What Did the Imam Really Say? Revisited

I read at Il Giornale today that the prayer read by the Imam in the Vatican Gardens was indeed from the Sura 2, wherein Allah is asked to crush infidels (that’s us) and let Islam triumph over the whole world (that’s us, too). Vatican Radio, at the time, tried to give this an allegorical spin. It didn’t work very well.  At a certain point it seems they also tried to edit out the troubling passage.

Suffice to say that an Imam sang: “grant us victory over the heathen/disbelieving/infidel” (Sura 2: 286) in the Vatican Gardens, in front of the Pope, during an “ecumenical” gathering for peace.

I wrote about this, when it happened, in my entry What Did the Imam Really Say? I posted video there and the comments are interesting (especially HERE).

My fast translation:

He wasn’t in a mosque, but in the Vatican Gardens and, a few meters away from him, there was also Pope Francis. It’s 8 June, Pentecost Sunday. In the Vatican, at prayer for peace in the Midde East, there are, with the Pontiff, Abu Mazen and Shimon Peres. But the Sure II read by the Imam wasn’t agreed on ahead of time. This is about a breach in protcol that many have taken as an offense.

The incident, reported by Andrea Morigi in Libero, was for a long time swept under the carpet. The text read by the Palestinian Sunni Imam was not agreed upon ahead of time and the harsh tones about infidels (miscredenti) were not in line with the spirit of the day which had been proposed by Bergoglio during his visit in the Holy Land. “At that moment,” Morigi recounts, “the dignitaries of the three monotheistic religions didn’t bat an eye. Those who knew Arabic pretended not to notice anything, even if the videos of the event show them decidedly embarrassed.” Pope Francis, however, wasn’t in a position to take in the importance of what happened. On an official level, the breach in protocol was immediately minimized: Fr Bernd Hagenkord, the Jesuit head of the German section of Vatican Radio, tried to give another reading of Sura II from the Koran. It’s a pity that the passage read by the Imam was immediately excised by Vatican Radio itself.


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Posted in Linking Back, Pope Francis, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

Fishwrap: less than enthusiastic about new ITC document on “sensus fidei”.

Over at Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter), knickers are in twists over the recently issued document from the International Theological Commission, “‘Sensus Fidei’ in the Life of the Church“.

As you will recall, at Fishwrap, “sensus fidei“, closely related to “sentire cum Ecclesia“, means majority sentiment, deduced through an intricate algorithm involving feelings, polls, and the interpreters own liberal notions, which then can trump any divinely revealed teaching, all dogma (aka “church policy”), and, especially, “rules”, which are bad – unless liberals are making them, of course.

The Fishwrap writer, Robert McClory, (whose brief Fishwrap bio says: professor emeritus of journalism at Northwestern University, and has contributed to NCR since 1974. He is the author of Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice and As It Was in the Beginning: The Coming Democratization of the Catholic Church), offers his insights into the deficiencies of the new ITC doc.  Here is a sample (my emphases and comments:

At one point, the writers consider the most important dispositions a Catholic needs for authentic participations [sic] in the sensus fidei (sense of the faith). “No single one can be discussed in an isolated manner; its relationship to each and all of the others has to be taken into account,” they write.

“The first and most fundamental is … active participation in the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, regular reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, discernment and exercise of gifts and charisms received from the Holy Spirit … There are countless ways in which such participation may occur, but what is common in all cases is an active solidarity with the Church.”

Now, this sounds pretty rigid. [Oh dear oh dear!  Can you imagine?  For someone to have a true "sense of the faith" they should be able to receive Communion, having gone to ... CONFESSION?!?  What's the world coming to?  But I like this next bit...] If taken literally, [HA! What the ITC really meant to say, was....] it could eliminate from authentic participation in the sense of the faith that overwhelming mass of Catholics who receive reconciliation irregularly. [Ummm... yep.] But I hope that is not the intent of the writers, and I do not think the writers intend to cut off those who attend Mass on a less-than-weekly basis. [No, that's right.  Why would we call into question the perspective of those who get up on Sunday, yawn, stretch, and then go about their business without even having remembered Mass?  Or who remember and then choose not to go?  Or who have lived outside the state of grace for years?] Might Catholics who belong to intentional eucharistic communities [? More in this seriously messed up notion: HERE] or small faith groups [?] qualify as actively participating in the Eucharist? [No.] I think so, [Imagine my shock.] especially if they cannot tolerate abysmal liturgy, awful preaching or closed attitudes at the Catholic parish or parishes available to them. ["closed attitudes"... code for "No, you can't do whatever the hell you want with your genitals."] As the document notes, what is most needed is “an active solidarity with the Church” — that is, with the whole church. [Which includes, by the way, the HIERARCHY.]

And there is this:

The fourth disposition a faithful Catholic needs is “attentiveness to the magisterium of the Church, and a willingness to listen to the teaching of the pastors of the Church, as an act of freedom.” [Because there is no true "freedom" in the Church, properly understood, without willingness to "listen" (as a first step) to the Magisterium.  The next step would be.... ?] The document does not say immediate obedience is required, though the “magisterium is rooted in the mission of Jesus.” [Even the writer figured out that the next step is obedience.  But... hey!... why not defer it for a while?] Earlier in the document, the writers state that the sense of faith “enables individual believers to perceive any disharmony, incoherence, or contradiction between a teaching or practice and the authentic Christian faith … Alerted by their sensus fidei, individual believers may deny assent even to the teaching of legitimate pastors if they do not recognise in that teaching the voice of Christ.” [The point is that the faithful need, first, to know what the Church teaches.  Then they need to submit to what the Church teaches.  Then, if the hear something that is out of synch with the Church's authentic teaching, then they can play their proper role.] The term “legitimate pastors” obviously includes priests, bishops and popes. [It is probably good that the writer included that last bit, since it wouldn't be apparent to most readers of NSR.]

Finally, there’s this:

[T]he writers declare: “The magisterium also judges with authority whether opinions which are present among the people of God and which may seem to be the sensus fidelium, actually correspond to the truth of the Tradition received from the Apostles. … Thus, judgement regarding the authenticity of the sensus fidelium belongs ultimately not to the faithful themselves nor to theology but to the magisterium.”

You can imagine how well that part went down.

You can read the ITC document yourselves.  It is good to have a bit more clarity about sensus fidei and sentire cum Ecclesia.  It could have been better, but it is a start.  But, if the Fishwrappers are unsettled by it, it is probably a sound piece of work.

Finally, may I remind you all of Lumen gentium (that’s from the -cue celestial music – Second Vatican Council) 12?

The holy people of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office; it spreads abroad a living witness to Him, especially by means of a life of faith and charity and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the tribute of lips which give praise to His name. The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when “from the bishops down to the last of the lay faithful” (Augustine, De Praed. Sanct. 14.27: PL 44.980) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God. Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life.

In other words, you can’t make it up.  You can’t, in the name of “being prophetic”, pick this and refuse that.  You can’t, and be Catholic, think apart from or over and against the bishops and Holy Father.  An appeal to “sensus fidei” apart from them is a sham.

Posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Ecumenical consequences of C of E decision on women bishops (aka “wyshyps”)

On 5 June 2006, Walter Card. Kasper, then-President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke to the Church of England members gathered for the Lambeth Conference.  They were discussing, and were going to vote on, women bishops [aka wyshyps].  HERE

What did Kasper say?

“What follows from these conclusions and questions? What follows for the future of our ecumenical dialogue? One thing is certain: The Catholic Church will not break off the dialogue even in the case of such a decision. It will above all not break off the personal relationships and friendships which have developed over the past years and decades. But there is a difference between types of dialogue. The quality of the dialogue would be altered by such a decision. [We can still play skittles together and then go for a pint afterwards.]

Ecumenical dialogue in the true sense of the word has as its goal the restoration of full Church communion. That has been the presupposition of our dialogue until now. That presupposition would realistically no longer exist following the introduction of the ordination of women to episcopal office.  [Sure, we can talk!  Communion? That train has left the gate. Another pint?]

Following that action we could still come together for the sake of information and consultation; we could continue to discuss and attempt to clarify theological issues, to cooperate in many practical spheres and to give shared witness.

Above all we could unite in joint prayer and pray for one another. All of that is, God knows, not negligible. But the loss of the common goal would necessarily have an effect on such encounters and rob them of most of their élan and their internal dynamic. Above all — and this is the most painful aspect — the shared partaking of the one Lord’s table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance. Instead of moving towards one another we would co-exist alongside one another.”

Surely this reflected the thought of the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI.

What Card. Kasper read at Lambeth is surely true.  Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Church of England can still pursue some common causes, such as… ecology!

And then there was Card Diaz, the-Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He also spoke at Lambeth back when.  He told them then:

“Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson’s.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Church of England can still pursue some common causes, such as… ecology!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

WDTPRS 16th Ordinary Sunday: The Enemy is seeking you!

The Collect for the 16th Ordinary Sunday, not in any pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum, has its antecedent in a 9th century manuscript.  Enjoy the fine clausula (rhythmic ending).

We have been cheated of the beauty of our Catholic worship in Latin, which is our common patrimony. After such a gap of time, it will be difficult to grasp these tightly woven ancient Latin Collects with their lovely rhythms, their clarity of thought, their force.  After many centuries they still communicate the profound intellectual formation and the faith of their composers, our Christian family ancestors.

Propitiare, Domine, famulis tuis, et clementer gratiae tuae super eos dona multiplica, ut, spe, fide et caritate ferventes, semper in mandatis tuis vigili custodia perseverent.

Famulus and feminine famula appear frequently in our prayers.  Famulus is probably from Latin’s ancient cousin, the Oscan faama, “house.”   A Latin famulus or famula was a household servant or hand-maid, slave or free. They were considered members of the larger family.

Custodia is “a watching, guard, care, protection” and has the military overtone of “guard, sentinel”.  Vigil is “wakeful, watchful”, and, like custodia, can also be “a watchman, sentinel”.  Liturgically, a “vigil” is the evening and night before a great feast day.  In ancient times vigils were times of fasting and penance.  Men who were to be knighted kept a night’s vigil. They were watchful against the attacks of the world, the flesh and the Devil.  They fasted, prayed, and examined their consciences in order to be pure for the rites to follow.


Look propitiously on Your servants, O Lord, and indulgently multiply upon them the gifts of Your grace so that, burning with faith, hope and charity, they may persevere always in your commands with vigilant watchfulness.


Lord, be merciful to your people. Fill us with your gifts and make us always eager to serve you in faith, hope, and love.


Show favor, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.

Scripture often gives us images of watches during the night.  At the birth of the Lord shepherds “were keeping watch over their flock by night (vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis)” (Luke 2:8).  Jesus said, “Watch (vigilate) therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched (vigilaret) and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42-44).   Our Lord explains that servants should keep watch in order to open the door for the master of the house even if he returns in the dead of the night (cf Luke 12:37-39).  St Paul constantly urges Christians to be “watchful”.  In 1 Peter 5:8 we read sobering, “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”.

The Enemy is seeking you!  (1 Peter 5:8)

In the ancient Roman countryside there were great estates (cf. latifundium) having many buildings for family, household servants, the various workers, storage, etc.  These dwellings were often self-sufficient, and were surrounded with walls against attacks by brigands.  Even into Renaissance times, a great house in a city (domus) might be fortified with watch towers.  The householder or the lord of the estate was the head or father of the larger “family”.  Kind or cruel, the paterfamilias was judge, protector and provider to everyone under his care.

Simple ancient famuli had to work to produce good fruits in order to survive with a good quality of life and a safe place to belong.  Sophisticated modern famuli, marked with the family name “Christian”, marked permanently with the family seal through baptism and confirmation, must produce fruits according to our vocations.

When life’s reckoning comes, will we be like the foolish virgins? They watched all night for the arrival of the Bridegroom, but they didn’t have enough oil for their lamps.  They were locked out of the house in the dangerous night with no place to go, no work to do, no purpose to fulfill. They no longer belonged.

Vigilate… Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13).

When you hear the priest pronounce this Collect, beg our Lord – so gracious and patient with us even when we are lazy and sinful – to continue giving us gifts of faith, hope and charity we need for the very survival of our souls.

If people prepare for bad times and disasters that can occur in respect to worldly things, how much more important is it to prepare for hardship or attacks or even that final moment of reckoning in the spiritual plane?

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


The other day I suggested that, if you have BACK TO SCHOOL, shopping to do, and you intend to use Amazon, that you might use my search box.

I can tell that some of you have.  I can see the sorts of things that are ordered, but I have NO, ZERO, WAY of telling who ordered them.  Thus, I could tell that university students are getting ready.  Here is a sampling:

  • A History of US: From Colonies to Country: 1735-1791 A History of US Book Three
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Student Workbook and Selected Solutions for Introductory Chemistry: Atoms First
  • Chef Boyardee Macaroni and Cheese, 7.5-Ounce Microwavable Bowls (Pack of 12)
  • Dr. Seuss’s Horton Collection Boxed set (Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg)

Okay… maybe that last one was for some place like Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.  Hard to tell.

Anyway, thanks to all of you using the search box!

And, for your study sessions, you will need lots of coffee, if you get my drift.

For your convenience.

A search box for Amazon UK is at the bottom of the blog.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Leave a comment

REVIEW: Movie “Persecuted”

This is a public service announcement.

I prefer to be kind about Christian movies.  That said, save yourself some irritation.  The newly released “Persecuted” isn’t good.

“Persecution” addresses a theme which I think is real: there is/will be persecution of true Christians who don’t water down the Faith and compromise with the world.

This movie, however, is weird.  It is as weird as its writing was bad.

I actually groaned a couple times, it was so bad.

I liked the fact that the flick is solidly against the “COEXIST” types… you know the bumper-stickers.  The true baddies are the promoters of “indifferentism”, that all religions are equal, and all distinctions between religious need to be eliminated so that we can all just get along.  Apparently, this is a government plot in order to eliminate religious terrorism.

Don’t get in the way of these baaaad government coexisters!  They’ll open up a can of whupass on ya!

No!  Really!

The plot is incoherent.  There are numerous editing problems (I especially liked the moment when the main character presses the down button for an elevator and in the next shot we see him going up).  Elements stretch credulity waaaay past the snapping point (the main character running about with a bullet in the center of his back for a looong time, even out-running various bad-guy government agents).

No no no.  Just Don’t Go.

That said, the makers, clearly non-Catholic Christians, tried to get some Catholic stuff into the movie.  For the most part, the Catholic stuff was treated with respect. I thank them for that. However, I suspect that nobody bothered to ask any Catholics anything about the Catholic stuff they put into the film.  Actor (former Senator) Fred Thompson, who plays a priest, should have stuck with the re-mortaging commercials.  Anyway, it is great that the makers treated the Catholic elements with some respect, as poorly executed as they were.

Another positive comment:

The movie made me ponder how easy it is/will be to entirely destroy the reputations of priests and bishops.  Be careful, Fathers.  When the real persecution comes, there is little that we will be able to do. They’ll get us, no matter how careful we are.  But, in the meantime, stay frosty.  Keep your heads on swivel.  Watch your six.  Develop situational awareness.

Meanwhile, here’s some COEXIST for ya!

Nah… that’s not provocative.


NB: NOT my design!


One of you readers sent this!


Another option HERE:

Posted in REVIEWS, Semper Paratus, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Malaysian Airlines 17, Death and You

The black boxes from Malaysian Airlines 17 might indicate that the pilots attempted a vain evasion. I doubt it. I suspect that exploding death was sudden. Who knows who may have survived the initial blast and remained conscious for some seconds that followed?  Only God.

Adequate time for an Act of Contrition? For an Act of Charity?

Adequate time to say “Jesus!”, “Mary!” … “Forgive!” …?

We do not know when death will come.

It will come.

A sudden death can be a blessing.

If you are in the state of grace, sudden death can be a blessing.

A sudden death can be eternal disaster.

If you are not in the state of grace and sudden death strikes you down… eternal disaster.

Eternal, personal disaster.

When was the last time you examined your conscience thoroughly and went to confession?

When was the last time you heard the priest say the words, “I absolve you of your sins…”?

Catholics have for centuries prayed in the Litany:

“A subitanea et improvisa morte… From a sudden and unprovided death, spare us O Lord.”

What is an “unprovided death”? One by which you die – and you will die – without the Last Rites from the priest or a chance to repent of unconfessed sins even with a perfect act of contrition.

You want to have your temporal affairs in order. How much more should we have our spiritual affairs in order? You don’t know the place or the hour.


Hear us, O God of our salvation! and issue not the decree for the completion of our days before Thou forgivest us our sins; and because penance avails not in hell, and there is no room there for amendment, therefore do we humbly pray and beseech Thee here on earth, that, giving us time to pray for pardon, Thou wouldst grant us also forgiveness of our sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Take away, merciful Lord, all errors from Thy faithful people, avert from them the sudden destruction of the wasting pestilence; that those whose wanderings Thou dost justly chastise, Thou wouldst vouchsafe in Thy tender pity to cherish when corrected. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Antiphon: Sin no longer, O my soul! Think upon the sudden change from sin to endless woe. There, in hell, penance is not accepted, and tears profit not. Turn, then, whilst thou hast time; cry out and say: Have mercy upon me, O my God!

Antiphon: In the midst of life we are in death: whom, then, O Lord, shall we seek to be our helper, save Thee, O Lord! although Thou art indeed angry with us because of sins? O Holy Lord, holy and strong, holy and merciful Saviour! deliver us not ever to a bitter death.

V. – Lest, overtaken by the day of death, we seek time for penance, and be not able to find it.

R. – Hearken! O Lord! and have mercy on us; for we have sinned against Thee.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, receive in Thy fatherly pity Thy people flying to Thee from Thine anger; that they who fear to be chastised by the rod of Thy Majesty in the suddenness of death, may be made worthy to rejoice in Thy gracious pardon. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, graciously to incline Thine ear to the assembly of Thy Church, and let Thy mercy prevent Thine anger in our behalf; for if Thou shouldst mark iniquities, no creature shall be able to stand before Thee: but in that marvellous charity, through which Thou didst create us, pardon us sinners, and destroy not the work of Thine own hands by sudden death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God! in Whose sight every heart trembles and every conscience is awed; show forth Thy mercy upon us Thy suppliants, that we, who trust not in the excellence of our own merit, may never know Thy judgments in the suddenness of our death, but may receive Thy pardon. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Most merciful Lord Jesus! by Thine agony and bloody sweat, and by Thy death, deliver me, I beseech Thee, from a sudden and unprovided death. O most gentle Lord Jesus! by Thy cruel and ignominious scourging and crowning with thorns, by Thy cross and most bitter Passion, and by Thy goodness, I humbly pray Thee, let me not die unprepared and pass from this life without the Holy Sacraments. Jesus, my best Beloved, my Lord! by all Thy labours and sorrows, by Thy precious Blood, and by Thy most holy Wounds, and by those last words spoken on the cross by Thee: “Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me?? – “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and again: “Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum,” – “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” most ardently I pray Thee, save me from a sudden death. Thy hands, O Redeemer! have wholly made and formed me: ah! suffer not death to take me unawares; give me, I beseech Thee, time for penance; vouchsafe that I may pass from this life happily in Thy grace, that I may love Thee with my whole heart, and praise and bless Thee forever and ever.


Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be To The Father…

My dear people… dear readers… GO TO CONFESSION.

Parents of small children… teach your children their Faith and make sure they are making good confessions and good Communions.

Give them a good example.

Reverend Fathers, please… go to confession and hear confessions.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, De Novissimis: Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

VIDEO Aurora: just… wow

I have been watching the news a lot over the last couple days.  Given my mood, I can imagine also yours.

Here’s something very cool as a change of pace.

Real time – not time-lapse – video of aurora borealis.

Meanwhile, as I type, your Earth’s Yellow Sun is eerily quiet. No sunspots. None. Nada.

SUNSPOT NUMBER DROPS TO ZERO: Solar activity is very low. July 17th brought the first spotless day in nearly three years. The face of the sun was completely blank and the sunspot number dropped to zero. Now, however, two small sunspots are emerging, circled in this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Are these new sun spots the harbingers of TEOTWAWKI?

Have I cheered you up?

Posted in Global Killer Asteroid Questions, Look! Up in the sky!, TEOTWAWKI | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Are you Middle Aged yet?

Something lighter on a heavy Friday:

For those among you who are well-read, do you know about:

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , | 7 Comments

“Thanks for your blog. It saved this seminarian from a particularly mortifying purification.”

From a seminarian:

Just wanted to say a big “Thanks” for your blog. I was sure glad for the liturgical minutiae I’ve picked up here when I found a fly in the Precious Blood tonight after Mass. Your advice about skewering the fly with a pin and then burning it saved this seminarian from a particularly mortifying purification of the vessels.

My work here is done.

Yet another reason to wear a pin-on maniple.

Fathers! Just “tie one one”!

I have written about what to do when critters get into the chalice. HERE

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments