North Korea: What to do?

North Korea nightThe present situation with North Korea (NOKO) reminds me of some of the scenarios in the dystopian, apocalyptic and “prepper” genre I sometimes read.   Frankly, the news these days makes me nervous.  I must say I am really glad that the present team is in the White House rather than what we had or what we dodged.  And, yes, I think this would have happened regardless of the administration: the NOKOs are on their own schedule.

So, what to do about North Korea?

Since this blog is probably being monitored by teams from about 17 national security agencies, here’s my idea!

  • Make a deal with China: they annex NOKO.
  • Convince Seoul to agree or at least shut up about it.
  • Give China money to feed the NOKOs for 2-3 years.
  • China allows US and South Korea to invest in economic and commercial infrastructure in China’s new province/protectorate.
  • Result: China gets buffer state it can control (better than it can now), the West gets a place to invest, and the world is rid of a threat.

So, fellas, kick the idea upstairs and see what happens.  This might be better than death and destruction.

And to the teams from the agencies, who probably also watch me through my phone, as I’ve said before, if you send me your addresses, I’ll send you some pizzas!  Deal?

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged | 77 Comments

WDTPRS – 19th Ordinary Sunday: frightening consolation

The Collect for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time was not in previous editions Missale Romanum before the 1970 Novus Ordo. It has roots in the 9th century Sacramentary of Bergamo and thus is ancient text… sort of.

Note that for the 2002 Missale Romanum there was a variation from the 1970MR.  In the 2002MR the ablative absolute clause “docente Spiritu Sancto” was inserted.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
quem [docente Spiritu Sancto –
not in the 1970MR]
paterno nomine invocare praesumimus,
perfice in cordibus nostris spiritum adoptionis filiorum,
ut promissam hereditatem ingredi mereamur

Paternus, a, um is an adjective, “fatherly”. Literally, a paternum nomen would be “Fatherly name”. In English we need to break that down a little, just as we do with the Latin for “Sunday”: dies dominica or “lordly Day” in place of what we say “the day of the Lord”. In English a paternum nomen is “the name of Father”. Latin uses adjectives and adverbs for more purposes than we do. Our trusted old friend Lewis & Short Dictionary informs us that invoco means “to call upon, invoke” especially as a witness or as aid. So, there is an element of urgency and humility in the word. Praesumo gives us the English word and concept of “presumption”. At its root it means, “to take before, take first or beforehand.” The adverb and adjective prae, the prefix element of prae-sumo, is “before, in front of, in advance of”. In a less physical sense it can mean “anticipate”, in the sense of “to imagine or picture to one’s self beforehand” or in a moral nuance “to presume, take for granted”. It is even, more interestingly, “to undertake, venture, dare” together with “to trust, be confident”.


Almighty eternal God,
whom, [the Holy Spirit teaching,
added in the 2002MR]
we presume to invoke by the name of Father,
perfect in our hearts the spirit of the adoption of children,
so that we may merit to enter into the inheritance promised

Notice that I translate filii as “children” rather than as just “sons”, according to the literal meaning. Latin masculine plurals, depending on the context (and unlike the diaconate), can also include females even though the form of the word is masculine.


Almighty and ever-living God,
you Spirit made us your children,
confident to call you Father.
Increase your Spirit within us
and bring us to our promised inheritance

Take careful note that the language of adoption has been expunged. Does this change the impact of the prayer? Does it present a different view of the Christian life than that presented in the Latin Collect?

An important element of our Collect comes from Paul: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. We can invoke God the Father with confidence, not fear, when we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15… and “Abba” does not mean “daddy”).


Almighty ever-living God,
whom, taught by the Holy Spirit,
we dare to call our Father,
bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts
the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters,
that we may merit to enter into the inheritance
which you have promised

During the Holy Mass, through the words, actions and intentions of the ordained priest, as a Church we presume with trusting audacity to consecrate bread and wine and change them substantially to the Body and Body of the Second Person of the Trinity.

We do this because Jesus commanded us to do so, but it is a harrowing and consoling undertaking all the same.

We are laying hands upon truly sacred things, the most sacred things there can be: Christ’s Body, Blood, soul and divinity.

What could be more presumptuous?

Two sections of the great Corpus Christi sequence by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274) remind us of what is at stake when we approach the Blessed Sacrament for Communion (not my translation):

“Here beneath these signs are hidden
priceless things, to sense forbidden;
signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
yet is Christ in either sign,
all entire confessed to be.
… Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food:
but with ends how opposite!
With this most substantial Bread,
unto life or death they’re fed,
in a difference infinite.”

That last part bears repeating: “Mors est malis, vita bonis: / vide paris sumptionis / quam sit dispar exitus.”

Eternal death for the wicked if they receive Communion improperly. Eternal life for the good if they receive well.

See how dissimilar the different outcomes from the same act of Holy Communion can be?

This is good to ponder during Mass and the lead up to Mass:

Am I properly disposed to receive what Christ and the Church have promised are truly His Body and Blood? Do I dare receive? When was my last good confession?

Immediately after the Eucharistic Prayer but before our intrepid reception of Communion, we dare to pray with the words that the same Son taught us.

In introducing the Lord’s Prayer the priest says in Latin, “Having been instructed/urged by saving commands and formed by divine institution, we dare/presume (audemus) to say, ‘Our Father…’”. Audeo is “to venture, to dare”, and in this it is a synonym of praesumo. Jesus taught us to see God as Father in a way that no ever one had before. Christ revolutionized our prayer. In our lowliness we now dare to raise our eyes and venture to speak to God in a new way. We come to Him as children of a new “sonship”.

We learned from our examination of the Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter that adoptio is “adoption” in the sense of “to take as one’s child”. We find the phrase in Paul: adoptionem filiorum Dei or “adoption of the sons of God” in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome (cf. Romans 8:23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

We do not approach God as fearful slaves. We are now also able to receive Communion with reverent confidence provided we have prepared well. God has done His part.

God will come to us not as “stranger God”, but as Father God!

What God does for us is not cold or impersonal. It is an act of love.

Even in commanding us, God the Son did not mean to terrify us into paralysis. This, however, was the result for some who, when hearing Christ’s teaching about His flesh, left Him because what they heard was too hard (cf. John 6). We need not be terrified… overwhelmed with awe, certainly, but not by terror.

Warned, urged, instructed by a divine Person who taught us with divine precepts, let’s get straight who our Father is and who we are because of who He is.

We are children of a loving Father. He comes looking for us to draw us unto Him because of His fatherly heart. The Holy Father Pope John Paul II wrote for the Church’s preparation for the Millennium Jubilee:

“If God goes in search of man, created in his own image and likeness, he does so because he loves him eternally in the Word, and wishes to raise him in Christ to the dignity of an adoptive son” (Tertio millennio adveniente 6).

As God’s adopted children we have dignity.

The adoption brought by the Spirit is not some second rate relationship with God or mere juridical slight of hand. It is the fulfillment of an eternal love and longing. This is a primary and foundational dimension of everything we are as Catholic Christians. It is perhaps for this reason that that the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks so clearly to this point, in the first paragraph.

The adoption we speak about in this Collect is something far more profound than a juridical act by which one who is truly not of the same blood and bone is therefore considered, legally, to be so. Some Protestants see our return to righteousness in God’s sight, that is, justification through baptism, in these terms: a sort of legal sleight of hand whereby we remain in reality guilty and corrupt, but our disgusting sinful nature is ignored by the Father because the merits of Christ are interposed between His eyes and our debased nature.

However, we know by divine revelation and the continuing teaching of the Christian Church that by baptism more than a legal fiction takes place.

We are more than justified, we are sanctified.

Something of God’s divine grace is given to us, infused into our being so that we truly become sons and daughters of Almighty God, transformed radically from within, as members of Christ’s own Mystical Person. Thus, we too share Christ’s sonship. It is almost as if God infused His own Holiness DNA into us to make us His own in a sense far beyond any legal adoption could accomplish.  This transformation alters who we are without removing our individuality or dignity as persons. We are His and unified as One in Christ, and yet we remain ourselves. We are integrated into a new structure of Communion, indeed a new family.

By our discordant actions we can make this earthly dimension of our supernatural family, our Church, dysfunctional.

What a mystery it is that God, who lavishes upon us the mighty transforming graces we all have known and profess to love, leaves also in our hands the freedom to spurn Him and trivialize His gifts.

This freedom, itself a gift, could only be a Father’s gift to beloved children.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

BOOKS: My recent and future reads

Here are some titles I’ve gotten into lately.

First, this – from my Kindle wishlist – arrived from reader today and I have already started.

The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left by Dinesh D’Souza


No, that’s not at all an inflammatory title.

Next I just finished this one. It helped.

Understanding Trump by Newt Gingrich


I’ve been scratching my head about Donald Trump for a long time.  Mind you, I would have voted for the corpse of Millard Fillmore in the last election to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.  Also, I heard an exasperated Gingrich respond in a TV interview with some talking head that, of course Trump isn’t a “conservative” in the usual sense; he is the natural ally of conservatives and that he would produce more conservative results than republicans who claim to be conservatives.  In any event…

I continue to graze in Cardinal Sarah’s important book.  I finished it some time ago, but you don’t really finish a book like this.

The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, by Robert Card. Sarah


I also finished the following. It was a slog, since it was, well, written in a colloquial style obviously meant for a very broad audience.  The content and concepts were timely, good and inspiring.

Worth Dying For: A Navy Seal’s Call to a Nation by Rorke Denver


I mentioned already this following book, which is terrific and beautifully written. The author and I are in a virtual, long distance Vulcan mind-meld.

Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages by Peter Kwasniewski


That is one to get and to give, for sure.  I have it also in paperback.  I need to get a copy of this one to the bishop.

Also, to celebrate the centenary of Martin Luther, I’ve now read almost all the essays in this fine collection – which came from a reader via my wishlist

Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society, edited by John Rao.



Let’s just say that the writers are not about to become Lutherans.

Queued up are

  • The Priest Barracks: Dachau 1938-1945 by Guillaume Zeller (US HERE – UK HERE)
  • The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf (US HERE – UK HERE) – I learned of this author during a lecture at Acton University this year.  I hope the English is as good as I hear the German is.
  • In Defense of Nature: The Catholic Unity of Environmental, Economic, and Moral Ecology by Benjamin Wiker (US HERE – UK HERE) Great writer.  Commonsense and intelligence applied.  His 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help is a must.
  • Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism by Mark Levin (US HERE – UK HERE)
  • Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment: Art, Science, and Spirituality by Rebecca Messbarger (US HERE – UK HERE)

And I must mention:

Teaching and Learning the Love of God: Being a Priest Today


I’ll be picking this one up frequently and reading the short offerings within.

Posted in REVIEWS, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can I go with my children to SSPX Masses twice a month?

José Gallegos y Arnosa faithful at massFrom a reader…


Lets cut to the chase my soul is torn. I asked the Blessed Mother to save my children and give them Catholic friends (they know NONE right now) I have lived my whole life without knowing someone who is actually simply up and down Catholic. (The Church teaches it they believe it). I am aware that there are no Conservative, progressive, liberal, or traditional Catholics. There are only people who believe the faith and people who don’t (many of the latter wear collars but lets skip that). I have never had the benefit of a latin mass. Till the other day. SSPX mass. My mind is blown small explosion but there you go. I cannot stop going to the NO. The Blessed Mother has explained to me that they need me. That sounds arrogant but that is not entirely what I mean. They need people attempting to be holy. They need grace and someone to ask the Mother of God to merit it. (my merits tend to be things only a mother could love.) Can I go to this mass part time? technically its Valid but not licit which covers every mass I have ever seen in this desert called Australia. I have never seen a mass that requires and instills so much humility. That drives you to humility. Arrogant people can’t sit through that mass. Prideful people cannot sit though that mass, and if they do their pride will surly begin to die or they will stop going. The mass is only in town 2x a month. Can I go to them half the time and go to the NO the other half? My children are getting old enough that they need to hear the faith from someone other than their father. If they are not supported by at least a sub section of society they won’t make it. What do I do here? What is the smart play?

Clearly you are sincere and earnest.  Clearly are you concerned to fulfill your vocation as a father.  Clearly you have a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother and you approach Holy Mass with piety.

From what you write, I discern that you desire the reverence of the traditional form of Mass.  You don’t seem to seek it out in protest against the Novus Ordo.  You seem to be saying that you would more happy attend the Novus Ordo Masses available to you if they were celebrated with greater fidelity and reverence.

From what you wrote, I don’t see any problem with attending the SSPX Masses occasionally, and as you describe.  I’m glad that you also want to continue to attend your regular parish.

Meanwhile, I can assure you that “arrogant people” can and do “sit through that Mass”.  I sense that you are not one of them.  At the same time, we are all works in progress.  Humble and arrogant alike bend the knee… and learn – some quickly, some over lifetimes – to bend the knee of the heart.  It might be helpful to review Luke 18:9-14 before heading off to Mass.

Be good and give a good example.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, SSPX | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Response to Ivereigh, Winters, etc. – Model of behavior for converts rooted in the Apostolic Tradition?

Peter and paul disputingAusten Ivereigh wrote a seriously imprudent piece about converts.  Ed Peters schooled Ivereigh about what converts means.  HERE

However, one of the comments under my post about that deserves special attention.

Saul of Tarsus was an (initially unwilling) convert.  So there.

So there, indeed.

I will add is this, from Galatians 2:11

“And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.”

Hence, we have Paul’s modelling of appropriate behavior for converts rooted firmly in the Apostolic Tradition!

BTW… for all you converts and potential converts out there, here are all the different versions of the verse, from “Bible Gateway”:

KJ21 But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.
ASV But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned.
AMP Now when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him face to face [about his conduct there], because he stood condemned [by his own actions].
AMPC But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I protested and opposed him to his face [concerning his conduct there], for he was blameable and stood condemned.
BRG But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
CSB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned.
CEB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was wrong.
CJB Furthermore, when Kefa came to Antioch, I opposed him publicly, because he was clearly in the wrong.
CEV When Peter came to Antioch, I told him face to face that he was wrong.
DARBY But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to [the] face, because he was to be condemned:
DLNT And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face— because he was condemned.
DRA But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
ERV When Peter came to Antioch, he did something that was not right. I stood against him, because he was wrong.
ESV But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
ESVUK But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
EXB [L?But] When ·Peter [L?Cephas; C?Peter’s name in Aramaic; 1:18] came to Antioch, I challenged him to his face, because he ·was wrong [L?stood condemned].
GNV ¶ And when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face: for he was to be condemned.
GW When Cephas came to Antioch, I had to openly oppose him because he was completely wrong.
GNT But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong.
HCSB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned.
ICB When Peter came to Antioch, I was against him because he was wrong.
ISV But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong.
PHILLIPS Later, however, when Peter came to Antioch I had to oppose him publicly, for he was then plainly in the wrong. It happened like this. Until the arrival of some of James’ companions, he, Peter, was in the habit of eating his meals with the Gentiles. After they came, he withdrew and ate separately from the Gentiles—out of sheer fear of what the Jews might think. The other Jewish Christians carried out a similar piece of deception, and the force of their bad example was so great that even Barnabas was affected by it. But when I saw that this behaviour was a contradiction of the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter so that everyone could hear, “If you, who are a Jew, do not live like a Jew but like a Gentile, why on earth do you try to make Gentiles live like Jews?”
JUB ¶ But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face because he was to be blamed.
KJV But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
AKJV But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
LEB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was condemned.
TLB But when Peter came to Antioch I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong.
MSG Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had a face-to-face confrontation with him because he was clearly out of line. Here’s the situation. Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.
MEV But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him face to face, because he stood condemned.
MOUNCE But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
NOG When Cephas came to Antioch, I had to openly oppose him because he was completely wrong.
NABRE And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
NASB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
NCV When Peter came to Antioch, I challenged him to his face, because he was wrong.
NET But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong.
NIRV When Peter came to Antioch, I told him to his face that I was against what he was doing. He was clearly wrong.
NIV When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
NIVUK When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
NKJV Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;
NLV But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to stand up against him because he was guilty.
NLT But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.
NRSV But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
NRSVA But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
NRSVACE But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
NRSVCE But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
NTE But when Cephas came to Antioch, I stood up to him face to face. He was in the wrong.
OJB But when Kefa came to Antioch, I stood against him to his face, because there was found in him a dvar ashmah (a thing of guilt, condemnation).
RSV But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
RSVCE But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
TLV But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong—
VOICE But when Cephas came to Antioch, there was a problem. I got in his face and exposed him in front of everyone. He was clearly wrong.
WEB But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he stood condemned.
WE One day Peter came to the city of Antioch. Then I had to tell him face to face that he had done wrong. He really was wrong!
WYC But when Peter was come to Antioch, I against-stood him in the face [I stood against him into the face], for he was worthy to be reproved.
YLT And when Peter came to Antioch, to the face I stood up against him, because he was blameworthy,

RIBERA Paul Peter Galatians 2


At CRUX, Ivereigh issued an apology… sort of.  HERE

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 10 Comments

ASK FATHER: Not adding water to chalices for Mass


From a reader…


Like many other parishes, we have communion under both species. However, the deacon only adds a water to the chalice that the priest is consecrating. He does not add water to the other chalices on the altar. Are those chalices validly consecrated?

The old manuals such as Sabetti-Barrett  describe as a grave violation of law the failure of the priest to add some water to the chalice.  However, they were describing the addition of water to one chalice, not many… which is an innovation in the Roman Rite.

In the ancient Mediterranean world, wine was always cut with some water.  It is likely that Our Lord did the same at the Last Supper when He instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist.  Since the earliest days, water was added to the wine.  Also, the water is a symbol of our humanity being taken by the Second Person of the Trinity into an indestructible bond with His divinity.  So, the addition of water is also a theological statement against the heresy of monophysitism.

While it is a serious abuse to omit the addition of water to a chalice of wine to be consecrated, the lack of water does not make the wine invalid material for consecration.

On the other hand, if I am not mistaken, the rubrics only mention water being added to a singular chalice.  A solution could be to add water to the source of wine for the chalices to be consecrated.

That said, it is also extremely important not to put too much water into the wine.  Too much water does render the wine invalid matter.  Add a tiny amount of water, and you have a chalice with wine cut with water.  Add a lot of water, and you have a chalice with water cut with wine.

In the manual of dogmatic theology by Tanquerey, that dear tonic for the soul, I found the opinion that “quinta pars aquae ad vinum corrumpendum non sufficiat … a fifth part of water isn’t enough to break [the substance of] the wine”, and thus render it invalid matter for consecration.


Bottom line, we want to have just a tiny bit of water put into the wine.  Ideally, drops.  And we want to make sure that they don’t simply adhere to the inside of the cup of the chalice.

Scruple spoon with friends,
to provide scale.

This is why at the offertory careful, diligent priests will use what is nicknamed a “scruple spoon”, a tiny dipper-shaped tool with with they dip up a tiny quantity of water from the cruet to put into the wine in the chalice.  Use a scruple spoon and you never have to worry that, for reasons of surface tension of the water or the shape of the cruet or the unsteadiness of hand of the priest or deacon, too much water might be inadvertently added to the wine.

BTW… the name “scruple spoon” may come from the unit of measurement, a scruple , rather than qualms or doubts about an action.

Priests must take care to avoid the the Ketchup Bottle Technique of Chalice Preparation™ when the water in the cruet is being stubborn.  You know the poem by Richard Armour (not Ogden Nash):

Shake and shake
the catsup bottle
first none’ll come
and then a lot’ll.

Lot’ll = bad.

When that happens the priest should either add a more wine or even start over.


Because we never never never fool around with the validity of matter of sacraments.

If there is even the slightest doubt in his mind, Father should act to correct the situation before moving on.

Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists UNITE!

Let Scruple Spoons abound!

Promote the New Evangelization!


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

ACTION ITEM! WORTHY Traditional Liturgy Project needs YOUR HELP – UPDATE

action-item-buttonUPDATE 11 August:

They are making progress but they still need your help!


Originally Published on: Jun 25, 2017

I bring to your attention a wonderful and WORTHY project. I hope you will all click and explore the site as well.

The parish of Corpus Christi in London, on Maiden Lane near Covent Garden, as been the site of ongoing Holy Masses in the Traditional Roman Rite for decades.

The church itself is simple and lovely and it has been receiving a lot of TLC from its present pastor (parish priest). There is a great restoration going on there about which I have posted from time to time.

I just received this note from their parish administrator.

I just wanted to drop you a quick line to give you an update on Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane in London. I know you have celebrated Mass here and have posted about us on your blog before, for which we are very grateful.

As you may have seen online, the restoration should hopefully be done by the end of the year and next year His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols is coming to celebrate Mass for Corpus Christi and to ‘reopen’ the restored church.

We would like to have a procession of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass but we do not own a canopy at the moment (shocking, I know!). [OH THE HUMANITY!] We are trying to fundraise for one from Serpone. Perhaps the followers of your blog may be able to help us out? There is a link on our website where donations can be made online:

We have also set up a Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament – a Confraternity dedicated to more perfectly honouring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. [Very cool.] Anyone can be a member, wherever they are in the world. [Sign me up!] There is a monthly Mass with a different guest preacher each month and members receive a nice Monstrance badge to wear. Our next Mass (after the summer break) is on Thursday 7th September at 6:30pm, when Fr. Michael Lang, CO will be preaching. There is a monthly newsletter with all the homilies, so those who can’t be there in person don’t miss out!



Here is the canopy they want.

I’m all for that!

You readers have been generous to projects for the TMSM (DON’T FORGET OUR PROJECT HERE!).

If a goodly percentage of you readers would donate even just a little bit, their project will be rapidly fulfilled.

Would you please give them a lift with a donation?


I would like to see the Blessed Sacrament carried about COVENT GARDEN with THAT canopy and all the incense and hand-bells going.  Imagine.

You Americans out there… show the Brits how it’s done.  Be swift and generous.  Don’t be outdone.  Make sure that when they pick up that canopy they remember that “Fr. Z’s readers – especially the American readers made this!”

HENCE – When you make your donation, use the “special instructions” item and tell them that Fr Z (Zed) sent you!

Speaking of restoration…

Just to give you an additional idea of what they are trying to do there, here is a view of what they did for the church’s sanctuary.


Here is what they have done with their Lady Chapel

Get it?

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM! | Tagged | 6 Comments

Ed Peters schools Austen Ivereigh about “converts”

The liberal attack on converts who are concerned about the Church continue.  Lately liberal paplatrous gnostic Austen Ivereigh, once editor of The Bitter Pill in the UK, jumped aboard the band-wagon launched by Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap.  (HERE) Liberal historian Massimo Faggioli is also full of beans regarding converts.  Their underlying notion is that converts don’t have the same right in the Church as “cradle Catholics” to voice their concerns.  These elitists see converts as second class.

Ivereigh, by the way, is billed as an “editor” at Crux, so his postings express something of the editorial stance of Crux.   Ivereigh attacked converts (who disagree with him, official interpreter of the Holy Spirit) as “neurotic”.

Canonist Ed Peters responded (HERE) to the dreadful essay posted by Ivereigh at Crux (to their shame -and to the shame of the KCs who pay for Crux).

Let’s see what the always level-headed Peters has to say.

Come over here and say that

Austen Ivereigh, in one of the most embarrassing essays Crux has ever run, recently smeared seven talented Catholic commentators as suffering from ‘convert neurosis’. Not once in passing, but repeatedly, Ivereigh uses ‘neurosis’ and ‘neurotic’ in regard to some seven writers, Ross Douthat, Daniel Hitchens, Carl Olson, Edward Pentin, Rusty Reno, Matthew Schmitz, and John-Henry Westen. Ivereigh even offers a primer on what “neurosis” means, suggesting a war-scarred woman’s throwing herself to the ground when later stopped by a policeman as, one supposes, an example of how ‘convert neurotics’, supposedly being persons given to extreme reactions to un-realities in the Church, might behave.

While an expert in psychology can tell us whether any of these men are, in fact, “neurotic”, and an expert in morals can tell us whether Ivereigh’s employing and Crux’s circulating of such labels against brothers in the Lord meets any standard of decency in Christian discourse, Ivereigh’s constant referral to these Catholics as “converts” draws my attention.

Ivereigh’s description of several figures (Douthat and Reno as former Episcopalians, Olson as a former Protestant fundamentalist, and Hitchens and Pentin as former Anglicans) plus what I gather about Westen (a once fallen-away Catholic who went through an atheistic period) and Schmitz (who talks respectfully about his days as a Protestant), suggests that not one of them, not one, would, under American catechetical criteria, qualify as “converts” at all—let alone as neurotic ones.

According to the (US) National Statutes for the Catechumenate (November, 1986) no. 2 (my emphasis), “the term ‘convert’ should be reserved strictly for those converted from unbelief to Christian belief and never used of those baptized Christians who are received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.” Number 3 reiterates that this “holds true even … [for] baptized Catholic Christians … whose Christian initiation has not been completed by confirmation and Eucharist” (Westen) and [for] “baptized Christians who have been members of another Church or ecclesial community and seek to be received into the full Communion of the Catholic Church” (the other six authors).  [So, when an unbaptized person enters the Church through baptism and the other sacraments, that person is a convert.  When someone baptized in the, say, Lutheran church enters, technically he is not a convert, because he is already validly baptized.]

