And so it begins


Oh dear. The Synod on the family begins and the climate could not be more depressing. Cardinal Daneels publicly reveals he is part of a cabal of modernists, who not only manipulated the last conclave but engineered the removal of Pope Benedict. Rather chillingly the main protagonists and their ilk are the ones chosen to be present at the Synod.  Yesterday a priest of the CDF outed himself, telling the world he has a boyfriend, the timing of this announcement being far from coincidental.

Dear me it is depressing. The church is in crisis. It breaks my heart to watch it unfold. And it worries me deeply that the synod might be sham,  a carefully orchestrated fait accompli; the aim being not to change doctrine but practice. The driving of a wedge between what is officially taught and what  happens on the ground. That ground may be conceded in favour of modernism.

To really understand what is going on, at a deeper level than newspaper headlines, we must comprehend that the real debate has nothing much to do with how we treat the divorced and remarried or those in same sex relationships. That would be easy enough, I never met an authentic Christian who wasn’t accepting and pastorally kind.

No; drill down beneath the emotive polemic and it becomes clear that what is really under debate is the role of grace and sin, the nature of revelation and the way authority and fidelity are to be understood in the present age. The modernists want to overthrow traditional Catholic teaching and methodology to conform to the Spirit of the age. And with the Synod deck stacked in their favour, and with it now being a matter of public record that they have control of the Vatican and have been manipulating the process for years, we stand at a moment of genuine crisis for those whose desire is to be faithful to Christ.

As I kneel before the sacrament at present a different angle comes into focus. The spiritual dimension. For always in the church we deal not with political issues of left and right but an eternal battle between Christ and forces of darkness. We lose sight of Satan at our peril. And it strikes me that, on the spiritual level, we find those who no longer love the Jesus of history and wish to substitute him for a faux Christ made in their image. A fake Christ who can accommodate the teaching of the sexual revolution. Why? Because they have fallen in love with the ideals of the sexual revolution. For them scripture is out-dated… precisely because it doesn’t espouse those revolutionary views, traditional teaching no longer pertinent… precisely because it doesn’t chime with the sexual revolution. It is time for change-they say- the church must conform to the world.

And tragically these people are now so in thrall to the ideals of the sexual revolution, and the modernist faith, they ignore or downplay its devastating effect; widespread abortion, the breakdown of the family, etc.. “What is truth?”, they ask- for with their relativist creeds they are the Pontious Pilates of our day. Washing their hands of the real Jesus because, to them, he has become an embarrassment. A figure to be derided and pitied. A man of sorrows. So they beat him afresh, spit and twist thorns on his head. Oh how painful it is to see. And how more painful still is the fact that, backed by the media and leaders of the modern world, they are in the ascendency; ready to bring the church to its knees. Repent and worship at the altar of political correctness, embrace the ideals of the sexual revolution, or face the wrath of our displeasure.


Those who stand by Christ, and the historic teaching of the church regarding the family, are in the minority. A remnant. I am not a very good Christian, truth be told, but I do want to stand by this number. No matter the cost, I want to support those who uphold the faith of the ages, not a bastardised form designed to suit the present.  My deepest prayer then, at the start of the Synod, is that the Holy Father will opt for this too. My deepest fear is that we are heading for schism. That those who want to uphold the institution at any price will concede to the world- and the sexual revolution. Whilst those who want to uphold the true church will be driven back into catacombs and considered anathema. I hope I am wrong.

You can probably tell I am feeling depressed by it all at present. Perhaps, as stated before, my Anglican experiences exacerbate this. Perhaps I have it all wrong – I certainly hope so. But we do need to pray. And, to cheer me up, I received this wonderful document from the Confraternity of Catholic priests. A document that robustly defends the faith as historically understood. Lord Jesus please keep your promise that the gates of hell may not prevail. We may be losing the battle but help us remember we cannot lose the war.

This Star Wars clip rather sums up my feelings today. Or at least how I fear I might feel when the dust settles in three weeks time:

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29 thoughts on “And so it begins

  1. Father,
    You have pretty much summed up my own thoughts and feelings on the subject. All we can do is pray, fast, and stay loyal to the Truth.

  2. Let’s hope and pray that one of the last bastions of counter-cultural thinking in the West does not go the way of just about everything else. Because if it does there really is no point to the Catholic Church.

  3. At the risk of being repetitive I have to remind us again;
    ‘The gates of hell will not prevail against you!’
    ‘ I am with you , even until the end of the world!’
    ‘ I, being lifted up will draw all men to Myself!’
    (i.e. Lifted up on the Cross and in the Mass)
    (i.e. Lifted up by you Fr. Ed!)

