Saturday Stroll

Today I have done some reading and listened to the monks of Le Barroux sing the Tenebrae office.

For lunch I found a great pastrami sandwich and went to the Park.


Right now the cherry trees are blooming. Stand under a grove of them and you catch their fragrance.


I walked across to the Frick Collection to see the fine exhibit of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes from a private owner.

I couldn’t take photos of the exhibit, but here is a detail of a painting by El Greco.


Back to the Park for a bit and a sit down just to watch like go by before going to the Met, which is open late.

I am listening these days to Dante’s Divina Commedia, the action of which, as you know, takes place during the Sacred Triduum.

How wonderful it is to sit outside and feel the sun and not be cold.

Busy comes back soon enough. Right now there is time for refreshing otium. Otium in negotio.

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Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 2 Comments

An anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, in 2005.


Posted in Benedict XVI, Linking Back, SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 8 Comments

¡Vaya lío! Great idea for diocesan New Evangelization!

Here is an encouraging “¡Vaya lío!” example.

You all know about, or ought to know about, the great Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy.  Here is something from their web page:


[NB] The Bishop has asked the monks of Norcia to celebrate a series of solemn Masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as part of his effort to expose the faithful of his diocese to the traditional form. The Bishop usually attends the Mass himself and sits in choir, thus giving a personal witness to the importance of this “treasure of the Church”, as Pope Benedict calls it.


The bishop has asked these monks to make the Extraordinary Form better known to people in the diocese entrusted to him.  Excellent.  This is, for sure, was Benedict XVI was thinking about when he gave us the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.

I hope that many other diocesan bishops take such initiative.

This is New Evangelization.

Fr. Z kudos to the Bp. of Foligno, Most Rev. Gualtiero Sigismondi.

¡Vaya lío!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, ¡Vaya lío! | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Easter, customs, food and you!

It is a beautiful custom today to bring special foods to church for the priest’s blessings before Easter. Back at my home parish in my native place, people would bring things and, lined up at the Communion rail, we would go along with our Rituale Romanum and bless all sorts of good looking, appetizing stuff. People of different ethnic backgrounds had their favorite things, of course.

Today in the New York Post there is an article about different traditional foods for Easter from around the world.

Do you have any special customs for Easter?

In the meantime, remember this?

No matter what, you need lots of

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

LENTCAzT 46 Holy Saturday

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Today is Holy Saturday of the Sacred Triduum. This is the penultimate podcast.

Examine your consciences.

Have you made your good confession?

Today we hear something from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.

These daily podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day,

This project during Lent has been a token of thanks to my donors.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Foot-washing, law, journalists, liberal activists, and Bp. Morlino

In the Left-leaning Wisconsin State Journal columnist Doug Erikson offered a piece on 16 April called “In the Spirit: Bishop Robert Morlino’s foot-washing policy draws national press, petition effort”. Erickson’s bias against Bp. Morlino in favor of a liberal activist group is thinly veiled; he is their cheerleader.  Erickson cribbed a piece by David Gibson from RNS.   He credulously accepted several unsupportable premises asserted by people quoted in the Gibson piece.  NB: Gibson’s article wasn’t wholly bad!  He presented more than one side and drill into the central question.  Erickson did something else.

I’m involved in this, since I have now been widely quoted.  Thus, I will weigh in a little deeper.

One important fact that neither Erickson or Gibson detailed was that Bp. Morlino’s note to priests about the two licit options for washing feet on Thursday (wash the feet of men only or exclude the optional rite) was sent out in 2011. Erickson did mention in a piece in March that Bp. Morlino’s letter about foot-washing was “three years ago”.  That important bit was left out this time.  It could be that Erickson, and Gibson, wanted people to think that Morlino issued this letter after Francis became Pope, after Francis decided for himself to derogate from the Church’s liturgical law.

Here is Erickson’s cribbing of Gibson’s piece that contains his promotion of a radicalized liberal petition against Bp. Morlino.  My emphases and comments:

Religion News Service, a national news-gathering organization with press offices in Washington, D.C., has a good primer this week on the debate in the Roman Catholic Church over whether women should be included in the church’s foot-washing ritual on Holy Thursday. [Do not accept automatically that the RNS piece was a "good" primer.  It had some good information in it, but it had its problems as well.]

Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino gets top billing in the article along with Pope Francis.

Last year, the pope washed the feet of both men and women. Morlino has said his priests must wash only men’s feet or forgo the ritual entirely.  [Yes, he said that.  In 2011!  So, why dredge this up now?  It's called yellow journalism.  If you look in an illustrated dictionary for yellow journalism, you might find this column. Erickson wanted to stir problems for the bishop.]

“So who’s correct?” reporter David Gibson asks in the article. “Is the pope a dissenter? Or are Morlino and others being legalistic? What does the foot washing ritual represent, anyway?”

Gibson goes on to explore those issues. Ultimately, he writes, “there are no simple answers to those questions, though the weight of history and custom — not to mention authority — seems to be on the pope’s side.” [Those claims are not entirely true.  First, don't simply accept the premise that there is a Most Wonderfullest Ehvur Pope Side and a Legalistic Meanie Morlino Side.  Also, it simply defies history and common sense to claim that history and custom support the washing of the feet of women during Holy Thursday Mass.]

But Morlino gets his share of support in the article, too. Here’s the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a blogger popular with the Catholic right, [I think even more from the Left read me.] on Morlino’s approach:

“The church’s law says that only men may be the recipients of this foot washing. Morlino’s guidelines — that his priests must wash the feet of 12 men or not do the foot washing at all — do nothing but reiterate the church’s laws, which bishops and priests are obliged to follow.” [Problem.  I haven't written that the guidelines refer to "12 men".  The actual rubrics in the post-Conciliar Missale Romanum do not specify a number.  But that is a small point.  The above is substantially correct.  There are two options according to the Church's liturgical law: the foot-washing rite is, itself, an option.  It can be legitimately omitted.  If it is done, then only mature males are to be selected for the rite.  The Latin word is "viri", which means "men", and not in the sense of Facebook's 57 genders.  It really does mean grown up male and it doesn't mean anything else.  Latin has perfectly good words for "people... anyone... 'man' in the generic sense... women... anyone", etc.]

[Here is the writer in his biased, activist mode] UPDATE: Faithful America, an online community of Christians, has started a petition urging Morlino to allow the washing of women’s feet.  [When you go HERE to look at their site, take a look at the "About" page.  Who are these people?]

“It’s unfortunate that during Christians’ most holy week, Bishop Morlino is ignoring Pope Francis’ inspiring example of love and inclusion, and instead clings to a sexist and exclusionary policy,” ["policy" is code language.  Policy seems more ephemeral, more personal, than a law.  Policies don't need much of a procedure to change.  Laws do. So, call it a policy and you distort people's understanding of the reality of the situation.] Michael Sherrard, Faithful America’s executive director [of... what exactly?  Three people and a laptop?], says in a press release. [Who is this fellow?  In this article HERE it says he has worked for move  He as a coveted MDiv from a Lutheran seminary. Beyond that.  He seems to be interested in sticking his nose into many places.]

More than 15,000 people have signed the petition so far, according to the organization.

Will either Erickson, or Gibson, write about the visit Bp. Morlino made on the busy Holy Thursday to a nursing home for two hours to anoint people and bring them Holy Communion?

I will also point you to a piece at Laetificat Madison:

Christmas morning 1998 in Scranton Pennsylvania, a priest who has recently admitted having a “foot fetish” gave a 13 year old girl alcohol and touched her feet and legs creepily. She now (16 years later) has made a police complaint, and the priest has been charged with molestation.


Meanwhile, the annual ritual bashing of Bishop Morlino for simply holding local priests to the Church’s liturgical discipline according to which the optional Holy Thursday footwashing rite, which recalls an episode at the Last Supper with Jesus and the 12 Apostles, involves the priest washing the feet of adult males (viri).

Local religion journalist Doug Erickson felt the devilish urge to dress this up as if it were news: “Three years ago, Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino issued guidelines that gave priests the option of either using only men or not celebrating the ritual at all. Given the heightened attention to foot-washing last year, some parishioners thought Morlino might re-evaluate his position. This has not happened.”


The story of Fr Altavilla of Scranton is perfectly timed to underscore why the wise do not undermine, scorn, mock, or subject to media harassment those bishops who, exercising the prudence which is theirs to exercise, do not give special permission to priests to run their hands over the bare feet and legs of girls and women during Holy Thursday Mass, nor at other times.

Bishop Morlino understands that, when the Pope decides to derogate for himself from the liturgical law,  that derogation doesn’t abolish the law for everyone else.  The law remains. We priests and bishops must obey the liturgical law which we do not have the authority to break or change on our own authority.  The Church is not lawless.  The Church is not merely a display case for people’s passing whims and changing fashions.

When and if the Holy Father wants the law to change for everyone, he will make sure that it is changed for everyone in the proper way and he will let everyone in the world know about it.  Until them, the law stands.

Finally: People talk, inaccurately, about Morlino imposing a “ban” on the washing of the feet of women.  That’s isn’t true.  If it is a “ban”, then it is Pope Francis’ own ban, for he is now the supreme legislator in the Church.  It is Francis’ ban until he decides to change the law.

Get back to us after Francis changes the law.

Posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , | 48 Comments

Nancy Pelosi: Episcopalian foot washer!

Just think!  Over with the Episcopalians, Nancy Pelosi could both vote for public funding of abortion and also be a bishop at the same time!  She could even the “Presiding Bishop”!

From The Washington Times with my emphases and comments:

Nancy Pelosi has embraced her religious roots [which had hitherto been Catholic] and joined forces with Bishop Marc Andrus to — as she put it — “honor the dignity and work of immigrants” by taking bended knee and washing feet at Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco.  [Forget about the Last Supper, and all that stuff.]

Mrs. Pelosi’s official Twitter account sent out the picture of the Democratic House Minority Leader washing the feet of two children, alongside the bishop.  [And... I have to admit... she looks great in an Episcopalian church!]

And social media reaction was mixed, at best, with some accusing her of using the Easter season to stage a political prop. [Say it ain't so!]

Her tweet: “Honored to be in the Mission to assist Bishop Andrus as he washes the feet of immigrant families.”

And tweeted responses: “@NancyPelosi u r such a phony multi millionaire,” said one.

Another: “@NancyPelosi is this another dem voter registration drive?”

And one more: “@NancyPelosi this has to be the photo op of all photo ops!”

SFGate reported the Democratic leader did take advantage of the occasion to peddle some pro-immigrant policy, speaking to the crowd assembled of the benefits of HR15, a measure criticized by Republicans as amnesty.  [On the other hand, were a conservative to speak about something like this in church, she'd be accusing of politicizing the moment.]

Her office, however, claims it would “reduce the deficit by nearly $1 trillion, secure our borders, unite our families, protect our workers and provide an earned pathway to citizenship,” SFGate reported.

Ms. Pelosi’s foot-washing ceremony coincided with a similar ceremony that Pope Francis just performed in Rome, in honor of Holy Week ahead of Easter.  [No.  What she did in the Episcopalian church didn't coincide with anything that Catholics do.  And that's okay!  I think she has found a niche.]

I am reminded of the need for Romanorum coetibus.

If I were Jefferts Schori, I’d start watching my 6 from now on.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

AUDIO PRAYERCAzT: Via Crucis by Bl. John Henry Newman

Some of you have asked me to post my recordings of the Stations of the Cross as individual posts. It seems that in iTunes only one of the four are available when I post multiple links.
Here is one.

This is my recording of Bl. John Henry Newman’s Stations of the Cross, the Via Crucis.

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AUDIO PRAYERCAzT: Via Crucis by St Alphonsus Liguori

Some of you have asked me to post my recordings of the Stations of the Cross as individual posts. It seems that in iTunes only one of the four are available when I post multiple links.
Here is one.

This is my recording of St. Alphonus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross, the Via Crucis. It is simpler than the one I posted yesterday. It doesn’t have the music, the Stabat Mater, between the stations.

Posted in Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT, PRAYERCAzT: What Does The (Latin) Prayer Really Sound L | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LENTCAzT 45 Good Friday

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Today is Good Friday of the Sacred Triduum.

Examine your consciences.

Have you made your good confession?

Today we hear something from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.

These daily podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day,

This project during Lent has been a token of thanks to my donors.

Posted in LENT, LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments