Considering Andy Warhol in view of certain homosexualist activists

At the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, there is a great article about the Pop Art icon Andy Warhol and Warhol’s faith and piety.

This may surprise some people: he was devout and practiced his faith… which is rather redundant.

Read the whole thing over there.

However, I thought this bit to be important, especially in light of the efforts of some who endlessly blare homosexual issues but without stressing the necessity of continence, chastity:

Religion kept Warhol from going over the brink. He attended Mass almost daily. Other days he would just slip into St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue, drop into the back pew and pray. He spent his Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters volunteering at a soup kitchen, and befriended the homeless and poor whom he served. He put his nephew through seminary. Though openly gay, he endeavoured to remain celibate [read: chaste] throughout his life. When he refused to support the gay rights movement, many of his friends blamed his faith.

He lived with his mother until she died, and every morning they would pray together in Old Slavonic before he left for the Factory. He always carried a rosary and a small missal in his pocket.

What a contrast.

I sincerely believe that people with same-sex attraction, if they strive to be chaste and bear their subsequent suffering, will have a very high place in heaven.  The greater the burden and suffering, the greater the graces and reward.

Support of homosexual persons is obligatory for true Catholics.  However, also obligatory is the whole truth, which necessarily includes the explicit and clear renunciation of same-sex acts, which violate human dignity and do great harm to individuals and society.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Pinks and Greens? “Hooah!”

Every time I see stories about the restoration of churches to proper order and purpose after costly wreckovation, the temperature of my beady-black heart warms a bit.

At Stars and Stripes I read that the Army is moving towards a change in uniform again.  This time, however, it forward towards tradition.

The old “Pinks and Greens” with WWII-era belted jackets and brown leather shoes may reappear.

Think about how the sudden and weird changes in the looks of things affected the Catholic identity of the Church Militant.

Tear out statues, whitewash walls, put in carpet, wreck altars…. Of course this did huge damage to our Catholic identity, not just our pocketbooks.  Similarly, uniform changes will affect something of the ethos of those who wear them.

Put priests in polyester gunny sacks and unworthy chasubles, surround them with craftsy projects made by and for 3rd graders, and you will change the presbyterate.

Put priests in cassocks and beautiful vestments, surrounded by precious vessels and art and you will change the men.

Both of those have an effect on congregations.

Which will tend to make a positive knock on effect?  A bunch of guys in shuffling along and grinning at people in the pews with little waves, looking in their loosely-fitting white flour bags with sleeves every bit as if they just got off the night shift at the Tasty Bakery, or a reserved line of men in cassock and surplice looking like they are going to worship the King of Fearful Majesty?

There is a connection between the habitus that is in us, interior disposition, and habitus that is on us, what we wear: habit and habit.  Clothes make the man?

So, Pinks and Greens?  Let’s see if I can translate this into “Army”…


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Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool | Tagged | 14 Comments

Wherein Archbp. Chaput wins the pastoral Super Bowl in @ArchPhilly

Two items concerning Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput have come across my scree in the last few hours.

First, today I received PDF (PDFs are clunky) of a column that that Archbp. Chaput wrote for their archdiocesan newspaper. In this column, the Archbishop explains – in light of recent idiocy in Germany, where Card. Marx (one of the Pope’s closest advisers and one of the most powerful figures in the fabulously wealthy German Church) – how the blessing of same-sex unions (suggested by Card. Marx and others) is a bad idea and must not be done.

Here is a taste. Mind you, the Archbishop addressed this letter to the people of Philadelphia. That said, he references developments outside of Philadelphia and it is for an internet diffused publication. This isn’t reserved or private.


Over the past few weeks, a number of senior voices in the leadership of the Church in Germany have suggested (or strongly implied) support for the institution of a Catholic blessing rite for same-sex couples who are civilly married or seeking civil marriage. On the surface, the idea may sound generous and reasonable. But the imprudence of such public statements is—and should be—the cause of serious concern. It requires a response because what happens in one local reality of the global Church inevitably resonates elsewhere—including eventually here. [Which is why Archbp. Chaput’s words must be widely diffused.  He should have someone translate it into German: I’ll publish it.]

In the case at hand, any such “blessing rite” would cooperate in a morally forbidden act, no matter how sincere the persons seeking the blessing. Such a rite would undermine the Catholic witness on the nature of marriage and the family. It would confuse and mislead the faithful. And it would wound the unity of our Church, because it could not be ignored or met with silence.

Why would a seemingly merciful act pose such a problem? Blessing persons in their particular form of life effectively encourages them in that state—in this case, same-sex sexual unions. Throughout Christian history, a simple and wise fact applies: lex orandi, lex credendi, i.e., how we worship shapes what and how we believe. Establishing a new rite teaches and advances a new doctrine by its lived effect, i.e., by practice.

There are two principles we need to remember. First, we need to treat all people with the respect and pastoral concern they deserve as children of God with inherent dignity. This emphatically includes persons with same-sex attraction. Second, there is no truth, no real mercy, and no authentic compassion, in blessing a course of action that leads persons away from God. This in no way is a rejection of the persons seeking such a blessing, but rather a refusal to ignore what we know to be true about the nature of marriage, the family, and the dignity of human sexuality.


That, in itself, was very good.

But wait! There’s more.

Archbp. Chaput also sent a letter to the clergy of that Archdiocese.  He explained, effectively, what he also wrote in his column.  Then he explicitly forbids priests and deacons in any way at all at any civil union of same sex-persons, or in any religious event that seeks to bless such an event.   He clarifies that this doesn’t constitute a rejection of persons, but rather a defense of the truth about marriage, the family and the dignity of human sexuality.

Inter alia, Chaput wrote: “[T]here is no truth, no real mercy, and no authentic compassion in blessing a course of action that leads persons away from God.”

For these two things alone, the column for the diocesan paper and the letter to clergy, Chaput deserves thanks and laurels.  I say “laurels” because the landscape we are working in is more and more like a battlefield that has swept over the vineyard, bringing chaos and ruin.

But wait!  There’s more.

I also read at Catholic World Report a speech that Archbp. Chaput gave to a men’s conference on 3 February in Phoenix.  It’s terrific.

Of special interest is his use of the imagery of Alzheimer’s, Blade Runner, knighthood and the crusades (I can hear arteries popping in lib skulls as I type).  Echoing St. Paul, he talks about the “new man” – the title of the talk is “Memory, Sex, and the Making of “The New Man” – and the armor of God that men must put on “because, like it or not, as Catholic men, we really are engaged in a struggle for the soul of a beautiful but broken world.”

Finally, Chaput lists something that I haven’t seen for many years. He reads off the Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus’ “22 Rules” – in bulletpoints – from his book Enchiridion militis Christiani or The Handbook or Manual of a Christian Knight.

Rule 1: Deepen and increase your faith.

Rule 2: Act on your faith; make it a living witness to others.

Rule 3: Analyze and understand your fears; don’t be ruled by them.

Rule 4: Make Jesus Christ the only guide and the only goal of your life.

Rule 5: Turn away from material things; don’t be owned by them.

Rule 6: Train your mind to distinguish the true nature of good and evil.

Rule 7: Never let any failure or setback turn you away from God.

Rule 8: Face temptation guided by God, not by worry or excuses.

Rule 9: Always be ready for attacks from those who fear the Gospel and resent the good.

Rule 10: Always be prepared for temptation. And do what you can to avoid it.

Rule 11: Be alert to two special dangers: moral cowardice and personal pride.

Rule 12: Face your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Rule 13: Treat each battle as if it were your last.

Rule 14: A life of virtue has no room for vice; the little vices we tolerate become the most deadly.

Rule 15: Every important decision has alternatives; think them through clearly and honestly in the light of what’s right.

Rule 16: Never, ever give up or give in on any matter of moral substance.

Rule 17: Always have a plan of action. Battles are often won or lost before they begin.

Rule 18: Always think through, in advance, the consequences of your choices and actions.

Rule 19: Do nothing — in public or private — that the people you love would not hold in esteem.

Rule 20: Virtue is its own reward; it needs no applause.

Rule 21: Life is demanding and brief; make it count.

Rule 22: Admit and repent your wrongs, never lose hope, encourage your brothers, and then begin again.

Finally, he concludes:

Maleness, brothers, is a matter of biology. It just happens. Manhood must be learned and earned and taught. That’s our task. So my prayer for all of us today is that God will plant the seed of a new knighthood in our hearts — and make us the kind of “new men” our families, our Church, our nation, and our world need.

Fr. Z kudos to Archbp. Chaput.

For the work in question.

Manual of the Christian Knight.  (Kindle version is available for next to nothing!)


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Posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, New Evangelization, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Look! Up in the sky! Falcon Heavy lifts off.

I’ve been watching the SpaceX launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. They sent up Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster. This booster can lift 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs), more than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel. The Saturn V lifted more… but we’re not using that one anymore are we!

I have to admit that I had something of the same feeling that I recall when I was little kid, watching TV coverage of Gemini and Apollo missions.

The boosters landed successfully… upright… . Very cool.

Fast forward to about 7:53

Sitting in the roadster is “Starman”, visible at after 33:55 along with a strong taste of David Bowie’s Life On Mars.

Boosters, side and center core, land at 37:45 and at 38 or so, vibrations screwed up the camera’s antenna on the drone ship.  But it landed.  39:50 you get the car again.

Speaking of Life on Mars… did you see the British series?


There was a sequel: Ashes to Ashes, but it might not be in US format.

UPDATE: It seems the center core booster failed.

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Brick by brick in Virginia

I am hearing about this sort of thing all over the place.

The first Traditional Latin Mass by this priest at this parish drew
120 people!

This text is from the bulletin of St. Francis Church in Purceville, VA:

About 120 came to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass (sometimes referred to as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass) in the midst of the 40-Hour Eucharistic devotion.
Father Mullaney spent several days getting his crash-course training to celebrate his first Traditional Mass because the priest who originally was scheduled couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict. Father Mullaney did an amazing job with just a few days of practice to celebrate the Latin Mass. Our Director of Religious Education, James Blankenship, served as master of ceremony and trained Father for the Mass. Several who attended their first Latin Mass enjoyed the solemn experience and remarked how different it is from the Ordinary Form that we normally celebrate.
A few were brought to tears as they reminisced last attending this Mass way back in their youth (likely from the AARP eligible crowd).
There were also several who came from other parishes who were grateful that we offered the Mass.

Brick by brick, my readers, brick by brick.

This mentions the AARP crowd.  However, I’ll bet most of the congregation was much younger.

Those people must now get hyper-involved with all the activities of the parish and not just disappear.

And if you go to their website, be sure to click on the “Gregorian Mass” link on the upper menu. Amusing… AND TRUE! I hope that some of you will do the same for me!


I had an interesting email after posting this.

Apparently, based on stats from a few years ago, the Diocese of Arlington was one of very few dioceses in these USA that was not bleeding red… and I don’t mean rubrical ink.

Another factoid is that of their 70 parishes, some 17 have the TLM, which would probably be the highest percentage of any diocese … anywhere.

Now… I don’t want to stray into post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacious reasoning.  Nor do I want to stray anywhere near a “prosperity” gospel view.  However, I do believe that reverent liturgical worship has its own mighty ripple effects.

I’m just sayin’.

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Posted in Brick by Brick, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged | 14 Comments

Litany to the Bishop Martyrs for the Bishops of the Church Militant

The Enemy of the soul, the Devil, is a real, personal, fallen angelic being.  He and all the powers of hell, fallen angels of every grade in the hierarchy, hate you.  They work tirelessly to move you away from God so that His glory and our joy will not be increased by your entrance into heaven.

You are hated by hell just because you, an image of God, are alive.
You are hated even more because you are baptized.
You are hated even more because you are confirmed.
You are hated even more because you are married, and parents.
You are hated even more because you are in the state of grace.
You are hated even more because you are a professed religious.
Even more than religious, hell hates priests.
Even more than priests, the Enemy hates bishops.

Leading up to His Passion, the Lord quoted Zechariah 13: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed.”

Bring down the father of a family the family will suffer.  Bring down fatherhood in a society and look what is happening.  Sr. Lucy of Fatima warned that the Devils great battle in the end will be against the family.  Bring down an officer, and the unit suffers.  Bring down a priest, and the congregation suffers.

Bring down a bishop….  horrors untold result.

There are six Litanies officially approved by the Church for public use.

There is the

  • Litany of Saints, used at the Easter Vigil and during ordinations, Rogation days, exorcisms, etc.
  • Litany of Loreto, the Marian Litany, often recited after the Rosary
  • Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
  • Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Litany of the Most Precious Blood
  • Litany of St. Joseph

There are other litanies, which have been written by great figures for strictly private use. For example the well-known Litany of Humility which is attributed to Card. Merry del Val, from the time of Pope St. Pius X. I wrote a facetious (sort of) litany: Fr. Z’s Litany for the Conversion of Internet Thugs (2.0)  I have a PODCAzT about how to sing official litanies.

Today I was contacted by Fr. Thomas Hosington, who posted at his site the

Litany to the Bishop Martyrs for the Bishops of the Church Militant

Here it is.   He has offered to everyone.

This Litany to the Bishop Martyrs for the Bishops of the Church Militantis for PRIVATE USE only.  It has not been authorized by the Church for use in the Sacred Liturgy.  If you believe there is a value to praying this Litany, please share it with others.  You can download a Word file with the Litany HERE.

Litany to the Bishop Martyrs
for the Bishops of the Church Militant

Lord, have mercy.     Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.     Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.     Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.     Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven,     have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,     have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,     have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,     have mercy on us.

Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs,     pray for them.
Our Lady, Queen of Popes,     pray for them.
Our Lady, Queen of Bishops,     pray for them.

Pope Saint Fabian,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Martin I,     pray for them.
Pope Saint John I,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Sixtus II,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Pontian,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Cornelius,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Callistus I,     pray for them.
Pope Saint Clement I,     pray for them.

Saint Blaise,     pray for them.
Saint Polycarp,     pray for them.
Saint Stanislaus,     pray for them.
Saint Adalbert,     pray for them.
Saint Boniface,     pray for them.
Saint John Fisher,     pray for them.
Saint Irenaeus,     pray for them.
Saint Apollinaris,     pray for them.
Saint Cyprian,     pray for them.
Saint Januarius,     pray for them.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch,     pray for them.
Saint Josaphat,     pray for them.
Saint Thomas Becket,     pray for them.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Pray for us, all you Shepherds who have laid down your lives for the sheep, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God our Providential Father, look upon the Bishops of your Church on earth in union with the Supreme Pontiff, and increase in them the virtue of fortitude.  Through the intercession of those Holy Shepherds who have already spilt their blood in witness of the Gospel, grant, if your shepherds be struck or struck down, that the sheep may not scatter, but that they may be one, in faith and in the Truth, Who is Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Click HERE for more.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Mail from priests, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Points of difference, debate, argument. What are we really about? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

At NLM Peter Kwasniewski has a great post in which he lays out the typical debates that engage those who frequent the Traditional Latin Mass and those who attend the Novus Ordo.

Let’s have a taste:

In the world of the usus antiquior, we find certain disagreements. Here are some examples:

  • whether orchestral Masses (e.g., Mozart’s) should be performed, or whether they run contrary to the spirit of the liturgy;
  • whether to follow exactly the Solesmes rhythmic markings or to incorporate the findings of chant paleography;
  • whether the people should sing the Mass Ordinary together with the choir;
  • whether a Gothic chasuble is better, worse, or equal to, a Roman fiddleback;
  • whether to remove the chasuble before preaching, or only the maniple;
  • whether buckled shoes are worth reviving or may be considered an affectation;
  • whether this much lace is too much lace.


In the world of the Novus Ordo, we also find disagreements—indeed, quite a number of them. Here are examples:

  • whether the Mass is primarily to be understood and enacted as a sacrifice or as a meal;
  • whether the language used should be the age-old Latin, a “sacral” vernacular, or a contemporary vernacular;
  • whether traditional sacred music should be employed a lot, a little, or never, with modern popular styles in its place;
  • whether the priest in accord with bimillenial tradition should offer the Mass facing eastwards, or rather facing the people;
  • whether the priest should pray the only traditional Roman anaphora, the Roman Canon, or choose another one from the menu;
  • whether Mass should be recognizably the same throughout the world or radically inculturated;
  • whether women should serve in as many liturgical ministries as possible, or the tradition of men only in the sanctuary should be retained;
  • whether lay people should handle the true Body and Blood of Christ, or whether, in keeping with the entire Catholic tradition, only bishops, priests, and deacons should do so;
  • whether this sacrosanct, august Mystery of the Flesh and Blood of God should be placed on the tongues of kneeling faithful, or into the hands of people standing in line.

It is not difficult to see that the number, nature, and magnitude of disagreements in this realm vastly exceed those found in the traditional realm. These disagreements, let us be honest about it, are more like warfare between countries. The sides are embedded in their trenches; they fire away with belligerence and take no hostages. Indeed, if someone in 1950 had been given a list of the disputed points above, he would have reasonably assumed that it was an accurate statement of disagreements separating Catholics from Protestants, or believers from modernists.

This monumental contrast between the two worlds should give us pause and prompt serious reflection. How does this welter of deep disagreements across the board about the lex orandi of Paul VI (and, therefore, inevitably, about the lex credendi of the People of God) square with the consistent teaching and practice of Paul VI’s namesake?


Read the whole thing there.

Good points.

I’m am especially interested in how changing demographics in the Church will affect this bifurcation.

From what I read, many dioceses will experience a sharp drop in the number of working priests pretty soon.  Also, it looks as if fewer and fewer young people will self-identify as Catholic.   Hence, the numbers of Masses (and graces) will drop off like an anvil shoved out of an airplane.

That said, traditional groups are growing, their ordinations and locations are rising.  Younger priests may not be well-versed in tradition, but – from what I can glean – a majority want to know more and want to have their heritage.

It is NOT time to rest on your achievements, if you have obtained what you wanted.

Now it is time to GET TO WORK.

Get out there and evangelize among young people and fallen-away Catholics, especially.  Be inviting!  And when they say, “Yes”, after the fifth invitation, make sure they have a good experience.

Every one in every traditional parish or chapel anywhere and everywhere: be on your vest best, joyful, behavior every time you are in any situation where there could be newcomers, which means principally Sunday Mass.

Put aside your small quibbles and JOIN TOGETHER.

We can no longer afford stupid bickering and tenaciously selfish protectionism when it comes to pet points or pride.


To do this, your first step must involve some examination not just of conscience but also about GOALS.  Some might say “values clarification”.  What is it that you truly value?   What do you want to accomplish?

IF you love what you have, then how can you stand not sharing the joy with others?

IF you long for something enough, then how can you stand not trying to make it happen?

Fr. Z asks: What’s your “WHY?” 

Do you have a big enough WHY? to change the way things are or to attain new goals?

WHY are you in this?

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Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | 11 Comments

ASK FATHER: Material support to groups and expecting nothing in return

From a reader…


First, thank you for everything that you do in Our Lord’s Vineyard.

Your website is greatly beneficial for myself and countless others.

I was wondering, could one’s tithing count towards purchasing items made by monks or nun, i.e. the Benedictines of Norcia’s heavenly birra nursia & the ever invigorating Mystic Monk coffee; or would one need to ensure that tithing only goes *strictly* towards benefitting the Church, without getting anything in return?

I am glad you are trying to be diligent concerning our obligation to give material support to the Church.  This is one of the Commadments of the Church and it must be respected and followed.

There are different ways to contribute.  Some people have skills they can offer, some have time and elbow grease, some have money.

While it is good to support the monks and the nuns (and please use my links!) it is also a matter of justice to give support to the parish where you receive religious services.  If you go to Mass at a church, you receive a service.  They have bills to pay so that you can walk through their open doors and have light and heat or AC and a Mass to participate in.  It is a matter of justice for us to support those places whence we receive services.  (I might include blogs, btw.)

Without getting anything in return?  That is another matter.  There is nothing wrong with giving to support a good cause and getting nothing in return.  That is the essence of charity.  It is within your means to send money to a group or good cause, by all means do so.  It is okay to get something in return, for example, a document for your taxes.  (Think TMSM!)

These days it can be hard to know where to contribute.  From time to time I offer some ideas.  However, remember that it is a matter of justice to help out the church where you receive most of your services.

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Good summary and analysis of @DouthatNYT v. @MassimoFaggioli

Last week I attended an event at Jesuit-run Fordham University (hereafter F.U.), billed as a debate between Ross Douthat of the NYT (aka Hell’s Bible) and uber-lib Massimo “Beans” Faggioli of Augustinian-run Villanova (a committed “New catholic Red Guard”), about the state of the Church after 5 years of the papacy of Pope Francis.   The two have in the past engaged on Twitter.  Their positions differ starkly.  Ross is right.  “Beans”… not so much.

I was going to write about it more at length than I did, but I figured someone else would.  I was not disappointed.

At NRO, Tim Rice summed up the event.

Where Is the Catholic Church Headed?
In a debate, Ross Douthat and Massimo Faggioli discussed Pope Francis’s legacy and its effect on internal Church


In his opening remarks, Douthat laid out three criteria that can be used to evaluate Francis’s papacy thus far: his impact on the public’s perception of the Church (a success); his attempts at reforming the Vatican bureaucracy (a disappointment); and his position on “moral-theological controversies,” specifically, communion for the divorced and remarried (a problem).

Faggioli, meanwhile, outlined a genuinely surprising position. Rather than making a straightforward case for why Pope Francis has changed the Church for the better, Faggioli rejected the possibility of evaluating his papacy in terms of “continuity” with past popes, since doing so would assume that “Christianity at some point . . . was complete,” which Faggioli does not think is true.

While I emphatically disagree with this argument, I have to hand it to Faggioli: From the outset, he made clear that he was not planning to debate Douthat on the implications of the Francis papacy. [The topic of the event.] Instead, through a combination of rhetorical tricks and soft-peddled Hegelianism, he would completely redefine the role and nature of the Catholic Church.

During the crux of the debate — the discussion of communion for the divorced and remarried — Faggioli raised his most theologically unsettling point. To defend his position that remarried persons should be able to receive communion, Faggioli invoked the case of Germany, where 50 percent of Catholic marriages end in divorce.

For Faggioli, the implication is that at least 50 percent of German Catholic children never see their parents receive communion and lose their faith because of it. This, he says, is “bad for evangelization,” and in order to keep the pews full, the Church’s role should not be to deny communion to the divorced and remarried, but instead to ask, “What can the Catholic Church do to make the faithful able to receive sacraments?” [What leapt to my mind when I heard Faggioli’s shocking proposal was John 6, wherein the Lord teaches hard truths and people leave.  He didn’t say, “Hey! Wait! I take it back!”  The same Lord wondered if, when He returned, He would find faith. (Luke 18:18).  Faggioli rightly laments the empty pews.  But we cannot break doctrine for the sake of mere numbers.  No wonder he attacks the categories of “continuity and discontinuity”, hallmarks of how Ratzinger/Benedict sees the aftermath of Vatican II.]

This is a lovely suggestion, and one that I’m not entirely unsympathetic to. However, the fact remains that Faggioli is suggesting the Church do much more than provide sacraments to the faithful. Just before invoking the German case, Faggioli characterized the country as one of the most secular in the world. But rather than lamenting what secularism has wrought on marital life in Germany, reasserting the Church’s position on marriage, and insisting that the faithful strive to live according to her laws, Faggioli argues that the Church ought to bend to the will of secular society.

It should be clear to anyone, not just practicing Catholics, that this is absurd. If the Church exists simply to accommodate the whims and failures of secular modernity, then what is the point of the Church? Pope Benedict XVI has warned  against precisely the kind of “accommodation” Faggioli is calling for, writing that when “the people cannot cope” with God, they “bring him down into their own world,” and insist that “he must be the kind of God that [they need].” In other words, “Man is using God, and, in reality, even if it is not outwardly discernible, he is placing himself above God.” To fully drive the point home, Benedict equates this kind of worship with the Israelites desert worship of the bull calf. [That’s it.  The Golden Calf.  “They said to [Aaron]: Make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, who brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is befallen him.”]

Unsurprisingly, this progressive interpretation of Catholic doctrine eventually reveals itself to be rank historicism. Throughout the debate, Faggioli drew out the argument that allowing the remarried to receive communion would not represent a radical change in doctrine but a return to the teachings of the Gospel[And 2+2=5!]

Eventually, Douthat drew his argument to its logical conclusion with this question: Were priests throughout history in fact misleading their divorced and remarried parishioners by telling them they could not receive communion? After a few seconds’ pause, Faggioli gave the only answer he could: “There are different responses to the same question in different times.”

Throughout their conversation, both Douthat and Faggioli repeatedly observed that the debate over Pope Francis and the future of the Church is carried on primarily among Catholic intellectuals, unbeknownst to most of “the flock.”

[NOTA BENE] It strikes me, however, that everybody — Catholic or not — has a dog in this fight, which is about more than communion and canon law. At its core, this debate is about truth and our ability to judge right from wrong. Could we possibly say, for instance, that it’s impossible to judge the presidency of Donald Trump relative to past presidents? Of course not — that would be preposterous, as I’m sure Faggioli would agree.

To pass moral judgements on papacies, presidencies, or anything else, we must have recourse to truth, and to the institutions that have upheld this truth for centuries. Whether in the Church or in the academy, we must resist this dangerous historicist impulse. If we don’t, we will find ourselves, in the words of Pope Benedict, in “a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.

— Tim Rice is a policy analyst living in Brooklyn.

Fr. Z kudos to Mr. Rice for his succinct and accurate summary.


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Posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, The Drill, Vatican II, What are they REALLY saying? | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

ASK FATHER: Sermons at daily Masses. POLL

From a reader…


Why is it that it seems common practice at daily Masses in the EF to not preach (and thus not repeat the readings in English)? Would it be illicit to do so? Might this be a case where mutual enrichment might manifest itself?

There is no obligation to preach at daily Masses.  Can. 767 § 2 says that a homily (sermon) must be preached on Sundays and Holy Days of precept.  It cannot be omitted except for a grave reason.

As a matter of fact, the fad of preaching at daily Masses is pretty new.  In some cases, it might respond to a genuine desire of the faithful for instruction.  In some cases, it might reflect the priest’s love of the sound of his own voice as he scatters his profundities.  In other cases, Father might think that he has to preach.  He doesn’t.

As for wanting to hear the readings in English, I might recommend getting a hand missal and/or taking a look at them before Mass begins.

A priest can preach at a daily TLM if it is opportune.

That’s the question.  Is it opportune?  Some preachers are better than others at the “fervorino”.  Some people really need to get to work or get home to cook supper for their kids.

We might try a little poll.

Choose your best answer, even with the understanding that you might evenly split your time between both forms or even the Divine Liturgy.  Explain more fully in the combox.

Anyone can vote.  You have to be registered and approved to use the comment box.

Sermon/homily at daily Masses (not of obligation)

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, POLLS | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

ASK FATHER: Newly canonized saints and the Traditional Roman Rite. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

From a reader…


In the 1962 Rubrics, Votive Mass of any Saint with an entry in the Roman Martyrology. Does this include the current Martyrology?

Yes, no?

No and yes.

No, in the sense that Summorum Pontificum authorized the use of the books in force in 1962, not those after.  If the saints aren’t in the 1962 calendar, well… that’s that.  Right?

That said, I am inclined to say, yes, we could take our cue from the newer, 2005 edition of the Martyrology but in a limited way.

For example, if in the older, 1962 calendar there is a dies non which permits the recognition of saint in the older Martyrology, and, turning to your newer edition you find a great saint who was canonized after the 1962 edition was printed, I can’t see a good reason why you couldn’t use the appropriate Common from the 1962 Missale for that saint.

The purist at this point might be having a conniption along the lines of, “Father Z you aren’t a true traditionalist!  As a matter of fact, I’m going to drop you from my blog roll and then put scare quotes around “Father” when I mention you… which will never be again!  EVER!  Unless you do something else I don’t agree with.  I’m going to tell everyone that you would use – *gasp* – a new book!  That’s clearly … heresy, or scandal, or… something like that.  And… you says the Novus Ordo too??  YOU HATE SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM!”

The lack of coordination of the two calendars, traditional and post-Conciliar, is a thorny problem.   This is one of those narrowly-defined situations in which I think we can use the newer calendar to honor a canonized saint that isn’t in any of the 1962 books.  BTW, the last edition issued before 1962 was the 1956 edition.

We need a way to integrate our newly canonized saints into our traditional calendar.

It would be great to have mutual enrichment between the calendars.

On the one hand, it would be a great service and cause no harm to anyone to re-establish Pre-Lent in the Novus Ordo along with Ember Days, Days of Rogation, and the Octave of Pentecost.  BTW… eliminating those was NOT called for in the Council’s documents.  As a matter of fact, the Council Fathers warned against doing innovative things like that.  And no one even wanted those changes anyway.

On the other hand, it would be a wonderful thing to have integrated into traditional calendar the feasts or commemorations of new saints.

Think about this.

Some saints canonized by Paul VI, hence after 1962.

St. Charles Lwanga (wow, do we need his intercession now!)
St. John of Avila (now a Doctor of the Church since 2012)
St. Elizabth Ann Seton
St. Oliver Plunket
St. John Ogilvie
St. John Neuman
St. Charbel Makhluf

Some saints canonized by John Paul II.

St. Maximillian Kolbe (amazing but not in our traditional calendar)
103 Korean Martyrs
St. Andrew Dung-Kac
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
St. Marie-Margueritte d’Youville
St. Claude de la Colombière
St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross (Edith Stein! No no… forget about her.  Can’t do it.)
St. Mary Faustina Kowalska
St. Augustine Chao and 119 companions
St. Katharine Drexel
St. Josephine Bakhita (wow!  REALLY?)
St. Pio of Pietrelcina (It’s only “Padre Pio”, after all. TLM… nope! Sorry!)
St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (Good enough for the BVM, good enough for ’62)
St. Gianna Beretta Molla (nothing for her… nope)

Some saints canonized by Benedict XVI.

St. Damien of Molokai
St. Hildegard of Bingen (she’s been around for a while, too, but was canonized in 2012)
St. Marianne Cope
St. Mary MacKillop
St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Some saints canonized by Francis.

St. Antonio Primaldo and the 813 martyrs of Otranto! (Muslims did it…)
St. Peter Faber
St. John Paul II (noooo… he’s not at all popular… ignore him on 22 October)
St. Junipero Sera
Sts. Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin
St. Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad
St. Teresa of Calcutta (nope… not in the traditional calendar, you can’t celebrate her!)
Sts. Francisco and Jacinta Marto (saw Our Lady of Fatima… but fuggetaboutit)

Hmmm… 22 October, St. John Paul II’s feast in the newer calendar, is a dies non in the older, traditional calendar.  Hmmm… that means we could celebrate a saint listed in the 1956 Martryologium Romanum in force in 1962!

Let’s look at our options for 22 October in 1962.  There’s Sts. Eusebius and Hermes, martyred in the time of Julian the Apostate. Okay.  How about St. Maria Salome of Jerusalem from the Gospel.  I imagine that some of you ladies are devoted to her.  Raise your hands, please.  Then there’s Alexander, Heraclius, Miles and companions.

HEY!  22 October is also the feast of Sts. Nunilo and Alodia!  I talk about them all the time on this blog.  These two young girls were killed horribly because they refused to convert to Islam.  They share the feast day of St. John Paul II.  They are all great saints to remember in our own day.  However, I’m gonna guess that most people – even if they live in Huesca – are going to have a crack at celebrating John Paul before Nunilo and Alodia.   We remember fondly the two girls, and their cult is still appropriate in our day, given the issues we face with Islamic terror and invasion by migration.  That said, it seems to me that traditionalists should have the option to celebrate John Paul II.  No?  Yes?  Reasonable?  Think about how his magisterium is under attack.

Look. The older, traditional calendar is to be respected. But, to my mind, it is simply nuts not to celebrate these saints.

Sure, St. Joseph Vaz of Sri Lanka, canonized by Francis in 2015, isn’t a saint whom I venerate with special fervor, but I have a friend in England, of Sri Lankan heritage, who does and who dearly loves the traditional Roman Rite. He, and the faithful of Sri Lanka, should have the opportunity to celebrate his feast day with the propers for his dear saint. Do you know, off hand, how many Sri Lankan saints there are. ONE! But he’s not on the 1962 calendar. Nope. Too bad for traditionalists there.

Saints come and go from the calendar according to the devotions of the people and the needs of the times. In centuries past, many people invoked the Fourteen Holy Helpers for aid. However, I suspect that fewer people today than of yore now pray to St. Agathius or pine to celebrate his feast on 7 May. His feast was pushed off the calendar by St. Stanislaus.

Saints come and go.

More and more I am of the mind simply to dig up the Propers for some of these great modern saints and just do it. And, yes, I’ll probably have a set of Pontifical vestments made in BLUE this year, too. For a Marian feast like Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. How’dya like them apples?

¡Hagan lío!

Thus endeth the rant.

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can I workout on Sunday?

From a reader…


I work in an office for 8 hours each weekday. Any physical activity I can get is a welcome relief. Am I able to work out on Sundays without violating the third commandment?

Let’s turn first to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

So, provided that you are still performing your religious duties according to the 1st Commandment of the Church (i.e., attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation), you can work out.

In general, we should avoid strenuous work on Sundays.  A “work out” is, by definition, “work”, but of a different kind than most labor.  First, though it is hard, we derive a real good and satisfaction from it.  By working out, you are caring for your body, which is your responsibility before God to do.

It is also possible to pray, for example, the Rosary while working out or running, etc.

That reminds me of the old chestnut about whether or not it is permitted for priests to smoke a cigar while reciting their breviary.  The answer is, of course, No, it is not permitted.  However, it IS permitted to pray the breviary while smoking a cigar.  I think a Jesuit came up with that one.  An oldie but goodie.

If some activity hinders you from fulfilling your obligations or if, after examining your conscience you sense that is lessened Sunday as an important time to rest in the Lord, as the Lord Himself rested on the seventh day, then leave that activity aside on Sunday.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two in the sermon you heard during your Mass to fulfill your Sunday obligation?

Let us know.

For my part, taking a cue from the Gospel for Sexagesima Sunday, the parable of the sower and the seed, I spoke about preparing the terrain of the mind and heart to receive the Word of God which is extended to us in every spoken and sung word in Holy Mass.  Of course that applies more to the TLM which sticks to Mass texts than it might to a OF Mass with hymns that substitute for Mass texts, but I digress.

If we want something to grow well, we prepare the soil beforehand so that the seed has the best environment in which it can germinate and sprout.  Looking at the texts of Mass before Mass is a good way to do that.  Then, attending carefully during Mass with the active receptivity that the Church wants for us, results in a good sowing of the seed.  Afterward, we don’t just forget about it.  We still have to tend the planted seed, by keeping it watered and warm.  So, we should for the first part of the week review what we had heard at the last Sunday Mass.  Then, start over.

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 6 Comments

Efforts to “queer” the Church and explaining @JamesMartinSJ

Tell me this isn’t coordinated.

First, for a while now, some theologian friends and I have watched with a measure of distaste and concern a “queering of theology”.

I see today via Corrispondenza Romana a story entitled: “Papa Francesco apre le porte alla “teologia queer”?  Is Pope Francis opening the doors to “queer theology”?

A little bit of the initial part in my translation:

Is Pope Francis opening the doors to “queer theology”?  The question rises spontaneously after having found out that the Portuguese priest and poet José Tolentino de Mendonça, a known fan of Sr Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila – a theologian known for her “queer” positions and who in recent days was in Italy to present her book, “Siamo tutti diversi! Per una teologia Queer” (Castelvecchi Editore) – has been called to guide the upcoming and by now traditional spiritual exercises undertaken at Ariccia for Pope Bergoglio himself with members of the Roman Curia.

The article goes on to describe how Forcades – a Benedictine nun of Montserrat – travels all over the world to spread a homosexualist agenda in the Church.  It also show the link between the priest who will lead the papal and curial retreat with this homosexualist activist nun.

Frankly, I seriously doubt that the Holy Father thinks this stuff up himself.  One of his underlings surely came up with this guy and the Holy Father said, “Sure, yeah, fine!”, as he turned his attention to more pressing matters.  That’s also probably what happened when they showed him the plans for that horrid and scandalous homosexual-themed Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square for 2017.  “Holiness, we have the design for this year’s presepio.  As you can see on this side…”.  “Yes, yes.  That’s fine”, he sighs as he walks to his next audience with an impatient wave of his hand.

Next, La Stampa has an article about how the Diocese of Torino is offering same-sex faux-“marriage” prep, “lezione di fedeltà… course in fidelity”.  This course will be offered at a monastery of sisters, the Daughters of Wisdom.  The priest in charge, who also teaches theology in Torino, didn’t quite say that there would be double rooms for couples, but he hoped they could all have individual cells. UPDATE: I’ve been told that, because of the uproar, this was suspended.

I wonder: How low does a religious community need to sink, how bad do finances have to be, to host this sort of thing in their house?

Crossing the pond, we turn to Hell’s Bible (aka New York Times) which has a cringe worthy, sycophantic offering about the ubiquitous homosexualist activist Jesuit James Martin entitled, “The Scariest Catholic in America”.

It is to laugh. Scary?  This is an old favorite of liberals: they push some agenda that is clearly wrong or immoral or just plain foolish and, whenthey encounter resistance from the right the moral and the sensible, they start throwing out words like “hate” and accusations of “fear”.

“You conservatives fear change!  Haters gotta hate!”

These days they are also utilizing “alt-right”, with its connotations of racism, etc.  That is reprehensible, of course, but they don’t care.  They will use any tactic they can, including lies and character assassination to intimidate their opposition into silence and acquiescence.

No, what we truly fear is “him that can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). In addition, we have a kind of holy fear which is the beginning of wisdom, reverential awe for the God who wrote His image into us and who ordered all nature to reflect His goodness.  What we truly hate is sin, which kills souls and plays into the hands of the Enemy.

For all their cant about inclusivity and tolerance, no one bullies like a lib.  We conservatives are mere pikers when it comes to organized bullying and abuse of power.

Back to Hell’s Bible.

The author of the smarmy article is Frank Bruni.  As the NYT’s food critic, openly homosexual, having won awards from homosexualist groups, he is over-qualified to write in defense of Martin.  And defend he does, with references to the most extreme language used by some people on Twitter, in order to tar with the same brush everyone who resists their common agenda.

On that note, however, I must say that I’ve seen some people on Twitter aim really despicable tweets with disgusting sentiments and language at Fr. Martin and other uber-libs, like Massimo “Beans” Faggioli, etc.  Some of them are surely Catholics and some of those surely read this blog.  I am appalled that Catholics would say some of those things.  GO TO CONFESSION and then shut the hell up if you can’t engage with substance.  You are doing tremendous damage, as the NYT piece proves.

For the tactics and character assassination used by the homosexualists and their allies against those who resist, you might try HERE and HERE.

Let’s be super clear about something.

Good, practicing Catholics do not, must not, hate homosexuals (or anyone else).

Good Catholics do not condemn homosexuals simply on the grounds of their being homosexuals.  The Church teaches that homosexual inclinations and acts are disordered inclinations and acts.   Again and again the Church clarifies that the people who have the inclinations are not, simply because of those inclinations, bad or evil or sinful, etc.

To insist that the Church’s teaching be fully explained is not hatred or homophobia.  Quite the opposite.  It is charity.   It’s particularly charity, sacrificial love, today because people who insist that the Church’s teaching be fully taught and respected are now being attacked and made to suffer for the sake of the truth.  We have to be willing to suffer for the sake of the true good of another.

The true good of another does not omit something as important as the truth about human sexuality.

An inclination to an evil action isn’t in itself sinful, unless it is purposely fostered.  If someone has an inclination or temptation to steal or to commit arson and they resist the inclination, they not only do not sin, they also do something meritorious.  In the suffering that comes from resisting the temptations they have, God favors them and gives them graces.   Giving in to a temptation results in sin.  Resisting it and even suffering by it can be spiritually beneficial and pleasing to God.

Sexual temptations are common to us because of the wounds from original sin.  We have a hard time controlling our appetites.  However, sexual temptations and inclinations towards members of the same sex are disordered in themselves, while sexual temptations and inclinations towards members of the opposite sex – even though they may be sinfully improper because they are outside of marriage or for selfish reasons, etc. – are at least ordered correctly.

I firmly believe that people with same-sex attraction, if they live chastely and strive to be holy, will have a very high place in heaven.  I imagine that the suffering this attraction can cause is truly horrible.  Sexual sins are not the worst sins we wounded mortals can commit.  There are far graver, far more harmful sins than those of the flesh.  The mind and heart are of a higher plane than the body.  Hence, sins of the mind and heart are worse than sins of the flesh.

BUT… the Church tends to teach far more often about sins of the flesh than sins of the spirit.  Why? 

Because even if they are not the worst sins, they are among the easiest to commit.  In committing them we still commit mortal sins, and being in the state of sin tends to lead to other, worse sins through a darkening of the intellect and additional weakness of will.

Simply put: sin makes us stupid.

Sexual sins kill the life of grace in the soul.  However, there are ways in which some sexual sins can be worse than others.  Fornication harms two people.  Adultery harms even more people and it violates the sacramental character that married people have.  Sexual relations between members of the same sex are graver sins than those committed by members of the opposite sex, because they violate the very image of God gives us as either male or female.  However, while sexual acts between members of the opposite sex at least make use of the sexual powers in a natural act according to male-ness and female-ness as God designed, open to life (when not artificially blocked, etc.), sexual acts between members of the same sex are really mutually enabled self-abuse, ordered toward nothing fruitful at all.

It seems to me that homosexual relationships which include sexual acts is a deep twisting of friendship.  There is no question that people of the same sex can truly love each other, in the sense of godly friendship, charity.  Charity always seeks to the true good of the other, to the point of sacrificing one’s own preferences, or even life.   To engage in homosexual acts isn’t love. It is a violation of friendship, not a sign of friendship, because it causes a friend to commit a sin that separates them from the love of God.

The problem with the homosexualist agenda, as it seems to me, is not… NOT... in the affirmation of homosexual people as members of the Church, beloved children of the Father, the dignified subjects of their own actions as images of God, redeemed by Christ’s Blood on the Cross, living temples of the Spirit, living stones of the Church.

The problem with the homosexualist agenda lies in the fact that the impression this movement is spreading is that they think that the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are wrong and that homosexuals don’t have to live chaste lives.

Someone might rush to point out that, yes, some homosexual advocates do, in fact, say that homosexuals should be chaste.  “See? It’s right there on page 267 in a footnote!”

In the desire to affirm, I sense a kind of lie, like the deception of the serpent in the garden.  “You are wonderful!  You don’t really have to avoid that!”  The affirmation of homosexual persons as members of the Church without the strong and constant and clear message that they must live chastely, is inadequate.

It is possible to deceive people through understatement of a key aspect of the truth.    

Example.  A married man by chance runs into an old flame at a coffee shop.  He tells his wife later that he ran into X at the coffee shop and they had coffee together and talked for a while.  The wife thinks that this is no big deal.  What her husband failed to mention is that they had coffee and sat and talked for four hours… in her nearby hotel room.  He told her the truth: they ran into each other by chance, at a coffee shop, and they talked. But he didn’t tell her something else that mattered.   He omitted an important detail or two.

Example.  A penitent confesses that, since her last confession 1 week ago, she lied.  What she doesn’t say is that she lied 40 times, including submitting job applications that she knew contained false information and lying during interviews.  “I lied”, can mean she lied once or it can mean 40 times.  The number becomes really important at a certain point.  A person who lies that much has a serious problem with lying.   Omitting the detail of the number is a kind of deception through understatement.

Not all deception by understatement is gravely sinful.  It is possible to deemphasize or understate something in a matter that isn’t all that important in order to keep the peace or perhaps not to frighten a child.  In order to avoid an argument about something that is simply not that critical, it’s okay to understate your own knowledge of the topic by hedging with the response, “Sorry, I don’t know enough about that.”

Example. You are at the Big Game.  You are a real fan and have memorized amazing statistics about all the players.  Some gigantic fanatic in the enemy team’s jersey, corresponding face paint and crazy, dilated pupil eyes beneath a mascot-shaped hat starts in on you with increasingly foam in the corners of his mouth about the teams’ records and repeatedly – and wrongly – challenges you about some detail.  “Sorry, pal.  I just don’t know enough about it.”  You do, in fact, know, but your understatement here may have helped prevent an assault.

That’s in a matter of low importance, even though being or not being assaulted is pretty important at the time.

It may be that in an effort to compensate for past harshness about homosexuals, and prejudicial treatment (i.e., important), Martin and Co. think they should draw them in, put them at ease, by not saying anything too challenging.  But understate the need for chastity?  That’s deception of a high order.  That’s too important, in a matter of high importance, to leave out.

It seems to me that this is what many conservatives find so troubling about the work of Fr. Martin.  The impression he is leaving – by understatement of something very important – is that homosexual acts are – or will be – accepted by the Church, that the Church will change her teaching, that the Church merely has outdated rules which are susceptible to alteration.

Am I wrong about this?  Is, in fact, Fr. Martin best known for his work in stressing chastity for homosexual Catholics?  It seems to me that that is not the first thing people think these days when he comes up. “Oh yes!  Fr. Martin!  He’s the one working so hard to help ‘gay’ Catholics live chaste lives.”  Please correct me if I am wrong, but my guess is that, if anyone has heard of him at all, they associate him with saying that the Church should change her teaching and that there is nothing wrong with homosexual acts.  Didn’t he even advocate homosexuals kissing in church during Mass?  Okay, I already know the answer to that.  Yes, he did.  HERE

Look.  There is a movement in the Church that has powerful players who are trying to “queer” not just theology, but, per force, everything.   It may be relatively small in numbers, but they are not without influence and useful secular allies.  Like the minions I suspect near to the Pope, they are not afraid to use raw power and bullying and secular allies to achieve their ends.

Keep your eyes and ears open to seeming coincidences of stories with similar content appearing online and in print within a short span of each other.  Watch for the themes they touch on, the language they use.

For example, we see Fr. Martin, wearing his New catholic Red Guard cap, spout that the opposition should be censored.

Rich.  Fr. Martin, is himself the bully when it comes to opposition.   He appeals to the use of raw power rather than to dialogue.

And who is he to say that some people have “no standing” in the Church?  Isn’t he the one who advocates that “gays” have “standing”?  Would he commit the same sin of hatred that he decries?  So it would seem.

Martin’s whine followed days after our old pal Phyllis Zagano of the Fishwrap wrote hysterically that bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to “disrespect the pope (sic)“.  Whom could she possibly have in mind?  This from a writer for a publication that did nothing but disrespect the moral teachings of last two Popes.   She thinks that clerical bloggers should be silenced.  Well, of course she would, wouldn’t she.  This from a writer for a publication that flipped the proverbial bird at the bishop who told them to remove “Catholic” from their masthead and can barely go a couple days without an article endorsing sodomy.

Remember a while back when well-known libs were whining that converts (i.e., conservatives) were allowed to voice their opinions?

This is what they do, friends.  When they know that they aren’t winning, they start whining about everyone “being nice”.  Then, as thing go worse, they demand the use of raw power to squelch the opposition.

As Lent approaches you might consider taking on some penance or mortification for Holy Church’s duly appointed pastors.  Some of them have succumbed to a horrid agenda and are now themselves agents.  Some of them are under pressure and attack for defending the Church’s teachings and laws.  Some of them are timid, afraid to take a stand, lest they attract bad press or bullying.   They’re only men.  They’re overworked, often distracted, tired, men whom the Devil hates with unrelenting malice.  They need our prayers and our thanks when they stand up for what’s good, true and beautiful.

Click HERE.

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Posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

WDTPRS – 5th Ordinary Sunday: The clarion clear call

This Sunday’s Collect is in the pre-Conciliar Missal for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany.

Our prayer presents imagery of a family and, on the other hand, of soldiers.

Familiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine,
continua pietate custodi,
ut, quae in sola spe gratiae caelestis innititur,
tua semper protectione muniatur

Custodio, common in military contexts, means “to watch, protect, defend.”  Innitor, also with military overtones, means “to lean or rest upon, to support one’s self by any thing.”  Caesar and Livy describe soldiers leaning on their spears and shields (e.g., “scutis innixi … leaning upon their shields” Caesar, De bello Gallico 2.27).   Munio, is a military term – sensing a theme? – for walling up something up, putting it in a state of defense.

When applied to us humans, pietas, which gives us “piety”, is “dutiful conduct toward the gods, one’s parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc., sense of duty.”  Pietas is also one of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf CCC 733-36; Isaiah 11:2), by which we are duly affectionate and grateful toward our parents, relatives and country, as well as to all men living insofar as they belong to God or are godly, and especially to the saints.  In common parlance, “piety” indicates fulfilling the duties of religion.

However, applied to God, pietas usually indicates His mercy towards us.


Guard Your family, we beseech You, O Lord,
with continual mercy,
so that that (family) which is propping itself up upon the sole hope of heavenly grace
may always be defended by Your protection.


watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

Look at this contrast!


Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care,
that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace,
they may be defended always by your protection.

“Watch over your family, …with continual mercy/religious dutifulness,…” invokes the images soldiers as well as that of a father checking into the bedrooms of his children as they sleep.  He listens through the night for sounds of distress or need.

The Church is not afraid to combine images of family and soldiering, the symbiotic exchange of duty, obedience and protection. Putting the military imagery in relief helps us to hold both sets of images in mind as we hear Father lift our Collect heavenward during Holy Mass.

We Catholics are both a family, children of a common Father, and a Church Militant, a corps (from Latin corpus, “body”).

Many of us when we were confirmed by bishops as “soldiers of Christ” were given a blow on the cheek as a reminder of what suffering we might face as Christians.

We ought rather die like soldiers than sin in the manner of those who have no gratitude toward God or sense of duty.

We ought to desire to suffer if necessary for the sake of those in our charge.

In this Collect we beg the protection and provisions Christ our King can give us soldiers while on the march.  We need a proper attitude of obedience toward God, our ultimate superior, and dutifulness toward our shepherds in the Church, our earthly parents, our earthly country, etc.

Our prayer reminds us that we belong to communities in which we have unequal roles.

There is a profound interconnection between the members of a family, but also inequality.

Children are no less members of the family than their parents, but they are not their parents’ equals. Even the young Jesus– the God man – was subject to Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:51).  As Glorious Risen King and Judge, Christ will subject all things to the Father (1 Cor 15:27-28).   We are all members of the Church, but with unequal roles.

As St. Augustine said, “I am a bishop for you, I am a Christian with you” (s. 340, 1).”

Our times are dominated ever more by relativism and the obtuse madness of secular humanism. 

Both the military and the family and Holy Church (the human dimension, of course) are being eroded, systematically broken down, even from within the ranks of the “officer corps”, the Churches “fathers”, priests and bishops.

And… these days… the attacks are mounting on faithful priests and bishops while those who abandon Catholic doctrine and discipline to curry favor with the world (et al.), are praised and elevated.  This is more and more a problem and, one day, it will burst forth in open and vicious persecution, perhaps in the next wave of attacks on the Church’s body of doctrine on moral issues: the coming war on Humanae vitae.

Hierarchy and discipline provide the protection needed by marching troops and growing children.  We members of the Militant Church, disciples of Christ, need discipline and fidelity, dedication, pietas, from our officers/shepherds so we can attain our goal.

We need nourishment and discipline in the sense of instruction (Latin disciplina) and sacraments.

Parents and pastors (priests) must fulfill their own roles toward us with pietas, religious and sacred duty!

Their pietas requires fidelity and, above all, sacrifice, being the first to step out in our defense, forming good plans, sounding a clear and certain trumpet to lead us.

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3 Feb: St. Blaise – special blessings of candles and of throats


blaiseToday is the Feast of St. Blaise, about whom we know very little.   We have only this very brief entry in the Martyrologium Romanum:


Sancti Blasii, episcopi et martyris, qui pro christiano nomine Sabaste in Armenia passus est sub Licino imperatore. … [Feast of] St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, who suffered for the name of Christ in Sabaste in Armenia under the Emperor Licinus.

That “pro Christiano nomine” probably needs to be rendered as “for the name of Christ” along the lines of rendering dies dominica or oratio dominica as, respectively, “the Lord’s Day = Sunday” or “the Lord’s Prayer”.  It is entirely possible, of course, just to keep it literal and say, “for the Christian name”, which would be pretty much the same thing in the balance.

Either way, he was killed because, as a Christian, Blaise professed belief in Christ.

Exaudi, Domine, populum tuum,
cvm beati Blasii martyris patrocinio supplicantem,
ut et temporalis vitae nos tribuas pace gaudere,
et aeternae reperire subsidium.

O Lord, graciously hear Your people
begging by means of the patronage of blessed martyr Blaise,
that you grant us to delight in the peace of temporal life
and obtain the protection of eternal life.

St. BlaiseI take away from this prayer the serious message that life is dangerous.

The word subsidium means “support, assistance, aid, help, protection” and often in liturgical Latin “help”.  Either way, subsidium sets up a stark contrast between the life we have now and the life to come.  Even the phrase about enjoying the peace of this life, indicates subtly how precarious everything is in this earthly existence which Catholics are accustomed to call a “vale of tears”.

This is firmed up by another wonderful prayer associated with St. Blaise.

You all know about the blessing of throats on the feast of St. Blaise.  In the older form of the Rituale Romanum there is a marvelous blessing for the candles used to confer the blessing of throats.  Here it is:


O God most powerful and most kind, Who didst create all the different things in the world by the Word alone, and Whose will it was that this Word by Which all things were made should become incarnate for the remaking of mankind; Thou Who art great and limitless, worthy of reverence and praise, the worker of wonders; for Whose sake the glorious Martyr and Bishop, St. Blaise, joyfully gained the palm of martyrdom, never shrinking from any kind of torture in confessing his faith in Thee; Thou Who didst give to him, amongst other gifts, the prerogative of curing by Thy power every ailment of men’s throats; humbly we beg Thee in Thy majesty not to look upon our guilt, but, pleased by his merits and prayers, in Thine awe-inspiring kindness, to bless+this wax created by Thee and to sanc+tify it, pouring into it Thy grace; so that all who in good faith shall have their throats touched by this wax may be freed from every ailment of their throats through the merit of his suffering, and, in good health and spirits, may give thanks to Thee in Thy holy Church and praise Thy glorious name, which is blessed for ever and ever.  Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.  R. Amen.

Ah!  What a pleasure that prayer is!  Of course, the candles are to be sprinkled with holy water after the blessing.  Maybe you should print this out and take it to your parish priest “with Fr. Z’s compliments”.  It might be that he doesn’t have this text and perhaps would like to (or you would like to) have your throat blessed in Latin!

Here is the Blessing for throats:

Per intercessionem Sancti Blasii, episcopi et martyris, liberet te Deus a malo gutturis, et a quolibet alio malo. In nomine Patris, et Filii +, et Spiritus Sancti.  Amen.

Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr,
may God free you from illness of the throat and from any other sort of ill. In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

St. BlaiseI will never forget this formula.

Long ago, as a deacon, I lived at the Church of San Carlo ai Catinari, which is also dedicated to St. Blaise, San Biagio, as co-patron.  The Barnabites there have in their possession relics of St. Blaise.  There is one in a large reliquary and one in a crystal placed on a large ring held in the fist of one hand (click the photo to see a larger image and inside the crystal).   This is what they used to bless throats on this feast.

I was asked by the clergy there to help with blessing the throats of the people who thronged to the church that day.  As soon as I donned my surplice every other cleric actually attached to the place vanished.  I was left there for several hours.  I can’t say how many times I said that formula that day.

The configuration of the candles used for the blessing can vary.  Here are a few examples.

This is probably the most common.

blaise candles 01

And there is the twisty version:

blaise candles 02

And then we have a high tech approach:  [The nice people at F.C. Ziegler asked me to post a link to it. HERE]

blaise candles 04

Finally, there is this contraption, which looks like it is from Star Trek:

blaise candles 03



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POLL: St. Blaise Day Blessing of Throats – 2018

Today we traditionally have the blessing of throats in honor of St. Blaise. Since yesterday was Candlemas it is logical to associate the blessing with candles.

Did you receive a St. Blaise Day blessing of the throat?

You don’t have to be registered to vote… sort of like Chicago. Unlike Chicago, you have to be alive.

Pick your best answer.  You are registered and approved, use the combox to explain what happened.

Did you receive a (2018) St. Blaise Day Blessing of the Throat?

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Comments on what happened with the liturgical reform after Vatican II

At The Catholic Thing today there is an engaging piece about what happened with the liturgical reform after Vatican II.

On Grace, at Candlemas

There is a special poignancy in a year like this, when Septuagesima precedes Candlemas; when preparations towards Easter have begun ere the light of Christmas has quite passed.

It is as if the seasons are re-arranging, in an unearthly kaleidoscopic dance, where what comes after precedes what came before. I think of T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”:

Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic. . . .

Of course, this is lost, as so much was lost, in the liturgical “reforms” after Vatican II, when Septuagesima was simply discarded. But the Old Mass is returning, and the recovery of our heritage has already begun.

I don’t know what the reformers were thinking, in their stripping down of our calendar – shoving a few “ordinary Sundays” into the gap they had made by isolating Lent, which now comes without its own “adventual” preparation, and the poetry of the signaling through those preceding Sundays: Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima. . .

Instead, out of nowhere, blam!, Ash Wednesday.

Being no liturgical expert, I say this only as a participant in the Mass, or mere observer. No doubt some better tyro could put me in my place.

But as a reader through the last few years of (for instance) the “WDTPRS” series on Father Z’s blog, in which he patiently expounds the successive ICEL translations, in light of Latin and tradition, I do get a vision of the carnage.

It is as if everything that was poetic, and poetically sustaining in the Old Mass, was intentionally demolished; and each replacement made intentionally glib, with verbal exchanges between pulpit and pews in the spirit of a kindergarten drill. I find these post-modern “verses and responses” painful, embarrassing: an insult to the intelligence of the Catholic adults who did not come for a weekly pep talk, but to the Sacrifice, and Communion with Our Lord.


Read the rest there.

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PHOTOS: D. Madison – Candlemas – Purification – Pontifical Mass

A sample of the music.  We had a great choir from Eau Claire.

A few snaps from beautiful Candlemas 2018.

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Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

2 Feb – MADISON – Candlemas – Pontifical Mass at the Throne

Put this in your calendars.

Candlemas is coming up on 2 February.

His Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino will be the celebrant for this Pontifical Mass at the Throne.

The rites include the blessing of candles.

The music will be provided by a visiting choir, the Schola Cantorum from Eau Claire. They will sing, among other pieces, the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina.

A splendid new pipe organ was recently installed.  I am going to ask the organist to blow the roof off the place.

The Mass will begin at 6 PM at the chapel of Holy Name Heights (formerly the Bishop O’Connor Center).

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Posted in Events, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , | 3 Comments