Dear John...

You have now left me two comments, neither of which I will publish. In the first, you commented on my absence from blogging recommending that it stay that way. I thank you for your concern for my immortal soul, it is much appreciated.

This blog has until recently been receiving in excess of 2,000 hits a day, so I do not think I would cease blogging simply because one anonymous reader thinks I am polluting the Catholic blogosphere. I have a readership, albeit relatively small, but like I said, if you don't like what I write, don't read it.

In the second comment you have intimated that I am being closely 'monitored' and gone on to issue a latent threat that 'someone' 'somewhere' might cause difficulties for me or others, because of various posts that I have written which have been mildly critical of the manner in which His Holiness Pope Francis is governing the Universal Church. Where do you work? GCHQ?

That you should do this is concerning since I was led to believe that under His Holiness Pope Francis, a new era of 'free speech' had broken out like a 'new springtime'. Therefore, in such an atmosphere of freedom of expression of opinion, I see no valid reason why I am unable to make a contribution to the ongoing discussions which are taking place within the Church as to the direction in which the Church is being steered by the Successor of St Peter.

The Bishops Conference, Vatican Dicastries and GCHQ step up 'blogwatch'
In the second comment that you have left, I note that the title of 'Fr' was removed from the name 'John', so I ask sincerely are you really a Catholic Priest. If not, I would suggest you have been not just anonymous and therefore cowardly in your criticism of this blog, but deceptive also. I note, too, that you still have not yet wished me a Happy Easter or the blessing of the Risen Christ. In such an instance, I must ask myself, and indeed you, whether you are even a Catholic, since what Catholic, at this sacred time of the liturgical year, is not so full of Easter joy as to forget to wish even his enemies a Happy Easter. I must also take this opportunity to ask you to pause and ask yourself whether you were as quick to defend the reign of Benedict XVI as you are to defend every action and statement of the current Supreme Pontiff. If not, then I would suggest that you are not practising what you preach nor are you able to defend the licit expression of opinion that is, in no manner, contrary to either the ecclesiastical or moral law of the Holy Catholic Church .

So, once again, I say to you, 'John', if that is indeed your name, a very happy and blessed Easter to you. May the Risen Christ bless you and all you love and lead you and your loved ones to life everlasting.

Crikey. And there we all were thinking the trads were the bitter and twisted ones!

In Domino

Laurence

Comments

John Nolan said…
Keep on blogging. Had you published the comments of 'Father John' it would have been easier for sensible people like me to pick a bone with him.
The Bones said…
Edited comment from 'Fr John'.

Fr john said...

Happy Easter!

I certainly never conducted in destructive comments about Benedict when he was pope, questioning almost everything he did or said and implying that he was betraying the faith - which is what you do on an almost daily basis to Francis. Indeed many of your comments re Francis are schismatic and so badly misinformed about Catholicism as to be heretical. Your attitude and approach leave a lot to be desired indeed.
The Bones said…
Dear 'Father John',

Is that not rather because there was little to no opportunity for anyone to suggest that any betrayal or compromise of the Faith was taking place under Benedict's stewardship of the Church?

I am glad that you were not an outspoken critic of someone who it was, in terms of the Magisterium and the Church's law, exceedingly difficult to criticise.

However, outward appearances mean nothing to Our Lord and it became positively evident that there were many enemies of Benedict XVI who may have said nothing publicly of his reign that was critical but who on the inside despised all that he stood for. How many Bishops, for example, took seriously his desire to encourage the Traditional Latin Mass or to 'recognise dissent for what it is'. Of course, what Benedict XVI was referring to was not dissent to his personal whims or choices, but dissent to the Magisterium and the Papal Authority that upholds the teaching, law and morality of the Church, guided not by fashion, but also by Sacred Tradition.

Nothing I have said of Francis is 'schismatic'. I recognise that Francis is the legitimate Pope of the Catholic Church. He is my spiritual Father in God. Indeed, I pray for His Holiness every day. I have, on many occasions, questioned many of his statements and actions, but it is perfectly licit to do this, with nothing in Church law forbidding it, especially when it is done out of love for the Church. If at times I have not been critical out of love for the Church, but for reasons to which could be imputed malice, then indeed, I freely apologise!

I am a Catholic. I am, as you know, not a Priest, nor am I a Deacon. Therefore, nothing that I write has any influence on the churches in which I worship or on those with responsibility for them, unless, that is I am guilty of manifest and public sin, heresy or obstinancy in error. If there is some glaring error in what I have written, I should like you to point it out specifically.

I write and blog on the Catholic faith and take a particular interest in the Vicar of Christ because, in terms of the history of the Papacy, the manner, style and indeed substance of his pontificate appears, in many ways, to be something of a deliberate abberation, something Francis himself communicates through speech, writing, sign and symbol.

If you are sincere in your wish to see me cease blogging 'for the good of my soul' and the 'good of the Catholic blogosphere', then may I suggest you come out of your cave and drop me an email, with your name, and we can discuss this 'man to man' or, indeed, priest to layman.

I do hope, too, that you wrote to The Tablet, to condemn, in writing, their constant latent, and often blatant attacks on the person and pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, otherwise may I suggest that if you did not, then you yourself are guilty of a measure of hypocrisy.

God bless and thank you for finally wishing me a happy Easter. May God abundantly bless you, your 'parish' and the Holy Father, Pope Francis, whose loyal and obedient servant I remain.
Genty said…
”I am the King’s good servant – but God’s first.” St. Thomas More.
This must also apply to popes.
Fr john said…
Nothing Francis has said or done questions the catholic faith either so why are you so critical about his leadership? Plus I wouldn't agree that you have been 'mildly critical' of him, much of your snarking is actually very fundamental with the apparent intent of undermining his pontificate. schism is not just denying that the pope is the rightfully elected successor to peter but is separating yourself from the will and governance of the bishop of rome. Many of your links and commentators fall within this category.
Anonymous said…
Let is please get one thing straight here. Being Critical or questioning a Pope does NOT make a Catholic schismatic. There was and still is plenty of criticism of Benedict still to this day. It comes with the territory. I too am troubled that like Deacon Nick or others this current pope who BTW doe NOT mind being questioned as long as it is charitable
The Bones said…
So tell me, Father, how many times did you write to The Tablet to defend Pope Benedict XVI?
The Bones said…
"Nothing Francis has said or done questions the catholic faith."

I would argue that while it would be unfair to say:

"Nothing Francis has said or done PROCLAIMS the Catholic Faith"...

That there is plenty of room for improvement.

On artificial contraception, IVF, assisted suicide, the culture of death, same sex marriage, etc, we have heard NOTHING from Rome.

Sorry, but after a year, that is a bit worrying, if comforting for Bishops Conferences who are eager to be appeasers.

Do we really expect Popes (and BISHOPS) to AVOID PROCLAIMING the unpopular truths of the Catholic Faith, thereby winning public support but losing the friendship of Christ?

Is that really a service to Christ? Do such men give a fig whether souls are taught, instructed and saved or lost forever?

Do not the Faithful deserve something a bit better than that from Shepherds?

Are we led by hirelings who have no love for the souls in their care?

Do they only care for the approval of men and nothing for the approval of God?

And is the priest who does nothing to teach the fundamental reason for Jesus's life, teaching, death and resurrection - the Salvation of souls - really a priest, or instead an agent of the Enemy?

These are hard questions, but surely, in the pursuit of the truth, they are worth asking, unless the Catholic Church has given up on truth and serving Jesus Christ and instead worships something or someone else!
The Bones said…
That is why, 'Father', I would suggest that criticism of Popes, in whatever manner it is expressed, whether 'snarky' or 'not snarky' (please see the Papal Book of Insults for tips on 'snarkiness') is worthy and necessary if instead of fulfilling their role as servant of the Church, teaching and handing down what has been handed down to them, they instead assume the role of master and lord of the manor.

By all means, continue this fascinating debate here, but you might too have the courage to do so in all honesty, naming yourself, rather than cloaking yourself in anonymity, unlike many Catholic bloggers, myself included who say what they say 'in the open, for all the world to hear'.

susan said…
Bones...don't let the fake 'priest' intimidate you. You speak and write the Truth, and the enemy's minions are getting mighty bold these days indeed. If you didn't make the 'Johns' of the world squeal, you would be doing something very wrong. Keep up the great work; you are a beacon of light in the encroaching darkness. God bless you!!!

Christos anesti!!!!
Lynda said…
Don't entertain this person with a seeming political agenda. If he won't discuss the specific criticism by you of a specific act or omission of the Pope on its merits, he doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Don't let him spread his slurs and innuendo.
Damask Rose said…
Can you believe it?

Honestly, it's going to get harder and harder for a pious, fervent, Catholic to practice his faith.

It's like a totalitarian system is being employed, what with Deacon Nick "going down" and Palmaro and Gnocchi loosing their jobs for what is fair criticism of recent Vatican/Church policy/commentary.

It's like living in the Reformation, but this time Catholics are spying and betraying fellow Catholics.

Happy Easter Bones and Everybody!
viterbo said…
Keep up the window out of the mire of neo-modernist murk, Mr Bones. 'John' might like his papal tea with two dollops of anti-christ baphomet droppings, but we don't.
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p.s. Imagine if Benedict had use the word 'sh** eaters' in public EVAH! Imagine if he had called venerable old nuns, 'old maids'. Imagine if Benedict had excoriated Faithful who had gifted him rosaries upon which were myriad prayers for him. I could go on. Imagine if Benedict had slandered the Blessed Virgin, or taught that Christ lied. Imagine if Benedict had gone ahead and done what previously only radical anti-Church priests had done and washed the feet of anyone who would cause sufficient scandal.
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"Nothing Francis has said or done questions the catholic faith." Frankie Quote - 'there is no Catholic God.' Hmmm - call me crazy but it is by Christ's Catholic Church that we know the Real True Holy Trinity - the
Catholic God - the ONE TRUE GOD, known to us via HIS CATHOLIC CHURCH.
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I could go on.
Unknown said…
I luvs ya, Bonesey!! Kim inSeattle
Elizabeth said…
Ignore the so-called "Fr. John". He'll get bored and find someone else to try to intimidate with his nonsense. I love your blog!