Feast of St John Ogilvie… And The Next Archbishop – What Does Glasgow Need?

Comment: 

The Videos…

Neither of the above videos is absolutely accurate; in the first video the presenter omits the saint’s words when he threw his rosary into the crowd just before he was hanged: “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”  Completely un-ecumenical…

And in the second video, the claim that St John Ogilvie died for religious freedom, for the right to practise whichever religion we choose, is totally false. It is an insult to God who has revealed that He wishes to save us through the Church which Christ founded on earth.  Contrary to the statements in the second video,  John Ogilvie SJ died for offering Mass when it was against the law of the land:  “It was a capital crime to offer Mass in Scotland. So they kept interrogating him, “have you said Mass in the king’s domain?” ‘Of course I have, is that a crime?’ They said, “yes, it is.” ‘Prove it.”  Click here to read more… It’s shameful that we have to search to find the true story of John Ogilvie from the pen of an American Jesuit, while the Scot in the above videos feels the need to water it down…

Future Archbishop of Glasgow…

Following the death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, there has been quite a bit of speculation about who might succeed him in the archdiocese. 

Reports reaching us from all over the place are a cause for concern. Apparently, the nuncio  is asking for opinions about two current bishops, namely the Bishop of Galloway (William Nolan) and the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan); the nuncio is curious, it seems, to find out whether either of these two bishops would be considered worthy of this office.  

Unfortunately, the nuncio did not ask Catholic Truth.  We’d have replied: “No!  Neither!”

I’ve just been reading Bishop Nolan’s thoughts on lockdown and online Masses.  Clearly, Bishop Nolan would not make the changes necessary in Glasgow, if the Church here is to be revitalised. It would certainly be a case of the “same old, same old” modernism…

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, then?  Absolutely not!  Suffice to say that we’ve been approached – over a period of many months now – by a number of reliable sources seeking publicity for scandals involving Bishop Keenan.  More than that I will not say at the present time – nor should anyone else, please and thank you.  

St John Ogilvie SJ

The only name which springs to mind in the context of a possible new Archbishop of Glasgow is Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld, but since he’s not in the best of health, that seems unlikely. Like the rest of us, he’s not perfect but he does seem to possess a level of doctrinal, liturgical and moral orthodoxy that is lacking just about everywhere else in Scotland. 

If you can think of someone you’d like to see become Archbishop of Glasgow, feel free to share your thoughts, but remember, this is not a gossip shop – we are hoping to be given a sound archbishop, who will preach orthodoxy and take practical steps to restore the traditional faith and liturgy. A good sense of humour would be a bonus 😀 To answer the question in the headline – that is what Glasgow needs after many years in the spiritual, religious, liturgical and moral wilderness. On this Feast of St John Ogilvie SJ, then, let us pray for this intention, and if you can think of anyone who fits the bill, tell us…

Happy Feast to one and all!  

Archbishop of Glasgow: “The Church has never said that [anyone] is in Hell” … Eh?

The following reflection, dated 22 November, 2020, is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – editorial comment added…

COVID restrictions and salvation

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

In a far-reaching reflection this week, Archbishop Philip considers the new pandemic restrictions, our duty to live with charity and solidarity during this period, and our final judgement by Christ the King: “Two things make me hopeful for our eternal destiny … I have never met anyone without a scrap of love and charity in their heart.
Editor: allow me to introduce myself…

Secondly, the Church has never said that any individual person is in hell.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to Saint Jacinta – one of the Fatima seers, solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal on 13 May 2017.  After the vision of Hell, when the seers saw the souls (plural) of those suffering there, Jacinta was so desperate to help poor sinners avoid Hell that she made many sacrifices. Read all about Fatima here  –  you really need to know about it, if you want to make sense of what is happening in the world today. Oh, and to know that there ARE souls in Hell.  Lots, sadly, of individuals.  Our Lord told us that, even before Saint Jacinta… Don’t you remember?  He mentioned “the furnace of fire” where there would be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:5).  Don’t you remember?  And it is the tradition of the Church,  the teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that Judas Iscariot is in Hell. I’m not sure that we’ve ever covered this in our newsletter, so watch out for our January 2021 edition – we’ll find a spot for it there. Interesting, isn’t it, that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church agree unanimously that there is, at least, one bishop in Hell… Er, moving on…

Jesus is the one who has the authority and the power to look into our souls and find there the love that will permit us to enter eternal life.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to Our Lord’s definition of “love” – He told us that if we love Him, we will keep His  Commandments and voila! Then we will be admitted to eternal life. It’s a tad misleading to speak of Jesus finding “love” in our souls when the word is so misused and abused these days.  Don’t you have a duty to make sure that those hearing and reading your words understand the nature of the love required to achieve eternal happiness?  “Love” (in the sense of the pop song) is NOT “all you need”. 

“Jesus is the one who, despite our sins and frailties, has the authority to validate our existence and our activity forever. Jesus, the Universal Judge, in calling us to unselfish charity, is the one who scrutinises our souls for the spark of divine love that will permit us to live forever with the saints in heaven.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to my previous response. Except I need to mention “validate our existence and our activity forever” – if this is the latest way of describing The Judgment, I’d say ditch it. The Four Last Things is much easier to understand:  Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell.  Nobody needs to run for a dictionary.

“Covid-19 is a particularly nasty virus, and we do not want people to become ill or die. Practical charity in this pandemic may just be that spark of divine love in us that the Lord will look for.”
Editor: allow me to introduce you to St Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the many great Christian souls who longed for death: “During this prayer, I would begin thinking that the day of rest was coming to an end, that the morrow would bring with it the necessity of beginning life over again, we would have to go back to work, learning lessons, etc., and my heart felt the exile of this earth. I longed for the everlasting repose of heaven, that never-ending Sunday of the Fatherland!” Indeed, can you believe this, Archbishop, we’re all going to die of something, some day.  And horrible as this virus is (you are right about that – well, even a broken clock is right twice a day 😀 ) some deaths may be much worse. 

Full text follows:

And then there were 20 … It seems like a huge joke on the Church to proclaim Jesus Christ as King, while being under such severe restrictions that only 20 people at a time are allowed to come together in Church for Mass to celebrate this great feast. I never imagined for a second that I would mark my fifteenth anniversary as a bishop under these circumstances.
Editor:  well, this is one “joke” that’s not leaving any of the faithful amused.  Not one little bit.  I’ve yet to meet any Catholic  anywhere in Scotland who finds this situation remotely funny. I take your point, however, and it is true that we find it disgusting that the bishops would preach Christ is King while effectively handing His crown to Nicola Sturgeon.  An uncharitable soul might accuse the hierarchy itself of being “a huge joke”.  So, your point is not without merit. 

I consoled myself by remembering the crucifixion of Jesus when the soldiers mocked him. “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
Editor: well, don’t console yourself. What you ought to be remembering is the fate awaiting false shepherds, because Scripture reveals that Christ warned against false teachers  more than He preached about love or any other desirable quality. To teach that the Government’s authority is greater than that which Christ the King bequeathed to His Church, is not something which should console you – it should worry you, dare I say it, to death…

When we proclaim Christ as King, we need to recognise that He is a King who reigns from the Cross, and, from the Cross he is the King who can promise paradise. To one who was crucified with him, you remember, and who recognised Jesus’ innocence, Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus is King because, through his Cross and Resurrection, he is the Saviour who has won for us the crown of eternal life.
Editor:  the “Good Thief” was promised Paradise despite his sins and crimes; but why? Because he confessed his sinfulness, unlike the other thief who doggedly taunted Our Lord and refused to accept his own sinfulness before God. We’re still waiting for that “Good Thief” confession from any of our Bishops; nothing, so far.  All we are hearing is that you’re all doing your bit to “save lives” and “protect the NHS”.  No repentance for designating God as non-essential in a public health “crisis”.

Jesus is the King who reigns from the Cross, and those who belong to his kingdom are called to carry their Cross and follow him to the glory of the Resurrection. Because of this pandemic, we are once again suffering even more severe restrictions to our freedom to come to church to worship God. Part of our suffering is the fact that it is not particularly clear why 50 had to drop to 20 in the Tier 4 regulations. It could, however, be worse. In England, Ireland and France, all churches are just closed full stop. We do not want that to happen, so we will bear this cross with dignity, patience and forbearance, hoping that the Tier 4 restrictions are lifted on 11th December as has been promised.
Editor:  this is not a “cross” – this is a dereliction of duty.  A cross of suffering we must accept with peaceful resignation.  Episcopal and priestly neglect we rightly abhor. It is a scandal which we are duty bound to publicly correct.  God is never “non-essential” especially at a time when we are being  frog-marched into totalitarian governance.

If you are frustrated by the Tier 4 restrictions on your personal freedoms, let me point you to today’s Gospel. Jesus is King also because he is the universal judge of every human being, with the authority to admit to eternal life or to condemn to the eternal fire.
Editor: that is a non-sequitur.  There is no connection between my loss of my personal freedom, for which the hierarchy (and each individual member of it) is largely to blame, because the Governments of the UK could never have imposed these restrictions on our religious liberty without the co-operation of the hierarchy, so, to recap, there is no connection between the loss of my personal freedom and the authority of Christ to Judge us in eternity. Unless, that is, you are saying that those politicians responsible for removing our personal (and religious) freedoms are going to face a very severe judgment.  Is that what you mean?  If so, you have a duty to warn them very publicly and very clearly, not hide your warning behind a  vague, generalised statement. 

In this scenario of the last judgment, the measure Jesus will use for his judgment is love and practical charity. Here are his words: “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, sick and imprisoned and you visited me, a stranger and you made me welcome. When you did this to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Editor:  another non-sequitur.  What do those [beautiful] words of Our Lord have to do with your insistence on obeying a wholly secular and heavily Marxist-leaning Government which is responsible for the introduction of evil laws to destroy the family and legitimise (and promote) sexual immorality, a Government which is planning further evil through its shocking Hate Crime Bill and which is now wielding authority over the Church?   We’re definitely in waffle territory here.

We are told that we are under Tier 4 restrictions because the rate of Covid-19 infection in Glasgow and the West of Scotland remains, in the First Minister’s words, “stubbornly high”. At the beginning of this pandemic, we were all in it together and it was easier to accept lockdown. Now we are not. In some parts of Scotland, people are shopping normally, going to pubs and restaurants freely until fairly late in the evening, and socialising with each other more than we are.
Editor: it’s very interesting – and telling – that you found the first lockdown “easier” to accept, and that you quote the ridiculous slogan “we’re all in this together” which, is balderdash. The fact that the churches were closed meant that no Catholic found the first lockdown remotely easy.  We found it painful and doubly so because you, our bishops were happily going along with the Government’s authoritarian rule. We can’t even accuse the politicians of a coup d’état because the bishops were happy to co-operate and hand over their authority to the Government.  I find it very interesting that, for all the quotes from Scripture relating to Judgment, you do not seem to apply any of them to yourselves.  Your confidence in “love” being the passport into Heaven is troubling.  When Christ pointed out that that the infamous sinner, the woman who anointed his feet with oil would be forgiven her many sins “because she hath loved much”, she had first washed his feet with her tears of repentance. This was no superficial or emotional love – it was the kind of love required of us all, the love that takes us to the confessional box. (Luke 7:37-48).  It is misleading for priests and bishops to speak of “love” as if it pleases God and brings us to salvation, without repentance of our sins. 

Part of this disparity is that in four Catholic dioceses, 50 people can be at Mass; and in the other four (which contain the vast majority of the Catholic community of Scotland), only 20 people can be at Mass. If this makes you frustrated or angry or feel a sense of unfairness, just try to bear it as our commitment to practical charity and to the love of our neighbour, so that infection rates will come down, and we will all be able to enjoy more personal freedoms at the end of this period of Tier 4 restrictions.
Editor:  there are just no words in any dictionary to describe the frustration and anger  (to use your words) felt by Catholics shocked by your subservience to the Government throughout this period.  To speak of “practical charity” and the “love of neighbour” as being the correct response to the limitations set on numbers of faithful who may attend Mass simply beggars belief. Charity and Justice must first be offered to God.  Of course, since the introduction of the new Mass, the emphasis has been on the people, the “community”, making the Mass more enjoyable, fun even, for them but – of course – that is the wrong way round. Charity is first and foremost, the love of God.  Our concern for justice, too, must first be directed to Justice for God to Whom we owe true worship.  The Ten Commandments are more important than any Coronavirus restriction. Thankfully, there ARE some (not many) priests who are defying Government rules – I’ve just been reading about a priest in Ireland who has re-opened his church despite his bishop cowering behind the propaganda about the need to “suppress the virus” – such idiocy!  This priest reveals more insight than any bishop into the reality of what is going on when he says: “There is a suspicion that they want to stop people believing in God … to stop people practising their faith.”  Got it in one.  In Scotland – and indeed across the UK – the bishops, complicit with the Government, are succeeding in doing this, whether deliberately or unwittingly, where the Protestant Reformers of the 16 century failed. 

More than that – much more than that – Jesus the Universal King will judge us at the end on our love and charity.
Editor: to quote  Groucho Marx,  if I’ve told you this before, don’t stop me, I want to hear it again…  (I repeat): we will be judged on the kind of love which leads us to obey the Commandments:  “If you love Me, you will keep my Commandments” (John 14:21-24 ). 

Two things make me hopeful for our eternal destiny … I have never met anyone without a scrap of love and charity in their heart. Secondly, the Church has never said that any individual person is in hell. Jesus is the one who has the authority and the power to look into our souls and find there the love that will permit us to enter eternal life.
Editor: again, in the spirit of Groucho Marx, allow me to repeat myself by introducing you to Saint Jacinta – one of the Fatima seers, solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal on 13 May 2017.  After the vision of Hell, when the seers saw the souls (plural) of those suffering there, Jacinta was so desperate to help poor sinners avoid Hell that she made many sacrifices. Read all about Fatima here  –  you really need to know about it, if you want to make sense of what is happening in the world today. Oh, and to know that there ARE souls in Hell.  Lots, sadly, of individuals.  Our Lord told us that, even before Saint Jacinta… Don’t you remember?  He mentioned “the furnace of fire” where there would be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:5).  Don’t you remember? And it is the tradition of the Church,  the teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that Judas Iscariot is in Hell. I’m not sure that we’ve ever covered this in our newsletter, so watch out for our January 2021 edition – we’ll find a spot for it there. Interesting, isn’t it, that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church agree unanimously that there is, at least, one bishop in Hell… Er, moving on…

Jesus is the one who, despite our sins and frailties, has the authority to validate our existence and our activity forever. Jesus, the Universal Judge, in calling us to unselfish charity, is the one who scrutinises our souls for the spark of divine love that will permit us to live forever with the saints in heaven.
Editor: once more, in the spirit of Groucho Marx, allow me to repeat myself.  If by “validate our existence and our activity forever” you mean The Judgment, I’d say ditch it. The Four Last Things is much easier to understand:  Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell.  Nobody needs to run for a dictionary.

Covid-19 is a particularly nasty virus, and we do not want people to become ill or die. Practical charity in this pandemic may just be that spark of divine love in us that the Lord will look for.
Editor:  the problem with all this talk of “practical charity” is that the Government tells us to stay away from people.  I’m surprised that the bishops haven’t picked up on that in their anxiety to obey Mz Sturgeon & Company.  There’s not a lot of “practical charity” any of us can legitimately do when we are supposed to be wearing masks (which discriminates against the hard of hearing who struggle to understand what is being said behind the muzzles) and when we must keep a distance of six feet or whatever it is now from others  – I no longer keep up with these crackpot rules. I’ve worked it out that God has given me a mind of my own for a reason.  So, really, with all due respect, we don’t need exhortations from our bishops to “practical charity” or patience in carrying this “cross”; we need to see some backbone, some pushback, some practical charity towards God by a declaration that “enough is enough”.  The virus has been used by Government to introduce totalitarian governance by stealth, using the fear of  infection and death to control us.

Shame on you, Archbishop Tartaglia, and your brother bishops for allowing yourselves to be complicit in this spread of Communism, which was foretold at Fatima.  You must seek to make amends urgently, and where better to begin – after opening your churches, refusing to pay fines and accept prison if necessary – than by asking the Pope to arrange for the Consecration of Russia to be carried out in the manner prescribed by Our Lady at Fatima. When she spoke to the Fatima seer, Sr Lucia, Our Lady requested  that the Pope, in union with all the bishops of the world, consecrate Russia, the first ever nation to publicly deny the very existence of God in its governance, the first ever Communist country, to her Immaculate Heart. Only when this is done, will peace and order be restored in both the world and the Church. 

This public giving back to God of Russia, this Consecration must be done by the Pope and the bishops of the world at the same time. A short prayer of Consecration, as requested by God through His mother at Fatima, would see off  the fear of this virus (which is not at all the deadly threat which the schemers claim) and we would enjoy the promised period of world peace. To date, we are seeing a purely worldly response to a contrived public health crisis, absent any spiritual, religious or moral leadership from the hierarchies around the world.  There’s plenty of talk of “judgment” in the above reflection but it is all askew – it is clear evidence of the lack of any Catholic sense.

At Catholic Truth, Archbishop, we are praying for you and for your brother bishops in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. But what we cannot do, is defend your negligence and your worldly complicity with the politicians who are brazenly changing the way we are governed in order to remove our personal and religious freedoms.  Of this you must repent, as a matter of the utmost urgency, in the knowledge that judgment for any of us can come at any minute, day or night. You may take refuge in the Woody Allen philosophy: “It’s not that I’m afraid of death, I just don’t want to BE there when it happens!”  Well, Archbishop, Breaking News, you WILL be there. 

St Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

To read Archbishop Tartaglia’s Reflection on Covid restrictions and salvation, click on   Source

Comments invited…  

Protestant Attends Mass While Catholics Watch Online – Legacy of Lockdown …

Comment: 

There’s no mistaking the sincerity of the young Protestant Evangelical in the above video.  He very accurately summarises the differences between the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the novus ordo (NO). 

One mistake which he makes – a very common mistake – is to think that “the Church” is not “one”.   He misunderstands the difference between the break-up of Christendom thanks to Martin Luther et al, who left the Church, with the Church itself upon which Christ bequeathed unity from the beginning: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)  Here Christ was bestowing unity on His Church – it was not some future goal. 

However, this is, as I say, a very common misconception.  Catholics make the same mistake, so we have to cut the young man some slack on this. 

Where there is absolutely NO slack to be cut, is for those Catholics who have not returned to attending Mass since the disgraceful Government ban was lifted, but are choosing instead to stay at home and watch Mass online.  I’d heard concerns expressed that this would happen and I could see the temptation but it didn’t occur to me for a second that any Catholic accustomed to attending the TLM would fall prey to such temptation.   I’ve now heard of at least three such cases – and I remain incredulous. 

Watching Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Mass obligation.  The notices and announcements in churches at the time of the lockdown stated clearly that “there is a temporary dispensation from the Sunday obligation” – that is, the obligation was temporarily lifted [due to the Government ban].  That ban is no longer in place.  Neither is the dispensation from attending Mass in person.  We are once again obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. 

So, what does this readiness to skip Mass for the comfort of watching it online tell us?  Well, with this willingness to miss Mass,  remember, is a willingness to live without the benefit of the Sacraments – no confession, no absolution, no Holy Communion.  What kind of Catholic life is that?  Answer:  it’s not.  

If you have any thoughts on this phenomenon please share them in the comments below, but do not name names.  Suffice that we try to work out what is  going on here – are these “Lockdown Legacy Catholics” staying away from church out of a [human but faithless] fear of “the virus”, or is the virus merely an excuse to re-structure life in such a way that God’s law does not interfere too much with their secular lives? Were they always Catholics of weak Faith, or what…  What’s the mentality – I’m genuinely puzzled.  Over to thee…   

And don’t forget to pray for the young Protestant man in the video – he appears to be very open to the grace of God, so it would be wonderful if he were to embrace the gift of the Faith.  Our Lady,  Help of Christians, pray for him!   

Elaine Smith, MSP on Contribution of Catholic Schools in Scotland… Priceless! 

Comment: 

Present in the public gallery watching this recent discussion in the Scottish Parliament, we see Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), and a group of students. 

Not one  item on Elaine Smith’s list singles out Catholic schools as being any different from any other school in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.

Yet, (or which explains why) one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) after another, praised Catholic schools to the skies. 

The buzzwords are all there – inclusive, diversity blah blah, how Catholic schools are teaching about all religions, nothing to worry about here. Hiding in plain sight as ever, of course, the fact that the one religion not being taught in Catholic schools is Catholicism.  Nobody asked why Catholic pupils are leaving Catholic schools able to name the five pillars of Islam but unable to name the precepts of the Church.  I mean who teaches that Sunday Mass attendance is obligatory, any more? Or that sex outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is sinful?  Who teaches that any more?  Nothing to see here, move along…

One useful comment in the video comes from Baptist, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston – scroll to 39.50, to hear him argue that there should be room in “the  public square” for the expression of faith-based values, just as humanists are allowed free rein to express their views.  

John Swinney, MSP, SNP Minister for Education, the one and same John Swinney whom we saw squirming in another video as he defended the disgraceful sex teaching materials in use in Scottish schools, also sang the praises of Catholic schools. Pause for thought, right there, folks…  He makes a point of telling us that his own son attends a Catholic (shared campus) school, no problem.  And why would there be a problem?  His son, like every other pupil in any Catholic school in Scotland, is never going to be taught that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – and other key dogmas. Not in a million years. Which is about as long as it is likely to take to end the current crisis in the Church and get back to teaching the Faith, entire and true, without any watering down to accommodate “society”. 

If you  haven’t yet booked your ticket for the Catholic Truth Education Seminar scheduled to take place next May, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible – there is, after all, plenty to discuss…

As a matter of courtesy, I’ve emailed the link to this conversation to the three MSPs named in the above commentary – Elaine Smith, MSP, John Mason, MSP and John Swinney, MSP / Minister for Education in the Scottish Government. So, remember the House Rules – no personal remarks, no politics – stick to the issue(s). 

Can Only Catholics Be Saved? Really?

American Blogger, Margaret USA, is keen for us to discuss the following article, taken from One Peter Five blog…

“… thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matt 16:18-19)

It is a truth revealed by God that there is absolutely no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, instituted by Jesus Christ for the sanctification and salvation of the souls of men; how could there possibly be salvation outside the society instituted by Jesus Christ for our salvation?

The Catholic Church is not an invisible society, but a visible one, and there are not two Churches, one visible and the other invisible. It follows from this that it is necessary for salvation to be a member of the visible Catholic Church. There is no invisible Catholic Church. However, it is possible that a person could be, invisibly, a member of the Catholic Church, which is visible. Thus, a person in invincible ignorance of the true Faith who does not know of the necessity of membership in the Church for his salvation would not be held by the Almighty as guilty of a sin that he is not responsible for. Such a person might be, by grace, a member of the Catholic Church.

It is extremely dangerous, to say the least, to remain outside the Catholic Church, when the Catholic Church is the divinely instituted means of our salvation. One becomes a member of the Catholic Church either by baptism or by grace, and, visibly speaking, one becomes a visible member of the Catholic Church by baptism, because that is precisely the visible ceremony that makes men members of the Church. But Protestants, who do have a valid baptism, are not Catholics; for the Church is defined as the visible society of those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are united under the government of their lawful pastors under one visible head (that is, the pope). Protestants are, however, in an imperfect but real (or, to put it the other way, a real but imperfect) communion with us, and they are Christians, but they are not per se members of the Catholic Church. Catholics have used the phrase “separated brethren” to denote Protestants (and, I suppose, Orthodox and others) for two hundred years or so. The Second Vatican Council uses the phrase “fratres a nobis sejuncti” — the brethren separated from us. The word “separated” denotes the imperfection of the communion; the word “brethren” denotes the real communion that is, nevertheless, imperfect.

To state “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” does not mean that no Protestant, Jew, Muslim, etc., could be saved, but if he were saved, it would be by virtue of the Catholic Church and not his erring sect or religion. If he were saved, it would be because he was, by grace (or in the case of Protestants, by baptism), a member of the Catholic Church. Everyone who is in heaven is a member of the Church Triumphant and, ipso facto, a Catholic.

I do not think many people will deny that there are good and holy people in other religions. But this does not lessen the importance of the fact that all the graces in the world enter the world through the Catholic Church.

A person who knows that the Catholic Church is the true Faith, and refuses to enter it, cannot be saved. This is the perennial teaching of the Magisterium and is affirmed by the Second Vatican Council in the document Lumen Gentium.

The Catholic Church is the Church. It is not a part of the Church, or a denomination of the Church; it is the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, outside which there is no salvation. It is the only religion instituted by God Himself, and it is the only religion pleasing to God.

It is the duty of all men on Earth to enter the Catholic Church and to submit to her authoritative teaching. It is God who speaks to men, not through Scripture only, but also through the Sacred Tradition and the universal Magisterium of His Church. We must believe what Christ teaches us through His Church; faith that is at least implicit, in all that God has revealed, is necessary for salvation (and there are certain truths also that must be believed explicitly).

It is a great sin against charity to encourage people to persevere in their errors. Error will not save anyone. The truth of Jesus Christ — which includes the truth of His Church, which is His Immaculate Bride and His Mystical Body — will save people. People have a right to the full truth of the Gospel and should not be denied any part of it. They therefore have a right to know the truth: that Catholicism is the true religion; that the Catholic Church is the Church of God, which is endowed with authority, infallibility, and indefectibility, and will teach the true Faith and preserve the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ until the end of time. Membership in it is necessary for salvation.   Source

[Author] David Mitchell was born in England and lives there his wife, whom he married in December 2018. David was educated at the University of Durham and was received into the Catholic Church in 2008, while he was a student. He has a B.A. in music and an M.A. in performance and sings in his church choir, where he and his wife met. He has taught music and Latin and currently undertakes freelance music work.

Comments invited…   

25/10: Feast of the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales… So what? 

After King Henry VIII proclaimed himself supreme head of the Church in England and Wales, a violent wave of anti-Catholic persecution began – and lasted over a century. It started with the executions of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, but didn’t end there. Hundreds were killed between 1535 and 1679; the Church recognized the heroism of 40 martyrs from England and Wales in a canonization ceremony on October 25, 1970. (Later, a separate feast on May 4 was created to recognize the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation.)

The group of 40 martyrs celebrated on October 25 contains a variety of Catholics. The group is composed of “13 priests of the secular clergy, three Benedictines, three Carthusians, one Brigittine, two Franciscans, one Augustinian, 10 Jesuits and seven members of the laity, including three mothers.”

The martyrs were gruesomely tortured before being hanged or killed, but remained steadfast in their faith, refusing to renounce their Catholicism.

Many of the saints were jovial at the prospect of death.

Cuthbert Mayne, a secular priest, replied to a gaoler who came to tell him he would be executed three days later: “I wish I had something valuable to give you, for the good news you bring me…”  Edmund Campion, a Jesuit, was so pleased when taken to the place of execution that the people said about him and his companions: “But they’re laughing! He doesn’t care at all about dying…”

One striking story of heroism under extreme torture comes from the martyrdom of a laywoman, Margaret Clitherow.

She was accused “of having sheltered the Jesuits and priests of the secular clergy, traitors to Her Majesty the Queen”; but she retorted: “I have only helped the Queen’s friends” … On Friday March 25th, 1588, at eight o’clock in the morning, Margaret, just thirty-three years old, left Ouse Bridge prison, barefooted, bound for Toll Booth … Her arms were stretched out in the shape of a cross, and her hands tightly bound to two stakes in the ground. The executioners put a sharp stone the size of a fist under her back and placed on her body a large slab onto which weights were gradually loaded up to over 800 pounds. Margaret whispered: “Jesus, have mercy on me.” Her death agony lasted for fifteen minutes, then the moaning ceased, and all was quiet.

Their resolve in the face of certain death is inspiring. They show us that our life on earth is indeed very short and what truly matters is our faithfulness to God. As St. Thomas More famously said: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.”

Here is a list of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whom we can invoke for their intercession in whatever persecution we may be enduring.

St. John Almond
St. Edmund Arrowsmith
St. Ambrose Barlow
St. John Boste
St. Alexander Briant
St. Edmund Campion
St. Margaret Clitherow
St. Philip Evans
St. Thomas Garnet
St. Edmund Gennings
St. Richard Gwyn
St. John Houghton
St. Philip Howard
St. John Jones
St. John Kemble
St. Luke Kirby
St. Robert Lawrence
St. David Lewis
St. Anne Line
St. John Lloyd
St. Cuthbert Mayne
St. Henry Morse
St. Nicholas Owen
St. John Payne
St. Polydore Plasden
St. John Plessington
St. Richard Reynolds
St. John Rigby
St. John Roberts
St. Alban Roe
St. Ralph Sherwin
St. Robert Southwell
St. John Southworth
St. John Stone
St. John Wall
St. Henry Walpole
St. Margaret Ward
St. Augustine Webster
St. Swithun Wells
St. Eustace White         Source 

Comment: 

So?  Our nearest cousins will be celebrating the Feast of the 40 martyrs of England & Wales on Thursday next, 25 October. So?  They suffered and died for the Faith during the Reformation – centuries ago.  What – if anything – do they have to teach us, today?  We’ve moved on from those days, when people were tortured and killed for their beliefs. We’re ecumenical now, we’re tolerant, we embrace equality and diversity… What on earth do medieval martyrs have to teach us enlightened folk today…  Shouldn’t the Feast days of martyrs be removed form the calendar, as a goodwill gesture, in the name of ecumenical progress?  Seriously?  Or, should that be “satirically”…  😀

The question for discussion really has to be: what is the most important thing the martyrs have to teach us all – north and south of the English border in this modern age? And if you have a particular favourite saint among the 40 martyrs, share that with us…

Pentecost NOT “Birth of the Church”

Editor: it is a common error, repeated often in homilies/sermons, that the Church was “born” at Pentecost.  We need only recall the Petrine verses in the Gospel, and Christ’s final command to his apostles prior to his Ascension into Heaven: “Go out into the whole world and baptize…” to recognise that this claim is false.  The apostles were strengthened at Pentecost, their faith renewed so that they had the courage to come out of hiding and obey Christ’s Ascension command to go into the whole world and spread the Faith.  The Church, however, was established by Christ Himself  during His time on earth, as amply reported in the New Testament.

Below, extracts from a short article on the subject…

Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.

 Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.

Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained.”(John 20:23)

Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, “Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.

The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.

God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Source

Comment: 

It is important to note that there was never any time when the Church was known as “Christian Church” – never.  From the earliest times, the Church was called the “Catholic Church”.  The adjective “Roman” was added during the Reformation period by the Protestant Reformers to push their heresy that the Church is made up of “branches” – of which those who adhere to Rome are but one part.  Click here to read more.  There is one exception to the writer’s claim that “RC” is not used in official Church documents, and that exception is found in Humani Generis # 27 – click here.  However, Pope Pius XII is a recent pontiff, so the facts  stand, as detailed in the article How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?

What, if any,  difference does it make if priests preach that Pentecost celebrates “the birth of the Church”?    

Presbyterians: Bible Vs Transgenderism – Bishops Must End Ecumenical Farce

From Breitbart… 

Testimony featured in Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care includes the demand for a “21st century” update to the “patriarchal” Scriptures, and complaints that “Christian culture” makes life hard for “gender nonconforming” individuals.
“I struggle with the wording of the Lord’s Prayer because I see God as my parent not my father,” writes Andrew, stating that: “God is genderless to me: it’s not father God it is parent God.”

“The Scriptures are very patriarchal; we need to update them for the 21st century,” adds the churchgoer, who was born female but identifies as a man. Read entire report here, but note, it contains crudities – which almost prevented me from posting this thread. However, it’s crucial to our understanding of the depth of depravity in the C of S and – if the Scottish Bishops do not withdraw from all ecumenical activity – the depth of the loss of Catholic Faith and Morals of the Scottish Bishops who, by their complicit silence, reveal their acceptance of this depravity. 

Comment:

Take a look at this Open Letter from the former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland (Thanks Martin Luther, John Knox et al, for all the confusion you’ve caused) addressed to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, dated 1st April, 2016.  Let’s hope he is still of the same opinion – in any event, I doubt if there is much enthusiasm for ecumenism within the Free C of S. I’ve just paid a flying visit to their official website and can see no mention of it.  And little wonder – it’s pointless, is it not? Should the Bishops withdraw the Catholic Church from all ecumenical endeavour and simply return to seeking converts, following the example of Our Lord Himself who told us that if we wish to follow Him we must give up everything – which, self-evidently includes depravity… 

Cardinal Müller Warns of Schism…

From La Croix International: Cardinal Müller ‘bitter and concerned’ with Church’s direction – 29 November, 2017… 

Cardinal Müller 

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller / Alberto PizzolI / AFP
“There is a front made up of traditionalist groups as well as a number of progressives, who would like to see me lead a movement against the pope, but I will never do it.”

These were the words of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Massimo Franco, columnist at the Italian daily Il Corriere dela Sera, in an interview published on Sunday, November 26.

Müller, who has previously distanced himself from a series of pontifical moves, revealed that he was both bitter and concerned with the direction the Church is taking.

Insisting that he believed in “the unity of the Church”, Cardinal Müller nevertheless called on Church authorities “to listen to those who have serious questions and fair complaints”.

“We must not ignore them or, worse, humiliate them,” he emphasized.

“If not, without intending it, the risk of a slow separation may grow and lead to a schism by a section of the Catholic world that feels disoriented and disappointed,” Cardinal Müller warned.

Schism looming? 

The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant schism 500 years ago should indicate the kind of mistakes we need to avoid,” he said.

Although he had previously harshly criticized his dismissal as the head of the Congregation for the Faith, he revealed several new aspects of this in his Corriere interview.

Pope Francis reportedly said to him that “certain people have told me anonymously that you are my enemy”.

“After forty years of service to the Church,” he lamented, “gossips are making such absurd comments, creating doubts in the mind of the pope when they would have done better to visit a psychiatrist.”

Reaffirming his loyalty to Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller claimed that the pontiff’s “real friends are not those who flatter him” but “those who assist him with the truth and with theological and human expertise”.

He had severe words for the “detractors” whom he blamed for his departure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Refuting the notion of a plot against the pope as “an absolute exaggeration”, he admitted that significant “tensions” exist in the Church at present.

“I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris Laetitia or the 62 signatories to a letter making critical comments about the pope, including some which were excessive, should be listened to and not swept aside with the back of the hand as if they were Pharisees or malcontents,” Cardinal Müller said.

What is needed is “free and frank dialogue,” he added.

Instead, he feared that people within the pope’s “magic circle” are “worried primarily about spying on perceived enemies, preventing open and balanced discussion”.

In a sign of his good faith, Cardinal Müller recently issued a public defense of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the family, which has crystallized the various conflicts.

“To classify all Catholics as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ of the pope is the greatest evil that they cause to the Church,” Cardinal Müller insisted.

“People are perplexed when they see a well-known journalist, who is also an atheist, claim to be a friend of the pope, while a Catholic bishop and cardinal like me, is defamed as an opponent of the pope.

“I don’t think that these people are in a position to give theology lessons on the primacy of the sovereign pontiff,” he said.

Compared to Benedict XVI’s pontificate, the Church now seems “weaker,” Cardinal Müller continued.

“There are fewer and fewer priests yet we are offering answers that are more organizational, political or diplomatic than theological and spiritual,” he said.

“The Church is not a political party based on power struggles. We need to discuss existential issues about life and death, the family, and religious vocations and not always ecclesiastical politics,” he added.

“Pope Francis is popular and that’s a good thing. However, people are no longer receiving the sacraments. And his popularity among those Catholics who enthusiastically quote him, unfortunately, does not change their false convictions,” the cardinal insisted.

It is now necessary to go beyond the notion of a Church as a “country hospital”, Cardinal Müller said, citing an expression popularized by Pope Francis.

He said, instead, that the world needs a “Silicon Valley” Church.

“We need to become the Steve Jobs of the faith and transmit a powerful vision in terms of moral and cultural values,” the cardinal claimed. [Emphases added]     Source – La Croix International

Comment:

Is the Cardinal over-egging the crisis?  Or do you agree that we are in danger of schism? 

Bishops of Scotland: Anti-Catholicism Rife – Please Review “Hate-Crime”

Press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office…

Catholic Church suggests Hate Crime review, offers opportunity to consolidate rather than separate legislation.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Church comments come in response to the Scottish Government’s Review of Hate Crime legislation, chaired by Lord Bracadale:

http://www.gov.scot/About/Review/Hate-Crime-Legislation

The review is charged with considering whether existing hate crime law represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice..

Commenting on the review, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan who submitted a detailed response on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said:

“This process is an opportunity, ultimately, to ensure that the legislation is just and that every group is protected. This does not have to be a “zero sum game” where one group “wins” and another “loses” but rather could be an opportunity to rationalise and simplify legislation. A desirable outcome would be a single aggravation such as section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. Applied to all protected characteristics equally, it would be a simple and straightforward “message.” which would foster harmony in that all groups would be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”

Mr Horan added:

“It is important that any legislation, preserves judicial discretion recognising that Scotland has a Criminal Justice System populated by highly trained prosecutors and Judges. They are best placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual cases and should be free to do so in the absence of their decision being “politicised” by legislation which creates a perceived “scandal” where none exists.”

The Church response also highlights Scotland’s long history of anti-Catholicism and urges Government recognition be given to the historic roots of present conflicts. Pointing out that for over twenty years successive Scottish Governments have dedicated significant resources into programmes and projects designed to tackle the symptoms of sectarianism. The submission adds, that in the same period the growth in such funding has been matched by an increase in religious hate crime.

The response notes, that “an opportunity exists to acknowledge that anti-Catholic sectarianism is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other types of religious hate crime in Scotland. Instances of anti-Catholicism outnumber all other type of religious hate crime combined, in a country where Catholics represent only 16% of the population. This is a product of the Reformation Parliament of 1560 and its condemnation of Catholic doctrine and worship including the ban on the celebration of all Catholic sacraments. No other religion or belief has ever been so proscribed in Scotland, the legacy of this proscription continues to the present day. A recommendation by this review, that the Scottish Government consider issuing a collective, retrospective apology could go some way towards building, repairing and renewing bonds between communities harmed by historical wrongdoing. It could also be the first step in addressing historical iniquities.”  ENDS

Click here to read the full text of the Church’s response to the Hate Crime review 

Comment:

We can’t speak for lapsed Catholics, but it is simply not possible for a truly practising Catholic to be filled with hate and that’s what defines bigotry.  Many of us, myself included, count members of non-Catholic communities among our families and friends.  There is no way that I can even begin to comprehend what it must be like to hate someone for any reason – let alone on account of their religion.  Christ told us to go out into the whole world and convert – not kill, not hate. He explicitly told us that it is just not possible to love God if we hate our neighbour (1 John 4:20). 

The fact is, though, that there is much hatred directed against Catholicism, and it is sadly true that anti-Catholic behaviour is tolerated in Scotland –  to the point where it is effectively institutionalised.  Below, a short video clip showing an annual public demonstration of this institutionalised bigotry – the Orange Walk(s) which take place throughout the summer.  These events, which are permitted by the local political authorities and supported by the police, testify to the tolerance of anti-Catholic sentiment and behaviour by the powers-that-be in Scotland.   The participants sing offensive songs – some of the lyrics of one of the most popular Orange songs  is placed under the video, to give a flavour of what goes on during these marches, although the one on film below is relatively mild. 

As you watch, ask yourself if such a hate-march would be permitted against Muslims. Ask, yourself, too, if the Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer was right to invite the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge to write a column in the paper a few short years ago…  Is that really what Catholics want to take home and leave lying on the coffee table?  Albeit in the name of fostering ecumenical relationships? Howzabout the Grand Master cancels the annual Orange Marches in the name of ecumenism?  


“The Sash My Father Wore” Lyrics
Sure I’m an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin’s Isle I came
To see my Glasgow brethren all of honor and of fame
And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore
All on the twelfth day of July in The Sash My Father Wore.
Chorus:
It is old but it is beautiful, and its colors they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne. From my orange and purple forefather it descended with galore
It’s a terror to them Papish boys, The Sash My Father Wore.   [emphasis added].