Will SSPX get Personal Prelature? Could be, but obstacles remain.

From Christ und Welt, which is in German, via an English translation at Sunesis Press.

The Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” said that (with some added emphases and comments).

Note the references to doctrinal questions.


C & W: Recently there was an acceleration of relationships, why?

Pozzo:I would not speak of an acceleration, but by a patient process of rapprochement.  The Vatican is not demanding, insisting on ultimatums, instead we jointly planned some steps to reach full reconciliation. Since the stages were agreed upon, the way is easier to tread. [NB] We are still interested in clarifying some doctrinal and canonical questions. It is very important to promote a climate of mutual knowledge and understanding. In this respect, much progress has been made.  [Doctrinal questions remain.]

C & W: What has changed in the attitude of the Vatican since the beginning of the pontificate?

Pozzo: Several new perspectives were integrated. 2009 to 2012 was primarily a theological debate in the foreground.  There were doctrinal difficulties which hindered the canonical recognition of the Fraternity. We know, however, that life is more than doctrine. For through the theological discussion in the past three years we have come to know the desire and understand the reality of the Fraternity. [Interesting.]


[…]C & W: Bergoglio knew the Fraternity from Argentina.How crucial is this personal contact for the Pope?

Pozzo: This is certainly an important element. When he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis had contacts with the Fraternity. He saw how much effort they put in evangelization and in charitable work. The Fraternity does not, as is often claimed, only value the traditional liturgy, but also has substantive work.

C & W: Francis always stressed the pastoral aspect. Is this also the key to an understanding with the SSPX?

Pozzo: Pastoral and dogmatic theology are inseparable. The style and concrete willingness of Pope Francis to help the unity between the people not only to think but also to learn. Of course, some gestures are important. He has allowed the Priests of the SSPX to hear confessions of  the faithful, he has received the Superior General of the Fraternity, Monsignor Bernard Fellay in private audience. The rapprochement and resumption of talks was all made possible by the [lifting of the] excommunication by Benedict XVI.

C & W: Why is a Personal Prelature appropriate for the SSPX?

Pozzo: That seems to be the appropriate canonical form. [NB] Monsignor Fellay has accepted the proposal, even if in the coming months details remain to be clarified. Only Opus Dei currently enjoys this canonical structure, which is a big vote of confidence for the SSPX. [HOWEVER…] It is clear that the solution of the canonical form requires the solution of the doctrinal questions.

So, it seems that IF the doctrinal questions can be worked out, THEN the SSPX could get a Personal Prelature.

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VIDEO: Ordinary Form Mass very much in the Roman style

I was sent a link to a video of the Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrated at the Proto-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Seattle in Vancouver, WA for their Patronal Feast of St. James the Greater.

At this parish you can tell that they are trying to celebrated the Novus Ordo in continuity with the Roman liturgical style, in keeping with the Roman genius inhering in the Vetus Ordo or Extraordinary Form. Absent are the oddities that have slowly become virtually de rigueur in the Ordinary Form. The servers were well trained and reverent. The celebrant and single concelebrant were reserved and capable.

I must say, this parish music program is excellent. For the Mass they used Widor’s Mass for two organs and choirs, Op. 36 and they did it splendidly. They also executed some fine motets and Gregorian chant (though I am not a fan of mixed voice Gregorian chant).

Here is the video.

The Patronal Feast of St. James the Greater at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater from Proto-Cathedral of St. James on Vimeo.

For my part, I think that Father should have taken his seat at the sedilia as the music went on. Also, you will note that they, quite properly, separated the Sanctus and Benedictus. However I noticed that the celebrant waited for the two parts to end before continuing with the text. It seems to me that, in keeping with what Joseph Ratzinger had recommended, this would have been good moment simply to continue the Canon inaudibly (as we done for so many centuries – yes, yes I know what the stupid rubrics says in the OF). I also noted that they used the Gradual rather than the responsorial psalm. Well done.

I compliment them for their reverence. Also, it is good that Latin is being used in the Novus Ordo. I hope that, in the future, the celebrant will also sing the Canon, also in Latin.

In my native place, at St. Agnes in St. Paul, the principle for the Novus Ordo “High Mass” in Latin, for both the orchestral and a cappella Masses, is that Latin is sung and the vernacular was spoken. So, the readings, petitions, etc. were spoken while everything else was sung.  Each place where sacred worship is taken seriously will develop their own house style.

It is possible to raise questions about the advantages of one rite or the other.  Some might say that, “If the Ordinary Form succeeds to the extent that it is like the Extraordinary Form, then why not just use the Extraordinary Form?”  That’s a legitimate point in an idea world.  Some places might need a way a) to make a transition to the Extraordinary Form or b) to keep at bay the howling wolves who would rend them limb from limb for being so traditional.

Another thing that impressed me about the parish is the fine examination of conscience available on their website. HERE They get it.

Fr. Z kudos.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

ASK FATHER: Are your podcasts on iTunes?

From a reader…


Can your podcazts be obtained on iTunes? I would like to subscribe on my new ipod. Thanks!

Yes, indeed.

That said, remember that our world is becoming ever more dangerous.  I warmly recommend that, when you are out and about, you take the buds out of your ears and keep your eyes off those little screens.  Watch your surroundings.  Be alert.  Know where you are.  See everyone.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, PODCAzT | Tagged | 13 Comments

WDTPRS – 18th Ordinary Sunday: cold, clear reality

adam-and-eve-original-sinWhen the priest, alter Christus, says our prayers during Holy Mass, Christ, Head of the Body, speaks.

His words have power to form us.

Formed according to the mind of the Church, we Catholics then go out from Mass to shape our world around us.

It is the work of Christ’s Body to bring the content of these prayers (Christ Himself!) to every corner and nook we influence.

Holy Church shapes us and we shape the world around us. We then bring gifts – the very best we can conceive – back to Holy Church who makes them her own.  This is dynamic exchange is called inculturation.

However, in this simultaneous two-way exchange, what God offers to the world through Holy Church must always have logical priority over what the world offers back.  This is authentic inculturation!

The Collect for the 18th Ordinary Sunday was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum.  The ancient Veronese Sacramentary has a close cousin used by our ancestorsOur modern version simplified the grammar.  I found similar vocabulary in the works of Cicero (+ BC 43 – Ep. ad fam. 2.6.4), in the writings of St Ambrose of Milan (+397 – Hexameron, Day 1.2.7), and in the sermons of St Augustine (+430 – s. 293d, 5).   The Church and culture have been deeply interwoven through the centuries.

Here’s the Collect:

Adesto, Domine, famulis tuis, et perpetuam benignitatem largire poscentibus, ut his, qui te auctorem et gubernatorem gloriantur habere, et grata restaures, et restaurata conserves.

Adesto is the “future” imperative of the verb adsum, “to be present”, in both the physical and the moral sense.  By logical extension, adsum means, “to be present with one’s aid.”  It can also mean, “to be present in mind, with attention” and “to be fearless.”  “Adsum!” is the famous word in the rite of ordination to Holy Orders.  Men are officially “called” by name to Holy Orders (vocatio).  One by one they respond, “Adsum! …  I am present!”  Men may have inklings or personal convictions that they are called by God to the priesthood, but this “calling” during ordination is the Church’s affirmation of the vocation.

At this time of year some of our Collects use similar vocabulary, including slightly unusual words which spark our attention.

Last week we saw dux (“leader, guide, commander”) and rector (“ruler, leader, governor; helmsman”).  This week we have the similar term gubernator, “a steersman, pilot” or “a ruler, governor”.   During Ordinary Time there are groupings of Collects linked by vocabulary, theme, or images, (e.g., military, agricultural, judicial).

The Collects in the Novus Ordo are usually either derived from prayers in ancient sacramentaries or directly from orations in previous editions of the Missale Romanum.   Though they were taken from different times of the year in those sources, they are now grouped together.  This must have been a conscious choice.


Father of everlasting goodness, our origin and guide, be close to us and hear the prayers of all who praise you. Forgive our sins and restore us to life. Keep us safe in your love.

What is this I see?  Uncharacteristically, the old ICEL allowed the word “sins” into their version!   The old incarnation of ICEL consistently expunged references to sin, guilt, our humility, the possibility of hell for the unrepentant, propitiation, etc.


Be present to Your servants, O Lord, and grant Your unending kindness to those seeking it, so that You may restore favors to those who glory in having You as author and guide, and You may preserve them once restored.


Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored.

Take note of the unequal statuses of those to whom the Latin prayer refers.

On the one hand, God is our creator.  He directs our paths.  He is eternal and kind.  He gives gifts.  He can be present to us.

On the other hand, we are servants and needy seekers.  We need God’s favors. We must be grateful, for they are unattainable apart from His kindness.  We do not deserve anything apart from Him. Some of us, moreover, have lost God’s favors.  We are incomplete until He restores them to us. He will not restore them unless we beg Him in His kindness to do so.

Because we are weak, God must preserve His gifts in us once He has given them back.

Our status as lowly servants is the key to everything we receive or regain.

The clear, cold reality of our neediness is today masterfully juxtaposed with the warming, reassuring confidence we find in God’s presence.

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1 August – Madison, WI – Pontifical Requiem at the Throne, “Month’s Mind”

His Excellency Most Reverent Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary, regularly celebrates Holy Mass also in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The next Solemn Pontifical Mass – a Requiem – will be offered by Bishop Morlino on the evening of Monday 1 August 2016 at 7:00 PM, at the chapel of Holy Name Heights (aka Bishop O’Connor Center).

The Mass is organized by the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison at Bp. Morlino’s request.  This will be a “Month’s Mind” for the repose of the soul of the late Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer, PA, a beloved priest of the diocese.

The music will be the Missa Defunctorum for 4 Voices by Tomás Luis de Victoria as well as Gregorian Chant.

All at welcome.  Clerics are warmly invited to participate in choir dress.

Visit the site of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison.

Posted in Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wherein Card. Burke greets YOU, the readers of Fr. Z’s Blog

Here is something from Card. Burke for all of you out there!

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged | 14 Comments

The ULTIMATE GIFT for a priest revisited: Portable altar from St. Joseph’s Apprentice

I have written before about the ULTIMATE gift for a priest: the marvelous portable altars by St. Joseph’s Apprentice.  In 2014 HERE and in 2015 HERE

With each iteration, these altars are being perfected.  He has taken some of my past suggestions and incorporated into the design.

St. Joseph’s Apprentice sent me an altar for my 25th anniversary (which was 26 May).

Let’s unbox it!

First, it was well-protected in the shipping box, but that part – important as it is – is boring.

It has a protective case and suitcase handle.

Beautiful glossy finish.

The underside is smooth and it won’t scratch any surface.  There are brass fittings to protect the corners, but they are raised from the bottom and there is a felt pad.

The cover lifts up, that’s the vertical part.  Wings fold out.  There is an altar stone set into the hinged lid that opens to reveal in the inner compartment.

This is what he carved on the underside of the cover to the central, inner compartment.

There are two brass bars which you push outward from the inner compartment to act as supports to the side wings.

Fit these two pieces together: book stand.

Inside the bag was the crucifix for the summit of the top lid.  You can see the tongue that fits into a groove on the top of the lid, to keep it in place.

Beautifully packaged altar cloths, including a vesperale.

A proper Roman altar has three altar cloths.

Set up with two little votive candles, a set of the travel altar cards from SPORCH.  A Missale Romanum which I bought through the FSSP.

With the vesperale.

It came with nice altar cards, which were described as being from a priest who was a Franciscan of the Immaculate who is now, after the persecution began, trying to eke out a living.  They are a little too flexible to stand up straight in the grooves, but they could easily be reinforced or given an extra stability by an additional lamination.

The altar, when opened, is 36″ wide and it weighs only 17 lbs!

The maker, Joseph’s Apprentice, Rick Murphey, said that this is of the same quality that all his other altars are.  If there are any problems or defects, he will remedy them.  He also wrote:

“Pray for me and for benefactors for those priests who are not able to afford one.  We are keeping you in our prayers during these troubling times and ask that you remember us too”

Outstanding, all the way around.

Keep this in mind for your priest’s, for their ordinations and their anniversaries.

St. Joseph’s Apprentice.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

“Sandwiched between two forms of dhimmitude: Koran or Agenda-driven”

Fr. Jacques Hamel (+2016)

At the online site of the excellent Regina magazine there is a good piece about the rock and the hard place, the Scylla and Charybdis, the fire and the frying pan, the deep blue sea and the devil, betwixt which we find ourselves.

A Catholic Caught Between Jihad and the Agenda

ISIS has made its intentions clear: “the Christian community… “will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women….”

It happened yesterday, but it could have been the 700’s. Yesterday, Pere Jacques Hamel, an octogenarian pinch-hitting for a vacationing parish priest in Normandy’s beautiful city of Rouen, was forced to kneel before the altar where he was saying Mass, and martyred.

Only a couple of old nuns and two parishioners were present to see this gentle servant of God beheaded by blood-stained jihadis. Two hundred years of aggressive secularism has had its effect. France today is a proudly secular state run almost exclusively by leftists; few French people attend Mass outside of the traditionalist Catholic community, which is astonishingly large and strong, though a secret outside of France.

This martyrdom is of course only the latest in a series of Islamist outrages that almost now daily attack the civilized world. In 2015, France endured more than 800 attacks on Christian places of worship and cemeteries – most unreported.


[…]Why is this? Allahu Akbar does not fit the Narrative. In the view presented by the mainstream media across the West, almost without exception, we are governed by good, decent men and women who only want to promote global trade and peaceful relations. In a word, ‘Coexist’. These powerful men and women are just like us, the governed. They have children, even grandchildren. They live modest, decent lives. They are ‘public servants.’ They are against ‘hate’ and ‘judging’ we are solemnly assured, until of course Wikileaks reveals otherwise.

Most people are too busy to focus on this. We all want to believe that all is basically well, that these events are tragic anomalies, that everything is under control. When the furor dies down, we will all go back to our lives. As a Catholic, I will go back to my rosary and my Mass. I will ‘coexist’ of course, what choice do I have?

That the West’s political elites know this–and bank on it as the source of their power–is clear. Politics as usual goes on in service of this agenda. Payments are made into bank accounts. Police in America will be targeted and executed by thugs paid out of slush funds. Less spectacular attacks on women with children in the streets of Frankfurt or Paris or Peoria will go unreported. School curricula will be changed to reflect the new world order. Anyone questioning this will be ostracized, placed on ‘extremist’ list. Public toilets will be gender -neutral. Children will be trafficked for the tastes of those who can pay for it. Victims be damned.

Meanwhile, in the political arena, gargantuan egos collide, seemingly impervious to the fact that the ‘little people’ now have a window into their world, far beyond what we used to see in their apparently-controlled media.

Today, the little people see the corruption, the double-dealing, the selling of favors, the gambling with our children’s lives. We understand that the mainstream media is also for sale. But most frighteningly of all, we see that our Western leaders are fiddling while Rome burns.

I think I speak for many millions when I say that I do not want the dystopian future all this portends. I do not want to live sandwiched between two forms of dhimmitude: Koran or Agenda-driven.



May I recommend a couple books?

The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew McCarthy

Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War by Sebastian Gorka


Meanwhile, at Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) we find this:

Dublin archbishop rebukes Cardinal Burke’s comments on Islam


In a recent interview on his new book, Burke said that Islam seeks to govern the world and that the only way to save Western civilization is to return it to its Christian roots. “I don’t think that helps at all,” Martin rebuked.

“Does Islam want to rule the world? There may be some people of the Islamic faith who do, but Islam itself has another side within it — a caring and a tolerant side,” he added.

Interreligious tensions, he suggested, are caused by inequalities, people feeling excluded, and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which he warned would be used to justify violence the longer it was allowed to continue. “Long term solutions will come from education,” he said.


Right!  They just need some education.

I posted on Burke’s comments HERE.

Be sure to read what I posted from Gorka’s book (above) about Islam’s goal of world rule.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Card. Burke’s new book: Hope for the World – To Unite All Things in Christ

I was pleased to see that the UK’s best Catholic weekly has taken interest in His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke’s most recent book, Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.  UK HERE

The cardinal said the devil tries to sow doubt in Catholics’ minds about defending human life publicly

Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that his mother was advised to abort him.

In a new book-length interview with the French journalist Guillaume d’Alançon, Cardinal Burke says that when his mother was pregnant with him, she became seriously ill and a doctor advised her to have an abortion.

According to Cardinal Burke, the doctor said: “You already have five children, it is important for you to be in good health so as to take care of them”.

“My parents refused,” says the cardinal, who is now chaplain to the Order of Malta. “My parents told him that they believed in God and that Christ would give them the necessary help. My mother gave birth to me, and everything went well.

“I was therefore quite touched by this question of defending human life, because I could very well have been killed.”

In the book, entitled Hope for the World, Cardinal Burke argues that the “ferocious attack against life today” results from “the distortion of the sexual act by contraception”, [and homosexual acts and demonic “gender” twisting] and urges Catholics to defend human life.

He adds: “The devil, of course, wants to discourage us: he tries to sow doubt in our minds about defending human life publicly. And he subtly tempts us to remain silent, to mute our conscience, to tell ourselves that we are personally against abortion but do not have to express our faith and moral convictions in public.”

Elsewhere in the book, the cardinal claims Barack Obama “wants to push the Church back behind the walls of her church buildings”. He appears to be referring to the legal battles over President Obama’s healthcare mandate, the ongoing conflict surrounding religious freedom, and the administration’s demand that public schools, including Catholic ones, adopt gender neutral bathrooms.

“The federal government is trying to reduce religious liberty, contrary to the Constitution of the United States,” Cardinal Burke says in the interview.

President Obama wants to push the Church back behind the walls of her church buildings and to prevent her applying her law to her own hospitals and schools.




Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, REVIEWS | Tagged , | 7 Comments

27 July: Canon Law Conference – Speculum Iustitiae

The Speculum Iustitiae conference continues today.  You will recognize the title as being that given to Mary in her beautiful litany.

It is encouraging that beautiful churches can be built still today in beautiful places.

As Mass closed yesterday, Cardinal Burke on his way out.  I had been in the confessional during Mass since I generally eschew concelebration.

This morning, having read even more about the murder of the priest in France, I spent some time with St. Miguel Pro, to whom we ought perhaps to turn in these troubling times.

His altar and relic.

Today our talks are by Msgr. Jason Gray on “The Promoter of the Faith in Causes of Canonization: Its History and Implications for the Defender of the Bond” and by Dr. William Daniel: “Analysis of the 2015 Reform of the Marriage Nullity Process”.  Later Card. Burke will speak about “The Defender of the Bond as a Distinct and Necessary Office in the Matrimonial Process”.

Indeed, I hear one canonist here suggest that there should be formed some kind of association of Defenders of the Bond, in the wake of Mitis index.

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

“The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.”

From Fr. Rutler at LifeZette:

A Christian Duty in the Face of Terror

After another devastating ISIS attack in France, this time against a priest in his 80s while he was saying Mass, the answer isn’t just, “Do nothing.” As racism distorts race and sexism corrupts sex — so does pacifism affront peace.

Turning the other cheek is the counsel Christ gave in the instance of an individual when morally insulted: Humility conquers pride. It has nothing to do with self-defense.


A father is culpable if he does not protect his family. A bishop has the same duty as a spiritual father of his sons and daughters in the church, just as the civil state has as its first responsibility the maintenance of the “tranquility of order” through self-defense.


The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there were over 60 speeches, and yet not one of them mentioned ISIS.


From my the increasingly well-known Fr. Murray:

A Catholic priest embodies the soul of European culture. Murdering a priest is symbolic of the intention to kill the entire Christian West. Muslim expansionist warfare has historically been directed at conquering the Christian nations of Europe. ISIS is carrying out that warfare today — and the past few weeks have shown that they have agents of death all over Europe.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Bp. Paprocki speaks up about Pope Francis’ remarks on marriage

Here’s something for your ongoing interest in Pope’s Francis recent off-the-cuff remarks.

Pope Francis, after a firestorm of criticism, amends his official remarks from Diocese of Springfield in IL on Vimeo.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Pope Francis | Tagged , | 12 Comments

26 July: Canon Law Conference – Speculum Iustitiae

To begin, for the readers of the Fishwrap, I’ll lead off with this.

Buy this book now… HERE (UK HERE).

And now the real thing.

Each summer, His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke organizes a conference for canon and civil lawyers.  The presentations are always good.

So is the break food… homemade blueberry bars.

And then there were these cheesy things.

Still warm from the oven.  But I digress.

Cardinal Burke’s talk was about “Discipline and Doctrine: Law in the Service of Truth and Love.”

He got into some of the sloppy language in use today and attempts to pit “mercy” against “justice”, being “pastoral’ as opposed to observing the law.

Break time.

Next we had a talk by the President of Franciscan University, Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, “The Role of Academic Freedom at a Catholic University.

Of course he spoke about the second most ignored document in the history of the Church, Ex code Ecclesiae.

The Holy Door of the Basilica for the Year of Mercy.

Note the set up on the altar.

More later.

Posted in Canon Law, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Two attackers take hostages in French church, slit priest’s throat

The Religion of Peace strikes again in Northern France.

This sounds much like odium fidei.

The murderers shouted “Daesh!”

From AP:

Two attackers take hostages in French church, slit priest’s throat before being shot dead by police

PARIS — Two attackers seized hostages Tuesday in a church near the Normandy city of Rouen, killing a priest by slitting his throat before being shot and killed by police, French officials said.

Another person inside the church was seriously injured and is hovering between life and death, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

Police managed to rescue three people from the church in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Brandet said. The hostage-taking occurred during morning Mass, he told reporters.

Tuesday’s slaying inside a church “is obviously a drama for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” Brandet told reporters. Brandet, speaking on BFM TV, said the RAID special intervention force was searching the church and its perimeter for possible explosives and terrorism investigators had been summoned.

The identities of the attackers and motive for the attack are unclear, according to a security official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility for the attack. The claim came in a statement published Tuesday by the ISIL-affiliated Aamaq news agency.

It said the attack near the Normandy city of Rouen was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State.”

It added the attack was in response to its calls to target countries of the U.S.-led coalition which is fighting ISIL.

French President Francois Hollande called the attack a “vile terrorist attack” and said it’s another more sign that France is at war with ISIL.

“We must lead this war with all our means,” he said in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Hollande expressed support for all France’s Catholics but said the attack targets “all the French.”


Posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 76 Comments

BRICK BY BRICK: A Communion rail restored in a major, historic church

popebenedictbrickbybricknew5tranwebI just received something interesting from a reader in Chicago, for your Brick By Brick file.

Perhaps you have at some time driven down the Kennedy Expressway.  Suddenly the Interstate bends sharply around, and very close to, the rectory of St. Stanislaw Kostka Church, one of the huge Polish churches served by Resurrectionists that closely dot the North Side.  It is not far from the mighty St. John Cantius (recently voted the most beautiful church in these USA).  This was, if memory serves, once the largest parishes in the world if not the largest, with some 15 Masses each day going alternatively in the upper and lower churches.  They had enough clout there to deviate the Interstate!

Their website is HERE (WARNING: At this time 2 different videos automatically start playing, which is a bit annoying.)

Now I read this, in the Bulletin Letter for 24 July 2016.

They are restoring their Communion rail!

At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under The earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10,11

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Last week I extended permission to you to freely receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist in the posture of our ancestors, that is, on your knees. [They really didn’t need permission, but it was good for him expressly to say that it was okay, for those who wavered or thought otherwise.] For centuries, up until the mid-1960s this was the norm for receiving Holy Communion throughout the world. While this remains an option for all, after the Second Vatican Council, standing for reception of the Holy Eucharist became the norm and fits the directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Over the years there has been discussions and debate over proper reception of Holy Communion even to the point that some pastors [illicitly] forbade the faithful from receiving the Holy Eucharist on their knees. In any case, the Church officially extends the option to receive Jesus in the posture of kneeling. One thing is certain I think. More than a few Catholics long for a return to a sense of the sacred, too often veiled by a myriad of distractions that have crept into the celebration of the Holy Mass.  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
The distractions are a result of exaggerated attention on ourselves and perhaps an unconscious need to “entertain” that Mass be anything but a “boring” experience. Living in a time when we seem to set ourselves at the center of all things – the age of selfies – from the priest celebrating the Holy Mass to the people in the pews, we can easily forget the reason for our worship and adoration of Almighty God. [This guy gets it.]
First of all, we come to Mass as a people in mission. The word Mass comes from the Latin word missa, which means, a sending forth in mission. As baptized Christians, our mission is to make Christ known to others, in word and in deed. We are to bring His light into the world’s darkness. If we have the humility to be honest with ourselves, we readily admit that we fail, at times miserably, in the charge to make disciples of all nations. Also, when confronted with daily trials and tribulations, we quickly forget that Jesus is our hope, the source of our peace, and the cause of our salvation. God humbled Himself, took on our flesh and atoned for our sins. He comes to us still in His Sacred Body and Blood.
16_07_20_TSHIRT_ENG_02 copyNot unlike the despairing disciples who are visited by the Risen Christ on the road to Emmaus, our hope is rekindled when the Lord speaks to us in Sacred Scripture and our hearts burn when we recognize Him in the Breaking of the Bread. Our humble participation in the Holy Mass is really an obligation we bear to express our gratitude to God, that having redeemed us, God remains with us that we not collapse as we go on our way.
It’s interesting that in preparation for the apparition of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, an angel first appeared to the children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta and showed them how to properly receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The angel did this very simply through prayer and posture. The children were instructed to pray, “Oh my God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you and I ask pardon of you for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.” They were then told to prostrate in the adoration of, and reception of the Holy Eucharist. [I think it is significant that Father mentions Fatima, since we are approaching the centenary.]
My friends, if there’s ever a time when we need a restoration of proper disposition before God, this is the time. [Do I hear a LOUD “AMEN!”?] In a world severely lacking in humility, we Christians must humble ourselves before God in gratitude for the gift of salvation and in the offering of our lives and the lives of others through reverential participation in the Holy Mass. Whether we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist on our knees or whether standing, let us be conscious of this sacred and life sustaining encounter. Permission granted[See above.] for receiving Jesus in the posture of kneeling is a step toward the restoration of the sacred reality at the center of our worship.  [AMEN!]
The Holy Trinity is the center and the focus of our worship and in the celebration of the Holy Mass, Jesus comes to us to reproduce His life in us. Because we are not worthy of such a gift, many are choosing to humbly receive Him in the posture of our ancestors, prefigured in the sojourn of the Israelites, revealed in the Gospel narratives, and perpetuated through the ages to our present day.
The request to receive the Holy Eucharist in the posture of kneeling is a spontaneous gesture of humility and a manifestation of a people’s desire for a profound sense of the sacred. It is an expression of a longing to lift the veil to the mystery[YES!] of God who is present among us in a wholly unique and sublime way. Finally, it is a preference for a more formal expression of gratitude to the gift of the Lord who gives Himself freely in spite of our foibles and failures.
Sincerely in Christ Risen,
Fr. Anthony Buś, C.R. – Pastor

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Buś!

In Redemptionis Sacramentum we read:

[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. [Except in the Extraordinary Form, wherein Communion is always directly on the tongue.] However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, [and this risk is rife and growing] then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

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