Helen Hull Hitchcock – RIP

In your charity, please remember to pray for the soul of Helen Hull Hitchcock, who died recently.

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ROMA – Day 1: Hitting the ground running

Here we are again.

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I arrived in time for rush hour.

The flight was uneventful, which is how I like them.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 5 Comments

Card. Kasper invokes journalist war against another Cardinal?

Card. Kasper looks around for people to blame for his own enormous gaffe.  But the ending is a little … dunno… threatening?

From CWR. Go there for links and other stuff.

The controversy about statements made last week about African bishops and their contributions to the Synod on the Family by the Roman Curial prelate Cardinal Walter Kasper continues. Most recently BILD-Zeitung [a German tabloid newspaper] took up the topic last Friday and headlined its story: “Racism Blooper?” BILD also quoted a German bishop who opined, “Insulting, lying and falsely accusing is not prescribed by the Catechism.” There was criticism about Cardinal Kasper’s remarks over the weekend, as Cardinal Raymond Burke calledthe remarks “profoundly sad and scandalous” in an interview with CWR.

Cardinal Kasper has now offered a qualified apology for his statements and expressed his esteem for the Church in Africa. Kasper had previously denied he’d made the remarks attributed to him by journalist Edward Pentin, then stated that he had been recorded speaking to journalists without his knowledge. Kasper himself has now confirmed to Kath.net that he had had a conversation with three journalists. In Kasper’s opinion, though, it was not an interview; there has to be an agreement for an interview as such. Then the Cardinal made it clear:

“If one of my remarks about Africans was perceived as demeaning or insulting, then I am honestly sorry. That was and is not my intention, and not my view at all. No one will deny that Africa’s culture is different from Europe’s in many respects. But I have been in Africa too often not to esteem African culture highly.” [Translated for CWR by Michael J. Miller]

Cardinal Kasper was quoted by Pentin as describing the problems of the African Church as “impossible” for the synod to solve, while saying that the African bishops “should not tell us too much what we have to do.” The publication of Kasper’s comments to Pentin, his disavowal of them, and the subsequent release of the full audio of the interview were the source of much controversy late last week as the bishops concluded the two-week Synod on the Family. Some speculated that the appointment of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa to the committee responsible for drafting the synod’s final document was a response to Kasper’s remarks.

Another comment made by Cardinal Kasper in speaking with Kath.net is quite breathtaking: he talked again about a “deliberate dirty trick” to denounce him. “The fact that Catholic media (and unfortunately a cardinal in person) should participate in it, in order to tear down another position morally, is shameful,” Kasper opined. When Kath.net asked as a follow-up question who that cardinal was, Kasper unfortunately gave no answer. The retired Curial Cardinal announced, however, that “other journalists” are going to take action against such “undignified machinations”.

Is that so?  Is there going to be an attack by Kasper’s journalist sympathizers against Card. Burke?

Moderation queue is ON.

I am getting onto an international flight, so you have lots of time to really think through your comments.

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My View For Awhile: Midtown Tunnel Edition

I hurtled through the Midtown Tunnel and I am on the Van Wyck on the way to JFK.

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And so the pilgrimage to Rome begins.

UPDATE

I had a note that a couple of priest friends are also heading to Rome. Different flight.

Meanwhile… ah the allure of the international flight.

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Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 7 Comments

Extraordinary Synod on Family is, thanks be to God, over.

The Extraordinary Synod on the family is, thanks be to God, over.

The bishops will meet again next year at the same time in the Ordinary Synod on the same topic: the Family.

Let me start with the pessimistic take, first.

In sum, I think this Synod caused defeats for all sides.

It was a big defeat for liberals/progressivists because they didn’t get what they wanted. The liberals in the Synod weren’t able to ram through their agenda. In the end, they overplayed their hands and the conservative/Magisterium defenders rose up and said “No more!” It was also a defeat, but less so, for the defenders of the Magisterium because, frankly, some of the things which were hotly debated at the Synod, shouldn’t have been debated at all. Thus, liberals got their way a little bit: they managed to get their points on the agenda.

Also, the Catholic people everywhere were defeated: great confusion has been sown about matters such as Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the “welcome” we are supposed to show as a Church to homosexuals. I am already hearing from priests that people as saying things like, “I’m remarried but Francis says I can go to Communion”. That’s ridiculous, but, as I said, there is confusion. Some people will have the notion that we now “welcome” (whatever that means) homosexuals because they are homosexual rather than because they are human beings. That’s ridiculous, but, as I said, there is confusion.

The Synod was positive in the sense that in the end enough bishops rose up to put a halt to the lemming rush – nay, rather – walking together towards the cliff.  But we shouldn’t be aiming at the cliff at all.

Who knows if it will be possible to halt this thing during next year’s Synod. Some of the key players who stopped the liberal surge and manipulation in the Synod, probably won’t be involved next year. I doubt Card. Burke will be there. He was there this time in his role as head of a dicastery of the Roman Curia. So were Card. Pell and Card. Mueller.  Who knows who will receive special appointments as participants. If this Synod couldn’t be manipulated, and clearly a manipulation was attempted through the control of information and texts, next year’s could be controlled by stacking the deck, changing the slate of participants to favor one side.

CLICK

However, one factor that will remain is “The Five Cardinals Book”. This important book will have been read and absorbed well by next October. In the face of the books explanations, many of the liberal issues simply fall apart.

A few more points, in no special order.

First, there was controversy about how we are to “welcome” (accogliere) “gays” (I hate that word now). What on earth does “welcome gays” mean? What does it mean for the divorced and civilly remarried? This “welcome” strikes me as incredibly superficial. It reflects sentiments, not real thought.

Does “welcome” for gays and remarried mean just avoiding any words that might be imagined by some to be off-putting?  Does it mean admittance to Holy Communion? I think it does, ultimately. If that is the case, then I think we just have to say “game over”. Think about it. What does Communion become, through the open admission of those who are objectively and often openly in the state of mortal sin? Communion becomes that white thing someone puts in your hand to make you feel “welcome”, like you “belong”. Then you sing the song and go on your way. You don’t have to think about how you live, or what you are doing with you receive the Eucharist. 1 Corinthians is a dead letter. Why bother going at all? One you have obtained the victory of self-affirmation, of deciding for yourself about Communion without any regard for the Church’s perennial teaching, why even bother with Mass?

The talk about “graduality” was interesting, but again there is confusion about the term.  We do not approve sin. Sin is not good.  We are pleased when people move away from sin toward virtue.  We are happy when people sin less, but we are not happy with the sins they still commit.  Moreover, this is a way of helping individuals stop sinning and come to live a good Christian life, it is not a program for whole groups of people.  This is something to be applied in the internal forum rather than in vague phrases of “welcoming”.

Also, and perhaps I am wrong about this, but I think not… it seems to me that in the words “traditionalist” and “intellectualist” the Magisterium of John Paul II was undermined. It seems now that if you believe in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Familiaris consortio, you are a “traditionalist” and “intellectualist”. Under attack during the Synod, by liberals, was the Magisterium of John Paul II, especially as found in Familiaris consortio and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I would like to point out that everything Card. Burke wrote in his contribution to the Five Cardinals Book, is supported by the CCC or Familiaris consortio. Hey! FC is 33 years old! That’s outdated by now, right?  So, the term “dissenter” will be applied to people who defend doctrine.

Weird, no?  It is as if we are now walking about with a Salvador Dali landscape.

I sound pessimistic, I know.  I, therefore, rush to add that we can all be grateful for the participants in the Synod who, fed up, held their hands up, got to their feet, and said “No!”

A week ago, we had no idea what was going to happen.  One camp thought their scheme was going to work like a charm.  They aren’t so confident now, I think.

I am also reminded of the pessimist and the optimist who are discussing the state of things.  The pessimist says, “Things can’t possibly get any worse!”.  The optimist replies, “Oh yes they can!”

Putting on my optimist hat now, I turn my gaze to Sunday 4 October 2015, which should be the date that the next Synod begins.  In the Novus Ordo calendar it will be the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.

What is the Gospel reading for that day?  I knew you would ask.

Mark 10:2-16

Just to refresh your memory:

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.”
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

Yes, that is the reading for the corresponding Sunday for next year’s opening of the Synod of Bishops.

We have a year now, during which the debates are going to continue.

For a whole year, as you listen to the rhetoric about mercy v. law, pastoral v. intellectual, compassion v. doctrine, everyone will remember what Gospel they should have for the Synod of 2015.

Meanwhile, friends, do not let up.  Let’s use those provisions of Summorum Pontificum and pray and take on mortifications for the sake of Holy Church in these troubling times.

The moderation queue is ON.  Also, I have a really long flight coming up, without internet.

Posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

VIDEO: Stop this and watch this

Watch and learn:

Enough said.

This is the guy who did this!

This book was the game changer.

CLICK

As I post this 564 views.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 41 Comments

ASK FATHER: Prayer for the Holy Father’s intention?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

To gain an indulgence we are required to “pray for the Pope’s intention”. How are we to understand this – are we asking God to answer the specific prayer intentions of the Holy Father (crudely, asking God to do what the Pope wants)? Or are we praying that God will give inspire and guide the Pope, i.e . that his intentions may be according to God’s will? No doubt this is a bit of a dumb question but I’ve never seen this explained clearly.

Good question. I suspect some people may be a little confused about this.

When you are asked to “pray for the intentions of the Holy Father”, you are not being asked to pray for the Holy Father, though that is good and all Catholics really ought to. Rather, you are asked to pray for the intentions that the Holy Father designates that we pray for. For instance, this month, October 2014 we have these intentions.

  • Peace. That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
  • World Mission Day. That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

Next month, it’ll be something else.  There is usually a “general” intention and a “mission” intention.

If you don’t happen to know what the Pope’s designated intentions are, you can make a general intention to pray for what he wants.  However, in this internet age, you can find quickly what the Pope wants.  The intentions for the whole year are posted before each year begins.  You might print them out and put them by your wall calendar, or write them on slips of paper for your prayer book or hand missal or your refrigerator.  You could tack them up with a new Zed-Head magnet!

We are all in this together.  It is good to have intentions designated by the Vicar of Christ, for us to coordinate our prayer for specific issues.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, PRAYER REQUEST | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

NYC Day 2: Benedict Edition

The day began with eggs Benedict.

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By the way. Did you see how some loons are saying that some Cardinals tried to conspire with Benedict XVI to sway the proceedings of the Synod? Sheesh.

Next, from the Met.  There is an exhibit of some Pre-Raphaelite stuff.  Here is the Kelmscott printing of The Well at the World’s End, which I read when I was getting interested in the Inklings and their predecessors back when I was in “middle school” and high school.

 

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The atrium area of the Frick.

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I spent some time with Constable’s White Horse.

This is, by the way, an important painting.

More later.

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass?

Another question: Was the Synod that just closed mentioned in the sermon?  In what terms?

Was the Beatification of Paul VI mentioned?

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WDTPRS Collect 19th Sunday after Pentecost- “Why did God make you?”

The snippers and stitchers of the Consilium allowed this Sunday’s prayer to survive unscathed in the post-Conciliar editions of the Missale Romanum. The Collect still echoes the ancient sentiments of Holy Church wherever the Roman Rite’s Ordinary Use of Holy Mass is offered in Latin on the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time.  We look forward to hearing its content echoed in English.

COLLECT (1962MR):
Omnipotens et misericors Deus,
universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude:
ut mente et corpora partier expediti,
quae tuae sunt, liberis mentibus exsequamur
.

In your distinguished Lewis & Short Dictionary you will find that pariter is an adverb, “equally, in like manner” and “at the same time”, connecting mens and corpus (think of the adage mens sana in corpore sano… “a healthy mind in a healthy body”).  Adversantia, neuter plural active participle, is from adversor “to stand opposite to one, to be against, i.e. to resist or oppose (in his opinions, feelings, intentions, etc.); while resistere and obsistere denote resistance through external action.”   It is constructed with the dative, which explains the nobis.   The distinction between “internal” and “external” is useful crowbar to pry open this Collect.

We encounter many difficulties and challenges in life.  There is resistance and adversity.  Indeed, there is an Adversary.  We are opposed from without and from within. We must constantly cope with the unreconstructed effects of original sin together with the diabolical workings of the enemy of the soul, who stirs up passions, memories, and implants wicked thoughts and images.   Very wisely Holy Church prayed at Compline every night (but now only on Tuesdays) the passage: “Be sober and vigilant: for your adversary (adversarius) the devil is going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour: whom you must resist (resistite), strong in the faith.  But you, O Lord, have mercy on us”  (1 Peter 5: 8-9). God truly is a God of mercy, to protect us so from such a dire foe.

Excludo literally means, “to shut out, exclude; to cut off, remove, separate from any thing.”  Therefore it also means, “to drive out, thrust out, hinder, prevent.”  We are praying to God to keep away from us all things that actively hinder and oppose us and, if we stick closely to the distinction made between adversor, resisto, and obsisto, particularly interior dangers.

How will that come about?  God must be appeased.  He must be favorable towards us.  In the Collect we find the word propitiatus, a perfect passive participle from propitio, “to render favorable, to appease, propitiate.” Propitiatus is “having been appeased.”  Many forms of propitio appear in our liturgical prayers.  Its use reflects our recognition that as a race and as individuals we have sinned in His sight and offended Him.  Our offense required a Redeemer capable of appeasing the Father.  We offend God as a society or as groups only on the basis of the personal sins of individuals.  We must seek to make amends, but our efforts would be in vain without the merits of Christ’s sacrifice mediated through the Church.

The word expediti is from expedio, “to extricate, disengage, let loose, set free, liberate any thing entangled, involved.”  When applied to persons, is means “to be without baggage”.  Thus, the noun expeditus, i, m., is “a soldier lightly burdened, a swiftly marching soldier.”  You might have heard of a “St. Expeditus” (feast day 19 April) a patron saint of procrastinators and computer programmers… for reasons which are perfectly clear.  Expeditus is appropriately depicted as a Roman soldier holding aloft a Cross.  Expediti refers, course, our freedom from the chains of sin which would have doomed us to eternal hell.  Going on, exsequor is “to follow, go after, pursue” as well as “to follow up, prosecute, carry out; to perform, execute, accomplish, fulfill”.  Finally, that quae tua sunt is literally “things which are yours”.  There isn’t room here to get into why but it refers to God’s will which for us are God’s commands.  Think of it this way, Jesus told His Mother and Joseph, “I must be about my Father’s business” (cf. Luke 2:49).

If you are going to Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form, in English, on the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, you will hear the obsolete-duck version from the old incarnation of…

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):
God of power and mercy,
protect us from all harm.
Give us freedom of spirit
and health in mind and body
to do your work on earth
.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL TRANSLATION:
Almighty and merciful God,
having been appeased, keep away all things opposing us,
so that, having been unencumbered in mind and body equally,
we may with free minds accomplish the things which You command
.

Notice that the old ICEL version does nothing with the concept of propitiation.   The Latin makes a connection between the Father’s power, His mercy, and what was done according to His plan so that we could be saved.  Also, whereas soon-to-be-abandoned ICEL version refers to “freedom”, the Latin does so but with a sense that we are impeded or encumbered, or could be.   But I think the real objection to the old ICEL version must be how bland it is.  It is entirely unremarkable.

For those of you who may need to preach, or who want to drill more deeply into what our Collect really says, notice that it is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1742 in the section on “Human Freedom in the Economy of Salvation”, but with a different, more accurate translation:

“Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness take away from us all that is harmful, so that, made ready both in mind and body, we may freely accomplish your will.”

You could look up that section of the Catechism and study it, perhaps reflection during this election cycle about how human freedom doesn’t mean that we can do anything it pleases us to do, but rather that our actions must conform to our dignity as God’s living images, and that we must respect that image in others, at every stage of human life.  God has a plan in the economy of salvation for every one of His images, from conception to death.

Our Collect’s military language reminds me of the three-fold understanding of the Church: Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant.  We are lightly burdened foot soldiers (expediti) of the Church Militant on an urgent mission.  Enemies are all around. Obstacles abound without and within (adversantia).   Before going into battle soldiers shed their heaviest gear so they can move more freely. They take only what they need for clash about to begin and to fulfill commands (quae tua sunt).  Their training was grueling, repetitious, often boring. Their bodies are now strengthened, hardened.  They developed habits through the tedious drills so that when danger looms their minds are freed up (liberis mentibus).  Though they may be afraid, they can act with confidence when their commanders act with sure and true competence.

This is the ideal for the soldier.  It is the ideal for every Christian.  Virtues are habits developed over time by repetition and discipline.  Our Church’s pastors are our officers who must lead us through adversities towards our objective of heaven.   We must diligently learn and review the content of our Faith, especially in the fundamentals, basic catechism.  With discipline we must frequent the sacraments.  We must train our children, din into them the catechism use of the sacraments. They must be given a rule of life which, after a measure of time, becomes so much a part of them that it is nearly automatic.  We must foster it in ourselves as well.  It will carry us through even the worst things we might have to face.

Years ago I had an experience which confirmed the value of old-fashioned methods of catechism: rote memorization and repetition aloud.  I was called to a hospital to assist in a man’s difficult death.  I gave him Last Rites and talked with the family as they struggled with the end of their loved-one’s life.  An estranged daughter, beyond her middle years, which had clearly been pretty rough, was severely bitter.  She cursed life, fate and God for the cruelty her father’s dying.  She shouted at me, “Why did God make us if this is ALL THERE IS?”  I responded asking, “You tell me.  Why did God make you?”  She became very still.  Then she said, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” I continued, “What must we do to save our souls?”  On cue she responded with something that she hadn’t probably thought of for decades: “To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity. We must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.”  “Did your father do that?”, I asked.  “Oh, yes”, she said, “…. oh yes.”

She had been taught well as a child.   Without question there were times when she had to be forced to learn and to repeat over and over what seemed boring and pointless.  She had been drilled at school, perhaps, by the Sisters, the sort in habits with rulers, whom we now see mocked in the media by ungrateful cads who benefited from their dedication.  Her parents did their duty and gave her what she would one day need.  By the grace of God the gift her dying father pressed on her years before was rediscovered – in the moment when the battle over her soul was joined.

Many today criticize the old method of education by memorization and repetition.  They say that children just mouth things they do not understand.  Children might not understand what they are learning at that moment, but one day they will.  It will be ready for them. They will have it because it had been given them.  Soldiers, sailors and Marines gripe about their training and entertain homicidal thoughts about their drill instructor.  But when the time comes, they have the skills that will win battles and save lives.  Not a few Marines return to their DI to shake his hand and thank him.  We are pilgrim soldiers of the Church Militant.  To reach our goal of heaven, we need training, sacrifice, and leadership.

Since the days of the pontificates of St. John Paul II  and of Pope Benedict XVI, I believe we were, and still are, seeing a recovery of Catholic identity through a renewal of authentic worship in continuity with our tradition. There is a strong leadership among our bishops and priests, who are no longer permitting Holy Church to be shoved off the field of battle.  They aren’t entirely willing to be pushed around, even by other leaders in the Church.

Do all you can to support our bishops and priests.  Pray and fast for them.  Support their needs and projects.  Express that support to them.  And in your march of life be prepared always to give reasons for the hope that is in you (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 7 Comments