Bergoglian Bullyboys are Hoisted by Their Own Petard

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 21 January 2017 - 17:15:23 | by admin

Bishop Rigoberto Corredor Bermudez: Merciful like the Godfather...

Our spiritual-director sometimes reflects on the fact that Satan has obviously learned that persecuting the Church from without has only ever strengthened her. As Tertullian famously pronounced: ''The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church!'' And so it has been the case, down through the ages from ancient Rome, through the Christological struggles, the Protestant persecutions, on through the sufferings of the missionaries, the cruelties of the Nazis and the Communists, and all the way down to the Islamists and secularists trying to crush the life out of Christian civilization in our own day. Wherever the Church was opposed and tormented in Her members, she eventually grew stronger, gave birth to new saints, flourished and triumphed over her enemies. Indeed, given time and grace, many of her enemies were even converted! 

And so, as our spiritual-director points out, the infernal enemy of our souls is now trying to take over the Church from within. Just as with ISIS, the present attempt to deconstruct orthodoxy, going fist-in-glove as it does with the persecution of the orthodox by Modernist prelates, represents a move to actually decapitate the Church from Christ; and to thus leave the members of His body to wither and die spiritually.

Be sure of one thing before reading further though: events in the present-day Catholic Church may read like something out of a Malachi Martin novel, but in the end these Judases, and the evil spirits behind them, will not win. ''Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever'' (Hebrews 13:8).

Yesterday, claims emerged in various places that the sacrilegious Judas-bishops Scicluna and Grech, in Malta and Gozo, had been threatening to suspend their priests a divinis, for refusing to obey their illegitimate order to collude in sacrilegious confessions and communions with unrepentant adulterers. Although Grech has tweeted a denial of these claims, it remains the case that a priest contact of 1 Peter 5 argues differently. In any case, it would be ridiculous to think that bishops would bring out a new set of instructions, without meaning to enforce them in some way.

Perhaps these traitors will stop short of suspending good priests from their priestly orders, but all orthodox Catholics in these times know of priests who have been persecuted by their superiors in other subtle and not-so-subtle ways; and this just for promoting the true teachings of the Church in the realms of doctrine, liturgy, prayer and/or morality.

All right-thinking Catholics must shudder at the spectre of bishops telling lay people to be easy with sin in their supposedly ''enlightened'' consciences, whilst at once trying to rigidly govern the consciences of their priests into commiting with them the sins of sacrilege and heresy. As we said when the Greek Bishop Papamanolis went apoplectic at the 4 cardinals over their Dubia in November, it seems to these men that the unrighteous must be given Holy Communion at all costs, but the righteous who resist this evil must be refused!

May God give grace to all orthodox priests to remember that, though they have taken vows of obedience to their bishops, they are to obey them in all things, except for sin.

No sooner had many of us trembled, yesterday, at the thought that Hilary White's long-prophesied warning about a deliberate purge of the remaining orthodox Catholics, was about to become true on a wide scale, than today's news broke about a priest being suspended a divinis in Colombia, over this very issue!

Just to recap Hilary's position: she has basically been saying for a long time that the master-plan is to force priests to collude with sacrilege in order to get ordained in the first place and to then keep their priestly faculties in the second. Following from that, lay people will be required to go along with the sacrilege, under the guise of the new-mercy, in order to receive the sacraments; or instead be denied them if they resist. Hilary sums this up thus at What is Up With the Synod?: ''It comes down to a metaphorical gun to their heads - abandon the Faith, desecrate the Holy Eucharist or you're out.''

Having been spiritually mangled at Ushaw seminary in the 90's over similar matters pertaining to the treatment of the Most Holy Eucharist and reverence at Mass, I have already stated here some months back that Hilary was indeed onto something with this argument.

In any case, this very scenario is now being played out over in Colombia. As Rorate Caeli reports today: Urgent - Bergoglian Persecution Begins: Priest is suspended a divinis for criticizing the new papal doctrine on Marriage and the Eucharist.

Whilst we cannot know all the details of the case, it remains a spectacularly heavy-handed move for the above-pictured Bishop Rigoberto Corredor Bermudez of Pereira to officially remove Fr. Luis Carlos Uribe Medina from the clerical state! Especially, given the fact that the last five decades have been dominated by modernist dissenters remaining undisciplined in the ranks of the priesthood to spread their evil, heretical ideas. 

On the face of it, Fr. Medina of Colombia's supposed ''crime'' is to have publicly defended the Catholic Church's true teachings on chastity, Holy Matrimony, Confession and Holy Communion, in the face of the present Bergoglio-made crisis.

At some point the old devil always has to show his hand; and this can be seen in the said-bishop's official communication regarding Fr. Medina's removal from the clerical state.

In a remarkably myopic reading and application of Canon 1363, paragraph 1, from the Code of Canon Law, the bishop quotes that, ''an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic, incurs a latae senteniae excommunication''.

Upon this Bishop Bermudez builds his case in a manner which can be easily read over at Rorate.

The point here is that Bishop Bermudez and all those promoting sacrilege and heresy in these evil times have just been hoisted by their own petard. For it is no difficult thing to show that a priest who affirms the true teachings of Christ and His Church, in a way that perfectly harmonizes with 2,000 years of Sacred Scripture and Tradition, cannot legitimately be said to be an apostate, heretic or schismatic.

However, those who are promoting apostasy, heresy, schism - aye and even sacrilege! - are the ones to incur the latae sententiae excommunication. It doesn't matter if you are a lay-man, a priest, a bishop, or the man in white, Canon Law provides for no exceptions.

By drawing on this particular article from Canon Law, Bishop Bermudez therefore merely erects his own petard; and begins to merrily raise himself, and all those others who are persecuting orthodoxy, by its solid hoist.


An attempt is being made to finally cut orthodox Catholics off from the Sacraments of the Church; and to instead throw them to unrepentant sinners, who have neither orthodox belief, nor love for Jesus Christ. Imagine a Church in which orthodox Catholics can only access the sacraments if they agree to go along with a new culture of sacrilege and to acquiesce in an environment of perpetual mortal sin!

The full impact of this reality has broadsided Angie and I this weekend. For sure, we have seen this nightmare coming, at least in some degree; but seeing an oncoming train is not the same thing as being struck by it!

We must all rely on Divine intervention to ultimately prevent this travesty from spreading throughout the Church; but we must also do our part to prevent it by standing up to the abuse of Canon Law and letting the light of truth expose the real apostates, heretics, schismatics and sacrilegious Judases for who they really are.

This article has been written by way of our contribution to that stand for Catholic Truth.

Our Lady of Quito - Pray for us!    

The Hour of the Justice of God is Close!

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 20 January 2017 - 12:17:30 | by admin

Every picture tells a story: Pope Francis stands amidst the rubble of Amatrice following last August's earthquake. The clock on the 13th-Century bell-tower, which can be seen in the background, poignantly stopped at the very moment of the earthquake which left around 300 people dead. We hear that the medieval tower finally collapsed during this Wednesday's earthquakes. For those who listen out for God, there is surely much symbolism in all of these things.

Listen, those who have ears to hear!

The headline for today's article is taken from a prophetic warning received by Blessed Sr. Elena Aiello on 22nd August, 1960. Blessed Elena was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2011. Given the present diabolical revolution searing through the Church, the proximity of her beatification and the tragedies unfolding in Italy, we believe that Blessed Elena's reported visions and prophecies, which warn of a coming chastisement from God, should warrant our serious attention.

Blessed Elena testified that the holy Madonna had said to her: ''The hour of the justice of God is close, and will be terrible! Tremendous scourges are impending over the world, and various nations are struck by epidemics, famines, great earthquakes, terrific hurricanes, with overflowing rivers and seas, which bring ruin and death... If the people do not recognize in these scourges the warnings of Divine Mercy, and do not return to God with truly Christian living, another terrible war will come from the east to the west. Russia with her secret armies will battle America: will overrun Europe. The river Rhine will be overflowing with corpses and blood. Italy, also, will be harassed by a great revolution, and the Pope will suffer terribly... Spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart, in order that many souls may be conquered by my love and that many sinners may return to my Maternal Heart. Do not fear, for I will accompany with my maternal protection my faithful ones, and all those who accept my urgent warnings, and they - especially by the recitations of my Rosary - will be saved... Satan goes furiously through this disordered world, and soon will show all his might. But, because of my Immaculate Heart, the triumph of Light will not delay in its triumph over the power of darkness, and the world, finally, will have tranquility and peace.''

The bold-type emphasis in the above translaton is my own; and I have drawn especial attention to those bold-typed parts in light of the fact that we are witnessing devastating earthquakes and, sad to relate, just such a refusal to recognise in them the warnings of Divine Mercy.

As we reflected just a few weeks ago at New Year, the treatment of Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli OP - removed from Radio Maria and publicly rebuked by Pope Francis' Secretary of State Becciu for warning that the devastating Italian earthquakes of 2016 could have been divine chastisements incurred by last summer's homosexualist subversion of Holy Matrimony in Italy - makes this clear.

A Series of Warnings in Nature
We have discussed on a couple of previous occasions the fact that the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was most unusually struck by lightning twice on the 11th February, 2013; being the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the very day on which Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication of the Papal throne.

And how, on the 7th October, 2016, the dome was struck again by lightning: this time on the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary; and the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, which had so gloriously saved the Church and Europe from aggresive Islamist expansion.

Just days before this third lightning strike on St. Peter's, Pope Francis had relativized the Sacred Priesthood, scandalized the faithful and misled onlookers by attempting to offer a, shall we say, ''mixed blessing'' with the chief Anglican minister Justin Welby. As we said at the time, we should not be so proud, rationalistic or post-modern in our thinking as to ignore the possibility that Our Lord and Our Lady might have been warning the Church and trying to get our collective attention.

Such thoughts returned a few weeks later when, on Sunday the 30th October 2016 - the Feast of Christ the Universal King in the Traditional Calendar - Italy was struck by a massive earthquake that destroyed St. Benedict's ancient Basilica, devastated Norcia and shook the residents of Rome from the slumber of their beds. Rome and Norcia, of course, were both in so many ways the spiritual and physical sources of Western Christendom. It is disturbing to see them both being thoroughly shaken in our times; an age in which Western civilization, having rejected Christ, is so desperately on the wane.

Many observers were troubled that this was a much larger earthquake than the one which had killed some 300 people weeks earlier during the month of August. It seemed to be against received understanding for an ''aftershock'' to be so much larger than an already devastating earlier earthquake.

That October devastation took place just 24-hours before Pope Francis was due to take part in the scandalous ''commemoration'' of the evil heresiarch Martin Luther in Lund. That very morning, even as the Benedictine priests of Norcia were seeking souls who might be in need of Extreme Unction, we wrote: ''It is difficult not to see these instances as warnings of Divine displeasure regarding the travesties planned to take place in Lund tomorrow, and the radical take-over by Modernists of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the JP II Institutes.''

And yet, it seemed that few in the Church understood these events in such spiritual terms; and too few appeared to respond to them with conversion of heart and life.

Shaking the Throne of Truth and Splitting the Church
This week has been typically devastating in terms of the Francis-encouraged affronts to Catholic Truth.

To name just a selection of Church-shaking happenings from the last 7-days, the week has been punctuated by: the Bishops of Malta and Gozo promoting adultery, heresy and sacrilege; then allegedly furthering these grave travesties by ordering all their priests to comply with them on pain of being suspended a divinis from their sacred ministry; the Vatican inviting the Culture of Death-promoting Paul Ehrlich to speak at an ''Extinction'' conference; the Vatican announcing publication of a commemorative postage stamp of the arch-heresiarch - and forerunner of Antichrist - Martin Luther; Cardinal Koch suggesting that Luther would have ''found his own Council'' in Vatican II, describing Luther's chum Philip Melanchthon - who rejected Transubstantiation and Confession - as ''a great ecumenist of his time'' and suggesting that criticism of the Protestant Reformation ''is no longer possible in an ecumenical age''; Pope Francis suggesting that Luther intended to renew the Church, not to divide it; Pope Francis (yet) again speaking derogatively of ''lazy Christians'' who ''do not fight to make things change, new things, the things that would do good for everyone''; and Pope Francis accepting an image of a pagan fertility ''god'' from the President of Guinea, whilst suggesting this was somehow good as Italy needs fertility...

In the midst of all of these travesties against God, the Faith and the faithful, Italy was again struck by a series of four powerful earthquakes that once again caused death and destruction near the epicentre, whilst also shaking Rome considerably. As I write this, rescuers are still searching for the missing 25 or so people who were inside the Rigopiano hotel when the post-earthquake avalance in the Abruzzo region so suddenly crushed it. Happily, it seems that 6 people have just been found alive!  

As with the earlier lightning strikes and earthquakes, too few seem to have noticed that these latest shakings took place on an important date in the Traditional Calendar: the Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome. It is very important for Catholics to grasp the fact that this feast was established, by Pope Paul IV in 1558, as a direct response to the Protestant Revolutionaries' rejection of the authority of the See of Peter. The fact that Rome was shaken on the date of this feast, in a week that again saw such flagrant official promotion of the heresiarch Luther and the Protestant revolution, should not be overlooked by those trying to make sense of the present crisis. 

It is certainly notable, too, that these shakings - which were powerful enough to close Rome's underground Metro service, empty local schools and drive much of the fearful Roman populace out from their buildings into the streets - took place during the Wednesday audience with Pope Francis.

Interesting, also, was the reaction of a couple interviewed after attending the papal-audience by Rome Reports. Unlike many people in Rome, they said they did not feel the earthquake. Indeed, the woman quipped that, being in heeled shoes, ''you would think I would have fallen over''. To this, the man added, ''I will tell you our legs are a little shaky from meeting Pope Francis, but not from the earthquake no.''

It seems to me that this seemingly innocuous exchange is expressive of so much that is happening in the Church today. A strange phenomenon, much beyond traditional Ultramontanism and described by some as ''Papolatry'' or ''Papal Positivism'', is taking hold of so many people, who seem in blissfull ignorance of the attacks on the Faith and the orthodox faithful which Francis has enabled and encouraged to this date. The very Church is shaking, but many are so enamoured of Francis that they fail to see it.

There is a terrifying worldliness taking over from all that is good and holy; a radical shaking of truly Catholic foundations that too few care to notice.

And so, even as over 800,000 faithful Catholics who petitioned for Pope Francis to defend traditional teaching on marriage are ignored, the 4 Dubia cardinals continue to be sidelined, and three good bishops are forced to issue an appeal for prayer for Pope Francis to ''confirm the unchanging praxis of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage''; we also see the emergence of a Youth Synod being launched with a cleverly loaded questionnaire to give the impression of a ''listening church'', a somewhat unchastely-dressed Irish woman singing an almost-worshipful anthem to Pope Francis in the presence of the sacred Tabernacle, and even a blasphemous medal bearing the image and legend ''Pope Francis - Pray for us''.

At the outset today, we noted that Blessed Elena Aiello had warned that worse chastisements would befall us if we did not heed those which first come in the form of natural disasters like earthquakes.

It seems to us that Heaven is warning us through such prophetic warnings, the signs in nature, the dates on which certain disasters are happening and their proximity each time to the promotion of Protestantism, adultery and sacrilege.

The very Throne of St. Peter, that divinely appointed Throne of Truth, is being shaken by natural, supernatural and, perhaps, preternatual events. At the very least, the fault-lines in the earth and the Church are moving. It makes sense to respond by being found ready in the state of grace and praying.

May God then give us, and all who read this, the grace to heed Our Lady's prophetic warnings, by responding through the means she outlined to Blessed Elena Aiello: conversion to God with truly Christian living; devotion to the Immaculate Heart; acceptance of Her urgent warnings; and the recitation of the Rosary.

