Terrific Benedictine Monks of Norcia! Yes, great things are also going on and YOU can participate.

As we navigate The Present Crisis, let us not forget that there are wonderful things happening, too, by the grace of God and by fervent elbow grease.  Isn’t that how we are meant to carry out our vocations?  Grace and elbow grease?

One of the great things going on is the beautiful life of the Benedictines in Norcia, Italy.

Friends, I keep hearing from lay people that they don’t want to give one more dime to anything the Church is doing until The Present Crisis gets cleaned up.  I do understand.  But don’t forget the good works which have begun, such as the TMSM (my group), a great pro-life Catholic clinic I support, the wonderful Benedictines of Gower Abbey (who pray for priests and bishops), and these men in Norcia, who have suffered from earthquakes and great challenges.

Please go visit their latest page with news.  HERE

A sample:

Some have compared the recent scandals and controversies in the Church to a spiritual earthquake, one bringing destruction and uncertainty. If that is true, then I am glad to share the main lesson that the earthquakes of 2016 taught — and continues to teach — us: When the Church seems damaged and disfigured we must take that as an invitation from God to a deeper faith in Him, in his Mysteries, in the Tradition of the Church. This Faith is hard but there are good and beautiful fruits, some of which we share here below.

Tradition is where we are going to find the answer to much of The Present Crisis.   The rediscovery and recovery of Tradition, with lots of reparation and elbow grease.

Read the rest of the timely letter over there.   Or…..

You can help the monks by buying their terrific BEER! and their chant CD.

Their beer really is good.   They send me a few bottle each month and I share it around.  As a matter of fact, I gave some to a couple of priests last night, who warmly appreciated it.  You may not be into beer, but it makes a great gift.   Order some and have it for your Thanksgiving meal.  It would be a great accompaniment for savory food.  The first time I had the monks’ beer, in Norcia, they presented it with savory sausages and cheeses of the region, famous for the same.  When I am in Rome – and I will be in a few days – I go to the nearby norcineria for things made in that area.  But I digress.

Help the monks!  They are traditional and they praying for us.

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#ViganoTestimony 3.0!  Powerful response to accusations, points to crisis of homosexuality #sodoclericalism


Archbp. Carlo Maria Viganò has issued a third Testimony.  It is a neutron bomb.

First, at CNA we read that the present “Sostituo”, the 2nd in command in the Secretariat of State for matter within the Church, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra “might have been dismissed from a seminary where he studied because he was thought by seminary administrators to have a homosexual orientation.”  Parra was mentioned in Archbp. Carlo Maria Viganò’s 25 August “Testimony”.  With that in mind, read on!

Remember that Archbp. Viganò released his Testimony on 25 August, read in my PODCAzT HERE.   Many prelates found his accusations credible.

He issued another piece, stronger in September  HERE  In that second piece Viganò called out Card. Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Ouellet responded in a bitterly sharp letter on 7 October.  HERE  While harshly criticizing Viganò, Ouellet confirmed many of the things Viganò had claimed.

Now – on the Feast of the North American Martyrs – Archbp. Viganò has issued a THIRD Testimony.  It comprehensive.  Marco Tosatti has it, in Italian, HERE.  The indomitable Ed Pentin posted it in English – bless him- at the National Catholic Register.  Bless him, in particular, because I found it just before launching into my own translation.  Thanks.

After an introduction, Archbp. Viganò lists in bullet points the key events.

Here is the first part of Testimony 3.0.  It starts right in after stating the feast day, without being addressed to any one person or persons.  Hence, it is addressed to everyone, including, dear reader, you.  YOU are part of this narrative, too.  My emphases:

To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell. A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved. Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge — “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” — what answer could I give?

I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed. I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed. I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives. Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty. Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own. Having reported multiple times to my superiors, and even to the pope, the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths of which I was aware earlier. If I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that. This delay was due to the gravity of the decision I was going to take, and to the long travail of my conscience.

I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible. Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.

Therefore I spoke. For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church — harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large. With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the pope.

Let me restate the key points of my testimony.

Then for a couple of pages he goes chronologically through everything he has done, with whom he spoke, corresponded, etc.   After that he takes up something that Card. Ouellet wrote and finishes with a peroration.


In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don’t make and never made.

There is one point on which I must absolutely refute what Cardinal Ouellet wrote. The Cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors,” which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick. I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. Compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick; are all these just rumors? They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.

In the public remonstrances directed at me I have noted two omissions, two dramatic silences. The first silence regards the plight of the victims. The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy. As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel. This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy. This is about souls. Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.

As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.

Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large. But these violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved. Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds — whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.

It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry. It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.

Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church. I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion.
Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy. I am urging no such thing. I pray every day for Pope Francis — more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross. Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).

In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt. You too are faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.

On the other hand, you can choose to speak. You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.” I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice– on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge — you will not regret having made.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò


Archbp. Viganò, offered a credible testimony before.  He has, once again offered a credible testimony.   A credible testimony calls for a credible response, a serious response that corresponds to the weight of the matter.  In this case, the matter is as grave as anything we have heard about in the Church.  The Present Crisis is not just a blip.

