Ite ad Joseph - Go to Joseph!
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 11 March 2014 - 14:42:55 | by admin
Catholics, who have battled to live, defend and promote marriage and family life in the midst of a hostile culture, were hoping for the forthcoming Synod in Rome to be a time of consolation, encouragement and peace.
Unfortunately, the unsettling tenor of the times is being greatly exacerbated by the increasing ambiguity, of words and actions, emanating from even the highest levels of the Church.
Please join us today in a 9-Day Novena to St. Joseph, to prepare for his feast day on the 19th March, and to ask for his help and protection for the Church.
After Our Blessed Lady, St. Joseph is the greatest saint of the Church. He is also the head of the Holy Family and patron of the Universal Church. For all these reasons, he is the man of the moment to intercede for the Church to remain both faithful and fervent when it comes to preserving and promoting Catholic orthodoxy.
We live in times of unprecedented spiritual battle and confusion. Please then, pray this prayer with us each day until the feast of the great St. Joseph.
Glorious St. Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you we raise our hearts and our hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for us from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare. We ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favour which we now implore - for the Holy Father and the Rome Synod of Bishops on 'The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization', to preserve, defend and confidently promote the Tradition of Catholic Orthodoxy for the honour of God, the good of the Church, the salvation and sanctification of souls, and the well-being of society.
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church - Pray for us!
Carol Ann Harnett MA, B.Ed - Freelance Catholic Speaker, Catechist, Quiet Day Leader, Consultant, Children's Catechist
Torch of The Faith News on Monday 10 March 2014 - 17:07:55 | by admin
Our friend, and former Maryvale colleague, Carol Harnett has launched out on an exciting new apostolate as a freelance Catholic speaker, catechist, quiet day leader, consultant and children's catechist.
Carol is an experienced catechist and primary school teacher. She has been involved in parish catechesis for over 25 years and has worked with all age groups, from toddlers to adults.
As a teacher, she has taught all ages from nursery to 16 year olds, with a focus on the primary school sector. Carol has run school prayer groups as well as adult ongoing formation and prayer groups as well as RCIA. Carol is very creative and has used her gifts to make and perform puppet shows to impart Bible stories. She even has a workshop which allows children to help make the puppets to tell a favourite Bible story.
Carol has recently completed several years working full-time to form adult Catholics in the Faith. This has involved giving talks, presentations, leading retreat days and providing support to individuals as needed.
Carol would love to build on these experiences and visit parishes or schools to offer a range of talks/workshops, or to lead quiet/retreat days, or to lead inset days for teachers (or evening staff meetings) on an aspect of teaching the Faith.
Alan and Carol during the Presentation of
Catechetical Certificates to lay catechists at
Salford Cathedral in 2012.
Carol has given workshops and talks on many themes in the past and is happy to adapt new ones for a given situation. Some of her previous presentations include:-
What is the Catechism?
Art in Catholic Tradition
Understanding Christian Art
Our Lady in Sacred Art
Meditation on the Rublev Trinity Icon
Lent, Holy Week and Easter in Art
Understanding the Creed
Who is Jesus?
What is the Church?
Understanding the Eucharistic Prayer
Praying with the Catechism
For Children (either directly with them or as a training session with adults to do with children in homes and parishes)
Exploring pictures and making a child's copy
Making puppets to tell a Bible story
What is Holy Week?
The Stations of the Cross with Children (2 different workshops)
The Story of Salvation
The Sign of the Cross
What is happening at Mass?
For adults who work with children
Lent with children
Praying with children
An introduction to the Sacraments for parents
Creating a sacred space/focal table for home catechesis
We have known and worked with Carol for a few years and can vouch for the fact that her catechetical endeavours are orthodox and joyful. Anyone interested can contact Carol on 07870 223 863 and at catholic1812©gmail.com
Please pray for the success of this promising new venture.
St. Charles Borromeo - Pray for us!
St. Dominic Savio - Pray for us!
Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 09 March 2014 - 22:35:08 | by admin
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates St. Dominic Savio.
As our Home Page banner makes clear, his vision of the torch of the Catholic Faith dispelling the fog of error, and lighting up England, is the inspiration for this Torch of The Faith apostolate.
St. Dominic Savio was a holy student of St. John Bosco and made a series of resolutions on the day of his First Holy Communion. These included:-
1. I will go to Confession often and to Holy Communion as frequently as my confessor will allow.
2. I wish to sanctify the Sundays and Holy Days in a special manner.
3. My friends shall be Jesus and Mary.
4. Death rather than sin.
He loved Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, Our Blessed Lady, and the holy virtue of purity.
St. Dominic was once falsely accused at school and silently suffered punishment in the place of two guilty boys. When their guilt was later discovered, St. Dominic Savio was asked why he had not defended himself. He replied simply, that Jesus had suffered in silence when falsely accused and he wished to follow Him closely.
He was a great peacemaker, placing himself with a crucifix into harm's way to prevent rougher boys from fighting and telling them to go to Confession. He encouraged his schoolmates to be pure and to love Our Lady. One day he tore up some pornography which some boys were looking at and taught them to look to the things of Heaven. Whenever he could, he made visits to the Blessed Sacrament. He taught Catechism to his friends on Sundays.
In his final suffering he prepared for, and passed through, a holy death. He received the Last Sacraments and Papal Blessing. His last words were 'I see such lovely things!'
We, who have too often preferred sin to death in the past, ask for this beautiful saint to ask God for a deeper conversion for us and to protect and nurture the Torch of The Faith apostolate for souls.
St. Dominic Savio - thank you for being the inspiration for our work. Help us and our readers to prefer death to sin. Please pray for England and for her young people who wander amidst so many deceits, temptations and snares of the devil. Please pray for the Catholic Church in England to be protected from internal and external attacks.
St. Dominic Savio - Pray for us!
A Warning to All Parents, Bishops, Parish Priests and School Governors
Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 09 March 2014 - 10:56:00 | by admin
Please inform all parents, bishops, parish priests and school governors that the homosexual activist group Stonewall has sent out a copy of its 60-minute DVD FREE, together with a detailed lesson plan to every primary school in Britain.
Most of these packs will have arrived at your schools by now.
Stonewall state that this pack will help schools to 'tackle bullying and celebrate different families.'
Antonia Tully, SPUC's national co-ordinator of Safe at School, has responded: 'Parents should see this film before it is shown to their children. It is disingenuous to bill this film as a resource to crack down on bullying. Of course we want to see an end to bullying in schools, but bullying has become a smokescreen for promoting homosexuality to young, impressionable children.'
Torch of The Faith viewed parts of this film yesterday and can confirm that it promotes homosexualist reinterpretations of family-life. For example, one section of the film presents as normal a model of family which has 2 mums and 2 dads - the mums being lesbians and the dads being homosexuals.
Parents are the primary educators of their own children and have the natural right to withdraw their children from anything deemed inappropriate to them.
They also have the right to expect strong support from the bishops, priests and school governors throughout Britain.
As Antonia Tully concludes: 'Schools and parents should be aware that this film is yet another vehicle to normalise same-sex relationships in the minds of very young children.'
Deacon Nick Stands Down from Protect the Pope for a Period of Prayer and Reflection
Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 08 March 2014 - 13:38:02 | by admin
We recently asked readers to pray for Deacon Nick Donnelly, of Protect the Pope, to be healed of a virus which was exacerbating a chronic disease.
Mrs. Donnelly has posted up the following at the Protect the Pope site:-
'As Nick's wife I am writing to thank you for all the kind messages, prayers and gifts that Nick has received. You many have noticed that he has not posted for a while and I did not want you to be worried, as although he is still far from better, this silence has not been caused by his illness. Rather Nick has been asked to observe a period of prayer and reflection.
Please continue to pray for Nick during this time.'
We invite our readers to pray for Deacon Nick and Mrs. Donnelly to be comforted and consoled by Our Lady, and upheld by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their prophetic witness to Jesus Christ and their strong defence of the True Faith for the sake of souls.
St. Athanasius - Pray for them.
Into Great Silence
Torch of The Faith News on Friday 07 March 2014 - 21:49:35 | by admin
George Orwell famously wrote that in an age of universal deceit, it was a revolutionary act to tell the truth.
Throughout history, enemies of the truth have attempted to silence and suppress those who stood firmly for Jesus Christ and the full teachings of His Holy Catholic Church.
It is a grave injustice against God's children. The injustice is far more grave when the perpetrators are from within the Church.
All who suffer this cruel fate can be comforted in their exile, when they reflect on how much this can be used to conform them to the Lord Jesus Christ - He Who suffered the gravest injustice to save us.
Church history provides many notable examples of those who took up the cross of exile and silence to follow closely in the footsteps of the Master. They are now among His greatest friends.
One such is the great St. Athanasius.
He refused to back down in his defence of Jesus Christ from the Arian heresy. His enemies attempted to silence him by sending him five times into exile. Nevertheless, his faithfulness to Christ's truth was finally vindicated and he is listed among the greatest saints and defenders of orthodoxy today.
The great St. John of the Cross worked to reform the Carmelite Order.
Those who preferred mediocrity to holiness locked him away in a tower in a vain attempt to silence him from speaking and acting in the truth. His experience of exile enabled him to write some of the greatest spiritual works in the whole history of Western Civilization.
