An experiment in reader participation on Protect the Pope during February

I caught a virus a couple of weeks ago which has exacerbated a chronic disease, and I will only recover if I rest. Therefore I need to take a break from researching, editing and moderating Protect the Pope.

Instead of closing the site down while I recover I’m going to try an experiment. I invite the faithful and loyal Catholic readers of Protect the Pope to research and write posts on issues that are of concern to the Protect the Pope readership and send them to me using the comment function. I will read the posts once a day and decide if they are suitable to be published.

Here are a few editorial rules to be followed:

1. Be totally loyal to the fullness of the Catholic Faith

2. Don’t be disrespectful or insulting about Pope Francis or any pope.

3. Don’t engage in ad hominum attacks

4. Don’t use gossip or information gained in private conversations.

My decision as editor is final.

Please pray for my recovery.

I’ll leave you with this prayer from Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman that speaks to the times in which we live:

Vanity of vanities! misery of miseries! they will not attend to us, they will not believe us. We are  but a few in number, and they are many; and the many will not give credit to the few. O misery of miseries! Thousands are dying daily; they are waking up into God’s everlasting wrath; they look back on the days of the flesh, and call them few and evil; they despise and scorn the very reasonings which then they trusted, and which have been disproved by the event; they curse the recklessness which made them put off repentance; they have fallen under His justice, whose mercy they presumed upon;—and their companions and friends are going on as they did, and are soon to join them. As the last generation presumed, so does the present. The father would not believe that God could punish, and now the son will not believe; the father was indignant when eternal pain was spoken of, and the son gnashes his teeth and smiles contemptuously. The world spoke well of itself thirty years ago, and so will it thirty years to come. And thus it is that this vast flood of life is carried on from age to age; myriads trifling with God’s love, tempting His justice, and like the herd of swine, falling headlong down the steep!

O mighty God! O God of love! it is too much! it broke the heart of Thy sweet Son Jesus to see the misery of man spread out before His eyes. He died by it as well as for it. And we, too, in our measure, our eyes ache, and our hearts sicken, and our heads reel, when we but feebly contemplate it. O most tender heart of Jesus, why wilt Thou not end, when wilt Thou end, this ever-growing load of sin and woe? When wilt Thou chase away the devil into his own hell, and close the pit’s mouth, that Thy chosen may rejoice in Thee, quitting the thought of those who perish in their wilfulness? But, oh! by those five dear Wounds in Hands, and Feet, and Side—perpetual founts of mercy, from which the fulness of the Eternal Trinity flows ever fresh, ever powerful, ever bountiful to all who seek Thee—if the world must still endure, at least gather Thou a larger and a larger harvest, an ampler proportion of souls out of it into Thy garner, that these latter times may, in sanctity, and glory, and the triumphs of Thy grace, exceed the former.

Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis;” “God, have mercy on us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us, and have mercy on us; that we may know Thy way upon earth, Thy salvation among all the nations. Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. Let the nations be glad, and leap for joy; because Thou dost judge the people in equity, and dost direct the nations on the earth. God, even our God, bless us, may God bless us; and may all the ends of the earth fear Him.”






50 comments to An experiment in reader participation on Protect the Pope during February

  • ms Catholic state

    Rest and get well soon Deacon Nick. Your blog is a must in these days of ever increasing attacks and censorship on the Church. God Bless.

  • tro

    Prayers for your wellbeing, Deacon Nick.

  • Mark Thorne

    So sorry to hear about your contracting the virus, Deacon Nick, which has exacerbated your illness. I wish you a speedy recovery after your period of rest and recuperation, and shall keep you in my prayers. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a possible article to contribute. God Bless, Mark

  • Dear Deacon Nick

    Thank you for all you do for Jesus and the Church.

    We pray that you will have a decent rest and make a good recovery.

    You’ll be in our Rosary each day.

    As we always say to friends – Keep the Faith!
    Alan and Angeline

  • Lynda

    You’re in my prayers.

  • Thank you for Bl JHN quote. May God forgive me for my part in creating misery, and may the saints help me to turn from sin.

    God bless you Deacon Nick. May you rest get better and let all of us put our trust in The Lord in these crazy times

  • BJC

    Sorry to hear that Nick. Get well soon

    Did you ever think of doing a joint blog like Rorate Caeli with you having overall editorial control? I don’t know how you find the time and energy to do everything by yourself. it must be very stressful.

  • John Gramstadt

    Praying for you. Peace be with you Deacon Nick. Thanks for the beautiful JHN quote

  • freboniusthe2

    God speed for a quick recovery; the evil one and his minions may feel that they are getting a rest, just wait and see!!!

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Your words hearten me very much. All of you make Protect the Pope a force for good, it’s not just my work. Deacon Nick

      • Jonathan Marshall

        Perhaps – but you are the driving force, Deacon Nick. God bless you for all the wonderful work you have done through this blog, and may He grant you a speedy recovery.

        • Deacon Nick Donnelly

          Thank you Jonathan, I remain 100% committed to Protect the Pope, and hope that Our Lord will give me the health and strength to act on this commitment. Deacon Nick

  • Bob Franks

    Sorry to hear you have fallen ill, Deacon Nick. My best wishes and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

    Could I ask also that PtP readers pray for “homeless Paul” of Fr Ray Blake’s parish who fears he is dying. Fr Ray has posted a deeply moving and quite distressing account of their last meeting on his blog.

    God bless

  • Bob Franks

    Deacon Nick, I found this link on Auntie Joanna’s blog and would urge all PtP readers to sign and get their friends to sign also.

    “The Vatican is under renewed attack by powerful forces that intend to silence its voice at the United Nations.”

  • Hope you’re better soon. I second BJC’s suggestion above.

  • Matthew Newton

    Now would probably be a good time to let the blog go. After all Pope Francis doesn’t need your protecting, and I doubt very much that he would endorse your tone or approach.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Matthew, once I’m recovered I will continue my work on Protect the Pope. In the meantime, faithful and loyal Catholics will pick up the baton. Protect the Pope isn’t one man, it’s a community. Deacon Nick

    • Lynda

      Get behind me, Satan!

    • Nicolas Bellord

      Pope Francis does need protecting if only to protect him from the misinterpretation of what he says. I suspect when it dawns on everyone that he supports the teachings of the Church and cannot change them then he will need even more protection from the likes of FEMEN and others. Further I think you will find that Pope Francis likes people to speak out and have a vigorous debate (making a mess?) and what he says is often quite robust in tone. Incidentally I think your comment could have been taken more seriously if you had had the decency to wish Deacon Nick well.

    • Damian

      @Matthew Newton such compassion, you really are all heart, a benchmark low level of post to someone who has fallen ill.

    • BJC

      Matthew Newton

      What a nasty comment. I doubt Pope Francis would endorse your lack of charity either. What’s your problem? I thought liberals like you wanted “dialogue”. It would seem all you are interested in is silencing people and intimidating them to “shut up”.

  • Sorry to hear you are under the weather Nick.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I will watch your experiment with interest.

  • Shaun the Sheep

    Get well soon Deacon Nick. Thanks for the prayer from Cardinal Newman. I’ll pray for you tonight. God bless you.

  • Get well soon, Deacon, and I have been ill for two months as well with severe asthma. Blogger’s blight-the evil one does not like us. Onward Christian soldiers….take care.


    Rest and get well soon. Prayers promised.

  • Alan

    Take it easy and get well. We will still be here when you are better

    Bless you

  • Lola

    So sad to hear that you are unwell, Deacon Nick. I pray for your speedy recovery. God bless.

  • katherine

    Dear Deacon Nick – we are all SO grateful for your work. Look after yourself and take that rest. Be assured of our prayers for you and your family.

  • Bridget

    Deacon Nick,

    May God speed your recovery.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    We pray fervently for your recovery; of course we think of your personal well-being but also of your tremendously important work. BJC’s idea might be worth thinking about.

    My word, Newman saw the world rather differently from some of our universalist minded prelates!

  • peter


    I’ve been away convalescing for a while; it is sad to hear you are not well. Please take care and be assured of our prayers on this feast of St Scholastica

    your Son accepted our sufferings
    to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness.
    Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brothers and sisters.
    May all who suffer pain, illness or disease
    realise that they are chosen to be saints,
    and know they are joined to Christ
    in his suffering for the salvation of the world,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

    All-powerful and ever-living God,
    the lasting health of all who believe in you,
    hear us as we ask your loving help for the sick;
    restore their health,
    that they may again offer joyful thanks in your Church.

    Grant this through Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

    May God restore you to health and grant you salvation

  • jacobi

    I wish you well and you are in my prayers. Re your note about writing posts. What size did you have in mind and how to get it to you for checking before posting – and would that not be a strain and you resting????

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Jacobi, word count about 500 words, and send it via this comment facility. I have to balance rest with creativity or else I’ll go crazy with boredom. Deacon Nick

  • Tom Kearney

    Dear Deacon Nick, I am sorry to hear that you are unwell at present and I will certainly pray for you every day. In relation to your request to help out whilst you recover, I will do my best to assist you in this regard also. Thank you most sincerely for that wonderful prayer written by Cardinal Newman, it is so insightful and I will treasure it and pass it on, especially amongst the members of our Eucharistic Adoration apostolate here in Shannon, of which, praise the Lord, there are approx. 300 in number.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Thanks Tom for your prayers and support. I’m excited at the prospect of others joining me as correspondents for Protect the Pope. Deacon Nick.

  • Lynda

    This is not Catholic. The truth and Christ brIng division because there are always those who use their free will to reject Christ, to reject the truth and to choose Satan, through various means. Chronic illness does not mean what you say it does.

  • frpete

    Dear Nick,

    Thanks for all you are and do for the Church. I will remember you in my Masses. God bless you always.

  • Kinga Grzeczynska

    Our Lady of Lourdes pray for all the sick.
    I hope you get better soon.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • Charles

    Deacon Nick – so sorry to read of your illness and I will pray, together with some parish friends who also read your blog regularly, for your full recovery soon.

    In the meantime might I suggest you take a look at – the Norbertine Community (Canons Regular of Premontre) of St Philip’s Priory, Chelmsford are a growing community and – thanks be to GOD – are ministering to us here in these linked parishes. It is truly inspiring to see, to witness to, the renewal of Holy Mother Church right here “on our doorstep”. Many images of their beautiful, reverent worship including ordination ceremonies and 40 hours devotion can be found at this ‘site. I expect you already have heard about the Community, or know of them, but hopefully this website will provide some inspirational viewing & reading during your convalescence?!

    Best wishes & many prayers.

  • Lynda, that prayer above is NOT Catholic. You are correct. Erica Hill-Williams, you are not in keeping with Catholic teaching on prayer.

  • Will you join me in a twitter storm and petition for a Catholic liberal arts college in Ireland? I am helping this consortium gather 35,000 Memorares promised to Mary for her patronage. Kathy Sinnots is involved. I only ask that if you do want to help pray this college into existence that you would tell me the tally of Memorares you would do and either tell via twitter #IrishMemorare, or in my com box or in the poll or my blog. But, only use one of those for the numbers.

    Thanks-a good cause and it will be orthodox, I am told, or I would not support it.

  • Pedro de Luna

    We may disagree about virtually everything, but get well soon Deacon Nick.

  • Lynda Latest international petition calling for an end to persecution and suppression of the faithful, orthodox and very successful Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. “They came for the Jews but I was not a Jew so I did nothing …”

  • Bob Hayes

    Deacon Nick, take the rest you need and the time you need to recover. Like many other contributors, I will pray that you make a full and speedy recovery.

  • Michael B Rooke

    Vatican Theologians Approve New Paul VI Miracle

    The author of Humanae Vitae moves closer to beatification with a miraculous healing of an unborn-child in the 1990s.

    VATICAN CITY — The consulting theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Pope Paul VI, moving him one more step closer toward canonized sainthood.

    Vatican Insider’s Andrea Tornielli reported Feb. 21 that earlier that week, the congregation’s theological experts had unanimously recognized the healing of an unborn child through the intercession of the late pope.

    In the mid-1990s in California, the then-unborn child was found to have a serious problem with a high risk of brain damage. Physicians advised that the child be aborted, but the mother entrusted her pregnancy to Paul VI.

    The child was born without problems, and now that he is an adolescent and remains healthy, he is regarded as having been completely healed.

    The healing had already been announced as medically inexplicable by the medical commission of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

    A miracle must be approved by both the members of the congregation and Pope Francis in order for Pope Paul VI to be beatified, the last step in the canonization process prior to being named a saint.

    Paul VI’s canonization cause was opened in 1993, and in December 2012, then-Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree recognizing his predecessor’s “heroic virtue,” bestowing on him the title “Venerable.” This title means the individual practiced outstanding faith, hope, and charity, as well as extraordinary virtuous actions with readiness over a period of time.

    Paul VI was born Giovanni Montini in 1897, and was ordained a priest at the unusually young age of 22. He served as Archbishop of Milan before he was elected pope in 1963.

    As pope, he oversaw much of the Second Vatican Council, which had been opened by Blessed John XXIII, and he promulgated a new Roman Missal in 1969. The year before, he published an apostolic constitution reforming the Roman Curia.

    He published the encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968, which reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against contraception, and affirmed the merits of priestly celibacy.

    Read more:

  • Michael B Rooke

    I seem to have posted the article on Pope Paul VI as a reply which was not my intention.

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