"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A voice crying out, a light shinning in the darkness ...

Monsignor Pope**

Msgr. Pope is beginning to sound like Dietrich Bonhoeffer* and Alfred Delp*.

A friend sent me a link to an article Pope wrote for the NCRegister, Comfort Catholicism Has To Go; It's Time to Prepare for Persecution.  What a wake up call!  Seriously.

Be sober.

Darn.  I love the alternative to that - but it's the wrong approach to things, as Monsignor points out so convincingly that I think I have to go back to confession.  (I wish he was my confessor.)

Monsignor writes:

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well.

I knew that.  But I've gotten a bit bored with the idea ... call it acedia, apathy, sloth ... I've succumbed - or come very close to it.  I've been so tempted to give up.  Monsignor's article helps me to see that.

There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom. 
It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.
Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness. 
But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.” 
But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. [...] It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth. - Finish reading here.

*Alfred Delp, S.J.
Executed for speaking in open opposition 
to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.

*Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Evangelical minister and theologian executed 
because of his opposition to Hitler.

**Pray for Monsignor Pope.


  1. As noted in your post, both Bonhoeffer and Father Delp were killed because of their opposition to Hitler, Germany's leader at the time. Msgr. Pope wants us not to confront our leaders, but our neighbors. Msgr. Pope sees everything in black and white. Either you walk the line or there's no hope for you.

    The way of Jesus Christ is mercy and compassion. As followers of Christ, we must be hard and unrelenting when it comes to ourselves, and we must never compromise with sin. But we must treat our neighbors with tenderness and love as Christ Himself did, and as Pope Francis shows us over and over again.

    The methods outlined by Msgr. Pope would work in a society that recognizes good and evil, right and wrong. Preaching fire and brimstone works in that kind of culture. It does not work in our world today. Pope Francis is showing the way, and we need to follow him.

    1. Thanks - I just don't see that in Monsignor - he strikes me as a man of mercy and compassion.

      I think something is wrong with me, because I see no conflict with what he says and what Pope Francis actually says. I know many priests are troubled by how and what the media and others say Pope Francis said, but I see neither opposing one another.

      I really believe Monsignor is a very important voice online, very reasonable and not at all alienating. Of course, I don't read him that often, so I maybe missed something.

      You are correct though 'we must treat our neighbor with tenderness and love' - I keep trying.

    2. I recently read an interview John Allen did with Bishop Robert Barron. Bishop Barron said in one of his conversations with Archbishop Gomez, "I asked him what he wanted me to do." He goes on to say, "the Archbishop pondered the question and replied, "be present to the people, give them hope, teach doctrine."
      While many like Fr. Pope's approach, I like Archbishop Gomez's and Bishop Barron's approach.

      May our Lord Jesus watch over them all.

    3. I love Bishop Barron. I don't know much about Gomez.

    4. You won't go wrong with Archbishop Jose Gomez. He loves Our Lady of Guadalupe and speaks of Jesus with much tenderness. He was born in Mexico before coming to the U.S.

      He is the complete opposite of Mahoney but his critics say otherwise. I disagree. He is sound and faithful and from what I've read, he asked Papa Francis himself, to send now Bishop Barron to California. No progressive or liberal Bishop wold do that ... not in my opinion anyway.

      Here is an example of Archbishop Gomez while preaching at Mass:


      I like him very much and because he too is a Mexicano, well, I relate. ^^

  2. I can assure you, Monsignor Pope is a man of mercy. I would go to his Tridentine mass in DC, but his home parish was a poor African American parish in the worst part of DC. His homilies were so passionate and so full of Christ's love. He would get so passionate sometimes, that he would lean down over his pulpit to the very formal Trad crowd and say, "Can I get an "Amen?!" He was so used to his passionate home congregation who wouldn't hold back their love of our Lord. He is truly persona Cristi. He fits in both worlds easily and is the model of mercy. A very humble priest. Pray for him!

  3. Wow .... I expected the Monsignor to be much older and gray haired based on the image I got of his preaching.

    However .... He's better watch it or he will be silenced. He was asked to delete a posting once before as he went a bit too far on something. Sadly, the Catholic Church, institutionally, IS political from top to bottom.

    1. I think he's pretty with it - he reminds me of an Italian saint-type in the photo above. I think the short cape is cool - very 'mendicant' looking.

      I was worried that he might get in trouble saying what he does, but he's pretty balanced I think. And yes - the 'Institution' is PC strict and political.


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