Coming closer to our own time, Fr. Paul Marx was silenced and exiled by his Benedictine superiors for his solid defence of Humanae Vitae and the pre-born. Throughout his exile, he suffered because he wanted to use his time to save babies from the Culture of Death. In time, he learned to offer up these crosses for that very work and it bore even greater fruit than if he had not suffered.
Fr. Marx was eventually able to establish Human Life International and the Lord blessed him with an enormously fruitful apostolate.
There is a great deal spoken today about dialogue.
However, too many good men in the Church, those who work to defend and promote Christ's truth, are finding themselves being silenced by powers intent on reinventing the Church to conform to the secular zeitgeist.
One of the most disturbing elements of this is the abuse of Canon Law to silence men in Holy Orders.
On a number of occasions, I (Alan) have witnessed some of my good friends being silenced for their orthodox Catholicism.
When at Ushaw, I remember a young man passing my room in tears. He was on a selection conference weekend and had just been interviewed. He had been asked for his views on Humanae Vitae and on the hierarchical model of the Church. When he affirmed Catholic teaching, he was bullied by his interviewers. He was crying because he knew that his call was very deep, and yet he was being thwarted and mistreated by those who rejected the truths of the Faith.
Another young man, in his late twenties, confided to me, on another selection weekend, that he had already attended for interviews ten years previously and had been asked for his views on abortion. When he affirmed the Church's teaching, the interviewer scolded him: 'In future, I suggest that you keep your views to yourself.' Needless to say, neither of these men entered the seminary.
Even those closer to ordination could find themselves similarly silenced. One man, in his 30's, was told after five years of 'formation', and on the morning of his diaconate ordination, to pack up and go home. His crime? Theological orthodoxy and having the courage to stand up for it. Eventually, he was ordained to the priesthood by a circuitous route which added a couple of years to his formation. Another friend had his priestly ordination delayed for six months, simply for wearing a Roman collar as a transitional deacon - and that only when visiting the sick and for Sunday Mass.
A few years ago, my late friend, Fr. Mike Williams, wrote a couple of letters to the press to express his concerns about Cherie Blair's stance as a public 'Catholic'.
He was told by his superiors to desist from such activity in the future.
Another priest friend of ours was trying to implement Pope Benedict's teachings on the Liturgy in his parish and to raise awareness of these teachings in the local area. For his efforts, he received threatening e-mails - containing swear-words - from local clergy and was hauled in to his superiors who threatened to report him to the papal nuncio. The crime? Trying to to implement papal teaching.
Another priest tried to implement Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue's Fit for Mission? Church in his own parish in another diocese. He was told not to persist in this activity.
Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue - A Man with the
Courage to stand up for the Faith.
During 2010, three of the community at the Birmingham Oratory were outspoken in their defence of Catholic teaching about sex education. This occured because Church authorities were making a distressing compromise with the Labour government over and against Catholic Truth and the legitimate concerns of thousands of priests and lay people. The three men were exiled and silenced not long afterwards.
A few days ago, a priest friend confided to us that it is easier for us to speak out on the issue of dissent because we are lay people. This is true in the sense that it is harder to silence us, even though this freedom comes at the price of us not being able to earn a crust. Because of this greater freedom, we feel that we must speak out while we can in order to defend the Church from the wolves within the sheepfold.
We wish to assure all such men that they are in our heartfelt prayers. We are very grateful to them for the Christian witness they have given in our times.
What can be done?
The great Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn experienced the bitter trial of exile in the Soviet Gulags. As Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty wrote in his memoirs, not all men come closer to God in suffering. Indeed, some fall away from Him. However, Solzhenitsyn - and indeed Mindszenty - were able to find in their sufferings the means to grow in love for God.
Solzhenitsyn realised that his sufferings could have merit if joined to God. It did not happen overnight, but gradually he learned that the exile and enforced silence of the Gulag could become for him a monastery.
The enforced privations could be the food of fruitful penance. The daily hardships and exterior sufferings could be transformed interiorly into prayerful communion with God. In time, his years of silence blossomed into some of the most powerful literature in history.
Cardinal Mindszenty was so suppressed by the Soviets, that they would not even allow him to move his lips in prayer. And so, he used this to grow in the silence of interior prayer. Hopefully, his sanctity will one day be officially recognised by the Church.
One of the greatest saints in the whole 2,000 year history of the Church was St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
Powerful modernist enemies were able to persecute him and he was suppressed for a period of time. A fellow friar found him crying when he was first exiled and silenced. He said that he cried not for himself but for those who were being deprived of his ministry for souls.
St. Pio used this to increase his communion with Jesus Christ. He won by his obedience and in time his apostolate became enormously fruitful.
The Cross is not pleasant. It is downright horrid. And yet, those who have been fastened to the cross of silence and exile for the truth are very dear to the Heart of Jesus Christ. They are among his most faithful disciples and friends.
It behoves us as the laity to pray for these suffering brethren and leaders who are enduring a very real kind of martyrdom. And we also need to call for greater transparency and fairer treatment for those who have not failed - but rather flourished - in the duties of their vocation.
St. John of the Cross gives powerful words which have the power to help those forced into silence to find, in the gulag of their suffering, their own monastery where God will nurture and heal them: One Word spake the Father, which Word was His Son, and this Word He speaks ever in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.
St. Joseph, St. Athanasius, St. John of the Cross, St. Pio - Pray for us.
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 05 March 2014 - 16:35:04 | by admin
It is over thirty years since our family moved into this family home. For most of those years, there has been some form of Christian witness in the front bay-window.
There have been illumined crib scenes at Christmas, Holy Week posters at Easter, and for other times, Dad would design colourful posters around Gospel texts and include calls to conversion to Jesus Christ.
The small crucifix, in the image above, has been a permanent fixture of the window for the last several years.
During those three decades, there has never been any trouble about any of these things. Occasionally, there may have been a bit of mocking laughter from a passer-by, or some questioning looks from visiting salesmen, but nothing that would realistically be described as trouble.
Until last night.
As we settled down to share the news of the day, before our Shrove Tuesday dinner, we noticed a hostile-looking, teenaged girl positioning herself behind our front bush and vigorously taking aim at the above crucifix. The angle of our blinds meant that we could observe her, swinging in a few times for the perfect shot, whilst she could not see us watching. Seconds later, the window was struck and the girl began to head off with her head held high with a nonchalance which was only betrayed by a furtive backwards glance.
Funnily enough, after reading of so many attacks on churches, we had wondered a few weeks ago, whether we would one day experience such attacks.
There is no doubt about it; many people today hate the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church He founded. Such people want Him and His Church banished from having any influence on contemporary society.
In the time before he was silenced and sent into exile, we heard the mystical Fr. Dermot Fenlon preaching a powerful homily in the Birmingham Oratory. Fr. Fenlon was warning about the widespread attempts to ban the crucifix from public buildings in Europe. He called for the congregation to, 'Love the crucifix, wear it... brandish it!'
Even sincere Catholics experience the temptation to hide from the cross. It was ever so; St. Peter himself was rebuked by Jesus, as 'Satan', for trying to get Him to avoid the Cross.
Today, when many prelates act as though we were living through the best of times for the Church, and consistently promote an almost carnival-like atmosphere, it can be very tempting for Catholics to ease off a little in the spiritual life. They can begin to ask themselves; with all these cardinals and bishops questioning the Church's perennial teaching and 'high-fiving' before the secular-media, maybe I have been just a bit too narrow, perhaps a little too religious. Maybe, we too should ease off a little and 'move with the times'.
St. Padre Pio once experienced such a temptation from the devil. He came disguised as one of the saint's late confreres and told him that he had been getting it all wrong by living a life of penance. The devil told St. Pio to take things easier from now onwards. The deceit was finally exposed when St. Pio asked the 'apparition' to praise Jesus with him and the enemy withdrew.
Two ladies visited St. Pio once for advice. He said to one of them, who was a pious and reverent person, to withdraw still further from the world. When her friend heard this, she was a little startled; knowing how withdrawn from worldliness her friend already was. St. Pio turned to this lady, and asked, 'If one drowns in an ocean or a glass of water, is not the end result the same?'
Lent gives us a fresh opportunity to draw near to Christ on the Cross. It is not a time for Pelagian self-exertions, but for opening our hearts and minds anew to the unmerited love of Jesus. He asks us to do this by sincere prayer, penance and almsgiving.
Fr. Gary Dickson, at the excellent Catholic Collar and Tie blog - please see our links page - has some thoughtful reflections on the forthcoming Rome Synod and an invitation for readers to join their Lenten observances, with him and his parishioners, for the intentions of this important event in the life of the Church.
Please also say some prayers this Lent for the young lady who attacked our crucifix. We pray that she will be given the graces of repentance, conversion and healing.
May she - and all of us - come to 'Love the crucifix, to wear it... to brandish it!'
ACTA Admits to Dissent on Air - Then Slurs Orthodox Catholics as 'Dissenters' on Its Website
Torch of The Faith News on Monday 03 March 2014 - 13:42:28 | by admin
Terry Duffy, the Co-ordinator for ACTA in Liverpool, has admitted in an interview for Radio Lancashire, that ACTA 'does not see it as corrosive at all' to lobby for same-sex-'marriage' or women priests.
The good news is that this now lays to rest, once and for all, ACTA's recent claims to be only seeking dialogue and not dissent.
Tragically though, ACTA are following the growing pattern of projecting their own dissent onto those Catholics who, seeking to remain faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, have stuck their heads up above the parapet to defend the Faith.
For example, ACTA's website advertises Mr. Duffy's interview under the heading: 'Listen to Terry Duffy on Radio Lancashire as to who really is the dissent group, ACTA or Protect the Pope.'
This refers to an article at Protect the Pope dealing with the problem of dissent from the Magisterium in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
In any case, as we wrote the article for Protect the Pope, ACTA's real truck is with us and the facts which we highlighted in our article; both at Protect the Pope and repeated again in an article below.
We at Torch of The Faith have listened carefully to Mr. Duffy's radio interview and wish to make the following response in order to defend Christ's Church and Her members from disunity and misrepresentation. As higher authorities in the Archdiocese will not act, and because we are Baptised and Confirmed Catholics, this is now our duty.
1a). Radio Lancashire asks Mr Duffy whether he recognises that there is dissent in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. His reply, that he does not recognise this fact, is remarkable when he is on air to present the views of a dissenting organization. Quite simply, if this were not so, we would not even be having this conversation. Mr. Duffy's answer also fails to engage with any of the facts, which we set out in the article, that he is on the radio to critique.
1b). Radio Lancashire asks Mr. Duffy if he recognises that there is a need for a strong and orthodox bishop in Liverpool. Any Catholic, who desired the unity and growth of the Church, would naturally answer 'Yes'. However, Mr. Duffy simply says 'No.' In terms of natural logic then, he is arguing in favour of having a weak and un-orthodox bishop.
2. ACTA seem to be asserting a series of false dichotomies, which - because they are false - must be refuted at evey turn to maintain the peace and unity of the Church in Her mission beyond Herself for souls.
a). First False Dichotomy: The idea that ACTA supporters are somehow in the 'spirit of Pope Francis'; with the corollary that ACTA's opponents are not.
For example, Mr. Duffy introduces this theme when suggesting that Archbishop Kelly is 'a friendly man in the spirit of Pope Francis'.
Having seen the damage done by the resort to a so-called 'Spirit of Vatican II', which was used in opposition to the actual content of the Conciliar documents during the last five decades, this false notion must not be allowed to take root.
Regular readers of Torch of The Faith will know that we have written supportive posts about His Holiness; we have welcomed his election as Pope; invited a prayerful and open-hearted reading of his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium; promoted his calls for the Church to go out to the margins of society; defended him from those who suggested that he was not pro-life; and shared his positive messages to young people.
Deacon Nick Donnelly, whose blog-site our article appeared on, has dedicated the very name of his site Protect the Pope to the Holy Father; he has written a book for CTS presenting Pope Francis' reflections for a Way of the Cross; and is presently penning a book on Pope Francis' teachings on the devil.
In being obedient to the Holy Father, we are seeking to be obedient to Jesus Christ through His Vicar on earth. ACTA's interview, which does not focus on Jesus Christ, promotes dissent from that Magisterium by rejecting natural and divine law.
b). Second False Dichotomy: ACTA is inspired by the Second Vatican Council's teaching on sensus fidelium; with the corollary that opponents are against this.
Links on ACTA's website present sensus fidelium as though it were about the decisions of a democratic majority. This displays a remarkable lack of awareness - or perhaps a rejection of - the teaching of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution Lumen Gentium, which teaches clearly, in LG 12, that sensus fidelium is manifested and exercised through faithfulness to Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.
Mr. Duffy states that ACTA exists to facilitate dialogue, whilst claiming that supporters of Protect the Pope 'seem to regard the Church as something set in stone'. Well, we do believe, with 2,000 years of Tradition, that the Church is built on the Rock of Peter.
As we have stated elsewhere, and shared with catechumens, Vatican II's Lumen Gentium helped to bring Alan into the Church; that is one of the reasons we know its objective content.
c). Third False Dichotomy: Mr. Duffy implies that ACTA membes are 'true Christian and thinking people'; the corollary is that opponents are neither. This is a very circular argument. Hopefully, this article will establish that we are thinking people. Please pray that we will become better Christians.
d). Fourth False Dichotomy: ACTA see a 'living Church'; with the corollary that opponents do not.
It is in this context, that Mr. Duffy says that he does not see that discussion of same-sex marriage or women priests is corrosive - to use the interviewer's word.
If anything has mitigated against the life of the Catholic Church in recent decades, it is not the teaching of orthodox Catholicism. Modernists have helped to spiritually and physically contracept the Church into almost non-existence throughout the West.
Around 90% of young British Catholics leave the Church when they leave school. However, we keep meeting people in their 20's-30's whose experience was not so much leaving the Church as never knowing what the Church really was. They left a counterfeit of the Church in search of the Truth. They were denied reverent liturgy, authentic catechesis, introduction to Christian prayer, and true moral teaching. They have paid the penalty in painful ways, even falling into destructive Occult practices. Young people are at times shocked to hear that the Pill/IUD/Coil are abortifacients, and yet Mr. Duffy makes no mention of this in his dismissal of 'strict' teachings and a 'hard line' taken by the Church.
By God's grace young people are coming to seek the Truth and find it in the Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium of the Church.
These young people, who are several decades younger than many of ACTA's membership, are seeking Jesus Christ and not a watered-down and secularized version of the Church. They - and we - have lived outside of the Church in the neo-paganism so popular today. We know how damaging that is and want to help others to enter into the peace of Jesus Christ. We are strong on the teachings because we know, first hand, that truly, there is nothing so miserable as sin.
The life we have encountered in these young people returning to the Church is the New Life in Jesus Christ, which is promised in John 10:10. It is this which brought us into the Catholic Church and to desire to spread the Faith.
Quite frankly, we see little point in spreading a secularized religion. There is enough of that already. What people are really seeking is goodness, beauty and truth. If we are to truly be a living Church then we need to reflect on what has worked and what has not worked in the past.
His Holiness, Pope Francis has called for the collapse of structures which are hindering the spread of the Faith. Many are sadly interpreting this as a call to attack the hierarchical structure of the Church. However, in many Western dioceses, there are structures where older Catholics, many of them lay people, who dissent from the Magisterium, have had decades to run pastoral structures. In their tenure, the local churches have emptied and young people have been left bereft. If this were a business, moves would be made to bring in some new people with fresh ideas.
As Mr. Duffy recalled in his interview, His Holiness, Pope Francis, called for young people to return to their dioceses and parishes and stir things up. It is these sterile structures, wherein modernism has prevented young people from hearing and living the Truth, which need to be demolished.
And this is not just us saying it. The young people we meet and read about tell us the same. This is the case because, in Jesus Christ, and the fullness of His Truth, the Church is young and alive.
Who are the real dissenters? The answer has been established in this article, and it is not Protect the Pope or Torch of The Faith.
School of the Annunciation - Good News for the New Evangelisation!
Torch of The Faith News on Friday 28 February 2014 - 17:23:03 | by admin
We are delighted that our friends in Christ have established a new Centre of Formation for the New Evangelisation under the patronage and care of Our Lady of the Annunciation, in the grounds of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, UK.
This new School of the Annunciation has been made possible by the generosity and collaboration of the Abbot of Buckfast, the Rt. Rev. David Charlesworth and the monastic community.
Dr. Petroc Willey was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a Consultor to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization in 2012. Petroc was blessed to meet His Holiness, Pope Francis, in Rome last September during the International Conference of Catechesis.
Pope Benedict XVI had also appointed Dr. Petroc Willey and Dr. Caroline Farey as advisors to the Rome Synod on New Evangelization.
Here Dr. Farey receives a Catechism of the Catholic Church from Pope Benedict XVI.
Taking the vital mission of evangelisation forward into the future, the new School of the Annunciation will begin by offering a Diploma in the New Evangelisation. In addition to this dynamic and exciting programme, the School of the Annunciation will offer short summer schools to provide an opportunity for people to study the riches of the Catholic Faith in the beautiful setting of Buckfast Abbey.
The academic faculty of the School of the Annunciation includes Dr. Andrew Beards, Academic Director; Dr. Caroline Farey, Director of Studies; Dr. Petroc Willey, Reader in the New Evangelisation, and Deacon Nick Donnelly, Director of Formation. The Academic Registrar, is Miss Monica Massarella.
The majestic setting of the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey in Devon.
Bishop Mark Davies, of Shrewsbury Diocese, has written a prayer for the School of the Annunciation.
Mary, Mother of the New Evangelisation, as you prayed continuously with the Church at the beginning (Acts 1:14) be united with us now in prayer. Help us to return to the school of Nazareth and to echo your words in the hour of the Annunciation: ''let it be to me according to your word'' (Luke 1:38). Help us to rejoice in the wonder of the Incarnation and with you to treasure all these things and ponder them in our hearts (Luke 2:19). Obtain for us the courage to take our stand with you beside the Cross of your Son (John 19:25) in the hour of Redemption. Guide us as we set out along all the ways of the earth to bring to our brothers and sisters the light of faith, hope and charity (Luke 1:39). All to the praise and adoration of the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever. Amen.
We can testify that the founding team of the School of the Annunciation are Catholics whose lives witness, with great integrity, to the truths of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Catholic Faith. We are delighted that this new apostolate is planted and growing.
Please pray the School's prayer for them each day. If you have any spare £££ to support some authentic Catholic education then please do send them some! We also highly recommend this course to all who wish to spread the Faith.
The School of the Annunciation has a beautiful website and can be contacted at enquiries©schooloftheannunciation.com
When Dissent is Institutional
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 26 February 2014 - 17:26:28 | by admin
A gentleman called Louis posted a thoughtful comment at Deacon Nick Donnelly's website Protect the Pope yesterday, regarding the state of things in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
Speaking out because he believes Liverpool has reached a critical point, Louis said: 'Dissent is firmly established in the diocese, yet it is not seen as dissent, but just another way - the correct way - of being Catholic. Sometimes it feels like there is a schism in all but name.'
This reminded us of the times when our late friend Fr. Mike Williams, who served for 7 years as a hospital chaplain in the Archdiocese, expressed similar concerns to us.
Fr. Mike was startled to hear priests complaining that it was 'not Catholic' to pray the Rosary, and describing lay Catholics who rejected the liberal agenda as 'dissenters'.
To demonstrate some of the connections and persons involved in the institutionalized dissent in Liverpool, and how these link to the latest dissenting group A Call to Action (ACTA), we have written an article at Protect the Pope. After years of trying to provide a joyful and positive web-apostolate, we felt that we must now speak out loudly to denounce error and dissent, because ACTA are establishing firm roots in the Archdiocese and we have received no reply to three communications about this to the auxiliary bishop.
In 2002, as a young engaged couple, we were required to attend a marriage-preparation day in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
After a morning of relativistic group discussions and a video of a stand-up-comedian speaking about sexuality, the long-term Archdiocesan catechists - Margaret Rogers and her husband - led a session on sexuality. Margaret began by claiming that 'the Church has changed the teachings on sex-outside-of-marriage, contraception, divorce and homosexual relationships.'
Alan immediately challenged this and asked her to show where this was written down. Margaret replied: 'What I can say, is that there have been certain conversations, in certain places, with certain people.' Alan responded that this was not the way the Church taught as teachings come from Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium. Mr. Rogers jumped up and drew an inverted triangle on the flip-chart to represent an inverted hierarchy. He told the group that we had an 'old-fashioned model of church' as, 'since Vatican II, the Church now teaches based on the decisions of the laity.' (In reality, the entire third chapter of Vatican II's Constitution Lumen Gentium deals with the theme 'The Church is Hierarchical').
Angeline then said that it was disappointing that Jesus Christ had not even been mentioned throughout the whole day.
Margaret chillingly replied: 'You may be comfortable with that name dear, but others here may prefer to speak of a transcendental reality.'
Alan suggested that the whole programme for the day represented the kind of moral relativism that Pope John Paul II had refuted in Fides et Ratio.
Mr. Rogers jumped up again, pointed at us, and wrote 'Challenging!' on the flip-chart. He then apologized, to the rest of the group, that we had 'spoiled what was meant to have been a bit of fun!' We were not permitted to say anything else and, after a catechist laughed at us with an engaged couple who were already living together, we left the day feeling bullied and deflated.
We handed in a feedback form offering to help at future events, but never heard anything back! We also wrote a letter and summary of the day's events and our treatment to Archbishop Kelly. He responded swiftly, with a polite and sympathetic letter, but no concrete action was ever taken.
Indeed, Margaret Rogers remained in post for several more years expressing dissent on homosexuality at church events. With Fr. Tony Slingo, she was also able to lead a day on marriage and family life, attended by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Bishop Tom Williams and Bishop Vincent Malone, as part of the 'Listening 2004' programme.
In 2007, Margaret Rogers retired and a post for marriage and family catechesis was advertised.
Alan now had an MA in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville - which had included modules on marriage and family, bioethics and catechesis. He also had a BA in Theology from Liverpool Hope University, with the Christ and Notre Dame Prize for Highest Final Year Single Hons. He also had much experience as a PR/Education Officer giving pro-life talks to students throughout the Archdiocese and the country and had done Justice and Peace work with young people from broken families on the streets of Salford.
Alan applied for this marriage and family job in Liverpool and attended with several others for interview before a panel. On the panel was Maureen Knight - Advisor for Faith Formation - a close friend of Fr. Chris Fallon. As Protect the Pope readers will be aware, Fr. Fallon has recently completed a doctoral thesis which proposes an acceleration in the process of structural re-organisation in the Archdiocese with the sale of redundant buildings being used to fund lay worker roles.
At the end of the day, which included being interviewed by a priest in lay clothes, Alan was invited to return the next day for a second interview as it transpired that two posts may be available. The next day, Alan joined another group for interview before an expanded panel, which now also included Fr. Tony Slingo. A number of professional people were interviewed that day. Several hours later, Alan received a telephone call, from Fr. John McLoughlin, to inform him that the panel had now decided not to appoint anyone to either of the posts. Several years later, Alan met one of the others who attended for interview and that gentleman was convinced that it had been the orthodoxy of the applicants that had precluded them - perhaps this can never be proven objectively.
What we do know with certainty, is that Fr. Tony Slingo himself took on the work for some time. A doctor friend of ours suggested that this was a conflict of interests - an interviewer getting the job he had interviewed others for! Our late friend, Fr. Mike Williams told us, that, several weeks after the interviews, all the clergy in the Archdiocese received a leaflet from the Pastoral Marriage/Family Dept telling them how to avoid 'homophobia'. Fr. Mike said that Alan was better off out if it.
The Archdiocesan website explains that a lady called Maureen O'Brien was eventually appointed to the role of Co-ordinator for Marriage and Family Life in 2009. It also says that she brings to the role 'her own experience as a single mum.'
In 2005, Maureen O'Brien wrote a book entitled A Call to My Heart. On pages 48-49, Maureen says that, one morning, she was driving along the M58 motorway when 'God showed me that I was standing with Him in the Heavens. She continues: God told me: 'When Jesus was on earth, He (God) was in Heaven and in Jesus at the same time.' I thought of the Holy Spirit. 'Oh I see', I said 'Three persons in one God'. 'No,' He said. 'One spirit in three, not three persons in one.'
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly: 'The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but One God in three Persons, the consubstantial Trinity (CCC 253).
As Blessed Pope John Paul II taught in his Theology of the Body, one's understanding of the Blessed Trinity as an eternal and life-giving communion of persons - a Koinonia - has huge ramifications for one's conception of marriage as a permanent communion of persons which is open to life.
The suggestion in Maureen O'Brien's seemingly 'private revelation' does not appear to speak of communion, but of one person playing various roles. That sounds a lot like the ancient Modalist heresy.
In 2010, we were asked, by our then parish priest, to represent the parish on a local PAWG (Pastoral Area Working Group). We took along a copy of Catechesi Tradendae, hoping to be able to promote some orthodox catechesis in the deanery - now renamed a pastoral area as part of the Leaving Safe Harbours programme.
At the meeting, there was some suggestion that a lay-person could be employed and even subsidized to study for a BA at Hope University. Alan considered applying as he already had such a degree.
At the follow-up meeting, it rapidly became clear that a retired lady had already been to see Maureen Knight and was now running the PAWG group. This had been achieved without any consultation of the local representatives and yet this was meant to be a local consultation group.
We wrote to our parish priest a report of the two meetings. In the report, we expressed concern that Hope University should be chosen for anyone being formed for lay-work, because Alan had encountered anti-Catholic rhetoric in a couple of his courses. For example, a module on Judaism attempted to blame the Catholic Church for the Holocaust and tried to plant the idea that this should preclude any claims to absolute truth in the future. Also, the university now has two tabernacles next to each other - on a shelf in the chapel - one for the Catholics and one for the Anglicans. We never received any written response to either of our reports.
In 2013, the above-mentioned Fr. Tony Slingo was involved with the Liverpool ACTA group and advertized their meeting on his parish newsletter.
Here we come to the crux of the matter.
A priest, who worked in an official diocesan capacity with a dissenting lay-woman on marriage and the family, was later involved in interviewing candidates to replace her, subsequently took on the work when no candidate was selected, is now involved with and promoting the organised dissent of the group calling themselves ACTA.
In recent years, there have been a number of official Archdiocesan pastoral days aimed at pastoral care for divorced and remarried Catholics. No-one seems to grasp the nettle and realise that giving incomplete evangelization and marriage catechesis to engaged couples will only lead to more divorce in the future. It is a demonstrable fact that couples who cohabit and contracept are several times more likely to divorce. For a Catholic Archdiocese to behave in this way is a little like chopping up the carriages to feed the engine of a runaway train. The cost in broken lives, homes and souls is enormous. As Alan saw on the streets of Salford, this is no small matter.
And recently, lay-Catholics in the Archdiocese were asked to send in their responses to the Rome Synodal questionnaire - for collation by the same pastoral team .
Finding no official opportunity to spread the Faith, we launched Torch of The Faith in 2008. A key reason for this decision, was to impart orthodox teaching on marriage and family - including the content of Humanae Vitae.
As well as priests in other dioceses, a few orthodox priests in the Archdiocese have asked us in to assist them with catechesis on marriage to engaged couples and RCIA groups. Amazingly, two of these priests even got us in to Cathedral House several times!
Please pray that the Archdiocese of Liverpool will soon receive an orthodox and visionary Archbishop. Countless souls depend on it!