By God's grace, we have been warned of the events now overtaking the Church and world. Let us respond with fidelity, truth and sincerity of heart.

Immaculate Heart of Mary - Triumph and Reign!

The Genuine Care of Souls

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 17 January 2017 - 21:38:56 | by admin

Because the soul of St. Pio of Pietrelcina was such a pure dwelling place for the Most Holy Trinity, he had a genuine hatred of evil and of sin. His love for God inspired and motivated him in his great mission for the salvation and sanctification of souls in the Confessional.

As the 20th-Century progressed - perhaps in this context it would be more accurate to say regressed - St. Pio became increasingly troubled by the breakdown of marriage and family life. He famously stated that ''divorce is the passport to Hell''.

To strengthen marriage and family life, St. Pio called on married couples and their children to take the Holy Family for their model: ''Following the laws of nature, the first words a baby speaks are mama and papa, then the names of Jesus and Mary should follow.''

Whenever it was the best approach for a particular given soul, St. Pio could be very gentle with penitents in the Confessional. As a true doctor of souls, he was guided by the Holy Ghost in discerning and applying which was the correct spiritual and practical medicine for each person.

This meant that, when it was warranted, he could also be stern to the point of being harsh with insincere penitents and unrepentant sinners.

Sometimes, St. Pio would refuse to give absolution to a person on one or even more occasions. If this happened, it was always done with the long-term aim of bringing that person to a sincere conversion and an integral confession.

In relation to this practice, St. Pio once explained to a confrere: ''My son, to rouse certain souls you need cannon-balls. Treating them with gentleness is a waste of time. They need to feel God's anger when the strength of His mercy is not enough.'' Another time, he reflected on the fact that sinners ''need to be called to conversion, to penance! And when the good manners are no use, you need to be strict to wake them up from the lethargy of sin and vice.'' As at least one of his letters makes clear, St. Pio was not always particularly happy about having to speak to some people harshly, but he did it for the sake of their eternal well-being.

It must be remembered, too, that St. Pio was frequently blessed with the ability to read souls; and he could thus tell penitents what their own sins were. When someone loves God so much, it must be distressing to see the state of an unrepentant sinner's soul as they damn themselves still more with insincere confessions. 

A famous example of all of this is presented by the case of the gangster who had only gone to Gargano in order to murder his wife, so that he could thus elope with another woman!

What this gangster had not banked on, whilst still in the planning stages of his evil crime, was being drawn by grace to kneel at the grille of St. Pio's Confessional. As he approached, St. Pio saw the state of his soul and suddenly shouted, ''Go away! Go away! Go away! Don't you know that it is forbidden to kill somebody?'' That man was so shocked that he ran away through the countryside, tripped over a rock into some mud and suddenly acknowledged in his heart all of the horrors of his life of sin.

Tormented in his soul, the troubled gangster returned to the friary. This time, he was received with great kindness by St. Pio, who then listed all the sins of the man's life to him in incredible detail! When the amazed man subsequently repented of these various sins, and received sacramental Absolution, St. Pio promised that, if he did not offend God anymore, he would be blessed with a child. One year later, the man returned as the happy father of a new-born child; a baby that had been born from the wife that he had earlier been planning to murder!

There are many examples of St. Pio's dealings with souls in the areas of chastity and Holy Matrimony. Let us focus on just two for today.

The first relates to the time when a young married woman came for Confession and Absolution in 1962. St. Pio instructed her to enclose herself in the silence of prayer, in order to save her marriage. As her home-life seemed so smooth at that time, she was greatly surprised by this spiritual counsel. Nevertheless, she followed the saint's instructions. When a storm did subsequently break in her marriage, this young lady was well prepared by the interior life that she had cultivated in the Lord. With God as her rock and strength, she was thus able to save her family from a sure break-up. 

Another time, a man who was esteemed and admired as a good Catholic came to the Franciscan friary. In reality, however, this fellow had neglected his wife and was at that time attempting to compensate for his loneliness by the grave sin of adultery with another woman. When he entered St. Pio's confessional and began to speak of a ''spiritual crisis'' that he was going through, St. Pio suddenly stood up and shouted: ''What spiritual crisis? You are a vile pig! And God is angry with you! Go away!''

As we noted above, such an approach was employed by St. Pio when this would prove the most effective means to bring about a sincere repentance and conversion in a hard-hearted person's soul. 

What was this, if not a genuine and effective pastoral practice for the salvation and sanctification of souls?

Sadly, there are too many Modernist prelates and priests who have emptied words of their objective meaning. This is most troubling in the case of words that once had a valid place in the pastoral care of souls. I think, for example, of terms such as accompaniment, dialogue, openness and mercy. After decades of misuse, these words have been effectively emptied of their real content, to become merely empty slogans of a corporate-style Nu-Church. They have become a cover for those who want to advance grave sin and widespread acquiescance with grave sin.

It is impossible, at this point, not to think again of that dire set of ''Criteria for the application of Amoris Laetitia'' that has been so scandalously put out by Archbishop Scicluna of Malta and Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo.
Who's on First? No, not Abbott and Costello, but Scicluna and Grech! They would like to accompany souls somewhere. Judging by the scandalous and heretical document they've just issued, theirs is an offer you'd do well to refuse...

As we have already discussed, theirs is a document which is at once blasphemous, sacrilegious and heretical.

It offends God, goes against Sacred Scripture and Tradition, sunders the unity of the Church, subverts the sacraments of Holy Matrimony, Holy Confession and Holy Communion, and leads souls into error, impenitence and grave sacrilege. Unchecked, it will lead countless souls into the eternal fires of damnation in Hell.

And yet, in the face of genuine criticism from respected Catholics like Fr. Brian Harrison and Dr. Ed Peters, as well as countless concerned priests and laity on the internet, Archbishop Scicluna remains unmoved.

Indeed, as the top headline at Canon 212 relays this evening, Scicluna has had the temerity to say to The Times of Malta: ''I am saddened by the reactions from certain quarters and invite priests who may have concerns to come forward and discuss them directly with us because we want to be a service to our people.''

Scicluna also claims that his document urges priests to avoid, what he calls, the extremes of laissez-faire and rigidity.

Well, I do hope that the priests of Malta and Gozo, as well as the faithful laity, resist this evil document with all of their Catholic will and might.

For cutting right through Scicluna's deceptively sweet doggerel is the objective fact that a person cannot be married and at the same time not married to their spouse. And Christ's teaching on the evils of adultery is clear. Who do these bishops think they are to consider themselves more merciful than Our Divine Saviour? Clearly, some dark evil is at work. May Jesus protect us all with His Precious Blood from this grim travesty!

As a mere layman, I can only hope and pray with countless others, that Archbishop Scicluna and Bishop Mario Grech will soon destroy their sinful document and make a sincere public act of repentance for their public promotion of adultery, sacrilege and heresy.

Sad to relate, but these men must also go to Confession for these very public sins. Let us pray that they will find a confessor who, in his administration of the Sacraments, is more akin to St. Pio than to the scandalous approach they have employed hitherto.

If you get chance, do have a read of Fr. Brian Harrison's articulate piece, called The Maltese Falcons, over at 1 Peter 5.

St. Pio - Pray for us!

Go and Sin No More!

Torch of The Faith News on Monday 16 January 2017 - 13:44:56 | by admin

As must be the case for many Catholics throughout the world, the Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia, issued recently by the Bishops of Malta and Gozo, has troubled me throughout much of the weekend.

So, too, has the wider implication of the fact that it appeared to receive a certain Francis-related kudos, by being featured without condemnation in the pages of L'Osservatore Romano.

During the Second World War, Malta was, at one point, defended by three R.A.F. Gloster Sea Gladiator biplanes nicknamed Faith, Hope and Charity. Well, it seems that the Bishops of Malta and Gozo have accomplished, what the Luftwaffe could not do, by shooting down faith, hope and charity in one fell swoop... 

By the way, before going any further, I must sincerely apologize, and ask forgiveness, for initially rendering that as the ''Bishops of Malta and Goa'' in my haste to get Saturday's article posted on-line before going out. It was corrected in the original yesterday.

The above picture features on the cover of the scandalous document that has been issued by Malta's Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna and Gozo's Bishop Mario Grech.

It is one of the religious mosaics created by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik S.J. - creator of a number of successful catechetical artworks, as well as the rather more disturbing Jubilee of Mercy logo - and depicts the scene of the woman caught in adultery. Although we had no desire to promote the weird-looking Jubilee logo, we have drawn from Fr. Rupnik's richly symbolic Crucifixion scene when giving catechesis to teenagers in the past. (We speak of the mosaic image which is pictured below; and which features in the Vatican's Redemptoris Mater chapel).

It is interesting that the Bishops of Malta and Gozo should illustrate their document with this particular piece of artwork though.

Perhaps, like many dissenting liberals, they think that this will allow them to forestall any criticisms from orthodox Catholics. You know the score: a faithful Catholic defends the Faith, only to be rebuffed with the misapplication of Jesus' words to the woman caught in adultery: ''Let him without sin cast the first stone''.

Of course, this is a misapplication of the Saviour's words because, in the original account presented by St. John's Gospel (John 8:1-11), Our Lord's dialogue with the woman goes like this: ''Then Jesus lifting up Himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? Who said: no man, Lord. And Jesus said: neither will I condemn thee. Go and now sin no more.''
Notice that: Go and now sin no more. Jesus sets us free from sin; not for sin!

When reading the sacrilege-enabling document by the Bishops of Malta and Gozo, one gets the distinct impression that they are telling their people, rather, to ''Go and sin some more!''

Oh yes, there is that little rider in their phraseology that suggests that no-one can be precluded from Confession and Holy Communion. But, of course, that is standard Church-teaching.

But, as any half-catechized person should be able to tell you, the conditions for a valid sacramental absolution include true contrition, integral vocal confession of all known mortal sins and a firm purpose of amendment to avoid future occasions of sin.

Scicluna and Grech don't make any of that clear with their relativistic twaddle, which states: ''If a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.''

Nope, there is no teaching on the objective components of a valid Confession and Absolution here. It is a relativistic invitation for adulterers to come to confess all their other sins, except for the in-your-face ''biggie'' of living in an objective state of adultery, and then go on to receive Holy Communion.

Again, in Catholic teaching this represents an invitation to sacrilegious Confessions and sacrilegious Communions.

It all reminds me of Our Blessed Lord's strong words to the pharisees, when He warned: ''Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of Hell two-fold more than yourselves'' (St. Matthew's Gospel: 23:15).

As we illustrated in Saturday's article, the Council of Trent declares an excommunication on anyone who presumes to teach, preach or obstinately maintain, or defend in public disputation that Holy Communion may be received without Holy Confession of all known mortal sins.

There is one other key teaching in the Council of Trent which particularly exposes the falsehood of Scicluna and Grech's attempt to subvert Holy Matrimony with their fancy ''informed and enlightened conscience'' fraud.

In the Council of Trent's Canon XII on Holy Matrimony, we read: ''If anyone saith, that matrimonial causes do not belong to ecclesiastical judges; let him be anathema.''

When Christ rescued the woman from those who sought to stone her, He did not only set her free from that penalty; He set her free with His forgiveness and instruction to ''Go and sin no more''. His saving grace was available to accompany her into a better future. If bishops Scicluna and Grech were truly merciful, that is to say truly Catholics, this is the message that they would be giving to their people.

This incident is not the only one involving stones to be reported in the Gospels. St. Luke (Lk 17:2) warns: ''It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.''

Perhaps Scicluna and Grech might contemplate that divinely revealed fact next time they wander along the coasts of the Maltese archipelago.

Our Lady Will Obtain the New Wine of Victory over this Present Crisis

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 15 January 2017 - 10:31:11 | by admin

The Traditional Latin Mass for this Second Sunday after Epiphany features the Wedding Feast at Cana, from the 2nd chapter of St. John's Gospel.

This is an especially important Gospel for the present crisis in the Church. This is so because it demonstrates Christ's divinity, shows forth the intercessory power of Our Blessed Lady, and affirms the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. 

Many orthodox Catholics feel themselves to be, so to speak, running out of wine, in the midst of the constant barrage of attacks against the Faith, which is coming from the very physical height and centre of the Church. This is no small matter. And, as we enter upon another year in which it has become clear that those attacks are increasing in magnitude, number and variety, members of the faithful are noticing a deeper sense of weariness in the struggle.

However, let none of us lose heart; today's Gospel has much to teach us for times such as this. And being that it is a Gospel regarding Holy Matrimony, we should pay particular heed.

In the encyclical Redemptoris Mater, we read: ''The description of the Cana event outlines what is actually manifested as a new kind of motherhood according to the spirit and not just according to the flesh, that is to say Mary's solicitude for human beings, her coming to them in the wide variety of their wants and needs. At Cana in Galilee there is shown only one concrete aspect of human need, apparently a small one of little importance (''They have no wine''). But it has a symbolic value: this coming to the aid of human needs means, at the same time, bringing those needs within the radius of Christ's messianic mission and salvific power. Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself ''in the middle,'' that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she ''has the right'' to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary ''intercedes'' for mankind...

... And that is not all. As a mother she also wishes the messianic power of her Son to be manifested, that salvific power of His which is meant to help man in his misfortunes, to free him from the evil which in various forms and degrees weighs heavily upon his life. Precisely as the prophet Isaiah had foretold about the Messiah in the famous passage which Jesus quoted before His fellow townsfolk in Nazareth: ''To preach good news to the poor... to proclaim release to the captives and recovering the sight of the blind...''(cf. Lk. 4:18).''

Who are the poor, those held captive, those weighed down by evil, or those needing help to see again, in the midst of the present crisis, if not the orthodox Catholics who seek to remain faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His true teachings?

Who are they without wine, if not the members of the Church who have been denied the authentic teachings and the balm of Christ's love; which ought to have been mediated to them through Christ's vicar on earth during these last four years?

At Cana, Our Lady's intercessory power is clearly shown forth. In response to this maternal intercession, Jesus works His first miraculous sign and demonstrates His divinity and power to the Disciples. Notice how Our Lady believed prior to the miracle; and the disciples subsequently believed because of it.

Let us then receive new heart, indeed new wine, by looking to Our Blessed Lady, who already sees what we lack before we ask; and is able to so powerfully intercede for us with her divine Son Jesus. She is Mother of God, Mother of the Church and Mother of each of us in the order of grace.

And we know that, in the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph! Our Lord will not leave His Mother's prayers unheeded. Our Lady believes this; let us believe it also.

Keep the Faith!

Our Lady of Victories - Pray for us!   

A Whole Hill of Beans...

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 14 January 2017 - 14:08:18 | by admin

This week's Catholic news even featured a Bogeyman - No, not him!

Dames, Bogeymen and Maltese Idolatry: there were times this week when you weren't sure if you were reading Catholic news items or watching classical film noir. In the best traditions of that genre, we have therefore tried to lighten the mood a little with some photo-captions inspired by famous lines from the movie, Casablanca. At the end of the day, though, and as our final sentence demonstrates: It ain't funny...

The Dame 
Round up the usual suspects!

International readers might be interested to know that Dame Louise Carey is the (Orwellian sounding) ''integration advisor'' to the British Government.

Just before Christmas, we noted that Dame Louise had spoken of supposedly ''regressive attitudes'' which somehow wanted to take religion ''backwards and away from 21st-Century British values and laws on issues such as gender-equality and sexual orientation; creating segregation and pulling communities apart.''

We were reflecting, in our article, on the danger of the British Government seeking to impose an ''Oath of Allegiance'' - one that reflected the ''values'' of post-modernity - on all elected officials, civil servants, council workers and possibly staff of the BBC and NHS (National Health Service). As we said back then, employment prospects for faithful Catholics just got a whole lot better (not!).

Anyway, Dame Carey was prominent in the Catholic news again this week, due to her criticism of Catholic schools - remember them?!!! - during an official parliamentary hearing. On Monday, Dame Carey suggested that ''it is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage. That is not OK either - that is not how we bring children up in this country.''

Predictably, the so-called Catholic Education Service (CES) - hardly noted as a bulwark of Catholic orthodoxy - swiftly retorted that Catholic schools in Britain were ''tolerant'' and ''not guilty of homophobia''. Catholic parents in this country have long known that they cannot rely on the CES to protect, much less to implement, the orthodox formation of their children. It is not for nothing that many orthodox parents began home-schooling their families during the last decade. 

As usual, it seemed that the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales left it to the good Bishops Mark Davies and Philip Egan to deliver a more developed articulation and defence of Catholic teaching to the wider culture.

Speaking to the Catholic News Service (CNS), Bishop Davies recalled that it was actually Britain's Christian heritage that had shaped the country's values. He noted: ''These values would be undermined if an ''equalities agenda'' in schools became the vehicle for an increasing intolerance of Christian teaching.'' 

Also speaking to CNS, Bishop Egan pointed out the descent into irrationality which typifies so much in our present cultural situation. His Lordship suggested that trying to teach sexual morality in contemporary Britain has become a bit like arguing with an alchohoic: ''After a while, they won't argue with you on grounds of reason, they just become furious and respond that way. There is something in our culture increasingly like that.''

The irrationality of Dame Carey's discourse is certainly worth highlighting. In her presentation to the parliamentary hearing, she contended: ''I have a problem with the expression 'religious conservatism', because often it can be anti-equalities. We have got to be careful that people can choose, obviously, to live the lives that they want to live, but they cannot condemn others for living differently. That is a grey line, and the more we can talk about it the better.''

Well, let's talk about it, shall we? Notice how, in a moment of unguarded ''anti-equality'' (!), Dame Carey condemns ''religious conservatism'' at the same time as suggesting that no-one can condemn others for living differently? See, too, how she seeks a clear line of demarcation between what she deems to be acceptable, and what she does not; but only has the ability to call this a ''grey line''. This is because the first principle of her argument is not based in the acceptance of objective truth, such as the divine and natural law, but in the shifting post-modern sands of feelings, opinion and, ultimately, will to power.

This type of scenario was classically parsed in Hilary White's recent article at 1 Peter 5; in which she discussed the essential differences between Positivism and Epistemological Realism.

In the end I can only sum up with the splendidly insightful Tweet of Edward Leigh, the Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, which said: ''Equalities czar says 'we can't condemn others for living differently' then condemns Catholics for living differently.''

The Bogeyman   
Of all the buildings in the whole of the city of Rome, he had to walk into ours...

In the days of Pope Francis, the Vatican's scandal-giving policy of inviting Culture of Death globalists to host conferences has been legion. However, most previous scandals were surpassed this week with the news that Dr. Paul Ehrlich has been invited to speak at an upcoming 'Biological Extinction' conference. This is because, of course, Ehrlich has long been an infamous advocate of sex-selection abortion and mass forced-sterilization to reduce the global population. In his 2014 book, Hope on Earth, a Conversation, Ehrlich even went so far as to suggest that the Catholic Church, and Her authentic teachings on sexual ethics, represented a threat to the future of the earth. This is because Ehrlich is one of those mistaken ''thinkers'' who suggest that unchecked population growth will lead to catastrophic environmental destruction. Good grief, Ehrlich's book even claimed that the Pope and Bishops were one of the most evil and regressive forces on the planet!

None of this has prevented him from being invited as a keynote speaker at the Vatican in the distressing days of Francis. The respected population expert Steve Mosher told LifeSiteNews that Ehrlich's attendance at this event could be likened to Raul Castro being invited to give a talk on human rights.

Of course, Castro has himself already been affirmed with a couple of very high-profile meetings with Francis. Last April, we even did an article here about various other Marxists and fellow-travellers who have spoken at the Vatican since Francis took the helm.

All of which gives us an opportunity to speak of something we first read recently over at Tradition in Action. Last November, their team reported that Francis had welcomed to the Vatican the III International Meeting of Popular Movements. During that meeting, Francis called on all those present to reform present day society and prepare for the future.

The leaders that Francis greeted at the end of his talk included Jose Mujica, ex-president of Uruguay and former terrorist, together with Jose Pedro Stedile, leader of the Communist Landless Movement in Brazil. Both of these men have given presentations under the aegis of the mass-murdering Communist Che Guevara. The Landless Movement is itself notable as a violent group; given to occupying farms and land in the countryside, and provoking confrontation in the cities.

At the end of their article, Tradition in Action asked if Pope Francis were not therefore the biggest promoter of Communism in the world today. Certainly, this news gives a particular flavour to the invitation of the pro-death and mass-sterilization population-control advocate Paul Ehrlich to speak at the Vatican...

Now what was it Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich said again? Ah, yes: ''Heretics of every kind came into the City of Rome.'' She also warned faithful Catholics to pray much for the ''Church of darkness to leave Rome''.

Maltese Idolatry
You know how you sound? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart.

How disgracefully sacrilegious that the Bishops of Malta and Gozo, headed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, have put out the most clearly-worded adoption of Amoris Laetitia-inspired mass-sacrilege to date.

Their claims that sexual activity may be impossible for some to avoid says more about their own hearts, and the quality of their own vows, than about the reality of the human person; at least when aided by God's redeeming and sanctifying grace. Put simply: it owes more to Sigmund Freud and Martin Luther than it reflects anything to do with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Let us compare their un-Catholic garbage with the perennial teaching articulated in the Council of Trent.

These sacrilege-enabling Maltese and Gozo Judas-bishops write: ''If a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.''

Now enlighten and inform your consciences with Trent: specifically Council 11, 13th Session, October 11th, 1551, regarding the worthy reception of Holy Communion: Those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, no matter how contrite they may think they are, first must necessarily make a sacramental Confession - If anyone presumes to teach, or preach, or obstinately maintain, or defend in public disputation the opposite of this, he shall by the very fact be exommunicated.

And so, to Archbishop Scicluna, and other sorry Bishops who have signed up to this sacrilegious travesty which so offends Our Lord, rends the unity of His Church, and leads countless souls with all of you toward the very pit of eternal damnation in Hell, and to Pope Francis who has thus far led the Church to this demonic impasse, we address those timeless words of Humphrey Bogart: Here's Lookin' at You Kid!


Look Up and Lift Up Your Heads - For Your Redemption is Nigh (Luke 21:28)

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 13 January 2017 - 00:28:11 | by admin

St. Juliana of Liege receiving her Eucharistic visions in the early 13th-Century.

There is no doubt about the fact that this is a remarkably tough time for orthodox Catholics. The plethora of disturbing stories emanating out from Rome each and every day can well be summed up by 1 Peter 5's latest headline, which announces - in stark contrast to the head-in-the-sand claims of Cardinal Muller - Cardinal Burke: ''The Faith is in Danger!''

Just this evening, we logged on to discover from LifeSiteNews that Pope Francis had, yet again, been deriding defenders of Church teaching as being supposedly un-Christ-like.

I was about to start crafting together another response to these kinds of grim stories when I looked up to consider that big old moon, which was so filling our chilled northerly skies at that time in the early evening.

Whilst other parts of England were being lashed by hail, sleet and snow, we were instead treated to a glowing vista of an almost full-moon rising low in a clear and dark sky; punctuated only by occasional patches of milky clouds and several forked-lightning strikes that were breaking through the cold air near to the coast.

Sometimes we can become so focused on a problem that we stop seeing what is around us. This is not surprising when our holy religion is under such sinister and coordinated attacks from within. None of us should ever forget these constant attacks; neither should we cease to resist them via the ways God has given us to do so. Primarily, this should be prayer, sacrifice and Sacraments. At the same time, we must not allow anything to remove our focus from Christ, or the countless ways in which He communicates Himself to us in the ''sacrament of the present''.

I remember one period at Ushaw seminary, when I would take off every afternoon during a supposed ''retreat'' for a 1.5 hour hike on my own across the local lanes, fields and moorland to come to terms with all the liturgical abuses, sacrilegious shenanigans and erroneous teachings that were being forced on us as a, quite literally, captive audience of the scoffing Modernists who were controlling that environment.

On the fourth afternoon of that painful retreat week, I suddenly heard a blackbird singing and stopped to observe it. At that moment I realized that I was surrounded by quite beautiful open countryside, an expansive sky and a veritable choir of birdsong. The truth broke in on me that, during almost four whole afternoons of hiking, I had neither seen nor heard anything external to myself!

What then, I wondered, had I been seeing and hearing?

Like a crashing wave breaking over my consciousness, I realized that all I had seen was the patch of rocky track immediately in front of my two striding feet; combined with an internal replaying, over and over again, of the painful scenes described above. These latter had also formed the interior sounds that had, together with my frustrated grumblings, preoccupied my recent walks up until then.

Becoming suddenly aware of my vast surroundings, I also remembered that God was still there; still in tranquil control of the created, fallen and redeemed universe that He was holding in being all that time.

Don't think I'm saying we should not be concerned or stop wrestling with all that is going wrong around us in these times.

But, let us not allow these things, either, to lock us up in a restricted paradigm of our own making; into which even God will not enter without our express permission.

Luke 21:28 announces: ''But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.''

I was thinking of that verse after looking up at that terrific moon earlier tonight. By God's grace, when I see a full-moon, I am reminded of the Eucharistic Host and experience a deep kind of spiritual hunger and thirst for the Most Holy Eucharist.

I remember reading about twenty years ago that, following St. Francis of Assisi's poetic canticles, there has been a tradition since medieval times of Catholics recognizing the Sun and Moon as symbols pointing us to the pure white beauty and light of Christ in the Eucharistic Host.
Certainly, St. Francis could see God in all things.

In his Canticle of the Creatures, he joyfully proclaimed: ''Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially you, Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour, and bears a likeness of You, Most High One. Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars: in Heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.''

Yes, Pope Francis and his minions may seem to be winning in waging a sacrilegious war on all that is good and holy - on the Most Holy Eucharist, Holy Matrimony, the Church and the faithful! - but GOD IS. And He reminds us of His Presence through the created beauty of His awesome creation. The present evils are passing; Christ remains forever.  

Another medieval saint with a profound recognition of God's communication through nature was St. Juliana of Liege. In the early 13th-Century, she received the series of visions in which the bright Moon appeared to her with a segment that remained dark.

In time, St. Juliana came to understand that the bright Moon represented the Liturgical Year; whilst the dark segment represented the absence of a feast in honour of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist. Eventually, the visions of St. Juliana contributed to the establishment of what we now celebrate throughout the Church as the annual Feast of Corpus Christi.

The Fathers of the Church taught that Creation was made as the setting into which the Church would eventually be established. Creation exists for the Church! It makes perfect sense then, for that Creation to be imprinted, indeed punctuated, with signs of Christ Who reigns at the Heart of that Church at the very centre of the Creation.

The Sun and Moon, those lights at the centre of every single creature's day and night, recall us to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus at the centre of all things that are.

The saints could recognize this, because they had Christ at the centre of their hearts. They found Him in all things; and all things spoke of Him, and returned them to Him. In Him, they really did live, move and have their being!
In my earlier paragraphs above, I described tonight's moon as being almost a full-moon; for this moon, too, has a small segment that remains at this time dark. So it was easy to be reminded, tonight, not only of the Holy Eucharist and St. Francis, but also of St. Juliana and Corpus Christi. 

St. John Vianney once taught that, to the impure, even holy things are viewed through sullied eyes. This reflects the teaching expressed in Titus 1:15: ''All things are clean to the clean: but to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers nothing is clean: but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.''

I do believe this is why so many, who should know better, are trying to force sacrilegious communions, and the acceptance of such, on the whole Church. This is why we must all ask God to renew our own hearts and minds; and then cooperate with Him in this renewal by our grace-aided efforts to be converted each and every day.

At the same time, it is why the saints like St. Francis and St. Juliana could see and hear God in all things. Their pure hearts gave them a clear vision of reality.

May these holy saints intercede for us to remain ever open to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to find God in and through all things. May we see more than the two foot of rocky track ahead of us, by remembering to see the light of Christ, and to hear His promptings, all around and within us too.
It is helpful for the spiritual life to cultivate praise of God each day. Let us then join together in praying with our Guardian Angels: ''O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All Praise and All Thanksgiving be Every Moment Thine!''

Yes, let us look up and lift up our heads; for truly our redemption is nigh! This is so, because Christ is Really Present to us. Our job, is to remain really present to Him. And therein, lies our peace.

St. Francis of Assisi - Pray for us!

St. Juliana of Liege - Pray for us!


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 11 January 2017 - 15:01:46 | by admin

Don't Go!, Get Ready to Go!, or just plain Go!?: If Cardinal Muller were a traffic cop, would he see no danger in the above scenario? 

I'm afraid that our website does not permit the displaying of umlauts in our rendition of Cardinal Muller's name. Given the circumstances, I should think that is the least of everyone's worries...

The world of Catholic media was abuzz yesterday with the tragic news that Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, present head of the CDF, claims to see ''no danger to the Faith'' in the ambiguous content of Amoris Laetitia. And this in spite of the fact that, under his leadership, the CDF had requested a raft of 20-pages worth of corrections - all of which were arrogantly ignored - prior to that document's release by Pope Francis!

If Cardinal Muller were a traffic-cop, would he see no inherent danger if all the traffic lights on his beat suddenly registered Don't Go!, Get Ready to Go!, and just plain Go! all at the same moment? And would his refusal to see danger be convincing, if he had only recently been speaking out on the need for reliable and clear traffic-lights?

At the very least, his inaction will now add inexorably to the chaotic backlog of moral confusion, which has been so dramatically escalated by the actions, words and writings of Pope Francis. In spiritual terms, and sticking with our traffic-light motif, the Church and world are becoming increasingly gridlocked in a chaos of Italian Job proportions...

Perhaps The Wanderer's link to the story at 1 Peter 5 says it all with the title, Muller Caves. As Christopher Ferrara reflects over at Fatima Perspectives, ''What a sad day for the Church when the very head of its doctrinal congregation blinds himself to what is perhaps, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has observed, the greatest doctrinal crisis since the Arian heresy.''

Whilst, like many other people, we have been encouraged by several of the faithful-sounding interviews and writings released by Cardinal Muller in recent months, I'll be honest and tell you that we have never really held him up as any kind of great white hope for orthodoxy.

Not since he donned a Peruvian poncho and welcomed Gustavo Gutierrez, the notorious ''father'' of Liberation Theology, to the CDF's Vatican office just three days after being elevated, by Pope Francis, to the College of Cardinals in February 2014...
The garb of the Liberation Theologian: They're all wearing them in Rome this year...

Notwithstanding the correctives and warnings issued against him during the days of Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the leftist Gutierrez was in Rome to help launch Muller's latest book, Poor for the Poor - The Mission of the Church.

That newly released book not only featured two chapters written by Gutierrez, but even boasted a preface by Pope Francis. At the time, Tradition in Action reported that Francis' preface was notable for expressing a frontal denial of the right of private property and indirectly, but clearly, endorsing Liberation Theology. In the press conference that followed the book launch, both Muller and Gutierrez spoke firmly in favour of Liberation Theology.

As troubling as it was to witness Francis and his head of the CDF co-writing books with formerly censured radicals like Gutierrez, this was nothing compared to Muller's seemingly effective denial of the Virgin Birth in his book, Catholic Dogmatic - For the Study and Practice of Theology.

Quite frankly, in more sane times, a man like Muller would not only not be heading the CDF, but would be being ordered by it to provide clarifications over his own writings!

On top of these grave theological concerns, Cardinal Muller has also given serious cause for concern in pastoral matters by appearing in a smiley World Youth Day photograph with his arms around two unchastely dressed young women; one of whom sported a green punk hair-do in the shaven and spiked Mohawk style.

However, this is not such a grave concern as the fact that, after a period of supervised probation, Muller reinstated the child sex-abusing priest Fr. Peter Kramer to a parish; without requiring him to avoid local youths, informing the local population or parents of Kramer's crimes, or ordering him to be kept under monitored supervision. Predictably, Kramer went on to abuse again in this new location until he was arrested and sent for three years to a state-run psychiatric facility.

In spite of this scandalous matter, and whilst the boys and their families suffered grave spiritual and psychological damage, Muller was elevated to the CDF and made an Archbishop.

These promotions were given by Pope Benedict XVI. The subsequent promotion to the College of Cardinals was made by Francis.

Alas, disappointing as it is to see Cardinal Muller now ''caving'' to Francis - to use the expression in The Wanderer's headline - we cannot say that it is really surprising...

Please join us at 3pm each day in praying for Pope Francis to repent of the confusing damage he has caused to souls; and to save his own soul, and the souls of countless others, by clearly defending the Sacred Deposit of the Faith.

Our Lady of Fatima - Pray for us!

Fr. Michael Scanlan - Requiescat in Pace

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 10 January 2017 - 03:09:00 | by admin

There are just a few people who seem so close to Our Lord that, when they pass through death from this life, the sadness one naturally feels is tempered with a sense that at least they are now ''safely over the wall'' and beyond the temptations and evils of this world. It is a phenomenon which St. Augustine touched upon during his timeless discussion of the death of righteous men in his classical work, The City of God Against the Pagans. Don't get me wrong, such people still need our prayers, but the darkness of their death seems tangibly tinged with the brightness of Christ's light. 

I must say that this mingling of sorrow with joy is what I have experienced since hearing the sad news of the death of Fr. Michael Scanlan on Saturday at the age of 85.

To most readers of this blog, and certainly those on the Continent of North America, Fr. Michael Scanlan T.O.R. will need little introduction: a graduate of Harvard School of Law; former staff judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force; priest of the Franciscan Third Order Regular; president, chancellor and president-emeritus of Franciscan University of Steubenville; and famous personality in the charismatic movement and on EWTN.

It was the dynamic Fr. Michael Scanlan who had led the restoration of the Steubenville campus from a financially struggling local college in the early 70's, into a successfully world famous Catholic university; globally renowned in more recent times for its theological orthodoxy, pro-life activism and energetic missionary outreach.
Or rather it was the Holy Spirit, working through Fr. Scanlan and his powerful gifts and leadership, Who achieved all of this. As the kindly Dr. Alan Schreck once recalled in a video-tribute to Fr. Scanlan: when being interviewed by the Trustees for the leadership role at Steubenville, Fr. Scanlan had simply stated: ''I want to make Jesus Christ really Lord of every aspect of the life of this campus.''

In doing so through the decades that followed, he became a friend to late-20th-Century leaders like Pope St. John Paul II, St. Mother Teresa, Mother Angelica and Fr. Benedict Groeschel; as well as a strong spiritual father to many folks across the generations and socio-economic backgrounds. I recall one touching story of how Fr. Scanlan helped to overcome the social exclusion of some young black-children in the locality through a very caring and practical approach that united communities together.
In the post-conciliar period, during which time far too many Catholic educational institutions were collapsing into dissent, rebellion and immorality, Fr. Scanlan bucked the trend by making Franciscan University's professors the first in America to take the public Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.

Under his leadership, the university built on this key defence of the Faith in several other practical ways. These included: developing the successful ''Households'' to help generations of young people grow together in holiness; creating a campus atmosphere in which a dynamic spirit of evangelization could take root and bear rich fruit; establishing the strong and healthy pro-life traditions, which include weekly prayers and outreach outside a Pittsburgh abortion facility, participation in the annual March for Life in Washington D.C., lobbying of local and national elections and setting up the Tomb of the Unborn on campus near to the perpetual Adoration chapel.

In 1975, Fr. Scanlan also established the annual summer conferences which continue to draw tens of thousands each year. Such is the scope of Steubenville's mission that the university now boasts over 12,000 graduated alumni throughout the world.

To be honest, as a Brit' I knew little of this, or the fact that he had been a famed leader in the charismatic movement, on the night that I first met Fr. Scanlan on the Steubenville campus.
It was a roasting late-summer evening in 2004 and he was wearing a pure white habit, instead of his usual dark T.O.R. habit, to keep cool from the baking hot sun. The other thing he was wearing was his trademark welcoming smile.

Father Scanlan was one of several Franciscan priests who were that night hosting a welcoming party for a dozen or so international students who, like me, had travelled a long way to get to Ohio from various countries, in order to study full-time at the university.

When he heard that Angie and I were British, Fr. Scanlan told us an amazing story about a conference he once gave in England. He said that, whilst he had been talking at the podium, he felt the Lord keep telling him to proclaim a certain man's name - a name he had never heard of before - and announce to that man that Jesus wanted him to know that He did love him.

Fr. Scanlan said that this seemed so odd that he thought, ''I can't do that!'' However, the sense of urgent prompting continued until he suddenly announced ''Mr. so-and-so. Jesus wants you to know that he does love you!'' Apparently, at the end of that long-ago evening in England, whilst Fr. Scanlan was chatting to members of the audience, a man came up to him and said: ''How did you know about me? Just this night, I had said to the Lord that I needed to know if He really loved me and I asked Him to show me!'' The whole time Fr. Scanlan was telling Angie and I that story, his smiling eyes were shining with great joy.

As we have shared here before, Angie and I have a little ''miracle'' story of our own.

A few months after we got married in 2002, we had a large EWTN satellite-dish installed at our home in Bootle near Liverpool, here in England. In the following months, we began to watch the Franciscan University Presents show every Sunday evening. That is how we first came to see or hear anything about Fr. Michael Scanlan.
To us, he was a holy-looking old American priest, hosting an intellectual theology show that featured more familiar writers, like Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Regis Martin and various guests, sitting around a low coffee-table each weekend.

In early 2004, when an advert came on EWTN for the MA course at Franciscan University, Angie turned to me and asked would I like to go there. Having already gained a BA in Theology in Liverpool, and having just recently resigned from my job as a PR/Education officer at a pro-life charity, due to the organization's unfolding compromises in the realms of contraception, sex-education and Rogerian non-directive counselling, combined with my desire to receive post-Ushaw seminary healing/orthodox formation, I shrugged and said something like, ''Yes. Why not?''

To cut a long story short, we began a 30-Day prayer to St. Joseph for guidance and found ourselves flying over the Atlantic for a visit to the campus just a few weeks later. By the start of the following semester, we had stored most of our belongings in my Mum and Dad's loft, sold our home for double the price we had paid just two years earlier and arrived in Steubenville on a family study-visa for a two-year course of studies.

The really amazing thing - something that made us both think of God's sense of humour and His protective Fatherhood - was the fact that we were loaned the actual coffee-table and chairs that we had seen so often on TV, to help us to furnish our Steubenville apartment, when the Franciscan University Presents team updated their set with new ones!
When you are 4,000 miles away from family and friends, on the far side of the Atlantic, details like that can really deepen your faith and sense of wonder about God's awesome Providence! Sometimes I would just look at that coffee-table - and the former Taco-Bell booth that someone loaned us to use a dinner table and chairs! - and shake my head in amazement! 

At the other end of our two-year stay in America, just a few days before our final flight back home to dear old Blighty in 2006, we met with Fr. Scanlan near to the Franciscan Friary.

We had never been blessed with children and some friends had told us that Fr. Mike often prayed with couples in this situation; many of whom subsequently went on to have children of their own. In one legendary case, Fr. Scanlan had prayed with arms outstretched over one young wife, whilst her mother also joined in with the prayers from just behind her daughter. Apparently, in the months that followed, both the young wife and her middle-aged mother became pregnant!

Whenever you got near to Fr. Scanlan, you would see that powerful joy in Christ shining out from his eyes, his smile and indeed from his very countenance. Sometimes the university would put out glossy publicity materials that featured a laughing Fr. Scanlan at the centre of a group of happy students. The truth is that, although these were so obviously staged, they really did reflect the fact that Fr. Scanlan was like a spiritual father to so many young people. It was a very common sight to see him at the centre of groups of buzzing students like this in real life. He was very Christ-like and attracted people of all ages and types to be in his presence. 

A lot is spoken about ''joy'' today by people who really are dissenting from Christ's true teachings. What they are selling is counterfeit; the stolen pleasure of sin is not the same as authentic joy. With God's grace, one can spot the difference a mile off.
In some sermons, Fr. Scanlan would teach that real Christian joy is not the same as happiness or pleasure; it is rather the deeper gift received by those who let go of trying to control their own lives, die to themselves, give everything over to God and live no longer for themselves, but for Christ Who lives in them. Those people are free. Their true joy can persist even beneath, and in the midst of, grave trials and sufferings.

I think I've met about three people in my entire life who lived like that. They were all Catholics and, I would say, that Fr. Michael Scanlan was one of them.

Anyway, when he prayed over us that day in June 2006, I was feeling pretty confused because part of me wanted to stay Stateside and not leave the strongly Catholic-culture around the Steubenville campus and town. Whilst Angie and I were never really at home with the charismatic movement, Steubenville was nevertheless a special place where there were several chapels hosting 24-hour adoration, many faithful Catholic families, regular community activities and much orthodox teaching. During the two years that we spent there: around 20 young adults - roughly 10 at each of the Easter Vigils - were received into the Catholic Church on campus; at least one baby was saved from abortion; and many homeless and disadvantaged people were given friendship and practical assistance. 

Aware of our impending return to the UK, Fr. Scanlan prayed fervently for the fulfillment of God's plan in our lives and marriage, before giving us his priestly blessing for the future. At the end, he said that sometimes people are still not blessed with children, however this would be because God had some other plan for that couple to fulfill with their marital union.

There are many on-line videos featuring Fr. Scanlan that we think are worth your time to view. After hearing of Father Scanlan's death at the weekend, I watched one short video-clip message on the internet; wherein he gives a heartening message to alumni of the university. With those bright eyes of his shining as ever with Christ-like love, he encourages us all with the following words:-

I want to encourage you to live out your life with everything you have gained from the University. But know that faith has a place, and what you've learned about your faith, what you've studied in theology, what you've developed in the life of worship and the Sacraments, as well as implementing the Scriptures, in all you do, it's so important, pull your life into one, solidly rooted on the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Word, and going forth, saying: ''I am a disciple and I've got something to give.''

It is 10 years since we came home from our amazing experiences and learning at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It has been a tough decade marked by a rapidly secularizing culture, the ongoing collapse of Catholic orthodoxy and the deaths of several close family and friends. We never were blessed with children either. But, it has also been a time in which we have hopefully deepened our discipleship in the Lord through these Crosses and trials.

It has certainly been a period in which we have gone much deeper into the Tradition of the Church through liturgy, prayer and further study; living now as we do from the Traditional Calendar and attending only the Traditional Latin Mass for several years.

And yet, like so many other folks throughout the world, we can only say that we would not be where we are today without all that we had first learned and encountered at Steubenville.

And for that, we must ultimately say a big ''Thank You!'' to Fr. Mike Scanlan and those people he picked to serve on his team. His ministry brought us closer to Jesus and helped us to grow to a deeper understanding of the Church and the present situation. In a very real sense, Franciscan University of Steubenville ''tooled us up'' spiritually and intellectually for what we are doing now through this apostolate.
Please join us in praying from the heart for the many priests, deacons, religious and laity who are now grieving the loss of a spiritual father; and also for the repose of Fr. Michael Scanlan's immortal soul: Eternal rest grant unto him, dear Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him; and may he rest in peace. Amen.

Reality, Truth and Freedom

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 08 January 2017 - 13:00:57 | by admin

John Hurt as the fictional Winston Smith in the movie adaptation of George Orwell's 1984.

I had a re-read this morning of Phil Lawler's article critiquing the irrational twitterings of Fr. Antonio Spadaro S.J.

With some insight, Lawler's final paragraph opines: ''If Spadaro is not promoting an irrational faith, there's another way to interpret his curious Tweet, and it's no more reassuring. He may be suggesting that you and I and millions of other ordinary Catholics cannot be expected to follow the intricate logic of theologians - in the same way that we are flummoxed by the abtruse calculations of quantum mechanics - so we should leave this important business to the professionals. In other words, our role is to accept what we're told. We're not expected to understand; we're only expected to fall in line. His approach to faith is not based on reason. It may, however, be based on power.''

I do think that Mr. Lawler is on to something here.

Isn't it also interesting to notice how, from week to week, patterns constantly emerge in the media outputs of those closest to Pope Francis?

Whether this be in the realms of giving Communion to adulterers, commemorations of heresiarchs like Martin Luther, or proposals for intercommunion with heretics, various speakers suddenly start to say similar things to numerous media outlets in different countries until a narrative gradually emerges. Although too few seem to notice it as it unfolds, this approach really has all the subtlety and finesse of an advancing drop of cluster-bombs.

And it can prove just as devastating.

As if to provide a direct example, this week saw both Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Archbishop Georg Ganswein advancing specious theories which attempt to supplant natural reason, and the Church's classical explanation of the relationship between faith and reason, with a kind of blindly obedient Fideism.

Of course, we have refuted both of these futile attempts by drawing on the simple, yet immensely deep and logical, teaching of the First Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Filius.

A couple of months ago, drawing on that other great document Fides et Ratio, I stated that we must never let these relativists, much less their lousy dictatorship of relativism, clamp our Catholic hearts and consciences in their little post-modern cages.

As we noted yesterday, again quoting directly from Fides et Ratio, our hearts were made by God and for God, Who is Truth Himself. Nothing less will do for those who seek God with a sincere heart and determined will.

As orthodox writers throughout the history of the Catholic Church have so consistently demonstrated, there is a profound link between the honest pursuit of truth and authentic human freedom. Without truth, there can be no real freedom. In Memory and Identity, St. John Paul II again reflected on the fact that real freedom is not freedom from the good; but is freedom for the good.

Poor Fr. Antonio Spadaro's deluded twitterings put me in mind this morning of some things that George Orwell spoke about towards the middle of the 20th-Century. 

In his 1943 essay, Looking Back on the Spanish War, Orwell reflected on the evil nature of Nazism, which denied that such a thing as objective truth existed. He wrote: ''The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, ''It never happened'' - well, it never happened. If he says that 2 and 2 are 5 - well, 2 and 2 are 5. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs.''

It was a reflection on a potential dystopia which Orwell subsequently developed in his novel Nineteen Eighty Four. With prescient accuracy he wrote: ''In the end the Party would announce that 2 and 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.''

Of course, Orwell's fictional Winston Smith provides the drama of a man who recognizes that genuine freedom is that which is rooted in objective reality and truth. 2 + 2 really does = 4! If we remain secure in that, then all other things will fall into place.

This all reflects the classical Catholic philosophical tradition that is rooted so securely in the objectivity of Being.

Wherever and whenever the existence of objective divine and natural law has been rejected in human history, societies have soon deteriorated into a situation where only might makes right.

Herman Goering once ranted that if the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler said that 2+2=5, then so it would. 

As Phil Lawler seems to allude, it is to be feared that Fr. Antonio Spadaro's descent into irrationalism may portend something similar for orthodox Catholics.

And yet, it is really easy to pull the rug out from under this little party: for 2+2 demonstrably does equal 4! In the spreading face of unreason, we must always insist on that which is reasonable and true. We recommend the reading of Dei Filius, Fides et Ratio and Veritatis Splendor as a good place to begin.

St. Thomas Aquinas - Pray for us!

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