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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Bosco Chocolate Drink Mix Feast of St. John Bosco

 The Patron Saint of Magicians!

Catholic School Week, January 28 -- February 3

I thank you!

St, Thomas the Apostle School, Old Bridge, NJ  1960-1963

Our Lady of Sorrows School, Vestal, NY 1964-1969

 Seton Catholic High School, Endicott, NY 1969-1973
Now All Saints Catholic School (grade school)

University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan 1973-1975
OK, it's Jesuit, but I'm still counting it

Captain Obvious

CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis spoke about the importance of the Liturgy of the Word, and therefore, also the importance of having lectors who can proclaim the readings and the Responsorial Psalm well.

“We must look for good readers!” he said Jan. 31, in off-the-cuff comments during the general audience.

I, John, your brother...

Good readers and psalmists understand what they are reading and can convey it well, he continued, explaining that they need to be prepared by reading over the text before Mass.
When someone reads well, not “distorting the words,” this helps to create “a climate of receptive silence,” he said, which is important, because “it is not enough to hear with the ears, without receiving in the heart the seed of the divine Word, allowing it to bear fruit.”

On this note, Francis emphasized that it is also important that we are staying focused and listening to the readings with an open heart, not looking around at different things or making chit-chat.
“When they read the words of the Bible – the first reading, the second, the responsorial psalm, the Gospel – we must listen and open our heart,” he said. “Because it is God himself who speaks to us. Do not think about other things or talk about other things.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tide Pod Colored Hosts

(AoftheANews) – CINCINNATI – In an effort to increase attendance at their monthly LifeTeen Mass, Sts Proctor & Gamble in suburban Cincinnati will feature Tide Pod colored hosts, featuring the dark blue and orange swirl.
Director of Youth Outreach Dee Terjent explained the decision to AoftheA News. “We know it’s going to be controversial, but we want to juxtapose how ingesting actual Tide Pods is dangerous, while ingesting the Body of Christ brings you life. And cleans you up at the same time.”
Late in 2017, the “Tide Pod challenge” became the latest fad among teenagers, where they’re dared to bite into and even swallow the miniature laundry soap packets. Tide has worked diligently to increase awareness on the inherent dangers, while YouTube has been systematically removing videos from its service.
“We are in no way encouraging kids to partake of the challenge,” Terjent said. “Our goal is to tell them to think about the consequences, and don’t go along with the crowd. Kids are always going to do dumb things, but if the dumbest thing they ever do is attend a LifeTeen Mass, then I feel we’ve done our job.”
Fr. Ken Moore, pastor of Sts P&G, approved the idea. “I know I’ll get some blowback for this, but at the end of the day, I will have gotten kids to come to Church and hear a positive message. And frankly, I’m of the opinion that if more parents washed out their kids’ mouths with soap, they wouldn’t be daring one another to eat it.”

Jeanne Ives Has My Vote

January 22, 2018 – At the 45th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., House Speaker Paul Ryan began his remarks by asking the crowd, “Can we just thank God for giving us a pro-life president back in the White House?”

Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives, a conservative reform Republican for Governor, said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pro-life Governor in Springfield? Or, at the very least not a radical pro-abortion Governor who lied to everyone – including the GOP Caucuses in the House and the Senate, and Cardinal Cupich – about his social agenda?

“While Congressional Republicans are working to protect life, our Republican Governor – the guy who promised ‘no social agenda’ – signed the most radical pro-abortion bill in the nation. While President Trump and Congressional Republicans show respect and support for the life agenda. In Illinois, our Republican Governor is forcing taxpayers to fund abortion on demand.

“Even liberal Governor Pat Quinn, with Democrat super-majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, didn’t force taxpayer funding of abortion.

“We do have an extremist – a fringe candidate – in the GOP Primary. He is my opponent.

Check out a debate between Governor Rauner and State Representative Ives.

In one of the most devastative exchange of the interview, Ives discussed his betrayal on HB 40, which forced taxpayer-funding of abortion. Rauner struggled to respond when members of the editorial board questioned him about lying to the GOP caucus and Cardinal Cupich. Following the signing of HB 40, Cupich told reporters, “He did break his word…”

Speaking of a Super Blue Moon Eclipse...

If you are on the moon, in which Diocese are you?

The Diocese of Orlando, of course!

The idea is that, back in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, the Diocese of Orlando included Cape Canaveral.  Because the journey to the Moon began from the Diocese of Orlando, Orlando had jurisdiction.
There is an anecdote about this.  The late Archbishop Borders, at the time Bishop of Orlando, during an ad limina visit in Rome told Paul VI that he was the bishop of the Moon.
I would have given anything to have been there with a camera to record for history Paul VI’s expression as he considered this statement.
That said, we also must consider that the 1917 Code was in force at the time of the Moon landing.  In the 1917CIC, can. 252 said that the competence of the Congregation for the Propogation of the Faith extends to “those regions which, since the sacred hierarchy has not been constituted, retain the status of a mission.” (Eius iurisdictio iis est circumscripta regionibus, ubi, sacra hierarchia nondum constituta, status missionis perseverat.)
This is a strong argument in favor of Propaganda having jurisdiction (hence, “Rome”).  However, if Orlando, having a competing view, wanted to press its claim, the diocese could bring a case before the Apostolic Signatura to assert its claim to jurisdiction.
I suspect that the Archdiocese for the Military Services is, right now, stretched a bit thin and won’t immediately want to make any claims.  I could be wrong.  I’ll ask around.

What Horrible Peoople Govern Us

CNA).- A procedural vote on a Senate bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks failed on the evening of Jan. 29, after more than three hours of debate. The cloture motion, which would have prevented a filibuster on the bill, required 60 votes to pass, and failed by a vote of 51-46.

The bill could continue to be considered in the Senate, even with the prospect of a filibuster, though this is not widely expected. The bill is likely to be a topic of debate in 2018 Senate elections.
The  U.S. is one of seven countries in the world that allow abortions after 5 months of pregnancy.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act proposes that abortion be made illegal after 20 weeks of gestation, on the basis that fetal neural development enables the unborn to experience pain at that point. The bill includes exceptions for an abortion in the case of rape or incest, as well in the circumstances in which the pregnancy threatened the life or the mother.

“After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling,” according to the text of the Pain-Capable Act.
Because of an unborn child’s sensitivity to pain at this stage, anesthesia is regularly administered during in-utero surgery after 20 weeks. An ultrasound can reveal the gender of an unborn child, who can be viewed sucking their thumb, yawning, or stretching by 20 weeks of pregnancy. The nervous system begins functioning in the fourth month of pregnancy.
The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives in Oct. 2017, is opposed by most Senate Democrats. To prevent a filibuster, Republicans needed Democratic support, in addition to the votes of the 51 Republican Senators.
Democratic Senators Bob Casey (Catholic), Joe Manchin (Catholic), and Joe Donnelly  (Catholic) supported the motion. Republican Senators Susan Collins (Catholic) and Lisa Murkowski (Catholic)voted against it.

And of course, Noted Illinois Catholic Dick Durbin voted NO.

The Babylon Bee reports:
WASHINGTON, DC—Voting down a measure that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, Senate Democrats on Monday refused to grant legal status to millions of unborn children dreaming of one day being born.
House Republicans passed a bill last week that would guarantee citizens’ rights for U.S. children over 20 weeks gestation, the age at which all unborn babies have been scientifically proven to hear voices and feel pain. Senate Democrats killed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Monday, keeping the United States one of only seven nations on earth that allows unrestricted abortion at any time during pregnancy.
“Frankly, I’m tired of the Republicans’ sob stories about these so-called ‘dreamers’ who are deliberately hiding inside a womb, hoping for government protection without going through the proper channels,” a DNC spokesperson told reporters. “Maybe it’s not their fault their parents brought them into this world, but that does not give them the same Constitutional right to life that hardworking, natural-born Americans have earned.”
Sources confirm Democrats may consider an abortion ban after 24 weeks, since the unborn child would be three-fifths of the way through a typical 40-week pregnancy by that point. “I really admire the idea of a 3/5 compromise,” said one Democrat senator. “America has used the 3/5 compromise before, when we were forced to admit that people who are property are still partially human. It worked really well.”

Monday, January 29, 2018

Notre Dame University Develops a Spine

 This is surprising, coming from the formerly Catholic University....

The Fighting Irish have a bone to pick with Christopher Columbus.

Notre Dame students are calling for the removal of 12 iconic murals, which honor the famous explorer and have been on campus since 1884.

