Some Traditional Latin Masses for Christmas in the NW of England


Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 24 December 2016 - 10:25:50 | by admin

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There are a number of opportunities for Catholics in the north west of England to celebrate Christmas with the Traditional Latin Mass. Please note that the following list may not be exhaustive.

Bolton

St. Osmund's, Long Lane, Breightmet, Bolton, BL2 6EB

Christmas Eve - Midnight - Low Mass

Farington

St. Catherine Laboure, Stanifield Lane, Farington, Leyland, PR25 4QG.

Christmas Day - 10:00am - Sung Mass

Liverpool

St. Anthony's, Scotland Road, Liverpool, L5 5BD.

Christmas Day - 11:30am - Low Mass

Lydiate

Our Lady's, Southport Road, Lydiate, L31 4HH.

Christmas Eve - Midnight - Low Mass

Manchester

English Martyrs, Alexandra Road South, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8QT.

Christmas Day - 8:00am - Low Mass

Oratory Church of St. Chad, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M8 8GG.

Christmas Day

4pm - Vespers and Benediction
4:45pm - Low Mass

New Brighton

ICKSP Shrine Church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, Atherton Street, CH45 9LT.

Christmas Eve - 10:30pm - 12 Traditional Carols followed by Procession to the Crib and Solemn High Mass.

Christmas Day

8:30am - Low Mass with Organ
10:30 am - Sung Mass
5pm Traditional Vespers.

Penwortham

St. Mary Magdalen, Leyland Road, Penwortham, PR1 9NE.

Christmas Day - 8:30am - Low Mass

Preston

ICKSP Shrine Church of St. Walburge, Weston Street, Preston, PR2 2QE.

Christmas Eve - 10pm - Traditional Carols followed by Procession to the Crib and Solemn High Mass. The Holy Mass will be followed by the Office of Prime with the Christmas Martyrology.

Christmas Day

10:30am - Low Mass with Hymns
6pm - Rosary and Benediction

St. Helens

Holy Cross, Corporation Street, St. Helens, WA10 1EF.

Christmas Day - 11:00am - Low Mass

Shrewsbury

St. Winefride's, Crowmere Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, SY2 5RA.

Christmas Eve - 8pm - Low Mass

Warrington

FSSP Shrine Church of St. Mary's, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NS.

Christmas Eve - 11:30pm - Carols followed by Sung Midnight Mass.

Christmas Day

8:00 - Low Mass (of Dawn)
11:00 - Solemn High Mass

We give thanks to God and to these good priests for all these opportunities to celebrate Christmas with the Traditional Latin Mass in the north west region of England. Readers in the region are encouraged to attend where possible.

The Third Annual ''Bah Humbug!'' Lecture in Rome


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 23 December 2016 - 01:50:38 | by admin

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Ebenezer Scrooge: ''Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.''

Grinding 'em down like a True Son of Peron

Over 20 years ago, one of my bosses laid out some cash so that everyone on the team went home with a nice bottle of something to drink over Christmas. You don't forget generous acts like that. It is the real-life equivalent of Mr. Fezziwig's annual Christmas ball for his staff in Dickens' classic story, A Christmas Carol

On the other hand, miserific deeds leave a long-lasting bad taste all of their own; especially if they are done at Christmas.

No wonder so many of those serving in the Roman Curia felt discouraged when Pope Francis used the traditional Christmas ''meet and greet'' of 2014 to lambast them over ''15 ailments'' which he claimed were afflicting their work. Such discouragement was unleashed yet again in 2015, when Francis followed up with his unpopular ''12 cures'' speech.

As well as the mathematical improbability of applying 12 cures to 15 ailments, that was a speech notable for Francis' praise of the Modernistic Cardinal John Francis Dearden; and the suggestion that ''no Creed brings perfection''...

As we reflected last year, with Christmas gifts like these, who needs coal?''

On the Naughty List - Coal for Faithful Catholics

By now, you will probably have read all about Francis' latest speech to the Roman Curia from today's annual pre-Christmas meeting of 2016. I bet those curial staff just look forward to their annual ''Christmas do'' with baited breath... and gritted teeth. I should think they view it more in terms of a ''Christmas don't''!

To cut a long story short, Francis turned-up the dial on some Spadaro-style rhetoric - interesting hey? - by suggesting that those who were resisting his ''reforms'' were, in some cases, inspired by ''malicious resistance'' that ''takes refuge in traditions'' and comes to the fore ''when the Devil inspires ill intentions''.

Allow us to clearly say that no-one who seeks to protect the authentic teachings of the Church from subversion, the Holy Eucharist from desecration, or endangered souls from perdition, is acting from an ill intention inspired by the Devil.

It is more accurate and just to accuse those who attempt to subvert the Magisterium and promote sacrilegious Communions of being in cahoots with such dark influences.

Candy for Everyone Else!

On the day that Francis delivered this bleak broadside - thus publicly affirming the recently reported ''rumours'' of a ''Climate of Fear'' in his Vatican regime - he did something quite opposite for the children of this world.

During the morning, he lowered the public perception of the papacy still further by telephoning the Italian State Broadcaster's morning TV-show, Unomattina (One Morning) to congratulate them for the 30th-anniversary of their show. I guess for British readers, this would be the equivalent of phoning something like Richard and Judy... 

What would it be in America - The View?

During this shameless piece of Francis-propaganda, a montage of the key events in his pontificate, complete with a male-voiced narrative, announced to the world, and the worldly, some of the ''changes'' that Francis has brought to the Church.

This narrative proclaimed: ''The centrality of the Gospel and revolution, the final realization of the Council that took place more than 50 years ago, the engine of faith in the God of mercy... A Church without temporal power, going out to the peripheries, to the poor, to the discarded, that wants to be involved with the Christian communities, with families, with wounded couples, with the divorced and remarried who can begin a path to approach the Sacraments once prohibited from the start... A Church that accompanies, that condemns evil but does not judge persons. No-one is excluded from his compelling humanity. Pope Francis, who celebrates his birthday with the homeless in his residence; Pope Francis who leaves the Vatican to buy orthopedic shoes as he did to buy glasses; Pope Francis among the earthquake victims''.

Without dwelling for too long on the production similarities to a forced-grin inspiring Kim Jong-un promo-video, let's just focus in on that one line, ''with the divorced and remarried who can begin a path to approach the Sacraments once prohibited from the start''.

And who was it said that the 4 cardinals had not yet had their Dubia answered?

One can only shudder to think of the souls and marriages that are being destroyed, and all the sacrilegious Communions being encouraged, by all this slick play-acting.

At the end, Francis gave a message about wishing a ''Christian Christmas, like the first one, when God willed to overturn the values of the world, and to become little in a manger, with the little ones, with the poor, with the marginalized... littleness. In this world, where the god of money is so adored, may Christmas help us to gaze upon the littleness of this God who has overturned worldy values.''

Whilst this can indeed be a wholesome message, it seems to be rather contradicted by the fact that orthodox Catholics - those Francis sees as ''taking refuge in traditions'' - are truly the marginalized, poor and little ones who consistenly experience Francis undermining them and their truly Catholic beliefs.

At the same time that he himself takes part in shameless self-promotion campaigns with wealthy worldlings...

It is all very sad to see. Indeed, it is also very grave and spiritually dangerous.

The Christ-Child is Our King

Reflecting on Francis' latest attack on those striving to be faithful to Catholic tradition called to my mind the late, great, traditionalist priest Fr. Godfrey Aloysius Carney in Liverpool. He lived to be 98, having served an almost unique 74 years as a priest. Fr. Carney used to remind Catholics that, when you are a Catholic, Tradition is in a sense all that you have got. He used to say that Tradition can never be old-fashioned because it is the living Truth revealed by God through Jesus Christ, established on the Apostles, guarded and handed down through all the ages in the Church.

If there is a lesson we can take from Austen Ivereigh's shamefully over-the-top article earlier this week, it is that Francis seeks to overcome his opponents, not through direct opposition, but by wearing them down gradually in the style of Juan Domingo Peron.

Aware of this tactic, faithful Catholics need to ensure that they do not allow the constant stream of subtle, and not-so-subtle, attacks to undermine them, or their faith.

Earlier this week, Cardinal Raymond Burke reminded Catholics, during an interview for LifeSiteNews, that accusations of rigorism should not discourage them, but bring forth from them a deeper level of commitment.

He said: ''We believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is alive in His Church, in Her teachings, in Her Sacred Liturgy, in Her life of prayer, and in Her discipline, as those have been handed down to us in an unbroken line from apostolic times. And so, even though these statements are very hurtful, and I understand that, we have to rise above those feelings of hurt and adhere ever more strongly to what the Church teaches, to Her Sacred Liturgy, to our life of prayer and devotion, and to that discipline, which safeguards and promotes our life in Christ.''

Let us conclude with a quote from St. Luke's Gospel, which seems appropriate to these times.

Luke 11:11-13: And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? Or a fish, will he give him for a fish a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father from Heaven give the good Spirit to those that ask Him?

May God give us all the grace to adhere more strongly to Christ and the true teachings of the Church this Christmas.

Christmas in Post-Modern Britain


Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 22 December 2016 - 12:35:29 | by admin

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The blasphemously offensive ''LGBT decorations'' which are sadly being sold in the UK for £13 this Christmas.

During his Christmas message in 2013, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury warned that, without a commitment to re-evangelization, Christianity could die out in the British Isles within just one generation.

This is particularly sobering when one reflects on the Catholic origins of our civilization: careful scholars of British history observe that the work of St. Augustine's 6th-Century mission, in drawing the Angles and Saxons into the unity and obedience of the Catholic Faith, was a key factor in the emergence of a people known collectively as the Angli.

Or the English, to you and I.

And yet, one only has to look about to see many families that were once raised as devout Christians sliding into indifference and even outright neo-paganism in these times.

Last Christmas we lamented the fact that the Christmas edition of our local free paper featured letters from people arguing that religion should be kept out of the public sphere to avoid hurting the feelings of ''good moral secularists''.

We also expressed our concerns in the light of the fact that Baroness Butler Sloss had only recently announced the conclusions from the Orwellian-sounding Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life. During December 2015, this two-year commission of enquiry suggested that Britain is no longer a Christian country; and thus called for British public life to be systematically de-Christianized. Whilst the executive-director of the National Secular Society complained that the report did not go far enough (!), elements of its contents were warmly welcomed by the senior-rabbi of Liberal Judaism and the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain...

Fast-forward to Advent 2016 and three disturbing news stories have emerged this week, which further illustrate this rapidly advancing trend of de-Christianization.

1. Blasphemous ''LGBT decorations''      

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Another example of the blasphemous ''LGBT decorations'' which were designed in California and are now being sold in the UK.

England's Premier Christian Radio has reported on these blasphemous ''LGBT decorations'' which are being sold by Zazzle in the UK for £13 a set. As Christian Concern's excellent Andrea Williams explained in an interview with Premier: ''The idea of putting a Joseph and a Joseph with the baby Jesus, or a Mary with a Mary is blasphemous''.

Thankfully, the amount of Christian backlash to these blasphemous mockeries of Our Blessed Lady, holy St. Joseph and Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, has been sufficient to make Zazzle ''consider'' removing them from sale.

However, that organization makes no apology for the offensive blasphemy. Instead, in a truly secularist fashion, they suggest that, if the offending items were to be removed from sale, it would be done ''out of respect for fellow human beings''.

Ironically, in a society which has forgotten that it was Catholic Christendom which provided the fertile soil for authentic human rights and duties to develop, Zazzle's approach is taken as a form of moral high-ground...

We are grateful to Christian Concern and Premier Christian Radio for speaking out so clearly on this serious issue. At the same time, we must ask: why are the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales leaving it to the evangelicals to speak out (again)?

2. A New ''LGBT-friendly'' Oath of Allegiance to the State?!!!

Over at EWTN GB, Deacon Nick Donnelly has highlighted the dangerous fact that the UK Government is considering whether or not to impose a new ''Oath of Allegiance to British Values'' on all state employees.

Now, given the influx into these small isles of so many Muslims and various people from other cultural backgrounds - Tradition in Action suggests that the UK registered 3.2 legal immigrants, 500,000 illegal immigrants and 117,000 refugees in 2015 - the requirement to sign up to British values could potentially be a good thing.

However, that all rather depends on who is defining those British values these days...

Indeed, Deacon Donnelly warns that the British Government is considering a legal imposition for state employees to sign up to ''secularist values''.

How about this comment from Dame Louise Carey as a troubling bit of evidence for that: ''Regressive attitudes. While many people in the UK appear to be seeing religion as increasingly less important and, in some cases, less of a force for good, for others, religion is very important in their daily lives. Within this latter group there appear to be some who are keen to take religion backwards and away from 21st-Century British values and laws on issues such as gender equality and sexual orientation; creating segregation and pulling communities apart.''

This called to my mind G.K. Chesterton's witty remark that, when secularists accuse us of belonging to the Middle Ages, it is good form to take that as a compliment!

Note once again, though, the pattern of ''creating the problem'' and ''providing the pre-planned solution''. In this case, the ''solution'' appears to be the imposition of an ''Oath of Allegiance'' to be required of all elected officials, civil servants, council workers and possibly staff of the BBC and even the National Health Service (NHS).

Hey, job prospects just get better all the time for orthodox Catholics in the UK. Not...

Of course, Catholics in this country have been here before, in light of King Henry VIII's disgusting Oath of Supremacy which led to the martyrdom of great saints like Ss John Fisher and Thomas More, the persecution of thousands, and the social exclusion of faithful Catholic families for many generations to come.

As Deacon Donnelly reflects in his EWTN GB article: ''If Teresa May's government goes ahead and frames an Oath of Allegiance to British Values that contradicts the Catholic Church's doctrines on marriage and sexuality then Catholics would again be persecuted in the United Kingdom.''

3. Catholic Priest in our Archdiocese Raided at Gun-Point

Please say a prayer for the parish priest of St. Vincent de Paul church out in Parr, to the east of St. Helens.

At 6:25pm Father answered the door of his presbytery to be ''greeted'' by three men, one of whom has been reported to have been armed with a handgun. The three robbers forced the priest to empty the safe at St. Vincent de Paul church and hand over the cash. The monies in that safe had been collected for an orphanage.

The fact that an act like this can happen just days before Christmas, and in a town with such a deeply Catholic history as St. Helens, demonstrates just how far our country has fallen into a state of post-Christian desuetude.

It seems the police have caught a couple of these men and are now holding them for questioning.

Please pray: that these men will receive the grace of sincere repentance this Christmas; for the priest who has been left understandably shaken by the incident; and for other priests that we know who often feel anxious at this time of year when there are Christmas collections, dark evenings and unknown visitors. 

On a Happier Note
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This being the run up to Christmas, we wanted to end today with a more upbeat conclusion.

Last Christmas, I celebrated the fact that the local council of the town where I grew up had continued their long tradition of erecting a large roadside Christmas nativity scene next to one of the biggest road-junctions in the area. I was particularly thankful to see this still happening in days when Christian culture is in retreat in so many places.

When we were kids in the 70's, Mum used to take us to see this crib-scene, and to look at the baby Jesus in the manger, during the Christmas holidays from school. In the 1990's, I remember the late Canon Michael Culhane leading public Rosaries of witness there, with parishioners from English Martyrs church in Litherland.
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Anyway, it is great to see the public nativity scene is there again this year. This is nothing short of amazing in the present cultural climate. We express our thanks here to Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and any other agencies involved.

Let us all do our best to Keep Christ in Christmas! 

Reclaiming Christmas for Christ - Putting Up the Christmas Tree


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 21 December 2016 - 18:21:44 | by admin

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We came across a splendid little prayer on a copy of Fr. Simon Henry's parish newsletter. This can be prayed by families everywhere when putting up the Christmas Tree, as another good way to reclaim Christmas for Christ.

When you put up your Christmas Tree...

Bless, we beseech Thee, O Holy God, Father Almighty, this noble tree which we have adorned in honour of the new birth of Thy only-begotten Son, and do Thou so adorn our souls with the manifold beauties of Thy graces that being internally enlightened by the splendour radiating from this tree, we like the wise-men may come to adore Him Who is eternal Light and Beauty, the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Let's do all we can to keep Jesus as the Reason for the Season! 

Advent Encouragement from St. Padre Pio


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 20 December 2016 - 21:11:37 | by admin

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The archives of the Letters of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina present a veritable treasure-house of spiritual riches for those who read them. The sentiments expressed in that featured below are ones we heartily desire for you, our dear readers, in these final days of the Advent season.

From the Letters of St. Padre Pio

May the heavenly Child always be at the centre of your heart; may He sustain it, enlighten it, inspire it and transform it to His eternal love!

This is the most ardent prayer I say for you in these days before the stable of Bethlehem. Oh how dearly I hope the divine Infant will grant you this prayer! May Jesus continue to grant His graces to all, especially to you, giving you courage and resignation up to the last day of your pilgrimage.

We pray that these days before Christmas will be a time of graces and blessings for all who read this.

St. Padre Pio - Pray for us!

''Wearing Down the Opposition Gradually'' - More Pantomime from Austen Ivereigh


Torch of The Faith News on Monday 19 December 2016 - 13:32:57 | by admin

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Pope Francis and his global 80th-birthday cake: I wonder if the West has all been eaten up yet...

Stranger than Fiction

Several years before his deathbed conversion to the Catholic Faith, Oscar Wilde famously observed that, ''Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life''. Perhaps it is just the kid in me, but I could not help but chuckle at the visual similarities between Pope Francis' 80th-birthday celebrations, complete with an enormous globe-shaped cake iced in papal colours, and the below-featured image depicting the fictional Spectre organization; that shadowy group which was always so intent on world domination in Ian Fleming's novels.

Sometimes one can only chuckle to stop oneself from weeping.

Several years ago, the late Canon John Redford quipped to me that he often thought jubilees, celebrating special anniversaries since priestly ordination, would often be more appropriately marked by acts of public penance. At the time, he was poking fun at himself, but they do say many a true word is said in jest. Perhaps Canon Redford's words about priestly jubilees can find equal application in the area of birthdays.

I mean, given the levels of oppression now being experienced by orthodox prelates and priests in Rome - documented by journalists as diverse as Ed Pentin, Maike Hickson, Jan Bentz, John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac - one might wonder whether Francis turning eighty at the weekend was a cause to eat the cake of rejoicing or the hard bread of penitence.

Indeed, LifeSiteNews has described the atmosphere in Francis' Vatican as a very real ''Climate of Fear'' for those hoping to remain faithful to the Church's authentic moral teachings. How much this all reminds me, once again, of my time in the Modernist-subverted Ushaw seminary in the late 90's; a place described by my late friend Fr. Mike Williams as a veritable ''culture of fear for the orthodox''. 
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Saying Too Much

One feels similary torn between tears and laughter, penance and celebration, when reading Austen Ivereigh's latest piece of pantomime over at Crux.

For, in a way-over-the-top gush of Francis-apologia to celebrate the pontiff's 80th birthday, Mr. Ivereigh just seems to give away too much of the plot; rather like those comedic villains in the James Bond stories.

You remember the way they all used to do that: too prematurely secure in their own perceived sense of victory once they had captured 007, the villains would mock the special agent to his face with their wicked plans; only to have their dastardly schemes unravelled when the hero suddenly escaped and demolished their whole headquarters in spectacular fashion later on.

Let us focus on just three unhealthy themes emerging from a perusal of Mr. Ivereigh's lengthy papal panegyric: Dialectic; Enneagram and Peronism.

Dialectic

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It has often been suggested by close and astute observers that the Catholic Church in particular, and Western civilization in general, were both being gradually taken down through a careful application of the Hegelian dialectic, by those with a Communist (mis)formation.

In this conception: the traditions of the Church and the remnants of Christendom would be viewed in terms of a thesis; the radical deconstruction of these traditions would be seen as an anti-thesis; and the application of a moderation of both positions would be offered as a middle-of-the-road compromise between the two as a synthesis.

Each time such a synthesis was achieved, those working to subvert Christian civilization would then work from that synthesis as a new starting point, as though it were the new thesis. In this manner, radical changes can be introduced gradually, and somewhat subtly, over a period of time in increments. It is a way of incrementally moving a given culture from one position to a pre-planned second position, by the stealth of pushing two steps forward and compromising, briefly, by allowing one step back.

It can be easily summed up as: Creating a problem or causing something in tradition to be viewed as a problem; providing a radical solution; compromising on a less radical solution to placate opponents and move a steady step closer, with minimal opposition, toward the pre-set goal of radicalism.

In the Church, this approach can most obviously be seen by the gradual replacement of orthodox tradition with so-called conservativism.

And with a conservativism, at that, which is awakening almost too-late to discover that it has little left to conserve!

Having considered this application of dialectic, which has historically been most effectively utilized by those promoting Communism and associated leftist causes, let us now quote some words from Mr. Ivereigh's words of adulation.

He writes of Pope Francis: ''Pope Francis, who is 80 today, is a remarkable leader by any standards. Politics is his passion -- above all the task of building a new synthesis out of disparate, even conflicting elements. It is a lesson he is putting into practice across the world, and it is having an impact.''

I'll say!

Or how about this: ''Call it 'big politics': the craft of building consensus and unity out of the material of diversity. It is the art of building institutions and nations.''

Just one problem, Mr. Ivereigh: it is not the art of building Christ's Church, which is founded by Him on objective and unchangeable truths. Perhaps this is why this supposed ''building of consensus and unity'', between truth and error by way of deliberate ambiguity, has led only to confusion, disunity and that ''climate of fear'' which was discussed above.

Enneagram

The Enneagram is, of course, that occultic and pantheistic bane of ''Catholic'' retreat centres from America to Ireland and on all the way to Zimbabwe.

Writers like Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J. and Johnette Benkovic have written balanced and clear warnings to tell Catholics to have nothing to do with this dodgy piece of new-agey psycho-babble.

Even though Pacwa and Benkovic have long debunked the supposed ''ancient roots'' of the Enneagram, Mr. Ivereigh gushes: ''On the Enneagram, that personality-type identifier first created by the desert fathers which received its modern form from the Jesuits, Francis is an Eight - which Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, the leading authority on the Enneagram, has confirmed to me in an e-mail... (Pope Francis, incidentally, knows the Enneagram well, and is not against it. But he is wary of the way in which it can be misused and lead to excessive introspection if not deployed within a solid spiritual framework).''

Hmmm... I know a priest who told me one of his colleagues in the priesthood ''went crackers'' through using the Enneagram.

Then too, we have consistently warned people to avoid Fr. Rohr's writings because, although he was instrumental in bringing EWTN's Bob and Penny Lord back to the Church in his younger days, he has been a consistent promoter of the Enneagram and a clear supporter of the radically dissenting Call to Action group in the USA.

Incredibly, given the late Fidel Castro's shocking history of Communist oppression and mass murder of Cuban Catholics, Mr. Ivereigh tranquilly suggests that, like Francis, ''Martin Luther King was an Eight; so was Fidel Castro. So was St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits''.
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Fidel Castro murdering another political opponent in cold blood, during the days of Communist revolution in Cuba. Mr. Ivereigh soothingly informs us that, just like Pope Francis, Castro was an Eight on the Enneagram. Well, alrighty then... Seriously, though, we need to pray for the victim, and so many others who died like him, as shown in this traumatic image.

Allow me to politely say: Give me a break Austen! St. Ignatius lived centuries before the dubious Enneagram was ''created'' and there has never been a professional study to confirm that the ''personality types'' in that supposed device even correlate to reality.

More to the point, why are you so keen to associate the name of Pope Francis with that of a mass-murdering Communist revolutionary?

Hey, I know they were good friends and all, but...

Peronism

One of the most blatantly shocking things that Mr. Ivereigh brags about in his acclamatory birthday piece goes like this: ''Francis often says, ''I don't like conflict.'' But really what he means is that he prefers to avoid direct confrontation. From Peron and the British military strategist Basil Liddel Hart he learned the value of the indirect approach, wearing down the opponent gradually, over time - and keeping opponents close by.''

Not sure about him keeping opponents close by, but thanks for the heads-up Austen. You clearly have a deal of access to insider knowledge regarding Francis' methodology and influences. We must remember not to let any of this grind us down.

However gradually...

Given our jokey James Bond theme today, we can almost imagine, at this point, the 4 Dubia cardinals suspended in a net above a pool of hungry, jaw-snapping crocodiles!
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We've been expecting you Mr. Bond: Dr. Hans Schellnhuber with his sizeable globe... but no purring white cat! Any similarity to Ian Fleming's fictional Dr. No is purely accidental!

While the ''four cardinals'' and countless other orthodox prelates may be out at Francis' Vatican, with all of its ''climate of fear'', Dr. Hans Schellnhuber has shown himself to be very much on the inside. An atheist and promoter of the ''problem'' of climate change, and the ''solutions'' of global governance and population control, Schellnhuber was chosen by Francis to launch the environmental encyclical Laudato Si in 2015.

Now that various journalists have exposed the fact that there is a ''climate of fear'' in Francis' Vatican, perhaps this is a climate that he would do well to have changed sooner rather than later.

Conclusion

In this article we have reflected on Pope Francis celebrating his 80th-birthday in the Vatican. We have pondered the fact that this seemingly joyous celebration took place at a time when countless orthodox prelates and priests find themselves living in a culture of fear; whilst men associated with global governance and population control are welcomed with open arms.

We have also responded to Austen Ivereigh's gushing celebration of Francis, particularly its troubling, though strategically revealing, suggestions that Francis is: a master of Dialectic to bring in a new order; a nuanced supporter of the Enneagram; a similar personality to his mass-murdering Communist friend Fidel Castro; and a man who seeks to wear down his opponents gradually by avoiding direct conflict and, instead, wearing them down gradually.

Well, that all kind of puts a new perspective on the whole refusal to respond to the Dubia, his cancellation of the Cardinals' consistory meeting and the use of minions to launch harsh and coordinated attacks on the 4 cardinals and orthodox bloggers the world over.

Thanks for telling us more of how the plot fits together, Austen, old boy. Now all we have got to do is figure a way out of this pesky net that's been thrown around us, jump clear of the crocodile infested pool and throw a spanner into the scheming plans, so to speak!
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Spectre's Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his purring white cat: World domination, that same old dream...

Seriously though, we pray at 3pm each day for Pope Francis to put right the damage he has undoubtedly caused to the Church and to the souls of many. He could do this by: reversing the course he has thus far taken; answering the Dubia in an orthodox fashion; beginning to clearly defend and teach the Sacred Deposit of Faith; and thus saving his own soul and countless others.

We pray that Pope Francis will especially receive the graces to do these things for his 80th-birthday.

Now that really would be something to celebrate. 

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2016


Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 18 December 2016 - 09:21:56 | by admin

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Traditional Latin Mass, Introit, Isaiah 45: Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just; let the earth be opened and bud forth a saviour.

Dear friends, Christmas is getting close now! For this fourth Sunday of Advent, we are posting up another of St. Alphonsus de Liguori's Advent reflections for your edification.

The Poverty of the Infant Jesus by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

''You shall find the infant laid in a manger'' (Luke 2:16).

The Holy Church, in contemplating this great mystery and prodigy of a God being born in a stable, exclaims, full of admiration, ''O great mystery! O wonderful sacrament! for animals to behold the Lord lying in a manger'' (Office of the Nativity, resp 4).

In order to contemplate with tenderness and love the birth of Jesus, we must pray the Lord to give us a lively faith. If without faith we enter into the grotto of Bethlehem, we shall have nothing but a feeling of compassion at seeing an infant reduced to such a state of poverty that, being born in the depth of winter, he is laid in a manger of beasts, without fire, and in the midst of a cold cavern.

But if we enter with faith, and consider what an excess of bounty and love it was in a God to humble Himself to appear like a little child, wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed on straw, crying and shivering with cold, unable to move, depending for subsistence on His mother's milk, how is it possible that we should not feel ourselves gently constrained to give all our affections to this Infant God, Who has reduced Himself to this state to make us love Him!

St. Luke says that the shepherds, after having visited Jesus in the manger, returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen (Luke 2:20).And yet what had they seen? Nothing more than a poor child trembling with cold on a little straw; but being enlightened by faith, they recognized in this child the excess of divine love; and inflamed by this love they went on their way glorifying God, that they had the happiness to behold a God who had emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) and annihilated Himself for the love of men.
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Affections and Prayers

O my amiable and sweet Infant! Although I behold Thee so poor and lying on straw, yet I confess and adore Thee as my Lord and Creator. I know what it was that reduced Thee to so miserable a state: it was the love that Thou didst bear me.

But when I remember, O my Jesus! how I have treated Thee in times past, the injuries I have committed against Thee, I wonder in myself how Thou hast borne with me. Accursed sins, oh, what have you done! You have made me cause bitterness to the heart of my beloved Saviour.

Oh, my dearest Redeemer, for the sake of the sufferings Thou didst endure and the tears Thou didst shed in the stable of Bethlehem give me tears, give me a great sorrow, that may make me all my life long lament the displeasure I have caused Thee.

Grant me a love for Thee, but such a love as may compensate for the offences I have committed against Thee. I love thee, my Infant Saviour; I love Thee, my Infant God; I love Thee, my love, my life, my all.

I promise Thee from this day forth to love none but Thee*. Do Thou help me by Thy grace, without which I can do nothing.

Mary, my hope, thou dost obtain whatever thou willest from thy Son, obtain for me His holy love; my Mother, hear me!

*This, of course, means to love God above all other loves; and to love others for His sake.

We pray that our readers will receive many graces and blessings as, on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we draw ever closer to the holy season of Christmas.

Keep the Faith!

Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me


Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 17 December 2016 - 16:18:40 | by admin

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Suffering - Questions and Answers

One of the countless attractions of Catholicism is the fact that it is the only religion to provide a truly satisfactory and lasting answer to the universal problem of human suffering.

Whilst philosophies like Buddhism or post-modern Mindfulness techniques seem to be preferred by many today, these really only offer self-preserving - and ultimately selfish - attempts to avoid, offset or effectively deny the full brutal reality, and yet potential value, of suffering.

In Catholicism, we are given the gift of God Who suffers with and suffers for us. Before each of us ever were, He had taken on all our sins and sufferings; and thus gained for our sufferings an infinite value, if only we would join them to His with pure and repentant hearts.

In this we glimpse the realities of the root of suffering in the Fall.

Then too, we can access the panorama of the Redemption, the fact that all real love is self-sacrificial, and that Christ's suffering has endowed human suffering with enormous redemptive power, whenever it is willfully joined to His. We thus have the opportunity to embrace suffering, go through it and receive the hope of future resurrection from it.

What a great blessing, too, it is to hold - even hang onto - a Crucifix during times of acute suffering. How beyond description is the consolation of Holy Communion in times of peril. And how comforting to witness the Last Rites being given to a loved one in their hour of need.

Catholicism is very real - it offers tangible support for the extremes of deep darkness, sublime joy and everything else in between.

Mother Angelica sometimes said that, when things were going particularly rough for her, she would look down at the large Crucifix on her Rosary beads and reflect that no-one else can love us as much as Christ does from the Cross. 

When it Really Hits Home

I recall the first Christmas-night after my poor dad had died just 9 weeks earlier. We were watching Sr. Wendy Beckett discussing sacred art on television. Given the proximity of Dad's death, the show's content caused all of my grief to come to the surface once more.

The strange thing was that, even though I felt that this grief would annihilate me, at that moment just a single heavy tear seemed to force itself out of my eye and roll ever so slowly down the length of one cheek. And yet, though solitary, that tear seemed to me to be so vast in size, weight and content as to be bursting with a whole universe of anguished grief, blood and sorrow.

At the very second that this tear emerged and began to furrow its laborious path down down the side of my face, the TV screen was suddenly filled with a sacred image of the Suffering Christ, with just one large tear exiting from one of His eyes.

Though I had previously understood it academically, and of course interiorly in the heart, I grasped in an infinitely deeper way that Christmas-night of 2012, that Christ does indeed suffer with and for us.

The Only Ladder to Heaven

All this being said, none of us likes to suffer. We especially do not like to see children suffer. This is because, in a certain sense, we were not created to suffer; because suffering is a punishment brought on by the Fall, our own personal sins and the sins of others. We live, down here, in a fallen world. However, by the power of His Cross and Love, Christ can transform our suffering into something life-giving, if we cooperate with His grace.
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No wonder that Blessed Sr. Maria Restituta Kafka refused to remove the crucifixes from the wards in the hospital where she served when the Nazi Gestapo ordered her to do so. For that heroic act, and refusing to leave her religious order, she was executed under trumped-up charges of high treason to the German fatherland.

Like St. Rose of Lima before her, Blessed Sr. Kafka understood that, apart from the cross, ''there is no other ladder by which we may get to Heaven''.

Wasted Opportunities

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen sometimes remarked that he hated to think of all the wasted suffering that went on in hospitals, because the patients had never received encouragement or support to join their suffering to Christ's on the Cross.

Catholics all over the world were similarly disappointed in January 2015 when Pope Francis seemed unable to offer a presentation of the Theology of the Cross to two young girls, and 30,000 other young people who had travelled to greet him, at Manila in the Philippines.
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When two distressed former street children asked Francis through their tears why children suffer, he suggested that the nucleus of the question did not have an answer. Touchy-feely types rejoiced at the time, that Francis did not blind them with theology but basically gave them a hug instead. Still, his response disappointed countless Catholics who hoped for something a little more concrete, lasting and, we must say Catholic, from a reigning pontiff. Lovingly sharing with the grief of others is an essential part of answering human suffering - perhaps this is something many traditional Catholics need to learn - but it can not be a replacement for the theological answers.

It was not only Catholics who were bemused. At the time, the Philippine Star ran a headline suggesting, Pope Stumped: Why does God allow children to suffer? Even the liberal National Catholic Reporter - wittily nicknamed the ''Distorter'' by some othodox Catholics in the USA - headed up their story with, Francis stuggles to answer crying girl's question about suffering.

Suffer Little Children

Any hopes that this Philippine failure to engage with the mysteries of theodicy had been a momentary lapse were finally squashed this week when Pope Francis met with medical support staff and 150 young patients from Rome's Bambino Gesu children's hospital, in the Pope Paul VI hall.

As the transcript over at La Stampa's Vatican Insider reveals, this meeting provided another opportunity - is that the right word? - to hear Pope Francis speaking in the kind of coarse manner which has not previously been associated with reigning pontiffs.

For example, at one point he acknowledged the weariness that can be experienced by hospital staff by suggesting: ''I can end the day all sweaty, tired and feeling like I want to tell someone where to stuff it.''

As we said a couple of times last week, Francis' coarse speech does little for the popular conception of the sublime dignity of the papacy.
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Although there were touching moments with sick children, and some of his other words to the hospital staff did contain positive elements, it was distressing to hear Francis' renewed discussion of the suffering of children.

When Pope Francis was asked by the paediatric nurse Valentina Vanzi about the suffering of children, he replied: ''I have no answer to this question. Nor has Jesus given an answer to these words. There is no answer to this question, all we can do is look at the crucifix and let this give us the answer.''

Whilst the advice to ''look at the crucifix'' offers a good start in the direction of a fully Catholic answer, it is lamentable that Francis not only failed to develop this, but again suggested that there is no answer.

Worse than this followed, when he continued: ''... is God unjust? He was unjust with His Son when He sent Him to the Cross, if we follow this logic then we have to say this.''

Even the most basically catechized of Catholics could tell you that this is a gravely misleading caricature of orthodox teaching. Indeed, it sounds to me like blasphemy.

God is perfect Justice and perfect Mercy. It is because of this perfection that He sends His Son to save us from our sins and injustice, by taking on the punishment that is due to us for our sins, in order to restore us to the Father by His self-sacrificial love.

Francis' phrase ''if we follow this logic'' reveals a flawed first principle, which causes his subsequent answers to be wrong. This is a basic rule of philosophy.

Further than that, his use of that phrase - ''if we follow this logic'' - does not sound like the kind of thing a Catholic would say about the Cross, but rather what an atheist, a secular humanist or perhaps maybe a Jew would say.

Given that perspective, Francis' concluding words in his ''answer'' are similarly disconcerting. He said: ''But it is our human existence, our flesh, that suffers in that child and when one suffers, people do not speak, they weep and pray in silence.''

Again, although there is a time to weep and pray silently before the mystery of suffering, there is also a time to speak Christ's truth for the salvation and sanctification of souls.

If ever there were such a time, it is when little children need reassurance of God's Divine Providence and the great value their suffering as innocents can have in Christ.

Any good doctor, nurse or medic would be startled to hear a hospital visitor telling dying children that, really, there was no answer to their suffering; and that God was unjust even to His own Son!

Good grief, right-thinking medical staff would seize such a person and have them thrown off a hospital ward to maintain the psychological serenity, physical strength and spiritual well-being of their charges.

There is Something Wrong in Denmark!

There is something very wrong when a pontiff speaks in this way.

And that something is not unconnected to the post-Amoris Laetitia collapse which now sees: numerous Canadian bishops sacrilegiously signing up to give the Last Rites to those choosing euthanasia; a Spanish Archbishop sacrilegiously ordaining a known sodomitical pairing to the sacred priesthood; an Australian Archbishop sacrilegiously allowing a formerly beautiful Catholic sanctuary to be used as a venue for an impure fashion show and then unrepentantly defending his actions; the Bishop of San Diego sacrilegiously promoting homosexual ideology in his diocese; or so many other examples of these kinds of things which are now breaking out like filthy boils all over the place.

There is now just over one week until we greet the Christ Child at Christmas. May God give us the grace to prepare our hearts; and to defend His Church and the rights of His little ones come what may in the days ahead.

But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Luke 18:16). 

Kasper and His Exceptions - Sophisticated Predictive Programming


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 16 December 2016 - 12:18:21 | by admin

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Kasper's Next ''Exception''

LifeSiteNews has shared the story that Walter Kasper has announced his hopes for the Pope's ''next declaration'' to open the way for ''shared Eucharistic communion'' between Catholics and Lutherans in certain special cases.

In a recent interview for the Italian Avvenire newspaper, Kasper stated: ''Personally, I hope that we can use an unofficial text, prepared by a commission in the bishops' conference of the United States, regarding this subject.''

Seeking to extend the strategic principle behind his sacrilegious proposal for ''re-married'' persons to also include couples in mixed-marriages between Catholics and Lutherans, Kasper has called for an ''exception'' to the rule to be made in certain special cases.

In discussing such supposed exceptions, Kasper's discussion let something slip which seems to have gone unnoticed so far. That is, that his suggestion seems to be less of a mere hope than it is, perhaps, a foregone conclusion.

For it seems that Kasper also declared to Avvenire: ''The next declaration will open the Eucharistic sharing in particular situations, especially in mixed marriages and families and in countries like Germany and the United States where this pastoral problem is extremely pressing.''

Engineering Consent

Too few people in our society are aware of the concept known as ''predictive programming''. This describes the sophisticated use of media, events and reportage to incrementally condition large social groups to accept changes toward pre-planned future scenarios.

Predictive programming can be useful to subversives when their pre-planned future scenarios are so radical as to upset the present status quo and meet with widespread cultural resistance. It thus forms part of the ''boiling frog'' approach, wherein changes are signalled and introduced gradually so as not to distress the target group until it will be too late for them to resist effectively.

The Kasper Proposal 

It certainly appears that such a sophisticated strategy has been employed from the very earliest days of the sacrilegious Kasper proposal.

Alert Catholics were dismayed when, just four days after his election as Pope and in his very first Angelus address, Francis flagged up the fact that he had been reading Kasper's book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life. He even went so far as to say the book had done him good; whilst also describing the already notorious Kasper as a ''talented theologian''.

The revolutionary trajectory had been set and announced, but too few cared, or perhaps dared, to notice.

For this foundational move to have been made so early in the Francis-papacy, and given what is already known about the St. Gallen mafia and its long-term aims, it is easy to conjecture that this trajectory was more than just four days old when it came into the limelight.

On 8th October, 2013, Pope Francis next announced the two synods on marriage and family, which would be held in that same month during the following two years. That rang a second alarm bell for those who were paying attention.
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Having witnessed several times how ''consultations'' can be used by Modernists to engineer the appearance of consent to their own pre-ordained outcomes, Angie and I were very worried when Baldisseri's Secretariat suddenly issued pre-synodal questionnaires to every bishops' conference in the world; inviting all Catholics to contribute their own ''opinions'' on marriage and family life. Based on our previous experiences, we certainly felt that participation would be a waste of time.

Then, on 20th February 2014, Kasper was invited by Francis to address the pre-synodal consistory of Cardinals with his infamously sacrilegious proposal. The alarm bell was by now ringing off the hook. Perhaps none of us need reminding of what happened in the months and years that followed...

Given the gift of hindsight, and the obvious unfolding of a structured sequence of events, none but the most naive can now fail to see that we were all being set up for a revolutionary onslaught on the Church's teaching from the earliest first days of the Francis pontificate.

Taken together, these various events don't half look like a textbook example of predictive programming...

The Next Stage of the Game-Plan

Having demonstrated the manner in which the original ''Kasper proposal'' was signalled and then developed, let us now consider the recently announced extension of this plan in relation to Catholic-Lutheran ''intercommunion''.

A brief review of some key events will remind us that this is neither so recent, nor as random, as we might at first think.

In his latest Avvenire interview, Kasper states that he hopes an ''unofficial document'' of the US Bishops' conference can be used to lever an opening for, what he describes in classically reductionist terms, ''Eucharistic sharing''. Perhaps an ''unofficial'' document will give Kasper and friends another chance to slickly subvert official teaching ''without touching doctrine''. Then again, maybe the resistance to the synodal manipulations and Amoris Laetitia has taught these strategists to seek a new approach. 

That ''unofficial'' US Bishops' document was, of course, big news in 2015. One key paragraph in that text suggests: ''The expansion of opportunities for Catholics and Lutherans to receive Holy Communion together would be a significant sign of the path toward unity already travelled and a pledge to continue together on the journey toward full communion.''

How that all fits with the constant teaching of the Magisterium remains to be seen...

This document came further into the limelight when a Lutheran lady, called Anke de Bernardinis, asked a seemingly random question of Pope Francis during his visit to a Lutheran temple in Rome in November, 2015.

Anke asked: ''Like so many in our community, I'm married to an Italian, who is a Roman Catholic Christian. We've lived happily together for many years, sharing joys and sorrows. And so we greaty regret being divided in faith and not being able to participate in the Lord's Supper together. What can we do to acheive, finally, communion on this point?''

Faithful Catholics were naturally disturbed when Pope Francis, having first quipped that it was difficult for him to answer with ''a theologian'' like Walter Kasper present in the audience - notice how that generates a psychological connection in the hearer's mind with his first Angelus address that paved the way for the first Kasper proposal! -, then gave a rambling ambiguous answer that included ''answering'' Anke with ''another question''.

Francis' concluding advice to, ''Pray and then go forward'' was particularly ambiguous and disturbing.

At the time of this meeting, I remarked to Angie that it was all beginning to look like predictive programming.

In light of that year's ''unofficial report'' from the US Bishops' conference, the Lutheran lady's question did not look so random after all. This sense was only reinforced when the relevant sections of the report became increasingly highlighted in the media.

Of course, Catholics everywhere were anxious that Pope Francis might pull some kind of ''intercommunion'' stunt at the shocking Lund meeting this October. Whilst this did not happen, it is worth revisiting an article we wrote here in the days immediately prior to that meeting.

On 24th October, 2016, we highlighted an interview given by England's Bishop William Kenney, co-chair of the international dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Bishop Kenney's interview was remarkable because his interviewer - none other than Crux's Austen Ivereigh! - had tried to rewrite the history of the Reformation as just ''a big misunderstanding''.

Not only did Bishop Kenney acquiesce in this absurdly reductionist historical revisionism, but he also pointed out his desires for a ''pleasant revolution'' in Lund: namely, that Pope Francis might allow persons in mixed-marriages - specifically between a Lutheran and a Catholic - to receive Holy Communion together.

Bishop Kenney actually said to Ivereigh: ''The sort of thing that I would like to see is that in a so-called ecumenical marriage, the non-Catholic party can always go to Communion with his or her partner.''

This was like an answer to Anke's question all over again.

Indeed, there is some further backdrop to Bishop Kenney's suggestion, because similar desires were expressed to the media by the leftist, female Lutheran ''Archbishop'' Antje Jackelen.
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For example, in January 2016, she pushed the notion into the culture by saying to Sweden's daily Dagen newspaper: ''We would like to officially receive approval for a joint celebration of the Eucharist. It is still something troublesome for a family in which one is Catholic and the other Lutheran, that they cannot go to the same communion table in a Catholic church.''

Indeed the Lutheran Church of Sweden even displayed the following message on its web-page during the controversial Lund visit:''What we foremost wish is that the common celebration of the Eucharist will be officially possible. This is especially important for families where members belong to different denominations.''

Bringing all of this right up to date, we now have Kasper's latest interview to Avvenire; in which he both expresses a desire for future ''inter-communion'' between members of mixed-marriages and even, if we are reading the translation correctly, lets slip that the Pope's declaration will allow this to happen.

And that whole unfolding of events looks like the fulfillment of a planned trajectory; with some predictive programming thrown in to gradually condition the populace to accept the seemingly inevitable.

It is also worth noting that this particular desire of Kasper's could not really have been acheived until the major battle over giving Holy Communion to adulterers had gotten underway. After all, if Holy Communion is allowed for unrepentant Catholics, then who is there left to stop anyone from giving Holy Communion to non-Catholics?

In this light, these developments might be seen as Part II of the Kasper proposal.

If you want to guess what Part III will entail, then just keep watching Kasper, Francis and their media favourites for more upcoming signals and trial balloons...

Called to Communion
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April 1993 in the sacristy at English Martyrs church in Litherland, Liverpool: That's me in the middle of my family, with the Confirmation Chrism still glistening on my forehead, on the day that I was recieved into the Catholic Church. Mum, Dad and I became Catholics in three stages between 1989 - 1993. 

As a convert from Protestantism to the holy Catholic Faith, I would like to conclude with a brief point.

If any Lutheran, or any other non-Catholic, wishes to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church, then the process is really quite straightforward.

Receiving Holy Communion really gives witness to the fact that someone accepts that Jesus is Really Present in the Blessed Sacrament, that the Holy Mass is one with the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, that Christ founded the Holy Catholic Church on St. Peter, the Apostles and their successors, and that everything the Catholic Church hands on in Sacred Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium is objectively true and necessary for salvation.

If you, by God's grace, come to believe all these things, then you are most welcome to seek instruction to be joyfully received into the Catholic Church and experience the deepest possible union with God and your spouse that is possible on this earth. This is what Christ desires for all of us.

If you still do not accept all, or even some of these things, then receiving Holy Communion would not only give a false sign of unity. It would also be a sacrilege against God, a grave harm to your own soul and a source of effective disunity in your marriage and the Church.

These are the truths that all people need to hear in order to come to salvation and sanctification. This is so, because none of us can save ourselves. We all need Jesus Christ and His full truth. Outside of the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.

Don't let anyone give you short change by leading you into sinful errors in this regard; whoever they happen to be, or whatever sophisticated means they have used to prepare you for their lies.  

Dissenters? Oh No, We're Not! Seasonal Pantomime Fun with Austen Ivereigh


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 14 December 2016 - 23:47:31 | by admin

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Mr. Austen Ivereigh making one of those, ahem, unusual hand-signs. Keen observers might discern the hand of Francis as Austen speaks. He's behind you...

I still chuckle sometimes when I recall a pantomime I attended at the Crosby Civic Hall when I was about 10-years old. There was a bloke dressed as a peasant during a peasant-revolt scene in a mock-up village on the stage. He had a daft looking ventriloquist's puppet on one arm and was boisterously shouting, ''We are revolting!'' At that point, the silly puppet scrunched up its nose, looked at him sideways, and grimaced in a Liverpool accent: ''You speak for yourself, I think we look pretty good actually!''

Mind you, I was always one of those kids who cringed with embarassment when all the other children used to join in with the ''He's behind you!'' and the ''Oh no, he's not!'' pantomime routine.

When I first heard about Austen Ivereigh's latest Crux article, I thought perhaps the British pantomime season had begun early this year. After all, Austen's wild claims in that piece did rather appear as a bit of amateur dramatics, with some grotesque caricature mixed in for good measure!

As time is pressing today, we will provide some brief responses to Mr. Ivereigh in the best of the British pantomime spirit that his article seems to invite. Please do feel free to share in the jolly festive fun by joining in with the underlined panto' responses at home!

Austen: The critiques of Amoris Laetitia have crossed a frontier into a territory marked ''dissent''.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, they haven't!

Yesterday's orthodox Catholic does not become today's dissenter just because a reigning pontiff issues an ambiguously worded document; and then fails to answer a politely worded request from faithful prelates for it to be clarified in the light of Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the constant Magisterium of the Church.

Austen: These critics look every day more and more like the lobbyists who argued for women priests or an opening in the area of contraception.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, they don't!

The ''lobbyists'' for women priests and ''openings'' in the area of contraception represented a rupturing breach with Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Church's constant Magisterium. Those seeking to be faithful to Christ's clear teachings on Holy Matrimony, the state of grace and Holy Communion are defending the Faith from such a rupturing breach in our own day.

Austen: What they have in common is that they are largely lay, educated and from the wealthy world.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, they're not!

There are many priests who share grave misgivings over the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia. Some, though sadly too few, of these have already spoken out clearly. We know others who do not speak out for fear of having their faculties, parishes and homes removed from them by persecuting Modernists in the hierarchy. We know one priest who has said that, if he were ever ordered to give Holy Communion to adulterers, he would simply refuse and go and get a secular job in order to maintain himself; even if this meant cleaning the streets with a dust-cart.

On the other hand, ''uneducated'' lay people, the world over, have been able to understand and live from the Church's clear teachings for many centuries. Assuredly, they would have resisted the present novelties as strongly, if not more so, as any present-day blogger armed with a lap-top. In the old days, resistance to heresy would more likely have involved sharpened pitch-forks than merely sharp words...

Then again, it is often the ordinary lay folk who today find themselves being confused and undermined by the so-called ''educated'' types, like the German though not germane Walter Kasper for example, who have made the clear teachings seem to be somehow ambiguous.

Interestingly, I had to pay to get my own orthodox Catholic education. I did this by selling our newly-wed home and spending two years in America with my wife in rented digs. In one rough and ready place we couldn't even lock some of the windows at night. I did this in order to receive some solid Catholic teaching, comprehensive catechesis and a bit of healing from the battering I had received from Modernists in an English seminary several years earlier.

In terms of wealth, therefore, we don't have much more than the proverbial two dimes to rub together these days. This website was funded with the last monies we had left over from our house sale.

Like too many Catholics we find that my orthodox MA in Theology is not wanted in a culture which is so dominated by Modernist dissent and dissenting Modernists.

There are many dissenters, and even non-Catholics, who manage to find well-paid employment in supposedly Catholic education centres in roles as diverse as teachers, headteachers, catechists and so-called ''lay-chaplains''. As our last article explained, even anti-life former MPs like Greg Pope get taken on and given massive salaries to run the Catholic Education Service (into the ground...)! 

On the other hand, our sincere efforts to spread the Faith in such a culture have left us without a salary, a pension or any life-savings. When we ran this apostolate as a business a few years ago, it used to just about break-even at the end of each financial year.

Austen: Clinging to the pain of their betrayal, they take refuge in their progressive or traditionalist liturgies and incandescent websites.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, they don't!

Progressive or traditionalist... Which is it to be Mr. Ivereigh; for it cannot be both!

In any case, it is Christ that we cling to in the Traditional Latin Mass. This was the Mass of Ages which sanctified generations of Catholics throughout the world.

However, I'll not argue with the suggestion that the Traditional Latin Mass is a refuge. It is certainly a refuge from all the irreverence, sacrilege and heretical teaching that, sadly, prevails in far too many places today.

In terms of this website, we originally started it 8 years ago to bear witness to Jesus and His holy Church. When it became clear that Pope Francis was consistently undermining the Faith, and the faithful, we began to respond in order to help Catholics to keep going. We often get told by Catholics at the parish level that blogs such as ours make them happy to know that there is, at least, some voice being raised out there to defend the True Faith. It seems that one man's incandescence might be another's sign of hope.

Austen: Everything in Amoris Laetitia - including the controversial Chapter 8 - received a 2/3 majority in a synod that was notoriously frank, open and drawn out. 

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, it didn't!

The Rome synods might have been notorious and drawn out. Then, too, they may have been ''Frank''; but perhaps not in the way Mr. Ivereigh suggests... No-one could justly accuse them of being truly open.

In any case this myth of the 2/3 majority must be demolished.

In the first instance, it is not legitimate for Catholic bishops to vote on aspects of the revealed Deposit of Faith as though they were in a disgruntled meeting of Shelby Spong-esque episcopalians.

Secondly, the Kasper proposal was rejected in the Synod of 2014. Therefore, by the synod's own rules, it should never have been inserted into the Final Relatio document.

Thirdly, and in spite of the fact that Francis stacked the decks - by not inviting several key orthodox prelates, inviting instead modernistic predator-protectors like the disgraced Godfried Danneels, and having the prelates vote on the final document without sufficient time to peruse all the paragraphs in their own languages - the Synod of 2015 still failed to reach even a qualified majority of votes for the most problematic paragraphs.

Oh yes, the Holy Spirit is still protecting Christ's holy Church! This itself should be a cause for many new converts in our own days.

In short, no matter how many times the ''Big Lie'' of the 2/3 majority is told, nor by whom it is repeated, it will always remain an ugly untruth in its very essence!

Austen: Roma locuta, causa finita. Therefore, the critics should be left standing at the platform as the train leaves the station.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, they shouldn't!

So much for mercy and accompaniment, hey!

I've often thought of St. Peter's Barque in terms of a rescue ship seeking to extract battered survivors from the roaring tempest and give them a safe deck to reach their heavenly home. I would hate to think of scoffing at folks getting left behind...

In any case, it is true that Rome has spoken definitively on the issues of the state of grace, Holy Communion and Holy Matrimony. It's just that, that teaching - so clearly spelled out in the Council of Trent, Canon Law, various official catechisms and Familiaris Consortio - clearly outweighs an ambiguous footnote in a document which even begins by saying that it is not in any way intended to set out a universal set of norms to be followed.

The Holy Spirit does not say one thing in one age and something contrary in another. It would be blasphemy to suggest otherwise.

Whilst Mr. Ivereigh might wish to scoff at the bystanders he wishes left behind on the platform, it is to be feared that it is he, and not they, who have boarded the wrong train... 

Austen's article is so concise that we can satisfactorily conclude our fun pantomime interactions at this point.

Torch of The Faith: Oh no, it isn't!

Alas, Mr. Ivereigh's Crux article runs on into an epic of Amoris Laetitia proportions. However, no volume of words can make the overall result any less ambiguous or meaningful. We find this to be the case even if one reads it very s-l-o-w-l-y indeed, a la Schonborn or Aguila.

Still, we feel some necessary responses have already been made to Mr. Ivereigh. And we express our thanks to him for an evening's hilarity. Let us then conclude with a final jovial exchange.

I say, Austen old boy, is that the hand of Francis we seem to discern behind you?

Oh yes, it is!

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