Pope Calls For Less Rigid Church (Again)

Pope Calls For Less Rigid Church (Again)

PopeFrancispensivecroppedPope Francis called on the Catholic church on Tuesday to stop clinging to conservatism and fundamentalism as a defensive response to the problems it is facing, and said the church ought to be “bruised, hurting and dirty” instead of obsessed with money and power.

The sweeping remarks before an audience of Italian bishops at a conference in Florence were a stark reminder of the way in which Pope Francis is trying to shake up a church that in many ways is losing relevance around the world, and continues to be battered by allegations of financial mismanagement and greed at the heart of the Vatican.

“Before the problems of the church it is not useful to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally,” the pope said.

“Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives. But it is alive, knows being unsettled … it does not have a rigid face, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.”

The comments come at a critical juncture for Francis. Last month, a high-level group of bishops from around the world met at the Vatican and engaged in a vigorous debate over how the church ought to respond to changes in the modern family, including the prevalence of divorce.

While Francis has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to portray the church as a less rigid and less dogmatic institution, which stands with people who live on the margins of society, there are factions in the church that are vigorously resisting his plea for the church to be more flexible and open. Click here to read more 


The Pope is saying, in effect, “don’t search for solutions to the Church’s problems in Catholic Tradition” – or am I misinterpreting his words?  If that is what he IS saying, what’s the alternative? As I see it, the key problem today is the apostasy – widespread loss of divine and Catholic Faith.  So, if the solution is not to restore Catholic Tradition where it has been lost, where DO we search for a solution to the Church’s problems?

Comments (71)

  • John


    First let me say welcome back(have you managed to get a tan from your lovely beach holiday?😀 )

    As for a solution to the church’s problem’s I think we both know there is only one answer THE ROSARY.
    Humanly speaking there is no way back for the Catholic church the wolves hold every top position in the
    Vatican as well as the seminary’s whatever is left of them , and they will make sure any future key position will be filled by fellow wolves. Note how Cardinal Nichol’s was selected to be one of the ten advisers for the next synod.and how this synod was ruthlessly manipulated.Sorry for a depressing start to this new thread but I really believe only Gods help now can save the church. Obviously we all have to do whatever we can to teach and inform family , friends, and whoever is interested that there is a crisis in the Catholic Church.

    November 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for your lovely welcome! I’m glad to be back (no tan, unfortunately. The Scottish version of the Bahamas leaves a tan to be desired!)

      Your assessment of the crisis at the present time is spot on. And Our Lady has made it very clear that the Rosary is the weapon which “has been given a new efficacy for our times” to quote Sr Lucia.

      So, you are totally correct to emphasise that but to add, also, our duty to inform and educate others. Not easy when they look at us with the obvious question written all over their faces: “What was the name of your Psychiatrist, again?” 😀

      See if we care!

      November 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm
  • gabriel syme

    To listen to Francis, its as though he wants to take the Church off the same cliff that liberal Protestantism has gone over. He seems very much on the side of the world, not the Church.

    I, for one, have never met a sincere Catholic who is very pro-Francis. Usually people cant wait to see the back of him, sad though that is to say. (I know many clergy are sick to the back teeth of his whining, carping style where he has nothing good to say about anything half-way Catholic).

    I do not detect much enthusiasm for him anyway, other than among the secular media and his fellow aged modernists. I once read a saying “The Modernists have no followers” and I think that is indeed true.

    Ultimately I think the thrust of the Florence speech was “lets just make it up as we go, popularity with the world is what is important”.

    I think most Cardinals regret electing him, as per this piece from a few weeks ago indicates:

    “If a conclave were to be held today, Francis would be lucky to get ten votes,” a Vatican source told me at the time. “He gets an A-plus on public relations, but an F on all the rest.”


    November 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      While I have no doubt that you are right about many clergy being sick to the back teeth of Pope Francis, there are also some who would consider themselves to be orthodox, traditional leaning, even, and still can’t bring themselves to criticise him. One told me recently that he’ll wait for the final synod document before believing the reports. I must make a point of being on hand with the smelling salts when the final document is published!

      As for that anonymous Vatican source who claims a fresh conclave would see off the Bergoglio election – I’m not so sure. Even those bishops who seemed to be standing up to the machinations at the synod are now saying that it was not as bad as they had expected – what????? The divorced and remarried may be able to receive Holy Communion on a “case by case” basis, if the synod recommendations are accepted by Pope Francis (highly likely) – making a mockery of Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the nature of sin – and they tell us it’s “not as bad as they expected”?

      Sadly, I think (and this is only my own personal view) that were the conclave to be held tomorrow, the result would be the same as it was, lamentably, in 2013. Or should that be 1913? Seems like a century!

      November 11, 2015 at 10:44 pm
  • christmasliszt

    As Franco Bellegrandi notes in his devastating book “NikitaRoncalli, Counterlife of a Pope” the Church at and after VII became the cult of man and the financially poor, and dismembered its mission as the Ark of Salvation. Pope Francis is the epitome, or should I say the bottom of this Conciliar abyss. His entire focus is not only on worldly issues, but he has also become a useful idiot for many leftist/New World Order fraudulent wealth redistribution schemes, like “climate change.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, he openly attacks Tradition, whereas his Conciliar predecessors merely engaged in the mealy-mouthed obscuring of it via “pastoral practices” that allegedly (wink-wink) kept doctrine intact.

    Given all this, I’ve reached the conclusion that it is entirely reasonable to question whether Pope Francis is even Catholic, and to agree with Christopher Ferrara, as he claims in his latest column, that this Papacy is a clear and present danger to the Church…or what’s left of it. I’ve been praying for his conversion along with the Consecration of Russia. Meanwhile, I don’t think any of us in the traditionalist remnant should expect anything but a rapid downhill acceleration of the Passion of the Church, courtesy of the present Pope. I think he is either another Judas,i.e. the catalyst for the Passion, or another Saul of Tarsus – and if the latter, I hope his itinerary includes a trip to Damascus in the near future.

    November 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm
    • editor


      Well said! And if any bloggers wish to contribute to that trip to Damascus, send a cheque to Christmasliszt, marked “Pope’s Conversion Trip” (PCT) and he will organise the Pope’s flight and hotel…

      Well… it’s definitely worth a try 😀

      November 11, 2015 at 10:48 pm
      • christmasliszt

        Operators are standing by….

        November 11, 2015 at 11:54 pm
  • Bernadette Milliken

    Comment removed.

    You’ve been asked not to post such comments in the past. Now all of your comments are being read by me (i.e. moderated) and only released if they are on topic. As you must realise, other posts of yours have been consigned to the dustbin. This one is a kindly reminder that you are – literally – not going to get through to us unless you stop posting schismatic (if not downright ridiculous) comments. Take the hint – Editor.

    November 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm
  • Vianney

    If Pope Francis wants a less rigid Church he should join the Anglicans.

    November 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm
  • christmasliszt November 12, 2015 at 12:05 am
  • John

    A recent video of the late Fr Gruner explaining even if it was the Pope saying the divorced should be allowed to receive holy communion there was no better way of sending a soul to hell.
    I wonder what Fr Gruner would be saying now.


    November 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm
    • editor


      Thanks for that most timeous reminder of Father Gruner’s strong Catholic Faith and clear answers to key questions.

      November 12, 2015 at 8:34 pm
  • Attono

    Back To The Old Springtime.

    Fifty years a running,
    On your mark now, get set,
    A new springtime on the horizon,
    Alas, sure I’m all out of breath.

    Me knees are all weak and nobly,
    And worse, I’m awfully thin,
    In the gentle breeze You whispered
    “It’s time to start over agin”

    Introibo ad altare Dei,
    The Way, the Life, and the Truth,
    “Father, it’s me I’m coming home”
    To the God who giveth joy to my youth.

    Confiteor Deo omnipotenti,
    I’ve travelled a road that is wide,
    Mea culpa, mea culpa,
    Puffed up with arrogance and pride.

    Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison,
    Gloria in excelsis Deo,
    May Your praises be sung, Your glory shine forth,
    From Toowoomba, to the heart of County Mayo.

    Hoc est enim Corpus meum,
    My Lord, My God, and my All,
    Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei,
    Creation bows in awe.

    Domine, non sum dignus,
    In me Thy will be it done,
    As I kneel at foot of the alter,
    To receive my God on my tongue.

    Away now with handshakes and huggies,
    And quietly without further ado,
    Call on St. Michael the Archangel,
    To give Satan the comeuppance he’s due.

    November 12, 2015 at 7:23 pm
    • editor


      Well said. I’ve just had a (failed) crack at writing poetry myself on the General Discussion thread, so I’ll not even think of competing with your latest offering. Poetic in both Latin and English – WOW!

      November 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm
      • Attono


        Catholic truth, to have and to hold,
        Why settle for dross, when we’ve got pure gold.


        November 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm
  • editor

    Well, we’re set to get a “less rigid Church” whether we want it or not.

    Click here to read the rightly headlined “Bombshell” report over at Rorate Caeli: Pope to His Favorite Journalist: “All the Divorced who ask will be admitted [to Communion]”

    As we thought all along, the upshot (or outcome!) of the Synod is to be the admission of the divorced and “remarried” to Holy Communion – Pope Francis at their service…

    November 13, 2015 at 12:05 am
    • christmasliszt

      In other words, the “Synod” was a dog-and-pony show for the Pope to get what he wants (or…for the Lavender Mafia to get what it wants) via the guise of a phony parliamentarian, collegial process. I still maintain that the real objective of all this mealy-mouthed posturing is to force the Church to remove its condemnation of homosexuality – all this baloney about the divorced and remarried is just a feint, most of them are already receiving Communion in the Novus Ordo Church. This is how the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a disorder in 1974: by stacking its board with homosexuals and their sympathizers who would vote for the desired outcome. In the case of the Church, however, the desired outcome is too radical to pursue directly, so an indirect means has been developed.

      November 13, 2015 at 2:12 pm
  • Frankier

    “All the divorced who ask will be permitted”. So what’s new about that since they have been allowing it for years now?

    The rot set in with Cardinals like +Cushing (RIP) kowtowing to ones like The Kennedys and Sinatras. It went on from there.

    It is all being arranged to accommodate the rich and famous. Politicians, actors, so-called professionals and maybe it would be a requirement for a married priesthood. Certainly not for your common five-eighths working class nonentities.

    You can be sure if a wee shop worker or mill worker took time off from work to nip over to the local bishop for a chat about it they would soon get short shrift. They would probably find out anyway that the bishop was away on business to America or China.

    The thing that puzzles me is why there is such a high demand for concubines and their masters to receive holy communion when knowingly being in a state of sin. The only reason I can think of is that is as good a way of hiding an affair from your partner. If you don’t approach the altar the partner would be wondering what you had been getting up to behind backs, so it is actually a good way of carrying on with a bit of jookery pokery without being found out.

    So, well done to Pope Francis if this does come to pass. We could call it a Reprobates’ Charter, in Latin of course. That would make it sound quite respectable.

    November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  • Therese

    The rot set in with Cardinals like +Cushing (RIP) kowtowing to ones like The Kennedys and Sinatras. It went on from there.

    Spot on.

    I don’t agree about the “wee shop worker or mill worker” though. I think the bishops would be quite happy to accommodate them – I just doubt that there will be a stampede from the divorced and remarried to apply for permission. They’ve proven by their actions that they don’t consider the Church’s teaching applies to them, therefore one must conclude that they don’t have that much love for the Faith, so why would they go to the bother of going to Mass on a Sunday so that they can receive Holy Communion? I think this is rather the wish of certain bishops (and the pope of course) and they are absolutely determined to undermine the moral teaching of the Church by such actions.

    November 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm
  • Frankier


    The bishops don’t accommodate them when it comes to special Masses in the way they accommodate the medical, legal and teaching professions.

    I personally have never heard of a “wee shop or millworker Mass” in the same way as, say, a Red Mass.

    I am a wee bit puzzled by your statement questioning why anyone would bother going to Mass
    to receive communion when they don’t have much love for the faith. The fact is, believe it or not,
    there are people with a great love for the faith who do go to Mass and receive communion but who are, seemingly anyway, living in sin. Sometimes people get themselves into situations when they are younger that they deeply regret when older but find it difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve the situation.

    If there were no such persons then I really don’t think there would have been a Synod called in the first instance.

    Maybe, although I am not condoning their actions, the bishops in favour of allowing certain people
    to receive communion may know many unfortunate souls like I do.

    The perception seems to be among certain folks that every person who separates from their partner and co-habits with another is intrinsically evil. That is anything but the case.

    Sometimes it’s wise to think “there but the grace of God…….”.

    November 13, 2015 at 9:31 pm
    • christmasliszt


      In response to your statement, “If there were no such persons then I really don’t think there would have been a Synod called in the first instance” – as I posted above, I don’t believe for one minute that this Synod had anything to do with the “divorced and remarried.” The strong presence of the Lavender Mafia at this Synod (by design), and the language about homosexuals inserted into the original Relatio, indicates to me that the real purpose of this blatant farce was to open a door to the Church’s acceptance of homosexuality. But to address that evil move overtly was judged too radical, so instead we are witnessing its introduction through the back door, as it were. There is also an incremental strategy at work here, namely, if you loosen the bonds of moral doctrine in one area, other areas will more easily follow.

      November 14, 2015 at 12:18 am
      • editor


        The fact is, the final document as presented by the Synod Bishops to the Pope, recommends a case by case “pathway” to allow adulterers to receive Holy Communion. Whether or not your theory about homosexuality is correct or not, there is a definite move to legitimise divorce and “remarriage” – listen to the language used by the bishops who speak about the “remarried” without the inverted commas. Don’t, please don’t fail to see the wood for the trees. No need to create false dichotomies. There is an agenda to soften the teaching on homosexuality as well, no doubt about it, but that doesn’t mean smoke and mirrors in the matter of allowing divorced and “remarried” (plus cohabitees) to approach for Holy Communion, thus undermining both the Commandments and Canon Law.

        November 14, 2015 at 12:31 am
      • christmasliszt


        I will try to clarify a bit. I agree that the destruction of Church teaching on divorce and remarriage is every bit as disastrous as changing the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. However, I honestly don’t think any of the clergy who are pushing this blasphemy really give a horse’s hind end about the spiritual welfare of adulterers who betake themselves to the Communion rail (or the hand of the Extraordinary Minister/movie ticket dispenser, as the case may be), as this situation has been going on for at least 2 generations now. I think they are just using the issue, of which they have been well aware of for many years, to leverage the homosexuality issue. We are being set up, in other words, for a double whammy.

        November 15, 2015 at 1:02 am
      • christmasliszt

        And to prove my point about these clergy, the solution they propose only sinks said adulterers even deeper into the pit. I mean, how solicitous can they get (he asked, tongue firmly in cheek)?

        November 15, 2015 at 1:05 am
      • editor

        Perhaps I am just not getting it, maybe we’re at cross purposes, but it seems to me that there has been no sweeping under the carpet of the homosexuality agenda. The Modernists, including the “Synod Fathers” (think Cardinal Nichols for starters) are now quite open about it, and speak always of the divorced and “remarried”, cohabitees and same-sex couples, in the same breath. I would include an example quote but they’re all over the place and I’m more than usually in need of my beauty sleep tonight – don’t ask 😀

        It really isn’t an “either/or” any more – I’ve just been scouring the so-called Catholic newspapers and all the usual (modernist) suspects are openly espousing the we must allow those in (here’s the latest euphemism) ‘non-conventional relationships’ to approach for Communion.”

        Honestly, trust me. I’m not wrong on this one. You must know by now, anyway, that even if I’m not always right, I’m never wrong 😀

        And this is extremely serious – please do not minimise the gravity of this expected announcement about the “remarried” because you appear to know of cases where the “remarried” have approached for Communion “for two generations”. Maybe some have. Maybe a lot of them have. But never EVER have they done so with the express permission and approval of the Pope.

        This is more serious than there are words in the dictionary to describe. This is a Pope Francis Special. You can’t trust popes like him, trust me…

        November 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm
    • editor


      I see it quite a lot. I hear about it quite a lot.

      The pro-lifer to whom abortion suddenly doesn’t seem quite so bad when her daughter falls pregnant out of wedlock.

      The son who gets mixed up in crime and pinches things, robs and steals. It’s the system. He’s a good lad really, at heart.

      A friend said to me once, when we were discussing the homosexual issue, that I would be amazed at the number of Catholics who suddenly defended the disorder on discovering that one of their own children had that “orientation”. I’m not amazed. It seems to be a weakness in many, if not most, parents, who seem not to have heard or understood the importance of spiritual detachment, a detachment of natural affections that puts their child’s best interests and eternal salvation above an affection which is really nothing more than emotionalism and like most emotionalism, entirely superficial. Real love is different from superficial emotionalism. Very different.

      Frankier, I think we’ve had this conversation before, and I’ve pointed out to you that there are very few of us who do not have siblings, cousins, friends in irregular sexual relationships. Just as there are some of us who have relatives and/or friends who are guilty of other sins – aren’t we all? Guilty of sins, I mean, not relatives 😀

      Just because someone I know and love is living in sin, doesn’t mean it ceases to be a sin. Doesn’t mean that he or she is “evil” – but it does mean that they are doing something evil. And if they persist in doing evil, it may, very likely, take them to Hell.

      We don’t know how God judges souls, at the moment of death. But if we believe, with divine and Catholic Faith, that Our Lord meant it when He said “If you love Me you will keep my Commandments”, then we will respond to the grace available to us NOT to persist in grave and mortal sin. We will put the good of our soul above all other human desires. They pass. Eternity is forever.

      I cannot grasp this idea that somehow receiving Holy Communion will help those manifest public sinners who are committing adultery and may even have formalised their sin by attempting a second “marriage”. How on earth will that help? And why on EARTH would anyone in such a situation WANT to receive Holy Communion which, by definition, means living in union with Christ? Christ who said (Mark 10:5) that to put away one’s wife and marry another is to commit adultery…

      Christ’s teaching, communicated to us through His Church, as is His will, is very simple. Anyone who wishes to enjoy sexual pleasure must marry a member of the opposite gender, pledge to stay together in all circumstances, good or bad, until death. If we reject that teaching, we cannot claim to be living in union with Our Lord and we must, logically, therefore, refrain from approaching for Holy Communion, in order to avoid making a mockery of the sacrament, and thus risk our eternal salvation.

      And, sorry, I don’t go along with this “there but for the grace of God go I” as if some of us are somehow privileged to have some kind of extra help from God that keeps us from committing these sins. That would be most unjust – would, in fact, make the case for the Kasper proposal big time. God gives us ALL, each one of us, whatever grace we need to keep His moral law, not just you or me.

      The members of my own family who have strayed from the narrow path know that they are loved both by God and by me. But neither God nor I has the power to repent of their sin – only they can do that and if they don’t …. well, that is clearly their decision. God’s help/grace is there for the asking.

      Finally, allow me to underline the fact that it is not empty theory or wishful thinking to argue as I have just done in this post. I have a personal friend who lived for years with a divorced man, having “married” him in a registry office. Both Catholics. Both attended Mass, but did not approach for Communion, throughout their lives. They had children. Then, one day, they made the decision to stop living as husband and wife, and start living as brother and sister. From then on, my friend told me, they’d never been happier, never closer.

      So, it can be done. Contrary to what Cardinal Kasper has said, we are ALL called to heroic sanctity. And as my friends’ experience has shown, Our Lord makes good on HIs promise to reward one hundredfold those who give up father, mother, husband or wife for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel [i.e. truth] both in this world and in the world to come.

      Here endeth the lesson… For now – I will be back!

      November 14, 2015 at 12:27 am
    • Therese


      I am a wee bit puzzled by your statement questioning why anyone would bother going to Mass to receive communion when they don’t have much love for the faith.

      That’s not what I wrote. If you love and respect the Faith, no matter what your sins are, you would not expect – or even wish – for the Church to accommodate its teachings to your desires. That wouldn’t be love for the Faith, it would be love for yourself. If, as you say, there are people who are divorced and remarried and who are not living as brother and sister,and who are receiving Holy Communion, then that is against Church teaching, and they know it is against Church teaching, and it is wrong. It’s that simple.

      We all make mistakes, some of them serious. We have to accept the consequences of those mistakes, and do what we can to atone for them.

      November 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm
      • editor


        Got it in one. It’s the refusal to accept the consequences of their actions, coupled with this crazy notion that somehow God will bless them through Holy Communion despite their continuing to live in opposition to His will for them, that really has me wondering what on earth is going on in the heads of those prelates pushing for the much lauded “pathway” for the divorced and “remarried”/cohabitees/homosexual partners etc.

        Click here to listen to Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Doyle (Northampton) speaking at the press conference in London after the Synod to get a feel of what the “less rigid Church” of the “liberals” will look like… Clue: NOT like Catholicism.

        November 14, 2015 at 11:34 pm
      • Frankier


        I have a nephew whose wife went off with another man. He, a few years later, took up with a single woman with whom he now has a family. He never went near Holy Communion until his parish priest (God now rest him) told him to go to communion whenever he wished. I told him he shouldn’t be receiving the sacrament whether the priest advised it or not. He decided to carry on.

        He is a minister of the Eucharist, if that is the correct title.

        However, in conversation with another nephew only last week I suggested that maybe I was wrong in interfering in his affairs since he and his partner could possibly be living as brother and sister or even as a lodger.

        His partner has/had a serious illness so I feel I may have overstepped the mark a wee bit since his parish priest would know things I certainly could never know unless I got myself a torch, a set of ladders and a pair of moccasins.

        In future I will keep my mouth shut.

        This is the reason I stated “there but for the grace of God etc”, although
        I should be the last person to be pointing out anyone’s faults, especially to their face.

        November 16, 2015 at 1:39 am
      • editor


        I had a friend whose husband abandoned her to live with another woman with whom he then had four children. The injustice is apparent, but it’s not God’s fault, not the Church’s fault. The responsibility for that abandoned wife’s plight, for the injustice, for her loneliness, lies squarely on the shoulders of the unfaithful husband. We need to keep a clear mind on these issues, unless we want to end up as confused Modernists.

        As for remaining silent – that is one of the 9 ways, the Catechism specifies, that we share in the sin of another. You don’t need a torch, a set of ladders etc. That’s why two unmarried people living together is called “manifest public sin”. The friends to whom I referred above, made a point of calling their children together to explain that they would still be living under the same roof but would be having two single beds delivered and would henceforth NOT be living as husband and wife. The children were older and my friends knew it was important to make it clear that they were making their peace with God and not living in manifest public sin any longer. Then they told others – myself included – so that we would not be scandalised further.

        So, be assured, you were not interfering and you were right to say what you did to your nephew. I’m sure you were as kindly in what you said as possible under the circumstances, but, most importantly, you had the courage to care more about the salvation of your nephew’s soul that about his passing human feelings. In fact, it might put your mind at rest, and give your nephew something to think about, if you explain now that you have heard of at least one couple in their situation who made the decision to live as brother and sister in order to make their peace with God, and perhaps they have done the same, in which case you wish to apologise for any hurt caused. Now, there’s a way of perhaps making them think again if they are still living as husband and wife, while at the same time, getting back in their good books! Machiavellian? Me?

        November 16, 2015 at 10:13 am
      • Therese


        I do understand the heartbreak of a broken marriage. My own mother was a victim, and was left, as a young woman, with 2 children to bring up on her own. She worked very hard, and never gave a thought for herself. I was lucky to have the example of such a mother, as she never wavered in her loyalty and love for the Faith. She sacrificed everything she had to keep a roof over our heads and bring us up as Catholics, and loved us very dearly, but she always made it clear that if we ever married outside the Church she would not attend the “marriage”. It would have hurt her dearly to do so, but she loved us too much and cared too much for our souls to condone such an act. She certainly wouldn’t have “shunned” us, but I know that she would have spent the rest of her life praying for us and pointing out the danger in which we stood.

        I think you did the right thing in advising your nephew as you did, because you love him and want him to enjoy eternal happiness. If his situation is in accordance with God’s Will, you have done no harm; in any event, you have done your duty.

        These days, people assume that because you point out the unpleasant truth, you are somehow setting yourself up as perfect. Not so. We are here to help each other, and sometimes that means telling hard truths – not in a spirit of judgementalism, but in a spirit of love. Pride can so often get in the way of understanding and accepting this – I speak as one who knows!

        November 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm
      • Athanasius


        I would have thought your nephew would have set you straight if his relationship with this woman was merely platonic. He did not, so I assume there’s more to it than just a brother/sister type setup. At any rate, the reminder you gave him was/is a duty for all of us when it comes to cohabiting couples and Holy Communion. Do not repent of what you said, you acted correctly and with the best of intentions.

        And remember, your nephew is responsible for his own actions and has a duty to make certain that those actions do not give rise to public scandal, whether there’s substance to it or not. He needs to make his position clear in light of Church teaching to all who know of this relationship.

        November 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm
  • morgana

    I agree with most of your post but not with the love for ones children is often just emotional and superficial.Being a parent I can only speak for myself but my love for my children is very real it most certainly is not superficial however my real love for my children would not blind me were they to come to me and tell me that they were living not in accordance with God’s laws I wouldn’t suddenly not love them but I would pray that they would see sense ones children are very precious but not at the expense of what is right however I do think that the points in your post are quite correct

    November 14, 2015 at 12:59 am
    • editor

      My point was/is that parents who justify their child’s wrong doing are not showing a real love for them. It’s purely a superficial emotional type of love. You say that you would NOT accept or condone your child if he or she were living in manifest public sin – so my observation does not apply to you. The fact is, however, that there are parents – and I may be wrong about the arithmetic, but it seems to be that this is true of an awful lot, if not most parents – who DO condone this behaviour and who are certainly are not acting in a way that is deterring young people from cohabiting or engaging in homosexual activity. That’s not true love.

      November 14, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • editor

    Now this headline is nothing short of hilarious.

    Talk about pots and kettles!

    November 20, 2015 at 9:27 pm
    • gabriel syme

      That headline is indeed hilarious – its like an arsonist complaining about the number of fires breaking out.

      Having made the concept of sin almost abstract, undermined Catholic marriage and attempted to break traditional discipline regarding the Eucharist, Pope Francis complains ever fewer people are interested in the sacraments and they don’t understand the Eucharist.

      Quite remarkable.

      November 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm
      • christmasliszt

        Don’t worry Gabriel, it won’t be long before he returns to his destructive agenda, if in fact he ever left it. Perhaps this is a sop to accompany Rome’s proposal to the SSPX? At any rate, notice the subtle promotion of women’s roles in the Church at the end. Perhaps female “ordinations” are the next stop for this train to Hell….

        November 22, 2015 at 12:57 am
      • editor


        Oddly enough, the one thing the Pope seems to be holding firm against, is women’s ordination. Maybe he’s terrified at the prospect of a future woman pope. Me, I’m beginning to think it might not be a bad idea. Now. where’s that application form for the Scots College in Rome…

        November 22, 2015 at 6:29 pm
    • John


      Pope now is scared of rigid priests and is hinting that seminary’s should not be admitting young men with rigid views. ( young men who hold traditional Catholic values)


      November 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm
      • editor


        I’ve just read that article, and while there is some truth in it, the Pope clearly hasn’t grasped that the candidates who should be refused entry to our seminaries, are the very ones that he would want to see ordained. Obviously, his words are another attack on Catholic Tradition – as you say, young men who hold traditional Catholic values, which tend to be, er… rigid – because, well, we can’t have that. Were “moving on” (to use the modern nonsensical jargon) from what the Church has always believed, everywhere and by all, to the newer, if very much fewer “model” of Church where the handful of priests to be found, are to be found taking orders from the lay leaders of various “ministries”.


        November 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm
  • Raphael Rickson

    The reforms of Vatican II have been absolutely disastrous for the Catholic Church. For example, look at the destruction the Church has inflicted on its exquisite liturgy over the past 50 years. Now Catholics have to endure horrendous guitar folk pop.

    Editor: most of this post has had to be deleted. I suspect you may have been intending to offer some humour and inadvertently fell foul of our “Terms & Conditions”. I suggest you check these out in our About Us section before submitting any more comments. Thank you.

    November 21, 2015 at 12:09 am
    • Raphael Rickson

      Oh lighten up! It was hilarious…

      It’s nice to read that you think “trolls have souls”. I wonder, do you think the same about gay people (such as myself)?

      Editor: of course homosexuals have souls. But if they are engaging in unnatural sexual behaviour, then their souls are in danger. You know that, and if you are a practising Catholic, then you must believe it.

      November 21, 2015 at 1:27 am
  • crofterlady

    It must be very difficult spiritually in today’s world to feel one’s self attracted to the same sex whilst simultaneously being a good Catholic. I say “in today’s world” because once upon a time homosexuality was frowned upon and often the person so afflicted did not want to live such a life. As a result the person would very often seek help to escape their orientation. Believe me as I used to work in this field.

    In most of the (mainly male) cases I worked with the client was in terrible conflict. Active homosexuality is one of the 4 sins crying out to Heaven for vengeance and a person who wants to love Almighty God does not want to offend him in this way. Personally, I don’t believe that people are born that way but often become that way because of difficult childhoods, absent fathers, dysfunctional families or sexual abuse. Whatever the reason, and some are more vulnerable than others, most sufferers do not want to live such a life. I always found that to be the case.

    Most of my clients are now married (to women) and have families. Some could not re-orientate and chose to live as chaste celibates. A few stayed in their homosexual lifestyles, a sad, unhygienic unfulfilled and thoroughly unnatural condition.

    It cannot be a coincidence that homosexuals have increased eightfold or more since it has been almost fashionable. I think young men are being actively groomed and, now that feminism has reached its pinnacle, men are being emasculated, feel rejected and are turning to unnatural vices. There are oodles of quotes in Scripture decrying this lifestyle and we know that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of it.

    These poor people need our prayers.

    November 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm
    • Raphael Rickson

      Are you being serious? Are you actually telling me you practised conversion therapies in a professional capacity?

      Do you realise the damage you have done? No, you don’t do you?

      This is why I needed to come out. I can’t fight you people until my [homosexual] flag is fully flying.

      (btw if you want to know my attitude to reparative therapy see the Paris thread)

      Editor: Raphael, I removed one crudity from the above post. Can you not see that you are being dragged down into real evil – crude language and pornographic talk and images are a feature of homosexual websites – please do not import such filth here.

      November 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm
    • Raphael Rickson


      Were you that woman who used to volunteer in a Magdalene laundry? I believe it was to “be an inspiration and a good example to the inmates”

      Wow. You really are something special.

      Editor: yes, Crofterlady really IS special – for one thing she doesn’t make nasty personal remarks. You, on the other hand, are on the borderline with this comment so I’m letting it through with the following warnings:

      1) stick to the issues – nothing approaching a personal remark will get through from now on

      2) stick to one thread – you have posted on two threads boasting of your homosexuality, because it is causing confusion. I’ve already had an email from one reader who suggests I start using the delete button if the two conversations continue. It’s partly my fault since I didn’t realise, initially, that you had posted on two threads but from now on please, would everyone, stick to this thread because it is obvious that Raphael is much more keen on a less rigid Church, than he’s keen on promoting the Social Kingship of Christ. If you insist on posting on this blog, to make whatever points you have in mind about your own commitment to homosexual activity, then please stick to this one thread. Having said that…

      3) In all charity, I advise you to STOP posting here. I have a feeling you may regret this sooner rather than later, which is why I hesitated before posting your initial comment on the subject. Reflect on the fact that this is the month of the Holy Souls and that while it is likely that most of us are resigned to spending some time at least in Purgatory, none of us, yourself included, I presume, wants to end up in Hell – and that’s where active, unrepentant homosexuals are headed. And the more convinced you become that there’s nothing wrong with such behaviour, the less likely you are to repent. Trust me on this. I tested it with cream cakes. Seriously, God, remember, is not politically correct. Not remotely. So, take my advice, always free for the asking, and let the matter rest now.

      November 21, 2015 at 7:45 pm
    • editor


      Well said. Thank you for that most informative post. It is extremely useful to have input from someone who has been employed professionally to work with people afflicted by this disorientation. Your professional training and experience are invaluable in helping to put a rare perspective on the issue of same-sex attraction.

      I completely agree that it is the normalising of homosexuality that has made it “fashionable” to “come out”. The campaign organisers knew that it would have to be made to seem normal and the language changed to cover up the reality – hence the theft of “gay” to associate it with happiness when the fact is, as you say, quite the opposite.

      Yet we still hear claims from homosexual activists that the high rate of suicides among homosexuals is due to bullying from the rest of us. Yeah right. The fact that homosexual activity is now widely accepted in society, belies the claim that these young people commit suicide due to bullying in society. Nonsense.

      So, again, thank you Crofterlady for giving us the benefit of your professional expertise to educate us on this subject.

      November 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I have these attractions, and yet am a good Catholic. I pray the Rosary, go to Mass and receive the Sacraments. Not all people with same sex attractions act upon them, and some live a chaste life, such as myself, in accordance with God’s will and Church teaching. I have not had a difficult childhood, an absent father, dysfunctional background and neither have I been sexually abused. I was drawn to members of the same sex at a young age. This attraction continued through my teenage years and puberty. No choice involved.

      November 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm
      • Petrus

        I’ve often wondered about this “No choice” thing. I think it’s sometimes a choice. However, I think it’s often a psychological disorder. The role of the father seems to be pivotal. The father doesn’t always have to be absent. A cold and distant father can also have a damaging effect. However, there’s will certainly be other reasons too.

        I’ve often felt uneasy about the use of the contraceptive pill and formula milk with baby boys. The disruption of hormonal imbalances could wreak havoc. Soya is particularly dangerous for male hormone balance and this is an ingredient in formula milk. Just a thought. I don’t believe that a newborn baby boy is born gay. Something must cause it.

        November 21, 2015 at 10:04 pm
      • Athanasius


        You raise a good question about “choice”. We all have choices, it goes with our free will. God will judge us on the choices we make in this life. If we go to hell it’s because we chose to go there. No one is so afflicted with temptation that he can’t resist, God is not that cruel.

        No, God’s grace is always available to us when we are tempted by the devil, the world and the flesh, regardless of the nature of the temptations. It’s entirely our decision whether we want to fight the good fight or surrender to the enemy. God permits us to make the choice for ourselves.

        November 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Dear Raphael,

    I am sending this message to you motivated by love, charity and concern for the welfare of your immortal soul. I was hesitant in my decision to post this message, as I don’t usually talk about the following issue, but motivated by concern for you, the Lord is urging me to speak. I hesitated because I may shock people on the blog. I have same sex attraction myself, and I confess that this has been a source of shame and guilt for me in the past, and it still troubles me deeply today. Even though I am still attracted to men (and women), I know that Our Lord and Our Lady still love me and willingly bestow upon me the grace to fight against temptation and the wickedness and snares of the Devil. God calls people faced with same sex attraction to live lives of chastity and celibacy, in full union with our Holy Mother the Church, who alone contains the fullness of Truth. Our Lord has given the Church the sacraments to become holy. Priests have told me that the chief ways to combat sexual sins and to stay chaste are to go to confession weekly (even to confess past sins in devotional confession because we receive an increase of sanctifying grace at each confession) and Mass daily, where we receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, recourse to Our Blessed Lady, the model of purity and chastity is inestimable. Through the Rosary, She will grant all that we ask. Pray the Rosary daily, and you will win the battle- just read the promises of the Rosary. She is all powerful before the Throne of God.

    In Matthew 16:24 Our Divine Lord said ‘then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’. Raphael, take up thy Cross, and offer it to Jesus. Offer any troubles, difficulties and sufferings up to Jesus, for the intentions of poor sinners, the sick, the dying and the Holy Souls.

    I am sorry to hear of wicked statements you have heard from Catholics. I have heard them myself, but nobody apart from myself and Priests who heard my confessions know about my attractions. Any Catholic who makes comments that involve calling homosexuals evil, perverts, monsters or beasts, is a wicked sin against charity. It contradicts the commandment to love our neighbour. We must criticise the actions of people, but never them personally. It is our duty to convince sinners to return to the Church and the Sacraments, especially Confessions in case of sin.

    Priests who heard my confession have been so loving, gentle and encouraging. Outside confession, I told one Priest that I had an embarrassing problem, and that I was worried that he would hate me, and he said ‘no…I’ll love you all the more’. I urge you to find a Society Priest, and they will love you. They will not condemn or criticise you. They will absolve and bless you.

    I worry about the loneliness of a life without companionship and love, but I know Jesus will always love me. The love of another man may give you comfort in this life, but it is only fleeting. The love of God is eternal.

    As I said, this comment is motivated by Christian love and charity, and I hope you will receive it that way. Please don’t live this live you seem to have chosen.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      Yours is a very honest and very touching comment. Thank you for it.

      I am always, however, puzzled by this claim: “I am sorry to hear of wicked statements you have heard from Catholics. I have heard them myself, but nobody apart from myself and Priests who heard my confessions know about my attractions. Any Catholic who makes comments that involve calling homosexuals evil, perverts, monsters or beasts, is a wicked sin against charity.

      I wonder if people who “hear” Catholics “calling homosexuals evil” are hearing no such thing, but are, in fact, failing to make the essential distinction between calling the behaviour “evil” (and perverted/disordered) – which it is because it is opposed to God’s will for us – and the people who may be guilty of it, “evil”.

      I can truthfully say that I have never heard any Catholic calling anyone “evil” – even when discussing the politically correct “evil” people (such as Hitler) I’ve heard Catholics make the point that we cannot pronounce definitive judgment on any soul, including his.

      So, I doubt very much that either Raphael or your good self has actually heard Catholics calling homosexual persons “evil”.

      I remember once, when we asked readers to pray for Father (Call me Andy) Monaghan of the Edinburgh archdiocese, that he would stop “his evil work” of dishing out immoral advice on his late night radio phone in show. He was encouraging abortion and cohabitation, even suicide – that and giving out the telephone number for the “gay” helpline”, caused him to feature in our newsletter regularly over a period of years.

      Yet for that request for prayers that he would stop that evil work, we were publicly denounced in the local Edinburgh Evening News, with callers phoning into his radio show in droves to beg us to stop hounding him, harassing him etc.

      In writing. It was there in black and white. In our newsletter. We’d never called HIM evil, but complained about his evil work.

      There is a clear difference but I’ve discovered over the years that it is a clear and a very important distinction which, sadly, some people just cannot see.

      November 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Dear Patricia,

        Thank you for your kindness and support. God bless you. I always make the distinction between people and actions, but I have, honestly speaking, heard Catholics call homosexuals ‘evil’. They may internally be making that important distinction, but their thoughts did not correspond to their words. Those people are however, seemingly rare.

        November 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm
    • Petrus

      Catholic Convert

      I am not shocked at all. You clearly have a true Catholic spirit and you are a wonderful example and role model.

      November 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm
  • Athanasius


    I am sure I speak for everyone on this blog when I say that, far from being shocked by your personal revelation, I admire you greatly. You are a man who loves God, Our Lady and purity despite the temptations you suffer. Our Lord will surely reward you abundantly for such fidelity.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      Thank you so much for that kind and touching comment. God bless you, and please pray for me.

      November 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm
      • Athanasius


        You may rely on my prayers for you. We should all pray for each other, for we all rely on God’s grace to get us through this life securely. None of us stands, or falls and recovers, without the great mercy and grace of God.

        November 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm
  • Therese


    Exactly. I’m afraid though that people often hear what they expect to hear, not what is said,and certainly not what is meant.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:13 pm
    • morgana

      As I said on the other thread I don’t understand why you reveal such a personal sin on a public forum but what I find more incomprehensible, I think, is that this is a word that you would wantingly flaunt it to others and without any shame.

      November 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm
      • editor


        That is precisely the problem with this sin – it has been elevated from being an imprisonable, criminal offence, to being almost mandatory, with people “proud” of it and wanting to “flaunt” it, to use your word. It’s now all but canonisable – a virtue, no longer a vice.

        Our purpose here must be to try to help Raphael, of course with our prayers but also, if possible, by enabling him to think more clearly about the relevant issues.

        November 21, 2015 at 11:43 pm
    • editor

      Exactly, Therese. I mean, only the other day I said “no thanks” to a friend who proffered a huge box of Thornton’s chocolates under my nose. She swiftly removed them and put them away in a cupboard out of sight. Obviously, I meant “yes, please” – I mean, what do you make of such blatant stupidity? 😀

      November 21, 2015 at 11:36 pm
      • Athanasius


        Any chance you could tell me where to find that cupboard??

        November 22, 2015 at 12:28 am
      • editor

        Apparently, it’s in old Mother Hubbard’s house… !

        November 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm
      • Athanasius


        I’ll write her a letter offering a one-way ticket to a Swiss clinic in exchange for her Thornton’s. Sounds like a good offer to me!!

        November 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm
      • Therese


        Friend? I’d drop her like a stone…

        November 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm
      • editor


        You’ve never said a truer word! She’s off my Christmas card list, that’s for sure. My list is getting shorter and shorter…. which reminds me, I really must remember to buy that Christmas card…

        November 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I look forward to receiving that card Ed! Along with that crisp £20! £20…you? You betcha!!

        November 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm
  • Leprechaun


    As well as the prayers we are offering for you and which no doubt you are undertaking on your own behalf, may I ask if you are aware of the value to a soul of total self-consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary?

    If not, you need to know that it is a devotion which takes 33 days and is calculated to lead to making the consecration on one of the feast days of Our Lady.

    Your next opportunity would be the Feast of the Purification on February 2nd 2016, and you would need to commence your preparations on December 31st 2015.

    You can obtain a booklet wherein all the necessary readings and prayers have been extracted from their sources and assembled into a convenient day-by-day reference.

    I am currently renewing my consecration at this time and I would strongly advise you to follow my example. With Christmas falling just a few days prior to your need to commence, the booklet would be an ideal addition to your Christmas wish-list.

    Here is one link:


    God bless you and assist you in your perseverance.

    November 23, 2015 at 10:49 am
    • catholicconvert1


      I thank you for your kindness and the assurance of your prayers to the Almighty, whose blessing I humbly solicit daily.

      I do have the book by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, which I purchased from Baronius Press, and I have read it. I do not have the booklet containing the Bible readings and excerpts from the Imitation of Christ. The Baronius Press version is the original English translation authored by Fr. Faber, and this does not contain extra readings, apart from those outlined by St. Louis-Marie.

      Are they necessary? I am not a slacker, and will do it if required.

      Can you recommend ‘The Purgatorian Manual’, sold by Carmel Books?

      November 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm
      • leprechaun


        The first time I made the Total Consecration, I used True Devotion to Mary and I found it somewhat distracting to have to refer separately to The Imitation of Christ and to the Gospels and so on for the recommended readings.

        Subsequently I heard about a booklet dedicated solely to the requirements for the Total Consecration into which all the prayers and litanies and cited readings had been amalgamated. It is the one I am using now and is an earlier version than the one for which I gave you a link – but there are others available.

        As a devotion, it is very much worth undertaking.

        You might also be glad to read for free on screen Fr. Belet’s short sermon on Sins of the Tongue (1870 translation) which can be read at this link:


        I have not read The Purgatorial Manual yet so I am unable to offer you a view of its worth.

        November 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm
      • christmasliszt


        In addition to Leprechaun’s excellent suggestions, here is a website which, if you have a stalwart printer, or just prefer to do the readings on line, provides the entire 33-day process in 3 steps: http://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

        November 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm
  • editor

    Click here for a whiff of things to come, should the Pope (contrary to all expectations) go against the advice of the Synod Final Document and simply re-affirm the prohibition on manifest public sinners receiving Holy Communion. A whiff, too, of what awaits any orthodox/traditional leaning priest who refuses to play ball, when, as we expect, the “case by case” free-for-all is announced by Pope Francis.

    Fasten your seat belts.

    November 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm

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