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

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

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

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

And there is a huge need for big hearts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment: 

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

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

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

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

Papal Visit To Ireland: Write Your Own Open Letter To Pope Francis…

Open Letter to Pope Francis…

I am shocked beyond words at your silence during the abortion referendum in Ireland. A small group of us, Scots, went over to Dublin in order to help save the lives of the unborn babies at risk of being killed if a YES vote resulted so we remain in shock that the Pope himself remained silent throughout and yet plans to visit Ireland to attend a meeting ostensibly about “family” despite the fact that a keynote speaker is an LGBT-Z activist priest. We were treated appallingly by the majority of the Irish people whom we encountered on our visit – nasty and completely sold to the values of this world. YOU encouraged that by your silence.

You are easily the worst-ever pope in the history of the Church and a future pope and Council will denounce you as it denounced Honorius I. Think of the book titles, the headlines: From Honorius I to Francis I. Roll on!

Used to be that the jibe “is the Pope Catholic” was a joke. No more. Your alleged Catholicity is now the joke. So, enjoy your visit to Ireland, enjoy the World Meeting of Families – just don’t try to pass the event off as “Catholic”.

With no condemnation (however belatedly) of the shocking pro-abortion vote, and your willingness to share a platform with a priest who will present, as a good, one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, your presence at this event can only serve to further attack the teaching of Christ’s Church.

You, Papa Francis, are about as Catholic as the nearest Imam.

Signed… Editor, Catholic Truth

Comment:

Click here to send YOUR open letter, albeit short and to the point, to Pope Francis via the Irish Times, ahead of his visit to Ireland later this month. And then feel free to copy it onto the blog and/or share your thoughts about the forthcoming World Meeting of Families.  

Faithful Catholics to Faithless Priests in U.S.A & Ireland : Believe or Be Gone!

Editor writes:

Our American blogger, RCA Victor, alerted me to the following Open Letter from the Lepanto Institute to the Bishops of the United States of America, asking them to ban an organisation of dangerous priests.  This Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) sounds uncomfortably like the Association of (Anything But) Catholic Priests in Ireland, so the case made in this Open Letter applies equally to the Bishops of Ireland. But will any of these Bishops act to protect the people in their dioceses?  Not likely.

The key question here, though, apart from the obvious question about the Bishops lack of integrity, lack of care for both the dissident priests and the faithful whom they are poisoning with their anti-Catholic ambitions, is, why don’t these faithless priests just leave?  “Believe or be gone!” is our message to them – and we’ll be sending the link to this thread to the leaders of each of these associations, and to each of the Bishops’ Conferences, to make sure they get the message. 

Open Letter  to the Bishops of the USA from the Lepanto Institute…

Dear Eminences and Excellencies,

Since last November, the Lepanto Institute has been investigating and reporting on the actions and goals of an organization of priests called the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP). What we have discovered is that this organization of priests, which claims to be “the largest association of priests in the United States,” is:

promoting women’s ordination to the diaconate (with eyes on the priestly ordination of women),
homosexuality,
priestless parishes,
married priests,
and a host of other heterodox positions.

In addition to this, we found that the AUSCP is acting in concert with heretical and condemned entities, such as New Ways Ministry, Dignity USA, FutureChurch, and the International Church Reform Network (ICRN). AUSCP was even instrumental in helping the dissident Fr. Helmut Schuller find a speaking venue, contravening the expressed wishes of Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Chaput, and Archbishop Vigneron, who banned him from speaking in their respective dioceses.

Two weeks ago, I personally went to Albuquerque, NM to observe the AUSCP as it held its annual assembly there. In addition to the common sight of these priests wearing rainbow pins on their lanyards and seeing the plethora of pro-homosexual literature proliferating the exhibition hall, I was able to sit in on a keynote address delivered by Fr. Richard Rohr, who denied the inerrancy of Scripture, denied the infallibility of the Pope, and claimed that Christianity was a “religion of white privilege.”

Your Eminences and Excellencies, the AUSCP is an organization which poses a clear and present danger to the faith and to the faithful. I bring this information to your attention because they are a growing threat to the faith and to your flock, and their members are likely already present in your diocese. If you examine this organization on your own, I am confident you will see that this is an organization that should be banned and membership forbidden.

Please know that we pray sincerely and earnestly for all of you every day.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Michael Hichborn

President, Lepanto Institute

Catholic Truth Goes To Ireland…

A small group of us will be in Ireland for a couple of days later this week,  leafleting in support of the pro-life campaign in the forthcoming abortion referendum.  

News updates will be posted on this thread, and any statistics on abortion in the UK that you think will help us when we speak to Irish people on the streets of Dublin on Thursday and Friday, will be most welcome.  Please post as many facts as you can find – we need to be well equipped to convince the “undecided” as, sadly, the humanity of the unborn child doesn’t seem to be sufficient in the face of the propaganda about the woman’s alleged right to choose.  We WILL do our best to counter this argument, since it’s not HER body that the choice is about, but about the body – and soul – of the unborn baby. Our excellent little leaflet highlights this fact, that the child being destroyed by abortion was destined for eternal life, known by God from all eternity. 

Above all, please pray for our trip – we’ll only be there on Thursday all day and then on Friday, the day of the referendum, so time is short.  We have organised 3,000 leaflets to distribute so we will be very busy during the two days. 

Our leaflet includes some details about Gianna Care – a practical pro-life group – so please spread this website around, send it to your friends and relatives in Ireland, for them to use in campaigning to save the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution which protects the right to life of the unborn child. 

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us!

 

17/03/18: Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick!

I cannot allow the Feast of my patron saint to pass without marking it, so I wish everyone, bloggers and readers, A very happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As always with devotional threads, feel free to post relevant comments, stories and jokes, favourite prayers and hymns… As well as the above rendition of the hymn to Saint Patrick, I’m posting the lovely Irish hymn to Our Lady of Knock… Enjoy!

May, 2018: Abortion In Ireland: Be Careful What You Wish Vote For… 


From the Spectator…

Ross Clark
14 February 2018

Most of the time I feel perfectly at ease in my own country, and that would be the case had we voted Brexit or Remain, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. But just occasionally Britain seems to me an utterly alien place – bizarre even. Today, Jeremy Corbyn launched his manifesto for pets. He wants to ban foie gras, make it mandatory for motorists to report that they have run over and killed cats, and pass a law giving tenants the right to keep a pet. I don’t suspect that he will encounter a great deal of opposition on these things – bar a token protest on the last from buy-to-let investors. Fox hunting aside, no political party in recent times has come to much harm by doing something to help furry, feathery or scaly animals. In the past 20 years, we have had animal laws by the dozen, controlling the use of animals in circuses and in advertising campaigns, laws against sow stalls and numerous others.

This would all be fine – I can’t say I have a problem with much of the above – if it weren’t for the utter refusal on the part of our main political parties to even discuss what seems to me a far more pressing issue for human beings: the rights of unborn children. With the honourable exception of Jacob Rees-Mogg, when did you last hear a frontline politician or even backbench MP dare to even ask whether our laws on abortion, and the practice of them, ought to be reformed (reformed, that is, in the direction of making it harder to have an abortion)? There seems to be an unwritten rule in politics that the issue must not be discussed, and that anyone holding views which are disapproving of current practice on abortion must be dismissed as an extremist or religious nutter. This is in spite of obvious evidence that abortion as conducted in Britain is completely at odds with the word of the law. Under the 1967 act that legalised abortion, it is clearly stated that it is only supposed to be used in situations where the mother’s physical or mental health is at risk or if the baby were to be born seriously handicapped. Few would even pretend that abortion is being restricted to these cases. It is over 20 years ago now, but the first question my wife’s GP asked her when she said she thought she was pregnant was: do you want the baby? There is little getting away from it: social abortion is routine in Britain, even though it is illegal. The law supposedly preventing it is treated with the same contempt as archaic laws ordering us to do archery practice.

There seems to me to be something desperately wrong here. A Martian looking at us from the outside might well conclude that it is a committee of animals which sets the terms of our political debate. How can it be that we swoon over baby chicks, calves, puppies and the rest, and yet seem blithely indifferent about the industrial-scale destruction of human foetuses?   Source – The Spectator

Comment: 

I’ve long marvelled at the intensity of the UK public over animal welfare.  I’ve seen grown women shed tears during a BBC discussion, upset at the killing of foxes – not the most endearing of animals. Yet, the same people fighting for animal rights seem to see nothing untoward about the cruelty of killing a baby in the womb.  Why is that?

Will Ireland  hold out against the evil campaigning of the pro-death camp, those who wish Government approval for the murder of the unborn?  If you’re still not sure about the use of the term “murder” visit this website and check out the terminated “material” …  Don’t duck the reality – look at the images, and then decide if you think once-Catholic Ireland should legalise this death industry.

Irish Eyes Are Surely Smiling Now!

The Catholics of Ireland are invited to gather, on November 26, 2017, on the shores of the Island to recite the holy rosary, for the preservation of the Catholic faith and the life of the unborn child, in a political context where abortion could be legalized in 2018.

The generous response of the Irish, attached to the faith of their ancestors, was not long in coming: in a few days, more than a hundred meeting points had to be planned to allow the smooth running of this religious event.

Thus, after Poland and Italy, which saw millions of Catholics gather at the borders to recite the rosary, it is now Ireland’s turn to erect a living rampart of rosaries on November 26, 2017.

For its part, the Irish District of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X joins this initiative and plans to organize four assembly points in the country.

The recitation of the rosary will begin at 14:30 on November 26, with the main purpose of preserving the faith and the fight against abortion. In 2018, indeed, the Irish will be called to the polls to decide whether or not they wish to amend Article 8 of their Constitution which protects the life of the unborn child.  Source

Comment: 

The speedy and generous response of the Irish to the invitation to pray the rosary around the country in defence of the Faith and the unborn child, gives us great hope for this once deeply Catholic land.  So, to those of you who are free to join the Irish at any of the meeting points, we say, please do! Here are the contact details for the Irish District of the SSPX, for anyone seeking to make enquiries.  I presume the linked details are up to date.