What IS Being A Catholic In Practice?

What IS Being A Catholic In Practice?

The video, having been deleted by YouTube, is available to view here

OR, you can read Mrs Cornelia Ferreira’s talk here if you prefer, or make notes from the text after viewing her talk in the video.


I found myself in conversation with a Catholic lady earlier today, who reacted with surprise to a number of my comments about contemporary life.  She disagreed with the idea that family life had been corrupted by the feminist movement,  appeared never to have heard of feminism, asking me to define this movement. Click here 

She remained silently disapproving on the themes which I identified as evidence of the damage caused by the feminist movement (broken families, working mothers) and, when the conversation moved on to the importance of avoiding scandal, she shook her head at the very notion of “a dangerous occasion of sin.”   She rightly said that we mustn’t be prudish, we’re not Amish etc., and I wholeheartedly agree. 

It is no exaggeration, however, to say that this lady and I disagreed on just about everything else; she firmly believes that  nothing – “no movement, no ism, nothing that is not sin” –  is connected to the Church, and therefore has nothing to do with our everyday lives. 

I have always believed that everything, but everything, is connected to my Catholic life. Still, the above acquaintance clearly disagrees.  What do YOU think?  

“As for the Sacrament of Matrimony… it will be attacked and deeply profaned… The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished… Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations.

“The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests…

“Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.”  (Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador, on the Church in the 20th century…)  

Comments (43)

  • Michael Morton

    Quick comment. Is she a “Nun”?

    August 5, 2015 at 8:51 pm
    • editor


      No. A married lady.

      August 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm
      • Athanasius


        In this day she could still be a nun!!

        August 5, 2015 at 10:26 pm
      • editor


        Yes – and wearing a priest’s collar for good measure, so to speak! We do live in crazy mixed-up times. No question about it.

        August 6, 2015 at 12:39 am
  • Petrus

    Editor I think the lady to whom you refer is very much a woman of these times.  It sounds like she epitomises, to some extent, the very things that Our Lady warned against at Quito.

    The family is the most fundamental unit of a civilised society.    Look around today and there’s a trail of devastation following most families.  It’s absolutely correct to say that feminism has caused mayhem in families.  Women out at work when not absolutely necessary, caused mainly by rampant capitalism and materialism, contraception fooling women into thinking that they have control over their bodies but enslaving them to careerism, sexual immorality and even sterility.  Children are now effectively brought up by the state through care centres, all day nurseries and after school care.  Truly Communism has come close to triumph.    So many Catholics must have been denied great graces from the Traditional Mass, Sacraments and practices and have, sadly embraced the spirit of this world.  Of course, Catholic Education is entirely secular so what chance have modern Catholics got? 

    Sent from my Samsung device

    August 5, 2015 at 9:08 pm
    • Muffin Man Returns

      “caused mainly by rampant capitalism and materialism”

      Hear, hear!

      Belloc was of the opinion capitalism and communism are two heads of the same beast.

      August 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm
      • editor

        Belloc was spot on. I also like what he said about courtesy…. let’s hope he signs up for this blog soon… 😀

        August 6, 2015 at 12:41 am
    • Fidelis

      I agree that she sounds very like she’s been influenced by the prevailing moral climate.

      I have to say, also, that I, too, think that everything is connected to our Catholic Faith. We can’t stop being Catholics at any point in the week, we’re not just “Sunday Catholics” and that seems to be something that a lot of people don’t realise these days. They think they can live as they choose and as long as they say some prayers and attend Mass on Sundays, they are living a Catholic life.
      That’s not my understanding at all.

      August 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  • Muffin Man Returns

    Modern thinking about the ‘working woman’ has done immense damage to women. Every woman has to work now, even if they don’t want to, and women who choose not to devote all their energy to a career are viewed as defective women. Even Christopher Hitchens said he wouldn’t make his wife work if she didn’t want to, he said she could if she wanted, but he was perfectly content providing for her.

    Our tax and social security system perpetuates this injustice. Regarding this, the following quote is very illuminating:

    This is linked to the neoliberal conception of the entrepreneurial self, the effortlessly protean, constantly busy wheeler and dealer with many projects on the go – for example, the super-mum with career, family, investments, charity events, and socials, all on the go. This self never stops working; even leisure is work, an opportunity for networking, utility maximising, and smiley pictures for Facebook and other online CVs.

    This is from the Guardian and the entire article is a must read, especially for those who are interested in promoting authentic traditional Catholic social doctrine:


    Essentially, we are not free. We have the illusion of freedom because we have some – some – political freedom, but we don’t have economic freedom, we are wage slaves, mostly. Feminism and the destruction of the family are inherently linked to this economic slavery, in essence, Capitalism, an economic ideology which has been condemned by the Church.

    August 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm
  • Helen

    Haha! What planet is she on? Everyone, just everyone knows about the feminist movement whether or not they agree with it. Hilarious! Is she a nun where none are wanted\/ Hahah!

    August 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm
  • crofterlady

    That lady makes me feel sad. She’s not young so one can assume that she was catechised pre-vatican 2 or at least before the real rot set in. How on earth can she take the stance she does in face of all the evidence to the contrary? Don’t understand. All we can do is pray for her.

    August 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm
  • Clotilde

    Crofter Lady
    I think there a lot of folk like this lady out there who just don’t recognise the rotten world for what it is. They might have learnt the faith pre vat2 but been so brain washed by soaps and news that (and now when the faith is so watered down they are spiritually blind) they just don’t SEE.

    I think this is the nub of Cornelia Ferreria’s speech as the tribulations of the world are rooted in the loss of true spirituality and love of God and understanding that we are spiritual beings.
    Communism is ruling now as we see the state taking over our lives, and women who are supposed to be liberated are manipulated by the state into giving up their God-given right to look after their children.

    There was a headline about the state of women’s health in the Mail yesterday. I didnt read it because I don’t like the rag but I realise that more women are dying now than men as they are outliving their wives which is very different from the past…and we all know why.

    August 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm
  • Therese

    Let’s not forget the role of men as the enablers in the success of feminism. They get sex without responsibility,and financial gain in not being the only bread winner for the family. In my experience, men don’t want to give these things up. Apart from the children, women are the biggest victims of feminism; they buy into the myth that having a “career” is important, when for most women (and indeed men), they don’t have a career but a job.

    Years ago a friend of mine explained that she was going back to work after having her child because she wanted to continue her career. I pointed out to her that she worked in a typing pool, which could not be described – in anyone’s fantasy – as a career. In fact, she (and especially her husband) are materialistic, and she was going back to an unfulfilling job to finance a new car for him, and foreign holidays for the family. Every single one of my friends is in a similar position, and their respective spouses have been invested in keeping them in work. Not one of them has a “career”, but they all under the delusion that they do. Most of them are unhappy, and two of them are still working while their husbands have taken early retirement and enjoy playing golf. You couldn’t make it up.

    August 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm
    • Muffin Man Returns

      God forbid she stay at home and become a domestic slave for her misogynistic husband. No, far more important she resume her role as a wage slave.

      Feminism is just one more facet of capitalism.

      August 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm
      • editor

        I remember when I was a wage slave. Those were the days when I could afford a new car… 😀

        August 6, 2015 at 12:42 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        Oh yes, but of course, in a distributist economic system, founded on the ideas put forth in the encyclical of Leo XIII Rerum Novarum, you could have your car, and an acre of land to call your own, and what is more, a cow on it, for the milking : )

        August 6, 2015 at 3:42 pm
      • editor

        As they say in all the best therapy sessions: I hear what you’re saying…

        The problem is, where would I get the money for the car and acre of land, in the first place, not to mention a cow on it for milking – and wages to pay a “milker”…if you think I’m doing that…”

        Great in theory, Muffin Man but, as I keep telling you, you should have picked “Fresh Cream Meringue” for your username – then we could talk business 😀

        August 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm
    • Petrus

      I couldn’t agree more. Weak men have played a huge role in this social crisis. Self gratification and the desire for money are not the hallmarks of strong men, although that’s what the world tells us.

      August 6, 2015 at 8:16 am
      • editor


        I agree. Strong men are those who do what I tell them. You know it makes sense 😀

        August 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm
    • Michaela


      “I pointed out to her that she worked in a typing pool, which could not be described – in anyone’s fantasy – as a career.”

      LOL ! That is what is going on, women kidding themselves that they have a “career” when it’s usually a simple job that anyone could do. They’re not indispensable except, ironically, to the offspring they’re so keen to farm out to child care agencies to raise for them.

      August 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm
  • Alex F

    The natural family unit is being turned on its head in our society. Our children, when we have any, are quickly pushed out of the home to be raised by strangers in institutions while their parents are forced to commute, sometimes for hours, to earn just enough to keep to basics of modern living. The tax system and property prices today are all set up based on both parents working.

    Today, women are in a terrible position. They are taught that they are failures as human beings if they choose to raise their own children and step out of the hamster wheel that is the modern workplace. As a family, they will suffer financial hardship, and bring down upon themselves the opprobrium of their peers. And as if that’s not weird enough, some of these poor reprobates even decide to home-educate. Today, if a woman is generous with the gifts God has given her she is branded a baby-making machine. They will say she is chained to the kitchen sink, and a repressed slave to her misogynistic husband, as if his role to provide for the family is not also a cross.

    Having a respectable career isn’t all it’s made out to be. Most honourable professions today are focussed primarily on avoiding litigation and I’ve never spoken to a doctor, teacher or social worker who doesn’t complain that most of their job today is paper-pushing. A mother who doesn’t have a career, or has taken a break from her career, is a nurse, a teacher, an accountant, a caterer, a painter and decorator, cleaner and a lawyer all at once. But all of the work she does is dismissed as useless and and demeaning by her sisters.

    I am not criticising women who do work in careers. With the cost of living today, many families just have no alternative because a father would have to earn quite a high income if a family is to manage on one salary. A family has to make the best of a bad situation. But likewise, the way our society treats families who try to live a natural, let alone Catholic, lifestyle is quite disgraceful.

    August 5, 2015 at 10:30 pm
    • Muffin Man Returns

      The problem is capitalism.

      August 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm
      • Alex F

        I can’t remember who said that today we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing! Unless something can be defined in monetary terms, it is of no value, so raising children has no value.

        It’s capitalism and socialism at once, which are two extremes of the same evil.

        August 5, 2015 at 11:07 pm
      • Muffin Man Returns

        It was Tony Benn to Margaret Thatcher.

        August 5, 2015 at 11:11 pm
      • editor

        The problem is Godlessness.

        I’m no advocate of, or apologist for, any economic or political system – they’re all, in the end, Godless, and that’s the problem, so please don’t go angling for this to turn into a battle of political ideologies. The “great and the good” are all nuts, as far as I’m concerned and those who fall into the adulation of any politician, are useful idiots, whether of the muffin or cream meringue variety 😀

        So, let’s stick to the relevant issues. I hope everyone has viewed the video and/or read Cornelia’s talk because it is very informative indeed, some of the most instructive points coming later in her talk.

        To whoever made the point about careers, I have to say that, with very few exceptions indeed, I have never met anyone in my working life, women included, who were working for any other reason than to earn money. A couple of colleagues have said they thought they’d be bored at home if not working, but the vast majority said they wouldn’t be working but for the fact that they needed the shekels.

        August 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm
      • Alex F

        I’ve listened to part of the talk, but it’s an hour long, so I’ll listen to the rest tomorrow, because it’s well past my bedtime!

        I wasn’t advocating any political or economic model. As I said, both capitalism and socialism are extremes of the same evil. But what I said ties in with the prophesy you quoted. In order for most families to maintain a standard of living equitable to their peers, they have to limit the number of children they have and/or entrust their education to state schools where it is certain they will be corrupted into the values of the modern world, and drastically increase the risk of the loss of their souls. If the Quito prophecies are true, and if Our Lady is referring to this age, the final paragraph you quote in your comment could be an exact description of this phenomenon.

        August 6, 2015 at 1:04 am
      • editor


        I understand with your point and of course you are correct about capitalism and socialism being twins, so to speak. They are both expressions of the Godlessness that underlies what we are witnessing in our society today. .

        Looks like you are not going to get to see the rest of the video – there’s a notice on the screen saying the account has been closed – I watched the talk right through yesterday, so I’m concerned that the “complaints” may have come about via complaints from enemies of ours – I sincerely hope not, but have emailed Cornelia Ferreira to alert her to the situation. You can read the rest of her talk by clicking on the link to the text, underneath the video.

        August 6, 2015 at 10:32 am
      • Petrus


        I couldn’t agree more. Atheism is to blame here. The Prince of Darkness knows what he is doing.

        August 6, 2015 at 8:16 am
  • Muffin Man Returns

    Not just communism, capitalism leads to this as well.

    August 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    In answer to your header: “What IS being a Catholic in Practice?”, fellow bloggers (and lurkers) need look no further than St. Alphonsus Liguori’s treatise on “Obedience to God’s Will” where they will find that the Saint goes straight to the heart of the question.

    It is available on the link below from whence it can either be read on screen, downloaded to a mobile, downloaded in .pdf to a computer or listened to as an audio file – all four methods incur no charge.

    It takes little more than half and hour to read from end to end, and I highly recommend it, not only as very worthwhile spiritual reading, but also as a source of great comfort in adversity,


    August 6, 2015 at 8:45 am
    • editor


      Thank you for that. However, I fear you misunderstand the purpose of the thread.

      Had YOU been in conversation with that lady yesterday, you would have had no problem with her. She would have been delighted if you’d said, “Oh being a Catholic? Look no further than this lovely piece of spiritual reading…”

      Had you tried to spell out “obedience to God’s will” in practice, as I tried to do, you would have found yourself in some difficulty. I had to point out that I wasn’t getting to finish a sentence because she was barracking me which she wouldn’t have done had I merely recommended that she read the writings of St Alphonsus or any other saint.

      It is very basic that we pray and do spiritual reading, Leprechaun. That is for the sanctification of our souls, but the sanctification of our souls also requires that we be apostles for the truth whenever possible.

      Nobody is ever unpopular for recommending prayer and spiritual reading, so, yet again allow me to express my gratitude for your important reminder that the spiritual life is at the centre of our lives.

      It is at the centre of our lives, however, so that we may evangelise, so any sound-bites you may have to offer to help enlighten people like the lady I met yesterday, would be most welcome. Whole sentences didn’t work!

      August 6, 2015 at 10:40 am
      • leprechaun

        Madame Editor,

        On realising that your good intentions were not being well-received, you could have shaken the dust from your sandals and moved on, as Our Lord advised His apostles, and begun a fresh conversation with someone else – but we all like a challenge.

        I will try to think of a sound-bite like: “Be quiet when I am talking to you” or “Don’t interrupt when I am speaking” – as a successful teacher in the past you must surely have a few up your sleeve.

        Thank you for your gentle correction of my misconception of your intention.

        August 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm
      • editor


        I didn’t get the chance to “shake the dust” – she did it first! Got up right after a nugget of Catholic teaching had, I thought, spilled as divinely inspired from my humble lips, when she announced that we wouldn’t be talking again – which really, as a mean Scotswoman, should have been music to my ears since she paid for the coffee, on the understanding that it would be my turn next time. No “next time” and I’m quids in… 😀

        What’s this about my “gentle correction”… I must be slipping… 😯

        August 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm
  • spudeater

    Following on from Leprechaun’s inspired post and with a passing acknowledgement to St.Alphonsus as well, I suppose the contents of the link could be summed up in these two sayings:

    Firstly, from the extraordinary Fr.John Sullivan S.J. (1861-1933):
    To say ‘Deo gratias’ to everything is to be a saint.

    And this from Cardinal Newman:
    Every event in my life is the best for me that could be for it comes from Thee.

    I realise the advice is easier (a lot easier) said than done but as the trainee kamikaze pilot said – Practice makes perfect.

    August 6, 2015 at 10:52 am
    • editor

      Leprechaun and Spudeater,

      I should perhaps have explained that my conversation with the lady began with her expressed pleasure at having been enrolled in the Brown Scapular. There really was no issue about the importance of the spiritual life. If anything, that was precisely what she wanted to hammer home – that nothing matters except “Christ” – not avoiding occasions of sin (shake of the head in disbelief at the very idea), single women like me should mind their own business and let whoever wants to contracept, contracept – that was not stated explicitly; she was very careful not to say that, but the issues surrounding marriage, cohabitation, contraception, motherhood, in particular full-time, stay-at-home motherhood, priest friendships with women, were the issues which irritated her, with bells on. That was very clear, as direct questions to clarify her position were not answered. Go figure, as our American friends say.

      Note: believe it or not, I have a very good priest friend myself but she roundly disagreed with my contention that such friendships could be dangerous (not mine – the only danger is that Father Long-Suffering will cancel his newsletter one of these days). She appeared to see no difference at all with such friendships and any other friendships. I mean, I could knock around the town with Athanasius all day long every day (if only he’d stop shaking me off) but to be going around with a priest day in and day out could be misinterpreted. She thought that was “their” problem. I disagree.

      I hate to sound ungrateful, therefore, because your spiritual advice and exhortations are, indeed, wonderful, but in the present context I feel a little bit like a mother who takes her sick child to the doctor only to be told that she ought to be sure to give him some breakfast, some dinner and perhaps some tea every day… Yes, Doctor, thanks for that, but how do I deal with the fact that he keeps being sick all over the place… !

      August 6, 2015 at 3:59 pm
      • Michaela

        I would entrust this woman to Our Lady – if she’s been enrolled in the Brown Scapular, she will come to the truth soon enough.

        August 6, 2015 at 8:34 pm
  • Fidelis

    I can’t help wondering if the lady you met yesterday had something to do with the YouTube video being deleted. Her name is not given and you don’t say whether she even reads this blog, so I’m not being pointed or making accusations. It just seems very coincidental, as I’ve seen that video before, when following the Fatima Conference talks on YouTube. Mrs Ferreira is a regular speaker on different topics at those conferences, and I’ve seen this one before. It just seems odd that it’s been removed by YouTube now. Somebody must have complained, I presume? Is there any way to find out?

    August 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm
    • editor


      I certainly wouldn’t like to think that any Catholic would be so mean-spirited and irrational as to take such censorious action.

      Yes, the lady in question does read the blog and, in fact, praised it to me during our meeting. Almost her last words to me when we said our “goodbyes” were in praise of this blog and the good it does, so I’d prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt and, coincidence as it is, not lay any blame at her door. After all, nobody knows her name, nobody knows that we were meeting (it was a chance meeting, in fact, not pre-arranged) so there really is no motive for her to do something so underhand. No motive, but was there opportunity? Did she have the means? I really must stop watching and reading detective stories!

      In fact, she is a very intelligent person and when I had the idea of posting this thread, it occurred to me that she would actually welcome it; intelligent people like to learn, or so I’m told (!) and I thought that, perhaps since our discussion had become rather heated, she may, faced with some facts and figures, so to speak, a definition and history of feminism, maybe hearing someone like Cornelia, much more knowledgeable on the subject than my unworthy self, reconsider her position, the thread just might have the effect of making her think again about the whole issue of what should concern us as Catholics… or not, as the case may be.

      Yes, I’m sure that would have been the result of her reading this thread – not a vengeful decision to have the video deleted on YouTube. That’s what I’m going to presume, unless irrefutable evidence to the contrary emerges.

      Now, where DID I put my Agatha Christie?????

      August 6, 2015 at 6:54 pm
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    Although the Youtube version of Mrs Ferreira’s talk has been withdrawn by Youtube on the grounds of multiple copyright infringements, it can still be viewed at this link below in case any bloggers/lurkers arriving late on the scene are wondering what the thread is all about:


    As it is in the public domain, I think I am entitled to propagate it even if Youtube won’t. I should like to see anybody try to issue a summons against Fr. Gruner.

    August 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm
    • editor

      Brilliant, Leprechaun. I’ll place that link into the blog article so that the video can still be viewed, despite the efforts of whichever nutter(s) have tried to censor it. Thank you.

      I’ve now had a reply from Cornelia and she is having the matter investigated.

      “Issue a summons against Fr Gruner”? That most definitely WOULD be a waste of time, energy and money!

      August 6, 2015 at 6:43 pm
      • Michaela

        LOL ! An “eternal” waste of time, energy and money !

        August 6, 2015 at 8:35 pm
  • editor

    Well folks, I’ve had a reply from Cornelia. Mystery solved…

    The Fatima Center investigated and found that a woman had pirated 60 of their videos, which are copyrighted, and put them on her website, which she named just “Fatima”. She might have also made some changes to it.

    You Tube realized that there were thus “multiple” copyright infringements. So it’s the video from her site that’s blocked; the real Fatima Center site one is still up, as we found out by linking to it.

    August 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    What is it to be a Catholic in practice? Two answers, both my efforts, one a list, the second a one-liner.

    1. To be a Catholic is to:

    i. be validly baptised
    ii. hold to the integral Catholic Faith as stipulated by the opening paragraph of the Athanasian Creed;
    iii. be in communion with the See of Rome in the person of the Pope, insofar as he teaches the orthodox Catholic Faith;
    iv. pray with regularity and discipline;
    v. partake of the Sacraments regularly, particularly Confession and Holy Communion;
    vi. live one’s life according to the Ten Commandments and the precepts of the Church.

    2. To be a Catholic is to live one’s entire life with a sincere love of and faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ so that the reality of the invisible world dominates in every way how one lives one’s life in the visible world.

    August 16, 2015 at 7:55 pm

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