The Useful Idiots Are Out In Force…

The Useful Idiots Are Out In Force…

At a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated at Sclerder Abbey on 28 August, the Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, welcomed EcumenicalcommunityPlymouth the community of Chemin Neuf who have begun a foundation at the Abbey near Looe in Cornwall.

Bishop Mark gave thanks for the life of prayer and service given by the Carmelite Community at Sclerder over many years and thanked God for this new presence of Chemin Neuf. In his Homily he said:

“We give thanks for this new Chapter in the life of this place, recognising the gifts that Chemin Neuf brings to our diocese and to the UK. We thank you all for your generosity in entrusting yourselves so fully to the action of God’s Spirit in this new Mission. Your presence manifests an important gift for the New Evangelisation with the energy and vitality which the newer ecclesial communities bring to the Church….

…Part of our common task today is to accompany people on the journey of discovery into the God who is all goodness and truth, and who desires that we come to Him as His beloved children. This is one important reason why we are so delighted to welcome Chemin Neuf, with your experience of accompanying families, and individuals, along the path of deeper conversion to Jesus.”

The Carmelites, with a small aging community, generously entrusted the Abbey to Chemin Neuf, a Catholic Community founded outside Lyons by Fr Laurent Fabre SJ. The new community is characterised by a spirituality influenced by the Charismatic Renewal and the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Chemin Neuf plan to host ‘Cana weekends’ for Families and married couples, organise youth events and to offer guided retreats on the Exercises of St Ignatius. They have a particular commitment to work for Christian Unity and have a community living at Lambeth Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury. They aim to build on the good Ecumenical relations that already exist in the South West.  Click on photo to read Bishop O’Toole’s complete homily.


This group advertises itself as being a  Catholic group with an ecumenical vocation. In other words, it’s a mish-mash of people from various denominations. In their “manifesto” they publish this gem:  Because divisions between Christians are the greatest obstacle to evangelisation; because we believe that the prayer of Jesus Christ for unity will be fulfilled: “that they may all be one so that the world may believe”, together, Orthodox, Protestants, Catholics, without waiting any longer, we follow the humble path of shared daily life(emphasis in the original)  Click here to reach the Chemin Neuf website. 

It’s laughable really.  That same ever-so ecumenical Bishop of Plymouth would probably jump off the nearest bridge before he’d permit one of his redundant churches to be sold to the SSPX yet he’s given his blessing to this scandalous betrayal of the Catholic Faith, and the same could undoubtedly be said of those Carmelite nuns pictured with Bishop O’Toole. Have they really got so little Catholic sense left that they cannot see what they are doing? That they are betraying Christ and His Church in a way that almost puts the first Judas in the shade? Don’t they make you think of Lenin’s description of the “useful idiots” who spread a false and dangerous message, even though it militates against their own best interests – in this case, their eternal salvation? Or do I exaggerate? Am I being uncharitable?  I’ll hear you… 

Comments (55)

  • domstemp

    Sadly a traditional priest is leaving Plymouth Diocese as he has run into trouble with this new young bishop O’Toole – over the Old Rite.

    Dominie Mary Beatrice Stemp

    Catechist Freelance writer

    On Twitter @DominieStemp

    September 2, 2014 at 5:41 am
    • crofterlady

      Domstemp, that’s very interesting. We badly need a traditionally minded priest so if he has nowhere to go, let me know! Are you at liberty to elaborate on this matter?

      September 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm
      • Nicky


        You seem to be suggesting that you would support an independent priest. I know this happens in the USA but I got the impression you are in Scotland. I don’t think that would sit well with the Canon Lawyers here.

        September 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm
      • Athanasius


        It seems the Catholic Faith itself doesn’t really sit well with the Canon Lawyers these days. Besides, Canon Law is subject to the traditional laws of the Church and must be applied in accordance with its spirit, which would have to support Crofterlady’s desire to hold onto and practice the Faith of the ages.

        September 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm
      • Petrus


        The canon lawyers can go take a run and jump. It’s the Faith that matters!

        September 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm
      • jacobi

        Personally I think Canon Law does matter. I’m in no way connected with law by the way.

        If a priest is Traditional, that is Catholic in Continuity and anxious to say the normal Mass of the Western Catholic Church, (at 11.30 Sunday and not 15.30 every third Thursday, as I keep saying) established by St Pius X, and his bishop won’t allow it, I am sure that there is a process in Canon Law whereby he could transfer to the FSSP, or SSPX, or the Society Christ King, (if they’ll have him that is?).

        There are plenty of traditional orders and I strongly suspect that saving of the Church lies here, as the current priesthood continues to head for the floor and the traditional orders grow steadily.

        We should all remember that when Christ condemned the Pharisees, it was not for proclaiming law, but for proclaiming it and not observing it.

        September 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm
      • editor


        Canon Law only “matters” in so far as it works for the benefit of souls and salvation.

        Christ condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy in placing undue burdens on the shoulders of the people, by way of detailed laws which were unnecessary, impossible to obey, even, and then making their adherence to these laws the measure of their holiness – or lack of it. To argue that a priest today must be under the authority of a Modernist bishop in order to function as a priest for the benefit of souls, is to do exactly the same thing. We hear uninformed (or obstinate) Catholics saying all the time that the SSPX should be acting within the diocesan structures, within Canon Law when the bishops (and pope) have made it impossible for them to do so. They have, in other words, made it impossible for the Law to be observed (by creating a new Mass which is “a grave departure, in whole and in part, from Catholic Theology of the Mass” to quote Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci in their famous letter to Pope Paul VI) and then, hypocritically, accuse them of disobeying the Law.

        Canon Law – like any law – presumes normality. In normal circumstances, no priest would think of ministering outside the normal structures of the diocese but we are living in an emergency situation. Think of the craziness of the SSPX clergy here placing themselves under the Scots bishops who hate the TLM.

        I would disagree that the “saving of the Church lies with the new traditional Orders.” They are going along to get along. They are not preaching against the errors of Vatican II, which is why they are accepted into a diocese in the first place. Preaching the undiluted Faith, with clear explanations of why we must reject the errors of the Council only happens in an SSPX chapel. Our Lady indicated at Quito that her Son would “send a prelate who would restore the priesthood” in the twentieth century and if that wasn’t Archbishop Lefebvre, who was it?

        September 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm
      • dominiemary

        I will try and find out more info

        September 3, 2014 at 6:21 am
  • editor


    That’s very interesting. I Googled briefly to see if I could find more details but nothing came up on the first page. I did, however, find the following interesting nugget from the lips of his predecessor (Bishop Budd) which shows the rot thoroughly established at that time:

    Bishop Budd said Plymouth diocese has remained free of such liturgical in-fighting but the rise of conservative priests is a concern.

    He said: “The reinstatement of the Latin Mass has not been a huge issue here – although I have not been promoting it, I must admit. What is interesting is that a lot of younger priests want to go back to that clerical rite where the participation of the people is minimal. The reformed liturgy we practise now is the one changed by Vatican II – it gives the congregation a vocal and active part to play.” Source

    Priceless. “Conservative” priests on the rise is a “concern” but a bunch of schismatics posing as a “new ecclesial community” is “the action of God’s spirit”. Useful idiots, definitely, doing the Devil’s work in the name of the Holy Spirit.

    September 2, 2014 at 9:54 am
  • Athanasius

    That bishop is very seriously mistaken if he truly believes that Vatican II ordered the New Mass or called for any of the liturgical changes, such as vernacular language, Communion in the hand, ministers of the Eucharist, etc. that we see today. These grave and destructive changes were made on the whim of individuals, Pope Paul VI not excepted.

    It amazes me that they still make these daft claims about the Council having ordered it all. From that point of view they are more idiots than “useful idiots.” If they were anywhere near useful they would have read the conciliar documents and worked out by now that someone sold them a pup!

    September 2, 2014 at 10:12 am
  • Margaret Mary

    I can’t believe the Carmelite nuns in Cornwall have welcomed an inter-denominational group to take over their convent. That is incredibly hard to swallow. How can they give up their lives to live a secluded life of penance and prayer, yet not see how scandalous this ecumenical group is?

    September 2, 2014 at 11:37 am
    • Vianney

      Margaret Mary, from what I have been told by a friend who has had a lot to do with the Carmelite nuns at Sclerder Abbey they had no say over who took over the building as they didn’t own it.

      September 2, 2014 at 10:33 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Thank you for that Vianney. I suppose it’s something but it doesn’t look good seeing them in the photo with the Bishop and the Chemin Neuf people. They might have made their excuses not to be photographed.

        September 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm
      • editor


        I am in fairly regular contact with a friend who is a Carmelite (in a Scottish Carmel, although she spent some time in Sclerder some years ago) and I’m afraid, sad to say, they are sold on the revolution. I visit them but we studiously avoid talking about the Church. So, while it may well be true that they had no say over who took the building, I doubt if they would have objected and that is the very least they should have done, not to say, as Margaret Mary suggests, asking to be excused from the photograph. The impression is given that they are fully behind the project and in the absence of any statement to the contrary from them, that impression remains.

        After all, they’re not slow to speak out when it suits. On one of my visits to Carmel, I mentioned that a mutual priest friend was learning to offer the traditional Mass under the terms of Summorum Pontificum and that maybe next time he visited, he would offer the Mass for them. Quick as a flash one of the Sisters replied: “Not here”. So, they do make their objections known when it matters – to them.

        September 3, 2014 at 10:03 am
    • Burt

      To be honest that’s the least surprising thing about this to me. I think Carmelite nuns are charitable enough, and feminine enough, to make errors in a spirit of optimism.

      But the Bishop is a typically feminised Vatican II poor excuse for a prelate we are all familiar with. No surprises at all really!

      I hope you don’t mind me contributing Editor. I read nearly every post on this site. Generally agreeing with your take on things, but I’m not always too quick to reply or keep up and probably have been guilty of bad blogging etiquette when I’ve posted comments in the past.

      September 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm
      • editor


        I recall NO “bad blogging etiquette” from you – ever. So, be assured, you are most welcome here any time you choose to comment.

        You are very charitable in your comments about Carmelites, but the reality is, they have been “modernised” along with everything else. The only thing missing outside any Carmelite Monastery in the land today is a sign saying “New Carmelites”. Believe me on this; St Teresa of Avila will be spinning in her grave more often than resting in peace. Sadly.

        September 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm
      • Burt

        Thank you Editor you’re very kind. As for St Teresa surely she can’t be spinning in any grave as she must be quite at peace in Heaven.

        Now as for ‘St’ Pope John XXIII I can’t believe He isn’t having a rather unsettled and uncomfortable purgatory at least, just witnessing the wreckage caused by his ‘Aggiornamento’ decision.

        September 7, 2014 at 9:02 pm
      • editor


        I took a wee bit of poetic licence when I wrote that St Teresa would be “spinning in her grave”. I should have made that clear in my comment and not presumed that readers would realise that I was departing from Theology and moving into the realm of Kidology.

        September 8, 2014 at 8:51 am
  • Confitebor Domino

    ”They have a particular commitment to work for Christian Unity”

    The ‘unity’ that these loons are pursuing is a phantasm.

    Suppose you have a priceless Ming vase. Now imagine that you drop said vase and it shatters into a multitude of pieces. So you collect all the pieces and very carefully superglue them back together. Do you now have your priceless Ming vase back? Er, No! You’ve got a more or less worthless piece of junk. This is the idea of unity being banded around by cults like Chemin Neuf.

    True unity, of course, would require that the errant sheep return to what Newman – correctly – called ‘the one true fold of the Redeemer’.

    Idiots – very likely. Useful – not so much.

    September 2, 2014 at 11:48 am
  • Helen

    I’ve given up on these modernists. I used to think they “could be put right” but I now believe that the gulf is too wide. They’ve created a new church and that’s for sure. The only way forward is to hold steadfast to the Faith of our fathers and to take refuge in the SSPX.

    September 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      I agree about taking refuge in the SSPX being the only way. There’s a great article in the Catholic Truth newsletter about a Perth family who have done just that. However, that’s some way to travel every Sunday to get to Mass and there are others who just can’t get to a Society chapel as they are even further away (Inverness and Aberdeen, for example). We need more SSPX priests in Scotland but I can’t see that happening any time soon.

      September 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Margaret Mary,

        The UK / Ireland district of the Society has 6 seminarians presently (according to the latest district newsletter).

        Maybe one or more of those might find his way to Scotland in the coming years, but I agree it will be a long wait before we have adequate numbers of SSPX priests.

        September 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm
      • Vianney

        At the risk of sounding like a cracked record because I have moaned about this many times before. If the priests in Carluke were left in peace they could spread out to open more Mass Centres. Unfortunately they are used as “floaters” being sent here, there and everywhere to help out often leaving one priest to say Mass in three cities. If they were left alone then with two priests Glasgow and Edinburgh could have Sunday Mass at better times, ie. mid morning, and one priest could travel to Gateshead for Mass around 4 p.m. instead of 6 which many there find a difficult time. The other priest could go north with Mass in the Perth / Dundee area perhaps two Sundays a month and the other two Sundays in the Inverness area. The district now has an extra priest but unfortunately he has been sent as the third priest at the School. (why does a school need three priests?) and while we can hope that he will be used as the “floater”, and the Carluke priests left to minister in peace, I won’t hold my breath.

        When it was announced that a Scottish priory was to be opened people believed this would lead to an increase in activities such as pilgrimages and the celebration of Mass at one of the Mass stones but this has not happened because we often only have one priest. Someone said to me not so long ago that we are really not any better off than when we were served from Preston and it’s true. Leave the priests here to do their job and stop sending them to help out elsewhere.

        September 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm
      • editor


        I agree. In the early days of the two priests system in Scotland, the priest who had been assigned to Glasgow announced that he would be visiting everyone in their homes. Before he could make it round the relatively small congregation, he’d been moved. Unbelievable.

        September 3, 2014 at 9:58 am
    • Athanasius


      Of course you’re right about the Modernists, but they have not created “a new church”. What they have done is despoil the visible church of her beauty and obscured the wisdom and holiness of her teaching.

      There is only one Divine Redeemer and only one Church founded by Him for the salvation of souls. When Our Saviour was covered in wounds and blood, hanging from the Cross, He did not thereby become less the Son of God. Likewise, His Mystical Body, the Church, is today in the hands of traitors, cowards, the indifferent and some committed executioners who mock, scourge and put Him to death once more (supernaturally speaking) by their infidelity to the Faith and teachings handed down.

      But while they have sought to inflict this pain and death on every visible extremity of the Mystical Body of Christ, they will never be able to kill the Institution, which is Divine and spotless. It is when all seems permanently lost that the Mystical Body will visibly rise again in all its glory. This is our comfort.

      September 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm
      • Michaela


        I completely agree – it is a bit worrying to hear friends talks about the “new Church” and I always say what you’ve said, if less eloquently, when I hear them using the phrase. I’m glad to say they always agree, so I think it’s just a way of talking about the “reforms” but it can lead to the idea that the Church is split which it’s not. There are those who are inside keeping to the traditional faith and there are those who have gone along with modernism who may well be technically outside the Church but that still leaves the one Church of Christ intact. .

        On the topic, it does beggar belief that any bishop would condone the setting up of such a community in his diocese. If I’m reading it right, it means there are single people, priests and married couples living together, which is IMHO a recipe for a huge scandal. That angle aside, it is a scandal anyway – what will be going on at those Masses? Will the Catholics attend the Protestant and Orthodox worship services? Does it matter where they worship on a Sunday or is the idea that their worship is all of equal value and importance?

        I find this one of the most astounding developments yet in the post-conciliar Church.

        September 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm
      • Petrus


        I couldn’t agree with you more. We must remember that the Church is “tempest tossed”. As the old hymn says:

        Deep night hath come down on
        this rough-spoken world.
        And the banners of darkness
        are boldly unfurled;
        and the tempest-tossed Church,
        all her eyes are on thee.
        They look to thy shining,
        sweet star of the sea.

        We keep our eyes on Our Blessed Mother and soldier on. The Church will shake off Her enemies.

        September 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    This is what Catholic Family News says about the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass.

    I agree with you (10.12am) post.

    September 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  • Josephine

    I’ve never heard of this Chemin Neuf organisation before. What does it mean to have an ecumenical vocation? Are they saying their vocation is to show that all different belief systems can live together in harmony like the flower power movement in the sixties? If that’s what the bishop is promoting then he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Returning to the one, true faith is what he should be teaching.

    September 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm
  • Nicky

    This is just one more example of the way the bishops (and nuns) have gone off the rails. What I’d like to know is, what are the so called orthodox bishops like Mark Davies doing about this? Are they keeping their heads down? Shouldn’t they be speaking out to at least distance themselves from this syncretistic enterprise?

    September 2, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    • Athanasius


      Under the post-conciliar ‘Bishops’ Conference’ setup bishops no longer have the individual authority they once had over their dioceses. If Bishop Davies challenged the majority committed modernist bishops of the Conference, then, he would quickly find himself isolated and undermined. In fact, he probably already feels that to some degree as a result of his remaining relatively orthodoxy.

      September 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Talking of useful idiots, here is a story in a very similar vein:

    (the story follows on from the recent good news about the SSPX acquiring a Church in Pittsburgh)

    The Bishop of Pittsburgh attended a Protestant festival called “Three Rivers of Hope” and encouraged lay Catholics to go along also. He said prayers and endorsed the event during his visit.

    A few days later, he issued a statement condemning the SSPX, stating they are schismatic and warning Catholics that attending the new SSPX Church “implies separation from Rome” – which he described as serious matter, not to be taken lightly.

    Its just absurd isn’t it? Many Bishops seem to have a real contempt for the intellect of ordinary Catholics.

    Fortunately, the SSPX have been quick to respond to the statement:

    I hope that the Diocese will be forced to issue a retraction and clarification, like the Diocese of Richmond had to when it too slurred the SSPX as schismatic, just over a year ago:

    When it comes to the SSPX and tradition, it seems many Bishops are either ignorant or malicious; neither scenario is especially flattering to them, nor very reassuring of their suitability to act as a Bishop.

    September 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Gabriel Syme,

      “Its just absurd isn’t it? Many Bishops seem to have a real contempt for the intellect of ordinary Catholics.”

      I think you’ve just summed up the situation perfectly there, I really do. The bishops do hold us in contempt, there is no question about it, insulting our intelligence at every turn.

      September 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm
  • Domchas

    Chemin Neuf, a community of over 2000 committed persons in all walks of life. In 30 countries world wide. Catholic Truth, a small group of small minded people, probably less than 30 mainly focused in Scotland and very closed to the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. As the Americans say ‘go figure’!!!!

    Ed: wrong again. Catholic Truth is based in Scotland, with readers on every continent. The first telephone call I received after the September newsletter went out was from a reader in England supporting our work and – as you will have seen if you follow our blog as closely as you appear to do – another reader in Australia sent us a donation on reading the current newsletter. Those are the first two examples from the many I could give, that spring to mind, so you are wrong to characterise us as “a small group of small minded people…” Wrong, again, and as usual, wrong big time. As for your highly judgmental remarks about our spiritual lives, I’ll leave readers to draw their own conclusions about that part of your comment.

    September 2, 2014 at 10:46 pm
    • Athanasius


      You should know that it’s not quantity that counts with God, it’s quality. And by the way, those 2000 persons who belong to Chemin Neuf certainly should be “committed,” if you catch my drift. No sane Catholic would go near a hippie outfit like that, although to be fair it’s probably populated with a bunch of youngsters who have been deprived from birth of anything remotely close to a proper Catholic spiritual formation. Tragic, but true.

      September 3, 2014 at 4:18 am
    • fidelityalways

      It would not be possible to judge the level of support as the blog commentray is censored to the degree one might expect in, say, North Korea.

      Editor: rubbish. There are, currently, three bloggers, yourself included, in moderation, all of whom have ignored many requests to respect to our simple house rules. This is the first time EVER that we’ve had as many as three in moderation. So stop talking baloney. If you persist in blogging here simply to criticise us, all of your posts will be deleted unpublished. Note: other blogs, such as the Catholic Herald, give no warning at all either of moderation or banning. It just happens. So either gerragrip or get lost. Take your pick. Oh and before you accuse me of a not very nice “tone and style”, be assured that when you do some serious commenting here in a pleasant tone, you will receive a pleasant response. I’m big into “an eye for an eye” these days.

      September 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm
      • Therese

        OTT doesn’t begin to describe such an unbelievably ignorant statement! In North Korea you would have been hunted down and liquidated in about the same time as it would take for your post to be banned before publication.

        September 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm
      • Petrus

        There may be some useful idiots in the Church, but we’ve certainly got a couple of useless idiots on our blog!

        September 4, 2014 at 8:00 am
  • Benedict Carter

    Athanasius, Michaela, Petrus:

    Your comments about whether we should use the phrase “nu-Church” to express the destruction done by the Modernists, or whether we should deem the Church (the current visible Church) as the Church, but bemsirched and dirtied; or like a man in the water drowning with the eight arms of a giant octopus around him; or like a thing of light almost entirely shrouded in black, illuminate a very real difficulty for us.

    It’s not just a question of metaphors or signs though, but of underlying realities. I am coming more and more to the position that the visible Church is a rotten tooth, all hollow and bad inside, and that the real Church lies elsewhere, in the community of the faithful Remnant. This does no harm to the Catholic belief that Christ will be with His Church until the end of time, and that hell shall never (wholly) prevail against it.

    Fr. Malachi Martin said in the mid-1970’s that the visible, institutional Church was already dead, and that (as this had happened within the space of one decade) the only possible theological cause could be that God had withdrawn Grace.

    I am not sure about that, but the argument is certainly plausible.

    For me, I am a simple man. I hold to the Catholic Faith, I look upon this Pope and all his minions, the Cardinals, the Bishops, the grinning priests and quasi-Religious, with total and utter derision. Where the Church now lies doesn’t much bother me. Sometimes I think it’s still in Rome (but see the metaphors above), sometimes I see Rome as the Seat of the Anti-Christ. Wherever it is, I know I belong to it.

    Whatever. Let’s just hold to the integral Catholic Faith given to us by the Holy Ghost through the Apostles and all their successors until the mid-1960’s. If they were all correct, then we can’t go to far wrong.

    September 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    • editor


      The Church is the spotless Bride of Christ. End of. All this talk about Rome being the seat of the anti-Christ drives me crazy.

      Any A Level student of Church history should be able to tell us that the Church has suffered crises from the beginning. Right from the start there have been heresies and splits, with people leaving and setting up their own man made religions because – to quote your words, as good as any for the purpose – “where the Church now lies doesn’t bother me.” Well, there shouldn’t be any question of “where the Church lies.” Christ and His Church are one. If you stick close to Our Lord, and suffer this dreadful crisis in a spirit of faith, you will not think for a second that the anti-Christ is running the Church. Christ is – as He promised – with His Church, always, until the end of time. And it is still, as He promised, built on the rock of Peter. “Where Peter is, there is the Church”. That holds true whether the Church is enjoying the rule of a saintly Pope like Pius X, or suffering the shenanigans of a scandalous pontiff such as Pope Francis. “Where Peter is, there is the Church.”

      The weakness, the sin and the sheer stupidity of many, if not most, of those in Vatican positions at the moment – including yet one more bad pope (of the many throughout history) should not shake the faith of any informed Catholic.

      You speak of holding these “minions” in “utter derision”. Only today I was speaking of a Vatican priest who was once a very close friend of Catholic Truth, a priest who has climbed the greasy ladder of success and is now fairly highly placed in Rome, not so quick to telephone yours truly any more, but see if I care. I don’t know how he sleeps at night, but then I don’t know how all of the allegedly concerned Catholics who – at one level of another – support the revolutionary new liturgy and “reforms” instead of throwing their weight behind the SSPX, the only clearly counter-revolutionary group in our times, I don’t know how they sleep at night either.

      None of the above, however, makes me think the “anti-Christ” sits in Rome. Bad pope, bad prelates and ambitious priests – so what’s new? The Church consists of all the faithful from the beginning of the Church’s existence on earth, all of the saints, canonised and un-canonised in Heaven and all of the suffering souls in Purgatory as well as the Church Militant (those who adhere to the traditional Catholic Faith) on earth. What you speak of is the equivalent to a blip on a computer screen, taking the perspective both of the history of the past 2000 years and the perspective, too, of eternity.

      Those responsible for this crisis will be called seriously to account. But, whatever the damage they have inflicted on the Church, it remains the Spotless and Perfect Bride of Christ. Lose sight of that basic truth, Benedict, at your peril. For you will become embittered and, in fact, perversely, Protestant in your thinking and outlook.

      Now, we can’t have that, can we? Or as we say in Glasgow: ” We cannae hiv that, noo, cin we? 😀

      September 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Something at least is new Editor.

        Previous crises, whether Arian or Protestant or rampant immorality (10th Century) didn’t have Our Lady’s words that the apostasy would start at the top. or the promise of a Great Chastisement.

        We are in worse days than the other major crises because the very Catholic Faith is up for dismemberment.

        Let me put my attitude another way: I expect nothing good whatever from Rome and what Pope Imbroglio or his minions say doesn’t move me at all except to further deepen my contempt for all of them.

        I am already embittered, sad to say.

        September 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm
  • Confitebor Domino

    Speaking of useful idiots, Rorate Caeli has an update on the visitation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. Get this:

    The Visitators told the nuns that they prayed too much, that they did too much penance, and that the contemplatives were “too cloistered,” whatever that may mean for contemplative nuns; they told them that they urgently needed a “re-education” program according to the criteria of Vatican II.

    I think I know who needs the re-education program and it ain’t these poor sisters 😡

    September 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm
    • editor


      Incredible. “Too much penance”?

      Truly, (even) you couldn’t make it up … 😀

      September 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm
    • Athanasius


      If what you write is true, then what these “visitators” are saying in effect is: ‘You are too Catholic and we have been sent to wipe you out in the same way your male counterparts have been wiped out’. Incredible!

      September 4, 2014 at 10:53 pm
    • Andrew Paterson

      A night at the dancing?

      September 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm
  • Burt

    That further info from Confitebor Domino backs up Benedict Carter’s argument to me.
    I think as Ben says we are witnessing a crisis that is new and unprecedented in many ways.
    It is because it is a determined apostasy by men at the very top, including the pope, who seem to have an instinctive revulsion for the true faith.

    I can’t say it is definitely THE Antichrist, but we have been warned about it, so it/he could be.

    The Apocalypse paints the vision of the harlot riding the beast. Well the beast could be the devilish force of ‘I will NOT serve’ inherent in the humanistic, anti-Catholic world view that has overtaken what once was called Christendom.

    The terrible picture of the prostitute is sad to say of a church which should be the very Bride of Christ flirting with that beast I described. A bride who hurts her lover by throwing in the garbage the keepsakes and mementos, all the many former expressions of her love for the groom ditched. Just think of the sweet hymns and devotions.
    But those are the little things. We all know that the Old Testament events and prophecies pertain even more to the unfolding history of the Church while remaining part of the tragic history of Judaism. The Abomination of Desolation surely prefigures the attempted replacement of the Mass with the poor substitute we all here shun.

    So it is indeed a terrible thing to consider, St John having a vision of the very bride being referred to as a whore. A strong and terrible allusion, but I do think it is not insignificant that it was almost as soon as Our Lord established the Petrine office He harshly admonished Peter with the terrible sentence “Get behind me Satan”.

    Yes Editor the Church has suffered many heresies even from the beginning. I think this was to some extent natural purely because it WAS the beginning. The human aspect of the Church was working it out. I do believe the Holy Spirit guided the Church to fullness of faith. The rejection of that faith, by the high ranking especially, is certainly grave sin. Sin against the Holy Spirit. Be warned those who should know better, in the NT such sin has been declared unforgivable!

    I think just as we must all face facts, those of us who see the crisis, we should indeed hope and pray that that as Athanasius reminded us “It is when all seems permanently lost that the Mystical Body will visibly rise again in all its glory.”

    There is no sense in taking a sedevacantist position either. Those that do are the other side of the coin of those who believe the Holy Spirit does not allow determined men to pick a wrongun to fit their agenda or even to make a big mistake because a certain man charmed them to vote for him. They become the Papolatrists (However you spell that word Editor) who will think if the pope said something it is beyond criticism.

    I have to confess that I am someone who is clear about the crisis, and it occupies my mind a lot on a daily basis, yet even then, I am rubbish at praying about it!

    September 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hey folks,

    Am new here……….hope to continue visiting.

    Am a Catholic……..or so I thought, since most of us do not question the Shepherd. Oh, how so simple minded Christians are!! In retrospect, one understand really what the Lord meant when he said that “Children of this world are smarter in dealing with their own matters, than the children of the world to come”

    I never really gave much thought, about the genuineness of Catholic Church, even after the scandal of Pope John I and the banking scandal of the likes of Sindona, Geri, Machinkus, etc. But being curious, i started a hobby of collecting books, especially old books. That’s when I learned more, much more.

    I do not want to bramble but all I wanted to say, is that its true that the Church has been taken by the unseen Communist World Government. Its not just the Church, most world governments are under the vicious grip of this unseen government especially Europe and Americas. So, its no longer necessarily to wonder whether its true.

    But then you may ask, “Why did God allow the Church to be taken?”

    This, I think is where we are wrong. We still are suffering from the fixation of the Church as the “Physical body of the Unseen God”

    There is where we are wrong. God is Spirit. So, when the Cloth in the Temple was torn into two a physical thing that represents the presence of God was rendered null and void.

    Remember these saying

    “The coming of the kingdom. of God does not admit observation, and there will be no one to say, “Look here”. For you know, the kingdom of God is amongst you” Luke 17:20-21.

    “ The Kingdom of God, may be compared to a man who sowed good seed, in his field. While everybody was asleep, his enemy came and sowed darnel amongst the wheat and made off. When the new wheat spouted, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s savants went to him as said, ‘Sir, was not the good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?’ “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the savants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he answered, “No, because, when you weed the darnel, you might pull the wheat as well. Let them grow till the harvest; and in the harvest time, I shall say to the reapers,. First, collect the darnel and tie it in bundles, to be burnt, and then, gather the wheat in my barn” Mathew 13: 24-30

    So. this last passage should reveal to you, that the Church of Christ is mixed with the Church of the enemy, and it will remain like that until the end time. So, let us stop mourning Vatican because the Church is not the administrative arm of the Church, but Christians themselves.

    My twopence

    September 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm
    • Michaela


      Your post is very interesting but I disagree that the Church has been taken over, that can never happen. As said on this blog many times, it has been infiltrated by modernists and is under their influence but the Church cannot ever be completely taken over as Jesus promised that would never happen, He will be with the Church until the end.

      The Church has good and bad members of course, and they will be sorted out at the Judgment. The Church herself is holy, though, we must never forget that.

      September 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm
  • Therese

    Hello Bigfoot

    Nice to hear from you. Christ gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter and promised that He would be with His church until the end of the world. He also promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against it. The Church, like her master, is mirroring His life and death. She is now on the cross, tortured and humiliated, abandoned by almost all of her disciples. Only the very few faithful are left to keep watch and pray. We know what happens next though, don’t we?

    September 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm
  • Leo

    New Pentecost, New Advent, New Mass, New Catechism, New Canon Law, New Evangelisation. I’m sure there is something missing from the list. Nuclear devastation, I think. And New Movements, of course.

    Well, the Chemin Neuf is a new one on me.

    In happier and more secure times Catholics were not confronted with this unrelenting obsession with novelty. And, for the avoidance of all doubt, it’s no harm taking the opportunity to repeat the warnings of just a few of the Popes, familiar to all regulars here:

    “Teach nothing new, but implant in the hearts of everyone those things which the fathers of venerable memory taught with a uniform preaching…Whence, we preach nothing except what we have received from our forefathers. In all things, therefore, both in the rule of faith in the observance of discipline, let the pattern of antiquity be observed.” Pope Saint Leo the Great, Father and Doctor of the Church

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    For, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and obstinate mind. (Pascendi, 49).

    “Nor do we merely desire that Catholics should shrink from the errors of Modernism, but also from the tendencies, or what is called the spirit, of Modernism. Those who are infected by that spirit develop a keen dislike for all that savours of antiquity and become eager searchers after novelties…. The law of our forefathers should still be held sacred: let there be no innovation: keep to what has been handed down.” –Pope Benedict XV, Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914

    One of the signature and most dangerous Conciliar novelties, as we all know, has been that of false ecumenism. Saint Maximilian Kolbe rightly decried ecumenism as the enemy of the Blessed Mother:

    “There is no greater enemy of the Immaculata and her Knighthood than today’s ecumenism, which every Knight must not only fight against, but also neutralize through diametrically opposed action and ultimately destroy.” – Entry of Diary dated April 23, 1933. Cited from Fr. Karl Stehlin, The Immaculata Our Ideal, p.37

    Archbishop Lefebvre believed “that the crisis in the Church is best defined by this liberal ecumenical spirit. I say liberal ecumenism, because there does exist a certain ecumenism that, if it is well defined, could be acceptable. But liberal ecumenism, such as it is practiced by the present Church and especially since the Second Vatican Council, includes veritable heresies.” – Conference of April 14, 1978

    Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, probably qualifies as some sort of charter of liberal ecumenism, besides presenting an insurmountable challenge to the verbal gymnastics of those who argue for that ever elusive “hermeneutic of continuity”.

    A glance at the 162 footnotes is enough to make the point. References to the pre-Conciliar magisterium are virtually non-existent, while the words of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors on the matter in hand appear to have been erased from memory.

    Pope Leo XIII unambiguously condemned false ecumenism’s practice of compromise and ignoring differences:

    “For they contend that it is opportune, in order to work in a more attractive way upon the wills of those who are not in accord with us, to pass over certain heads of doctrine, as if of lesser moment, or to so soften them that they may not have the same meaning which the Church has invariably held…Few words are needed to show how reprehensible is the plan that is thus conceived.” – Testem Benevolentiae, 1899

    What have the neo Catholic New Evangelisers got to say about that? Are the good folks proceeding misguidedly along on the Chemin Neuf willing to belatedly submit to using the essential compass of Tradition?

    The sight of two Carmelite nuns in the photograph at the top of this thread raises the question of what Saint Teresa of Avila would have to say to those following the Chemin Neuf. The great Doctor of the Church issued an unambiguous indictment of the Conciliar ecumania when calling out “… the wretched heretics who will make themselves blind, and who will consider that which they do to be good, and so believe, but without really believing; for they have within themselves something that tells them it is wrong” (Autobiography of Saint Teresa Of Avila, p. 44) and also warning “of heresies by which so many souls are visibly lost…”(ibid, p 99).

    Will gatherings of the Chemin Neuf hear of the above, or of Saint Teresa’s “…vision that filled me with the very great distress which I feel at the sight of so many lost souls, especially the Lutherans, – for they were once members of the Church by baptism, – and also gave me the most vehement desire for the salvation of souls; …I know not how we can be calm, when we see Satan carry so many souls away.”- ibid, p 301-302

    Can anyone seriously dispute that the Popes up to and including Pope Pius XII showed the very same genuinely charitable and truth-based concern for the salvation of souls? Under the instruction of the latter, the Holy Office set forth the unchanging teaching of the Church:

    “Catholic Doctrine must be proposed integrally and in its entirety; one must not pass over in silence or hide in ambiguous terms that which the Catholic truth teaches on the true nature and the stages of justification, on the constitution of the Church, on the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, on the true union by return of separated Christians to the unique true Church of Christ.” – Decree of December 20, 1949

    Compare that with Ut Unum Sint.

    I can almost hear the comments along the familiar lines of intolerance and bitter zeal. There is no doubt that the latter does much damage. Many of us, I’m sure, can vouch for that. Pope Saint Pius X gave due warning:

    “…it is vain to hope to attract souls to God by bitter zeal.” – E Supremi Apostolatus

    And yet, during these days of indifferentism and constant and virtually intolerable scandal coming from the Vicar of Christ and many other successors of the Apostles, Catholics faithful to Tradition must pray that, at God’s choosing, the words of the same sainted Pope in his encyclical, Our Apostolic Mandate, will once more become the constant and unshakeable teaching of the successors of Peter.

    “Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference toward the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being…”

    “Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them.”

    As for the misdirected Chemin Neuf, if anyone is inclined to put it forward as some acceptable and harmless manifestation of the Conciliar New, or rather Non, Evangelisation, just think of the names Manning, Newman, Knox, and Chesterton and the work they did in the Lord’s vineyard, once they entered the Church. Shudder at the thought that anyone, let alone a Prelate, would have ever encouraged them to remain in their error.

    September 8, 2014 at 11:37 pm
    • Dr John Dowden

      Before the thread is entirely lost in negativity, there may be some scope to insert a positive comment among the sourpusses. By all means let the pattern of antiquity be observed, but let us first understand the pattern.

      Well into the nineteenth century, archbishops of Canterbury lived in princely state in Lambeth, with liveried footmen and servants. Now, the horses and carriages are gone, the administration has decamped to Church House north of the river, leaving a middle-aged couple whose children are grown up to rattle about in a vast empty palace. It makes perfect sense to open it up to a wider ecumenical community, prepared to accept his hospitality and support the archbishop’s work by their presence and prayers. They have looked to the pattern of antiquity – French monasticism. The archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of Rome focused some of their most recent discussions on Reginald Pole – the last ever cardinal-archbishop at Lambeth – and have taken his archives and the Italianate garden he planted there as being symbolic of ecumenical cooperation. Here too, looking to the pattern of antiquity an ecumenical spirit has seen Lambeth both as a symbol of lost unity and somewhere where a new unity can grow. We ought to welcome a new growth (as perhaps a true second spring young Mr Newman imagined but saw wasted). But inevitably the sourpusses take umbrage.

      Equally, the nineteenth century saw a vast over-expansion of the religious life – in the English church no less than in foreign churches. The physical result was vast great buildings, many of which (Quarr Abbey is a notable example) were too big almost as soon as they were built. Times have changed – in retirement from Edinburgh, Richard Holloway has written a rather sad and nostalgic book about his lost boyhood seminary but we no longer need quasi-monastic houses to train working-class boys for ministry. Modern safety regulations can make Victorian piles expensive or impossible to run (it can now take scaffolding to change a light fitting) and fire regulations can render much old accommodation unusable without expensive modifications. As for declining vocations, it is not the evil spirit of ‘Vatican II’ – exactly the same decline in numbers can be found in other ecclesial bodies. But again the sourpusses have their axe to grind: let’s condemn new and ecumenical modes of the religious life even if the reach beyond the nineteenth century back to the patterns of antiquity.

      The patterns of antiquity do have an answer. Traditionally, the key monastic vow was never celibacy (nothing to do with it): the pattern of antiquity was ‘stability of life. That idea of seeking God and worshipping Him in community, the idea of stability of life, of persevering ‘even unto death’ within one religious family has lasting value – and was one of France’s gifts to medieval Scotland. So if, in our day, Christians feel called to live in stable communities, that development (while it is probably unsuitable for most of us) is something to be welcomed. Fretting about ‘scandals’ which might emerge if married couples lived in community with single people is just that bit rich for those of us who have recently heard the names ‘Ealing’, ‘Stoneyhurst’ or ‘Fort Augustus’. The good old days of Sourpuss imagination were not so undeniably scandal-free.

      People on the ground can move ecumenism along much more rapidly than church leaders, who are always having to look over their shoulders and fret about what their own extremist wings (living and dead) might think. What Dr Knox, Dr Paisley or the dear undoctored dead might say to a modern proposal is, frankly, neither here nor there. If old buildings can have new life breathed into them by modern communities taking a lead from the patterns of antiquity, that has to be a good thing. If they can do something to move us to visible unity – not an option but rather something we are mandated to seek – so much the better. Who, apart from the sourpuss, dedicated to the momentary patterns of 1848-1958, could object?

      The creative recovery of true patterns of antiquity is much to be welcomed.

      Editor: it is just impossible to reason with you Dowden because you equate Anglicanism with Catholicism and there is no comparison between them as we are tired of explaining to you. You refer to “Mr Newman” instead of Cardinal Newman, which is very disrespectful. Then, you speak of Richard Holloway, the ultra-liberal- several times over heretic, supporter of LGBT rights and then some, who poses as a retired Episcopalian “bishop” when there is no such thing as an Episcopalian or Anglican bishop, citing him as if his opinion on anything were worth a fig. Gerragrip. Your bigotry keeps showing and it’s tiresome.

      Your post is chock full of errors which I have no intention of working through. Life is far too short. The fact that you begin in the 19th century citing the non-Archbishop of Canterbury to support your thesis, speaks for itself. Thankfully, we have a cohort of intelligent and educated bloggers, so I need say no more except that ecumenism of the kind we are seeing in Plymouth Diocese/former Carmelite monastery is a scandal of monumental proportions which will be condemned by the Church authorities when sanity returns, in due course. If you think that’s being “negative” – you betcha. With bells on.

      September 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Editor, I loved Dowden’s claim made somewhere in that spiel that ecumenism can be based on gardening.

        “I do like this hierarchy of truths Your Lordship. Such beautiful petals and that smell …..”

        “Yes, indeed. On the other hand we do not accept your hierarchy of truths. Try this daffodil instead”.

        September 13, 2014 at 9:52 am
    • editor


      Superb. That post is a veritable TAE – Thesis Against Ecumenism, which should be pinned to the door of St Peter’s in Rome. Martin Luther eat your heart out… I’m off to book my plane ticket!

      September 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm
  • Josephine


    That quote from Saint Max Kolbe, about ecumenism being the enemy of the Mother of God, explains why he is never mentioned by priests these days, despite being such a hero in the concentration camp. That’s so interesting.

    The point you make in your final paragraph is also more than interesting – what an amazing thought. If any bishop had told those great Catholic converts not to bother converting, what a shocking thing that would be.

    September 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    • Dr John Dowden

      I am not so sure he is never mentioned these days – there is a world beyond Scotland. Rajmund Kolbe (in religion Maksymilian Maria Kolbe) is fairly often mentioned as a martyr for charity in the twentieth century. He has a statue at Westminster Abbey and has been commemorated in the English Church generally since 2000. Born in Russia of a German father and a Polish mother, educated in the Ukraine and working in the Far East, he has attracted attention in many countries. The story of his heroic death is widely known among youngsters in Europe and St John Paul the Great was a noted fan.

      Editor: St Max Kolbe’s devotion to Our Lady has been suppressed in the interests of the heresy of ecumenism. That was the point being made which again you missed. Not whether there is a statue of him here, there or anywhere else. And note: there is no such saint as “St John Paul the Great.”

      The problem is of course that despite his heroic end, his anti-semitism makes him an ambiguous model. He was by no means in the rabid class of the utterly disgraceful Cardinal Hlond but the bees which buzzed in his bonnet (the Freemasons and the Communists rather than the Jews) meant that the publications (and the radio station) he controlled accepted the notion of the Zionist conspiracy and assumed that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were genuine, so endorsing a key element of Nazi doctrine and doing so at exactly the wrong time.

      Editor: you have a very nasty streak, Dowden, to suggest that the great Saint Max Kolbe was anti-Semitic, but then the Protestant scripture “scholars” say the same thing about St John citing his Gospel as evidence, so at least he’s in good company. And nasty too for suggesting that the Cardinal was anti-Semitic. You really do make it up as you go along.

      So he is not forgotten but any mention of him raises, inevitably, a difficulty – that makes him a bit more interesting than the typical plaster saint, which is probably why St John Paul the Great rather liked him.

      Editor: nasty nasty, yet again; jibe about “plaster saints” speaks volumes about you. And I repeat, there is no saint in the Catholic calendar by the name of St John Paul the Great. St Max Kolbe raises no difficulty except for Protestants like yourself, Dowden, who hate, viciously, the one, true Catholic and apostolic Church of Christ. St Max Kolbe is one of our great Catholic saints: get over it!

      September 9, 2014 at 4:06 pm

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