WDTPRS 5th Sunday of Lent: His love lives and works in and through us

Traditionally this upcoming Sunday is called First Passion Sunday or First Sunday of the Passion.  “Passiontide” begins.

It is also known as Iudica Sunday, from the first word of the Introit of Mass (from Ps 42/41), and sometimes Repus (from repositus analogous to absconditus, “hidden”) because crosses and other images in churches are to be veiled.  From today, in the Extraordinary Form the “Iudica” psalm is no longer said during the prayers at the foot of the altar and the Gloria Patri at the end of certain prayers is not said.

This pruning of our liturgy during Lent, and the hiding of images in Passiontide, symbolizes how Holy Church is undergoing liturgical death.

Today’s Collect, new to the Novus Ordo Missale Romanum, comes originally from the Mozarabic Rite.

Quaesumus, Domine Deus noster, ut in illa caritate, qua Filius tuus diligens mundum morti se tradidit, inveniamur ipsi, te opitulante, alacriter ambulantes.

Opitulor, a deponent verb, means, “to bring aid; to help, aid, assist, succor.”


O Lord our God, we beg that,  You assisting us, we ourselves may be found walking swiftly in that selfsame sacrificial love by which Your Son, loving the world, handed Himself over to death.

In some respects our Lenten Collects are similar to those of Advent.  There are images of motion, of pilgrimage.  We are moving toward a great feast of the Church but we are more importantly moving definitely toward the mysteries they make present to us.

Taking a page from St. Augustine of Hippo (+430), we the baptized who are the Body of the Mystical Person of Christ, the Church, are on a journey with the Lord, the Head of the Church, toward Jerusalem: the Jerusalem of our own passion and the new Jerusalem of our Resurrection.  Christ made this journey so that we could make it and be saved in it.


Father, help us to be like Christ your Son, who loved the world and died for our salvation. Inspire us by his example, who lives and reigns….

In the bad old days, ICEL regularly reduced phrases like Domine Deus noster to the stark “Father”. The translators apparently thought we were too dense to figure out which prayers were addressed to the First Person of the Trinity.

The obsolete ICEL versions also relied heavily on the catch-all word “help”, as in the quintessential parody of an obsolete ICEL prayer:

“Father, you are nice.  Help us to be nice like you.”

I used the word “assisting” in my literal version (above), though I could have accurately used “helping”.  We should make distinctions about how ICEL used “help” it in the old versions.

God “helps” us.  No question. What we must avoid (and the obsolete ICEL prayers did NOT), is the suggestion that we can do what we are praying for on our own, but, it could be helpful if God would give us a hand now and then.  That attitude is redolent of the ancient heresy Pelagianism.

Pelagianism, fended off in the 4th and 5th centuries especially by St Augustine, is the false notion that Original Sin did not wound human nature and that our will is still capable of choosing good and salvation without the help of God’s grace. Thus, our first parents “set a bad example” for humanity to follow. Adam’s sin did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin (wounding of the intellect and will, appetites, etc.). For Pelagians, Jesus sets the good example which counteracts Adam’s bad example. We can, on our own, choose to live by the help of Jesus’ perfect example.  For Pelagians, we humans retain full control and responsibility for our own salvation.

Now read the obsolete ICEL version again.

Keep this in mind if you meet someone who is still stirring discontent about the new, corrected translation.  The new translation, while not stylistically perfect, is theologically less dodgy than the obsolete translation.  The Latin original is even better.


By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death.

“Help” here is acceptable because we go on to pray about being “in” Christ’s charity, sacrificial love.

In our liturgical worship the one, whole Mystical Christ is on a Lenten journey.  Each year during Lent, Christ, in us, travels that road of the Passion and we, in Him, travel the road marked out by Holy Mother Church and her duly ordained shepherds.  We must unite ourselves in heart, mind and will with the mysteries expressed in the liturgy.

And it came to pass, when the days of his assumption were accomplishing, that he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)

Our passion, our road to Jerusalem, is in our examination of conscience and good confessions, our self-denial and works of mercy.

Our Lenten discipline continues for another fortnight.  Make your well-prepared and thorough sacramental confession.

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LENTCAzT 32: Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

In this podcast you hear music from the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. HERE

9 votes, 3.67 avg. rating (74% score)
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ASK FATHER: TLM form for Communion during Novus Ordo

MassCommunionFrom a reader…


I go to both the older and newer forms of the Roman Rite at my parish church and receive Holy Communion kneeling / on the tongue at the new form.

Instead of saying “?Body of Christ” when I go up to receive, Father gives Says ” Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam tuam in vitam ætérnam. Amen” JUST FOR ME!

Is this a liturgical abuse? (albeit from the best of intentions) found it odd but haven’t spoken to him about it because I’m not sure.

I’m torn.

On the one hand, this is how a “mutual enrichment” of the two Forms of the Roman Rite will eventually come about.

On the other hand, and especially at this time, I think we need to hold pretty close to the “Say the Black, Do the Red.”

Using the older distribution form in the newer form of Mass is, objective, not in keeping with the rubrics of the newer form, wherein the distribution form is spelled out pretty clearly. From that point of view it is a violation of the rubrics. Is it a liturgical abuse? Yes, and no. No one, not even a priest, has the right to change the texts. And yet, it isn’t as if the priest is making up his own form for distribution. He is using a time honored form that is presently used in the Extraordinary Form.

How serious is this as an abuse?  Not very.  And if this is a one off, that is, he has done this for one person and isn’t doing it for everyone at every Mass, I think it can be set aside.

Were I this priest’s bishop, and this were reported to me as an abuse, I would punish him by suggesting that he use blended Scotch instead of a single malt for one week.


I had a couple emails about the reverse: using the simple, Novus Ordo form, “Corpus Christi” during a TLM or, worse, the vernacular “The Body of Christ”.

It is slightly wrong for to use the older form during the newer Mass.  It is much more wrong to use the newer form during the older Mass.

Not only are the sensibilities of those who attend regularly the TLM more finely attuned, but the very nature of the rites call for this more exacting formula of distribution.  For one thing, the form is intimately tied to the form the priest says for his own Communion.  That is not the case in the Novus Ordo, where the forms are entirely different.  No solidarity there.

I have no time for the lame excuse whined up by priests that the older form for distribution is toooo haaaard.  B as in B.  S as in S.  Just. Learn. It.

Remember, according to Universae Ecclesiae 24 and 28, in the TLM we don’t have altar girls, we don’t have Communion in the hand, and we priests must stick to the older, full formula for distribution of Communion rather than use the innovation, the simple Novus Ordo form.

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ASK FATHER: Can someone excommunicated go to Mass?

From a reader…


The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on excommunication (from 1908) says an excommunicated person can’t participate in any liturgies, i.e. he can’t even be present. The CIC only says he can’t minister or administer the sacraments. Is the CE out of date or is the CIC not giving all applicable law?

The old Catholic Encyclopedia, while a good source to start with for certain things, is out of date.

According to the law currently in force, an excommunicated person is not excluded from attending Holy Mass. In fact she is obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days just like everyone else.

She may not, however, receive Holy Communion.  And depending on the reason for the excommunication and the faculties of the confessor, she may not receive sacramental absolution until the censure is lifted… except in danger of death.

We no longer have the category of excommunicate who is also vitandus, to be avoided, shunned.  That was rarely imposed and was done away with in the 1983 Code.  There was also, once, a tolerandus category I believe.  I can’t help of thinking of Card. Kasper’s odd solution for the divorced and civilly remarried, to be seen as “tolerated but not accepted” insofar as Communion is concerned.  How odd.

A handy resource is Dr. Peter’s book HERE

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Archbp. Sample on a “house divided”. Tune in, trads and liberals alike!

I direct the attention of the whole readership to a video of a sermon of my old friend His Excellency Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland.

He is celebrating a Pontifical Mass at the Throne.  He preaches about the unity of the Church, about a “house divided”.

Every single one of you who desire the Extraordinary Form (and those who hate it) ought to listen carefully to the Archbishop’s message.

I echo with him… imagine what we could accomplish were we to set aside some of our minor differences and work together in a more unified way.

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Is Pope Francis turning away from Kasper and to Caffarra?

Sandro Magister has some analysis of the lead up to next October’s Synod on the Family.

It might surprise you.

The Synod Market Index. Kasper Down, Caffarra Up

Even Pope Francis is distancing himself from the former and taking sides with the latter. And staying on good terms with Cardinal Müller. And promoting the African Sarah. All unyielding defenders of the Catholic doctrine on marriage

ROME, March 20, 2015 – “This does not resolve anything,” Pope Francis has said with regard to the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Much less if they “want” it, demand it. Because communion “is not a badge, a decoration. No.”

In his latest big interview Jorge Mario Bergoglio threw cold water on the expectations for substantial change in the doctrine and practice of Catholic marriage, which he himself had indirectly fostered:

“Overblown expectations,” he called them. With no more references to the innovative theses of Cardinal Walter Kasper, which he had repeatedly extolled in the past but now seems to be keeping at a distance.

Click to buy!

