Saturday, July 21, 2018


The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops was at its peak of being the "toast of the town" for progressives in the Church and liberals in American politics in the 1980's. As a conference, the USCCB was its most powerful self.


Because it wasn't dealing exclusively with areas in the competence of bishops, but with politics. They were issuing documents on war and peace, on nuclear disarmament and a number of other hot button liberal/progressive issues. These issues have many gray areas and aren't just black and white issues although the USCCB presented them as such as they did also with church architecture in the 1980's.

I was much more liberal following my ordination in 1980 than I am now. And I swallowed the USCCB's documents hook, line and sinker and presented these documents in adult religious education classes in my first parish in Albany, GA.  I soon learned that most in my classes (sometimes up to 40 and 50 adult parishioners) were not on board with our bishops' liberal politics and take on what the government and military should do.

I soon discovered that "bread and butter" Catholics in the know, meaning they were in the military, i.e. Marines and the like, took great exception to what our bishops were teaching.

But worse, while the USCCB was dabbling in liberal politics and becoming the "toast of the town" and proclaiming the Catholic moment, they were covering up grave moral issues in their ranks and the priesthood in general. And by the late 1990's and certainly by 2002, they were no longer the "toast of the town, but toast."

The same thing is happening under Pope Francis. Liberals/progressives, be they Catholics or those who love politics tout Pope Francis as the "toast of the town" because of his shift from the so-called "self-referential" Church to the Church that looks out and embraces with mercy those who are excluded be it because of poverty, sexual orientation or whatever the hot-button issue of the day is.

And when it comes to Global Warming, certainly the papal magisterium is competent to tell secular society what needs to be done to stop it. It is like telling God how to stop the "ice age!"

I love ecology, not because I am a Catholic, although I like it when the Church encourages ecologists to do their job, but not tell them what to do, but because I think we should take care of the earth, not litter or pollute and the rest of it. Atheism would promote such a thing and good for them.

But under Pope Francis we are seeing what happens when what is competent to the pope or the bishops isn't addressed properly or in a timely fashion. But things that they have no competence or mandate is reaised to dogma.  In the early 2000's it was the priestly sexual scandals long swept under the carpet by bishops.  Then it morphed into the bishops' cover-up and that the bishops as well as offending priests should be prosecuted.

Today, we see the Vatican embroiled in all of this with bishops who have abused minors and adult men under their charge  in a homosexual way and it being covered up and bishops named cardinals who should never have been named given what was known about their history: i.e. Cardinal McCarrick.

Cardinal McCarrick seems to be the tipping point leading Pope Franics who has completely and inadequately dealt with the "gay" problem in the Church (like in Chile) having his "coming to Jesus moment" when Cardinal O'Malley publicly corrected His Holiness. Is flippant statement "who am I to judge" has come back to bite him hard.

Isn't it time for the pope to move away from 1970's thinking and Catholic moments and being more concerned about the "hen house" and not letting the wolves and foxes take it over and less concerned about things not in His Holiness' mandate?

Isn't it time for Pope Benedict's renewal in continuity with the best of the pre-Vatican II Church having been tossed out of the Church in the drunken euphoria of the "spirit of Vatican II"?  Yes, there was some bath water in the pre-Vatican II Church but nothing like the swamp in the post-VAtican II Church.

Seeking to be the toast of the town with the secular world and progressive politics always leads the Church to becoming "toast!"

Friday, July 20, 2018


The loss of priestly majesty has turned the priesthood into a joke for many people, Catholics and non Catholics throughout the world. Did Pope Benedict XVI know this with his recovery of papal majesty and the renewal of the Church in continuity with the pre-Vatican II Church, something completely lost on Pope Francis and His Holiness's 1970's mentality?

Who nose what he'lll do next? Pope Francis dons a red nose to surprise two newlyweds who are volunteers with the Rainbow Association Marco Lagulli Onlus, a charity that offers clown therapy to sick children

The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of a Honduran auxiliary bishop whose boss is Cardinal Maridiga and is on Pope Francis additional bureaucracy to clean up the lower bureaucracy of the Vatican. His Eminence is also under the shadow of financial scandal. His auxiliary, in charge of the cardinal's diocese while the good cardinal travels the world, is a homosexual predator of seminarians and priests. This is what got him sacked.

I know, I know, these things happened in pre-Vatican II times but I wonder if it was to the same extent as today. In pre-Vatican II times it was easier to keep these things quiet than it is today.

