ACTION ITEM! Please support Our Lady of Hope Clinic – MATCHING GRANT

Sometimes people have a hard time finding causes to support.  I have a few organizations which I trust 100% for my own charitable giving.

This is one of them that I admire.

Our Lady of Hope Clinic.  This is a CATHOLIC clinic, that practices medicine in keeping with the teachings of the Church.

RIGHT NOW… they have a “matching grant” going on.  Every TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to the clinic from now to the end of the year will be matched, so your donation does double duty.

I have written about Our Lady of Hope Clinic before.  This is one of the worthiest causes I have seen for a while and it could use your help, wherever you are.

Read more HERE and HERE

This could be a new model for health care in a rapidly changing – disintegrating – time.  The “Affordable” Care Act really… isn’t.  Even if Congress and the Trump administration is able to take this disaster in hand, we still have big problems and the poor are always with us.

They have a DONATION page.

Please tell them Fr. Z sent you.

Contact Julie Jensen, Director of Development, at, or by calling (608) 957-1137.

In the clinic you see a sign on the wall explaining that
“Our Lady of Hope Clinic practices medicine consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church”

Therefore, they will not refer for abortion, prescribe contraception, refer for sterilization, refer for in vitro fertilization, etc.


“We will practice in complete accord with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”

I suggest that it is a model that may be duplicated in other places, especially as the chaos really starts to begin in healthcare in these USA.

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28 November 2017 – @MadisonDiocese – Confirmation in the Traditional Rite

confirmation_tradHis Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, has graciously consented to confer the sacrament of Confirmation according to the traditional form of the Roman Rite on the evening of Tuesday, 28 November 2017 at St. Mary’s Church in Pine Bluff, WI.

Bishop Morlino understands that there may be some confirmands from outside of the Diocese of Madison.  However, the opportunity is intended primarily for subjects of the Diocese of Madison.  Anyone outside the diocese should take care that they consult properly and cordially with their local pastors.

Anyone who is interested in being confirmed, should quickly take steps to make contact and send the proper information no later than 20 November[If you rush NOW you might be able to do this.]

If you are interested in confirmation for yourself or for your child, please take note of this letter from Bp. Morlino. Click  HERE

If you have not been confirmed, consider the graces you are offered in this wonderful sacrament.

From last year

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Posted in Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“The ‘uniform’ clued her in to what was happening.”

From a reader:

I wanted to let you know of something beautiful that happened just before my mother Alice passed away three weeks ago.  [Let us all pray for Alice and her family.  “Eternal rest grant…”]

Suffice it to say that she had been sick a long time, with dementia, heart problems, and kidney failure, the latter of which was the proximate cause of her death.

While in the hospital the week of October 8th, I decided to have her anointed. The priest who came did not know of her dementia, or of her severe hearing problem. Additionally, she had not called me her son in several months, referring to me as her brother.

Upon seeing the priest enter the room, she smiled. Not knowing of her hearing problems, he asked if she wanted him to hear her confession. She said yes! I left and returned later afterward. She then followed along through the rest of the anointing, and received communion, all while apparently understanding what was happening. After the priest left, she called me her son, and told me that she wished it was over. I had just a few minutes with her before she re-entered the fog of her dementia.

She passed peacefully on November 4th at the age of 88.

I tell you this because I believe it was the ‘uniform’ that clued her in to what was happening. Please make it a point to remind priests and seminarians to wear their collar and ‘uniform’ whenever possible. You never know when you, as a priest, may be the occasion of grace for someone because the person recognized you because of the ‘uniform’.

Yes, Fathers, clothing makes a difference.

This reminded me of an encounter in a hospital with a Hungarian man who was in extremis.  When he saw me come in, he became very agitated, because he knew why I was there.  He had slipped away from any use of English, and Hungarian is not one of my strong languages.  When I began prayers in Latin, he immediately calmed down, joined in with Aves and Pater Noster and made some responses.

This also ties into to the need to teach children prayer by heart, memory, by rote.   Once they are in there, they are theirs.


ACTION ITEM! 100 Cassocks for 100 Seminarians

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Shhhh! Don’t tell Beans about the Monitum against Teilhard

From Massimo “Beans” Faggioli today:


What Beans doesn’t understand is that the Pontifical Council for Culture (soon to be extinct) recognizes that there is a Monitum against Teilhard!

Perhaps this news (and tweet) will alert others who should know that it exists.

And by the way, if the Monitum were inert anyway, as so many liberals claim, why would the PCC draw attention to it and ask that it be revoked?


Don’t tell anyone, especially the libs.  As they stagger drunkenly once again into their celebratory conga line – which looks a bit incongruous in their Mao Suits – they draw more attention to the fact that the strange Jesuit’s writings contained

“such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine”.

If they were ambiguous then and seriously erroneous then… they still are.

In 1981, when the same Council observed the 100th anniversary of the Jesuit’s birth, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reminded everyone about the Monitum and said that it was still in force.

Oh yes, Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit.


Yes… this isn’t exactly a surprise.

If it’s twisted and a little weird, it’s sure to garner full-throated support from certain corners.

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A priest takes his parish EAST. AD ORIENTEM!

I found a priest’s blog with a charming name: Father Talks Too Fast

Back in October Fr. Joseph Faulkner preached a sermon about ad orientem worship. It’s a little weird at first, but he gets good points across.  He posted the audio of the sermon.

Fr Faulkner also posted his explanation of what he’s up to.

“I Wish I Had a Hat” — Ad Orientem
This weekend we inaugurated ad orientem worship at St. Wenceslaus—that is to say, the priest and the people face the same direction at Eucharistic Prayer. We are going to do this as a spiritual exercise for at least a year. There were about ten more things I wanted to say, but the homily was already nineteen minutes long. I will post more later in this blog and in our bulletin.

If you are skeptical about this practice or even frustrated by it, I encourage you to read or listen to this homily slowly and prayerfully. And then I encourage you to experience it. Many a person has thought they were going to hate it but once they gave it a chance they even preferred it.

He has a follow up, to which he links.

Father is pastor in… I’m not making this up… WAHOO, Nebraska.

Moving back to ad orientem worship is urgently needed.  We MUST revitalize our sacred liturgical worship.  This is the key to the renewal of our Catholic identity and, hence, our effectiveness in the world around us as individuals and as a Church functioning in the wider world.

Out of appreciation for his efforts, I’ve sent Father one of my coffee mugs.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , | 5 Comments



First and foremost
We are all in this together.  Many people read this blog.  That means many people can pray for each other’s needs.  Always check this feature, which I link on the top menu.
REMINDER: Registration, passwords, moderation
Here are some recent posts.  They scroll off the front page quickly.

Next, many thanks to all of you who have donated, either occasionally or by means of the monthly subscription.  I haven’t been tallying the donations or listing abbreviations lately, because I’ve been up to my neck.  I hope to start that again.  However, I do keep track of all of you.

I will next say Holy Mass for my benefactors on Wednesday 22 November (St. Cecilia – MEMORIAL of Bl. Miguel Pro, Martyr).

It is my pleasure and duty to pray for benefactors.

On the CHALLENGE COIN front, just after I sent one to MS of NY, I received a nice one yesterday from AS of ON.


always use my Amazon search box for your shopping.

Remember to come here to order your MYSTIC MONK COFFEE

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Do you have your 2018 Ordo?

It’s that time of year again.

Time to get your 2018 ORDO.

The new liturgical year begins with Advent on 3 December.canons

“Ordo” is a short way of referring to the booklet called Ordo divini officii recitandi sacrique peragendi” or else “Ordo Missae CElebrandae et divini officii persolvendi…” etc.  In other words, the book tells you what Mass and Office to say each day and what your options are.  It is an indispensable tool.  Each diocese or region has

The Canons at St. John Cantius in Chicago sent me their copy for the Usus Antiquior first, so they get the first mention.  (Take THAT Angelus Press!)

They have included many helpful things in the back of the book, including special prayers, such as the Consecration to be prayed on the Feast of Christ the King.

Here is an English translation of the super important De Defectibus, from the front of the Missale Romanum.

Can English be used?   This tells you how.

How loud can Father be and when?

A fine old custom returning to use.

And, yes, permanent deacons are deacons.

As you can see there are all sorts of goodies in the back.  That is a sampling.

Get your Ordo before Advent, which is coming up fast.



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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Summorum Pontificum in KOREAN

This came in with the huge email bag this morning.

I’m a Canadian living in Korea and I go to the once-a-month TLM every chance I get. I was hoping you could post a link to the Korean translation of Summorum Pontificum from the Korean Bishops Conference on your blog:

Since you have such a large readership, it might help other Koreans (especially priests) find such documents. Sadly the bishops aren’t too keen on it. There is also an audio version here:

And of course most important of all please pray for the success of the TLM in Korea (and if you could make a visit here to offer mass!). Take care. God Bless.

I would very much like to visit Korea some day and meet the traditional community there.

Also, for those interested in Korean, there is a Korean version of the Internet Prayer available.

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Posted in SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , | 1 Comment

10 Questions for Bishops. Can’t answer? Then perhaps this isn’t your strongest suit.

Originally posted on: Nov 20, 2017 @ 11:03

In my text chats one of my interlocutors proposed:

“Get someone from ACTON INSTITUTE to make a list of 10 questions that any bishop or priest should be able to answer correctly BEFORE opining about economic justice.”

“Great idea!”, quoth I.  “Let’s see what we can come up with! ‘¡Hagan lío!’, after all.”

I put on my thinking cap and spoke with someone who writes about economic issues and came up with the following list.

  • What function do prices play in an economy?
  • What role does the Federal Reserve play in the American economy?
  • What are the three functions of money?
  • What is competitive advantage?
  • What is the average consumption of GDP by governments in OECD countries?
  • In what time period did capitalism first emerge?
  • What is moral hazard and how does it shape economic decision-making?
  • What percentage of taxes are paid by the specific tax bands in the United States? And, by the way, do you know how long the tax code in the United States is?
  • How do you create wealth?

There.  Just a few questions.  They’ll prompt me to review.

By they way… if you haven’t seen the Poverty Cure series and then Poverty Inc. you are in for an eye-opening experience.  These would be great to show to… a lot of people.

Poverty Cure


Poverty Inc.


Powerful stuff.


And this video just arrived in my box. It seems to be related.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

OLDIE POST Hell and the Enemy exist. Priests and bishops who don’t teach about them will probably wind up there.

Originally posted in 2012.  I think it still pertains.


Before anything else, let it be said that, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13)


The greatest accomplishment of the Enemy of our souls is to deceive people that the Enemy doesn’t exist … that there is no Hell … that people can’t go to Hell … that no one is in Hell, blah blah blah.

Let’s be clear about this.  Catholics are obliged to believe in the existence of the Devil and of Hell.  These are de fide doctrines taught by the Church without the possibility of error.

The Devil exists.  Fallen angels hate you with a malice no human can imagine.  They have an intellect that surpasses our mere human faculties in a way that we can’t fathom.   They never tire.  They are relentless.  They are real.  If you don’t believe in the existence of malicious fallen angels, you are in serious risk of joining them in Hell.  This is no joke.

Hell is real.   In Hell, the damned suffer the pain of sense and the pain of loss (hint: unending pain is a key feature of your eternity in Hell). We can choose to separate ourselves from God and go to Hell by sinning, by resisting grace, by failing to repent, by failing to do what we ought, by presuming that we are automatically saved.  If, when you die – and you will die – you are not in the state of grace, if, when you die – and it is going to happen to you – you are not living the friendship of God, you will go to Hell.  Once you are there, that’s it.  There is no hope of ever changing your lot.  There is no changing your mind.  There is no possibility of leaving even after a million billion years.

