My View For Awhile: Inertia Edition

Inertia describes the tendency of bodies to resist a change in motion unless acted upon by outside forces.  Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion while bodies at rest tend to stay at rest unless moved by some influence.  I’ve not been traveling much for a goodly period.  I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the near future.

I haven’t been iners while not traveling.  It will be good to have a break, even though it required me to be up at O dark hundred.

Posted in On the road, SESSIUNCULA, What Fr. Z is up to | 3 Comments

ACTION ITEM: Prayers after Earthquake near Norcia, Italy


A couple photos from inside the church.

I’m told that there is damage to the bell tower.


From the Norcia Benedictines:

Dear Friends,

Many of you have by now heard of the earthquake that struck us during the night. The quake was a powerful one with a magnitude of 6.2. We’ve taken the past few hours to assess the situation.

First: We are OK. We are alive, and there are no serious injuries to report. Sadly, there are many injuries to report among the people of the region, especially those in small mountain villages. Please pray for them. We monks will do what we can to contribute here on the ground, but we’ll need your spiritual support in a special way during this period.

Second: We, as many others in Norcia and surrounding areas, suffered a lot of damage to our buildings and especially to our basilica. It will take some time to assess the extent of the damage, but it is very sad to see the many beautiful restorations we’ve made to St. Benedict’s birthplace reduced, in a moment, to disrepair.

Third: What can you do? Please, pray for us, for those who have lost their lives, who have lost someone they love, who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We will need your help, as always but now in a special way, to start the project of rebuilding. Please consider making a gift to help us get started.

The Monks of Norcia


From someone in situ:

There is property damage, and damage in the churches, but all human lie is well.  Reports are that my house is fine.  They’re all standing in the piazza eating today’s cornetti, and praying the Rosary with the monks.
You might make a post that everyone in Norcia is fine, although the aftershocks continue.

However, it sounds like Amatrice got hammered.  This is the place that gave the name to the famous spaghetti all’amatriciana.  People are, as I write, trapped.  I have Sky going.

In Norcia, there was some damage in the monastery church, to the St. Benedict altar.


I have been getting texts from friends in Italy.  There was a series of earthquake – one at least 6.5 – near Norcia, Italy, where the wonderful Benedictine Monks are.

Keep them and all those in the area in your prayers.  Pray against aftershocks, which do so much damage.

Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui réspicis terram et facis eam trémere: parce metuéntibus, propitiáre supplícibus; ut, cujus iram terræ fundaménta concutiéntem expávimus, cleméntiam contritiónes ejus sanántem júgiter sentiámus. Per Dóminum.

Almighty and everlasting God, who by a glance dost make the earth tremble, spare the fearful, be propitious to the suppliant, that we may feel Thy mercy healing our afflictions; whose anger we fear rending the foundations of the earth. Through our Lord.

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z asks readers to offer the Fishwrap some constructive help

fishwrapFirst, here is a link to something that I posted some time ago: HERE

Once again the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) is stumping in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood.  This is what the Fishwrap does: they dissent from the Church’s teaching on important, defined matters of faith (e.g., reservation of Holy Orders to males) and morals (e.g., sinfulness of homosexual acts).  They want to change the Church in a fundamental way.  They don’t want a mere change of tone.  They want to remake the Church into something that it has never been and can never be and still be the Catholic Church founded by Christ.

This time, Fishwrap has a fulsome piece linking Dorothy Day and her work for the poor, plus her influence down to our day and, ergo, women’s ordination.  Compelling, huh?

The fever-swamp which is their comment box over there is just getting revved up on this one.  It is likely to get pretty nasty over there, quickly.

NSR/Fishwrap posts a lot of nonsense.  They occasionally post something good (usually not written by any of their writers, but… hey!).   When years ago the local bishop where their HQ is located told them not to use “Catholic” in their title, it was well deserved.

However, being an optimist, and recognizing that soon we will need all hands on deck, I hope either for 1) their conversion (preferred) or their 2) downfall (acceptable).

Therefore, we should 1) pray for them and 2) not let them off the hook.

If you have the stomach for it, and access to a cleansing bath or shower after, take a look at comments under the entries at Fishwrap (e.g., HERE).  You will be horrified, I’m sure, by the dissent, the petty nastiness, the calumny, based mostly on cowardice.  Most the nastiest post with anonymity.  And all manner of personal attacks are fair game, including some of the most un-Christian lies and name calling I have ever seen.

I noticed on “rules” (hah) for their combox and interesting directive:

If you see something objectionable, please click the “Report abuse” button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.


Wouldn’t it be interesting if faithful Catholics took them at their word and started flagging “objectionable” comments?

Let’s take them at their word.

Faithful Catholics object to lies, defamation, and lack of charity, dissent from the Church’s teachings on faith and morals, etc.  If we see objectionable things in their combox, we should use that option to report it for their investigation.

There is a way to “flag” comments.  You go to the top right corner of a comment and click the arrow and a small menu drops down.


I am at times accused by Fishwrappers of sending people over there to disrupt things.  I don’t recall even having done that.  However, right now I am willing to ask readers here to go over there and offer the sort of constructive help they claim they are open to receiving.

Perhaps if enough people flag enough “objectionable” comments, they will finally monitor their comments with an eye to fairness, charity, decorum and fidelity to the Catholic faith.

I can see some of you rolling your eyes and chuckling.

If they say that they will “investigate”, let’s help them out and give them those areas of concern that merit investigation.  Perhaps if they knew how bad things were over there, they would take steps to make corrections.

Let’s help them out.

Meanwhile, I ask those to comment on this blog to think before posting and not to imitate the Fishwrap.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Biased Media Coverage, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Only half-way decent parish near us is still not good. What to do?

From a reader…


When my wife and I attend Mass at our regular parish, we have always made it a point to receive Communion from the priest. Recently, when we did so, the priest stopped my wife, looked her in the eye, and in a stern voice loud enough for those around us to hear, said, “Go to the next available Eucharistic minister. You don’t have to come to me. Do you understand? Do you understand?[Oh dear.]

We attend Mass there weekly, and I’m sure he recognized us. We always stay after Mass and pray for a few minutes, so he could’ve easily talked with us about this after Mass. I’m not sure why he felt the need to make a minor scene about this at the front of the church.

We are not sure what to do at this point. We live in a diocese that has notoriously bad liturgy. The Mass at this parish seems to be the least worst of those around us, and I have doubt that there is a parish within an hour that has a priest who would agree to allow us to receive from him rather than a layman every week. We would attend the Latin Mass, but the nearest one is an SSPX Mass an hour away.

Can you please offer any thoughts about what we should do? I think it may not be worth the trouble to try to work this out with the priest who made the scene at the front of the church. If we can’t find a parish that’s any better than this one nearby, would it be rash to start attending the SSPX Mass or even move to another diocese out of interest for our spiritual well-being?

Regardless of one’s inclinations, theological or liturgical opinions, everyone can agree that what the priest did was bad form.  It’s improper to use the moment of the reception of Holy Communion as a weapon.  Let’s be clear: a different situation would be that of someone who is egregiously, manifestly sinning (e.g. attempting to receive Holy Communion whilst remaining in a notoriously sinful state) or causing grave scandal (attempting to receive Holy Communion whilst wearing a blasphemous t-shirt or rainbow sash).  In that case the priest is obliged to say something, though this is for him the third rail and it could bring the world down on his head.  It is sad that priests are crucified by bishops for following the Church’s teachings and Canon Law, but I digress.  The Communion rail (or conga line, as it sadly is in many churches) is not the place for this sort of antic on the part of the priest.

While it’s unlikely that you will change the pastor’s mind, it could still be helpful to talk to him face-to-face.  Obviously, you know more about his character and the fruitfulness or futility of such a conversation.

No one can be forced to receive Holy Communion from an extraordinary minister. For that matter, no one can be forced to receive from an ordinary minister!   No one can be forced to go to Communion at all.

The modern practice of row-by-row Communion leads not only to psycological pressure for those who shouldn’t go forward, but also to certain “traffic” pattern.  “Raus aus dieser Bank! Eile! Raus mit euch!”   There is a strong expectation that one stays in one’s line and receive in the proper order.  There’s nothing in the law mandating this.  In Italy, people get up and go when and if they desire.  That seems a little chaotic at first, but it works.  We should seriously talk about alleviating this row by row Communion thing, if not eliminating it, coupled with deeper preaching and catechesis about the proper disposition to receive.

If Father wants to attempt to enforce some silly parish “policy” as law, let him try.  If he makes a scene again, just know he’s the one who is looking petty and ridiculous, not you.

Moderation queue is ON.


Reminder: This is an ASK FATHER feature.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 46 Comments

New scientific study concludes NOT “born that way”

At the National Catholic Register there is a story sure to make the writers of the National Sodomitic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) have a conniption.

Not ‘Born That Way’: New Scientific Analysis Questions ‘LGBT’ Orthodoxies

A comprehensive new survey about sexuality and gender, undertaken by leading medical experts, concludes that key theories are unsupported by scientific evidence.

A new report that examines nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies on sexual orientation and gender identity concludes that science hasn’t confirmed key theories about these subjects, including the belief that homosexuals are “born that way.

And it rejects surgical and hormonal interventions for children who identify as “transgender,” [abomination] on the grounds that the large majority of such children outgrow identities that conflict with their biological sex.

“Examining research from the biological, psychological and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” reads an introductory note by Adam Keiper, editor of The New Atlantis, a leading journal of science, technology and ethics that published the report, “Sexuality and Gender.”

“The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental-health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex,” said Keiper.

“More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.

“Sexuality and Gender” was written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer, scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, and Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who served for 25 years as psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The study was released Aug. 22.

[NB] The report asserts that scientific evidence does not support the theory that “gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body.’”


Here comes the hate mail!

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

A proposal for wymynpriests

Clement XIII

Via AlmanaccoDiRoma:

On 22 August 1764, during the pontificate of Clement XIII, at Campo de’ Fiori, the hermit Giuseppe Morelli was hanged, guilty for having “celebrated 29 Masses with consecration without being a priest and for received alms from the faithful.”

To those women our there who think that they are Catholic priests: this is serious stuff you dare to dabble in.

Giuseppe Morelli was, no doubt, given a chance to confess his sins and purge his soul before his corporal, capital punishment, lest his fate in the next life be… well… death, eternal, capital punishment of body and soul.

In our soft and squishy times, the Church doesn’t often tell you with clarity that you are in danger of Hell.

Let me help: If you are in the state of sin and/or under some kind of censure which prevents you from receiving the Sacraments, you still have time now, while alive, to repent and get back in harmony with the Church.

If you committed public scandal, set the record straight and, with a public statement, do more good with your conversion than ever you did with your defiance and scandalous actions.

Surely the terrifying prospect of hanging clarified Morelli’s values at the end.  But you, dear ladies who are pretending to be priests, don’t have any such harsh, immediate appointments on your schedule.  We have advanced in society in regard to the application of capital punishment.  But, in these comfy climes, haven’t we also lost view of our eternal salvation in the midst of our comfort and relative safety?  Hence, you need repeated, clear warnings.

It may be that a time of greater mortality, greater brutality and cruelty will descend on our O so civilized countries.  That would get people thinking about salvation pretty quickly.

Is that what it takes for us human beings?  Times of mortality and brutality?

We have to be disciplined in regard to the true state of our souls.

Ladies… repent while you still have breaths and heartbeats.

I include all who support this wrong-headed, spiritual dangerous notion.

I’m just sayin’

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Deaconettes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 11 Comments

PRP: 5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady

queen-of-heavenToday is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, in the newer, Novus Ordo calendar.  So, here is an oldie post from 2006, the final installment of my Patristic Rosary Project.


We conclude our Patristic Rosary Project today with the:

5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady

Can we be certain of our final judgment? Those who say they are run the risk of the sin of presumption. We must proceed always with humbly confident perseverance.

Salvation is possible.

Our Lord has taken our humanity to the heavenly throne, where it (and we in it) already are glorified. The saints the Church has discerned through our long earthly pilgrimage, demonstrate that virtue and perseverance is possible. They intercede before God’s throne for us. Our greatest example and intercessor is the Blessed Mother of God, our Mother and Mother of the Church, who was assumed body and soul into heaven and is now reigning as heavens Queen. In our recitation of the Rosary we gaze at Mary our motherly Queen who redirects our gaze to the source of her beauty, the Lord Himself. Their glory is our promise.

But first, with tools such as the Rosary in hand, we must make our way through this world and persevere to the end and our judgment.

Cassiodorus (+c. 585) writes:

The holy man demands judgment because he is certain of the Lord’s mercy. As Paul has it: “As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day.” He walks in his innocence because… he puts his trust in the Lord. The presumption he shows is not in his own powers but in God’s generosity. [Explanation of the Psalms 25.1]

The idea of judgment can make us at times shivers. But we approach it knowing that Mary is our advocate. We can come to heaven with some measure of humble confidence. St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) wrote to Hesychius a bishop in Dalamatia:

I have received the letter of your Reverence in which you urge on us the great good of loving and longing for the coming of our Savior. In this you act like the good servant of the master of the household who is eager for his lord’s gain and who wishes to have many sharers in the love which burns so brightly and constantly in you. Examining, therefore, the passage you quoted from the apostle where he said that the Lord would render a crown of justice not only to him but to all who love His coming, we live as uprightly as he and we pass through this world as pilgrims while our heart constantly expands with this love, and whether He comes sooner or later than He is expected, His coming is loved with faithful charity and longed for with pious affection. [ep. 199.1.1]

In heaven Mary has been crowned with glory. This is the reward of her faithfulness, a faithfulness beyond all others which merits a crown more glorious than any other.

The reward of the crown is often, mostly associated with the struggle ending in bloody martyrdom. Our Lady is also crowned as the Queen of martyrs. Not all of us will be graced with the final perseverance that ends in the perfect charity which is bloody martyrdom for the sake of God and neighbor. We must persevere in far more mundane details of ongoing life, in prayer, work, and contemplation. Cassiodorus mentions something in this regard, however, which is very useful for us:

As someone has said, you will scarcely ever find that when a person prays, some empty and external reflection does not impede him, causing the attention which the mind directs on God to be sidetracked and interrupted. So it is a great and most wholesome struggle to concentrate on prayer once begun, and with God’s help to show lively resistance to the temptations of the enemy, so that our minds may with unflagging attention strain to be ever fastened on God. Then we can deservedly recite Paul’s words: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, i have kept the faith. [Explanation of the Psalms 101.1]

Coronation-of-the-Virgin-AdiBartoloOur Blessed Mother exemplifies perfectly the struggle of perseverance.

Given exceptional graces, Mary was open with perfect focus to all God offered her, including her sufferings in unity with her Son. Her willing participation in the Passion of the Lord makes her the greatest of the martyrs, and while she did not physically receive the Lord’s wounds, she suffered by them nonetheless.

St. John Chrysostom (+407) speaks of crowns:

We see no garments or cloaks, but we see crowns more valuable than any gold, than any contest prizes or rewards, and ten thousand blessings stored up for those who live upright and virtuous lives on earth. [On the incomprehensible nature of God 6.7]

The many beautiful things of this world can take our attention and affection so much that they begin to displace in us our hunger for the reward of heaven. We must keep always firmly in mind that everything in this world fades and passes. Our hope of lasting happiness is found only in heaven with God.

Venerable Bede (+735) speaks to this:

The flower of the field is pretty and its smell is pleasant for a while, but it soon loses the attraction of its beauty and charm. The present happiness of the ungodly is exactly the same – it lasts for a day or two and then vanishes into nothing. The rising sun stands for the sentence of the strict Judge, which puts a quick end to the transient glory of the reprobate. Of course it is also true that the righteous person flourish, though not in the same way. The unrighteous flourish for a time, like glass, but the righteous flourish forever like great trees, as Scripture says: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree.” [Concerning the Epistle of James]

holy-theotokos-iconDidymus the Blind (+398), the teacher of St. Jerome and Rufinus expands this:

James does all he can to encourage people to bear their trials with joy, as a burden which is bearable, and says that perfect patience consists in bearing this for their own sake, not for the hope of some better reward elsewhere. He nevertheless tries to persuade his hearers to rely on the promise that their present state will be put right. The person who has fought the hard battles will be perfectly able to handle anything. Someone who comes through his troubles in this way will be duly prepared to receive his reward, which is the crown of life prepared by God for those who love him. [Commentary on James]

The Rosary teaches us to gaze, with Mary as our guide and companion, always upon the face of Christ, who reveals man more fully to himself.

In crowning our Lady as Queen, the Lord does in an unsurpassed way what He does in each one of us: He crowns His own merits. But in doing so, Christ reveals more and more about who we are and what we were made for.

The Madonna of the Magnificat, Detail of the Virgins Face and Crown, 1482


Posted in Linking Back | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Converts trying to make 1st Confession –

francis confessionFrom a reader…


My family and I are converting to the church from Protestantism. We are a family of six and we have been turned away from confession at multiple churches because the half hour before Vigil and Sunday Mass wasn’t enough time for the priest to hear our confession. Of course, a half hour actually means 20 mins as the procession and “getting situated” makes a half hour 20 mins. We have been told to “make an appointment.” I hesitate to make an appointment because that would prevent anonymous confession. The only mid-week confession is about 1.5 hours away at the Diocesan Cathedral. I can only surmise that everyone receiving the Body and Blood of Christ must not sin much…

Question: From my observation of availability and praxis, do Catholics actually believe what they say about confession?

Yes, those who have been adequately instructed believe.  However, when for decades lay people have seen that priests and bishops don’t seem to care about A, B or C, they, too, will stop caring about A, B or C.  It stands to reason.  If you turn your back on the Blessed Sacrament, don’t genuflect or kneel, use confessionals as broom closets, invade the sanctuary with all sorts of folks with questionable roles, use dopey junk music, tear out statues, build ugly churches….

Joanna Bogle is a British convert to Catholicism who wrote a book about conversion in 1994 entitled, Come on In, It’s Awful (UK HERE).  Hold on to your hats.

Do not be afraid.  You have made the right choice, for this is the Church that Christ founded.  For that reason, there can be no other Church once we come to figure that out.

As you and your family move more deeply into the sacramental life of the Church, the Enemy of your souls, Satan, will throw up tremendous roadblocks to stop you. Many of those roadblocks will come from Catholics.  They will even come from some bishops and priests.  We are, after all, a pretty weak and sinful lot.   I shudder at the idea of what might be were the salvation of the world to rest on our shoulders.  BRRRRR

Fortunately, it does not.

God has used 20 centuries of feckless and craven bishops, lazy, vain and ignorant priests, gossippy and bitter laity, grasping and shiftless religious to build up the Church and His Kingdom.

God does not choose those who are worthy.  He chooses those whom it pleaseth Him to choose.  Sometimes our more heroic sides come out, built up by the grace God gives us.

It is sad that, in our day and age in many places, the wonderful and essential Sacrament of Penance (Confession, Reconciliation, whatever we are calling it these days) has been so neglected, so restricted.

Christ Jesus left us this beautiful sacrament as the ordinary means to obtain forgiveness for our sins.  GOD gave us this sacrament because HE wants us to use it.   This is HIS will about how we are to approach Him.  He gave us this sacrament to avoid Hell, to grow in holiness, to resist sins.  But, nowadays, based on published schedules in many parishes, the Sacrament of Penance has been kicked to the proverbial curb, marginalized, shunted to the corners of the calendar, and, if you are luck, given space for a few brief moments before the Saturday vigil Mass.

You would think that liberals, who consider infallible Pope Francis’ pronouncements on things like global warming or redistribution of wealth – matters that have nothing to do with the Roman Pontiff’s brief – would give even more consideration to his pronouncement on things that the Roman Pontiff really does have a stake in, such a the importance of going to confession!   Time and time again during his still short pontificate, Pope Francis has underscored the important of the Sacrament of Penance.  We even have iconic photos of him hearing confessions and going to confession himself.

What more do these priests and bishops need, for all love?

One of the problems at the heart of this dearth of confession times is the silence in priestly formation and current literature about cura animarum, the cure or care of souls.  This is where the terms “curate” and French “curé” come from.  Those with the care of souls are too teach, govern and sanctify the people in their charge.  They duty bound before God, angels and men in this care of souls.  They will be called to account to God for the care that they give.  If they help many souls avoid Hell and come to Heaven, they will be welcomed into the joy of their Master.  Those who do not, and who let souls slip through their fingers, will be left in the outer darkness.

Fathers, if you are parish priests and have the obligation to hear confessions, hearing confessions can help to keep you out of Hell. If you are parish priests and you don’t hear confessions or you won’t teach about confession, you will probably go to Hell. Just try to deny it. Just. Try.

Back to the questioner, a couple things.

First, in your preparation to make your profession of faith and enter the Church, go ahead and make that appointment with the parish priest for this important sacrament.  If you are concerned about anonymity, ask that the priest meet you in the confessional, perhaps getting into “the box” a few minutes before your scheduled time.

Second, you might pen a brief letter to your local bishop, and describe to him how hard it has been to figure out how to go to confession and ask him why confessions are not more available where you and your family live.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, GO TO CONFESSION | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

Detroit’s crafty new tax on churches

From the Detroit News:

A balanced budget in Detroit might be something only prayed for, but few could imagine Motor City managers raiding church offering plates for revenue.

Yet new drainage fees from the city’s Water and Sewerage Department may do just that.  [drainage fees … sigh]

Come October, the department will begin charging property owners differently. Some of those property owners currently pay an antiquated fixed rate, and others haven’t paid a storm water fee at all. But all property owners in Detroit will now pay based on acreage, which means fees will likely go up.

Eric Rothstein, a department program director, told The Detroit News last week that this type of charge is “commonly now used” to finance storm water management programs. Billing by acreage is a “trend (in) water resources financing,” he said.

More than 400 properties will see “a significant increase in billing of more than 200 percent per month,” says department director Gary Brown.

And several of those properties, Brown said, are owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

“It’s impacting us, and it’s not good news,” says Joe Kohn, the archdiocese’s director of public relations. The archdiocese owns 80 properties in Detroit, and 18 parishes have received letters from the water department with likely more to come. Five churches will have to come up with more than $1,000 extra per month. Two parishes will be billed an additional $2,000.

St. Charles Lwanga parish in Grand Meyer, for example, has an additional $2,385 to come up with every month. Its pastor, the Rev. Theodore Parker, says the new charge is an “injustice.” Because of the higher monthly water bill, the good priest worries, the parish’s soup kitchen may be forced to close its doors.  [Intended or unintended consequences?  When liberals run things, they want to force you into their paradigm or take over what you are doing.]


“I don’t know any city in America that does not charge for water,” Brown says.

But for decades, Chicago has offered a water waiver for churches and other nonprofits. [Even in such a crazy place.]

It was an estimated $20 million annual bill that in 2011 Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city could no longer afford. But the late Cardinal Francis George, [RIP] previously the archbishop of Chicago, implied the mayor’s move may have had more to do with shutting down church services than tightening the city’s belt.  [Yep.]

If you don’t want a city that only has government institutions,” [There it is.] he said during negotiations over the exemption in April 2013, “then you have to see to the solvency of religious institutions and other nonprofits.”

Chicago councilmen were forced to work out a fair compromise with clergy. Churches with net adjusted assets of less than $1 million would be granted a 100 percent exemption. The waiver would decrease for parishes with bigger wallets.


Read the rest there.

This is an interesting new angle of attack on churches.

Posted in Liberals, Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

22 August: Immaculate Heart and Queenship of Mary

Here are a few thoughts I wrote for my weekly column at the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald:

On 22 August we observe, in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In the newer calendar it will be the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary he told her that her Son would have the throne of David and that His kingdom would have no end (Luke 1:32-33). If our Lord is our King, then His Mother is our Queen.  In ancient Israel, the mothers of the House of David’s kings were crowned, addressed as Gebirah, “Great Lady”. They sat beside the throne of their royal sons.

Mary’s Queenship is intimately tied to the Kingship of her Son just as Her Immaculate Heart beats in harmony with His Sacred Heart, for she conceived her King within her Heart, before she carried Him below her Heart, and Her Queenship rests not on her own merits alone, but rather it rests upon the majesty of her divine Son.  At the conclusion of Dante’s Divina Commedia St Bernard sings of Heaven’s Queen that she is the “daughter of her Son”. But she will always remain, as Saint Thérèse observed, “more Mother than Queen”.

Speaking of addressing Mary, we name her Queen in many prayers, such as the Salve, Regina. We invoke her in the Litany of Loreto as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, All Saints and, so important these days, Families.  St John Paul, taking stock of our times, added that last title to the Litany in 1995.  She is the Queen conceived without original sin, assumed into Heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Queen of Peace.

May I suggest, dear readers, that you offer your day to the King of Fearful Majesty through our Queen’s intercession?  I ask also a prayer for myself.

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them in the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Posted in Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Reader Feedback

I get lots of email.  Some of it is friendly.  Some of it is not.

Here is some friendly feedback:

Based in large part on what I have read on this blog, I recently began going to the Latin Mass at St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee. Words truly fail me in describing the beauty and reverence I found in the Latin Mass. It makes me want to climb the clock tower above Historic Mitchell Street and shout, ‘Come and see!’ I never understood the term “Heaven on Earth” until I witnessed and prayed the Tridentine Mass. Armed with my Campion Missal, I am now happy at my new home. I have you to thank for this. Please keep spreading the word about traditional liturgy. Everyone needs to know!

My work here is done.


First, thank you for the great good you do for Holy Mother Church through the blog and your priesthood in general. As a young Catholic, you’ve brought me very close to the traditions of the church and inspired me to realize I may have a priestly vocation. Thank you so much.

I wanted to send you this link!   HERE 

This is from the TV show Extraordinary Faith on EWTN. They go around to Latin Mass communities and traditional churches to show how wonderful they are. But this link refers to the fact that this group will go anywhere in North America, to any priest, and teach them how to celebrate the EF. For free. Pretty neat! I thought you might like this. Thank you again for everything you’ve done for me and for so many others.


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Must. Have. One.

Here is an example of how we can see something and instantly desire it!

There’s not a moment to lose, for all love!



Alas, this person seems to be confused.  I don’t mean the choice of color of car, which I don’t think I would drive unless it surrounded a 1969 Camaro ZL-1.  I mean the choice of a Hillary sticker on the window.  It’s small, but it is… there, like a … wart.

Of course I would vote for the corpse of Millard Fillmore if someone ran it against Hillary.

Posted in O'Brian Tags | 28 Comments

The USA Solar Eclipse of 2017 – signs in the heavens

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…. Luke 21:25.

At NASA I see that, one year from today, 21 August 2017, the shadow of your planet’s moon, in a great total eclipse of your planets yellow sun, will sweep across the North American continent.  200 million people will be within one day’s drive from the umbra of totality.

When I wrote about this in the past, I opined that it would be fun to have a reader gathering, perhaps at some parish along the path, for Solemn (or Pontifical?) Mass.  21 August 2017 will be a Monday.  The next day, 22 August, is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Another interesting thing about this eclipse was pointed out by my friend Fr. Richard Heilman.  I spoke to him in the sacristy this morning.  He pointed out that the eclipse occurs 54 days, including the end date, before the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, 13 October 2017.  The “54 days” will immediately strike Catholics as significant for it is the number of days of a special kind of “novena”.

A precise novena is nine days. However, the term has been applied to other ongoing devotions to obtain certain petitions.  Praying a 54 day novena generally involves saying a chaplet of the Holy Rosary (five mysteries) every day for twenty-seven days in petition followed by a chaplet each day for an another twenty-seven days in thanksgiving.  Traditionally, you would use the classic mysteries for your chaplets, the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious.  There are ways to do this with the Luminous Mysteries, but I don’t generally use them.

Some people add a prayer to their chaplets:

Petition Prayer (27 Days): Blessed Mother, hear my plea and bring it before the throne of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ. Please look with favor on this devotion, and grant me [say your intention here.] I ask these things of you, my Mother, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thanksgiving Prayer (27 Days): Blessed Mother, thank you for hearing my prayer and and interceding on my behalf. Mary, Mother of my Soul, be with me all my days, and accept my humble thanks for your many gifts, which I accept in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima asked for the Rosary daily.  It is a mighty tool and weapon of the spiritual life and battle in which we are engaged.

I’ve been hearing some dire things from priests.  I’ve been experiencing some rough times as well.  I have the sense that something big is on the move, as it were.

I am not at this point saying that I think the 2017 eclipse portends a SHTF catalyst and TEOTWAWKI event.   I am saying that it is really interesting that this takes place, over this nation, 54 days before the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.  Just as I think that the argument about the Star of Bethlehem and the eclipse at the time of the Crucifixion were compelling enough to pay attention to our celestial clock, I think this merits keeping an eye on.

Pope Leo XIII on 13 October 1884 had a mystical experience after reading his daily Mass. He froze, turned pale, and immediately penned the Prayer to St. Michael. He told people that he heard two voices, one Satan’s, the other God’s. Satan said that he could destroy the Church in 100 years. However, some have calculated that the 100 years didn’t begin at that very moment. Instead it started 33 years later on 13 October 1917 with the Miracle of the Sun. The opening salvo of Satan’s pogrom could have been on what was 7 November 1917 in the Gregorian calendar (25 October in the Julian) the October Revolution in St. Petersburg. Russia would switch to the Gregorian calendar in February 2018. (Interestingly enough, in these USA on 19 March 1918 time zones and daylight savings time were approved, which went into effect on 31 March. Lots of tinkering with time back then.) In any event, atheistic Communism – an ideology direct from Hell – begins to rear its head like the dragon of Revelation 12 right after Fatima. Our Lady warned the children that Russia would spread errors throughout the world.

If the 100 years of Pope Leo’s vision began on 13 October 1917….

Another sky event linked to Fatima, was probably the incredible aurora that occurred on 25 January 1938. Our Lady of Fatima had said on 13 July 1917: “”When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.” This seems to have heralded WWII. That same night St. Faustina Kowalska wrote in her diary about a message from the Lord: “I saw the anger of God hanging heavy over Poland. And now I see that if God were to visit our country with the greatest chastisements, that would still be great mercy because, for such grave transgressions, He could punish us with eternal annihilation. I was paralyzed with fear when the Lord lifted the veil a little for me. Now I see clearly that chosen souls keep the world in existence to fulfill the measure [of justice].

Events in the sky seemed important to Our Lady.

I’m just sayin’.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky!, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation? Let us know.

I, for one, spoke (14th Sunday after Pentecost) about seeking that which is above and treasuring up treasures in heaven. There is nothing wrong with material, created things or wealth until we seek them for themselves. Only God must be seated on the throne of our heart. It is hard to make material gains and we toil for them. But we can easily perform small acts that are meritorious for heaven. These acts accrue. Small incremental acts help us to greater acts, especially in regard to mortifications and performance of corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Working in small increments is a good way to proceed in the spiritual life. This is how we conquer vices and build virtues. And the spiritual merits we gain accrue exponentially when we are in the state of grace. However, be clear that we don’t merit anything on our own. All merit is of Christ. He crowns His own merits in us. He moves us to good, meritorious works. He then gives our hands the strength for the task and brings them to completion. Hence, they are simultaneously His and ours. We can say that we did things that merit heaven, but only because those merits are from Christ. Even the smallest acts we perform, if we do them prayerfully for love of God, uniting them to Him and His will for us, are meritorious. Examine your consciences in regard to created things, which includes people. No created thing, which includes people, can be on the throne of your heart. That’s God’s. When our loves are ordered, we can love people and use material things properly and in ways that are meritorious.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 16 Comments

A blast from the not too distant past

The other day Pope Francis made some appointments to the new Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, established ad experimentum.  It will probably be made into a congregation, at least I guess it will be, since Pastor bonus is still in force.  Who knows?

An a related appointment, Francis appointed to be President of the “Giovanni Paolo II” Institute for the Family, Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, who has been the President of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy of Milan.

Sequeri… Sequeri… how do we know that name?

Here’s how!  He wrote this!  AKA “Symbolon ’77”.

I can’t say how many times I heard this. There is no priest in Italy who has not suffered with this racket.

He has some other hits like “Madre io vorrei” and “E sono solo un Uomo”.

This enervating… stuff… is still heard in parishes and, gulp, seminaries all over Italy, with the predictable long-term, epicene effects.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 8 Comments