Monday, October 23, 2017

GK Chesterton Responds to Pope Francis



This is from The Everlasting Man.  My emphases of his text in boldface; my comments in italics.  He is speaking here on the view of Marriage as presented by Our Lord (see Mat. 19)

What he [Jesus] advanced
was something quite different; something very difficult; but something
no more difficult now than it was then. When, for instance, Mahomet made
his polygamous compromise we may reasonably say that it was conditioned
by a polygamous society. When he allowed a man four wives he was really
doing something suited to the circumstances, which might have been less
suited to other circumstances. Nobody will pretend that the four wives
were like the four winds, something seemingly a part of the order of
nature; nobody will say that the figure four was written for ever in
stars upon the sky.

[Chesterton is implying here that Christ is asserting that the nature of Christian Marriage is "part of the order of nature", a fidelity that is somehow "for ever written in the stars upon the sky" in the way no worldly compromise could be.

But neither will anyone say that the figure four is
an inconceivable ideal; that it is beyond the power of the mind of man
to count up to four; or to count the number of his wives and see whether
it amounts to four.

[Chesterton is using humor here to illustrate a point.  "The Islamic view of Marriage is an impossible ideal for me!  How on earth am I to count my wives and assure myself that I have only four?  It can't be done!"]

It is a practical compromise carrying with it the
character of a particular society.

[This is Chesterton's point.  Mohammed's compromise on marriage was a compromise with the Middle Eastern pagan society and culture of his day.  Christ's teaching on Marriage - and therefore the Church's - is no compromise at all, and certainly not with the world or the world's "compromised" attitude toward love, matrimony and fidelity.]  

If Mahomet had been born in Acton in
the nineteenth century, we may well doubt whether he would instantly
have filled that suburb with harems of four wives apiece. As he was born
in Arabia in the sixth century, he did in his conjugal arrangements
suggest the conditions of Arabia in the sixth century. But Christ in his
view of marriage does not in the least suggest the conditions of
Palestine of the first century. He does not suggest anything at all,
except the sacramental view of marriage as developed long afterwards by
the Catholic Church.

[Christ taught something in the Gospels that was only fully expressed later.  His teaching on Marriage is radically unworldly and new, and not the least conditioned by the world around him - either the Roman attitude toward Marriage or the Jewish.  It was a new thing, a suddenly and startlingly right thing - and insisting on it was one of the reasons people were furious with Him.] 

It was quite as difficult for people then as for
people now. It was much more puzzling to people then than to people now.
Jews and Romans and Greeks did not believe, and did not even understand
enough to disbelieve, the mystical idea that the man and the woman had
become one sacramental substance. 

[It is this central teaching of Jesus on Marriage that the Catholic Church has always defended, with true mercy and not a parody of mercy - mercy for those abandoned by their spouses and mercy for the broken children of broken families, as well as mercy for those who do the breaking and who repent of it.  The worldly pressure to compromise or abandon this teaching today is enormous and it has infested the Church at every level.  But of all the Catholic doctrines based on the teachings of Christ, this is perhaps the one with the most Scriptural support.  When it comes to Marriage, Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation and elsewhere refuses to clarify; Jesus in the Gospel refuses to be vague.  If the Catholic Church folds on "the mystical idea that the man and the woman become one sacramental substance", or that rejecting this idea by an ongoing sin throws the sinner out of full communion with Christ, the Church will have folded indeed. If the Bride of Christ abandons Marriage she will have abandoned the bridegroom Himself.] 

We may think it an incredible or
impossible ideal; but we cannot think it any more incredible or
impossible than they would have thought it. In other words, whatever
else is true, it is not true that the controversy has been altered by
time. Whatever else is true, it is emphatically not true that the ideas
of Jesus of Nazareth were suitable to his time, but are no longer
suitable to our time. Exactly how suitable they we to his time is
perhaps suggested in the end of his story.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Charlie Johnston Exposed!

Here are some observations by Dr. Jim Dooley on Charlie Johnston.  ...

***
Written October 14, 2017.
Charlie Johnston is a false prophet and most probably a fraud.  I can’t guess with complete certainty if he is a fraud / liar, delusional / mentally ill, or deceived by demons.  However, it really doesn’t matter; he’s any combination of the above.  He’s now wrong – yet again.  He’s racking up quite a collection of totally failed, so - called prophecies:  
  • He predicted that there’d be no peaceful transfer of power.
  • He predicted that Barack Obama would extend his term.
  • He predicted that President Trump wouldn’t be sworn in.
  • He predicted that the next American leader wouldn’t come from the normal electoral process.
  • He predicted we’d witness this as a sign from God, so we would believe.
  • He predicted the breakout of a world – wide civil war AND a complete economic collapse.
  • He predicted that during the period from October 13 to October 17, 2017, we’d be totally, visibly & miraculously delivered via the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  
  • He predicted that virtually the entire global population would convert to Catholicism.
  • He predicted that our infrastructure would be broken down & we’d be simplified.
  • Wrong on every prediction; that’s a perfect record!

We must note that he has been forbidden by his Archbishop to speak at any
church – owned properties and his followers have twice been strongly advised by the Archdiocese to, first, place their faith only in Jesus, the Scriptures and the Sacraments, and, second, to avoid trying to interpret his failed prophecies as valid.  The Magisterium has spoken.  Period.  Yet he still publishes articles on his blog, ‘The Next Right Step.’

Additionally, he has a cult - like following, which troubles me greatly.  He claims
to say simply that everyone must take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around them.  Obviously, we don’t need Charlie to tell us to perform acts of charity towards others, especially when the world is in dire straits, which we can all clearly observe by simply viewing the nightly news, i.e. gay ‘marriage’, global wars, etc.  Thank you for stating the obvious, Charlie.  

I have nothing personal against Charlie, who’s a fellow Catholic.  Yet, significantly & deeply troubling, he used his alleged supernatural “prophecies” to initially attract and subsequently maintain, & actually augment, what has evolved into a cult – like following.  He obviously basks in the attention.  He also repeatedly scrubbed negative comments from his blog, allowing only supportive ones from his cult members to remain.  Finally, he attempted to spin a clear smack down from two separate Catholic Bishops, the Archbishop of Denver and the Bishop of Bismark, into something positive.  

He’s been proven to be a complete fraud yet again; has been proven false numerous times, and must be given no more platform, ever!  Yet, despite his repeated false and failed predictions, he has the unbelievable audacity to continue to post articles on his blog ‘TNRS / Abraham’s Journey”.  He has quietly returned and posted numerous articles on his blog, despite his promise to vanish from the public scene if he was proven false – which he has been.  He quietly returned, clearly for his own selfish and egocentric reasons.  At least have the honor to vanish.

He, his blog, and emails from ‘TNRS / Abraham’s Journey’ should be shunned.  The next right step must be to add Charlie to the dust bin of failed prophets & complete frauds.  Prayers for those whom he hurt, deceived & misled - and for him.  Charlie, and his dubious intentions, remain in our Rosary.  Ave Maria, Stella Maris!

***

Thanks to Jim for going through the effort to document all of Charlie's false prophecies - though it will make no difference to Charlie's True Believers.

The reason I finally stopped blogging at Waiting for Godot to Leave was that some of my readers continued to make excuses for Charlie, even after he admitted lying about his claim that he and I had emailed one another. 

Charlie's followers - if they still continue to put any faith in this man - are getting exactly what they deserve.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky

It's almost a commonplace that hell is never mentioned in most Catholic homilies anymore, nor is it even alluded to.  But it's even more of a problem that heaven, while never mentioned by name (out of

embarrassment, I think), is even more misunderstood than hell.

As to the banishment of hell, you need look no further than today's Mass readings, which feature Our Lord's parable of the invited guests, many of whom ignore the invitation to come in to the feast.  The parable ends with a stern warning about hell ...

But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. 
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen." (Mat. 22:11-14)

The text of this dramatic ending of the reading is bracketed by the bishops - which means it is optional for the priest or deacon to read it.

Our priest today opted not to read the conclusion of the parable, which served to achieve the obvious: the parable loses its sting, and in some ways is robbed of its main point.

His homily reminded me of what you'll experience at most Catholic parishes at the Easter Sunday Mass.  "Hey, everybody!  Lent is over!  We can go back to eating chocolate!!!"  The Resurrection is shorn of its true joy and drained of any real depth, even psychological depth.

For our universe has been flattened.  Banish the terrors of hell and you end up with a hole where heaven ought to be.  "No hell below us, above us only sky," as John Lennon wrote - though I'm not even sure the sky is up there anymore.

Heaven has become either an all-you-can-eat buffet - which is more of less what the wedding feast symbolized in Our Lord's parable, according to our homilist - or a place where everybody is nice and smiles at one another - a kind of psych ward for lobotomy patients.

And while the Kingdom of God is among us, and we get glimpses of it in the unsung bravery and love of the many ordinary people in our lives, that fleeting sense of a "joy beyond the walls of this world, poignant as grief" is utterly absent from our typical notions of eternal life with the Holy Trinity and the saints.

 I think this kind of culture - or, more accurately, this vapid lack of culture - which, aside from the sacraments, is the only thing put forward in the Catholic Church at the typical parish level these days - this kind of anti-culture bears this kind of fruit.  It produces the young men who do things like this.

The transcendent exists.  It is in a more fundamental way than we are - but if we can't approach the transcendent (either heaven or hell) at church, then where can we approach it?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Naming the Heresy

From an email to a friend ...

***

I keep searching for the name of the general attitude that unites liberal Catholics (including some bishops and cardinals) with the gender-bending secularists of our day.  I'm trying to find a better word than "Modernism", which is too vague and has lost most of its punch.  The key mistaken belief of the liberalists / nihilists seems to be that we create meaning, we don't discover it.  But what's the word for that belief, and for a life lived in accord with that belief?

Here's a phrase that works from an article on a website called Areo ...

In Plato’s Theaetetus, Socrates inferred that the major weakness of philodoxy is the inevitable capitulation to crowd-speak. Specifically, Socrates made fun of Protagoras’s homo-mensura, which asserts, “Man is the measure of all things.” For clarity’s sake, the homo-mensura can be interpreted as this: “The human-animal’s perceptions and opinions determine the value of all things.” According to Socrates, Protagoras may as well have asserted, “Pig is the measure of all things,” or, “Baboon is the measure,” since those creatures also possess “the power of perception.” Protagoras, foiled by his own maxim, is “no better authority than a tadpole, let alone any other man.” If Protagoras’s homo-mensura is truly so weak, why does anyone bother to uphold it? One possible answer: it makes crowds happy. As the ancient progenitor of truthiness and alternative facts, the homo-mensura helps sophists win over audiences. “Everyone’s opinions are meaningful and valuable! You can decide on any scientific, political or artistic subject for yourself!” (Cue applause.) The worst effect of the homo-mensura is that it renders futile any attempt to examine or refute “each other’s ostentations and judgments,” for each individual demands respect and narcissistic recognition. “This is surely an extremely tiresome piece of nonsense,” Socrates decided.

For “Everyone’s opinions are meaningful and valuable! You can decide on any scientific, political or artistic subject for yourself!” (Cue applause) substitute, "Your individual situation determines the morality of your actions!  You can decide what is right and what is wrong!  For God Himself is asking you to put yourself in that position!  It's what He wants!" (Cue applause.)

When Man becomes the Measure of all things, then God no longer sets the bar.  In fact, for all practical purposes, God no longer exists.  We can ignore His teaching on adultery or on anything at all.  He does not set the measure.  We do.

Because, we are homo-mensuristsand because, we are secretly certain, we are God.