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Image courtesy of Marc Salvatore.

What does it mean to be Catholic?

It’s a big question. With over a billion self-professed Catholics in the world, we’re obviously going to be a diverse group of people. But the beauty of our faith is that it is truly universal — for all men, at all times, throughout the whole world.

The four marks of the Church are that it is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. But sadly, in our present age, much of our unity has been lost.

We need to get back to basics. Belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. An understanding of the Four Last Things, and that Heaven is not a foregone conclusion. Adherence to traditional teachings on sexual morality in a world hell-bent on dragging us away from them. A properly-grounded knowledge of the Church’s thought on religious liberty and social justice, and how these impact those of us living in the post-Christian, deconstructionist ruins of Western Civilization. The re-establishment of long-discarded tradition that once made the Church strong, and can do so again.

The statistics aren’t good. Belief in core Catholic teaching among self-identified Catholics is at an all-time low. Liturgical orthodoxy is an endangered concept. We have a vocations crisis that stems directly from the crisis in the sanctuary and the family. And the governments of the world move closer each year to declaring Catholic belief a hate crime.

We long for the return of Christendom. Of a social order predicated upon a proper understanding of God, His Church, her teaching, and natural law. But to get there, we have a lot of work to do.

OnePeterFive exists as a place to begin rebuilding the Catholic ethos. We’re not just here to zero in on the problems, but to offer concrete solutions. We want to restore Catholic culture, rebuild the Church as a patron of the arts, reinvigorate the family and the traditions that keep it strong, reform the liturgy, support vocations, dust off the old devotions and make them relevant again. We want to help infuse the world with beautiful music, inspiring art, families that pray together, parishes centered around the Eucharist, strong communities, and a new generation of Catholics who can effectively bring the Gospel message to a world hostile to that message.

Our writers come from diverse backgrounds, but share a common goal: to work together to restore the beauty, majesty, and glory of the Catholic Church as the principal force for good in a fallen world.

We have a lot of work to do. There’s no time to waste.



Why “OnePeterFive”?

In the 1962 Roman Breviary, there is a recurring theme each night as the day’s office is completed. Asking God’s protection from the enemy, the supplicant calls to mind the words of St. Peter:

Brothers: Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith:

V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

The quote is found in the first book of Peter, chapter five — a short but meaningful chapter, which offers guidance to those left to tend God’s flock in a time of peril. I can think of no more appropriate passage from scripture for Catholics to bear in mind during the dangerous times in which we live. It is from this passage, and the rest of 1 Peter 5  — that the name of this endeavor is taken.

In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia in December, 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI cited a vision of St. Hildegard of Bingen as he surveyed the damage in the Church:

In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 1170, I had been lying on my sick-bed for a long time when, fully conscious in body and in mind, I had a vision of a woman of such beauty that the human mind is unable to comprehend. She stretched in height from earth to heaven. Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven. She was dressed in a dazzling robe of white silk and draped in a cloak, adorned with stones of great price. On her feet she wore shoes of onyx. But her face was stained with dust, her robe was ripped down the right side, her cloak had lost its sheen of beauty and her shoes had been blackened. And she herself, in a voice loud with sorrow, was calling to the heights of heaven, saying, ‘Hear, heaven, how my face is sullied; mourn, earth, that my robe is torn; tremble, abyss, because my shoes are blackened!’

And she continued: ‘I lay hidden in the heart of the Father until the Son of Man, who was conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. With that same blood as his dowry, he made me his betrothed.

For my Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh and open as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape. And Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests. They tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold; my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them. Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’

And I heard a voice from heaven which said: ‘This image represents the Church. For this reason, O you who see all this and who listen to the word of lament, proclaim it to the priests who are destined to offer guidance and instruction to God’s people and to whom, as to the apostles, it was said: go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15)” (Letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his Priestly Community: PL 197, 269ff.).

There is not one aspect of the present situation in the Church that could not be greatly alleviated by holy priests teaching, administering, and tending to the needs of their flock. But holy priests do not exist in a vacuum. They come from devout families who live their faith. They come from parishes where the Eucharist is treated with great reverence, and liturgy is noble, fitting, and pleasing to God. They come from dioceses where seminaries form men to be alter Christus.

The Second Vatican Council ushered in an era of great tumult in the Church. But it also emphasized the role of the laity in the work of Catholic apostolate. There can be no greater work the laity can do than to bring about that interior reform, beginning at home, in the workplace, and in the culture, which will increase devotion to Our Lord, Our Lady, and those practices of piety and reparation which might return God’s favor to our deeply fallen world.

Half a century has been spent analyzing the problem. It’s time to start building again.

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5

We entrust this work to the patronage of Our Lady, Virgin Most Powerful; Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Benedict, St. Michael, and all holy angels and saints.

Oremus pro invicem.


Timothy Flanders, Editor-in-Chief

Contributing Editors:
Peter Kwasniewski                   Joseph Shaw
Kennedy Hall                             Eric Sammons
Michael Sirilla

Charlie McKinney, Publisher

OnePeterFive is a division of Crisis Publications.

53 thoughts on “About”

  1. I am very interested in IPeter5. I am currently a Protestant with years of seeking to know God and to make Him known behind me. Since first hearing of the Unity movement I have been drawn to read, study more and more about the Church and to spend time with Catholic friends. I have begun the RCIA study. My Catholic neighbors are with an organization called Kerygma, the Catholic part of the international group Youth With a Mission. I had been aware of YWAM for many years and in fact served as a lay missionary with a similar organization.

    I read with much interest the January 2013? article How Great We Aren’t. My friends with Kyrygma have seen Catholic youth with a deep love for Christ leave to go to the Protestant discipleship training schools and never return. They are working to fill that void they perceive in the Church. Not all are called to the priesthood or to become a nun. Their school as I understand it is to give these hungry youth 6 months of training to not just solidify their faith, but to give them training and experience to share their faith in whatever future God has for them. I have been asked to join their staff and feel very honored to be a part of this. The aim is to give the Catholic youth who come to us absolutely no reason to leave the Church.

    • Joy…I have been a Catholic all my life, but am back practicing in the last 4 years. I am 76 years old. Because of the Eucharist, I never considered myself anything other than a Catholic so never got involved on a regular basis with ANY denomination or non-denomination.. Must say though, I NEVER heard of KYRYGMA before this moment. YWAM is something with which I am also unfamiliar. Go figure. Even with the changes of Vatican II, these do not ring a bell. Cudda missed it in the years i was ‘away.’

      Anyway, I will have to look it up, get familiar with it and ACCESS it for my understanding of it..and where it fits in to Catholic Church Teaching…or rather, how Catholic Church Teaching fits into it.

      Thanks for providing me with the info. As long as my computer doesn’t act up…s l o w d o w n, I can afford the time to check it out. and most likely post on this site anything I can offer. Later.

      • Joy..back so soon. I just had time to check out kyrygma.. Yikes, I never saw it in writing but..yes I have familiarity with the WORD..Thought it MIGHT have something to do with evangelization, but was not sure…Yip..I was in the right area. If you Google KYRYGMA and when the page comes up, go to Catholic Answers, where it is explained FULLY..and compares kyrygma to CATECHISIS, a word I am more familiar with… As a matter of fact, CATHOLIC ANSWERS is a great place for anyone interested in what the Catholic Church teaches..It also has great videos and EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) has the live show too. Also, you might want to listen to the Coming Home Network, also on EWTN, as many people tell of their journey to the Catholic Faith, from atheism to all sorts of fundamental, bible churches as well as mainline protestant denominations. Very enlightening. Check out Scott Hahn’s conversion story..What a wopper!! That’ll keep you busy for awhile.. ; – )..Have fun.

  2. “We need to get back to basics. [1] Belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. [2] An understanding of the Four Last Things, and that [3]
    Heaven is not a foregone conclusion. [4] Adherence to traditional teachings on sexual morality in a world hell-bent on dragging us away from them. [5] A properly-grounded knowledge of the Church’s thought on religious liberty and social justice, and how these impact those of us living in the post-Christian, deconstructionist ruins of Western Civilization. [6] The re-establishment of long-discarded tradition that once made the Church strong, and can do so again.”

    [1] I believe that the “Real Presence” can easily be accepted even by Protestants who reject the Catholic Mass. It is far more important to believe that the priest at the altar can bring about the transubstantiation. Of course without having to make it depend on the medieval-scholastic notion of substance. Otherwise, the accusation of hocus pocus is fully legitimate.

    [2] Why four (last time I read: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell). How about Five? How about: Death, Resurrection, Judgment, Life Everlasting, Second (and definitive) Death?

    [3] No, it is not. (See [2] above)

    [4] Yes, but someone has got to have the guts to say that Humanae Vitae, that puts on the same level of gravity totally diverse things as Abortion, Sterilization and Contraception was one of the most damaging acts a Pope (Paul VI, with Wojtyła whispering in his ear) could make. Devastating. As we all know. As we all see.

