“Ab arbore autem fici discite parabolam…”

There must be something special about the number 230.

Libs in Congress successfully blocked changes to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Acts which says that Big Tech controlled social media cannot be treated like a publisher, which gives Big Tech pretty much carte blanche to conduct a reign of terror.

It looks like Francis changed 230 §1 of the 1983 CIC so as to open up the lay “ministries” of lector and acolyte to women.

Signs of the times.

Any other 230’s out there which are causing havoc?   There hasn’t been a new element added to the periodic table yet, has there?

I am being queried heavily in email to comment on the issue of female lectors and acolytes.

Here’s my first reaction.  When I read news from the Vatican I often share with my friend Fr. Finigan the need to unwind with some happy music.  Check out his tweet HERE.   He likes “Mien Hut, Der Hat Drei Ecken”.  An excellent choice.   For my part, I rather favor a song which I recall from 7th Grade German class.

So, that’s my first reaction to the news about women acolytes and lectors.

Here’s my second reaction:

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

This is the classic Act of Faith.

God can neither deceive nor be deceived.

I urge you all to memorize the Act of Faith, with the Acts of Hope and of Love, for frequent use in the dark times that are coming.

If you memorize these prayers, no one can take them away from you.   They can strip you of your God-given rights, take your possessions, vilify and beat you until you can’t get up, but they can’t take the prayers from your memory once they are deeply engrained.



O my God, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I
hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.


O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.


O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Confusion twice confounded: On the motu proprio Spiritus Domini, by Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas | January 11, 2021

    The underlying problem with this document is that it eviscerates the clear teaching of St. John Paul II in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici.


    It should be stated at the outset that John Paul was not inventing theological categories. Indeed, one cannot point to a single line in the sixteen documents of Vatican II where the word “ministry” or “minister” was applied to the non-ordained. So, let’s see what the careful John Paul is saying and how that squares with what Francis is saying.

  2. Spinmamma says:

    Thank you for the encouragement to memorize the traditional prayers, something I have not been diligent about. You are so right. How much we may need them.
    As for German songs learned in German class, at this point I think “Ach, du lieber Augustin ” is all too appropriate right now (a plague song that became a children’s song) Vienna Boys’ choir has a lovely version of it, so lovely one might forget what the lyrics actually mean. “Oh my dearest Augustine everything’s gone!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtbPElcu1Rk

  3. Spinmamma says:

    Also now that Parler is down for the count you might consider migrating to Gab.com, at least for the short term They seem to have a fighting spirit I think you might like.

  4. ChrisP says:

    I have suspicions, but not firm evidence, that 230 is the combined IQ of the Democrat Party, and separately, those mischievous Scriveners in the Vatican Ministry of FlimFammery.

  5. prayfatima says:

    Can you please post the classic Act of Hope and Act of Charity? Thank you!

  6. My initial reaction is “that’s all that’s on the Pope’s mind these days?” I’ve been wondering how much of what we are doing is going to be akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. This ranks with the squabbling about “This is the word of the Lord” vs. “The word of the Lord,” or “for you and for all men.” Jesus must think “How long must I endure you?” when he sees navel-gazing such as this.

    This has mostly symbolic value– which of course isn’t completely unimportant. As a practical matter, however, consider two obvious points. First, women have been serving in those ministries unofficially as long as I can remember. They just couldn’t be “formally installed,” whatever that actually means in any given place. I was about the only person who wouldn’t use the term “lector” to describe someone who read at Mass. The rank and file are going to say, “What does he mean? I’m a woman and I’ve been a lector for 30 years.” From a logical standpoint, if they aren’t “orders,” they may as well be open to women, which of course makes us wonder if perhaps suppression of minor orders wasn’t a larger mistake. So now they can have a ceremony in a mostly empty Novus Ordo parish and get a little scroll and a round of applause from the few dozen folks there.

    That’s the second point. The Novus Ordo is rapidly becoming irrelevant. In another venue, I opined that the recent instruction on liturgical hymns issued by the USCCB, while long overdue and welcome, may become more of an epitaph for the Novus Ordo than a document that will actually be put into practice. Again, it’s all bordering on unimportant when Mass may be suppressed altogether in the not too distant future. The change to canon 230 is like a sergeant concerned about whether a soldier made his bed properly while they are being fired upon by an advancing enemy. It brings canon law into line with actual practice but that’s as far as it goes practically speaking.

    Finally, it may be time to establish the traditional Roman Rite as a separate juridical rite so that it can have its own canon law, ordinaries, and hierarchy, much as the Eastern-rite Churches do. Strictly speaking today in one sense, traditionalists are a “ritual” without a “rite.” That’s kind of like being homeless, which is a paradigm for many traditionalists today– they often borrow and share facilities and priests from others but have nothing they can call their own (at least that’s the way it is in my diocese; your mileage may vary). The move toward giving parishes to the FSSP and ICKSP is one step in that direction, but it may be time to accelerate that trend. A traditionalist, non-territorial diocese similar to the Archdiocese for the Military may be something whose time has come. Just as Eastern-rite eparchies overlap with Roman-rite dioceses, and local non-territorial parishes overlap with territorial parishes, the Traditional Catholic Diocese of the Northeastern United States (for example) could overlap with the existing Roman-rite dioceses and Eastern-rite jurisdictions. It’s worth considering.


  7. jhogan says:

    *Sigh* Francis no longer shocks; he just disappoints. This is his drip, drip of the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” which has as much connection to the Council as mock-turtle soup has to turtles. His pronouncements are a form of Chinese water torture which is designed to wear one down. I decided a long time ago to ignore him.
    I heard in the Sunday homily, the priest state that (the non-divine part of) the Church is corrupt. While this seems like an extreme statement, I tend to nod my head in agreement. I have decided to resist the corruption where I can, stay faithful to the Truth where I cannot, and always seek the guidance of Christ, His mother, and His saints.

  8. Rob83 says:

    On a practical level, this is little more than a recognition of the status quo on the ground, but the bigger problem is that seemingly every time Francis publishes something, those who profess the Act of Faith have to resort to caveats and explanations to explain why it is still in harmony with prior teaching.

    However, the average man on the ground pays as much attention to these caveats and explanations as he does to terms of service he blindly clicks through on websites. It does not seem in keeping with the charism of the papal office that Francis’s writings should be the cause of so much discord and confusion.

  9. moon1234 says:

    Which begs the question. What weight do the minor orders have when conferred in traditional societies? Will this “ministries” have any weight in a traditional parish.

    What is going to happen when the colored hair hippy woman shows up at the TLM and says “I am a lector. My Bishop made me one.” and wants to fill that roll. Because you know that is going to happen just to cause problems. Is the answer going to be “You are not really a Lector.” or “That was not recognized according to the 1962 missal so, no.”

    These problems will only get worse. I see many people who want to avoid these issues seeking out parishes that are attached to a traditional order. Then all of this “noise” will go away. It is so hard just to be faithful today without having to worry about on my thing in the Church. I have attended the TLM so much the last decade that attending the NO is almost like going to a different Church.

    [Lectors do not a the RIGHT to serve, nor to acolytes. They serve at the will of the priest celebrant.]

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    If the Pope wants to do something meaningfully good for women he should establish that it’s not appropriate to categorize chaste celibate women in terms that refer to them as sexually new or used.

  11. grateful says:

    I hadn’t thought of Fr Finigan’s song for a long time.
    Yes, my dad taught it to us (without the gestures):

  12. Sportsfan says:

    Try Schnitzelbank but substitute in the names of the cockroaches from the “horse race” in the movie Stalag 17. “Ya das ist ein Schnicklefritz.”

    230 AD is the year Pope Pontian was elected. He was the first pope to “resign” when he was sentenced, along with the anti-pope Hippolytus, to exiled hard labor in the Sardinian mines in 235. It’s not known if they reconciled or if he ever made it to Sardinia before he was beaten to death with sticks within a month after resigning.

    Pete Rose wreaked havoc on National League pitchers in 1973 collecting 230 hits on his way to claiming the NL MVP award.

    230 in inscribed on some narcotic pain pills containing oxycodone. They certainly have wreaked havoc on more than one addict.

    230 kgs is eaqual to 507 lbs which is the weight of a blue marlin caught off Kona Hawaii on Sunday. It got tail-wrapped on the way in which wreaked havoc on it’s ability to “breath.”

    I think I may have read Father Rutler’s book “Coincidentally” one too many times.

  13. JonPatrick says:

    Another 230:

    Aeromexico flight 230 (Douglas DC-9) made a hard landing at Chihuahua Mexico on July 27, 1981 resulting in 32 people killed. Upon touchdown, the aircraft bounced once and struck the ground; the aircraft then slid off the runway, broke up and caught on fire. The hard landing was attributed to bad weather including strong squalls and showers during the approach.

  14. Charles E Flynn says:


    I was trying to see if the Aeromexico flight 230 crash had been on the Smithsonian Channel’s “Air Disasters” series (shown as “Mayday” abroad, with a different narrator). I found this:


    Season 17 (2017)
    Type of aircraft: Boeing 767-200ER
    No. overall 144 N0. in series 4 “Explosive Proof” TWA Flight 800 13 March 2017

    On 17 July 1996, Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800 explodes in mid-air, breaks up during flight and crashes into the Atlantic Ocean while en route from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. All 230 passengers and crew members on board are killed.

  15. Gaetano says:

    It’s not about whether females can serve as lector or servers.

    This is all about giving them access to Minor Ministries that are closely connected to ordination.

    Minor Orders were derived from the ministry of Deacon. They also signified entry into the clerical state.

    Minor Orders became Minor Ministries with Ministeria quaedam in 1972, but the functions were absorbed into Lector & Acolyte. In consequence, an acolyte is functionally a subdeacon.

    So it’s not about a function. It’s about women being officially received into a position that puts them a step closer to Holy Orders.

    Which is why Phyllis Zagano is so happy right now.

  16. wmeyer says:

    “[Lectors do not a the RIGHT to serve, nor to acolytes. They serve at the will of the priest celebrant.]”

    Nor yet the ubiquitous EMHCs. And yet, when the celebrant in a parish of which I was formerly a member elected to limit the number of those EMHCs, they complained to the pastor, clearly believing that they had a right or entitlement. Whatever else may be true, that seems to me an exhibit of sinful pride. And truly, at a mid-day Mass with no more than 40 people in the pews, by what logic is there a need for four (4!) EMHCs. (Or any, come to that.)

  17. Ariseyedead says:

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  18. wmeyer says:

    “This has mostly symbolic value– which of course isn’t completely unimportant.”
    Allow me to suggest that to the extent that we accept the diminishment of symbols, we become the frog in the pot of water. And then lay people are referred to as “Eucharistic ministers” and celebrants as “presiders”, the former clearly intended to claim parity with a priest, even as the latter seeks to diminish the importance of that same priest.

  19. Pingback: Canon212 Update: Men Now Have No Freedom, No Political Power, No Catholic Hierarchy, and No Consumer Choices – The Stumbling Block

  20. oklip955 says:

    Elizabeth D, What are you talking about? Used?? Or New?? If you are referring to consecrated virgins, I am one, its the oldest form of consecrated life in the Church, and yes it has always been refereed to as consecrated virginity. Virginity consecrated has always been held in high regard in the Church. Pope Pius XII wrote the Encyclical Letter Sacra Virginitas (on Holy Virginity March 25, 1954)
    “Holy virginity and that perfect chastity which is consecrated to the service of God is without doubt among the most precious treasures which the Founder of the Church has left in heritage to the society which He established. This assuredly was the reason why the Fathers of the Church confidently asserted that perpetual virginity is a very noble gift which the Christian religion has bestowed on the world….the Fathers of the Church, such as Cyprian, Athanasius, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, and many others, have sung the praises of virginity…8 ..since there are some who, straying from the right path in this matter, so exalt marriage as to rank it ahead of virginity and thus depreciate chastity consecrated to God and clerical celibacy, Our apostolic duty demands that We now in a particular manner declare and uphold the Church’s teaching on the sublime state of virginity, and so defend Catholic truth against these errors…17..Moreover the Fathers of the Church considered this obligation of perfect chastity as a kind of spiritual marriage, in which the soul is wedded to Christ: so that some go so far as to compare breaking the vow with adultery.Thus St. Athanasius writes that the Catholic Church has been accustomed to call those who have the virtue of virginity the spouses of Christ. St Ambrose, writing succinctly of the consecrated virgin, says, She is a virgin who is married to God.” Also in the Rite of Consecration of a Virgin living in the world at the giving of the ring by the bishop”Receive the ring that marks you as a bride of Christ..” Note only a bishop can consecrate a virgin. From this we can see that virginity that is consecrated to God is a higher state of life. It is fitting that the current pope as well as a long line of popes have spoken of consecrated virginity as a higher state of life then either that of widows or married women. (also that of those who have willingly lost/given up their virginity) Sorry but that is the way it is.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    I don’t want to be divisive or make any statement other than my own experience, that’s all. But we have attended the Latin Rite in our diocese for the last 6 years, while keeping an eye on the “mainstream” church happenings. We are somewhat saddened but undisturbed by Pope Francis or anything he says or does. We came to some hard conclusions a few years ago, conclusions that other Catholics are capable of if they use the discernment that God gave them. Life is hard, very hard right now, likely to get harder. When we attend Mass, it is a reprieve, for a blessed hour, from the aggravation and misery of today’s world. I feel badly, thinking about fellow Catholics who need a spiritual home right now and a place to escape from the unrelenting angst of life today. With all we have going on in the world, and this comes out now. My God in heaven, deliver us from this madness. They know exactly what this does to faithful Catholics.
    Please find the Latin Rite Mass, even if you go once a month. Quite honestly, I can’t understand why everybody doesn’t find it now.

  22. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting comment by Andrew Saucci.

    “I’ve been wondering how much of what we are doing is going to be akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

    Unfortunately, Bergoglio seems to be gleefully and angrily steering for an iceberg. He won’t respond to warnings from the engine room (the Dubia) or the ship’s architect (Cdl. Zen), but has mounted a Pachamama on the bow of the ship, turned the bridge over to Jeffrey Sachs and Lynne Rothschild and is muttering angrily about the Faithful. Some, perhaps many, of the crew and passengers have stirred and are eyeing the lifeboats.

    Pope Benedict XVI mentioned something about the Dictatorship of Relativism and a smaller Church.

  23. Blaise says:

    I think Gaetano’s comment echoes most with my own conclusions. Therefore I think the prudent related step would be to disassociate the “ministries” of lector and acolyte from the pathway to ordination. Currently I understand it is expected in the ordinary course (technical term, think “ordinary time”, “ordinary minister of communion”) of things that a man in formation for Holy Orders should be instituted as a lector and acolyte on the path to ordination. Timing of this relative to Candidacy varies. This makes a clear connection between these ministries and ordination. Since woman can now be made lectrixes it follows logically that being a lector is not connected in any way to Holy Orders and should not be part of the standard or expected path to ordination.

    In fact it would seem to be clericalism to assume that a lay ministry is relevant to ordination.

  24. Blaise says:

    Just to add a comment also in acknowledgement of the point made by Andrew Saucci and echoed by Semper Gumby.

    Is this really where our focus as a Church should be? Is this how we bring others to salvation?

    Should we not spend our energies on proclaiming that Christ was borne, suffered, died was buried and rose again, founded his Church, ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit out of pure love for His creation? Repent and believe in the gospel. How about that for a focus rather than women instituted as lectors.

  25. Just as a sort of counterpoint to my suggestion that this is a relatively unimportant point when the ship is taking on water, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski offers this essay that is well-reasoned and also makes good points.


  26. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Elizabeth D and Oklip955 —

    Actually, when the Church offers “Mass of a Doctor,” there is no difference in the texts for either sex. I don’t know if any of the women Doctors of the Church get the generic Mass used, instead of their own special Mass texts and hymns and stuff, because they’re mostly popular enough to have their own propers and stuff. Maybe St. Hildegard of Bingen.

    Same thing with Masses of Two or More Martyrs. AFAIK, there’s no distinction between mixed martyrs, all female martyrs, and all male martyrs, as long as it’s a whole group.

    Anyway, your wish is granted! Already! For centuries!

  27. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Elizabeth D and Oklip955 — I do think it would be a good idea to note men who were virgin martyrs, particularly since the original point was that a lot of our Roman virgin martyrs got thrown into brothels, forced into unconsented marriages, etc. A lot of Catholic boys and men have also suffered threats and damage to their sexual integrity and well-being as part of their martyrdoms, and have been killed for not acquiescing. This doesn’t get much respect in our culture; but it happened in early Christian times and it still happens today.

    OTOH, it would also be good to make sure that more people know about St. Augustine’s teaching that a raped or sexually abused person is still a chaste person in the eyes of God, and that rape cannot destroy virginity.

    And again, it would be a good thing to make sure that both sexes try to live chaste lives, no matter their marital status; and to amend their lives if not chaste. That’s pretty basic, and anyone who doesn’t support women of any sexual status trying to live chaste is basically failing at following Christ.

    Early Christianity did indeed make just as big a deal about “a man of one wife” as pagan culture did about “a woman of one husband,” and there was a lot of discussion as to whether even second marriages for a widower with kids were really appropriate, even though general Roman and Greek culture didn’t support that.

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