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Charlie Johnston- A Response

Discussion in 'Positive Critique' started by padraig, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Charlie Johnston has an interesting post in his blog, 'The Next Right Step', which I post in full here:

    Perspectives on the Pope
    Posted on February 20, 2016 by charliej373
    Beginning of a Perfect Day – by Thomas Kincade

    (Whew…it has been a wild week. As it turns out, neither Blessed Paul VI nor St. John XXIII said anything publicly about allowing contraception for nuns in danger in the Belgian Congo. Many prominent theologians were suggesting it – and neither Pope contradicted them on it, but that is the most that can be said about a public statement. Pope Francis has access to confidential Vatican files, so there may be something there that he was referencing.

    I am going to put up three pieces that I think offer useful perspectives on this kerfuffle – and then regroup and get back to it on Monday. The first piece is from a comment made by our reader, Joe. It was deeply insightful. Then there is a piece by John Kippley that Bishop Rene Gracida posted on his Abyssum Website that hits the main salient points. Finally, I offer a piece by National Review’s writer, David French. He is a faithful Protestant who is respectful of both the Pope and the Catholic Church. His is a thought, respectfully critical piece. Now as for the Kincade painting at the top of this article, I find Kincade’s work soothing – and we all need a little soothing this week, I think. -CJ)


    First, the comment by our reader, Joe:

    By Joe


    I think Pope Francis needs to continue his flights and off the cuff marks. A year ago I would not have said that. But let me explain. Jesus though God was also man and spoke from a perspective. Jesus had and has his own personality. Pope Francis speaks from the perspective of a South American Citizen. In discerning his papacy I have the words “He is the good Father on the edge of his property calling back his lost son(s & daughters).” From my discernment we are in the time of the rebuking of the more conservative or traditional minded. Why? Because none of us is without error or inaccurate ways of thinking. You yourself have said this much when you spoke about the Job and the whirlwind. Thanking you for reinforcing this truth for me. That article helped me.

    In the beginning of his papacy I feared that he would somehow cross over his property (truth) to non truth. You have been a starch defender of the Papacy and it’s indefectibility, thank you for that. The Lord has dealt with me on this. I do not fear this as much. What can we learn from his (Pope’s) words? It is more than the words themselves but the Spirit behind the words. The heart of the Pope coming forth. Do we accept the rebuke of our own inaction? But even this it is not so much about action or inaction. Rather, I have discerned that the rebuke is more to the disposition of our souls. It is about measure. The confusion is not from him but from us.

    Why does the Lord deal with us first (the conservative minded). Because we must be better purified for when the lost children are caught up in the famine, so that when they return we would not become haughty or jealous in our hearts. We are to receive them and be the body of Christ to them. We are to seek their salvation as much as we seek our own.

    Maybe too his words are prophetic. Will not the storm make many in this country refugees seeking shelter?

    I have found in my life that enlightenment or insights only comes after a period of testing or confusion. As Jesus spoke and the blind were still blind, will we still be blind (confused) or will we hold on to faith and see?

    I saw earlier today, in my mind, a storm. A tornado if you will. In the tornado was Peter, secure on the rock. He spoke and his words were taken up and swirled around in the storm. Many people also were swirled up in the storm. But there was also people solidly fixed on the ground (fixed by their faith in Jesus Christ and his words). There was still words swirling around, but the people secure on the ground were not confused. The Spirit of Truth was in them (the light was within), they had no fear.

    Everything is going to change. Right?

    I have seen a soul as a rose. The rose was closed up. Like any rose it had outer and inner buds. I was shown that the outer buds pushing out do not affect the inner buds. What we see on the outside is not necessarily a sign of the inside (inner disposition of the soul before God). I then saw the inner buds pushing and seeking to come out. But it was more difficult. I saw it as almost impossible. Then I saw a single drop (the drop representing the grace or blood of Christ) falling on the inner buds and immediately the whole flower was brought to bloom.

