Talk from Ruth Institute: “Tips for Happy Marriage and Effective Parenting.”

I have gotten to know Ruth Institute and its chief Jennifer Roback Morse over the years at Acton University. I direct the married and the engaged, and those who sense that their vocation is to the married life, to this fine talk by Betsy Kerekes – threaded with good humor – on how to deal with daily tensions between spouses and kids.

“Tips for Happy Marriage and Effective Parenting.”  HERE

Check it out.

I was also very much in favor of their graphic:

Ruth Institute Aquinas

Go to Confession

So who is the bald guy at the top of this newsletter?

That is St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274. He is widely considered the smartest man in the Western world since St. Augustine, who died in 430.  

What is he talking about, “sin makes you stupid?”
He’s making an astute observation about the human condition. When we do things that we know to be wrong, we go into self-protection mode: we kid ourselves, rationalize, refuse to see things that contradict our predilections, and generally act like idiots.

Did he literally say that?
No. Actually, he said “sin darkens the intellect” and a whole lot of other intelligent stuff too. Check out his Summa Theologica. (Don’t worry: only the title is in Latin. You can get it in English.)

I don’t even believe in sin. I don’t have to believe this Catholic stuff.
That’s true. You don’t have to believe it. Check it out for yourself. Watch and see: when people do something against their own value system, they quite often lose their minds. Unless and until they make amends.


So… listen and check them out.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Lighter fare, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

TRIDUUM NOTE – How early can the Easter Vigil 2017 begin?

We are getting to that time of Lent when we should be thinking about the schedule for the Vigil of Easter.

Here is an oldie but goodie. Updated for 2017.

From a reader:


There is a parish in our diocese that is advertising (in the bulletin and even in the diocesan paper) a 4:00 p.m. Easter Vigil. Are there ANY circumstances which allow for such an exception to the rule that the Easter Vigil may not begin until after sundown?

I seem to remember a clarification from Rome which stipulated that beginning an Easter Vigil at the same time as anticipated Masses is “reprehensible.”

I cannot think of any exceptions.

Given the time of year and daylight savings time, 4:00 pm is simply too early. It is still too light out. I am leaving aside the dilemma of people in, say, northern Alaska, where length of day and night and day at different times of the year can be pretty dramatic.

But, ad rem

Since this night is the most important of the year, you want to get it right. Right? That includes the right time when the rite is to begin. The symbolism of the light in darkness is important to the meaning of the rite. And the purpose of our liturgical rites is to have an encounter with mystery. The signs and symbols are important.

This Vigil (which is by definition a nighttime action) is not like the normal “vigil” celebrated in anticipation of a all other Sundays or Holy Day. It has a unique character in the whole liturgical year.

The rubrics for this rite, as found in the 2002MR says this is nox, night.

3. Tota celebratio Vigliae paschalis peragi debet noctu, ita ut vel non incipiatur ante initium noctis, vel finiatur ante diluculum diei dominicae.

The whole celebration of the Paschal Vigil ought to be completed at night, both so that it does not begin before the beginning of night, and that it finishes before dawn of Sunday.

sunset twilight

As your Lewis & Short Dictionary will indicate perago is “to complete”, in other words, “to get through it”. Vel…vel… is the equivalent of et… et.

To repeat: the Vigil is to

a) be gotten through entirely during nighttime
b) begin after nightfall
c) be completed before dawn


4. Missa Vigiliae, etsi ante mediam noctem celebratur, est Missa pachalis dominicae Resurrectionis.

The Mass of the Vigil, even celebrated before midnight, is the Easter Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection.

In most cases you don’t have to say that a vigil Mass is for the following Sunday. But the unique character of the Rite, different from the Sunday morning Mass, needs to be clarified. Also, the time midnight is explicitly mentioned.

Midnight is the traditional time to begin the Vigil Mass rites!

Also, the 1988 Circular of the CDW, called Paschale solemnitatis (Notitiae 24 [1988] pp. 81-107) dealt with the time of the beginning of the Vigil,

78. This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense. Reprehensible [!] are those abuses and practices which have crept in many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Masses.

“Reprehensible”… get that? And that from a year long before this Pope.

The Jews made all sorts of distinctions about sundown and twilight and night. So do we when considering liturgical times.

We must drill into initium noctisThissunset twilight is the time when light from your planet’s yellow star is no longer visible. It is when twilight ends.  It is after nightfall.  This is the earliest time we can start the Vigil: initium noctis... the beginning of night, nightfall.

What does this mean?  We need some definitions.

Sunset is when the upper edge of the sun finally sinks the horizon. This is what the Jews called sunset. For Jews the evening twilight lasted until a few stars appeared. Then it was night. They had to figure these things out so that they knew, for example, how far they could walk to get to places, etc., before the sabbath fell.

There are also levels of twilight.  There is Civil Twilight, that is, when the sun’s center is 6 degrees below the horizon. Of course there is still a lot of light from the sun in the sky at that time. More helpful in this day of astronomical precision and electric lights is to go by Astronomical Twilight: when sunlight no longer illuminates the sky. That’s the time we are looking for.

The end of Astronomical Twilight is a fancy way of saying, “it’s night”.



Astronomical Twilight is helpful because we can use the calculations of the Naval Observatory to figure out when Astronomical Twilight takes place.


Exempli gratia let’s say you are in the Diocesis Extraordinarii Ordinarii Madisonensis, where I am now.

Summon a chart for Astronomical Twilight from the Naval Observatory for your place and find the end of Astronomical Twilight for 15 April 2017 (yes 15, Saturday, because Easter Sunday is 16 April). NB: There is a drop down menu for the type of table!  Choose Astronomical Twilight… its defaut is sunrise/sunset. My results were 2024 + 0100 hour for daylight savings which begins 13 March in these USA), which means that the starting time can be 2124. Let’s call it 9:30 pm, to start the procession to go to the place for the flinty sparking of the fire.

Your nightfall (your exact Astronomical Twilight) will be a little different depending on your location (latitude and longitude, elevation, etc).

Clearly it is the Church’s intention that the rites begin when it is dark. There can be a little flexibility. There might still be traces of twilight but it would be black in church with the lights out, outside trees, mountains, and buildings might be in the way, etc.

The point is: let there be darkness!

So… if by 4:00 pm where you are night has fallen, fine! Start the Vigil Mass. If not, and I will bet it hasn’t in most places people inhabit, then 4:00 pm is too early.

Given how important the Vigil is, it is a grave liturgical abuse to begin Mass at 4:00 pm.

Didn’t that document say “reprehensible”?

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Classic Posts, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

How you would have observed Lent in 1873

Today is Ember Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent.  It is a day of even deeper penance.

For those of you who may think that Lent is a pretty tough time to be a Catholic, giving up chocolate and all year in and year out, this came to me email today.  This is what our forebears did for Lent in these USA (my emphases and comments):



Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, will fall on the twenty-sixth day of February.

1. Every day during Lent except Sunday, is a day of fast on one meal, which should no be taken before mid-day, with the allowance of a moderate collation in the evening.

2. The precept of fasting implies also that of abstinence from the use of flesh meat, but by dispensation, the use of flesh meat is allowed in this Diocese at every meal on Sunday, and at the principal meal on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, of Lent except Holy Thursday. [But not Wednesday and Friday and Saturday]

3. There is no prohibition to use eggs, butter or cheese, provided the rules of quantity prescribed by the fast be complied with. Fish is not to be used at the same meals at which flesh meat is allowed. [No surf and turf, friends.]

Butter, or if necessary lard, may be used in dressing of fish or vegetables.

4. All persons over seven years of age are bound to abstain from the use of flesh meat, and all over twenty-one to fast according to the above regulations unless there be a legitimate cause of exemption. The Church excuses from the obligations of fasting, but not from that of abstinence from flesh meat, except in special cases of sickness or the like, the following classes of persons: 1st, the infirm; 2nd, those whose duties are of an exhausting or laborious character; 3rd, women in pregnancy, or nursing infants; 4th, those who are enfeebled by old age. In case of doubt in regard to any of the above exemptions, recourse must be had to one’s spiritual director, or physician.

All alike, should enter into the spirit of this holy season, which is, in a special manner, a time of prayer, and sorrow for sin, of almsgiving, and mortification.

The faithful are reminded that by a special privilege granted d by the Holy see to the faithful of this Diocese, a Plenary Indulgence may be gained on the usual conditions, on St. Patrick’s Day or any day, within the Octave. [This does NOT dispense Catholics from the Lenten discipline on St. Paatrick’s Day, a dopey practice now which I abhor, promethean neopelagian that I am.]

By order of the Very Reverend Administrator,

GEORGRE H. DOANE. Secretary.

Bishop’s House, Newark, Feb. 6., A.D. 1873.

NB: Catholics are not obliged to follow the regulations of 1873.  You are obliged to follow them as they are hic et nunc, here and now. Be sure you know the regulations in your country. If you decide to do more than what the regulations require here and now, fine. But don’t trumpet the fact and don’t look down on those who choose not to add things on beyond the regulations.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism | Tagged , | 29 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 08 – Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent: Embertide

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

Today is Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent.  The Roman Station is the Major Basilica of St. Mary Major.


Today you will hear a bit from an amazing disc.   The tune is a setting of Venantius Fortunatus’ O gloriosa Domina, differently.  St. Anthony of Padua’s mother sang it to him and he died while singing it himself.


O gloriosa Domina
excelsa super sidera,
qui te creavit provide,
lactas sacrato ubere.
O heaven’s glorious mistress,
enthron’d above the starry sky!
thou feedest with thy sacred breast
thy own Creator, Lord most high.
Quod Eva tristis abstulit,
tu reddis almo germine;
intrent ut astra flebiles,
sternis benigna semitam.
What man had lost in hapless Eve,
thy sacred womb to man restores,
thou to the wretched here beneath
hast open’d Heaven’s eternal doors.
Tu regis alti ianua
et porta lucis fulgida;
vitam datam per Virginem,
gentes redemptae, plaudite.
Hail, O refulgent Hall of light!
Hail Gate august of Heaven’s high King!
through thee redeem’d to endless life,
thy praise let all the nations sing.
Patri sit Paraclito
tuoque Nato gloria,
qui veste te mirabili
circumdederunt gratiae. Amen.
To the Father and the Spirit
and to thy Son all glory be,
who with a wonderous garment
of graces encircled thee. Amen.
Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have good news to share with the readership?

We could all use some good news.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 18 Comments

TRIDUUM NOTE: Do you have a crotalus? How about two crotali?

Let’s think ahead to the Triduum. Traditionally, after the Gloria of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the church’s bells are silenced and a wooden noise maker is used instead.   The harsh sound is striking.   The technical name for the ecclesiastical noise maker is: crotalus – the rattle of a snake.

In some places a wooden gizmo with little hammers or clappers are used.  In Italian they are called a “tric troc”. Other versions are handles with ratchets that you twirl around.  Italians call those “raganella”.

Check with your parish priest to find out if they have a clacker or whizzer or other gizmo.

You should probably order them in pairs, since during the Eucharistic procession to repose the Blessed Sacrament after Mass of Holy Thursday, the altar boys could alternate as they went.

They will be delighted.

To purchase…

US HERE – UK HERE  Or use the Amazon search box for a “Toca T-WR Ratchet”.  It is not at all expensive.

For Holy Week, the last time bells, or organ, can be rung in the Roman Rite is for the first few words of the Gloria of Holy Thursday.  After the beginning of the Gloria there should be no bells, which produce such cheery sounds.  However, even in the older form of the Roman Rite, there is no clear indication in the rubrics that there should be some other noise-maker to substitute the bells at the elevations and during the procession.

That said, it is a strong and venerable custom that noise-makers such as the crotulus or the “tric troc”, clappers, should be used.

I cannot imagine not using some noise-maker if one is available.  The association of the sounds with the Triduum are deeply part of the way we Catholics do things.  They set a wholly different tone during the Triduum.

By the way, at least one church – this one in poor, poor unfortunate Malta – replaces their church bells with a really big crotalus.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

The German Church: Nuts

kasperIn our day we finally gone beyond the decades long, post-Conciliar scandal of priest against priest when it comes to sacramental discipline.  We have now reached bishop against bishop and conference against conference.  If you are in one diocese or country, you can step across the border and have an entirely different approach on, say, absolution of people who don’t have a firm purpose of amendment and, consequently, admission to Holy Communion.

Here is an article at First Things which succinctly state the issue. It is a bit too long, perhaps, and it has some old information. However, it serves as a good review if you haven’t been keeping up.


On February 1, 2017, the German Bishops’ Conference published a press release announcing their new document, “The Joy of Love Lived in Families Is Also the Joy of the Church,” which summarizes the implications of Amoris Laetitia for sacramental discipline and pastoral care in Germany. German psychiatrist Christian Spaemann replies to the bishops in the following article. –Ed.

The time has come. The German bishops have done something that altogether exceeds their authority: They have undermined the sacramental discipline of the Catholic Church.


Thank you, Card. Kasper.

If you want to dig more deeply into this disciplinary cadaver to see what theological cancer rotted it from within, you might read the rather difficult, but dead-on right, essay by Robert Stark in Catholic World Report: German Idealism and Cardinal Kasper’s Theological Project. HERE

And we could also look at the issue of the “Church Tax” in Germany. That must be a factor in their decisions.

Pray for the faithful priests in Germany.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Yet another reason to appreciate Papa Ganganelli!

Mozart Order of Golden SpurDid you know that Pope Clement XIV, in addition to suppressing the Jesuits in 1773, made Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart a knight of the Order of the Golden Spur on 4 July 1770?  A singular papal honor!  By the way, his full name was Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart.  There is a portrait of him wearing the medal.

When Mozart was 14 his ambitious father Leopold took him to Rome in 1770.  As the story goes, in April, during Holy Week, they managed to get through the guards and into the Gardens where they found Pope Clement serving food to the poor.  Thus, introductions were made.  It was during that Holy Week that young Wolfgang heard Allegri’s Miserere in the Sistine Chapel. That piece had been reserved to that chapel and forbidden elsewhere under pain of excommunication.  Mozart, however, had the gift of remembering what he heard, so he wrote it down.  Clement, true to his name, was pretty impressed.  It is said that, thereafter, the Pope personally gave Mozart a guided tour of important places in the City.   In July Papa Ganganelli knighted Mozart on his return to Rome from the south.

Clement_XVI_Mug_01 Clement_XVI_Mug_02

For all the selections click



As you place your orders, you can listen to this:

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 07 – Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent: Make Church Great Again!

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

Today is Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent.  The Roman Station is St. Anastasia.


Some of the music used in some of these podcasts is from Matthew Curtis Motecta Trium Vocum.  US HERE UK HERE

Meanwhile… Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture


Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: “I have Stage Four cancer…pray to Carlo Acutis!”

From a long-time commentator here and a blogist:

I have Stage Four cancer in the chest wall muscle and a tumor on the artery under the skull. I am considering all options.

I am asking all my friends to pray to Carlo Acutis for a complete cure. He needs a miracle.

Okay, everyone, she asked you to pray specifically to Carlo Acutis to intercede.  Storm Carlo Acutis.   We are not talking about “Jesus, Mary Joseph and all the saints and all the angels, especially [followed by a litany of your favorites].”

Get to work for our friend.

Posted in Urgent Prayer Requests | 20 Comments

Solemn ANATHEMA against heretics – Sunday of Orthodoxy

UPDATE 7 March:

I received this note from an Archimandrite:

Dear Father, I thought you might be interested in reading what the “Rite of Orthodoxy” actually says so please see the two following

links:  HERE and HERE


___ Originally Published on: Mar 6, 2017

For the Orthodox, Sunday 5 March was the Sunday of Orthodoxy.   They had solemn proclamations of “ANATHEMA” against heretics.   It is very festive.  I envy them conviction and this solemn ceremony.  We Latins really should have something like this.

Here is looong video from Holy Trinity Monastery, Ekaterinburg in Russia, yesterday.  Yes, this is 2017, not 1054. Click around in it if you can’t watch/listen to the whole thing. It is grand.

After reciting the Nicene Creed, they sing

This is the apostolic faith, this is the faith of the fathers, this is the Orthodox Faith, this faith confirmeth the universe. Furthermore, we receive and confirm the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and their traditions and writings which accord with divine revelation. And though there are some who are enemies to this Orthodoxy, and adversaries to the providential and salutary revelation of the Lord toward us, yet hath the Lord been mindful of the reproaches of His servants; for He hath covered the opposers of His glory with shame, and put the perverse enemies of Orthodoxy to flight. And therefore we bless and praise those who have submitted their understanding to the obedience of the divine revelation, and have contended for it; so following the Holy Scriptures, and holding the traditions of the primitive Church, we reject and anathematize all those who oppose the truth, if while the Lord tarried for their repentance and conversion they have refused to return.

To each of the following statements of the deacon, the clergy, choir, and people respond: Anathema! Thrice.

To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is self-existing, and that all things in it are made by chance, without the divine providence, ANATHEMA!
To those who say that God is not a spirit, but flesh; or that He is not just, merciful, wise, omniscient, and such like blasphemies, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are not consubstantial and equal in honour with the Father; and who profess that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not one God, ANATHEMA!
To those who madly assert that the coming of the Son of God into the world in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not necessary for our salvation and the expiation of sin, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the grace of redemption preached in the Gospel as the only means of our justification before God, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the most pure Virgin Mary was not a virgin before childbirth, in childbirth, and after childbirth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles, and by them instructed us in the true way to eternal salvation, and confirmed the same by miracles, and now dwelleth in the hearts of all faithful and sincere Christians, and guideth them into all truth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father alone, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ sayeth in the Gospel, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the immortality of the soul, and deny that the world will have an end, and that there will be a future judgment, and eternal rewards for the virtuous in heaven, and punishment for the wicked, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject all the Holy Mysteries held by the Church of Christ, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and traditions which are in accord with divine revelation, and which the Orthodox Church piously maintains, ANATHEMA!
To those who reason that Orthodox sovereigns are elevated to their thrones not by God’s special good will for them, and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not poured out upon them during the anointing for the fulfillment of this great calling; and who likewise dare to rise up against them in revolt and betrayal, ANATHEMA!
To those who mock and blaspheme the holy icons which the Holy Church receiveth, in remembrance of the works of God and of His saints, to inspire the beholders with piety, and to incite them to imitate their examples, and to those who say that they are idols, ANATHEMA!
To the Theosophists and other heretics who dare to say and teach mindlessly that our Lord Jesus Christ did not descend to the earth and become incarnate only once, but hath been incarnate many times; and who likewise deny that the true Wisdom of the Father is His Only-begotten Son, and, contrary to the divine Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Fathers, seek other wisdoms, ANATHEMA!
To the Masons, the occultists, spiritualists, sorcerers, and all who do not believe in one God, but honour the demons, who do not humbly surrender their life to God, but strive to learn the future through the sorcerous invocation of demons, ANATHEMA!
To the blasphemers of the Christian Faith, the ecumenists who say that they do not confess the Orthodox Eastern Church to be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, but madly say that the true Church seems to be a combination of various heresies, ANATHEMA!
To those apostatize from the Orthodox Faith and accept other beliefs, to the scandal of our brethren, and fall into schism, ANATHEMA!
To the persecutors of the Church of Christ, the impious apostates who have lifted their hands against the anointed of God, who slay the sacred ministers, who trample the holy things underfoot, who destroy the temples of God, who subject our brethren to iniquisition and have defiled our homeland, ANATHEMA!

Some of the Anathema Service in a Catholic Greek Melkite Church in English.  HERE

By way of contrast, here’s a video about the same length. The Orthodox are not lacking in color and intensity. Perhaps the Russians have also the Three Days of Darkness in mind.

By the way, this year the LA “Religious” Education Conference did NOT post their “Closing Liturgy” as they have in years past. Perhaps they figured out that they are the hiss of all of the reverent.

And to any nitwit out there who suggests that Gregorian chant or solemn liturgy is toooo haaaard, look at this.

Posted in Both Lungs, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | 56 Comments

Is there a “schism”?

gray50shadesI pay scant attention to Patheos, but for a couple contributors.  This caught my eye after a frequent commentator here alerted me.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker wrote, with my legendary emphases and comments:

Headlines last week were proclaiming that a group of cardinals believe Pope Francis should step down to avoid a catastrophic schism in the Catholic Church.

Schism? What schism?

In fact, the modern Catholic Church is already in schism, but it is an internal schism, hidden to most people.  [He is using the term “schism” equivocally, but read on…]

The divide is very clear and yet virtually unspoken. Nobody dares to really speak of it.  [I don’t know about that.  HERE] The divide runs between cardinals. It runs between bishops and archbishops. It runs between theologians. It runs between parish priests. It runs between liturgists and catechists, church workers, musicians, teachers, journalists and writers. [All true.]

It is not really a divide between conservative and liberal, between traditionalist and progressive. [Wellll…]

[NB] It is the divide between those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Virgin born Son of God and that as the second person of the Holy and undivided Trinity established his church on earth supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit which  would stand firm until the end of time, and those who believe otherwise. [As I read, I am acutely aware of my post about yesterday’s “Anthema” ceremony for Orthodoxy Sunday of Eastern Christians.]

Those who believe otherwise are the modernists. [Let’s also use “heretics”.] They are the ones who think the church is a human construct. It is a historic accident that occurred two thousand years ago and succeeded by a few twists of fate and a few happy circumstances. Because the believe the church is a human construct from a particular time and place, the church can and MUST adapt and change for every age and culture in which she finds herself.

This is the great divide. This is the schism which already exists.


I direct the readership’s attention to just about anything offered by Card. Kasper lately and, in particular, the incredible comments made by Card. Coccopalmerio to Edward Pentin HERE:

PENTIN: One last topic: At a recent plenary meeting with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, you reportedly encouraged the members to push for a less rigid understanding of the priesthood, essentially telling them to give up on an objective and metaphysical notion of priesthood. Your notion was that as we have an understanding of different levels of communion with the Church among the baptized, we should have different degrees of the fullness of priesthood, so as to permit Protestants to minister without being fully ordained. What exactly did you say, and why did you say it?

CARD. C: I was saying we have to reflect on questions. We say, everything is valid; nothing is valid. Maybe we have to reflect on this concept of validity or invalidity. The Second Vatican Council said there is a true communion even if it is not yet definitive or full. You see, they made a concept not so decisive, either all or nothing. There’s a communion that is already good, but some elements are missing. But, if you say some things are missing and that therefore there is nothing, you err. There are pieces missing, but there is already a communion, but it is not full communion. The same thing can be said, or something similar, of the validity or invalidity of ordination. I said let’s think about it. It’s a hypothesis. Maybe there is something, or maybe there’s nothing — a study, a reflection.

Call into question the very concept of validity?  What are the implications?

Effectively, that means the obliteration of the Catholic Church.

What do libs do? They launch things out as ideas, “hypothesis”, and then they walk them back or they add “nuances”.  In the meantime the needle has been bumped a half a point in the desired direct.  Card. Kasper put some ideas out there to kick around.  Chaos ensued.  But now we have some bishops who say that the divorced and remarried can be given absolution and Communion while others don’t.  This, based on an objectively unclear papal document.  It’s surreal.  Now, Card. Coccopalmerio (as LutherFest 2017 revs up) lofts the notion that, perhaps, there are shades or, a spectrum of validity.  Maybe there isn’t really any such thing as validity.

Are there 50 Shades of Gray Validity?


Posted in Liberals, Pò sì jiù, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Reader Feedback and Your Voicemail and Biretta Project Request (Octogenarian)

I think my Guardian Angel prompted some good feedback over the last few hours.  I really needed it.

First, from a reader:

Based on your recommendation, my wife and I watched The Nightingale last night – US HERE – UK HERE (French version). [HERE] Thank you. We both enjoyed the movie.


Next, from a priest:

Thank you for all that you have done for seminarians over these past many years, especially the work that you do through this blog. As a seminarian for nine years, I had quite an interesting time in formation. I attended a seminary that saw three different rectors with three very different views of how things should work. Despite the ups and downs for me and many other seminarians, we knew that we could turn to your blog in order to be informed, enlightened, encouraged and humored in such a way as to make the hard times a bit easier. For this and for the gift of your priesthood in this unique service to the Church, I thank you.

You may not remember this, but I will mention it nonetheless. Someone […] took a picture of [car], which had two of your bumper stickers on it. This picture found it’s way onto the blog. My bishop, several priests and many seminarians recognized it as my car, and I got an equal share of praise and warning for it. I do not regret it; if anything I was amused by it all.

I was ordained to the priesthood last year. I would like to learn to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form as soon as possible. Please pray for me, and know of my prayers for you, that we may be good priests of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

That lifts my spirits!


Thank you for all you do. Your website is an oasis of sanity from my often insane diocese (that’s a story for another time).

Sadly any seminarian appearing in biretta in my diocese would, after the obligatory psychological assessment, be quickly assigned to the outer reaches of the universe, or worse. However we do have a wonderful 87 year-old priest who celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, who at his stage in life probably doesn’t care what the diocese thinks. This led to the thought have you considered another ACTION ITEM “Birettas for Octogenarians”?

Thanks for that.  If there is anything we can do to lift the spirits of a 87 year old priest, I’m in.   Let’s make it happen.



Thank you for the great sermon, Father Z  [HERE] I like how you bring us back to the very origins of the Church.

(Kind of a desert here sorry to say) I know you don’t post them very often, but at least more priests are chiming in :) Appreciate all you do…blessed Lent to you, and of course thanks for the LentcaZts too, praying for all your intentions.

z-voice-mailPrayers for my intentions are welcome indeed.

And now some voice mail – I really enjoy voice mail and I don’t get nearly enough – this comes from a gentlemen in reference to my post about clapping, applause, in church.  HERE

The video to which he refers is HERE.

I am very grateful for feedback.

I am also grateful to all of you kind people make donations and who remember me in prayer.

Posted in Reader Feedback | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

PRACTICAL: What should be in a traditional MC’s “Go Bag”?

paxHere in the realm of the Extraordinary Ordinary, where I am President of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison (a 501(c)(3) organization – please make a generous donation today!) I am fortunate to have as a colleague a young layman who acts as MC for many of our functions.  He is super well-informed about his work and the Roman Rite.

The other day I mentioned that I was impressed that, if something were needed in a pinch, he always seemed to have what was necessary.  So…

I asked him what he thought should be in the traditional MC’s “Go Bag”.   This is what he sent:


Always take along:

  • Rituale Romanum
  • Liber Brevior
  • Holy Water
  • Salt (preferably already blessed)
  • Pen and pencil, notepad
  • Safety pins
  • Lighter
  • Matches, for when none of the available lighters will work (and that will eventually happen)
  • Swiss Army Knife (preferably one that includes a corkscrew)
  • Corkscrew (if not on the knife), for when you arrive and there is no wine in the sacristy so someone has to make a run to the store to buy a bottle, and it is corked (yes, this has happened when I was serving, and fortunately I had a pocketknife to open it)
  • Paperclips – for some reason they are needed more often than one might think

Helpful, but not essential:

  • Needle and thread
  • Standard straight pins
  • Copy of Fortescue, J.B. O’Connell, or L. O’Connell
  • Pontificale Romanum and a copy of Stehle (for Pontifical liturgies)

Essential references to own for study / rehearsal:

  • Fortescue, Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described (best general resource for all common parish ceremonies)
  • B. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass (most in-depth resource for Masses celebrated by a priest)
  • O’Connell, The Book of Ceremonies (best resource for basic serving rules and principles, e.g. different types of bows and genuflections, how to light and extinguish candles, etc, as well as a basic overview of parish ceremonies, though less depth than Fortescue and never updated to post-55 Holy Week. Also a great appendix on liturgical chant)
  • Stehle, Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies (best resource for anything Pontifical)
  • Wapelhorst, Compendium Liturgiae Sacrae (most in-depth explanation of what is happening and why, for all types of Masses and the Divine Office. Lots of helpful charts and tables to summarize the more complicated ceremonies)
  • an actual Missale Romanum (i.e. not just a hand Missal), with the complete Rubricae generales, Ritus servandus, De defectibus, and the in-line rubrics

So to all you aspiring MC’s out there, get a “go bag”, get to studying and…

¡Hagan lío!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 06: Monday in the 1st Week of Lent – Jesus has emerged victorious from His battle with Satan

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

Today is Monday in the 1st Week of Lent.  The Roman Station is St. Peter in Chains.


Along the way in these podcasts you might hear something from Lent at Ephesus by the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri.  UK dwellers can get it HERE.  Lent is just starting up, so consider helping the sisters and getting the disc.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments