Wherein Fr. Z offers one of the hardest posts he has ever written

This foreword was written after I wrote the rest, as forewords usually are.  This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written.  It was physically uncomfortable to hack this out, and I had to stop several times and walk around before taking up the sword again.  I suppose I will hesitate a few times and pray a bit before I hit that PUBLISH button.

One of our comments, under another post, mentions the website of a priest, Fr. Edwin Palka, who explains why some priests have not blown the whistle on homosexual priests and homosexual priest predators.  Frankly, his post put some steel into my fingers.

Priests can set discouraging examples for their brethren.  They can also set good example for encouragement.

What he wrote is grisly.  It is also true.   He opens the Ugly Box to let a little purifying sunshine in.  I will do the same, and in the same vein.

Folks, I know that you are really angry.  The depth of ugly you see in the news is often not nearly as deep as the ugly that some priests see.  You are surely and rightly angry.  Do you think that we priests are not?

I have to remind myself that when Our Lord cursed the fig tree before His Passion, that wasn’t the model that we priests should employ when it comes to homosexual predator priests.

And let’s be clear.  This scandal is about HOMOSEXUALITY.

Some of these homosexual predators are, I think, possessed.   Think about it.  If you know anything about demonic activity, and this is something that lay people should not get too involved with, then you know that certain demons specialize in certain kinds of sins.  They will attach themselves like spiritual lampreys to the souls of people who commit them and also to the places where the sins were committed.  Once a demon gets hold, they claim the right to be there, until the layers of their connection are broken one by one.  That’s what exorcism rites do: they break the legalistic claims of the Enemy to be there.

Homosexual sins are particularly grave and their demonic force is concomitantly vile.  And these sins also involve the young or those who are subject to the authority or power of the predator.  Millstones are not enough.   If you wonder about the Lord and capital punishment, HE spoke of the millstone before the Church did.

That’s the supernatural side.  There is also the natural side.  It seems to me that men with these strong disordered inclinations don’t… how to put this… act like other men.  They think differently, they work out differences differently.  I know, I know.  But that’s my sense of things.  It’s hard to articulate.

To explain another issue, I have a couple of anecdotes.

First, way back when, as a seminarian, I remember the pastor of my parish telling us young guys not to write our name in our breviaries or prayer books.  He explained that were we to lose the book, someone could claim that it was found in a “house of assignation”.   Some of the guys thought that was funny.  I didn’t.  My folks were cops.  I grew up hearing about and seeing photos of the ugliest human circumstances imaginable. I figured out “blackmail” and “compromise” waaaaay back.   Also, if you talk to cops who have been on the job for a while, they will confirm that male on male “violence” is among the worst that they see.  Ask cops if you know any pretty well.  Ask ER docs and nurses what they see come in and how it was inflicted.   Here’s a not so little factoid for you: In Italian, a derogatory term for a homosexual male is “froccio”, which etymologically comes from Latin ferox, “savage”.  Are all that way?  No.  Of course not.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those who are.

Next, still as a seminarian, over breakfast a then-auxiliary bishop told me that when he reported on something to the archbishop, he was shut down: “If I know about it, I might have to do something about it!”  Then the auxiliary said, “Remember, John, there are old women of both sexes.”  That would be confirmed countless times in the next years.  When I went to the seminary rector to complain about the things I was hearing through the walls, their treatment of me only worsened and I got thrown out the second time.  That’s how I got to Rome.

In Rome, because I was in the unusual position of curial work and seminary, because of my youth, etc., I was subtly warned of certain well-placed people who would offer this or that, to open this door, to invite into that circle, to climb more quickly, to gain some favors, etc.  I was being warned, mainly, about two groups, the Mafia and homosexuals.  Both groups – along with Masons, but I think they were in both these other tribes – wanted insiders, and I was perceived at the time as having the potential to be advanced.  Sure enough, every once in a while I would get an invitation, a gift out of the blue, a strong suggestion that X might be a good choice to get ahead.  Years later I read of one of them, a gentiluomo di Sua Santità, found tied up with his head bashed in and homosexual porno video in the VCR.  I had met him at the Lateran University, where he for some reason was taking courses along with the seminarians.  My “gaydar” is strong, so this guy didn’t get far with me.  But some of my classmates….

As a priest, I quickly figured out that, if you were on the wrong side of things, you would be subtly and not so subtly targeted for persecution, of course, but also for compromise, be it homosexual, heterosexual, money, drugs, ambition, whatever your weakness might be.  They would set honey traps for you.

If you think about it, if you try to think like the Enemy, doesn’t that make sense?  If you can’t get someone to join you in your slime, but you suspect he has your number, you try to get something on him.  Many years ago now, a woman told me about a meeting she went to of some pro-choice feminist organization or other.  She said that one of the things they talked about, after the more public meeting was over, was figuring out which one of them could target for seduction certain priests in the diocese who were overtly preaching against contraception and abortion.  One of them would do it or they could hire hookers and set honey traps.

It’s classic spycraft, really.  Compromise the guy to shut him up.

The problem is, most priests are compassionate guys who, when faced with a woman in distress, might let their guard down.   Face facts.  Women, who are wired in certain ways, think differently than men.  They can wrap guys around their lipstick case if they aren’t wary, and men often are not wary enough.   Some tears and a little GBH can work wonders on the naive.  That technique goes for the “gay” predators as well. This is one reason why I think that homosexual predators of young men think differently, apart from the help of the demons in their heads.

Also, as a priest, there are the truly sacrilegious ways that some of these agents of Hell will work to shut up priests who don’t and won’t putt from the ruff.  They use the Seal of the confessional against the solid non-queer priest confessor.  They go to confession to a good confessor to bind him by the Seal.  Of course that is pretty underhanded, satanic even.  It is a horrible sacrilege.  A lot of good priests know that if they hear something in the confessional they must never ever talk about it.  They don’t know what to do, and, in prudence, they clam up about their brethren.  This is one reason why the Church’s law discourages a superior of hearing the confessions of those under his authority.

