Spain Day 1: Jerónimo and Real Deal

I’m in a city and country I’ve never visited.

Madrid, Spain.

We got in late so we only had a couple snacks.

This morning it was off to the Prado, by way of the nearby church San Jerónimo el Real.


A glimpse inside.

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I confess to sneaking a photo in the Prado.

Here’s a mighty fine Death of Lucretia by Rosales.   He was influential in the development of history paintings.


Given that this is the Year of Mercy… HERE is Mercy, friends.   This is what TRUTH did for us.

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The next point…

I know next to nothing about Madrid.

However, later in the week…. BULL FIGHT!

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Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 17 Comments

Goals for Faithful Catholics in this time of confusion

A theologian friend feeds me stuff which I occasionally share here with some editing and editorializing.


Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a talk in Rome on May 7. I couldn’t attend, but the great organization, Voice of the Family, who ran the event, have made the speech and a video of it available.  HERE

In his talk, Cardinal Burke had this challenge for all of us:

“I think of so many faithful who express to me their profound concerns for the Church in the present time, when there seems to be so much confusion about fundamental dogmatic and moral truths. In responding to their concerns, I urge them to deepen their understanding of the constant teaching and discipline of the Church and to make their voices heard, [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] so that the shepherds of the flock may understand the urgent need to announce again with clarity and courage the truths of the faith and to apply again with charity and firmness the discipline needed to safeguard the same truths.”

It seems to me that what Cardinal Burke is calling for is two-fold. [NB] The faithful (clergy and laity) should first educate themselves about fundamental dogmatic and moral truths, and secondly they should speak up to bishops in favor of clear, faithful teaching. Let your bishops hear from you. Kasperite bishops have to hear that their line is not shared by the faithful, and Catholic bishops have to hear our support. Generally speaking, conservatives in the Catholic Church are not as good at organizing as are liberals. We need to turn this around.

That last point needs to be underscored. Libs organize better, they show up, they know how to use the system, they work work work work work for their goals. And it is seems that the “Olympian Middle” is veering more and more into the liberal camp as they test the breezes.

One thing I have called for and desired for years here in the Catholic blogosphere is for a halt to the petty squabbling that can prevent those of a more traditional bent to close ranks and create a more united front.

Some of you know who I mean.

Isn’t it time?

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | 7 Comments

Rome – Day 5-6: Processions and Purgatories

The last few days have been a busy blur. But here are a few images from the blur.

First, a shot of the interior of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It is a rare Gothic church, in the hands the hands of the Dominicans, near the Pantheon. Bernini’s famous little elephant is just outside.


Over at Sant’Agostino, at the tomb of Monica, the mother of Augustine of Hippo.  The woman praying there was pretty focused.


At the little “Purgatory Church” on the banks of the Tiber, there are some items which show the “touch” of pugatorians.


In Santa Maria del Popolo, the chapel where two painting by Caravaggio are found, the Crucifixion of Peter and the Conversion of Paul.


I was on the steps of San Carlo ai Catinari and … here came a procession from S. Maria in Campitelli.


It was a little disorganized, but that happens.


At supper, we were given this.


And I was given that.  Rabbit, of course.


For the Eucharistic Procession at Ss. Trinita dei Pelegrini, here is the “macchina”.


I gave a friend my camera and he got some great action photos.

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After the procession, it was off to pack and hop a ride to another country.




Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 5 Comments

WDTPRS – Corpus Christi: I affirm my subjugation to Christ vanquisher of hell and my sins.

In the traditional Roman calendar for the 1962 Missale Romanum Thursday (I am posting late) is Corpus Domini, or Corpus Christi.

In the Novus Ordo many people are celebrating Corpus Christi on Sunday (which is really suppose to fall on the Thursday before).  This gives more people a chance to participate.  I don’t object as much to the transference of Corpus Christi to Sunday as I do to the appalling removal of Ascension Thursday to Sunday.  Ascension Thursday is, after all, Scriptural and of very ancient observance.  Corpus Christi is relatively new, modern even: it comes only from the 13th century.

In any event, there can be “external” celebration of Corpus Christi on Sunday in the Extraordinary Form as well.

ASIDE: Attached here is a photo I took a few years ago in the Vatican Gardens during a Corpus Christi procession.  That great edifice in the background is back of St. Peter’s Basilica.  It isn’t often you get Swiss Guards to carry the canopy.

In 1246, Robert of Thourotte, Bishop of Liège, Belgium, had instituted in his diocese the feast now known as Corpus Christi at the request of an Augustinian nun Juliana of Cornillon, who composed an office for it.  In 1264, Pope Urban IV ordered the feast of the Body of Christ to be celebrated as a holy day of obligation for the universal Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday and accepted the texts by the Angelic Doctor for the Mass and office.

At the request of an Augustinian nun, Juliana of Cornillon, in 1246 the Bishop of Liège, Robert of Thourotte, instituted in his diocese a feast now known as Corpus Christi.  A few years later, following a great Eucharistic miracle in which a priest suffering doubts witnessed a Host become flesh and bleed on the linen corporal, Pope Urban IV n 1264 ordered the feast of the Body of Christ to be celebrated by the universal Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.  The Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas (d 1274), composed the feast’s Mass and Office.  The Collect for today’s Mass, also used during Benediction, was assumed into the 1570 Missale Romanum.  It has remained unchanged.

Deus, qui nobis sub sacramento mirabili passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti, tribue, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus.

Iugiter, an adverb, is from iugum, “a yoke or collar for horses”, “beam, lath, or rail fastened in a horizontal direction to perpendicular poles or posts, a cross-beam”.  Iugiter means “continuously”, as if one moment in time is being yoked together with the next, and the next, and so on.


O God, who bequeathed to us under a wondrous sacrament the memorial of Your Passion, grant to us, we implore, to venerate the sacred mysteries of Your Body and Blood in such a way that we constantly sense within us the fruit of Your redemption.


O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption.

In the 1980’s we seminarians were informed with a superior sneer that, “Jesus said ‘Take and eat, not sit and look!’”  Somehow, “looking” was opposed to “receiving”, “doing”.  This same error is at the root of false propositions about “active participation”: if people aren’t constantly singing or carrying stuff they are “passive”.

Younger people no longer have that baggage, happily.  They desire the all good things of our Catholic patrimony.  They want as much as Holy Church can give.  They resist passé attempts to make Jesus “smaller”.

After the Second Vatican Council, many liturgists (all but a few?) asserted that, because modern man is all grown up now, Eucharistic devotions are actually harmful rather than helpful.  We mustn’t crawl in submission before God anymore.  We won’t grovel in archaic triumphal processions or kneel as if before some king.  We are urbane adults, not child-like peasants below a father or feudal master.  We stand and take rather than kneel and receive.

How this lie has damaged our Catholic identity!  Some details of society have changed like shifting sandbars, but man doesn’t change.  God remains transcendent. We poor, fallen human beings need concrete things through which we can perceive invisible realities.

The bad old days of post-Conciliar denigration of wholesome devotional practices may linger, but the aging-hippie priests and liberal liturgists have lost most of their ground under the two-fold pincer of common sense and the genuine Catholic love people have for Jesus in the Eucharist. The customs of Corpus Christi processions, Forty Hours Devotion, and Eucharistic Adoration are returning in force.

People want and need these devotions.  They help us to be better Catholic Christians through contact with Christ and through giving public witness to our faith.

The iugum (whence iugiter) was a symbol for defeat and slavery.  A victorious Roman general compelled the vanquished to pass under a yoke (sub iugum, “subjugate”) made of spears.  Prisoners were later yoked together and paraded in the returning general’s triumph procession.

In worldly terms, crosses and yokes are instruments of bitter humiliation.

Jesus says His yoke is “sweet” and “light”.

Christ invites us to learn His ways through the image of His yoke upon our shoulders (Matthew 11:29-30).  True freedom lies precisely in subjugation to Him.  His yokes are sweet yokes.  He did not defeat us to give us His yoke. He defeated death in us to raise us by His yoke.  In honoring the Blessed Sacrament we proclaim with the Triumphant Victor Christ, “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” (cf 1 Cor 15:54b – 57).

Proponents of true “liberation theology” take Christ the Liberator into the public square. In the sight of onlookers, we march in His honor, profess His gift of salvation, and kneel before Him.

We cannot honor enough this pledge of our future happiness in heaven, the Body and Precious Blood of Christ.

I affirm my subjugation to Christ, Victor over death, hell and my sins.  Before the Eucharist, Jesus my God and King, I am content to kneel until with His own hand He raises me.

Posted in Classic Posts, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Your Corpus Christi sermon, procession notes

What happened where you are for Corpus Christi, or Corpus Domini as it is called in some places, the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord?

Was there a procession?

Was there a good point made in the sermon?

Let us know.

For my part, I will be in a procession in the streets of Rome today.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 45 Comments

Brick By Brick in Ohio

From a reader…

Back in December you posted a Brick-by-Brick report about the TLM returning to Athens, OH (HERE) and I just wanted to update you that Fr. Jonas Shell continues to celebrate the TLM weekly on Saturday mornings with a regular attendance of about 20 individuals of various ages. Of particular excitement, however, is that this past Thursday, May 26, Fr. Shell celebrated a High TLM for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Close to 100 individuals attended! Fr. Jonas worked hard for several months to plan and organize this, from training altar servers to forming and preparing a schola that chanted the Ordinaries of the Mass.
This was the first High TLM that I have experienced and I was overcome with awe at how it directs one’s body, mind and soul towards the real focus of the Mass, that is, the re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His Real Presence in the Eucharist before us. Indeed, I’m struggling to find words to express what I experienced that evening – “beautiful” falls flat in describing it. As a graduate student at Ohio University, it is a tremendous joy to have this gift of the TLM with a zealous young priest to revive its celebration here in Ohio. I consider myself truly blessed to be able to participate in this great mystery!

God bless you and your work!

At a certain point, you have to take it to the next level.

Again, Fr. Z kudos to them all.

And ¡Hagan lío!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged | 4 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Survey on Deaconettes! Please help.

In the wake of Pope Francis mentioning a “study” about deaconettes (which I think was already done – but, as they say, “Quis sum ego ut iudicem.”) one of you alert readers alerted me to a survey that the women’s ordination crowd has put up on the interwebs.

It is from the inimitable Future Church!


I think we should all be as supportive and as helpful as possible, don’t you?

The intro to the survey says:

With the potential for a new discussion about women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church, we want to hear from you.

Do you support women deacons? Do you have concerns? Do you feel called or are you discerning a call to the permanent diaconate? Could you recommend other women for this ministry?

Please complete our survey. Twenty-three questions are designed to be answered by both women and men to gauge the level of support for women deacons.  Seven additional questions are directed to women only and inquire about their personal/communal sense of calling to the permanent diaconate.  The * symbol indicates  questions with required answers.

Be careful with Q 5:

5. Please choose the option that most closely describes how you IDENTIFY:


If the Obama Administration and Dems in general are right, you might have to think about that for a long time… and you might be wrong, whichever you choose.   Frankly, I’m surprised there weren’t more options.

Take note of Category 5 in particular:

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There are quite a few questions under 5.    Some of them are a bit dodgy.  For example: they ask if we have questions or concerns about various things.   Most of us, however, probably don’t have questions or concerns about the impact of deaconettes: I’m quite certain that it would be bad.

Anyway, you decide.  Just read the questions carefully and, above all, have fun!

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Liberals, POLLS | Tagged , , | 69 Comments

Rome – Day 3-4: Anniversary and guts

First, just a nice image from the new camera I am using. The photos are great, but it is a little clunky to get them from the camera to the blog in a timely manner.


One of my errands on this trip involved the acquisition of tassels for the dalmatics of the Roman vestments we have back in Madison.

I decided on these, which will go with every color that we have.   Each dalmatic, at this point only for the deacon and subdeacon, will have four, two that hang down from the shoulders and two more that cross the back and hand down in the middle.  Eventually I’ll get some for the assisting deacons.


My bonsai tree guys in the Via dei Coronari!  HERE

Here is a shot from the chapel immediately behind the tomb of St. Philip Neri on my anniversary of ordination.   The vestment is one of 12 that were made at the time of the canonization of the saint.  One of them is on St. Philip’s body now.


At the altar in his rooms (upstairs – where it is no longer possible to say Mass – a ridiculous decision by the Oratorians) there is a piece of his precordium.

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One of the benefits of Rome on the Feast of St. Philip Neri: strawberries!

These are the little “forest strawberries”, about as big as the end of your finger.  They are, right now, perfect.   Here they are dressed with a touch of lemon and sugar.


Every restaurant should have a table full of fish.


Vitello tonnato, good for a hot day.


This was interesting.   It is a kind of caccio et pepe, but with mentuccia and black truffle.


Along the street with lots of clerical shops.    Wow… no… just…. no.

We had a private tour of San Clemente from one of the Dominicans who is a reader here.   He gave us a great visit and showed some things that people don’t generally get to see.  Alas, I can’t post photos of a lot of it.  But here is a shot of the courtyard in front of the basilica, which is much like the most ancient church’s courtyard.


Here is an amazing shot from a balcony.


And here’s another shot during supper with the same priest.  I was pleased to find rigatoni con la pajata, which involves veal intestine.  Yum.  This is a Roman classic.

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Meanwhile, I’ve had meetings with the Commandant of the Swiss Guard and Card. Burke, and a wonderful anniversary supper with about a dozen friends at Lo Scarpone on the Gianicolo, which concluded with cigars.

I’ll keep those to myself.

Posted in In The Wild, On the road | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Some ‘Amoris laetitia’ news

I have had notes from priests and from personnel in tribunals saying that people are saying, in effect, “Forget about our annulment case.  Pope Francis says what we are doing is okay.”   Some report as well that even in confession they are getting this sort of thing (without revealing anything specific about any confession, of course, quod Deus avertat).

As I wrote before, Amoris laetitia, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation that has such a troubling 8th chapter, will be misapplied by those who were already inclined to heterodoxy and antinomianism.   I’m afraid that, in many cases, it may be accelerating and helpful to proliferate problems.   Without strong leadership, we will have some real problems which I doubt we will solve in the lifetimes of those who could be putting their souls in peril.

That said…

From the SSPX news and events email:

Fr. Alain Lorans, Editor of DICI comments on a “celebration” inspired by Amoris Laetitia happening in Chicoutimi, Canada.

In a bulletin from St. Anne Chicoutimi parish in Canada this past April we can see the real effects of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Celebration of Fidelity, which up to now celebrated the silver and gold anniversaries of couples in this formerly Catholic parish in Quebec, was replaced by a “Celebration of Love” announced as follows:

We now wish to welcome all couples who want to celebrate their love and renew their commitment to each other, regardless of the type of their commitment (Catholic marriage, civil marriage, common-law or same-sex partners) and regardless of how many years (1 year, 8 years, 25 years, 57 years, 62 years). We consider any couple’s commitment important.”

Let’s be clear: this is not a celebration of love, but rather the egalitarian celebration of sacramental marriage, legal cohabitation, free unions and homosexual relationships. All couples are put on the same level, all presumably having the same exemplary value.

This is not a celebration of love, it is the love of celebration in itself and for its own sake, devoid of all objective content. All that matters is personal commitment, subjective feeling, and sincerity liberated from the Gospel truth of marriage.

This is how the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is put into practice in real life. No longer “The Joy of Love”, but the love of joy, emancipated from the Gospel truth of marriage. A sad joy.

Source: DICI no. 336, 27/05/16

Next, the SSPX raised enough money to be able to buy the former convent in Winona, MN, which they have been using as a seminary for many years… without a mortgage.

Comment moderation is ON, of course.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

More on the question of deaconettes

I direct the readership to look at a piece in First Things:


hen Pope Francis announced his willingness to appoint a commission to study whether women can serve as deacons in the Catholic Church, my first thought was: Here we go!

And sure enough, FutureChurch, the liberal Catholic organization that has subtly pushed for the ordination of women to the hitherto all-male Catholic priesthood, not only praised Francis for his statement but announced its intention to set up a website, sponsor a retreat for women feeling the “call” to become deacons, and, clearly most important of all, lobby the U.S. bishops to start pestering Rome about opening the diaconate to the female sex. The less subtle Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) faulted Francis for not going all the way and opening the priesthood to women, but it did offer him some limited praise: “WOC advocates that a new commission on the diaconate include discussions on priestly ordination for women in the Roman Catholic Church.”

The “discussions” WOC has in mind seem to be historical in nature. In its press statement, WOC invokes “historical evidence” of the existence of “several women deacons” in the early Church and asserts that, in ordaining women deacons, the Vatican would merely be “recognizing its own history.”

But a look at that history may cause us to doubt whether the aspiring women deacons of today really are in line with the historical Christian women they claim as their forebears.


As you can imagine, there’s more.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 15 Comments