DEFCON Situation: Putin has ordered Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent forces put on heightened alert, in response to “aggressive statements” from NATO. Rattling the nuclear saber as western countries send weapons to Ukraine and the EU targets the Russian Central Bank.
"Western countries aren't only taking unfriendly economic actions against our country, but leaders of major Nato countries are making aggressive statements about our country. So I order to move Russia's deterrence forces to a special regime of duty." -Putin
A power play by the Democrats going into the 2022 elections. The billions of dollars in aid for the Ukrainians is already making its way through Congress. The Democrats milk the war scare for all it’s worth for as long as possible. Russia gets what it wants: a redrawn border between itself and Ukraine. The Democrats broker a peace and Biden takes a victory lap so the party can claim world peace in time for the elections.
Upon a recent rereading of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, “On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World,” I found myself troubled by a glaring omission. The word “Heaven” seems to be missing from the document entirely. In the context of the saints — which forms the basis for the introduction to the exhortation — the Pope mentions “true life” and “happiness,” but not “eternal life” or “beatitude.” A this-worldly bubble seems to surround the mental process at work here. The mundane is substituted in the place of the supernatural perspective for which faith exists.
The goal of a holy life here on Earth is Heaven, where happiness is eternal. The saints themselves often speak of the Kingdom as their only goal, where Love Himself is attained without fear of loss because the embrace is eternal. Without Heaven there can be no true hope because there only are found those realities which, once attained, can never be lost.
We cannot preach Christ without His Kingdom, which is not of this world. If we do so, we betray Him and those He came to save by dying and rising. Thus the reason for trepidation upon encountering a message promoted to the Church on behalf of the Church which omits the very goal for which the place of faith, the Church, was founded by Christ.
“We cannot pretend not to see these signs and continue as if nothing had happened, repeating the same old things, dragging ourselves through inertia into the forms of the past, paralyzed by fear of change. I have said it many times: today, the temptation to go backwards, out of security, out of fear, to preserve the faith, to preserve the founding charism… It is a temptation. The temptation to go backwards and preserve “traditions” with rigidity. Let’s get this straight: rigidity is a perversion, and underneath all rigidity there are serious problems.”
- Pope Francis, February 2, 2022
So, preserving the faith is a rigidity and rigidity is a perversion, therefore preserving the faith is a perversion. Got it.
What a very strange thing to say when it is precisely by means of the faith itself that we are saved and nothing else.
“I grew up in Catholic schools, and I honestly thought religion was just being a good person, doing good things. I don’t think the priests in my high school once explained what the gospel was. Not once.”
Ten years ago, Becket Cook was a gay man in Hollywood who had achieved great success as a set designer in the fashion industry. He worked with stars and supermodels, from Natalie Portman to Claudia Schiffer, traveling the world to design photo shoots for the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He attended award shows and parties at the homes of Paris Hilton and Prince. He spent summers swimming in Drew Barrymore’s pool.
A decade later, Cook has moved on from that life—and he doesn’t miss it.
What changed for Cook? He met Jesus. On a momentous day in September 2009, while drinking coffee with a friend at Intelligentsia in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, Cook started chatting with a group of young people sitting at a nearby table—physical Bibles opened in front of them (remember, this was 2009). They were from a church called Reality L.A.(where TGC Council member Jeremy Treat now serves as lead pastor), and they invited Cook to visit the church.
Cook took them up on the invitation and visited Reality L.A. the next Sunday, where he heard the gospel and gave his life to Jesus. He never looked back, trading his gay identity for a new identity in Christ. In the years since, Cook completed a degree at Talbot School of Theology and wrote a memoir of his conversion, A Change of Affection: A Gay Man’s Incredible Story of Redemption, which just released.
I recently met up with Cook at Intelligentsia—the place where his encounter with coffee-drinking, Bible-studying Christians set his conversion in motion. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Take me back to that day, in this very coffee shop, 10 years ago. What was going on in your life that made the soil, so to speak, ready to receive the gospel seed?
