You are now guilty of homophobia until you prove your innocence.

I saw this story a few days ago at Pewsitter, but I am just now getting to it.  I was reminded to return to it by the comment made by one of my correspondents:

Spain has lost it’s mind.

Frankly, I was deeply worried that, had the recent election gone the other way, this was coming to the shores of these USA… sooner, rather than later.

Spain…actually, Catalonia…

Spain: Government Encourages Citizens To Inform On Neighbors, Family Members That Violate LGBT Privileges Law

CATALONIA, Spain – The Catalonian government, ruled by the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Si, has run advertisements on TV3, a major network, to encourage citizens to anonymously inform on one another when they violate an LGBT privileges law enacted in 2014.

The law, approved by then-president Artur Mas in 2014, is called the ‘Law to Eradicate Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.’ The law is peculiar with respect to the body of Western legal tradition in that it reverses the burden of proof: It is the defendant (in this case, anonymously betrayed via telephone) who must prove his innocence. The accused is considered guilty until innocence is demonstrated.

Article 30 of the law reads as follows: ‘Reversing the burden of proof: in accordance with the provisions of the procedural and laws governing administrative procedures, when the plaintiff or a person alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and provides legitimate grounds for suspicion, it is therefore for the defendant, or the one to whom the discriminatory situation is imputed, to provide an objective and reasonable justification, sufficiently proven, of the measures taken and their proportionality.’ The Catalan law of LGBT privileges (model for other similar laws in Spain) can be read here in Spanish.


Did you get that?

You can accuse someone of being a “homophobe” and that person is, therefore, a “homophobe” unless she can prove that she isn’t.


And it’s coming.

Imagine children, indoctrinated in schools, reporting on their parents and neighbors.

Imagine something like the Cultural Revolution, but based on sodomy instead of the Party.

Posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer in NYC

I received a note from a priest of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer which I share now with the readership:

Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

I hope this message finds you well. I am FR. JORDAN-MARY, a priest of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer (FSVF). If you are not yet familiar with our community, we are a group of traditional Dominicans based in France, founded in 1979 and canonically erected as a society of pontifical right in 1988. If you’d like, there is more information available on our website at .

A group of our priests will be in New York City in order to introduce our community to the American public and to speak about the construction project which we have undertaken to complete our motherhouse in France, including the magnificent conventual church which is already underway.  [Isn’t it interesting that the (traditional) Carmelites in Wyoming and the (traditional) Benedictines in Missouri and the (traditional) Benedictine in Clear Creek) are all building?]

In conjunction with this project, we have produced a short video explaining the work we are doing and giving some information about our community. We are acquainted with your wonderful website, and we would be very grateful if in your charity you would be willing to share this video along with a brief text explaining these events to your readers.

With the assurance of our community’s prayers,



Our English website :
Share link for our promotion video :
Our English Facebook page :

What we are doing in New York:

From the 15th to 22nd of November 2016, the Founder of the Fraternity Saint-Vincent-Ferrier, father Louis-Marie de Blignières (Ph.D.), accompanied by two fathers of his Community, father Reginald-Marie Rivoire (J.C.D.) and Ambrose-Marie Pellaumail (Sc.D.), will be in New York.
Thursday 17th: Holy Innocents Church (128 W 37th St). 18:00 : Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, followed by a conference. Sunday 20th : Pequannock, New Jersey, Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (32, W. Franklin Ave.) Masses and Homily: 9:00 ; 11:00 (Solemn Mass followed by a refreshment in the parish and a conference ; 17:00.
Monday 21st : Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish, run by the Dominican Fathers, (869 Lexington Avenue). 19:00 : Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, followed by a conference.

Posted in Events, The Coming Storm | Tagged | 13 Comments

BOMBSHELL: The Four Cardinals Letter to Pope Francis – “Seeking Clarity”

UPDATE:  I’d be willing to bet that The Four are merely the tip of the spear.  I’d wager that they represent a large gang of quiet Cardinals who want answers, but because they are presently in curial or diocesan positions they are hesitant to raise their heads too high.

___ ORIGINAL published on: Nov 14, 2016 @ 01:39 ____

Four Cardinals (aka The Four) who presently do not have a curial or diocesan role wrote a letter to Pope Francis in September.   The letter also went to Card. Müller, who is Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Four asked five pointed questions in the classic form of “dubia… “doubts” … that needs only “Yes” or “No” answers.   They did not get a response.  Therefore, in the spirit of Matthew 18:16-17 (“If your brother will not listen to you, take with you two or three witnesses. If then he will not listen even to them, tell it to the assembly.”), they have gone public.

The questions are about the Pope’s Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris laetitia!

Sandro Magister has it.  HERE

The basic structure of what you will read.

  • There is a forward, about the status quaestionis.
  • There is an introduction from the Cardinals about why they wrote the letter.
  • There are the questions themselves.
  • There are expansive paragraphs for each question.

It is thick reading, but rewarding.

The Letter from The Four was dated 19 September, which was some 10 days after Pope Francis sent a letter to Argentinian bishops giving his informal approval to a problematic document they wrote about how to implement Amoris laetitia.

The questions, or dubia, concern the concrete issue of sacraments (Penance and Eucharist) for the divorced divorced and civilly remarried who refuse continence as well as about absolute moral norms.

You should go to read the whole thing there…. but here is the introduction:

To His Holiness Pope Francis
and for the attention of His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller

Most Holy Father,

Following the publication of your Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting, above all in regard to Chapter VIII. Moreover, the media have emphasized this dispute, thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful.

Because of this, we the undersigned, but also many Bishops and Priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation.

Now, compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility and desiring to implement ever more that synodality to which Your Holiness urges us, we, with profound respect, we permit ourselves to ask you, Holy Father, as Supreme Teacher of the Faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity, benevolently giving a response to the “Dubia” that we attach to the present letter.

May Your Holiness wish to bless us, as we promise constantly to remember you in prayer.

Card. Walter Brandmüller
Card. Raymond L. Burke
Card. Carlo Caffarra
Card. Joachim Meisner

Rome, September 19, 2016



3. The “Dubia”

1.    It is asked whether, following the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person “more uxorio” (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by “Familiaris Consortio” n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” n. 34 and “Sacramentum Caritatis” n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live “more uxorio”?

2.    After the publication of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3.    After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

4.    After the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5.    After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

The letter of The Four is humble and respectful, but clear.   They clearly did not want to be adversarial in tone.  The Four merely want some clarity about “grave disorientation and great confusion” which has been provoked by now infamous elements of Amoris laetitia.

In particular, keep in mind that many people have wondered whether there is an ongoing effort to undermine the Magisterium of St. John Paul II.

You know what will happen next.

The Four will be pilloried by the liberal catholic smear machine, who will seek brow-furrowed quotes from their current darlings, their exemplars of pastoral sensitivity, their hopes for sweeping “change”.

The fact that The Four do not presently have curial or diocesan roles means that – short of having their red hats taken away – the Pope can’t remove them from offices that they don’t hold.

This, folks, is a big deal.


The Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter… which, frankly, has no credibility until they start being honest and stop using the word “Catholic” in their title) has twisted the move of The Four.  Get this spin from Fishwrap“:

Four semi-retired cardinals [Card. Burk, 67, is not “semi-retired] have publicly questioned Pope Francis’ most recent teachings on family life, issuing an open letter to the pontiff with five yes or no questions about how he understands church teaching following the publication of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.  [It is not that they “publicly questioned” the Pope’s teachings.  They are asking questions so that they can have clarity about the Pope’s teachings.  There is a difference, at least in common English parlance.]

While the cardinals say they are writing the note in “an act of justice and charity” to allow the pope to “dispel all ambiguity” [There is no question that there is ambiguity in the Apostolic Exortation.  Reasonable people want ambiguity in important matters cleared up.] about his exhortation, they take a defiant tone [No. There is nothing defiant about the tone used by The Four.] and pit Francis’ document against others written by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  [No. The Four did not “pit” Francis against John Paul II.  FRANCIS pitted Francis against John Paul II… or so it seems.  So, The Four have asked, giving Francis the benefit of the doubt, how does what we read in AL harmonize with what we read in the Magisterium of John Paul II.  They want to know if there only seems to be a conflict or if there really is a conflict.  That’s a reasonable thing to ask, even for the sake of lifting any suspicion from Pope Francis himself!]

Publication of such an open challenge to a Catholic pontiff from some of his cardinals, who normally act as the pope’s staunchest defenders, is exceedingly rare.  [They asked questions.  They didn’t issue challenges.]


Remember what I wrote, above, about how the lib catholic smear machine would paint The Four?

Thus beginneth The Smearing of The Four.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged , , , , , , | 85 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for you Mass of Sunday Obligation?

Let us know.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 18 Comments

ASK FATHER: Is post-election schadenfreude a sin to be confessed?

From a priest…


A simple question that arose for me this week for obvious reasons. Is schadenfreude a sin that should be confessed?

This requires a lot of deep thought, prayer, time to reflect.





No.  In this case, it’s not a sin.  Enjoy!

Meanwhile, everyone should, please, read THIS. By the way, there are lessons in this article, especially towards the end, for what’s going on the in the Church today.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | 32 Comments

WDTPRS – 6th Sunday remaining after Epiphany: true “active participation” at Mass

Jesus mustard seedAs we approach the end of another liturgical year, an odd thing happens in the Church’s traditional, pre-Conciliar calendar. The Sundays left over after Epiphany, after Christmas, are finally dusted off and prayed until the liturgical year is concluded.  This has to do with the vagaries of your Moon and shifting date of Easter, and therefore Ash Wednesday and Pentecost.  In some years the Sundays after Pentecost don’t take us all the way to Advent.  Thus, we pray the texts for the Sundays that we didn’t get to before Ash Wednesday.  Get it?

This week we use the 6th Sunday after Epiphany. This Collect happened to survive the snipping and cutting of the Consilium under the late Annibale Bugnini to live on in the Novus Ordo editions of the Missale Romanum as the Collect on the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, semper rationabilia meditantes, quae tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis.

Note the spiffy separation of et dictis…et factis by the verb.  Rationabilis is an adjective meaning “reasonable, rational”.

A Biblical source for part of the oration could be John 8:28-29:

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.  And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him (quae placita sunt ei, facio semper).


Grant, we beg, Almighty God, that we, meditating always on rational things,
may fulfill those things which are pleasing to You by both words and deeds

I chose “rational” partly because of an association I made with a prayer attributed to St Thomas Aquinas which we students, trying to be serious and rational beings (cf. Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 1,13 ), recited before philosophy classes:

Concede mihi, miséricors Deus, quae tibi sunt plácita, ardenter concupíscere, prudenter investigáre, veráciter agnóscere, et perfecte adimplére ad laudem et gloriam Nominis tui.  Amen. …

Grant me, O merciful God, to desire eagerly, to investigate prudently, to acknowledge sincerely, and perfectly to fulfill those things which are pleasing to Thee, to the praise and glory of Thy Name.  Amen.

When we submit to God’s will and pursue what is good and true and beautiful, we are as God wants us to be.


keep before us the wisdom and love
you have revealed in your Son.
Help us to be like him
in word and deed

Dreadful.  Good riddance.


Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, always pondering spiritual things,
we may carry out in both word and deed
that which is pleasing to you

I chose “rational things” for rationabilia.  The new, corrected ICEL has “spiritual things”, which is certainly defensible.  The French language dictionary of liturgical Latin by Albert Blaise revised by Antoine Dumas, for rationabilis, gives us “spirituel”. Blaise/Dumas also cites the ancient version of the very Collect we are looking at today, identifying it for the 6th Sunday after Epiphany in the 8th century Gregorian Sacramentary.

We are creatures made in the image and likeness of God.  We are made to act like God acts, using the gifts and powers of intellect and will He gave us.  These faculties are wounded because of Original Sin, but they still separate us from irrational animals.  Thus, we can distinguish between “acts of humans” (such as breathing and digesting) that are not much different than what brute animals do except that a human does them, and “human acts” (like painting, repairing a car, conversing, choosing to love) which involve the use of the higher faculties.

We must be interiorly engaged and focused with mind and will on the action we, as agents in God’s image, are carrying out.

This is important for understanding “active participation” in the liturgy.

Many people think “active participation” means carrying things around, clapping, singing, etc.  We can do all those things and actually be thinking about the grocery list or wondering what the score of the game is.  We all have the experience of catching ourselves whistling without realizing we were doing it, reading and not remembering what we just read.  We are doing something, but we are not acting as “humanly” as we ought.

That is not the kind of participation we need at Mass.

We must be actively receptive to what is taking place in the sacred action of the liturgy.

Watching carefully and quietly, actively receptive listening to the spoken Word or to sacred music, can be far more active than carrying things around, and so forth.  Active receptivity requires concentration and desire, mind and will.

It looks passive, but it isn’t.

We actively submit to Christ, the true actor in the Mass, and we actively receive from Christ.  He gives us what we need, not as if to passive animals, but as to His actively receptive and engaged images.

Inner participation leads to outward expression. The outward can also spark the inward.  The former, however, has logical priority over the latter.

Participation at Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form can help us recover a deeper, fuller, more conscious and proper active participation in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  It has the harder elements of deprivation which lead to that indispensable apophatic encounter with Mystery.

This is also why our priests must always be faithful to the official texts and rubrics.

Oh… one more thing.

The most perfect form of active participation is the reception of Holy Communion in the state of grace.

If you desire to participate at Holy Mass and other liturgical rites with full, conscious and actual, active participation, then…


Posted in GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments



Today through mutual friends I received news of a Serious Tragedy™ that befell a fine and, one might say, heroic priest.

You would know this priest as the one who delivered the superb sermon before the presidential election on 8 November (that O so happy day).  HERE

Yes, dear readers, the Serious Tragedy™ befell Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of the Cathedral of Sts. Simon and Jude in Phoenix!

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you faithful Catholics are saying, “What was the Serious Tragedy™, tell us quickly! We know that you will give us the straight stuff in charity because you obviously both READ the documents of Vatican II and you understood them, and you – traditional as you are – are neither rigid, insecure, or hiding something!”

Some 5 years ago or so, Fr. Lankeit crossed my radar because he, quite properly, initiated all male service at the altar at the Cathedral. HERE and HERE

As a token of my esteem, I sent him some Z-Swag, to wit, a coffee mug and other stuff from the Z-Swag Store.

Today I learned that – and I can hardly write this for the tears that brim from my eyes and patter with sad November splashes on my keyboard – he has broken his coffee mug!

No, no, dear readers! Be not distraught, though your sympathetic hearts surely have cracked wide open in pain for him. No, no! Father Z has a remedy, a balm for the wound we collectively sense!

How about this.

Go to my Z-Swag store, pick out a mug, and send it to Fr. Lankeit!

This will serve several purposes, not the least of which is show to him the gratitude we have for his outstanding sermon before the election.

Honestly, I’ll bet that that sermon moved some Catholics in their consideration of the candidates.

Give poor poor Fr. Lankeit a shot in the arm, as it were, a token of thanks, a boost.

Bombard the grief-stricken Rector with Z-mugs of solidarity and love.  (I’ll bet he’ll even pass on a few to the mighty Bishop Olmsted and other good priests.)

Send to…

Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit
Cathedral of Sts. Simon and Jude
6351 N 27th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85017

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Lighter fare, Mail from priests | Tagged , | 5 Comments

WDTPRS – 33rd Ordinary Sunday: thoughts on the “sign of peace” – POLL

Since the day I was ordained, I have celebrated both forms of the Roman Rite, the Novus Ordo and the TLM.  When I am called upon to say the Novus Ordo, I jump up and help out.  After all, I am not rigid in this regard. I prefer the older, traditional form, but it is also a matter of duty and charity to respond generously to what St. John Paul II called his Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta the “legitimate aspirations” of the faithful who desire tradition, to offer for their benefit what Benedict XVI called “sacred and great”, and ruled was never abrogated, always, therefore, legitimate.   This is one of the reasons why I, consistently, as we approach Sunday, post comments about the prayers of Mass in both the Usus Antiquior and the Novus Ordo.   We mustn’t be stingy.

This Sunday’s Collect in the Novus Ordo is rich.  The ancient author was skilled.  The translators of the current ICEL version blew it.  By the way, the way ICEL consistently blew is but one of the myriad reasons why many in English-speaking countries desired Holy Mass in Latin… but I digress.

We will see where they went wrong and then drill into a pair of words leading us back to the 3rd century.

Our Collect for the 33rd Ordinary Sunday was in the 8th century Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis and also in the more ancient Veronese Sacramentary.

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster, in tua semper devotione gaudere, quia perpetua est et plena felicitas, si bonorum omnium iugiter serviamus auctori.

First, the conditional particle si means “if”. Iugiter (related to “yoke”) and servio (constructed with the dative) are old friends now. We can leave them aside. Briefly, devotio can be read as “a devotion to duty”. Our “devotion” must lead the soul to keep the commandments of God and the duties of our state before all else. If we are devout in respect to God and intent on fulfilling the duties of our state in life as it truly is here and now, then God will give us the actual graces we need to fulfill our vocations. He helps us because we are fulfilling our proper role in His great plan.

I like the parallels between perpetua and iugiter, and plena and omnium followed by felicitas and bonorum.  If you work on it, this is an ABCCBA pattern.  Elegant.  Chiasma.

Pay attention to the ideal conditional statement depending on “si…if” with the subjunctive: Y if X.


Grant to us, we beseech You, O Lord our God, always to rejoice in Your devotion, for happiness is perpetual and full, if we serve continually the author of all good things.


Father of all that is good, keep us faithful in serving you, for to serve you is our lasting joy.

What were they thinking?


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good.

FAIL. They eliminated the condition! The Latin says that happiness is perpetual and full, IF we serve God.    They eliminated the protasis of an ideal condition.

Why? Is the condition too demanding?

I can’t help but think of the many Catholics today who assume that heaven’s rewards are ours automatically without our having to do anything more than just feel good about ourselves.  The fact is, we can lose what Christ won for us through presumption, neglect, laziness, and sin.  Heaven is not automatic.  We must pray for the dead, examine our lives, go to confession, and perform good works.  We must serve.

As it happens, the 2008 “Gray Book” (draft) version had “if” while the 1998 rejected ICEL version suggested the condition through a paraphrase (“for only through our faithfulness to you…”).

Note the words perpetua and felicitas. The Roman Canon (1st Eucharistic Prayer) raises up the names of two ancient martyrs, Sts Felicity and Perpetua. Coincidence? I think not. In the ancient sacramentaries today’s Collect was used for martyrs.

Who are Sts Felicity and Perpetua?

We have documents from the period of Roman persecutions of Christians in the early 3rd century, including the prison diary and trial accounts of a young noble woman named Perpetua, martyred around 202 in Carthage, North Africa. She was still a catechumen (not yet baptized), who identified herself as Christian. Perpetua gave up her still nursing baby and insisted on being put into the arena during games in honor of the Emperor Geta.  Many tried to dissuade her, but she got her wish. With great heroism she faced the beasts. After many torments a gladiator was sent in to finish her off, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Perpetua grabbed his hand and pointed his sword at her own throat. Perpetua’s heroism inspired others to give strong witness to their faith and, subsequently, be imprisoned. A pregnant slave girl name Felicity went to prison with Perpetua.  Felicity had her baby just before they were sent to the arena (from Latin harena, “sand” which covered the surface). The accounts of the trial and deaths of these martyrs attest to the amazing love they had for each other in prison.  They also show that Christian solidarity crossed class boundaries. There is a touching moment in the account when Perpetua and Felicity arrange each other’s clothing so as to preserve their modesty even while they were suffering.  They bade each other farewell with the kiss of peace.

Our Faith was nourished by the blood of martyrs. The farewell gesture of Perpetua and Felicity, the kiss of peace, should remind us today to be dignified during Holy Mass when the entirely optional “sign of peace” is invited for the congregation.

Dignity, people, dignity!  Use some decorum if you have the sign of peace… for the love of all that’s holy.

The congregation’s sign of peace – is entirely optional in the Novus Ordo.  The congregation exchanges the sign of peace at the discretion of the priest or bishop celebrant.

To put it another way, it does not have to be done at all.

However, there is a specific moment when the celebrant extends his sign of peace to those present.  The celebrant’s sign of peace is not an option.

In Redemptionis Sacramentum we read:

[72.] It is appropriate “that each one give the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner”. “The Priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so as not to disturb the celebration. He does likewise if for a just reason he wishes to extend the sign of peace to some few of the faithful”. “As regards the sign to be exchanged, the manner is to be established by the Conference of Bishops in accordance with the dispositions and customs of the people”, and their acts are subject to the recognitio of the Apostolic See.

Thus, I suppose it depends on what people do during the sign of peace, or more technically, the “pax… peace”.  When I was in Hong Kong years ago I saw people bow to each other.  In the USA and Italy have have seen all dignity and reverence thrown to the winds.

Since in the Ordinary Form the congregational sign of peace is an option left entirely to the discretion of the priest celebrant, until we accomplish a restoration of liturgical decorum my preference would be to opt out of the congregational sign of peace.

That said, the congregational sign of peace is permitted.  As a matter of fact, it is an ancient Christian gesture, rooted in Scripture and the earliest liturgical practice.  It is well attested and its meaning is explained by Fathers of the Church such as St. Augustine.

The manner of giving the sign of peace is usually culturally conditioned.   However, there is a traditional sign of peace, or kiss of peace, the pax, in the Roman Church.

It would be nice for Catholics to use it, instead of the infelicitous foolishness that is perpetually perpetrated.

Remember the POLL that I posted about the sign of peace?  It has also been on and off of the sidebar.

3rd ROUND: The congregation's "sign of peace" during (Novus Ordo) Mass

View Results

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Posted in Decorum, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

God, Rigidity, and You!

Our Lord told us, in Matthew 5, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Now, something that is perfect has no need to change.  Need to change implies imperfection. A god who changes wouldn’t be God at all. Dig, dig and we find that God simply cannot change. God is … “rigid”.

Our Lord told us, in effect, “Be rigid, as also your heavenly Father is rigid!”

And… come to think of it, God is also Mystery.  He could even be said to be hiding something…


[I am so encouraged that so few people figured out what I did here.]


Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Does Pope Francis think that young people who want Traditional Latin Mass are rigid, defensive, insecure?

I’ve been on the road for a couple days, so I’m just now getting to this.

From LifeSite [with my emphases and comments]:

Pope Francis on the young who like Latin Mass: ‘Why so much rigidity?’



On second thought, I’m not going to put time and energy into this.

I would only ask the following of any Latin Church priest, of any ecclesiastical rank or role, who refuses to learn, or to use, the older, traditional Roman Rite:

Why the rigidity?

If young people are somehow defective in the matter of “love” because they want the older, traditional forms, then, by all means, show us how to be flexibly loving.

I have maintained for years, and still maintain, that Summorum Pontificum was one of the most important things that has happened in the Church in a long time.  It was certainly one of the most important moves of Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

No effort of renewal in the Church will succeed without a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.  Use of the traditional forms is key to such a revitalization.

We need more and more and more celebrations of the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite.   Let’s make that happen.

The moderation queue is definitely ON.

PS: Fr. Hunwicke has some good comments.   HERE  I liked this one in particular:

This is splendid: an authoritative declaration that the word “extraordinary” means “exceptional”. Let us hope that an appropriate Authority very soon makes it clear that the employment of “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” must only ever be a tremendously rare “exception”. Perhaps a simple rule such as this would suffice: “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may only be used in parishes in which there is at least one Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form.” Could anything be more equitable than that? Anything more ad mentem Summi Pontificis?

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pope Francis, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged | 45 Comments

ASK FATHER: Catechizing apathetic children

From a reader…


Do you have any advice on catechizing children who have an apathy for the faith, and whose family come to Mass, but that’s it there is no teaching going on in the home. The kids I teach at the church are in 5th-7th grade and don’t even know how to make the sign of the cross. I am some what demoralized by this.


I’m hearing this constantly – people are reluctant to get involved in teaching catechism at the parish because the kids are so uninterested/unprepared, or the parents undermine ever lesson the teacher tries to get across. I think what’s needed in many places is a shift in focus – CCD teachers need to think of themselves as evangelists – almost imagine that they’re introducing kids to the faith for the first time, and that they’re the only one’s from whom these kids will learn the faith. I think of the opening scenes of the movie “The Mission” where Fr. Gabriel goes up into the mountains to the pagans who’ve just crucified the last missionary sent to them. Yet, he doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t run away – he draws on the strength of the Holy Spirit and dives right in. We truly are in a culture that has largely shrugged off it’s Christian identity. We can no longer think of handing on the faith the way our grandparents and great grandparents did. We have to think like missionaries.


I wonder to what extent interest is being squelched by the power of the little screens kids stare at all day long.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity | 26 Comments

A St. Martin’s Day Palindrome

From The Book of Days, Vol. II, R. Chambers, ed., W. & R. Chambers, Ltd., London & Edinburgh, 1864, p. 568:

“Martin, having occasion to visit Rome, set out to perform the journey thither on foot. Satan, meeting him on the way, taunted the holy man for not using a conveyance more suitable to a bishop. In an instant the saint changed the Old Serpent into a mule, and jumping on its back, trotted comfortably along. Whenever the transformed demon slackened pace, Martin, by making the sign of the cross, urged it to full speed. At last, Satan, utterly defeated, exclaimed:

‘Signa te signa: temere me tangis et angis:
Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.’

Posted in Just Too Cool, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 9 Comments


Today is, along with Veteran’s Day, and Remembrance Day, and Armistice Day, also St. Martin’s Day, that is, the Feast of St. Martin of Tour.  It is Martinmas, which in many places marked the end of the harvest.

St. Martin is also patron of infantrymen.

I once held the skull of St. Martin in my hands during a visit to Tours.  But that’s another story.

Here is, for your poetic pleasure, …

“Martinmass” by John Clare written on 11 Nov 1841.

‘Tis Martinmass from rig to rig
Ploughed fields and meadow lands are blea
In hedge and field each restless twig
Is dancing on the naked tree
Flags in the dykes are bleached and brown
Docks by its sides are dry and dead
All but the ivy-boughs are brown
Upon each leaning dotterel’s head

Crimsoned with awes the awthorns bend
O’er meadow-dykes and rising floods
The wild geese seek the reedy fen
And dark the storm comes o’er the woods
The crowds of lapwings load the air
With buzes of a thousand wings
There flocks of starnels too repair
When morning o’er the valley springs

I would love to hear this read by someone with a Northhamptonshire accent.

BTW… starnels are starlings, which group together in great “mumurations”.

You can see these each year over Rome as they migrate.  Recently, I’ve spotted some smaller groups around Madison.

Posted in Poetry, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Whatever it is they’re trying to do, I can tell they’re doing it wrong.

fishwrapAnd now for something completely different

Something not so fresh, as usual, from the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter).  The combox (in theory having a new policy) under that piece is not revealing wholehearted enthusiasm about the event.

I wonder how much the Clinton/Podesta team had contact with these … folks.

Catholic reform group seeks to build diversity with conference changes

On Nov. 11, just days after the presidential election, Call to Action (CTA) will kick off its national conference, titled “One Earth. One People. Una Tierra. Un Pueblo.” [I’ll bet there will be a lot of, tear wiping, hugging and consoling going on.]
The conference’s timing and title seem especially fitting for a country that, throughout the election season, has been fractured by divisive rhetoric surrounding immigration, women, religious affiliation and climate change.

“I think there has been a groundswell of Catholics that recognize that relationships in the church and the world are broken,” said David Saavedra, interim co-executive director of CTA. “It is only through the creation of authentic relationships that we are offered the opportunity to dialogue and come to greater understanding of people who have been marginalized.”


Interspersed throughout the program on Nov. 12 are four blocks of workshops, many of which focus on topics that remain taboo inside the institutional church, including sessions on sexual ethics, rethinking complementarity, and the transgender experience. Other sessions will consider the experience of Latina spiritual leaders, decolonization, environmental violence, and restorative justice.

Opportunities for prayer and liturgy are also abundant. Early morning prayer sessions will be offered by members of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, Spiritus Christi and FutureChurch. The opening and closing liturgies will seek to honor the Native America spiritualities that are an enduring presence on the 19 pueblos of New Mexico.


Other than the fact that the word “Catholic” is spelled out a few times in this piece, is there much in there that seems Catholic to you?

And yet the Fishwrap – which had the word “Catholic” stripped from them by a former bishop of Kansas City – promotes this lunacy.

Just after the election, Fishwrap editors asked what Catholic Americans ought to do.

This isn’t it.

These people are really confused, dear readers.  And so are those who promote this sort of event.

Prayer for the Conversion or Downfall of the National catholic Reporter

Posted in Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

10 Nov: Leo the Great

Algardi Leo Attilla smIn the newer, post-conciliar, Novus Ordo Roman calendar today is the feast of Pope Saint Leo I, “the Great” (+461). In the older, traditional calendar, his feast is 11 April.

Every pontificate is a parenthesis in the history of Holy Church.  Some parentheses are long, some are short.  Some are important, some are not.

The parenthesis that was the pontificate of Pope Leo was both long and important.  Extremely important.  Of pivotal importance, in the history of the Church, as a matter of fact.

Among his important accomplishments, was virtually single-handedly convincing Attila the Hun not to invade undefended Italy in 452.  He issued what is called the “Tome”, intimately connected to the work of the Council of Chalcedon, which established orthodox doctrine about the two natures of Christ, divine and human, united in one person, without confusion or division.   He is a Doctor of the Church.

You could perhaps pray to St. Leo that he will intercede with God to ask strength and courage for his successor in this difficult time.

I have quite a few PODCAzTs dealing with him and his texts. I notice that all of them are from some time ago.  Come to think of it, I haven’t made a PODCAzT for a long time, have I?

061 08-05-17 Pope Leo I on a post-Pentecost weekday; Fr. Z rambles not quite aimlessly for a while
059 08-05-15 Leo the Great on Pentecost fasting; Benedict XVI’s sermon for Pentecost Sunday
053 08-03-31 Annunciation – St. Leo the Great; some voicemail Q&A
050 08-02-22 St. Leo the Great on Peter; Fr. Lang on the Cathedra of Peter
049 08-01-06 Leo the Great on Epiphany; Lefebvre compared to Athanasius; feedback
029 07-05-18 Leo’s mind blowing Ascension sermon; angels
027 07-05-16 Leo on the Ascension; a Collect; feedback
021 07-04-22 Leo the Great on Peter – Msgr. Schuler
020 07-04-19 Leo the Great and Benedict – Habemus Papam!
010 07-03-25 Leo the Great’s Letter 28 “ad Flavianum” – veiling statues – a “Tridentine” church in Rome
009 07-03-22 Leo on the Passion; Sobrino; confessions on Good Friday
008 07-03-20 Leo the Great on works of mercy in Lent

My relic of St. Leo.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged | 5 Comments