A proposal for wymynpriests

Clement XIII

Via AlmanaccoDiRoma:

On 22 August 1764, during the pontificate of Clement XIII, at Campo de’ Fiori, the hermit Giuseppe Morelli was hanged, guilty for having “celebrated 29 Masses with consecration without being a priest and for received alms from the faithful.”

To those women our there who think that they are Catholic priests: this is serious stuff you dare to dabble in.

Giuseppe Morelli was, no doubt, given a chance to confess his sins and purge his soul before his corporal, capital punishment, lest his fate in the next life be… well… death, eternal, capital punishment of body and soul.

In our soft and squishy times, the Church doesn’t often tell you with clarity that you are in danger of Hell.

Let me help: If you are in the state of sin and/or under some kind of censure which prevents you from receiving the Sacraments, you still have time now, while alive, to repent and get back in harmony with the Church.

If you committed public scandal, set the record straight and, with a public statement, do more good with your conversion than ever you did with your defiance and scandalous actions.

Surely the terrifying prospect of hanging clarified Morelli’s values at the end.  But you, dear ladies who are pretending to be priests, don’t have any such harsh, immediate appointments on your schedule.  We have advanced in society in regard to the application of capital punishment.  But, in these comfy climes, haven’t we also lost view of our eternal salvation in the midst of our comfort and relative safety?  Hence, you need repeated, clear warnings.

It may be that a time of greater mortality, greater brutality and cruelty will descend on our O so civilized countries.  That would get people thinking about salvation pretty quickly.

Is that what it takes for us human beings?  Times of mortality and brutality?

We have to be disciplined in regard to the true state of our souls.

Ladies… repent while you still have breaths and heartbeats.

I include all who support this wrong-headed, spiritual dangerous notion.

I’m just sayin’

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Deaconettes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 12 Comments

PRP: 5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady

queen-of-heavenToday is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, in the newer, Novus Ordo calendar.  So, here is an oldie post from 2006, the final installment of my Patristic Rosary Project.


We conclude our Patristic Rosary Project today with the:

5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady

Can we be certain of our final judgment? Those who say they are run the risk of the sin of presumption. We must proceed always with humbly confident perseverance.

Salvation is possible.

Our Lord has taken our humanity to the heavenly throne, where it (and we in it) already are glorified. The saints the Church has discerned through our long earthly pilgrimage, demonstrate that virtue and perseverance is possible. They intercede before God’s throne for us. Our greatest example and intercessor is the Blessed Mother of God, our Mother and Mother of the Church, who was assumed body and soul into heaven and is now reigning as heavens Queen. In our recitation of the Rosary we gaze at Mary our motherly Queen who redirects our gaze to the source of her beauty, the Lord Himself. Their glory is our promise.

But first, with tools such as the Rosary in hand, we must make our way through this world and persevere to the end and our judgment.

Cassiodorus (+c. 585) writes:

The holy man demands judgment because he is certain of the Lord’s mercy. As Paul has it: “As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day.” He walks in his innocence because… he puts his trust in the Lord. The presumption he shows is not in his own powers but in God’s generosity. [Explanation of the Psalms 25.1]

The idea of judgment can make us at times shivers. But we approach it knowing that Mary is our advocate. We can come to heaven with some measure of humble confidence. St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) wrote to Hesychius a bishop in Dalamatia:

I have received the letter of your Reverence in which you urge on us the great good of loving and longing for the coming of our Savior. In this you act like the good servant of the master of the household who is eager for his lord’s gain and who wishes to have many sharers in the love which burns so brightly and constantly in you. Examining, therefore, the passage you quoted from the apostle where he said that the Lord would render a crown of justice not only to him but to all who love His coming, we live as uprightly as he and we pass through this world as pilgrims while our heart constantly expands with this love, and whether He comes sooner or later than He is expected, His coming is loved with faithful charity and longed for with pious affection. [ep. 199.1.1]

In heaven Mary has been crowned with glory. This is the reward of her faithfulness, a faithfulness beyond all others which merits a crown more glorious than any other.

The reward of the crown is often, mostly associated with the struggle ending in bloody martyrdom. Our Lady is also crowned as the Queen of martyrs. Not all of us will be graced with the final perseverance that ends in the perfect charity which is bloody martyrdom for the sake of God and neighbor. We must persevere in far more mundane details of ongoing life, in prayer, work, and contemplation. Cassiodorus mentions something in this regard, however, which is very useful for us:

As someone has said, you will scarcely ever find that when a person prays, some empty and external reflection does not impede him, causing the attention which the mind directs on God to be sidetracked and interrupted. So it is a great and most wholesome struggle to concentrate on prayer once begun, and with God’s help to show lively resistance to the temptations of the enemy, so that our minds may with unflagging attention strain to be ever fastened on God. Then we can deservedly recite Paul’s words: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, i have kept the faith. [Explanation of the Psalms 101.1]

Coronation-of-the-Virgin-AdiBartoloOur Blessed Mother exemplifies perfectly the struggle of perseverance.

