Card. Napier corrects RNS’s David Gibson about “the Pope’s theologian”

There is a good piece today at CNA by the always-engaging Andrea Gagliarducci about Wilfrid Fox Card. Napier of Durban, who is rapidly climbing on my favorite list.

Kasper is not the ‘Pope’s theologian,’ says leading African cardinal

Vatican City, Apr 9, 2015 / 05:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A top African cardinal says that German cardinal Walter Kasper – who’s stirred controversy over his views promoting Communion for the divorced and remarried [and whose stance on African bishops is well-known HERE]does not necessarily represent Pope Francis’ theological stance.

He also rejected efforts to claim the Pope for either side of the debate ahead of the upcoming synod on the family.

South Africa’s Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier dismissed a news report’s label of Cardinal Walter Kasper as the “Pope’s theologian,” saying, “I believe Pope Francis is a theologian in his own right. So he does not need anyone to be presented as ‘his’ theologian.”

Cardinal Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, told CNA April 9 that the Pope is “the [visible] head of the Church in general and of the College of Bishops in particular.”

“It is wrong therefore for any one group or individual to try to ‘own’ him or even to claim him as the adherent to one particular school or another of theology.”

Cardinal Napier had voiced concern about efforts to claim the Pope as a partisan of Cardinal Kasper in an April 4 Religion News Service article, which discussed the German cardinal’s new book. The article was headlined: “Cardinal Walter Kasper, ‘The Pope’s Theologian,’ Reveals The Brains Behind Francis’ Heart.”  [RNS’s David Gibson wrote that because he is advocating a position, not because he was reporting news.  Be sure to read about where RNS gets its money, which could probably influence what it publishes.  Don’t miss it: HERE  The fact is that there is an officially appointed theologian in the papal household.  He would be the “Pope’s Theologian”.]

Cardinal Napier said on Twitter April 5 that “It’s a real worry to read an expression like ‘the Pope’s Theologian’ applied to Cardinal Kasper.

“Why is it a worry?” the African cardinal asked. “Unlike Pope Francis, Cardinal Kasper isn’t very respectful towards the African Church and its leaders.”  [Remember that dust up?  Card. Kasper was recorded saying disparaging things about the African Church.  HERE]

According to Cardinal Napier, Cardinal Kasper considers African bishops to be “excessively controlled by taboo” and too reluctant to address polygamy and similar marriage problems.  [Therefore, according to Card. Kasper, the African bishops shouldn’t have much say in what goes on at the Synod.  Yep.]


Read the rest of the piece over there.  There is some good background.

By the way, the Pope has an official theologian.  I am not sure if he is consulted frequently, but his name is Wojciech Giertych, O.P.

21 votes, 3.62 avg. rating (72% score)
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Fr. Z’s Voice Mail or ¡Hagan lío!

I have had a few voice mails recently, some from the USA and a couple from the UK.

I generally don’t return calls, but I do get your messages.

  • To the person in Buffalo, NY last week, yes, profanation of the Eucharist is a problem.  I think that Communion in the hand has led to widespread ignorance, and irreverent apathy about the Eucharist.
  • To the person in Park Ridge, IL, yes, I heard that news too.  Not good.  Alarming, as a matter of fact.  I’ll keep my ear to the ground and check with my people.
  • To the fellow in the UK yesterday, thanks!  That means a lot.


To the US Navy fighter pilot who called in… you are welcome, and I really appreciated your kind words.

I enjoy getting voice mail.  I like to know what you are thinking.  Even the hate mail makes me chuckle, especially from the cowardly loser who uses some sort of artificial voice generator to leave the occasional hysterical philippic.  Friend, start taking your meds again.  Please?

Anyway, since I pay a fee for the phone numbers, I am glad when they get some use.  I have occasionally thought about how to integrate the audio into posts, when there are good questions or comments, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.


 020 8133 4535


TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout.  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Don’t whisper.  C’mon.  If you have to whisper, maybe you should be calling the police, instead.
  3. Come to your point right away.  That helps.
14 votes, 3.50 avg. rating (70% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, What Fr. Z is up to, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged | Comments Off

More funny but biting commentary from Lutheran Satire!

More biting commentary from Lutheran Satire.  Fun. Watch to the end.

24 votes, 3.96 avg. rating (79% score)
Posted in Lighter fare, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Crossing arms to receive Communion

From a reader…


 I have been regularly attending the Traditional Latin Mass for the last two years and have been an altar boy at the TLM for the past year and a half. I have noticed that a fair number of communicants at the TLM cross their arms in the shape of an “X” when they receive Holy Communion. I have seen it commonly done in Byzantine Catholic Churches and I thought that crossing your arms when going up for Holy Communion was a sign to the priest that you were not receiving Holy Communion (at least in the Ordinary Form)? Is there a reason why some communicants cross their arms to receive Holy Communion in the Extraordinary Form? What’s the point in doing that? Were these people taught to receive Holy Communion by crossing their arms? This is quite confusing to me!

I see no reason to cross your arms to receive Communion, at least in the Latin Church, either in the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form.

It could be that some of those people attending the TLM had sought refuge for a while at an Eastern Catholic church for their reverent Divine Liturgy. They started doing that and carried it over.

I don’t see anything especially wrong with it, but,these days, it sends a confusing signal.

The custom that has arisen – wrongly I think, for Communion time is NOT the time to give blessings – of people presenting themselves with crossed arms at Communion time for a blessing may confuse others into thinking that that is the way it is done.  So, when faced with people who have their arms crossed, it can be tough to tell if they are seeking to communicate or seeking a blessing.

As a matter of fact, I sometimes see people kneel at the Communion rail to receive on the tongue and they put their hands out!  These are usually TLM newbies.

Some people don’t think much about what they are about when they do things in Church. They get into patterns.  But, hey!… it has every been so.

It is good to think about what we do in church and why.

9 votes, 3.33 avg. rating (68% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Friday Abstinence, the Octave of Easter and You

prime rib roastEach year during the Octave of Easter – and of Christmas – there is a Friday.  Fridays are days of penance, usually observed by abstinence from meat.

So, can one eat meat on Friday in the Octave of Easter?

The 1983 Code of Canon Law says in can. 1251:

Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday… (Can. 1251)

The General/Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar 24 says that:

The first eight days of the Easter season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord.

It seems that on Friday in the Octave of Easter we are exempt from the obligation to abstain.

This is not, by the way, the case with Friday in the Octave of Christmas.  

That said, Fridays are penitential days.  I don’t think you sin if you maintain something of a penitential spirit, even when Friday is in the Octave of Easter.  Maybe a Santa Cristina could grace your dinner table rather than your usual 1990 Brunello di Montalcino and you might have three courses instead of your usual four.

11 votes, 3.45 avg. rating (70% score)
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Stop talking about schism! Wherein Fr. Z rants.

The upcoming Synod of Bishops in October is probably going to be a knock-down, drag-out over a few issues. The Germans are set on achieving a progressive agenda and have hinted at doing their own thing if the Synod doesn’t go their way. Others are set on defending the Church’s doctrine.

Some people are talking about “schism” because of the Synod.

No matter what happens at the Synod, there will be no schism by either side.

Schisms are passé. Catholics don’t schism.

Indifference and apathetic drifting are the real threats.

Conservatives have no where else to go (e.g., the SSPX simply not an option). Conservatives accept Vatican II AND the Catechism of the Catholic Church AND Code of Canon Law.

Liberals love to hear conservatives talk about “schism”, because liberals are actually the ones trying to bring it about. As they try to impose NewChurch, liberals are already in de facto schism. But they’ll never make it official. They are basically Congregationalists. They are still in the cafeteria. They take what the want and leave the rest. Schism would take too much effort and money.

Schism talk is for journalists only, for headline effect. But it’s to the liberals’ advantage.

So, I want to assures the world that there will not be a schism.

There is no real threat of schism from the right. There will be no formal schism on the left, for different reasons.

So – get over it. Stop the distraction.

Schism talk benefits mainly liberal kooks.

Sorry… that was redundant.

24 votes, 3.42 avg. rating (68% score)
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Phyllis Zagano trusts Google Translate, slanders Card. Müller

Over at the Fishwrap, our dear old friend Phyllis Zagano has a fantastic piece this week.  It’s a classic!

First, let me say – as I have said before  – that Phyllis is solidly pro-life.  She is firmly against abortion and for that I give her props.

However, this week she resorted to a nasty trick that she has used before: false moral equivalence.

In her recent offering, she drew a moral equivalence between ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram and… wait for it… Ludwig Gerhard Card. MüllerPrefect of the CDF.

Bizarre, I know, but that’s what she did.

Ms. Zagano looked at an interview that Card. Müller gave to the French outlet La Croix. HERE  In that interview the Cardinal addressed issues facing the upcoming Synod, include Communion for the divorced and remarried.

She saw his phrase “Il est impossible d’avoir deux femmes!”.

She translated this as “It is impossible to have two women!”, and had a melt down.


What Card. Müller actually said:

Q: Sur la question des divorcés-remariés, ne peut-on imaginer, après un chemin de pénitence, de reconnaître une seconde union qui n’aurait pas de caractère sacramentel?? [On the question of the divorced-remarried, can we imagine, after a path of penance, recognizing a second union which wouldn’t have a sacramental character?]

Card. G.L. M.?: Il est impossible d’avoir deux femmes?! Si la première union est valide, il n’est pas possible d’en contracter une seconde en même temps. Un chemin de pénitence est possible, mais pas une seconde union. La seule possibilité est de retourner à la première union légitime, ou de vivre la seconde union comme frère et sœur?: telle est la position de l’Église, en accord avec la volonté de Jésus. J’ajoute qu’il est toujours possible de chercher à obtenir une déclaration de nullité devant un tribunal ecclésiastique.  [It is impossible to have two wives! If the first marriage is valid, it is not possible to contract a second at the same time. A path of penance is possible, but not a second marriage. The only possibility is to return to the first legitimate marriage, or to live the second marriage as brother and sister: that is the Church’s position, in accord with the will of Jesus. I’ll add that it is always possible to seek to obtain a declaration of nullity/invalidity before an ecclesiastical tribunal.]

It is perfectly clear what Card. Müller said (i.e., “wives“), but Zagano chooses the weirdly false meaning of “femme” because that fits her agenda: to slander Card. Müller.

Read all of her strange piece over there, if you wish.


Is there anyone who has been at least through freshman French (sorry, freshperson) who doesn’t know what “femme” means?  Did she miss the class that taught that “femme” means not only “woman” but also, and commonly, “wife”?

Obviously, Card. Müller said that “It is impossible to have two wives“, not “two women”.

The premise Phyllis uses, in order to draw a moral equivalence between ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram, etc. and Card. Müller is her mistranslation of “d’avoir deux femmes” as “have two women”, implying ownership or that women are objects.

The benign conclusion is that Ms. Zagano doesn’t know any French, and therefore plugged the text into Google Translate.  That’s why she got the entire premise of her thing wrong.  Here’s what happened when I used Google for that phrase:


I would rather think that that is what happened than that she purposely mistranslated what the Cardinal said.  That would be mendacious.

But she did begin with drawing a moral equivalence between murdering Islamic terrorists and Card. Müller.

Sapienti pauca.

8 votes, 4.38 avg. rating (86% score)
Posted in Green Inkers, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Synod, The Drill, Throwing a Nutty, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Support Our Lady of Hope Clinic!

I have an ACTION ITEM for you good readers. You have been generous to causes I have mentioned in the past.  Sometimes people have a hard time finding causes to support.  This is one of them that I admire.

I have written about Our Lady of Hope Clinic before.  This is one of the worthiest causes I have seen for a while and it could use your help, wherever you are.

Read more HERE and HERE

This could be a new model for health care in a rapidly changing – disintegrating – time.  The “Affordable” Care Act really isn’t.  It is going to be harder in the future for people to get health care, not easier.  And for those without much bucks?

They have a DONATION page.

Contact Julie Jensen, Director of Development, at Julie   -AT- ourladyofhopeclinic -DOT- org, or by calling (608) 957-1137.

In the clinic you see a sign on the wall explaining that

20131104-083959.jpg “Our Lady of Hope Clinic practices medicine consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church”

Therefore, they will not refer for abortion, prescribe contraception, refer for sterilization, refer for in vitro fertilization, etc.


“We will practice in complete accord with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”

This is a worthy cause.

I received an email today, about a fundraiser event for Our Lady of Hope clinic.  They told me that whenever I mention them on the blog, they get donations from all over.



7 votes, 3.57 avg. rating (72% score)
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Your mobile phone and you

On another note, I saw a post at the Charles Carroll Society page about how some government agencies have used “StingRay” tech to get into your mobile phone.

I am not overly concerned about this myself, since I am probably already being monitored by 17 national security agencies, and, hey!, this is just one more thing.  But … I found this interesting, because we are living in increasingly interesting times.

From the post:


What is StingRay?

StingRay devices or what geeky people call IMSI-catchers are a line of products made by Harris corporation and others that are fake cell phone towers.  Your phone is constantly trying to connect to any and all cell phone towers.  When you are connected, it shows up as “bars” on your phone.  “Bars” indicate how well you are connected to the nearest cell phone tower.   The Harris RayFish line of devices are fake towers.  They appear to your cell phone to be a real AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. towers.  They trick your phone in to disconnecting from your normal cell phone tower and automatically connecting to the Harris fake cell phone towers.   You should think of this connection as a physical cable directly connected to your cell phone.   Once your cell phone has been connected to the cell tower, the StingRay device can monitor your calls, text, web usage, search terms and track the phone’s movements very accurately into a few feet even indoors.

Why do I care?

One issue is that if the government is tracking “bad Bob” across the street or in an airport your phone is also being tracked and hacked by the government.  You see all cell phones in the area will connect, not just “bad Bob.”  We know this is a fact because an FBI Agent under oath confirmed our worse suspicions. Special Agent Bradley S Morrison said under oath that the StingRay devices collect data “…from all wireless devices in the immediate area of the [device] … including those of innocent, non-target devices.”  We also know this by reviewing the documents Snowden leaked to the public that several capabilities exist to hack your cell phone.


Remember, when it comes to your tech and everything you do online or by phone, do not expect privacy.

I’ll turn on the moderation queue for this.

5 votes, 4.20 avg. rating (83% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Reasons why more men don’t go to Mass

I have to share this video from You Tube I was sent by email as reason #756 for Summorum Pontificum.

This is:

Easter Vigil Liturgy of St Patrick Catholic Church, Seattle, [NB] 2010. The seven readings from the old testament are presented in Word, Sign, Music and Dance. Here, the third reading from from the book of Exodus is sung and danced.

She gets the tambourine at about 1:00 and then the view pulls back so that you can see the whole thing, the combo with the bongos on the right, the person doing sign language on the left, the girl in the middle jumping around.

No wonder men don’t go to church.

That said, I saw this story at Catholic World Report:

The Case for a Mass Conversion of Men
Research shows that almost 9 out of 10 Catholic men don’t participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass; if men aren’t being reached in the Mass, they aren’t being reached.

Despite the fact the New Evangelization has been an ongoing emphasis by the Catholic Church for over forty years, it has failed to stem the disastrous losses of the faithful in the U.S. Since 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education participation of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, baptisms of infants has dropped by 28%, baptism of adults has dropped by 31% and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%. Something is desperately wrong with the Church’s approach to the New Evangelization.

Of Mass and Men

One reason the New Evangelization is faltering is because it is missing men. The New Emangelization Project has documented the serious Catholic “man-crisis” in the United States. 1 in 3 baptized Catholic men have left the faith and of those who remain, 50-60% of them are “Casual Catholics”, men who don’t know and don’t practice the faith. Of those who practice the faith, many are lukewarm, not converted to the point of conviction, a conviction in which they are prepared to make disciples for Christ and His Catholic Church. The New Evangelization has largely ignored men, with no substantial or sustained efforts to directly confront the Catholic “man-crisis”.

The Catholic “man-crisis” matters. The souls of men matter and many are being lost; for example, two thirds of Christian men are looking at porn at least monthly and the numbers are much higher for younger men. The faith of the children matter and huge numbers of young people are leaving the faith because they have followed their fathers out of the Church. Without a New Emangelization in which millions of Catholic men become newly committed to Christ and His Church, there can be no New Evangelization.

While a complex set of forces have driven the Catholic “man-crisis”, including both massive cultural changes outside the Church and serious missteps within the Church, the lack of engagement of men in the Mass is a major contributing factor: men don’t understand the Mass and well-meaning, but misinformed priests in many parishes have de-sacralized the Mass causing many men to simply “drift away.”

Why is the Mass a key driver of the Catholic “man-crisis”? Research shows that almost 9 out of 10 Catholic men don’t participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass; if men aren’t being reached in the Mass, they aren’t being reached. Only about 1/3 of Catholic men are attending Mass on a weekly basis. Only 1 in 50 Catholic men have a monthly practice of Confession, underscoring the fact that many are attending Mass without a proper preparation to receive the Eucharist. 48% of Catholic men are “bored” in the Mass and 55% of Catholic men don’t feel they “get anything out of the Mass.” These statistics confirm what dozens of the New Emangelization Project interviews with top Catholic men’s evangelists know: men don’t understand the Mass. No man can truly understand the Mass and be bored.


Read the rest there.

13 votes, 4.38 avg. rating (87% score)
Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 161 Comments