    We will be judged on how we judge. We will be dealt with as is the disposition of our soul. So if I seek (with a humble heart) the rock and the water (truth) flowing from the rock will I not receive it and be made hole. Fear not the confusion, I would say to my brethren, it is a result of the disposition of our souls. It is but for a short time. It is necessary to bring to light that which is hidden in us so that those who may see may receive the water and be made whole. A physician cannot heal that which is hidden. It must be made known first (brought forth) and then the physician can begin to heal.”

    Profound wisdom from Joe, I think.
    PotatoSack, Border collie and DonnaS like this.
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I am hoping to repond to this post with a critique which I will post here in the first place and then send an email to Charlie in the hope he will post as an article in his blog. Hopefully he will do so, but that of course is at his own descretion , it being his own blog.:);)
  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The, 'Secret Squirrel' and the Elder Brother.


    Hi Charlie, I read your blog post this morning , 'Perspectives on the Pope' , and after having taken it away prayerfully with me to mass this Sunday Morning felt moved to riposte with my own critique of this (in the first instance ) in my own website , 'Mother of God Forum' and secondly by posting this to you in the hope that you might repost this as an article, at your own descretion on your own blog.

    Could I turn in the first instance to address remarks made by your correspondent, 'Joe', whose comments you cite as being, '...deeply insightful'' and offering , 'A profound wisdom'.

    I beg to differ. Joe launches off by telling us that, 'From my discernment we are in the time of the rebuking of the more conservative or traditional minded.' I find several difficulties with this very sweeping assessment.

    In the first place from scripture may I cite St Paul:

    1 Corinthians 3:4

    Paul and Apollos God's Fellow Workers
    3for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 4For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men? 5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.…

    We are, as St Paul points out, one bread one body, using political type divisive labels as a model to understand the Church such as , 'Conservative' and 'Traditional' and further buttressing this model of political factionalism by setting up , 'Good guys' and 'Bad guys' is at the same time insulting , divisive and unacceptable. It is setting up a , 'Them' (bad guys) and 'Us' (good guys) model which is deeply, deeply unhelpful and unfair. I resent this and I am sure many others reading this deeply resented it.

    Ironically whilst Joe himself is accusing many millions of his brothers and sisters of being self righteous and judgemental he appears to me to sitting in judgement and self righteous himself separating the Church into factions and splitting the Robe of Christ.

    I think a much better model for understanding of the current situation we find ourselves in, in the Church, can in fact be found later on in First Corinthians as follows:

    1 Corinthians 11:19

    Observing the Lord's Supper
    18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper,…

    Notice here Paul appears to contradict himself when he says, 'For there must also be factions among you, ' but notice the two factions are , those who are, ' Approved' and those who are not. In other words those who stick to the true Orthodox Faith and those who go some other Unorthodox way.

    This seems to me to be the correct model of understanding , we must examine simply whether or not something is true in the Faith or simply whether it is not. Not going down a political judgemental road of factionalism and asking whether of not someone is, 'Conservative, 'Traditional ' or whatever and mud slinging at them for being, as Joe supposes, 'Self righteous' , 'Judgemental', or whatever. I am sorry Charlie if this is what you regard as, 'Deeply insightful' and 'A Profound wisdom', I beg to differ.

    Turning now to the matter of whether or not Pope Blessed Paul iv did or did not give consent to nuns in Africa to use contraceptives. You are right, Charlie in the first instance to say that ,' ...neither Blessed Paul VI nor St. John XXIII said anything publicly about allowing contraception for nuns'.

    In fact Fr Z goes further into the matter here.

    But where I would take issue with you on the matter is where you write, 'Pope Francis has access to confidential Vatican files, so there may be something there that he was referencing', this is not the first time I have heard the, 'Secret Squirrel ', type of argument placed forward regarding the words and actions of the Holy Father. An example being that the reason that the Holy Father is not taking action against open prominent heretical High Churchmen is that he, 'May' have some, 'Secret', 'Plan' to , 'Expose', them.

    Now again we have the Secret Squirrel argument placed forward that Pope Francis has some secret proof that Pope Blessed Paul vi acted in a certain way but that he is keeping it all secret from the rest of us, for, I suppose some very secret reason indeed..

    Well , I am sorry Charlie but that's a pretty small hook to bring in a pretty big fish. Surely it is fair and reasonable that on such a crucial matter we be shown evidence other than being told its all some kind of secret? This would never ever stand in any professional peer review, why should our standards as Catholics be any different?

    Anyway I was going to write more, loads more but who has the time? My own understanding of, 'Lumen Gentium' was that as lay Catholics we are expect to act as mature adults and not to put up and shut up as we have in the past.

    St Paul himself was a good example of this when at Antioch:

    Galatians 2:11

    Paul Confronts Peter
    11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.…

    No, 'Secret squirrel', 'Peter may know something he is not letting on', he may have a, 'Secret plan', stuff there. Just simple in your face truth.

    ...and what in the name of the good God at the end of the day is wrong with this? Have we gotten to a point were we cannot call a simple spade a spade? Of saying the Emperor is in fact wearing no clothes?
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  4. little me

    little me Archangels

    " It is more than the words themselves but the Spirit behind the words. The heart of the Pope coming forth. " -Joe
    This was the only "insightful" thing Joe had to say, in my opinion. Take it how you will.
    Thank you, Padraig, for your response. Your yes's mean yes and your no's mean no.
    Beth B and sterph like this.
  5. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    In the coming storm, orthodoxy and those who defend it and promote it will be silenced as Pharasaical doctors of the law, judgmental older brothers of prodigal sons. But it was the Pharasees who promoted easy divorce in Jesus' time, and it's the modern Pharisees who will promote sexual libertinism and call it "mercy." This attack on orthodoxy and traditional Catholicism, this gleeful rebuking of conservatives, will be the hallmark of the Storm and the sign of the diabolical disorientation.
    Beth B likes this.
  6. padraig

    padraig New Member

    A few years ago I had a friend who got in trouble for heavy drinking and fighting in bars and was sent under Court Order to a Psychiatrist for Therapy.

    The Doctor asked questions about his childhood and specifically how himself and his parents and siblings behaved when they ate out, which might seem strange, but let me explain. It turned out that his parents were very shy of complaining about bad service and food and insisted that their children basically behaved like quiet mice as well.

    This seems to me a very good schema for what is happening in the Church at the moment. We have been used in the restaurant (the Church) for the last two centuries or so the Managers (the Popes) and staff (the High Clergy) have given us good service and food (teachings and Doctrine). So like the guy who drunk and lost his temper a lot we don't know quite what to do when under the current Manager (Pope Francis) and staff (Curia) we end up getting bad service and cold food .

    Some of us get angry and want to throw the manager through the window (by claiming the Pope is a heretic and anti Pope.)

    Some of us get red faced and embarrassed and shy and want to keep our heads to the plates and pretend it all isn't happening , thinking we would not be good customers (Catholics ) if we got on our hind legs and complained. For that is something good Catholics just don't do (we think).

    Other customers do get up and complain and because they have the courage and good sense to do so other customers get rattled and accuse them of getting on their high horse and accuse them of being self righteous and judgemental, not loyal and obedient, very bad customers (Catholics) and trouble makers.

    Worst of all many of the staff , for instance in the Catholic Media know the food had become rooten, know that the service stinks but say nothing. Why? Because they have too much to loose that's why. So they sit on their hands hoping the whole darn thing will somehow just plain go away.

    I'm no Theologian but I know enough about palin old human nature to know moral cowadice when isee it. I know enough about people to know they often stay quiet when bad things are happening because they have far too much to loose. Also because of fear of Human Respect..what others might think of them if they speak out.

    This is exactly what happened in the child abuse crisis and it is exactly what is happening now.

    I am getting on my hind legs. I am complaining, I am raising a fuss and I intend to raise a howl to high heavens about what is going on the Church. I claim no credit for this. I don't give a darn what people think of me for better or worse. I have no Church position , I have no wonderful reputation I might loose.

    So I have gotten up on my hind legs to complain about what is going on in our Restauraunt , the Church and I am going to go complaining and people can throw as much much and filth and slander at me as they care to. If its wrong I am saying it is wrong and I am going to go on saying it is worng until there is not a breath in my body left to say it. Insult and slander me and insult and slander people like me as they will.

    There's something rotten come into our Church. The first step to curing it is being honest and upfront about it, both to ourselves and to others. So for the goodness sakes anyone reading this, show a bit of courage. Face this down . Get up and say it. Don't pretend this evil is not there.

    Best of all don't slander the folks who have the courage, the tenacity , the decency and courage to stand up and say it themselves.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  7. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    little me and BrianK like this.
  8. FatimaPilgrim

    FatimaPilgrim Powers

    You may want to read the thread and see who it is slandering folks. It's not those of us who choose out of Charity to believe that our Pope is not evil but instead is a good man who can make mistakes, just like all of us do.

    Didn't we go through this already in the lead up to the Synod, Padraig? Where "angry customers" were accusing Pope Francis of wanting to implement all kinds of horrible things? And how did that end?

    Trust God. He has a plan :)
  9. We must remember this: We have NO OPINION when it comes to Doctrine and Faith. None. We have plenty of opinions on other matters within the Church, but even the Holy Father has NO OPINION.

    Every single opinion that has to do with doctrine and faith and that we speak is considered another god. There is no room for opinion! That is authority! That is the Magisterium's job. Not ours.
    I am learning more and more in my very orthodox theology class that this is what freedom truly is. TRUSTING CHRIST IN THE TEACHINGS OF HIS CHURCH. Accepting and living them. We can argue till the cows come home about whether the Holy Father is right or wrong in saying something on a plane to a media who is renown for twisting his words and seeks to defame him at every turn. If he is wrong, he is wrong. But he will not be wrong about faith and doctrine. I think all of us are waiting with baited breath for him to make a fatal mistake...and Charlie did say he would and then would apologize. So be it. I don't even get worked up about any of this anymore. Having read soooo many apparitions of our Lady saying, "Love the Holy Father, support him, defend him...and then; when everyone turns their back on him, you will be steadfast and support him. I often think if I didn't have FB or my computer or news and didn't know any of this 'latest controversy' I would have so much more peace!!

    "And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name (my name is my mission(which is 'God Saves'and Jesus Christ is the only one who saves), I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die." Deut 18:20

    Questioning for the sake of understanding -that is not opinion. (William of Thierry-Abbot- 1085)
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  10. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Who exactly is being slandered here?

    The pope has said, in so many words, "It's okay to do intrinsic evil (use contraceptives, including the pill, which is abortifacient) to prevent the conception of undesirables (microcephaly from Zika, which is basically eugenics).

    This is heresy, and you're ok with that - but you're somehow offended by Padraig's post?
    Richard67 and Beth B like this.
  11. DonnaS

    DonnaS Guest

    and the Anti Pope Francis folks start parachuting in....
  12. little me

    little me Archangels

    Anti Pope Francis? Nah, just anti-lies, anti-bullshit, anti-anything that makes you feel good and soothes your uninformed conscience.
    BrianK likes this.
  13. Heidi

    Heidi Archangels

    No one here is anti Pope Francis. Stop it.
  14. DonnaS

    DonnaS Guest

    potty mouth
  15. little me

    little me Archangels

    sparrow likes this.
  16. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    You've got the gall to insult those here who are simply defending the Faith, and then complain about their language in response to your baseless insult?

    Again, the spiritual immaturity here is shocking.

    Grow up.
    Malachi likes this.
  17. DonnaS

    DonnaS Guest

    God bless you brother and sister....that is all
  18. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    I have personally witnessed so much evil in my part of the world because of the polite silence and willful ignorance to the evil goings on in the church.

    But for the grace of God, I still have my faith, stronger than ever. Shining a light on a problem is the only way to eliminate it.
    Heidi and BrianK like this.
  19. bflocatholic

    bflocatholic Powers

    I will slander no one. But there is another way, Padraig. There is the way of prayer and trust. We need not tip over the table and howl. I choose to follow Our Lady's path of quiet, prayerful trust and perseverance.

    And I will pray for you Padraig, and all on this forum, while you howl.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  20. Sparrows

    Sparrows Principalities

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