Juxtaposition for your consideration

So… Card. Müller of the CDF meets with SSPX Bp. Fellay.  Some positive things are said after their meeting.

Then, Bp. Semeraro of Albano, where the SSPX HQ of Italy is, issues a Notification to warn people off from approaching SSPX priests (who are all suspended a divinis) for sacraments.  The timing of this raises questions.  Bp. Semeraro is the secretary of the “Gang of Nine” Cardinals.

Now watch this video, about the reparation the SSPX organized after the “Black Mass” event in Oklahoma City.

They sure sound dangerous, don’t they?

We might consider welcoming them.

Look… I am simply juxtaposing these things for your consideration.

Frankly, I think we need what the SSPX has to contribute. I pray for a reconciliation. Soon.

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Posted in Our Catholic Identity, SSPX, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , | 101 Comments

ASK FATHER: How to support young priest whose pastor doesn’t want the TLM?

From a reader…


Our parish has a 1 year ordained assoc pastor trained in TLM and would love to say it. Pastor is 62, new to us, would probably have a stroke if assoc pastor said TLM. How can I help(not in pastor’s graces)? I don’t want to harm the assoc pastor by creating a firestorm. Also, pastor heads deanery.

Sometimes the best help you can render is through prayer.  Pray both for the young associate and for the pastor’s change of heart.

The young associate is probably savvy enough to understand the pros and cons of offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form if the pastor is opposed.  After all, he survived the crucible of seminary formation.

While supporting the good young Father, trust his judgment. Don’t push the issue too much. He may have determined the best course of action is to avoid, for now, using the 1962 Missal, at least publicly, at this time and in this parish. I’m sure Father appreciates the support of kind parishioners, but it would be unwise to put any sort of pressure on him to go against the pastor’s wishes.

The best support could simply be that of an extended hand of friendship. Let him know that there are those who hope for better times.  They will support him if and when he sees it opportune to move forward with any plans.  They will also support him if he deems it unwise to do so for some time. Let him take the lead.

Meanwhile, write a supportive letter to the bishop about this good young priest!  It will go into his file.  Don’t mention the Extraordinary Form, or any quarrels you’ve had to land you outside of the pastor’s good graces.  The the bishop what a delightful young priest this associate pastor is.  Remember: bishops tend to only get letters of complaint.   Obvious letters of support will get his attention and, in time, could pay off.  They wind up in a priest’s file and counterweigh any difficulties in the future.

Keep the letter simple.  Something like:

“Fr. Moneypenny is a good, kind young priest with superb preaching skills and a great attitude. Thank you for sending him to us!”

Rather than, “Thank you for assigning Fr. Moneypenny to us. He does things right by the book unlike that crotchety old Fr. Mankiller who mopes around in his burlap chasuble preaching about socialism. Fr. Moneypenny wears his biretta every chance he gets and doesn’t tolerate that kind of wishy-washy liberal nonsense.”

That second letter, no matter how well-meaning, might get read by the chancery folks in an entirely different light than it’s intended. It will go into his file too, along with a snarky memo about how they ought to “stretch” this priest… as if on the rack.

Keep in simple.  Be positive.  Avoid controversial topics.  Sometimes people – in their zeal – hurt priests more than they can imagine.  Believe me.  I know this from personal experience.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Cybersecurity Threat Lurking On Your Phone


I don’t have that app. But… wow.

Posted in The Drill, The future and our choices | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can a godparent marry a godchild? Confirmation sponsor a confirmand?

From a reader…


Are spiritual relationships hindrances to marriages? For example, can a confirmand marry their sponsor? Can the children of godparents marry the godparents’ godchild?

An excellent question.

St. Thomas Aquinas spoke of spiritual affinity and the impediment it created in Question 56 of the supplement to the Summa Theologica.

The relationship between godparents and their godchildren is referred to as a relationship of “spiritual affinity.”

Spiritual affinity also occurs between the minister of baptism (who could be a lay person) and the one baptized. It is not the same as consanguinity (the relationship arising from sharing a bloodline) or simple affinity (the relationship that arises by way of marriage), but it is a relationship nonetheless.

In the Latin Church, until the 1983 Code took effect on 27 November 1983, spiritual affinity did create an impediment to marriage. Godparents could not marry their godchildren. A baptizer could not marry a baptizee.  However, the relationship of a confirmation sponsor to the confirmand is not the same as that of a godparent to godchild, so the impediment of spiritual affinity did not arise.

The Church understands the impediment of spiritual affinity to be ecclesiastical law, not divine law. Therefore, a dispensation from this impediment could be given, and the law could be changed.  In fact, the Church did change the law for the Western Church with the 1983 Code.  Spiritual affinity is no longer an impediment for Latin Catholics.

The Eastern Church, however, have retained it. Can 811 of the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches states in paragraph 1, “From baptism there arises a spiritual relationship between a sponsor and the baptized person and the parents of the same that invalidated marriage.” Paragraph 2 explains that the relationship of spiritual affinity does not arise with the sponsor used in a conditional baptism. Thus, for Eastern Catholics the impediment exists not just between the baptized and his godparents, but also between the godparents and the parents of the one baptized.

The fact that spiritual affinity is no longer an impediment to marriage in the Latin Church does not mean that it should not be taken into consideration.

Not infrequently, when an unbaptized spouse wants to become Catholic, the Catholic spouse wants to serve as a sponsor. This is no longer prohibited, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

The relationship between a godparent and a godchild is of a different category than between spouses.

Similarly, a confirmation sponsor has a different role than a spouse. There may be cases where this would be appropriate.

Since the Church no longer calls it an impediment in the Latin Church, people should be free to make these choices, but some caution should be taken.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

CQ CQ CQ – Ham Radio stuff

I had an interesting QSO in the sacristy of Ss. Trinita the other day. One of the priests of the FSSP is a ham.

That said, I haven’t done anything with Echolink yet. Sorry. I will have to be nagged into it, I think.

However, since I told myself I would post some ham things occasionally, here is something pretty cool. I have posted before about ham radio videos by USNERDOC available on Youtube. A while back he had some how-to videos about Anderson power poll set ups. I’d like to make some of the connectors, etc., for when I get a bit more ambitious (and actually have more gear). Anyway, he recently had videos showing how he made a convenient 100 foot wire antenna, that could be easily set up and taken down. Then, on a road tripe, he tuned into the AmRRON 20 meter HF Voice Net using a Tecsun PL-880 the above mentioned 100 foot antenna off of his hotel room in the pool area while in Scottsdale, AZ. I think that AmRRON broadcasts from Montana (not sure about that).

Anyway, here’s the video. Check out his other videos. He has made some great accessories/equipment.


Posted in Ham Radio | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Wymyn At Wyrk. “Priestesses” doing their thing. Hijinx ensues.

Someone sent me this for an anti-birthday gift. I think he was trying to shorten my life. He failed, however. I believe laughter is supposed to lengthen life.

You simply have to grit your teeth and get into the part where they have written their own “eucharistic” prayer.

Goodness gracious, this is a hoot.

Honestly, these poor people are so confused. I am pretty sure most of them have no clear idea of how sacrilegious this is.

Posted in Lighter fare, You must be joking! | Tagged | 76 Comments

Pondering Francis: Part II

A while back I posted an entry entitled “Pondering Francis“.  I am trying to get my head around this enigmatic man who is now the Vicar of Christ.  He sends mixed signals.  Surely there is a way to decode some of the puzzling things he says and does.  Or so I hope.

I had posted, back in September, about a long conversation I had with South American journalist Alejandro Bermudez of CNA. The concept of “peripheries”, which seems to be important to Francis.  Thus,

Furthermore, Bermudez spoke of the influence on Francis of thinkers such as the Uruguayan writer-theologian Alberto Methol Ferré, the Russian-American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin, and the pivotal Spanish-language poet Rubén Darío.  To condense wildly, it seems that Francis may breathe in a school of thought that sees a kind of “manifest destiny” for Latin America.  When cultures develop a interior decay, which they always do, revitalization of the cultures comes from “peripheries”.  For the larger Church, experiencing an interior decay, a periphery is Latin America.  Latin America, unlike any other continent, is unified in language (by far dominated by Spanish with related Portughese) and is/was unified in religion, Catholicism (though there is bad erosion).  With these unifying factors, Latin America has a critical role to play.  Also, if you are paying attention, Francis seems to use the word “periphery” a lot.  This not quite the same thing as “margin”.

I am paying attention.  Benedict has a few key concepts and code words by which he signaled key thoughts.  Francis seems to as well, and one of them is “peripheries“.

I now circle back to the Q&A period Pope Francis spent with members of the Schoenstaat movement, who met in Rome for their 100th anniversary.  That’s the talk in which Francis spoke about the family being “bastardized” these days.  HERE

Here is something from the report by EWTN/CNA on what else Francis told Schoenstaat:

True witness propels us out of ourselves and into the streets of the world, the Pope continued, repeating his common declaration that a Church, movement or community that doesn’t go out of itself “becomes sick.” [Shades of the "interior decay" mentioned above.]

“A movement, a Church or a community that doesn’t go out, is mistaken,” he said. “Don’t be afraid! Go out in mission, go out on the road. We are walkers.” [Who have a kind of "destiny".]

In answer to questions regarding how he can be defined as “reckless,” the Roman Pontiff admitted that although he can be considered “a little reckless,” he still surrenders himself to prayer, saying that it helps him to place Jesus at the center, rather than himself. [¡Hagan lío!]

“There is only one center: Jesus Christ – who rather looks at things from the periphery, no? Where he sees things more clearly,” the Pope observed, saying that when closed inside the small worlds of a parish, a community and even the Roman Curia, “then you do not grasp the truth.” [Christ looks at things from the periphery.  So, I suppose for Francis, to see things as Christ sees them, we have to go to the periphery where Christ is also seeing things.  Right?]

He explained how reality is always seen better from the peripheries rather than the center, and noted how he has seen some episcopal conferences who charge for almost every small thing, where “nothing escapes.” [HEY!  Pope Francis!  The Libreria Editrice Vaticana charges for use of your texts as well as Scripture.  Just saying'....]

“Everything is working well, everything is well organized,” the pontiff observed, but they could do with less “functionalism and more apostolic zeal, more interior freedom, more prayer, (and) this interior freedom is the courage to go out.” [There sure was a lot of going out, of missionary work, for centuries after the Council of Trent.]


There were a few other interesting things in that Q&A, but this underscores something I have been pondering about Francis.

If there is a malaise in the Church today, if there is an interior decay (and there is), then we should look to peripheries for that which can help to revitalize our identity, get us strong and healthy again.  We need what the periphery has to offer.

Traditional Catholics whose “legitimate aspirations” have been drawn to the traditional forms of our sacred liturgical worship, and who stick closely to traditional expressions of doctrine, are a periphery.   They have even been made into a periphery by the Church’s own appointed pastors.

It’s time to start listening to this periphery.

Benedict XVI sure thought so.  He put it in different terms.  He is focused on the idea of continuity.  By bringing the older, traditional forms of liturgy into contact with the present rank and file, we can renew our liturgical worship and, thereby, renew our Catholic identity.  This is a vital, urgent task to be undertaken in the face of the Dictatorship of Relativism.   My analogy of the Marshall Plan fits in here.  After WWII the USA rebuilt Europe so that it could be a good trading partner and a bulwark against atheistic Communism.  So too Benedict’s pontificate revealed what I call his own Marshall Plan, which had the three-fold task of renewing our liturgical worship (without which everything else falls apart), recalling how to read Scripture properly, and finding a proper interpretive lens for the Second Vatican Council.  All three of these are like structure that sustained horrible bombing, as during a war.  They have to be rebuilt.

Taking this a step farther, we might say that going to the periphery of the liturgical practice of the Roman Rite will bring the proper perspective to our liturgical worship of God.  There is a rot, a malaise, in our wide-spread, main-stream liturgical practice.  This must result in the enervation of every other aspect of the Church’s life.  We need what the Usus Antiquoir has to give and we need it NOW.  Priests and bishops must go to the periphery, learn the traditional forms, and begin using them.

Going on with the Franciscan periphery and Benedictine hermeneutic nexus, we must go to what has become over the decades another periphery, the Fathers of the Church.  They can teach us how to read Scripture again in a way that connects us to the insights of the ancient Church and the regula fidei.  The past seems to be a periphery.  Let’s go there to gain the right perspective.  Benedict explains what he means about the problems with modern exegesis in his Jesus of Nazareth (USA HERE UK HERE).

Finally, we might see the actual documents, the letter, of the Second Vatican Council as a kind of periphery.  Lots of people, especially on the catholic Left, focus on a chimeric “spirit” of the Council.  The media created it’s own Council, just as it did recently with the Synod of Bishops.  Benedict spoke poignantly of the Council of the Media just hours before he abdicated.  His famous address to the Roman Curia in 2005 was about proper interpretation of the Council, about continuity.  Let’s go to what has been set aside, shoved down to the end of the shelf: the Council documents, read in continuity with all the other Councils of the Church, which themselves have been shoved aside.  It is as if the history of the Church began in 1963.  Our forebears are a periphery!  We need Christ’s perspective from them.

At the beginning of Pope Francis pontificate, honestly disturbed by some of the signals the new Pope was sending, I really tried to get me head around what he was doing and saying by looking at what he was really doing and saying.  I used a quick phrase, “Reading Francis Through Benedict” because I saw some connections between the two Popes.  Those connections certainly were in matters of style.  They have sure not turned out to be similar in matters of governance.  When it comes to that, Benedict and Francis are both carbon-based life forms, but that’s about where it ends.  Still, rather than just thrown up my hands and turn my back on Francis, puzzled by what he is trying to accomplish (which isn’t clear at all), I think we can draw some lines between the way Francis thinks and what Benedict tried to do.  I wish we had had a few more years of Benedict but, hey, we didn’t.   Well, we sort of do.  His written remarks to the Urbaniana the other day were classic Ratzinger.  (Italian HERE) We must work with what we have, which is still helpful and valid today just as it was a couple years ago.  Francis makes it pretty hard sometimes to read him in continuity with his predecessors, but it can and it must be done.

Come to think of it, was there a better example of ¡Hagan lío! in the last few decades of the Church’s life than what Benedict XVI did on 7 July 2007?

Posted in Benedict XVI, Classic Posts, Linking Back, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, Reading Francis Through Benedict, The Drill, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Rome – Day 8: INTESTINES!


Tomorrow, Wed 29 October, I’ll be saying Mass in the crypt at Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. Perhaps if there are a few people in Rome who would like to attend with our pilgrimage group, you’d be welcome. FWIW.


It’s the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, and, therefore, Happy Birthday to me! To celebrate, I said Mass… as one does. We were again at Ss. Trinità.  It is comforting to go into the church in the morning and see the altars in use.  Priests are welcome in the morning to say Mass here, which is a great service.  The sacristan is worth his weight in gold.



Even in the sacristy, an altar is in use.


Something you don’t see in most sacristies, I dare say: pontifical dalmatic and gloves ready for use.  Situation normal around here.


After Mass a priest friend an I walked over to the Campo de’ Fiori because I had an overwhelming urge for coppiette.  There’s a Norcineria on the side of the Campo that happens to be the oldest continuous shop in the whole zone.

Behold, porcine-meaty paradise!


They make their own products.  Alas, it is really hard to get the horse coppiette now, so pig must suffice.  But they are really good!

Sorry about the blur.  I had hoped for better.  I’ll take my good camera next time.  The phone just doesn’t cut it.


Here’s the happy sausage monger getting my coppiette ready.  I wanted a couple vacuum sealed packs for the trip home as well as a few to share as we walked out of the shop.


Some ready sealed.  The laws for importation have changed for the USA.  You can bring in cured meats now.


One of the things I had him seal up was some of this!  Oh my.


On the counter he puts out a tray of slices of the some 30 different products they make.

At about 10 o’clock you see the salami of Barolo with the dark edge.  At 8, the tartuffo with the light edge.  At about 3, a brownish looking concoction that is liver and orange!  Fantastic.


They are really smart to put samples out, and they are happy for you to try things.

Were I still living here, I’d be by often just to get their spiffy guanciale.


Right across from the Norcineria (a deli-like butcher shop for products from Norcia), is the stand where I bought vegetables each day.  The nice old lady I used to buy from is still there.


And now the puntarelle are back in season.  They are a material proof that God really does love us.  I like them with garlic and anchovy.


I don’t know if I have mentioned it or not, but I collect “don’t dump garbage here” signs.  I used to use them as screen savers on the anniversary of the date the law went into force.  In this case 13 January 1703.  The Monsignor President of the Streets would fine you at least 10 scudi, the currency of the Papal States, for dumping illicit garbage here!


And so I strolled off, without dropping my paper, after munching my pig intestine cured in peperoncino.



A glimpse of S M della Pace.


At Leoniana bookstore.  How I remember pouring through these two handy little books, which I now have squirrled away in a box somewhere.


I dropped in a Gammarelli give them the trim for the pontifical set of vestments we are having made for use in the Diocese of Madison.  The gold silk was all cut and ready to go.  They lacked only the trim.


Back out on errands, I had to take this photo of S Agnese with some brightly illuminated clouds, in a silvery light.



Speaking of silvery light, the nice old lady at the passamaneria shop where I bought the galloni and pedoni gave me a little silver pom for a tabernacle key, and she asked for a prayer.  Perhaps you might advance her a few.  Her name is Anna, and she was very sweet.




The whole pilgrimage group tonight met at a restaurant that I favor.  We had to split off one table with four, alas, but I made the rounds.

Some snaps.

The classic, but with bombolotti rather than bucatini.


This young lady had a little steak for supper.  Between her and her better half, the whole thing disappeared.


It doesn’t get much better than this.  Masses in beautiful, ancient churches (Extraordinary Form!), Christian and pagan Rome, long meals in the evening, a stroll.


If you were wondering what was on the left, that’s rigatoni alla norcina… black truffle.


My little beef thing with a Barolo reduction.  I had to share it, I’m afraid.  Accompanied by cicoria.


On the right, our director had a sauté of little clams. We get spaghetti with clams because we want the clams, right?  So why not get just the clams?  This is after shot.  He was too swift.


And they brought out a little birthday candle for dessert.


Now for some rack time.  A pretty good birthday.  I brought my end of the vestment project to a conclusion, had lunch with three distinguish authors (more on them in another post), did some gift shopping (it seems only right to get something for your mother on your birthday, after all), and then had this great meal.

Hard to beat.

And to think… we’ll have another pilgrimage like this next year to coincide with the Summorum Pontificum events.

Just think!

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Pope Francis: “the family is being bastardized”

In Rome we have been seeing members of the Schoenstaat movement all over the place, as they gather for centenary celebrations.  Pope Francis addressed them and had some things to say about the state of the family today.


In an audience with members of an international Marian movement, Pope Francis warned that the sacrament of marriage has been reduced to a mere association, and urged participants to be witnesses in a secular world.

“The family is being hit, the family is being struck and the family is being bastardized,” the Pope told those in attendance at the Oct. 25 audience.

He warned against the common view in society that “you can call everything family, right?[ZAP!]

“What is being proposed is not marriage, it’s an association. But it’s not marriage! It’s necessary to say these things very clearly and we have to say it!” Pope Francis stressed. [Okay!  Let's say it!  And will the secular MSM pick it up?  Will they report that their darling Pope Francis, the first Pope who ever smiled, the first Pope who ever kissed a baby, the most wonderfullest fluffiest Pope ehvur, made it clear that attempts to confuse the concept of family and marriage must be resisted?  NEWS FLASH: Pope Francis seems not to think that homosexual unions, even with adopted children, are "marriages" and "families".  Will the catholic media report on this? I just went over to the site of the Fishwrap and did a search on the keyword "Schoenstaat".  Zip.]

He lamented that there are so many “new forms” of unions which are “totally destructive and limiting the greatness of the love of marriage.” ["'new forms' of unions"... hmmm... what ever could be mean?]

Noting that there are many who cohabitate, or are separated or divorced, he explained that the “key” to helping is a pastoral care of “close combat” that assists and patiently accompanies the couple.

Pope Francis offered his words in a question-and-answer format during his audience with members of the Schoenstatt movement, held in celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding in Germany.

Roughly 7,500 members of the international Marian and apostolic organization, both lay and clerics from dozens of nations around the world, were present in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for the audience.

In his answers to questions regarding marriage, Pope Francis explained that contemporary society has “devalued” the sacrament by turning it into a social rite, removing the most essential element, which is union with God. [If it is a social rite, then I suppose three or four or more can all "marry", including Spot, the family pet.]

“So many families are divided, so many marriages broken, (there is) such relativism in the concept of the Sacrament of Marriage,” he said, noting that from a sociological and Christian point of view “there is a crisis in the family because it’s beat up from all sides and left very wounded!”


“There is a crisis in the family because it’s beat up from all sides and left very wounded!”

“The family is being bastardized.”

I’ll say.

And as the family goes, so goes society.

Perhaps next year’s synod will look at this in a substantive way.

Posted in New Evangelization, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

ASK FATHER: Gloria and Creed for All Souls on Sunday?

From a reader…

The Canadian Bishops’ official Ordo clearly calls for the Gloria and the Creed on Sunday November 2. (Along with a note warning that the Sunday celebration shouldn’t be too penitential because it’s the Resurrection.)

But the Missal seems to say, pretty clearly, that the Gloria and Creed do not belong to the proper Mass for the day, and that Mass takes precedence of the Sunday (in the Ordinary form).

In this conflict, can the Bishops’ Ordo be right? Or can a Bishop determine such an “adjustment” to the liturgy for his own diocese?

I am a liturgical musician, so it matters practically. If you have time to comment, much thanks.

This is slightly schizo. But …!

The General Instruction says both the Gloria (GIRM 53) and the Creed (GIRM 68) may be sung or said “at particular celebrations of a more solemn character.”

Bishops can determine what constitutes “celebrations of a more solemn character”.  If they include All Souls (when it falls on a Sunday), then … hey!… who am I to judge?

Meanwhile, it’s jarring, to say the least.  The Sequence is tragically reduced to a mere option, but you can do a Gloria?  Really?  I will add that including a Gloria and Creed will make Mass longer, which will cut down on the time that Father Lovebeads for his homily.

On second thought, maybe it’s not a half-bad idea after all.

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