WDTPRS – 10th Sunday after Pentecost: Mercy does not mean turning a blind eye to Justice

Symbols of Mercy and Justice on the emblem of the Spanish Inquisition

Symbols of Mercy and Justice on the emblem of the Spanish Inquisition

The Collect for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form survived, sort of survived, to live in the post-Conciliar, reformed Missale Romanum!  You can find it, somewhat wounded, for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the Ordinary Form Missale Romanum.  I’ll show you the variation, below.  But, for now, let’s see the Collect as it appears in the 1962 edition.


Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut, ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.

In the Novus Ordo version the line “…multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam…” was replaced with “…gratiam tuam super nos indesinenter infunde”.  We will return to see what impact that has on the prayer.

I also looked this prayer up in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary and found that the version is as it appears in the 1962MR, in not the Novus Ordo.  Sometimes the cutter-snippers of the Consilium restored older readings of ancient prayers that had survived with some changes in the pre-Conciliar Missal.  Not this time.

Let’s now look at some nuts and bolts: vocabulary.

Parco means, “to spare, have mercy, forbear to injure” and by extension, “forgive.”   This verb is used quite frequently in liturgical prayer as, for example, in the responses during the beautiful litanies we sing as Catholics, especially in time of need: “Parce nobis, Domine… Spare us, O Lord!”  During Lent the hauntingly poignant Latin chant informs our penitential spirit: “Parce, Domine… O Lord, spare your people: do not be wrathful with us forever.”

The noun consors comes from the fusion of the preposition for “with” and sors (“lot”), in the sense of a chance or ticket when “casting lots”, destiny, fate).   A consors is someone with whom you share a common destiny.  The densely arranged Lewis & Short Dictionary reveals that consors is “sharing property with one (as brother, sister, relative), living in community of goods, partaking of in common.”  The English word “lot” can be both “fate” and a “parcel of land.”  Having been made in God’s image and likeness, we are to act as God acts: to know, will and love.  Since God spares us and is merciful, then we must be similarly merciful and sparing if we want to be sharers and coheirs in the lot He has prepared for us.

Multiplico, as you might readily guess, means “to multiply, increase, augment”.

Just for kicks, let’s see the obsolete ICEL version we were forced to use for so many dry and uninspiring years.  Remember that a line was changed in the Latin of the Novus Ordo version, as I explained above.


Father, you show your almighty power, in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom.


O God, who manifest Your omnipotence especially by sparing and being merciful, increase Your mercy upon us, [pour Your grace upon us unceasingly, – 2002MRso that You may make us, rushing to the things You have promised, to be partakers of heavenly benefits.

One of the ways God manifests His almighty nature is by being forgiving and sparing.

God is the creator and ruler, guide and governor of all that is seen and unseen, who keeps everything in existence by an act of His will, and reveals His omnipotence especially (maxime in our Collect) by means of mercy.

By violating God’s will our first parents (the entire human race – which consisted of only two people at the time) opened up an infinite gulf between us and God.  Since the gulf was immeasurable, only an omnipotent God could bridge that gap and repair it.  God did not repair the breach because of justice.  He did so because He loves us and is merciful.

People often slip into the trap of associating justice with manifestations of power.  In this Collect, however, we affirm the other side of power’s coin.  The miracles worked by Jesus in the Gospels, loving gestures to suffering individuals, were acts of mercy often connected to forgiveness of sins.

The affirmation of divine mercy, however, does not diminish God’s justice.  Mercy does not mean turning a blind eye to justice, for that would be tantamount to betraying truth and charity.  Nevertheless, if justice must be upheld because God is Truth, so too must mercy be exercised because God is Love.

For God, balancing justice and mercy is simplicity itself, since He is perfectly simple.  Knowing all things which ever were, are or will be as well as the complexities of each act’s impact and every other throughout history God has no conflicts in the application of merciful justice or just mercy.  He knows who we are, what we need and deserve far better than we do.  Furthermore, in our regard, God acts with perfect love.

For man, especially in times of trial, the simultaneous exercise of mercy and justice is very difficult indeed.  Because of the wounds to our will and intellect, our struggle with passions, it is hard for us at times to see what is good and right and true or rein in our emotions even when we do discern things properly.  We often oscillate between being first just and then merciful. Bringing the two streams of mercy and justice together is a tremendous challenge.  We tend to favor our self-interest, and often balk at what is truly the good for others.