Given exceptional graces, Mary was open with perfect focus to all God offered her, including her sufferings in unity with her Son. Her willing participation in the Passion of the Lord makes her the greatest of the martyrs, and while she did not physically receive the Lord’s wounds, she suffered by them nonetheless.

St. John Chrysostom (+407) speaks of crowns:

We see no garments or cloaks, but we see crowns more valuable than any gold, than any contest prizes or rewards, and ten thousand blessings stored up for those who live upright and virtuous lives on earth. [On the incomprehensible nature of God 6.7]

The many beautiful things of this world can take our attention and affection so much that they begin to displace in us our hunger for the reward of heaven. We must keep always firmly in mind that everything in this world fades and passes. Our hope of lasting happiness is found only in heaven with God.

Venerable Bede (+735) speaks to this:

The flower of the field is pretty and its smell is pleasant for a while, but it soon loses the attraction of its beauty and charm. The present happiness of the ungodly is exactly the same – it lasts for a day or two and then vanishes into nothing. The rising sun stands for the sentence of the strict Judge, which puts a quick end to the transient glory of the reprobate. Of course it is also true that the righteous person flourish, though not in the same way. The unrighteous flourish for a time, like glass, but the righteous flourish forever like great trees, as Scripture says: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree.” [Concerning the Epistle of James]

holy-theotokos-iconDidymus the Blind (+398), the teacher of St. Jerome and Rufinus expands this:

James does all he can to encourage people to bear their trials with joy, as a burden which is bearable, and says that perfect patience consists in bearing this for their own sake, not for the hope of some better reward elsewhere. He nevertheless tries to persuade his hearers to rely on the promise that their present state will be put right. The person who has fought the hard battles will be perfectly able to handle anything. Someone who comes through his troubles in this way will be duly prepared to receive his reward, which is the crown of life prepared by God for those who love him. [Commentary on James]

The Rosary teaches us to gaze, with Mary as our guide and companion, always upon the face of Christ, who reveals man more fully to himself.

In crowning our Lady as Queen, the Lord does in an unsurpassed way what He does in each one of us: He crowns His own merits. But in doing so, Christ reveals more and more about who we are and what we were made for.

The Madonna of the Magnificat, Detail of the Virgins Face and Crown, 1482


Posted in Linking Back | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Converts trying to make 1st Confession –

francis confessionFrom a reader…


My family and I are converting to the church from Protestantism. We are a family of six and we have been turned away from confession at multiple churches because the half hour before Vigil and Sunday Mass wasn’t enough time for the priest to hear our confession. Of course, a half hour actually means 20 mins as the procession and “getting situated” makes a half hour 20 mins. We have been told to “make an appointment.” I hesitate to make an appointment because that would prevent anonymous confession. The only mid-week confession is about 1.5 hours away at the Diocesan Cathedral. I can only surmise that everyone receiving the Body and Blood of Christ must not sin much…

Question: From my observation of availability and praxis, do Catholics actually believe what they say about confession?

Yes, those who have been adequately instructed believe.  However, when for decades lay people have seen that priests and bishops don’t seem to care about A, B or C, they, too, will stop caring about A, B or C.  It stands to reason.  If you turn your back on the Blessed Sacrament, don’t genuflect or kneel, use confessionals as broom closets, invade the sanctuary with all sorts of folks with questionable roles, use dopey junk music, tear out statues, build ugly churches….

Joanna Bogle is a British convert to Catholicism who wrote a book about conversion in 1994 entitled, Come on In, It’s Awful (UK HERE).  Hold on to your hats.

Do not be afraid.  You have made the right choice, for this is the Church that Christ founded.  For that reason, there can be no other Church once we come to figure that out.

As you and your family move more deeply into the sacramental life of the Church, the Enemy of your souls, Satan, will throw up tremendous roadblocks to stop you. Many of those roadblocks will come from Catholics.  They will even come from some bishops and priests.  We are, after all, a pretty weak and sinful lot.   I shudder at the idea of what might be were the salvation of the world to rest on our shoulders.  BRRRRR

Fortunately, it does not.

God has used 20 centuries of feckless and craven bishops, lazy, vain and ignorant priests, gossippy and bitter laity, grasping and shiftless religious to build up the Church and His Kingdom.

God does not choose those who are worthy.  He chooses those whom it pleaseth Him to choose.  Sometimes our more heroic sides come out, built up by the grace God gives us.

It is sad that, in our day and age in many places, the wonderful and essential Sacrament of Penance (Confession, Reconciliation, whatever we are calling it these days) has been so neglected, so restricted.

Christ Jesus left us this beautiful sacrament as the ordinary means to obtain forgiveness for our sins.  GOD gave us this sacrament because HE wants us to use it.   This is HIS will about how we are to approach Him.  He gave us this sacrament to avoid Hell, to grow in holiness, to resist sins.  But, nowadays, based on published schedules in many parishes, the Sacrament of Penance has been kicked to the proverbial curb, marginalized, shunted to the corners of the calendar, and, if you are luck, given space for a few brief moments before the Saturday vigil Mass.