Now perhaps the circles Ivereigh runs in ‘over there’ do not bother with this important distinction among persons entering into full communion, and I grant that some Catholics ‘over here’ might still show ecclesial insensitivity by referring to separated Christians coming into full communion as “converts”, i.e., as if they had not been baptized. But, as most of the men Ivereigh chastises are Americans, and as the American bishops are trying to get American Catholics to think more accurately about these things, I thought Ivereigh’s outdated and inaccurate use of the word “convert”—to say nothing of his abuse of the tragedy that is “neurosis”—worth noting.

Peters raises a good point.  That said, in common parlance we use the word “convert” for a larger range of people.


I see that Fr. Longenecker has weighed in.  HERE  “Stop bashing converts….”

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, 1983 CIC can. 915, Liberals | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Tradition = vocations – It isn’t rocket science

I contend that the shortage of vocations is a self-inflicted wound.

Yesterday, here in the Diocese of Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary and the seminarians concluded a week of praying together, talks, activities, hanging out with each other and priests.  Among other things, we distributed a terrific book which you readers bought for them and the new guys were measured for birettas.  If there is one thing that these guys understand: the bishop and vocations director have their backs.  The bishop and director know that seminarians will play it straight with them.  The whole diocese knows how much care the bishop puts into vocations.  They are conspicuous.  Result: young men answer invitations to consider the priesthood.

Marco Tosatti, in First Things, opines about a sharp downturn in vocations to the priesthood. My emphases and comments:

by Marco Tosatti

The recovery in priestly vocations seems to be over. Between 1978 and 2012, after the great crisis of the 1970s following Vatican II, seminaries around the world enjoyed a season of growth. The growth was not constant, nor was it uniform across countries and continents. But the trend was clear. Numbers revealed recently by the Central Office of Statistics of the Holy See show that in the past five years, the vocations crisis has returned.

The greatest gains came under John Paul II. In 1978, the year Karol Wojtyla was elected pope, vocations worldwide totaled 63,882. In 2005, the year he died, they totaled 114,439. The numbers continued to rise during the reign of Benedict XVI: Vocations reached their modern peak in 2011, with 120,616—an increase of 6,177 since the papal transition year. After 2011, they drifted downward: to 120,051 in 2012, and 118,251 in 2013, the year of Benedict’s resignation. Thus, vocations in 2013 were down 2,365 from their height under Benedict, and up 3,812 from their height under John Paul.

In March 2013, Pope Francis emerged from the conclave as the new ruler of the Church. [NB] Data suggest that his pontificate has not accelerated the decline in vocations from their height in 2011, but has not reversed or arrested it, either. In 2015 there were 116,843 seminarians—a drop of 1,408 from 2013. If this rate of decline continues, then in a year or two vocations will be roughly where they were when John Paul died. Yet we will actually be in worse shape than we were then. As Catholics grow more numerous worldwide, the Catholics-per-priest ratio worsens. For instance, there were 2,900 Catholics per priest worldwide in 2010, and 3,091 in 2015.  [Another thing: consider the number of priests who will die or retire.  In most places, ordinations do not match attrition.  I know one diocese where, in a couple years, some 50% of the priests will be out of active ministry.]

The vocations downturn is particularly evident in the West, especially in European countries where secularization and religious liberalism are strongest: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland. In countries such as Poland and continents such as Africa, where Catholicism remains more traditional, the situation is different. Vocations hold steady, and sometimes flourish.  [There it is.]

A few examples will serve to illustrate. In the diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, a liberal atmosphere prevailed until 2003—a year that had six seminarians. Robert Morlino became bishop that year, and his efforts brought the number of seminarians to 36 in 2015. Following the advice of Robert Cardinal Sarah, Bishop Morlino recently suggested that the faithful should receive the Eucharist on the tongue and while kneeling. A similar situation may be found in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. Bishop James D. Conley has explained to the Catholic World Report that, in his opinion, the growth of vocations in his diocese had its root in fidelity to the traditional teachings of the Church.

In western Europe, the landscape is totally different. In Germany, vocations have become practically nonexistent. In 2016, there was just one new seminarian in Munich, the historic capital city of German Catholicism. In Belgium, the situation is perhaps still worse. In 2016, there was not a single new Francophone seminarian in the country. The heroic André-Joseph Léonard, archbishop of Brussels from 2010 to 2015, had given life to a new association, the Fraternity of the Holy Apostles. In a period of three years, the Fraternity had assembled twenty-one seminarians and six priests. The current archbishop of Brussels, Jozef De Kesel, was appointed a cardinal immediately upon his installation—an honor denied to Léonard. De Kesel quickly dissolved the Fraternity. The official reason was formal and flimsy; the real one was substantial. The Fraternity was not liberal enough; it respected tradition.  [There it is.]

Brussels is not an isolated case. […]  [Hardly.]

He goes on to write about the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate and the Heralds of the Gospel who are being persecuted because the are traditional.

Where I am, we pray for vocations.  Every Sunday, after the Gospel, we pray as we did at my home parish.  HERE  The prayer includes the line:

“Bless our families, bless our children. Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.”

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Annual meteor shower – Perseids – the Tears of St Lawrence

perseid-mapToday is the Feast of St Lawrence of Rome, Deacon and Martyr.  He was a serious hard-core saint in hard times.

This is also the time of year that your planet whirls through the debris left by the comet known as Swift-Tuttle.  Hence, there will be an increase of meteors and fireballs nicknamed the “Tears of St Lawrence”.  This is also called the Perseid Meteor Shower because the meteors appear to streak outward from the constellation Perseus.

Speaking of the Perseids, check out an engaging  “apocalyptic” series by Steven Konkoly.  It begins with The Jakarta Pandemic (UK HERE).

These are inexpensive on Kindle.

It goes on with The Perseid Collapse (UK HERE)  Counted as Book 1, but it continues with previous characters.

The series continues with

Event Horizon: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian EMP Thriller (The Perseid Collapse Series Book 2)



Point of Crisis: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian EMP Thriller (The Perseid Collapse Series Book 3)



Dispatches: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian EMP Thriller (The Perseid Collapse Series Book 4)


Posted in Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Are we in the “end times”? Live as if we are.


Since the Lord Ascended to the right hand of the Father, Christians have felt themselves to be in the “end times”.  Indeed, we are in the “end times”.  The Lord achieved His victory. Now it is all over but for the waiting.

Of course it is a mystery that, even though Christ is Risen, we still have to pass through death and or the more apocalyptic aspects of the “end times”.  He’s the boss and we’ll do it His way, for love and with faith and hope.

That said, these days of ours feel strange and ominous.  There are “signs of the times”.  Especially this year there are “signs of the times”, which seem to be lining up this year in a way that hardly seems coincidental.

I read at Life Site that Raymond Card. Burke made an observation that “confusion, division, and error” within the Catholic Church coming from “shepherds” indicate that we “may be” in the end times.

It is hard to disagree.  However, Card. Burke offered some great points for how we ought to proceed on this supposition.

  • Pray for an increase of faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ “Who is alive for us in the Church and Who never fails to teach sanctify and guide us in the Church” and whose “teaching does not change.”
  • “Study more attentively the teachings of the faith contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and be prepared to defend those teachings against any falsehood which would erode the faith and thus the unity of the Church.” [More below.]
  • Gather together to “deepen their faith and to encourage one another.”
  • Go to the Blessed Virgin Mary…in order to seek her maternal intercession.
  • Invoke frequently throughout the day the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel
  • Pray daily to St. Joseph, especially under the title of “Terror of Demons” for the “peace of the Church, for her protection against all forms of confusion and division which are always the work of Satan.”
  • Pray for the Pope, especially through the intercession of St. Peter.
  • Pray for the Cardinals of the Church that they be of “true assistance to the Holy Father in exercising his office.”
  • “Remain serene because of our faith in Christ who will not permit the ‘gates of hell’ to prevail against his Church.”
  • “Safeguard especially our faith in the Petrine Office and our love for the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis.”

I want to add something that our pastors often neglect: our sacred liturgical worship must be revitalized and purified, Novus Ordo and TLM, across the board, East and West, everyone, everywhere (especially, however, with the modern rite in the Catholic Church).

Here is my manifesto from years ago.  Save The Liturgy – Save The World


Celebrate Mass well, participate properly – affect the whole world. Celebrate poorly – affect the whole world.

In each age since Christ’s Ascension, people have felt they were in the End Times. They were right. In any moment, when the conditions are right, the Lord could return.

Considering what is happening in the world now, I am pushed to think about the way Mass is being celebrated, even the number of Masses being celebrated. Once there were many communities of contemplatives, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament or in contemplation, in collective and in private prayer. There were many more Masses.

Many more people went to confession.

Who can know how they all lifted burdens from the world and turned large and small tides by their prayers to God for mercy and in reparation for sin?

We have a role to play in the “end times”.

The other aspect of this is that confusion is coming from our duly appointed shepherds.

What do we do about that?

At other times, I have suggested that you good readers out there start forming base communities of resistance against confusion.  Let’s call them:

Base Communities of Resistance Against Confusion.

Let’s have a

Permanent Revolution Against Confusion

Are your pastors causing confusion through strange or confused or errant teachings?  Are the telling only a part of the truth, in such a way that they mislead?

Get informed.

Form reading groups and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The start asking questions when we hear something wrong or strange or confusing.

Ask LOTS of questions.


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Four Last Things, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Austen Ivereigh, like a papalatrous gnostic, calls converts who disagree with him “neurotic”


At CRUX, Ivereigh issued an apology… sort of.  HERE

___ Originally Published on: Aug 10, 2017

A couple weeks ago (HERE) the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left, Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap sniggered with fellow lib Massimo “Beans” Faggioli about converts.  To quote Winters:

I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic.

Typical. Converts don’t have the right to say anything because they’re converts.

Now Austen Ivereigh has a piece at CRUX (why the KCs pay for this rubbish is beyond me) against converts who disagree with him.  He tries to be soooo nuanced, soooo sophisticated in his condescension.


My emphases and comments:

Pope Francis and the convert problem

The dog days of August are a time to smuggle in the kind of article you’ve been meaning to write but putting off because of all the trouble it’s going to bring you. But still, I hesitate even now to write about convert neurosis, and how it conditions critiques of Pope Francis.  [He hesitates, but he’ll do it anyway, because people might not notice.  It’s August, after all, and the internet is on vacation. Actually, he’s just being smarmy.]

For one, I don’t want to be seen to be sniffy and condescending towards people who become Catholic, which is how Dr. Stephen Bullivant, writing in First Things, said he felt about a comment in Michael Sean Winters’s blogpost. “I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic,” complained the sage of the National Catholic Reporter.  [Oh no… he’s not going to be condescending.  No, not at all.]

Winters was reacting to a debate on Al Jazeera between Matthew Schmitz, youthful literary editor of First Things, and me, on the perennial topic of the Francis pontificate.
Schmitz, a young convert, had undergone a second conversion since 2013. At first he welcomed Francis’s election. But then came a series of realizations.

He had now come to see that Francis was building his program of reform “at the expense of children orphaned by the culture of divorce left by the 1960s,” attempting to restore a “discredited version of Catholicism,” and who “builds his popularity by shucking off traditions and formulas of the office” of pope. Oh and introducing the antinomian, Protestant notion that truth and mercy are counter to the law.

(Incidentally, ‘antinomian’ is not a word to bandy about on Al-Jazeera, but then, I accused Schmitz of wanting to bring back the seda gestatoria, which must have furrowed brows in Qatar.)  [Isn’t Austen just a hoot?]

Now, Schmitz never actually said the pope wasn’t Catholic, [do you hear the “but” coming?]but his narrative and that of many of Francis’s angry, vociferous critics adds up to something rather like it, namely, that he is, in Ross Douthat’s phrase, the “chief plotter” in a conspiracy to change the Catholic faith.  [Ross is a “angry, vociferous critic”?  Has he ever met Ross Douthat or heard him speak?]

For the record: The Church is missionary, and exists to spread the Gospel, and some of those it touches will want to become Catholic, and that’s wonderful. People who have thought and prayed their way to faith are special, and bring great gifts with which they have been showered. We love converts.  [Sure you do, Austen.  Perhaps when they bow to your wisdom as you impart your secret teachings about what the Holy Spirit does in the Church.]

Winters wasn’t being sniffy about converts either, but simply pointing out the – let’s just call it, for the time being, incongruity – of those who join the Catholic Church in a blaze of Damascene fervor later announcing noisily, after a new pope is elected, that the pope is not doing what they believe popes should do. [Never mind that one of the things that converts have to figure out when they enter the Church is precise “what Popes should do”.]

And if the many retweets of my retweet of Winters’s complaint is anything to go by, many share his view not just that this stance is not just incongruous, but annoying, because rather than consider the possibility that there may be something deficient in their own view of the Church and its tradition, they prefer to assume that it is the successor of St. Peter – chosen by the Holy Spirit in a conclave free from outside interference – who is lacking.  [So, the Pope is “chosen by the Holy Spirit”.  Non-convert Joseph Ratzinger has a healthier view.  Ratzinger, who has more experience of conclaves than Ivereigh, was interviewed by a Bavarian TV network. He was asked:
INTERVIEWER: Your Eminence, you are very familiar with church history and know well what has happened in papal elections…. Do you really believe that the Holy Spirit plays a role in the election of the pope?
RATZINGER: I would not say so in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the pope, because there are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit would obviously not have picked. I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”]

Now it is quite possible that elegant commentators such as Ross Douthat and Matthew’s boss Rusty Reno (both former Episcopalians), or, at the rougher end, writers such as Carl Orlson (ex-Protestant fundamentalist) [OLSON – NB: Olson took Ivereigh apart in 2016 for the false claims he made.  HERE  Ivereigh said that: ‘Dissenters’ from Amoris laetitia are predominantly wealthy lay people fixated on ‘reason”.  Now he is expanding his pool to “neurotic converts”.  Read on.] and John Henry Westen (ex-atheist), or indeed ex-Anglicans in my own patch such as Daniel Hitchens of the Catholic Herald and Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register in Rome, are all correct in their readings.

But it is a lot more likely that their baggage has distorted their hermeneutic, and they are suffering from convert neurosis. [His argument boils down to: If you disagree with what I hold, then you are a neurotic who doesn’t understand the Holy Spirit – like I do.]

A neurosis is a pathological or extreme reaction to something that simply doesn’t correspond to reality. A war-scarred victim, for example, might react to a friendly cop’s question by throwing herself on the ground and covering her ears. You understand why she does it, but it’s neurotic. [How unbelievably condescending and insensitive.]

I began to notice this reaction among former Anglicans during the synods of 2014-15. A friend, a Catholic priest, told me he had seen these kinds of arguments before in the Church of England, and they always ended badly; and that he hadn’t joined the Catholic Church to go through it all again. He was deeply disturbed by what he imagined was happening, fueled by Douthat’s predictions of a schism and his dark warning that the pope “may be preserved from error only if the Church itself resists him.”  [Remember what happened during the Synods of 2014-15?  The sorts of things that Ivereigh wants to happen, probably including “rigging” so that the process marginalizes those who hold fast and serves a predetermined outcome. And there has indeed been a time when the resisting Church helped a Pope to avoid heresy. The Avignon Pope John XXII (+1334) publicly taught in sermons that the souls of the just, even after Purgatory, would not enjoy the Beatific Vision until after the resurrection of the flesh following the General Judgment.  Many (read: “the Church”) resisted this false teaching to the point that John XXII corrected himself.  And it was a hard fought process, too, that did not involve papolatry or toadies.  No less than the historian and late Archbp. of Milan, Bl. Idelfonso Schuster, wrote of the conflict between Pope and faithful that John XXII, “offered the entire Church, the humiliating spectacle of the princes, clergy and universities steering the Pontiff onto the right path of Catholic theological tradition, and placing him in the very difficult situation of having to contradict himself.”  But – remember – according to Ivereigh, John XXII was directly chosen by the Holy Spirit.  He would, no doubt, have both been entirely with John before he corrected himself, writing that John’s neurotic opponents didn’t understand the Holy Spirit, and also with John after he corrected himself, saying “See!  I told you so!”]

Which was all, obviously, silly. What in fact happened, as was obvious it would to those free of neurosis, was a vigorous good-faith disagreement that resolved in a two-thirds majority vote that laid the basis for an apostolic exhortation. [WHOA!  Hang on!  Ivereigh has tried this caper before.  In 2016 Fr. Murray called him on it HERE.  Ivereigh had written: “…everything in Amoris Laetitia – including the controversial Chapter 8 – received a two-thirds majority in a synod that was notoriously frank, open, and drawn out.”  Not so.  First, exquisitely “notorious” was the theft of mail by the Synod’s organizers who illegally removed books delivered through the postal service to members of the Synod.  Next, and more to the point, when the members of the Synod voted on what should go into the final report to the Holy Father, Paragraph 52 received 104 “yes” (“placet”) votes, and 74 “no” (“non placet) votes. Paragraph 53 received 112 “yes” and 64 “no” votes. They did not receive the required two-thirds approval and thus were excluded from the final report according to the rules of the synod.  What Ivereigh said is not only inaccurate, it is a falsehood.  After all, the truth has been pointed out to him, but he sticks to his story.  Isn’t there a dictum about repeating falsehoods?]  Amoris Laetitia did not settle forever those disagreements – when do they ever go away? – but provided a basis for the Church to move forward, still one body, while staying faithful to doctrine. [There are those who have asked whether or not Amoris is consistent with the Church’s doctrine.] That’s the difference between disagreeing under a papal magisterium, and disagreeing in the absence of one.  [HUH?  Does anyone understand that last bit?]

Then there is the neurosis of the convert escaping the shifting sands of relativism, who projects onto the Church the idea of something fixed and distant and unchangeable, frozen at some point prior to the Council. This makes them susceptible to the traditionalist Catholic horror not just of the Council’s reforms, but of the very idea of change, as if this could be avoided.  [I know a lot of traditionalists.  Only a few think that “nothing can change”, and they don’t write anything serious for public consumption.  The trads I know do think that things can change.  Doctrine, for example, changes in the sense that it deepens and evolves while remain consistent and true with it’s roots in the Deposit of Faith.  However, I suspect that that is not the case for Ivereigh.]

Yet the Church’s tradition has always been made up of the new things brought by the Holy Spirit revealing “new aspects of Revelation,” as Evangelii Gaudium puts it. Francis approaches the past as all popes must do, with discernment, preserving what must be protected, and removing what has become an obstacle to evangelization. [Which rings the gong of obsequious flattery.  Sorry.]
The Church has always required perpetual conversion in order to recover what has been lost – the centrality of Christ, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and closeness to the concrete lives of ordinary people. Catholics trust the pope to discern what needs to change.
Of course, you don’t need to be a convert to be critical of Francis, and plenty of converts are delighted with him (which is why Bullivant was wrong to think that Winters was getting at converts per se.) But this isn’t about liking or disliking Pope Francis. It’s about an attitude to the papacy on the part of some.  [It is, isn’t it.  And, frankly, what he is peddling smacks of unhealthy papolatry.]
A friend in Ireland writes: “I keep seeing people who seem to have converted mainly because the Church teaches things that match their ideological outlook, whereas when I came back it was a case of doing so because I thought the Church had historical authority to teach things even if they sounded mad or were inconvenient.”
Conversion is an act of humility. It involves a renunciation of sovereignty, the idea that I know best. [Listen to yourself!] It involves trust – in Jesus Christ, and in His Church, and in the successor of St. Peter – even when they challenge my preconceptions.
This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything a pope says or does: Complaining about popes is nothing new, and anyway, Francis welcomes it. [Does he?]
But it does mean respecting the office founded by Jesus Christ, and trusting that the Holy Spirit guides its current occupant. That, surely, is a big part of why people become Catholic in the first place.

