Card. Burke’s sermon on marriage

His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke recently celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool in the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere in Rome.   The Mass took place the day after the close of the conference of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and I was subdeacon for the Mass.

The text of His Eminence’s sermon for the occasion has been provided by NLM.  Check it out HERE.


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I can see why Pope Francis is concerned.

After all, who knows what sort of monster one of those rabbits might turn out to be? You might need the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

[And before there are objections… yes, I know. Move on.]

Biretta tip to whomever coined “Rabbitgate”. o{]:¬)

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ACTION ITEM! Help Franciscan Friars!

friar at workUPDATE 27 Jan:

I thought you might like a follow up about the collection taken for the Franciscan Friars.

Here is what I received from my friend who is coordinating the project for them.

I wanted to give you an update on the action item for the friars and ask you if you could publish it, also to say thank you to all the donators so far.

The Friars of the Family of the Immaculate and the Familia Christi who is hosting them got about 8.000$ from nearly 160 donators. Thank you to everyone who could give these young men a helping hand. They need you. They pray for you. The goal is to get 50 000$. God bless your generosity.



Remember the pictures of the Friars of the Family of the Immaculate I posted when I was in Rome recently? HERE

These young men, between 19 and 40 years old (in total there are about 40 of them), are hosted in one of the oldest Capuchin convents in Italy which belongs to the Familia Christi, a new Religious Congregation recognized by Bishop Negri of Ferrara. These two young communities are helping each other.

They need your help.

The old monastery needs a a lot of work. HERE There are bills to be paid. First and foremost they need to rebuild an old chapel. Prayer first.

They need $50,000.

I hope 1,000 of you, in your goodness, would give $50 dollars.

Sure, you can give less, but… 1000 x 50… hits the goal.

I am told that the plan is that two Masses a month will be offered for donors who helped to rebuild the Lady Chapel.

You can donate via Paypal to or click HERE

22 votes, 4.27 avg. rating (85% score)
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Another triumph for peace in our day

Huge progress has been made in the Vatican in the cause of peace!   In the wake of the planting of the peace tree (HERE) and the peace match (HERE), a bold new policy initiative will certain have a calming, peaceful effect on all onlookers, as well as the rights and feelings of Rome’s non-human citizens.

Via the Winnipeg Free Press:

dove crow

VATICAN CITY – Dove lovers, rejoice.
Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, a year after an attack by a seagull and a crow on the symbolic birds sparked protests by animal protection groups.
For years children, flanking the pope at a window of the papal studio overlooking the square, set free a pair of doves on the last Sunday in January. The Catholic Church traditionally dedicates January to peace themes.
Last year, the feel-good practice became a public relations disaster. After the children with Pope Francis tossed a pair of doves from the window, first a seagull and then a crow swept down and attacked the doves. Those doves’ ultimate fate was unknown.
Advocates for animals demanding an end to dove releases swiftly appealed to Francis, the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis of Assisi, the saint famed for his love for birds and other creatures of the wild.
“Here’s the balloons that mean, ‘peace,'” said Francis when children in the square let go of their balloons.
Gulls nest atop the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, not far from the Tiber River, and scavenge for garbage. One animal advocacy group likened freeing doves in Rome to issuing a death sentence.
Another saint, Pope John Paul II, began the dove release tradition to draw attention to the need to work for peace in the world. Since then, children have been invited to join pontiffs at the window to release a pair of doves.
Until this year.
The Vatican didn’t mention last year’s flap when it said in a statement Sunday that children would release balloons, including a hot-air balloon containing messages of peace. One of the children at the window read a speech about peace.

The Vatican version of a hashtag.

Sylvia the Dove Defender

I wonder if animal rights activists will now take up the cause of Sylvia, the Sharris Hawk employed to protect all Vatican peace doves.  HERE  Pope Francis has been a staunch defender of the unemployed, calling unemployment one of most urgent problems of our time. HERE

This does raise another issue, however.

I am now deeply worried that the helium – itself a diminishing resource – in the balloons might contribute to global warming ooops … climate change.

The cause of world peace is really complicated.

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How did ‘ad orientem’ worship go in the Diocese of Lincoln?

Do you remember that in the Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop Conley decided to celebrated Holy Mass ad orientem versus during Advent?  HERE

The blog Corpus Christi Watershed has a follow up on how that went.  Sample:

A number of other parishes in the Diocese—probably on the order of 15 to 20—adopted the same practice of facing East during Advent. This was accompanied by explanation & catechesis, and the practice was met with considerable welcome. Multiple priests confirmed that the response was largely positive. Numerous parishioners apparently requested that the practice be continued beyond Advent.

One pastor enumerated some of the reasons his parishioners gave for their appreciation:

1. The posture seems “logical”
2. It makes sense to face the Person to Whom you are speaking
3. Facing East gives the high altar a purpose beyond simple wall decoration
4. It feels very sacred

These are interesting observations on the part of the actively participating faithful.

Another priest told me that his parish seriously considered adopting the initiative in their Advent Masses. Because Bishop Conley’s letter came out only two weeks before Advent, though, they felt there was not sufficient time to offer proper catechesis. Thus, they ultimately chose not to adopt the ad orientem posture. Nevertheless, there was a great openness among the priests.


There’s always next year.

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Conley and to the priests who followed his lead.

We urgently need (have urgently needed for decades) a revitalization of our liturgical worship of God.  This revitalization includes ad orientem worship.

Fathers, take the step.  Begin the catechesis and DO IT.

28 votes, 4.39 avg. rating (87% score)
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Girl altar servers: a woman’s perspective

I noticed an interesting post at 1 Peter 5.  A woman explains the altar girl situation.  Let’s jump in after her intro remarks:


I was a girl altar server. I served for roughly eight years in my parish. While I didn’t have a bad experience, I also have to be honest and admit that I didn’t gain anything more on the altar than I could have by just being in the pew. For a while serving was just something I did when I went to Mass: I goofed off with the other kids behind the scenes and followed the rubrics when Father told us to shape up.

As I got older and more serious about my faith, I felt guilty about the goofing off.  I told myself that I should only serve if I could do it with a prayerful and humble attitude, because serving was a way to participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. With that resolution came the realization that I had merely discovered the proper disposition that any layman in the congregation should have. If I was in the pew, I was participating. [She gets it.]

I didn’t need to be on the altar, so what was my goal? It’s not that girls don’t have the ability to be altar servers; it’s just that we don’t get much from it. We can’t use the experience as a way to discern a vocation, for two reasons: one, it is metaphysically impossible for a woman to become a priest, and two, if a woman is serious about pursuing a vocation, she starts seeking orders of nuns and spending time with them, and those nuns are not on the altar.

Sometimes people who identified as “feminist” would try to convince me that the Church was unfair to women. I just had another perspective: I don’t think that anyone would argue that their young son “has a right” to spend time with a religious order of nuns, or that he should take part in a retreat held by a convent that is geared towards fostering the vocations of young women to the religious life. I mean, such a retreat is obviously not a formal profession of vows, and boys ought to be allowed to do vocation exercises designed for women religious, because he can do works of mercy just as well as any girl, right?

Such a boy might conclude the same thing I did:  it might be nice, but nothing is gained except a sense of not belonging. He won’t ever be joining an order of nuns. The experience would be little more than an exercise in futility.


Read the rest there.

Fr. Z kudos.

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ASK FATHER: Punching the Archbishop after he punches you

From a reader…


At the conclusion of a friendly and fruitful meeting between a number of laity and the archbishop this evening, the archbishop punched me in the arm in a he man football kind of way.

My question is this, is there any particular protocol for returning the punch?

The inquirer failed to note, but I will presume that the Archbishop in question is of the Latin Rite, and a Metropolitan.

As this punching took place in a non-liturgical setting, the ceremonies for returning the punch are much simplified . Imagine the manifold complexities of the liturgical punch at a Pontifical Mass coram Sanctissimo … within the octave of St. Elphege’s Day!

If one is holding a cocktail (or beer) when one is punched by an archbishop, one hands one’s drink to the subdeacon (omitting the ceremonial kisses) with one’s right hand, makes a fist and, saying nothing, punches the prelate’s left arm, on – and this is important – the oversleeve of his simar, between the second and third buttons.*

Meanwhile, two choirs are simultaneously to sing the antiphons “Christus passus est pro vobis vobis relinquens exemplum ut sequamini vestigia eius” (1 Peter 2:21) and, if there is time, “Propitius mihi sit Dominus ne extendam manum meam in christum Domini; pulsare autem umerum eius omnino est aliud.”

The Vicar General should then ensure that this is recorded accurately in the diocesan archives, lest charges later be brought upon the archiepiscopal assailant.

*Since we are not Irishmen trained by Sulpicians, and therefore Jansenists, if the punch lands between the third and fourth, we don’t think that even a venial sin is committed.  Sin or not, the punch is not to be repeated, unless… the prelate initiates another round.

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ASK FATHER: Bisexual woman called hypocrite by mother for not accepting sister’s transgender lifestyle

From a reader…


I am a young woman who also happens to be bisexual. Because it clashes with my faith values, I freely choose NOT to act on my sexual attraction to women. My family, who is NOT Catholic, doesn’t understand this. In fact, my mother thinks I am a hypocrite for not agreeing with my sister’s transgender lifestyle, because my being bisexual somehow means I must agree with and understand her.

How can I explain this situation to my family, in a way that doesn’t disrespect them or devalues my faith?

Ahhh yes.  The Dictatorship of Relativism about which Pope Benedict XVI warned us, is in full swing!

If the supreme virtue is tolerance and acceptance, why doesn’t your mother accept and tolerate your viewpoints?

Of course, the short answer is that tolerance and acceptance are usually one-way streets. Everyone must tolerate and accept deviant lifestyles, but traditional views and mores are not to be tolerated in any way, shape or form.

I think that most people who live deviant lifestyles recognize, deep down in themselves, in the quiet parts of their minds, that their actions are wrong. They may have, with some limited success, beaten their consciences into submission, but “with unhurrying chase, and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, they beat – and a voice beat, more constant than the feet, ‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’” to quote Francis Thompson. To keep themselves from hearing the inner voices of their conscience – and verily, the voice of God – they need a ringing chorus of support and “understanding” to help them maintain the illusion that what they are doing is perfectly normal, perfectly, healthy, and a perfectly legitimate choice.

How to convince your family? In most cases, impassioned intellectual arguments don’t do it. Prayer, certainly. Pray for your family, especially your sister.

But don’t forget to pray for yourself.

Turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that burns with impassioned love for all of us, and wants what’s best for us.

By cultivating a life of prayer and virtue, you will develop a happiness and inner sense of peace. Get involved in some form of wholesome volunteer work, according to your talents and your interests. Develop a healthy circle of virtuous friends who share your faith and your beliefs.

The emotional support that you should ordinarily get from your family will probably not be there for you and so you may have to rely more heavily on your Church family.

By showing your family the happiness and peace you will find in a life of prayer and virtue, you might just find that their hearts and minds will be more open to the truth.

Seek joy in holiness.  Joy is communicable.

Comment moderation is ON.

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ASK FATHER: Boss threatens to fire me if I don’t receive Communion.

From a reader…


I have worked for a USA based Catholic non-profit for 5 years. I am a Catholic in good standing and am attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and am a lay member of the Confraternity of St. Peter. The CEO of my non-profit employer recently changed. The new CEO has threatened to terminate my employment if I do not receive Communion regularly at Novus Ordo Masses. This is in contradiction to my understanding of Dignitatis humanae. I have demonstrated my attachment to the Church and to her hierarchy by receiving Communion from bishops and priests whenever they celebrate the EF and I attend the Novus Ordo when I must in order to fulfill my canonical obligation. Nor am I attached to any non-canonical or “schismatic” groups.

To whom do I have recourse? What, if anything, can I do? If I need to hire a lawyer, how does one hire a canon lawyer?


Not that this is the case here, but I’m reminded of what my old pastor used to say, “Scratch a liberal, and find a fascist.”

This sounds like a job for the St. Joseph Foundation – the website has some broken links, but the basic info is there.

If this Catholic agency is under the aegis of a diocese (and we allllll know how strict dioceses are about letting groups use the title “Catholic” these days. Certain groups, that is), then this would be a tough policy for them to try and enforce.

Depending on how the parameters of employment are written, an employer could include some pretty strict requirements. For example, “All employees of St. Philemon Catholic School will be registered at St. Philemon Catholic Parish and attend Mass there each Sunday unless excused.”

Civil law could be in play here. That’s where the St. Joseph Foundation would also provide good connections. They are canonists, but some have backgrounds in civil law. They have worked on cases that require the input of civil attorneys.

Some people are nearly maniacal about forcing uniformity when it comes to Mass.  Everyone has to go to Communion, no matter how many millions of people are in the park or field.  Everyone must NOT kneel.  Everyone is to sing every word of every verse.  Everyone must shake hands or hug or offer self-conscious waves. Some priests practically force other priests to concelebrate.  We will have UNITY!  It is as if the beatings will continue until moral improves.  “CELEBRATE DAMN IT! WE ARE AN EASTER PEOPLE!”

None of this is Catholic.

It is NOT obligatory to receive Holy Communion at Mass.

Alas, we are living in an age when the meaning of reception of the Eucharist has become twisted in several ways.  I have in mind a range of weird positions from, on the one side, “I won’t receive a host consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass” to the very common “Mass?  Oh, you mean liturgy! That’s when they put the white thing on your hand and then we sing the song together!”

Okay… I’m done ranting.

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Archbp. Cordileone to Nancy Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

Abortion Absolutist Democrat

Canon 915!

From CNS:

SF Archbishop on Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

( – Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy [the Theologian] Pelosi [more HERE] — who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a “human being”–Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

[…] asked Archbishop Cordileone about Pelosi’s comments on human life, particularly in light her self-description “as a Catholic and a mom of five.”

“It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception,” the archbishop said in a written statement to “This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.

“This has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, a teaching already discernible in the natural moral law, and so a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience,” he said.

It is the obligation of pastors of souls to reach out to their people who have difficulty understanding and accepting such important teachings of the Church in order to extend to them true pastoral care and, where appropriate, to establish a regular dialogue,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “This is something I have always striven to do in the various ministries I have exercised as a priest and bishop, including now as the Archbishop of San Francisco. I ask for people’s prayers for success as I continue to strive to do this.”

Pelosi lives in Cordileone’s archdiocese and represents San Francisco in Congress.

At her Jan. 22 press conference at the Capitol, twice asked Pelosi whether an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy is a human being.

Pelosi would not answer the yes-no question with a yes-no answer, but did say that a woman has “the right” to abort her child.

“The fact is is what we have said: The life and the health of the mother is what is preeminent in when a decision is made about a woman’s reproductive health,” said Pelosi, after declining for the second time to say if an unborn child at 20 weeks is a human being. “It isn’t an ideological fight, it is a personal health issue.



During the press conference, Pelosi made clear that she is opposed to both the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

The former would prohibit the abortion of babies 20 weeks or later into gestation unless they were conceived in rape or incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk. The latter prohibits federal funding of abortion and stops federal Obamacare subsidies from going to insurance plans that cover abortion while not preventing people in subsidized Obamacare plans from buying supplemental abortion coverage–with their own money.

Canon 915!

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Posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Emanations from Penumbras, Mail from priests, The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments