22 July: Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Georges_de_La_Tour_Repentant_Magdalen_400Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.  I hope you have some madeleines today, even though they don’t have much to do with her.

Last year, in the Ordinary Form calendar of the Roman Rite, St Mary Magdalene’s annual liturgical observance on 22 July was elevated to a status of Feast.  Her new Feast was given a new proper Preface.  There is no way to arrive definitively at the identity of this fascinating figure.  Nevertheless, it is good to see her day restored to greater dignity.

Speaking of Mary Magdalene’s identity, we know from Scripture that she came to Jesus’ tomb in the garden to anoint His Body. Mary, the first witness of the empty tomb, then went to tell Apostles. Hence, she is called “the apostle to the apostles”.  Initially, Mary mistook the Risen Lord for the gardener.  St Augustine (d 430) says that “this gardener was sowing in her heart, as in His own garden, the grain of mustard seed.” When He said her name, she recognized and tried to cling to Him. Christ mysteriously forbade her to touch Him (“Noli me tangere” – John 20:17) saying, “I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” Augustine proposes that Christ wanted to be touched spiritually, believed in, before being touched in any other way.  Reflect on that before receiving Communion.

The 3rd century writer Hippolytus identified Mary Magdalene with both Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and also the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet. Mary Magdalene and/or Mary of Bethany are often identified as sinners. Pope Gregory I “the Great” (d 604) called her a peccatrix, “sinner”. Eventually she came to be called also meretrix, “prostitute”.  Another tradition supposes that Mary Magdalene was the woman the Lord saved from stoning. This is the tradition referenced in Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ. Scholars today believe that Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, the woman Jesus rescued, and the woman who anointed His feet are all different women.

Rightly or wrongly, Mary Magdelene has long been associated in art and literature with ongoing penitence for past sins.  Hallow her feast with an examination of conscience, which can be bitter.  You could then celebrate her Feast with the little scallop-shaped cookies called “madeleines”.  They aren’t really named after our saint, but, who cares?  They might sweeten your remembrance of things past.

I wrote more extensively on the feast of Mary Magdalene’s day to a feast HERE.  That post includes my translation of the new Latin Preface.  Please note that there is an ERROR in the LATIN text!

Meanwhile, in honor of Mary Magdalene, I read a bit of St. Robert  Southwell, SJ’s incredible prose in his Mary Magdalen’s Funeral Tears.  

Robert Southwell is one of the several Jesuit priests among the English Martyrs.  He studied in Rome and returned to England to serve in secret for several years, until he was captured by the ghoulish “priest hunter” and psychopath Richard Topcliffe.  Southwell was tortured many times and eventually hung, drawn and quartered.  He is without question a master of English prose, one of the great writers of his or any other age.

Mary Magdalen’s Funeral Tears is based somewhat on a sermon of Origen and maybe other Italian sources.  It takes the form of a dialogue between Mary, the angels of the empty tomb, Christ, and the narrator. She is quite heroic.

Here’s a taste of the beginning.

Amongst other mournful accidents of the Passion of Christ, that love presenteth itself unto my memory, with which the blessed Mary Magdalen, loving our Lord more than herself, followed him in his journey to his death attending upon him when his disciples fled, and being more willing to die with him then to live without him. But not finding the favor to accompany him in death, and loathing to remain in life after him, the fire of her true affection inflamed her heart, and her inflamed heart resolved into incessant tears; so that burning and bathing between love and grief, she led a life ever dying, and felt a death never ending; and when he by whom she lived was dead, and she for whom he died enforcedly left alive, she praised the dead more than the living; and having lost that light of her life, she desired to dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death, choosing Christ’s tomb for her best home, and his corse for her chief comfort: for Mary (as the Evangelist saith) “stood without at the tomb, weeping.”


For his poetry, which is great and spiritually deep…

US HERE ($1.99 for Kindle) – UK HERE (£1.48 for Kindle)

Don’t have a Kindle yet?

What’s wrong with you?!?



Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

New Book of Benedict XVI’s collected sermons on the priesthood

This has gone immediately on my wishlists.

It seems to be slated for publication on 1 August.

Some of his books include an appendices of sermons. It will be great to have them in one volume.

Get copies as gifts for your priests and for seminarians.


Oh yes, there is a preface by Pope Francis.

Posted in Benedict XVI, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z meets Tracer Bullet, Private Eye

tracer bullet calvin hobbes 01I’ve been busy with the Challenge Coin project.  More have gone out to friends and donors, two yesterday, a couple more today.

It’s been awhile since we heard about the doings of Tracer Bullet, Private Eye.  I think the last update was HERE.  Our frequent commentator “Semper Gumby” posts on Tracer from time to time.

Come to think of it, SG also opined about the design of my challenge coin:

But I’m still partial to a coin with Fr. Z in Braveheart blueface, biretta, night vision goggles, and aspergillum. Ah well.

Well, SG isn’t the only one with word from Tracer, sent by Father Z to investigate the The Mysterious Case of the Hallow’s Missing Maniple.

Here’s my account, which I quickly typed out on my old Underwood.


The smell of stale beer and cigar smoke mixed in the dark low-ceilinged bar like a trench filled with poison gas. The slowly drifting fumes drifted languidly to the tune from the jukebox. Maybe it was his imagination, but to him the dust motes hanging in the flickers of the dying neon sign over the bottles by the dull cracked mirror spelt something. “Danger… danger….”

“Stubby” described both the bartender’s height and his face. He paced the length, seeing to refills and watching for trouble.

“What’ll it be, Faddah? The usual?”

The trial-worn priest sloughed of his rain dampened greca and romano, hanging them on the rack that stood like a sentinel near the door.

“The usual?”  He paused, tilting his ear toward the jukebox.  “You Was Born To Die”.  Blind Willie.  It was like the stars were lining up.

“Not tonight, Stubs. I’ll have that one you made the other day for… well, you know who.”

The barkeep went very still and, after a few breaths, said quietly, just audible over the moaning blues guitar.

“Yah, sure ‘ting, Faddah. One of doz’ … doz’ Inky Montanas. Right?”

“That’s right, Stubs, one of those ‘Inky Montanas’.”

Stubby turned to his potions, but his sad eyes fixed on the priest a beat too long.

A couple minutes passed before he neared the cleric’s place again, alone at the middle of the brass-railed bar, shining with the neon and the low-watt bulbs.   He set the drink down.

“Jus’ like da…”.

There was a sudden change in the air.  The barkeep froze, eyes widening as he peered beyond the cleric toward the door.

The priest’s old, sharply-honed senses tightened around him like the grip of an angry Swedish masseuse as the figure entered from the rain swept, street-light glittering darkness.  He had the newcomer in the mirror.  In the reflections off the cash register. Finally in Stubby’s horn-rimmed glasses. The smell of old wet trenchcoat and spent gunpowder all preceded him with the squeak of leather soles before the man sat heavily on the stool beside the priest, still dripping fedora pulled forward.

Beat… beat… beat…

“Tracer”, the ecclesiastic nodded.

“Z”, he returned, a little too informally.

The jukebox started to ratchet in a new tune.  The priest didn’t move.

The private eye took off his hat. But as he set it down, his grip loosened an instant too soon. It dropped, spilling the priest’s untouched drink, which bled out over the flat surface finding his folded copy of the The Wanderer.

“Sorry, Z”, he mumbled, little too nonchalantly, tense.

Beat… beat… beat…

“Tracer?”, the priest said quietly.

There was a pause.

The long smoky room slowly quieted but for the sound of the neon buzz and “How Long, How Long”.

Heard the whistle blowin’, couldn’t see no train
Way down in my heart, I had an achin’ pain
How long, how long, baby how long

“My drink is no longer in my glass, Tracer.”

The Private Dick licked his lips and slowly stood back up.



“My drink.”

The bartender stirred into action. “No problem, Faddah, I’ll jus…”

With the slightest raise of the cleric’s hand from the counter top, he stopped.

“There’s time for that in a moment, Stubs.”

Tracer Bullet stood by the bar stool in the haze of the long, dark smoky-laden watering hole, hands hanging at his side.

Father Z rose, cassock falling into place, hands at his sides.


“Yes, Z.”

Beat… beat… beat….

“My name is Father. You killed my Inigo Montoya. Prepare to die.”

Beat… beat… beat….

The house erupted in howls of mirth and everyone jolted back into motion.

“So, how do we settled this… little problem?, he said, “The usual way?”

Tracer’s shoulder visibly relaxed.

“Yes, Father.”

After a second’s pause, eyes locked, their hands flew to their pockets at the same moment. The black-clad divine filled his hand with smooth cold metal and drew, shooting his arm toward his opponent. Tracer was still fumbling, checking one pocket after another… trousers, jacket, trench coat.


The worn challenge coin glinted in the priest’s palm with the flickers of the dying neon sign by the cracked mirror.

“Tracer, you don’t have your coin.”

“No, Father.”

“You know what that means, right?”

“Yes, Father.”

“Stubbs! Set ’em up. Tonight the drinks are on our friend Mr. Bullet, here.”

Cheers went up from the shadowy length of the caliginous bar and someone by the jukebox punched up the B.B. King.

“So,” Father Z said reclaiming his barstool, “I take it that you saw my old friends at MI-6.  What did you find out in London?  Tell me everything, omitting nothing….”

