Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Divine Office – Part 3 Books – Ordinary Form

Tridentine Community News (January 30, 2011):
The official Latin edition of the Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours, the Litúrgia Horárum, is published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican Press, and is available at This book gained some local fame when former Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Flores’ official photo showed His Excellency holding a copy, the title clearly visible in larger image views.

Midwest Theological Forum published, with Vatican approval, a Latin edition in 2009 based upon the Vatican’s 2000 edition, but including saints that had been added to the calendar over the preceding nine years. See

A parallel column Latin-English subset entitled, and containing only, Lauds and Vespers, is available from Newman House Press at Though it has some merits over the official English translation, the English in this edition is not the official version and thus may not be used in public prayer of the Office. Also note that this book contains only the Proper of Seasons, and not the Proper of Saints, so it is incomplete. It also suffers from some noticeable typographical errors. It must be viewed as a book to encourage praying the Ordinary Form Office in Latin, with English provided for understanding.

The official English-only Liturgy of the Hours is available at As with many Ordinary Form materials, the current Vatican Latin edition was published in 2000, but this English edition is based upon the earlier 1971 Latin edition. An intervening 1985 Latin edition was never translated.

Tutorial Books

PCP Books has republished 1961’s Learning the New Breviary from Benzinger and 1960’s Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal from The Liturgical Press, two guides to using the 1961 Breviary that will be of interest to those starting to pray the traditional Divine Office. Do not be dissuaded by the word “new” in the first title; it refers to the rubrics that were new when the book was originally published. See The first book is also downloadable from

On-Line Resources, pictured below, is the most comprehensive web site for the Traditional Office. It contains parallel Latin and (hieratic) English, in either cell phone or full PC screen views. It even gives you the choice of viewing the Hours in one of several Breviary Editions, including Divíno Afflátu, 1955, 1960, and the “active” 1960/61 with modified calendar. contains the 1961 Breviary and Little Office of the Blessed Virgin in Latin only. Its chief advantage is that it is quickly navigable.

A downloadable book-format 1961 Latin/English Diurnále Románum is available at: offers a free app for Blackberry, iPhone, and Android phones. Endorsed by the Vatican and rapidly being enhanced, it includes the Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours in Latin, English, and other languages. It assumes no expertise on the part of the user and displays the entire Office as it should be prayed. Support for the Extraordinary Form is beginning, starting with the Ordinary of the Holy Mass. We would not be surprised to see the Traditional Breviary added in the future.

The Vatican offers on-demand recordings of the day’s Lauds, Vespers, and Compline in Latin in the Ordinary Form at:

As appealing as it might appear at first glance, is not recommended. It is a confusing, fee-based, pre-1961 edition of the Breviary, prepared from a sedevacantist viewpoint.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John Bosco, Confessor)

Tue. 02/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr)

Wed. 02/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 30, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Irish Confessional

An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church..

There's a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates.

Then the priest comes in. The Irishman says to him:
"Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be."
The priest replies:
"Get out. You're on my side."
[Hat tip to John Bell]

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Antisemite blog trolls

"A Dialogue with a Troll" (Fringe Watch, January 26, 2011) recounts a combox incident attendant to our post, "Our brilliant dismal education results" (January 2, 2011), and begins by observing:
There's nothing like a blog-post about Israel to bring the loons out of the woodwork. So when Dr. Philip Blosser (aka. Pertinacious Papist) circulated a video demonstrating UCLA college students' appalling ignorance about Israel, it came as no suprise that his comments box would be infested by a troll.
All-too-often certain anti-semitic rad-trads, animated by the discovery that bad things are said about Jesus in the Talmud (a loose conglomeration of commentary on everything under the sun), assume that this gives them warrant for tarring all Jews as Christ-killers and sworn enemies of the Church -- which makes about as much sense as holding all white Americans responsible for the slave trade or holding all Germans responsible for Naziism, or holding all Italians responsible for Nero's execution of the Apostles Peter and Paul in ancient Rome. What they don't seem to know is that even these passages of the Talmud are strongly contested within the Jewish community.

Perhaps most appalling is the whole attitude that says 'let's dredge up the worst possible thing this or that Jew might have said about Christianity' and toss it into an internet conversation to stir the pot, as though it were a real argument. The poster's intent speaks for itself.

Another claim of the combox interloper calling for clarification is the 'Christians had it better under Saddam' statement. While we have called attention to the present plight of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq (see our post, "In Memoriam: Massacre of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq," Musings, November 21, 2010), we are also well-aware that those Catholics Iraqis who have lived or still live in Iraq are well-aware of the sufferings -- the torture, the rapes, the murders, the assassinations, the secret police under the previous administration -- on which the relative safety and security they enjoyed were sadly predicated. For an observer to smugly suggest that 'Christians had it better under Saddam' is akin to suggesting that the Germans might have "had it good" during the early days of the Third Reich. Such "observations" ultimately get us nowhere, but perhaps distract us from the real question: who are the oppressors and persecutors now?

The aforementioned Fringe Watch post does a thorough job of analyzing and debunking these common sorts of misconceptions. Topical headings of the post include: 1) Jesus in the Talmud; 2) Muslims or Jews - which are more hospitable to Christians? 3) What does it mean that Christians "had it better under Saddam Hussein?" Well worth the read.

Abortion's link to contraceptive mentality

Michael Voris has sparked considerable reaction with a number of recent "Vortex" episodes devoted to the link between abortion and contraception. The link occurs in the contraceptive outlook "birth control" has generated in the culture at large. Something like 50% of abortions occur, allegedly, as a result of failed contraception, giving the lie to the notion that abortion isn't regarded significantly as "backup contraception." One of the saddest stories is the one Voris relates in his episode entitled "The Third Rail" regarding a deacon who was apparently "retired" (or something) by his diocese after preaching against contraception in his parish. He simply disappeared.
  • "March for Life" (January 24, 2011).
  • "See You Next Year" (The March for Life will be an annual event forever unless something changes) (January 24, 2011)
  • "The Third Rail" (How the topic of contraception can kill your career) (January 26, 2011)
  • "A Divided House" (What divides Protestants from Catholics in the Pro-Life movement) (January 27, 2011)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Amazing: Interactive Virtual Tour of Sistine Chapel

Accompanying note received via email:
Almost better than being there because you can see all the paintings up close without straining your neck (or waiting in line).

TO VIEW EVERY PART OF THE MICHAEL D'ANGELO'S MASTERPIECE, JUST CLICK on the link above, then DRAG the ARROW [cursor] IN THE DIRECTION YOU WANT TO SEE. In the lower left, click on the plus (+) to move move closer or the minus (-) to move away. Hold the left button on your ouse down to rotate the picture. This virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel is incredible. Apparently done by Villanova at the request of the Vatican. Viva technology [when it works for good]!

"Falling" out of the priesthood? Please...

I received the following email today at the seminary where I teach:
The experience of falling in love is overwhelming for anyone, but especially for a priest. When love erupts in a priest’s heart, he realizes everything he has worked for is put at risk – his ministry, reputation, the esteem of parishioners, other priests, his bishop and possibly family and friends. He risks losing his job, home, health insurance and, sadly in some dioceses, his retirement. On top of all this is the fear of spiritual condemnation by the Church who claims to wield the power of God himself. So, rather than romantic love being a treasured gift from God, it becomes a threat to a priest’s very survival and puts him in crisis. Even though they know this, most priests still yearn for a significant other with whom they can have a close, intimate relationship...

You can find the remainder of this article and other challenges priests face on this link:

PLEASE! Stop all this maudlin nonsense. Give it a rest. It's tedious and boring. There's this little tiny fact about human beings that has apparently slipped through the cracks and been lost from view: we have a tiny little faculty called a WILL. Yes, it often falls under the rubric of free will, or free choice, or volition. If human beings lacked the capacity of making a promise and keeping it by free will, then there would never have ever been such things as faithful marriages, which still exist, by the way, if not in the overwhelming abundance found in our grandparents' generation. "Falling in love" is a smokescreen for negligence in the exercise of one's free will. It's an excuse. A cop out. Everyone USED to understand this. It's insane that anyone should have to point it out today.

It's no different with vows made by a seminarian when he becomes a priest than it is with a man or woman entering into holy matrimony. You make a promise because, as a human being, you are capable of exercising your will in remaining faithful to your promise. You refuse to allow yourself the narcissistic self-indulgence of "FALLING" in love with anyone or anything other than your vowed love. In matrimony, that means eschewing all others besides your spouse. In holy orders, that means eschewing all others besides Christ. This is half the problem with relationships these days: they're all-too-often based on mere feelings. "I've got to be true to my authentic FEELINGS, dear. I'm divorcing you." Or: "I've got to be true to my genuine inner self and how I really FEEL: I'm quitting the priesthood, getting laicized and getting married." PLEASE. This has about as much credibility as an Oprah or Dr. Phil show. Don't get any on me, please.

The language of "FALLING in love" tacitly exculpates the subject, implying that he's a passive victim of Cupid's arrow of romantic love, and therefore not responsible for what is happening. It conceals the fact that the subject who thus "FALLS in love" always at some point GIVES himself permission to partake in this self-indulgence of infatuation. "Falling" implies helplessness; but the subject is never entirely helpless. What was it that Chesterton said about falling? -- "There are many, many angles at which one can fall but only one angle at which one can stand straight." Standing clearly involves the will. One cannot fall asleep standing. But "falling" in love, like "falling" into sin, involves the will too. Otherwise our Lord could never have commanded us to love one another.

Are you a priest? Stand up and be a man. Semper fi means "always faithful." Are you a seminarian approaching your vows? Remember: this is nothing forced upon you. You are making a free choice. Weigh your options prayerfully, as I'm sure you are. And when you take your vows, remember the words of St. Thomas More in the words of Robert Bolt's dramatic representation of his life, A Man for All Seasons: "To take an oath is to hold our very self in our hands. If at this moment we open our hands and let it slip through like water we need not hope to find ourselves again."

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Divine Office – Part 2: Reforms of the Traditional Breviary

Tridentine Community News (January 23, 2011):
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, Summórum Pontíficum specifies that those following the Extraordinary Form must use the books in force in 1962. For the Breviary, this means the 1961 edition, which was the result of several iterations of modifications during the 20th century.

The first such change to the Breviary occurred when Pope Pius X in his letter Divíno Afflátu ordered a new Psalter and modified rubrics to be used in the Breviary as of January 1, 1913.

Perhaps because of the difficulties in typesetting in the pre-computer era, something interesting happened in the case of the Liber Usuális, the book used by a cantor to chant the Propers of Mass and the Divine Office. Instead of revising the text of the Liber, the publishers decided to put the new Psalm texts in an appendix, leaving the old Psalter in the main body of the Liber. This makes it easy for a curious reader to compare the “Before and After” Latin texts. In a cursory perusal of the revisions, the changes to the text do not significantly affect the meaning of the Psalms. The changes are less noticeable to the casual reader than the difference in flow and feel of the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible versus the New American Bible, for example.

In 1955 Pope Pius XII simplified the rubrics of the Breviary. In 1960 Pope John XXIII modified the rubrics again and also changed the structure of Feasts in the calendar. The details of these reforms are beyond the scope of this article, but they do demonstrate that liturgical change was arguably more extensive and frequent with regards to the Breviary than with regards to the Roman Missal. For those who are interested, a detailed study of the various reforms was published as a series of articles on under the title, Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary 1568-1961.

For this reason, you will see currently-in-print guidebooks to the Extraordinary Form Breviary making reference to the “New [1961] Breviary”, not to be confused with the Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours.


Until 1964, it was only permissible to pray the 1961 Breviary in Latin. In April of that year, the U.S. Bishops, with subsequent approval by Rome, permitted the use of two English translations of the Divine Office, the first an English-only edition published by Benzinger Brothers, and the second a Latin-English edition published by the Liturgical Press of Collegeville, Minnesota.

Because Summórum Pontíficum specifies that we are to use the 1962, and not 1964, liturgical books, it is questionable whether an English translation approved in 1964 should be used for prayer of the Office. Consider that the 1961, and not 1964, edition of the Colléctio Rítuum subset of the Rituále Románum book of blessings and sacraments is the norm for use in the Extraordinary Form. As an aid to understanding the text, however, there is no question that these translations are of value.

The Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours may be prayed in either Latin or the vernacular.

Books – Extraordinary Form

A newly published, Latin-only, two-volume edition of the Breviárium Románum is available at

A one-volume Latin-only edition that excludes Matins is known as the Diurnále Románum. This compact edition is popular because of its portability. A newly republished version is available at

A widely-anticipated, long-delayed three volume Latin-English edition is expected from missal publisher Baronius Press in 2011 ( This will be an updated, proofread, and corrected version of the Collegeville edition mentioned above. Unfortunately, it uses rather modern English, with uncapitalized pronouns referring to the Persons of the Blessed Trinity. This is not in keeping with the vernacular used in most missals for the Extraordinary Form.

The Monastic Diurnal from Britain’s St. Michael’s Abbey Press ( is a Latin-English presentation of the Benedictine Divine Office. Its advantage is that it is the only in-print 1961 Breviary to use hieratic English in the translations, making it concordant with the style of prayer found in most English Tridentine hand missals. Its disadvantage is that it is a modified version of the standard Office.

Angelus Press offers a book called Divine Office which is advertised as a parallel Latin-English text. However, it only contains Lauds and Vespers for Sundays, limiting its usefulness.

Hopefully Rome will soon clarify two issues: 1) Can the Traditional Divine Office be prayed in the vernacular, and if so, which translation(s) are permitted? 2) Is it permissible to pray the monastic version of the Office? Note that “permissible” in this sense really applies to public recitation or chanting of the Office, or legality of using these versions to satisfy one’s clerical obligations. Laymen may reasonably use any edition for private prayer, as they are under no obligations. Nevertheless, all things being equal, it would be preferable to use an approved edition or translation to remain with the mind of the Church.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Timothy, Bishop & Martyr)

Tue. 01/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Conversion of St. Paul)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 23, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rome conference calls for post-Vatican II Syllabus of Errors

Some of you will remember Bishop Athanasius Schneider, author of the well-known monograph, Dominus Est (It is the Lord), from his lecture at the last Call to Holiness Conference, hosted at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan. Bishop Schneider was one of the lecturers at a recent conference in Rome on December 16-18, devoted to "a correct hermeneutics of the Council in the light of Church Tradition." The roster of speakers included Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Bishop Luigi Negri, and Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus of the Vatican secretariat of state.

One of the main criticisms raised by speakers at the conference, according to Sandro Magister in a recent post, "A New Syllabus for the 21st Century" (www.chiesa, January 14, 2011), was "above all the 'pastoral' nature of Vatican II and the abuses that have taken place in its name."

Conference speakers included Professor Roberto de Mattei, who just published a history of Vatican II that culminates in a request that Benedict XVI promote "a new examination" of the conciliar documents in order to dispel the suspicion that they broke with traditional Church teaching. Mattei is also among signatories to an appeal to the pope that the proposed meeting in Assisi "not reignite the syncretistic confusion" of the first, the one convened on October 27, 1986, by John Paul II.

Another of the conference speakers was theologian Brunero Gherardini, 85, a canon of the basilica of Saint Peter, professor emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University, and director of the journal of Thomistic theology "Divinitas." Gherardini, according to Magister, is also author of a volume on Vatican II that concludes with an "Appeal to the Holy Father," asking him to "submit the documents of the Council for reexamination, in order to clarify once and for all 'if, in what sense, and to what extent' Vatican Council II is or is not in continuity with the previous magisterium of the Church." The preface to Gherardini's book was written by Albert Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo and former secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, who was elevated to a cardinal at the consistory of last November.

Ranjith is one of the two bishops to whom www.chiesa recently dedicated an article with this title: "Ratzinger's Best Pupils Are in Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan" (www.chiesa, October 14, 2010). And the second of these bishops, of course, is Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the principal speaker of the conference under discussion in this post.

Present in the audience of Schneider's lecture, entitled "The Challenge of Opposing Interpretations" (scroll down in linked article), were cardinals, curia officials, and prominent theologians -- as well as a large contingent of Franciscans of the Immaculate, a young religious congregation following in the footsteps of Saint Francis, bursting with vocations and of decidedly orthodox in orientation, the polar opposite of the so-called "spirit of Assisi" and the organizer of the conference itself, according to Magister.

Of particular interest for our readers will be the statements of Bishop Schneider touching on the subject of how post-Vatican II confusions have impacted the liturgical life of Catholics:
This phenomenon can be seen in three liturgical practices that are fairly well known and widespread in almost all the parishes of the Catholic sphere: the almost complete disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic body of Christ directly in the hand while standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people are constantly looking at each other.

This way of praying – without everyone facing the same direction, which is a more natural corporal and symbolic expression with respect to the truth of everyone being oriented toward God in public worship – contradicts the practice that Jesus himself and his apostles observed in public prayer, both in the temple and in the synagogue. It also contradicts the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and of all the subsequent tradition of the Eastern and Western Church.

These three pastoral and liturgical practices glaringly at odds with the law of prayer maintained by generations of the Catholic faithful for at least one millennium find no support in the conciliar texts, and even contradict both a specific text of the Council (on the Latin language: cf. "Sacrosanctum Concilium," 36 and 54) and the "mens," the true intention of the conciliar Fathers, as can be seen in the proceedings of the Council.
But Bishop Schneider is no less incisive in the following observation regarding the status of Vatican II itself, and in his call for a "new Syllabus":
In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts, written according to this pastoral intention, since the Council did not want to present its own definitive or unalterable teachings. From the same pastoral nature of the texts of the Council, it can be seen that its texts are in principle open to supplementation and to further doctrinal clarifications. Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of a specific and authoritative intervention of the pontifical magisterium for an authentic interpretation of the conciliar texts, with supplementation and doctrinal clarifications; a sort of "Syllabus" of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.

Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification. (emphasis added)
Bishop Schneider continues:
Two groupings stand out for their support of the theory of rupture. One of these groupings tries to "Protestantize" the life of the Church doctrinally, liturgically, and pastorally. On the opposite side are those traditional groups which, in the name of tradition, reject the Council and exempt themselves from submission to the supreme living magisterium of the Church, from the visible head of the Church, the vicar of Christ on earth, submitting meanwhile only to the invisible head of the Church, waiting for better times. [. . .]

In essence, there have been two impediments preventing the true intention of the Council and its magisterium from bearing abundant and lasting fruit.

One was found outside of the Church, in the violent process of cultural and social revolution during the 1960's, which like every powerful social phenomenon penetrated inside the Church, infecting with its spirit of rupture vast segments of persons and institutions.

The other impediment was manifested in the lack of wise and at the same time intrepid pastors of the Church who might be quick to defend the purity and integrity of the faith and of liturgical and pastoral life, not allowing themselves to be influenced by flattery or fear.

The Council of Trent had already affirmed in one of its last decrees on the general reform of the Church: "The holy synod, shaken by the many extremely serious evils that afflict the Church, cannot do other than recall that the thing most necessary for the Church of God is to select excellent and suitable pastors; all the more in that our Lord Jesus Christ will ask for an account of the blood of those sheep that should perish because of the bad governance of negligent pastors unmindful of their duty" (Session XXIV, Decree "de reformatione," can. 1).

The Council continued: "As for all those who for any reason have been authorized by the Holy See to intervene in the promotion of future prelates or those who take part in this in another way, the holy Council exhorts and admonishes them to remember above all that they can do nothing more useful for the glory of God and the salvation of the people than to devote themselves to choosing good and suitable pastors to govern the Church."

So there is truly a need for a Syllabus on the Council with doctrinal value, and moreover there is a need for an increase in the number of holy, courageous pastors deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church, free from any sort of mentality of rupture, both in the doctrinal field and in the liturgical field.

These two elements constitute the indispensable condition so that doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral confusion may diminish significantly, and so that the pastoral work of Vatican Council II may bear much lasting fruit in the spirit of the tradition, which connects us to the spirit that has reigned in every time, everywhere and in all true children of the Catholic Church, which is the only and the true Church of God on earth.
Related[Hat tip to Sandro Magister]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Abp. Dolan on greatest threat to Church

"Maybe the greatest threat to the Church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality, that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms." ~Archbishop Timothy Dolan

[Hat tip to Fr. John Higgins via Roger Lessa]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why bishops can't exempt clerics (including deacons) from continence

Following up on our post, "Canonist: Permanent Deacons must be celibate too" (Musings, January 16, 2011), is an update by Canonist, Dr. Ed Peters, clarifying an erroneous inference easily drawn by the layman, "Why Canon 277 § 3 does not allow bishops to exempt clerics from the obligation of continence" (In the Light of the Law, January 17, 2011):
Canon 277 § 3 states: “The diocesan bishop is competent to establish more specific norms concerning this matter [i.e., the perfect and perpetual continence of clerics, per Canon 277 § 2]” and to pass judgment in particular cases concerning the observance of this obligation.”

In my Studia article, I twice (see pp. 151 and 168) mention Canon 277 § 3, but only to say that it is of minimal importance in determining whether an obligation of perfect and perpetual continence is imposed on clerics under canon law. The audience for whom I wrote the article would have regarded my observation on 277 § 3 as non-controversial and would have moved on to the next point.

A number of bloggers, however, seem to think that Canon 277 § 3 is very important to this question, and indeed, that it is the Achilles heel of my argument. It is neither. At the risk of running down a rabbit trail, I will point out just two of the reasons why Canon 277 § 3 does not avail those who argue that married clerics in the West are not obligated to continence.

1. Canon 277 § 3 authorizes bishops to make specific rules which, given local circumstances, would support clerics in living in continence. To argue that local legislation can exempt clerics from a universal requirement is to turn the whole idea of local adaption of rules on its head. This is clear, I suggest, not only from common sense, but from the acknowledged predecessor norm of Canon 277 § 3, namely 1917 CIC 133 § 3, which stated “The judgment about retaining or frequenting women, even those who commonly fall under no suspicion, in particular cases where scandal is possible or where there is given a danger of incontinence, belongs to the Ordinary of the place, who can prohibit clerics from retaining or frequenting [such women].” Nothing in this norm remotely suggested that bishops could exempt clerics from the obligations in regard to chastity. Instead it allowed bishops to specify certain conduct that, like a fence around the law, must be avoided lest the fundamental obligations be endangered.

Examples of such local legislation were common in pre-conciliar canonistics, e.g., diocesan laws prohibiting priests from giving rides in their cars to single women, or telling them to avoid nightclubs, and so on. Local legislation was intended to protect the basic obligations, not to relax them.

2. Those who argue that Canon 277 § 3 allows bishops to relax the obligation of continence should think about what they are implicitly acknowledging: namely, that, if some bishops can relax the obligation thereby, others can impose it. But that would result in disciplinary chaos, of course, if say, the Archdiocese of San Francisco imposed continence on married clerics while across the bay the Diocese of Oakland exempted them from it. What would happen then?

Canon 277 § 3 is, as I have said, irrelevant as to whether the obligation of perpetual continence applies to married clerics in the Western Church. And that is the question before us. + + +

Update, 17 Jan 2011: The implications (or non-implications, as the case may be) of the 1998 joint dicasterial instruction (that's an important word here) on the diaconate, which document indeed contains the phrase “a certain continence” as an expectation for married deacons, is discussed in my target=_blankStudia article at pp. 172-174.
Dr. Ed Peters, "Debating complex points of law is hard enough; having to repudiate false quotations is too much" (In the Light of the Law, January 18, 2011).
[Hat tip to C.P.]

Neat little exposé of Detroit

He doesn't mention the 1967 race riots and white flight to the suburbs, but what he does mention is a significant part of it.

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Canonist: Permanent Deacons must be celibate too

Prepare to hear a public hue and cry about this.

I remember hearing from a Supernumerary in Opus Dei years ago that they don't use permanent deacons, because the position, as it is widely understood and practiced today, may have elements of irregularity about it. One thing I remember reading, when I got a copy of the original article by Ed Peters, a leading canon lawyer who works for the Vatican as well as Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, is that the term "permanent," which seems intended to qualify the deaconate in some way in the case of later vocations among often married men, is itself problematic. Deacons who are called "permanent," says Peters, are simply deacons.

I have had it in my mind to post an article on Peters' thesis for some time, but he and the ever productive members of his dynasty have saved me the trouble by putting the original article and a couple of other resources online. Here they are:In his summary of his article, Dr. Ed Peters writes
I first posted reference to my Studia Canonica (2005) article on Canon 277 and clerical continence after it was brought up in a debate in Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Since that time I have received many requests for copies of the Studia article, to which requests I replied as best I could. Now, with the kind permission of the editors at Studia, I can make a searchable PDF version of the article available, above.
The most substantive paragraph in Peters' summary is the following
The thesis of my Studia article (namely, that all clerics in the West, even those married, are canonically obligated to observe perfect and perpetual continence) has, for obvious reasons, provoked commentary, some of it public, some of it private, some of it by professionals, some of it by amateurs. I cannot monitor, let alone respond to, all discussions of this topic, and must therefore let the arguments made in Studia stand or fall on their own merits. But I will say this much: I believe that my interpretation of the clerical obligation of continence as set out chiefly in Canon 277 § 1 is persuasive; nothing I have seen over the last five years has caused me to think otherwise.
As Thomas (not Dr. Ed) Peter's states: "fair warning: the argument is air tight."

Update[Hat tip to Catherine Peters]

The Divine Office – Part 1

Tridentine Community News (January 16, 2011):

Many Catholics are aware to some degree that apart from the Mass, there is another set of structured prayers which are prayed according to a liturgical calendar. That set of prayers is known as the Offícium Divínum, or Divine Office. With its own changing Propers, the Divine Office is considered the official Prayer of the Church.

The Divine Office has long been regarded as primarily the province of priests and religious, but its recitation by laypeople has been gaining popularity. This column series will introduce this treasure of the Church, with a focus on the Extraordinary Form version.


A somewhat interchangeable vocabulary is associated with the Divine Office.

The Divine Office: The traditional title for this set of prayers, so named because there are several “offices”, or liturgical hours, of the day.

Breviárum Románum: The name of the official Latin books comprising the Extraordinary Form Divine Office.

The Breviary: The English name of the book(s) which contain the prayers of the Divine Office. As will be explained in a future column, there are several versions of the Breviary books. It is customary, though not strictly accurate, to refer to the Breviary (books) and the Divine Office (liturgy) interchangeably.

Litúrgia Horárum: The name of the official Latin books comprising the Ordinary Form Divine Office.

The Liturgy of the Hours: The English name of the books comprising the Ordinary Form Divine Office. This term is also often used for the name of the liturgy.

One can thus “pray the Divine Office”, “pray the Breviary”, or “pray the Liturgy of the Hours”. In keeping with the names of the Latin books, “praying the Breviary” should only refer to the Extraordinary Form, and “praying the Liturgy of the Hours” should only refer to the Ordinary Form, but these terms are often mixed and used for the other version.

Obligation to Pray the Divine Office

Canon 276 §2.3 states: “priests and deacons aspiring to the presbyterate are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours daily according to the proper and approved liturgical books; permanent deacons, however, are to carry out the same to the extent defined by the conference of bishops.”

Canon 1174 §1 states: “Clerics are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours according to the norm of Canon. 276, §2, n. 3; members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, however, are bound according to the norm of their constitutions.”

Canon 1174 §2 states: “Other members of the Christian faithful, according to circumstances, are also earnestly invited to participate in the liturgy of the hours as an action of the Church.”

Canon 1175 states: “In carrying out the liturgy of the hours, the true time for each hour is to be observed insofar as possible.”

In a monastery or convent, praying the Divine Office is relatively easy to do, as scheduled services are typically held in the facility’s chapel throughout the day. For priests, religious, and laymen on their own, however, this can be challenging. If you ever see a priest in public praying from a book, he is likely praying his Breviary. As a practical matter, other responsibilities make it nigh impossible for many priests to pray the entire Divine Office every day. In 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments clarified Canon Law and stated that unless one’s Ordinary (bishop) provides dispensation for a serious reason, priests and transitional deacons have a grave obligation to pray at least Lauds and Vespers every day.

The Hours

1. Matins (during the night), divided into up to three Nocturns (night readings). In the Ordinary Form, Nocturns have been eliminated and Matins have become the “Office of Readings”

2. Lauds (Dawn prayer)

3. Prime (Early morning prayer, around 6:00 AM). Prime was suppressed in the Ordinary Form.

4. Terce (Mid-morning prayer, around 9:00 AM)

5. Sext (Mid-day prayer, around noon)

6. None (Mid-afternoon prayer, around 3:00 PM)

7. Vespers (Evening prayer)

8. Compline [pronounced COM-plun] (Night prayer, before retiring)

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Anthony, Abbot)

Tue. 01/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Votive Mass of the Chair of St. Peter)

Sun. 01/23 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 16, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What Tabernacle placement tells us

"Michael Voris has another indirect, deeply nuanced reflection, this time touching on issues such as the placement of the tabernacle in churches," says Fr. Z in his post yesterday, "Michael Voris about tabernacles and, gasp, liberals!" (WDTPRS, January 12, 2011).

Voris is dead-on-target as to the heart the crisis in the Church today, whether we're talking about catechesis, or morals, or liturgy, or, yes, the placement of the Tabernacle in church: the problem of disbelief in Christ as the incarnation of the Living God and in His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Voris may not always get his facts right when talking about Protestants. Martin Luther, whom he references here, did in fact believe in the Real Presence. That was the sticking point in his debate with Ulrich Zwingli; but Voris is right about the effects of the Pandora's Box that Luther opened. The vast majority of Protestants today disbelieve in anything like the Real Presence, and the majority of "sacramentalized pagans" that populate many liberal (AmChurch) Catholic parishes are not far behind them.

Fr. Z. on the question of Masses 'in honor' of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fr. Z, "QUAERITUR: Mass 'in honor' of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." (WDTPRS, January 12, 2011):
I have received a few emails asking me (again, this year) if it is appropriate to celebrate Mass (again, this year) in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I look forward to the day that Masses are arranged by the same people for the intention of the late President Ronald Regan. how about Susan B. Anthony?

Of course that isn’t going to happen, is it.

Holy Church does not permit Masses in honor of a dead person who isn’t a saint or blessed with an cult approved by Holy Catholic Church. It is not permitted to celebrate Mass on honor of a person who has no official cult. As a matter of fact most blesseds can’t even be honored at the altar unless there is permission given for that locale or institute.

On the other hand, I think it is entirely appropriate to celebrate Mass to pray for the repose of the soul of someone who is dead. Surely Dr. King was a sinner, just as well are all sinners. Prayer for the dead is a work of mercy. We should pray relentlessly for the dead.

I suppose the Mass formulary they choose for such an occasion could reflect something of important social interests, such as the defense of human life. The late Dr. King would have appreciated that, I believe, given the fact that Planned Parenthood aimed at abortion of as many black children as possible.1

Masses for a dead person mustn’t be reduced to a “celebration of someone’s life”. That is not what Catholics do. During Mass we pray that God will be merciful to them.

  1. Dr. King’s legacy on reproductive issues appears to be mixed. He may not have favored abortion, but was reportedly honored by Planned Parenthood with its Margaret Sanger Award, who, ironically, promoted eugenics via abortion among the black population. See "Planned Parenthood for blacks: 'humane' alternative to death camps" (Musings, September 4, 2010). -- Site Editor [back]

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Assisi III?

Someone please tell me why this should be considered a good thing, and not a step beneath an international Care Bear convention? I have read that a pope at the time of the Protestant Reformation (Paul III?) went through the streets of Rome in sackcloth and ashes in penance for the sins of the Renaissance popes.1 That is a sort of procession I could gladly join. Even a public penance of this sort, led by the Pope in Rome, in supplication for world peace is something I -- and I think the world -- would find understandable. But this Assisi exercise, again, after the terrible confusion created by Assisi I and II? Of course, I am little more than a lowly pew peasant; but I cannot avoid voicing my concern bleat. Oremus!


  1. "In the very year that Henry VIII's obedient Parliament named him head of the English church, Pope Paul III went through the streets of Rome in sackcloth and ashes for the sins of his predecessors -- but not for their errors in doctrine." Sheldon Vanauken, "The English Channel: Between Canterbury and Rome," in Under the Mercy (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1985; rpt. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 226. [back]

Updates illustrating the controversial nature of the question:[Hat tip to J.M. for Fr. Z reference.]

The worst vocations poster ever

[Hat tip to Thomas Peters,, 1/12/2011, via K.K.]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the "Te Deum"

Long ago in the 1980s, even before I was Catholic, even before I had ever heard it sung, I had discovered the majesty of the "Te Deum." My first encounter with it was in King James-era English associated with the Anglican tradition. I noticed that it appeared in a couple of different translations in the Book of Common Prayer. In the older Cranmer-and-Coverdale vintage English translations, it had a power that is hard to describe. But I never heard it sung in church. I only heard it in recorded performances of settings by various classical composers -- Tallis, Lully, Purcell, Mozart, Berlioz, etc.

Once I heard Tom Howard describe how he was moved to tears when he first read the hymn, such was its powerful effect on him. And he was very nearly moved to tears just reading an excerpt for us:
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost ...
When I became a Catholic, I noticed that the Te Deum seldom appeared anywhere, and I wondered why. I did see it published in issues of Magnificat magazine, which I picked up here and there. Yet I never heard it sung on any occasions in church, except in the distally-related hymn, "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name," which isn't quite the same thing.

Apart from the "classical" Gregorian Chant settings, such as this 5th Century Monastic Chant setting, which I find beautiful, I have always thought (due, perhaps, to my particular idiosyncratic failings of taste) that it would be appropriate for the hymn to have a bold martial setting that could be accompanied easily by men in a congregation -- something that would strike terror into the hearts of The Enemy, like Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries" in Apocalypse Now. The closest thing I've run into yet was this setting with majestic organ accompaniment by Pierre Cochereau, the Maîtrise of Notre-Dame in Paris (courtesy of Fr. John Zuhlsdorff, January 11, 2011).

I love the smell of incense at Benediction in the morning. It smells like ... victory.

Kentucky Fried Chicken: a Japanese "Christmas Tradition"

Check out the crazy but interesting facts at "Today I Found Out" (December 23, 2010).

[Hat tip to C.B.]

The effects of "choice" on Black America

Black History Month: Life Speakers Series
Free of charge and open to all

From left to right: Sponsored by Right to Life of Michigan

For further details, see Print Flyer.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't worry. Be happy. Things are fine.

Life is too short for depressing Jeremiads. Bring on the happy-clappy; the touchy-feely. What's truth got to do with it? Party on, dudes! Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Come whistle past the graveyard with me. Let's sing a New Church into being, my friends! (Ever read them lyrics? Dynamite.) These are the good ol' days. We are Church! AmChurch. The wave of the future. The hope of the young. The Voice of the Faithful. We've got to exorcise all those dark, judgmental, negative thoughts about sin, guilt, and condemnation. The light of FAITH and HOPE needs to chase away the clouds of DOUBT and FEAR. Feel that fresh breeze blowing in your face? That's the balmy breeze of the Spirit of Vatican II, and this is the springtime of the New Church, a New Pentecost.

So, you surely won't want to listen to the wretched realism of this guy:
  • Time for answers [on why the NCR is allowed to call itself 'Catholic'] (Jan. 3)
  • The Larger issue [on who is actually in charge in chancery offices] (Jan. 4)
  • What is going on? [naming bishops courting anti-Catholic politicians] (Jan. 5)
  • Hell on earth [on the earthly effects of failing to uphold Church teaching on faith and morals] (Jan. 6)
  • What to do! [on how to start bailing water from the leaking Barque of St. Peter] (Jan. 7)
Well, which is it? Which will it be? Happy thoughts? Or wretched realism?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." And Hosea 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children." Oh, how dark and dreadful! Listen. Do you hear that sound? That wouldn't be the distant rumble of thundering hooves. The four horsemen of the apocalypse. I mean, would it? Of course not. Don't be stupid. What are we? Fundamentalists?

Say, and as long as you're up, would you grab me another beer from the fridge and bring some more salsa for these Doritos? I think American Idol is coming on. Oh, and don't forget to smile. God loves you. Just like you are. But you knew that. God don't make junk.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Translations and the Guardian Angel Prayer

Tridentine Community News (January 9, 2011):
More comments and questions have been generated about translations into the vernacular than about any of our other column topics. This week, a reader asked about the Prayer To One’s Guardian Angel found in the Manual of Indulgences. The current (2006) edition phrases the prayer as follows:
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love entrusts me here, enlighten and guard, rule and guide me. Amen.
Our reader mentioned that she had been taught a different wording of this prayer:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
She asked if reciting the “old” wording of the prayer still gained a Partial Indulgence. The answer is found in two places:

First, the heading to this prayer in the Manual of Indulgences states: “A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly invoke the care of their guardian Angel with a duly approved prayer (e.g.: Ángele Dei).” The widely-recalled traditional translation has not been abrogated, thus it is presumably still “a duly approved prayer”, seeing as how it is a translation of the same original Latin prayer with the same essential meaning. Thus the old wording would indeed be suitable to gain the indulgence.

Second, the First General Concession in the opening section of the Manual of Indulgences states: “A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, while carrying out their duties and enduring the hardships of life, raise their minds in humble trust to God and make, at least mentally, some pious invocation.” In other words, most any sincerely offered prayer will gain a partial indulgence, as long as one has a general intention to gain indulgences.

Why specify any particular prayers at all, if any prayer will do? The Church is instructing the faithful about the principal subjects for which to pray. Clear examples are given for those areas, to serve as models for other, perhaps more spontaneous prayers. The faithful might not necessarily think to pray for the Holy Father, for the souls of the faithful departed, or for the intercession of Ss. Peter & Paul, were it not for some master guidelines, provided in this principal reference book for devotional prayer.

We should be grateful to Holy Mother Church for the liberality with which she offers grants from her treasury of graces.

Next St. Albertus Mass: January 23

The first Extraordinary Form Mass at St. Albertus Church in 2011 will be held in two weeks, on Sunday, January 23 at noon.

Music for this Mass will be provided by members of the choir of Detroit’s St. Matthew Church. The Mass setting will be Albert Rosewig’s Mass in F, a rarely-performed composition for which sheet music was discovered while cleaning up the choir loft at St. Albertus. Celebrant for this Mass will be Fr. Mark Borkowski.

Additional Tridentine Masses at St. Albertus in 2011 will be held on the following Sundays at noon: March 20, May 15, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16, and November 6.

Mass Intentions Available

You may request that a Mass be said for a specific intention, or for a living or deceased person(s). Fill out one of the pink forms found at the missal table at the entrance to the church, place the form in an envelope with the Mass stipend ($20 for a Requiem Mass with Catafalque; $10 otherwise), and drop the envelope in the collection basket. To find out if a specific date is available for an intention, at St. Josaphat, call the office at (313) 831-6659; at Assumption-Windsor, call (519) 734-1335.

At the present time, Assumption has most of the dates in 2011 booked. St. Josaphat, however, has many dates open, especially for weekday Masses. Readers from Assumption who would like a Mass intention earlier than can be provided at Assumption are welcome to mark on the Mass Intention form that St. Josaphat is acceptable, and we will forward your offering across the river. Make your check out to the Windsor Tridentine Mass Association, and the WTMA will forward the stipend to St. Josaphat.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Principal Sunday Masses are not listed.

Mon. 01/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria after the Epiphany)

Tue. 01/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria after the Epiphany)

Thu. 01/13 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 9, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

Martin Mosebach to speak in New York City

The prize-winning German novelist, film-maker, and writer on liturgy, Martin Mosebach, will be speaking in New York City on Sunday the 30th of January, following a Solemn Mass at 5 P.M. at the Church of Our Saviour at 59 Park Avenue (at 38th Street). His lecture will be in the undercroft at 7 P.M. The subject of the talk will be “The Old Roman Missal: Loss and Rediscovery.”

According to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's post (January 7, 2011), Mass will be celebrated in the “Extraordinary Form” with music provided by the St. Mary’s (Norwalk, CT) Schola Cantorum: Palestrina’s Missa sine nomine, motets by Palestrina and Victoria, and all the proper Gregorian chants. David Hughes directs the Schola.

Martin Mosebach is author of the celebrated volume, The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), published with a Foreword by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

Stuart Chessman, "Visit of Martin Mosebach" (The Socity of St. Hugh of Cluny, January 13, 2011).

'Mother,' 'Father' Changing to 'Parent One,' 'Parent Two' on Passport Applications

Here we go again, from the same people who brought you plural third person pronouns as substitutes for third person singular (gasp!) masculine nouns.

I used to teach Japanese business executives English in Tokyo. I used to wonder what went through their minds when they read wrenchingly illogical American convolutions such as: "If ANYONE needs to use the men's room, THEY can find it at the end of the hall." And now we have the iniquitous folly of "Parent One" and "Parent Two." While they're at it, why not add "Three" and "Four"? And replace "Son" and "Daughter" with "Child One" and "Child Two"?

Would anyone like to hazard a guess what's really behind this desire to neuter language? And please don't anyone be so boorish as to say "the civil rights of gays"!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Idiot sighting

I'm not sure if the story is really THAT funny or if it's the Scotch I'm sipping, but here's a bit from an email I received today:
My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, "You gave me too much money." I said, "Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back." She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said "We're sorry but we cannot do that kind of thing." The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Catholic military chaplain legend in own time

Donald R. McClarey, "Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains" (American Catholic, January 2, 2011) -- five times awarded the Navy Cross, a Silver Star, a Distinguished Service Cross, and a Bronze Star with a v for valor, along with numerous other decorations.

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Our brilliant dismal education results


[Hat tip to E.E.]

Over-inflated headlines?

The latest Adoremus Bulletin carries an article by the title, "The New Missal - Opening the Gateway to New Evangelization." These sorts of headlines are not uncommon these days. My fear is, however, that such language is often absurdly over-inflated, and that over-use of such language can lead readers to tune out anything that could be of value in such articles.

I am not questioning the importance of the new Novus Ordo Missal with its properly-revised translations of key texts. These represent the ongoing work of correcting a form of the Roman rite which, from the long historical view of our bimillenial Catholic tradition, is anything but settled. These corrections are important for what they are. But just as it took more than a few poorly translated words to get us into our present crisis of faith and morals, it's going to take more than a new Missal translation to rekindle the embers of Catholic faith in the land of AmChurch.

We've heard it all before -- the "New Springtime of Evangelization," the "New Pentecost," the "New Church aborning," etc., etc. It's a bit like passing out Gospel tracts to death camp inmates and announcing that you have thereby flung open the spiritual windows of their lives to the balmy winds of a New Pentecost.

A little more modesty and realism would be refreshing. Just a thought.

Sin against the Holy spirit

The following is a synopsis of a bulletin insert entitled "Those Who Defend Evildoing," by Fr. Robert D. Smith:
... It is possible to think of a sin against the Holy spirit, the sin which Christ says will never be forgiven (Matt. 12:32), as an obscure and rare sin ... But is it really so rare?

What is it? Christ identifies it quite clearly. It relates essentially to a commitment to identifying a good action as having an evil source or else evil actions as having a good source ....

... The person who defends his own sins in a public way in conversation of some kind, is often admitting not just the sin but also that he is committing a sin against the Holy Spirit. What we hear most often is not a statement such as "I arranged for an abortion. I know it is wrong, but I did it out of human weakness." No, rather we often hear, "I arranged for an abortion and did so out of the goodness of my heart to help those close to me and to help humanity." ...

What such a person is defending is what Christ Himself identifies as a sin against the Holy Spirit. "Adulterous conduct, fornication, stealing, false witness, blasphemy" do not come from a good heart, but "make a man impure" (Matt. 15:18-20). Such actions by no means constitute evidence of goodwill.

This is why all sin is so dangerous. And any delay of repentance leads strongly away from the initial sense of wrongdoing, into the increasing, naturally human conviction that one must, after all, still mean well even in the sin itself. The person who does not go this far and who keeps his sense of his own wrongdoing has retained a strong position from which to repent. Not so with the person who has allowed himself to slip into the kind of self-righteousness which involves calling himself good for his very evil acts themselves.

Can it be that when Christ dispatches His angels on Judgment Day to gather all evildoers to hurl them into the fiery furnace (Matt. 13:41-42), it will turn out that many if not most of these evildoers heading directly and headlong for damnation will have somehow, during life, in addition to their iniquity itself, committed themselves to some kind of sin against the Holy Spirit, become involved long-term in the defense of their evildoing as good?

Having a Plan Really Works: The Cincinnati Story

Tridentine Community News (January 2, 2011):
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, Ohio has been in the news over the past few months for having made two generous gestures towards Tridentine Mass Communities in his diocese. First, in Dayton, Ohio, His Excellency gave Holy Family Church to the exclusive use of the local Extraordinary Form group. Holy Family is a beautiful historic church built in the style of Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Walls. Holy Family had been the (non-exclusive) home of the Tridentine Mass several years ago, so in a sense the community is returning home.

More recently, Archbishop Schnurr announced that he would be giving St. Mark Church in Evanston for the exclusive use of the Cincinnati Tridentine Community. Like Holy Family, St. Mark is another Roman Basilica-like historic edifice.

Much like Detroit and Windsor, metropolitan Cincinnati straddles two dioceses. Similar to our geography, the Ohio River separates the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on the Ohio side from the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky on the other. [Did you know that the Cincinnati Airport is actually located in Kentucky?]

One of the English-speaking world’s best-known Tridentine community leaders is at the center of the storm: Mr. Ashley Paver. Paver is an Englishman who first gained renown for having co-founded Baronius Press, the company which publishes one of today’s finest hand missals for the Extraordinary Form. He moved to Cincinnati in conjunction with a decision to attend an American law school.

Not limited to Cincinnati activities, Paver is a member of the San Diego, California chapter of the Brothers of the Little Oratory of St. Philip Neri and travels there to assist with various special liturgies in the Extraordinary Form. This group is affiliated with the Brompton Oratory in London, England; the “Little Oratory” portion of its title is the name of a small church on the London Oratory campus.

Like many of our volunteers here, Paver is actively involved with Tridentine Masses on both sides of the river. He was part of the team that secured relocation of the Covington Tridentine Mass from the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption to the more suitable St. Bernard Church in 2007. Since that time the Covington Mass has moved again, to All Saints Church in Walton.

On the Ohio side of the river, Tridentine Masses have been celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, with occasional Masses at Old St. Mary’s Church, also home to an Ordinary Form Latin Mass.

Some readers may recall a point this writer made at the Latin Liturgy Association Convention in a talk about the history of the Tridentine Masses in metropolitan Detroit: Things are more likely to happen when organizers have a detailed plan. While we acknowledge and indeed emphasize the importance of prayer in advancing the cause of the Extraordinary Form, prayer without action tends not to accomplish much. We saw that first hand in the Detroit area when the only Tridentine Mass to gain approval before 2004 was one proposed by a joint committee of Canadian and U.S. individuals to the Diocese of London. A full “business plan”, and not just a request, had the credibility required to obtain approval for the Windsor Tridentine Mass in 1991. Requests in the Archdiocese of Detroit went nowhere until numerous parties created a plan in 2003, ultimately leading to approval in 2004.

Paver and his colleagues in Cincinnati had obviously learned this lesson. They quietly proposed to Archbishop Schnurr the acquisition and restoration of an historic church for the purpose of establishing a fully Extraordinary Form Mass parish. All financial responsibility would be theirs. The diocese would do nothing except provide the church and assign a celebrant. Indeed, His Excellency’s letter announcing the St. Mark’s project made repeated reference to the “plan” that had been presented to him. Groups with similar ambitions should pay heed to this experience.

The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper ran a story about the effort, featuring the adjacent photo of Paver standing in front of St. Mark’s. For further details and photos, such as the one pictured left, see the web site that has been created for the project:

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria in Christmastide) [Celebrant may elect a Votive Mass]

Tue. 01/04 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria in Christmastide) [Celebrant may elect a Votive Mass]

Thu. 01/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Feast of the Epiphany)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 2, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Anglican bishops convert

"Three former Anglican bishops were received into full communion with the Catholic Church during a Mass at Westminster Cathedral today (John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton – the former bishops of Fulham, Ebbsfleet and Richborough respectively)., January 1, 2010 via Rorate Caeli.

Papist Parody: Pope said I can have condom?

Related: Comic parody: "Larry King & Sarah Palin debating Pope's statement on condoms" [Advisory: indecent language].

[Hat tip to E.E. & D.R.]

Larry, the Vatican II Guy vs. Sarah: on Conscience

[Hat tip to E.E. & D.R.]

Happy New Year!

  • عيد رأس السنة (Arabic)
  • Честита Нова Година! (Bulgarian)
  • Feliç Any Nou! (Catalan)
  • San nin faailok! (Cantonese)
  • 新年好 (Chinese)
  • Sretna Nova Godina! (Croatian)
  • Stastny Novy Rok (Czech)
  • Godt nytår! (Danish)
  • Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! (Dutch)
  • Sal-e no mubarak! (Farsi)
  • Onnellista uutta vuotta! (Finnish)
  • Zalig Nieuw Jaar! (Flemish)
  • Bonne année! (French)
  • Ein Gleuckliches neues Jahr! (German)
  • Blian nua faoi mhaise duit! (Gaelic)
  • Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος (Greek)
  • Shana tova! (Hebrew)
  • नया साल मुबारक हो (Hindi)
  • Selamat Tahun Baru (Indonesian)
  • Felice Anno Nuovo! (Italian)
  • 明けましておめでとう! (Japanese)
  • 새해 복 많이 받으세요. (Korean)
  • Bonum annum ingrediaris! (Latin)
  • Linksmu Nauju Metu! (Lithuanian)
  • Selamat Tahun baru! (Malayan)
  • Kong He Xin Xi! (Mandarin)
  • Godt Nytt År! (Norwegian)
  • Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku! (Polish)
  • Feliz Ano Novo! (Portuguese)
  • La Multi Ani! (Romanian)
  • С новым годом! (S Novym Godom! - Russian)
  • Сретна Нова Година! (Serbian)
  • Srechno Novo Leto! (Slovenian)
  • Feliz Ano Nuevo! (Spanish)
  • Masaganang Bagong taon! (Tagalog)
  • Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun! (Turkish)
  • Вітаю з Новим роком! (Ukrainian)
  • Chúc mừng năm mới! (Vietnamese)
  • Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! (Welsh)

Film review: "Behind the Lines" (1997)

Based on the novel Regeneration by Pat Barker and true events, the film chronicles the meeting between a psychologist named Dr. William Rivers (Jonathan Pryce) and his patients, who include "a mute, amnesiac officer named Billy Prior (Jonny Lee Miller), as well as the emotionally depleted poet Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce) and another poet and war hero, Siegfried Sassoon (James Wilby). Unlike the others, Sassoon is not, in fact, suffering from any disorder but is being quietly punished for writing a pamphlet denouncing the war."

Christopher Blosser, "Cinema: 'Behind the Lines' (1997)" (Against the Grain, December 30, 2010).