Again, Viganò has uncovered the root of The Present Crisis: homosexuals and homosexual predation – with the sodoclericalism that results.

I think we have to make a distinction between clericalism and sodoclericalism.

Do make regular prayer for Archbp. Viganò part of your daily routine.  When he issued his first piece, he went into hiding.  Some might think that that is a little melodramatic.  However, I know for a fact that homosexuals and mafiosi and all manner of dangerous actors run together, for their interests overlap.  In Vatican circles, people can turn up dead.  HERE  It also happens far out of Vatican circles but within the Church when it comes to unmasking the powerful and their homosexual depredations.  HERE  When it came to McCarrick, one person was afraid of winding up at the bottom of the Potomac. HERE  Archbp. Viganò has good reason to be afraid.  Homosexual crime is among the most brutal that law enforcement and medical responders see.

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The massive, glaring, screaming lacuna in #Synod2018

Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput, a participant in the 2018 Synod (“walking together”), has been interviewed by CatholicPhilly.com.

This quote struck me:

Q: What might the synod change in Church doctrine or in the interpretation of the doctrine?

CHAPUT: No synod has the authority to change core Christian teachings; nor does any Pope. In matters of interpretation, the unstated struggle in the 2018 synod revolves around Catholic sexual morality. As one young female youth minister put it: Underneath all its social science data and verbiage, the instrumentum laboris is finally, very quietly, about sex. It’s especially odd that the word “chastity” appears almost nowhere in the IL text. Humanae Vitae and the [JP2] theology of the body are completely absent.

It is indeed “odd” in the sense of “bizarre”.  On the other hand, it is not odd at all, given that there seems to be a strong effort from the writers of the documents emanating since 2013 to attenuate and even eliminate the magisterium of John Paul II.  This has been both by frontal assault (Amoris 8) and by the Fabian strategy of avoidance (Five Dubia).

For the organizers of the Synod (“walking together”) it seems to be all about sex.

How condescending to young people

THAT, my friends, is clericalism of the worst sort.  And I’ll wager it’s also strong tinged in not a few cases with #sodoclericalism.   Hence, they focus on what they want to deal with.

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Requests for GREGORIAN MASSES and priests who can say them

Sometimes when I post this, people send emails about various places that take Gregorian Masses.  MassAngelPoorSoulsEng-b_correctedThat’s not what this post is for.


People sometimes write to me to request Gregorian Masses (i.e., the same Mass intention for 30 straight, uninterrupted days).  Many priests have parish Masses, so they cannot do this, but some priests can!  Therefore, I have put on my yenta cap to ask if there are priests out there who can take such a request.

I then forward your requests to those priests.

I have nothing to do with the stipend, which the parties work out for themselves.


Petitioners/Gregorian Mass seekers:

Drop me a note (HERE) and I will forward your request to a priest on my list. I won’t have anything to do with setting the stipend. Period.  In the subject line of the email put: GREGORIAN MASS REQUEST.  Put just that, and only that in the subject line so that I will be able to find you in my email:  GREGORIAN MASS REQUEST  [UPDATE: It is amazing that people write and put something else in the subject line!  It’s as if you want me to miss your email. When I try to match people, I search for that title in the email Subject line. Put something else and you are out, unless you are lucky.]


Put AVAILABLE FOR GREGORIAN MASS in the subject line.  Just that.  Not anything else.  Just that. Drop me a note (HERE)

Finally, I am not obliged to do this.

Folks, think about this.  

Are you looking for a truly spiritual gift to give?  How about having Gregorian Masses said for the deceased priests who served you?

Don’t necessarily pick the priests who were holy or kind or good.  How about picking priests who were troubled or who were liberal and, therefore, probably not exactly faithful?   Have Masses said for the priests who really need your spiritual care?

I would appreciate your prayers after my own death.   I appreciate your prayers in this life too!   You can have Masses said for both the living and the dead.  Pray for your priests, dead and alive.   We need your prayers.

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WHAT IS THAT? Francis wearing rainbow colored Cross.

Would someone please explain this to me?

Is this photoshopped?

I don’t get it.

The fellow who sent it to me, who is from Latin America, wrote:

“They’re saying the colors represent regions of Latin America, but being from there, I don’t know how that’s actually the case.”

So… what is that?

It looks like a cross in rainbow colors, but in an abstract pattern so that it avoids a rainbow look (which must be purposeful).

What is that?


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23 October: Bp. Egan of @PortsmouthRC calls for Masses of Reparation

When His Lordship the Right Reverend Philip Egan was installed as Bishop of Portsmouth in England, I was in London.  I fondly recall watching a live stream of the event with not-yet-Fr  James Bradley of the Ordinariate in digs at St. Patrick’s, Soho Square.  This Egan, I thought, is a solid guy.  He sermon was terrific.  I also mentally congratulated my friend “Trisagion” repeatedly as I watched.

Today I read at Fr. Hunwick’s place that Bp Egan… well… here’s Fr. H’s own:

The admirable Lord Bishop of the diocese in which I am domiciled (although, of course, I am incardinated in the Ordinariate) has asked his priests and people to observe October 23 as a day of Reparation for the babies killed since the Abortion Act was passed in this country on that day in the year 1967. He asks clergy to use the Votive (NO) for the Progress of Peoples and to wear the purple vestments of penance.

[NB] He suggests, for that day, fasting since midnight the night before Communion and making use of silence at Mass. He particularly suggests that the Offertory Prayers be said secreto. Nice points.

Admirable. I feel strongly inclined to clamber on board his initiative. I wonder which EF Votive one might use … Salus Populi, perhaps?

An admirable undertaking indeed.  More HERE

In the Extraordinary Form… what to do? 

Honestly, it would be great if bishops would remember the EF when doing these things and also, simultaneously provide for it.

One might argue for various Votive Masses in the Vetus Ordo for such an intention.   For example, you could choose the prayers

  • Ad petendam compunctionem cordis
  • Pro tentatis et tribulatis


Also, provided in the PSPAL section there is on 23 October a Mass “Sanctissimi Redemptoris” with a lovely formulary and one which is at the same time sober and hopeful.  And, if the bishop would want purple on it, then put purple on it instead of white.  Why not?  (Yes, yes…. Mass of Our Lord, white and all that.  But…..)

Reparation, my dear friends, reparation.

The Present Crisis, which is rooted in homosexual predators in the clergy and the sodoclericalists who abet them, is in a sense the obverse of the abortion and culture of death crisis we are living.  Both abortion and homosexual acts thwart in the most brutal way God’s plan for human sexuality.  Both bring the attachment of demons to where they take place.   Satan’s plan from the temptation in the garden was to overturn God’s plan for creation.  What better ways than through abortion and homosexual acts.

William Blake might have been referring factories of the Industrial Revolution when in Jerusalem he penned the poignant picture of “dark satanic mills”, but we have perfected them in the modern culture of death with big-business, industrial scale abortion and the “gay” movement.

We need mighty tools to combat these rotten fruits.

In Blake’s other, longer Jerusalem he wrote:

“And all the Arts of Life they changed into the Arts of Death in Albion.”

Yes, I think the Mass Sanctissimi Redemptoris might be aptum et pulchrum on 23 October.

Salvo meliore iudicio.

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Eugenics in our recent past

On a sunny weekend day in my native place, I might have a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast, then stop at Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul to visit the graves of priests and then slide over to the Pierce Butler Route if I had to go West towards Minneapolis.

Little did I know that there was a connection between the chow, the graveyard and the shortcut.

Last night I watched a show in the American Experience series about the Eugenics Crusade that rose in the 20th c. with truly horrifying ramifications.  It is now streaming.   It traced the campaign to improve the human race in these United States by breeding out the “feeble-minded”.  Feeble-mindedness was connected to anti-social behaviors or crimes: if you did those things you must be feeble-mindeded. Hence, they thought they could breed bad behavior and crime out of the populace through the promotion of “ideal” characteristics and forced sterilization.

The show was not un-political and the politics were liberal.  There were not so subtle digs at anyone who wants a “wall” on the border to control immigration.  During the eugenics crusade, there were efforts to limit immigration to keep out undesirables like Jews, southern and eastern Europeans who would spoil the superior American gene pool.   The writers, I think, tried to suggest a connection between the border issues today and then, which is absurd.

The show did bring up the monstrous Margaret Sanger, of course. However, they were pretty easy on her.  The writers suggested that she got on board with eugenics because it was the only way to promote her message about contraception for the sake of liberating women.  I thought that was intellectually dishonest.

Also, as a curiosity, one of the strong promoters of the eugenics movement was a guy who was trying to purify humans also through diet and exercise, or “biologic living”.  This guy who ran a Seventh Day Adventist sanitarium named John Harvey Kellogg developed corn flakes to help cleanse bowels.

The show covered a famous 1927 Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell, sad sad reading, in which 8-1 the Justices determined that the state could forcibly sterilize people.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who wrote, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”.   The one dissenter in the opinion was Justice Pierce Butler, a devout Catholic, the first Justice from Minnesota.

Justice Butler was a Catholic Democrat nominated by Republican Warren G. Harding.  He was strongly resisted by the Klu Klux Klan and in the Senate but he was approved for the court 61-8.  Holmes attacked Pierce and his religion after his dissent in Buck v. Bell.

Pierce Butler, one of only 14 Catholics who have served on the Supreme Court our of 114 total, is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul.

Buck v. Bell was somewhat attenuated along the way, but in one way or another sterilization laws were “on the books” until recent years.

An interesting tid bit emerged from the American Experience show.  During the Nuremberg trials after WWII, lawyers defending Nazi war criminals cited Buck v. Bell as a defense for the “Rassenhygiene” program.  Ouch.

BTW… during this 50th anniversary year of Humanae vitae and the recent canonization of Paul VI brings me to think of that caput malorum, Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner.  Rahner was persistent dissenter against Humanae vitae.  He even had a neo-Malthusian view of population growth.

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Some good news from Montana, a laugh, and some reactions to Paul VI canonization

From a reader…

In Great Falls, Montana, there are only 4 parishes where there used to be eight. The reasons are partly a drop in the city’s population, partly a drop in the number of observant Catholics, and mostly (I think) a shortage of priests. However, some good news.

One of the new parishes is Corpus Christi (a consolidation of St. Luke’s, St. Joseph’s, and Blessed Sacrament). The pastor, Fr. Ryan Erlenbush, says all Masses ad orientam and in Latin. The Novus Ordo Masses are said in Latin, and the parishioners are taught the Latin responses. Just thought you might be interested.


Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Erlenbush.

Ad orientem is needed more than ever.  In many places it will be a first (or third) step toward recovery of our Catholic identity.

I’d very much like to visit that place sometime.

And then there’s this.

From Eye of the Tiber:


Explaining his frustrations at not being able to properly do the red and say the black in his missal during Mass, local color blind priest Father Richard Wendell asked congregants to try as best as they can to just ignore him.

“…quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo, et opera strike breast three times, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa,” Wendell said aloud, realizing he had made yet another mistake as people began to murmur.

“You gotta feel for the guy,” local parishioner Brenden Horn told EOTT after Mass. “At one point he said, ‘Kyrie eleison. the Gloria is omitted on Sundays in Advent and Lent. Stand at High Mass. Gloria in excelsis Deo.’ Yeah, it was painful to watch.”

At Fr. Z’s Blog we are famous for liturgical diversity if we are famous for anything at all.  I think that as on demand publishing technology changes, we should be able to craft missals for the color blind which are tuned to the precise shades of color needed for celebrants.  Alternatively, perhaps the rubrics could be underscored or provided in a different typeface.

Flexibility, folks!   Just as I always say, “Flexibility!”

Francis presided at a canonization ceremony for Paul VI on 14 October.

Reactions vary.   Some are over the moon with Team Francis Joy.  Others are harshly critical.  Most sort of shrug.

At First Things there is a piece by Jake Neu – “Paul VI and the Canonization of Vatican II” – which has two illuminating paragraphs.  My emphases:

Of the three canonized popes who reigned in the years 1958-2005, Paul VI is the one most directly tied to the implementation of Vatican II. He oversaw the issuance of its most important and influential documents. He was responsible for implementing its reforms for the ensuing thirteen years. Unfortunately, he failed to promote a standard interpretation of Vatican II, allowing broad confusion as to what exactly the Council permitted. He exercised little control over the Curial departments involved with the reforms. Though Humanae Vitae courageously and indispensably reaffirmed the Church’s ancient teaching on contraception, the reception of that encyclical so scarred Paul that he refused to write another for the last ten years of his pontificate. Despite reports of widespread and grave emotional and psychosexual problems in the clergy as early as 1972, Paul VI did nothing to address such concerns or instruct bishops on the proper handling of abuse cases. In 1985, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger lamented that the period after the Council seemed “to have passed over from self-criticism to self-destruction” and had hardly “live[d] up to the hopes of John XXIII, who looked for a ‘new Pentecost.’”

By canonizing John XXIII, John Paul II, and Paul VI, Pope Francis is embracing Vatican II and the changes it wrought in religious practice, devotion, the liturgy, administration, external relationships, and general outlook. Francis has expressed that these canonizations reflect a new age of openness to the Spirit brought by Vatican II. Yet given the institutional failures and instability that pervade the last sixty years, the frequency of post-Vatican II papal saint-making may be viewed not as a mark of vitality, but rather as an effort to assert the value of Vatican II in the face of the Church’s potentially permanent decline.

Something needs to change, wouldn’t you agree?

Let’s say you are in Chicago and you want to drive to New York City.  You get into your car and head off.  However, after a while you see an exit for Kansas City.  You might get the idea that you’ve been going the wrong way.  If you really didn’t care all that much about NYC and are okay with KC, well, who cares.  If, however, you really did want to go to NYC, then your best option is probably to stop driving in the wrong direction, turn around and retrace your route to the point where you went wrong and then start over.  That is, if you care.

I suppose we could use another analogy.  Say you want some fresh air in your house.  You throw open the windows and prepare to breath deeply.  However, in the next county there is a bad forest fire and you get a strong does of smoke.  Not refreshing at all.  Do you say, “Oh well!”, and walk away leaving the windows open?

On the 9th anniversary of his coronation (he was the last Pope to have one) on 29 June 1972, Paul VI described the situation in the Church.

“Through some crack the smoke of Satan has entered into the temple of God.”

Fr. Hunwicke posted a prayer:

Saint Paul VI, pray that the smoke of Satan which entered the Church may, by your intercession, be driven back. Pray that the the whole Church may hear with docile obedience the moral teachings which, handed down by your predecessors, you handed down to our generations. Pray especially for your successor Pope Francis, that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, he may devoutly, powerfully, and joyfully set forth the tradition received through the Apostles, the Deposit of Faith.

If Paul wasn’t particularly successful as Pope, which is a horrifically complicated job in the best of times, and he did not by any stretch of the imagination have even okay times, he could, perhaps, exert himself on that side of the divide in a “clearing of the air”.

Peter Kwasniewski at OnePeterFive is decidedly not over the moon about Paul VI.  He penned closely argued piece against the canonization.  HERE  One of the things he said caught my attention:

There is no serious cultus of Paul VI, nor has there ever been, and it is doubtful that papal fiat can create a cultus ex nihilo.

Part of the process for causes of saints is that it must be demonstrated that there is a real, sustained, growing “cult” or devotion to the Servant of God.

What does the SSPX think?  Let’s read their statement HERE

The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X reiterates the serious reservations it had expressed during the beatification of Paul VI on October 19th, 2014:

— These beatifications and canonisations of recent popes, with an accelerated procedure, dispense with the wisdom of the Church’s centuries-old rules. Is not their aim more to canonise the popes of the Second Vatican Council, rather than to note the heroicity of their theological virtues? When one knows that the first duty of a pope – successor of Peter – is to confirm his brethren in the faith (St Luke 22:32), there is a good reason to be perplexed.

Nothing surprising there.

What the rest of the Communiqué stresses is how many bad things happened on his watch and how he did nothing to stop them.

That does raise an issue: Can one divorce the fruits of a Pope’s pontificate from how he lived he vocation as Pope?  If, one your watch, things fly apart because of your decisions or else because you didn’t correct them, then can it truly be argued that you have properly exercised the auriga virtutum, the virtue of prudence?   Prudence is the virtue which governs the other virtues.  Prudence disposes reason to determine the true good in different circumstances and then to choose the right path to achieving the good.   By prudence we take counsel with ourselves and with others so as to be properly informed, we then make correct judgments based on the evidence we have, and finally direct our efforts according to the judgments made.   Some would say that the fruits of Paul’s pontificate show that he didn’t exercise well the virtue of prudence.  If he didn’t then he didn’t live a life of “heroic virtue”.  That would be a problem for a cause for beatification.   However, the Congregation issued a decree on that.

Anyway, it seems to quite a few people that the canonization of Popes of the 20th c. seems, in fact, to be a canonization of their policies, or rather, the policies of the holder of the See at the time.

Along these lines Jesuit Thomas Reese writes at ultra-lib RNS:

I find this rush to canonize recent popes unseemly at a time when the church needs to showcase lay examples of holiness to inspire ordinary Catholics in their lives. Canonization is often an attempt to put a halo over all the activities of a pope. For example, conservatives have noted that Pope Paul’s canonization takes place on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae.

So, libs are okay with all the other B as in B, S as in S that went on in the 60s and 70s, but when it comes to Humanae vitae, not so much.

Anyway, those a few of the not-so-hot reactions to the canonization.  Time will tell (if it hasn’t already) whether devotion to him will grow and be stable.

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16 October 1978: Election of John Paul II – 40 YEARS!

Where were you when you heard the news that a man from Poland had been elected to the See of Peter?

Were you even born yet?

It was on this date in 1978.   Wow.  40 years.  4 DECADES.

Apropos recent debates that have strongly emerged in the Church, I note a couple passages from his encyclicals.

First, from his 1993 Encyclical Veritatis splendor 103-4:

Only in the mystery of Christ’s Redemption do we discover the “concrete” possibilities of man. “It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a “balancing of the goods in question.” But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God’s mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values.

Next, from his 1995 Evangelium vitae 57 [note how he uses the word “innocent”]:

Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. It is in fact a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and indeed to God himself, the author and guarantor of that law; it contradicts the fundamental virtues of justice and charity. “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action”.

As far as the right to life is concerned, every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others. This equality is the basis of all authentic social relationships which, to be truly such, can only be founded on truth and justice, recognizing and protecting every man and woman as a person and not as an object to be used. Before the moral norm which prohibits the direct taking of the life of an innocent human being “there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the ‘poorest of the poor’ on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal”.

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Archbp. Chaput interviewed by The Pill – #sodoclericalism

The Tablet (aka The Bitter Pill aka RU-486) interviewed Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.  At present, the Archbishop is involved in the Synod (“walking together”) on Youth in Rome.

He has some pointed comments about what faith both is and isn’t.  They are worth reading.

Here is something that stood out for me, at the end:

Q: What would you like the synod of bishops final document to say about sexual abuse in the Church?

CHAPUT: The continuing sex abuse crisis is extremely serious. Fortunately, both Pope Francis and the synod fathers understand this, and the final document will likely reflect their concerns. [NB] I’m less sure that the roots of the problem will be addressed.  Clericalism is clearly a factor in the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, but not the dominant one, and very few of the laypeople I know are satisfied with that explanation, especially parents.  In the mind of the lay faithful, homosexuality and its role in the crisis need to be dealt with, but it’s unclear whether the synod will be willing to include it in the final text.

Sure, there is a dimension of clericalism, but the root is active homosexuals and homosexual predators in the clergy who are clericalists.



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Pop over the Fr. Longenecker’s place and read his post: “All Are Welcome

He rips the skin from the faux calls for diversity and multiculturalism and, especially, “gay” hollering we are force to hear so much.


I’m reminded of a gay activist who was interviewed about the church. He was yelling that he wanted the church to be more inclusive, then the interviewer said, “So if you felt the church was more inclusive which church would you attend every Sunday?”

The guy looked at the interviewer like he was a martian, “Not me. I’m not really a Christian.”

Correct. It seems the liberals who are unlocking the doors to empty churches are the ones crying out, “All are welcome!” but the churches aren’t empty because people are unwelcome, but because the people simply don’t want to go to that kind of church.

The churches that are full, on the other hand, are the ones that actually preach the Christian gospel which welcome everyone, but welcomes them to something called the Christian faith.

Without a full blooded, historic Catholic faith which preaches the need for repentance and seeking the face of the Lord for eternal salvation what are you welcoming people to? A luncheon club where they sing hymns and carry banners with trite slogans? A soup kitchen and shower facility where they hold Bible studies? A rehab center where they find their inner goddess? People aren’t dumb. They’ll soon ask, “Why bother with all that religious-spiritual stuff? We can do soup kitchens, rehab centers and shower facilities without all those dreary hymns, bad Christian pop music and dull homilies delivered by a fat, middle class half educated minister.


Bottom line, when it comes to libs, “All are welcome”… TO WHAT, exactly?

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#Synod2018 concerns in a couple of sharp sentences. Then Fr. Z rants.

At my old stomping ground, The Wanderer, their weekly contributor and a ubiquitous tweeter Fr. Kevin Cusick, nailed the Synod (“walking together”) situation in a couple of sentences.

Another rigged Synod is now underway with predictable results. All we need to know to verify that is the information that Archbishop Bruno Forte is on the drafting committee again for this confab. He is responsible for inserting pro-LGBT propaganda in the written record of the earlier Family Synod.
Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri says the drafts of the final document of Synod 2018 will be kept confidential and will not be published. What has been made public thus far indicates that the synod counts on another ruse to manipulate Church teaching for ill purposes.

Based on what we have seen, that nails it.   Today’s revelations about procedures give slim comfort.  HERE

The rest of Cusick’s piece concerns the gulf between what Synod organizers think young people want and need and what they really want and need, especially in regard to Tradition.  There are some funny memes about that, as I am sure you have seen.  His observations align very much with what I wrote yesterday in commenting on something Fr. Cipolla wrote at Rorate.  HERE

It strikes me that a huge swath of The Powers That Be are clueless.  Their cluelessness is self-imposed.  They are so committed to their ideological view of the Church and their clericalist condescension toward her members that they won’t permit that any other approaches be tried, especially if TRADITION is invoked.

We are left with – to use harsh imagery a “war of attrition” or, in a phrase that drives libs nuts, a “biological solution”.  Either way, the attrition and the ticking clock solution applies to all of us.  Which side with be ground down under the boots of the world, the flesh and the Devil faster?

Across the board, as demographics shift, we are going to lose huge numbers of nominal Catholics.  However, when I visit traditional parishes or communities, I see that the TLMs are the “children’s Mass”, based on the numbers of youngsters, young families and their rapidly increasing offspring.  Where I am on Sundays, it seems like every other week there is a newborn to be admired.  The average age in the pews must be about 7.

This suggests to me that there is a real and a fruitful synergy between the young people of today and Tradition, which is alive.

Tradition is alive and young people can have a relationship with it, just we can have a relationship with the true content of our Faith, whether fides quae or fides qua, who is in actuality a Divine Person.

In their relationship with Tradition young people and old alike are networked, so to speak, with our Catholic brethren across the globe and our forebears even across the doors of death.

There’s a thrumming depth to our millennia spanning global Tradition. Something cobbled up in the last few years in this or that place cannot offer the same.

In his indispensable book Noble Simplicity (US HERE – UK HERE), Peter Kwasniewski quoted my old friend, the late Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, may he rest in peace, saying:

Only the man who has roots has a future. Part and parcel of the problems of modern man are that because he has cut his roots with his own past, he can no longer project himself to the future. Man, without an inherited and objective frame of reference, cannot even make sense of the present in which he lives. To attempt to achieve freedom by escaping from the burdens of tradition tends to result in a new enslavement to a chaotic present.

In a more mundane way, in the movie The African Queen Humphrey Bogart explains to Katharine Hepburn that they have to get the propeller working because, in order to steer the boat through the dangerous rapids, they have to go faster than the current.  Like the root image, above, the propeller simultaneously “roots” the boat in the past while providing the organic option of where to go in our future without being swept helplessly into the rocks.

Meanwhile, each day with my increasingly gray hair and multiplying aches I smile at the words at the foot of the altar, “Introibo ad altare Dei… I will go to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth.”  There is much for reflection in that first antiphon of Mass.

A smaller but highly creative flock is being drawn from the great culling and falling away.

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15 Oct: St. Teresa, calendars and fascinating fountains! (A note to NAC seminarians and Rome denizens.)

Speaking of saints days and calendars (I posted about that a few hours ago…

Here is something for NAC seminarians, especially, as you walk from the heights to the Centro.  There is something interesting to see just off your usual beaten path.

Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila.

There is an interesting story about the Teresa and our present, modern Julio-Gregorian calendar.

In 1582, the ancient Julian calendar (organized by, yes, Julius Caesar and still observed by many Orthodox Christians) officially was terminated on Thursday 4 October by the command of Gregory XIII (1572–1585, Ugo Boncompagni) via the papal bull Inter gravissimas.

At midnight of 3-4 October the calendar skipped automatically to a day named Friday 15 October.

The famed Jesuit mathematician Christopher Clavius (+1612) worked out the calculations for this change.  He chose October for the moment of the jump because it had the fewest feast days.

He also did his calculations without the use of the decimal point!

St. Teresa of Avila died on the very night on which His Holiness had commanded that the calendar shift from 4 October to 15 October, which is why her feast is celebrated on the 15th rather than the 3rd or 4th.

If you are in Rome, stop at San Salvatore in Lauro and look at the chewed up little fountain to the left of the main doors of the church. It will probably be obscured by parked cars.  On this little fountain is what’s left of a lion.  Over the fountain there is an inscription which inter alia speaks of a draco or “dragon” who, dutiful (pius), masters the whole world (draco qui toti pius imperat orbi). This is a reference to Pope Gregory XIII whose coat of arms bore a dragon with wings outstretched.  This is the Pope who ordered the change in the calendar and after whom we call our modern calendar Julio-Gregorian.

Here is the inscription on the fountain, for those of you who want to take a crack at it.  You will need to know that virginea here refers to a famous Roman water source, called Acqua Vergine (which also flows over the coins in the Fontana Trevi). That lupus (“wolf”) and that angus (“lamb”) refer to other fountains, which – though now lost – were part of a set, this fountain being the “lion”.  These are called “Elegiac couplets”:


In the cortile of Via dei Prefetti 17 is the inscription that was on the fountain of the “wolf”, where the Via della Lupa joins.  There was a family near there called the Capilupi (or some such).  The fountain is gone but the inscription survived.  I saw it once, many moons ago.  And, in that same courtyard, another fountain inscription warned that hands that had done violence or tongues that had uttered blasphemy were not permitted to touch the pure water of “the Virgin”.  Also, in Elegiac couplets.  How cool is Rome?

Going across the river to San Pietro in Vaticano, we search in the right side aisle for the tomb of Pope Gregory XIII and the interesting relief on his tomb.

It portrays the moment he was so proud of in his pontificate: when Clavius gave him the plans for the new calendar.

One of the things you must learn to do in Rome is pay attention to details, which are really rather funny at times.  These people had a wonderful sense of humor.

What is interesting is the style of spectacles from that time, and that the sculptor included it.  I haven’t gotten to the bottom of who this fellow might have been.  The sculptor himself?  The biographer of Gregory?  Who knows?

By the way, one of my favorites Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590, Felice Peretti) said: “Had the Jesuit order produced nothing more than this Clavius, on this account alone the order should be praised”.  Clavius was an incredible mathematician who solved some of the most difficult problems of his day and who produced the essential textbooks of the era.  Even the way we all learned Euclidian geometry when we were children is due mostly to the presentations of Clavius.  His works were translated into Chinese by Matteo Ricci and others so that missionaries could connect with scholars in that far away land and thus bring them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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ASK FATHER: Celebrating Conciliar Saint Popes in the Traditional Roman Rite

From a reader…


26 September is the feast of the now-canonized Paul VI. Since this is a feria on the 1962 calendar, one could mark the day with the traditional Latin Mass “Si Diliges Me”, and name him in the Collect.  [Or, it being a Thursday, you could say a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, or of … etc.]

Could all of the canonized post-Conciliar Popes be celebrated on a traditional calendar feria using the Common for several Holy Popes?

At this point, there are a lot of newly canonized saints who are not observed in the Vetus Ordo, Traditional calendar.  I, for one, would like to see saints such as St. Charles Lwanga (canonized 1964), Maximilian Kolbe (1982), José Sánchez del Río (2016), Gianna Beretta Molla (2004) in the Traditional calendar. Heck, it can be done. It wouldn’t be that hard.   Just stick them in!

Over the centuries some saints have moved onto and off of the calendar, according to the times and their needs.  In fact, that is why some saints are canonized and made much of, and some aren’t.  It depends on what the Roman Pontiff at the time determines and the sense of the faithful demands.  However, with the introduction of new saints – think of St. Juan Diego (2002), Hildegard of Bingen (2012), Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1998), Josephine Bakhita (2000) – great care must be taken to preserve ancient saints on the calendar. The very feasts of saints have shaped music, literature, culture.

But they are not available right now with their own Propers. Could you celebrate them using a Common? Well, I think you could just do it, especially privately. One should not shock the faithful by mixing up the calendars. Then again, not many would be shocked.

I imagine that, slowly but surely, a solution will be found.  Mostly slowly, given the way things are going.

Introducing new saints into the calendar with their own propers (or not) doesn’t change the Rite.   However, we can’t fool around with the seasons, as they did for the Novus Ordo. That’s far more serious.

Not a very satisfying answer, I think. However, maybe this will prod things in certain offices… where this is read.

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The future of the Church (hint – NOT #Synod2018)

The demographics of the Church are on the move, at least in these USA.  We will, in the next few years, witness a dramatic drop in numbers of those who bother with the Church at all.  Everything will have to change.  Meanwhile, members of the Synod (“walking together”) are fooling around with the same old same old.

I have a strong feeling that, as things change and market forces work and the Marshall Plan set in motion in 2007 exerts itself, it shall come to pass that the traditional Roman Rite will take on such importance that it may become the predominant form in many places.

This won’t happen overnight or at the same pace in every place.   But I think it will happen.  Huge swaths of the Church are auto-demolishing or simply become another religion… if they haven’t already.  On the other hand, the numbers of those who are turning to Tradition are on the rise.

Fr. Cipolla has an interesting observation in a piece called: “This Evening I saw the Future of the Church: The Future is the Traditional Mass”

From Rorate:

So it is precisely while the Synod for Youth is meeting in Rome in quasi-secrecy that I saw the Future this evening. I was invited to sit in choir during a Traditional Solemn Mass in a parish church of my diocese. The celebrant, the pastor of the parish, the deacon and the sub-deacon were each young priests of the diocese. The Mass was celebrated with no frills, no excesses, no sign of aestheticism. The Feast was the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, instituted by Pius XI to celebrate the anniversary of the Council of Ephesus, at which Mary was proclaimed as Theotokos, the bearer of God, affirming the full divinity of the person of Christ. The music of the Mass was all Gregorian chant, Mass IX. The servers were all young men, some new to this, some quite practiced in serving this Mass. It was the worship of God in its purest form, in its traditional form, a form whose liturgical modesty and reticence invites prayer and therefore worship. The sacred ministers gave themselves over to their roles in the Mass in a naturally self-effacing way. They knew the proper tones for the various chants and sang them well. The sermon was intelligent and truly Catholic. These three men made worship possible by getting themselves out of the way and letting the rite speak for itself.

Many of the young priests in my diocese have learnt the Traditional Roman Mass, aka the Extraordinary Form. They love this Mass in a sober way without any hint of “high church” prancing or panting. They love Christ and his Church. They are loyal to the teaching of the Magisterium. They are priests who are at home in any situation and who enjoy each other’s company. They enjoy the company of both men and women in their parishes. The bureaucrats who run the Church do not know that these priests exist. And that is good. For while the bureaucrats are running around at synods and conferences and trying to put out noxious fires without the water of moral purity and therefore failing every time: these young priests, not only in my diocese, but in most dioceses through the Catholic world, are just learning once again how to worship and are discovering the beauty of worship, and they are teaching this to their flock. And they, and the Traditional Mass they love,— they are the Future of the Church.

He is dead right, of course.

Back in August, I posted a similar observation HERE.

Each August, seminarians of the diocese get together with bishop for a week or so.  They hang out together, meet with the bishop individually, hear talks, have some fun, pray together.  It was during one of these summers that I heard the bishop tell the men that he wanted them all to know how to say the older, traditional form of Mass when they are ordained.   He hasn’t forced or prodded of brought it up after that, at least in my hearing.  But, these guys know that he has their back and, as priests, will have their back in the parishes.  They are also men of their day, who are not ensorcelled by the aging-hippie cant of those halcyon days of Vatican II.  They’ve seen the “springtime” of destruction in the Church that has resulted.  They grew up with John Paul II and Benedict XVI.   They don’t think that, as I saw in a Tweet today, “Gift of Finest Wheat” is being sung by the choirs of heaven.

Anyway, these men, during their August gathering, organized on their own a Solemn Mass in the older rite.  The celebrant was 1 year ordained.  The deacons were newly ordained, a couple months.  A priest who was ordained 6 weeks was the MC.  There were a few bumps along the way, but I am unspeakably proud of what they accomplished.

I, the old guy, was entirely on the sideline.  They did it.

¿Hagan lío?

We’ve gotchyer “lío” right here.

In a way, my work is done here.

That doesn’t mean I am going to let up.

And speaking of lío, I saw at Messa in Latino, something about numbers of men who have entered traditional groups.

For 2018-19 some 136 men have entered traditional institutes or orders.



Institute of the Good Shepherd

Institute of Christ The King

Society of the Missionaries of Divine Mercy


And see this story on ordinations in France. HERE

Moreover, I strongly suspect that in US seminaries, most of the young men are open to Tradition if not actively delving into it.

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