WDTPRS – 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time: “E ‘n la sua volontade…”

Let’s look at upcoming Sunday’s Collect, for the 30th Ordinary Sunday according to the Novus Ordo.  This is a prayer having a precedent in the 1962MR as the Collect for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost. It was also in the Veronese and Gelasian, ancient sacramentaries both.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei spei et caritatis augmentum, et ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):

Almighty and ever-living God,
strengthen our faith, hope, and love.
May we do with loving hearts
what you ask of us
and come to share the life you promise


Almighty eternal God, grant us an increase of faith, hope and charity, and cause us to love what You command so that we may merit to obtain what You promise.


Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise

Today we pray to God the Father for an increase of the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.

By baptism we were endowed with a supernatural life. As the German writer Josef Pieper (+1997) describes, a supernatural life can be described as having three main currents.

First, we have some knowledge of God surpassing what we can know about Him naturally because He reveals it to us (faith). Second, we live by the patient expectation that what we learn and believe God promises will indeed be fulfilled (hope). Third is an affirmative response of love of God, whom we have come to know by faith, and also love of our neighbor (charity).

While natural human virtues are acquired through education and discipline, the three theological virtues faith, hope and charity are given to us by God. They are fused into us with grace at baptism.

Looking at the positive development of the theological virtues, we can say that faith logically precedes hope and charity, and hope precedes charity. From the negative point of view, considering their unraveling and loss, we lose charity first of all, and then hope and, last of all, our faith. Charity is the greatest of the three, followed by hope and then faith.

As an aside… there are many believers out there who have fallen away.  They need your help to return.  Faith is the last thing to go. Many who lead quite dissolute lives still believe.  A tiny coal preserved in the ash of a dead fire can be fanned to life with exposure and a little TLC, a few puffs of reviving air.  But I digress…

The theological virtues perfect and elevate everything virtuous thing man can do naturally. They can be considered logically, one at a time, but are all three intimately woven together. St. Augustine (+430) says, “There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith” (enchir 8). The goal of the virtuous life, as we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1803), is to become like God. Living the theological virtues concretely reveals God’s image in us as well as the grace He gives to His adopted children. Today we pray for their increase.

Faith is the starting point for all salvation and meritorious actions. “The righteous shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). Living faith works through charity. Furthermore, ““faith apart from works is dead” (cf. James 2:14-26). “When faith is deprived of hope and love, it does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body (CCC 1814).” “The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity (CCC 1818).” “The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which ‘binds everything together in perfect harmony’” (CCC 1827).

This Sunday we also pray to love what God commands.

Doing what another commands is not always pleasant. Our wills and passions rebel and we prefer to command rather than be commanded.

It is easy, from the worldly point of view, to think that by being the commander, rather than the commanded, we can find peace. Surely each one of us desires peace and happiness and we seek after the means to attain them. If we attach our hopes to the created, passing things of this world to find peace and happiness we are inevitably disappointed.

All created things, including people, can be lost. They cannot be the foundation of lasting peace. Even the fear of their loss lessens our peace in this world. God alone gives the peace and happiness we seek. He alone is eternal, unchanging, forever trustworthy. We cannot lose God unless we ourselves reject Him. And, in the end, God, the source of peace, remains in command.

In Canto III of the Paradiso of the Divine Comedy the poet Dante is in the Heaven of the Moon. He encounters the soul of Piccarda. Dante queries her about the happiness of the blessed in heaven wondering if somehow, even in heaven, souls might be disappointed that they do not have a higher place in celestial realm.

In response Piccarda utters one of the greatest phrases ever penned and or recited (l. 85):

In His will is our peace.
It is that sea to which all things move,
both what it creates and what nature makes…

We are all made in God’s image and likeness, made to act as God acts. He reveals something of His will to us. When we obey Him we act in accordance with the way He made us and what He intended for us. In obedience we find happiness and peace, even amidst the vicissitudes of this troubling and passing world.

Our Collect prays that we “love what you command”. This is a prayer for happiness. The theological virtues provide the key.

E ‘n la sua volontade è nostra pace. In His will is our peace.

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UPDATE on Reginald Foster’s ‘Ossa Latinitatis Sola’ – Request for old Ludi Domestici

Ossa Latinitatis Sola


UPDATE 21 Oct:

A priest friend sent me a photo of his very own copy of Ossa, duly delivered.  Yes, folks, the books are shipping.



Some people are asking me for updates on the publication of the 1st volume of the Ossa Latinitatis Sola.

First, there is a website which has news about the volumes. HERE

Fr. Foster was quite ill for a while and the project stalled a bit. However, I believe is is going forward even though it is much delayed.  Not too long ago, I visited Fr. Foster and I actually saw galley sheets of the book.

Second, I’ve sent an email asking for an update.

Finally, there will eventually be volumes of Foster’s famous (infamous?) homework sheets or Ludi Domestici.  I still have lots of them squirreled away somewhere.  Having them bound in volumes will be invaluable.  As a matter of fact, on that web cited (above) there is a request to any and all for sheets from certain years and levels.  

Nota bene, all you former Reggie students.

For my original post about this go HERE.

Now available for pre-order in the UK HERE.  It has become more expensive over the last few months.


I heard back from the co-editor, Dom Daniel McCarthy, OSB.  He wrote:

The OSSA book may be available perhaps by August, but the publisher is not giving another publication date until he is sure.

Reggie and I saw the full text of the draft book completely formatted only last December, and we spent a month revising it together at his place. I was not able to stay longer, so I had to complete the job myself after returning to Rome in February to begin teaching. Thus, before holy week I submitted the draft with 6,100 + notations. They are currently working on our comments. There were so many notations that I requested they send the draft back to me for a second review, which I’ll do myself in Rome. Thereafter they will make the final changes and print the book. It may be available by August, but again the publisher is not giving any firm date.

Please let your readers know, so they can plan their curriculum.

So, the release is not imminent, but there is forward movement.

Consider yourselves updated.

And… if any of you alumni if The Experiences have your old ludi, you might check to see if you can fill in some blanks.  HERE

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 11.40.06

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Pius XI is back on the job after a nice vacation

12_11_13_PopePiusXIA few days ago I got a note from a reader that, on the Vatican website, it was no longer possible to access the documents of Pope Ratti, Pius XI (1922-39).   Immediately, I thought, “AH HAH!”  “Ah hah! …”, what? … wasn’t exactly clear, but I thought, “AH HAH!”

Pius XI wrote hard hitting stuff that didn’t mince words.  I’ve done a couple of podcasts about his documents, including about Mortalium animos, which concerns ecumenism.  Was that why he was removed?  Hmmmmm…. conspiracy.

Since discovering this mysterious lacuna, I occasionally checked the Vatican website to see if Pius XI’s would be reinstated, if perchance their disappearance was just another tech mess up.  It’s, by the way, ironic that he wasn’t any longer in the archive, considering that this is Pope Ratti we are talking about.  He was a librarian and was often found hanging out in the archive.  Get it?  And then he was not to be found in the archive.  Get it?  It was even more ironic that, during Ratti’s hiatus you defaulted to John XXIII!

Well, he’s back!

My view as I write…

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 18.02.33

Here’s an explanation of what happened to Pius XI over the last few days.

As future Pope Pius XIII, We assure you that, whether you are a dead Pope, an alive Pope, or even now a retired Pope, being a Pope is not easy. Sometimes you just need a vacation. In view of my future difficult pontificate, while I… while We have the chance We are now hanging out at Lago di Garda. We hope Our future predecessor was able to get a little rest in a nice spot like this. Now that the present guy has decided that Popes won’t stay at Castel Gandolfo – that’s a mistake, by the way, and We teach that with future infallibly with retro force – Popes will need to be creative about where they hang out for R&R.

Heck, if there are enough retired Popes at once, perhaps We could get a time share somewhere!

Anyway, welcome back Pius XI!  It’s great to have you back “on the job” again.

Everyone should listen to your wonderful Mortalium animos, especially as we close in on 2017.

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Archbp. Naumann on VP candidate and ‘c’atholic quisling Tim Kaine (D-VA)

The Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, His Excellency Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, issued some thoughts about the candidates in the upcoming – important  – presidential election. Writing about Dem VP candidate and catholic quisling Tim Kaine (who spent time where Naumann is now bishop) we read towards the end (my emphases and comments)…  HERE


It is ironic that Senator Kaine expressed such profound concern about imposing his religious beliefs on others, while supporting efforts: 1) to coerce the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based ministries to violate their conscience by including abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations in their employee health plans; 2) to put small business owners (e.g., florists, bakers, photographers, etc.) out of business with crippling fines if they decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and 3) to force every American taxpayer to help fund abortion.

This presidential election presents all Americans with a difficult choice. Both major political parties have nominated very flawed candidates. In making your decision as a voter, I encourage you to think not only of the candidate, but who they will appoint to key Cabinet and other powerful government positions if he or she becomes president. We are choosing not just a president, but an entire administration.  [For me, SCOTUS appointments are of paramount importance.]

Finally, be wary of candidates who assume to take upon themselves the role of defining what Catholics believe or should believe. Unfortunately, the vice-presidential debate revealed that the Catholic running for the second highest office in our land is an orthodox member of his party, fully embracing his party’s platform, but a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient.

I implore you, dear readers, don’t stay home.  VOTE!

I would vote for the corpse of Millard Fillmore to keep Clinton and Kaine away from the White House.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Venice Days 2-3: Bones, fabrics and views

A few more images of Venice before transitioning to another place.

From the vaporetto on the way out to San Giorgio Maggiore, a view of Santa Maria della Salute.

Over the door of the church you still find the arms of Pius VII!

On either side of the main altar there are glorious paintings by Tintoretto, one of the gathering of manna and the other of the Last Supper.

This, we are assured, is the resting place of the bones of Sts. Cosmos and Damian.

From the belfry.

Here is the Blessed Sacrament altar in a side chapel of San Moise, where I have in the past and during this trip, had Mass.  1747.

Not too far away, there is a fabric store that a priest friend recommended.  They do things the old fashioned way, hand producing some fabrics at the rate of, maybe, 10 cm a day.  By machine they can go as fast as 40 cm.   Alas, this stuff is so expensive that I don’t even want to think about what a pontifical set would cost.

Speaking of fabric, here is a great tabernacle veil arrangement.  The veils are suspended from hooks on the gilded wooden frame work which slides into place and is held on either side by metal tongue-in-grove claps.  You can remove the frame and work change the veils and slid it back on again.  Nice.  It is pretty simple, really, and looks great.  Remember that the veil, more than the light, is the sign of the Real Presence.  That’s why even ciboria, inside the tabernacle, should always have veils after consecration and while there are particles of the Eucharist within.

Inside La Fenice.

Our waiter, opening bottles of wine for the group.

In the water taxi leaving rainy Venice.

And still on the water in our new spot.  The group has dispersed.  I’m with a couple friends.

A room with a view.

Now it is time to unclench a bit, nap, and start a new book before heading back into the hurly-burly.


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Benedict XVI commented again on turning toward the ‘East’ for liturgical worship



In the recent number of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, there is a blurb which informs us that Benedict XVI contributed some text for a book on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the election of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew.  Benedict wrote about how eastward-facing worship points to salvation.

The Pope Emeritus has praised worship ad orientem in a book which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the election of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

In his book extract, the retired Benedict XVI writes: “A shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ is never oriented only to the circle of his own faithful. The community of the Church is universal, also in the sense that it includes all of reality.”

He continues: “This is evident, for example, in the liturgy, which does not indicate only the commemoration and fulfilment of the saving acts of Jesus Christ.

“It is journeying towards the redemption of all creation. In orienting the liturgy towards the East (the Orient), we see that Christians, together with the Lord, desire to proceed towards the salvation of creation in its entirety. Christ, the Crucified and Risen Lord, is at the same time also the ‘sun’ which enlightens the world.”

Turning, re-turning, our liturgical worship ad orientem – having priest and people in unity facing the symbolic East – will help to revive our long-enervated Catholic identity.

In his last years, and in the midst of recent controversy, Benedict chooses to remind us of what he has written of for many years and which he also strove to promote also through his monumental Summorum Pontificum.

I cannot imagine that Benedict does not know of the controversy surrounding Card. Sarah’s perfectly reasonable and measured appeal to priests to begin (again) to celebrate Holy Mass ad orientem.  Surely he knows well what Card. Sarah did and how many have reacted.  His choice to write even a brief comment about ad orientem worship is, to my mind, significant.

Posted in Benedict XVI, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can the bishop forbid the cassock?

cassockFrom a priest…


I am trying to find an answer to the question of whether a bishop can prohibit a priest from wearing the cassock. Below is the pertinent section from the Directory for the Ministry and Life of Priests which mentions the local Bishops’ Conference and its norms…etc…  [Edited out for reasons of brevity.] It seems to imply that the cassock is normative and can always been worn even if the conference offers other options… [It indeed does imply that.]

Is this right? [Yes.]

If a priest is in good standing, has not done, nor is doing, anything to bring shame on his office publicly when wearing said cassock, can a bishop simply say, “I don’t want you wearing it…” ?, especially if the Conference has not issued any specific norms itself.

Of course a bishop can’t prohibit a priest from wearing a cassock!

The cassock is the Church’s expectation of what a priest wears, as you correctly discern from the Directory.  It is listed first and it is the default garment for the Roman priest.

However, Holy Church, in her generosity, also wishes to accommodate the transitory styles of culture (presuming that what we see these days can truly be called “culture”).  For example, during a time of Know Nothing anti-Catholicism in these USA the Council of Baltimore determined that priests shouldn’t wear the cassock when out and about in the streets, but rather should wear the clerical collar and the frock coat.  clerical frock coatI’ve only known one cleric who wore the frock coat in accordance with that Council btw.  Dapper, but eccentric.

According to the dictates of common sense, the sensible priest may wear other clothing than the cassock, clothing suited to the task at hand.  He may wear a black suit and black shirt with clerical collar.  He may wear a union suit when crawling under the rectory to fix the pipes. He may wear a modest bathing suit when swimming. He may wear sweatpants and a jersey when stretched out on the rectory couch to watch a football, soccer, cricket, or rugby match. He may wear tactical camouflage whilst hiding in the forest waiting for the elusive fourteen-point buck. He may wear a frightening clown suit when lurking in the woods near a convent of polyester-pantsuited nuns holding an “I’m with Hillary” rally.

I’ve never seen the sense in wearing the cassock to, for example, climb ladders to change bulbs, to wash a car, or to play hockey in a serious way.  Yes yes we’ve all seen the photos.  And, yes yes, I can see shooting some baskets with the kids on the playground for a few minutes, but… sheesh.

A bishop, being a creature with free will, can certainly say to a priest, “Father, I don’t want you wearing a cassock”.   At that point the priest would be within his rights to answer his Ordinary, respectfully, saying, “Your Excellency, thank you so much for your opinion, but that is above your pay grade.”

If the bishop is a humorless liberal – as as all liberals are… that was redundant – you, the prepared priest, might wear a thin cassock over your normal cassock. When Bishop Fatty McButterpants says that he wants you to stop wearing a cassock, immediately take the outer cassock off, revealing your regular cassock. “Yes, Your Excellency, right away, Your Excellency!”

Of course, you must subsequently be reconciled with being a parochial vicar for a considerable amount of time to Fr “Just Call Me Bob” at Engendering Togetherness Community of Welcome, or serving as the chaplain to the Sisters, Servants of Our Lord’s Sacred Tambourine.

Bottom line, no, a bishop has no right whatsoever to forbid the quintessential priestly garment.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

REVIEW: Robert Harris – Conclave

I am minded of a witty review back in the day by Dorothy Parker, who wrote of a book that it should not be put down lightly; it should be hurled with great force.

A scan of the acknowledgments at the back of the novel about a conclave in which a Dean of the College of Cardinals must do some sleuthing (cardinals are bumped off… the Chair of Peter, not bumped off…) will tell you a great deal about what is between the covers.   Would that I had read those acknowledgements before I turned to the opening page.

It is, mercifully, a fast read.  It deals with some current controversies.  I detest spoilers, so I won’t give you anything substantive.  There are absurdities in the plot which would allow canonists to pen some great posts about the validity of the conclave and, therefore, the election of the predictable surprise “Pope” at the end.  There are some ludicrous shots at tradition especially through its personification in unlikeable cardinals.  And there is this…

Even when I detest a book I hate spoilers. There are a few clever moments, mind you, but they in no way make up for this thing’s gross inadequacies and cheap shots.

Do yourselves a favor. Keep moving when you run across it… unless you can find a used copy in the cart outside the store which you could give to someone you don’t like.


And, as I contemplate dropping it into a canal… jail for the author?   If I were Doge and he wrote that in my most serene republic…

It’s final resting place…

Posted in Liberals, REVIEWS, You must be joking! | 39 Comments

Bp. Morlino on marriage, sex craziness, the election, and “eschatological awareness”

ad orientem direction drawingHis Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison and Extraordinary Ordinary, has a column in the recent number of the diocesan newspaper which connect three topics that you might not be immediately inclined to connect.

Eschatology (theology of the Last Things), all sorts of confusion about marriage, Holy Mass ad orientem.


Crunched down, God made us for a reason.  Many of you who studied the Baltimore Catechism can recite it immediately.

If we lose sight of our proper end, or goal, then we start to screw up other things.  For example, two people (or more, I guess) of the same sex might get a notion that they can get married, or that it is okay to have sexual relations with such a person.  They go dreadfully wrong and lost on bad paths.  To recover our sense of direction, we need to contemplate again the Last Things.  One way to do this is through the recovery of ad orientem worship!


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Four Last Things, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Venice – Day 1-2: Of Mark and Mud-bugs

This improbable place never ceases to amaze.

St. Mark’s Square, which at about noon today will start to fill up with water.  Raised sidewalks of metal scaffolding will be set up for people to file along.  In this age of selfies, there is rich potential for real delays and splash downs.

Yesterday I went to a couple church’s to arrange Mass times for the group.  Allow to say here that the sacristan at S. Zaccaria sets a new standard for being a total jerk.  Italian sacristans can be extremely …. unhelpful.  Not are they often among the most liturgically (etc.) ignorant of all carbon-based life forms, but they are also the most likely to share their witless and ill-informed opinions.  In any event, the guy at S. Zaccaria is a first class ass.  This is not the first time I’ve tried to deal with him.  Also, some of the group I am with went by the church as the evening Mass was concluding, the minute the priest finished he started turning out lights and shooing with no regard to the people who were still praying etc.  A couple even had to use the lights on their phones to get out without falling.  In any event, the sacristan is world-class oaf.   In fact, reading this inscription in the campo outside the church kept me from saying many things.





That said, the sacristan at S, Moisè was friendly and helpful, as was the fellow at S. Marco after a couple attempts at brushing us of.   Enough about sacristans.

After arranging the Mass for this morning at the altar of the Madonna Nicopeia, I slithered over into the sanctuary to spend time asking St. Mark to take in had a friend who is wondering about a vocation.

Mosaics.   Riveting.  The basilica was pretty much closed when I finished in the sacristy and with my orisons, so I lingered a little and read the Latin and followed the story.

The evening meal brought all of us granceola, a kind of spider-crab salad.   Just about to finish…


A couple folks in the party opted for the lobster with fresh mayonnaise.

I, however, had sarde in soar, one of my favorites in Venice.

Then spaghetti with squid ink.

The aforementioned mud-bug and its accompaniment.

From last night and moving to this morning, we had Mass, as I mentioned, at the altar of the Madonna Nicopeia, dear to the Venetians.  She was – frankly – boosted from Constantinople where once she was carried into battle and because their Lady of Victory.  The Venetians, knowing a good thing when they see it, helped themselves to the icon and used it for the same purposes.  Now she awaits your attention in a chapel inside the side door of the basilica.

The Leonine Prayers after Mass on the Feast of St. Luke.

More later.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 31 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why are good priests so afraid of “stirring the pot”?

From a reader…


This past weekend my family and I attended Mass at a neighboring parish, which had for many years been considered very liberal. We were informed that a new pastor had been appointed in the course of the last year who was very orthodox. For his part, the pastor was in fact very reverent and celebrated the Mass accurately. However, the music was horrific, complete with Hippie hymns and rythmic clapping. At the homily the Deacon called the children forward to sit in the sanctuary while he sat facing them and led a “discussion” complete with platitudes about diversity, niceness and quotes from St Martin Luther King.

My question is: Why are good priests so afraid of “stirring the pot” or “sweeping changes” with regard to the proper and reverent celebration of Holy Mass, especially with a supportive bishop and many (perhaps quieter) faithful who just can’t stand the stupidity?

Not knowing the full situation there, one cannot be exhaustive or too precise.  However, in my experience, some priests when they arrive in a new parish wait for quite a while before making changes.  Whether that is a good idea or not, that’s what many priests do.   Of course if there are obvious abuses or sacrilege, they ought to correct them immediately.  Some do, some don’t.  Some priests are timid.  Some have been requested by the bishop, or threatened, not to make “problems”.

Also, some priests arrive in a new place and find a whole raft of things that have to be corrected.  They find it hard to tackle them all at once.  I, of course, think that liturgical worship is the main issue.  However, that is also the issue where people who are entrenched will fight you the most.   And if the bishop doesn’t support his priests – that’s common – Father might turn his attention elsewhere.  He has only so much mental energy and, perhaps, does not want to die on that particular hill.

When you’ve been beaten on for enough years by harassing libs and the bishop who will throw you to the wolves, you get a little tired.

There are many reasons for why “the stupidity” is allowed to go on.  Quite often at the root you will find bullying from parishioners and chancery staff and a lack of support from the bishop.

What can you do?


Fast and pray for the priest.  Ask the guardian angels of those who are obstacles to help you out.  Support the priest in the good initiatives he undertakes.  Express your hope for change in a kind way that doesn’t hector.  Get like minded people together who will offer to be of service in making the changes.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 28 Comments

Archbp. Sample on ‘Amoris laetitia’: conscience isn’t a law unto itself

At CWR my old friend Archbp. Alex Sample of Portland as some things to say about Amoris laetitia.  He issued some instructions about the controversial document and commented on the.  HERE

Especially good is this…

CWR: The first misuse you address has to do with conscience. What is, in your experience as priest and bishop, are the central misunderstandings or distortions about conscience?

Archbishop Sample: As I state in my pastoral letter, it boils down to an erroneous understanding of conscience as a law unto itself. We must indeed obey our conscience, but we must be operating with a well formed conscience. We form our conscience according to the mind of Christ and the teaching of the Church as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures and in the magisterial teaching of Tradition. The teachings of Christ and his Church are not to be taken as simply suggestions that we are free to accept, accept in part, or reject altogether. We have the duty to inform our conscience in consonance with the truth revealed to us by God. Conscience can be in error, and it is the duty of the pastors of the Church to vigorously teach the truths revealed to us in order to help our people properly form their consciences. This will enable us to make moral choices that are pleasing to God.

Fr. Z kudos.

Posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, The Drill | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Florence – Day 5-7: Red meat and musea

Welcome to Florence.

Giotto’s bell tower.  The hotel is very close so I can hear the bells clearly.

The new Museum of the Duomo is open and it is stunning.  After a few hours in this exquisite museum I understand much better the interplay of architecture and faith.  There are preserved many inestimable treasures.

They tried to recreate the space between the baptistry and the facade of the Duomo as it was before 1557 when it was dismantled and redone.

You get a real sense of the “paradiso” that that space invoked, as you would move from the baptistry to the doors of the cathedral, from the font to the altar, from cleansing to Eucharist.

Some items, details, in the museum.

The singing gallery!

This museum really takes it out of you, so it is important to keep up your strength.

And did I mention AD ORIENTEM worship, above?  Oh, yes… I did.

We had Mass in the Church of San Marco before visiting the cells painted by Beato Angelico.

Here is what is called the pulpit of Savonarola.  I think that’s a little optimistic.

Wow.  It takes my breath every time I see it.

And then there’s this guy.

And there are these things.  Pasta stuffed with pear.  The sauce is from taleggio, with a little truffle.

These things were dressed in saffron, porcini mushrooms and sausage.

There might have been bistecca alla fiorentina more than once.

And so it is off to Venice today.  Every one is having a good time and they’ve had some edifying experiences.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 18 Comments

Hillary: ”I admire Margaret Sanger enormously… there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her”

I saw an intriguing post online called: Who said it: Adolf Hitler or Margaret Sanger?

Quotes are offered. Guess who said it.

May I observe that Hillary Clinton thinks that Margaret Sanger was wonderful?  She is is “awe” of her.  We can learn a lot from Margaret Sanger.

And yet it is really hard to tell who said what.  Hillary or … someone else.

“What is social planning without a quota?”

“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature”?

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people”?

“Sterilization would go far in reducing human misery, not to speak of the financial saving in the upkeep of the unfit offspring”?

Who wrote about “protect[ing] society against the propagation and increase of the unfit”

Who declared that the “destruction” of “sick, weak, deformed children” was more “decent” than the current “wretched” preserving of the “pathological”?

Who encouraged limiting reproduction “to make the coming generation into such physically, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are..ideal”?

Who advocated a “rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted”?

I got only a 62% on the quiz.

Hillary and Sanger HERE and HERE and HERE.


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Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

I will have Mass later today in a Serragli chapel at San Marco in Florence.  I’ll talk to the pilgrim group about images and good works on this 22nd Sunday after Pentecost.


Okay, Mass in the traditional Roman Rite has been duly offered.  The sacristan was kind enough to produce an antique pianeta.   I riffed on the question “Whose image is this?”, which we hear in the Gospel about the tax coin offered the Lord.   I turned it sideways and connected it to “Whose image is this?” I am getting in churches and museums.  I reminded them that the Church has given two things to the world as a common patrimony, art and saints.  Both reflect God’s truth and beauty, one in material, plastic stuff, the other in living persons by their words and deeds.  I had a little diversion into a painting of Abraham and Isaac next to the altar, when I, standing there as the priest for Mass I fully realized the relationship of all the paintings in the chapel to the altar, along with the Latin inscriptions over them.  I tied it back into imagery, however, since all the paintings are foreshadowings, types, images of Priest / Victim / Eucharist.  In sum, I ended with the admonition that after the “Wow!” factor hits in these churches and museums, and then the intellectual question of “Whose image is this?”, is satisfied, we have to turn the question around as if to look in the mirror and ask, “Whose image is this?”


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