Of Cardinals and Canaries

A post by the distinguished scholar Fr. John Hunwicke caught my eye. Here it is, in toto, but do check the comments over there as well.  My emphases:

Cardinal Rodriguez [That’s Oscar Card. Rodiguez Maradiaga… Archbp. of Tegucigalpa, sometimes referred to only by the second (matronymic?) of his parental, family names.]
I have tried to read carefully a paper by a Cardinal Rodriguez. [Not in Tegucigalpa, but in California at Santa Clara Univ, run by, who else, Jesuits.  Coincidently, around the same time, Card. Marx, speaking in California, did an interview with American Magazine, Jesuit run.  HERE] There are entire paragraphs that I actually don’t understand. Perhaps there are problems of translation; Fr Lombardi will know. But three points do strike me: (1) Christology. The Second Person of the Glorious and Undivided Trinity is referred to in phrases like “The God of Jesus” [I believe Card. Kasper has a book called “The God of Jesus Christ”.] and “God through Jesus”. I did not identify language clearly affirming that our Redeemer is God. [Odd.] (2) “Mercy” seems to be construed as being at the heart of theology. [I wonder if “mercy” can be entirely disconnected from justice and truth.] But any attempted reconstruction of Christianity which concentrates singlemindedly on one word or slogan (“Justification by Faith Alone”, for example, or “Sola Scriptura”) has tended, throughout history, to have disastrous effects. [A key phrase in the Cardinal’s talk: “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible. The wind that propels the sails of the Church towards the open sea of its deep and total renovation is Mercy.”] (3) The Roman Pontiff’s role is to protect the Tradition and to define and exclude heresy. [NB] This paper seems exclusively concerned to prepare the way for an agenda of radical but unspecified change centred upon the non-Magisterial utterances of just one pope during a ministry of less than two years. This is accompanied by a bizarrely curious suggestion that the Holy Father’s public style and personal gestures are his Magisterial Encyclicals.  [Have you noticed that on the Vatican website there is now a page dedicated to his non-Magisterial, off the cuff, fervorini at daily Mass? HERE]

Even during the pontificate of Pius XII and his canary, did papolatry go quite as far as this?

pius xii canary



3 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (95% score)
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Life with Capuchins? Take me back to jail!

A priest friend sent this, no doubt to amuse and edify.

From the Daily Mail:

Criminal serving his sentence with monks pleads to be sent back to prison… because monastery life is too hard

A convicted criminal who was serving out his sentence in a monastery has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life was too tough.
Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November.
But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back.

On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia.
He told the stunned policemen: ‘Prison is better than being at that hostel run by monks.’
A police spokesman said: ‘Catalano arrived out of the blue and said there was no way he could stay on with the monks.

‘He said it was too tough and he wanted to go back to prison, so we happily obliged and he is now back behind bars serving the rest of his sentence.


Not exactly three hots and a cot.

Read the rest there.

18 votes, 4.39 avg. rating (87% score)
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ACTION ITEM! Send Fr. Z Christmas cards from around the world – UPDATE

ORIGINAL Published on: Dec 22, 2014

xmas card 01Do people still send Christmas cards?  I have fewer this year than usual.

Some one remarked to me, jokingly, that I didn’t have a lot of Christmas Cards.

First, he couldn’t know that and, second, he wasn’t being serious.

Still, his remark got me thinking.

I am not impressed by email Christmas greetings.   Not at all.  If someone wants to send me Christmas greetings, they can send a card by snail mail.

So, let’s try something.  

Send me Christmas cards from all over the world with cool stamps.

I’ll save the interesting stamps and see if there is a home school group that might be into stamp collecting. 

I have set up a mail box at a UPS Store.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
6666 Odana Road
PMB #455
Madison, WI 53719-1012

First, I enjoy all those sixes.  I wish there were only three, just to provoke the imaginations of some of my … fans.   Second, I give the USP Store address because, in this holiday stretch especially, the mail delivery where I live is spotty at best: even the mail room people have to have a break.  Third, I start another round of travelling on 4 January, the people at the mail box will make sure I get everything.  Fourth, they are better at identifying ticking packages and defusing bombs than the people here.

I’ll let you know along the way how the card count is going.  Sometimes I look at the blog’s stats and I see, coming and going, people from all over the world.  Hopefully, you will take a moment or two to send a card.

UPDATE 26 Dec:

Cards are starting to come in. Among those which arrived today … from…


  • Cleveland, OH
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Alton, IL
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Yellowstone National Park, WY (How cool is that for an address? And the card was made in India, so they took me literally)!
  • Dallas, TX
  • Mt. Clemens, MI
  • Denton, TX

UPDATE 31 December:

I had a couple days away of down time.  I returned to find a huge stack of cards!  It took me an hour and a half to open them and extract stamps and read the contents.  Some people included family photos and their annual letter to friends and family.  Most people added written comments of appreciation for this blog.  A few people included donations.  Some people asked for prayers.  It was quite touching.

Cards came from all over the country and a few from beyond the borders, including…

  • Rochester, NY
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Berekely, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • Holyoke, CT
  • Forest Hills, NY
  • King of Prussia, PA
  • Fredricksburg, VA 2x
  • Lake Worth, FL
  • Mt. Laurel, NJ
  • Thousand Oaks, 2x
  • San Jose, CA 2x
  • Aptos, CA
  • Southhampton – UK
  • Dundee, MI
  • San Diego, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • San Rafael, CA
  • Irving, TX
  • Catskill, NY
  • Glen Burnie, MD
  • La Honda, CA
  • Arcadia, OK
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Kingston, ON
  • Meadville, PA
  • White Plains, NY
  • Lewiston, ME
  • Marshfield, MA
  • Summit, NJ
  • Camarillo, CA
  • Williamsport, PA
  • Madrid – SPAIN
  • Dorchester, MA
  • Millers Tavern, VA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Hudson, WI
  • Indian Trail, NC
  • Waldport, OR
  • Westchester, NY
  • Worchester, MA
  • New York, NY

Also, I have to share two shots of things that came in cards. Fun!

First, a bunch of old stamps.


And then there was this!  I think that’s a biretta at the top!



A few more cards today from…

  • York – UK
  • Austin, MN
  • Zebulon, NC
  • Northlake, IL

 UPDATE: 2 Jan 2015:

More cards are coming, now also from overseas!

  • Calgary, Alberta (not overseas for me)
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Guilford, CT
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Lansdowne, VA
  • Fritch, TX

Here is a nice card I received:


UPDATE 3 Jan 2015:

More cards have come in!

Today from

  • Quaker Hill, CT
  • Southwick, MA
  • Sheffield, England
  • Nottingham, Emgland
  • Somewhere in Ireland
  • Houston, TX (with Vietnamese)
  • Washington DC (I think)
  • Parrish, FL
  • Mount Laurel, NJ
  • Tambaram East, Kanchipuran – India
  • Franklin, MA
  • Wichita, KS
  • Bonita Springs, FL

I start the first round of travel for the new year as of tomorrow.  So, it’ll be a while before I can pick up more cards.  I hope for more.  The Christmas cycle ends conclusively with Candlemas, after all!

UPDATE 28 Jan:

More cards have come in. It took me a while to dig out from under my mail after my travels. I like to read the cards and the notes that are included. Some of them are quite touching. They give me a glimpse into the lives of readers. Many people asked for prayers for their families. DONE!

This round…



Only one piece of hate mail this time, typically anonymous. Ho hum.

Your cards came from….


  • Spokane, WA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Winder, GA
  • Koln, Germany
  • Huntersville, NC
  • France
  • USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)
  • Malta
  • Eltopia, WA
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Christchurch, NZ
  • Harvard, MA
  • Muskegon, MI
  • Emsdetten, Germany
  • Miami, FL
  • Gibraltar
  • St. Peters, MO
  • Monticell, MN
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Langhorne, PA
  • Simpson, PA
  • Destrehan, LA
  • Czech Republic
  • Chula Vista, CA
  • South Jordan, UT
  • Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • Manchester, NH
  • Citta del Vaticano
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Shelton, CT
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Markt Schiebe, Germany
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Vadnais Heights, MN
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Eden, NC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Ponte Vedra, FL
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Voorhees, NJ
  • Albany, NY
  • Carol Stream, IL
  • Arlington Hts, IL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Mililani, HI
  • Lawrenceburg, TN
  • Gerocery West, NSW
  • Westminster, CO
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Tiverton, RI
  • Issaquah, WA
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Menoken, ND
  • Breese, FL
  • Poland
  • Turku, Finland
  • Columbia, IL
  • Fresno, CA
  • Wichita, KS
  • Burnwood, Vic
  • Huffman, TX
  • Palmyra, WA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Nogales, AZ
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Paicineo, CA
  • Suffield, OH
  • Nogent-sur-Marne, France

Here’s one, making reference to my desire to write more by hand and my nostalgia for old school correspondence, that came nicely penned in Latin.


54 votes, 3.93 avg. rating (78% score)
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San Francisco parish takes step in right direction. Sky falls on pastor’s head.

In San Francisco, the new parish priest of Star of the Sea parish has decided to end service at the altar by girls in favor of exclusive service by boys.

In this he is to be praised.

However, right on schedule, the spittle-flecked nutty has begun. It started only by a couple disgruntled grousers. Then the press got it. Now pressure is on. HERE and HERE.

I have, as a gesture of support, sent Fr. Illo and the assistant some of my Z-Swag. You might drop them a line of support.

Let’s thank Archbp. Cordileone in advance for backing the priest.

18 votes, 4.11 avg. rating (82% score)
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Washington DC attacks religious freedom of Catholic schools

I was alerted to this terrible development.

From the Cardinal Newman Society.  Check out their feed on my sidebar.

Mayor Signs Coercive Bills Damaging Religious Freedom of D.C. Catholic Schools, Colleges

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed into law two bills that will severely damage the religious freedom of Catholic educational institutions and organizations in the nation’s capital.

The first bill, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, could coerce religious organizations to work with and hire those in favor of abortion and force employers to cover elective abortions in their health plans, regardless of their religious objections.

The second, the Human Rights Amendment Act, repeals an exemption that protected religious schools and universities from approving or funding homosexual advocacy. This new law would effectively force schools to recognize LGBT student groups or advocacy groups on campus.

In October, The Cardinal Newman Society joined The Catholic University of America and the D.C. Catholic Conference in warning the D.C. City Council that such a bill would violate the religious freedom of Catholic schools and universities.

According to the Council’s interpretation, the exemption allowed “religiously-affiliated educational institutions to discriminate based on sexual orientation.” However, the exemption gave Catholic schools the ability to uphold their religious beliefs for the past 25 years and was not problematic, argued Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

In a column published in The Wall Street Journal, Reilly went on to note that the Council’s decision “has the appearance of an attack on traditional religious teachings on sexuality, rather than any substantial victory for gay rights.” He stressed that the “narrow exemption was never intended to hinder human rights, but to put a stop to the unreasonable demands of city officials.”


8 votes, 3.50 avg. rating (71% score)
Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Card. Burke’s sermon on marriage

His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke recently celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool in the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere in Rome.   The Mass took place the day after the close of the conference of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and I was subdeacon for the Mass.

The text of His Eminence’s sermon for the occasion has been provided by NLM.  Check it out HERE.


7 votes, 3.86 avg. rating (77% score)
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I can see why Pope Francis is concerned.

After all, who knows what sort of monster one of those rabbits might turn out to be? You might need the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

[And before there are objections… yes, I know. Move on.]

Biretta tip to whomever coined “Rabbitgate”. o{]:¬)

17 votes, 3.94 avg. rating (79% score)
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ACTION ITEM! Help Franciscan Friars!

friar at workUPDATE 27 Jan:

I thought you might like a follow up about the collection taken for the Franciscan Friars.

Here is what I received from my friend who is coordinating the project for them.

I wanted to give you an update on the action item for the friars and ask you if you could publish it, also to say thank you to all the donators so far.

The Friars of the Family of the Immaculate and the Familia Christi who is hosting them got about 8.000$ from nearly 160 donators. Thank you to everyone who could give these young men a helping hand. They need you. They pray for you. The goal is to get 50 000$. God bless your generosity.



Remember the pictures of the Friars of the Family of the Immaculate I posted when I was in Rome recently? HERE

These young men, between 19 and 40 years old (in total there are about 40 of them), are hosted in one of the oldest Capuchin convents in Italy which belongs to the Familia Christi, a new Religious Congregation recognized by Bishop Negri of Ferrara. These two young communities are helping each other.

They need your help.

The old monastery needs a a lot of work. HERE There are bills to be paid. First and foremost they need to rebuild an old chapel. Prayer first.

They need $50,000.

I hope 1,000 of you, in your goodness, would give $50 dollars.

Sure, you can give less, but… 1000 x 50… hits the goal.

I am told that the plan is that two Masses a month will be offered for donors who helped to rebuild the Lady Chapel.

You can donate via Paypal to only4ourlady@gmail.com or click HERE

20 votes, 4.20 avg. rating (83% score)
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Another triumph for peace in our day

Huge progress has been made in the Vatican in the cause of peace!   In the wake of the planting of the peace tree (HERE) and the peace match (HERE), a bold new policy initiative will certain have a calming, peaceful effect on all onlookers, as well as the rights and feelings of Rome’s non-human citizens.

Via the Winnipeg Free Press:

dove crow

VATICAN CITY – Dove lovers, rejoice.
Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, a year after an attack by a seagull and a crow on the symbolic birds sparked protests by animal protection groups.
For years children, flanking the pope at a window of the papal studio overlooking the square, set free a pair of doves on the last Sunday in January. The Catholic Church traditionally dedicates January to peace themes.
Last year, the feel-good practice became a public relations disaster. After the children with Pope Francis tossed a pair of doves from the window, first a seagull and then a crow swept down and attacked the doves. Those doves’ ultimate fate was unknown.
Advocates for animals demanding an end to dove releases swiftly appealed to Francis, the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis of Assisi, the saint famed for his love for birds and other creatures of the wild.
“Here’s the balloons that mean, ‘peace,'” said Francis when children in the square let go of their balloons.
Gulls nest atop the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, not far from the Tiber River, and scavenge for garbage. One animal advocacy group likened freeing doves in Rome to issuing a death sentence.
Another saint, Pope John Paul II, began the dove release tradition to draw attention to the need to work for peace in the world. Since then, children have been invited to join pontiffs at the window to release a pair of doves.
Until this year.
The Vatican didn’t mention last year’s flap when it said in a statement Sunday that children would release balloons, including a hot-air balloon containing messages of peace. One of the children at the window read a speech about peace.

The Vatican version of a hashtag.

Sylvia the Dove Defender

I wonder if animal rights activists will now take up the cause of Sylvia, the Sharris Hawk employed to protect all Vatican peace doves.  HERE  Pope Francis has been a staunch defender of the unemployed, calling unemployment one of most urgent problems of our time. HERE

This does raise another issue, however.

I am now deeply worried that the helium – itself a diminishing resource – in the balloons might contribute to global warming ooops … climate change.

The cause of world peace is really complicated.

13 votes, 3.46 avg. rating (70% score)
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How did ‘ad orientem’ worship go in the Diocese of Lincoln?

Do you remember that in the Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop Conley decided to celebrated Holy Mass ad orientem versus during Advent?  HERE

The blog Corpus Christi Watershed has a follow up on how that went.  Sample:

A number of other parishes in the Diocese—probably on the order of 15 to 20—adopted the same practice of facing East during Advent. This was accompanied by explanation & catechesis, and the practice was met with considerable welcome. Multiple priests confirmed that the response was largely positive. Numerous parishioners apparently requested that the practice be continued beyond Advent.

One pastor enumerated some of the reasons his parishioners gave for their appreciation:

1. The posture seems “logical”
2. It makes sense to face the Person to Whom you are speaking
3. Facing East gives the high altar a purpose beyond simple wall decoration
4. It feels very sacred

These are interesting observations on the part of the actively participating faithful.

Another priest told me that his parish seriously considered adopting the initiative in their Advent Masses. Because Bishop Conley’s letter came out only two weeks before Advent, though, they felt there was not sufficient time to offer proper catechesis. Thus, they ultimately chose not to adopt the ad orientem posture. Nevertheless, there was a great openness among the priests.


There’s always next year.

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Conley and to the priests who followed his lead.

We urgently need (have urgently needed for decades) a revitalization of our liturgical worship of God.  This revitalization includes ad orientem worship.

Fathers, take the step.  Begin the catechesis and DO IT.

25 votes, 4.32 avg. rating (86% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Fr. Z KUDOS, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 23 Comments