ASK FATHER: “Annulments” and appealing to the Roman Rota

From a reader…


I have a question about annulment and the process.  A friend of ours and her husband have gone through the process in our local diocese. The friend sought the annulment for reasons that we believe (but do not know for sure) are due to marital problems with her husband.  She has told us he was abusive to her along with other things.  She says that they married very young and that she felt she was somewhat unaware of what marriage involved.

The local marriage tribunal has granted her an annulment.  Her husband has publically stated that he will appeal to Rome as he believes that “however much he may be a poor husband, he legitimately married his wife.”   They have numerous children (more than five).  He feels the tribunal granted the annulment in error.

Me being an outside party to all of this; I find it a little
disturbing.  The husband is a poor example of a husband and a father, in my opinion.  He seems to have many very adolescent behaviors, almost as if he never “grew up.”  I do believe that they were immature and most likely received poor marriage prep.  What concerns me is that he is very adamant that he is married.  It is usually the man seeking “out” to remarry, and not the woman.  Maybe I am naive in that perception?

My question is how often cases like this are appealed to the Roman Rota and how often local tribunals are overturned?  I am in a good marriage, but it made me pause a little to think that a tribunal could retroactively end what I consider a legitimate marriage and potentially make all of my children products of a non sacramental marriage.  Does Pope Francis’ “streamlining” of this process a year or two back change the annulment process, the appeal process and the action of the Rota?  Does the Rota reverse local tribunals less frequently now or spend less time reviewing appeals?

A response from a sound canonist follows:

We frequently encounter the phrasing, “The tribunal granted the annulment,” which, as common as it is, is very unhelpful. It accompanies the notion that a declaration of nullity of marriage is something that the Church either gives or withholds, depending on the goodness of the person requesting it. A more helpful analogy is that of a medical diagnosis. People don’t talk about a doctor giving a patient cancer. Rather, the doctor examines the patient, studies the tests, and comes to a conclusion that, yes, this patient has cancer. The doctor may be wrong, for many reasons – the patient could have lied about his symptoms or misinterpreted them; the tests could be flawed; the doctor could be a bad interpreter of the evidence. It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion.

What the Tribunal does in adjudicating marriage cases is similar. The Tribunal, using a process that has developed over more than a thousand years, examines the evidence that has been provided. It gets testimony, ideally from both parties, from witnesses, and often from experts, and sifts through that evidence to come to as clear a picture as possible of what happened when the bride and the groom exchanged consent. Then, the Judge makes a diagnosis: was this truly a marriage, or not? Like with a medical diagnosis, it’s always good to get a second opinion. Until recently, that second opinion was sought automatically – the Tribunal would forward all cases given an affirmative decision to a second court, and only if that second court ratified the decision, would the parties be declared free to marry. Now, seeking that second opinion is optional, but is still a very good idea.

Like a medical diagnosis, a declaration of nullity can be wrong, and for the same sort of reasons. Someone could lie. Someone could withhold essential evidence. The Judge could misinterpret the facts, or could be a bad interpreter of evidence. Frequently, the Respondent party (the party who requests the tribunal’s investigation is called the Petitioner, the other party is called the Respondent) chooses not to participate. The Respondent may not have an interest in the matter, or may be in agreement with the Petitioner about the nullity of the marriage and may simply not want to exert himself or herself. Sadly, some Respondents who believe that their marriage was valid choose not to participate in the process thinking that, somehow, their lack of participation will stymie the Petitioner’s attempt to “get” an annulment. In truth, if one believes in the validity of one’s marriage, one should want to participate, to provide evidence supporting the presumption of validity. The Tribunal can only make a diagnosis based on the testimony that has been provided. If the preponderance of evidence supports a diagnosis of invalidity because no one has provided evidence of validity, one can hardly fault the Tribunal for rendering a decision on the testimony provided.

Once the local tribunal has rendered a judgment, the parties can seek a second opinion from one of two places: the ordinary Court of Second Instance (which is usually a diocese or archdiocese within the same ecclesiastical province) or the Roman Rota. Only the Rota can receive appeals after the Court of Second Instance has rendered a decision. The Rota is composed of some of the finest canonical minds and is drawn from all over the world. The Rota tends to do very, very good and careful work. It is notoriously slow (just about every pope over the last century has, at one point or another, urged the Rota to adjudicate cases more swiftly), but the work it does is usually of a very high quality. Pushing our analogy further, presenting a case to the Rota, is like a patient going to one of the finest hospitals for a diagnosis – the Johns Hopkins, or Mayo Clinic for marriage cases.

The Rota does not provide regular statistics to the public. There is good reason for this. In dealing with marriage cases, we are dealing with very personal and confidential matters. Anecdotally, a large number of cases that are appealed to the Rota receive negative decisions there. Can one then automatically conclude that local tribunals do a poor job of adjudication? Since not every case is appealed to the Rota, that would be a false conclusion to draw. Similarly, since a high percentage of cases that are presented to local tribunals receive an affirmative decision, can we conclude that local tribunals either do a poor job or are in some sort of collusion with the divorce culture? No, that would be a false conclusion as well. It would be similar to concluding that, since most patients who see a doctor are diagnosed with some illness, therefore doctors are helping to spread disease.

There certainly are cases of poor decisions being made by tribunals – even poor decisions made by the Rota. The Church does not claim that the Lord invested tribunals with the grace of infallibility. Doubtlessly there will be comments made on this post by individuals who either had a bad experience with a tribunal or tribunal official, or who know someone who knows someone who either was “granted an annulment” they didn’t “deserve” or who was refused a declaration of nullity even though he or she is a very, very, very good person.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid idle speculation, especially about details of someone else’s personal life, and that includes his or her marital situation. We are called to be discerning, to care for others, and to love them. When we get to the point where we speculate about whether John and Susie deserved a declaration of nullity, we end up walking down a very dangerous road. Far better to pray for them – to pray that they are living in the light of the truth, which is the narrow road that leads to salvation.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Canon Law, HONORED GUESTS, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Another HUGE reason for Summorum Pontificum!

Reason… PICK A NUMBER!!… for Summorum Pontificum!

A friend sometimes sends stuff by email to torment me and I write back “I’ll never be able to UNSEE that!”

I was going to spare you readers this, but there are lessons to be learned here about what is wrong with sooooo many aspects of the Church today.   I lost count as I watched with growing disgust and the need to rinse my eyes out…  and then wash my hands and… scrub myself with lye.

Lots of impolite words leapt to mind as I watched this… and I think you know what a couple of them were.

So.. here’s a warning. You are about to see a “vestment fashion show”. The video is in Polish, which is – thanks be to God – not a language which I have studied yet.

This sort of … blech… might appeal to certain Jesuits, but I don’t think that any of my friends would sit there and watch that without … a strong negative reaction along the lines of what St. Margaret did with her hammer.


Posted in Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven | 45 Comments

Brick by Brick in Australia

From my email:


Dear friends

This is a photo of Bishop Richard Umbers, 46, auxiliary bishop of Sydney (the youngest bishop in Australia and the first born in the 1970’s) from the Opus Dei prelature, celebrating a pontifical extraordinary form of the Roman Rite Mass recently, in the Brisbane suburb of Arcadia.

He celebrated the old liturgy quite regularly as a priest as well, and it is rather unusual for Opus Dei clergy to do this. Umbers has been a bishop for less than twelve months.

Perhaps it is evidence that among a younger generation of Catholics, the Tridentine Mass is becoming far more popular. For a friend of mine, a priest, it evoked images of Marty McFly with the time travelling DeLorean, in the movie Back to the Future.

With talk of a much touted reconciliation with the Society of St Pius X, it may indeed a sign that in the future, older liturgical forms will become more common place in church life.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Pres. Trump and Cuba’s “Damas de Blanco”

Yesterday I watched Pres. Trump’s speech in Miami regarding Cuba.

One thing that struck me is that he talked about the “Ladies in White”.

I don’t recall… did Pres. Obama ever talk about them?

Posted in ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Disaster in liberal Germany leads to massive parish crisis closures

bad fruit rotten appleBy their fruits…

From this story at It looks as if the German Diocese of Trier will reduce the number of parishes from 887 to 35.

Dear readers, parishes are not the sole responsibility of bishops and priests.  They are your responsibility too.

Parishes need priests.  Do you pray for vocations to the priesthood?  Do you support seminarians and seminaries?  Do you ask for vocations from your own homes and speak in a positive way about the priesthood?

Parishes have bills.  If you want a parish, you have to pay the bills.  The bills don’t pay themselves.  Magic wands don’t create money from thin air.  You have to be involved with “time, treasure and talent”.

Finally, always always always resist with clarity and perseverance the liberal agendas which turn dioceses and parishes into wastelands.


From my email…

On May 9, 2017, Mark de Vries wrote that there were only 4 priestly ordinations in this large, 46 arch/diocese territory so far:

“The past few weeks have again seen a number of ordinations of new deacons and priests in the dioceses of northwestern Europe. 24 of them, in 13 (arch)dioceses, to be exact. In total, the area in question (the countries of Germany, the Netherlands, the Flemish part of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland) is covered by 46 dioceses or similar circumscriptions, which means that 33 of them had no deacons (permanent or transitional) or priests to ordain on or around Vocations Sunday. Of the newly ordained, 6 are permanent deacons, 14 are transitional deacons and 4 are priests.” (

To the best of my ability to determine at the moment, below are the numbers from 16 dioceses out of the 46 — 16 dioceses with approximately 40 new priests ordained or about to be ordained — with the other 30 dioceses of the 46 arch/dioceses not reporting any prebyteral ordinations this far into “ordination season,” which is winding down (there may yet be priestly ordinations in the fall, but that is not typical — most presbyteral ordinations remain May-June-July). (This number also does not reflect transitional diaconate ordinations, which would indicate the numbers of new priests for next year).


Meanwhile, in the Archdiocese of Hartford, via CNA:

Hartford, Conn., Jun 15, 2017 / 06:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Important decisions loom ahead as the Archdiocese of Hartford preps its reorganization plan, a reconstruction and consolidation of parishes throughout much of Connecticut.

Under the new plan, 144 parishes in the archdiocese will be merged into 59 new parishes. Each new church community will be made up of two to six old parishes.

The reorganization, which will officially begin on June 29, will cut the number of parishes nearly in half, from 212 to 127.

Only 68 parishes will go untouched in the reorganization.

Saint Margaret of Scotland in Waterbury is the only church scheduled to be deconsecrated thus far, with no announcement from the archdiocese as to what will happen with the building itself. Additionally, 26 church buildings will close, and will not hold regularly scheduled Mass times.


Is there an answer?   How about implementing Summorum Pontificum?  How about taking Card. Sarah’s advice and returning to ad orientem worship?

As I have said a zillion times, no initiative we undertake as a Church will succeed unless we revitalize our sacred liturgical worship.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , | 33 Comments

The Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West”

dabiq-islam-stato-islamicoEdward Pentin of the National Catholic Register has a riveting interview with an Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit. No, no. This is a good one. He interviews Fr Henri Boulad, an expert on Islam. You would do well to read the whole thing over there, but here is a bit.

Jesuit Scholar: Seeking to Defend Islam at All Costs Is Betraying the Truth

In an interview with the Register, Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad explains why he believes Islamist terrorists are applying what their religion teaches them, and why the Church fails to address this because she has fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.

The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam has asserted.

Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and Christian charity.”

In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”

“Christians,” he wrote, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”

Some said the Pope took a diplomatic yet slightly firmer line on Islam when he gave an address to Al Azhar university in Cairo at the end of April.

Father Boulad, 85, an Egyptian and a relative of the Jesuit scholar of Islam, Father Samir Khalil Samir, also discusses in this interview why he believes Islamists are merely carrying out what their religion teaches, whether Islam is capable of reform, and how, despite its problems, the religion can help the Church in acting as a bulwark against secularist ideology.

PENTIN: Father Boulad, what evidence is there to show that Islam is inherently violent?

Here are clear statements of the Koran itself : [Clear tenets of the Religion of Peace…]

“Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
“Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood.” Koran 9:123
“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5
“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85
“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”… Koran 9:30
“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33
“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19
“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65
“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28
“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12
“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

Added to these are a few samples of Muhammad’s teachings and life. Here are some quotations taken from Muslim sources:

– “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” – (Muslim 1:33)
– “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq 992). Muhammad’s life was a succession of warfare, plundering and killings… and every Muslim is invited to imitate this supreme “model”.
– Muhammad owned and traded slaves – (Sahih Muslim 3901), and ordered his followers to stone women for adultery. – (Muslim 4206)
– He himself beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys, (Abu Dawud 4390) ordered the murder of women (Ibn Ishaq 819, 995) and killed those who insulted him. – (Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)
– According to him, Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold. – (Muslim 4645)
– In his last ten years, he ordered 65 military campaigns and raids. – (Ibn Ishaq) and killed captives taken in battle. – (Ibn Ishaq 451)
– He encouraged his men to rape enslaved women, (Abu Dawood 2150, Quran 4:24), he put apostates to death, plundered and lived off the wealth of others, captured and enslaved non-Muslim people.
– After Mohammed’s death, his followers attacked and conquered the populations of 28 countries and declared holy war on the people of five major world religions.

Examples from Islamic history:

– In the first 240 years, 11 of the first 32 caliphs were murdered by fellow Muslims.
– Muslim clerics have always engaged in or condoned terrorism all along history and up till now.
– We witness daily religious violence against Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians. The converts to Christianity are beheaded.
– The victims of slave traffic done by the Arabs during almost ten centuries amount to tens of millions of people.
– Each year, thousands of Christian homes and churches are torched or bombed by Muslim mobs, and hundreds of Christians, priests, pastors, nuns and other church workers are murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists. The so-called justification varies, from charges of apostasy or evangelism, to purported “blasphemy” or ” insulting” Islam. Innocent people have even been hacked to death by devout Muslims over cartoons. Islam is an open-ended declaration of war against non-Muslims.

PENTIN: Are the extremists simply being faithful to an authentic Islam in your view?

Clearly YES. Extremists are just applying what their religion teaches them to do.

PENTIN: Should the Pope and the Vatican shed what some view as political correctness and address Islam for what scholars and others believe it really is?

Of course. To illustrate my view, I quote here some excerpts of my personal letter to Pope Francis addressed to him last August:


Interest piqued?

Everyone, please read…

Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War by Sebastian Gorka.


More on this HERE.

And get a Kindle!  US HERE – UK HERE

I also recommend The Grand Jihad by Andrew McCarthy.  This explains how and why the liberal left coddles and cooperates in the destruction of Western culture.



Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Hurray! Another Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops!

Card. Baldisseri

Card. Baldisseri

I’m sure you are all really excited about the prospect of another Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops!  The last two Synods were so helpful for our Catholic identity and unity.   This time the theme will be “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation.”

In preparation for the Synod (“walking together”), the head of the Synod office, Card. Baldisseri – who worked diligently with his team to fulfill their hoped for outcome – has a new idea.

CNA reports that the Synod (“walking together”) has established a website with a survey that “young people” can take.  The results will, apparently, help the bishops of the Synod understand what it is like to be a young person in the Church (because, I guess, they were never young).  I noted an interesting twist, however.  Let’s see if you find it, too.

While much of the new website is currently only available in Italian, it includes a survey for young people in multiple different languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The answers to the survey will be sent to the synod’s [“walking together”] Secretary General, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, through November 30, 2017, and will be used to provide the bishops with an understanding of what it’s like to be a young person in the Church.

The preparatory document for the synod defines youth as being individuals 16-29 years old, but also takes into account that the definition of “young” is different depending on where you’re from. The survey allows for answers from people born in the year 1950 or later.

The broad survey includes questions about education, home and family life, what young people think about themselves, and how much trust they have in institutions such as the government and the Church.

NB: Young people seems to mean 16-29 years of age.  But they have opened the survey to people”born in the year 1950 or later”.  As I count, if you were born in 1950, then today you would be about 67 years old, depending on the month of your appearance.   I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on this but… really?


Here’s what could happen.

It is not hard to imagine that the organizers of the Synod (“walking together”) have pre-determined goals.   They did last time, right?  So, they gather information from a large group (young people now includes people pushing 70, it seems).  Who knows what they will do with that information.  I suspect that they will use it in support of their pre-determined goals (i.e., undermine the Magisterium of John Paul II).

Then they will present their fact-findings as evidence of a vox populi, a sensus fidelium.  You’ll here these terms used as the Synod (“walking together”) revs up.

There are more than 50 Ways To Rig A Synod, as it turns out.

Posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, Synod, The Drill, What are they REALLY saying? | 68 Comments

Takin’ Him To The Streets

15_06_04_corpuschristi_02‘Tis the season for processions.  We Catholics love to process with the Blessed Sacrament and in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of the Lord and also to venerate Our Lady and many patronal saints.  Some time ago I posted about standing outside the Paul VI audience hall during a meeting of the Italian bishops conference.  To some of the bishops’ secretaries and drivers and a few bored bishops I recounted that, the day before, we had had a Corpus Christi procession in the Vatican gardens with hundreds of people and many priests and the Swiss Guards had carried the canopy.  An old Italian bishop said: “Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.”

Today I received this email:

About four years ago one of our priests started the annual Corpus Christi Procession on the actual Feast of Corpus Christi. Not only do we, quite literally, “Take Jesus to the Streets” (as the Evangelical Christians are so big on talking about), but we also set up and decorate a number of altars throughout the neighbourhood that we stop at along the way, sing hymns and polyphony, have Benediction, etc.

Usually we have people who come out of their house to see what’s going on, once we even temporarily caused a baseball game to stop (we set up an altar in the park), but this year we even had someone race out of their house (didn’t even set down his towel  he had with him) and join our procession to our last altar. We need more processions. We need to take Jesus to the Streets to attract the people to him!

¡Hagan lío!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Reader Feedback | Tagged | 9 Comments

WDTPRS – Corpus Christi: I affirm my subjugation to Christ vanquisher of hell and my sins.

In the traditional Roman calendar for the 1962 Missale Romanum today, Thursday, is the Feast of Corpus Domini, or Corpus Christi.  In the post-Conciliar Missal’s calendar today is also Corpus Christi.

In the Novus Ordo many people will observe Corpus Christi on Sunday, which ensures that more people will participate.  I don’t object as much to the transference of Corpus Christi to Sunday as I do to the appalling removal of Ascension Thursday to Sunday.  Ascension Thursday is, after all, Scriptural and of very ancient observance.  Corpus Christi is a comparatively new development: it was established in the 13th century.

In any event, there can be “external” celebration of Corpus Christi on Sunday in the Extraordinary Form as well.

ASIDE: Attached above is a photo I took a few years ago in the Vatican Gardens during a Corpus Christi procession.  That great edifice in the background is back of St. Peter’s Basilica.  It isn’t often you get Swiss Guards to carry the canopy.

In 1246, Robert of Thourotte, Bishop of Liège, Belgium, had instituted in his diocese the feast now known as Corpus Christi at the request of an Augustinian nun Juliana of Cornillon, who composed an office for it.  In 1264, Pope Urban IV ordered the feast of the Body of Christ to be celebrated as a holy day of obligation for the universal Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday and accepted the texts by the Angelic Doctor for the Mass and office.

At the request of an Augustinian nun, Juliana of Cornillon, in 1246 the Bishop of Liège, Robert of Thourotte, instituted in his diocese a feast now known as Corpus Christi.  A few years later, following a great Eucharistic miracle in which a priest suffering doubts witnessed a Host become flesh and bleed on the linen corporal, Pope Urban IV n 1264 ordered the feast of the Body of Christ to be celebrated by the universal Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.  The Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas (d 1274), composed the feast’s Mass and Office.  The Collect for today’s Mass, also used during Benediction, was assumed into the 1570 Missale Romanum.  It has remained unchanged.

Deus, qui nobis sub sacramento mirabili passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti, tribue, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus.

Iugiter, an adverb, is from iugum, “a yoke or collar for horses”, “beam, lath, or rail fastened in a horizontal direction to perpendicular poles or posts, a cross-beam”.  Iugiter means “continuously”, as if one moment in time is being yoked together with the next, and the next, and so on.


O God, who bequeathed to us under a wondrous sacrament the memorial of Your Passion, grant to us, we implore, to venerate the sacred mysteries of Your Body and Blood in such a way that we constantly sense within us the fruit of Your redemption.


O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption.

In the 1980’s we seminarians were informed with a superior sneer that, “Jesus said ‘Take and eat, not sit and look!’”  Somehow, “looking” was opposed to “receiving”, “doing”.  This same error is at the root of false propositions about “active participation”: if people aren’t constantly singing or carrying stuff they are “passive”.

Younger people no longer have that baggage, happily.  They desire the all good things of our Catholic patrimony.  They want as much as Holy Church can give.  They resist passé attempts to make Jesus “smaller”.

After the Second Vatican Council, many liturgists (all but a few?) asserted that, because modern man is all grown up now, Eucharistic devotions are actually harmful rather than helpful.  We mustn’t crawl in submission before God anymore.  We won’t grovel in archaic triumphal processions or kneel as if before some king.  We are urbane adults, not child-like peasants below a father or feudal master.  We stand and take rather than kneel and receive.

How this lie from Hell has damaged our Catholic identity!

Some details of society have changed like shifting sandbars, but man doesn’t change.  God remains transcendent. We poor, fallen human beings need concrete things through which we can perceive invisible realities.

The bad old days of post-Conciliar denigration of wholesome devotional practices may linger, but the aging-hippie priests and liberal liturgists have lost most of their ground under the two-fold pincer of common sense and the genuine Catholic love people have for Jesus in the Eucharist. There is also the deep influence of Summorum Pontificum, which is spurring a recovery of our patrimony.  The customs of Corpus Christi processions, Forty Hours Devotion, and Eucharistic Adoration seem to be returning in force.

People want and need these devotions.  They help us to be better Catholic Christians through contact with Christ and through giving public witness to our faith.

The iugum (whence iugiter) was a symbol for defeat and slavery.  A victorious Roman general compelled the vanquished to pass under a yoke (sub iugum, “subjugate”) made of spears.  Prisoners were later yoked together and paraded in the returning general’s triumph procession.

In worldly terms, crosses and yokes are instruments of bitter humiliation.

Jesus says His yoke is “sweet” and “light”.

Christ invites us to learn His ways through the image of His yoke upon our shoulders (Matthew 11:29-30).  True freedom lies precisely in subjugation to Him.  His yokes are sweet yokes.  He did not defeat us to give us His yoke. He defeated death in us to raise us by His yoke.  In honoring the Blessed Sacrament we proclaim with the Triumphant Victor Christ, “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” (cf 1 Cor 15:54b – 57).

Proponents of true, or authentic “liberation theology” take Christ the Liberator into the public square. In the sight of onlookers, we march in His honor, profess His gift of salvation, and kneel before Him.

We cannot honor enough this pledge of our future happiness in heaven, the Body and Precious Blood of Christ.

I affirm my subjugation to Christ, Victor over death, hell and my sins.  Before the Eucharist, Jesus my God and King, I am content to kneel until with His own hand He raises me.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Did Pope Francis appoint a commission to overturn ‘Humanae vitae’?

Humanae-VitaeI’ve been receiving angry, anxious, frustrated and even panicky emails about a “commission” which was allegedly appointed by Pope Francis to “reinterpret” Paul VI’s important and prophetic (as well as hated by libs and feared) encyclical Humanae vitae.

My sources tell me that there is a “work group” but that it is not a commission and it was not appointed by Pope Francis or any other dicastery of the Holy See.

Marco Tosatti has written about a “secret commission” appointed by Francis.  Roberto de Mattei also has written about a “commission” appointed by Francis.  On the other hand,   while DeMattei identifies the correct list of people, my spies tell me that this is a unofficial, even perhaps a self-formed group.

I’m certainly open to evidence to the contrary.  If someone has a link to an official announcement that this group was appointed by Pope Francis, please send it to me.

Mind you: I’m not saying that this group is not dangerous.  No group with a goal of overturning the infallible teaching of Humanae vitae can be looked upon with joy.  Alas, this seems to be a sign of the times: let’s do crazy fan dances to convince people that 2+2=5.  I found de Mattei’s phrase about one the experts of the work group, Gildredo Marengo (who teaches at the John Paul II Institute – what irony…) to be apt: “appartiene … alla categoria di prelati che sono convinti di poter conciliare l’inconciliabile… he belongs to that class of prelates who are sure that they can reconcile the irreconcilable.”  After all, 2+2=5 on their planet, and square pegs don’t have problems with round holes.  That Italian, by the way, with the heavy “conciliare”, suggests the notion of compromise, finding a balance between opposites, a middle path.  However, we know how libs work, don’t we: it’ll be their truth as the only truth in which we are free to believe.

Like I said, just because the group isn’t official, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t dangerous.

At this point, however, it doesn’t seem to have an official mandate.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged | 16 Comments

Card. Sarah and a new book about true compassion for the same-sex attracted

The other day I posted about some new books which publishers had sent to me.  While I have been able to open a few, one of them I hadn’t explored at all.  I now read a bit more about it at LifeSite.

One thing in particular: The foreword is by the great Robert Card. Sarah.  Anything that he offers I’m eager to read.


As I mentioned, I haven’t even opened the book yet.  However, the LifeSite piece gives some details about Card. Sarah’s forward.

He first delivers a strong rebuke calling attention to the fact that the Church teaches “ … things in the Catechism about homosexuality that some members of the clergy choose not to quote, including the clear warning: ‘under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved’ (CCC 2357). The respect and sensitivity to which the Catechism rightly calls us does not give us permission to deprive men and women who experience SSA (same-sex attraction) of the fullness of the Gospel. To omit the ‘hard sayings’ of Christ and his Church is not charity.”

His warning about withholding the Gospel from those who deal with SSA comes at a critical moment in the life of the Church with the publication of Fr. James Martin’s new pro-LGBT book, Building a Bridge.


Those prelates and clerics who justify homosexuality challenge the Church’s genuine understanding of the human person and of human sexuality, sweeping aside authentic Church teaching and endangering, rather than helping, those who are same-sex attracted. In a phrase abounding with as much love as it is truth, Cardinal Sarah warns, “We cannot be more compassionate or merciful than Jesus.”


Cardinal Sarah’s foreward closes with a strong plea to his fellow clergy: “I especially encourage my brother bishops and priests to read this book, which I trust will deepen their conviction that the wisdom of the Church in this difficult and sensitive area expresses genuine love and compassion.” He is asking them not deprive the same-sex attracted from the hard parts of the Gospel but to lavish the same-sex attracted with its life-giving truth that we might live in freedom as sons and daughter of God.

He then recounts four important truths:

  1. Only Christ can heal the wounds of sin and division.
  2. Only the Church has the answers to man’s deepest questions and his deepest needs for love and friendship.
  3. Only the fullness of the Gospel fulfills the human heart.
  4. Only the commandments mark the path to friendship with Christ, and with one another, for God’s “commandments are not burdensome” (I Jn 5:3).

While Cardinal Sarah is often described by detractors as being an enemy of LGBT rights, the contrary is true: Those who experience same-sex attraction have no greater advocate, no greater pastor, no greater friend than a man who is uncompromising with the truth.

Daniel Mattson, author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay, told LifeSiteNews, “I feel that Cardinal Sarah is standing with, and supporting all of us who’ve turned away from the world’s vision of sexuality and found freedom and truth in the Church. With the gift of Cardinal Sarah’s support, I feel that I have a firm foundation of support to share the good news the Church provides for a man like me. As Cardinal Sarah says, it is only the Church has the answers to the deepest questions of the human heart. The Church has shown me the Way, the Truth, and the Life in following the love of Jesus who says both that I am in no way condemned, but that in order to live the truly abundant life, I must do what all men must do when they encounter the love and mercy of Jesus: by the grace of God, go, and sin no more.”

Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven | 10 Comments

More on Fr. James Martin’s wickedly stupid remark

Over at Catholic Culture, the perspicacious Phil Lawler has pointed words for Fr. James Martin, the Jesuit obsessed with homosexual advocacy.

No, not every lifestyle is sinful

Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is sinful,” Father James Martin told the New York Times.

That statement is outrageous. In a sane world, Father Martin’s Jesuit superiors would order him to apologize. [That’ll be the day.]

We are all sinners; we are all sinful. But we are not all engaged in sinful ways of life.  [Precisely.]

The awkward word “lifestyle” complicates things here. In his conversation with the New York Times, Father Martin was speaking—as he so frequently does—about the homosexual “lifestyle.” [I think we know what he means by it.] But how can one generalize about the “style” of the lives of homosexuals, except by reference to homosexual activities, which are sinful?  [Exactly.]

By contrast, a single person living a chaste life is not engaged in a sinful lifestyle. A cloistered nun, her daily activities structured by the rhythms of prayer, is not engaged in a sinful lifestyle. Nor are married people, devoted faithfully to their spouses and their children.

Are all these people sinners? Certainly. But it is not their way of life—their “lifestyle,” if we must use that term—that is sinful. Not every “lifestyle” is equal in the eyes of God. Marriage, the priesthood, and religious life are not neutral “lifestyle” choices. They are inherently good, blessed, even sacramental. That a Catholic priest would suggest otherwise is, again, outrageous.

It’s possible, I suppose, that the chaste single person could be selling illegal drugs, or the faithful spouse could be embezzling corporate funds. Then it would be fair and accurate to say that they were engaged in sinful lifestyles. And then it would be fair and just for pastors to confront them, to demand that they change their ways. [By Martin’s logic, the unjust employer, the serial rapist and the mafia hitman shouldn’t be told that they have to change their “lifestyle”.]

In the event described in the New York Times story, Cardinal Joseph Tobin welcomed homosexuals to the cathedral in Newark. The cardinal rejected as “backhanded” the notion that perhaps he should challenge the homosexual visitors to live in accordance with the teachings of Christ. “It was appropriate to welcome people to come and pray and call them who they were,” he said. “And later on, we can talk.”

[QUAERITUR:] But when will “later on” finally arrive, and what will be said if and when that talk finally takes place?

Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill | 13 Comments

Grizzly vs. Toyota Sequoia

Car jacking is a real threat.  You don’t want to walk away from your vehicle, unlocked, keys within.   It is best to lock the door and take your keys lest you have an unwanted visitor.

That said, here is a piece going around the interwebs about an attempted, foiled car jacking.

Grizzly vs. Toyota Sequoia

Grizzly Gets Locked In Toyota Sequoia SUV Near Waterton.
There are no scratches on the outside, but the vehicle is totaled.

Last Monday morning he came out to find the inside of his 18 month old Toyota Sequoia trashed. A grizzly bear had somehow got a door open (easy considering the way the handles are) and once inside got trapped when the door shut behind him. Probably the wind. The Toyota was a platinum edition, all the door panels were ripped off, the headliner torn to pieces, all headrests, the leather seats, the dash shredded. The steering column was twisted sideways. Two of the six airbags went off, the other four the bear ripped to pieces. You can imagine a trapped grizzly being hit with an airbag in an enclosed space must have figured he was in for the fight of his life. When the bear ripped off the door panels he clawed all the wiring harnesses out. Toyota figures every wire he pulled or clawed at resulted in bells, voices or sparks. The head mechanic at Calgary Toyota doubted if they had the expertise to put it back together. To add insult to injury the bear took a big dump in the back of the SUV and then broke out the rear window.

Fish and wildlife officers have inspected the damage and figure it was a 3 year old grizzly.
From blood left behind they are doing DNA. The vehicle has been written off, cost new over $70,000 they stopped counting repair costs at $60,000.





Posted in Lighter fare | 20 Comments

More of Fr James Martin’s whining


The question in this tweet from CUA’s Prof. Chad Pecknold pretty much sums it up about this Jesuit.

First, the screenshot of Martin’s loopy comment.  Then Pecknold:

No. I don’t think that Martin believes that the state of grace is important.  I am not entirely sure that he believes in grace in the same way that the Church believes.   At least I would like for him to clarify that he does with an explicit statement.

Who says that only “gay” (I hate that word now) Catholics are the only people expected to live according to a “sinless lifestyle”?  We are all called to holiness equally.  This is the flipside of the wooden nickle that some others, such as Card. Kasper and Card. Coccopalmerio, want us to accept: the Commandments are mere “ideals” which some people can’t live up to, hence, they shouldn’t be expected to.  Martin flips that around, but the result is the same: he undermines the Church’s teaching.

This Jesuit’s goal is the same as those who push a homosexualist agenda: to mainstream same-sex … everything.  That means that the Church’s teachings about sin, guilt, penance, absolution and amendment of life must be undermined and jettisoned.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill | Tagged | 34 Comments

My View For Awhile: UP Edition

I am in Northern Michigan.  

I’ve seen exotic things.

Here is a special hat, apparently having deep cultural significance.

A priest friend says this is really important in the UP.

I found LATIN on a traffic sign.

And this place prompted an amusing comment…

I’m minded of the proper response we must make to censorious anti-Catholic protestants who accuse us of worshiping Mary.

“We don’t worship Mary.  That’s absurd.  We worship statues of Mary.  Even our statues worship statues of Mary!”

Having departed my clerical friends domain I hastened slowly to my next destination.  

I am meeting friends before heading “down state” to Acton U.

They’ll meet me shortly, but in the meantime which drink is mine?

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 16 Comments