The Problem With Christian Charity…

Saint Paul the Apostle teaches that we cannot claim to be followers of Christ if we do not live to the highest standards of Christian Charity…

St Paul – 1st letter to the  Corinthians,  chapter 13: 1-8; 13

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.  We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.  And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

Comment: 

So, what, if anything, is the “problem” with Christian charity?   As one reader said to me recently, if we lived up to St Paul’s teaching, we would never say a single negative word about another person, outside of the duties of a parent, teacher or priest who may, of necessity, have to do so. But, surely, it’s impossible to live up to that very high standard? 

It got me thinking about my own parents (RIP) who, notwithstanding the fact that they had their faults like everyone else, were the only people I have ever known who genuinely kept the rule of charity at the forefront of their lives – I do not recall either of them ever gossiping or bad-mouthing anyone in our extended family or among neighbours, acquaintances, work colleagues or friends.  Never.  Which got me wondering … what on earth did they chat about when out of earshot of the rest of the family?  😀   I have to admit upfront that while some relatives and friends have told me that I look like my mother, others think I look like my father, nobody has suggested that I share their charitable disposition(s).   If only.   Indeed, Just writing this piece is testing my charity and reminding me of just how greatly I am absent this virtue. 

I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting conversations recently, on the subject of how to be charitable, the danger of defamation in talking about others, and a few issues have been highlighted – notably the “problem” with practising authentic Christian charity when there are divisions at home, work, or in our parishes.  It has been my misfortune to witness some such divisions at church which have festered for many years. Two separate issues here are compounding the problem of living in true charity with others.

Firstly, personal weakness;  the fact is, no matter how difficult, no matter how much we dislike it, if we wish to truly follow Christ then we have no option but to show respect towards our neighbour; to, as Our Lord put it, “do good to those who persecute [us]”.   That’s a “problem” only when we fight it.  If – as great saints like St Therese of Lisieux taught – we embrace the need to see Christ in everyone we meet, and do all in our power to actively show charity, (respect, generosity, however we think of it) which is very different from emotional “love” (to which we are not at all obliged) then it ceases to be a problem and, if we are to believe the great saints, becomes a wonderful spiritual adventure. 

Secondly, those with responsibility for the souls of others – parents, teachers, priests – who fail to do their duty in correcting bad behaviour, are contributing to the “problem” of charity, so to speak.  Writing about “schism” in the Winter 2004 edition of The Fatima Crusader, Father Nicholas Gruner (RIP) provides insight into the role played by clergy in the avoidance of parish divisions:  

“A superior can also be guilty of schism by giving an order, or appearance of an order to the faithful in his charge, which by the very nature of the order, causes the faithful to fight among themselves.  An example would be telling one half of the congregation to do one thing and telling the second half to do the opposite… Schism is terrible because it brings disorder, unhappiness and quarrelling amongst the members of the Church who should be at peace.  That peace is to reflect the peace of the Church in Heaven. That peace is to be a sign to those inside and outside the Church of its divine mission: “See how they love one another” is what Christ wills for His Church, to be one piece of evidence to non-Catholics that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.  Peace within the Catholic Church is also meant to be a comfort and joy to all Catholics.  [see ‘Schism and the Common Good’, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 57, pp. 24ff and Issue 59, pp. 35ff]

So, what do you think?  IS Christian charity a “problem” – or do we, by refusing to seriously apply the teaching of Christ and the exhortations of St Paul – make it a problem?  Share your thoughts, your ideas, and any suggestions you may have to help us all move forward in true charity in our everyday lives.

 

“For, if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?  Do not even the publicans do this?” (Matt 5:46)   

Whistleblower – The Figueiredo Report Confirms Viganò Testimony…

Extracts below from the statement dated 28 May, 2019, by Monsignor Anthony J. Figueiredo (pictured left) entitled Follow the Path of Truth Wherever It May Lead…  The  Figueiredo Report

The former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick ordained me to the priesthood 25 years ago today.

