Monday, June 30, 2014

"The Modernist as Reformer"

Back to the future: an edifying look at how our future looked from back in 1907:
The Modernist as Reformer

38. It remains for Us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, some idea may be gained of the reforming mania which possesses them: in all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. Reform of philosophy, especially in the seminaries: the scholastic philosophy is to be relegated to the history of philosophy among obsolete systems, and the young men are to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. Reform of theology; rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, and positive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be for the future written and taught only according to their modern methods and principles. Dogmas and their evolution are to be harmonised with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been duly reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, the number of external devotions is to be reduced, or at least steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. Ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic parts. Its spirit with the public conscience, which is not wholly for democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy, and even to the laity, and authority should be decentralised. The Roman Congregations, and especially the index and the Holy Office, are to be reformed. The ecclesiastical authority must change its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political and social organization, it must adapt itself to those which exist in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, both in the estimation in which they must be held and in the exercise of them. The clergy are asked to return to their ancient lowliness and poverty, and in their ideas and action to be guided by the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, echoing the teaching of their Protestant masters, would like the suppression of ecclesiastical celibacy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed according to their principles? [emphasis from A.B.S.]


Given at St. Peter's, Rome, on the 8th day of September, 1907, the fifth year of our Pontificate. PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS: ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X 
[Hat tip to A.B.S.]

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Facing the music: the collapse of Catholicism in Latin America

Polls, Statistics, Tables & Graphs -- Extensive analysis (RC, June 30, 2014), by Augustinus.

Pray for me. Contrary to some prevailing opinions, only by seeing to the salvation of my own soul can I be of any use to anyone else saving his. Go thou, and do likewise, and we may yet live to see a growing vibrant remnant.

And woe to those who cover their ears and eyes against these reports, alleging "gloom and doom" and counselling us to "stay the course" in this "springtime" of the "new evangelization."

What we need now is simply something like what Albert Camus describes:
"The world expects of Christians that they will raise their voices so loudly and clearly and so formulate their protest that not even the simplest man can have the slightest doubt about what they are saying. Further, the world expects of Christians that they will eschew all fuzzy abstractions and plant themselves squarely in front of the bloody fact of history. We stand in need of folk who have determined to speak directly and unmistakably and come what may, to stand by what they have said."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Confusing natural law with revelation, nature with grace

It's a debate (and a confusion) that's been around for some time now, but Ed Feser's uncommon common sense about natural law and its relation to supernatural revelation and God's grace is always refreshing.

Edward Feaser, "Natural law or supernatural law?" (Edward Feser, September 26, 2013), begins his article with some common sense observations:
When you blur a real distinction between any two things A and B, you invariably tend, at least implicitly, to deny the existence of either A or B. For instance, there is, demonstrably, a real distinction between mind and matter. To blur this distinction, as materialists do, is implicitly to deny the existence of mind. Reductionist materialism is, as I have argued in several places (such as here), really just eliminative materialism in disguise. There is also a clear moral distinction between taking the life of an innocent person and taking the life of a guilty person. To blur this distinction, as many opponents of capital punishment do, is to blur the distinction between innocence and guilt. That is why opposition to capital punishment tends to go hand in hand with suspicion of the very idea of punishment as such.

... A real distinction that is all too often blurred in theology is that between the natural and the supernatural -- between the limited relationship with God that is our natural end and the gratuitous, supernatural gift of the beatific vision; between the knowledge of God’s existence and nature that is available to philosophical reason, and that which is given only in revelation; and between the natural law and supernatural virtue. One way to blur this distinction is to collapse the supernatural into the natural -- for example, to reduce God to a symbol, and Christian charity to a mere political program for social justice. This, as Karl Barth famously put it, is not to speak of God at all but merely to speak of man in a loud voice, a kind of virtual atheism.

But another way to blur the distinction is to go in the other direction, absorbing the natural into the supernatural -- a tendency to be found in Catholic Nouvelle Théologie writers like Henri de Lubac and, it seems, in David Bentley Hart. Where morality is concerned, the tendency is, as we’ve seen recently with Hart, to denude the notion of natural law of significant content, so that it is only through the lens of revelation that one can clearly see what the natural law requires and only via grace that one can to any extent obey it. (I do not say that this is exactly what Hart himself thinks – though it seems to me he did not make it clear exactly what he thinks – but only that this is the direction in which his recent remarks about natural law tend.)

But a law that cannot be known from the nature of things, but only via special divine revelation, is not the natural law. Read more >>
[Hat tip to C.B.]

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (January 22, 2014):
External Solemnities

In the Ordinary Form of the Mass, certain Feast Days may be transferred to the nearest Sundays, either by diocesan norms or by regulation of the National Conference of Bishops. In the Extraordinary Form, this sort of transference is called an “External Solemnity” and is governed by liturgical law. These moves are optional and do not necessarily take place in unison with their Ordinary Form counterpart Feasts. Corpus Christi is one of the Feasts on which such a transference is permitted. If the moved Feast is not one of our Lord (e.g.: Ss. Peter & Paul on June 29), the displaced Mass of the Sunday is commemorated with a second Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion.

The Sacred Ministers and Servers at Solemn High and Pontifical Masses

As a follow-up to last week’s column describing the roles of altar servers at the Tridentine Mass, this week we will be examining the additional parties involved in the sanctuary during Solemn High Masses and Pontifical Masses, the latter being Masses in which a bishop is the celebrant.

The Extraordinary Form does not permit concelebration, except during a Mass of Ordination when the new priests recite the Canon along with the bishop. Instead, the Tridentine Mass offers the option of a Solemn High Mass, in which additional sacred ministers fulfill the roles of Deacon and Subdeacon. The Deacon chants the Gospel and assists the priest at the altar. The Subdeacon chants the Epistle and stands at the foot of the altar during the Canon, holding the paten under a humeral veil as a symbol of respect for the sacred vessel, until it is required later in the Mass.

The Deacon must be an ordained deacon or priest. The Subdeacon should be someone who has at least received tonsure, or its Novus Ordo equivalent, Admission to Candidacy or simple religious profession. Following a ruling of the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei, a man who has been Instituted as an Acolyte according to the Ordinary Form may also serve as a Subdeacon. Laypeople thus serving may not wear the biretta and may not handle the chalice and ciboria during the Mass.

In a Pontifical Solemn Mass, there are additional roles: An Assistant Priest helps the bishop with the ceremony. There may be two Assistant Deacons at the throne. A Subdeacon of the Cross, along with a Crosier Bearer server, handle the bishop’s symbol of authority. Additional servers are the Mitre Bearer, who handles the bishop’s headdress; the Bugia Bearer, who carries the small hand-candle that is held next to the Missal and Pontifical (book with the Ordinary of the Mass); a Train Bearer, if the bishop is wearing a Cappa Magna; a Gremial Bearer to handle the silk veil spread across the bishop’s lap; and a Book Bearer, who holds the Missal and Pontifical in front of the bishop. The structured movements of sacred ministers and servers are almost all prescribed in the rubrics. Far from being distractions, they are yet another aspect of the Tridentine Mass designed to focus one’s mind on the sacred presence of our Lord on the altar.

Brooklyn’s Holy Name of Jesus Church Restoration

More and more we are seeing churches that had been modified in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s being restored to something approximating their original historic look. A particularly impressive recent example is Holy Name Church in Brooklyn, New York. The accompanying photos show the church in its original configuration, in its 1980s “hockey stick” arrangement, and finally in its newly restored setup. Kudos also to the parish for holding a Solemn High Tridentine Mass – depicted in the last photo – to mark the completion of the restoration. [First and last photos from the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny]

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/23 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor (Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist) – Reception for people of all ages follows Mass
  • Mon. 06/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
  • Tue. 06/24 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
  • Fri. 06/27 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Leo, Detroit (Sacred Heart of Jesus) – Dinner for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juvntútem Michigan
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for January 22, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tridentine Masses coming to Southeastern Michigan this week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Leave of absence

I will be taking a leave of absence for about a week with a reduced schedule on this site. Thank you for your prayers. Kind regards in our Lord and Lady, PB.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Prayer requests

My friends, I have two fairly urgent prayer requests -- the first for a friend who has to move to Metro-Detroit and find housing and arrange for schooling for the kids all within about two weeks; the second for my family, as we seem to be under diabolical attacks on our finances -- just about everything that could go wrong with our property is going wrong to the tune of thousands upon thousands. Thanks, PB.

Ireland 'septic tank babies' revealed as press hoax

Eamonn, Fingleton, "'796 Babies In A Septic Tank': Does An Anti-Catholic Bias Help Explain This Hoax?" (Forbes, June 15, 2014). Washington Post, New York Times publish corrections. So quick to believe the worst.

Cause of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen moves forward

Manya Brechear Pashman, "Finding by theologians moves Sheen closer to sainthood" (Chicago Tribune, June 18, 2014):
Theologians charged with advising the Vatican on causes for sainthood have agreed that a reported miracle in 2010 should be attributed to the intercession of Fulton Sheen, the archbishop from Peoria known as one of the world's first televangelists, according to church officials.

The case involved a child born in September 2010, according to a statement by the Peoria Diocese, where Sheen was ordained in 1919.

For more than an hour the child demonstrated no signs of life as medical professionals attempted to revive the baby, the diocese said. The child's family sought the intercession of Sheen and, after 61 minutes, the baby reportedly came back to life.

More than three years later, the child has fully recovered, according to the statement from the diocese.

In March of 2014, a team of Vatican medical experts said they could find no natural explanation for the child's case. It will next be reviewed by the cardinals and bishops who make up the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. Final authentication of the miracle must come from Pope Francis. Read more >>

"Why Do People Become Catholic?"

R.R. Reno, "Why Do People Become Catholic? Eight Reasons" (First Things, June 11, 2014), recounts a recent talk by John Beaumont, author of The Mississippi Flows Into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Converts to the Catholic Church(Fidelity Press, 2014). The book, says Reno, is a wonderful compilation of convert stories that includes a few folks associated with this fine magazine. The author, in his talk, recounted a number of them. He ended with an arresting question: "Why do people convert to Catholicism?" (Should that be an "arresting question"?) While there are obviously many answers, the author summarized eight reasons, to which Reno here adds his own comments. The eight reasons are: (1) visibility, (2) universality, (3) endurance, (4) authority, (5) beauty, (6) hierarchy, (7) saints, and (8) moral witness.

Reno concludes by saying:
I see no reason why Protestants can’t find many of these qualities in their own churches. I don’t think its triumphalist of me—or at least not perniciously so—to say as a Catholic convert I’m thankful to have found them in mine.
A bit defensive? Why should a Catholic editor of a Catholic magazine have to justify (apologize for?) his review of reasons for embracing the Catholic Faith? Just a detail, perhaps; and maybe I'm missing something.

Guy Noir, our underground correspondent who sent me the link to this article, comments:
Jokingly I might answer, "Why do people become Catholic? I really couldn't say?!"

My actual posted comment, which I suspect you will only partially agree with, is below. Someone else mentioned Truth, which is a better retort. I'd agree with that myself.

I recall telling my Catholic-not-Christian friend I'd converted. Here retort, "What on earth? Why would ANYONE do that?!" Ha-ha.

I have to agree with James here. Beauty? Authority? Modern Catholics really simply can't with straight face claim much high ground, since from Vatican II forward the quarterbacks have led something of a debacle. But the bothersome, inescapable reality is also "What else is there?" Evangelicalism, Protestantism.... these also have integrity [and their members have been the equivalent of spiritual Navy Seals when it comes to rescuing Biblical scholarship and preaching], but if you trace lifelines back to the Fathers, you can't help but realize the Church remains like the rock in the road. For me, Wilfrid Ward summarizing Newman hit the nail home on the importance of the Catholic Church -- an uncomfortable importance that, like it or not, seems to remain amidst all the namby-pambying...

"It was[Newman's] judgment [that the] one great work of the Catholic Church [was] to supply an antidote to the impressionableness of human nature, to the changeableness of its moods, and to keep permanently alive that religious atmosphere which in practice was necessary to supplement the reason of man, which was in these matters so liable to be misled. The agnostic or naturalistic atmosphere of modern society, which so easily affects each man's view of life, includes the prevalence of maxims identical with those of the ancient Epicureans. But so far as it acts on the more intellectual in these latter days, Newman seems to trace it largely to the effect on their imagination of the fruitful results of the sciences – physical science first of all, but also, in their measure, historical and critical science. Here were tangible and certain results, extending our knowledge of this visible world, which is so unquestionably real; while theologizing was concerned with a cloudland, which only in certain moods seemed to have any real existence at all. The great antidote to this attitude of mind was the counter-effect of the [Catholic] Church as – to use his own forcible phrase – “the concrete representative of things invisible” – the visible assembly which has ever taken for granted and positively asserted the reality of the unseen world [and the testimony of the Bible], and has been the fruitful instrument of a moral civilization which has depended on this assumption." --Last Lectures 27.
[Hat tip to GN]

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beautiful! Splendor in the ordinary

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla, "Extraordinary and Ordinary: The Expected and the Unexpected" (RC, June 17, 2014):
The unexpected is often not the norm in the practice of the Catholic faith. One of the great strengths and evidence of the truth of the Catholic faith is its "ordinariness". The Catholic faith lives and sustains its people in everyday life in "ordinary" ways: by prayers, often memorized, by assisting at Mass, by doing one's best to obey the precepts of the Church and living a life that is "ordinarily" Catholic. But the extraordinary is also an important part of the Catholic faith and the experience of that faith. The lives of the Saints in their details are obvious examples of the extraordinary that breaks through the ordinary of the practice of Catholic life.

