Coverage of Summorum Pontificum conference for 10th anniversary

The conference for the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum has received some coverage.

For example, there is a highly tendentious and partial piece from AP, predictably from Nichole Winfield.

This is ludicrous and incomplete.




First, I am pretty sure she’s wrong about Pope Francis being “ignored” by the first speakers. (I was there.)  She may have not been entirely cognizant of the theme of the conference.

Second, she also seems not to be aware that there was an afternoon session with other speakers, such as Card. Sarah. Note that the photo caption even misspells Card. Sarah’s name. So much for anything accurate or impartial from AP/Winfield.

The next time you see something from her about anything having to do with the Catholic Church, yawn and turn the page.

Another version comes from John Allen of CRUX, who was there. HERE He even mentions what Card. Sarah said about Pope Francis!  His story is not what I would have written, but it is not unfair.  Some of Allen’s piece with my usual additions:

Sarah, now 72, spoke for almost an hour, and here’s what seems to be the bottom line on where he stands: If anyone expects Sarah now to go gentle into that good night, muting his strenuous defense of liturgical tradition, they can forget it.


Yet equally, if anyone expected Sarah to go to war against his boss, subtly or not-so-subtly suggesting Francis is the problem – as some in the crowd gathered on Thursday have publicly argued he is – they can forget that too.

At several points during his address, Sarah explicitly described Summorum Pontificum as something Benedict initiated and that “Pope Francis has continued.” Never referring to the new motu proprio on translation, Sarah certainly didn’t come anywhere close to criticizing it.

In other words, the take-away seemed to be that Sarah plans to remain precisely what he’s been up to this point – a hero in some ways to the more traditionalist wing of the Church, which gave him loud and sustained applause on Thursday, but not the leader of the in-house opposition.  [Perhaps the reason why he is so respected by the “traditionalist wing” is because we have read his books!]


As he often does, Sarah offered a strong plug for celebrating the Mass ad orientem, meaning with both the priest and the people facing East towards the altar, and ultimately, towards God. He called it a gesture that was “almost universally presumed in the antique forms of the Roman rite, rendered freely accessible by Benedict XVI for those who desire to use it.”

However, Sarah said, “this beautiful antique practice, so eloquent about the primacy of the all-powerful God, isn’t restricted just to the antique rite.

“It’s permitted and encouraged, and, I would insist, pastorally advantageous, in the more modern form of the Roman rite.”

On the importance of small things, such as the vessels used during the Catholic Mass, Sarah cited the example of two American seminarians who once brought him the chalice he was to use before Mass and asked him to bless it before they placed it near the altar, calling that a “very moving” touch. [That was a great moment.  AND, I must add, something to which the organizers of the conference ought to reflect on.  The organizers gave not even a MINUTE of time to American (North or South) speakers in this conference.  That was a dreadful slight.] 

Taking up the theme of his recent book, Sarah delivered a strong plea for greater silence in worship, calling it “the first act of sacred service.”

Sarah also underlined what he described as the “many young people discovering this liturgical form, who feel attracted by it and find it a form particularly appropriate for them. [That that to Thomas Reese, EthJay.]

“They encounter the mystery of the Holy Eucharist,” Sarah said, “which is more and more a key virtue for them in the modern world.”

Sarah conceded that “many in my generation struggle to understand this,” but insisted that “I can give personal testimony to the sincerity and dedication of this younger generation of priests and laity, and then many good vocations to the priest and consecrated life born in communities using the antique rite.”  [Hopefully, superiors and bishops will WAKE UP.]

If anyone doubts that, Sarah urged them to “visit these communities, get to know them, especially the young who are part of them.

Open your hearts and minds to these young brothers and sisters, and look at the good they do,” he said. “They’re not nostalgic or oppressed by the ecclesiastical battles of recent decades, they’re full of joy to live life with Christ amid the challenges of the modern world.

