Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Di Noia: "Can't read Vatican II texts from the viewpoint of liberals who were in the Council"

Our friend, Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, OP, former Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who has just been named Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has just cleared the air with a most remarkably sensible statement.

Speaking to Catholic News Service yesterday, Di Noia said that the Vatican needed to help people who have strong objections to the Second Vatican Council see "that these disagreements don't have to be dividing or keep us from the same Communion table."

"It is possible to have theological disagreements while remaining in communion with the see of Peter," he said.

"Part of what we're saying is that when you read the documents (of Vatican II), you can't read them from the point of view of some liberal bishops who may have been participants (at the council), you have to read them at face value," Archbishop Di Noia told CNS. "Given that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church, the documents cannot be in discontinuity with tradition."


Update: "For the record: Important interview with Ecclesia Dei VP Di Noia: 'The Pope doesn't want this division to continue'" (Rorate Caeli, July 1, 2012) -- a sobering dose of party line.

Vatican Cardinal: Protestant Reformation "sin"

"Vatican Cardinal refuses to celebrate the upcoming 2017 500th anniversary of the Reformation" (Angelqueen, June 20, 2012).

[The] head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch refuses to celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation. According to the Cardinal, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the events that split the Catholic church can not be called a holiday. According to German site, Koch categorizes the date of coming as a “remembrance of the Reformation”.

“We can not celebrate sin” – said the cardinal, and added that he was aware of the fact that after this speech can be branded “anti-ecumenical”.

Related: Michael Voris (ChurchMilitant.TV, June 27, 2012).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (June 24, 2012):
Differing Forms of the Low Mass

Get a group of traditional Catholics together, and sooner or later the subject of the Low Mass will come up. On few subjects are opinions so strongly held, yet diversity so explicitly tolerated. Let’s examine some history:

Thinking back to the pre-Vatican II days, some believed the Low Mass was the norm for liturgy. It was relatively quick, though exactly how quick is the stuff of legend. It is difficult to imagine a non-Requiem Low Mass taking less than 35 minutes, yet tales abound of 20 minute Masses. The Church never intended the Low Mass to be the common parishioner experience: First, the Mass was meant to be sung. The Missále Románum (Altar Missal), the Graduále Románum, and the Liber Usuális, the main texts of the Mass, all presume a sung liturgy. Low Masses – and side altars – became prevalent because each priest is obligated to offer an individual Mass each day, which could not always be done at the main altar by every priest of a busy parish church.

Nevertheless, the Church is not blind to the needs of society. People do not necessarily have the time for High Masses each weekday, and that includes clergy and volunteers as well as the faithful attending weekday Masses. A more brief Mass can be better suited to a busy weekday schedule.

Each Holy Mass offers the same graces to the faithful, from the most humble Low Mass to the most elaborate Pontifical, or even Papal, Mass. Man needs the ceremony; God does not. Therefore we need to keep in mind that assisting at any Holy Mass offers infinite graces. Better to attend a Low Mass than none at all, especially on a weekday.

All this having been said, there are three general categories of Low Masses:

The Silent Mass: Perhaps the most common form of Low Mass is one in which the congregation makes none, or very few, of the responses. This sort of Mass tends to appeal to those with more experience with the Traditional Liturgy, but can be offputting to newcomers not accustomed to lengthy silence.

Dialogue Mass: The 1958 Vatican document De Música Sacra outlined various forms of vocal participation of the faithful. It offered support for a Dialogue Low Mass, in which the congregation joins with the altar servers in making all of the Mass responses, optionally including even the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. In practice, Dialogue Masses usually leave those preliminary prayers exclusively to the altar servers.

Low Mass with Hymns: This is the variation that has become standard at Assumption-Windsor and St. Josaphat. At many Tridentine Mass sites, it is even the norm on Sundays. An Entrance, Offertory, and Closing hymn, along with a Communion Motet, may be sung. None of the Mass parts or Propers are sung.

Variations in the Sung Mass

Many of our readers know Brother John Tonkin, a member of the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem who hails from Windsor. Recently an article was published in Crisis Magazine, and excerpted on The New Liturgical Movement blog, about his group. The gist was that they advocate the full implementation of De Música Sacra, to the point where they advocate the congregation joining in on singing the Propers.

That is a highly unusual and extreme, though permissible, implementation of the 1958 norms. Almost everywhere, the chanting of the Propers is left to the choir, which is entirely appropriate especially for the more complex Propers settings found in the Liber.

The point to be made in relating all of the above is that far from being rigid in rubrics, the Traditional Latin Mass allows for numerous variations of form. Whether those variations are “standard” in the sense of one being likely to see them in practice will vary quite a bit.

New Relic at St. Josaphat

After Monday night Low Masses at St. Josaphat, devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament are held. In recent weeks, following Benediction, Fr. Darrell has instituted Veneration of the Relic of the Veil of the Blessed Mother. Fr. Darrell brought this relic to St. Josaphat when he arrived at the parish last year.

LMS Talks Recorded

Talks from the June 9 Conference of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales were recorded. MP3s have been posted at:

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 06/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. William, Abbot)

Tue. 06/26 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Ss. John & Paul, Martyrs)

Fri. 06/29 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Ss. Peter & Paul, Apostles)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[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 June 24, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Happy Birthday 1962 Missale Romanum! [puff... sip ... puff]"

... says Fr. Z, taking a tip from his friends at Rorate Caeli, who, he says, are always on top of this stuff.

Of course, Fr. Z. is always on top of stuff like "The Vigil of St. John: bonfires and witch burnings, solstices and snails," when he's not showcasing his culinary adventures.

No "New Evangelization" without actual belief

  • From 1999

    A young bishop raises some hackles. Speaking from his own experience, rather than relying on the studies of putative experts, he thinks the synod may be missing important and disturbing truths about the men now being trained for the priesthood in Latin America. ‘People who have not been evangelized,’ he says, ‘cannot be the agents of the new evangelization.’ While there are more candidates for the priesthood, many of them have not really been evangelized or converted. Then he declares flatly, ‘They are not Christians.’ He proposes that the synod set aside a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament to pray for vocations, and for priests who are really Christians, so that Latin America can send them to the North and to Europe in order to convert the Church there. [...] But in the general sessions nobody responds directly to his description of the problem and what might be done about it.
    -- R.J. Neuhaus, Appointment in Rome,p. 106

  • From 2012

    Prior to an April visit to Argentina, I read the “Aparecida Document,” the final report of the Fifth General Assembly of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), which was held in Brazil in 2007. This master plan for the New Evangelization in Latin America is rather long—20-times longer than the Gospel of Mark, I’d guess. But in virtually every other respect it’s an entirely admirable piece of work that should be known throughout the world Church. (For those interested in the full text, it’s available here.)

    The first thing to note about the Aparecida Document is its strongly evangelical thrust: everyone in the Church, the bishops write, is baptized to be a “missionary disciple.” Everywhere is mission territory, and everything in the Church must be mission-driven. Then there is the document’s forthright Christocentrism, which reflects the teaching of Benedict XVI (who opened the assembly with a masterful address): the whole purpose of evangelism is to foster friendship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God who reveals both the face of the merciful Father and the truth about our humanity.

    The Aparecida Document is also noteworthy for its lack of defensiveness. If Catholics are leaving the Church and finding a spiritual home in Pentecostal communities, that’s the Catholic Church’s fault; it’s not something to be blamed on buckets of gold from El Norte and the machinations of the U.S. government (as two generations of Latin American churchmen had often charged). The Catholic Church must figure out what is missing in its presentation of the Gospel and its living of the Gospel: filling those gaps is the way to invite back home those Catholics who move away from their historic spiritual home. The Catholic failure here, the bishops frankly concede, is an evangelical failure. And the answer to that failure is what they call “permanent catechesis”: an ongoing encounter with the Lord Jesus, deepened spiritually through Word and Sacrament, the Bible and the Eucharist.

    In a meeting with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., the archbishop of Buenos Aires and one of the world Church’s great leaders, I asked how the Aparecida Document—which seemed such a break from previous CELAM documents—had happened. The cardinal cited three reasons.

    First, Aparecida is a Marian shrine, and meeting there oriented the bishops’ reflections in two directions: toward the traditional piety of Latin America and toward Our Lady as the Star of the New Evangelization (as Blessed John Paul II had named her). In that intersection between past and future, and under Mary’s protection, there was an opportunity for real creativity in facing the truth of the Church’s situation and prospects.

    Second, the bishops had regular contact with the throngs that came to Aparecida on pilgrimage: it was as if CELAM was meeting, not in some convention center or monastic enclosure, but right in the middle of the People of God on their pilgrimage through the early 21st century—a pilgrimage in which both popular piety and new missionary initiatives will be part of the New Evangelization and in which lay Catholics will be the Church’s primary evangelists.

    And third, the cardinal replied, the bishops were surrounded by prayer: as they discussed the future of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean at the shrine of Aparecida, they could hear their people praying around them. Thus the fifth CELAM conference became, not another bureaucratic exercise, but a kind of retreat.

    There is no need to over-romanticize this: the Aparecida Document was also the result of some hard thinking and hard work (some of it done by Cardinal Bergoglio, who was too modest to claim any such credit). But it is also true that the Aparecida experience suggests that good things happen at mass meetings of bishops when the bishops live like pastors, in close contact with their people, and when their deliberations seem more like the Upper Room of the Acts of the Apostles than an annual stockholders’ meeting.

    The Aparecida Document also suggests that Latin America is far more than just the demographic center of the Catholic Church.
    -- George Weigel, "Light from the South" (On the Square), Jun 13, 2012).
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Who takes this stuff seriously

Has any serious-minded Catholic every taken the Catholic Theological Society of America seriously? I know I haven't. Over its last decades, it does not seem to have been able to come to any consensus about anything, let alone accord with Catholic magisterial tradition.

So here were are again: "Theological society endorses Farley, elects leadership" (NCR, June 8, 2012), and two days later she addresses her "fellow theologians" about the Vatican's "harsh criticism of her books."

Soon she and her "fellow theologians" may be locked in deliberations over whether the Pope is Catholic, the Church is Christian, or Jesus is Biblical.

Remember the theologians in C.S. Lewis's book, The Great Divorce(one of my favorite books), who took a bus tour from hell to the outskirts of heaven, where they spent a day considering the rough edges of heavenly reality? At the end of the day, they all hopped back onto the bus to return to hell, so as not to miss the next session of their "theological society." Remember? And remember Oscar Wilde's quip in The Decay of Lying (1889) about how life imitates art much more than art imitates life?

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More

A reader writes: "I thought you might appreciate the fact that the death of St. Fisher, and St. More ... were separated by a fortnight": "A Fortnight Later ..." (Nowhere, June 22, 1012).

[Hat tip to T.E.]

Sedevacantist drinking game

The anonymous mom or guy or former seminarian or E. Michael Jones's biggest fan or girl or neutral third party or Fr. Pavone's willfulness or Mother Angelica's fetal tail, or whoever or whatever he/she/it is has just posted this piece of provocative insanity (or is it sanity in disguise?) he/she/it calls "Sedevacantist drinking game" (Not a Goblin, But a Troll, June 22, 2012).

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obesity Pride?

Emm ..., well, no. But the logic isn't much different. And here you can find it from Catholics for Equality: Fortnight for Freedom Catholic Response Rally - Baltimore (June 21, 2012).

They say: "Tell Our Bishops: "We Need Pastors, Not Politicians. Your Election Year Antics are Hurting the Church!" Translation: Take a PASTORAL approach and support pressing, relevant and important issues like same-sex marriage. No kidding.

"Catholics for equality," eh? Gay pride? Well what about obesity pride? C'mon, I bet there are more fat people than Sodomites. Where are your priorities?

Chilling claim: UK hospitals kills off 130K elderly patients annually

Steve Doughty, "Top doctor's chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year" (MailOnline, June 19, 2012).

Make way for Obamacare!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Leaks confirm ambivalence about Neocatechumenal Way"

John L. Allen, the Vatican correspondent for NCR, in case you missed it.

As reported in the Ferrara article below, one of the leaked documents was a letter from American Cardinal Raymond Burke, president of the Vatican's highest court, to Italian Cardinal Tascisio Bertone, the Secretary of State, in which Burke told Bertone that he had received an invitation to a January 20 celebration of Vatican approval for the Neocatechumenate's approach to worship. According to the leaked document, Burke wrote:
“As a cardinal and a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I cannot avoid expressing to Your Eminence the surprise this invitation caused me. I do not recall having heard a consultation regarding a particular liturgy for this ecclesial movement. In recent days, I’ve received expressions of concern regarding papal approval, which they already knew about, from various persons, including a respected bishop in the United States. I regarded them as rumor and speculation, but now I’ve discovered they were right. As a faithful student of the teaching of the Holy Father with regard to liturgical reform, which is fundamental for the New Evangelization, I believe the approval of such liturgical innovations, even after the corrections on the part of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, does not seem coherent with the liturgical magisterium of the pope.”
According to Allen, the document carried a handwritten note from the Pope, dated Jan. 20, which read: "Return to Card. Bertone, inviting Card. Burke to perhaps translate these very correct observations in the Congregation for Divine Worship." (See Ferrara's commentary in the post below.)

  • Fr. Enrico Zoffoli, "The Neocatechumenal Way: A Fearful Danger to the Faith" (Christian Order, April 1995).

    While gracious to a fault in his attitude towards adherents of the Neocatechumenal Way, Fr. Zoffoli, a Passionist Priest, is adamant about problems of serious heterodoxy in the "catechesis" inspired by their founder, Kiko Argüello, which he details here.

    See also Fr. E. Zoffoli's Heresies of the Neocatechumenals, VIth private edition (1991), and The Teaching of the Pope and Catechisms of Kiko: A Comparison (Segno Edition, 1992).

  • F. John Loughnan, "A Neocatechumenal Way Experience" offers (beginning with Item 'F' and ending with 'Q') a collection of links to a Maltese website containing posts by Fr. Enrico Zoffoli.

SCOTUS judgment on HHS mandate approaches: pray

Please pray that God's mercy may still withhold His wrath and that the justices of the Supreme Court may still retain a sufficient understanding of justice and Constitutional law to strike down this evil HHS Mandate, which is but a symptom of the iniquitous times in which we live. Otherwise the downward spiral will continue, seen so many times before, as during the reign of Henry VIII in the not-so-merry England of the "Reformation," when things were arbitrarily interpreted to be otherwise than they are -- this mistress is the legitimate queen, the Pope is not the legitimate Head of the Church, evil is good and good is evil, etc., ad perditionem.


Litany of St. Thomas More, Martyr and Patron Saint of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ, have mercy
R. Christ have mercy
V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ hear us
R. Christ, graciously hear us

V. St. Thomas More, Saint and Martyr,
R. Pray for us (Repeat after each invocation)
St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers
St. Thomas More, Patron of Justices, Judges and Magistrates
St. Thomas More, Model of Integrity and Virtue in Public and Private Life
St. Thomas More, Servant of the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ
St. Thomas More, Model of Holiness in the Sacrament of Marriage
St. Thomas More, Teacher of his Children in the Catholic Faith
St. Thomas More, Defender of the Weak and the Poor
St. Thomas More, Promoter of Human Life and Dignity

V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Spare us O Lord
V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Graciously hear us O Lord
V.Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R.Have mercy on us

Let us pray:

O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life - the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

'Vatileaks' and other iceberg tips

Christopher A. Ferrara, "The Legislating Church" (The Remnant, June 18, 2012), offers a scathing analysis of the growing toxic bureaucratization of the Roman Curia and Church, which he describes, quoting Michael Davies, as "bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy" that "has given up any pretense at evangelizing the de-Christianized masses in Western countries in favor of producing an endless stream of legislation to regulate a diminishing number of faithful."

Another aspect of his analysis focuses on how the "collegial" understanding of episcopal governance after Vatican II has led the Pope to become increasingly a captive of the legislative Church. In case after case, such as the correction of the "pro multis" words in the Missal, Ferrara shows how the Pope has felt obliged to give up any suggestion that he has any authority to command correction of an error in fidelity to the Gospel as the Vicar of Christ and, instead, to solicit the agreement from the various national bishops conferences and various other organs of the "Legislating Church."

A key feature of the bureaucratization of the Roman curia, Ferrara says, was the elevation of the Vatican Secretary of State during the Paul VI pontificate to the status of virtual prime minister of the Church, by placing his office above all the Vatican dicasteries, including the CDF, as "a kind of Vicar of the Vicar of Christ." His illustrations of these points are telling and troubling, both in the case of Cardinal Angelo Sodano (e.g., in connection with the Fatima interpretations), and in the case of Cardinal Bertone.

One of the most fascinating parts of Ferrara's analysis for me was his section of the "Vatileaks" scandal:
The dominance of the Secretary of State over the affairs of the Legislating Church has been revealed to the whole world in the scandal now raging over the contents of private correspondence to the Pope leaked from the papal apartment by the Pope’s majordomo (head of household), Paolo Gabriele. Among the leaked items is a most revealing letter to Cardinal Bertone from Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke, who is head of the Apostolic Signatura (the Catholic Church’s highest tribunal) and is also a member of the CDW.

In an article dated June 3, 2012, the Italian daily La Repubblica quoted excerpts from Burke’s letter, which protests the recent (January 2012) approval by the Pontifical Council for the Laity—yet another of the proliferating organs of the Legislative Church—of “those celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way which do not appear by their nature to be regulated already by the liturgical books of the Church.” What precisely this ambiguous approval covers has been the subject of controversy ever since—a result all too typical of post-Vatican II pronouncements by Vatican departments. Seizing on the ambiguity, the two founders of “the Way”—that famous pair of neo-Catholic kooks, “Kiko” Arguello and Carmen Hernandez—are claiming approval of the neo-Catechumenal liturgy as such.

But, quite tellingly, the CDW, which has jurisdiction over the liturgy, was not involved in this “approval.” Hence Cardinal Burke’s letter to Secretary of State Bertone objects to an invitation Burke had found on his writing desk, announcing a ceremony marking the “occasion of the approval of the liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way.” Wrote Burke: “I cannot, as Cardinal and member of the Congregation for Divine Worship, fail to express to Your Eminence the astonishment the invitation has caused me. I do not recall ever having heard of a consultation [with the CDW] regarding the approval of the liturgy as such of this ecclesial movement. I have received in recent days from various persons, including a respected bishop in the United States, expressions of concern regarding such a papal approval. This news had been for me pure rumors and speculations. Now I have discovered that they were correct.” As reported by La Repubblica, the letter ends with Cardinal Burke’s declaration that “As a faithful student of the teaching of the Holy Father on the liturgical reform that is fundamental to the new evangelization, I believe that such liturgical innovations, even after the correction by the Prefect of the [CDW], do not seem consistent with the liturgical magisterium of the Pope.”

In a further revelation, John Allen of National Catholic Reporter reports that the Pope read and then attached a handwritten note to Burke’s letter, stating: “Return to Card. Bertone, inviting Card. Burke to perhaps translate these very correct observations in the Congregation for Divine Worship.” Yet these “very correct” observations by Cardinal Burke concerning the Pope’s teaching on the liturgy have not impeded what is now being trumpeted as “Vatican approval” of the bizarre liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way, which includes dancing around an altar table, consecrated Hosts the size and consistency of personal pan pizzas which crumble and leave numerous particles on the floor, lay preaching in the form of “resonances,” standing throughout a “Eucharistic Prayer” accompanied by guitar music, and the reception of Holy Communion while standing in the pews.
Ferrara asks how it is that the Vicar of Christ is reduced to the suggestion that Cardinal Burke's "very correct observations" concerning the abuses of the Neocatechumenal "liturgy" be translated for the sake of the CDW? Why does the Pope not intervene directly himself to put an end to the liturgical abuses of "the Way" of Kiko and Carmen? Why does he not simply govern the Church directly, restoring good order in keeping with his traditional authority? Ferrara writes:
The answer is revealed by an incident of which I was reliably informed during a recent Ignatian retreat at the Retreat House of the Society of Saint Pius X in Ridgefield, Connecticut. During an audience with the Pope, Bishop Fellay found himself alone with the Pope for a moment. His Excellency seized the opportunity to remind the Pope that he is the Vicar of Christ, possessed of the authority to take immediate measures to end the crisis in the Church on all fronts. The Pope replied thus: “My authority ends at that door.” (Castel Gondolfo August, 2005)

Today it appears that the Vicar of Christ has become a captive of the democratization of the Church according to a model of “collegiality” that purports to replace the monarchy which the papacy established by Christ the King really is. It seems that the Pope views himself as but a cog, albeit the biggest and most important cog, in the vast clockwork of a Legislating Church whose “decisions” must be allowed to operate autonomously and by consent of the governed in keeping with the collegial and democratic mechanisms of the new model. No longer seeing himself as a monarch with the prerogatives and peremptory authority of a monarch, the Pope of the Legislating Church feels constrained to rely on mere suasion and appeals to procedural due process in the hope of effectuating what he wishes to see done.
Food for thought.

[Hat tip to A. Sistrom]

Video: An ordinary Vocation

Via Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at WDTPRS, June 18, 2012.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Major Michigan pro-life legislation pending

Tom Martin, "Michigan abortion bills 'largest collection of pro-life legislation ever addressed at one time'" (Michigan Live, June 12, 2012).

[Hat tip to N.O.R.]

Pro-lifer stands up to Supreme Court of Canada

Stalwart is undaunted by ruling, prospect of jail time: Charles Lewis, "Crusader Linda Gibbons says Supreme Court ruling won’t stop her abortion clinic protests" (National Post, June 8, 2012).