You would think that liberals, who consider infallible Pope Francis’ pronouncements on things like global warming or redistribution of wealth – matters that have nothing to do with the Roman Pontiff’s brief – would give even more consideration to his pronouncement on things that the Roman Pontiff really does have a stake in, such a the importance of going to confession!   Time and time again during his still short pontificate, Pope Francis has underscored the important of the Sacrament of Penance.  We even have iconic photos of him hearing confessions and going to confession himself.

What more do these priests and bishops need, for all love?

One of the problems at the heart of this dearth of confession times is the silence in priestly formation and current literature about cura animarum, the cure or care of souls.  This is where the terms “curate” and French “curé” come from.  Those with the care of souls are too teach, govern and sanctify the people in their charge.  They duty bound before God, angels and men in this care of souls.  They will be called to account to God for the care that they give.  If they help many souls avoid Hell and come to Heaven, they will be welcomed into the joy of their Master.  Those who do not, and who let souls slip through their fingers, will be left in the outer darkness.

Fathers, if you are parish priests and have the obligation to hear confessions, hearing confessions can help to keep you out of Hell. If you are parish priests and you don’t hear confessions or you won’t teach about confession, you will probably go to Hell. Just try to deny it. Just. Try.

Back to the questioner, a couple things.

First, in your preparation to make your profession of faith and enter the Church, go ahead and make that appointment with the parish priest for this important sacrament.  If you are concerned about anonymity, ask that the priest meet you in the confessional, perhaps getting into “the box” a few minutes before your scheduled time.

Second, you might pen a brief letter to your local bishop, and describe to him how hard it has been to figure out how to go to confession and ask him why confessions are not more available where you and your family live.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, GO TO CONFESSION | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

Detroit’s crafty new tax on churches

From the Detroit News:

A balanced budget in Detroit might be something only prayed for, but few could imagine Motor City managers raiding church offering plates for revenue.

Yet new drainage fees from the city’s Water and Sewerage Department may do just that.  [drainage fees … sigh]

Come October, the department will begin charging property owners differently. Some of those property owners currently pay an antiquated fixed rate, and others haven’t paid a storm water fee at all. But all property owners in Detroit will now pay based on acreage, which means fees will likely go up.

Eric Rothstein, a department program director, told The Detroit News last week that this type of charge is “commonly now used” to finance storm water management programs. Billing by acreage is a “trend (in) water resources financing,” he said.

More than 400 properties will see “a significant increase in billing of more than 200 percent per month,” says department director Gary Brown.

And several of those properties, Brown said, are owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

“It’s impacting us, and it’s not good news,” says Joe Kohn, the archdiocese’s director of public relations. The archdiocese owns 80 properties in Detroit, and 18 parishes have received letters from the water department with likely more to come. Five churches will have to come up with more than $1,000 extra per month. Two parishes will be billed an additional $2,000.

St. Charles Lwanga parish in Grand Meyer, for example, has an additional $2,385 to come up with every month. Its pastor, the Rev. Theodore Parker, says the new charge is an “injustice.” Because of the higher monthly water bill, the good priest worries, the parish’s soup kitchen may be forced to close its doors.  [Intended or unintended consequences?  When liberals run things, they want to force you into their paradigm or take over what you are doing.]


“I don’t know any city in America that does not charge for water,” Brown says.

But for decades, Chicago has offered a water waiver for churches and other nonprofits. [Even in such a crazy place.]

It was an estimated $20 million annual bill that in 2011 Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city could no longer afford. But the late Cardinal Francis George, [RIP] previously the archbishop of Chicago, implied the mayor’s move may have had more to do with shutting down church services than tightening the city’s belt.  [Yep.]

If you don’t want a city that only has government institutions,” [There it is.] he said during negotiations over the exemption in April 2013, “then you have to see to the solvency of religious institutions and other nonprofits.”

Chicago councilmen were forced to work out a fair compromise with clergy. Churches with net adjusted assets of less than $1 million would be granted a 100 percent exemption. The waiver would decrease for parishes with bigger wallets.


Read the rest there.

This is an interesting new angle of attack on churches.

Posted in Liberals, Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

22 August: Immaculate Heart and Queenship of Mary

Here are a few thoughts I wrote for my weekly column at the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald:

On 22 August we observe, in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In the newer calendar it will be the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary he told her that her Son would have the throne of David and that His kingdom would have no end (Luke 1:32-33). If our Lord is our King, then His Mother is our Queen.  In ancient Israel, the mothers of the House of David’s kings were crowned, addressed as Gebirah, “Great Lady”. They sat beside the throne of their royal sons.

Mary’s Queenship is intimately tied to the Kingship of her Son just as Her Immaculate Heart beats in harmony with His Sacred Heart, for she conceived her King within her Heart, before she carried Him below her Heart, and Her Queenship rests not on her own merits alone, but rather it rests upon the majesty of her divine Son.  At the conclusion of Dante’s Divina Commedia St Bernard sings of Heaven’s Queen that she is the “daughter of her Son”. But she will always remain, as Saint Thérèse observed, “more Mother than Queen”.

Speaking of addressing Mary, we name her Queen in many prayers, such as the Salve, Regina. We invoke her in the Litany of Loreto as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, All Saints and, so important these days, Families.  St John Paul, taking stock of our times, added that last title to the Litany in 1995.  She is the Queen conceived without original sin, assumed into Heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Queen of Peace.

May I suggest, dear readers, that you offer your day to the King of Fearful Majesty through our Queen’s intercession?  I ask also a prayer for myself.

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them in the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Posted in Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Reader Feedback

I get lots of email.  Some of it is friendly.  Some of it is not.

Here is some friendly feedback:

Based in large part on what I have read on this blog, I recently began going to the Latin Mass at St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee. Words truly fail me in describing the beauty and reverence I found in the Latin Mass. It makes me want to climb the clock tower above Historic Mitchell Street and shout, ‘Come and see!’ I never understood the term “Heaven on Earth” until I witnessed and prayed the Tridentine Mass. Armed with my Campion Missal, I am now happy at my new home. I have you to thank for this. Please keep spreading the word about traditional liturgy. Everyone needs to know!

My work here is done.


First, thank you for the great good you do for Holy Mother Church through the blog and your priesthood in general. As a young Catholic, you’ve brought me very close to the traditions of the church and inspired me to realize I may have a priestly vocation. Thank you so much.

I wanted to send you this link!   HERE 

This is from the TV show Extraordinary Faith on EWTN. They go around to Latin Mass communities and traditional churches to show how wonderful they are. But this link refers to the fact that this group will go anywhere in North America, to any priest, and teach them how to celebrate the EF. For free. Pretty neat! I thought you might like this. Thank you again for everything you’ve done for me and for so many others.


Posted in Reader Feedback | Leave a comment

Must. Have. One.

Here is an example of how we can see something and instantly desire it!

There’s not a moment to lose, for all love!



Alas, this person seems to be confused.  I don’t mean the choice of color of car, which I don’t think I would drive unless it surrounded a 1969 Camaro ZL-1.  I mean the choice of a Hillary sticker on the window.  It’s small, but it is… there, like a … wart.

Of course I would vote for the corpse of Millard Fillmore if someone ran it against Hillary.

Posted in O'Brian Tags | 28 Comments

The USA Solar Eclipse of 2017 – signs in the heavens

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…. Luke 21:25.

At NASA I see that, one year from today, 21 August 2017, the shadow of your planet’s moon, in a great total eclipse of your planets yellow sun, will sweep across the North American continent.  200 million people will be within one day’s drive from the umbra of totality.

When I wrote about this in the past, I opined that it would be fun to have a reader gathering, perhaps at some parish along the path, for Solemn (or Pontifical?) Mass.  21 August 2017 will be a Monday.  The next day, 22 August, is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Another interesting thing about this eclipse was pointed out by my friend Fr. Richard Heilman.  I spoke to him in the sacristy this morning.  He pointed out that the eclipse occurs 54 days, including the end date, before the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, 13 October 2017.  The “54 days” will immediately strike Catholics as significant for it is the number of days of a special kind of “novena”.

A precise novena is nine days. However, the term has been applied to other ongoing devotions to obtain certain petitions.  Praying a 54 day novena generally involves saying a chaplet of the Holy Rosary (five mysteries) every day for twenty-seven days in petition followed by a chaplet each day for an another twenty-seven days in thanksgiving.  Traditionally, you would use the classic mysteries for your chaplets, the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious.  There are ways to do this with the Luminous Mysteries, but I don’t generally use them.

Some people add a prayer to their chaplets:

Petition Prayer (27 Days): Blessed Mother, hear my plea and bring it before the throne of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ. Please look with favor on this devotion, and grant me [say your intention here.] I ask these things of you, my Mother, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thanksgiving Prayer (27 Days): Blessed Mother, thank you for hearing my prayer and and interceding on my behalf. Mary, Mother of my Soul, be with me all my days, and accept my humble thanks for your many gifts, which I accept in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima asked for the Rosary daily.  It is a mighty tool and weapon of the spiritual life and battle in which we are engaged.

I’ve been hearing some dire things from priests.  I’ve been experiencing some rough times as well.  I have the sense that something big is on the move, as it were.

I am not at this point saying that I think the 2017 eclipse portends a SHTF catalyst and TEOTWAWKI event.   I am saying that it is really interesting that this takes place, over this nation, 54 days before the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.  Just as I think that the argument about the Star of Bethlehem and the eclipse at the time of the Crucifixion were compelling enough to pay attention to our celestial clock, I think this merits keeping an eye on.

Pope Leo XIII on 13 October 1884 had a mystical experience after reading his daily Mass. He froze, turned pale, and immediately penned the Prayer to St. Michael. He told people that he heard two voices, one Satan’s, the other God’s. Satan said that he could destroy the Church in 100 years. However, some have calculated that the 100 years didn’t begin at that very moment. Instead it started 33 years later on 13 October 1917 with the Miracle of the Sun. The opening salvo of Satan’s pogrom could have been on what was 7 November 1917 in the Gregorian calendar (25 October in the Julian) the October Revolution in St. Petersburg. Russia would switch to the Gregorian calendar in February 2018. (Interestingly enough, in these USA on 19 March 1918 time zones and daylight savings time were approved, which went into effect on 31 March. Lots of tinkering with time back then.) In any event, atheistic Communism – an ideology direct from Hell – begins to rear its head like the dragon of Revelation 12 right after Fatima. Our Lady warned the children that Russia would spread errors throughout the world.

If the 100 years of Pope Leo’s vision began on 13 October 1917….

Another sky event linked to Fatima, was probably the incredible aurora that occurred on 25 January 1938. Our Lady of Fatima had said on 13 July 1917: “”When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.” This seems to have heralded WWII. That same night St. Faustina Kowalska wrote in her diary about a message from the Lord: “I saw the anger of God hanging heavy over Poland. And now I see that if God were to visit our country with the greatest chastisements, that would still be great mercy because, for such grave transgressions, He could punish us with eternal annihilation. I was paralyzed with fear when the Lord lifted the veil a little for me. Now I see clearly that chosen souls keep the world in existence to fulfill the measure [of justice].

Events in the sky seemed important to Our Lady.

I’m just sayin’.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky!, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation? Let us know.

I, for one, spoke (14th Sunday after Pentecost) about seeking that which is above and treasuring up treasures in heaven. There is nothing wrong with material, created things or wealth until we seek them for themselves. Only God must be seated on the throne of our heart. It is hard to make material gains and we toil for them. But we can easily perform small acts that are meritorious for heaven. These acts accrue. Small incremental acts help us to greater acts, especially in regard to mortifications and performance of corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Working in small increments is a good way to proceed in the spiritual life. This is how we conquer vices and build virtues. And the spiritual merits we gain accrue exponentially when we are in the state of grace. However, be clear that we don’t merit anything on our own. All merit is of Christ. He crowns His own merits in us. He moves us to good, meritorious works. He then gives our hands the strength for the task and brings them to completion. Hence, they are simultaneously His and ours. We can say that we did things that merit heaven, but only because those merits are from Christ. Even the smallest acts we perform, if we do them prayerfully for love of God, uniting them to Him and His will for us, are meritorious. Examine your consciences in regard to created things, which includes people. No created thing, which includes people, can be on the throne of your heart. That’s God’s. When our loves are ordered, we can love people and use material things properly and in ways that are meritorious.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 16 Comments

A blast from the not too distant past

The other day Pope Francis made some appointments to the new Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, established ad experimentum.  It will probably be made into a congregation, at least I guess it will be, since Pastor bonus is still in force.  Who knows?

An a related appointment, Francis appointed to be President of the “Giovanni Paolo II” Institute for the Family, Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, who has been the President of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy of Milan.

Sequeri… Sequeri… how do we know that name?

Here’s how!  He wrote this!  AKA “Symbolon ’77”.

I can’t say how many times I heard this. There is no priest in Italy who has not suffered with this racket.

He has some other hits like “Madre io vorrei” and “E sono solo un Uomo”.

This enervating… stuff… is still heard in parishes and, gulp, seminaries all over Italy, with the predictable long-term, epicene effects.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 8 Comments

Pope Francis’ Angelus: “our life is not a video game or a soap opera; our life is serious”

Here is Vatican Radio‘s translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address today:

Vatican Radio translation of the Pope’s Angelus address:

“Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! [He said, “Buon giorno”. We are after noon, of course.]

Today’s Gospel passage invites us to meditate on the theme of salvation. The Evangelist Luke tells us that Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem and along the way is approached by a man who asks him this question: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Luke 13:23). Jesus does not give a direct answer, but takes the discussion to another level, with suggestive language that at first, the disciples don’t understand:   “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter, but they will not succeed” (v.24 ). [“many… πύλης… many… “] With the image of the door, He wants to explain to his listeners that it is not a question of numbers – how many people will be saved.   It doesn’t matter how many, but it is important that everyone knows which is the path that leads to salvation: the door.

To go along this path, one must pass through a door. But where is the door?  What is it like?  Who is the door?  Jesus himself is the door (cf. Jn 10,9).  He himself says it, ‘I am the door’ in John’s Gospel.  He leads us in communion with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door narrow? One can ask. Why is it narrow?  It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive – no, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness.  [Another reason why it is narrow is because HE is the ONLY path to salvation.  Anyone who is saved, is saved through Him and that salvation is mediated through the Church.]  For this, it is narrow: to contain our pride, which bloats us.  The door of God’s mercy is narrow but always wide open, wide open for everyone! God has no favorites, but always welcomes everyone, without distinction. [Everyone can repent and believe the Gospel, confess her sins and be baptized!] A door, that is narrow to restrict our pride and our fear.  Open because God welcomes us without distinction.   And the salvation that He gives us is an unceasing flow of mercy…which breaks down every barrier and opens up surprising perspectives of light and peace.  The narrow but always open door:  do not forget this.  Narrow door, but always open.

Jesus offers us today, once again, a pressing invitation to go to him, to cross the threshold of a full life, reconciled and happy. He waits for each of us, no matter what sin we have committed, no matter what!  To embrace us, to offer us his forgiveness. [Which means, for the baptized, confession of our mortal sins in kind and number.] He alone can transform our hearts, He alone can give full meaning to our existence, giving us true joy. Upon entering the door of Jesus, the door of faith and of the Gospel, we can leave behind worldly attitudes, bad habits, selfishness and the closing ourselves off. When there is contact with the love and mercy of God, there is real change. And our life is illuminated by the light of the Holy Spirit: an inextinguishable light!”

Pope invites faithful to examine their consciences

“I’d like to make you a proposal,” the Pope said to the pilgrims in the square, and invited them to think in silence  for a moment about the things they have inside that prevent them from passing over the threshold: pride, arrogance, sin. “And then, let us think about that other door, the one open to God’s mercy and He is waiting on the other side to forgive us,” Francis added.  [Let’s make good examinations of conscience, remembering also sins of OMISSION.]

“The Lord offers us many opportunities to save ourselves and to enter through the door of salvation,” the Pope continued.  “This door is an opportunity that must not be wasted: we must not make an academic discourse of salvation, as did the man who questioned Jesus, but we must seize the opportunities for salvation. [GO TO CONFESSION!] Because at a certain moment “the landlord got up and locked the door” (v.25), as mentioned in the Gospel. But if God is good and loves us, why does he close the door – he will close the door at a certain point? Because our life is not a video game or a soap opera; our life is serious and the goal to achieve is important: eternal salvation.  [You can LOSE what Christ won for you!  You really can.  Salvation isn’t automatic.  Remember the horrific words the foolish virgins heard from the other side of the locked door: “I do not know you.” Is that what you want to hear from the other side of the door?]

To the Virgin Mary, Door of Heaven, [one of her titles in the Litany of Loreto] we ask help so that we seize the opportunities that the Lord gives us to cross the threshold of faith and thus to enter into a wide road: [Convert!  Enter the CATHOLIC CHURCH, which is the only Church Christ, the Door, founded!] it is the path of salvation that can accommodate all those who allow themselves to love and be loved (it: si lasciano coinvolgere dall’amore). It is love which saves;  the love that is already here on earth is a source of happiness to those who, in meekness, patience and justice, forget themselves and give themselves to others, especially the weakest.”

Here’s the video.  The Pope shows up around 3:50. Small crowd, but it is August. And, frankly, perhaps the Pope should be out at Castel Gandolfo having some “relax”, as we say in Italian.

Posted in Pope Francis | Tagged , | 3 Comments

ASK FATHER: People say Mass prayers together with the priest

priestFrom a reader…


I’ve been attending daily mass when I can at a particular parish. When at Mass I often hear some people in the pews who whisper to themselves every single word the priest says at mass.

I would like to know what these people are getting out of repeating everything the priest is saying? Does it help their spirituality?

Perhaps the best way to know what they are getting out of it would be to ask them.  Your planet’s yellow sun didn’t give me the power to read their minds from this distance.

But for those who may be doing this, let’s drill in a bit.

In the rubrics of the Mass, there are directions, rubrics, texts (the priest says thus and so, the people respond thus and so).

For someone who is not a priest to presume to verbalize the priest’s prayers would seem to involve either some hubris or a lack of understanding of what is going on.  To offer those prayers mentally along with the priest, while praying with one’s hand missal, could be a holy and wholesome thing to do. But to verbalize…. that seems a step too far in my mind.

“But Father! But Father!”, you pseudo-Lutherans wail, “You are just lording it over us! Haven’t you ever heard what the Spirit of Vatican II says? By baptism we are all priests! Next year is the big Lutheran year when we will honor Luther and he said that every man is his own priest! NO WAIT… every person is a priest!  And we aren’t speciesist either: our pets and the butterflies are priests of Mother Earth!  You are trying to keep prayers away from us because YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

Luther (failed priest and heretic) didn’t, in fact, write that every man is his own priest, but that phrase summarizes both his view and that of most of the writers of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) and probably also the LCWR.  His radical view of the priesthood of all believers effectively reduces ordained priesthood to a role that community gives to him to do various things.  This is what modernists such as Edward Schillebeeckx wrote, which infected a generation of seminary profs and, hence, priests and, subsequently, people in the pews.

Back to Vatican II. I have actually read the documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, as Card. Burke unfailingly calls it.  Let’s look at Lumen gentium, a document which obliges every Catholic to believe that there is a divinely instituted hierarchy:

10. … Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in the person of Christ, he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist. They likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and thanksgiving, in the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active charity.

Note first that the priesthood we have is Christ’s, who shares it with us in two different ways.  All the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, but by ordination the priest is a priest in a way that is qualitatively different.  It is not just an “add on” which gives him the role or authorization to say the prayers up there.  The sacrament of Orders changed him in an essential way so that when he acts in and for the Church, it is Christ who is acting.  By his ordination he is alter Christus, another Christ.   But, as LG 10 points out, his priesthood is enmeshed with the priesthood of the laity.  The laity, with their baptismal priesthood can offer spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to God.  Also, they are enabled to receive the Eucharist, especially, from the priest.  “They likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments…”.  The Church has its Head and its Body, together they are, as Augustine would put it in writing about who speaks in the psalms, Christus totus.  But in the Church, for her sacred liturgical worship when we are gathered as a Church, the priest speaks those things which pertain to his role as the Head and the people speak those things which pertain to their role as the Body.  Sometimes they speak together, Christus totus.  And in that supreme moment of actual participation when the Body moves forward to receive from the Head, they are at the deeply significant meeting place, the Communion rail.  Remember that the most perfect form of active actual participation is the reception of Communion by the baptized person in the state of grace.  Even in his own reception of Communion, the priest, who is simultaneously the victim at the altar, acknowledges his total reliance as a pardoned sinner on God.

Oh, and another thing: Lay people, any number of lay people, a stadium full of lay people, could whisper, shout, or Siberian throat sing the words of consecration for days, weeks, months, years, until the bitter end.  What would be on the altar would still be just bread and just wine until such time as the least worthy, least eloquent or clever, even perhaps unrepentant, validly ordained priest stumbled in and muttered them a single time with intention to consecrate.

Priests aren’t personally holier by Holy Orders.  They are, though unworthy, simply chosen by Christ to do His work for you, especially in administration of the sacrament and teaching and governing.  As Augustine said, I am a bishop for you but a Christian with you.

So, recitation of the priest’s prayers by the laity….

Could it be piety run amok.

Is it an erroneous misunderstanding of priesthood.

Perhaps they just haven’t been told any better.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

POLL: For whom will you vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?

I’m curious.  How are you denizens of these USA (who can vote legally) leaning right now regarding the upcoming presidential election.

Make your best choice.  If you wish to comment, the combox is open to registered and approved participants here.  However, THINK before commenting because I have short fuse right now.  Stick to ISSUES, not personal attacks if you respond to someone else.  This isn’t the National Schismatic Reporter, where libs and dissenters spew their dreck at will.

And if you don’t see some candidate who is running for, say, the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, spare me.  If I haven’t even heard of the candidate, forget it.

As of right now, I am inclined to vote on the US presidential ticket for...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in POLLS, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 265 Comments

WDTPRS – 14th Sunday after Pentecost: healths, hands and the finger

This Sunday’s Collect for the Extraordinary Form survived the snipping and pasting of the Consilium and the late Annibale Bugnini’s liturgical experts to be used in the Ordinary Form on Tuesday of the 2nd week of Lent.  Figure that one out.

Custodi, Domine, quaesumus, Ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua: et quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas; tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxiis, et ad salutaria dirigatur.

Propitiatio, in its fundamental meaning, is “an appeasing, atonement, propitiation”. The dictionary of liturgical Latin Blaise/Dumas also gives us a view of the word as “favor”. This makes sense. God has been appeased and rendered favorable again towards us sinners by the propitiatory actions Christ fulfilled on the Cross. We have renewed these through the centuries in Holy Mass.

Mortalitas refers, as you might guess, to the fact that we die, our mortality. Inherent in the word is the concept that we die in our flesh. So, you ought also to hear “flesh” when you hear mortalitas.

Labitur is from labor. This is not the substantive labor but the verb, labor, lapsus. It means, “to glide, fall, to move gently along a smooth surface, to fall, slide”.

Auxilium, in the plural, has a military overtone. There is also a medical undertone too, “an antidote, remedy, in the most extended sense of the word”. Pair this up with noxius, a, um, which points at things which are injurious or harmful. There is a moral element as well or “a fault, offence, trespass”.

Salutaria is the plural of neuter salutare which looks like an infinitive but isn’t. Our constant companion the Lewis & Short Dictionary says the neuter substantive salutare is “salvation, deliverance, health” in later Latin. The adjectival form, salutaris, is “of or belonging to well-being, healthful, wholesome”. Think of English “salutary” and O salutaris hostia in the Eucharistic hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274).

When this word is in the neuter plural (salutaria) there is a phrase in Latin bibere salutaria alicui … to drink one’s health” or literally “to drink healths to someone”. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet during the famous “Queen Mab” speech Mercutio declares that a soldier dreams, inter alia, of “healths five fathom deep,” (I, iv) and in Henry VIII the King says to Cardinal Wolsey, “I have half a dozen healths to drink to these” (I, iv).

Wine and health are closely related in the ancient world. In the parable of the Good Samaritan the good passerby pours oil and wine into the wounds of the man who was assaulted (Luke 10:25-37). St. Paul wrote to St. Timothy:

“No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Tim 5:23).

Apart from its resemblance to blood, it is no surprise that Christ should choose this healthful daily staple as the matter of our saving Sacrament.

Wine was often safer to drink than water in the ancient world, though it was nearly always mixed with water to some extent. To drink uncut wine, merum in Latin (from the adjective merus “unadulterated”, giving us the English word “mere”) was considered barbaric. Cicero (+43 BC) and others hurled that accusation at Marcus Antonius (+31 BC) who was a renowned merum swiller.

Catholics sing the word merum in the hymn of the Holy Thursday liturgy, Pange lingua gloriosi, by St. Thomas Aquinas: “fitque sanguis Christi merum… and the (uncut) wine becomes the Blood of Christ”. In sacramental terms, there is a link between wine and health in the sense of salvation. During Holy Mass, we offer gifts of wine with water to become our spiritual “healths” once it is changed into the Blood of Christ. These archaic and literary references help us drill into the language of our prayers.

Let’s drill some more. Did you know that the index finger was called digitus salutaris, and that the ancient Romans held it up when greeting people? We don’t do that very often these days. I believe modern usage, at least on roadways, more commonly employs a different finger. The special designations of fingers in Latin are pollex (thumb); index or salutaris (forefinger); medius, infamis or impudicus (middle finger); minimo proximus or medicinalis (ring finger); minimus (little finger, “pinky”). The priest, during Mass, always held the consecrated Host only between his thumb and the digitus salutaris. One way to harm a priest, our mediator at the altar and in the confessional, was to chop off his index fingers. Priests without those fingers were forbidden to say Mass without special permission from the Holy See.  Those fingers were clearly understood by those who hate the Church, priesthood, and the Eucharist as being especially important.  North American martyr missionaries were mutilated like this.

Let’s push this a little more.

The adjective medicinalis, “medicinal, healing”, comes from the verb medeor or medico, the original meaning of which has to do with “to heal” by magic. The verb traces back to the stem med– or “middle”. So, medicus, “doctor” is associated with “mediator”. We can think of this in terms of the English word “medium”, who is a mediator with the spirit world. The Latin poet Silius Italicus (Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus +101) called a magician “medicus vulgus” (Punica, III, 300). The ancients saw what we call the “ring finger” as having magical powers. This is reflected in the name digitus medicinalis, the “medicinal/magic” finger.

One of the most important Patristic Christological images in the ancient Church is Christus Medicus, the “Physician”. St. Augustine does amazing things with this image, and Christus Mediator. He is the doctor of the ailing soul. He is the only mediator between God and man.


Guard your Church, we beseech You, O Lord, with perpetual favor, and since without You our mortal flesh slides toward ruin by means of your helping remedies let it be pulled back from injuries and be guided unto saving healths.

Watch how the old incarnation of ICEL ruined the imagery.


Lord, watch over your Church,
and guide it with your unfailing love.
Protect us from what could harm us
and lead us to what will save us.
Help us always, for without you we are bound to fail.

We won’t ever have to hear that one again!


Guard your Church, we pray, O Lord, in your unceasing mercy,
and, since without you mortal humanity is sure to fall,
may we be kept by your constant helps from all harm
and directed to all that brings salvation

We all know the image of the slippery slope. Once you are on this slope, scrabble and scratch with your weak hands as you can, and you can’t get a purchase.

You slide and slide, faster and faster.  Down.

Our fallen nature and our habitual sins drag us onto the slope from which we cannot save ourselves. In the sacraments and teachings of Holy Church, Christ extends the fingers of His saving hand.

He draws us back from a deadly slide with His Almighty hand.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

New art from Daniel Mitsui: The Mass of St Gregory

The “Mass of Saint Gregory” is a common subject of art across many centuries, beginning in mid-14th c, though the subject matter dates back to the 8th c with variations.  The essentials are these: Pope Gregory I, “the Great” (+604) is saying Mass.  He has asked God for a sign to help the lack of faith of a deacon concerning the doctrine of transubstantiation.  Christ appears as the “Man of Sorrows” over the altar.  You will see very many depictions of this theme when you visit well-stocked museums and many European churches.

Daniel Mitsui, whom I feature here occasionally – really like his stuff – has his own rendering of the Mass of St. Gregory.

Please pardon me, but I left the print in its protective plastic.  You can see more HERE.

This is 8″x 10 2/3.

In the bottom corners are Sts. Peter and Paul.  In the upper corners are Proper of Aquitaine and Vincent of Lerins.

Notice that on the left, he inscribes Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi elsewise Lex Orandi Lex Credendi.  You see on the right:  Id teneamus quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est.

As usual, the details are marvelous.

He connects visually the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection with the Eucharist.

It is a great Counter-Reformation image, too.  It stresses the doctrine and also papal primacy.

This would be a great gift for a priest or a convert.

Larger right click and open in a new tab.

I haven’t given up hope that Daniel will, one day, do QSO cards!

Posted in Just Too Cool, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | 9 Comments