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Francis Donner III wrote:

Dear AskACatholic,

Hello, my name is Francis Donner.

I am a cradle Catholic who has been enthusiastic about my faith for the better part of my life and I still have great pride in being a Catholic, however, I have recently had, strong faith struggles.

A large spark to this has been the ongoing sex abuse crisis and the great number of other signs of demonic corruption from leaders in the Church. Each credible story, when heard, is difficult to believe. These stories range from:

  • persistent financial corruption to
  • being in bed financially with liberal governments across the West . . . which in turn gives despot clergy a pass from being prosecuted by state and local governments.
  • sexual grooming of young men in the priesthood and of lay boys and men; men who do not consent are failed in the courses required for the priesthood.
  • telling a child that his sins won't be forgiven in the Confessional without the proper penance (the rape of the boy)
  • satanic masses:
    • where a True Host is desecrated, and
    • where the Church is offered up to satan while raping a young boy, and more.

The story for all of this is that satanic communism had a plan to infiltrate the Church with homosexual priests, which Catholics claim was foretold in the visions of Fatima.

Things have obviously gone gravely wrong and the declining number of Catholics, particularly in western strongholds of Catholicism, shows that. The worst thing about it is that I don't see a way for improvement in the natural sense.

Then I looked to Eastern Orthodoxy. Eastern Orthodox just about fell off the planet with the rise of the Communists, starting with the vicious Jewish-led Bolshevik Revolution. Despite all of this, Eastern Orthodoxy has rebounded. Truth be told, I find our situation much more dire as our faithful have consented to allowing this to happen. With the Soviet Union, there was no consent; it was taken from them.

  • I realize that the Catholic response to this Is the recitation of the Rosary as instructed by Our Lady of Fatima, and that this is what saved Russia but they did not become Catholics did they?

This was the expectation (not in the visions) but it was assumed by Catholics.

I was listening to an Eastern Orthodox priest who claimed Rome is the source of division; this is hard to deny. They have had nothing like Protestantism in their history. He claimed the downward spiral for Catholicism started with the filioque issue. This is very complex for me to grasp, and I don't know what to make of it.

On one hand, Jesus talks in John about asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit to us, on the other hand, Jesus says He (in the form of Jesus) will send the Holy Spirit to us, but He does make clear that He will ask the Father. Now, obviously, they are one in the same God so, on its face, this may seem like I am splitting hairs. Jesus says that I AM before the pharisees rush to kill Him so, clearly, all distinct forms are one in the same God, but Jesus clearly goes out of his way; it seems to say He is asking the Father but he also clearly says that He is sending the Holy Spirit in John (after asking the Father).

Any help or insight you have on these issues would be appreciated.

I am struggling with a lot of things in my life and am wondering where I'm going wrong.

  • I lost a job
  • I often get angry and frustrated which causes me to alienate friends and loved ones with outbursts of frustration, and
  • I have no temperance despite practice and asking for grace.

My state of turmoil is in line with my Church's state of turmoil.

The Eastern Orthodox countries, clearly, would not allow the rampant foolishness that has occurred throughout every major institution in the West, whether it be public or private, spiritual or secular.

Francis

  { Can you help me with my recent in-the-news struggles with the faith and the filioque issue? }

Bob replied:

Francis,

You are right in your assessment of the satanic infiltration of the Church, and a good book which recently came out, which chronicles that last 200 years of Modernism creeping into the Church is aptly called Infiltration, by Dr. Taylor Marshall. You may want to check it out. Marshall is a strong advocate for the Latin Mass and a more traditional piety, but he also makes the case that Rome is the Home of the true faith, and like it or not, this is a valid Papacy and our job is to pray the Rosary and live a pious life in deeply troubling times.

Check him out on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and his website to hear much more on the issues you are honed in on.

To your issues. In weighing Orthodoxy against Romanism consider this:

  • Which is the weightier issue as to the unity of the Church:
    • the Papacy, or
    • the filioque issue?

Jesus did not clarify the procession of the Holy Spirit. That was left to the discernment of the Church in subsequent generations, which needed to have a charism of infallibility in order to secure the doctrine. Jesus did however, make clear that there was to be a Papacy, founded on Peter, which was vital to the unity of the Church. (Matthew 16:13-19; 1 Timothy 3:15) Anyone who does not align themselves with Peter is, in some way, rebelling against the Church that Christ founded, for better or for worse. The case for Papal supremacy and infallibility is a cardinal truth of the Church, from which many other issues hang. Don't consider any other issue more pressing until you have exhausted the apologetics for these papal issues.

With respect to the filioque issue again, I think that we all suffer in human language to convey something so sublime that transcends our understanding. I truly think there is some sense in which both sides are right, because they are trying to explain a mystery.

I have used this analogy: Look in a mirror; you see a reflection of yourself, a perfect reflection of your image. Now place a mirror behind you so that it catches sight of the mirror in front. You will see another reflection, and if you rotate yourself and mirrors, eventually you will find that sweet spot where the mirrors will reflect each other again and again until infinity; an endless stream of imagery, both proceeding from the image before, but ultimately tied to the original.

Jesus is the perfect reflection of God the Father, but as a reflection of something that already has a reflection (the Father being reflected by the Son). He, in turn, has a reflection, which goes on forever, like the two mirrors facing each other.

  • So who came first the chicken or the egg?

Trying to solve the issue with human language is a vain attempt. We are solving a mystery but when it comes down to it, I trust the Infallible Church which Christ started on Peter.

We are seeing unprecedented scandal because satan is determined to destroy the Church from within and he would appear to be succeeding, but remember whose Church it is. Jesus, and His Mother, Mary (especially at Fatima), predicted this kind of stuff before the End so we shouldn't be shocked. We will be sifted like wheat so now is not the time to give up and jump ship.

It is likely to get worse before getting better, and maybe it is not for our lifetime to see it. The Early Church martyrs saw a lot of bloodshed and anguish before anything like a blossoming could happen. Strap yourself in, for we are not exempt. I pray my Rosary every day for the Church, and our Shepherds, because the evil one is trying to the destroy the good ones, and has secured for himself others as his agents.

We must not be fooled, pray, pray, pray.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi, Francis —

I appreciate and understand your frustrations. In a separate reply to Steve about scandalous papal actions by Pope Francis I said:

Hi Steve,

This doesn't surprise me a bit; especially after the issue of who can receive Communion.

Personally, I've been very disappointed with this Pope; he hasn't even replied to the Cardinal's questions (who called him a heretic).

  • As a Catholic Apologist, how do you think that makes me feel, and more importantly, what example are you sending, as the Pope, to your flock?

That said, as a faithful Catholic, despite many Papal (and/or) Vatican scandals, I've seen no change in the official teachings of the Church (Matthew 16:13-19), plus historically, we have had it worse.

Maybe your local priest can fill in the historical blanks but there have been times where we have had other scandalous popes.

  • Pope Alexander VI had multiple mistresses and acknowledged fathering several children by his mistresses, and
  • we also had another pope that tried to publish an erroneous version of the Bible.

The point: despite the scandalous behavior of our members, the Church still survives from generation to generation and from each generation, the official teachings of the Catholic Church have never, and will never change.

I do pray that we have a new, less scandalous successor to St. Peter soon!

That said, I can ask but God decides. : )

That said, too many people give up the fight and leave the Church, instead of staying in the fight and defending the only Church that historically goes back to 33 A.D. and deserves defending!

Let's be honest, in my opinion, although Pope Benedict XVI did a great job, it's a hard act to follow an act like Pope Saint John Paul II! . . . and I'm guessing Benedict would agree with this.

Just my two cents.

Mike

Mike

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