The above picture is one I snapped on the Greek island I am currently on.  This is part retreat and part mission which will be revealed later.  I’m continue to produce content on this site and my channels.  I continue to pray/read 4 hrs/day, so I continue to thank my donors for keeping my life going abroad.  This isn’t just some vacation to get away and sit on a beach.  Amazingly, I have got the 30-40 pieces of a TLM kit plus my MacBook in a single carry-on everywhere I go in the world, usually having no need to check a bag in luggage (unless I have bottles of altar wine.)   Tonight I take a boat to Kos and then another boat the next day to Patmos, the island where St. John wrote the Book of the Apocalypse.  Next, I go to a Muslim country for a special mission investigation.  More will come on that, probably on YouTube.

Someone recently compared me to the Jason Bourne of the priesthood (which I admit is very dorky for me to brag about on a blog since every guy my age born in the late 70s wanted to be compared to him at some point in their life.)  But I suppose the crossover was all my travel and languages.  Maybe this is also because I seem to be on “special assignment” from God, away from normal parish ministry.   Much of this searching/mission has brought me around the Greek islands recently, and that too is like the final scene in the first of the Bourne series, namely, Bourne Identity.  (I liked those movies so much and I hate the use of Our Lord’s name in vain so much that I have in my Evernote the exact timestamps of each episode’s misuse of the Holy Name so I can skip it.  It’s only 2-3x per movie, but that is still too much if you don’t have my special list of the time-stamps.  Email me if you want my little list.  Without that, I can’t recommend the movie.)

As I have written on this site, a “canceled priest” is one suspended for unjust reasons (not just reasons like abuse or heresy.)  I have good friends who are canceled priests.  We joke that I am just a semi-canceled priest.  This is because no diocese in the world would invite me to go start a TLM parish.  However, I have never been suspended, as you know.  So, I want to connect a little bit of canceled priests to the Jason Bourne movies.  Again, for reasons in the paragraph above, I would not recommend the movie, especially not for kids.  But I replay a lot of scenes in my head as I think about the situation in the Church being similar to what many of them (of us) experience similar to the movie.

The main character of the books and later the movies is Jason Bourne.  He is a highly trained government machine that takes obedience as seriously as his patriotism to his country.   However, after being asked to do things that go against his conscience, he seems to turn on his government.  Unlike his cinematroghaprical predecessor, James Bond ( who likes to kill and “shag women”) we see that Jason Bourne prefers not to kill.  He has few encounters with women.  His main mission is to find the truth, especially as he is tortured by these questions: Who was behind the training program that went so corrupt?  Why did he obey?  Who brainwashed him?  Who else was brainwashed? Why do they want to destroy a warrior with a conscience?  Where do his own loyalties now remain to his country if corruption has made it so high to the top?

You can probably see where I am going to bring this on canceled priests, but notice that Jason Bourne got into his highly trained advocation out of duty, not a desire to murder (at least, not for the sake of killing itself even if he knew it came in the territory.)  He signed up for these black-ops out of obedience, not a desire to ultimately turn on his government.  Even today in real life, any low-ranking soldier all the way to a Ranger or SEAL must obey the chain of command in normal contacts with the enemy during combat.  Such a soldier must normally refrain from complex Catholic moral theology in every encounter with the enemy.  However, a potential soldier can control if he signs up in the first place.  The question here becomes: Does he trust the chain of command all the way to the top?  Is obedience at the local level the right thing to do if the entire network is only seeking self-promotion on the backs of the innocent?

So also, all of my friends who are canceled priests (and a growing number of semi-canceled priests) look at their lives:  We all were the most obedient in seminary (not the rebels, as we are called online.)  We all got into the priesthood for the salvation of souls, even willing to die for Jesus Christ.  But after a series of lies and brainwashing (and I’m really not exaggerating, which is why I dissuade any good man anywhere in the world form joining a normal diocese) we are like Jason Bourne.  We wonder what went wrong.  We experience distrust in the chain of command. Even many non-traditional priests are getting canceled for preaching very basic truths nowadays, while their video-gaming counterparts who preach something “pro-life” twice a year are lauded as orthodox and get promoted.

Now, apply those questions I put on a black-ops guy who re-discovers his conscience to your normal, good (not saintly, but just good!) Catholic priest.  We priests who were not ordained in traditional communities now look at our brother priests around the nation (and now around the world, as I am in phone contact with people like Fr. Janvier Gbénou from Africa) and we ask: Why did he obey?  Who brainwashed him?  Who else was brainwashed? Why do they want to destroy a spiritual warrior with a conscience?  Where do his own loyalties now remain to his Church if corruption has made it so high to the top?  Does he trust the chain of command to save his own soul?  Is obedience even at the diocesan-level the right thing to do if immoral commands on liturgy and doctrine are given?  What about a hierarchy seeking luxurious homes while doing nearly nothing?

The answer at this point in the eclipse of Church is:  Our loyalties lie to Jesus Christ, the Holy Theotokos and the traditional Magisterium of the Catholic Church.   The truth is:  We canceled priests will continue to try to cooperate with God’s grace in the salvation of souls until the eclipse ends.  But, like Bourne, we are out the wolves in sheep’s clothing.  This has become the mission of any Catholic warrior who maintains a conscience, even if (like Jason Bourne) he never approached the external adventures in order to reform an internal system.  But new intel changes the atlas, and God is not done with us yet.