Wherein Fr. Z becomes a fan of the Samoan Rugby Team

I was sent this video today, though it is from last year.  This is from the Church of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton, where the great PP is my friend Fr. Ray Blake.

Looks like an ad orientem altar, doesn’t it.

I think I shall now root for the Samoan Rugby Team.

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SILENT NO LONGER: A priest speaks out!

This post is aimed in a special way at priests and bishops out there – office holders in the Church of awesome spiritual authority, as teachers, as wielders of prophetic potential – but who are not yet committed to doing something to help Holy Church, and therefore the whole world, in the crisis we are in.

Here is part of a post by a priest who determined that he has had enough of the … rubbish that’s going on:

I am a weak spiritual leader who has led us to a place where “conservatives” cannot get elected or stay in office without making horrible compromises. I take the blame on this one.

I sat by and allowed sappy, effeminate, profane liturgies demoralize and deaden the hearts of our Catholic men (and many Catholic women). I remained mostly silent as feminists stripped our men of their dignity as husbands and fathers and spiritual heads of their households. I remained mostly silent as men slipped into the soul-deadening addiction of internet pornography. I remained mostly silent as liberal ideologues captured the attention of our youth. I remained mostly silent when our own Catholic leadership watered down and compromised the values and principles and morals of a once solid bedrock of faith in a tempted world. I remained mostly silent as our beloved Catholic Church was turned from a powerhouse of prayer and supernatural grace into one among many secular non-government organizations.

Father, there’s LOT’s of blame to go around.

There’s more, but you will have to go find it.  HERE

BTW… I recently interviewed this priest in a pair of PODCAzTs.

So, all you priests and bishops who are trying to live on the fence or who have given into the liberal easy road… this is how a man stands up.


I suggest you start with learning the TLM, shifting Masses ad orientem, reviewing your CCC, and preaching the clear, unvarnished TRUTH … just to start.



Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | 10 Comments

Mike Piazza – Baseball Hall of Fame Speech: “…the greatest gift a mother could give a child, the gift of my Catholic Faith.”

Famed-catholic Mike Piazza (AVG .308 HR427 RBI1335 OB% .377 Total Bases 3768 Slugging % .545) was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame today.

During his understandably emotional speech he thanked his mother for…

“…the greatest gift a mother could give a child, the gift of my Catholic Faith.  This has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope. Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘One who has hope lives differently.'”


Baseball: The Sport God Loves Most

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Latin. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Fr. John Hunwicke, priest, gentleman and Latinist, has a spiffing post at his blog Mutual Enrichment (which title is a reference to Summorum Pontificum).

He writes about Latin.  Here is a taste of the first part with my oft-imitated emphases and comments:

Since Papa Bergoglio does not believe in making a fetish of Law, I suppose I am Out of Fashion in referring to the questionable training of our Catholic clergy. I refer to the scandal that for more than a generation those being formed for the priesthood were – in flagrant disregard of CIC 249 – not made fluent in Latin (are things any better now?).  [can. 249, requires – it doesn’t suggest or recommend or propose – that seminarians be very well trained in Latin:  “lingua latina bene calleant“. Not just calleant, says can. 249, but bene calleantCalleo is “to be practised, to be wise by experience, to be skillful, versed in” or “to know by experience or practice, to know, have the knowledge of, understand”. We get the word “callused” from this verb. We develop calluses when we do something repeatedly. So, bene calleant is “let them be very well versed”.  Review also Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 and Optatam totius 13, just to point to documents of Vatican II.]

As long ago as 1933, C S (‘Patrimony’) Lewis advanced the suggestion that the attacks – even then – upon the position of Latin and Greek as the basis of education, might be part of a plot devised in Hell to subvert the Faith. In The Pilgrim’s Regress he reminds the reader that “till recently” members of our society “had been made to learn” these languages “and that meant that at least they started no further from the light than the old Pagans themselves and had therefore the chance to come at last” to saving Faith. “But now they are cutting themselves off even from that roundabout route … and suppressing every kind of knowledge except mechanical knowledge”. He believed that this shift had much to do with the need of the educated classes to cope with the increasing disinclination of the lower orders to work in domestic service, and added “No doubt the great landowners in the background [scilicet devils] have their own reasons for encouraging this movement”.

You will not be surprised to be reminded that one such ‘landowner’, His Abysmal Sublimity Under Secretary Screwtape, strongly advocated the policy of preventing each generation from learning from its predecessors: “Since we [devils] cannot deceive the whole human race all the time, it is most important thus to cut every generation off from all others; for where learning makes a free commerce between the ages there is always the danger that the characteristic errors of one may be corrected by the characteristic truths of another.” [NB] That is why the demise of sacred languages among the clergy and the clerisy is such a triumph for our Enemy. As we have seen recently, [indeed] the problem becomes worse when Cardinals, Bishops, and/or their liturgical advisers, cannot parse accurately a simple piece of Latin.


Read the rest there and do NOT miss his last line!

On this theme, I’ll ask a few questions.

What does it mean for our identity as Catholics in the LATIN Church if we never hear our Latin language in our sacred liturgical worship?

The loss of Latin in our sacred worship has been devastating for our identity as Catholics and, therefore, our influence in the world.

In some places seminaries confer masters degrees or other sort of pontifical degrees.  Imagine a department at a major university conferring a higher degree without the candidate demonstrating proficiency in the languages necessary for his field and research.  Imagine someone is given a degree in, say, French literature but she doesn’t know any French.  Can you imagine that?  Try to get a degree in French literature by reading is solely in translation without the ability to read the original.

And another thing.  Circling back to can. 249, which requires Latin, at every ordination someone must stand up and attest that the ordinand was properly trained, etc.  But if the ordinand wasn’t given any Latin, as per can 249., can that public statement be true?


Posted in Canon Law, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard at Mass for your Sunday Obligation?

Let us know.

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CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday: Zuhlsdorf’s Law isn’t finished with me yet, CW, and Echolink

ham radio antennaI told you last week about my ongoing travails with Zuhlsdorf’s Law.

It’s isn’t quite done with me yet, I’m afraid.

We had a big storm rip through here, a consequence of which was that a big pine tree I was going to try to run an antenna to any day now is not horizontal, thus making it a less than optimal choice.  During the same storm, lightning struck my local Elmer’s tower.  He texted: “Enough with the Zuhlsdorf’s Law stuff!… I was once specifically warned about standing close to guys like you.”

As it turned out there was no important damage done by that lightning strike.  He described his extensive ground system of 10′ copper rods.  We should all be so prudent.  It is a metaphor for life, no?  If we are grounded well in our virtues habits and God’s graces in the Church, when lightening strikes we can more easily take the hit.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on my CW.  A little bit every day!

Of course I’d like to get out and set up an antenna and get on with my new rig, but time, tasks and weather have conspired.  And early in the incoming week I have some travel.  Perhaps I’ll bring my new radio and set up somewhere!

Finally, remember that one of our readers here has made his Echolink node availble to us: 554286 – WB0YLE-R  (Thanks!) Remember: You must be licensed to use Echolink. BTW… there is a great iPhone app for Echolink. I can see quite a few hams using that method to connect.

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

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Feminist v. Christian

Those zany Lutherans over at Lutheran Satire have another video.

I hope these guys will come into unity with the Church right after the SSPX is reconciled!

Posted in Lighter fare, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , | 3 Comments

WDTPRS – 10th Sunday after Pentecost: Mercy does not mean turning a blind eye to Justice

Symbols of Mercy and Justice on the emblem of the Spanish Inquisition

Symbols of Mercy and Justice on the emblem of the Spanish Inquisition

The Collect for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form survived, sort of survived, to live in the post-Conciliar, reformed Missale Romanum!  You can find it, somewhat wounded, for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the Ordinary Form Missale Romanum.  I’ll show you the variation, below.  But, for now, let’s see the Collect as it appears in the 1962 edition.


Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut, ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.

In the Novus Ordo version the line “…multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam…” was replaced with “…gratiam tuam super nos indesinenter infunde”.  We will return to see what impact that has on the prayer.

I also looked this prayer up in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary and found that the version is as it appears in the 1962MR, in not the Novus Ordo.  Sometimes the cutter-snippers of the Consilium restored older readings of ancient prayers that had survived with some changes in the pre-Conciliar Missal.  Not this time.

Let’s now look at some nuts and bolts: vocabulary.

Parco means, “to spare, have mercy, forbear to injure” and by extension, “forgive.”   This verb is used quite frequently in liturgical prayer as, for example, in the responses during the beautiful litanies we sing as Catholics, especially in time of need: “Parce nobis, Domine… Spare us, O Lord!”  During Lent the hauntingly poignant Latin chant informs our penitential spirit: “Parce, Domine… O Lord, spare your people: do not be wrathful with us forever.”

The noun consors comes from the fusion of the preposition for “with” and sors (“lot”), in the sense of a chance or ticket when “casting lots”, destiny, fate).   A consors is someone with whom you share a common destiny.  The densely arranged Lewis & Short Dictionary reveals that consors is “sharing property with one (as brother, sister, relative), living in community of goods, partaking of in common.”  The English word “lot” can be both “fate” and a “parcel of land.”  Having been made in God’s image and likeness, we are to act as God acts: to know, will and love.  Since God spares us and is merciful, then we must be similarly merciful and sparing if we want to be sharers and coheirs in the lot He has prepared for us.

Multiplico, as you might readily guess, means “to multiply, increase, augment”.

Just for kicks, let’s see the obsolete ICEL version we were forced to use for so many dry and uninspiring years.  Remember that a line was changed in the Latin of the Novus Ordo version, as I explained above.


Father, you show your almighty power, in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom.


O God, who manifest Your omnipotence especially by sparing and being merciful, increase Your mercy upon us, [pour Your grace upon us unceasingly, – 2002MRso that You may make those who are rushing to the things You have promised, to be partakers of heavenly benefits.

That “ut, ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes” means “so that You may make us, rushing to the things You have promised, to be partakers of heavenly benefits.”  There is a nos in the first part, if not the second.

One of the ways God manifests His almighty nature is by being forgiving and sparing.

God is the creator and ruler, guide and governor of all that is seen and unseen, who keeps everything in existence by an act of His will, and reveals His omnipotence especially (maxime in our Collect) by means of mercy.

By violating God’s will our first parents (the entire human race – which consisted of only two people at the time) opened up an infinite gulf between us and God.  Since the gulf was immeasurable, only an omnipotent God could bridge that gap and repair it.  God did not repair the breach because of justice.  He did so because He loves us and is merciful.

People often slip into the trap of associating justice with manifestations of power.  In this Collect, however, we affirm the other side of power’s coin.  The miracles worked by Jesus in the Gospels, loving gestures to suffering individuals, were acts of mercy often connected to forgiveness of sins.

The affirmation of divine mercy, however, does not diminish God’s justice.  Mercy does not mean turning a blind eye to justice, for that would be tantamount to betraying truth and charity.  Nevertheless, if justice must be upheld because God is Truth, so too must mercy be exercised because God is Love.

For God, balancing justice and mercy is simplicity itself, since He is perfectly simple.  Knowing all things which ever were, are or will be as well as the complexities of each act’s impact and every other throughout history God has no conflicts in the application of merciful justice or just mercy.  He knows who we are, what we need and deserve far better than we do.  Furthermore, in our regard, God acts with perfect love.

For man, especially in times of trial, the simultaneous exercise of mercy and justice is very difficult indeed.  Because of the wounds to our will and intellect, our struggle with passions, it is hard for us at times to see what is good and right and true or rein in our emotions even when we do discern things properly.  We often oscillate between being first just and then merciful. Bringing the two streams of mercy and justice together is a tremendous challenge.  We tend to favor our self-interest, and often balk at what is truly the good for others.

When we encounter a person who can balance justice and mercy together, we are usually impressed by him.  We hold him up as an example of wisdom because he acts more perfectly, more habitually, according to God’s image and likeness.  We are moved by his example because deep inside we know how we ought to be conforming to God’s image in us.  Their example teaches us that it is possible to live according to God’s plan.  The lives of the saints are examples of this.

One way in which we act in harmony with God’s image in us, behaving as the “coheirs” Christ made us to be, authentic Christian consortes, is when we act with compassion.

In biblical terms compassion (Hebrew racham) is often interchangeable with mercy.  The Latin word compassio (from cum,“with” + patior, “to suffer/endure”) means to “suffer with” someone.  Our souls are stirred when we witness suffering and then compassion.  They reveal in a mysterious way who we are as human beings and how we ought to act.  In a now famous passage from the Council’s Gaudium et spes, we are taught that Christ came into the world to reveal man more fully to himself (GS 22).  Christ did this in His every word and deed during His earthly life.  His supreme moment of revelation about who we are was His Passion and death on the Cross.  When we imitate His Passion, in sacrificial love, in genuine “with suffering”, we act as we were made by God to act.   In concrete acts of compassion we, in our own turn, also reveal man more fully to himself!  In our own way we show God’s image to our neighbor and he is moved.  We cannot not be moved unless we are stony and cold and dead.

Pope John Paul II wrote that

“Man cannot live without love […] his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own.” (Redemptor hominis 10).

We must experience love, both in giving and receiving. 

When the Enemy planted in the minds of Adam and Eve the doubt that God really loved them, when the certitude of love given and received died, we all died.

The Second Adam offers to bring us back into the certitude of God’s love, through mercy and suffering not only with us, but for us.

Love, given and received, brings us back to life.

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The blog, donations and you.

Many people come each day to use the blog, and I am happy to see everyone.

If so, if you come everyday, please consider subscribing to send a monthly donation. That way I have steady income I can plan on, and you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray and for whom I periodically say Holy Mass.  Others benefit from your generosity as well.

Today, the 23rd of the month, there are only 4 people signed up, which is a little depressing.

Some options

I set up a CONTINUE TO GIVE account, which functions rather like PayPal (or so I understand).  I couple of you have tried it. Information and links for Continue To Give are on the side bar (scroll down).  There is a QCode you can use with your smart phones.  Try it!

Also, to receive a link to donate via Continue To Give using your smart phone SEND MESSAGE: 4827563 TO: 715-803-4772 (USA)

Some donations also come through CHASE.  That works well.  I don’t think they take any percentage as fees.

Anyway, please lend a hand.


Thanks to MR, KT, DK, RM, RH, PK, RM, Canada Free Press, TL for NEW monthly subscriptions.  Also, to GF, RB, SAS  for a one time donations.

ON 24 July: New subscription from JS

Some also sent a note asking for prayers for family or intentions.  I ask a prayer also for myself.

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GIRM WARS: Another front opens in Iowa

Francis_Ad_OrientemWhen the 2000 GIRM was issued (now usually cited as 2002 GIRM because it is in the 2002 Missale Romanum), a question was put to the Congregation for Divine Worship: Can a bishop, in his role as moderator of the Sacred Liturgy in the diocese, forbid ad orientem worship?

On 10 April 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued an official response (Protocol No. 564/00/L) about GIRM 299 (my emphases):

This dicastery wishes to state that Holy Mass may be celebrated versus populum or versus apsidem. Both positions are in accord with liturgical law; both are to be considered correct.
There is no preference expressed in the liturgical legislation for either position. As both positions enjoy the favor of law, the legislation may not be invoked to say that one position or the other accords more closely with the mind of the Church.

In a nutshell, bishops can’t overrule universal laws, including rubrics.  Bishops cannot forbid legitimate options.

The rubrics of the modern Roman Rite, the Novus Ordo, the Ordinary Form, do NOT favor celebration of Holy Mass versus populum, so-called “facing the people”.

That said, one bishop after another is tumbling headlong into the trap laid in the purposeful mistranslation of GIRM 299.   More HERE.  Alas, most bishops these days did not have any training in Latin before, during or after seminary, including those trained after the 1983 Code of Canon Law laid down in can. 249 says that seminarians are to be be “very well-trained” (bene calleant) in Latin.

We are now beginning to see what damage can be done when clerics depend on translations.

The mistranslators, and those who are in the trap pit with them, say that GIRM 299 reads in such a way as to favor Mass “facing the people”.  The false, erroneous translation reads:

299. The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. …

No. That last clause, introduced by the relative pronoun quod, does not refer to the orientation of the celebration of Mass.  Rather, it refers to the first clause and separation of the altar from the wall.  And I refer everyone to the quote from the Congregation at the top of this post.

What does 299 really say?

Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. …

The main altar should be built separated from the wall, which is useful wherever it is possible, so that it can be easily walked around and a celebration toward the people can be carried out at it.

Recently in the Diocese of Little Rock, the local bishop sent a letter to priests in which he says that he “expects” that priests will say Mass “facing the people” because of what GIRM 299 says.  HERE  He didn’t try to impose that, because, well, he can’t.  Bishops cannot forbid the legitimate option of ad orientem worship and impose Mass “facing the people” only.  However, they can torture priests who say Mass ad orientem in a thousand ways.  But that would be abuse of power.  And that would be something new, wouldn’t it!

Now I read that another bishop, in Davenport, IA, has written to priests. HERE  He cites, again, the erroneous English version of 299 and then writes: “To be clear, this is the posture [“facing the people”] that priests are to take when celebrating the liturgy (in the Ordinary Form) in the Diocese of Davenport.”

Ad-Orientem-Cartoon-Meme-640x578BTW… Bp.  Amos says that the “normative” posture is “better”. Why? Because the priest and the assembly are “facing the altar together”.  Ummmm….

While Bp. Amos’ language doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a formal decree, and the letter isn’t framed in a juridical form, the bishop takes a step beyond that of the Bishop of Little Rock.

The good news – if there is good news in this development – is that some bishops might issue preemptive statements like this because they think priests will listen to The Sarah Appeal™!

Here’s the deal.

It is surreal to have to write this, but we now have to defend ad orientem worship in the Roman Catholic Church!

To be clear, while we have to acknowledge that versus populum celebration is an option in the rubrics (as it also is and was in the Extraordinary Form), given our tradition, ecclesial realities today and, yes, rubrics, I agree with Card. Sarah and strongly believe ad orientem would be of great benefit to the whole Church.  

I and others, therefore, are left with the bizarre task of writing again and again that ad orientem worship cannot presently be prohibited.  And neither can be versus populum!  

It is unfortunate that the poor English (and Italian, etc.) translation of GIRM 299 lead unsuspecting bishops and priests to think that worship versus populum, “is desirable whenever possible.” It was this very confusion that lead to the submission of the question, the dubium,  to the Congregation some 16 years ago and, consequently, to the official response which I quoted at the top.  Back then, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (who was not acting merely as a private citizen, btw…) made clear that, according to the law, Holy Mass in the Novus Ordo could be celebrated in either position.

Two final points.

Confusion flows from the poor English and Italian translation. However, the French, German and Polish managed to get it right!

FRENCH: (299) Il convient, partout où c’est possible, que l’autel soit érigé à une distance du mur qui permette d´en faire aisément le tour et d´y célébrer face au peuple.

GERMAN: (299) Der Altar ist von der Wand getrennt zu errichten, so dass man ihn leicht umschreiten und die Feier an ihm dem Volk zugewandt vollzogen werden kann. Das empfiehlt sich überall, wo es möglich ist.

POLISH: (299) Ołtarz winien być zbudowany w oddaleniu od ściany, aby łatwo można było obchodzić go dookoła i celebrować przy nim w stronę ludu. Wypada go tak umieścić wszędzie, gdzie to jest możliwe.
PORTUGUESE (299) Onde for possível, o altar deve ser construído afastado da parede, de modo a permitir andar em volta dele e celebrar a Missa de frente para o povo. Pela sua localização, há-de ser o centro de convergência, para o qual espontaneamente se dirijam as atenções de toda a assembleia dos fiéis.

But I, friends, don’t need translations to be able to read 299, and neither should any other priest or bishop of the LATIN Church.

Next, way back in 1969, when the first Novus Ordo Missal was released, the 1969 GIRM 262 (the predecessor of 2002 GIRM 299) said:

262. Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit.

The main altar should be built separated from the wall, so that it can be easily walked around and a celebration toward the people can be carried out at it.

Note well that the pesky quod clause, which has caused such confusion in the 2002 version, is absent.

So, you might be asking, WHY was that quod clause inserted into the 2002 version?  It was probably an attempt – ham-fisted – to curtail the wide-spread destruction of existing altars that was going on.  There is NO LEGISLATION that requires that existing altars be reworked or destroyed or detached or chopped off or … anything.  That quod clause expresses a suggestion that, if it is possible, altars should be constructed far enough from the wall that they can be circumnavigated and Mass can be said from either side. That’s it.

Fr. Z’s position: All things being equal, ad orientem worship is superior, but both ad orientem and versus populum are provided for in the rubrics of the Ordinary Form. Attempts to forbid ad orientem worship today are based both on erroneous scholarship from decades ago that promoted versus populum worship (later repudiated by some of the scholars who proposed it), and on bad translations of present day liturgical legislation (which were subsequently clarified the Congregation for Divine Worship).

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

Card. Burke on Islam and our choices for the future

Just days after a 17-year-old Afghan refugee who aligned himself with Islamic State wounded four people with an axe and knives on a train near Würzberg, as I assemble this post I’m watching an active shooter situation at a shopping mall in Munich.  The Munich transit system is shut down.  Munich police are sending on Twitter, that people should avoid public areas.  We don’t yet know who the perp is… er… perps are.  I’ll bet it isn’t a Catholic named Max Mustermann.  [UPDATE: There is still incomplete information about the perp.  One Muslim witness said she heard the murderer shout “Allahu akbar”.  Other reporting suggests that the killer was shouting epithets against foreigners, meaning, Turks, etc., who haven’t integrated well into German society. But I just read that he has Iranian dual citizenship.]

Meanwhile, the lame-duck Pres. Obama and his horde of head-in-the-sand libs think that Donald Trump’s speech at the closing of the RNC last night was “doom and gloom”.  HERE and HERE

No, no, folks.  Nothing’s wrong.  No problems here.  Nope.

Meanwhile, the reliably liberal David Gibson of the skewed RNS wrote about Card. Burke.

U.S. cardinal says ‘Christian nations’ in West must counter Islamic influx

Amid heightened tensions over Islamic State-fueled terror attacks and anti-Muslim rhetoric, a prominent American cardinal says Islam “wants to govern the world” and Americans must decide if they are going to reassert “the Christian origin of our own nation” in order to avoid that fate.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, a Rome-based prelate known as an outspoken conservative and critic of Pope Francis’ reformist approach, said that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.”
While Catholic teaching recognizes that all Abrahamic faiths worship the same God, Burke criticized Catholic leaders who, in an effort to be tolerant, have a tendency “to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith.”
“That simply is not objectively the case,” he said.


Speaking to RNS, Burke said that individual Muslims “are lovely people” and can speak “in a very peaceful manner about questions of religion.”
“But my point is this: [NB] When they become a majority in any country then they have the religious obligation to govern that country. If that’s what the citizens of a nation want, well, then, they should just allow this to go on. But if that’s not what they want, then they have to find a way to deal with it.” [Before you ask, that is not what I want.]
He said that in some cities in France and Belgium with large Muslim populations “there are little Muslim states” that are effectively “no-go zones” for government authorities — an assertion that is widely disputed.
But Burke claimed “these things aren’t anomalies for Islam. This is the way things are to go … And if you do understand that and you are not at peace with the idea of being forcibly under an Islamic government, then you have reason to be afraid.”


When asked how the West should respond, the cardinal did not cite or endorse specific proposals, like those championed by the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and other conservatives, to ban or limit Muslims coming into the United States.
“I think the appropriate response,” he said, “is to be firm about the Christian origin of our own nation, and certainly in Europe, and the Christian foundations of the government, and to fortify those.”


Read the rest there.

As Sebastian Gorka wrote in Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War: (UK HERE):

The rectitude or devoutness of a Muslim believer is measured by how fully he submits himself to the will of Allah. And how does one know the will of God? Well, naturally from the words of his best and final revelation to mankind, communicated to Mohammed and eventually collected in the Koran. In the nature of the relationship between the revealed and the believer and what reality that establishes here on earth, Islam is very different from the Christian faith. The followers of Christ are also measured by their ability to follow the requirements laid down in Holy Scripture, with Jesus Christ and the New Testament being the fulfillment of the earlier laws and commandments of the Old Testament, yet the origins of Christianity and Islam and the political legacies of the two faiths are completely different. The Christian Church was born after Jesus’s followers, having seen him executed by crucifixion and resurrected, saw him ascend into heaven. Islam, on the other hand, was forged in battle, its founder defeating his enemies in war and becoming the head of a new theocratic state, reigning over his followers here on earth. [NB] Islam cannot be fully understood unless one recognizes that its founder was at the same time a political leader, a military commander, and a self-proclaimed prophet. Islam, then, is by its nature and its origins a theocracy. [NB] There can be no “separation of mosque and state” if one stays true to the religion practiced by Mohammed and his first followers.  There was no distinction between the political and religious in the original caliphate. In fact, there was no distinction between the religious, political, legal, or economic. Islam and the word of Allah regulated all of these spheres in a unitary whole. The political head of the community was also its religious leader. By contrast, theocracy was never a fundamental element of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ himself articulated the “separation of church and state” when, asked if the Jews should pay taxes to the occupying Romans, he responded, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” These words, with St. Paul’s elaboration in the thirteenth chapter of his epistle to the Romans, have shaped the relationship between the spiritual and temporal authorities in the Christian world. This seminal Christian idea finds no counterpart in foundational Islam. The Koran is deemed the source of all law, and sovereignty, rather than being a function of the people’s will, is a quality of God to be realized in submission to his will. This idea of Allah’s sovereignty expressed here on earth is the key to understanding why the control of territory has shaped not only the evolution of modern Islamic thought in general but the ideology of jihadists like Al Qaeda and ISIS in particular.

For Islam, the Koran is the “constitution”.

Many thanks to the reader who sent me the Kindle version from my wishlist.   Get a Kindle!  US HERE – UK HERE

Moderation queue is ON,

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

WDTPRS – 17th Ordinary Sunday: Sin-Teflon and Demon-Kevlar

The 1962MR places today’s Collect at the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost though it is a little different from the newer version, to wit: sic transeamus per bona temporalia, ut non amittamus aeterna.

Historically the prayer has roots in the ancient “Leonine” or better the Veronese Sacramentary used during the month of July in which we find: sic bonis praetereuntibus nunc utimur, ut iam possimus inherere perpetuis.

This historical digging shows us that the Novus Ordo version returned to a more ancient form of the prayer.

That inherere for the more regular inhaerere shows how the ae was pronounced when the manuscript was made.  The eminent paleographer E.A. Lowe dated the earliest manuscript of the Veronese to the first quarter of the 7th century.


Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum, multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur, ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris.

There is a very pleasant humming “m” alliteration in lines 2-3.  A nice pair of pairs present themselves: nihil validum, nihil sanctum and some exemplary ablative absolutes te rectore, te duce.

Protector is from protego fundamentally meaning “to cover before, or in front, cover over” and obviously also “to shield from danger” as well as things like “put a protecting roof over”.  A protector is also “one of the lifeguard or body – guard”.

Last week in the Collect we heard “vigili custodia … vigilant restraint/guarding.”  Both words refer to protection.

In last week’s Collect the priest prayed to God: clementer gratiae tuae super eos dona multiplica, (indulgently multiply upon/over them the gifts of Your grace) while this week we ask multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam.  In this and last week’s prayer we have the image of a people asking to cover them over abundantly, last week with the theological virtues, this week with mercy.

God is our shield.  In His mercy He guards us from the attacks we face as soldiers in the Church Militant.

Validus, a, um (from the verb valeo) is “strong, stout, able, powerful, robust, vigorous” and also “well in body, in good health, sound, healthy”.  “Vale!” is one Latin way to say “Farewell!”

The verb inhaereo means “to stick in, to stick, hang, or cleave to, to adhere to, inhere in”.  Inhaereo is construed with either dative or ablative and it is very hard to know which case is mansuris, the future participle from maneo, “to remain, last, endure, continue”.   Without going into details, St. Augustine (+430) used a similar combination of words, but to different effect, in a sermon about the love of God and love of the world (s. 344.2 in PL 39:1512).


O God, protector of those hoping in you, without whom nothing is efficacious, nothing holy, multiply your mercy upon us, so that, you being our helmsman, our commander, we may so make use of things that pass away as to be able to cleave to those that will endure.

We can also render rector and dux respectively as “guide” and “leader” but I think in our times we need a bolder tone.  A rector is also a “helmsman” and “commander of the army”.  In honor of World Youth Day, rector can be the “master of youth, teacher”.  On the other hand, dux is also a military term for a “general” or “chief”.


God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world


O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.

We are members of the Church Militant and we must never forget it.

We must not permit ourselves complacency.  We must not be softened into spiritual acedia by the coos and lullabies of those who deny the existence of evil and the devil and personal sin.

Some people today think that any “evil”, if it is really evil after all and not merely a difference of perspective, can be reduced to mere social ills stemming from a societal lack of tolerance and diversity.

This is a deception of the enemy of the soul, the devil.

In reality, our personal sins are the foundation of every societal ill.  When people do not believe in the devil and in sin, then the enemy has already won.   Our enemy Satan and his fallen angels desire our everlasting damnation and agony with them in hell.  This world has a fell prince, a spiritual being, a mighty fallen angel (cf. John 14:30).

Jesus Christ is our King, our great Captain in our battle against all that is wicked in this world.  Christ Jesus has broken hell’s power over us, but for a time we are still in this world and the devil dominates it – but only to the extent that omnipotent God permits in His providence.  We are living in a state of “already, but not yet.”

As soldiers traveling through enemy territory we need strong shields, a sure leader to set our feet on the right path out of the danger zone, a sturdy roof over us when we rest, some way to identify what is holy and what is deception.

Without God nothing is worthwhile or holy.   He must pour out and multiply upon us all that we need simply in order to live.

Today we are asking for a protection, sin-Teflon, so that the passing things of this world can’t stick to us, distract us, and hold us back from heaven.

May God give us demon-Kevlar, so that the enemy cannot penetrate our minds and hearts with the darts of temptation and the provocations of doubts.

We beg God to make us “sticky” only for the things that endure forever and not the things that are under control of this world’s prince, who from the beginning is a liar, a murderer (cf. John 8:44).

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

22 July: Happy FEAST of St. Mary Magdalene

Today in the Ordinary Form calendar is the (recently elevated) Feast of St Mary Magdalene.  I wrote the following for my column in the print version UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald – which is availble in its entirety in digital form.


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

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

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

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


I wrote more extensively on the feast of Mary Magdalene’s day to a feast HERE.  That post includes my translation of the new Latin Preface.  Please note that there is an ERROR in the LATIN text!    Today I received an email that included “the English working translation of the new preface for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene”.  I will do an update of my original post.  Link above.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged | 5 Comments

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

medieval castle siege smEven as you read this, the blog is under siege by vile spammers trying to register to post their putrid slime.

I have logs that show me what’s going on.

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


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

Registrations go into a queue, which I check when I can.  I’m not always near my computer.  Be patient.  Check once in a while to see if it went through.  The approval isn’t automated and I don’t manually send you confirmations.  Sorry.  I just don’t have time.

You don’t have to register simply to lurk (i.e., read without posting comments).

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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“Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” – St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Today on both sides of the Roman Rite we celebrate a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, St. Lawrence of Brindisi.

Know much about him?

I like this story about him from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. “Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.

Let Pope Benedict tell you something more

Here is what the Martyrologium Romanum has:

Sancti Laurentii de Brundusio, presbyteri et Ecclesiae doctoris, inter Fratres Minores Capuccinos adscriptus, praedicandi munere in Europae regionibus indefesse functus est, tum pro Ecclesia defensione adversus infideles, tum in reconciliandis principibus, tum in Ordinis sui moderatione, omnia munera explens simplicitate et humilitate.  Die vero vigesimo secundo iulii Ulyssipone in Lusitania obiit.

How about your own, smooth but accurate rendering into English (or Klingon… whatever)?

Posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , | 10 Comments