On the other hand, for some time now Pope Francis has looked with growing attention and esteem at another cardinal theologian, who upholds ideas on the “Gospel of marriage” that are perfectly in line with tradition: the Italian Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna. [Caffarra was a contributor to the Five Cardinals Book™.]As a professor of moral theology, Caffarra was a specialist in marriage, family, procreation. And this is why John Paul II wanted him at the head of the pontifical institute for studies on marriage and the family that he created in 1981 at the Lateran university, following the 1980 synod dedicated precisely to these themes.

So a stir was created last October by the exclusion of any representative of that institute[!] – which since its foundation has spread all over the world – from the first session of the synod on the family.

But now this gap has been filled, because last March 14 Pope Francis appointed among the advisers of the general secretariat of the second and last session of the synod, scheduled for October of this year, none other than the vice-president of the pontifical John Paul II institute for studies on marriage and the family, Professor José Granados. [Although we have to look at the other people who were appointed.]

As for Caffarra, if the Italian episcopal conference does not elect him this May among its four delegates at the synod, the pope will certainly see to including him among the synod fathers, as he did for the previous session.

The archbishop of Bologna is one of the five anti-Kasper cardinals who assembled their ideas in the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” published in Italy by Cantagalli on the eve of the last synod and now translated into ten languages. [Buy in USA HERE Buy in UK HERE]

And right from the start he was one of the most determined and incisive critics of the bombshell speech read by Kasper at the consistory of February 2014:

In this extensive interview with “Il Foglio” published on March 15, 2014, Caffarra said among other things, with regard to communion for the divorced and remarried:

“Those who advance this hypothesis do not have an answer to a very simple question: what about the first marriage, ratified and consummated? The proposed solution leads one to think that the first marriage remains intact, but that there is also a second form of cohabitation that the Church legitimizes. Therefore there is an extramarital exercise of human sexuality that the Church considers legitimate. But with this comes a denial of the cornerstone of the Church’s teaching on sexuality. At this point one could ask oneself: so why not approve cohabitation at will? So why not relationships between homosexuals? This is not only a question of practice, it also touches upon doctrine. Unavoidably. One may say that it doesn’t, but it does. Not only that. It introduces a custom that in the long run determines this idea in the people, and not only among Christians: there is no such thing as an absolutely indissoluble marriage. And this is certainly against the Lord’s will.”

Further below, in its entirety, is Caffarra’s latest position statement on marriage and family: a conference he gave last March 12 in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

But first it will be helpful to recall other facts that highlight the growing approach of Pope Francis toward Kasper’s critics.


Read the rest there.

Is the tide turning, or is this a tactic?

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Both kind and number

12_10_04_confessionalFrom a reader:

A positive anecdote from the penance service from my parish last night (a different parish than the aforementioned one):
The retreat master (a Jesuit) was prepping the penitents for confession and said “…AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY NUMBERS! DON’T FOCUS ON THAT SORT OF THING! START WITH SOMETHING YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR” [face palm] and all of the local priests (good men but none of whom are famous for their orthodoxy or traditional leaning) as one rolled their eyes and shook their heads. It was a great moment.

Another Jesuit.  What a gift they continue to be.

We are obliged to confess all our mortal sins in both kind and number.  That means, what sort of sin and how many times or some indication of frequency if you can’t be precise (which is fairly common).

Everyone, repeat after me…

both kind and number

both kind and number

both kind and number

The Sacrament of Penance, or Reconciliation, is not for a chat about the great things going on in your life, how you’ve been “pretty much a good person”, or making excuses.  Cut through the fog and confession SINS.  Add just the circumstances that might make a real difference (such as, I stole the sandwich because my daughter and I are homeless and starving, or I stole the milk bottle from an elderly woman on a fixed income).  Do not chat, do not hesitate, do not be afraid.

Examine your consciences and GO TO CONFESSION!


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VATICAN: No. You can’t use the 1998 English translation.

I saw this at The Pill (aka The Tablet aka RU-486), which makes it all the more enjoyable to read.

Vatican liturgy secretary rules out possibility of Catholics using 1998 Mass translation

A Vatican archbishop has ruled out the possibility of Catholics being able to use a different English translation of the Mass.
There have been growing calls for the 1998 version to be made available [Right… growing.  Tens of people have cried out for the rejected 1998 version.] as critics are unhappy with the current missal text which is judged clunky, awkward, and a too literal translation of the Latin.
The 1998 text was approved by English-speaking bishops’ conferences after 17 years of work. It was, however, rejected by the Vatican and a revised translation, introduced in November 2011, was then implemented.
But Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary to the Congregation for Divine Worship, said using a different English version of the missal could not happen.
The archbishop told The Tablet[which makes in so much better] that the Roman liturgy “expresses the unity of the entire Church” and that while the 1998 version translated the 1975 Roman Missal, a new Latin Missal was introduced in 2002 thus making the 1998 edition outdated. [It must be admitted, however, that the necessary adjustments could have been made to the 1998 version.  However, there were translation norms published in Liturgian authenticam.]
Archbishop Roche, who as Chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) oversaw the introduction of the current English Mass text, also said that “the principles governing the translation of liturgical texts of the Roman Rite had altered by 2001 which would have, in any case, required a new translation of the Roman Missal.”
He was referring to the document Liturgiam Authenticam [as I said] whch called for translations to convey the “integral manner” of the original Latin “even while being verbally or syntactically different from it.”
This week, a former chairman of ICEL said many Catholics are dissatisfied with the current Mass text and should be allowed to use the 1998 version.
The Bishop Emeritus of Galloway, Maurice Taylor, who was in charge of ICEL from 1997-2002 said: “Many people are dissatisfied and unhappy with the present translation which we have to use. Our bishops have an opportunity to remedy the situation by asking the Holy See to grant its recognitio of the 1998 translation, a text that was approved by all the English speaking bishops’ conferences which are full members of ICEL.”
He added: “A precedent for having a choice of approved translations of the Missal already exists. Those who prefer to continue with the [2011] Missal, on grounds of either taste or expense, would do so; others would opt for the 1998 translation.” [Out of curiosity, I wonder how many of those who want for the opportunity to use the 1998 version are supportive of those who want the opportunity to use the 1962 Missale Romanum.]
In The Tablet earlier this month Jesuit theologian Fr Gerald O’Collins wrote an open letter to English-speaking bishops, urging them to press for adoption of the 1998 text.

I haven’t posted this for a while.

Tabula delenda est.

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LENTCAzT 31: Friday of the 4th Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Friday of the 4th Week of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

In this podcast you hear music from the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. HERE

13 votes, 3.62 avg. rating (73% score)
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Sad. Former SSPX Bp. Williamson consecrates a bishop. Both now excommunicated.

Former SSPX Bp. Williamson consecrated another bishop. They both have incurred the late sententiae excommunication foreseen in Canon Law.

The SSPX issued an official statement HERE:

On March 19, 2015, Bishop Richard Williamson performed the episcopal consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure at the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.

Bishop Williamson and Fr. Faure have not been members of the Society of St. Pius X since 2012 and 2014, respectively, [NB] because of their violent criticisms of any relations with the Roman authorities. According to them, such contacts were incompatible with the apostolic work of Archbishop Lefebvre. [I suspect that Lefebvre would be horrified.]

The Society of St. Pius X regrets sincerely that this spirit of opposition has led to an episcopal consecration. [May the come soon to regret other spirits of opposition.] In 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre had clearly indicated his intention to consecrate auxiliary bishops [NB] who would have no jurisdiction, because of the state of necessity in which the Society of St. Pius X and faithful Catholics found themselves at that time. His sole goal was to make available to the faithful the sacraments which priests ordained by the bishops would offer.  [There is no question that Holy Orders, Mass and baptisms and confirmations are valid.] After having done everything conceivable to gain permission from the Holy See, Archbishop Lefebvre proceeded with the solemn consecrations on June 30, 1988 before several thousand priests and faithful and hundreds of journalists from around the world. It was abundantly clear from all the circumstances that, despite the lack of authorization from Rome, this action done in the most public manner was for the good of the Church and of souls. [It was not abundantly clear… but read on.]

The Society of St. Pius X denounces this episcopal consecration of Fr. Faure, which, despite the assertions of both clerics concerned, is not at all comparable to the consecrations of 1988. [True.] All the declarations of Bishop Williamson and Fr. Faure prove abundantly that they no longer recognize the Roman authorities, except in a purely rhetorical manner.  [Like admitting that Francis is indeed Pope, and then not submitting to his authority?  Say his name in the Roman Canon and put a photo up?  What do they do, exactly?]

The Society of St. Pius X still maintains that the present state of necessity renders legitimate its action throughout the world, without denying the legitimate authority of those for whom it continues to pray at every Mass. [The Roman Pontiff and, I suppose, the local bishop.  I wonder: Do the priests of the SSPX include the name of the local diocesan bishop in the Canon during Mass?] The Society intends to continue its work of priestly formation according to its statutes. It has every intention to keep the deposit of the Faith and the purity of the Church’s moral teaching, in opposition to errors, from wherever they may come, in order to pass on such Faith and morals in the traditional liturgy and by preaching, in accordance with the missionary spirit of its founder: Credidimus caritati [1 John 4:16].

Menzingen, March 19, 2015

I pray that Williamson and the other fellow will be reconciled before they die.

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