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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, and John Kerry Agree!

 The George Soros funded "Catholics for Choice" posted this. The response was incredible....I like this one.
I also liked this...

Excuse me?

Update on the Shutdown

 From Eye of the Tiber:

Hundreds of thousands of priests from around the world have either been sent back to the rectory or have been told to not show up to say Masses today as clerical furloughs took affect midnight due to the Vatican shutdown.
Cardinal Robert Sarah delivered an ominous warning to cardinals gathered at the Vatican this morning, saying that “The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow if the Pope doesn’t act immediately.”
Essential spiritual services such as Confessions, Anointing of the Sick, and Masses will continue, although no public Masses will be allowed.

Still, liberal Catholic cardinals are insisting the shutdown is “not nearly as bad” as the last time this happened under Pope Benedict XVI, but many still see this as a blemish on Francis’ legacy.
It was Francis, after all, who during the 2013 papal conclave famously criticized Pope Benedict, saying, “A clerical shutdown falls on the Pope’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his Church and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the Pope is weak.”
“Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the Pope’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead,” then-Cardinal Bergoglio said in a radio interview in 2013. “And he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength. And that’s why you have this horrible situation going on in Rome. It’s a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”
When asked what he would do if he were pope, Francis said “Well, very simply, you have to get everybody in a basilica. You have to be a leader. The pope has to lead. He’s got to get whoever’s head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and everybody else in a basilica, and they have to make a deal. You have to be nice, and be angry, and be wild, and cajole, and do all sorts of holy things. But you have to get a deal.”

Misssing an Opportunity to be Silent

Pope Francis recently spoke in a general audience about the importance of observing moments of silence in the Mass, but he failed to show any awareness of two obvious facts.
First, silence in the new rite is artificial and barren of ritual significance. It does not arise because the priest is busy doing something else quietly, so that a natural span of silence results for everyone else, nor does it arise from the schola cantorum’s chanting of the Gradual and Alleluia. Inasmuch as this novum silentium is at the beck and call of the celebrant, it becomes a subtle mechanism for enhancing his “presidential status,” since he decides when to start and stop it. In that way, it is more like yoga meditation under the direction of a guru than it is Christian liturgical prayer.

Second, silence before, during, and after Mass has been killed, and its assassin is the liturgical reform in every decade of its implementation. For decades, the GIRM has been practically a dead letter when it comes to the actual liturgical life of most parishes. The progressives have been only too happy to push along countless practices that go explicitly against the GIRM, using the sponge of their hegemony to wipe away the entire horizon and unchain the earth from its sun, and no one has seriously attempted to correct them, even after Redemptionis Sacramentum, which did little or nothing to reverse the perpetual falling of liturgy “backward, sideward, forward, in all directions.” Pardon me, therefore, if I cough like Jeeves whenever someone with a Bertie Wooster grasp of liturgy invokes the GIRM as a reference point.

Read the whole thing!


Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles have started wearing dog head masks, to show their pride at always being the underdog. So a Permanent Deacon in Philadelphia put one on and spoke from the Ambro wearing it.

Father Z thought it was HILARIOUS....well, no he didn't really.

No, it’s not cute or clever.  No, the Eagles game is no excuse.
This is stupid and this is sacrilege.
The culpability of sin can be diminished due to ignorance.  However, deacons ought to know better.  Alas, some permanent deacon formation programs have in the past not been very good, to put it mildly.  Good men with good intentions were cheated of even barely adequate formation.
At the same time, there is the pastor of the parish who must be held to account.  If he signed on on this, he, too, is guilty of sacrilege.
The fact is: When you are a cleric, it is difficult to claim ignorance.  There is such a thing as culpable ignorance.
There is also such a thing as invincible ignorance.
At that point, one must wonder how the program of formation as well as those who approved them for ordination.  One must wonder about their supervision, at the level of the pastor and above.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Motherhood is Hard Work

Sensus Fidelium

Edward Penten (a writer for EWTN) tweets:

says he wants to have the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful), so perhaps think of sharing your opinions with him in a letter addressed to: His Holiness, Pope Francis, Apostolic Palace, 00120 Vatican City, Vatican City State


Sensus fidei (sense of the faith), also called sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) when exercised by the body of the faithful as a whole, is "the supernatural appreciation of faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals".

Here are some helpful hints if you decide to write to Pope Francis, like:

Address the Pope as "Your Holiness." Another acceptable way to address the Pope in writing would be "Most Holy Father."
  • Note, however, that on the envelope, you should address the Pope as “His Holiness, ________” with the Pope's name in the blank. For instance, if writing to Pope Francis, the envelope would read, “His Holiness, Pope Francis 

Deconstructing The Pope

Sensationalized headlines about the pope’s wanting to “update” or “reword” the Lord’s Prayer have provoked a predictable reaction. He was speaking about translations into modern languages. The traditional English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is longstanding and etched in deep strata of the Anglophone Christian’s mind; he memorized the words in childhood. Through loving repetition over many years, they have been assimilated into his inmost being. If in his old age dementia begins to touch him, he might still be able to recite “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” even after he has lost most of his ability to gather and assemble words to express himself coherently, and after memories closer to the surface have fallen away, layer by layer.
The author, Nicholas Frankovich, links to an article he wrote:

The gist of his critique of the Italian translation applies to the English translation as well and betrays what in my view is a common misapprehension, which the French revision reflects and reinforces. At the heart of the controversy is the noun “temptation” (tentazione in Italian, tentación in Spanish, tentation in French). Its meaning has shifted over the centuries. We tend to lose sight of what it means literally, stripped of its theological associations with naughtiness, bad thoughts, and sin.
“Temptation” is cognate with “attempt.” Call it “a trying.” Better yet, “a trial”—as in “Paul suffered many trials on his way to Rome.” The mission that God called him to was marked by beatings, shipwreck, hunger, exposure to the elements. He could have backed out, but he persisted, faithful to his vocation to the end. It was hard. Note, too, that God “tempted” Abraham: that’s the verb in the King James Version where he commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen. 22:1). The only way to make sense of the word in that context is to assume a shade of meaning that doesn’t quite match what Francis means when he says that it’s not God who “pitches me into temptation, to see how I fall. No, a father doesn’t do this.”

OH NO! Put Down the Microphone and Back Away!

You don't have to even read the text to know something is about to go terribly wrong....

CNA/EWTN News).- Aboard the papal plane from Lima to Rome Sunday, Pope Francis said that comments made to Chilean journalists Jan. 18 were not intended to cause pain for victims of clerical sexual abuse.
Francis said that he had meant to explain to Chileans that because he has not seen evidence that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros helped to cover up acts of sexual abuse, it would be unjust to condemn him.
The pontiff said that his use of “the word 'proof' was not the best in order to draw near to a suffering heart.”
The Pope asked for forgiveness from victims he may have wounded, stating that unintentionally causing them harm "horrified" him, especially after he met with victims in Chile, as he has done on other trips, such as to Philadelphia in 2015.
"I know how much they suffer, to feel that the Pope says in their face ‘bring me a letter, proof,’ it's a slap," he said.
He also explained that he is aware that victims may not have brought forward evidence because it is unavailable, or because they are otherwise ashamed or afraid.
“Barros’ case was studied, it was re-studied, and there is no evidence,” Francis told journalists Jan. 21. “That is what I wanted to say. I have no evidence to condemn him. And if I condemn him without evidence or without moral certainty, I would commit the crime of a bad judge.”
“If a person comes and gives me evidence,” he continued, “I am the first to listen to him. We should be just."
Barros is accused by four victims of clerical sexual abuse of colluding to cover up the crimes of his longtime friend, Fr. Fernando Karadima.  Francis has long defended Barros, who claims to be innocent. Barros has been a subject of controversy since his 2015 appointment to lead the Diocese of Osorno.
Karadima, who once led a lay movement from his parish in El Bosque, was convicted of sexually abusing minors in a 2011 Vatican trial, and at the age of 84, he was sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Weird It Shall Be

Las Luminarias Festival

Spaniards are famous for their love of fiery fun. Similar to the Valencia Festival "Las Fallas" which regularly receives extraordinary acclaim, the "younger" colleague "Las Luminarias" is less known but just as spectacular. The Las Luminarias festival takes place on the eve of St. Anthony's day (January 16th) in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares near the eponymous capital of the province of Avila (approximately 100 km from Madrid).

 Its traditions combine the pre-Christian magical rituals of local peasants with Catholic beliefs. About 600 villagers in the province of Avila annually gather on the outskirts of the city to conduct a fire ceremony for the purification of their horses. Those brave souls able to hold their mounts through the flames of a huge bonfire will be protected from diseases and other misfortunes for a whole year.

 The fiery feast begins at around 7:30 pm at the signal of the church bell. The main event precedes the solemn procession along the central streets of San Bartolome de Pinares, led by the icon of Saint Anthony, who is especially revered there.

Love Is In The Air

CNA/EWTN News).- In his five years in office, Pope Francis has gained a reputation for embracing spontaneity. Today, he did it again with another papal first: witnessing the marriage of two flight attendants on board his flight from Santiago to Iquique.
According to journalists traveling with the Pope, the couple – Paula Podesta and Carlos Ciuffardi – went to the Pope during the Jan. 18 flight to ask for his blessing.
The couple told Francis they had been civilly married, but said they had not been able to get married in the Church because their parish was destroyed in the massive 8.8 earthquake that rocked Santiago in 2010. 

In response, the Pope offered to convalidate their marriage on the spot. Ignacio Cueto, owner of the airline company, LATAM, was a witness in the ceremony.
According to Ciuffardi, who spoke briefly with journalists after the ceremony, the Pope asked the couple if they were married yet, and when they explained why they hadn't been married in the Church, he said “do you want to get married?”
The Pope, Ciuffardi said, asked them “Are you sure, absolutely sure?” They said yes, gave the Pope their rings and asked Cueto if he would be a witness. The Pope then blessed the rings, placed their hands together, offered some brief reflections and pronounced them man and wife.

So in SEVEN YEARS, the couple couldn't figure out a way to get married in the Church? I call "BOGUS".

Father Peters has something to say about this...

Popes have jurisdiction for the external forum anywhere on earth (cc. 134, 331, 1108), so Francis can officiate at a wedding anywhere, anytime.
But officiating at a wedding means something specific: it means asking for and receiving the consent of the contracting parties to marrying each each other (c. 1108) here and now. Per the Rite of Matrimony consent is sought from each party individually and must be oriented to marrying the other party at this time; the request is not posed as a joint question to the couple about being married, akin to, ‘do you two want to be married?’, but rather is framed ‘do you marry him/her?’ at this point in time. If consent (the heart of marriage per c. 1057) is not adequately asked for and received, it is not exchanged, and such a couple would not be married (and, No, ‘Ecclesia suppletcannot make up for a failure in what is actually sacramental—as opposed to canonical—form). The above reports mention, as far as I can see, only the pope’s broaching the topic of marriage by asking the couple whether they wanted to be married, placing their hands together, saying a few inspirational words about marriage, and pronouncing them husband and wife. But such a sequence describes, not at all, a present exchange of consent by the parties. Let us hope, then, that in the actual event considerably more was said than has been reported.
Second, canonical form demands two independent actual witnesses to the exchange of consent, meaning that five persons must be immediately present for the wedding—not folks who heard about it a few minutes later, or who saw something happening and wondered, hey, what’s going on back there?—but five persons acting together and at the same time: a bride, a groom, an officiant, and two other actual witnesses. While reports are unclear as to how many people actually witnessed this event, and while this photo shows four people in the event (plus a camera man?) and four signatures on a document, another photo shows five names on the marriage document, so one may presume (c. 1541) accordingly.
Third, several canons impacting the liceity of weddings (norms on ‘liceity’ often being regarded as wink-wink rules in Church life, especially when higher-ups model the wink-winking) were apparently ignored here, including: the requirement for serious pastoral preparation prior to a wedding (c. 1063), administration of Confirmation before Matrimony (c. 1065), urging of Penance and holy Communion before a wedding (c. 1065), verification that no obstacles to validity or liceity are in place (c. 1066), securing evidence of the contractants’ freedom to marry (c. 1068) upon pain of acting illicitly without it (c. 1114), an expectation that Catholic weddings be celebrated in a parish church (cc. 1115, 1118), and making use of the Church’s treasury of liturgical books for celebration of the sacramental rite (c. 1119).
As this story reverberates ‘round the world, now, deacons, priests, and bishops who try to uphold Church norms fostering values such as deliberate marriage preparation, an ecclesial context for a Catholic wedding, and the use of established and reliable texts for expressing consent will, undoubtedly, have the Podest-Ciuffardi wedding tossed in their face as evidence that, if Pope Francis does not insist on such legalistic silliness and only cares about whether two people love one another, why shouldn’t they do likewise? The ministry of conscientious clergy in this regard just got harder.

And Don't Forget DACA!

CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock has said he will not attend the local March for Life because its keynote speaker opposed Catholic appeals for clemency for prisoners on death row.

The march’s keynote speaker Attorney General Leslie Rutledge “has good anti-abortion credentials but otherwise is decidedly not an appropriate pro-life speaker,” said Bishop Taylor’s Jan. 17 letter, addressed to the people of the diocese. The bishop charged that Rutledge “worked tirelessly to secure the execution of four criminals who posed no further threat to society.”

“You will recall that the Diocese of Little Rock was very vocal in appealing for clemency for these four men, but we were opposed at every turn by Attorney General Rutledge,” the bishop continued. “For this reason, I asked Arkansas Right to Life to choose a more appropriate keynote speaker, indicating that I could not participate in what was supposed to be a pro-life event otherwise. But Arkansas Right to Life has refused to do so.”

The weather report for Little Rock: 
Cloudy with occasional rain showers. Thunder possible. High 63F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Andrew Cuomo of the North

CNA/EWTN News).- A litmus test on abortion and recent comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been slammed by Catholic and conservative critics, and raise new and troubling questions for pro-life Canadians about the state of religious freedom in their country.
In a speech last week, Trudeau defended a policy requiring grant applicants to state their support of abortion. He said that while individuals are free privately to hold pro-life beliefs, there is a difference between freedom of expression and freedom of action.
“Defending rights and freedoms is at the core of who I am and is the core of what Canada is,” he said. “At the same time, we need to know there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those freedoms.”
Furthermore, Trudeau added that pro-life groups which explicitly oppose abortion are “not in line with where we are as a government and, quite frankly, where we are at as a society.”
Trudeau was defending new guidelines of application for a government grant that funds around 70,000 non-profit and for-profit summer jobs, such as camp counseling or landscaping.
Among the new requirements for employers applying for the grants is an “attestation” that the employer is “consistent with individual human rights in Canada, Charter rights and case law, and the Government of Canada’s commitment to human rights, which include women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.” 

and Dumber.

Do They Even READ There Headlines?

From today's Catholic News Agency, a headline:

Bars don't stop your ability to dream, Pope says at Chilean women's prison

I misread it. By bars, I thought he meant...

But he actually meant...

CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis visited a women's prison in Santiago on Tuesday, telling the inmates that while at times it might seem like they have no future, they must never stop dreaming and should look for opportunities for personal growth.
“Losing our freedom does not mean losing our dreams and hopes. Losing our freedom is not the same thing as losing our dignity,” the Pope said Jan. 16.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

America's Newest Minor Basilica

CNA/EWTN News).- St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria, the first permanent Catholic parish in Virginia, has a new name and a new designation for the new year. It was announced Sunday that the Holy See had decreed the building to be a minor basilica, and the church will now be known as “The Basilica of Saint Mary.”

The designation of the building as a basilica means that the parish “has a special relationship with the Holy See,” and (Bishop)Burbidge emphasized that this was a “great honor” for the church. St. Mary’s was chosen due to its importance in the community, its history as a parish, and its significance in the history of the United States.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is the 84th basilica in the United States, and the first in the Diocese of Arlington. Throughout the world there are just under 1,800 minor basilicas, and there are four major basilicas in Rome.

 The parish was founded in 1795, a time when Catholicism was heavily restricted in Virginia, with Catholics barred from voting or holding public office. The first donor to the church was George Washington, who was not Catholic; though his close aide, Col. John Fitzgerald, was. The president gave the parish the equivalent of $1,200 today.


Now that St. Mary’s has been recognized as a minor basilica, it will be outfitted with an umbraculum, a canopy of yellow and red silk; a tintinnabulum, a bell mounted on a pole which is used when the Pope visits a basilica; and the display of the papal symbol of the keys of St. Peter.


Someone's Been Nipping the USCCB Kool-Aid

Check out this "Advent" prayer from Catholic Relief Services:

Gracious Lord, Child of Bethlehem,
As you were born into a family who fled to Egypt as refugees,
help us grow in solidarity with refugees everywhere,
to know we are all refugees, until our hearts find refuge in you.
As you were born under an oppressive regime,
let us grow in solidarity with those whose governments deny them
their rights and try to undermine their dignity.
Help us work for just governance everywhere.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Flee to Egypt.

As it was workers, the shepherds, who first came to know you, the
carpenter’s son, let us remember the dignity of human labor—
that you share a special love for those who work hard for their
sustenance, and toil beside them.

Let us honor you, in work and in prayer,
that livelihoods may be secure,
and that workers not be exploited.

Feast of the Ass, January 14

 Last Sunday was the Feast of the Ass, or Festum Asinorum. How did the Vatican celebrate?

On January 12, OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute reported that Liliane Ploumen, a Dutch politician and international abortion activist, was received into the Order of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 2017 — a pontifical honor given for “meritorious service to the Church.” Multiple diplomatic sources around the Vatican have now confirmed to OnePeterFive and the Lepanto Institute that the award was given to Ploumen last year when she took part in an official state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to the Vatican in June of 2017.
Ploumen, who formerly served as the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Dutch government, started a progressive global initiative in 2017 called “She Decides.” Self-described as “a global movement”, SheDecides is designed to:
“support the fundamental rights of girls and women to decide freely and for themselves about their sexual lives, including whether, when, with whom and how many children they have. This includes having access to modern contraception, to sexual and relationship literacy and safe abortion.”

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Ad Orientem at St. Joseph Faces East - Even Though It Looks Like North!

From Father Z's mailbag:

Dear Father, I been trying to find and answer to a question about Ad Orientem worship facing west. Is it licit? Can churches hampered by modern architecture still worship Ad Orientem? Thanks in advance.

From the earliest days, and in keeping with the prayer practices of the Jews (cf. Ratzinger),  our forebears thought Christ would return in glory from the East.  Moreover, if I remember correctly, after her apparitions at Fatima, Our Lady disappeared into the East.
Celebrating “towards the East… ad orientem” is symbolic.  It doesn’t have to be the literal geographic East.  It is ideal to be able to face the literal geographic East, but we can create a liturgical East in any direction.  So long as you are all facing the same direction, you are symbolically facing the East.  Thus, we turn to the Lord who is coming.

The Trtouble With Jesuits, Part 68

From the increasingly weird "Father" James Martin (need I add SJ?)....

Dear friends: I'm so happy to share with you this new icon by Robert Lentz, OFM, the great iconographer (with his permission) of two of great prophets of our time: Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan, SJ.

Where's Pope Clement XIV when you need him?Not that the Jesuits care much about Canon Law, but Canon 1187 says:

 It is permitted to reverence through public veneration only those servants of God whom the authority of the Church has recorded in the list of saints or blessed.

Mark Your Calendars! February 2!

On February 2, 2018, which is the day celebrating the double Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also called Candlemas), there will occur throughout the  United States the gathering of faithful in their parish churches  to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Purification of the Church, and the Triumph of the Light of Christ over all sin and error.
The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light¸ and the Triumph of Light over the Darkness of Evil. Traditionally called Candlemas, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.

The Church has now been penetrated by a darkness greater than at any time in its history – not only the darkness of sexual sins and other moral “filth”, but that which consists of every conceivable form of error masking itself as truth, and of darkness masquerading as light. The task of unmasking these “thoughts”, and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary. Most specifically, it has been entrusted to Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Paul writes, “The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics.