Card. Burke – off the leash – in Ireland

In the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, read about what Card Burke said about some of the burning questions for the Church today.

A sample:

Warning that Satan was sowing confusion and error about matrimony, the cardinal patron of the Knights of Malta said, “Even within the church there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy.”
The 66-year-old former archbishop of St Louis instead recommended that next year’s synod devote itself to promoting the church’s teaching on marriage.
Cardinal Burke also ruled out any easing of the restriction on Communion for those divorced and remarried without an annulment of their original marriage.
“I fail to be able to comprehend how — if marriage is indissoluble and someone is living in a state contradicting this indissolubility of marriage — the person can be admitted to holy Communion,” he said.
He urged the Catholic faithful to write to Pope Francis and Vatican and Irish church officials to make their views known.
Lashing out at the “so-called contraceptive mentality,” he warned it was “anti-life” and blamed it for “the devastation that is daily wrought in our world by the multi-million dollar industry of pornography” and the “incredibly aggressive homosexual agenda,” which he claimed could only result in “the profound unhappiness and even despair of those affected by it.”
Cardinal Burke said he was reduced to tears by attempts to introduce “so-called gender theory” into schools.
He warned that such theory was “iniquitous” and that exposing children to such “corrupt thinking” could not be permitted.
He said “society has gone even further in its affront to God and his law by claiming the name of marriage for liaisons between persons of the same sex.”
To applause, the cardinal said he refused to use the term traditional marriage for the marriage of a man and a woman.
“My response is — is there any other kind of marriage? I fear that by using that terminology that we give the impression that we think that there are other kinds of marriage; well, we don’t.”
Speaking ahead of the conference to RTE News, Cardinal Burke said he would refuse Communion to a Catholic politician who voted for same-sex marriage.
In his opening address to the conference, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said the family needs to be rediscovered as the essential agent of evangelization.
However, he referred to the final message of October’s synod, to remind conference delegates that “people need to be accepted in the concrete circumstances of life.”

This is what bishops should sound like.

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 35 Comments

PARIS – Day 3: Winged Edition

Today I am wallowing amongst the treasures of the Louvre. I haven’t been here for years.

Seeing the Winged Victory from afar and up close remains the memory of a whole lifetime.


This is the angle at which she was meant to be viewed.


And here is our old friend in a painting by the Master of the Nativity of Castello, 15th c.


Here we have our Christological Goldfinch!


The Louvre… I didn’t remember…. It’s a bit overwhelming.


Forget the rest of the museum, to which I shall return. Let’s see some food.

Which of these is mine?


This time the snails were back in their shells.


The sausage was offal.


This is how food should look.


Cookies.  How hard could it be to make these?


Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 34 Comments

VIDEO: Figuring out this pontificate

Here is a video from Michael Voris, who offers one point of view.

For your thoughtful, thought-filled, discussion.

Think before hitting that “Post” key.

Moderation queue is ON.

First comment: I wish they’d change the music at the end.

Posted in Pope Francis, The Drill | Tagged , | 75 Comments

It’s time to build camps! Dangerous illegal immigrants invading!

In Grand Marias, MN, there is a Restaurant called, fetchingly, “South of the Border”.  Not a lick of Tex-Mex in sight.  It’s pretty funny.

Apparently the Canadians up there in Canadia are having their own border problems.   A friend sent this from the The Manitoba Herald (sorry, no link):

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The recent actions of the Tea Party and the fact Republicans won the Senate are prompting an exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and to agree with Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.

“I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Southern Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . “The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left before I even got a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields. “Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still got through and Rush annoyed the cows so much that they wouldn’t give any milk.”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, and drive them across the border where they are simply left to fend for themselves. “A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a single bottle of imported drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.” When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR races. [I'd agree to an increase in my taxes for this one!]

In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half- dozen young vegans in powdered wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizens about Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and are renting all the Michael Moore movies. “I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an Ottawa resident said. “How many art-history majors does one country need?”

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Biden met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals. A source close to President Obama said, “We’re going to have some Paul McCartney and Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. We might even put some endangered species on postage stamps. The President is determined to reach out.”


Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

22 Jan 2015 – Washington DC – Pontifical Mass for Nellie Gray, March for Life

You may recall that a few years ago The Paulus Institute sponsored a magnificent Pontifical Mass at the Throne in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.  Bp. Slattery of Tulsa was the celebrant for the Mass, which was in honor of the election of Benedict XVI.  The sermon was tremendous.

Paul Institute is sponsoring a Pontifical Mass to coincide with this coming January’s March for Life.  The Mass is being offered for the late Nellie Gray, who did so much pro-life work.  Bp. Thomas Paprocki will do the honors.

Here is the announcement I received:

Announcement of the 2015 Third Annual Nellie Gray Mass
Mass of the Holy Innocents

The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy, Washington, DC, is pleased to announce that the Third Annual Nellie Gray Mass will take place after the 42nd March for Life, Thursday, January 22, 2015.

The Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. in the Extraordinary Form (traditional Latin Mass) at St. Mary Mother of God Church at 5th and H Sts. NW in downtown Washington DC.

St. Mary’s was Nellie Gray’s place of worship at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which she loved and held deeply related to her cause for the March for Life.

A pontifical Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at the faldstool by The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L., J.D., J.C.D., M.B.A., Bishop of Springfield in Illinois. The Mass of The Holy Innocents will be said as a votive Mass for the unborn.

Assisting ministers will be Rev. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Assistant Priest; Rev. Monsignor Charles Pope, Deacon (Pastor, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Church, Archdiocese of Washington); and Rev. Paul Scalia, Subdeacon (Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy, Diocese of Arlington).

The choir will be The Schola Cantorum of The Lyceum School in South Euclid, Ohio, who sang so beautifully at this year’s Nellie Gray Mass.

All are invited.

Contact The Paulus Institute through their website,

Donations to The Paulus Institute can be sent to:
The Paulus Institute
308 S. Green St., Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-1414

The Paulus Institute requests your most generous contribution to St. Mary Mother of God Church at the collection to be taken during Offertory of the Mass.

* * *

Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Events, Our Catholic Identity, The Campus Telephone Pole, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

PARIS – Day 1 & 2: at a snail’s pace

My flight was on time, but that of my friends (hosts, actually) was delayed, so I made my way into the city and then, to stay awake, took a walk. I am in the 6th, so I headed over to see what was up at St. Germain. It has become a sad place, it seems to me, since the last time I saw it many years ago. Junk is piled in the side chapels. It seems dirty and uncared for.

However, I did take interest in the monument to Jean Mabillon (+1707) who was a great scholar and a pioneer in the field of Paleography. Who of us did not study him, after all?


Once my friends were well-ensconced, we had some lunch, a little soup and some goodies:



And continued staying awake with a walk across the Pont des Arts, around the Louvre, and towards the Opera, and then over to L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine (“La Madeleine”). Part of this was an research tour for my friends business, but… I won’t dig into that.

There is right now at the Grand Palais an exhibit of the Japanese engraver Katsushika Hokusai.  Therefore, the épicerie Fauchon had to do a little éclair decorated with the famous Great Wave off of Kanagawa, which everyone has seen everywhere and which artists reinterpret in infinite ways. I hadn’t seen it on white chocolate.


And then around the corner to Hediard, with its spectacular displays of spices and teas and candied fruits. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It made a real impression, especially the whole pineapples, with the leaves.


The Madeleine.


Over to the Place de la Concorde and then through the Tuileries Garden back to the 6th for supper and an early evening.


On the way home, we stuck our heads into St. Germain des’Auxerrois, near the Louvre.   I saw on the schedule that they have the Extraordinary Form there.  Thus, when I got home, I shot the place an email with the request that I might be able to say Mass at the church.  This is one of the problems for a priest when traveling: finding a friendly place to say Mass where they don’t force you into a purgatory of concelebration.

For supper I started with snails.  What else, given the way I was feeling by this time.


And a beef casserole.  It wasn’t Boeuf bourgignon, but one of its numerous regional iterations.  The carrots had a touch of cumin, which was nice.


DAY 2:

I went to St. Germain des’Auxerrois this morning for the 9:45 TLM.  It was a sung Mass.
Afterwards, I spoke with whom I assume to be the parish priest.  He recognized me right away (as often happens).  We couldn’t chat long, because he wanted to greet people after Mass, but I think I may be on for their Thursday evening TLM.  I still need a place for daily Mass but… I brought my Mass kit, complete with the SPORCH travel altar cards.

The Mass itself was well-attended, some 150+ and the majority of them young.  There were quite a few families with children.  Alas, they use for Mass a tiny versus populum altar, which is pretty cramped for the TLM.  There is a grand altar in the sanctuary, however.  A choral group sang for the Mass and there was good congregational participation in the sung responses.


On my way home, I looped around to the Cathedral, Notre-Dame, and listened to the bells in full peal for a while.  The square already had a long line for people to visit the church, which I declined.  I don’t do lines for churches.

Then, across the river and a brief visit to Saint-Séverin. Mass was just concluding and it was still pretty full, even after the rush of people leaving immediately after (I presume) receiving Communion. I saw a lot of gray hair and not many children or strollers. The modern glass in the ambulatory is horrific, by the way.

These strollers I see today… they look like something engineered by the European Space Agency to land on a comet.

Even now, from my open hotel window I can hear bells across the city. It makes me think of what the city sounded like when it was announced that the war was over.

Now to find some lunch.

Prayers for you readers during my perambulations. This is a bit of a vacation for me, in that I get to be a tourist, I don’t have anything in particular that I have to do here (conference, talk, errands as I always have in Rome, NYC, etc.). I haven’t been to Paris for years. I don’t know the city all that well, so it is fun to reacquaint myself and do some exploring. I am straining at the leash to visit the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay and to get up to Sacré Coeur de Montmartre.


I won’t detain you with the details of the great day I had.  I’ll cut to the chase.

Supper started with oysters.  They were rather briny, but good.


This one seems to be an artists long-lost ear.  Tasty.


Some bread and frenchy schmear, with a Suze.  I like Suze.  Can one get it stateside now?  You can get everything else these days.


I had already started to dig into my terrine when I remembered all of you.  Have a bite.




And, boeuf saignante comme il faut.  I think my sauce béarnaise is marginally better.   This was not bad at all!


For dessert had an assortment des fromages, which was okay, but not exciting enough to take a photo of an recount.

Tomorrow, I hope I will be hacking my way through part of the Louvre, which I designate for tomorrow and Friday.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

Seal of Confession holds even after penitents die

There is a CNS piece that teaches something about the Seal of Confession.

Seal of confession is absolute, even after penitent dies, officials say

VATICAN CITY — The secrecy of a confession is maintained so seriously and completely by the Catholic Church that a priest would be excommunicated for revealing the contents of a confession when ordered to testify by a court or even after the penitent dies, Vatican officials said.

No confessor can be dispensed from it, even if he would want to reveal the contents of a confession in order to prevent a serious and imminent evil,” said Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court dealing with matters of conscience.

The penitentiary sponsored a conference at the Vatican Nov. 12-13 on “the confessional seal and pastoral privacy.”

According to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, conference participants heard that since the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 spelled out the penalties in church law for violating the secret of the confessional, “the discipline of the church in this matter has remained substantially the same,” with the exception of additional protections.

One of those additions, the newspaper said, was a 1988 church law explicitly stating that using an “electronic apparatus” to record, broadcast or otherwise share the contents of a confession also is an excommunicable offense.

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, [formerly Prefect of Cong. for Clergy] told conference participants it is important “to remove any suspicion” that the church’s commitment to the confessional seal “is designed to cover intrigues, plots or mysteries as people sometimes naively believe or, more easily, are led to believe.”

The seal, he said, is intended to protect the most intimate part of the human person, “that is, to safeguard the presence of God within each man.” The effect of the secret, he said, is that it also protects a person’s reputation and right to privacy.

The confessional seal, Msgr. Nykiel said, “is binding not only on the confessor, but also on the interpreter, if present, and anyone who in any way, even casually, comes to know of the sins confessed.” [Did you get that?]

The church, he said, takes the seal so seriously that it forbids, on the pain of excommunication, a priest from testifying in court about what he heard in the confessional, “even if the penitent requests” he testify.

Not even the death of the penitent can absolve the confessor from the obligation to maintain the secret, Msgr. Nykiel said.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , | 25 Comments

JUST TOO COOL: Who knows what happens to your lost stuff!

I can’t help but post this because it is JUST TOO COOL.

A 4th c. Gallo-Roman chariot wheel was found intact in the Rhone River!



In other news, from Archeology

KASHIHARA, JAPAN—A dark blue dish and a clear painted bowl recovered together from a fifth-century tomb in Nara Prefecture are evidence of Japan’s far-reaching trade networks. The dish has been confirmed to have been imported from the Roman Empire. Its chemical composition, analyzed with a fluorescence X-ray device, is almost identical to Roman glasswork made in the second century or earlier in the Mediterranean region. The chemical composition of the painted glass bowl matches glass fragments unearthed at the palace in the ancient Persian capital of Ctesiphon. “Japan aggressively traded with other countries in the fifth century, and (the latest findings) show various elements were entering Japan at the time. Because the glass dish may have been transported via Central Asia, it is no wonder that there was a time lag (between its production and arrival in Japan),” Takashi Taniichi of Sanyo Gakuen University told The Asahi Shimbun.

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

A brief glance at articles analyzing the Pope Francis and Card. Burke saga

I have recently seen two analysis pieces about Card. Burke and Pope Francis and what’s up with this pontificate.

First, there is one by Russell Pollitt at The Daily Maverick.   It seems sort of deep and thoughtful at a first reading.  After reflection I think it is a cliché “journey metaphor”: the Church and the Synod are on a journey. Big deal.

Also, from a couple days ago there is a piece at NRO by Benedict Kiely.  It’s a bit chatty, but the analysis about dynamics in the Roman Curia are a bit more realistic than the dreamy piece, above.

Here is one bit I found interesting and, after listening to younger clergy and seminarians, I think is true:

What does this apparently inter-ecclesiastical dispute matter to the wider world? In the first place, it shows how the only large global institution that represents what might be called the traditional view of the family and society is divided, and that division is clearly bad for those who care about the future of the family and civil society. On a more positive note: This could mark the last rally of a certain Sixties mentality in rapid decline. Unless they are weathervanes tilting with the wind of ambition, the priests and bishops ordained since Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict have nothing in common with the bell-bottomed theology that, at least for a season, has been revived in Rome.

And then there’s this thing in Italian from La Nuova Bussola:

Dal blog curato dal vaticanista Giuseppe Rusconi, veniamo a sapere dell’esistenza del “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco”, intendendosi per Francesco l’attuale Papa. Si tratta di un gruppetto di giornalisti e intellettuali – che potremmo anche definire ultras – guidati dal vaticanista del GR1 Raffaele Luise e formatosi poco dopo l’elezione al pontificato di papa Bergoglio.

Di tutte le possibili interpretazioni che si danno del magistero di papa Francesco, quella del Cenacolo – e di Raffaele Luise – è sicuramente tra le più progressiste. Non a caso per la prima uscita pubblica tre sere fa a Roma, relatori principali sono stati l’immancabile cardinale Walter Kasper e il cardinale Francesco Coccopalmerio. Vista l’affluenza di pubblico alla serata, probabilmente con il nome Cenacolo si fa riferimento al numero di adesioni (non più di una ventina i presenti in tutto).


Read the rest there.

Posted in Liberals, Pope Francis, The Drill | Tagged , | 21 Comments

My View For Awhile: R&R trip

I am at the airport awaiting the first leg of a trip to a destination. I won’t have to “work” there. This is for fun. And it is a place I haven’t been to for quite a long time, years in fact. I am grateful to the good people/regular readers who have arranged the whole thing.


It’ll work out so that I’m back for Sunday Mass.

In the meantime, while on the road I’ll work on my final column for the UK’s Catholic Herald. It has run it’s course and they are changing formats. So, as this series ends, I will start a new one with a different concept!

I’ll have time on the trip to think on it.



Boarding in a while. Time for a snack and quick review of the queue.



Door closing soon.



I am on the ground and in the car, but my peeps are “retarded” by two hours! I have been instructed to go to town anyway.


Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 10 Comments