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Read this newsletter in PDF format for greatest clarity. Print out any sections you might want in a power-out situation.
This is a meat-and-potatoes edition of the newsletter because I have been mostly off-grid on a pilgrimage for the last week. What a joy it was to take a break from emails and news, and reclaim a quiet state of mind. We all need a time-out from media manipulation and political theater, now perhaps more than ever. Give yourself that gift, if you can.
From the cockpit of the Subaru
CORAC founder Charlie Johnston travels from coast to coast in his trusty Outback to speak in person to those now weathering the Storm.
A SIGN OF HOPE BLOG
What is Truth?
I have often spoken of how, many decades ago, I came to the understanding that authentic prophecy is not...
CORAC Global Meeting
This Sunday, November 5, Charlie will lead the next CORAC global meeting…
I’ve been amazed at how even well-informed Catholics don’t know, and frankly don’t care… more >
10 News Stories
I’m reprinting this week’s Ten you didn’t hear this wekk below, but if you go to the link above, there’s bonus material…
Something New Under the Sun
Don’t dismiss it too quickly; it has potential: a musical treatment of the Nativity story…. more >
Let Your Yes Mean Yes
In Matthew 5:37, talking about oaths, Jesus commands people to let their yes mean yes and their no mean no (exact wording dependent on the translation you use). Many have interpreted this to mean it is always wrong to use deception or subtlety. Yet in the Parable of the Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1-13) Jesus commends the dishonest steward for his shrewdness.
So what can it mean?
If, in Nazi Germany, you were hiding a Jewish family and the Gestapo came to the door and questioned you, would it be the right thing to do to deliver the Jews to their death? I should hope not.
During the Communist occupation of Poland, it was illegal for priests to have outings with young people. The young Fr. Karol Wojtyla (future St. John Paul II) often took youth groups for outings in the mountains. If accosted by Communist authorities, several of the young people would introduce Fr. Wojtyla as “Uncle Karol.” Was this evasion sinful?
Confronted by King Abimalek, who was enamored of his wife Sarah, Abraham told the king that, “She is my sister.” This was an evasion rather than an outright lie, as Sarah actually was Abraham’s half-sister – but it certainly was deceptive.
Judith seduced the Assyrian General Holofernes in order to slay him. This stark deception made Judith a hero to Israel and was firmly approved of in the Bible.
Many great saints have been divided on the subject, sometimes even with themselves.
Let me weigh in with an interpretation of my own. A person should be transparent about who they are and what they believe. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency he occasionally misspoke. Even when he did, people did not hold it against him, except for the media, who called him the “Teflon President.” I think the truth was very simple: it was not that lies just slid off his back, but that Reagan was so transparent in what he believed and what he was willing to fight for, that people knew what he meant and intended even when he misspoke. His “yes” consistently meant the same thing whatever the circumstances.
Even with the Iran-Contra scandal, where his subordinates surreptitiously put together a deal to trade hostages with Iran in exchange for weapons to the Contra resistance to the Nicaraguan socialists, the scandal never got the traction the leftist media hoped for. Once it came out, Reagan took full responsibility for it and agreed it was an error in judgment. The truth was, he didn’t even know about it until well into the process, but he did not equivocate. People forgave him because, however grievous an error in judgment, they believed he did it in consonance with his consistent principles for freedom. It was the transparency of his motives and consistency in action that lent him the “Teflon” the press so resented.
Contrast this with Bill Clinton. Even in his most plain, declarative statements, people (even his own supporters) doubted he meant what he said. There was always the sense that you had to parse what the meaning of “is” was before you could get a handle on what he meant or intended. It drove the press nuts that he rarely got the benefit of the doubt in the meaning of what he said. Perhaps his most prominent nickname was “Slick Willie,” for his penchant to obscure his real purpose in soothing rhetoric that tended to conceal, rather than reveal, his purpose and intentions.
The great saints and theologians have never come to a single conclusion – and neither have I. But I think that a transparency of mind and purpose in your lifestyle goes a long way to making your yes mean yes, even if at times you use deception and subtlety. I know that if someone’s life depends on it, or if it is to expose a great evil, I will use deception if I can think of nothing else. I’ll take my chances at the pearly gates.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now, in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
CORAC Global Meeting
This Sunday, November 5, Charlie will lead the next CORAC global meeting. 3:00 pm Eastern, 2:00 pm Central, 1:00 pm Mountain & Arizona, 12:00 noon Pacific. He will lay out the direction CORAC is taking, and then entertain questions and discussions. Note that clocks change on this date.
Some brief thoughts from Charlie Johnston about his follow up dinner in Arizona with one of his favorite authors, J.A. Jance, and the theme of family reconciliation. Run Time: 00h | 9m | 47s
Some brief thoughts from Charlie Johnston about the necessity of rules in baseball, anarchy in this country, and how we get back to something that's rational. Run Time: 00h | 10m | 22s
Chatting With Charlie
Charlie answers 7 more questions submitted from the audience in Episode 45 of “Chatting With Charlie” on subjects ranging from prayer, to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, to his latest piece...
I’ve been amazed at how even well-informed Catholics don’t know, and frankly don’t care, about the Synod. I wish I didn’t care, but it’s like dismissing the World Economic Forum because it meets in Switzerland. It may be a distant entity, but its deliberations affect nearly every part of our lives and our futures. Same with the Synod. Yes, it’s foolish and tedious and the major players are unsavory, but their deliberations will affect all of us. We ignore it at our peril.
If you haven’t been following the “synod” reporting this month and just need to catch up, I’d recommend listening to (1) Raymond Arroyo’s interview of Fr. Murray; and (2) Eric Sammons’ wrap-up.
(1) The World Over. Raymond Arroyo interviews Fr. Gerald Murray the week before the conclusion of this chapter of the “synod”: Read more >
(2) Eric Sammons’ wrap-up of the “synod”: Read more >
The Papal Posse wrap-up. The Catholic Thing has been reporting steadily on the Synod’s workings. Read more >
My commentary on the sentimental “synod” in Crisis: Read more >
The English text of the official Synthesis Report. Warning: it is long, and full of Synod-speak: Read more >
The Pope’s speech to the Synod. Yes, this is the one in which he expresses horror at young priests shopping for vestments: Read more >
This week in Rome, on the heels of the tedious Synod, the Rome Life Forum is meeting. This flagship conference has been held annually since 2014, and has included blockbuster speakers like Burke, Brandmüller, Schneider, and de Mattei.
This year, the theme is “An Anti-Globalist Alliance: Resetting the World in Christ.”
Thank God! People of influence are talking about this! It was two years ago, on November 18, 2021, that Archbishop Viganó issued his letter “…calling upon rulers, political and religious leaders, intellectuals and all people of good will, inviting them to unite in an Alliance that launches an anti-globalist manifesto….”
Among the speakers this year addressing that theme are Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Bishop Joseph Strickland, Michael Matt, and of course John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor of LifeSiteNews, the primary sponsor. Until now, most people, at least in the Western countries, would have thought that Viganó’s letter was oozing conspiracy and paranoia. Two years later, we see that he was precisely accurate.
Some excerpts from Viganó’s letter:
Fundamental rights, which up until yesterday were presented as inviolable, have been trampled underfoot in the name of an emergency: today a health emergency, tomorrow an ecological emergency, and after that an internet emergency.
This global coup d’état deprives citizens of any possibility of defense, since the legislative, executive, and judicial powers are complicit in the violation of law, justice, and the purpose for which they exist.
It is the Great Reset of the World Economic Forum, the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. It is the plan of the New World Order, in which a Universal Republic enslaves everyone and a Religion of Humanity cancels Faith in Christ.
In the face of this global coup d’état, it is necessary to form an international Anti-Globalist Alliance, which gathers all those who want to oppose the dictatorship, who have no intention of becoming slaves to a faceless power, who are not willing to cancel their own identity, their own individuality, their own religious faith.
The proceedings of the 2023 Rome Life Forum are ongoing at this writing, so the videos have not been yet posted online. I will link them in the next newsletter, or you can watch for an announcement at: Rome Life Forum >
Last week, Sophia Institute Press launched Credo, a compendium of the Catholic Faith, written specifically for our time by Bishop Athanasius Schneider. In his forthright style, Bishop Schneider brings forward the Catechism of Trent, updated with answers to questions we ask in the 21st century. The section on Freemasonry has received especial praise from advance readers.
The launch event in Rome, hosted by Diane Montagna and featuring Cardinal Sarah and Robert Royal, along with Bishop Schneider, was recorded, and is worth a watch: Watch it here >
It was a 2-hour event, so you may want to skip around, or listen to it while walking. I would listen to Cardinal Sarah any time, any place and in any language. His very voice is a meditation.
Ever since the current pope made free to change the Catechism of the Catholic Church at his own whim, it has felt less than completely solid. It’s like a dam that someone took one brick out of; the whole structure is less stable. So I can’t wait to dive into Credo with a bishop fully committed to the Magisterium.
After reading the novel Into The Catacombs by Paul McCusker, it occurred to me that one of the best things we can all do to prepare for the future is memorize Scripture. Scripture that lives in our heads becomes more powerful; it stands at the ready for times of need. When we give it a home in our lobes and fissures, it literally becomes part of us.
I started with the Book of Psalms. Pick your favorite; maybe one of the Gospels, or Proverbs. Here are practical tips to get started memorizing Scripture: Read more >
Here are some ideas of where to stash valuables. Of course, since these ideas are on the internet, there’s no guarantee that vandals wouldn’t check exactly these places, but this will get your imagination started. Read more >
Development of Doctrine
Bishop Strickland published an excerpt from St. Vincent of Lerins, to teach people what true development of doctrine looks like. This is our inoculation against any innovative ruptures that might be coming out of Rome, trying to justify themselves as legitimate development of doctrine. Read more >
The 10 News Stories You Didn’t Hear This Week
I’m reprinting this week’s Ten below, but if you go to the link above, there’s bonus material.
Something New Under the Sun
Don’t dismiss it too quickly; it has potential: a musical treatment of the Nativity story.
The Christmas story is so joyful, it may be entirely proper to sing and dance to it! There is also humor and drama, and of course, the shadow of the Cross is not absent. Director Adam Anders says he composed on his knees, and stayed true to the Biblical narrative, while adding a few flourishes. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m hopeful. I’ve watched the classic Christmas movies until I can recite them by heart. I’d be elated to find something new and truly good.
Theatrical release begins next Friday, November 10. It will be in theaters for a week, pending initial box office counts.
The Wellness Company’s Emergency Kit
The Wellness Company is a multi-function group addressing the issues of we who do not trust the medical industry like we used to. Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Harvey Risch are founding board members and part of the medical staff. You can get regular consultations, supplements, and their emergency kit, which contains 5 antibiotics, plus Ivermectin and several others. You must complete a medical history questionnaire before ordering; cost is $300.
The Receipts Podcast
The Catholic Accountability Project has just begun this podcast “because every Catholic deserves the truth.” There is one episode that investigates the Catholic Church’s response to covid.
Run Without Running
Personally, I love running but I can’t run as easily as I used to, and some people have never enjoyed running. This exercise leader shows how you can get some running benefits with three simple floor exercises done in 10-12 minutes. It’s so critical to strengthen the body, especially as we age. Watch video >
Physical fitness is more important than ever in times of stress and challenge.
Principles of Self Defense
The first episode of this new CORAC series is up on the website! Todd Heaton, a Catholic self-defense professional, leads this series. To approach this subject from a truly Catholic perspective, is invaluable.
Check out the website! There is so much there that will be a surprise to you. Items are being added all the time. Start at the home page and go from there, or zero in on your specific interests.
November Prayer Intentions
As we move through what Charlie has identified as Armageddon ~ the long-foretold decisive battle between good and evil, happening now ~ that CORAC members will acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around us
For the spiritual gift of discernment, that we be able to distinguish truth from falsehood or error and act accordingly
For continual trust in God’s Divine Providence and his infinite mercy in these times of uncertainty
That through Our Lady’s Rosary, the Flame of Love, other Christian devotions, and Jewish prayer forms, all of our loved ones will return (or come to) the fervent and joyful practice of our Judeo-Christian faith as quickly as possible
For healings and restoration to occur for all who are sick and battling disease in the body or mind, healing that will defy medical rationale and can only be explained by the healing power of our Lord, the Divine Healer
That our daily spiritual journeys to holiness be nourished by God’s abundant grace: for more focused meditations, more pointed fasting, and more selfless charity to others ~ all to honor God’s great love for us!
That existing and new CORAC members may strongly desire and find the means to participate in financial support for our vital ministries
For all intentions carried in the hearts of CORAC members and those posted on the CORAC Prayer Hotline, with gratitude for prayers answered in our daily lives
St. Gabriel, enlighten us.
St. Michael, defend us.
St. Raphael, protect us.
Ave Maria, Stella Maris!