Pope Francis meets with Kim Davis. The Left melts down.

The catholic Left are desperate to silence the so-called “culture warriors”, especially to squelch Catholics who uphold clear Catholic teaching in the public square.

You may have heard that during his visit to these USA Pope Francis is reported to have met privately with the “culture warrior” Kim Davis, the Christian, non-Catholic, county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  She went to jail for a time rather than knuckle under.

We don’t know for sure what Pope Francis said in this private meeting, but Davis didn’t say that the Pope told her to stop fighting.  She wasn’t disappointed afterward.  Quite the opposite, it seems.

We also shouldn’t read too much into the meeting.  After all, Popes meet with people like Idi Amin Dada and Fidel Castro.  Those meetings don’t signal approval.  Popes meet with world leaders as well as long lines of unknown and then nearly instantly forgotten people all the time.

That said, someone inside the papal circle set up and approved the meeting with the non-Catholic Kim Davis. She wasn’t plucked at random out of the crowd.  Perhaps we can conclude that Pope Francis thinks we can’t cooperate or accept same-sex marriage and we must actively resist it.  That clearly is what some people are taking away from it.  Come to think of it, it is reasonable to believe that the Pope of Rome doesn’t not think that men should marry men and have sex with other.  Yes, that seems pretty reasonable.

Liberals are turning on Francis for this.

Take a look at the combox of the National Sodomitical Reporter (aka Fishwrap) which reprinted the ultra-liberal RNS David Gibson piece.  NSR is pro-sodomy (one of the peccata clamantia) a sin that crieth unto heaven for vengeance).  Therefore, they are pretty worked up over there about the meeting.

So far, no comment from the Wile E. Coyote of the liberal catholic media, although a combox under a recent posting is getting pretty shrill.

Not so, however, from another of the usual suspects, Jesuit James Martin at Amerika.  He protests muchly, in a loooong piece, that the meeting didn’t really mean very much at all.

It is clear that liberals didn’t like the meeting.

Meanwhile, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has this to say:

The Catholic and secular Left are beside themselves. They thought they owned the pope, and now they are in a state of disbelief. If they don’t get what they want at the Synod next month, watch for them to turn on him with a vengeance. [True.  Yet I think that the Synod may be so inconclusive and vague that they will claim it as a victory.]

Charles P. Pierce at Esquire is calling the Holy Father’s meeting with Kim Davis “a sin against charity,” and the “dumbest thing this Pope has ever done.” Nice to know he acknowledges the existence of sin. But to say that it was “dumb” of the pope to meet with this heroine, or to characterize it as a “hamhanded blunder,” is to seriously misread Pope Francis. He is, after all, a real Catholic, not a “pretend Catholic” (the pope used this term this week to describe the Mayor of Rome, a gay marriage enthusiast).

Pierce is so despondent with the pope that he said the Davis meeting “undermines his pastoral message, and it diminishes his stature by involving him in a petty American political dispute. A secret meeting with a nutball?” It would be more accurate to say that the meeting elevates the pope’s stature with real Catholics. Not surprisingly, Pierce does not see calling Davis a “nutball” as “a sin against charity.”

Gay activist Michelangelo Signorile is ripping the pope as “a more sinister kind of politician,” one who “secretly supports hate.” Signorile has a reputation of being quite open about his brand of hate speech, so that may account for his aversion to secrets. It is driving him mad that the pope broke bread with this courageous woman, which is why he said the meeting “is only encouraging the bigots.” By “bigots” he means practically every man and woman who ever walked the face of the earth, up until the day before yesterday.

Bless the Holy Father for being so inclusive that he reached out to Kim Davis. If the “pretend Catholics” who consider themselves his base get nasty, they will be answered by the Catholic League.

Any way, those are some different views of the Kim Davis meeting.


At WaPo fid this:

No more Mr. Cool Pope

By Alexandra Petri

Yes, the pope met with embattled anti-gay-marriage clerk Kim Davis.

She reported that he clasped her hands, asked her to pray for him and told her to “stay strong.” The Vatican confirmed that the meeting occurred but refused to comment on details.

So much for “he’s-not-a-regular-pope-he’s-a-cool-pope” mania.

What’s really surprising is that we’re surprised.

The fact that we were expecting something different from Pope Francis says what a remarkable job he’s doing of making us forget that he is, not to put too fine a point on it, the pope.


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Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , , | 94 Comments

ASK FATHER: If 50% of marriages are invalid, how do I know if my marriage is valid?

12_07_10_marriage_01From a reader…


If approximately 50% of current “Catholic” marriages are actually invalid, how do I know if my marriage is valid? I was a cafeteria Catholic at the time of the wedding, husband was unbaptized. We got a dispensation from the bishop to marry. Husband has since been baptized and confirmed and we are practicing Catholics. Do we need to do something else to “validate” our marriage?

I am tempted to tell folks like this (and Tribunals around the country are getting calls like this over and over) call Pope Francis and ask him.

But instead…

Canon 1060 is an important canon. It states that marriage enjoys the favor of the law (matrimonium gaudet favore iuris). A shorthand phrase often used by canonists states that marriage has “the presumption of validity.”

The Church maintains that, unless proven otherwise, a marriage that is properly celebrated is precisely what it appears to be: a marriage. Only after considerable evidence provides moral certitude that there was something invalid at the start, is this presumption of validity overturned.

Sadly, a number of ecclesiastics who should know better have recklessly spouted their personal beliefs about the demographics of marriage and invalidity.

Whatever their beliefs, the position of the Church remains that marriage is a binding institution, lasting for life, contracted by a man and a woman capable of doing so, who exchange consent according to the proper form of marriage.

You can rest assured in the Church’s belief in the validity of your marriage.

If you have a significant reason for doubting the validity of your marriage, then contact your diocesan marriage tribunal and ask to speak to a canonist. After you explain your situation, if indeed there is something to be concerned about canonically, the canonist at the tribunal will be able to direct you to a good priest who can help you with anything that needs some work.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

A Roman Mystery: The Lost Tomb of St. Jerome

If there have to be reality TV shows or treasure hunt movies, I propose finding the tomb of St. Jerome (+420) in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

I may write a novel!  It would have vampires, I think, and maybe the Mossad.

For a couple years I have posted something about Jerome’s burial place.  Here it is again.

This is an interesting story and I dug into it a little. This is what I found.

We read in J.N.D. Kelly’s work Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies (Duckworth, 1975, p. 333 – emphasis mine) :

Apocryphal lives extolling [Jerome’s] sanctity, even his miracles, were quick to appear, and in the eighth century he was to be acclaimed, along with Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory the Great, as one of the four Doctors of the Church.[2] In the middle ages his works were eagerly copied, read, and pillaged; while towards the end of the thirteenth century the clergy of Santa Maria Maggiore, at Rome, were to persuade the public, perhaps themselves too, that his remains had been transported from Bethlehem to Italy, and could be venerated close to certain presumed fragments of the Saviour’s crib.[3]

Note 2: This was formally ratified by Pope Boniface VIII on 20 Sept. 1295: see Corpus iuris canonici II, 1059 (ed. E. Freidburg, Leipzig, 1879-81). The original number four (the list was later to be greatly expanded) was chosen so that the Doctors could match the Evangelists.

Note 3: The story of their alleged translation, in response to a visionary appearance of Jerome himself, is set out by J. Stilting in Acta Sanctorum XLVI, Sept. VIII, 636 (Antwerp, 1762); it is reprinted in PL 22, 237-40. Stilting also provides a discussion of its date, veracity, etc. on pp. 635-49.


In the Acta Sanctorum for 30 September, under the entry for St. Jerome, we find the following section with its articles:

LXV. Corpus Sancti ex Palestina Romam translatum, depositumque in basilica s. Mariae Majoris. The body of the saint was brought to Rome from Palestine, and put in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
LXVI. Inquiritur tempus quo Sancti corpus Romam delatum. An investigation is made into the time when the body of the saint was brought back to Rome.
LXVII. Corpus Sancti depositum prope aediculam Praesepis, conditum deinde ibidem altare, sub quo positum, ubi mansit usque ad pontificatum Sixti V, quando dicitur clanculum ablatum & absconditum. The body of the saint was placed near to the small chamber of the Crib, established then right at the same altar, under which it was placed, where it remained until the pontificate of Sixtus V, when it is said to have been secretly taken away and hidden.
LXVIII. Corpus Sancti clanculum ablatum & absconditum dicitur, ne transferretur alio a Sixto V: deinde frequenter frustra quaesitum. The body of the saint is said to have been secretly taken away and hidden lest it were to be transferred to another place by Sixtus V: aftward it is frequently sought in vain.
LXIX. An reliquae, sub altari principe S. Mariae Majoris inventae, videantur illae ipsae, quae ut corpus S. Hieronymi ad illam basilicam fuerunt translatae. Whether the relics found under the main altar of St. Mary Major which had been transferred to that Basilica seem to be the very same as the body of St. Jerome.
LXX. Admodum verisimile & probabile inventas esse S. Hieronymi. Clearly the [relics] found are most like and probably of Saint Jerome.
LXXI. Respondetur ad objectionem ex reliquiis Nepesinis: reliquiae, quae verisimiliter sunt S. Hieronymi sub mensa principis altaris depositae. An objection is answered about the relics at Nepi: relics placed under the main altar which more than likely are those of St. Jerome.
LXXII. Reliquiae Sancti in pluribus civitatibus Italiae, Galliae, Germaniae, Belgii, & aliis provinciis. The relics of the saint in more cities in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and other provinces.
LXXIII. Cultus S. Hieronymi: festivitates eius & Officia. The veneration of St. Jerome: his feasts and offices.

Here is the page where these articles begin. If you want to have a fuller experience of the joys (the chore) of reading the Acta Sanctorum for any length of time click here for a larger image.

Meanwhile, one of my correspondents today pointed out to me that the canons of St. Mary Major hold that the bones of Jerome are inside the main altar under the baldicchino.  Also, the altar is upheld by four lion’s paws.

Jean-Léon Gérôme_Sint-Hiëronymus (1874)

Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , | 3 Comments

CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Open Band Alert

I’ve been listening on and off during the day to 20m.  I’ve heard Sweden, Sao Paolo, Island of St. Helena, Croatia, S. Italy.  What a contrast from a week ago.

Chime in here if you hams want to make some contacts.


Posted in Ham Radio | 180 Comments

New sacred music disc recorded in the Sistine Chapel

Here’s some musical news.  The Sistine Chapel Choir recorded a new disc of sacred music in the Sistine Chapel.  It is produced by Deutsche Grammophon and it is called

Cantate Domino.  UK HERE

Recorded in the chapel for which most of the pieces were composed and in which they were originally sung.

  1. 1. Gregorian Chant – Rorate caeli desuper
  2. 2. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594) – Ad te levavi
  3. 3. Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594) – Magnificat VIII toni
  4. 4. Gregorian Chant – Lumen ad revelationem gentium attrib. Palestrina – Nunc dimittis (World premiere recording)
  1. 5. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Super flumina Babylonis
  2. 6. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Improperium exspectavit cor meum
  3. 7. Gregorio Allegri (1582–1652) – Miserere Sistine Codex of 1661 (World premiere recording)
  4. 8. Gregorian Chant – Christus factus est pro nobis
  5. 9. Felice Anerio (c. 1560–1614) – Christus factus est pro nobis
  6. 10. Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611) – Popule meus (Improperia)
  7. 11. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Adoramus te, Christe
  8. 12. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Sicut cervus
  9. 13. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Angelus Domini
  10. 14. Orlande de Lassus – Iubilate Deo
  11. 15. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Constitues eos principes
  12. 16. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Tu es Petrus

Alas, no Giovannelli.

Here are a couple video trailers for the disc.

2 views at the time I posted this.

Is the Sistina a great choir?  Not yet, but it is getting better.  Still, this disc has some spiffy music.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 11 Comments

A Feast of Angels

In the older Roman calendar today is the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel, which refers to a basilica dedicated in his honor.

This has been the time of year to honor angels for a long time in the Roman Church. The ancient Veronese Sacramentary has an entry for “Natale Basilicae Angeli via Salaria” for 30 September. The Gelasian Sacramentary has a feast for “S. Michaelis Archangeli”. The Gregorian Sacramentary has “Dedicatio Basilionis S. Angeli Michaelis” for 29 September. It is possible that the basilica they were talking about was a long-gone church out the Via Salaria north of Rome. However, there is the monumental statue of St. Michael that looms over the City at the top of Hadrian’s mausoleum, known as Castel Sant’Angelo, placed there after the archangel signaled the end of a plague that had ravaged Rome.

In the new calendar today all three Archangels are celebrated, while in the older, traditional calendar we focus on St. Michael.

From Scripture we know the names of three Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  There are other, apocryphal names of angels, but we are not to use them or invoke them.

Here is a nice depiction of all three angels easin’ on down the road with Tobias:

Our perennial Catholic thought is that the angels are in a hierarchy of nine “choirs”.  This goes back to the writings of St. Dionysius and of Gregory the Great.  St. Thomas Aquinas developed their foundational teachings.   According to the Angelic Doctor the choirs, which designate offices and roles, are

  1. Seraphim
  2. Cherubim
  3. Thrones
  4. Dominions
  5. Virtues
  6. Powers
  7. Principalities
  8. Archangels
  9. Angels

Note that Archangels are second from the last.  That St. Michael seems to be the commander of the heavenly host shows that even among angels (who are created persons, but without bodies), so vastly above us in the order of creation, God chose the lowly for His own plans.

In a few days we will have the Feast of the Guardian Angels.

Guardian Angel is a role assigned by God. Your angel or angels could be from the ranks of any of the choirs.

Do you think about angels?

Do you consider your Guardian Angel or ask for help?

Do you remember that there are also fallen angels?

Finally, one of my favorite depictions of St. Michael as a samurai warrior by Daniel Mitsui.

St. Michael by Daniel Mitsui. Click for more.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

Off the cuff Francis on the family

Francis in Philadelphia speaking off the cuff about the family with a more or less simultaneous translator.

Start at 1:58:29 to about 2:20:30

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have some good news to share with the readership?

Let us know what it is.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 16 Comments

Synod rule changes to be announced on Friday. Hold on to your socks.

Cardinal-Lorenzo-Baldisseri-Secretary-General-of-the-Synod-of-BishopsFrom the Bollettino:

Avviso di Briefing, 29.09.2015

Si informano i giornalisti accreditati che venerdì 2 ottobre 2015, alle ore 11.30, nell’Aula Giovanni Paolo II della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, il Cardinale Lorenzo Baldisseri, Segretario Generale del Sinodo dei Vescovi, terrà un Briefing per fornire informazioni su tema e metodo della XIV Assemblea Generale Ordinaria del Sinodo dei Vescovi sul tema: “La vocazione e la missione della famiglia nella Chiesa e nel mondo contemporaneo” (Vaticano, 4 – 25 ottobre 2015).

(Sarà disponibile il servizio di traduzione simultanea in lingua francese, inglese e spagnola).


Edward Pentin, Andrea Gagliarducci and Sandro Magister have all written about what’s coming.

There will be major changes to the Ordo Synodi, the rules by which the Synod proceeds.

As the rules stand now, in a nutshell, in the first part of a Synod, speeches (interventions) are delivered.  These are customarily made known to the watching world, though last year there weren’t and, because of that, there were arguments about transparency.  Then there is a midterm report. Last year it was extremely controversial and appeared to have been in part worked up ahead of time to include pre-determined points.  The members break up into smaller groups to discuss the report and their points are made known.  A draft of a final report is cobbled up and the members vote on the inclusion or exclusion of individual paragraphs.  Last year the paragraphs were to receive a 66% vote for inclusion. The controversial paragraphs did not obtain 66% but the rules were ignored and they were included anyway. That final report became the basis for more solicitation of feedback from the wider world.  Then a new document was put together, based on last year’s report.  This became the working document for the beginning of this upcoming Synod.

This year, however, the rules are going to be significantly changed.  That’s probably what the briefing on Friday will announce.

What will the changes be?  We don’t have the exact text yet, but this is what we are hearing.

Rather than follow the Ordo Synodi as it has been for years now, there will be no midterm report (which sparked such resistance last year from those who would uphold the Church’s teaching).  The small groups will not communicate with each other.  Instead their results will go to the central organizing office of the Synod.  There will not be a final report.  There will not be, if leaks are accurate, a post-Synodal Exhortation from the Pope, though he obviously can do whatever he wants to.

The effect of this will be, from what it looks like now, to leave the “process” open-ended, inconclusive.

On the one hand, that’s fine, since the Synod has zero authority to change anything, laws, doctrine or pizza orders.

On the other hand, the vague results will provide grist and energy for the Kasperites and others who would see the Church’s praxis (and therefore eventually doctrine) conformed to changing secular mores while maintaining a veneer of orthodoxy.  It will give the impression that, even though many in the Synod defended doctrine, the process will go on until the changes get through.

Perhaps I am mistaken, and those of you more knowledgeable can contribute, but the method to be employed at this upcoming Synod smacks of what has been called the “Delphi Technique“.  I’ve been in clerical gatherings wherein this method was used to drive the majority toward pre-determined outcomes.  The method works by isolating resistors to consensus and sequestering negative feedback.

Posted in Pò sì jiù, Synod, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

ACTION ITEM! It’s time to order your 2016 Ordo (St. John Cantius)

It is that time of year again.  Advent is just around the corner.  That means that we have to get our new ORDO for 2015.

Every Latin Church sacristy should have an Ordo for both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Form.


The nice guys at St. John Cantius sent me their slick Ordo.


It is substantially the same as those you have seen in the past.

Here is the table of contents. Click it for a larger version.





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