6 June – HOLY MASS (TLM) Saturday of Pentecost Octave – LIVE VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)

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I will LIVE stream a Traditional Latin Mass at NOON Central Daylight Time (= GMT/UTC -5 and ROME 1900h).

Today, 6 June 2020: Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost.  (Short Form) Follow HERE – Prayers added: Pro defensione Ecclesiae… For defense of the Church”.

Will you please tell others about this Mass?  Will you please subscribe to my channel? HERE

  • NB: You can find an English translation of the Mass formulary HERE.  Scroll down. Use the 1960 setting.
  • We can say the Regina Caeli together, since the Angelus bells are usually ringing when the live stream starts.
  • I will say a Spiritual Communion prayer at the very beginning for those of you who cannot make a Eucharistic Communion. 
  • I will also recite in Latin the traditional  “Statement of Intention” (…a hint to priests).
  • After Mass and the Leonine Prayers, I will recite a prayer in Latin “In time of pandemic” followed by a blessing with a fragment of the Cross
    For texts of Prayers before Mass for each day of the week, in versions for laypeople and for priests: HERE

THANK YOU to my flower donors!

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The longer we follow a false course, the farther we get from our goal, the harder it is to correct the error.

Today’s China is still reeling from the damage done during the Cultural Revolution.   Generations were pitted against generations.  Heritage, patrimony, identity were nearly irrevocably destroyed.

The late and lamented Carlo Card. Caffarra (one of the Five Dubia Cardinals) had received a note from Sr. Lucia saying:

“A time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family.”

From that introduction, please pay attention to this.

In secular society we are at a crossroad.  In the Church we are at a crossroad.

Is it a surprise that segments of society would explode into rage and violence, when for decades big-business abortion has set up in their communities precisely with the intent of killing them by killing their babies?   Demons attach through the commission of certain sins.  What sorts of demons do you imagine attach through abortion on an industrial scale?

Is it a surprise that the Church has so many problems of leadership and identity when, not only our sacred liturgical worship has been violently interfered with, but so many of our pastors stand mute before the Catholic politicians who support the human abattoirs?

What can we expect for the Church down the road when the Catholics of a whole nation are callously, silently, at the summit of ministry, sacrificed in a kowtow to the world’s most extensive atheistic regime?

Just as in larger society we see a virtually cult-like movement germinating, with some of the features of the Cultural Revolution, we also see in the Church the rise of something like a New catholic Red Guards.

We are at a crossroad.  We have choices to make.

Friends, if when you set out on a trip from Chicago to, say, Minneapolis and you find yourself after some hours of driving in, say, St. Louis, but you really have to go to Minneapolis, do you say, “Oh well, if I drive around long enough, I’ll get to Minneapolis”, and continue on your errant and inefficient path? Or, do you stop the car, check the map, turn around and drive back the other way?… the way toward Minneapolis and not away from it?

Friends, if when you get dressed in the morning, you discover that you have buttoned your shirt incorrectly, off by one, do you shrug and just go forward into your day, with your shirt askew? You could. After all the shirt is buttoned, right? What difference does a button or two make, when the shirt stays closed in front. Orrrrrrr, like normal – sane – people do you say, “Hmmm, that won’t do!”, and then undo the error by unbuttoning your mis-buttoned garment, and then button it back up the way that works the best?

We’ve been buttoning our shirts wrongly. It’s time to unbutton, double-check and start buttoning again.

Friends, if when you are constructing a skyscraper you see that the pilings are crooked and too shallow …

Friends, if while you build that sailboat, you see that you didn’t seal the hull….

Friends, if when you try parachuting for the first time and your instructor seems confused about how to pack a chute…

In the little diagram at the top of this post, you can see what happens when two rays extend from the same point.  The far you go along one ray, the farther you get from the other.  The line C-E is longer than B-D.

The longer we follow a false course, the farther we get from our goal, the harder it is to correct the error.

And some errors, like the one with the parachute, result in hard landings.


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The demographic sinkhole opening under the Church

I had an ongoing discussion with a friend who claimed that, one day, the Traditional Latin Mass would be the only Mass left in the Latin Church (sorry, Ambrosian Rite! We weren’t thinking of you, and I guess we were including Dominicans, etc.).   I demurred for a long time.

However, I have come to reassess my thoughts, especially in light of the huge hit the Church in these USA will take in the wake of COVID-1984.  I have long said that a demographic sinkhole was about to open up under the Church here.  The fact is that lots of “nones” will stop even pretending to embrace the family religion.  Also, the inexorable movement of time is applying the “biological solution” to us all.  We will lose a lot of seasoned Catholics and, with them, their financial support.  Their children are already going and gone.

Corona lockdown melodrama has accelerated the opening of the sinkhole.  I suspect that quite a few people who barely went to church will disappear pretty much for good.  I think that a stronger Church and stronger bishops would have made a little difference, however.

That said, I believe that a lot of traditional Masses kept going and traditional priests found creative ways to keep going.

I don’t have the entire survey.  I’d very much like to see it.

However, at the site Catholic Monitor, I saw this.  Some results from a survey about the Traditional Latin Mass conducted by Fr. Donald Kloster.

Take a look at these findings.

Take a look at this:

Fulfill Sunday obligation:
TLM: 99% vs. NOM: 22%

Approve of abortion:
TLM: 1% vs. NOM: 51%

Go to Confession at least once a year:
TLM: 98% vs. NOM: 25%

Approve of contraception:
TLM: 2% vs. NOM: 89%

Support same-sex marriage:
TLM: 2% vs. NOM: 67%

“TLM attendees donate 5 times more in the collection” according to Fr. Kloster.
(Catholic Herald, “Traditional Latin Mass attendees more devout and orthodox, study says,” February 27, 2019)

I still believe that as the sinkhole widens, two main groups will stay strong, those who want Tradition and also those who converts from an evangelical background and some charismatics with sound devotions.  These groups will find each other.  There will be some friction points along the way, but they will begin to integrate.   That’ll be something to see.

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Of a Latin poem and the curse of mice

A friend recently guided me to a volume of a series which I haven’t looked at for many a year, Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization.   Perhaps the timing was providential, since we are seeing many of the foundations of civilization under attack by demonically goaded ideological fools, mostly ignorant of the past.

In Vol. 4: “The Age of Faith”, Durant has a section on the revival of Latin.  There is a poem in this section which is worthy of attention.

Hildebert of Lavardin (1055? – 1133) is probably not close to the top of your reading list these days.   I must say that Hildebert has got game.

Here is Durant.  We have just read a poem by Peter Damian.  Now…

To Peter Damian poetry was an incident; to Hildebert of Lavardin (1055?-1133), Archbishop of Tours, it was a passion that fought his faith for his soul. Probably from the Berenger of Tours who had studied under Fulbert at Chartres he imbibed a love for the Latin classics. After many tribulations he journeyed to Rome, not sure which he sought more – papal benediction or a sight of the scenes endeared to him by his reading. He was touched by the grandeur and decay of the old capital, and expressed his feelings in classic elegiac form:

Par tibi, Roma, nihil, cum sis prope tota ruina;
quam magni fueris integra fracta doces.
Longa tuos fastus aetas destruxit, et arces
Caesaris et superum templa palude iacent.
Ille labor, labor ille ruit quem dirus Araxes
et stantem tremuit et cecidisse dolet ….
Non tamen annorum series, non flamma, nec ensis
ad plenum potuit hoc abolere decus.*

Here for a moment a medieval poet used the Latin language as nobly as Virgil himself. But once a Christian, always a Christian. Hildebert found more comfort in Jesus and Mary than in Jupiter and Minerva; and in a later poem he impeccably dismissed the ancient shrines:

Gratior haec iactura mihi successibus illis;
maior sum pauper divite, stante iacens.
Plus aquilis vexilla crucis, plus Caesare Petrus,
plus cinctis ducibus vulgus inerme dedit.
Stans domui terras, infernum diruta pulso;
corpora stans, animas fracta iacensque rego.
Tunc miserae plebi, modo principibus tenebrarum
impero; tunc urbes, nunc mea regna polus.†

Not since Fortunatus had any Latin penned such poetry.

Not bad, huh?   Perhaps some of you would like to take a crack at these.  I’ll put the translations by Durant below, but I change the type to white, so that you can work on the Latin on your own.  Don’t peek… unless you don’t know Latin.

Meanwhile, here in this 12th c. MSS of De ciuitate Dei, is an action shot of Hildebert.  The irritated scribe is about to throw something at a mouse or rat (or maybe a cat?) which is nibbling on his cheese. Notice that a bowl is in mid-air falling off the table.

In the manuscript Hildebert is writing we read:

Pessime mus, sepius me provocas ad iram; ut te deus perdat. … Most wicked mouse, you often provoke me to anger. May God destroy you!

* “Equal to you, O Rome! there is nothing, even when you are almost a ruin; how great you were when whole, broken you teach us. Long time has destroyed your pride, and the citadels of Caesar sink in the marshes with the temples of the gods. That work, that mighty work lies low which the dire barbarian trembled to see standing and mourns to see fallen …. But no lapse of years, no fire, no sword can all destroy this glory.”

† (Rome speaks:) “Sweeter to me this defeat than those victories; greater am I poor than when rich, greater prone than standing; more than the eagles has the standard of the cross given me, more Peter than Caesar, more a weaponless crowd than commanders girt with arms. Standing I mastered nations; ruined I strike the depths of the earth; standing I ruled bodies, broken and prostrate I rule souls. Then I commanded a miserable populace, now the princes of darkness; then cities were my realm, now the sky.”

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PRIESTS: Are you available to take a “Gregorian Mass” intention? UPDATE

UPDATE 5 June:

Priests responded:

Right now, the number of priests available, waiting in my email: 1

If lay people want a Gregorian Mass set, write to me HERE.  Put in the subject line


Only that.  I’ll try to match you up with an available priest.