Sarah issued a direct appeal to his brother bishops to be open to people attached to the older Mass and more traditional customs and observances.  [Everybody wins!]

“These communities need paternal care,” he said, “and we must not allow personal preferences or misunderstandings that keep the faithful away who adhere to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. We bishops and priests are called to be instruments of reconciliation and communion in the Church for all the Christian faithful, and I humbly ask you, in the one faith we have in common and in accord with the words of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, to generously open your hearts to allow in everything the faith offers, and to create space for it.”

Statistically, he conceded, these people may remain “a small part of the life of the Church,” [“growing”] but that, he said, “doesn’t make them inferior or second-class.”


Finally, Sarah issued a challenge to his audience, asking that they stop calling themselves “traditionalists,” and stop allowing others to refer to them that way.  [NB]

“You’re not enclosed in a box, or in a library or museum of curiosities,” he said. “You’re not ‘traditionalists.’ You’re Catholics of the Roman rite, like me, like the Holy Father, not second-class citizens in the Catholic Church because of your cult and spiritual practices.”  [TRUE!  However, “traditional” or “traditionalist” (like liberal and conservative) are handy shorthand.]

Those practices, he pointed out, were also those of “innumerable saints.”

He told the group that it should not become “enclosed or withdrawn into a ghetto, which an attitude of defensiveness dominates, and suffocates your witness to the world of today to which you are sent.

“Ten years later,” he said, referring to the Summorum Pontificum anniversary, “If we haven’t broken the chains of the traditionalist ghetto yet, do it today!” [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]


He goes on to mention some remarks of Card. Müller about translations.  That was in interesting moment!


Posted in Biased Media Coverage, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

A priest on what saying the Traditional Mass meant to him

priestI received this note from a priest:

Just a quick note to say you and the others attending the pilgrimage/conference were in my prayers this morning, joined at the sacred altar (thankfully in the Extraordinary Form on both sides of the ocean!). What an important anniversary this is for the whole Church — for those of us who know and recognize it, for those still to learn, and even for those who presently resist the value of tradition.  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

This anniversary is also a personal one for me since ten years ago today was my first time to offer the Extraordinary Form, a Solemn High Mass which I was able to pull off thanks to the dedication and the assistance of kind Fraternity priests who helped me prepare, served as deacon and subdeacon, and provided the infrastructure (MC, altar boys, schola). Knowing it was my first time to offer that Mass, some lay faithful asked my reactions and reflections afterwards. I could honestly say then and now that I have never felt more like a priest than at that Mass. The need for the priest, the role of a priest, what a priest does is not more clear than in the Extraordinary Form, and particularly in a Solemn High Mass. It was a grace that has impacted me ever since and has led to my further familiarity with the EF and with its theology and the theology of the priesthood. It has come with some challenge — as I predicted it would — not just from folks who are adversaries but also an internal challenge because I find myself more interested in a tradition I have been denied. [Yes.  We’ve all been robbed of our patrimony.] Thus, offering the Novus Ordo most days is not what I would prefer. But brick by brick… [And I suspect that learning to say the traditional form now informs your Novus Ordo ars celebrandi.]

Though I have seen much of the world (in my NAC days), I am not much of a traveler, but perhaps some day I will make it a point to participate in the pilgrimage/conference.

Thanks for all you do to raise awareness of the EF and promote it far and wide!

And thanks to Pope Benedict XVI for his courage and his vision in giving the Church Summorum Pontificum!  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

Thanks, Father, for the great note.  I believe you are not alone in your experience.

Posted in Mail from priests | Tagged | 6 Comments

A young writer tries to figure out Pope Francis’ harsh words for “traditionalists”

A couple of days ago Amerika Magazine, a Jesuit organ, there was a rather thoughtful piece by a young man about his experience of the Vetus Ordo, the Extraordinary Form, the “Tridentine” form of Mass in the Roman Rite. Here is some of it, with my comments and emphases:

Is Pope Francis right about traditionalists who love the Latin Mass?  [The answer is clearly “No”.  It is also clearly “Yes”.  “Traditionalists” embraces a large number of people and they are not homogeneous, by any stretch of the imagination.  They’re just plain “folks”.]

As part of their efforts to draw us into a deeper faith life, my parents brought me and my brothers to a Tridentine Mass when we were kids. I do not recall being particularly impressed the first few times. One summer Sunday, however, I decided to attend one on my own, mostly for a change of pace from my home parish. This particular Sunday turned out to be the Feast of Corpus Christi, and I was caught off guard by the sheer spectacle of the ritual.

I briefly resented that the hymns and processions would keep me in church longer than I had originally planned, but I was soon overwhelmed by a feeling that I can best describe as communion. This was, I mused, the Mass as it was experienced by so many saints throughout history. [Let’s add a note here.  The older form of Mass has a pretty good track record in nourishing the lives of saints.  The newer form doesn’t have a track record yet.] Although there was no one in the pews around me, I began to feel as though I was surrounded by the saints who had come to know and worship God through this liturgy. I did not at that point understand that the rituals of the Mass had changed numerous times over the two millennia of Christian history, but learning about these changes never made me doubt the core of my experience that day. [Sure, the rites changed.  However, they were stable in their basics for those two millennia and stable in their particulars for the last 5 or centuries.]

Last year, Pope Francis spoke openly about his misgivings about liturgical traditionalists in an interview that would serve as an introduction of a book of his sermons as Archbishop of Buenos Aires:

I always try to understand what’s behind the people who are too young to have lived the pre-conciliar liturgy but who want it. Sometimes I’ve found myself in front of people who are too strict, who have a rigid attitude. And I wonder: How come such a rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, sometimes even more…. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.  [Neither is true love inclined to judge so severely large swaths of people.]

I have been pondering this statement since I first read it. I wondered whether I was the sort of person he had in mind. Was I a “rigid” Catholic? The experience of being surrounded by the saints at the Latin Mass was one of the most profound and formative spiritual experiences of my teenage years.

I have also been thinking about the pope’s words because his struggle to understand young traditionalists echoes the suspicions held by many older Catholics who lived through the Second Vatican Council, particularly priests. (Plus, the pope has recently reaffirmed his commitment to the liturgical reform of Vatican II, saying it is “irreversible.”)  [Which is, of course, his desire and not something that he can command.]

My experience with the Latin Mass offers one possible answer to Pope Francis’ questions about why young people are attracted to traditional liturgies: Having grown up with the Mass in English, these young Catholics have a vague sense of what any given moment in the Mass is about. The unfamiliar rituals and language of the Tridentine Rite, however, allows them to see these moments with fresh eyes. Discovering the Latin Mass is, to many members of my generation, what the introduction of the vernacular Mass was to people like Francis. [This young feller is fairly thoughtful.  He turned the sock inside out.  Good for him.  However, if he continues to ask around among those who experienced the liturgical changes and, often, chaos of the 60’s and 70’s, he will find that many will say that, when they first experienced Mass with the vernacular they had a hard time recognizing their Mass.  Instead of becoming more “understandable”, it became less so.  Of course they were able to understand the words, but that’s not the same as understanding what is going on during Mass.]

As for the “strict” and “rigid” people about whose insecurities Pope Francis frets, he is clearly not referring to everyone who wants the option of attending the pre-conciliar liturgy. Although some of my friends will wrinkle their noses at certain kinds of homilies or deviations from the liturgical rubrics, their tastes are hardly worthy of a psychiatrist’s couch. They do not need anyone to “dig” into their psyches. Love of God and neighbor runs at least as deeply in them as it does in me, even if that love manifests sometimes in Latin prayers.

To whom, then, is Pope Francis referring? The answer may lie in Francis’ own past. As the Jesuit provincial and later the rector of the Jesuit seminary in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio was known as a strict and formidable figure, and he had a sizeable following among the members of his province. But his critiques of traditionalist Catholic groups are seldom read through that lens.  [I’m not so sure.  I think quite a few of us went there when he made those remarks.  And let’s not forget that, in those same years which the writer mentions, Fr. Bergoglio also prompted division.]

When the pope suggests that strictness and rigidity conceal insecurity, he may be speaking about people he once knew quite well or even about himself. Francis’ former inflexibility ought to give much more credibility to his warnings about the pitfalls of modern traditionalism. Traditionalists do not take his criticisms as seriously as they probably ought to. But without any additional context, Pope Francis’ statements sound less like pastoral advice and more like the perennial lamentation of older generations about trends among the young.

The same can be said about many of the admonitions I have heard from the Vatican II generation about the flaws of the pre-conciliar church. It was not until I had extended conversations with these Catholics that the depth and relevance of their experience became clear. If I had not taken the time to listen and ask questions, all I would have heard was a clichéd lament about young Catholics trying to turn the clock back to the 1950s.



You can read the rest there, but that is the part which I found to be of most interest.

Yesterday at the Summorum Pontificum conference here in Rome, Card. Sarah suggested that we not use words like “traditionalists” any longer.  In fact, they are simply “Catholics”.

The moderation queue is ON.


Posted in Our Catholic Identity, The Drill | Tagged | 12 Comments

Thank you, Pope Benedict

Your Holiness, thank you for Summorum Pontificum.

Since the late 80’s I had the pleasure of speaking with you about these matters, and I think I know your mind on them and motives.

You gave us a great and timely gift.

Today, on this 10th anniversary of the implementation of your Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, I offered my Holy Mass for your intention.

I will try to carry forward your vision and hopes.

Ad multos annos.

Posted in Benedict XVI, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged | 14 Comments

In the wake of the big storms: Prayers of THANKSGIVING!

In the wake of hurricane IRMA, many have written to say that they are well.

My mother and her friends are fine.

I advocated prayers before the storm.

Now I recommend prayers of thanksgiving after the storm.

From a priest…

I am a priest in Wauchula Florida. I saw your post about the
Procession to Avert Tempests and we did exactly that along with Holy Mass, Adoration, and Confessions the day before the storm hit. Thanks be to God, there was no real damage to any parishioners or the Church. Thank you for posting that because I am sure that God greatly protected us from Irma’s wrath. God bless you and your apostolate.

Thanks be to God, indeed Father.

Have your people kneel down and say prayers of thanksgiving for God’s blessings.

Let there be sung Non Nobis and Te Deum.

Be the 10th Leper.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Non Nobis and Te Deum | Tagged , , | 4 Comments


Today in Madison, WI, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, will celebrate Holy Mass in the Roman Rite’s greatest form, at the Throne in the Vetus Ordo.

Mass begins at 5PM at the chapel of Holy Name Heights (once Bishop O’Conner Center).  702 S. High Point Road – Madison, WI.

All are welcome.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 2 Comments

Rome – Day 3: Summorum Pontificum 10 Years ONWARD!

I’m in the hall at the Angelicum for the day conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect.

As we start… in one view Martin Mosebach, Cardinals Burke and Müller.

The place is packed.

So we start.

Archbp. Pozzo gave a good talk.  He included stats about the growth of the use the Vetus Ordo over the last 10 years, without the SSPX and occasional.  One thing that stood out were the numbers for the USA.   And yet at this conference the is not a single American voice scheduled.   Once again, it is Eurocentric.   Pozzo said that in Columbia in 2007 there were 5 Masses available for Sunday.. Now there are 40.  Small but good growth. In France there were 104 which grew to 221.   Italy 30 to 56.  In USA 230-480.

Might there have been some American presence?



With Archbp. Pozzo.

I shared my concern that, while we rightly praise the work of institutes set up under the umbrella of Ecclesia Dei, diocesan priests are the ones who really suffer and risk a lot to implement SP.  Also, while the institutes, etc., do great work, the real gains will come when diocesan priests really dig in.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Burke listening to Cardinal Sarah.  Does it get better than that?

With my old friend John Allen of CRUX.  We are trying to figure out a lunch time.

On the way to church for Mass, I spotted this.

Well… okay!

Column of Trajan, old, but never gets old.

Our Lady Loretto.

More adventures tomorrow.

I really enjoyed talking to great people today, some readers of this blog and folks and allies whom I’ve know for years.

I need to absorb a couple good points from the day.

Everyone should know that there were people here from HONG KONG!  I must seek them out.  I would love to say Mass for them in Hong Kong.

There was also a representative from women religious from waaaaaaaay far north in northern SWEDEN.   That’s cool.  And we had a message from Catholics in Tanzania.

However, as far as the conference is concerned, I would have hoped that it was help at a center that was better suited for the crowd and the temperatures.  It was terribly uncomfortable.  They needed a place like the Augustininaum, with its state of art meeting place.  That greatly diminished the day.  Also, the lack of an American – South or North – was a terrible lacuna, bordering on, well, insulting.  Europeans… the world doesn’t revolve around you in this thing we have going with SP.  

The talks had some good points, but in the main there was nothing particularly electrifying. Card. M had some good side comments on issues concerning translations.  Card. Sarah, at the very end, gave an insight about whether or not we should refer to ourselves as traditionalists or just as catholics.  A canonist gave a great talk on legal issues, from the time of the first changes in 1965 to the present day: I learned a few things!   Were it not for the horrid heat and uncomfortable locale, it would have gotten more than three stars for the day.

Still, what a great pleasure to be with so many good people.

And I am getting texts from the Diocese of the Extraordinary Ordinary!  They are getting ready for the Pontifical Mass at the Throne!





Posted in On the road, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 16 Comments

What Did Council Fathers REALLY Say About LATIN?

12_04_13_vatican2Dr. Peter Kwasniewski wrote to me the other day to alert me to his post at NLM about the Second Vatican Council and the Latin language.  It is MUST READ reading.  HERE

A taste to get you in…

The documents were compromises, no doubt about it; the liberals did plan to leave them behind as soon as possible, like lower stages of a Saturn V aiming for the moon; the traditional elements in the documents are, by now, almost completely buried and forgotten; the Church is plentifully reaping the destructive results of rupture and discontinuity. All this is true. But it still gives us no carte blanche for rewriting the Council itself, unless we wish to be among those whose mouths will be stopped.

Therefore, it is surprising, to say the least, to find a recent document making such claims as the following:


Guess which brand new Motu Proprio on translations he quoted next?

How curiously unlike what one discovers poring through the great big volumes that contain the speeches of the Council Fathers — all those religious superiors, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals who spoke day after day in the opening session in 1962!

When reading their speeches on the liturgy schema, one is struck by how often they return to the subject of Latin. Even after repeated requests by the moderators to stop talking about it, the subject kept popping up.


He then provides – no doubt at the cost of long labor of retyping  – many summaries of interventions of Council Fathers provided by Henri de Lubac.

This is a real service to all of us.

Thank you, Peter.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Rome – Day 2: Stoffa and nonsense

If I am of an early morning out and about, my standard “large” Roman breakfast…

Things you see when walking about.

Lovely little neighborhood Marian shrines.  People take care of them.

I really enjoy the old “don’t be a litter bug” signs from “Monsignore Illustrissimo e Reverendissimo Presidente delle Strade”.  This is from 1 March 1741.

As you pass through side streets, look to the left and to the right.

Today in church I lit the four candles on the right on the upper part: parents, a friend, vocations for the diocese, and my benefactors.

Mass was celebrated for my benefactors.   I remember all my donors and benefactors in my prayers.  I’ll do this again for you while I am in Rome.

Kinda cool photo, shot by

Last Gospel.


And flock of Dominicans invaded!

The other day, because of the rainfall, there was a little flood in the sacristy.  Hence, some wag dug this out and put it up.

Supper was a riot, with all sorts of great (traditional) people.

Mortadella di cinghiale!

On the way home, the little chapel on the hill.

In another street, however, I spotted something interesting on the facade of this church.  It has been obscured for some time with scaffolding.   In Rome it is customary to put the coat of arms of the Pope above the doors of the church.  Sometimes, if it also a cardinalatial church, the cardinal’s arms will be tacked up as well.

Here’s the stemma of Pope PIUS XI, still on this church, or newly put up.  I guess they either didn’t get the memo, or they didn’t like the memo they got.  I’ll try to get a better shot in the day light with a better camera.

Today I did lots of fabric and vestment stuff, for the “travel vestments”.

I have one donor and another potential donor.   I have acquired all the fabric and made some decisions about trim.  Now, the last thing to do is to turn in everything, hammer out the details, and then… pull the trigger.

Tomorrow, the conference for the Summorum Pontificum conference begins.  This should be interesting.

I am already running into people I know.  It’s great.  I’ll see a lot more tomorrow.

Posted in On the road, The Feeder Feed | 7 Comments

Excerpt from a conference Card. Caffarra was slated to give

carlo_card_caffarraAt Rorate there is an extract from a text that the late, great – and already deeply missed – Carlo Card. Caffarra would have delivered to a conference in Milan on 10 Sept 2017.

Some time ago, there fell into my hands the text that he would have delivered to a conference in London in October 2017.  The topic was to be “John Henry Newman and Moral Conscience”.

Here is an extract, in my translation:

On the morning of 12 May 1897, Newman received the official communication that Pope Leo XIII had created him a Cardinal, having received the proposal from many English lay people, in primis the Duke of Norfolk.  Newman expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father with a brief discourse, which has passed into history as the “Biglietto Speech”.

The text is of extraordinary importance in order both to grasp wholly Newman’s spiritual journey, as well as to grasp his thought.  I wanted that this marvelous text should conclude my reflection.

Giving an account of his life, he wrote:

For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. … Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. … Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither.”

It is in the liberal principle that Newman individuates the principle factor of the reduction of the conscience to a simple personal opinion, which nobody has the authority to judge.

Before this counterfeiting of conscience, what must we do?  Newman’s response is the following:

Christianity has been too often in what seemed deadly peril, that we should fear for it any new, trial now. So far is certain; on the other hand, what is uncertain, and in these great contests commonly is uncertain, and what is commonly a great surprise, when it is witnessed, is the particular mode by which, in the event, Providence rescues and saves His elect inheritance. … Commonly the Church has nothing more to do than to go on in her own proper duties, in confidence and peace; to stand still and to see the salvation of God…..  Mansueti hereditabunt terram et delectabuntur in multitudine pacis … “The meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (Ps 37:11).


Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Resources to explain Collects in parish bulletin.

page_orationsFrom a deacon:

Let me begin by thanking you for your vocation and ministry. You have been a tremendous resource over these past few years, especially as I was in formation. The main reason I am emailing your today in light of a discussion I had with my pastor about the recent motu proprio. The priest I serve with dislikes the collects for all the reasons you have outlined and argued against for years. [What reasons are those?] Nonetheless, he said the people can’t understand the collects. I responded, let me write in the bulletin to explain the weekly collect. Here is the question, what are some resources I can use to explicate the collects? I just purchased Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sunday and and thinking of buying a book by Christopher Kiesling Before His majesty: A study of the spiritual doctrine in the Sunday orations of the Roman Missal (English and Latin Edition). [I don’t know that.  I’ll put it on my list.] Do you recommend anything else?

Right now, while there is a great deal that can be said about each and every prayer, I think that the most accessible explanations are probably my own.  I guess that means that I have to get those books out.  Right?  I project three volumes: Advent/Christmas cycle, Lent/Easter cycle, Ordinary Time.

Meanwhile, you can search up all sort of stuff on this blog using the search box on the sidebar.

That said, I don’t get the claim that people “can’t understand” the current ICEL translation.  Dumb the translation down any more and, well, it would be insulting, just as it was insulting for decades before the new translation came into effect.

Anyone who wants to understand the prayers, will get something from them.   Different people will gather different things from the content of the translated prayers according to their capacity, education and present concerns.

Another component is: How are they being proclaimed aloud?

If the priest has a facility with language (a think not automatically to be assumed), and his takes a little care to read them aloud thoughtfully, they are fine and comprehensible.

If many people can’t understand, perhaps Father could adjust his own style?

Also, even if a translation is little bit clunky – and they are not all clunky!  not by a long shot! – that’s just fine with me.  Why?  BECAUSE THEY ARE TRANSLATIONS!  I don’t care if translations sound like translations.  Let everyone remember that our worship should be in Latin. LATIN is the official language of prayer of the Latin Church, after all.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | 8 Comments

“A Jesuit commenting on liturgy is like…”

fishwrapAt Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) contributors are wetting themselves – and each other – over the Motu Proprio Magnum principiumby which Pope Francis took part of the role in working up liturgical translations, etc., away from the Congregation for Divine Worship and made it more firmly the role of conferences of bishops.

The libs are really feeling their oats right now, no doubt. Reading them, you’d think that they’d received the 11th Avatar of Vishnu.

There are several rather sad offerings at Fishwrap, which have exaggerated the ramifications of the document somewhat.

The most risible of them must be that of Jesuit Thomas Reese who was so radical as editor of the Jesuit organ Amerika Magazine, that he got the heave-ho.  He has been drifting from site to site ever since.

His premise is so dopey and, frankly, anti-Catholic, that I won’t give you any samples.  You can go see for yourselves.  HERE  It’s an exercise in pure selfishness with a strong dash of malice. It’s not just that he clearly dislikes tradition, which is bad enough.  He dislikes the people who want to be traditional.


Clement XIV, of happy memory

I will however observe that there is an old saying about people who are completely bumfuzzled, like fish out of water: Like a Jesuit during Holy Week.

Mind you, there are few exceptions, but they prove the rule by the great contrast they offer to their confreres.

This morning brought some other apt Jesuit v. liturgy comparisons to mind.  These are from a couple of my pals, as they filled in the blank.

A Jesuit commenting on liturgy is like…

  • … Falstaff commenting on sobriety.
  • … a slave trader commenting on human rights.
  • … Judas commenting on loyalty.
  • … the KKK commenting on integration.
  • … Nero opining on religious liberty for Christians.
  • … Diocletian declaiming on the veneration of relics.
  • … Semiramis commenting on morality.

Ahhh Semiramis,…

“…that ancient queen who was the first person to castrate male youths of tender age”.

If you do go over there to read, put a dab of Vick’s under your nose before you click.

The moderation queue is ON.


Posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 23 Comments

St. Jerome named Patron Saint of the “Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center” @DLIFLC

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 10.16.16This is for your Just Too Cool file.

I’ve been informed that the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center has made St. Jerome their patron.  HERE

During a humble ceremony at the Presidio of Monterey Chapel Sept. 11, St. Jerome, who lived from 347 to 420, became inducted as the patron saint of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

St. Jerome has been associated with writing, cataloging and translating works of history, biographies, and a biblical translation and is traditionally regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers. Therefore it is only fitting that he be chosen as the patron saint of linguists, according to Chaplain Maj. Chan Young Ham.

The tradition of patron saints as guardians over areas of life, to include occupations, dates back to as early as the fourth century. St. Michael, paratroopers, and St. Barbara, field artillery, are examples of military occupations that have previously inducted a patron saint.

I have a couple of friends who were sent there for language studies.

If they have a challenge coin, I’d be happy to make an exchange!

Posted in Just Too Cool, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged | 5 Comments

Should a seminary headline a homosexualist activist as a speaker?

I’ve been made aware that Theological College in Washington DC, for their “Alumni Days” coming up in October, is scheduled to have homosexualist activist Jesuit Fr. James Martin as their speaker. HERE

Theological College is the National Seminary of Catholic University of America.

Does it seem right to you that a seminary should spotlight an open promotor of a homosexualist agenda?


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I’ll grant you that a speaker might be capable of addressing more issues than just his primary focus.  But there is no way around the fact that, right now at least, when Fr. Martin’s name comes up, the first thing you think is activist for a homosexualist agenda.

I don’t get it.

If I were a bishop or an alumnus of Theological College, I’d have some questions.

What message are they trying to send?

What are they promoting by this move?

What are they teaching those seminarians?

The moderation queue is definitely ON.

Posted in Our Catholic Identity, Seminarians and Seminaries, Sin That Cries To Heaven, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

ASK FATHER: To make or not to make responses in the Traditional Latin Mass?

schola cantorum chantFrom a reader…


Question: I have heard it said that during the Latin Rite Mass [Be careful with your terms.  “Latin Rite Mass” also means Novus Ordo.] the laity should NOT be heard in their responses. I really have no idea if this is the case or not, but I will probably err on the side of being silent for all responses from now on, but I’ll feel badly about it. What, if any, parts of the Latin Rite Mass should include vocal responses from the people? Is it necessary at all? I’ll be happy to clam up.

This is a tough one.   Some congregations are accustomed to make responses and some have been – well – pretty much silenced.

Popes of the 20th century were speaking about “active participation” (and they meant both interior actual participation and outward vocal participation) well before the Second Vatican Council. They advocated making responses. The Holy See clarified the different ways or “levels” of vocally active participation, depending on the sort of Mass being celebrated and the occasion.

In a nutshell, before the Council, it was strongly encouraged that people make responses, especially at Solemn and Sung Masses. This applied often to Low Masses as well, the so-called “dialogue Mass”.

It seems to me that had this been fostered as Popes indicated, there would not been a vandalic rampage through the Roman Rite in the 60’s.

There are various goods in tension.  I’ll leave aside the whole issue of having only clerics speaking the texts of Mass as a non-factor.

First, especially for a Low Mass, there is a lot to be said for stillness and silence, especially in our increasingly noisy world.

However, there is a lot to be said also, during the Missa Cantata or the Solemn Mass, for the outward manifestation of interior participation by the baptized who also share, in their own way, in Christ’s Priesthood.

Are there good reasons, in a Sung Mass or Solemn Mass, not to respond to “Et cum spirit tuo“, for example?

It is hard for me to think of one.

As a matter of fact, it would be great for congregations who are capable of doing so to sing the Ordinary chants (Kyrie, Gloria, etc.), though that takes a while to learn.  I have an experience of such a congregation at my home parish.  On Saturday mornings, they could sing whatever Mass was appropriate for the day.   It took some years to get them there, but they could do it.

At the same time, I don’t think people should be bludgeoned into responding by someone with a microphone waving her hand around, as often happens with Novus Ordo affliction liturgists.

I occasionally wonder what it would be like to have a Solemn Mass for a church full of good choir members, amateur or pro.  What would it be like to have the whole congregation burst into the Kyrie of the, say, Missa Brevis of Palestrina?

That said, if no one else at the place you are going makes responses – at all – then I don’t recommend making them loudly all by yourself.

I think it would be good for congregations to make responses. People don’t have to shout, but they should not just sit there and stare when they have been addressed by the priest.

If alter Christus says something to you directly, you don’t just sit there and mutely stare or look around.

Each community has to work this out over time.

The bottom line is, however, that the first and foremost way of active participation, which should give rise to any exteriorly active participation, is the interiorly active receptivity we should foster during every Mass. Active participation begins within and then gives rise to outward expression.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 46 Comments