Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Pres. of S.T.A.N.D. at National Press Club: "time for black community to come out of the Dem. party"

Fr. Z. comments:
"If only our own bishops would speak with this clarity and righteous anger.

"Watch and learn.

"Note his explanation of how insulting to black people it is to claim that denial of the 'right' for homosexuals to “marry” is like the 20th century racial civil rights movement."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lt. Col. T. Schaffer: Obama watched the Benghazi attack happen

Madeleine Morgenstern, "Retired Lt. Col.: My Sources Say Obama Was in the Room Watching Benghazi Attack Happen" (Blaze, Oct. 28, 2012).

Obama: first Nobel Peace Prize winner with a kill list

Ironies abound. [Hat tip to Michael Liccione.]

Benghazi-gate coverup concerns escalate on eve of US Presidential election

Obama avoids question on whether Americans in Libya were denied requests for help (, October 27, 2012):
President Obama declined to answer directly whether a CIA annex was denied urgent requests for military assistance during the deadly attacks last month on U.S. outposts in Libya.

The president did not give a yes-or-no answer Friday when asked pointedly whether the Americans under attack in Benghazi, Libya, were denied requests for help during the attack.

Fox News has also learned that a request from the CIA annex for backup was later denied.

“The election has nothing to do with the four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” the president said in TV interview with an NBC affiliate in Colorado.

For Auld Lang Syne

Remembering our many friends who voted -- God knows why -- for Mr. Obama in the 2008 election:

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (October 28, 2012):
Sacra Liturgia Conference

It is typical for Latin Mass-oriented conferences to be announced a few months before they are held. Often times speakers are not announced until a few weeks before the event. This is reasonable considering most such conferences are run by volunteers and are not as well-organized as the typical commercial trade show.

For the first time in memory, a liturgical conference was announced a full nine months before it will be held. More significantly, a speaker’s list has been published which includes the largest single gathering of top names in today’s worldwide Latin Mass scene, including Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP, Bishop Dominique Rey, Fr. Uwe-Michael Lang, Fr. Nicola Bux, Dr. Alcuin Reid, and Jeffrey Tucker. The conference in question is Sacra Liturgia 2013, to be held June 25-28, 2013 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

This conference is not exclusively for the Extraordinary Form. Scheduled Masses will be held in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. Attendees will also participate in the Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul. Complete details are available at

Possible Group Tour or Pilgrimage

Fr. John Johnson will be attending the Sacra Liturgia Conference and has asked if there might be others interested in going. Expect the cost for airfare, hotel, and conference registration to be in the neighborhood of $2,000, with an additional few hundred dollars if the trip is extended to visit some additional sites. If you are interested, kindly e-mail the address at the bottom of this page, and we will keep you informed. If there are only a few inquiries, we can travel as an informal group. If there are many, we can arrange a more structured pilgrimage with a bus tour.

Indulgences During the Month of November

The month of November is enriched with several opportunities to gain a Plenary Indulgence, the complete remission of temporal punishment due to sin. The first two are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, whereas most others may be applied to oneself instead of to the Souls in Purgatory.

On November 2, the Feast of All Souls, a Plenary Indulgence applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory may be gained by visiting a church and praying an Our Father and the Creed. Attendance at Mass is not required.

Each day from November 1-8, a Plenary Indulgence applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory may be gained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead. On any other day of the year, the Indulgence gained will be Partial.

On November 9, the Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Savior, a Plenary Indulgence may be gained by visiting the Cathedral church of a diocese and there reciting an Our Father and the Creed.

Of course the everyday opportunities to gain Plenary Indulgences are always available. Two of the simplest are reciting the Rosary in a church (publicly or privately), and spending at least a half an hour in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

The usual conditions to gain any Plenary Indulgence apply to all of these opportunities: Reception of Holy Communion, Prayer for the Holy Father’s Intentions, Confession within 20 days, and freedom from attachment to sin. If any one of these conditions is not met, the Indulgenced earned will instead be Partial.

A Partial Indulgence applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory may be gained on any day of the year by praying this simple prayer for the dead. For the benefit of the Poor Souls, please take a few seconds and pray it now:
Réquiem aetérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/29 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria) [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass]
  • Mon. 10/30 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria) [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass]
  • Thu. 11/01 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (All Saints)
  • Fri. 11/02 6:00 PM: Two Low Masses at Assumption-Windsor (All Souls)
  • Fri. 11/02 7:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (All Souls)
  • Fri. 11/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (All Souls)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 28, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lies, lies, and damned lies!

Where to begin? It's been a virtual avalanche. And the fact checkers have been your mainstream ABC, Washington Post, and Reuters variety.

As with some of you, probably, there has been so much about the mere possibility of Mr. Obama's re-election that I have found increasingly disturbing over the last year. What does it say about our electorate that it would elect such a man president? Impressionable? That goes without saying. Gullible? You bet. There are so many things wrong with this picture that it defies description.

I remember when Francis A. Schaeffer used to lament, saying that he found it hard to believe that he could witness the country "go down the drain" within a single generation. That was back in the 1980s! ... BEFORE the election of a president who (1) single-handedly pushed for the abolition of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a brazen option for infanticide that even Hilary Clinton refused to support; (2) turned his back on the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton, and (3) declared his presidential support of same-sex "marriage" in an ABC interview with Robin Roberts, and yesterday (10/26/12) endorsed ballot initiatives to legitimize gay "marriage" in three states; (4) has denied freedom of conscience clauses for religious institutions opposed to certain medical procedures in the HHS Mandate of his Affordable Care Act, and repeatedly denied that has done so; (5) has run up the national credit card to heights unimaginable until a year or two ago ("... brought to you by the letter 'O' and the number 16 Trillion") in support of social programs with a proven record of failure since President Lyndon B. Johnson, (6) so that the government is now spending $11 for every $7 of revenue it takes in; (7) allowed the Federal Reserve to devalue the U.S. Dollar through (so far) three episodes of "quantitative easing," turning our pay checks into funny money; (8) done nothing to help American Blacks living below the poverty line (the numbers are higher today than when he took office), (9) increased the number of people on welfare by 32% in four years, such that this program alone now costs $1,030,000,000,000; (10) jobless claims are today higher than they have been in four months; (11) cover-ups with Fast & Furious and Benghazi that rival or surpass the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration (senators are now demanding that the White House declassify the Libya video); and (12) has been repeatedly declared an out-of-control, incompetent amateur by those who have vetted his administration, like Bob Woodward in The Price of Politics (see NYT analysis HERE), and Edward Klein in The Amateur (see PJTV interview HERE, which quotes former President Clinton as calling Obama an "amateur"), and Lou Dobbs, who offers a detailed report on the President's unbelievable work schedule, which devotes more time to golf, fund raising, and campaigning than to meetings and briefings on the economy (which comprise a total of 4% of his working hours), and numerous mainstream editorials, some of which, like this, reported last month that Obama has just held his first cabinet meeting since January, 2012!

And there are are people even considering that they could vote for this guy?! And what's the latest? Report (I am not kidding): Vanloads of Somalians driven to polls in Ohio! Not to worry: I'm sure the international US election observers will see to it that their voting rights are not violated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

'Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade airs anti-Obama ad in Florida

The transcript:
“I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought ‘legal’ child killing to America.

“I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.

“Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.

“Please, don’t follow in my mistakes. DO NOT vote for Barack Obama. He murders babies.”
The video:
Go to: (October 24, 2012)

Before ...................................................................................................................... and after

Undone by the “Permanent Workshop” (a review)

by Philip Blosser

A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes.Edited, with a new Introduction, by Alcuin Reid. Ignatius Press. 124 pages. $11.95.

Most readers acquainted with English novelist Evelyn Waugh know him for his magisterial Brideshead Revisited(1945). Many know that he became a Catholic in 1930. Few, however, are familiar with his great love for the Traditional Latin Mass and how painfully he was afflicted by the liturgical changes throughout the last decade of his life.

A Bitter Trial is a collection of the personal correspondence between Waugh and John Carmel Heenan, the archbishop of Westminster, along with some of their other writings, during the tumultuous 1960s. It is significant, not chiefly because of what it adds to our understanding of the Second Vatican Council or its aftermath, but for the light it sheds on the raw and conflicting emotions felt by so many of the Catholic faithful and their spiritual shepherds during those years. First published in 1996, an expanded edition was released in 2011 with a foreword by Joseph Pearce and a new introduction by its editor, Dom Alcuin Reid.

Both Pearce and Reid contribute substantial insights to the volume. Traditionalists, however, would reject as premature Pearce’s judgment that, “with the wisdom of hindsight, we can now see the election of John Paul II as the date at which the high tide of the modernist encroachment within the Church began to turn.” Some would even question whether the tide has yet begun to turn. Others might also think that Reid lets Heenan off the hook rather too easily for going back on his earlier assurances that the liturgical changes would be negligible, assurances Waugh later described as “double-faced.” Reid states that Heenan, like so many clergy of his generation, found himself in an “almost-impossible situation.”

Waugh was only in his late twenties when he was received into the Church. “I was drawn, not by splendid ceremonies but by the spectacle of the priest as a craftsman,” he writes, using a simile suggested by G.K. Chesterton. “He had an important job to do which none but he was qualified for. He and his apprentice stumped up to the altar with their tools and set to work without a glance to those behind them, still less with any intention to make a personal impression on them.”

It is easy to forget that the Church in the decades preceding Vatican II, whatever her problems, experienced what Pearce calls a “burgeoning Catholic revival” and a nearly unprecedented heyday of notable conversions. A few weeks after Waugh’s conversion, the British weekly magazine Bystander observed that “the brilliant young author [was but] the latest man of letters to be received into the Catholic Church. Other well-known literary people who have gone over to Rome include Sheila Kaye-Smith, Comp­ton MacKenzie, Alfred Noyes, Fr. Ronald Knox, and G.K. Chesterton.” The list might also have included J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Dawson, Hugh Ross Williamson, Sir Alec Guin­ness, as well as many others — not to mention giants like John Hen­ry Cardinal Newman, Fr. Fred­erick William Faber, and Gerard Man­ley Hopkins not much earlier. Mean­while, a wave of literary converts rivaling England’s was sweeping the Continent, and included François Mauriac, Léon Bloy, Jacques Maritain, Charles Péguy, Hen­ri Ghéon, Giovanni Papini, Ger­trud von le Fort, and Sigrid Undset. “It is a singularly intriguing fact,” Pearce writes, “that the preconciliar Church was so effective in evangelizing modern culture, whereas the number of converts to the faith seemed to diminish in the sixties and seventies in direct proportion to the presence of the much-vaunted aggiorna­mento, the muddle-headed belief that the Church needed to be brought ‘up-to-date.’”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The perfectly sensible rationale behind Catholic opposition to contraception

Just thought I'd take the opportunity to post this outstanding presentation by Dr. Janet Smith explicitly for anyone you may know (especially Catholics!) who has no clue why the Catholic Church opposes contraception. To most people, even most Catholics, it remains a deep and incomprehensible mystery, if not a bad joke. So here it is, the best presentation I know of, by my esteemed colleague:

"Social Justice," Catholics, and Obama

Too true. I remember when asked by our DRE in my previous life to take the subject of Church moral teaching for an RCIA class, and she nearly turned purple when I handed out copies of Dr. Janet Smith's talk, "Contraception, Why Not?"

Something you might not quite expect ...

Obama-Loving Letterman Questions Obama’s Integrity Concerning Auto-Bailout (Bert Atkinson Jr., Independent Journal Review, October 24, 2012)

... out of the mouths of babes and idiots ...

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's not the economy, stupid: it's all about Moloch!

For people who think Snopes is the last word on everything

FYI - Interesting FACTS on Snopes - from a reader at TIA, who writes:
Check this out. I often do try to check out things with Snope so I don't pass on untrue things. This certainly scares you with George Soros heavily financing it. As they inspect `truth', not hard to imagine which things they might weight more heavily. 
I guess like so much on the Internet even the Urban Legends site is flawed.

Many of the emails that I have sent or forwarded that had any anti-Obama in it were negated by Snopes. I thought that was odd. Check this out. ...

Snopes is heavily financed by George Soros; a big time supporter of Obama!

In our Search for the truth department, we find what I have suspected on many occasions.

I went to Snopes to check something about the dockets of the Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan who Obama appointed and Snopes said the email was false and there were no such dockets.

So, I googled the Supreme Court, typed in Obama-Kagan, and guess what? Yep, you got it; Snopes lied! Everyone of those dockets is there. So, here is what I wrote to Snopes:

Referencing the article about Elena Kagan and Barack Obama dockets:

The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as claimed and the examples you gave are blatantly false. I went directly to the Supreme Courts website, typed in Obama Kagan and immediately came up with all of the dockets that the article made reference to.

I have long suspected that you really slant things but this was really shocking.Thank you, I hope you will be much more truthful in the future, but I doubt it.

That being said, I’ll bet you didn't know this: Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship. Now she may help rule on them.

Folks, this is really ugly. Chicago politics; and the beat goes on and on and on. Once again the U.S. Senate sold us out! Now we know why Obama nominated Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court.

Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama. She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship. He owed her big time. All of the requests were denied of course. They were never heard. It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn't it?

The American people mean nothing any longer. It's all about payback time for those who compromised themselves to elect someone who really has no true right to even be there.

Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket: You can look up some of these hearings and guess what? Elena Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!

Check out these examples here, here & here.

If you are not interested in justice or in truth, simply delete. However, if you hold sacred the freedoms granted to you by the U.S. Constitution; by all means, PASS it ON!

There truly is tyranny afoot.

      W.M.F.  Posted October 18, 2012
Just sayin' . . .

I made inquiry about this post to my son, Christopher, in NYC, who wrote back with links to entries my own Snopes searches failed to turn up, in which the interpretation given to the items on the Supreme Court Docket here are disputed.  I leave it to anyone interested to examine Richard Barrett's comment posted to this post, in which he offers a similar link.  The material claims made by W.M.F., apart from the allegation that Snopes lied about the Docket, of course continue to be a matter of debate in the culture at large. -- PP

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Two Bishops, Two EF Masses, Two Assumption Churches"

That was the October 17, 2012, headline of New Liturgical Movement's post by Shawn Tribe about Bishop Alexander Sample's Pontifical Mass at Assumption Grotto in Detroit and Bishop La Rocque's Pontifical Confirmation Mass at Assumption Church in Windsor, Canada, for some 43 Confirmandi. The photos are great. "The Mass that will not die."

Why do our politicians have to be so weird?

Michael Snyder, "Obama’s Lucky Charms: A Ring That Says 'There Is No God Except Allah'” (InfoWars, October 11, 2012):
You can tell a lot about a person by the jewelry that they wear and by the things that they carry around in their pockets, and Barack Obama’s “lucky charms” include a Hindu god [a tiny Hindu monkey god, Hanuman], a Masonic emblem and a “wedding ring” that has the phrase “there is no god except Allah” inscribed on it.

Index to International Una Voce Position Papers on the 1962 Missal

Since March 2, 2012, Rorate Caeli has been posting the periodical position papers published by the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) in a series designed to examine aspects of the 1962 Missal and stimulate lively debate on aspects of the 'Extraordinary Form' Mass.

I have been compiling an index on my original post on the subject (also from March 2, 2012), but have decided to also post it below for easier access in case anyone might be interested: [Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Sandra Fluke campaign stop in Nevada draws vast, enthusiastic crowd of 10 people!

"Fluke takes center stage in Reno" (, October 20, 2012).

What, the culture of entitlement hits a brick wall? It can't be! How will helpless, dependent women possibly cope without the strong arm of Big Brother Sugar Daddy and Obamacare to pay for her contraceptives and indulge her whimsical desires?!

Ridiculous. The women I know and respect are strong, resourceful, and self-controlled. They aren't helpless. But they are concerned about the direction this country is going represented by Sandra Fluke. The "women's issues" these women are concerned with include things like (1) gas prices, which have tripled since Obama took office, making it harder to drive their kids to school, (2) the related, soaring price of groceries that makes it harder to stretch their budgets, and (3) the skyrocketing unemployment numbers, which nearly guarantees that their sons and daughters will have a formidable struggle finding jobs when they graduate from college. They do not buy Sandra Fluke's message about a culture of entitlements, and they will not vote for Big Brother Sugar Daddy Obama.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Why is administration allergic to using words, "terrorist attack"?

Donald R. McClarey reports: "Outraged victims and the families of the slain of the murderous rampage of Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood in 2009 have created the video [below] attacking the Obama’s administration’s denial that this was a blatant act of terrorism and labeling it work place violence." Here's the video, and it's heartbreaking:

Ed Morrissey writes (Hot Air, October 19, 2012):
Help me understand this. Nidal Hasan has been held for almost three years after shouting “Allahu akbar!” and opening fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 14 and wounding several others. Almost immediately, evidence arose that Hasan had been in contact with the late and unlamented al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki to discuss the legitimacy of conducting jihad within the American military, a scandal that prompted questions about why the military hadn’t intervened prior to the massacre. Most people assumed that was enough to consider the massacre a terrorist attack, including me.

Apparently not, however, according to Stars and Stripes. The Obama administration has thus far refused to consider the November 2009 mass murder a terrorist attack, choosing instead to call it — I kid you not — “workplace violence.”

More on concelebration

From a French film about monastic life at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Randol, Noir et Blanc: Un film de Christophe Déat, comes this photo (via New Liturgical Movement) with the following remark by Fr. Zuhlstorf:
". . . a nice photo of Benedictines at Randol in France in their usual mode of concelebration.

"I approve."

JFK would be written off as a right-winger by Democrats today

This is what I mean when I say that Democrats who still think they're in the party of Harry Truman have lost all sense of the changes that have occurred over the last several decades. Today's Democratic Party platform would not have been intelligible to Democrats in the 1950s or 1960s. John F. Kennedy's speech here could have been made by Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan today. And we haven't even mentioned the "social issues."

The buck stops where?

Too many Democrats continue to imagine themselves living in the era of Harry Truman. But the world has changed. And that's no joke.

Catholics for Obama

[Hat tip to Remnant Cartoons]

"Obama embraced by Catholics. Romney dines with rich people."

Obama photo op at the Al Smith Dinner, The Waldorf Astoria, New York, October 18, 2012. What else?

In "Barbed Laughs" (American Catholic, October 18, 2012), Donald R. McClarey comments:
"Cardinal Dolan has come under criticism for inviting Obama to the dinner. He did him no favors. Romney hit Obama hard in regard to Obama’s attacks against the Church, just as I suspect Dolan was certain would happen. Just 19 days from the election, I wager that Obama would have avoided the dinner tonight if he could have without sustaining political damage."
For another point of view, see Michael Voris' Jeremiad, "Let the Persecution Begin" (ChurchMilitant.TV, October 19, 2012).

[Hat tip to C.B. for the American Catholic link]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Administration's push toward the fiscal tipping point

On economic grounds alone, I do not see how anybody in his right mind could vote a second term for Mr. Obama. He has no plausible record to run on. Who honestly believes the country could easily survive 4 more years of his administration? (I use the term "administration" loosely, since he notoriously neglects convening his cabinet, shuns the advice of any who might offer wise counsel that might disagree with him, and consists in the public eye of little more than an "empty suit" Amateurwith a gift for smooth talking and baffling with BS, smoke and mirrors.) While I admit many seemingly-intelligent individuals are swayed by his rhetoric and that of his White House Press Office (the mainstream media), I agree rather with Eastwood, who says that "President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

A "1969 Forever" Spirit of Vatican II Moment

From Fr. Z's "'Why I hate bad Church music' – GUEST COLUMN" (WDTPRS, October 16, 2012). This kind of stuff was really popular back in the 1960s and 1970s. I remember it as a nightmare.

Fr. Z advises having a cop of Mystic Monk Coffee before watching this. But that's much too little. I suggest nothing less than a stiff triple shot of Scotch.

USCCB Fires Back at Joe Biden

... and refutes his debate "facts" re the HHS Mandate HERE.

[Hat tip to K.M.]

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photos: Assumption-Windsor confirmations Oct. 14, 2012

Yesterday, His Excellency, Bishop Eugene LaRocque celebrated a Pontifical Mass for 43 Confirmandi and over 500 people present at Assumption Church in Winsor, Ontario (Metropolitan Detroit). There is little in this world that can top a Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Assumption-Windsor, with the likes of bright lights such as Fr. Peter Hrytsyk, the musical direction of the magisterial Wassim Sarweh, his superlative choir, and the excellent liturgical team of servers under the direction of Alex Begin. Yet Sunday’s Confirmation Mass was truly extraordinary, and the Tridentine Community owes a special debt of gratitude to Bishop LaRocque, who did an excellent job. The occasion will long be remembered as one of the more memorable liturgical events of recent years in the Metro Detroit area.

[Hat tip to Alex Begin]

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Global warming stopped 16 years ago ..."

"... and here's the chart to prove it" (MailOnline, October 13, 2012). Eat your heart out, "Algore."

Photos: Pontifical Mass by Bishop Sample of Marquette, MI, at Assumption Grotto

Bishop Sample, one of the keynote speakers at the Call to Holiness Conference this year in Metro Detroit, also celebrated a Pontifical Mass at Assumption Grotto. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, who was Master of Ceremonies at the Conference, offers the following array of photos from the Mass on his blog today. Fr. Charles White, a graduate of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and one of Detroit's ambassadors of the Extraordinary Form, served as coordinator of the Mass and is prominently visible in several of the photos, such as the one to the right, where he is pictured to the right with Bishop Sample to his left.

So now we know ...

Teletubbies for Christ?

The following occurred during the "Solemn Novena" in preparation for the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, at the entry of the Bible at the Basilica of her National Shrine, the largest Basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in the entire world.

Tell me: what do you think the planners were thinking? Was this a serious attempt at implementing the Holy Father's call for a New Evangelization? Mere entertainment? An intentional vulgarization of liturgy? An attempt to elevate the pedestrian into the rarefied stratospheric aether of the sublime? What?

[Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Rorate contributor in the Washington Post ...

One of the contributors to the Rorate Caeli blog, Kenneth J. Wolfe, has a piece in the national section of the Washington Post (published Oct. 11) on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. It's remarkable that the Post would publish anything by a Catholic traditionalist, but even more notable that, as of it's publication, it was the third-highest read story on their site. Read here:
Vatican II at 50 (Washington Post, National, Oct. 11, 2012):

By Kenneth J. Wolfe

Fifty years ago today the Second Vatican Council began with a clear indication of who had gained control of the Catholic Church’s direction. From the Latin Mass to meatless Fridays to the concept of salvation, numerous components of the faith were set to be reformed, led mostly by clerical academics who had served on preparatory commissions. So powerful were they that Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, a conservative who headed what is now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which the future Pope Benedict XVI would later lead), was vocally heckled and silenced by his participating colleagues.

As described to journalist Robert Moynihan by Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, who attended the council and lives at the Vatican, Cardinal Ottaviani was addressing the 2,000 assembled bishops in October 1962: “As he speaks, pleading for the bishops to consider the texts the curia has spent three years preparing, suddenly his microphone was shut off. He kept speaking, but no one could hear a word. Then, puzzled and flustered, he stopped speaking, in confusion. And the assembled fathers began to laugh, and then to cheer...” This was on day three. Read more >>

Abp Chaput on Biden

"Chaput: Don’t Let Biden Get Away With Misleading on HHS Mandate" (, October 14, 2012).

[Hat tip to E. Echeverria]

Funny political lip reads: songified debates

The silver lining of a political nightmare?

Vatican II anniversary "rupture wars"

In the Year of Faith 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, there are some, like Little Rock, Arkansas, Bishop Anthony Taylor, who are firing off the opening salvoes of tradition-bashing, suggesting that nearly everything about the pre-Vatican Church was wrong-headed. The claim is that the "old Church" manifested a "ghetto" mentality, was utterly ignorant of Scripture, prevented Catholics from the charitable ecumenical gesture of attending Protestant services, exemplified a "fear" of the outer world. The further claim is that virtually all of this has been remedied by the bountiful blessings of the post-Vatican II era, where the Church has come out of her "ghetto," encouraged Catholics to engage in "how-do-you-feel-about-this-passage" Bible studies, embrace ecumenical inter-faith services with Protestants, and, finally accepting "what Jesus taught," overcome its fear of the "outer world." In other words, there is a pre-Vatican Church and a post-Vatican Church, and a significant rupture between the two.

HERE is a sharply focused and hard-hitting response to this fairy tale, exposing many of the common suppositions behind this view.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A few good men

"Strong Bishops Give Clear, Moral Guidance to Catholic Voters"

[Hat tip to C.G.-Z.]

Reformed Protestants must be reading Catholics

One of our correspondents notes how often he runs into Reformed Protestants (Calvinists), who evidence a recent reading of Catholic authors.

The late Charles Colson was certainly an example, for any of you who knew how he delved into the Carmelite mystic, St. John of the Cross, when walking through some deep waters with his family.

Our correspondent points out a recent passage from the blog of the fiercely Reformed Carl Trueman, who is consistently good and recently in a piece suggesting the mortification of the Saints (this time solitude), invokes Newman:
"It was said of John Henry Newman that he was never less alone than when alone. Newman liked the peace and quiet of isolation: it allowed him to read, to think and to write. I confess to some sympathy for Newman on this"
Again, our correspondent notes how people "fail to realize (or don't care) how often Reformed folks tip their hat to us. The dean of them, J.I. Packer, added a chapter analyzing Mother Teresa's lately uncovered Dark Night of the Soul when he reprinted his Rediscovering Holiness. Inside those pages he also noted:
"The Puritans insisted that all life and relationships must become ‘holiness to the Lord.’ John Wesley told the world that God had raised up Methodism ‘to spread scriptural holiness throughout the land.’ Phoebe Palmer, Handley Moule, Andrew Murray, Jessie Penn-Lewis, F.B. Meyer, Oswald Chambers, Horatius Bonar, Amy Carmichael and L.B. Maxwell are only a few of the leading figures in the ‘holiness revival’ that touched all evangelical Christendom between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. On the other side of the Reformation divide, Seraphim of Sarov (Russian Orthodox) and Teresa of Avila, Ignatius Loyola, Madame Guyon, and Pére Grou (all Roman Catholic) ministered as apostles of holiness in a similar way. We [Protestants] must realize that, as John Wesley, for one, clearly saw, the Reformation cleavage was much less deep on sanctification and the Spirit than it was on justification and the Mass."
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Recent Presby > RC convert reviews the pro & con

Jason Stellman, "I fought the Church, and the Church won" (Called to Communion, September 23, 2012).

[Hat tip to J.M.]

The Extraordinary Form and the New Evangelization

by The Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider

Turning Our Gaze Towards Christ

In order to speak of new evangelization correctly, it is necessary first to turn our gaze towards Him Who is the true evangelizer, namely Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word of God made Man. The Son of God came upon this earth to expiate and atone for the greatest sin, sin par excellence. And this sin, humanity's sin par excellence, consists in refusing to adore God and in refusing to keep the first place, the place of honor, for Him. This sin on the part of man consists in not paying attention to God, in no longer having a sense of the fittingness of things, or even a sense of the details pertaining to God and to the adoration that is His due, in not wanting to see God, and in not wanting to kneel before God.

For such an attitude, the incarnation of God is an embarrassment; as a result the real presence of God in the Eucharistic mystery is likewise and embarrassment; the centrality of the Eucharistic presence of God in our churches is an embarrassment. Indeed sinful man wants the center stage for himself, whether within the Church or during the Eucharistic celebration. He wants to be seen, to be noticed.

For this reason Jesus the Eucharist, God incarnate, present in the tabernacle under the Eucharistic form, is set aside. Even the representation of the Crucified One on the cross in the middle of the altar during the celebration facing the people is an embarrassment, for it might eclipse the priest's face. Therefore, the image of the Crucified One in the center of the altar as well as Jesus the Eucharist in the tabernacle, also in the center of the altar, are an embarrassment. Consequently, the cross and the tabernacle are moved to the side. During Mass, the congregation must be able to see the priest's face at all times, and he delights in placing himself literally at the center of the house of God. and if perchance Jesus, really present to us in the Most Holy Eucharist, is still left in His tabernacle in the middle of the altar because the Ministry of Historical Monuments -- even in an atheist regime -- has forbidden moving it for the conservation of artistic heritage, the priest, often throughout the entire Eucharistic celebration, does not scruple to turn his back to Him.

How often have good and faithful adorers of Christ cried out in their simplicity and humility: "God bless you, Ministry of Historical Monuments! At least you have left us Jesus in the center of our church."

The Mass is Intended to Give Glory to God, Not to Men

Only on the basis of adoring and glorifying God can the Church adequately proclaim the word of truth, that is, evangelize. Before the world ever heard Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, preach and proclaim the Kingdom, He quietly adored for thirty years. This remains forever the law for the Church's life and action as well as for all evangelizers. "The way the liturgy is treated decides the fate of the Faith and of the Church," said Cardinal Ratzinger, our current Holy Father Benedict XVI. The Second Vatican Council intended to remaind the Church what reality and what action were to take the place in her life. This is the reason the first of the Concil's documents was dedicated to the liturgy. The Council gives us the following principles: in the Church, and therefore in the liturgy, the human must be oriented toward the divine and be subordinate to it; likewise the visible in relation to the invisible, action in relation to contemplation, the present in relation to the future city to which we aspire (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2). According to the teaching of Vatican II our earthly liturgy participates in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy of the holy city of Jerusalem (ibid., 2).

Everything about the liturgy of the Holy Mass must therefore serve to express clearly the reality of Christ's sacrifice, namely the prayers of adoration, of thanksgiving, of expiation, and of petition that the eternal High Priest presented to His Father.

The rite and every detail of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must center on glorifying and adoring God by insisting on the centrality of Christ's presence, whether in the sign and representation of the Crucified or in His Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle, and especially at the moment of the Consecration and of Holy Communion. The more this is respected and the less man takes center stage in the celebration, the less the celebration looks like a circle closed in on itself. Rather, it is opened out to Christ as in a procession advancing towards Him with the priest at its head; such a liturgical procession will more truly reflect the sacrifice of adoration of Christ crucified; the fruits deriving from God's glorification received into the souls of those in attendance will be richer; God will honor them more.

* * * * * * *

The rite and every detail of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must center on glorifying and adoring God by insisting on the centrality of Christ's presence, whether in the sign and representation of the Crucified or in His Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle, and especially at the moment of the Consecration and of Holy Communion.

* * * * * * *
The more the priest and the faithful truthfully seek the glory of God rather than that of men in Eucharistic celebrations, and do not seek to receive glory from each other, the more God will honor them by granting that their souls may participate more intensely and fruitfully in the glory and honor of His divine life.

At present and in various places on earth there are many celebrations of the Holy Mass regarding which one might say, as an inversion of Psalm 113:9: "To us, O Lord, and to our name give glory." To such celebrations apply Jesus' words: "How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?": (Jn 5:44).

The Six Principles of the Liturgical Reform

The Second Vatican Council put forward the following principles regarding a liturgical reform:
  1. During the liturgical celebration, the human, the temporal, and action must be directed towards the divine, the eternal, and contemplation; the role of the former must be subordinated to the latter (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2).
  2. During the liturgical celebration, the realization that the earthly liturgy participates in the heavenly liturgy will have to be encouraged (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 8).
  3. There must be absolutely no innovation, therefore no new creation of liturgical rites, especially in the rite of the Mass, unless it is for a true and certain gain for the Church, and provided that all is done prudently and, if it is warranted, that new forms replace the existing ones organically (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 23).
  4. The rite of Mass must be such that the sacred is more explicitly addressed (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 21).
  5. Latin must be preserved in the liturgy, especially in Holy Mass (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 24 and 54).
  6. Gregorian chant has pride of place in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 116).
The Council Fathers saw their reform proposals as the continuation of the reform of Saint Pius X (Sacrosanctum Concilium 112 and 117) and the servant of God Pius XII; indeed, in the liturgical constitution, Pius XII's Encyclical Mediator Dei is what is most often cited.

Among other things, Pope Pius XII left the Church an important principle of doctrine regarding the Holy Liturgy, namely the condemnation of what is called liturgical archeologism. Its proposals largely overlapped with those of the Jansenistic and Protestant-leaning synod of Pistoia (see Mediator Dei, 63-64). As a matter of fact they bring to mind Martin Luther's theological thinking.

For this reason, the Council of Trent had already condemned Protestant ideas, in particular the exaggerated emphasis on the notion of a banquet in the Eucharistic celebration to the detriment of its sacrificial character and the suppression of univocal signs of sacrality as an expression of the mystery of the liturgy (Council of Trent, session 22).

The Magisterium's doctrinal declarations on the liturgy, as in this case those of the Council of Trent and of the encyclical Mediator Dei and which are reflected in a centuries-old, or even millenia-old, liturgical praxis, these declarations, I say, form part of that element of Holy Tradition that one cannot abandon without incurring grave spiritual damage. Vatican II took up these doctrinal declarations on the liturgy, as one can see by reading the general principals of divine worship in the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.

As an example of a concrete error in the thought and praxis of liturgical action, Pope Pius XII cites the proposal to give to the altar the shape of a table (Mediator Dei 62). If already Pope Pius XII refused the table0shaped altar, one can imagine how much more he would have refused the proposal for a celebration around a table versus populum!

When Sacrosanctum Concilium 2 teaches that, in the liturgy, contemplation has the priority and that the entire celebration must be oriented to the heavenly mysteries (ibid. 2 and 8), it is faithfully echoing the following declaration of the Council of Trent: "And whereas such is the nature of man, that, without external helps, he cannot easily be raised to the meditation of divine things; therefore has holy Mother Church instituted certain rites, to wit that certain things be pronounced in the Mass in a low, and others in a louder, tone. She has likewise employed ceremonies, such as mystic benedictions, lights,incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind, derived from an apostolic discipline and tradition, whreby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be excited, by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice" (Session 24, chapter 5).

The Church's magisterial teachings quoted above, especially Mediator Dei, were certainly recognized as fully valid by the Fathers of the Council. Therefore they must continue to be fully valid for all of the Church's children even today.

The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ

In the letter to all the bishops of the Catholic Church that Benedict XVI sent with the July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Pope made the following important declaration: "In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too." In saying this, the Pope expressed the fundamental principle of the liturgy that the Council of Trent, Pope Pius XII, and the Second Vatican Council had taught.
* * * * * * *

The first and most obvious wound is the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass in which the priest celebrates with his face turned towards the faithful, especially during the Eucharistic prayer and the consecration, the highest and most sacred moment of the worship that is God's due.

* * * * * * *
Taking an unprejudiced and objective look at the liturgical practice of the overwhelming majority of churches throughout the Catholic world where the Ordinary Form of the roman rite is used, no one can honestly deny that the six aforementioned liturgical principles of Vatican II are never, or hardly ever, respected, despite the erroneous claim that such is the liturgical practice that Vatican II desired. There are a certain number of concrete aspects of the currently prevailing liturgical practice in the ordinary rite that represent a veritable rupture with a constant and millennium-old liturgical practice. By this I mean the five liturgical practices I shall mention shortly; they may be termed the five wounds of the liturgical mystical body of Christ. These are wounds, for they amount to a violent break with the past since they deemphasize the sacrificial character (which is actually the central and essential character of the Mass) and put forward the notion of banquet. All of this diminishes the exterior signs of divine adoration, for it brings out the heavenly and eternal dimension of the mystery to a far lesser degree.

Now the five wounds (except for the new Offertory prayers) are those that are not envisaged in the Ordinary Form of the rite of Mass but were brought into it through the practice of a deplorable fashion.

A) The first and most obvious wound is the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass in which the priest celebrates with his face turned towards the faithful, especially during the Eucharistic prayer and the consecration, the highest and most sacred moment of the worship that is God's due. This exterior form corresponds, by its very nature, more to the way in which one teaches a class or shares a meal. We are in a closed circle. And this form absolutely does not conform to the moment of the prayer, less yet to that of adoration. And yet Vatican II did not want this form by any means; nor has it ever been recommended by the Magisterium of the Popes since the Council. Pope Benedict worte in the preface of the first volume of his collected works: "The idea that the priest and the people in prayer must look at one another reciprocally was born only in the modern age and is completely foreign to ancient Christianity. In fact, the priest and the people do not address their prayer to one another, but together they address it to the one Lord. For this reason they look in the same direction in prayer: either towards the East as the cosmic symbol of the Lord's return, or where this is not possible, towards an image of Christ in the apse, toward a cross, or simply upwards."

The form of celebration in which all turn their gaze in the same direction (conversi ad orientem, ad Crucem, ad Dominum) is even mentioned in the rubrics of the new rite of the Mass (see Ordo Missae, 25, 133, 134). The so-called versus populum celebration certainly does not correspond to the idea of the Holy Liturgy as mentioned in the declaration of Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2 and 8.

B) The second wound is communion in the hand, which is now spread nearly throughout the entire world. Not only was this manner of receiving communion in now way mentioned by the Vatican II Council Fathers, but it was in fact introduced by a certain number of bishops in disobedience to the Holy See and in spite of the negative majority vote by bishops in 1968. Pope Paul VI legitimized it only later, reluctantly, and under specific conditions.

Pope Benedict XVI, since Corpus Christi 2008, distributes Communion to the faithful kneeling and on their tongue only, both in Rome and also in all the local churches he visits. He thus is showing the entire Church a clear example of practical Magisterium in a liturgical manner. Since the qualified majority of the bishops refused Communion in the hand as something harmful three years after the Council, how much more the Council Fathers would have done so!

C) The third would is the new Offertory prayers. They are an entirely new creation and had never been used in the Church. They express not so much the mystery of the sacrifice of the Cross as the event of a banquet; thus they recall the prayers of the Jewish Sabbath meal. In the more than thousand-year tradition of the Church in both East and West, the Offertory prayers have always been expressedly oriented to the mystery of the sacrifice of the Cross (see, e.g. Paul Tirot, Histoire des prières d’offertoire dans la liturgie romaine du VIIème au XVIème siècle [Rome, 1985]). There is no doubt that such an absolutely new creation contradicts the clear formulation of Vatican II that states: “Innovationes ne fiant . . . novae formae ex formis iam exstantibus organice crescant” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 23).

D) The fourth wound is the total disappearance of Latin in the huge majority of Eucharistic celebrations in the Ordinary Form in all Catholic countries. This is a direct infraction against the decisions of Vatican II.

E) The fifth wound is the exercise of the liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women as well as the exercise of these same services in lay clothing while entering into the choir during Holy Mass directly from the space reserved to the faithful. This custom has never existed in the Church, or at least has never been welcome. It confers to the celebration of the Catholic Mass the exterior character of informality, the character and style of a rather profane assembly. The second council of Nicaea, already in 787, forbad such practices when it lay down the following canon: “If someone is not ordained, it is not permitted for him to do the reading from the ambo during the holy liturgy“ (can. 14). This norm has been constantly followed in the Church. Only subdeacons and lectors were allowed to give the reading during the liturgy of the Mass. If lectors and acolytes are missing, men or boys in liturgical vestments may do so, not women, since the male sex symbolically represents the last link to minor orders from the point of view of the non-sacramental ordination of lectors and acolytes.

The texts of Vatican II never mention the suppression of the minor orders and of the subdiaconate or the introduction of new ministries. In Sacrosanctum Concilium no. 28, the Council distinguishes minister from fidelis during the liturgical celebration, and it stipulates that each may do only what pertains to him by the nature of the liturgy. Number 29 mentions the ministrantes, that is the altar servers who have not been ordained. In contrast to them, there are, in keeping with the juridical terms in use at that time, the ministri, that is to say those who have received an order, be it major or minor.

V –The Motu Proprio: putting an end to rupture in the liturgy In the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI stipulates that the two forms of the Roman rite are to be regarded and treated with the same respect, because the Church remains the same before and after the Council. In the letter accompanying the Motu Proprio, the pope wishes the two forms to enrich each other mutually. Furthermore he wishes that the new form “be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage.”
* * * * * * *

Four of the liturgical wounds, or unfortunate practices (celebration versus populum, communion in the hand, total abandonment of Latin and of Gregorian chant, and intervention of women for the service of lectorship and of acolyte), have in and of themselves nothing to do with the Ordinary Form of the Mass and moreover are in contradiction with the liturgical principles of Vatican II.

* * * * * * *
Four of the liturgical wounds, or unfortunate practices (celebration versus populum, communion in the hand, total abandonment of Latin and of Gregorian chant, and intervention of women for the service of lectorship and of acolyte), have in and of themselves nothing to do with the Ordinary Form of the Mass and moreover are in contradiction with the liturgical principles of Vatican II. If an end were put to these practices, we would get back to the true teaching of Vatican II. And then, the two forms of the Roman rite would come considerable closer so that, at least outwardly, there would be no rupture to speak of between them and, therefore, no rupture between the Church before and after the Council either.

As concerns the new Offertory prayers, it would be desirable for the Holy See to replace them with the corresponding prayers of the extraordinary form, or at least to allow for the use of the latter ad libitum. In this way the rupture between the two forms would be avoided not only externally but also internally. Rupture in the liturgy is precisely what the Council Fathers did not what. The Council’s minutes attest to this, because throughout the two thousand years of the liturgy’s history, there has never been a liturgical rupture and, therefore, there never can be. On the other hand there must be continuity, just as it is fitting for the Magisterium to be in continuity.

The five wounds of the Church’s liturgical body I have mentioned are crying out for healing. They represent a rupture that one may compare to the exile in Avignon. The situation of so sharp a break in an expression of the Church’s life is far from unimportant—back then the absence of the popes from Rome, today the visible break between the liturgy before and after the Council. This situation indeed cries out for healing.

For this reason we need new saints today, one or several Saint Catherines of Sienna. We need the vox populi fidelis demanding the suppression of this liturgical rupture. The tragedy in all of this is that, today as back in the time of the Avignon exile, a great majority of the clergy, especially in its higher ranks, is content with this rupture.
* * * * * * *

The five wounds of the Church’s liturgical body I have mentioned are crying out for healing. They represent a rupture that one may compare to the exile in Avignon.

* * * * * * *
Before we can expect efficacious and lasting fruits from the new evangelization, a process of conversion must get under way within the Church. How can we call others to convert while, among those doing the calling, no convincing conversion towards God has yet occurred, internally or externally? The sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrifice of adoration of Christ, the greatest mystery of the Faith, the most sublime act of adoration is celebrated in a closed circle where people are looking at each other.

What is missing is conversio ad Dominum. It is necessary, even externally and physically. Since in the liturgy Christ is treated as though he were not God, and he is not given clear exterior signs of the adoration that is due to God alone because the faithful receive Holy Communion standing and, to boot, take it into their hands like any other food, grasping it with their fingers and placing it into their mouths themselves. There is here a sort of Eucharistic Arianism or Semi-Arianism.

One of the necessary conditions for a fruitful new evangelization would be the witness of the entire Church in the public liturgical worship. It would have to observe at least these two aspects of Divine Worship:
  1. Let the Holy Mass be celebrated the world over, even in the ordinary form, in an internal and therefore necessarily also external conversio ad Dominum.

  2. Let the faithful bend the knee before Christ at the time of Holy Communion, as Saint Paul demands when he mentions the name and person of Christ (see Phil 2:10), and let them receive Him with the greatest love and the greatest respect possible, as befits Him as true God.
Thank God, Benedict XVI has taken two concrete measures to begin the process of a return from the liturgical Avignon exile, to wit the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the reintroduction of the traditional Communion rite.

There still is need for many prayers and perhaps for a new Saint Catherine of Sienna for the other steps to be taken to heal the five wounds on the Church’s liturgical and mystical body and for God to be venerated in the liturgy with that love, that respect, that sense of the sublime that have always been the hallmark of the Church and of her teaching, especially in the Council of Trent, Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Mediator Dei, Vatican II in its Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and Pope Benedict XVI in his theology of the liturgy, in his liturgical magisterium, and in the Motu Proprio mentioned above.

No one can evangelize unless he has first adored, or better yet unless he adores constantly and gives God, Christ the Eucharist, true priority in his way of celebrating and in all of his life. Indeed, to quote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “It is in the treatment of the liturgy that the fate of the Faith and of the Church is decided.” +

Bishop Schneider is auxiliary bishop of the archidiocese of Saint Mary of Astana and Secretary of the Kazakhstan Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the author of the celebrated volume, Dominus Est – It Is the Lord! Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion,published by Newman House Press, and was a keynote speaker at the Call to Holiness conference in Metro Detroit in 2009.

The present article, "The Extraordinary Form and the New Evangelization," was first presented on January 15, 2012, as the keynote address at the fourth meeting of the Parisian association, Réunicatho, which came into being shortly after the Motu Proprio
Summorum Pontificum. We here present the unabridged translation of the keynote address given by the conference's guest of honor, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, as it was first published in the Paix Liturgique Newsletter 16 of March 2012 and subsequently on the Paix Liturgique website under the title, "Bishop Schneider and the Liturgy: Milestones for the Third Millennium." The article also appears in the Summer, 2012, issue Latin Mass magazine, pp. 6-10; and this post has been permanently archived at Scripture and Catholic Tradition.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Voris: Electoral College odds lean toward Obama win

This program is from ChurchMilitant.TV

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Anglican liturgical fashion show

This from Fr. Z. -- "Reason #756 for why Anglicans must issue 'Romanorum coetibus'” (WDTPRS, October 9, 2012): "On his way out, Anglican Archbp. Rowan Williams really has to get his crew to issue Romanorum coetibus. No, really. They are so very… progressive. They are so far ahead of us Catholics.

"For example, I read in The Daily Telegraph that the Anglicans are trying to appeal to young people by having – I am not making this up – liturgical fashion shows. No, really.

"More tea vicar? Colourful clergy show off new robes on catwalk It may shock traditionalists but vicars have taken to the catwalk to model the latest fashions in clergy robes.

"The modelling ministers are showing off the latest designs at an annual Christian event nicknamed The Ideal Church Show this week.

"But some of the outfits, from an electric blue dress for female clergy to a full Easter tableau on the front of a flowing white smock, may shock traditionalists used to a simple dog collar.

".... Among those taking part are five male and two female vicars. One, Rev Taffy Davies of Macclesfield, said: 'I have always longed to be a model cleric but I guess I’ll just have to settle for being a clerical model.'”

Well, well, well ... Can you imagine going to CONFESSION to one of THESE? Oh, that's right: it's not called that anymore in Anglican circles. It's a "HEALING" service. Can't you hear it already? "I could use a little healing from you, baby!"

Which also reminds me of something Peter Kreeft said about a class at Boston College in which he assigned a book by Christopher Derrick entitled Sex and Sacredness. He said the students had no trouble understanding the notion of "sex," but they were utterly clueless about the meaning of "sacredness," much less how the two could possibly be related.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (October 7, 2012):
The Prayers After Low Mass

In 1884 Pope Leo XIII ordered a set of prayers that came to be known as the “Leonine Prayers” to be said after every Low Mass. There are varying accounts regarding the actual reasons that prompted the requirement for these prayers, ranging from praying for the sovereignty of the Holy See prior to the creation of the Vatican City State, to the conversion of Russia. We suggest that Catholics today simply take the prayers at face value: Prayers to St. Michael and to our Lady for ourselves and for the defense of Holy Mother Church are eminently appropriate.

The 1962 Missal no longer includes these prayers, thus they are technically optional since 1962 rubrics are currently in force. However, the Leonine Prayers are not like other parts of the Mass; indeed, they are not even a part of the Mass. They take place after Mass, and like any other popular devotion are left entirely to custom. Most every Low Mass site in the English speaking world continues to say the Leonine Prayers after ordinary Low Masses. They tend only to be omitted after Requiems, Bishops’ Masses, and when time is tight.

In our region, the Prayers After Low Mass are currently prayed in English, largely because only the English version is included in the ubiquitous Red Missals. However, elsewhere, and particularly in Europe, they are often if not usually prayed in Latin. In the interest of exposing our readers to the text of those original Latin prayers, we present them below. Something for our communities to consider is whether to pray them in Latin ourselves from time to time, of course only when a handout containing them is provided.
Ave María, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum. Benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta María, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatóribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostræ. Amen. (three times)

Salve Regina

Salve Regína, Mater misericórdiæ, vita, dulcédo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamámus, éxsules fílii Evæ. Ad te suspirámus, geméntes et flentes in hac lacrimárum valle. Eia ergo, Advocáta nostra, illos tuos misericórdes óculos ad nos convérte. Et Jesum, benedíctum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exílium, osténde. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo María.

℣. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Génitrix. ℟. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

Orémus. Deus, refúgium nostrum et virtus, pópulum ad te clamántem propítius réspice; et intercedénte gloriósa et immaculáta Vírgine Dei Genitríce María, cum beáto Joséph, ejus Sponso, ac beátis Apóstolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et ómnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversióne peccatórum, pro libertáte et exaltatióne sanctæ Matris Ecclésiæ, preces effúndimus, miséricors et benígnus exáudi. Per eúmdem Christum Dóminum nostrum. ℟. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Sancte Míchaël Archángele, defénde nos in praélio. Contra nequítiam et insídias diáboli esto præsídium. Ímperet illi Deus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, Princeps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in mundo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. ℟. Amen.

℣. Cor Jesu sacratíssimum, ℟. Miserére nobis. (three times)
Next St. Albertus Mass

The next Tridentine Mass at St. Albertus Church will be in two weeks, on Sunday, October 21 at noon. As usual, a reception will follow the Mass in the rectory.

Flint Anniversary Mass

The Tridentine Community at All Saints Church in Flint will celebrate its 24th Anniversary with a Solemn High Mass on Sunday, October 21 at 4:00 PM. The celebrant will be Fr. Joseph Lee, FSSP. A dinner will follow the Mass at the Social Hall of nearby Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/08 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Bridget of Sweden, Widow)
  • Mon. 10/09 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. John Leonardi, Confessor)
  • Thu. 10/11 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Alphonsus-Windsor (Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) First Mass in the Extraordinary Form in over 40 years.
  • Thu. 10/11 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
  • Sun. 10/14 Noon: Pontifical Mass at Assumption Grotto (Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost) Celebrant: Bishop Alexander Sample
  • Sun. 10/14 2:00 PM: Pontifical Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost) Celebrant: Bishop Eugene LaRocque
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 7, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Müller and the SSPX

Before anyone gets too excited about THIS, he should read THIS and THIS.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Good article by Janet Smith on election issues

Janet Smith, "Contraception, the Election and the New Evangelization" (National Catholic Register, October 1, 2012):

The coming election has shaped up to be a battle between those who think free contraceptives and keeping abortion legal should be our national priority and those who think jobs and reducing the national debt should be our national priority. (These were the self-identified themes at the summer conventions.)

How astonishing it is that Sandra Fluke should be a headliner at the Democratic National Convention, when her only claim to fame is her adolescent, narcissistic grousing that Catholic Georgetown University does not provide her, a law student almost certain to be wealthy, with free contraceptives.

How sad it is that two of the chief architects of the Health and Human Services mandate are Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius, both Catholics.

The Catholic vote will be pivotal, as it always is. The recent effort to get the Obama administration to rescind the HHS mandate has again brought to the fore the sad fact that Catholics are poorly educated about the Church’s teaching on contraception.

The brave, visionary and remarkably candid Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in an interview in The Wall Street Journal, acknowledged that the Church has failed to teach on contraception: "I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge — a towering one — in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach. That’s a biggie."

The cardinal said the "flash point" was Humanae Vitae, which "brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the Church, that I think most of us — and I’m using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself — kind of subconsciously said, ‘Whoa. We’d better never talk about that, because it’s just too hot to handle.’ We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day."

The present struggle offers an opportunity to become that coherent moral voice.

The U.S. bishops are taking an important lead in this matter. For instance, they have developed a set of bulletin inserts about contraception and developed a very useful website about contraception. If there were only some way to get priests and laypeople to take advantage of these resources.

Let me here encourage laypeople to approach their pastors and encourage them to use the inserts.

A report has recently been issued by "The Women, Faith and Culture Project" that should help spur a renewed effort to teach about contraception. The report gives the preliminary results of a study done on "What Catholic Women Think About Faith, Conscience and Contraception."

It is a professional and measured report (funded in large part by the Our Sunday Visitor Foundation) and worth a close read.

We all know that the vast majority of Catholics reject the Church’s teaching on contraception. This study attempts to figure out what women really know and think about the teaching.

Actually, I found it terrific news that "37% of women who both attend Mass weekly and have been to confession within the past year completely accept Church teachings on family planning."

We don’t know what is cause and effect here — we don’t know whether those who accept the Church’s teaching are more likely to go to Mass and confession regularly or whether going to Mass and confession regularly helps people accept Church teaching — but it is not surprising that there is a pairing of these elements of the faith.

Still, although that figure is encouraging, we might ask why it is not higher.

Part of the answer is surely that few Catholics have ever heard an explanation or defense of the Church’s teaching. It is not surprising to learn that "85% of Catholic women believe they can be ‘good Catholics’ even if they don’t completely accept the Church’s teachings on sex and reproduction. And a full third are mistaken about what the Church teaches."

The study found that 72% of Catholic women state that the homily is their primary source of learning about Church teaching — and that priests and other religious leaders are the primary sources for 55% of women.

My guess is that few have ever heard a homily about contraception.

I have long been exhorting my seminarians to reflect on the fact that most Catholics get most of their understanding of Church teaching from the homily.

People in the pews tend to think that if issues are important, their pastor, who cares enough about their eternal salvation to dedicate his life to serving them, will speak to them from the pulpit about the issues that may threaten their eternal salvation.

If they never hear that abortion, greed, contraception, pornography, racism, missing Mass on Sunday, etc. are serious sins, they tend to think they are not serious sins. And if they don’t hear these teachings from the pulpit, they are unlikely to hear them at all.

Few Catholics attend conferences, read Catholic publications, visit Catholic websites or even read the parish bulletin and its inserts.

Many priests are hesitant to teach on moral issues from the pulpit, but if they don’t, they are seriously shortchanging their congregations.

It has not always been thus. In her book Catholics and Contraception: An American History, historian Leslie Woodcock Tentler reports that in the ’20s through the ’50s of the last century, in an increasingly contraceptive culture, priests regularly preached on contraception, and an impressive proportion of the Catholic faithful cheerfully embraced that teaching.

The more educated a Catholic woman was the more likely she was to accept Church teaching.

Today’s priests may not have a habit of teaching on moral issues, but they can cultivate that habit. And I suspect they will like the results.

Certainly, they will meet with some resistance, but they will also be the recipients of an outpouring of gratitude. I also suspect they will experience a newfound source of satisfaction in their priesthood.

When my seminarians preach on moral topics, there is a strangeness in the room; neither they nor I am accustomed to hearing homilies about greed or immodesty or laziness or contraception. But after the strangeness wears off, it is quite inspiring. The young men come alive when they speak from the heart about something they care about.

It is hard to think a congregation wouldn’t be moved by their zeal.

One of my seminarians, as a deacon, gave a homily against contraception based on the story of Jonah. He asked the congregation to consider what sins Jonah would be inveighing against were he alive today and suggested to them that contraception would be high on the list.

With trepidation, I asked what kind of response he got; he said he got a standing ovation. I doubt that even the majority agreed with him, but I think they were impressed with his courage and concern for them.

 I strongly suspect that there have been more homilies about contraception in the last year than there have been since Humanae Vitae was issued (1968).

One homily, of course, won’t do the trick. There will need to be follow-up, with more homilies and conferences and inserts, but the homily will likely jump-start the whole process.

Moreover, priests also need to exhort their parishioners to be faithful in Mass attendance — even to take in a daily Mass on occasion — and to go to confession.

Providing the occasion for Eucharistic adoration would undoubtedly increase that effect of receptivity as well. Combined, everything will have a profoundly positive effect.

All of this is the work of the New Evangelization; it will galvanize Catholics to share their faith.

Jesus himself was a tireless teacher. He traveled from synagogue to synagogue; he taught on the hills and in the plains and from the water.

The great apostle Paul could not have clocked more miles; John Paul II spoke on natural family planning in nearly every country he visited. In 1999, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document, "The Priest and the Third Christian Millennium: Teacher of the Word, Minister of the Sacraments and Leader of the Community." At one point it states: "From a pastoral perspective, the primary action of evangelization is, logically, considered to be preaching."

The homily is a marvelous vehicle for teaching; the congregation deserves and needs to be fed by their pastor.
Janet E. Smith holds the
Father Michael J. McGivney
Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.