ACTION ITEM! Birettas for Seminarians Project!


First off… I am informed that, through this project, YOU, dear readers, have supplied about 100 birettas to seminarians.  Kudos.

Next, I have had a few thank you notes from seminarians, who are receiving their new covers.  Here is one:

I want to thank you for your “Birettas for Seminarians Project.” Today I received my biretta, and I am very grateful!

I have a question though, what is the proper etiquette (birettaquette) for a seminarian? When sitting in choir is it the same as a priest? Also, when can one, seminarian or priest, wear a biretta? Is it only for liturgical use?

Carry it when walking in and out.  Cover after having sat down.  Uncover before standing up.  When holding it, hold it with both hands in front of your chest.  Use ONE hand to put it on.  Do NOT sit on it after the tabernacle is closed, if you put it on your chair during Communion time.

That said, I note that you are in a … place ((arch)diocese) where the local ordinary could be quite antagonistic about seminarians and birettas.  Thus, I urge you to be discreet.

And, yes, the biretta is mostly liturgical, although some priests wore it out and about.


I received a note from the Incredible John at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul, aka the Biretta Broker for our Project.  To wit:

Hello Father,

Your eyes can stop welling with tears as you write! (At least, temporarily)

Thanks so much for your recent efforts, and thank you to all who contributed over the past year.

We now have enough donors to literally “cover” all of the remaining seminarians on the list…and then some.

As you know, Italy is pretty much shut down in August. But come September…many, many, birettas will be shipped in!

I think the manufacturers are wondering what’s going on in the Americas!

Brick by Brick!


UPDATE 16 Aug:

I received the following via email from a seminarian:

I want you to know that I received a Biretta from your action item posts. Thank you and the benefactor who came forward to purchase this for me. Every time I use it I pray for the benefactor who purchased it for me.

Not bad!

UPDATE 7 July 2016:

In honor of the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum I’m moving this to the top of the stack.


In the past we have had here a project to get birettas for seminarians.  It was a success (for example HERE) but, alas, it has fallen off the radar.  Let’s get back at it.

I am still getting notes from seminarians hither and yon who need birettas.

That is where YOU come in.

John Hastrieter at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul wrote that he has about 2o seminarians on a “biretta wanted list” but… and my eyes well with tears as I write this… no donors.


Contact John in church goods at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul – 651-209-1951 Ext-331. 

If he is away, leave a voicemail with your phone number and he will call you back ASAP.

John is keeping track of the names of the seminarians and their hat sizes. My involvement would only get in the way of the process. Don’t write to me.

Let’s encourage these men.

Call John and buy a biretta for a seminarian.  It’s as easy as that.

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , | 10 Comments


In a story via the ESO and APOD I have read about


That cool sounding name is the newly spotted planet orbiting the very closest star to your planet other than your yellow sun.  Proxima Centauri can’t be seen with your unaided human eyes, unlike the brighter cousins Alpha Centauri AB.  Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf.  Proxima b orbits at some 5% Earth/Sun distance, so it is closer to its sun than Mercury is to your yellow ball.  However, since it is relatively cool, it is in a distance zone that could permit water.  Being only some 4 lightyears out, it is within range of relatively real-time communication, with a turn around time of only 8 years and change.

This has me thinking about the book by Michael O’Brien Voyage To Alpha Centauri, in which the author makes his remarkably able first foray into sic fi.  US HERE – UK HERE  Or read it on a Kindle.

There are some pretty harrowing points in O’Brien’s book… harrowing to anyone paying attention to what is going on here and now, that is.   As with most of his books, he could stand to listen to an editor a bit more.  But it is a great read.

Proxima b!

I have a short story in my head already.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Screwtape’s letter to Bitterwench

C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters!  Oft’ imitated.  Never really rivaled.

If you haven’t read this book yet…. what on your planet at you waiting for?!?


My favorite method to absorb Lewis’ window is the audiobook reading by John Cleese.  Imagine: John Cleese as Screwtape.    UK audio cassettes HERE

Some of the imitations of the Letters are pretty good.  I have in mind especially Peter Kreeft’s valiant attempt.  US HERE UK HERE

However, I was notified about the effort at the blog Mercy For Marthas (which I admit I had not seen before… how many blogs are there, I wonder…).   This time, nasty old Screwtape has written to a demon named Bitterwench who as as a patient a homeschooling mother.

I don’t follow many mommy bloggers, mind you.  Yes, that’s a term.  I rather enjoy One Mad Mom. Some mommy bloggers really need to be… expunged… if you get my recent reference.  This one, however, is pretty good.  Go spike her stats and see her essay into the genre of Screwtapism.

And, she has twist on the Letters in the form of an intercepted angelic, not demonicletter.  Check it out.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Benedict explains more about why he abdicated

From Crux we find some information from Pope Benedict about why he abdicated.  On 30 August in Italy, an Italian biography of Benedict will be release.  He did an interview head of this biography release.  However, his book/interview will be released

In an interview as part of a new biography set for an Aug. 30 release in Italy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI once again knocks down speculation about the motives for his resignation, saying it was solely because he was tired and unable to take up another grueling international trip.

ROME- Ever since February 28, 2013, when emeritus Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly, and in Latin, announced his resignation, theories regarding why became too numerous to count: scandals over leaked confidential documents, his health, an alleged “gay lobby” in the Vatican, and so on.
Benedict said at the time he was stepping down because he was 86 and lacked the strength to continue with his mission of leading an institution present in every corner of the world, with over 1.2 billion members.
In a recent interview he expanded on that explanation, adding more details. Among other things, he said that his March 2012 trip to Mexico and Cuba had taken such a toll that he knew he’d be incapable of making another grueling international trip. He says he agreed with his doctor it’d be better if he didn’t make such a demanding outing.
He had one looming: A July 2013 trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to lead millions of youth from around the world in a week-long festival known as World Youth Day in July 2013. Hence he saw it as his “duty” to resign from the papacy, sooner rather than later after his return from Mexico and Cuba.
That snippet was shared by the emeritus pope himself in an interview with Italian Elio Guerrero, author of the upcoming book “Servant of God and Humanity: The biography of Benedict XVI.” It’ll be released in Italian on August 30, and no date for an English publication has yet been announced.
The book includes not only a preface by Pope Francis, but also an interview Guerrero had with Benedict.


I, for one, would like to know what he has to say.  Would that he will be able to keep saying things for a long time.

I miss him.

US Hardcover – HERE
UK Hardcover – HERE
US Paperback – HERE 
UK Paperback  – not yet

Posted in Benedict XVI | Tagged | 42 Comments

Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, ready war.

Sometimes Leon Trotsky is given credit for saying that you might not be interested in war but war is interested in you.  He didn’t say that, exactly, but it is nevertheless true.

I have not infrequently challenged you readers to be ready and to get readier for sudden reversals of fortune and for what I think are inevitable long-term struggles, both on the general, human level and on the level of our being members of the Catholic Church.

At the same time I as I been pushing the old semper paratus line, the old “Si vis pacem, para bellum” line, some folks out there in the wider interwebs have been snuffling and sniveling and wringing their hands over bellicose imagery, hard stands, adherence to standards and – forehand – doctrine and law.  They moan that the time for being culture “warriors” is over, nay rather, that such militant attitudes are counter-productive and, well, just not very nice.

To these I say: “Nuts!”

My friend, the awake and watchful Msgr. Charles Pope has written something which must be read.  HERE

Please take note of this sample and then read the rest there:

Comfort Catholicism Has to Go; It is Time to Prepare for Persecution

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well.

There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.

It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.

Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.

But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”

But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.


Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.

More than ever we need to shift toward being distinctive from the culture we have refused to critique and call to reform. More than ever our faith needs to shine brightly and clearly in our churches and communities.

And if a world now accustomed to great darkness calls our light harsh, so be it. If our light does not shine, there is no light at all. Our Catholic faith is the sole and last hope for this world. It has always been so.

Simply put, it is time for clergy to prepare themselves and God’s people for sacrifice. Seeking to compromise with this culture is now unthinkable. Our only recourse is to seek to lance the boils. And the culture will cry foul. And we who do the lancing will be made increasingly to suffer. But we have to be willing to embrace and endure such suffering in increasing ways in the months and years ahead.

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well. We must study our faith and be more committed than ever. We must also know our enemy and his tactics, and we must be prepared to suffer — and even to lose our life.

We have to retool and provide every opportunity to get clear about our faith. Sermons and other teachable moments must sound a clear call to personal conversion and to battle for souls and to stop treating lightly the sinful disregard for God’s law in our families and communities.

Our bishops especially need to shift into another mode entirely. Collectively and currently they seem more interested in protecting what little we have left, than summoning the Catholic people to battle. Priests too seem loath to summon people to anything challenging or uncomfortable. The image of Peter trying to keep Christ from the Cross comes to mind. Peter said, “This shall never be for you!” And the Lord severely rebuked him saying that he was thinking as man, not God, and was in the service of Satan.


I will say it AGAIN.

Among the things we must do – now – urgently – is revitalize our liturgical worship of God. This is a sine qua non for anything else we hope to accomplish in our Church and in society at large. Even if we want simply to fight a holding action, a defense war for the nonce, our greatest bulwark, our stone wall, is our liturgical worship of God. If we adopt the “Benedict Option” or the “Dominic Option” or another option… we must root its begins and continuation in our liturgical worship of God.

I think that one of the great “weapons” – remember that a sword and an AR-15 are also defensive – we Roman Catholics have is the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite. We must revive and revitalize it, restore it to prominence, pick it up and shine it up, polish it and hone it, clean, oil and adjust it, get it sighted in and then use it until it is an extension of our hand, mind and heart. It can be used side by side with other magnificent tools of our Catholic identity, other rites and rituals, other Rites of our sister Churches. But it must take its prominent place in our armory, for this is a time of war.

Back to Msgr. Pope for a moment:

It is time, past time, to retool. It is time to prepare for persecutions that will get bolder by the month and year. The dark movements that marched in under the banners of tolerance never meant it. And having increasingly gained power, they are seeking to criminalize anyone who resists their vision. No tolerance for us. Religious liberty is eroding, and compulsory compliance is already here. The federal courts increasingly shift to militantly secular and activist judges who legislate from the bench.

When will we as a Church finally say to the bureaucrats who demand we comply with evil laws: “We will not comply. If you fine us we will not pay. If you seek to confiscate our buildings, we will turn maximum publicity against you, but we still will not comply. If you arrest us, off to jail we go! But we will simply not comply with evil laws or cooperate with evil.”

Right now, most of us can barely imagine our clergy standing so firm. Quiet compromises and jargon-filled “solutions” will be a grave temptation to a Church ill-prepared for persecution.

The older form of Mass formed the priests and laity of the missions to 16th c. Japan, to the cities and countrysides of 18th c. France, 20th c. Mexico and Spain, among others.

I ask you: Is the preaching at your parish and the teaching in your parochial schools readying you for what is coming? Is the liturgical worship you experience forming burning hearts and backbones of adamant?

One of the element of one talk I give at conferences, etc., is that if way Holy Mass is regularly offered where you are isn’t preparing you for your death, then it is failing. The plain fact is that, even though Christ defeated the Enemy and Death once for all time, we still have to war against the Enemy, who wars on us, and we still have to die. We can mask our “daily winter”, as Augustine calls it, our fear of death in many ways. We can distract ourselves and we can soften the edges of the facts of life around us until they are fuzzy and meaningless. What we need as a remedy for our fear of death are hard and apophatic elements in our worship, which is the locus of our encounter with Mystery which transforms us, carries us across our fear into awe. Our worship must break us out of distraction and slumber and bring us to awe at transcendence, in that which is frightening yet alluring.

Dear friend, if you are not interested in all this war talk, I firmly think that war is still interested in you.

Years ago, I asked an American bishop what he thought about the state of the Church. “TERRIBLE!”, he rumbled. “What”, I asked, “should we do about it?” “The first thing we have to do is stop blowing happy gas at everyone!”… or words to that effect.

We was, of course, right.

Please give some time to Msgr. Pope’s article.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Cri de Coeur, Fr. Z KUDOS, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Monstrous Soros spent $650K to tame US bishops

In one of the pretty good Musketeers of the ’70s, Card. Richelieu (Charlton Heston) is hoist on his own petard because of a carte blanche letter he gave to the femme fatale Milady. He does a momentary half face palm and in resignation says to D’Artagnan, “One must be careful of what one writes… and to whom one gives it”.  Thus he is in that moment the ironic embodiment of scripta manent.

And so we fast forward into the age of email.

We are hearing a lot about e-pistularum commercia right now.

LifeSite reports that devious agent of Hell George Soros spent 650k to influence bishops when the Pope visited these USA.

Soros (spit here) wanted to try to create a movement against bishops who didn’t line up with the opinions voiced by Francis that Soros favored.

Check it out to see which (non US) Cardinal – a close advisor of Pope Francis – is mentioned and which US bishops are also given some attention.


BREAKING: Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

August 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.” The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included, “Buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

The monies were granted to two US entities that have been engaged in a long-term project, according to the report, of shifting “the priorities of the US Catholic church.” Grantees were PICO, a faith-based community organizing group, and Faith in Public Life (FPL), a progressive group working in media to promote left-leaning ‘social justice’ causes. Soros has funded left-wing causes the world over and was just found to have been funding an effort to eliminate pro-life laws around the globe.


The post operative report on the funding to influence the papal visit comes in the 2016 report entitled, Review Of 2015 U.S. Opportunities Fund. The Soros group was pleased with the result of their campaign and saw statements by various bishops against presidental candidates who are using “fearmongering” – likely a reference to the GOP lineup, and perhaps Trump specifically – as one outcome of their efforts. “The impact of this work and the relationships it has fostered can be seen in the broad range of religious leaders hitting pointedly back at presidential candidates for their use of fearmongering,” the report said.

Additionally, the summary report says their funding was helpful to counter “anti-gay rhetoric” in the media.


While it is always a bit of a shock to see names in print in these sorts of stories, it isn’t always a huge surprise.

I’ll bet this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 16 Comments

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 | 8 Comments

ACTION ITEM: Prayers after Earthquake near Norcia, Italy


For the time being, the monks of Norcia have moved down to Rome and are at the Benedictine community on the Aventine Hill, Sant’Anselmo.

Today the Great Roman Fabrizio texted to say that they will be singing for Mass on Sunday at SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini!   This is the traditional Rite, FSSP parish in the City.

Apparently the monks left a couple guys behind to look after things.


Last night as I was turning in another friend in Rome texted that he could feel aftershocks… again.


A couple photos from inside the church.

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


16_08_23_earthquakeFrom 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 , | 19 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 , , , , , , | 14 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 , , | 61 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 , , , , | 18 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


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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