Again and again, he plays the Holy Spirit card to the point that he comes off as a papalotrous gnostic.


My friend Fr. Finigan, His Hermeneuticalness, has his own response: HERE The title:

Cradle Catholic snobbery as ridiculous as any other kind


Posted in Green Inkers, Liberals, Synod, The Drill, What are they REALLY saying? | Tagged , | 25 Comments

REQUEST TO READERS: Good books for new fathers to be

From a reader…


Father, my wife and I are expecting our first child, and I wondered if you could recommend any good, solid books for new Catholic fathers please?


Good question.

I’ll open this to the readership.

Meanwhile, I received a good book for the other kind of “new Fathers”.  This is the collection of Ratzinger/Benedict’s sermons on priesthood.  Marvelous.  Get one for your parish priests and seminarians.

Teaching and Learning the Love of God: Being a Priest Today


Also, I recently picked this up for my KINDLE.  I saw it during my visit to the SEAL Museum in Florida.

Of course I fully realize that not all babies are male… but…

Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons 


Also, there are a number of great books about appreciating boys as boys.

I can’t imagine the challenges of raising children today.  Surely it has always been hard work.  However, today – being today – it has to be harder now than ever before to raising children.  Especially daughters.  There is so much twisting of reality bombarding them from every direction.  How do parents navigate?  I am sure that many of you have some good tips.

The moderation queue is ON.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices | Tagged | 19 Comments

ASK FATHER: Priest received threat of violence

digital_thumbprintFrom a priest…


Greetings!  You have mentioned on your blog a few times that you sometimes receive threats.  I received one today.  On the advise of my lawyer I reported it to the authorities.  Do you have any insight or advise on what else I should do?  Is there an easy way to get an ip address or some other information as to where it may have come from?


The priest in question, in a follow up wrote that the threatener also sent a video clip of an extremely violent scene from a movie.  He wrote:

The message was very clear, very violent, and very graphic.  The Sheriff was taken aback by it and is handing it over to the Department of Criminal Investigation yet today.

This comes up from time to time.  Fathers, we have to think about these things.

Just over a year ago, Fr. Hamel was slain, out of hatred for the Faith, in France.  Just the other day a priest in Mexico was stabbed in the neck by a nut job and later died.  Priests are targets.   In January a bishop was attacked during Mass in Newark.

In the last two weeks I have spoken with several priests who have been harassed or threatened by people who are somewhat deranged and who (probably) go on and off their meds.

Father, you did the right thing to report this to your lawyer and law enforcement.  If you get something that strikes you as being out of the ordinary, it is better to be safe than sorry.  Tell someone.

Also, I save copies of everything, all the harassing notes, nastygrams, and threats.  Eventually these nitwits – who are often also perverts – make a mistake.  They think they are pretty smart.  Eventually they screw up.

Yes, there are, in general, ways to find an IP address in the header of an email.  IP addresses are starting points.   Sometimes these people use a VPN to “hide” and be anonymous.  That complicates the situation a little.  Masking your IP and location with a VPN or other only goes so far.  You are being logged, no question, and law enforcement can find you.

Another issue to consider is safety, for yourselves and for your parishioners.  I warmly recommend, Fathers, taking classes for a concealed carry license and obtaining one.  Even if you choose to not carry, your would be attacker won’t know that.  And the training is useful in many ways.

At the conclusion of the Last Supper, in Luke 22 Our Lord said something pertinent to the question:

36 He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword [máchaira] sell his mantle and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfilment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.” 

Not long after, He told Peter not to use the sword that he had.  So, it is hard to know what the High Priest meant about his Apostles buying and having swords on the very threshold of His Passion.

For my part, I have a “sword”.

Also, make sure that your rectories are secured.

Moreover, talk to any LEOs in your parish about security for your church.  Just recently where I am a parish had an “active shooter” workshop.  That could be a good idea.

In addition, Fathers, make sure you know whom to contact in the case of a real threat.  Along with consulting your lawyer, you should look online for a contact number or name in your local sheriff’s and/or police department for reporting threats.  I, for example, have bookmarked a specific page and I have also reached out and established contact with the captain of the local police precinct in my part of town.  If something big comes up, I will know precisely whom to contact.

Keep your head on a swivel.  Practice good situational awareness.

I believe that we will soon see an increase in threats and violent attacks on church property and on priests and, God forbid, even congregations.  The rise of violent Islam, militant homosexualists, and idiotic young anarchists must be a concern for which we should plan.

If you preach the truth with clarity and fidelity to the Church’s teachings, no matter how charitable or kind you are, you are going to be attacked.  I think that attacks will rise as things get dumber and weirder more more carnal.  And there are always going to be deranged people.  This too will probably worse as the drug problem worsens.

The moderation queue is ON.  I’ll be selective.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Green Inkers, Mail from priests, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 35 Comments

LCWR Assembly BEGINS! “Shifting from I to WE”

12_06_19_LCWR_largeThe annual conflab of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) starts today at a luxury location in Orlando.

I am still downcast about how they rejected my request for press credentials.  It was so traumatic.  I still choke up.

Perhaps some of you will get some updates!

Meanwhile, the participants were urged in the LCWR newletter to prepare for their assembly by reviewing some materials, including: HERE

Contemplative Dialogue: Unleashing the Transformative Power of Communal Wisdom is a video that demonstrates one method by which a group can engage in contemplative dialogue. Because we are paying attention to the field of relationship (the “WE space”) among us, this slow-moving manner of dialogue deepens our sense of union. Our intention is to move beyond the personal as we probe significant ideas together and listen deeply for truth in another’s point of view. Contemplative dialogue is a means of readying the ground for collective transformation, for helping shift from I to WE, from individualism to communion.

The one-hour video may be seen online and is provided by LCWR so that viewers may come to better understand this form of dialogue by watching an actual contemplative dialogue session. The video may be shared widely since many people today are searching for ways to converse with depth and openness about matters of significance. Contemplative dialogue fosters an exchange that allows for differences to be expressed, honored, and held with reverence. The video is also available with Spanish-language captions of the introduction and closing remarks.

Posted in Women Religious | Tagged | 66 Comments