ASK FATHER: Boss threatens to fire me if I don’t receive Communion.

From a reader…


I have worked for a USA based Catholic non-profit for 5 years. I am a Catholic in good standing and am attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and am a lay member of the Confraternity of St. Peter. The CEO of my non-profit employer recently changed. The new CEO has threatened to terminate my employment if I do not receive Communion regularly at Novus Ordo Masses. This is in contradiction to my understanding of Dignitatis humanae. I have demonstrated my attachment to the Church and to her hierarchy by receiving Communion from bishops and priests whenever they celebrate the EF and I attend the Novus Ordo when I must in order to fulfill my canonical obligation. Nor am I attached to any non-canonical or “schismatic” groups.

To whom do I have recourse? What, if anything, can I do? If I need to hire a lawyer, how does one hire a canon lawyer?


Not that this is the case here, but I’m reminded of what my old pastor used to say, “Scratch a liberal, and find a fascist.”

This sounds like a job for the St. Joseph Foundation – the website has some broken links, but the basic info is there.

If this Catholic agency is under the aegis of a diocese (and we allllll know how strict dioceses are about letting groups use the title “Catholic” these days. Certain groups, that is), then this would be a tough policy for them to try and enforce.

Depending on how the parameters of employment are written, an employer could include some pretty strict requirements. For example, “All employees of St. Philemon Catholic School will be registered at St. Philemon Catholic Parish and attend Mass there each Sunday unless excused.”

Civil law could be in play here. That’s where the St. Joseph Foundation would also provide good connections. They are canonists, but some have backgrounds in civil law. They have worked on cases that require the input of civil attorneys.

Some people are nearly maniacal about forcing uniformity when it comes to Mass.  Everyone has to go to Communion, no matter how many millions of people are in the park or field.  Everyone must NOT kneel.  Everyone is to sing every word of every verse.  Everyone must shake hands or hug or offer self-conscious waves. Some priests practically force other priests to concelebrate.  We will have UNITY!  It is as if the beatings will continue until moral improves.  “CELEBRATE DAMN IT! WE ARE AN EASTER PEOPLE!”

None of this is Catholic.

It is NOT obligatory to receive Holy Communion at Mass.

Alas, we are living in an age when the meaning of reception of the Eucharist has become twisted in several ways.  I have in mind a range of weird positions from, on the one side, “I won’t receive a host consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass” to the very common “Mass?  Oh, you mean liturgy! That’s when they put the white thing on your hand and then we sing the song together!”

Okay… I’m done ranting.

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Archbp. Cordileone to Nancy Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

Abortion Absolutist Democrat

Canon 915!

From CNS:

SF Archbishop on Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

( – Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy [the Theologian] Pelosi [more HERE] — who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a “human being”–Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

[…] asked Archbishop Cordileone about Pelosi’s comments on human life, particularly in light her self-description “as a Catholic and a mom of five.”

“It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception,” the archbishop said in a written statement to “This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.

“This has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, a teaching already discernible in the natural moral law, and so a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience,” he said.

It is the obligation of pastors of souls to reach out to their people who have difficulty understanding and accepting such important teachings of the Church in order to extend to them true pastoral care and, where appropriate, to establish a regular dialogue,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “This is something I have always striven to do in the various ministries I have exercised as a priest and bishop, including now as the Archbishop of San Francisco. I ask for people’s prayers for success as I continue to strive to do this.”

Pelosi lives in Cordileone’s archdiocese and represents San Francisco in Congress.

At her Jan. 22 press conference at the Capitol, twice asked Pelosi whether an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy is a human being.

Pelosi would not answer the yes-no question with a yes-no answer, but did say that a woman has “the right” to abort her child.

“The fact is is what we have said: The life and the health of the mother is what is preeminent in when a decision is made about a woman’s reproductive health,” said Pelosi, after declining for the second time to say if an unborn child at 20 weeks is a human being. “It isn’t an ideological fight, it is a personal health issue.



During the press conference, Pelosi made clear that she is opposed to both the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

The former would prohibit the abortion of babies 20 weeks or later into gestation unless they were conceived in rape or incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk. The latter prohibits federal funding of abortion and stops federal Obamacare subsidies from going to insurance plans that cover abortion while not preventing people in subsidized Obamacare plans from buying supplemental abortion coverage–with their own money.

Canon 915!

8 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (80% score)
Posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Emanations from Penumbras, Mail from priests, The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Card. Marx pulls a fast one with the text of ‘Evangelii gaudium’.

There was an interview with His Eminence Reinhard Card. Marx in America Magazine.  We can trust that the interview really conveys what Card. Marx thinks because, as we are informed, he had a chance to go over it before publication.

I noticed something in the interview that bothered me… a lot.  Here is the section that most troubled me.  My emphases in his response

What challenge accompanies this new time in the church?

MARX: It is best to read “Evangelii Gaudium.” Some people say, “We don’t know what the pope is really wanting.” I say, “Read the text.” It does not give magical answers to complex questions, but rather it conveys the path of the Spirit, the way of evangelization, being close to the people, close to the poor, close to those who have failed, close to the sinners, not a narcissistic church, not a church of fear. There is a new, free impulse to go out. Some worry about what will happen. Francis uses a strong image: “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets,” rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary. The latter church does not help the people. The Gospel is not new, but Francis is expressing it in a new way and is inspiring a lot of people, all over the world, who are saying, “Yes, that is the church.” It is a great gift for us. It’s very important. We will see what he will do. He has been pope for only two years, which is not much time.

Let’s pull this apart.

Card. Marx says… “Francis is expressing”… and he also forcefully says “Read Evangelii gaudium… Read the text.”

Okay, Your Eminence, let’s read the text from Evangelii gaudium you quoted.

49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: [Here’s what Marx quoted] I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. […]

Again, now, let’s see what Card. Marx said, paying attention to the position of the quotation marks:

I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

Again… let me spell this out:

Francis wrote:

rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

Marx said:

rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

When Card. Marx quotes the Pope, he continues (in the “rather than” section) what people are going to assume is what Francis wrote.

But that’s not what Francis wrote or intended.  Again, pay attention to the position of the quotation marks.

Whereas Francis writes about a Church that is confined, unhealthy, clinging to security, Marx speaks about a Church that is clean and that has the truth.  Marx sets up a dichotomy (a false dichotomy) which is not in Francis’ text: a Church that is clean v. a Church that is dirty… a Church that has truth v. a Church that…. who knows what… that doesn’t?

By closing the quotation marks before the second clause of the sentence, Card. Marx accurately quotes the Pope, but misleads us about the Pope’s intentions.

Card. Marx misintends the intention of the Pope, and sets up a false dichotomy.  The problem with this is that the Church is not susceptible to this sort of dichotomy.

In my years studying Augustine, one thing in his thought was made clear:  Augustine saw the Church in realistic terms as a corpus permixtum malis et bonis, a body mixed through with good people and bad.  The Church is both dirty and clean.

Some people might think that this is a petty point to pick on.  It is after all, only a small item in a longer interview and, as such, not worth the microscope treatment.

I disagree.  This is important.

The words “clean” and “truth” point to the problem of sin.  They set up a discussion, farther along in the interview, of moral issues such as homosexual acts and adultery (civil marriage after divorce without “annulment”).

Card. Marx pulled a fast one with the text of Evangelii gaudium.  Since the Cardinal had a chance to go over this and double-check it, and since the Cardinal told us to read the text and check what the Pope wrote, we have to conclude that we are being misled.

15 votes, 4.27 avg. rating (85% score)
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Richard McBrien, RIP. Fishwrap’s encomium.

Fr. Richard McBrien is dead at 78.

I hope that in his final years he had a chance to rethink and repent of his work. Enough about him. There is an old phrase, Nihil de mortuis nisi bonum… Say nothing but good about the dead.

Over at Fishwrap, however, there is a encomium of McBrien, featuring such darlings of the Left as Fr. Charles Curran, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, and Fr. Thomas Reese. You can imagine.

I bring to your attention their citation of the late Professor Ralph McInerny, which pretty much sums up the work of McBrien:

“McBrien has terrible ideas,” Ralph McInerny bluntly said in 1990. The late McInerny was a renowned philosopher and author of the “Father Dowling” mystery series, as well as a stern critic of what he once called the “pell-mell pursuit of warm and fuzzy Catholicism” he associated with McBrien.

“I think the demonology he works with is that once we had a hierarchical view of the church, which was authoritarian,” McInerny said. “Then we had Vatican II and, he believes, that model was thrown out. His view is wrong.”

18 votes, 3.67 avg. rating (73% score)
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Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

7 votes, 3.57 avg. rating (72% score)
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“Je Suis Charles Martel”

I noticed this at American Catholic:

The slogan Je Suis Charles Martel is beginning to make its way around Saint Blogs.  Here is some information on the grandfather of Charlemagne who stopped the advance of Islam into what became France in 732 at the battle of Tours.

I think we have to look realisitically at what is going on in the world in regard to Islam.


37 votes, 4.19 avg. rating (83% score)
Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

My View For Awhile: Jiggity Jig

And off I go again.

It was a great trip. I met lots of old friends and met a few new ones.

The Pontifical Mass was great. The exhibit on Mary fine. The National Gallery edifying. The Army and Navy Club fantastic.




Last leg.


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Francis to new bishops…

Yes, Our Holy Father does have a way of stopping us in our tracks and rereading the sentence.

Not exactly rhetoric in the lofty style, but rhetoric is about getting the point across in way that either persuades, moves or entertains. One considers the ability of one’s audience to follow at which level and then crafts one’s speech accordingly.

According to CNA, Pope Francis said to newly nominated members of the august College of Cardinals:

“The spirit of worldliness … stuns more than grappa on a fast, disorienting and separating one from the cross of Christ.”


So much more than just a great breakfast drink.

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ASK FATHER: When is enough, enough?

From a reader…


When is enough, enough? I help facilitate the RCIA program in my parish and the other leaders in the name of compassion are constantly at odds with the teachings of Holy Mother Church. As one trying to be faithful to our Lord and His Church, I wonder at what point is an environment too toxic for one’s soul? Can the heretical opinions of these people start to rub off on me without me even knowing it. Does working with these people become an occasion of sin?

Hmmm… that reminds me of a song! Maestro? ♫

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

No, Fr. Z has not entirely lost his mind. Nor is Fr. Z, “getting in touch with his feminine side.”

Rather, the question proposed has led to a certain flight of mental fancy and the recollection of that delightful song Doris Day sang to alert Jimmy Stewart in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

Like the questioner, the characters played by Day and Stewart – the McKennas – are simply trying to get by in life. They are enjoying a nice vacation when a series of events places them at the center of an assassination plot.

Many Catholics these days seem to be in similar straits.

They attempt simply to eke out a life of holiness day by day, and yet they find themselves embroiled in controversies and conflict.  They are compelled to address the dangers of sin and heresy.

It has always been so.

What is the tipping point? How much do we engage in the battles that rage? At what point do we set the battles aside and retreat to the relative peace of our family lives and homes?

If we retreat, will the battles pass us by?  Will the war bang on our front door?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

I understand the need to back away at times – sometimes to back away temporarily, sometimes to shake the dust from one’s sandals and move on elsewhere.

Choosing the right battles to fight is an important lesson to learn. Prudence is the auriga virtutum, the charioteer of the virtues.

When we struggle, we do NOT struggle alone.

While a Christian does not become either complacent or fatalistic, we need to remind ourselves that Christ has already won the important battle.  We know the final outcome of things.

Christ is at our side.

The battles are difficult, but they are at times necessary so that the Truth be served, the Faith defended, Christ known and loved in His Holy Catholic Church.

What will be, will be, of course. But what we do to help bring about what will be is the stuff upon which our own salvation is built.

Do not let the demon of discouragement distract you.  But, taking stock of your state in life, the exigencies you face in your vocation, the circumstances you live in, learn also “when to fish and when to cut bait.”

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A piece of good news

A very smart priest friend sent me a note this morning with two pieces of good news regarding Pope Francis.  I’ll simply share what he sent…. no, wait… I’ll share the first piece of good news.  I may post the second in another post.

1. For Pope Francis, understanding  
 the nature of marriage is a criterion in investigating a marriage’s validity


Cardinal Kasper’s thesis was to let people decide for themselves if their previous marriage was null and void.

This article makes three points:

In his speech, Pope Francis 

1. maintained that an understanding of the nature of marriage is a criterion by which to judge the validity of a marriage

Obviously if you don’t understand what the duties and obligations of marriage are, you can’t give consent.

2. asked for an increase of the number of canon lawyers available at local tribunals; 
Speaks for itself. 
But also why bother with Canon Lawyers and Tribunals if you accept Kasper’s “Wild West” / ” grant yourself an unofficial annulment”  solution?
3. and that the availability of services free of charge be increased.

It seems bizarre to me that the parishes are charged for the running costs of the Diocesan Offices – and then people applying for annulments are charged.
Access to the sacraments should be free of charge.

A pity Pope Francis doesn’t remind Cardinal Kasper and the other German Bishops this.

BTW… Pope Francis’ remarks about the cost of “annulments” were a departure from his prepared text.   He said: “How I would like all marriage processes to be free-of-charge.”   That’s a desire, it isn’t an edict.  Let us not forget that someone has to pay the bills in order to keep a tribunal open.

20 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (80% score)
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