If you don’t believe in Hell, you will probably wind up there. And if you chose that fate, it would be better for you had you never been born (cf Matthew 26:24).

STOP.  Spend a moment to examine your conscience.

NOW.  Try to imagine what goes through the mind of the damned soul during his first 30 seconds in Hell.

I remind you of these harsh realities because I don’t want to go to Hell.

Priests and bishops who don’t teach about Hell will probably wind up there.

It is my job to keep as many of you as possible out of Hell.

I will therefore tell you about Hell and then echo St. Augustine, who told his flock “Nolo salvus esse sine vobis! … I don’t want to be saved without you!” (s. 17.2)

We must be clear about the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell.  Sure, we must also talk about heaven and goodness and joy and kitties and sunshine and birthday cakes.  Let’s get this Hell and Devil thing straightened out because it’s been neglected for far too long.

We must also work to revive the Sacrament of Penance, which was instituted by Christ as the ordinary way our sins would be forgiven.

Going to confession, making a sincere confession of all your mortal sins in kind and number, can keep you out of Hell.  Got that?


What a victory for the demons of Hell it has been to run down the Sacrament of Penance until it is barely thought of in some parishes.

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.

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Posted in Classic Posts, Four Last Things, Hard-Identity Catholicism | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Philip #70thweddinganniversary

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip… 70th wedding anniversary today.

That’s wonderful.  May all marriages be enduring.

I read that the bells of Westminster Abbey would peel for 3 hours today in their honor.  HERE



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Solemn Mass, Traditional Roman Rite at 2017 National Catholic Youth Conference #NCYC2017

I had mentioned elsewhere that there would be a Solemn Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite at the National Catholic Youth Conference last Friday.

You want some lío?

We’ve got your lío right here!

One of the participants sent some photos:

Photos are from Sean Gallagher.

This is how it’s done, people.

¡Hagan lío!

Reason 4 for Summorum Pontificum… YOUNG PEOPLE.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes | Tagged | 7 Comments

Your Feedback and Voicemail and Fr. Z answers with a whine about something

From a reader…I learned that people were not able to post comments from their mobile phones because they got blocked at the PREVIEW part.  I shut off the preview.  However, friends, please proof read.  Posting successive comments saying “I meant X, not Y” is tedious.

Also, I had a VOICEMAIL from “Sir Dan” in England.  Cheers, friend!  Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, pray for us!

Next, from email


I would like to thank you for the advice and to give you an update. because I thought for sure this was not going to be my wife’s cup of tea. She has not been to confession this week (ya I’m being kind I love her) So I underestimated how much she cared I guess. Or maybe the mass had its own unique effect on her. Maybe she saw something she has never seen before I can’t say, but she was very engaged. She wants MORE. We must go back its not a question for her. Maybe this is how God and Our Holy Mother get her into a confessional. Pray for her.
Pray for us. Just pray and give it to the Mother of God she will sort it out, but don’t stop what you are doing. Thank you.

Prayers. I’m sure that the readers here will stop, now, and pray a Memorare.

Here is another reader..

Wanted to drop a quick note about my first attendance of a latin mass.

I was born post vatican II, so I’ve only ever been to the Norvus Ordo. I’ve been interested in experiencing the Latin, and found one a short drive away. It was at 7 AM on Sunday morning, so we went to Saturday Evening mass at our normal parish, and I went to the Latin by myself.

My biggest observation: At Saturday Evening mass, we typically have 3 altar servers. Boys/Girls, Jeans, Tennis shoes, etc. At this mass, there was not a server in the entire building. Not “hey the scheduled servers didn’t show up, can we get volunteers”…there wasn’t a single one in the building. This is a thriving parish, comparatively.

At the latin mass, they used 6 servers. All were boys, all were there, all were dressed in dress pants, dress shoes, button shirts, and the ‘latest’ one to arrive was 10 minutes before mass.

