“With all the priests, we pray: Save us, Lord, we perish!” A snippet from the new Benedict/Sarah book

A snip of the co-authored introduction from the new book, by Sarah and Benedict.   The book is offered “en hommage” to all the priests of the world.

We thought in particular of priests. Our priestly heart wanted to comfort them, to encourage them. With all the priests, we pray: Save us, Lord, we perish! The Lord sleeps while the storm is unleashed. He seems to abandon us to the waves of doubt and error. We are tempted to lose confidence. On all sides, the waves of relativism submerge the boat of the Church. The apostles were afraid. Their faith has died down. The Church also sometimes seems to falter. At the heart of the storm, the apostles’ confidence in the power of Jesus was shaken. We are living this same mystery. However, we are deeply at peace because we know that it is Jesus who leads the boat. We know it will never sink. We believe that it alone can lead us to the port of eternal salvation. We know that Jesus is there, with us, in the boat. We want to reiterate our confidence and our absolute, full, undivided loyalty. We want to repeat to him the big “yes” that we said to him on the day of our ordination.

The image of the Barque of Peter tossed on the waves, taking on water, was used before by Benedict, just before he was elected Pope in 2005.  It was an image during the Stations of the Cross he penned for Good Friday at the Colosseum that year.  Who can forget John Paul II watching from his room in the Apostolic Palace, days before he died.

You can understand why the libs hate this book so much that they are smearing even its authorship.  They’ll do anything to stop this book from being widely diffused and taken to heart… especially by priests and bishops.

They’ll do anything.

Pray for Card. Sarah.

Pray for Benedict XVI.

Yes, the book treats celibacy in a particularly profound way for priesthood. However, that’s only the surface of it.   There’s more going on.

From the first part of Card. Sarah’s offering:

We have seen in recent months, around the synod on the Amazon, so much haste, so much excitement. My bishop’s heart is troubled. I have received many disoriented, anxious and bruised priests in the depths of their spiritual lives by the violent questioning of the doctrine of the Church. I want to tell them again today: don’t be afraid!


Dear brother priests, I want to speak to you plainly. You seem lost, discouraged, overwhelmed by suffering. A terrifying feeling of abandonment and loneliness embraces your heart. In a world plagued by unbelief and indifference, it is inevitable that the apostle will suffer: the priest burning with faith and apostolic love quickly realizes that the world in which he lives is as if upside down. However, the mystery within you can give you the strength to live in the midst of the world. And whenever the servant of “the one thing necessary” strives to put God at the heart of his life, he brings a little light into the darkness.

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




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FIRST REMARKS about the new book by Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI

Robert Card. Sarah and Pope Benedict XVI have collaborated on a new book. They respond to certain aspects of The Present Crisis.™

From the Depths of our Hearts

The dedication of the book says it all.

En hommage aux prêtres du monde entier.

This comes into archaic English parlance better than more modern.

“With our compliments to the priests of the whole world” or rather “as an act of hommage/tribute/respect/gratitude to all the priests in the world”.

I have some initial remarks.  I may ramble a little, since I am writing really quickly.

I’ve now read the editor’s note or preface by Nicholas Diat (who helped Sarah with the other books), the introduction signed by both authors, Sarah and Benedict, and the first essay by Benedict which is a theological look at the meaning of priesthood.

Yes, the book is partly a reaction to the chaos that came from the last Synod (“walking together”… and bowing before idols together).   But it goes far beyond the synod.  Yes, the book treats priestly celibacy, which has lib knickers all in a twist, but it goes way beyond mere celibacy, as important as that is.  So far what I’ve read is an attempt to bring priests back to a better understanding of who they really are as priests, what priesthood is.

I’ve been saying for years that Benedict engaged in a kind of Marshall Plan for the Church when he issued Summorum Pontificum.  That was one major move in his work to reconstitute the identity of the Church, and it involved the critical element of our liturgical worship.  As these days I repeat a lot: we are our rites.  As the Marshall Plan intended to create a strong Europe against Communism, so Benedict wanted to build the Church up to resist the onslaught of the dictatorship of relativism.   Liturgy is key.

Another thing I’ve been saying for years is that when priests learn the older, traditional form of Holy Mass, it changes their self-perception as priests.  They learn about themselves in way that the Novus Ordo does not provide.   In turn, this priestly self-understanding has a knock on effect on their congregations.   They see that he says Mass differently, etc. and react to it.  It is not by chance that some, who have forgotten or never learned who they are as Catholics, or who have perhaps succumbed to the three great enemies we all face, the world, flesh and Devil, react violently to priests who have reconnected with tradition.  The Enemy wants us atomized, cut off from the good sap of our identity, which is rooted in tradition.

In this new book, Benedict is trying to help priests know themselves better.  Yes, that involves the meaning of celibacy, but celibacy is just a result of self-understanding.

Another thing which I gripe about constantly is that when 99% of bishops say or do anything collectively, they virtually ignore our sacred liturgical worship.  They think that initiatives, programs, pamphlets, committees will help us in The Present Crisis.   I’ve been saying that everything has to start with revitalization of our liturgical worship because we are our rites.   We must attend, first, to the virtue of religion, individually and collectively.  Only then will programs accomplish anything.  It’s about liturgy.   Benedict’s section is deeply liturgical.

Benedict compares and contrasts the Old Testament priesthood with the New.  He gets into “ministry”.  (I have an anecdote about that with him from my years in Rome.) After writing about the New Testament priest as mediator of the Word, he unpacks three texts, two from Scripture and a phrase from Eucharistic Prayer II which is ancient.  Remember that Ratzinger understands that liturgical texts are loca theologica.    He provides part of a sermon he gave on a Holy Thursday.

However, all three of these are points of reflection for Benedict from his own personal history of meditating of the priesthood, and on his own priesthood.

For example, the first text he unpacks is Ps 16: 5-6 which he states is part of the pre-Conciliar ceremony of tonsure, by which a man first became a cleric (under the old Code).  He writes that he meditated on this verse the night before he was tonsured, so long ago, and provides his own thoughts.

How I envy, in a way, those young men in traditional seminary programs now who will be able to use what Benedict wrote here to ponder and reflect on before and after they are tonsured.   What a tragic mistake it was to eliminate those minor orders.  Perhaps if we had retained them and tried to make them better understood and more profoundly appreciated for what they are, we might not be in this crisis of priesthood now.

One of the points Benedict works with in looking at Ps 16 is how all the tribes of the Jews had a portion of property that would sustain them.  All except for the Levites, who renounced land and property to live wholly from the altar.  But there is in the verse also the image of the chalice.  He unpacks that as well.

About the common introduction by both Sarah and Benedict.

There is something quite subtle going on in that introduction, it seems to me.  They quote St. Augustine’s Letter 23, written in the 390’s, to a Donatist bishop in Numidia, Maximinus, who was reported to have re-baptized people.   Benedict is no fool.  He knows his Augustine.  If there is a quote from a letter, it is a good idea to look at the whole letter and see if there is something more going on.

What’s up with Ep 23?

Augustine is, at this point, still a priest, not yet Bishop of Hippo.  The Donatist crisis is tearing the Church apart because if, effectively, a misunderstanding of priesthood and how grace is conferred.  Altar was pitted against altar.  There were Donatist terrorists called Circumcellions who would waylay people on the roads, hoping even to be martyred in their cause.  The military was deployed.  Sarah and Benedict quote the part of the letter in which Augustine says that, because he is so troubled by what he had heard about Maximinus.  Augustine suggests a public discussion via open letters to help everyone get to the truth.   He adds that if Maximinus doesn’t respond in kind, he will not be silent and he will read his letters in public.  Augustine makes the point that he will not read the letters in the presence of the military, lest people think he was trying to bully anyone.  “Let us deal with the facts”, Augustine writes, “let us deal with reason, let us deal with the authorities of the divine scriptures”.   And he concludes, “If [my bishop] were here, [he] would perhaps have rather sent a letter.”

So, Augustine won’t bring in the military.  He says that his bishop isn’t there, but this is so important that it can’t wait.  He says that he wants dialogue, but if he doesn’t get it, he will make his own views public all the same.

Does any of that resonate with today’s phenomenon of requests for explanations and responses, but, in the absence of dialogue, making your own concern public anyway?

There is more in Ep. 23 but that’s enough to make me think that the introduction is more than just an introduction.

Back to Benedict on priesthood.   He writes:

« Face à la crise durable que traverse le sacer? doce depuis de nombreuses années, il m’a semblé nécessaire de remonter aux racines profondes du problème. »

Faced with the enduring crisis that the priesthood has been going through for many years, it seemed to me necessary to go back to the deep roots of the problem.

The problem is, many many priests and bishops, too, it seems to me, don’t know who they are anymore.

I think that a huge part of the reason for that was the decimation of our liturgical worship.

His essential view is that priesthood affects the entire being of the priest, it is not a function.  THAT is what has been lost in the Church, in his view.   As a matter of fact, he make an interesting remark that can be taken as laying part of The Present Crisis on the doorstep of the Second Vatican Council on the priesthood:

À l’époque de Vatican II, cette question de l’opposition entre ministères et sacerdoce est devenue absolument incontournable, y com? pris pour l’Église catholique. En effet, l’« allé? gorie » en tant que passage pneumatique de l’Ancien au Nouveau Testament était devenue incompréhensible. Le décret du concile sur le ministère et la vie des prêtres ne traite prati? quement pas de cette question. Pourtant, dans la période qui a suivi, elle nous a accaparés avec une urgence sans précédent, et elle s’est muée en une crise du sacerdoce qui perdure jusqu’à aujourd’hui dans l’Église.

During the Vatican II era, this question of the opposition between ministries and priesthood became absolutely essential, including for the Catholic Church. Indeed, the “allegory” as a pneumatic passage from the Old to the New Testament had become incomprehensible. The decree of the council on the ministry and life of priests practically does not deal with this question. However, in the period that followed, it grabbed us with unprecedented urgency, and it has turned into a crisis in the priesthood that continues in the Church until today.

About that anecdote.  One day I went to visit my old mentor Card. Mayer.  His previous guest was still with him so I waited.  Out came Mayer with then Card. Ratzinger, whom I also knew quite well by that time.  These two were great friends of many decades, both Bavarian, etc.  After some chit chat, Ratzinger said that they had been talking about what the burning issues were that had to be solved and, characteristically as a great teacher, asked me what I thought.  I replied that we have to make better distinctions about priesthood and “ministry”.  They looked at each other and Ratzinger said that that was exactly what they had been talking about.

Benedict touches on this issue of priesthood and ministry in his present offering.  Long ago he also wrote quite a bit about it.

In any event, Benedict’s section is deeply liturgical in its starting points.

Those are some preliminary remarks based on reading more than MSM reports or lib reactions.

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

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes – Holy Family/Baptism – 2020 – Fr. Z rants about word accents and microphones

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.

For my part, since I am visiting my mother as I write, and I had no public Mass, I did not say anything.  However, I went to check out the comparatively recently instituted TLM at the parish in my mother’s town.  It was Low Mass.

The priest, whom I believe is the administrator of the place, made a good point (among many) about the way God created man, male and female, such that through their complimentarity new images of God could come into the world.  Adam and Eve could do what Adam and another Adam cannot, what Eve and another Eve cannot.

On another note, the priest did very well with the rites of Mass, though he had a running battle with word accents and a few other points of pronunciation.

Note to priests: Make sure that those prayers which are to be heard by the congregation have some polish on them!

Get those accents right, especially those 3rd person plural perfect endings.   Dear Fathers, it’s “deduxÉrunt et adduxÉrunt” not “dedÚxerunt et addÚxerunt”.  I can barely make my mind think about how that sounds.   The horror.  The horror.

Reverend and dear Fathers… you will find, right there on the pages of the Missal, indications about how to place stress in the word.

For example, these little marks mean something.

Sometimes, you change the meaning of a word by shifting the accent, as when you goof up cónditor and condítor.  At other times, when the meaning doesn’t shift… well… you just sound a wrong.

Also, Fathers, I recommend NOT using a microphone during the Roman Canon.  Let silence be silence.

There are, in the traditional form of Holy Mass, different levels of voice.  Sometimes you are so quite that someone very close, like a deacon or MC might have a hard time hearing you.  Other times, just those in the sanctuary or near the altar.  At other times, also those in the congregation.  The microphone destroys the distinction and brings us into the kind of liturgical schizophrenia which McLuhan would have recognized.

Let it be completely understood that I abhor clip-on wireless microphones.   That said, there is now a vesting prayer for the clip on!

Concede, Domine, virtutem labiis meis et prudentiam ad Tuam proclamandam veritatem, ut per indigni servi Tui vocem, vox Tui tonitrui in rota contremat terram.

Priests – especially American and younger – might want to consult


for some help with the Latin, particulary of those prayers which are pronounced at full voice.  For example, you don’t want to get anything in, say, the Pater Noster wrong.

Just some helpful hints, since I can’t post my own sermonizing today.

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ASK FATHER: Why can’t I confess my sins to God and not the priest?

From a reader…


if god forgives sins why cant i confess my sins to god and ask god to
forgive me does that suffice for confession

This is one of the oldest and most common Protestant objections to the sacramental life of the Church which Christ instituted.

Let’s start with the easy part.  You CAN confess your sins to God.  You can and SHOULD.  However, you also want to know that you are forgiven and not have to wonder about it.  Christ surely knew of our need to be confident that we are forgiven.  In His mercy He gave us a sacrament so that we would be sure.  It is Christ’s will that we confess sins to the priest: that’s why He gave us a sacrament for this purpose.

Now let’s back up.

Christ, in His earthly lifetime, instituted seven sacraments. One of them is the sacrament by which our post-baptismal sins are forgiven.

Christ forgave sins during His earthly ministry. Since He was not going to be here with us after the Ascension, Christ delegated His own authority to forgive sins so this ministry would continue (e.g., Matthew 16:18-19, John 20:22-23).

In John 20 we read that Christ breathed on the Apostles, imparting the Holy Spirit in a certain way, and said, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Note well that Christ said, “whose sins YOU forgive”, and not merely, whose sins “I forgive through you”. In effect, that is what happens: Christ is the source of all forgiveness. However, as in all good things we do which God inspires in we are also true agents. The Apostles and their successors, bishops and priests, say at Mass, “this is MY body” and in the confessional, “I absolve”.

After that, it is the consistent understanding of the greatest and best writers and theologians of the Church, from the Apostolic Fathers such as Irenaeus onward with the Fathers of the Church, that sins are confessed to the priest who absolves them. Individual private confession was in practice at least by the 5th c. in Rome, since Pope Leo I writes about it. St Ambrose wrote that the right to forgive sins was given to priests alone. He died in 397.  This is not a medieval invention, as some anti-Catholics claim.

So, Christ’s power to bind and to loose sins is given to the ordained.

That means that the priest confessor has to know what to bind and what to loose. In turn that means that we have to tell the sins to the confessor. In turn that means that we have to tell those sins in number and kind with attendant circumstances so that a judgment can be made about them. And since it wouldn’t make sense to loose the sins of a person who isn’t sorry, there must be a demonstration of sorrow for the sins and some indication of purpose of amendment. Once the principles are set down, everything follows logically.

On another level, the sacraments were established by Christ upon basic needs: the need for nourishment, cleansing, companionship, and so forth. They use as outward signs common things: bread, wine, water, oil. It is a human need also to tell your troubles to another. And since all sacraments have both matter and form, the matter of the Sacrament of Penance is what is confessed.

Another important aspect of this sacrament truly demonstrates Christ’s love for us.

When we confess out sins to the priest and receive absolution, provided we do our best we never have to doubt that we are forgiven or wonder about it. We can walk away with true confidence that we have been forgiven. The whole “confess your sins without intermediary to God” approach is not bad in itself, and we should talk to God in this way.

But Christ Himself gave us this Sacrament so that we would have true peace of soul.

The long and short of it is: We confess our sins to the priest in the sacrament of Penance because that’s what Christ wants us to do. This is the ordinary means by which He Himself intended that we obtain forgiveness of our post-baptismal sins.

Finally, dear readers, I am sure you like to have well-crafted answers. Do send well crafted questions.

And, it bears repeating…


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WDTPRS – Holy Family (1962MR): Extend your family bond around someone you know who has no one else

Recently we had an interesting discussion post here about the discomfiture some people have for the Feast of the Holy Family.  HERE

In the traditional Roman calendar, this Sunday, the 1st after Epiphany, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.

The 1570 Missale Romanum does not have the feast of the Holy Family.  Devotion to the Holy Family really took off in the 17th century, especially in French speaking regions.  Pope Leo XIII seems to have introduced the feast for Canada in 1893 and Benedict XV gave it to the whole Latin Church in 1921.

COLLECT (Holy Family – 1962MR):

Domine Iesu Christe, qui Mariae et Ioseph subditus, domesticam vitam ineffabilibus virtutibus consecrasti: fac nos, utriusque auxilio, Familiae sanctae tuae exemplis instrui; et consortium consequi sempiternum.

Subdo, which according to the thick Lewis & Short Dictionary is “to bring under, subject, subdue”, gives us subditus, a, um, “subject”.  Consortium comes from the preposition cum (“with”) and sors (“any thing used to determine chances”).  Sors is further applied to offices that are gained by the casting of lots and methods like drawing straws.  It means, then, “fate, destiny, chance, fortune, condition, share, part.”    It thus means also a “community of goods” and by extension “fellowship, participation, society.”


O Lord Jesus Christ, who, while subject to Mary and Joseph, consecrated domestic life by unutterable virtues, cause us, by the help of them both, to be instructed in the examples of Your Holy Family, and to attain eternal fellowship

A consortium is a situation in which you have “cast your lot” with a group.  You share a common outcome or fate.  At the end of the Roman Canon we hear consortium when we pray to participate in the reward given to great martyrs.  Consequor is “to follow, follow up, press upon, go after, attend, accompany, pursue any person or thing.” It also means, “to follow a model, copy, an authority, example, opinion, etc.; to imitate, adopt, obey” and “to reach, overtake, obtain”.  Consequently, it follows, consequor means “to become like or equal to a person or thing in any property or quality, to attain, come up to, to equal.” Exemplum is first and foremost “imitation, image, portrait; transcript, copy” and then it is in legal terms a case or cause to be imitated or followed in our behavior, a “precedent”.

Our prayers today taken all together present themes of imitation and instruction: exemplum… instruo… imitor… consequor.

SECRET (Holy Family – 1962MR):

Placationis hostiam offerimus tibi, Domine, suppliciter deprecantes: ut, per intercessionem Deiparae Virginis cum beato Ioseph, familias nostras in pace et gratia tua firmiter constituas.

This prayer was revised somewhat but largely retained in the Novus Ordo for the Feast of the Holy Family.  To my mind, the newer version gives more emphasis to St. Joseph.  However, this is not an ancient prayer.

Placatio means “a pacifying, appeasing, propitiating” especially of the immortal gods.  In our prayer today we might choose a word like “atonement” or even “reconciliation.”  Deprecor is not just “to pray”, but “to pray earnestly.”  Firmiter is the adverb of firmus and can be “firmly, steadily, lastingly, powerfully.”  Because of the beseeching tone of the prayer and the concept of intervention, I will use the word “powerfully.”   When you, gentle reader, go through this vocabulary you might try substituting some of the alternative meanings to see how that will affect the prayer.  You will see why translating the liturgy is not an easy task and why we must pray for all involved.


We offer You this sacrifice of appeasement, O Lord, humbly in earnest prayer, so that, by the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God with blessed Joseph, you may establish our families powerfully in grace and peace

This is spoken by the priest, our mediator with God and alter Christus, at the moment our offerings (spiritual and material) are on the altar in anticipation of the divine act of transubstantiation.

All we are and all our hopes and desires should be united with the frail hosts, the still wine.

What we receive in return, particularly through making a good Holy Communion, allows us to fulfill our vocations in the world and transform it around us.

It is fitting that we should use the language of bowing, implicit in suppliciter.

We must use the physical posture of bowing down, folding ourselves face down before God, folding and bend our knees to beg Him to form and shape our families.  As the family in general goes, so goes society.

But what do we find in prosperous countries?

Legal abortion, growing legalization of euthanasia, same-sex marriages, high divorce rates, young women disposing of newborn infants in garbage cans, scientific experimentation on living human beings, the dreadful prospect of cloning.  The concept of the family is breaking to pieces.

It is good to pray that God might be appeased.

POSTCOMMUNIO (Holy Family – 1962MR):

Quos caelestibus reficis sacramentis, fac, Domine Iesu, sanctae Familiae tuae exempla iugiter imitari: ut, in hora mortis nostrae, occurrente gloriosa Virgine Matre tua cum beato Ioseph; per te in aeterna tabernacula recipi mereamur.

The Novus Ordo retains the first part of this prayer, though it is shifted to address God the Father, rather than the Son, and the last part eliminates the discomforting reference to death.


O Lord Jesus, cause those whom You are restoring by the heavenly sacraments to imitate the models of the Holy Family without ceasing, so that, in the hour of our death, as the glorious Virgin Mother rushes with blessed Joseph to meet us, we may merit to be received by You in the eternal dwelling place

The verb occurro means “to run up to, run to meet”.  The word tabernaculum in ancient Roman religious language is a tent outside the City were the auspices were observed before holding a comitia. In the Old Testament book of Numbers a tabernaculum is the “meeting tent”.  In liturgical language it seems interchangeable with habitaculum or mansio.  I think we have an echo here of Luke 16:9: “And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity: that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings (recipiant vos in aeterna tabernacula)” (Douay).

Today’s imitation vocabulary underscores that we are not without help in his life. We are part of a family, earthly and heavenly, already realized but not yet fulfilled. Christ chose to participate in a family when He began to save us and teach us who we are. Great work goes into the noble vocation of being a member of a family. We must imitate and practice the exempla offered us in the Holy Family, the lives of our extended heavenly family of saints, the good efforts of people around us. By imitation and practice we develop virtues. We build ourselves, with God’s help, into holy individuals and families, and thereby we begin to prepare eternal dwelling places.

Those who have religiously oriented families know this. So do those who do not have families. Often they know this with the bitterness of loneliness.

Perhaps you could extend your family bond around someone you know who has no one else.

Our proximity to Christmas and Epiphany urges us to consider the Divine Infant King’s little manger crib of rough wood.  The wood of the manger foreshadows the wood of His saving Cross.  His self-emptying was a sacrifice which made His saving Sacrifice possible.  He cast His lot with us.  As He was dying, Our Lord guided His Mother, a widow about to lose her only Child, to a new family bond with John, about to be orphaned in a spiritual sense by His Lord’s death.

Christ bound them together into a new family, a family of charity, a family of Blood, though not of blood: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” (John 19:27 RSV).

This is a Christian imperative. These are Christ’s saving exempla to be imitated.

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2020 March for Life Friday 24 January & West Coast Walk for Life Saturday 25 January


TLM’s in the area for the March For Life – at St Mary Mother of God in DC (Old St. Mary):

Thursday January 23:
Mass 5pm – Msgr. Smith, Archd. Washington
Adoration and Prayer Vigil – 6pm – Legionaries of Christ
Friday January 24
Mass 8am – Fr. De Rosa, Archd. Washington
Mass 8:45 – Fr. Floyd, Dioc. Of Fall River
Mass 3:30pm – Paulus Institute (“Nellie Gray Mass,” Missa Solemnis)
Saturday Jan. 25
Mass 6:30pm – Church of All Saints (FSSP)
Sunday Jan. 26
Mass 9am – Fr. De Rosa, Archd. Of Washington

I’m a little surprised I haven’t been invited for anything… but hey!

___ Originally Published on: Jan 11, 2020

The 2020 March for Life is coming upHERE   and a full list of events (including a “sit in” at Pelosi’s office!) HERE

I am going to be there.

Friday, January 24, 2020

8:30 a.m. Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form/Old Rite)
St. Mary Mother of God
727 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Pre-Rally Concert: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Rally Program and March: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

And on the Left Coast

San Francisco, January 11, 2020– On Saturday, January 25, the 16th Annual Walk for Life West Coast will be held in San Francisco. The event begins with a rally in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza at 12:30 PM, and the Walk, down the City’s Market Street begins at 1:30 PM.


Watch where you step.

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Card. Sarah: “Catholics can no longer remain silent.”

The Church and her Lord cannot be separated.   The Church and the Catholic Christian cannot separated.   The Lord endured His Passion and Cross.  So too must the Church and individual Catholics endure a passions and crosses.   The Church is, I think, entering into a particularly savage time of Passion and Cross.   So, too, her members, if they are faithful and have not, as Paul warns the Romans, conformed themselves to the world.

A poignant tweet came from Robert Card. Sarah.

“The profanations continue to increase in Europe. Recent acts upon statues of the Virgin Mary in French churches demonstrate how much these gestures reveal barbaric hatred. They call for reactions. Catholics can can no longer remain silent.” +RS

I greatly admire Card. Sarah.   Read his books and you get a sense of the depth and steel within his gentle soul.

When someone like Card. Sarah starts to say, “ENOUGH!  We need to ACT!”, then it is time to act.  Appropriately, but with strength.

The only way that will happen is if we can


I’ve written a thousand times here.

How we worship God, in our sacred liturgical worship, is an essential element of our identity as Catholics. We are our rites. They form us and tell us who we are.   No wonder the enemy is attacking statues of Mary in our churches in the Church’s “eldest daughter”!  The serpent went for Eve, too!

Every initiative, all of our Catholic Thing, starts with worship and all of it is connected to worship.  It all must then be brought back to worship.

Without properly ordered worship, we don’t know who we are.  We are our rites.

Couple that with ignorance of or the defiance of the content of the Faith, and we wind up with flocks who have no idea who they are as Catholics, who can’t explain themselves, share what they believe.

If that is what we have become, then why should anyone listen to us? We will be easily driven from the public square.  That’s what’s happening.

This is yet another reason why Summorum Pontificum is so important.

I’m with Card. Sarah.  We must act.

If statues are being attacked in France, then we have to react where we are too.   What can we do?

How about organizing a recitation of the Rosary and Litany of Loreto in reparation?   How about a day of reflection with a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin?   How about obtaining, or restoring a statue of Mary?

What else can you do, if you can’t go to France and stand guard in a church?

Augustine points out that when there is charity, there are no distances.

How can you act?


Please share!
Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments


Nota Bene:

We are moving the blog to a dedicated server. There will be a short “content freeze” (meaning, you can’t add new posts, comments, people won’t be able to discuss) for about 15 minutes starting 11 January, Saturday 2300 PST = Sunday 0200 EST = Sunday 0700 ZULU.

I again make an appeal.

We need a “Catholic Signal Corps”.  HERE

A team of skilled and paid techs must be assembled to provide rapid, competent, affordable technical support for Catholic websites and internet ventures.

How long before Catholics are refused services?

If you fit the description of someone who could be involved, drop me a line with “Catholic Signal Corps” in the subject line.  I will forward it to the guy who will be the coordinator.

Some of you have written in the past.  Thanks.  Go ahead and drop another line.  Let’s stir this pot.

Please share!
Posted in ACTION ITEM! | Tagged | Leave a comment

The “Great Progressive Propaganda Machine”, Totalitarian Agendas, Incrementalism, and YOU – Wherein Fr. Z rants

I don’t want to know anything about film and stage actors personal lives or, usually, vapid thoughts.  Laura Ingraham had a good phrase for the screeching pop tarts: “shut up and sing”.   If I go to a movie, I just want to enjoy the movie without the background distraction of having confirmed a suspicion that, in real life, the thespian is a moron.

Today at The Catholic Thing there is a commentary on how much progress the corrosive liberal agenda has made in undermining decent mores.   David Carlin watched The Golden Globe awards to see what was going on in film, etc.   A secondary result was surely time off of Purgatory.  He was taken aback at the level of corrosion.

In an ironic twist a notorious lesbian sardonically quipped that she was glad to live in a country which (still) allowed women to choose to have babies.

Here is the peroration from his piece:


This is not at all strange given that the GPPM [Great Progressive Propaganda Machine] is mostly made up of four institutions dominated by atheists and near-atheists: (a) the mainstream news media, (b) the entertainment industry (which was on display at the Golden Globes), (c) our best colleges and universities, and (d) the Democratic Party.  These are the “command posts” of American culture.

Who will defend Christianity if Catholics won’t defend it?  Shall we leave its defense up to Evangelicals?  Or – who?

Let us keep in mind that God helps those who help themselves.

Surely he is right.

Allow me to end with a couple … what’s the opposite of a bromide?   Aphorism?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

? Edmund Burke

Perennially verified by our bishops.  It is often quipped that at the consecration of a bishop, while the sacrament is conferred, the Three B’s are removed, which include brains and backbone.   Of course there are some terrific and courageous bishops, even now, in these USA.   They are bright lights in an otherwise obscured and tenebrous churchscape.    What a difference a bishop can make.  As we read in Holy Writ…

“Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

– Proverbs 27:17

To sharpen something, you need pressure and the right angle.   At first, coarser media are used, then ever finer and finer to put that desired edge on the blade.   Bishops must learn again to cut through the B as in B and S in S, apply the coarse medium to get attention, keep the pressure on, and then refine the bevel.   Without their intervention in the public square and their 100% support of their courageous priests, we will soon arrive at the next stage.  Which is…

“Everything not forbidden is compulsory.”

– Totalitarian Principle

Homosexualists and abortion defenders are, at heart, totalitarians.    My friend Jennifer Roback Morse make this argument, demonstrating how their thought and agenda is, in essence, totalitarian in scope and tactic.   You can start with her book:

The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why The Church Was Right All Along


More on her thought HERE and HERE

The totalitarians progress by incrementalism.  It has been an amazingly swift progress.

I wrote a few times about the stages of the homosexualist incrementalism.  For example HERE and HERE   Among which…


I’ve argued here – often – that the homosexualist agenda has been patiently engaged for a long time and is still reaching for that brass ring.

The brass ring is the lowering of the age of consent.

The homosexualists have slowly been shifting the language about deviant same-sex acts and those who regularly commit them.

Through the MSM and entertainment industry the image of homosexuality as something hidden and unclean was broken by replacing it with victim status during the flaming up of the AIDS epidemic in certain populations.

Then the victim image had to be broken and replaced, which was accomplished through cool and “with it” characters in TV shows and other culture movers.  Think of the absurdly high percentage of homosexuals in TV shows, increasing every year.  You can’t turn on a TV series now and not find it filled with deviants, now doing deviant things in prime time.

BUT!  They are cool and emotionally sensitive, who have answers for the dysfunctional and often less attractive “hetero” characters.

Fuse this culture shift with the rise of no-fault divorce and nearly universal contraception and we have the perfect deadly storm that can rip the sexual act conceptually away from marriage (what’s that?) and procreation (what’s that?).

Shall we mention the near total silence of the Catholic Church?

Now that subcultures are multiplying like viruses, we are just about ready, I think, for the next stage of the assault on the human person and God’s plan.  Not content for legalization of same-sex “marriage”, the next phase of the homosexualist agenda will soon be implemented: lowering of the age of consent (aka the aforementioned the brass ring).

And now they have helpers within the Church who are highly visible and often in positions of authority.   Certain Jesuits are blatant homosexualists, their superiors do nothing to stop them and bishops allow them to speak anywhere.  Bishops themselves in Germany are talking about blessing same-sex relationships.

Within the Catholic Church very highly placed authorities are working incrementally to detach procreation from human procreative powers and potentials and acts.

If you can successfully detach procreation from the use of procreative acts, etc., then it’s game over for Catholic moral teaching and, subsequently, for all Catholic doctrine.  Once you say that what is true (in nature and revelation) isn’t true, it’s over.


It has been said many times, many ways, and it is true.  Going as far back as Sophocles, the wise recognize…

“No good e’er comes of leisure purposeless;
And heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.”

– in Philoctetes

Put it any way you want, Deus audentest iuvat (Ovid), “God helps those who help themselves”, etc.    If we continue to lie prone and servile on the ground before their jackboots, we are going to be left trampled and toothless.

So, friends, I suppose we must bring this to a concrete point.

Pray for your bishops.   Don’t just pray, but urge and encourage.   Hold them accountable if they preach half truths or non-truths or anything inconsistent with our Catholic Faith.  Fast for them.  Truly do pray: Rosaries, Masses, Novenas, hours of Adoration.  Pick a method, but CHOOSE and then DO.

The Demographic Sinkhole will soon open under the Church in these USA.  Start toughening your sinews and fingernails now so that you can hang on.   Help your priests and bishops get into spiritual shape and get their hearts and heads into that mental place wherein they will be able to stand up in the face of our growing challenges.

To this end, we need to advance, swiftly, that priests implement the


and that people…


The TLM and promotion of the confessional can both be advanced also by incrementalism.   But, as Tolkien wrote:

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
– Sam


Please share!
Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, What are they REALLY saying?, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Chinese Joseph Card. Zen’s Open Letter to all the other Cardinals

The great Chinese prelate Joseph Card. Zen has sent a letter to all of the members of the College of Cardinals.   HERE  It includes Dubia of the cardinal regarding “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China”

This pontificate doesn’t have a great track record with dubia.

Here is Card. Zen’s letter, which was originally at Marco Tosatti’s place in Italian.  My emphases and comments.

27 September 2019

Dear Eminence,

Please forgive me for the disturbance that this letter will cause you. I am writing you because, in conscience, I believe that the problem that I am presenting concerns not only the Church in China, but the entire Church, and we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church.

Now, based on my analysis of the Document of the Holy See (June 28, 2019) “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China” it is absolutely clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter into a schismatic Church (independent of the Pope and under the orders of the Communist Party).

On July 10 I presented my “dubia” to the Pope. His Holiness, on July 3, promised me that he would be interested in it, but until now I have heard nothing[It has only been… what?… half a year?]

Cardinal Parolin says that when we speak of the independent Church today, we should no longer mean that this independence is absolute, because the agreement recognizes the role of the pope in the Catholic Church.

First of all, I cannot believe that there is such a statement in the agreement and I still have not seen it (among other things, why should such an agreement be secret and not even given to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?), [?!?] but, even more clearly, the whole situation after the signing of the agreement shows that in reality nothing has changed.

Cardinal Parolin quotes a phrase from the letter of Pope Benedict completely out of context, indeed, in such a way that it is diametrically opposed to the whole meaning of the paragraph [from which it comes].

This manipulation of the thought of the Pope Emeritus is a grave lack of respect; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of the very meek still-living pope.

It also disgusts me that they often declare that what they are doing is in continuity with the thought of the preceding pope, when in fact the opposite is true. I have good reason to believe (and I hope that one day I will be able to prove it with archival documents) that the accord that has been signed is the same one that Pope Benedict had, at the time, refused to sign.

Dear Eminence, can we passively witness this killing of the Church in China on the part of those who should be protecting and defending it from its enemies? Begging you on my knees, your brother

Cardinal Joseph ZEN, S.D.B.

This just makes your heart cry.

The dubia.

Perhaps he and Cards. Brandmüller and Burke should have special jackets made.

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Posted in Modern Martyrs, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged , | 25 Comments

ROME: NEW Traditional Mass location

News in Rome.  I was informed that the Institute of Christ the King will have an “apostolate” in Rome at the Basilica of Celso and GiulianoHERE   This baroque church is on the rather narrow street that points you directly up to the “Angel Bridge”.

It seems that the rector of the Church invited the Institute to be involved there.

This is not quite the same as what the FSSP has at Santissima Trinità dei Pelegrini, which is a parish with a pastor.   The ICK place has a rector of the Diocese of Rome and they will be guests there.

Nevertheless, more places are better than fewer.

If it can happen in Rome, which is seriously hostile territory, it can happen anywhere.

Another point.   This church was for many years rather hard to visit, usually closed.  The fact that the ICK has been invited is a good development.  A rector of a Roman church is thinking inside the box.

And it is always good to have healthy market forces in operation!  Up your game!

This brings me to another point for you who embrace tradition.

Do not fear the idea of another place starting the traditional Mass in your area.  “Oh no!  They can’t do that!  They’ll take people away from our place!”

Maybe yes.  Maybe no.

You should always be incentivized to work your backsides off to make your chapel or parish church the most wonderful place to be as a Catholic.  If you drift in on Sunday, ignore the collection and other parish events, and drift away again, you don’t get to complain.  Also, you are part of the problem.

Do not fear the successes of others.   There is an old image that a rising tide raises all boats, from the dingy to the aircraft carrier.  It could be that your chapel or church may lose some attendance for a while, since there are most places where the traditional Mass is being offered.  I suggest that you gripe and wring your hands and give up.


Get out there and bring in more people!

Be inviting.  Never underestimate the power of an invitation.

Be also in your person alluring through your joy at being a Catholic with the great advantages of tradition.

You have so many advantages.

Get into gear!

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Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

My View For Awhile: Warmer

It’s the first flight of the new year. Hooray?

So far things have gone like clockwork even if that clock’s hands are still at quite drowsy positions.

However. It is a constant of the cosmos that plans do not survive contact with the enemy.

We shall see.


Free Travel Tip!

Are you voyaging with a boarding pass on your handheld device? Turn up the screen brightness a little: the reader captures the image more easily.


It has warmed up to 10°F. Also in the airplane. It will be considerably warmer at my destination.

Hmmm … that could be taken as a comment De novissimis.

Which reminds me to remind you:


I hope you want your final place to be just warm enough, a refrigerium, and not the paralyzing cold of the infernal fridge down in the depths. It’s up to you how you pursue your final fate. I’d start working on it now.

For my part, today I hope to shave some purgatory time. Which is a wish of mixed benefits. A lot of time means a terrible trip. On the other hand, what’s a terrible trip compared to purgatory?


One helpful thing is being able to get a whole bunch of the Office done!

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Posted in Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, On the road, SESSIUNCULA, What Fr. Z is up to | 2 Comments

PHOTOS: Blessing Epiphany Water 2020

A few action shots from the Blessing of Epiphany Water on the Vigil of Epiphany, 5 January, at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff, WI.

The Rite is mighty powerful, involving first the singing of the Litany of Saints, the exorcism of the place, then the singing of Vespers, the exorcism and blessing of the elements of salt and water, their combination and blessing, and the Te Deum.

It was not really advertised, and it involved mostly a group of men who have a schola.  There might have been cigars and beverages involved afterwards.  Maybe.


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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 2 Comments

UPDATE: 2019 Christmas cards!

I have been meaning to do a Christmas card roundup, but every time… I mean every time… I have reached for the large box I was collecting them in, I was interrupted.  Tonight, when I am under the gun and pack for a trip at oh-dark tomorrow, I figured I had better do it.  Extra motivation!

Let me say that I got a lot of reading material.  Many of you included your Christmas letters or other notes, specially written to me.  Many of you sent photos of your beautiful families.  Some of you included checks or cash – thanks – and promises of prayers and even the arrangements of Masses for my intention.    I am grateful.  And there were also cool stamps and pictures from kids which ALWAYS brighten my day.  There were a couple in particular that caught my attention.  I have some shots, below.  Alas, I could post them all.

Here are locations whence were sent your cards.   Some of you didn’t have return addresses and I didn’t want to guess from the cancellations.  Some of you had names of cities inside the cards but not on the outside… how cunning.

Without additional delay…

Mount Holly, NC
El Dorado, KS
McKenzie, TN
Boise, ID
Broken Arrow, OK !!
Harrisburg, PA
Middleton, WI
Rochester, MN
Grand Rapids, MN
Fort Collins, CO
Roseville, MN
San Francisco, CA
Vatican City
Cross Plains, WI
Phoenix, AZ
Worthington, OH
Markham, Ontario
Kansas City, MO
La Valle, WI
Bucharest, Romania
Buffalo, NY
Markham, Ontario
Vatican City
Madison, WI
Vero Beach, FL
Monteagle, TN
Orlando, FL
Emu Plains, NSW, Australia
Catskill, NY
Dallas, TX
Lancing, England
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Hamburg, NY
Wylie, TX
Falmouth, Nova Scotia
Stamford, CT
Millersville, MD
Irving, TX
Mason Neck, VA
Washington, DC
Glenville, IL
N Fort Myers, FL
Leominster, MA (interesting holy card!)
Stamford, CT
Iowa City, IA
Monheim/Rhein, Germany
Aliston, Ontario
Hutchinson, MN
St. Paul, MN
Denton, TX
Shelbyville, KY
Mt Clemens, MI
Delmar, NY
Howard Beach, NY
Arlington Heights, IL
Vero Beach, FL
Anacortes, WA
San Jose, CA
Woodstock, VA
Yorkshire, England
Milford, MA
Homer Glen, IL
Hollister, CA
E Hazel Crest, IL
Custer, WI
Bend, OR
Boise, ID
Mankato, MN
Bethesda, MD
Austin, TX
New Paltz, NY
Fairhaven, MA
Easton, PA
Mandan, ND
Greenville, SC
St Louis, MO
Harrisburg, PA
St Mary, MO
Fall River, MA
Fresno, CA
Palatine, IL
Ft Wright, KY
Boston, MA
Ocala, FL
Lismore, Ireland
London, England
Bottesford, England
St Paul, MN
Monterey, CA
Eagle, SD
Cudahy, WI
St Louis, MO
Plano, TXTiverton, RI
Floral Park, NY
Knoxville, TN
Voorhees, NJ
G P Farms. MI
Woodinville, WA
Hopewell, NJ
London, England (SW12)
Wichita, KS
Arlington Heights, IL
Heidelberg, Germany
Scotland – UNA VOCE!!
Peosta, IA
Kenai, AK
Bay St Louis, MS
Story, WY (nifty)
The White House
Summit, NJ (Happy New Year, Sisters)
Dorchester, MA
Schuylerville, NY
Cashton, WI
Brooklyn, WI
Pierz, MN
San Antonio, TX
Reeseville, WI
Albuquerque, NM
Dayton, OH
Pewamo, MI
Lake Mills, WI
Middleton, WI
Rochester, MI
Arlington, VA
Roseville Park, NJ
Arbor Vitae, WI (nifty)
Montgomery, AL
Thaxton, VA
Clearwater, FL (stamps!)
Lodi, WI
Powassan, Ontario
Cardington, OH (lots of kid’s pictures)
Millersville, MD
Lost Nation, IA
Mesa, AZ
Louisville, KY
Schertz, TZ
York, PA
San Diego, CA
Summerlin, NV
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Neu Ulm, Germany
Kyoto, Japan
Irving, TX
Ashford, England
Malone, NY
Chula Vista, CA
Appleton, WI
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Niceville, FL
Garland, TX
Independence, KY
Westfield, MA
Tokyo!  (thanks, friend)
Newport, VJC, Australia
Watervliet, NY
Glen Gardner, NJ
Columbia, PA
Round Rock, TX
La Honda, CA
Berkey, OH
Carlyle, IL
San Mateo, CA

Some of the great kids’s pictures.

And in this, note the one on the yellow paper.  Perfect theology, worthy of the Fathers of the Church.

This one was fascinating.  It is on a post-it note, so the size of the image is a little deceiving.   It has a kind of … I dunno… Japanese thing going for it.  No?   That’s only reinforced by the zen-like inscription on the back of the note.  Right click and open to see.

If you would like to send me cards or notes by snail mail use the address below.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf
Tridentine Mass Society of Madison
733 Struck St.
PO BOX 44603
Madison, WI 53744-4603

If you need to send anything that requires a signature, such as gold bars, a Bugatti Chiron, bearer bonds, cases of Pappy Van Winkle, complete Pontifical Mass vestment sets … you know, the usual stuff, get in touch with me for an alternate address.

Please! DON’T send perishable food items. I am sure they would be wonderful, and neither poisonous nor hallucinogenic… mostly. But, please, just don’t.

If you put glitter in the card, I’ll recite the Maledictory Psalms against you.

I always enjoy the cards.

Please share!
Posted in Just Too Cool, SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 6 Comments

CNN settles with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann

This is interesting in the extreme!   News outlets, including Daily Wire, have something other than the retaliation of Iran.

CNN has reportedly settled with the Convington KY HS student, Nick Sandman.  You will recall that Sandman, at the time 16 years old, was caught on video being harassed and then the liberal MSM and others shamefully targeted him for the blame.  Sandman and family didn’t lie down and take it.  They fought back by suing CNN and other big dogs involved for lots of money.  $275 million v CNN, $250 million against WaPo and NBC and others.   Daily Wire gave a list of those being sued.

I really like this list.  A few of these names are deeply satisfying.

The Washington Post
The New York Times
Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)
The Guardian
National Public Radio
Atlantic Media Inc.
Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.
Diocese of Covington
Diocese of Lexington
Archdiocese of Louisville
Diocese of Baltimore
Ana Cabrera (CNN)
Sara Sidner (CNN)
Erin Burnett (CNN)
S.E. Cupp (CNN)
Elliot C. McLaughlin (CNN)
Amanda Watts (CNN)
Emanuella Grinberg (CNN)
Michelle Boorstein (Washington Post)
Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (Washington Post)
Antonio Olivo (Washington Post)
Joe Heim (Washington Post)
Michael E. Miller (Washington Post)
Eli Rosenberg (Washington Post)
Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post)
Kristine Phillips (Washington Post)
Sarah Mervosh (New York Times)
Emily S. Rueb (New York Times)
Maggie Haberman (New York Times)
David Brooks (New York Times)
Shannon Doyne
Kurt Eichenwald
Andrea Mitchell (NBC/MSNBC)
Savannah Guthrie (NBC)
Joy Reid (MSNBC)
Chuck Todd (NBC)
Noah Berlatsky
Elisha Fieldstadt (NBC)
Eun Kyung Kim
Bill Maher
Warner Media
Conde Nast
The Hill
The Atlantic
Ilhan Omar
Elizabeth Warren
Kathy Griffin
Alyssa Milano
Jim Carrey



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Posted in Biased Media Coverage | Tagged | 13 Comments