Urgent Prayer Request

May I ask a prayer from the readership?  I am ailing and I must MC a Pontifical Mass this evening.  First, something is wrong with my neck on the right side.  When I move, it hurts like crazy.  Second, I’ve come down with a cold, which makes the neck thing really fun.  I have no energy and a lot of pain.

Please ask, on this most portentous anniversary, the Mother of God and Queen of Priests to intervene for me and lift both of these problems.

Thanks in advance.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 20 Comments

D. Madison 13 OCT – Pontifical Mass for 100th anniv of Miracle of the Sun – AND YOUR MASSES

Fatima_miracle_of_the_sunOn 13 October, special Masses will be celebrated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun during the final apparition of Our Lady at Fatima.

Use the combox to post about YOUR Masses! 

In Madison, His Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Throne at 6 PM at St. Mary’s, Pine Bluff.

Fr. Richard Heilman is pastor of St. Mary’s and the Mass is celebrated there at his request with the assistance of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison.

We hope to be able also to LIVE STREAM this Mass over the interwebs!  The equipment is in and working.

The Mass will be a 2nd Class Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in accord with Rubricae Generales of the 1962 Missale Romanum 342 & 370-372.

I am sure that in many places special Masses are being organized.


Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Card. Sarah: Holy See has last word on liturgical translations

New Say The Red - Do The Black / New Translation coffee mugPeople ran around with their hair on fire a while back when Pope Francis changed the process by which translations of the liturgical texts are prepared.  He gave a greater role to bishops conferences.

I read today at the National Catholic Register that Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, confirms that the Holy See retains the last word on the translations.

Of course.  It can’t be any other way.

Ed Pentin, the best English-language Vaticanista now, reports:

Cardinal Robert Sarah has weighed in on Magnum Principium, Pope Francis’ motu proprio on liturgical translations, reassuring the faithful that the Vatican will continue to safeguard any changes or new liturgical translations to ensure they remain faithful to the original Latin.

In an article in the French Catholic journal L’Homme Nouveauthe prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) confirmed that the motu proprio’s change to Canon 838 — which shifts some responsibility for translating liturgical texts away from the Vatican to local bishops — will still require the Vatican to give approval to any such changes or translations.

The article, officially dated Oct. 1 — the day on which Magnum Principium (The Great Principle) came into effect — bolsters the guidance issued with the motu proprio by Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the CDW. Archbishop Roche stressed that the Vatican’s role in confirming texts remains an “authoritative act” presupposing “fidelity” to the original Latin.

Cardinal Sarah’s statements on the matter contradict those who see the motu proprio as a gateway to more liberal vernacular interpretations of liturgical texts, inconsistent with their Latin original.

The Holy Father, who signed Magnum Principium Sept. 3, authorized changes to Canon 838 that decentralized the translation process, giving local bishops responsibility for translating liturgical texts, while retaining the Vatican’s authority to approve or reject a proposed translation.

The CDW will no longer instruct bishops to make proposed amendments, but retains authority to confirm or veto the results at the end of the process. [I effect, however, I’ll bet that there will be unofficial instruction to make changes.]

Among other consequences, this means that the Vatican commission Vox Clara, which was established by Pope John Paul II in 2002 to help the CDW vet English translations, will no longer be needed.  [I don’t see why it couldn’t still be useful as a liaison, especially now.]


[…]Liturgiam Authenticam

In his article, Cardinal Sarah begins by reasserting that the “authoritative text” concerning liturgical translations remains Liturgiam Authenticam, the 2001 instruction issued by the CDW, that aimed to ensure “insofar as possible” that texts must be translated from the original Latin “integrally and in the most exact manner.”

For this reason, he continues, the faithful translations carried out and approved by bishops’ conferences “must conform in every way to the norms of this instruction.”



Read the rest there.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Translation, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

A Dominican Thomist examines the claim that “Amoris laetitia” is “Thomistic”

Aquinas_AmorisThis is really important.

I’ve been waiting for a Dominican well-versed in Thomas to examine the claim that Amoris laetitia is a “Thomistic” document and/or that it makes good use of the Angelic Doctor’s words.

At LifeSite find an examination by Father Thomas Crean, O.P., who has serious credentials.

I think what he wrote settles the issue.

I suggest that you print it out.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

25th Anniversary of the release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  St. John Paul II approved the provisional text in June 1992 and it was promulgated on 11 October 1992, which is also the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  Hence, today is also the feast of Pope St. John XXIII who opened that Council with a speech known today as Gaudet Mater Ecclesia.

In that speech, the most important thing Pope John said was:

The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will.

Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries. […]
… But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith [NB] or the truths which are contained in our time-honored teaching is one thing, the manner in which these truths are set forth – in the same meaning and understanding – is another. [NB… that last bit is often left out of translations!] And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.

Does that sound like what is going on today?

“adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness”

“a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine”

I have a PODCAzT about John XXIII’s speech.  HERE

This anniversary prompts me, once again, to urge that you dear readers begin to form small study groups.   Let’s call them “base communities”.

In self-enrichment and in self-defense, begin to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church together.

Read, review, study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

US HERE – UK HERE (There are many editions.  Look around.)

I am a huge fan of Kindles (US HERE – UK HERE), but you should also have the BOOK, the material volume which you can hold in your hand and write in.  Get the book, which you can flip around in and hold spots in with a couple fingers as you cross check.

Read it.  Pick it up. Read portions every day.

St. John Paul II called the CCC, “a sure reference point”.

Finally, I have a personal anecdote about the CCC.

First, some strong Latin students were asked to contribute to the first Latin version of the CCC.  I was one of them (Matrimony).  It was a strange process.  The provisional text of the Catechism was composed mainly in French. The Italian text was prepared from the French, but Italian became the bases of the Latin version.  Imagine the difficulties that could arise when translating quotations, etc.   Keep in mind that the 1992 text was provisional.  It was eventually revised.  There were quite a few errors of citations, etc.  The text was given to my school, the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, for double-checking and verification and correction.  When that process was completed, the president of the Institute, who knew I worked in the Palazzo Sant’Uffizio across the road from the Augustininianum, asked me to deliver the finished text to the Cardinal Prefect.  And so, I carried the final version of the corrected, official LATIN text wrapped up in brown paper, up to Card. Ratzinger’s office and put it into his hands.  St. Pope John Paul II would promulgate that official Latin text in 1997 on the Feast of the Assumption.

Posted in Linking Back, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

ASK FATHER: Confirmation at an SSPX chapel?

009_TmsmConfirmation2016From a reader…


Thanks for all that you do on this blog. It’s been a real blessing for me and my family over the years. My question concerns confirmation. I live in a diocese where the bishop has established a “policy” of not confirming children until they are 15. The pastor of my FSSP parish has been very reluctant to fight this. My impression is that we are barely tolerated in the diocese so I understand his position, but I nevertheless need to get my children confirmed. I have a 13 year old and an 11 year old that very much want to be confirmed this year. They know their catechism. If the diocese won’t confirm them because of their “policy” (which seems to contravene the canon law right of the faithful to receive the sacraments), would I sin by having recourse to the local SSPX chapel for confirmation? I’m not sure what else to do. Recourse to Rome seems unlikely to bear fruit these days, and waiting until 15 is unacceptable.

Pope St. Pius X, of blessed and hallowed memory (Lord, raise up holy clergy and hierarchy like unto him!) did many good things for the Church. However, his decision to move the age of First Holy Communion back to the age of reason, while arguably laudable, displaced the Sacrament of Confirmation. Valiant attempts have been made to put the Sacraments of Initiation back into their traditional order (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion), but in many places these attempts have been met with fierce resistance from various quarters But, perhaps that is tangential to this immediate and pressing question.

Parents are the primary educators of their children. We are constantly reminded of this by Holy Mother Church. Pastors of souls have the obligation of ensuring that their flock are well-prepared, properly disposed, and ready to receive the sacraments. The Latin Rite Bishops in these USA mandated by decree on 21 August 2001, that the proper age for confirmation is “between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in canon 891.”

So, the Bishops punted.

Rather than opting for a younger age, or an older age, the Bishops mandated somewhere between 7 and 16. Quite a wide berth. However, local bishops have the right to make additional specifications.

If one disagrees with one’s Bishop, who makes a decision about something which is within his purview to decide, what can one do?

St. Ignatius of Antioch has some advice:

“Your submission to your bishop, who is in the place of Jesus Christ, shows me that you are not living as men usually do but in the manner of Jesus himself, who died for us that you might escape death by belief in his death. Thus one thing is necessary, and you already observe it, that you do nothing without your bishop; indeed, be subject to the clergy as well, seeing in them the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, for if we live in him we shall be found in him.”

In your case, I would write a letter to the bishop and plead for an exception to his decision. Offer to meet with him, not in a hostile way, but as a devoted child to a pastoral father.

If the bishop rejects the letter, rejects the offer to meet with him, stands firm on his decision (which, again, is his decision to make), one may still disagree with him.  However, in this antinomian age, obedience to our legitimately appointed shepherds in those things legitimately deputed to them, as difficult as it may often be, can be  a way of loving submission to Our God.

Mind you, obedience in those arenas where a bishop does not have legitimate authority is an entirely different kettle of fish.

I would not go to a chapel of the SSPX until they are fully reintegrated in a manifest way.

That said, I have on occasion also answered questions about going outside of one’s diocese for confirmation.  Can. 886 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church states,

“A bishop in his own diocese may lawfully administer the sacrament of confirmation even to the faithful who are not his subjects, unless there is an express prohibition by their own Ordinary.”

For example, last November here in Madison, the Bishop conferred the sacrament on many young people, some of whom were brought by their parents from many states away.  We will have confirmations again in December, I believe, and I expect the same will happen to a greater or lesser degree.  Of course, there was in the case of each confirmand a written verification with the pastor of his or her parish.  These things are not done in the dark, sneaking around.

Some people who find that their local bishop is not cooperative, could discover that the bishop of the neighboring diocese may be friendly and helpful.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SSPX | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

“What is happening to our world?”

fatima_hellThe other day Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco consecrated the archdiocese entrusted to his care to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Many bishops are doing the same with their dioceses.  I have a growing list HERE.

In his sermon, Archbp. Cordileone spoke in strong, clear terms.  HERE Among his remarks, I find these of special note.  He starts out with recounting the vision the children at Fatima had of Hell.  Then…


What is happening to our world? In so many different ways, what was once unthinkable has become routine. The century since the Fatima apparitions now ending has mocked God, but God will not be mocked: not because He delights in wreaking vengeance on us, but because turning our backs on God only bounces back to us, leading to our own self-destruction.


For 100 years we ignored the message of Fatima; or, perhaps, it is not so much the message we ignored, for we are well aware of the warnings and the history that resulted. Rather, it is the requests we ignored. But we cannot afford to do so any longer. We have to pay attention. We have to do what she told the waiters at Cana: do whatever he tells you. And what does Christ tell us to do? He reveals this in the requests our Lady made at Fatima. It is now time to heed those requests. We might not have the power to change world history, but we can change what happens in our own families and communities if we heed the message. This next century can be radically different from the last one, but only if we heed the message and respond to the requests.

Which means that what we are doing today cannot be relegated to being simply a moving event and pleasant memory in the history of our Archdiocese. Far from being something we check off on a to-do list, what we are about today is nothing less than a call to arms: to spiritual arms. We are living in a time and place of intense spiritual battle, and only in taking up spiritual arms will we alleviate the spiritual disease that is at the root of so much of the physical and mental suffering in the world today. It is time to leave the sensational aside, and respond to the requests of our Lady at Fatima.


We need to attend to the requests of Our Lady.




Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Recent Consecrations of Dioceses to the Blessed Virgin – REQUEST FOR LIST

UPDATE:  Some people are sending me emails about consecrations.  Thanks, but sorry. I want them posted here and I am not going to do that work.  I have enough to do.

Register.. get approved… post.


I have been hearing numerous reports that bishops have been consecrating the dioceses entrusted to their care to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

May I ask your help in assembling a list of those dioceses?

Please post in the combox.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | 41 Comments

The Steamroller of Ambiguity and the Long Term. Wherein @FatherZ rants.

Many these days feel a little helpless as the lib Steamroller of Ambiguity squishes sickeningly forward, reducing clarity to an amorphous goo of permissive self-justification.

What can we do?

Feel helpless no longer.

You have at your disposal – 24/7 – powerful arms against the Enemy and their worldly agents.


Powerful is the Most Holy Rosary.

Powerful are your petitions at Holy Mass.

Powerful are your mortifications and reparations for sin.

We have to think long term.

We should bring back as soon as possible and in as many places as possible the traditional “Leonine Prayers” after Mass.

We should implement as soon as possible and in as many places as possible a tried, tested and true prayer for priestly vocations.

Don’t drift on the tide.

Chart your course.


To this end, I was delighted today to receive images of a sheet of prayers for after Mass implemented in a parish.

IMG_8470 IMG_8471

In their next printing, I hope they will make the language style more uniform (and use the “thees and thous” throughout).   That said, I strongly applaud the priest at that parish for being wise and forward-thinking.

We have to think about the long term.  We need priests – many more priests – with heart and pluck.  We must bring them forth with strong support in prayer and concrete gestures.

We must also get down on our knees and ask the Mother of God and the Holy Archangel to help us in this time of battle for sanity and souls.

¡Hagan lío!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z KUDOS, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Mail from priests, Seminarians and Seminaries, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Prayer request for Santa Rosa and Fr. Z makes observations

Last Saturday I was in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, in Napa Valley, CA, to speak at a conference.

At one point I had noticed smoke plumes on the far sides of a large Eastern ridge.  On Saturday evening the other priest and I headed back to San Francisco in view of flights home at zero-dark-hundred.

Fires swept through the area.  In retrospect, people at the conference seemed unaware of the impending threat…. or, I surmise, they would not have been there.

My friend Fr. Keyes, who came to the conference to greet me and listen, wrote:

The next few days after that conference were not fun as the fire started on Sunday night. Don’t plan any trips to the wine country in the near future until we begin to grow again. The devastation is everywhere. Keep us in your prayers.

Another person wrote:

The city of Santa Rosa, and surrounding areas, are currently undergoing several wildfires which have continued unabated since Sunday night. About half of Santa Rosa is now a mandatory evac zone, and the latest was that the fires are 0% contained. Many people are without power, and many have lost their homes and all their belongings. Some folks I know from my parish belong to that number.

If you could remember us in your prayers, and perhaps solicit the prayers of the readership, I know there are many here who would appreciate it.

Thanks, and God bless you.

P.S.: Last I saw, the Marian Sisters were doing shifts of two sisters at a time to help at the cathedral gym, which has been opened for local people who have been evacuated.

Fr. Keyes is the chaplain to the Marian Sisters.  They are a marvelous group, a growing community.  You might remember photos of how they lay out vestments, with the ribbons of the amice forming images and words.  Very creative and dear.  For example HERE

The fires seems to have swiftly come upon the people in Santa Rosa.  I saw images on the news that are truly frightening: blocks and blocks of houses incinerated, cars burned, flames and smoke still licking their chops.

In your compassion, do pray for these people.

Also, in your prudence, please consider making your own plans for swift evacuation and protect of life and limb of yourselves and loved ones.  I harp on this, I know, but I’d rather badger you into doing something as you grumble than read about how you were caught on the wrong foot when something happened to you.

It’s always someone else… until it’s your turn.

And remember to GO TO CONFESSION!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, GO TO CONFESSION, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Esolen: “Open Your Eyes Father Martin”

I am usually eager to read anything penned by Anthony Esolen.  But when I saw the title of Esolen’s newest offering at Crisis, I put everything aside:

Open Your Eyes Father Martin

Father James G. Martin, S.J., is either a cruel or a foolish man. It does not seem to be the first. But if it is not that, it must be the second, because that alone can explain how a Catholic priest can live in the midst of massive and unprecedented family breakdown, and the chaos, loneliness, and alienation consequent upon it, and still wave the banner for the latest innovation in sexual confusion.

He is good at telling stories. Let me tell a few.


[… Hereafter rather hard reading occurs…] 

It is a longish piece, and … grim.


Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

FOLLOW UP: Massive Rosary Prayer in Poland and disdain from @MassimoFaggioli

I read with extreme delight about the massive Rosary rally in Poland, on 7 October – the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto and Feast of the Holy Rosary – to ring the entire 2000 mile border of the country in prayers of protection.  HERE


Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, a spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference, said it was the second largest prayer event in Europe after the 2016 World Youth Day. The New York Times reported, however, that final participation numbers were still being tabulated.

Airport chapels, considered gateways to the country, were prayer sites for Catholics as well, the AP said, and Polish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan prayed at Bagram Airfield there.

The prayer positions for the rosary event also included fishing boats at sea as well as kayaks and sailboats forming chains on Polish rivers, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

“During the prayer, I was at the Chopin airport in Warsaw,” Father Rytel-Andrianik said, “and there were so many people that they were pouring out of the chapel.”

“This was an initiative started by lay people, which makes it even more extraordinary,” he continued. “Millions of people prayed the rosary together. This exceeded the boldest expectations of the organizers.”

Churches taking part kicked the prayer event off with a talk and celebration of Mass before Catholics headed to the border to pray the rosary.


And then there is this:

Villanova University theologian Massimo [“Beans”] Faggioli used Twitter to criticize what he termed using the rosary from “anti-immigrant use.”

“Using the Virgin Mary as a human shield and the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not exactly my kind of thing,” he tweetedand, “using the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not ‘the Catholic Church.’”


“using the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not ‘the Catholic Church.’”

Hmmm… poor confused man.


“Using the Virgin Mary as a human shield”



Lippi Martini Madonna Schutzmantel

May I suggest that the readers here stop and say a Rosary for the awakening to reality of one Massimo Faggioli?

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liberals | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Asteroid 2012 TC4 will NOT strike your planet… they say.

That’s not the sun. That’s the fireball that blew up over Russia.


ASTEROID TO BUZZ EARTH THIS WEEK: When the sun rose over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, 2013, at first it seemed like an ordinary day. Then the space rock hit. Without warning, the morning sky lit up with a second sun as shock waves shattered windows in hundreds of buildings around the wakening city.

The impactor flew out of the blue, literally from the direction of the sun where no telescope could see it, and took everyone by surprise. Years later, meteorite hunters are still finding pieces of the “Chelyabinsk asteroid” that rained down after its 17m-wide body disintegrated in the atmosphere.

A similar asteroid is approaching Earth this week, but this time NASA knows its coming. 2012 TC4 measures somewhere between 10 m and 30 m wide, and on Oct. 12th it will pass 43,500 km above our planet’s surface, about 1/8th the distance to the Moon. The flyby is so close, Earth’s gravity will significantly alter the asteroid’s trajectory before it exits the Earth-Moon system.

“We know the orbit of 2012 TC4 well enough to be absolutely certain that it won’t hit Earth,” says Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at JPL,”but we haven’t established its exact path just yet.”

To get a better handle on the asteroid’s orbit (and possible future encounters), an international network of telescopes will monitor 2012 TC4 as it goes by. Pinging the asteroid with its Goldstone radar, NASA hopes to learn much about the space rock’s physical properties. The space agency will even exercise some aspects of its planetary defense systems.

This asteroid is too small to see with the naked eye. However, skilled amateur astronomers using 8+ inch telescopes will be able to observe it. At peak brightness, 2012 TC4 will shine like a 13th magnitude star as it zips through the constellations Capricornus and Sagittarius, according to AstroBob, who has detailed observing tips.



Posted in Look! Up in the sky!, TEOTWAWKI | Tagged | 7 Comments

A great book for your celebration of Martin Luther!

As we approach LutherFest, I’d like to remind you all of a truly informative and engaging book.  This collection of essays is helpful.

Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society



To give you a sense of the thrust of the book, the Introduction is entitled: “Half a Millennium of Total Depravity (1517-2017): A Critique of Luther’s Impact in the Year of His ‘Catholic’ Apotheosis”.

In other words, this is not an unqualified “RAH! RAH! FOR THE REFORMATION!”

I wish that I had had 30 copies of this, to give to the seminarians and deacons of the diocese back in August.  Instead I chose Tracey Rowland’s terrific new book Catholic Theology.  


But I digress.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 17 Comments

Concerning rumors of dramatic changes to the Extraordinary Form

I have had some questions about a rumor going around that dramatic changes are going to be imposed on the older, traditional Form of Roman Rite.  Someone thinks that the new Lectionary and calendar will be imposed on the 1962 Missale sometime in 2018.

I respond: Piffle.   Even, bull piffle!

No.  Won’t happen.

In addition, I checked with my various peeps.  No.  Won’t happen.  Can’t happen.

So, you can relax and stop sending me mail about this.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, You must be joking! | Tagged | 23 Comments