Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We Are [Are Not] The World.

A courier pigeon from Guy Noir came flying in my open window this afternoon with a message from last October. Not sure what happened here, though the weather has been unseasonably warm of late.

So back on October 15, 2016 Noir apparently wrote this message linking to an article by James V. Schall, S.J., "On Universal Citizenship" (The Catholic Thing, October 11, 2016). Noir's handwriting was barely legible (was he back to nipping that bourbon again before breakfast?). In a scrawled hand, he wrote:
The fundamental difference in trad vs modern Catholics: is modern man at enmity with God? Fr Schall hits the nail on the head in such a single, graceful paragraph no one even notices or hears the "bam!" of impact.
Here are the key excerpts:
From high over the planet in a space capsule, all boundaries on earth disappear. It looks like one unified system below....

Why would it not be a good thing, many ask, if we discarded the political frontiers? We could all be citizens of the same world-government....

Mankind is tired of all this violence. It causes wars. Wars are caused by distinctions, by differing religions, by racism, by poverty, by genderism, by property. Let everyone have access to everything. We can eliminate evil. This is the “right” of every world citizen if given his due.

Above all, no set “doctrines” exist, no “sins,” except for the denial of world citizenship without restrictions....

Yes, we are no longer Gentiles or Jews, Romans or Greeks, barbarians or civilized, Christians or Muslims or Hindus, or Chinese. Nothing is above us. Nothing is below us. We are impatient. We have waited long enough! We are at home everywhere. Nowhere is alien to us.

I look at these claims as a reader of Augustine. He already understood most of these things in the fifth century after Christ. He thought them all mostly true – but only after this life. Here, we are in a vale of tears, a broken world. We are not asked to save the world, but to save our souls in a world mostly at odds with what it means to save our souls.

We are given commandments to keep, not to oppose. The only “universal citizenship” is in the City of God begun in this world following the plan of divine providence, but completed in the next. The meaning of our times is straightforward. We refuse to accept the world for which we were created. What we see about us is the universal citizenship of our collective refusal. [emphasis added]

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pro-life group overwhelmed at abortion clinic

Maybe 'overwhelmed' isn't the right word. They held their own. I know some of these guys in the group reciting the Rosary -- Companions of the Cross. And the intrepid Monica Miller in the white coat in front. But they are soon nearly drowned out by the obscenities and shouts of wymyn representing the Culture of Death, with signs that proclaiming their message: keep baby-killing safe, affordable, and legal. (Safe?? For whom, the baby??) I can't help but admire the fortitude of those who continue to pray amidst the din and babble of hell, bearing witness to the truth about life, death, and abortion, and to the fact that the battle involves the unseen world of powers and principalities.

One of those present told me that he eventually found himself in a meaningful conversation with some in the pro-abort crowd. May the Lord bless that and such conversations and pro-lifers such as these to bring illumination to hearts darkened by a society now fallen under the shadows of the Culture of Death.

I was told that pro-aborts have rarely turned up at abortion clinics like this in the past. Word is that the election of President Trump seems to have galvanized them by a real fear that wymyn's right to have their babies killed may actually be in jeopardy.

Here are the published remarks below the video, from Feb. 11, 2017:
If there ever was a video that captures the difference between those who support the killing of the unborn and those who support the sanctity of human life-- well-- here's one. Demonstrators in support of abortion at this ProtestPP (see: www.protestpp.com) demonstration in Detroit, Feb. 11, 2017 are obnoxious, vulgar, obscene and rude-- indeed they acted like bullies toward those with whom they disagree-- namely the pro-lifers assembled calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Notice the "F" word shouted out by abortion supporters in an attempt to drown out the pro-lifers peacefully praying. Surely God ​​still heard these prayers that no amount of noise and vulgarities could ever drown out.
For more information, see the account by Monica Miller at Citizens for a Pro-life Society

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week









* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community News - Orchard Lake’s Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary to Offer Course on the Traditional Mass; California Church Bus Tour Report; Tridentine Wedding at Sweetest Heart of Mary; TLM Mass schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (February 19, 2017):
February 19, 2017 – Sexagésima Sunday

Orchard Lake’s Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary to Offer Course on the Traditional Mass

In response to requests from seminarians, Orchard Lake Seminary Professor and peripatetic Tridentine Mass celebrant Fr. Louis Madey has obtained approval from seminary leadership to offer a course on the Extraordinary Form beginning in the fall semester of 2017. Readers may recall that Fr. Clint McDonell began teaching a similar course at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary last year.

With an increasing number of seminaries including instruction in the Traditional Mass as a part of their curricula, the future looks brighter and brighter as an increasing number of priests become familiar with our beloved form of worship.

California Church Bus Tour Report

Intrepid tour director Mike Semaan chalked up another success with his February 6-11 tour of historic churches in southern and northern California. Three servers from Windsor’s St. Benedict Tridentine Community made the trip and assisted at the altar.

Stops included Ss. Peter & Paul Church in Wilmington [above], where the marble, the tabernacle, the chalice, and the metalwork glistened and gleamed from obvious loving care. The musically gifted Fr. Jacob Hsieh, O. Praem. offered a High Mass in the Norbertine Rite, a variant of the Tridentine Mass with unique Propers and liturgical gestures.

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi [above] in San Francisco and its rector Fr. John de la Riva welcomed us enthusiastically, and Fr. David Jenuwine, formerly of Saginaw, Michigan offered a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

At Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula [above], former St. Josaphat celebrant and current college Chaplain Fr. Robert Marczewski offered a Low Mass. During our visit to Mission San Juan Capistrano, a Tridentine Wedding Mass happened to be in progress in the Serra Chapel [below]. Other stops included the grand St. Andrew Church in Pasadena, the expansive Ss. Peter & Paul Church in San Francisco, and the Carmel and Santa Barbara Missions.

It's great news for all attached to tradition to see the ever-increasing number of churches that welcome the Traditional Mass. Plans are in process to hold another tour of California churches in 2018. For information on future church bus tours, visit www.prayerpilgrimages.com or call Mike at (248) 250-6005.

Tridentine Wedding at Sweetest Heart of Mary

Congratulations and God’s blessings to Elisabeth Wilbert and Stephen Hazlewood, who will be married according to the Extraordinary Form at Detroit’s Sweetest Heart of Mary Church next Saturday, February 25 at 5:30 PM. Fr. Ben Kosnac of Sterling Heights’ Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church will be the celebrant, and the choir and servers from Windsor’s St. Benedict Tridentine Community will assist. This is the first time in several years that a Mass in the Extraordinary Form will have been held at Sweetest Heart, a beautiful and grand historic church.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria)
  • Tue. 02/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Feria)
  • Fri. 02/24 7:00 PM: High Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul, west side Detroit (St. Matthias, Apostle) – Celebrant: Fr. Mark Borkowski. Social for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juventútem Michigan.
  • Sat. 02/25 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Saturday of Our Lady)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 19, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the Social Kingship of Christ

By all accounts, this is one of the best recent presentations on the subject to be found. The first video is the presentation. The second is the Q & A. Enjoy.

[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]

Shapiro: some excellent debate points on transgenderism and abortion

Note: I didn't say every one of his points was good. He doesn't understand the arguments against contraception. But he's got some terrific points on transgenderism, in particular.

On leftist hyperventilation over change in administration

"Tom Cotton: Media, Democrats ‘Astonished’ Federal Government Still Working" (Breitbart, February 11, 2017):
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) this week ripped into critics of President Donald Trump who predicted a world of “chaos” under the new administration, and defended his muscular foreign policy stance.

“Some people, especially in the media and the Democratic Party, are astonished that we’re 18 days into the Trump administration, yet the federal government is still functioning,” he said in a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy at the American Enterprise Institute.

“World War III hasn’t broken out. America is still standing,” he said. “Perhaps our Constitution is more resilient than some believe, our people built of sturdier stuff than sugar candy, to borrow from Churchill. So resilient and sturdy, in fact, that our system can withstand the shock of a Republican presidency—even if the media can’t.”

Cotton cited one senator as saying Trump’s penchant for tweeting is “going to lead to chaos in our international relations.”

“I hate to break this to you: The world already is in chaos. The world already is unsettled. And I have more bad news: Barack Obama was the president for the last eight years, and it’s his actions that unsettled the world and spread chaos, not Donald Trump’s words,” he said.

Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, particularly in the middle east, where he served as a soldier in Iraq.

He listed a litany of what he characterized as Obama’s missteps:
Barack Obama quit Iraq, sacrificing the gains we’d fought so hard for and leaving that country to fend for itself against Iran and the Islamic State.

Barack Obama conciliated with Iran from the first days of his presidency, ignoring the Green Movement and tolerating Iran’s imperial aggression across the Middle East, all in pursuit of a fatally flawed nuclear deal.

Barack Obama reset relations with Russia and promised more flexibility after his reelection. In return, Russia invaded Ukraine, destroyed Aleppo, harbored Edward Snowden, teamed up with Iran in the Middle East, and shot a civilian airliner out of the sky .

Barack Obama said al Qaeda was on the run, handcuffed our military and intelligence officers, and refused to call the jihadist enemy by its name, resulting in more and more complex terror threats than anything our nation has ever faced.

Even when he used force, he did so half-heartedly. He surged troops into Afghanistan—but not as many as his commanders requested and only with an explicit withdrawal date. He toppled the Qaddaffi regime in Libya with neither a plan nor any interest to stabilize the country.
“I would challenge you to name one country where America enjoys a stronger position than we did eight years ago—or one country that’s better off because of American policy. President Obama’s legacy is a legacy of ashes from the smoking ruins of a world ablaze,” he said.

Fr. Perrone: How could a Catholic possibly support a party promoting abortion, contraception, euthanasia, sodomy, and "transgender" identification?

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, February 12, 2017):
A few made known to me their appreciation for the pastor's column last week in which there was a commendatory word about President Trump for his pro-life stand. One may wonder whether it is to be afeared that the pastor now becomes an advocate of partisan politics. Without addressing that suspicion, it must be admitted that for a long time Catholics generally -- and the clergy especially -- have been victims of the gag rule which has deterred them from deep opposition to the immoral policies of the Democrat party, those very moral issues St. John Paul II stigmatized by the shocking epithet, "the culture of death." Surely it ought not to be a matter of preference for one political party over another that every Catholic, every Christian -- indeed, every citizen of sane mind and moral decency -- should oppose abortion, contraception, euthanasia, sodomy, and "transgender" identification. And yet this one partisan body has made these particular issues the basis of much of its program for a revolutionized American society. Can Catholics support these anomalies, these moral atrocities which are an outrage to God and a repugnance to any rational being? This is no endorsement of one political body over another (historically, by the way, the American hierarchy has had a long track record of open support for the Democrat Party). The fact that both major political parties, though unequally, have been supportive of these crimes against humanity means that Catholics must work to expunge these deleterious proposals from any political platform.

Catholics have every reason and duty to be the best of American citizens. they represent, no matter how poorly they may exemplify it in their individual lives, the teachings of Christ and the magisterium of the church which upholds the natural law. They must send this 'message' to their politicians and insist that they uphold moral truth. On its side, government must protect the rights of the Church to be this moral voice for American society and it must not interfere in the right of the Church to assert the moral truths God implanted in human nature and expressed so clearly in divine revelation.

Catholics must contribute to the good of society by its untiring witness to the law of God. The fact that one political party has chosen to espouse immoral ways of living and acting is most regrettable. We pray in our daily rosary "for God's mercy on our country,." This is not a plea that God allow us to continue merrily downward towards moral degeneracy with impunity -- that would be a veritable mockery of divine mercy. Rather, we are praying for a moral conversion of men's minds and their ways of living to conform to God's truth while we make reparation for damage already done by the sins that "cry out to God for vengeance" (as they are labled in the catechism).

There's much work to be done for the spiritual rebuilding of America. If our mores begin to improve, many other national benefits will result, including a renewed confidence in the basic, though not perfect, good of our constituted government; a rediscovered love of our fatherland (patriotism); and the recovery of the Christian faith upon which the entire moral and political order depends.

I have at time spoken in sermons on this theme, though perhaps with less of a political epmhasis, and concluded by insisting that there cannot be hope for a morally improved country or Church without a personal reform of each individual to keep from the sins which are the cause of his own ruin (those so called "besetting" sins of spiritual literature). Everyone contributes wittingly or not to the upbuilding or the ruination of public life. In short, if you do not reform your own life, you become part of America's and the Church's "problem."

By the time you read this the funeral rites for Fr. John's father will have taken place. While I did not know Anthony Bustamante very well, I know he was a lifelong Catholic, very dedicated to his faith, to Holy Mass, and to his family. With the parishioners of Assumption Grotto Church I wish to express condolences to the Bustamante family in this sorrowful time. While their faith and hope in Christ is a great consolation, the inevitable sadness of this great absence in their lives cannot be denied. We lend them the unseen support of our prayers for Anthony's eternal welfare.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him!

Fr. Perrone

Tridentine Community News - Side Effects of the Rethinking of Litúrgiam Authénticam; differences in the Dominican Rite Mass & Rosary; TLM Mass schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (February 12, 2017):
February 12, 2017 – Septuagésima Sunday

Side Effects of the Rethinking of Litúrgiam Authénticam

“All the continuous tinkering in [the] name of Vatican II serves only to strengthen the movement & clamoring for the traditional Latin Mass.” – Fr. Kevin Cusick, Jan. 27, 2017

On January 11, 2017, Vatican journalist Sandro Magister reported that Pope Francis had instructed Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to set up a commission to revisit the guidelines of Litúrgiam Authénticam, the 2001 instruction which established the criteria for translating the original Latin of the Ordinary Form into vernacular languages.

Widely seen as being representative of then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s thinking, this document required translations to be more faithful to the words and the meaning of the Latin. This was in contrast to the theory of “dynamic equivalence” which guided the original 1970 translation of the Ordinary Form. Those of us in English-speaking countries saw the fruits of this instruction with the new translation of the Ordinary Form Mass, introduced in 2011. One oft-cited example of the difference:

1970 excerpt from Eucharistic Prayer I: “When supper was ended, he took the cup…”.

2011 version: “In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in His holy and venerable hands…”

It is now believed that Pope Francis will seek at least a partial return to the previous philosophy of translation. This development almost certainly puts the brakes on the current work to revise translations of other books and rites, such as the Ordinary Form Sacrament of Baptism. It raises a number of questions:

Will Catholics spiritually benefit from translations that are less faithful to the original Latin meaning?

How often can we expect translations to change? Who will pay for the new books that parishes will require? How will the faithful be expected to keep up?

How decentralized with the new translations become? Will, for example, Canada and the U.S. have different English translations established by their respective National Conferences of Bishops?

Will the global unity of Catholic faith and awareness of doctrine on the part of the faithful be impacted by the forthcoming changes and possible differences from country to country?

This writer believes that a not-small number of Catholics will tire of the repeated changes to Catholic worship and will find solace and refuge in the unchanging texts of the Traditional Latin Mass. Because there are no official vernacular translations of the Tridentine Mass, wording based on and similar to the hierarchical English of the Douay-Rheims Bible has long been the norm for hand missals and Propers handouts. Only a very small number of hand missals have attempted to use modern English, one example being the Maryknoll Missal. Even those still strive to employ reverent language.

While certainly not the preferred way to promote Sacred Tradition, Rome’s potential further tweaking of the Ordinary Form is more likely than not to strengthen the Extraordinary Form, so let’s not despair at the news, but instead look forward to the pleasant side effects it may very well bring.

Differences in the Dominican Rite Mass & Rosary

The traditional Dominican Rite has been getting quite of bit of press in recent years as it regains popularity in Dominican-run parishes and houses of formation. While similar to the Tridentine Mass, there are some notable differences, as seen in the adjacent photo by Gregory DiPippo of The New Liturgical Movement. At certain points in the Mass, such as during the Canon, the celebrant fully extends his hands. The altar servers wear albs instead of cassocks and surplices. A special Dominican Missal and book of chants are used.

Likewise, there is a Dominican version of the Rosary. It is traditionally believed that Our Lady revealed the prayer to St. Dominic. To this day, the Dominican Rosary is promoted in Dominican-run parishes. The differences are at the beginning and the end: The Rosary begins with the Sign of the Cross and the following: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O Lord, open my lips. And my tongue will proclaim Your praise. O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia. [During Lent, ‘Praise be to you, O Lord, King of eternal glory.’]” The Apostles’ Creed and the initial Our Father, three Hail Marys, and Glory Be are omitted. The decades then begin as usual.

At the end, “Pray for us, O holy Mother of God” is replaced by “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.” At the very end is added: “May the divine assistance remain always with us. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.”

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria)
  • Tue. 02/14 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Valentine, Priest & Martyr)
  • Sat. 02/18 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Simeon, Bishop & Martyr)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 12, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week





  • Wed. 2/15 7:30 AM: Low Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or Sts. Faustinus & Jovita - 4th class)
  • Wed. 2/15 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions by appointment) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Feria - 4th class, or Sts. Faustinus & Jovita - 4th class)
  • Wed. 2/15 12:00 Noon: Low Mass St. Joseph Oratory, Detroit followed by Perpetual Novena to St. Joseph (Feria - 4th class, or Sts. Faustinus & Jovita - 4th class)
  • Wed. 2/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or Sts. Faustinus & Jovita - 4th class)




  • Sat. 2/18 7:30 AM: Low Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 8:00 AM: Tridentine Mass at St. Edward on the Lake, Lakeport (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Fri. 2/18 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 1/2 hour before Mass: call beforehand) at St. Ann's Church, Livonia [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi, South Lyon, MI (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 9:00 AM: High Mass at St. Anthony, Temperance (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 9:00 AM: Low Mass and Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at St. Joseph Oratory, Detroit (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)
  • Sat. 2/18 6:00 PM: Tridentine Mass at SS. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Catholic Church, Sterling Heights (Saturday of Our Lady - 4th class, or St. Simeon - 4th class)


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Is Cardinal Müller censuring himself?

 Christopher A. Ferrara, "Cardinal Müller Covers His Eyes" (CFN, January 9, 2017): 

According to Stanze Vaticane, the blog for the Italian TV channel TGCom24, Card. Gerhard Ludwig Müller has rejected any correction of Pope Francis concerning those explosive sections of Amoris Laetitia (especially Chapter 8, ¶¶ 302-305) which prompted the four cardinals to present their dubia to Pope Francis. Those passages of Amoris clearly open the door to Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried” in “certain cases” — as bishop after bishop is now declaring — while appearing to reduce exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law (including “Thou shalt not commit adultery”) to “general rules” and mere “objective ideals” rather than divine commands from which no one can claim an exemption.

But Müller’s choice of words is very curious.  As reported by Stanze Vaticane, during an interview with TGCom 24 (translations mine), Müller stated:

“Everyone, above all the cardinals of the Roman Church [sic], have the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was astonished, however, that this became public, almost constraining the Pope to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I do not like this. Also, a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far off. It is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith as Saint Thomas has said. We are very far from a correction and I say that it harms the Church to discuss these things publicly.

Amoris Laetitia is very clear in its doctrine, and we can make out the whole doctrine of the Church on matrimony, all the doctrine of the Church in 2000 years of history. Pope Francis asks for discernment of the situation of those persons who live in an irregular union, that is, not according to the doctrine of the Church on matrimony, and he asks for aid of these persons to find a path for a new integration in the Church according to the conditions of the Sacraments, of the Christian message on matrimony. But I do not see any contraposition: on the one hand we have the clear doctrine on matrimony, and on the other the obligation of the Church to concern herself with these persons in difficulty.”

First of all, why is Müller “astonished” that the dubia became public?  The four cardinals state clearly in their accompanying letter that while their dubia were first submitted privately to Francis, “The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect. And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.”

That is their right as cardinals, and indeed it is the right of any member of the faithful:

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”  (Canon 212, § 3)

Secondly, why is a “possible fraternal correction” deemed “very far off” — meaning that there is a potential for one — when Müller says at one and the same time that Amoris presents the Catholic doctrine on matrimony and that there is no opposition to that doctrine in the call for “discernment” of the situation of people in “irregular unions”? If Amoris were really so clear, and there were really no contradiction between Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage and Francis’ call for “discernment,” Müller would say simply that a correction of Francis is unnecessary. He would not say a correction is “not possible at this moment…”

I am afraid Müller’s statement falls into the category of so much of what has come out of the Vatican over the past fifty years: artfully worded doubletalk that tries to have it both ways.

What the NEWS will never show you (2017 March For Life Time-Lapse video)

"Why Saint Thomas Aquinas Opposed Open Borders"

Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., discussing this passage from the Summa Theologiae, writes (Catholic Family News, January 31, 2017):
Every nation has the right to distinguish, by country of origin, who can migrate to it and apply appropriate immigration policies, according to the great medieval scholar and saint Thomas Aquinas.

In a surprisingly contemporary passage of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas noted that the Jewish people of Old Testament times did not admit visitors from all nations equally, since those peoples closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.

Some antagonistic peoples were not admitted at all into Israel due to their hostility toward the Jewish people.

The Law “prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews,” the scholar noted, such as the Egyptians and the Idumeans, “that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation.”

Citizens of other nations “with whom their relations had been hostile,” such as the Ammonites and Moabites, “were never to be admitted to citizenship.”

“The Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity,” Aquinas observed.

For the scholar, it seemed sensible to treat nations differently, depending on the affinity of their cultures with that of Israel as well as their historic relations with the Jewish people.

In his remarkably nuanced commentary, Aquinas also distinguished among three types of immigrants in the Israel of the Old Testament.

First were “the foreigners who passed through their land as travelers,” much like modern day visitors with a travel visa.

Second were those who “came to dwell in their land as newcomers,” seemingly corresponding to resident aliens, perhaps with a green card, living in the land but not with the full benefits of citizenship.

A third case involved those foreigners who wished “to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship.” Even here, dealing with those who wished to integrate fully into the life and worship of Israel required a certain order, Aquinas observed. “For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations.”

“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst,” Aquinas logically reasoned, “many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”

In other words, Aquinas taught that total integration of immigrants into the life, language, customs and culture (including worship, in this case) was necessary for full citizenship.

It requires time for someone to learn which issues affect the nation and to make them their own, Aquinas argued. Those who know the history of their nation and have lived in it, working for the common good, are best suited to participate in decision-making about its future.

It would be dangerous and unjust to place the future of a nation in the hands of recent arrivals who do not fully understand the needs and concerns of their adoptive home.

When facing contemporary problems, modern policy makers can often benefit from the wisdom of the great saints and scholars who have dealt with versions of the same issues in ages past.

Aquinas’ reflections reveal that similar problems have existed for centuries—indeed, millennia—and that distinguishing prudently between nations and cultures doesn’t automatically imply prejudice or unfair discrimination.


Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, “'PO SI JIU!' RED GUARDS ARISE! CRUSH THE REACTIONARIES!" (Fr. Z's Blog, February 10, 2017):
The liberal juggernaut … libbernaut? … is well-connected and organized. They work together.

Perhaps you saw the NYT’s piece (aka Hell’s Bible) which managed (through fake news) to make an absurd connection between Card. Burke (whom libs hate with the intensity of a type O star), and chief advisor to Pres. Trump (whom libs hate with the intensity of a type O star), former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon (whom libs hate with the intensity of a type O star). It was a tour de force of smear. The objective: link Burke and Bannon and Trump with the liberal Alt-Right bugbear. The upshot is that Burke, etc. are white supremacist, LifeSite reading rubes who watch Duck Dynasty. They are “rad-trads”, “church militant” types… real knuckle-draggers who stand in the way of the Revolution! They must be crushed, publicly humiliated, sent to camps, thrown from windows.

Then there is the surreal piece at WaPo worthy of the Red Guard of China’s Cultural Revolution entitled, “How Pope Francis can cleanse the far-right rot from the Catholic Church”. Guess who’s picture surmounts the screed. But hey! It’s only an opinion piece, right? Let’s see the first paragraph ....

Friday, February 10, 2017

Will Pope Francis strike the deal with the SSPX that eluded both John Paul II and Benedict XVI?

Damian Thompson, "Pope Francis's Traditionalists" (Catholic Herald, February 10, 2017):
On the weekend that posters of a scowling Pope Francis were plastered over Rome by traditionalists protesting against his “bullying” tactics, news filtered through that Rome is on the verge of signing a deal with the Society of St Pius X. This year, the Lefebvrists could be fully reconciled to the Holy See. By the alleged Modernist bully on the posters. And with virtually no strings attached.

This is surreal; but then everything in Rome is surreal now. It’s as if the scriptwriters of The Young Pope have been let loose on the Bergoglio pontificate.

Relations between Francis and conservative Catholics are more toxic by the day. The Holy Father has just torn up the constitution of the Order of Malta; it’s a complicated dispute, but one that clearly pits the Pope and his allies against the super-orthodox Cardinal Burke, who is the order’s patron – for the time being....

In the eyes of traditionalists, Pope Francis’s catalogue of errors is so long that, to quote one priest in the Vatican, “a lot of us are emotionally, even if not intellectually, sedevacantists”....

The SSPX have never been sedevacantists. They accept that post-Vatican II pontiffs are real popes. But for much of their 47-year history they have behaved like a breakaway sect, albeit a well-endowed and successful one, with around 600 priests in 37 countries and a huge new seminary in Virginia....

Mainstream traditionalists are baffled. Why would the SSPX knock back an offer from Benedict, who rehabilitated their liturgy and their bishops, only to accept it from Francis, who seems to dislike everything about the pre-conciliar Church and – in the opinion of some cardinals – is beckoning adulterers to the altar rail?

Fellay’s latest interview points to a possible answer: Rome is prepared to compromise on acceptance of the Second Vatican Council. He points out that Archbishop Guido Pozzo, head of Ecclesia Dei – the Vatican department responsible for relations with the SSPX – now says that “certain texts of the Council [do] not constitute criteria for Catholicity”. Read more >>
[Hat tip to Sir. A.S.]

Related: Why Rorate Caeli, in disagreement with Roberto de Mattei's warnings [here], supports prospect of SSPX agreement with Vatican [here].