Heaven Knows!

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 14 July 2018 - 13:34:54 | by admin

Dear Readers,

It has been hard to post anything up here for a few days, due to my own commitments around here and to the sheer scale of events happening in the Church.

I was in the process of writing a piece to respond to the widespread apostasy of so many bishops and priests, but began to think it was just too negative, and would merely add to all the ''white noise'' of similar information which is emerging all across the globe.

Truly these days appear to be apocalyptic.

Then, we were suddenly broadsided when we read in our weekly free newspaper that another local priest is to go to court; this time over allegations of historical sex offences against children.

Regular readers will recall that Holy Week became a real crucifixion for us here, when the same local paper described the gory details of a court case involving another local priest - a man from the next parish to my parents, who regularly offered the Traditional Latin Mass and who had even blessed our home when we first got married - had been found guilty of visiting internet chat-rooms to view children being sexually abused and of adding comments on them about what he would like to do to children himself. Although we have made an act of the will to forgive this man, it is taking a while for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up. We are so sickened by the sheer gravity of his crimes and of his duplicity. What a grim betrayal it all is of the families in his own pastoral care.

And now we and our neighbours read that a man who served for years as parish priest in this very neighbourhood is now to appear in court relating to accusations of seven cases of indecent assault against two young boys, which are claimed to have happened between 1980 and 1982.

Same deanery, another priest.

My poor parents went regularly to this guy's Mass for several years!

Although that case has yet to be heard, I am just sick and tired of hearing of cardinals, bishops and priests betraying Christ, undermining the faithful and gravely harming the innocent children who they are supposed to be leading to Heaven.

Yesterday morning, I read Steve Skojec's piece at 1 Peter 5, and I could relate very much to what he was saying there. The comments section also revealed once again how so many Catholics all around the world are feeling the same; whilst dissenting post-Catholic Modernists have seized the levers of power and are vigorously attempting to deconstruct the Church while they still have the time.

Every day, the upcoming Amazonian Synod, the Youth Synod and the World Day of Families look more and more like blown-open bridgeheads for the anti-Church to wreak its ''synodal'' havoc. It's like the KGB-handled Medellin Conference has come back on steroids!

Look, when even Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former head of the Vatican Bank, is saying, as LifeSiteNews reported this week, that the ''authors of the New World Order demographic collapse'' are influencing the Vatican, then it is beyond time for us all to pay attention and get praying and working to defend the Faith.

Yesterday, I especially felt sad for a guy called Bob from Ohio, who said at 1 Peter 5 that events were causing him mental anguish, due to the evils in the Church, the impossibility for him to reach a Traditional Latin Mass and the errors he has to put up with in his own local parish.

For everyone who is suffering with Christ in His Passion through all of this - and what a grace that is, when you stop to think about it - then what follows is written by way of an encouragement to you. Yes, to all friends in Christ who read this, all those who Our Blessed Lord has chosen to go through this night with Him, in ways and for reasons which we may not understand, in order to be part of the glorious Triumph of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In the depths of spiritual struggle yesterday morning, quite out of the blue, I received a sudden realization that Heaven Knows!

With a renewed sense of understanding, I grasped once more that Heaven not only knows everything that is going on, but is ultimately going to draw a greater good from it, than you or I can even imagine.

In short, God intimately knows each and all of us and what we are enduring right now, for love of Him and His holy Church.

Emmanuel, God is with us: in our fears for the salvation of children and family members; anxieties about whether or not we ourselves will persevere in the Faith; concern that one's sacramental and prayer life seem to be under massive and sustained attack; at times herculean efforts to get to a regular Traditional Latin Mass; or distress that one cannot do so; frustration and even anger about what is happening to the Church and to society; the grim realization that so many people have not only now moved beyond faith in God, but even beyond any kind of rational discourse on matters of nature and morality; horrible feelings of futility; and financial and social pressures encountered in trying to remain faithful.

Yes, Our Lord Jesus Christ is with us in all of these things. We are safe with the Most Holy Trinity, with Our Blessed Lady, with Holy Michael and all the angels and saints; even if it does not feel like it.

God has got this.

So many people are speaking of such concerns in the comments of traditional websites, that it becomes clear that Our Lord is permitting this huge trial to test, purify and even increase His faithful remnant.

To suffer these things is truly a great grace; because it proves we are on the side of Christ and reveals who we really are in our depths.

May we never forget that it is because of God's grace that we believe in the first place. That shows a great deal of goodness from Him toward each of us to begin with. We have to learn to trust that He will bring to fruition and completion the good work that He has begun in us.

I think it also reveals that the enemy are working a general strategy to wear down the faithful.

This is where, after the Sacraments received worthily and with love, daily thanksgiving, regular reading of good spiritual content and times of silent prayer with Sacred Scripture are all important means to survive.

A verse which can also be particularly helpful is actually 1 Peter 5:9: ''Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.''

And so yesterday, that sense of Heaven Knows, having broken in on me like a sunburst on a dismal day, remained with me throughout the afternoon. Even though strange spiritual attacks seemed to continue... I'm sure many of you are going through this.

Later that day, again quite unexpectedly, we found ourselves spending an hour in the company of two holy old priests who I have known for around two decades.

Aside from the various Traditional priests now working in this region, these men could be said to represent the very last of a line of priests who one still used to meet with about twenty years ago: men who grew up before the world went totally crazy; whose homes were secure and filled with faith; whose school education happened before the ''changes''; and whose seminary formation, though becoming shaky, took place largely before those changes wreaked their total devastation there.

As I say, twenty years ago, one still met priests of this sort offering Mass reverently, spreading devotion to Our Lady, praying the Rosary faithfully, caring for souls, spreading the faith and wearing their Roman collars and deepest black clerical attire as a matter of course.

There are a handful of younger clergy with many of these good qualities and the same overall intentions but, like you and me, they have grown up in the midst of the present culture and have gone through school and seminary education in the present era. That has taken its toll on all of us in our development.

Anyway, the two priests we were with yesterday represent, pretty much, the last of their generation. Certainly, of those that I know personally.

And, unexpectedly, there we were as a family spending an hour with them yesterday.

One of them, who has been further tested in the furnace of suffering of late, has spoken to me a few times over the years of one of his former mentors - the late, great convert priest, Fr. Hugh Thwaites. Father has described, in the past, how it was obvious that Fr. Thwaites was holy, because his eyes often sparkled with a love that could only be God's Love.
The late, holy and inspirational Fr. Hugh Thwaites SJ. We met him twice over the years; it was our priest friend's good blessing to have had him as a mentor.

Now, although this priest I was with yesterday has looked increasingly holy for several years now, something happened yesterday that I have never seen before in him.

Or, indeed, in anyone else for that matter.

Whilst I was speaking to him yesterday, I suddenly saw something more than Father in his eyes.

It was as though he was reading my soul; so deeply did he look into it. But it was also as though he were not really focused on me at all. His eyes were sparkling like an innocent baby bird, but seemed also to perceive the very depths of reality. It was as though Christ were loving my soul through him. And, at once, it was as though Father was gazing at God to such an extent that the mess that is my soul was being seen only in the light of that mysterious sight. It was not judgement, not searing in that manner, and yet it was as though Christ Himself were there... Well, I cannot find the words here.

All that can be said is that Father seemed to be, just for a minute, more in the next world than in this. And it gave me great peace to encounter it.

And then it clicked into place again: Heaven Knows!

Yes, God is with us.

Aside from that experience yesterday, just being with those two old-boy priests felt like it did years ago, before 2013, to be a Catholic.

I guess we are all fed up to the back teeth of hearing of clerical apostasy, heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, sexual immorality, abuse of minors and general worldy indifference. Even more are we troubled by the attempted deconstruction of our holy religion from those who have seized the heights of power.

We're also sick of seeing the smiling indifference of the bright-coated majority, who will traipse off to things like the World Day of Families to hear radical homosexualists like ''Fr.'' James Martin S.J., as though these men were paragons of Catholic virtue.

Yesterday, I was reminded of why I am a Catholic.

Firstly, because of Jesus - Our Blessed Lord Who remains night and day, often at the sullied hands of traitorous clergy, in the Tabernacles of our churches, simply because He is LOVE Itself.

Pure Love.

Totally LOVE.

Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

He Who IS.

In the presence of those old priests and my family yesterday, it felt again like those days before Francis, when one had that feeling of rose-garden security that, no matter how messed up you were, no matter how bad your own diocese or parish was, no matter how evil the world was getting, that at least the Church was your rock.

How often one used to feel that years ago. How comforting it was.

All of us have felt like that.

And yet, now we have only brambles and thorns in its stead.

Friends, this shows we are with Christ. Did we really think such encouraging candy was forever? Sweeties are for children or beginners; hard bread is what we need to nourish us and get us to Heaven. This isn't Santa's Grotto!

One could not have drawn near to Christ, without His thorn-crowned Head piercing into our own. That is the price of loving the Crucified.

The Catholic Church was, is and ever shall be the Rock, the One, True, Church which Christ founded for the salvation and sanctification of souls until the end of time.

And against that Church, the Gates of Hell shall NOT prevail.

So, don't let's hear any of this tosh about how individuals have come to discern that the whole Gregorian reform was a mistake, or how defining papal infallibility was an error, or how Greek or Russian Orthodoxy is the answer.

We are Catholics! The enemy has invaded our position and is taking no prisoners.

Stay with Christ, man up and hold the line. This is a war, not an outing to pick daisy chains.

We have an enemy that is Hate itself, that hates us. On the other hand, we have a Lord Who is LOVE, Who loves us. That is why love of our temporal enemies is so essential. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, Christ's is a love costing no less than everything. And in that price, is our peace.

Make no mistake, at some point, Our Lord is going to call time and pull the rug from beneath these feverish money changers who have sullied His Temple.

In the meantime, He is extending a Crucified Hand and asking us to take hold. We cannot be surprised that His nails will pierce us, or that the shadow of His Cross will fall upon us, if we do so.

Dear friends, 

Heaven Knows!

Yesterday, I was reminded of this.

Today, you have been too.

Keep the Faith, friends in Christ!          
And let's stay close to Our Heavenly Mother, who cares more than you know. 

Our Lady of Victories - Pray for us!

Young UK Catholics Make Statement of Support for Humanae Vitae

Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 11 July 2018 - 13:02:13 | by admin

It was encouraging to learn of the 200 young Catholics, among whom were several married couples, who had signed up to a letter to the Catholic Herald, in support of Humanae Vitae.

An initiative of Michael and Elizabeth Wee, themselves a young married couple, the letter marks another important landmark in this 50th anniversary year of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae. Many readers might recognise the name of Michael Wee, as he is the education officer at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre at Oxford University. Although there was an upper age limit of 35 for those able to sign up to this particular letter, the signatures gathered for it represent young Catholic adults from all over the UK.

And so, in response to a modernistic letter in the Herald, which, in ignorance of the observably prophetic nature of the encyclical, had suggested that Humanae Vitae had somehow failed to engage with social change, the Catholic letter read:

It has been suggested that Catholic teaching on contraception has ''failed to engage with social change'' (Letter, June 22). Yet one must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue.

Living out chastity is countercultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships.

It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used, but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence. The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that ''in this contraceptive day'', however, sex becomes seen as ''no more than a sort of extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse.''

At the heart of chastity is the simple yet revolutionary idea that we are made for love, and our sexuality has been given to us in order to fulfil this call. Hence, as Pope Francis puts it, ''The image of God is the married couple.'' Sex can never be truly casual, because it is so inherently filled with meaning - namely, the mutual love of the couple and openness to new life. That is why respecting the integrity of the sexual act matters. It is in allowing sex to convey its full meaning that we can give oneself to one's spouse completely in love.

As young lay Catholics living in Britain who find this teaching on sexuality beautiful and prophetic, we therefore wish to affirm the relevance of Humanae Vitae for our generation - and indeed for generations to come.

It is heartening to witness another generation of young Catholics responding to God's grace in the gift and challenge of chastity; and stepping up to the plate to articulate a defence of chaste love for the people of these times.

May God bless them for it. 

I mean, when you consider all the theological dissent, unchaste rebellion, false teaching and modernistic educational systems, that have so conspired to damage the Church during these last five decades, these guys are nothing short of a theological miracle! It just goes to show the everlasting appeal of the truth.

As Pope Benedict XVI said when presenting a prayer for the youth of Italy, in St. Peter's Basilica, in February 2007: ''The Church is alive and full of youth!''  

May the Holy Family - Pray for us!

Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, Dolgellau

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 10 July 2018 - 18:28:43 | by admin

The stone bridge over the Mawddach River at Llanelltyd, near Dolgellau, in the awesome Snowdonia region of North Wales. The present bridge dates to the second quarter of the 18th-Century. There is documentary evidence of an earlier bridge in the late 17th-Century. Also, histories relating to the nearby ruins of Cymer Abbey mention a bridge in the area as early as 1400 AD.

I've been meaning to post up some pictures from our recent vacation in Snowdonia. Here's a few to be going on with.

During our stay, we found the Catholic parish church of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in the town of Dolgellau. There is a small Carmelite convent, just outside the town, which is also served from there. 
The west front of the church, featuring its large Italian, sculpted crucifix and impressive Romanesque doorway. Interestingly, this doorway is thought to have been inspired by the one at the famous Cormac's chapel, on the Rock of Cashel near the south-west coast of Ireland; an incredible monastic ruin, which we recently pictured here.

The church is constructed in the Romanesque style from local rock-faced grey stone topped with a locally sourced slate roof.

With its aisles, arches, rounded pillars, lunette windows and apsidal chapels, one could be forgiven for thinking that the fine church was built long ago. However, it is refreshing to learn that its construction only began in 1963; with the consecration of the church taking place as late as 1970. I describe that as refreshing, because this noble little church managed to buck that awful trend, which was at that time sweeping throughout the Western world, of constructing ugly-looking modernistic church buildings; which were themselves so cut off from authentically Catholic architectural and liturgical tradition.

Having entered the Dolgellau church at the west door, one can turn to the right and view the well-lit Lady chapel, with its beautiful statue of Our Lady, Help of Christians. Notice, here the splendid cut-stone forming the Romanesque archways. 
At right-angles to the Lady Chapel, and seen jutting out as an apse-ended chapel to the right of the front-door in the street picture above, is the Baptistry. 
In a neat bit of artistic theological expression, the Baptistry actually has seven windows, to represent the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

It is great to see the Baptistry still in use at the back of the church like this. This continues the ancient Catholic tradition of welcoming catechumens symbolically at the back of the church; drawing them into the Faith through the waters of Baptism; and then leading them into the main church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other sacraments. Such liturgical movement and meaning is too often lost in modern times, when some priests and architects insist on repositioning baptismal fonts even on the sanctuary; thus confusing and obscuring the meaningful historical practice.

Moving forward from these rear chapels into the main church was quite a numinous experience on the days of our visits, because the parish priest had beautiful Gregorian chant playing in the background.

We found that the church, with its traditional architecture, altar-rails, raised sanctuary and centrally located Tabernacle and stone altar, was a very peaceful place to remain in silent prayer before Our Blessed Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  
It is nice to see an apsidal sanctuary like that these days. There was also a traditional looking crucifix over the sanctuary, a hanging baldachino, hanging bronze crown of thorns and Italian screens with gates set at the sides of the sanctuary; these latter made from brass. There is another chapel at the sanctuary end of the church, which is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Apparently, whilst the rugged stone of the building is locally sourced Welsh material, the stone in the altars is from the Holy Land.

The story of the parish at Dolgellau is remarkable in itself. There had been no Catholic parish priest in the area since the Protestant revolt in the 16th Century. In 1928, a young priest arrived from Malta to help locals and visitors to receive the sacraments. His name was Fr. Francis Scalpell (1895-1970).

The first Masses were offered in a local stable, which was later extended into a fish and chip shop, with the help of some Italian prisoners of war. Over the decades, Fr. Scalpell is thought to have written over 25,000 letters, in order to raise funds for the growing community of local Catholics to have a small church built in the town.

In the early 1960's an anonymous donor gave sufficient funds for construction to begin, with the proviso that the new church be built to harmonise with the local mountainous environment.

It is quite moving to think that Fr. Scalpell died in 1970, the year of the church's consecration. It is as though he could rest once the job was done.

One of the days that we visited to pray would have been my late Dad's birthday. Being also the month of the Sacred Heart, and as Mum used to always light candles for her family members before suffering her stroke, we went over to light a candle for Dad before the fine Sacred Heart statue in the church.
We had a nice little thing happen on the way in which, although obviously subjective and the kind of thing that many would scoff at, I'm taking it as a little sign of God's Providential care.

We had been delayed by traffic on the main bridge into the town and this meant that we were a little later than planned. However, it also meant that, as we drove towards the church, a car pulled in front of us with a private registration featuring the letters ''KEN''. God rest him, that was my dad's name. Private registrations are reasonably rare to begin with, and I've never seen one with those letters before, so I'll chalk that one up to Providence. Especially as we were going there specifically to pray for his soul on his birthday date. 

Funnily enough, a few days later it was Father's Day here in the UK and we were by then back on Merseyside. We were driving into the cemetery where Dad is buried to put fresh flowers on Dad's grave, and to say some prayers for him, when another vehicle came towards us with yet another private registration bearing the legend, ''KEN''. So, I took that as another little sign of God's loving care!

I'll tell you what, though, even though we have been back home a few weeks, I'm still missing that beautiful view across the forests to the majestic Cadir Idris mountain peaks, which we had from the lounge window and garden of our summer holiday cottage... 
I always was a country boy at heart!

Psalm 94:2: The Lord will not cast off His people. For in His hands are all the ends of the earth, and He beholds the heights of the mountains.

Keep the Faith!

More Great Things!

Torch of The Faith News on Monday 09 July 2018 - 14:19:18 | by admin

1. All Ireland Rally for Life in Belfast
The next generation of young pro-lifers lead from the front at the start of Saturday's All Ireland Rally for Life, at Stormont in Belfast.

Thousands of pro-lifers made the best of the continuing heat wave on Saturday, to join the All Ireland Rally for Life at Stormont's Parliament Buildings in Belfast.

The key message of the lastest rally in Northern Ireland was to tell the Government and the rest of the world that the remaining 6 counties certainly will NOT be next in accepting abortion.

Indeed, the sending of that central message provided an opportunity for the staging of a neat bit of parody.

You'll likely remember that disturbing moment when the pro-abortion mob was ''celebrating'' the defeat of the pro-life 8th Amendment in Dublin. In the midst of that dreadful spectacle, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald had triumphantly held aloft an improvised cardboard sign announcing, The North is Next.

Well, this time around, in Belfast, Precious Life's Bernadette Smyth and the Life Institute's Niamh Ui Bhriain stood together with similar-looking signs, which instead proclaimed the following counter message...     
I must say, women look far more naturally feminine defending babies, than celebrating the advance of abortion and the uncharitable death culture.

It was also heartening to see Belfast's courageous Fr. Patrick McCafferty standing up as a keynote speaker at Saturday's event.

Fr. McCafferty had already been in the media, because he had warned that those who had voted to bring in abortion to the Republic of Ireland had committed a grave sin; thus endangering their immortal souls and requiring repentance and sacramental absolution. He had also noted that such people could no longer consider themselves as Catholics. Father had also vowed to stand and pray and witness outside of abortuaries in order to strive to persuade people not to kill their children.  
As ever with these events, it is always encouraging to see another generation of young people, especially those who may be called to be mothers themselves someday, standing up to defend and build a Culture of Life.
If you look closely at this next picture below, there is a lady in a red-coloured top, close to the right hand edge of the image, who looks to be praying.

This is a reminder to us all that the pro-life struggle is, at heart, a spiritual battle; which can thus only be defeated by primarily spiritual means, from and to which all true pro-life activism needs to flow. 
In that sense, it was good to see that Saturday's event included a Mass for the Catholic attendees at 12 noon. It is also good to see so many folks over there standing up for life, and listening to good quality pro-life speakers.

Please keep Northern Ireland in your prayers, so that the province can remain abortion free and so that babies can live and grow there in peace.

2. Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage - St. Winefride's Well.

Do please take a look at Mr. Kevin Jones' splendid collection of photographs from the recent annual pilgrimage of the Latin Mass Society to St. Winefride's Well in Holywell, North Wales. Again, my placing up of these pictures here does not in any way mean that Mr. Jones, the LMS, or for that matter anyone else featured in this piece, in any way shares in my far-out, boat-rocking and outspoken views! No, these are good people who get on with the job in hand - doing their level best to ensure provision of the Traditional Latin Mass in their localities and praying faithfully for the Church and for souls in these times.
As ever, the annual event was focused on the Traditional Latin Mass offered in the fine St. Winefride's church in the town. This was another year that we could not get to Holywell and it has been helpful for us to be able to view such good pictures of the event. I reckon that Mr. Jones should take up professional photography! I am going to try and get a working link going to the LMS Wrexham site on our links page ASAP.
Some of the ICKSP's Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus, together with the Schola Gregoriana Malverniensis, provided the music for Holy Mass. It is so heartening for Catholics to see such traditional religious sisters helping to provide worthy liturgical worship like this.

The good priests of the ICKSP led the day with the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass, followed by a procession to St. Winefride's ancient Holy Well to venerate the sacred relic of the great saint.     
Dominus meus, et Deus meus!
St. Winefride's is a bright and beautiful church and a worthy setting for the celebration of Holy Mass.
The procession then led from the church and down to the Holy Well; with various diocesan and religious priests leading the people in praying the Holy Rosary.
Veneration of St. Winefride's relic followed at the well side, in the 16th-Century, Late Perpendicular Gothic chapel.
If you ever get chance to go to St. Winefride's Well, and we highly recommend that you do, this is a marvellous place to kneel and pray the Litany of St. Winefride; which is posted up at the foot of the graceful statue of the saint.
Please pray to St. Winefride today for a restoration of chastity in our culture and for the work of the LMS - especially there in Wrexham.

3. Traditional Ordinations 
Just staying with Mr. Jones' website for a moment, do also take a look at his splendid set of pictures from the recent ICKSP ordinations in the Tuscan city of Florence.
His Eminence, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke was in the beautiful church of Ss Michael and Cajetan, to ordain four deacons to the sacred priesthood for the ICKSP.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione of San Francisco was also in the ancient city to ordain five men as deacons and fourteen as sub-deacons in the traditional rite. 
It has been another good year for traditional ordinations and, if I am doing my sums right (I get a slightly different number than, say, the figures quoted in The Remnant), there have been, or will be by summer's end, 16 new priests for the FSSP, 8 for the ICKSP, 4 for the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and also some 16 for the SSPX. Indeed, last week, 1 Peter 5 reported that 20% of the ordinations in France this year were traditional ordinations.

Although in global terms these remain rather small numbers overall, they do still demonstrate the power of the traditional rite to generate life in the Church, when tradition is not persecuted or otherwise restricted. That is not rocket science, of course, as this was always the Mass of Ages!

Please keep all those men in your prayers to be good, faithful and holy priests.

4. FSSP Ordination in the Archdiocese of Liverpool  
One of the great things in these times has been Archbishop Malcolm McMahon's establishment of the FSSP church of St. Mary's in the town of Warrington. That beautiful church has seen ordinations in the traditonal rite now for two summers in a row. Last year's, was actually the first in the Traditional Rite in these lands since the liturgical changes took place decades ago.

Please do pray for Fr. Seth Phipps who was ordained there recently, and for all the FSSP priests who are caring for souls over there in Warrington. The FSSP now have a total of 8 priests serving in the UK. Don't forget to watch their daily Masses via LiveMass. There are also some great presentations on-line, which have been used in the Liverpool Archdiocese in preparation for the upcoming Adoremus - National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress, which will take place in Liverpool this September. The videos of these can also be viewed at LiveMass and include clear and solid teachings on such key themes as: Transubstantiation; Concomitance; Fragments; and Presence. Don't miss out on viewing these, wherever you are! 

5. Local Feast of Ss Thomas More and John Fisher 
Today is marked locally in England and Wales, as a local feast for the celebration of Ss Thomas More and John Fisher; those heroes of the Faith who died in defence of the truths and rights of the Church, the truths of an upright conscience and the truths of holy matrimony.

Please ask these great saints to intercede for our nation - I think you'll agree that we certainly need their prayers in these days!

Ss Thomas More and John Fisher - Pray for us!

There are many good things still happening - Keep the Faith - Y'all!!!

Consecration to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 08 July 2018 - 13:39:11 | by admin

The Te Deum, verse 20-21: We pray Thee, therefore, help Thy servants: whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood. Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting.

Some years ago, we were across the sea praying quietly in the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, when a humble little gentleman approached us. He told us that his brother was a Catholic priest and gave us a small red prayer card. Upon that card was a copy of the Consecration to the Precious Blood of Jesus.

We share that again here today to help readers in their own devotions during this month of July; dedicated as it is to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Consecration to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ

O Precious Blood of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I consecrate myself and all the days of my life to Your love and worship. I place myself and my loved ones in a special manner under Your powerful protection, begging that Your blessing may always rest upon us.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, be our light in darkness, our strength in temptation, our consolation in sorrow, our passport to Heaven, and the eternal object of our praise and love.


When Life is Made Cheap - The Normalization of Euthanasia

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 07 July 2018 - 14:43:53 | by admin

This week has seen the 70th-anniversary of the British National Health Service (NHS) and the mainstream media has been replete with anecdotes, landmark moments and potted histories. As a British national pastime, debating the merits and demerits of the NHS seems at times to come only second to talking about the weather; and it has been interesting this week to witness the NHS being critiqued in other countries in light of this big anniversary.

The NHS's 70th-anniversary has certainly been thrown into sharp relief by the state-enforced euthanasia of little Alfie Evans, the sheer scale of the latest abortion statistics and the shocking news emerging from both the Gosport War Memorial and Countess of Chester hospitals. In the former, it seems from an independent investigation that some 650 people died prematurely through the practice of lethal opiate, whilst in the latter a young nurse is under investigation, suspected of murdering 8 babies and attempting to murder another 6 babies.

And although I must reiterate the excellent standard of care that we received in our local hospital the other night, it is also the case that I will never be able to think of the NHS in the same way after the dreadful case of little Alfie Evans and his courageous family.

For that matter, neither will I be able to think in the same way of the present crop of Bishops of England and Wales after that case, which was all beyond tragic.

At the time, I said that Alfie Evans had exposed the hearts of many, the good and the bad, for all to see. We were all certainly given a disturbing insight into just how much euthanasia has now been generally accepted in our post-modern society.

And that, even in its non-voluntary form...

The shocking official statement of the Bishops of England and Wales - made even worse by the overt support given by both Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon to the courts and health care system, over and against the natural rights of the parents, the basic right to oxygen, nutrition and fluid, and even against the fundamental right to life itself - made it abundantly clear just how much the phenomenon we might term ''euthanasia creep'' had seeped even into the Church.

Just plain terrible!

Of course, all of that goes against the true teachings expounded so clearly in the much ignored and prophetic encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.

The way in which acceptance of euthanasia has silently flooded both society and the Church reminds me of some cousins of mine who used to live on some marshy land near to the Fylde Coast. One night, the water table rose dramatically and invisibly, until it suddenly overwhelmed their land and flooded their outdoor Guinea pig hutches. When the family awoke the next morning, they were shocked to find their drowned pets floating in their water-logged pens.

It seems to me that the general acceptance of euthanasia has similarly crept up on us and now threatens to overwhelm and even kill us; certainly that looks true of its inundation of the Church. Then again, the warning sirens were already loudly ringing several years ago, when the likes of Liverpool's Bishop Tom Williams spoke of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) as ''God's work''.

About 18 years ago, Angie and I shared in a collective gasp, followed by a moment of incredulity, when a man at a pro-life conference in London suggested that hundreds of people were already dying every year in the UK, due to the ''hidden'' practice of euthanasia caused by misuse of sedatives and dehydration.

Yet, no-one would question his statement today. Indeed, the numbers involved, even in just the Gosport case alone, now make that gentleman's claim look decidedly conservative.

Still, Gosport and Chester surely represent unique extremities? Well, I would suggest that they are not unlinked to the much wider and deeper cultural acceptance of euthanasia in general.

And, as with atheism, divorce, cohabitation, LGBT issues and mass immigration, it seems that acceptance of euthanasia has become socially normative at a very rapid rate in the last two decades. I still remember people around 2003 being up in arms at the very mention of attempts to get pro-euthanasia bills pushed through parliament. But since then, softened up by sad stories of ''hard cases'' in the news, soap-opera programming (quite literally!), peer pressure and a general loss of meaning in life, many people have come to see some form of euthanasia as being somehow OK if that's what you want.

A few weeks ago, Angie was talking to a woman she knows, who is in so many ways very counter-cultural by the standards of these times. And yet, even this old-school lady shocked Angie by suddenly stating her support for euthanasia ''in certain circumstances''. When Angie instead put forth the Catholic teaching, this lady offered the typically post-modern, ''Well, I see where you are coming from, and it's nice that you have those beliefs, but for those who do not have such hope, euthanasia may be the only way.''

Welcome to the desert of the real!

And whilst this lady represented the kind of ''soft liberalism'' that tranquilly ''tolerates difference'', there are signs that the harder form, which more typically represents post-modernity and isn't so ''liberal'' after all, is making inroads; with pro-lifers being labelled as ''uncaring'' or ''unfeeling'' just for thinking euthanasia is wrong.

Indeed, Angie and I were both very disappointed recently when the mainstream author of a library book we were both sharing, on the theme of dementia and healthcare, suddenly announced her firm support for ''death with dignity''. In case anyone hasn't heard of it, that is a spooky euphemism for euthanasia.

Even more disturbing than these examples however, was a conversation Angie had with a paramedic just this week.

A paramedic mind you!

When speaking of the huge numbers of elderly dementia sufferers abandoned in nursing homes for the elderly in our country today, this fellow looked morosely downwards and ominously reflected that, if he were ever to find himself facing such a situation, then there would be ''alternatives''.

Of course, this kind of chilling nihilism is just another of the poisonous fruits of a society which has rejected the loving God and the Church He established for our salvation and sanctification. Without God people are becoming increasingly desperate and lonely.

One aspect of all of this is that fundamentally good people are being wounded in terrible ways, which then leave them feeling unloved and alone.

Several years ago, Angie and I shared a pot of tea and some shortbread with a lady who had been very mistreated by men in her life; first her real husband who had mercilessly cheated on her, and then another man with whom she had attempted ''marriage'', before he too had cleared off and left her alone. This lady was not a Catholic, but was kind, hardworking and very open to talking about Our Blessed Lord.

Having been so hurt in this life, this soul admitted that, if she were ever to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, then she would just retreat into the solitude of her own home with a large supply of champagne and cigarettes.

Sad as they are, all of these above-mentioned approaches are a far cry from the way in which our forebears dealt with death and dying.

Just to give one example, the monks in the medieval monasteries used to sound a wooden ''clapper'' if any of the brethren were about to die. This would bring the rest of the community running to aid the dying religious with their presence, prayers and practical support. They would also sing the Te Deum for the departing soul. Interestingly, this is where the expression ''to run like the clappers!'' originates.

One of the perversions of our age, of which there are many, is the corrupted application of the concept and terminology of ''death with dignity'' to the evil of euthanasia.

Whereas, in reality, the real meaning of dying with dignity, is to die prepared to go to God; having lived in a state of grace, loved and supported by one's family and companions, and accompanied with the sacraments and prayers of Holy Church.

During those hard final days of Alfie Evans' court battles, there was at least one lone voice from among the Bishops of England and Wales which, blink and you'd have missed it, at least made some support for Alfie and his family; albeit being only one somewhat vague ''tweet'' on twitter, and even this made only after Alfie had received Italian citizenship.

Still, at least it was something done by a bishop of these isles to distance himself from the general acquiescence in state sponsored and heavily enforced euthanasia.

I speak, of course of Bishop Philip Egan's tweet, which posted on 23rd April read: ''Let's offer heartfelt prayers today for little Alfie Evans - now an Italian citizen - and his courageous parents. If there is anything at all that can be done, may the Lord enable us to do it.''
His Lordship, who has frequently demonstrated good pro-life support in the past, has been back in the news again this week, in light of the tragic news emerging from the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, which is in the area of his Portsmouth diocese.

According to Crux News, Bishop Egan spoke of the NHS in terms of, ''a huge blessing, but we must ever be vigilant to the policies, values, priorities and procedures that operate within it.''

The Crux report made clear that the bishop was well aware that over-sedation and dehydration of patients was commonplace in too many places these days. His Lordship called for a review of geriatric and end-of-life care ''in relation to fundamental moral principles.''

Again, His Lordship sounded a clear warning that it was ''not morally permissable until the very last to withdraw feeding and hydration.''

Given the prevalence of pro-euthanasia views these days, and the shocking levels of sedation abuse, witnessed so clearly for example at Gosport, it was heartening to hear Bishop Egan reflecting that, ''if you or a loved one is terminally ill, consider whether it might be practicable to die at home.''

This really brings us to the heart of the matter, because although euthanasia is becoming increasingly acceptable to the mainstream, many people are at the same time feeling more and more anxious in a society in which euthanasia is so acceptable.

It all reminds me of a priest who warned that, within a few years of euthanasia becoming ''legal'' in the Netherlands, people of retirement age were begging ambulance drivers not to take them into hospital after accidents.

Any healthcare system can only ever be a reflection of the society in which it has grown and in which it functions. If you have a Catholic civilization, the care will be Catholic; if your society is atheistic, then the care system will increasingly take on that tone also. If your society values efficiency, money and vitality above individuals, thus preferring things to persons, then your health system will increasingly reflect that too.

In the times of the medieval monasteries, healthcare was provided on the model of treating the sick, the vulnerable and the traveller as though they were Christ. Obviously, that is going to have a positive impact on your standards and levels of care!

When St. Padre Pio first opened his new hospital in Pietrelcina, patients were brought in accompanied by candles. In parts of Ireland, there are still hospitals with chapels set aside for patients on each of the floors. There, too, the residual Catholicism of the culture, although smashed by recent developments, still has influence on the way many doctors and nurses treat people, and on the standards of care that people expect to receive.

There is no other institution in the whole of human history that has cared for so many people, in so many different types of need, in so many disparate cultures, or for so long a period of time, as has the Catholic Church. This alone is one of the most fundamental of the Church's truth claims, and it is one which no one can dismiss lightly.

It is essential that Catholics reclaim the truth about death with dignity as being really about the holy death; the good death at the end of a well lived life in the service of God and neighbour.

Reflecting on the various people who have expressed to us their favour for dying alone with ''alternatives'' leads one to realize that their beliefs follow from an essential loneliness in a society which has rejected God.

People hurt them, they feel unloved, they see no value in suffering and they observe old and vulnerable people suffering alone and seemingly without purpose. And so they really feel despair and seek the seemingly ''easy'' way out.

I think it important that we warn people that to choose the death of euthanasia, certainly if one makes a free and deliberate choice for it, truly endangers one's eternal salvation and gives terrible example to others. There are many people today who think that euthanasia and suicide will end suffering, leading to either extinction or an instant paradise. In reality, and there are even Near-Death-Experience accounts of such things, this kind of choice could very really lead to the eternal suffering of Hell, due to the outright rejection of God and His wonderful gift of life. That is gravely sinful, and mortal sins kill the divine life in the soul. What if such a person chooses death by euthanasia in complete freedom and then has no time to repent?

The real answer to the evil of euthanasia is the love of God and of neighbour.

It is also to find the infinite value that suffering can come to have when it is joined to that of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross, and strengthened by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In these things, we can all gain from the example and intercession of St. Camillus de Lellis, the early 17th-Century founder of the Order of Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm.   
The large, red cross on the front of the cassocks of this priestly order preceded that of the International Red Cross by hundreds of years. The society of priests which St. Camillus founded became so popular and successful in helping the dying to pass through a holy death, that they became known as the ''Fathers of a Happy Death''.

Here again, we see how the Catholic Church, her members and her teachings have so influenced and shaped our society, before its present-day collapse into atheistic nihilism.

As in so many areas of our post-Christian society, we now have it all to do in terms of rebuilding a Catholic civilization founded on the love and grace of Christ.

And as the old adage has it, this is surely a case where charity begins at home!

St. Camillus de Lellis - Pray for us!

St. Joseph, Patron of a Holy Death - pray for us!

P.S. I read recently that it is important to pray, indeed to implore, Our Lord, Our Lady and St, Joseph every single day for the grace of a happy and holy death in God's service. Let us all begin to do so this very day!

First Saturday Today

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 07 July 2018 - 08:34:46 | by admin

The central and urgent importance of the message of Fatima, as Heaven's peace plan for salvation, becomes more and more clear with every single day that passes.

As today is the First Saturday of July, let us pray that Our Lady of Fatima will obtain for us all the graces necessary to honour Her requests to keep the devotion of the First Saturdays.

This request, of course, calls the faithful to make reparation, on the First Saturday of the month, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The reparation called for includes a good Confession, worthy Holy Communion, prayer of the Rosary and 15 minute meditation on a mystery of the Rosary.

Our Lady of Fatima - pray for us!

Ss Jacinta and Francesco Marto - pray for us!

Those Who Wilfully Commit Sacrilegious Heresies are Sacrilegious Heretics!

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 06 July 2018 - 01:11:01 | by admin

Catholic News Agency Deutsch is reporting that Francis' recently appointed Bishop Franz Jung of Wurzburg has just invited all the Protestant spouses, who are present and participating in two days of wedding jubilee Masses in his diocese today and tomorrow, to all come forward and receive Communion during those Masses.

With no exceptions whatsoever.

As we have demonstrated in earlier articles, this breaks Canon Law. More fundamentally, it is also against the clear and perennial teaching of the Council of Trent, which establishes that those who believe in and publicly promote sacrilegious communions are excommunicated by the fact.

In common with the German Judas-bishops Becker, Feige, Hesse and Bode, Bishop Jung is commiting a sacrilegious and heretical act on a large scale.

Indeed, Jung goes beyond even their sacrilegious heresy, because he does not even pretend to limit participation in communion to the supposedly ''special cases'' that others have spoken of.

Deacon Nick Donnelly, God bless him for saying it, has tweeted: ''This makes me sick to my stomach. The bishops and priests have been given a special trust by God -- to protect and venerate Our Lord given into their hands in the Blessed Sacrament. Woe to them if they betray this divine trust.''

This is the response of the true Catholic.

Francis, Marx and the other Hegelian game-players have enabled this by their subterfuge. It is a sin which cries out to Heaven. I wonder if Luis Ladaria thinks the red hat and silk were worth the cost...

If one looks back through the history of the Church, there are words for those who wilfully commit sacrilege and heresy.

Yes, they are called sacrilegious heretics.

Bishops Becker, Bode, Feige, Hesse and, most especially Jung, this means you!

The Catholic martyrs of the Protestant revolution, in all countries, died rather than betray or offend Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. Instead, you casually cast Christ into the souls of non-Catholics. In this, you have shown that you are no longer spiritually living members of the Catholic Church, but that you have instead stepped over clearly into sacrilegious heresy. Your ''ecumenism'' stinks to high Heaven.

We want no part in your evil Crucifixion of Our Divine Saviour, nor of your assault on the 4 Marks of His Church, nor of your betrayal of faithful Catholics, nor of your cruel leading of Protestants away from truth and into sacrilege, error and confusion.

God will be your judge. Your souls, and the souls of many others who will follow your heresies and sacrilege are now in mortal peril. May you be given the grace to repent urgently and to correct these evils with a life of sincere penance and adherence to Christ in Catholic Truth. If not, Catholic teaching warns that Hell yawns open for your souls. We pray that you will repent! We pray that Protestants will not follow your evil, but will find their way in spite of you to Christ's One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

Lord have mercy!

Our Lady, Destroyer of Heresies - Pray for us!   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about something for a moment.

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

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

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

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

All this sacrilege sure is ugly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Weirdness, By George!

Torch of The Faith News on Monday 02 July 2018 - 14:36:55 | by admin

Advance of the Reds: The newly rouged Cardinal Toribio Ticona Porco shares a friendly hug with his Communist Bolivian leader and buddy Evo Morales at the Vatican.

On 28th May, the renowned Rorate Caeli site warned that Pope Francis was preparing to raise his Bolivian friend Toribio Ticona Porco to the cardinalate. Rorate explained that this was a major problem, due to the existence of claims set out by their Spanish-language partners at Adelante la Fe. Those claims from ''appropriately and thoroughly checked sources on the ground'' suggested that Ticona had a concubine ''wife'' and children.

At the time we wrote a vigorous article complaining about this travesty. In the days that followed, we noted that Ticona had strongly denied the claims as being calumnious, but that Adelante le Fe had also responded by doubling-down on their claims, and noting that these had even been handed in to the Nunciature in Bolivia, as part of a detailed denunciation under oath.

Gloria TV has noted that the neo-conservative AciPrensa.com is now suggesting that the claims of concubinage and secret family life have been denied by the woman concerned, and moreover that those claims can be traced back to contested land deals. Rorate has yet to respond.

Another dimension to the story of Toribio Ticona Porco was reported by Maike Hickson at 1 Peter 5, on the 18th June. This related to the fact that the conference of Bolivian Bishops had distanced themselves from the cardinal-elect Ticona over his close friendship with the anti-Catholic Communist Evo Morales.

In the midst of political struggles, the Bolivian Bishops were concerned that Ticona's closeness with Morales was undermining the unified stance of the Church hierarchy locally.

Such undermining could of course only become worse if Ticona, being elevated to the level of the cardinalate, were then perceived in Bolivia to be no longer just a bishop-emeritus, but as the reigning head of the local church. Any Catholic with eyes in their head should be able to understand the concern of the local hierarchy in this matter; especially now that Ticona's elevation was celebrated at the Vatican by Evo Morales in person.

This is because, notwithstanding all of these serious trials for the Catholic Church in Bolivia, Evo Morales himself was given a merry welcome back at the Vatican for the latest consistory, during which Francis elevated another new bunch of cardinals this weekend. As is the case with China in the days of Francis, the fear now with Ticona as cardinal is that it will be the work of the Communists, rather than that of Catholicism, which will be able to make further advances.
This picture makes clear the fact that Morales was once again made very welcome at the Vatican; being received in private by his good friend Francis, while the ever-present Georg Ganswein watches smilingly from the wings.

As you know, Morales and Francis already gave so much grave offence during their exchange of the scandalous, Communist Hammer-and-Sickle ''crucifix'' in July 2015. This hidden-in-plain-sight display should have woken even the most somnolent and easy-going of Catholics, politicians and students of global history.

They say there is no show without punch, so it was no surprise when Francis also headed over to parade his newly rouged Cardinals, in another choreographed chapel meeting, with the Emeritus Benedict and his ever-present and ever-smiling minder, Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

I know some people will probably interpret the next image as one of close friendship between two, erm, popes, but I cannot imagine any family member, never mind any good and well-trained parish priest, nurse or care worker, dominating an elderly person in such a crowdingly, flat-palmed and forceful manner.
Even at the uber-liberal Ushaw seminary, we were at least reminded in pastoral classes to kneel down next to vulnerable people or folks in wheelchairs, in order that our eyes might meet theirs and that we would be at the same level as they. It is a question of service and of putting people at ease. When vulnerable or elderly people are around, these things matter profoundly.

It's kind of weird that Francis actually said during the meeting, ''None of us should look down at others from above. The only time we can look at a person in this way is when we are helping them to stand up.''

Weird, hey?

Is that another ''hidden-in-plain-sight'' mystery to consider?

And perhaps no meeting between Francis and Benedict would be quite complete without the fawning Ganswein doing something weird to get us all thinking again.

And, if you watch the video footage closely, Georg certainly did not disappoint this time!

Indeed, his actions were so outlandish that even Rome Reports felt the need to explain them away with the words, ''Georg Ganswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, was even swatting gnats during the conversations. It was especially evident when Benedict was recalling Cardinal Becciu's new role in the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.''   
And so, just as Benedict is sharing a word or two with Cardinal Becciu, the ''gnat-swatting'' Ganswein suddenly performs a sudden, dramatic and loud handclap in mid-air, just a few feet from the Emeritus' head!  
As with other episodes of the Francis-Georg-and-Benedict show, I've watched this weird occurence closely several times and, although Ganswein looks down at his hand in a ''good, got it!'' kind of way, this just doesn't seem right to me.

For one, it looks at odds with his usual slickly smooth and ever-smiling MC role. I mean, do you know any MC who would do something like that? And in a chapel, during a peaceful exchange between religious leaders?

Aw, c'mon, I can hear you say! You're not back onto that old Ganswein rap are you? I mean, it is not as if this could be some kind of post-hypnotic trigger clap or anything like that! I mean, c'mon, really...

Still, I mention it in the same spirit of ''Things that make you go Hmmm...'' with which I mentioned the time when Ganswein looked to be giving Benedict close-coaching with a hypnotic-looking Diamond hand-sign, which Benedict quickly mirrored and upon which the cameras instantly focused, during the highly choreographed celebrations of Benedict's 65th anniversary of priesthood, in June 2016. As the original footage demonstrates, the instant that Benedict mirrors the diamond hand-sign, Ganswein drops his sign and adjusts his sash. Then the camera zooms right in on Benedict's hands. View it yourself on slow-motion a few times and make of it what you will...
It was during that strange speech that Benedict spoke in an uncharacteristically touchy-feely and irrational way about Francis' ''goodness'' being the ''place where I live, I feel protected.''
And the time when I pointed out that Ganswein had waded in so dramatically to intercept that Bavarian guy's letter to Benedict during his 90th Birthday celebration in the beer garden, last May...
And I've said before that it seems odd that Ganswein - a man who spoke at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May 2016 about a conclave ''battle'' between the ''St. Gallen Mafia'' and the ''Ratzingerians'' - should now be relativistically serving as both Benedict's Personal Secretary and as Francis' Prefect of the Papal Household. In other words, smilingly serving the leaders from both sides of that battle.
I mean, wouldn't that represent a conflict of interests?

Especially since Francis and friends are now undoing all the things that Benedict stood for; to say nothing of 2,000 years of Catholic tradition!

No, I'm sure you are right: to question any of this must be just the wildest nightmares of the conspiracy theorist.

I mean, it is not as though Communist leaders are cozying up with the Pope in the Vatican these days, is it...
Our Lady of Fatima - Pray for us!

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