Many Faithful Catholics feel Isolated and Alone
I attended a Mass recently which was celebrated by Fr Shenan Boquet, the president of Human Life International. During the course of his sermon, Fr Boquet told us that we are not alone in this battle. He mentioned how he travels around the world spreading the Gospel of Life and that in each country he visits, there is a group of people who are fighting the battle for life. They may be just a small group but nevertheless, they are there, in the trenches fighting away against the culture of death.
I have mentioned over the course of several articles that during the series of talks that we gave around Ireland, many people who wish to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, said that they feel alone and isolated. At a recent meeting I had with Anthony Murphy, he told me that they also get calls into the Catholic Voice office from people who feel alone.
Faithful Catholics are now the Minority
When you look around you at the world we now live in with its rampant pornography, fifty million surgical abortions per year, widespread divorce, widespread co-habitation, an almost universal acceptance of contraception even amongst Catholics, so called same-sex marriage being promoted and accepted across the world, it is easy to understand why people who do not accept these evils feel alone and isolated. We have become a minority.
Another woman who contacted me told of her frustration at speaking to a priest about her concerns over such matters as just mentioned above, because the priest just didn’t seem to think these things were matters of any urgent concern. The woman was worried for her children and for what kind of a world they were growing up in and the priest just didn’t seem to understand what the problem was.
Our ‘Catholic’ schools are no longer Catholic
We see Buddhist meditation techniques being promoted right across the country in our Catholic schools where the diocesan bishop is the patron. These same schools often promote government programmes which teach that contraception is OK, or that homosexual behaviour is simply another form of love and that there is nothing wrong with it. I have yet to hear an Irish bishop speak out against these programmes in the schools or to forbid them from being taught in the Catholic schools of which he is the patron.
Those of us who seek to remain true to what the Catholic Church has always taught about marriage and family life end up marginalised. I once thought about joining ACCORD in the hope that I could help married couples and have a positive influence on young people who were preparing for marriage. At the initial meeting, one of the ACCORD staff noted how important it was to make sure that those with what he called ‘rigid’ views did not get through the selection process. I am experiecned enough in these matters to know that by ‘rigid’, this man meant those of us who uphold Catholic teaching on contraception. I wondered if I might be able to sneak past the radar but that evening I found out that ACCORD promote sex education in primary schools so in conscience I could never have anything to do with them. The Catholic Church teaches that the primary responsibility for sex education lies with the parents and that sex education should be given on a one to one basis by the parent who is the same sex as the child.
Another problem that faithful Catholics have in Ireland, concerns the annual Novena in Knock. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal number 66 states.
“The Homily should ordinarily be given by the Priest Celebrant himself or be entrusted by him to a concelebrating Priest, or from time to time and, if appropriate, to the Deacon, but never to a lay person.”
Yet every year, at the annual Novena in Knock, this year being no exception, this rule is flagrantly disregarded. This year one homily will be given by an RTE sports presenter and another will be given by a protestant. There are three other lay people giving homilies as well. Last year Ruth Patterson gave one of the homilies. Ruth Patterson falsely believes that she has been ordained and she goes under the title ‘Reverend’, which title was used in the promotional material for the novena. Is it the case that those who are in charge of the annual Novena in Knock now recognise protestant women’s orders as valid? The Catholic Church does not recognise protestant orders as being valid! What is going on in Knock is false ecumenism which denies the truth and gives credibility to protestant women who claim to have been ordained.
Who is Uncharitable – the one who corrects error, or the one who allows error?
I will be accused by some of being uncharitable because I dare to say such things. Yet in reality who is being uncharitable? The one who allows a person to continue in their delusion and error, or the one who seeks to correct that error and to warn others of the danger? Again, who is being uncharitable? The one who insists on celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to his own personal tastes, or the one who draws attention to Church teaching on this matter and shows up the errors of those in charge?
The Spiritual Works Of Mercy
Many Catholics have forgotten that ‘instructing the ignorant’ is one of the spiritual works of mercy. Catholics are being led into error and into a false understanding of what the Catholic Church is and of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, by what is happening at the annual Novena in Knock.
Cardinal Sarah, in his recent book ‘The Power of Silence’ helps us to understand just what is happening in Knock. He says “Some priests unfaithful to the ‘memory’ of Jesus insist more on the festive aspect and the fraternal dimension of the Mass than on the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross”
Cardinal Sarah speaks on the nature of the Homily
Cardinal Sarah, who happens to be the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, had this to say about the homily at Holy Mass.
“A homily is not a summary of theological knowledge or of exegetical interpretations. Priests, who are marked with the priestly character, are thereby in a way the mysterious instruments of the Word of God. The homily is therefore strictly reserved to men who have been invested with the sacred order of priests and deacons; it cannot be delegated to laypersons, not even to the most competent” (Cardinal Sarah – The Power of Silence p.128)
When we see these and other abuses being facilitated and going unopposed or even supported by those into whose charge such matters have been entrusted, then of course those of us, who realise that these are indeed serious abuses, will be made to feel alone. People who decide to complain will be told ‘you are the only one who has complained’ or ‘ nobody else seems to have a problem with this or that’. These are tactics designed, whether consciously or not, to isolate the one complaining. No regard is given as to whether or not the substance of the complaint is true. We do not need reminding of how parents who complained about the abuse of their children were treated in this country in the not so distant past.
The Odds are Stacked against Faithful Catholics
It seems that the odds are stacked against the faithful Catholics. We are treated with contempt, as complainers, as cranks, as being too rigid, when all we desire is to uphold the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church as they have been handed down from age to age and to make sure that our dearly beloved children are properly taught the Catholic faith of their baptism. At times it can seem that we are vastly outnumbered and this can lead to discouragement. But we must have hope.
Those of you who did their homework from the last issue of Catholic Voice will have come across the following passage from book one of the Maccabbees. Judas Maccabeus has taken over from his father Mattathias who has died. Seron, the captain of the army of Syria, decides to make a name for himself by overthrowing Judas Maccabeus and so he gathers a large army and marches against them. Judas goes forward to meet him with a small company and his men get scared.
Success Of War is Not in The Multitude of the Army
“But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas: How shall we, being few, be able to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, and we are ready to faint with fasting to day? And Judas said: It is an easy matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few: and there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven to deliver with a great multitude, or with a small company: For the success of war is not in the multitude of the army, but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us with an insolent multitude, and with pride, to destroy us, and our wives, and our children, and to take our spoils. But we will fight for our lives and our laws: And the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: but as for you, fear them not.” (1 Maccabees 3:17-22)
Calling all Faithful Catholics
We too must gather together even if we are only small in number to fight for our lives and for our Catholic faith and so today, The Lumen Fidei Institute, seeks to gather faithful Catholics together in small groups right across the country. These groups will come together as ‘Lumen Fidei’ in order to defend the Catholic Faith and to preserve the traditional Catholic way of life for our children. The primary purpose of these groups is the sanctification of their members. We seek to become holy. We seek to become saints.
These groups of faithful Catholics will be under the patronage of The Holy Family invoking St Joseph, Our Lady of Victories, and Jesus Christ in His adorable childhood. The groups will form the backbone of prayer that is necessary for the success of The Lumen Fidei Institute and they will meet to pray the rosary for the various projects undertaken by The Lumen Fidei Institute.
Prayer – Study – Works
These groups will be founded on three principles. Prayer, most particularly the Rosary. Study of the Catholic faith, we cannot defend what we do not know. Works, for as St James tell us, “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.” (James 2:17-18)
We would also like to establish a monthly fasting rota to cover each day of the month with at least one person volunteering to fast on each day. So we will need at least thirty one volunteers who are able to make this sacrifice on a particular date each month. It is important that volunteers are physically able to make this sacrifice without endangering their health.
We would also ask groups to have Masses said for the success of The Lumen Fidei Institute.
As noted above, apart from praying the rosary, these groups will also undertake the study of their Catholic faith so that they can better promote and defend that faith. If there are particular topics of interest or areas of Catholic teaching that members think need to be addressed, then please feel free to contact The Lumen Fidei Institute either by phone, e-mail, or via the website contact forms.
Members of these groups will also be able to assist in the various Catholic action initiatives proposed by The Lumen Fidei Institute.
Initially we would like to get at least one ‘Lumen Fidei’ group established in every county and we would also welcome your suggestions. Please tell us how we can help you to be a better Catholic. What do you need? Also, are there particular areas where you can help out?
We must Fight to Recapture what has been Lost or Stolen
In this time, just like Judas Maccabeus of old was called upon to recapture what had been lost, we too must gather together to recapture what we have lost, or rather, what has been stolen from us. In particular we must re-capture the Catholic understanding of marriage and family life. We must not fear that those opposing us are great in number but we must remember the words of Judas Maccabeus “For the success of war is not in the multitude of the army, but strength cometh from heaven.”
Eventually Judas Maccabeus re-captured the temple in Jerusalem and re-dedicated it to God. Today, more than two thousand years after Judas Maccabeus’s victory, the Jews still celebrate the re-dedication of the temple at their festival of light, Hannukah. We too must reclaim our Churches for the proper worship of God and help to eradicate the many false practices which, as Cardinal Sarah says, are unfaithful to the ‘memory’ of Jesus and to His bloody sacrifice on the Cross.
Will you join us?
Will you join us? Will you form a group in your area? Please get in touch so that you too can be a part of this exciting new initiative for God’s greater glory.
© John Lacken 2017
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