When we encounter a person who can balance justice and mercy together, we are usually impressed by him.  We hold him up as an example of wisdom because he acts more perfectly, more habitually, according to God’s image and likeness.  We are moved by his example because deep inside we know how we ought to be conforming to God’s image in us.  Their example teaches us that it is possible to live according to God’s plan.  The lives of the saints are examples of this.

One way in which we act in harmony with God’s image in us, behaving as the “coheirs” Christ made us to be, authentic Christian consortes, is when we act with compassion.

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In biblical terms compassion (Hebrew racham) is often interchangeable with mercy.  The Latin word compassio (from cum,“with” + patior, “to suffer/endure”) means to “suffer with” someone.  Our souls are stirred when we witness suffering and then compassion.  They reveal in a mysterious way who we are as human beings and how we ought to act.  In a now famous passage from the Council’s Gaudium et spes, we are taught that Christ came into the world to reveal man more fully to himself (GS 22).  Christ did this in His every word and deed during His earthly life.  His supreme moment of revelation about who we are was His Passion and death on the Cross.  When we imitate His Passion, in sacrificial love, in genuine “with suffering”, we act as we were made by God to act.   In concrete acts of compassion we, in our own turn, also reveal man more fully to himself!  In our own way we show God’s image to our neighbor and he is moved.  We cannot not be moved unless we are stony and cold and dead.

Pope John Paul II wrote that

“Man cannot live without love […] his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own.” (Redemptor hominis 10).

We must experience love, both in giving and receiving.  When the Enemy planted in the minds of Adam and Eve the doubt that God really loved them, when the certitude of love given and received died, we all died.  The Second Adam offers to bring us back into the certitude of God’s love, through mercy and suffering not only with us, but for us.

Love, given and received, brings us back to life.

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WDTPRS 18th Ordinary Sunday: clear, cold reality

adam-and-eve-original-sinWhen the priest, alter Christus, says our prayers during Holy Mass, Christ, Head of the Body, speaks.

His words have power to form us.

Formed according to the mind of the Church, we Catholics then go out from Mass to shape our world around us.

It is the work of Christ’s Body to bring the content of these prayers (Christ Himself!) to every corner and nook we influence.

Holy Church shapes us and we shape the world around us. We then bring gifts – the very best we can conceive – back to Holy Church who makes them her own.  This is dynamic exchange is called inculturation.  However, in this simultaneous two-way exchange, what God offers to the world through Holy Church must always have logical priority over what the world offers back.  This is authentic inculturation!

The Collect for the 18th Ordinary Sunday was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum.  The ancient Veronese Sacramentary has a close cousin used by our ancestorsOur modern version simplified the grammar.  I found similar vocabulary in the works of Cicero (+ BC 43 – Ep. ad fam. 2.6.4), in the writings of St Ambrose of Milan (+397 – Hexameron, Day 1.2.7), and in the sermons of St Augustine (+430 – s. 293d, 5).   The Church and culture have been deeply interwoven through the centuries.

Here’s the Collect:

Adesto, Domine, famulis tuis, et perpetuam benignitatem largire poscentibus, ut his, qui te auctorem et gubernatorem gloriantur habere, et grata restaures, et restaurata conserves.

Adesto is the “future” imperative of the verb adsum, “to be present”, in both the physical and the moral sense.  By logical extension, adsum means, “to be present with one’s aid.”  It can also mean, “to be present in mind, with attention” and “to be fearless.”  “Adsum!” is the famous word in the rite of ordination to Holy Orders.  Men are officially “called” by name to Holy Orders (vocatio).  One by one they respond, “Adsum! …  I am present!”  Men may have inklings or personal convictions that they are called by God to the priesthood, but this “calling” during ordination is the Church’s affirmation of the vocation.

At this time of year some of our Collects use similar vocabulary, including slightly unusual words which spark our attention.  Last week we saw dux (“leader, guide, commander”) and rector (“ruler, leader, governor; helmsman”).  This week we have the similar term gubernator, “a steersman, pilot” or “a ruler, governor”.   During Ordinary Time there are groupings of Collects linked by vocabulary, theme, or images, (e.g., military, agricultural, judicial).

The Collects in the Novus Ordo are usually either derived from prayers in ancient sacramentaries or directly from orations in previous editions of the Missale Romanum.   Though they were taken from different times of the year in those sources, they are now grouped together.  This must have been a conscious choice.


Father of everlasting goodness, our origin and guide, be close to us and hear the prayers of all who praise you. Forgive our sins and restore us to life. Keep us safe in your love.

What is this I see?  Uncharacteristically, the old ICEL allowed the word “sins” into their version!   The old incarnation of ICEL consistently expunged references to sin, guilt, our humility, the possibility of hell for the unrepentant, propitiation, etc.


Be present to Your servants, O Lord, and grant Your unending kindness to those seeking it, so that You may restore favors to those who glory in having You as author and guide, and You may preserve them once restored.


Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored.

Take note of the unequal statuses of those to whom the Latin prayer refers.

On the one hand, God is our creator.  He directs our paths.  He is eternal and kind.  He gives gifts.  He can be present to us.

On the other hand, we are servants and needy seekers.  We need God’s favors. We must be grateful, for they are unattainable apart from His kindness.  We do not deserve anything apart from Him. Some of us, moreover, have lost God’s favors.  We are incomplete until He restores them to us. He will not restore them unless we beg Him in His kindness to do so.

Because we are weak, God must preserve His gifts in us once He has given them back.

Our status as lowly servants is the key to everything we receive or regain.

The clear, cold reality of our neediness is today masterfully juxtaposed with the warming, reassuring confidence we find in God’s presence.

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CQ CQ CQ – #HamRadio Saturday – QSO / QSL Card 1st Draft

ham radio badassLast week I mentioned that I – who am not yet proficient in Morse Code – used my iPhone app to decode some signals that I picked up.  I heard people from Maine and Oklahoma.

This week I set up my Buddistick antenna for the 20m band and found quite a few CW contacts going on as well as some phone.  I heard a fellow from Florida speaking to someone in Virginia but I couldn’t catch the callsigns.  There was a lot of distortion and they came in and out. I also heard a fellow in N. Carolina, got his call, and sent him an email, to which he responded.

Once again, hams are pretty nice folks.

Last week I also mentioned that I will have to make a QSL card pretty soon. I have a first draft.

As far as I can tell, QSO / QSL cards tend to fall into the categories of starkly utilitarian or personalized with some image that says something about the ham.  So, I came up with this for the front (using GIMP).


And, no, I haven’t forgotten about a possible vanity call.

Now I need a good template for all the technical stuff which goes on the back.

The ever helpful WB0YLE sent me a link to SuperAntenna, which looks great!  It would suit my needs well, I think.  It looks versatile and, above all, easily portable.  I can see one in my stars.

Also, I had a long Echolink rag chew last weekend with an American priest who lives in Poland.  He was back in these USA for a short stint for a parental visit.  Having no gear, he uses Echolink.  So, thank to Fr. N2FCH (also SQ3SWS) for that chat.

I will turn on my Echolink program for a while today while at my computer.

It’s homily prep continuation today (EF and maybe also OF on Sunday!)  If you are a ham, you can use Echolink.  Install the program and send your call sign in for a password.  Easy.

Also, I am building a list of hams who frequent this blog:


  • acardnal KE4WKV
  • Joan W4JMJ
  • BMKoenig K3BMK
  • chris1 KJ4MPE
  • crule N4TII
  • Bryan Boyle WB0YLE
  • Andy Lucy KG4ZMF
  • Navy Jeff KC9TCZ
  • pledbet424 WB0MZT
  • Kenneth Jones KB3JA/BY
  • asperges G4NJH
  • Dan Soderlund KBØEO
  • Hesiodos AD7QQ
  • MWindsor – KT5WX
  • dahveed – KD8ZIB
  • FloridaJoan – W4JMJ
  • Jilly – WA4CZD
  • jpaluh – KB3LUE
  • Humilitas – KC4RAC
  • Jeffc – AC5XL
  • pledbet424 – WB0MZT
  • Patrick L – AG4JQ
  • Dr Guinness – VK3SJB
  • MacBride – KC2MEO
  • Evan C – N5EDC
  • boxerpaws1952 – N3XFQ
  • chris_R – N3GBJ
  • Jack – W1JEM
  • Julia12 – KC9ALW
  • moon123 – KB9VSE
  • Pearl – KC8JSL
  • OK_doc – KF5THY
  • Baritone – KD5AYJ
  • ByzCath08 – W8GMN
  • Mojoron – K0CCP
  • Deacon Bob – W8CRO
  • Incensum – N9WIV
  • SimonsDad – KB1WOL
  • O. Possum – KC1BGU
  • Curt – AF7KQ
  • Arthur – KD9BRV


  • Fr. David McGuire AE4LH
  • frdanbecker WA1ZHQ
  • Rev. Canon Glenn Gardner K9ALT
  • plaf26 – KC0GA
  • Fr. Bryan – KD8ZFF
  • starprst- AB4TS
  • Fr. J. Stefanski – SQ3SWS / N2FCH
  • Fr. Paul A. – Cannariato KB2TJY

There must be more of you!


And since The Phantom went over well last week…

phantom ham radio operator








I used a little of the afternoon to hang out on the 20m band and listen to CW contact.   Some of them go by pretty fast.

I think there was a contest or something going on.  I heard calls from California, Western Canada, Puerto Rico, and sundry places in between.

Since I have no QSL card yet, I looked up some callsigns and sent a couple dozen emails telling the hams that I heard them and what my equipment is.  I figured that’s at least nice to know, if it isn’t exactly the right protocol to follow in these matters.   Since I don’t have a Morse key, I couldn’t exactly chime in.  Who knows if I have enough power to reach!

Some day.

In the meantime, still working on those dots and dashes.

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1 August – Seven Holy Maccabees & St. Peter in Chains: Wherein there is cool Catholic stuff

I am sure you already know that today, in the new, Ordinary Form, calendar, is the feast of St. Alphonsus Maria de’Liguori, the bishop and doctor of the Church so famous for his contributions to moral theology.

However, today is also the feast of the Seven Holy Maccabee brothers.  They are listed in the Martyrologium Romanum. Here is their entry:

2. Commemoratio passionis sanctorum septem fratrum martyrum, qui Antiochiae in Syria, sub Antiocho Epiphane rege, propter legem Domini invicta fide servatam, morti crudeliter traditi sunt cum matre sua, in singulis quidem filiis passa, sed in omnibus coronata, sicut in secundo libro Maccabaeorum narratur. Item commemoratur sanctus Eleazarus, unus de primoribus scribarum, vir aetate provectus, qui in eadem persecutione, illicitam carnem manducare propter vitae amorem respuens, gloriosissimam mortem magis quam odiosam vitam complectens, voluntarie praeivit ad supplicium, magnum virtutis relinquens exemplum.

Maybe some of you good readers can produce your flawless English versions for those whose Latin is less smooth.

Who were the Maccabee brothers?

They may be models for our own day, given what is coming.

The Maccabees were Jews who rebelled against the Hellenic Seleucid dynasty in the time of Antiochus V Eupator. The Maccabees founded the Hasmonean dynasty and fought for Jewish independence in Israel from 165-63 BC.

In 167 BC, Mattathias revolted against the Greek occupiers by refusing to worship the Greek gods. He killed a Hellenizing Jew who was willing to offer a sacrifice to the Greek gods. Mattathias and his five sons fled to the wilderness of Judea. Later Mattathias’s son Judas Maccabaeus led an army against the Seleucids and won. He entered Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, and reestablished Jewish worship.

Hanukkah commemorates this victory.

In the period 167-164 BC Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163) killed and sold thousands of Jews into slavery. He violated the Jewish holy sites and set up an altar to Zeus in the Holy of Holies (1 Maccabees 1:54; Daniel 11:31). The people revolted and Antiochus responded with slaughter. He required under penalty of death that Jews sacrifice to the gods and abandon kosher laws. “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment” (Hebrews 11:35-36). A chief of the scribes, Eleazar, an old man, did not flee. Pork was forced on him, into his mouth, he spat it out and was then condemned to death.

St. Ambrose, in his work On Jacob and the Blessed Life recounts Eleazar’s death along with the deaths of seven sons of a mother. The work is filled with Neo-platonic and Stoic themes, especially about virtue theory. Ambrose goes through all their deaths in detail, making commentary on them for what they meant.

The mother is venerated by the Greeks as St. Solomnis.

In these scenes recounted by Ambrose from IV Maccabees, the mother is being tried by being forced to watch each of here sons executed in different ways, eldest to youngest. She urges them not to give in. Ambrose thus explores the theme of how God chooses the weak and makes them strong. The ancient “priest” Eleazar should be weak and infirm due to age, but he is a tower of strength. The mother of the seven boys should be weak by nature but is unshakable.  The sons are not to be moved to infidelity, even the youngest.

Here is a taste of Ambrose in De Iacob et vita beata II, 12:

The words of the holy woman return to our minds, who said to her sons: “I gave birth to you, and poured out my milk for you: do not lose your nobility.” Other mothers are accustomed to pull their children away from martyrdom, not to exhort them to martyrdom. But she thought that maternal love consisted in this, in persuading her sons to gain for themselves an eternal life rather than an earthly life. And thus the pius mother watched the torment of her sons … But her sons were not inferior to such a mother: they urged each other on, speaking with one single desire and, I would say, like an unfurling of their souls in a battle line.

Very cool image.

The tongues of the Maccabees are venerated in the Dominican Church of St. Andrew (Sankt Andreas Kirche) in Cologne (Köln), Germany.  The same church has the body of St Albert the Great in the crypt, and the chasuble in which his body was clothed at burial (removed when he was moved to the present location).  More HERE.

And, to bring this to completion, today is the Anniversary of the Dedication of the beautiful Roman Basilica S. Pietro in vincoli,…

“The Maccabee relics were later brought to Constantinople and Rome where they are honored even today at San Pietro in Vincoli. According to a legend, the Maccabee relics should have been received by Archbishop Reinald of Dassel at the same time when he (Reinald) should have received those of the holy Three Kings at Milan from the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa; in 1164 (the relics) were transported to Cologne.”

In fact, there is an ancient Roman sarcophagus in the crypt.  This sarcophagus is supposed to contain the relics of the Holy Maccabees, translated to S. Pietro in vincoli by Pope Pelagius (+561).

I am reminded of the story last year about members of the Religion of Peace busily killing Christian children. From the Orthodox Christian Network:

Before Being Killed, Children Told ISIS: ‘No, We Love Jesus’

Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” has seen violence and persecution against Christians unprecedented in recent decades.
In the video embedded below, he recounts the story of Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Patristiblogging, Saints: Stories & Symbols, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Priest’s cassocks with shoulder capes

From a reader…

I was wondering if any secular/diocesan priest is allowed to wear a black mozzetta as part of their choir dress? I have seen pictures of some priests wearing a black mozzetta such as the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.


Ah… finally something truly important… a welcome relief from such trifles as the upcoming brawl at Synod, the undermining of marriage, the silence of bishops about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts, the meaning of prayers for Mass, etc.

First, canons are… canons.  They have their own particular style of dress for their house cassock and for choir.

The little cape over the shoulders of the house cassock was, once upon a time, a mark of jurisdiction.  Bishops use it.  Pastors of parishes could use it I believe (back when there was far more complicated ecclesiastical clothing).  I don’t think it really marks jurisdiction anymore, given the way that it is used or not used, higgledy-piggledy.

These days, I think most priests use it because it looks nice.  I have a cassock with one of these.  I used it because it was warm.  I grew up in Minnesota, but I have never been so cold in my life as in Rome in winter, back in the day.   I shiver just thinking about it.

Paul VI – wrongly, I think – did away with a lot of the things that clerics used to wear.  For example pompoms on the ends of fascias were abolished.  Some priests use them anyway.   Back in the day, priests were not to use black watered-silk fascia.  These days some do.  Why?  They look nice.

“But Father! But Father!”, some will say.  If these things are forbidden, then they shouldn’t be used!  You are antinomian!”

To which I respond: So what?

If using these things makes their black (or purple) socks roll up and down, great.

It was a mistake to simplify ecclesiastical garb to the degree that it was simplified.  We will see that usage, praxis, will –  guttatim – reintegrate the old things back into general use.

I don’t know if this is part of the “gravitational pull” that the older forms are exerting on the new or if this is something else.

One think I do know – liberals hate stuff like this.

All the more reason to use it.

Strike a blow for decorum.

But .. a caution: Don’t fix too much attention on these things.  It’s just stuff.  Array your mind and heart with holy thoughts, study, prayers, and works of mercy and let your outward acts and words ring with charity and truth.

But back to the question.  You were asking about choir dress not the house cassock for everyday dress.

Unless you are a member of an equestrian order, diocesan clerics ought to wear – for choir dress – the cassock and, over it, surplice, having their biretta as cover.  I don’t see any reason for more than that.



From the official WDTPRS parodohymnodist – now Father Tim Ferguson – to the Sound of Music tune “My Favorite Things”:

Dalmatics on deacons and cassocks on priests,
habits on nuns and immovable feasts,
bishops in soutanes with big, gaudy rings –
these are a few of my favorite things.

Devotions to Mary, novenas and stations,
fasting and penance on Days of Rogation,
High Mass and Low Mass and papal blessings –
these are a few of my favorite things.

Rosaries and incense and fiddleback vestments,
BINGO on Mondays with homemade refreshments,
statues of angels with halos and wings –
these are a few of my favorite things.

When RENEW strikes!
When the rail’s gone!
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply pop into a Solemn High Mass
and then I don’t feel so baaaaaad!


When you’ve had a hard day sorting out what fancy gear priests can wear, … nay rather… when you have had a hard day biting your tongue over the shabby way most priests usually dress these days…. for the love of GOD can’t these men put on clerical clothes?  Can we have a little liturgical decorum?   In the name of all that is holy, isn’t about time that clerics start dressing as if both their own role in the Church and what they are doing in church might be slightly Buy some coffee!important, rather than throwing on something they rummaged up from the laundry bag behind the “Tasty Bakery” after the night shift?

It’s enough to make you….

Why not relax with a WDTPRS mug filled to the brim with piping hot Mystic Monk Coffee?

Refresh your supply now! Not just Monk Coffee … Mystic Monk!

It’s swell!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Decorum, Mail from priests, Parody Songs, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

MUNICH: “Married” lesbian remains head of day care center

This is interesting…

From LifeSite:

‘Married’ lesbian approved as head of Catholic day care in Cardinal Marx’s diocese

July 31, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The website of the German Bishops’ Conference, katholisch.de, reported yesterday on the first case of a practicing homosexual permitted to remain in a position at a Catholic Church institution despite a flagrant and public violation of the Church’s moral law.

The woman who heads a Caritas Day Care Center in Bavaria, had been asked in April to leave her position due to her announcement that she was going to “marry” a woman.  The decision has now been rescinded, according to Fr. Hans Lindenberger, head of the Caritas in Munich, Germany.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is the Archbishop of the Diocese of Munich, has agreed to implement the Church’s new Labor Law on August 1. The new Church Labor Law, approved by the German Bishops’ Conference at the end of April 2015, drastically liberalized the Catholic Church’s disciplinary rules in Germany. In the past, employees who did not live according to the Church’s moral teaching might have been asked to leave their position in institutions of the Church.

Three German bishops, Bishops Stefan Oster, Rudolf Vorderholzer, and Gregor Hanke, have decided not to implement the new Church law in their own dioceses.

Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau explained his stance in a recent Facebook post. He asked rhetorically whether the Church’s institutions would not lose their Catholicity even more than they already have with the new regulations. Would the service institutions which say “Catholic” on the outside have any faith on the inside, he asked. Are people working there from Christian conviction or only on the basis of what is professionally and economically viable? He warned that it was a self-imposed secularization of the Church.

Bishop Oster is under pressure from the priests of his diocese to give in to the new law.  Twenty liberal priests in the diocese have issued a public letter asking the bishop to relent.

To comment on Bishop Oster’s Facebook page visit here.

Now that you have scanned that, think of the upcoming Synod and of who is pushing which agenda.

Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 11 Comments

A Scrat Interlude

Something light… but maybe not.



I think most of you know that I don’t like squirrels… except Scrat.  I actually have squirreled away somewhere a Scrat decal for the cover of my laptop, where the glowing bitten apple of sin subs for the desired acorn.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 1 Comment

Fr. Z’s Voice Mail & ASK FATHER: Catholic and Orthodox wedding question

z-voice-mailI’ve been monitoring my voice mail.  A question came in a while back which I can now treat.

Let’s have the audio…

This is an interesting question.

I’m a Latin Church, Catholic priest and not really qualified to speak about the specifics of Greek Orthodox Canon Law.  However, we can make some observations about the Catholic Church’s law and practices.

A Latin Catholic who marries a Greek Orthodox requires (for liceity, not for validity) permission from the local ordinary for a mixed marriage.

If she chooses to marry in the Orthodox Church she requires (for liceity, not for validity) permission from the local ordinary for a wedding outside of the Catholic Church.

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Those two permissions are, generally speaking, pretty freely given for these situations.

If the couple decides to marry in the Catholic Church, only the permission for mixed marriage is required (for liceity, not for validity – Can. 1124 – 1129).

Since the Eastern Churches – both those in communion with Rome and those separated from her – require the presence of a priest to provide a sacerdotal blessing to the couple as an essential element of marriage, a wedding between a Catholic and an Orthodox person are officiated by a priest, not a deacon.

Based on anecdotal evidence, it seems that a Greek Orthodox person who marries outside of the Orthodox Church is considered excommunicated by the Greek Orthodox Church, even though there was a joint statement by the USCCB (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and SCOBA (the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) issued in 1990 (HERE) which appeared to show agreement and respect for each others’ beliefs and practices of marriage.

Even if that were the case, it would not affect the validity of the marriage from the Catholic perspective.

In virtue of can. 29 of the 1992 Eastern Code of Canon Law, children born to the marriage would be baptized into and ascribed to the Catholic Church of the mother. If the father later enters the Catholic Church, he would be ascribed to the Hellenic Greek Catholic Church (which does not have a hierarchy in the United States). Subsequently, any children baptized would either belong to the Hellenic Greek Catholic Church, or, if both parents agreed, to the Latin Church.

If I have placed my foot wrongly in this, I hope that knowledgeable Eastern Catholic and/or Orthodox clergy can help me out.

Wanna leave me voice mail?  You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


Since I pay a fee for the two phone numbers, USA and UK, I am glad when they get some use.  I have occasionally thought about how to integrate the audio into posts, when there are good questions or comments, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout.  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Don’t whisper.  C’mon.  If you have to whisper, maybe you should be calling the police, instead.
  3. Come to your point right away.  That helps.
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Both Lungs, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Blue Moon

On my way out of an eatery where I had met a reader and priest heading to Lacrosse for yet another conference with Cardinal Burke, as well as the great Archbp. Cordileone, [HERE] I saw the rising moon. Photos almost never do justice to rising and setting celestial orbs.

This is a Blue Moon.

Spaceweather helps us:

BLUE MOON AURORAS? NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 31st when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams. Solar wind plasma piles up in these regions, producing density gradients and shock waves that do a good job of sparking auroras. Any display will need to pierce the glare of Friday’s Blue Moon. [Click and listen.  Have kids?  Have them listen too!]

Posted in Look! Up in the sky!, SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 7 Comments

Fishwrap – once again – publicly attacks the Church’s moral teaching

fishwrapOver at the Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) Jamie Manson (openly lesbian activist, promoter of women’s ordination, mentored by Sr. Margaret Farley, and darling of the LCWR), laments the Church’s teaching about homosexuality.

This piece is part of Fishwrap‘s incessant effort to undermine Catholic teaching concerning morals.  Thus, the nicknames.

Let’s have a look…

Catholic schools must refuse to fire LGBT employees [getting it wrong by one letter!]

It’s beginning to feel like every week brings a new story about the firing of an LGBT employee from a Catholic institution.

The most recent well-publicized termination happened earlier this month at Waldron Mercy Academy in Philadelphia. The school declined to renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school’s director of religious studies, when it came to light that she is in a same-sex marriage. [So… she wasn’t fired.  She just wasn’t rehired.]

Winters, who has been with the school for eight years, says her administrators were well aware that she was married to a woman. It wasn’t until two parents complained to the Philadelphia archdiocese that she was terminated. [Thus correcting a problem that had endured for 8 years.]

In the wake of Winters’ firing, many commentators have suggested that bishops and Catholic institutions need to show greater mercy and compassion in dealing with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. [First, it must be demonstrated that bishops and Catholic institutions are not merciful and compassionate.  No?  We deny Jamie’s premise.]

Waldron Mercy did show sensitivity and acceptance of their lesbian employee. They kept Winters on staff and valued her contributions to the students and the school community. [See what she did there?  Mercy and compassion means saying, publicly, that the Church’s teachings make no difference.  Neither does public scandal.  No.  Mercy and compassion are always grounded in the truth.]

But once the complaint was made to the archdiocese, Waldron Mercy, like most Catholic institutions caught in a similar dilemma, felt forced to terminate their employee.

Winters’ story sheds light on an important and overlooked truth [Do you think that what will follow is “truth”?  Take a guess.]: Even a Catholic institution that strives to be inclusive and nurturing can’t protect an LGBT employee. [“Protect”? From what?  The truth?  But wait! …]As long as Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that same-sex relationships are sinful and a violation of God’s plan for humanity, LGBT employees will not be safe in their jobs in Catholic institutions.


Read the rest there… or don’t.

So, the answer is that the Catholic Church must conform its teachings to please homosexualists.

An ironic point comes a little further down when Jamie writes:

According to Canon 803 §3, “No school is to bear the name Catholic school without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.” That “competent ecclesiastical authority” is the bishop who presides over the diocese in which the school is located, even if a religious community sponsors the school.

A loss of canonical status would, of course, have financial repercussions, such as the loss of funding or even the loss of the school’s property. Even more tragically, it has sacramental consequences. It is unlikely that the Eucharist or the sacrament of reconciliation could be celebrated at the school, for example.

How rich is that?   This from the outlet which was explicitly directed by the bishop where Fishwrap‘s HQ is located to remove “Catholic from their title!  HERE

Someone should inform Jamie of Can. 216:

Can. 216 Since they participate in the mission of the Church, all the Christian faithful have the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings, according to their own state and condition. Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.

They would be less hypocritical were they to change the name of their paper… so that I don’t have to do it for them.

Toward the end of her piece she offers a good example of why I call Fishwrap the National Schismatic Reporter.   Get this:

Why, then, not call the bishops’ bluffs? Imagine the pushback and negative press a bishop would get if he stripped a Catholic school of its identity for refusing to fire an LGBT employee. Imagine the momentum that could be built and the empowering precedent it could set for other schools facing the same turmoil.

Yes, the risks of disobeying a bishop are serious, but unless we as a community of women religious, Catholic school board members and administrators, parents and students, and progressive Catholics join together to say “no more” to these unjust doctrines and degrading firings, substantive change will not happen. [She and Fishwrap want not just change in administration of schools or hiring and firing practices.  They want revolt against the Church’s doctrine, which they label “unjust”.]

For the sake of the integrity of our church and the future of Catholic education, it is time to defy the threats and bullying, have the courage of our convictions, and refuse to perpetuate this injustice inside the walls of our Catholic schools.

They want people to revolt against their bishops.

I say, pray – everyone – on your knees, even making special visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and offering mortifications, that the whole body of Catholic bishops of these USA will someday develop the … wherewithal formally to direct Fishwrap to remove the word “Catholic” from its name.

In the meantime, you might pray to St. Joseph, patron of the diocese where Fishwrap’s offices are found, to help the conversion of all the writers and staff to orthodox Catholicism or else permanently to shutter their windows and doors.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Dest-joseph-patron-of-the-churchar St. Joseph, Terror of Demons and Protector of Holy Church, Chaste Guardian of Our Lord and His Mother, hear our urgent prayer and swiftly intercede with our Savior, whom as a loving father you defended so diligently, that He will pour abundant graces upon the staff of that organ of dissent the National catholic Reporter so that they will either embrace orthodox doctrine concerning faith and morals or that all their efforts will promptly fail and come to their just end. Amen.



Posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , , | 24 Comments