When Cardinals Clash

CP&S Comment – We are in an unprecedented crisis in the Church today. Since the founding of the pillars of Christ’s Church in the early years following the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, never before have we had to witness so great a dispute over Church Doctrine between Apostles (today’s Cardinals and Bishops). What makes this crisis unique is it appears that none other than the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, is leading the side of those Cardinals who favour an unorthodox stand against the permanent Magisterial teachings of the Church. The danger is now, are we facing a possible schism in the Catholic Church? (See the questions asked in the video below.)


By Fr Gerald E. Murray on The Catholic Thing

It was easily predictable that the Amoris Laetitia (particularly footnote 351), would lead to jarring assaults on the Church’s doctrinal unity – even by some of the Church’s own shepherds. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, has just joined the ranks of prelates who say that Pope Francis has authorized giving Holy Communion to those in adulterous second “marriages.” Coccopalmerio even extends this permission to others living in sexual relationships apart from marriage in his newly published booklet, The Eighth Chapter of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (which some think authoritative since it was issued by the Vatican’s own publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana).

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio

Coccopalmerio writes:

The divorced and remarried, de facto couples, those cohabiting, are certainly not models of unions in sync with Catholic Doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. Therefore, the sacraments of Reconciliation and of Communion must be given even to those so-called wounded families and to however many who, despite living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons, express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment. . . .it is a gesture of openness and profound mercy on the part of Mother Church, who does not leave behind any of her children, aware that absolute perfection is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone.

What do we find here? Slogans and euphemisms. A slogan is meant to stop discussion. Euphemisms intentionally steer the reader away from precise and accurate descriptions of reality. A seminary professor of mine once noted that verbal engineering always precedes social engineering. In this case, it’s doctrinal engineering

Slogans such as “look the other way” and “not leave behind any of her children,” and euphemisms such as “so-called wounded families” and “situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons” show a decision not to present a carefully reasoned and precise defense of what is being endorsed. Rather, Coccopalmerio tries to sweep the reader along with emotional appeals and misdirection.

“Not looking the other way,” means that the Church should simply ignore the sinfulness of certain behaviors. In the case of unions involving adultery and fornication, the question is not about healing “so-called wounded families” but warning sinners that their behavior gravely offends God.

When he says that the Church should “not leave behind any of her children,” he means that the refusal to give Communion to those publicly living a seriously sinful life would be an unjust abandonment. Adulterous unions are now simply “situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons.” God’s law on the indissolubility of marriage and the immorality of adultery is now a mere “tradition” embodied in a canon. Violating that law is only a “situation not in line” with that canon, which was written down somewhere, at some time, by someone. How important is a canon compared to actual people who “express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment”?

Coccopalmerio describes observing the Sixth Commandment as “absolute perfection [that] is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone.” But the Church has never taught that observing the Sixth Commandment is a state of “absolute perfection,” beyond the capability of any of her sons and daughters. It’s an error to consider marital fidelity as an ideal not reachable by many Christians. The grace of the sacrament of marriage is given by God to strengthen married persons in fulfilling their obligation to marital fidelity. Infidelity is a choice against one’s obligations to God and one’s spouse. It is not an authorized alternative for those who “cannot” reach “absolute perfection.”

Coccopalmerio further states: ““The Church could admit to the Penitence and Eucharist the faithful who find themselves in illegitimate unions [who] want to change that situation, but can’t act on their desire.”

God does not permit, let alone oblige, anyone to commit a mortal sin. And He does not authorize anyone to publicly enter a union that contradicts His law on marriage. A person who has placed himself is an adulterous union must for the good of his soul get himself out of that situation. The Church has the duty to uphold the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist. Those who publicly reject the Sixth Commandment, in various ways, cannot be admitted to the reception of Holy Communion until they have put an end to their sinful acts.

In contrast to all this, Cardinal Robert Sarah has published a second book-length interview with French journalist Nicholas Diat, which will soon appear in English: The Power of Silence, Against the Dictatorship of Noise. In this profound dialogue about the need for believers to recover a love for silence in our agitated world, Cardinal Sarah addresses the burning questions raised by chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia:

Christ is certainly afflicted in seeing and hearing priests and bishops who should protect the integrity of the teaching of the Gospel and of doctrine multiplying words and writings that dilute the rigor of the Gospel by their deliberately ambiguous and confused affirmations. To these priests and these prelates who give the impression of taking up the exact opposite of the traditional teaching of the Church in matters of doctrine and morality, it is not out of place to recall the severe words of Christ: “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” “He is guilty of an eternal sin”, Mark adds. (My translation)

The rigor of the Gospel is what will save souls. The dilution of that rigor by anyone in the name of false compassion does great harm by reworking the Gospel into something it is not.

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Bishop Schneider: Catholics are NOT called to blind obedience to the Pope

February 17, 2017

From LifeSiteNews:

Asked about the confusion in the Church today stemming directly from Pope Francis and how the faithful are to respond, a prominent Catholic bishop has said Catholics do not owe blind obedience to the Pope, adding that blind obedience is characteristic of a ‘dictatorship,’ not the Church.

Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of the most prolific voices in the Church today seeking to defend the Catholic faith from anti-life and anti-family distortion, made the remarks in an interview with Rorate Caeli and Adelante la Fe.

“As Catholics,” he said we have “to be submitted, (canonically) I mean, to the Pope, to the Vicar of Christ to accept his authority, to have respect for him, to pray for him, and to have a supernatural love for him.” But, he added, “this does not mean blind obedience; of course no[t] because we are not in a dictatorship.” “In a dictatorship yes, we have to obey blind or in the army.”

Rather, Bishop Schneider said, “the Church is a family were discussion is possible” and also “correction with respect and with love.” When this is not possible, he added, “there is not a true atmosphere of Church spirituality.” It would be an “atmosphere of intimidation, of repression, of fear and this is not atmosphere of the Holy Spirit.”

Bishop Schneider reflected on the example of St. Catherine of Siena, who, he noted, the Church recognizes as a saint and Doctor of the Church. While she always kept “a very deep respect towards the Pope and a deep love for him,” he said, she nevertheless “wrote several letters to him with very harsh” criticisms and correctly admonished him which she did “out of love for him.”

“She wrote in a letter to the Pope, ‘Most Holy Father if you will not convert, please step down, renounce the papacy. I write these out of love for your person, for your eternal salvation, and for the Church.’” This letter and the attitude behind it, said Schneider, “is not schismatic, and in no way against the Pope.”

Bishop Schneider counseled against making “the Pope an idol” or practicing “papal latria” or ultimately a “deification” of the Pope. He suggested that the current crisis in the Church may rectify a tendency toward papal latria experienced in the Church in the past hundred years.

Quoting St. Thomas Aquinas quoting of St. Augustine, Bishop Schneder recalled that “when St. Paul made a correction to the first pope Peter and he made this publicly not privately.”

“St. Augustine said Peter was so humble and so wise that he accepted this correction,” said Schneider. “He did not say, ‘You are Paul, you are against me. You are heretical. You are schismatic.’ No, he accepted this with gratitude and so should be the Pope in these days.”

“St. Paul was public and even today, as he wrote this in his letter and his letter is inspired by the Holy Spirit for all generations until the end of the world, they will read the correction of the first Pope as word of God.” As Paul made the correction of the first Pope public, said Bishop Schneider, so too if Paul were alive today “he would use the Internet” as this would be similar to using his letters sent to all churches. “Therefore, there is no difficulty and problem to me that the four Cardinals published their public appeal to the Pope.”

In conclusion, Bishop Schneider appealed to the faithful, saying “the most powerful means” to help with the crisis in the Church, “is not an appeal to the Pope or a kind of fraternal or filial connection.”

The most powerful means to help the Pope that he can help the Church to overcome these confusions of doctrine in the Church is by means of prayer, by intense prayer and even of suffering of doing works of reparation, expiation for the Pope, for his soul, for his that he may receive from God the strength, the light to confirm all the entire Church in an unambiguous manner in the truth as did St. Peter and almost all his successors.”

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Cardinal to crown Our Lady of Fatima & consecrate England & Wales to Immaculate Heart


Abridged from EWTN UK:

Cardinal Nichols will receive, bless and crown the World Apostolate of Fatima National Pilgrim Virgin statue in Westminster Cathedral today, Sat 18th February 2017. During the celebration His Eminence will renew the consecration of our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that was made by Cardinal Griffin on 16th July 1948.

It was the unfailing fidelity and commitment of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta in complying with Our Lady’s requests that raised them up to become the first children in the history of the Church to attain heroic virtue in the course of their family life. After Mass people will be able to venerate their relics and participate in the devotions to Our Lady. This will be followed, at 4:00 pm, by a Fatima Symposium in Westminster Cathedral Hall, with further details in the flyer. The National Pilgrim Virgin Statue and Relics will be present in the Cathedral until 2:30 pm on Sunday 19 February. See the programme below:


By a singular favour of Our Lady, and so that she may be worthily honoured in her Centenary year, a special new silver gilt Centenary Crown is being made for her statue, by the same firm in Portugal that made the richly-bejewelled crown that is only worn at Fatima on 13th of the month. It is being freely offered to Our Lady in return for whatever offerings the faithful freely wish to make to Our Lady in items of gold and silver, including jewellery containing some elements of gold or silver. This is how the original crown was made. Of course the most important offering we can make to Our Lady is that of our own heart, praying that we may be worthy to receive from her the graces of her Son.

The Westminster Cathedral Visitation promises to be a truly joyful occasion, when our hearts will be lifted up to celebrate she who is our holy Queen, the “Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope”; and it will also be an occasion to pour out our heartfelt prayers for our Church, our bishops and priests, our loved ones, families and friends, through the intercession of her Immaculate Heart and also of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta.

We hope that as many people as possible will come, but if you are unable to attend, please join with us in prayers on the day, and we are hoping it will be broadcast by EWTN UK.

We are deeply grateful to Cardinal Nichols and the Cathedral authorities for facilitating this event, and thereby inaugurating the nationwide program of 18 cathedral Visitations that have been arranged from May to October. The venues and dates are on our website, via the link at the top right-hand of the home page, or sign up for our Newsletter at:  www.worldfatima-englandwales.org.uk/newsletter.html so we can inform you as the program for each cathedral is announced.

From Torch of the Faith:

An Important Day – Please Pray Saturday at 2pm UK Time

All that we have written above suggests that England may have a key part to play in the spiritual battles of our times. Whatever the truth of that, it remains the case that Canterbury has been an important See in the history of Catholicism in particular, and Western civilization in general. This is why this Masonic use of the old cathedral, itself the original Mother Church of English Catholicism, should have us all praying in reparation.

In any case, now fully aware that the ancient Catholic Canterbury cathedral – which has been in Protestant hands for four centuries – will be used for Masonic rites, and that Cardinal Nichols will on this same day be consecrating England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and crowning a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, we implore readers to please join in by: praying the Rosary, interceding for England, and re-consecrating their own hearts, homes and lands to Our Blessed Lady.

We have just a couple of caveats to mention in relation to tomorrow’s (Ed.today’s)  event.

Firstly, Cardinal Nichols has repeatedly appeared alongside Justin Welby to promote ”ecumenism” and Islamic immigration. Remember, this is the Anglican leader who has permitted Canterbury to be handed over to Masonic rites for 3 hours tomorrow (today, the same day of the consecration)

Then, too, Cardinal Nichols has a history of publicly supporting sex-education, dissenting homosexualist groups and the Kasperian ”accompaniment” party-line at the Synods of ’14 and ’15; all to the scandal and confusion of faithful Catholics.

It is marvellous to see that Cardinal Nichols now intends to re-consecrate England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and we encourage all our readers to pray for His Eminence and for the success of this event.

At the same time, for this to be a genuine sign of commitment to Our Lady of Fatima, who warned about the sins of the flesh leading most souls to Hell, it would be appropriate for Cardinal Nichols to publicly demonstrate repentance for any of the ways his leadership has offended against that truth.

It would also be important for His Eminence to call his good friend Justin Welby to repentance for permitting Freemasonic rites in Canterbury cathedral; and to teach him of the True Faith founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Apostles.

Then again, whilst we deeply respect the good people and much of the work of the World Apostolate of Fatima, not least this initiative for the reconsecration, the evidence suggests to us that their notion that the Consecration of Russia has already been acheived is not correct.

Indeed, had this Consecration of Russia been accomplished according to the request of Our Lady, the victory of the Immaculate Heart would already be apparent to all and there would be no need for local consecrations of this nature.

Therefore, we do pray that tomorrow’s consecration will: please Our Lady; draw graces down for the eventual Consecration of Russia to please her still more; draw much-needed graces for the re-conversion of our nation; protect against Freemasonic subversion; and make reparation for the further desecration of Canterbury cathedral.


At Pegwell Bay in Kent there stands this Celtic cross to mark the site where it is believed that St. Augustine first landed and met with King Ethelbert in 597 AD.

In the late summer of 2013, we travelled to pray at Canterbury for the reconversion of England back to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith. Most of the pictures in this article were taken during that blessed pilgrimage.

We sense that today will be an important stage in the battle for the soul of our nation, the future of Western civilization and the souls of countless people in these tumultous times.

Please, do pray along with us today and reconsecrate your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Our Lady of Walsingham – Pray for us!


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Pope Francis has removed every single member of the Vatican pro-life academy

February 17, 2017

By Jan Bentz at LifeSiteNews

shutterstock_555444658_810_500_55_s_c1The Pontifical Academy for Life, long a bastion of orthodoxy within the Vatican, now has no members and is effectively shut down after Pope Francis’ recent reform of the institution.

The pope issued new statutes for the Academy on October 18, and removed all of its members.

“All members’ terms ended on December 31, 2016; currently the Academy is waiting for the new appointments,” Fr. Andrea Ciucci, a staff member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told LifeSiteNews.

“We expect new members to be nominated by the appointment of the Holy Father within the next weeks,” Ciucci explained. They expect 75 ordinary members to be appointed, he said. Together with the ordinary appointments, the pope is launching a sub-group called “College of Young Scholars,” consisting of younger researchers in the given fields. Altogether the new appointees will not exceed 100 members.

Christine de Marcellus Vollmer, an Academy member since its founding by St. John Paul II in 1994, sent LifeSiteNews the Academy’s Christmas letter in which directives were given and recent changes explained.

The letter addressed to all members announced Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia’s nomination as president as well as the re-working of the statutes. At the same time it announced that annual recurring meetings would be suspended, de-inviting participants from a future assembly.

Vollmer explained that in May the Academy’s members were invited for a general assembly in March 2017 which was then “postponed” indefinitely. This notice of delay was followed by a document explaining that all members were “suspended.” Only recently news surfaced that the next general assembly is to take place October 2017.

Academy assemblies bring together specialists from all over the world to discuss a certain topic and have an interdisciplinary exchange of expertise.

Another Academy member, who wished to remain anonymous for “fear of jeopardizing reappointment,” affirmed these developments.

“I did get a letter,” the source told LifeSiteNews via email. “They said they were reconfiguring. They said people would be notified of reappointment. I have heard nothing so far but when I asked [they said] people could expect to hear about it in April or May. The meeting will be in October.”

On the Academy’s website, the list of ordinary members is currently recorded as none, while all previous 172 members are registered with their appointment having ended on December 31, 2016. The “Central Office” is recorded as consisting of Archbishop Paglia and his seven-person team.

Last year Pope Francis replaced the head of the Academy and changed its statutes. His reforms include the removal of the requirement for members to sign a pro-life declaration.

Vollmer commented with concern, saying: “Originally we each had to make an oath in front of the Nuncio of our country that we would be Servants of Life and uphold the teaching on life of the Magisterium.  We have not seen of course the new ‘commitment’ but the wording on the new statutes sounds softer, and as the Academy is now open to people of any religion or none, it is doubtful they would commit very seriously to Humanae Vitae!”

The shift of attention from moral questions to a mere scientific approach is another rising concern.

“The other emphasis that I find sad is that [the Academy] has become, seemingly, only interested in science.  The Pontifical Academy of Science already covers that, with scientists of all religions or none, and is full of Nobel Prize winners. PAL was founded with a list of intentionally mixed specialists including lawyers, doctors, journalists, prolife leaders, psychiatrists, family activists, priests, teachers, and so on, the intention of the founders being to be able to study and analyze the causes of anti-life tendencies and find ways to counteract them.  I knew the founders, especially Jerome Lejeune, very well. This was the task, and sadly with his death the discourse became ever more directed towards ‘hard science’ rather than ‘prolife science’,” explained Vollmer.

Journalist Maike Hickson from OnePeterFive pointed out that many of the dismissed members, including Cardinal Caffarra and Cardinal Willem Eijk, as well as Prof. Josef Seifert and Prof. Robert Spaemann, have one thing in common: their public objection to Amoris Laetitia and the liberalization of the Church’s moral teaching that goes along with it.

Archbishop Paglia is known for his support of the distribution of Communion for “remarried” divorcees. Pope Francis also appointed him as grand chancellor of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, traditionally a bulwark of sound moral teaching based on St. John Paul II’s writings and teachings.

Archbishop Paglia published a book between the two synods suggesting opening the door to Communion for “remarried” divorcees. It was titled “Family and Church: an indissoluble bond.” He also invited homosexual couples to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015.

“As President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, I urge you to deal with the new challenges concerning the value of life,” the Pope told Paglia in his letter of appointment. Here Pope Francis also pointed out that “human ecology” needs more emphasis and that it “helps to restore the original balance of creation between the human person and the whole universe.”

The re-population of Vatican Dicasteries is nothing new in the Pontificate of Pope Francis. Only recently Cardinal Sarah’s Congregation for Divine Worship received an overhaul, and Cardinal Müller was ordered to dismiss three priests from his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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Taking Issue with Pope Francis’ Perceived Aversion to Tradition

imageCP&S Comment:

We have decided to make a separate post in order to give everyone a chance of reading the very interesting and insightful comment from ‘Crow‘, one of our regular CP&S visitors. Crow’s comment was originally entered on the post, ‘Pope Francis is at peace with Vatican corruption but worries over young and traditional vocations‘, and in her comment she refers to other people’s comments below the article. (Please go there to read follow-up ones.)


The issue is one which seems to be becoming more crystallised as the Pope becomes more dictatorial. To take issue with the actions or statements of the Pope and to scrutinise his motives, to my mind, is not a matter of disloyalty – rather, it is the opposite, when the scrutiny is based upon a comparison of his actions or statements with the principles upheld by the Church since the time of the Apostles.

We, in Australia have lived through, and are now witnessing the repercussions of, a Royal Commission into sexual abuse, in which the Catholic Church participated to its everlasting shame. The statistics of the abuse reveal that a huge percentage were abuses of boys by men. This is a systemic abuse that occurred in my lifetime. At the time the abuses were being committed, I, myself, heard statements of the Vatican II style where it was said that priests should be sexually active as “How could a celibate person understand sexual matters?” At the time I thought they were wrong. And now I see where they led.

Geoff Kiernan correctly distinguishes the defence of Holy Mother Church from the attack by those who wish to turn her into a different church. And, as Kathleen pointed out, the fact that the Pope voiced concern about the increase of vocations in the traditional orders certainly leads one to question his objectives.

This is a man who is not what he seems – what he says is not in accordance with his actions. He does not speak directly and frankly and it appears that he is operating with an agenda which is never directly referred to by him. I will refer you to the article by Elizabeth Yore, “Six Scandals where the sexual abuse scandal touches Pope Francis” which was published here on 25 January 2017. There was also discussion somewhere that lobbying had been effected to obtain the vote by which he had been elected Pope (I cannot remember where I read that).

There are two aspects of historical interest which raise a question:

The first is the testimony of Bella Dodd regarding the infiltration of the Church. If that is true, (and I must say, I, like Toad, question why the relevant agents were not named), then there is no reason to assume that they would stop infiltrating the Church. If it is true, then the effects of Vatican II were very effective in achieving the objective of gutting the core strength of Catholicism, while leaving it with an empty and weakened facade.

The second historical issue is the manipulation of the Church by a gay group of religious and lay people who have used the mechanisms available within the Church to their own ends.

In this respect, and the sexual abuse scandal is evidence of this, it is apparent that one result of Vatican II was a highjacking of the Church in some significant areas by the gay lobby and paedophiles. Everybody here would be familiar with “Goodbye good men”, by Michael Rose, and I have been told by people with first-hand experience, that the same situation applied in Australia.

There is some internet discussion about the homosexuality of Pope Paul VI. There is also mention that Cardinal Montini (as he then was), corresponded with the Soviets against the express probibition of Pope Pius XII, at a time when priests were smuggled into the Soviet Union. This was an action that had serious repercussions in regard to the safety of the priests concerned. Montini, as Pope Paul VI, implemented the most profound changes on the liturgy, in a manner which had never been done in the 2,000 year history of the Church. The Church had always allowed for change to develop organically. The Latin Mass was suppressed and the Mass developed under Pope Paul VI was applied from the top of the hierarchy.

The prosecution of, and reaction to, abuse was extremely desultory in many instances within the Church. The only conclusion one can reach is that there must have been a significant network of paedophiles within the Church hierarchy, or, if not paedophiles, then a gay network, in which behaviour was condoned which previously would have been policed and sanctioned. It appears that the slack policing reached up to the Vatican. In scrutinising the current Pope, to my mind it is absolutely extraordinary that, at a time when the most shameful abuse has been shown to have occurred under the umbrella of the Catholic Church, and when Pope Francis himself has uttered the politically acceptable ‘zero tolerance’ platitudes to sexual abuse, he has personally effected the moving around of abusing priests and, as if to send a message to the abusers, Pope Francis personally appointed Cardinal Daneels, not to the Finance Committee, but to the Synod of the FAMILY! (Excuse the capitals – I realise they are a sign of a nut-case. I don ‘t deny that I am one BB).

It is interesting that Pope Francis is obviously very against the Latin Mass and traditional orders, although he says it in a disingenuous way. Why is this? Is he merely an old man who thinks that Vatican II Masses and attitude to Christ are modern? Or is he against the Latin Mass because it is here that the core strength of the Catholic Church resides? If it is the second, then we may be in for a rough ride.

That is, is this merely a political question where us curmudgeon conservatives disagree with the enlightened modernist? Or are we seeing someone who is implementing something more directed to a specific objective?

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Commandments are NOT mere “ideals” from which some people are excused because they’re hard!

From Father Z’s blog:

two-roads-heaven-hellLook. I’m the first one to admit that I am a sinner.  I sin and I go to confession with a firm purpose of amendment.  When I fall, I get back up, again with a firm purpose of amendment.  I go to confession. I keep trying.

I do not think that, just because I sin and fall, God’s commandments are only “ideals” which some other people may be able to keep, but that I – poor wretch that I am – cannot and, therefore, I’m a special case whom the Church must tell, “There there, John, you don’t really have to change your ways.  Go ahead and receive Communion anyway! (cf Gen 3:1)”

Since I am a priest, the whole sin v. state of grace thing is officially a Big Deal™ which I must monitor on a daily basis, especially after reading the news, my email and writing this blog. It’s not like I can go to Mass (as celebrant) and not receive Communion, like a lay person. If I don’t receive, it isn’t Mass.  So, the pressure is on.

That said, let’s learn something from St. John Paul about the possibility of living in the state of grace.

This is from the 1993 encyclical Veritatis splendor, seemingly contradicted by the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia, chapter 8.  In fact, of the famous Five Dubia sent by the Four Cardinals to the Holy Father (the signer of Amoris laetitia) two Dubia concern Veritatis splendor.

Cf Veritatis splendor, 102-104 (my emphases and comments):

Grace and obedience to God’s law

102. Even in the most difficult situations man must respect the norm of morality so that he can be obedient to God’s holy commandment and consistent with his own dignity as a person. [This has to do with our dignity.] Certainly, maintaining a harmony between freedom and truth occasionally demands uncommon sacrifices, and must be won at a high price: it can even involve martyrdom. But, as universal and daily experience demonstrates, man is tempted to break that harmony: “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want” (Rom 7:15, 19).

What is the ultimate source of this inner division of man? His history of sin begins when he no longer acknowledges the Lord as his Creator and himself wishes to be the one who determines, with complete independence, what is good and what is evil. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:5): this was the first temptation, and it is echoed in all the other temptations to which man is more easily inclined to yield as a result of the original Fall. [This is the danger inherent in the cant that people can go to Communion if their “consciences” allow.  Conscience… formed how?]

But temptations can be overcome, sins can be avoided, because together with the commandments the Lord gives us the possibility of keeping them: “His eyes are on those who fear him, and he knows every deed of man. He has not commanded any one to be ungodly, and he has not given any one permission to sin” (Sir 15:19-20). Keeping God’s law in particular situations can be difficult, extremely difficult, but it is never impossible[Did you get that?] This is the constant teaching of the Church’s tradition, and was expressed by the Council of Trent: “But no one, however much justified, ought to consider himself exempt from the observance of the commandments, nor should he employ that rash statement, forbidden by the Fathers under anathema, that the commandments of God are impossible of observance by one who is justified[I posted on that HERE.] For God does not command the impossible, but in commanding he admonishes you to do what you can and to pray for what you cannot, and he gives his aid to enable you[SEE?] His commandments are not burdensome (cf. 1 Jn 5:3); his yoke is easy and his burden light (cf. Mt 11:30)”.

103. Man always has before him the spiritual horizon of hope, thanks to the help of divine grace and with the cooperation of human freedom.

It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer (cf. Jn 19:34), that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God’s holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships. As Saint Andrew of Crete observes, the law itself “was enlivened by grace and made to serve it in a harmonious and fruitful combination. Each element preserved its characteristics without change or confusion. In a divine manner, he turned what could be burdensome and tyrannical into what is easy to bear and a source of freedom”.

Only in the mystery of Christ’s Redemption do we discover the “concrete” possibilities of man. [NB!] “It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an “ideal” which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a “balancing of the goods in question”[Did you get that?] But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. [NB!] And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit”.

104. In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God’s mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values[“Encouraging doubt” about those thing is, apparently, BAD.  As a matter of fact, it is scandalous, isn’t it?  As Killick would say, “Which it’s millstones ain’t in it!”]


Oh yes… that’s right.  I forgot.  Veritatis splendor came out in late 1993.  That’s 23, almost 24 whole years ago!  That’s really old!  Surely VS isn’t relevant today, is it?  Imagine paying attention to something that outdated!

If you were looking for the promised rant, look no farther.

Everyone, don’t be overly discouraged if you fall into sin, even something that is repetitive and truly hard to root out.  Sense the prevenient grace that God is extending to you!  Be truly sorry for your sins, resolve to sin no more, get up off your sorry backsides, go out the door and …


One of the effects of the Sacrament of Penance is a strengthening against sin.

We can do this.  We have to encourage each other and not make excuses.  We have to look at the truth straight on and not get mired in sloppy sentiment.  Truth doesn’t short-circuit compassion, but compassion doesn’t usurp truth.

Here’s a dose of truth.

One of the important things to know ahead of time about amending your life is that, when the temptations come, you have to be willing to suffer.

A firm purpose of amendment means embracing the Cross.  It means being willing to stay up there on your cross and suffering.  Saying “No!” to yourself, saying “No!” to a temptation is the hard path, but it is the path that leads to heaven.  As soon as you say “No!”, the suffering will begin, especially when it comes to more carnal matters.  The cross will be laid upon you.  Then you will carry it.  You might fall!  Then you will be nailed to it.  Then you will thirst and cry to God.  This is how we must face temptations and root out sins.  We face them with a plan and the foreknowledge of the suffering to follow.

On our own, we can’t do it.  With God, we can.  It is not impossible with God’s help.  It is impossible only if we are alone, and we are never alone.

God offers the crosses and the graces every time.   The cross, your daily cross and suffering is the road.  Suffering is bad, but it is good.  Suffering corrects us and tests us.  Suffering purifies us and strengthens us.  It’s all a question of what you love.  If you love God and want heaven enough, then with love you will stay up on that gift of a cross and you will suffer in sorrowfully joyful pain.  It will be bad.  But know also that it is, without question, suffering’s easy yoke.  It is the easy yoke because you are exactly where you ought to be in God’s plan for your rescue from sin into heaven.

Christ is already victorious.  We must live His victory in our bodies and souls.  His victory was through the Cross.  Our victory is through the Cross.   Reject the Cross and you cannot be saved.  Reject your crosses and you imperil your salvation.

The Church teaches with Christ’s authority.  The Church, faithful to Christ her spouse, wants your salvation, just as Christ wants your salvation.  Christ offers crosses to help you.  Therefore, some of the Church’s teachings will be occasions of crosses which you must bear for the sake of your salvation.

The Church isn’t trying to ruin what might otherwise be a good time in life.  She is trying to help you to Heaven, and that means saying “No!” to a lot of things, because there are a lot of things that can drag us to Hell if we are not careful.  Hell’s road is deception, to which we are lead by ease.  The road to Heaven is arduous, steep, long, fraught with challenges.  But Heaven’s road is the happier, even though it is the harder.

If someone comes along and tells you that you don’t need to stay up there on your cross… that’s from Hell.  It certainly is not from God.

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Freemason service at England’s Mother Church on same day as consecration to Our Lady


London, UK --- "Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent at a Masonic ceremony at Earls Court in London.  Freemasonry, which traces it's modern origins back to the sixteenth century is beased on principles of fraternity and secrecy. Members are sworn to keep silent on their activities and make themselves known to other Freemason's by way of signal (often a handshake)." --- Image by © Stuart Freedman/In Pictures/Corbis

London, UK — “Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent at a Masonic ceremony at Earls Court in London. Freemasonry, which traces it’s modern origins back to the sixteenth century is beased on principles of fraternity and secrecy. Members are sworn to keep silent on their activities and make themselves known to other Freemason’s by way of signal (often a handshake).” — Image by © Stuart Freedman/In Pictures/Corbis

By Deacon Nick Donnelly at EWTN

Feb 15th 2017

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, is allowing a full Masonic service to be conducted in Canterbury cathedral on the same day that Cardinal Nichols reconsecrates England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Westminster cathedral on the 18th February 2017.

Canterbury cathedral was the Mother-Church of All England from 597 till the death of the last Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Pole, in 1558. It was the heart of the Catholic Church in England and one of the major shrines of Christendom because it housed the shrine of St Thomas a Becket.

The Masonic service in Canterbury cathedral marks the 300th anniversary of the foundation of Freemasonry with the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in London. It is reported that the Masonic service will last three hours, but the published order of service appears much shorter. It remains unclear whether Justin Welby has given his permission for the Masons to participate in full regalia in Canterbury cathedral.  The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Reverend Robert Willis, will preside at the Masonic Service. The Duke of Kent, who is the Grand Master of the Freemasons, will also be in attendance along with other High Rulers in the Craft.

Virtue online: The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism reports that Justin Welby made his controversial decision to allow the Masonic service in Canterbury cathedral because of a large donation, “Canterbury Cathedral agreed to hold the service of thanksgiving to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry after receiving a donation of £300,000 ($374,520) from the Masons for the restoration of the North-West Transept in the Cathedral.”

Justin Welby’s and Canterbury Cathedrals decision to allow a Masonic service is controversial among certain groups of Anglicans in light of the 1987 summary of the  deliberations by the General Synod of the Church of England, Freemasonry and Christianity: Are they compatible?:

It was “clear that some Christians have found the impact of Masonic rituals disturbing and a few perceive them as positively evil.” Some believed that Masonic rituals were “blasphemous” because God’s name “must not be taken in vain, nor can it be replaced by an amalgam of the names of pagan deities.” It noted that Christians had withdrawn from Masonic lodges “precisely because they perceive their membership of it as being in conflict with their Christian witness and belief. The Synod’s primary theological objection centred upon Freemasonry’s use of the word “Jahbulon,” which is the name used for the Supreme Being in Masonic rituals, and is an amalgamation of Semitic, Hebrew and Egyptian titles for God.”


Cardinal Nichols’ reconsecration of England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Westminster cathedral on the18th February 2017 inaugurates the celebrations of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. The Mass at Westminster cathedral includes the crowning of a specially commissioned statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

There is a violent history of Masonic hostility to Our Lady of Fatima since the original apparitions in 1917 in Portugal. Father John de Marchi’s account of the miraculous events at Fatima, personally verified by Sr. Lucia, recounts the hostility of local freemasons towards Our Lady and the three visionaries at Fatima. Arthur Santos, the mayor of Vila Nova de Ourem who persecuted and psychologically tortured the three children, was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Leiria, and founded a new lodge in his native Vila Nova de Ourem. The Masonic Lodge at Santarem, a neighbouring town to Fatima, became the rallying point to atheistic opposition to Our Lady of Fatima. In September 1917, men from Santarem joined up with men from Vila Nova de Ourem to attack the makeshift shrine at the site of the apparitions.

In view of this history of masonic anti-Catholicism, is it more than an unhappy coincidence that a  major Masonic service is being conducted in the ancient mother Church of the Catholic faith in these lands on the very same day that England is reconsecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in honour of Our Lady of Fatima? Even if it is coincidence, it is a conjunction of events that is profoundly significant and meaningful.

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Unrest at the Vatican; reassurances backfire

From: http://www.lifesitenews.com/

February 15, 2017 (CatholicCulture.org) – What in the world is going on in Rome this week?

First the Vatican press office issues a statement from the Council of Cardinals, supporting the Pope. It would certainly be news if the Council of Cardinals did not support the Pope. But why was this statement newsworthy? Why did the Council thank the Pontiff in February for a speech he delivered to the Roman Curia in December? Is there any way to see this message as something other than damage control—as a bid to reassure the world that the increasingly evident tensions within the Catholic hierarchy are not tearing the Church apart?

Unfortunately, the evidence of those tensions continues to mount. Wednesday the Vatican press launched a book by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, backing the German/Maltese/Argentine interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. So now Cardinal Coccopalmerio, the Vatican’s top official on matters canonical, is in direct conflict with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the top official on matters doctrinal. If the Coccopalmerio book was intended to quiet questions about the dubia, it will inevitably fail, just as Monday’s odd press release predictably failed to calm concerns about intramural Vatican conflicts. The universal Church does not need one more prelate’s personal reading of the papal document; we need a definitive answer, which can only come from the Pope himself.

But there’s more. After the Vatican announced a press conference for the launch of the Coccopalmerio book—with enough ballyhoo to confirm the impressions that this was a bid to end the debate—the cardinal himself failed to appear for the event. The cardinal’s office explained that he had a scheduling conflict.

Now wait just a minute. If you are a publisher, planning the launch of a new book, the very first thing you do is make sure the author will be available for the press conference. If you are the author, and a date is suggested, the very first thing you do is check for potential conflicts. Are we really expected to believe that neither the author nor the publisher did the very first thing to ensure that the press conference would be a success? If this book (a booklet, really) was considered so important, why couldn’t the cardinal rearrange his schedule to attend the press conference, even if he did have a conflict?

Rumors of intrigue are always circulating around the Vatican. But in recent weeks the rumor mill has been spinning at a fearsome pace, churning out disturbing reports that are, alas, not easily dismissed. Is the situation really as tense and volatile as those rumors suggest? If the public announcements of the past two days were designed to convince us that it’s business as usual at the Vatican, they have failed utterly.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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A blow upon a bruise


By Dr. Edward Peters from In the Light of the Law, A Canon Lawyer’s Blog

February 14, 2017

Evelyn Waugh’s character Charles Ryder described his friend Sebastian’s protracted acts of self-destruction as “a blow, expected, repeated, falling upon a bruise, with no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull and sickening pain and the doubt whether another like it could be borne” (Brideshead Revisited, 1945). I thought of Waugh’s words as I read, in the wake of the Maltese Disaster and the German bishops’ slightly more nuanced program to the same effect, some excerpts translated from Francesco Cdl. Coccopalmerio’s new, short book on Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia.

If the excerpts I read are accurate, the President of the Pontifical Council of Legislative Texts (the body charged with issuing binding interpretations of ecclesiastical legal texts, notably the Code of Canon Law), comes down squarely on the side of the Maltese and Germans in holding that Catholics living in open contradiction to Church teaching on the permanence of marriage and in disregard of Church teaching that marriage is the only proper setting for sexual intercourse, may and should, after “an appropriate period of discernment”, be admitted to the sacraments of Reconciliation and holy Communion.

Per Rorate Caeli, Coccopalmerio holds: “The divorced and remarried, de facto couples, those cohabiting, are certainly not models of unions in sync with Catholic Doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. Therefore, the sacraments of Reconciliation and of Communion must be given even to those so-called wounded families and to however many who, despite living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons, express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment . . .Yes, therefore, to admission to the sacraments for those who, despite living in irregular situations, sincerely ask for admission into the fullness of ecclesial life, it is a gesture of openness and profound mercy on the part of Mother Church, who does not leave behind any of her children, aware that absolute perfection is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone.” Fr. Z’s red-line translation reads similarly.

These words, assuming they accurately reflect the cardinal’s position, are more blows upon a swollen bruise.

It is important to recall that, despite being published by the Vatican’s publishing house and to be rolled out in a Vatican press conference {which it seems the cardinal suddenly backed-out of attending of this morning}, Coccopalmerio’s book does not suffice as a vehicle for “authentic interpretation” of canon law itself, let alone is it a response by the Holy See to the Four Cardinals’ dubia—important, I say, because Coccoplamerio apparently stakes out, along with the Maltese and the Germans, an extreme position on reception of sacraments by divorced-and-remarried Catholics—a position not actually taken, whatever might be his personal predelictions, by Pope Francis in Amoris—one that effectively endorses the absolution of those who do not, at the time of their Confession, intend to amend their conduct (contrary to the canonical and ecclesial values behind Canons 959 and 980) and which places confessors in proximate danger of committing the crime of solicitation in Confession. Further, by urging ministers of holy Communion to distribute the sacrament to those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin” (contrary to the canonical and ecclesial values behind Canon 915), Coccopalmerio’s advice not only facilitates the irreverent reception of holy Communion, it tends toward giving what the Church has always recognized as classical scandal. Of course, those undeterred by my arguments offered on these points elsewhere are unlikely to be persuaded by my repeating them here, so I simply note them and move on, except to make one observation.

A few weeks ago, Cdl Muller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave an interview that upheld the traditional practice of withholding holy Communion from divorced-and-remarried Catholics. Now, Cdl Coccopalmeria has published a booklet in which he apparently says that, subject only to the toothless requirement of ‘discerning their situation’, such Catholics may and should be admitted to holy Communion. In other words, the Church’s arguably two highest-ranking cardinals in the areas of canonical interpretation and the protection of doctrine and morals are in public, plain, and diametric opposition with each other concerning a crucial canonico-sacramental practice.

This division cannot stand.


Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s no-show at a scheduled book launch and press conference 

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Interview with Bernard Janzen about Fr Malachi Martin’s message for our times

 From EWTN.co.uk

Feb 13TH 2017,  by Jason Kippen, Catholic commentary:

I had the honour of interviewing Bernard Janzen, a Canadian Catholic Journalist who during the 1990’s conducted a series of interviews with Fr. Malachi Martin regarding the state of the Catholic Church and the world at the time.  The talks are incredibly interesting and show the great faith that both men have in Our Lord Jesus and His Church.

While many churchmen during that time had been leading a “reform” of the Church; Martin and Janzen were expounding the school of thought that Vatican II had gone too far with its subsequent initiatives and the so-called “spirit” of the Council that many clergy and churchmen used to radically change the Faith and its practice.

The interview is timely because recently the documentary, Hostage to the Devil which chronicles Fr. Martin’s life and his work in the field of exorcism was released on Netflix.  For those of you who wish to examine and further explore Mr. Janzen’s work with Fr Martin, his website is www.triumphcommunications.net. The interviews are also available on Youtube.

What did you think of the recently made documentary Hostage to the Devil which examined Fr. Martin’s life and his work in the mysterious world of exorcisms?

This documentary was not produced from a Catholic perspective.  It received funding from the Irish government, examining the life of an Irishman who attained success in the larger world.  Hostage to the Devil was intended for a general audience, thus engaging the scepticism which the general public has about the existence of the devil and exorcisms.  Due to time constraints, the documentary did not attempt to cover all aspects of Fr. Martin’s life; it focused on his work as an exorcist.

Hostage to the Devil did a good job of recreating the drama surrounding the mysterious circumstances of Fr. Martin’s death, portraying the heightened emotions of this tumultuous time.  The documentary introduces its audience to Fr. Martin’s unique perspective on exorcism, possession, and the activity of the devil in the modern world.

The documentary gave a platform to Robert Kaiser to malign the reputation of Fr. Martin.  Many of the statements made by Kaiser were not true.  In her book, The Desolate City, Anne Roche Muggeridge describes Kaiser as a journalist who is incapable of distinguishing fact from fantasy.  As a modernist, it could not be expected that Kaiser would have a favourable opinion of a staunch traditionalist like Fr. Martin, but his accusations often descended to the level of calumny.  Kaiser said that Fr. Martin eventually began to believe his own lies.  What lies?  In my years of interviewing Fr. Martin, he made a deeply felt defense of Catholic truth.  I would invite anyone to listen to these interviews and decide for themselves if Fr. Martin was genuine or not.

On balance, the production of Hostage to the Devil is a positive development because it increases the awareness of its viewers of Malachi Martin and his message for our times.

How did you come to do multiple interviews with Fr. Martin in the 1990’s and why are these recordings important today?

I was impressed with the writings of Fr. Martin, especially his book The Jesuits.  During the late 1980’s, Fr. Martin was reaching out to some of the authors of the traditional movement.  Two of these authors helped me to make contact with Fr. Martin, who agreed to do a set of interviews.  The first set of interviews, Catholicism Overturned, was successful and so we decided to do a set of interviews annually, a process which continued until Fr. Martin’s tragic death.

These interviews are important today because they were so prophetic.  He foresaw developments such as homosexual marriage and papal resignation long before they became a reality.  Today, with the Catholic religion in the iron grip of an unprecedented crisis, Fr. Martin’s warnings on the state of the Church are more apparent than they were in the last decade of his life, in the evening of Pope John Paul II’s reign.

Fr. Martin not only explained what was happening.  He explained why these events were happening.  He provided a unique perspective on geopolitical and ecclesiastical events by explaining the critical role of the supernatural realm.

What do you suppose Fr. Martin would say about the current situation in the Church?

He would almost certainly say that events are unfortunately unfolding as he expected.  The modern-day apostasy, or loss of belief, is deepening.  In the last decade of his life, Fr. Martin stated that we are in the early stages of what could be called the great apostasy.  Today, we are in the midst of it.

The Church has recently crossed three thresholds in what Pope Paul VI described as the auto-demolition of the Church.  First, the papal resignation that Fr. Martin prophetically foresaw has happened, diminishing the status of the Papacy.  Monarchs don’t resign; ordinary officials do.  Secondly, there are now open divisions in the College of Cardinals.  Prior to this pontificate, differences in opinion obviously existed, but public disagreements did not exist.  Today, cardinals are publicly taking opposing positions on matters of faith and morals.  Some cardinals state that to give the sacraments to divorced and remarried couples is contrary to traditional practise; other cardinals openly support this innovation.  Thirdly, different jurisdictions in the Church have conflicting rules on a matter of moral discipline.  In Poland, the traditional practice of not giving Holy Communion to divorced and remarried couples is retained.  In the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, divorced and remarried couples may receive Holy Communion.  This situation of discrepancy on a matter of moral discipline is unprecedented.  Is the Catholic Church still universal?

The core of Fr. Martin’s message remains unchanged.  Fr. Martin is like the Old Testament prophets who rebuked their people for falling away from their faith.  Fr. Martin has rebuked today’s political leaders and churchmen who have departed from the faith of our fathers and decided to go their own way.  In the book The Eternal War, Fr. Martin states, “This new world order is not the rule of God.  It cannot succeed!  It cannot have God’s blessing.”

Fr. Martin was a devotee of Fatima and also spoke of other twentieth century apparitions like Akita and Garabandal.  He spoke often to you about “Our Lady coming in the sky to rescue us.”  Can you elaborate about his thoughts in this area and what it means to our present day.

What I believe Fr. Martin is referring to is the warning spoken of by Our Lady in her appearances at Garabandal.  Fr. Martin believed that Garabandal was an authentic apparition of Our Lady.  According to the warning, there will be some unforeseen astronomical activity.  This is why Fr. Martin has sometimes said to watch the skies.  Everyone at a certain point in time will know the state of their soul.  They will know how they stand before God.  It will be a most frightening experience for many souls.

What do you want people to know about Fr. Martin and his life and times?

Fr. Martin said that when he grew up in Catholic Ireland, one could hardly ever fail, morally or spiritually.  If your parents didn’t catch you, then your school teacher, your neighbors, your pastor, or the local policeman would catch you.  In our day, this idyllic world has been transformed into a hostile environment, where a degenerate culture acts to break down the faith and morals of today’s families.  Fr. Martin’s wide range of experiences and incredible mind enabled him to become God’s instrument in explaining what has happened to our Church and civilization.   No other individual has developed as complete and prophetic an explanation of our times.  This explanation includes the pivotal and largely undetected influence of the supernatural dimension, which of course goes unreported by mainstream media coverage of news events.

Where can one access your work with Fr. Martin to learn further of his life and work?

During the last decade of Fr. Martin’s eventful life, I conducted eight sets of recorded interviews with this incredible mind.  Our apostolate, Triumph Communications, has transcribed these recorded interviews and published them as a box set of eight books, entitled The Wisdom of the Ages.  More information about these books is available on our website at http://www.triumphcommunications.net.  On our website, there are also several articles about Fr. Martin and his message for our times.

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St Valentine’s Day

Now for something different.

It may seem wrong to allude to St Valentine’s Day after the post before this, but a little word on it wouldn’t seem to be going too far astray.

There are a few explanations why St Valentine is associated with this day, the day of true young lovers, those ardently hoping to become betrothed. One explanation I recall is that St Valentine, a priest,  went around Rome marrying young Christian soldiers of the Roman army to suitable young gels in the time of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus (3rd century) and encouraging them in the Faith. This was all after said Emperor expressly forbade his young soldiers marrying, and that said Valentine suffered martyrdom for so marrying them off.

I personally prefer the version that these middle days of February, being full of the promise of Spring, were the time when the fowls of the air would start to pair off and nest. That this was around the already established feast of St Valentine was a pious and happy convenience. Reference is often made to Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules (Parliament of Fowls):

For this was on Seynt Valentynes day

Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,

Of every kinde, that men thynke may;

and that so huge a noyse gan they make,

That erthe and see, and tree, and every lake

So ful was, that unnethe was ther space

For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.

Well St Valentine’s Day certainly has stuck. It has stuck to the extent that it is now a popular time for young lovers also in Asia, where I dwell, in China, Korea, India, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Thailand and Japan appear particularly afflicted. Also in Malaysia here, where the state Muslim religious authorities do their best to discourage it, as they deem it an unworthy “Christian feast”.

Nevertheless, some of the youngsters here seem to enjoy it, as in this song attempted by a young Malay (or Indonesian) and an ethnically Chinese (?) girl in Taiwan, probably of Indonesian origin. In the song they offer a vote of thanks to love (aww!). In my estimation they are lovely young specimens of the East Asian peoples. That they are not the world’s greatest singers makes them even more endearing. It reminds me of when I was young.

Terima Kasih Cinta

Tersadar di dalam sepiku

Setelah jauh melangkah

Cahaya kasihmu menuntunku

Kembali dalam dekap tanganmu

Terima kasih cinta untuk segalanya

Kau berikan lagi kesempatan itu

Takkan terulang lagi

Semua kesalahanku yang pernah menyakitimu

Tanpamu tiada berarti

Tak mampu lagi berdiri

Cahaya kasihmu menuntunku

Kembali dalam dekap tanganmu

Terima kasih cinta untuk segalanya

Kau berikan lagi kesempatan itu

Takkan terulang lagi

Semua kesalahanku yang pernah menyakitimu

Terima kasih cinta untuk segalanya

Kau berikan lagi kesempatan itu

Takkan terulang lagi

Semua kesalahanku yang pernah menyakitimu

Terima kasih

I realised in my loneliness

After I walked away

That your love’s light was guiding me

Back to your embrace.

So thank you, love, for everything

Love gave me another chance

Never to be repeated are

All my mistakes that so pained you.

Without you, everything has no meaning

I cannot even stand up

And your love’s light guided me

Back to your embrace.

Thank you.


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Preparing for Lent


Since Sunday, 12th February 2017, we have been in the time traditionally known as Septuagesima, a time that marks the first of the three weeks before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. This time was described by the Church as “a prelude to Lent”, or as Dom Gasper Lefebvre called it, “a prelude for the soul”, which must transition from the joys of Christmas to the “stern penance” of the sacred forty days.

The Season of Septuagesima – Doctrinal Note from the St Andrew’s Daily Missal:

“After the fervent welcome given to our Lord by reason of “the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus” the Church suddenly confronts us with the gloomy depths of the fall of man. As in the Christmas cycle, she takes up once more the study of the Old Testament to show us all the great figures who heralded the redemptive work of Christ and whose history, symbolical of our Lord’s, is well calculated to prepare us for the great feast of Easter when we shall celebrate His triumph. “Search the scriptures,” said our Lord, “the same are they which give testimony of Me.”

Lex gravida Christo, – the Old Law is quite full of the thought of the Messias for in everything connected with God’s people our Lord was foretold and proclaimed. The Old Testament is like a gospel anticipated, lighting up with peculiar brilliance our Redeemer’s life. The Church loves to set up a constant parallel in her liturgy between the first and last pages of the Bible. This parallelism is followed up through the whole of Septuagesima and Lent and we shall find it once more, and very clearly, in the Time after Pentecost.

In this Missal will be shown how the masses of this season have been composed in relation to the lessons from the Old Testament which occur in the Breviary on the same days. The table which follows, and which will be explained in greater detail on the Sundays to which it refers, shows the order of the lessons from the divine office in the seasons of Septuagesima and Lent, and in what way the masses of these seasons should be studied in order to understand fully their meaning.

Sundays                               Breviary Lessons              Motive of Masses

Septuagesima………………. History of Adam————–Christ the New Adam
Sexagesima……………………History of Noe—————-Christ the true Noe
Quinquagesima………………History of Abraham———-Christ the true Abraham
First Sunday of Lent……….(Isaac superseded by Lent)–Christ in the desert
Second Sunday of Lent……History of Jacob ————–Christ the true Jacob
Third Sunday of Lent………History of Joseph————-Christ the true Joseph
Fourth Sunday of Lent…….History of Moses————–Christ the true Moses

Christ repairs the losses caused by Adam; to the Church He is a true Noe, since He is the founder of a new people; more than Abraham is He the Head of the people whom God has chosen to be His people; in a better sense than Jacob is He the favourite and blessed one of God; more than Joseph does He return good for evil, and more effectively than Moses does He free His people from the bondage of sin and nourish them with the true bread come down from Heaven.

To blend in this way the history of God’s people, of our Lord and of the Church, is to enter into the attitude of mind which directed the composition of the Roman Missal and which had for its object, to enable the Church to share in the Paschal mystery which Israel foretold and Christ fulfilled.

During this season of Septuagesima, the Church lingers especially over the first three figures which we have named in the above table. There we see the fall of Adam resulting in original sin and its baneful consequences (Septuagesima); the malice of men, actual sin and the Flood which was its punishment (Sexagesima); and finally the sacrifices of Abraham and Melchisedech (Quinquagesima), which foreshadowed the sacrifice which God required from His own Son as a satisfaction for the sins of the whole human race.

This assertion of the dogma of original sin and the portrayal of its lamentable results, make His glorious title of Saviour stand out more clearly in our blessed Lord. [It was at Sichem where Abraham set up his first altar of Jehovah, that our Lord when in conversation with the Samaritan woman, for the first time proclaimed Himself the Saviour of men. Also it was Jerusalem, where Melchizedech was king, that He chose to be capital of His Kingdom. There we shall see Him set up His glorious throne of the Cross.]

The Gospel of the Labourers in the vineyard and that of the Sower, remind us that redemption extends to all men, Jew and Gentile alike, while the cure of the blind man at Jericho following the announcement of the Passion, shows us the salutary effects produced in us by the cross of Christ. The Epistles of St. Paul come in their turn during these three Sundays, to remind us that at this season, the Church must complete the Redeemer’s work by entering with courage upon the purifying discipline of penance.”


In this short video, Dr. Joseph Shaw, Chairman of The Latin Mass Society, gives us a succinct yet excellent explanation for the raison d’être of the season of Septuagesima.


A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’

“Each of us must come to the evening of life. Each of us must enter on eternity. Each of us must come to that quiet, awful time, when we will appear before the Lord of the vineyard, and answer for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad. That, my dear brethren, you will have to undergo. … It will be the dread moment of expectation when your fate for eternity is in the balance, and when you are about to be sent forth as the companion of either saints or devils, without possibility of change. There can be no change; there can be no reversal. As that judgment decides it, so it will be for ever and ever. Such is the particular judgment. … when we find ourselves by ourselves, one by one, in his presence, and have brought before us most vividly all the thoughts, words, and deeds of this past life. Who will be able to bear the sight of himself? And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves. In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves. We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophecy smooth things to us, and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults. But on that day, not one fault only, but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out. We shall see what we feared to see here, and much more. And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him!” – (Blessed Card. John Henry Newman)

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New booklet by Cardinal asserted to be response to the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals

Dali_The_Persistence_of_MemoryIn the shallow, liberal, Italian Catholic weekly Panorama we are informed about a booklet now out over the name of Card. Coccopalmerio, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.  It is ballyhooed as “the response” to the Five Dubia of the Four “intransigent” Cardinals, who are dissenters because they are defending doctrine.

Of course it can’t be that, can it?  The response to the Dubia should come from the Holy Father (to whom they were submitted) or from the CDF (whose Prefect has spoken unofficially about the issues but who hasn’t issued anything official).

Beware. When you read Panorama your IQ is likely to drop.  The use of verbs would help their writers come off as less smarmy.  But I digress.

Here is some of the piece in my fast translation.  My emphases  and comments.

In a little book on the reasons why the Church can’t turn back in the face of those who “are not in tune with Catholic doctrine”.

“Divorced and remarried, unmarried couples living together, are certainly not models of unions in harmony with Catholic doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. For which reason the sacraments of reconciliation and of communion ought to be given also to so-called wounded families[a euphemism intended to arouse emotion rathe
r than thought, empathy rather than clarity]
 and to those who even though living in situations not in line with the traditional canons on matrimony, express a sincere desire to draw closer to the sacraments after an adequate period of discernment.” [Not just “canons”.  They are not in line with Christ’s teaching either, or the perennial doctrine of the Church.]

17_02_13_panoramaThis is the pointed, calm and precise response that Pope Francis gives [Noooo…. Pope Francis didn’t give it.  The Cardinal did.  But this is what they want you to accept.] to those especially within the church and even in the College of Cardinals, who continue to express doubts about the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in which, for the first time, there is foreseen the possibility of admitting to the sacraments those who contract a second marriage, unmarried couples living together and those people who live together in deformity with ecclesial directions in the matter of nuptial unions.

An indirect response, in any event[See the slight of hand?] but [BUT!] the fruit of a deep canonical and ecclesiological study made, at the request of the same Pontiff, by one of the closest and most trusted collaborators, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts (the “ministry” of justice of the Holy See).

The text – a booklet of only 30 pages entitled, “The 8th chapter of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia” – was printed by the Vatican Press and on Wednesday 8 February arrived in religious bookstores which surround the Vatican.

The Doubts of the Four Cardinals

An initiative, they [the famous “they”] explained in the Vatican, that aims to “clarify” all the “doubts” raised by the most traditionalist elements bound with a vengeance [How mean!  How merciless!  How … mean!] to the defense of ecclesial doctrine in the matter of matrimonial life and of access to the sacraments.  [What sort of surreal, Dali-esque landscape has the Church become if those who defend doctrine are suddenly the dissenters?  Clocks are melting off the sides of tables.]


To all appearances, like a “normal” request for canonical clarifications, [This is more slight of hand: the Dubia ask for doctrinal clarifications, not just canonical.  So, the respose from an official of a canonical office isn’t going to take care of the doubts.] in reality a gesture of clear though polite disobedience on the part of four members of the College of Cardinals the organism which by its very nature is called to back up the reigning Pope in the governance of the Church.  [“Those dirty rotten mean old cardinals!  They are mean old meanies!”  (That’s the general level of the reader of Panorama, by the way.)]

It is normal that if a Cardinal feels the need to have clarifications on certain matters he can ask for them calmly – they assure us across the Tiber – in the course of personal audiences with the Pope. It is another thing to publish an open letter and bring up doubts and discontents in public opinion. A clearly offensive gesture toward the Pope almost completely like those which are used in interviews. As, for example, the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did in recent days, who, in a newspaper, openly criticized admission to the sacraments of couples living together and the divorced and remarried because, he admonished, Doctrine “is to be left alone” (la Dottrina “non si tocca”).  [Do you see what they did?  They smear Müller in order to raise Coccopalmerio above him as an authority.  Thus the Doctrinal Cardinal is out and the Canonical Cardinal is in.]


This is another confusing puzzle piece to deal with.  It is confusing because it has the appearance of official approval (it was published by the Vatican Press), but it remains a non-response response to the Five Dubia.  That’s probably why the ad hominem attacks lace the Panorama piece.

In any event, we still – prayerfully and patiently – await greater clarity from some with the true authority to issue what are manifest and actual responses to the Dubia.  Or else… we await a statement that they are not going to be answered.

Clocks melting off the edges of tables.  Elephants on stilts.  This situation is getting really strange.

Temptation Of St Anthony Salvador Dali


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Sr. Lucia Fatima Miracle needed for 4 year old girl – Please Pray!

Catholics have been asked to republish this article from Listening in the Desert on our blogs. We are happy to oblige.


This year is the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. And today, February 13th is the anniversary of the death of the Carmelite nun, Sr. Lucia of Fatima.

It seems fitting that today should be the day we begin praying for her intercession for a a sweet 4 year old girl named Christina Thomas. Last week, Christina was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The doctors have said there is nothing they can do.

4 year old Christina Thomas

4 year old Christina Thomas

We need a miracle. Christina’s father, Kenny, is a secular Carmelite, like myself, and we both have a great devotion to Fatima. We have informed Kenny’s Bishop that we will ONLY be asking for the intercession of Sr. Lucia, as this is very important in the beatification process.

Please join us in begging for the intercession of Sr. Lucia for little Christina. We want a complete and total healing for Christina and a miracle for the beatification for Sr. Lucia. Please share this post as much as possible and please feel free to use it on your own blog or Catholic publication.


Sr. Lucia of Fatima

Sr. Lucia of Fatima

Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Sister Lucia

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly and I thank you for the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, that revealed to the world the riches of her Immaculate Heart. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I implore You, if it should be for Your greater glory and the good of our souls, to glorify Sr. Lucy, one of the Shepherds of Fatima, by granting us the grace which we implore through her intercession (the total healing of 4 year old Christina Thomas from a terminal brain tumor).


Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

With Ecclesiastical approval

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Preparing for Nineveh 90. Starts Today, Monday, February 13

Jonah goes to Nineveh

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

(Jonah 3:1-9)


The Fall of Ninevah by John Martin

The Fall of Ninevah by John Martin

By Fr Richard Heilman on Roman Catholic Man

The video, below, does a nice job categorizing this journey we about to embark upon. I’d like use his categories to help us prepare for Nineveh 90, which starts on Monday, February 13. If you have signed up, go to Nineveh90.com.

image1. Health and Wellness: In spiritual terms we refer to this as “mortification” which, literally, means “dying to yourself.” We are spending this time dying to the “junk habits” of our lives and embracing the “healthy habits” that will increase our “strength in the Lord and His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10).

Doing this together with 1000s of others, gives us the extra incentive to persevere. Also, having an accountability group and/or buddy gives us that extra encouragement we all need to keep on keeping on. Take this time to work on all those healthy habits we tend to put off until tomorrow.

For me, I will be adding much more walking to my strength training program, and I will be eating only healthy foods, with a reduction of daily calorie intake. I will be eating small meals throughout the day to rev up my metabolism. You need to decide what “healthy direction” you need to take for yourself.

2. Prayer: Mass (more than days of obligation), frequent Confession and good basic daily habits of prayer are “best practices” for all who seek to be that “Strong Catholic.” These 90 days are a great time to get these “basics of our faith” more engrained as regular habits in our life.

As you can see by the photo for this article, I have just a couple of prayer books (find them HERE), my Combat Rosary, and a cup of coffee at my desk. This is where I choose to offer my morning prayers (mostly because I am near a computer for finding readings and reflections). Everyone is different. You may have a special area in your house set aside. Or, maybe offering a rosary in the car works best for you. However and wherever you choose, have your prayer book(s) or print out of prayers all ready, as you begin your Nineveh 90 journey.

3. Marian Devotion: In the first 54 days, we will all be praying the 54 Day Rosary Novena, and in the last 33 days, we will be preparing for our Marian Consecration on May 13, which is the 100th anniversary of Fatima. What a beautiful way for the 1000s us to, collectively, call out to Mary to seek her very powerful intercession.

All of these daily prayer and reflections will be emailed every day to those who sign-up for the emails at Nineveh90.com. You can also find them posted everyday at Nineveh90.com. If you like to take a book with you, the 54 Day prayers and reflections can be found in this book HERE.


Now go to:


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