    Conspiracy rumours were rife around the demise of John Paul I, (according to the left wing murdered by tradies in the Curia!).
    It was said at Vatican II that the left wing high jacked the Council.
    Human nature being what it is I am surprised that no-one has claimed that Francis has been taken over by aliens.
    The Church is under the protection of the Mother of God who prayed from the Incarnation of Her Son to the Birth of the Church in the upper room and who is through Her ‘yes’, which echoes down the ages, the Mediatrix of all grace and Co- redemptrix (understood properly Of course).
    Jesus said, ‘Do not be afraid!’
    So DON’T!!

  4. The Church of England was, if I recall the gist of what I read here, openly divided, and in peril as a result. The Roman Church, by contrast is held captive by a conspiracy which has preparing to stifle contending opinions, and the synod which its leadership has called is a sham. Really ? Really ??

  5. It’s easy to look at what faces the church with this Synod and get depressed by the overwhelming outlook of this task. But I believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit. I trust in God’s goodness, guidance and mercy. Yes, many.faithful will have to likely go underground to remain true to the church Jesus left for us but I think we will see the realization of Pope Benedict prediction come true. Personally, I’m not looking forward to this battle but the prize is Christ and that is what I desire with all my heart so that at the end he says to me “well done good and faithful servant”.


    1. If I recall aright, the prediction in shorter form was made much earlier, at the start of Vatican II. I’m old enough to have been around then. The then Pope plainly stated that there were many who calimed to be members of the church and to be Christian, but in reality were no shuch thing. He went on to say that, in the long term, those whose hearts and minds were elsewhere would desert the church. Of course, the door is always open for them to return – I’ve seen that too. He also recognised that there were many who in their lives and actions followed Christ without calling themselves Christian. I’ve known some and some of them come to realise they have a calling, eventually. So Ratzinger in the article above was fleshing out the earlier comments at the Council. That was what he was good at.

  6. No cause for depression if you read the Pope’s opening homily in which he is at pains to quote his predecessor and JPII, and which strikes me – rather to my surprise – as an entirely beautiful and pure expression of orthodoxy and its accompanying compassion.

  7. Even if the worst comes to pass with the synod, I think it’s important to emphasize minority (which can be larger or smaller) over remnant. Although a majority of the bishops in the fourth century might have been Arian at some point, that still means many of them were orthodox. And this large minority of bishops (without fostering schism) worked to restore the true teaching of the apostles. The same thing would happen again.

  8. “…but I do want to stand by this number. No matter the cost, I want to support those who uphold the faith of the ages, not a bastardised form designed to suit the present.”

    Many thanks, Father, for these words. The faithful are very much in need of good shepherds who will stand up for the Truth, no matter the consequences.
    Yes, we will be driven back to the catacombs… perhaps not quite yet, but we’re inevitably heading that way. The apostasy, now almost universal, is certainly going to become even worse. We have been told, by Our Lord Himself, that there will barely be Faith left in the world by time He comes back. We’ve also been told, many times, that the mass apostasy would come, and that Rome too would lose the faith (and become the seat of Antichrist). Clearly we’re already witnessing all that. The Church has to undergo its own Calvary, and will, by the end of it, appear to have died (the True Church, at least, not the impostor/apostate one). But we know from Jesus that the gates of hell will not prevail, and the Faith (and Church) will survive, even if hidden in the catacombs.
    And if the apostates persecute and anathematize us, so what? It will be a badge of honor. It is God we must obey, not men (much less men who are doing Satan’s work). The men (saints) who, in times of great crises and apostasy, stood firm despite all persecution, had almost single-handedly saved the true Faith. (St. Athanasius first and foremost, but also a holy and courageous prelate in our own time, a few decades ago. It is thanks to him and his fight for the true Mass that I – and many other people – were converted to the Faith.) We can look at their example, pray for their intercession and, above all, trust in Our Lord and His promise – He will never abandon us if we stay faithful to Him. We have the opportunity to gain great merits, and save many souls, if we take up and carry our Cross in these terrible times.
    God bless you, Father. And thank you.

  9. I echo the comment by David Knowles. The church has already survived the greatest disaster that can attack it (the execution of its founder on a cross) and flourished. It is inevitable that the “ship” must sail through stormy seas and be attacked on all sides. Sometimes there will be attacks from within. After all, it happened among his followers in his own time. And He did warn us about Satan going around seeking those he could devour. We must try to keep in mind that He is in charge and will see his vessel through. He has made that promise. It is easy to get lost in the smokescreens of the media circus and to lose sight of the central goal.

    1. But how is it the media circus when German Cardinals are openly calling for non scriptural innovation and others claim to have manipulated the synodical process?

      1. My “media Circus” comment was perhaps too broad brush (something to do with my body clock being in a different time zone for the moment?). I was referring to the general rubbish that is spouted by the media in relation to such events and not just the Synod. As for what seems to be rebellious clerics of whatever rank, if the pastor is doing his job we can expect attacks from within as well as from outside It has to be a case of ‘into Thy hands O’ Lord’. The Shepherd may need to cull the flock.

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  11. TC
    This Pope is the true successor of Peter. He is a holy, compassionate man.
    All this panic and apocalyptic nonsense is an absolute waste of time. It is elitist and defeatist and superstitious. It leads to the spread of ridiculous prophesies and so called visionaries in constant communication with Our Lady.
    This sort of thing has nothing to do with Catholicism and everything to do with the Evil One.

    1. David Knowles,
      I know it’s more comfortable to bury one’s head in the sand and pretend not to see what’s obvious and just before our eyes. “Elitist, superstitious…” – yeah, the usual accusations by liberals, liberal “Catholics” included. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with elitist, though it doesn’t conform to your French Revolution ideals.) And for your information – though I’m sure you already know this – the apparitions and messages of Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady of Good Success (Quito), etc, have been confirmed as authentic by the Catholic Church. Though you will undoubtedly disregard this, because the True Church, in your eyes, was wrong, evil, unenlightened, unmerciful, superstitious, etc etc etc… compared to the wonderful, “holy”, compassionate, merciful New Church. The false “mercy” of today is satanic – it denies the Truth of Our Lord and leads souls to hell, by letting them live in sin (and encouraging sacrilege).
      In any way, I shall not post here anymore… my only intention was to thank the Father for his words, not to try to convince those who are blind because they do not want to see.
      God bless.

  12. The smoke of Satan has entered our church, which blinds many. We must pray for discernment and that souls are not misled. Holy Spirit enlighten us what to do, what to say and what not to say, and to comfort us in these tragic times we find ourselves in…….

  13. It is true that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. However, I would challenge our expectation. What if most of the heiarchy of the Church go away from tradition and commonly held beliefs to suit the changing of the times while very few clergy and lay people stand with orthodoxy. The few for orthodoxy might have Mass outside of Churches and diocesan property. This would make the few appear to be in the wrong when actually they are the ones fulfilling scripture that says the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. Something to think about.

  14. TC
    Of course I believe and love the fact of Our Lady’s apparitions which have been endorsed by the church. My wife and I moved to live near Walsingham to be near to and worship God in England’s Nazareth.
    However I am quite happy to trust the Pope and the Synod in continuing the mission of the Church without being consumed by fear.

  15. TC
    I should also like to point out that this liberal Catholic would be quite happy to return to the pre 1962 missal (apart from the condemnation of the Jews in the Easter liturgy), would love to see re-ordered churches completely restored along with all our pre- conciliar attitudes and devotion.
    I would not however like to return to the pre-enlightenment ancient regime or see the restoration of serfdom.
    My only wish is to see a more compassionate and less condemnatory attitude with regard to the way we treat gay and divorced Catholics.
    To be given the choice between heroic sanctity and a life of loneliness is completely unacceptable, cruel and inhuman.

      1. Well yes if you think the Mass is an external of the catholic faith.
        It must be so easy for you; heterosexual, married AND a priest to expect those gay and divorced Catholics to live out their lives in loneliness.
        What a shame dispensations are not available for cradle Catholics.

        1. That you think marriage is the easy option shows deep ignorance about it. That you imagine it requires something other than a chaste mind and heart, as does celibacy, also says more about you than the institution of holy matrimony itself. That you don’t think people can be lonely in marriage speaks volumes as does your idea that all gay people are lonely. Many I know live quite the high life with no lack of company from like minded souls. And, not for the first time, divorce isn’t an issue. Living in a second sexual relationship when you are already married is.

          1. Having been married for 48years I can assure you that I am no stranger to the difficulties, sacrifices, joys, sorrows and power of our sacrament.
            Similarly my experience of life has also led me to an understanding of the difficulties faced by the re- married and the gay Catholic.
            No amount of propounding the difficulties and restrictions that married Catholics face, nor pointing out the fact that some people choose the single life, can change the fact that if one is gay and Catholic one can never express the sexuality that is natural to them without being condemned to eternal damnation.

          2. David has repeatedly made it clear that he is married and has been for quite a long time if I recall correctly so I don’t really think accusing him of knowing nothing about it is at all fair! Or charitable if I’m honest. David may, of course, have been exceptionally lucky and never had a bad moment during his married life but I think that is unlikely. He has a different view of certain things (a view with which I don’t actually agree because, despite it’s superficial attractiveness, I don’t see how it can be reconciled with the clear teaching of Jesus) Nonetheless this is not a particularly edifying exchange for a Catholic blog!

  16. Yes father you have summed it up right. There is a start for a split it the church. We are in the end times. We are living the book of revelations.

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