The Wanderer’s Open Letter to Pope Francis

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Over at my old stomping grounds, The Wanderer, there is an open letter to Pope Francis.

Remember… we should all being asking our duly appointed pastors and Pope Francis himself to name St. Pope John Paul II Doctor of the Church! Moreover, he should be called Doctor Misericordiae, or perhaps Doctor Misericors.

Back to The Wanderer.

Your Holiness,

From the very first moment that you stepped forth onto the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica to greet us following your election as the Successor to Saint Peter, you have made clear to us that you as our loving father want us to share with you our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations, and also our concerns as we journey together in hope of eternal life as disciples of the Lord. It is in this spirit that we come to you now, eager to unfold our hearts before you.

It is with joy, the “joy of the Gospel,” that we have welcomed the distinctive motif that you have set for your pontificate, the theme of compassion, of mercy, which at the outset of your service in the office of Peter you described as “the Lord’s most powerful message.”1 Time and again you have challenged us to offer a welcome of charity to all, whether they be saints or sinners, stressing that the Church excludes no one from the love and mercy of God.

In your apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, you observe, “God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”2 This divine desire to offer forgiveness was made manifest in the very words with which our Lord began His preaching in His public ministry: “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15). From this we realize that in living the Gospel and in presenting it to others there will always be the need to reject whatever is contrary to the Gospel. And so it is that in your encyclical letter Lumen Fidei you tell us:

Genuine love, after the fashion of God’s love, ultimately requires truth… Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity. Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even of those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole… to subtract something from the faith is to subtract something from the veracity of communion… harming the faith means harming communion with the Lord.3

Lest we be left in any doubt as to how we are to discern what truly constitutes our faith “professed in all its purity and integrity”, you further instruct us to look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which you describe as “a fundamental aid for that unitary act with which the Church communicates the entire content of her faith: ‘all that she herself is, and all that she believes.’”


Read the rest there.

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Pontifical Mass in Hong Kong

I look forward to the day when I might be able to celebrate a Sung or Solemn Mass for the TLM community in Hong Kong!

I received this from a read in Hong Kong. The Bishop Emeritus, the mighty Joseph Card. Zen, sang a Pontifical Mass for themon the 2nd Sunday of Easter, which was also the 14th anniversary of the aforementioned community. 600 people attended.



29 votes, 4.55 avg. rating (90% score)
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Card. Sarah in a new, wide-ranging interview

There is an extract from a wide-ranging interview at L’homme nouveau in French with His Eminence Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  He is rapidly rising on my list of favorite Cardinals.

The interview is long and wide-ranging.  I’m on the road right now, so I can’t hammer out the full translation for this, but here is a sample that touches on a point I have been harping at for a long time:

Abbé C.B. : La manière dont s’est faite la réforme liturgique et du coup l’esprit liturgique dans lequel se réalise la formation des prêtres n’éloignent-ils pas du modèle sacerdotal que vous prônez ?

Card. R. S. : Nous constatons de plus en plus que l’homme cherche à prendre la place de Dieu, que la liturgie devient un simple jeu humain. Si les célébrations eucharistiques se transforment en des lieux d’application de nos idéologies pastorales et d’options politiques partisanes qui n’ont rien à voir avec le culte spirituel à célébrer de la façon voulue par Dieu, le péril est immense. Il me semble urgent de mettre plus de soin et de ferveur dans la formation liturgique des futurs prêtres. Leur vie intérieure et la fécondité de leur ministère sacerdotal dépendront de la qualité de leur relation avec Dieu, dans ce face-à-face quotidien que la liturgie nous donne d’expérimenter.

That last part….

It seems to me urgent to put more care and fervor into the liturgical formation of future priests. Their inner life and fruitfulness of their priestly ministry depend on the quality of their relationship with God, in the daily face-to-face meeting that the liturgy gives us to experience.

Young priests – all priests of the Latin Church – need to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  It teaches them something about who they are at the altar, who they are as priests, in a way that the Novus Ordo simply does not do.  In turn, this has a knock-on effect with those to whom the priest has been given.

Reason #4 for Summorum Pontificum.

31 votes, 4.32 avg. rating (86% score)
Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Interesting SSPX development in Buenos Aires

I received some interesting email from one of you alert readers about something going on with the SSPX in, of all places, Buenos Aires.

This looks legit. From the website of the Argentinian Boletino, you can see the resolution. Using the search tool, select “resolutions” and then type 25 and 2015.  And for analysis HERE.

In a nutshell, seems that the Archbishop of Buenos Aires granted to an entity of the SSPX, the “Brotherhood of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary (Society of St. Pius X)” the status of a juridic person as an Association of Diocesan Right.

I am not sure what this means, in the short or long run, but it is not nothing.   I don’t grasp all the civil legal niceties involved in this, but the fact that this happened in Buenos Aires is also not nothing.

Also interesting is that the SSPX group did not simply, for civil law reasons, declare itself its own independent structure.  Rather, they sought the intermediary of the local bishop.

For this to have happened, it had to have been known in advance in the proper offices in both Rome and in Ecône.

I have opined in the past that, perhaps, Pope Francis might be the one to pull off a reconciliation of the SSPX.  At first glance, he is an unlikely candidate for such a move, but… hey!  What better way to manifest “mercy”, right?

St. Pope John II would, I think, be pleased.

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard this Sunday?

Let us know!

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PETITION TO POPE FRANCIS: Declare St. John Paul II “Doctor of the Church”!

JP2-Doctor-of-Church-Call-To-ActionI, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, do hereby petition our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to declare St. John Paul II

Doctor of the Church.

I ask that St. John Paul II, who instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, be declared Doctor of the Church on the Feast of Divine Mercy 2016, one liturgical year from today, and that he be endowed with the title

Doctor Misericordiae.

St. John Paul II should be a Doctor of the Church, because of the outstanding quality and the comprehensiveness of his opus, which includes philosophy, theology, poetry, and even drama.

St. John Paul II’s Magisterium serves, among other things, as an authoritative and comprehensive commentary on the Second Vatican Council.

His numerous encyclicals touch nearly all aspects of human life.  Consider his defense of life, his defense of the Truth of Catholic teaching, his efforts toward the liberation of millions from Communist tyranny, his merciful correction of errant theologians for the protection of the faithful, his social teaching, and his defense of marriage and of the family (e.g, in Familiaris consortio).

He issued the Catechism of the Catholic Church and revised the Code of Canon Law for both the Latin and Eastern Churches.  Most of all, consider his defense of the Truth of the Faith through his entire body of teaching while applying it appropriately to our times, not just to the 26 years of his pontificate, but to the 21st century.

Tens of millions, indeed hundreds of millions, look to St. John Paul II as a fixed point of Catholic Truth.

Moreover, Pope Francis, who canonized St. John Paul II, can by this gesture manifest a special relationship with the enduring Magisterium of the Saint during his own pontificate.

As Pope Francis himself wrote in the Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Misericordiae vultus 11:

Saint John Paul II highlighted the fact that we had forgotten the theme of mercy in today’s cultural milieu….

I urge all the faithful who read this to pray that this come to pass and that they, in their own ways, promote this petition with Pope Francis himself, as well as their local bishops and pastors.

St. John Paul II, pray for us!


74 votes, 3.81 avg. rating (76% score)
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Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

Something is up. I’m getting many more requests for prayers than last year at this time

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below. You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have a pressing personal petition.

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WDTPRS “Low” Sunday, “Mercy” Sunday, “Quasimodo” Sunday, Sunday “in albis”

Thomas CaravaggioThis Sunday has many nicknames.  In the post-Conciliar calendar it is the “Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy)”.  It is also called “Thomas Sunday” (because of the Gospel reading about the doubting Apostle), and “Quasimodo Sunday” (from the first word of the Introit), and “Low Sunday”.

This is also the conclusion of the Octave of Easter, during which we halted our liturgical clocks and contemplated the mysteries we celebrated from different points of view.

Since ancient times this Sunday has been called “Dominica in albis” or “in albis depositis”, the Sunday of the “white robes having been taken off.”  1 Peter 2:2-3 says:

“Like (Quasimodo – from a Latin Scripture translation that pre-dated the Vulgate by St Jerome) newborn babes (infantes), long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Holy Mass on “Low Sunday” begins with an exhortation of the newly baptized, who were called infantes.  The infantes wore their white baptismal robes for the “octave” period following Easter during which they received special instruction from the bishop about the sacred mysteries and about the Christian life.  Today they put off their robes and, in some places, left them in the cathedral treasury as a perpetual witness to their baptismal vows.

Today’s Collect, based on a prayer in the Missale Gothicum, begins by calling God merciful:

Deus misericordiae sempiternae, qui in ipso paschalis festi recursu fidem sacratae tibi plebis accendis, auge gratiam quam dedisti, ut digna omnes intellegentia comprehendant, quo lavacro abluti, quo spiritu regenerati, quo sanguine sunt redempti.

Those clauses with quo, having no conjunctions (a trope called asyndeton) gives this prayer a forceful feeling, as do those abluti…regenerati…redempti with the single sunt.

Accendo means “to kindle anything above so that it burns downward” and also “to illuminate, to inflame a person or thing”.  It recalls the fiery liturgical imagery of the Vigil.  Comprehendo, a vast verb, is “to lay hold of something on all sides.” Think of “comprehensive”. It concerns grasping something with the mind in a thorough way (on all sides).  A lavacrum is “a bath”.  In Titus 3:5 we read, “He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy (misericordiam), by the washing of regeneration (lavacrum regenerationis)…”.  Abluo, “to wash off, wash away, cleanse, purify”, is used by Cicero (d 43 BC) to describe a calming of the passions through a religious rite of washing away sin (Tusc 4, 28, 60) and also by the poet philosopher Lucretius (d AD 55) to describe the removal of darkness by the bringing in of light (De rerum natura 4, 378).  Early Latin speaking Christians adapted and “baptized” existing religious vocabulary to express their faith as it grew over time with new theological insights.  Abluo was ready made to be adapted to describe the effects of baptism.


God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed.


O God of eternal mercy,
who on this recurrence of the paschal feast
do kindle the faith of a people sanctified for Yourself,
increase the grace which You have given,
so that all may comprehend with worthy understanding
by what laver they were washed,
by what Spirit they were regenerated,
by what Blood they were redeemed

The priest prays that, by the recurring sacred mysteries we veteran Christians and neophytes, together as a people, will be always renewed and that our grasp of how we have been redeemed and our comprehension of the effects of that redemption will continually deepen.

We who were once set on fire with the indwelling of the Spirit, should each day ask God to rekindle us, burn us up again from above.  We should pray daily for an increase of a faith that seeks to grasp, comprehend, understand ever more fully who Our Lord is and who we have become in Him.  Grace and faith precede and prepare our fuller comprehension.  On our own we can grasp only so much.  Faith brings to completion what reason begins to explore. As the ancient adage goes: “Nisi credideritis non intellegetis… Unless you will have first believed, you will not understand.”

St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) preached to his infantes with the imagery of spring, and compared the newly baptized to little birds trying to fly from the nest while the parent bird (Augustine himself) flapped around them chirping noisily to encourage them (s. 376a).  Then they were then out of the nest of the bishop, as it were, on their own in living their Catholic lives.

Holy Church wants us to comprehend these mysteries in a way that makes a concrete difference.  The infantes had to get to the business of living as Catholics after they put off their white robes.  Those of us who were baptized long ago must remember always to continue wearing our baptismal garments in our hearts and to live outwardly the Catholic faith we put on within.

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Do you pray for the priests who gave you sacraments?

bumper_sticker prayI noticed that today is the 55th anniversary of my baptism.  I will say a prayer or two for the one who baptized me and for my godparents, one of whom is deceased.

Do you pray for the priest (or ministers if you are converts) who baptized you?

Do you pray for the priest who married you?  Heard your first confession?  Gave you first Communion?  The bishop who confirmed you?  Married you?  Anointed you in an emergency?

Come to think of it, do you pray for your parish priests? For your bishop?


27 votes, 4.81 avg. rating (95% score)
Posted in Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged | 38 Comments

It looks like he “judged” after all!

The MSM took what the Pope said on the airplane (about a homosexual who is trying to live a holy life), that is, “Who am I to judge?” and ran with only half the story, giving the impression that Pope Francis approved of some way of homosexual acts.

Wrong.  HERE

This Pope is not a liberal when it comes to doctrine.  He doesn’t think that homosexual sex is okay.

I have been saying for a couple years now that when liberals figure that out, they will turn on Francis.

I read this today at the Telegraph:

Pope Francis ‘refuses’ gay French ambassador

Pope Francis’ reputation as liberal takes a knock over reports that he rejected the nomination of a new French ambassador to the Vatican on the grounds that he was a homosexual

Pope Francis has reportedly barred the nomination of a close aide of President Francois Hollande as new French ambassador to the Vatican because he is gay.
The apparent rejection calls into question the pope’s reputation as holding more liberal views on homosexuality.
Laurent Stefanini, 54, a senior diplomat and Mr Hollande’s chief of protocol, was nominated in early January but the Vatican has maintained a stony silence over whether it accepts his credentials, officials in Paris said.
The usual time frame for their acceptance is a month and a half. After that, a prolonged silence after a nomination is normally interpreted as a rejection.
The Elysee said that the choice of Mr Stefanini to represent France at the Vatican resulted from “a wish by the president and a cabinet decision” and that the president regarded him as “one of our best diplomats.”
French media widely reported that Mr Stefanini has been blackballed due to his homosexuality.
Le Journal du Dimanche quoted a Vatican insider as saying that the rejection was “a decision taken by the pope himself.”
Liberation, the left-leaning daily, said that “the Vatican’s homophobia seriously tarnishes Pope Francis’ image as being (slightly) more open-minded that his predecessors on sexuality“.
France in 2007 nominated a gay ambassador to the Vatican who had a partner recognised under French law but the Holy See never responded to the nomination, despite lengthy attempts to secure him the post.


Read the rest there.

So, now we must wait to see if writers over at the Fishwrap (aka National S_______ Reporter) denounce Pope Francis as a homophobe.

C’mon Fishwrap! You know you want to!

Hey!  Maybe Michael Sean Winters can find a way to blame Card. Burke!

Meanwhile, we here at Fr. Z’s Blog sing out…

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco. V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3] R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]
Pater Noster, Ave Maria. Our Father, Hail Mary.
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Franciscum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen. O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
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Posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , , | 59 Comments