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It’s All About the Hats!

 

CCM Contributor Doug Kelchner

President Trump has done more to defend religious liberty and defend the pre-born than any President in modern history. Sadly, too many Catholic prelates reveal their true loyalties when instead of embracing the American President and helping to shape his presidency, they condemn him and dismiss him out of hand. Sure they’ll tell you he is vulgar and had past transgressions; they gladly “throw the baby out with the bath water.” Yes, these are the same men, men who wear miters, who will cover and defend true predators like McCarrick while simultaneously embracing pro-abort CINO politicians such as Cuomo, Pelosi, Durbin and Gillibrand, to name a few.

Isn’t it interesting… we have prelates, supposed shepherds of the Catholic Church, Bishop Foys comes to mind, eager to throw mere children under the bus, demanding their heads roll with absolutely no understanding of the situation on the ground or facts surrounding the Covington Boys incident on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; meanwhile… sitting comfortably in a friary in Victoria, Kansas, is an 88-year-old archbishop who’d been abusing little boys and seminarians for decades… AND, he still retains his priestly faculties. To make matters worse, in November at the urging of Cardinal Cupich a majority of US Bishops voted to not press Rome on the issue of former Cdl. McCarrick. Among the very few true shepherds there is pack of hellish wolves and they are devouring the faithful.  It is way past time to hold ground, the time for purging and actual restoration is upon us.

A miter does not make you a saint and a MAGA hat does not make you a sinner. A man who possesses both a miter and a MAGA hat (even if figuratively), now there’s a man that merits your attention. And if you are privileged to know of such a man, DO NOT make the grave mistake of revealing his name, you’ll have painted an indelible target on him.

The Sea Battle That Saved the West (Oh, yeah, and it was Catholics who fought it!)

The Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571) was a naval engagement in the waters off southwestern Greece between the allied Christian forces of the Holy League and the Ottoman Turks during an Ottoman campaign to conquer the Venetian island of Cyprus.  The battle marked the first significant victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet and the climax of the age of galley warfare in the Mediterranean.

The above summary can be found at  Britannica.com .    What this secular article won’t tell you is that this victory was won (against pretty daunting odds) through prayer and the intercession of Our Lady.

Pope Pius V, a Dominican prelate before his elevation, did what Catholics have always done in times of acute danger: fly into the arms of the most powerful Mother of God. As a follower of Saint Dominic, he knew the most effective means of imploring her help was through the recitation of the Holy Rosary. He ordered all monasteries and convents in Rome to increase their prayers for the impending battle and organized rosary processions in which he, as sick as he was, participated.

As the Christian fleet sailed toward the great clash of cultures, Mass was celebrated and the rosary recited daily on each vessel. This heartfelt request for divine assistance resulted in a crushing defeat of the Ottomans at Lepanto that ended their dominance in the Mediterranean.  (Source:  TFP Student Action )

The battle of Lepanto is not well-known in the English speaking world, owing in no small part to the effects of the Black Legend.  Lepanto was fought during the reign of that anti-Catholic monster, bloody Queen Elizabeth I of England.  A victory by a Catholic fleet was not going to get much positive press in Elizabethan England!

A few centuries later, however, it was an Englishman who helped to set the record straight.  On the eve of World War I, G.K. Chesterton wrote what some consider to be the best English language poem of the 20th Century.  If you haven’t read or listened to his epic Lepanto, you really ought to!

Brandon Vought says the following of Lepanto:

The great G.K. Chesterton wrote a poem about these events, appropriately titled “Lepanto”, which I’ve enjoyed several times. I must say, after devouring all of Chesterton’s novels, poetry, short stories, and the majority of his essays, I think “Lepanto” is my favorite piece of his writing. I’m not alone. Hilaire Belloc, Chesterton’s good friend, considered “Lepanto” not only Chesterton’s greatest poem, but the greatest poem of their generation, staggering praise from the usually reserved historian.  (Source: https://brandonvogt.com/why-you-should-read-g-k-chestertons-lepanto-today/ )

The YouTube video below is a dramatic reading by Tom O’Bedlam of Chesterton’s Lepanto.  With all the nonsense our kids learn in so-called “Catholic” schools these days, if only a brief block of time could be set aside to teach them this piece of literature, how it would strengthen their faith!

Viganò to McCarrick: Time is Running Out!

A few months ago, LifeSite News reported a new letter from Archbishop Viganò.  This letter (see below) urged disgraced pederast Theodore McCarrick to repent, reminding him that “Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.”

Pray for McCarrick that he can repent in time, and that as his penance he comes clean about not only his crimes, but the entire ball of wax:  the Lavender Mafia, the homoheresy rampant in the Church, the St. Galen conspiracy…everything!  McCarrick’s immortal soul isn’t the only thing in jeopardy:  his ongoing silence continues to damage Holy Mother Church, and continues to imperil the soulds of many Catholics whose faith is being shaken by these crimes and scandals.  Pray also that the Pope steps up and aggressively addresses these problems as well.  

 

 



-Vigano’s Letter to McCarrick-

Dear Archbishop McCarrick,

As has been reported as a news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure.

No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance. I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church.

Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.

But something else of great importance is also at stake. You, paradoxically, have at your disposal an immense offer of great hope for you from the Lord Jesus; you are in a position to do great good for the Church. In fact, you are now in a position to do something that has become more important for the Church than all of the good things you did for her throughout your entire life. A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church. Are you willing to offer her that gift? Christ died for us all when we were still sinners (Rom. 5: 8). He only asks that we respond by repenting and doing the good that we are given to do. The good that you are in a position to do now is to offer the Church your sincere and public repentance.  Will you give the Church that gift?

I implore you, repent publicly of your sins, so as to make the Church rejoice and present yourself before the tribunal of Our Lord cleansed by His blood. Please, do not make His sacrifice on the cross void for you. Christ, Our Good Lord, continues to love you. Put your entire trust in His Sacred Heart. And pray to Mary, as I and many others are doing, asking her to intercede for the salvation of your soul.

“Maria Mater Gratiae, Mater Misericordiae, Tu nos ab hoste protege et mortis hora suscipe.”  Mary Mother of the Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect us from the enemy and welcome us in the hour of death.

Your brother in Christ,

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Sunday, January 13, 2019
The Baptism of the Lord
Saint Hilary of Poitiers


How Could Our Church Leadership Let It Get This Bad?

Book cover showing the back of a Catholic Cardinal's hat while smoke swirls around it.

I’m reading Phillip Lawler’s new book, The Smoke of Satan:  How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful…And What Can be Done About It (Available at TAN Press ).  For those of us who have managed to pull our heads out of the sand and acknowledge that the Church is indeed facing a crisis of massive proportions, one of the questions we often find ourselves asking is this:  Why didn’t the Bishops and the Popes DO something?!?! 

Bishop after bishop assures us with wide-eyed breathless sincerity that “Gosh!  I had no idea that Father X or fellow Bishop Y or Cardinal Z was doing that!  I’m as shocked and disturbed as you are…” And far too often, the tangible evidence backs up their claims, no matter how implausible they seem.  Some of them, perhaps, really are clueless rubes that had no inkling that such evil was taking place under their noses or in the diocese next door.  If that’s the case, then they’re lousy leaders at the very least.  Others knew full well what was going on, and took “plausibly deniable” steps to suppress knowledge of the crimes.  Still others (Lord help us!) may have been active participants in the evil.

“See no evil.  Hear no evil…”

But there are also too many clerics and prelates who simply convinced themselves that nothing bad was actually happening.  They have been behaving like those “See no evil, hear no evil” monkeys we are all familiar with.

None of the above postulated explanations are very reassuring.  Regarding the third category of clergy, Mr. Lawler offers the following explanation in his book:

Two common human traits strengthen the tendency to avoid problems.  One is the normal desire to avoid unpleasant confrontations.  The role of a pastor is to unite, not to divide, and most priests are not aggressive personalities.  The other, closely related factor is the willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  In combination, unfortunately, these two characteristics–healthy and even laudable in themselves–can produce a sort of cockeyed optimism or willful blindness, a stubborn refusal to recognize reality.  We want to see virtue in others, and sometimes we can only see if our eyes are shut tight.

Sexual Abuse, Doctrinal Dissent, and Denial–They’re all linked.

“OK,” you say, “so we have some real jerks in our parishes and dioceses.  Why didn’t the Pope do something?  Pope Francis seems weak in this regard, but what about Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Saint John Paul II?  And not just regarding criminal conduct, but what about all the heresy, disobedience, and doctrinal dissent?”  That latter part of the question is crucial.  Although it may not appear to be linked with the current lavender mafia/sex abuse crisis, believe me:  it is!

Mr. Lawler continues:

For the sovereign pontiff, pastor for the universal Church, there is another consideration that weighs against stern disciplinary measures.  The duty of the Roman pontiff is to preserve unity among the faithful.  If he cracks down on abuses–any sort of abuses–the pope, any pope, might risk dividing his flock.  If he demands that recalcitrant priests and theologians end their dissent from formal Church teaching, they may choose instead to leave the Church, bringing their followers with them.  Rather than risk schism, the pope may choose to accept an uneasy truce between Catholic factions that seem irreconcilable.  This, it seems clear, was the path chosen by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

This tendency, this reluctance to address a problem head-on has been with us for some time, as Mr. Lawler points out:

If Church readers are prone to overlooking current problems, they are equally likely to downplay past failures.  Despite the grave losses that Catholicism has suffered during the past fifty years–the thousands who have left the Church, the families that have broken apart, the priests and religious who have forsaken their vows, the parishes and schools that have been closed–bishops remain reluctant to calculate the total damages and identify the root causes of the disaster.

In the years following Vatican II, thousands of priests walked away from their duties to begin a new life in the secular world.  When they left, there was no formal announcement.  The rumor mills buzzed, but there was no explanation of their departure.  They simply disappeared…Wouldn’t a healthier institution have been more forthright, admitting that these young priests had deserted their ministry?…for those who embraced a false optimism or willful blindness, it seems pointless to dwell on painful memories.  Far better to speak confidently about the future!

Just be glad the USCCB isn’t running the FAA.

Imagine a series of disastrous airliner crashes, one after another, and now try to imagine the Federal Aviation Administration delicately avoiding any mention of the crashes or investigations into their causes, but instead blithely opining about how much air travel safety is improving, and how bright the future for the airline industry looks!  Pretty darn absurd.

But that’s the attitude what passes for Church leadership these days is taking.

 

 

No Tinfoil Hats Required.

Three people sitting on a couch wearing homemade aluminum foil hats.

First, I hope that this post is not perceived as just another “tin foil hat” moment.  There still may be Catholics out there who think that the whole “Viganò Thing” is just another wild conspiracy theory concocted by “Rad Trads” bent on seeing the destruction of this papacy.  No tin foil hats are required to understand what the former Nuncio is saying, or why it’s still a big deal.

The Summer of Shame.

Most of the Catholic readers who wander through the blogosphere are aware of the ongoing crisis which is plaguing our beloved Church.  We are living through two rather massive challenges:  First, there’s what’s been called “the Summer of Shame” which has resulted from the seemingly never-ending series of allegations of sexual misconduct (old cases, new cases; child victims, post-pubescent victims; predatory priests, complicit and occasionally criminal bishops, etc. etc. etc.)  Second, there’s been the long-running uneasiness which many Catholics have with what looks like an increasingly heterodox direction we’re seeing from Rome when it comes to long-standing doctrines and dogmas.

The two are related, if for no other reason than those attempting to deflect anger over the first crisis charge that Traditionalists are attempting to incite anger against the Holy Father because they’re upset with what they perceive as the second crisis (and in fact, said Traddies are just rigid hypocrites and Pharisees, etc.)

Enter Viganò.

One of the most stunning events this summer were the claims made by Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganò.   His first letter contained eleven pages of what appeared to be rather specific allegations which provided a list of names, dates, and events, as well as information on where the source documentation could be found.  The first letter was reacted to with ad-hominem counter attacks, along with accusations of rumor-mongering and gossip.  Various statements and homilies from Rome seemed to equate Abp. Viganò with “the Great Accuser.”

There was a second letter from Viganò appealing to Cardinal Marc Armand Ouellet to describe what he knows about the documentation described in the allegations.  The Cardinal responded with attacks against Viganò, but did so in such a way which almost seemed to confirm some of Viganò’s original statements.

The Third Letter.

And now, in the past few days, a third letter has been released from Abp. Viganò.  I found his arguments compelling.  If his allegations are not true, they are certainly worthy of a point-by-point refutation by Vatican authorities…providing said authorities can provide convincing proof that the archbishop is making all this stuff up.

Vigano emphasizes the fact that he’ll be dead soon, and doesn’t want to face Christ’s judgement with the knowledge that he failed to disclose alleged crimes of his fellow priests and prelates on his conscience.  Fear of God’s judgement sounds like a pretty compelling reason not to simply make stuff up because you’re mad they didn’t make you a Cardinal.  Just sayin’…

For those interested in learning more about this, please consider viewing the following video.  The two scholars discussing this third letter are not crackpot Rad Trads; far from it.  Dr. Marshall (https://taylormarshall.com/) is the author of a number of books including _Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages:  A Quick Layman’s Guide to Thomism._  Dr. Marshal and Dr. Timothy Gordon offer a reasoned description of the history of the controversy and give a pretty good analysis of the contents of the third letter.

The link can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8WMHtZXgMw

Again, my intent is not to throw a hand grenade into the middle of our mutually-shared faith, kicking Holy Mother Church when she’s down, or anything of the like.  But we need to remember that we _are_ in a crisis of very profound dimensions.  These points are worth considering.

Note:  The contents of the third Viganò can be found here in its entirety (scroll down past the Italian original to find the English translation)à https://www.marcotosatti.com/2018/10/19/vigano-risponde-al-card-ouellet-la-terza-testimonianza/