Little Saint Placid Day

Today in the traditional Roman calendar it is the feast of the 3rd c. Sicilian martyrs St. Placid and companions, slain during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian.

Today in the revised calendar is the feast of Sts. Placid and Maurus, companions of St. Benedict in the 6th c.

The saints are sometimes confused and both have their feast on 5 October.

Here is the entry in the 2005 Martyrologium Romanum.

5. Commemoratio sancti Placidi, monachi, qui inde a pueritia carissimus fuit discipulus sancti Benedicti.

Here is the entry in the1878 Martyrologium Romanum.

Messanae in Sicilia natalis sanctorum Martyrum Placidi Monachi, discipuli beati Benedicti Abbatis, et fratrum eius Eutychii et Victorini, ac Flaviae Virginis eorum sororis; item Donati Firmati Diaconi, Faisti, aliorumque trignita Monachorum, qui a Manucha pirata pro Christi fide necati sunt.

I have for a long time had an interest in St. Placid, the Benedictine of the 6th c., because of a delightful book I found during a retreat when I was in seminary.

The book is called La vie de petit st Placid… The Life of Little St. Placid by Mother Geneviève Gallois. I have it in French and in English.

I soooo hope that someone will republish it in English.

Little St. Placid

A sister name Placida came to Mother Geneviève and asked her to draw her a picture.  Mother drew 104 and thus the book was born.  It is a work of deep spiritual value and nearly painful charm.

Little St. Placid

Mother Genevieve, who had come from an extremely anti-clerical background, was a talented painter.  She had bad health and a hard time when at 23 she entered the convent of the Les Bénédictines de la rue Monsieur (20 rue Monsieur in the 7e arrondissement).  She wound up being a novice for 22 year, in fact.

Here is one of her paintings.

Le feu - plus je tape, plus il pétille

A couple more images from the book.

Little St. Placid

About Mass.  Click to enlarge.

Little St. Placid

Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | 3 Comments

PODCAzT 156 – Josef Seifert on The Persecution of Orthdoxy

Today at First Things there is a powerful and persuasive piece by Josef Seifert, former Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair of Realist Phenomenology at the International Academy of Philosophy in Spain.

It is clear that there is now a not so subtle persecution ramping up by the champions of ambiguity against those who hold traditional values and affirm perennial teachings.

Today, in the midst of truly a lot of things to do, I decided that Seifert’s piece was so good, so measured and well written that it had to be made available beyond those who have time to read webpages.  People might have time to absorb it as they drive, run, or do chores…. that’s how I get through a lot of books, after all.  Seifert’s essay has great information and good arguments which all of us need to have cold so that when we have discussions, we can know what’s what and offer reasons for our hope and faith in charity.

Fr. Z kudos to First Things and to Prof. Seifert.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Cri de Coeur, PODCAzT, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Considering moving to a Ukrainian Catholic Parish

From a reader…


I attend a NO parish and am considering moving to a Ukrainian Catholic Parish for a variety of reasons but mainly because I am attracted to the Divine Liturgy and the beautiful traditions they have held onto…not to mention that when you enter that Church, it’s definitely a sacred space where you leave the world and your heart lifts up to God. My question: Can I as a Roman Catholic register as a parishioner of a Ukrainian Catholic parish and remove myself as a parishioner of the NO parish? Am I obligated to financially support the NO parish? Am I under the authority of the Roman Catholic Diocese/Bishop, or the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop? Thank you for any guidance you can give Father, God Bless you :)


A couple interesting aspects here – Ritual Church ascription and parish registration.

One’s Ritual Church ascription is set at the time of baptism and, generally speaking, is set for life. There are some specific situations where one can change ascription through marriage (though I would recommend against someone marrying a random Chaldean hottie merely to change ritual Churches), and there are situations where, with special permissions from the necessary hierarchs, one can change Ritual Churches by decree.

For the vast majority of cases, this is not recommended or advised. Any Catholic is permitted to worship with other Catholics in any Ritual Church that is in communion with Rome – even on a stable basis, and even over the course of one’s lifetime. A Maronite may spend his life attending a Melchite parish every single Sunday with complete impunity. One must be attentive, however, and note that one is still bound by the laws of one’s Ritual Church. If the Maronite Patriarch makes the feast of St. Charbel Mahklouf a Holy Day of Obligation of all Maronites, then even one who regularly attends the Melchite Church must hear the Divine Liturgy on his feast day (which is the third Sunday in July according to the Maronite Calendar), though not necessarily in Maronite Church.

Registration in a parish… hmmm. This is a characteristically (but not exclusively) North American phenomenon. There is nothing in the Code of Canon Law about registering with a parish. It is not a canonical “thing” and provides no rights, instills no obligations, and has no canonical effects, despite the protestations of thousands of pastors, parish secretaries, religious education coordinators, school principals and the like. Pastors are not allowed to refuse sacraments to those who are not “registered” in the parish, nor should they refuse the non-registered the other spiritual benefits of the Church.

So, as a Latin Catholic, can one “register” in a Ukrainian parish? Absolutely – but know that it provides you with no canonical rights whatsoever.
Does that “remove” you as a parishioner of your Latin parish? Nope.
Are you obligated to financially support the Latin parish? Canon 222 of the Latin Code, to which you are still bound, requires that you assist the Church, insofar as you are able, to provide what is needed for divine worship and the decent support of the ministers. It does not specify how you are required to do so, or which specific parish or diocese you support. In plain justice, one should support the parish from which one receives spiritual assistance.
Under the authority of which bishop are you? Your proper bishop, which would be the bishop of the Latin Diocese in which you live.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Both Lungs, Canon Law, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

What Did St. Francis Really Say?

First, think of this the next time you are called upon to sing that ditty that starts with: “Make me a channel of your peace”.

From the fine Francis of Assisi: A New Biography by frequent commentator here Fr Augustine Thompson.  US HERE – UK HERE

“Peace Prayer of Saint Francis”—a popular hymn best known by its opening words “Make me a channel of your peace,” and sung to a tune written by the Anglican composer Sebastian Temple. Many are quite shocked to find that this song is not identical to Francis’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” from which Zefferelli took the name of his movie. The “Peace Prayer” is modern and anonymous, originally written in French, and dates to about 1912, when it was published in a minor French spiritual magazine, La Clochette. Noble as its sentiments are, Francis would not have written such a piece, focused as it is on the self, with its constant repetition of the pronouns “I” and “me,” the words “God” and “Jesus” never appearing once.

Happy Feast of St. Francis.

Now that we have a Pope named Francis, and we know that he intended to invoke St. Francis of Assisi, we might delve into what St. Francis really thought and said.

First, if you have the notion that Francis was bunny-hugging, pastel-toned image on a holy card or garden statuette, with little birdies sitting on his arms.  Think again. Francis had his tender side, but he was as hard as nails.   This is, after all, the guy who went to face down a Sultan when things between Christians and Islam weren’t exactly cordial.

A long time friend, the Great Roman Fabrizio™ once put together texts which give insight into what Francis was really about.  He pulled quotes from the texts of Francis, most not translated into English elsewhere.  He uses the exact words of St. Francis as found in the original Franciscan Sources and quoted in Latin (or Italian) original when available online.  Otherwise, he transcribed them from the print edition. And online source for St. Francis’ own writings: OPUSCULA OMNIA SANCTI FRANCISCI ASSISIENSIS

The Poor Man of Assisi would not have been into clay pots and gunny sack vestments for Mass.

MYTH: Francis hated the “triumphalism” of the Roman Liturgy. He wanted Mass celebrated in barns, the Sacred Species held in shoe boxes or recycled bottles. And he couldn’t stand the “ritualism” of liturgical norms and devotional practices (and shall we mention his murky understanding of the doctrine on the Eucharist?):

Epistola ad custodes

To all the custodians of the Friars Minor to whom this letter shall come, Brother Francis, your servant and little one in the Lord God, greetings with new signs of heaven and earth which are great and most excellent before God and are considered least of all by many religious and by other men.

I beg you more than if it were a question of myself that, when it is becoming and you will deem it convenient, you humbly beseech the clerics to venerate above all the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Name and written words which sanctify the body. They ought to hold the chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar, and all that pertain to the Sacrifice as precious. And if the most holy Body of the Lord is left very poorly in any place, let It be moved by them to a precious place, according to the command of the Church and let It be carried with great veneration and administered to others with discretion. The Names also and written words of the Lord, In whatever unclean place they may be found, let them be collected, and then they must be put in a proper place. And in every time you preach, admonish the people about penance and that no one can be saved except he that receives the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord. And whenever It is being sacrificed by the priest on the altar and It is being carried to any place, let all the people give praise, honor, and glory to the Lord God Living and True on their bended knees. And let His praise be announced and preached to all peoples so that at every hour and when the bells are rung praise and thanks shall always be given to the Almighty God by all the people through the whole earth.

And whoever of my brothers custodians shall receive this writing, let them copy it and keep it with them and cause it to be copied for the brothers who have the office of preaching and the care of brothers, and let them preach all those things that are contained in this writing to the end: let them know they have the blessing of the Lord God and mine. And let these be for them true and holy obedience.

Universis custodibus fratrum minorum, ad quos litterae istae pervenerint, frater Franciscus in Domino Deo vester servus et parvulus, salutem cum novis signis caeli et terrae, quae magna et excellentissima sunt apud Deum et a multis religiosis et aliis hominibus minima reputantur. Rogo vos plus quam de me ipso, quatenus, cum decet et videritis expedire, clericis humiliter supplicetis, quod sanctissimum corpus et sanguinem Domini nostri Jesu Christi et sancta nomina et verba eius scripta, quae sanctificant corpus, super omnia debeant venerari. Calices, corporalia, ornamenta altaris et omnia, quae pertinent ad sacrificium, pretiosa habere debeant. Et si in aliquo loco sanctissimum corpus Domini fuerit pauperrime collocatum, iuxta mandatum Ecclesiae in loco pretioso ab eis ponatur et consignetur et cum magna veneratione portetur et cum discretione aliis ministretur. Nomina etiam et verba Domini scripta, ubicumque inveniantur in locis immundis, colligantur et in loco honesto debeant collocari. Et in omni praedicatione, quam facitis, de poenitentia populum moneatis, et quod nemo potest salvari, nisi qui recipit sanctissimum corpus et sanguinem Domini (cfr. Joa 6,54). Et, quando a sacerdote sacrificatur super altare et in aliqua parte portatur, omnes gentes flexis genibus reddant laudes, gloriam et honorem Domino Deo vivo et vero. Et de laude eius ita omnibus gentibus annuntietis et praedicetis, ut omni hora et quando pulsantur campanae semper ab universo populo omnipotenti Deo laudes et gratiae referantur per totam terram. Et, ad quoscumque fratres meos custodes pervenerit hoc scriptum et exemplaverint et apud se habuerint et pro fratribus, qui habent officium praedicationis et custodiam fratrum, fecerint exemplari et omnia, quae continentur in hoc scripto, praedicaverint usque in finem, sciant se habere benedictionem Domini Dei et meam. Et ista sint eis per veram et sanctam obedientiam. Amen.


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols, The Drill | Tagged | 18 Comments


Read every word, top to bottom.


The moderation queue is ON.


Alas, some of the comments over there leave quite a bit to be desired.

Posted in The Drill | Tagged | 25 Comments

More dreck at Fishwrap

fishwrapAt Fishwrap (aka the National Schismatic Reporter) there are a couple of dreadful reads.  Shocking, right?

First, Jesuit Thomas Reese wrote (at the horrid RNS), about how more conservative Catholics are now “cafeteria Catholics” because they disagree with Pope Francis.  But there are some problems with his argument.

More Catholic than the pope


Four cardinals (two of whom have recently gone to their eternal reward) criticized the pope publicly in 2016 by issuing what they called a “dubia,” asking the pope to clarify what they considered his straying from the true faith. [No.  They did not criticize the Pope.  They asked, rather humbly, for clarifications of what he really means to teach.] Last month, several dozen theologians accused the pope of spreading heresy.  [No. The Correctio Filialis does not accuse the Pope of spreading heresy.  It states that the Pope has caused confusion through negligence.  That’s not nothing, but it isn’t a direct accusation of here, as Reese falsely claimed.]


These criticisms of Pope Francis put progressive Catholics in an awkward position. Progressives are big fans of Francis, but it would be somewhat hypocritical of them to suddenly become papal absolutists when they clearly had disagreements with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. On the other hand, conservatives who are now critical of Francis accused progressives of being “cafeteria Catholics” when they disagreed with John Paul or Benedict. [No.  When they disagree with the CHURCH’s teaching, such as on the issue of the ordination of women or contraception, etc.]

All I can say is, “Welcome to the cafeteria.”  [Um… no.  Some of us don’t want to be in the cafeteria at all and we refuse to enter.]

The truth is all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. [No.  We don’t accept the premise.]  Conservative Catholics were quite willing to ignore John Paul’s and Benedict’s strong statements on justice and peace, [No.  That’s not the case.] and progressive Catholics are happy to ignore Francis’ opposition to women priests.

Disagreeing with the pope was not welcomed during the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. [Does he seriously think that FRANCIS welcomes disagreement?!?] Bishops, priests, theologians, and Catholic publications were expected to unreservedly cheer any statement that came out of Rome. [For those of you who don’t know, Reese was sacked as editor of Jesuit-run America because of its increasing heterodoxy.  He is still grinding his axe.] Priests were silenced, [that’s happening now] seminary professors were removed, and magazine editors were fired if they strayed from the party line. The open debate that occurred during the Second Vatican Council was closed down. [Pure fantasy.] Candidates for the episcopacy were chosen based on loyalty to Rome rather than on intelligence or pastoral abilities. [B as in B. S as in S.  How insulting.]


Enough of that.  All he is trying to do is justify liberal dissent.  We are unconvinced.

wile e coyote knife forkThen there’s the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left, Michael Sean Winters.  He has yet another of his customary loooooong rambles, this time about the context of the controversy provoked by Amoris laetitia, as if that hasn’t been rehearsed before.  However, in accord with the old Latin adage, in cauda venenumwhich is one of his usual tactics – the real point came at the very end:

‘Amoris Laetitia’ controversy predates the document itself

[… after some 800 words…]

The latest attack on Amoris Laetitia came in the form of a “filial correction” signed by several dozen professors and former professors, priests and others, most of whom had ties to the community of Catholics devoted to the traditional Latin Mass. [And THAT is his real point.] The document accused the pope of spreading heresies [See above.] and criticized him not only for Amoris Laetitia but also for the largely positive comments he made about Martin Luther on the anniversary of the Reformation.

Take a moment to absorb that last paragraph, and contemplate what Wile E. favors along side of what he attacks.

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, The Drill | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Spiffy new Christmas Music disc from the Dominican Sisters of Mary

Lots of groups are coming out with sacred music discs these days.  GREAT!

Well in advance of the Advent/Christmas season, the Dominican Sisters of Mary in Ann Arbor, MI have a new Christmas music disc.  They are celebrating their own 20th year.  I’ve written about them and another beautiful disc before, HERE.

Great stocking stuffers.  Think of yourselves baking cookies on a winter’s eve, with the tree lit up, listening to this fine disc.  Of course you also have discs by the Benedictine Sisters for Advent and Mystic Monk Coffee in a Fr. Z mug.

The new Christmas music disc will be available on 13 October.  Of course there are also MP3 options, not just physical discs.  There is a PRE-ORDER price.


Who are these sisters?  They aren’t LCWR types.

Among the other discs I’ve posted about lately are one form St. John Cantius (HERE) and the Boys Choir of St. Paul’s at Harvard Square (HERE).

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole, Women Religious | Tagged , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: In what scenario would you give Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried?


You wrote in a recent post, “Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried (which in 99.99% of cases would be sacrilege).” Can you tell me what scenario would permit your conscience to give communion to the remarried? I can think of a couple, perhaps; curious what you’re thinking, esp. as I teach a marriage class every semester.

Okay, I left myself open to that fair question.

First, before anyone tunes out… I have to ask: Has reception of Holy Communion in most places come to be about something other than getting to heaven?  I have a strong impression that, in many places, if you were to quiz people about Communion, the answer would be along the lines of, “That’s when they put the white thing in your hand before you sing the song together.”  Seen that way, why shouldn’t everyone go up and get the white thing?  Excluding people would be mean!

If, however, Holy Communion is known to be the reception – in the state of grace – of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, who is Savior, King of Fearful Majesty and the Just Judge, then there are going to be limitations on how and when we receive.

Amoris laetitia is objectively vague.  I have little doubt that this is intentional, so that priests who have been inclined to do whatever heck they want with distribution of Communion can now have some official “cover”.  Amoris is being taken by some to mean that Communion can be received by people who are, at the time of Communion, not in the state of grace and who don’t have a firm purpose of amending their sinful ways.  I think that that is a reduction of the Most Sacred Host to “the white thing”.

A priest who allows or prompts the reduction of the Eucharist to “the white thing” is probably going to go to Hell.

However, those who are faithful to the Church’s perennial teaching can interpret Amoris in a way that is harmonious with the Church’s perennial teaching.  That’s how I choose to work with Amoris.

Now to the question about the .01%… which is an arbitrary number, of course, chosen to show that the scenario would be rare.

If a couple who are civilly married, etc. etc., have entered into a process with a priest who has helped them to see what their situation truly is (according to the teaching of Christ and His Church), then they know that what they are doing is wrong.  They know that they are in an adulterous union and that they have committed mortal sins.  Therefore, they know that are not properly disposed to receive Communion.  They also know that Communion is not “the white thing”.

That is what the priest must help them to understand.  That is his duty, at the peril of his own immortal soul and theirs.

If they then choose – for whatever compelling reason suggested by the objectively vague Amoris, etc. – to stay together, then the priest must help them to make a choice.  After Father lays out the options, they will tell the priest either that …

1) they will not live in continence as brother and sister, or
2) they will try to live in continence as brother and sister.

If they say they won’t, and they don’t, they cannot be admitted to Communion. They must be told not approach to receive Communion, for that would be a mortal sin and a sacrilege.

If, on the other hand, they say that they will try, and if they confess their sins and intend to live in continence, they probably can be admitted to Communion – remoto scandalo – provided that scandal is avoided.

HENCE…. and here is my answer…

If, in those circumstances when such a couple might be properly disposed to receive Communion (i.e., they are in the state of grace), give them Holy Communion outside of Mass in the rectory.

That would avoid scandal.  Right?

Think about it.  If reception of Communion is so important to them because they a) really understand what the Eucharist is… WHO the Eucharist is and b) they reflect on the Four Last Things and c) they must  live together for some reason and they choose to live in continence, etc., and d) they manage to live in the state of grace, then they should be willing 1) to attend Holy Mass according to their obligation (like everyone else) but 2) not receive Communion during Mass so that they will avoid giving scandal.

If they have charity toward their neighbors, they would want to avoid scandal and to avoid putting the priest in a tough spot.  Right?  They should be thrilled to receive Communion but out of sight, in the rectory, away from public view.   Right?

Now I will track back to what I asked about Communion at the top.

What is it that they want?

Communion with its holy effects? Or do they want to be seen receiving Communion?

Do they want the Eucharist or the “white thing” that symbolizes affirmation?

If they really get the Eucharist, with the full implications of receiving as Paul describes in 1 Cor 11:27 (“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.”), and if they really get the Four Last Things, then … would they really want to put at risk their eternal salvation by sacrilegious reception?

If they have been working with a sound priest who helps them to understand what mortal sin is and what matrimony is according to the Church’s teachings – BECAUSE THAT’S HIS JOB! – would they really want to receive Communion in their irregular state?

Or course there may be times when they fail in their determination to live in continence and they have sexual relations.

What then?

Simple.  They go to confession and start over with a firm purpose of amendment.

That’s what we all do when we sin in any way.  We go to confession with a firm purpose of amendment and start over with God’s help.  In some Amoris scenario, they might have to live in a near occasion of sin, but for the sake of care of children, etc., they have to bear their Cross.

However, there is a rock solid principle that cannot be set aside: No firm purpose of amendment, no Communion.

My solution, given the aforementioned conditions are met: occasional Holy Communion in private, outside of public Mass, away from observing eyes.

The comment moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , , | 24 Comments


On the topic of Challenge Coins, I received a text from an NYPD cop who will be at tonight’s game between the noble small-market, well-deserving Twins and the arrogant, effete, big-market hated Yankees.  He is, woe betide, unrepenting in his support of That Team and I will pray for his conversion to light, freedom and virtue.  In any event, he and another Gotham cop finally inspired me to get my challenge coins made and to start exchanging them.  It has been a kick.

Today, I received a pair of lovely coins from a highly placed operative in the NRA.  One of them is intended for my mother (retired MPLS LEO), which is very gracious.


It is an interesting coincidence that they arrived at a time when the NRA is under vicious attack by the Left.  (I almost wrote “liberal Left”, but that would have been redundant.)

The two coins, reverse and obverse.


Very handsome and much appreciated.

I’ll fire off one of my coins to the sender tomorrow.

Today, however, I mailed two coins to long time reader/donors here, with my compliments.


The adventure continues.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Just Too Cool, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 5 Comments

REASON #1883 for Summorum Pontificum!

We need a fuller, wider more dedicated implementation of Benedict XVI’s great gift to the Church, Summorum Pontificum.


Via CARA on Twitter:

Together with a shored up, cleaned up, and above all faithful use of the Novus Ordo, we can start a lasting revitalization of every sphere of the Church’s life. That MUST begin with a revitalization of her sacred liturgical worship.

If we all do our part, we can turn attrition around.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged | 18 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Birettas for Seminarians Project – HELP!

action-item-button¡Hagan lío!

I had a note from John Hastreiter at Leaflet Missal:

About 30 guys on the waiting list.

It’s enough to make you choke up.  THIRTY men waiting… waiting… waiting….

YOU, dear readers, have supplied over 100 birettas to seminarians.  Kudos.  Some thank you notes from seminarians with spiffy new birettas HERE and HERE.

Recently in Rome for the great Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, I met two seminarians who are recipients of your birettas!

What is this project and how does this work?

We want to get as many clerics to use birettas (and all that goes with them – fidelity to doctrine, reverent ars celebrandi, good life choices, solid priestly identity, etc.) as possible.

  • Seminarians should 1) discern their hat size and then 2) contact the biretta supplier and get their names on a NEED list.
  • YOU, dear readers, contact the biretta supplier and PAY FOR the birettas which are then distributed.

You remain anonymous to each other.

Seminarians and potential donors…

Contact John in church goods at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul – 651-209-1951 Ext-331. 

DO NOT WRITE TO ME TO ASK FOR A BIRETTA!  (If a seminarian doesn’t get that straight then… how are your grades?!?)


If John is away, leave a voicemail with your phone number and he will call you back ASAP.

John keeps track of the names of the seminarians and their hat sizes. My involvement would only get in the way of the process. Don’t write to me.

Let’s encourage these men.

Call John and buy a biretta for a seminarian.  It’s as easy as that.

There is also a SATURNO FOR CLERICS Project.  Ask John about that, too!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, ACTION ITEM!, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged | 1 Comment

Kwasniewski instructs @MassimoFaggioli about real “rupture”

Recently Massimo “Beans” Faggioli has attempted to stir up a pingle and, with it, attention for himself, by denigrating our Catholic Tradition – nay, rather – by denigrating the people who desire our Catholic Tradition.

His latest clickbait shtick, which may be more about his frustration, anger, and desire for traffic, involves judgmental and hurtful statements on Twitter about a whole group of people. For example:

And there’s this:

That’s just crazy talk, and it’s intentionally hurtful.  It is so patently contrary to the truth that it must be bubbling up from a place of anxiety and frustration.  He may not be thinking straight when he tweets that stuff.

Who, again, is creating the rupture?   Who is causing division?

In response, Peter Kwasniewski has already issued – in July 2017 – instruction for Beans at NLM.  Peter brough up a point which others have also made: when it comes to “liturgy” (read = Mass), libs sink into the deadly trap of “neoscholastic reductionism”.  In a beanpod, if the bare bones minimum is present for valid consecration of the Eucharist, then everything else in the rite is fair game for change or adaptation according to the whims of those present.  Peter, however, shows that to preserve our rites without rupture, we need to maintain precisely those things which Beans rejects. Beans is the rupturist, not traditional Catholics.

It is useful to review something that Tracey Rowland wrote in 2008 in Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (US HERE – UK HERE).

The Lercaro—Bugnini inspired liturgical experiments of the last three decades have been based on an overemphasis on baroque sacramental theology and eighteenth-century philosophy, and an obsession with pedagogy. This in turn can be boiled down to a cocktail of scholasticism [NB] (the reduction of sacramental theology to considerations of matter and form) [Thus, Beans!], the Kantian obsession with pedagogical rationalism (the predominance of ethical values over strictly religious ones) [Thus, Beans!]moralism (a notion of Mass attendance as duty parade), [Thus, Beans!] and a Jansenist attitude to beauty (it is irrelevant: the only thing that matters is that the words are doctrinally sound and in the vernacular). [Thus, Beans!] In other words, one has a cocktail of theological and philosophical ingredients which Ratzinger has spent his entire ecclesial life trying to throw out of the pantry. [And that is a major component of his vision and action in implementing Summorum Pontificum.] Anyone wanting to escape the culture of modernity with its lowest-common-denominator mass culture will find it difficult to do so at many contemporary Catholic liturgies based on the Lercaro—Bugnini  [- Beans] principles. As Catherine Pickstock has argued, ‘a genuine liturgical reform would either have to overthrow our anti-ritual modernity, or, that being impossible, devise [or perhaps, develop] a liturgy that refused to be enculturated in our modern habits of thought and speech’.  [I think that we already have that, and it is what Beans pits against continuity.]

In any event, dear readers, I don’t think it is all that profitable to give Beans to much attention.  He is angry and, I suspect, sincerely afraid of what Summorum Pontificum is producing.  It must be awful for him.  This latest path of attack is more than likely his way of both maintaining attention and traffic in Twitter and expressing his frustration.  Hence, his bitter attacks on the people who want tradition, as he did in his hurtful remarks after the article in the NYT.  Stop and say a Memorare for him.

The moderation queue is ON.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.


Posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Drill | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Re-reading Martimort on Deaconesses. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

7Deacons4In once wonderfully Catholic Austria, the silly season is in swing.  The new bishop of Innsbruck, Most Rev. Hermann Glettler, said that he supports the ordination of women to the diaconate (which is impossible) and Holy Communion for the divorce and remarried (which in 99.99% of cases would be sacrilege).  There is a story in this bishop’s notions at the UK’s best Catholic weekly the Catholic Herald (which sports my weekly column in the print and online digital editions – subscribe HERE).

This business of the ordination of women to the diaconate is swirling around, more than it should be, because a while back His Holiness of Our Lord Pope Francis appointed a study group to look at the historical data about female deacons in the early Church.  I suspect that they won’t turn up much more than has already been turned up.  The historical studies made will inevitably result in dead ends: there isn’t much available and what there is is sketchy.  Furthermore, the question does not rest on some ancient practice of a perhaps heretical sect or on variations of practices in the East, etc. It now rests on Vatican II’s Lumen gentium, which says that the diaconate, priesthood and episcopate are three grades of one sacrament of Holy Orders, even though only priests and bishops are sacerdotes in the strict sense.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it succinctly:

1554 “The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests, and deacons.”32 Catholic doctrine, expressed in the liturgy, the Magisterium, and the constant practice of the Church, recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate . The diaconate is intended to help and serve them. For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priests but not deacons. Yet Catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation (episcopate and presbyterate) and the degree of service (diaconate) are all three conferred by a sacramental act called “ordination,” that is, by the sacrament of Holy Orders….

This, by itself, pretty much closes the discussion.  The Sacrament of Orders is one sacrament in three grades.  Only men can be ordained to Holy Orders.  Ergo, women cannot be ordained to the diaconate, even though there is a distinction between diaconate and priesthood.  It’s not hard.

When the Pope appointed that study group, I dusted off my copy of the best thing written to date about women and the diaconate, Deaconesses: An Historical Study by Aime G. Martimort (French 1982 & English – Ignatius Press, 1986).  This is this most important, easily obtainable book on the topic in English.  I’ve occasionally picked it up and spot read in it, bit by bit, ever since.



Martimort goes through just about everything.  Of course his scholarship is limited to his date of 1982.  However, there isn’t all that much more to explore.  Even if research has turned up more, I am left deeply impressed by Martimort’s conclusion… his literal conclusion on the last page of the text.  Here it is, with my usual emphases and comments:

In the end, in my opinion, the conclusion that must impose itself at the termination of a historical study such as ours, conducted in accordance with the requirements of modern scholarship, is that theologians must strictly guard against trying to prove hypotheses dependent upon only a part of the documentation available, a part taken out of context at that. The complexity of the facts about deaconesses and the proper context of these facts prove to be quite extraordinary. There exists a significant danger of distorting both the facts and the texts whenever one is dealing with them secondhand. It is also very difficult to avoid falling into anachronisms when trying to resolve the problems of the present by reference to the solutions appropriate to a past that is long gone.  [An example of anachronism would be to assume that deaconettes did in ancient times what permanent deacons do now.]

For the fact is that the ancient institution of deaconesses, even in its own time, was encumbered with not a few ambiguities, as we have seen. In my opinion, if the restoration of the institution of deaconesses were indeed to be sought after so many centuries, such a restoration itself could only be fraught with ambiguity.  [NOTA BENE!] The real importance and efficaciousness of the role of women in the Church has always been vividly perceived in the consciousness of the hierarchy and of the faithful as much more broad than the historical role that deaconesses in fact played. [BOOM! Did you get that?] And perhaps a proposal based on an “archeological” institution might even obscure the fact that the call to serve the Church is urgently addressed today to all women, especially in the area of the transmission of Faith and works of charity.  [Teaching, nursing, etc.  We could come up with other important ways to serve the Church, traditionally carried out by women in an exemplary and edifying way.]

What has Martimort done in this conclusion?  He says that

1) we really don’t know enough about deaconesses, and
2) what we do know is ambiguous, and
3) that focusing with such attention on something so elusive and fraught with problems is detrimental to recognition of the terrific contributions which we know for a certainty women can and do offer to the Church and the world.

Bottom line: Promoting ordained diaconate for women, as that Austrian bishop and others do, does women and the whole Church a disservice.  It distracts from and even denigrates the tremendous and urgently needed service which women have historically perfected and lovingly contributed.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Deaconettes, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

PODCAzT 155: Latin Forms of Absolution, Vetus and Novus Ordo

confession-731x1024From a priest….


Fr. Z,

Grace and peace.

Do you have an audio pronunciation of the absolution prayer (1962) or know of a link?

Thanks for the question.

Here is a brief PODCAzT, which can also be a PRAYERCAzT, about the forms of absolution, in Latin.  I hope this is helpful.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, PODCAzT, PRAYERCAzT: What Does The (Latin) Prayer Really Sound L | Tagged , | 3 Comments

After 15 years man emerges from ‘permanent vegetative state’

At LifeSite I read a story about a man who emerged from a Permanent or Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) after 15 years.  It is a remarkable story, which merits to be more widely known.

I’ve been writing about PVS for a long time.  Back in 2004 I had written a piece for The Wanderer about Vatican sponsored conference on it back in the happier days of Pope St. John Paul II which stressed the needed for nutrition and hydration of such patients.  HERE

This is a mysterious condition and there can be misdiagnoses which even result in “passive” euthanasia.  Some people emerge from this state and they report that they were indeed aware, locked inside their bodies unable to respond even to pain stimuli.

One of the ways that PVS people were/are treated is denial of nutrition and hydration.  Here is what I wrote in 2004 about what happens to you, when you cannot respond and you are dying of dehydration.

Put yourself in their straitjacket.

What happens to you when you die from dehydration? First, think about going for a day without a single drink of water, two days, three . . . nothing. You would find something to drink, urgently crave it, set aside every other goal to get water in any way. You would suffer. Then what?

Imagine that you are unable to move or communicate according to your wishes. Maybe you are strapped down, gagged, blindfolded, isolated. The people around you decide that, since you are not communicating with them, or demonstrating that you are a “human being” because you are not revealing use of your higher functions, you should die. They stop feeding you or giving you anything to drink. Period. How long before you are mildly hungry and thirsty? Before you are really thirsty? When doctors decide to withhold nutrition and hydration from PVS people, who are cognitively disabled, they die of thirst long before they die of starvation: The cause of death is severe dehydration.

So, as you lie there, what is going on in your body? When your body’s fluid supply is severely depleted (because you are taking none in) and down by around 15%, hypovolemic shock or “physical collapse” occurs, that is, your blood supply gets lower and lower until you don’t have enough blood volume to function.

Your skin becomes pale and clammy. Your heart starts to race and your breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Unless you get water soon, it will get harder and harder to reverse your condition. You soon desperately need medical care. Your blood pressure drops so low that sometimes it can’t be detected at all. Then your extremities become blotchy and mottled as your body starts to shut down the periphery, shunting an ever-decreasing volume of available blood to the core, the heart and vital organs.

If you are conscious, your thirst is agony. Your temperature rises and when it hits 107°F (41.7°C), it starts to damage your brain and other organs. Your lips and tongue crack. Your nose bleeds from the dryness of the mucous membranes. You are wracked with pain from the heaving and attempts to vomit. You can’t tell anyone how much you are suffering. Since those around you don’t see your suffering, they think you must not have any pain. This appears to be “merciful.”

This is how they purposely kill helpless people. Let dehydration happen to a football player during practice on a hot summer day and everyone goes crazy, pointing fingers and making accusations, filing lawsuits and suing everyone in sight. But this is done daily in the USA and other countries to people who are otherwise healthy, and simply need the love and care that any person with a disability needs. Lock a horse in a stall without food and water and you will go to jail.

Normal Care, Not Therapy

Keep in mind the difference between a medical treatment and withholding of nutrition and hydration. Chemotherapy attempts to stop or reverse cancer. Antibiotics treat infections. Withholding nutrition and hydration does not treat anything.

It must be underscored, however, that there are cases in which it harms a patient to give him food. In those cases, it is legitimate to withhold it so as to not impose a disproportionate burden which will cause greater suffering than benefit. This can be the case when a dying person has stomach cancer, or another condition in a terminal stage.



Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | 7 Comments