Archbishop Chaput on Pope Francis

National Catholic Register has something from a speech I just heard during the Napa Institute meeting. It affirms something I have been saying.

Archbishop Chaput on Pope Francis: It would be a mistake to describe him as a “liberal”

Is Pope Francis a socialist, or even a Marxist? No, says, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who tackled the pope’s views on economic justice during an address at the 2014 Napa Institute this weekend.

I think it would be a mistake to describe him as a “liberal” — much less a “Marxist.” As I told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in an interview some weeks ago, words like “liberal” and “conservative” don’t describe Catholic belief. They divide what shouldn’t be divided. We should love the poor and love the unborn child. Service to the oppressed and service to the family; defense of the weak and defense of the unborn child; belief in the value of business and belief in restraints on predatory business practices — all these things spring from the same Catholic commitment to human dignity. There’s nothing “progressive” about killing an unborn human child or allowing it to happen. And there’s nothing “conservative” about ignoring the cries of the poor.

Archbishop Chaput suggested that Pope Francis was not letting anyone off the hook from their own personal responsibility to care for the poor, and she argued that the New evangelization woujld fail witout [sic] a compelling witness of such service. He concluded, “At the heart of this pope’s thoughts about economic justice is not a theory or an ideology, but the person of Jesus Christ. And all of us who call ourselves Christians should see in that a reason to hope.” The text of Archbishop Chaput’s address HERE.

Take a moment to read the text.

As I have been saying all along, Pope Francis is not going to change the Church’s doctrine, which liberals – yes, I use the word as shorthand – want.  As a matter of fact, liberals – remember, it’s shorthand – will turn on Pope Francis when they fully twig to what he is not going to do.

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Posted in Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Boy Scout held at gunpoint at Canadian border

Does this sound right to you at all?  It sounds almost like a parody story, something from The Onion.  But… it isn’t.

From Todd Starnes:

Troop leader: Customs and Border agent held Boy Scout at gunpoint

A Boy Scout troop from the nation’s heartland is demanding answers and a U.S. senator is expressing outrage after a group of scouts was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, with one child allegedly held at gunpoint.

Jim Fox, the leader of the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, said the incident occurred earlier this month at a checkpoint along the Alaska – Canada border. The scouts and their leaders were on a 21-day trek from Iowa to Alaska – a trip that had been three years in the planning.

As their vans were moving through a checkpoint into the United States, one of the scouts snapped a photograph. [Imagine that!] Agents stopped the van and ordered all the passengers to get out. They told the underage photographer that he had committed a federal crime. It was unclear which agency with the Department of Homeland Security’s CBP agency was involved in the incident.

“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and ten years in prison,” Fox told Des Moines television station KCCI.

During the search, one of the scouts tried to retrieve a bag from the roof carrier. When he turned around, Fox said an agent had a loaded pistol pointed at the child.

“He heard a snap of the holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Fox told the television station.

The scoutmaster wrote a detailed account of the incident on his Facebook page. He said he tried to watch the agents search the van but was ordered to return to his vehicle. An agent followed him and told the youngsters “that the next one to leave the van would be handcuffed and detained.”

“The agent in charge informed me of the potential charges against (the) scout and informed me it is a violation of federal law for any American to take a picture of a federal agent or any federal building,” Fox wrote. [HUH?  Does anyone know anything about that?]

Fox said he and another member of the troop were interrogated by agents – forced to answer questions about their background.

They also wanted to know why the Boy Scouts were hauling “excessive amounts of lighters, matches and knives,” Fox said. After a lengthy delay, the Scouts were released without any charges being filed.  [Why indeed would Boy Scouts heading to Alaska have lighters, matches and knives?  It boggles.  The next thing you know they will also have tents, rope and back packs.  Then?  Who knows?  Compasses, for God's sake!]

“The boys were unnecessarily frightened and intimidated,” [D'ya THINK?] Fox wrote. “When do we Americans decide enough is enough? The TSA and border guards are a valuable asset to the safety of this country, but to have such Gestapo tactics against a teenage scout is uncalled for.”

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, agrees.

“It’s outrageous that a border patrol agent would point a gun at a boy scout just for taking a picture,” he told the television station. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

The senator’s office said they are looking into the matter.


Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, You must be joking! | Tagged | 37 Comments

MS-13 gang recruiting among illegals flooding across the border

From Fox:

Border agents say violent MS-13 recruiting at Arizona facility for new Central American arrivals

MS-13 members are infiltrating a federal facility for Central American youths illegally entering the United States — trying to cross the border with criminal pasts and recruiting others to join the notoriously violent, California-based gang, sources tell Fox News.

Shawn Moran, of the National Border Patrol Council, said the gang leaders are recruiting pre-teens, as they typically do, and following the lead of drug cartels also trying to fill their ranks from among the estimated 57,000 unaccompanied youths and others who have come to the U.S. from Central America in roughly the past nine months.

He said agents have witnessed the recruiting at the Border Patrol’s facility in Nogales, Ariz., and that gang members are using a Red Cross phone bank there to “recruit, enlist and pressure” others illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.


Texas state GOP Sen. Dan Patrick said earlier this week that roughly 100,000 illegally immigrants living in his state are gang members.

Sounds like it could be readily accessed “army” were some organization need to have muscle or some well-timed chaos in the streets, or even at polling places.

Posted in Pò sì jiù, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Will IRS monitor content of sermons? Do they now?

From Life News:

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheist Group to Monitor Content of Sermons

The next time your pastor delivers a pro-life sermon or urges the congregation to stand up for pro-life values in the political or public arena, he could be taken to task by the IRS.

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.

ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press release the group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”

The IRS claims it is temporarily withholding investigations of all tax-exempt entities because of congressional scrutiny of its recent scandals, but no one knows when it will decide to restart investigations based on any new or modified rules that it develops.


Read the rest there.

Posted in Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

My View For Awhile: 77 square mile edition

The zoo like boarding process is underway.


And so I settle in for a few (hopefully) boring hours to my connecting flight.


I am reading American Sniper on this leg.

It was a great conference experience. I met lots of great new people and renewed others. I also used Zipcar for the first time. The jury is still out on that.


Phase 2: I hope I remember where my car is parked.


I have by now read my guy (in the book, course) into that garden spot Fallujah. Blech.

Posted in On the road, SESSIUNCULA, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 4 Comments

How many children have died in Hamas’ tunnels?

Did you know about this?

From the Institute for Palestinian Studies:

Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege


A similarly cavalier approach to child labor and tunnel fatalities damaged the movement’s standing with human-rights groups, despite government assurances dating back to 2008 that it was considering curbs. During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials. Safety controls on imports appear similarly lax, although the TAC insists that a sixteen-man contingent carries out sporadic spot-checks.


Posted in The Drill, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why don’t bishops wear cassocks?

From a reader:

I am wondering why most modern bishops just wear a clerical suit?  Why do they very rarely wear the cassock with the proper color trim?  We almost never see eastern rite or even the orthodox out in public in “clerical suits”.  Could part of the reason that people don’t listen to their Bishops is that the Bishops choose not to wear the dress that is official to them?  The “clerical suit” is worn by almost all protestant ministers and if you were to put them all in a room with a Catholic Bishop wearing a clerical suit I bet the common man who doesn’t know his Bishop would not be able to point out his Bishop.

Do ever see a return to Bishops looking like Bishops when they are out in public?  Would it provide more of an impact if Bishops wore their official dress when addressing assemblies?  If part of the outward symbol of a Bishop is his dress, then why would he choose to not employ it?

First, I am glad you are concerned about decorum.  I have no doubt that you are always exactly properly dressed according to everyone else’s expectations in each and every circumstance.

Next, I limit myself to custom in these United States.

It was, and still is, not the custom for secular, diocesan priests and bishops in these USA to wear the cassock as “street attire”.  Yes, some young pups are wearing the cassock all the time, when they go about town.  Fine.  Perhaps they will establish a new practice.  However, the usual practice in these USA go back to the Councils of Baltimore, which forbade clerics from using the cassock as dress attire, imposing instead secular dress but with a clerical collar.  For a long while the standard was the frock coat, which we don’t see much of anymore.   Today, standard street dress for the diocesan cleric is the black suit.  Of course the cassock is always appropriate for anything liturgical and when the cleric is in his assigned place, such as a school or hospital.

Another point, for bishops at least, is practical.  These days, most (I think) bishops drive themselves about.  I think that is imprudent, but – hey! – they don’t ask me about such things.  Say His Nibs is in a cassock and something happens along the way.  He’s in his cassock, which might not be the best attire at the moment.  I am speculating at this point, but that could have something to do with it.

Lastly, I have to say that clerical decorum has nearly completely broken down.  All you have to do is look at a group of concelebrants.  There are hardly two vested similarly when it comes to alb, cincture.  Let’s not even talk about proper choir dress.  What a disaster that is.  They enter and exit in their white gunny sacks looking like the end of the shift at the Tasty Bakery.  It strikes me that most priests and bishops of a certain age haven’t a clue about how to dress.   Furthermore, they would say, “Oh, I don’t go in for all that stuff!”, as if they are somehow to be thought humble.  I don’t see any virtue in adopting a stance of contempt for your proper dress or vestments or uniform.  Humility submits to decorum.  Putting on the gear, and putting it on correctly, shows respect for the office and role you hold.  It shows respect for the people you encounter.   They don’t want to see their bishops and priests slouching about in shapeless white bags or looking like a hotel clerk.

You, however, are also reacting to photos I posted of a conference I attended.  There were quite a few bishops there.  They were in black suits.  This was at a hotel/resort.  It was a secular setting, not a church.  The prelates used cassocks for liturgies (Mass and office and Benediction).  Religious priests quite properly wore their habits, according to their customs.  Diocesan priests were in black suits.

Were there to have been a truly formal moment, such as a black tie evening event, then the diocesan clerics would have been properly dressed in a house cassock appropriate for their status, with the proper fascia, and a ferraioulo.  Mine would be black, a bishop’s violet or paonazza, a cardinal’s porpora sacra.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  We are in a transition period.  I think that the customs will change for the better, but it will take time.  In the meantime, in these USA, don’t look down on a priest who wears the black suit and Roman collar when out and about in public.  That’s the custom for the diocesan clerics if this country.

And, yes, it is my hope that cleric decorum improves.  And, yes, I would like to see more bishops in their proper gear more often.  I think we see this as the Biological Solution keeps working us all over.

Posted in ASK FATHER Question Box, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

October Rome Pilgrimage – Summorum Pontificum

John Sonnen, who is from my native place, lived in Rome for a long time and was a tour guide there.  He is also staunchly traditional.  He now has a tour company that will be doing a pilgrimage to Rome in October (the best time of year in Rome, btw) to coincide with the annual Summorum Pontificum event, a Pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.  He sent me some details.  I’ll just include them as bullet points:

  • In conjunction with the 7th anniversary of SP.
  • 11-day itinerary.
  • All inclusive or land-only package.
  • Deadline for registration: August 1.
  • Deposit of $1,000 required to register.
  • This tour will not be repeated. Once in a lifetime.
  • Inclusions:
  • Round-trip air transportation from NYC to Rome – direct.
  • 9 nights accommodation at 4-Star Hotel Ponte Sisto, where the young Fr. Wojtyla stayed upon arrival in Rome in 1946. [Right next to the FSSP parish in Rome!]
  • All breakfasts, two lunches, and four exquisite Roman dinners served with local wine.
  • Complete sightseeing program which includes excellent local guides and tour escort.
  • Private guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
  • Private guided tour of the “Scavi” to explore the excavations below St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Private guided tour of the Catacomb of Priscilla, which contains the oldest known Marian paintings.
  • Private tour of ancient Rome to see Colosseum and Roman Forum.
  • Deluxe motor coach for airport transfers and sightseeing.
  • One day excursion to Orvieto to see the Eucharistic miracle of 1263, the “Corporal of Bolsena.”
  • Two opportunities to see the Pope: the papal General Audience on Wednesday and the traditional Sunday Angelus.
  • Daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to itinerary.

More info HERE

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

WDTPRS 17 Ordinary Sunday: There is no room in Christian life for complacency.

Our Collect for the 17th Ordinary Sunday has roots in the ancient Veronese Sacramentary for the month of July and, with variations, is in the Extraordinary Form on the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost.  After some digging I determined that the Ordinary Form version was edited back to the more ancient version of the prayer.

Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum, multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur, ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris.

I like the pleasant “m” hum in the first part. Note the spiffy pairings with their asyndeton, “nihil validum, nihil sanctum” and “te rectore, te duce” (exemplary ablative absolutes).

Protector (from protego) meaning fundamentally “to cover before, or in front, cover over” and obviously also “to shield from danger” as well as things like “put a protecting roof over”.  A protector is a “lifeguard, bodyguard”.  Inhaereo means “to stick in or to, cleave to, inhere in”.  Inhaereo, construed with either dative or ablative, is stuck to mansuris, the future participle from maneo, “to remain, last, endure, continue”.   St Augustine of Hippo (+ 430) used a similar combination of words in a sermon about love of God and love of the world (s. 344.2).


O God, protector of those believing in you, without whom nothing is efficacious, nothing holy, multiply upon us Your mercy, so that, You being our helmsman, our commander, we may so make use of things that pass away as to be able to cleave to those that will endure.


God our Father and protector, without you nothing is holy, nothing has value. Guide us to everlasting life by helping us to use wisely the blessings you have given to the world.


O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure.

Last week we prayed about vigilant or watchful restraint or guarding (“vigili custodia”) and said “super eos dona multiplica … multiply gifts (of grace) upon/over them (us)”.  This week the priest asks God to “multiply mercy upon us … multiplica super nos misericordiam”.  In both prayers we have the image God covering us over (super). Last week it was with the theological virtues (faith, hope and charity).  This week it is with mercy, though vigilance still rings like a claxon through the prayer.

We are members of a Church Militant. Never forget it!  There is no room in the Christian life for complacency.  Don’t soften into spiritual acedia by the coos and lullabies of those who deny the existence of evil and of the Devil and of personal sin.  Give them no ear.

Some people today think that evil, if “evil” isn’t merely a difference of point of view, can be reduced to mere social ills which stem from a lack of diversity and tolerance.

That is a deception of the Devil.

All societal ills take root from the foul seeds of our personal sins of commission and omission. When people do not believe in the Devil and in personal sin, then the Enemy has already won.   Satan and the fallen angels desire our everlasting damnation in Hell in the agony of separation from God.  They are powerful, relentless, cunning, merciless.

This world has its demonic prince (cf John 14:30), but Jesus is our King, our great Captain (dux) in our marches and battles.  Christ Jesus has broken Hell’s power over us once and for all.  For a time yet, we are still in this world.  The Devil still dominates it, but only to the extent that our loving God permits in His providence.

We are soldiers traveling through enemy territory.  We need a sure leader before us and strong shield beside us.  We need good path beneath us, and protection over us when we rest.  God must multiply over us everything we need, simply that we may live.  God’s graces, our wits, and the authority of Holy Church all tell us what is safe and holy, what is a trap and evil.

May God make us sticky (inherere) for things that endure forever, rather than clingy for what is under the sway of this world’s prince, the liar and “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Beg for demon-Kevlar, if you will, so the Enemy cannot penetrate our minds and hearts with temptations and doubts. Ask for God’s shielding protection, sin-Teflon, so that the passing things of this world can’t stick to us, distract us, hold us back from heaven.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

There’s wreckovation, and then there is this.

In Iraq, ISIS is bulldozing churches and turned the Cathedral of Mosul into a mosque.   Meanwhile, many thousands of miles away…

… in the National Post:

What’s happening to Montreal’s churches? Quebec finding new ways to preserve its heritage in a secular age

MONTREAL — Weight machines fill the space where once there were pews, and visitors sip nutritional green smoothies, not communion wine. But despite its dramatic transformation into a private gym and spa, the onetime Dominican St. Jude’s Shrine on Montreal’s St. Denis Street remains a temple of sorts.

“It becomes almost a religion for some people,” Sonya Audrey Bonin, general manager of the Saint-Jude Espace Tonus gym, said this week. “I see it with yoga, with taking care of yourself, being careful about what you eat, having a healthy lifestyle.” And in a secular age when people are more likely to hit the gym than attend mass on a Sunday morning, the upscale facility is being hailed as a model for preserving the religious buildings that constitute an important part of Quebec’s architectural heritage.


When the council did an inventory in 2003, it identified 2,751 places of worship in the province, the vast majority of them Catholic churches. Since then, about 400 have closed, and Mr. Boucher said the rhythm is accelerating. “A church closes every week. It is a huge phenomenon,” he said. “Everyone needs to make a compromise so the buildings find a useful life in society and continue to convey their historical significance.”


Read the rest there.

Some of the pics:

Posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments