Church Sign: “Welcome! We are heavily armed!

Since it’s Sunday… a friend forwarded this to me from Right Wing News:

Tampa church warns: We are armed & ready to use deadly force if a shooter attacks us

The churchgoers at River at Tampa Bay Church are taking their safety in their own hands and warning potential criminals who wish to do them harm that they are not going to be messed with.

This practically assures that they are never going to be the victims of a mass shooting that takes place at a church like what happened in Sutherland Springs, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina.

A sign – placed at the property about a year ago – issues a warning to everyone who reads it, but especially those who are thinking of doing something stupid inside the church.

“Welcome to the River at Tampa Bay Church – right of admission reserved – this is private property,” it reads.” “WARNING: Please know this is not a gun free zone – we are heavily armed – any attempt will be dealt with deadly force – yes we are a church and we will protect our people.”

That’s one way to approach the issue.

Another approach is this…

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Posted in Going Ballistic, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ASK FATHER: Can the priest receive Precious Blood by intinction?

From a reader…


Is it permissible for the celebrating priest to receive communion via intinction? Or must they physically eat the host and drink from the chalice?

Thank you very much for all you do.

I am not sure there is a way to eat and drink other than “physically”.  Unless you mean Spiritual Communion!   o{]:¬)

You are surely asking about the Novus Ordo.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal has seemingly conflicting information.

First, it says:

245. The Blood of the Lord may be consumed either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon.

This indicates that intinction is permitted.

The rubrics in the Missal says that the priest, “Deinde accipit calicem et secreto dicit… et reverenter sumit Sanguinem Christi“, which means that he consumes the Precious Blood from the chalice.  It is assumed that he does so directly, but it is permitted to use a means, such as the spoon or tube… or a piece of the Host!

However, it goes on to say:

249. If the concelebrants’ Communion is by intinction, the principal celebrant partakes of the Body and Blood of the Lord in the usual way, but making sure that enough of the precious Blood remains in the chalice for the Communion of the concelebrants.

I think that “in the usual way”, means drinking directly from the chalice itself, rather than using a means.  That’s the commonsense way of understanding that.

However, GIRM 245 suggests that a spoon, tube or even a piece of the Host could be a usual way.

Hence, I would have to say that, yes, the priest could receive the Precious Blood by intinction.  However, in order to follow the rubrics, that would have to be a in a second reception.  He would have to, first, receive the Host.  After receiving the Host, he would -I repeat, after – receive the Precious Blood in the usual way, or with a spoon, a tube… or by intinction.  It is a two step process that should not be reduced to one.

The other part of this question is: Should the main celebrant of a Mass do this?   I think not.  I think it is a bad “sign”.   It’s bad, liturgically, and could be confusing to people.

Of course if the priest is celebrating ad orientem then few or no one would see and it wouldn’t be so bad a signal.

Yet another reason!

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

WDTPRS – 33rd Ordinary Sunday: the “sign of peace” – Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Since the day I was ordained, I have celebrated both forms of the Roman Rite, the Novus Ordo and the TLM.

When I am called upon to say the Novus Ordo, I jump up and help out.  I prefer the older, traditional form, but it is also a matter of duty and charity to respond generously when called upon.

However, we priests have also been called upon generously to respond to what St. John Paul II called his Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta the “legitimate aspirations” of the faithful who desire tradition, to offer for their benefit what Benedict XVI called “sacred and great”, and ruled was never abrogated, always, therefore, legitimate.   This is one of the reasons why I, consistently, as we approach Sunday, post comments about the prayers of Mass in both the Usus Antiquior and the Novus Ordo.   We mustn’t be stingy.

This Sunday’s Collect in the Novus Ordo is rich.  The ancient author was skilled.  The translators of the current ICEL version blew it.

We will see where they went wrong and then drill into a pair of words leading us back to the 3rd century.

Our Collect for the 33rd Ordinary Sunday was in the 8th century Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis and also in the more ancient Veronese Sacramentary.

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster, in tua semper devotione gaudere, quia perpetua est et plena felicitas, si bonorum omnium iugiter serviamus auctori.

First, the conditional particle si means “if”. Iugiter (related to “yoke”) and servio (constructed with the dative) are old friends now. We can leave them aside.

Briefly, devotio can be read as “a devotion to duty”. Our “devotion” must lead the soul to keep the commandments of God and the duties of our state before all else. If we are devout in respect to God and intent on fulfilling the duties of our state in life as it truly is here and now, then God will give us the actual graces we need to fulfill our vocations. He helps us because we are fulfilling our proper role in His great plan.

I like the parallels between perpetua and iugiter, and plena and omnium followed by felicitas and bonorum.  If you work on it, this is an ABCCBA pattern.  Elegant.  Chiasmus.

Pay attention to the ideal conditional statement depending on “si…if” with the subjunctive: Y if X.


Grant to us, we beseech You, O Lord our God, always to rejoice in Your devotion, for happiness is perpetual and full, if we serve continually the author of all good things.


Father of all that is good, keep us faithful in serving you, for to serve you is our lasting joy.

What were they thinking?


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good.

FAIL. They eliminated the condition! The Latin says that happiness is perpetual and full, IF we serve God.    They eliminated the protasis of an ideal condition.

Why? Is the condition too demanding?

I can’t help but think of the many Catholics today who assume that heaven’s rewards are ours automatically without our having to do anything more than just feel good about ourselves.

The fact is, we can lose what Christ won for us through presumption, neglect, laziness, and sin.  Heaven is not automatic.  We must pray for the dead, examine our lives, go to confession, and perform good works.  We must serve.

As it happens, the 2008 “Gray Book” (draft) version had “if” while the 1998 rejected ICEL version suggested the condition through a paraphrase (“for only through our faithfulness to you…”).

Note the words perpetua and felicitas.

The Roman Canon (1st Eucharistic Prayer) raises up the names of two ancient martyrs, Sts Felicity and Perpetua. Coincidence? I think not. In the ancient sacramentaries today’s Collect was used for martyrs.

Who are Sts Felicity and Perpetua?

We have documents from the period of Roman persecutions of Christians in the early 3rd century, including the prison diary and trial accounts of a young noble woman named Perpetua, martyred around 202 in Carthage, North Africa. She was still a catechumen (not yet baptized), who identified herself as Christian. Perpetua gave up her still nursing baby and insisted on being put into the arena during games in honor of the Emperor Geta.  Many tried to dissuade her, but she got her wish. With great heroism she faced the beasts. After many torments a gladiator was sent in to finish her off, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Perpetua grabbed his hand and pointed his sword at her own throat. Perpetua’s heroism inspired others to give strong witness to their faith and, subsequently, be imprisoned. A pregnant slave girl name Felicity went to prison with Perpetua.  Felicity had her baby just before they were sent to the arena (from Latin harena, “sand” which covered the surface). The accounts of the trial and deaths of these martyrs attest to the amazing love they had for each other in prison.  They also show that Christian solidarity crossed class boundaries. There is a touching moment in the account when Perpetua and Felicity arrange each other’s clothing so as to preserve their modesty even while they were suffering.  They bade each other farewell with the kiss of peace.

Our Faith was nourished by the blood of martyrs. The farewell gesture of Perpetua and Felicity, the kiss of peace, should remind us today to be dignified during Holy Mass when the entirely optional “sign of peace” is invited for the congregation.

Dignity, people, dignity!  

Use some decorum if you have the sign of peace… for the love of all that’s holy!

The congregation’s sign of peace – is entirely optional in the Novus Ordo.  The congregation exchanges the sign of peace at the discretion of the priest or bishop celebrant.

To put it another way, it does not have to be done at all.

However, there is a specific moment when the celebrant extends his sign of peace to those present.  The celebrant’s sign of peace is not an option.

In Redemptionis Sacramentum we read:

[72.] It is appropriate “that each one give the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner”. “The Priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so as not to disturb the celebration. He does likewise if for a just reason he wishes to extend the sign of peace to some few of the faithful”. “As regards the sign to be exchanged, the manner is to be established by the Conference of Bishops in accordance with the dispositions and customs of the people”, and their acts are subject to the recognitio of the Apostolic See.

Thus, I suppose it depends on what people do during the sign of peace, or more technically, the “pax… peace”.  When I was in Hong Kong years ago I saw people bow to each other.  In the USA and Italy have have seen all dignity and reverence thrown to the winds.

Since in the Ordinary Form the congregational sign of peace is an option left entirely to the discretion of the priest celebrant, until we accomplish a restoration of liturgical decorum my preference would be to opt out of the congregational sign of peace.

That said, the congregational sign of peace is permitted.  As a matter of fact, it is an ancient Christian gesture, rooted in Scripture and the earliest liturgical practice.  It is well attested and its meaning is explained by Fathers of the Church such as St. Augustine.

The manner of giving the sign of peace is usually culturally conditioned.   However, there is a traditional sign of peace, or kiss of peace, the pax, in the Roman Church.

It would be nice for Catholics to use it, instead of the infelicitous foolishness that is perpetually perpetrated.

Remember the POLL that I posted about the sign of peace?  It has also been on and off of the sidebar.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Robert Mickens – Scaredy Cat

The analogy has been offered before.  Once upon a time there were only a few news outlets which had a strangle hold on news, which was pitched from only one, liberal, view.   Then came talk radio and after that cable. There was a whole new world of possibilities.   In the Catholic sphere, there were very few news outlets.  Then came EWTN and the internet and the whole scene changed.

Liberal hate this. They fear conservative voices in the new Catholic media and the power of the blogs.

This is a prelude to a quick romp and stomp through the befuddled head of Robert Mickens lately of La Croix International.   This is his latest platform, ultra-liberal, wherein he exercises his role as cadre in the New catholic Red Guards, attacking the Four Olds in defense of Francis Thought.

Here’s his latest piece.

Supporting the pope and his vision for reform

Reform-minded Catholics should ask God to bless Francis with good health and Benedict XVI with continued long life.


LOL!  Mickens hates Benedict, frequently insults him, and got fired from The Tablet because he publicly wished for his death.  HERE  The reason why he now says their ilk should hope for a long-life for Benedict XVI is because Francis shouldn’t resign while he is still alive.  As Mickens wrote: “But privately he’s also told aides that it would probably not be wise to resign as long as Benedict XVI is still alive.” Mickens’ hypocrisy has no bounds.

Going on…

Follow the logic.

There is another element regarding the perceived state of the Church. It is the myth of a Catholicism deeply divided, something that is being perpetuated by a very small minority within the Church, but which also includes a few of the voting members in the College of Cardinals.

It is becoming much clearer by the day that one of the main aims of this tiny group and its false narrative that Pope Francis is causing confusion and doctrinal uncertainty among ordinary Catholics is precisely to influence the next Conclave.

But it is a strategy based on a bogus hypothesis – that the Church is fractured into more or less equally opposing camps; or at least that those in the disaffected one are numerous. There is absolutely no evidence to support this beyond the rhetoric of a small cabal of bloggers and the presence of, in comparison to the worldwide Church, a minuscule number of neo-Tridentinist communities.

They are like shell companies. They look and sound like they are vibrant and growing, but they are actually quite hollow and unsustainable.  [A clever simile, but the traditional seminaries are growing and the families that frequent them have lots of kids.]

If a significant number of voting cardinals are swayed by this pressure group’s unsubstantiated narrative they will, in turn, try to convince the rest of the electors of the need to choose a “unifying” or “reconciling” pope. But this is a trap that, hopefully, most of the cardinals will see for what it is.

So… let me get this straight.   There is no confusion or doctrinal uncertainty in the Church.  Those who say there is confusion are a tiny minority.  There are traditionalists and bloggers who are pushing “fake news”.   They are hollow and unsustainable.

But apparently Mickens is pretty damn scared of them.

It seems that these bloggers have more power than he will openly admit, if they can sway the next CONCLAVE.

Does that sound hollow to you?

How scared is Mickens of these bloggers who are pushing fake news in an environment in which, as he claims, there really is no confusion?

If Francis wants to help make it more likely that the next Bishop of Rome is someone who will continue the “missionary and pastoral conversion” and vision for the Church he has begun, then the current pope might consider raising the number of electors. He could then fill those slots with new cardinals unwaveringly committed to his vision.

He is so terrified right now that he thinks the Pope should raise the number of Cardinal electors and then stack the College to stuff the ballot box.

Ecclesiastical gerrymandering?  Yep, he’s a liberal, alright.  What a hoot.

As far as his fear of bloggers is concerned, I am reminded of the story St. Augustine tells in City of God IV.  Alexander the Great captured some pirates.  Alexander asked the pirate chief how he dared to maraud on the seas.  The pirate responded, “How do you dare to seize the whole earth? Because I have a little ship, I am called a pirate. But because you have a great fleet you are styled an emperor.”

To Mickens and his kind, I respond:

Because I have a blog, I write “fake news”.  But because you have a magazine behind a paywall you are “journalist”.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, B as in B. S as in S., Conclave, Liberals | Tagged , | 3 Comments

ASK FATHER: Must I confess mortal sins which I honestly forgot in previous confession?

From a reader…


After a valid confession, if we later remember a forgotten mortal sin, are we strictly obligated to mention it in our next confession, or is it optional? I have found contradictory answers by both priests and laypeople online. Some say you CAN, but it’s not required. Some say you MUST, otherwise it’s a mortal sin and amounts to the same thing as concealing it. So which is it?

First, let’s be clear about something.

If you honestly forgot, or didn’t remember something, but you did your best at the time of the confession, then all your mortal sins are forgiven, even those which were forgotten or not remembered at the time.  However, if you deliberately exclude confessing a mortal sin that you do know about at the time, the absolution is not effective and you have compounded your deliberate omission with the sin of sacrilege, which must now also be confessed.

MUST we confess sins which we had forgotten?  After all, they’ve been forgiven already, right?

Let’s start with a couple of quotes.

CCC 1456:

All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession…”

You have not yet “recounted” all mortal sins.  Your next confession is your chance to do that.

And  1983 Code of Canon Law 988 §1:

“A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and in number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet directly remitted through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which one is conscious after diligent examination of conscience.”

The key word here is “directly”.

Sins that are confessed have been absolved directly.  Forgotten sins have been forgiven indirectly.

You have not yet had those forgotten or newly remembered sins forgiven directly.

Hence you are obliged to confess them too.

Bottom line, yes, you are obliged to confess those newly remembered mortal sins, in kind and number.

However… remember that remembering the sin does not put you back into the state of mortal sin again by the fact of remembering it.

Even if you have just walked out of church after having made your confession to the best of your ability and – BAM! – you remember something – you are not strictly obliged to turn around and go back into the church and start over.  You can but you need not at that very moment.  You should confess those remembered sins in a future confession, which should be regular and/or as frequent as needed.

It really helps to make a daily examination of conscience and make that examen a part of your routine, such that over a period of time, you don’t have these lapses very often or at all.  Some people have better memories than others.  However, that examination can really help you be thorough and, this is important, far more self-aware.  “Know thyself!”, the ancients cried!  Perhaps one of the wisest bits of advice ever given.


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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, GO TO CONFESSION, Hard-Identity Catholicism | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

REMINDER: Registration, passwords, moderation

First, a reminder that a few weeks ago, after a rocky software update for the blog I had to recertify 17K user accounts manually which somehow were put into “pending” mode.   In that process you you were sent an email (to the address you registered with) with a new password.   Some didn’t find that email.  Hence, some of you lost access to the combox here.

If you have had a hard time posting comments, drop me a line and I’ll get you a new password.  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR USERNAME!

When I reset passwords they are very strong and scary looking. For example:


You can change them in your profile.

Second, since the renovation, an important plugin I used to control the knuckleheaded stuff that sometimes arrives in the combox stopped working.   Hence, I have – until a new solution presents itself – switched on combox moderation for ALL POSTS.  Every comment of every user now will go through the queue.   I am sorry to have to do this.

Next, only registered users can comment.  Please register.  NB: Don’t neglect the field where I ask for “biographical information”.  No one will see it.  It doesn’t have to be long… just something that no bot or spammer would fill in, like your confirmation name, name of your parish… I rather enjoy the longer descriptions, however.

Moreover, if this blog is helpful to you, please consider subscribing to make a monthly donation.  This keeps the blog going.  No income, no blog.  I regularly pray for benefactors here, and say Masses for your intention.

Some options

Say a prayer when you use the blog, please.  Perhaps the “Internet Prayer”.

And maybe add one for me.  This blog is always under attack from spammers and nefarious ne’erdowells.


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Police Dept. offers “active shooter” training for clergy

A dear friend sent this nifty story from!

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — The Gloucester Township Police Department is hosting a free active shooter training event for local clergy next month.

In a bulletin, police say they want to help clergy become “better prepared” in case an active shooter situation happens at their church.

“The GTPD will host a free training night for local clergy on Active Shooter Response and Church Security where you can gain some knowledge and have questions answered to help you become better prepared,” police said in a bulletin. “All members of your clergy are invited, especially those who participate as ushers.

This comes after Devin Patrick Kelley gunned down 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, earlier this month.

Police will be holding the training on Monday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Building adjacent to the Gloucester Township Municipal Building.



God forbid that there be more.

That said…

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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Posted in Going Ballistic, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

U.S. priest in L’Osservatore Romano promotes either dissoluble marriage or polygamy

You have to pay attention to language, especially in the hands of libs.   They twist and they turn.  They set you up with implicit premises which you might breeze right by.   They lead you astray and into the dark places where mortal sin lurks.

A few days ago a concerned friend sent me from the English language weekly of L’Osservatore Romano (which happily almost no one reads anymore) a piece by Fr. Gerald J. Bednar of the Diocese of Cleveland about “Mercy and law in ‘Amoris Laetitia’.   I wrote a draft post about it at the moment, and then said, “Nahhh… no one will read that.  It’s too long for most people and – hey! – it in English L’Osservatore!”

However, it has returned to my mail box.

The problem with correcting bad texts is that you have to write ten times as much as the bad stuff to do it.  Hence, I will limit myself to pointing out a few serious problems with Bednar’s offering.  After that, you can do your own work pretty easily… if you care to look at it more.

It’s mostly blah blah, but it is insidious if you are not paying attention.  He bumps along, recycling clichés, and then we find the phrase:

“mercy listens to the voice of Jesus”

He places law, on one side, and “the voice of Jesus”, way on the other side of the tennis court.  See what he’s doing?

I am going to move a little fast here (time presses me) and this will be clunky, but you will quickly see what the problem is.

Bednar describes a man who leaves his wife, “obtains a civil divorce and marries another.”

No. He does not marry another.  He does something civilly called marriage, but it isn’t really marriage.  There dire consequences for Catholic theology and, frankly, truth and common sense, if we accept his premise.   Let’s see some of his work, with my emphases and comments.   He is talking about a divorced and “married” guy…

He admits his sin, and seeks pardon and forgiveness. What does conversion require of him? Must he leave his second wife [HUH?  What’s a “second wife”, if the first and real wife is alive?] and their children to return to his first wife? What if his first wife has remarried? [Ummm.  Same problem.] Is there no way for the repentant husband to stay in the second “marriage” and still receive Communion?  [YES!  There is a way.  He can “stay” with her and the kids (other than those he had with his wife) as brother and sister, remoto scandalo.  Also, let’s ask: must be amend his life or not?]

He goes on… watch the language…

The traditional response [Blow all that dust off! After all Familiaris consortio 84 is over 30 years old.] to this unfortunate circumstance requires him and his second wife [There it is again. No.  The second woman is not his wife.  NB: If she truly is his “second wife”, as he says, then there remain only two possibilities: either 1) there is no such thing as indissoluble marriage, or 2) he can be married to two wives simultaneously, which is polygamy.  So, Fr. Bednar, is this guy he married to two women simultaneously?] to live in a “brother- sister” relationship — denying to each other [?!?] normal conjugal relations. [Ummm… “conjugal” is going to involve being “married”.  Right?] Some circumstances may indeed call for such an arrangement. Some may not. Some couples may want their family [wait… they are not married, so how are we defining a Christian family now?] to continue to grow, and may recoil at the very idea of simulating the sacrament. [They ARE simulating matrimony!  And he is saying that living as brother and sisters is pretending to be married.  Good grief.] Can nothing be done?

Bednar seems to want the civil marriage to have the same effect as sacramental marriage.

Along the way he throws in some stuff about a “Spirit-guided institution” which we are to link that to “voice of Jesus” which he started with.

He seems to argue that Jesus and the Spirit want us to ignore what Jesus said.

There is in his piece some discussion of the Pauline and Petrine Privileges.   He seems to be saying that if there can be such Privileges, well then, marriages are perhaps not so easy to define as indissoluble.  After all… its the voice of Jesus in Spirit filled institution.  Right?

Both privileges are not so much commentaries on the indissolubility of marriage as they are affirmations of the centrality of mercy.

The problem with his argument is that both of those Privileges concern a good even higher, more fundamental than marriage.   The real point of the Pauline and Petrine Privileges is not “mercy”, but rather foundational importance of baptism and salvation.  The Privileges are about the Faith.

No one is saying that Francis is trying to make a new doctrine.  They are concerned that AL gives the impression of denying doctrines that cannot be denied, i.e., as the indissolubility of marriage and the necessity of Communion in grace and the imposes of give absolution to unrepentant sinners.    Denying the voice of Jesus, rather than listening for it.

Along the say Bedmar tries to argue that relaxing Sabbath laws shows that Jesus is merciful and, if he is merciful, marriage laws can also be relaxed.  The problem with claim is that Jesus upheld Sabbath laws but rejected interpretations of the laws.

Going on.

“The issue is not whether divorce is permissible. Clearly it is not. The issue is whether a second marriage [No!]must be characterized continuously  as adultery. That precise question has not been addressed before, not even in Familiaris Consortio. [YES.  It has been.  It is adultery.  Otherwise, why must they live as brother and sister. Having sex would make it adultery.]  Pope Francis shows mercy to those who come to realize all too late that their actions have offended the moral order. [Which doesn’t change the fact that they offended the moral order and are still offending the moral order!] After they confess their sin, [with a firm purpose of amendment of the sinful lives?] must they settle only for a simulated marriage?  [No!  1) They aren’t being forced.  2) They are not married!] If there is no reconciliation, as years pass, the situation of the parties may change[Their “situation”?] Mercy may call for leaving the second marriage in place[There it is AGAIN.  Some Orthodox think that marriages die even though the spouse didn’t die.  THAT is NOT Catholic teaching and Pope Francis can’t make it Catholic theologian.  This could be admission of Orthodoxy through the back door]

He goes on to talk about “opponents” and “rules”.   Get it?  He leaves out the part that the “rule” came from the Lord.

Folks, again, this is a little shotgunned, but you get the idea.

The main things to take away are these.

You can’t just invoke “the voice of Jesus” and “Spirit filled” and get away with illogical hogwash.

You must use language precisely.  We have to talk about the civilly remarried.  Without that “civilly” we get into huge trouble.  What he wrote, taken at face value, assuming that he is fairly intelligent and means what he wrote, leads to two possible outcomes.

If some divorced guy was truly married to his first wife, and then goes out and marries a second wife, and you give that guy and his second “wife” the sacraments without they have a firm purpose of amendment then the consequence is that there is either 1) no indissoluble marriage and/or 2) we now have recognized polygamy.

The moderation queue is on for ALL posts right now.

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Posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

ASK FATHER: How to shop online with your Amazon thingy?

From a shopping reader…


In order for you to get your kickback from the Amazon link, is it necessary to do each search from your link, or just when a purchase is made?

I don’t buy that much (not a Prime member) so I might find something and put it on a list or in the cart and after some stuff accumulates (and I get free shipping), I’ll place the order. So do I need to re-search for everything from your link, or just go there when I’m ready to purchase.



If you are purchasing multiple things within the same session (shopping trip) amazon will keep track of how you got there.  If you purchase things far apart in time, then you should go to my search box and start your shopping session that way.  Then amazon will track you again.

But within the same session, you don’t have to look up each thing through my search box.

Think about getting your Christmas shopping done early.

Everyone… please… do your online shopping through my links and search boxes.  The US amazon box is always on the sidebar near the top.  The UK box is down at the bottom of the blog’s main page.  Go look for it.

When you start thinking about shopping online, repeat to yourself

“Must help Fr. Z… Must help Fr. Z… Must help Fr. Z… Must help Fr. Z… Must help Fr. Z… Must help Fr. Z…”

Alternatively, you libs can chant, “Fr. Z needs help… Fr. Z needs help… Fr. Z needs help… Fr. Z needs help… ”

Chant what you want, just use my search boxes.

For your convenience, here they are.



I have no idea who orders what.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | 1 Comment

ASK FATHER: Emergency Baptism “in utero”

From a reader…


Recently, a baby in Texas was temporarily removed from her mother’s womb for life saving spine surgery. After the 20 minute surgery, the baby was returned to the womb, and was born healthy several months later. (Truly a great pro-life story –  Link to BBC story  HERE.) My question: Could that baby have been validly and licitly baptized under emergency guidelines while out of the womb (presuming it was safe to do so, etc.), even though it was not “born” for another few months? Thank you.

I read that story.  It is amazing what can be done today.

Yes, it would have been possible to baptize the child before being replaced.

Babies can be baptized.  An unborn baby is a baby.  An unborn baby can be baptized.

The baby in the story could easily have been baptized using the short, emergency form.  There could be no possibility of anointing with chrism, the Ephphatha, etc.

Moreover, for a long time there has been a procedure in an emergency to baptize in utero.

Manualists, et al., write of a procedure in which, using a syringe as in amniocentesis, a solution of water and mercuric chloride was introduced such that it reached the child.  Leo XIII in 1905 approved of answers to dubia – back when dubia received answers – issued by the Holy Office about the validity of such a baptism.  The Holy Office said that it was permitted and it was valid.  In that case, however, I should think that conditional baptism would be prudent after live birth if possible.

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The Four Last Things, False Paths, and @JamesMartinSJ

Homosexualist activist James Martin, SJ, tweeted this today.

He’s referencing the Gospel reading from the Novus Ordo, of course.

I wholeheartedly endorse the message that we should all consider, daily, the Four Last Things.

Yes, perhaps the world is coming to an end!  Fr. Z agrees with James Martin!

I will add, however, that it is wrong to lead people down false paths and commit scandal.

Here’s a little animated illustration to make my point.


Remember… you are all going to die.


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Fr. Z’s Kitchen: A lunch tribute to #MaximumBeans

Each time tweet attention hungry Massimo “Beans” Faggioli encounters a traditional or faithful person, position, or has a set back, he gets a little sour.  He can’t really help it. He is angling for elevation as a cadre in the New catholic Red GuardsThey advance, stopping on opposition through the interwebs, shouting their slogans and pumping their papalatrous fists skyward.   SMASH THE FOUR OLDS!   Pò sì jiù!

The other day, after the bishops of the USCCB opted not to elect his preferred candidate to a committee chairmanship, Beans was very sour indeed.  Check the Sour Beans! post.

In honor of Maximus’ reaction I hunted up a recipe for Chinese Sour Beans.  It seemed only right in my solicitude for him.   I adapted this.

Here’s most of my mise-en-place.  I was a little lazy in regard to matchsticking the carrots, but, hey.  Also, I scaled the quantity from 4 servings to 1, though I didn’t diminish by much the garlic and ginger.  And I increased the red pepper “heat”.

After putting a bit of a brown on the ginger and garlic, in goes the pork.  I had a pork chop which I sliced up, rather than using the ground pork suggested in the recipe.

Meanwhile, I blanched the beans in two kinds of vinegar, which cleared out the sinuses I can tell you.

Beans to the pork.

Making the sauce, soy into the vinegar… then cornstarch to thicken.


Top with the carrots and green onion.

This was really good.  I happen to like vinegary dishes, and this sure fit the bill.  It had heat from the pepper and the ginger.  The textures were great. It would be better to make it in a larger quantity, however.

I did circle back to to the stove to squeegee up the last drops of sauce for some rice.  Yum.

If you have any hint of a delicate stomach, this might not be the dish for you.  It could, like much of Maximum Beans’ tweets and other writings, produce indigestion in the faithful, thoughtful Catholic.

In any event, for me it produced an enjoyable and, above all, amusing lunch which I now share with the readership to enjoy with me vicariously.

Lastly, say a Rosary for Massimo “Beans” Faggioli.  He is confused about the Rosary.  HERE  Were he here I would have made a double batch of Sour Beans to sweeten with the recitation of a decade.

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INDIANAPOLIS 17 NOV – YOUNG PEOPLE! Traditional Solemn Mass for the National Catholic Youth Conference

There will be a SOLEMN Mass in the traditional, Extraordinary Form at the NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference)

Solemn High EF Mass
Friday, November 17th 2017
11:30 AM
Indiana Convention Center
Mass will be located in the adoration chapel in the convention center
(500 Ballroom)

At NLM Greg DiPippo wrote:

Two years ago, a Missa Cantata was celebrated at the conference, and it drew such a large crowd that there were more people overflowing outside of the small chapel than inside the chapel itself. The Mass has been moved to a larger room this year, and a portable reredos and communion rail are being built for the chapel. Please spread the word to those you know who might be attending NCYC; this will be a great opportunity for young people to experience the Traditional Rite of the Mass at such a large gathering.

¡Hagan lío!

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The dying out of women religious, and the crisis of religious, priestly vocations. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

If anyone in the English speaking world knows what the status quaestionis is concerning American women religious it’s Ann Carey. She has written insightful books about, especially, why some orders are imploding from their own suicide pact with modernity.  See in particular the thoughtful and balanced Sisters in Crisis Revisited: From Unraveling to Reform and Renewal.

A few days ago, Carey had a piece at National Catholic Register which, if you missed it, you should track back to.

She spotlights a real nut-job as exemplary, though she must be counted an extremist. I’ve written about her too: Sr. Donna Quinn, OP – a Sinsinawa Dominican (based in the Diocese of Madison where I am, founded by the titanic Ven. Samuel Mazzuchelli whose cause is stalled for no good reason.)  I wrote about here in my legendary post: NUNS GONE WILD!  Let’s have a look at Carey:

‘Progressive’ Orders are Passing Away—the Future Belongs to the Faithful
Young women are rejecting the dissent perpetrated by women who use their status as religious to get attention for their attacks on settled Church teachings.


The other headline I saw — “Decade after dust-up, nun firm on abortion: ‘Choice is the woman’s’” — was in the Oct. 27 Chicago Sun-Times. It describes an interview with Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Donna Quinn about her 10-year pro-abortion activism, which she summed up by saying: “The choice is the woman’s … do not interfere.”

Sister Donna also told the Sun-Times that the Vatican and Church hierarchy have no authority, and she voiced her support for the ordination of women and dismissed Church teaching on the Eucharist. As the Sun-Times wrote:

Quinn sees the Eucharist as not necessarily ‘something you go to and that only the priest has this power to change this into something else, but I see Eucharist as being part of our everyday life.’

‘A grandparent who embraces his little grandchild … is Eucharist to me.’

Yet, incredibly she insisted: “I still belong to the community called Sinsinawa” Dominicansand “could have left” the Catholic Church, but staying gives her a stronger voice.


This nutty heretic, like so many of the other weird sisters, Jesuits and their companions in prevarication, and, I’m sure, lib catholic writers for outlets like Fishwrap, stay in the Church because they have a bigger platform, not to mention their four hots and a cot.

Carey contacted the Sinsinawas for information about Quinn and received back a slithery non-response about “values” and “compassion” blah blah.

Donna Quinn escorts women into abortion clinics, by the way.



While the Quinn story is an extreme example of dissent by a so-called religious, this sad situation also raises serious questions about why higher Church authorities allow such scandal by religious to persist. [JAMES MARTIN, SJ] It also dramatizes how some formerly outstanding religious orders have self-destructedadversely affecting the image of religious life and slowing vocations to a trickle.


This phenomenon is not limited to women religious.  Although, as I write this, I recall a breakfast chat I had years ago with a bishop, now, an archbishop.  He had just had an early meeting with his local ordinary: “John,” he said wearily, “never forget this: there are old women of both sexes.”

The same dynamics affect the growth or dissolution of religious vocations for men as for women.  They are also the same for diocesan priests.

When these groups conform themselves to the world, they die.  When they embrace and maintain a strong identity and their charism, they grow.

This isn’t rocket science.

We have to get down on our knees constantly and pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Let’s not pray for generic “vocations”, lumping them all together.  No.  We need a public, manifest, constant call for vocations to the priesthood from our own homes and families, not someone else’s.

Here is a prayer for vocations which has in the past proven itself to be effective. 

At my home parish this was prayed immediately after the Gospel at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass.  There was, on average, a First Mass every year for 30 years.

At the parish where I serve now, the pastor and I had cards printed.    From now on, at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass, after the Gospel and before the announcements and sermon, everyone will kneel and say this prayer:

LEADER: Please kneel for our prayer for vocations.  Let us ask God to give worthy priests, brothers and sisters to His Holy Church.

ALL: O God, we earnestly beseech Thee to bless this (arch)diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Thy Church and to make Thee known and loved.

LEADER: Bless our families. Bless our children.

ALL: Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.

LEADER: Mary, Queen of the Clergy!

ALL: Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more.

Fathers… use the prayer, but leave it as it is, only changing “archdiocese” to “diocese” where necessary.  Don’t fool around with it.

A friend back home – whom I miss rather a lot – sent me one of the original holy cards, which I prize.



Note that key line:

Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.

We had cards made with beautiful artwork on the front and this very prayer on the back.  Soon it will be so much a part of the regular Sunday and Holy Day practice that everyone will know it by heart.  It will ring in the ears of young people and keep the idea of a religious vocations constantly present and active.  I don’t doubt the outcome over time.

This is an ACTION ITEM.   Fathers, consider implementing this in your parishes. Do NOT junk the prayer up with additions about “married life” or “single life” or “permanent deacons”.  Just leave it as it is.  We’ve done the heavy lifting by already printing the cards if you want to drop a line.

Lay people!  Especially you who are in sound parishes!  Go to your priests with this post and ask them to implement a prayer for vocations to the priesthood.  Keep at them.

Thus endeth the rant.



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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, PRAYER REQUEST, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, Women Religious | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

ASK FATHER: A prayer for protection while traveling

From a reader…


I ride a Vespa PX150 around town as it’s quick and cheap to run. When I start the scooter each time I recite the Apostles’ Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary and Gloria while the engine is warming. Then I am right to go. I was wondering if you knew of a prayer (preferably in Latin) I could say after the earlier prayers for protection during my journey.

I have been an avid reader/follower from WDTPRS almost from its inception and I think you are doing a wonderful work for the Church all over the world. God bless you.

Thanks for your kind words.

There is a time honored prayer used when making a journey. It is a tad long for a short scoot, but… hey! You asked for Latin prayer before using your Vespa, and that’s what I’m going to provide. You can find the classic Itinerarium HERE.

This Itinerarium was a prayer used especially by those starting out on a pilgrimage. All pilgrimages are journeys but not all journeys are pilgrimages. Still, every time you cross the threshold to travel somewhere, you are striking out into the unknown, where your life’s end might come more quickly than if you had stayed at home.

Perhaps you could use just one of the several prayers in the Itinerarium:

Deus, qui filios Israel per maris medium sicco vestigio ire fecisti, quique tribus Magis iter ad te stella duce pandisti, tribue nobis quaesumus iter prosperum tempusque tranquillum: ut, Angelo tuo sancto comite, ad eum quo pergimus locum, ac demum ad aeternae salutis portum pervenire feliciter valeamus.

O God, who madest the children of Israel to walk with dry feet through the midst of the sea, and who didst open unto the three wise men, by the guiding of a star, the way that led unto Thee, grant us good speed, and quietness: may thy holy Angel accompany us during our pilgrimage and in the end, may we attain the haven of eternal salvation.

Or else one of the prayers from the Rituale for the Blessing of a Vehicle (making the sign of the cross over yourself, not the bike):

Propitiáre, Dómine Deus,supplicatiónibus nostris, et bénedic currum istum déxtera tua sancta: adjúnge ad ipsum sanctos Angelos tuos, ut omnes,qui in eo vehéntur, líberent et custódiant semper a perículis univérsis: et quemádmodum viro Æthíopi super currum suum sedénti et sacra elóquia legénti, per Levítam tuum Philíppum fidem et grátiam contulísti; ita fámulis tuis viam salútis osténde, qui tua grátia adjúti bonísque opéribus júgiter inténti, post omnes viæ et vitæ hujus varietátes,ætérna gáudia cónsequi mereántur.Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Lord God, be well disposed to our prayers, and bless this vehicle with your holy hand. Appoint your holy angels as an escort over it, who will always shield its passengers and keep them safe from accidents. And as once by your deacon, Philip, you bestowed faith and grace upon the Ethiopian seated in his carriage and reading Holy Writ, so also now show the way of salvation to your servants, in order that, strengthened by your grace and ever intent upon good works, they may attain, after all the successes and failures of this life, the certain happiness of everlasting life; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

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