Bullying, Blaming and Dividing - The Hallmarks of Anti-Church - And the Answer in Christ's Cross


Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 05 July 2018 - 01:30:35 | by admin

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Christ Carrying the Cross by Hieronymus Bosch, early 16th-Century.

Thanks be to God we are all back home safely now, but Mum was rushed away in an ambulance on Tuesday night with another distressing through-the-night health scare. I have to say that the young female doctor and the team of nurses, who monitored her and showed such kindness to us through the early hours, were absolutely spot on with their standard of care and kindness. There was even a bit of good old-fashioned Scouse banter to keep the atmosphere as light as possible, given the trying circumstances. As ever, my wife Angie was a tower of strength and loving encouragement. We'd sure appreciate your ongoing prayers for Mum.

As we were hurrying through the hospital last night, I saw a stricken man emerging from one of the relatives' suites by the Accident and Emergency dept. It was the briefest of moments, no more than a confused flash in the midst of all that was going on, but as this poor soul put a hand up on the wall and drew in a deep breath, it was plain to see that he was mustering his inner resources to deal as best he could with whatever tragedy had just befallen him and his loved ones on that hottest of summer nights.

At the time, it was all a whirl of sadness, noise, confusion, medical smells and artificial light; combined with a deep sense that, as our eyes briefly met as I whisked past, I was dealing with my own distress, whilst feeling somehow guilty for trespassing on his.

I remember starting a ''Hail Mary'' for that poor guy, but I don't know if I finished it. Perhaps you could say a prayer for that lad too.

In the early hours, when we had crashed on top of some quilt covers to catch a bit of sleep, the flash-past image of that poor man returned to me, combined with a vivid recollection of why I had ever gone off to a seminary, some 21 years ago this year.

Most fundamentally, I had wanted to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, hear confessions, preach the truth, shepherd souls home to God and help the homeless. I'd had two greatly inspirational examples of how the celibate Catholic priesthood is such a powerful and grace-driven way of loving God and souls, in the two aging and traditional priests who ran our parish. Plus, even when we were still Protestants, my Mum had always told me she recognised that I had a ''pastor's heart''. I guess that Mums just know these things.

But something else that I had almost forgotten, something that I had once carried deep in my heart for years back then, came back to me in the small hours as the dawn rose early on this hot July morning.

That man reminded me that I had wanted to bring Christ and His love to people in the most real of situations of their lives down here, in this passing vale of tears.

God's creation is great and it is good, but this world is not our eternal home. More than that, the Cross comes to every single one of us at some point in our lives. This is because of sin, human frailty and spiritual warfare. The only way to bear it, is with the help of God's grace, to embrace the Cross; bitter as it so often turns out to be. Only by suffering with, for and by Christ can we hope to find meaning in suffering and to go through it to the Resurrection. This is one of the key reasons why Christ gave us the Catholic Church. It was also one of the main reasons that I had wanted to be a priest.

At dawn this morning, I asked myself how it could possibly have come about that having such ultimate values could possibly have brought so much oppression and suppression down on one's head in a Catholic seminary. What else is that, but the mystery of iniquity, which has hounded thousands of young men who have offered themselves to serve the Church in the decades following the Second Vatican Council?

I know you've heard and seen it all before, maybe even lived and suffered through it yourself; the false accusations which get hurled at orthodox seminarians like rotting cabbages to a criminal caught in the stocks.

So a guy wants to be an alter Christus and save souls, they say he has an old-fashioned model of Church; he wants reverence at Mass, they say that he's rigid; he supports the Church's moral teachings, they think that he's uptight; he thinks priests should dress and comport themselves as such, he's a right-wing fascist; he believes the pronouncements of the Magisterium about the all-male nature of the Catholic priesthood, to them he's a misogynist; he believes in the One True Church, they think that makes him a narrow minded bigot; and on and on...

I've said before that my late friend Fr. Mike Williams used to describe the atmosphere in the seminary as a ''culture of fear'' for orthodox students.

The anti-Catholics attempting to usurp the Catholic Church, and also wider society, have a fundamental pattern of behaviour in common; they are a merciless bunch of bullies, who persecute, blame falsely and divide.

Think about something for a moment.

Consider for a moment the constant news about all of those paedophiles and ephebophiles lurking in the priesthood; and all of their enablers and protectors skulking in the hierarchy; think of all those other characters persecuting their employees, teachers, heck even their parents and grandparents now!, for just calling a girl a ''girl'' and a boy a ''boy'' - people with mortgages are losing their jobs over this sort of thing; all those barbarians slaughtering the unborn for a living, whilst banning people from offering prayers and alternative help outside of the bloodstained abortuaries; all those enforcing euthanasia; these various doctors caught abusing their power - now not only the horrors of the 650 or so dead at Gosport, but investigations mentioned on the BBC about a young nurse arrested under suspicion of murdering 8 babies, and of attempting to murder another 6 at the Countess of Chester Hospital; all these bishops promoting homosexuality, divorce and sacrilegious communions; all their underhand promotion of ''inter-communion'' with Protestants; all of this suppression of orthodox catechesis, the Traditional Latin Mass and of faithful Catholics everywhere.

What are all of these things, if not examples of the bullying of the ''little guy'' by bullies who have secured for themselves the levers of power?

Consider those German Judas-bishops, Becker, Feige, Hesse and Bode; all lining up to announce their support for sacrilegiously giving communion to Protestants.

What do any of these guys care for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Or for souls? Their behaviour reminds me of the imagery in Hieronymus Bosch's painting of Christ, being hounded by the grotesques in the early 16th-Century painting at the head of this piece.

All this sacrilege sure is ugly.

The priests of their dioceses must refuse to go along with this travesty if they wish to save their souls and those of their flocks.

Those characters, and their enabler-in-chief Francis, should go and read the Council of Trent on the theme of excommunication of those who both believe and publicly promote sacrilegious communions.

The Catholic Church has 4 Marks; these jokers have just the 2 Marx - Karl and Reinhard.

And like the proverbial horse mentioned in Psalm 33:17, theirs is a vain hope, having no power to save.

Good grief people, what an uninspiring bunch of heretical bullies there are in our days!

My late father used to teach us that it is the very nature of the bully to be the first to cry when challenged.

This is a concept that we Catholics would do well to be cognisant of, if we are to do our bit for grace-aided fidelity to Christ, in terms of purifying ourselves and the Church.

Soon after returning to the UK from America in 2006, Angie and I began to attend a weekly Mass in a parish which had both beautiful architecture and a splendid choir.

When we introduced ourselves to the parish priest, he was very welcoming to us.

Alas, about three weeks later, he stunned us by ''preaching'' from the pulpit one Sunday in favour of divorce and ''re-marriage'' - ''let them have their fling!'' he opined, and of homosexual civil partnerships - ''they're here to stay,'' he snootily remarked.

At the end of Mass, we waited at the back to challenge this misuse of a Catholic Sunday sermon.

With the kind of toffee-nosed arrogance which, forgetful of the origins of its treasury of education, sophistication and wealth, has too often marred the Benedictine vocation in latter years, this ''character'' responded to my orthodox Catholic complaints, by basically being as rude as Hell to me!

Now, in our title for today, I have listed three typical hall-marks of the anti-Church. These being: Bullying, Blaming and Dividing.

In terms of our first category, we could give one big ''tick'' here for the category of ''Bullying''.

Furthermore, this man, whose seniority, height, build, background and position, all combined to tower loomingly over my own then much-younger self, calmly looked down his nose at me and announced that he would not be ''bullied'' by anybody.

Notice here: the anti-Catholic bully attempting to misapply his own rightly earned sobriquet to his Catholic opponent. That's a common trick of the anti-Church, is that.

So then, let's give that a large and forthright ''tick'' under ''Blaming''!

And, as if to ensure he had scored a hat-trick for the anti-Church, this sacrilegious fellow next informed me that I was free to attend any of the other parishes in the district.

Then, with a sickeningly sycophantic grasp of my wife's unproffered hand, (by the way, don't try that twice, pal!), this errant preacher oozed, ''But as for you, my dear, you are welcome to keep coming here every Sunday!''

Who does he think he is, anyway? Terry Thomas!

Let's give him a ''tick, tick, tick!'' here in the category for ''Dividing''.

Gosh, I nearly broke my tick-o-meter there...

Now, by God's grace, and my wife's steadfastness, I was mightily heartened to witness Angie bristle in a kind of ''don't try it low-life!'' type of way, firmly withdraw, and strongly reply, ''I will go where my husband goes, thank you Father!''

And so, to the triple ''ticks'' of the anti-Church, I think we should celebrate there with a resounding ''Kerrr-chingggg!'' for Catholic orthodoxy. Hey, let's even make that a tooth-sparkling ''Kerrr-chinggg, Kerrr-chinggg!''

Now, joking apart though, things took a distinctly chilling turn, when Angie then observed to him that he was not supposed to present his own views from the pulpit, but to stand in the person of Christ and give us Christ's teachings.

For a split second, this man's real heart seemed to be exposed when he coolly replied, ''No I'm not.''

This was followed by a tangible moment when he realized that he had over-reached himself and said too much.

Well, he'd already done that in the pulpit, but you catch my drift...

At this point, I concluded our commerce with this individual by noting that it was priests like him who had emptied the Church, telling him that he would not be receiving a further penny from us, and observing that I would not ever set foot in the door of that church again during his tenure there.

I then went by him, followed by Angie, genuflected to Our Lord in the Tabernacle, and promptly left the building.

Actually, I did stop first to apologise to two shocked old ladies, for the fact that their parish priest was a heretic, and to lament the fact that he was putting off young people like us. (Hey, it was 12 years ago!).

Perhaps it would seem flippant to add a triple ''Kerrr-Chinggg'' here, but the point is that this fellow demonstrated those three classical hall marks of the anti-Church: Bullying, Blaming and Dividing.

As Catholics who have generations of popes, from just the most recent centuries of Church history with which to compare to, we must ask why it is that these key hallmarks of the anti-Church have been so prevalent within the Church itself during these last 50 years; discouraging, hindering and outright persecuting Catholic orthodoxy. More than that, we must ask why they are so characteristic of affairs in the days of Francis.

Indeed, why are orthodoxy, orthodox communities and orthodox Catholics in general being the victims of Bullying, Blaming and Dividing from none other than Francis himself?

Why are there seemingly two churches intermingled like the wheat and the tares: one characterised by Bullying, Blaming and Dividing; and the other intent on Charity, Intercession and the kind of authentic Unity, which can only be built on truth?

It strikes me tonight that Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself experienced the bullying, blaming and dividing of the anti-Church; indeed of the Anti-Christ.

And we know from Sacred Scripture that it was the Devil who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Those who follow him take on those characteristics to varying degrees.

And yet the true disciples of Christ instead take on the characteristics of the Crucified: they get attacked by bullys who blame them falsely and try to divide them. And in response, by God's grace, they are called to live charity, intercession and genuine unity. All of these find both their example and fruition in Christ on the Cross.

In the final analysis, the Cross is not a sign of weakness, much less one of defeat.

By choosing to suffer for each and every one on the Cross, Our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated the truly manly response to bullying, blaming and dividing. He endured all the persecutions of His enemies for their sake and salvation.

Last night in the hospital, I looked up at one point and saw through a window into a waiting area a veritable sea of suffering humanity.

There were gathered quite a crowd of souls: all sweating in the heat, all tired, some looking worried, many overweight, underdressed and heavily tattooed. And as with that man mentioned earlier, the strong inner sense moved within me that these were all beloved of Christ. It is such as these that He came to call, comfort, heal, convert and save. And that, although we are called apart to follow Christ, sinners that we are, we are not ultimately so different from any of these.

All of these people, like you and me at different times of our lives, were finding that the Cross had just become part of their lives again. It can be a bitter thing, can the Cross. But Jesus offers it to us in order to become conformed to Him. He carries His Cross in the midst of suffering humanity. We would find such peace and salvation in our sufferings, if we would just open them up to Him and join them to the infinite merits of His Sacred Passion.

There is something gravely wrong in the Church today, when the anti-Church is setting itself up in the very sanctuary of God in the Catholic Church.

Whatever else the final answer will include, we can all bet that it will involve the Cross; as well as the Resurrection in the end.

May God give us all the graces necessary to embrace and carry our crosses after, with and for Christ.

Perhaps we could conclude with those timeless words of St. John Vianney, a man who certainly knew what it was to suffer for Christ and for souls.

You must bear your Cross. If you bear it courageously, it will carry you to Heaven.

Please say a prayer for all the souls mentioned in this piece, the good and the bad, and for those who suffer this night in hospitals around the world. May they find in Christ the grace to be converted and the strength that their sufferings may not be in vain.

Our Lady of Sorrows - Pray for us and for the Church!


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