General Discussion (17)…

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

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327 responses

  1. I posted a video yesterday on the miraculous medal thread by Fr George Roth,whom I had not heard of previously.
    This afternoon by chance I heard a homily he gave six years ago, and was impressed by it.
    The talk is about 30 minutes long but worth the effort to listen to it.

    • RCA Victor,

      I don’t think they care about blackmail any more – Schoenborn is obviously “gay” or he wouldn’t be so openly flaunting the “lifestyle”. He has been doing so for years now and between that and promoting Medjugorje, it’s clear that he’s about as Catholic as a hamburger with all the trimmings on a Friday.

      I recall an occasion when he over-rode the parish priest’s decision not to allow an openly “gay” man, living in a registered partnership, to participate in the parish council or some such body. This was a few years back now, but there’s no shortage of evidence that Schoenborn is all but “out and proud”.

      If he’s not, then he should watch the company he keeps and not leave himself open to being misunderstood. Those of us who think that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it probably IS a duck, make no apology for saying we think he’s a … er… duck.

  2. Some good news….

    If you recall, some time ago, Therese asked for our prayers when she was undergoing tests and, ultimately, as she prepared to go into hospital for a major operation. I have today received the following email…

    Just to give you an update. I had a hysterectomy on 20 November, and have returned to hospital today to find out the results. I had a Stage 1 cancer which has not spread beyond half of the womb (going to undergo radiotherapy just in case, to blast any stray cancer cells that may be out there).

    When I consider that this was an aggressive cancer I have been tremendously blessed that I received a very early warning and thus very speedy treatment.

    There can be no doubt that God has given me a great gift for Christmas – an early warning to pull my socks up, stop messing about and concentrate hard on the health of my soul.

    I am tremendously grateful to Him, to His Blessed Mother, St Martin de Porres, St Therese of Lisieux, St Anthony and St Michael Archangel, whom I have inundated with prayers and novenas, and also my very, very grateful thanks to you, to Patricia and her family [Editor: my niece], and to the lovely family of Catholic Truth bloggers who have so generously offered prayers for my health. I will be asking for Holy Mass to be offered for your and their intentions.

    God bless, [Therese]

    I’m sure we are all delighted at this news… Deo gratias!

    • RCA Victor,

      Unbelievable. Literally, so , as this extract demonstrates:

      The assertion that saying Judas is in hell is tantamount to heresy is surprising given the clear teaching of Sacred Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and the liturgy. As Cardinal Avery Dulles once explained in an article titled ‘The Population of Hell’:

      “The New Testament does not tell us in so many words that any particular person is in hell. But several statements about Judas can hardly be interpreted otherwise. Jesus says that he has kept all those whom the Father has given him except the son of perdition (John 17:12). At another point Jesus calls Judas a devil (John 6:70), and yet again says of him: “It would be better for that man if he had never been born” (Matthew 26:24; Mark 14:21). If Judas were among the saved, these statements could hardly be true. Many saints and doctors of the Church, including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, have taken it as a revealed truth that Judas was reprobated. Some of the Fathers place the name of Nero in the same select company, but they do not give long lists of names, as Dante would do.
      Indeed, Sacred Scripture, Pope St. Leo the Great, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Church’s liturgy are all of one accord regarding the fate of Judas Iscariot.
      Furthermore, as canons 750 and 751 confirm (as well as Pope John Paul II’s 1998 motu proprio Ad tuendam fidem), for any assertion to be qualified as a heresy it must contradict Divine Revelation; according to what the Church has proposed as divinely revealed, nowhere in Sacred Scripture or Tradition is it said that Judas is not in hell.

      it’s interesting that these ‘liberals’ (aka apostates) are so intent on making themselves looks open-minded and non-judgmental that the nearest sound-bite will do to reveal their utter ignorance / theological illiteracy.

      • Editor,

        That is a choice extract indeed. As for the theological illiteracy of the apostates, they also rely on two things:

        1. The theological illiteracy of the faithful, which they have helped to create.
        2. The automatic and unquestioning surrender of said faithful to the alleged superiority of their apostate wisdom. That is, false obedience.

        No. 2 reminds me of Abp. Lefebvre’s comment about the Devil’s masterstroke (regarding obedience), although i can’t find the quote without getting onto a “resistance” or sv website.

  3. Some news items:

    A CofE Bishop – Gavin Ashenden – formerly chaplain to the Queen, is to become a Catholic.

    Mr Ashenden once made headlines after criticising the reading of Koranic versus denying the divinity of Christ in the Anglican Cathedral in Glasgow.

    I am sure Pope Francis is cock-a-hoop at such an outspoken man converting from the CofE, absolutely delighted, no doubt. After all, he takes the Church’s mission so seriously! (ha!)

    Mr Ashenden cities the Apparitions of Our Lady, Eucharistic Miracles and the Magisterium as being what moved him to convert. Good on him.

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/anglican-bishop-and-queens-chaplain-converts-to-catholicism

    Also, Catholic Rob Flello – booted out of the Lib Dems for being a Catholic – is to sue the party. More well deserved good news for them, after their dismal election showing. I hope he is successful in his action.

    https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2019/12/12/lib-dem-candidate-deselected-because-of-his-catholicism-to-sue-party/

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Signed. And I’m so glad you corrected your initial typo, asking us to “sing this petition”. My singing voice isn’t what it used to be – and it was never very good!

  4. It seems that blasphemies against Our Lord and Our Lady have reached an unprecented level recently. Scarcely a day goes by without some new outrage being committed, and they get worse and worse in number and in intensity. Please would all CT readers seriously consider committing themselves to doing the First Fridays and First Saturdays of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 2020, if they aren’t doing them already.

    Details of each devotion here:-

    First Fridays: https://gloria.tv/post/bRaVRVECGptw44YgUX4pN8Hnc

    First Saturdays: https://gloria.tv/post/eBwpSmrNtE2h2W62bTV3jyJH6

  5. Westminster Fly,

    Thanks for those two links. It’s good to refresh our memories about these important devotions.

    I have made the FF and FS before but I think I will make them again.

    • Yes, keep making them! Sister Lucia of Fatima did them all her life, every First Friday and every First Saturday. Perhaps not so easy for people in the world, but with a bit of forethought and juggling around, it can be done. Our Lord complained to Sr Lucia that most people fulfil these devotions once in order to obtain the promises attached to the devotions, but not to make reparation – which should be the primary incentive in doing them. The more blasphemies multiply – and I’ve read of some horrific ones lately – the more reparation we should make. Start them again and continue them for as long as possible. I find that once you commit to it, and make it central in your life, and fit everything else around it, somehow it all falls into place. For those who can’t get to Mass on weekdays, at least consider the First Saturdays.

      • Westminster Fly,

        I think that’s good advice, to at least get to the First Fridays and Saturdays Masses. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, that just to do them once is more about getting the benefit of the promises, rather than actually making reparation. Thanks for that – it has struck a cord with me.

  6. Westminsterfly

    It is true that blasphemies have reached an unprecedented level. This is possibly why Our Lady appeared at La Salette, only two sins were mentioned blasphemies and keeping the sabbath holy.

    We certainly live in strange times when most people hardly think of them as sins anymore including a lot of Catholic’s.

    • John,

      I don’t tend to take the La Salette claims seriously although to be honest, it’s more about the fact that this Lady looks very different from she did in other apparitions, plus the crying/weeping. I really don’t feel sure about it.

  7. It would appear that Abp. Vigano is well on his way to becoming a full-blown traditionalist, as indicated by his response to the Pope’s attack against our Immaculate Queen and Mediatrix of All Graces:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-viganos-defense-of-virgin-mary-in-response-to-pope-francis-full-text

    An excerpt:

    “A few weeks after the conclusion of the synodal event, which marked the investiture of pachamama in the heart of Catholicity, we learned that the conciliar disaster of the Novus Ordo Missae is undergoing further modernization, including the introduction of “Dew” in the Eucharistic Canon instead of the mention of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity.”

    Another one:

    “Yes, because the Second Vatican Council opened not only Pandora’s Box but also Overton’s Window, and so gradually that we did not realize the upheavals that had been carried out, the real nature of the reforms and their dramatic consequences, nor did we suspect who was really at the helm of that gigantic subversive operation, which the modernist Cardinal Suenens called “the 1789 of the Catholic Church.”

    He does, however, still call JPII “Saint.” (emphases mine)

    • RCA Victor,

      That was all good news until your last sentence. How he can possibly think JPII was or is a saint, is incomprehensible to me, when he sees the rest, the “disaster” of the NO etc.

  8. Interesting that the SNP Government should praise Catholic Schools. There are no Catholic Schools.
    The Catholic schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow are filling up with muslims. Notre Dame in Glasgow is also going to admit boys. Why, I do not know. Decisions made by councils are usually the result of lobbying, bribery and stupidity.
    The past has been betrayed. Catholic parents paid tax to support State schools. They also funded private Catholic schools, especially in the West of Scotland in order to ensure a Catholic education for their children. This required self-sacrifice. Eventually the Catholic schools were brought into the State system. For at least the last twenty years Catholic schools have been subverted by the admission of non-Catholics.
    Without any opposition from our bishops, who continue their rounds of coffee mornings imperturbably.

    Editor: adjective for bishops removed; read our House Rules to see that no personal remarks are permitted. References to the acquittal (or not) of their office is permitted, but no personal remarks, e.g. about personal appearance etc. Thank you.

  9. Point taken, sorry. I was not actually referring to their physical attributes but their performance record in post. I’ll accept a Scottish Bishop is doing what he should when he is sent to prison for it.
    I’ll endeavour to be more precise!

  10. Can someone provide me with evidence that shows Christ was born on Christmas Day? I have read a number of articles of which I will provide a few here:

    https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/when-was-jesus-christ-born-was-jesus-born-on-december

    https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/how-december-25-became-christmas/

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/17/was-jesus-really-born-on-christmas-day-12-yuletide-questions-answered

    It seems Christmas wasn’t even celebrated in Rome until 300 years after Christ’s death, and only then to coincide with Saturnalia and Yule.

    • Catholic Convert 1,

      I always find this question interesting, because everyone seems to accept the claims about the date of Christmas being a kind of “takeover” of pagan festivals.

      These two videos are very good at answering this:

  11. My email to Gavin Ashenden:

    Dear Mr Ashenden,

    I am sending you this email to express my great pleasure and rejoicing at the news of your impending conversion to Catholicism. I am sure that Heaven is exultant at the news of such a prominent separated brother returning to his Father’s House. However, I urge you consider something before you take any steps. I beseech not to approach any Catholic Priests at the mainstream diocesan level as I did when I converted five years ago. That was a major mistake on my part. You will not be taught authentic and faithful Catholicism at a time when teachings on homosexuality and divorce and remarriage (i.e adultery) along with other forms of moral relativism are diluted, Likewise, Paganism is celebrated in the Vatican with the idolatrous worship of pachamamas. I strongly urge you to receive instruction from a priest of the SSPX, the Fraternity of St Peter or the Institute of Christ the King. The New Mass is a Protestantised Rite, condemned by Cardinal Ottaviani in the Ottaviani Intervention, which I urge you to read. To gain a true sense of majesty, sacrifice, sanctity and Divine puissance, and the Catholic worship which has nourished countless Priests, Religious, Saints, Doctors of the Church and Laity, I cannot recommend that you attend the Mass and receive the Sacraments in the Old Rites (1962 Missal) strongly enough. Also, these priests will benefit you as they will teach true Catholicism, and not Modernism. Ecumenism and Religious Liberty were denounced by Pius XI in Mortalium Animos and Leo XIII is Satis Cognitum, Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos and Pius IX in Quanta Cura.

    I will you well in your conversion and I pray that you will convert to Catholic Tradition and not the modern diluted version of Catholicism peddled by Pope Francis, which seeks an adulterous marriage between Christ’s Holy Church and the World.

    God bless you

    • WendyWalker

      Thank you for that link – I didn’t know who Gavin Ashenden was that Catholic Convert was writing to, but now I know!

  12. Just came across, by accident, some interesting background on Dr. Taylor Marshall, who has become rather well-known amongst consumers of Catholic blogs. Turns out he was the chancellor and a board member of SS. John Fisher & Thomas More College in Ft. Worth Texas, which had been founded not long before as a solely traditional Catholic institution with only traditional sacraments.

    This college was forbidden (!!) to celebrate the TLM by the new diocesan Bishop Olson, in 2014 (this was the subject of two Fatima Center videos, #77 and 78 in the archive, with J. Vennari and Fr. Gruner, RIP, in which they exposed the evil action of this bishop).

    After reading this article, I had to wonder whether Marshall was partially responsible for the demise of this college, having perhaps taken his complaints to Olson. Read it and you’ll see what I mean:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_Saints_John_Fisher_%26_Thomas_More

    • RCA Victor,

      That is very interesting and disappointing. Taylor Marshall did “come over” to the traditional Faith and sacraments in time (he was a convert and since some of us cradle Catholics also took time to join up the dots, I don’t suppose we can blame him for that).

      What I find surprising about the USA is how quickly such Catholics (Louie Verrecchio is another one who springs to mind) become leading commentators, able to raise incredible sums of money invited to speak at “traditional” conferences, and are quoted all over the place as “experts”. Strange? Or, are they really that good …

      • Editor,

        One of my Lenten resolutions this year was to all but do away with reading the gaggle of Catholics-turned-capitalists/experts/cherry-picking Council of Trent tree surgeons/etc. and stick to actual news and actual Church documents. As I believe I posted here back then, I concluded that all of them were completely missing the point: that we must suffer through this chastisement and do penance for our corrupt shepherds and for our own sins…while, of course, keeping the Faith (the hermits on the new thread seem to have missed that point as well).

        I also got fed up with “traditional” websites with cursor trackers, which, when they detected that you were about to go away, caused a pop-up to appear that said “WAIT! DON’T GO YET! WE HAVE SUCH A DEAL FOR YOU!” or some such other garbage.

        So let the money-grubbers and bitter blowhard pontificators go their way and keep doing what you’re doing. A blog and newsletter that issues paychecks with zeroes is infinitely more Catholic than blogs with cash-register spyware and podcasts which spend half their time appealing for money.

        But getting back to Taylor Marshall, if he is indeed responsible for Bishop Olson’s unlawful decree forbidding the TLM on that now-defunct campus, then he, Marshall, should be ashamed of himself.

    • RCA Victor,

      That is totally shocking, but I believe it can (and probably does) happen. The way this man has been treated is shameful, when all he did was tell the truth. There really is evil deep in society today. It’s frightening, actually.

      • Hi All,
        Does anyone know why Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon no longer present podcasts together? Tim now has his own show so it looks as though there was some type of disagreement?

  13. St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh to put on two concerts in spring to raise money. Barbara Dickson and some other talented musicians. Refreshments will be served at the interval state the priests of the Cathedral. You could not make it up!

  14. Does anyone know anything about Fr James Morris from St Gabriel’s church in Veiwpark? I watched a Mass from his church and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He wore a stole that was tartan at the top and had the words Mary’s Meals in the middle and figures at the bottom. Instead of a chalice and ciborium he uses a wine glass and glass dish, and appears to make up much of the Eucharistic Prayer as goes along. He plays the guitar and sings during Mass, and sings during the distribution of Holy Communion instead of saying “the Body of Christ. If you have nothing better to do tonight, and want to do a little bit of penance, there will be a Mass tonight at 5,30 pm

    https://stgabrielsviewpark.scot/web-cam/

    • Vianney,

      Surely that priest’s Masses cannot be valid? I’ve always understood the priest has to use the correct matter, which includes the sacred vessels, and as for the rest, it seems clear to me that he believes in the Real Presence as much as I believe in aliens!

      Could these Masses still be valid, despite what you describe?

      • Yes I agree Josephine, his Masses can’t be vail. The sad thing is that when he elevates the host and glass he actually say ‘my Lord and my God’, which would indicate that he does believe in the Real Presence but has a very strange way of showing it.

    • Vianney,

      I was very late home today and saw this just before 5.30pm. My internet connection is very unreliable right now – I’m expecting a new piece of equipment on Tuesday, so I was resigned to being offline until then.

      I have now watched that live Mass and couldn’t believe the half of it. If ever a priest loved the sound of his own voice, in both words and music, it’s this Fr Jim Morris. Goodness, what a patient congregation.

      If that Mass was valid, then I’m the Queen of Scotland…

      I’m giving thought to how to deal with this, since the Bishop clearly isn’t; watching the largely ageing congregation going up for Communion (on the hand, of course) and then back up (after reams of prayers to every saint under the sun) for some kind of anointing, I couldn’t help wishing I was outside with a very informative leaflet to educate them in the fact that they had just wasted an hour of their lives. There’s always next week, if anyone is interested in joining me! One of the most striking things about that Mass was the time the priest spent boasting about how many people are watching his live Masses, from all over the world, naming countries and the numbers really were amazing. People in Australia are contacting him to ask for other intentions to be added to his list after hearing him praying for them in their bush-fire crisis. In any event, I was one of those numbers this evening and I was watching in horror so I doubt if everyone who tunes in does so because they’re delighted with what they see going on at his “Masses”.

      As well as listing every saint alongside his/her patronage (pray for the unemployed to St Joseph the Worker and Margaret Sinclair – that sort of thing, a seemingly endless list) this priest prayed that Pope Francis “will get to put all his ideas into practice” – words to that effect, and I think that IS a verbatim quote; if not, it’s close). So, we all know where he’s “coming from”, as they say, and – without any doubt – where he’s going unless he repents of what might be considered sacrilegious, if not blasphemous Masses. For one thing, he preached about Our Lord being a “human being” – a common enough error, but not one expected from a priest. Christ was ALWAYS a “divine being” who took on our human nature. There IS a difference.

      So, here is yet another rogue priest in the Diocese of Motherwell. I wonder how many more there are? Fr Matthew Despard is really having his Faith put to the test. Effectively thrown out of the priesthood, in a Diocese which allows this sort of make-it-up-as-you-go-along (insert adjective) priest. Truly shocking.

      • Editor,

        You should contact Father Hollywood with the following prayer intentions:

        “1. That the Masses offered by him at St. Gabriel will be valid, instead of clown shows.

        2. That the Bishop of Motherwell will have a visit from three spirits at the stroke of midnight….”

        • RCA Victor,

          Father Braveheart more like – did you SEE that tartan stole? And did you hear that pronounced Scottish accent? Even our resident nationalist, Vianney, doesn’t speak like that and he’s a Scotsman with bells on, in a manner of speaking 😀

          I’m fast concluding that the Bishop of Motherwell has to be THE worst of the eight on offer in the Scottish episcopate.

          • Editor,

            C. S. Lewis said, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God `Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, `All right then, have it your way. ” Tragically, many people will have to endure eternity without God because they chose to live without him here on earth. When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realise that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in
            light of eternity, and that will colour how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance. Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention. The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears.

            “For many are called but few are chosen”
            Matthew 22:14

              • Editor,

                Life on earth is a test. It’s the nursery for the soul (if you’ll oblige me this metaphor) and is a temporary assignment. How you perform on the test dictates where you go next and, as can be evinced throughout the written Word of God, our destination after earth is twofold: Heaven, or Hell.

                God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Words like trials, temptations, refining, and testing occur more than 200 times in the Bible. God tested Abraham by asking him to offer his son Isaac. God tested Jacob when he had to work extra years
                to earn Rachel as his wife.

                Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather! He even watches the simplest actions such as
                when you open a door for others, when you pick up a piece of rubbish, or when you’re polite when communicating with, or about, other people.

                You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies. In my own life I have noticed that God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope by how I handle possessions, and tests my
                love through people.

                Every time you pass a test, God notices and makes plans to reward you in eternity. James says, `Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.”

                What plans, and rewards, might I ask, do you consider God makes for those who mock priests on their choice of clothing and their accents? Are you living as close to God as you would like to be?

                    • Marc,

                      Your response to Editor’s question reminds me of the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. You would have been as well writing “I thank thee, O Lord, that I am not as other men. I am so close to Thee, bearing all my tests so well, unlike this sinful Editor”!

                      I suggest you read Our Lord’s lesson for the proud and self-assured concerning the Camel and the gnat, for you have completely overlooked the outrage before God of a priest offering Masses that are certainly invalid and possibly even sacrilegious, fixating instead on comments made about his accent and stole.

                      I don’t know what kind of Catholic formation you’ve had throughout your life, but what I can say with absolute certainty is that you are not nearly as close to God as you imagine yourself to be.

                    • Athanasius,

                      Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the option to reply directly to you but, hopefully this message finds you, as it is directed to you.

                      My comment to Mme. Editor, I assure you unequivocally, was said entirely in jest. You may have missed the ” 😉 ” (winking emoji) which, I am told, is the agreed-upon internet means of following a comment meant in jest. If this is not the case, then please excuse my ignorance.

                      I, in fact, am not a Catholic so you can rest assured that I am not close to God in any way, shape or form (although I have been seriously thinking about becoming a Catholic for some time).

                      Marc

                      p.s. Thank you to both the Editor and Gabriel Syme for taking the time in answering my questions re: celibacy in the priesthood. It was enlightening, thought-provoking and very much appreciated!

                    • Marc

                      My apologies to you, I missed the emojo and I had no idea that you are not Catholic. Had I been aware of the latter misfortune then I would definitely have cut you a lot more slack!!

                      Thinking about becoming a Catholic is good, it demonstrates that God may well be a lot closer to you than you think you are to Him. I’ll pray for your intentions.

      • Editor,

        I wonder what the parishioners of St Gabriels think about the way their priest behaves . Have they become so immune that they can’t see that they are probably attending a Mass that’s not valid? The parish must be reasonably big as there are five Sunday Masses (if you include the two “Vigils”) and I can’t believe that in a parish that size there is nobody to do the “music ministry”, as I believe it’s called, and he has to provide the music himself. He’s obviously deluded and thinks he can sing but he had better not go on Britain’s Got Talent because he would be booted oot!

        Did you notice how cluttered the sanctuary is? All those chairs, I counted 10, two cribs, four lanterns, etc, etc. During Christmas he had two of those hideous fibre optic trees on either side of the tabernacle. The only good thing I can say is that he at least has a stable instead of just dumping the figures in front of the altar, as so many churches do now.

        • Just had a look at his Monday evening Mass. He insisted on singing and he told the congregation (all 6 of them) that there was Epiphany water with which they could bless themselves. At the end of Mass he pushed the Epiphany water up the aisle in a wheelchair singing “Our God Reigns.” You couldnae make it up! I think all those folk he says tune in from all over the world must think they’re watching a Scottish comedy show.

          • Vianney,

            “Scottish comedy show” – hilarious!

            It’s actually funnier than some of the real Scottish comedy shows. As you say, you just couldn’t make it up!

        • Vianney,

          That’s what I kept thinking watching his live-streamed Sunday “Mass”. Surely, I kept thinking, someone must disapprove? I think I’m correct in saying that the man at the front, accompanying the woman in the wheelchair, although they were seated on the left hand side of the aisle, crossed to the right hand side to receive “Communion” from the priest, and not the girl altar boy who was standing at the left hand side with a ciborium. It happened so quickly that I almost missed it, but I’m fairly certain that is what happened.

          If that entire congregation really is fine with those “Masses” then they need a jolt. We may do a very detailed write up for the March edition and order extra copies to take along and distribute at the end of several of their “Masses”.

          • Editor,

            Yes, you are correct about the man and the woman in the wheelchair, they did cross over to receive from the priest. What I find strange about this priest (among many other things) is that during his late morning Mass, presumably the best attended Sunday Mass, he distributes communion on his own without any help.

  15. This video is a perfect example of how the enemies of the Church work: their short-term goals not only pave the way for their long-term goal (to reduce the Catholic Church to a corrupt Protestant sect/harmless anti-Christ-supporting cog in the new world religion), but each short-term goal provides enticements to corrupt clergy to participate in the general debauchery, and receive benefits therefrom.

    Here we have on display a major short-term goal: a liturgical, theological and disciplinary free-for-all. This chaotic environment benefits homosexuals, who can then act with impunity (and approval) amidst the general anarchy and abdication of authority, and even openly militate for the acceptance of their perversion.

    A political example of this process can be seen here in the USA: the long-term goal is to destroy the American national identity and have our nation take its poverty-stricken place in a global socialist bureaucratic apparatus (for example, the EU). A short-term goal to help achieve this is open borders, which benefits the Democratic Party by importing new voters (that is, illegal aliens) who will vote for Democrats once they understand that they can be immediate beneficiaries of the welfare state. This massive influx of new “voters” will also change the demographic identity of America from a European nation to a tossed salad of confusing, conflicting ethnicities and religious beliefs.

    And this is what the Marxist demagogue in the Chair of Peter is constantly haranguing about….

    • RCA Victor,

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen the live “Mass” – or if there’s a video which I’ve missed. Explain yourself, dude! (My American accent just gets better and better, as I think you’ll be forced to agree…)

      As for the rest – pure gold!

  16. Does anyone know what a “decree of recognition” from the Church is?

    I ask because this link claims that the syllabus for Catholic RE in Scotland achieved one, and this was “rare and momentous”.

    https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/nl/ReligiousEducationCNHSreligiouseducationwebsite/this-is-our-faith/

    I am curious that text books, for example, would receive one of these, as opposed to the usual imprimatur / nihil obstat which books can receive.

    Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I think this means that Catholic RE in Scotland is satisfactory any more than a normal canonical status means a priest is reliable. (The old guarantors of reliability have long since become meaningless, of course.)

    I am just curious as to the term and what it implies.

    I suspect it is an exercise in doublespeak, and could be explained as the Holy See recognising that the course is indeed a syllabus for Catholic RE, while saying nothing as to it’s quality or content.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I haven’t heard that term before, but, it’s hardly surprising that Catholic RE programmes in Scotland (and elsewhere) will gain the Vatican’s seal of approval. Goodness, if atheists are guaranteed a place in Heaven, an RE programme is hardly going to fail the test – any RE programme, any test 😀 I presume from the title that it simply means, taken literally, that the Vatican is “recognising” this programme and that, of course, implies that it is sound in terms of Catholic teaching. If it’s anything like previous RE programmes in Scottish schools, that is unlikely to be the case.

      It’s interesting to note that while at one time we had at least a couple of teachers who would jump to sign in when we had a thread on Catholic education, keen to defend the indefensible, they have now given up trying.

      I have a copy of This is Our Faith which I will have digested prior to our Education Seminar, at which time the excellent panel we have put together, will share their views on it.

      • What amazes me about that video, is the reports that are in it, from Australian TV, where they are reporting that some of these fires are arson attacks, nothing to do with the climate. Yet, we are not having these reports told to us on our news reports in the UK. Is that deliberate, I wonder? Personally, I think it is, because the media is in hock to the green lobby.

  17. Look at this concerning story, linked below.

    There are claims that Catholic Military Chaplains broke the seal of confession to “out” homosexual soldiers, during the period when the Military sought to exclude persons with same sex attraction.

    I cant believe it, frankly. The allegations are very hazy:

    Campaigners say the priests broke the confidentiality of confession which could have led to dismissals and humiliation for vulnerable serving members.

    Then the article switches to more concrete statements when it comes to Church of England chaplains reporting people to the Military authorities.

    I wonder if this is really about CofE ministers – whom would be far more numerous, at least in that time period (90s) – and the Catholic allegations are just thrown on top to take the brunt of disapproval?

    it is completely unimaginable that a priest would betray a penitent in such a manner.

    The article claims Cardinal Hume acted to prevent the practice.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7878457/Defence-minister-apologises-Catholic-military-priests-outed-gay-personnel.html

    • Gabriel Syme,

      No way would any priest break the seal in that way – I would be horrified if that were true.

      Apart from that, and I’m sorry to sound cynical, but since there seems to be a lot os Catholic priests who are homosexual themselves, the idea of them breaking the seal to out anyone else, is too far fetched.

  18. Marc,

    My hat’s off to you, and to anyone else for that matter, who is considering becoming Catholic in the midst of this Passion of the Church, where the corruption of her human clerical members has become a stench all but obscuring her purity. This would be something akin to wanting to become Our Lord’s disciple whilst he was hanging on the Cross.

    I hope you will continue to pursue your spiritual longing, and if I may suggest it, please find a traditional Catholic priest to assist you on your brave journey. I’m sure Editor could supply one or two names near your locale.

    • RCAVictor,

      Sorry for the belated response, I have only just noticed your comment.

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I have already spoken with a traditional Catholic priest in my area. I did email the SSPX in Edinburgh to enquire (inquire?) if they had any intention of offering Mass in my area. They said “no” because the diocese offers the TLM and they won’t encroach into areas where that’s the case. However, they followed-up by saying that the aforementioned priest was, in their words, “a good, traditional priest.”

      • Marc,

        That is interesting, to learn of the SSPX attitude to areas where there is already provision of the TLM by others. The Society does maintain Chapels in some Dioceses which have other provision, but those are mostly instances of where the SSPX was present first and often the other provision was (originally) a reaction to their presence.

        What Diocese are you in, may I enquire?

        It is good also that the SSPX advised their opinion regarding the priests in your area. If a Diocesan priest offers the TLM (or is at least sympathetic to it) then that is usually a reliable indicator of a good priest.

        • Gabriel Syme,

          Yes, the email also mentioned that there were instances where local Bishops would organise the Tridentine Mass in districts where the SSPX had established themselves – presumably, to draw people away from them. I was assured, however, that this is not the case in Dundee (Diocese of Dunkeld), where I am.

          • Marc,

            I guessed you were from Dunkeld Diocese – I’ve heard that the Bishop there is the saving grace of the Scottish Bishops Conference – he’s the best of the bunch, if I could put it that way, LOL! So I’ve heard anyway.

            My only concern would be if you are receiving instructions from a priest who is still saying the novus ordo (new Mass). They are compromised in that they have to go along with a certain amount of the modernist abuses even if they say they don’t want to. I know that one of the priests in Glasgow who offers the traditional Mass, not only still says the novus ordo but even uses female altar servers. That is not an essential so the fact that he would do something so obviously wrong, such a major liturgical abuse, when he doesn’t really need to, means that he is not truly traditional. Offering or attending the TLM is not in itself a sign of being traditionally Catholic.

            Anyway, it’s fantastic that you are considering becoming a Catholic. You must be receiving special graces to think of doing that at this time of huge crisis in the Church. Some of us are doing the opposite, thinking of leaving, LOL! Only kidding really, but we’re only human!

          • Marc,

            I think many Bishops will today recognise the SSPX as bastions of orthodoxy and authenticity – even if they do not acknowledge this openly.

            Although the situation could still improve, I think there has been progress. For example, the current Archbishop of Glasgow is much more tolerant of the TLM than his predecessor.

            I think previously Bishops would try to undermine the SSPX, as you say, but these days the SSPX is probably way down the list of problems for the typical Bishop!

            That said, +Tartaglia has hardly promoted or boosted the TLM – but at least he has not attacked it either.

            Although not recently, some time ago I met a good priest from Dunkeld Diocese a few times, who said the traditional mass. He was from Glasgow originally but was ordained for Dunkeld.

            I certainly think you will be much better off in Dunkeld that some of the other Dioceses!

            I will be interesting to see how the SSPX expand in future, in Scotland. The UK district has a healthy number of seminarians (compared to its number of active priests).

            I would expect / hope for an increase to the 2 priests they currently have based in Scotland, in the not too distant future. (Maybe to the heady number of 3!). They also have an affiliated priest in Orkney.

            And so they might be able to offer mass in new locations, I wonder where they might target?

            It is very courageous of you to consider the Catholic faith – I hope you find this adventure fulfilling and I will certainly pray for you as you investigate!

  19. Can anyone tell me where I can obtain the film “Unplanned”? I see Amazon has removed it (!!!) and I can’t find another source. Thanks in advance.

  20. Fr Z reports an interesting snippet:

    An American Diocese (which asked not to be named) has come to the (obvious) conclusion that, in the coming years, the novus ordo will continue to fall away (as it is already doing with aplomb) and the TLM will maintain its steady growth.

    Accordingly the Diocese is beginning to plan for this, as regards allocation of resources, training etc.

    Here is a tweet referenced by Fr Z:

    Fr also makes the point that, in many places Churches are being saved thanks to being handed over to traditional orders who revitalise them. We have seen this in the UK, I can think of several notable examples in Preston and New Brighton, where ICKSP have taken over 3 Churches already.

    None of the gimmicky modern ‘Catholic’ groups – ‘Break-dancing Charismatic Catholics for Christ’ etc -would ever be capable of taking over, preserving and running a Church.

    • That’s very important news indeed. If even one bishop is now admitting that the novus ordo is on the way out, that is great. Some years ago, a Vatican cardinal said that he gave the novus ordo 30 years at the most, so it looks like he was right.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      What great news! I have a suspicion as to which Diocese this might be, but I’m going to keep it to myself. I also hope that Dioceses of like mind will stop calling the TLM the “extraordinary form,” which was a lame political sop invented by Pope Benedict to accompany the outrageous lie that the Novus Ordo and the TLM were “two forms of the same rite,” and call it by its true name.

      The entire Vatican II revolution is based on lies and deception.

  21. Does anyone understand this “Unite the Clans” business from The Remnant? It doesn’t seem like anything more than asking the numerous traditional groups to stop attacking each other and develop relationships….which starts to sound as vague as the attempts to define “ecumenism.”

    • RCA Victor,

      I looked up “clan” and got this definition:

      “a close-knit group of interrelated families, especially in the Scottish Highlands.”

      So, maybe all those American traditional groups are going to move to Scotland, LOL! I did laugh when the video opened with the banging which sounded like the introduction to a pipe band marching!

      These calls to put up a unified front are definitely similar to the ecumenical mentality and it makes me wonder if this call to “unite the clans” is a sign that Michael Matt is ready to throw in the towel. After all, if the leaders of all the other groups, like “his friend Henry Weston” had wanted to just sign up to support The Remnant, presumably he/they would have done so. The separate groups will have their own identity and ideas about how to achieve their goals, so it’s difficult to see how Matt’s suggestion would work. Does he see himself as the “Clan Chieftain”, ruling over all the “traditional” Catholics, who are “traditional” in varying degrees, from what I can tell. Many who think they are traditional Catholics still attend the Novus Ordo.

      • Josephine,

        Well said. What I was trying to figure out, more specifically, was what good it would do to “unite” all the traditionalist groups anyway, since we have no power to do anything about this apostate Pope, or even about the Consecration of Russia – except to pray and perhaps write to those who DO have the power to do something about this. Moreover, it seems that many of these groups have the financial wherewithal to travel to Europe and stand in silent protest in various public places, but again – what is that accomplishing?

        I don’t think Michael intends to throw in the towel, nor does he have aspirations of leading some united traditional front, but I do think he gets sidetracked by sentimentality occasionally – and this seems to be one of those occasions. Meanwhile, though LifeSiteNews is an effective orthodox site, they are by no means traditionalist. For example, they habitually refer to JP II as “Saint” JPII, and Cdl. Ratzinger as “Pope Emeritus.”

        I also wonder what Michael intends to do about all the sedevacantist groups out there. Now there’s a clan of a different color….

  22. Dear All
    This is so urgent and dreadful I thought I had better alert you to the fact that THE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW ..YES …is having a disgusting “””garden””””this Year sponsored by THE BODY SHOP…..Please see above the garden will include female genitalia ….can you imagine what upset this will cause …?I am hoping you will write in to
    CHELSEA SHOW ….LONDON GATE..ROYAL HOSPITAL RD….ROYAL HOSPITAL ..CHELSEA..LONDON..SW3…4SR

    BODY SHOP…INTERNATIONAL LTD…155 TOOLEY ST ..LONDON….SEI 2JP.
    .
    With your strongest complaints everything that is decent and lovely has to be ruined by these so called feminists everything for them revolves around their private parts ..now it has reached the flower Show please try and help me stop it Thank you

  23. DEAR ROSE MOOR ..MADAM
    I AM WRITING IN ABSOLUTE UTTER DISGUST TO LEARN THAT A FEMINIST IS BEING ALLOWED TO HAVE AN UTTERLY DISGUSTING PORNOGRAPHIC GARDEN …HOW CAN THIS BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN ?
    HERE IS AN EVENT THAT IS A JOY TO BEHOLD AND GIVES IMMENSE PLEASURE TO PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
    HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ATTENDS AND OF COURSE THE CHELSEA PENSIONERS PLUS PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SHOCK AND DISGUST AS THE LADY GARDEN LOOMS INTO VIEW WITH EVERYTHING TO DO WITH FEMALE GENITALIA ON SHOW
    THIS IS TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE AND ABHORRENT I BELIEVE THE BODY SHOP IS SPONSORING IT
    PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF DECENCY AND ALSO YOUR REPUTATION PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW IT TO BE
    CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS BEING TELEVISED BOTH DAYTIME AND EVENING ? SO MANY PEOPLE WHO CANNOT GET TO THE EVENT ARE GLUED TO THEIR TVS TO SEE THE MAGNIFICENT FLOWERS ,PLANTS AND SCENERY…..A LOVELY TRADITION RUINED
    I AM SO UPSET ABOUT THIS
    YOUR SADLY
    WENDY WALKER [MRS]

    My letter re CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW OUTRAGE

  24. On 1st of February, the Ugandan Archdicoese of Kampala issued guidelines regarding the reception of Holy Communion, aimed at raising standards and combating abuses.

    It is clear from some points that even modernist novelties (like EMHC) were being abused.

    However the big points are that the Archdiocese has banned receiving in the hand, and reaffirmed that persons in mortal sin should not receive.

    These are two very worthwhile points which should hopefully bear more fruit in terms of eventually eliminating EMHC etc.

    https://www.pmldaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/FB_IMG_1580638432531.jpg?_t=1580643984

  25. I would really like to understand the root cause(s) of much of the consternation on this blog. I understand that the Pope (and his recent predecessors) and terrible leaders – even I can see that – but, what exactly is it; what changes would you like to see happen that would make you content with your Faith? I notice, also, that the contents of the second Vatican Council is something which attracts much derision. Would you like to see the entirety of Vatican II renounced and go back to the way it was before then? Is that even possible? Or is it something else entirely? I’m genuinely curious. Thanks

    • Hi Marc,

      what changes would you like to see happen hat would make you content with your Faith?

      The moral teaching of the Church is unchanging – it cannot change, for absolute truth cannot change.

      What was true 2,000 years ago must necessarily be true today – for example that it is wrong to kill or steal.

      If you look at the home page here: http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/

      There is a rotating banner of quotations from Popes and Saints which highlight the fact that the faith is unchanging and can never to be altered. Some of them warn us to be very wary of anyone who advances novel ideas.

      “it is an error to think that Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine, applicable to all times and all men” – Pope Pius X

      A big problem today is that, for a variety of reasons, some Churchmen attack, undermine or ignore the unchanging truths the Church is supposed to proclaim.

      These include teachings which may be awkward or unfashionable in the current era: for example that Catholic is the only true faith, or that homosexual behaviour is morally unacceptable.

      People who think that the meaning of doctrines and words can change over time – to suit changing societal values etc – are called modernists and they are a big problem for the Church, for they disseminate erroneous ideas and falsehoods. They mislead the faithful essentially. This is very serious as it could cause the loss of souls.

      Modernists are every cunning as to how they propagate their ideas. Knowing the Church is protected from formally teaching error, they instead seek to advance through ambiguity or the tactic of saying one thing and then saying the opposite.

      Pope Francis is a classic example of this, his documents are ambiguous, he creates loopholes via footnotes, he repeatedly gives interviews and then denies he said what was reported etc.

      Modernists have largely controlled the Church since the Second Vatican Council. If you compare the mainstream Church of today, with the Church of the preceding 2000 years, you cannot help but note how starkly different it is.

      The differences are in how it worships, what it teaches, how it teaches, how it regards itself and how it regards false religions etc. it has gone from being a dependable rock, as Christ intended, to being a chaotic body which is in constant flux.

      Fortunately there are growing elements of traditional Catholicism, which will ultimately steady the ship.

      So really, authentic Catholics never want any change to the faith, only that it is taught faithfully, whole and entire.

      “Go and teach all nations” as Jesus said. But the mainstream Church has not being doing that in recent decades – instead it just wants to be ‘one of the crowd’, erroneously equating all religions, which is a grave error – and it has suffered decline and the growth of ignorance as a directly result.

      A good recent example if Francis and his “pachamama” rubbish.

      Would you like to see the entirety of Vatican II renounced and go back to the way it was before then? Is that even possible?

      Yes and yes!

      However it is important to note that at the time Vatican II was pitched only as a Pastoral Council, not a teaching one. That is, it was not seeking to instigate any significant, fundamental changes to the Church.

      But now, decades later, it is clear that in fact modernists used the Council as a gate of entry to instigating change: change which has proved disastrous to the Church and destroyed the faith of many.

      They did this through the tactic of ambiguity in documents. Statements which can be read in an orthodox manner, but which also are capable of being inverted and ready in a very different fashion. This is how they concealed the mechanisms of change.

      Cardinal Kasper, himself a young man at the time of the Council, has since openly admitted this:

      In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, open the door to a selective reception in either direction.” (L’Osservatore Romano, April 12, 2013)

      The goal was to produce documents which seemed orthodox, but which could then later be exploited through progressive interpretations of ambiguous statements.

      This is the root of where we are today.

      Of course some, notably Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, saw this danger early on but was castigated by all and sundry for rocking the boat and endured decades of calumny.

      Ultimately he has been proven right. Increasing numbers of clergy and scholars see this. But a problem is when they do not just say “he was right” but instead just keep insisting on orthodox interpretation of Vatican II.

      That stance is not good enough, because as long as Vatican II endures, the door to modernistic interpretations will be left open.

      Prior to Vatican II, the Church was supremely confident, dynamic, highly successful, purposeful, growing and virile – as Christ had intended.

      Nowadays the mainstream Church is doubtful, un-confident, rudderless, moribund and in decline in many places. Its bastions have been undermined and are in doubt. Rather than pursuing its divine mission, it wastes time glorifying false religions, seeking loopholes in its own teachings and arguing with itself as to its nature and what it teaches. This is the wages of the fall out of Vatican II. It really is pathetic and cannot go on.

      Ultimately, fans of Vatican II claim it represented “a new springtime” for the Church, but as time goes on we can see how erroneous this is. Rather than a new springtime, the results of the Council have been more like a harsh and barren winter.

      This is not just opinion, but in fact can be clearly demonstrated using a variety of statistics – number of vocations, number of baptisms, marriages etc, number of parishes and dioceses, mass attendance, fidelity to teachings etc.

      I am sorry for such a long winded reply, but I hope it is of some use!
      Others will be able to give better responses than I.

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Thanks for that. Just a couple of other queries: how exactly do you envisage the renunciation of Vatican II to happen? Will it be decided by a Pope, the Cardinals, who? Moreover, given that the Pope has referred to the New Mass and New Evangelisation etc. (the fruits of Vatican II), in Papal Bulls, doesn’t that then make it – for want of a better terminology – legitimate? Aren’t Papal Bulls considered infallible and, subsequently, does this not make renouncing Vatican II unachievable?

        Marc

        • Marc,

          how exactly do you envisage the renunciation of Vatican II to happen?

          As the Council did not define any dogma, I believe a future Pope could simply retract / condemn its documents.

          What I think would be more likely to happen, however, is that – instead of binning the whole thing – the documents would be reviewed and “corrected” where necessary.

          Such an exercise has already been called for, several times, by Bishop Athanasius Schneider over the last decade. I think it will ultimately happen.

          Others, such as as the prolific theological author, Mgr Brunero Gherardini, have already highlighted problems with the council documents. Notably in his book “The Ecumenical Second Vatican Council: A Much Needed Discussion”.

          More recently, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, of the then Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, clarified that individuals need not give their asset to the Vatican II documents in order to “be Catholics” and can legitimately question them.

          With these and other examples you can see that, over time, there is a slow but steady weakening of the credibility, authority and necessity of the documents.

          Where we are now is a marked change from before, when the documents were held up almost as law and no criticism or dissent from them was tolerated whatsoever.

          This process of change is slow for various reasons, no least because of human pride. The men who were the “young turks” at the time of the Council are now very elderly men in the Church hierarchy. It will not be this generation of men who fix the problems definitively, but those who rise to prominence in the coming decades.

          It is important to note that not all of Vatican II is rubbish. Bishop Bernard Fellay (of the traditionalist SSPX) once stated that ~95% of the Council was acceptable, but that he was unable to give asset to the Council documents while the problematic 5% remained.

          Moreover, given that the Pope has referred to the New Mass and New Evangelisation etc. (the fruits of Vatican II), in Papal Bulls, doesn’t that then make it – for want of a better terminology – legitimate?

          It is important to note that even if we may have some dispute, we must always recognise the actions and decisions of the proper Church Authorities.

          if we did not do this, then we would essentially be over-riding their authority with our own, which is in fact a schismatic thing to do.

          And the New Mass, for example, is indeed legitimate. The Church Authorities have declared it as being a legitimate Catholic rite and indeed the standard form of worship for the latin part of the Catholic Church.

          So, that’s it.

          This does not take away the myriad of problems and abuses associated with it, nor the fact that in its current form it is light years away (in the sense of being much poorer) from even what Vatican II envisaged Catholic worship to be.

          While the Church is protected from destruction and from formally teaching error, its individual members are till very much capable of making errors.

          Aren’t Papal Bulls considered infallible and, subsequently, does this not make renouncing Vatican II unachievable?

          The Church cannot change its dogma, that which is true. But, it can choose to change other things – for example, the discipline of clerical celibacy, as we discussed elsewhere.

          As Vatican II did not define any dogma, then there is no reason it could not be discarded although, as stated, I think it is more likely to be corrected.

          As for infallibility, a Papal Bull is only a public decree concerning some matter. They may be serious or relatively trivial.

          Teaching which are infallible are either when the Pope elects to formally define some dogma “ex cathedra” (from the throne) or if some teaching is given which is in perfect continuity with what has always been taught/believed.

          I enjoy answering these questions as it makes me consider my own knowledge, but – as ever – I am open to correction by persons better informed than me (of which there are plenty, no doubt!).

          🙂

          • Gabriel Syme,

            I was with you until this:

            It is important to note that even if we may have some dispute, we must always recognise the actions and decisions of the proper Church Authorities. [Ed: this is more than a “dispute” – we are in the midst of the worst ever crisis to afflict Christendom.]

            if we did not do this, then we would essentially be over-riding their authority with our own, which is in fact a schismatic thing to do. [Ed: not quite – this was the charge against Archbishop Lefebvre. There’s a bit more to it.]

            And the New Mass, for example, is indeed legitimate. The Church Authorities have declared it as being a legitimate Catholic rite and indeed the standard form of worship for the Latin part of the Catholic Church. So, that’s it.

            Er, not quite.

            In normal times, with a sound Pope and sound authoritative teaching, you would be correct but we were forewarned, as far back as four centuries ago (Quito apparitions about the Church in the 20th century) and then again in 1917 (Fatima) that there was a diabolical disorientation to come in the Church and the world. No longer can we confidently point to “Church authority” without making essential distinctions. Father Gruner’s excellent book “Crucial Truths to Save your Soul” deals with this topic – here’s the blurb, followed by link where you can read the book online…

            “Catholics today must understand the limits of the Pope and bishops’ authority. The faithful must study and know the Faith for themselves, and they must understand the sources of Catholic dogma — especially the solemn and infallible definitions of Faith. Every Catholic must know how to distinguish the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium — which never contradicts either the definitions of Faith or the constant teachings of past ages — from the heretical ravings of Modernist clergy.

            This book will show the reader how to do these things, and how prior generations of Catholics dealt with such times of crisis in the Church as we see today. This book is the survival guide that you need, in this worst crisis in the history of the Church!
            https://fatima.org/books/crutial-truths-to-save-your-soul/

            As for the new Mass – it never ceases to amaze me that readers of this blog and our newsletter fail to imprint the following facts in their minds – we have published them over and over and over again for years now, so you’re lucky I’m in a good mood today or you’d be getting it in the neck, our Gabriel. The following facts should be sufficient for any Catholic to know that the new Mass is NOT pleasing to God, cannot BE pleasing to God, speaking objectively and the Vatican – in response to a dubia from a Bishop in South America acknowledged that it was “legitimate” only in the sense that it is currently permitted by the Church but that it cannot be guaranteed as “wholly orthodox and pleasing to God” – DUH!

            1) The new Mass was created with the active help of six Protestant ministers which was a great idea because the stated purpose of creating a new Mass was to remove everything objectionable to Protestants – such as the prayers expressing the Faith of the Church in the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary, represented. Those six Protestant ministers have publicly confirmed that they were not bystanders offering suggestions but they actively helped with the creation of the new Mass. Cardinal Ranjith (I think it was) said it would be “gone in a generation” (just before he was banished from the Vatican back to his own archdiocese!) Does any Catholic seriously imagine that this new Mass could possibly be pleasing to God. On the flip of the coin, of course, if it IS pleasing to God then we can all attend it, no problem. What’s the fuss? Why the seeking out of the Traditional Latin Mass? I don’t get it. The key reason why I returned to the TLM was because it dawned on me, eventually, that the new Mass could not possibly be pleasing to God, knowing its genesis.

            2) The new Mass was heavily criticised in a letter/report submitted by Cardinal Ottaviani to Pope Paul VI prior to its introduction:

            The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.

            As for celibacy – as I’ve said very recently on this blog, citing an essay by Pope John Paul II, it really IS integral to the priesthood. The Anglican convert Cardinal John Henry Newman said that even in his days as an Anglican vicar, he knew instinctively that celibacy was required. So, even with married vicars the norm all around him, he knew that to be “another Christ” in the world, a priest must be wholly given to God. In time, after this terrible trial of unprecedented crisis, heresy, scandal and so on, I am firmly of the belief that this notion that celibacy is a discipline which can be changed, will be nailed on the head, and it will become clear, through some form of proclamation, that those who feel called to the Catholic priesthood must know that they are responding to Christ’s call to leave everything to follow Him.

            • Editor,

              I don’t disagree with anything you say, but will point out:

              Marc didn’t ask if the new mass was “pleasing to God”, he asked if it was “legitimate” and it is legitimate, as you ultimately acknowledge. I restricted myself to answering what had been asked.

              Perhaps I am understanding something different to you regarding “legitimate”?

              I took the meaning in this context to be a valid (if deficient) mass, introduced by the proper authorities, which fulfils our mass obligation?

              I don’t dispute its problems (which I acknowledged before) and that it has been a grave error to introduce it – which is no doubt symptomatic of the modern disorientation in the Church.

              • Gabriel Syme,

                Well, the ONLY definition of “legitimate” given by the Vatican Monsignor who responded to the Bishop’s question (which was, essentially, in what way is the new Mass “legitimate”? (I’ve published both the Bishop’s question and the Vatican response in the newsletter more than once) was to say that the new Mass is “legitimate ” only in the sense that it is a rite currently permitted by the Church … Talk about damning with faint (or rather NO) praise!

                I would ask you to recall the shocking “Mass” offered in St Gabriel’s church in Uddingston and live-streamed across the world – we discussed those “Masses” a few short weeks ago. If those Masses are “valid”, then I’m the proverbial Dutchman Dutchwoman! The key fact here though is that the fact that this new Mass leaves room for such desecration in itself makes it wholly UN-orthodox and displeasing to God.

                What people tend to forget when they argue that if the new Mass is “valid” then that’s OK – is that they are actually referring to the Consecration. If the Consecration is “valid” then the Mass is valid. Not so. Remember, the Church requires us to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day. We are NOT required to receive Holy Communion at every Mass. For the Mass to be pleasing to God, the prayers around the Consecration, as well as the rest of the prayers, must be wholly orthodox and thus pleasing to God. The Vatican Monsignor refused to answer that part of the Bishop’s question positively, but said, instead that he restricted his answer to the first part – that the Mass was “legitimate” in the sense that it is currently a rite approved by the Church.

                I would go a bit further than your suggestion that the new Mass is “no doubt symptomatic of the modern disorientation in the Church” – I believe that the crisis in the Church is a result of the introduction of the new Mass.

                Your problem, Gabriel Syme, which I’ve told you before, is that you are far too charitable. A bad habit – you need to be more hard hearted, like me, moi… In fact… (and feel free to apply the following “tip” to my unworthy self, next time our paths cross 😀 ) …

                • Editor,

                  Thank you for that interesting reply.

                  I recalled hearing about the response the Bishop got about the new mass (which you mention above) but I now have a better understanding of the reply.

                  I believe that the crisis in the Church is a result of the introduction of the new Mass.

                  I had not considered that before: it makes sense that the chaos had some spark to set it in motion!

                  • Gabriel Syme,

                    It took me a long time to conclude that the apparent withdrawal of grace within the Church had to stem from the new Mass. I can be extremely slow at times. However, I like to think that I make up for my slowness on the uptake in other ways…

    • Marc,

      I would LOVE to be able to answer your question – but Gabriel Syme has done so, and then some!

      He put the answer in a nutshell when he writes:

      …authentic Catholics never want any change to the faith, only that it is taught faithfully, whole and entire.”

      I recommend, strongly, that you book for our Education Seminar in May – not least because Gabriel Syme is one of our panellists 😀

    • Marc,

      I think that Gabriel Syme has answered your questions perfectly . But what do you think – has he assuaged your concerns?

      It’s my turn to be “genuinely curious” 😀

      • Editor,

        I agree that Gabriel Syme has answered my questions perfectly and I thank him for doing so. Sleep easy tonight , madame, in the knowledge that my “concerns” have been comprehensively, nay, indubitably “assuaged.” 🙂

        • Marc,

          That’s great, but take a look at my response to Gabriel Syme’s recent answer – I felt the need to clarify a couple of things.

          Catholic Truth at your service!

          • Editor,

            Thank you. I’ll read Fr Grüner’s book that you have linked at some point next week – I already have a reading list which is longer than a Wagner opera!! 🙂

            Speaking of links with Catholic books, here’s one that I discovered fairly recently. You are doubtless already aware of it but, assuming you are not, here is the link:

            http://www.traditionalcatholic.co/free-catholicbooks/

            It contains literally years worth of free reading.

            • Marc,

              Thank you for the link – always good to promote good sites; I did advertise that website in our newsletter not many editions ago but I often wonder if any of you read it, I honestly do – this is how I look when I’m wondering…

              😀 I want to add one book to your list which I think you would find very helpful. Entitled Iota Unum [“not one jot, nor one tittle (of the Law) shall pass away…” Matt 5:18]: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth century, by Romano Amerio.

              Romano Amerio was episcopal consultant to the Central Preparatory Commission of Vatican II and the blurb on the back of the book claims that he “has written the best book on the pre-Council, the Council and post-Council.

              I’m sure it will be among the free books available at the “traditional Catholic” website – definitely worth adding to your reading list.

              • Editor,

                I remember seeing the website advertised, quite clearly, in your newsletter. I was simply reminding everyone else, in case they had forgotten, that’s all. 🙂

                Just had a quick check and Iota Unum is contained within the literature on the site. It is actually at the top of the list in the section entitled, “Problems with the modern(ist) Church.” I’ll stick on it the ‘laterbase’. Thanks for the recommendation.

                • Marc,

                  You’re a quick thinker!

                  Yes, I’ve just checked myself – there are some terrific books on that site; I must try to find a space to link it on our website.

                  Iota Unum is really a must-read. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful. Plus, of course, Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics which is also on their list (and linked on our website, Links page, as well.)

  26. Three or four things of interest to me recently. The Rugby League teams in England are ganging up on the Catalan Dragons and are threatening to refuse to play them. This is because the Dragons have signed Israel Folau, a player who was sacked from his club in Australia and effectively prevented from earning a living there. His offence was to comment to the effect that unrepentant practising homosexuals would go to Hell. Allowing that we cannot predict the outcomes of Judgement, this falls broadly in line with orthodox Catholic teaching.
    I am not aware if any voices being raised in support of Mr Folau.
    Mr Mackay, late of the Scottish Government, was revealed has having exchanged emails with a 16 year old boy. He has been universally condemned by voices from all around the Scottish Parliament.
    Three years ago, three of the four party leaders were openly homosexual, Dugdale, Harvie and Davidson. Davidson apparently gave birth to a child by unnatural and immoral methods and was widely praised and lauded.
    Successive Scottish Governments have relentlessly steeped us in the mire of filth and perversion and this castigation of Mackay is an exhibition of utter hypocrisy and is further shameful evidence of this fall to the gutter. A boy of 16 is above the age of consent.
    This morning a married man, Phillip Schofield, has declared himself to be a homosexual and is being widely and publicly heaped with praise and good wishes.
    How low we have sunk.
    The response of the Catholic bishops, indeed any Christian, is complete silence, when the very stones should cry out. I have seen nothing in the MSM.

    A few weeks ago I did see Archbishop Cushley in a TV interview in respect of a report regarding the handling of abuse in the Church in Scotland. He come across as less than forthright, in my opinion.
    Such are our leaders. Those who should be foremost in carrying aloft the banner of Christ, in the forefront of the Faithful, are shirking the task, preferring to hide in the crowd.

    • Antoine Bisset

      You are spot on – our politicians could not be more confused if they tried, and our so-called Church leaders are a disgrace.

      The pity is, there is no lay person with the Faith and resources to lead a serious protest movement against both ignorant and negligent secular and religious leaders. Let’s pray for that to change, for a young Catholic, brought up in the traditional Faith, to respond to the grace to set about wakening up the sleeping mass of the people, both inside and outside the Church.

      For more on this theme, read about our forthcoming Education Seminar… Visit our thread entitled CT Seminar – Coming Soon! for more details, including how to book tickets. https://catholictruthblog.com/2020/01/26/ct-seminar-coming-soon/

  27. I found yesterday’s feast day thread too late and it is now locked to new comments.

    However, I just wanted to record here that I will pray for both Paul and Anthony as asked.

  28. Prayer in times of pestilence (Coronavirus!). The Stella Coeli.

    The town of Coimbra (Portugal) having been visited by a violent pestilence, the nuns of St Clare offered their prayers in the following form, whereupon the contagion instantly ceased. This holy prayer, left to the above-named monastery, has preserved many places from contagion where it is recited daily with confidence in God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has arrested this scourge in many places.

    Stella Coeli

    The Star of Heaven that nourished the Lord
    drove away the plague of death which the first
    parents of man brought into the world. May
    this bright Star now vouchsafe to extinguish
    that foul constellation whose battles have
    slain the people with the wound of death.
    O most pious Star of the Sea, preserve us from
    pestilence; hear us, O Lady, for Thy Son honours
    Thee by denying Thee nothing. Save us, O Jesus,
    for whom Thy Virgin Mother supplicates Thee.
    V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
    R: That we may be made worthy of the promises
    of Christ.

    Let us pray

    O God of mercy, God of pity, God of benign clemency,
    Thou Who hast had compassion on the affliction of Thy
    people, and hast said to the angel striking them, “Stop thy
    hand;” for the love of this glorious Star, whose breasts
    Thou didst sweetly drink as antidote for our crimes,
    grant the assistance of Thy grace, that we may be safely freed
    from all pestilence, and from unprovided death; and mercifully
    save us from the gulf of eternal perdition: through Thee,
    Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory, who livest and reignest,
    world without end. Amen.

  29. Dear All,

    A final reminder to join in the preparation for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry! And please get as many others as possible to join in. Even if you can’t manage the 33 day preparation starting in two days time on February 21st, at the very least please join in the Triduum of Prayer from March 26th – 28th and then the Rededication itself on March 29th.

    The rededication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry starts with a 33 day preparation from February 21st to March 25th. You can find the traditional St Louis de Montfort 33 day preparation before total consecration to Jesus through Mary, online, free of charge, here: https://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html Your personal consecration takes place on March 25th, Feast of the Annunciation.

    After this, there is a three day period of prayer from March 26th – 28th when a Litany to the Saints and Martyrs of England is prayed each day. The litany can be found online here:- https://stuflesser.com/en/journal/litany-of-the-saints-and-martyrs-of-england/

    And then the re-dedication is made on Sunday 29th March and the rededication prayer is here https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5dd26c39e4888e54689c5a3f/t/5e1681de41d1895d960a582e/1578533343593/Act+of+Entrustment.pdf It is hoped that the rededication is going to be made in all Cathedrals and as many parishes as possible, and by as many groups and individuals as possible.

    The official http://www.behold2020.com website will list all the venues and hopefully people will be able to attend one of them for the rededication on the 29th March.

    • Westminster Fly,

      I’ll be posting a thread on the English Martyr, St Robert Southwell, whose Feast is on the 21st, so you may want to re-post your comment there. Have been deliberating whether to post it today or tomorrow, but may do so today now to allow time for everyone to mark the dates you give in their diaries.

      Thank you for the reminder.

    • RCA Victor,

      Very encouraging news indeed. I sent your link to a priest I know in Ireland – he’s been on the LMS course to learn the TLM but never offered it, so maybe this will give him a reason to try it – I mean, the re-Christianisation of his homeland? What’s not to like?!

    • That’s very interesting indeed, given that there have been Catholic schools in Scotland accepting of trans pupils, i.e. pupils returning to school as the opposite gender they were just before the holidays, LOL!

      I suppose it’s a case of better late than never, so welcome to this show of resistance from the Scottish Catholic hierarchy, at last.

    • Crofterlady,

      Good news indeed. I take Robin’s point but in the twin spirits of “better late than never” and “giving the benefit of the doubt”, we can welcome this news, assuming that perhaps the schools have acted “creatively” / independently, where pupils have been allowed to report back after holidays as boys/girls when previously they had been girls/boys (!) Maybe a Head Teacher has taken it upon him/herself to give that permission, but now they are on notice – it’s NOT allowed. Deo gratias!

  30. I meant to post this before:

    On Friday, 21st Feb, I saw a tweet saying “on this day” 19 years ago, Pope John Paul II created 42 (!) new Cardinals.

    Among the new Cardinals that day were:

    – Jorge Bergoglio

    – Walter Kasper

    – Theodore McCarrick

    Surely a contender for “the worst consistory ever”?

    Another shabby episode in the pontificate of St John Paul the Greatly Over-rated.

  31. Relating to the virus pandemic in St Andrews and Edinburgh:
    The Archbishop has given “instruction” that the faithful should not receive from the chalice. Yipee!
    The Archbishop has given “instruction” that the laity should not shake hands at the sign of peace. Yipee!
    The Archbishop has said that the faithful should receive only on their hands. Not scientific in any way shape or form. Is their an agenda from the “council of priests” here?

    Editor: we do have a Coronavirus thread where this should have been placed. It might be missed here for people looking for updates on the virus. I suspect other dioceses will follow this example, so would bloggers please post on the Coronavirus thread. Thank you.

  32. A retired Archbishop – and associate of Bishop Athanasius Schneider – seems to be getting into hot water over his criticisms of Pope Francis.

    Archbishop Jan Lenga – who retired from Kazakstan to live in Poland – has been banned from celebrating masses publicly and speaking to the media. He is having none of it, though, and carrying on regardless.

    He has referred to Pope Francis as an “usurper and heretic”.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/retired-archbishop-disciplined-after-calling-pope-francis-a-heretic-66862

    • Gabriel Syme,

      The archbishop is right to not comply with this ban – after all Cardinal McCarrick – now Mr McCarrick – ignored the restrictions place on him by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis did too, so what’s sauce for the goose etc.

      I wish some bishops who are NOT retired would speak out. That’s really what needs to happen now.

      • I do agree with you. The silence from the clergy, whether cardinals, bishops or priests is quite incomprehensible to me. What happens when “good men stay silent?” Well nothing of course and so Pope Francis careers merrily on, unchecked and certainly undeterred by the very few who have the courage to challenge him. I regularly follow the writings of Michael Matt and The Remnant. Now here is a courageous layman who is not afraid to speak out. A tragedy that the clergy do not do the same. When will they wake up? Or are they all infected by the modernist, one world anthropocentric claptrap coming from the Vatican,? Just take a look at the latest declaration about the forthcoming Vatican event in May. Not a word about striving for holiness or even about Our Lord in the whole speech. Our Lady of Fatima pray for us. As Cardinal Sara says The Day is Now Far Gone!

  33. Joe Biden, running as the Democrat nominee who, if elected, will be the challenger to Donald Trump in the next election, is some Catholic – you just have to admire the nerve of these pro-abortion apostates.

    This from LifeNews…

    “The Declaration of Independence. We all know it, or at least we should. It’s only the central document on which our nation is based.

    And in those immortal words, the founders of the United States of America, credited the Lord God and thanked him for His providence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    While that may be one of the best known and most important sentences in history, it totally escaped Joe Biden at a campaign stop, where he couldn’t remember that all people derive their rights from God, calling the Lord a “thing.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created…by the…co…you know…you know the thing,” Biden said.
    https://www.lifenews.com/2020/03/02/joe-biden-forgets-the-creator-in-the-declaration-of-independence-calls-god-the-thing/

    • For “Sleepy Joe”, to quote President Trump, “Life” doesn’t include the unborn, “Liberty” is a cloak for Malice (St. Paul) and the pursuit of Happiness is anything that extends the bank balance. The man is bereft of honesty.

      As an aside, I wonder just how involved the liberal Catholic hierarchy will become in the forthcoming U.S. elections. We already know that Pope Francis has shown the hand of friendship to the Communist Bernie Sanders while infamously writing Trump off as a non-Christian who wants to build walls instead of bridges. So it’s my guess he’ll direct said liberal hierarchy to agitate in favour of either Sanders or Biden depending on which of the two apostates gets the nod to challenge Trump. That means Pope Francis would be actively (though secretively) directing the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. to support the Herodian candidate against a man who, though not Catholic, believes in God and hates abortion. I’ve always said that Pope Francis, whether intentional or not, acts like a Communist in a cassock.

      • Christ is quoted in St Mark’s Gospel,” …whoever is not against us is for us”.
        That should be good enough for us, if not quite clear enough for our present Pope.

      • Athanasius,

        The USCCB has been known for about two generations as the “Democratic Party at prayer,” so no doubt they will find a way to support Sleepy Joe, especially at the behest of our Marxist Pope. I’ve seen several articles that Francis was active in the removal of Salvini, whose agenda was similar to Trump’s, from power.

        Here’s an amusing cartoon I saw about Sleepy:

        https://conservativehardliner.com/sites/default/files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/2020-03/biden_forgot-min.jpeg?itok=UH6CaQ0l

        • RCA Victor

          I have absolutely no doubt whatever that the USCCB will do all in its power to put Trump down and promote the Communist Democrats. Pope Francis has already indicated the way ahead with his recent Vatican welcome for Bernie Sanders. Says all that needs saying really about the malign spirit that has invaded the Church. You’re right about Salvini as well, the Marxist daggers were out for him the moment he was elected.

    • RCA Victor,

      Look no further, the name of the film is El Frente Infinito… (someone on the Fr Z blog named it, so I’m not showing my age, before you get cheeky!) I checked on YouTube and – voila! – the Fr Z blogger was right. Watching all those Columbo repeats paid off in the end!

      • Editor

        I searched the internet for that film without success, never occured to me to look up the comments on Fr. Z’s blog. Well done you!

      • Editor,

        For your birthday I’m going to buy you a Columbo raincoat! I had to look up what that title meant though (“The Infinite Front” – about the Spanish Civil War), so you might just get half a raincoat…

  34. Well, Athanasius & RCA Victor,

    Since the “change” in “climate change” hasn’t reached Scotland (we are still getting the rain, wind, cold, ice, snow – no sign of it changing to sun and more sun), I’ll settle for half a raincoat – that’ll cover my head 😀

  35. One of the Jesuit priests at St Aloysius Church Glasgow has been removed from ministry following allegations of historical child abuse (not related to St Aloysius).

    This is of interest here, as I am sure the blog has previously covered some of the ropey figures passing through St Aloysius. I seem to remember a priest who used to solicit to massage people?

    (Also the Jesuit Church and school is nearby to the Glasgow SSPX Church).

    Apparently this happened at the end of February, although these reports do not name the individual~:

    https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18291409.st-aloysius-college-contacts-police-child-abuse-disclosure/

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/jesuit-removed-prestigious-glasgow-catholic-21631549

      • Westminster Fly,

        I remember reading about that priest in Catholic Truth, unless I’m mixing him up with someone else, I think he was offering massages and retreats for men only, with the impression given that this was homosexual in orientation.

        Just now I visited your link and visited the page which was headlined about Relationships. Right away there was this blurb:

        “Are there any criteria for retreat givers and spiritual guides to approach post-modern relationships from a Christian point of view?
        A consideration of how to help people flourish. We will consider partnerships outside marriage, remarriage, LGBT relationships etc.”

        I think it’s safe to say that they won’t be giving Catholic teaching on “partnerships outside marriage” and the rest.

    • Gabriel Syme

      The Jesuits are largely to blame for the destruction of the faith during and after Vatican II, so nothing they do surprises me. Once the bullwark against the Protestant Reformation, they Jesuit Order was infiltrated by the devil and it did a 360 degree about turn to become the proponent of a new Protestant Reformation in the Church. Pope Francis is a Jesuit, which should say all that needs saying about an Order which should have been suppressed by the Popes 100 years ago when the signs of Modernism first appeared in men like the heretic George Tyrrell.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      That’s very concerning, indeed. This school really can’t afford any scandals like this, even though the priest is not actively working at the school.

      I do remember the massage report and the name of the priest involved in that. I’m not sure that he says Mass or hears confessions at St Aloysius. I’ve never come across his name except in the newsletter report and adverts for the Ignatian Spirituality Centre.

  36. Here’s a glimmer of hope, and an actual Catholic initiative amidst a Marxist, socialist hierarchy: the Bishops of Portugal are going to re-consecrate their nation to the Immaculate Heart tomorrow, and the Bishops of Spain are going to join them for Spain.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishops-will-re-consecrate-portugal-to-immaculate-heart-to-fight-coronavirus

    It will be very interesting to see if any other national conferences join them – all have been invited.

      • Editor & Athanasius,

        An interesting parallel occurred to me last night between the request of Our Lord to consecrate France to His Sacred Heart in 1689, and the request of Our Lady to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart in 1929.

        Louis XIV failed to obey Our Lord’s request, but apparently his successors, Louis XV and XVI, were aware of it, as Louis XVI finally performed the consecration (or was it a priest who was with him?) while under house arrest, awaiting his execution.

        Likewise, all the Popes since 1929 have been aware of Our Lady’s request since it was made (or shortly thereafter), but have failed to obey. We now have a former Pope, aware of this request, and even knowing the Third Secret, under a form, as it were, of house arrest.

        How far will this parallel go? Will Francis abdicate and Benedict return to the Chair of Peter? Will the restored Benedict, having performed the Consecration, then be executed in a hail of bullets and arrows, as the Vision of the Third Secret portrays?

        (Or, does RCAVictor just have too much time on his hands?)

        • RCA Victor

          If I am not mistaken, Brother Michel de la saint trinite made the same parallel in his wriitings some years back, so yours is a fairly legitimate ponder, so to speak. There are of course similarities between the two, not least the misfortune that befalls those in authority who delay heaven’s requests.

    • RCA Victor

      I think this will certainly bring grace down on those two countries. Pity Italy isn’t joining them. In fact it’s a great pity that the Pope won’t just obey Our Lady and call on all Bishops Conferences to join with him in a public and solemn consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that would solve all the present woes of the world. Oh well, I suppose we should be thankful at least for small mercies.

  37. Parliamentary
    Contact the Member at their Westminster address.
    House of Commons
    London
    SW1A 0AA
    Phone: 020 7219 4682
    Email: boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk……….

    Dear All
    please can you contact PM BORIS JOHNSON as a matter of great urgency regarding Abortion Mills being open in this virus lock down and also not to allow any change of Law to Abortion every letter will count and please ask others to write /share as well ..thank you

    • Wendy,

      I wish you had posted this on the Coronavirus thread. I’ve just written to Boris Johnson, but I will copy my email on the Coronavirus thread. This is only for topics not listed on the sidebar. Generally, pro-life issues should be dealt with on the pro-life thread anyway, but in this case it is perfectly appropriate for the Coronavirus thread. If we could all just try to keep to the simple rule that this thread is ONLY for topics not already catered for on the blog, it will mean that we don’t have to keep opening new General Discussion threads. Thanks.

  38. I have 2 questions if anyone would be kind enough to answer?

    Who were the 3 Marys at the foot of the cross?
    Was the Mary who anointed Jesus with costly oil the sister of Lazarus and Martha or was it Mary Magdalene? And, if the latter, who was she?

    • Crofterlady,

      I checked my bible, Matthew’s gospel, and it says that “Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” were among those at the foot of the cross. Our Lady was obviously there, as well.

      I’d need time to check the answers to the rest of your question, although I think I’ve heard it said that Mary Magdalene was the woman who anointed Jesus with oil but I am not sure anyone actually knows for sure. Mary Magdalene was known to be a prostitute so I think she may be one and the same re. the oil. I’ll try to find out for you.

    • Mary, mother of Our Lord
      Mary Magdalene
      Mary (wife of Clopas)

      Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus according to the Gospels of Mathew, Mark & John. She was the sister of Lazarus and Martha.

      Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ followers. She was the first to witness the resurrected Christ.

      Given your Biblical ignorance, can I safely assume that you are a genuine Catholic?? 🙂

      • Marc,

        I am no expert on the bible, that is true. I just looked up Matthew, which is the first of the four gospels in my copy of the bible! I then looked to see who was present at the foot of the cross and I quoted that. I guessed that the other gospels would give other names, including Our Lady.

        After reading your answer to me, I found this online:

        “There is no complete record in the New Testament regarding who was at the foot of the cross. The Gospel of John indicates that both John (who also stuck with Jesus while He was being tried) and His mother Mary were there with some other women. (see John 19:25) Luke 23:35-37 indicates also a number of other people were nearby such as ‘the people’, presumably curious onlookers such as gather at any crime or emergency scene today. Both the rulers of the Jews and the soldiers are also on the scene. Mark specifies the rulers of the Jews as being the chief priests and the scribes (see Mark15:31).
        The answer to this question depends on which gospel is preferred as a source.”

        I’ve also checked out about Mary Magdalene and you are right, about Mary of Bethany – I also found out that it is a myth about Magdalene being a prostitute at all! She was formerly possessed, which I hadn’t known, or if I did know it, I’ve forgotten it. As they say, old age doesn’t come alone, and I always think it comes with someone to steal our memories, LOL! I did know she was first at the tomb, to witness to the resurrection, and to speak to the “gardener” but you’ve educated me about the rest.

        Yes, I am a genuine Catholic but don’t judge all the rest on my biblical ignorance. The others have shown a lot of knowledge about scripture, I just wish I’d left it to one of them to answer, LOL!

      • Cheeky, cheeky, Marc. It’s BECAUSE I’m fairly knowledgeable about Scripture that I ask the question.
        – In Mark 14:3-9 the woman is not named.
        – In John’s Gospel it says it’s Mary of Bethany, Martha and Lazarus’ sister.
        – At school we were told it was Mary Magdalene so, in that case, I wondered if In fact MM was Mary of Bethany, unlikely though it was.

        I suspect Laura (thank you) is correct in that nobody really knows who anointed Jesus.

        I visited Saintes Maries de Mer in the South of France near Nimes a few times and there is a legend that after the Cruxifixion the 3 Marys, Lazarus and a servant girl called St. Sarah landed there from the Holy Land. In the crypt of the parish church there is a statue of a black St. Sarah who is all dressed up in finery. The Gypsies go there on pilgrimage as she is their patron saint. They sure do dress her up!

        • Crofterlady,

          Would the Encyclopedia entry on St. Mary Magdalene be helpful?

          http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm

          Also, see the link at the bottom of that page about the French tradition that St. MM sailed to France (Marseilles) with her brother Lazarus and converted the whole of Provence.

          You may also be interested in a book called “Mary Magdalene in the Visions of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich,” published by TAN books. Appendix III of this book cites the entire Encyclopedia article.

      • Marc,

        As a matter of record, Tradition (which Protestants reject, but which is the other pillar of the Catholic Faith) says that the Blessed Virgin was the first to be visited by her risen Son.

        In response to your snarky concluding comment, I am curious as to what Protestants believe about Sacred Scripture – or should I say, their edited version of it. Inerrant? To be interpreted literally? Something else?

        One reason I ask is because although I was baptized Catholic, I was raised Protestant due to divorce, in a very liberal sect called the United Church of Christ. The theological content of this denomination, for us young ones, never progressed much beyond “Jesus loves you.”

        So some years after I returned to the Church, when I was asked whether I ever had some cognitive difficulty accepting Catholic doctrine due to my Protestant upbringing, I replied, “I never was exposed to Protestant doctrine; therefore I had no difficulty!”

        • RCA Victor,

          To be fair to Marc, I took his final remark with smiley face, as a jokey reference to the general truth that our Protestant friends are usually very knowledgeable about chapter and verse (literally) in Scripure, more so that Catholics – we are notoriously, NOT… So, where I – as a Catholic – might say something like: “in the Bible, forget which Gospel, Our Lord speaks of giving us His body to eat etc.”, a Protestant would jump in with “John, chapter 6”!

          Marc is not a Catholic but is reflecting on the possibility so we need to be nice to him… I want a slice of that Christening cake 😀

          I’m hopeless at dividing a cake – I nearly always cut too few slices and somebody gets left out – never me, but somebody 😀 Oh well…

          • Editor,

            No matter how you slice it, I’ll take your word for it…and apologies to Marc if I sounded too…um…blunt….hopefully I don’t cause this to happen:

            Meanwhile, I’d still be interested in knowing what Protestants believe about [their version of] the Bible, so have at it, Marc!

        • VictorRCA

          First, apologies to Crofterlady and Laura if my comments offended. That was not my intention, at all.

          I am from a mixed background (mother was a Catholic and father a Presbyterian but both very much lapsed). Due to their work commitments, I spent much of my weekends as a child with my paternal grandparents who were/still are members of a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (FCoS). For me, this meant that my Sundays with them were the Lord’s Day. No telly, no playing football, no anything except reading and learning Scripture, attending two sermons, praying, and eating my grannie’s terrific homemade scran.

          I don’t know anything about the United Church of Christ but the FCoS are not exactly the lenient, liberal types. On the contrary. They are Evangelical Calvinists who consider the Bible to be the unerring, literal word of God. Ergo, if the Gospels say that Mary Magdalene was the first to see Christ resurrected then she was the first and any Catholic Tradition which stipulated anything other than this would be considered blasphemy.

          Now, If I may ask; how, as a Catholic, do you reconcile these differences between Tradition and Scripture? Does Tradition always take precedence over Scripture? Do you not consider the Bible as the Word of God? This is one of the areas of Catholicism which I find really difficulty comprehending.

          Finally, I feel as though I should append that despite their public persona the “wee Frees” are the nicest, kindest and most charitable people that I have ever encountered and I won’t hear a bad word said about them. They are also one of the few denominations who are unafraid of espousing their Christian beliefs and morals in the public sphere. I also think that – in today’s world – they share much more in common with traditional Catholics than divides them.

          • Marc,

            I will make one or two points only in response to your reply to RCA Victor, given the time difference between the USA and the UK – he’s probably still tucked up in bed, the lucky blighter.

            I’m interested in your grandmother’s insistence on literal interpretation about Mary Magdalene/Resurrection, but I wonder if she applied that to the Gospel references, straight from Our Lord’s own lips, about eating His Body and drinking His Blood? Unfortunately, the Protestant leaders symbolise the essential teachings clearly stated in Sacred Scripture, to conform to the Reformation doctrines, and in their sermons tend to mislead their well-intentioned people.

            And, I’m afraid that while your grandmother is surely one of those “Wee Frees” who is one of the “nicest, kindest and most charitable people” ever – well, I’ve had a rather different experience, I’m afraid. My own “Wee Free” acquaintance [in a workplace context] happens to be the person who rang to tell me that Pope John Paul II had been shot in St Peter’s Square. I expressed my shock and then thanked her for ringing to tell me – her reply to my expressions of shock, placed in question mark form, such as “isn’t that dreadful” were “well, I thought you would want to know…” She expressed no sympathy for the victim. Having said that, we worked together to promote the pro-life cause and I liked her very much as a person.

            As for the belief about Our Lady being first to see Our Lord after the Resurrection, here is an explanation of why Pope Benedict XIV and six Doctors of the Church held that belief.
            http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/holycom/our_lady.htm

            A key thing to remember, though, is that in Catholicism, while Tradition and Scripture have equal weight, Tradition (obviously) came first, and that not everything is explicitly stated in Scripture.

            I remember one occasion when this was brought home to me by a very kindly Protestant gentleman. Miss McMoneypenny and I were having a chat over a cuppa in a Glasgow café, with two Protestant men, discussing the Catholic/Protestant interpretation of Scripture. I was trying to illustrate the “not everything is explicit” point, and I was trying to think of a simple example. The kindly Protestant helped me out by saying “Well, the Trinity is not a term found in Scripture…” Game, set and match – to him

            So, while all Christian beliefs are, indeed, rooted in Scripture, not everything is explicit. That there is clear evidence of the doctrine of the Trinity in Scripture, but not the word itself, is but one such example.

            Finally, Our Lord Himself guaranteed to His Church His continual help, after His Resurrection: “But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.” (John 14:26).

            Thus, when questions of belief arise, arguments about whether this or that traditional belief, perhaps not explicitly mentioned in Scripture (the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady is another example), the Fathers of the Church debate and discuss it, taking Scripture as their essential tool, in the knowledge that – as Our Lord promised, see John 14:26 – the truth will be “brought to their minds”.

            Hope this helps a little, if not a lot. If “not a lot”, don’t tell me – I might not like you any more…

            • After posting my reply to your reply to RCA Victor 😀 I thought you might like to know, if you don’t already know, about a priest on the island of Stronsay, Father Nicholas Mary, who is not an SSPX priest himself, he’s a Redemptorist, but is affiliated to the S SPX.

              He gives private retreats – on a one-to-one basis – which are very helpful, as I’ve heard from those who have booked and received spiritual and religious support from him.

              I thought of him, partly because it was he who educated me in the question of dogmas which do not appear to be Scriptural. I was writing an article for the newsletter in response to comments made by one of Scotland’s “leading” Catholics at the time, and this subject arose. I acknowledged Father’s input on publication but, for the life of me, I can’t remember in which edition the article was published or I’d post it here – I’m sure you would find it helpful, although I say it myself, humility as ever shining through 😀

              Anyway, in case you wish to follow through on the idea of a private retreat with Father, here are his contact details
              https://fsspx.uk/en/community/priories/stronsay-10740

            • Editor,

              I agree that there is something of a cognitive dissonance whereby Calvinists claim to adhere to a literal interpretation of the Bible but then refuse to accept transubstantiation. It doesn’t make sense to me, either.

              But, then again, cognitive dissonance is an accusation that can be equally applied to Catholic Tradition in many instances.

              You said, and I quote:

              “A key thing to remember, though, is that in Catholicism, while Tradition and Scripture have equal weight, Tradition (obviously) came first, and that not everything is explicitly stated in Scripture.”

              That’s all fine and well Editor but the Scripture does state, quite explicitly (and contrary to Tradition), that Mary Magdalene was the first.

              “But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Mark 16:9. Read also John chapter 20 where again it states that Mary Magdalene was the first to witness Christ after the Resurrection.

              Lastly, I find it really surprising that you quote John 14:26 to back up your claim. Especially since that particular verse is usually associated with bringing “truth to the mind” of the Gospel authors, prior to writing the Gospels. Those authors who you have practically rubbished in your comment.

              • Marc,

                Perhaps this article by Taylor Marshall (of whom I am not an uncritical fan – his reference to “Saint” John Paul II gives you a clue…) might help you to see that there really is never any contradiction between Catholic Tradition and Scripture (incidentally, I think I’m right in saying that Marshall is a convert to Catholicism) – he points out that, as you rightly say, the Gospels record that Mary Magdalene was the first of His disciples to see Christ after His Resurrection.
                https://taylormarshall.com/2017/04/christ-appear-first-mother-resurrection.html

            • Editor and Marc,

              No fair, Editor, you jumped right to the point I was going to make when Marc presumably replied that the Scriptures were inerrant and to be taken literally – except, of course, when Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist as His Body and Blood, when He appointed Peter His Vicar on earth, and when he gave his disciples and their successors the power to absolve sins. Oh well, those are just symbolic statements, said Luther, Calvin, et. al.!

              Nothing like a double standard, Marc, with which to establish your new religion! (Please note: this is not a criticism aimed at you personally)

              Regarding “sola Scriptura,” I’ve often heard two apologist responses to that erroneous doctrine: one, the Bible does not say that anywhere, so where did it come from? Two, the Gospels themselves (John, I believe) state that the Gospels do not record everything Jesus said and did.

              But here’s the obvious conclusion: if St. John didn’t record everything Jesus said and did, then St. John obviously knew a lot more than what he recorded about what Jesus said and did. And if St. John knew, then certainly the other Apostles and evangelists knew as well.

              Tradition, therefore, consists not only of that unrecorded history of Jesus’ activities and teachings while He was on earth, it is a matter of good old common sense. Common sense, in fact, based on what the Scriptures openly tell us. Not symbolically, not analogously – openly, and open to only one interpretation: the literal one.

              And common sense – not to mention the historical records of the early Church – also tells us that what the Apostles knew, they passed on to their successors, because what they knew was sacred, and utterly and completely unlike anything else that had ever transpired on this earth. It was their Treasure, and they guarded it with their lives. Literally, not symbolically.

              Marc, have you ever asked yourself why Luther, Calvin and their fellow travelers would (a) deny Tradition, (b) deny the teaching authority of the Church as the sole interpreter of Scripture and Tradition, and (c) blatantly contradict themselves with their sola Scriptura argument?

              Let me suggest an answer: because they wanted to free themselves from a Church whose rule they considered oppressive. And a possible second answer, as far as Luther went: because the secular princes who gave him safe harbor while he developed his heresies (some of which he copied from earlier heretics) also wanted to get their hands on Church assets, once they were free of Church authority.

              All that said, there is an important distinction to be made between the disordered founders of the various Protestant sects, all of whom despised the Church, most of her sacraments (except the ones they stole) and her teachings, and the modern worshipers in those sects – e.g. the good character of your grandparents and those in your denomination. But here’s more common sense: just because people are nice doesn’t mean they are correct.

              In the hundreds of years that have passed since the so-called “Reformation,” which was not a reformation but a rebellion, most people, including modern Catholics, now think of Protestants as merely other branches of Christianity. This attitude, among traditional Catholics, is called “indifferentism.” Modern Catholics, however, call it “ecumenism.”

              I’ll conclude with a question, meanwhile hoping I have not once again been too blunt (after all, Editor woke me up from a sound sleep and commanded me to get to the blog, so I’m automatically grumpy):

              Was there ever any conversation about Catholics between your grandparents, and/or among the other members of your church? If so, what was the nature of that conversation?

              • RCAVictor

                “Regarding “sola Scriptura,” I’ve often heard two apologist responses to that erroneous doctrine: one, the Bible does not say that anywhere, so where did it come from? Two, the Gospels themselves (John, I believe) state that the Gospels do not record everything Jesus said and did.”

                You might want to check the Bible itself. Specifically, 2 Timothy 3:15-16, which goes, “And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice.”

                For centuries, the Catholic Church has made it’s Traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This has resulted in many practices that are contradictory to the Scripture, namely, the Immaculate Conception, Papal Infallibility, indulgences and praying to Mary amongst many other inaccuracies.

                “Marc, have you ever asked yourself why Luther, Calvin and their fellow travellers would (a) deny Tradition, (b) deny the teaching authority of the Church as the sole interpreter of Scripture and Tradition, and (c) blatantly contradict themselves with their sola Scriptura argument?”

                Yes, I have. Have you? When Martin Luther was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings, the Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant.

                Martin Luther’s reply was, “Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God,

                I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!”

                You might also want to take a wee gander at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians where (4:6), Paul warns them not to “go beyond what it written.”

                Jesus Himself criticised those who allowed Traditions to override the explicit commands of God in Mark 7:6-9.

                Whether sola Scriptura is explicitly mentioned in the Bible is besides the point. We know that the Bible is the written word of God.

                The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself.

                So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message.

                Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines.

                The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible.

                We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition.

                “Was there ever any conversation about Catholics between your grandparents, and/or among the other members of your church? If so, what was the nature of that conversation?”

                Pretty much the same conversations that Catholics have when discussing of non-Catholics: that is, that they are in error and we should help them move away from teachings that would likely lead them to eternal damnation.

                • Marc,

                  1. No, it is not beside the point that sola scriptura is not mentioned explicitly in the Bible. It is precisely the point, and you have just proven it.

                  2. Catholic Tradition is not superior to the Bible: they are the twin pillars of the Sacred Deposit of Faith.

                  3. When St. Paul wrote what you quoted, the Bible did not yet exist, so how is it that you are using that to prove your false doctrine? Besides, if we are not to go “beyond what is written,” and sola scriptura is nowhere written, as you have already admitted, then sola scriptura is false.

                  4. One of your fundamental errors is to claim that if something is not written in the Bible (specifically, the Protestant version of it, which is missing some books that were canonically approved), then it contradicts the Bible. By your own false logic, then, sola scriptura contradicts the Bible, since it is not contained in the Bible.

                  5. It is certainly revealing about Martin Luther’s apostasy that he rejected the teachings of the Magisterium as not the “clearest reasoning.” In fact, the teaching of the Church (until Vatican II, that is) is crystal clear on every subject which it addresses. And how is it, one might also ask, that the Church was wrong for 1500 years, until Martin Luther came along? Since the Church was wrong for all those centuries, then apparently everyone she reveres as saints, martyrs and Doctors are not saints at all, but condemned to hell. Ridiculous.

                  6. As for Mark 7:6-9, you are grasping at straws. Tradition is not the “doctrines and teachings of men” – that is an obvious reference to the corrupt Jewish hierarchy. Tradition is the teaching of the Apostles, who were no ordinary men teaching about the “washing of pots and cups.” They were men trained and purified by Our Lord, illuminated by the Holy Ghost, able to heal the sick, cast out demons, convert Jews and pagans, and perform other miracles.

                  In fact, it is the false teachings of the Protestant rebels which are precisely the “doctrines and teachings of men.”

                  7. If Tradition is not true, then the Apostles and the Evangelists were liars, because it is they who received and transmitted Tradition.

                  In conclusion, you have failed entirely to respond to what I called “common sense” about Tradition – namely, St. John’s statement that much more could be written in addition to what he wrote, about the teachings and activities of Our Lord. You have also failed to respond to the obvious double standard used by Protestants when they claim an inerrant and literal Scripture – oh, except for those inconvenient items that they reject. Those, you see, are just “symbolic.”

                  Now, if you are truly interested in the Catholic Faith, and as far as I’m concerned, your post proves that you are not, then I suggest you read a book by St. Francis de Sales entitled The Catholic Controversy: A Defense of the Faith, in which he demolishes all the Protestant falsehoods of his day.

                • Marc,

                  Your post is full of errors which I just do not have time to correct right now – although RCA Victor has made a pretty good job of it, without any help from me.

                  Here’s a link to a very good article on the question of Sola Scriptura – pointing out, among other things, that in the Bible itself, we are told that it is the Church, not the Bible “which is the ground and pillar of all truth.”
                  http://catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/sola.htm

                  Sweet dreams!

                  • Editor,

                    Thanks for the linked article. I’ve just skimmed over it but I will read it in full when time allows for it.

                • Marc

                  You seem to overlook the fact that the Catholic Church gave the Bible to the world, each part being approved by a Pope as authentic before being declared part of Sacred Scripture. Prior to that the Church taught by Tradition for 1200 years.

                  In fine, the Popes have from the very beginning overseen everything and taught the correct interpretation of Sacred Scripture to the Church. Protestants have taken that work of the Church (the Popes) and have re-interpreted certain parts to suit their various heresies, but Our Lord gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and to his Apostles the power to bind and loose, he didn’t give them to Luther, Calvin or any other heresiarch.

                  Hence, no point batting back and forward with you about this passage and that passage of Sacred Scripture when we Catholics know exactly what each and every one means in accordance with Church teaching. Others are certainly free to ignore the Magisterium and interpret by their own lights, but that will only lead them into confusion. So many Protestant sects, so many various interpretations of the same Scriptural passages, that’s what I mean. The Church alone has the authority from God to interpret the sacred texts.

                  • Athanasius,

                    Utter nonsense. In reality, the Bible is inspired and has authority, not because a church declared it so, but because God made it so. God delivered it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and declared that it would abide forever. The Bible does not owe its existence to the Catholic church, but to the authority, power and providence of God.

                    It would seem unnecessary for the Catholic church to make the boastful claim of giving the Bible to the world when both it and so-called Protestantism accept the Bible as a revelation from God. However, I suppose it is an attempt to weaken the Bible as the sole authority and to replace it with their man-made church.

                    If it is true that we can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic church, doesn’t that make the Catholic church superior to the Bible? I imagine that this is exactly what the Catholic church want people to believe. Their only problem is that their doctrine comes from their own human reasoning rather than from God.

                    Their logic is a classic example of their “circle reasoning.” They try to prove the Bible by the church (can accept the Bible only on the basis of the Catholic Church) and prove the church by the Bible (“has ever grounded her doctrines upon it”). Such is absurd reasoning which proves nothing. Either the New Testament is the sole authority, or it is not. If it is the New Testament, it cannot be the church, and if it is the church, it cannot be the New Testament.

                    Your claim above that without the Catholic Church there would be no Bible; you are arguing that mankind can accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the Catholic church which gathered the books and determined which were inspired.

                    Surely the Catholic church cannot claim that it gave us the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament came through the Jews (God’s chosen people of old) who had the holy oracles entrusted to them.

                    Moreover, Christ did not tell the people, as the Catholic church today, that they could accept the Scriptures only on the basis of the authority of those who gathered them and declared them to be inspired.

                    He urged the people of His day to follow the Old Testament Scriptures as the infallible guide, not because man or any group of men has sanctioned them as such, but because they came from God.

                    Furthermore, He understood that God-fearing men and women would be able to discern by evidence (external and internal) which books were of God and which were not; thus, He never raised questions and doubts concerning the gathering of the inspired books.

                    If the Bible is a Catholic book, why does it nowhere mention the Catholic Church? Why is there no mention of a Pope, a Cardinal, an Archbishop, a parish priest, a nun, or a member of any other Catholic order? If the Bible is a Catholic book, why is auricular confession, prayers to the saints, adoration of Mary, veneration of relics and images, and many other rites and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, left out of it?

                    Why is it completely silent about infant baptism, confession to priests, the rosary, the mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church? No mean feat for a 73-book canon and not one mention of any of the above. WOW!!

                    If the Bible is a Catholic book, how can Catholics account for the passage, “A bishop then, must be blameless, married but once, reserved, prudent, of good conduct, hospitable, a teacher…He should rule well his own household, keeping his children under control and perfectly respectful. For if a man cannot rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?” (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5). The Catholic Church does not allow a bishop to marry, while the Bible says, “he must be married.”

                    Lastly, if the Bible is a Catholic book, why did they write the Bible as it is, and feel the necessity of putting footnotes at the bottom of the page in effort to keep their subject from believing what is in the text?

  39. One of my daughters points out that many civil servants such has her, doctors, nurses, teachers bin men etc are bravely fighting this war on the front line. In this context our clergy from the Pope down should be military chaplains in the full sense of the word instead of being led by Cardinal Nicholls into “safe” cowardly isolation deserting their flock in their hour of need. We are told to remember our war heroes by repeating “we will remember them”, however, during the time whilst this crisis persists and thereafter the phrase “we will remember them” will apply to the clergy from the Pope down in a way they don’t expect ie we will remember them for their culpable negligence and desertion in what is primarily a spiritual war concerning primarily the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance where they left the faithful without the mass and especially confession and the anointing for those who are seriously ill/dying may God forgive them. We are called hate the sin and love the sinner and to pray for our enemies and it’s quite clear who they are.

    Love and prayers
    Liam

  40. Oh Liam, may God bless you. I agree. Our so called shepherds are false shepherds. They have abandoned us in our hour of need. Shame on them and may the Lord forgive them. They heed the voices of government more than the needs of their flock.

    • Liam and Crofterlady,

      I know I keep saying this but I’m going to give it one more shot.

      Both of your posts are on the wrong thread. We have a Coronavirus thread right at the top of the blog and there are others.

      Pity. A lot of people will miss your pearls of wisdom, since who would imagine that anyone would post comments about the Coronavirus crisis on the General Discussion thread, i.e. the thread provided for “side issues” – topics not available on the sidebar.

      Still, thanks for your thoughts.

  41. RCA Victor

    Sorry I can’t reply directly to your comment for some reason hence being down the page a bit.

    I will respond to your points in the same numbered fashion which you presented them to me.

    1. I find it quite ironic that you expect sola scriptura to be explicitly stated as doctrine in the Scripture yet you don’t hold any dubious Catholic Traditions to the same high standard. Particularly, given what Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 3:16, where the Apostle does everything but state it explicitly.

    2. This brings us back to my original question which, in case you have forgotten, was, “how does the Catholic Church reconcile the difference, where it exists, between Tradition and Scripture?” Your response to said question was an inference that I am not in possession of the elite level of common sense that you have managed to acquire.

    Come on man. Surely you can provide me with an actual answer that isn’t simply an insult about my perceived lack of common sense.

    3. The problem with this argument is that it essentially says that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word. Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did.

    The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority. While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it. Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it.

    Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions and passing them on from generation to generation, the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures.

    4. Such ignorance. Luther didn’t remove them but instead he placed them in a category of less useful books of the Bible. This is not that unusual – it is essentially how the Christian canon was created. The canon is nothing more than a list of Books that were decided by bishops to be inspired by the Holy Spirit as Scripture.

    Noteworthy, is that St Jerome – the man who completed the first translation of the Latin Vulgate – shared the same opinion that these Books were of secondary importance and should be separated form the Bible former and be a secondary canon. Jerome was then – shall we say – strong-armed into an alternate opinion by the Church authorities who obviously disagreed with his conclusions.

    During the Council of Trent, Pope Clemetine went further, still. He believed that some Books (one of the Esdras and Nehemiah) should be expunged from the canon entirely. The disputed Books went to a vote and the Books were retained, but only just – I think there were around 16 abstentions of the 49 voters.

    5. You said, “In fact, the teaching of the Church (until Vatican II, that is) is crystal clear on every subject which it addresses.”

    When you say “teaching” – and you have clearly alluded to a change in Church teaching post-Vatican II – I am going to operate on the assumption that you mean “doctrine” and not “dogma”.

    Now, if you had left Vatican II out of it, then I’d have assumed that you meant dogma – and I’d have had less to work with to be honest – but you’ve made things a whole lot easier for me. (So much for you and your elevated level of common sense). 🙂

    Due to boredom, courtesy of corona isolation, let’s have some fun. Instead of me going through all the changes in doctrine and the reasons for them, I’ll instead give you examples of definite changes to doctrine over the years and you can try and guess the year that the Church introduced them.

    I’ll donate £5 for every one that you guess correctly to Catholic Truth. So, £25 is on the line… Answer in your own time.

    When did Catholics introduce paedobaptism?
    When was doctrine changed to allow Catholics to marry non-Catholics?
    When was the doctrine of the seven sacraments introduced, and how many were there prior?
    What year did the Catholic Church introduce the sale of Indulgences?
    When did the canonisation of dead “saints” first occur?

    6. Tradition in this sense is a misnomer. There are traditions which have been added to over the years which we have no record of the Apostles or early church fathers partaking in. Again, I could go on forever and a day explaining them but I get the distinct feeling that you will not listen or even bother to double-check all of the instances of change in tradition which have occurred over many years.

    Don’t you find it bizarre, especially given the practices of modern Catholics – that, for example, early church fathers paid little heed to Mary, mother of Our Lord? That they did not pray to her? Don’t you ever question anything that the Church asks of you?

    7. So, John did not make a note about every single action and word of Our Lord. Why does that surprise you? It would be impossible for him to have done so. Can you imagine how long that Gospel would read if it was written in a kind of Kafkaesque manner where no action – however big or small – goes unmentioned? In the words of our illustrious Editor… GERRAGRIP!! Again, who here is lacking common sense? Here’s a clue: it’s not me… and it’s DEFINITELY you!!

    Thank you for the book recommendation. I will read it in due course

    • Marc,

      I have just written a lengthy reply to your comment addressed to RCA Victor.
      I was making my final, hard-hitting point, when the whole thing disappeared. I can’t believe it.

      In short, my reply can be summed up as gerragrip

      It’s quite a while since I’ve read so much baloney all in one place.

      Your rather nasty attempt to catch out RCA Victor with your daft list, had me about to say “keep your money” when the blessed thing disappeared into cyberspace.

      Suffice to make these two points:

      1) the teaching/discipline of the Church may be developed, usually through synods and councils. Read Cardinal Newman on this. Thus, nothing on your list is a “caught you out” to RCA Victor, but your question about the sale of indulgences shows a certain craftiness, if not malice, in you. The Church has NEVER taught that indulgences could be sold, any more than the Church has ever taught that contraception is permitted. That’s not to say there were not priests profiteering out of indulgences (how would I know) any more than there are definitely unfaithful priests teaching that it’s OK to use contraception.

      2) You need to make the distinction between the authentic teaching of the Church in her doctrines and dogma and her upholding of the Moral Law, against the application of those teachings by individual lay people, priests and bishops.

      That’s not what I’d written in my disappeared post, but the only thing now that I can clearly remember is crossing the finishing line with gerragrip

      • Editor,

        “Keep your money”

        Not a problem. I doubt that RCAVictor would have guessed any of the answers anyway. He appears to believe that all these changes aren’t actual changes but instead that they are tradition passed down from the Apostles. Lord, help him.

        He is so delusional that he castigates Luther & Calvin for their apostasy for rejecting the teachings of the Magisterium, blissfully unaware of his own rejection of said teachings, which he promulgates on this forum each and every day.

        The only difference between RCAVictor (and other contributors on this forum) and Luther/Calvin, is that the latter were brave enough to actually do something about it and leave the church.

        He alludes to John 20:30 and asks me for an answer when the answer he sought is provided at John 20:31. Too busy, perhaps, reading man-made canon from Rome that he has no time to read his God-given Scripture.

        1. Indulgences were being bought and sold, with Papal approval, for centuries before Luther hammered his 95 theses into the All Saints’ chapel door. Even after the ensuing uproar, it took more than 50 years for the church to finally condemn it. A truly disgusting endeavour. Where is God’s grace in indulgences?

        “the teaching/discipline of the Church may be developed, usually through synods and councils.”

        Development is change. There have has been so many changes to the Catholic church over the years that it has almost become a parody of itself. You argue vociferously on this forum about the developments of the church post-Vatican II but those changes are merely the tip of the iceberg. If I were to use one word to describe the Catholic church from the beginning to the present day, that word would be “change”.

        2. Okay. I’ll make sure that I pay closer attention next time. Thanks.

        • Marc,

          I am amazed at your comments about RCA Victor who makes fantastic contributions to this blog. I learn something from him a lot. You can hardly hide your hatred of the Catholic Church, which makes me sad. If you rely on Protestant propaganda for your information about the Church, you will be totally misinformed, as you are about indulgences.

          I think this short explanation of indulgences from a priest might help to clear your mind because he touches on the claim that the Church sold indulgences.

          • Michaela,

            “I am amazed at your comments about RCA Victor who makes fantastic contributions to this blog.”

            His contribution to my jokey comment to Crofterlady was needless. He went on the offensive and then proceeded to mock my perceived lack of common sense because I asked a question about the apparent discrepancy between Catholic Tradition and Scripture.

            His only contributions, as far as I can see, is to mock and belittle anyone who doesn’t agree with his idea of Catholicism. Contributions which include snide remarks about the Pope and other high ranking clergy, simply because they don’t subscribe to his own decadent beliefs. The church has moved on. Perhaps he should do likewise, or leave the church.

            “You can hardly hide your hatred of the Catholic Church, which makes me sad.”

            Much of Catholic teaching makes no sense. I don’t think that it’s particularly hateful to ask questions about the faith.

            I watched the video and the priest confirmed that indulgences can still be bought by proxy or – as he put it – through “almsgiving”. He doesn’t explain how God’s grace comes through indulgences. Anyway, thank you for helping.

            • Marc,

              Your personal remarks about one of our dedicated bloggers, based on your unkind misinterpretations of his comments are totally unChristian.

              Add to that your failure to understand the difference between almsgiving and purchasing, and I can see that we are really not able to help you here.

              You say that Catholic teaching makes no sense – which makes it difficult to understand why so many Protestants have come to the opposite conclusion; great minds like the former Anglican John Henry Cardinal Newman, G.K.Chesterton and various Presbyterian converts.

              Still, as I say, I really don’t think we can help you, which is a pity because we’d love to do so, but you are very confused, so from now on, your posts will be previewed by the administrator (my unworthy self) and only released if they conform to our House Rules and make a clear contribution to the debate.

              • Editor,

                You are right. Having re-read my comments, I can see clearly how unChristian I have been towards RCAVictor and Catholic Truth. What I wrote was classless and completely devoid of charity and I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to both RCAVictor and yourself.

                The prayer that Athanasius recommends is familiar. In fact, I have recited that prayer more times than I can remember. But I don’t receive any answers, just more questions.

                I have been considering the Catholic faith for about a year and have been (until recently) attending Mass and catechism classes through the week. The class consists of a priest and 4, sometimes 5, others – all of whom are confirmed Catholics and have been raised in the Catholic faith. We are going through Pius X catechism, by the way.

                I am actually glad that there has been respite from attending as I was not entirely happy with much of it. Athanasius suggests that perhaps my conscience is dismissing comprehension but I don’t think that’s what it is. I don’t care what others think of me, I just want the truth.

                When reading through the catechism, we came across a section where Pius essentially discourages Catholics from interpreting the Bible for themselves. I completely disagreed and questioned why a Pope would make such a suggestion. The response I received was that the Pope was the head of the Church and whom God has set over us and we must be loyal to those God puts over us.

                I find this incredibly hard to reconcile. I believe that I am aware of the authority that God has provided. God is specific about who He put over us –

                Psalm 2:6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

                Luke 1:33 …and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

                Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.

                There is only one Head of the Church and it isn’t a Pope, it’s Jesus. To be loyal to God, I must be loyal to Jesus. The Church is only legitimately The Church when she is loyal to Jesus and whatever He commanded. Claiming ancient roots, aggressively promoting doctrines like Apostolic succession, and quoting medieval theologians far more than offering a sound exegesis of Biblical texts doesn’t make an organisation The Church.

                Frankly, much of modern Catholic apology reminds me of the Jews of Jesus’ day with its claims of authority due to antiquity and century old traditions. Christ may be claimed as King by some of her parish names, but He’s so obscured by the smells, bells, idols, rituals, Popery and pageantry that most Catholics couldn’t tell you the first thing about how to have a relationship with Him.

                Given that the room is full of Catholics you might be lulled into thinking that they all have some semblance of the Bible. I spent a fair amount of time with these people (and they were all fine people) discussing Scripture and – without exaggeration – most are clueless regarding what it means to be justified before God.

                I grieve for the millions of Catholics who do not trust in Christ as their Saviour because they have not been given a clear exposition of what that means. I spent lots of time listening and asking questions. All I wanted was someone to give me answers. I sat faithfully every Sunday and Friday night, confused as to how I might be right with God. “Go to Mass”, Father told me. “Pray the Rosary.”

                When I asked too many questions, I was reminded how reliable the Church was. I didn’t doubt it in the least, however asking more questions earned me a dis-invite from my catechesis class so that I could use the extra time travelling to and from Church to read more apologetics, apparently.

                I wasn’t asking Reformation questions. I was asking how I could be right with God, I assure you. The answers I got were varied and confusing, but it came down to works. Do this, do that. Some on here might say that that’s not how the Church works but that’s what they all hear.

                What I wanted them to do was confirm my feelings were true – that I am a sinner. Then I wanted them to tell me how to be saved from my sins. It’s possible the answer was buried in the heap of “Hail Mary’s” and “Our Fathers” the priest made me say but I didn’t hear it and I don’t think that many do. Why wouldn’t someone just say “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” in all it’s beautiful simplicity?

                I spoke with dozens of Catholics and rarely did I encounter one who was born and raised in the Catholic Church who could give me any kind of cogent Biblical description of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

                I think my experience is unusual only in that I kept asking questions and genuinely wanted to understand the religion and be faithful. Most people just shut up, take the Host each Sunday or Saturday night, and go back to their disconnected, irreligious lives immediately after.

                All of this had me thinking, “will all those who call themselves Catholic but lacking clear understanding of the Scriptures be saved because of their trust in the Catholic Church?” I really don’t think so. Nobody should think so.

                When I read Hebrews (and Galatians, for that matter), I know that old Judaism is in view, but all I see is Catholicism.

                Fair to say you hit the nail on the head when you said I was confused, Editor

                Editor: Thank you for your generous apology and for your honesty. If I’d known you were attending RCIA classes (I presume that is the group you mean – in the diocesan parishes they run classes entitled the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) I would have understood, better, your confusion! Marc, it is absolutely true to say that the Head of the Catholic Church is Christ – that is why the Pope’s title of VICAR OF Christ is so important; it denotes that the Pope takes Our Lord’s place on earth – not that he replaces Christ, or makes Our Lord “redundant” so to speak but Christ, to give us certainty about salvation, gave to Peter and his successors, “the keys” i.e. His own authority. Think of it this way: if Christ had come on earth and then returned to Heaven leaving us no better off than the Chosen People had been previously, where they had to discuss and debate the meaning of Scriptures, (in at least one case relying on a 12 year old to enlighten them!) what would have been the point? The Bible needs to be interpreted. As we can see from Protestantism, every man and woman is their own interpreter. Everyone interprets Scriptures according to their own lights – as happened before Christ came among us. That cannot be God’s will.

                I’ve just searched for a pamphlet which I think is perfect for you – The Bible: Does it have more authority than the Church? by Father Arnold Damen SJ. I’m sure it’s online under that title, but I stopped searching when (I think) I found it under another title – “The One True Church”…

                Let me know if it helps. If not, and if you still want answers to the above questions, we’ll try our best to offer you the answers. Only two more things to say on this for now…

                Firstly, real Faith is not about having everything explained to our satisfaction, and then saying “I get it now – I believe…” St Augustine said: “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” In other words, it’s about embracing the Faith – both in Christ, and in His Church. The two are indivisible. Then the understanding deepens. Once we know that the authority of the Church comes from God, everything falls into place. I can’t resist an analogy: it’s like a driver asking for directions on the road (a driver like me, forever getting lost – or I did when I was allowed out!) and then doubting the passer-by who gives him dubious directions. So, he rings the AA or the RAC and they give him the same directions. That’s fine because he knows that this is an authentic authority, and he accepts the directions. I’m rambling now, but I hope this goes someway to helping you begin to understand the Catholic position a little. By the way, the priest I recommended you visit – Father Nicholas Mary – would EASILY be able to answer every one of your questions. Trust me on this, and after lock-down, I strongly recommend that you contact him. Even if you are not able to visit the island (Stronsay) Father Nicholas Mary conducts what amounts to a telephone and email apostolate. He will definitely be able to answer all of your questions, without, excuse the pun, a doubt 😀

                And secondly – I’ve removed you from moderation. So, let’s have a fresh start, as we prepare to enter Holy Week during which – and I know I can speak for all of our bloggers and readers – we will all be praying for special graces for you at this holiest time in the Church’s year, Marc.

                • Marc

                  Having read your most recent comment I am now convinced that it is a faith rather than conscience issue that prevents you from accepting those things about the Catholic religion that you cannot reconcile with human reason.

                  You’ll know from the Gospels that St. Thomas was upbraided for precisely this lack of faith when he insisted that he must first touch the wounds of the risen Lord before he would believe the other Apostles. And what were Our Saviour’s words to him? The same I suspect that He would speak to you now: “Blessed are they who believe without seeing”.

                  The Catholic religion is a supernatural religion, not a natural man-made one like the various Protestant Sects, not to mention the non-Christian religions. Hence, you will encounter many teachings of the Catholic Church which you may not necessarily be able to reconcile with human reason, mysteries of faith which require just that, faith in the God “who can neither deceive nor be deceived”, who instructs the faithful in divine mysteries through the teaching of the Popes, the Vicars of Christ.

                  For example, Transubstantiation is a mystery that requires faith in a miracle that our human reason cannot comprehend, that bread and wine can become the body and blood of Christ through the words spoken by the priest during Mass, the words that Christ personally taught his Apostles to recite and pass down through the priesthood.

                  We find many allusions to this great mystery in the Gospels, e.g., the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the marriage feast of Cana and the words of Our Lord Himself when He said plainly that He would give us his flesh to eat and His blood to drink, etc. Incidentally, the first Protestants are recorded in the Gospels with this latter declaration of Our Lord, those who said: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink? Who can hear such a teaching?” and they left Him, scandalised by His words. These were Rationalists without divine faith.

                  The Church can point to such solid examples of teaching by Christ relating to all of the Sacraments, for example, Confession. You’ll know the passage that relates to the healing of the lepers and how Our Lord said to those asking his mercy to “go, show yourselves to the priest and tell no man”. Leprosy, according to the teaching of the Church, the saints, etc., is an allusion to the disfigurement of souls by mortal (deadly) sin that can only be cleansed by Our Lord if we take Him at His word and go show ourselves to the priest (in Confession). As an aside, sin, especially mortal sin, is the greatest act of pride a man can demonstrate in his rebellion against God’s Commandments. And what does Our Lord ask in return if the man then repent his error? He asks the greatest act of humility to counter that pride, to kneel in the confessional before His ordained priest, acting on His behalf, to ask pardon and receive absolution (cleansing).

                  I can’t go into every Sacrament here, showing its basis in Sacred Scripture, but suffice it to say that the Church has, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, made all these wonderful mysteries known to us through the teaching authority of the papacy.

                  Now you say that when you asked why Pope Pius X discouraged people from interpreting the Bible for themselves you were simply told that we must obey because the Pope said so, or words to that effect. It would have been good if someone had expanded on that a little to help you to understand why the Pope said this and why we should obey.

                  Here’s an extract from the Douay Rheims Bible with commentary underneath in italics by the author that may help you to understand a little better about the Church’s authority:

                  “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Matthew 28 16-20.

                  “All power”: See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ’s church. He received from his Father all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power, he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John 20. 21) to teach and disciple, not one, but all nations; and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, not for three or four hundred years only, but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church ever go astray; having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. St. John 14.

                  Here’s yet another proof of the ordained priesthood with commentary below in italics.

                  “…For the scripture saith: Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be confounded. For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10 11-14.

                  “Unless they be sent”: Here is an evident proof against all new teachers, who have all usurped to themselves the ministry without any lawful mission, derived by succession from the apostles, to whom Christ said, John 20. 21, As my Father hath sent me, I also send you.”

                  These few examples should suffice to convince you why you have to accept the teaching authority of the Popes in many things. To Peter (and his successors) was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in other words the grace and authority to teach and instruct the faithful in Christ’s name, hence the title Vicar of Jesus Christ. This includes the authority to interpret and instruct on the mysteries contained in the Gospels, mysteries that the non-Catholics either cannot see or reject through absence of faith. Hence the reason why there are something like 256 different Protestant Sects all teaching opposing interpretations of Sacred Scripture according to their human understanding. That’s chaos and confusion, which is why the Popes have been at pains to warn rationalists not to attempt interpretations of Sacred Scripture based on acceptance only of what they can reconcile with human reason, lest they find themselves unhappily at odds with what Christ’s Church reveals, a little like those disciples who walked away when Christ told them about His body and blood.

                  I can’t go on here because this is getting too long for a single comment, so I will summarise thus:

                  You say you genuinely want to believe and that you pray constantly the prayer I mentioned earlier, “Lord, that I may see”. Well, if you are of good will, Marc, that prayer will be answered, you may rest assured, though you may be tested for a while.

                  My only concern right now, from reading your various comments, is that you may not be fully open to the truth. I say this because you appear to be fixed solidly in Protestant doctrine and all those old Protestant accusations against the Catholic Church relating to the papacy, the liturgical splendour, the doctrine, etc.

                  It’s not usual for potential converts to approach the Church in this accusatory manner when they are truly drawn to Catholicism by grace, they are usually very receptive of the divine mysteries revealed to them, even if they do have some initial questions to help them understand better. I think you need to consider this; are you really seeking the truth, or are you seeking reasons to dismiss it. Only you can know the answer to that in your conscience. I hope you get the grace to see!

                • Marc,

                  I appreciate how hard this must be for you. I can’t think of anything to add to what the others have said about reading and finding the truth in the bible, so I just want to say that I am remembering you in my prayers.

                • Marc,

                  Thank you for your apology, and I would not spend too much time beating yourself up over being “confused.” I believe I congratulated you not too long ago on desiring to enter the Church in this time of great confusion – a time, in fact, known in traditionalist circles as the “Passion of the Church.”

                  I would recommend that you carefully study Athanasius’ reply to you of April 3, 9:45 pm, particularly the penultimate paragraph. Study, savor and meditate on that post: it is a model for all the rest of us.

                  His understanding, knowledge and insight into the Faith far exceeds mine, so the only tidbit I can add to his post is from a natural perspective, not a supernatural one.

                  Regarding that penultimate paragraph, your past posts indicate that, psychologically speaking, you do not trust the Catholic Church and what she has to offer you. This is certainly understandable, given your previous training, but it is something you will have to surrender if you expect to enter through her sacred portal. It sounds to me as though your previous training was quite rigorous, so surrendering will not be an easy task. But surrender you must, since it is highly doubtful that you can become a faithful Catholic whilst spending your time looking for chinks in her armor.

                  Speaking of armor, I think I can safely say that all of us here are looking forward to the time when your warrior instincts are clad with the armor of the Church Militant. Keep in mind, though, that said armor is the armor of King David’s slingshot, not the armor of Goliath.

                  King David felled the monster with a simple stone. Likewise, Our Lord fells the Satanic monster every day around the world, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, on the altar stone.

                  Meanwhile, I am praying to Our Lady, the New Eve, the Mother of God and the Mediatrix of all Grace, to guide you safely through your conversion. And if you haven’t already done so, may I further recommend that you undertake St. Louis de Montfort’s 33-day Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

                  Pax Christi!

                  • RCA Victor,

                    That post was very helpful to me – never mind Marc, LOL!

                    Thank you for your clear thinking and I agree about Athanasius’ post which you highlighted, that was also very helpful.

            • Marc

              “Much of Catholic teaching makes no sense…”

              Tell that to countless saints and martyrs!

              With respect, your words read like those of a Rationalist who does not have the supernatural gift of faith and cannot, therefore, see beyond basic human reason. Or perhaps you do comprehend Catholic teaching but find it troubling to conscience and therefore more comfortable to dismiss than confront.

              I don’t know you and I certainly don’t know your motives, but I will say that if 2000 years of Catholics, many of them not particularly intellectually gifted (the salt of the earth!) could understand perfectly what you apparently can’t understand, then I would venture to suggest that you really should get down on your knees and ask God for the gift of Faith, the “Lord, that I may see” prayer of the blind man in the Gospels. You’ll be amazed by the transformation that heavenly gift brings to your understanding, exaulting it from limited human reason to sublime supernatural understanding.

              • Thank you for that, Athanasius.

                I’ve dropped by just to post this quote from an American convert (a conversion which cost her family and friends) because I hope that these few words may cause Marc to reflect again, and pray for the grace to see the truth of the matters discussed here…

    • Nicky,

      I appreciate your kind words. The link to the encyclical that you provided, however, merely poses more questions for me.

      In the said encyclical, it affirms the following:

      “… it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.”

      The unanimous agrrement of the Church Fathers was later declared dogma at the First Vatican Council 150 years ago. Moreover, the Protestant rejection of the deuterocanonical books being equal to Holy Scripture is based primarily on Jerome’s Helmeted Preface.

      Jerome, of course, being one of the aforementioned Fathers of the church as well as being the translator of the first Latin Vulgate, from which all subsequent Catholic bibles are sourced.

      Jerome, in his Prologue to the Book of Kings:

      “This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a helmeted [i.e. defensive] introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is outside of them must be placed aside among the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus the Son of Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd [I am not sure which book he means here] are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees is found in Hebrew, but the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style.”

      Jerome, at great expense, received a copy of the Hebrew scriptures from the Jews of his day. He then set about comparing these Hebrew scriptures he obtained (an ancestor of the Masoretic text) to the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) which was used throughout the Christian Churches.

      In this comparison, Jerome found numerous differences. He reasoned that the Jewish copy must be the more accurate of the two, as the Jewish copy was written in Hebrew just like the original Old Testament, while the Septuagint was a translation – and in translating, errors can crop up.

      Jerome, in his Preface to Pentateuch:

      “Hear, therefore, O rival; listen, O detractor! I do not condemn, I do not censure the Seventy [translators of the Hebrew texts], but I confidently prefer the Apostles to all of them. Christ speaks to me through their mouth, who I read were placed before the prophets among the Spiritual gifts, among which interpreters hold almost the last place.”

      This belief that the Septuagint was a poor translation of the Jewish scripture led him to believe that the Septuagint could also have been mistaken in its collection of scriptures, causing Jerome to prefer the shortened Jewish canon over the expanded Septuagint canon.

      Additionally, while reviewing the New Testament, Jerome found that where the New Testament quoted the Old Testament in a spot where the Jewish copy and the Septuagint disagreed on the text, the New Testament followed the Jewish copy (and not the Septuagint).

      Jerome, in his Apology Against Rufinus, Book II, Section 34

      “The Hebrew Scriptures are used by apostolic men; they are used, as is evident, by the apostles and evangelists. Our Lord and Savior himself whenever he refers to the Scriptures, takes his quotations from the Hebrew; as in the instance of the words “He that believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” and in the words used on the cross itself, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” which is by interpretation “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” not, as it is given by the Septuagint, “My God, my God, look upon me, why have you forsaken me?” and many similar cases. I do not say this in order to aim a blow at the seventy translators; but I assert that the Apostles of Christ have an authority superior to theirs. Wherever the Seventy agree with the Hebrew, the apostles took their quotations from that translation; but, where they disagree, they set down in Greek what they had found in the Hebrew.”

      Ibid, Jerome elaborates:

      “And further, I give a challenge to my accuser. I have shown that many things are set down in the New Testament as coming from the older books, which are not to be found in the Septuagint; and I have pointed out that these exist in the Hebrew. Now let him show that there is anything in the New Testament which comes from the Septuagint but which is not found in the Hebrew, and our controversy is at an end.”

      During the Reformation, the fathers of Protestantism followed Jerome’s teaching on the Deuterocanonical books.

      John Calvin, Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote, On The Fourth Session

      “Of their admitting all the Books promiscuously into the Canon, I say nothing more than it is done against the consent of the primitive Church. It is well known what Jerome states as the common opinion of earlier times. And Ruffinus, speaking of the matter as not at all controverted, declares with Jerome that Ecclesiasticus, the Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Judith, and the history of the Maccabees, were called by the Fathers not canonical but ecclesiastical books, which might indeed be read to the people, but were not entitled to establish doctrine. I am not, however, unaware that the same view on which the Fathers of Trent now insist was held in the Council of Carthage. The same, too, was followed by Augustine in his Treatise on Christian Doctrine…”

      Ibid:

      “Add to this, that they provide themselves with new supports when they give full authority to the Apocryphal books. Out of the second of the Maccabees they will prove Purgatory and the worship of saints; out of Tobit satisfactions, exorcisms, and what not. From Ecclesiasticus they will borrow not a little. For from whence could they better draw their dregs? I am not one of those, however, who would entirely disapprove the reading of those books…”

      Martin Luther came to the same conclusions of Calvin and Jerome. In 1534, when Luther’s Bible translation was published, the Deuterocanon was moved to the end of the Old Testament and labeled “Apocrypha”.

      In the introduction to the Apocrypha, Luther asserts, as Jerome did previously:

      “These books are not held equal to the Scriptures, but are useful and good to read.”

      Neither Luther nor Calvin dared to remove them from the Bible though, as by their time Christians had these books in their bibles for over a thousand years thanks to the Latin Vulgate. All that could be done was move these books to a section in the back of the Bible.

      Given that the Council of Trent was supposed to base it’s decrees on the unanimous consent of the Fathers, it beggars belief that they would completely ignore what these men had to say regarding the disputed books.

      Lastly, if Jerome was correct, and the deuterocanon were not considered God-inspired, then how can the Catholic church possibly vindicate the doctrine which follows from these books?

      • Marc

        One of the tenets of the Catholic Faith is the dogma of Papal Infallibility. That dogma applies to Sacred Scripture as well as to other divinely revealed truths of the Catholic religion, protecting Popes and bishops from promoting error.

        Hence, if you are considering becoming a Catholic you will have to accept this dogma on faith, believing, as do all Catholics, that Our Lord would not permit His Church to teach false or heterodox doctrine.

        If you cannot accept this dogma of the Catholic Faith then I fear you will simply tie yourself up in knots pouring over Scripture and asking questions that only the Catholic Faith can answer for you. The Protestants have been examining Sacred Scripture now for centuries, using all manner of personal interpretations and other sophisms to confirm them in their opposition to the true Church of Jesus Christ and its teaching authority, the Magisterium. In fine, it boils down to disobedience to those God has sent to us in favour of our own lights. That always ends in confusion and worse. Beware of it!

        • Athanasius,

          That’s not a fair representation of of what is being said here. It’s a false dichotomy. I don’t understand you logic. Perhaps I missed it but I am unconvinced.

          • Marc

            It’s simply a case of having to be in possession of that Catholic Faith I mentioned earlier in this thread if you want your many questions answered difinitively, for with that divine gift comes the ability to accept what the Church teaches while seeing the logic of it.

            I have to say in all honesty that you don’t strike me as one who is really that inclined to the Catholic religion, your mindset appearing to be staunchly Protestant. You appear to be more an apologist for the heretics Luther and Calvin than one who is truly prepared to embrace Catholic teaching on Sacred Scripture, or anything else for that matter.

            You have to bear in mind the temerity of the two heretics in question, two egos who called into question not only 1000 years of universal belief established and confirmed by men much greater in holiness and learning than they, but who went on to reject Christ’s Church altogether and to repudiate the Petrine authority, all on the basis of their own rationalism and perhaps, in Luther’s case, because he was never cut out for the religious life to begin with. He entered religious life very reluctantly to fulfil a hasty promise he made to God when asking for protection from a lightening storm that terrified him. He long regretted making that promise and was clearly ill at ease in religious life. His future anger and sophistry were obviously fuelled by this torment. He kept his promise for a while but it gnawed at him until he exploded into furious heresy.

            These two men are not good hstorical examples to quote, much less pitch their opinions against the Fathers and Popes of the Church. They were, to put it bluntly, apostates from the Church with an axe to grind and passions to serve.

        • Michaela,

          Thank you for the link. I have read it and I have some serious reservations about Marshall’s conclusions – to say the least.

          Let’s take a look at what Marshall cites –

          “Furthermore, Jerome in the year A.D. 402 defended the deuteroncanoical additions to the book of Daniel:

          What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the Story of Susanna, the Song of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us.” (Against Rufinus, 11:33 [AD 402]).

          I rest my case. It seems clear that Saint Jerome did at one time reject the deuterocanonicals, but by A.D. 402-404 he had become a defender of them. Saint Jerome was not a dissenter.”

          Michaela, I have seen this argument before; this claim that Jerome changed his position on the Apocrypha later in his life. That he came to accept these books as inspired because of the “judgment of the churches” on this matter. Furthermore, Marshall claims the evidence of this lies in his citing these letters using the word “Scripture” to define them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

          Furthermore, from the citation above, he states that Jerome followed the “judgment of the churches”, which Marshall mistranslates as the synods of Hippo and Carthage, but he is mistaken. Contextually, the “judgment of the churches” refers to Theodotion’s translation of Daniel which the churches were using instead of the Septuagint version.

          To add to this, both Hippo and Carthage were regional councils and didn’t speak for the entire church, thus it wasn’t mandated that Jerome submit to their decisions. Yet, it was Theodotion’s version Jerome refers to when he mentions the “judgment of the churches” and not their decision on canon.

          Here, you can read what Jerome said on the matter, in full:

          “In reference to Daniel my answer will be that I did not say that he was not a prophet; on the contrary, I confessed in the very beginning of the Preface that he was a prophet. But I wished to show what was the opinion upheld by the Jews; and what were the arguments on which they relied for its proof. I also told the reader that the version read in the Christian churches was not that of the Septuagint translators but that of Theodotion. It is true, I said that the Septuagint version was in this book very different from the original, and that it was condemned by the right judgment of the churches of Christ; but the fault was not mine who only stated the fact, but that of those who read the version. We have four versions to choose from: those of Aquila, Symmachus, the Seventy, and Theodotion. The churches choose to read Daniel in the version of Theodotion. What sin have I committed in following the judgment of the churches? But when I repeat what the Jews say against the Story of Susanna and the Hymn of the Three Children, and the fables of Bel and the Dragon, which are not contained in the Hebrew Bible, the man who makes this a charge against me proves himself to be a fool and a slanderer; for I explained not what I thought but what they commonly say against us. I did not reply to their opinion in the Preface, because I was studying brevity, and feared that I should seem to be writing not a Preface but a book. I said therefore, “As to which this is not the time to enter into discussion.” Otherwise from the fact that I stated that Porphyry had said many things against this prophet, and called, as witnesses of this, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinarius, who have replied to his folly in many thousand lines, it will be in his power to accuse me for not baring written in my Preface against the books of Porphyry. If there is anyone who pays attention to silly things like this, I must tell him loudly and free that no one is compelled to read what he does not want; that I wrote for those who asked me, not for those who would scorn me, for the grateful not the carping, for the earnest not the indifferent. Still, I wonder that a man should read the version of Theodotion the heretic and Judaiser, and should scorn that of a Christian, simple and sinful though he may be.”

          The issue, Michaela, was that it was Theodotion’s (a known heretic) translation of Daniel which was being used by the churches. The translation was faulty, wasn’t based on the Septuagint, and condemned by the “right judgment of the churches”. But, as you can see, this in no way applies to the decision on canon made at the local councils of Hippo and Carthage.

          Jerome goes on to say that he is merely stating Jewish opinion against these books. Although this was the view he espoused, he was not the originator, and it put him in the uncomfortable position of arguing with the Jews on this.

          Jerome was further riled by the fact that the churches followed the translation of a known heretic instead of a Christian such as himself. As an aside, Marshall wrongfully associates Pope Damasus as being in agreement with the alleged decisions at Hippo and Carthage, but Damasus died in 384AD – nine years before Hippo (393AD) and thirteen years before Carthage (397AD).

          To sum up, Marshall is embellishing Jerome’s statements regarding the “judgment of the churches” to mean something that it isn’t. As I’ve shown, contextually, Jerome is saying something else entirely. I hope that this explains things for you.

          • Marc,

            A reader who has been following this discussion, emailed me as follows:

            “Regarding his answer to Michaela on 5:06 pm April 6: aside from the still unanswered question of why Marc was interested in the Catholic Faith to begin with, when he is clearly more interested in defending Protestantism, I’ve discovered that his long message to Michaela was copied – as in, cut and paste – almost word for word from this article:
            https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/3189/why-were-deuterocanonical-books-rejected-in-the-reformation

            to which is linked the second article below, which actually refutes the first one! However, he neglects to paste the solutions, contained in the second article, to the arguments he presents, especially, about 15% down the page, in the section called “Historical Claims reviewed” and from there down, also. Here is that second article:
            https://teachthe.net/index.php?title=Why_do_Catholics_have_extra_books_in_their_bibles%3F

            He calls St. Jerome’s opinion on the Deuterocanonical books his “teaching.” (a mistake which he also copied from the first article). Obviously, since St. Jerome submitted to the Church on this question, it was not his teaching at all, but merely his opinion!

            If anything, this proves even more how devious Luther and Calvin were! They used St. Jerome’s short-lived but outspoken opinion as doctrinal proof of their lies!

            As someone I know would say, “Gimme strength!” Ends

            I think, Marc, the question has to be answered as to why you say you are interested in the Catholic Faith. I would be appalled if, in fact, your motive in coming here, is actually (as mentioned in the House Rules) to “de-convert” us from Catholicism. Won’t work, Marc.

            If I were definitely interested in leaving the Catholic Church and signing up for Presbyterianism, I would quickly come to see that, as a first step, I would have to accept the basis on which the Presbyterian Church differed from the Catholic Church. If I refused to accept sola scriptura, that the Bible alone suffices to know about God and thus be saved, then I would forget it. Similarly, anyone seeking to learn about the Catholic Church has to embrace the same beliefs that have been held within the Christian community from the beginning, until the Protestant Reformers, more aptly described as revolutionaries (dissident Catholic priests like Luther leading the way) decided to start their own “Church”.

            Theologians and scholars offer their opinions to popes on important issues but they are not infallible. If you can’t accept that, and if you can’t distinguish between the opinions of theologians and the authoritative teaching office of the Church, then you will not be able to convert. We would lament that, but there’s a reason why we pray the Creed at every Mass. It would be unthinkable to say “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” – and not mean it.

            • Editor,

              I’ll go through the points which you have raised.

              “I think, Marc, the question has to be answered as to why you say you are interested in the Catholic Faith.”

              I have explained this further up the thread; that I am seeking the truth, whatever that is.

              “I would be appalled if, in fact, your motive in coming here, is actually (as mentioned in the House Rules) to “de-convert” us from Catholicism.”

              Absolutely not Editor. Surely you can accept that there are many contradictory theories available and I want to make sure that I “get it right”. I would be a fool if I did not investigate to ensure that what I commit myself to is correct. Consequently, I have been digesting as much information as I can. My problem, is that every time I think I have found the mother load, new evidence appears which contradicts it.

              I post on this forum mostly for answers on the Catholic faith. The forum, let’s not forget, is called Catholic Truth and many of the posters seem fairly “clued-up” on all things Catholicism. Again, it would be stupid of me not to ask questions here.

              “If I refused to accept sola scriptura, that the Bible alone suffices to know about God and thus be saved, then I would forget it. “

              That’s not what sola scriptura means. Also, you seem to be conflating sola scriptura with sola fide. I’m not sure what exactly you mean here.

              “Similarly, anyone seeking to learn about the Catholic Church has to embrace the same beliefs that have been held within the Christian community from the beginning, until the Protestant Reformers, more aptly described as revolutionaries (dissident Catholic priests like Luther leading the way) decided to start their own ‘Church’.”

              This is exactly what Luther was trying to confirm; whether the Church had stayed true to the same beliefs from the beginning. His posting of the 95 Theses was an invitation to debate, nothing more (which you would have known if you bothered your bahookie to actually read them). Given that the issues which he wished to discuss [indulgences and the canon] hadn’t up until that point been declared dogma, then he would have ostensibly been “permitted” to debate those issues – just like the Church Fathers were given free reign to discuss topics not (as yet) considered infallible.

              However, Luther was not afforded the same liberty to debate as previous generations were. The Pope sent Cajetan (a man who incidentally shared much of the same reservations as Luther did) to meet with Luther and offer him an ultimatum – stop asking questions, or face excommunication (which in early-16th century Christendom almost exclusively resulted in a fiery death).

              What’s more, is that Luther was trained, in a Francisan monastery, using Bibles with commentaries which decreed that the Deuterocanon was not, in fact, canon; namely, the Glossa Ordinaria. The canon had not been dogmatically affirmed until Trent – held after Luther’s death. He was well within his rights to query and debate the canon during his lifetime yet the Church wanted to make a martyr out of him.

              Until it is declared infallible, it is open for discussion. Think of how the Church allows Catholics to adhere to either Molinist or Thomist views on predestination even though there is a massive difference between both theories. Now, if (and when) the Church declares that one is infallible, then Catholics must submit to her teachings but, until then, they can choose either, or none.

              “Theologians and scholars offer their opinions to popes on important issues but they are not infallible.”

              The unanimity of the Church Fathers is infallible and was declared as such at the first Vatican Council. As we know, infallibility works backwards and well as forwards. Therefore, if the Church Fathers did not agree on the canon – and it is beyond a considerable doubt that they did not – then the Church is ipso facto in error, in spite of what your anonymous, faceless friend thinks.

              • Marc,

                With respect, the Church is not in error. You seem to be saying that the Church can declare the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture as something we must accept, knowing that the early Church Fathers didn’t accept it. I think someone would have picked up on that along the way, don’t you?

              • Marc

                “…What’s more, is that Luther was trained, in a Francisan monastery, using Bibles with commentaries which decreed that the Deuterocanon was not, in fact, canon; namely, the Glossa Ordinaria…”

                This is incorrect. Martin Luther was an Augustinian, not a Franciscan, and was trained at Wittenberg University, a largely Humanist place of learning. One of the professors at that university was Melancthon, a man who readily embraced and promoted Luther’s errors and later indulged in astrology and the occult.

                “…This is exactly what Luther was trying to confirm; whether the Church had stayed true to the same beliefs from the beginning. His posting of the 95 Theses was an invitation to debate, nothing more…”

                This is also incorrect. Luther was challenging established Catholic teaching and he was doing so publicly in an act of defiance. He had his debate at the Diet of Worms where he was confronted with Church teaching against his errors but refused to recant. There was never an intention to debate in Luther’s mind, it was open rebellion from the start, which is why he went around preaching disobedience to the Church in all the towns in Saxony. He was warned time and again until finally excommunicated for preaching public heresy.

                You would know this if you checked Luther’s history, including his unstable temperament. I am still more convinced that you’re here to act as an apologist for Luther than as potential convert to Catholicism.

                • Atanasius,

                  Re: your first point.

                  Luther was trained as a monk in a monastery. For the first time, Luther was exposed to a library full of church documents notwithstanding the writings of the church Fathers and the Bible commentary entitled Glossa Ordinaria, which refute the canonicity of the Apocrypha and the Antilegomena. To argue otherwise would be an insult to common knowledge.

                  The rest of your argument [Melancthon etc.] is a complete straw man and, as such, unworthy of a response.

                  Re: your second point.

                  Luther was not challenging “established Catholic teaching”. He was outraged that local clergy, with the full authority of Rome, were robbing poor people via indulgences. Indulgences are obviously related to purgatory and the doctrine of purgatory has its basis on scripture – specifically, the Epistle of James.

                  However, just because certain books are considered scripture that does not mean that they are to be considered Canon.

                  The Catholic church had not fully established which Books were Canon and did not do so until the Council of Trent which, as I noted earlier, was convened after Luther’s death.

                  Canon was debated between Catholic scholars for centuries. Around the time of Luther, other notable Catholics (such as Erasmus and Cajetan), held that the some books should not be considered Canon with James being particularly questioned. In fact, Cajetan questioned the authorship of James and, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “… regarded as inferior for the settlement of doctrinal controversies.”

                  Cajetan didn’t stop there however. In 1532, he wrote his “Commentary on All the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament”. In this work, Cajetan leaves out all of the Apocrypha since he did not consider it to be Canonical, which he described as “not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage”.

                  Cajetan did not believe the Apocrypha and Antilegomena were Canon and the principle source for his doubts were the church Fathers.

                  So, far from being “established Catholic teaching” the Canon was most certainly available to discuss and debate pre-Trent. The Catholic church did its best in trying to quell the questioning of its disputed teachings by adding Cajetan’s aforesaid book (along with many others) to its Index Liborium Prohibitum. The problem regarding Luther was that he went further and was preaching and the only way to shut that down is to shut him up – which he refused to do hence his excommunication.

                  • Marc

                    Your posts are very reminiscent of someone else who used to comment on this blog, though I can’t remember any of the names he used to post under, it was so long ago. Are you that person by any chance? The similarity is remarkable in writing style and presentation of Protestant apologetics.

                    He liked to use the term “straw man” as well when someone presented him with inconvenient proofs, so that was a bit of a giveaway. Frankly, I think your comment to bloggers here earlier in this thread was deceit on your part because your subesequent posts demonstrate clearly that you are not remotely interested in the Catholic religion, you’re here as an apologist for the Protestant heretics Calvin and Luther, though with sophistry.

                    I have enough experience in my life to recognise falsehood when I read it. You’re not here to get answers, you’re here for a bit of sport. Well I won’t be obliging you further.

                    A few little corrections for you as a parting gift:

                    1. The Council of Trent was one year in sitting when Luther died, so your claim that it was convened after his death is incorrect.

                    2. During his formation, and for many years afterwards, Luther was a model Catholic in belief and penitential practice. His heresy manifested years after ordination. Hence, your insinuation that he read the Glossa Ordinaria while training for the priesthood at the Augustinian monastery, which reading led him to reject the canonicity of the Apocrypha and the Antilegomena is patently false.

                    3. Cajetan was profoundly loyal to Catholic teaching and doctrine, hence the reason why he is regularly attacked by anti-Thomist theologians who accuse him of error and attempt to turn his thoughts as a private theologian into rebellion against the teaching of the Church when, in fact, his fidelity to the authority of the Magisterium and his defence of Catholic doctrine on all points is well recorded. Cajectan was no apologist for Luther, he opposed the heretic on every point of his heresies.

                    4. Erasmus certainly held some heterodox views as a Catholic but he never renounced his Catholic Faith, as did Luther. Here’s what Erasmus wrote about the Reformers you seek to defend:

                    “You declaim bitterly against the luxury of priests, the ambition of bishops, the tyranny of the Roman Pontiff, and the babbling of the sophists; against our prayers, fasts, and Masses; and you are not content to retrench the abuses that may be in these things, but must needs abolish them entirely…

                    Look around on this ‘Evangelical’ generation, and observe whether amongst them less indulgence is given to luxury, lust, or avarice, than amongst those whom you so detest. Show me any one person who by that Gospel has been reclaimed from drunkenness to sobriety, from fury and passion to meekness, from avarice to liberality, from reviling to well-speaking, from wantonness to modesty. I will show you a great many who have become worse through following it….The solemn prayers of the Church are abolished, but now there are very many who never pray at all….

                    I have never entered their conventicles, but I have sometimes seen them returning from their sermons, the countenances of all of them displaying rage, and wonderful ferocity, as though they were animated by the evil spirit….
                    Who ever beheld in their meetings any one of them shedding tears, smiting his breast, or grieving for his sins ?… Confession to the priest is abolished, but very few now confess to God…. They have fled from Judaism that they may become Epicureans.”
                    Epistle to Vulturius Neocomus, AD1529

                    I think these words of Erasmus sum up Protestantism in a nutshell. It leads not to reform but to revolt against God and all that is holy, which explains why Protestanism in our time is comfortable with divorce and all manner of immorality while the true Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, stands alone in fidelity to Christ and divinely revealed truth.

                    • Athansius,

                      Och, away you go. Do you really think that I have got nothing better to do than come on here and blatantly waffle in order to push some Protestant agenda? Gies peace! As I said in another thread, and at the risk of being impolite, you really need to get off the laptop and go for a wee wander, clear your head of all the conspiracy nonsense that’s clearly taken a hold over you.

                      1. Trent did not settle the matter of Canon until March 1546. Luther passed in February of the same year. Even after the decision, many Catholic theologians, including Cajetan, still treated the disputed books as they had done so before. Indeed, Sextus Senensis, in his Bibliotheca Sancta, divides the biblical books into “Protocanonical” (undisputed in the early church) and “Deuterocanonical” (disputed), some 20 years post-Trent.

                      2. Luther was a model Catholic until he was excommunicated for doing what many of his contemporaries were also doing; debating and criticising the Canon. Alas, he was still producing sermons about, and quoting from, the disputed scripture up to his death unlike many of the others who shared his views on the disputed Canon. Why was he treated differently?

                      3. The “thoughts” of a “private theologian”, which denounced the authenticity of the Deuterocanon – much in the same way as Luther, Erasmus, Jerome, Augustine Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius and many others had done previously – were published into books. In what way is this to be conceived of as “profoundly loyal?”

                      4. Erasmus went much further than did Luther or, indeed, Cajetan in his questioning of the disputed books. In addition to the Apocrypha and Antilegemona, Erasmus doubted the authorship of Ephesians and assigned Hebrews to Clement of Rome.

                      It really begs the question: why was Luther singled out for actions which were mirrored by others like Erasmus and Cajetan? As far as I can see, the only reason Luther was singled out was his refusal to take the knee and declare “revoco”. Only cowardice could possibly explain why both Cajetan and Erasmus subordinated their judgements and beliefs. Although, in the case of Erasmus, the particular level of economic and scholarly freedom he enjoyed due to his closeness with Leo X certainly couldn’t have harmed him.

                      Since Athanasius has gone in the huff, perhaps someone else would like to have a go at answering my questions above. Also, I’m still waiting on a reply on how the Catholic church reconciles differences, where it exists, between Tradition and Scripture – especially, where Tradition contradicts explicit biblical reference. Plus, why did the church ignore the church Fathers when deciding the Canon despite dogma which states that unanimity of the Fathers was required? Any, and all, answers will be gratefully received.

                    • Marc

                      And yet the fact remains that Luther is the only one who defied Church teaching in public, went on to deny other truths and ended up excommunicated for heresy. No point debating further when this is the obvious conclusion at the end.

                      All others, regardless of what they may or may not have thought as private theologians, bowed in obedience to the authority of the Church in the matter because the papal decress in such matters are divinely protected and therefore infallible.

                      It should just be stated here, though, that while the odd theologian may have had doubts about the origin of certain Scriptural texts, a position they were entirely free to hold prior to infallible declaration in the matter, the greater majority of theologians in the Church for centuries, many saints among them, had no such reservations.

                      My suggestion, then, is that you abandon this futile line of questioning and move on to what the Church actually teaches for the salvation of souls instead of harking back to centuries-old issues that are now largely unimportant since the Church has spoken! Keep it simple, that’s the essence of sanctity, Marc. The clever dicks who delve into wasteful discussion instead of doing what they need to do for their soul’ salvation usually end up atheists. If you don’t be careful you’ll end up like them.

                      The fact is numberless far more intelligent and sanctified people than you and I have acknowledged the Church’s authority in Sacred Scripture. Luther and a few other rebellious heretics from history thought they knew better and suffered the worst possible consequences for their pride and vanity. Don’t be like these foolish men. Consent to the humble!

                  • Marc,

                    I’ve no time to write much in response to your latest posts, but no real need since Athanasius has nailed the key points.

                    But what jumped out at me and made me question your claim to interest in the Catholic Faith, is your repetition of the Protestant propaganda about the sale of indulgences, when that has been clearly explained to you. That suggests, how can I put it… bad faith.

                    No worries, though – you’re not the first (and I doubt if you will be the last) person to fool me, for a time at least. Even in my ripe older age I still tend to be taken in by people until, eventually, they show their true colours. Once the penny has well and truly dropped, however, there’s no turning back. “Fool me once…” etc.

                    If you ever become a Catholic, Marc, I will sign up for membership of the Free Church of Scotland and maybe the not-so-free Church of Scotland as well. Who knows, I may get membership on a “two-for-the-price-of-one” basis.

  42. Marc,

    I want to also congratulate you on your generous and humble apology. Not a lot of people do that, in my experience. One woman on here recently demanded an apology from Editor for making a mistake which Editor gave, but when she asked the woman for an apology for her mistake, nothing came of it. She has disappeared into thin air.

    It definitely can’t be easy to come from strict Protestantism, sola scriptura etc into even considering becoming a Catholic so you have my heartfelt sympathy and support. I would have loved to have met you at the Catholic Truth seminar only it’s been cancelled now, more’s the pity. Maybe another time!

  43. Marc,

    I congratulate you, too, since apologising isn’t easy for anyone. I will keep you in my prayers during Holy Week. I’m sure it will all come right in God’s own good time.

  44. Marc,

    I add my name to the list of bloggers who are impressed with your search for the truth and your apology. Holy Week prayers for your intentions, from me, as well.

  45. Hello everyone. I hope this is the right place for me to join in. I have been reading the blog for some days now…I found it whilst looking up Medjugorje due to a lot of doubts I’ve been having about it, and just kept reading. I have already learned so much. I am a cradle Catholic, born and brought up in the North of Ireland. I was once so faithful (not really knowledgeable as such, just prayerful) but somewhere I lost it and became lukewarm.

    Anyway, reading this blog and saying the Rosary daily during the lockdown has lit a fire within me again. Thank you all and I hope I can take part in discussions as I have allowed so many different beliefs and thoughts to sway me away from the Catholic faith and I feel the need to explore things more with people.

    Kindest regards,

    Claire

    • Hi Claire,

      What a lovely post, I am glad you have found the blog edifying and I know many others will too.

      I am like you, in terms of being a cradle Catholic who has benefited hugely from reading this blog and discovering the traditional and authentic expression of the Catholic faith.

      There are many very knowledgeable posters here, whom I am sure you will enjoy engaging with.

      Usually, the blog is closed down during Holy Week but, due to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in currently, Editor has allowed some threads to remain open this year.

      Nice to meet you! 🙂

      PS – you are right to be sceptical about Medjugorje, which is a massive hoax. Every from the local Bishop, through Vatican officials, to Pope Francis himself has said as much. Yet the hoax rolls on, mainly because of the chaotic state the Church has been in since the Second Vatican Council.

    • Hi Claire

      I’m sure I speak for all of us on this blog when I say you are most welcome here. You must feel free to join any conversation or ask any questions, no matter how silly you think they may appear. Remember, we are Traditional Catholics who largely grew up in modern Catholic parishes, learning all the strange stuff they started teaching and doing at parish level way back in the 70s. Most, if not all, of us then realised through reciting the rosary that things were not right and we found our way back to the Faith of our Fathers, including the Mass of the saints and martyrs, the Ancient Latin Mass.

      I have no doubt that you’ll have a few funny ideas after years of exposure to Modernism, but please do realise that we all had some strange ideas before we started to question them.

      Grace definitely seems to be at work in you right now. I can say that for two reasons: The first is that you feel more inclined towards your Catholic religion, which is from God. The second is that you have doubts about Medjugorje, a proven fake apparition site, and those doubts are from Our Lady. Maybe Editor can point you to previous threads on Medjugorje on this blog, but suffice it to say no knowledgeable Catholic who understands the teaching of the Church in the matter of apparitions, believes in Medjugorje.

      Please do feel welcome to contribute anywhere you please on this blog and ask as many questions as you like on the “General Discussion” thread, no matter how silly you may think the question is. Believe me, we’ve all been there!

    • Hello Claire,

      Welcome to the blog! In addition to your reading of these topics and saying daily Rosaries, I hope you are able to find a live-streamed (for now) Traditional Mass, the regular viewing of which is sure to bestow more graces upon you, including inflaming the love of God within you even more.

  46. Hi Gabriel and Athanasius. Thank you so much for the lovely welcome. I will definitely have lots of questions that will be silly…I have never even thought about modernism in the Church and the desperate effects of it until I began to read this blog. I just thought that people were drifting away because of evilness OUTSIDE the Church.

    I have been having a lot of doubts about Medjugorje. For years, really. When I was younger, I used to read this magazine called Medjugorje Herald from cover to cover. I was a huge believer, so much that I actually prayed to Our Lady to take me there. Some weeks after that, my convent school organised a school trip there. I honestly thought then that was PROOF it was true as my prayer was answered!!

    However, when I went (I was 17 at the time, just at the start of the nineties) I was really appalled. I thought Fr Jozo was a charlatan…we went to his church where he laid his hands on people and they fell back, really dramatically. The atmosphere felt bad…I hated it. The seers as well were strange – I got a very uneasy vibe from them. Especially Ivan…can I say I didn’t care for him?

    For many years I put Medjugorje out of my head. I convinced myself I was wrong – so many people just seemed crazy about it and loved it. I never thought until I came on this site that I was right, that maybe Mary let me go there to see the truth so I wouldn’t be entirely sucked in the way I had been going, and also until I read articles and comments here I hadn’t realised the importance of Fátima and how the false visions were stealing people’s focus away from it.

    I honestly cannot thank you enough. I feel a little scared at changing my life around now I am seeing things more clearly, but I will try to put my faith in the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.

    • Claire,

      You are, of course, very welcome here, indeed. I’m sorry to be so late in welcoming you – I read your post in moderation, as all new posts are moderated, and I was delighted that you have come to join us. I was then taken up with some admin business, and catching up with reading comments, so, better late than never… I got here!

      I’m especially pleased to meet you because my mother, RIP, was born in the North of Ireland – Lurgan, Co. Armagh, to be precise. So, you’re doubly welcome!

      I note your comments about Medjugorje, thanks be to God! It’s very unusual to find someone who comes to the realisation that it is not true: in my experience, once a “Medjugorje believer, always a Medjugorje believer” so thank God that you are the exception to that rule.

      Athanasius, ever keen to keep me busy (!) suggested that I might dig out some of our previous discussions on the subject of Medjugorje, so I think the most recent one is probably the most comprehensive. Here is the link
      https://catholictruthblog.com/2019/07/01/medjugorje-intelligent-objectivity-required-its-not-about-faith/

      If you would like me to post more, just say the word. We’ve had a number of threads on the topic.

      And as the others say, feel absolutely free to ask any questions at all – when we are learning about anything, there really IS no such thing as a “silly” question. When I was learning how to use a computer, the lecturer said exactly that, and then told us to lift up our mouse, he was going to show us how to begin… I shot up my hand, confident that there is no such thing as a silly question, and asked him where I could find a mouse… ! The various replies from my fellow students are best left unreported 😀

      Again, Claire – a hundred thousand welcomes! God bless you!

      • Editor so interesting your dear mother came from Lurgan. I am from Mid Ulster..very rural and really beautiful. My parents were so devout. Dad RIP had a great devotion to the Rosary and Mum still does. We said it as a family on our knees each evening. The Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart images were in our home. I feel so blessed to have had that kind of upbringing. My mum and dad were so happily married for nearly sixty years when Dad passed away.

        Just one more thing on Medjugorje. I tried to talk to people about my doubts and it was always difficult. When I mentioned the seers were strange to me – they seemed to lack joy and radiance which I would have expected from true seers – people kept telling me that was just what people in that region were like. That they were reserved and almost belligerent by nature. Even my own priest believed in the visions and he always came across as very holy and assured.

        I am so grateful to Our Lady for showing me the truth and bringing me here. It makes me feel very humble.

  47. Claire

    In addition to the link Editor has given you on Medjugorje, I have just found the following 2008 article in the Spectator. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/sex-lies-and-apparitions

    There’s evidence in this article against Medjugorje that even I didn’t know. The entire business (and it is a filthy business!) is evil. What you felt as “bad vibes” when you visited the place was no mere human instinct, it was your Guardian Angel enlightening and warning you.

    Fatima is the genuine apparition for our time, Our Lady’s request for a Papal/Episcopal consecration of Russia to her immaculate Heart and our devotion to her Immaculate Heart, the rosary and the First Saturdays. The present crisis of faith in the Church and the general global apostasy from God is all linked with the Third Secret of Fatima.

  48. Hello RCAVictor and Editor…thank you so much! I have just been following my local Mass on webcam – I had no idea about traditional Masses until I came on this blog. I can’t believe how much I have not known. I love the Mass but now I can start to see the abuses I have been part of. For example, I had been taking Holy Communion in the hand but I won’t be doing that anymore.

    Editor thank you so much for your lovely words and the link. I will read that this morning. Lately I have been reading more about Medjugorje because the Coronavirus brought it into my head. Simply because I was questioning why Our Lady through the seers hadn’t predicted it. So I went on this site called Mystic Post and began to read..the person who runs the site is obviously a believer in it but I just couldn’t in my heart. I was wondering what was wrong with me. Then I came here and it was brilliant…it became so clear.

    Athanasius the Spectator article was one I read just last week and I was nodding along to every word. I also watched Visions on Demand and the Patrick Coffin interview with E. Michael Jones. Such a relief to see I wasn’t crazy or blind. And it’s so interesting that you say it was my Guardian Angel. When I was younger (I’m ashamed to say I let it slide) I was devoted to my Guardian Angel. I would talk and pray to him throughout the day, so I really believe you are right. That he was looking out for me and my soul when I went to Medjugorje.

    This blog and all the posters are telling me things that I never ever knew in a lifetime of being in the faith. It’s really sad and also really wonderful at the same time.

    • Claire

      I found the Spectator article particularly revealing as it clarified in more detail things I had only read before in a cursory way. The sexual element in these priests who disobediently promoted the Medjugorje hoax is the sign par excellence that this Medjugorje business is from Hell.

      As regards the so-called seers, the one proof above all that highlights them as frauds is their worldliness. In previous authentic Marian apparitions seers are so drawn to divine things afterwards that they usually enter religious life. Not so with these people, who have made a lot of money from Medjugorje. I can hardly believe that so many people have fallen for this ruse, good people being so easily mislead.

      Now, Communion in the hand is a very interesting subject. Cardinal Suenens of Belgium introduced this abuse illicitly into the Church during the reign of Pope Paul VI. This Pope in return, shocked by the impudence of Suenens, yet not willing to denounce his friend, wrote an Instruction entitled “Memoriale Domini”, in which he declares with authority that receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling remains the practice of the Church.

      Paul VI sadly left the back door open to further abuse by allowing Indult for those places where the “contrary usage” had taken root. Before long the entire Church was on the Indult, the bishops pretending that this was the new rule when in fact the old method is still the official one. It is at best an invitation to irreverence and at worst encouragement to outright sacrilege. Many sacrileges have occurred since this horrible practice was forced on the Church.

      Here’s a link to Memoriale Domini:

      http://www.catholictradition.org/Eucharist/memoriale.htm

      Here’s a quote from MD to whet your appetite:

      “…After he had considered the observations and the counsel of those whom “the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule” the Churches, in view of the seriousness of the matter and the importance of the arguments proposed, the Supreme Pontiff judged that the long received manner of ministering Holy Communion to the faithful should not be changed.

      The Apostolic See therefore strongly urges bishops, priests, and people to observe zealously this law, valid and again confirmed, according to the judgment of the majority of the Catholic episcopate, in the form which the present rite of the sacred liturgy employs, and out of concern for the common good of the Church…”

  49. Thank you so much Athanasius. I am going to take Holy Communion on my tongue only going forward. The traditional way makes so much sense, really. There is a person in my congregation who kneels before the priest to receive Holy Communion. I think most people see them as kind of crazy because of the reverence. I know I did!! Now I understand a bit better though and find it amazing that someone showing reverence is seen that way.

    Yes, the whole Medjugorje issue is disgusting. Some of the characters in the saga are really unbelievable in their immorality yet people still believe it!! I can’t understand why the ‘seers’ aren’t worried about God’s judgement. I wonder if some of the believers are like I was…convinced we were wrong about our doubts because of the fervour and zeal surrounding it. One thing that always raised alarm bells was that so much of the behaviour surrounding it seemed cult-like. Even down to seeing non-believers as a kind of enemy. I won’t rattle on too much about Medjugorje, suffice to say I am so glad I saw the light. It will be crushing for people when the ten secrets don’t appear.

    Have you heard of Christina Gallagher? I used to believe in her too…until I went to the ‘House of Prayer’ in Achill. It just felt wrong, and then all the stories about her wealth came out. She ended up having to pay back hundreds of thousands of donations.

    • Claire

      You are very welcome.

      I was interested in what you said about the person who kneels for Holy Communion. Your past reaction to this, like so many otherwise good Catholics, is understandable given that the Bishops have done all in their power for years to suppress this method of receiving Holy Communion, which remains the official norm of the Church. They way they have behaved, including priests who have refused to give Holy Communion to those who kneel, is utterly reprehensible since the method they have replaced it with is identical to that introduced by Luther after his apostasy.

      You may also have noticed in recent years the introduction of another Lutheran practice, that of receiving under both kinds. It is a long-condemned heresy of lutherans that Holy Communion with the consecrated host only is invalid Holy Communion, that one must also sup from the chalice. The Church has amply demonstrated over the centuries through papal teaching that this is a falsehood. Now the Modernists have embraced the falsehood.

      In essence what we see in the Church today is largely a continuation of Luther’s revolt against the Catholic Mass and Catholic doctrine, especially Eucharistic doctrine.

      The New Mass of Paul VI is largely constructed after the model introduced by Luther, which explains why six Protestant ministers, mostly Lutheran, were involved with Fr. Annibale Bugnini in the construction of the New Mass. Hence the table instead of altar, priest facing people instead of God, vernacular language, removal of altar rails, Communion in the hand, Communion under both kinds, altar girls, etc. These are all changes in the Lutheran spirit, the Protestant Reformation reborn within the Church at the highest levels. Shocking stuff, but absolutely true.

      Now the teaching of the Church is that even the tinyest particle of the consecrated host is the full body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord. Hence, we wonder why bishops and priests would act to remove the safest and most reverent pracetice of the Church for 1500 years, replacing it with one that causes millions of particles of the Sacred host to fall from hands and be trampled underfoot. There is also the overwhelming evidence that since they brought this horrendous abuse into the Church, thousands of acts of sacrilege have taken place, most notably the French artist who bought hundreds of consecrated hosts from the Internet and then arranged them in what he called an art form, nailing every one individually to a board. It is really demonic stuff and our Catholic hierarchy has facilitated it by Communion in the hand.

      There are other horror stories of school kids putting the sacred host in their pockets and hosts being found lying under pews, etc. I’m sure I have said enough now to completely horrify you, but it is horrific and we need to inform ourselves of we are to oppose this abuse.

      As regards Medjugorje, many good Catholics have been sucked into that hoax, sadly continuing to defend it when there simply is no defence. One of the great arguments they use is that Medjugorje has reuslted in hundreds, if not thousands, of conversions to the faith. They don’t seem to realise that God brings good even from evil, in this case the conversion of many people of good will who want to know, love and serve God. They are so short sighted.

      Anyway, if anyone ever says anything to you about kneeling to recieve Holy Communion, you will be well armed with your response. Think yourself graced if they mock you, for then you will know that you act after Our Lord’s own Sacred Heart. You’ll be well rewarded for reverencing the very Bread of Heaven.

      This present scandal is why the angel of Fatima, forseeing what was to come, taught the children that prayer of reparation to the Blessed Sacrament: “Most Holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore thee profoundly. I offer to thee the most precious body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He is offended. Through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

      That’s one for daily recitation.

      • Standing for Communion is not a Lutheran tradition. Lutheran churches, especially in the Scandinavian countries, tend to be quite ornate with altars, crucifixes, statues, and altar rails where the congregation kneel to receive communion. There is a Catholic parish in Sweden where the church is a hideous modern place, but the parish has a Mass Centre in another town where they use the local Church of Sweden church. The Catholics there are worshipping in a beautiful building furnished almost like a traditional Catholic church and the priest has to say Mass ad orientem as there’s no facing the people in Lutheran churches.

        I don’t know of any Protestant denominations where standing is the norm for receiving communion. Presbyterians, Calvinists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Evangelicals etc, all sit while receiving, and Lutherans, Episcopalians, Anglicans, and Methodists kneel. The Methodists are the odd ones out in the last group because, while the others have a liturgical style of worship, Methodist worship is more Presbyterian in style, but, despite not believing in the Real Presence, they believe communion is so important that it should be received kneeling. The SSPX chapel in Groombridge was a Methodist church and when it was being converted into a Catholic church altar rails didn’t need to be installed as they already existed.

        The ones who do stand for Communion are the Orthodox Churches and Eastern Rite Catholics, and I remember reading years ago that the custom was introduced into the Latin Rite from the Eastern Rites.

        • Vianney,

          I have always thought standing and receiving in the hand was a Protestant custom. So I am surprised at all of your post, really.

          I’ve been reading Michael Davies’s writings about the Council and the new Mass, so I would be interested if you could supply some links to show that Protestants don’t stand. I know that the high Anglicans and Episcopalians do kneel but their churches are very Catholic in appearance, with statues and holy pictures, and just about everything like our churches. I did think other Protestants stood and / or received their bread in the hand.

          I did do a quick Google just now but can’t find anything about it. If you know where to look, that would be good.

          • Lily,

            Protestants generally fall into one of two camps. There are the liturgical Protestants, like the Episcopalians, Lutherans etc, who have a Catholic style of worship and celebrate communion as their main Sunday worship. Then there are the word Protestants, like the Presbyterians, Calvinists etc, whose Sunday service consists mainly of Bible readings and the main part of the service is given over to the “preaching of the word” by the minister.

            Word Protestants sit during most of the service only standing to sing. They have communion tables instead of altars and believe that the bread and wine are only a symbol of Christ’s Body and Blood. When it comes to communion, they remain sitting in their place and the dish containing the bread is passed along from person to person, each taking a bit. Then the tray containing little glasses of wine is passed along and each person takes a glass. When everyone has their bread and wine, they all consume it. The Methodists follow the same practices as the others except when it comes to communion, when they kneel along a communion rail to receive, but again, using individual glasses.

            Liturgical Protestants sit, stand and kneel much like we do in the Catholic Church and when it comes to communion, they kneel along a communion rail to receive. Lutherans believe that the bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Christ but only for the duration of the service. Episcopalians, like all members of the Anglican Communion, vary in belief from congregation to congregation about communion. Some hold the same belief as the word Protestants that the bread and wine remain just that. Others hold the Lutheran view that it becomes the Body and Blood for the duration of the service, while others believe that it becomes the Body and Blood and remains so forever, so they reserve it in a tabernacle. Whatever their belief, Episcopalians kneel to receive.

            • Vianney

              What you have just described is the utter confusion that reigns in heretical Protestant sects, which is why there are around 250 different “confessions” all teaching different things. That’s the folly of separating from the true vine, the Catholic Church outside of which there is no salvation.

              You would think they’d recognise this and return to the true religion, but no, they continue in delusion, especially those with outward looking signs of Catholicism to salve the conscience if not save the soul.

              Incredible blindness, God have mercy on them.

        • Vianney

          I don’t recall making mention of standing for Communion in my comments, but I take your point. My point in response is that standing, regardless of what heretical or schismatic church it originated in, is not Catholic, which I think is the essential point.

          As regards the Lutherans, it may be that there are different sects within the sect but I do know that replacing high altar with table and turning priest to face people was instigated by Martin Luther, even though he contined to protest that he believed in Transubstantiation, for a while at least.

          Again, the history of these abuses, while obviously important to note for debating purposes, is not essential. What is essential is that Catholics understand that the New Mass, altar turned meal table, priest turned from God to people, Communion in the hand while standing, altar girls, and so many other abuses have their origins in heretical religions and have all at some time or another been condemned by the Church’s Magisterium.

          For their part, the heretics and schismatics cannot disguise their separation from the true religion with churches and/or services that look Catholic. They are not Catholic, which is so important for Catholics to remember lest they be drawn to heretical or schismatic sects by illusion and false charity.

          • Athanasius,

            Maybe the Vatican Council simply concluded that the Lutherans were correct.

            Here’s something that I don’t understand:

            During the Mass, the Priest in In persona Christi. Communion is in commemoration of the Last Supper. Now, at the Last Supper, Our Lord handed the bread and wine to his followers and into their hands, not on their tongues.

            Therefore, if the Priest is In persona Christi, why would him following the actions of Our Lord during the Last Supper be such a problem?

            • Marc,

              That’s because all those at the Last Supper were ordained. The Twelve Apostles were ordained. That is marked today, Maundy Thursday, along with the institution of the Holy Mass.

              I hope you understand now – it’s really something that a lot of people don’t understand, so don’t feel bad about it. Dissenting Catholics make the same mistake.

          • Athanasius,

            I’m sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick but I thought you mentioned standing for Communion in your reply to Lily. Other reformers like Calvin, Knox and Zwingli regarded Luther as too papist because he retained things like vestment, candles, crucifixes etc, and retained the elevation of the host and chalice along with genuflections. Whatever his ideas about a freestanding altar his followers had other ideas and preferred ornate altars. Free standing altars were introduced into some Lutheran churches in the 1980s but have never been popular in the Scandinavian countries where they even call their Sunday service “Mass” a bit like some Episcopalians.

        • Vianney

          I don’t have a lot of time to properly research what I already know, but here’s a quick text lifted from Wikipedia which I have no reason to question. It seems you’re mistaken about Lutherans standing for communion:

          “The manner of receiving the Eucharist differs throughout the world. In most American Lutheran churches, an older Latin Rite custom is maintained, where a cushioned area and altar rails sit at the front of the altar where the congregation can come to kneel down and receive the sacrament. Traditionally, only those within the holy office of the ministry distributed both of the communion elements, but it is now the prevailing practice that the Pastor distributes the host and an assistant then distributes the wine. The congregation departs and may make the sign of the cross.

          In other Lutheran churches, the process is much like the Post-Vatican II revised rite of the Roman Catholic Church.The eucharistic minister (most commonly the pastor) and the assistants line up, with the eucharistic minister in the center holding the hosts and the two assistants on either side holding the chalices. The people process to the front in lines and receive the Eucharist standing. Following this, the people make the sign of the cross (if they choose to) and return to their places in the congregation.

          The bread is commonly a thin unleavened wafer, but leavened wafers may also be used. Some parishes use intinction, the dipping of the host into the chalice. Placing the host in the hand of the communicant is commonly practiced, but some people may prefer that the pastor place the host into their mouth in the pre-Vatican II Catholic tradition. The wine is commonly administered via a chalice, but many congregations use individual cups. These may be either prefilled or filled from the chalice during the distribution of the Eucharist. Some ELCA congregations make grape juice available for children and those who are abstaining from alcohol and some will accommodate those with an allergy to wheat or grapes…”

    • Claire,

      This is just a quick “touching base” response to you, because I want to explain that your posts keep going into moderation, for no good reason. After the first comment from a new blogger, posts should go up automatically so I’ve tried to work out what is wrong – no apparent reason. Be assured, though, that I keep checking to make sure your comments are released asap.

      Also, don’t feel confined to this thread – you are welcome to post your thoughts on any of the topics, across the blog.

    • Claire,

      At last I have some time to catch up with you…

      First of all, you can bet all of your worldly possessions and then some, that Satan doesn’t want you here. That’s 100% true.

      In fact, on the very day that you first came to my attention in moderation, Monday of Holy Week, 6 April, 10.03pm, I had come to check the newcomer in the moderation queue, having had the worst start to what turned out to be the worst Holy Week of my entire life. I saw that we had a newcomer, and I asked Our Lady to please not make this be a troll… I can’t deal with any more troublemakers! Then I saw that she had realised that, no help from me, and had sent us a wonderful new blogger…

      When I read your introductory comment, I was just bowled over. Reading that first post from you, made the horrors of the day melt away. And every day of this week, as things went from bad to worse and back again, I kept telling myself to “remember Claire!” God sends us little pieces of encouragement to keep going when things become difficult (usually due to persistent trolls and troublemakers of one kind or another) so I’ve been delighted to read your comments and absolutely delighted at your resolve to only receive Holy Communion on the tongue from now on.

      I just wish you lived over here in Glasgow where we could meet you for lunch etc (if we are ever allowed out again without risking jail!)

      Hopefully, we will get out of this lockdown soon and back to Mass and the Sacraments which, along with our Rosary, is our Catholic Personal Protective Equipment 😀

      • Editor…thank you so, so much. I really can’t find words actually. I took some time over Easter to reflect and think about some of my life…I would not have been able to do that without you. I told my mum I had started the Consecration to the Sacred Heart through Our Lady and she said that our priest, over the webcam, had started it too as he felt it was the right time!! That just seemed so amazing…both my mum and I starting consecration at the same time without mentioning it. I am not sure which poster mentioned this devotion….thank you so much!!

        I just prayed a lot and spent some time talking to my children about Easter and what it means. And having a lot of long walks by myself (and my springer) to think. The short end of the stick is..I need Confession. And to begin the Five Saturdays. I NEED them. I feel thirsty for them, if that makes sense.

        It means so much to me that you have welcomed me the way you have. I would LOVE to have tea/lunch/coffee with you…maybe ZOOM to start with then come over to Scotland to experience the wonderful and traditional Mass as it was always meant to be!

        Thank you so much again! And thank you to Our Lady.

        • Claire

          Sounds like God’s grace is at work with you and your mum, may it long continue and may it continue to bring to both of you and your children that unique joy of soul that the world does not understand.

          I love Springer Spaniels by the way.

        • Claire,

          Your words are so heartening and humbling. God bless you for your honesty and strong Catholic sense. And be assured of a warm welcome here in Scotland when the lockdown is over and we can make those arrangements.

          Confession and the First Saturdays – yes, the “thirst” for these makes sense all right because that thirst is a manifestation of the great graces being bestowed on your soul at this time. Which is why I wish to ask you for a special mention in your prayers. Let me explain a little…

          You clearly have God’s attention right now! So, I wonder if you would ask for special graces for this blog at this time, and for my unworthy self, as Catholic Truth is under a severe and sustained diabolical attack right now.

          I won’t go into details, except to say that someone long regarded as a friend is now a sworn enemy, reporting me, in my capacity as editor of the Catholic Truth newsletter and administrator of our website and this blog, to various bodies on spurious pretexts. The fact that the attention of secular organisations dealing in the dissemination of information has been drawn to our work, however, is of serious concern. Our Catholic beliefs run counter to the prevailing values in society, and, given the drive to shut down comment which challenges those prevailing values, we are always at risk of being closed down. At the present time, that risk is heightened.

          In recent days, a lot of people have been visiting our blog for the first time, and a number of them have said that they have learned things they hadn’t known before, including on our Coronavirus threads. Although everything is well documented, the powers-that-be could justify closing us down by charging that we are disseminating disinformation or misinformation. This virus is proving to be deadly all right but not in the sense the medical experts claim. It is killing our democracy, wafer thin as it has been for a while, and taking away our civil liberties. There’s a thread on that, in case you miss it. I may copy this response to you, on that thread, as I feel the diabolical attack is worsening and we need as much prayer as we can muster, to see us through it.

          So, Claire, just as you have found some inspiration to build your Faith after visiting our blog, so others may be denied that opportunity if our enemy succeeds in destroying this humble work. That would be a terrible thing for him to face at his judgement so my request for your prayers includes a prayer for that person, for peace of soul and clarity of vision for him to put an end to his vendetta against us.

          A final word addressed to those who may know or guess to whom I refer as the now enemy of our work – please do not indicate in any way that you know or guess this person’s identity. That would not help us at all – quite the reverse. So, thank you for your discretion in this matter.

          Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us; St Gabriel, Archangel, Patron of Communications, pray for us.

          God bless you, Claire!

          • Editor, of course I will pray. I have already been talking to Jesus and Mary about you as I take my walks and I will triple my prayers to them about you!!

            It is very horrible because I feel there is something going on….every time I think about writing just a wee message I feel nervous and anxious and a bit sick and I NEVER felt like that when I was a lurker. I will pray as hard as I can for you and everyone here.

            God Bless You too, Editor.

            • Claire,

              I’m sorry to read about your experience of nervousness etc before posting here. Please don’t feel at all nervous. Each and every one of your posts has been beautiful and uplifting. However, don’t feel you have to write perfect posts – none of us can do that. Just be yourself. Why? Because we like you, that’s why!