    [5] The Church should NEVER tell the State what to do. The Church should never
    seek a privileged status from the State.

    [6] The purpose of the Church, between the Resurrection and the Second Coming,
    is to witness to the “deposit of the faith”, to keep intact the core of the liturgy, that is the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and to witness, as much as possible, to love of God, of neighbor and between its members.

    • No. I’m sorry, but no. Writing Humanae Vitae WAS NOT “one of the most damaging acts a Pope could make”.

      What abortion, sterilization and contraception all do is hijack what belongs to God alone: the power to grant life. By performing these acts, man the creature declares himself to have higher authority than the Creator. All are declarations: “I will not serve.” All affirm that God is fine, just so long as He exists to make us happy and give us whatever we ask for, but otherwise stays out of our way.

      Of course, by now so many have grown up believing The Gospel According to Wilhelm Reich, Alfred Kinsey and the Frankfurt School, that it seems a horrific violation of our “sacred autonomy” to refuse to accept what passes nowadays for “reproductive health”. Sexual pleasure (not God) is considered THE ultimate end of life, which both men and women have the “right” to enjoy (Reich, Kinsey). But as women are completely equal to men, and men do not give birth, women’s “dignity” also requires being able to prevent conception and birth, by any means necessary (cultural Marxism).

      PS – Are you aware that the World Health Organization long ago classified oral contraceptives as a Type I carcinogen? The “benefits” to women really are highly overrated.

  3. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church shortly after birth. I grew up in the later 1940’s and 1950’s. My parish church was the center of our lives. In 1960 I entered a minor seminary but left quickly as some of the priests were just too “touchy/feely” for me. I continued to be the best possible Catholic I could be and had great hopes for the Vatican Council. When the Mass was permitted in English I was not displeased…however having read over the years Orate Fratres and other periodicals I began to see that other forces were at work. These changes were not to be slow and constructive as the 1955 Holy Week ones. When the New Mass came out I had enough. The ensuing experimental and deformation of the Catholic Liturgy coupled by the abandonment of the traditional religious and monastic garb and living was enough to push me away. I distinctly remember the Sunday when our choir of 20adults and 40 children were told to “stand down” by the curate and a praise band was placed within the altar rails with electric guitars and started to play. From the vantage point of the choir loft we saw people leaving down the center aisle, crying, some shouting “no, no, no”…. Our choir was disbanded and many did not return to the Church. In point of fact, the Church left them. I entered the Orthodox church and was pleased to find out they had a Western Rite! So now I had stability of doctrine, and respectful historic Liturgy. Like so many who have left Rome (and their numbers increase daily!) I do not hate her. She was my mother, and I was nurtured by her. But the reality is: that Church no longer exists. When even her saint (John Paul II) kisses the Quran with its heresies and blasphemies, ignoring the centuries of decimation of the Christians in the East. I must come out from among her people.

    No Church is perfect…it is a delusion to think so…because the Church is the people and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s grace and His glory. But I have found a place of peace that nurtures me and my fellow Orthodox Catholic Christians.

    • How your sincerity is such a widespread, indeed UNIVERSAL, response we are inspired to when the one true Church, founded by Christ, falls into disarray and into the hands of powerful enemies of Christ and His Church. My wife and I kept looking for places of true fidelity to this Church within the Roman Catholic Church, when it was apparent that what had happened to her was abject apostasy. We looked in all the “special” sectors – including those saying the Tridentine Latin Mass – but continued to find real corruption, and finally a highly mobilized group of high-ranked clergy, going right up into the Vatican and even the pope. And then we discovered the Orthodox Church – the best-kept secret from all raised in the Roman Catholic Church – and found that its presumptuousness, its excessive legalism, the brutality it sanctioned throughout the ages since about the 7th century, and its pretentions of absolute control by Rome over the various rites established in the Apostolic era while Peter and Paul were still alive, were all injurious to the one true Catholic faith that my wife and I had been trying to practice our worship of God in. We now revel in the great tradition of the Church Fathers practiced in the Orthodox Church, and we see how papology – which amounts to pope worship – is leading Rome to become the seat of the anti-Christ. Look at the flagrant endorsement of homosexuality by Francis I – a man who is such a committed Marxist, whose chief mentor in life was a notorious Marxist and whose beliefs he celebrates to this day! Yet every initiative he undertakes is put into place unopposed – indeed, every cardinal who opposes this headlong rush to transform the Roman Catholic Church into a Marxist bastion is retired by this autocrat who lacks faith in God but not in George Soros or the United Nations. The sacraments are not being dispensed by the descendants of priests installed in Catholic seminaries by Stalin during his reign (see the testimony of Bella Dodd to the US Congress, following her conversion back into the Church under Bishop Sheen). Those who turn a blind eye to such manifest apostasy are not doing their part to give testimony to Jesus – Who does not want us to worship Him by rote, but with eyes open to the realities going on within the organization of the Church. So when apostasy does appear, we are expected to have become well read in Holy Scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers, and in the subsequent degree to which the different Churches all united in Christ right from Apostolic times, which give authenticity to the Orthodox Church as well as Rome, and so demand that Rome not violate Church doctrine and then hide behind the false cloak of papal infallibility and overworked Canon Law that’s given identical merit with the Gospel. Were we, had we been Catholics in the 15th century, been true to Christ in following the outrages against the faith perpetrated by the sinister, worldly popes of the mid-late medieval and Renaissance times? The answer to our present quest to associate with clergy of holiness, we find, is provided by the Orthodox Church. There we find great priests like Father Josiah Trenham preaching a LIVING faith that honors the past yet looks ahead to Heaven and our reunification with our loving Savior! Since having discovered Christ at the age of 18. This despite having been baptized a Catholic as an infant in 1950 and scrupulously raised in the Catholic Church, given a Catholic school education that consisted of instruction by rote and no living faith, almost no examples of holy clergy, just a phony clergy in pursuit of power rather than true prayer or loving charity or humility. I actually left home at 18 in search of meaning to my life – and discovered to my shock that I was in fact being called by Christ to discover Him! I did, and found Him in the solitude of the wilderness when I opened my backpack and began reading the Gospel – for just before leaving home I had gone into a local bookstore and purchased a Catholic Bible, without having any intention of doing so (I was interested in what was exciting literature, not in religious literature – God was just guiding me!). I immediately fell in love with Christ as my saving Lord and God, and was determined to love and serve Him henceforth. It took me a couple of weeks, still traveling alone and so unhindered by anyone, to decide in what church to worship Him – and not knowing anything at all about the Orthodox Church, decided on Roman Catholicism, solely as a means of obtaining the unbroken Apostolic Church teachings and the holy sacraments that I knew existed there. What I didn’t know for decades to come was that Rome had hidden the equal footing of the Orthodox Church. So when Roman clergy corruption became rampant over a decade ago, it sent us searching, and we found the faith living still – but not in the Vatican, which had long since abandoned faith in anything but brute power … no, it is in the Orthodox Church that truth still has a foothold, however unsteady. I will not worship any of its clergy either, but as a responsible layman, I pray to Christ for guidance to holy priests and preachers and literature, while receiving the holy sacraments ONLY from the hands of those who are humbly following Christ. Lord, save us from the wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are tearing the robe of Holy Mother Church!

    • You should come home to the Church, I dont deny there are valid Sacaraments and Liturgy in the Eastern Orthodox Church. We dont know why he kissed the Quran it may have been a mistake. But the Church instituted by Jesus is necessary for salvation. I hope one day There will again be a union.

      • That invitation goes both ways! So tell me…was the schism “in” the Church or “from” the Church?

        • hi, what do you mean by in the Church or from the Church, can you explain.


          God Bless

          • If the Schism was “in” the Church we are all still one, though imperfectly. If it was “from” the Church then you have to decide if the Patriarchate of Rome separated from the other 4 Patriarchates, OR did the other 4 Patriarchates separate from Rome? In order to do that you have to determine what the issue was that caused the separation and which side kept the Tradition. For instance, if one holds that Rome added the “filioque” to the agreed upon Nicene Creed, then from that person’s point of view, Rome became schismatic. In another instance, the Papal Legate that excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople really had no authority to do so as the Pope had died whose legate he was, making his actions null and void! But these things have, over the last thousand years, taken on a life of their own and now it is more difficult to repair the split.

          • i would say from the Church. after 1054 the situation was unclear until the rejecting of the Council of Florence

          • Yet the recent popes say “within” the Church stressing that there are two lungs to the Body of Christ. Do you believe that the Bishops of Spain and later Rome unilaterally had the authority to change the Creed agreed upon by Ecumenical Councils of the whole Church?

          • But, my brother, you did not answer the question…did they (Spain and subsequently Rome) have the authority to change something the whole Church agreed upon?

          • I think yes, because it was a clairification it didnt change any of the Faith. Also Ecunemial councils aren’t binding on other Ecunemial councils on dicsciplinary matters

          • It led to a great misunderstanding in the doctrine of the Trinity which historically sees the Father as the fountainhead from which the Holy Spirit proceeds and the Son is begotten. Pope John Paul II stated that the normative creed is that which does not have the filioque. The Church of Rome must remove this from the Creed. This will go a very long way is resolving the schism between the East and West.

          • would you agree that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son? Also at the Council of Lyons and Florence where reunion formulas were worked out it was not required the East add the fillioque clause just hte doctrine behind it. And the fillioque was added to clarify the meaning.

          • I would agree that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. The Father is the causality of the procession. I also understand the intention behind the Spanish Bishops adding the filioque to the creed to combat Arianism. I do not agree that the filioque remain in the creed. Look, if you and I had an agreement, then you changed it unilaterally, you would “break faith ” with me. It is as simple as that. Before anything else is accomplished between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, Rome must remove it from her version of the Creed that will remove a MAJOR stumbling block to the unity of the Church.. The Pope of Rome’s main ministry is the unity of the Church. He can do this! Otherwise you begin to sound like Episcopalians: “We will use it, you will not, but we can all hold hands pretend we believe the same thing, and sing Kumbayah.”

          • Good try! You still don’t get the main point I am making: Rome did not have the authority to unilaterally put it into the Creed. Unless it is removed the Church will remain divided. The unity of the Church is now up to Rome. But she cannot speak out of both sides of her mouth (i.e. the West and use it and the East doesn’t have to.)

          • But what is the reason that the many in the East won’t accept us using the fillioque clause if they agree with it explained in another way.

          • You still don’t get the main point I am making: Rome did not have the authority to unilaterally put it into the Creed. It must be removed before any serious discussion can be had regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit. As far as some holding that the Holy Spirit processed from the Father THROUGH the Son, until that is defined by an Ecumenical Council it is only a theological opinion.

          • Rome did not have the authority because the creed was fashioned by Ecumenical Councils under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and only an Ecumenical Council of the whole Church can change it.

          • 1) it was a disciplinary decree, the Council of Constance allowed adding the fillioque but didnt compel the eastern rites to do so.
            2) The fillioque was meant as a clairication not a changing of the Creed
            3) What in your view constitutes an ecunemial Council?

            Also thank you for respondng so quickly, in a few minutes while I often take a long time

          • The Orthodox only acknowledge seven Ecumenical councils. Constance would be seen as a Provincial Synod as are all the other councils which have been held by the Patriarchate of Rome without the participation of the Orthodox Patriarchates. Therefore Constance had no authority to change/clarify the creed which was adopted by the whole Church.

          • So is your view the whole Church must accept it for it to be ecunemial and if so what constitutes the whole Church. What seperates an ecunemial council from for example the robber council.

          • And Peter was the bishop of Antioch before he was bishop of Rome….they have the Petrine succession too.

          • Matthew 18:18 the keys were also given to the other apostles. And, of course, Peter could have a successor in another place while he was still alive! But allof this still does not prove that Rome had the authority to change an agreement of the whole Church assembled in Council and unilaterally add the filioque to the creed!

          • The KEYS are passed along to the new Pope, in the laying of the hands. AND, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church, given authority by its FOUNDER…can do anything it wants. It is protected from ERROR.

          • The pope does not have hands laid upon him if he is a bishop already. His election confers the power. Years ago there was a coronation but that was a totally different thing. He is now seated as Bishop of Rome, being bishop of that See makes him Pope.

          • Did Peter get master keys? Don’t be silly yay, this is one of those metaphorical expressions, there are no gates in imaginary place called heaven.

          • It is widely known in intellectual circles that the bible is a series of myths based on older pagan myths jerseygal. There is no actual historical record of any of the bible characters, not even in the NT.
            The gospels were written by ghost writers (anonymous); they were written decades and even centuries after the alleged christ.
            There are no eyewitness accounts of the Christ for obvious reasons, the character never existed, nor did his followers.
            Further, only scribes were authorized to write scripture; the apostles were not scribes nor literate enough to write ‘holy text.’
            One clue is that they contradict each other and have errors.

          • That’s exactly what I was always taught.. 16 years of Catholic education…The NEW successor of Peter (and all future popes) HAD to be chosen AFTER the death of each…since the Catholic Church is not run where anyone is given a PREVIOUS appointment, like some aspects of royalty.

          • Arguing about the source of a holy (dedicated to the god) ghost is like arguing about a black cat in the dark and the cat is not even there.

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