I know guys who simply couldn’t take it anymore and quit.   There have been moments when I’ve thought about it myself.  But then my cold Prussian fury and stubbornness flares and, I’m sure, the grace to stick it out for whatever I am destined to do or endure.

Dear readers… this is all out war.   It is war on every level, human and supernatural.   The Enemy of the soul is a really good general, a relentless and malevolent tactician of destruction of souls and long view strategist   The Enemy preys on human weakness.  War is horrible, vicious and seriously ugly.  Spiritual war is worse than material.

Even now, I was texting with a friend about this new wave of dreck.  He wrote:

These bastards have not only violated countless innocents and stained the Catholic name. They have set in motion the process that will lead good men to suffer greatly to defend celibacy and the seal of confession. It would be so easy to feed a few certified perverts to the secular justice and gain time to ascertain the facts on all others. Because, make no mistake, innocents will be accused and it will be IMPOSSIBLE to talk about burden of the proof without accusations of cover up. Innocents will have again to pay the price of reform the hard way.

They will show good will by targeting the good guys. They’ll find a degenerate in an otherwise sound group and, there, fixed!

The media, and of course bishops, are downplaying the distinctive tract of all these stories, the vice of most offenders. CNN even presents it with a pic of a woman crying.

It will be again a case of white heterosexual Christian men raping women and even when boys are involved it will be only because of a) power b) celibacy 3) culture of secrecy protecting power via seal of confession.

Which is in fact what happened, only it’s the sodomite modus operandi to protect themselves and strengthen their grip over power positions within the Church.

As I have written before, I do not buy the claims that a high number of priests are homosexual.  But I do indeed buy that that percentage is higher among those who have power.  The Boys Club perpetuated itself by grooming with preferential treatment of certain likely fellows.  They made sure that they went to Rome, which could help a future career, or they got the chance at higher studies, the key role in the chancery, the roles that would be good on the CV when it was time to submit a terna.   Mind you, that wasn’t all bishops or seminarians or priests.  Don’t look cross-eyed at a guy sent to Rome.  These days, I am sure that in the vast majority of cases, its because the guy has potential to serve the Church well and that’s the best place to realize the potential.

Do not.. do NOT.. slip into the trap that I see in news stories and fuming posts with sloppy language about how, “These bishops and priests!  They all failed us!”   No.  They did not all fail you.  Some did.  They’re failures were galactic and all priests are suffering the fallout.  But don’t turn your wrath and blame on every priest and bishop.  That would surely make the Devil grin.  That’s the objective, after all.  Through some attack them all.

Tables are turning on Satan’s plans.  However, when you wonder about all this stuff going on, remember that the Enemy plays the long game.

Your calls for short term retribution or for instant action etc. will have their own repercussions down the road.  For example, even as many people call for the resignation and removal of this or that bishop, cardinal, etc., keep in mind that there is only one guy, in the human sphere, who signs off on the new bishops and cardinals.  Try to picture the results over time if you get what you ask for.

Finally, please take this to heart. 

This is a primarily a supernatural battle that is being fought right now.  The bloody trenches and killing alleys are directly through the ranks of the Church’s priests, and they directly involve matters intimately tied into the very center of the Church’s core, priesthood and sacraments like Penance.

No priest, no Eucharist, no Church.

This war involves human weakness, identity perversion, and also demonic possession.  Hence, our response has to involve all of these dimensions.

Priests and bishops….  

Please start saying Masses and having devotions for reparation and for deliverance from the assaults of the Enemy.  We have tried and true spiritual weapons, if only we would dust them off, polish them up, and use them.   Enough of this mealy-mouthed excuse making and temporizing.  Enough of this rubbish about all the really important things that fill the clerical day, like committees and meetings.   If you are going to have a meeting, meet about how we have to do reparation, who will be unlocking the church for Exposition and Rosaries and Novena and CONFESSIONS.

Priests and bishops, for the love of all that is Holy, use your mighty spiritual weapons given by Orders and Holy Church’s own authoritative, tried and true Tradition.

And, I’ll say it again and again and again… the Devil HATES LATIN.   Let’s stop fooling around.  Put the .22 long rifle away and start with the .50 cal already.  The time for the MaDeuce of our sacred liturgical worship is NOW.  Extraordinary Form, brothers.  Stop fooling around.  If you Latins out there don’t know and can’t use your whole Latin Rite, then.. who the hell are you, anyway?  C’mon guys!

Meanwhile, I am implementing the personal plan I’ve been cobbling together from my convictions, experiences, resolves.  I have to be willing to stay on the Cross.  Please pray for me that I will stay up there.  In spite of my weakness, as a sinner among sinners, I will do my best to adapt, improvise and overcome the obstacles that I am sure will now hammer on me for this post.

You can send me email about this and I might post some of it.  But the combox is CLOSED.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, protect me and my brethren.  If the hour of the Chalice is upon us, ask your Son the High Priest to make our wristbones strong for the nail, our footbones strong for the spike.  As crowned Queen of Angels, bid for us mighty helpers from the celestial choirs, who know God’s will for us even as they contemplate God’s face.  As Virgin Theotokos, tell Joseph your most chaste spouse which priests need his most urgent aid.  How can he refuse your request to show himself, their Terror, to those demons who beset your sons, your priests and bishops?  New Eve Queen, place your foot over the feet of your priests that they will trample the nahash in the vineyard and in their lonely oilpress gardens. Put your maternal hand on their shoulder as they unworthily stumble along, sinners, in their daily calvaries. Mary, Queen of the Clergy, protect me and my brethren.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary…

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Yeahhh… this is exactly the right time to dress our clergy in pastels.

The Devil always tells us openly what he is up to.    Italians are really good at this sort of pithy wisdom.  Like…

Il diavolo non può nascondere la coda.

The Devil can’t hide his tail.

I wonder how obtuse are the people organizing the World Family meeting in Ireland truly are.

Frankly, the meeting ought to be rescheduled.   At the very least, certain homosexualist activists should not be speaking there.

Now I see the design for the designer vestments for the Masses there.



I get the interlocking Celtic swirl thing.   Fine.

Unfortunately, I also think I get the colors.

In front of the entire world – including Ireland, if anyone there still pays attention to the Church – let’s put our top shelf prelates in … what the hell color is that anyway?… breath mint green?

Pastels?  I thought pastels were sooooo twenty-seventeen.

How tone deaf are these people?

Or, is this an example of what I was talking about before.

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The Rite of Degradation From The Order of Priesthood. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

A while back I posted about the old Rite of Degradation of a Bishop, found even in rather modern editions of the traditional Pontificale Romanum.  I posted the text, some notes and my translation.

The rites are provided for degrading an archbishop, bishop, priest, deacon, subdeacon, all the minor orders backwards.  If you were a bishop… you’d be there for awhile.

They start to work on you by stripping you of all the symbols of your office, and even scrape your hands with a glass shard or knife to get the chrism off.  They do the same for a priest, like a reverse ordination, taking away the chalice, vestment, scraping the fingers again.  From deacons they take the dalmatic and book.  You get the drift… all the way through the orders you would have received back to tonsure, which of course is when the clerical state began (today, it is with diaconate).

The tonsure part is truly harrowing.

When it is over, the Degrading Bishop is even instructed not even to touch the degraded man.   He stands there, head shaved and in secular clothes, now called in the rite “miserrimus ille derelictus… the most wretched outcast” to be turned over to civil authority for his crimes and sentencing.  However, the bishop addresses the Judge, who is standing by, and begs the Judge not to kill or mutilate him, for the love of God.

Hence, the Church recognized even in this rite, the right of the State to apply capital punishment, but the Church also begged for mercy.  Remember that our liturgical rites – and this is a liturgical rite – are also loci theologici.

NB: These rites were reserved for the worst sort of guy who had committed serious crimes.  In Latin: “If the cleric, once deposed by sentence according to the first form [a special formula given previously], seems to be incorrigible, he ought to be excommunicated.  And if, after getting into the depth of wicked acts he will still show contempt, then, since the Church has no other option for what do to, the Bishop should degrade him and leave him to the secular authorities: which degradation is done in this way:…”.

In the book, the layout is quite dramatic:  There is an inset subtitle:

Nunc degradationem subjicimus.

Here is the rite for degrading a priest.  I’ll continue to use “Degradandus” as a parallel to “Ordinandus”.

Degradatio ab ordine Presbyteratus

Ministri tradunt in manus degradandi Calicem cum vino, et aqua, ac Patena, et Hostia, quem Pontifex degradator aufert de manibus degradandi, dicens:

Amovemus a te, quin potius amotam esse ostendimus, potestatem offerendi Deo sacrificium, Missamque celebrandi tam pro vivis, quam pro defunctis.

The ministers put a Chalice with wine, water, and a Paten and Host into the hands of the Degradandus [the priest to be degraded], which the Bishop Degrader wihdraws from the hands of the Degradandus, saying:

We take away from you, nay rather we show that it was already removed, the power of offering sacrifice to God, and of celebrating Mass either for the living or for the dead.

Deinde Pontifex degradator abradit leviter cum cultello vel vitro, pollices, et indices utriusque manus degradandi, dicens:

Potestatem sacrificandi, consecrandi, et benedicendi, quam in unctione manuum et pollicum recepisti, tibi tollimus hac rasura.

Then the Bishop Degrader lightly scrapes with a knife or shard of glass, the thumbs and index fingers of both the hands of the Degrandandus, saying:

By this scraping we remove from you the power of sacrificing, consecrating and blessing which you received in the anointing of your hands and thumbs.

Quo dicto, Pontifex degradator accipit casulam sive planetam per posteriorem partem caputii, et degradandum exuit, dicens:

Veste Sacerdotali charitatem signante te merito expoliamus, quia ipsam, et omnem innocentiam exuisti.

Once said, the Bishop Degrader takes a chasuble or pianeta by the head-opening and strips it off the Degradandus, saying:

We rightly despoil you of the priestly garment signifying charity, because you already cast it off along with all innocence.

Tum Pontifex degradator aufert a degrandando stolam, dicens:

Signum Domini per hanc stolam turpiter abjecisti, ideoque ipsam a te amovemus, quem inhabilem reddimus ad omne Sacerdotale officium exercendum.

Then the Bishop Degrader removes the stole from the Degradandus, saying:

You basely threw aside the sign of the Lord in this stole, and therefore we remove it from you, whom we render unfit to exercise every priestly office.

If you were looking for the maniple, the Degradandus loses that when he is unsubdiaconated.

As mentioned, above, the degrading rites continue for diaconate and all through the minor orders to tonsure itself and turning the wretch over to civil authority.

Keep in mind that this rite, in all its medieval and solemn horror is in the Pontifical Romanum of Leo XIII, which is pretty modern.  I haven’t checked a newer 1962 Pontificale.

Before I was ordained, I used the Rite of Ordination as a point of meditation every day for quite some time before the date.  I did that for diaconate and priesthood.

It seems to me that this Rite of Degradation should be taught in seminaries.

It could be also a serious day of reflection for priests, to show the old rite of ordination side by side with the rite of degradation for all the stages.

I can say this: The careful reading I made to translate it, made my blood drop several degrees, which is really something given that it already runs cold through my chilly heart and icy veins.

There is a bright note, however.

There is a Rite of Degradation.  The notes talk about reconciliation after penance of those who committed crimina minora… lesser crimes.  There are also Rites of Restitution to Orders after suspension.

Degradation is for the worst of the worst.

I would say it would have been applied to clerics who promoted homosexuality and/or indulged in it themselves, especially with minors whom they groomed.  It would apply to bishops who covered up the abuse of minors and, probably who promoted the homosexual grip on the reins of power in seminaries and chanceries.

The Church applies censures medicinally and also vindictively.  The later is never preferred.

BTW… Benedict XIV was one of the Popes who revised the Pontificale Romanum.

Benedict deserves his very own FR. Z SWAG!



And… wear him with pride!


Some of you have opined that the Rites of Degradation should be brought back and publicly televised.

As I read the “praenotanda” of the rites, everything to be prepared ahead of time, I find some indications that televised would be exactly what the Roman Pontiffs would have wanted, had they had television.

How do I claim that?

In the preparatory notes I read about the treatment of errant clerics.   If they are just being dealt with for lesser matters (like adultery) that’s one thing.  But for the really serious ones, there is degradation.  Why?  To terrify others.  Sort of like what Voltaire said about the execution of the British admiral: Pour encourager les autres.

The Latin:

Poterit tamen (quod convenientius videtur) ad aliorum terrorem actualis degradatio sic fieri.  In primis in publico extra Ecclesiam paratur aliquis eminens congruentis spatii locus, pro degradatione facienda…

The English:

However, there could be (as it is considered to me more appropriate) an active degradation, performed thusly.  Firstly, some prominent place with enough space is to be prepared in public, outside of the church, for carrying out the degradation…

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Fr Z calls for solidarity

I saw this tweet from Ed Pentin:

I call to mind Benedict XVI’s words in the Way of the Cross he wrote for Good Friday in John Paul II’s last days. For the 9th Station, the 3rd Fall, he wrote:


How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us (cf. Matthew 8: 25).


Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.

All: Pater noster …

Eia mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.


I recently finished an audio “course”, Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, from The Great Courses [US HERE – UK HERE] and I am presently working through Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

Having all this French upheaval in my mind, it wasn’t much of a jump to recall the anecdote about Napoleon and his threat to destroy the Church.   It is said that Pius VII’s envoy Ercole Card. Consalvi observed,

“Your majesty, we, the Catholic clergy, have done our best to destroy the church for the last 1,800 years. We have not succeeded, and neither will you.”

Surely this is true.   Holy Church is indefectible.  Indefectibility is one of the divinely designed attributes of the Church.

Our Lord made promises.  He promised that Hell would not prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18).  In the end, the Church will be triumphant and the final closing of Hell’s gates will shut the Enemy away forever.

The gates of Hell will not prevail, the Lord promised.

He did not promise that Hell would not prevail against the Church in these USA.

In the fantastic TV series, I, Claudius, [US HERE – UK HERE] the old emperor, finally and terminally weary, knowing that the horror of Nero is around the corner, acquiesces to his fate and croaks out:

“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.”

Great moments all through that series.  For example, Caligula’s interpretive dance always reminds me of certain Jesuits, and vice versa.

I think we have to brace ourselves for the fallout.

I suspect that large numbers of nominal Catholics will drop away.  They will take income for the Church with them.   Local Churches will thin out.  Clergy will retire and not be replaced.  Churches will close.   At the same time, I think that Tradition will grow in numbers and strength.   I think these things were going to happen anyway, but it’ll probably speed up now.

Now is the time for all of us on the more conservative and traditional – Catholic not catholic – to close ranks and cooperate.   There is no purpose or value in small differences or past grievances, imagined or real.

Cardinal Consalvi, by the way, was the Cardinal Deacon of Sant’Agata de’ Goti, whose title is now held by Raymond Leo Card. Burke.


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The PA Grand Jury Report

In December of 1776, Thomas Paine penned the immortal words:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

The piece itself is called The Crisis.

We who are suffering in the Church right now might swap some terms and circumstances in Paine’s clarion call and take them to heart.

From a priest…

Dear Fr. Z,

I am one of the priests in the middle of the storm here in PA. We are saddened and angered by the the revelations of the Grand Jury report as many readers are, but we also are now entering a kind of Gethsemane. My request is simple: please keep praying for us and asking the readers to do the same.

Also, if you you find it desirable to do so, please remind them that no diocese is immune from this scourge we are suffering now in PA. I suspect few if any American dioceses could be subjected to the level of scrutiny we were and come out unscathed. (Subpoena of all diocesan personnel files of any priest accused, credible or not, for thorough examination by the grand jury.) I pray that no others are subjected to such a trial.

Please withhold my name and diocese from any mention you might make.

We must not be “summer faithful and sunshine Catholics” and “shrink from service of our Church”.

Penance.  Penance.  Penance.

Reparation. Reparation. Reparation.

We must stand on our knees now.

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You will want to check out, at First Things, an open letter – an appeal – to all of the Cardinals of the Catholic Church.



To their Most Reverend Eminences, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,

Since it is a truth contained in the Word of God, and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Catholic Church, that criminals may lawfully be put to death by the civil power when this is necessary to preserve just order in civil society, and since the present Roman pontiff has now more than once publicly manifested his refusal to teach this doctrine, and has rather brought great confusion upon the Church by seeming to contradict it, and by inserting into the Catechism of the Catholic Church a paragraph which will cause and is already causing many people, both believers and non-believers, to suppose that the Church considers, contrary to the Word of God, that capital punishment is intrinsically evil, we call upon Your Eminences to advise His Holiness that it is his duty to put an end to this scandal, to withdraw this paragraph from the Catechism, and to teach the word of God unadulterated; and we state our conviction that this is a duty seriously binding upon yourselves, before God and before the Church.



The list of signatories follows.

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ASK FATHER: Your questions weigh heavily

Upon our birth not a single one of us was promised a bed of roses.  Upon our baptism and admission to the other sacraments, not a single one of us was promised an easy path.

We regularly call this earthly life a “vale of tears”.  What part of that is hard to understand?

Hell is real and the Enemy of the soul, endowed not just with brilliance but with angelic abilities, hates us with malice beyond the ken of any man.   Do people really not believe that?

Hell and the Enemy work relentlessly to harm the Church and to pervert souls so that they choose not to embraces God’s promises and graces for heaven.  Each time a soul fails the Enemy shrieks in self-loathing anti-triumph: “That’s one more YOU don’t have!”

Hell and the Enemy are deep into the Church, with agents infiltrated everywhere.   They’ve won a few rounds lately.  You can tell by the ripple effects.  I can tell by the change in tenor and themes of my email.

Here is a fraction from this morning’s crop:

From a reader…


I’ve heard some pretty horrendous stories over the last couple of years, firsthand from former seminarians in our diocese about what is going on in the seminary.  Over the last decade some of our priests have died of AIDS, some have committed suicide after being outted and one went to prison for seeking a hitman to murder a boy he’d abused.  I have the resources at my disposal to be able to investigate this kind of thing and expose it, however I’m unsure of the moral implications of a non-LEO, non-state official layman investigating clerics and exposing them.  I want to act and get in the fight for my children’s sake, but I do not want to sin against the Lord in doing so.  I hate what these men have done to Christ and His Church.  Your thoughts would be very much appreciated.

From a reader…


Father- as a parishioner in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, I’m disgusted by the grand jury report outlining the abuse in Pittsburgh, and Cardinal Wuerl’s response. Many fellow DC Catholics are demanding his resignation. I can’t help but agree, given the abjectly evil nature of the abuse. But Cardinal Wuerl is the leader of my diocese and it is our duty to obey him. With that in mind: is calling for Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation or ouster considered sinful or an act of defiance of the Church? To what extent can a Catholic appropriately criticize the leader of the diocese?

From a reader…


Please pray for me and others like me.

It is hard to keep the faith. I look and see this evil, and I know these bishops don’t believe in Our Mother Church. Not a word. The sick and twisted priests– they may believe, I don’t know. I have more pity for their broken and evil souls. May God grant them justice and mercy.

But the bishops who covered it up, they don’t believe anything, do they?

How can I hold on to believing? I don’t doubt because there is evil. I doubt because the Fathers of our Faith take me for a rube and a Patsy.

They think it’s a sham. They think there’s no Hell. They think there is no Judgment. They don’t believe it would be better for a millstone to be tied around their necks.

How are we to trust -any- priest or bishop? How can we want to entrust our sons to a seminary knowing the bishops running it have the sickeningly poor judgment ?

This isn’t just that some priests were sick and evil. Almost every bishop almost everywhere *continued to be deceitful* after Boston, after the Dallas charter, after the settlements in Portland and San Diego, even after the law change in Minnesota that made them financially culpable. How can we tell which priests and bishops weren’t complicit in their silence?

I’m in the boat with Jesus sleeping through the storm. Okay–but somehow the bishops think they’re the ones in it, and they’re the ones suffering. How do we tell them they’re wrong?

At what point will our bishops be honest? The truth, the whole truth?

What to say?

At the very least, this.

Attend well to your state in life, your vocation.  Live your vocation with true devotion, committed to the here and now details.  God will give you all the graces you need because, by living well your vocation, you are playing the role He knew you would have in His plan of salvation from before the creation of the cosmos.

Be wary and on guard against the “roaring lion”.

Examine your conscience.  Go to confession.  Make good Holy Communion.  Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and pour your heart out.

Make a plan about certain practices and act of penance for the specific purpose of reparation for the sins that so offend the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and Joseph.

Prayer.  Fasting. Reparation.

Ask God for help and be confident, remembering that He may also leave you in pain to test and purify and strengthen you.

Say the Rosary, that great spiritual armament which so terrifies demons.  Ask Mary, Queen of the Clergy, to guard all the priests you know.

Reparation.  Reparation.  Reparation.

Ps 145 (146 – DRA)

Alleluia, of Aggeus and Zacharias.
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes:
3 In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.
4 His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.
5 Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God:
6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.
7 Who keepeth truth for ever: who executeth judgment for them that suffer wrong: who giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth them that are fettered:
8 The Lord enlighteneth the blind. The Lord lifteth up them that are cast down: the Lord loveth the just.
9 The Lord keepeth the strangers, he will support the fatherless and the widow: and the ways of sinners he will destroy.
10 The Lord shall reign for ever: thy God, O Sion, unto generation and generation.

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Registered here or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Some are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have three pressing personal petitions.

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ASK FATHER: “I now have doubt about sorting the doctrinal from the papal opinion.” Wherein Fr. Z rants.

From a reader…


All this confusion with the death penalty has caused me to doubt the authority of what I assumed were books of bedrock Catholic Doctrine.

Of course there was the first JPII Catechism, then his revision, both of which I thought were 100% settled Catholic Doctrine. Discovering that pre-V2 teaching of the death penalty was other than as presented in the current CCC, I now have doubt about sorting the doctrinal from the papal opinion.

So what Major Catechisms are doctrine/dogma only that are not infused with papal opinion or zeitgeist that I can use for definitive answers when confronted by lapsed Catholic and non-Catholics?

As far as I’m concerned, from my training in Patristic theology, the 16th c. Council of Trent’s Roman Catechism is “modern”.

Also, be careful when reading certain sites and their commentary on this.  The Id of Traddy-dom is pretty yakkity right now.

This question – your doubt – underscores one of my principle concerns about the change to CCC 2267.

Firstly, my problems with the change don’t have so much to do with Pope Francis’ opinion that capital punishment should never be used.  Maybe he is right and maybe he isn’t.  Were one to consult all the Popes back through history, you would get an answer different from what Francis has opined, even with variations about the circumstances and mercy, etc.  Also, the inserting of one paragraph into the CCC that cites only Francis’ own speech as a reference in the notes is pretty thin stuff.  Remember that things don’t become true by their being put into the CCC.  They are truth, and verified, doctrines with a serious pedigree before they go into the CCC.  They are put in because they rest on solid footings.  To my mind, that new 2267 doesn’t come up to scratch, when placed alongside centuries of teaching, vaporous claims about public opinion (as if that were a criterion for confirming doctrine), and a dubious argument from the point of view of the inviolability of human dignity, which seems not to take into consideration the eternal soul and fate of the condemned.

I am concerned about this paragraph not because of the opinion it expresses about the use of capital punishment, but because this is an attempt to instrumentalize the CCC for reasons other than teaching doctrine.  Note that there is in new 2267 an admonishment to nations not to use it.  Is that what catechisms are for?

Another reason, if this paragraph on this teaching can be altered in such a way, then what other paragraphs will be changed.  This change strikes me as a trial balloon and a call to special interest groups to redouble their calls for changes to the CCC.  Homosexualists are already emboldened.

Also, and this is really a problem, this change to 2267 has sown doubt in people’s minds, just as it has done in yours, about the reliability of what John Paul called a sure reference.

Hence, I an not a fan of this change.  However, let’s not make more of it than we need to.

No catechism does it all.  Also, even the Catechism of the Catholic Church was also intended as a model for local catechisms.

It is good to have a ranger of sources, classic and new.  Cross-checking is useful.

Old manuals of theology are also great resources.  However, they are virtually all in Latin, which is hard for most people or inaccessible.

That said, keep in mind that this latest change to the CCC in paragraph 2267 is an alteration of one paragraph concerning a tiny sliver of criminals who are themselves a minority in society.  Also, it deals with contingent moral choices about that tiny sliver of the small fraction.  Unless you are a governor of a state or an executioner, this paragraph won’t have much bearing on your daily life.  Neither does it concern issues far closer to the core of the Faith.  Also, we have not yet seen the official text of 2267 in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which is the official instrument of promulgation of the Holy See.

I’m telling people to keep that CCC close and, with an erasable pencil draw a circle around that paragraph and put a question mark by it… for now.

Meanwhile, we have multiple catechisms at our disposal.   Chief among them are these.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
US HERE – UK HERE (There are many editions.  Look around.)

The Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests.
US HERE – UK HERE (There are many editions.  Look around.)

Also, the Baltimore Catechism, which has different volumes for different ages (US HERE – UK HERE).  It’s so useful, in its Q&A format.

And the Catechism of Pius X is also great.  (US HERE – UK HERE).

There are many good resources available.

You might also try Ludiwg Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma.  (US HERE – UK HERE)

Morever, for primary sources, try Enchiridion Symbolorum: A Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations of the Catholic Church (Latin and English Edition) from Ignatius Press (US HERE – UK HERE)

Finally, here’s a little rant. 

Each time the Pope or one of his creatures says something weird or at least confusing, then we, all of us, have an opportunity to educate ourselves.  We ought to be driven to our books and to our sound, reliable priests, or at least to take steps to find them and use them as good resources.

When you love someone, you want to know all about that person.  Right?  And, when love is genuine, charity, sacrificial love, then the more you come to know, the more you choose to love.  Love is an informed choice, not a gooey feeling.

If we love our Faith, we want to know more about it, always.   We make distinctions about the content of the Faith.  We talk about the Faith in which we believe (fides quae creditur) and the Faith by which we believe (fides qua creditur).   The former, we study and dissect and memorize and dispute, etc.  The later is infused gift of the Holy Spirit.  They work together, our capacity and God’s grace, which raises and perfects our natural gifts.

In making these distinctions, remember too that the true content of the Faith is a Person, the Divine Person of the Word, Our Lord Christ Jesus.  He is in and behind and before all the truths that we have received faithfully from Apostolic Tradition onward.  When the Church teaches, He teaches.

He is the content.  We can, therefore, have a real relationship of love with the content of our Faith.

When you love, you want more.  It costs, but the cost is not counted.

Today we tend to confuse “love” with ooey gooey good feelings, like early romantic relationships.  However, real love is a choice, not a mere impulse.

I’m not getting much ooey gooey right now, and I think most of you aren’t either.  Hence, when the object of your love becomes difficult, unattractive, challenging, unlikeable, problematic, we choose to love anyway.  Sacrificial love, charity, means taking the hits.

But don’t discount the ooey gooey!

In a way, our old fashioned pious devotions and the prayers of our forebears with their florid language are like the ooey gooey part of romantic love.  But, even within those devotions there is deep doctrine, profound truths.  The devotions should drive us to learn more, go deeper.  Going deeper should then bring us back to our devotions with greater fervor.   Ooey gooey is a starting point and, maybe, even a re-starting point and a re-freshing point.

Amplify this by a factor of a gazillion regarding our participation in Holy Mass!

We are both intellective and affective.  They come together in the tension of fides quae and fides qua, our willed choice to know and to love.  After all  God made us His images, to act like He acts, to know, to will, to love.

Catholics who truly love their Faith shouldn’t need weird stuff and controversies to spur them into their catechisms and the constant study of and review of the Faith.   We should burn with a desire to know more more more anyway and all the time.

In a lot of ways, I admire greatly the practice of orthodox Jews who assiduously study and debate about their “portions” of Torah and the commentaries that surround them.  We could use some of their discipline.  Maybe that’s one reason why, in this troubled time for the Church, I have wryly coopted the language of the Left to suggest that Catholic should form base-communities of study and of prayer and of old-fashioned pious devotional practices.  Our forebears did this, with their weekly return to church on a weekday for devotions such as the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for 1st Friday, 1st Saturday and Way of the Cross in Lent, Rosary, Exposition and Benediction, Processions and Missions and Vespers on Sunday afternoons.

FATHERS!  BISHOPS!  We need old-fashioned prayers and devotions in our churches!  Start them and invite people to come!   Let’s think outside the box by opening up the good old boxes we already have and have closed for a while.  We have to be the householders who bringeth forth things out of our treasure new things and old.

Perhaps a place to start with these devotions could be for reparation for sins and even for the grace of compunction.   Benedict XVI wrote a pastoral letter to the people of Ireland after the scandals shredded the Church and faithful.  He talked about how abandoning devotions eroded them and he recommended their recovery along with the treasures of their cultural heritage.

This is my RX for what ails us.   More study, and more pious, old-fashioned devotions at home, sure, but especially in parishes.

Thus endeth the rant.

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ASK FATHER: Faithful, active women religious. Where to go?

Definitely NOT this kind!

From a reader…


I’ve been discerning a religious vocation for about a year and a half, but lately I’ve been frustrated and confused about the right community to look into. My vocations director is a member of an LCWR community and, although I feel more drawn to an apostolic/ active way of life, I just can’t accept the way that most of those communities practice the faith. Not to sound harsh, but I want to devote my life to serving God and His Church, not to live in the name of “social justice” or pluralism. Unfortunately most of the communities I know of that would offer the most orthodox/ traditional approach to the faith are mainly contemplative or cloistered. I pray that I am mistaken, and, If so, I could really use advice on where to go next or at least what direction I should turn to. Are there any active communities that you could recommend?

This is surely a problem that many young women have.

I have an inkling that religious life for women could undergo a real flourishing again, given the development of new options.   To some I would suggest, perhaps, organizing half a dozen gals and then enter and take over some existing dying group!

That said.

Off the top of my head, the Nashville Dominicans are great teachers!

The Hawthorne Dominicans are truly impressive as are the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Missionaries of Charity are amazing.

I think the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa have an active dimension.

You may be looking also for groups that use the traditional Roman Rite.

Readers can help with this.

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Insightful observation about Pope Francis – UPDATES!

UPDATE 14 Aug 1355 UTC:

The cat is out of the bag, but the chase is on.

The quote, below, has been removed at ZENIT and replaced with ellipsis.

But, for the moment at least, it is still at Rosica’s site “Salt and Light“.

By email I learned that someone added the page to Wayback.

Originally Published on: Aug 13, 2018 @ 20:25

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, wrote a really positive piece about Pope Francis as a Jesuit and about how Jesuits work, how they think, etc.

This is a really interesting comment from Rosica about the Holy Father.

From Zenit:

Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants, because he is “free from disordered attachments.” Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture. Pope Francis has brought to the Petrine office a Jesuit intellectualism.

See?  I told you it was interesting.  It has garnered a bit of attention in the Tweetosphere.

I wonder what it means.

The moderation queue is most DEFINITELY ON.

UPDATE 14 August:

A Rosica tweet that seem relevant:

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St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest, martyr, ham radio operator, intercede for dissident ‘c’atholic media!

Maximilian KolbeToday, 14 August, is the Vigil of the Assumption.  It is also the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest put to death at Auschwitz.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, has a special relevance for Catholic media.

I would ask all of you to say a prayer to him, asking his intercession with God for the conversion of catholics who use the media to confuse the faithful and to distort the teachings of the Church.  I am especially intent that you pray for the conversion of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap).

Pray, people, on your knees, even with a special visit to the Blessed Sacrament, that the whole body of Catholic bishops of these USA will soon formally demand that the Fishwrap to remove the word “Catholic” from its name.  Remember the prayer to St. Joseph for the Conversion of the National catholic Reporter which I posted HERE.

NcR must be converted, please God, or like the priests of Baal, they must fail.

Also, please ask St. Maximilian to intercede, asking God to keep those who are dedicated to making Christ and His Church known and loved in their fullness faithful, charitable and courageous.

Finally, I remind you hams out there that St. Maximilian, was also a ham.


In 1930, Franciscan Father Maksymilian Maria Kolbe left Poland for Japan, China and India where he organized monasteries. When in Japan, Father Kolbe got acquainted with a network of small broadcasting radio stations. To supplement a large number of religious periodicals that he was publishing in Poland and abroad at that time, he decided to start a radio station as a new medium. In 1930, he applied for a radio broadcasting license in Poland. However, only the Polish Radio Warsaw (1925) and a military radio station held exclusive radio licenses at that time. Radio receivers were allowed to be owned by permission early in 1924.


More HERE.

Maybe today is the day, in honor of St. Maximilian, to get that little Elecraft K3X and get to work with some QRP.

These tools and skills will be needed, if thing keep going the way the are going.  Feel free, hams out there, to make a donation or two.



Long-time reader here, BB, reminded me…

Zednet still exists on the Yaesu System Fusion (Wires-X) “room” 28598, which is cross-linked to Brandmeister (BM) DMR worldwide talkgroup 31429, which essentially gives world-wide multi-mode access to a common ham radio network.

Any fellow hams who have access locally to a Yaesu System Fusion repeater, a repeater on the BM network, or a multi-mode hotspot that’s registered with BM can get on and have a rag chew.

Maybe we need to actively churn the waters to have a real Net on a regular basis.  This is ‘samidzat’ in the aether.

Thanks for remembering St.Kolbe. Important man for our sad times, especially as the normal modes of communication are being co-opted by the forces of evil.


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Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Beans in a bottle, and Beans in a bubble.

Carracci, The Beaneater – Il Mangiafagioli, Rome

The other day I posted an image of Carracci’s painting of the “Mangiafagioli … The Bean Eater” and in another post I clarified a term used in a don Camillo story, “mangiapreti… priest eater” (a really anti-clerical person).

I determined that I would be a priest bean eater, and make some Tuscan-style beans: fagioli al fiasco.  Tuscany is famous for their wonderful wines, big steaks and great beans.

I consulted a few recipes and it all was pretty straight forward.  In general, you put your beans, water and some garlic, salt, pepper, sage and maybe other herbs with olive oil into a fiasco, which is a bulb-shaped wine bottle (when you see straw around Chianti bottles, that’s because they were blown into a bulb shape and can’t stand up), and then stick it down into the ashes of the waning fire in your hearth.  It needs to have a small hole through the cork to let steam out.  Cotton balls work.  By morning your beans are ready.

I don’t have a hearth.   An alternative, would have been to seal them up – nearly – in, say, a jar placed in hot water.  Too much trouble.  Maybe next time.  So, I used my crock pot.

First, soak cannellini beans over night.

The next day…

Salt, pepper, including whole corns, sage, rosemary, water and a little chicken stock, olive oil.

I used my Clement XVI mug for perfect pouring style.

After a few hours of torment from the wonderful profumo.

About an hour before they were done, I threw in a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Over these beans, I put some first pressing, olio nuovo, from a really good press on the Left Coast.  Good olive oil is like liquid sunshine.


Speaking of Italian Beans…, this writer is sealed up in a fantasy bubble.

Sigh.  Anyway… rather than talk about the Big Beans here, stick to the Tuscan beans and the more pleasant topic of the kitchen.   If you want to comment on Beans and the Poster, please go HERE.  Again… no creepy poster here.  RESIST the temptation.

Hereunder, stick to the better beans.

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A Tale of Two Churches

I just finished an audio “course”, Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, from The Great Courses. US HERE – UK HERE

There were some great insights in the 48 lectures. Among them, there was grist for the mental mill about the role of hunger, the role of women, the roll of the mob in revolution.

I have now turned to an audio version of Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities read by the great Simon Vance (US HERE – UK HERE), who did all the amazing Aubrey/Maturin series.    You might recall that this is the book in which one reads of the tricoteuse Madame Defarge.

I was struck by the force of Dickens’ description in one particular, though this same claim might be made again and again throughout his works.  In this moment, a cask of wine has fallen and broken on the street of a neighborhood near to the Bastille….

The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long squalid bag of a nightcap than in it, scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees—BLOOD.

The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there.

And now that the cloud settled on Saint Antoine, which a momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance, the darkness of it was heavy—cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, and want, were the lords in waiting on the saintly presence—nobles of great power all of them; but, most especially the last. Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible grinding and regrinding in the mill, and certainly not in the fabulous mill which ground old people young, shivered at every corner, passed in and out at every doorway, looked from every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment that the wind shook. The mill which had worked them down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the children had ancient faces and grave voices; and upon them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sigh, Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and stared up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.

Its abiding place was in all things fitted to it. A narrow winding street, full of offence and stench, with other narrow winding streets diverging, all peopled by rags and nightcaps, and all smelling of rags and nightcaps, and all visible things with a brooding look upon them that looked ill. In the hunted air of the people there was yet some wild-beast thought of the possibility of turning at bay. Depressed and slinking though they were, eyes of fire were not wanting among them; nor compressed lips, white with what they suppressed; nor foreheads knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The trade signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) were, all, grim illustrations of Want. The butcher and the porkman painted up, only the leanest scrags of meat; the baker, the coarsest of meagre loaves. The people rudely pictured as drinking in the wine-shops, croaked over their scanty measures of thin wine and beer, and were gloweringly confidential together. Nothing was represented in a flourishing condition, save tools and weapons; but, the cutler’s knives and axes were sharp and bright, the smith’s hammers were heavy, and the gunmaker’s stock was murderous. The crippling stones of the pavement, with their many little reservoirs of mud and water, had no footways, but broke off abruptly at the doors. The kennel, to make amends, ran down the middle of the street—when it ran at all: which was only after heavy rains, and then it ran, by many eccentric fits, into the houses. Across the streets, at wide intervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and pulley; at night, when the lamplighter had let these down, and lighted, and hoisted them again, a feeble grove of dim wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they were at sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and crew were in peril of tempest.

It is a good thing to read and think about history.

I have a strong sense that I belong to a different Church than many of my… co-religionists?

I wonder if there are any parallels for the Church today.

A demoralized faithful who hunger for sound doctrine and good pastoral direction?
Womanish men who drive and drive for changes even with violent means?
Rushing and grasping after innovations to address our problems?



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Your Good News – Mass for Benefactors

Do you have some good news to share with the readership?  Let’s hear it!  We need good news.

Here’s some good news for you.

I will celebrate Holy Mass for the intention of my benefactors, always, of course, including DY and GS, tomorrow, 14 August, Vigil of the Assumption.

Next, I have noticed an uptick in people registering to comment.  Sorry about the baroque registration method.  On the other hand, I don’t want it to be especially easy.  Since the new method was employed, my registration queue isn’t any longer jammed with garbage from Russia, Ukraine, etc.

Also, in the last couple weeks a few people have signed up for a new monthly donation.  I am grateful.  Thanks especially to FK, JC, CM, DB, TH, LK.   Also, I am extremely grateful for the ongoing support from all of you who donate, monthly and ad hoc.  And, although it has been dormant for a while now, those of you who in the past have sent items from my sidebar wishlists.   And thanks to all of you who use my Amazon search bar at the top of the right sidebar. These methods all brighten my day and help to keep my spirits up. Thanks!

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Since I posted, there are new subscriptions for: MK, SS, AW, MS, KT, RR

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