If you are not on offense, you are on defense

I have said that it might be necessary for us to just endure the kicking for a while.

That doesn’t mean that the Pope has to endure it.

In the course of a discussion with a priest friend tonight I opined that it might be a good time for the Holy Father to make a large gesture on the front that means so much to him and his pontificate: make a bold gesture. 

I think it ought to be a liturgical gesture because we must renew the Church’s worship.

I think part of this whole business right now may be coming from those who see the Holy Father is making headway.  In their twisted hearts, that will never do.

These days, if you are not on offense, you are on defense.

I think something of that spirit is found in what the Holy Father said today in his sermon for Palm Sunday, when he spoke about the…

…courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the chattering of the dominant opinions; towards the patience that supports and sustains others….

Okay… let’s look at the article in my email that caught my attention

From scotsman.com comes this from the not even slightly irenic Gerald Warner with my… you know…

Gerald Warner: It’s the Pope’s turn to retaliate in Catholic civil war [GMTA]
Published Date: 28 March 2010

‘NEVER let a good crisis go to waste" was the political maxim formulated by Hillary Clinton[Who probably learned it from Dick Morris.] It has been adopted by the fading trendies in the Catholic Church who still carry the burnt-out torch of the Second Vatican Catastrophe, in their Intifada against Pope Benedict XVI.

The sex abuse scandal in the Church – [You decide if this next part is accurate or not…] the product of the post-Conciliar nihilists’ own iconoclastic destruction of traditional Catholic morals and spirituality[I think it was probably a little before that, but there is little question that it accelerated into a whole new thing after the Council.] has audaciously been conscripted to serve their desperate agenda to overthrow the Pope, secure a "progressive" successor and eventually replace the Papacy with some kind of lay soviet (well, that is what happens to your brain if you inhaled substances other than incense, back in the 1960s).

Such an inversion of the truth is not without precedent: the Venerable Pius XII saved 860,000 Jews from the Nazis; but today, thanks to defamation by a German playwright, propagated by "liberal" Catholics, the one individual who did more than anyone on earth to help the Jews is demonised and bracketed with Heinrich Himmler. Now, the Spirit-of-Vatican II groupies are going after Benedict XVI on the child abuse ticket.  [I hadn’t considered the present process of liberal implication of the Holy Father as the modern shadow of "The Deputy".]

"Radical" Catholics are attacking the Vatican, like the chav [A Brit term, "Council House And Violent".] mobs that sporadically besiege the houses of paediatricians. Our television screens are filled with geriatric ex-Jesuits, feminist nuns, "progressive" theologians and every variety of Lollards [ROFL!] and Fifth Monarchy Men. Even their 1960s poster-boy Hans Küng (yes, he is still alive) has emerged from obscurity to throw his pebble at Benedict.

Who was to blame for child sex abuse but precisely the generation of Vatican II revolutionaries who are now wringing their gnarled hands in hypocritical outrage? As the official Irish government report into abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin proves, this orgy of evil was overwhelmingly perpetrated in the post-Vatican II era. During the 1970s and 1980s, when it was at its height, there was only one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: attempting to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass.

Contrast the vicious persecution of traditionalist priests and laity with the extravagant indulgence extended to serial child abusers. [Whew!  This guy doesn’t pull punches.] Today, their chickens have come home to roost. These were the children of Paul VI, of aggiornamento, of the great Renewal: now they must be made to take ownership of their own scandal. It is they who are in denial, not the Pope.  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

They are being supported by the media, whose agenda is to pressurise the Catholic Church into moral relativism, [bingo] to withdraw its condemnation of abortion, contraception, divorce, homosexuality, embryo experimentation, ordination of priestesses and every other precept that conflicts with the secularist New World Order

That will not happen. The fatuity of much of the attack is blatant. Evidently priests abused altar boys because of clerical celibacy. There is no compulsory celibacy in the Church of England, yet vicars and boy scouts have been mainstays of the Sunday tabloids for a century. The Dublin report recorded a ratio of 2.3 boy victims to one girl: the last thing these men wanted was a wife. [ouch… but… deny it as the liberals will… that seems pretty clear.]

The much-hyped Wisconsin scandal, used to traduce Benedict XVI, is another example of forcing the wrong pieces into the jigsaw to fabricate the required picture. The local police investigated Father Murphy in 1974 and refused to believe his accusers. More than 20 years later, when Murphy was dying, his case was referred to the then Cardinal Ratzinger. In 1998 he declined to unfrock the now repentant offender who died four months later.

The Milwaukee district attorney had refused to prosecute Murphy because the statute of limitations had run out; the Vatican faced the same canonical problem. Why are the Milwaukee authorities not blamed instead of the Vatican? Why was Cardinal Ratzinger expected to unravel a case that had baffled the local police 24 years earlier? [Furthermore, Card. Ratzinger was the one who really pushed for a reform of the way these cases were handled.]

Unfrocking would not have deprived Murphy of his priesthood – that is irremovable. It would only have prevented him functioning as a priest, which he was no longer capable of doing.

It is time for the Pope to retaliate. [As I was wondering about at the top.] He should adopt the liberals’ strategy of not wasting a crisis. The media are howling for the heads of bishops. Very well: give them dozens, even hundreds. This is an opportunity to get rid of every mitred 1960s flower-child obstructing the return of the Tridentine Mass, liturgical reverence and doctrinal orthodoxy. The episcopal gerontocracy, along with the flared-trousered seminary rectors promoting the ordination of social worker priests and blocking genuine vocations, is ripe for a cull. The abuse scandal is only a part of the larger crisis that has engulfed the Church since the Second Vatican Catastrophe – it really is too good to waste.



I am sure none of you will have any opinions about this, so I will add mine.

Yes, I think the Holy Father should demonstrate that his pontificate has not been hobbled.

The problem as I see it is that the Holy Father doesn’t implement anything on his own.  He depends on others to implement things along the lines he proposes or legislates.

He would need to make some changes around him and in some key positions.

I could suggest a list… if he wanted… if… well… you know.

But I would also suggest that His Holiness do something in the sphere of liturgy to demonstrate that he really means business.  

To renew the Church we must renew our worship.

I think most of us are prepared to take some kicking and to bleed a bit.  But I don’t think the Holy Father has to lie down and let enemies of the Church entrusted to him kick him.  

And he must strengthen the brethren.

Part of that must involve getting to the bottom of the bad things that were done in years past. 

In response to the idiots and the wicked who want to tear at the Church, we must respond with clarity.

The pontificate of Benedict XVI is far from hobbled.  It need not be hobbled.

When we are not on offense, we are on defense.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Central Valley says:

    Gerald Warner – the Michael Savage of the Telegraph. Gerald is right, the Holy Father needs to grab the nearest battle ax from the Swiss Guard and make heads roll. Yes, it is time for a bloodletting.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    “…do something in the sphere of liturgy to demonstrate that he really means business.”

    Could you elaborate, Father? Summorum Pontificum is out and about. The CDW has issued many decrees regarding liturgical abuses, etc. Isn’t it now up to pastors, bishops, etc.? What else can be done? Requiring ad orientem, Latin, chant, etc.? I’m just curious… :-)

  3. Far from me thinking I could add to anything here…I’m just a simple minded dope, for all intents and purposes, when it comes to all this; however, in the area of the Sacred Liturgy, I would recommend Pope Benedict make it clear that the norms of the OF will be followed and honored, to the letter, in all dioceses, under the direction of the local bishop. If this is not followed in the matter of one year, let the heads roll.
    Fr Z: You are on target; Save the Liturgy, Save the Church. If we have the Mass celebrated properly, ‘lex orandi, lex crednedi.’ L. Hemmings makes a powerful case for the Sacred Liturgy as the ‘locus’ for Catholic belief and practice in his book, “Worship as Revelation”.
    I think this is the key to the proper reform of our Church.

  4. DarkKnight says:

    Whatever happened to that surprise promised for Tuesday of Holy Week? Perhaps, this fits in with your suggestion. Perhaps it was planned before the current attacks.

    Seriously, Father, what about all of that chatter in February? I’ve heard not a peep since then. I do hope one of your sources has some good news, it is so needed right now!

  5. Dark: Whatever happened to that surprise promised for Tuesday of Holy Week?

    Just a rumor. Right?

  6. mfg says:

    Those great words from plain speaking Gerald Warner are the truest and most compelling I have read since my reading of the Credo in today’s Holy Tridentine Latin Mass. Why hasn’t anyone else pulled all of this together before now? Love that “…give them dozens, even hundreds…get rid of every mitred 60’s flower child obstructing the return of the Tridentine Mass, liturgical reverence and doctrinal orthodoxy…” BRAVO! Pray for Papa Benedetto. Great blog,Father Z.

  7. Glen M says:

    Perhaps the abuse and liturgical crisis in our Church justifies a council; a ‘do-over’ of V2. If not, then a major overhaul of the bishops in favour of those committed to teaching and enforcing Church doctrine.

  8. Mark01 says:

    I agree with the author. The best way to use this crisis would be to replace Bishops who resist the changes of Pope Benedict with those who will encourage them. He could do so much in on swoop: show that he wants to clean up the church and also speed up the implementation of his Marshall Plan.

  9. Traductora says:

    “Second Vatican Catastrophe” – I love it! Great article, I think he’s absolutely correct on all points.

    That said, I feel that he has been tolerant with some of these bad bishops because he is afraid that, particularly in the US, disciplining them will result in schism. I know there are people here who are in favor of the tiny, “pure” Church, but that has never been the way of the Church, who desires all men to be saved.

    This is particularly risky in the US, where we have a government that would be only too happy to have the Church split because the Church is the only institution that has offered even minimal objections to the horrible policies that are being imposed on us. As under Henry VIII, the great majority of the bishops (the USCCB ones, at least) would chose Obama over Benedict, I’m afraid.

    The problem suffered by the English bishops at that time is the same one we suffer from here: they had not gotten bad overnight, but had been allowed to grow lax and disloyal over many, many years (although I agree that Vatican II was the seed for it in our case). So the question is how Benedict can deal with entrenched disloyalty and even outright heresy without exposing the mass of the faithful to a schism, led by the people he is disciplining.

    Personally, I think a place to start might be not with the bishops, but with things like the Catholic Hospitals Association and that group of nutty nuns that are being heralded by the Times as expressing the “real” church. I doubt that they have a real following (outside of the Times, of course), and it might be possible to discipline people at that level and then move on to the bishops.

  10. Dark: Whatever happened to that surprise promised for Tuesday of Holy Week?

    It’s ‘scheduled’ for Thursday of Holy Week, not Tuesday.

  11. “…do something in the sphere of liturgy to demonstrate that he really means business.”

    Indeed! A document which REQUIRES…well, not that bishops would run to obey any directive from Rome, but
    at least a document that shall ‘require’ a reform of the reform will have ‘the force of law’.

    Prayers. Much prayers!

  12. Jon says:

    Well, the “rumor” I heard about was to be announced on Holy Thursday, so I’ll continue to hold my breath a few more days.

    As for doing something liturgical, the angels and I wouldn’t mind if:

    1) The Holy Father celebrate the TLM in St. Peter’s with lots of cameras pointed at him.

    2) He does it again.

    3) He releases that clarification of Summorum Pontificum.

    4) He grants the SSPX provisional faculties.

    5) He sends Cardinal Re on one fantastic retirement cruise.

    6) He moves the conjectured November consistory to June.

    There. That oughta do it.

    PS – Oh, as a bonus, we could get an encyclical on liturgy beginning “Unaquaeque enim arbor de fructu” along with a Benedictine GIRM for the NOM, but the angels and I wouldn’t want to overreach…

  13. gmaskell says:

    In the new Springtime, the soil is being prepared. Where is your seed going to drop?

  14. The Astronomer says:

    As long as the spiritual heirs of the late Cardinal Bernardin’ continue to exert influence in the Church, the Lavender Mafia will ride this out with the tenacity they’ve shown when their power base is threatened. Although their Orwellian hypocrisy boggles the mind, their spiritual filth is in turn used shamelessly by a complicit media (Hell’s Bible???) to further attack the Holy Father.

    St. Padre Pio, pray for us!!!

  15. merrydelval says:

    Ratzinger’s theology of the episcopacy as is very much in line with Christus Dominus of Vatican II. As much as the liberals paint him as an autocrat reigning like Boniface VIII, now that Ratzinger has become Pope, he has always ruled in conformity with that vision. The problem, though, is that collegiality can easily degenerate into the Old Boys’ Club. Warner is right that much of this craziness is due to the Second Vatican Catastrophe, but it is also clear that this type of behavior has been going on for a long time. The clericalist network which has covered up these things, combined with moral degeneracy, is a potent mixture. But how does one fix it? Collegiality with no firm hand from above does not have the mechanism to fix itself. Only firm and decisive papal intervention (like dismissing half the episcopate and starting all over) can fix this. But I doubt Pope Benedict XVI will do this. More than anyone else, who knew who was in the Curia and who was his enemy. His humility has led him to a situation where he has tolerated within his own household those who seek to destroy him. Such humility may be admirable, but it is now destroying the Church. Heads have to roll and the hermeneutic of continuity must realise that Roman centralisation exists by divine ordinance to be able to swoop in and reform quickly and deeply. The first is the cruelest cut…

  16. Henrici says:

    Jon: There. That oughta do it.

    Well, perhaps not quite. There might still remain a detail or two for him to attend to. Devoted as I personally am to the newer form of Mass, it could be argued that the ultimate solution, more urgent now than ever, was spelled out carefully a year or so before the inauguration of our presently reigning Supreme Pontiff:


    “The Pontiff blessed the congregation and wished them the peace of Christ. He chose to devote his homily to ‘The Sovereignty of Christ the King, and the Crisis in the Church’. …..

    “The Pope announced that a general ‘cleansing of the Vatican’s Augean stables’ was underway. He had told priests, bishops and Cardinals of the Church that if they were not prepared to renounce the heretical beliefs which had become so much a part of their nature, they must step down and leave the Church. …..

    “Then in an announcement which stunned the congregation, the new Pope announced that the ‘prolonged experiment’ of the ‘Novus Ordo’ Mass would be rapidly phased out and although, as his predecessors had pointed out, it is a valid Mass, he had no doubt that the great sacramental gifts of the Tridentine Mass, the ‘Mass for all times’ formulated by St Pius V, would soon once again be embraced universally.

    “To bring this into effect he had ordered all bishops and priests everywhere to re-institute the Tridentine Mass on a daily basis in all churches and to make it available on Sundays at times when the majority of the Faithful would have easy access to the Sacrifice of Calvary. …..”

  17. ljc says:

    An upcoming document that most seem to have forgetten about is the one on seminary formation coming at the end of the Year for Priests. Already last summer an Archbishop in the Vatican said it would be “brief, forceful and very clear.” Pope Benedict could use this document to enact massive, sweeping reforms in our seminaries (perhaps even requiring all seminaries to teach the Extraordinary Form?) It really is a golden opportunity. Whos is going to question him for making big changes after what has happened this year? (OK I know there will be some to question him no matter what, ie. NCR etc…) This is his big chance.

  18. robtbrown says:

    It is hard to miss the irony that the same crowd that has made a career of telling Rome to mind its own business now complains that Rome has been derelict in dealing with these problems.

  19. irishgirl says:

    After my Rosary this morning-which I always offer for the Holy Father and all priests, among other intentions-I opened my Daily Missal to read the readings and prayers for Monday of Holy Week (I’m going to try and do so the rest of this week). The Introit for today hit like a ton of bricks-it seemed to apply to what the Holy Father has been facing lately:

    ‘Judge Thou, O Lord, them that wrong me, overthrow them that fight against me: take hold of arms and shield, and rise up to help me, O Lord, the strength of my salvation. BRING OUT THE SWORD AND SHUT UP THE WAY AGAINST THEM THAT PERSECUTE ME [emphasis mine] : say to my soul, I am thy salvation.’ (Psalm 34: 1-2.

    And the Epistle from Isaiah 1: 5-10 also seem to apply to him, too. I won’t quote it because it’s too long. Those who have the traditional Missals can look it up.

    Excellent piece by Mr. Warner-a fighting Scotsman! King Robert the Bruce would be proud!

    Yes- I wonder what the ‘Thursday surprise’ is going to be? I know it won’t be news of a papal resignation, such as those who howled for it in front of Westminster Cathedral in London yesterday. Benedict won’t back down, and those of us who love him and pray for him will be at his back to support him!

  20. MarkJ says:

    1) Require ALL parishes to offer the TLM in place of one of the Novus Ordo Masses.
    2) Welcome the SSPX back with open arms.
    3) Celebrate the TLM in St. Peters with full regalia.
    4) Excommunicate Cardinal Mahony.

    That’s my list.

  21. Brian Day says:

    The three year anniversary of S.P.nis coming up in July. Didn’t B16 call for a review of the implementation after three years? I would expect a new document in the months after July that would tie in to Fr. Z’s suggestion of doing something in the sphere of liturgy. An enforceable document on the implementation of S.P. would be nice.

    While the idea of sacking dozens if not hundreds of bishops is enticing (and there are a few prelates in California that I wouldn’t mind being sacked), the reality is such a move would be disaster in the making. Given how long it takes to appoint bishops in normal times (sometimes it takes years for an appointment), a sudden wave of hundreds of empty See’s could take decades. Some might say that en empty See would be an improvement over the current situation, but there is too much of an opportunity for mischief by the diocesan chancery who would be just as liberal as the bishop just removed.

  22. sejoga says:

    Um, as much as I agree that Pope Benedict should hit back and hit hard, I have to disagree with the sentiment that he should do it by sacking bishops. People think we have a problem with “alternative magisteriums” now? Wait until there’s about, I don’t know, 50 bishops worldwide who are validly ordained bishops that have had their ties with Roman severed and are known to be progressive. It would be a third great schism at a time when Benedict has been actively pursuing Christian unity more so than any of his predecessors.

    I think attacking on the liturgical front truly is the best way to go. Remove any indults that allow Catholics to receive communion in the hand. Require ad orientem worship. Do something that says, “The Church is moving forward with all kinds of reform and if you want to linger behind in order to dwell on abuse cases that weren’t the fault of current leadership, then good riddance.”

  23. david andrew says:

    As for me, I’d certainly like to see the calling of a Third Ecumenical Council. The purpose would be threefold:

    1) Clarify the duty and responsibility of the Church, in all charity and obedience to the Holy Father, to swiftly and permanently weed out and remove all bishops and priests who, either out of wanton stubbornness or invincible ignorance, continue to engage in liturgical abuse (including music – no more Haugan, Haas, Joncas et. al.) or who publicly agitate for resistance against Summorum pontificum or the new translation;

    2) Re-establish in unequivocal terms, through carefully authored Constitutions, the “hermeneutic of continuity” so that the “season of silliness” can be completely exposed, discredited, rejected and replaced with solid theological writing that cannot be subjected to progressivist subterfuge;

    3) Somehow directly address this public spectacle surrounding abusive priests and complicitous bishops around the world, humbly and without equivocation. If the Church is going to regain Her place in the public square, I fear She must endure some chastisement, but it seems to me that if the Holy Father seizes the reins quickly and decisively he can neuter the leftist media in this regard. Whatever needs to be done, it won’t be pretty. (I’m certain that there is a reasonable explanation, for example, as to why Bernard Cardinal Law, who effectively hollowed out and bankrupt the Diocese of Boston, was in my opinion rewarded for his malfeasance by being moved to Rome and permitted to continue serving in roles in high public view. To actually hear an explanation would go a long way toward setting the record straight and putting otherwise committed, serious-minded Catholics at ease.)

    I add to my list also the celebration of the TLM at the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica with international coverage especially if it would be in connection with a Third Council or major consistory; and sending folk like Rodger Cardinal Mahoney on a retirement cruise around the world . . . at least three times.

  24. mpm says:

    That said, I feel that he has been tolerant with some of these bad bishops because he is afraid that, particularly in the US, disciplining them will result in schism. I know there are people here who are in favor of the tiny, “pure” Church, but that has never been the way of the Church, who desires all men to be saved. [Traductora — 29 March 2010 @ 6:45 am]

    I think this is generally-speaking correct, although I cannot say myself who exactly the “bad bishops” are. More than “fear”, though, I would say that Pope Benedict knows he has to be prudent in governing the Church (supernaturally prudent, not necessarily “cautious”). Part of that is to realize (as I’m sure he is more than well-aware) that he cannot arbitrarily “prune” the hierarchy at will (he cannot act on mere “hunches”); though where there is clear evidence, he can insist that justice be done, and make changes.

    So, is there “clear evidence”, of the kind that will stand up in a canonical trial? I don’t know.

    I doubt that it is his role to discipline the CHA. If anything, that would be the role of the US bishops, whose hospitals and other institutions comprise part of the membership of the CHA. He could give the bishops moral support were they to do so, but it is theirs to do the work. However, some of them were taking very public “victory laps” over the passage of our new health-care legislation (in spite of the USCCB declarations and logic) on the very day when Congress passed the bill (March 21).

    And I wonder if all the members of the US Bishops’ Conference would write in support of Pope Benedict, if the CDF began to take up cases of “homosexual” acts of clerics, as stipulated in the same legislation that covers a) child abuse by the clergy and b) solicitation in Confession? I seriously doubt whether the 4th crime covered by that canonical legislation, a certain realized hankering after such beings as sheep and goats would need to be a serious concern at this time.

    I was very moved by Pope Benedict’s homily yesterday during the Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s.

  25. Henry Edwards says:

    Aside from proposals that aren’t feasible or possible — like sacking unfaithful or disloyal bishops en masse, or an immediate curtailment of Novus Ordo abusers and/or abusers, I wonder whether a simple requirement that every parish with multiple Sunday Masses offer one of them ad orientm (a TLM meeting this requirement) wouldn’t be enough to cause an immediate sea change in Catholic liturgy. So much so that most everything else would follow in due course.

  26. THREEHEARTS says:

    Gerald Warner is right but I would like to remind you of two things.
    1. the first real publicity this behavior had in the UK was Lord Montague and the boy scout in the tent episode in the fifties.
    2. read Tom Brown Schooldays and see that homosexual/predatory actions were a product of the English public schools. Prefects had fags that was the first name/title for the gay population. The first name I heard growing up, that designated this behavior.

  27. Bornacatholic says:

    the product of the post-Conciliar nihilists’ own iconoclastic destruction of traditional Catholic morals and spirituality

    Modernist Bishops repudiated the strictures of admitting no homosexuals into Seminaries and they gave their support to New Ways Ministry and it is THE AmBishops who invited these homosexual predators – NOT pedophiles – HOMOSEXUALS – into the Sheep gate and set them loose to prey upon the innocent sheep.

    I live in Wellington, Florida and yesterday,(giving new meaning to Palm Sunday) a town close by, Lake Worth, Florida staged a PrideFest; a public celebration of homosexual perversion.

    And not a few members of that “community” managed to get Ordained and prey on innocent adolescent males.

    Be careful of celebrating perversion. It’ll get you in the end. You’ll get

  28. mwmn says:

    I have a couple of questions:

    – Is it “once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal”, or is it possible for the Pope to remove that title (with the goal of preventing a Cardinal from voting for the next Pope)?

    – Has there been a study done that follows up on priests that were guilty of abuse and laicized, to see what “lifestyle” they lived after they were defrocked? It would be interesting to know how many of them lived an “alternate” lifestyles.

  29. Martial Artist says:

    I was unaware of Gerald Warner before reading this post. He appears to be spot on. Seems like my sort of chap, albeit a bit understated IMHO. ;-)

    Thank you very much, Father, for bringing his writing to my attention.

    Keith Töpfer

  30. steve jones says:

    Father, the term chav is an arcane British word for gypsy – trailer trash best translates it for our American cousins.

    Some research is required into the life and work of Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald founder of the order, “Servants of the Paraclete”. I understand he was toppled in a coup by his own people at the Second Vatican Council. He began, reluctantly, an apostolate to sex offending priests in the 1950’s. His papers have only just been opened in 2009 and they are most revealing.

    Warner has a point. The problem with the post-conciliar response to this issue was that it bought into all manner of secular and non-Catholic thinking. This lead to accepting exaggerated claims made by modern psychology and medicine as solutions. There was even an ecumenical dimension with the acceptance of 12-Step programs which have their origin in the protestant abstinence movement.

    Reading the pre-conciliar Fitzgerald, I was astounded by how he got everything right when questioning the efficacy of contemporary psychology and the claims of AA when dealing with a problem which he believed was essentially recidivist in nature.

  31. Nathan says:

    OK, Father, I’ll take the bait on list of recommendations for the Holy Father (like he needs my input!):

    –Just or not, the maw of publicity demands a top-level firing. Perhaps accepting the retirement of H.E. Card. Bertone in light of the CDF kerfuffle?

    –Weakland has to be dealt with. Perhaps he could be “invited,” following the example of Fr. Maciel, to spend the rest of his days in penance and solitude.

    –Perhaps the potential upcoming consistory could be a means of rewarding those who stood up for the Holy Father and expressing displeasure with the silent?

    –Liturgically, just announcing the intent for a solemn Papal Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite would do wonders to re-gain the offensive. Perhaps on the 3-year anniversary of Summorum Pontificum? That would give the papal liturgists time to iron out the details and get the Sistine Choir, Cardinal Deacons, and the remnants of the papal court ready.

    –Announce that the follow on to the year of the Priest is a year-long period of penance and reparation for the injustices committed against the victims of abuse, both within and outside the Church. Re-impose the pre-councilar laws of fast and abstinence on the Latin Church for the year, with the option of maintaining them afterward.

    –Tell middle-aged laymen with lists of recommendations for the Holy Father that they are to, in accordance with Psalm 130 (old numbering), not to “walk in great matters, nor in things to wonderful” for them.

    In Christ,

  32. Thomas S says:

    Lest the First Vatican Council be tarred with the same brush, it really shouldn’t be called the “Second Vatican Catastrophe” as that would imply there was a First Vatican Catastrophe. Vatican Council II is the First Vatican Catastrophe.

    Not that this is exactly my opinion of VII, mind you.

  33. TKS says:

    I imagine many have the experience of trying to answer the fellow Catholic who says, but XXX is doing/voting/says in public such and such, and the hierarchy lets them so it must be OK. I hope His Holiness realizes the huge scandal this is to the ordinary Catholic. I am to the point where I really don’t know what to say.

  34. Prof. Basto says:

    All we can do is pray. Unfortunately, Rome seems paralized by this week’s media attacks.

    We are not privy counsellors to the Holy Father.

    If I were, I would suggest:

    (1) accepting the resignation and deposing, yes, deposing, without prior request for a resignation, several liberal Bishops;

    (2) deposing a few Cardinals from the Sacred College;

    (3) celebrating the TLM in public ASAP;

    (4) creating the new Cardinals IMMEDIATELY, at an ordinary public consistory to be held NEXT WEEK, even if that means that the new Cardinals won’t be there as is usual to receive the birretas. Hold another consistory afterwards, perhaps in June, just to deliver the birretas and to have the Mass of Rings. (Cardinals need not be present at their creation, you know?);

    (5) promulgation of an Apostolic Constitution reserving to the Pope the appointment of the leadership of all Episcopal Conferences;

    (6) new regulations insisting on the constant use of the traditional attire proper to the clerical state; priests never to be seen in public not wearing a cassock. Bishops and Cardinals to wear the abito talare proper of their rank in public always. In the presence of the Holy Father, the more elaborate attire of pre-VII days to be re-established.

    (7) initiating a program of LEGISLATION on the reform of the reform of the Novus Ordo. Legislation SURVIVES THE LEGISLATOR.

    Main topics for such a legislative programme on the reform of the reform: (a) promotion of ad orientem worship; (b) prohibition of versus populum celebration when it is possible to celebrate ad orientem (c) universal abrogation of the indults authorizing reception of Sacred Communion in the hand; (d) new universal law removing the power of Episcopal Conferences to set the posture for reception of the Eucharist and re-establishing kneeling as the universal posture for reception of the Most Holy Sacrament; (e) limits on concelebration; (f) suppression of all Eucharistic Prayers except Eucharistic Prayer I from the MR2002; cancellation of the indults that authorize certain Episcopal Conferences to add acclamations after the paragraphs of the Canon. (g) reform of the Offertory Prayer so that the Novus Ordo acquires an actual Offertory; (h) making the Confiteor, followed by the Kyrie, mandatory in the penitential rite; (i) abrogation of the current of the rites of Baptism and Ordination of the Novus Ordo. The texts in use for those Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form are to be promulgated, word for word, for the Ordinary Form; (j) abrogation of the Novus Ordo prayer for the Jews of the Good Friday Liturgy, replacing it with the 2008 prayer for the conversion of the jews already used, by decree of Pope Benedict, in the extraordinary form; (k) the several signs of the Cross during the TLM, the holding of fingers after the Consecration, the genuflection before the Elevations, and the genuflection when crossing the tabernacle to be imported from the TLM for mandatory use also in the Ordinary Form.

  35. Prof. Basto says:

    Let me just add something to my previous post…

    But instead of the programme of reform suggested above, it seems that the liberals always have the upper hand. Even when we have a non-liberal Pope.

    The case of the French parish priest and the appeal recently denied by the Holy See (via the Congregation for the Clergy) is a case in point.

    Even as the Pope is under attack, the Holy See continues to yeald to the demands of the liberal French Episcopate.

    Arise, Holy Father!

  36. Fr Jackson says:

    Just my two cents: I agree with a couple of other commenters here that communion in the hand would be very high on the list of problems to address. This usage is here and now – in my view – the biggest stumbling block for practical cooperation between SSPX priests and the diocesan clergy at the practical level.

  37. RuariJM says:

    I was geting puzzled about this Gerald Warner column because it contained some items I hadn’t encountered before and omitted others – then finally realised I was thinking of a similar piece he wrote for the Daily Telegraph; this was written for The Scotsman.

    I commented on the Telegraph piece – which was even more overt in blaming V2 for the abuse scandals – and said ““These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II,” (that was his quote; I responded):

    “Some did, Mr Warner, but the majority didn’t – which you would know if you had merely brushed past the Ryan Report and noted its title. That means that the majority of the perpetrators – even those who were engaging in what one of your correspondents rightly calls ‘rape, sodomy, assault, torture, degradation’ – wer emostly ordained or ‘called’ before V2.”

    Only since V2? Get your head out of the sand, or it will happen again!”

    That is my great concern. I have come to the conclusion that ++BXVI is doing more than probably any of his predecessors to root out ‘this filth’ as he rightly called it. However, his drive to achieve that will not be helped if the opinion persists, in some quarters, that ‘it’s all the fault of Vatican II’. It was there well before V2; it has been since V2 that it has been exposed and is being dealt with, in one way or another.

    I don’t know what effect ‘reform of the reform’ of the Liturgy will have. I am all too aware, from personal experience, that Latin, traditional rites and TLM seemed to have had virtually no restraining effect on those determined to abuse. Should I blame Latin liturgy and TLM for what I and thousands of others experienced? My head is telling me no, that these people would have done what they did whatever the circumstances (see the abuse scandals from State-run/funded childrens homes in England and Wales that emerged from the 1970s on; nothing to do with the Catholic Church) – but psychologically, there is a connection that is extremely difficult to dislodge. Also, see the Ryan Report – the worst of the abuse in Ireland (and in Australia, and in the USA) predated V2 and the NO Mass.

    I recall that a Sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace. If the Pope calls for a particular liturgy to be adopted as a visible manifestation of spiritual renewal, then he may get my vote. If it’s put forward as a soluton to all ills, then my reaction will be, once again, sorrow and despair for the future because the point will have been missed.

    One thing I do believe, very strongly, that this Pope needs is support. Not telling him what to do, not prescribing a solution from the pews (or outside) but unified support from all who wish him well in his task. He’s trying to make a difference; the rising hysteria of opposition and the barrel-scraping currently going on makes it clear that he is making progress. Let all people of good will support him in that, without seeking to impose their own prescriptions.

  38. catholicmidwest says:

    I agree with Mr. Warner. The Holy See needs to work day and night to publish the recognitio ASAP and then offer a slam-bang deal to publishers to get the new translation printed and out there. Then they need to ORDER by a non-negotiable date that ALL Catholic Churches use EITHER the Mass of 1962, AS WRITTEN, or the new translation, AS WRITTEN.

    To ensure it, an open invitation for laypeople to tape and send violations with documentation should be put out and scoring and penalizing should begin for ALL violators. Favors, money, monsignor hats, bishop appointments, seats at universities, the works should be given on this basis and this basis ONLY. Period. Violators should start eating dirt.

    PEople who don’t do as they’re told by the church aren’t doing their job or living their vocation. PERIOD.

  39. catholicmidwest says:

    IF a priest can’t manage to say the mass correctly, what kind of a priest is he?
    Ans. He’s right in there with the math teacher who can’t add, the piano teacher who can’t play a chord, the skater who spends most of her time with her butt on the ice.

    A priest who can’t say the mass, as written, is a non-starter. He doesn’t know what he is doing.

  40. catholicmidwest says:

    David Andrew. NO. We don’t need a council.

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