Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"What does the future hold for Traditional Catholics in Detroit? "

Palm Sunday 2008 in Assumption Grotto, Detroit. Source.

Via New Catholic today:
Last week, Diane Korzeniewski of the Te Deum laudamus blog posted a lengthy report (45 Fewer Parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit) on the plans of the Archdiocese of Detroit to "restructure" its 267 parishes into a much smaller contingent. Among the parishes threatened with possible closure are Assumption Grotto (the only church in the whole archdiocese with a daily TLM) and St. Josaphat (one of the three other churches in the archdiocese aside from Assumption Grotto that have a weekly TLM fulfilling the Sunday obligation). The following is Korzeniewski's take on the possible impact of the parish changes on Detroit's Traditional Catholic community:
Long Term Impact on Traditional Catholics in Detroit?

One of the things I have been concerned with all along is that there is no provision to ensure that the Archdiocese of Detroit has a long-term plan for Catholics attracted to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). There is interest among some seminarians and I believe Archbishop Vigneron will work to address this. In the future, it could mean more opportunities in the suburbs to experience the TLM. One of the challenges though, is allowing people to follow the full calendar, rather than having just a weekly or monthly chance to worship in this way, if they are partial to it.

Assumption Grotto is the only parish in the Archdiocese which offers the Traditional Latin Mass 364 days yearly, the exception being Good Friday. However, even Good Friday's Tre Ore service uses the 1962 Missal. The parish coming in second is St. Josaphat, which is about a 10-15 minute drive from Grotto. It offers many of the same things using the 1962 as does Grotto, with the main exception being that they don't have a daily TLM. There is Mass on Monday evenings and on special feasts during the week, as well as the Triduum, if I recall. It was clustered years ago with St. Joseph and the Sweetest Heart of Mary. I am quite concerned as to what this means for them. The cluster of three has shared one priest, and their plan reads as follows:

"Sweetest Heart of Mary (personal parish), St. Josaphat (personal parish), and St. Joseph. In early 2012, these already clustered parishes are to develop a plan to merge, to be submitted to the Regional Moderator no later than December 30, 2012. This plan may result in the elimination of buildings and will include consolidation of Mass schedules to conform to the archdiocesan policy of following canon law for a priest to say no more than three Masses on a regular Sunday or holy day of obligation."

All three of those church buildings are absolute gems. It would break my heart to see any of those buildings closed.

The main concern I have about the Traditional Latin Mass communities in Detroit is that I do not feel we are recognized as a component of "diversity" that has something to offer the wider community. When one thinks of diversity, it often limited to race and ethnicity; it does not include, for example, traditional Catholics. This is not something unique in the Archdiocese of Detroit, but a common thread in many dioceses. I think dioceses need to be continuously encouraged to allow those of us with a love for the usus antiquior a place where we can worship in a way that lifts our hearts to God in a deep and profound way, and in a setting proper to the form.

The AoD's plan, unfortunately, has the potential to eliminate this opportunity for traditional Catholics in the coming years. Where they were careful to ensure that, for example, certain ethnic groups, such as the Polish, Italian, Croatian, and others had some kind of provision, there has not been a similar protection for traditional Catholics. There is the potential for certain unintended consequences should such a void develop in this archdiocese years down the road. I don't know if these things have been considered or not. I hope to discuss them personally, at the very least, with my auxiliary bishop, to raise awareness.
Well put. Thank you.

The state of Catholicism in Germany: a sample

A friend recently sent me a link to a piece of vintage current German liberal Catholic "religion talk," symptomatic of the state of the Church in Deutschland. The piece, entitled "Kirche 2011: Ein notwendiger Aufbruch" (April 4, 2011), is a sort of manifesto by liberal German theology professors and professorettes (the writers insist on being au courant in the gender inclusive department). Interestingly, the semantic range of "Aufbruch" covers everything from "start" and "departure" to "break" and even "awakening."

Taking recent sex scandals as their point of departure and pretext for distancing themselves from Catholic tradition, the authors blaze through the following points in rare, fashionable form: (1) Structure of participation; (2) Community; (3) Legal culture, respecting the rights, dignity and freedom of each individual; (4) Liberty of conscience, (5) Reconciliation, stressing a solidarity with 'sinners' which takes the Church's own sins seriously; (6) Worship.

Two excerpts -- #4 and #6 -- loosely translated:
(4) Freedom of Conscience: Respect for the individual conscience means to place trust in the decision-making ability and responsibility of the people. Supporting this capability is also a task of the Church, which must not turn into paternalism. On a serious note, this particularly concerns the realm of personal life choices and individual lifestyles. The Church's esteem for marriage and the celibate life is beyond question. But it also commands us not to exclude people living responsibly in love, loyalty, and mutual concern in same-sex partnerships or as remarried divorcees.

(6) Worship: The liturgy depends on the active participation of all believers. Experiences and expressions of the present must have a place in it. The service may not be frozen in traditionalism. Cultural diversity enriches liturgical life and is not consistent with tendencies towards centralized uniformity. Only when the celebration of faith partakes of concrete life, will the Church's message reach the people.
Yada, yada.

[Hat tip to C.F.]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Obama and liturgists have in common

Peter Kreeft once said, "God in his wisdom saw that the American church lacked persecutions and so sent her liturgists."

Thus, . . .

. . . and so . . .

Think about it.

Review of new 3-vol. EF Roman Breviary in Latin & English

From Baronius Press, the review -- replete with many photos testifying to the reviewer's shameless love for the work -- is by none other than the irrepressible Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. Who else?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NY Dem pro-abortion “catholic” Congresswoman booed for supporting HHS attack

Things get heated ...

Get details here >>

Detroit’s Lesser-Known Historic Churches

Tridentine Community News (February 26, 2012):
In this column – and in numerous other articles and web sites – much has been written about the Archdiocese of Detroit’s “A Class” of historic churches: 1) St. Josaphat, 2) Sweetest Heart of Mary, 3) St. Joseph, 4) St. Albertus, 5) Old St. Mary, 6) Assumption Grotto, 7) St. Paul on the Lake, 8) St. Florian, 9) St. Hyacinth, 10) National Shrine of the Little Flower (Royal Oak) and 11) St. Hugo (Bloomfield Hills), eight of which happen to have hosted Tridentine Masses. Occasional mention is also made of the underappreciated: 12) Holy Family, 13) Ste. Anne, 14) Transfiguration, 15) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Wyandotte), 16) Holy Cross (Hungarian), 17) St. Hedwig, and 18) St. Francis d’Assisi, however photos of the interiors of those churches are scarce. All of these churches are splendid examples of traditional architecture, with minimal if any modifications made since Vatican II.

It’s easy to overlook the fact that there is an entire second set of churches of particular architectural or artistic merit, churches that may not host particularly conservative liturgies, but which nevertheless are lovingly maintained by their congregations. Some of these churches were built during the great construction era of the early 20th century, while others are 1940s-50s era edifices still built to the traditional standards codified by St. Charles Borromeo after the Council of Trent. This “B Class” of churches includes: 19) St. Charles Borromeo, 20) Ss. Peter & Paul (Jesuit), 21) Ss. Peter & Paul (west side), 22) Annunciation, 23) Holy Redeemer, 24) St. Leo, 25) Our Lady Queen of Apostles, 26) St. Cunegunda, 27) Our Lady Queen of Angels, 28) St. Alphonsus (Dearborn), 29) St. Augustine & St. Monica, and 30) St. Matthew; and the more modified “C Class”: 31) St. Raymond, 32) St James (Ferndale), and 33) St. Elizabeth.

Many local Catholics, this writer included, are barely aware of some of these churches’ existence. Virtually no attempt to publicize them is made in the Catholic or secular media. However, a visit to another, newer or wealthier diocese, where few unaltered historic churches exist, is a reminder that we in this region are blessed with a surfeit of such inspirational edifices. We may lament the closure of some of our Catholic churches, but do we even know the gems that remains open in our midst?

Fortunately, a young man has embarked upon a project to photograph the interiors and exteriors of all of Detroit’s architecturally significant churches, A, B, and C Class. In the past, we have reported on the Andrew Fanco’s Detroit Church Blog, and [Sacred Heart Major Seminary] seminarian David Keyser’s DET Catholic Churches blog, wonderful efforts indeed, but an even more comprehensive volume of content can be found in Andy Hoxie’s Flickr set “cath4ever”. The home page for this set is at:

Detailed photos for each church abound. Some are real eye-openers. For example, St. Charles Borromeo, Annunciation, and St. Leo have constructed projectile platforms for freestanding altars in front of their communion rails, but the rails, high altar, side altars, and traditional sanctuaries remain entirely intact. Andy also includes photos of churches in Grand Rapids, Chicago, and elsewhere, an important and unique catalog of sacred art.

As always, the photos themselves tell the story:

St. Charles Borromeo

Nativity of Our Lord

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 02/27 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)

Tue. 02/28 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
[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 February 26, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Apologetics on tap -- in the Philippines

I haven't seen this sort of animated public debate about the Catholic Faith in a long time. I suppose some "Theology on Tap" sessions could take a turn in this direction. But what other venues can you imagine in the United States today for this sort of public confrontation over theological issues? I don't mean the Internet. I mean live bodies hashing out the issues before an animated crowd like St. Paul on Mars Hill (Areopagus) as related in the Book of Acts, ch. 17.

Of course, there is Hyde Park in London, where anybody can mount a soap box and hold forth in front of anyone willing to listen. I remember at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, there is also a place called "The Pit," where there is a similar arrangement.

The phenomenon raises interesting questions. Are people too apathetic in the United States today, either as speakers or listeners, to get involved? I should hope not. I hear a great deal about "The New Evangelization" these days, mostly associated with in house programs about aspects of the Catholic Faith with fellow parishioners; but I'm more interested in the verb: is anyone actually "evangelizing" in the sense of communicating the Catholic Faith to those outside the Church? Is there any sense of urgency about this?

What we have in this video, of course, is "Apologetics," which is a bit different from "Evangelization," but hardly unrelated. If "evangelizing" is sharing the Faith, "apologetics" is defending it. And nobody is likely to make much headway in evangelizing these days, without also being willing and able to deal with all the predictable sorts of arguments and false assumptions he will confront when raising religious issues with nonbelievers. Positively put, one must be willing and able to offer replies to objections, along with good reasons for accepting the claims of the Faith as true.

I suppose this will all come in due time, with adequate persecution. There's nothing like suffering to focus the mind.

Priest reviews Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life"

N.B. -- The full title of the video is: "My 2012 Oscar Pick - The TREE OF LIFE - and why it won't win." Interesting.

Fr. Charles Canoy is a priest on the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI.

Have you seen this?

A friend from Austin, TX, sent me this -- a sort of performance art, I suppose. It's pretty hideous-lookng until you figure it out, and then it's a pleasant surprise -- carefully calibrated for the wow factor.

[Hat tip to G.N.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Solemn guide to intepreting Vatican II

"MCMLXII - Veterum Sapientia - MMXII: The solemn guide to interpreting Vatican II" (Rorate Caeli, February 22, 2012):

"The Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, of Pope Blessed John XXIII, on the fostering of Latin studies, reaches its fiftieth anniversary in a few days, Feb. 22, 2012.

"The words of Romano Amerio appropriately convey the meaning of this Apostolic Constitution, the most readily forgotten papal document in the history of the Church. If there will ever be a "Hermeneutic of Continuity", it is to be based on the unchangeable Tradition of the Church and on the clear signs left by Pope John XXIII in the conclusions of the Roman Synod conducted entirely by him, and in Veterum Sapientia" -- Read more >>

Women against the pill: "Feminism asked too little of men"

Erika Bachiochi & Catherine R. Pakaluk, "The Pill Is Not Good for Women" (NRO, February 21, 2012).

[Hat tip to Dr. E. Echeverria]

  • Dr. Janet Smith, "If only our Bishops hat thought to consult with David Gibson" (, February 18, 2012).

  • In an email from Christopher Blosser:
    There are two issues in the contraception debate -- one being the government financed-sponsorship of contraception itself (advocacy of immorality from a Catholic perspective); the other being the infringement on religious liberty or civil liberty in general.

    Even those defenders of Obama who don't believe contraception to be immoral have to contend with the latter issue. From the secular website, a libertarian perspective tackling the HHS mandate:

    From the standpoint of "freedom of choice" -- to demand that Big Brother compel insurance companies or private institutions to purchase a product for another makes no sense whatsoever.

    Even the libertarians understand this.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mons. Brunero Gherardini's V-II account attacked, defended

Mons. Brunero Gherardini's theological reflections on the Second Vatican Council have begun coming under serious attacks recently, and the defense has been taken up by Prof. Roberto de Mattei:[Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Traditional Religious Orders for Women – Part 2

Tridentine Community News (February 19, 2012):
By blessed coincidence, a discussion of traditional and conservative religious orders for women took place this week on Fr. Z’s blog. Three of the many that were mentioned (beyond those listed in last week’s column) base their spirituality on the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass and the Divine Office:

The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church are an offshoot of the sedevacantist Sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen. Fifteen nuns who wished to be united with Rome, including the then-present and former Mothers Superior, split off and received approval for their new order from the Diocese of Spokane, Washington in 2007. With consultation and assistance from Ann Arbor’s Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and from the Missionaries of Charity, this growing group of sisters is focusing on an educational apostolate. From what is discernible from their web site, however, they seem to make use of both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, with both active and contemplative arms, are a surprisingly large group, with foundations throughout the world, including the U.S., England, and Australia. Their detailed web site gives a comprehensive view of their various apostolates, several of which are devoted to radio, television, and publishing.

The Carmel of Elysburg, Pennsylvania is an outgrowth of the Valparaiso, Nebraska Carmelites mentioned last week. Like its parent Carmel, it is served by priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter.

There may very well be additional such communities, but for some inexplicable reason, many of them choose to bury their liturgical preferences deep within their web sites, if they are mentioned at all. From a marketing perspective, one would think that this is a major point of attraction for many candidates. It is also worth mentioning that certain groups employ Latin for the Liturgy of the Hours and/or the Holy Mass, but in the Ordinary Form or in an order’s own rite, such as the Cistercian. Some have the Tridentine Mass on certain occasions throughout the year. Be careful to investigate thoroughly to determine the specific liturgical disciplines of any particular group.

New Tridentine Mass Site: Sacred Heart, Imlay City

Sacred Heart Parish in Imlay City has announced that it will be offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form on First Fridays at 3:00 PM. This Mass is the initiative of Sacred Heart Pastor Fr. Paul Ward, known to many of our readers from his tenure as Associate Pastor of the St. Josaphat cluster a few years ago. This is the twelfth current site in the Archdiocese of Detroit to offer the Tridentine Mass.

Tridentine Mass Sites in the Archdiocese of Detroit

Since we’re on the subject, it is timely to list of all of the sites in the Archdiocese of Detroit that host Holy Masses in the Extraordinary Form, either on a scheduled or semi-regular basis:
  1. St. Josaphat, Detroit – Sundays 9:30 AM, Mondays 7:00 PM, plus Holy Days and First and Second Class Feast days which have a Gloria and Credo specified at 7:00 PM on weekdays and on Saturdays at announced times
  2. St. Joseph, Detroit – Special occasions
  3. Assumption Grotto, Detroit – Sundays 9:30 AM, weekdays 7:30 AM
  4. St. Albertus, Detroit – Eleven Sundays per year at noon
  5. Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Sterling Heights – Saturdays 6:00 PM
  6. Sweetest Heart of Mary, Detroit – Special occasions
  7. Sacred Heart, Yale – Sundays 2:00 PM
  8. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Wyandotte – Third Saturdays at 8:00 AM
  9. St. Edward on the Lake, Lakeport – First Saturdays at 8:00 AM
  10. St. Hyacinth, Detroit – Special occasions at 1:00 PM
  11. Ss. Peter & Paul (west side), Detroit – Special occasions at 12:15 PM
  12. Sacred Heart, Imlay City – First Fridays at 3:00 PM
No such list would be complete, of course, without including the original Tridentine Mass in our region, at Windsor’s Assumption Church on Sundays at 2:00 PM and Tuesdays at 7:00 PM.

The growth of special occasion sites is interesting and not a unique Detroit phenomenon. Any form of the Sacred Liturgy that is an accepted part of the Church should be exposed to the widest possible spectrum of the faithful, as people cannot develop a love for that which they do not know.

We are unsure of the status of two Tridentine Mass sites: St. Stephen, New Boston [Is this Mass on hiatus?] and Immaculate Conception, Lapeer [Was or is this a monthly Mass?]. Please e-mail us at the address at the bottom of this page if you know the current situation at one or both of these churches.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 02/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass])

Tue. 02/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass])

Wed. 02/22 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Ash Wednesday)

Sat. 02/25 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Matthias, Apostle)
[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 February 19, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Megadeth and Santorum

You gotta wonder whether Obama's in serious trouble when the most pro-life candidate gets an endorsement from MEGADEATH. Well, not quite an endorsement, but close:
“I’m just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican. I can’t bear to watch what’s happened to our great country. Everybody’s got their head in the sand.

"... Earlier I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable ..."
Still, Mustaine insists he has not endorsed Santorum.

Christopher Blosser writes: "Mustaine's always been something of an enigma in the metal world. One of the top 100 metal guitarists in the world, he was kicked out of Metallica in the 80's for being a 'mean drunk' (hard to do, given Metallica's penchant for imbibing), tried the "7 steps" program but found it a distraction and decided to head straight for God in a Pascalian wager:
"“Looking up at the cross, I said six simple words, ‘What have I got to lose?’ Afterwards my whole life has changed. It’s been hard, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Rather go my whole life believing that there is a God and find out there isn't than live my whole life thinking there isn't a God and then find out, when I die, that there is."
"Politically he's very conservative," says Christopher -- almost "fringe-right." His album Endgame, he says, was influenced by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones). "In 2011, he called President Obama 'the most divisive president we've ever had. I've never, in my 50 years of being alive, listened to an American president try and turn one class of people against another class of people.'"

Still, probably not the kind of guy Rick Santorum would want for a photo op, but you never know these days ...

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Gay rights: tradition's vulnerable flank

J.J. Reno, "Exporting Gay Rights" (First Things, February 2012), writes: "Guaranteeing sexual liberation—unrestricted abortion, sex education, easily accessible and subsidized contraception, and gay rights—has become one of the major commitments of the Democratic party, and it is natural for a political party to shape policies in accord with its core commitments." Now the Obama administration is on a crusade to add gay rights to the exercise of America's "soft power," i.e., "the State Department will use [foreign] aid recipients' treatment of homosexuals to evaluate their suitablility for aid, and will be setting aside $3 million to fund NGOs that fight for gay rights."

When previous presidents, like Jimmy Carter made human rights an explicit priority in foreign policy, they appealed to moral principles that the overwhelming majority of Americans, at least, have endorsed for a long time. This is hardly the case with gay rights. Unlike the main elements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sexual liberation, especially homosexual liberation, "has no roots in the traditional cultures and religious traditions that shape the lives of the vast majority of people in the world."

Reno bases his article on a telling speech made recently by Hillary Clinton to the United Nations Human Rights Council in which the Secretary of State explicitly included homosexual rights among "human rights," drawing attention to the brutal treatment of homosexual people around the world. The conflation of rights based on a chosen life-style with those rooted in human ontology is clear.

The response of the international community to this attempt to make sexual and homosexual rights part of the "global consensus" that Western revisionists view as the inevitable direction of history has not been unmitigated gratitude. Last October, as Reno points out, "British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech not unlike Hillary Clinton's, suggesting that foreign aid would be cut to countries that did not recognize gay rights." The response of the Nigerians was to "criminalize same-sex marriage and homosexual cohabitation."

Those promoting the exportation of gay rights in th West are not marginalized people. On the contrary, they are part of the liberal elite who imagine themselves the enlightened governors of the morally benighted, says Reno. "The White House is turning one of the most divisive issues in our current domestic battle over culture into a principle guiding the American effort to influence and shape culture throughout the world."

As long as partisans of "traditional family values" allow the self-styled liberal elite to define the terms of the debate by identifying gay rights (based on a chosen life style) with human rights (based on non-chosen features of human nature, like color, gender, and age), they will leave exposed tradition's vulnerable flank. To the extent that homosexual disposition is an unchosen characteristic of one's nature, the Church has never condemned it, even while recognizing it as "disordered." To the extent that those with homosexual dispositions act on their inclinations, choosing an active gay or lesbian lifestyle, the Church has always judged this a matter of culpable vice, just as it has judged immoral those acts stemming from natural inclinations that lead to recreational sex, fornication, adultery and other forms of lechery. The momentum in the West is now quite clearly in the camp of those who see traditional morality as a repressive violation of "human rights." Cannibalism in the privacy of one's own home, anyone?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lent and the Devil

Lent can be a beautiful time of preparation for Easter, a time of holy asceticism and spiritual growth. It can also be a time of assault by the Devil, who likes nothing better than to confuse and derail one's resolutions. At least I've sometimes found it so. I've noticed that some of my favorite writers have been recommending a strategy of preparing for Lent well ahead of time. Very prudent idea, I should think. They recommend setting up a plan, a project, and laying out the details well in advance, preparing with spiritual reading, devotions, and the like. Easy to talk about. Harder to do. And we academic types have a bad habit of thinking we're doing something when we're merely just talking about it, or even just thinking about it. Time to stop merely thinking and talking and start doing -- planning, preparing, implementing, going to Confession, choosing a penance, undertaking a reading project, a new devotion, and firming the resolve as we enter into the long blessed silence of the 40 days ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Statist anthems

To keep current events in perspective, as well as for some comic relief, some may find it entertaining to revisit and compare the following two anthems:

Australian Archdiocesan paper: Communion on the tongue based on "over-emphasis on Christ's divinity"

Ha-ha-ha. Well, what do you do, cry or laugh??? Read more >>

[Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Voris: HHS v. Church crisis due to 40 years of clerical complicity with contraception

Obama's calculated gamble against the American Catholic hierarchy assumes that US Catholics won't vote with their bishops when push comes to shove:
  • Public Religion Research Institute: a MAJORITY of Catholics support the Obama Administration's HHS mandate demanding coverage of contraception and abortion, in opposition to their bishops.
  • In fact, the percentage of Catholic support for the Administration's plan offering free birth control for everybody is actually greater than among the general population of Americans.
  • Catholic Health Association President, Sister Carol Keehan, says that CHS remains committed to working with the Administration ... to fully implement the Affordable Care Act." [Source]
  • The Church hierarchy and Catholic priests have said next-to-nothing about the issue of Catholic birth control for the past 40 years [with rare exceptions like Fr. Acervo's homily of 8/7/11].
What is needed now, according to Voris? A purification of US Church must that must begin our bishops, with a publicized public apology. He suggests that they:
  • Publicly admit complicity
  • Confess their negligence in exercising their proper authority
  • Acknowledge the grave disaster they have allowed to be rained down on the Church, down to the loss of hundreds of millions of souls from the Faith
  • Make amends in tangible, practical ways, firing dissident theologians, dismissing defiant institutions, purging chanceries of "professional" [nominal] Catholics and disciplining priests and religious who lead publicly immoral lives.
It was, after all, Catholic laity across the country who in overwhelming numbers put Obama in the White House, because of lack of proper instruction in the Faith, which our bishops are entrusted with the safeguarding. Thus saith Voris.

The opportunity that could be seized amidst this current battle over "religious liberty" is for the bishops to clarify the intrinsic evil of contraception, which many Catholics still do not understand and which is the real issue that shouldn't be evaded here. The situation offers a perfect "teaching moment" that ought not be missed for all the easy talk about "rights of conscience" and the like.

Merton: How interior life of laity is modeled by that of clergy

Thomas Merton wrote in 1956:
"The interior life of the ordinary Christian depends in large measure on the instruction, the example, and the prayers of the clergy. If the faithful are to enter into the liturgy, the priest himself must appreciate and understand the liturgy. And if the priest is to appreciate the great liturgical mysteries, he is obliged to meditate on them, to immerse himself in them at all times. Strengthened by meditation, the priest is able to rise to the level of his great vocation to "orient his life towards that sacrifice in which he must needs offer and immolate himself with Christ. Consequently he will not merely celebrate Holy Mass, but will live it out intimately in his daily life." (Menti Nostrae). In a word, the priest must strive after a life of sanctity which requires a "continual communication with God." (ibid)"- The Living Bread by Thomas Merton (Farrar, 1956).
A reader writes: "John Paul II warned us against the laicization of the clergy and the clericalization of the laity. Between 1870 and 1905 the laity had an apostolate in France second to none. (vide Daniel Moulinet, Laicat Catholique, Eds. du Cerf) Their activity was entirely parallel to the work of the clergy and there was no confusion of roles."

[Hat tip to A.S.]

Brevid lucidity of Philadelphia Abp Chaput on HHS mandate

Benjamin Mann, "Archbishop Chaput blasts administration's 'insulting' mandate revision" (EWTN News, February 11, 2012):
[Archbishop Caput indicated that the] Health and Human Services' mandate did not seem like a “gaffe” or “mistake.”

“The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate. The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that.”

“It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making. Despite all of its public apprehension about 'culture warriors' on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war.”

“At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.”

“Critics may characterize my words here as partisan or political,” the archbishop acknowledged. “But it is this administration – not Catholic ministries or institutions or bishops – that chose the timing and nature of the fight.”
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Related:

Body surfing . . . in the air!!!

I always wanted to fly when I was a kid. I had dreams of flying and "treading air" over our house below. But I never imagined anything quite like THIS!

Wow! What a rush! 250 km/h, and the physical sound is like a rocket!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Die Welt interviews Schmidberger: What does SSPX want?

Considerable details translated HERE (via Rorate Caeli, February 13, 2012) from the German original HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


LOL! THIS is almost like a Monty Python sketch. Have a look:

What will Fr. Z. think of next?

Traditional Religious Orders for Women

Tridentine Community News (February 12, 2012):
Much press is given to the booming congregations of priests devoted to the Traditional Latin Mass. It’s hard to escape news of the ongoing successes and growth of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Institute of the Good Shepherd, the Wyoming Carmelite Monks, the monks of Le Barroux, and similar groups, for good reason: These are some of the fastest growing sources of vocations in the Church today. Likewise, much attention is given to those communities of priests which embrace the Extraordinary Form in conjunction with the Ordinary Form, such as the Oratorian Fathers of Toronto, London, and Oxford; and the Society of St. John Cantius in Chicago. It’s a proven fact that the Extraordinary Form tends to bring along vocations in its wake.

Less frequently in the press but equally significant are the religious orders for women whose spiritual life is centered on the Tridentine Mass and the Traditional Divine Office. Relative to their male brethren, these orders are newer and earlier along in the process of establishment. Nonetheless, they, too are doing exceptionally well with regards to vocations. The most prominent examples are:

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles are the oldest and best-known traditional order. Based in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri under Bishop Robert Finn, these sisters have an active vestment-making apostolate.

The Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart, based near Florence, Italy, are the female branch of the Institute of Christ the King. Having outgrown their first home, they are currently restoring a manor house to serve as their new convent.

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska is affiliated with the Fraternity of St. Peter and is located near their seminary. Photos of the sisters’ chapel seem to indicate an historic building, but this is surprisingly not the case. This is a new foundation in a new building that was outfitted with historic furnishings salvaged from other churches. Interestingly, the chaplain of this Carmel is not from the FSSP; Msgr. Timothy Thorburn is actually the Vicar General of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska – a diocesan priest who has taken on a Tridentine apostolate. Extraordinary, indeed.

The Benedictine Oblate Sisters of Clear Creek are the female branch of Clear Creek Abbey near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Clear Creek is a branch of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fontgombault in France, known for its rich liturgical life.

The Sisters of Saint Benedict Center, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are part of the diocesan-approved St. Benedict Center in Worcester, Massachusetts and have a catechetical apostolate:

Benedictine Nuns of Le Barroux, France: A French equivalent to the Clear Creek Sisters, these sisters are the female branch of another Abbey associated with the Traditional Divine Office.

The Canonesses Regular of the Mother of God of Lagrasse, France are the female branch of yet another Abbey.

The Sisters of the Oasis of Jesus, Priest in Barcelona, Spain

Sisters, especially cloistered nuns, can be notoriously publicity-shy. If you are aware of additional groups of sisters that deserve mention, please e-mail the address at the bottom of this page.

Last Week’s Column Available

With apologies to readers at St. Joseph and Sweetest Heart of Mary, insufficient copies of last week’s column about Stained Glass were printed for the new cluster bulletin run. If you would like a copy of last week’s Tridentine Community News, please e-mail the address at the bottom of this page or call (248) 250-2740, and we will gladly e-mail or mail a copy to you.

Reception of a Convert

For the third year in a row, the Tridentine Community at Windsor’s Assumption Church will receive a convert to the Catholic Faith according to the Extraordinary Form Ritual. All are invited to attend this rarely-seen ceremony, during Holy Mass next Sunday, February 19 at 2:00 PM.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 02/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass])

Tue. 02/14 7:00 PM: Requiem Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Daily Mass for the Dead with Absolution at the Catafalque)

Sun. 02/19 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Quinquagesima Sunday)
[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 February 12, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Obama: healer of ecumenical wounds?


Friday, February 10, 2012

"Obama caves"? Not quite

"WH Caves," Matt Drudge reported this morning. The linked ABC article, however, entitled "Obama to Announce Contraception Rule ‘Accommodation’ for Religious Organizations" (ABC, February 10, 2012), also suggested that the Administration is not backing down from its ultimate goal of all women employees having their "birth control" (doubtless inclusive of abortion as "back-up contraception") fully covered by health insurance. ABC reports:
The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not satisfy bishops and other religious leaders since it will preserve the goal of women employees having their birth control fully covered by health insurance.

Sources say it will be respectful of religious beliefs but will not back off from that goal, which many religious leaders oppose since birth control is in violation of their religious beliefs.
[Hat tip to Fr. Z for image]


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Blogging bishops of Detroit keep flock posted on ad limina visit to Rome

Michigan bishops with Holy Father in Rome, Feb. 3, 2012

It is heartwarming both to see that Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit, along with his four active auxiliary bishops, have now begun blogging as a means of staying in touch with their flocks back home during their ad limina visits to Rome, and to see so many familiar faces in the photos posted on their blog.

The collective blog, hosted at, carries the banner: "Archdiocese of Detroit presents this Spiritual Bouquet to honor Pope Benedict XVI."

The blog itself is well-worth reading for its many diverse entries by the team of episcopal bloggers. Some of the entries are quite touching, and there are a multitude of wonderful photos.

Other entries allow the reader to listen in, as it were, to some of what transpired during the audience of the Michigan bishops with the Holy Father, like the Archbishop's post, "A Light-filled Meeting with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI" (February 3, 2012), in which we read:
"We've just come back from the audience with the Holy Father, all of us bishops from Michigan. It was a wonderful experience. We talked about really all the themes that are important in the pastoral life of the Catholic Church in our diocese. The Holy Father was very sympathetic when we told him about the economic troubles of our region. He assured us of his prayers.

"We spent a good bit of time talking about the liturgy. The Holy Father encouraged all of us to do whatever we can to be sure that your experience of the liturgy is an experience of the Church as she exists in every age."
One event during the ad limina vists I learned about from another source. One of my best former students at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Zachary Mabee, who had gone on for further studies at the Catholic University of America and is now studying in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, had the privilege of accompanying Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Michael Byrnes and the other bishops of Michigan to meet the Holy Father (see below).

Left to right: Aux. Bishop Byrnes, Pope Benedict XVI, and Zachary Mabee (not on stilts!)

As Mr. Mabee writes, "Bishop Byrnes told the Holy Father that I'm a good basketball player and student - both of which the Pope seemed to find pleasing :-)" You think?! Our seminary basketball coach, Fr. Mike McDermott, has never been quite right since losing Zach!

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Catholic - a man without a party

[Note: For anyone so sensitive as to be offended by the gender-inclusive use of the masculine term in the title, it is meant to be an allusion to Edward Everett Hale's novel by a similar title. (Anymore it's like having to explain the punch line of one's jokes, isn't it.)]

This is from one of our readers, and I thought it too good to leave in the Comment Box:
From Ann Coulter, "Iowa Shows Republicans Determined to Beat Obama," January 4, 2012:
"Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative, which means he's good on 60 percent of the issues, but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He'd be Ted Kennedy if he didn't believe in God.”
Coulter's quote reveals a little more than she meant it to. For her, Catholics are 60 percenters. There is considerable cleavage between Catholicism and her brand of "conservatism."

Surely, the 60% agreement consists in opposition to such social innovations as gay marriage, legalized abortion, stem cell harvesting, etc. BUT – none of these positions were ever bedrock republican establishment issues. Rather, they were Catholic / Evangelical etc issues coopted by the Republican establishment to bring in votes that were not necessarily republican to begin with.

If anything, Wall Street loves abortion because it gives the drug companies and health providers new products and service lines. It prizes stem cells, harvested from the bodies of aborted children, for these could become huge moneymakers once the moral qualms are swept aside. And gay boys and girls are piggish consumers of fashion, toiletries and other flags of self-indulgence. Disrespect for life and respect for sexual perversion is good business.

Clearly then, Wall Street, and its political arm, the Republican Party, have no abiding interest in the moral values of Catholics or any other religious group. There's no money in them. The alliance between Catholics and Wall Street republicans can be regarded, within the inner sanctum, as temporary exploitation, valid only until a better deal comes along.

And that is exactly what Coulter, a journalistic strumpet of the republican establishment, reveals in her sarcastic flip-off of Santorum.

It would be nice if the democrat party had something to offer besides socialism and secularism, but it doesn't. Catholics do not have a home in either party. They should understand that, to the extent that they persist in their faith and the traditional teachings of their Church, they are pariahs in The Land of the Free.
[Hat tip to R.R.-D.]

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Even Clint Eastwood is concerned . . .

. . . but apparently doesn't know exactly which way to go, except that we should all pull together, because "It's Halftime in America." But, of course, it's also a Chrysler commercial.


Today. Heralding Lent.

Pres. Obama to Catholic Church: "You may kiss my . . ."

A cartoon by Michael Ramirez, courtesy of Tom Peters via Fr. Z.

Inspirational Beauty: The Stained Glass Photos of Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Tridentine Community News (February 5, 2012):
Stained Glass is an art form where even the most inexperienced observer can recognize quality when he or she sees it. The best examples can tell a story with their rich color and detailing.

British Dominican and Extraordinary Form advocate Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. has spent several years compiling a photo library of some of the finest examples of stained glass imaginable. Not only are the examples themselves moving, but Fr. Lew’s sharp photographic skills help to convey their full beauty. He has licensed the photos under the Creative Commons, permitting their re-use for non-commercial purposes provided Fr. Lew is credited.

Along with some other interesting photos of pipe organs, church ceiling art, and life at Blackfriars, the Dominican Priory in Oxford, England where he is based, Fr. Lew’s stained glass photo set is available at:

We have and will continue to feature some of his photos relevant to certain Feast Days on our weekday Mass Propers Handouts. With thanks to Fr. Lew for producing this important and inspirational set of images, here are some examples:

The Miracle at Cana, at Burgos Cathedral in Spain

St. Paul encountering the Risen Lord on the road to Damascus
and being called to be an Apostle, in
St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

Christ in Gethsemane, at Cropredy parish church

Next Mass at St. Albertus
The next Tridentine Mass at St. Albertus will be in two weeks, on Sunday, February 19 at noon.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 02/06 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Titus, Bishop & Confessor)

Tue. 02/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Romuald, Abbot)
[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 February 5, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, February 04, 2012

White House Misrepresents Its Own Contraceptive Mandate

From the USCCB, something extraordinarily incisive.

[Hat tip to E.E.]

"Pride" mass in London

"La crisi della Chiesa è una crisi dei vescovi - A Londra, la messa 'Pride'" (Rorate Caeli, February 4, 2012):
"Eminentissimi signori Cardinali! Eccellentissimi signori in Curia!

Guardate questo video...."
(The linked video is on the apostles of gay sex in the Westminster Archdiocese of Archbishop Nichols in London.)

Showdown: Catholic Military Chaplains and Obama Administration

Fr. Z: "Pres. Obama is at war with the Catholic Church" (February 4, 2012):
"In Catholic churches across the country, parishioners were read letters from the pulpit this weekend from bishops in their diocese about the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services giving Catholics a year before they’ll be required to start violating their consciences on insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs. But not in the Army.

"... On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels....

"The Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains subsequently sent an email to senior chaplains advising them that the Archbishop’s letter was not coordinated with that office and asked that it not be read from the pulpit....

"Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants.

"Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter. Additionally, the line: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law” was removed by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience."

Update: "153 US Bishops have protested Pres. Obama’s blatant attack on Catholics" (WDTPRS, February 3, 2012). That's over 80% of bishops who head dioceses who have spoken out against the Obama/HHS mandate.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Catholic Church Rejects Surrender Terms from Obama

Cliff Kincaid (Accuracy in Media, January 30, 2012):
The issue is what the Catholic Bishops have called a “literally unconscionable” edict by the Obama Administration demanding that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans.
[Hat tip to Roger Lessa]

Related: As Mike Liccione (or was it Marcel LeJeune?) says: "It took Obama's Administration to get 100% of the US Bishops to agree. Even the Pope can't do that."

Mark Shea in trailer of movie based on Chesterton's "MANALIVE"

[Hat tip to K.K.]

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

American war casualties

[Hat tip to J.B.]

Christopher West is back ...

... allegedly "with a vengeance," and comes in for some heavy criticism HERE and HERE.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Peter Kreeft's conversion story

Maybe you have to be a convert yourself to be a sucker for conversion stories, but there are some I've always enjoyed hearing or reading. Peter Kreeft's is one of them.

Get it?

[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

The transvaluation of liturgical values

[Regarding the suppression of the traditional Mass by Paul VI]
"A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent."

-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Salt of the Earth, tr. Adrian Walker
(San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), p. 176.