Friday, 3 February 2017

Andy Burnham,the Lapsation of Catholic men and why the Catholic men in the Priesthood are part of the problem...

NuEvangelists recently took to heart the lapsed Catholic MP's sub-progressive complaints about the Church not moving with the times and not being relevant for the youth and not engaging with the culture on their level - and amidst handwringing and posturing they sought to formulate a pro-active response to Mr Burnham's claims...in just the same way EVERY form of NuEvangelisation has responded in the past 30years...
...and yet we're still wondering why 95% of our teenagers are haemorrhaging out of the Church!
...they just don't get that Andy's generic and somewhat patronisingly shallow complaints - aren't the problem!

Go into any large English town and one could find 1,000 Andy Burnhams
A large Northern City and one could easily find ten thousand and in Merseyside? 100,000 at least.

Disaffected, faintly-inclined, culturally Catholic lapsed who have just left the whole thing behind...

Sure they'll send their kids to Catholic schools,
sure they'll maybe turn up for Christmas[for the kids]
and first holy communions
and the matching/hatching/despatching
not knowing exactly what to do
but going through the motions
with a schizophrenic nostalgia
versus 'grown-up' worldly dismissal...

Not exactly disbelieving in God , [atheism's too big a step]
but not knowing exactly what to believe any more....
thinking all this ritual nonsense is made-up anachronistic hokum
 - that even despite the old 'pay,pray and obey' 'holier than thou' mob...
- all the money-grabbing canons, the sadistic nuns, the hypocritical town councillor in the front pew who is having it away with his secretary, the mentally ill pietistic aunt who had visions of st philomena...
 Despite all the madness of Catholicism - these lapsed 'likely lads' consider some of the spirituality devotions have their psychological benefits [never did their mother any harm]
- opining that the fundamentals of Christianity aren't a bad thing as a moral basis
- and it can be a good sensible/disciplinary ethical grounding for kids ,
providing you veer more towards the Santa Claus God rather than the Bogeyman God.

...and why did they leave it all behind?
Well?
Most don't really know
- they just did
- it went from not making the autonomic ritualised effort...
- to making excuses...
- to...well?
- not doing it at all...
- and the world didn't end did it?
- it hasn't made them any worse a person has it?
- no offence to those who have to go to mass but it's just..well?
- they just drifted away...
- there didn't seem to be much point any more really...

But of course they won't say that to anyone other than their intimates
- rather it will be:

"Oh the world's moved on and left the Church behind"
[and if the world has? it gives them sort of quasi-justification]

"The Church has to move with the times..of course there should be...
[and we all know the list - the women/married/gay priests, the relaxing on contraception and divorce, the compromising a little with abortion and euthanasia in certain circumstances...
- and all this celibacy mullarkey with all the ritualised vestments - no sex, no partner and living on their own isn't human [no wonder they go weird]
- they need to be down and with it and trendy with the homeless, the drug-addict and the dispossessed
- they should be like part wandering monk/part social worker spending 24/7 at foodbanks, soup kitchens and giving counselling sessions....
- and they should change the masses to be more welcoming for kids and youth..and talk about the things they're interested in like the environment and their personal needs etc etc etc"
 [Recognise it yet?]

 "Oh that Pope Benedict - he hadn't got a clue!
He symbolises everything that's wrong with the Church"

[impose all manner of latent pent up animosities at those clerics/nuns/guilt trips that gave you past grief - blame it on their bigotry and intolerance and heartlessness - concentrate it into one ineffable hate-laden indictment - and launch it at the target
[all the more easy if he's german, a scholar and 'from the old school']

"Yes the Benedict thing was bad.
Nice enough guy I suppose
- wrong about everything
- but he's past it
- the world has moved on and there's no point trying to try to reverse it..
- you'll just alienate people"

"Pope Francis?
Ah here's a bit of a good thing
- he understands the world more and the struggles of real people
- he'll know
- he's seen dictatorships and slum kids"

[impose your mental wish list of what you want onto what this new Pope wants]
"of course he won't be able to change things totally.
[too many rich fat autocratic bishops onto a good thing].
- but he should be able to give it a good push into the 21st century so there's no going back to the bad old days of sin and guilt and prejudice...
- he'll bring in reform if he can thwart the vatican bigwigs - but you can't expect miracles can you?"

I think I've heard variants of that speech [alluding to various characters and attributing such right/wrong dichotomies] for the past forty years...

All from those adult men who've left the Church...
And why did they leave?
We all know why they left!
The Church went through a mid-life crisis
- went crazy and pursued a mad self-indulgent binge and free-for-all for nearly forty years
- wrecking Catholic creed, code and cult and its cultural, social, communal, spiritual and psychological identity in the process
For nearly two thousand years there was ALWAYS a point in being Catholic
- a map for your life, a compass to direct you, a destination to achieve, and fellow travellers all going in the same direction - and they all knew why they were there and why they were on that journey...

Then suddenly they didn't
None of that mattered any more
None of the rituals, the beliefs, the traditions, the devotions, the masses, the morality, the community, the whole calendar, the unchangeable
- all changed overnight
- and nobody had any idea what could really replace any of it
- so attempted every possible way and just wrought chaos in their wake....

If it could all change?
Then the original couldn't have been true or real could it?

It couldn't have mattered as much as we thought it did?

Which meant as none of this mattered any more we didn't matter any more
..and so there was no point any more...

So they left....

It's far too easy to apportion blame on Andy Burnham for all his misguided misgivings and misimaginings and misunderstandings and misplaced allegiances and misbegotten betrayals...

Andy Burnham - and millions of other lapsed Catholics with hiim, are more victims of what happened to the Church over the past fifty years than superficial, ungrateful traitors...

The abuse inflicted on them by the Church
- the EMASCULATED communal and catechetical neglect
- the liturgical/educational experimentation
- the enforced confusion and alienation from this post vatican 2 'emotional spasm' destroyed millions of people's religious identities and somewhere along the road they lost parts of themselves in the process....

..and may God forgive us in what we did to those little ones

Because they grew up
- they're confused
- they're lost
- and they're hurting!

The recent NuEvangelisation initiatives like 'invite a friend' & 'Catholics come home' haven't really caught on...
...and I suppose we have to at least attempt to ask ourselves why?

More workload I suppose - it's ironic that given the massive increased demands made upon a reduced clergy this has counterintuitively led to a reaction of clerics who are decidedly sedentary and well? Bone idle!

The 'missionary strategy' changed in the eighties - instead of the priest going out to the people it was instead the priest should be 'available at the presbytery for his people'
...which was more disastrously futile in the actuation than absurd in the notion

When a significant amount of Catholics are forced to work Sundays to keep a roof over their heads the majority of Priests now engage in half-day closing [you try finding a mass after 11am across hundreds of square miles of this fair land] as well as having a weekly day off...and when I remember my work in presbyteries in the 80s/90s [thriving hives of industry like crewe station with the traffic in and out] most of the Priest's houses these days are like maximum security solitary confinement strongholds - hundreds of Miss Havisham's twiddling their thumbs watching bargain hunt...

Over the past generation the majority lapsation has been among the working classes - and even though during the 70s and 80s so many trendy clerics were inveterate reverse snobs [the sort you only really find now among Bishops and ageing 'yoof leaders']
but they invariably found allies among the like-minded within the middle classes
..and the middle-classes - for all their virtues - are inclined towards snobbery and judgmentalism...
This whole professional laity mullarkey became decidedly bourgeois and cliquey [committees - committees - committees]

Didn't work:Couldn't work.

When the Church stops directing itself towards God it collapses into becoming 'people oriented'
Friendships emerge while people are all doing the same thing - working together - worshipping together...
But when people are just 'doing things' that's when the personality clashes erupt - the petty power struggles - the silly oneupmanships - the tin pot tyrants...the ganging up and taking sides...
Go into the majority of parishes and you'll find
a legion of mary - working class,
an SVP - working class,
the knights of columba - working class ,
the Church cleaners - working class - the gardeners, the ones running the raffles or the trips to walsingham or Lourdes in the jumbulance? working class...

BUT the Catechists and Sunday extraordinary ministers and the school governors and the rotarians and the parish council and the liturgists and Father's selective group of chummy families are almost always - middle class!
Is it mere natural orientation towards specific roles?
 Or is it what we've always known it was?
That this 'lay empowerment' is decidedly bourgeois - and our bourgeois clergy like it that way.

Well Lacordaire said part of a Priest's vocation was to be a member of every family yet belonging to none...
..and Priests don't really do door-to-door visiting any more so they never really get to know the vast majority of their flock except maybe during the big sacraments or during the awkwardness of bereavement and funerals

It is not good for a priest to not be occupied
[and no I'm not referring to the phoney 'doing priests who are always rushing around to meetings and committees about every inanity going merely to compensate for the gaping void in his spiritual,personal and pastoral life]
Loneliness is a killer...
When we have an increasing faithful [young and old] who live on their own and need some form of support - it's ironic that their own priest is vulnerable to the same tragedy.

So how can these people reach out to new members - or recall those who have lapsed?
I think a lot of it is a crisis in Faith
Far too many 'do religion' rather than be religious
...I think a lot of it is ignorance, and fear, and a deep worry that if they really looked themselves in the mirror or reflected and discerned upon the little they do know - they might begin to have creeping doubts about it all and the whole belief-thing might just evaporate ...

We're still not too bad at showing people what to do as Catholics
We're ok at telling them what they need to know
..and how to do it
But we are woefully incompetent - especially in our literature and from the pulpit and in our newspapers or media commentators...
in ever explaining WHY
...and when we are never quite sure about the why?
the doubts linger..and intensify....

How many times did Our Lord ask "do you believe?"
I think instead of believing there's a lot of 'just doing it and not thinking about it too much'
..and guess what?
if you truly don't believe something, or are hesitant and uncertain....
You fool nobody..
Especially those who've come to the Church looking for answers to their whys

On lying

Last year David Deleiden rngaged in a sting operation to reveal the depraved Molochian Planned-Parenthood body-parts trade scandal.
Subsequently assorted 'Pro-Lifers' were quick to condemn David because in order to uncover the criminal activity he had to engage in deception and in the process 'tell lies'
Absolutist appeals were made to 'telling the truth is non-negotiable' and a moral absolute.
Lying is always expressly forbidden etc etc etc.
One may never perform evil so that a good may result etc etc
What followed was a denunciation of Peter Kreeft who argued 'of course there are times you must lie in order to defend the truth against those who do not deserve the truth'[para]
...and what resulted were many appeals to the arguments laid out by Edward Feser whereby he maintains indeed on Thomistic principles there is intrinsically absolutely never any excuse to be 'jesuitical'
Now I do not object to Dr Feser's analysis of the Moral Theory
But I do counter category-shift applications of the theory to occasions and circumstances where the actual definitions of what is being done are called into question.
Anyone readiing Part 2 od the Summa on Sin will be reminded that just as certains ostensible violations of one commandment are actually more grave sins against another - so too there are actions which apparently seem to be engaging in one thing when they are truly performing another.
I argue in these circumstances that is exactly what is happening:
Those who automatically condemned Deleiden for his actions are guilty of an oversimplified kantianism - they're denying any intentionality and final end - they're eradicating all 2nd fontal considerations - which is Grisez-ite neo-natural law pharisaism.
Yes indeed the Catholic position is indeed very clear -
It's just they're not following it - lying in its holism of formal and final ends is sinful - 'lying' in its formal nature is always inherently wrong but it is NOT intrinsically objectively evil - for it to be so requires the intentionality of the end to prevent the achievability of a good [ie which is in this case not being in error]
Lying objectively in any way, shape or form is always wrong - it is always morally disordered - but in order to be absolutely proscribed as an objective evil it requires that final end - otherwise it becomes something intrinsically morally disordered.
ie although normatively if committed to either its own natural end or any other natural morally disordering intentional end it is gravely sinful and absolutely forbidden
BUT
being an intrinsic moral disorder we have recourse to its utilisation in only one way - in emergency direct immediate reaction for grave reasons in the prevention of an actual objective evil [in the same way we can permit just war, lethal self-defence, submitting to rape rather than being killed, stealing bread to feed someone dying of starvation etc]
Aquinas himself argues of forfeiture of those acting in a bestial way - ie they cannot appeal to any injustice within an act when that act's direction to the Good and actuation of justice is preventing their injustice being fulfilled
Now an opponent might still attempt ot dismiss my claims as if they're consequentialist equivocations - that the ends justify the means etc
That's not what I'm saying
I'm arguing - just the same way Aquinas and the neo-scholastics and neo-thomists argue
that sin constitutes the form and the end
if the end is bad it is always gravely sinful and prohibited
but the form?
- only normatively [ie not absolutely always] gravely sinful unless it is an intrinsic objective evil
- and objective deception
- speaking falsely or incompletely to allow inference of error
- is not objectively evil
- otherwise silence or mental reservation or half-speaking and refraining from the whole truth would be mortally sinful at all times for any reason...

In order for speaking falsely to be an objective evil it requires intentionality for that very nature of falseness to be intended as to achieve the final end of error.
ie it has veered from the natural law - it does not have God as its gravitation or ultimate intended end.

When error or compounded error is NOT the intended end [rather it is the diminution of error - the defeat of deception - the destruction of a lie]
AND the ultimate end is the good - the conformity with the 'gravitation' of God's attraction.
it is double effect recourse to IMD deception in the prevention of evil
just like stealing back the diamonds from the thief is an IMD forcefully removing property to prevent the evil of that thief's retention of them.

It is very easy to fall into the Grisez/Finnis/Boyle trap of having worldly neo-natural law gradations of intentionality and ends if I commit A with sub-intention B for the intention of resultant C with the intention of conforming to God as the final end D.
I cannot be condemned on a kantian-basis  because A-B is normatively wrong - we're not talking about A-B - we're talking about A-D - the paradigm is rewritten.
It's like the recent planned parenthood farce - the C-stage intention was to unveil a grand deception - a diabolical lie which was slaughtering millions AND selling their body parts while the world looked on ignorantly and the corrupt conspirators in the culture of death thrived and continued their evil.
The only recourse to achieve this end was by using deception A to provoke truth telling about the reality B.
The ultimate end D being of course God
Now please tell me how this deception A fulfilled the criteria for lying in the CCC ?
[ie leading another into error]
...when rather than leading that person into error it actually led them to reveal an undisclosed truth about an evil practice
- ie it invoked a diminution of error and the ultimate prevention of the furtherance of their lies and deceptions which were leading the entire nation into error?.

If lying is defined as false talking which leads another into error and therefore away from God?
This isn't lying
it must be something else
ie deception - which is normatively sinful if committed to its own ends
But if committed towards other ends which actually defeats error , draws the perpetrator away from evil and error - and conforms to justice and the common good and the destruction of misinferred error among the people?
It's permissible double effect to prevent evil.

What looked like lying was in the larger framework a means of telling the truth to reveal a truth.

There is no inviolability of a truth-denier wilfully preventing a Good from being thwarted from achieving that end of denying that Good from another.
They have no sacrosanct right to not be lied to while that lie is being prevented from being achieved.
When one is wilfully deceiving one cannot appeal against recourse to being deceived - when the intention of that deception to lead that person OUT OF ERROR [ie contrary to the very nature of lying as defined in the CCC] rather than compounding the error - when one is in the process of deceiving oneself.
Arguing otherwise is ignoring the actual natural law holism of the formal nature of lying which requires both formal cause and final cause. Natural law is a gravitation to conformity of action towards an End which is Infinitely Good in being God.
Himself.
We're not kantians!
Objectivity and subjectivity are two sides of the same coin
It would  also be arguing a non-contra-positive and pleading the obverse - just because all snow is white it does not mean that all that is not snow is not white.
It's classifying a lie without paying any attention to its consequent - a lie has direct intentionality towards a specific end - when that end does not exist it becomes something formally different from its presumptive nature see Pt 2 of the Summa esp 110.
The unjust aggressor indeed does not cease to be human but an act committed to retain and protect their humanity [ie preventing them from being a killer] even if by recourse to a negative double effect of engaging in an intrinsically morally disordered act to prevent a grave objective evil occurring by default....

....so let's alter the paradigm from 'right to protection of innocent life' to  that of 'a right to the Truth'

The Liar deserves to be thwarted in their lying by an act appealing to the Truth even if that includes recourse to an intrinsically morally disordered act like deception to prevent that grave objective evil of Lying from occurring.
[remembering - as Feser and the neo-scholastics keep reminding us - lying is wrong insofar as it is actually lying and actually intends that end of being a lie for the sake of lying - if it is not deliberately willing and intending to achieve that end it cannot be that which it is claimed in its objective nature - in the same way attempting to save one's life from an unjust aggressor could not be deemed attempted murder]
To those who want to become a deontological absolutist I'm afraid you'll find no solace in Aquinas....

Now  four additonal points:

a] Tollefsen rightly dismisses the Jesuitical appeal to a hyperbolised extended moral reservation that the truth is only mandatory for those who positively afford it [ie deserve] the truth - BUT in the process he imposes a potentially false paradigm of axiomatic moral neutrality upon the person being deceived - that desert of truth is an irrelevance in regard to the objective act of the person 'deceiving or lying' - that would indeed be the case if the third font circumstances were neutral - but what if they aren't?

b] Tollefsen rushes over the direct intentionality and the 'achievable end' which is being thwarted and prevented through the act of lying - which is exactly what the revised CCC definition clarifies - it is the wilful prevention/thwarting of a person reaching an achievable end of being in non-error - BUT what if this is intrinsically impossible already as they are already immediately directly in a state of intrinsic error?

c] Tollefsen also rushes over the morality behind Aquinas's justification of the army using diversionary feint tactics to allow the enemy to misinfer one's future acts
- this is wilful deception by omission
- it's not an actuation of mental reservation
- it's instead a willed act with the intentionality to deceive
- allowing the person to be led into error by their own rationale
- so why is this permissible?
Obviously it can't be the Jesuitical 'they are 'not deserving of the truth'
BUT the paradigm is so nearly-identical in effects that there must be some valid form of congruent causal justification within the primary and secondary fonts of morality
- so what is it?
- and is there an available analogy or a moral precedent elsewhere?

d] The answer is right in front of us
- it's innocence
- and the potential to reach that achievable end of non-error
- rather than the Jesuit negative prevention and with-holding
- what if this is obverted into a positive moral obligation to maintain the sanctity of truth towards the innocent who are able to achieve that end of being in non-error?

Just as the sanctity of life is reserved to innocent life....
[hence we have recourse to endanger life through just war and self-defence and even [intellectually hypothetically speaking] exact punishment upon those who have forfeited their life via the death penalty]

....So too can we utilise this precedent in regard to our moral obligation and duty/responsibility to those who are innocent - and although that would include those who were circumstantially, motivationally, conditionally non-innocent - it would not include those who were objectively intrinsically non-innocent

We are permitted recourse to self-defence in the promotion of life against a culpable direct immediate unjust aggressor who by their actions has forfeited the appeal to the inviolablity of their life by intrinsically defying that principle

By precedent we must also be permitted recourse to self-defence [via deception] in the promotion of truth against a culpable direct immediate unjust deceiver who by their actions has forfeited their right to the whole truth by intrinsically defying that principle through their actions.

The deceiver is already in a state of intrinsic abrogation of the truth - they cannot be led into any more error via deception - rather the reverse by secondary consequents
in the same way an unjust aggressor who is not killed by someone defending themself is prevented from becoming a murderer
the same way a prosecution lawyer via deception tricks a criminal into confessing their crimes and through punishment and reform has the opportunity for moral conversion
the same way a person hiding the jews from the nazis and deceiving them prevents them from becoming the murderers of those jews
the same goes for police and the military in sting operations to prevent criminality and terrorism
ditto the justification of espionage to save lives and diminish the war-crimes of the invading aggressor.


The Principles become:
The affording of the sanctity of life to the innocent
The affording of the sanctity of truth to the innocent.

On Annulmen "Reform"

Jaw-dropping!!
Yet again we're being told one thing is happening while the direct opposite is coming into play
Everyone knows the Annulment procedure was larcenously expensive and took far too long - but frankly there have been shameful duplicitous machinations occurring over the past two years.
The wilful decimation of [generally pro-Benedict] middle-management curial staff has led to a massive annulment backlog.
ie an artificial lengthening of the procedure. making demands for intensive shortening more justifiable...
Secondly there has been a major aspect of canonical criminality and counterproductive irrational immorality within the present procedure - the western insistence that a couple obtain a civil divorce before they may enter the annulment process - ie a complicit default reneging upon the marital bond even before it is scrutinised. This automatically places the precedential nature of the bond in one of vulnerability and diminution.
It's wrong - it should be reformed.- while it remains it places a savage indictment upon Holy Mother Church and its bound-duty to serve, uphold and defend the sacraments [ps it's also a criminal offence under section 95 of the 1949 Marriage Act - to remain [potentially - and by default unless the contrary is proven] within a religious marital status while not being civilly married]
Thirdly any potential bond affords the most absolute dignity during any scrutiny - the abolition of the second scrutiny process to accelerate the process now means there are no safeguards - no 'confirmation' by discerning independent experts - merely ONE adjudication - this jeopardises the very fabric of the process and provides preferential treatment towards a declaration of nullity rather than a defence of the bond. - ESPECIALLY within a 45 day timeframe where there is little if any time for research, scrutiny and discernment - this is an abrogation of the responsibilities of all concerned.
Fourthly the 'decentralisation of the process' is no such thing - rather it is a dereliction of ecclesial duty to uphold the mandatory loyalty to Christ and His Church through sincere, devoted intense defence of that which might be in any way sacramental or a valid union - it is fragmentary and divisive - it is protestantising - alienating - and sets up autocracies of diverse arbitrary episcopal whim - where one Bishop might adhere to the procedural regulations another might simply appeal in every instance to 'immaturity and absence of full-cognizance' and provide ostensibly 'divorce on demand' - ie EXACTLY what Cardinals Kasper, Marx et al within Germany were pushing for - NOT the position of Cardinal Muller
Fifthly one is sadly made aware of the mendacious scandal being perpetrated by catholic journalists, spokespeople and commentators in regard to the very nature and validity of marriage under the false presumption of mandatory full catechesis being the sole arbiter of a valid marriage....
To the extent the outrageous comments of Austen Ivereigh on not-so-very "Catholic Voices" where he declared the majority of Catholic marriages were probably invalid due to ignorance and a dearth of Catechesis:
Marriage is a formal reality within the natural law and fabric of reality - its nature is written upon our very created being...it DOES NOT REQUIRE either instruction or divine revelation or experiential knowledge for any individual to become aware of its reality.
The base-line is every human is aware of, knows and understands what marriage is - irrespective of any external influences - for marriage is part of human nature and their formal, material, efficient and final causes.
The normative situation for any human person is that they CANNOT NOT KNOW what marriage is - an indissoluble loving union directed towards a final end of that love overflowing physically and spiritually into procreation and the family for the entire common good.
All marriages via their vows are BY DEFAULT validly made between spouses
Catechesis - although highly advisable and a dereliction if denied or dismissed - IS NOT MANDATORY or in any form a criteria for the valdity of a marriage
For Ivereigh to say the exact opposite - ie that catechesis [or a lack of it] directly validates or invalidates a marriage - is simply NOT TRUE!
[and the as-yet unrevealed ordinary who supervises Catholic Voices should make it clear to Dr Ivereigh and demand a retraction]
Socio-cultural influences, bad example, experiential aberrations - ONLY diminish and shadow the natural law awareness of marriage - it may reduce to the point of diminished responsibility - but it DOES NOT provide an invincible ignorance loophole or opt-out.
marriage is a natural law phenomenon - not a Christian invention - our Lord and His Mystical Body sacramentalised that which already IS - marriage is not something which demands some form of additional criteria of being catechised in order to be validated. The reality of mariage is written upon our souls.
the default position upon marriage is validity - as it is a natural law reality of which every adult of sound mind is aware - only detrimental external forces may impinge and limit this awareness...NOT the other way round.
It certainly looks like this Ivereighesque-revisionism is going to become the generic 'rule of thumb' in annulment adjudications - that virtually every appellant can appeal to immaturity and lack of catechesis therefore an unawareness and incapacity to actually make the vows.
this is not merely a lie - this is absurd - because marriage is a natural law reality - not something requiring external additional teaching or intense catechesis.
Marriage is being eviscerated - the sanctity of the marital bond is being violated.
And duplicitous people for nefarious ends seek to bring in default 'backdoor divorce' into the Church by appealing to the premise that 'everyone is by default ignorant and incapable of making a marriage vow - unless intensively informed about marriage'
Dr Ivereigh and any who hold or promote his position should apologise to the hundreds of millions of VALIDLY married Catholics across the globe.
Finally the major problem IS NOT the laity's ignorance on the legality. validity, sacramentality, canonicity or nullity of a marriage - it's CLERICAL IGNORANCE.
Over the decades I have encountered many instances of abject ignorance and the promulgating of both misinformation and disinformation not merely among parish priests/curates in regard to marriage - but the actual diocesan tribunals themselves supposed to be informed arbiters - to the extent i had to inform in separate instances a Canonical Judge and an annulment administrator regarding the nature of clandestinity and Ne Temere and matrimonia mixta - in multiple instances i have seen priests refusing to marry those who were eligible [on clandestinity grounds] - permitting those who required dispensations and adjudications and formal documentation to prove their single status to go through a marriage ceremony without such evidence. I have seen couples spend years going through lengthy annulment procedures when any such process was absolutely unnecessary as a previous marriage didn't formally exist in the first place - let alone potentially! i have seen women forced into marriage by parents due to pregnancy being forced to go through lengthy annulment procedures because their parents weren't alive to confirm this - and all this was due to the dereliction of duty of clerics to be informed and responsible in their sacramental duties.
p.s. Where are any children involved - and the mandatory inalienable corresponding duties/responsibilities to them - mentioned in any of this?

Divorced & Remarried reception oc communion

Ok let's get this clear once and for all:
THERE IS NO CHOICE.
Communion for the Divorced/Remarried automatically argues that they are permitted at any time to remain in that condition of mortal sin rather than repenting and amending their ways.
This also - by default - attempts to justify this position with the enthymeme that it is neither tenable nor possible for them to repent and amend their ways immediately.
That's the Heresy of Gradualism condemned by Church Fathers, by Trent, by Suarez and St John Paul II's familiaris consortio 84.
God does not command the impossible. Therefore nobody need ever remain in a state of mortal sin - it is never impossible for someone to repent - and repent now.
How so? God unceasingly provides the Grace to repent, to amend and to never sin
Magisterial teaching on Sufficient Grace - 2Cor 12:9 "My Grace is Sufficient for you"
So why would the Church argue that a person is not merely allowed to commit mortal sin but may remain in mortal sin with Church endorsement?
Answer: The Church cannot - it's heresy [Suarez actually called it the great heresy against God's Charity]
So please let's stop playng these games...
Pope Francis cannot permit those in mortal sin to receive Holy Communion.
...and the Moment he attempted to say this was even remotely possible...
...would by default require the form of recognition of what the Church has heretofore said and done..and that now HE instead is saying this is not the case and does not need to be done [even if he decentralises and discretionarily delegates such determinations to individual private forums - he would be automatically permitting the possibility]
...and that's not merely material heresy...that becomes formal.
Won't happen.

Ok given we've now had a plethora of Catholic media reports repeating the same falsehoods - it looks like we need to repeat.
NO DILEMMA
Because THERE ARE NO OPTIONS
Because Pope Francis HAS NO AUTHORITY to change magisterial teaching and the Commandments of Christ.
The Chair of Peter is there to defend the Faith - not to undermine or repudiate it.
The Eucharist CANNOT - indeed MUST NOT - be given 'In Mercy' - not even God Himself can excuse or revoke the mandatory necessity for reception in a state of Grace.
At the crux of this issue is the argument that those who are in this condition of mortal sin cannot repent and amend their lives. - Gradualism
That's heresy - it denies God's constant provision and the continuous availability of sufficient Grace - ie [by default] arguing that God doesn't love us enough to provide us with an always readily available exit from sin - Jansenist fatalism
Ultimately by appealing to this faux-mercy of 'it's too much to expect these sinners to change their ways immediately' is actually -if albeit inadvertently - arguing that not only is this God not very loving or merciful - He's not even God!!???
If His Holiness made ANY attempt to change this fundamental dogmatic position that God most certainly neither commands the impossible nor denies anyone access to sufficient grace to not sin - that would make him a formal heretic - and he would automatically cease to be Pope.

...and in response to anyone who says "He's the Pope and what the Pope says goes!"
Well the Pope says a lot of things...
....so says the man who has just introduced fault-free backdoor divorce into the annulment process...
....so says the man who says active adulterers and fornicators should have a more active participation in the Church through lay ministries and being sponsors and godparents and run apostolates and charities [and thus the canonical proscription forbidding those 'not in good standing; is ignored, defied and left dead in the water]
...so says the man who even had the audacity to permit Synod discussion in regard to the remotest possibility of adamant unrepentent adulterers and fornicators in the state of mortal sin to receive the Blessed Sacrament...and by default deny the dogmatic reality and fundamental Truth of God being absolute Love and Infinite Mercy and Bestower of Sufficient Grace upon all to repent and not sin NOW!!
...but then so says the man who has had the grave effrontery to say Our Lady sinned at the foot of the Cross and Our Lord sinned by running away to teach in the Temple....
Let's get this clear and stop this outrageous category fallacy and downright LIE about the Eucharist being a Sacramental instrument of Mercy available to all grave sinners - Confession is the Sacrament of Mercy readily available to all penitents.
To use the field-hospital analogy that His Holiness so often proffers:
Confession is the cure, the medicine, the operation, the amputation - the Eucharist is a preventative vaccine for the healthy to aid them in their health and avoid their falling ill ONLY AFTER they are in a fit state to receive it - as St Paul reminds us if they are still sick when they receive it it will be like deadly posion to them....
What God has commanded not even He can revoke - He cannot excuse our violation of the Sabbath - He may only forgive.
He cannot excuse our blasphemy or mortal sin or defiant sacrlege of His Most Precious Body & Blood - He may only forgive it...
The Eucharist is Mercy Incarnate - but it is NOT the Sacramental instrument of Mercy and must NEVER be wilfully, formally used in such a way.
God has Bestowed upon us His Sacramental Instruments of Mercy - Baptism & Confession!!!
Now if you or the Pope or a myriad host of Cardinals, Bishops, Priests or laity wish to presume otherwise and defy two thousand years of magisterial teaching and violate , blaspheme and commit sacrilege upon the Blessed Sacrament - and cause all manner of harm upon ignorant, uncatechised sinners by wilfully standing in their way and preventing them access to the Mercy of God in the Confessional - preventing them through lies from changing their lives and repenting and sinning no more and thus have true free access to the Blessed Sacrament as overwhelming grace rather than an indictable toxin?
If you stand in God's, Heaven's and Holy Mother Church's way??!!
God forgive you!!!

On Cardinal O'Brien

People publicly sin - outside redressing any scandal and formal disciplinary procedures it's none of our business - they're sinners - just like us - they get themselves into all manner of trouble - just like us - they go to confession and get absolved - just like us. It's God's job to judge them...
Indeed it does include Cardinal O'Brien [and irrespective of what Pope Francis thinks he can arbitrarily do to his status I prefer to take the magisterial directive of Pope Pius XII which maintains a Cardinal cannot be stripped of the rank [or for that matter their place in conclave- but that's another issue] ]
For what exactly did His Eminence do?
Kiddie fiddle?
Cover up clerical kiddie fiddling?
Have a string of lovers?
father some kids?
was he shacked up with his long-term boyfriend or girlfriend?
was he having it away with another man's wife?
did he run a parish harem of bored housewives?
was he a frequenter of homosexual establishments?
did he parade round dinner parties and the Catholic social scene with his young foreign 'boyfriend of the month'?
or did he join with fellow priests in sex-holiday beanos to Mykonos or Morocco or Bangkok?
or cruise the gay online scene?
or go cottaging in the public toilets or Hampstead Heath?
...and do we really need to go through the string of clerics of all ranks who ARE guilty of all these things ??!!

No: he made a few unsuccessful drunken passes at known homosexual clergy when Maggie Thatcher was still PM. Yes a despicable abuse of authority - yes inexcusable behaviour...
BUT...
Ever been to a westminster metropolitan luvvie Catholic function where a young monk approaches you to tell you that a group of them are moving on to a gay sauna after this and would you like to join them? Or a Priest staying-over in the city overnight asks do you want a nightcap in his room?
Regulars at these events lose count as to how many times they have to decline the awfully polite offers for horizontal shenanigans by men and women, clerical, religious and lay..preying on anything with a pulse...like seventies swingers without the bowl of carkeys

Ask any cleric or ex-seminarian - even the ones who were never an oil painting - how many times some priest had 'tried it on' with them over the years...I think you'll be shocked.

But I think you'd be more shocked to discover that the clerics who engage in that sort of reckless feckless drunken stupidity are often the good men just having a wobble while staying on the rails - the real scoundrels and reprobates who are 'at it like rabbits' with anything with a Y chromosome would never do anything so risky.

As with all these things it's the predominantly innocent ones who fall off the wagon once or twice who get caught and go to the wall - the real reckless toe-rags get away with blue murder and never get caught

Had the Catholic media ever given us an opportunity to comment about the Cardinal O'Brien case you might have known my opinion regarding the farce and stitch-up of the poor man.
Malevolent clerical forces knew exactly all about the gossip of the few drunken fumbling passes made in the man's earlier years during a sort of mid-life crisis - all known about for DECADES!!!

But for major spiteful ulterior motives senior clerics and a few embittered vindictive professional laity conspired with gay activists to bring the man down.
..it was despicable..deplorable..obscene.
...and the way this new Pope of "Mercy" treated him was shameful and scandalous

On Pope St John Paul II

Progressives HATED Pope St John Paul - I lived during the 80s & 90s where the Catholic establishment and academia and the professional laity and seminary leaders despised the "dictatorial, legalistic cold-hearted enemy of the spirit of vatican 2 who had crushed and thwarted the flourishing of the Easter people and lay empowerment and the second spring of NuChurch"
To them he was the utter enemy of Progressivism - and they'll never forgive him for it
The truth is very much a different story.
His Holiness was most certainly NOT a conservative in the way we understand the word - he was an ecclesiastical conservative which means very slow liberal [with conditions, reservations and a few no-go areas] but in the main change at a slow rate...
Ironically it was actually His Holiness's lack of philosophical and theological education and training that turned him into a flighty amateur 'trendy' phenomenologist who sought to doctrinalise the impossible, arbitrarily legislate and tweak and politically manoeuvre global and ecclesiastical changes in perspectives that were utterly contrary to both Catholic understanding and teaching.
Pope John Paul II accelerated the liberal agenda by his inability to understand them and incapacity to counter them.
His Holiness of fond memory was an enthusiastic amateur who never saw the whole picture and never bothered to find out the underlying apologetic or fomal and efficient causes of ecclesiastical structures, doctrine, morality and praxis...
But it never stopped him trying his hand at anything and making off-the-cuff arbitrary changes to things he didn't like - without ever taking the due concern and consideration of the holism and the traditional understandings of why things were a certain way.
His Holiness was well-loved by so many - to the extent that because he was so sincere and so ostensibly 'good' he was idolised for many of the wrong reasons and never treated as a man in an office who was making all manner of mistakes - he was a devout man, a deeply spiritual and caring man - but he was also a thoughtless and negligent and irresponsible man.
One need only look at the hstory and read his writings.
What happened during his papacy?
It was a catastrophe - the worst possible bishops appointed, heresy, heterodoxy and heteropraxis became endemic. Church attendance haemorrhaged - evangelisation and religious education became eitther utterly counterproductive or non-existent...and liturgy? Eagle's wings was like opera in comparison with the nightmares most of us endured.
Clerical self-indulgence thrived, national churches became ineffectual money-wasting paper-shuffling one-up-manship quangocracies - the clerical abuse nightmare & the cover-ups festered - religious education became a joke, seminarians were taught none of the bible was true, Jesus wasn't really God and Church history is a tissue of lies and depraved murderous oppressive tyranny so don't believe anything - just be nice and try to hold the great lie together; the missions were abandoned, the religious orders collapsed and became glorified ashrams and vocations collapsed. The Vatican became even more a cesspool of corruption and internecine wars and power-struggles
It was a disaster!!!
And what about His Holiness's writings or doctrinal positions?
A nightmare!!
He was naturally gifted and talented and intelligent - and therefore his first apprehensions and hasty understandings of positions and principles became the predominant ones - being clever allowed him to be intellectually lazy and not engage in the long hard academic slog of truly understanding the totality - being a flighty jack of all trades with a natural flair for things he never had to bother with the absolutely necessary struggle with the principles and the texts - being able to play by ear he never learned the music or how to actually play properly...and this shows in every aspect of his teaching....he has a peripheral and shallow understanding of many things - and therefore was able to 'wing it' on subjects he never truly understood with any depth.
Being from a communist controlled country he didn't understand the perniciousness of capitalism, being from eastern Europe he didn't understand the bankrupt depravity of western relativism, being from a Catholic country he didn't understand the agenda and false understandings of other faiths - He sought to doctrinalise Vatican II and impose all manner of material heresies and false practices and alien-positions because from his naiively idealistic [poorly-formed] phenomenological perspective these were all 'in the developing light of tradition in the new advent and new pentecost'..he was trying his best when he shouldn't have been trying at all...it was his job to reiterate apostolic traditiion in a new way..not to re-invent a new tradition in an apostolic way....
His theology of the Body was a confusing incoherent mess that has set back Catholic teaching on life, sex, marriage and family back by generations and basically led to bioethical chaos and the introduction of backdoor contraception in the guise of NFP , his oecumenism became scandalous [assisi? no conversion of Jews? sunday obligations in protestant churches?] , his Christological and Trinitarian understandings were embarrassingly erroneous, his misunderstandings regarding grace and free will and predilection and predestination and providence were puerile, the new canon law code became ineffectual and ignored, the facepalm CCC became incomprehensible, malleable and catechetically counterproductive and when it came to the basic tenets and doctrines of the Church it became increasingly obvious that although he may have known them by rote - he didn't truly understand them; his busybody intrusions into forbidden territory are just embarrassing [Luminous Mysteries [??!] and the New Stations [anyone remember those? no I thought not] ...and no amount of florid ambiguous dialectically-confusing meanderings and ramblings can deny that at the crunch - His Holiness for all his benign intentions and sincere devotion and unswerving loyalty to Holy Mother Church - may have been bright and enthusiastic - but he wasn't very clever, he was never very right, he was generally very confusing and he was also sadly unremittingly boring.....
Maybe as Pope he had an impossible job with an impossible remit and impossible circumstances?
But than again maybe His Holiness should have relied more upon the Promises of Christ rather than his own 'fiddly-diddly' attempts to grab the rudder of the barque of the Church?
But His Holiness is a Saint - and why?
Because he was a good man, a saintly man, a man with the right intentions and the right motives and he sought the right end and was an exemplary example of devotion and sacrifice and ultimately suffering.
So let's cut all this Papolatry and deal with the true hagiography
HE WAS A GOOD MAN
...and that made him a saint.
Let's tell the truth in love about this wonderful - if exasperating - man of deeply fond memory.
Please let's not reverse the paradigm and turn the worldly papal actions of a saint into some sort of superstitious semi-divine reflections of heaven on earth and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
When in centuries to come the real historians write accounts of today the best they will say about Pope St John Paul was that he was a great man - but very far from a great pope - and the most he did was slow the decline and hold the line a little...
We live with St John Paul II's mistakes, failings and regrets...
BUT there is one invaluable thing which His Holiness brought us which should be carved into our hearts...
He brought a message of hope - and he forever told us 'be not afraid' in that hope.

Who may argue against a Pope - and how....

Only Apostolic Tradition & binding Magisterial Papal Doctrinal & Moral Precedents can be used to argue against the present Pope [while acknowledging that no Pope may be bound in administration or discipline by his predecessors]
ONLY a very specific definitive formal structure to a decree ie appeal to apostolic tradition and longstanding ordinary sensus fidelium and a solemn invocation of Petrine authority - can any Papal [non-disciplinary] pronouncement be declared as infallible.
eg Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae or St John Paul II used this form when denying the possibility of women priests
[ie the Church CANNOT EVER reconsider the validity of Anglican orders or permit women priests - the issue is over - a Pope - irrespective of their personal wishes is already absolutely proscribed from even raising the issue - Rome has already spoken and eternally spoken and every Pope is bound to uphold and defend that living voice from the past]
Therefore in order to argue against a Pope we need to use the words of a papal predecessor - eg where their ecumenism defies Mortalium Animos, where their Notions of Religious Liberty, Conscience and freedom of self-expression and self-determination contravene Libertas, where their doctrinal aberrations are contrary to Pascendi etc etc etc.
So when it comes to this Present Pope we need the words of Another Pope to tell His Holiness "where to get off" and to "get his act together"
Maybe we should start with Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei in response to Pope Francis's notorious technique of fluctuating peak and trough ambiguity in saying something outrageously Contra-Catholic or anti-tradition at one time while maybe reiterating something ostensibly stridently conservative a few sentences or perhaps a few days later? Pope Pius VI tells us....
“Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under
the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one
place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
“It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to
present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith
who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such
discussions which are published in the common language for everyone’s
use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such
documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused
and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal
errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who
found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople,
and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible
severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was
exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words,
mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing
at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to
confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing
a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
“In order to expose such snares, something which becomes
necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is
required than the following:
WHENEVER IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO EXPOSE STATEMENTS WHICH DISGUISE SOME SUSPECTED ERROR OR DANGER UNDER THE VEIL OF AMBIGUITY, ONE MUST DENOUNCE THE PERVERSE MEANING UNDER WHICH THE ERROR OPPOSED TO CATHOLIC TRUTH IS CAMOUFLAGED.”
...Kasper & Synod? who am I to judge? the Jews don't need Christ? Lutherans wishing communion can 'go to the Lord"? Permanent barriers prevent the return of the Orthodox to the Catholic fold? Condoms are better than abortions? I don't believe in a Catholic God? There are no souls in hell - anyone sent there is annihilated? etc etc etc....

On Evangelization

a] Faith is a grace - it's pure gift - God gives it - it's not in our remit to provide it - we are here to relate and convey the Truth of the Gospel and the magisterial teachings and practices of the Faith in creed , code and cult - which people may accept or reject....

- we're not here to sell some form of double-glazing or magazine subscription or snake-oil of
'join us for a group hug, we're nice people, he have a long list of social heroes who've changed lives in history for the better and we socialise and we're a great get-along-gang'

- that's NOT what the Church is - and frankly the Protestants - even the mormons and jehovah's witnesses - ye gods even the scientologists - are MUCH better at it than we are...

- Because Catholics come from all walks of life and class and from all fringes of society and background with diversity and plurality of tastes and interests and pastimes and family and work lives

- we can't get that syncretist homogenised communal conformity to be some sort of social club like a book club or amateur dramatic society

- UNLESS you want a certain 'type' of elitist exclusionist gnostic clientele?
Urban unmarried upwardly mobile middle class?
Or the disaffected sheltered background University yoof ?
Or the ageing 'belongers' who want a niche to fill and a soapbox upon which to stand since the horticultural society and whist-drive circuit dried up?

This isn't evangelization - it isn't catechesis - it isn't apologetics - it's a glorified narcissistic self-indulgent navel-gazing trainspotter's club without the trainspotting!!!
A feel-good vanity project...

b] People are not simply looking for a second home or a community social or a new circle of friends or a group to share like interests...
Evangelization is about informing and convincing and inspiring Intellects.
You are what you believe - what you believe in the intellect actuates and motivates the will - the head DOES govern the heart...
This isn't about feelings - especially NOT warm fuzzy group-hug feelings - this isn't about finding like-minded friends with the same interests in some sort of Jesus fan club...

c] What people are truly looking for is the Truth - a reason for life - a meaning and purpose - something to live for

- a set of beliefs which no matter how inscrutable and mysterious and ineffable in totality but nevertheless in their knowable reality are unconfoundable, irrefutable, eternal and consistent and cogent..they are desperate to know who they are, where they're from, where they're going and why?!!

- they want a code of conduct to follow - they want the reassurance and understanding and guidance of a moral law and ethical directives leading to a self-reformation - a metanoia - and all these actions driven towards a specific definitive purpose and end. - they want to know what to do - and why?!!

- and they want a spiritual life of private and public cultic ritual and a relationship with that which is beyond them - they're yearning for that personal relationship with Christ even if they don't yet comprehend it or are able to formulate it in that way...

...or to go back to the penny catechism they want to know, love and serve God.

They want something to believe in, something to justify their existence, something to hope for, something to love, something to struggle, to sacrifice and fight for, something to live and die for, they want a flag to wave, a banner under which to march, they want self-vindication..they want vindication for everything - they want to be able to look at a blade of grass and say to it 'you're worth it!"

d] but the ludicrous farce of modern NuEvangelization is it just provides a set of soundbites and quasi-factoids and explanations of Catholicism's creed code and cult - without having the temerity or decency to give any convincing intellectual argument or justification for it???!!!

Instead the paradigm's changed into - oh it's just what we who belong do - it's the rules we follow because we're members - it's the way we act because we're members - it's what we believe because that's what you have to believe to be a belonging member....

Just club rules - with the seduction/enticement - if you want to belong and join the group hug these are the rules you follow and the concessions you make and the words you have to repeat and say you believe....

In other words - we make no attempt to teach or convert or evangelise - we simply dangle a string of 'join us and belong among the belongers' to the lonely confused or questioning and think - nay presume that - this 'belong'-incentive will be enough to ensnare them amidst the lukewarm tea and damp custard creams and the powerpoint presentations on inane eco-friendly inoffensive bilge or docu-dramas about mother Theresa or Powerpoints on Natural Family Planning or discussions about 'how you think the Holy Spirit affects your life?" or whatever else...

In this modern world people are desperate for intellectual answers to WHY?!!!
hence the major thrust of everything we do should be in apologetics
and I don't merely mean theological apologetics
I mean pastoral ones too - family apologetics - work and lifestyle and pastime and leisure apologetics....
Why we believe what we believe
why we do what we do
why we are what we are

Apologetics is the way forward - and NuEvangelization basically tells bare-faced lies in its claim to provide apologetics...

Look at the claims of so-called self-professed Catholic professional 'celebrity' "Apologists" over here [ there are no Peter Kreefts or Fulton Sheens or Fr Larry Richards in this fair isle] - who actually have the audacity to claim they are providing ethical apologetics [take for instance the farce of Catholic Voices or the Pro-Life groups] for 'analgesic' issues....

The last thing they provide is any answer to the WHY - merely a "well we say so!!!"
..usually followed by an incoherent personalist, subjectivist pragmatic 'winging it' mess because they never really bothered to study and comprehend why the Church teaches what it teaches...

It's time to get clever - to know what the Church teaches - and why - and start telling not merely inquiring catechumens - not even the lapsed hesitantly wishing to return to the fold - but the desperately confused and abandoned regular Catholic in the pew too whom - let's admit - hasn't got a bloody clue about their faith..because nobody really bothered to tell them...
Fr Stephen Wang last year was extolling the marvels of new technology like VR and global networking as "a vital part of the new evangelisation"
No poxy virtual reality machine will ever help evangelise if those programming it haven't got a clue what evangelism really is....

The Ethiopian had studied everything - but he needed St Phillip to explain it to him - to walk and guide him along the path towards being able to receive that Grace of Faith...
We need to get our act together - and get back to the simple why that was the heart of the Old Evangelisation - look at the wonders of the Catholic Evidence Guild where junior members fifty-sixty years ago knew more about the faith than your average Bishop does today - even more than the Pope!!???

Apologetics is the way forward...or we are spitting in the wind....

Fr Lucie-Smith argues it's Eastern Orthodoxy's ignorance of Catholicism by which is the major barrier to Unity

Oh Come off it please!!?
The majority of Catholics haven't got a clue about Orthodoxy save the odd hastily-forgotten and misconstrued media encounter [eg War & Peace/Doctor Zhivago or a glimpsed news report of Russian/Ukrainian hostilities or a travel programme...and I seriously doubt one Catholic in a hundred was even aware of the recent joint declaration by Pope Francis & the Russian Patriarch.

Nevertheless it doesn't remove the inherent material heresy in virtually every line of the Joint Declaration.
Nor does it excuse the scandalous farcical situation of the vast majority of allegedly informed commentators and clerics not having a clue in regard to the Magisterial teaching and authentic Catholic position on the status of Eastern Orthodoxy and its relation to the Catholic Church.

There is one Church - and irrespective of their Baptism into that Church and their Sacramental validity the Orthodox once achieving the age of reason are NOT in it - they are schismatics - they are NOT a "sister Church" [there's ONE Church] - nor do they share a thousand year common tradition or heritage as they schismatically severed themselves from that tradition in 1054 to form a human-invented cult dissociate from the Successor to Peter - they formed a new
sect destroying and abandoning all ties with their Catholic tradition and falling into apostasy, heresy and disobedient immoral heteropraxis. The ONLY possible unity is their return to the Catholic faith - any notion or concept of unanimity or compromise or recognition of any Orthodox validity is heretical and scandalous to the One, Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church. The Orthodox are not only obliged to return to the Catholic Church they are commanded to do so and the Church is mandated to evangelise them with this message of repentance and conversion - nor are there ANY 'permanent' barriers to their conversion and return - God's Sufficient grace is always readily available for them to return to the Barque of Peter and the Eastern Orthodox are in contumacious error in defiantly refusing this Grace. That's the objective reality and without that Truth in Love in the Person of Christ will we ever be able to resolve this thousand year outrage against Our Lord and Saviour.
Once we face that objective Truth - and only then - can we address the issues subjectively and pastorally on an oecumenical level [remembering the authentic meaning of Oikumene - pertaining to the household [ie how do we get all members of schismatic and heretical cults to return to the fold of the One,True Faith]
We must also recognise that magisterial teaching and directives on oecumenical activities have been ignored, dismissed, scandalously countermanded and defied in recent decades - and led to that which the Church decrees being flagrantly disobeyed throughout the entire Church - including in the 'interfaith' words and actions of Popes.
Magisterial teaching on interaction with other 'faiths' is made absolutely clear in Mirari Vos, Satis Cognitum and Mortalium Animos. The decrees of the Holy Office in regard to oecumenical activities published in the 1940's remain the official directives - and with the bitterest of tragic ironies criminalise almost every oecumenical activity [bar a few notable exceptions eg the Ordinariate] performed within the Church over the past half-century.
Vatican II's Unitatis Redintegratio [not a doctrinal document] pastorally promoted that which is forbidden [it even reaffirms such actions as magisterially proscribed at the beginning of the document then schizophrenically endorses the exact opposite a few paragraphs later.]
Pope St John Paul II flagrantly disobeyed what the Magisterium teaches and commands
with his statements, writings and activities like Assisi and joint-prayer para-liturgies and his flagrant heresies [the Old Covenant never abrogated?!! A Catholic may [in extremis gravis] fulfil their Sunday obligation at an Anglican service?!!] and false recognition of invalid orders.
Pope Francis defies Christ when he
a] spreads dangerous falsehoods about the nature of Judaism [Gaudium Evangelii] and Eastern Orthodoxy [Joint Declaration]
b] allows a Vatican office to forbid specific apostolates and initiatives towards evangelisation and conversion of the Jews.
c] Refuses to reiterate the repeated call of His Papal Predecessors to the Jews to recognise Christ and to the Orthodox to return to the One,True Church
d] Orders a cessation of evangelisation and conversion of the Orthodox
e] Signs a document which heretically refers to 'permanent' obstacles to Catholic/Orthodox 'Unity' - thus denying God's always-available Sufficient Grace to turn away from sin, repent and convert - and being guilty of the heresy of Gradualism
f] When he tells atheists he will make no attempt to convert them.
g] When he directly orders Protestants seeking conversion to Catholicism to instead jeopardise their immortal souls and remain as protestants to become interfaith 'bridge-builders'
h] When he kneels before Protestant ministers to receive their 'blessings'
i] When he refers to any non-Catholic who has been killed for their faith as a martyr [that's solely in God's remit - the Church is absolutely objectively forbidden from ever saying so]
j] when he speaks of islam in contrariety to that which the magisterium declares
k] when he allowed an Imam to pray in the Vatican gardens for the destruction of the infidel [ie all non-muslims]?!!
l] when he rose to his feet to applaud his Rabbi friend who finished a speech calling for the coming of the Messiah.
m] when he categorically objectively assured that ANYONE outside the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church can be guaranteed a place in Heaven - that is solely God's remit.
n] when he tells a Lutheran they may 'conscientiously discern' whether to place themselves before the Lord to receive the Blessed Sacrament as it was beyond his role or competency to adjudicate on such an issue.
o] When he "allowed"/turned a blind eye to Lutherans receiving Holy Communion in the Vatican
p] When he publicly proclaimed he did not believe in a Catholic God
etc...etc...etc....
So Father - you're very sadly wrong.
Oecumenical problem number one has NOTHING to do with any outside the Church:
It's those within it - from the very top down - who simply haven't a clue what Christ and His Eternal Church taught and commanded.

What does Unity mean?
Solely within the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
And yes - I heartily concur we should collectively repent pray and fast - for a near 1,000 year scandal which has been aggravated by intensifying Eastern antipathy and departing from orthodox teaching AND in the past half-century by deceptive, duplicitous faux-oecumenism which seeks to recognise the false and validate the impossible.
Only Nixon could go to China
Only Truth - the Person of Christ - preached in Love - can bring the Orthodox home...or have we forgotten what happened at the Council of Florence?

When a Priest lectures on Unity among the Churches...

There is ONE Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church - and all validly baptised Christians in full competence above the age of reason who are not Catholics - are NOT in it - but are schismatics.
There is no such thing as another Church or a Sister Church or whatever you wish to designate with a predicate 'Church' indicating anything other than there being ONE TRUE CHURCH
[Florence, Trent etc etc etc Mirari Vos, Satis Cognitum etc etc etc]
We are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN from engaging in joint worship services.
[Pius XI Mortalium Animos]
We are also forbidden from praying together or praying with - but permitted to pray among and alongside [the Assisi 3 criteria]
ANY Prayer for Christian Unity [in congruency with John 17] demands that every baptised repents, converts and returns to the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church - that is the ONLY permissible and recognisable Unity.
Oecumenical literally means 'Household issues" ie what solely relates to the Catholic Church - and Oecumenism therefore means OUR Mission to evangelise and convert baptised non-Catholics [ie those who are absolutely our responsibility being baptised though schismatic] and guarantee their return to the fold...
It's OUR REMIT - nobody else's
It has absolutely nothing to do with any other community or sect or cult
And we are not there to dialogue, or compromise, or negotiate or 'faith-share' or 'experience-share' - we are there to convert!
That is the only message of sincerity and authenticity - the real Truth in Love .
..and the only way we can possibly engage in any activity with other religions is to make it absolutely clear to them that although we love them and respect them - we do not give their heresy, heterodoxy, heteropraxy and untruths any credence or respect whatsoever - and absolutely seek to inform, instruct, evangelise and convert anyone and everyone.
Hasn't it possibly occurred to you that all these 'interfaith service' activities ultimately proved fruitless and hollow was because they were grounded in insincerity and ultimately deceit?
Anglican protean 1000-masked relativism might hoodwink the many UNTIL the unacceptable is accepted [or have you been at an oecumenical service where the baptists blow a gasket because of reference to Our Lady as the Mother of God and Methodists storm out when a vicar dares to commence a prayer for the dead of the community?!! Ever been at an 'interfaith' Justice & Peace group where a stand up fight commences because the Catholics say abortion, euthanasia and population control are evil yet individual christian groups think one or more of those ethical issues are acceptable? ]
Now yes OF COURSE food banks, drop in centres, counselling resources, cafes, soup kitchens, homeless shelters etc will thrive and survive and be successful amongst the religious groups - they're natural law obligations on every human being to their neighbour irrespective of their credal position...
...and yes they might indirectly lead to interaction between those of differing faiths and none WHILST they are engaged in a mutual activity.
BUT - what in the name of all sanity has that to do with oecumenism?
Maybe the oecumaniacs with dialogue-fixation and faux interfaith group-hug initiatives need to go back to the drawing board?
...and I say this coming from a family of Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Atheists, Evangelicals, Buddhists and Jews.
...and coming from a town with nearly a century's history of Catholic vs Protestant antagonism which became integrated reconciliation simply by getting on with life, interacting in family and the community and the workplace and recognising 'a man's a man for all that'


In the Mystical Body of Christ there is no such thing as 'hair splitting' - any who refuse to accept any part defy and deny the whole.
...and [thank God] personal opinion has nothing to do with any of this.
...and given our creational mandate is to know, love and serve God - the revealed Truth of the Trinity is one of most - if not THE most - important Truth of them all - for it reveals the very nature of Love itself - entire eternal self-giving and receiving.

So what's with this 'fraternal dialogue' and discussion as if this were a series of diplomatic negotiations and compromises and 'mutual reconciled understandings,?
Let's make this clear from the Start - The Second Vatican Council was a PASTORAL Council - and seeing it did not seek to formulate doctrine or anathematise anti-doctrinal positions it cannot technically be considered as an Oecumenical council per se - rather moreso an extraordinary pastoral council - and anything within which that is contrary to Apostolic tradition, the sensus fidelium and established doctrine via magisterial teaching IS NOT TO BE, CANNOT BE, MUST NOT BE Doctrinalised on false grounds of being considered the authentic understanding or teaching of the Church.
Pope St John XXIII & Bl Pope Paul VI made this irrefutably clear - this council was a set of considerations and reflections on ESTABLISHED DOCTRINE upon which ALL PASTORAL PRAXIS must be engaged. Cardinal Pericle Felici the council co-ordinator reminds us of this fact in Lumen Gentium note #8; Pope Paul repeated this at two subsequent Angelus addresses - Vatican II was pastoral.
Therefore anything which was innovative, ambiguous, contra-doctrinal or inadvertently materially heretical did not countermand or supersede established doctrine or magisterial teaching upon this doctrine or pastoral directives in actuating this teaching.
...and the same goes for anything uttered by Pope St John Paul II when he sought to invent new doctrines or doctrinalise the pastoral reflections of Vatican II
- ESPECIALLY REGARDING THE NATURE OF OTHER FALSE RELIGIONS [and our moral, evangelical and pastoral duty towards them] - or sought to impose on Divine Revelation or Apostolic tradition innovations grounded upon the principle that we could change with the seasons and the times:
Dei Verbum
#8: “This tradition of the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy
Spirit. For there is a growth in understanding the realities and the words
which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study
made by believers who treasure these things in their hearts, through the
intimate understanding of spiritual things they experience, and through the
preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift
of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves
toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete
fulfilment in her.”
This is material heresy - and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI concurs and has repeatedly expressed that position over the last 50yrs - it's not true! Doctrine develops in that it clarifies and unfolds - it does not change or become innovative - irrespective of this - the majority of St John Paul's meandering phenomenological reflections amounted to illiative improper secondary deductions from revelation - which are proscribed from ever being considered dogmatic and therefore only quasi-doctrinal where they irrefutably adhere to tradition and the sensus fidelium - they're only ever classified as mere Church understanding [eg Limbo or Spe Salvi variants] [Salmanticenses 124]
To quote Fr Gregory Hesse [after Aquinas's "Later Analytics"]:
"No. The Church is in possession of the full truth. The Church cannot approach truth. Tradition does not change due to the pondering of believers and their experiences make no difference to truth. The only growth is in the deepening of the understanding.
St. Vincent of Lerins: “There is a deepening of the understanding of the truth but in the same sense and in the same judgement”.
You cannot change doctrine because of some “better understanding”.
Therefore when it comes to Oecumenism?
I could very well go through all the material heresies, the doctrinal discrepencies, the dangerous ambiguities and the misattributions of potentialities as actualities within the Vatican II documents and the subsequent extrapolations under Pope St John Paul II
But let's face reality:
Calling for Christian Unity in itself is scandalous and heretical - The One Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church IS UNITY - it already exists - outside its auspices it can never exist.
You wish to be truly Oecumenical?
Read what the Church truly teaches and commands:
http://w2.vatican.va/content/p...

And as for the revisionism that the East was in charge and Rome a mere dark ages backwater until the Great Schism [with the accompanying false allegation that we arbitrarily unjustifiably imposed the Filioque] 
Rome was the boss from the very beginning - even through all the time it was a non-entity and politically controlled by Eastern behemoths...Roma Locuta Est - semper!
As for this so-called unilateral imposition of the Filioque - there IS NO lateral - Rome IS the sole arbiter - the sole binder and loosener!
PLUS the Filioque is intrinsically fundamental and axiomatic to the Christological Creeds..
The Orthodox don't comprehend their intrinsic irrationality which refutes Exodus "I am who AM" and the Thomistic/Aristotelian priciple of God as Pure Act - No Potential - the Orthodox have two Choices
a] A God holism whereby neither the Son nor the Spirit are God - they are instead created minor Godlets brought into being by some sort of Divine Mitosis - that's the Arian and Pneumatomachian heresies - or
b] if the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father AND the Son then God is not God - the Father would only ever be Potentially God as He would eternally need to increase to supply the Procession - the Holy Spirit would be an eternal conduit being filled by the Father and draining itself into the Son and thus Never God - and the Son would always be merely Potentially God - increasing in His Reception of what the Holy spirit can provide from the Father - it's absurd in the utmost!!!

On assisted suicide

Where pray tell is the logic in someone who is alive wishing to die?
come on - please tell me?
Why should someone wish to cease to exist?
Mental stress and anxiety? that can be relieved
Physical pain? analgesia can remedy that
Feeling that they're a burden? big deal! what difference does that make?
What are families and carers and clinicians there for? to ease that burden and to acknowledge that that person is NEVER merely a burden....
Feeling useless or incapacitated and that life is not worth living in their physical condition? that's a lie - and nobody should give it any due consideration - life is always worthwhile - especially when one experiences young children with the most severe of incapacities and disabilities and illnesses and learning difficulties going through all manner of trauma and struggle merely to stay alive...
I have absolutely NO TIME WHATSOEVER for those who wish to give up on life and abandon their families....
I can understand the mentally ill committing suicide..
but I have absolutely NO RESPECT for anyone who wishes to give up living for any reason whatsoever - no reason is ever justifiable - it isn't.
suicide is not merely wrong - it's the ultimate evil
a murderer kills one person - a suicide murders everyone
a suicide declares to every aspect of creation "you're not worth living for" - they spit on everyone and everything - on everything good and true and beautiful..on every hope and memory - they selfishly curse the cosmos
No wonder in centuries past they buried suicides away from everyone else or at crossroads because there is something utterly anti-human - anti-creation - anti-reason - not merely evil but absolutely anti-good in suicide...
You can appeal to this so-called "dying with dignity"
Well there is only truly living with dignity until a natural death
BUT ANYONE who accelerates that natural death is a murderer
And for a person to murder themselves - freely with full volition??!!
It's just pure concentrated evil...
You might think me ridiculous and over-dramatic
but suicide is THE ultimate crime...

Comments made before the publication of Amoris Laetitia

His Holiness is not the head of the Church - He's Christ's Vicar - mandated to uphold, defend and promote apostolic tradition and the sensus fidelium and the precedential magisterial teaching of his forebears in the Petrine office...when it comes to matters of administration and discipline he can do whatever he wants...no predecessor can ever bind him in that regard...
When he contravenes that which the Church teaches and refuses to do that which the Church does in creed, code and cult? When he resorts to heteropraxis and espouses material heresy at every turn and even resorts to dismantling Holy Mother Church by undermining its unique identity and dogmatic dignity by seeking to fragment and decentralise and actuate autocephalous national churches with independent authorities to formulate pastoral and doctrinal divergences? [what do you think Synod was really about? Take a look at the small print in Gaudium Evangelii]
We have direct orders from Innocent III & Pius IX
When a Pope through their own ambition or folly seeks to lead the faithful astray?
Ignore him - do not follow him - love him, pray for him, obey him in all things possible which do not contravene one's baptismal duties - but do not follow him....

 On pain of my immortal soul I personally can NEVER judge the sayings or actions of a Pontiff or arbitrarily declare they are heretical or apostatic - nor can anyone be they member of the laity or cleric or religious or Father or Doctor of the Church - ONLY Apostolic Tradition and the dogma/anathemitisations of truly Oecumenical councils & Papal predecessors can objectively adjudicate - if a Papal predecessor sets a doctrinal or moral precedent it becomes magisterial teaching which a Pope is sworn to uphold, defend and promote - when instead he does otherwise and says or does that which is contrary? It is his very predecessors who objectively judge and condemn
eg when Pope St John Paul said the Holy Spirit works in Protestant Faiths to bring about God's Kingdom? That's heresy - it is solely through the benefice's of the Holy Spirit's edification of the One, True, Church that any other faith can work anything [eg the Catholic Church validates Orthodox sacraments - Nobody is ever baptised into anything but the One, true, Church] Mirari Vos of Gregory XVI, Satis Cognitum of Leo XIII, Mortalium Animos of Pius XI etc etc etc
or when Popes John Paul & Francis declare the the Old Covenant was never abrogated? That's not merely heresy it's a lie - I could cite all manner of Church Fathers but I necessarily need Popes to refute this - and for that I have Eugene IV at the council of Florence and Pius XII in Mystici Corporis who say the exact opposite...
Popes bind their successors in faith and morals - they cannot bind in discipline or administration.


Because a Pope binds their successors in faith and morals - they are the binders and looseners who set precedents...
eg Pope St john Paul II BOUND all Successors in regard to women Priests - it is intrinsically ontologically impossible for female ordination - even though Pope Francis said at present that door is closed - in reality there is neither door nor doorway...
For instance after Saturday's apostolic exhortation you're going to hear a lot of heresies and lies bandied about in regard to the sacraments and Grace itself so let's make a few things clear:
God does not command the impossible and always readily provides Sufficient Grace for those in a state of mortal sin to repent of their sin and be absolved in Confession - the sacrament of mercy. The medicine for all who are spiritually sick requiring healing
Nobody need ever sin - nobody need ever stay in a state of mortal sin - all are called to a state of Grace.
Holy communion is NOT a Sacrament of Mercy - it is rather for those upon whom mercy has been bestowed [ie via confession] as a Sacramental Grace in the form of spiritual food - NOT MEDICINE.
You will hear the analogy of the field hospital on the spiritual battlefield and a twisting and misattribution of Holy Communion being part of that healing surgery/medicine - NOT TRUE.
Holy Communion is for the Healthy - for the sick it is like poison as it is unworthily received - it places Christ in a hostile temple.
Therefore all those in a state of mortal sin CANNOT and MUST NOT receive the Blessed Sacrament - but MUST first convert, change their lives, repent and receive absolution - then they are able to receive.
there is NOTHING preventing this - it is not impossible - the Grace is readily available for anyone to repent and be absolved.
BUT if they choose otherwise and prefer for all manner of reasons to reject that grace and remain in mortal sin? They are forbidden from receiving Holy Communion
That's what the Church teaches and commands - the doctrine and the pastoral applications of that doctrine are inextricably linked - you cannot contradict or defy one without scandalising and defying the other.
There is no arbitrary discretion or possible delegation of pastoral authority to determine otherwise - not even God can permit someone in a state of mortal sin to receive Holy communion - let alone a Pope or delegated Bishop or Parish Priest.
Those in mortal sin cannot receive - there is no potential appeal to excusing or tolerating or claiming it is merciful - I repeat - Confession is the bestower of the Grace of Mercy - NEVER Communion.
Although Catholic commentators and media-luvvies and a myriad of professional clerics will inform you this is merely a matter of discipline?
IT IS NOT.
Holy Mother Church s bound to this doctrine and physical pastoral manifestation of this doctrine - to the end of the World.
You might also hear of the delegated internal forum [eg conference, Bishop or parish priest] - or the setting of a pentential period -determining a candidate's worth for reception of Communion.
THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE - ONLY Confession can bestow the Grace of Mercy removing that mortal sin - only metanoia and a firm purpose of amendment can make the peron eligible to receive communion.
You might also hear a perverted distortion of the principle of the sensus fidelium - ie that which the faithful have thought, said and done in the creed code and cult of the church for millennia...
It instead being portrayed as mere modern manifestation of the Catholic zeitgeist's collective democratic will of the laity...eg the majority want to see changes to Church teaching on homosexuality or contraception being portrayed as the working of the Holy Spirit within the sensus fidelium manifesting the need for change...
IT'S A LIE
You might also hear that in appeal to the principle of subsidiarity a Pope is able to executively delegate as a mere discipline His Petrine power to adjudicate, discern and determine doctrine, morality and their pastoral application to decentralised autocephalous national churches.
[Pope Francis implied as much in Evangelii Gaudium]
A POPE CANNOT.
There is but One Church, One Faith and one manifest creed, code and cult [in various rites] - that CANNOT be divided or devolved or allowed to become a confederation of autonomous and independent from its centre.
Peter is the sole binder and loosener - he is the Keeper of the Keys - he cannot relinquish or abdicate or delegate that executive authority to others
This is NOT a matter of discipline but the entire manifest ecclesial structure of the Church Militant - it is ONE UNDER PETER.
So if Pope Francis declares any in mortal sin may receive communion - that's a lie and a heresy - if he declares that decision is arbitrary or discretionary in an internal forum or penitential path which does not include absolution in confession? That is also a lie and a heresy.
If he declares that it is impossible for any sinner to repent of their sin now and receive the Sacrament of Mercy in confession now?
That's a heresy against the Sufficient Grace and loving Charity of God known as Gradualism - and a lie saying God commands the impossible when He never does!
and if Pope Francis suggests that this is merely a disciplinary issue which he can arbitrarily determine without his pontfical mandate to uphold all tradition and magisterial teaching and its pastoral enactment? - that's a heresy and a lie
if he suggests such determinations may be made on a localised level through autocephalous Churches? a heresy and a lie
if he or any other suggests any potential initiation of this scandalous sacrilege is through the working of the Holy Spirit or an embodiment of Apostolic tradition or God's will being made known through the collective will of the 'sensus fidelium' ?
More heresies and lies....
So look out over the next few days for the exhortation and any accompanying motu proprio...
Cardinal Muller has already reminded His Holiness what he can and cannot do...
Let's see if His Holiness thinks otherwise...
Because potentially? The roof might be about to cave in!!!

Contra Rahner on Saints




 "Herein lies the special task which the canonised Saints have to fulfil for the Church. They are the initiators and the creative models of the holiness which happens to be right for, and is the task of, their particular age. They create a new style; they prove that a certain form of life and activity is a really genuine possibility; they show experimentally that one can be a Christian even in ‘this’ way; they make such a type of person believable as a Christian type. " Karl Rahner

I disagree.
Rather than saints being the flavour of the month and becoming zeigeist poster-figures it's actually the reverse....
It's cometh the hour: cometh the saint
Rather it's when there's a dearth of a virtue or a social malaise or an intellectual or spiritual depletion that specific saints come to the fore...they're the salt of the earth - they're counterintuitive - counter-cultural and they counteract the madness.
Think the Little Flower during World War One - who'da'thunk'it? The soldier's sweetheart!
Chesterton reminds us: When so-called starchy victorian sobriety and philanthropy and public betterment institutions and temperance/reform societies were making the poor poorer and the rich more self-satisfied who jumped into the fray? St Francis of Assisi!
When Academia had lost the plot and was stuck between the scylla of Dewey, James & Bergson's pragmatism and the charybdis of Logical and linguistic positivism on the other who jumped in to ruffle everyone's intellectual feathers and keep the Church Catholic? Dear old Dumb Ox Aquinas and Leo XIII & Pius X ensured that treasure regained wouldn't be lost even in the harsh winters to come...
While the priesthood and vocations were in such disarray who came to the fore? St John Vianney?
When the Vatican was at its height of power and opulence and worldliness with its political machinations at every turn..who became the most prominent saint in the hearts of the faithful? The half-mad-beautiful soul beggar saint Benedict Joseph Larbre
At the height of the British empire where the sun never set and we were stealing two thirds of the world from its rightful owners simply because they were coloured gentlefolk an we could impose civilised decency - what statue could be seen in even the tiniest family shrine or dressing table or hall window? Little illegitimate black man St Martin de Porres...
At the height of the two world wars where everything European was the filthy hun? How many Catholics had private devotions with the little oddly shaped statue to the Child of Prague?
When in the fifties and sixties in the iron heat of modernity and consumerism and hyper capitalism and white goods...Our Lady of Lourdes & The Sacred Heart somehow seized Catholic devotional piety - along with the corresponding saints Bernadette, Margaret Mary etc
It's ironic - it's counterintuitive - in the hippy era and post hippy times as Catholics were catching up with the madness and fashion sense a decade too late where spirituality became all centring prayer and stylised felt doves and becoming one with the spirit and being up one's own posterior? What spiritual works were being most read by Catholics ? Ignatian Spiritual exercises and St Francis de Sales' "Introduction to the Devout Life" - you couldn't get spiritualities more diammetrically opposed to the zeitgeist....
In this era where we're in doctrinal madness and ecclesiastical corruption chaos and being all too serious about ourselves and not giving tuppence for who we really are and what we believe ... we have the Chesterton revival [and i'll knock anyone's block off who says he isn't a saint!]
yes there's a massive diversity - from all walks of life - but when there's a time of need certain characters rise to the fore to defy the spirit of the age and bring us back to timeless reality..and bring hope.. they light a candle in the darkness

on pain

The very history of Catholicism has been one of sacralising and sanctifying the mundane and profane
Christ and His Church have turned words which disappear on the wind into conduits of Divine Grace as in the confessional or the consecration
He has turned mere physical contact into Ordination
He has turned sexual reproduction into a sacramental spiritual procreation of souls
He has turned the physical cleanser water into the spiritual cleanser in baptism
Olive Oil into spiritual seals of the Holy Spirit imbuing profound graces upon the intellect and will
Bread and Wine into God the Son's entire Being as spiritual food
Occult pagan shrines and statues into christianised symbols and places of divine worship - Aten, Horus,Osiris,Apollo, Orpheus, Mithras evaporate and thesymbols depict Christ - Artemis, Athene, Hera, Demeter are exorcised and their symbols christianised to reflect the majesty of the Theotokos - Our Lady the Queen of Heaven....
...and the Symbol of Barbaric torture and excruciating death - becomes the means for Our Salvation - that which destroyed is now the sign of the cross which provides spiritual defence and blessing and an entrance into prayer and the presence of God and a spiritual weapon against the forces of evil...
Do you want to start me on what God does to people? The most malevolent, corrupt, murderous, narcissistic,abusive, salacious, treacherous monsters in history who became our greatest prophets and saints?
The same can be said for our wounds, our pains, afflictions, burdens and our self-willed fasting, sacrifice and self-denial - that which ostensibly seems to demean and dimish and be detrimental to the physical works miracles within the spiritual realm.
There is an extraordinary meme which is as old as civilization - it can be found in aboriginal dreamtime stories, in the works of Aeschylus, in the Sibylline verses, in the analects of Confucius, in Vedic texts, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in the Epic of Gilgamesh etc etc etc...everywhere....
"By Our Wounds are We Healed"
..and more extraordinarily: When every text mentions some form of a Messiah - a King to Come - God-man who will bear our sins vicarious [early Greek plywrights] - the Great saint from the west - the God to come from palestine after whom no temple will exist to any other etc
they all don't speak of some great political force or some new civilization but of redemption...
"By HIS wounds are we healed"
No community - no civilization - no epoch - no religion or theogony or cult or any belief system has not had this fundamental principle - even if it's alien and contradictory to their own religion [eg in Buddhism where its placement in the texts makes no sense]
Someone will come - they will teach truth - they will die and bear our sins and redeem us...
Check out the first chapter of Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ
or the Joseph Campbell institute's work on Jesus being heralded and predicted by every religion in some form - as if - if jesus did not exist - we'd have had to create Him because He is the heart and centre of all human prophecy...
It is an intrinsic human understanding from the very beginning - suffering is a means to sanctification - that which is ostensibly physically bad is spiritually transformed into a grace and blessing...
And no - this is not some form of weak compliant fatalistic victimisation masochism or equivocation for the pains and sufferings of the world
Nor are we turning God into some sociopathic sadist and thug - no rather we're agreeing with saint Paul when he said the pains and sufferings of this world are NOTHING in comparison with the joys and pleasures of Heaven...think the pains of birthpangs and the joy of the newborn...