If you put something else, I might not see your email.

ORIGINALLY Published on: May 24, 2020

In the past I have played “yenta” and put lay people who want Gregorian Masses (30 consecutive Masses for a single intention – usually, but not limited to, for the deceased).

I have a few requests for lay people that are languishing.

Priests: If you can take such an intention write to me.

Put in the subject line


Not anything else.  Just that. Only that…. as in NOTHING OTHER THAN THAT.   Not “Free for Gregorian Mass” … not “I’m available”… not “Gregorian Mass request”… not “Free for Masses”.

Drop me a note HERE

I will forward to you priests the email of the people who made the requests.

You work out stipends on your own.  I will have ZERO to do with that.

NB: Some people want only Traditional Latin Masses, some are indifferent as to which Missal is used.  Work that out with them.

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UPDATE: Becket Fund and law firms team up with @MadisonDiocese to OPEN UP CHURCHES

UPDATE: 5 June 2020:

The County and City backed down.

Brief Statement from Bishop Donald Hying, regarding today’s decision by County officials:

“We are pleased that the County and the City have ended the unequal 50-person cap on religious gatherings. As bishop, it is my duty to ensure that Sunday Mass be available as widely as possible to the Catholic faithful, while following best practices when it comes to public health. Indeed, in a time of deep division, it is more important than ever for the Church to provide solace and comfort to all, in the great tradition of American religious freedom. We look forward to working together with the County and City to continue the reopening process in a safe, cooperative, and responsible manner.”


This is big. From the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2020

My emphases…

WASHINGTON –Global law firms Sidley Austin and Troutman Sanders, along with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, sent a letter today to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison explaining that the City and County’s May 22 public health order that capped in-person worship at just 50 people is discriminatory and targets the Catholic Church for selective enforcement. Under the order, shopping malls, bars, restaurants, spas, gyms, salons, museums, movie theaters, community centers, bowling alleys, skating rinks, trampoline parks and more are not subject to the 50-person cap. Madison’s mayor has also announced that public protests are not subject to government restrictions at all. Madison/Dane County threatened to send government officials to Catholic Masses to find out how many people are there and impose $1000 fines if too many people came to church. The letter explains that Madison/Dane County’s actions violate the First Amendment and the Wisconsin Constitution.

After Madison/Dane County officials released the “Forward Dane” executive order on May 18 which listed houses of worship as “essential services” thus allowing them to resume in-person services at 25 percent capacity, the Diocese of Madison quickly put together a plan for safely reopening with rigorous social distancing and hygiene protocols developed in accordance with CDC and WHO guidelines. But after the Diocese announced its careful plan, in an abrupt and inexplicable reversal, the City of Madison/Dane County added a brand-new restriction on houses of worship, limiting them to just 50 people at each religious service regardless of the size of the building. This means that some churches are held to while trampoline parks, movie theaters and virtually all other entities can operate to at least 25%.

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the racial injustice of the past week, our community is crying out for unity, for grace and for spiritual healing. We are ready and able to answer that call, but the 50-person cap has unjustly stifled our pastoral mission,” said Bishop Donald Hying, Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison. “Our Diocese has been, and remains, committed to promoting and protecting the health and safety of our fellow Madisonians, but the county and city have wrongly subordinated the spiritual needs of the community to the operations of non-essential businesses.”

Since May 22, the Madison/Dane County Health Department has multiple times called and visited Diocesan officials and parishes to inform them that surveillance teams would be sent to churches and fines of up to $1000 would be imposed for every instance in which more than 50 people were gathered for Mass.

“Madison and Dane County think mass protests, movies and malls are just fine, but churches have to be put under surveillance to make sure not too many people go,” said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “If it’s safe enough for thousands to shop together at malls, and to sit in a theatre for a two-hour film, it’s safe enough to spend 45 minutes safely socially distanced in worship. Madison and Dane County should end their unequal treatment of religious people.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Ryan Colby at media@becketlaw.org or 202-349-7219. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Wherein I received a message from on high about supper

I am taking this as a sign from God.

Today I receive in my email a photo from a priest who made cacio e pepe.


A little while later I find another email from a very well-known Catholic writer with this!

Okay…. tonight….



Time for supper.

Thanks to the kind person who sent the Crodino from my wishlist!

Sometimes, I give the peppercorns a little toast.

Into the small grinder.

Cook your pasta in less water if possible, so that it will have a higher starch content.

Start blending in the grated pecorino romano and ground pepper with a little bit, just a touch of the cooking water.  Repeat until you have your desired consistency

With lovely little flat parsley leaves from my pots of herbs out in the quad.

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Look! Up in the sky! ISS and Crew Dragon and mini rant.

From NASA’s Astronomy Pic of the Day, comes a time lapse, composite view of the International Space Station zooming along in tandem with Demo-S, Crew Dragon, over Manhattan’s skys.  This was taken at the reservoir in Central Park.

Very cool.

The nation might be spinning into the collective insanity of mindless virtue signaling and political correctness – and nothing good is going to come from this demonically fueled chaos – but we can still accomplish great things.

I really do mean demonic, too.  What should we expect when big-business abortion sets up shop in the poorest of neighborhoods to target children for death?  Millions of their children, gone.  What does that do to people over time?  Compound that with the oppression that comes from the Enemy of the soul, demonic oppression, which is admitted because certain kinds of sins are committed.

Hopefully, more people will become truly “woke” in the right sense.

It might be that neighborhoods will be burned or taken over by gangs because morons dismantle law enforcement or forbid them from doing their jobs before people wake up.

Let’s ask God to to spare us from the chastisement we deserve.

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5 June – HOLY MASS (TLM) Friday of Pentecost Octave – LIVE VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)

Today’s fervorino:

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I will LIVE stream a Traditional Latin Mass at NOON Central Daylight Time (= GMT/UTC -5 and ROME 1900h).

Today, 5 June 2020: Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost.  Follow HERE Prayers added: Pro pace... for peace”.

Will you please tell others about this Mass?  Will you please subscribe to my channel? HERE

  • NB: You can find an English translation of the Mass formulary HERE.  Scroll down. Use the 1960 setting.
  • We can say the Regina Caeli together, since the Angelus bells are usually ringing when the live stream starts.
  • I will say a Spiritual Communion prayer at the very beginning for those of you who cannot make a Eucharistic Communion. 
  • I will also recite in Latin the traditional  “Statement of Intention” (…a hint to priests).
  • After Mass and the Leonine Prayers, I will recite a prayer in Latin “In time of pandemic” followed by a blessing with a fragment of the Cross
    For texts of Prayers before Mass for each day of the week, in versions for laypeople and for priests: HERE

THANK YOU to my flower donors!

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The Mazza Hypothesis: Benedict resigned as Bishop of Rome but not Vicar of Christ. Wherein Fr. Z ponders with a heavy heart.

I’ve been pondering lately.   One needs to do this out of love.  Ponder, comes from Latin pondus, “weight”.  Hence, I am weighing things.  Augustine famously wrote, amor meus pondus meum… my love is my weight.  In Augustine’s time, gravity was thought to be an interior force that compelled things to go to where they belonged.  Thus, the heart is always restless until it rests in God.  Amor meus, pondus meum.

However, in the words of the modern poet’s song, John Mayer,

“Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down”

Is it okay to say that I am still feeling the gravity of the abdication of Benedict XVI and its aftermath?   I don’t think I am alone.  Something truly ponderous must have driven Benedict – whom I knew a little, personally, before his election – to have left the Apostolic Apartments for the tiny house in the back of the Vatican gardens.

“Oh, I’ll never known what makes this man
With all the love that his heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away”

I have long thought that, because he had had a stroke in 1991, he was afraid that he might have another and wind up being the captive of buffoons (he appointed) like Card. Bertone.  Ratzinger had watched the last days of John Paul II and the machinations of Card. Sodano and others.  With modern medicine people can keep a man alive for a long time and do things in his name while he is trapped in his body, unable to fight.  John Paul was badly reduced at the end, couldn’t really even talk.  His witness was amazing, but the governance of the Church suffered.  The Church is resilient.

But now we have a witness of reduced Benedict and a still fairly ambulatory Francis, two bishops in white, whereas John Paul II, badly reduced was still gigantic.

“Oh twice as much ain’t twice as good
And can’t sustain like one half could
It’s wanting more that’s gonna send me to my knees”

I have a sense that more people than ever are asking questions, pondering, what the hell is going on these days.  Perhaps we are in the lead up to the tribulations described in Scripture.  Growing larger and larger on the horizon of my mind is the Pauline allusion to the “Restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians 2:6.  We don’t know for sure to whom Paul referred, but clearly this figure is the one who hinders the Antichrist.  One day, the Restrainer will stop restraining.  Already, looking around the globe and seeing pandemic, China, and domestic lawlessness, I ponder:

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.
The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders,
and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Heavy, no?  Seems to be a description of our time, or at least the lead up to worse manifestation of the same.  Paul wrote, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2 Tim 4:3-4)”.  And the Lord Himself said, “They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)”   

It weighs on the heart.

In these last months I have taken serious note of how the Lord’s ejection of demons and his physical healings went hand in hand, overlapping.

I think that what we are seeing, world wide, is a massive demonic movement in the ongoing war within this vale of tears.  We are always at war with the world, the flesh and the Devil.  But sometimes in this dreadful trench war, offensives are launched.  China.  Domestic terror and lawlessness.  Viral pandemic.   Relentless stupid in every possible direction.  Our own pastors shutting down the sacramental life of the Church.  Two men in white.  I am mindful of Anne Catherine Emmerich’s vision of a two “popes” as if viewed in a  mirror: one is the real deal and the other is an image.  I am mindful of the really hard to swallow explanation of the Third Secret, especially in that with the other visions there were explanations by the Blessed Virgin, missing in this case.  I am mindful of the messages of Akita and of Garanbandal.

Recently I was prompted by a friend to listen to a podcast by Taylor Marshall.  Over a couple of days I got through it.  They are … long.  It was an interview with Edmund Mazza, and it was about the conundrum of whether or not Benedict XVI really abdicated the See of Peter, the papacy, or not.  Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.

Mazza has come up with a very interesting theory.  That’s what I will focus on now.

First, let me remind you of some that was written a while back by Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM, a distinguished theologian who is not afraid of our ecclesial overlords.  He offered an alarming but ringing possibility, in the wake of the disastrous Amazon Synod (“walking together”) and other odd actions of Francis. HERE

“What the Church will end up with, then, is a pope who is the pope of the Catholic Church and, simultaneously, the de facto leader, for all practical purposes, of a schismatic church. Because he is the head of both, the appearance of one church remains, while in fact there are two.

The only phrase that I can find to describe this situation is “internal papal schism,” for the pope, even as pope, will effectively be the leader of a segment of the Church that through its doctrine, moral teaching, and ecclesial structure, is for all practical purposes schismatic. This is the real schism that is in our midst and must be faced, but I do not believe Pope Francis is in any way afraid of this schism. As long as he is in control, he will, I fear, welcome it, for he sees the schismatic element as the new “paradigm” for the future Church.”

The problem here is that a Pope cannot be in schism with himself.

However, is there another way that Francis could be in schism?  What if Francis were, indeed, the Bishop of Rome (as he called himself from the beginning in 2013), but not, in fact, the Vicar of Christ?

Thus, the thesis of Edmund Mazza.

Mazza was also on a podcast with Ann Barnhardt, whom I am sure you know has for a long time now been adamantly saying that Francis is an antipope and the Benedict XVI is still Pope.   Benedict did not resign the papacy.   He could have been pressured to resign.  He didn’t use the proper language or terms.  Etc.

For my part, I have not wanted to get to much into this for the simple fact that Cardinals who were in the conclave have not raised problems.

And yet this weighs on a lot of very smart and very thoughtful people who raise questions precisely out of love for the Church.

Cardinals did raise a problem with the “Pope Emeritus” conundrum.

If you were to go to those podcasts, you would have to listen for a long time and we don’t all have that time.  I listened at 2x speed and it still took a while.   Perhaps I can summarize the main line of Mazza’s argument.

Based on Benedict’s wording of his resignation, and based on comments made by Benedict’s secretary and confidant and, still, head of the Papal Household, Archbp. George Gänswein, Benedict may have tried to “split” the two-fold role of the Successor of Peter, namely a) Bishop of Rome and b) Vicar of Christ.  So, Benedict resigned as Bishop of Rome, calling himself Pope Emeritus, like a Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Rome, but he retained for himself the role of Vicar of Christ.

My immediate reaction is, “No, can’t happen.  These offices are inextricably tied together and are embodied in one man who is elected to the See of Rome, because that was Peter’s See.”

Not so fast.

In the podcasts, Mazza brings up the fact when Christ conferred on Peter what was clearly intended to an office that was to be handed down, when Christ gave Peter the “keys” and clearly made him head of the Apostles, earthly head of the Church built on his “rock”, when Christ at the Sea of Galilee confirmed Peter’s office, intended to be handed down, Peter had not yet been anywhere near Rome.

Peter was Vicar of Christ before he was Bishop of Rome.

When Christ takes the Apostles to Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:16-18) he gives people the “keys”.  About a year later, the Apostles are ordained at the Last Supper.

Peter has the keys from Matthew 16 onward, but he is not a “bishop” until the Eucharist and Holy Orders were established by Christ.

Consider that when Christ gave primacy to Peter, there were no sees or dioceses. Peter later would found the Church at Alexandria and Antioch. Wouldn’t Antioch have been the primal see?  But Peter left Antioch and went to Rome. So there seems to be nothing absolutely necessary about the one we now call “Pope” being Bishop of Rome.

As a matter of fact, the Successor of Peter could divorce the papacy from Rome and move it somewhere else … or nowhere. It is his person that matters. But there could still be a Bishop of Rome, appointed by him, if Rome still existed.

As I listened to the podcast with Ann Barnhardt, a conversation I had with Joseph Card. Ratzinger came to mind.

One day I ran into him in the hallway of the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio where I was working.   We struck up a conversation about some goofy German theologian.  With a mischievous grin he said that he was relieved that Peter stopped in Rome and didn’t go to Germany to establish a Church. “Imagine,” he said, “the mistakes that could have been made and the efficiency with which we would have made them.”

Ratzinger was kidding around, but he also revealed that he had this image in his head: Peter leaving Rome for Germany.

