Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My apologies to Charlie Johnston

As I say on Facebook, 
I'm a man who paints pictures and writes nonsense.

A friend alerted me that I've taken things out of context to make Charlie look stupid.

That wasn't my intention - I wasn't trying to make Charlie look stupid, much less his followers or commenters.  I apologize if I gave that impression.  When I've written about him, I use quotes with a source link for the reader to click on to read the quote in context.  It's a standard practice with blogs.

Let me first say, Charlie Johnston is a very intelligent man with a great deal of experience and knowledge of political and financial systems.  He definitely appears to be a devout and faithful Catholic.  I have no doubt that he is.  He believes he has a call and a message from God for the world.  He has priests who direct and guide and approve of his spirit.  I can never contradict or condemn Johnston or his message.  I have never said he is a liar.  I'm not qualified nor allowed to judge another persons soul

I do not have to accept literally what he says, nor do I have to believe him.  At times I've said I don't want him to be right - for various reasons, but mostly because I would prefer to look to the Church to teach, guide, and form my faith - or to explain the meaning of private revelations such as they have done for Fatima.  I also do not like to look outside ordinary circumstances to project or interpret the signs of the times as the fulfillment of this or that private revelation, or the combination of several revelations.  (Some Catholic sites attempt that, connecting a series of approved and unapproved revelations to explain what the global unrest we are experiencing today means or signifies.)  It is also worth noting that no saint was ever canonized for mystical-charismatic gifts such as prophecy or stigmata, and so on - but for heroic virtue and holiness of life.

Charlie Johnston offers practical advice and that is good.  He's forecast certain events which may or may not happen as predicted.  That's how prophecy goes.  John of the Cross writes all about it, so I do not need to repeat it here.  Many things, such as the Storm or some form of chastisement can be known naturally.  If people do not know that by now, then they must be anesthetized as Pope Francis uses that term.  Charlie seems to want to be correct and makes it known when people approve or seek his advice.  He seems to want to be his own witness - a concern he would be more credible without.

That said, in general, the amazing thing to me about private revelations and their attraction is this:  We have the Church, the Pope, the bishops in communion with him, the Scriptures, the Catechism, yet so many today will believe prophecies by old and new mystics regarding fearful events that more or less coordinate with contemporary experience.  They prophecy doom and gloom when we have a Pope indicating - actually demonstrating - how to live the Gospel in modern times - how to follow Christ in today's world - how to associate with the lowly and suffering.  He lives the Gospel - without anxiety over politics and finance - without seeking human respect and approval.  God is his witness.

So many appear to reject the Pope these days - not Charlie of course, he seems to me to be supportive of the Holy Father - but many other good Catholics do condemn and reject the Holy Father.  They prefer their private interpretation of Fatima and dubious mystics, like the Locutions to the World seer, Vassula Ryden, Christina Gallagher, and other Remnant types to what the Church teaches, accusing the Pope of heresy and apostasy when in fact the rejection of Peter is the bridge to at least schism, if not apostasy.

If it helps your faith - do it, I guess.  It's your choice.

I've encountered mystical phenomenon all my life.  I've met true and false mystics - some I felt were false, others proved to be.  Fr. Gino Burresi, alleged stigmatist is one.  Mama Rosa of San Damiano, Italy is another, and the most theatrical of them all was of course, Veronica Luekin.  I know and have known people who claim locutions - true or false?  I don't know - mys sense is that much of it is personal meditation - which is not to say the Holy Spirit is absent.  I just know I wasted a lot of time with this stuff.  It can make you 'feel holy' to be around these people and fervently respond to their 'call', but it can also feed your curiosity for more experiences.  It's a false spirit that leads you when you do that.

Faith is a supernatural gift - not a feeling or an experience.

So I hope this explains my skepticism and why I treat these things lightly.  I'll be more careful in the future to avoid giving the impression I'm making fun of people of good will - silly things they do or say is another matter all together.

Remember, it doesn't matter what I think or say, I'm just a layman with an opinion.  If you disagree with me and dislike what I share here, by all means, unfriend me, delete your follower app, and shake the dust from your sandals.

If no one read me or commented I would probably stay offline - and be just fine.  The blog is vain and superficial and quite a waste of time.

Yup! That's me.


  1. I disagree with your friend. I don't think you've made him out to be stupid. You've just treated his prophecies lightly. Nothing wrong with that.

  2. I also do not think you made Mr. Johnson look stupid. You challenged his prophecy since there is only ten days or so for it to come to fruition. Over zealous followers is one problem I have with end times prophets. They are almost cultish in their defense.

  3. Agree with all of the above. Yours is one of a very few sane and reasonable voices left on the Catholic blogosphere. I have learned much from you and look forward to learning more.

    Frankly, never heard of this man Charlie Johnston until you and Bishop Aquila brought him up. Have no interest to delve into his stuff whatsoever anyway.

  4. Well, if you had $.50 and an opinion, you'd have a cup of coffee in a timewarp and a blog. Oh, wait...What?

  5. Like Yaya, I had never heard of Charlie Johnston before reading about him on your blog. I followed your links and tried reading what he had to say, but it always made my eyes roll to the back of my head. I'm skeptical of these prophets. I have friends who follow Protestant seers, and I have the same reaction.

  6. I should mention that I had an email discussion with my friend who thought I was trying to make him look stupid and everything is fine I think.

    I've also seen some of the Protestant seers and I too have the same reaction.

    You know, I believe God reveals such things, and that he speaks to us in many different ways, but I still prefer to follow John of the Cross' precautions in regard to these things, and look to the Church to define and guide us as regards these things. I think people of good will, even very holy people, can conflate such revelations, or unconsciously overlay them with natural learning-knowledge, personal meditations, and so on. I think as Cardinal, Ratzinger may have said something to this effect regarding Fr. Gobbi's locutions? Or perhaps it was something the CDF said - I can't recall my source for that.

    Anyway - it all works out.

  7. John Leary is our local equivalent of Charlie Johnson. He has a very detailed prophecy that involves safe camps for believers during the chastisement. All reports are that he is a faithful religious man who is sincere in his beliefs. Our retired local bishop, while still Bishop, reviewed all Mr. Leary' predictions up to that point. He determined that the prophets were "not of supernatural origin." Rather they were a result of Mr. Leary''s own imagination. The Bishop went out of his way to be respectful of Mr. Leary and commended his religious practices. Our current Bishop has not, to my knowledge, changed or commented further on this. Mr. Leary has complied by not speaking in our diocese. He does however travel the country, published on his web site and produces you tube videos. A relative of mine called from Florida out of the blue and asked what I knew about him. She was quite taken with his message. There is also a political message mixed up in all this as well. Like I said in another post every Diocese probably has at least one such person but they do not get wide followings because they lack the public platform so easily established today.

  8. Alleged visionary Charlie Johnston is scheduled to speak Oct. 1 at Elkhorn High School
    Mr. Johnston claims to have received visions and messages from the Blessed Mother, the Archangel Gabriel and other saints since he was a child. He is known to make public predictions about future events, issuing warnings of worldwide civil war, cancellation of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a claim that President Barack Obama will not finish his second term. Last year, he also wrote a two-part series on his blog detailing instructions on how to respond if the U.S. government were to begin rounding up conservative Christians and other citizens into detention camps. According to Johnston, God has appointed him to guide Americans through this turmoil to a rescue that will come in late 2017, when the Immaculate Heart of Mary will visibly save the world.

    Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions and messages have not been approved, sanctioned, or endorsed by the Church. The Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Omaha should approach his appearance with an appropriate level of caution and should continue to place their hope and security in Jesus Christ through the sacraments and the Scriptures.



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