstantial accusations they levelled against Him. I saw the parallel immediately upon reading your case against Archbishop Lefebvre.

                    As you well know, the justice system in every civilised nation of the world insists that the burden of proof lies with the accuser, not with the accused. This is particularly true when the accused is deceased and therefore no longer in a position to answer for himself. Yet you present a series of wild assertions, some of them regurgitated lies long corrected, insisting that the burden of proof of innocence lies with the Archbishop, his successors and others who hold his memory in the highest esteem. Little wonder, then, that you have received so many angry responses from outraged individuals?

                    That you pretend to be a neutral source merely presenting historical accusations in the interests of clarity is disingenuous, for it is clear from the construct and tone of your article that you seek to do damage to Archbishop Lefebvre’s revered reputation while hiding behind a mask of honesty and integrity. This is shocking behaviour for which you will have to give an account at your own judgment.

                    Your star witness against the Archbishop, let’s say the basis upon which you build your case, is a former seminarian of the SSPX from the 1970s whose 22-year-old account appears on a linked sedevacantist website. The same site openly rejects every Pope since John XXIII, claiming that Cardinal Siri was elected Gregory XVII upon the death of Pius XII but then forced by Freemasons to relinquish the Papacy in favour of one of their brotherhood. Even more suspicious is the fact that this website does not have the standard “About Us” tab revealing names of owners and/or moderators. Indeed all the websites you link to in support of your case against the Archbishop similarly operate in the dark, not revealing their author/moderators. Are you catching my drift?

                    Having thus outraged objectivity you then have the audacity to summerise as follows: “So, for a defender to disprove these accusations, he needs to show either that the eyewitness was mentally ill or that the dates and facts are not exact. We hope that he can do so. However, until he does, the Archbishop is under suspicion.”

                    Really? It did not occur to you that malice is more likely at the root of this former seminarian’s account? Are there other supporting eye witness testimonies from the time, given that hundreds would have been present? Have you made any effort to check the dates and “facts” (?) this lone accuser provides in his account of events?

                    No, it’s not Archbishop Lefebvre who is under suspicion here, it is those who present decades-old unsubstantiated accusations that smack more of extremism and bitter zeal than any genuine love of truth.

                    Case for the defence:

                    “If one day they shall excommunicate us because we remain faithful to these thesis, we shall consider ourselves excommunicated by Freemasonry.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, sermon given in 1978).

                    “We know now with whom we have to deal. We know perfectly well that we are dealing with a “diabolical hand” which is located at Rome, and which is demanding, by obedience, the destruction of the Church! And this is why we have the right and the duty to refuse this obedience… I believe that I have the right to ask these gentlemen who present themselves in offices which were occupied by Cardinals… “Are you with the Catholic Church?” “Are you the Catholic Church?” “With whom am I dealing?” If I am dealing with someone who has a pact with Masonry, have I the right to speak with such a person? Have I the duty to listen to them and to obey them?” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1978, Ordination Sermon, “Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre”, Vol. 2, p.209, Michael Davies.

                    “The Pope can only desire the Catholic priesthood to continue. Hence it is in no way in a spirit of rupture or schism that we are carrying out these Episcopal consecrations, but in order to come to the help of the Church which finds herself no doubt in the most sorrowful situation of her whole history. Had we found ourselves in the times of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope would have been in agreement with us. There was not an occupation by freemasonry of the Vatican in its happier days.“ (Statement on Episcopal consecrations, 1988).

                    The words of a Masonic Grand Master? I think not.

                    • Athanasius,

                      A truly eloquent letter. I’ve perused the “TCW” website briefly, and it is not only the usual rehash of theories about the 1958 Conclave, it links to other websites here:

                      that speak of “Popes” Gregory XVII and XVIII, etc. It beggars belief that TIA would take anything on this or the linked websites seriously.

                      As for Abp. Lefebvre being a Freemason, this charge also smacks of a Masonic disinformation campaign against him. And it would appear that said campaign has found some useful dupes.

                    • After a little more digging, I think I’ve found the original source for Mr. Shannon’s “testimony”:

                      Scroll down to a post by “Pope Veritas I,” who says Shannon’s account is from “from pp 104-105 of Hutton Gibson’s book, “The Enemy is Still Here!.” He then posts, from the book, the identical Shannon account that appears on this TCW site.

                      Huitton Gibson, of course, is Mel Gibson’s father, and a sedevacantist….apparently still alive.

                      This gets more embarrassing for TIA by the minute…

                    • Athanasius,

                      You’ve nailed it there. Brilliant.

                      Let’s see if they come back – and if they publish your letter. That will be very revealing.

                      One thing that neither RCA Victor or yourself mention is the claim that the Archbishop said the new Mass after the Council.

                      However, that wouldn’t cause me concern; goodness, how many of US attended the new Mass after the Council? The idea that the Pope would permit such changes to the Mass if it were not pleasing to God, just didn’t hit home (for me, anyway) for quite a while, so if the Archbishop was similarly disoriented at the beginning of this crisis, that wouldn’t shock me at all.

                      Let us know if you hear from TIA – especially if they publish your letter, which they must do if they have any integrity at all.

                    • RCA Victor

                      Very interesting links, I’ll read them when I get back. I’ve been called out to work, just when it was getting really interesting. You’re right about it being embarrassing for TIA, I have never known that site to be so stupid. I reckon someone there is having a nervous breakdown.


                      The other thing I didn’t manage to get into my letter was the misogynistic description of women. The author of the hit piece speaks of men writing frantically in their objections to the article, hysterical like women. I paraphrase of course but the gist of it is that women are excitable, rambling creatures who can’t reason like men. It’s pretty childish stuff but it shows the mindset. So there you go, you must don your mantilla in deference to the superior man before you go reading that website again, lest you be discovered and stoned!

                    • Thank you, Athanasius – I hadn’t noticed that cheek about women.

                      I have to admit though, that some of us can be a bit dopey at times. I’ve been on Google maps trying to work out the route to Holy Cross, so that I can attend Father Dunn’s Silver Jubilee Mass on Friday, and I found myself waiting for the red traffic lights to change – I kid you not! 😀

                    • Editor

                      Do you not use Sat Nav for directions? It’s easy, put in the postcode and street number and a wee wummin talks you through the journey.

                      Anyway, you want to come off the M8 just over the Kingston Bridge. It’s a dual slip road, a bit bendy twisty, but stay in the right lane and just follow the flow round to the right and straight up that road through a few sets of lights (I think it’s called West Street). At the last set of lights turn right and continue along that road through, I think, two sets of lights. Upon passing through the second set you’ll see the road marked with a bus lane, enter that left bus lane just before the next set of lights and then turn left. At the end of that short road, turn right and continue up till you come to the bend. Just after the bend, turn left and continue to the junction at the bottom of that road (careful, it can be a bit blind because of parked cars). Now, turn right and follow the road straight up through several sets of lights for about half a mile. Now this is where it gets difficult, there’s a right turn into Dixon Avenue at the end of the rows of shops and flat entrances. Take that road and the chapel is around there somewhere. If you get into the general vicinity you can ask directions.

                      The other way to get there is to take that back road where old Sadie used to ride her bike, the road that has the big crow sitting on the fence gate just after the 4-way junction with the big mound in the middle where old Jock tips his wheelbarrow. Och aye, you’ll know the road I’m talking about, the one that has all the rabbits on the verge next to the wee cottage with the white bench where Betty sits and knits across from the spinning weather cock on the church spire in the distance. It’s dead easy, you can’t go wrong!!

                    • Athanasius,

                      I do have a sat nav but I like to check with Google maps so that I recognise places if possible. Anyway, thanks for your directions. If you don’t hear from me by Sunday, report me missing. Not to my family. They won’t look for me!

                      I’ve had one of those days, culminating in watching a young “P” labelled driver hit the back of my parked car in his failed attempt to do a three point turn, and then take off, without leaving an apology and insurance details. I managed to catch part of his registration and the police say they will see what they can do. Irony of ironies, if he had only waited to apologise, I wouldn’t have taken it any further, although there is a fair bit of damage; scraped bumper and damaged bodywork. My enemies reading this will be thinking “So there IS a God after all” 😀

                    • Editor

                      I wonder if the green “P” plate stands for pillock! Whoever was driving probably done a runner because of the probability that their insurance premium would go through the roof. The insurance companies are getting away with daylight robbery now, especially where young drivers are concerned.

    • RCA Victor,

      I’m told that we really need people with Twitter and Facebook and other social media accounts to link to our blog. I’m pointedly not on any of these sites, but if others here, ARE on Twitter etc. it would be great to link to us.

      I’m afraid I have my own, rather uncharitable, thoughts about why some of the best known “traditional” blogs and websites don’t link to us but I’m not due at Confession for another week and I’d like to keep it that way 😀

      As for my beloved Columbo – yes, I’m fresh out of recordings. So, don’t worry about encouraging new bloggers – all are welcome!

      A little while later…

      Feel free to submit original articles – if at all possible, I’ll be glad to publish and have our bloggers discuss.

    • DOTF,

      Hello, there! Great to hear from you. I keep meaning to visit YOUR excellent blog more often but the time is just racing by – I can’t see how I’m going to have time to do any Christmas shopping this year 😀

      Thank you for your kind words – much appreciated.

  10. Well after that testimony, I think there is no choice but to ‘stay in business ‘. As has been said, who knows how many more are out there.

    • Liberanos,

      That’s exactly what I thought on hearing Petrus’ arguments for keeping open the blog, and then reading his statement in black and white, left me no choice.

      So, that’s it – we’re hear to stay for the duration, with apologies to all our enemies 😀

  11. It is indeed wonderful to read of Petrus’s journey to Catholic Tradition. Who knows how many read this blog, from where they live in this world, and, there might be another Petrus or two who return to Tradition.

    • Theresa Rose,

      And we ARE read all over the world. It’s amazing, when I remember to visit our statistics page, to see the flags of all the different countries and international institutions listed.

      It is very sobering indeed, to realise the potential for good influence that is available to us, with the help of God’s grace.

  12. Regrettably it has been a long time since I commented on the blog. I too have benefited greatly from Catholic Truth. I became Catholic in 2009 at a Novus Ordo parish and I was not aware of the crisis in the Church nor the authentic message of Fatima. I believed all the canards about the FSSPX having read a calumnious booklet by Oxford man Raymond Edwards published by CTS. In my naivety I believed CTS to be an orthodox Catholic publishing house, and I believed what was published by them.

    After a period of abusive and mentally traumatising incidents at my former parish, I decided that I would attend the Traditional Mass exclusively. This was at Sacred Heart Bridgeton, where Fr Stephen Dunn was parish priest. When the Archbishop of Glasgow replaced Fr Dunn as parish priest I once again felt let down. It was here that I met a veteran Catholic Truth contributor who invited me to the FSSPX chapel in Glasgow. She corrected my misconceptions about the Society, and for this I am very greatfull. This was a crucial moment in my conversion.

    The editor of Catholic Truth also met with me shortly after I started coming to Mass at St Andrew’s church and she made me feel very welcome. I deeply appreciate this because I had previously been betrayed by the Novus Ordo church and felt rejected and isolated. The things that had been done to me were very immoral and my complaints were dismissed.

    I began reading and contributing on the blog around 2012 and I came to realise the true horror of the crisis in the Church. Without the blog I may have fallen away from the faith. In fact, in 2015 I did fall away from the faith. However, when I came back to Mass the Catholic Truth crowd were once again very welcoming of me. Catholic Truth and its contributors have a true apostolic spirit.

    I shall certainly be contributing on the blog in the future. It would be a great shame if the blog closed.

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      Welcome back! We’ve missed you on the blog. I recall your informative and well researched contributions in the days of yore, and I am now looking forward to more of the same.

      God bless you.

  13. Folks,

    I’ve been extremely busy all day, so just catching up now with the blog. Please don’t misunderstand, but I’m feeling a tad uncomfortable reading all of your very kind comments – by thinking of me as some kind of “hero”, you are heaping coals of fire upon my head. Believe me, I’m no heroine – very far from it. Now I sound falsely humble; goodness, a gal really can’t win in this place, can she?! Maybe I should let Mark Twain have the last word on this…

    • Finally a Cardinal who realises that the emperor has no clothes and is not afraid to say so. He is completely right to say that the West is being corrupted and invaded to its own detriment. As a small example one has only to look at Tv programming for what passes as entertainment: endless rubbish reality shows (Love Island anyone) even serious drama is invariably preceded by a warning about “strong language” ie obscene, and graphic scenes of a sexual nature!
      I have a lot of time for Cardinal Sarah and am currently rereading his book on Silence which is sublime. I hope he will do his best now to really stand up to the Pope though I suppose if he did so he would find himself back in Sierra Leone very quickly.

    • RCA Victor,

      Thank you for that link. I’ve not had time to read it through carefully but, at first skim, it seems to be exactly what Bishop Athanasius Schneider said at the time of the Notre Dame fire – which he metaphorically likened to a “spiritual conflagration” in the Church itself.

      Looking forward to reading it, though – and I hope Cardinal Sarah is speaking in the same blunt vein to the Pope himself.

  14. Petrus’s story is just something else. It’s well worth keeping the blog open just to make sure there’s a “safe space” for people in similar circumstances who need support through this crisis.

    I do believe this blog is unique in Scotland. It’s really needed, so I’m glad it’s staying open.

  15. I was very taken by Peter’s history. That was a work of grace, absolutely.

    I’m very glad the blog is continuing. Long may it continue!

  16. Editor,

    Since those reply columns RE this TIA flap keep getting narrower and narrower….let’s start over:

    1. Point well taken about your TIA suspicions. Mine are now aroused as well.

    2. As for +Lefebvre saying the Novus Ordo, like you, I don’t see how that disqualifies him from resisting the Vatican II attack on the Church. This kind of “reasoning” not only smacks of the “Resistance” smears against the SSPX (though they claim to revere the Archbishop), but also evokes the social justice lunatics and thugs who are running around pulling down statues of America’s past heroes because at one point in their lives they allegedly uttered or wrote something that fails to meet the modern standards of “equality” (standards which, btw, change daily, depending on which social network mob screams the loudest and hates America, and themselves, the most).

    3. This description of Mr. Christopher Shannon, the alleged eyewitness to the Masonic band, as a “bona fide hopeful for the priesthood” is rather strange, isn’t it? Apparently he didn’t quality to be described as a “seminarian,” so what was he, a hanger-on? Or was he a plant? I’m reminded of how Leon Trotsky was killed by a Spanish Communist named Ramón Mercader, an agent of Stalin who posed as a friend and resource in order to get close to Trotsky and kill him.

    I’d really like to see TIA come on here and address the expose of their fraud.

    • RCA Victor,

      I really AM having one of those days – I’ve just typed a fairly detailed reply to you and then accidentally deleted it.

      So, in short, I agree with everything you say!

      Especially your concluding sentence. If only

  17. Absolutely, this blog must remain open, so Alleluia! to that decision!

    As others have said, it’s one of the few sources of real Catholicism on the internet.

  18. Hi
    It must be a very difficult job running the blog. Could you not delegate or at least have a break from it at least during advent and lent?

    Editor: Thank you for your concern. I am unable to delegate, partly because, as you will see, there’s just nobody who is free to keep up with it every day – even the most committed of our bloggers has family and work commitment which must come first. As for taking a break – we do close down for Holy Week every year. Since allowing myself to be persuaded to keep open the blog, though, I’ve been dedicating less time to it. I feel, rightly or wrongly, that it is up to those who were quick and persistent to call for it to remain open, to dedicate a bit more time to it (some of the most persistent have all but disappeared, I note – more than one because they express themselves weary of the crisis. Me, too!) Anyway, thank you for your concern. I will keep posting new threads, if only for the record, but not concerned about who does and who does not contribute. That’s my way of taking a break – easing up, I think it’s called. I feel better already!

  19. I am from Croatia and read sometime this blog. On this blog IFound intformation about sermons from. Sebastian Wall, sspx priest. They are great. Good work! Greeteings from Croatia

    Editor: you are very welcome, Gregec. Delighted you find our blog helpful. God bless you.

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