Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spinning A Cocoon

Yesterday the ACP and various other groups held a conference in Dublin.   As expected it was a liberal love-in, where the reform of the Church, attendees were told, is to be found in ordaining women, allowing priests to marry, promoting contraception, giving communion to couples in irregular relationships and blessing those relationships, also, I presume, allowing homosexuals to “marry” each other, permitting abortion and, one might conclude, overthrowing the Pope. In other words: throwing out the moral teachings of Scripture and most of the Church’s teaching and canonising desires and feelings as the only authentic guides to truth and the Christian life.

They cited Vatican II and how it had been taken away from them, mentioning the first 16 documents of the Council: listening to what they are looking for one wonders if they have actually read those documents.  They want a new form of Church where inclusiveness is the hallmark – not faith I presume.   It is obvious their definition of the Church is very different from what most of us believe it to be: since the beginning the Church was understood as a communion of faith, of those who follow Christ and his teachings.  Given that these people reject many of those teachings, their definition of the Church is surely as loose as what people feel: that is certainly not the basis of any credible or stable organisation, much less a universal communion.

There was incredible naivety: incredible in that such naivety should exist in a group of people who are, for the most part, senior citizens.  For one thing they actually believe that the abuse crisis would not have happened if women were in control of the Church.  With all due respects to women, they are as sinful and corrupt as men.  Yet since the radical feminist revolution there persists the myth that women are sinless and always righteous.  Women are well capable of ignoring and covering up abuse as much as men.  Indeed it has been known that some women have actually ignored the abuse of their own children by their husbands out of fear.  The new law on mandatory reporting is going present problems in this area: will mothers who cover up the abuse of their children be granted immunity from prosecution?

In reality these children of the Age of Aquarius are spinning a cocoon around themselves.  Ignoring reality, they hold fast to their liberal dream, a dream which has become a nightmare for so many.  A dream that has devastated the Anglican Communion and other Christian denominations where attendance at Church has plummeted and these institutions no longer have any credibility in the eyes of most people.  The fact that the Catholic Church is being attacked left, right and centre and the media feel the need to be a thorn in her side means that she cannot be ignored: she is credible – so credible she has enemies who are working hard to destroy her.  Unfortunately among those enemies are those who claim to know how to “reform” her.  

This dream of theirs has left two uncatechised generations, with a third being misinformed as I write.  Three generations who have had the faith taken away from them and replaced with the fashionable opinions of a single, disaffected generation.  Three generations who have been told that mere human thinking is the Gospel by people who think that their opinions comprise the word of God.

A dream which has devastated religious life, stripped it of its prophetic nature, and made it a sap for left wing politics.  A dream which has led to rejection of the worship of God for worship of the self, even worship of nature: thirty years behind everywhere else, Irish liberals are dancing around trees and preaching free love – “Hey dude, it’s the Seventies here!”   And in face of the appalling vista their dream has created in other countries and other denominations, they have shut their eyes and ears, refusing to see and hear and just keep chanting their mantra over and over again. 

My advice to those who went to the conference yesterday: if what was said there reflects your opinions and what you want for the Catholic Church, then you had better have serious rethink.  The Church will not change her teachings – if she did, she would no longer be the Church, but rather the creation of mere human thinking.  You are not unique in your dissent, the Church has had many like you in the past, and she’ll sit this one out just as she sat the others out.  That’s why it seems she acts so slowly in dealing with you – she knows you and your ideas will die out, as a merciful mother she’ll be patient and loving and hope you’ll get sense.  (Take heart, faithful Catholics!) 

The Church will reform, as she has in the past, but true reform, a new preaching of the Gospel and the moral teaching of the Church which actually respects life and human beings.  She will experience a new Renaissance in faith, authentic orthodox faith.  It will take time, but it will happen: there are many of my generation committed to serving the Church in this New Evangelisation, and among the generation coming after us there are already many young missionaries eager to get involved.  You allowed such young people to speak to you yesterday; they spoke of the beauty of the faith and communion with Peter, the rock on which the Church is built.  You ignored them, accused them of lecturing to you and wrapped the comfort blankets even tighter around you.  The Church needs reform, no doubt about it, but it is you rather than the Church, which need to change beliefs.  You no longer share the faith of the Church: time for a rethink or an exit.  Be true to yourselves, as St Dominic Savio would say.

However rather than live the rest of your lives living with frustration and bitterness (realising that the vast majority of you are at least middle aged and most elderly), if you cannot return to the communion of faith of the Roman Catholic Church, I would suggest that you look around and see if there are other denominations which formally hold what you believe.  The Anglican Communion, for example, needs members, they believe everything you believe: I’m sure they would be delighted to have you.  And in their ranks you will have everything you want.


  1. Unfortunately, their true aim is the destruction of the Church. Otherwise, they would not have continued to pretend to be part of the Church for the past 50 years. They are not content with the damage they have wreaked upon the Church thus far - which is extensive. No, they want its complete annihilation. It is clearly the Devil's work that they are about. They must obey the Church or be put out, where they cannot destroy the faith and morality of so many. It is a terrible scandal that so many heretical and immoral priests, religious and laity have been allowed to remain in situ and corrupt the faithful.

  2. Seems all is not well in the ACP - the Clogher priests are not happy. This report was posted on the ACP site on Monday, but had been removed by Tuesday. Fortunately, I was able to source the page using Google know-how! Enjoy!

  3. Looking at that picture, all I see are angry old people with folded arms. No mention of holiness then, or the need for saints? I think not. I think the most bizarre aspect is that these folks think they can somehow get Eternal Rome to change Dogma. That is baffling.

  4. Interesting Jack in the Box. I have put a copy of the text of the "censored" post over here (, just in case it should disappear.

  5. fr where at the event yesterday you appear to be very informed about what was discussed.i note that papal nunico sent his prayers and blessings according to vsrious media out lets today.

  6. Were you actually at the event, Father, or did you have a spy? I am a little uncomfortable with the way people on the conservative side caricature the liberals - it's unjust to say they all want to destroy the Church and that they are all pro-abortion. Some of them question celibacy but not ordination of women. Some support contraception but not abortion. There are degrees, and like or not we have to find ways to talk together or the Church will truly be dead.

    1. Reasonable comment. However, the point is who is the final arbiter on these questions. The vast majority of attendees at that meeting were of the opinion that the Church's teaching's can be changed if it is pressurised/bullied enough ; with sufficient media support. They need to realise that this is not the case. Certain issues are settled, further talk is futile. For example the Anglican Church will not facilitate their clergy who are oppossed to homophilia, priestesses, & who wish to accept Papal authority. These clergy have to leave, frequently with their family/parish in tow.

    2. My point is we should be slow to ascribe motivations to people we don't know based on a few stated positions of others. There were a thousand people there. Some of them are just fed up with Irish bishops. Some tired of the abuse crisis. Some can't understand why we can't have women priests (and they've never been told well enough why we can't). But I dislike two things in the discussion - throwing in lines that they are all pro-abortion when I doubt that is the case, and saying they have some secret aim to destroy the Church. They are mostly confused and misdirected and need a bit of help and support. Like lost sheep we need to lead them home, not set the dogs on them.

  7. Thank you, Father Hogan for that great post. It put into words what a lot of us think.

    “It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is amongst the sheep, wherever he is.”- St Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 3 chp. 29

    Is it too much to hope that the shepherds will at long last wake from their slumber? Is it too much to hope that those charged with leading, teaching and sanctifying the Catholic faithful will henceforth act with determination and resolution in discharging their sacred duty? Is it too much that the faithful will henceforth be given bread instead of stones? Is it too much to hope that Rome will step in and do what our own bishops should have done long ago and take decisive and effective action against the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland (ACP)?

    What the Church, here and elsewhere, is really faced with in these times is the culmination and deadly results of the heresy of Modernism, described by Pope Saint Pius X as the “synthesis of all heresies” in his prophetic Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 95 years ago.

    One could be forgiven for thinking that the ACP took their objectives from the errors condemned in this magnificent example of Papal leadership. Read the following if you think I am being harsh:

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis warns that Modernists “disdain all authority and brook no restraint: and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to love of truth which in reality is the result of pride and obstinacy.” (n. 3)

    The ACP invokes the “primacy of the individual conscience.”

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis warns of Modernist belief that “ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic parts” (n. 38) and that the “ecclesiastical magisterium must be subordinate” to “individual consciences” (n. 25).

    The ACP calls for “all believers to be treated as equal”, as well as for a “redesigning of Ministry in the Church” and a “restructuring of the governing system of the Church”.

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis warns that Modernists “lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change” (n. 26) and for them “there is nothing immutable in the Church” (n. 28).

    The ACP’s objectives include “a re-evaluation of Catholic sexual teaching.”

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis warns that Modernists “actually admit…that all religions are true” (n. 14)

    The ACP claims that “full acceptance that the Spirit speaks through all people” is needed so that “the breadth of the Spirit will flow more freely.”

    Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, who was described by Venerable Pope Pius XII as the twentieth century Doctor of the Church put it rather well in his book The Devastated Vineyard: “the drivel of heretics, both priests and laymen, is tolerated; the bishops tacitly acquiesce to the poisoning of the faithful. But they want to silence the faithful believers who take up the cause of orthodoxy.”

  8. I actually wrote a comment on their website appealing for them to be obedient to ths Church. It was posted but then someone deleted it. I seems that the only 'dialogue' they want to hear is the sound of their own voices, and their own'magisterium' as described so elequently in the comment above.
    I commend them to Our Blessed Lady.