Monday, 13 March 2017

Cardinal Nichols, the Maltese Bishops, and the destruction of Children.

At first glance it is very human and very understanding.   Why should anyone deny Holy Communion to those who have married, divorced and remarried again?   This is an age when we are preaching compassion and mercy to those, and especially those who find themselves part of the Church yet excluded from the one thing they want,  reception of the Blessed Sacrament.

Now there are difficult situations where a divorced and remarried man or woman is with a partner and rearing children in a loving family.  How can I preach against them having a 'second chance'   But of course, something new has been put forward and I call it new because the Jesus of Scripture never mentioned the word once.  The word is 'conscience'.   This was brought into the Church fairly recently and apparently we can disobey 'the rules' or anything Jesus said if we can have our conscience conforming to our will.   Jesus said nothing about this but not too long ago John Henry Cardinal Newman was being quoted in England as being a strong defender of conscience.  A glance at his letter to the Duke of Norfolk tells quite a different story.  Then of course there are 'the rules'.   Yes, there are 'rules' especially surrounding the reception of the most wonderful gift Jesus has given us - his very self in the host.   It would be an insult to Jesus if there were no rules protecting the Blessed Sacrament from defamation.  Yet Cardinal Nicholls appears not to believe in them.   Well he will say "I do, but not in these circumstances where I reach out in compassion and love"

What has been lost in the Church in the pursuit of conscience is that sin is not just something we do and then when it is over there are no consequences.   Sin has a consequence for the individual and the society in which the individual lives.  There are many examples I could put forward but let us talk about the consequences of the reception of Holy Communion by someone divorced and remarried.   Perhaps the priest who is now apparently to teach people to ignore their conscience and when they have done so they are ready to receive or those who will to receive but need just reassurance that their consciences and their will are in accord, this is the Nicholls/Maltese solution.   When I read Amores Laetitia the matter seemed simple to me.  What the Pope was advocating was that those who are not taking Communion because they were divorced or remarried would receive support from the priest in their spiritual life until such circumstances arose where within the rules of the Church and with Respect for Jesus himself they could receive.   Its is not Amores Laetitia that is wrong but the interpretation of the text by those who do not follow the Jesus of Scripture.  And it is sad that Cardinals, Bishops and priests are among them.   So if a bishop in one diocese admits the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, he will be the compassionate and merciful one.   A bishop who follows the Jesus of Scripture will be demeaned as 'rigid'   Indeed any priest who follows the Jesus of Scripture will find it increasingly difficult to become a bishop.

But let us talk about consequences.   Those of us who follow the Jesus of Scripture know that there was no mention of conscience when he told the crowd in Matthew 5 in no uncertain terms that marriage and divorce were against the will of God.   Why does Cardinal Nicholls and the Maltese bishops think they know better than Jesus?.   That they are more merciful and compassionate than Jesus?    The answer always comes after Jesus has spoken on divorce when he turns to little children.  They are the ones who are hurt most of all by divorce but we have grown so selfish as adults and we believe so little in the family that we tell them we have no interest in them.  The Catholic Church leaders in England cannot make too much of family values when filled with their so called  mercy and compassion they allowed annulments and did little to talk about the indissolubly of marriage.  Even insulting Jesus by claiming good marriages were an ideal.   It is now estimated that more than half of children in Catholic Schools cone from unhappy and broken homes.   What does telling them that Jesus loves them mean to these children when they do not feel loved in their lives.  And they do not see a Church fighiting for marriage but rather  just another agency that does not care, which talks about mercy and compassion but has none for them.  






 

Friday, 3 March 2017

A Child Will Welcome Me.

I see so much unhappiness and tears Lord
So many children hurting and alone
I want so much to take away their fears Lord
And fill them with a love they’ve never known
If I could take your cross upon my shoulder
I’d gladly walk the road to Calvary
And maybe some will say when they are older
He died with Jesus just for love of me

And there are children living far away Lord
Who hunger just for water and for bread
While I enjoy a meal three times a day Lord
Their little bodies waste until they’re dead
O hold those children very close to you Lord
In some way make their little lives worthwhile
You know there s nothing that I wouldn't  do Lord
If I could help just one of them to smile.

Perhaps there’ll be a better world tomorrow
When love will reign and every one will share
With those who live in need and those in sorrow
Who never thought that anyone would care
You said that little children are in Heaven
For such as these such happiness should be
And though I know how little I have given
Perhaps one day a child will welcome me.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Now the Spirit of Vatican II is being applied to Jesus Himself.

The new head of the Jesuits is a man with a great intellect.   Apparently when we read the Gospel and what Jesus said we must remember that the actual words of Jesus of Scripture may not be what the evangelist said he said because he was not there.   So the solution lies in discerning what he MEANT  to say and using our conscience to decide..   Of course in most cases our conscience will strangely correspond to our will  Perhaps the best thing is to forget the Jesus of Scripture altogether and be guided by men of outstanding intellect like the Head of the Jesuits.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

AND MANY FOLLOWED HIM BECAUSE HE TAUGHT WITH AUTHORITY

As I read through the Bible and the words of the Jesus of Scripture I came across Matthew 28 where Jesus said "All AUTHORITY is given to me in heaven and on earth, go therefore to al nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.   And I am with you always even till the end of the world"

If you follow the Jesus of Scripture you will know that he is a very authoritarian person and indeed it is said in scripture that many followed him because he taught with authority not like their own scribes and Pharisees.  So in this MATTHEW 28 we see Jesus passing on his authority to the disciples and telling them that he will be with them in their teachings until the end of the world.   Perhaps our young people do not come to Church because that authority is no longer there.  Instead we have too many bishops and priests more interested in teaching their own Gospel and their own Christ and making the teachings of the Jesus of Scripture irrelevant for the 'Church  of Modern Times'

But did Jesus Christ fail in his mission and the disciples from earliest days began to dispute and change what Christ had taught?   This is certainly possible but did it happen?   After Jesus died the disciples became missionaries to the Roman world  and we are all familiar with the writings of Paul and his travels.  There were certainly no bishops in dioceses appointed by Rome yet in those early days Rome became important.   Peter had gone there and died there and the person put in charge after Peter was Linus, then Cletus, then Clement.   A practice developed that when there were disputes in any region the matter was always referred to Rome and the successor of Peter.   Thus in 96 AD we have Clement of Rome writing with authority to the Corinthians that they did not have any right to replace the leaders given to them by the Apostles and other Eminent Men.   As the successor of Peter his ruling was accepted.   Things back in the time of the Apostles were no different from today.  there were within the Church many who felt they were 'mature enough to make up their own minds'.   When asked how to find the truth Ignatius of Antioch around 120 AD laid down what was to be the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church.  To find the truth you could go around all the  Churches and learn the Consensus or you could go straight to Rome where the truth can be found because of its superior eminence. (The seat of Peter)       When the Roman Emperor moved to Constantinople, the Pope was left not just to run the Church but to run the city as well.  Thus when Attila the Hun came to invade Rome it was the Pope he had to negotiate with.  Meanwhile the leader of the church in Constantinople began to challenge the Pope and his right to run the Church there.   When eventually he claimed the same power to run his own Church in the East the writings of  Matthew were produced "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.....and I will give to Thee the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven so that whatever you loose on earh will be loosed in heaven"  When the Kings of Israel went to war they could be away a very long time so the King would appoint someone to run the Kingdom in his absence by 'giving him the keys of the Royal Household'   Yes, it only appears in the Gospel of Matthew written to the Jews but the Jews understood the authority of the keys.   So in the church there was always someone taking the place of Christ as Leader.  And teaching with Authority.  In many parts of the Church today where the Reformers took control the authority of the Pope is ignored and as a result  the truth that the Jesus of Scripture wanted his children to know is no longer taught.  But young people know the difference between teaching with authority and teaching with no conviction.

And talking about Scripture There were two Councils at Carthage and one in Hippo in the 5th century when the then bishops in an ecumenical council (all the Bishops together) met and decided which writings by the Apostles and those taught by the Apostles could be accepted entirely  as the Word of God.  There were many false narratives around and the Church had an obligation to ensure what the people read was revealed truly by the Holy Spirit.  It was not an easy task.   I have already mentioned the writings of Clement and of Ignatius of Antioch but for whatever reason these writings and many others were not included.   When an agreement was reached the decision was given to the Bishop of Rome and he ratified their decision.  (In the Hierarchy the bishops must act under the supervision of the Pope)  so it is the Catholic Church that first called the chosen writings  The Word of God.

Relations between Rome and Constantinople continued to deteriorate and in the 7th Century the Eastern Church broke away in schism from Rome.

But make no mistake. If you follow the Jesus of scripture you will know if you deny the teachings of the Church you are denying the teachings of the Lord Himself.   He that heareth you hearth me, He that despises you despises me.

Friday, 17 February 2017

HOW THE CHURCH BETRAYED THE YOUNG

I heard a discussion the other day.  It was about why so many young people do not come to Church.  The difficulties of keeping First Communicants coming to Church and the difficulties experienced in Confirmation.  Those who spoke had tried everything but nothing worked.  There seems to be no way forward.

I remember being present one Saturday morning at the local school listening to the new catechism that was being brought in.  It was called 'Here I Am'  and there was no doubt that because it was in the Spirit of Vatican II era it just had to be successful.   Only those living in the past would dare to question this.  So  i questioned it.   Knowing that whatever I said would be appreciated by some parents but ignored by the teachers I restricted myself to pointing out that there was no mention of the Blessed Sacrament and added "If you do not mention or teach the true Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament you will destroy the faith of the children"   And of course at that time the Real Presence had also bern omitted from the First Holy Communion programme.  "The children are too young to understand" was the reply if you dared to ask.  So the greatest treasure in the Catholic Church was put into the background as quite unimportant.  What followed was even worse.  Love and  Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was attacked inside the Church itself.   We received as a Community we were told so when you receive the host you are not to go giving private love and devotion for that is meaningless until you rejoin the Community.   To top this one parish tried to stop devotion by claiming that Jesus told us to chew and they gave us a new host which we could chew.  This host would break in peoples hands and was quickly removed.  But the stupidity of the people who would reason this way was outweighed by their lack of Faith in the Real Presence.   In the Assyrian Church people prostrate themselves before receiving the Sacrament but in the UK altar rails were broken down and the people force to stand.

Of course the first person that was attacked by the new scholars was Our Mother Mary.   It was at Vatican II that a Jesuit stood up and demanded that a document on Our Lady be thrown out since THIS WOULD PUT THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT BACK 10 YEARS.   What an insult to Jesus and his Mother.   No surprise then that this was followed by an attack on the standing of Mary in the parishes  Devotions to Mary and the Rosary was stopped except for a few Catholics who struggled on.  Almost unnoticed came the attack on the Authority given to the Church by Jesus Himself.  Every priest is infallible in his own right or some believe they are.   The Church no longer is a militant Church spreading the truth that the Spirit wants us to spread.  No, we must not claim to have the truth it would hurt the feelings of Protestants.

Which brings me back to the beginning.   How do we get the children back into the Church?   Why do the children not want to be part of the Church?   The answer is all about loving the Church.  I have been part of the Church since my early youth since I loved the Church.  I loved the Blessed Sacrament, I loved our Mother Mary, I loved the Rosary, I loved the lives of many of the saints.   I loved the great treasures that young people are being denied.   Were I a young person now I doubt if the Church would attract me.  And there is a saying that if you do not have love then how can you pass it on?   You cannot give what you do not have.  The Church was created by Jesus to build his Kingdom on earth.  To be holy by striving for holiness, by obeying the Commandments  to show our love for God.  Jesus said "If you love me keep my Commandments"  So anyone who sees the Commandments as 'just rules' has already sinned against the Jesus of Scripture.

We lost thousands of young people to the reformers but there are signs that the Faith is returning.  I think we owe this to a great extent to the immigration from Europe and  the Southern Continents that started in the late nineties.   Many of them did not experience the destruction of the Spirit of Vatican II and did not experience the zeal of the 'experts' of the Spirit of Vatican II.   In the Diocese of Portsmouth we have a bishop who is keen to restore theCatholic Faith.   Keep him in your prayers.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Question of Hell

The subject of Hell is not an easy one.     In Matthew 25:41 the Jesus of Scripture says to the wicked "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire which was prepared for the Devil and his Angels"   So we have two important points here.  There is something called 'everlasting fire' and that God has already put beings there.   The third point seems to be that God has put them there, or has He?  

I was educated in a Church that followed the Jesus of Scripture.   Remember the Jesus that said to Pilate that he had come to bear witness to the truth.   If we say we believe in Scripture then we must believe in the Jesus of Scripture and not the false Christs of human invention that makes the Church the kind of place we feel comfortable in, and if we are not comfortable it is the Church that is to blame.   So let us look further into what Jesus had to say about Hell and what the Church had to say about Hell.    Remember the Church that Jesus gave authority to " Go therefore and teach all nations...."   And it was not to the educated and the wise, to University experts, or lay prophets, but to fishermen - those who accepted Him as little children.    We meet the word Hell first in the Creed.  "He descended into Hell"  My penny Catechism which thank God I learned off by heart despite the sneers of the enlightened told me that Jesus descended into that part of Hell called Limbo.  I then learned that Limbo was a place of rest where the souls of the just who died before Christ were detained.  It is worth noting there was no mention of unbaptised babies going to Limbo for this was never taught at the Council of Trent from which source the catechism was based.  It seems Thomas Aquinas thought this and it was taken up by priests and laity.   But getting back to Hell if Jesus went to part of it then surely everlasting fire must mean something other than physical fire for how could just men survive in such a place.   I do not believe either that Jesus was talking about the Rubbish Dump at Jerusalem.  Yes it might be terrible to live in a rubbish dump for eternity, but this was a childish attempt to get away from the 'everlasting fire'.   

We are called by Jesus to a life of love.  Why did God make us?  The Penny Catechism says  "God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next"   That is why I am a Christian.  It is my calling, it is the calling of the sick and the handiuapped, the baby at the breast, and the baby in the womb.   We are all called to this life of Love and service.  Yet many do not live their lives that way.  They enslave, they torture, they despise and they hate.   They see love as weakness.  And having formed and evil nature when they die they cannot change.  They would destroy the happiness of Heaven itself as the Devil and his Angels did. But worse they would hate to be in the presence of the Love of God.  They despise everything good.
They have a fire in their heart but it is not the fire of love but of hate.

When Our lady of Fatima appeared to the children she taught them how to put the love of God into their hearts by prayer and penance.   She showed them a vision of what hell could be like for those poor souls who condemned themselves to an eternity of hate.   She asked them to constantly pray for the conversion of those poor souls who would be lost because they had nobody to show then what love was.   

Evangelisation springs from OUR LOVE OF GOD.   When we are inflamed with the Love of God, there is nothing we would not do to show that love within us.  That an encounter with us is an encounter with Jesus himself.  We can give to the poor from our natural goodness but as Christians much more is asked of us. We must endeavour to love them as Christ loves them.   Yes, perhaps even die for them.  Human kindness would never be enough.  "O My God, I believe, I adore,  I hope in you and I loveyou, and I ask forgiveness for those who will not believe, nor adore, nor hope in you, nor love you"  This is the prayer the angel taught the children at Fatima.  Let it be our prayer to recite over and over again.