Has the head of the Jesuits jettisoned doctrine and the words of the Lord in Scripture?

There are a lot of problems in the Church today, and nearly all of them are coming from a certain sector.

Here is something disturbing from Catholic Culture, which I shall simply reproduce with my emphases and comments.

The superior general of the Society of Jesus [aka Jesuits] has said that all Church doctrine must be subject to discernment.  [aka “If you don’t like it, you can eventually do enough intellectual fan-dances until even 2+2=5.”]

In an interview with a Swiss journalist, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal [head of the Jesuits] said that the words of Jesus, too, must be weighed in their “historical context,” taking into account the culture in which Jesus lived and the human limitations of the men who wrote the Gospels. [In other words he may have said: “Whoever does X is a Y”, but he really didn’t mean that to be taken serious, say, thirty some years after he said it. Neither did John Paul II mean that Familiaris consortio should be be adhered to 30 year after he issued it.  This is the Kasperite position: philosophy and theology are replaced with politics.   The bottom line: There is no secure and unchanging doctrine.]

In an exchange about Church teaching on marriage and divorce, when questioned about Christ’s condemnation of adultery, Father Sosa said that “there would have to be a lot of reflection on what Jesus really said.” [Ummm… what does he think the Church has been doing for all these centuries?!?  I would suggest that a lot of really smart people have reflected on precisely this point and they consistently came to the same conclusions.  Until now!  Suddenly these guys are smarter than our forebears.] He continued:

At that time, no one had a recorder to take down his words. What is known is that the words of Jesus must be contextualized, they are expressed in a language, in a specific setting, they are addressed to someone in particular. [Another way of saying, “We don’t have to pay any attention to the words of the Lord in Scripture.”]

Father Sosa explained that he did not meant to question the words of Jesus, [Even though that is exactly was he did.] but to suggest further examination of “the word of Jesus as we have interpreted it.” He said that his new process of discernment should be guided by the Holy Spirit.  [he has a new process.  Because the Holy Spirit was no where to be found in the previous 20 centuries.]

When the interviewer remarked that an individual’s discernment might lead him to a conclusion at odds with Catholic doctrine, the Jesuit superior replied: “That is so, because doctrine does not replace discernment, nor does it [replace the] Holy Spirit.

Good grief.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold.  The head of the Jesuits!

How the Left will coo over this, to the tinkling of ice in their high ball glasses: “Isn’t he nuanced?”

What this seems to me is: Doctrine – pfwwwwt – out the window.

Am I wrong?  Please show me how this reportage and my inferences are all wrong.

Posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman, You must be joking! | Tagged | 40 Comments

22 February 1980!

In addition to this being the Feast of the Cathedra of Peter, it is also the 37th (can you believe it) anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.

This was one of those moments which you remember so well that you can clearly recall where you were when it happened.

There is a pretty good summary at This Day In History.

I’ll bet there are a lot of young people out there who have no idea what this is.

You might try …


Posted in Linking Back | Tagged | 7 Comments

Vatican Secretariat of State to monitor use of images of the Pope, take “appropriate action”

Did you all see this in the Bolletino?

The Secretariat of State includes among its responsibilities the protection of the image of the Holy Father, so that his message may reach the faithful intact, and so that his person is not exploited.

For the same reasons, the Secretariat of State safeguards all symbols and official coats of arms of the Holy See via the appropriate regulatory instruments at international level.

To render this protection increasingly effective for the aforementioned purposes and to stop any illegal situations that may arise, the Secretariat of State carries out systematic surveillance activities to monitor the ways in which the image of the Holy Father and the coats of arms of the Holy See are used, taking appropriate action where necessary.

The combox is CLOSED.

Posted in Pope Francis | Tagged | Leave a comment

How low will the ‘c’atholic Left stoop?

francis robert mugabeMore dopey – no, that’s not right – stupid and/or malevolent smears of Raymond Card. Burke have emerged.  The catholic Left is absolutely unhinged by Card. Burke and will do anything to anyone, anything to undermine him.  It must he his integrity that bothers them in their dreams at night.

You can see how the forces of the Left are coordinated.

Picking up where the loony piece at WaPo left off, there is an editorial in the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) about another hyper-liberal catholic outlet Commonweal (and HERE).  They’ve lapped up the false narrative about Card. Burke somehow being in cahoots with Pres. Trump’s adviser Stephen Bannon.

Bannon and Burke met a few years back and, therefore, they are now conspiratorial political allies!  For dumb!  Again, how to explain the the people who dream up this rubbish?

The remotest association is enough to condemn a person, it seems.

Let’s think of a few meetings and use their technique of smearing and character assassination like they do.

Christ consorted with unsavory types on the fringe of acceptable society.  Therefore, Christ was in favor of cheating and extorting people of inflated taxes, etc.

Paul VI met with Idi Amin Dada.  Therefore, Pope Paul approved of ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, and nepotism.

John Paul II kissed a Koran. Therefore, John Paul II was secretly a Muslim who probably would have approved of ISIS.

Benedict XVI met with – shudder – Barak Hussein Obama.  Therefore, Benedict was a tireless promoter of abortion who condoned serial lying to the public about the ACA.

Pope Francis met with Robert Mugabe not once, but TWICE! Once, directly after Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass and again after the canonization of John XIII and the secret Muslim John Paul II.  Therefore, Pope Francis collaborates with socialist tyrannical dictators, and condones anti-white racial discrimination, human rights abuses, and crimes against humanity.

And Card. Burke met with Stephen Bannon only ONCE!  If Francis met with Mugabe twice… well.. think of the implications!

See? It’s obvious… and easy!  I’ll bet you can do it do.  You too could be a writers for the Fishwrap or Commenwelt!

This is all patently absurd, of course.  But the Left, so desperate to seize and maintain power – and that is what this is all about – will stoop to depths so low that most of us with a clean conscience can’t grasp their duplicity.

Are there no depths to which the catholic Left won’t sink?  Let’s hear from…

Posted in I'm just askin'..., Liberals, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 9 Comments

How the Left organizes and operates

A couple videos which you might want to review. First, how the Left is organized. If you think this isn’t also happening in the Church you are puir slowwitted gowk.

And then there is this nut ball, stoking the well-organized and well-funded Left.

Whew. Talk about “fascists”. She is a communist, by the way, a Marxist feminist. HERE (look at the sidebar)

This is probably just the latest way she has found to keep herself “relevant” and in the spot-light.

Posted in Throwing a Nutty | Tagged , | 15 Comments


young_popeI finally slogged my way through HBO’s The Young Pope.  “Slogged”, I say, firstly because it is a weekly series.   Next, because as the series dragged on I gradually lost interest.  Lastly, as it came to “The End” at The End, I was glad that it was The End.

I wrote about the series when I started watching it: HERE

I don’t have much to add after what I originally wrote.   I still think that the series was, “visually rich, cynical, creepy, weird, unpredictable, sacrilegious and clever.”  And that it was like “Fellini’s Roma morphed by Quentin Tarantino (who belongs in jail) with House of Cards.”  Furthermore, I still “suspect that part of the underlying motives for making the show is to mock the Church.  The major motive, however, was probably the desire to make a surreal show with intrigue against a truly gorgeous backdrop.”

There were moments which nearly had me doing fist pumps in the air.  At other times, I rolled my eyes in disbelief that the makers could be so inept.  At still other times, I went to the kitchen and made a sandwich… without clicking the pause button.

At about the 8th episode (of 10) the thing went off the rails a bit.  After that, I sensed that the makers were trying to figure out how to end it.  That suggests to me that they weren’t entirely sure why they made it except for the fact that they got to have great scenery with alluring characters (churchmen, etc), and a potential for scandalous and salacious twists.  There are only a few of the later and, in the last analysis, they fail to titillate.

And then there are the scenes that are inexplicable non-sequiturs, just plain weird.

There are plenty of clips from the show on YouTube if you don’t want to shell out shekels for the show.  They will give you a taste.  And that will probably be enough.  They would have been for me.

Someday I hope someone will produce a good series, a kind of The West Wing in the Vatican.  That could be good if properly handled.


Posted in REVIEWS | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Feast of the Cathedra of Peter: in the basilica

First of all, congratulations to the Anglican, Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Peter!

Here are a few photos of St. Peter’s taken a few years back on this feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter.

It is pretty dark in the Basilica, so steady is the name of the game. Here is a shot through the columns over the main altar toward the apse, where you can see the candles arrayed.

A closer view.

The bronze Cathedra is decorated with lighted candles only once a year, today.

The black bronze statue of St. Peter attributed to the marvelous Arnulfo di Cambio was always dressed up in his cope and tiara, with a ring on his finger and pectoral Cross on two days, 29 June and today. Then the modernists in the Fabrica started fooling around. Too triumphalistic. They started cutting out elements. Eventually they were restored except for the griccia alb.

And ….

Posted in Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why on earth did they start offering Mass “facing the people”?

Turn Ad Orientem AgainFrom a reader…


When I first started attending the TLM, I really struggled with Mass celebrated ad Orientem. However, the more I attended the TLM and Mass according to the Missal of Divine Worship (aka, Anglican Use), which in its early days even had the odd OF Mass celebrated ad Orientem, the more I got used to it.

Now I can’t stand Mass celebrated facing the people. It makes me feel very uncomfortable watching the priest, especially during those intimate moments such as the consecration (which our former FSSP priest told us is a type of consummation for the priest who is most especially acting in persona Christi at that moment, hence why the prayers are said in the first person narration, and that in the seminary, they are taught to “embrace the altar” when they lean forward. For that same reason), and when they receive communion.

I don’t want to see these things. These are very personal moments between the priest acting in persona Christi and God. They should be kept private and, dare I say, veiled from public eye. (There was a reason why nuns used to cover their faces with their face veil after receiving communion.) Now I spend most of my time at Masses celebrated versus populum with my eyes closed or staring at the floor so I don’t have to watch the priest.

I see no real value in Mass celebrated versus populum. Why on earth did they feel it necessary or even salutary to start offering Mass facing the people? I don’t like it. I wish it to go away sooner rather than later.

I think there are several factors for why the altars got turned around.

Before launching in, the great liturgical expert Klaus Gamber thought that turning altars around did more damage to Catholic identity than anything else after the Council.  Also, I am leaving aside the blah blah that everyone has to add: “we have to admit that either way of saying Mass is okeydokey”.  No.  Both ways are legal and rubrical in both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Form, but they are not “equal”.  I’m not going to make any arguments for Mass versus populum here.

Reams of paper could be offered for each of these following points, so I’ll be telegraphic.  Also, I’ll give you just a few.

First, there was a false “archaeologizing” going on at the end of the Liturgical Movement, the fruits of which were mixed.  Some thought that if was done a certain way in ancient times, it was therefore “pristine” and, therefore, “better”.  The problem with that is that Church matured and learned and changed according to her deeper insights.  Also, the liturgical “experts” adhering like archaeologists to the pristine often got it wrong.  They were wrong that in the ancient Church Mass was versus populum.  Also, when it was shown that they were wrong, some abjured their false notions (such as the great Josef Jungmann), others, dishonestly, didn’t.  Moreover, because the liberal iconclasts controlled the publishing back then, they didn’t allow the dissemination of arguments and opinions that clashed with their own progressivist agenda.

Second, there was a over-optimistic anthropocentrism sweeping the Church in the early days after the Council, just as it swept into the Council itself.  Gaudium et spes is an example of this naive optimism.  That document was criticized early on by the young Joseph Ratzinger who, in his commentaries on the Council documents, pointed out that a few paragraphs (which had been worked on by Karol Woytyla, brought to the constitution some saving Christocentrism to counterbalance its overly-optimistic anthropocentric leanings.  In the sphere of worship, many liturgists made worship less about God and transcendence and more about immanence and about how wonderful we are.  Worship became celebrations of ourselves.  So, why shouldn’t we look at each other?

Also, the notions of Karl Rahner were much in vogue: sacraments celebrate prexisting realities.  So, the enclosed circle, as Ratzinger called in in The Spirit of the Liturgy (UK HERE), is a good posture.  Why open outward when what we want is already here.  This was devastating also for architecture, as my friend Fr. Michael Lang of the London Oratory has explained.

There are other factors as well, but I’ll cut to the final, hardest one.

If everything is made immediate and “understandable”, and if all the hard elements are reduced to the lowest (easy) common denominator, and it everyone is turned in on themselves, distractions multiply and people don’t have to deal with their fear of death.  Making Mass constantly easier by exposing every little thing and making everything audible wars against our stillness.  Immediacy is an obstacle to the apophatic experience we need.  Constant facial expression, loud voices, etc, reduces the opportunity for an encounter with Mystery to zero.  I think that some people who imposed the changes (which the Council Fathers did NOT mandate) truly understood this and… they imposed them anyway… on purpose.  The time of the changes was also the time of the sexual revolution.   Holy Church was the only thing that could stand in the way of the descent into general immorality.  And the most power means of Social Communication that the Church possesses is sacred liturgical worship, especially the Mass.  The Mass had to be brought down in order to facilitate “liberation”.

Those are a few fast thoughts on a really complicated subject.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, HONORED GUESTS, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged | 31 Comments

US Ambassador to the UN: “For those who don’t have our backs, we’re taking names”

The new US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, brought a rather different tone to her first press conference after a meeting of the Security Council.

This is refreshing.

Haley told reporters, “Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way to show value is to show our strength, show our full voice. Have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our backs as well.”

She added, “For those who don’t have our backs, we’re taking names, and we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Just Too Cool, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Ad orientem in Cologne’s great Cathedral

Turn Ad Orientem Again


One of our frequent and long-time commentators here, Henry Edwards, sent some screenshots of the Holy Mass celebrated by Rainer Card. Woelki at the spectacular Cathedral of Cologne’s high altar (i.e., the real altar, the grown-up altar, the main altar) for Candlemas

Of course, he celebrated ad orientem.  The Mass was chanted mostly in German. One of the finest choirs in Europe sang the Ordinary in a Latin setting (Primi toni octo vocum  of Stefano Bernardi).  This goes to show how the Ordinary Form can indeed be celebrated in greater continuity with our tradition than it usually is in most places.  You can see the whole Mass HERE.

Cologne 2017-02-02 1 Cologne 2017-02-02 2 Cologne 2017-02-02 3 Cologne 2017-02-02 4 Cologne 2017-02-02 5 Cologne 2017-02-02 6 Cologne 2017-02-02 7 Cologne 2017-02-02 8

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Prayer Request

I’m down with the crud.  Prayers, please.  It’s kind’a horrible.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 15 Comments

Brick By Brick: A church gets a make over

Some parish churches are victims of awful post-Conciliar, faithless wreckovation. Some are awful because of budget problems when they were being constructed. Some are just plain awful.

There’s hope.

A priest friend of mine has given a make over to his church, St. Mary’s in Independence, MO. I was in that church a couple years ago. It needed work.

17_02_21_makeover_01And now…


It can be done!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 16 Comments

1 Year Later: Fr. Paul Scalia’s funeral sermon

One year ago today I watched Fr. Paul Scalia celebrate Holy Mass for the repose of his father’s soul: the funeral of late Justice Antonin Scalia.  The sermon was noteworthy and I bring it back to your attention one year down the line.

His sermon was masterful.  It was a model of decorum, admirably shaped for that congregation and for broadcast to a wide and diverse audience.   It was replete with excellent teaching about the reason for the Mass (prayer for the deceased).  He called on all of us to consider our own death.  He continually brought the focus back to Christ and our need for His saving merits.

The video of the sermon.

The video of the funeral is HERE.  For the sermon go to about 1:05:00

Posted in Linking Back | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have some good news to share with the readership?

Let us know.  I’m sure that we all could use some.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 31 Comments

News from earthquake shaken Norcia and the Benedictine Monks

News has come from the monks of Norcia.  They have a huge challenge ahead as the rebuild.  Please support them.  They are a rock solid, worthy cause.   Some times it is hard to know if your monetary support is going to be put to good use when you send to some churchy entity. These guys are great.

And they make great beer!

I’ll just copy and paste.  There may be some format problems, but… hey.

Dear Friends,

Although aftershocks continue, we are doing our best to return to our normal monastic life. As we try, we are still responding to the ever-new and evolving challenges of life in a heavily earthquake-damaged region. The difficulty of this task was epitomized this past week as we returned to one of our community’s “wilder” customs.

Every week, we take a three-hour hike in the mountains near the monastery. Four times a year, though, we extend that to an all-day or even overnight excursion. Last week we retraced an old favorite route of the path from Norcia to the monastery of Sant’Eutizio in Preci. St. Eutizio was a hermit and, along with St. Fiorenzio and St. Spes, educated the child St. Benedict. The walk we took was the walk our patron would have taken 15 centuries ago to build up his foundations in virtue and learning.

Except for the sighting of a family of 12 wild boars — which we chased for 200 yards before we lost them in the thick woods — this normally gentle and welcoming path looks nothing like it did six months ago. Much of the attention after the earthquakes has understandably been paid to the bigger disasters of the towns of Amatrice and Norcia, but what isn’t so often reported are the saddening blocks of tiny ruined country villages. We saw church after church lowered to the ground and house after house destroyed beyond repair in hill towns that news cameras didn’t reach. As we hiked, they seemed to all blend together into one long tragic chain. Even though lives were spared by the grace of God, the men and women of these places have no home to return to and many have no jobs to sustain them. They also must confront the question of whether to stay and wait for the rebuilding of a brand new town, or settle with friends and family in better conditions.
Uniting our prayers to those suffering, we began earlier this month a new tradition of a community rosary procession with a statue of Our Lady, which we pulled from the rubble of our monastery in town. Painstakingly repaired by one of the novices with glue and plaster, we wandered with her through the hillside and up and down the mountain paths asking her to intercede so that new life will spring up in these millennia-old towns and villages. Quia non est impossibile apud Deum. 
With the assurance of our prayers and gratitude for your support,

Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, O.S.B.

P.S. We’ve been responding to some of you who have kindly given gifts as part of our rebuilding efforts. Some of you have wondered why these letters have been postmarked from within the U.S. To save money on postage, which from Italy can be very expensive, we’ve managed to find willing souls to take them in bulk from our monastery and mail them for us from within the United States. Thank you again for your prayers and support!
Note: If you want to help the rebuilding process, you can give to the monks by clicking here.
Posted in Brick by Brick | Tagged , | 8 Comments