Demand more, you will get more. Make it a privilege and a challenge, young men will line up. Make it easy, simple, and inclusive, they see it as a chore they have to do.

Thanks for helping to expose me to the TLM.

(please anonoymize if you publish, I do love our parish, I think we just need more tradition, less balloons and banners)

Do I hear an “Amen!” from the readership?

Folks, be inviting to others.  Ask them to go to confession and to Mass… then perhaps breakfast after Mass to talk about it, if they are new to traditional worship.   There also may be people who are shut in or have a hard time getting around.  Offer to bring them.  What a great work of mercy.

On this note, I’ll add this recent voicemail feedback, about an similar issue. This fellow has discovered the Traditional Latin Mass. He mentions Brompton Oratory.

Thanks for that!  Brompton is fantastic.  Thank God for what they have done over the decades since the Council to keep reverent sacred worship alive.  They are an inspiration.

It is interesting now to see Oratories are springing up.

Very interesting.

In answer to your Mystic Monk Coffee question, yes, use my link each time you order.

And, to add an observation of my own…

Since the Wyoming Carmelites changed their ordering process and the way affiliate accounts work, I am not getting credit for many fewer of the sales that I bring to them.  I don’t that that’s fair, but that’s how they are now doing it.  And, they are processing these sales very slowly, which I don’t get.

These Carmelites are great, but sheesh.  I’m beginning to be less than happy.  Here is a view of what I see when I check my account.

So… feeddback to me… feedback from me to them.

<span style=”background-color: #ff0000; color: #ffcc00;”>UPDATE:</span>

Also, a couple CHALLENGE COINS have come in and one goes out today to a kind Donor.  Thanks, MS!  Much appreciated.


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ASK FATHER: Is the “annulment” process in the US just a rubber stamp?

From a reader…


I have a quick question so I’ll keep this message short. Knowing several Catholics in my childrens’ Catholic school who have been divorced and remarried after getting an annulment, I wonder how to explain it all to my kids, and I begin to feel as if the annulment process in the US is a rubber stamp, basically. I know of no one who has ever had their annullment request rejected… [… Here’s where is stops being short…]

It’s one thing to have the whole culture against me, but it feels like the majority of the Church is against me too, and that makes me sad, angry, and frustrated. I’m just curious what your experience with marriage tribunals are. Do I have it all wrong? Thanks.

Short answers sometimes require longer responses.  In this case I asked a working, experienced tribunal canonist for an opinion.

GUEST CANONIST RESPONSE (slightly edited):

I can only speak for the handful of tribunals I know personally in the US (my own, and the several others where I’ve served).

I do know of some tribunals that seem to be more like the “rubber stamp” variety — perhaps they are the majority.  But I also know some tribunals that try to follow the Church’s law.

Tribunals can only accept petitions for matrimonial nullity if it appears that there is some foundation to the allegation that the petitioner is making, namely, that he thinks his marriage is null.

By “foundation” we mean that we look for preliminary indications and/or evidence that something is seriously amiss — that is, that based upon the initial intake of information, one or both of the parties suffered from an incapacity to contract marriage as the Catholic Church understands it, or intended something that the Church does not regard as marriage.  The Church’s teachings on marriage apply to all people — non-Catholics as well as Catholics.

So, if a petition indicates that there wasn’t anything really wrong, that the parties just “grew apart,” or that one had an affair and the relationship between the parties was never able to heal after that, then we generally turn people away and do not accept the case.   Most people are shocked when a tribunal won’t even accept their case.

That being said, the cases we do accept are those where we already “see” something wrong:  that at the time of the wedding one of the parties was an active alcoholic or a drug abuser or addict, or was suffering from untreated serious mental illness, or had grown up in a chaotic environment where the parents jumped from marriage to marriage or live-in partner to live-in partner and gave no example of what commitment and fidelity is, or that one of the parties suffered abuse and/or trauma (physical violence, sexual abuse, etc.).  These things can — but do not always — render someone truly incapable of matrimonial consent as the Church understands it.

When it is not a question of incapacity, then we look at intention:  did one or both of the parties intend to have something that the Church does not regard as marriage?  Did they intend a so-called “open marriage,” or a “child-free” lifestyle, or did they want only a temporary arrangement (e.g., until one gets a green card or until one of the parties inherits money, half of which can then be obtained by divorce)?  Or did they use the marriage for some other purpose — a purpose other than marriage itself?

There are other grounds — such as “force and fear” or condition or error of quality of person — but these are rare.  Most cases are decided on incapacity or simulation of consent.

Even so, at least at the tribunals I know, it sometimes happens that halfway through the case it appears that there is not going to be enough evidence to prove the marriage null — witnesses who do not corroborate the petitioner’s claims, or a lack of medical or psychiatric or criminal records, etc.

So sometimes we have to ask the petitioner to withdraw the petition, as the evidence is simply not there.  Other times we let the case go into abatement for lack of action on the part of the parties.   This scenario too usually means a shocked and angry petitioner.

So, no — “annulments” are not there simply for the asking, at least not in my tribunal.

However, once we formally accept a case, the likely outcome is that a declaration of nullity will be granted, because we do not waste the tribunal’s resources on cases where it’s just a failed relationship and there is no reason to believe the presumption of the validity of the marriage can be overturned.  In that sense, I can see how some people regard our work as involving a foregone conclusion.  But it’s a bit more complex than that.

Fr. Z adds: I am grateful for that good response.

Here is another, just in from another canonist with many years of tribunal experience:


I am always loathe to speak in generalities about something that is so individualized as a marriage nullity case. Of course, my preferences matter little in the grand scheme, and there are some general conclusions that can be drawn.

First off, a matter of terminology. We speak of “annulments,” whereas canon law utilizes the term “declaration of nullity.” It may seem a pedantic point, but it is an important one. An “annulment” almost sounds like something positive – something the Church either grants or withholds. Using that term, we become accustomed to sentences like: “The Church hands out too many annulments!” or “You can get an annulment if you pay enough money.” or “I’m a good person and I want to be a good Catholic, why can’t the Church give me an annulment?”

Using the Church’s terminology is more helpful – a declaration of nullity. It is a declaration, based on a canonical investigation and rendered after the judge or judges arrive at firm moral certitude that, in the case presented, the nullity of the bond of marriage has been proven. It is, if you will, a diagnosis.

Let’s take the analogy of a medical diagnosis a step further. Dr. Bombay is a cancer specialist. He sees 15 patients one day, reads their medical charts, conducts an examination, mulls over the evidence and concludes that 13 of the 15 patients he sees have cancer. “Heavens!” The neighbors cry, “Dr. Bombay is simply rubber stamping all these cancer diagnoses! He’s passing out cancer like it’s candy!”

Now, it may be that Dr. Bombay is a bad doctor – and he sees cancer where it truly isn’t, or he issues diagnoses of cancer for immoral purposes, such as lining his pockets with profit.

Or, it could be that there is a wave of cancer sweeping through the town where Dr. Bombay operates.

Or, it could be that the only folks who truly have cancer come to seek Dr. Bombay’s diagnosis. If someone is healthy, why would they go see Dr. Bombay in the first place?

Let’s apply that to the situation on the ground in America. We have had a several-generation long assault on marriage, dating at least as far back as the legalization of contraception, through the promotion of the notion of no-fault divorce, free love, premarital sexual activity and cohabitation, up to the recent redefinition of marriage by the Supreme Court to include same-sex relationships. Almost no one has been immune to this full court press. Is it any wonder that the divorce rate has skyrocketed? Is it any wonder that even good, solidly raised Catholic men and women approach the altar with grave psychological defects, or a warped understanding about the indissolubility and integrity of the matrimonial bond?

The majority of officials working in marriage tribunals are good, sincere, and highly educated individuals. Yes, some of them may be lazy, incompetent, ill-intentioned, like our putative Dr. Bombay may be. The vast majority, in my experience, are solid canonists, swimming through a sea of the matrimonial cancer that so tragically infects our society. They see their work, on a daily basis, impugned by the left and the right (they’re either “too easy and liberal,” or they “put up too many roadblocks to people who just want to live their lives). They read case after case shot through with sin, abuse, immaturity, infidelity, and material sometimes so disgusting that, even if they weren’t bound by oaths of confidentiality they would not want to share in polite company. And they soldier on – not because they’re raking in generous salaries and cushy benefits, not because they’re earning heaps of praise, but because they are committed to Christ the Lord, His teaching on the indissolubility of the matrimonial bond, and the Church He founded which still upholds those teachings.

How do you raise children in a society where, it seems, so many putative marriages end up shipwrecked on the shoals of human intransigence?

#1 Live your commitment to your marriage with fervor, joy, love and lots of communication

#2 Point to relatives and friends in long-term marriages as example – “Philomena, wouldn’t it be awesome to be like Aunt Patty and Uncle Phineas who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary? I hope you and your future husband have a marriage like that, unless you find out that the Lord has called you to that Carmelite monastery we visited last month when your mom and I took the family on that pilgrimage.”

#3 Pray for healthy marriages – pray for cultural sanity

#4 Don’t make fun of, or otherwise slam failed marriages to your children, but use them as examples for teaching, “Isn’t it so sad that Mr. and Mrs. Heavenrich decided to separate? I don’t know why it happened, and it’s not really our business to pry, but we should remember to pray for them very hard, it must be very sad for them. You should really make a point to be nice to Bobby Heavenrich in your class, it must be a tough time for him and he’ll need good friends.”

Fr. Z adds: Another good perspective, which makes an important, similar point.  What do you expect from a tribunal?

Please share!
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Canon Law, HONORED GUESTS, One Man & One Woman, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why don’t Catholics sing?

Spirit of Vatican II music personified?

From a reader…


When I go to Mass in the Ordinary Form, I notice that the congregation sings, even if it’s a more traditional parish that sings the ordinaries and the Pater Noster in Gregorian chant in Latin.

Meanwhile, when I go to the Extraordinary Form, the congregation is silent and stoic when it comes to the responses, the Ordinaries and the traditional hymns at the start and end of Mass. Why are Latin Mass Catholics so stubborn when it comes to singing those parts which are proper to the congregation to sing? It seems like the Ordinaries, being of much simpler chant notation than those of the propers, is designed for congregational singing. I know popes in the pre-Vatican II days have even written on this issue. What gives?

I know.  It is like pulling teeth.  As a kid, I remember Lutherans being able to sing in 4 part harmony from the pew hymnals.  Then again, when pretty much all you have is the Word and preaching, that’s what you get.

Catholics have that and a lot more.  That “more” involves mystery, the tremendum et fascinans that drives us to our knees in silent awe and longing.

That’s one reason.

Moreover, it was a clerical thing for centuries to sing texts.  Non clerics were not encouraged to sing Mass texts.  That, of course, went by the wayside a long time ago.  Some priests still bash it into people that they should never make a peep at Mass.

Lately, however, it seems to me that most people – who have some dignity – don’t really want to sing the infantalized slop that passes for church music over the last few decades.  Honestly, most of the dopey ditties have about as much appeal as the theme song to Gilligan’s Island and as must depth as the commercial jingle for My Little Pony.  Remember that?  HERE  Lord have mercy.

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And then there are the aging hippy pop combos who are there because “that’s what young people want”. How embarrassing!

I recommend the classic book, which tackles the issue, by Thomas Day, now revised and updated since it was first released.  He hits the nail on the head many times.

Why Catholics Can’t Sing: Revised and Updated With New Grand Conclusions and Good Advice  


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