Pope’s message to priests: A shepherd who doesn’t have the whiff of sheep about him probably needs to get better acquainted with the sheep.

goodshepherd

Priests, the Holy Father insisted, must “go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.” When he shepherds his flock, the priest brings with him the fragrance of his anointing—“the fragrance of the Anointed One, of Christ.”

But that’s not all. A good priest, like a good shepherd, knows his flock. He spends time with them; he lives among them; he shares in their cares and concerns, no matter how trivial they seem. In return, he receives the love and prayers of the people. He receives the gratitude of those he enriches through his ministry. He receives the joy and peace that come from doing the work of the Lord. But there is something else he receives—the telltale sign of a man who lives among his flock, who knows “the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes.”

“I call you to this,” said Pope Francis to his priests, “Be shepherds with the odor of sheep!”

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The written decrees of the various Church Councils provide us with some of the most reliable Magisterial guidance.

waytruthlife

by Doug Lawrence

Pope’s sometimes act or teach in error.

Bishops sometimes act or teach in error.

Priests and Deacons sometimes act or teach in error.

Lay persons sometimes act or teach in error.

But duly called and properly constituted Church Councils rarely act or teach in error … even the Council infamously known as Vatican II.

Beginning with the 1st century Council of Jerusalem, with the original Apostles in attendance and St. Peter officiating … a pattern (probably borrowed from the practices of the old Levitical Priesthood/Temple Worship System) emerged that would serve the Church well for (at least) the next 21 Councils, and 2000 years.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, get together.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, deliberate on the question(s) of the day.

All the Bishops, along with the Pope, agree.
(Unanimous agreement among the Bishops is desired,
but not absolutely necessary.)

The official decree/constitution is set down in writing.

The Pope “signs off” on everything.

Everybody goes home to properly disseminate information on all the latest development(s).

The Church preserves the document(s) in perpetuity.

Because the sacred deposit of faith is “built” much like a brick wall … with interlocking divine truths stacked one on top of another, from the ground, up … with Tradition acting as the mortar … it’s no easy matter for anyone to “slip in” any abject heresy. (Tradition may be defined as the method by which the Holy Spirit infallibly guides the Church, from age to age.)

Heresy and the adoption of illicit practices usually result from later, false interpretations and other types of unfortunate human biases and sin … but because such things fail to fit the established pattern of Catholic truth … they usually stick out like the proverbial “sore thumb” … at least, to those “in the know”.

That’s why it’s important for every Catholic to know the authentic teachings of the Church, along with the genuine Catholic philosophy of life that springs from them.

The Pope, along with the Bishops, received the teaching authority (Magisterium) of their holy offices directly from Jesus Christ:

And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

You’ll notice that Jesus never specified any particular list of written documents, and he never mentioned the Bible or the Catechism, probably because neither existed at the time. But today, we have the written decrees of 21 Church Councils, the infallible (Ex Cathedra) declarations of at least two Popes, and scores of Papal Bulls, Encyclicals, Catechisms, and other official written works … along with the Bible.

Surprisingly, not all of the Bishops (or even the Pope) agree with all that is contained in the above sources, so many of them seem to think they have the authority to preach a slightly altered Gospel, and practice a slightly altered Divine Liturgy.  And that’s typically where all the trouble begins!

Since the members of the Church’s Magisterium (the Pope and the Bishops) have a sacred duty to practice, preach and teach the authentic Catholic faith, just as they received it from Jesus, the Apostles, the Holy Spirit and the Church, introducing personal novelties and abuses is no small matter. It’s also worth mentioning that priests, deacons, consecrated religious and catechists operate under the authority of the Pope and the Bishops, so they all have similar obligations and responsibilities.

So what is a faithful Catholic to do when something begins to smell “fishy”?

You could ask your diocesan priest or bishop, but if corruption truly exists there (and when it does, it usually exists on a wide scale) the chances of receiving a proper answer … or any answer at all … may be slim to none. Instead, you simply go back and study/research the applicable Magisterial/Conciliar documents, along with earlier versions of the Catholic Catechism, etc. Once you find what you need, seek out a trustworthy source to help verify what you think you have.

What was true way back then is still true today, and if what is currently being promoted and taught in your diocese fails to match up, there is a problem, indeed!  (Do I have your attention, Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA?)

Here’s some links to dependable Catholic source documents and teachings:

All 21 Church Councils

Catholic Catechisms

Major Papal Encyclicals

The Holy Bible

Other excellent source documents

The Catholic Treasure Chest

What to do about the problem of homosexual priests and bishops

In terms of action, Fr. Oko suggests:

  • The homosexual mafia in the Church must be dealt with in a very professional way . We must act like a prosecutor or an officer in the battlefield;
  • It is important that we find a large group of people of goodwill to protect us and support what we do. That group should include clergymen, as high in the hierarchy as possible, experts in various fields, archive records specialists, lawyers, policemen, journalists, and as many believers as possible;
  • It is good to exchange information, documents, and evidence. The global network of homolobbies and homomafias must be counterbalanced by a network of honest people;
  • The Internet is an excellent tool, which makes it possible to create a global community of people concerned about the fate of the Church;
  • The more we know, the more we can do. We need to remember that in these matters we are like “sheep sent among wolves,” and so we must be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (St. Matthew 10:16). We must have the courage to stand up against evildoers, as Christ had the courage to stand up against the Pharisees of his times;
  • We cannot build our lives on sweet illusions, for only “the truth will set you free” (St. John 8:32), and that is why “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7); and
  • All interventions should be made with utmost respect and love for every person, including the abuser.

He concludes that, remembering to “recognize them by their fruit” (cf. St. Matthew 7:16) – and with the publicly known events of the last quarter-century, the reaction of the Holy See, and the documents it issued – we must clearly and explicitly admit: yes, there is a strong homosexual underground in the Church.

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Engel: The Homosexual Collective recruits like the Army. Individual homosexuals proselytize and seduce new recruits.

For the homosexual, every male is a potential homosexual, either overt, latent, or suppressed.

In the words of psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Nigro, “homosexuals colonize and recruit as if by ‘binary fission’ both in and out of the workplace to produce a state of ‘homotoxicity.'” At the collective level, he says, “Homosexuals infiltrate and metastasize, taking over any and every group possible by a compounding of their cognitive defects.”

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The Dallas Morning News documented that year the fact that two-thirds of U.S. bishops were involved in cover-ups of sex abuse.

twothirds

There were several factors at work in the sex abuse crisis—including misguided compassion for abusive priests, a “magical” attitude toward the effects of repentance and confession, and a misguided faith in the power of pop psychology to treat incurable diseases like pedophilia and deadly sins like Lust.

But the main driver of the scandal, as the fearless Catholic journalist Philip Lawler explained in his authoritative book on the abuse crisis, The Faithful Departed, was simple worldliness: A vast and powerful Church infrastructure was built up by heroic missionaries and fiercely faithful, impoverished Catholic migrants—who came here legally when the U.S. needed an almost infinite supply of strong Sicilian ditch-diggers and chaste Irish nannies. The kind of men who founded the American church were a lot like the men who founded the U.S. government—heroes willing to risk life and limb, to face ridicule and thankless toil in a cause most people thought hopeless. (Imagine George Washington in a mitre.)

The Church continued to grow as faithful men sternly schooled in Jesuit spirituality and Thomist theology faced down hostility and anti-Catholic mobs, to build a massive network of Catholic parochial schools, and resist evil laws imposing Prohibition and eugenics. (You might think of these men as the Andrew Jacksons and Abraham Lincolns of the episcopate.)

As time went on, and Americans began to accept that Catholics really weren’t filling their church basements with dynamite and scheming to make the pope our king, life for bishops became a lot more comfortable. It started to attract a different kind of man, with another set of priorities—glad-handing, ward-heeling power brokers, more in the mold of Lyndon Johnson.

When a crisis of faith erupted over birth control, it turned out that the upper ranks of the clergy were largely composed of men like Richard Nixon or William Jefferson Clinton. Those were the kind of men who were faced with the tough choice of turning an abusive priest over to the police—and facing the public scandal and possible lawsuit—or covering up for him and either bribing or intimidating the victims into silence. The scandal was the love-child born of the world and the flesh, but the Devil did play his part. He served as matchmaker.

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My response to a reader comment shocked me.

BHCommwAl

Remembering simpler times. Were they really better?

by Doug Lawrence

Responding to a recent comment about the teachings of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, I wrote:

I lived during the era of the pre-Vatican II Church, so I’m an eye-witness.

Way back then, 75% of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday. Urban renewal projects had yet to break up and disperse faithful Catholic communities. Contraception and abortion were not yet central issues of the day. The clarity of Catholic teaching was superb.

The quality of Catholic schools was excellent and the tuition was easily affordable, even for families with many children. Catholic churches were beautiful. Men and women religious were numerous, orthodox, and wholly dedicated to their work.

The liturgy was traditional, Latin, and quite adequate. The seminaries had yet to be liberalized and feminized, so there was an abundance of good priests available to serve the needs of most parishes.

In those days, the Catholic Church was respected, all around the world. We had a strong Pope in the Vatican, no nonsense bishops running most of the dioceses, and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen proclaiming Catholic truth to the masses every week, on network TV.

Of course, there were a few “bad apples” and scandals, even then. But the pre-Vatican II church knew how to properly handle them.

Then there was Vatican II … somebody put the radicals in charge … the church tore itself apart, lost its focus, along with much of its good sense, and with a few exceptions, things have been going downhill ever since. 

Were things really that good, back then? Comments, anyone?

Thanks to Cathy for the original comment!

Study: Homosexual priests and clueless bishops were the primary cause of the abuse scandal.

Abstract: Due to clergy sex abuse scandals centered primarily in the Northern hemisphere, the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church has been subjected to an opportunistic siege by prominent individuals and organizations who see the chance to advance their goals, including the ordination of women and the suspension of the requirement for priestly celibacy.

There is also a strongly defensive element to this strategy. Opponents of the Church know that there is a well-documented and strong correlation between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse, but claim that there is no evidence supporting this connection.

And, of course, those who are currently attacking the Church hope that they can undermine its moral authority to preach on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and weaken its opposition to ersatz homosexual “marriage.”

This paper demonstrates that there is indeed a very strong link between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse. It also shows that there is a similar rate of child sexual abuse among other very large groups of adult males (e.g., Protestant clergy, who are usually married), thus proving that celibacy is not the root of the problem — homosexuality is.

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