But there are times when the extraordinary breaks through even for those of us who are not saints, at times that we do not expect this, and almost in spite of ourselves and our preoccupations. Last Saturday, as I entered the sacristy to celebrate the Traditional Mass, I assumed that we would be using the Missa Brevior, the shorter form of the Mass for Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost. I assumed this because we were not ordaining priests on this day, which was the traditional day for ordinations, nor was this a "conventual Mass" in the strict sense. I was informed that we were using the "ordinary" from of this Mass with its several Old Testament readings, its several collects, its several Alleluias. My first instinct--and this shows how deep the corruption of the meaning of the Liturgy truly is even among those who profess to love the Tradition--was to question whether this was good "pastorally" for our people assembled for this Mass. There was no question that I personally preferred the "ordinary" form of this Mass, as long as it was. But I did not trust that the people could "take this", the number of readings, the Alleuias, the length of the Mass. But I agreed that we would offer this Sung Mass in the "ordinary" form of the "extraordinary form" , despite having only one server (very faithful) for this Mass.

Two things happened. ...

The experience of converts who were Catholic and weren't enjoying it

However uncomfortable this video might make some of us feel, I think those of us who are converts to the Catholic Faith (at least most of us) will have to admit that there is some truth in it. Some have put the problem in terms of "false advertising," others in terms of a discrepancy between "word" and "deed."

I personally know, and doubtless many of you do as well, converts who made the arduous journey swimming upstream often at great personal cost, only to be disappointed by what they experienced in AmChurch. I personally sponsored some twenty individuals who were received into the Church via RCIA since my own conversion, and of these I know of three who have lapses or reverted to their erstwhile Protestant communions. And I know still others, often individuals of sound mind and theological substance who have also ceased to practice the Faith.

It would be easy to dismiss them by saying that they never really understood or believed the Catholic Faith, but I am acquainted with cases in which this could not possibly have been the case -- instances in which the convert wrestled with the issues, even producing pages and pages of written critical analyses critical of Protestant notions like justification by faith alone and sola fide, and working out their understanding of Catholic doctrines of Church authority, soteriology, Mariology, the intercession of saints, etc. I am still in contact (still "friends" with) several of these individuals, and it breaks my heart to see them where they are, and yet I also have to admit: there is a problem with what they encountered in today's Catholic Church.

What "liturgical reform" meant in the history of the traditional Latin liturgy

For the record: "400th Anniversary of the Rituale Romanum Apostolic Constitution Apostolicæ Sedi, of June 17, 1614" (RC, June 17, 2014).

"The little people" vs Tracey Rowland

Perfectly normal faithful attached to the Tridentine Mass in Libreville, Gabon, Palm Sunday 2014

Joseph Shaw, responds to "one of those attempts, which are so wearying, of intellectuals who recognise some of the importance and truth of the liturgical tradition trying to distance themselves from the little people who actually do their best to live that tradition in the very difficult conditions of the modern world. She doesn't want to get involved and help them do it better: that would tarnish her. She just wants to look down on them from a great height and ridicule them." Good photos.

Worth reading. Inspiring.

Neighboring Fowler and Westphalia, Michigan, have each produced 22 priests, defying the trend of a shrinking Roman Catholic clergy.

Two Sacred Heart Major Seminary grads, identical Koenigsknecht twins Todd (left) and Gary (right) took a moment to celebrate during their ordination on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. Credit Sean Proctor for The New York Times

Christina Capecchi, "In Two Michigan Villages, a Higher Calling Is Often Heard" (New York Times, June 16, 2014). Read why.

[Hat tip to Ralph Martin]

Roots of the present crisis

A Mass in the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil (August 2012)
"The massive crisis afflicting the Church today is, at root, nothing other than a crisis of identity precipitated by an unprecedented interference and experimentation with her most holy and tradition-bearing possession, the Mass. This crisis of identity spills over into everything else: the crisis in missionary work, the crisis in ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, the crisis in relations with political entities, the crisis in Catholic education in general and theology in particular."

-- Peter Kwasniewski, "Rationalism and Individualism in Catholic Theology"
(New Liturgical Movement, September 23, 2013).

There may be various other penultimate causes of the crisis of implosion in the Church today -- secularization, materialism, political liberalism, modernism, etc. -- yet I think Kwasniewski is right about the Mass being the proximate cause: the endless liturgical tinkering and resulting casual indifference about how the faithful encountered their Lord in the Eucharist, the Source and Summit of their faith, took its toll and had the most devastating effect.

[Hat tip to Sir. A.S.]

Monday, June 16, 2014

Holy Innocents, New York (June, 16th)

Diabolical evil. Inversion. Black is white. Evil is good. Perversion is blessed. Piety cursed. Evil. Evil. Evil.

Cultural collapse, traced through six generations

I can't remember where I read this, but here's a summary from inexact notes I made of a discussion of the last six generations and the shifts in outlook they represent:
  1. The "Lost Generation": 1914 -- WWI, Henry Ford developed automobile manufacturing, the Great Depression of 1929, people suffered largely without complaint, but failed to communicate their fundamental values to the next generation.
  2. The "Greatest Generation": 1930s, coming out of the Depression, WWII; people suffered silently but without appropriating the values of their parents' generation, and began indulging their children.
  3. The "Boomers": 1946-1960s, the generation of flower power, hippies, and rebels, characterized by indocility, intemperance, and impiety.
  4. Generation "X" (1960s-80s) & Generation "Y" (1970s-90s): the "me" generation, characterized by entitlement, amorality, religious indifference, but still wanting to be "nice."
  5. Generation "Z": 1990s-2010s, the "Plugged-in" generation, immersed in technology, raised in day care facilities, lacking any spiritual formation, characterized by depravity and inversion: same-sex perversions mushroom.
  6. The "Sixth Generation" (since the "Lost Generation"): 2010 onward, characterized by the absence of any sexual taboos, openness to the preternatural and demonic, and pagan idolatry.
Some of these divisions and characterizations strike me as a bit arbitrary, but they're probably accurate overall.

Since I began teaching college at Lenoir-Rhyne in NC in the mid-1980s, I would remind my classes that they were entering into a new Dark Ages. Their reaction for the most part was blank uncomprehending stares. Dark Ages? Really? But personal computers were just becoming available! Remember the buzz over the daisy wheel and dot matrix printers? And through the years, we've come to iPods and iPads, and almost nobody living seems to remember a world before the Internet. "Dark Ages"? Hardly. But I stand by what I said. Let them figure it out, if they can. The barbarians are at the gates, this time on the inside.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (June 15, 2014):
Altar Server Roles

Newcomers to the Traditional Latin Mass often comment on the precise movements of the altar servers. The servers have defined roles and duties:

The Acolytes are the two principal servers. The one on the right as you are facing the altar is called Acolyte 1; it is his responsibility to ring the Sanctus Bell. The one on the left is Acolyte 2; he moves the Missal before the Gospel and after Holy Communion. Historically, these servers were called Acolytes because their roles were filled by men who had received at least the minor order of Acolyte. Current Extraordinary Form regulations allow laymen to fulfill this role, thus one needs to distinguish the Order of Acolyte from the use of the same term to designate a server role. These same rules permit laymen servers to wear the cassock (black robe) and surplice (white outergarment), which are traditionally reserved for clerics.

At a Low Mass, the priest is assisted by one or two Acolytes. If there is only one Acolyte, his position is on the opposite side of the altar from where the Missal rests. Thus his position, like the Missal’s, changes during the Mass. A sung Mass, or Missa Cantata, may also be celebrated with one or two Acolytes, though two are strongly preferred.

If there is to be incense, another server is the Thurifer, or bearer of the censer. The Thurifer can work alone, or may be assisted by a Boat Bearer, who carries the container of incense. For processions, such as on Corpus Christi, a second Thurifer may be employed, to ensure that the Blessed Sacrament is continually incensed.

Two to six additional servers fulfill the roles of Torch Bearers. A torch is a candle contained within a glass or plastic enclosure. In practice, regular processional or altar candles are often used when true torches are not available. Torch Bearers kneel in front of the altar from the Sanctus until after Holy Communion, sentinels in front of our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament. When there are insufficient servers present to provide for torches, a Sanctus Candle may be placed on the altar during this portion of the Mass, to serve as an alternate symbol of Christ present on the altar.

The Crucifer, or Cross Bearer, carries the Crucifix in procession.

One server may take the optional role of Master of Ceremonies, to assist the celebrant. Newer celebrants in particular benefit from the guidance of an MC. Arguably this server’s most important and symbolic duty is to turn the pages of the Missal: The priest holds the thumb and index finger of each hand together from the Consecration until after Communion and is not supposed to touch any profane object while there may be particles of the Host on his hands. Unlike the other servers, the MC’s role is rather loosely defined in the rubrics, allowing for some freedom of movement in the sanctuary to assist in whatever manner may be appropriate. If incense is called for but no Thurifer is available, the MC is permitted to fulfill the role of Thurifer as a secondary duty. For more elaborate Masses, such as Solemn High and Pontifical Masses, a Second MC may direct the servers, while the First MC directs the sacred ministers.

Other roles particular to a specific church, such as closing and opening the Communion Rail gates, flipping over the Communion Rail cloth, and ringing the tower bell at the Consecration, may be handled by certain servers. These are considered elements of local custom and are not dictated by rubrics.

Serving at the altar is a great privilege which provides an opportunity to learn more about the Sacred Liturgy from a close vantage point. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are often inspired in those who serve the Extraordinary Form. Men and boys who have received their First Holy Communion are invited to join our altar server team. Training will be provided. Please see one of the servers after Mass if you or one of your sons are interested.

St. Leo to Host Tridentine Mass on June 27

Detroit’s historic St. Leo Church is the next to host its first Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form in over 40 years. On Friday, June 27 at 7:00 PM, Juventútem Michigan will hold its monthly Last Friday Mass at the Sacred Heart Side Altar at St. Leo’s, in honor of that day being the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Though there has been some reorganizing of ecclesiastical furnishings within the church, St. Leo retains many of its original architectural elements, including a High Altar, Communion Rail, and Side Altars. Several years ago it was reported that the parish retained a notable collection of historic vestments and altar cards. Former long-time pastor Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is mostly known for his social activism, however a fact not as well known is that he served as an Episcopal Advisor to the Latin Liturgy Association for many years.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (Feria [Mass of First Sunday After Pentecost])
  • Tue. 06/17: No Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor – Mass will resume next Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00 PM
  • Sat. 06/21 8:00 AM: Low Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor)
  • Sun. 06/22 2:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (External Solemnity of Corpus Christi)
    - First Solemn High Mass of soon-to-be Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz
    - Knights of Columbus Colour Guard will be present
    - Procession with the Blessed Sacrament follows Mass, outdoors if weather permits
    - Mass will be filmed for EWTN’s Extraordinary Faith program
    - Reception after Mass
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for June 15, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses Coming to Southeastern Michigan This Week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

R. C. Sproul salutes St. Thomas Aquinas!

The reason this is noteworthy is because R.C. Sproul is one of those intrepid Calvinist intellectuals who remains undaunted by contemporary ecumenical overtures: unlike J.I. Packer, he refused to sign on to the 1994 ecumenical document, Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He remains unapologetically and vociferously anti-Catholic. Yet credit where credit is due: in a recent lengthy article, he conceded that St. Thomas Aquinas is probably the most brilliant of all the theologians in Church history. "So who was the most brilliant ever? I don’t know. I know the question cannot be raised without the name of Thomas Aquinas being brought to the fore. And I know that he deserves my salute." But there's much more worth reading in the details of his piece. Read more >>

Someone should do a study of recent Evangelical and Reformed scholarship on St. Thomas Aquinas. As popularity of the Angelic Doctor has sadly waned among Catholics since the 1960s, conservative Protestants appear to be discovering him in droves. Some of these discoveries have yielded conversions. Regardless, it is a phenomenon that warrants some attention.

[Hat tip to JM]

Affirming Aquinas & Catholic Tradition only to dismiss them?

Jason Steidl, in a paper on Chesterton's interpretation of St. Thomas Aquinas, writes:
Ironically, just as Chesterton's biography of Thomas Aquinas was published in 1933, many theologians within the Roman Catholic Church were beginning to criticize the role of the Thomistic tradition in Christianity. The way of understanding Christian faith and the world, so strongly advocated by Chesterton, had become stale with centuries of use and abuse, its thinking, as Chesterton characterized the Neo-Platonism that preceded it, an outmoded model that no longer addressed modern concerns. Hence, scholars such as Marie Dominique Chenu challenged the church authorities in much the same way that Aquinas had challenged the hierarchy centuries before. These scholars of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s proposed new paradigms for Thomistic thought and the role of theology in the church, while Chesterton remained silent in thecontroversy, content to dwell in, and even defend, the forms of faith as he received them.
Our Atlantic correspondent, who sent us this linked article, suggested that it's worth checking out how someone like Aquinas or Chesterton is handled by modern Catholics, such as this writer, and remarks:
[These writers, like Aquinas or Chesterton] are affirmed even as they are essentially dismissed! Sometimes I feel like this is just how the Nouvelles handled Tradition: "We are all for it! There, now lets dismantle it!"
[Hat tip to G.N.]

Ha!! So now we're "neo-Medievalists"???

"Very well, we are 'neo-Medievalists'... But could we end the ignorance of the 'Middle Ages' anyway?" (RC, June 17 [sic], 2014).

Commonweal, the self-styled "progressive" Catholic periodical (about which Walker Percy had some most amusing references in Love in the Ruins) has apparently come out with a new term for those opposed to what Pope Benedict XVI called a "hermeneutic of rupture." Citing examples like Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei, Vittorio Messori (who co-authored the famous Ratzinger Report in 1985), the Rorate Caeli blog, and fans of the newly-restored traditional Mass, the author of the piece, Massimo Faggioli, now refers to them as "neo-medievalists"!

By way of response, New Catholic offers a number of quotations from Régine Pernoud's Those Terrible Middle Ages: Debunking the Myths,focusing on pervasively persisting caricatures and distortions of the middle ages. The prejudice against the period is so vast that the common assumption is that nothing good could possibly have come from it. I'm reminded of Bertrand Russell's History of Philosophy, which skips from the close of the Ancient philosophical period to Descartes, as though nothing happened between. As Pernoud puts the matter:
... the Marxist historians, who speak of feudalism destroyed by the French Revolution, makes one think of those ecclesiastics who see in the Second Vatican Council the 'end of the Constantinian period' -- as if nothing had happened, in more than sixteen hundred years, between Constantine and Vatican II, as if the beginning of the sixteenth century, particularly, had not led to that radical change in the state of the Church that was (without any play on words) the establishment of the Church of State.
New Catholic then proceeds to describe an outlook that, for all the world, reminds me of George Weigel and his book, Evangelical Catholicism:
What is meant by "medievalist" in Church circles is even worse, because anything that resembles a love for what the Church always was, what she always believed, how she always worshiped just until the 1960s is by itself viewed suspiciously as "Medieval". This is indeed, as Pernoud implied, the Founding Myth of Liberal Catholicism, and is in every way parallel with the Founding Myth of Protestantism. For Protestants, the "Primitive Church" was a mostly pure entity, just until the original sin of Constantine, and then it survived in the shadows with isolated figures until its glorious total re-emergence with Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the whole team, as the shackles of the Dark Ages and Popery were lifted from pure Christianity. For Post-Conciliarists, the story is pretty much the same, after the first Fathers, came the long Dark Ages of the Church, the "Triumphalist", "Constantinian" Church existed from just around Nicaea all the way to the 1960s -- in a sense, all the intervening period is "medieval".

So, yes, certainly, if, by malice or ignorance, the history of the free Church, from the emergence from the catacombs up to the 1960s -- that is, practically the entire history of the Church soon after apostolic times -- is considered "medieval", then we are quite proud, and even eager, to be so characterized. And so should every Catholic. (emphasis in original)
[Hat tip to JM]

Father's Day: Swiss study shows father's role crucial in children's faith

A barely-noticed but large and important study conducted by the Swiss government in 1994 and published in 2000 revealed some astonishing facts about the generational transmission of religious faith and values:
  • When the father and mother attend church regularly, 33% of their children end up as regular churchgoers.
  • When the mother attends regularly but the father is non-practicing, only 2% of their children become regular churchgoers.
  • When the father attends regularly but the mother is non-practicing, 44% of the children become regular churchgoers.
Why? Hard to say. Particularly, why is the result for regular churchgoing children higher when the mother alone is non-practicing than when both father and mother are practicing? Again, hard to say. What is clear is that the roles of fathers in their children's faith-formation is critical.

(The full title of the Swiss study is: “The Demographic Characteristics of the Linguistic and Religious Groups in Switzerland” [beginning on p. 113] by Werner Haug and Phillipe Warner of the Federal Statistical Office, Neuchatel. The study appears in Volume 2 of Population Studies No. 31, a book titled The Demographic Characteristics of National Minorities in Certain European States, edited by Werner Haug and others, published by the Council of Europe Directorate General III, Social Cohesion, Strasbourg, January 2000.)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Act of Abandonment to Divine Providence

How many of us would truly dare to pray this prayer? If you really think about what the words mean, it's not an easy prayer to make, given our human nature. Basically it means giving up our "right" to live as we wish, to do whatever we want every moment of each day. Yet this is exactly what we need to be truly free: to voluntarily enslave ourselves to God. The world cannot understand this. Yet this is exactly what we need: an army of Catholics willing to make this their prayer each day. God could work wonders for the renewal of our culture and civilization with such an army.
0 sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God!
I abandon myself forever to Thy arms.
Whether gentle or severe,
lead me henceforth whither Thou wilt;
I will not regard the way through which Thou wilt have me pass,
but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee,
my God, who guidest me.
My soul finds no rest without the arms
and the bosom of this heavenly Providence,
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.

Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance,
0 my Saviour,
to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances,
without regarding or examining why Thou dost this rather than that;
but I will blindly follow Thee
according to Thy Divine will,
without seeking my own inclinations.

Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee,
taking no part therein save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms,
desiring nothing except as Thou incitest me to desire,
to will, to wish.
I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God,
beseeching Thee to bless it;
I undertake all it includes,
relying on Thy goodness,
liberality, and mercy,
with entire confidence in Thee,
distrust of myself,
and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity.


By Saint Jane Frances De Chantal

The mystery and symbol of the crucifix

One of my favorite religious authors is Thomas Howard (Chance or The Dance?,Dove Descending: A Journey Into T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets,Evangelical is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament,The Night Is Far Spent).

Howard, a prolific author and noted expert on C.S. Lewis, taught English at Gordon College, an Evangelical school, and spent some years in England in the Anglican communion before he entered the Catholic Church in 1985. From 1985-99 he was professor of English at St. John’s Seminary College of the archdiocese of Boston.

One of his many fine essays originally entitled "Crucifix" and published as a chapter of his excellent book, On Being Catholic(Ignatius, 1997), was recently re-published under the title of "The Crucifix Mystery and Symbol," by Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. XX, No. 1 (April 2014). I am grateful for the opportunity to re-visit this essay online. It is a beautiful meditation.

Echeverria: the Pope, the Cardinal, and God's mercy (and justice)

In "Understanding God’s Love: A Primer on Mercy and Justice" (Crisis, June 13, 2014), my colleague Eduardo Echeverria addresses the question of how god is both just and merciful in the light of Pope Francis' recent book entitled, The Church of Mercy,Walter Cardinal Kasper's new book, Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life,and St. John Paul II's 1980 encyclical, Dives in misericordia.

Echeverria begins his meditation by using as a foil H. Richard Niebuhr's description of liberal Christianity, which I have always considered rather apt: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." While there is much more to the issue of liberalism and the theologies of Popes Francis and John Paul II and Cardinal Kasper, the substance of the article may be summed up in the question as to "how we avoid both despair when confronted with the gravity of our sins, on the one hand, and a sentimental view of God and of his love, on the other."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cardinal O'Connor's grandmother was Jewish, his grandfather a rabbi

Rabbi James Prosnit of B’nai Israel at the grave of the cardinal’s grandfather Gustave Gumpel.

Alison L. Cowan, "The Rabbi Cardinal O'Connor Never Knew: His Grandfather" (New York Times, June 10, 2014):
"... Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor was a staunch friend and defender of the Jewish people.... Yet there was something Cardinal O’Connor apparently never knew: His mother was born a Jew, the daughter of a rabbi."
See also: "Cardinal O'Connor Jewish?" (A Catholic Jew Pontificates, June 11, 2014) -- an essay with photos:
Recently the sister of Cardinal O'Connor discovered that their mother Dorothy was Jewish. Dorothy who was born as Deborah Gumple or D'vora Gumpel was the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and Shokhet (Kosher butcher). She left her family and became a Catholic in 1908 when she was 19 and she married the Catholic Thomas O'Connor in 1909. She never spoke of her Jewish background to her children, they had assumed she had been of Lutheran heritage. The New York times has a great article about it here. The Jewish Week also gives an account.
[Hat tip to CB]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vetran EF emcee on what it takes to get and sustain an EF Mass

David L. Alexander, "The Latin Mass: Why You Can't Have It" (Man with black hat, September 12, 2014).

"Well, you can, actually ... Every major reform of the Church began in two ways; from among the laity, and through personal reform. We must, at the end of the day, be the solution within ourselves that we seek from others."


"Whatever happened at Vatican II ..."

This choice quote from Elliot Bougis "Just give ‘em what they want already ..." (FideCogitActio, June 8, 2014) may go some way towards offering a cogent metaphorical explanation why some, at least, have jumped ship rather than bail water aboard the Barque of St. Peter over the past several decades:
Exactly whatever happened at Vatican II, we can, in the immortal words of Alice Thomas Ellis, in The Sin Eater, say that at the very least, “It is as though ... one’s revered, dignified and darling old mother had slapped on a mini-skirt and fishnet tights and started ogling strangers. A kind of menopausal madness, a sudden yearning to be attractive to all. It is tragic and hilarious and awfully embarrassing. And of course, those who knew her before feel a great sense of betrayal and can’t bring themselves to go and see her any more.” (emphasis his)

Retrieving a lost Catholic vocabulary

Readers of this blog may remember my protests about what political correctness has done to English grammar. I've started keeping a list of examples, and here's a stellar example of what I have in mind from an essay by an otherwise intelligent individual:
"If a human being is not an end in themselves, they can more easily be seen as a 'burden to society' if they cannot make a 'contribution.'"
It's sheer butchery, of course. Imagine trying to teach English as a foreign language with grammar like that. I can just imagine the quizzical looks on the faces of the corporate executives in Japan whom I used to tutor in English conversation!

But there is another way in which the language of Catholic faith and life is being eroded and lost today by pressures from a culture in many ways at odds with it. There are many examples that come to mind: one now "takes" (rather than "receives") Holy Communion; "attends" (rather than "assists at") Mass; "has sex" (rather than "conjugal relations"), etc. These and a host of other examples might serve could each serve as the subject of a separate essay on its implications, whether theological, spiritual, social, or psychological.

"Tradition" and its cognates ("traditional," "traditionalist") are among the most surprising examples in recent memory, however, which have now come to be used increasingly as pejorative terms for a subset of Catholics who hold fast to older traditions of the Church supposedly displaced since the Second Vatican Council.

On my journey to the Catholic Faith, which began in 1987 before being received in the Church in 1993, those who sought to dissuade me constantly pitted the "living Word of God" (the Bible) over against the "vain traditions of man" (Col. 2:8) allegedly represented by Catholicism. So entrenched was this animus against Catholic tradition, that one of my Protestant theology professors, James Payton, Jr. to his credit pointed out that the evangelical New International Version (NIV) of the Bible explicitly attempts to "de-Catholicize" those passages where Paul commends the Church's traditions (1 Cor 11:2, 1 Thes 2:15; 3:6) by translating the Greek word for "traditions" as "teachings," while translating the remaining ten references which are all negative as "traditions" (as in vain and empty "traditions of man").

Cardinal Newman famously wrote that "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." To be Catholic, as he showed me, was to be rooted in and hold fast to the apostolic traditions passed down to us, to be enriched by the immense wealth of resources offered by that apostolic legacy as it grew from the original acorn into a flourishing oak tree under the indefectible guidance of the Holy Ghost -- He Who was promised "to lead us into all truth" (Jn 16:13). As the New Testament emerged from the Old, as the Mass emerged from the Passover of our Lord, as Gregorian chant emerged from Hebrew Psalmody, so I viewed Catholicism as emerging from the particular covenant with Israel as the new universal covenant, the branch from the wild (Gentile) olive tree grafted into the natural (Jewish) tree and nourished by its singular root (Rm 11:13-25). To be Catholic meant, as being Jewish did for Tevye, to be rooted in tradition.

Imagine my surprise upon entering the cathedral of Catholicism, then, only to encounter throngs of Catholics running for the door to escape anything remotely traditional, Catholics intent on losing everything but the experience of the present moment, with "hymns" (I use the term loosely), worship, and spirituality that looked more like everything I thought I was leaving behind in the backwaters of provincial populist hayseed fundamentalism than anything I had read about in books. In fact it was closer to a synthesis of Lawrence Welk and Peter, Paul, and Mary, but aggiornamento gone to seed, all the same.

Apparently today it's not enough to be self-identified as a "Catholic." If one expresses a certain sort of discomfort with the drift of things over the last fifty years since the council, if he prefers the liturgy that was displaced by the post-Vatican II Mass of 1970, he must be referred to somewhat suspiciously as a "traditionalist." I have heard some of the otherwise nicest people refer to such Catholics in the most sneeringly dismissive tones as "traditionalists." "He goes to the Tridentine Mass," they say. "He's gone traditionalist," they say, in the tone of voice that suggests the moral equivalent of "apostate."

On the one hand, I suppose just as the pejorative epithet "Yankee" was embraced with pride by the colonial patriots, Catholics who eschew the NewChurch kool aid could also embrace the term "traditionalist" and simply "own it." On the other hand, I'm quite taken with the recent suggestion of Elliot Bougis, which suggests an alternative closer to what Confucius meant by the "rectification of names" -- in this instance, eschewing revisionist qualifiers and simply retrieving the integrity of simple Catholic language as it was used before the revolution:
Instead of saying, I “assist at the [Traditional] Latin Mass”, let us say, with the pride that can [come] only from a consistent embrace of our patrimony, I “assist at the Mass, but I sometimes assist at the New Mass when the need arises.”
Yet again:
If [the modern Church] wants to be known as a New Order, let the Novus Ordo be known as the New Mass. We Consistent Christian Catholics must drop all revisionist qualifiers about THE MASS and treat the Novus Ordo as it wants to be treated: as the New Mass. This in no way suggests that the New Mass is illicit or invalid, nor does it seek to insinuate any inferiority of the New Mass. It is simply an attempt, heeding Orwell’s advice cited above, to reverse the revisionist corruption of language in the modern Church, whereby a liturgy that’s younger than most of the priests offering it is spoken of as the default expression of Catholic worship, while the oldest form of Christian liturgy is looked down upon as some kind of deviant, decadent innovation.

Monday, June 09, 2014

The old (relatively new) debate over Communion in the hand

My good friend and colleague, canonist Ed Peters is frequently bemused by how often this issue continues to resurface. As a canon lawyer, he sees absolutely no issue here. Reposing a near-absolute trust in his judgment about canon law (concerning which I am little more than a tyro), I heartily agree with him that there is no canonical problem with the practice of Communion in the hand. As I understand the matter, it was introduced into the United States and various other countries under an indult; that is, as a canonically licit exception to the ordinary and otherwise normative practice of reception on the tongue.

Having conceded this point of agreement, I would insist that there nevertheless remain a number of other grounds on which the practice may (indeed must) be considered and evaluated other than simply that of canonical licitness, and I have little doubt that my friend (Peters) would agree. I can think of a number of such grounds that might be considered, though I do not intend to explore them here for myself -- such as theological grounds, historical grounds, symbolic grounds, moral grounds, and even grounds of sacramental and liturgical aesthetic fittingness.

In any case, having done a bit of historical digging into the origins of this controversy, I was gratified to see that Michael Voris and his staff have put together another excellent detailed documentary-length investigation into the issue, which is ordinarily available only to "premium subscribers," and not merely to viewers of the comparatively tiny, sound-bite-sized "Vortex" episodes available daily for free to the unwashed and unpaying public.

Below is a brief Vortex episode introducing the series; and just for this week only, one key episode of the series, Sleight of Hand: Reception Deception, is being made available to the public at no charge.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Hilarious! a parody of contemporary church music so painful it's funny

Extraordinary Community News

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

Tridentine Community News (June 8, 2014):
The First Blessing of a Newly Ordained Priest

Today Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz celebrates his first Mass after ordination, in the Extraordinary Form, at St. Joseph Church in Detroit. Not only is this an occasion of great joy, but it is also an opportunity for the faithful in attendance to gain a Plenary Indulgence, under the usual conditions of Confession within 20 days, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions, and freedom from attachment to sin.

Not to be confused with this Plenary Indulgence for attending the first public Mass (N.B.: the first Mass, not “one of the” first Masses) is the additional grace to be gained from receiving the “first blessing” of a newly ordained priest. It is customary for these first blessings to be given out over the course of the first several Masses a new priest celebrates; tradition says that the first blessing may be given for up to a full year after ordination.

The Church does not specify the text of the first blessing; there is no entry for it in the Rituále Románum, the official book of blessings for the Extraordinary Form. A priest could choose to use a very simple form of blessing, or something elaborate and suited to the state in life of the recipient. However, a particular form of first blessing has become popular in recent years, and is in fact the form that Fr. Joe has chosen to use:
Per impositiónem mánuum meárum sacerdotálium, et per intercessiónem beátæ Maríæ semper Vírginis, et Sancti (Sanctæ)…, et ómnium Sanctórum; Benedíctio Dei Omnipoténtis, Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti, descéndat super te et máneat semper. Amen.

May, through the imposition of my hands and upon the intercession of Holy Mary Mother of God, St. Joseph, Sts. N. (patron saint) and N. (of the priest’s choosing), the blessing of the Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, come upon thee and remain with thee forever. Amen.
After receiving the blessing, it is customary for the faithful to kiss the priest’s anointed hands.

Extraordinary Faith Detroit Episode Filming Dates Set

Plans have been firmed up for the filming of the Detroit/Windsor episode of Extraordinary Faith, our locally produced EWTN television program on sacred tradition. Our film crew will be in town Sunday-Wednesday, June 22-25, visiting several of the area’s beautiful historic churches and interviewing key people on the local Latin Mass scene.

Curious about how a television show is made? Readers of this column are welcome to join us during the shoot. E-mail the address at the bottom of this page, and we will send you a timetable of the places we will be.

Most notably, we will be filming Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz’s first Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Subdeacon, at Windsor’s Assumption Church on Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 PM. That date being the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi, a procession with the Blessed Sacrament will follow the Mass, outdoors if weather permits. The Knights of Columbus Colour Guard will be present. A reception for Fr. Joe will follow the Mass.

Mass at Ste. Anne de Detroit to be Solemn High

The previously reported special Mass at the Gabriel Richard Chapel at Ste. Anne de Detroit Church this Wednesday, June 11 will take place at 7:00 PM. The Mass will be a Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Subdeacon. Archdiocese of Detroit Music Director Joe Balistreri will provide the music. A Facebook event page has been created at:

The Coolest Tridentine Mass in Town

We recently learned that the Academy of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Bloomfield Hills has that rarest of Latin Mass accessories: air conditioning, a special treat for the summer months. Join us for the weekly Sunday Tridentine High Mass at 9:45 AM.

Old St. Patrick to Hold Pentecost Octave Masses

To commemorate the Octave of Pentecost, Ann Arbor’s Old St. Patrick Church will be holding special daily Masses in the Extraordinary Form at varying times, as listed below. A Facebook event page has been created at:

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/09 6:30 AM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Pentecost Monday)
  • Mon. 06/09 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (Pentecost Monday)
  • Tue. 06/10 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (Pentecost Tuesday)
  • Tue. 06/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Pentecost Tuesday)
  • Wed. 06/11 6:30 AM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Ember Wednesday of Pentecost)
  • Wed. 06/11 7:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at the Gabriel Richard Chapel at Ste. Anne de Detroit (Ember Wednesday of Pentecost)
  • Thu. 06/12 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Pentecost Thursday)
  • Fri. 06/13 6:30 AM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Ember Friday of Pentecost)
  • Sat. 06/14 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Ember Saturday of Pentecost)
  • Sun. 06/15 10:30 AM: High Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Trinity Sunday)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for June 8, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Friday, June 06, 2014

Disheartening suppression of the Franciscans of the Immaculate

A substantial religious order of mostly youthful-vocations (the friars alone numbered 300 plus 120 postulants as of 2008), all of whom (but for a handful of malcontents) responded with enthusiasm to the provisions Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, is being demolished by the Ancien Régime for failing to submit to the "spirit of Vatican II" and its "counter-syllabus" against anti-modernism, tarring them with the opprobrious reputation of being "more Catholic than the (current) Pope."

I just read the latest from The Eponymous Flower HERE. But there's also Adfero's post HERE, Augustinus' post HERE, New Catholic's post HERE and call to prayer on behalf of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate HERE.

In a day when the Church is imploding, it seems unconscionable that a handful of malcontents and partisans of the unmandated innovations that have gutted our churches and eviscerated our Catholic identity over the last several decades should be permitted to suppress a thriving religious order in this way. As Fr. Ray Blake suggests, it reflects poorly on those who should be minding the store.

Japan and the October Synod

Sandro Magister, "In Japan As on the Banks of the Rhine. The Church's Surrender" (www.chiesa, June 6, 2014): "The responses of the Japanese and central Europeans to the questionnaire for the synod on the family register the yielding of Catholics to the dominant “uniform thought.” But also the pastors' inability to lead."

[Hat tip to JM]

The myth of liberal democratic tolerance

J.L. Talmon was right: liberal democracy can become totalitarian and repressive if unchecked by traditional values -- as evidenced by yet another Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who is being strong-armed by authorities into violating his religious convictions by serving sodomite couples asking for wedding cakes.

Reading Carol Kuruvilla's article, "Colorado baker ordered to serve gay couples vows to stop making wedding cakes" (Daily News, June 3, 2014), our underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, writes: "I feel like we are in the Netherlands. Can you imagine the USCCB saying something with such plain clarity? 'We would close down the bakery before we would complicate our beliefs ...'" Good point.

Here is the Daily News article with Guy Noir's highlights:
Colorado baker ordered to serve gay couples vows to stop making wedding cakes This takes the cake.

A Colorado baker has pledged to stop making wedding cakes after his state’s Civil Rights Commission ordered him to start baking for same-sex couples.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, was willing to go to court to defend his decision to refuse service to two grooms who walked into his shop last year looking for a way to celebrate their marriage.

Phillips’ crusade turned out to be a giant failure after the Commission unanimously ruled that he had violated civil rights law by discriminating against the couple.

The devout Christian is retaliating by refusing to make wedding cakes altogether.

“We would close down the bakery before we would complicate our beliefs,” Phillips told CBS Denver.

The man said that he would be happy to make cakes for an LGBT person’s birthday party. But he believes making a wedding cake would be equivalent to participating in the ceremony.

My issue is that I don’t want to be forced to participate in a same-sex wedding,” Phillips said.

The grooms at the center of the controversy, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, tied the knot in Massachusetts. They wanted to order a cake for a reception in Colorado.

Phillips isn’t too worried about his business shutting down—he says business is booming at Masterpiece Cakeshop. His brownies and cookies are reportedly flying off the counters, snatched up by people who agree with his stance on gay marriage.

But for the next few months, he’ll have to submit quarterly reports about who he refuses to serve. He’ll also have to give his employees anti-discrimination training.
[Hat tip to JM]

Tridentine Masses Coming to Metro-Detroit & Eastern Michigan This Week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz' first Mass venue confirmed

Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz will be celebrating his first Mass this Sunday at 9:30am at St. Joseph's Church in Detroit.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Doubts over Sudanese death row woman release

As reported HERE: "KHARTOUM - Conflicting comments by Sudanese officials over whether a Christian woman sentenced to hang for apostasy will be freed, reflect confusion within the Islamist government, hit by international outrage over the verdict, analysts say.

"Khartoum is torn between hardline Islamists, who demand the execution of the 27-year-old mother of two, who just gave birth to a daughter in prison, and foreign pressure to free her, Sudanese analyst Khaled al-Tijani al-Nur says."

Pope embraces charismatic renewal

As reported by Kathy Schiffler on Patheos (May 30, 2014), two Americans, Dr. Ralph Martin, founder of Renewal Ministries, and Patti Mansfield, popular Catholic author and speaker, joined the Holy Father and 52,000 Charismatic Catholics from more than 50 countries on Sunday afternoon, June 1, at the Olympic Stadium of Rome. On that day, Pope Francis -- the first pontiff to ever visit a sports stadium in Rome -- participated in the 37th National Assembly of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement. The June 1-2 conference had the theme of “Convert! Believe! Receive the Holy Spirit!”

The assembly reportedly had numerous representatives of other Christian "denominations" present in a spirit of ecumenical good will.

According to Catholic News Service, the pope reported that in the early years of the charismatic renewal in Buenos Aires, he "did not have much love for charismatics" and compared them to "a samba school." On June 1st, however, he declared that the Holy Spirit had begun the charismatic renewal as "a current of grace in the church and for the church." He also reportedly pleaded with charismatic groups "not to try to organize everything or create a bureaucracy that attempts to tame the Holy Spirit."

In an interview with Boston Globe, Ralph Martin, one of the featured speakers and a longtime leader in charismatic circles who today teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit, sat down in Rome with John L. Allen, Jr., preceding the rally to discuss the significance of the event the the pope's involvement:
Globe: What’s this weekend in Rome about?

The charismatic renewal is very strong in Italy, and they have an annual meeting. They usually have it in Rimini but this year they decided to do it in Rome, and when they explained it to Pope Francis he said, “I’m coming!” He volunteered to come. He’s going to be spending a fair amount of time with us, and more than 50,000 people signed up within a couple weeks.

The hope is that papal calls for a New Pentecost, which go back to St. John XXIII, and papal calls for a New Evangelization, which go back to Vatican II and especially to St. John Paul II, can come together. Pope Francis’ vision is to bring together the reality of a New Pentecost with the urgency of a New Evangelization.

Globe: Do you expect him to engage in charismatic practices such as speaking in tongues or healings?

Martin: Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised. We don’t know what he’s going to do. We know he wants to enter the stadium walking, he wants to participate in the worship that’s going on, and we also know that he wants to say something to us. Beyond that, we’ll just have to see.

Globe: What was the pope’s relationship with the charismatic movement in Argentina?

Martin: He’s said publicly that initially he didn’t know what to think, and he wondered if it was superficial emotion, but as he got to know [charismatics] he changed his mind. [Note: In a press conference during his return flight from Brazil in July, Francis said he used to think that charismatics “confused the holy liturgy with a school of samba,” but that he was “converted when I got to know them better and saw the good they do.”]

My hope for the weekend is that all Catholics will become more open to the presence and reality of the Holy Spirit, because I think we really need it.

Globe: What do charismatic Catholics make of Pope Francis? They tend to be fairly conservative theologically, yet they must like his free-wheeling style.

Martin: It’s pretty much what a lot of committed Catholics are making of him. They’re thrilled, they’re refreshed, they think it’s a breath of fresh air. Charismatics have seen pictures of Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires praying and asking Protestant pastors to pray for him. His friendship towards the charismatic renewal is there.

At the same time, they’re scratching their heads sometimes wondering, “What did he mean by that?” Is he pro-life? What does he mean, “Who am I to judge?” They think he’s fantastic, but they also wonder how some of these pieces fit.

Globe: Francis is going to be holding his prayer meeting with the Palestinian and Israeli presidents on June 8, which also happens to be the Feast of Pentecost. Do you think there’s anything significant about that?

Martin: Whenever people open their hearts to God in some way, the Lord wants to do something good. Even if it just got scheduled randomly for that day, I’m sure [Pope Francis] sees significance in that.

Globe: What do you hope the impact of this weekend will be?

Martin: I think there are a lot of closet charismatics out there. A lot of [clergy] personally have had their vocations saved because of their experience of Christ and the Holy Spirit through the renewal, but they discovered it wasn’t cool [to say so out loud] because it was considered fringe. They got the message from the environment not to talk about it very much. I think the time has come for the closet charismatics to come out. I think the pope’s presence might encourage it, along with a growing realization that an action of God may be the only thing that can save the Church today.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world a Malayalam Catholic charismatic prayer group has staged another spirit-filled performance illustrating the beauty of diversity in charismatic inculturation: