Protestantised Catholic Owns Up!

Protestantised Catholic Owns Up!

There was a time when I thought I’d never say this, but I’m worried that I’m, how shall I put it, turning Protestant. The awful thought dawned on me when I realised that although my parish church has a Door of Mercy – going through which, with appropriate prayers, would give me an indulgence – I’ve never actually been through it. Not once. I do know about the doctrine of the Church’s treasury of merits which underlies the teaching, but a stubborn little voice inside me says that the mercy of God is boundless, and accessible to all, door or no door, indulgences or no indulgences.

...The religious practice of indulgences reawakens trust and hope in a full reconciliation with God the Father, but in such a way as will not justify any negligence nor in any way diminish the effort to acquire the dispositions required for full communion with God. Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless they are granted for the living as well as for the dead only on determined conditions. To acquire them, it is indeed required on the one hand that prescribed works be performed, and on the other that the faithful have the necessary dispositions, that is to say, that they love God, detest sin, place their trust in the merits of Christ and believe firmly in the great assistance they derive from the Communion of Saints. Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Pope Paul VI, January, 1, 1967
…The religious practice of indulgences reawakens trust and hope in a full reconciliation with God the Father, but in such a way as will not justify any negligence nor in any way diminish the effort to acquire the dispositions required for full communion with God. Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless they are granted for the living as well as for the dead only on determined conditions. To acquire them, it is indeed required on the one hand that prescribed works be performed, and on the other that the faithful have the necessary dispositions, that is to say, that they love God, detest sin, place their trust in the merits of Christ and believe firmly in the great assistance they derive from the Communion of Saints. Apostolic Constitution on                      Indulgences,                   Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Pope Paul VI, January, 1, 1967

Of course it’s excellent that people are thinking about mercy – as you go through the door you’re meant to reflect on how to receive it from God and extend it to others – but I’m not moved by the symbolism myself. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve come to the pass of going straight to God without the aids extended by the Church.

Being a naturally sectarian Catholic, this is a troubling development. Next year is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, an event I propose to mark by wearing funereal colour. But underneath the black and purple, I find myself sympathetic to bits of the Protestant project. The idea of the priesthood of all believers, squarely based on St Paul, is not antipathetical to an ordained priesthood, and never fails to cheer me up, especially when people complain about the dearth of vocations. The priestly character of all the baptised is rather a comfort, don’t you think, when it turns out, yet again, that the institutional church has failed to deal with some egregious scandal.

Actually, the most egregious ones of all, the child abuse scandals, have not had the effect of unsettling my faith in the slightest, notwithstanding my seeing that rather overrated film, Spotlight. I mean, things were worse prior to the Reformation, no? And every human institution is bound to be flawed one way or another.

All the same, now that we know about the inability of the Church, notably the bishops, to recognise the compulsive psychology of child abusers, it does make you question Cardinal Newman’s insistence that because of its longevity, the Church has seen everything and knows everything about the nature of man, which was the same in the 5th century as it was 1500 years later. In fact the Church, notwithstanding encountering the phenomenon of paedophilia again and again over the course of centuries, has been remarkably bad at identifying its character. Making the same mistake over the course of 2,000 years may be consistent but it’s not inerrancy. Secular institutions and other religions were just as clueless, but the Church is held to different standards.

And then there’s the fundamental aspect of Protestantism: the reliance on Scripture. I don’t buy the notion that a believer just needs a Bible, but it does unsettle me that Catholics are so much less scripturally literate than paid-up Protestants. Bishops in the Anglican synod quote cheerfully from the Old Testament; I never hear Catholic priests preach from it. Bertie Wooster in PG Wodehouse won a prize for Scripture Knowledge; I mean, he was bound to be CofE, wasn’t he? The one exception I know is a priest from Kerala in India who baffles the congregation in my home parish in Ireland by actually asking them questions about the Old Testament. Where he comes from, this is normal practice; here, young Catholics are familiar with perhaps half a dozen or so episodes from the Hebrew Scriptures and that’s it.

And what about popular devotion? I respect it, of course, but there are times when I can see why Protestants find it too close to superstition. There are those prayer cards to the Sacred Heart or Saint Anthony that you find in the back of churches which assure you that if you say the prayers specified a given number of times correctly, your prayers are bound to be answered. That’s more like magic than prayer. And while I have an instinctive devotion to Our Lady, I do feel uneasy at the extent to which devotion to the Virgin has overshadowed that historically given to other scriptural saints – John the Baptist, say. And places like Medugorje, which lots of people find beneficial, present the Virgin in a very different guise from the Mary of the Gospels; it puts me off.

Naturally, I’d never actually be anything but a Catholic. As James Joyce said, when he was asked why, given his disaffection with the Church, he did not become a Protestant: “Madam, I have lost my faith; I have not lost my self-respect”. But although I intend to die a Catholic, I’m becoming a Protestant sort of Catholic. Worrying, I know, but there it is.  Source: Catholic Herald

Melanie McDonagh is comment editor of the London Evening Standard 


Melanie McDonagh is not alone in her Protestantised Catholicism. We have one some-time blogger who has bemoaned the Catholic custom of venerating relics. Same mindset. However, my first thought on reading the above article in today’s Catholic Herald was: “at last! They’re coming out openly in the Catholic press and admitting that they’ve been Protestantised. It’s a start!” 

Don’t get me wrong.  There is no requirement on Catholics to avail ourselves of the Church’s treasury – whether it be devotions to particular saints, indulgences or the veneration of relics.   Still, I think there is something significant, not to say very sad, about such a public disavowal, perhaps especially in the  case of Melanie McDonagh’s Protestantised view of Our Lady – notable, not least because she selects the unapproved, indeed, hoax phenomenon of Medjugorje, as an example of the kind of Marian piety that she rejects! Still, if she means she dislikes pilgrimages to approved shrines such as Lourdes, Fatima, etc., lighting candles, submitting petitions, taking Lourdes water, buying Fatima rosaries – that sort of thing – then, yes, to quote her own words, she IS “turning Protestant” –  a true daughter of Martin Luther.  

Again, of course, we are not bound to accept or have devotion to each and every approved apparition (although it is important to note Pope Benedict’s statement that Fatima places an obligation on the entire Church). Whatever, it is a very strange Catholic who would express Protestant sentiments towards any of the Marian shrines and devotions.  And it is a very sad thing, indeed, to read an article, penned by a Catholic journalist, in a Catholic newspaper, joining battle with the Protestant revolutionary, Martin Luther, to attack the doctrine of indulgences. 

Click on the image to read Pope Paul’s Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences, and tell us if you agree.  Or maybe you share Melanie McDonagh’s dislike of indulgences, and other Protestant leanings?

Comments (38)

  • SR

    Good post! Thanks for sharing. God Bless, SR

    April 11, 2016 at 12:06 am
    • editor



      I’m glad you like the post, but it would have been interesting to find out why!

      April 11, 2016 at 12:29 am
  • SR

    Why? LOL! Well for one, I am a convert to the Catholic Church going on eleven years now. There is not a whole lot anyone can tell me about being a “Protestant” that I do not know, especially the “Evangelicals.” So there you have a little bit of my history, to start.

    1st off: I loved your comment on the article. I believe in what you said with all of my heart. Why?

    2nd: Being from “both” worlds and after converting missing many things about being a Protestant, I soon realized you cannot have one leg in the Protestant world and one leg in the Catholic world. Either one is Protestant or they are Catholic, and on many things the two cannot and probably never will come together. One’s spirituality will become so divided, one will eventually find themselves divided against God and His teachings also. In other words, we cannot satisfy our own “fancies” and God at the same time.

    3rd: When I came into the Catholic Church I vowed to God to, “Hold to the teachings of the Church.” This is a vow I have never taken back and pray I never will. In one way or the other each and every single Catholic makes this vow, and when they do, they are also vowing to hold to the “teachings of Jesus.” I must say the “teachings of the Church/Jesus” have never failed me. Let us look at what was said about the “Priesthood.” There again taking something and making it so literal that there is no room for explanation. (Every Protestant denomination will take one thing literal and another will take it as symbolic. It is kind of like “to each his own.) Anyways, Yes, it is true there is a “priesthood to all believers.” Then there is the Priesthood which can take the Host, consecrate it to God, and it becomes all there is about Jesus. The “two” Priesthood’s are not the same. Just like in today’s Gospel readings, who did Jesus tell to “feed and take care of His sheep?” One man, Peter aka; Pope.

    4th: As far as the child molesters in our Church. That is in all Churches even in the Protestant world! Not only that, there have been Protestants whose children have DIED because these kids were denied medical care because… THERE PARENTS BELIEVED THEY COULD RAISE THEM FROM THE DEAD IN THREE DAYS! Talk about “magical.” The superstition and “magic” which is taught in some of these churches would blow your mind!

    5th: Yeah, I thought I knew my Bible, until I became a Catholic! I knew my “interpretation” of the Bible, and the thoughts of “many ministers” on the Bible. When I became a Catholic is when I knew and understood the Bible for the first time in my life, from Genesis to Revelations. The Catholic Church had so many resources for me to go to I could not believe it, and for the first time I understood what to take literal and what not to take literal. The Catholic Church to me is the only Church which holds the beauty of God in it. Catholics know their Bible and guess what? They read them too!

    6th: As far as the Blessed Mother. She is why I am Catholic today as she is the one who called me there, which you may read the story in my pages: it is at the top of the blog. Now do I believe some of what is written present day regarding Mary is bogus, yes I do. I cannot help it because people flock to it but……many Protestants have given away all they own because “Jesus was coming at noon on some bogus day” then they go and sit on a bench to wait for Him. When He does not come the only one who is any wiser or richer is the minister who told them all of this.

    All that Melanie is writing is the way “she” feels about things. For everything she says about the Church, I could write a book on, on some Protestant denominations. She is only fooling herself if she thinks the very things she speaks of in the Catholic Church are not out there in the Protestant world in one way or the other.

    And I am going to close with this. God Bless, SR

    April 11, 2016 at 1:38 am
    • editor


      Thank you for that lengthy post – I paid a quick visit to your site but will have to return when I’ve a bit more time, to take it all in properly.

      I hate to admit it, though, but I do think Melanie is speaking for a lot of modern Catholics who wouldn’t actually put her sentiments into words. The faithful have been Protestantised – there is no question about that. What makes her article interesting, is simply the fact that she is one of the few – perhaps the only one, really – who recognises her Protestant condition.

      April 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      I can remember about 30 years ago having a discussion with whom I thought was a level headed gentleman who would have been about 65 and all was going well until he brought up the subject of Our Lady . He then proceeded to tell me the difference between our beliefs and that it was because we worshipped Our Lady and that as part of The Brethern they thought of her merely as a vessel . When I said to him that we did not WORSHIP Mary but that we prayed for her to intercede for us,he not very politely told me I was a liar. I am sure many reading this have had the same discussion with many Protestants of many denominations . I can maybe understand their difference in beliefs ,what I cannot understand is their sometimes downright hatred for The Mother of Jesus Christ.

      April 11, 2016 at 10:41 pm
      • Nicky


        I think hatred of the Mother of God comes straight from the Devil. You see it in the different blasphemous jokes and dramas put on where Our Lady is portrayed in the most obscene way. God forgive these blasphemers.

        April 12, 2016 at 12:44 am
      • SR

        Faith of Our Fathers:

        It is not that they hate her, they see no significance to her at all other than she was the “vessel God used to bring forth Jesus.” If you pray to anyone outside of God you have blasphemed Him.

        It is hard for Protestants to connect the Bible at times, as they take it one verse at a time, instead of seeing it as One Book, with One Story, they see it as One Book with Many Stories.

        I could not connect my Bible at all, until the Church showed me how. Protestants we must remember were not handed down many of the teachings of the Catholic Church, as they were not given these teachings, by Jesus, Peter, and/or Paul. Example: Protestants were not given Catholic Traditions, therefore; they do not understand them. So they just think all the traditions of the Catholic Church were man made, therefore; are of no use.

        It really boils down to just lack of teaching from the beginning. We have to remember they did not have a Church until 1400-1500 years later. God Bless, SR

        April 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm
      • editor


        You may wish to introduce your Protestant friends, relatives to this article, giving Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura by Joel Peters (it was available in pamphlet form at one time, so presume it is still possible to obtain hard copies.)

        Just one thing – I would avoid saying the Bible is “One Book” because it is actually a “library” of books. There are various genres – the history of the ancient Hebrew people, Church history, law, prophecy, poetry, Gospels, letters etc.

        I have no doubt that you KNOW that, and that your reference to “One Bible” is not meant literally 😀 but I just thought I would clarify it for the sake of readers who may take you literally!

        You are absolutely correct in your statement about the link between the Church and Scripture: St Augustine said that he would not believe in the Gospels, if he did not, first, believe in the authority of the Catholic Church.

        April 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm
      • SR

        LOL! What Protestant friends??? I only have two left since my conversion. You see I am now termed as being one who “worships idols” and that makes me a “pagan.” All of my family is fine with it, and have never given me any problems whatsoever. I am blessed there.

        I understand what you are saying regarding “The Bible.” I am sorry I do view it as One Book of One Story. Though that story has many different avenues it all leads us to the coming of God’s Son and His Church. We can call it whatever we want the outcome is the same.

        God knew He was going to have to send His Son to save us. He knew He would have to have a Church to teach us His Word. There is not a Book in the Bible that I can go to, that in some form or fashion does not point to this. Thank you and God Bless, SR

        April 13, 2016 at 1:17 am
      • editor

        I understand, and it’s fine to think of the bible as one book from a devotional point of view, as in the sense you identify, and that is perfectly correct; I just meant that technically, it is a generally defined as a library of books due to the various genres. It is because Protestants do not discern this, that they tend to take every verse literally.

        April 13, 2016 at 9:42 am
      • Athanasius


        It sounds to me like you’ve had a number of graces given to you, and long may that happy situation continue.

        However, I couldn’t help wondering as I was reading through your various comments if you have ever attended a Latin Mass in accordance with the 1962 missal. This is the Mass that was offered by all priests for nigh on 1500 years, the ancient liturgy of the saints and martyrs, which was substantially altered after Vatican II to the point of near obscurity of the Sacrifice.

        In fact, so altered was it that Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its chief architect was able to boast publicly in 1974 that the New Mass was “a major conquest of the Catholic Church”. He had predicted this would be the case as far back as 1965 when, during an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, he declared: “We must remove from our Catholic liturgy and prayers all that can be the shadow of a stumbling block to our separated brethren, that is, to the Protestants”.

        Needless to say six Protestant ministers were involved in the construction of the New Mass, principally Lutherans, with the result that numerous Protestant theologians of various Sects announced their delight with the finished product, declaring that they no longer recognised any obvious sacrificial aspect to the New Mass and would therefore feel perfectly comfortable attending it.

        The reason I mention this is that unless you have the Traditional Latin Mass of the Church in your parish, the “Mass of all time”, then I’m afraid that what you take to be fully Catholic is really a shadow of what you would have experienced just 60 years ago. And of course if you are exposed to abuses such as Communion in the hand (standing), altar girls, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc., then your parish, despite your perfectly innocent objections, is more Protestant than Catholic. None of these things would have been permitted before Vatican II. Indeed, a number of them were condemned by the Popes both before and after the Council.

        As you clearly have a devotion to Our Lady, a sign, as St. Louis de Montfort says, of special election, I am sure that she will open your heart and mind to these truths. She has already brought you back into the fold, I see no reason why she would not now lead you all the way home to the Traditional Catholic liturgy, in which a permanent barrier is erected against innovations that lead to indifference or worse on the part of priests and faithful alike.

        My suggestion, if you are interested to learn more, is that you look up the YouTube sermons of Fr. Daniel Cooper (SSPX) on the ancient Mass of the Church. They are full of incredible and highly significant information that the ordinary priest and lay person is unaware of.

        And please say a prayer for Fr. Cooper while you’re at it. He is currently bearing with treatment for a very serious, life threatening, illness.

        April 13, 2016 at 11:37 am
      • GildasWiseman

        Excellent advice. God bless. I hope and pray that SR understands the importance of your recommendation

        April 16, 2016 at 11:07 am
      • RCA Victor


        More later on this topic, but I must tear myself away from the keyboard for a little pubbing and clubbing, followed by some scrubbing, but yes, Joel Peters’ book is still available:

        April 13, 2016 at 9:19 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      “As far as the Blessed Mother. She is why I am Catholic today”

      I have a friend who says exactly the same thing! He used to read a lot about Fatima and he has never lost his zeal for that prophetic revelation.

      Our Lady is very powerful indeed. “Never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, was left unaided” – one of my very favourite prayers to her!

      April 12, 2016 at 12:33 am
      • SR

        Margaret Mary,

        To me the Blessed Mother’s main purpose for us in this life, is always to “call us to her Son.” Of course if we want His presence on earth, we must go to the Church, where the “Tabernacle” is! Yes, she is “extremely powerful and patient.” She was with me. God Bless, SR

        April 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm
  • Therese


    Wonderful! I wish we had more Catholics like you. I’m off to read the story of your conversion….

    April 11, 2016 at 2:42 pm
    • editor


      I’m jealous again. You’ve never said that to me… that you wish we had more Catholics like me…

      April 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm
      • Therese


        Turn that frown into a smile – some things are too obvious to be said……

        April 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm
      • editor


        Cheque in post!

        I’ve just sent the link to this thread to Luke Coppen at The Catholic Herald, asking him to forward it to Melanie McDonagh, as she really needs to re-think her new-found Protestant religion.

        April 11, 2016 at 11:40 pm
    • SR


      Thank you, but I feel so inadequate at times. There are some Catholics who I just love to watch them pray. Their beauty and humility touches me in a way I cannot explain. Their examples through their actions and not their words, has and continues to touch me deeply. God Bless, SR

      April 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm
  • Frankier


    You say that many things in the Protestant world and in the Catholic world can’t come together.

    I don’t know if you have noticed but there are plenty of things in these two worlds that have came together and they are not finished by a long chalk, so you might find yourself back where you started out. I really hope not though.

    When I see the kirks now with their crosses on the walls, their candles burning and their latin chants (Kyrie Eleison) they are looking more like the old Catholic Church than that of the present

    April 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm
    • editor


      Kyrie Eleison is Greek, not Latin. Better hearing it from me, than one of our trolls!×256-bd8f.png


      April 11, 2016 at 8:56 pm
      • Frankier



        In my defence I have to say I should have known.

        The reason being that a few years ago a near neighbour who was a Kirk Elder, as well as a member of the ludge, asked my wife the meaning of the GREEK prayer Kyrie Eleison, Christie Eleison, that was to be included in a
        leaflet she was printing for an ecumenical service to be held in her Kirk.

        It seems she was told that is was part of a Catholic service.

        Thanks anyway for the nice wee messenger you sent to correct me, although it didn`t stop me from having a “riddy”.

        April 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm
    • SR


      I do not ever think I will “find myself back where I started out.” I count the Blessed Mother calling me out of all of that the “greatest blessing of my life.” I never look back nor do I ever intend to. The Church is a gift to my soul.

      As far as the crosses, the candles and the chants, being Catholic Frankier, is so much more than that. Although, these things are wonderful and beautiful, to me being a Catholic, is so much more.

      It is a way of life. It is a way to live life. It is not just a Church but it is a home, a teacher, a forgiver of sins, and most of all love. A home in which contains our Lord in His fullness. He waits for us to come so He can share this home with us. He waits for us to come to welcome us. He waits so patiently for us to come, so He can unite Himself to us, as undeserving as we are. He waits, and He waits, and He waits, and many never come, and many do come.

      Once that sinks into one’s soul and spirit, you cannot be “both.” For one will tell you, “Jesus is there,” and one will tell you, “Jesus is not there.” That is a spirit and soul which will become divided. “That house will never stand.” God Bless, SR

      April 12, 2016 at 8:22 pm
      • editor


        Not that Frankier needs me to speak for him, but I suspect his remark about hoping you don’t end up back where you started, is a reference to the destructive work of the Modernists within the Catholic Church. They are keen to protestanise – I remember reading one of the “liberal” publications where the author stated that the Reformers in the Middle Ages made the mistake of leaving the Church, but they would remain and effect their “reforms” from within, this time. That’s what is going on right under our noses today. We need to be able to recognise it and fight it.

        Of course, we know that the Church cannot fail, that Christ has guaranteed that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church – but sometimes it looks like he’s making a pretty good job of trying! Still, Old Nick has reckoned without an informed laity who love the Faith as it has been handed down to us from the Apostles, not from any Modernist, including Pope Francis. So, we fight on!

        April 12, 2016 at 8:56 pm
      • SR


        If that is what Frankier meant, which I am not saying it is, I do not know what would make him feel that way from any of my comments. I have not been nor will I ever be a “Modernist,” not even when I was a Protestant. I have never thought about becoming one since I have become Catholic.

        In fact “it” did try to come into my Church from the inside. I fought with my Bishop and Priest and anyone else I could think of. I fought it alone, never asking anyone else to join me, but our Lord. Because I had the knowledge and experience of what was coming in years to come into the Catholic Church, the Modernist are no longer there.

        The Mass is still just the way it was. No more strumming guitars and loud bands. No more just having Mass for our “youth,” as Mass to me is not for the select few, and our elderly had no idea what was going on??? I felt so sorry for them. So I do not think I can be referred to as a “Modernist” by anyone in the Catholic Church.

        I know where it is all going to lead to, and the thing which bothers me is, the Catholics who embrace this so much, have no idea how it even began. Not our leaders and not those in the Church. When I informed them of it all it ceased to exist. Yes, we do need to fight it, but we must first have knowledge of it all, to be able to do so. God Bless, SR

        April 13, 2016 at 1:29 am
      • editor


        I doubt if Frankier meant that YOU, personally, would choose to end up a Modernist, but that the way the crisis is deepening in the Church, you may, like a convert friend of mine, end up wondering why you bothered to convert in the first place, such is the grip of Modernism within the Church in our times. The Protestantising of the Church took place in the wake of Vatican II, with the new Mass created by Archbishop Bugnini (believed to be a Freemason) and six Protestant ministers – Pope Paul VI is pictured with them here…

        If you have never attended the ancient Mass, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible.


        April 13, 2016 at 9:49 am
      • Frankier


        I am sorry if you have misunderstood what I tried to say but I have just read Editor`s comments and you can take what she said as being what I really tried to get across.

        Unfortunately, I am unable to access a TLM but if there is one near you I think you should take the advice given to you to attend.


        April 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm
      • Frankier


        I didn`t mean to suggest that you would return to where you started out but that the Catholic Church is heading towards where you came from and is nearing its destination.

        You may have missed it on the way past in the dark.

        April 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Probably most “mainstream” (ie not traditional) Catholics are very protestantised by now, given the general direction of the Church in recent decades.

    Bishops have long since stopped teaching the Catholic faith and equipping people to attain their salvation. Ecumenism (empty platitudes) and seeking loop-holes in Catholic doctrine are the chief concerns of the hierarchy these days. This is what is easy. This is what is pleasing to the world.

    Modern Catholics know nothing of the faith they profess to hold. 13 years of Catholic school and attending the linked Parish Church meant I could say an Our Father and a Hail Mary……..and that was it. That was the sum total of my knowledge of Catholicism after my, er, “formation”.

    I did lapse (of course) for years, but the fact I eventually came back is surely some kind of miracle – but, thank God, I ended up with the SSPX, having found the N.O. Church just as vacuous as it was when I first lapsed (worse, even).

    So, its not a surprise that Catholics are so protestantised or even secular in their outlooks. These other influences are given free reign to shape the attitudes of Catholics, while the Church is busy navel gazing.

    I first encountered the Church’s teaching about marriage, sex, contraception etc in 2012 – aged 34 – during my marriage preparation class. This was some two decades (at least) after secular society had begun to bombard me with its own ideals in these areas. Looking back, I am amused to think that I thought to get married at all, given I had never been taught about it. Finding out about marriage after agreeing to get married is like paying for a new car and only then finding out the details about the car (to use a ropey analogy).

    (Its interesting that the article mentions indulgences – I had not encountered these prior to entering traditional circles. I had only vaguely heard of them as something to do with the reformation. Now that I have an understanding of what they are I am at times guilt of being resentful of the so many wasted chances – across years – to gain indulgences for the souls in purgatory (or indeed myself).)

    So, there is a double effect at play here – the fact that modern Bishops offer nothing of substance to the souls in their care, while allowing other influences (protestantism / secularism) free reign to fill the void.

    April 11, 2016 at 11:27 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Gabriel Syme,

      After years of Catholic “education” you could only say the Our Father and Hail Mary. That is shocking. It’s a miracle, right enough, that you are still a Catholic. Good on ye, as they say! LOL!

      April 12, 2016 at 12:36 am
  • Athanasius

    “And while I have an instinctive devotion to Our Lady, I do feel uneasy at the extent to which devotion to the Virgin has overshadowed that historically given to other scriptural saints – John the Baptist, say.”

    Here’s another wretched soul who believes that men have outdone God in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary! I mean, what created being could possibly surpass the glories that God has showered on Most Holy Mary? Can any of us imagine at our judgement Our Lord saying: ‘I am offended because you paid more honour to my Mother than to Me’. What son does not rejoice to see his mother honoured and respond with the greatest gratitude to the one who honours her? If this is how human beings act, then how much more God? How is it possible to honour Mary without honouring God? All graces come to world through Mary, who bore the Word Incarnate, and all honour is returned to God through her. Christ is the Divine head of the Church, we members the Mystical Body and Mary is the neck that joins the two.

    Of all humanity she was the only one to be preserved free from the stain of Original Sin. St. John the Baptist wasn’t. She was preserved also in perpetual virginity, made the Mother of God and the only creature to be Assumed body and soul into heaven. So singularly pure and holy was she that her body was not to see corruption. And not content with this, once Assumed into heaven God Himself crowned her Queen of heaven and earth, of all angels and saints, St. John the Baptist included. So what on earth is this woman talking about, who thinks that Protestants have a point about Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin being over done? That statement borders on blasphemy against God.

    It was upon Our Lady’s visit to St. Elizabeth that St. John the Baptist leapt for joy in the womb of the latter. This is what Most Holy Mary does. She is the new Ark of the Covenant who carries no less than the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in her sacred womb to bless and grace all souls. It was by the Blessed Virgin’s intercession that Our Lord performed His first public miracle (at Cana), even though, as He said “my time has not yet come.” It was to her that He confided from the Cross first the sacred priesthood, as represented by St. John the celibate Evangelist, and then to all by His words “Woman, behold thy son…etc.

    I could go on and on and on with examples of how greatly God has glorified the Blessed Mother. In fact, the saints have done so in their writings, as have the Popes. Yet, here’s this wee wumin from Ireland telling us how she thinks the Protestants have got a point. No, there is no real devotion to Our Lady in this woman. She can of course remedy her grevious error. I hope she does for her salvation sake, for no one who dishonours Blessed Mary or undermines her glories will see heaven. Our Lord’s countenance will be against such people.

    The rest of her ramblings, as editor rightly points out, is at last clear evidence from a pew Catholic of the rot that set into the Church with Vatican II reform, which is just a revival of the Protestant Reformation at its core.

    April 11, 2016 at 11:28 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      That’s a great post about Our Lady:

      “So what on earth is this woman talking about, who thinks that Protestants have a point about Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin being over done? That statement borders on blasphemy against God.”

      How true. It really shook me to read that woman’s rubbish about “turning Protestant” – she’s long turned, IMHO, and I was especially shocked at her attack on Our Lady.

      You are right as well to warn her about repenting of this blasphemy because “no one who dishonours Blessed Mary or undermines her glories will see heaven. Our Lord’s countenance will be against such people.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s a terrifying thought but anyone who insults Our Lady and doesn’t repent of it, won’t see Heaven.

      April 12, 2016 at 12:41 am
  • Nicky

    I think it’s a real give-away that Ms McDonagh is affronted by indulgences. That really does make her a true daughter of Luther, as the editor says in the intro.

    It’s something else, that so many ignorant people think they know better than God these days. LOL!

    April 12, 2016 at 12:47 am
    • Margaret Mary


      I do agree – attacking indulgences is a really Protestant criticism of the Church, so it’s a shame that Catholics, even journalists like Melanie McDonagh, don’t know enough (even 500 years later, LOL!) to explain the doctrine properly.

      This article explains them very simply.

      April 12, 2016 at 12:52 am
  • RCA Victor

    As Athanasius has already intimated, this woman’s column lends strong support and evidence to the de facto 54-year transformation of the Church into another Protestant sect, courtesy of Roncalli, Montini, the Jesuits, Vatican II, and all the other Conciliar Popes.

    I’d like to add, though, that the progressives/Modernists/Communists/Freemasons who engineered this revolution completely outstripped their Protestant predecessors, because they stole not just two Sacraments, but all seven! This not only creates a facade (“The Great Facade”) which provides much greater cover than the first rebels (or should I call them the “I will not servers”) had thought of, but also makes it extremely difficult to convince modern Catholics that their religion has been stolen from them, and obscured by and replaced with a fraud.

    Pope Francis, however, is making the convincing a whole lot easier with his undisguised and unrepentant destruction of the Faith. Moreover, it is much easier to understand his overtures to the schismatics – not to mention scandals like Assisi I, II and III – if one starts with the assumption that it is merely, in effect, one Protestant reaching out to another.

    That said, however, I’ll have to resist the temptation to label this columnist an unchatechized ignoramus, since my own ignorance, as a revert, is at least equal to hers on any number of other areas of the Faith. However, given her job title and the publication in which this column appears, I’d have to wonder whether this is some back-door way of preparing Catholics for the “unofficial” embrace of Protestantism that will occur next year.

    April 14, 2016 at 12:43 am
  • GildasWiseman

    Just to test the Protestant-Catholic concept, see what happens when you say to a Conciliar Catholic, there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. The reply is generally of a liberal, modernist and protestant ilk. And why should it surprise us? Fifty years or so of the Protestantization of the Church with a Catholic-Protestant hybrid ecumenical Mass. Fifty years of corrosive Catechesis, Fifty years of pastoral concerns over-riding doctrine and culminating into the debacle we witness today from Rome and most of the bishops of the world; especially considering Amoris Laetitia. We need Our Blessed Lady to intercede and rescue us more than ever. Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us

    April 16, 2016 at 11:31 am
    • Athanasius


      Very well said!

      April 16, 2016 at 5:16 pm

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