              Every now and then the Devil has a go at making life miserable for us, but we really ought to expect that – so far Our Lady has protected us and for that we are grateful.

              Don’t worry, then, don’t feel anxious – remember those immortal words of St Thomas More to his daughter: “Nothing can come but what God wills”. Or was it St Teresa of Avila? 😀

          • Editor, I have no idea who he is or who I shall be praying for, but I will pray for him, I shall offer up all my daily Rosaries for that person.

            God will not let this blog disappear, no way!!

  50. Hello and welcome, Claire. I’m only just catching up with the blog having had a lot to do in recent weeks. I see you are from the Emerald Isle, a beautiful country despite having, in large part, lost the Faith. Once it was the island of saints and scholars, sending monks and priests all over Europe to re evangelise. Then Ireland sent missionaries all over the world. And look at her now? We must pray for her re-conversion.

    Your posts are really delightful and so humble. You mentioned Christina Gallagher from Achill Island in Co. Mayo. I came across her many years ago and often wondered what became of her. I didn’t know she was caught out in fraudulent practices! About apparitions: I always think that we have approved ones such as Fatima and Lourdes and really don’t need to be looking at non approved ones. As somebody (? Athanasius) said above, a hallmark of someone who has seen Our Lady is a desire for spiritual things and usually he / she will enter a religious order.

    God bless!

    • Hi Crofterlady

      Thank you so much! I know what you mean about Ireland….I think sometimes the devil saw it as one amazing, Catholic country and threw everything he had at it and it worked. Apart from my wee town.

      Yes I really think Christina Gallagher is one horrible person, like the Medjugorje visionaries. She has two mansions and even though she has been discredited she STILL insists she sees apparitions. Money is everything for these people I think.

  51. An author called Jim Gallagher (no relation to the English Catholic author Jim Gallagher) wrote a book on Christina Gallagher called (unfortunately) ‘The Immaculate Deception’ but despite the somewhat blasphemous title of the book, it is a deep insight into the shocking and outrageous behaviour of this woman and her priest Fr McGinnity, which continues on a global basis to this day. I recently had an email from someone in Texas asking if I had any information on Gallagher’s activities. One of her outlets were selling pictures for hundreds of dollars and if you didn’t have one of these ‘blessed’ pictures in your home, then you’ve had it, basically. Scandalous. The book by Jim Gallagher can be bought on Amazon. It’s worth a read to show you how far these things can go if left unchecked.

    I saw this article this morning about China https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8231467/Chinas-deadly-legacy-exposed-Major-new-series-sorts-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-facts.html and couldn’t help thinking about Our Lady telling us in Fatima that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. Well, Russia certainly spread them to China, and now we’re all paying the price . . . spiritually and temporally.

  52. During this time of Corona-misery, it has been uplifting to see the growing mainstream sympathy for – and honesty about – the SSPX.

    Fr Z article:

    https://wdtprs.com/2020/04/ask-father-whats-the-truth-about-the-sspx/

    Of course this is from an ecclesia dei style perspective, as opposed to an SSPX perspective, but it is very honest and comprehensive.

    Taylor Marshall video with Fr Paul Robinson SSPX:

    https://taylormarshall.com/2020/04/398-society-st-pius-x-vatican-canon-law-say-sspx-podcast.html

    I have not seen all the (long) video yet. At the start Dr Marshall praises the SSPX for being the only source of the sacraments for his family during the corona virus period.

    Of course much of the content here will not be news to existing traditional Catholics, but it is good to think of the massive media reach of these two men being used to properly inform people about the SSPX.

    I cant imagine either man doing this during the time of Benedict for example, (even though the facts and conclusions would be the same), but Francis provides an appropriate context.

    • I forgot to say, there was a follow up Fr Z article, explaining that the SSPX is not some tiny fringe cult – but is in fact of a size to be the Church’s fourth largest society of apostolic life.

  53. Looks like the SSPX must be doing something right, since they are under attack – again – by the smear artist/opportunist Michael Voris regarding alleged numerous sexual abuse cases.

    However, the Society’s response, at least in part, is a bit curious :

    “Similarly, Church Militant implies, without evidence, that there are numerous investigations against SSPX clergy currently underway in the United States. Justice and charity demand that the Society not disclose publicly the nature of any investigations, both to protect the good names of the innocent and the privacy of alleged victims. An accusation is not evidence, and for the SSPX or any other ecclesial or public entity to approach an investigation believing otherwise would lead to more harm than good. When criminal wrongdoing is uncovered, however, the Society’s policy is to refer the matter to the appropriate public authorities.”

    And in the next paragraph:

    “The SSPX does not deny that there have been serious and tragic individual cases of abuse committed by a discrete number of clergy and employees. Some of these cases are decades old, occurring before a time when a number of the SSPX’s districts, including the U.S. District, had the infrastructure in place to readily record, investigate, and report accusations promptly. That situation has since been rectified, and the U.S. District continues to update its internal policies to put them in line with best practices.”

    Is it just me, or is this a tacit admission that there are indeed a number of investigations (whether “numerous” or not, one can’t tell) underway?

    https://sspx.org/en/publications/newsletters/us-district-responds-church-militant-57641

    • RCA Victor,

      Yes I would agree the reply does suggest there are recent cases – although I think the context is the SSPX globally, not just the USA.

      In 2017, A Swedish documentary show accused SSPX clergy – 3 priests and a seminarian – of abuse and claimed the SSPX covered this up. This is the same program which aired the infamous Bishop Williamson interview, regarding the holocaust.

      Around this time, 2 SSPX priests – likely from among the 3 mentioned above – then left the SSPX to align with Bishops Williamson. Possibly this was part-motivated by a desire to avoid restrictions the SSPX had placed on them, in wake of the accusations.

      These 2 priests were an Englishman “Father S” and a Frenchman “Father P” and from the in in these 2017 articles, (below), it seems the alleged crimes were from decades ago although at the time of printing one of the Priests was under Police investigation.

      “Father S” was reported to the secular authorities, which ultimately did not charge him. He left the SSPX with an active canonical trial proceeding against him.

      “Father P” was (at the time) not reported to the secular authorities, at the request of the alleged victims family. (A complaint was made much later, meaning there was an investigation live in 2017). A canonical trial found him guilty previously and forbade him from working with children.

      https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=31222

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/05/catholic-sspx-resistance-uk-harbours-clergy-accused-sexual-abuse-richard-williamson

      I also recalled this from 2015, when the Vatican named +Fellay as a judge in a canonical trial of an SSPX priest, regarding “serious accusations”. I wonder if it was related to the priests mentioned above, who were still in the SSPX at that time?

      https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=25155

      As for Michael Voris, I have lost all respect for him. I liked him a while back, and even went to hear him speak with he visited Scotland.

      It is resoundingly clear that his constant attacks on the SSPX, typically far removed from the facts, mean that he is someone’s pawn. The anti-SSPX angle he pursues is clearly his master’s agenda.

      In the recent past, Voris publicly revealed a homosexual past – claiming he did so because clerical enemies were planning to use it to discredit him.

      Is he constantly ploughing this increasingly lonely anti-SSPX furrow because someone is threatening to reveal more about his personal life?

      Look how increasingly far removed he is (on the SSPX) from mainstream commentators like Fr Z and Taylor Marshall (see the articles I posted above).

      I do think his Church Militant work has some merit, but has become laden with these agendas and so people are better off avoiding it.

      • Gabriel Syme and RCA Victor,

        A reader emailed me the link to the Voris piece on the SSPX scandal a few days ago – I took a brief look but didn’t read it thoroughly – not least because I know of Voris’s anti-SSPX agenda and so it is impossible to know if he is reporting accurately or not. I did forward the piece to A.N. Other who is very clued in about the Society, past and present (if not future!) And he confirmed that it contained some truth but also half truths and worse.

        St Teresa of Avila, Foundress of the Carmelite Order (strictly enclosed contemplative Order) warned that the life of the Sisters in her monasteries would reflect the sins in the world – words to that effect. So, we should never be surprised – albeit disappointed, shocked – at such news.

        We (rightly) criticise the clergy for their negligence, apparent lack of Faith, but we should also pray for them – especially those tempted to these horrendous crimes against children.

        • Gabriele Syme, RCA Victor & Editor

          It so happens that one of the principal “witnesses” in that scurrilous CM article is a convicted church burglar and a bit of a church hopper. He was apparently a seminarian with the SSPX back in the late 1980s, the one who helped source and install a pipe organ in St. Thomas Aquinas seminary.

          He claims he tried to help the boy who years later killed himself but was sacked without notice after reporting the abuse the boy apparently confided to him to the very priest who supposedly abused him. Strange that the boy in question didn’t actually tell him the priest’s name whilst confiding all else, but that’s what seems to have happened according to this witness.

          After leaving the SSPX he got caught up in crime with a priest of the Institute of Christ the King, of all people. Both being found guilty in 1999 of having robbed 3 churches of numerous religious items such as monstrances, linens and the like, to the value of around $9000 dollars.
          Having seemingly repented their actions they left the items outside a church garage but were traced and charged with burglary and theft. It’s on record here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/20047292/chione-pleads-guilty-in-1999-church/

          Since then, if my Facebook and Linkedin tracking is correct, the man has re-invented himself as something of an ecumenical organ player (and “Kantor”), giving of his generous talent to Lutheran and Anglican services.

          If nothing else this background speaks of a man with poor judgment at best, or, given the religious aspect, a problem with the truth at worst.
          That aside, the SSPX houses hundreds of priests and religious, hence, shocking as a sexual abuse betrayal by any priest is, the numbers they’re speaking of here is a tiny fraction. With the CM heading on the article and the sensationalist opening lines telling of the silence of the night, the shot ringing out, etc. I think all objective people will know what Voris is up to. He has no issue with bringing down many good priests and faithful if that’s what it takes to get rid of the SSPX he has so hated for so long. The man is no different from the left wing atheistic media, every bit as sleazy but with feigned outrage to disguise it.

          • Athanasius,

            The fellow of whom you speak also claimed to have been molested (or, an attempt was made) by the PP at St. John Cantius in Chicago, a traditional parish. That priest was summarily removed by the disastrous Cdl. Cupich because of another charge, but I don’t recall if the accusation was ever verified.

            As for Voris’ anti-SSPX agenda, we’ve discussed its source before: Voris financial backer Terry Carroll. I wonder if these renewed attacks stem from the SSPX refusal to close some of its chapels during the “panic-demic.”

            • RCAVictor

              Do you have a link to the sexual abuse accusation raised by this person in Chicago? That would be very interesting to read. I wonder if Voris or Christine whatever her name is who wrote the muck piece against the SSPX on his behalf, know about it. So much for their “investigative Journalism”!

              Something has spurred Voris into this attack and no one will ever convince me that he did it out of genuine concern for child safety. He knows full well that children are not at risk in SSPX schools and districts, at least no more at risk than any other institution that does its utmost to be vigilant and protective.

              The fact remains that no priest or religious has been charged with any crime associated with these historic accusations, nor has any superior in the SSPX been charged with covering up such crimes. I am aware of two genuine cases involving priests of the SSPX, both of whom were removed from active ministry and who have since left the SSPX, that’s two priests from around 600, not counting religious. There are also two known cases involving lay people, now imprisoned for their crimes.

              It is for the lawful authorities to investigate and assess such crimes in accordance with actual evidence, not Voris or one of his minions with the old “he said, she said, he wrote, she wrote” garbage that does not even meet the basic standards of journalism by including for public view the letters, notes and emails they repeatedly reference as proof.

              It’s also worth remembering that Michael Voris came clean with his viewing public some years ago about his own sexually deviant past. He did this primarily because he suspected that a certain diocese was preparing a file on him to release into the public domain in order to discredit him, so he got in first with his public confession.

              With that in mind, you would think Voris of all people would be the last person to use the same tactic, especially against a Traditional Catholic priestly confraternity with the clear intent to discredit it. The overblown sensationalist title of the article on his CM website makes that intent pretty clear.

              I hope all decent Catholics will now see this man for what he really is and steer well clear of him and his publications. There’s definitely something not right about him and apostolate, even if it does wear a Catholic mask.

              • Athanasius,

                That accusation is not public knowledge – it was related to me in a personal conversation with the organist in question (whom I know – ask Editor to forward you the email I sent her earlier today about this) (I had a software crash earlier this week – all stored email addresses disappeared).

                • RCAVictor

                  Many thanks for that, I’ll go check my email inbox to see if Editor has done her duty. Watch those software crashes, someone may be trying to shut you up, at least until the plan comes together!

                  • Athanasius,

                    Done and dusted now – sorry I took so long but I’ve been out for my permitted walk. Took all afternoon. Well, I’m a slow walker these days. There are actually people who say they get road rage just walking behind me. Still, I’m not as bad as this guy…

                    • Editor

                      Try a can of Red Bull for the walking. Never had the stuff myself but I’m told it gives you wings. I believe they stuff it with caffeine.

                      The folks in the cartoon would have done better to use the banister, it’s a whole lot quicker!

      • Gabriel Syme,

        That is a very helpful step by the SSPX. However, there are a few puzzling things:

        1. It is hard to believe that Mr. Sloniker’s obvious mental problems were not discovered during any screening process. I hope their response to this case also includes a detailed review of said screening process.

        2. “All the priests at the seminary knew of Mr. Sloniker’s irrational behavior…” but Fr. Crane did not? So was this case suppressed to prevent circulation to a wider circle of priests?

        3. ” He next surfaced in Dickinson, ND, where he attended the Society chapel and helped as a sacristan. The chapel was sporadically served by SSPX priests.” Question: if Dickinson is an SSPX chapel, then how was it only sporadically served by SSPX priests? Does this mean there were non-Society priests also serving there? Or that the SSPX was only occasionally serving at its own chapel? Doesn’t make immediate sense, but I’m probably missing something.

        This also indicates suppression of the case, since the SSPX clergy at Dickinson apparently knew nothing of Mr. Sloniker’s past.

        4. “The Society has concluded that although none of the alleged crimes occurred on Society property or while Mr. Kevin Sloniker was affiliated with the SSPX…” – yet: “One priest, while making a monthly visit to Dickinson, ND, was approached by a parishioner who said that he believed his child had an inappropriate relationship with Mr. Sloniker.”

        After which, Mr. Sloniker immediately left the area after denying the allegation. Very suspicious behavior – and obviously on SSPX property while he was indeed affiliated with the SSPX! Why wasn’t the allegation referred to police?

        That said, while there was obviously a lot of room for improvement in the Society’s internal responses to these cases, it does seem they are trying very hard to correct those shortcomings.

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Just to clarify something, what I was getting at with point #3 above is that it sounded as though the SSPX was trying to absolve itself of responsibility for what went on at the Dickinson chapel, since their clergy were only there “sporadically.”

        However, that seems rather disingenuous, since their presence at most of their remote chapels qualifies as “sporadic.”

        • RCAVictor

          I think “sporadically” in relation to Dickinson chapel means they only had a Mass there maybe once a month or so. There are a number of SSPX chapels in various countries that have these sporadic visits due to shortage of priests or remoteness of location. The point they’re making, I think, is that there was not sufficient communication with parishioners by intermittent visiting priests to be able to learn of or observe any particularly disturbing behavioural patterns in individuals. I assume this is what they mean.

  54. I should have added that Fr. John Rizzo, another of the “witnesses” has also, on occasion, spoken bitterly of the SSPX he left around 1990, having been transferred from Idaho to Preston, England.
    I well remember Fr. Rizzo rising up in the middle of an SSPX bishop’s Mass in Glasgow (can’t remember which bishop) and leaving the church. We never saw him again, he just left there and then and went to the newly created FSSP. He was prior in Preston at the time, so he kind of scandalised the faithful by the method of his departure.

    What I should add is that I know Fr. Rizzo to have been a very well respected and loved priest during his time in Idaho, but that he seems to have come into conflict with Bishop Williamson (very dominant in the region at that time) who ultimately secured his transfer. We all know now just how controlling Bishop Williamson was and how his actions were often extremely questionable, so I think there was a certain sympathy with Fr. Rizzo. However, in all the years that have passed since Fr. Rizzo left, I am not aware that he ever declared his reason for leaving as related to any cover up of sexual abuse. My own take from past utterances of his that have made the public domain is that he had issues simply with the way the SSPX was run by superiors. I took that to mean he was unhappy about unjust treatment he felt was meted out to him personally, as well as perhaps some other disciplinary cases he was aware of.

    If I’m right in this recollection, and if Fr. Rizzo is now saying it was actually related to sexual abuse cover ups, then that surely makes him party to the silence these past 30 years? I think that needs to be explored a little more.

    I’m sure Fr. Rizzo wouldn’t deliberately lie about the lay teacher who wrote the love letter to a 15-year old male pupil, he definitely took that accusation seriously and doubtless reported the matter to his superior. I just don’t believe that single incident was the fundamental reason for him leaving the SSPX, as the CM hit piece insinuates.

    • Thank you for that Athanasius, but just to save people unnecessary work in writing posts about this now, we are planning a thread on the topic of CM’s allegations, which will be posted as soon as Athanasius finishes writing it up! We decided that on learning that CM is planning further claims.

      So, I suggest we leave this topic here for now – and I will post the new thread asap.

      • Presbyter Catholica,

        OK – in fact, originally, we had decided not to publish Voris’s allegations, but when it was brought to us anyway on this thread, we decided we’d made a mistake and should have done so in order to refute those claims which are bogus – and more.

        However, I’m happy to comply with your request. And in case anyone is thinking of “objecting”, take note…

      • Presbyter Catholica

        I have done a lot of private work on a response to the Church Militant article, which I am quite content to refrain from publishing in accordance with your request.

        If you would like to read it personally, however, even though it is unfinished, I would be happy to submit it to you via any email you provide privately to editor. If you would rather not, then please just ignore the offer and I’ll understand. I will post no further comments online about that dreadful article in accordance with your wise counsel.

  55. Today we have been subjected to triumphalist nonsense on the television and radio. After VE Day, the people of Europe continued to live under the yoke of Soviet oppression until 1990. To understand what Our Lady meant by the errors of Russia, study this map which I link below. It is from 2011. See how pernicious communism really is.

  56. A HUMBLE REQUEST TO ALL MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS

    CANCEL BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER JESUS FILM

    Paris Jackson to Star as Jesus in Thriller ‘Habit’

    “Paris Jackson, the 22-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson, is set to star as Jesus Christ in a new film called “Habit” opposite Bella Thorne, the producers of the movie told The Wrap.

    “Habit” is a thriller directed by Janell Shirtcliff that stars Thorne as a woman with a Jesus fetish who masquerades as a nun in order to escape a drug deal gone wrong. Jackson then appears several times throughout the film to Thorne’s character as Jesus.

    “Habit” is currently in post-production after wrapping filming about a week before the industry’s coronavirus shutdowns, but no release date has been planned. Silver Heart Productions is producing the film.”

    The very person of Christ is portrayed not only in an immoral setting, but in a manner that is totally contrary to His human nature.

    Ref: John Horvat

    Vice-President, Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)

    http://www.ReturnToOrder.org

    Please sign our petition , urging Silver Heart Productions to stop the release of the “Habit” film. Protest Bisexual “Jesus” Film

    Protest Bisexual “Jesus” Film

    MUSLIM RESPONSE:

    In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.

    “O Mary! GOD giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to GOD”. AL QUR’AN: Surah 3 Verse 45

    To all Britsh Muslims, approx 3 million, and ALL Muslims in the World, nearly 2 billion, it is SHOCKING that such a blasphemous film, portraying Jesus, peace be upon him, as transgender/bisexual, has been produced and is going to be released.

    Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of the virgin Mary, was held in honour by our Almighty GOD. He lived a normal moral decent way of life. He performed miracles such as talking as a newborn, curing the sick and bringing people back to life.

    Jesus was against immorality and injustice. Yet is being portrayed by a woman?

    A Muslim will go to HELL if he/she did not believe in Jesus and his noble mother, the virgin Mary, may God bless her.

    There is a whole chapter in the Qur’an titled MARY which do explain her noble life

    and the noble life of her son:JESUS (peace be upon them)

    There are many verses/ayat in the Qur’an that describe the noble conception of Jesus, his natural birth, his noble moral way of life and his many miracles.

    It is an Islamic DUTY on every Muslim in the UK and the World to defend the honour of Jesus, peace be upon him, who was definitely NOT bisexual or transgender!

    We appeal to all MUSLIM and CHRISTIAN believers to sign this petition in order to stop the immoral blasphemous film HABIT!

    PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE BY CLICKING THIS LINK which is like THE LINK ABOVE:

    https://www.returntoorder.org/petition/urge-silver-heart-productions-to-cancel-blasphemous-habit-film/?pkg=rtoe0962

    Please also share and send this PETITION to all Muslim and Christian believers.

    Thank you and God bless you,

    Dr Majid Katme

    MUSLIMS FOR JESUS

    Tel: 07944240622

    • No amount of protest by Christians will ever have the desired effect. The last forty years have indicated that.
      Our secular society now panders to muslims. Their views might have some effect, as we don’t want them running around blowing people up, do we?
      However, it is insane for Christians to ally with muslims for any reason whatsoever.
      The notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” can only have a very short existence.
      We are the enemies of the muslims. Dance around it all you like, that will not change. It cannot. We are in their book as enemies, now and for all time. It may be that we have some things in common. In living memory we have killed thousands of Christians who had almost everything in common with us and who bore us no ill will at all.

      • Would I be able to ask where blog contributors attend Mass? I don’t mean exact locations or even countries, just where they attend then Latin Mass eg Diocesan, FSSP, ICK, SSPX. Ive never been to the Latin Mass but I’m thinking of making the change.

        • Graham,

          I attend Masses offered by the FSSPX as well as diocesan Traditional Masses. I am not factionalist about the issue. There nearest FSSP chapel is quite a distance from where I live, so I don’t bother to make the journey. I usually prefer an FSSPX low Mass over a diocesan low Mass, because at the FSSPX one is assured to get the full monty, so to speak. I remember Damien Thompson writing that he would no longer attend Masses of the Latin Mass Society (of England and Wales) because at the last one he went to there was so much “hand-flapping and semaphoring” (because they were essentially Novus Ordo priests who were self-taught amateurs in the Traditional Rite).

          Having previously been cautious of them, I finally embraced the FSSPX in 2012. This was after an incident in a diocesan Traditional Mass… The priest hadn’t learned the Communion prayer: “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.” Instead, the priest was saying “Corpus Christi” which was introduced in the 1965 Missal and retained in the Novus Ordo Missae. It annoyed me, because one of the reasons I began attending the Traditional Mass was to escape this kind of liturgical improvisation. He obviously though we were too stupid to tell the difference!

  57. Happy feast of Saint Philip Neri!

    Saint Philip was not naïve about the iniquity of his home city and her inhabitants, and for this reason he is patron of the Eternal City. Rome is more the cesspool than ever, so let us have recourse to Saint Philip.

    Let us follow this great saint’s example, and not take ourselves too seriously, and let us laugh at ourselves and world, yes, even as the nations are becoming annihilated before our eyes. There is never reason to lose sight of the joy that comes from God.

  58. Probably not the right place to post this (sorry Editor I will take my punishment as you will…) but this is an absolutely wonderful sermon (and priest).

    • Therese,

      What struck me as strange about this video was that ComplicitClergy, who posted it, claimed that they were preserving this priest’s identity – as if showing his face and the sanctuary of his church, not to mention that he speaks his own name during the sermon – wouldn’t give his identity away! Crackers.

    • Therese, thank you for posting this terrific video. Maybe I wasn’t listening attentively but from what diocese does this priest hail? and what’s his name?

    • Therese,

      A great sermon, right enough, but I’m afraid I agree with editor about the images conjured up by him talking about taking his morning shower, at the start, LOL! Not necessary but it’s very typical of modern priests who say it’s important for them to be seen to be “comfortable” in their bodies! This is a criticism of what editor calls the prudishness of days gone by, what I think of just as modesty in speech. I think it’s because they think it’s necessary to get a smile/laugh at the start of their homily.

      It was also a bit theatrical for me, in places, but it was great to hear a priest calling out those bishops out for closing the churches. That was really welcome.

      • I forgot to say his “Saint John Paul II” was also a disappointment. Sorry if I seem negative – I do agree that it’s a great sermon, just expressing one or two disappointments with it. Forgive me!

  59. Therese,

    Anything about the bishops would have fitted on any of the bishops’ threads, but not to worry.

    That video has been sent to me from (I’ve lost count of) many sources.

    I didn’t post it because I didn’t listen to the sermon – his references to his personal hygiene matters (showers!) didn’t impress me. I can never understand why priests think we’re one bit interested in their own personal chatter. I prefer them to get to the point of the sermon and stay there. When I got to 3 minutes and he was still referring to his showering, I decided to pass.

    However, I accept that everyone who has listened to the sermon thinks highly of it, so I hope others find it of benefit.

      • Therese,

        Just put it down to my being something of a prude. I don’t often hear people saying what they are thinking about in the shower, so it took me a bit by surprise to hear it in a sermon. Prude, like I say. I really do need to move with the times…

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