The Domino Effect

No, this is not about the collapse of the entire Church because of a few of the members of the Synod.

It’s amazing, but also hard to imagine that someone would do this.

Some 10K old iPhones.

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VIDEO St. Maria Goretti arrives at St. John Cantius in Chicago

As you know, the body of St. Mary Goretti is on “pilgrimage” around these USA.  More HERE

She arrived in Chicago at St. John Cantius.

She will be coming to Madison, WI.

Here is the arrival of St. Mary in Chicago.

Remember that the folks at St. John Cantius have ready their 2016 Ordo.

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1492: Christopher Columbus makes landfall

From History:


On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina.On October 12, the expedition reached land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and “Indian” captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainlands, but he never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.

An amazing accomplishment.

Here is a photo of Christopher which I lately took in Central Park.


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#Synod15 notes – ‘Status quaestionis’ after Week 1

The on-again, off-again status of a Final Report is still up in the air.  However, today it was announced that there will be a Final Report.  So, we are “on” again. UPDATE: HERE

Also, concerning the 13 Cardinals Letter™, as I understand things now, Tornielli broke the news.  Sandro Magister had a source for the text but without names.  He got names from someone else, but made a few mistakes and/or used information that was not verified.  So, some names of Cardinals are right, some are wrong.

ALSO Fr. Robert Dodaro was on EWTN.  Catch this at 14:45. It’s worth it:


I had it from a third independent source just now that Card. DiNardo was one of the signers.   Also, the text that was circulated was not the text that the Holy Father received.

___ ORIGINAL Published on: Oct 12, 2015 @ 12:06

You should start with Andrea Gagliarducci’s wrap up of Week 1 over at Monday Vatican.

The big news was that 13 Cardinals, members of the Synod, gave a letter to Pope Francis in which they expressed … concerns.  Sandro Magister has the text and the names of 9 of the Cardinals.  HERE

In alphabetical order:

– Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, theologian, formerly the first president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family;
– Thomas C. Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada;
– Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, United States;
– Willem J. Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Holland;
– Gerhard L. Müller, former bishop of Regensburg, Germany, since 2012 prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith;
– Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa, president delegate of the synod underway as also at the previous session of the synod of October 2014;
– George Pell, archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia, since 2014 prefect in the Vatican of the secretariat for the economy;
– Robert Sarah, former archbishop of Conakry, Guinea, since 2014 prefect of the congregation for divine worship and the discipline – Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy;

Card. Dolan surprised me a little, but not Müller, Pell and Sarah, who hold the key curial positions at Faith, Finance and Worship.

The text of the letter to Pope Francis:

Your Holiness,

As the Synod on the Family begins, and with a desire to see it fruitfully serve the Church and your ministry, we respectfully ask you to consider a number of concerns we have heard from other synod fathers, and which we share.

While the synod’s preparatory document, the “Instrumentum Laboris,” has admirable elements, it also has sections that would benefit from substantial reflection and reworking.  The new procedures guiding the synod seem to guarantee it excessive influence on the synod’s deliberations and on the final synodal document.  As it stands, and given the concerns we have already heard from many of the fathers about its various problematic sections, the “Instrumentum” cannot adequately serve as a guiding text or the foundation of a final document.

The new synodal procedures will be seen in some quarters as lacking openness and genuine collegiality.  In the past, the process of offering propositions and voting on them served the valuable purpose of taking the measure of the synod fathers’ minds.  The absence of propositions and their related discussions and voting seems to discourage open debate and to confine discussion to small groups; thus it seems urgent to us that the crafting of propositions to be voted on by the entire synod should be restored. Voting on a final document comes too late in the process for a full review and serious adjustment of the text. [Almost as if it was planned that way?]

Additionally, the lack of input by the synod fathers in the composition of the drafting committee has created considerable unease. Members have been appointed, not elected, without consultation.  Likewise, anyone drafting anything at the level of the small circles should be elected, not appointed.

In turn, these things have created a concern that the new procedures are not true to the traditional spirit and purpose of a synod.  It is unclear why these procedural changes are necessary.  A number of fathers feel the new process seems designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions. [There it is.]

Finally and perhaps most urgently, various fathers have expressed concern that a synod designed to address a vital pastoral matter – reinforcing the dignity of marriage and family – may become dominated by the theological/doctrinal issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. [There may be less danger of that now, but the Synod is not over.  Attempts to distance Card. Erdo’s opening statement from the workings of the Synod clearly leave the issue on the table for some people.  Also, remember that what the late-great Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”] If so, this will inevitably raise even more fundamental issues about how the Church, going forward, should interpret and apply the Word of God, her doctrines and her disciplines to changes in culture.  The collapse of liberal Protestant churches in the modern era, accelerated by their abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation, warrants great caution in our own synodal discussions.

Your Holiness, we offer these thoughts in a spirit of fidelity, and we thank you for considering them.

Faithfully yours in Jesus Christ.

However, John Allen in his recent offering (HERE) has this:

Napier acknowledged signing a letter, but said its content was different from that presented in Magister’s report. The letter he signed, he said, was specifically about the 10-member commission preparing the final document.

The plot thickens.

Moving on…

Damien Thompson has a panic-stricken take on the Synod as it stands.  HERE

Crisis for Pope Francis as top-level cardinals tell him: your synod could lead to the collapse of the church


This is the gravest crisis he has faced, worse than anything that happened to Benedict XVI, and he knows it.

And, talking of the Pope Emeritus, I suspect that, had he been free to sign the letter, he would have done so.


Moreover – and this is very dangerous for Francis – the main point of contention is not the question of whether the church should be give communion to divorce people in second marriages, or whether gay unions should be given some degree of recognition.

This is an argument about the wisdom of calling the synod in the first place, and expresses the suspicion of over 100 Synod Fathers that the organisers are manipulating proceedings by confronting them with working papers and procedures designed to push them in a liberal direction. Others are simply fed up with the amateurish nature of the proceedings and wonder why, after last year’s chaotic preparatory synod, the Pope left the same people in charge. To quote the Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge, ‘At times our work has seemed more muddled than methodical’.

I’m one of countless commentators who has warned that holding this synod could split the church. Now it’s happening, much faster than any of us anticipated.

Mr. Thompson also indicates that some Cardinals have denied signing the letter, to wit, Piacenza (a surprise), Erdö (a surprise and yet not, since he is the General Relator), Scola (he said some squishy things about the new tribunal norms), Vingt-Trois (a President-Delegate for the Synod).

Meanwhile… what do the enemies of all that is truly Catholic say?  Let’s look, for example, at Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter).  Their writer, MS Winters, offers another loooong, angst-ridden piece HERE.  If you can fight through the logorrhea you get a sense that he (and his tribe) are worried.  They are worried for different reasons than Mr. Thompson, of course.  I don’t think that the National Schismatic Reporter would mind a schism in the least.  Nay rather!  Anyway, steel yourselves and check out Winter’s paragraph starting with Archbp. Chaput, toward the end.

The libs are worried that they are not going to get their way.  Redoubts springing up as the Synod continues.

On that note, I point you also to the intervention made by the President of the Bishops Conference of Poland, Stanislaw Gadecki, Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan. HERE  Remember: The Poles have this figured out.  They have correctly sensed that the Magisterium of John Paul II is under attack and they are not happy.

Here is his intervention.  It’s really good, so let’s read all of it:

Intervention at the general session 6th
Saturday, 10 October 2015.
+ Stanislaw Gadecki, Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan
President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

To begin, I want to emphasize that the following intervention reflects not only my personal opinion, but the opinion of the entire Polish Bishops’ Conference. [Whoa!  He’s not fooling around.]

  1. [He presents a statement, like a “thesis”:] There is no doubt that the Church of our time must—in a spirit of mercy—help civilly remarried divorcees with special charity, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, while they may indeed, as baptized, participate in Her life.

[The Gadecki’s comments on it:] Let us, therefore, encourage them to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show Herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope (cf. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 84). [Remember: the Poles see what is going on as an attack on the body of teaching of John Paul II.]

  1. Yet, the Church—in Her teaching on the admission of remarried divorcees—cannot yield to the will of man, but only to the will of Christ (cf. Paul VI, [JP2 and now Paul.] Address to the Roman Rota, 01.28.1978; John Paul II, Address to the Roman Rota, 01.23.1992, 01.29.1993 and 01.22.1996). [That’s a shot at the Kasperites, who would modify theology according to shifting mores.] Consequently, the Church cannot let Herself be led by feelings of false compassion for people or by modes of thought that—despite their worldwide popularity—are mistaken.

Admitting to Communion those who continue cohabiting “more uxorio” [as a husband and wife] without the sacramental bond would be contrary to the Tradition of the Church. The documents of the first synods of Elvira, Arles and Neocaesarea, which took place in the years 304-319, already confirmed the Church’s doctrine of not admitting the divorced who have remarried to Eucharistic Communion.

This position is based on the fact that “their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 84; 1 Cor 11:27–29; Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 29; Francis, Angelus, 16 August 2015). [Citing, again, JP2 and now also B16.  Francis too, though why he cites that particular address is puzzling. HERE]

  1. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the baptized who are in the state of sacramental grace. Admitting the civilly remarried divorcees to Holy Communion would cause great damage not only to family pastoral ministry, but also to the Church’s doctrine of sanctifying grace.

In fact, the decision to admit them to Holy Communion would open the door to this sacrament for all who live in mortal sin. This in turn would lead to the elimination of the Sacrament of Penance and distort the significance of living in the state of sanctifying grace. [yes… Not just damage to the Church’s teaching, but also practical and immediate damage to Penance, which is already on the ropes.] Moreover, it must be noted that the Church cannot accept the so-called “gradualness of the law” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 34).

As Pope Francis reminded us, we who are here do not want and do not have power to change the doctrine of the Church.


Meanwhile, John Allen reports on what is going on. HERE  In regard to the “rigging” of the Synod (Edward Pentin wrote about what happened last year), Allen has this:

[Card.] Wuerl bristled at suggestions that the outcome of the synod has been pre-determined, which were widely voiced among predominantly conservative commentators prior to the event, and which he said are also shared by some inside the synod itself.

“I had never been in a synod that has been as open,” Wuerl said of the 2014 gathering, “and the one we’re in right now follows that same openness.”

“I don’t see this intrigue, because I don’t know how you could make that happen,” he said.

Wuerl said much of the content of the synod’s conclusions will be determined in small group discussions, and “unless you had some way of silencing everybody in all 13 circles, I just can’t buy this idea that it’s all rigged.”

We don’t know what the Synod will produce.

Right now it is producing process stories.  Process is not unimportant, however, since it points to deeper questions about the people who are guiding the Church and, therefore, the Church’s preaching and practice for the nonce.

Frankly, I will be happy if it produces nothing at all.  Nothing better than possible alternatives.   On my wall above my desk is a painting by Salvator Rosa of “Philosophy”, an ascetic scholar holding a sign that reads: Aut tace aut loquere meliora silentio.  If there is no Final Report from the Synod, that’s okay by me, when I consider what could be in it.  Of course that has its own problems.  It signals that the process (of obtaining certain predetermined ends) might not be over.

I refer to the readership again to Yogi Bera.

Posted in Synod, The Drill | Tagged , | 34 Comments

Fr. Z’s Tips and Tools for #Synod15 Members

I heard a rumor… and you know how those are… that some members of the Synod are concerned that the central office of the Synod of Bishop might be spying on the dealings of the different language groups (circuli minores) through the use of hidden microphones.

I can neither confirm nor deny whether I believe that or not, but I can confirm that I heard the rumor!

I have some advice for the bishops at the Synod.

My many years as a agens in rebus for super-ultra-double-top-secret Vatican – VVAS … stuff… prompts me to share with the Synod Fathers a few tips and tools in the spirit of transparency that surrounds this year’s gathering.

First, bishop members should be sure to have a…

Cross Digital Cam-Corder

They are available on Amazon! (Your Excellencies, please use my links so I get a cut of the sale.)

cross cam

Under $40!

I’d get ahead of this and order right away, lest a whole bunch of you show up wearing the same Cross. How embarrassing would that be?

Spy Briefcase

These are essential in my… err um… that line of work.

spy briefcase

Note the really cool sunglasses to conceal your eye-movements.

Secret Compartment Ring

The Italians are usually the only ones who get to poison people… if you get my drift.   Fool them! And, as a bonus, the Masonic looking symbol (and/or Irish) will lull your target into a false sense of security when you finally get into that office where they keep the stolen books and … who know what else?  I’d say, but… you know.

ring secret poison

If your impossible mission brief doesn’t cover the whole poison thing (after all, there are faster ways, involving less foaming and writhing), or if they have those pesky poison sniffing dogs around, conceal some Holy Water in there.  They hate that stuff too, lemme tell you!

Invisible Ink Pens

You will need to identify your allies (HAH! if there are any) and be able to set up dead drops and like.  So, use these horrid pastel colored pens to write secret messages.


If nothing else, having a pen of any of these colors in the Synod will probably gain you a nod of approval from some of the members and organizers … I think we know which ones, don’t we.

Electronic (what else) Bug and Hidden Camera Sweeper

Finally, when you are in those circuli minores, you need to find out if people are listening before you find out who are listening (and their subsequent elimination or subversion).

Get the one with the extra cool ear piece (which you probably have in piles already, but hey!).

bug sweeper

WARNING: Do NOT switch it on too close to your digital CrossCam!

That would be bad.

Just some friendly tips to help the Synod go more smoothly.


Posted in Lighter fare, Synod | Tagged | 7 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the homily you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation?

Let us know.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 12 Comments

Synod note: Monday will bring interventions on Instrumentum Laboris 130

On Monday there will be interventions on Instrumentum Laboris 130:

130. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with Church teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4).

Pray and fast.

See also Fr. George Byer’s comments HERE.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven, Synod | Tagged , | 17 Comments

The Times revives a LATIN crossword puzzle

This is behind a paywall.  I hope someone can help me out.

I see that The Times (of London, not – of course – New York) is after 85 years offering a Latin Crossword Puzzle.  In 1930 there was a one-off.  Now again.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | 6 Comments

11 Oct: St. John XXIII

Today is the feast of the Pope who issued the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia.

Today is the feast of the Pope who didn’t like it when people clapped in church.

Today is the feast of the Pope who issued the Roman Missal of St. John XXIII.

His propers are HERE.

It is also the anniversary of the famous “Under the Moon” speech after the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday – NYC, stuff I don’t understand, and #UnaVoce

I set up on Twitter FrZ_HamRadio so we might more easily make contacts on the fly.  I believe KD8ZFF also set something up.  He can chime in with details.

During my recent too brief trip to New York City I was able to make contacts using Echolink via iPhone while sitting outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art while waiting to meet someone (another kind of QSO) and also in Bryant Park.  Next, I used Echolink aboard an airplane and made a contact with someone on a train!


Thanks to WB0YLE for being so generous.  More on him below.

I went to the only ham radio store in Manhattan, which is a stone’s throw away from Holy Innocents Church.  There isn’t much to report about this place, except that the fellow who runs it is both friendly and chatty… when he is there.  I ran into a closed door the first time I tried to visit.


But the next day I had more success…



You should probably call first.

Next, I am getting feedback about the QSL cards I sent.  They are arriving.  I am trying to figure out the best timing for me to get that vanity call.  I suppose I should just pull the trigger.  Or did I just commit a micro-aggression?  Sorry… I intended a hyper-macro aggression.

Meanwhile, also through the kindness of WB0YLE some possibilities are opening up about a Catholic Net.  He sent me a few mails about technical things.  I imagine that this is how some readers might react when I write about Latin.  For example:

building these up; full asterisk and echolink node with a radio adapter on top; have it working with a wouxun in simplex right now.  Raspberry pi computer, etc.  can also hang a wifi dongle on it, and pair to a phone hotspot…to get on the net Just In Case with an RF link.

I believe this has to do with remote operation of a station.

But of my living situation – which is suboptimal at best for good antenna placement and a place to work – I would like to find a way to work a station remotely.  Right now, where I have my antenna is sort of like a Faraday cage.  Not good.  I can still get out, but…

And now a happy conjunction of Traditional Liturgy and Ham Radio….

I received an email from the head of the newly formed Una Voce chapter in La Crosse, WI.  They had their first event recently.    You can see some pictures at their web site,  They want me to attend an event sometime.  HA! Say I.  Invite me to sing a Mass for you. I generally can’t drive across the state only to sit in choir.

As it turns out, the nice fellow who wrote is a Ham, as are his chilluns’.  He wrote (I’ll for now blank the callsigns unless he wants to make them visible himself):

On an unrelated note, my son ___ (currently a junior in chemical engineering at ___) mentioned to me that you are a ham.

We’re a ham radio family — I’m W9HQ, my son is _____, wife _____ is ____, and eldest daughter is _____.  We’re prodding the younger two girls to start studying for the Technician exam.  I am very active in VHF-UHF weak-signal work and host a modest blog, Standing Waves. It would be great to connect on the air sometime.  We don’t have an Echolink node here in La Crosse, but perhaps when I get my new gain vertical antenna for 2 meters on the roof I’ll be able to hit a repeater in Madison and we coull chat.  Or if you ever get on 160 or 80 meters, all the better.  And having you on 144 MHz single side band would ice the cake.

That would be icing indeed.  Let’s try to make that work.

And, sincerely, I’d like some cooperation of that chapter with my own Tridentine Mass Society of Madison (which accepts tax deductible donations).

Also, check out his cool Ham Radio blog.  HERE  Kudos.

Remember: More than one person can connect via Echolink to WB0YLE-R.  Use it!

Ham Radio and Traditional Latin Mass.  Non plus ultra.

KC9ZJN (for a little while longer)


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