[Hat tip to New Oxford Review]

"The Theological Origin and, Hopefully, End of Modernity"

Thaddeus J. Kozinski, in On the Square (First Things), June 15, 2012.

Michael Gillespie, Nihilism Before Nietzsche,the infectionions of nominalism in Erasmus, Luther, Hobbes, Locke, Descartes (did I mention Ockham?) the Pope's Regensburg Address, Gaudium et spes as complement, not replacement of, the Syllabus of Errors, and more. OK.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Lutheran heresy for dummies

"A sad childhood" by SheisCatholic. Come on Lenoir-Rhyneans, it's simply charming.

Related: Talking to Protestants, for example, when they say about Confession, just "Go to God"

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (June 17, 2012):
Upcoming Bus Tours with Tridentine Masses

A phenomenon we have reported on in previous columns is the growing popularity of bus tours of historic churches. Prior to 2010, few tours were held in our region that specifically focused on Catholic churches. The highest-profile operation over the past several decades has been the Detroit Historical Society, which runs an ongoing series of tours of churches of all denominations.

That started to change in 2010, when one bus was sold out for the Latin Liturgy Association church tour. In 2011, three buses were sold out for the Call To Holiness tour. It was during this period that St. Joseph Church Music Director Michael Semaan came up with a system of pervasive advertising for future bus tours. So successful was his method of publicity that three buses were sold out for last December’s Chicago church tour, while seven buses were sold out for the most recent tour of Detroit churches.

It became apparent to Mike that what he had was a model for a new sort of apostolate, one that showcases architectural and liturgical beauty. And so Prayer Pilgrimages was born.

The only other comparable operation known to this writer is Chicago Church Tours (, with its own longstanding series of tours of particular churches. Unlike that organization, however, Mike’s tours go beyond metro Detroit and almost always feature choral performances and at least one Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. What better way to showcase beautiful churches than with the form of Sacred Liturgy for which they were built?

Readers have occasionally mentioned that they would have gone on previous bus tours had they been aware of them. Let’s not keep a good thing secret. Here is the list of tours scheduled for the remainder of 2012:
July 16: Monroe & Wyandotte, Michigan Churches - St. Mary, St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist Churches (Monroe), with concluding 6 PM Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (Wyandotte) - $40 (including full course meal)

August 1-3: Wisconsin Basilicas, National Shrines, & Historic Churches - Holy Hill Mary Help of Christians, Our Lady of Guadalupe (with Holy Mass celebrated by Cardinal Raymond Burke), St. Joseph the Workman, St. Francis Xavier, Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help (First Approved Marian Apparition Site in the history of the United States) - $260 (double); $310 (single)

August 15: St. Mary's Orchard Lake, Michigan (Guided walking tour with time for private prayer) & Assumption Grotto, Detroit (with 7 PM Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass followed by Lourdes Candlelight Procession) - $40 (including full course meal)

September 4: Our Lady of Consolation Basilica & National Shrine in Carey, Ohio [Photo below by Kevin Hammer] (with Noon Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass in Upper Church, Guided Tour, Devotions, Outdoor Statue Procession, Stations of the Cross) - $40 (including full course meal)

October 11 & 12 (2 days, 1 night): Upstate New York Basilicas, Historic Churches, & Niagara Falls – St. Joseph Cathedral, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Louis, St. Mary Cataract Churches, Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Our Lady of Fatima Basilica (with Sung Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass) & free time to view the Falls both day and night - $130 (double); $155 (single)

December 27 & 28 (2 days, 1 night): Christmas in Chicago Historic Churches & Marytown National Shrine (Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Hyacinth Basilicas, St. John Cantius, St. Hedwig, Holy Trinity, St. Mary of the Angels Churches) & Mundelein Seminary (mini retreat with overnight stay, Vespers, & Sung Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass in Chapel) - $125 (double); $150 (single)
To sign up for a tour or for more information, please visit or call (248) 250-6005.

The Shadow Corpus Christi Octave

As mentioned in our January 25, 2009 column, all of the Octaves in the Church Calendar except for those of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost were suppressed as part of the 1955 Calendar reforms. Yet certain remnants remain: During the former Octave following the Feast of Corpus Christi, it is still permissible to hold additional processions with the Blessed Sacrament. When that is done, a Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, considered Second Class, may be celebrated. Readers have advised us that even in the Ordinary Form, an Octave of Corpus Christi is still observed in Poland.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 06/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Confessor, & Doctor) Tue. 06/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Juliana of Falconieri, Virgin)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[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 June 17, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cardinal Burke weighs in on Pope-Bp. Fellay

"Cardinal Burke: 'with the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay this reconciliation can take place'" (Rorate Caeli, June 15, 2012).

All of this against a background of leaked documents, and dark and hidden agents in the Curia, apparently undertaking to distort the will and words of the Holy Father.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"No difference" thesis in same-sex parenting "not settled science"

Ana Samuel, "The Kids Aren’t All Right: New Family Structures and the 'No Differences' Claim" (Public Discourse, June 14, 2012).

Our correspondent on retainer in Rome, Zachary Mabee, summarizes:
This is a pretty thorough rundown of some recent research, as well as the more general state of the research, regarding what is commonly called, as the author notes, the "no differences" claim, according to which same-sex couples' child-rearing is statistically on par, more or less, with that of heterosexual couples. While such data, she also notes, is *not* demonstratively or indisputably conclusive, it does seem to suggest that the "no differences" claim, at least in a more straightforward formulation, is not empirically tenable.

[Hat tip to Z.M.]

For the record: Cardinal Levada - Bishop Fellay

Update: "SSPX-Rome divinations" (Rorate Caeli dvises: to be taken with large quantities of salt, June 15, 2012)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The advent of Confessional Catholicsm and the decline of Cultural Catholicism

In The Future Church,Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter John Allen projects a decisive shift in the future of world Catholicism. Among other things, he sees a Church whose center of gravity shifts decidedly south of the equator to Africa and South America.

Commenting on Allen's observations in Suicide of a Superpower,Patrick J. Buchanan writes:
With the number of bishops and cardinals from Latin America, Africa, and Asia inevitably rising, Allen sees a Church that is more Third World, Pentecostal, and Charismatic, with an African Pope before 2050.
The decisive words here are "Third World, Pentecostal, and Charismatic."

I am not concerned here primarily with what has been called, now for several decades, the advent of a "post-Christian culture." I am concerned, rather, with what little is currently left of Catholicism as a vibrant and transformative cultural force, and what I see within this residue as a growing rift between two forms of Catholicism and the apparent ascendance of one and gradual eclipse of the other. What I mean is the contest between Cultural Catholicism and Confessional Catholicism.

Cultural Catholicism I would define, not merely as that Catholicism that has historically been identified closely with certain European cultures, like that of the Italian, Irish, or Polish; but as identified with that compendium of Catholic tradition that is our common inheritance from the past, including not only Scripture and Sacred Tradition, but the ancient liturgical rites of the Church, as well as her common devotions and liturgical seasons, feasts, observances and familial habits. This is the sort of Catholicism that regards as important not merely Holy Days of Obligation, but habits bespeaking the importance of belief in Purgatory, Indulgences, Patron Saints, Marian devotion, the Friday Penance, Holy Saturdays, blessed salts, holy water, candles, processions, pilgrimages, Scapulars, relics, Latin prayers and hymns, Masses for the dead, and the like.

Confessional Catholicism I would define as that form of Catholicism identifiable chiefly by two occasionally-but-not-always-overlapping subsets: (1) Propositional Catholicism, and (2) Evangelical Catholicism.

Propositional Catholicism exhibits primarily a concern for doctrinal clarity, for the clear articulation of and adherence to a body of propositions to be believed and followed, as summarized in the latest Catechism of the Catholic Church. This concern is expressed in an emphasis, for example, on expository Biblical theology and apologetics.

Evangelical Catholicism appears in the concern for the shared experience of confessional discourse confirming the reality of these beliefs, the experience of interior renewal and a living relationship with Christ, often finding expression in external dispositions of enthusiasm, evangelical fervor, and a willingness to share how the Holy Spirit is experienced as acting in one another's lives.

These distinctions may be somewhat arbitrary and overlap at points, to be sure, but I believe they have their conceptual uses.

On the one hand are those who see Cultural Catholicism as a dead relic. If anything, it is dismissed as the dead traditionalism of the past, if not, in Jaroslav Pelikan's words, "the dead faith of the living." What matters, from the point of view of these critics of Cultural Catholicism is what Kierkegaard called experiencing the "contemporaneity of Christ," the personal encounter with the living Christ of Faith, not the dead carcasses of extraneous medieval traditions.

On the other hand are those who see Confessional Catholicism as little more than an thin, etiolated form of religion, stripped substantively of its traditional Catholic roots. On the one hand, they see it as reduced (in Propositional Catholicism) to a body of discrete doctrinal propositions cut off from traditionally Catholic "habits of the heart," the living customs and devotions of hearth and home and liturgical seasons of one's parish. On the other, they see it as reduced (in Evangelical Catholicism) to a form of religion emphasizing the "lived experience" and discourse of the "believing community," but also as a phenomenon susceptible of transmogrification into the worst sorts of distortions described by Msgr. Ronald Knox in his classic tome, Enthusiasm. What matters most from the point of view of these critics is the preservation of Catholic identity enshrined in Catholic tradition, most of which is seen as jeopardized by these forms of Confessional Catholicism, which often strikes the them as differing little from Protestantism with a twist of Catholic Lite on the side.

In many ways, I see partisans of each side of this divide as missing what is prized as being of utmost importance by its opponents. Neither do I think that Cultural Catholics must represent a bloodless religion of dead and empty formalism, although it may indeed have become that in some quarters; nor do I think that Confessional Catholics must represent a pathological obsession with "living in their heads" (in Propositional Catholicism) or a mindless wallowing in subjective experience and "enthusiasm" described by Knox (in Evangelical Catholicism), although it may indeed have become that in some quarters.

I do think, however, that the most vulnerable point in the contemporary and short-term future development of Catholicism, at least if Allen and Buchanan are right, lies in a subjectivist detachment of emotional experientialism from propositional truth, and the detachment of both from the roots of Catholic identity historically embodied in the living traditions of Cultural Catholicism. This is precisely the Catholic legacy of the 1960s; and the prevailing winds these days are, unsurprisingly, subjectivism, experientialism, and personal preference. A Catholicism that indulges these and forsakes propositional truth is progressively weakened. By the same token, a Catholicism that lives too much "in its head," in abstract concepts and propositions at the expense of the life-embodying cultural forms of Catholic tradition, has cut itself off from its identity and recognitional form, which has more to do with habits of the heart than with propositions in the head. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Boxes for abandoned babies proliferate in Europe

A baby bank in Hamburg, Germany: over 400 children have been abandoned in hatches
in Europe since 2000. Photograph: Nina Ruecker/Getty Images

Unbelievable. But then, I must be getting old fashioned. Randeep Ramesh, "Spread of 'baby boxes' in Europe alarms United Nations" (The Guardian, June 10, 2012). And if even the UN is concerned, well ... it must be bad.

A Post-Rally Critique from Monica Migliorino Miller

From Citizens for a Pro-Life Society News, Dr. Monical M. Miller, National Co-Director of Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally asks "Where Do We Go From Here?" and declares: "It's a War Against Religion! Not a War Against Women!" See her summary and critique HERE.

Beginning in March 23rd, there were rallies in 144 cities across the country attended by thousands, including Catholics, Protestants, and Jews (including Rabbi Philip Leskowitz from Skokie, IL, who addressed a Chicago rally), old and young alike.

Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago, declared in light of the mandate: "As a bishop of the Church now, I will die in my bed. My successor will die in jail. And the bishop after him will die a martyr."

Another pro-Moloch Obama judicial appointment

The Senate voted today to end debate on President Obama's nomination of Andrew David Hurwitz for the Ninth Circuit Court. The Senate is expected to give final confirmation of the judge later this week. Hurwitz is credited with having helped craft Roe v. Wade in 1973, legalizing the sacrifice of unborn human children on newly-erected altars of Moloch in abortuaries throughout the land.

[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

Peoria bishop pulls out all stops, draws line

"Full text of Bishop Jenky's homily at men's march and Mass" (The Catholic Post, June 10, 2012). Excerpts:
“In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro- abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

“Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgment seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.

“This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries -- only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.

“No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.”

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (June 10, 2012):
The International Eucharistic Congress

Much has been written about World Youth Day. Every two or three years, the Vatican holds a major event for Catholic youth and young adults in a prominent city of the world. Venues have included Toronto in 2002, Sydney in 2008, and Madrid in 2011. The next one will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.

The Church also holds similar events geared more towards adults, the International Eucharistic Congresses. These have a longer history, dating back to 1881. In recent years, host cities have included Guadalajara in 2004, Quebec City in 2008, and the next one commencing today, June 10, and running through next Sunday, June 17 in Dublin, Ireland. As seriously as the media might take World Youth Day, the Church provides a great motivation to attend its Eucharistic Congresses: Participation at the closing Mass of a Eucharistic Congress is enriched with a Plenary Indulgence.

Readers of this column are surely aware by now of the Juventútem movement, in the news recently because of the plethora of activities being offered by our new local chapter. Juventútem started as an effort to serve young adults attending World Youth Day who wished to attend Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Chapters of Juventútem are forming across the globe; in addition to the primary mission of organizing pilgrimages to World Youth Day, local chapters are arranging a variety of local religious and social events.

It should therefore not be surprising that a similar movement is taking shape at International Eucharistic Congresses. As an increasing number of people find their spiritual home in the Tridentine Mass, it is only pastoral for Congress organizers to offer these pilgrims access to their preferred form of Sacred Liturgy. At this week’s Congress, a program of Extraordinary Form Masses and events is planned at Dublin’s St. Kevin Church, as can be seen in the adjacent excerpt from their IEC brochure. Particularly noteworthy is the Pontifical Mass to be celebrated by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, the same prelate who conferred Minor Orders at the FSSP Seminary in Nebraska last fall. His Excellency is setting a commendable example of support for the EF for his fellow Canadian bishops.

While such efforts at IECs have not yet been given a “brand name” à la Juventútem, the point is clear: The EF will have a growing role at major Church events going forward.

Marquette Sacred Music Conference

Closer to home, Diocese of Marquette Bishop Alexander Sample – a regular celebrant of the Tridentine Mass – has organized a Conference on Sacred Music to be held at Marquette’s St. Peter Cathedral Monday-Tuesday, June 18-19. Presenters include the ubiquitous Jeffery Tucker and Arlene Oost-Zimmer of the Church Music Association of America, as well as our own Dr. Steven Ball. Befitting any event involving Mr. Tucker, a principal focus will be singing the Propers at [Ordinary Form] Mass. It is an encouraging sign of the times to see a diocesan-sponsored conference advocating traditional norms for sacred music. Further information is available at [Some of us note with enthusiasm that the Conference Chair for this event is none other than our own Sacred Heart Major Seminary grad, Fr. Ryan Ford.]

Juventútem News

Congratulations to Juventútem Michigan for having been invited by the Archdiocese of Detroit to participate in today’s Corpus Christi Procession at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. This is the first time since Vatican II that a group associated with the Extraordinary Form has been explicitly requested to be involved in a Cathedral liturgy, albeit in the Ordinary Form.

This Friday, June 15, Juventútem will be holding its next dinner for young adults age 18-35 at the St. Josaphat Social Hall after the 7:00 PM High Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. [All ages are invited to the Mass.]

Young adults are invited to carpool with Juventútem to the Marquette Sacred Music Conference; please e-mail if you are interested.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 06/11 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Barnabas, Apostle)

Tue. 06/12 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. John of San Facondo, Confessor)

Fri. 06/15 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Sacred Heart of Jesus)

Please note the two separate Feasts being celebrated next Sunday:

Sun. 06/17 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Third Sunday After Pentecost)

Sun. 06/17 2:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (External Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[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 June 10, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

The facts about St. Padre Pio's Stigmata

Those with a special devotion to St. Padre Pio might find interesting Frank M. Rega's "The Truth about Padre Pio's Stigmata: Answering the carbolic acid accusations" (CFN, June 2012).

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

My son, Christopher, offers a detailed appreciation of the author, whose Farenheit 451 was a favorite of mine I remember well from my college years. If you're a fan too, I suggest you take a look at his reminiscences, since they contain some great detail, some of it previously unknown to me. In a personal email to me, in which he sent me the link to his post, Christopher summarized thusly:
Just a note that Ray Bradbury, science fiction author, died this past Tuesday at 91. Jamie has probably read some of his books and Jon and Nate might have been obliged to in public school, at least 'Fahrenheit 451' about the firemen who burn books instead of fight fires.

Religiously he was something of an eclectic Christian.

"I sit there and cry because I haven't done any of this," he told Sam Weller, his biographer and friend. "It's a God-given thing, and I'm so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is, 'At play in the fields of the Lord.'"

What is often left out of obituaries is his turn to conservatism in later years (the last Democrat he voted for was Carter). He held Ronald Reagan in high esteem and called Bill Clinton a "shithead." And he wasn't too happy when Obama decided to pull the plug on NASA's return trip to the moon.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

For the record: Rome-FSSPX update

"Rome-SSPX - Important: Interview with SSPX Superior General Bp. Fellay on current affairs" (Rorate Caeli, June 7, 2012).

More sensitive hand-wringing by '60s 'new church' Caths

The latest episode of defensive whining by Catholics who think the Church began in the 1960s concerns the "pain and suffering" some have alleged over photographs of Bishop Alain Castet of Luçon, in the Vendée -- photos that "rocked the diocese" by picturing him wearing traditional vestments and ordaining six deacons according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

Get a grip, folks. This isn't child pornography. The daily "Ouest France" laments the ordination as an even "that hurts a part of the Church in Vendée." A priest is quoted as saying: "Too much, this is too much, it is a return to a past that the Bishop proposes to us, we turn our backs to the Vatican II Council." Oh, please. Grow up. (A full account via Rorate Caeli today.)

I personally remember parishioners at St. Aloysius Church in North Carolina up in arms over a new priest's use of a Chalice Veil during his Masses, as well as the hue and cry they raised when he had the choir sing Ave Verum Corpus during Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The pain and suffering was just too much, apparently, for those accustomed to a diet of Marty Haugen and David Haas; and the poor priest never used anything in Latin again.

I even remember a faculty member walking out of a guest lecture by a visiting European philosopher at Duquesne University specifically because the reality of the Devil was asserted in the course of the lecture. O medieval horror! What would these sensitive souls fare if they knew that their gentle, meek and mild Jesus spoke more about the frightening torments of hell than anyone in the Bible?

Amazing. Simply amazing.

You know, it strikes me that we have here a new sort of Integrism, Fundamentalism, or even Traditionalism. Call it 1960s Integrism, 1960s Fundamentalism, 1960s Traditionalim. It's the kind of outlook that will give you a nosebleed if you see a priest wearing a biretta, indigestion if you happen to glimpse liturgical lace, and a heart attack if anyone seriously mentions the Devil.

Good gracious! Haven't any of these folks heard a word spoken by the Holy Father? Can they even spell "H-e-r-m-e-n-e-u-t-i-c o-f C-o-n-t-i-n-u-i-t-y"?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Stand Up For Freedom Rally

As most of you know, the USCCB has called for "Stand Up For Religions Freedom" rallies across the country. There are hundreds of cities in which such events have been occurring. Today there was a major rally scheduled in Downtown Detroit at which Archbishop Vigneron was scheduled to speak at noon, but in light of his father's passing, I am not sure he was able to make it.

We were hoping to attend the event ourselves, but I was among others invited to address a similar but smaller rally at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, MI.

I said few words about how President Obama has done more to unite the Catholic Bishops and unite Catholics with non-Catholic Christians in a unified ecumenical voice of protest against the HHS/Obamacare mandate. It was also my privilege to read a letter from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette addressed to Dr. Monica Miller, President of Citizens for a Prolife Society, expressing his support for the efforts of those citizens united in protest against the HHS mandate.

A few excerpts:
This is a defining moment for our country. There is an increasing effort to force Americans with religious convictions out of the public square, so that they may only act on their beliefs in private. That is not the nature of faith, and that is not what our Constitution requires.
Such lucid brevity from a public official is stunning these days. Exceptional.

Schuette continues a paragraph later in his letter:
I have joined with six other Attorneys General and filed suit to challenge the HHS mandate in federal court in defense of religious liberty, and have pledged to support the Michigan Catholic Conference as well as a Catholic college, Belmont Abbey, and in their suits against the Department of Health and Human services.

This is the time to stand and be counted. Religious freedom is the cornerstone of our democracy. It is precious. And it must be defended. Is stand with you. May God bless you.
Thank you, Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Corpus Christi: a glimpse of glory

On the Feast of Corpus Christi yesterday (Thursday), St. Josaphat mounted an impressive procession after Mass outside of the church along Canfield Avenue to four outside altars erected along the route. There were scripture readings, hymns in Latin and English and Benediction at each altar, with dauntless parishioners kneeling not only on the grass but on the hard sidewalks. Concluding in the church with final Benediction, accompanied by the usual Thomist hymns, Divine Praises, and Adoremus in Aeternum, the thought came to me that surely, if this was far removed from the splendor of Heaven, it was at least a fleeting glimpse of glory. Sorry, you had to be there. And, yes, I know that for most of you this Feast does not arrive until you find it upon you at your customary Sunday hour in the ordinary form of the liturgy. May you find yourselves as blessed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Imagining life in a nunnery

"Hie thee to a nunnery"??? Well, just IMAGINE, SISTERS ... Imagine a religious vocation as a serious possibility. Here is a beautifully-made video about women who have decided to enter the consecrated religious life, with some great footage from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

[Hat tip to Zach. M.]

Pro-Lifer on a Buffalo

[Hat tip to Zach M.]

Polluters and contraceptive users

Tim Worstall, "Women on Contraceptive Pill Should Pay $1,500 a Year More Tax" (Forbes, June 3, 2012).

The intrepid Zachary Mabee comments:
This is an interesting argument:

(i) Polluters should pay some sort of tax for the environmental harm they cause;

(ii) Women using artificial contraceptives are polluters (whose pollution has led, many think, to sex-change mutations among fish populations, as well as hormonal imbalance among average citizens who drink tap water);

So: Women who take artificial contraceptives should, as polluters, pay taxes for the environmental harm they cause.

Thoughts or comments?

"Vatican Diary: That sin of Sodom which cries out to heaven"

In case you missed it, Sandro Magister recently announced that the CDF has reprinted as-is the 1986 letter on homosexuality, just as various governments are legalizing gay unions.

The fat is in the fire, and here too are the commentaries of Ratzinger and Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Dewey Defeats Truman!

Don Walker, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, today: "The Drudge Report this afternoon breathlessly reports that exit polls from Tuesday's recall election show Gov. Scott Walker holding his seat. One problem, though. He provides no information to suggest that.... Republical and Democratic sources in Wisconsin told the Journal Sentinel that the numbers used by the Drudge Report are wrong."

For those of you in Rio Lina, Harry S. Truman defeated Thomas E. Dewey in the U.S. Presidential election of Nov. 3, 1948, despite the embarrassingly inaccurate banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Quotes to compare and contrast?

  • "[We are witnessing a] great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a one-world Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy; neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions ...."

    "Here we have, founded by Catholics, an interdenominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character, for there is not true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact.... But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of reshaping society unders such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, 'the reign of love and justice' .... What are they going to produce? What is to come out of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction, in which we see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words of Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exaltation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less-Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed ona chimera, brings Socialism in its train." (Pope St. Pius X, "Our Apostolic Mandate," apostolic letter to the French Bishops on the Sillon Movement in France, August 15, 1910).

  • "We are conscious of the urgent need to confront together responsibly and courageously the problems and challenges of our modern world (i.e., poverty, racism, environmental pollution, materialism , war and proliferation of arms , globalization, Aids , lack of medical care , breakdown of family and community , marginalization of women and children ,etc.); to work together to affirm human dignity as the source of human rights and their corresponding duties , in the struggle for justice and peace for all; to create a new spiritual consciousness for all humanity in accordance with the religious traditions so that the principle of respect for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience may prevail. We are convinced that our religious traditions have the necessary resources to overcome the fragmentations which we observe in the world and foster mutual friendship and respect between peoples...." ("Final Declaration of the Inter-religious Assembly" of October, 1999, at the Vatican in commemoration of the inter-religious colloquy at Assisi in October, 1986. Compare "Final Declaration of the Participants in the Symposium on 'Spiritual Resources of the Religions for Peace'," organized by The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome, January 16-18, 2003)

Photographers' Rights Disappear in a Flash

Not long ago, I would have said "Unbelievable!" Anymore, nothing surprises me. Not even THIS.

We used to be government of laws, not men. Today that has been turned exactly on its head. We have a government of arbitrary whim, where even "law" means nothing more than the will of whoever happens to be at the levers of political power.

[Hat tip to E. Echeverria]

Monday, June 04, 2012

Ban on sex selective abortion gains momentum

Steven W. Mosher, "Legislation Banning Sex Selective Abortion Gains Momentum" (Population Research Institute, June 4, 2012, Weely Briefing).

[Hat tip to E.E.]

Magisterium of Nuns denounces Rome

I'm sure you've all read or heard about the CDF NOTIFICATION about Sr. Margaret Farley’s dreadful book denouncing all the things praised by Rome and praising all the things denounced by Rome concerning the pelvic issues. (Why is it always the pelvic issues??)

You may have even heard about Fr. James Martin, SJ (whose recent Twitter campaign demonstrates that he sides with the Magisterium of Nuns rather than CDF in the matter of the LCWR) has in the Jesuit-run America Magazine come out with a full-throated defense of Sr. Farley and her ideas.

Then, of course, there was and is (and hopefully nevermore shall be) the LCWR, that subset of the Magisterium of Nuns, planning how not to obey Rome.

Which leads to Fr. Z's request to bloggers about the the phrase “Magisterium of Nuns” (WDTPRS, June 4, 2012). What can you do?

Related: "Catholic feminist admits the CDF is right about wayward Sisters" (Catholic World Report, May 23, 2012).

[Hat tip to J.M. for last link.]

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Trinity Sunday and philosophy: God is not a solitude

The problem of the One and the Many resolved: it was a false problem from the beginning.

James Weldon Johnson's classic poem, "The Creation" (from God's Trombones, 1927) may have been clever; but it got it all wrong when it came to God:
And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely -
I'll make me a world.

* * * * * * *

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I'm lonely still.

... Till he thought: I'll make me a man!
So God had to create Adam and Eve because He was lonely?? For fellowship?? Please. Poetic maybe; but bad theology. How could God be God if He needed anything?

Msgr. Robert Sokolowski does better: he speaks of the distinction between Creator and 'everything' as "the Christian distinction," different from any distinction between individual creatures:
When we turn away from the world or from the whole and turn toward God, toward the other term of the distinction that comes to light in Christian belief, we begin to appreciate the strangeness of the distinction itself. In the distinctions that occur normally within the setting of the world, each term distinguished is what it is precisely by not being that which it is distinguishable from. Its being is established partially by its otherness, and therefore its being depends on its distinction from others." (The God of Faith and Reason, p. 32)
This is elucidated by Ilse Nina Bulhof and Laurens ten Kate in Flight of the Gods: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Theology, p. 105, n. 13, as follows:
Sokolowski shows that this is an implication of Anselm's formula which states that God is "id quo nihil maius cogitari possit" (that than which nothing greater can be thought). We could formulate this implication as follows: (God plus the world, the creatures) is not 'greater' than God alone. Or: (God plus the world, the creatures) cannot be understood as greater than God alone. The contingency and gratuity of the being of creatures cannot be formulated more sharply; of God it says that He is "nullo alio indigens" (in need of no one or nothing else) and that He must be "benevolens" (benevolent) because He created without needing to do so. (The God of Faith, 6-10, emphasis added).
שמע ישראל: ה 'אלוהינו ה' אחד: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29). "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). One God. Three Persons. Not lonely. A self-sufficient divine fellowship of Three Persons in One God. Absolutely free, overflowing in love, generosity, and grace.

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (June 3, 2012):
First Saturday Mass Poll

Now that First Friday Masses have begun at St. Josaphat, we are trying to determine whether there is demand for a First Saturday Mass, and if so, at what time. A poll form is included in this week’s St. Josaphat Latin/English Propers Handout; please fill it out and return it in the collection basket, or mail it in to the parish office. The deadline for submissions is June 17, 2012.

Pentecost Terminology

As with so much in the Church, there is meaning behind things we take for granted. A perfect example is the nomenclature for the season of Pentecost:
The term “Pentecost” refers to 50 days, specifically 50 days after Easter. Lent was the period of 40 days prior to Easter; the Ascension took place 40 days after Easter, and Pentecost ten days after the Ascension. Pentecost is sometimes referred to as “mini-Easter”, because of its significance as the Feast of a Member of the Holy Trinity descending upon mankind. Appropriately, Alleluias persist in the Antiphons of the Mass, as Paschaltide officially lasts until the Saturday after Pentecost.

Some hand missals refer to Pentecost as “Whitsunday” and the Pentecost Octave as Whitsuntide. The term is derived from “White Sunday” and refers to the fact that Baptisms have traditionally been performed on this day; newly Baptized traditionally wear white.

Red vestments are used to symbolize the fire of the Holy Ghost. Roses are often found on the altar, as rose petals symbolize the tongues of fire that descended upon the Apostles at the first Pentecost.

The Ordinary Form calendar may have done away with the Octave of Pentecost, but those of us who follow the Extraordinary Form still enjoy that Octave. Many European countries still treat Pentecost Monday as a public holiday. It is of more than minor interest that the USA Anglican Ordinariate has recently decided to restore the Octave of Pentecost to its own calendar.
Thanks to Fr. Peter Hrytsyk for much of the above info.

The CMAA Sacred Music Colloquium

Two major liturgical conferences which emphasize the Extraordinary Form will be held over the next several weeks. While neither is local, both promise to be fascinating events well worth a trip:
From Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 1, the annual Sacred Music Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over just a few years, this has developed into the largest conference on traditional Sacred Music held in North America. Several readers of this column have attended in the past, some multiple times. One of the organizers is the CMAA’s well-known Jeffrey Tucker, perhaps this generation’s most avid promoter of the restoration of traditional music and the singing of the Propers in the Ordinary Form. One of the speakers is former Windsor Tridentine Mass music director Matthew Meloche, who will be addressing how to overcome challenges faced in suburban parishes. The overall theme, as always, is practical education in Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony. You do not need to have musical experience in order to attend; tracks for people of all levels of expertise are offered.

The conference agenda and registration information are available at Several well-produced videos about previous Colloquia may be viewed at
The Fota Liturgical Conference

Readers may recall that for many years, the premier series of liturgical conferences in Europe were those offered by C.I.E.L. Curiously, apart from some modest conferences put on by the U.K. branch of C.I.E.L., no international conferences have been held for several years. A market tends to fill its own vacancies, however, so in their stead have come the Fota Liturgical Conferences, held in Cork, Ireland. Fota is the name of an island near Cork which is well-known as the home of a wildlife park.

This year’s Fota Conference runs from Saturday, July 7 – Monday, July 9. Raymond Cardinal Burke heads the list of speakers and celebrants, one of whom will be Fr. Daniel Jones, a professor from Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary. A list of talks, liturgies and sacred music is available at: and a registration form is available at:

Volunteers Needed to Set Up for Corpus Christi

This Thursday’s outdoor Corpus Christi procession after Mass at St. Josaphat will involve the traditional stops for adoration at four altars. Volunteers are needed to help set up and take down these four outdoor altars. If you would like to help, please contact Mary Miller via phone, text, or email at (954) 599-3468 or

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 06/04 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor)

Tue. 06/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Boniface, Bishop & Martyr)

Thu. 06/07 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Corpus Christi) [Procession to follow Mass, outdoors if weather permits]

Please note the two separate Feasts being celebrated next Sunday:

Sun. 06/10 9:30 AM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Second Sunday After Pentecost)

Sun. 06/10 2:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (External Solemnity of Corpus Christi) [Procession to follow Mass, outdoors if weather permits]

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[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 June 3, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Ramen Girl: a review

Ramen Girlmay be a Grade B flick, but if you've spent any time in Japan or know the language, there are compensations that make this film a lot of fun. The premise is totally contrived, as well as the scenes where the ramen miraculously induces giddy joy or hysterical weeping; and the idea of an American girl who can't speak a word of Japanese apprenticing herself to a Japanese ramen chef who can't speak a word of English is beyond unrealistic -- just as the dialogue in which the girl speaks English and the Japanese ramen chef speaks Japanese, each talking past the uncomprehending other.

What made the movie interesting for me was this: if you understand the language, the harsh, derogatory condescending language of the ramen chef is a dead-on ringer for a particular Japanese character type, and those who recognize it will be highly amused. There are multiple levels of discourse in Japanese depending on whom you're addressing and how respectful or disrespectful you're choosing to be, just as there probably are in any language -- only, in Japanese these are very highly nuanced. The language used in criticism of the American girl is about as bog-low as you can get. This is also reflected in the harsh comportment of the chef toward the girl.

The business about her not being able to capture the damashi or tamashi (魂), or interior spirit of authentic Japanese ramen broth is a bit of a comical stretch, especially when she only finally succeeds by adding her heartfelt tears to the ramen broth, but the manner in which the chef's brusque and harsh demeanor masks an interior and barely-expressed affection for the girl is also on target for the Japanese male, who is typically as incapable of expressing tender emotions as the Teutonic Northern European. There was an attempt at a touching moment toward the end, which almost succeeded.

Another interesting moment was when the ramen master was judging between the dishes of two competing ramen houses, and the suspense builds as he samples the noodles and the broth. A far better Japanese classic along these lines, and one a bit less fanciful but no less entertaining, is the brilliant film, Tampopostarring Ken Watanabe, which I recommend to any interested readers. The scene where the aged connoisseur demonstrates how to properly eat a bowl of ramen is worth the whole movie.

A run at pinning "liberalism" down

I can't believe I missed this one by Mike Liccione, "Pinning 'liberalism' down" (Sacramentum Vitae, February 13, 2012). He's not concerned, he says, with the liberalism of John or the New Deal, which coincided in ways with what Robert Bellah calls an American "civil religion." Rather, he's concerned with "The Thing that Used to Be Liberalism," which, he says has grown scarier and scarier over the last several decades.

On matters of domestic policy, says Liccione, today's "liberals" are actually authoritarian about everything except sex. About sex, they are as laissez-faire as anyone could be. Ah, there it is again: as Peter Kreeft once said (in A Refutation of Moral Relativism),our contemporary society is more moralistic than ever about everything except "the pelvic issues." Liccione provides a provocative and extensive review of the issues in light of current politics.

A book I would recommend highly for a review of "liberalism" with respect to political economy is Christopher Ferrara's The Church and the Libertarian: A Defense of Catholic Teaching on Man, Economy and State. Here one finds sorted out in marvelous detail the shifting meanings of "liberalism" from Lockean "liberalism" to contemporary Democratic "liberalism." The focus of the book, however, is on the Austrian tradition of "liberalism" stemming from Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, et al., and it's alliance with sectors of contemporary Republican "conservatism" and incompatibility with Catholic Social Teaching at critical points. Well worth reading.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

The lighter side of inhaling


This took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires.' The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued - and WON! (Stay with me.) Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous.

The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable 'fire' and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars that perished in the 'fires'.

NOW FOR THE BEST PART... After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award contest.

[Hat tip to J.S.]

IMAX fly over of Jerusalem, Holy Land

A spectacular aerial tour of the Holy Land. Enlarge your screen, and enjoy.
[Hat tip to Rose Farrugia]