It was a moment in Paris six months earlier. I was at a fashion party and just felt empty: I had done everything in Hollywood, met everyone, traveled everywhere. Yet I was overwhelmed with emptiness at this party. It was one of the most intense “is that all there is?” moments in my life. I had already been wrestling with questions about the meaning of life, searching for it in all sorts of ways. But I knew God was never an option, because I was gay. It was off the table. I wasn’t confused about what the Bible had to say about homosexuality. I knew it was clear. But I was still searching for meaning.
So when I came to this coffee shop six months later and saw that group of young people with their Bibles open, I started asking them questions. They explained the gospel, what they believed. I asked what their church believed about homosexuality, and they explained that they believed it is a sin. I appreciated their honesty and that they didn’t beat around the bush. But the reason I was able to accept their answer was because I had that moment in Paris. Five years earlier I would have been like, You guys are insane. You’re in the dark ages. But instead I was like, Maybe I could be wrong. Maybe this actually is a sin. So I was open to it in the moment. And then they invited me to church.
When you showed up to church that first Sunday at Reality, you ended up becoming a Christian. What happened?
Tim Chaddick preached the sermon that day, and everything he was saying basically turned what I knew about religion upside down. I grew up in Catholic schools, and I honestly thought religion was just being a good person, doing good things. I don’t think the priests in my high school once explained what the gospel was. Not once. So when Tim was preaching all these things that were the exact opposite of what I thought religion was, I was like, Whoa. It all really resonated, and it prompted me to go forward at the end of the service to receive prayer. It was shocking and unexpected to me, a Road to Damascus moment. It was so powerful, so all-consuming. I was all-in.
The details of Pope Francis’s recent meeting with the FSSP have been revealed and they are good news for those devoted to the Latin Mass.
On Friday, February 4, 2022, two members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Benoît Paul-Joseph, Superior of the District of France, and Fr. Vincent Ribeton, Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in Wigratzbad, were received in private audience by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for nearly an hour.
During the very cordial meeting, they recalled the origins of the Fraternity in 1988, the Pope expressed that he was very impressed by the approach taken by its founders, their desire to remain faithful to the Roman Pontiff and their trust in the Church. He said that this gesture should be “preserved, protected and encouraged”.
In the course of the audience, the Pope made it clear that institutes such as the Fraternity of St. Peter are not affected by the general provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, since the use of the ancient liturgical books was at the origin of their existence and is provided for in their constitutions.
The Holy Father subsequently sent a decree signed by him and dated February 11, the day the Fraternity was solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, confirming for the members of the Fraternity the right to use the liturgical books in force in 1962, namely: the Missal, the Ritual, the Pontifical and the Roman Breviary.
Grateful to the Holy Father, the members of the Fraternity of St. Peter are in thanksgiving for this confirmation of their mission. They invite all the faithful who feel close to them as a spiritual family to attend or join them in prayer at the Mass tomorrow, on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, and to pray for the Supreme Pontiff.
The Holy Father Francis, grants to each and every member of the Society of Apostolic Life “Fraternity of Saint Peter”, founded on July 18, 1988 and declared of “Pontifical Right” by the Holy See, the faculty to celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass, and to carry out the sacraments and other sacred rites, as well as to fulfill the Divine Office, according to the typical editions of the liturgical books, namely the Missal, the Ritual, the Pontifical and the Roman Breviary, in force in the year 1962.
They may use this faculty in their own churches or oratories; otherwise it may only be used with the consent of the Ordinary of the place, except for the celebration of private Masses.
Without prejudice to what has been said above, the Holy Father suggests that, as far as possible, the provisions of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes be taken into account as well.
Given in Rome, near St. Peter’s, on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the year 2022, the ninth year of my Pontificate.
LGBT extremists are deliberately targeting children with dangerous propaganda using methods that are designed to ensure that the children’s parents know nothing about it. That is the disturbing lesson from two stories that broke over the past few weeks.
The first story involves a uproar that broke out at a school in California. Parents there are up in arms after it was revealed that two teachers at the school have been digitally “stalking” their students to find malleable recruits for their LGBT club.
In recorded comments, the teachers boasted about how they used technology designed to monitor their students during Covid-related online learning to see which students were visiting LGBT-themed websites, or speaking with their peers about LGBT topics. They would then personally reach out to those students, and invite them to join the “Equality Club.”
In one case, the teachers coached a twelve-year-old girl how to go about developing a “transgender” identity, while making sure that her parents were kept in the dark. The girl’s mother only learned that her daughter was now “transgender” when she was called into a meeting at the school.
In a fiery speech at a school board meeting, the furious mother recounted how school officials got angry with her when she continued to call her daughter “she” at the meeting, and accused her of not being “emotionally supportive” of her child.
A few days later, Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up at her door, saying that a complaint had been made against her. CPS officials questioned the woman’s children, asking them if they wanted to be removed from the house. “They made me feel like a monster,” she said. Although CPS dropped the case, the mother said she has been terrified to ask questions about what’s happening at school for fear that her children might get taken away.
The good news in this case is that parents at that school have banded together and are pushing back. At the moment, both teachers have been suspended, pending an investigation.
TikTok is Awash with Transgender Propaganda
However, other tactics being used by LGBT extremists to access children and to mold their minds, all without their parents knowing, are less easy to detect, and far more difficult to fight.
That’s the lesson of the second important story. A few weeks ago, the Daily Mail published the results of a study showing that pro-transgender activists are using the wildly popular social media platform TikTok to push transgender-themed videos, many of which are instructional videos about how to go about becoming transgender, including obtaining sex-change hormones and surgery.
According to the Daily Mail, videos tagged with the hashtag #Trans, have been viewed over 26 billion times on the site.
It is hard to overstate the popularity of TikTok, particularly among children and teenagers. Recently, TikTok surpassed Google as the #1 most-visited website on the Internet. Many teens spend hours on TikTok every day.
Savvy LGBT-activists have openly and explicitly partnered with the social media platform to push as much LGBT-themed content as possible. Last, year TikTok signed a partnership agreement with the extreme LGBT-activist organization Stonewall to do just that.
As the Daily Mail reports, one popular “transgender” influencer, Bella Fitzpatrick, who is only 19-years-old, has over 700,000 followers on the site. Recently, he (who now claims to be a “she”) raised £20,000 to fund his sex-change surgery, documenting the process along the way, and providing detailed information about how others can follow his example.
Trans activists are not shy about their plan to reach kids using the platform. One such activist, a makeup artist and drag queen who goes by the name Mother Victory, boasted to the Today Show about how he amassed 1.5 million followers during the pandemic.
The Today Show highlighted one 16-year-old, Jaye Kim, whose biological sex is unclear from the story but who identifies as “non-binary,” who credited Mother Victory for giving him/her the courage to adopt a new identity. “I’m Asian and I am nonbinary, so I never see people like me on TV or in movies or anything,” said Kim. “Mother Victory is so funny and bold and just not afraid to put herself out there. Seeing her videos made me have more self-confidence, and looking at how many followers she has makes me feel I can be myself and be accepted, too.”
TikTok Fueling a Social Contagion
The Daily Mail quoted concerned parents who are fearful that TikTok is “fueling a social contagion,” by presenting transgenderism as the “cool” thing to do to millions of impressionable teens.
Kate Harris, who belongs to LGB Alliance, which opposes extreme transgender ideology, noted that many of the videos on TikTok suggest “that it is easy to change sex and that it is the answer to all of your problems.” She called the videos “deeply frightening,” noting that “the message is so often, ‘Don’t involve your parents.’”
Fear of a social-media-fed social contagion is not just baseless alarmism. There is growing evidence in support of the existence of what researchers have called “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” In cases of rapid onset gender dysphoria, children and teenagers with no prior history of gender confusion suddenly self-identify as transgender. Frequently, this coincides with other individuals in their social circle or school also identifying as transgender.
In one extreme case, a total of 17 students at a single UK school suddenly identified as transgender. Many of those students, incidentally, had autism. Girls, in particular, seem to be especially susceptible to rapid onset gender dysphoria.
The idea of social contagion would in part explain the dizzying explosion in the numbers of children and teens identifying as transgender in recent years. For instance, one survey by the CDC in 2019 found that nearly two percent of students in grades 9-12 identify as “transgender.” Meanwhile, according to The Telegraph, in 2009-10 in the UK, there were just 40 girls seeking transgender “treatments” in the UK. By 2017-18, that grew to 1,806, an increase of 4,400%.
As the Mail notes, many of the videos on TikTok present transgenderism not only as harmless and easy, but also as something that can bring all sorts of benefits. One TikTok influencer, Alex Consani, 18, says in a video that followers may be only “one oestrogen pill away from a glow up.” As the Mail explains, “A ‘glow up’ is a mental, physical and emotional transformation for the better.”
Take millions of kids going through the already-confusing period of adolescence and sexual development, isolate them during a pandemic, give them 24/7 access to the Internet, and then flood their minds with radical content suggesting that all their angst and other problems may be due to being born in the “wrong body,” and propose adopting a transgender identity as the “solution,” and it is inevitable that some will decide to give transgenderism a try.
Some of these, alas, will be permanently and profoundly harmed by the experiment, ending up in a dark world of sexual confusion, with bodies permanently mutilated and sterilized by irreversible drug regimens and surgeries.
Don’t Give Your Children Smartphones. Period.
All I can say by way of conclusion is to reiterate something that I have said many times in the past: Parents,don’t give your children smartphones. Period.
Just don’t do it.
The brother of someone I know said that when he sent his children to a local public school, his children were the only children in the entire school who did not have a smartphone.
Of course, some of the parents of children with smartphones probably had filtering on their children’s phones. But frankly, that’s not good enough. Although filtering is better than no filtering, all filtering technology is imperfect. Furthermore, while filtering technology can filter explicit materials, the kind of propaganda being posted on TikTok is designed to get around filtering by purporting to be “educational material” about “human rights” and “health.”
Filtering technology is a poor replacement for good parenting and oversight. If, for whatever reason (and, as mentioned, I can’t think of a good one), a parent feels that they must give their children a smartphone, that does not excuse them from frequently checking what their children are viewing, and frequently talking with their children about the responsible use of technology. The same goes for all computers and televisions in the house.
Concerned parents would not invite the local drag queen into their home for unsupervised conversations with their children. So why would they give their children a device that allows them to potentially spend endless hours listening to that same drag queen (or worse) tell their child, in graphic detail, precisely how they can socially, medically, and surgically alter themselves to become the opposite sex, and how they can go about hiding all of this from their own parents?
Yes, that is what these people are doing. And they are doing it with the enthusiastic support of the big-tech companies, like TikTok, that have captured the rapt attention of tens of millions of our children. As a parent, your job is to say, “No! Not in my house. Not with my children.”
Any technology, application, program, or virtual platform can have incredible benefits, as well as dangerous downsides. Both raise ethical questions, which are not only of interest to parents but also of concern to each of us; we are all impacted. Hence, we must wake up to the danger these technologies, applications, etc. pose, ask appropriate questions, and demand that those in government take swift action to protect our youth, families, and society.
At Damascus, [in the year 743,] holy Peter Mavimeno. Some Arabs came to see him while he was ill, and to them he said, "Whoever does not embrace the Catholic Christian religion will be damned, as your false prophet Mohammed is," whereupon they killed him
Baptisms by Arizona priest presumed invalid due to error
By JACQUES BILLEAUD, LUIS ANDRES HENAO and GIOVANNA DELL’ORTOFebruary 16, 2022
PHOENIX (AP) — The priest was beloved by his parishioners — yet for years he made a one-word ritual mistake, repeatedly, that has caused confusion and anxiety for thousands of Catholics in the Phoenix area now worrying that they were improperly baptized.
Under scrutiny are baptisms performed by the Rev. Andres Arango, who served in Arizona for 16 years. Catholic officials estimate that thousands of baptisms are now presumed to be invalid because he used incorrect wording, and they say those affected may need to be re-baptized. Some may feel obliged to have other church ceremonies performed again, even including marriage.
Arango’s error was in saying, “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” when he should have begun the sentence by saying, “I baptize you.” The difference is theologically crucial, the Vatican ruled in 2020, because it’s not the “we” of the congregation doing the baptizing but the “I” of Jesus Christ, working through the priest.
Arango served in three parishes in metro Phoenix from September 2005 until his resignation Feb. 1, most recently at St. Gregory, where parishioners credited him with reversing a worrisome drop in membership.
“Without his heartfelt kindness, care, concern and shepherding, physically and spiritually, our church and school would be nonexistent,” said Mona Shelley, a lifetime member of the parish. She said Arango had returned to the church several times since his resignation to perform re-baptisms with the proper wording.
Bishop James Su Zhimin is one of the many Catholic leaders in China who have gone missing. The Bishop was last seen in 2003.
02/17/2022 Washington, D.C.—Bishop James Su Zhimin is one of the many Catholic clergies in China who has refused to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), the Chinese government-sanctioned organization to manage Catholic clergy, doctrine, and practice. As a result of his refusal to compromise the faith for the agenda of the Chinese government’s propaganda apparatus, Bishop James Su Zhimin was forcibly disappeared.
The now 89-year-old bishop was arrested in 1997 for refusing the state-sanctioned organization and was not seen again until appearing in a hospital in 2003. After leaving the hospital, he has not been seen again, and it is speculated by some that he has now passed away in Chinese custody. The story of Bishop Su Zhimin is one that is a familiar occurrence of persecution in China, as the pervasiveness of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association continues to impact Chinese Catholics.
The History of the Catholic Church and the CCP
Founded in 1957, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) is one of the few religious organizations in China that is allowed to practice by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, a now sub-department under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and influence arm, the United Front Work Department (UFWD).
The organization was founded to supervise and regulate Chinese Catholics and prevent foreign influence into Chinese affairs by the Holy See and direct them through the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China. Under this arrangement, the Chinese state has ordained bishops without the consent of the Vatican and has continued to harass and hamper those with papal consent alone or who are resistant to the government’s overreach. As a result, many Chinese priests have refused to submit to the CPA, creating an underground Catholic Church in China. These refusals were later bolstered when in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI deemed the CPA as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine.“
Peter said to Jesus, ‘Behold, we have left all and followed you; what then shall we have?’”
In a recent television interview the Pope named what he believes to be the biggest crisis facing the Church. No, it’s not found in the open schism in German where the “Synodal Way” has just called for blessing same-sex unions. No, it’s not found in France where Muslims are taking over Catholic churches for their false worship, including an incursion into the second largest church in Paris. No, it’s not plummeting priestly vocations. And it’s certainly not Catholic Charities receiving money from the Biden administration to traffic illegal immigrants throughout the United States.
It’s none of these things.
According to the Holy Father the biggest problem afflicting the Church is Catholics. The problem is practicing Catholics who need an attitude adjustment. In the interview Francis described the problem this way: “The biggest crisis facing the Church today is a worldly spirituality, which causes clericalism and a rigidity, an ideological rigidity which is opposed to the Gospel.”
The Pope here can only be talking about those inside the Church, about Catholics. Which Catholics? And why is he dividing the Church by means of his comments along lines of ideology and a supposed “rigidity”? What could his purpose be in judging some persons negatively in this way.
The rigidity of vague accusations that are weaponized against the traditions of the Church are worldly and should have no place in the Church. That the Pope is the source of these is a great crisis for the Church.
Consider the points he makes, which have been made by others before him and then, when you’re done doing that, re-examine all of Pope Francis’ behavior from the very beginning. Ask yourself, is it outside the realm of possibility that Francis’ mission includes eliminating the papacy itself?
At this point we cannot logically rule out anything.
You can take a look at his approach to doctrine as a way of answering the question. By his words and behavior he makes evident a consistent “allergic” reaction to established Catholic doctrine of any kind. He seems to revel or delight in causing confusion, which is the opposite behavior of those who are clear in their doctrine and teaching as a pope should be.
Recall that he eliminated the traditional title of “Vicar of Christ” in a recent edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the Vatican yearbook. These reasons and more add up to a rejection of the teaching office that is inherent to the papacy.
When you consider all of this it makes sense that a likely part of his mission as an agent of the Sankt Galen mafia is to eliminate the role of the pope. Or at least render it completely useless for the sake of doctrine and an office to which no one any longer looks for guidance in faith or morals.
Pope Francis has stated that he wants to remain in office long enough to ensure that the changes he makes are irreversible. Eliminating a possible future successor would be one way of accomplishing this.
“During her weeklong hospital stay, Kelly learned that she had Factor V Leiden, a genetic disorder that makes people more likely to form blood clots and deep venous thrombosis, according to theNational Library of Medicine. Having that on top of taking birth control increased her risk of developing dangerous blood clots that can lead to stroke. “
Woman, 29, shares experience with stroke and urges others to know signs
“If you see someone exhibiting signs of stroke, facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties — it’s time to call 911 because time lost is brain lost.”
Since having a stroke 2 years ago, Jayme Kelly, then 29, has worked to relearn how to speak, read and walk. She's thriving now and hopes to raise awareness of signs of stroke.Courtesy American Heart Association Go Red for Women
When Jayme Kelly woke two years ago, she couldn’t feel her right side. The then 29-year-old suspected she slept “weird” and her right arm and leg were still asleep. When she tried to go to the bathroom, she struggled and fell a few times. She tried calling in sick to work as a pediatric nurse but couldn’t enter her phone password and then realized she couldn’t talk either.
“I’m freaking out. What’s wrong with me?” Kelly, 31 of Boston, told TODAY. “I didn’t know I was having a stroke because I didn’t fit into any risk factors.”
Her worried roommate rushed Kelly to the emergency department for treatment and she later learned she was having a stroke. For the past two years, she’s been recovering from it and is one of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Real Women. She’s sharing her story to help others stroke.
“If I can have a stroke so can you,” Kelly said. “If you see someone exhibiting signs of stroke, facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties — it’s time to call 911 because time lost is brain lost.”
A ‘bad morning’
At first, Kelly suspected that a terrible night of sleep caused her body to feel dull and heavy, like her right side was still asleep. After she struggled to call work, she decided to grab some more zzz's.
“I just figured bad morning. I thought, ‘Let’s just go to sleep and when you wake up, you’ll be fine,’” she recalled. “My roommate found me and she’s like, ‘Are you OK?’ and I couldn’t even talk to her. I couldn’t even mumble.”
Her roommate called 911 and rushed Kelly to the emergency room. While doctors treated Kelly for stroke, it took Kelly a few days in the neurological intensive care unit before she knew what occurred.
“It took me two days to even realize I had a stroke. I was so shocked,” she said. “It changed my life forever.”
Learning that she had a stroke was overwhelming but dealing with the lingering problems felt even harder at times. She couldn’t move her arm, walk or speak.
“The entire time I was in the hospital I couldn’t say anything,” Kelly explained. “I can’t feel my hand at all.”
During her weeklong hospital stay, Kelly learned that she had Factor V Leiden, a genetic disorder that makes people more likely to form blood clots and deep venous thrombosis, according to the National Library of Medicine. Having that on top of taking birth control increased her risk of developing dangerous blood clots that can lead to stroke.