The Presidential prophecy- An update on Charlie Johnston

A triumphant Trump inaugurated amidst some bold predictions
Update Jan 1, 2018: Concerning Mr. Johnston's alleged prophecies and private revelations, from early on this writer often commented that time and events (or lack of events) will clearly reveal whether Charlie's prophecies are authentic, or not.  In other words, time will tell. 

Well, as of today (January 1, 2018) time has clearly revealed that Mr. Johnston's numerous prophecies have ALL been shown to be completely false, most notably his predictions concerning the Presidential election, the great worldwide "Storm" which he foretold would bring global economic collapse and civil strife, toppling governments throughout the globe, war with political Islam resulting with the mass conversion of most Muslims, then a war with China, and generalized  global chaos resulting in 26 million dead, all culminating with the miraculous "Rescue" apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to all of humanity, all of which was prophesied by Charlie to occur by the end of 2017. 

In conclusion, since Charlie's prophecies have now all been shown to be completely false, he joins the list of recent failed visionaries whose stories have been highlighted on this site, such as "Locutions to the World" and "Maria Divine Mercy", and together they provide a strong cautionary warning for all of us in regards to purported visionaries and mystics of past and present, urging us to be very cautious and prudent in our discernment concerning such persons,  reaffirming the statement and warning of St Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists and great mystic himself, who once stated that 9 out of 10 purported visionaries are false.  Perhaps this estimation from St Paul of the Cross is a bit high, but then again perhaps not.  -Glenn Dallaire
UPDATE, January 20, 2017: 
With the successful inauguration of President Donald Trump comes the unfulfilled conclusion to both parts of the alleged angelic “Presidential prophecy” of Charlie Johnston, namely that Obama will not finish his term and the next leader will not come from the political system (ie.-not elected), as detailed in the article below. It was a bold two-part prophecy that has now ended in a double fail.

When one claims to be a prophet of God, one’s life and most especially one’s prophecies are automatically held for scrutiny before the court of public opinion. In this court of public opinion, the preponderance of the evidence is what often initially sways one’s opinion, yet there eventually comes to pass certain very important matters for discernment, such as key prophecies, which depending on their eventual turnout, will considerably authenticate, or invalidate, the purported mission and message of such persons.  And when one compares the alleged angelic ‘Presidential prophecy’ against today’s successful inauguration, the conclusions to be drawn are self-evident.  

With the above being said, one would strongly suspect that today’s inauguration, which by all appearances completely invalidates the first formal public prophecy of Charlie Johnston, will likely be one of these aforementioned key matters for discernment that will have a decisive impact in judging his purported prophetic mission and message for a good many people.  For if a prophet is judged by his prophecies as the saying goes, then today’s failure of the purported angelic ‘Presidential prophecy’,  as detailed in the article below,  will for many persons surely bring with it an unfavorable judgment in what concerns the prophetic mission of Charlie Johnston. 

For in his blog post "The Election...and Other Potential Triggers" Charlie writes:
"...If, next January, Barack Obama peacefully hands over the reins of power to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, I will declare myself unreliable and go away. But it will not happen that way, for God has appointed that this be a sign to you to fortify you to trust Him and choose the ordinary way to follow Him through the most frightening year for the globe in history."

And again, concerning today’s inauguration, for his part Charlie has also declared in his post entitled “Election day” on November 7th that:
 “…If, on January 20, Obama peacefully transfers power to either Trump or Clinton, I will declare myself unreliable and retire into silence.”  

With this pledge, one finds that today’s inauguration will bring with it not only the end of Obama’s term, but also the end of Charlie Johnston’s public blogging, speaking engagements, and future predictions, at least for a time, though the loss of credibility from today’s events will likely be permanent. 

And I say "for a time" simply because of Charlie's recent comments on his blog concerning the possibility of today's failure of his "Presidential prophecy", wherein he recently speaks about the possibility of being "recalled" by God into a silent, private period for some sort of remedial prophetic discernment re-training "for a time".

Nevertheless, for those who in good faith spread amongst their family, friends and coworkers Charlie's prediction concerning "Obama not finishing his term/next leader not coming from the political process", and who are now left feeling much like "the boy who cried wolf", one can only presume that any possible future prophetic predictions from Charlie will be given little or no credence, if not outright opposition by many who have followed his work and message, as is perhaps justifiably merited by today's developments. In the end, it is up to Archbishop Aquila of Denver to make any formal judgments concerning Charlie Johnston's private revelations.

As for this writer, I can say that while I have always been reluctant to highlight purported LIVING mystics and visionaries, I am even more so now after these recent events.

May God bless the United States of America, and all of humanity.
-Glenn Dallaire, January 20, 2017

Charlie Johnston during a recent FOCUS TV interview
The final days for the possible fulfillment of a purported Angelic prophecy 

By: Glenn Dallaire

Jan. 7, 2017 -Vigil of the Epiphany
Many readers of this website are familiar with the original article that I wrote back in January 2015 entitled  "Charlie Johnston -An alleged prophet with a critically important message for humanity".  In it I discussed at length Charlie's purported prophetic mission and message, along with a short biography of his life. And for the past two years it has been one of the most popular articles on this website.

Additionally, when the Archdiocese of Denver came out with a Statement in March 2016 concerning Mr. Johnston I published an article here discussing it.

The Presidential prophecy
In the past week, the comments beneath that original article have exploded (there are now currently a total of 770 comments), as has my email inbox, with most everyone commenting specifically on the angelic prophecy allegedly given to Charlie, which I have named "The Presidential prophecy":

"What I was told in the Spring of 2008 was that Barack Obama would win that year's election, that he would not finish his full term, and that the next stable national leader would not come from the political system."

The obvious reason for all of the recent attention to this specific alleged angelic prophecy is the upcoming scheduled Presidential Inauguration scheduled for this January 20th--just 2 weeks away from this writing. For his part, just yesterday Charlie published an article entitled "A Decisive Conundrum" which addresses this matter, in part.

This particular prophecy is the first of a series of alleged angelic prophesies concerning the world that are to occur mostly this year (2017). And since we are delving into this subject of alleged "Angelic" messages given to Charlie, it should be pointed out that the Angel whom has purportedly visited Charlie from childhood is the Archangel Gabriel, as was specifically revealed to Charlie during one of the "visitations". The other predictions that Charlie insists upon are highlighted in his article entitled "Go Forth". In it Charlie reveals eight worldwide events that are said to occur::

"I only have eight public prophecies that I insist on. Only the visible, miraculous Rescue by Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception in late 2017, is time sensitive. Five things must happen between now and the Rescue, but can happen at any time during that period. They are:

– The continued toppling of governments throughout the world, including that of the U.S. The toppling of a government does not mean the nation shall fall.

– The confrontation with and fall of political Islam.

– The mass conversion of most Muslims

– The confrontation between the Judeo-Christian world and the current government of China.

– The alliance between Russia and the U.S. to lead the Judeo-Christian world to endure the confrontation with China.

-Then, after the 5 things above comes the miraculous "Rescue" through the Immaculate Heart of Mary sometime in late 2017.

Then there are two prophecies that happen shortly after the Rescue. They are the unification of the faithful into one flock under one shepherd and the building and location of the Shrine of thanksgiving for the Rescue on Mount Meeker in Colorado.

Together these predicted events constitute for humanity what Charlie calls "The Storm"--a series of events which he states is already well underway. As of today (January 7, 2017), the most obvious observation concerning the prophesies above is that time is really running out for them to all happen before the miraculous Rescue in late 2017. Thus, from an intellectually reasoned perspective, it is probably readily apparent to many that such predictions are already a failure, given the time-frames involved for such things to occur in "real" time. But then, who really knows just yet? For God is not limited by our human constraints and He is always full of surprises.

It should be noted that the "Presidential prophecy" is NOT part of the eight public prophesies that Charlie insists upon. I don't know what bearing that may have, if any, in the upcoming days and weeks.

"God has appointed that this be a sign to you"
In his article "The Election...and Other Potential Triggers" Charlie writes:
"If, next January, Barack Obama peacefully hands over the reins of power to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, I will declare myself unreliable and go away. But it will not happen that way, for God has appointed that this be a sign to you to fortify you to trust Him and choose the ordinary way to follow Him through the most frightening year for the globe in history."

Of course for now the big question at this point is whether or not the purported angelic prophecy concerning Obama not finishing his term/next leader not coming from the election process will come to pass as foretold in the remaining two weeks before the scheduled Presidential inauguration on January 20th. And the obvious implication in the opinion of many people is that this prophecy is key in determining whether Charlie is truly an authentic prophet, or not. For as the saying goes "A prophet is judged by his prophecies", or as Scripture tells us:

"And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not fear him." (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

For his part, Charlie has stated numerous times that if this particular prophecy concerning Obama not finishing his term were to fail, with the presidency successfully transitioned to Donald Trump, that he will post one last post on his blog, then go away:
Charlie Johnston during a presentation in July 2016
charliej373 says:
"If there is a peaceful transition of power from Obama to Trump, I will go away. If there is not, be not afraid, God has a plan."

or again:
 charliej373 says:
December 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm
"Now, as I have said, if the inauguration goes on without incident, I will go away. "

or again:
charliej373 says:
"Certainly, if we have a normal inauguration a month from now, I will retire from the field, for that prophecy will have been objectively wrong. I take full responsibility for that. But it won’t change what you are called to do.

Noting that I do and will take responsibility, your standard would require you to dismiss St. Joan of Arc as a false prophet for the times she erred on saying how the battle would go – and many of the Old Testament prophets who were often off on their timing, sometimes by years. I do not say this to try to justify any error on my part. I strongly urge you to examine yourself and consider what God calls you to. But yep, a month from now if we have a normal inauguration, you can give me a big old thumbs down."

charliej373 says:
January 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm
"If the inauguration comes off, I will leave the public scene, because that is what it means to honorably take full responsibility. "

And so, even though this "Presidential prophecy" is not one of the eight public prophecies that Charlie insists upon, according to several statements he has made he does believe that if it fails to come to pass as foretold, this would be significant enough to merit and declare himself "unreliable" and "leaving the scene". Time will soon tell how things turn out. For his part, Charlie has "laid it on the line", so to speak. We need only wait, watch and pray. Events, or the lack thereof, will reveal the truth concerning Charlie's purported private revelations.

Given all of the recent interest in this particular prophecy as of late, along with the popularity of the original article here on this website concerning Charlie Johnston, I thought I would publish this new article so that those interested can comment on this matter freely and directly here. As always, all comments are published immediately on this website, without moderation. I only ask that commentators be charitable and considerate in their comments.

***UPDATE: FEBRUARY 16, 2017: Archdiocese of Denver: "Statement on false claim regarding Charlie Johnston’s messages"


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Anonymous said...

'A Sign of Hope' is the same old garbage repackaged. Nothing has changed. Charlie will still post his stream of consciousness, about whatever he wants.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

Jim D - spot on, especially closing his old site to cover his tracks.

The only thing I have to add about Charlie and his prophecies or lack there of and his new site: in Charlie's own words "Poppycock - Poppycock, Pure Unaltered Poppycock".

Glenn Dallaire said...

"Matt the grammar nazi":
Thanks for the grammar correction --I just changed the text as per your suggestion.
May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Fred Keyes said...

CJ said he would be taking it down and continuing with his new site. So I'd say yes, it's as gone as a readily available site. But I'm sure its contents are available with the "Wayback Machine" or any number of folks who saved his stuff. To me it should be like nuclear waste--safely buried.

Fred Keyes said...

Glenn, thanks again for providing this platform to discuss the issues surrounding Charlie Johnston. I believe it was a good example of the "Sensus Fidelium" at work. It fits the definition included in the Wiki entry for that phrase:

"Sensus fidei (sense of the faith), also called sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful), when exercised by the body of the faithful as a whole, is "the supernatural appreciation of faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals."[1] Quoting the document Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church adds: "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority,... receives... the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. ...The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."[2] The foundation of this can be found in Jesus' saying in Mt 16:18 that "the gates of Hell will not prevail against it," where "it" refers to the "Church", that is, the Lord's people that carries forward the living tradition of essential beliefs throughout history, with the Bishops overseeing that this tradition does not pursue the way of error.
--O"Collins, SJ, Gerald (2001). Fundamental Theology. Wipf and Stock Publishers. VIII. ISBN 1579106765.

Anonymous said...

I actually wonder the opposite sometimes. Sure Glenn has provided a forum but this constant spotlighting of fraudulent characters or phenomena such as the questionable photo of the stigmata on this site could also work against and make some people question our faith. Certainly it is fodder for the skeptics who use it to help their particular axe. But it may well weaken the previously strong faith of some. Perhaps that is why Church uthoritiee do their best to play down attention on these people/phenomena. Sometimes discernment can be a counter productive thing.

Anonymous said...

Charlie continues on, undaunted. Having gotten every single so called prophecy wrong, and having received negative approbation from his Bishop, one would think he'd have the honor to disband his cult - like following...but nope. Nope.

I must wonder, was it demonic deception? Very possibly. Was it all an elaborate hoax by Charlie? Also very possibly. Either way, Charlie is a proven fraud and is now clearly shown to be driven by his own ego. He's not only proven to be a fraud, but is both defiant and arrogant. LTTW, Bayside, Maria Divine Mercy, and now Charlie. He remains standing & unapologetic, with his head held high. Disgusting.

Jim D.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

I think this bears repenting again:

"Prophet Steve Fletcher is Wrong Again…
…but will his followers notice or care?

I’ve written several articles on the alleged prophet, Steve Fletcher. You can read them here if you’re interested: Link to past articles.

One thing Steve has going for him is his ability to pull the wool over the eyes of those who devour anything he writes, with gusto. It doesn’t matter that he is never correct about any of his predictions. When he’s wrong – all the time – he simply continues on with new “prophecies” that he claims are given to him directly by the Lord. Most seem to eat it up. The few who post a concern or question are generally ignored or attacked by others. How dare anyone speak against a “prophet” of God! is the essentially idea as far as they’re concerned."

Credit: studygrowknowblog

I guess Catholics are not immune to this stuff either.

Anonymous said...


Fascinating. I guess a cult leader need not produce results. When Charlie was likewise wrong, each and every time, his moonies didn't care. Results didn't matter. When his own diocese warned the faithful about him, it didn't matter to the moonies - at all. So, cults are based on delusions, not grounded in any real results or even in reality. That's all I can logically conclude. Charlie is shamefully unapologetic. He's forging forward, with his head high. Really sickening.

Jim D.

L Spinelli said...

Fred, you couldn't have used a more appropriate term than nuclear waste. This new "Sign of Hope" venture is simply repackaged nuclear waste.

I really don't care about Charlie’s views on love and sex in today's culture or what he thinks about legitimate authority, whatever he defines that as. I don't think these will be much more enlightening than his Disqus rants. Only his core nutters will eat any of it up.

He also put up a link to the Prayer of Miraculous Trust, only with its origins scrubbed. How disingenuous is that? Why did he put that up for more souls to carelessly pray it, unaware that a demon may be behind it and TNRS? Feeding his ego is the only answer I came up with.

Ah well, since the prophecy part of his "mission" failed, he'll continue to fade into obscurity. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Anonymous said...

Hi L. Spinelli!

Why did Charlie link to the "Prayer of Miraculous Trust?" He may say it's to help people, but don't forget Charlie gets a percentage from the sale of each prayer card. If he were really interested in the souls of the faithful, he'd be preaching confession, penance, Eucharist instead of Alt-right politics.

I wonder if Charlie reached out to his archdiocese to tell them he was starting up a new venture with the prophetic element removed to keep them from issuing any final verdict on him. He'd want to get some room to maneuver, get rid of any monitoring, so he can try to start back up again when the "heat" is off.

Joseph said...

I have not visited his new site because I do not want to support his efforts in any way by my site visits. The more people who visit his site will be an encouragement for him because I would think that he is checking his daily visitor count.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Johnston is a class act. His almost 20 so called predictions fail; he's chastised by his own Bishop; he dodges; fails to apologize; and continues with an alleged new site, just w.o. the 'prophetic'. Damn. His head unbowed and arrogant. You're a class act, Charlie!

Anonymous said...

And to think...there was a time when we were all in.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and then the truth hit us square in the noggin and now we are "all out". Well most of us anyway.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

This brings me to something I just followed on the net.
There is this guy called James Randi who is skeptical of supernatural power, psychics, etc.

Remember Yuri Geller - famed spoon bender, etc. He would go around bending spoons and keys. Randi was skeptical. However, Geller found himself on the Johnny Carson Show - Johnny was also a magician but was skeptical of Geller, so he asked Randi for help, so Randi told Johnny to set a tray of props and to make sure no one touched. When Geller came on stage Johnny brought out the props and Geller said "he had no power" and couldn't do anything - Geller thought he was finished. But no! The set-up propelled his career even higher! People felt sorry for him for being set-up and his career grew! Geller sued Randi several times, but Randi never paid a dollar. Geller sued a lot of other skeptics as well and never really won anything or profit from the suites.

Randi also debunked a tele-evangelist ( among many ) by the name of Popoff. He knew people's names and vital information about them. How did he know? Attendees filled out cards before they took their seats and Randi figured out by electronic surveillance that Popoff's wife was relaying information to him by a wireless device in his ear. Despite the debunking, Randi couldn't figure out why people still flocked to see him even knowing he had no special graces to heal it was a fraud.

Then there was Sylvia Browne who could give you a reading for $700 per 20 minutes, you never got to hear anything about the questions you asked but only common knowledge stuff.

Does all this sound familiar, it should, Charlie is alive and well and so are his 100s or more followers. People feel sorry for losers - that's just the way it is. You don't have to be right just liked!

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

By the way the guy sitting next to Geller on the Carson Show was none other than staunch Catholic Ricardo Montalbam - I wonder if he was there for a reason?!

L Spinelli said...

Hey fellow discerners,

I thought my January 11 post would be my last one. Maybe this one will be. But check out Charlie’s latest. He's trying to claim that 2018 will be the fulfillment of his "five fundamentals" - you know, the ones that were supposed to happen before the end of last year.

This was a damn shrewd move on his part. Does he think his critics aren't going to see this little missive of his? He removed where he got those prognostications from. He probably IS getting more "instruction" from (likely) demonic sources. He's keeping his cards close to his chest so he can't be shut down.

At this point, there's absolutely nothing that can be done about him. I'm sure he sent a preemptive note to Denver, claiming that he was removing the "prophetic element" from this new site. Then he posts this. He won't give up his 15 minutes. As Jim noted some time ago, if these are demons, they're feeding his need for praise and adulation that he never got before.

The main problem with people like him are the enablers. Cut them off, and it really would be the end of his nonsense. They're the only reason this sick charade is still ongoing. And sadly, nothing we did or said over the last three years was enough to get the enablers to see the light.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

I haven't been on his new site since he took off the old one.

But, when you look at it there may be say 200 comments or more, but when you really analyze it about 100 or so come from 4 or 5 main people like Charlie, Becks, Steve BC and a few others. So that leaves 100 or so comments. Most people comment at least twice some multiple times if not more. Let's say it is twice, that means only 50 other people - so it is not much.

L Spinelli said...

Jean, it's a rehash of "God's Plan" that he revealed in 2014, retailored to fit 2018. There's also another part coming, which I strongly suspect is his "Let's all be Sherp Doggy Doggs for God!" thing, also known as take the Next Right Step.

He's in total defiance of the Archdiocese telling him not to revisit any of those prophecies. But hey! He scrubbed the "prophetic element"! He complied with Denver's wishes! In his and his enablers' minds, this is JUST SWELL.

January 1 wasn't Charlie’s expiration date. It won't be July 5 either. There may never be one. As long as Charlie has even one enabler, he'll keep going.

L Spinelli said...

Just to further prove earlier points about enabling and believing God sides with angry far right wing Christians before anyone else...

...I mailed the prayer card of the prayer of Miraclous Trust separately to both Mr. & Mrs. Trump. The mailing was acknowledged separately by both of them with signed letters. I just pray it is in his pocket and her purse, that they say it everyday. I don’t know but I hope.

That's by far the most bats*** comment I ever read on either of his sites. Trump needs to TNRS and say the prayer that may be demonic in origin and we'll get Mayberry RFD!

Anonymous said...

At least the new site doesn’t have those silly posts about squirrels.

Anonymous said...

In Old Testament times false prophets were stoned to death. It was the mandatory sentence prescribed in Deuteronomy. A false prophet was defined as one who made a pronouncement about events to come in the name of the Lord which did not come to pass. Whilst stoning now seems excessive maybe the way CJ has/is being managed by authorities is too soft?

L Spinelli said...

At this point in time, writing to Denver and Helena is pointless. (I wrote Denver a few times at the height of Charlie's nonsense.) What can they do? Denver said what needed to be said, especially last February. TNRS is gone, and this new site CLAIMS that the "prophetic element" is gone. Not to mention that Charlie the ex politico and Beckita are masters at dodging direct questions. They spin, scrub and gaslight until the questioners give up.

I think the Denver and Helena authorities (if they're aware of Beckita's activities) are content with letting Charlie and his cult fade away, since the two pivotal prophecies of 2017 didn't happen.

L Spinelli said...

2 Peter 1:20–21

“No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Deuteronomy 18:22

22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; nthe prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Ezekiel 13:6

6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ ewhen the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word.

Anonymous said...

Charlie forges ahead, his head unbowed and totally unapologetic - in fact defiant. Every single so called prophecy failed and he was condemned by his Archbishop. Yet, he remains. His actions sicken me. But, in a surreal way, I actually admire his adroitness. His changed the name of his cult, and initially said they'd be no prophecy, to cover his failed record. He now appears to intimate that his nonsense predictions will occur in 2018. He'll never stop, as noted above, until all his enablers have stopped. His totally unmerited fifteen minutes of fame is all he's got, and now way in Hell is Charlie giving that up.

Jim D.

Joseph J. said...

While Charlie may have moved onto a new blog due to a complete failure of all of his so called heavenly predictions on his original blog, those with any sense of reason and common sense have rightly fled the scene, leaving just Charlie and his little ship of fools (not so much my words, for in December Charlie himself said that if the miraculous rescue he predicted does not come to pass by the end of 2017, he would be "playing the fool for a second time in less than a year". Those are his words.

So all that is left now is really just a tiny little cult of a handful of people surrounding a completely failed "prophet". While many like Bishop "Yong Duk" fled the scene after the first prophecy fail back in January 2017, the remaining folks with any reason have jumped ship at the end of 2017. So it is obvious that all that is left now on this new ship (blog) is just a "little ship of fools" unable to accept reality and truth concerning a completely failed prophet.

To sum it all up at this point Charlie has lost all credibility and relevance.

Anonymous said...

Joseph J......I agree. He's irrelevant, and always has been so. He never ever merited these fifteen minutes of fame. It's just his arrogance and total lack of either humility or penitence that irks me.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Actually Joseph, Yong Duk was becoming more absent prior to the first prophecy and I do believe he hadn't said anything around early November or late October - I knew he didn't want to put his reputation on the line for Charlie, I always thought he was some sort of spy to monitor the goings on and when it appeared it was collapsing he could get out.

Also Joseph, Joseph it's good you pointed out Charlie is " playing the fool for a second time in less than a year" and thus his followers using Charlie's own words. There are many instances where Charlie's quotes are used to warn the people who follow him about himself. I do believe he does this to mitigate legal damages.

Anonymous said...

Candidly, Charlie hoodwinked a lot of people. Some, tragically, lost a great deal of money due to his deceptions. Archbishop Acquila smacked him down; his so called prophecies tanked; people suffered monetarily; Charlie sails on, unapologetic, with his head held high. He covered his tracks well. I hope someone has the courage to start a class action lawsuit, to obtain some measure of justice. Charlie's enablers won't stop, ever. They have their cult leader; objective facts and failed record be damned. Take the next right step, and sue!

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Doubtful Charlie will ever slither back on the public stage. If he tries, he'll get knocked down online - witness push-back when he comments on mainstream websites - or if he tries public talks. I bet Denver hears if he does, especially if he tries to drag anyone affiliated with the Church (hello, Daughters of St. Paul!!) with him. No respectable media outlet will ever interview him again.

Not a chance anyone can recover damages from Charlie's prophecies, BTW. Religious expression.

Anonymous said...

I think I realize why so many folks are angry at good ole' Charlie. It's not that he's a total fraud, which he is. It's not that all his nonsense failed to pan out, which it did fail to do. It's not even that he was condemned by his Archbishop, which he was. I believe that it's because: 1. Many of us were once followers of his predictions, all be it prior to the failed presidential prediction and always from a respectable distance; 2. Charlie remains defiant, totally unrepentant, and forges ahead, with his head held high, to continue to feed his huge ego; 3. We wanted, at some level, to believe. I know he always should have been, is now, and forever will be even more irrelevant. Just my thoughts.

Fred Keyes said...

Charlie continues a political theme he's stuck to more zealously than even his harebrained religious predictions:

Per CJ: "And brutal as its leadership is (and has been for near a millennium) Russia is the only state that has reliably given more than lip service to helping persecuted Christians around the globe. I would not be surprised to find this become a unifying element between Russia, the US, and Eastern Europe in the coming year."

I honestly think there's a good chance his whole shtick has been bought and paid for by the Russian government. He could very well be a "mole" Catholic convert.

Anonymous said...

Loqutions to the World, Maria Divine Mercy, Bayside, and Charlie Johnston - all false prophecies. This is obvious. One important distinction, however, is that the 'seer' involved in LTTW prophecies gracefully recused themselves, subsequent to their failed prophecies. Not Charlie. He forges on, unapologetic & defiant. He never explained the repeated failures of his so called prophecies. He deflected, failed to provide any straight answers - ever, became combative, continually moved the goal posts, and never apologized to those whom he hurt and misled.

I'd love for at least a few of the people, whom Charlie misled, to be able to recover at least some of their money from this con man. I realize that this won't happen, and that his small cult, especially Mrs. Hesse, will continue to enable him. That is a disgrace. The larger and more substantial issue, however, remains; namely, why did some Catholics feel the need to follow this snake oil salesman? Why weren't the Sacraments and approved, legitimate apparitions, such as Fatima, enough for them? That question, and not legitimate criticisms against a snake oil salesman named Charlie Johnston, is the real compelling issue here.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

One more thought, and one I've posted before, is that the reason I believe demons to be behind these 'prophecies' is that their total failure diminishes belief in genuine Catholic prophecy. That, dear reader, may well have been the real goal all along.

Jim D.

Jackisback said...

I am done commenting on CJ, per se; however, this angle that Jim Dooley raises seems to me to be worth a discussion.

What is the driving force behind CJ's incorrigible hangers-on? The desire for a present day supernatural experience appears to consume them, making Jim's question relevant: why isn't the Gospel and other previoysly approved "visions" and Marian sites enough? Another way of asking the question is: why do they need what CJ says to be true?

CJ was often fond of "predicting" that the world's secular culture warriors would, in their acquisition of dominance quest, perpetuate the notion that good is evil and that evil is good. Is the irony lost upon all of CJ's followers that nearly all of them insist that the "sign" of the failed "Presidential locution" was actually fulfilled and that the "Rescue" that never came (as originally "locuted") also acually occurred prior to the end of calendar 2017 (and in fact, occurred prior to the end of the so-called "storm"). Do you see the the mirroring here? A sign is claimed to have occurred when no sign was given. A "rescue" is claimed to have occured, when no rescue is evident (and in the words of CJ, originally, what we are now experiencing in our lives was always supposed to be a "false dawn"). A demonstrably false "locution" is claimed to be true (just misinterpreted). CJ portrays himself to be a cultural warrior on the side of the good, but proclaims false information to have come from God (otherwise there would be no reason to claim a misinterpretaion) and his followers buy off on this.

What could explain the insistence on believing in CJ's words and disbelieving their own eyes, their own brains? What makes them want to believe? Is is strictly emotionalism? Is it spiritual greed? Or is there something more to it?

Is contempt for abortion advocates, as displayed by CJ, the thing that binds CJ's troupe of true believers? It is all fine and well to point out that abortion advocates are out there claiming that abortion advocacy is a virtue and opposition to abortion is a vice - and that this is an horrible sign of our times. But if CJ's followers' plan is to become "sherpas" to those who believe in that particularly heinous secular cultural viewpoint and to bring them back to God, does it make sense to begin the process of bringing them back to God via the proclamation of a lie as truth, via the proclamation of a modern unmistakable "Marian revelation" that has very clearly not occurred especialy in the eyes of the abortion advocates among us? After all, how many hard core abortion advocates are going to be impressed by information pointing to a cyclical planetary/stellar alignment as equivalent to a "Marian rescue?"

Anonymous said...

JackisBack people like CJ’S unfortunate followers come from an us versus them mentality common in cults and regrettably some religions and churches and doomsday cults.These people believe that the rest of the world is morally corrupt and only those who “follow the leader” and do as he says (e.g. take tnrs) deserve to survive or be valued. There is usually a plan of a crisis when those who believe will survived or be “rescued” whereas the corrupt other will get their just deserts after a cataclysmic event. They have a deep seated need for comfort,certainly and people like CJ fee that.

L Spinelli said...

Jack, in spite of all the evidence, they STILL believe that Charlie has a direct line to God. It's also the driving force behind why they think Charlie’s political beliefs are preferred by God.

Did anyone else notice that Beckita was telling doubters that the Rescue was about to happen when it hadn't in late December, and then Charlie tried to claim that it happened, but we were all too blind to see it except him? Note that he tried to claim this in early December (Fractured Expectations), but Beckita was claiming otherwise afterwards?

Since these people share Charlie’s political beliefs, they aren't going to listen to any reasonable criticism about Trump (and IMHO, there's been a lot in the past six months).

They want to be on the right side of God is what this all boils down to. Fear seems to drive it. But unquestionable belief in a 100 percent failed prophet undercuts their purpose.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Thanks everyone for your ongoing comments.

Personally I am not all that surprised that a small number of folks have continued to follow Charlie, even though literally every single alleged "heavenly prophecy" has now failed. Looking at the historical record of such persons we see the same exact thing with other alleged mystics and visionaries whose prophecies have failed, or who have been officially condemned by the Church. There are inevitably always some followers who will flatly refuse to acknowledge or accept the blatant evidence of such prophetic failures, or will not accept the official negative decisions of the Church (local bishop). I personally have seen (and even experienced this personally in my own extended family) in EVERY failed mystic and visionary that I have studied over the years.

Just like every authentic mystic will inevitably have their detractors, every failed mystic will inevitably have his/her small number of resolute and undaunted followers. Eventually though all that concerns failed mystics/visionaries eventually comes to nought, because they are not of God. And such is the wisdom of Gamaliel concerning such persons....

Glenn Dallaire

L Spinelli said...

Here are two perfect examples of unquestionable faith in Charlie:

Great article indeed Beckita. Irony approaches because I believe Obama will be named in the corruption probe in D.C. along with comey, lynch and gang. He may find his 2-terms of presidency stripped because he was ineligible and/or found to be a traitor. His legacy will be one of deceit and shame. Maybe a certain unnamed individual was right after all. Hmmm.

I was thinking these very same thoughts when I discovered that the word is O has lawyered up in the face of what’s soon to be revealed. No reintepretation intended, just via continual pondering, I think that unnamed individual was merely a wee off in the timing of things. Whatever and however things continue to roll out, prayers aplenty for all of us and beyond. I was thinking these very same thoughts when I discovered that the word is O has lawyered up in the face of what’s soon to be revealed. No reintepretation intended, just via continual pondering, I think that unnamed individual was merely a wee off in the timing of things. Whatever and however things continue to roll out, prayers aplenty for all of us and beyond.

Charlie, nicely said! As I read your comment, I pictured you at a podium on a platform speaking your words with the faint sound of the melody from America the Beautiful playing in the background. We are truly living in historic times.

L Spinelli said...

This factor was mentioned before - most recently by "Fledgling" in late December - and its how pushy and insistent Charlie has been, even from the very beginning of all this.

Fledgling posted that a priest asked Charlie if he was sure he was speaking to God, AND HE GOT ANGRY FOR AN INSTANT. This happened before Denver's first statement about Charlie came out, when they were still investigating him. He was asking people to believe him without any guidance from his Archdiocese.

It's still working on his remaining followers. C'mon Beckita, don't try to tell us that pondering and re-interpreting aren't the same thing.

I've always been a show me type. I want proof and backup. I got more than I needed, in the negative sense, with this case. That all this pushiness and insistence and moving the goal posts and outright spin doctoring doesn't deter these people is still baffling to me. Put Charlie up against the humble children of Fatima and hidden St. Therese, and he falls short.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Johnston continues, and won't ever man up to or own his failures. His ego needs this. As was noted here, Charlie will NEVER voluntarily relinquish his fifteen minutes of (unmerited) fame. Every prophecy failed, and Charlie was admonished by his bishop. Charlie will never admit he's a fraud - ever. Yet, despite all this, his cult remains.

LTTW, Maria Divine Mercy, Bayside, and Charlie Johnston. This really is an interesting case study in contemporary cults. How they originate, how they target & play to needy people's needs; how objective facts & repeated failures mean nothing, how the goal posts keep moving, how a charismatic leader is the ultimate truth, how the local Bishop can be ignored....yes, indeed.

Jim D.

Jackisback said...

In tracking the responses so far (my comments are in brackets [] and/or bold) we seem to still have quite a few unanswered questions. I really would like to hear everyone's thoughts on all of the questions, if possible. I think this would be a reasonably enlightening exercise - to focus on the questions & answers regarding CJ's followers, rather than CJ himself. Thanks so much to Anon (1/28/18), L Spinelli, Glenn and Jim D. for responding already.

Q1: What is the driving force behind CJ's incorrigible hangers-on?
A1 (Anon 1/28/18@1:59AM): [Cultish] "us vs them" [mentality].
A2 (Anon 1/28/18@1:59AM): "They have a deep seated need for comfort,certainly and people like CJ fee[d] that."
A3 (L Spinelli 1/28/18@6:23AM): " spite of all the evidence, they STILL believe that Charlie has a direct line to God."
A4 (L Spinelli 1/28/18@6:23AM): "Fear seems to drive it." "They want to be on the right side of God..."
A5 (Glenn 1/28/18@1:21PM): "I personally have seen [this] EVERY failed mystic and visionary that I have studied over the years." - [implication: there is simply an inherent need to believe that the purported mystic's words are true]
A6 (Jim D. 1/30/18@8:09AM): the "neediness" of CJ's followers. In other words, CJ, like all cult leaders, are successful when they " & play to needy people's needs..."

Q2: Why isn't the Gospel and other previously approved "visions" and Marian sites enough?

Q3: Why do CJ's followers need to believe what CJ says to be true?

Q4: What could explain the insistence on believing in CJ's words and disbelieving their own eyes, their own brains? What makes them want to believe? Is is strictly emotionalism? Is it spiritual greed? Or is there something more to it?
A1 (L Spinelli 1/28/18@6:23AM): "...unquestionable belief in a 100 percent failed prophet undercuts their purpose" ("to be on the right side of God").

Q5: Is contempt for abortion advocates, as displayed by CJ, the thing that binds CJ's troupe of true believers?
A1 (Anon 1/28/18@1:59AM): [Yes, but more generally] "These people believe that the rest of the world is morally corrupt and only those who “follow the leader” and do as he says (e.g. take tnrs) deserve to survive or be valued."

Q6: Does it make sense to begin the process of bringing back to God (e.g., those who have fallen away from the Church in CJ's view - abortion advocates who think themselves to be Catholics-in-good-standing; or e.g., those who are skeptical of CJ) via the proclamation of a lie as truth, via the proclamation of a modern "unmistakable Marian revelation" that has very clearly not occurred?

Confused said...

I suspect Charlie's followers are isolated, out of step with current society, and definitely feel unappreciated/ignored. I doubt most are well-educated or professionally engaged; they seem to skew older (50s, 60s, +). Some seem hystrionic (Beckita), others conspiracy-minded (Crew Dog); some seem to want a platform to talk about themselves (as Joe Crozier did); others focus on finding "community." Having an external enemy binds them together and gives them a cause (Snowy Owl's impassioned posts here). That cause is not the pro-life movement, though.

I don't think they are driven by pro-life sentiments, any more than Charlie is. My take on Charlie's and TRNS's pro-life activism is that it's another opportunity to grab the spotlight, rally others and signal virtue. Charlie may show up at pricy pro-life conferences, but is he there for the am Rosary at Planned Parenthood? TNRS's Catholicism is superficial, transactional. There is very little of actual Opus Dei devotion or practice in Charlie's writings or blog...

L Spinelli said...

Q2: Sensationalism, plus the feeling of "all will be well - especially for us" after the sensational event is over.

Witness the disappointment of the follower who was upset that he wasn't going to Sherpa people to God.

Q3: Charlie presented himself as a champion of ordinary people, a guy who loves Mayberry, God, guns and Trump. People who want to go back to "the old ways", whatever those are, and who have or want "flyover country" values found their guy in Charlie. Supposedly talking to an angel helped cement this image.

Q4: Same reason as question 3. I also suspect trusting emotions over intellect - witness how many of them link to Spirit Daily and other culture warriors.

Q5: Not only abortion advocates, but anyone they perceive as The Enemy.

One of Charlie's Disqus rants advocated starving lefties who believed in denying good and liquid to a severely handicapped person. In other words, an eye for an eye.

Charlie's Disqus comments were full of contempt for the left statements. This one in particular shocked me. God gives a person time to repent until their death (and according to St. Faustina, even after death and judgement), so why does a supposed man of God hold them in such contempt that it seems they're not worthy of salvation?

Q6: If Charlie’s numerous failed prophecies came from demons, how would that bring back people who are agnostic or atheist? How would a lie strengthen anyone's faith, not counting Charlie’s small remaining group of core nutters?

Anonymous said...


January 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm

It can’t be as scary as the “Veronica Lueken – Bayside” predictions where something large will enter our solar system and there will be a huge loss of life on earth. I hope that prediction is fake.

The book “After the warning to 2038” makes me uneasy, that life could progressively worse over the next 20 years.

Sure, there’s lots of planet 9, Planet X, Nibiru, & Nemesis (the sun’s smaller/darker sibling), but these people believe in UFOs, are probably on drugs, or just plain weird, so not very credible.

Personally, I think we should worry more about, science messing around with DNA, if the ancient texts & legends are even a little true, genetic tampering may have been the reason for Noah’s flood. Ancient discoveries show that ancients knew more than we could image.

Anonymous said...

A number of salient points should be mentioned, again. First, almost twenty failed prophecies and condemnation from the local bishop fail to deter Charlie's cult members. As previously discussed, we must ponder as to why. This is the most important point of discussion. Why are needy Catholics so willing to follow a snake oil salesman? What psychological need do Charlie's fantasies fulfill for his cult members? Second, and of equal importance, these demonically inspired false predictions serve only to detract from legitimate Catholic prophecy. Third, numerous red flags were ignored, especially by Charlie's cult members, even prior to his numerous, failed predictions. The failed presidential prophecy should have sealed Charlie's fate. But, no. Facts won't deter moonies. Charlie's so called walk across America was a lie. Blogger Kevin O'Brien documented this via social media. Charlie also claimed to have saved a family from a burning car and single handedly foiled an armed bank robbery years ago? Umm, I don't think so. Fourth, Charlie continues, with his head held high, totally unrepentant and arrogant. Charlie never, ever deserved this fifteen minutes of fame. But his ongoing cult fuels his huge ego. This is basically the ancient heresy of gnostocism, i.e. secret knowledge. Pure & simple. That alone should have sealed Charlie's fate. The fact that Charlie forges ahead is a negative testament to his character, but also highlights the reality that cults focus upon a charismatic leader, regardless of objective reality. LTTW, Bayside, Maria Divine Mercy, and Charlie Johnston. Sigh.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Charlie’s posts that are strictly political and getting little traction on the new TNRS site. So he just posted on the Blood Moon to get people all worked up and keep everyone on edge that everything is about to be fulfilled.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point. However, it's not even his own posting. He took it from a priest, Fr. Richard H. But I was thinking the exact same thing. His political blog isn't doing so well, save for his core nutters, so he's cut and copied a solid priest's writings. Charlie is implying that, in eight weeks, his prophecies will be fulfilled. Obviously the danger here for good ole Charlie, yet again, is that he's predicting things, which others - not Charlie- have predicted, hoping against hope, that maybe, just maybe, something will happen which will validate his nonsense predictions. He then can say that he was correct, just slightly off in his timing. In eight weeks, when nothing occurs, Charlie will be forced to return simply to politics, which is not serving him well at all. His blog will slowly die. If, in the very, very unlikely chance, something does occur (I'll state the obvious here) Charlie has absolutely no right to claim he'd predicted it, because he's been one hundred percent wrong. IDK; it seems to me that I could have blindly guessed and produced more fruit, by chance, than has Charlie. But, he can claim ownership of nothing. Nothing at all; that's the sad legacy of Charlie and his fellow false visionaries. All this nonsense does is detract from legitimate Catholic prophecy.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Agree with above. By posting an Orthodox priest’s posting, Seer Johnston is attempting to gain, or rather to restore, credibility by association.

Anonymous said...

Interesting response by Charlie on The Next Right Step after Arthur poses a question to SteveBC:

February 3, 2018 at 9:54 am

Steve, didn’t the Archdiocese tell us we are NOT to try and reinterpret Charlie’s failed prophecies? Why then are you saying that the Rescue has come?

February 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Hi Arthur. I remain completely obedient to my Archbishop on these matters. As has been seen on a couple of prior occasions, when the Archdiocese has concerns, it steps in here.

Typically, re-interpretation in the pejorative sense means someone saying “I was right all along” when events play out in significantly different ways than that person said. I have not done that. I have taken full responsibility for my errors in interpretation – and imposed consequences on myself for that. I was clearly wrong in how I expectecd the Rescue to look and how immediate its consequences would be. On the other hand, the fundamental principle that Our Lady would be revealed to the whole world and Rescue would flow from that are, for the former, correct (though not as I expected) and, on the latter, pending. In all things, we should keep what is good and reject what is not. If I tried, with some breathless nonsense to maintain that all is now sweetness and light, in order to make the totality of what I said true, I would be guilty of the sort of re-interpretation you speak of. On this matter, though, quite independently of me, several, including Fr. Heilman and Susan Skinner of Veil of Veronica, have noted the same things regarding the Sept. 23 event.

To make adjustments in expectations, honestly acknowledging where our expectations were flat out wrong, is not re-interpretation. In fact, it is almost always necessary. Moses promised the Israelites a land of milk and honey after leaving Egypt. The Jews could be excused for asking even after the first year, “Where is this land of milk and honey you promised? All we see is desert and misery.” That sentiment can only have heightened in each of the next 39 years. Yet what Moses said was true, while how he described it and his time frame were not. Even the believers in Jesus’ time had to adjust their expectations away from the re-establishment of a temporal kingdom in which they would rule over all, to a spiritual kingdom in which all were subject to God. To re-adjust expectations when parts have clearly failed is to seek what is truly intended, not to make what was erroneous suddenly true. To fail to make such adjustments – keeping what is good while discarding what is false – would be perhaps as egregious an error as trying to fit the errors that made the peg square into the round hole of truth.

It is a reasonable concern you raise. But I would not forbid people from discussing what is going on in the world – or pondering on what does match up and what is errant. It can be a fine line at times. But I will continue to take guidance…and I will neither deny what I have said that is true nor try to re-interpret what I have said that is clearly inaccurate. I noted, in my final post at the old site and my first at this, that the Rescue has come, though not as I expected. So it is fair game for discussion here.

But I will remain obedient to what the actual Archdiocese DOES intervene on, not on how some commenters believe it should.

I'd be interested in hearing Jack weigh in on the reasoning above.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

I'd like to comment on Charlie's above rant and in Charlie's own words "Poppycock", "Pure, unaltered Poppycock".
I think that sums it up best.

Attention Charlie followers: If you really need to follow a "rescue" or "Rescue" why follow Charlie? Father Richard H. seems to have a better understanding of Charlie's own "rescue" than Charlie.

Why doesn't Charlie ask his angel for guidance on these matters?
Why doesn't Charlie ask his spiritual advisors - he has 3 as far as we know?

For Jack Q2-Q4 the answers go back to the Scott Fletcher situation, he's wrong again, but he's always wrong so why does he have a following and a good one? At least in Charlie's case a lot of people have left, he's on life support, so give credit to those Catholics who no longer want to be deceived. In these times, people want to hang onto and keep anything that seems esoteric, they want to be fed, a lot of people need someone to lead, like the pack-leader, he makes all the decisions, they like it, it makes them comfortable, they don't want to think for themselves, but have someone else to do the thinking because they are perceived as the one with that "special" knowledge and if the leader is wrong, that's ok they need the comfort, where else can they turn for "live-connected" information.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the new website set up to avoid the prophetic element completely? Wasn't that the deal, that Charlie would focus on politics and social commentary and not keep on bleating about his failed/demonic prophecies? So WHAT if others see some- but not the same- significance in astronomical events, that doesn't mean anything Charlie had to say was right. Yet he is insisting at some level he was right in the broad sweep. His archbishop ought to comment on this attempt to bolster his failed predictions lest he continue to inch his way back to a failed role as spiritual leader.

L Spinelli said...

Anon @ 7:14 PM yesterday, addressing Charlie's complete revamp of the Rescue:

2 Peter 1:20–21

“No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

The problem with posting strictly on political matters is it doesn't get any traction on TNRS website. Yesterday Charlie posted on the recently released Nunes Memo, and as of today there are only 28 responses...10 responses of which are Beckita.

However the Super Blood Moon post generated 221 responses. Clearly Charlie's followers long for any sort of "mystical" post that can keep the dream alive.

L Spinelli said...

Charlie's die-hard supporters should read this, by Rebecca Hamilton over at Patheos Catholic:

I’m all out of patience with the Trump bots who persist in excusing what is absolutely unacceptable behavior on the part of anyone over the age of four and downright crazy behavior on the part of an adult. I am past through with religious leaders who put a gloss on any sin if it helps their political god.

I’ve already written that these religious leaders are not men and women of God. They are political operatives. I’ll take that a step further and say that they are political toadies. They are fawning sycophants who have sold their souls to bask in the glow of power.

You can do what you want about this fast-forward deconstruction of America. But my way is set. I am going to follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is my savior. I will follow Him as best as I can every step of the way so long as I live. I know that I will fail to follow Him perfectly, and when I do, I will rely on and trust in His Mercy.

I have no other God.

I hope that you will do that same thing. Put away the false gods of political parties and corruption. Stop following fallen religious leaders who have abandoned the Way to follow after the false gods of partisan politics.

Religious leaders who can not say that pedophilia is wrong are as useless as the sand I threw in those eggs when I was a baby. Religious leaders who are ok with sexual assault and rape are not followers of Christ. They are speaking for the devil.

There is no sin these religious leaders will call sin if calling it sin endangers their politics. Their god is not Jesus Christ. They do not follow Him, and you should not follow them.

Each one of us needs to make a choice and then act on it. Follow Christ or follow your political god. The choice really is as stark and simple as that.

Jackisback said...

To Anon, Feb 3, 7:14 PM,

The easy response to any CJ re-rationalizations is: "Horse Chestnuts!"

And though some here may think this appropriate, I choose otherwise. The first thing to say is, in all seriousness, that I have not visited CJ's new site, nor do I plan to do so. The second is a reminder of the very first post that I ever contributed to Glenn's threads on the topic of CJ: I stated outright that I had no dog in this hunt, and that when events turned out to be pretty much the same as they alway have (as opposed to how CJ was "revealing" in his claimed "locutions") I would NOT condemn CJ. Those two concepts stand.

But I will address your question solely from a logical perspective. Let's start with CJ's first sentence: "I remain completely obedient to my Archbishop on these matters. This sentence is an example of the "appeal to authority" logcial fallacy and thus invalid.

Typically, re-interpretation in the pejorative sense means someone saying “I was right all along” when events play out in significantly different ways than that person said. I have not done that. I have taken full responsibility for my errors in interpretation – and imposed consequences on myself for that. I was clearly wrong in how I expectecd the Rescue to look and how immediate its consequences would be.

Can anyone with a straight face accept that first and second sentences? It is precisely the case that CJ claimed that he "was right all along" when "events" played "out in sigificantly different ways than" he said (and that includes statements he has made about the rescue actually having occurred despite our "lying eyes"). So he definitely has "done that." The next sentence is also false on two counts. He most definitely has not taken full responsibility for his errors (but instead claimed misinterpretation - which is impossible) and he has violated his own terms for "consequences" that he imposed on himself. When you violate your own terms for consequences, you cannot claim to have actually suffered consequences. This is childish rationalization.

The final sentence is particularly eggregious. The claim that "I was clearly wrong in how I expectecd the Rescue to look and how immediate its consequences would be" is a compound false statement. First, the "consequences" of the "rescue" actually defined the rescue itself, in every instance that CJ wrote about it, until it failed to come about. Second, the very first phrase is false: "I was clearly wrong." Up until the failure, CJ had clamined that his information didn't come from him. One cannot be "wrong" about information that ostensibly came "from another." In the only post where CJ claimed interpretation, he claimed that the request to interpret came "From the Father," that he was "asked to interpret."

Sorry CJ. But you don't get to claim "I was wrong" after the fact when all along you claimed "I was told" before the fact. Saying so is an obvious declaration of contempt for the intelligence/memory of your readers.


Jackisback said...

...from last post

Next CJ says: "On the other hand, the fundamental principle that Our Lady would be revealed to the whole world and Rescue would flow from that are, for the former, correct (though not as I expected) and, on the latter, pending.

Two problems exist with this rationalization. The first is the claim that "Our Lady would be revealed to the whole world" is/was correct. This is false. CJ must be referring here to his hare-brained notions about cyclical stellar/planetary alignments, which represent a last-minute "hail Mary pass" to rescue the "rescue" locution. Remember, at no time did CJ claim that there would be "sign" of the coming rescue in late 2017. He at all times claimed that he was told the rescue itself would come about in late 2017. He also claimed at all times that the revelation would come from Mary. He at no time claimed that the "revelation of Mary" would come from some other 3rd party source. In "From the Father," CJ claimed, by interpretation, that God the Father would "send" Mary to rescue us. The claim in that post was NOT that God would send us a "sign" of a coming revelation by Mary, but that God would send Mary in late 2017. He repeatedly claimed that he was told that he should communicate the timing of the actual rescue by Mary as occurring prior to the end of 2017. This was something he claimed he was told, not something he was interpreting. It was something that, in his words, was "specific."

Earth to CJ: Mary has not arrived, and cyclical stellar/planetary alignments are not evidence of anything. Nor could it make sense that she be expected to arrive. Mary is not a supernatural being. She was a human person. Despite belief in her immaculate conception and assumption into heaven, there is no biblical nor magisterial assertion that she was/is divine in nature. There is no scriptural reference to ANY revelation after the death of the Christ and certainly no Marian revelation. CJ claims that he was given a locution that this "new revelation" would occur before the end of 2017. But it has most definitely not occurred. No Catholic should expect one. The Church had consistently communicated that the era of public revelation is over.

CJ's second assertion that the "latter" (i.e., the "actual resuce flowing from the stellar/planetary 'sign'") is "pending," is, in a word, obtuse. The more CJ writes, the more he loses my respect regarding his purported intellect. At no point prior to the failure of the "rescue" did CJ claim that his "rescue" locution was something that could occur AFTER 1/1/2018. CJ offers no explanation for why this "goal post moving" rationalization should make sense. It is a "special pleading" logical fallacy, pure and simple. It is quintessentially anti-intellectual.


L Spinelli said...


Before your next part comes up, I want to point out these two contradicting posts from Beckita and Charlie. They can't be reconciled. Beckita was still waiting for the Rescue at the end of December 2017, but Charlie tried to say it happened on 9/23/17 - which he ONLY revealed on 12/4/17???

Beckita says:
December 29, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Great to hear from you, Mike. Charlie will surely speak soon. I completely trust his timing and note that 2017 has not yet ended. As to the musings and pondering shared here, there has been a long standing tradition of doing so and not with the intent of vain speculation. Rather, we are an online family with individuals who share our thoughts concerning these times in light of the faith we profess. Further, the comments have always been a rich resource for refining thinking, supporting one another and reaching deeper understanding. Our Lady is the preeminent disciple of Christ who taught us by noble example: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke2:19) Too, contemplation has been encouraged by Charlie in both his writing and speaking on these times.

Fractured Expectations, December 4, 2017

"The next day I had a terrible stab of fear. I wondered, what if this was the revelation of Our Lady, the sign of the Rescue? Only a small few would even notice. So I began praying intensely that Our Lady reveal herself to the world. I was quickly and sharply rebuked by my angel who reminded me I had already been told this definitively – and that my prayers were not an act of faith, but a failure of faith. So I stopped. Then about a week ago, driving from Bakersfield up to Fresno, I absent-mindedly started praying the same thing again. Again I was sharply rebuked and, again, dropped it. There are quite a few things I am told and ordered not to reveal, less than a handful I am ordered to say publicly – but most things are given to my discretion to reveal or retain as seems best suited to hearten the faithful, taking full responsibility for what I say, never blaming God for my errors. This was one of those handful I was directed to proclaim."

L Spinelli said...

One more contradictory post:

Beckita says:
December 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm

With the Promise of Rescue at our very threshold, a mere breath away, Charlie has conveyed: “Now that the Red Sea is before me and Pharaoh’s Army closing in from the rear, I will hold my head up and wait upon the Lord.” It is a complete privilege to stand in solidarity with Charlie, head raised with eyes on the Lord in these days of waiting.

The Rescue, according to Beckita, still did not occur as of 12/18/17, but exactly two weeks before, Charlie claimed that the planetary alignment of 9/23/17 was it.

Alrighty then.

TNRS Friends, I let this one through to address the others who try to get through. I sincerely smile in the face of comments, such as this, which have come our way. Usually, I would trash it for it really doesn’t meet the criterion of the comment policy. I smile, *not* in contempt, but in hope and prayer that such attitudes will be washed away in the beauty of the Rescue.

"Will be washed away"...future tense. Charlie spoke in the past tense. So which is it? Did the spin masters forget to coordinate this one?

Anonymous said...

L. Spinella, there is no contradiction whatsoever. The Rescue is no longer to be deemed a singular event, but rather a "process" that began in September with the planetary sign. So Charlie's statement concerning the "Rescue" in September is really that it started in September. When he speaks of the future "Rescue" he is talking about the culmination of the Rescue when we will be living in MayBerry.

Fred Keyes said...

In line with attempting to understand the mindset of Charlie's followers note how many of this author's theories match up with the TNRS faithful:

From Psychology today:

I've begun to take a "shake the dust from your feet"[MT 10:14] approach to the Charlie phenomenon. It can be too much of a spiritual danger to take an ad hominem approach and skewer the man and his followers rather than praying for them and just letting go. Jack's advice about refusing to attack Charlie the man is well taken.

That said, many good points have been spelled out here in the last several days. Pointing out all the contradictions in the TNRS movement sheds light for those open to the truth.

Jackisback said...

L, when I read the December 4th post by CJ, it always comes off to me as him still believing that an actual "rescue" - an "undeniable miraculous intervention" by Mary the Immaculate Conception was in the offing before the end of December 2017. He is just describing that he was being rebuked for praying hard for it (due to being motivated by fear that hardly anyone would have noticed the rare, yet cyclical stellar/planetary alignment of September 23rd - which he chose to interpret as a "sign of the rescue." So the December 4th post by CJ doesn't seem to me to be stating that the September 23rd alignmnet was the real rescue. He waits to do this until later - in his last of the year of 2017 post and (apparently) his first of the year 2018 post.

But the problems I cite in CJ's latest claims are more fundamental and don't require an analysis of anthing Bekita has said. More to follow in a few moments.

Jackisback said...

Next is:

Fr. Heilman and Susan Skinner of Veil of Veronica, have noted the same things regarding the Sept. 23 event.
This is "appeal to authority" logical fallacy. That others have a similar take as CJ with respect to cyclical stellar/planetary alignments is meaningless.

Next: To make adjustments in expectations, honestly acknowledging where our expectations were flat out wrong, is not re-interpretation.

First, there is a false premise. CJ didn't have "expectations." He had what he claimed was inside information, locutions, things he claimed he was "told specifically." It was never presented as an "expectation" until after the failure. This tack has the appearance of being humble, but it's not; it's deceptive.

The statement is false in its conclusion - the claim of no re-interpretation. Recall his claims in the Birmingham video: The great thing is, and this is a very unusual thing because I was given a specific time frame. I didn’t like to do it but I’ve been ordered to tell people this time frame. Things will get worse and worse. It’ll seem hopeless but in very late 2017, Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, will come to visibly and miraculously rescue all of us…A miraculous intervention that will be visible to all is what I’ve been told. Nobody will be mistaken about what it is and when it comes…What I know is that almost everyone will be Christian and unified after that. There will be remnants of other things but, yes, this will convince almost the whole world.

CJ also made these related claims as recorded by Linda Summerfield:
...what he had actually told me was that the Rescue would come very late in 2017...I specifically cite very late in 2017 for the Rescue... I think I am ordered to give that specific time-frame because the Storm will be so furious near its end that many will have lost hope...I am told that all will see it and it will be undeniably miraculous. And since Our Lady’s coming will result in our rescue from what all think is imminent certain destruction, it will reach fertile ground... In early August of 2011 I sojourned a few weeks in Austin, Texas...On Monday, August 8...suddenly a very chilly wind blew. As it passed, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to me and said, 'The fall has begun.' I thought he was talking of the miserable heat, but he made me to understand that we had entered into Armageddon on that morning. Now, Armageddon is not the end of the world. Rather, it is the decisive battle between good and evil. It will be followed by a great period of Christian unity, peace, and authentic prosperity. That is what will come in the very late fall of 2017, after we have been through the greatest crisis in the history of Western Civilization.

Let’s review. CJ claims Gabriel told him that Armageddon began on the morning of 8-8- 2011, would grow into the “greatest crisis in the history of Western Civilization;” that Our Lady would rescue us in a miraculous intervention that would be visible to all, unmistakable, that all would see it as undeniably miraculous, that this would occur in late 2017, that he was ordered to give this time frame, that Her coming would result in our rescue from what all think is imminent destruction, that the “decisive battle between good and evil” which will be followed by a great period of Christian unity, peace and authentic prosperity, would come in very late fall of 2017. These assertions cannot be described now as CJ’s self-created “wrong expectations” when he definitively explained that these things were specifically told to him by an Angel of God. Ergo, it most definitely is a re-interpretation for CJ to begin describing the “Rescue” event of 2017 as only the appearance of a cyclical stellar/planetary alignment and that it was only “CJ’s expectations about how the Rescue would look and how immediate its consequences would be” that were wrong. CJ’s so-called “expectations” weren’t wrong – rather it was the information directly given to him that was false.

Jackisback said...

Final post on this topic.

By now you should be getting the picture. CJ at all times claimed very specific things were told to him or he “saw and heard” them in visions, or Gabriel came and declared things to him.

CJ is on record in early 2018 pointing to several examples of events turning out better than previously expected (e.g., ISIS being kicked out of the major cities that they previously occupied - despite the fact that ISIS has not been destroyed and is still a major terrorist threat, with no evidence that their leader has been killed or captured) and claiming that such things are a fulfillment of the "Rescue" and proof that the "Rescue" occurred before the end of 2017. He always claimed the "Rescue" to be an event at a specific point in time that all would witness - and that it would be unmistakable. But now with the failure, he is recasting his specific prior claims as unspecific, with perhaps decades of time ahead of us before actual fulfillment. This is "special pleading" logical fallacy.

CJ then attempts to draw an analogy to Moses's pledge to the Israelites of a land of milk & honey. Again, this is appeal to authority logical fallacy, and prima facie invalid. CJ always claimed he was told the timing of the "Rescue" would occur by the end of 2017 and claimed that he was commanded to preach this date-specific aspect. At no point has he claimed that he was told that the "Rescue" was something that, like the Exodus under Moses, might take "40 years" to come to fruition. In any case, Moses never preached that the "land of milk and honey" would be something that would be discovered by a date certain on their journey through the desert. So the analogy CJ tries to make is inappropriate. The Israelites grew impatient due to their unwarranted expectations, but the TNRSers expectations were originally set by CJ's assurances about what "he was told" by his "angel" and by "Mary."

Finally: But I will continue to take guidance…and I will neither deny what I have said that is true nor try to re-interpret what I have said that is clearly inaccurate. I noted, in my final post at the old site and my first at this, that the Rescue has come, though not as I expected.

We are all witnesses to the contrary. No "Rescue" has come. Whatever it is/was that CJ "expected" isn't relevant. What is relevant is what he claimed he was told in no uncertain terms. It has not come to pass, ergo, the self-proclaimed prophet is a false one for having spoken presumptuously, and that is why no one need fear CJ, or fear anything he says.

This may sound like condemnation to some. It is not. It is just how things are. It is the result of all the contradictory and logically fallacious things CJ has been saying over the last four-plus years. If he or his followers feel as though they are being attacked, they should strongly consider the notion that it is CJ's own words that are the source of such feelings.

"I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm."

L Spinelli said...

As always, Jack, you lay all of Charlie's contradictions and rationalizations out clearly and concisely. Thank you.

Fred, I was a little less than charitable when I made the remark about the prayer cards, with a caveat. I certainly wasn't slamming people who might have sent legitimate prayer cards to President Trump. (As much as I disagree with his childish tweeting and tantrums and mouthing off, I pray for him and want him to succeed.) I only took issue with sending that particular prayer. Why not send a Rosary prayer card? Why not send other approved devotions? Why Charlie’s with its dubious background? The woman who sent it was well-intentioned, but her only goof was trying to give legitimacy to Charlie. The way they enable him is crazy making, but there's no persuading the nutters by this point.

I'm glad this whole sorry saga is at its end, still limping along only because of the stubbornness and political bias of the core nutters. Let them have their safe space. They're a stark example of faith without reason.

Anonymous said...

As noted by others in this thread, the entire sad episode regarding Charlie Johnston can be summed up as gnostocism, i.e. secret knowledge, re packaged by a snake oil salesman to ensnare our collective imagination, while playing to our collective fears about a deeply troubled world. A Sign of Hope, aka TNRS repackaged, is simply more of Charlie's rambling stream of consciousness nonsense. His Blood Moon piece is simply a sad attempt to ride Fr. Richard's coattails. Thankfully, also as noted, A Sign of Hope is already losing followers/readers.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

All Charlie Johnston's false predictions serve to do is to detract from legitimate Catholic prophecy. He should have the honor to simply apologize,ask for prayers, and leave the scene. But, he arrogantly remains, and defiantly so.

Jim D.

Jean - "The Hawk" said...

You are indeed correct Jim.
Thankfully, there are less and less people following him.

Anonymous said...

This may be off topic but I was reading Michael Brown’s website and he as this “teaser” on mystics:

And if you want you be privy to more inside information you can purchase a subscription. Is it me or does anyone else find this unsettling? Namely that you would profit off of questionable prophecies.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. In Charlie Johnston’s latest post he starts off by saying:

Last Sunday I had one of my periodic neurological episodes. When it happens, my mind gets fuzzy, my head gets sweaty, the pain spikes terribly, and I get nauseous.

Might his neurological problems and “fuzzy mind” be the reason he thinks he talks to angels? Or maybe he does talk to angels but his fuzzy mind prevents him from fully understanding what they are saying, and hence he communicates false prophecies?

Fred Keyes said...

12:16, that sounds like a panic attack. I've always thought that many panic attacks are caused by unresolved and repressed mental conflicts. I think it's hard to live a deliberately misleading life and stay sane. It catches up with you and bites you on the behind.

Scripture tells us that God's law is written on our hearts. Our conscience has a hard time going against that internal guide. Eventually it catches up with a person. God's "warning," no?

L Spinelli said...

Charlie really went off the rails with this latest offering, and that's saying something.

First, the gall to title it "What is Truth".

He's claiming that it comes from Fox News and Townhall. He trashes what he calls the legacy media, sneeringly calling them the "cool kids". He's basically saying that to be smart and well-informed, go to alt-right media.

It sure seems that he's proclaiming to be a source of "truth" with a title like that. And his core nutters eat it all up. (Charlie, you should get your own show on Fox between Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity! - paraphrased ACTUAL COMMENT)

Gotcha. God prefers the alt-right. This is the best example proving that unsaid assertion to date.

Jackisback said...

I have not read any of CJ's posts - nor the comment threads - on the new blog. I think my life is better for it. I think I'll make it an official new year's resolution. The only way I may read his material and respond is if it is posted here and is worth responding to (as I did last week).

Keep in mind that my place on the political spectrum is close to CJ's. I am actually to the right if him on some issues and to the left on others.

While politics matters - because it can and does impact your daily life - it is of this world. When CJ says things that I agree with politically, it still has no bearing on my analysis of his assertions on topics that are not of this world. And it is there that his logical fallacies do such a great disservice to any search for truth.

Truth is a quality (like faith) and always refers to something. It is valuable because it is a quality that is absolute, not relative. And it is not a quantity, despite our erroneous human tendency in expressions such as "a grain of truth." Emotions, positive or negative, have no impact or effect on truth.

In thinking about it, I am struck by the irony of CJ's political rants involving the things of this world, where he critiques the emotionalism of his opponents and seems to insist that people look at the events of our times by assembling the "hard facts" and then making a logical, unemotional (however contemptuous) arguments about the events and the players involved (justifying his contempt for his political opponents by his perception of their lack of due intellect or their lack of rigor in clinging to the truth) but when it comes to our collective Faith and other matters not of this world, CJ abandons logic, intellect and rigor vis-a-vis truth in pursuit of almost pure emotionalism.

Fred Keyes said...

The more I read about Russian interference in the 2016 election the more I suspect Charlie was either in on a conspiracy with the Russians to influence the elections or utterly duped by their cyber warfare tactics. I tend toward my first suspicion because he was so effective at using religious fervor as a vehicle to plant his political aims. By going after those who were actually weak in their faith--i.e. those unaware of the Satanic tactics that can be used to subtly undermine their faith--he gathered a following that he still uses to spread the Big Lie.

Sorry Charlie, we're onto you now.

Anonymous said...


Way back in the fall of 1995, when I went to visit my then spiritual director, he greeted me with a battered old pale blue card with the text of Revelation 12 on it. (That is the “woman cloaked with the sun” and “war broke out in heaven” passage). He told me, enigmatically, that this was going to be important for me. I was puzzled. This Priest was not given to mystical ruminations and most emphatically did not suffer fools gladly. As we finished our meeting, I fixed an intense, but amused, look at him and asked, “Are you playing the prophet with me?” His face went as red as I have ever seen it. Flustered, he replied, “I just felt strongly you are going to need this.”

Over the years, it has been a focus of contemplation for me. If I had contemplated it better, I would have realized that when the great sign of rescue appeared in the sky, that was not the end of troubles, but the opening of a great and decisive battle between the forces of the great dragon and the offspring of the woman cloaked with the sun. But I, like so many, wanted God to fix it for us without pain rather than using us as His hands and feet. Now, under President Trump, the American economy has begun genuinely vigorous growth, ISIS has been decimated, and both China and North Korea have been checked, at least for a time. I am grateful for this, but even amidst the constant screeching scrum American debate has become, I sense a little hubris rising – the sense that we have got this. The most significant purpose of the spiral of false dawns followed by greater crisis was to shake us from the sense that we are sufficient to ourselves. If we are to be renewed, it will be by becoming a Godly and religious people once more. Until we get – and live – that, we don’t have anything that will last.

The vitriolic hatred the left bears for Christians is ever on naked and haughty display now. What is less-well known is what contempt and disdain the conservative intelligentsia has for people who are serious about their faith. Set up a religious booth at a conservative conference and be shocked at the sneers you will hear. The conservative intelligentsia thinks they have to tolerate religious folks because we are part of their ‘base,’ but they certainly don’t have to regard us with respect or real consideration that we might be, ummm, right. They have fallen for the left’s delusion that this is just a contest over who is the smartest. So, people of faith are constantly under attack by the left and largely contemptuously indulged by the right. Yet the point of the great trials we are undergoing is to smash man’s delusion of supremacy, to decisively reveal the satan’s first lie that we would “be Gods” once we tasted of the fruit of knowledge. The sum total of all human knowledge throughout history constitutes a shot-glass of water in comparison to the ocean of God’s wisdom. We ARE irredeemable without the help of the Lord – and that help is freely given when we humbly recognize that and call on Him. If we reject Him, it is not given – and we are irredeemable. (CONT)

Anonymous said...


When my Archbishop issued his statement concerning my visions almost two years ago, he noted that I “insist(ed) that the ‘prophetic’ aspects of his message are not essential and should not be the focus of those who follow him.” Then he added, “However, it appears that those same predictions are what attract new followers to his message and give them a sense of urgency and zeal.” He was kind in the former acknowledgement and right in the latter observation. My daily audience is less than a quarter of what it was at the old site. Shortly after the first of the year one of the serious theologians I have become friends with over the last few years sought to console me on the occasion of my second big interpretive error. He believes that we are headed for a catastrophic world-changing confrontation. “All you have lost is the prophecy-chasers, Charlie, and they are no help when there is real work to be done, anyway,” he said. There was wisdom in that. We restlessly seek an easy way out, where someone else will do the heavy lifting for us.

A member of my internal team noted recently that some have started to substitute the insider information given by Q-anon for the prophecies I no longer give,/b>…and that perhaps that is not healthy, for our job is to be Sherpas, to help our brothers whatever happens, rather than restlessly trying to figure out every detail of what is going to happen. I was touched. Certainly, I believe Q is a real insider: he has had too many ‘hits’ for it not to be so (although I did note, with amusement, that his ‘miss’ rate has been a lot higher than mine was). But, while occasionally useful, all such things are ancillary to the main point: what we are called to be and what we are called to do, whatever happens. That main point remains what it always has been since well before I started writing publicly about these things: Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you...

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous Above, we all know how to navigate to Charlie's blog if we want to read it. No need to paste a dump of an entire post. Sure if you have a small relevant snippet that supports a point you're trying to make, include it in your comments.

Anonymous said...

Anon @4:48,

That ain't an entire post, guess you don't get over there much! Points are boldfaced but placed in context. He's back to his old tricks, insisting his spiritual director was guided to give him something relating to the alleged rescue sign, his audience has dropped dramatically, he's friends with 'serious theologians' who says the people who've left aren't worth spit (more or less), and ... my favorite... Q is a real insider, but Charlie knows best!

Happy Lent

L Spinelli said...

Fred, nothing about the Charlie story would surprise me any more. Remember that the "angel" told him that Russia would be our strongest ally after things went south with them for a while.

Since Charlie still believes that he talks to angels and likely still is receiving "guidance" from them...there you go. Satan duped him (and a lot of "faithful conservative Catholics") into believing that Russia wasn't as hostile to Christianity as the United States.

Sure, the news is confusing these days, but one has to read a variety of sources and come to their own conclusions. Charlie isn't a credible source, but his remaining nutters depend solely on him to get their news feed. That's downright frightening.

Fred Keyes said...

Charlie tells us he has two spiritual directors who are Opus Dei priests. While Opus Dei says they are apolitical, and theoretically at least, they adhere to that claim religiously, it remains true that those drawn to Opus Dei are typically politically conservative. That Charlie would gravitate toward priests who would sympathize with his political views may be part of his scheme. One would hope they would apply the same kind of logic that Jack does here....and perhaps they have. Will we ever hear from Charlie what they think now?

It's worth reviewing what is said about Opus Dei and politics here:

Confused said...

Wikipedia must be taken with a grain of salt. While Opus Dei tends to skew conservative and/or Republican, it is certainly not alt-right. Opus Dei attracts more upper-middle class, professional people, the Republican donor class. They're the opposite of the prophecy chasers who form the bulk of Charlie's followers, who appear to be Charismatics and conspiracy theorists.

BTW, the "serious theologian" Charlie refers to above, in the Anonymous, post, is probably Peter Bannister, a musician and avid supporter of Vassula Ryden. Bannister dedicated his free e-book to Charlie and Mark Mallett, something no serious theologian would do.

L Spinelli said...

I do not speak publicly in overtly prophetic terms anymore, so you will not hear new prophecies here. But my interior life remains unchanged. From the earliest days of my childhood, the first thing that was emphasized to me was that this is NOT the end. It will feel like it, as we enter the greatest crisis in human history except that which will come later at the actual end, but it is NOT the end.

Charlie posting yesterday.

This sure looks like going back over all his old prophecies. Well, what we think the Archbishop said pretty straightforwardly is constantly put in the reinterpretation blender by Charlie. So there's no calling him to account there.

Charlie is still talking to whatever those things are. Seems he won't acknowledge the strong possibility that they're demons.

Ummm, this crisis was supposed to be over with last year, culminating in the Rescue that never happened...?

Two posts before this one, Charlie sneered at all the people who left after his "definitives" failed. In what seems to be a testament to his overwhelming ego, he posts what he would be thinking, saying or doing if he was advising the Regent that never appeared.

The good thing is very few are listening to him prattle on any more. His last political post didn't even reach 100 comments.

Joseph J. said...

Why would one follow a false prophet? After the complete failure of all of his so called "prophecies", it really amazes me that anyone would even bother following him at this point. I guess for some folks things like facts, truth and integrity of their Catholic faith really don't matter.

As for myself I don't even visit his new blog because he has been shown clearly to be a completely false prophet, and I personally want no part in it. Falsity is not from God.

Anonymous said...

Wow; just wow. One really can't write this stuff - but Charlie can. Good ole Charlie is still spinning, and selling his snake oil. He's now obviously attempting to repackage his failed so called prophecies as valid and true, once more appealing to our collective fears about our troubled world. He is even thanking his Archbishop foe slapping him down hard and warning Catholics to steer clear of him. Sigh. Again, this is simply the old heresy of gnostocism, i.e. secret knowledge, re packaged, with a clever spin. What Charlie's recent rant does demonstrate is that he's getting desperate. If he's down 75 % + in daily viewers, which is good news, he realizes that his days are numbered. He never, ever deserved his fifteen minutes of fame. His huge ego can't let go. charlie, apologize for the many whom you both hurt & misled; ask for prayers, and go away, please.

Jim D.

Jackisback said...

CJ and his followers were fond of predicting in the past that "hearts would be revealed" when his moments of truth came to pass. With the news that his readership is now less than 25% of his old blog, perhaps it is actually the case, at long last, that "brains have been revealed?"

As most of you know, I pledged not to read CJ's new blog. I have kept to that. I gave up alcohol, hot chocolate, and vulgar language for Lent, and, I think I'll give up commenting on CJ's peculiar way of thinking & communicating, even when it is partially or wholly re-posted here for discussion, from this point forward.

Who's with me?

L Spinelli said...

I just blocked his site on Firefox and Firefox mobile.

Happy Lent, all.

L Spinelli said...

It's (blocking) already done wonders for my peace of mind.

Since Charlie is going to continue saying and doing whatever he wants despite a 100 percent failure rate, there's no point in giving him any more head space. The Archdiocese of Denver probably thinks the same.

Anonymous said...

I think Charlie’s readership is way down, at least in terms of the number of commentators. On some of his posts 33% or more of the responses are by Beckita. And many of the other responses are by the same 3 or 4 people. The number of true believers left are probably in the dozens...not hundreds. But Seer Johnston will spin this as saying this is how it was when most of Christ’s followers left him when the going got tough, or when the Israelites murmured against Moses. I think most of the people who still read his blog is just because it’s hard to help not looking at a train wreck.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Personally, I have only visited Charlie's new site on one occasion, and this was on its inauguration when he first linked to it from his old site. Since then I have not even visited it once.

In fact, since the inauguration prophecy double fail back in January 2017 I had only visited the original TNRS site perhaps once every few months during the year 2017---the simple reason being that if someone claims to speak and prophesy (supposedly) for God, but solid facts or events show otherwise, then such a person is plainly either deceived or a deceiver, and I personally have no interest in giving an ear to such persons, for we all know who is served through false prophecies and deceptions.

My thanks go out to all who have commented here on this website over the past few years in an attempt to discern the truth. Many of the insights and perspectives presented here have been interesting and informative.
May God bless all who visit here.
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

One thought. Charlie Johnston's so called prophecies have failed 100% of the time. His record of failures is perfect. It goes to demonstrate that a semi charismatic 'seer', such as Charlie, can, like the pied piper, lead others to wherever he wants to go. He's a proven fraud; his cult cares not.

The real issue, as I've opined before, is why needy, desperate Catholics flock to a cult leader, such as Charlie Johnston. Recent failed prophecies include: Bayside, Maria Divine mercy, LTTW, and Charlie Johnston, all of which attracted a cult following. Charlie Johnston merits no further attention or discussion, in my opinion.

Why aren't the Sacraments and the sacramentals more than enough? What transcendental need does Charlie, and other snake oil salesmen, fulfill? How can we meet the pastoral and, frankly, the psychological, needs and desires of so many lost souls, upon whom Charlie feeds his ego? These are the more important questions, which should occupy our thought processes. Charlie is beyond irrelevant.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Jim, you ask why aren’t the Sacraments enough. I think part of the problem is the crisis in the Church, the watering down of our faith, the feminization of the Mass, and the confusion by the current Pope. This makes it easier for seers like CJ to recruit followers with his promise of a direct pipeline to God.

Fred Keyes said...

Anon @ 8:54:
I believe you are correct that many are following CJ because of their assessment of all the problems in the Church. I felt that way myself: Some things are getting so bad that we see a need for God to "give new signs and work new wonders" as it says in the Liturgy of the Hours someplace.

But the problem is, "the present evil age" as St. Paul puts it, reflects a characterization of *every* age since Jesus' coming. The Church will always need renewal; it will always need rebuilding as St. Francis was told.

BUT, it doesn't help to view the wrong issues or non-issues as needing reform. Our faith has not been "watered down." The Kerygma of the Catholic Church stands as strong as ever. The problem is we don't always follow it as we should. Feminization? The Blessed Mother and all the women saints of the Church are as revered as ever. Women recall were in the majority among His followers at the foot of the cross. And there's nothing wrong with talking about re-instituting women in the deaconate. I hope they do; I've had it with poorly trained deacons who can't preach; why don't we let the well-trained women in the church renew us through excellent preaching? (BTW, I'm not talking about current deacons' doctrinal knowledge here; I mean their ability to preach that doctrine effectively—i.e., their rhetorical abilities.) And please don't slander Pope Francis by saying he's "confused." The man is a brilliant intellectual and his theology is spot on in every respect. It is the faithful who are confused, and even a very few cardinals, bishops and priests who are not understanding of the positions he's taken. He's one of a line of brilliant and saintly popes we've had during the whole of my 73 years.

Fred Keyes said...

That last part should read, "It is *some* of the faithful who are confused...."

Jackisback said...

Hey Fred,

Anon's phrase was "confusion by the current Pope," which can be read slightly more charitably as the Pope "causing confusion," than they way you read it - as an accusation of the Pope himself is confused.

I agree that the Pope is not confused. The question though is whether his publication of Amoris Laetitia chapter 8 and his (and his spokespersons') informal confirmations of its meaning, interpretation, and practical application have caused confusion. Since it is plainly evident that the Church most defintely does not speak with one voice vis-a-vis chapter 8, I would say that there is confusion aplenty, and not just among the lay faithful. Example: a canonically married person who has divorced and remarried, civilly, but who has not obtained an annulment via Catholic tribunal (the external forum approach) may, in the diocese of San Diego, approach a priest for absolution via the confessional, and receive absolution, even absent a pledge to live henceforth in complete continence with their new civil spouse - and then begin to receive Holy Communion again with a "clear conscience." We know this is the case because the San Diego Bishop's published guidance says so. This same circumstance exists also in the diocese of Buenos Aires (and a local Monsignor there has a letter from Pope Francis indicating his approval of this interpretation of A.L. chapter 8). Yet, this same example would have a very different end-result if tried in my diocese here in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, Bishop Olmstead's published guidance states that chapter 8 of A.L. says no such thing as has been interpreted in San Diego and in Buenos Aires. He makes it clear that a person in the circumstance I describe above should not dare to attempt to receive absolution, unless they are ready to make a pledge to live in complete continence going forward (as cited by St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio - referring to his Homily at the Close of the Sixth Synod of Bishops in 1980).

So that for me counts as confusion, and it's being genrated by various Bishops around the world. Those Bishops represent the Church as teachers of the faith to the faithful, but they do not speak with one voice. They do not speak with one voice because of the existence of A.L. chapter 8, and because His Holiness chooses not to clarify the situation (by his refusal to address the issue as raised by the "dubia Cardinals"). As it stands, the informal communications from His Holiness favors what is happening in San Diego rather than Phoenix, but, that does not end the issue, because he does not say anywhere that Olmstead's approach in Phoenix is wrong or improper. Thus, both approaches are de facto acceptable even though they are in direct opposition to each other. I'm not as old as you Fred, but this represents a first in my lifetime: a formal teaching on Church sacramental discipline (which has significant doctrinal implications) is permitted to be taught in opposing fashion - allowing a Catholic to forum-shop for leniency.

I say all this respectfully, Fred, and as one who is not fit to render a conclusion either way on this issue. But I observe confusion, and I observe its source. The source is not the people themselves.

As to Anon's assertion that this is contributing to incorrigible folks going toward CJ, I question the correlation. For one thing, CJ is a huge Francis supporter. For another, prior false prophets' recruiting success (pre-CJ) pre-dates the present confusion in the Church. That speaks to the idea that the phenomenon - of people needing "more" than the sacraments - is more fundamental.

Fred Keyes said...

Thanks, Jack. Know that I consider you to be an honest and respectful broker of the truth. Which of course doesn't mean that there aren't things which neither of us understands fully but that can be debated, in the same way that debates have always happened in the Church. It's the way the Holy Spirit leads us to "all truth."

That there is confusion I will grant you. The cause of the confusion though is not Pope Francis but a misunderstanding of what he is saying. And it is that misunderstanding that is causing the confusion.

Here's an example of that: You may be aware of Pere Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit philosopher who many years ago wrote about a theory of salvation history that was compatible with the the Theory of Evolution (called a 'theory,' but now well accepted as scientific fact). It was poorly understood by Church officials and a "monitum" on his works was issued. He was ordered to stop teaching (interestingly--Holy Spirit at work?--there was no outright condemnation). He was obedient. The main rap against Chardin was that he was denying the existence of original sin. He wasn't, but early Church leaders read it that way. But now the Church has been coming around to his way of thinking and the last three popes, including Francis have praised his work. That the monitum will be lifted is a foregone conclusion.

The Church has had these kind of debates since its earliest days. No one who knows the Church should be scandalized or confused by such honest debates. To circumcise or not, when life begins, and the dogma of the Immaculate Conception are good examples of such debates in the Church.

Now, on this current debate the Pope is holding his ground because in my opinion he is 100% correct. Chardin did not rewrite or change what he wrote in any way. He died waiting for the approval he is now beginning to get. Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia will likewise be accepted in time, IMHO.

The key to understanding Pope Francis teaching is the Church's doctrine on conscience. Invariably those who want to have priests judge someone's conscience by their outward behavior say that the priest must not allow them communion as long as their outward behavior does not conform to Church teaching. But one's conscience is absolute in terms of their subjective sinfulness. As long as what they are doing is in accord with their conscience--informed or not--they are not in a state of sin. And when a priest can determine that a person is doing what they do with a clear conscience they should allow communion--while working diligently to inform that person's conscience. It's the way Christ worked if you think about it. He left the 99 sheep to find and bring back the lost sheep--he did not condemn. Likewise who are we--to ever judge a man's subjective conscience?

Fred Keyes said...

By the way, I would be careful with the application of the doctrine on conscience. And Pope Francis believes and teaches that as well. There are situations where objective (as opposed to subjective) sin can be scandalous and can damage members of the Church.

So if Sam who in conscience knows he should not be going to communion comes to a priest and says, "I know it's wrong but I am going to communion because Joe over there is just like me and you let HIM go to communion," the priest must be firm in not allowing that person communion. Again, conscience rules.

Jackisback said...

Fred, thanks for your thoughts. My only point of argument, if you can call it that, is that Familiaris Consortio and 2,000+ years of Church history had no confusion on the sacramental discipline issue that I discussed. But it does now. The sacramental point at issue began with actual new testament scripture - a quote from the Christ himself vis-a-vis adultery - and a point of discipline established by St. Paul vis-a-vis approaching for communion.

There's that, plus very much written material on why a poorly formed subjective conscience cannot be the proper barometer as you suggest.

As things now stand, the poorly formed subjective consciences of Bishops and Priests are permitted to hold sway to grant leniency on an issue where there used to be "no daylight" for 2,000 years, and thus perpetuate the poorly formed subjective conscience of a penitent.

My point is that the two alternative approaches - the traditional one that has lasted for 2,000+ years and the new "A.L. Chapter 8" approach - are mutually exclusive. They both cannot be correct, right, proper, etc. One must be incorrect, but His Holiness will not say definitively which one.

So when you say His Holiness is "right" and will be borne out as "right" in the future, I have no idea what that means.

Anonymous said...

Fred is good, and so is Jack. But, I have to agree with Jack on this one. Two diametrically opposed sacramental disciplines are being permitted. They do NOT agree and can't co exist. Pope Francis is NOT formerly clarifying the issue at all. Pope Francis is, however, informally sanctioning and even seems to be encouraging the concept that unrepentant adulterers may receive Holy Communion, with absolutely no intention of reforming their lives. San Diego is a clear example. The Bishop's guidelines permit this. They do, and they are explicit. So, what are the faithful to do? The Magisterium is NOT clarifying this issue. In fact, quite the opposite. The Magisterium appears to have begun this confusion, and are informally fueling it. This IS unacceptable, and could lead to schism, mass confusion (which already exists), or simply the observation that the rules are meaningless, since even a pope can change 2000 + years of clear & consistent teaching, on nothing more than a whim. This situation is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

My sister in law who has an annulment from the Catholic Church and free to marry is dating a divorced man, and thinking of marrying him. How do you tell her it is wrong when the Pope is giving tacit approval to divorced/remarried people receiving communion? If I try and talk her out of it I am sure she’ll ask me if I think I’m more Catholic than the Pope.

Fred Keyes said...

The question of conscience is a highly-nuanced subject. It's worth reading and re-reading what the CCC says on the topic here:

The independence of conscience is a sacred thing. It has an obligation to be informed, but yet, n.b.:

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

Re the last point: I'm sure Francis (well, it's me...) is saying, "And while I help you come to a fully formed conscience, receive the Lord you believe in. St. Peter—and therefore I—must follow the Lord's command: "Feed my sheep!"

Note also that it says that formation of conscience is a "lifelong" task. Whoa. That means that you and I do not yet have fully formed consciences. We may be invincibly ignorant of a very important issue that we have failed to follow. And yet, having examined our consciences we will take communion. Hm.

Enlighten me more though: What teaching exactly (references?) are you referring to that are diametrically opposed to AL, Ch.8? And just as importantly what level of certitude does that teaching have? I'm sure you're aware that various teachings of the Church have different degrees of certitude. Moral theology is a complex subject; I don't pretend to be expert on it. The Pope however *is* expert (as well as--ahem--is sitting on *the* Chair) and I will give him the benefit of the doubt until someone convinces me otherwise.

Aside: Why did church conservatives insist that everyone had to follow JPII's and Pope Benedict's pronouncements even if they didn't fully agree with them, but the same respect isn't given to Pope Francis?

Fred Keyes said...

Anons @9:36 and 2:28:

I can only say, with all due respect, you have confused yourselves. To paraphrase the line from "The Princess Bride," you keep using those words, but I do not think that Francis said what you think he said.

But I have to say, I will bow to the Magisterium of the Church, whatever the outcome of this disagreement may be. The Spirit as always will lead us to the Truth.

By the way, IMO this kind of discussion is far more fruitful than dealing with the content of CJ world.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this race, but to Fred: JPII's & Benedict's pronouncements were in conformity with Catholic teachings for 2000 + years. Francis' are NOT. HUGE distinction.

Also, your reference to Canon Law is not relevant. But that logic, nobody is ever responsible for any sin. Moral reletivism. NG. Sorry; I'm not buying this. It contradicts 2000+ years od teaching and Jesus' own words about adultery.

Fred Keyes said...

Anon @ 3:36:
OK, so please give me authoritative references to that teaching. I know what Christ said about living in adultery when one leaves one's wife and marries another. That's not the issue, we agree and Pope Francis has not questioned it in the least.

The issue is a matter of conscience, and for guidance we need to listen to what the Church has said and with the degree of certitude with which it has said it. What I read in the CCC vis a vis conscience at least leaves room for the decision Pope Francis made.

From Mark 2:17: Jesus heard this and said to them [that], “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Jackisback said...

Neither am I an expert on the full history of the Magisterium and Canon law nor do I play one on TV. To the anon's who have responded so far, some have been courteous toward Fred and some less so. I beg for politeness in tone from all.

Therefore, I am fully open to being corrected on any points in this discussion. But I have a question from your last post, Fred, where you assert that His Holiness is an expert on moral theology. How so, exactly? What are his educational bona fides in this area? I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I only point out that most folks think that your average priest is an expert on moral issues, and I have found that not to be the case. That an average priest is later promoted to Monsignor, Bishop, and then Cardinal fails to speak to their base of knowledge of Canon law and the full history of the Magisterium (including all the Ecumenical Councils).

You ask for references vis-a-vis my assertion that prior teaching is diametrically opposed to what is happening now in San Diego and Buenos Aires and other places (Chicago perhaps?). I cited Familiaris Consortio earlier (authored by St. JP II), but to be more specific, read the entirety of the chapter called "Pastoral Action in Certain Irregular Situations" which starts at section 79 (and discusses five topics or subchapters "a) through e)" - Trial Marriages, De Facto Free Unions, Catholics in Civil Marriages, Separated or Divorced Persons Who Have Not Remarried, and Divorced Persons Who Have Remarried. Where the rubber meets the road begins in subschapter e) Divorced Persons Who Have Remarried, section 84.

Keep in mind this was written by St. JP II in November of 1981. The text is not without some lenient sounding language (which was cherry picked in A.L. chapter 8) to wit: Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children's upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

Then comes a paragraph listing out the things that all divorced Catholics (those without a tribunal annulment) can/should do to be part of the life of the Church (a list repeated by my Bishop Olmstead and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia): attend mass, pray, contribute to works of charity and ocmmunity efforts in favor of justice, bring up their children in the Faith, cultivate the spirit and practice of penance "and thus implore, day by day, God's grace."

And then in the fourth paragraph of section 84 comes the heart of the teaching: However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.


Jackisback said...

...continued from last post:

Compare Familiaris Consortio to the Bishop of San Diego's document (last paragraph of page 8) EMBRACING THE JOY OF LOVE:

But many Catholics who have been divorced and remarried conclude for a variety of
legitimate reasons -- many of them arising out of caring concern for the effects that an
annulment process might have on the feelings of adult children or former spouses -- that
they cannot initiate the annulment process. What is their status in the Church?

The Joy of Love emphasizes that no abstract rule can embody the many
complexities of the circumstances, intentions, levels of understanding and maturity
which originally surrounded the action of a man or woman in entering their first
marriage, or which surround the new moral obligations to a spouse or children which
have already been produced by a second marriage. Thus, Pope Francis rejects the
validity of any blanket assertion that “all those in any (second marriage without benefit
of annulment) are living in a state of mortal sin and deprived of sanctifying grace.”
This does not mean that there is not a deep level of contradiction in the life of
Catholics who are divorced and remarried, as the Lord himself noted in the Gospel of
Matthew. But Pope Francis explains that even in the face of substantial contradictions
between the Gospel and the existential life of a disciple, the inexorable logic of divine
grace seeks ever more progressive reintegration into the full life of the Church. The Joy
of Love says: “There are two ways of thinking which recur throughout the Church’s history: casting off and reinstating. The church’s way, from the time of the Council of Jerusalem, has always been the way of Jesus, the way of mercy and reinstatement.” Pope Francis, following the suggestion of the Synod, locates this way of mercy and reinstatement in the discerning conscience of the believer.
Catholic theology and law have long located a role for the discernment of conscience on
the question of participation in the life of the Church and the reception of the Eucharist.
But the sole question for discernment in this tradition of “the internal forum of conscience” revolved around whether one of the essential elements of the Catholic understanding of marriage had been missing at the time of the first marriage.
Pope Francis widens the focus for this internal reflection of conscience for a Catholic who is divorced and remarried by underscoring that the central question for conscience is “What is my situation before God?” In conversation with a priest, the believer with humility, discretion, and love for the Church and its teachings seeks to reflect upon their level of responsibility for the failure of the first marriage, their care and love for the children of that marriage, the moral obligations which have arisen in their new marriage, and possible harm which their returning to the sacraments might have by undermining the indissolubility of marriage. It is important to underscore that the role of the priest is one of accompaniment, meant to inform the conscience of the discerner on principles of Catholic faith. The priest is not to make decisions for the believer, for as Pope Francis
emphasizes in The Joy of Love, the Church is “called to form consciences, not to replace them.”
Catholics participating authentically in this discernment of conscience should keep in mind both the permanence of marriage and the teaching of the Church that “the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Most importantly, this discernment must always place at the very center the question “What is God asking of me now?”


Fred Keyes said...

Thanks for the research Jack. I'll respond when you're finished....We're headed for our KofC fish dinner. :)

Re his expertise in moral theology: He's a Jesuit with a doctorate. In the course of his education, moral theology was certainly part of his studies. But most of all he has access to all the expertise on the subject he cares to consult. I don't know what consulting he's done, but am assuming he is a responsible scholar and knows how to research a topic. Ditto Bishop McElroy.

Then of course there's the Holy Spirit who has promised never to allow the Church to be led into error. So far of course, no pope or Council has ever made an error in matters of faith and morals.

Jackisback said...

...continued from last post:

Some Catholics engaging in this process of discernment will conclude that God is calling them to return to full participation in the life of the Church and the Eucharist. Others
will conclude that they should wait, or that their return would hurt others.
In pointing to the pathway of conscience for the divorced and remarried, Pope Francis is not enlisting an element of the Christian moral life which is exceptional. For the realm of conscience is precisely where the Christian disciple is called to discern every important moral decision that he or she makes. Rules have an essential role in the life of the
believer in conveying the wisdom and grace of the Church and providing a firm check on rationalization. But it is in the act of conscience, well-formed and profoundly considered, that the believer is most Christlike in carrying out his moral mission in the world.

The irony of the San Diego guidance is palpaple. If I have a well-formed conscience, profoundly considered, and assuming my San Diego priest has informed me of the prior Magisterial teaching of Sacred Scripture and of St. JP II, how could I approach for Confession/Absolution - for the purpose of approaching for the Eucharist - if I, going in, know that I cannot/will not commit to a life of complete continence with my new civil law spouse? My conscience being well-formed, what would make me interpret that "God is calling me back" to do just that? How in the world can a rule "provide a firm check on rationalization" when my Bishop proclaims that my subjective conscience rules the day in determining what is and is not a rationalization?

The Pope's defenders had previously claimed there was no actual change in teaching, and they did so by pointing to situations of extreme duress, where the penitent had no control over their life circumstances (see Rocco Buttiglione But the San Diego guidance dispenses with this defense (see Ross Douthat's NY Times article

My point is that the San Diego way is fully permitted by His Holiness and that this is diametrically opposed by the 2,000+ year old practice strictly followed in Phoenix in written guidance from Bishop Olmstead (citing St. JP II in 1981 in Familiaris Consortio) which is also fully permitted by His Holiness. Pope Francis does not say that one practice is correct and the other incorrect. His defenders express this as decentralization. OK, I guess, but with decentralization, the Church cannot speak with one voice. There is no unity here because unity is clearly not the goal.

The situation is what it is. As a result, forum-shopping can get me back to receiving Communion. If I want Communion again, I can travel to San Diego where this path back to the sacraments is permitted, whereas in Phoenix it is not.

Allow me a point of speculation. It seems to me that this is all a big dance designed to legitmize the "internal forum" in such a way as to grant a back-door "internal forum annulment" insofar as it legitmizes a life lived more uxorio with a new civil law spouse, without even an effort required with your local nullity minister (the "external forum"). Indeed, if I can convince my subjective conscience that God is calling me back to the Eucharist, why bother with the hassle of applying for an annulment via the Tribunal? In San Diego, I can achieve privately my reinstatement to the sacraments, and then, unbeknownst to anyone else, I can then proceed into any sodality of the Church, such as being a lector during mass, joining the choir and being a lead cantor, becoming a Eucharistic minister, becoming the chief leader of my parish council, or perhaps becoming my parish's nullity minister!

Anonymous said...

with decentralization, the Church cannot speak with one voice. There is no unity here because unity is clearly not the goal.

Jack, amen.

Anonymous said...

with decentralization, the Church cannot speak with one voice. There is no unity here because unity is clearly not the goal. Jack, I agree.

I was always taught that one of the hall marks of the Catholic Church was universality. There were not various dioceses, each marching to their own tune without any guidance or clarification from Rome, until now. The Magisterium taught clearly and consistently, until now. Basic moral theology 101 teaches that NO confession is valid, absent a sincere resolve to amend, or at the very least, to attempt to amend, one's life. Period. Church teaching is clear on this point.

In several dioceses, and I suspect the number will soon sharply increase, an unrepentant, public adulterer may now approach the Communion rail, without fear. Um, nope. This is not only a grave scandal, but it endangers souls.

We can all claim to have imperfectly formed consciousness; thereby rationalizing ANY sin via the 'internal forum'. There is no sin, and there no need for confession. Um, nope. Our Lord forgave the woman caught in adultery; however, He also admonished her not to sin further. in San Diego & elsewhere, an unrepentant adulterer can receive Holy communion, with the full intention of sinning further. Again, nope.

Disclaimer. I love Pope Francis and agree with his changes, absent this one. The annulment process needed to be facilitated, and he's done so. I like what he's doing overall, save this one error, but, regrettably, it's a doozie.

Fred Keyes said...

I can understand the discipline of the manner in which the Church has insisted in the past that someone who is in an objective state of sin should wait before being returned to the Eucharist, irrespective of the subjective state of their conscience. I'm not unmindful of St. Paul's warning that we must not be "...whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord."

There is a "yin and yang" in scripture between mercy and discipline though.

Look at today's gospel. The prodigal son is met by his father *as he is on the road* returning from his dissolute past. Is that not all the pope is doing here? I.e., don't deny the sacraments, don't victimize a person who is journeying back to the Church. Further, it seems to me the response from some to this act of mercy sounds like the brother who was upset because the father was so generous to the prodigal son. No?

By the way, there is a work I'm aware of that ranks Church doctrine...I'm in the process of locating it. I'm surprised no one is quoting it on this topic. Remember the issue is not whether or not someone who divorces his wife and remarries is living in an state of objective sin.

Fred Keyes said...

Ugh. Delete "that we must not be"

Jackisback said...

To extend the analogy Fred, the father in the parable did not say to the prodigal son: "great to have you back, here's some more money to go live your life of dissipation that you were living yesterday."

So no, I don't think pointing at us as the dutiful son who is inappropriately jealous of the father's mercy is on point at all.

Fred Keyes said...

Touche, Jack. My addendum doesn't belong in an honest conversation. I certainly mean to impugn no one by my candid remarks.

But can you quote the actual words of Pope Francis that say, in substance, anything like "great to have you back, here's some more money to go live your life of dissipation that you were living yesterday?"

The works I was speaking of are the books by Henry Denziger on dogma and the Magisterium. I see there's also one called "The Denziger-Bregoglio." Looks propitious.

Fred Keyes said...

That last one--Denziger-Bregoglio is not a book, it's what appears to be a well-constructed blog. It lists quotes from the Pope and and matches that quote against other statements from the Magisterium.

Anonymous said...

I never posted before but have enjoyed reading the comments in the last year. If a person continues to sin and receives the Holy Eucharist, they probably would not benefit from the graces from their Communions. I know people in my family that received Communion for years while in mortal sin. They are very good people and are hard workers. Unfortunately they have not grown in their faith and now have lost reverence for the Eucharist. They seem to take the Eucharist for granted. If the people in invalid marriages want to receive Communion then they should abstain from sex and trust God’s grace will sustain their marriages. The reparation will help them become saints

Jackisback said...

Welcome to commenting, Anon @ 8:50 PM.
Fred, please forgive my snark. I shouldn't have done that. You gave me the straight line and I couldn’t resist.
You are right that there exists no Pope Francis quote confirming my punch line, verbatim, yet there is an example that comes close. Consider the exchange between a Buenos Aires Monsignor and Pope Francis via their letters. concerning the following guidance of the Buenos Aires Bishops: 5) Whenever feasible, and depending on the specific circumstances of a couple, and especially when both partners are Christians walking together on the path of faith, the priest may suggest a decision to live in continence. Amoris Laetitia does not ignore the difficulties arising from this option (cf. footnote 329) and offers the possibility of having access to the Sacrament of Reconciliation if the partners fail in this purpose (cf. footnote 364, recalling the teaching that Saint John Paul II sent to Cardinal W. Baum, dated 22 March, 1996). So far so good, except the word "may" or "suggest" was not used by St. JP II in Familiaris Consortio. This is sly because the context of St. JP II was to make a more lenient exception to the previous practice of the Church: the insistence that a divorced-and-civilly-remarried couple separate their households (until such time as they could obtain a tribunal annulment) in order to receive Absolution. St. JP II’s exception is for situations where children might be harmed by a separation. Yet this exception, insists, rather than suggests, that the only alternative to separation is a pledge of complete continence.

More from the Buenos Aires Bishops:
6) In other, more complex cases, and when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained, the above mentioned option may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, a path of discernment is still possible. If it comes to be recognized that, in a specific case, there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes they would incur a subsequent wrong by harming the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia offers the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351). These sacraments, in turn, dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the power of grace. This is obnoxious. The key phrase is "...the above mentioned option [i.e. complete continence] may not, in fact, be feasible." This is a false premise, an attempt to co-opt St. JP II's approach in Familiaris Consortio, but now it has morphed into "when complete continence is not feasible, due to potential 'harm' to the children, then A.L. still offers the possibility of access to the sacraments..." This is an interesting interpretation, as A.L. chapter 8 doesn't say this at all. The obvious question, as to how in the world one's children could be "harmed" by the parents abstaining from sexual intercourse, the Bishops do not address.
The next paragraph from the Bishops contains reassurances that they are not advocating for doling out the sacraments willy-nilly. But these are fig leaves to cover up what they have clearly done: to create an unprecedented change to sacramental discipline. The coup de grace came when the Monsignor received the reply letter from Pope Francis answering the inquiry of whether the Bishops may have misinterpreted A.L. chapter 8: The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations. And I am certain that it will do much good. So there it is. Our Pope is on record that a prodigal son may come to Confession with an explanation as to why amending his life away from his current sin isn't "feasible", and Absolution can be granted just the same. Absolution and Communion are possible without the pledge to sin no more, at least in Buenos Aires.

Fred Keyes said...

Jack, aren't words like "sly" and obnoxious" words that are a bit loaded and judgmental?

On another point you say: "The obvious question, as to how in the world one's children could be "harmed" by the parents abstaining from sexual intercourse, the Bishops do not address." Well of course they don't address this; if they did the question a lot of us married people would shoot back is "how can a celibate man apply any expertise to this statement?"

Here's how harm could happen: One reason St. Paul gives for getting married is that a man who "burns" ought to marry. Now one can imagine a woman who wants to be faithful but is working her way to 100% conformity with the Church and has begun the annulment process. She could be in a situation in which her husband wants——dare I say, needs——sex because he's a red-blooded guy who "burns." So the woman gives in (wholeheartedly) to keep peace in the family.

Interesting article here:

Again, I have to say that what keeps me in the Pope Francis way of looking at all this is the primacy of conscience, and the fact that a well-formed conscience is a process, certainly for one living in a state of objective sin, but actually for all of us to one degree or another.

Jackisback said...


I am well rebuked by your fair criticism of my use of “sly” and “obnoxious.” I can't know the motives of the Bishops of Buenos Aires in omitting the most important parts of St. JP II's teaching to achieve the end result of their local guidelines in Argentina, yet it seems to me nigh impossible to impute wholly pure, or, dare I say, Catholic motivations. Their guidelines effectuate a "pushing of the envelope" of mercy over the line, into a new frontier of lax sacramental discipline (and weakening of Catholic doctrine IMHO).

Perhaps we should agree to disagree, for I witness zero evidence that children can be per se harmed by a Christian couple abstaining from sex - for the sake of the sacraments – if the couple keep their sacrifice to themselves. If any couple claim that abstinence is not "feasible" without harming children, how important are the sacraments to them? How genuine is their desire to be "called back to the flock?" If a Catholic man "burns," who can rationalize a link to treating children badly? If he “burns” but truly cares about his wife's desire to receive the sacraments, wouldn't he defer his gratification for her sake, out of love for her? Wouldn't that yield a higher plane of existence and familial love for all?

If a man who "burns” made life miserable for children, purposefully (or unconsciously) where, oh where, is there a Buenos Aires guideline advising the priest to accompany the man so as to inform his conscience properly? It used to be a settled part of our Magisterium: "God does not command impossibilities" nor infeasibilities. Even in an extreme case where actual harm to children is imminent as a “result of” abstinence, isn't that a lightbulb moment for the priest to counsel the Catholic wife that separation from such a man might cause less harm to the children?

The Buenos Aires guidelines have the effect of encouraging penitents to be creative in rationalizations/excuses for why refraining from sex isn't "feasible." A further effect is the recharacterization of a self-serving rationalization as "protecting" children.

The primacy of a properly formed conscience as axiomatic. Yet on the issue of adultery, no one needs a process. Jesus made it clear to the Pharisees that their observance of Mosaic law - which permitted divorce - was not relevant, and He raised the bar (rather than lower it) telling them that divorce and remarriage = adultery. 2,000+ years later, are we to now conclude that this concept only applies to hypocritical Pharisees? Are we to liken ourselves only to the "woman at the well" because we perceive Jesus to have been more merciful to her than to the Pharisees (again, self serving)?

Jesus also raised the bar when he described "adultery of the heart" as simply looking lustfully upon someone who is not your actual spouse. Our Lord properly formed our consciences: when we divorce via state law and then remarry, we know we are committing adultery of the heart. Yet now we read Bishops saying that we can self-arbitrate against that conscience. St. JP II calls out the truth in Familiaris Consortio (1st paragraph of section 84): Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The Synod Fathers studied it expressly. The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage.

Fast forward 35+ years; what has changed other than the passage of time, to justify the radical change as written in the Buenos Aires guidelines and as practiced in San Diego?

Fred Keyes said...

I think we're talking past each other. Better that we pray for enlightenment.

The problem with agreeing to disagree on a matter of faith and morals doesn't really work does it? Carried to its natural conclusion, schism happens. We certainly don't need anything again like the SSPX problem of several years ago now. But the sky is not falling and the faith will survive even less than it did under the unbelievable predictions and quixotic agenda of Charlie Johnston.

I think a better position to take is to allow the issue to play out among those who are expert in moral theology to begin with, and then ultimately with the bishops and the pope himself. Certainly we can agree that we as Church are guaranteed that the bishops speaking in unison with the pope will simply never err. I do believe the Holy Spirit will clarify the issue for those open to His inspiration. (And in fact, that appears to have happened already——the bishops joining in dissent on the issue now appear at least to be very few in number.)

Jackisback said...

Fred, if we cannot agree to disagree, then consider that the "dissenters" are not actually engaged in a conversation with His Holiness because the Pope refuses participation in any communication with them. I quote only from Dubia #1 from the four "Dubia Cardinals:"

1. It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with
a different person more uxorio without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris
Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and
Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305)
of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union
and who continue to live more uxorio?

If, like me, you are not well versed in Latin, the phrase more uxorio means, for our purposes "as husband and wife."

As a non-expert, I look to the old canon law maxims, the first of which is qui tacet consentire videtur, or roughly, "he who is silent, consents" or "he who is silent is seen to agree (consent)." The Dubia Cardinals asked the question, and, since it remains unanswered, my first instinct was to consider the Pope's silence as a "yes" answer, or if not "yes" then we could justifiably "see him to have agreed." But then I did a little more research (see Thomas More's Trial by Jury, edited by Henry Ansgar Kelly, Louis W. Karlin & Gerard B. Wegemer) and now I think this is not so.

More's Trial makes the case that the canon law maxim is one to be applied when a person is silent in response to "an action" (as opposed to a question). Another legal maxim immediately following from that time is qui tacet non fatetur, sed nec utique negare videtur, which either translates as:

1. "One who remains silent neither confesses nor denies," or
2. "He who is silent does not confess, nor is he seen to deny"

More's Trial claims that this maxim is to be applied when a person is silent in response to a "yes or no" question, which seems directly applicable to Dubia #1.

Mindful that Dubia #1 was published nearly 18 months ago, it doesn't appear we are going to get an answer. The lack of an answer, i.e., the Pope's silence, under canon law, would seem to point us to conclude that His Holiness neither agrees with the question (he is most definitely not answering "yes") nor does he wish to be seen as denying or disagreeing with it (he does not wish to give the impression that he is answering "no"). Therefore it appears that our Pope does not wish us to know his mind one way or the other.

So, my assertion from a few posts back stands. That post effectively asserted that His Holiness is allowing both the very "liberal" interpretation of A.L. chapter 8 which claim that the sacraments can be sought and be approved for a somewhat-repentant-but-not-repentant-enough-to-cure-their-more-uxorio-lifestyle penitent, and the 2000+ year old very "conservative" interpretation that A.L. chapter 8 does not provide for the granting of Absolution or Communion to that very same penitent.

This, sadly, leads me to reaffirm my earlier conclusion that there is genuine confusion in the ranks of what is supposed to be a universal Church extending all the way up the ecclesial food chain. That sounds like textbook schism - insofar as schism is understood as "division caused by disagreement over something other than basic doctrine." We have schism, borne of confusion, sown by A.L.

His Holiness is the author of A.L., so there's no getting around the idea that he is the author of confusion in this instance.

Fred Keyes said...

Has a legitimate pope pope ever caused a schism? (Honest quetion.)

Fred Keyes said...

For your reading pleasure:

Anonymous said...

"More from the Buenos Aires Bishops:
6) In other, more complex cases, and when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained, the above mentioned option may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, a path of discernment is still possible. If it comes to be recognized that, in a specific case, there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes they would incur a subsequent wrong by harming the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia offers the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351). These sacraments, in turn, dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the power of grace. This is obnoxious. The key phrase is "...the above mentioned option [i.e. complete continence] may not, in fact, be feasible." This is a false premise, an attempt to co-opt St. JP II's approach in Familiaris Consortio, but now it has morphed into "when complete continence is not feasible, due to potential 'harm' to the children, then A.L. still offers the possibility of access to the sacraments..." This is an interesting interpretation, as A.L. chapter 8 doesn't say this at all. The obvious question, as to how in the world one's children could be "harmed" by the parents abstaining from sexual intercourse, the Bishops do not address.

The next paragraph from the Bishops contains reassurances that they are not advocating for doling out the sacraments willy-nilly. But these are fig leaves to cover up what they have clearly done: to create an unprecedented change to sacramental discipline. The coup de grace came when the Monsignor received the reply letter from Pope Francis answering the inquiry of whether the Bishops may have misinterpreted A.L. chapter 8: The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations. And I am certain that it will do much good. So there it is. Our Pope is on record that a prodigal son may come to Confession with an explanation as to why amending his life away from his current sin isn't "feasible", and Absolution can be granted just the same. Absolution and Communion are possible without the pledge to sin no more, at least in Buenos Aires."

Ok, so there it is. Is this the Holy Spirit leading us? God can't contradict Himself. Period. The Holy Spirit can't teach or lead Holy Mother Church to, two separate, and totally contradictory, things. Pope Francis, of whom I'm a supporter, ignored the dubia Cardinals, yet responded affirmatively to the Buenos Aires bishops, who are allowing unrepentant adulterers, who express no intention to reform their lives, to receive Holy Communion. This is clear, and it may well lead to another SSPX - like schism. This is dangerous.

Jackisback said...


I have read only a little about the history of heresies. Some issues, like Monatism, seem to have been tolerated for a time. During that time, before being condemned, should it be considered a schism? There does not seem to be a lot in written form that tells us whether the Popes, during the time before formal condemnation, were always 100% against that which was later declared heretical.

Pope Liberius' involvement vis-a vis the Arian heresy is clouded by the fact that though he may have at one point condemned Athanasius (a leading "defender of orthodoxy against Arianism" according to Warren H. Carroll - see he may have done so under duress. There are conflicting historical accounts of Liberius' steadfastness in defending orthodoxy against certain enemies who may have forced him to sign documents against his will.

Pope Honorius was anathemitized after his death for supposedly adhering to Monothelitism, though scholars argue that the issue of Monothelitism actually being determined to be an heresy was not decided until after his death. Does that mean that, if Pope Honorius did support Monothelitism, was that support of a schism?

I don't know the answers here either. The weeds get very tall indeed.

Fred Keyes said...

Aye, Jack the weeds do get tall.

I'm not at all in my comfort zone, as much as I was in discussing Charlie. In terms of our faith putting the lie to CJ's claims was like falling off a log. But as the blog I referred to above illustrates (allegedly populated by unidentified priests) there is more to this than my poor mind and litigating skills can handle.

Best I bow out of this except maybe for an occasional, non-conclusive comment.

Fred Keyes said...

This article explains the issue as I've understood it.

Fred Keyes said...

From America Media today:

In a letter released today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has strongly defended Pope Francis against those who claim he lacks theological and philosophical formation and has affirmed that “there is an internal continuity between the two pontificates.”

Anonymous said...

Fred, if it is true that Pope Benedict supports the teachings of Pope Francis then that’s good news. I won’t bother going to confession for sexual sins I fall into anymore instead I will only confess any failures to reduce my carbon footprint. And maybe I’ll leave my wife and find someone younger since divorce is no longer a motal sin.

Jackisback said...


I read the Buttiglione article from First Things that you referenced -

Here is the money quote, from my perspective:

We are not saying that there are situations in which there is only the choice between one sin and another. With the help of God’s grace, there is always a way out in order to observe completely God’s law. However, we often need time to find the solution. What should the confessor do in the meantime? Here also he will have the choice between two equally legitimate pastoral strategies. If the situation is such that it truly compromises in an irresistible way the liberty of the person, then he is in the grace of God, since the subjective elements for mortal sin are lacking. That does not mean to say that the refusal of absolution might not be an efficacious means to encourage the penitent on the path of liberation from the chains in which he finds himself. Is the first or second pastoral strategy preferable? I do not know. I know that the legitimate authority should decide: the priest, the bishop, the pope.

But here I say to Buttiglione that a focus on the extreme cases obscures what has occurred since he wrote the article. For it was always true that a priest could grant absolution in an extreme case like the one cited by Buttiglione (e.g. a woman with several young children completely dependent on a man) and no Bishop or Priest needed Amoris Laetitia to tell them that. But in San Diego, unlike Phoenix, A.L. is being converted to pastoral situations that are utterly unexeceptional, where economic dependency is not an issue in the slightest. Such guidelines are "telegraphing" to the divorced-and-civilly-remarried flock that they need only convince themselves that in their heart of hearts (their subjective conscience) that their first public marriage in the Church was null, ab initio, and from there it is only a matter of coming forward and spending some amount of time in "accompaniment" with a Sand Diego diocesan Priest where such a penitent convinces the Priest of his/her sincerity in belief. That Priest is being encouraged by the Bishop to grant absolution in that circumstance - without so much as even mentioning that the first step ought to be a seeking out of a Tribunal Annulment - without so much as even mentioning that the second step ought to be an attempt to live in complete continence until such an Annulment can be obtained.

This is strictly forbidden in Phoenix.

Yet, both approaches are acceptable to His Holiness.

I wonder if Buttiglione understood in 2016 that what would transpire from that point would be the forum shopping environment that we now have.

Anonymous said...

I have a general question regarding conscience that has always puzzled me. As I understand it, the Church says we are free to follow our conscience provided it is a “well formed” conscience, and if I am correct a well formed conscience is one that conforms to the teachings of the Church.

Provided what I stated above is correct, here’s my question...

Why do we need to worry about having a well formed conscience especially since we are so predisposed to self denial and fooling ourselves. Why not simply tell people to follow the teachings of the Church? This may be simplistic but the Church says, for example, that missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, unless of course you are sick, caring for a sick child, etc. So whee does my conscience fit into this since the teaching of the Church is clear?

Jackisback said...

Anon at 1:47 PM,

Aye, there's the rub. The last part of your last sentence struck me "...since the teaching of the Church is clear?"

For the sake of discussion & debate only, I'd like to use your example as an analogy to an extreme hypothetical: Pretend I am a chronic absentee from Church on Sundays (or any other day of the week) for unexceptional reasons (i.e., I could have easily attended, but chose not to) and I meet someone who asks me to meet them for 9:00 a.m. mass this week and I agree to go because I see a chance at a relationship with her in the future. Let's further assume that my conscience is well informed enough to know already that:

1. I know that I have broken one of the Ten Commandments - ergo - I don't actually need to hear any Church teaching to inform my conscience in this regard
2. Because of 1., I already know that I should not approach for Communion, without going to Confession first - a Confession in which I know in advance that God will be expecting me to confess my chronic failure to keep holy His Sabbath Day - and that before the Priest grants Absolution, God will be expecting me to pledge to amend my life in the future so as to begin attending mass every Sunday in the future AND to avoid the near occasions of sin that might prevent me from future attendance.
3. I also know that if I should refuse such a pledge to stop committing this particular sin in the future, that is, if I should dare suggest to the Priest in the booth that I really need his Absolution in order to nourish me such that I can perhaps start thinking about beginning the process of complying at some time in the indefinite future (after all I'll need some quality time from the Priest for "accompaniment" first) but that I cannot yet comply, that I really need the Eucharist now as a form of "healing" in the "field hospital" of my life - right now - so that "someday" I may later be able to achieve the "ideal" of consistent Mass attendance, but that I cannot in good "conscience" pledge or commit to such future attendance because I claim it is "infeasible," that my subjective conscience is bothered by the idea that if I should attend Mass on the Sunday after next (when my children are in my custody pursuant to my divorce agreement) my children - who refuse to attend any church - will suffer great feelings of abandonment while I am at Church without them, which, after all is a much greater competing mortal sin according to my subjective conscience... If I should suggest all of that with a straight face, at all times being humble, respectful, tactful and polite, I still know with confidence that my Priest in the booth isn't going to go for this, and that Priest is going to be savvy enough to call out my thought process as a rationalization without merit. I know that.

Or do I?

I think I know that vis-a-vis any Priest in the Diocese of Phoenix. But in San Diego?

Fred Keyes said...

Anon at 1:47, can you give me a statement in the CCC that says what you say, "the Church says we are free to follow our conscience provided it is a “well formed” conscience?

Fred Keyes said...

Jack, too many suppositions. AL Ch 8. doesn't address anything like that from what I can tell.

Just an observation: How does a priest or you or me, get through a difficult case in which clouded judgement and individual conscience are involved and steer clear of a Christian "prime directive"——"Judge not?"

I'm very much impressed by gospel values in this regard: The father who comes out to find his prodigal son *as* he is taking steps to come back; the woman at the well to whom Jesus comes (the same Jesus who comes to us in communion) and who has been married to 7 men; Jesus who comes *to* Zacchaeus and makes a convert out of him; and of course Jesus declares that he comes to save sinners not the righteous. I'm not seeing that he comes to those who are not of a mind to welcome him, but He goes more than halfway for those who are struggling to get back. It all fits with the Pope's idea of the Church as a field hospital and to have priests "who are shepherds with the smell of sheep."

To my uneducated ears (not being a moral theologian or a Keeper of the Keys), it sounds like authentic Christianity to me.

Jackisback said...


Chapter 8 of A.L., of course, "doesn't address anything like that," but it has been interpreted that way vis-a-vis civilly-divorced-and-remarried-penitents, and my analogy to Sunday Mass attendance follows along almost exactly with this interpretation, first published by the Bishops of Buenos Aires. So you have helped make one of my initial points: A.L. chapter 8 doesn't say what the Bishops of Buenos Aires (and now San Diego) say it says. But His Holiness has nonetheless given informal written approval of the Buenos Aires interpretation.

I'm also impressed by the gospel values in the examples you cite. But consider, the prodigal son is both completely penitent and prepared in advance to change. He pre-rehearsed what he would say - to ask his father to send him off to work with the lowliest of his servants.

Shepherds should indeed have "the smell of sheep" especially of the lost one. But no shepherd ought to be counseled by His Holiness to leave the sheep out there (having found it shacked up with another lost sheep) or to give verbal comfort to the effect: "hey, you're good now that I have found you out here with this other lost sheep where you do not belong, but now that I've found you, you need not actually change and follow me all the way back to the flock; we'll consider you part of the One Body even though you're not actually committing to be in communion with the 99 - because, hey, in your subjective conscience, you feel it is infeasible to to actually obey Jesus' command to stop committing adultery of the heart - I grant you the Absolution you seek; feel free to stop by the flock the next time you want the Eucharist; no need to apply for a tribunal annulment from that sheep to whom you are actually still married; I believe you when you say your conscience tells you that your first marriage wasn't valid."

I'm impressed by another New Testament verse - Matthew 15:1-20. We seem to have forgotten the way Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 15:1-20 for their own peculiar use of subjective conscience so as to avoid actually honoring their parents. There was a time when the defenders of the Church would write things with a different point of view: God does not command impossibilities.

Who needs Commandments, Fred, if my subjective conscience gets to decide the extent to which they apply to me? We are to be in communion in a universal Church. Yet, now we live in a Church of a multitude of "concrete situations," a Church in which the San Diego way is just as valid as the Phoenix way. They can't both be right, and yet they are, absent clarification from His Holiness. Not claiming to have the answer here. Only trying to point out that there is a big problem.

I have the utmost respect for you Fred, but confusion is confusion. We are told that this is not confusion from above (i.e. not from His Holiness and certain Cardinals and Bishops) but that we, who are concerned about the schism we see before our eyes, are the only confused ones. But what of the teaching of St. John Paul II and his predecessors going back 2,000 years? Were they confused as well? We are told that raising this question makes us disrespectful of His Holiness and the Chair he occupies. I say, not so. Schism is a problem; it does not emanate from the 99. The indissolubility of marriage has been put into question (despite protests to the contrary by Cardinal Kasper) when Absolution and Holy Communion can be administered to those who continue in adultery of the heart, making no pledge to change. Us 99 would joyfully celebrate the return of the 1, if only he/she would actually return with the shepherd.

Anonymous said...

"Chapter 8 of A.L., of course, "doesn't address anything like that," but it has been interpreted that way vis-a-vis civilly-divorced-and-remarried-penitents, and my analogy to Sunday Mass attendance follows along almost exactly with this interpretation, first published by the Bishops of Buenos Aires. So you have helped make one of my initial points: A.L. chapter 8 doesn't say what the Bishops of Buenos Aires (and now San Diego) say it says. But His Holiness has nonetheless given informal written approval of the Buenos Aires interpretation."

Jack, you're 100 % correct. Pope Francis was intentionally vague in A.L., i.e. he cracked the door open. Some Bishops (in San Diego & Buenos Aires) are now permitting open, unrepentant adulterers, who have NO intention of reforming their lives, to receive Holy Communion. Pope Francis, to seal the deal, has affirmed in writing that the Bishops of Buenos Aires are correct. Two completely contradictory and totally incompatible pastoral practices are now in play; both affirmed, or at the very least permitted, by Rome. As written above, this is dangerous. Very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

One more point, His Holiness has given written approval to the Buenos Aires approach. That almost cements a schism. The Catholic Church must be universal, i.e. consistent with Her teachings, which is one of Her hallmarks. Now, it's not. it's not! These are unprecedented and dangerous times.

Fred Keyes said...

Jack, your approach comes across in an awfully judgmental way.

"J'accuse!!" you shacked-up sinners!

Cardinal Wuerl of Washington D.C. just issued a document that nails it, IMHO:

In re Wuerl: Qui tacet consentieri.

Fred Keyes said...

Most of the bishops of the Church are striving mightily to maintain unity in the Church. Given the objections to AM though, it seems we may be headed toward another SSPX-type schism. Such is Salvation History; from Moses to the present rebelliousness to God's ways have been the norm.

Example: Me. I was one of those who objected strenuously to Paul VI's ruling on artificial birth control. Practiced it for years. Then I decided to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and read Humanae Vitae. It made absolute sense. And now in fact all the things Pope Paul predicted have come to be. Saint indeed is he. We err, but we return when our hearts are open to the Truth.

Anonymous said...


With charity, which truth do you reference? Buenos Aires / San Diego / Pope Francis, or everywhere else? Pope Francis, in writing, responded that the bishops in Buenos Aires were correct. It's on the Vatican's website. Now, anyone can say they're not in mortal sin subjectively. the flood gates were opened by Francis. Jack laid it out perfectly, and you have NOT responded to Jack on the merits. Saying he's 'judgemental'.......umm, not even close. That actually boarders on an ad hominin attack. Please, with charity, respond on the merits, if you can. Problem is you can't defend the indefensible. Rome is permitting two totally separate pastoral practices, one of which...Pope Francis'.....also contradicts 2000 + years of consistent Catholic teachings.

Anonymous said...

Went to Charlie's new site for the first time in weeks. In one article, he came out against the Texas bishops conference because they're too political, Beckita told people to write to the bishops and tell them off. Charlie also said he turned down a $200,000 job offered by IL Lt. Gov. because it was against his pro-life principals. He posted a repeat of an article on his life talking to angels! not giving up on being a prophet! And Joe Crozier came back to Charlie's group!! Must have been lonely.

Fred Keyes said...

Anon, I don't know who you are or what your credentials are to give me some idea of your expertise in moral theology. I've said I am not at all comfortable arguing the fine points of this issue, my training is minimal wrt moral theology. In my own mind at least, I'm comfortable with the rationale of AM Ch. 8, which is nowhere near as loose as you seem to believe it is.

Now I know I am ultimately appealing to authority on this issue. But in the Church, relying on authority is something we are all obliged to do with respect to the Magisterium. On matters of faith and morals it is an appeal to a false authority that would be a problem.

Are you willing to go out on a limb and say you don't recognize the authority of Pope Francis on this issue? Me?——I'm with Pope Benedict whose approval of Francis I referred to above. I want no part of another SSPX situation.

Bemused said...


There is some question as to whether the Vatican ‘doctored’ the so-called endorsement of Pope Francis by Pope Benedict:

It is good that you are not confused by Pope Francis but just speaking for myself I have never been more confused in my life as a Catholic due to the current Pope (I am in my 60s). What he says seems to be to be completely at odds with the Baltimore Catechism, and the Catholic faith as believed by Mother Angelia and Archbishop Sheen. What does a schism feel like...perhaps it feels like the confusion we are living in today.

Fred Keyes said...

True enough Bemused, there was some selective reporting of what was in the letter, and Benedict did not approve the book (actually 11 volumes) in question about Pope Francis's philosophy and theology because he had not read it all and said he didn't have time to read it, so he wouldn't approve its contents. Still he did say the positive things that were reported earlier.

That many Catholics are confused is not particularly unusual. Has it not always been so? Many otherwise faithful Catholics including an archbishop and a lot of priests were confused by the whole Vatican II experience. And I'm not talking only about the schismatic Lefeverists and sedevacantists but those on the left in the Church who abused the liturgy and took positions (like pro-abortion) that were beyond the pale.

AS Jesus said at the Last Supper discourse, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." (John 14:1)

Jackisback said...


I read the publication of His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl. It is, as I expected it might be (after having read the Boorstein article you linked) a spectacular disappointment in terms of furthering confusion rather than providing clarity. The gist of it is "there are no hard and fast rules."

As for me being judgemental - I plead "guilty as charged" despite Anon's defense of my position. I'm judgemental, when a person divorces, and in the manner St. JP II says is so typical, does so with a mind to marrying another via the state, with no attempt even made to seek a tribunal annulment, that is adultery of the heart, borne out by their actions. They're "shacking up," and cannot purport to make holy that which is not. There is in that case no attempt made at obedience - in fact it is a thumbing of their nose at the body of Christ. Later, when feeling regret for "where they're at," they want Holy Communion again, but don't wish to make any changes to their "concrete situation," which situation only exists due to circumstances of their own making. Now, in Buenos Aires or San Diego, they are going to be able to do just that.

But I'm not taking the position that His Holiness is "wrong." How can I, when A.L. chapter 8 doesn't actually say this is ok. Neither am I quibbling with your position, per se.

Rather, I have a confession to make. This for me, is an exercise in Thomistic thought/argument. That's because I stand in the shoes of just such a person, though when I divorced in 2003/4, I had no thought of marrying another. My annulment was turned down, despite my subjective belief that my original marriage in 1989 was not valid. It wasn't until 12/31/2017 that I finally married again, via the state. I stand in the shoes of one who would benefit from the Buenos Aires/San Diego "way." My local ordinary, however, will have none of it:

If you read the link you will note how His Excellency Bishop Olmsted cites A.L. in defense of his position of holding fast to JP II's Familiaris Consortio. My local ordinary most definitely "judges" that what is happening in Buenos Aires and San Diego is incorrect (though he does not call them out per se) and in effect "judges" me in my "concrete situation" as ineligible to receive Holy Communion without a pledge of complete continence. He also does not believe in the "back door" private annulment method that is popular among some clergy - the "Internal Forum" - a practice that predates A.L. chapter 8 See in particular, pages 22 through 28. See his citation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1994 - which I would point out His Holiness makes no effort to contravene in A.L. chapter 8, but which the Bishops of Buenos Aires and San Diego turn on its head. Pay particular attention to the discussion of conscience.

So there it is. I am arguing the other side of this, Fred, despite that it is against my self interest. I would very much love to lose this argument. I would love for you to show me how Bishop Olmsted is wrong. I'd love it even more for His Holiness to do that.

But answer me this: should I drive six hours to San Diego for their form of "accompaniment" that is not available in Phoenix? If I were to do so, would I be disobedient to my local ordinary?

Fred Keyes said...


I'm not going to argue that either Bishop Olmstead or Bishop McElroy is wrong in their approach. Indeed they are both right, IMHO, even though it *appears* they have diametrically opposite positions. Let me think on't (as a friend of mine used to say) and I will elaborate.

Meanwhile here's a Boston College Law School article article from 2003 (the year before I got married after both my wife and I received annulments——she here in San Diego [B. Mc.--Before McElroy] and me in the Washington D.C. Archdiocese. Long story...). Look up Judge Noonan's history (died just last April) to see who the author is writing about. The issues she and Judge Noonan wrote about are presciently apropos here.

Jackisback said...

I respect your point of view, Fred, as I always have in this brief introduction via blogging here since 2015/2016.

I actually make no demand for an answer. It's enough for me to expose, by asking the question - and showing it to be a legitimate question to ask - the very real schism that exists.

No one promised me a rose garden, and, I've made my peace with the notion that I can live the rest of my life without me "getting my way."

I perused the Kaveny article from the link you provided - by word-searching "marriage." "Development" certainly has occurred in certain areas of Catholic teaching on morals (how to act). Very little has changed on dogma (what to believe).

Where does sacramental discipline come into play? If marriage is indissoluble (as defined/affirmed by the Christ himself) then am I not a bigamist for marrying again via the state? This I have always found curious, because the Church doesn't recognize my state law marriage. So how can I be a bigamist? But even if not judged a bigamist, I must be an adulterer, no, absent a pledge of continence?

It seems to me the case is being made in Buenos Aires and San Diego that sacramental discipline is something not as imperative as dogma; thus, it can be "developed" even if the subject matter at hand has a direct connection to dogma from the Christ.

The example of the development of doctrine on slavery is interesting. For slavery, even when it was considered something that was accepted on a large scale, actually wasn't ever, at any time, something taught to be acceptable by the Christ. Now we look back and see that our own founding fathers of this country, knew in their hearts that slavery was wrong, even as they wrote a constitution that preserved it for almost 100 years.

I fear we will look back thirty years from now, at the fruit of this "development" of sacramental discipline as something that we knew was wrong all along, however much it was deemed acceptable by our current Pontiff.

Anonymous said...


As posted above, Pope Francis is speaking via the ordinary, as opposed to the extraordinary, Magisterium, which deals with a matter of faith and morals. Therefore, he's NOT guaranteed infallibility. I'm not any expert on moral theology, but I did graduate from a seminary years ago. I'm 53. But, I must wonder aloud, do we need to be theologians to question one very odd policy of Pope Francis, affirmed and promoted via the Holy Father himself on the Vatican website? A policy that is clearly not only a dramatic change to 2000 years of clear pastoral practice, but is linked to Jesus' own clear words and unequivocal teachings? Why can't an adult Catholic of ordinary intelligence read the Baltimore Cathecism and clearly conclude this policy, promoted by Pope Francis, is in direct contravention thereto? Perhaps too many canon lawyers and theologians are even confusing the issue. IDK. What I do know is that what's being allowed in Buenos Aires and San Diego is contrary to 2000 years of Catholic teaching, and Rome is promoting it. I'm afraid I'm not ok with that - because I read the CCC.

Anonymous said...

Compelling thread, and a troubling one - confusion. On a lighter note, seer Johnston is back! In a recent article he quoted extensively about what he was shown by his 'angel' and about the soon to explode global civil war, fought along cultural lines. His readership is way down so he runs home to mamma, so to speak, i.e. referencing his 'angelic visions'. I predicted he'd not stop, and he's trying a mystical appeal, because his new site is not doing so well. He really won't give up his fifteen minutes of totally undeserved fame. Completely failed record of predictions be damned. Does he really think people forgot that all his nonsense predictions tanked? Umm, no Charlie. Please stop.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Here are two gems from Seer Johnston's latest post:

Finally, get out of your mind childishly sentimental notions of Rescue.

The point is, Christian Rescue is not for the faint of heart nor the sunshine soldier. It will not be as you – or I expect – but it is certain.

Where did we get these "childishly sentimental notions of Rescue"? Well, we got them from Seer Johnston's prophecies where he told us true!

And now he says that the rescue "will not be as you – or I expect" - really? Remember how a year or so back Seer Johnston would skewer anyone who questioned his angelic revelation. Now the spin is we'll still have a rescue but it won't be the same type of rescue the angels told him true about.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is no longer spinning the rescue as a discrete singular event but rather a process. So the angel who told him true that we would be visibily rescued by the BVM in 2017 evidently told him false.

Anonymous said...

"If there is a peaceful transition of power from Obama to Trump, I will go away."

OK, Charlie, pls go away. Man up and keep your word.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

In 2016 Charlie boasted about getting nearly as many hits as CNN. Now his new website is barely on the radar. From SimilarWeb, a web traffic analysis site,

#914,306 in US Country Rank
#3,657,319 in Global Traffic
Category Rank N/A Not enough information available to even tell where 'A Sign of Hope' is in its category.

Not very hopeful!

Anonymous said...

I'd have a small amount of sympathy for Seer Johnston, if - if - he'd man up; admit he fabricated it all, or was deceived by demons, or was / still is delusional. He's not going to, ever. In point of fact, good ole Charlie remains defiant. His record of failed so called 'prophecies' remains unblemished; yet he holds his head high. That's not courage. It's madness. His cult following is mostly gone, with only the core nutters remaining to see what our favorite seer blurts out next.

OK, so now the 'rescue' is a process, not a singular event in 2017, as good ole Charlie was told true. Got it. So, it could take many years, and Charlie will carry on, good old soldier that he is, not that he ever served in uniform, btw. Amazing; few words. Bayside, Maria Divine Mercy, LTTW, and Charlie Johnston. I guess where cults abound, so do cult leaders such as Charlie, and followers / victims. I hope none of these poor, misguided souls invest anything at all in his nonsense. I must wonder aloud what it'll take for them to see him as a snake oil salesman. I understand delusional beliefs, but this cult mentality is as fascinating as it is tragic.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Hey, anybody recall Charlie rescuing a family from a burning car, and single handedly foiling an armed bank robbery? These were allegedly ole tall tales, which Charlie fabricated, as he did his so called walk across America. Blogger Kevin O'Brien did an excellent job, via social media, of exposing this lie. People embellish every day, but seer Johnston is simply fabricating a past that never happened, with himself as the hero, of course. Even absent his nonsense, failed predictions, these facts alone raise huge red flags.

Jim D.

Fred Keyes said...

Jack...sorry for the delay. We will be moving away from CA in a couple of months and traveled this past week to make preparations for our move. Other states are much cheaper to retire in.

You asked:

"Where does sacramental discipline come into play? If marriage is indissoluble (as defined/affirmed by the Christ himself) then am I not a bigamist for marrying again via the state? This I have always found curious, because the Church doesn't recognize my state law marriage. So how can I be a bigamist? But even if not judged a bigamist, I must be an adulterer, no, absent a pledge of continence?"

I agree that you are not a bigamist, either civilly or morally. The rest of course is for you to decide; I won’t judge your conscience. I’ve been in that wrestling match myself….my prayers are with you.

But on the issue at hand, we are talking about pastoral practice (as JPII refers to it in Familiaris Consortio) and not dogma or doctrine. Those remain as they always have been and always will. As I understand it, Francis is saying that a sinner who is clearly taking positive steps to repent of past sins should be allowed to be helped by Christ Himself to aid directly in that process--i.e., to let Jesus aid a morally sick and recovering person, those for whom He came.

Anon on 3/20 at 3:44 is correct that we are not in infallible territory; and this is where we are and why we don’t have bishops excommunicating one another right now.

But JPII worried about confusion in Familiaris (I have to admit that yes, there is confusion), and this in fact is difficult as our discussion proves:

“However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

My non-expert opinion (being the kind of person anon says can draw conclusions based on what I know) tells me both popes can base their recommended practice on Sacred Scripture and in truth not really be in disagreement. St. Paul was correct to warn about being guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ by receiving unworthily. But is a person in the process of repenting unworthy? Or should the rescued lamb be fed on the trip back to the sheepfold? Pastorally, a priest should refuse communion to anyone who is not taking clearly positive steps to come back to the full practice of the faith.

By the way anon, I too am an ex-future priest as a Mormon friend of mine once called me. High school and 2-1/2 years of college under Dominican/Benedictine teachers. I know just enough to be dangerous I’m afraid. Don't look me up though; I use a 'nom de cyber.'

Jackisback said...

Thanks for your thoughts Fred. What we may have here is the "institutionalization of the Internal Forum" by Francis. If that's the Holy Father's intent, I wish he'd come right out and say it and thereby repudiate the CDF's publication from 1994. That would end the confusion, at least for me.

But, if it is possible for Bishops and priests to grant Absolution and Communion for the likes of me, and declare me in a state of grace, a state of my being in Communion again with the Body of Christ, based upon my subjective conscience, then what is the bar for me for the sacrament of marriage again in the Church? Assume for this purpose that a Tribunal annulment is not possible in my case, which is the truth of the matter, at least here in Phoenix.

Fred, thanks for this conversation. I am grateful for it.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Here is my .02 cents, for whatever it is worth.

I suppose we Catholics were somewhat "spoiled" in the past couple of decades with the theological precision and clarity of Popes Benedict and John Paul II (most especially the former). Obviously such is not so much now the case with Pope Francis even though he is a Jesuit. While for centuries the Jesuits were towering theological intellectuals, unfortunately nowadays the Jesuits as a whole are more known for their "progressiveness", leading more than one commentator to remark how St. Ignatius of Loyola must be rolling in his grave with the theological innovations espoused by many of his spiritual sons nowadays (I will however specifically exclude the Pope out of this statement, at least for now).

As for the "dubia" written by the four cardinals questioning parts of Amoris Laetitia, what for me is most difficult to understand is why Pope Francis has never responded to the Cardinals dubia, or their request for a private meeting. But then I'm sure there is quite alot that goes on behind the scenes that we do not hear about. I will say that concerning such matters as these where we see confusion in the Church, I personally always take comfort and assurance in the fact that it is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church, and that Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end, and that the gates of hell will not prevail. So while the smoke of satan swirls about and seeks to sow division and confusion, God guides and protects His Church and His faithful children. So, I personally take comfort in Jesus assurances and promises in this regards.

In short, I'm not a huge fan of Pope Francis for these and a few other reasons. In comparison to recent Pope's, he is certainly no Pope St John Paul II or Pope Benedict that is for sure! And another thing is for sure---at this rate he sure isn't going to be remembered for his strict adherence to Catholic orthodoxy, teaching and tradition---but to me the most troubling are his numerous "off the cuff" statements to the press over the years, which often come off as being quite liberal and modernist. For sure, speaking with theological and moral precision is NOT his strong point. Pope Francis is definitely not a towering traditional/conservative minded theologian like Popes Benedict or John Paul II, nor will he be known for clarity in many of his informal statements, most especially in his "off the cuff" statements.

My sincere hope is that Pope Francis will continue to remain within the doctrinal and dogmatic boundaries held by the Church throughout the centuries, and will not promulgate anything that strays from the defined teachings of the Church.

Thanks to all for your comments here.
Glenn Dallaire

Bemused said...

A perfect example is the Pope's statement today to the young people:

“It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”

Does anyone know what exactly the Pope wants the young to shout about? Should they shout simply for the sake of shouting?

Does the Pope want the young to shout out against the evil of abortion? The abomination of homosexual marriage? Or the carbon footprint of large corporations?

I'm sorry, but I simply I have NO CLUE what this man is talking about. But then again, perhaps I'm like the Pharisees in the New Testament who were confused by Jesus' words.

Fred Keyes said...

Interesting comments on this issue. I agree with Glenn, we can take much comfort in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. How this particular issue will evolve I can't say. Sometimes God's will shows itself in what we shouldn't do.

We should pray on't, and not let our hearts be troubled. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...


I'm the ex seminarian. I like most of what you're presenting, but I must ask are we aiding the returning sinner, en route back to the fold? My point is in these instances there is NO (NONE) intention to reform ones life. That's the rub, and nobody, including Pope Francis, has addressed this. Any confession that lacks a sincere desire to at least attempt to reform one's life is invalid. That's basic moral theology. These folks, or at least many of them, have no intention of reforming their lives, or attempting to reform their lives, or even of attempting to live chastely, as brother & sister. Therefore, any confessions would not be valid. They are not really returning to the faith, or, if they are, they're doing so on their own terms. Citing the lost sheep presupposes a genuine intention to reform, and that's lacking here. THAT is the problem.


Anonymous said...

In the Old Testament God permitted divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts. Might it be possible that in this perverse and degenerate age of abortion and homosexual marriage that God will again tolerate divorce due to the hardness of men's hearts?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3-27-18 @ 11:11

Wow. What a concept. IDK. Jesus raised marriage to the level of a Sacrament. Could or would God reverse this? Amazing insightful thought, but God can't reverse Himself; that's one of the basic philosophical attributes of god, i.e. that He can't change His (perfect) mind. So.......IDK. But, it made me think. There is vast confusion, and it IS coming from Rome, regrettably. Pax. God bless you.


Anonymous said...


I meant at 6:10 PM


Anonymous said...

If Seer Johnston would man up; admit he fabricated all his failed predictions, or was deceived by demons, or was / still is delusional, I'd be very lenient on him. But, he refuses. Good ole Charlie remains defiant. His record of failed so - called 'prophecies' is one hundred percent; yet he holds his head high. That's not courage. It's insanity and prideful arrogance. His cult following is mostly gone, with only the core nutters remaining to see what our favorite seer concocts next.

OK, so now, as I understand it the 'rescue' is a process, not a singular event in 2017, as good ole Charlie was told true. Therefore, it could take many years to play out, and Charlie will carry on, good old soldier that he is. He ever served in uniform, btw.

Charlie rescued a family from a burning car, and single handedly foiling an armed bank robbery - or so he claimed years ago. These were allegedly old tall tales, which Charlie fabricated, as he did his so called walk across America. Blogger Kevin O'Brien did an excellent job, via social media, of exposing this lie. People embellish every day, but seer Johnston is simply fabricating a past that never happened, with himself as the hero, of course. Even absent his rediculous, failed predictions, these facts alone raise huge red flags.

Amazing; few words. Bayside, Maria Divine Mercy, LTTW, and Charlie Johnston. I guess where cults abound, so do deceitful, yet charismatic, cult leaders such as Charlie, and his followers / victims. I hope none of these poor, misguided souls invest anything further in his nonsense. I must wonder aloud yet again what it'll take for them to see him as a snake oil salesman. I understand delusional beliefs, but this cult mentality is as fascinating as it is tragic.

Jim D.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION: Charlie NEVER served in uniform.

Jim D.

Fred Keyes said...


I'm certain the Holy Father has no intention of allowing anyone who exhibits the kind of stubbornness you speak of to take Holy Communion. They would be going against their own conscience and that can't be allowed. The ones he would allow to have communion would be those good people who are truly taking positive steps to return fully to the fold and whose circumstances may be such that it will take time to complete the process. I would imagine in such an instance that this person's pastor/confessor would stay in close contact and guide them through the process.

It's a tightrope to be sure, but existing teaching on the supremacy of conscience and the prime directive to avoid judgmentalism must be kept in mind.

I don't believe that the Church will ever change its teaching on divorce. Annulment is not divorce. In our culture, since the 60s, far too many of us got into marriages without truly understanding what a Christian marriage was all about and how it took TWO completely free wills to enter into a sacramental marriage. So that even when one partner understood the bond, if the other one didn't then one could and should question whether God ever put that marriage together.

Fred Keyes said...

Charlie J I maintain is a dyed in the wool right-wing nutter. Like Trump he was—and apparently still is—willing to join the Russians to save the world from whatever demons his imagination had concocted. He almost gives honest conservatives a bad name, but even most honest conservatives rightly (no pun...) disinherit him.

Anonymous said...


Happy Easter. I like what you're saying; I find it reasonable and I almost completely concur with you. However, as we witness in both Buenos Aires and in San Diego, it remains unclear exactly what parameters are in place.

I do mostly agree with you, but Pope Francis didn't say that - you did. Where does our Holy Father stand? When will he clarify? Why hasn't he clarified already? Rome IS the source for this confusion, in this case. I find that dangerous, at the very least. Regarding the receipt of Holy Communion by people in adulterous marriages, although I do mostly concur with you, I also believe that the flood gates are about to swung wide open, and the exceptions will become the norm. The few that are making concrete steps to return to the Sacraments may well be far eclipsed by the majority, who want Holy Communion on their own terms. Once this occurs, it'll be almost impossible to fix the problem at a later date.

I also concur with you regarding the doubtful validity of many marriages in recent decades. I love the fact that Pope Francis is facilitating the annulment process. I like this evolution. He can do so, and I'm glad he is doing so. Viva Christo Rey!


Fred Keyes said...

Tommy, to speculate just a step further, my guess is that the Holy Father does not want to pin things down with crossed Ts and dotted Is because there are so many variables and careful judgments to be made in any given situation. Only a trained pastor who knows the intimate details of their congregant can make the decision to give communion or not.

The Church is actually a very decentralized institution. Considerable authority is given to pastors "on the ground" to carry out that other prime directive: "Go, make disciples of all nations."

Anonymous said...

What do people make of Pope Francis comment in the news this week that there is no hell? Do you think he really believes that or was he misquoted (once again). I certainly hope he is correct, but like many other things he has said it contradicts 2000 years of Church teaching and tradition.

Glenn Dallaire said...

As for the latest papal controversy concerning the Pope's alleged statements regarding the existence of hell, it seems to be another one in a succession of concerning statements from Pope Francis over the years. In my opinion I think that the following article sums things up quite well:
Did Francis Deny Hell Exists? Vatican Plays Another Shell Game With the Truth

While I appreciate Pope Francis' position in some areas, overall I would have to say that unfortunately confusion seems to be one of the hallmarks of his pontificate thusfar.

Anonymous said...

To Anon (above) & Glenn;

IDK; IDK what to make of this latest (mis)statement from our Holy Father. Hell is a dogma of the faith and, in point of fact, Jesus mentioned it more frequently in the Gospels than He did Heaven. Rome IS the source of the confusion. None of Francis' statements are ex cathedra; not one. Therefore, none are protected by infallibility.

To Fred;

I do like what you're saying, but we can't navigate around the reality that any confession made w.o. even a tepid intention of reformation would completely invalidate said confession, making any subsequent receipt of the Eucharist a sacrilege. Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, are charged to govern and to teach, never to confuse. I for one am very confused, and Pope Francis, whom I like, is the source. I'm at a loss for words.

Happy Easter. Viva Christo Rey.


Fred Keys said...

Aye, Tommy. Very true. But how do we judge intentions?

Jesus's answer: "Don't."

Fred Keyes said...

It seems to me things have gotten to the point with Pope Francis that too many folks are ready to believe the worst about what he says.

Fred Keyes said...

Also I do believe that faithful Catholics need to relax about where the Church is heading. The only thing you should be careful about is following a branch that turns out to be dead. Ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.

Happy Easter to all! Resurexit sicut dixit!!

Jackisback said...

Fred and Tommy, if we were to agree that the direction His Holiness is going is a good one (I'm not saying I agree with that per se) then why not go all the way to commanding that this be, figuratively, the "law of the land" for all penitents (i.e. to overturn Familiaris Consortio)? Then at least, the Church would speak with one voice, as a new command from the Pope on a "matter of discipline only."

I'd prefer that His Holiness go a step farther and declare that the use of the "Internal Forum" is both a legitimate thing to employ for Absolution in situations like this AND to perform a simultaneous "Internal Forum" private annulment/private marriage, thus freeing penitents to enter fully into the life of the Church with no restrictions. The "Internal Forum" approach that I describe is something that already exists, but it is not universally accepted (indeed Bishop Olmsted has written that he considers this illegitimate). This issue has always been one of a "decentralized" Church. But decentralization at this level was not specifically referred to as a good thing by any prior Pope (nothwithstanding historical Papal references to the principle of subsidiarity - which is clearly not the same thing as what we are arguing about here).

Pope Francis clearly approves of decentralization. He also clearly (though not in a commanding way) very much approves of the "Buenos Aires/San Diego way" of Absolution and return to the Eucharist without a pledge of complete continence (i.e., 180 degrees different from St. John Paul II, in Familiaris Consortio).

But here we stand, with Bishops in Phoenix and Philadelphia hanging their proverbial hats on sticking to Familiaris Consortio to the letter - in the face of newfangled approaches in Buenos Aires, etc. - and pointing to Francis' words in A.L., saying: "A.L. doesn't say that" (in reference to the new interpretations). Because Francis will not provide clarification, the Olmsted/Chaput approach - the one that also happens to be backed up by 2,000+ years of Church practice - is perfectly acceptable.

So we have massive decentralization and the word that describes that decentralization is schism.

Fred, I think Tommy was referring to the "intention" or lack therof of a penitent to commit to complete continence in the confessional as a prerequisite to being granted Absolution. It was, prior to Francis, incumbent on the Priest (not us) to judge that intention. Now that it is clear that Francis is informally ok with Priests no longer imposing a pledge of continence as a requirement for Absolution, we are perfectly within our rights to judge/question whether such Confessions are truly valid - Bishop Olmsted most certainly concurs with the assessment that they are invalid - as he instructs Priests under his wing to communicate the continence requirement to penitents (and declares Internal Forum annulments as invalid). I see a massive conflict here: for the Christ gave power to Priests to "hold loosth or hold bound" penitents' sins at their discretion. If a penitent is fully honest about not being willing to live in continence with their new civil spouse, and happens to live in Buenos Aires, and a Priest chooses not to impose the requirement, even for less than compelling reasons, how can that be considered a sacrilege if the Priest has the de facto power to "hold loosth" (keeping in mind that such a Buenos Aires Priest will not be in violation of any edict from his local ordinary)?

This gets to the heart of my Thomistic exercise. How can it be that what is clearly a sacrilege in Phoenix is NOT a sacrilege in Buenos Aires? The answer is schism, created and fostered by Rome.

Jackisback said...


Thanks for the link to the Stephanie Slade article on Douthat's book. But now I really want to take the time to read Douthat's book.

I'm glad that Slade has faith in the ultimate survival of the Church, but my impression when I finished the article was: that doesn't mean that the chaos and turmoil of the current schism won't get much, much worse before it gets better, and that process can last a long, long time.

I'm sure there were some back in the 16th century that thought the Reformation was just a phase that would pass before long.

Anonymous said...

I think a more decentralized Church does position us better for reunification with the Orthodox Church. Also I believe the Orthodox are more liberal on divorce. Perhaps that’s the end game. Personally I could accept that because the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is very sacred and solemn.

Anonymous said...

Fred, I think Tommy was referring to the "intention" or lack therof of a penitent to commit to complete continence in the confessional as a prerequisite to being granted Absolution. It was, prior to Francis, incumbent on the Priest (not us) to judge that intention. Now that it is clear that Francis is informally ok with Priests no longer imposing a pledge of continence as a requirement for Absolution, we are perfectly within our rights to judge/question whether such Confessions are truly valid - Bishop Olmsted most certainly concurs with the assessment that they are invalid - as he instructs Priests under his wing to communicate the continence requirement to penitents (and declares Internal Forum annulments as invalid). I see a massive conflict here: for the Christ gave power to Priests to "hold loosth or hold bound" penitents' sins at their discretion. If a penitent is fully honest about not being willing to live in continence with their new civil spouse, and happens to live in Buenos Aires, and a Priest chooses not to impose the requirement, even for less than compelling reasons, how can that be considered a sacrilege if the Priest has the de facto power to "hold loosth" (keeping in mind that such a Buenos Aires Priest will not be in violation of any edict from his local ordinary)?

Jack, yes I was. Exactly. Although I admittedly am a fan of Pope Francis, your argument is both clear and logically laid out. I can not disagree with it. If priests in these (for now) two dioceses are granting 'absolution' w.o. at least an anemic intention to live as brother & sister, it is in fact invalid. That's basic moral theology 101.

Nor can I argue against the fact that Rome is creating confusion and, yes, even a schism. These floodgates, once fully opened, will be almost impossible to close. The supposed exceptions are becoming the norm. Everyone knows this; let's just say it out loud. This represents a total reversal of John Paul's teachings. It does. A de facto schism already exists. Buenos Aires and San Diego are almost certainly just the beginning. Where are we heading? IDK.


Fred Keyes said...

Just an observation on the thinking with respect to going from Pope Francis' pronouncement in A.M. Ch. 8 all the way to a current "schism." I feel a bit like Linus sitting on his rear end cross-eyed after being drilled by a Charlie Brown fastball.

Come on now, you have to back down from that; a disagreement about pastoral practice is not a disagreement on doctrine and I maintain there is no disagreement on doctrine or dogma.

Argumentation based on the Scholastics' methods is certainly a good thing but you need to be careful in getting too rigid on their methods and the certainty with which they themselves considered their own philosophical and theological thinking.

Let me refer you to an article I found that discusses this. It gets deep but stick with it to the end to see what I'm talking about.

Jackisback said...

"...schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." [Code of Canon Law c.751]

Remember, Fred, Ch. VIII of A.L. "doesn't say" that which the Bishop's of Buenos Aires say it says (i.e. the notion that Absolution and Communion can be given to a "penitent" absent a pledge of complete contienence). My local ordinary, Bishop Olmsted has made this point in writing. Olmsted considers himself as having fully submitted to the Roman Pontiff on this point, again because A.L. chapter VIII "doesn't say that." Is anyone so bold as to assert that Olmsted is refusing submission to His Holiness?

The Bishops of Buenos Aires take the position that Ch. VIII of A.L. actually "does say that" and they are acting upon it. They believe they have fully submitted to the Roman Pontiff on this point (and an informal letter - which is not part of the Ordinary Magisterium - from His Holiness to the poor Monsignor in Buenos Aires is pointed to as support for that belief).

Both positions cannot be true. One of the two is refusing submission to the Roman pontiff on the concept of a minimum requirement for the legitimate administering of the sacrament of Reconciliation - or - one of the two is refusing to be in communion with the other on this point.

Hence, Dubia question #1: "It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance, and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio?" Note: the italics and bold words I quote in Dubia #1 are in the original.

The Buenos Aires position creates doubt about the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage, despite repeated denials. That is an unspoken reason for Cardinal Burke's (et al) publication of Dubia #1. The Olmsted/Chaput/Burke position does not create doubt about the indissolubility of marriage.

The Pope's defenders publicly accuse Burke of schism - of not submitting to the Holy Father. Yet, officially, he's just asking the Holy Father for clarification so that he can decide whether or not to suppport him.

The Pope's defenders in Rome and Buenos Aires are refusing to be in communion with Cardinal Burke and all other Catholics who happen to believe that a pledge of complete continence is required for sacramental validity vis-a-vis Reconciliation, and vice versa. But of these factions, who can by validly said to be refusing to submit to Roman Pontiff? Though this sounds like "just a point about discipline and not doctrine," the issue has inescapable implications about the doctrine of indissolubility of marriage.

Recall Paul in 1 Corinthians 10: Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. Our Bishops and Priests aren't doing this. His Holiness is allowing it. It would be most helpful if he were to clarify who it is that is not submitting to the authority of his office.

Anonymous said...

But of these factions, who can by validly said to be refusing to submit to Roman Pontiff? Though this sounds like "just a point about discipline and not doctrine," the issue has inescapable implications about the doctrine of indissolubility of marriage.

Jack is completely correct. Either marriage was raised to a Sacrament by Our Lord or it wasn't. Either it's indissoluble or it isn't. This is inescapably linked to the Sacrament of marriage.

Fred, with charity, I don't agree with you on this point. I do, however, like Pope Francis' reaching out to the poor, and other religions, especially the Orthodox. I also like his Holiness' facilitating of the annulment process, which is long overdue. I also like his somewhat simplistic manner of speech.

On this one point, Rome is creating and furthering a schism, by the above definition. One of the two camps is correct, and one is incorrect. Truth and falsity can NOT co exist. Either the Sacrament of marriage is indissoluble or it isn't. This IS a schism. Two camps already exist, and Rome remains silent - for a prolonged time. The Bishop of Rome is neither teaching nor clarifying on this crucial point; nor is he governing, i.e. giving clear directions. Sorry, Fred, this grave matter is unescapably linked to a Sacrament. This is a grave and sad situation; it's also been artificially created by Rome!


Fred Keyes said...

With charity (I love the new exhortation released today, don't you all?), and doing my best not to be snarky (so do you guys and I appreciate that), you have presented a false dichotomy. If I understand His Holiness correctly, he's speaking of a very narrow situation in which someone has made a firm purpose of amending an extraordinarily difficult situation that will take time to resolve. Didn't Jesus scold religious authorities for their legalistic practices?

"Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them." MT 23

Anonymous said...

Fred, They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is what we have been in the Catholic Church in 2018:

Anonymous said...

Hi Fred;

But that is NOT the case here. If it were, I'd fully agree with you. I partially agree with you anyway, but.....these folks, in most cases, are NOT 1. applying for a church annulment, and 2. living as brother & sister, although they could do both, yet fully choose to do neither, in most of these so called exceptional cases. That's the problem here. There are actually substantially more flaws, but I'll limit my critique to a few. Jack has already and quite elegantly laid out the grave theological problems here. I agree we can't get caught up in legal semantics, but this is 1. grave matter, and 2. directly related to and impacting upon one of the seven Sacraments. Nobody, especially Rome, is addressing the reality that all these confessions will be invalid, if even a slight purpose of amendment is absent. This still remains unanswered.


Fred Keyes said...


How do you get around the fact that in order to support your position you have to judge the individuals' consciences? How do you *know* that they are not in a personal state of grace?

Look at today's gospel reading. Who in this modern day drama playing out before our eyes is acting like the servant who would not forgive his those who owed him money the way his master had forgiven his?

On Charlie: Amazing it is that he has become such a Trumper. He still uses his flaky attachment to religion and his slick new website to sell his hard-line right wing baloney. It's clearly in his political interest to roil the waters as much as possible and keep the right fired up in favor of Trump and his Russian interests. A physical wall came tumbling down in 1989, but the more pernicious wall being built by Putin will tumble just as surely as well. What better way to attack the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart than to use it to support the opposite? Demonically genius.

Fred Keyes said...

Anon @8:21....I suspect Jesus, in his nature as a man, loved the flight. I kid of course; it feels vaguely direspectful; like they were treating the Eucharist like a circus act.

My bigger concern is the SSPX feel of that site. Now THAT was a schism.

Anonymous said...


How do you get around the fact that in order to support your position you have to judge the individuals' consciences? How do you *know* that they are not in a personal state of grace?

I don't, nor could I possibly, know their mind's inner workings. But, we must judge interior intentions via outward behavior. Also, we do know that many, if not most, of these folks do NOT intend to live as brother & sister. Because, if they did so intend, a simple confession would suffice, and we'd need nothing more, since they'd be following St. John Paul II's guidelines. So one can intend to live in objective mortal sin, when they could live as brother & sister; cause public scandal by so doing, and yet, somehow, be moving in a good direction? Umm, no.

Someone, I don't recall who, argued long ago that it'd be a hardship to live as brother & sister. That's totally absurd. Such a state could never be an undue hardship; nor could it harm children - ever. I also strongly suspect that many, if not most, of these folks never bothered to apply for a Church annulment. The process doesn't take forever. If they lack the slightest intention to reform, the absolution would not be valid. This still remains un explained.


Jackisback said...

I agree with Tommy here. The new Buenos Aires guidelines are a not so subtle invitation to rationalization - "Father forgive me, but it's not possible to stop having sex with my new civil law spouse because we'll become cranky and our children will be harmed, which is a greater sin, so says my subjective conscience... Priest: "what about trying for an annulment?" Penitent: " Oh Father, that would traumatize my former spouse, which would be a greater sin, according to my subjective conscience." Priest: well, the guidelines say that I must respect the primacy of your subjective conscience, and God forbid I try to replace your conscience with mine. That just won't do. And besides it's clear you've given this a lot of thought, and you did make the effort to come here, therefore 'conversion has already begun.' I therefore Absolve you. Go and keep on with your relationship just as it is. It is no longer something that you need to confess the next time you come for reconciliation."

This is what you can expect to achieve in Buenos Aires and in San Diego, but not in Phoenix. It's the tower of Babel metaphor, warned about by JP II in his exhortation on pennance, which I suggest you read in its entirety.

Sin is being defined downward for the sake of achieving so-called greater unity - while it actually has the opposite effect.

Again, unity is clearly not the goal here, unless we all agree to a lower common denominator with respect to how sin is defined. Instead, decentralization is the goal here, and this is a cause of the entropy we see in the Church writ large.

Fred Keyes said...

As I said, Jack. You have to judge someone to make a statement like that.

The rule is simple. Don't judge. Let God be God.

Fred Keyes said...

Oh by the way, unity *is* the goal—bringing sinners back to the Church.

Anonymous said...


One thought. We're NOT bringing sinners back to the Church if we allow them to persist in their objective mortal sin. In fact, the Church is verifying them in their sinful state of life. We're NOT, at least I'm not, judging their souls to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory, but merely their outward behavior. That's fair game, and always has been. Far more importantly, we have before us a situation where the Vatican is not leading, but is actually misleading souls, about a Sacrament no less. I concur with the above two posters.

Jackisback said...


Just because I sound judemental, doesn't mean I am. Along with Anon's (at 3:06 p.m.) well articulated defense, let me say this: To me, judgment about salvation is a first-person endeavor only. I approach the Commmandments, especially the new Commandment - love one another as I have loved you - as they relate to my hoped-for personal salvation, in a first person mode. I am required to use my conscience (imperfect as it is) to govern how I respond to God's constant call to avoid sin/near occasions of sin. My hoped-for salvation, if it is to occur, is by a gift of grace that was given approximately 2,000 years ago (not a thing that I can "achieve" by my own merits) which is still tenuous insofar as I might yet fall short. It's possible that I might lose salvation by virtue of being unwittingly hypocritical, as the Pharisees were. In this vein, it is wise to be as harsh a judge of myself as possible.

Pharisaical thinking could put my salvation at grave risk even when I think I am following the Commandments, for example, as you have pointed out to me, Fred, if I become jealous like the good brother in the prodigal son parable, of grace granted to others who otherwise appear to be unworthy. I believe salvation is always first-person in nature and not third-person. God - and his Priests - are the ones who can make judgements about salvation in a third-person mode.

If the penitent, in my earlier example, were being perfectly sincere in their words to the Priest as I described (because their own conscience were inexplicably ill-formed on the meaning of adultery of the heart) and the Priest granted absolution, then the penitent's conscience would indeed be clear. Should God (like the father of the prodigal son) welcome him with open arms at the pearly gates, I shall dance with joy.

My earlier example wasn't designed to pass judement on the penitent, but to describe the world we live in, and to pass a wee bit of judgement upon the Priest's lack of wisdom. The penitent in my example may not know any better, but the Priest (up until Amoris Laetitia Chapter VIII was published) absolutely knew better than to grant absolution in such a case without a pledge of continence, for the "authority to hold loosth and hold bound" is a heavy responsibility, the weightiest part of which involves taking the time to properly inform such a penitent's ill-formed conscience on adultery of the heart, and then insist upon a change to live in complete continence (in cases where physical separation of households was traumatic) i.e., to discontinue the sin of adultery of the heart - to come all the way back to the Body of Christ. It isn't really unity if sinners are granted absolution while still sinning. That way mocks the sacrament. My problem in all of this has been, and continues to be, that Bishops and Cardinals are abusing A.L. Chapter VIII's text and footnotes in such a way that effectively says: "well, the Pontiff said we are not to replace a penitent's conscience; ergo, I can issue guidelines granting absolution if I judge that said penitent is tactful and sincere when he approaches for absolution - EVEN IF SUCH PENITENT IS COMPLETELY UNWILLING TO AMEND HIS WAYS AT THE OUTSET, DURING, AND AT THE END OF THE PROCESS OF ACCOMPANIMENT, even if said penitent has an ill-conceived rationalization for why personal amendment of action to begin adhering to the Commandments is 'impossbile.' There is no requirement upon me to correct the penitent's incorrect subjective determinations of conscience, as that might present a stumbling block too high for them to overcome."

Prior to the arrival of Francis, Cardinals and Bishops previously addressed this issue by recalling the Council of Trent: "God does not command impossibilities." And that would put an end to these circuitous/tortured ways of thinking on the part of Priests whose goals are are to ostensibly create unity, but who inevitably create a tower of Babel level of confusion.

Anonymous said...

Interesting evolution of this thread, to be sure. IDK; it sure seems as if Rome is causing mass confusion here. I for one am very confused. Jack, above, summed it up very well, but...back to Charlie Johnston. I refuse to look at his new site. If anyone has gone there, can you give us any update as to what our favorite seer is 'telling us true' this month?

PS I'm still floored that Charlie has the unmitigated gall to post frequently, absent a sincere apology or any attempt whatsoever at accepting the blame for having misled many people, a good number of whom have suffer real economic harm as a result. Granted, it's their own fault, but they are still victims of this snake oil salesman. Charlie holds onto his fifteen minutes of fame, his head high and defiant. Unbelievable.

Jim D.

Jackisback said...

Hey Jim D.,

I gave up discussing CJ for Lent, and it was one of the best decisions I've made recently. I also have not ever visited his new site, nor do a I plan to do so. I did manage to archive quite a bit of the stuff from his old site before it got shut down, so that I would have something to refer back to in case CJ makes any sort of popular Catholic comeback attempt that gains traction - and by that I mean a very large following and support from Catholic clergy, as he once had.

Now that Lent is over, my self imposed prohibition from discussing him is no longer in force, so if there were some important issue or controversy involving him that actually affected the faithful in some way, I wouldn't hold back from engaging on the topic. As it stands, I see zero value in debating the merits of periodic stellar formations, for example (talk about being fooled by randomness). I guess this is my way of saying that part of me thinks it is enough of a victory of truth over foolishness that the Patrick Madrids of the world are no longer allowing themselves to be taken in by CJ's dark and strange tales.

While I certainly agree with you that it is untoward of CJ to double-down on his number one delusion - i.e., continuing to hold out his claimed locutions as if they still were valid (but just a little off in timing) despite all evidence to the contrary. But that is CJ's issue, not mine. He's stuck, but it's not up to me/us to fix that.

L Spinelli said...

Hey everyone, Charlie posted again, a prologue to his big delusional piece.

I'll leave the most jaw dropping statement from this pile of delusions here:

Most normal folks will accept war rather than meekly bend the knee and forfeit their liberty. So the war will come.

Define normal, Charlie.

L Spinelli said...

I take that back. Looks like Charlie is preparing for a Jericho March after all. The site will turn into coverage of this event and the people he rallies along the way.

I mean this in a sincere way: the man has completely lost it. Keep him in your prayers.

Anonymous said...


"I have been working on “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man.” What started as a trenchant piece has evolved into a sort of manifesto. It goes into detail about where we are, what we are called to, and how to fortify ourselves to get there. It will be in three, or maybe even four, parts. My intention is that you be able to print it out and, perhaps, take heart from it when the convulsions come. The spark that sets off the strife could come tomorrow – or could we could limp along until mid-summer.

"As of the first of this year I ceased to make any new prophecies. I certainly continue to analyze political and cultural events. But I want you to know that never, for a moment, did I abdicate what I perceive to be my duty before my God. In her better days, America has been a beacon of liberty to the world. If she were divided, that would be the beginning of the end of the hope that a self-governing people could endure in liberty. She cannot be divided: to do so would be to break faith with those citizens of the states, formally part of this union, who this nation promised to secure liberty for and to uphold their God-given rights against all assaults, foreign and domestic. If the precedent of such a division were established, than anytime a tyrannical group took control of a state in the free nation (as has happened in California), we would just let her go, too, abandoning our solemn commitment to secure the blessings of liberty for ALL Americans. Soon enough, there would be no free states left, just the American Balkans.

Therefore, before I begin the publication of the “Ballad,” I want you to know that, if the left succeeds in its coup attempt, I will begin the Jericho March I described a year and a half ago. For as long as it can, this site will cover my progress and the people I meet along the way – and those who join me in our march on an illegitimate government. With God’s help, I will stand resolutely against tyranny until death. If the leftists fail in their coup attempt – and make war as they threaten to do (and again, have already begun bureaucratically) I will stand as a faithful patriot with the lawfully elected government of this nation. Understand something: American liberty was not secured by establishing elections; it is secured by establishing elections while ensuring that officials may NOT trample people’s fundamental rights. I love and am devoted to my country. I hold much of the government of that country right now in utter contempt. I will do my duty, to the best of my capacity to see my duty, until death, praying not that God is on my side, but that I ever remain on His side.

L Spinelli said...

Charlie makes the same mistake that Raymond Arroyo of EWTN is doing, something that we probed here: holding a right wing political agenda at the same level (and beyond) as Catholic social teaching.

This article from the blog Where Peter Is explains why this way of thinking is harmful to ordinary faithful Catholics - part of the audience Charlie seems to be so desperately trying to recapture.

I focused on these three figures (my note: one of them is Michael Savage, whose program being blacked out was cited as Charlie's first reason for a Jericho March), but could have chosen from many, many guests who espouse a right-wing ideology that is often in defiance of Church teaching or sound moral principles. This list includes but is not limited to: Mark Theissen and his defense of waterboarding, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, climate change skeptic Mark Morano, Senator Rand Paul, Mel Gibson, and of course Donald Trump.

It should scandalize Catholics that the flagship program of the only national Catholic television station in the United States places such great emphasis on right-wing politics. As someone who (in alignment with Catholic teaching) holds conservative views on issues including abortion and marriage, I understand the desire to promote public figures who support these values. But it cannot come at the cost of ignoring the wisdom of the Church on care for the environment, immigrants, and the poor. It certainly doesn’t excuse inviting guests who describe the mass slaughter of civilians as “the fruits of peace.”

Furthermore, why has this gone unchecked? Where are the Bishops?

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