ASK FATHER: Priest puts up scandalous “gay” flag for annual public “pride” week. Bishop: zero help.

From a reader…


I’m asking for some advice/direction on a frustrating and too common issue.

A local parish priest in my diocese has been flying the pride flag outside his parish for the second year in a row for pride week. The parish priest was confronted about the public scandal (several times now) this has created and brushed it off as “youthful ignorance”. [!] The bishop was then spoken too who said last year and again this year that “I spoke to Father X and he has agreed to take the flag down on Saturday” (after the pride week ends).  [Indeed.]

So my question is how are the faithful to respond to this public display of disobedience to Church teaching? Would I need to contact Rome now or is there someone else before it gets to that step?

There’s a lot going on in this message:  “second year”… “after hubris week… YOU are “ignorant”… the probably intimidated or compromised bishop won’t take a real stand….

First, how many people are engaged on this issue?  It seems to me that you could get organized (and see other suggestion, below) and schedule a meeting with the priest and work through the issues with him, hear his side. Remember, he might be homosexual and, therefore, personally invested in this scandal.  If that’s the case, then don’t expect a reasoned position or good treatment when you challenge him to affirm the Church’s teaching about homosexual actions.

You might at that point explain to him what is going to happen next to your annual giving in the parish for the next year.  You are all cutting back on your giving: too late to change that now, after two years of this public scandal.  The next time shame week rolls around, you will review your decision: no flags, etc., giving restored to normal levels – flags, etc. deeper cuts yet.

In response to his accusation of your ignorance, to dispel his “mature ignorance”, bring to that meeting screenshots or clippings of what “gay” parades for these shame weeks look like.  Ask the parish priest if he knew about their demonic, scandalous antics in front of the world… in front of children.  Why he is supporting that sort of behavior with a public display?  Is he being paid?  Is this from pressure from donors?

If the priest or bishop comes up with some pabulum about needing to be inclusive and welcoming to Catholics who feel they have been marginalized, then have in your pocket your written petition, signed by at least 50 people, for the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated in your parish.

In the Illustrated Dictionary of the Modern Church, you’ll find a photo of TLM petitioners next to the entry for “marginalized”, as well as by, “systematically abused”, “ignored” and “heart-broken”.

Look, I have no idea who your priest or bishop is, but I fear that you are not going to get very far.  Write to Rome… fine.  Good luck with that these days.  They will refer you back to the local bishop.  The local bishop probably didn’t issue a public statement or put anything in writing about his dealings with the priest and the agreement they made, so everything is either deniable or at least delay-able.

If the people in charge are personally invested, you have little recourse.  The only thing that remains for you is your wallet, fasting and praying, and your map to another parish.

I feel for you.

Comment moderation is ON.

Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged | 12 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have good news for the readers?  Let us know.

I have a few tidbits.

First, today I had lunch with a priest friend from my native place who was driving through on the way home from a long summer road trip.  I haven’t seen him for years.  He, too, had been given the heave ho from the seminary a couple of years before I experienced the same gentle “deselection”.  He, too, was forced to leave family and friends and seek God’s will in another place, though not quite as far as I went.  That’s another story.

My friend had a lot of observations about the Church and the near future.  He sees things much as I do.  And, a bright note, he said his first TLM recently, at the request of young people in the parish.  Sweet.

I picked up my P.O. Box mail and had nice notes and a couple of donations from readers.   Some prefer to send by snail mail.

  • Good luck LM and family in your move!  Thanks for the comments about Pontifical Masses.
  • Thanks D&TH for the letter about life and the role the blog plays.
  • LL, I will enjoy the marmalade.  I am already contemplating how best to deploy it.  And, I suppose I should have it with tea, rather than coffee.  I shall carefully hot the pot and do it up right.

I really enjoy the notes about what going on.  Thanks.

What’s your good news?

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 10 Comments

A Black Mass in the Vatican at the time of Vatican II?

From Crisis, ever more valuable.

Fetid Fruits of the Black Mass

The writer refers to various diabolical phenomena, including that which requires exorcism and the so-called Black Mass.  I wrote on this HERE.

As if he were reading the pages of this blog, he recounts in bare bones the introductory section of the late Malachi Martin’s Windswept House in which agents of the Enemy – at the time of the Second Vatican Council – turn the Church over to Satan through rituals simultaneously performed in the Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace and in a place in North Carolina.

The Carolina connection, by they way, leads us back to Card. Bernardin and a whole swarm of powerful US Church figures.

It is hard to substantiate such a claim, but it sure explains a lot.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 9 Comments


A lot of you are in the throes of getting organized for the return of your kinder to school.  Need stuff?


When you shop Amazon using my links (always on the sidebar), I get a small percentage. It makes a big difference.

Also, speaking of Amazon, one of you readers recently sent me a title from my wishlist.

Armsbearing and the Clergy in the History and Canon Law of Western Christianity


This should be interesting!

So, get your kids ready for school… or yourself!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Leave a comment

14 Aug -St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest, martyr, #HamRadio operator, intercede for dissident ‘c’atholic media! #CQ

Maximilian KolbeToday, 14 August, is the Vigil of the Assumption.  It is also the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest put to death at Auschwitz.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, has a special relevance for Catholic media.

I would ask all of you to say a prayer to him, asking his intercession with God for the conversion of catholics who use the media to confuse the faithful and to distort the teachings of the Church.  I am especially intent that you pray for the conversion of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap).

Pray, people, on your knees, even with a special visit to the Blessed Sacrament, that the whole body of Catholic bishops of these USA will soon formally demand that the Fishwrap to remove the word “Catholic” from its name.  Remember the prayer to St. Joseph for the Conversion of the National catholic Reporter which I posted HERE.

NcR must be converted, please God, or like the priests of Baal, they must fail.

Also, please ask St. Maximilian to intercede, asking God to keep those who are dedicated to making Christ and His Church known and loved in their fullness faithful, charitable and courageous.

Finally, I remind you hams out there that St. Maximilian, was also a ham.


In 1930, Franciscan Father Maksymilian Maria Kolbe left Poland for Japan, China and India where he organized monasteries. When in Japan, Father Kolbe got acquainted with a network of small broadcasting radio stations. To supplement a large number of religious periodicals that he was publishing in Poland and abroad at that time, he decided to start a radio station as a new medium. In 1930, he applied for a radio broadcasting license in Poland. However, only the Polish Radio Warsaw (1925) and a military radio station held exclusive radio licenses at that time. Radio receivers were allowed to be owned by permission early in 1924.


More HERE.

These tools and skills will be needed, if thing keep going the way the are going.  Feel free, hams out there, to make a donation or two.

Also, Zednet exists on the Yaesu System Fusion (Wires-X) “room” 28598, which is cross-linked to Brandmeister (BM) DMR worldwide talkgroup 31429, which essentially gives world-wide multi-mode access to a common ham radio network.

Any fellow hams who have access locally to a Yaesu System Fusion repeater, a repeater on the BM network, or a multi-mode hotspot that’s registered with BM can get on and have a rag chew.

WB0YLE gave me a clear list, with links, of everything you need to get involved.


Maybe we need actively to churn the waters and have a real Net on a regular basis.  “Samidzat” in the aether?

Thanks for remembering St.Kolbe. He is an important man for our sad times, especially as the normal modes of communication are being co-opted by the forces of evil.

I would also remind fellow hams about a possible Special Event: Shrines on the AirHERE  It is a relatively short distance from where I am to the National Shrine of St. Maximilian.   We should get something going.

Posted in Ham Radio, Saints: Stories & Symbols, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

It’s no surprise at all that Catholics don’t know or believe about the Eucharist. After all, worship is doctrine and we are our rites!


At NRO there is something from John Hirschauer (William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism at National Review Institute) about the huge percentage of Catholics who don’t believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist. We shouldn’t be in the least surprised. This is precisely what had to result after the last 50 or so years of erosion of Catholic identity in every sphere.

Of Course Most Catholics Don’t Believe in the Real Presence [Exactly… “Of course”!]

Mahatma Gandhi is often reported to have said something like: If Catholics really believed that God Himself were present in the Eucharist, they would crawl toward the altar on their stomachs. Long pants and a collared shirt would be a start.

The Catholic Mass, delicately constructed over the centuries and gradually ornamented with what the late Michael Davies called liturgical “accretions,” [Nothing, however, Superfluous – US HERE UK HERE] was rebuilt wholesale in the 1960s at Vatican Council II to better include (as if they had ever been excluded) The People. [aka El Pueblo]

The scene at the consecration in Novus Ordo Parish, USA in Year of Our Lord 2019 astounds in its portability. It proceeds like a ritual of perfect disregard: Father Bob, in the name of anti-clericalism, conscripts a lay army of “extraordinary ministers” to distribute the Host in their Sunday Mediocrities (Barb’s jeans and white blouse will no doubt suffice for Sunday brunch at the country club after Mass). Jan, Susan, Barb, and Gregg ascend the altar without genuflection or bow — this is The People’s house! — as Father Bob hands them what would, in a faraway time, be considered the Body and Blood of Christ. But this is The People’s feast, and the greatest threat to their unity as such is the One who brings not peace, but a sword.

No swords in The People’s house.

Like clockwork, The People (save one or two holdouts burdened by their “rigid” doctrinal formation) line up for Communion. Five of them — six, if you count the priest — have been to confession in the last calendar year, and one — priest inclusive — can recite the Act of Contrition without visual aid. Some third-rate hymn written in 1994 is played on the acoustic guitar in the background as one by one, the Blessed Sacrament is transferred from one unconsecrated hand to another. The Prince of Peace has been tried and found divisive; they’ll take peace instead. All the while, the Church continues Her interminable “dialogue” with modernity and her princes: pluralism, The Market, conscience, Patriarch Bartholomew, feminism, Pride &c.

Seventy percent of Catholics, per Pew Research’s latest figures, don’t believe in the Real Presence. Why are you surprised?

This is what has resulted from a systematic infiltration of the Church and methodical erosion of all the foundations of the Faith, especially her sacred liturgical worship.  Remember that worship is doctrine and that we are our rites.

This is what the libs want more of.  Truly.  They are dead set on dismantling the Church even more.  They are calling in the wrecking ball, as a matter of fact.  If they get their way, the Church will have been transformed outwardly into a global NGO.  There will remain a faithful remnant, of course.  Also, in the next few years we will probably see a massive drop in numbers of people who say they are Catholic.  Material goods will fall off and many places of worship will close.  The availability of priests will plummet before it goes slowly back up.  The previous generations sowed the wind and we must reap the storm.

What can you do.   Make sure you know your Catholic Faith.  Review and be ready to share it, to give reasons for the hope that is in you.  Gain indulgences when you can.  GO TO CONFESSION!  Be inviting to people. Show joy in your Faith!  That’s attractive.  Participate in the life of the parish.  Strive always to deepen your relationship with God, searching within for faults and listening carefully in prayer.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 16 Comments

A quick look at some ‘c’atholic media

It is necessary from time to time to put on the forensic pathologist cap.

I always feel like I need to wash with bleach after I read this stuff, rather like the investigation of a crime scene where the deceased isn’t… new.

What’s going on these days on the catholic Left?

First, in view of the upcoming Synod (“walking together”) on the Amazon,  we glance at the Jesuit-run “semi-official” journal, La Civiltà Cattolica, allegedly vetted by the Secretariat of State.   This is behind a paywall… so only the cash-flush and/or ideologically committed have easy access.

Amazonian Indigenous Spirituality and Care for the ‘Common Home’
Adelson Araújo dos Santos, SJ
13 August 2019

The blurb in the email alert communicates what they want us to know.

How spirituality in Amazon contributed to Christianity

The indigenous people living in Brazil and Pan-Amazonia therefore have a mythological legacy that remains alive.

Indigenous spirituality is based on the experience of the forest peoples: their myths, rituals and their way of relating to nature.

As in Christian spirituality, it is also from the religious experience of the indigenous people that we can derive the basic elements and paradigms of the elaboration of their understanding of God and of themselves.

What could possibly go wrong with Jesuits writing about the intersection (syncretism?) of the spiritual myths of pagans (certainly demonic) and Christian (generic?) spirituality?

Perhaps one of you have access to the whole piece. I don’t.

Another organ of the ultra-Left, La Croix International has behind its own paywall – hence it is not for the disposable-income challenged and is mostly for the ideologically pure – this nutty offering.

‘How America wanted to change the pope’ An archbishop’s claim that Francis was complicit in covering up sexual abuse within the Church amounted to an attempted coup d’état Nicolas Senèze
Vatican City

An ultra-conservative fringe of the American Catholic right has fomented a coup against Pope Francis.

Introduction: From Santiago to Dublin – or how the pope’s trip to Dublin in Aug. 2018 marked the beginning of an attack against himRead exclusively the first chapters of the book by Nicolas Senèze, permanent special envoy of “La Croix” in Rome, to be published by Bayard Publishing on Sept. 4. Pre-order from your bookseller.

On Sunday morning, Aug. 26, 2018, there was great excitement at The Alex, the small hotel in central Dublin where the Vatican housed journalists following the pope on his trip to Ireland.After rising at 4:30 a.m. to board the flight that would take Francis to the Marian shrine in Knock, in the west of the country, people at the Vatican were stunned by a bombshell dropped by a former Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and published during the night by several…

That’s as far as you can get without coughing up money better spent elsewhere.

You can see where this is going.

Then over to Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter). There is so much that’s dreadful there… just pick a link, any link. These stand out, however.

Tackle clericalism first when attempting priesthood reform
by Fr. Peter Daly

Essentially, priests are bad. They need to be re-educated so that they no longer understand themselves as being different in any way from any other person. He works from a definition of clericalism provided by the Ass. of Catholic Priests.  Telling.

The last in a list of symptoms of clericalism: “When thriving parishes are closed because there is a shortage of priests when there are deacons and lay people readily available to keep the community going.” In cauda veneno.


Churches’ struggles could be a staging ground for the new vessel
by Ken Briggs

It’s scrambled, to be sure, but this stuck out…

The churches’ struggles at this time could become a staging ground for that new vessel. I’m guessing that the deck would be cleaned for the emergence of a global, essentially single church with various branches that attract seekers who find an appeal in a church that doesn’t crave approval from the culture or that damns but respects it and offers its own breadth and depth of life and faith. A different kind of hope not dependent on societal success. [Gee… a single global Church that doesn’t conform to the world… hmmm… sounds familiar.]

Not long ago, churches were chided for having an “edifice complex,” an outsized attachment to sanctuaries that begged for architectural and cultural awards. Bigness and ostentation told the world that the churches belonged in the realm of makers and shakers. The American way was anchored to a model of “growth,” the gross national product being the measure of national pride and health, “winning” in everything from Olympics to Oscars the ends sought.

A Christianity aborning could be imagined as a modest partner in a larger, global community of religions, surrendering privilege and assumed primacy to humbling sharing of a commonly recognized mysticism.

And there’s this…

Faith is something best ‘lived on one’s feet’
[María Teresa (M.T.) Dávila is Associate Professor of the Practice, Religious and Theological Studies, Merrimack College.]

On one’s feet… not on one’s knees.  Immediately one wonders if there will be a mention of prayer in this piece. Nope.  The beginning, so you can get the flavor…

La fé se vive de pié. Faith is lived on your feet. On whatever motors your body. Faith calls the body to become incarnate in the realities in which Christ too becomes incarnate. These past few weeks have seen tremendous movimiento – movement. People of faith, of all ages, abilities, sexual orientations, religious traditions, genders and ethnicities have mobilized! They moved into spaces and advocated for dignity — their own and others. They clamored in the streets and in the halls of political power for human rights for those who are held captive. They bore on their bodies and in their witness some of the injustices being heaped upon the most vulnerable.

There’s a lot more of this. I’m sure you now want to put on your Che beret and make large character posters. Yes, I mixed those together.

Meanwhile, Fishwrap’s tricoteuse MSW (aka Madame Defarge) is still bashing Pres. Trump while he croons in the direction of Elizabeth Warren. Also, a few days ago he typed up a paen of Francis’ recent letter to priests so cloying that you feel like you’re drowning in Lyle’s Golden Syrup. It’s “remarkable… most exemplary… quintessential Papa Bergoglio”. Oh his “brutal frankness”, the “deeply spiritual insight… the deeply [again] traditional understanding…”! It’s not all like the “the programmatic, managerial understanding of the life of the church we encounter so often in this country, so focused on who has power.” No no. Instead, “Francis’ spirituality is also very traditional and very vibrant [verily]: No flashy new lights for him.” Don’t forget the “practical pastoral wisdom” which is “so simple and yet… profound”. Then again, he is “deeply [again] rooted in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council”.

We are informed by Madame Defarge… and maybe you can figure out what the heck this means, “Pope Francis’ way is not the way of the “heroic priesthood.” You will find no Jungian archetypes here.” Apparently Francis also has an “anti-Pelagian approach to discipleship”.

And, right on schedule, there is the programmatic diminishing of the priest and priesthood which so characterizes everything Fishwrap is about:

And so far from encouraging any vision of the priesthood that emphasizes the distinction between the lay faith and the ordained ministry, he reminds the priests to be encouraged by the fact that “our people have a ‘nose’ for things. They sniff out, discover, new paths to take; they have the sensus fidei (cf. Lumen Gentium, 12)… What could be more beautiful than this?” Again, it is not just his fidelity to Vatican II, it is how he makes the teachings of that council fresh.

Very deeply!

The thing that Fishwarp doesn’t get is that is that for someone to have the sensus fidei they have to have fides in the first place. To have the sensus fidei fidelium, you have to be faithful.

Anyway, Defarge’s panegyric soars to this high C:

This short text will go down as one of the paradigmatic documents of this pontificate. It breathes faith, hope and charity. It displays a wisdom of years and a still youthful heart. Deeply [again] rooted in the tradition, it does not treat the tradition as a source of proof texts and footnotes but as a springboard from which to vault into the challenges of our day. It is one of Francis’ finest, simplest, most profound texts, and I hope the priests of our time can and will receive it as such.

It doesn’t treat tradition as a source of proof texts! What he is really saying is that the clock started in 1963 and, after bad period of about 35 years, it was restarted in 2013.  Outside of that very deep time scheme, we don’t have to pay a lot of attention to, you know, documents and other Councils and outdated stuff like that.

I am reminded of another of the New catholic Red Guards, now a venerated comrade who fell in his marching through the streets, little book held high, as he sloganed his way along against the Four Olds.  What was it he wrote? Pope Francis…

“breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is ‘free from disordered attachments.’ Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”

Apart from it being highly weird, that was one of best/worst examples of sycophantic crawling you will find from that end of the spectrum.  Truly exemplary.

And… it was plagiarized.

MSW also got a bit oily.  However, I admit that found Francis’ letter at least engaging. Frankly, I expected it to be yet another round of his beating up on priests, but it was – mostly – benign and encouraging.  I am not convinced that it was entirely written by Francis. That’s okay, of course. Popes have ghost writers and what they sign belongs to them.  Was Spadaro’s hand in it?

I agree with Fr. Jeff Kirby writing at Crux (!) that there is a lacuna: a call for personal repentance. Of course such a letter, which needs to be short, can’t mention everything. That element, however, ought to have been included.

And I am still struggling with Francis’ description in the letter of the Church… the CHURCH, mind you, and not just her members… as being like a Bride (so we know he is talking about the Church) “sorpresa in flagrante adulterio… caught in flagrant adultery… Esposa sorprendida en flagrante adulterio”.

Francis offers this puzzling image in conjunction with a reference to Ezekiel 16 which contains 63 of the roughest verses in the whole body of Scripture.  Ezekiel describes the relationship of God with faithless “Jerusalem”, likened to an orphaned girl whom the Lord adopts and lavishes good things upon, eventually wedding her. But she is unfaithful and becomes an adulterous whore. She will be punished and humiliated, but the Lord nevertheless is faithful to his covenant and is forgiving. This is a head scratcher. If it were clearer that Francis is talking about the Church considered in the individual members who comprise her rather than the Church, spotless Bride of Christ, so in unity with Christ that they are like one Body, the Body of Christ.  Members… okay.  I wouldn’t bat an eye. As a matter of fact, I’d be inclined to applaud. But it is not clear to me that he is thinking of us, her members. Am I wrong?  Seriously.  Read it for yourselves.  HERE

In any event, that’s enough of this.  No energy or will to look at Amerika.

I’ll go use some eyewash now and get on with my day.

Posted in Biased Media Coverage, Jesuits, Liberals, The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

BOOK : A guide for forming Catholic gentlemen and future priests – and a mini rant.

A prelude.

I treasure a copy of a French book of etiquette from long lost decades, Le Livre D’Or Du Savoir-Vivre. Dictionnaire Illustre De La Politesse.  It’s an informative hoot, since much of what it contains is seemingly outdated and, well, continental.  But in some cases it has been helpful.

Also, I remember stories and hints from our old pastor at St. Agnes in St. Paul, Msgr. Schuler, who constantly had young priests, seminarians, men interested in priesthood at the supper table. The evening meal was always formal, served from the kitchen.  We had our places and our proper napkin rings and you were expected to dress for supper.   When you have a lot of men living together, it is important that there be decorum and some feminine presence about the place, in the form of a housekeeper or cook.  Also, once upon a time, as a new priest assigned to the minor seminary, beginning with high school through college, he had been put in charge of teaching etiquette.  They took in young men often straight off the farm, who didn’t have a clue about social graces.   Heck, in Rome in the early 90s we had to help a few guys learn how to eat without causing shock and general revulsion.

That must have been a challenge, in the last years of the 40’s and into the 50’s, and the 90’s, but not as much of a challenge as it would today.

Now to my present point.

At the recent annual Canon Law conference organized by Card. Burke and held at the marvelous Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, some volunteers set up tables with books for purchase. I found a little treasure, in a reprinted book from the ’60s,

Social Manual For Seminarians.


UPDATE: NB that when I posted this, the price was $14.95.  However, I suspect that readers here got the copies that were in stock and they switched to some other, more expensive supplier.  There are other venues.

The contents include headings such as


There are, of course, others.

The book is a practical guide to help the 1960s seminarian be a “Catholic Gentleman”.   This was a necessary part of formation… and remember that seminary back in the day began with HIGH SCHOOL seminaries!

This stuff is important.   Of course, the publisher adds a note:

An intro to the Intro…

A few sample pages…

In the section about… WHEN THE LADIES ARE PRESENT

And also…

Sigh.  As the years are torn off the calendar like flying leaves in the fall, will there be any “ladies”?   The coarseness of young women now is alarming.  It is hardly surprising, really.  Look at entertainment these days.  Who are the most vicious and prolific killers? Women.  Think about it.

But I digress.

I am so glad I don’t have any annoying habits.

And, as ordination approaches, there is some really good advice in this section.  There are an awful lot of things to think about, and this book helps to identify them.

This book is simultaneously a nostalgic hoot and neuralgic poke.  It provokes smiles about lost days and it stimulates desire to recover what has been lost…


Decorum is the key to a great deal of the life of the Church.   Categories from rhetoric are applicable across the board.  Think about how for many centuries rhetoric tied together the whole formation of a young man.  They were to be trained in identifying the bonum, the aptum, the pulchrum.

Decor, that which is seemly.

The right word or gesture at the right time for the right reason.

Choices of gestures and words for the sake of eliciting the chosen effect.

How often I contemplate how liturgical abuses and bad choices and deficient ars celebrandi is not just a violation of law, or the rights of the faithful, or good taste.  They are also a violation of the priest’s own dignity.  They are infra dignitatem.   They manifest a lack of understanding of …

who the Church is,

who the priest is,

Who Christ is.

In any event, this book could be a great starting point for reflection not only among seminarians, but also among young priests.

And let’s not underestimate how parents of young children could take some cues from the helpful observations about “Catholic Gentlemen”.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Decorum, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Mail from priests, Pò sì jiù, Priests and Priesthood, REVIEWS, Seminarians and Seminaries, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments

ASK FATHER: Am I obliged to tell an old priest about his liturgical ad libs?

From a seminarian…


Thank you very much for everything you do on this blog. I am a seminarian and an avid reader of this blog. My seminary is orthodox, but these are difficult times in the Church and it is a great blessing to have you as a consistent voice of reason and orthodoxy. It is also great to have someone I can trust to answer my question without beating about the bush.

I recently attended Mass at a parish outside my diocese. It was a difficult experience. The music (surprise!) was terrible, but the thing that irked me the most was the fact that the elderly priest kept ad libbing. Most unfortunately, he also made up a part of the prayers of consecration of the Precious Blood. Overall, he basically got across the same meaning (except his blatant substitution of “all” for “many”). That is until the Ecce Agnus Dei which he rendered “This is Jesus…ad lib…ad lib…ad lib…” and the closing prayer which he completely made up.

My question is twofold.

First, at what point is the Mass invalid and what does one do in such a circumstance? I always worry that I should go to Mass a second time elsewhere.

Second, I really wanted to say something to the priest after Mass, but I chose not to. However, am I morally obligated to say something. I’ll be honest. I chickened out. Should I have said something? Again this was not my home parish, and as far as I could tell, this was a visiting priest.

Thank you very much and God bless!


There are several factors at work here.

Second question first.  Should you have said something?

Firstly, you were outside of your diocese.   There is little you can do to follow up.  So, in this situation, it is best to keep your mouth shut.

Second, as a seminarian, you are about at the level in our priestly corps as the recruit getting off the bus in the middle of the night for your tender welcome at Parris Island.  Your job right now is to find your particular painted set of yellow footprints and stand in them until you are told what to do next.  So, in this situation, it is best to keep your mouth shut.

Third, the priest is old, “elderly”… which from your perspective could be directed also at me.  Old men tend to be set in their ways.  And here comes Sonny with his helpful observations.  In terms of “fraternal correction” you had no obligation, in your present status.  In fact, since seminarians are not an easily renewable resource, don’t needlessly put yourself in the line of fire.  So, in this situation, it is best to keep your mouth shut.

This is like the old chestnut, “‘Shut up!’, he explained.”

Your job, along with finding your yellow footprints, is to get ordained.  Smile, watch your back, work hard, get ordained.

Fourth, at what point is Mass invalid?  If the priest has a negative intention against what the Church teaches, that invalidates.  If the matter and form are defective to the point that they don’t conform to what the Church specifies, that invalidates.  If the priest does not consume both of the sacred species, then he may have confected the Eucharist but it wasn’t Holy Mass. Fail.   Other than that, ad libbing doesn’t do it, unless he ad libs the consecration into incoherent idiocy.

Friend, be good and be prudent.  File these experiences away and let them warm your cold times.  Examine your conscience often and use the sacrament of Penance regularly.  Continue to verify your vocation with brutal honesty.

There are a lot of people praying for you.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes – What Catholics DO BELIEVE about the Eucharist!

Was there a good point made in the sermon during your Mass of Sunday obligation? Let us know.

For my part, I started with the image of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and then went into the problem of a vast percentage of Catholics who don’t belief what the Church teaches about the Eucharist because they haven’t been taught or they haven’t accepted it.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 12 Comments

WDTPRS – 19th Ordinary Sunday: Father God, not Stranger God

The Collect for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time was not in previous editions Missale Romanum before the 1970 Novus Ordo. It has roots in the 9th century Sacramentary of Bergamo and thus is ancient text.

Note that for the 2002 Missale Romanum there was a variation from the 1970MR.  In the 2002MR the ablative absolute clause “docente Spiritu Sancto” was inserted.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
quem [docente Spiritu Sancto –
not in the 1970MR]
paterno nomine invocare praesumimus,
perfice in cordibus nostris spiritum adoptionis filiorum,
ut promissam hereditatem ingredi mereamur

Paternus, a, um is an adjective, “fatherly”. Literally, a paternum nomen would be “Fatherly name”. In English we need to break that down a little, just as we do with the Latin for “Sunday”: dies dominica or “lordly Day” in place of what we say “the day of the Lord”. In English a paternum nomen is “the name of Father”. Latin uses adjectives and adverbs for more purposes than we do. Our trusted old friend Lewis & Short Dictionary informs us that invoco means “to call upon, invoke” especially as a witness or as aid. So, there is an element of urgency and humility in the word. Praesumo gives us the English word and concept of “presumption”. At its root it means, “to take before, take first or beforehand.” The adverb and adjective prae, the prefix element of prae-sumo, is “before, in front of, in advance of”. In a less physical sense it can mean “anticipate”, in the sense of “to imagine or picture to one’s self beforehand” or in a moral nuance “to presume, take for granted”. It is even, more interestingly, “to undertake, venture, dare” together with “to trust, be confident”.


Almighty eternal God,
whom, [the Holy Spirit teaching,
added in the 2002MR]
we presume to invoke by the name of Father,
perfect in our hearts the spirit of the adoption of children,
so that we may merit to enter into the inheritance promised

Notice that I translate filii as “children” rather than as just “sons”, according to the literal meaning. Latin masculine plurals, depending on the context, can also include females even though the form of the word is masculine.


Almighty and ever-living God,
you Spirit made us your children,
confident to call you Father.
Increase your Spirit within us
and bring us to our promised inheritance

Take careful note that the language of adoption has been expunged. Does this change the impact of the prayer? Does it present a different view of the Christian life than that presented in the Latin Collect?

An important element of our Collect comes from Paul: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. We can invoke God the Father with confidence, not fear, when we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15… and “Abba” does not mean “daddy”).


Almighty ever-living God,
whom, taught by the Holy Spirit,
we dare to call our Father,
bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts
the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters,
that we may merit to enter into the inheritance
which you have promised

During the Holy Mass, through the words, actions and intentions of the ordained priest, as a Church we presume with trusting audacity to consecrate bread and wine and change them substantially to the Body and Body of the Second Person of the Trinity.

We do this because Jesus commanded us to do so, but it is a harrowing and consoling undertaking all the same.

We are laying hands upon truly sacred things, the most sacred things there can be: Christ’s Body, Blood, soul and divinity.

What could be more presumptuous?

Two sections of the great Corpus Christi sequence by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274) remind us of what is at stake when we approach the Blessed Sacrament for Communion (not my translation):

“Here beneath these signs are hidden
priceless things, to sense forbidden;
signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
yet is Christ in either sign,
all entire confessed to be.
Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food:
but with ends how opposite!
With this most substantial Bread,
unto life or death they’re fed,
in a difference infinite.”

That last part bears repeating: “Mors est malis, vita bonis: / vide paris sumptionis / quam sit dispar exitus.”

Eternal death for the wicked if they receive Communion improperly. Eternal life for the good if they receive well.

See how dissimilar the different outcomes from the same act of Holy Communion can be?

This is good to ponder during Mass and the lead up to Mass:

Am I properly disposed to receive what Christ and the Church have promised are truly His Body and Blood?

Do I dare receive?

When was my last good confession?

Immediately after the Eucharistic Prayer but before our intrepid reception of Communion, we dare to pray with the words that the same Son taught us.

In introducing the Lord’s Prayer the priest says in Latin, “Having been instructed/urged by saving commands and formed by divine institution, we dare/presume (audemus) to say, ‘Our Father…’”. Audeo is “to venture, to dare”, and in this it is a synonym of praesumo. Jesus taught us to see God as Father in a way that no ever one had before. Christ revolutionized our prayer. In our lowliness we now dare to raise our eyes and venture to speak to God in a new way. We come to Him as children of a new “sonship”.

We learned from our examination of the Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter that adoptio is “adoption” in the sense of “to take as one’s child”. We find the phrase in Paul: adoptionem filiorum Dei or “adoption of the sons of God” in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome (cf. Romans 8:23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

We do not approach God as fearful slaves. We are now also able to receive Communion with reverent confidence provided we have prepared well. God has done His part.

God will come to us not as “stranger God”, but as Father God!

What God does for us is not cold or impersonal. It is an act of love.

Even in commanding us, God the Son did not mean to terrify us into paralysis. This, however, was the result for some who, when hearing Christ’s teaching about His flesh, left Him because what they heard was too hard (cf. John 6). We need not be terrified… overwhelmed with awe, certainly, but not by terror.

Warned, urged, instructed by a divine Person who taught us with divine precepts, let’s get straight who our Father is and who we are because of who He is.

We are children of a loving Father. He comes looking for us to draw us unto Him because of His fatherly heart. The Holy Father Pope John Paul II wrote for the Church’s preparation for the Millennium Jubilee:

“If God goes in search of man, created in his own image and likeness, he does so because he loves him eternally in the Word, and wishes to raise him in Christ to the dignity of an adoptive son” (Tertio millennio adveniente 6).

As God’s adopted children we have dignity.

The adoption brought by the Spirit is not some second rate relationship with God or mere juridical slight of hand. It is the fulfillment of an eternal love and longing. This is a primary and foundational dimension of everything we are as Catholic Christians. It is perhaps for this reason that that the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks so clearly to this point, in the first paragraph.

The adoption we speak about in this Collect is something far more profound than a juridical act by which one who is truly not of the same blood and bone is therefore considered, legally, to be so. Some Protestants see our return to righteousness in God’s sight, that is, justification through baptism, in these terms: a sort of legal sleight of hand whereby we remain in reality guilty and corrupt, but our disgusting sinful nature is ignored by the Father because the merits of Christ are interposed between His eyes and our debased nature.

However, we know by divine revelation and the continuing teaching of the Christian Church that by baptism more than a legal fiction takes place.

We are more than justified, we are sanctified.

Something of God’s divine grace is given to us, infused into our being so that we truly become sons and daughters of Almighty God, transformed radically from within, as members of Christ’s own Mystical Person. Thus, we too share Christ’s sonship. It is almost as if God infused His own Holiness DNA into us to make us His own in a sense far beyond any legal adoption could accomplish.  This transformation alters who we are without removing our individuality or dignity as persons. We are His and unified as One in Christ, and yet we remain ourselves. We are integrated into a new structure of Communion, indeed a new family.

By our discordant actions we can make this earthly dimension of our supernatural family, our Church, dysfunctional.

What a mystery it is that God, who lavishes upon us the mighty transforming graces we all have known and profess to love, leaves also in our hands the freedom to spurn Him and trivialize His gifts.

This freedom, itself a gift, could only be a Father’s gift to beloved children.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Was I automatically excommunicated?

Excommunication ceremony (British Library Royal, 6 E VI f216v)

From a reader…


Since latae sententiae excommunication is not incurred without committing a mortal sin, and acting against one’s conscience regarding something one thinks might be mortally sinful is itself a mortal sin, is excommunication incurred if one thinks one committed an excommunicable offense? For example: *possibly* having a particle of the Eucharist on one’s fingers, but washing it in a cup of water so the accidents change and *certainly* pouring it on the ground.

I guess another way to put it would be: does one have to certainly and actually complete the excommunicable act or is just thinking one completed the act grounds for excommunication? I can’t seem to find anything in canon law.

In order to incur an excommunication, you have to have committed a sin.  You have to have known what you were doing was a sin and then willed to do it anyway.  If you really don’t know, or you are truly in doubt, you don’t commit the sin or incur the censure.  However, as it says in the Act of Faith, God can neither deceive nor be deceived.  Mind games are dangerous.

That said, …


Canon 18: Laws which prescribe a penalty, or restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception to the law are to be interpreted strictly.

The Church in her mercy and wisdom imposes the strictest of interpretations on penal law. For a person to incur a latae sententiae excommunication is, honestly, not an easy thing to do. One cannot incur such an excommunication casually or without knowledge. For an excommunication to apply, one must be cognizant that it is an excommunicatable offence and commit that offense willfully.

The law says, “A person who deliberately violated a law or precept is bound by the penalty prescribed in that law or precept. If however, the violation was due to the omission of due diligence, the person is not punished unless the law or precept provides otherwise.” (c. 1321, 2) and further, “No one is liable to a penalty who, when violating a law or precept was, without fault, ignorant of violating the law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance.” (c. 1323, 2).

The Lord is Lord of our consciences and He cannot be mocked, so it’s good not to play the games we often play in our heads of trying to get as close to a violation of a moral law without going “past the boundaries,” but at the same time, He and His Bride, the Church, are wise and merciful. If you have doubt about a sin, it’s best to bring it to the confessional, but once absolved and forgiven, leave it there and move on.

Satan wants to keep us tied up fretting over past sins, God wants us to live freely and striving always towards Him.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Canon Law | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fr. Murray makes a point – VIDEO

Raymond Arroyo had Prof. Royal and Fr. Murray on his EWTN show.

At this point, Fr. Murray makes a good point.  Believe me, good points are made through the whole video!  But start here.

Fr. Murray is simply the best MSM priest commentator. That has been the case for a while.

Meanwhile, former Fr. Jonathan Morris (Mister), is still showing up on FNC. Why?

Posted in Synod, The Drill | Tagged | 8 Comments

Great. Just… great! Another thing to worry about.

As if planet killing asteroids and civilization killing CMEs weren’t bad enough, now we get to think about…

“killer electrons”.

At SpaceWeather:

A NEW SOURCE OF SPACE RADIATION: Astronauts are surrounded by danger: hard vacuum, solar flares, cosmic rays. Researchers from UCLA have just added a new item to the list. Earth itself.

“A natural particle accelerator only 40,000 miles above Earth’s surface is producing ‘killer electrons’ [not to be confused with the Oh-My-God! Particle.] moving close to the speed of light,” says Terry Liu, a newly-minted PhD who studied the phenomenon as part of his thesis with UCLA Prof. Vassilis Angelopoulos.

This means that astronauts leaving Earth for Mars could be peppered by radiation coming at them from behind–from the direction of their own home planet.

NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft ran across the particles in 2008 not far from the place where the solar wind slams into Earth’s magnetic field. Researchers have long known that shock waves at that location could accelerate particles to high energies–but not this high. The particles coming out of the Earth-solar wind interface have energies up to 100,000 electron volts, ten times greater than previously expected.  [An electronvolt (eV) is the amount of kinetic energy gained or lost by a single electron accelerating from rest through an electric potential difference of one volt in vacuum, and a unit of energy equal to exactly 1.602176634×10?19 joules (J) in SI units. I hope that helps. What can these killer electrons do? 1.1 eV is the the energy EG required to break a covalent bond in silicon. ]

How is this possible? Liu found the answer by combining THEMIS data with computer simulations of the sun-Earth interface. When the solar wind meets Earth, it forms a shock wave around Earth’s magnetic field, shaped like the bow waves that form ahead of a boat moving through water. Within this “bow shock” immense stores of energy can be abruptly released akin to the sonic boom of an airplane.

Liu found that some electrons are shocked not just once, but twice or more, undergoing mirror-like reflections within the bow shock that build energy to unexpected levels. Most of the boosted particles shoot back into space away from Earth.

“Similar particles have been detected near Saturn, suggesting that the process is at work there as well,” says Liu. “Indeed,” adds Angelopoulos, “this type of particle acceleration could be happening throughout the cosmos–from supernovas to solar storms–wherever a supersonic wind hits a barrier.”

Meanwhile, back home, Earth-orbiting satellites and departing astronauts have a new source of radiation to contend with. It’s right over their shoulder.

Read the original research at Science Advances.

And there’s a graphic, which explains it all.

As I scan this and see “killer electrons” and “relativistic electrons”, I strain to make a connection to the catholic Left and make some pithy comments.  But, I’m just not up to it today.

Since we are dealing with killers, perhaps we should get Tracer Bullet on the case.

Meanwhile, enjoy the “Tears of St. Lawrence”, underway. As well as a nice conjunction of the waxing gibbous Moon with Jupiter near the red giant star Antares of Scorpius: closest approach on Friday 9 August, with Jupiter and the Moon just a few degrees apart. Catch them at twilight.

And for you hams… the sun is blank.  Zero sun spots.  147 days of 0 this year so far.

“Antares of Scorpius”?  Where’s Tracer when you need him?

Posted in Global Killer Asteroid Questions, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 12 Comments

CNA: “This is not the first low-quality document the Synod secretariate has produced”

Firstly, there is a MUST LISTEN to podcast from Damian Thompson about Card. Pell’s railroading into jail.  HERE  Take the time.

Next, at CNA there is a piece in which Card. Pell comments on the Instrumentum Laboris for the upcoming Pan-Amazonian Synod (“walking together”).

The drop-the-mic line:

“This is not the first low-quality document the Synod secretariate has produced,” Pell writes. 


“The knowledge that my small suffering can be used for good purposes through being joined to Jesus’ suffering gives me purpose and direction,” Pell writes in the letter. “Challenges and problems in Church life should be confronted in a similar spirit of faith.”

Pell goes on to say that “we have reason to be disturbed by the Instrumentum Laboris of the Amazonian Synod,” which was published in June ahead of the October meeting.


You might check a post by Fr. Hunwicke.  HERE

There is some seriously unserious insider baseball within, but it all serves to culminate in a fulminating dig at a certain cardinal in charge of “walking together”.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 1 Comment