#ActonU 2017: Day 2

Day 2 started, as always, with Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

In another room, there is the Ordinary Form (I think they use electric piano over there).  There is also, this year, an Orthodox Prayer service and a Protestant.

Day 2 also started with me being freer than yesterday.  My faculty duties are mostly done (except of course for the mingling and answering questions, which is fun).   Lot’s of people introduce themselves as long time readers here.  You hear many languages.  Today I was waiting for a talk to start on Secularism.  Two Gentlemen From Lebanon (not a play title) came in and introduced themselves (Maronites), as I heard behind me a conversation in Chinese (Mandarin – I got part of it) and at the end of the row a couple were speaking in Spanish, I think Argentinian.  We have any number of African languages around us too.  There is a group from Israel, including a couple of rabbis.  This is a seriously international gathering.  There are priests here from all over the world, many of them on fellowships.   It is ecumenical as well.  Quite a few of the (great) talks I have heard were by Protestants.

Today an amusing thing happened.  One of the presenters made a less than felicitous comment about the post-Constantinian (Catholic obviously) Church in the Middle Ages.  As I shifted in my chair, a friend of mine sitting behind me, an Orthodox priest, patted me on the shoulder and said “There there.”

Meanwhile, these are lovely long evenings, perfect for conversation etc.

Acton U runs ON TIME.  Every session starts and ends on schedule.  That shows RESPECT for participants.  By contrast I remember a beautiful place out West for a conference … disaster.

Good food – for over a thousand.

Panel discussion.


I’ve returned from the post-supper, post-panel, post-mingle activities which were great.  I wandered to where I knew I might find some interesting folks and I found them.  We had two Israeli rabbis, a Muslim, a couple of priests and assorted laymen (including two of the smart Acton staff I know).  The conversation was incredible.   I spent a quite a lot of time parked with a strongly conservative rabbit and the muslim talking about… lots of stuff.  I asked a lot of questions and got a pretty good education.

This was one of those perfect, a Jew, Muslim and a Priest walk into a bar moments….

Anyway, one of the rabbis, who reminded us that they can’t be with us tomorrow for more of the same, told me about this.   We all watched it together on a phone, but here it is. I remember this from when I was pretty young. Transplanting it into this age of screens is… disturbing. This video has something deep for our families to consider. It is from a different tradition. It is from an older tradition. It is from a valid tradition.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Must a Latin Church Catholic going to an Eastern Church still obey Latin laws?

From a reader…


Is a Latin Rite Catholic who is married to an Eastern Rite Catholic, has Eastern Rite children, attends an Eastern Rite parish, but has not been canonically transferred still obliged to follow the precepts of the Latin Rite (Holy Days of Obligation, fasting and abstinence, etc.)?


Ritual Church ascription is an odd thing, which is made more complex by our modern, mobile society. Our ancient ancestors had little trouble with the notion that, if you lived in Diocese X, you followed the liturgical books of Diocese X. By the Middle Ages, some exceptions started to develop. The legates of the Pope to the Byzantine Emperor worshiped, in Constantinople, according to the Roman books, and the legates of the Emperor to the Pope worshiped, in Rome, according to the Constantinopolitan books. Some merchant colonies started springing up, and some would bring priests from their homeland rather than mix in with local hoi polloi. As the Muslims started conquering large swaths of African and Asian Christendom, refugees from those formerly Catholic lands came to Europe, some bringing with them their priests and their liturgical customs. By the middle of the second millennium of Christianity, we had the beginnings of our current situation where, especially in metropolitan areas, you might have Catholic Churches offering the Holy Sacrifice using several different liturgical books, all in unity with the Bishop of Rome.

So, here we are now, and in some places, there are multiple parishes adhering to multiple rites, and the chances of folks intermarrying, or drifting from one ritual Church to another increase.

Canon law maintains the principle that your ritual Church identity is more or less set at the time of your baptism. If Mom and Dad are of the same ritual Church, then little Buster is too. If Mom is Maronite and Dad is Ethiopian Coptic Catholic, then little George will ordinarily be Ethiopian Coptic, but Mom and Dad can make a specific choice to have him be Maronite. If Mom is Ukrainian Catholic and Dad is Finnish Orthodox, then little Petra is Ukrainian Catholic. It gets more complicated, but let’s not get into that here – specific cases should be referred to your local, friendly chancery office for help in clarifying things.

Now, in the Latin Code, canon 112 gives Latin Catholics the ability to transfer to another ritual Church under two headings. Firstly, by requesting this permission directly from the Holy See. Secondly, by marrying a Catholic of another ritual Church. Marriage does not automatically bring about a change in ritual Church, but it provides the Latin Catholic with the ability to make that choice. He would need to do so publicly – before the Eastern Church pastor, and in writing, in the presence of witnesses. This declaration will then be communicated to his parish of baptism, so that it can be duly noted in the baptismal register.

Mere attendance, no matter how long of a duration, at a parish of another ritual Church does not make one a member of that ritual Church. A Latin Catholic who goes to St. Charbel’s Maronite Church for 50 years is still a Latin Catholic, and a Italo-Albanian Catholic who goes through 12 years of school at St. Waldburga’s Very Proper Latin School, attending Mass there daily, remains an Italo-Albanian. One’s rights and obligations follow from one’s ritual Church ascription, not from one’s parish of attendance. Hence, a Slovak Byzantine Catholic who goes to a Latin Catholic parish is still bound by the Slovak Byzantine laws on fast and abstinence, and a Latin Catholic who worships at a Malabar parish is still bound by the Latin Catholic laws on holy days of obligation.

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Robert Card. Sarah, Terror of Libs

Cardinal_Robert_SarahFrom the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald.  This is a terrific summary of the hate launched by liberals at Card. Sarah.  We owe the writer debt of thanks for piecing this together for the record.   He exposes a nasty fever-swamp.  It is unpleasant, but ugliness must be exposed before it can be corrected.

Why Cardinal Sarah terrifies his critics

Cardinal Sarah’s opponents have attacked his views and called for his sacking. His response has been a gracious silence

A growing crowd wants Cardinal Robert Sarah’s head on a platter. Open a liberal Catholic periodical and you are likely to find a call for the dismissal of the Guinean cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship: “It’s past time for [Pope Francis] to replace Cardinal Sarah” (Maureen Fiedler, National Catholic Reporter); [Talk about “high time”…] “New wine might be needed at the Congregation for Divine Worship” (Christopher Lamb, the Tablet); “Curia officials who refuse to get with Francis’s programme should leave. Or the Pope should send them somewhere else” (Robert Mickens, Commonweal); “Francis must put his foot down. Cardinals like Robert Sarah … may feel that with a papacy heading in the wrong direction, foot-dragging is a duty. But that does not mean Francis has to put up with them” (The Editors, the Tablet).  [I’m pretty sure that the lib model for the Curia under Pope Francis is something like a full assembly of the Party in the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with the N. Korean dictator.  The unison clapping is pretty impressive. Mickens reasons for hating Sarah are obvious.  But he has a strong hate streak, it seems.  Remember how he wished death on Benedict XVI, which lead to his being sacked by The Tablet.]

Sarah was not always treated as the most dangerous man in Christendom. When he was appointed to his post by Pope Francis in 2014, he enjoyed the goodwill even of those who criticise him today. Mickens described him as “unambitious, a good listener and, despite showing a clear conservative side since coming to Rome … a ‘Vatican II man’ ” [And then the Cardinal spoke up about certain issues….]. Lamb was told by his sources that Sarah was someone liberals could like, the kind of bishop who was sympathetic to “inculturation”. John Allen summed up the consensus around the Vatican: Sarah was a low-profile bishop, “warm, funny and modest”.

All that changed on October 6, 2015, the third day of the contentious synod on the family. The synod fathers were riven by the seemingly competing demands of reaching out to people who felt stigmatised by the Church’s sexual teaching and boldly proclaiming truth to a hostile world. In what has come to be known as the “apocalyptic beasts” speech, Sarah insisted that both were possible. “We are not contending against creatures of flesh and blood,” he told his brother bishops. “We need to be inclusive and welcoming to all that is human.” But the Church must still proclaim the truth in the face of two great challenges. “On the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other, Islamic fundamentalism: atheistic secularism versus religious fanaticism.” [Benedict XVI made the same point in his first Letter for the World Day for Peace.]

As a young priest, Sarah studied at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem and planned a dissertation on “Isaiah, Chapters 9-11, in Light of Northwestern Semitic Linguistics: Ugaritic, Phoenician and Punic”. So it is no surprise that he employed biblical language to make his point. Western freedom and Islamic fundamentalism, he told the assembly, were like two “apocalyptic beasts”. The image comes from the Book of Revelation, which describes how two beasts will attack the Church. The first comes out of the sea with seven heads, 10 horns, and blasphemy on its lips. The second rises out of the land performing great wonders, and persuades the world to worship the first.

This strange dynamic – one monstrous threat leading men to embrace the other – is what Sarah sees at work in our own time. Fear of religious repression induces some to worship an idolatrous freedom. (I recall the time I found myself the only man left sitting when Ayaan Hirsi Ali ended a speech by asking her audience to give an ovation “To blasphemy!”) On the other hand, attacks on human nature tempt some to embrace the false reassurance of religious fundamentalism, which has its most horrible expression under the black flag of ISIS. Each evil tempts those who fear it to succumb to its opposite. As with communism and Nazism in the 20th century, both must be resisted.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, head of the Polish bishops’ conference, wrote that Sarah’s intervention was made at a “very high theological and intellectual level”, but others seemed to miss its meaning altogether. Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane decried the use of “apocalyptic language”. (One wonders what he makes of the rest of John’s Revelation.) “The boys don’t like to be reminded of judgment,” quipped one cardinal after Sarah spoke.

A prominent Vatican watcher wrote to me from Rome: “He stepped in it today by talking about the two beasts of the Apocalypse. His popable stock took a hit.” Fr James Martin SJ claimed that Sarah had violated the Catechism, “which asks us to treat LGBT people with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’ ”. [Say da magic woid, win a hunnadahlars.]

One sometimes wants to ask whether, for Catholics like Fr Martin, there are any words in which the Church’s sexual teaching can be defended – since they seem never to employ them. Still, the reaction to Sarah’s speech probably had more to do with simple illiteracy than any difference in principle. Cardinal Wilfred Napier of Durban said in the run-up to the synod that Europeans suffer from a “widespread ignorance and rejection not only of Church teaching but also Scripture”. He was right. Those who do not live in Scripture and know its figures first-hand are more likely to view biblical language as irrelevant or inflammatory.

On October 14, a week after Sarah’s speech, Cardinal Walter Kasper complained about African interventions at the synod. “I can only speak of Germany where the great majority wants an opening about divorce and remarriage. It’s the same in Great Britain, it’s everywhere.” Well, not quite everywhere: “With Africa it’s impossible. But they should not tell us too much what to do.”  [Who can forget that moment?  He denied saying it, but Edward Pentin had a recording.]

Kasper’s dismissal of Sarah and the other Africans prompted an immediate outcry. Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian Catholic who campaigns against abortion, wrote: “Imagine my shock today as I read the words of one of the most prominent synod fathers … As an African woman now living in Europe, I am used to having my moral views and values ignored or put down as an ‘African issue’.”

Cardinal Napier agreed: “It’s a real worry to read an expression like ‘the Pope’s Theologian’ applied to Cardinal Kasper … Kasper isn’t very respectful towards the African Church and its leaders.”

Kasper’s statement was like the breaking of a dam. Since then, a great wave of abuse has poured over Sarah. His critics have described him as uppity, uneducated and possibly criminal – or at least in need of a good beating.

Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporterreminded Sarah of his role (“Curial cardinals are, after all, staff, exalted staff, but staff”). La Croix’s Fr William Grim called his work “asinine … patently stupid … red-capped idiocy”. Andrea Grillo, a liberal Italian liturgist, wrote: “Sarah has shown, for years, a significant inadequacy and incompetence in the field of liturgy.”

In the Tablet, Fr Anthony Ruff corrected Sarah. “It would be good if he could study the reforms more deeply and understand, for example, what ‘mystery’ means in Catholic theology.” Massimo Faggioli, a vaticanist who haunts Rome’s gelaterias, innocently observed that Sarah’s apocalyptic beasts speech “would be subject to criminal charges in some countries”. (Having ministered for years under the brutal Marxist dictatorship of Sékou Touré, Sarah hardly needs reminding that open profession of Christian belief can be a crime.) [These libs are so smuggly, morally superior.  They are such a bore.]

After Pope Francis rejected Sarah’s call last year for priests to celebrate mass ad orientem, contempt for Sarah broke out in a shower of blows: “It is highly unusual for the Vatican to publicly slap down a Prince of the Church, yet not entirely surprising given how Cardinal Sarah has operated…” (Christopher LambTablet); “the Pope slapped down Cardinal Sarah quite strongly, with only a bit of face-saving spared him,” (Anthony RuffPray Tell); “Pope slaps down Sarah” (Robert Mickens, on Twitter); “Pope Francis … slapped him down” (Mickens again, in Commonweal); “a further slap-down” (Mickens once more, a few months later in La Croix). Added up, it makes for quite a beating. [I have to hand it to the writer, Michael Schmitz.  I’ll bet that after all this dumpster diving for links – a real service to us – he felt like he had to scrub himself and his keyboard with lye.]

Exchanging charges of insensitivity is probably not the best way to settle doctrinal disputes, [PAY ATTENTION] but the rhetoric of Sarah’s critics reveals something important about Catholic life today: in disputes doctrinal, moral and liturgical, liberal Catholics have become ecclesial nationalists.

Traditional Catholics tend to support consistent doctrinal standards and pastoral approaches regardless of national boundaries. If they do not actually prefer the Latin Mass, they want vernacular translations to track the Latin as closely as possible. They are not scandalised by the way Africans speak of homosexuality or Middle Eastern Christians of Islamism.

Liberal Catholics, meanwhile, campaign for vernacular translation written in idiomatic style and approved by national bishops’ conferences, not by Rome. Local realities require truth to be trimmed whenever it crosses a border. Catholic doctrinal statements should be couched in pastorally sensitive language – sensitive, that is, to the sensibilities of the educated, wealthy West.

One of the advantages of ecclesial nationalism is that it allows liberals to avoid arguing on direct doctrinal grounds, where traditional “rigorists” tend to have the upper hand. If truth must be mediated by local realities, no man in Rome or Abuja will have much say over the faith of Brussels and Stuttgart (this was the point behind Kasper’s dismissal of Africans).

One sees this in writers like Commonweal’s Rita Ferrone, [yawn] who says that rather than heeding Sarah, English speakers should be “trusting our own people and our own wisdom concerning prayer in our native tongue”. The “we” behind that “our” is not global and Catholic, but bourgeois and American.

What if instead of being put back in his place, slapped down and locked up for violating Western speech codes, Sarah becomes pope? [Fun zayn moyl, in Gots oyer!] This is what his critics fear most. Mickens writes of the dark possibility of a “Pius XIII (also known as Robert Sarah)”. Lamb says that Sarah may turn out to be “the first black Pope”. (That would be a beautiful thing – Sarah’s parents, converts in the remote Guinean village of Ourous, assumed that only white men could become priests and laughed when their son said he wanted to go to seminary.) The same well-connected Vatican watcher who told me that Sarah’s stock fell during the synod now says his fortunes are improving. “People have noticed all the attacks, and his gracious refusal to respond in kind.”   [I hope they keep attacking and attacking and attacking.]

It is indeed remarkable that Sarah has suffered this hail of abuse with such grace. In his newly published book The Power of Silence, we hear his stifled cry of anguish:

I painfully experienced assassination by gossip, slander and public humiliation, and I learned that when a person has decided to destroy you, he has no lack of words, spite and hypocrisy; [Mickens, Winters, etc.] falsehood has an immense capacity for constructing arguments, proofs and truths out of sand. When this is the behaviour of men of the Church, and in particular of bishops, the pain is still deeper. But … we must remain calm and silent, asking for the grace never to give in to rancour, hatred and feelings of worthlessness. Let us stand firm in our love for God and for his Church, in humility.

Despite it all, Sarah is a man unbowed. His book reiterates his call for Mass ad orientem and the rest of the “reform of the reform”: “God willing, when he wills and as he wills, the reform of the reform will take place in the liturgy. Despite the gnashing of teeth, it will happen, for the future of the Church is at stake.”  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

If Sarah has refused to make himself pleasing to those who run Rome, he is not about to serve any other party either. In this wonderfully individual book, he tells old Islamic folktales, dotes on the suffering and weak, and decries military intervention: “How can we not be scandalised and horrified by the action of American and Western governments in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria?” Sarah views these as idolatrous outpourings of blood “in the name of the goddess Democracy” and “in the name of Liberty, another Western goddess”. He opposes the effort to build “a religion without borders and a new global ethics”. [None of those things matter to Mickens, Winters, Martin.  Of course.  Right?]

If that seems hyperbolic, recall that six days after missiles hit Baghdad, Tony Blair sent George W Bush a memo saying, “Our ambition is big: to construct a global agenda around which we can unite the world … to spread our values of freedom, democracy, tolerance.” Sarah views this programme as something close to blasphemy.

He has equally pungent views on the modern economy: “The Church would commit a fatal mistake if she exhausted herself in giving a sort of social face to the modern world that has been unleashed by free-market capitalism.”

War, persecution, exploitation: all these forces are part of a “dictatorship of noise”, whose incessant slogans distract men and discredit the Church. In order to resist it, Sarah turns to the example of Brother Vincent, a recently deceased young man whom Sarah dearly loved. Only if we love and pray like Vincent can we hear la musica callada, the silent music the angels played for John of the Cross. Yes, this book shows that Sarah has a great deal to say: on the mystical life, the Church and world affairs. But for the most part he keeps silence – while the world talks about him.

Matthew Schmitz is literary editor of First Things and a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Card. Sarah’s books.

The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise.



And there this new offering, which might be of special interest to many of Card. Sarah’s critics. He wrote the foreword.


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NOTE TO READERS: Registration, comments, Snail Mail and Email

medieval castle siege smEven as you read this, the blog is under siege by vile spammers trying to register to post their putrid slime. I have logs that show me what’s going on.

The drawbridge is raised. The gators are in the moat.  Oil is on the boil.


To comment here, you have to be registered and your registration must be approved.

Registrations go into a queue, which I check when I can.  I’m not always near my computer.  Be patient.  Check once in a while to see if it went through.  The approval isn’t automated and I don’t manually send you confirmations.  Sorry.  I just don’t have time.  Some people write after trying to register multiple times.  You are probably already registered!  In these cases I’ll usually write back ASAP with a new temporary password.

If you register to comment, pay attention to that field where I ask information about you.  You don’t have to provide a biography, address or blood type.  Just write something that will show me that you aren’t a bot or a nefarious ne’er-do-well.  Your confirmation name is a good one, favorite encyclical, a brief explanation of circumincession… that sort of thing… easy stuff.

NB: I recommend that you do NOT use your email as your nickname here… unless, of course, you like lots of spam.  Also, I don’t like the use of names of real historical people, for example, of saints.  No, you are NOT St. Hillary of Poiters.

Also NB: Some people think that this is a open public forum and that they can come into may place and spew any ol’ damn thing they want under the cover of anonymity.  Some people think that they have a right to post, and to post any dreck they want.  Wrong.  I’m the Benevolent Dictator of my blog.  I turn on the queue when I want, where I want, for whom I want.

Furthermore, I allow zero discussion in my combox of my decisions about comments or why this or that comment appears or doesn’t appear.  Zero.  Mention: “My last comment didn’t appear… “… then neither will this one.  Mention: “Why did my comment disappear?”  That won’t appear.  Mention: “You’ll probably delete this, but…”.  I stop reading and it’s gone.  Period.  Zero.  No appeal.  Dura lex sed lex.

These policies help my blog’s combox not to descend into chaos or knucklehead stuff.


For those you who sent Christmas cards or other things over the last couple years, that snail mail address isn’t in use anymore.  It was a temporary mailbox.  I’ve had a couple notes from people asking if I got their snail mail.  Probably, if it wasn’t too recent. Bottom line, don’t send snail mail to that old address.  I terminated that mail box.


Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
PO BOX 44603
Madison, WI 53744-4603


I get a lot of email.   Keep a couple things in mind.

First, if you have a question, use the ASK FATHER form on the top menu.  I pretty much delete others.  Otherwise, use the Contact form on the top menu.  Don’t send just links without explanations.  Keep ’em brief.  The longer they are, the more likely I’ll move on to something else.

I will hand threatening email over to law enforcement.

Finally, I direct you once again to my Litany For The Conversion Of Internet Thugs (a wry work in progress for private use only, when truly irritated, and when the alternative is foul language.)

Really finally, this blog needs updates, technical work.  I hope that will be possible.  Say a prayer or two that I can find someone reliable.


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#ActonU 2017: Day 1

We have completed the first full day.

I gave my lecture today on Augustine and the City of Man.

A view of the great deco/liberty hall in the older portion of the otherwise state of art facility. I always like walking through this space

Tonight we heard from Russell Moore.  He was really good.

Afterwards, I caught up with friends on the deck.

Which drink is mine?

After this, with cigars I sat with one of the faculty (one of the smartest on the staff) and a entrepreneur, solider from Israel who also had several years in the yeshiva talking, arguing, about Jewish political theory.

Acton is a place where you wake up all those parts of the brain that haven’t been challenged for a while.

Tomorrow, as usual, TLM at 7:15.

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ASK FATHER: Priest puts too much water into the chalice. Valid?

The Scruple Spoon

From a reader…

QUAERUNTUR (I generally take ONE question at a time, but I am feeling benign this afternoon… a rare occurance):

Your recent post this afternoon about validity around a Priest using “for all” instead of “for many” made me think of my own questions regarding validity based upon recent experience.

1) is it valid if the priest pours too much water into the chalice causing the wine to become diluted?

2) An older priest that says daily Mass regularly at a parish I attend does not break off a fraction of the host and place in the chalice before the “Lamb of God”. Does this render the Mass invalid?

Ad 1m.  If the priest adds too much water to the wine in the chalice, he “breaks” the substance of the wine.  At that point, there is no wine to consecrate and, hence, there can be no consecration.  That means that Mass was not celebrated.   However, it is possible that the Host was consecrated.  That means that the priest, technically, consecrated the Eucharist outside of Mass, which is a serious sin and crime.   Mind you, it can happen that an older fellow or a priest who isn’t tracking very well might do this by accident.  If that happens more than once, someone should be with him to correct the situation.  More wine must be added, for example.    Another way to avoid this is the use of the so-called “scruple spoon”.  I have a photo of one of these great gizmos among the headers for this blog.  With the “scruple spoon”, Father is able to dip up a tiny bit of water and add it to the chalice.  Easy.

The next part of this question is, obviously, how much water is too much?  

For this we, being good Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists, refer to our old manuals.  In the manual of dogmatic theology by Tanquerey, that tonic for the soul, I found the opinion that “quinta pars aquae ad vinum corrumpendum non sufficiat … a fifth part of water isn’t enough to break [the substance of] the wine”, and thus render it invalid matter for consecration.

Think about it.  One fifth of the volume of the wine usually isn’t very much.  So, priests should be very careful about this.  FATHERS!  DEACONS! SEMINARIANS!  PAY ATTENTION!

Ad 2m.  No.  Not putting the particle of Host into the Precious Blood does NOT invalidate the Mass.   At this point the priest has the Body and Blood of the Lord on the altar.  Now the critical thing is that he must consume them both to complete the Sacrifice.   Putting the particle into the chalice is highly significant, but it is not an element which is absolutely essential for Mass to have been celebrated.  This element could have developed from the ancient practice of the Bishop of Rome breaking pieces from his Host and sending them out to all the tituli (“parishes”) of the City to show their unity. At last, some saw the mingling of the Body with the Blood as a sign of the Resurrection.  If the two-fold consecration is the separation of the Blood from the Body, and therefore the death of the Lord, then their rejoining is like His resurrection.  Thus, when we receive Communion we have been given then sign that what we receive is truly the Lord gloriously risen.  This commingling should also give us a great sense of peace.  In the older form of Mass the priest makes the sign of the Cross thrice with the particle from rim to rim of the chalice saying, “May the peace of the Lord be with you always”.




Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

BUX “We are in a full crisis of faith!” Wherein Fr. Z muses on the times.

don nicola buxSome of you will remember those commercials years ago where some guys, sitting with friends is a loud restaurant, says something like, “My broker is Joe Bagofdonuts.  Joe says…”, and suddenly the entire restaurant is dead still with everyone leaning in, straining to hear.

When Msgr. Nicola Bux speaks we should listen.  Edward Pentin, arguably the best English language Vaticanista right now, interviewed Msgr. Bux (of the famous Bux Protocol™) at the NCRegister.

Monsignor Bux: We Are in a Full Crisis of Faith

To resolve the current crisis in the Church over papal teaching and authority, the Pope must make a declaration of faith, affirming what is Catholic and correcting his own “ambiguous and erroneous” words and actions that have been interpreted in a non-Catholic manner.

This is according to Monsignor Nicola Bux, a respected theologian and former consulter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during Benedict XVI’s pontificate. [NB: former… but keep in mind that he had served under Benedict in that role, which tells you a great deal]

In the following interview with the Register, Msgr. Bux explains that the Church is in a “full crisis of faith” and that the storms of division the Church is currently experiencing are due to apostasy — the “abandonment of Catholic thought.”

Msgr. Bux’s comments come after news that the four dubia cardinals, seeking papal clarification of his exhortation Amoris Laetitia, wrote to the Pope April 25 asking him for an audience but have yet to receive a reply.

The cardinals expressed concern over the “grave situation” of episcopal conferences and individual bishops offering widely differing interpretations of the document, some of which they say break with the Church’s teaching. They are particularly concerned about the deep confusion this has caused, especially for priests.

“For many Catholics, it is incredible that the Pope is asking bishops to dialogue with those who think differently [i.e. non-Catholic Christians], but does not want first to face the cardinals who are his chief advisors,” Msgr. Bux says.

“If the Pope does not safeguard doctrine,” he adds, “he cannot impose discipline.” [Tell that to the priests in that that diocese in Nigeria.]


PENTIN Monsignor Bux, what are the implications of the ‘doctrinal anarchy’ that people see happening for the Church, the souls of the faithful and priests?

BUX The first implication of doctrinal anarchy for the Church is division, caused by apostasy, which is the abandonment of Catholic thought, as defined by St. Vincent of Lerins: quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditur (what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all). Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, who calls Jesus Christ the “Master of unity,” had pointed out to heretics that everyone professes the same things, but not everyone means the same thing. This is the role of the Magisterium, founded on the truth of Christ: to bring everyone back to Catholic unity.

St. Paul exhorted Christians to be in agreement and to speak with unanimity. What would he say today? When cardinals are silent or accuse their confreres; when bishops who had thought, spoken and written — scripta manent! [written words remain]— in a Catholic way, but then say the opposite for whatever reason; when priests contest the liturgical tradition of the Church, then apostasy is established, the detachment from Catholic thought. Paul VI had foreseen that “this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will tomorrow become the strongest [force]. But it will never represent the Church’s thinking. A small flock must remain, no matter how small it is.” (Conversation with J. Guitton, 9.IX.1977). [A small flock… sigh…]

PENTIN What implications, then, does doctrinal anarchy have for the souls of the faithful and ecclesiastics?

BUX The Apostle exhorts us to be faithful to sure, sound and pure doctrine: that founded on Jesus Christ and not on worldly opinions (cf. Titus 1:7-11; 2:1-8). Perseverance in teaching and obedience to doctrine leads souls to eternal salvation. [NB] The Church cannot change the faith and at the same time ask believers to remain faithful to it. She is instead intimately obliged to be oriented toward the Word of God and toward Tradition.

Therefore, the Church remembers the Lord’s judgment: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (John 9:39). Do not forget that, when one is applauded by the world, it means one belongs to it. In fact, the world loves its own and hates what does not belong to it (cf. John 15:19). May the Catholic Church always remember that she is made up of only those who have converted to Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; all human beings are ordained to her (cf. Lumen gentium 13), but they are not part of her until they are converted.

PENTIN How can this problem best be resolved?

BUX The point is: what idea does the Pope have of the Petrine ministry, as described in Lumen gentium 18 and codified in canon law? Faced with confusion and apostasy, the Pope should make the distinction — as Benedict XVI did — between what he thinks and says as a private, learned person, and what he must say as Pope of the Catholic Church. [I believe JPII did the same before B16 did.] To be clear: the Pope can express his ideas as a private learned person on disputable matters which are not defined by the Church, but he cannot make heretical claims, even privately. Otherwise it would be equally heretical.

I believe that the Pope knows that every believer — who knows the regula fidei [the rule of faith] or dogma, which provides everyone with the criterion to know what the faith of the Church is, what everyone has to believe and who one has to listen to — can see if he is speaking and operating in a Catholic way, or has gone against the Church’s sensus fidei [sense of the faith]. Even one believer can hold him to account. [I have in mind a figure in the Church whom St Augustine describes as homo spiritalis.] So whoever thinks [Card. Rodriguez! Etc!] that presenting doubts [dubia] to the Pope is not a sign of obedience, hasn’t understood, 50 years after Vatican II, the relationship between him [the Pope] and the whole Church. Obedience to the Pope depends solely on the fact that he is bound by Catholic doctrine, to the faith that he must continually profess before the Church.

We are in a full crisis of faith! Therefore, in order to stop the divisions in progress, the Pope — like Paul VI in 1967, faced with the erroneous theories that were circulating shortly after the conclusion of the Council — should make a Declaration or Profession of Faith, affirming what is Catholic, and correcting those ambiguous and erroneous words and acts — his own and those of bishops — that are interpreted in a non-Catholic manner. [In June 1968 Paul issued with an Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio his great “Credo of the People of God“.  More on that below.]

Otherwise, it would be grotesque that, while seeking unity with non-Catholic Christians or even understanding with non-Christians, apostasy and division is being fostered within the Catholic Church. For many Catholics, it is incredible that the Pope is asking bishops to dialogue with those who think differently, but does not want first to face the cardinals who are his chief advisors. If the Pope does not safeguard doctrine, he cannot impose discipline. As John Paul II said, the Pope must always be converted, to be able to strengthen his brothers, according to the words of Christ to Peter: “Et tu autem conversus, confirma fratres tuos [when you are converted, strengthen your brothers].”

In 1967 the Church was being torn apart by wild ideas.  As an example of the chaos take the infamous “Dutch Catechism”.  Paul VI, talking Charles Journet, saw that the Church at the time was in a state of disaster.  He therefore called for a Year of Faith for 67-68 (much like Benedict did later).  At the end of the Year, Paul issued his “Credo of the People of God”, a text crafted on the basis of the Nicene Creed and expanded by Jacques Maritain and amended by the Holy Office.  Paul’s “Creed” is non-liturgical.

Paul VI pronounces the "Credo of the People of God" - 30 June 1968

Paul VI pronounces the “Credo of the People of God” – 30 June 1968

In his introduction to the text of the “Creed”, Paul, in his Apostolic Letter, wrote… and see if this doesn’t dovetail with what Msgr. Bux asked for (i.e., profession of faith in troubled times):

3. [W]e deem that we must fulfill the mandate entrusted by Christ to Peter, whose successor we are, the last in merit; namely, to confirm our brothers in the faith. With the awareness, certainly, of our human weakness, yet with all the strength impressed on our spirit by such a command, we shall accordingly make a profession of faith, pronounce a creed which, without being strictly speaking a dogmatic definition, repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God.

4. In making this profession, we are aware of the disquiet which agitates certain modern quarters with regard to the faith. They do not escape the influence of a world being profoundly changed, in which so many certainties are being disputed or discussed. We see even Catholics allowing themselves to be seized by a kind of passion for change and novelty. The Church, most assuredly, has always the duty to carry on the effort to study more deeply and to present, in a manner ever better adapted to successive generations, the unfathomable mysteries of God, rich for all in fruits of salvation. But at the same time the greatest care must be taken, while fulfilling the indispensable duty of research, to do no injury to the teachings of Christian doctrine. For that would be to give rise, as is unfortunately seen in these days, to disturbance and perplexity in many faithful souls.

Alas, I think that Paul himself contributed to that confusion, especially by signing off on the liturgical reform that went waaaaay beyond what the Council had mandated.  The general impression was, “If the way we say Mass can be so profoundly changed, then anything, even doctrine, can be changed.”

Consider the times.  What Paul did happened in the turbulent revolution years of 67-68.  Humane vitae, was issued then.  Turbulent years and crazy stuff is coming up now.  Protests not unlike those of the 60s are taking place.  There is an even more horrible “sexual” revolution going on, in which human nature itself is debased in what Card. Sarah rightly calls diabolical “gender theory”.  Now there seems to be a movement to nullify the teaching of Paul’s greatest accomplishment, Humanae vitae, afoot and also the Magisterium of John Paul II.

I had thought that at the end of the most recent Year of Faith, Benedict XVI would issue something very much like Paul VI’s “Credo of the People of God”.  But he resigned before the Year of Faith ended.

Were Francis to take up the entirely reasonable call to issue a “profession of faith” along the lines of what Bux called for, he would be following in the footsteps of Paul VI and he would also fulfill something that, I believe, Benedict XVI could have, should have, would have done in 2013.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Year of Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

#ActonU 2017: Day 0

We have gathered again in Grand Rapids MI for Acton University 2017.

Once again there is a huge and diverse group from all over the world.

Tonight we have registered and greeted lots of old friends and now our first event is beginning.  After our first (excellent) meal, there is a talk by Hon. Janice Rogers Brown.

I would love for all of you to have the experience of Acton U.  I’ll give you some tastes along the way.



Sam Gregg is giving a talk.   He is maybe the smartest guy in the room.

Here is is explaining that he doesn’t use Powerpoint because, of course, power corrupts and Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.

And he just blasted Karl Rahner.  This is great.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Priest says “for all” in consecration. Invalid?

Say the Black Do the RedFrom a reader…


I just read an article from the Remnant which argued that the use of “for all” instead of “for many” did not invalidate the Mass.

This article was written immediately after the release of the new translation of the Ordinary Form, which was promulgated five years ago by Pope Benedict XVI. My question is whether a priest continuing to use “for all” in spite of the new, corrected translation would, in your opinion, invalidate the Mass.

The reason I ask is that my parents’ pastor does that and I fear that they are not attending a valid Mass.

Cutting to the chase, if that’s the only problem with the consecration, then, yes, the consecration is valid.

What your parent’s pastor is doing is wrong.  He should stick to the approved form for the consecration of the Precious Blood.  This is what I talk about constantly here: people shouldn’t have to worry that sacraments are perhaps invalid because of the antics of some knucklehead.

So, what that priest is doing is an abuse.  You and your parents don’t have to worry about validity.  However, if they were worrying about validity, others may also be worried.  You or your parents are within your rights to address a question about why Father uses that outdated form.  You should ask the bishop if what he is doing is valid or not.  You also have the right to address that question to the Holy See.

There are abuses and then there are abuses.  Some of them are more serious than others and require action on the part of the faithful.   We read in the Congregation for Divine Worship’s document Redemptionis Sacramentum 

6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters

[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

say_the_black_do_the_red_regular_mugSome abuses are not so serious and don’t warrant much energy.  For example, are blue used on a Marian feast?   Blue isn’t an official color except by exceptions.  But that’s not much of an abuse.  Does the priest genuflect in the Ordinary Form each time he passes before the tabernacle?  The rubrics say he shouldn’t, but, frankly, that’s just plain crazy.  Abuse? Yes.  Serious, certainly not.  However, if we get into issues having to do with the sacramental MATTER or FORM, we sit up straight and sharpen our eyes and ears.  Because nothing is more serious in the Mass than the valid consecration of the Eucharist, abuses of the sacramental form must be addressed.

Even in the matter of sacramental form of the consecration we can make a distinction.  Say that a priest before the change of the translation said “for many” instead of “for all”, or say that, somehow, stupidly, this gets changed back to “for all” from the present “for many” and the priest continues to say “for many”.  Abuse?  Yes.  However, in this case, the priest is clearly doing something in conformity with long established tradition and common sense (pro multis means “for many” regardless of the absurd philological fan dances done by libs to make a word in Latin mean something it has never meant, based on an imaginary text in Aramaic that doesn’t exist).  So, today, saying “for all” is a worse abuse than the abuse of the aforementioned priest who stick to “for many”.  This is perhaps nitpicky.

An easy solution is found in using Latin, which eliminates the problem and, even better, using the Extraordinary Form.

Finally, perhaps you should get that priest some Say The Black Do The Red swag!  I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

Hmmm… come to think of it, when I get a moment, I’ll add car magnets to the Fr. Z Store. You could get packs of them and given them out to fellow parishioners for their cars.  Father will surely take note of several dozen cars in his lot that urge him to stop doing what he is doing.  I’ll get on that.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Engage in the “Battle for the Eternal Salvation of Souls” – Wherein Fr. Z beats to Quarters


So that you don’t miss it, I provide below an explanation of the Holy Father’s oft cited and puzzling maxim “time is greater than space”.  Don’t miss it.


A young writer at the increasingly helpful – and descriptive – Crisis in a new must-read offering penned:

No happy bromides about non-condemnation can erase Christ’s fifteen warnings about Hell. No heady defense of sin, no tangled jargon on “time” and “space,” can theorize the Four Last Things out of existence.

How often do I remind you here of the Four Last Things?  And why?  Because it’s my task to try to keep as many of you out of Hell as possible.  Put another, happier way, to help as many of you as possible to heaven.

Let’s look at this great piece at Crisis with my usual treatment:

Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.”  [I will sometimes ask people to imagine the first 10 seconds of a soul’s experience in Hell.]

At last month’s Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Burke recalled Fatima’s “terrifying vision of Hell, foreshadowed in the evils visited upon the world at the time.” That chilling image evokes a warning from Fr. Charles Arminjon’s The End of the Present World [US HERE – UK HERE]:

Remove the fear of eternal punishment from mankind, and the world will be filled with crime… Hell will simply happen sooner: instead of being postponed until the future life, it will be inaugurated in the midst of humanity, in the present life.

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis announces: “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!” (297). [I’d like to think that the Holy Father meant to add “… in this life.”] Josef Seifert warns that it’s “nearly unavoidable” to deduce a denial of Hell—a fear echoed by others. Anna Silvas notesAmoris Laetitia’s “missing” lexicon of eternity: “There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in the document!”  [We’ve seen here before.  HERE  That’s worth a review.]

But papal ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez is ebullient with joy because, as he declares in a 1995 article, “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.” The author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, Fernandez elsewhere rhapsodizes that extra-marital sex can express “ecstatic” charity and “Trinitarian richness.”  [BLECH… I’m not linking that.]

And Fernandez the papal ghostwriter—as Michael Pakaluk and Sandro Magister have shown—repeatedly plagiarizes his previous work in Amoris Laetitia. For instance, Fernandez’s 2006 declaration that “Trinitarian” love can be “realized within an objective situation of sin” is echoed in Amoris Laetitia 305.  [Can it?  I wonder. I doubt it.]

Last September, the four cardinals submitted their dubia out of grave concern for “the true good of souls.” They’ve now published a letter from April requesting an audience with the pontiff—who has not responded.

As the months of papal non-engagement grow, Pope Francis’s maxim that “time is greater than space” feels increasingly ominous. Fernandez—whose cited and uncited work also appears in Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium—has long claimed that we’re in an age of revolutionary “time.” [What just popped into my head was the phrase “perpetual revolution”.  On the issue of the phrase “time is greater than space”, see what I add at the end.]

In his book The Francis Project, [Not linking that either.] Fernandez laments that conservative “fanatics” can’t accept that the “Spirit”—which can “elude the supervision of the institution of the Church”—is leading us “toward a different phase.” It’s a phase where, apparently, God is “Mother” and “you should follow your conscience” and “a pope who tells us that God wants us to be happy on this earth will never ask us to be obsessed with sacrifice.” It’s a phase where, to quote Pope Francis, the Church isn’t “obsessed” with abortion or sexual ethics either.

It’s a phase where, to quote Evangelii Gaudium, “time is greater than space”—where “initiating processes” in politics and the Church advances a “utopian future” with “no possibility of return” (222). It’s a frankly eerie “final cause”—“the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future … which draws us to itself” (222).  [Brrrrrrr!]

So “time” and the “Spirit” are the utopia’s shining protagonists. Time lets reformers “work slowly but surely” (EG 223). Time lets each “region” seek its own “solutions” because “not all … doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues need to be settled by … the magisterium” (AL 3). Eventually, the “Spirit … overcomes every conflict by creating a new … synthesis” (EG 230), enabling us “to see all things as he does” (AL 3).

Silvas senses here the “gnostic spirit of the cult of modernity”:

I think ‘the spirit’ to which Francis so soothingly alludes has more to do with the Geist of Herr Heigel … [which] manifests itself in the midst of contradictions and oppositions, surmounting them in a new synthesis…

We are in a world of dynamic fluidity here, of starting open-ended processes, of sowing seeds of desired change that will triumph over time. Other theorists—you have here in Italy, Gramsci and his manifesto of cultural Marxism—teach how to achieve revolution by stealth.

Hence a revolution through an “incremental change of praxis” across time. [Creeping Incrementalism] Slowly, inexorably, “region by region, bishops around the world begin to ‘interpret’ Amoris Laetitia” subversively—“to a point of no return.” Buenos Aires, Rome, San Diego, the Philippines, Malta, Germany, Belgium, and Sicily have one by one embraced Communion for those in adultery—with some areas earning direct praise and thanks from the pontiff.

The four cardinals’ April letter told Pope Francis how “painful” it is to see “that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta.” Fernandez, for his part, has proudly claimed that Pope Francis goes “slowly” because he’s “aiming at reform that is irreversible.

So eternity must yield to “time”; the Four Last Things—death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell—must be swallowed up by the sparkly worldly utopia. Silvas sees the “end game” as “a more or less indifferent permission for any who present for Holy Communion”:

And so we attain the longed-for haven of all-inclusiveness and “mercy”: the terminal trivialization of the Eucharist, of sin and repentance, of the sacrament of Matrimony, of any belief in objective and transcendent truth, the evisceration of language, and of any stance of compunction before the living God.

A long, subversive march through the Church [“march”?… perpetual revolution?] —synced to the “siren song” of “accompaniment,” the mellifluous music of “mercy.”

At the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Burke preached Fatima’s prophetic message of saving souls from “mortal sin and its fruit: eternal death.” He preached prayer, penance, reparation, and Marian consecration; he preached that pastors’ “failure to teach the faith” endangers souls “mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense.”

Cardinal Caffarra starkly described the world’s present attempt to place Christ and his gospel on “trial.” He described an Evil One who utters “banalities about man,” who seduces man into sin out of sneering “contempt.” The cardinal quoted Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor before Christ: “You judge of men too highly … they are born slaves … I swear to you that man is weaker and lower than You have ever imagined him to be!”

Cardinal Caffarra imagined Satan taunting God with an “anti-creation,” a sin-soaked hell on earth: “And man will say: it is better in the alternative creation than in your creation.” It’s precisely what Fr. Arminjon described—Hell irrupting into the present life, Hell happening early because mankind scoffs at its eternal reality.

No happy bromides about non-condemnation can erase Christ’s fifteen warnings about Hell. [No wonder some Jesuits say that we can’t know what Christ really said, because they didn’t have tape recorders.] No heady defense of sin, no tangled jargon on “time” and “space,” can theorize the Four Last Things out of existence. Cardinal Burke calls us to battle for the eternal salvation of souls; Cardinal Caffarra calls us to testify for Christ and his gospel—currently on trial.

More about that phrase, “time is greater than space”.  What’s that all about?

Tracey Rowland explains this in her terrific recent book Catholic Theology.  She wrote that this is an element of the Pope’s:

… ‘People’s Theology’. One of the most extensive articles on this subject is Juan Carlos Scannone’s ‘El papa Francisco y la teologia del pueblo’ published in the journal Razón y Fe. 86 In this paper Scannone claims that not only is Pope Francis a practitioner of ‘People’s Theology’ but also that Francis extracted his favourite four principles – time is greater than space, unity prevails over conflict, reality is more important than ideas, and the whole is greater than the parts – from a letter of the nineteenth-century Argentinian dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793– 1877) sent to another Argentinian caudillo, Facundo Quiroga (1788– 1835), in 1834. These four principles, which are said to govern the decision-making processes of Pope Francis, have their own section in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and references to one or other of them can be found scattered throughout his other papal documents. Pope Francis calls them principles for ‘building a people’. A common thread running through each of these principles is the tendency to give priority to praxis over theory. [Read that again… priority of praxis over theory.  Remember my comments that, right now more than ever even in the 80’s and 90’s, “pastoral” is used as a weapon against “doctrine”, “intellect”, “academics”, even “magisterium”, and certainly “law”.] There is also a sense that conflict in itself is not a bad thing, that ‘unity will prevail’ somehow [Hegel?] and that time will remove at least some of the protagonists in any conflict. The underlying metaphysics is quite strongly Hegelian, [yep] and the approach to praxis itself resembles what Lamb classified as ‘cultural-historical’ activity and is associated primarily with Luther and Kant rather than Marx. Professor Loris Zanatta of the University of Bologna has published an article entitled ‘Un papa peronista?’ in which he makes the claim that Pope Francis has used the word pueblo or people some 356 times in his papal speeches, that Pope Francis believes that poverty bestows upon people a moral superiority, and accordingly, that for Pope Francis, the ‘deposit of the faith’ is to be found preserved among the poor living in ‘inner city neighbourhoods’.  Such a reading situates Pope Francis squarely in the territory of Scannone’s ‘People’s Theology’.

Rowland, Tracey. Catholic Theology (Doing Theology) (Kindle Locations 4240-4257). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Friends, if you want to understand more about Pope Francis, you should obtain this book as soon as possible.

 Catholic Theology.  


Some of you will ask…

“What must we do?  What is our role in this Battle?”

First, examine your lives and consciences and GO TO CONFESSION.

Next, lay people, start forming your own “base communities”, in which you read together and study the classics and the solid documents of the Church’s perennial Magisterium.  Do not lie down mute before heterodox teaching: ask questions.  If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, ask the questions again.

Pray and offer mortifications for your pastors and each other.  Offer acts of reparation for the sins of priests and bishops who act like hirelings.

Embrace our traditional devotions and our traditional sacred liturgical worship.

Be ready to suffer.  Ready yourself for the Cross.  Be willing to stay on that Cross as long as it is offered.  Get your head into a mental place where, when the suffering comes, you will have the interior resources to bear it.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, Pope Francis | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

PIZZA RAT LIVES! The legend continues.

This one is especially for Fr RS who really liked the recent Grizzy Bear v SUV post.

One of my urban heroes is dear old Pizza Rat.

A New York City Subway rat hit pay dirt one day with a slice of pizza.  Determined to get that slice to safety, it put might and main into getting it down the stairs.

Let this be a lesson to us. Our challenges might be scary and heavy to bear, but WE CAN DO IT, darn it!

Pizza Rat’s legend was born some time ago, and while it didn’t fade entirely, its scroll off most of our screens.

Every time I go to NYC I watch for him in the subways.  Alas, although I’ve seen a lot of rats, I haven’t seen him.

Until today!

Pizza Rat is back in a new video. And I am certain that this is the very same Pizza Rat of yore. This time our intrepid PR is in Crowne Heights in Brooklyn.

The prize?  Why… PIZZA of course!


Posted in Just Too Cool, Lighter fare | Tagged | 6 Comments

Looking for an approved Catholic version of The Bible? Not much help at this site.

The Catholic Church gave the Bible to the world. Only the Catholic Church could compile and authenticate as inspired ancient Christian writings, so that error and spiritual danger was avoided. The Catholic Church is the only authentic interpreter of the Sacred Scriptures and their guardian.  Everyone who ever opens any Bible should thank God for the Catholic Church.

That said, because there are zillions of versions in gazillions of tongues available, one might imagine that, in this electronic age, there could be a kind of “Bible central” where one could go to find approved versions in the desired languages. Right? That sounds like a 21st century kind of thing to do with the vaunted tools of social communication.

Since the Catholic Church’s HQ is The Vatican, wouldn’t the website of The Vatican, the Holy See, be a good place to have such a “Bible central”?  Given the primacy of God’s inspired word, there should be quite the page.

Check this out. HERE This is the Vatican website’s “Bible Index”.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 09.37.27

In a nutshell, this says that if you want to find the Bible, go to the website of your own conference of bishops for an updated version.

Alas, they don’t provide links to those conferences… and you would think that they would be known… in The Vatican.

A friend of mine wrote:

They left a message saying you have to go check your own episcopal conference’s website.

Thank you, our shepherds, who needs the Latin version anyway (OK neovulgata, still). And, I am sure when the clandestine faithful in China or North Korea or such manage to get on the web for ten minutes once in a month they will find their own episcopal conference’s website very exhaustive.

Right.   Also, he brings up a good point.   Shouldn’t the Vatican website have, at least, the approved LATIN version of Holy Writ?  Perhaps also a recognized GREEK version of the New Testament?  Just the basics?

I wonder if this is, in part, a way to reduce traffic and strain on what must be a really busy site/server.  Surely it can’t be because they want to deemphasize the importance of the Holy See and farm more things out to conferences of bishops.

We might want to keep an eye on that page to see if there are any updates.

The moderation queue is ON.


A reader sent a link… buried… on the Vatican website.  I update this with trepidation.   Want your Latin Vulgate?  HERE

Posted in I'm just askin'... | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Disgusting: “One Priest’s Plan to Queer the Catholic Church”

A disgusting site called VICE (please don’t go there) has a story:

One Priest’s Plan to Queer the Catholic Church

The priest in question is Jesuit… Jesuit… James Martin, SJ.

It’s an interview.


Meanwhile… Clement XIV Swag HERE

Where’s that prayer I wrote for Jesuits?

Posted in Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

ASK FATHER: Is there an Archangel Uriel?



From a reader…


My daughter asked me if I had heard of an Archangel Uriel. I believe only 3 are named in Scripture and we must be careful about a name that could be an evil spirit. Info online seems to indicate there is a Uriel.  Is he really an Archangel?

As you say yourself, from Scripture we know the names of three Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  There are other, apocryphal names of angels, but we are not to use them or invoke them.

That said, some Christians, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans for example, invoke Uriel.  Ethiopian Christians, who accept as canonical the Book of Enoch (in which Uriel is mentioned) invoke Uriel.  The Catholic Church does not accept Enoch as canonical scripture.

Moreover, a council or synod (“walking together”) held in Rome in 745 with Pope St. Zachary, wanted to curb a growing over-emphasis in the veneration of angels.  Therefore, the synod reduced the officially recognized list of angels to Michael,Gabriel and Raphael, thus striking the names of others, found in apocryphal writings, such as Uriel.

So, it may be that Uriel is an Archangel.  I know that Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are because the Catholic Church invokes them.  We must be careful about all others.


Posted in ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Corpus Christi in bombed out Cologne in 1947

No, no… everything is better now since the “reforms” of the liturgy and the way doctrine and law have been de-emphasized in the name of the spirit of Vatican II.  No.  Everything is so much better now… really… better.. it is…

That’s right… they’ve got nothing on us! What a vibrant and faithful Church we have now! The seminaries are full, convents are packed, confession lines are long. There are so many schools and hospitals being built. And try to count the wedding and baptisms! Well! I’m mean… wow… right?

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism | Tagged , | 15 Comments