The priest twisted his head sidelong and looked at the weary detective like a black cobra at mongoose having really bad day.

“If you do… I’ll know.”

The detective extracted a holy card from the breast pocket of his sharp-lapelled pinstripe and placed it on the counter which the hovering Stubby had just wiped down.

“Southworth”, said the priest, without moving his eyes from the investigator’s worn face.

“Southworth”, he replied.  “And Moneypence sends her regards.”

The silent bespectacled bartender, nodded with a distant smile and went to clear some tables.

“Okay, Tracer, get to it or I’ll start on you with the Maledictory Psalms.”

“Okay, padre, keep your fascia on.  It’s like this….


For those of you who don’t know… there is a cocktail called an “Inigo Montoya”, a movie character who utters a famous phrase echoed in the account above.  The drink is quite similar to the Moscow Mule, which is growing in popularity, though it substitutes the vodka with tequilla.  The ginger beer and lime remain, obviously, though a dash of cardamon is added.

Something to lighten up a Friday.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z rants: Card. Sarah’s proposals for “mutual enrichment”

mass TLMI mentioned the firehose effect of onrushing news in another post.  There are strong debates going on over many important issues right now.  One of those which most interests me has been stoked by the 10th anniversary of Benedict XVI’s monumentally important Summorum Pontificum.  I called it the “Emancipation Proclamation”, and have dubbed it a foundation block of his “Marshall Plan” for the revitalization of our Catholic identity and a bulwark against the dictatorship of relativism.

For the 1oth anniversary, the great Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote an article for the French magazine La Nef.  The text was hard to find (I have it now).  I was also sent a good English translation which I read as a PODCAzT.

I didn’t agree with everything the Cardinal suggested about the future path of Benedict’s desired “mutual enrichment” of the two “forms” of the Roman Rite.  However, I have prayerfully engaged them.

Fr. Raymond de Souza (he’s been busy lately), not an enemy of traditional expressions of worship but not a strong supporter, wrote an endorsement of Card. Sarah’s suggestions at the UK’s best Catholic weekly (for which I also write) The Catholic Herald: “Cardinal Sarah’s challenge to traditionalists“.  HERE  De Souza:

Sarah proposes that efforts be made to have a shared calendar and a shared lectionary, so that both the EF and OF would celebrate more feasts together and have the same Scripture readings at Mass.  [Additions of saints to the traditional calendar is not terribly problematic.  The addition of a new lectionary would introduce the serious problems of coherence that the Novus Ordo experiences, at least on Sundays. Also, I am not entirely sure that everyone would agree that the new Lectionary has been 100% successful.  That said, yes, it would be easier for priests to have the same readings in both forms, especially when they – as I frequently do – say both forms on a Sunday.  But easy isn’t a good objective in worship.]

That poses a twofold challenge. First, it requires the EF community to acknowledge that some aspects of the OF, particularly its reformed calendar and its lectionary – which includes far more Scripture than the EF one – are actual improvements and possible enrichments for the EF.  [That isn’t apparent.]

There are certainly some in the EF community who are happy to acknowledge this and would be pleased to see a shared calendar and lectionary. [Again, these are two different issues.] But others, not an insignificant part, consider the entire OF to be an impoverishment with little, if anything, enriching to offer. [It would be good to put together the bullet points of what riches the OF would bring to the EF.  That could be a helpful starting point for discussion.] In the background, of course, is the Society of St Pius X, which would be deeply suspicious of any talk of changing the EF Roman Missal, 1962 edition.


Moving towards Cardinal Sarah’s vision begins, though, not with practicalities but with a change of heart. That is likely why he chose the term “reconciliation”. Reconciliation requires a change of heart, a willingness to see the good in the other, and an openness to make things different in order to accommodate that good.  [A change of heart…]

I think we all can agree that at the heart of most instances of reconciliation, especially in the life of the Church, all parties need a “change of heart”.

However, I must of observe that, for decades, many of the traditional leaning, have experienced their hearts being torn from their breasts and stomped on by the other side, as it were.  Their hearts have again and again been bruised and riven.  If a change of heart is at the heart of reconciliation, then so are apologies.  So is a time for healing.   Talking about a change of heart is easy.

That brings me to another reaction to Card. Sarah’s 10th anniversary article, in dialogue with Fr. de Souza, by Prof. Joseph Shaw of Oxford and of the Latin Mass Society.

Prof. Shaw wrote a piece called “Why Cardinal Sarah’s liturgical ‘reconciliation’ plan won’t work“.  HERE

Firstly, Shaw recaps what Card. Sarah suggested for the mutual enrichment of the two forms.  For example, Sarah proposes introduction – no – re-introduction into the OF: reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling (which should be the norm anyway), the reintroduction of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, options for using the old Offertory prayers, quiet canon, and the so-called ‘canonical digits’.  Into the EF he would see not so much re-introductions but rather a wholesale change to the traditional Rite, that is, adoption of the Novus Ordo Lectionary (as Fr. de Souza praised) and what I consider a less problematic closer alignment of the calendars, so long as this is restricted to the addition of modern saints, etc.

Shaw tackles the issue of the Lectionary:

The new lectionary is sometimes held up as obviously superior to the old, but not everyone committed to the reformed Mass agrees. The Toronto Oratorian Fr Jonathan Robinson wrote (The Mass and Modernity, 2005, p332):

I think the diversity, rather than enriching people, tends to confuse them… This may be because the selections, as has been noted by others, were drawn up more to satisfy the sensibilities of liturgical scholars than on traditional liturgical principles.  [My old boss at “Ecclesia Dei” remarked that the addition of a third reading on Sundays lent an undesirable element of “didacticism” to Mass.  And if there is greater variety of Scripture readings in the Novus Ordo, the yearly repetition of the same readings on Sunday and Feasts ensured that the faithful came to know them well.  Today, ask people what the readings were as they walk out of Mass.]

However, another question is raised by Cardinal Sarah’s proposal: can the lectionaries of the two Forms simply by swapped over?

The short answer is ‘no’. To take the most obvious problem, the 1969 Lectionary has no readings for the season of Septuagesima, because that season does not exist in the 1969 calendar. Were the ‘Ordinary Time’ cycle simply extended to this period of three Sundays before Lent, its penitential orations would conflict with readings which can be used after Pentecost as well as before Lent.  [How about the reintroduction of the pre-Lent to the Ordinay Form?  How’s that as the step to mutual enrichment?]

Variations on this problem arise throughout the Church’s year. Many of the EF’s proper texts of feast days, and a good many Sundays, refer to the readings. The choice of readings in the Ordinary Form is so different from those in the Extraordinary Form that the discordance would be particularly jarring.  [Moreover, there is often a strong resonance between the readings and the antiphons in Mass formularies that would be disrupted, as it has been in the Novus Ordo with it’s three year Sunday cycle.]


Shaw has more on the issue of the Lectionary.

Then, however, Shaw make a strong argument, which I endorse.

Above all I would like to suggest that the Church has nothing to fear from a varied liturgical landscape: a landscape becoming more varied as Eastern Rite Catholics flee to the West. Vatican II reassured us on this point (Unitatis redintegratio 17):

…from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting.

This, surely, is the direction from which ‘liturgical reconciliation’ should come.


The Church even in the West has had a varied and rich liturgical tradition of Rites.  Pius V acknowledge and supported this by “grandfathering” in regional Rites to exist along side the Roman Rite which became the universal Rite for the Latin Church.  Over time, the Roman Rite became stronger even in those places which had its own Rite… over time.  With the sudden and brutal imposition of an artifically crafted Novus Ordo Missae in 1969, came the heart-breaking suppression of what was “sacred and great”.

I have argued for decades, ever since an article in Catholic World Report in 1992 (I think), that we have nothing to fear from side by side celebrations of Holy Mass in the traditional form and in the Novus Ordo.  Card. Ratzinger wanted that contact to help jump start the organic development of liturgy which, as the freezing of mustum halts its fermentation into wine, interrupted the centuries long evolution of our liturgical prayer.

Sound liturgical changes take time… a lot of time.   Impatience and imprudent imposition broke hearts and ruptured our Catholic identity, so enervating the Church that we are now experiencing crises in virtually every sphere of her global mission.

Back in the early 90’s I was already arguing that we shouldn’t be afraid of side by side Missals.  Over time, we would see the results. Eventually, however, there would emerge a tertium quid – as I was used to call it then – from the dialogue between the rites.  This I got straight from Card. Ratzinger in chats and from reading his work.

One thing that the Extraordinary Form has already benefited from comes mainly from the ars celebrandi of priests who have had an experience of the Novus Ordo: there is a greater awareness of the presence of and role of the congregation now than ever before. I think that factor alone, if nothing else, has already produced great benefits for the EF.  That’s not a change to the Rite itself.  That’s a change within the mind and the heart of the priest celebrant.  Benedict XVI spoke eloquently of a priest’s ars celebrandi in his Sacramentum caritatis 38 ff., as the best way to foster the (properly understood) “active participation” of the congregation in the way that the Council Fathers hoped for in Sacrosanctum Concilium.  

Who says that we can’t have unity in diversity?  In this Shaw agrees with another great churchman on another 10th annversary.

Back in 26 October 1998, St John Paul II, addressed members of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter who had come to Rome for the 10th anniversary of the his Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei adflicta” (which was superseded… or rather brought to fruition… by Summorum Pontificum).  John Paul said:

In order to safeguard the treasure which Jesus has entrusted to her, and resolutely turned towards the future, it is the Church’s duty to reflect constantly on her link with the Tradition that comes to us from the Lord through the Apostles, as it has been built up throughout history. According to the spirit of conversion in the Apostolic Letter Tertio millennio adveniente (nn. 14, 32, 34, 50), [to which Card. Sarah could appeal] I urge all Catholics to perform acts of unity and to renew their loyalty to the Church, so that their legitimate diversity and different sensitivities, which deserve respect, will not divide them but spur them to proclaim the Gospel together; thus, moved by the Spirit who makes all charisms work towards unity, they can all glorify the Lord, and salvation will be proclaimed to all nations.

There is true unity in legitimate diversity.

I say, we need a long period of stability of the two forms side by side.

We must work to establish more and more celebrations of the older, traditional form so that there is a greater opportunity for, not only mutual enrichment, but also the healing of a deeply wounded Church.

We are our rites.

The rupture of our rites made the wound in our identity.

It was the abrupt tinkering with our rites that made the wound in the first place.

Moreover, there is so much illegitimate diversity in the way that the Novus Ordo is celebrated, with odd variations and liturgical abuses, that a great deal of work is needed on that side of the Roman Rite before the reconciliation and mutual enrichment desired by everyone can get off the ground and pick up speed!

Let’s learn from our mistakes.

We must take the prudent path of growth and stability for the Extraordinary Form and of first stabilizing the Ordinary Form and then letting it be what it is according to the desires of the principles enunciated by the Council Fathers.

Meanwhile, to further Card. Sarah’s call for reconciliation, keep in mind the old but true chestnut, often but wrongly attributed to St. Augustine:

In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.

Let us have unity in necessary things, liberty in doubtful things, and in all things charity.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 48 Comments

FEAST DAY! 21 July 1773 – Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits!

It is a great FEAST today.

Today, 21 July, in the year of grace 1773, Pope Clement XIV of happy memory, issued his Bull by which he suppressed the Jesuits.

I have all sorts of Papa Ganganelli gear which you can order and proudly display.


There are mugs and shirts.


Clement_XVI_Mug_01 Clement_XVI_Mug_02

Note the cute little beard and hair.  He could almost be a Jesuit.

I put the salient text from the Bull, Dominus ac Redemptor, on the back

Oh yes… and then there’s this…

Gloria.TV posted a photo of the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, venerating Buddha.  We’ve read about him before.  HERE


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Who’s behind Spadaro, et al?

firehoseOver the last few days it feels like the news is coming in at firehose volume and force.

And, from the onset, I’ll just say now that the moderation queue is ON.

A lot of the firehose sensation has to do with fallout following the malicious anti-American, anti-conservative attack piece in the Vatican sponsored and reviewed Inciviltà cattolica by Jesuit Antonio “2+2=5″Spadaro, who is so focused on the life and works of Italian homosexual writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli that he created his own website about him (HERE), and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentinian Presbyterian.

Of recent note is Rusty Reno’s scathing review of the Spadaro attack article.  Reno is editor of First Things, though this appears in the National Catholic Register.  Spadaro smeared the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of First Things, with the tarry brush of hate-filled integralist ecumenism.

Prof. Chad Pecknold, in a Tweet, made a wry observation about the Fishwrap’s Michael Sean Winters, the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left.  This gets convoluted, but Wile E. Winters rose from his fainting couch to issue a full-throated endorsement of “2+2=5” Spadaro with celebratory chicken dance.  Fr. Raymond de Souza wrote a critique of the Spadaro Attack.  In a spectacular 1830 word display of lefty logorrhea the Coyote barked back at Fr. de Souza.  Pecknold, reading Coyote v de Souza, opined: “Michael Sean Winters condemns @ewtn and the @NCRegister as [being] opposed to the pope. I mean, come on. Is this satire? https://t.co/JFc5Wcctdv”  Once upon a time, Fr. Neuhaus quipped that the Anglican Church existed to make irony redundant.  The Anglicans need to move over.

Frankly, Fishwrap‘s MSW Coyote’s ire was probably fueled by a separate but related issue.  Thus, MSW:

Fr. de Souza writes regularly for one of the journals, the National Catholic Register, that advances the conservative Catholic and evangelical alliance rooted in the politics of abortion and gay marriage among other items. I just went to their website yesterday and there are four articles hostile to the LGBT community on the homepage, three of them attacking Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin, for daring to suggest that Catholics should reach out to the LGBT community.

Wile E. rode another ACME rocket today, against Archbp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.  HERE   Again, I think we see what really bothers the Coyote.

First, [Chaput] is wrong on the facts. Does the archbishop not recall Anita Bryant and her crusade against efforts to bar discrimination against gays? Does he not recall Proposition 6 in California, the 1978 ballot referendum that would have barred gay men and women from teaching, a form of bigotry so obvious that Ronald Reagan opposed it? Second, see how he immediately sees this, and seemingly every issue, as us versus them, the Christians versus the lions.

Moving on…

One this is clear from this ongoing skirmish.

Spadaro et al., in a few strategic slashes, have done more to promote division and animosity in the Church than anyone else I can think of over the years since… since…  Annibale Bugnini?

Meanwhile, yesterday I posted about a glaring, and telling, strategic omission by Spadaro: he didn’t accuse Ronald Reagan of the “Manichaenism” which he leveled at George Bush and President Trump.  HERE

In a similar vein, Fr. Martin Fox, at his blog Bonfire of the Vanities, notes another omission: the Knights of Columbus.  Fr. Fox observes that the former editor of the ultra-liberal The Tablet, Austen Ivereigh compared the KC’s to ISIS.  Yes… really.

“Frankly, it’s a narrative that’s very close to that of ISIS.”

Get that? When you and I seek to oppose the secular push to remake society, to impose a new vision of human nature (which is what the redefinition of marriage and “gender theory” is all about), we are “very close to…ISIS” — ISIS being those folks who throw gay people off the tops of buildings and give 30 lashes to schoolboys for playing soccer and sell girls into slavery.

Fr. Fox also observes that Spadaro doesn’t openly attack the KofC’s because the KofC’s pay a lot of the Vatican’s bills.

Spadaro, et al., aren’t really interested in truth.  They have an agenda.

Just like George Soros.

We know for whom Soros is carrying water.


For whom are Spadaro, et al., really working?

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

20 July 1969 – Man on the Moon

Speaking of videos… today is the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon, 20 July 1969.

That experienced is indelibly burned into my memory.

Here’s video mentioning the event to celebrate the 1969 Moon walk anniversary and to celebrate being a citizen is the greatest nation on Earth.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 17 Comments

Eastern Worship v. Western? Fair and unfair comparisons.

I ran into a couple videos online, one entirely unfair but mildly amusing and infuriating, the other more edifying and instructive.

They both make a “comparison”, though shallow, of Orthodox and Catholic liturgical worship.

First, infuriating and amusing and unfair.

I’m sure many of you have seen the horrific video of the liturgical horror show horribly perpetrated in Brazil. That is NOT representative of what Catholics do in true sacred liturgical worship. To juxtapose it with the best of what Russians do on a great feast is entirely unfair. STILL, it is useful in several respects, which you will surely be able to enunciate on your own.

Next, edifying and instructive.

This makes a much fairer comparison of the Orthodox and the Roman Rites. For a truer comparison, we have to place the Pontifical Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox side by side with the Pontifical Solemn Mass of the Romans, especially in an environment that is commensurate with the Orthodox cathedral.

It would be a great project for someone out there – perhaps for a student project? – to compare, alternating, snips from Bp Slattery’s tremendous Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception…

… and the Russian Orthodox celebration of Christmas in the Cathedral of Moscow.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Female altar servers up, ordinations down

17_05_05_ordination_card_01In once-Catholic Austria, now female altarettes outnumber male servers.  HERE

Nearly a quarter century after the practice of female altar servers became licit, 55% of Austria’s 45,000 altar servers are girls, according to statistics published by the Archdiocese of Vienna.

In addition, 2,800 of the 5,000 persons who supervise altar servers in Austria are women.

In other news…

At religion.orf.at we read:

Number of Catholic new priests [in Austria] reaches new low

18 new Roman Catholic priests will be consecrated this year in Austria around the St. Peter and Paul Apostles on June 29th. The number of priest ordinations is likely to reach a new low.
This year’s priest “vintage” is between 29 and 57 years old. Ten come from religious orders, eight are diocesan priests. Among the candidates for [ordination], there are also several “retired people”, such as a former physicist, a former aircraft mechanic and a trained gardener, and as in previous years, only a part comes from Austria. Eleven of the candidates are born here, the others are from Germany, Poland, India and Vietnam.

Beautiful Catholic Austria… no longer.

Growing number of women in the sanctuary.  Shrinking number of ordinations to the priesthood.

Is there a correlation?

Sure there is.

It is not just the presence of the women, it’s the womanish attitude of the clergy which repulses young men who would otherwise consider priesthood.

Remember the polls?

Does an all-male sanctuary foster vocations to the priesthood? (Revisited)

View Results

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Does female service at the altar harm or suppress vocations to the priesthood?

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 104 Comments

For my “Just Too Cool” Fun File

Speaking of Challenge Coins and speaking of Amazon (as I did HERE), here’s more fun.

One of you kind readers, MA, sent a madeleine pan from my main Wish List. Many thanks, MA!

This is how the pan arrived.


Hmmm, that doesn’t look right, does it?


Nope, definitely not quite right.  It’s as bent as a Jesuit’s logic.

Just how they managed to do this is anybody’s guess.


I got on the blower with Amazon Customer Care, explained that it arrive bent at a right angle, and the kind, efficient drone worker on the other end sent me a new one.

Yes, that’s more like it.



More fun stuff came today.

Remember the post about the guy at NASA who is using my links to buy stuff they need for … building… space stuff?  They order all their nerf balls and t-shirt cannons from my search box.  I guess that make me an auxiliary “ad hoc” contributory technical support adviser for NASA.  In any event, I sent a “Challenge Coin” and got these in return.


But wait!  There’s more!

I also received these great certificates, which should go into my CV right away.  I’ve been waiting for the first one for years (NB the date).


It was a trick getting this one, I can tell you, given that the Space Shuttle doesn’t fly anymore.


Yes, another day, another weapon mastered.

Maybe the JPL can figure out how that madeleine pan got so bent out of shape.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Discount promo code for the famous “Combat Rosary”

Combat Rosary right to bear armsSome of you have mentioned in email and comments here that the famous Combat Rosariescarried by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, are just expensive enough that it is hard to buy them for groups, etc.

I worked out something with Fr. Heilman, who developed them.

For purchases of 10 or more rosaries, a 25% discount will be applied when at check out you use promo code:


Click HERE

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 7 Comments

The curious omission in @AntonioSpadaro attack piece: Reagan’s “Evil Empire”… MISSING

john-paul-ii-ronald-reaganJesuit Fr. Antonio “2+2=5” Spadaro, in his attack on Americans, especially American conservatives, in Inciviltà cattolicaalong with his coauthor from Argentina, left a curious omission.

Spadaro tars two American presidents with the brush of “Manichaenism”.

At times this mingling of politics, morals and religion has taken on a Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil. In fact, after President George W. Bush spoke in his day about challenging the “axis of evil” and stated it was the USA’s duty to “free the world from evil” following the events of September 11, 2001.  Today President Trump steers the fight against a wider, generic collective entity of the “bad” or even the “very bad.” Sometimes the tones used by his supporters in some campaigns take on meanings that we could define as “epic.”

Who is missing?  How about the modern American president, an iconic president, who provided us with the quintessential “evil” label: Ronald Reagan famously, unforgettably, dubbed the Soviet Union as the “evil empire”.

Pres. Reagan is mentioned a couple times in the rest of the attack article, but not in such a way that he receives the “Manichean” slur.

Why would “2+2” purposely exclude Reagan from that important early paragraph, in which he sets up the rest of his, for lack of a better word, “argument”?

The answer is clear.

Spadaro doesn’t want to link Pope Francis to insults aimed at the universally, highly admired Ronald Reagan.

Presidents Bush and Trump are unpopular, especially by Europeans, who ape liberal Dimocrats.  It’s okay to insult those American presidents.  In fact, it is obligatory to insult them.

But Reagan?  No way.

In the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dishonest Arguments, find Fr. Spadaro’s picture next to the entry for “Double Standard”.

Here is the video of the famous “Evil Empire” Speech.  When Reagan is introduced, he is even praised for his “love of the Bible”. This was an Address to the National Association of – wait for it – Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida. He opens, saying that a friend of his would rather see his young daughters die believing in God than see them grow up under Communism, no longer believing in God.

Watch this video and tell me if this doesn’t – by orders of magnitude – far outstrip the alleged “Manichaen” rhetoric and hate-speech that Spadaro, Figueroa and their ilk are reviling in President Trump and American conservatives.

But touching Reagan is like stepping on the third rail. They can’t risk linking Pope Francis to that.

A bit of the speech here…

The entire speech here…

Another point.

The “Evil Empire” is Russia (the Soviet Union, fine… Russia). Today, Russia is Putin. Dimocrats and their Euromimics hate Putin. Hence, Spadaro, et al., can’t call out the Evil Empire as “Manichaen”.

Instead, Spadaro, etc., call out only those conservatives who are not Ronald Reagan as “Manichaens”.

Let me spell this out.  The La Civiltà Cattolica attack article was artfully written.  It’s not just a rant with arguments.  There is a strategy behind it.


Posted in The Drill | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

VIDEO – Sun Reflection and Moon Shadow

I am thinking ahead to the total solar eclipse that will be visible across these USA in the next month.

I found a spiffy video at Astromony Pic of the Day.  This is very cool.

Explanation: What are those lights and shadows crossing the Earth? As the featured five-second time-lapse video progresses, a full day on planet Earth is depicted as seen from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite in geostationary orbit high above the Pacific Ocean. The Sun rises to the right and sets to the left, illuminating the half of Earth that is most directly below. A reflected image of the Sun — a Sun glint — is visible as a bright spot that moves from right to left. More unusual, though, is the dark spot that moves from the lower left to upper right That is the shadow of the Moon, and it can only appear when the Moon goes directly between the Earth and the Sun. Last year, on the day these images were taken, the most deeply shadowed region experienced a total eclipse of the Sun. Next month a similarly dark shadow will sweep right across the USA.

Posted in Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 6 Comments

Parry and riposte over Jesuit James Martin’s defense of homosexuality

james_martinYou have probably seen commentaries on the recent book of homosexualist activist Jesuit Fr. James Martin concerned with “building bridges” between the Church and homosexuals.

It might help to put some of the major players into a single post.

Martin’s basic notion is that, for her entire history, the Church has misunderstood God’s intentions and plans for human sexuality and that they should be corrected.  He rejects the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that the “inclination” to “homosexual tendencies” is “objectively disordered” (2358).  He claims that, since they were made that way, so to speak, their sexual expressions are the equivalent of those between members of the opposite sex.

Writers such as Fr. Gerald Murray have demonstrated that Martin’s notions undermine the Church’s teaching.  HERE  Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ, also showed the flaws in Martin’s bad ideas.  HERE

Others have criticized Martin’s book as well, for example, Archbp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.  HERE

Martin has tried to defend his notions, for example at Jesuit-run America Magazine.  He was unconvincing.

Another priest jumped into the fray over Martin’s book.  Basilian, Canadian Fr. Thomas Rosica, a sometime aid to the Holy See Press Office in times of high activity such as during Synods of Bishops, wrote at his media outlet Salt & Light a full-throated defense of Martin.  Fr. Rosica, being so visible, has not avoided controversies.  For example, despite his clear gift for languages, he wound up at the center of a translation issue during a press conference during a meeting of the Synod.  HERE  He is also known for his admiration for Gregory Baum, an ex-priest who married a divorced ex-nun, whom he too divorced.  Baum lead dissent against Humanae vitae and was involved in the infamous Winnipeg Statement.  HERE  Baum admitted in 2017 in an autobiography to a long-time secret, active homosexual life. HERE

The plot thickens with a response to Rosica’s defense in Catholic World Report by Deacon Jim Russell who serves in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

In the initial blurb above Russell’s piece we read:

Fr. Thomas Rosica’s recent commentary on Fr. James Martin’s book seems to imply that the Church’s doctrine that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” actually misses the mark and doesn’t reflect reality.

Russell writes:

Rosica offers his thoughts on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the “LGBT community”. In the process, he appears to unintentionally reveal the core problem in the Church today regarding homosexuality, same-sex “marriage”, and related issues, such as the transgender phenomenon. As I read it, Rosica’s commentary manifests an “overly benign interpretation” of the homosexual condition itself.

Russell has quite a bit more on Fr. Rosica’s defense of Fr. Martin.

So, if you have been following this back-and-forth controversy closely, there’s even more reading to do.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Austen Ivereigh, liberal ex-editor of The Bitter Pill, attacks Fr. Z on Twitter

Spotted on Twitter:


Soooo… Fr. Z is an RC integralist who prays like an evangelical fundamentalist.

Ivereigh used to be the editor of a magazine.  He has clearly allowed his reading skills to get rusty.

Oh, right.  He was editor of The Bitter Pill (aka The Tablet, aka RU-486). Never mind.

What Austen missed is the fact that we pray for … wait for it… CONVERSION or Downfall of the Fishwrap.

You can always find the prayer linked on the top menu.  And it is HERE.

This is what I posted, and I still mean it.

May I ask you all to pray to St. Joseph, patron of the diocese where the offices of the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) are located? Pray that all the writers and staff of that heterodox and destructive publication either covert to orthodox Catholicism or else that they are driven to closure. Pray also that the bishops of these United States of America develop the courage to strip that publication of the word “Catholic” in their title.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Dear St. Joseph, Terror of Demons and Protector of Holy Church, Chaste Guardian of Our Lord and His Mother, hear our urgent prayer and swiftly intercede with our Savior, whom as a loving father you defended so diligently, that He will pour abundant graces upon the staff of that organ of dissent the National catholic Reporter so that they will either embrace orthodox doctrine concerning faith and morals or that all their efforts will promptly fail and come to their just end. Amen.

So, Austen, I recommend that you sloooow doooown when trying to read.  Even though tweets are pretty short, you are missing some important words.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Green Inkers, Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 21 Comments