My View For Awhile: To Washington DC, NON-Impeachment Edition

Pres. Trump declared that 22 January is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. CNA HERE  Of course today is the anniversary of the 1973 SCOTUS decision Roe V Wade.

I am on my way to Washington DC today, so I can meet up with friends, see people in a pro-life organization I have contact with, and participate in the March For Life.

I haven’t been able to go every year, but I try.  It is a great event and inspiring to see so many people, especially young people, there.  Another advantage is that the number of TLMs celebrated around the area has increased by quite a few.  This is, among other things, an indicator that the TLM is gaining across the board.

I could use a hand in defraying expenses for the flight and stay. 

UPDATE:

They are playing Alex De Grassi in the airport. Blast from the past for sure.

UPDATE:

The local fighter wing is putting their F-16s up this morning. Sounds like freedom.

Not one of them…

A benefit of the fighter wing being here is that we have great runways.

I’ve got a good slo-mo video of a take off. Maybe I’ll be able to get it to upload later.

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Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 10 Comments

A site with statistics for the growth and availability of the Traditional Latin Mass?

Is there a good site with statistics for the growth and availability of the Traditional Latin Mass in these USA?

We know it is happening.

Do we have numbers?

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21 January St. Agnes: “Intercede and beg a return of orthodoxy, sanity and sanctity to the Roman Church!”

Let us today invoke St. Agnes, virgin and martyr.

O glorious Agnes who, though weak, were chosen by God to make His own might manifest in your martyrdom, together with the Peter and Paul and the other Roman martyrs and confessors intercede now before the throne of our Our Father in heaven and beg a return of orthodoxy, sanity and sanctity to the Church especially in Rome and in particular the Roman Curia at every level.  O holy Agnes, who bravely suffered torments, ask the Queen of the Clergy to protect and aid all priests, so that they will all stand up boldly and teach the truth about the Sacrament of Matrimony, the integrity of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and the truth of the Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist of the Lamb who was slain.  This we ask with confidence.  Amen.

I have posted the following in times past, but it bears repetition. Newcomers to this blog may not have seen it.

Behold the skull of Agnes, in situ, in her beautiful church in Rome on the Piazza Navona.

The dies natalis (“birthday into heaven”) of Agnes was recorded in the register of the depositio martyrum as 21 January.

St. Agnes was slain probably during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian in 304. Some say she died during the time of the Emperor Valerian (+260).

The little girl was buried by her parents in praediolo suo, on their property along the Via Nomentana where there was already a cemetery.

This cemetery expanded rapidly after that, because many wanted to be buried near the grave of the famous martyr. The ancient cemetery grew in stages between the Basilica which Constantina, daughter of Constantine and Fausta began over her tomb from 337-350 and the small round Basilica of Constantia (Constantine’s daughter).

There was an acrostic inscription from that time in verses about the dedication of the temple to Agnes:

Constantina deum venerans Christoque dicata
Omnibus impensis devota mente paratis
Numine divino multum Christoque iuvante
Sacravit templum victricis virginis Agnes…

You get the idea.

The Basilica of St. Agnes was reconstructed towards the end of the 5th c. by Pope Symmachus (+514). Honorius I (+638) rebuilt it as a basilica with three naves, adding a wonderful fresco of Agnes. It was worked on again in the 16th c. by St. Pius V and in the 19th by Bl. Pope Pius IX.

Excavations in 1901 uncovered the silver sarcophagus made by Pius V for St. Agnes together with St. Emerentiana.

It contained the headless body of a young girl.

Zadock gave us a photo of the miraculous protection of Bl. Pius IX when once at the Basilica there was a near disastrous cave-in/collapse and no one was injured.

While Agnes’s body is in her tomb on the Via Nomentana, her skull is now at the place of her supposed martyrdom at the Piazza Navona in Rome’s heart. It is a fitting place to venerate a saint so much in the heart of the Roman people even today. It is not unusual for people today to name their children Agnes in honor of this great virgin martyr, whose name is pronounced in the Roman Canon.

The skull was bequeathed to that church at the Piazza by Pope Leo XIII who took it from the treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum.

The Piazza itself was in ancient times the Stadium of Domitian (+96) a place of terror and blood for early Christians, far more than the Colloseum ever was. The Piazza is thus called also the “Circo Agonale” and the name of the saint’s church Sant’Agnese in Agone. “Navona” is a corruption of “Agonale”, from Greek agon referring to the athletic contests of the ancient world. St. Paul used the athlete’s struggle as an image of the Christian life of suffering, perseverance, and final victory even through the shedding of blood. Early Christian tombs often have wavy lines carved on the front, representing an metal instrument called a strigil, used by athletes to scrape dirt and oil from the bodies after contests. Victory palm branches are still used in the iconography of saints, as well as wreathes of laurels.

We know about St. Agnes from St. Jerome, and especially St. Augustine’s Sermons 273, 286 and 354. St. Ambrose wrote about Agnes in de virginibus 1,2,5-9 written in 377 as did Prudentius in Hymn 14 of the Peristephanon written in 405.

Ambrose has a wonderful hymn about Agnes (no. 8), used now in the Roman Church for Lauds and Vespers of her feast. The Ambrosian account differs somewhat from others. For Ambrose, Agnes died from beheading. Prudentius has her first exposed to shame in a brothel and then beheaded.

Here is the text of the hymn from the Liturgia horarum for the “Office of Readings” with a brutally literal translation.

Igne divini radians amoris
corporis sexum superavit Agnes,
et super carnem potuere carnis
claustra pudicae.

Shining with the fire of divine love
Agnes overcame the gender of her body,
and the undefiled enclosures of the flesh
prevailed over flesh.

Spiritum celsae capiunt cohortes
candidum, caeli super astra tollunt;
iungitur Sponsi thalamis pudica
sponsa beatis.

The heavenly host took up her brilliant white spirit,
and the heavens lifted it above the stars;
the chaste bride is united to the
blessed bride chambers of the Spouse.

Virgo, nunc nostrae miserere sortis
et, tuum quisquis celebrat tropaeum,
impetret sibi veniam reatus
atque salutem.

O virgin, now have pity on our lot,
and, whoever celebrates your victory day,
let him earnestly pray for forgiveness of guilt
and salvation for himself.

Redde pacatum populo precanti
principem caeli dominumque terrae
donet ut pacem pius et quietae
tempora vitae.

Give back to this praying people
the Prince of heaven and Lord of the earth,
that he, merciful, may grant us peace
and times of tranquil living.

Laudibus mitem celebremus Agnum,
casta quem sponsum sibi legit Agnes,
astra qui caeli moderatur atque
cuncta gubernat. Amen.

Let us celebrate with praises the gentle Lamb,
whom chaste Agnes binds to herself as Spouse,
he who governs the stars of heaven
and guides all things. Amen.

We can note a couple things from this prayer. First, the reference to fire probably a description of Agnes’s death related in a metrical panegyric of Pope Damasus about how Agnes endured martyrdom by fire. On the other hand, St. Ambrose, when speaking of her death, speaks of martyrdom by the sword.

Pope St. Damasus composed a panegyric, an elogia, inscribed in gorgeous letters on marble (designed and executed by Dionysius Philocalus) in honor of Roman saints, including Agnes.  This was the period when the Roman shifted from Greek to Latin.  Damasus was also trying to make a social statement with these great inscriptions, set up at various places about the City.   The panegyic of St. Agnes was placed in the cemetery near the saint’s tomb, but through the ages it was lost. Amazingly, it was at last rediscovered in 1728 inside the basilica, whole and complete: it had been used as a paving stone!  Fortunately, upside down!  Its rediscovery was a find of vast importance.

Now it is affixed to the wall in the corridor descending to the narthex.

damasus inscription agnes

FAMA REFERT SANCTOS DUDUM RETULISSE PARENTES
AGNEN CUM LUGUBRES CANTUS TUBA CONCREPUISSET
NUTRICIS GREMIUM SUBITO LIQUISSE PUELLAM
SPONTE TRUCIS CALCASSE MINAS RABIEMQUE TYRANNI
URERE CUM FLAMMIS VOLUISSET NOBILE CORPUS
VIRIBUS INMENSUM PARVIS SUPERASSE TIMOREM
NUDAQUE PROFUSUM CRINEM PER MEMBRA DEDISSE
NE DOMINI TEMPLUM FACIES PERITURA VIDERET
O VENERANDA MIHI SANCTUM DECUS ALMA PUDORIS
UT DAMASI PRECIBUS FAVEAS PRECOR INCLYTA MARTYR

It is told that one day the holy parents recounted that Agnes, when the trumpet had sounded its sad tunes, suddenly left the lap of her nurse while still a little girl and willingly trod upon the rage and the threats of the cruel tyrant. Though he desired to burn the noble body in the flames, with her little forces she overcame immense fear and, gave her loosened hair to cover her naked limbs, lest mortal eye might see the temple of the Lord. O one worthy of my veneration, holy glory of modesty, I pray you, O illustrious martyr, deign to give ear to the prayers of Damasus.

Damasus used the sources available. There were the stories told by her parents, the 4th edict of Diocletian against Christians in 304 (lugubres cantus tuba concrepuisset). Agnes did what she did of her own free will (sponte). Note the reference to the body as temple of God (1 Cor 3:16 and 2 Cor 6:16).

St. Agnes of Rome, has two grand churches in Rome.  She has two feast days in the traditional Roman calendar.

Since the reform of the calendar, Agnes now has only one day, alas.

Ask Agnes to intercede with God for a return of sanity to the Roman Church.

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OLDIE PODCAzT 127: The Eve of St. Agnes and a Bleak Midwinter

As a favor to a friend, I’ll repost this old podcast.  It is the Eve of the Feast of St. Agnes, which of course reminds us of the famous poem by Keats.

I, fan of poetry that I am, read out Keat’s poem, 42 Spencerian stanzas.  It is torrid and lush, with marvelous moments and imagery, imbued with the revival of romantic, courtly love which was coming back into vogue in the early 19th century.

The poem takes inspiration from a superstition, which I explain in an introduction.

The Eve of St Agnes would inspire the Pre-Raphaelites, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of Pre-Raphaelites, one of their circle, was Christina Rossetti, a poet in her own right.

Christina Rossetti wrote a poem which later was made into a Christmas carol: In the Bleak Midwinter.  We are still within the Christmas cycle until Candlemas.

 

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A diocese smells the coffee: starts planning for decline of the Novus Ordo and growth of the TLM

A sink hole.

That’s the image I use most frequently right now for what is going to happen to the Church in the near future.

A demographic sink hole is about to open up under the Church in these USA and elsewhere.   Younger people are in large part “nones”, that is, professing no religion.  They will inevitably stop even pretending to identify with the religion of their parents.  As senior, seasoned Catholics pass to their reward, their monetary contributions will be lost.  The children who will inherit or who are building their own fortunes are not going to contribute.  We are faced also with the sink hole opening up beneath the priesthood, too.

The numbers are going to drop big time, both at the altar and in the pews.

What are we going to do with our churches and other buildings?

Some dioceses are starting to think inside the box labelled “T”.

However, a group that is steadily growing are those who want Tradition.   The TLM is growing.

A friend of mine used to say provocatively that one day the Novus Ordo would disappear and only the TLM would remain.  I didn’t buy that at the time.  These days, I’m not so sure.

Frankly, as I have written before, I think that when the sink hole opens two groups will remain strong and vibrant: evangelical converts and charismatics and, on the other hand, traditionalists.   Eventually these two groups will move closer and closer together and start to cross pollinate.  As a matter of fact, I think that it is already happening.

There will be some tentions in that contact, but the results will prove to be amazing.  I might see them in my life, but… who knows?  Motus in finem velocior.

So, I – who am President of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison – am pretty chuffed by a Tweet I spotted today in my feed.  Take a look.

In some places churches are being entrusted to traditional groups.  Those churches are being saved from closure and loss.

Traditional sacred worship and traditional preaching with strong dedication to works of mercy.

Watch what happens!

We have to think inside the box again.

This merits some discussion and ideas.

 

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ASK FATHER: Glass chalices…. again?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I read about a parish using invalid hosts made from several varieties of grain. I have been to a mass recently where a glass chalice was used (as a matter of fact, with a simple blessing, the new chalice was “inaugurated”).
I always thought and what I found in internet was that the chalice must be made from noble materials and of course may not absorb the wine. Glass does not react or absorb. But is it considered a noble material?

Thanks for the question.

Various opinion might be given about the “nobility” of glass.  Certainly glass can be beautiful.  Also, materials that are called “glass” can be really really tough, such that even if dropped they would not shatter, whereas a metal chalice might dent.

That’s all beside the point.

The document Redemptionis Sacramentum clearly states that glass is not to be used.

3. Sacred Vessels

[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books. [Cf. Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, nn. 327-333.] The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region, [Cf. ibidem, n. 332] so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate. [Cf. ibidem, n. 332; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,, Instruction, Inaestimabile donum, n. 16: AAS 72 (1980) p. 338.]

A key word here is reprobated.  This is a technical term meaning that it is abolished, or forbidden in such a complete way that no one can appeal to custom (‘but I’ve been doing this for years now!”) nor can anyone try to establish a custom by violating the law over a long period of time.

In other words…. NO GLASS CHALICES.

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!

It seem that the USCCB (the Conference, mentioned above) has allowed that other materials can be used, provided that they do not break easily and that the material is suitable for sacred use.

Firstly, it seems to me that the sacred “idiom” should be protected.  What do I mean?

For example, in music, when you hear a pipe organ, you generally think of church. Gregorian chant does the same, whereas a brass band does not.  Once upon a time the early trombone was used in sacred music.  Only later was it employed in secular music.    The same goes for architecture.  Although this escapes a lot of people today, churches look one way, and municipal airports another.  Things used for sacred worship have a certain appearance while things for daily use have another.  That, I think, applies to chalices for Mass.  We should avoid chalices that look like they are meant for drinking beer or sipping brandy.

So, once again, we are in a situation where in the post-Conciliar context we lack clarity about what can be done and what can’t.

Finally, however, it seems to me that, while a metal chalice will dent, it won’t shatter or crack into pieces.  Unless the glass is actually as tough as that stuff 600 times stronger than stainless steel made from superheated powdered iron and sintered with a spark-plasma process and subjected to electric current under 1000 atmospheres of pressure, or maybe even the amazing “Prince Rupert’s Drops” or Scotty’s transparent aluminum, we shouldn’t even think for a nanosecond about using it.

Are those noble materials?  They are impressive, for sure.  They’re not noble.

Reprobated.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

A few things of interest: TLM pilgrimage opp, new book, against pendulums, and Warhol the hack

A couple of notes…

First, this sounds good.  Someday I too would like to visit Poland.

A pilgrimage to Lithuania and Poland, with daily celebration of the TLM, is being planned from May 4-16, 2020, under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Neil J. Roy, STL, PhD. Highlights include visits to Vilnius, Gdansk, Torun, Warsaw, Czestochowa, Cracow (the Divine Mercy Shrine and the Convent of St. Faustina), and Wadowice (birthplace of St. John Paul II) among other sites. The cost, including taxes and tips, is CAN 3,640 – 3,420, the lower price contingent on enrolling more than 30 participants. The pilgrimage begins and concludes in Toronto. The deadline for registration is February 4. At least 25 participants are needed by then to make the pilgrimage work. Contact the tour coordinator, Pearl Tam (pearltam@rogers.com) for information.

This looks interesting.

New, from the excellent Sophia Press.

A Year With Fr. Rutler

US HERE – UK HERE

Also, have a glance at Brad Miner’s column today at The Catholic Thing entitled “The Other End Of Nowhere”.  It grabs you from the start.

One of the traps that libs seem constantly to fall into is that human beings are constantly evolving as a race.  In the Church this takes the form of particular liturgical abuses and patent arrogance, especially in regard to the Blessed Sacrament.  Mr. Miner gets into the weeds of NYC politics (what a mess that is) and into the circus that is the presidential election cycle.  However, his point from the onset is good: “The Enlightenment gave us various forms of Progressivism, which amount, in sum, to the patent idiocy that things are always getting better. They’re not. I may be one of the few who doesn’t believe in pendulum swings.”

Give it a read.

Also, at the always valuable CrisisMichael Warren Davis has a piece about Andy Warhol.  A really interesting figure, not well understood.   And his work is seriously over rated.  I just don’t get why people think it is art at all.  This line is a good indication of where he goes: “He may have been a Christian—but so, too, were the Vandals and the Goths.”

 

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 2nd Sunday – 2020

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard at the Mass that fulfilled your Sunday Obligation? What was it?

There are a lot of people who don’t get many good points in the sermons they must endure.

I did not have a parish Mass today.

If I had, what might I have said?

Today the Lord changes water to wine, intervening at a wedding at the request of His Mother.  It is the Lord’s first public miracle.  It underscores the Lord’s identity at the Bridegroom, for it was the responsibility of the groom to provide wine.

It also foreshadows that He is going to die, given his reference to “His hour” in the context of a banquet in which there will be superabundant wine.

It also points to the role that Mary has in Christ’s ongoing ministry: the Mother of the King is a powerful intercessor.

The Church has associated three moments as revelations of Christ’s divinity, the changing of water to wine goes with the voice from heaven at His baptism and also the adoration of the Magi.  These are all clumped around Epiphany.

Ancient Jewish brides used to wear crowns that looked like the city walls of Jerusalem and the groom dressed in garments like a priest’s vestments. I might have then circled back to the nuptial imagery, and spoken about the mystery of unveiling and perhaps also the role of the worshiper at Mass at one who participates, yes, in the Sacrifice, but also in the wedding of the Bridegroom, Christ, with the New Jerusalem:celebration.  This has implications for our participation at every Holy Mass.

A couple thoughts off the top of my head.

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Wherein Fr. Z is moved to pray to martyred nuns, newly discovered, about something that happened today. – UPDATED

UPDATE 20 Jan 2020

I received this nice note today:

I cannot tell you why you were drawn to our martyred sisters, but I can tell you this: The order suddenly has an influx of vocations and discerners particularly in Ghana, Poland, the Philippines, and the USA. One of them is me. [Hurray!] At least two of us in our pre-novitiate formation (stateside) have found ourselves here to our own great surprise, feeling sure that the call of Christ led us to this order, but not knowing why.

I read your post on our sisters, and immediately went to the chapel where we have a little reliquary for Bl. M. Stella and Comps. I particularly brought prayers for you and your intentions both to the martyrs and our foundress.

Pray for us. I pray for you.
Bl. M. Stella and Comps., pray for us
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, protect us.

Do hear an “Amen!”?

Perhaps on a future visit to Chicago, I’ll stop and visit that chapel, if permitted.

___ Originally Published on: Jan 18, 2020

I am moved to post this.

It is as if I was dragged for some reason back to my keyboard tonight, after having tried to turn in. A couple of clicks – you know how one thing leads to another – and suddenly I was staring at exactly what I knew I was supposed to be looking at, something I had not know about.

A striking image of nuns being martyred at the hands of soldiers by an open grave.

Blessed M. Stella and her Ten Companions, the The Martyrs of Nowogrodek, in Nazi occupied Poland in 1943.  Now Belarus.  They were beatified by St. Pope John Paul II in 2000.  They were Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Their story is powerful. Wiki HERE, more HERE. These sisters had heard that Jews in the village had been taken to be killed. They prayed and offered themselves to God in exchange. The Jews were sent to work camps. The Gestapo then went for the local priest. Again the sisters prayed, saying, “There is a greater need for a priest on this earth than for us. We pray that God will take us in his place, if sacrifice of life is needed.”

Their prayers were answered.

How very small I felt as I read that.

One of the sisters survived, at the command of her superior, in lay guise.   She found her sister’s grave and marked a tree.  Years later she was free to tell her story.    HERE

I just learned that there is a house of those sisters not too far to the south of me, in Des Plaines, IL (Chicago).  They look at bit modernized, alas.   Alas, they are LCWR members.  I hope that they will be blessed with some young vocations who have traditional religious aspirations and longevity.

Why, I wonder, was I dragged to learn of these beautiful martyrs tonight, of all nights, the Martyrs of Nowogrodek?

I will, tonight at least, ask these blessed sisters to intercede before God for that #UniteTheClans idea that Michael Matt had some time ago, and which I fully endorsed and desire, even as I see an attack on myself on Twitter from one of the very people I pray will relent.

My day began by writing on that initiative.  So, I suppose I should round out my day with that same thought, but hand it over, for tonight, to the Eleven Martyred Sisters of Nowogrodek.  I am minded of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne martyred in 1794.  “Mother, permission to die?”  The Terror ended right after their martyrdom.

During his sermon for the beatification of the Eleven, John Paul II said: “Where did these women find the strength to give themselves in exchange for the lives of imprisoned residents of Nowogródek? From where did they draw the courage to accept calmly the death sentence that was so cruel and unjust?” HERE

Our battle for the Church in these troubled time, The Present Crisis, has to be fought on many levels.

What might not be wrought through the intercession of these Eleven Sisters?

The artwork for the Beatification image painted by Jerzy Kumala (1998).

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A note of thanks. Mass for Benefactors.

Today I received a very much needed item from my wish list. There was no slip in it to indicate who sent it!  Therefore, I will send out a public note of thanks.

Also, because tomorrow I don’t have a Mass at the parish, I will say Mass for my benefactors, which includes all of you who have donated and all of you who have sent items from my wish list.

It is an honor and duty to pray for benefactors and to remember also their own intentions when they are indicated.

Another note of thanks is due to those who belong to the Seven Sisters Apostolate who have prayed for me as well.  I can’t tell you what it means to me.

Please consider, if this blog is useful to you, signing up to send a monthly donation.  I could use a boost in this matter, given the last year.   In any event, please remember me in your prayers.


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Remember #UniteTheClans ? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

UPDATE:

From a friend:

My German friend who attended today told me that De Mattei wanted it kept quiet as he was afraid Marx would step in and shut it down. Apparently the state and Marx work closely together.

It seems to me that that in itself would have been newsworthy.

____ Originally Published on: Jan 18, 2020

This morning my phone starts ringing from a German number.

An old friend had heard that there was going to be a protest in Munich with recitation of the Rosary against the German bishops and their nutty synodal process.  Rather like what was done in Rome before the rigged October Pachamama Synod (“walking together”).  That was Acies Ordinata.

My friend would have gladly gone to Munich to participate but he had no advance warning that it was going to take place.  He heard also that there would be a presser afterwards. He was willing and eager to go to it, even if he missed the protest.

I reached out to get some information for him, BUT, I as learned, it was sort of a secret demonstration.

A secret demonstration?

A press conference afterwards?  By whom and for whom?

I’m afraid it was merely for each other, for the people who were on the inside, in the know.

Just as I write, I see that Ed Pentin is posting on Twitter about the protest at presser.  Archbp. Viganò showed up in his FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE in a long time. 

Pentin also wrote at the National Catholic Register after the fact.

Gee whiz.  I would have liked to be there for that, to lend support.

What I am afraid that we have here, my friends, on the traditional side of things, is a self-licking ice cream cone.

And not even a well packed ice cream cone.

While looking for information on the protest in Munich by Acies Ordinata I found this.

I love that… 18 Gennaio and January 28… and it’s “It’s time for clarity and coherence!”

Problem: not only is the date screwed up, but nowhere on that single page site do you find the PLACE and the TIME of the protest.

What were they worried about?  Thugs from the German Bishops Conference?

Was it secret because Archbp. Viganò was going to be there and they were worried that someone from the Holy See might try to stick him with a radioactive needle.

Actually, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

I now see, just now, as I refresh that screen, that the banner has been changed to a photo from that protest in front of the Theatinerkirche.

I see John Henry Weston of LifeSite.  No advance news of this on LifeSite.

I see Robert de Mattei.  Nothing on the Lepanto site.

I see the young Austrian idol thrower, Alexander Tschugguel.  Nothing at his Boniface Institute page.

I see Michael Matt.  There is a post, posted today, the day of the protest, at The Remnant.  It says…

 Representatives of the many different Catholic action groups around the world will unite in Munich, Germany today in a peaceful demonstration of silent but prayerful protest against the German Bishops’ Conference “synodal way”.

Oh really?   Many different action groups?  Who would they be?  Do they have some sort of secret handshake or decoder ring so that only they know what’s going to happen, lest anyone who doesn’t share the code might participate?  Is there a “black list”?  Are they using encrypted comms so that word doesn’t get out?  Is there some sort of purity pedigree you have to pass?

It seems to me that if you want real action, you don’t do things on the sly.

Look, I think all these people are terrific. They are dedicated Catholics.  They see that things aren’t going well.  They want to do something.

I don’t think that the self-licking ice cream cone approach is the most effective.

Things are obviously not going well in the Church.  Because our Lord underwent His Passion, the Church also must undergo her own time of torment and upheaval.  I maintain that God, who disposes all things, gave us a magnificent honor to live in these troubled times.

Because of that great gift from Our Lord, to be called into existence at this time in the history of salvation, we have to roll up our sleeves and do our part even as God showers graces on us.  The harder the times, the greater the graces.  What an honor.

Think of the honor God gave to the Jews who, with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, worked together under Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  And their enemies were not as spiritually dangerous as our are today.

May I return to a theme I’ve punched at for years?

What is it about traditional and conservative Catholics that makes them atomize themselves into small groups that won’t cooperate with each other?  We obviously see some cooperation among this little group of groups in Munich.

A few months ago, the same Michael Matt of The Remnant put out a call to UNITE THE CLANS.   A great idea then.  A better ideal now.   However, it’s ironic that his post at The Remnant was called also Mission Impossible.

When Michael Matt called to Unite The Clans I was right there.  HERE

In that post, Michael wrote:

What we’ve got here are two old war horses who’ve not always seen eye-to-eye on everything over the past 25 years, but who nevertheless know Devils when we see them. Unite the clans with Father Z? You bet!  I’m proud to stand together with him against the demons attempting to destroy our beloved Church.

So when not even I have a clue something is going on, I wonder how committed they really are.

The last time that the hashtag #UniteTheClans was used on Twitter was 24 November of last year.

Meanwhile, catholic libs set aside small differences, create fronts, and roll over everyone in their path.

Why don’t Catholics work together?

It seems to me that many on our side of the spectrum are so dedicated to protecting their little wrinkle of turf that they are afraid of the success of others.

Someone is going to have to emerge as a good leader with a good vision and leadership skill to do some uniting.  It’ll have to be a layperson, I think.  As Fulton Sheen said:

“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.”

Let’s think of this in terms of strategy.

  • What are the threats to the Church?  Concretely?
  • What the enemies’ centers of gravity?
  • What are the measures we have to take to overcome?
  • How do we destroy, neutralize or coopt their centers of gravity?

None of that is going to happen without united action and concrete work.

Realistically… ask yourself…

  • What are we going to do if they actually start ordaining married men or women as deacons?
  • How far is too far to be pushed?  How much nonsense is enough?

Hence…

  • Who are the people who will lead in the future?
  • What do I, personally, have to give up in order to make the mission work?
  • What do certain organizations have to give up in order to cooperate with others?
  • How can I help?
  • Am I complacent in what I now have?
  • Is my ego in the way of our collective success?

It tears at my heart daily to see what is going on in the Church.

Once again, I ask that people on the more conservative and traditional side of things do an examination of conscience, set aside smaller differences, and start repairing the walls together.

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Posted in ACTION ITEM!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged | 53 Comments

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for a young priest diagnosed with ALS – #padresfight

I have sad news.

Fr.  Dana Christensen, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, who comments here frequently, has been diagnosed to be in the initial stages of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.   There is no cure for this degenerative disease that affects motor neurons which control voluntary muscles.

Fr. Christensen wrote to ask me about practicalities of saying Mass when it will eventually become hard to swallow, speak, and use his arms and hands.   My Jesus, mercy!

He wrote to me:

I am personally at peace with this, although I have my moments.  I am convinced that this is a mysterious gift from God through the hands of Our Lady of Fatima to bring me to salvation and entrust me with the mission to live my priesthood in a new way.  The way of the cross that Jesus is inviting me to walk will not be easy, but He and His holy Mother Mary will uphold me.  I continue to do my best to surrender myself to Jesus knowing that He will take care of everything.

I ask all of you to pray for a miraculous healing through the intercession of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen using the following prayer.

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request here – [the swift, complete and lasting healing of Fr. Christensen’s ALS]).  I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Dear readers, Fr. Christensen has asked that you pray for miraculous healing through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

What inevitably happens next is that people, well-meaning of course, then post comments like: “I’ll pray for you especially to St. Ugthred and St. Wilibrod, my favorite saints.”  To which I respond, “Thanks!  But would you please pray to Fulton Sheen, like Fr. C asked?”  And then get back, “Okay! And St. Joan the Astonishing, too!”   Which brings the next volley: “Please just ask Fulton Sheen?”  Which results in, “Okay, and Jesus and Mary and all the Saints!”

At which point I pound my head against the desk.

For a miracle to be useful for a cause, there must be a way to substantiate that prayers for intercession were raised that THAT PARTICULAR Venerable or Blessed.   If the cause hears that virtually everyone is being evoked, it becomes less likely that the miracle will be helpful for the cause.

Get it?

Fulton Sheen.

Finally, have a look

HERE

He has a goal posted of 500.  Be sure to look at the back when you go there.

UPDATE Jan 4:

UPDATE Jan 5:

UPDATE Jan 7:

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WDTPRS – 2nd Ordinary (NO) & 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (TLM): God knows our needs better than we do.

I can’t think of a time when it was more important to beg God for mercy and aid, with bent knees, face to the ground.

In the reformed calendar, we have moved into the Time called “Ordinary”, by which we mean “ordered”, not “unexceptional”.  We might say also, “sequential”.

In the traditional calendar of the Extraordinary Form, this is the “Time through the year”, divided into time after Epiphany and after Pentecost. However, this terminology, “Tempus per annum … time through the year”, remained also in the Novus Ordo calendar.

Ordinary Time embraces the sacral cycle of Lent and Eastertide like bookends and stretches from the adoration of the heavenly infant King by earthly kings to the Solemnity of Christ the King who will come as Judge to separate the tares from the wheat and usher in the unending reign of peace.

This Sunday’s Collect, for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, is also in the 1962 Missale Romanum for the Second Sunday after Epiphany.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
qui caelestia simul et terrena moderaris,
supplicationibus populi tui clementer exaudi,
et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus
.

We often ask when we pray in Latin that God will pay attention, usually by “hearing” us. Exaudio signifies “listen to” in the sense of “perceive clearly.” The imperative exaudi is more urgent than a simple audi (the imperative of audio, not the car). Think of the beginning of one of our Litanies: “Christe audi nos… Christe exaudi nos…” often translated as “Christ hear us… Christ graciously hear us.”

For the ancient Romans a supplicatio was a solemn religious ceremony in thanksgiving for a victory or prayer in the face of danger. It is related to supplex, an adjective for the position of a beggar, on bended knees or prostration.

Tempus obviously means “time”. It also means “the appointed time, the right season, an opportunity (Greek kairos)”. Tempus gives us “temporal”, that is, worldly or earthly things, material things, as opposed to sacred, eternal or spiritual. Plural tempora can also mean the “temples” of our heads, as well as “the times”, our “state of affairs”.

LITERAL RENDERING:
Almighty eternal God,
who at the same time do govern things heavenly and earthly,
mercifully hearken to the supplications of Your people,
and in our temporal affairs grant Your peace.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers, and show us the way
to peace in the world
.

Really?

CURRENT ICEL (2011):
Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.

We beg God, omnipotent sempiternal disposer of all things, for peace in our temporal affairs here and now, not just later in heaven. We do not want just any peace. We want the peace which comes from Him.

Christ said:

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid” (John 14:27 DR).

Christians are confident. Christ will give us His peace. He said so. But He won’t force peace on us.

The temporal peace the world offers and the peace that God bestows are different, though they can be harmonized when the temporal is subordinated to the heavenly.

The goods (and ills) of this world are passing and fragile, always susceptible to loss. The goods of heaven are enduring and dependable. No finite, passing, created thing or person can provide lasting joy or eternal peace: they will be lost through theft and wear, time and death. Our wealth, family, health, appearance and reputation can be lost in the blink of an eye.

To put a creature in God’s place is foolhardy idolatry and a sin. Love God, above all. Practice making His will your own. As Piccarda tells Dante in the Divine Comedy,

“In His will is our peace. It is that sea to which all things move, both what it creates and what nature makes” (Par 3.85).

God knew each one of us outside of time, before the creation of both the visible and invisible universe. He called us into existence at a precise moment in His eternal plan. He gives us all something to do in His plan together with the talents and graces to do it. When we cooperate with Him, submit our wills to His, make His plan for us our own, God then makes us strong enough to carry it out. God knows our needs better than we do. Turn confidently to Him in prayer. Ask Him for the graces, and with them peace, which He alone can give.

Sin shatters His peace. Peace can be regained in the Sacrament of Penance.

We ask God to bless us in this new year of salvation. Let us beg Him to give aid to all who suffer.

With bent knees and with foreheads to the ground, bodies and wills both bent in supplication, beg His graces and His peace.

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Card. Sarah has met with Benedict XVI as the haters stir “incessant, nauseating, dishonest controversy” #BOOKGATE

The new book, From The Depths Of Our Hearts, has really freaked out some people on the left, including the papalotrous.

US Pre-Order Soon HERE for 12 March 2020 release! – FRENCH HERE

On my flight home the other day, I wrote:

I suspect the reaction of the papalotrous is partly due to their opposition not only to celibacy for priests but their opposition to any sort of sexual control. I can’t shake the suspicion that they think that if priestly celibacy isn’t taken down, then it will be much harder to force a change to the CCC on homosexuality. They have to break the nuptial connection of priest and Church in order to weaken the ends of marriage between one man and one woman. Communion for unrepentant adulterers was a step in the right direction when it comes to the nuptial character of Christ and the Church and the Eucharist. Now they have to bust the priesthood down too.

Meanwhile…

Here is something that had to happen.

Rendering of the three tweets together:

Because of the incessant, nauseating and dishonest controversies that haven’t stopped since the beginning of the week concerning the book ‘From The Depths Of Our Hearts’, this evening I met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

With Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI we have been able to certify how there is no misunderstanding between us. I came out very happy, full of peace and of courage from this beautiful meeting.

I call upon you to read and to meditate on “From The Depths Of Our Hearts”. I warmly thank my editor, Nicolas Diat, as well as the publisher Fayard, for the precision, probity, seriousness, and professionalism which they have shown. Have a really good read!

So, Card. Sarah met with Benedict.  It seems that Benedict wasn’t deceived.

However, those who hate the content of this book, such as the papalotrous Austen Ivereigh wrote today.

And ultra-lefty partisan for RNS, David Gibson, writes:

Okay. Gibson is supposed to be a journalist and not merely a commentator. If he is going to get legalistic, I wonder if he did any research into the question of whether or not it is a violation of the laws of the Vatican City State to slap someone.

In most places that could be assault. I suppose charges could be set aside in true cases of self-defense, of course. That’s a question worth asking. Did I miss coverage of that question?

There is soooo much speculation from these haters of the content of the Sarah/Benedict book, we may as well join them in wild speculation.

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UPDATE! ASK FATHER: Use of a Catholic church for the “ordination” of woman Episcopalian “bishop”

UPDATE 17 Jan 2020:

There is a development.   CNA reports:

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold an episcopal consecration and ordination at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, following an internet petition signed by over 3,000 people objecting to the event.

“It is with great sadness that I have received a letter from Bishop-Elect Susan Haynes stating that, due to the controversy of the proposed use of St. Bede Catholic Church for her consecration of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, she has decided to find another location for the ceremony to take place,” said a statement from Bishop Barry Knestout of the Catholic Richmond diocese on Friday, Jan. 17. St. Bede Catholic Church is located within the diocese.

A statement from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia said that the consecration will now take place at Williamsburg Community Chapel. The Williamsburg Community Chapel’s website states that it is home to an “interdenominational family of faith.”

[…]

That story says that they had had a “contract” to use the Catholic parish. Interesting.

In any event, it seems that this chapter is now closing.

___ Originally Published on: Jan 16, 2020

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I am a parishioner at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in Williamsburg, VA. I and many others are outraged at the fact that the Bishop of Richmond (Barry Knestout) has given permission for the consecration of a woman episcopal bishop to take place in our church.

Please see the attached link.

Is this allowed??? What if anything can we do about it? I’d like your thoughts please. Thank you

Story HERE

Bishop Knestout of Richmond issued a statement about this.  HERE

Church Militant has a piece about it.  HERE

The short answer is: Yes, this is allowed.

The longer answer involves whether or not it should be allowed.

There is a petition against the event which calls on the bishop to cancel it.  HERE  I suspect that even if a million people sign it, the local bishop won’t change his mind.

The 1993 Directory for the Application of the Principles and Norms on Ecumenism make provision for other Christian denominations to use our churches:

137. Catholic churches are consecrated or blessed buildings which have an important theological and liturgical significance for the Catholic community. They are therefore generally reserved for Catholic worship. However, if priests, ministers or communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church do not have a place or the liturgical objects necessary for celebrating worthily their religious ceremonies, the diocesan Bishop may allow them the use of a church or a Catholic building and also lend them what may be necessary for their services. Under similar circumstances, permission may be given to them for interment or for the celebration of services at Catholic cemeteries.”

Note that the diocesan bishop gets to make these decisions.  Pastors cannot make this decision on their own.  I understand from what I have read that this was arranged without the knowledge of the parishioners.

Let’s be clear: There is no such thing as a female bishop, properly understood, in any denomination.  It is ontologically impossible for a woman to be a real bishop.  Denominations can call a woman whom they appoint as leader a “bishop”, but calling doesn’t make it so.  The ministers of Christian denominations without valid apostolic succession are mere functionaries.  As a matter of fact, this is something that is explained well in the new book by Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI.  Moreover, the Church teaches that Anglican/Episcopalian orders are null and void.  They do not have properly consecrated bishops.  Hence they can’t consecrate anyone, much less a woman.   They can go through whatever ceremonies they want, but at the end, when every walks out they are still what they were when they walked in, ontologically speaking.

So, these Protestants want to have a ceremony to “ordain” for themselves a woman.  Whatever.  Because they want to do it in a church, instead of a hall or auditorium of some kind (as sometimes Catholics have to do because the churches are too small) the Bishop of Richmond is going to let them use a Catholic church.

What is going to happen in there is pretty much a nothing burger.  Also, it might or might not be the case that the church in question was consecrated – many are not consecrated, you know.  So, there is a disconnect between the nature of the building as a sacred place and the nature of the ceremony to be enacted.

However, the Bishop is within his right to let that building be used.  He can permit it, regardless of the sensibilities of Catholics who may be offended.

What recourse do offended Catholics have?  Not much.

In the aftermath, they will have to decide if they want to contribute to that parish and to the diocesan fundraisers, or have anything to do with their projects.  That’s up to them.

Choices have consequences.

Were I a diocesan bishop, I think I would gently deflect the original request to use the church for such an event.  On the other hand, were there to be a case of a true emergency, I might help them out.  Say they had a fire at their own cathedral the day before the event was scheduled.  Then I might help them out.   But this event isn’t an emergency.

I have a hard time getting really worked up about this.  This from a guy who is forever railing on and on about the sacrum.

We do other things in our churches than only sacred liturgical rites.   Talks can be given.  That’s not liturgy.  Concerts can be given.  That’s not liturgy.   If there were a horrible disaster, a church could be used to shelter and succor the wounded.  That’s not liturgy.  So, churches can be used for more than just liturgy.

Moreover, I have in my mind’s eye the fact that after the church of the Institute of Christ the King in Chicago burned down, the Presbyterians across the way welcomed Catholics regularly to use their gymnasium for their traditional Catholic Mass.  Consider the theological origins of Presbyterianism.  For Luther, Mass was ‘der größeste und schrecklichste Gräuel… he greatest and most shocking abomination” and a “Drachenschwanz… dragon’s tail”.  Calvin viciously attacked the Mass and transubstantiation as forged by the Devil.  He called it impious blasphemy and compared it to mumbling incantations and idol worship (like bowing down to Pachamama, perhaps).

The use of that Catholic church by these Episcopalians is clearly going to offend a lot of Catholics.  A diocesan bishop ought to see to his own before seeing to others, if you get my drift.  However, the use of that church by that group for this dopey (to us – important to them) ceremony is not going to violate the sacrality of the church.

Lemme back up: given the state of any Protestant group that would choose to “ordain” a woman, who knows what goofy liturgical things they will perpetrate, so they might violate the sacrality of the building.  I hope that the bishop knows what they are going to do in their ceremonies.  I don’t think they will be sacrificing chickens or doing something as bad as bowing down and worshiping wooden Pachamama idols or placing pagan worship bowls on the altar.  They will engage in a kind of idolatry by referring to what is still a piece of bread as “God”, but – hey – we know that Protestants do that.

In short, within the guidelines of ecumenism in force today, we don’t expect that what they will do will be so contrary to everything holy that the building will have to be reconsecrated.  So we hope.

If you want to see me get really irritated about something, the flip side of this thing in Richmond is far far more serious.

That is, some fake catholic group for wynym’s ordination going to a Protestant church for their sacrilegious acts of simulated ordination.

THAT is a serious problem and ecumenical insult of the highest degree.  That is a huge “eff you” finger to the whole Catholic Church.  That is a violation of our most sacred rites.    They mock and trample on the priesthood and the Eucharist, on our whole identity as Catholics.

When any Protestant group allows that sort of horror show in one of their churches, the local diocesan bishop should act swiftly to inform them of the consequences for relations between their groups.  As I have written in the past …

Upon hearing the news that this ceremony is going to take place (or has taken place), the local Catholic bishop must call the pastor of that Protestant parish and say,

“I’m the Catholic Bishop.  Do not allow this sacrilege to be committed in your church. You wouldn’t do this for a group of dissident Jews wanting to ordain rabbis, but we are Catholics so you don’t care what offense you give us.  Until an apology is issued, don’t look for us to dialogue with you again.”

Then that Catholic bishop should call the head of the denomination and convey the same message.

Then that Catholic Bishop should send an informative note to the USCCB’s ecumenical office and to the CDF and to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to let them know the facts of the sacrileges that took place and who helped them.

Then that Catholic bishop should call the press and give them his view about the offense the Protestants gave and the damage they inflicted on ecumenical dialogue.

True ecumenism does not consist in lying down and letting some other church kick you and define what Mass is for you, or say who can be ordained, or stick their finger in your face by hosting these sacrilegious fakers.

That’s the sort of thing that get’s me worked up far more than letting a bunch of Protestants have their little thing in one of our churches.

That said, it seems to me that the diocesan bishop there, while entirely within his rights to allow the use of that church for this Protestant thing, would do well to provide good pastoral care to those who believe that our churches are sacred places, set apart for true sacred liturgical worship and things that are consistent with our Catholic Faith.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 35 Comments