There is nothing holding a Pope in Rome except for custom, property, tradition, international laws, finance, etc.  Not theology.  In his person a Pope is Vicar of Christ and Successor of Peter whether he is BISHOP of Rome or not.

In the podcasts, Mazza brings up the debate about Romanitas and the papacy in the 19th c. at the time of Vatican I.   Is Romanitas of the very essence of the papacy or not?  The answer is: “No.”  Mazza checked with Archbp. J. Michael Miller of Vancouver (with whom I used to live in Rome in a clerical residence) about the possibility .  Miller had written an amazing doctoral thesis: “The divine right of the papacy in recent ecumenical theology”.  There are relevant sections in the thesis about the nature of the papacy.  Miller confirmed that it is not wrong to to say that Romanitas is not of the very essence of the papacy, that is, the office of Vicar of Christ as Successor of Peter.  It would obviously be of the essence of being Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter in that sense.

So, cutting though the verbiage. There is a strong argument to be made that Benedict might have intended to renounce the active ministry (office of the Bishop of Rome) while retaining the spiritual ministry (Successor of Peter). Hence, while juridically Francis can be called Bishop of Rome, because he was elected by the “clergy” of Rome (the College of Cardinals), Francis is not, in fact the Successor of Peter on the other, spiritual level, even though he succeeded to the office of bishop that Peter held. The distinction is to be made about Peter qua (insofar as he is) Vicar of Christ and Peter qua (insofar as he is) Bishop of Rome.

Hitherto there has been a strong correlation of the two aspects, so much so that, with the conferral of the one, the other came also. However, consider also that the papacy can be conferred on any baptized male! At the moment that baptized male accepts the election, he has full authority in the Church. Period. Afterwards it is prescribed that he is to be immediately consecrated as a bishop so that he can simultaneously be Bishop of Rome.

On the Barnhardt podcast the possibility is raised that, if the hypothesis is right and that Benedict tried to split these roles, that Benedict was in error that this could be done.  However, if that is the case, then his abdication would have been void.  If the reason for his abdication was precisely to bifurcate the roles of the Successor of Peter, and if that is impossible, then Benedict acted erroneously and his act of abdication would be null, nothing.

If a Pope is forced to resign by some third parties, the resignation is void.  For example, say that someone threatened the life of, say, his brother Georg.  If the Pope resigns according to some erroneous notion that he is doing something impossible, the resignation would be void.

There’s a lot more to be said.  However, let me wrap up with a point about: WHAT NOW?!?

When Benedict announced his resignation, he declared:

For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter [ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri], entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter [sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri], will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

The office of the Successor of Peter qua Bishop of Rome is conferred on a man through his election to the See of Peter by the College of Cardinals.   The Cardinals are the “clergy” of Rome.  Every Cardinal is assigned a church in Rome, even though he may be Archbishop of, say, Ouagadougou.  The original Cardinals were the clergy of Rome, deacons and priests, and the bishops of the closest sees.

However, the office of Successor of Peter qua Vicar of Christ is conferred not by the College of Cardinals – nemo dat quod non habet – but rather by Christ Himself.    The 1870 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ of Vatican I, Pastor aeternus, deals with the Petrine Ministry.    Pastor aeternus says from the onset: “Docemus itaque et declaramus, iuxta Evangelii testimonia primatum iurisdictionis in universam Dei Ecclesiam immediate ct directe beato Petro Apostolo promissum atque collatum a Christo Domino fuisse… Therefore we teach and declare, according to the Gospel’s witness, that a primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God was immediately and directly promised to and conferred on the Blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord.”

Not the College of Cardinals.   Remember: this happened before Christ’s Passion and was confirmed afterwards long before Peter went to Antioch, much less to Rome.

Card. Ratzinger as Prefect of the CDF wrote a letter about the Primacy of the Successor of Peter in 1998.  HERE  I have scanned this and found some items to weigh.  Not everything in it jives with the Mazza hypothesis.

Again… WHAT TO DO?

In another post – long before any of this came to my deeper pondering – I gamed out a few scenarios about what might happen should Francis die before Benedict, or should Benedict die before Francis.

If Francis is an antipope, then everything he has done is void.

However, if Francis is Successor of Peter qua Bishop of Rome then he could appoint clergy to the churches of the Roman See.  In other words, he can legitimately appoint cardinals.  And it is the role of cardinals to elect the Successor of Peter, who is Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ.  Christ confers the “papacy”, primacy over the universal Church, while the cardinals confer the office of Bishop of the See of Rome.   In that case, should Benedict die before Francis, and if things bump along as they are bumping along until Francis also goes to his reward, the cardinals named by Francis (and if any are left by previous Popes) would gather in conclave and elect a successor.

If Francis is antipope and none of this is possible, because the See of Peter can’t be separated from the person of the Vicar of Christ – which doesn’t seem right considering how that office was instituted, then that conclave would be illegitimate: none of the men Francis appointed would really be cardinals.

If Francis is not really Pope, in the fullest sense, but is just Bishop of Rome – carrying out the active ministry of the Successor of Peter while Benedict retains the spiritual ministry – then Francis legitimately names Cardinals and they would form a legitimate conclave on the death of Francis.   But could they really elect a new Successor of Peter who would have both roles, Successor qua Vicar of Christ and qua Bishop of Rome?  Not if Benedict is still alive.   He would have to, I suppose, do something.

To underscore, however, the FACT that being Bishop of Rome and being Successor of Peter qua Vicar of Christ are not absolutely coterminous, consider the following scenario.

Let’s imagine for a moment that there is some future conclave.  The Cardinals, deadlocked for weeks, decide to elect a man who is not even ordained a priest, a baptized layman. The layman accepts.

He AT THAT MOMENT has absolute jurisdiction in the Church, even though he is not in Holy Orders (cf. problems of exercise of the power of the keys!).

The Cardinals say, “We must now consecrate you.”

Joe the First, says, “Sorry, I am going to wait a while.”

Joe the First is still the Vicar of Christ. But he is not the Bishop of Rome.  He isn’t a bishop.  He has absolute authority, but not the office of bishop.

Joe adds, “As a matter of fact, Most Reverend Cardinals, I’m going home… see you in Wisconsin. Oh, yes, is “Card. Fang here? Yes? You, Cardinal Fang, shall govern with the title of Bishop of Rome for the time being. Start with the Jesuits. Claro? Good. Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition, did they. I’ll change my clothes now.”

So, the Mazza Hypothesis is that Benedict renounced being the Bishop of Rome without renouncing the papacy, being Vicar of Christ.

There are many more data points one can bring in from other writings of Benedict/Ratzinger and other sources from those podcasts.  That’s the general line.

Wrapped up in this question is whether the third grade of Holy Orders confers some truly different on a bishop or whether the main point is authority to use what is conferred by priesthood.  Both priests and bishops are sacerdotes.  Once upon a time it was possible for priests to ordain.  We have the documents giving permission and taking it away.  Similarly, is there a distinction in what is conferred by election by Cardinals to the See of Rome?   Is the papacy really about authority – which Christ gives as an ontological aspect of the man’s soul, that can’t be lost?  The office of Bishop of Rome can clearly be resigned.   And it seems that another man could then function as Bishop of Rome while another man still retained that other character.  That’s a point to resolve.  Did Benedict think that the primacy, the papacy, being Successor Peter qua Vicar of Christ root in him ontologically, such that he thought he could divorce the active ministerium given by the College without giving up the petrinum munus given by Christ?

I’m pondering all of this and it is rather heavy.

Whoa, gravity, stay the hell away from me
Whoa, gravity has taken better men than me
Now how can that be?
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Come on keep me where the light is
Come on keep me where, keep me where the light is


The moderation queue is ON.

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4 June – HOLY MASS (TLM) Thursday of Pentecost Octave & Exorcism – LIVE VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)

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I will LIVE stream a Traditional Latin Mass at NOON Central Daylight Time (= GMT/UTC -5 and ROME 1900h).

Today, 4 June 2020: Thursday in the Octave of Pentecost.  Follow HERE Prayers added: Pro defensione ab hostibus… For defense from enemies.

After Mass: Exorcism against Satan and the Apostate Angels

Will you please tell others about this Mass?  Will you please subscribe to my channel? HERE

  • NB: You can find an English translation of the Mass formulary HERE.  Scroll down. Use the 1960 setting.
  • We can say the Regina Caeli together, since the Angelus bells are usually ringing when the live stream starts.
  • I will say a Spiritual Communion prayer at the very beginning for those of you who cannot make a Eucharistic Communion. 
  • I will also recite in Latin the traditional  “Statement of Intention” (…a hint to priests).
  • After Mass and the Leonine Prayers, I will recite a prayer in Latin “In time of pandemic” followed by a blessing with a fragment of the Cross
    For texts of Prayers before Mass for each day of the week, in versions for laypeople and for priests: HERE

THANK YOU to my flower donors!

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Posted in LIVE STREAMING | 1 Comment

Fr. Z’s VOICEMAIL! Attention PITTSBURGH! And – ASK FATHER: What to do while watching live streamed Mass?

Here are a couple of interesting things from my voicemail.


…someone is trying to get a TLM organized in Pittsburgh.  He would appreciate contacts from you who are in the area.  He gave permission for me to post this with his name and email.

I hope some of you will get in touch.


Yes, this is a good question.

No, I absolutely and categorically think it a very bad idea to “adore” a Host through a screen like that.  It isn’t, as you point out, a Host.  It is a bunch of pixels.  The Host is not there and you are not even morally present, as in the case when there has to be overflow at a Mass because of the number of people at the church.

However, I think that we can, if one wishes, even take a knee and make a Spiritual Communion when the consecration is going on during a live streamed Mass.  Use the visual image to stir strongly one’s sentiments and aspirations, to help one offer one’s petitions and praise to God more perfectly.

This is what we have when we, for example, pray before a statue.  We are not praying TO the statue, but to the one the statue represents.  The statue is an aid to our prayer.

So, let no one be confused (like this guy HERE).   We don’t “adore” images of the Host, on a page or on a screen.

How to reach my voicemail.

Nota bene: I do not answer these numbers or this Skype address. You won’t get me “live”. I check for messages regularly.


020 8133 4535


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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Voice Mail | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

“Katonda!” The Feast of St Charles Lwanga, Martyr. Perhaps the best patron saint for LGBT

“Katonda!”St Charles Lwanga

Not next year, because in 2021 it will be the Feast of Corpus Christi, but in 2022 I will with real pleasure be able to celebrate, using the Traditional Missale Romanum, the Feast of St. Charles Lwanga.  The decree Cum sanctissima allows for the celebration of Saints canonized after 1962 provided that the day is not some feast that would outweigh it.  For example, I can’t celebrate Charles Lwanga today, because it is Ember Day in the Octave of Pentecost, which outweighs pretty much everything except, perhaps, R136a1.

Here is what I posted on St. Charles in the past.

If you don’t know this saint, be sure to read it.  It is powerful.

As “Pride” month continues…

Today is the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and companions, murder victims and martyrs of homosexual depravity.

Today we might also contemplate the various ways in which the State is encroaches in our lives in this regard and tries to force us to do things that are repugnant to nature and to God’s laws.

Today we should especially ask God to forgive and convert all those who in any way have contributed to or succumbed to any aspect of what is rightly called toxic “gender theory” and called demonic, due to its origin.

More on that HERE and HERE and HERE.

Today is the feast day of a saint, who died as a martyr especially because he resisted a sodomite king, who was furious that he and many children wouldn’t have homosexual sex with him.

St. Charles Lwanga and many other martyrs died between 1885 and 1887 in Uganda. They were beatified in 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

In 1879 the White Fathers were working successfully as missionaries in Uganda.  They were, at first well received by King Mutesa.

Then there came a new pharaoh, as it were.

Mutesa died and his son, Mwanga, took over.  He was a ritual pedophile.

Charles Lwanga, a 25 year old man who was a catechist, forcefully protected boys in his charge from the king’s sodomite advances.

The king had murdered an Anglican Bishop and tried to get his page, who was protected by Joseph Mukasa, later beheaded for his trouble.  On the night of the martyrdom of Joseph Mukasa, Lwanga and other pages sought out the White Fathers for baptism. Some 100 catechumens were baptized.

A few months later, King Mwanga ordered all the pages to be questioned to find out if they were being catechized.  15 Christians 13 and 25 identified themselves.  When the King asked them if they were willing to keep their faith, They answered in unison, “Until death!”

They were bound together and force marched for 2 days to Namugongo where they were to be burned at the stake.  On the way, Matthias Kalemba, one of the eldest boys, exclaimed, “God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body.”  He was cut to pieces and left him by the road.

When they reached Nanugongo, they were kept tied together for seven days while the executioners prepared the wood for the fire.

On 3 June 1886 (that year the Feast of the Ascension… therefore a Thursday), Charles Lwanga was separated from the others and burned at the stake. The executioners burnt his feet until only the charred stumps remained.  He survived.  His tormentors promised that they would let him go if he renounced his Faith. Charles refused saying, “You are burning me, but it is as if you are pouring water over my body.”  They set him on fire.

As flames engulfed him he said in a loud voice, “Katonda! – My God!”

“Katonda!”  … Better than “Wakanda!”

His companions were also burned together the same day. They prayed and sang hymns.

Charles Lwanga and companions died for their Faith and because they resisted the intrinsically evil of homosexual sex.


Charles Lwanga, pray for us!



Thanks to the Great Roman.  Here are a couple of shots of the canonization ceremony for St. Charles and companions…. during Vatican II.

Quite self-referential and neo-Pelagian, I’d say.



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Posted in Linking Back, Saints: Stories & Symbols, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged | 6 Comments

Fr. Jonathan Robinson, CO – R.I.P.

I received word today that Fr. Jonathan Robinson of the Toronto Oratory passed away this morning.  It seems that he had a fall on St. Philip’s Day (26 May) and had been in the hospital.

Would you in your kindness remember today to pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Robinson?

Fr. Robinson produced some good books.  I can recommend a couple in particular.


Mass And Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward



In No Strange Land: The Embodied Mysticism of Saint Philip Neri


If you get these books, remember to say a prayer for Fr. Robinson.

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Your Good News

If there were a time for some good news for the readership, this is it.

Do you have some good news to share?

Here is some great news.

Last Saturday three new priests were ordained for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.  The new priests are from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the Dioceses of Victoria, and of Austin.

Here is a photo from the First Solemn Mass of Fr. James Dvorak.

Please support the Archdiocese for the Military Services!



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Posted in Just Too Cool, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged | 6 Comments