A Protestant potential convert just made my day as I read his comment about him being encouraged by my blog, though obviously put off by the antics of FrancisChurch.
It is consoling – and at the same time another proof of the Church's nature – that even in the midst of the present chaos the Church keeps – with God's Grace – attracting souls to Her. It goes to show that the Only Church keeps being the bearer of a Truth only superficially scratched by the generation of Reprobates currently running the earthly Jerusalem.
I also reflect that for one who comments, others might be reading and thinking of conversion. To him, or to them, I would like to suggest the following readings:
1. Iota Unum. A fundamental work explaining in details the various aspects of Church Doctrine properly taught as it compares them with the sabotage of the Vatican II era. The link on my own site should be working, but I suggest everyone to buy the paper book and keep it near. Not cheap, but money well spent.
2. Hundred Years of Modernism. A clear, accessible explanation of the birth, growth and apparent triumph (but unavoidable, ultimate defeat) of this most pernicious carnivore plant.
3. The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church. This books also explains, in the traditional question-answer format, the heresies of the modern times as compared to the truths of all times.
There are many other sources, but these three books should be an axcellent start. The reader should be aware that there is matter of legitimate disagreement on some issues (I do think that you should attend a Novus Ordo Mass, rather than no Mass, if no reasonable Traditional Mass alternative is available). However, what the reader will find is pure gold.
A last caveat to the potential Convert: these books – as every other book on the matter – must be read in a spirit of obedience, not confrontation. They will be a wonderful help to people who already have a desire to convert and wish to be taken by hand and led to the complex, difficult, hard, ultimately wonderful land of Catholicism. If you choose not to see you will remain blind. If you choose to open your heart to Truth, you will rewarded extremely generously. If you don't feel you can read these book in order to learn, you must pray more, and pray that you may open your heart to Catholicism, until you are given the grace to do so.
In the midst of very possibly the darkest times ever faced by the Church, souls keep being attracted to Her eternal truths. If I were a Protestant I would shout: “praise the Lord!”. But I am a Catholic, and will therefore say: welcome here, good man. Pray that your heart may be opened to the Truth. Immerse yourself in it.
Say a Hail Mary for me, a sinner, as you cry tears of consolation and joy.
It is a well known fact that those preaching “inclusion” are the first ones to exclude those they don’t like. They are pretty numerous nowadays. There is the Canadian Basilian (like Father Rosica: they must learn thuggery in the seminary…) who offends Cardinal Burke most brutally for… being an orthodox Catholic; then we have the already mentioned Father Rosica, whose “mercy” apparently includes attacking poor family fathers for pointing out he has insulted the Holy Father and blasphemed Christ; let us not forget Cardinal Wuerl suddenly putting orthodox Catholics in the same boat as dissenters, and obviously Francis constantly reminding us how very bad unnamed good Catholics can be. All this, in the last couple of weeks or so.
It seems, therefore, to me that “inclusion” is now a favourite buzzword of people who want to kick Catholics out of the church, pretty much as it happened in Arian times. Starting, of course, from the Bishop of Rome himself, to whom stinking of perversion is apparently better than having an ordered life obviously committed to Catholic values.
But let see this word again: inclusion. Is inclusion really a value?
Does a flag include all the others? When you stand up and sing your national anthem, are you “including” everyone else? Does your rooting for a certain team “include” the rooting for their rivals? What about associations, circles, clubs of all kind: why do they exist in the first place?
The truth of the matter is that it is simply not possible to define us as something without automatically excluding all those who are something else. Those who tell you they “love everyone” do not really love anyone, but themselves. Those who say they are “world citizen” do not love their flag, do not love any flag.
To be Catholic is to have a certain set of beliefs. Automatically, this excludes those who do not share these beliefs or actively betray them. There can be no escape from this reality. There can be no “inclusiveness” of this sort, ever. Neither do New York Yankees fans “include” Red Sox fans in their rooting, or Lazio fans include Rom fans, or Chelsea fans Arsenal fans. You are either here or there. You can’t be and not be something. You must make a choice.
This express will of “overcoming differences” (seen very often in Francis, albeit in him it might be evil intent rather than simple stupidity) pretends to forget that pretty much everything is defined exactly by its differences with everything else. You can’t be Christian and Muslim. You can’t be Catholic and Protestant. You can’t be right and wrong.
The Church must never aim at including. The Church must aim at converting. You are different from me, and this is not ok at all! You are different from me, and I want you to renounce to the differences and become like me! You are wrong, and I want you to be right!
None of this can be “inclusive”. The club accepts those who are fit to become members and share the club’s values. It cannot be any differently.
Even the apostles of “inclusion” never dream of “including” Traditionalist in their (hopefully not lewd) embrace. They know very well that there are differences. They practice themselves what they condemn in us. They aren’t more “inclusive” than Chelsea or Yankee fans are of Manchester City and Red Sox fans. They write Tweets to you with “STFU”, not “we welcome and include your inspired and candid approach”. They want to shut you up all right. They might even sue you to keep you out!
No. Inclusion is a fable made to fool the gullible. It is always here or there.
We are here. Francis and his likes are there. There can be no inclusion.
I am against inclusion. I am one of the least inclusive chaps you’ll ever meet.
I want conversion, not inclusion.
This article, on a translation appeared on The Eponymous Flower, is the best piece of Catholic news I have read in some time.
Seen in context and weighing all the evidence and the sources, the main issue of the article appears incontrovertible: Christianity is on the march in many prevalently Muslim countries. We see here Christ at work under our eyes: the persecuted Church is the Church at its strongest and irresistible in Her advance; an advance paved by the suffering and the blood of Her martyrs.
It must not surprise that such news never make the mainstream outlets: not only is this extremely politically incorrect news for the champagne faggots in BBC style, but it is also a phenomenon that would, for obvious reasons, very seldom be mentioned in the Arab mainstream media.
I also agree with the author of the article when he says the answer to Islam can never be the supposed enlightenment of the secular world, but rather the provision of religious truth in place of religious falsehood. A godless “progress” can never quench spiritual thirst.
Read the article, and smile. Christ is not stopped by stupid clergy. He will punish us in the West because we have deserved the punishment – how hard He will punish our bad clergymen does not bear thinking -, but at the same time he will care that whenever the Church is persecuted she, in times, grows stronger.
Providence at work, and another example just under our eyes of how the Church works; even in the midst of destruction from inside, or persecution from outside.
I do not follow enough US politics to be able to judge whether Newt Gingrich is a Catholic a’ la Tony Blair, or a sincere one instead.
Still, I found this article with his reflections about his own conversion path both inspiring and indicative.
It seems to me that what happened to him is what happens in the majority of cases; not – or not only – a dramatic moment of enlightenment on the way to some personal Damascus, but a gradual approach – in this case clearly helped by the beautiful example of his wife – at the end of which one doesn’t experience conversion, but rather takes notice that it has already happened.
I also found rather moving that a Southern Baptist – probably, though I can’t be sure of that, raised up in the condemnation of the pomp and splendour of the Papacy – would come to the first powerful realisation of his already happened acceptance of Catholic truth within the walls of St. Peter’s. I liked this, because I have always believed – and have often written about this – that the symbolism of the Catholic church is very powerful, and the splendour of her churches are one of the most striking aspects of this symbolism.
Also please notice that Mr. Gingrich had the humility of studying the catechism for one year even after having followed the catholic mass for one decade and a half and having been – one wants to hope – already subject to more Catholic doctrine than most western cradle Catholics alive. This is the right attitude, and it is beautiful that he mentions it with a natural humility that does him honour.
I do not know how sincere or orthodox a Catholic Mr. Gingrich will be. But I think that it can safely be said that he would be – in case – an infinitely more Christian President of the United States than “punished with a child”, no-bible-in-the-office, late-abortion-as-first-priority Hussein Obama.