I served as his personal secretary in the Archdiocese of Newark (September 1994 – June 1995) and also assisted him in a secretarial capacity during his many visits to Rome in my 19 years of ministry there. After long consideration, I have made the decision to place in the public domain some of the correspondence and other information related to McCarrick that I possess in my many years of service to him. I have spent time in prayer and discernment about the moral basis for revealing these. My decision follows attempts since September 2018 to share and discuss these with the Holy See and other Church leaders.

Realizing full well that the debate about McCarrick has become highly politicized, I wish only to present facts that will help the Church to know the truth. From the outset of this report, I pledge my unswerving affection, loyalty and support for Pope Francis and his Magisterium in his tireless ministry as the Successor of Peter, as I manifested also to Pope Benedict XVI, grateful for their paternal solicitude and efforts to address the scourge of abuse. Indeed, my actions in releasing this report at this time are encouraged by the Holy Father’s motu proprio “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Mt 5:14), based on the overriding principle that it is imperative to place in the public domain, at the right time and prudently, information that has yet to come to light and impacts directly on allegations of criminal activity, the restrictions imposed on my now laicized former Archbishop, and who knew what and when…

It is my firm hope that this information will help the Church as she further endeavors to create a culture of transparency. This report, which may form the first of others, is a contribution to the wish of Pope Francis and the Holy See “to follow the path of truth wherever it may lead” in terms of the ongoing McCarrick investigation (Pope Francis, Philadelphia, USA, September 27, 2015; Press Statement of the Holy See, October 6, 2018). It aims to help the US Bishops in their promise last August to “pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct … we are determined to find the truth in this matter” (Statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President, USCCB, August 1, 2018). What Archbishop Wilton Gregory expressed for his local Church, upon his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, I wish to do for the Universal Church: “The only way that I can serve this Archdiocese is by telling the truth” (Press Conference, April 4, 2019)…

My desire is for my experience to contribute to a new culture in the Church – a culture in which no victim, young or old, no priest or seminarian, no religious or superior, no bishop or nuncio need fear to speak the truth, a culture in which each knows where to seek help and all are held accountable, a culture in which no secret sins can fester and no corruption mar the Church’s maternal care. The Holy Father’s bold motu proprio “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” guides us in this direction. Only by such humiliating transparency does the Church imitate her Lord and fulfil her vocation as “the light of the world”: Wherever the proclamation of the Gospel and the celebration of the sacraments are public, let the self-discipline of the Church also be!    Monsignor Anthony J. A. Figueiredo      [all emphases added] 

Click here to read the entire statement from Monsignor Figueiredo…  

Comment: 

Some people – including some well-meaning people – will argue that Monsignor Figueiredo has done the wrong thing by publishing his statement today.  That he is only making things worse, keeping the McCarrick scandals before the eyes of the unbelieving world.  Others will praise him for keeping the authorities (including the Pope) in their toes, holding their feet to the fire because they promised thorough investigations and transparency in order to eradicate the shocking scandal of abusive priests and bishops.  So, who’s right? 

Muslim, Not Catholic, Parents Fight LGBT Indoctrination in Schools…

 

 


Sky News broadcast a segment on the “culture clash” in UK classrooms this morning, focusing on
the fact that the protest against the sympathetic portrayal of LGBT issues/same-sex “families” which began in Birmingham has now spread across England. Click here to read the Sky News report, and see small video clips. 

These good Muslim parents can expect no help from Catholics, sadly, because, according to a report emailed to Catholic Truth by one of our watchful readers south  of the border, the Bishops of England (with one exception) have welcomed the Government’s shocking new sex-education law which sees parental rights as the prime educators of their children over-ruled by Head Teachers.  Click here to read all about this disgraceful partnership with LGBT activists into which the Bishops have effectively entered. 

We know that not all parents are in a position to home-school – that’s understandable.  However, what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer for standing on the sidelines as these ever new and ever worsening laws are passed which are clearly aimed at brainwashing children with the LGBT message that sexuality has nothing to do with morality, that the natural  moral law applies only to theft and killing, not to sexual activity – how can any Catholic parent sit back and allow their children to be told that families can be made up of two mummies and/or two daddies, and that God really doesn’t care as long as everybody is happy and “loves” everybody else. 

Apart from home-schooling, what can parents actually DO – should they be standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside the Muslim parents outside of schools and if not, why not.  And if not what SHOULD they be doing, because, clearly, they should be doing something to stop this brainwashing of innocent primary school children, which is effectively grooming them for a lifetime of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes as “acts of grave depravity”  adding that “Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (# 2357)

What right-minded parent, then, stands by while their children are being taught that “acts of grave depravity” can be approved, and more, that these acts of depravity must be tolerated and respected? 

For centuries, Catholic children were taught the general Christian rule of treating our neighbour as we would each wish to be treated ourselves. That “golden rule” applies to every person in creation no matter how badly they may behave.  We treat everyone with courtesy and respect, as human beings; but that does not, emphatically, mean that we may approve their behaviour. We can easily see that with regard to criminal behaviour, but it applies, also, to all behaviour which offends God, whether or not it is breaking a human or national law.  So, to repeat – what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer to excuse their silence on the LGBT dominance in schools? 

Congratulations to the informed Muslim parents for taking counter-cultural action to protect their children.  But “congratulations” is not a sentiment that we may legitimately offer to Catholic parents today who are, in the main, going along with every immorality in the book.  So, what message SHOULD we sent to Catholic parents right now?  Printable suggestions only, please and thank you! 

Sin No Laughing Matter… But Is THIS How To Teach Cleverly About Purity?

 

Comment: 

It’s nearly impossible not to see the funny side of much of Jason’s talk.  Easy to see why teenagers would thoroughly enjoy his lectures. Still,  certain “givens” cause concern; should Catholics be accepting of, for example, “dating” in High School?  That’s just one of many reservations which I have about the above speaker but, hey, I can be something of a prude compared to what most people think is normal and harmless these days. And Jason is very likeable – we have to give him that.  Students will love him.  No question about it. 

A teacher friend responded to my concerns by emailing: I stand by the Jason Evert material because he gets through to the pupils in their idiom while remaining faithful to Christ.  His personal struggle with lust and his conversion are a good example to them.

I tend to think that clear teaching about Original Sin, which has caused us to have a particular weakness or inclination to commit sexual sin, ought to cancel the need for explicit personal examples, but, as I say, I  may be out on a limb with this one.

So, let’s have YOUR opinion, as parents, teachers, or simply Joe & Josephine Bloggs.  Key question:  would you be happy if your children – early teenagers or university students – were present at this kind of talk/lesson?

And remember to give reason(s) for your answer 😀   

Westminster LGBT+… Pope Francis Welcomes Militant Homosexuals

The third LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pilgrimage to Rome ended yesterday, Sunday, 10 March 2019. On Ash Wednesday, the 16 pilgrims, including parents and family members, alongside LGBT_ Catholics with Pilgrimage Chaplain, Fr David Stewart SJ, attended the morning General Audience with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square. At the end of the Audience the group was invited to meet Pope Francis.

The Pilgrimage Leader, Martin Pendergast, a member of the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, introduced the group to the Holy Father, explaining that they formed part of the LGBT+ pastoral ministry outreach of Westminster Diocese. Each pilgrim received a gift of a rosary from Pope Francis who shook hands with the group’s members.

Later, on Ash Wednesday afternoon, the group was able to take part in Pope Francis’ Mass and Imposition of Ashes in the Church of Santa Sabina. In the evening they was warmly welcomed at an Ecumenical Liturgy of the Word & Blessing of Ashes with English-speaking Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists, in the Church of St Ignatius.

The programme included a conversation with Rome-based journalists, Christopher Lamb (The Tablet) and Robert Mickens (La Croix International) giving their perspectives on Pope Francis’ Church reform strategy, not least following the recent Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit. They were also addressed by the American moral theologian, Professor James Keenan SJ, on the Pope’s response to the 2014/2015 Synods on Marriage & Family. He focused on Pope Francis’ key-principles of ‘accompaniment’ and ‘moral discernment’ as vital considerations in addressing LGBT concerns.

The group celebrated Mass in the room where St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, died; and also in the Titular Church of Cardinal Vincent Nichols – The Most Holy Redeemer & St. Alphonsus. Cardinal Nichols’ Pilgrimage Morning Prayer, remembering victims of homophobia and transphobia was said in the St.Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church, which commemorates martyrs of our own times and is run by the San Egidio Community.  Source – Independent Catholic News

Comment:

As our blogger, Westminster Fly, who sent me this news wrote: “The Westminster LGBT brigade are untouchable now…” And he threw in an additional short report for good measure. Click here to read it.

Photographed below, Pope Francis greets the LGBT+ chaplain, Fr David Stewart SJ.

I’m speechless – what about you?  Do you agree that these militant homosexuals are “untouchable” now that they have the Pope’s full, undisguised support and  “the visuals” to prove it?  And ask yourself what the plus (+)  sign means in LGBT+  – It might be that, as we reported in the current newsletter, March, 2019, just as the early homosexual rights group in Scotland (Scottish Minorities Group) promoted the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), so the contemporary LGBT movement is still supporting if not actively promoting, paedophile rights.  Is there a detective in the house who might contact Stonewall to ask them?  Click on the image of the Catholic Truth Private Eye below to find contact details for Stonewall…  After all, we don’t want to imply anything untoward, so we really ought to check up on the meaning of that plus sign in LGBT+  

Scottish Bishops Punish Faithful With Annual Reminder of Abuse Scandals

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…

Church establishes yearly Day of Prayer for victims of abuse

The Bishops of Scotland [pictured above] have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse, to be marked on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

The Church issued resources to every parish in Scotland to be used this Friday, March 8, during a ‘holy hour style Service of Acknowledgment, Prayer and Reflection,’ or during Mass.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said: “The Bishops of Scotland have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse to be marked each year on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

“This allows the Church to renew its apology to anyone who has suffered and to stress its commitment to the essential work of safeguarding across our parish communities.”

In February, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen Diocese, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, attended a Vatican meeting of Episcopal Conference Presidents from across the world in Rome to discuss the Protection of Minors.

The format of the day of prayer on Friday—after the SCO went to press—included prayers for victims of abuse of all kinds and a penitential rite to seek forgiveness for abuse committed by Church personnel.

The Church has proposed that during Mass on Friday the intercessions provided could be used either as intercessory prayers or as an extended Penitential Rite.

An opening hymn reads: “We cannot measure how you heal, Christ be beside me, Christ be our light, Be thou my vision.”

In Dundee, the service took place at 7pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral.

In Motherwell Diocese St Columbkille’s Church in Rutherglen held a ‘Day of Prayer’ for those who have suffered abuse.

A spokesperson for the parish said: “Our parish community will acknowledge and pray for all those who were the innocent victims of some in the Church whom they trusted to protect them.

“We shall pray that survivors of abuse will experience healing, justice and renewal in their lives.

“We shall also pray that the Church, which has been scarred by the grave sin of abuse, will, through repentance and reparation, resolve always to protect the young and the vulnerable.”

The Divine Mercy Novena at 3pm in Rutherglen’s St Columbkille’s would help provide a ‘focus for acknowledgement, prayer and reflection.’   END.

Comment:

Read the current edition of Catholic Truth, which you can download on the Newsletter page of our website here, to uncover the years and years of neglect on the part of the Scottish Hierarchy, where dissident and sexually deviant priests have been (and continue to be) allowed to live as they please, without suffering so much as a  rebuke. Not even discipline-lite.   All, of course, except Father Matthew Despard who had the temerity to write a book exposing the level of homosexual clergy within the Church in Scotland 5 years ago and remains suspended from priestly ministry for his trouble.   

Yet now, we find these same Bishops subjecting faithful priests and laity to an annual reminder of the abuse scandals – as if the clergy don’t feel tainted enough – whereas, what the Bishops should be announcing is that they will be making a Lenten retreat of repentance for their own negligence in so many ways, such as allowing dissidents platforms to spread their poison, and failing to discipline priests who have been promoting the LGBT+ agenda, and in certain cases continue to do so at the present time. 

They’re good at superficiality, the Scottish Bishops – that’s for sure. And this is just one more example of it. Makes a change, I suppose from the annual “Lentfest” – where the faithful in the Archdiocese of Glasgow were encouraged to use the six weeks of Lent, not to do penance for our sins but to get better acquainted with the arts and to, well, enjoy ourselves.  That seems to have fallen by the wayside – or at least, I didn’t find any mention of it just now on a quick visit to the archdiocesan website.  So, hopefully, the penny has dropped that having fun isn’t really true to the spirit of the, er, penitential period of Lent.   I heard a priest tell a really comic-tragic story about this Lenten “fun” mentality just last week during his sermon, when he mentioned a young woman who had decided to throw a party on Ash Wednesday to mark the start of Lent and the main dish was some kind of fancy Ham dish.  Truly, it was impossible to keep a straight face. Father didn’t bother to try. 

This annual service to remember clergy abuse is pointless.  It is but one more way to scandalise the faithful and to belittle Christ’s Spotless Bride, the Church, which has not, and cannot sin.  Only the members of the Church can sin, and we make up for those sins through prayer and penance, certainly, but not in a manner which suggests that “the Church” is to blame.  Churchmen certainly are to blame – priest abusers and their negligent bishops – but  not “the Church”.   Such priests should always be removed from active ministry and again, this would be the case if only the Bishops would invoke Canon Law.  Unless the Bishops add a prayer acknowledging that they are refusing to use their authority to rid the Church of these deviant priests, then such a “Day of Prayer” is nothing but a pretence.  Indeed, this annual reminder service is  not only misleading – it is, in and of itself, a cause of scandal. 

Or maybe you disagree?  Let’s hear it!  

From Cardinal To Criminal: Australian Cardinal Pell Jailed … 

Update – 3 March, 2019…

Since writing my original editorial comment below, I have been moved by the information given by bloggers and the evidence provided by several (not least  the Australian bloggers) which appears to point to the Cardinal’s innocence.  Read on, and tell us if you agree.

Comment:

 St John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, teaches that “…the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices:  it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong. (Homily Xl, super Matheum, 1c, nt 7).

So, what is the correct Catholic response to this sort of horrendous news?  Horror at the Cardinal’s crimes (of which he insists he is innocent); compassion for his victims?  Compassion for the Cardinal himself, that he has, apparently, succumbed to a shocking temptation and thus fallen from grace and brought his high office – and the Catholic Church itself – into disrepute?  

Anger? Compassion?  A combination? 

We may hold different views on this – but we can surely all agree that we must pray hard for all involved. Our Lady of Good Success pray for us!     Our Lady of Fatimapray for us! 

One key question, however, has to be whether or not these appalling crimes are doing irreparable damage to the Bride of Christ, His Church. Of course Christ has promised to be with His Church until the end of time, that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. There was no promise, however, that the gates of Hell wouldn’t come close, and they have never been as close as they are now, in our times.  It has to be the case, then, that in some souls, the answer to the “irreparable damage” question is definitely “yes”.  Some will never see the beauty of the Faith, some will be convinced that all priests are abusers, that the Church is evil.  And isn’t that where St John Chrysostom’s exhortation to righteous anger should move us to action?  But, what, if anything – beyond prayer and sacrifice – can any of us do about this sordid scandal of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults?  There must be something we can do – but what?