The students have reportedly teamed up with alumni, faculty and staff in an effort to get rid of the 19th Century paintings.

“In this era of political divisiveness and a renewed rise of dangerous nationalism, it is time for Notre Dame to remove its own version of a Confederate monument,” the group wrote in an open letter last week that was published in the school newspaper, the Observer.
“It is time for the murals to go.”

The letter was sent to university president John Jenkins and accompanied by more than 340 signatures. Many of those who signed it were Native American and chose to list their tribe.
“The 12 Luigi Gregori murals have adorned the main hall of Main Building for over 130 years, greeting millions of campus residents and visitors with a highly problematic vision of Western triumphalism, Catholic militarism and an overly romantic notion of American expansion,” the letter said, referencing the Italian artist and Notre Dame professor who painted the murals…

Despite the outrage, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown insists that the murals aren’t going anywhere.

“No plans to remove them,” he told the IndyStar. “To try to remove them would in all likelihood destroy them.”

But the protestors seemed so REASONABLE!

Cardinal Cupich Must Be Out of Town

CNA/EWTN News).- Occasionally, the liturgical calendar has a curious intersection with secular holidays.
This year, Ash Wednesday—which begins the penitential season of Lent with a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer—falls on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day celebrates a third-century Christian martyr, but it has also become a celebration of romantic love, replete with with chocolates, fancy prix fixe menus, roses, and an overload of candy hearts.
The Archdiocese of Chicago has clarified that Lent is more important than candy hearts, and suggested that Catholics pick some other day for paper hearts and Cupid’s arrows.
 statement released by the Archdiocese explained that Catholics will not be dispensed from the laws of fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday, and suggested that Catholics planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day could do so on Feb. 13th, which is also Mardi Gras.
“The obligation of fast and abstinence must naturally be the priority in the Catholic community,” said the statement.
“Valentine’s Day can appropriately be celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which also happens to be Mardi Gras, a traditionally festive time before beginning our Lenten observance.”

INTENTIONALLY Funny Line of the Day

From Father Z:
As an avid reader of your blog please first be assured of my prayers. I recently attended an Engaged Encounter weekend in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the priest who said Mass had the couples surround him at the altar during the entirety of the Eucharistic Prayer. 
 In weakness my fiance and I did so during the first Mass but we remained kneeling in our pews during the second, I had hoped it was a one off thing.
I approached the priest about it, after we had received our certificate of completion, and he gave me some unfortunate explanations including: historical accuracy, and it not being ruled out in the GIRM.

I contacted the Archdiocese and received an unsatisfactory response. Namely a paragraph from the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum which says nothing about the issue at hand. I would be happy to provide you with the full email if you wish. I am looking for something to reply back with but all I can find is a dubium from the 1980’s that has a dubious web address, seemingly unofficial. Do you have anything I could respond with? I am frustrated and saddened.

The response is from Father Tim Ferguson:

The General Institution of the Roman Missal does not explicitly ban the faithful from gathering in the sanctuary during the Canon.
Nor does it forbid the faithful from being fitted with wires and hovering above the altar, or laying on the floor underneath the table-altar, or standing amongst the statuary in the reredos. The rubric do not cover every absurdity.
A presumption (perhaps a naïve one) is that the Church’s liturgy will be carried out by reasonable men.

Read the whole thing.

Pope Francis, Chairman Mao, and a Meme Walk Into a Bar

If you don't get it, read this.

Here's the original meme


(Unintentional) Joke of the Day!

.- On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced a proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people brought to the United States as children in exchange for increased funding for border security and for an end to “chain-migration” and diversity visa lottery policies.
The plan is controversial, from both the left and the right. The right is concerned that Trump is backing away from his campaign promises and that this new pathway to citizenship effectively amounts to amnesty, whereas the left thinks the proposals are too “hard-line” and that the “Dreamers” are being used as pawns to advance an agenda.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has a more nuanced take on the issue.

No, seriously.

So what is their nuanced position?

In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Bill Canny, executive director of the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services Offices, said that while the bishops agree that border security is important, this proposal is only going to create animosity between Republicans and Democrats and will not improve the current situation for the “Dreamers.”

“The bishops believe that it’s important the citizenry is protected, that our borders are secure, and that we don’t live in any fear,” said Canny.

However, he was concerned that a “high amount” of money was being put into various enforcement measures that he doesn’t think would lead to any sort of progress or agreement.
“The debate will not be fruitful” if the current proposal stands, he said. 

Further, Canny said that he did not think it was right that the “plight of the Dreamers” was being used to push different restrictions on immigration.

“We don’t believe it’s the right time to take up all of these issues. Stay focused on the Dreamers – we know border security is an issue.”

As for the proposed restrictions on what’s being referred to as “chain migration” or “family reunification,” Canny believes that the updated definition of “family” – which prevents immigrants from sponsoring visas for their parents, siblings, or adult children – is “very troubling.”

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sounds Like Missouri Could Use a Few More, Too.

CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life laws in Missouri have drawn the ire of members of the Satanic Temple, which has filed a lawsuit claiming the laws violate their religious freedom.
State law requires abortion providers to distribute a booklet from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services which includes the statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”
This law and others drew objections from the Satanic Temple and one of its members, whose lawsuit claims the restrictions violate her religious freedom. The politically active group, based in Salem, Mass., was founded by self-described atheists who profess disbelief in a literal Satan.
The plaintiff goes by the name Mary Doe in the lawsuit, not using her name due to fears of personal attack. In 2015 she traveled to a St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic from southeast Missouri for the abortion. 
 The plaintiff’s complaint says her professed tenets include a belief that a woman’s body is “inviolable and subject to her will alone” and that she makes health decisions regarding her health “based on the best scientific understanding of the world,” according to her complaint. The complaint says a pregnancy is “human tissue” and part of her body that “she alone” can decide to remove.

CNA).- An Irish priest and exorcist is asking the country's bishops for more support after noticing a dramatic increase in demonic activity in the country.
In a recent interview with The Irish Catholic, Fr. Pat Collins said he has been overwhelmed with the number of requests for exorcisms from the faithful in Ireland. In an open letter, he has urged the Irish bishops to train more priests to deal with the demand.
“(I)t’s only in recent years that the demand has risen exponentially,” Collins told The Irish Catholic.
Collins’ comments are on par with those of other exorcists throughout the world, including the International Association of Exorcists (IAE), a group of 400 Catholic leaders and priests, which has reported a dramatic increase in demonic activity in recent years.

Rules? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules!

Frankfurt, Germany, Jan 24, 2018 / 03:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A German bishop’s proposal that the Catholic Church could provide blessing ceremonies for gay couples, as well as divorced and civilly remarried couples, gained support at a Church conference in Frankfurt this weekend.
Earlier this month, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode suggested that the Church develop a ceremony for blessing same-sex unions during an interview with Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung.
"We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people," said the bishop, who is deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference: "Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?"
The bishop said that same-sex unions are a reality in the country.  “We must therefore ask ourselves how we meet those who enter into this relationship and who are also partly involved in the Church,” he said. 

OK, maybe...if the couple promises to keep CC 2358-9 faithfully.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

 “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

A Toast to the Pilgrims!

In 1061, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, the widow of the lord of the manor of Walsingham Parva, called Richeldis, had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Mary took Richeldis in spirit to Nazareth to show the place where the Angel Gabriel had appeared to her. Richeldis was told to take note of the measurements of the Holy House and build a copy of it in Walsingham. Richeldis saw the vision three times.

What's left of the Walsingham Abbey

Carpenters were instructed to build the house but where? During the night there was a heavy fall of dew but in one meadow two spaces of equal size remained dry. Richeldis took this as a sign and chose the plot close behind a pair of twin wells.
The workmen tried to build there but found themselves unable to do so. They gave up in despair and consulted Richeldis. She spent all night in prayer. The next morning a miracle was discovered. The chapel was found fully completed and standing on the other dry spot. It was concluded that Our Lady had removed the Holy House to the place she herself had chosen. This is the Walsingham legend.

All was well until Henry VIII demolished it in 1558. 

But now....

England's great pilgrimage site now has a gin distillery inspired by the Faith

Every year 250,000 people make the journey to Walsingham, a remote village in Norfolk which since the 11th century has been one of Europe’s great pilgrimage sites. They may not know it, but on the way they pass a new business venture partly inspired by the faith: Archangel Gin, a Norfolk-based drink made with locally grown juniper, and distilled, bottled and labelled in the area.

The name is no accident. “The road that passes by the back wall of the distillery has been part of the pilgrimage route to Walsingham for hundreds of years,” says co-founder Peter Allingham. “I imagine that there have been tens of thousands of guardian angels walking that route beside their charges. I’m very keen on guardian angels. We put them to so much trouble but they never desert us.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Trust, But Verify

The Holy See has reportedly asked two Chinese bishops to stand aside to make way for illicitly ordained, Chinese government-backed counterparts.

A Vatican delegation asked Bishop Peter Zhuang of Shantou and Bishop Jospeh Guo Xijin of Mindong to retire or accept demotion in order to smooth relations with the Chinese government.
Asia News, the outlet of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, reports that 88-year-old Bishop Zhuang received a letter dated 26 October asking him to resign to make way for the government-backed Bishop Huang Bingzhang.

Bishop Huang Bingzhang.

 Bishop Huang was excommunicated in 2011 after being consecrated without Vatican approval. He is also a member of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese parliament.

Asia News reports that Bishop Zhuang was escorted to Beijing, where he met Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who told him to retire – but with the proviso that he could nominate three priests, one of whom Bishop Huang would appoint as his vicar general.

I agree with National Review's Michael Brendan Dougherty:

 ... I find it difficult to trust the Chinese government given its history. I worry that a deal will give diplomatic cover to renew the persecution of non-conforming members of the underground Church, and heighten the policy of Sinicization. I also worry that Vatican officials, having invested so much in this approach will be slow to take offense if the Chinese government again promotes its own men against the wishes of the Church. A friend of mine who grew up in Hong Kong, and believed himself growing up as a witness to a Chinese Catholic vanguard lamented to me, “Everybody, and I mean everybody, knows somebody who was murdered, or tortured, or imprisoned or disappeared to defend the principle that was just abandoned.”

Ireland's Mass Paths

If you’ve visited Ireland, you’ve probably missed them, and that’s the point.
Hidden paths winding throughout the country recall a time – not all that long ago – when the repressed Catholic majority was forced to worship in secret.

Now, some of these paths have been documented by Irish photographer Caitriona Dunnett years in her project ‘Mass Paths,’ featured in an article this month by Anika Burgess in Atlas Obscura.
“I photographed it and remembered learning about the penal times at school,” she told Atlas Obscura. “It inspired me to research and find other penal paths to photograph.”

Starting in the late 1600s, a Protestant-controlled local government and the English parliament enacted strict penal laws banning Catholics – who constituted 90 percent of Ireland’s population – from voting, speaking their native language or serving in the army, among other things. Bishops were banned from the country, as were excess priests – only one priest per parish was allowed, and was forced to register with the government. A few years later, priests were told to sign an oath of loyalty to the Queen. Only 33 signed the oath, forcing any remaining priests on the island into hiding.

These Mass paths tell the story of these hidden priests, who would hold Mass in secret in order to avoid being arrested.

Wait a Second...Unitarians BELIEVE in Something?

CNA/EWTN News).- A recent Pew study shows that support for legal abortion varies widely among religious groups, with Catholics falling somewhere in the middle when it comes to beliefs about legal abortion.

Among Catholics in the United States surveyed in the study, 48 percent said they were in favor of legal abortion, while 47 percent said they were opposed to it and 5 percent said they didn’t know.
Unitarian Universalists are the most likely religious group to support legal abortion at 90 percent, while Jehovah’s Witnesses were the least likely to support, it at 18 percent, according to the study.
Among both atheists and agnostics, 87 percent support legal abortion; as do 83 percent of Jews; 82 percent of Buddhists; 68 percent of Hindus; 55 percent of Muslims; and 27 percent of Mormons. Among Orthodox Christians, 53 percent support legal abortion.

However, a closer look at other available data for Catholics helps to explain some of this discrepancy.
Overall, “the more frequently you go to Mass the more likely you are to oppose to oppose abortion,” Mark Gray, a senior research associate with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) out of Georgetown University, told CNA. (Ed. 

However, responses vary significantly depending on the frequency of Mass attendance of the respondent as well as on the phrasing of poll questions about abortion, according to data from the General Social Survey analyzed by CARA.

When asked if they would support abortion if a woman wants it for any reason, 85 percent of frequent Mass attendees (those who go weekly) said they would not support abortion, while 56 percent of Catholics who attend Mass less than monthly said they would oppose abortion if a woman wants it for any reason.

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.