Review of the Year – the highs and the lows (Deacon Nick Donnelly)


by Deacon Nick Donnelly

As the year draws to a close it seems to many that we are again living through revolutionary times in the Church. I suggest therefore that we would be wise to pay heed to the caution given to the politician and philosopher Edmund Burke by Major John Cartwright of the Royal Navy. Discussing how best to respond to another revolution – the American Revolutionary War – Cartwright drew on his maritime background when he wrote of the necessity for a ‘sure guide upon the tempestuous sea of politics’. Looking back over the past year the image of a ‘tempestuous sea’ best describes the greatest storm to hit the Church since the Second Vatican Council. Cardinal Raymond Burke expresses the experience of many faithful Catholics in 2014 when he said that ‘there is a strong feeling that the Church is as a ship without a rudder’ and ‘many feel a bit of seasickness, because it seems to them that the ship of the Church has lost its compass’.
A sure compass in times of storm

Major Cartwright’s description of the qualities of a sure compass in times of political storm are equally applicable to the compass needed to navigate revolutionary times in the life of the Church. Such a guide must be:

‘a compass without variation, that points not to any earthly loadstone, jostled by some convulsion of nature out of the true axis of our crazy planet, but the cause of its magnetism is the rock of truth, fixed in the pole of heaven from all eternity; immovable as the throne, immutable as the nature of God’.

In this time of confusion and disorientation as the Church navigates the fads of gender ideology, political correctness and pop psychology of ‘our crazy planet’, our gratitude is all the more heartfelt to those successors to the Apostles who have continued taking their bearings with the sure compass of eternal truth during the tempests of 2014.


On the 1st January, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Enda Kenny’s government appeared to perpetrate an act of calculated blasphemy by launching abortion services to kill babies throughout Ireland. Marie Stopes clinics were ready and waiting to kill babies with abortifacient morning after pills, retailing at €40 a pill.

Less than two weeks later Pope Francis strongly condemned killing children through abortion during his annual ‘state of the world’ address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See:

‘Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as “unnecessary”. For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day’.

Standing against the push to normalise dissent in the Irish church, countless faithful Catholics remained true in the face of a media onslaught when they protested the presence of Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP as a key-note speaker at Dublin’s 23rd International Conference on Divine Mercy. Fr Radcliffe is well-known for his drift away from the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, having once recommended to a Catholic audience that they ‘let their imaginations be stretched’ by watching the gay movie Brokeback Mountain and by reading gay novels. Fr Radcliffe has even gone so far as to propose that there is a Eucharistic dimension to gay sexuality that ‘can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift’.

The conference organisers incomprehensibly chose to ignore the substantive evidence cataloguing Fr Radcliffe’s dissent. Instead they accused concerned Catholics of victimising them by conducting ‘a kangaroo court trying to decide for us what we should do’. What would Pope St John Paul II, that great advocate of Divine Mercy, have made of this cavalier dismissal of the concerns of faithful Catholics about a pro-gay speaker at a Divine Mercy Conference?

An English bishop broke the silence about pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage Catholic politicians receiving Holy Communion. Bishop Egan of Portsmouth said in an interview that denying Holy Communion to these politicians would not be a punitive measure but would be an act of mercy:

‘When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church on such a central thing as the value of life of the unborn child and also in terms of the teachings of the church on marriage and family life – they are voting in favour of same-sex marriage – then they shouldn’t be receiving Holy Communion. Nobody is forced to be Catholic.’

Bishop Egan went on to express the reasonable hope that he would be able to discuss this important issue with his fellow bishops at the Bishops’ Conference.

However, Greg Pope, the Head of Parliamentary Relations at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, wrote to all Catholic MPs and Peers to re-assure them there were ‘no plans to deny communion to those who supported gay marriage’. They were also informed that there were no plans to discuss the issue as Bishop Egan had hoped.

The tragic irony of this is that Greg Pope is a Catholic and former Labour MP who had a track record of voting in support of same-sex adoption, abortion and contraception. It later emerged that Mgr Marcus Stock, the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference and Cardinal Nichols’ right hand man, had ‘approved’ Mr Pope’s curt dismissal of a bishop they were both employed to serve.

Following this rebuff from the Bishops’ Conference and disparaging criticism of him by Catholic MPs in the media Bishop Egan remained courageously steadfast in upholding the Church’s teaching by giving a second interview to Lifesite News:

‘My basic point was a simple one: that those who do not believe in and/or do not practice the main doctrines of our Catholic faith should not go forward to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. They are not in communion with the Catholic Church. Those who do not accept the Catholic Church’s principle teachings on the value of life are rejecting Christ’s vision for the human person, whom he redeemed on the Cross.’


Syrian Christians continued to witness to the Faith through their refusal to renounce Our Lord as Muslim terrorists intensified their efforts to eradicate the Church. Jihadists massacred 80 Christians in the town of Kessab on Syria’s border with Turkey, beheading at least 13 people, desecrating churches and looting homes. Around 3,000 Armenian Christian residents fled for their lives, but a dozen or so families with members too elderly to leave remained in Kessab and were subsequently taken hostage. Videos later emerged showing Muslim terrorists executing Kessab’s Christians with machine guns.

This latest massacre of Armenian Christians by Muslims adds to the sense of outrage among Armenians preparing to commemorate the hundred year anniversary of the 1915 Turkish genocide that murdered over a million Christians. An Armenian tweeted at the slaughter at Kessab ‘They killed Armenians three times in the same location: in 1909, 1913, and now in 2014.’

Pope Francis delivered his most explicit statement about the worldwide persecution of Christians:

‘There is the death penalty or imprisonment for having the Gospel at home, for teaching the Catechism, today, in some parts of the world. A Catholic from one of these countries told me that they cannot pray together. It is forbidden. People can only pray alone and in secret – but they want to celebrate the Eucharist and how do they do? They throw a birthday party, they pretend to celebrate the birthday there and have Mass before the ‘party’. It has happened. When they see the police arrive, they just hide everything and continue with the birthday party-cover. Then, when authorities leave, they finish the Mass. They have to do so, because it is forbidden to pray together: in this very day.’

The spirits of faithful English Catholics were lifted by the arrival of Bishop Athanasius Schneider in the UK for a ten day series of speaking engagements. Bishop Schneider is the 53 year old auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, an author with Catholic Voice’s publishing imprint, and an advisor to the newly launched Irish lay movement, Lumen Fidei, founded by Catholic Voice’s editor, Anthony Murphy.

In an interview with the Catholic Herald Bishop Schneider spoke about the storm of confusion and disorientation besetting the Church, bringing a message of encouragement and hope to the faithful of the English Church.

‘I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis of the Church, in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years. How long will it last? “Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years.’

Bishop Schneider also talked about the false notion of mercy that proposed admitting those currently barred to the sacraments, ‘This is not mercy, this is cruel. It is comparable to a doctor who gives a diabetic patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him.’

Having said this, he expressed his hope that the future of the Church lay with the ‘little ones’ of the Church, ‘I am confident and hopeful also in respect of this crisis in the Church. The Holy Ghost will win this crisis with this little army.’


Fr Vincent Twomey, Professor Emeritus of Moral theology at St Patrick’s College, challenged Mary MacAleese’s widely disseminated ridicule of the cardinals and bishops called by Pope Francis to attend the Synod on the Family.

Mary MacAleese, a former president of Ireland, mocked the prospect of ‘150 male celibates’ advising Pope Francis on the family as ‘completely bonkers’, asking ‘How many of the men who will gather to advise you as Pope on the family have ever changed a baby’s nappy?’ ‘I regard that as a very, very serious question’, she added. Mary MacAleese is currently studying for her Licentiate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome.

Clearly Mrs MacAleese had forgotten that Our Lord was a male celibate and that, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, the bishops and cardinals attending the October Synod share in the Headship of Christ. Fr Vincent Twomey, professor emeritus of moral theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, responded that Mary MacAleese’s language was ‘not in keeping with what you would expect from an ex president.’


Fr Vicario, a parish priest in Northern Italy, became a lightning rod for tensions building up in the Church in anticipation of the Synod because of his defence of the Church’s teaching. Fr Vicario found himself in hot water not only with his own bishop but also with the Secretary General of the forthcoming Synod because he printed in his parish newsletter the reasons for the Church’s perennial teaching that divorced and remarried and co-habiting couples could not receive Holy Communion. Fr Vicario wrote:

‘For the Church, which acts in the name of the Son of God, marriage between the baptised is alone and always a sacrament. Civil marriage and cohabitation are not a sacrament. Therefore those who place themselves outside of the Sacrament by contracting civil marriage are living a continuing infidelity. One is not treating of sin committed on one occasion (for example a murder), nor an infidelity through carelessness or habit’.

The Bishop of Novara mistakenly took Fr Vicario to task for equating civil marriage and co-habitation with murder. But Fr Vicario did not make that equation, neither did he say that civil marriage was worse than murder. Cardinal Baldisseri (pictured), the Synod’s Secretary General, made a remarkable outburst when he condemned Fr Vicario’s parish bulletin as ‘crazy, a strictly personal opinion of a parish priest who does not represent anyone, not even himself.’


Young priests in Ireland were known throughout the Catholic world for their faithfulness to the Church’s doctrine and discipline as a consequence of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s trip to Australia. Thousands of miles from home Archbishop Martin criticised young Irish priests for expressing concerns about the upsurge in dissent during the pontificate of Pope Francis.

In his address to an audience in Melbourne Archbishop Martin related a conversation between a young curate and his parish priest. The young curate admitted that he was not at all happy with some things Pope Francis had said. He felt that they ‘were not in line with what he had learned in the seminary’ and they were ‘making the faithful insecure and even encouraging those who do not hold the orthodox Catholic beliefs to challenge traditional teaching.’

Rather than take the young curate’s genuine concerns seriously Archbishop Martin took conservative Catholics to task, with a cursory mention of progressive Catholics to give the impression of ‘balance’. The Archbishop warned against becoming ‘closed in within our own ideas’, acknowledging that Irish Catholicism had a strong tradition of strict teaching.

According to The Tablet, the Association of Catholic Priests got the meaning of Archbishop Martin’s criticism of the young curate. Fr Seamus Ahearne ‘said the archbishop’s concern about the “young curate” was a familiar one as many were concerned that the few young priests there are in the Irish Church appear to embrace a very traditionalist view of Church. They are “so locked into a past model of priesthood” he commented and said this manifested itself in “the way that they dress up, the way they celebrate Mass, and in their views.’

This was a good month for faithful Catholics in Ireland and the UK because it marked the first academic term of two new Catholic colleges – Newman College Ireland and the School of the Annunciation: Centre for the New Evangelisation, England. Both educational institutions are committed to fostering among students the passion, insight and creativity that only comes from the obedience of faith to God’s revelation safeguarded, explained and taught by the Magisterium of the Church.

Cardinal George Pell travelled from Rome to celebrate with two hundred staff, students and guests, the Foundation Mass of the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey, Devon. Cardinal Pell, one of the patrons of the School, delivered a stirring homily on the role of the new school:

‘The School of the Annunciation is a brave and important initiative, one example of the New Evangelisation at work; the challenges proposed to us by recent popes, and especially by Saint John Paul II. The New Evangelisation is not only wrestling with the traditional wounds deriving from original sin, but is doing so in a westernised society where the ancient equilibriums have been thrown out of kilter by the invention of the pill and a materialism which sees too many children as too expensive. The old wounds have been exacerbated in new ways by the ready availability of drugs, internet pornography and easy abortions.’

The School of the Annunciation offers a variety of on-line and residential courses and Newman College Ireland offers a four-year residential Liberal Arts course.

School of the Annunciation:

Newman College Ireland:


This was the month that tested the degree to which many of us – clergy and laity – truly lived by the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we received through the Sacrament of Confirmation – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

I’m sure that down the years there will have been times when readers of Catholic Voice have been concerned, upset and angered by the dissent and compromise rife in the Irish and English Church. But nothing prepared us for the distress and sense of helplessness that we experienced at the shocking spectacle of bad teaching, confusion and scheming displayed during the Extraordinary Synod.

Since returning from the Synod Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Nichols have attempted to present a positive image of the Synod, resolutely denying that there was confusion and division among the Synod Fathers. However, having listened to, and read, the testimony of Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Müller, Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Napier this rosy portrayal of the Synod remains unconvincing.

One has only to read the infamous mid-synod Relatio post disceptationem to know that adherence to the Deposit of Faith was in danger of going seriously adrift, until Catholic commonsense was restored by some faithful bishops. The fact that the suspect paragraphs on divorce and remarriage, cohabitation, and homosexuality remain in the Relatio Synodi has left an abiding sense of apprehension and distrust among faithful Catholics at the prospect of the Synod in 2015. The implausible denials that there is anything wrong have only added to the sense of impending crisis


Pope Francis entered the cockpit of one of the most secular political institutions in the world – the European Union – and frankly challenged the European Parliament’s unquestioning promotion of secularism and consumerism. About its abandonment of Europe’s Christian roots the Holy Father said:

‘An anonymous second-century author wrote that “Christians are to the world what the soul is to the body”. The function of the soul is to support the body, to be its conscience and its historical memory. A two-thousand-year-old history links Europe and Christianity. It is a history not free of conflicts and errors, but one constantly driven by the desire to work for the good of all.’

Pope Francis also criticised Europe’s promotion of a society that throws away the vulnerable and poor, including unborn children, saying:

‘Men and women risk being reduced to mere cogs in a machine that treats them as items of consumption to be exploited, with the result that – as is so tragically apparent – whenever a human life no longer proves useful for that machine, it is discarded with few qualms, as in the case of the terminally ill, the elderly who are abandoned and uncared for, and children who are killed in the womb.’


Cardinal Müller, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, directly challenged those bishops repeating the mantra that their proposed innovations are ‘pastoral’ and not ‘doctrinal’. Cardinal Müller told the International Theological Commission:

‘Any separation of theory from practice of the faith would be a subtle, but serious Christological heresy. This would obscure the dynamics of the Incarnation, which is part of any healthy theology. Christ had said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Therefore, there can be no truth without life and no life without truth.’

Cardinal Müller’s strong defence of the intrinsic unity between doctrine and pastoral care begs the question, what does he think of the 2015 Synod preparatory document explicitly downplaying doctrine? The Lineamenta states:

‘The proposed questions which follow … are intended to assist the bishops’ conferences in their reflection and to avoid, in their responses, a formulation of pastoral care based simply on an application of doctrine, which would not respect the conclusions of the Extraordinary Synodal Assembly and would lead their reflection far from the path already indicated.’

The Lineamenta’s unfortunate wording appears to be suggesting that the curate’s egg of a Final Relatio has superseded the authority of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If bishops pay attention to this directive then they are in danger of abandoning the only sure guide we have to navigate this tempestuous sea, setting us towards the rocks of serious Christological heresy.
Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star
As we look ahead to 2015 I invite the readers of the Catholic Voice to join me in entrusting the storm-tossed Church, and ourselves, to the Blessed Virgin Mary by recalling the great Marian hymn of Fr John Lingaards:

Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wanderer here below,
Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care,
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, Star of the sea

Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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30 Responses to Review of the Year – the highs and the lows (Deacon Nick Donnelly)

  1. toadspittle says:

    In brief:

    Highlight of the Year: Pope Francis!
    Lowlight of the Year: Pope Francis!

    (Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between.)

    “The function of the soul is to support the body, to be its conscience and its historical memory “
    ….No it isn’t.
    “Historical memory”?
    What other kind of memory is there?


  2. JabbaPapa says:


    God Bless you, Deacon Nick !!


  3. JabbaPapa says:

    I actually agree with the toad that the purpose of the soul is not as the good Deacon has described — for the only true purpose of any living soul is God.

    To answer toad’s question though, “historical memory” is that part of our souls’ memory that is bound within time and our brains.


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    “An anonymous second-century author wrote that ‘Christians are to the world what the soul is to the body.’ ”

    Hmm: I’m quoting Deacon Donnelly, who is quoting Pope Francis, who is quoting an anonymous second-century source. What are the proper punctuation marks in such a situation? Perhaps our resident jabberwocky expert can assist?

    But that wise quote reminds me of a similar and equally wise one by His Lordship, Rowan Williams:
    “The soul is to the body what the smile is to the face.”
    … who, rumour has it (wait a sec – I’m just about to start one) His Holiness intends to elevate to the Cardinaliate next February. He could do worse and may intend to.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    His Flatulency, Archbishop Blasé [seriously] Cupich of Chicago, is a progressive beloved of the LGBT bowel movement.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    …and I see his surname is pronounced ‘SOUP-itch’.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad asks at 19:57 if there is any other type of memory aside from historical memory. There are quite a few others, actually: sensory memory, short term (working) memory, declarative, procedural, episodic, semantic and false memory. My favourite is prospective memory, which is what we do when we tie a string around one of our fingers or put a post-it note on our dresser: “Granddaughter’s BirthdayTomorrow”. When I go the grocery store for my broccoli and zucchini, if I’ve forgotten my grocery list, I recite a mnenomic such as “broadsword zulu”, which is also an example of prospective memory, but not historical memory.

    Anyway, Toad, Happy Bank Boxing Day Holiday.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    …or should that be Happy Boxing Day Bank Holiday? I get so confused with your secular celebrations.


  9. Brother Burrito says:

    Hey JH, great mate,

    You should get out more, as should I.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    “You should get out more…”

    I do go out sometimes, Brother Burrito, but in this century, aside from outings with family, I’ve never gone out with anyone except clergy. My second last outing was with a retired Anglican Canon going through a marriage breakup. Such a great homilist he was back in the day, and I want to remain connected with him, even though – being an Englishman – he gives a cold shoulder to support from his friends. I shall try again though. My last outing was with a retired Catholic priest (we have lunch together once a year) whose main interest in life is operating heavy machinery on his brother’s farm and who loves talking about it with anyone who will listen:

    “For I wanted to talk about tractors, ploughs and harvesters, and you listened to me. I was friendless and you took me out for lunch.Then I said to him: ‘Father, when did I ever listen to you talking about tractors, ploughs and harvesters’ “?


  11. toadspittle says:

    “You should get out more…”
    …With dogs.
    It will, as my beloved wife often tells me, “Get the stink blown off you.”

    My point about “historical” memory is that it is tautological. All memory must be of the past.
    “Prospective” memory is remembering that, in the past – even if that was 3 seconds ago – you decided to to something in the future.
    But I fear this is very petty stuff, even for the likes of us. We will do better to concentrate on the perceived satanic deviousness of Pope Francis.


  12. JabbaPapa says:


    Don’t you ever get tired of this ?


  13. JabbaPapa says:

    My point about “historical” memory is that it is tautological

    No — memory is a curious beastie, and it is not composed solely of records of historical events.


  14. toadspittle says:

    Oh, all right.
    Forget it.


  15. kathleen says:

    Not one mention from the Holy Father during this whole year of the necessity for non-Catholics to enter the One True Church!! In fact quite the contrary; according to those who have studied far more closely than I each and every utterance of Pope Francis, he appears to even publicly dissuade it.

    A “ship without a rudder” for our beloved Church is a fitting description in these days.


  16. toadspittle says:

    “…the necessity for non-Catholics to enter the One True Church!!”

    If it were “necessary,” surely God would institute one of His famous “plans,” in order to ensure every non-Catholic on Earth got an equal opportunity to do so?
    Otherwise, being Catholic or not – is nothing more than being handed a winning ticket in the celestial raffle.
    …Is eternal salvation, in fact, no more than a question of capricious fate, circumstance, and/or geography and/or history?
    How does someone who has never even heard the word “Catholic,” spoken become one? And what happens to those who don’t get to hear the word?

    Let’s see if we can sort out this little head-scratcher before next year.


  17. I am hardly an admirer of Chicago Archbishop Cupich, but I think fairness is called for here. His first name is Blase, apparently an anglicized form of Blaise (as in Pascal), not Blasé (or perhaps I’m missing the joke). As for the 2015 Synod preparatory document that calls on bishops to “avoid, in their responses, a formulation of pastoral care based simply on an application of doctrine…,” the mind reels. What are the bishops called on to apply then, if not doctrine? Freudian psychology? New Age spirituality? The latest teachings of the head guru at the currently most fashionable Indian ashram? Perhaps the lyrics of “Jesus Christ Superstar”? A vast horizon of limitless possibilities opens. Or rather it may be as St. Matthew wrote, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction….”


  18. kathleen says:

    Another large ‘wave’ battering the ‘barque of Peter’ in reviewing 2014 is the increase in the loutish attacks of the totally un-feminine group of baby-haters, called FEMEN. They stampede bare-breasted into churches to interrupt the sacred liturgy, spit on and insult God’s ministers (or young laymen valiantly forming a circle round the Church to defend it whilst praying the rosary), wreck holy images… and now the latest crass behaviour of these disgraceful women is the snatching up of the figurine of the Holy Infant from the crib scene in St. Peter’s Square in mockery, and screaming out obscenities against the Catholic Church.

    These ridiculous FEMEN members must have very tiny brains in trying to make out the Catholic Church marginalises women; there is no Protestant church, or indeed any other religion, that places such value and dignity on the role of women more than the true Bride of Christ, the Catholic Church.
    I wonder why they don’t storm mosques and harass imams of the Muslim religion where women do certainly appear to have been ‘dealt a poor hand’? (Not that I think they should of course.)…. Oh (ahem) wait a minute, I think I know why they choose not to! 😉


  19. The Raven says:

    If it were “necessary,” surely God would institute one of His famous “plans,” in order to ensure every non-Catholic on Earth got an equal opportunity to do so?

    He’s done precisely that, Toad, He instituted the Church and instructed its leaders, the Apostles and their successors to spread His word. It’s hardly God’s fault that the Church has let its responsibility slip over the last century!


  20. toadspittle says:

    Muslim men clearly treat women far worse than Catholic men do.

    However, many Muslim women declare that no religion places such value and dignity on the role of women as does Islam … And that Catholic women go around doing evil, sinful, immodest things like having bare arms and ankles.
    And it is also true that no Catholic woman in her right mind would ever want to be a priest.
    As Kathleen will whole -heartedly agree.


  21. toadspittle says:

    Yes, Raven. We see few missionaries in Saudi Arabia, these days. A century ago, no doubt – it was another story, as you indicate.
    But what about the entire continent of America before 1492, for example? How about Australia before Cook? Is it the Church’s fault they haven’t been able to spread the message to everyone who has ever lived, is now living, or will ever live? Seems a bit harsh.

    Oh, who cares. We’ve been over all this before, and got nowhere. Forget it.


  22. The Raven says:

    A century ago, they would at least have tried to bring the truth to that benighted land, Toad.

    And I think that you should look at what the Church teaches about invincible ignorance.


  23. johnhenrycn says:

    “His [++Cupich] first name is Blase…not Blasé…”
    Quite right, RJB. I was just trying to sneak by the eagle eyes here a little pun involving nothing more than a fortuitously placed accent aigu. Best regards.


  24. JabbaPapa says:

    Not one mention from the Holy Father during this whole year of the necessity for non-Catholics to enter the One True Church

    The Pope gave a homily at Santa Marta on the 18th of November on the necessity of conversion.


  25. johnhenrycn says:

    JabbaPapa @ 05:45 asks: “jabberwocky…Don’t you ever get tired of this ?”

    … well if you dish it out, you’ve also got to take it. But let’s not let our occasional skirmishes outweigh all that we have in common. And also let’s not forget that this blog is not only a place to discuss serious issues, but also one where we can have a bit of fun, sometimes at each other’s expense. Even Toad makes me laugh sometimes – about once every hundred years – which leads me to wonder whether he was born in Brigadoon.


  26. JabbaPapa says:

    How does someone who has never even heard the word “Catholic,” spoken become one?

    Through Salvation — the One True Church is the Church of Christ in Heaven, which is not just some feel-good ecumenical “Nu-Church” Vatican II “stuff”, it’s been Catholic dogma since the 6th Century or earlier — Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus means that the souls of all of the saved can only belong to the single Catholic (Universal) Church of the Anointed of God (our Christ) in His Heaven, regardless of how and why God sovereignly decides to save them.

    The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church however, so that this Church is the fundamental Earthly medium to achieve that Salvation.


  27. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 19:12

    “The Pope gave a homily at Santa Marta on the 18th of November on the necessity of conversion.”

    Just googled it to see.. He talks of three types of conversion, yes… but not conversion to the One Holy Catholic Church it seems!

    Would love to be proved wrong on this one though, if you can dig up anything else dear Jabba. 🙂


  28. JabbaPapa says:

    dearest kathleen, our present Pope is even more concerned with attempting to heal our disgraceful schism with the Orthodox than Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II were, so that the sort of declaration that you seem to expect is unlikely to be provided — but you really should bear in mind that it is not necessary for the Pope to ensure that his public declarations should provide the entire laundry list of all Catholic Dogma into even the minutest spot detail.

    He is not the Word Incarnate, and he will therefore commit the occasional omission.


  29. kathleen says:

    Jabba, I would say it was a lot more important than “the occasional omission“! All Popes throughout history, except this one, have called those Christians separated from the saving grace of Truth to conversion – a fullness of Truth only to be found in the Catholic Church.

    Pope Pius XI said, “The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it.”

    No beating about the bush there. Clear, undiluted Catholic teaching.

    But Pope Francis, on his recent return flight back to Rome from Turkey, said:
    “Unity is a journey we have to take, but we need to do it together.” !!!

    Nothing about submission to the pope’s legitimate authority being an essential part of unity! He appears to have declared himself to be among those who accept the fallacy that the Pope had no supreme authority over the Eastern Churches in the first centuries, and now, 1000 years later, “we need to find another way” [because] “uniatism is a dated word …” !!!
    Yes, he actually said that. It’s scandalous… and a metaphorical ‘slap in the face’ to all previous pontiffs. It is also not true.

    Please do not think I am bashing the Russian Orthodox Church – I most certainly am not, and I love visiting their beautiful churches and listening to their holy chants. They of all Christians retain valid sacraments and much of their theology is identical to Catholic theology, but that tragic and “disgraceful schism” has caused them to follow a path away from papal authority, and to confront plenty of problems and unresolved challenges in consequence.


  30. Remember the time when, if you wanted to say that something was definitely the case, or definitely true, you used the joking phrase, “Is the Pope Catholic?”

    It doesn’t seem like so much of joke anymore.


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