Thursday, January 31, 2008

Catholics for Obama???

It's one thing for Matt Talbot to say: "I’m not ashamed to say I choked up a bit toward the end of Obama’s victory speech in South Carolina last night. This guy has charisma coming out of his ears." But I recently received an email from a friend whom I dearly respect, a faithful conservative Catholic who said that she has decided to vote for Obama, "because that will drive a stake through the heart of the 60s." I asked in reply: "How can you figure that? He embodies all the essential fallout of the 60s."

Your thoughts?


Well, let me devote a separate post to what I love about Detroit, because there is a lot -- from the jazz festivals, the riverfront, the ethnic cuisine, glorious old churches and classic art deco architecture. But here's to what I hate about Detroit, which is its abysmal dysfunction, symbolized by the recent circuitous non-apology by mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who was caught red-handed in a text-messaging scandal involving his perjury, misuse of his police force, misuse of public funds, a lawsuit over the unlawful firing of police officers in which the city was sued millions of dollars -- all to cover up an affair in which the mayor was involved. In his public 'apology', self-servingly staged in a church for effect, the mayor mentioned none of these things directly, but turned the thing around, rejecting rumors that he might resign with the words: "I would never quit on you . . . Ever." Oh, please, Mr. Mayor: QUIT ON US, WOULD YOU PLEASE!

Every day I drive to work five miles up and down the Lodge freeway and see cars driving bumper-to-bumper at 80mph in a 55 zone, more than a few of them with smashed up front ends, cracked windshields, and plastic taped over windows. During my six months here so far I may have seen four police cars on my route. I have been in one auto collision in which my car was totalled and the other driver had no license, and no police officer was available to file a report. Is it any wonder that auto insurance rates for full comprehensive and collision are around $3000/year per vehicle within the 48226 zip code area?

Near the seminary where I teach is the Boston-Edison District, with several avenues of large, beautiful colonial homes, surrounded by what is largely called the 'hood'. Let me be clear by noting that the Detroit riots of July 1967 started at the intersection of 12 Street and Clairmount, just blocks from this area, resulting in 43 dead, 467 injured, 7,200+ arrests, and 2,000+ buildings burned down. Some of our friends have bought homes in this area, which they have endeavored to restore; and for the privilege of living in this area with potholes and broken water manes that never seem to get fixed, the mayor asks them to pay property taxes to the tune of 4K/year on top of their vehicle taxes of 3K/vehicle.

Detroit fills with suburbanite commuters who come in to work or play at her theaters, casinos, or attend a ball game each day and then drive home every night. At night, it's almost dead, except for the casinos and other night spots. My wife says that one could almost run buff naked down the middle of Woodward and not even be noticed. Half the buildings are uninhabited, empty, unused -- like the pyramids, relics of a past civilization. In warmer weather, the bums and panhandlers come out mostly when the suburban crowds appear for a ball game or convention. They can be annoying, especially the ones who have it down to an art form. You want to interrupt them and say, "Remember me? I live here. You're standing in my backyard, buddy. No, I don't have any more dollar bills for you." On the other hand, when ball games are over and the suburbanites come pouring out of stadiums in the evenings, I hate to hear drunks occasionally yell at the black panhandling bums "Get a job, nigger!" Still, I have seen many generous individuals repeatedly stopping to offer charity as well.

Blacks in Detroit communities had the highest per capita ownership of homes in the U.S. in the 1950s and early 1960s. Yet tight-knit African-American enclaves like Black Bottom and Paradise Valley were bulldozed to make room for the Chrystler Freeway (I-75) and Lafayette Park and Stalinist-style high rise projects were thrown up to replace their homes. Detroit consists of three concentric rings: (1) the center, which is a small, relatively safe business district consisting of the downtown sky-scrapers across the Detroit River from Canada, circumscribed by the People-Mover, an elevated two-car train, which one can ride for 50 cents fare; (2) a middle ring consisting of a wasteland of old dilapidated large brick homes and buildings, many of them boarded up or caving in on themselves, the intact homes of which are inhabited predominantly by African-Americans, most of them in areas where the most frequent businesses seem to be liquor stores and many, sadly, on streets bearing frequent advertisements for drug re-hab programs; (3) an outer ring consisting of suburbs which are whiter, the farther one travels out. The inner circle contains many unspoiled but empty, or partially empty, magnificent buildings -- abandoned in the white flight of the 1960s, when the interstate system made commuting from the suburbs a possibility. I suppose there is enough blame to go all around for this horrid state of affairs. The ferile drug addicts who roam about, animal-like, with utterly unpredictable behavior. Those who fled, abandoning the inner city buildings and churches and communities, too, in some measure. The whole picture is simply sad. One would like to see this city, once called the "Paris of the midwest" for it's beautiful tree-lined boulivards and avenues and magnificent riverfront, rebuilt once again. One wonders, however, how this could ever happen under the governance of mayors such as Detroit now has.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Worst Mass of all time?

Fr. Z. refers, in "Another reason why we need the TLM in more places" (WDTPRS, January 28, 2008), to news "Via CathCon who never fails to find such atrocities" concerning recent bizarre events in France, related in a post entitled "Oh, what a circus, Oh what a show!" (Catholic Church Conservation, January 28, 2008). He writes: "The Cathedral of Auch in the Diocèse of Gers hosts what must be the silliest Mass of all time. Not least for the gymnastics that accompanied the reading of the Gospel. All time low point in Catholic liturgy." See for yourself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Good Friday prayer & the papal office

Apparently the international media are abuzz with unconfirmed reports that Pope Benedict may alter the traditional Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews in response to agitation from various Jewish groups, such as Abe Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. Foxman has been targeting the Good Friday prayer ever since the Pope liberated the old Mass in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007). Why? Because, says Foxman, it is “a theological setback to the reforms of Vatican II.”

In an article on the subject, "Peter and the Wolves" (Remnant, January 21. 2008), Christopher A. Ferrara writes:
At stake in this matter is nothing less than the dignity of the papal office. Should Benedict cave in to pressure and neuter the Good Friday prayer, he will have sent the message that the Pope may be lobbied at will by groups and people demanding compliance with “the reforms of Vatican II.” And where will it end?

Even John Allen of the liberal National Catholic Reporter can see where this is heading, and he clearly does not like it: “The Good Friday liturgy also contains prayer for heretics and schismatics (meaning Protestants) and for pagans (meaning non-Christians). Should those prayers too be revised, since they don’t reflect the more sensitive argot of Vatican II? More broadly, some critics charge that much of the symbolism and language of the old Mass is inconsistent with the vision of the council. Should all that be put on the operating table? If so, one might fairly ask, what was the point of Benedict’s ruling in the first place?”

The demand that the Good Friday prayer be altered to suit people like Foxman is all the more intolerable when one considers that Rabbi Jacob Neusner, who has been corresponding with the Pope since 1993, has no problem with the prayer, and notes that “the synagogue liturgy has an equivalent prayer which we say three times a day, not just once a year.” (Free Republic, July 20, 2007) Here is the synagogue prayer exactly as it is translated in The Talmud of the Land of Israel, Volume 1: Berakhot, published by University of Chicago Press and edited by none other than Neusner:
“Blessed [art Thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe,] who did not make me a gentile.” (p. 318).
Shortly thereafter, Ferrara says, "We can only hope the reports are false, or that the Pope, if he does alter the prayer, does so in a way that leaves intact the Church’s unambiguous call for the conversion of the Jewish people, no less than the other peoples of the earth." He then quickly adds a caveat to deflect any rash paranoid judgments that any amendment of the prayer would evidence "a neo-modernist plot to Summorum Pontificum as a Trojan horse to overthrow the traditional liturgy." He then demonstrates the decisive pattern of restoration evinced by recent events in the pontificate of Benedict XVI:
  • the Motu Proprio, a fulcrum on which world history will undoubtedly turn;
  • the Pope’s directive to correct the mistranslation of “pro multis” as “for all” in the Novus Ordo consecration formula, and the mistranslation of “Credo” as “we believe” in the Creed;
  • the removal of Piero Marini as master of ceremonies at the Vatican and the abolition of his ludicrous and appalling “papal liturgies;”
  • the repeal of John Paul II’s liberalization of the rules for the papal conclave, returning to the traditional requirement of a 2/3 vote;
  • the coming issuance of new and stricter rules for beatification and canonization, accompanied by the near shut-down of the “saint-making factory” that operated during the prior pontificate (a stupefying 483 saints in 27 years, as compared with 14 canonizations overseen by Benedict since his election nearly three years ago);
  • the Pope’s express recognition of the Institute of the Good Shepherd's right—the right of all Catholics—to engage in “constructive criticism” of Vatican II, thereby implicitly confirming that the Council documents have deficiencies warranting criticism (deficiencies the Pope himself critiqued as Cardinal and Father Ratzinger);
  • the papal admonition to the new head of the Jesuits that “total adhesion to Catholic doctrine” is expected of the order;
  • the Pope’s wearing of the miter of Blessed Pius IX and his return to the usage of a papal throne, instead of the upholstered chair favored by his predecessor;
  • the Pope’s celebration of Mass versus Deum in the Sistine Chapel;
  • the consistent references to Benedict as “Supreme Pontiff;”
  • the Pope’s abstention from the “ecumenical liturgies” and other ecumenical and interreligious spectacles of which the last Pope was so fond;
  • the absence of any “cult” of Benedict, who shuns the limelight, yet is attracting more Catholics to his audiences than John Paul II did;
  • the dramatic reduction in papal travel to mass events of dubious accomplishments;
  • the abandonment of all references to Vatican II as a “renewal,” “springtime,” “New Pentecost” and so forth;
  • the urgent petition of Anglican clergy representing 400,000 Anglicans for a return to communion with Rome, submitted directly to Benedict rather than the worse-than-useless Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, because the Anglicans know that Benedict is favorable to the reunion and hope to avoid a roadblock by thce Vatican bureaucracy;
  • a major thaw in relations with the Orthodox that is clearly the result of the Motu Proprio;
  • the Vatican’s call for an international revival of Eucharistic adoration to combat the now-admitted crisis in the priesthood, with the project, launched December 8, to highlight the Virgin Mary’s special role as the mother of every priest.
"And, almost as important as the Motu Proprio, an entire encyclical on the supernatural virtue of hope, Spe et Salvi, that . . . calls for nothing less than “a self-critique of modernity” and “a self-critique of modern Christianity,” which has lost sight of the true “substance” of hope . . . [and] also calls for the reunification of Christian faith and reason, the severance of which was the basic Enlightenment project."

Monday, January 21, 2008

One couldn't have scripted a better performance

As you may have heard, militant secularists (faculty AND students) protested the Pope's appearance at Sapienza university and forced him to cancel, claiming he was "anti-science" -- it was later revealed upon investigation that they based their protest in a MISREADING of a Ratzinger quote in a book 7 years ago regarding the Galileo trial [!!!]

Cardinal Ruini asked Catholics and the people of Italy to show up at the Angelus to demonstrate their solidarity with Benedict XVI -- to the tune of 200,000. Benedict said "I encourage all of you, dear academics, to always be respectful of the opinions of others, and to seek the truth and the good with an open and responsible mind" -- completely turning the tables. The rector of the university re-invited the Pope to speak at Sapienza.

For a great resume, read "Pope Benedict, Sapienza University & the Intolerance of Radical Secularism" (Against the Grain, January 20, 2008).

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Roe v Wade: 35 years of legal baby killing

In remembrance of National Right To Life Day, celebrated every January 22nd on the annual anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Roe vs. Wade (1973), and in honor of the tens thousands of protestors who annually drive or fly to Washington, D.C., to march from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court (sometimes in the freezing cold), lobby senators, and get themselves ignored by the media in favor of the eight or nine abortion-rights activists who manage to come out and get themselves interviewed on national television, it seemed only decent and proper to dig out my annual "thought for the day" -- a parody of tortured pro-choice logic by Princeton professor, Robert P. George, which might be entitled:

"In short, I am moderately 'pro-choice.'"

I am personally opposed to killing abortionists. However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view. Of course, I am entirely in favor of policies aimed at removing the root causes of violence against abortionists. Indeed, I would go as far as supporting mandatory one-week waiting periods, and even non-judgmental counseling, for people who are contemplating the choice of killing an abortionist. I believe in policies that reduce the urgent need some people feel to kill abortionists while, at the same time, respecting the rights of conscience of my fellow citizens who believe that the killing of abortionists is sometimes a tragic necessity--not a good, but a lesser evil. In short, I am moderately 'pro-choice.'

[Dr. Robert P. George is George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and earned his doctorate in philosophy of law at Oxford University. He currently sits on the President's Council of Bioethics and is author of numerous books on constitutional law and jurisprudence. Just in case anyone is still wondering, the foregoing statement is not intended to be taken at face value, but as a parody and reductio ad absurdum refutation of the fallacious reasoning employed pervasively by proponents of a "pro-choice" position favoring "abortion rights." I offer this explanation not to insult the reader's intelligence, but only because of having learned the importance of covering one's bases: several years ago, I heard that when the faculty, staff, and students of a Lutheran college received emails containing George's quotation, a President's cabinet meeting was called to address the issue, and, the dean of students, frantic to ensure the institution's political correctness, sent out a follow-up message indicating that the views of the original email did not reflect the views of the institution and that the college did not endorse the killing of abortionists! Well guess what? Neither do I or Bobby George! This isn't rocket science.]

Schedule of EWTN's live streaming of March for Life 2008 events (all times EST):

Of related interest: See on site photo coverage by American Papist
[Hat tip to T.P.]


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pontifications redivivus

Those of you who previously appreciated Fr. Al Kimel's lively theological blog, Pontifications, will be glad to know it's back, even though under a different banner, different hosting, different formatting, and with the comments turned off. Tragically, nearly the entire content of Fr. Kimel's original blog was lost when the previous host apparently failed to back up the material, and for a while he was thinking of discontinuing blogging altogether. However, those who appreciated his deeply theological ruminations will appreciate that he is back online again, even without the lively give-and-take of commentators.

Here are the list of his posts so far:

The interrogation & defense of Ezra Levant

Ezra Levant is the editor of the magazine that published eight of the Danish cartoons to illustrate a story (you can read it here after a quick and free registration) about the cartoon riots and the Western media's fear of printing them.

In "What Was Your Intent" he writes about his encounter with the banality of evil in the form of a "limp clerk," a regulation-citing bureaucrat for what Mark Shea (in "Ezra Levant: Hero") calls the "Kafkaesque tyrrany of Soviet Canuckistan."

Shea posts the following quotation from C.S. Lewis:
The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint ... but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.
[Hat tip to M.S.]

Myths about Catholic popular opinion

Jimmy Akin writes in his post, "I've Been Saying This For Years" (January 14, 2008):
It's shocking!

You know how only a third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence?

Well, they don't.

By which I mean: It isn't true that only a third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence.

That's a myth that got created due to thee things: (1) a pollster using a poorly worded questions that didn't correspond to Catholic teaching, meaning that Catholics responding to the question weren't sure how to answer it in a way that reflected their faith, and so the pro-Real Presence vote got split among several different categories. (2) Those reading the results of the poll didn't pay careful attention to how the question was worded and what the implications were for how the different categories had to be pieced back together to get an accurate indication of belief in the Real Presence. (3) The general desire to lament how bad things are these days led people to read the results in terms of a staggering crisis of faith.

And so for years the idea has been floating around out there that only a small number of Catholics actually believe in the Real Presence, despite the fact that it isn't true.

Now, I'm happy to concede that not enough Catholics believe in the Real Presence. 100% of them should. I'm also happy to concede that not enough Catholics understand the Real Presence in the manner articulated by the Church (transubstantiaion). Some have views that are fuzzy on that point, and bad catechesis is a key factor in that.

But the numbers are nowhere near as bleak as people make out.

And now there's a new study (by the National Catholic Reporter folks, of all people), that backs this up. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus writes:
81 percent say that “belief that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist” is essential in their understanding of the Catholic faith. Keep in mind that the survey is of a cross section of the 65 million Catholics in the U.S. (although Latinos are greatly underrepresented). Among the more highly committed Catholics, it is reasonable to assume that belief in the Real Presence is considerably higher than 81 percent. This is worth keeping in mind because some years ago a clumsily worded question in a survey came up with the conclusion that only one third of Catholics believed in the Real Presence, and that “finding” still crops up in discussions on the state of Catholicism. Among active Catholics, belief in the Real Presence, as also in the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection of Jesus, edges up toward unanimity.
See Richard John Neuhaus, "American Catholics and Catholic Americans" (First Things, January 11, 2008).

In the future, everyone will be a fascist for 15 minutes

According to Jonah, if you buy sprouts the local organic co-op, you've already used up your 15 minutes. Mark Shea comments:
I've always identified fascism with, oh, you know, smashing free speech and trying to centralize everything in a big centralized political economy. I thought a more noticable feature of fascism was, say, Grand Military Adventures promising an End to Evil and the inauguration of a Golden Age of earthly happiness. I've even tended to identify it with urging us all to hand Caesar the power to torture people and the employment of Orwellian euphemisms and groupthink pressure tactics such as "You aren't one of us if you oppose waterboarding and other forms of torture" to punish dissenters. Indeed, I was quite sure, till I heard Jonah explain it all for me, that apologists for Salvation Through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary bore a much greater resemblance to fascists than advocates of "Small is Beautiful" thinking. I never realized that the real menace to our liberty was a taste for tofu. I'm sure glad that Jonah has broken with that silly old narrative of saying "Anything I happen to dislike is fascist."

You learn something every day from NRO's Mandarins of True Conservatism[TM].

Friday, January 18, 2008

Men's Anthem

Because I'm a man, when I lock my keys in the car, I will fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in. Calling AAA is not an option. I will win.

Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know where to start." We will then drink a couple of beers and break wind, as a form of holy communion.

Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold, I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You're a woman. You never get as sick as I do, so for you, this is no problem.

Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like "cumin" or "tofu." For all I know, these are the same thing.

Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it, though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator instead (applies to engineers only)

Because I'm a man, there is no need to ask me what I'm thinking about. The true answer is always either sex, cars, sex, sports, or sex. I have to make up something else when you ask, so just don't ask.

Because I'm a man, you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't . . and if you are feeling amorous afterwards . . then I will certainly at least remember the name and recommend it to others.

Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine.

With the belt or without it, looks fine. It does not make your butt look too big. It was the pasta and potatoes and margaritas that did that. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?

Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the year 2008, I will share equally in the house work. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest. Like wandering around in the garden with a beer, wondering what to do.

This has been a public service message for women to better understand men.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gulfport area prepares for first Mass in the Extraordinary Form

The first public Mass in the extaordinary form for the Gulfport Mississippi area is scheduled for February 9, 2008. For more information see the website of Una Voce -- Southern Mississippi Chapter (see permalink in sidebar), headed by Nathan Blosser.

The pope, ad orientem

Shawn Tribe, "The Pope "baptizes", not only children, but liturgy ad orientem, ad Deum, versus Apsidem" (New Liturgical Movement, January 13, 2008): ". . . the Pope has now given an important public witness and example of the acceptability of the celebration of the sacred liturgy "ad orientem" -- that is, with the priest, in this case the Pope himself, and the faithful directed together in a common sacred direction, turned towards the Lord, towards the symbolic 'East' of the liturgy." The liturgy being celebrated is the Baptism of the Lord in the Sistine Chapel.

"When Küng and Von Hildebrand Came to Loyola"

Here is a truly amazing article on the respective visits by Hans Küng and Dietrich von Hildebrand to Loyola University of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) in the 1970-71 academic year, as related by Michael Healy of Franciscan University, who was a student there at the time, "When Küng and Von Hildebrand Came to Loyola" (, January 17, 2008). What is particularly fascinating is the respective receptions the two guests received and the impressions they left. Influenced by the prevailing opinions at the liberal Jesuit Marymount at the time, Healy writes:
Imagine my surprise, then, when I happily went to see the great Küng -- before whom the red carpet had been unrolled, before whom the Jesuits bowed and scraped, hoping they were making a good impression, hoping that they would be seen as avant-garde as the leading European thinkers -- and instead had one of the most negative reactions to any person I have met in my life. The look on his face, the tone of his voice, the way he held himself, the manner of his response to questions, all combined to give me the most powerful impression of someone immensely pleased with himself, actually encouraging those around him to flatter him (and they happily obliged). The main point of his talk seemed to be that everything that ails either the Catholic or the protestant churches would be solved if they would only listen to Hans Küng.

By the end of Küng's talk, I was extremely suspicious of his view of the Church, and therefore of the prevailing "Jesuit" view at Loyola. I was beginning to think that my own insights might be worth something, compared with those of the crowd. For this important step toward maturity, I shall be forever grateful to Hans Küng.

However, it wasn't until I went to hear the von Hildebrands -- despite Jesuit disapproval -- that all of this really fell into place in a positive way....

[Dietrich von Hildebrand] stood up . . . and spoke passionately and lovingly of Christ and the Church, using phrases I had not heard since grammar school, like "the Holy Roman Catholic Church."

I was left several impressions that came together almost immediately.

First, here was someone who really believed, who humbly accepted revelation from God. He was not intent on figuring out how to get around Church teachings but on how to live them. Secondly, here was someone who really loved Christ and the Church with all his heart. He was full of gratitude for the Church, for its authority, its teachings, its sacraments. He was not resentful of the Church or her authority.

Third, here was a true apostle, proclaiming the truth -- rather than his own truth -- in season and out of season, ready to stand joyfully with Christ and the Church even when human opinion showered him with ridicule. . . . Finally, here was someone full of joy and hope, despite his deep sorrow over and reasoned critique of what was going on in the Church.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Greensboro Tridentine packed house

Nancy McLaughlin, in "Latin Mass fills pews," reports in the diocesan newspaper, the Charlotte News & Harold (January 14, 2008), on last Sunday's Latin Mass at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensboro, NC. "The pews quickly filled at Our Lady of Grace on Sunday for this special worship service, with many women wearing head scarves for the first time in decades . . . ." A Musings reader who was present for the event writes: "Mass at Our Lady of Grace was awesome [Sunday]! And a packed house, too!!!"

St. Francis: a Mensch of a Saint

If you're tired of portraits of St. Francis as little more than a Birkenstock-clad hippie, a Peace Corps social worker, or an effeminate tofu-eating Green Party activist, read this book. Frank M. Rega, St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims (TAN, 2007) reveals the real St. Francis, who, among other things, was also a brave “knight of Christ” who boldly preached Christianity to the Muslims at the risk of his life. St. Francis accompanied the Crusaders to Egypt on the Fifth Crusade, and boldly walked right into the Muslim camp in a spectacular attempt to preach Christianity to the sultan and his followers. His goal was to convert the Muslims, rather than to simply engage in “dialogue” as such. Yet at the same time, he actually was also a supporter of the armed Crusade. He made such an impact with his preaching, that the sultan rebuffed some of his own religious advisors, the imams, who were insisting that Islamic law required that Francis must be beheaded.

This historic event constitutes the focus of this book, yet this volume also includes a comprehensive biography of the saint. Here's what some others are saying about the book:
  • "The most important book on St. Francis in English, in recent years." Brother Alexis Bugnolo, Editor, the Franciscan Archive,

  • "This is a rare and daring approach to the life of St. Francis and one that is so necessary in our world at this time." From the Preface by Father Angelus M. Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Capuchin and EWTN TV Host.
Mr. Rega has been a Third Order (Secular) Franciscan for the past 25 years. His first book, Padre Pio and America, is also published by TAN Books. A Henry Rutgers Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers, Mr. Rega studied at Yale University’s Institute of Human Relations on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Most recently he was employed by Compuware Corp. as a software engineer on projects for NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Men's brains vs. women's brains

Marriage Resource Center Media

Hollywood's year of the accidental mother

What do the movies "Witness," "Juno," "Knocked Up," and "Bella" have in common? Janet Smith sent me the link to the following fine review by Colleen Carroll Campbell, "Hollywood's year of the accidental mother" (, December 27, 2007), which ties them all together. These films (except for Bella) are pretty trashy, but there's a good reason why the pro-abortion lobby hates them. They celebrate motherhood.

Judgment Day for Jesuits

Sandro Magister, "Last Call for the Society of Jesus – To Obedience" (www.chiesa, January 11, 2008) reports on the Jesuits election of their new superior general and discussion of the reasons for their decline. Vatican authorities have already said what they expect from the order: more obedience to the pope, and more fidelity to doctrine. In his homily for the Mass that opened the session on January 7, the non-Jesuit Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the congregation for institutes of consecrated life, spoke bluntly. Here are excerpts:
It is with sorrow and anxiety that I see that the 'sentire cum ecclesia' of which your founder St Ignatius frequently spoke is diminishing in some members of religious families....

With sadness and anxiety I also see a growing distancing from the hierarchy. The Ignatian spirituality of apostolic service 'under the Roman Pontiff' does not allow for this separation....

The doctrinal diversity of those who at all levels, by vocation and mission are called to announce the Kingdom of truth and love, disorients the faithful and leads to a relativism without limits.
As Magistro observes, it is hardly a mystery that of the last seven theologians scrutinized by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, four belong to the Jesuits: Jon Sobrino, Roger Haight, Jacques Dupuis, and Anthony De Mello. Let us pray, with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier and St. Edmund Campion, for the salvation of the Society of Jesus.

Bishop: Catholics should kneel to receive communion

Cindy Wooden, "Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue" (Catholic News Service, January 8, 2008):
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The reverence and awe of Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Jesus in the Eucharist should lead them to kneel and receive Communion on their tongues, said a bishop writing in the Vatican newspaper.

"If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would 'fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,'" wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.

In a Jan. 8 article labeled a "historical-liturgical note," Bishop Schneider reviewed the writings of early church theologians about eucharistic reception and said the practice of laypeople receiving Communion on the tongue was the predominant custom by the sixth century.
According to the story, the article appeared in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Pope: Relativism at Code Red

"Moral relativism at "emergency" level, Pope warns" (Catholic World News, January 10, 2008):
Vatican, Jan. 10, 2008 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) sounded the alarm about an "educational emergency" during a January 10 meeting with political leaders from Rome and the surrounding Lazio district.

Friday, January 11, 2008

St. Josaphat Catholic Church

One thing I love about metro Detroit is all the magnificent old Catholic churches everywhere. The parishioners who built those churches, it is true, belonged to generations past; and most of their children and grandchildren have fled to the suburbs and their Bauhaus-inspired 'worship space' travesties harking back to Stalinist-era functionalism. Another thing I like about where I live in Detroit is that from our sixth-floor apartment windows, I can see Comerica Park (the Tigers' stadium) across the street and Ford Field (the Lions' stadium) behind it, the Detroit Opera House just across Grand Circus Park from our front door, and look down Washington Boulevard to St. Aloysius Church and the Archdiocesan chancery offices, and down Woodward Avenue to Hart Plaza and across the Detroit River into Windsor, Ontario. I also love the fact that I can see where we go to church. Out our East window I can see St. Josaphat Catholic Church, a three-minute drive away.

You can read in more detail at the official parish website about historic St. Josaphat Catholic Church (founded in 1889). It is one of the earliest Polish churches in Detroit, founded after St. Albertus and Sweetest Heart of Mary (both also visible from our East window). At one time in had a convent and a school (both elementary and high school) run by the Felician Sisters. (The high school tuition was $4.00/month when the schools were closed in 1960.) Together with the German St. Joseph parish nearby, with its splendid liturgical musical program, they form a parish cluster. When we first arrived in Detroit and were driving through the neighborhood, we were going East on Canfield St. and came to Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church, which sported a banner announcing the August 12th 2007 Pierogi Festival. Among other things, the banner regaled us with bold letters: "GAMBLING, BEER, and BINGO!" "Our kind of place," declared my wife, allowing as we could stop looking for a parish home then and there. Between a name like Sweetest Heart of Mary and "Gambling, beer, and bingo" and Polish Pierogis & Polkas, how could you go wrong! As things turned out, we find ourselves just a few blocks away at St. Josaphat where the usus antiquior is offered. Yet we identify with the cluster of parishes of which Sweetest Heart of Mary is a part.

Fr. Mark Borkowski, who is the administrator of this cluster of parishes in metro Detroit, has been largely responsible for facilitating the implimentation of the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Josaphat, first as an Indult, under the 1988 Ecclesia Dei provision, which expanded the earlier authorization of 1984, and then under the current provisions of Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum (2007). St. Josaphat has worked in close cooperation with the Tridentine community in Windsor, Ontario, now at historic Assumption Catholic Church.

As church buildings go, St. Josaphat is attractive, if comparatively modest. Many of the older churches in Detroit are far more elegant and ornate. One thinks of St. Mary's Church in Greektown, St. Florian in Hamtramck, Assumption Grotto, the recently closed St. John Cantius, or even the interior of Sweetest Heart of Mary. As Masses go, I can think of parishes that offer more ornate liturgical settings than St. Josaphat. The orchestral Mass settings offered regularly by Assumption Grotto and even the musical programs offered by St. Joseph's in our parish cluster are cases in point. Yet the Missa Cantata offered every Sunday morning at St. Josaphat in the forma extraordinaria is beautifully simple, reverent, and focused. The music director, Wassim Sarweh, does a commendable job. (While these recordings are far from perfect, here are two clips, the first from the Sanctus Mass VIII -- Missa de Ángelis, January 21, 2007, and the second from the Kyrie Eleison - Mass for Four Voices, April 8, 2007.) Best of all, there is nothing to distract one spiritually from full active participation in the Mass. For the first time in many, many years, my wife tells me that she no longer dreads going to Mass, but actually looks forward to Sundays. I am grateful and quite agree.

Celebrants of the usus antiquior at St. Josephat rotate among a number of different priests, some from Polish or German backgrounds with notable accents in their homilies. His Excellency, Bishop Earl A. Boyea has also served as celebrant in the Sunday morning Tridentine Mass. Homilies consistently address substantial matters at the heart of the Catholic Faith and are generally very good. Fr. Borkowski himself exemplifies many of the qualities that attract persons such as my wife and myself to St. Josaphat, although he (and others) may be surprised by my saying so. He is a good and attentive confessor, yet outside the confessional he has a somewhat taciturn, if not curmudgeonly, demeanor. In the pulpit, he speaks the plain truth without mollycoddling. There is nothing of the mealy-mouthed, glad-handing huckster here. Call us strange, but my wife finds that refreshing, and so do I. I do not think we are alone, however, from the several deeply devoted parishioners we have met so far.

At the end of the past year, Alex Begin offered some remarks on "2007 in Review" in his Tridentine Community News column in the parish newsletter (December 30, 2007). Among other things, he commented on Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, and its effect on those in the "Tridentine trenches." He writes:
There is no question that there has been a refreshing change in attitude in the Archdiocese of Detroit. To their credit, even if they are not particularly fond of the Classic Form of the Liturgy, many diocesan leaders have seen the way the Roman wind is blowing. They have displayed concern for St. Josaphat that this writer never expected to see. Auxiliary Bishop Earl Boyea has even arranged his schedule t celebrate Mass at St. Josaphat approximately once per quarter, no small feat for someone whose Sundays are chock-full of appointments and obligations to visit countless parishes.
It is worth noting here that just after the mutu proprio came out in July, Fr. Borkowski said that he doubted whether "more than two or three other parishes will begin offering the old Mass" ("Traditionalists welcome wider OK for Tridentine Mass," Michigan Catholic, July 13, 2007). In his December 30th column, however, Mr. Begin observes:
Apart from St. Josaphat, 21 other parishes in our region have either started or are exporing starting Tridentine Masses of their own, proving that there has been latent demand for this liturgy.
After some remarks about recent developments in Windsor, he continues:
Sacramental activity has increased: Our core group of three churches has already witnessed Baptisms, Funerals, and one Wedding according to the Extraordinary Form. Next up: Confession in the Classic Form.

At the international level, the year started out on a fine note with the publication of Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical stressing reverence in worship, proper adherence to rubrics, and use of Latin and chant. Two parishes in Detroit added latin to their Novus Ordo Masses in response to this document.

July 7 saw the publication of the long-awaited Motu Proprio that gives any priest the right to celebrate the Tridentine Mass and Classic Form Sacraments. Although its effective date was not until September 14, arrangements for new Extraordinary Form Masses began worldwide almost immediately.

EWTN stepped right up to the plate and offered its first live Tridentine Mass on September 14, celebrated by Fr. Josef Bisig, founder of the Fraternity of St. Peter. No stranger to our region, a few weeks after this historic broadcast, Fr. Bisig came to Michigan to celebrate the Solemn High Anniversary Mass for our sister Tridentine Community in Flint. Music for that Mass was provided by a joint Assumption-St. Josaphat Choir. EWTN broadcast a second live Extraordinary Form Mass on December 15, and has promised to do more on a regular basis.

Another long-awaited move was made when Pope Benedict replaced longtime Papal Master of Ceremonies Archibishop Piero Marini with Msgr. Gido Marini (no relation). The latter shares our Holy Father's desire for liturgies by-the-book, unlike his more freeform predecessor. The first Masses organized by the new MC already show his thinking: The altar has been arranged to our Holy Father's published liking, with the traditional six tall candles and a crucifix in the middle on which the celebrant can focus. Traditional vestments and an old Papal Chair have reappeared. Msgr. Marini has also made several public statements supporting the Motu Proprio. Is a Papal Tridentine Mass in the future?

The vatican music program is next up for reform: As anyone who has watched Masses broadcast from St. Peter's Basilica can attest, the Sistine Choir does not possess the professionalism one would expect from Chirstendom's premier church. Our Holy Father noticed: As a first step, in 2007, he appointed a new choir director, Fr. Pierre Paul, to re-establish Gregorian Chant as the primary form of singing the Mass and Vespers at St. Peter's Basilica. It would not be illogical to expect that soon, a new director will be appointed for the Sistine Choir, the special choir that sings for papal ceremonies....

In twelve months, both our local and international situation have turned around better than we could ever have imagined. We have our Holy Father, local authorities, and especially the Holy Trinity to thank for that. And thank them we should, by way of spiritual bouquets and Rosaries of thanksgiving.
Amen to that.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


An exchage some years ago between Sen. Phil Gramm and a federal bureaucrat who wanted to expand a program of government child care is telling. Gramm opined that mothers and fathers are best equipped for child-rearing because they love their children more. The official protested, replying, "I love your children as much as you do, Senator." To which Gramm responded, "I am very pleased to hear that. What are their names?"

[Acknowledgement: Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus, "The Public Square," First Things (January 2008), 65.]

The New Technology Is for Amateurs

By Tom Bethell

The mail brought with it the latest issue of The Latin Mass magazine (Fall 2007) -- accompanied by a fundraising letter ("a critical juncture -- an urgent request"). The papal motu proprio freeing up the Tridentine Latin Mass (Summorum Pontificum, released July 7) meant that the magazine had now become "more important than ever," the fundraiser said, but, "at the same time, forces of opposition -- both within and without the Church -- are already lining up to prevent, in any way they can, a Latin Mass restoration."

The letter added that Keep the Faith, the parent organization that publishes the magazine, has a $32,000 printing bill for each issue. With five issues a year, that means The Latin Mass costs $160,000 a year just to print. It is sent free to over 1,000 priests, in addition to regular subscribers. Readers were therefore invited to make contributions (as much as $25,000 was suggested) to keep the worthy enterprise afloat.

The new papal document about the Tridentine Latin Mass meant that the magazine really did have some news to report, and the issue that accompanied the fundraising letter duly published the motu proprio itself, and some interesting reflections and analyses by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., the Editor-in-Chief of the excellent Homiletic & Pastoral Review, and by others, including Baylor University's Michael P. Foley, the author of Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday?

It occurred to me that the magazine might very well consider publishing a continuing feature in every issue, listing those dioceses and parishes where the Tridentine Mass may be heard in the U.S. It would also be interesting to read more about those "forces of opposition," particularly episcopal, who see fit to resist a "Latin Mass restoration" within their own jurisdiction.

In fact, a look back at earlier issues shows that a decade ago the magazine did exactly that. It published a list of churches where readers could attend "traditional Latin Masses under papal indult in the U.S. and Canada." The slow expansion of this list has been, in America, the most newsworthy development connected with the Latin Mass; it is difficult to understand why it was dropped.

In one of his final columns in The Wanderer, after a 23-year run, Joseph Sobran remarked that journalists are always searching for the new, and now, in restoring the Latin Mass based on the 1962 missal, Pope Benedict had come along and reminded us of what was old, or permanent. Sobran called this "the healing of a terrible wound in Catholic life," and he entitled that part of his column Habemus Papam!

All the same, Catholic journals do need to deal with new things, otherwise they might as well be books, or church pamphlets. For once, then, a periodical publication devoted to something as unchanging as the Latin Mass seemed appropriate.

Nonetheless, in recent years The Latin Mass magazine has increasingly filled its editorial space with installments of Church history -- the 17th century, for example. It has been inclined to overlook the new just at the time when the news is relevant to the magazine's mission. (It does include a column of unfamiliar news items, "Roman Landscape," by an Italian journalist.) The Latin Mass has also opted for a professional, shiny-paper look, and strips of self-consciously arty purple ink are pasted into every page. I much preferred the amateurish but engaged look and feel of the magazine of years past. (I am glad to see that the NOR has not switched over to glossy paper and is content with black ink.)

This brings me to the more fundamental point that I want to make. When it comes to Catholic publications, the distinction between professional and amateur is a revealing one. And unless I am much mistaken, modern-day journalism, which is being herded willy-nilly by the technological revolution onto the Internet, is moving in a direction where it will eventually be recaptured by amateurs and liberated from the professionals.

Why is an updated list of Latin Masses not now published in The Latin Mass? I think the answer is provided by The Wanderer, a conservative Catholic weekly that has been in business for over 140 years. On the front page of its October 4 issue, Paul Likoudis reported that "Internet Drives Interest in 'Extraordinary Rite.'" He mentioned various websites, among them www.sum­, which "runs a daily update on news and information pertaining to the implementation of the motu proprio." The Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei also runs such a site (www.ecclesia­, and in telling readers where they can find an indult Tridentine Mass, Keep the Faith's website links to Ecclesia Dei, not to its own Latin Mass, which has dropped this feature.

Online publication liberates journals from $32,000 printing bills, of course, not to mention huge additional payments to the U.S. Postal Service. And, whether we like it or not, this is a revolution that cannot be stopped. We have only begun to see its consequences -- Crisis magazine has ceased its print edition, and has moved online, and it wouldn't entirely surprise me if one day The Wanderer were to follow suit.

The liberal National Catholic Reporter recently sent a letter to its subscribers explaining that the recent 23 percent postal increase would translate into an additional $95,000 cost for the magazine. In consequence, it is reducing its publication schedule to 24 issues a year -- 18 fewer than at present. The letter added that "breaking news on issues important to the Catholic community will still be posted at as soon as it becomes available." It's the same story everywhere.

Examine Catholic periodicals and you begin to realize something else. The professional/amateur divide roughly corresponds to the liberal/conservative divide. For reasons that are hard to fathom, conservatives are temperamentally uncomfortable with the idea of reporting. Journals without journalism sometimes seem to be a conservative specialty. Reporting, which involves telephoning strangers who may well not want to talk to you, has been a liberal enterprise from the beginning. The present Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Nick Lemann, who started out in journalism at about the same time as I did and on the same paper, once asked me this simple question: Why don't conservatives do reporting? Good question -- and not an easy one to answer. (I'm not going to struggle with an answer here -- it would take too long.)

For a number of years I have subscribed to the National Catholic Reporter and The Wanderer; and quite apart from the very different worldviews underlying each, it's clear also that the Reporter is the more professional, while The Wanderer to a large extent relies on the free or almost free contributions from a handful of volunteers around the country. They know what is going on in their own neighborhood and send in occasional reports to The Wanderer's office in St. Paul, Minn. I am thinking about people like Chris Manion in Front Royal, Va., Thomas S. Roeser in Chicago, and Dexter Duggan in Arizona. Paul Likoudis seems to be the only staff reporter.

Please note that when I say "amateur" I don't necessarily imply "bad"; nor is "professional" necessarily good. The New York Times is the soul of professionalism, yet I would not rely on it to understand what is going on in the country.

Wanderer contributors surely do have other sources of income. They are not working for the money, and in that sense they are amateurs. We should also bear in mind the Latin root of the word amateur: they love their subject -- which is the Catholic Church. That is not always the case with paid professionals. I once knew a man who played violin for the London Symphony Orchestra. He told me in a weary moment that he had no real interest in music. But he had learned to play the violin as a child, and, hey, it was a job. Thus spoke a true professional.

Reading the National Catholic Reporter is a strange experience because one sometimes gets the impression (as one does also with Britain's Tablet) that its editors and contributors don't really love their subject. In fact, the goal of these journals seems at times to be to subvert the Church. They want to put her at the service of a worldly mission focused on the living conditions of the poor -- something that is quite distinct from the Church's mission, which is the salvation of souls (be they rich or poor). The Jesuit magazine America suffered from much the same defect when I read it, but I found it so dull that I let my subscription lapse years ago. Ditto Commonweal.

I still get the Reporter, but I am already wondering whether to renew. With its interest in "liberation ecology" and the impoverished material environment of Indian tribes in Latin America, and so on, I find it mostly tiresome, and of course, I can read it online. Nonetheless, it does have one excellent reporter, John L. Allen Jr., who seems to be genuinely interested in the Catholic Church and her direction, and he does real journalism on the topic. (I also get the impression from his work over the past couple of years that he is becoming more and more conservative. True?)

Now let me try to pull all this together. Readers of both the secular and the Catholic press are migrating to the Internet. Professional journalists are being laid off all over the country. I recently asked a woman who works for the San Francisco Chronicle how things were going at her paper. Well, she said, we laid off 70 people last week.

Who is replacing them? Bloggers. Individuals who are running their own websites. Amateurs, in a word. You may well think that they will never be able to replace the pros. Take the case of the Washington Post's recent investigation of conditions at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Md. The Post had two reporters working on it for weeks before anything came out and it must have cost them $100,000 in upfront cost. No upstart website could afford that.

True, but a hundred bloggers could. And that is what is happening. As the high-maintenance professionals retire, often without being replaced, and as the newsrooms begin to resemble ghost towns, flotillas of amateurs are taking up the slack. Slowly, they are taking over from the pros. Journalism, formerly practiced by pros at a few focal points, is being redistributed across tens of thousands of unpaid locations.

It's funny to think that The Wanderer, which in appearance is a half century out of date, with its truncated, 1940s-style headlines ("Reflects on 50 Years in the Priesthood," "Thanks Nicaragua for Commitment to Life,"), may now be so far behind the times that the publishing model of the future is about to catch up with it. That is a model in which unpaid volunteers who love their subject will find themselves better placed to tell us what is going on than once well-paid professionals who are rapidly becoming unaffordable.

In short, we are living in a revolution. In the world of Catholic publishing, the nature of that revolution probably won't become conspicuous until a few more publications abandon the Postal Service and their printing presses. Meanwhile, let's hope that fundraising for The Latin Mass keeps on track.

[Tom Bethell is a Contributing Editor of the New Oxford Revew and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (Regnery, 2005). The present article, "The New Technology Is for Amateurs," was originally published as a Last Things column in the New Oxford Review (December 2007), and is reproduced here by kind permission of New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley, CA 94706.]

Friday, January 04, 2008

Mark Shea: the problem with Calvinism

For a very good, thoughtful discussion of the problems of Calvinism on an existential level as well as a theological level, have a look at Mark Shea's discussion on January 2, 2008.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Remembering the Circumcision of Our Lord

Today is the Octave Day of Christmas -- the Eighth Day of Christmas -- which now marks the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. It used to commemorate the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord and bore the title In Circumcisione Domini et Octav Nativitatis. It represented Jesus, the "Giver of the Law," as consenting to submit to the Law of Moses, and also as spilling His blood for the first time for the sake of mankind. Thus, it demonstrated not only the obedience of Jesus, but forshadowed His Crucifixion.

The eighth day following His birth, Jesus was presented in the Temple and circumcised according to the Law of Moses. On this occasion, He was given the name Jesus, which the Archangel Gabriel had announced to the Virgin Mary. Circumcision was the Old Covenant proto-type of baptism in the New Covenant. In fulfilling the Old Testament Law, Jesus also replaced it with Baptism in His Church as was proclaimed by the Apostle Paul: "For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation" (Galatians 6:15).

Note that the Mother of God was never eclipsed in the traditional commemoration of the Circumcision of Our Lord. As John J. Tierney wrote in his article on "Feast of the Circumcision" in the Catholic Encyclopedia exactly a hundred years ago in 1908:
It is to be noted also that the Blessed Virgin Mary was not forgotten in the festivities of the holy season, and the Mass in her honour was sometimes said on this day. Today, also, while in both Missal and Breviary the feast bears the title In Circumcisione Domini et Octav Nativitatis, the prayers have special reference to the Blessed Virgin, and in the Office, the responses and antiphons set forth her privileges and extol her wonderful prerogatives. The psalms for Vespers are those appointed for her feasts, and the antiphons and hymn of Lauds keep her constantly in view.
Note also, however, that the Circumcision of Our Lord has all but disappeared from discourse surrounding the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. We ought to try and remedy that.

Best wishes for a happy new year!

  • Kul 'am wa antum bikhair (Arabic)
  • San nin faailok! (Cantonese)
  • Stastny Novy Rok (Czech)
  • Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! (Dutch)
  • Ein Gleuckliches neues Jahr! (German)
  • Blian nua faoi mhaise duit! (Gaelic)
  • Sal-e no mubarak! (Farsi)
  • Onnellista uutta vuotta! (Finnish)
  • Zalig Nieuw Jaar! (Flemish)
  • Bonne Annee! (French)
  • Shana tova! (Hebrew)
  • Felice Anno Nuovo! (Italian)
  • Shinnen omedeto goziamasu! (Japanese)
  • Bonum annum ingrediaris! (Latin)
  • Linksmu Nauju Metu! (Lithuanian)
  • Selamat Tahun baru! (Malayan)
  • Kong He Xin Xi! (Mandarin)
  • Szczesliwego Nowego Roku! (Polish)
  • Feliz Ano Novo! (Portuguese)
  • La Multi Ani! (Romanian)
  • S Novym Godom! (Russian)
  • Srechna Nova Godina! (Serbian)
  • Srechno Novo Leto! (Slovenian)
  • Feliz Ano Nuevo! (Spanish)
  • Masaganang Bagong taon! (Tagalog)
  • Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun! (Turkish)
  • Chuc Mung nam moi! (Vietnamese)
  • Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! (Welsh)