However, I know from first hand experience that the liberalization of the seminaries in the 1970's and the view that these liberal seminaries, corrupt in and of themselves, could fix seminarians who had serious pathological issues is not what happened in the pre-Vatican II seminary. The pre-Vatican II seminary wanted manly candidates, candidates not from "broken" homes and candidates that had the intellectual capacity to learn.  That was all but thrown out of the corrupt liberal seminaries of the late 60's and early 70's.

Investigations into these liberal seminaries and into relgious orders by the Vatican made strides to correct the corruption of the the 1970's thanks be to Pope St John Paul II.

I know in my liberal seminary there were behaviors amongs seminarians, among seminarians and faculty and with outside individuals that were not pursued. The only thing that was suspect was orthodoxy and rigidity. That would not be tolerated because the rigid would tell their bishops about the scandals in the seminary, which officials wanted to keep quiet.

My former and now deceased bishop told us priests in the 1980's that we need to regain the majesty of the priesthood. We're not to be buddy preists. We need a higher standard by which we live. We need to wear our clerics. We need to celebrate the Mass and sacraments with dignity and to follow the rubrics. We need to stop promoting ourselves during the liturgy and to make sure that Christ is glorified and not ourselves.

Does the modern liturgy with its emphasis on the personality of the priest attracting priestly candidates who are narcissistic? And have these priests been promoted to bishops and remain narcissists?

The cult of the priestly personality is on steroids in the post-Vatican II Church and the abandonment of professionsalism is also.

Do we need clowns or priests today? I would say the latter.  


Monday, July 16, 2018


My masthead has a photo from the balcony of the villa where I am at on vacation in Hilton Head Island. It is a glorious place but recently two alligators (small ones) have taken up residence in the lagoon.

I feed the turtles with a no name bag of cereal which is like Lucky Charms. I throw the cereal to the turtles and I eat the little marshmallows which I love. The turtles fight each other and the fish to get their morsels.

One of my crane friends has learned that when I throw the cereal out, he can fly down below my balcony and watch the fish come to the surface to eat the cereal. He (or she) then catches the unsuspecting fish and swallows it right in front of me. I am thoroughly impressed!

But now, when I throw out the cereal, one of the alligators swims to my balcony with the speed of light to eat the cereal. It is against the SC law to feed alligators. And who knew they like faux Lucky Charms??????

So I can't feed the turtles my faux Lucky Charms because I could be fined if the alligator comes and absconds with my turtle and fish food.

I am completely fascinated by these alligators which another tourist has named Samson and Delilah! And the turtles have no fear of them and will swim above, under, around and in front of their mouths while feeding on the cereal and the alligators don't bite the turtles. These are very young alligators which will become behemoths eventually and lose their cuteness!

By the way, that set of toes are mine! YIKES!


Beautiful, sensible Chinese inculturation:

The Annunciation

sobodash, imgur

The Birth of Christ

sobodash, imgur

To be honest with you I am not sure what inculturation really means because in 2018 it isn't spoken of as much as it was in the 1970's.

Even in pre-Vatican II times there was a very beautiful inculturation that centered on art work. Our Blessed Mother and the Child Jesus would be depicted as a Korean, Japanese, African and so on. Other artwork was of the culture.

Today, though, it might mean vernacular languages. Back in the 60's and 70's it meant the Church had to bow and worship the culture. Rather than bread and wine other substances similar to the west's bread and wine would be used for the Eucharist. Except, the Vatican stopped that because the drug like euphoria about the "spirit of Vatican II" had to be reigned in by an ailing Pope Blessed Paul VI.

As with so many things in the Church today, a desire to return to the silliness of the 1960's and 70's is very important for many people my age and older, dinosaurs who will soon be extinct by the laws of nature, as sad as that is for me personally.

This is a quote from the late Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the Superior General (Black Pope) of the Jesuits who reigned during the drug-like induced euphoria of the immediate aftermath of the "spirit of Vatican II."  To be honest with you, I find it filled with pious platitudes. But worse yet, it is pre-Vatican II triumphalism applied to what the "spirit of Vatican II" would accomplish. It is hogwash.

In 2018 can anyone really say that what Fr. Pedro Arrupe's pious platitudes of nothingness has really accomplished what he says it will do? The Catholic Church almost without exception in every part of the world is a mere shadow of its pre-Vatican II self in terms of strength, integrity, morality and the ability to shape culture. Rather culture has shaped the Church and diminished her.

Read this quote on inculturation from Fr. Arrupe. What is the heresy in this paragraph? It isn't about Jesus transforming the culture, but inculturation doing it by how we live our lives and the message of Christ (not His Real Presence) is transformative. The heresy is that inculturation will animate, direct and unified the culture, transforming and remaking it so as to bring about a new creation! Inculturation not Jesus will do that--what the hell??????

Fr. Arrupe may be recommended for canonization and he may become the patron saint of inculturation. As those mired in the 1960's would say, isn't that neat? Nifty too!

…inculturation is the incarnation of Christian life and of the Christian message in a particular cultural context, in such a way that this experience not only finds expression through elements proper to the culture in question (this alone would be no more than a superficial adaptation), but becomes a principle that animates, directs and unifies the culture, transforming and remaking it so as to bring about “a new creation.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018


Praytell begrudgingly but not without snark, tells us about a great upcoming Society for Catholic Liturgy Conference to be held in Miami, Florida, the hotbed of the "reform of the reform" movement.

It is good news that Cardinal Muller is the keynote speaker. But more importantly the motorcycle riding Archbishop of Miami is to celebrate a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form as a part of the conference, a must see to say the least. Will he ride is motorcycle down the main aisle? NO! I said it was an EF Mass not an OF Mass!

It is stated that the EF Mass is the pre-Conciliar rite which is only partically true. Since 2007 it is also the post-Conciliar rite (you can pick whatever ecumenical council you wish).

But poor old and I mean old (he has to be my age or older, and thus ancient) is so upset that the EF generation (like the Pepsi generation) and thus a very youthful generation has highjacked his "society" and brought the "reform of the reform" agenda to his "society."  But I call it not "reform of the reform" but "reform in continuity" which is what Pope Benedict desired.

Cardinal Müller to keynote at Society for Catholic Liturgy conference

The Society for Catholic Liturgy has announced that its 2018 conference will be held September 27–29 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Miami, Florida. The theme is the centenary of the publication of Romano Guardini’s Spirit of the Liturgy  in 2018.
Guardini was a leader in the 20th-century liturgical movement. He was especially concerned that the laity understand and participate in the liturgy. In the 1920s he involved students in singing the Latin chant of the liturgy, although he also wrote early on in favor of a spoken liturgy because “the somewhat sophisticated Gregorain chant is ever the possession of only a certain number; by contrast, the word is accessible to all.” (Ruff, Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform, 229)
The conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy will feature a keynote addresses by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, “Lex orandi – lex credendi.” Cardinal Müller was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 2012-2017, at which point Pope Francis did not renew his term. He is known for a positive appreciate of liberation theology, but also for his conservative stance on the question of communion for the divorced and remarried or for Protestant spouses of Catholics in Germany. He is said to have been less than supportive of a reconciliation with Rome of the Lefebrvrist Society of St. Pius X, which does not accept all the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty, ecumenism, and liturgicalreform.
The conference will also have addresses by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and a representative of the the Secretariat of the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship.
Cardinal Müller will celebrate a solemn Mass in the post-conciliar form, and Archbishop Wenski will celebrate a solemn pontifical Mass in the pre-conciliar “extraordinary form.”
A list of speakers and papers to be delivered can be found at the conference website.
The Society for Catholic Liturgy was founded by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion in 1995. Mannion has since expressed his “disappointment” that “the agenda of the ‘reform of the reform’ has taken over” the society and that “some elements of Tridentine restorationism have crept i


Despite the fact that Frank Sinatra, Sr. had three other "wives" after his Catholic Sacramental marriage to his "first" wife, there appears to be no Catholic annulment for his presumed sacramental marriage to Nancy Sinatra, Sr. not to be confused with Nancy Sinatra, Jr.

Nancy, Sr. died at 101 the other day. She and her husband Frank married in the Catholic Church as the story below states. Nancy, Sr. never married again living to 101. Of course her sacramental marriage to Frank, Sr., can to an end with his death as a true sacramental marriage can only be dissolved by death and no other human decision.

So what do you think? The story below doesn't describe if Nancy, Sr. was a believing Catholic and for this reason never remarried since she was married in the eyes of God to Frank, Sr.

And what about women being called "senior" and "junior" why not "I", "II" and yes the "III"?

Nancy Sinatra Sr. dies at 101

LOS ANGELES — Nancy Sinatra Sr., the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children, has died. She was 101.
Her daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., tweeted that her mother died Friday and a posting on her web page said she died at 6:02 p.m. but didn’t indicate where she died. “She was a blessing and the light of my life,” her daughter said.

Attempts to reach representatives for Sinatra Jr. late Friday were unsuccessful.

Nancy and Frank Sinatra had been dating as teenagers and married at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4, 1939, just as Frank’s singing career was about to take off. Three years before marrying the former Nancy Barbato, he had landed a 15-minute radio show on local station WAAT.

During the marriage’s early years, the Sinatras lived in a modest apartment in Jersey City, where their two eldest children were born. For a time she was employed as a secretary while her husband worked as a singing waiter.
After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer.

Nancy Sinatra left Frank after his affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge. Weeks after the pair’s divorce became final in 1951, Sinatra’s ex-husband married Gardner, while Sinatra went on to raise the couple’s three children: Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina.

After the gossip over the divorce and Gardner marriage died down, Nancy Sinatra devoted herself to family and numerous celebrity friends, largely withdrawing from the spotlight. She not only outlived her husband, who died in 1998, but her son, who died in 2016.

She is credited, under the name Nancy Barbato, on the Internet Movie Database with just two TV and film appearances, in her daughter Nancy’s 1975 concert film, “Nancy and Lee in Las Vegas,” and in 1974 on her friend Dinah Shore’s talk show.

In later years she would become known as Nancy Sr., especially after daughter Nancy became a 1960s singing star in her own right with “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and other hit songs.

She also remained friendly with her ex-husband, the latter being said to have put in requests over the years for pasta and other Italian food dishes she was known to be an expert at preparing. She never remarried.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Catholic Church turned into nightclub in Netherlands:

However, the Vatican has new guidelines to dispose of closed Catholic Churches. Does anyone know what was required for such a thing prior to Vatican II?

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Augusta, Georgia (Diocese of Savannah) was closed in 1970. There was no effort to strip it of it's Catholic treasures of altars, statues and stained glass. Vestments were left behind for others to pilfer and sell.

It was sold in 1986 to an entrepreneur who restored it as a Culture Center, keeping all of the altars, statues and stained glass. It can be used for anything the renter so wishes:

The problem or elephant in the room or in Rome is that there is simply a grotesque denial that the post-Vatican II Church is simply too impotent, disorganized, lacking in liturgical, doctrinal and moral unity to keep Catholics in the Church. Secularism is too powerful for the post-Vatican II Church in her weakness and disarray.
The secularization advancing in the West poses the problem of the use of former buildings of worship: in Italy there are about 100 thousand with many different owners, three thousand those damaged by the last earthquakes. Guidelines for the episcopates are being studie

My final comment and solution: Why not let lay Catholics have these churches, governed by a board of trustees and to be used as a Shrine or other suitable Catholic purpose? The bishop would divest himself from the building but allow Catholics to have weddings, funerals and other liturgies in these shrines.

In Augusta, Catholics can rent Sacred Heart for wedding receptions and other non religious events. But they aren't allowed to have their weddings or funerals there. Protestants can and do all the time. It is sad, truly sad.

Recently a Catholic who wanted her funeral at Sacred Heart was denied, thus an Episcopal priest presided over her funeral liturgy, whatever Episcopalians call it.


It isn't a celebration of life! It isn't the Mass of Christian Burial. It isn't the Mass of the Resurrection! It is the Requiem Mass or the Mass of the Dead. Call it what the Vatican's Vatican News calls it in the headline below:

Cardinal Tauran commended to God in Requiem Mass at St Peter's


I was reading some comments at Fr. Z's blog about days off for priests as well as vacations.  People think priests should be working 24/7/365! We don't deserve a day off because this goes against the Protestant Work Ethic.

I know that people see as heroic bishops and priests to include this pope and Pope St. John Paul II who are work-aholics. This is an addiction, not heroic not withstanding those who admire it.

I happen to agree that priests should and must take a day off each week. I do and do so unapologically.

I believe that priests whose diocese gives them a full month, 31 days of vacation, should take that vacation either all at once or spread throughout the year.

Those dioceses that allow for an additional week of continuing education funded by the parish should take that week of continuing education.

And priests should take the canonical yearly retreat.

My first five years of ordaination, I did not take a day off except on some occasions. By the 4th year, I developed pneumonia but did not see a doctor. If not for a doctor at the Sunday Mass where I nearly passed out intervening and taking me to the hospital I would have died in a couple of days of that pneumonia.

It took me about two years to recover, I lost about 60 pounds in about a month. But it woke me up. I began taking a weekly day off and developed an exercise regime that I continue to this day.

Yes, priests should take a day off and take all their diocese allows.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


A Monk and Theologian Breaks the Silence on the Church's Metamorphosis


This is from Sandro Magister's blog at LaStampa:


by Giulio Meiattini, OSB

(passages selected from the interview in “Catholica” no. 140)


The situation of confusion is evident. Naturally there are those who deny that this is a matter of confusion, maintaining that this is the positive result of a style of ecclesial governance aimed at “initiating processes rather than possessing spaces” (cf. “Evangelii Gaudium” 223). Therefore, the first discernment to be made would be precisely on the nature of this situation: can confusion, disagreement among bishops on sensitive doctrinal points, be fruits of the Spirit? To me it seems not.

To discern also means understanding if it is appropriate or not to initiate processes in certain fields, and also with what timing, modalities, and objectives.

Let us observe, for example, the manner in which the new discipline for the “divorced and remarried” was reached.

After Cardinal Kasper’s talk at the consistory had prepared the terrain so to speak, the two synods, with an intermediate year of heated discussions, were unable to give rise to a common approach on the problem discussed. Those who read the accounts of the “circuli minores” of the 2015 synod realize very well that on the point in question there was not a shared perspective.

But one thing is clear: that a large majority of the fathers had not developed the conviction to change the traditional discipline. So much so that the authors of the “Relatio finalis,” on the controversial point, took care not to introduce innovations.

But - here is another small step - they drafted formulas of an indefinite tone that, while not providing for access to the sacraments, changed the atmosphere so to speak. Thus the “non-opposition” to those hesitant formulas (which had trouble getting two thirds of the votes) was enough to allow another subsequent small step: a couple of ambiguous little footnotes in “Amoris Laetitia,” which do not affirm or deny but hint at a certain direction.

This further passage smashed the interpretive boundaries, until in the autumn of 2017 - another step - there came the pope’s official approval of the “Criteria” of the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires on chapter VIII of “Amoris Laetitia.”

But these criteria, if one is honest, are not a simple interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia.” They add and say things that are not to be found in “Amoris Laetitia” and that, above all, had never been approved at the synods and never would have been. […]

Thus, through small successive steps, over the course of three years a very large one was made and the discipline was slowly changed, but certainly not in a synodal manner, in my view.

I may be wrong, but this “modus operandi” is not discernment, but rather cunning. In place of reasonable and open debate (the famous “dubia” have never received a response!), the strategy of persuasion and of the fait accompli took hold.


Among the ethical demands and the sacramental foundation of Christian existence, the center is undoubtedly the sacrament, which is the communication to the believer of the grace that saves, and, in that it is welcomed by and transforms man, is also an act of glorification, doxology. […] Ethics is neither the first word not the last.

In “Amoris Laetitia,” however, the opposite logic is followed: the starting points are categories taken from the natural law and principles of general ethics (attenuating factors, the relationship between universal norm and subjective situation, non-imputability, etc.), and from these major premises are drawn the consequences for the pastoral practice of the sacraments.

In this way, the dimension of the symbolic and the sacramental, which should anchor, embrace, and transcend the moral sphere, loses its significance and becomes a mere appendix to ethics. […] The demonstration is given by the fact that in concrete terms the sin of adultery loses its public significance linked to the testimonial aspect of the sacrament, and can be remitted in the “internal forum” without any need to explain before the community why a spouse who publicly contradicts the sacramental sign of fidelity should publicly receive the Eucharist.

In short, the result of the decisions of “Amoris Laetitia” is the reduction of the sacramental to the moral, meaning of faith to ethics, which to me does not seem to be a mere question of pastoral practice. What is at stake here is something essential to the nature of Christianity.


I sincerely do not understand how a bishop, above all that of Rome, could write phrases of this kind: “There is no need to lay upon two limited persons the tremendous burden of having to reproduce perfectly the union existing between Christ and his Church” (“Amoris Laetitia” 122).

Here is the glaring exemplification of what I stated before in a general way: if the evangelical ethic is isolated from the sacrament and reduced to a general norm it becomes “a tremendous burden,” like the Mosaic law, instead of “an easy yoke and a light burden.” Whatever happened, in this perspective, to the transformative effect of the sacrament? […] So then we could ask ourselves whether the encouragement of bearing witness to faith in Christ to the point of bloodshed is not an even more tremendous burden, not to be placed on the shoulders of the people. […]

One arrives at this point only if one is accustomed to conceiving of Christianity - perhaps without fully realizing it - as ethics.


“Amoris Laetitia” goes so far as to say that even if according to outward appearances one is living in a condition of objective sin, on account of attenuating factors one could be in the state of grace and even “grow in the life of grace” (no. 305).

It is clear that if this is the way things are, the interruption between sacrament and moral action, as already highlighted, leads to outcomes that overlap with the Lutheran conception of “simul iustus et peccator,” condemned by the Council of Trent. […] In this way, one could be at the same time just (before God, invisibly) and a sinner (before the Church, visibly). Works are at risk of having no more significance in the “discernment” of grace.


The direction that is taking shape around intercommunion between Catholics and Protestants obeys the same logic: it is not symbolic realism that determines the decision, but the simple evaluation of the presumed interior condition: if a Protestant is presumably in the state of grace (based on the attenuating factors of invincible ignorance, diminished responsibility, an honest way of life, etc.), why could he not receive the Catholic Eucharist? Perhaps one does not realize that posing the question this way could lead to making the same argument for a Buddhist or a Hindu who lives a good and just life. Tampering with the relationship between morality and the sacraments ultimately can lead to ecclesiological conceptions that are not Catholic.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)




Ex-liturgy director starts independent Roman Catholic church

San Francisco Chronicle 20 hours ago


The author of the article below from the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) is my age if not older and that says it all with certain Catholics my age and older.

I say that because I was taught what this old man, a caricature of the 1960's and 70's and a hero to those who have nostalgia for those days, usually people my age and older, is promoting in 2018 of all times.

Catholic reverence, humility and a healthy sense of unworthiness were all tossed out the window by post-Catholics be they liturgists, bishops, priests, nuns/sisters, monks/brothers.

Read this entire article by pressing the title. It would be funny if not so sad and certainly lays the groundwork for irreverence and a reimagine of the Catholic faith into post-Catholicism:

Lord, why am I not worthy?


I have an excerpt below of a longer article in the New Liturgical Movement blog by Peter Kawasniewski. You can read the entire article by pressing the title below.

I think the photo of the priest only in clerics with arms crossed says it all. Blah. Yet this was the first change I experienced as a 13 year old when Vatican II began to be implemented in my parish in Augusta.

The first change was for an odd looking altar to be placed in front of the one against the wall. The Mass, like the one pictured below, was the 1962 Missal, not the 1965 one.  We were allowed to respond during the dialogue Mass with all of the parts normally associated with the altar boy parts. I still have the card that was passed out to us so we could actively participate with our spoken responses.

Most of us thought this would be the big change, Mass facing the people but no other changes. How deluded we were. Very quickly came the 1965 Missal with minor rubricaly changes, the shortened Prayers at the Foot of the Altar (actually Passiontide's version) which quickly become optional as did the Last Gospel.

Then the Roman Canon was allowed to be prayed aloud in Latin, then in English and then the rubrics were stripped for it and the next thing we knew there were three additional Eucharistic Prayers with number 2 unbelievably short and much to my liking as a 15 year old, because it was short. Keep in mind even in pre-Vatican II times the majority of Catholics preferred the Low Mass. Why? Because it was short!

Thus we can say that those who preferred the short Low Mass in pre-Vatican II times did not complain when the Mass was made simpler but most importantly shorter. Shorter was good, better, best!

But then, even those of us who liked short, shorter and shortest were confronted with things we did not like and found inimical to the Mass and Catholic reverence: standing for Holy Commuion as though in a chow line, Holy Communion in the hand, so-called extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion of dubious Catholic identity or morality, lay lectors terribly ill-prepared and sloppiness in the liturgy.

The icing on the cake was a low Mass with folk music and sometimes "meaningful" secular music that challenged the Vietnam war.


The Ill-Placed Charges of Purism, Elitism, and Rubricism

A television Mass versus populum, for Modern Man
In their myopia, partisans of the later phase of the Liturgical Movement thought that they, and not the providentially unfolded tradition of the Church, knew best what Modern Man™ needed. To them, it was evident that he needed as much vernacularization as possible. That is why Latin was eventually thrown out of the window completely. They also thought we needed to simplify, always to seek a greater and greater simplification — be it in vestments (away with the amice and maniple and biretta), in furnishings (away with six candles, antependia, and thuribles), in the texts of the Mass (away with the Propers, second or third orations, Psalm 42, Prologue of John, Leonine prayers), in the ceremonies of the Mass (away with osculations, signs of the cross, genuflections, ad orientem), in its music (away with ancient chant).

It never seems to have occurred to the Liturgical Movement that quite possibly what an increasingly secular and materialist age needed was precisely a movement in the opposite direction — towards greater liturgical symbolism, a richer pageantry of ritual, a fuller immersion in Gregorian chant with its incomparable spirituality, and so forth.[2] What modern man needed most of all was to be rescued from the prison of his own making, namely, the rationalist anthropocentrism that defines modernity and that, to our shame, made its home in the Catholic Church through the liturgical reform, in its many intended and unintended consequences. In this sense, the proposed cure turned out to be more of the same disease, which is why, predictably, it has made the patient worse, not better.


A sign of the future as Justice Kavanaugh take his oath of office:

Brett Kavanaugh (L) is sworn in as a US Court of Appeals Judge by US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (R), in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2006. Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

He was an altar boy, most important for a Supreme Court justice, to say the least!

His pastor for whom he was an altar boy, today is the head of Catholic Charities and former altar boy Kavanaugh assists him with feeding the homeless. Very good, faith and good works walk hand in hand by God's grace.

He is a member of The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and his daughters attend its school where Kavanaugh is a coach, a CYO coach for his daughter's basketball team which won the championships.

The only negative that I can see is that he attended Jesuit High School.

Overall, though, all of the above means that he is an excellent candidate for the Supreme Court. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Some of the concerns that the biased Yahoo article states about the charismatic People of Praise community are similar to concerns I and others had about the charismatic Alleluia community in Augusta. Both were born at the same time, were originally a part of the Jesus Freaks hippie communal life of the 1960's with a strong authoritarian streak with lay members called "heads" wheeling that authoritarianism towards their lay subjects. The heads required submission from those they headed. It is called "headship and submission" and is fraught with the potential for promoting the susceptibility to abuse of all kinds including sexual abuse.

They also practiced "deliverance"to expel demons by name from those they presumed were oppressed or possessed.  This too was fraught with opening those "delivered" to tremendous emotional and spiritual abuse as well as manipulation.

A goodly number of the community members were members of my parish in Augusta and I voiced my concerns to that community consistently over the almost 14 years I was there, from 1991 to 2004. There are indeed cult like aspects to this community.

However the community in Augusta has matured over the years, the children of the original members are better grounded in their Catholic faith and less protestantized than their parents were with their unbridled ecumenism with fundamentalistic Protestant Pentecostalism.

They have cleaned up their act, I hope, in terms of headship and submission and the use of "deliverance" which is the Pentecostal form of exorcism.

This community has also provided numerous vocations for the Diocese of Savannah. They are politically conservative, doctrinally and morally orthodox but liturgically and devotionally Pentecostal or Protestant and progressive.

Who are the ‘People of Praise’ that Supreme Court contender Amy Coney Barrett belongs to?

Jon Ward
Senior Political Correspondent

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Screengrab via Federalist Society YouTube, Getty Images)
The appearance of Judge Amy Coney Barrett on President Trump’s shortlist of candidates for the Supreme Court has turned a spotlight on the small, previously obscure religious group she belongs to and sparked a contentious shouting match between those asserting “She’s in a cult” and those answering, “No, you’re a bigot!”
Skeptics of Barrett’s involvement with a group called People of Praise, which has roughly 1,700 members, mostly but not exclusively Roman Catholic, have questionedwhether the group has demonstrated cultlike elements. Barrett’s supporters have charged back that delving into the details of her spiritual life is reminiscent of the anti-Catholic bias that has haunted American politics in the past.
But with this crucial difference: In the 20th century, Catholic political figures, including presidential candidates Al Smith and John F. Kennedy, were suspected of harboring a secret loyalty to the Pope. Barrett’s Catholicism, per se, shouldn’t be an impediment to her nomination or confirmation. Anthony Kennedy, the justice she would replace, is a Catholic, as are four other incumbents, including the chief justice, John Roberts.
But People of Praise is a lay group, outside the church hierarchy, formed at a remarkable moment in American religious history in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was at the vanguard of a cultural and religious phenomenon that ultimately became known as “The Jesus Movement” and was featured on the cover of Time and Life.

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Many Christians view this time as a bona fide revival, a unique manifestation of God’s power, similar to the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries.
This context — the intensity and earnestness of that time — helps explain some of the more esoteric and sometimes concerning elements of religious practice that have been attributed to People of Praise. The group’s public reticence has contributed to accusations by former members that it attempts to influence the lives of its members in ways that in the past have crossed over into control and manipulation.
Even in one of the most rigorous critiques of Barrett’s group — a 152-page bookletwritten in 1997 by a former member named Adrian Reimers — there are numerous references to the powerful experience that swept up so many young people of faith during that time.
Reimers notes “the strong sense of euphoria that permeated the movement, not only in South Bend, [Ind.,] but all across the country.
“It seemed that the Holy Spirit was carrying us along, that all we had to do was to respond to His manifest leadings,” Reimers wrote of that time.
And Reimers describes “charismatic Masses, prayer meetings and large rallies” in which participants felt “an almost tangible sense of communion.”
“Standing in a large arena full of fellow Christians singing and praising God in unison, it is easy to imagine that Christ himself is there embracing all and ready to welcome them into his Kingdom,” Reimers wrote.
What is striking about People of Praise is that unlike many charismatic Christian groups of the time, its members tended to be highly educated.
“It is a mistake to see these groups as populated with dysfunctional misfits looking for sure answers to uncertain times and a firm guiding hand through a perilous world,” Reimers wrote. “Rather they are usually highly motivated and idealistic, wanting for themselves a deeper life of faith and also an opportunity to serve Christ and the Gospel more completely.”
“Covenant community, with its demands offered a chance for Christian heroism,” he wrote.
The tradition of intellectual and academic rigor is carried on by the Trinity high schools founded by People of Praise communities in places including South Bend, Northern Virginia and the Minneapolis suburbs.

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But Reimers also shows what he considers a darker side to People of Praise, a controlling and unhealthy environment for people who committed themselves to the community. All members were assigned a “head” to advise them, and because the group believed itself to be divinely inspired and directed, this structure of personal oversight often became oppressive and intrusive.
This was most clear in the way that wives were told to submit to their husbands.
“This teaching, that the husband is spiritual head or pastor to his wife, is one of the most firmly held and foundational teachings in that community,” Reimers wrote. “The wife, as a good member of the community, has a prima facie obligation to obey her husband as the bearer of God’s will. In practice, this means that the two do not — indeed, cannot — relate as equals. His will reveals God’s to her, whereas her will is merely human. The two cannot meet as equals, because the husband always has divine authority on his side.”
Barrett, 46, a mother of seven children, was confirmed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last October, after 15 years as a law professor at Notre Dame. Barrett is married to a federal prosecutor, Jesse Barrett, who is listed by the Notre Dame law school as a 1996 alumnus. He has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana since 2005.
Despite insinuations by Barrett’s opponents, it’s unclear what impact her membership in People of Praise would have on her jurisprudence. There have been intimations that because members of the group have depended so heavily on the counsel of their assigned “head” in the past, Barrett’s decisions in key cases would lack independence.
One of Barrett’s defenders, fellow Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett, wrote last fall during her confirmation hearings for the 7th Circuit that “it is not inappropriate, for senators to question judicial nominees … about their understanding of the judicial role and their views about the relationship between a judge’s religious commitments (if any) and his or her understanding of that role.”
But during her hearings, Garnett said many Democratic senators relied on “activist groups’ willful misrepresentations of a nominee’s (20-year-old, co-authored) law-review article as the basis for repeated … charges regarding the nominee’s views.”
At issue was a 1998 paper written by Barrett when she was a law student when she and another student argued that in a small number of cases, judges might be obligated to recuse themselves from death penalty cases if they felt their faith conflicted with a legal obligation to impose the death penalty. But, they wrote, “judges cannot—nor should they try to—align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.”
With Barrett’s People of Praise connection now under the microscope, conservatives like David French believe that a lack of familiarity with Christian practice is making innocuous elements of regular spiritual life appear nefarious. “Why do some progressives single her out for particular scorn? It turns out that she’s a faithful Christian who lives a Christian life very similar to the lives of millions upon millions of her fellow American believers,” French wrote.

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Similarly, John Inazu, a professor of law and religion at Washington University in St. Louis, argued that the original New York Times story from the fall of 2017 exaggerated the importance of a promise that People of Praise members make to devote themselves to the community. “Such oath-taking is common across a variety of religious traditions,” Inazu wrote.
Pledging one’s self to a religious community, Inazu said, is something that builds “on longstanding practices of fidelity and accountability present in all of the great wisdom traditions. At their best, these practices guide adherents toward honesty, humility and charity.”
Yet many questions do remain unanswered about Barrett’s role in the group. She said on her Senate questionnaire for confirmation to the 7th Circuit that she was a trustee of a Trinity School. And there were photos of Barrett in the magazine, Vine & Branches, published by People of Praise. But the link to those issues of the magazine were removed from the Internet and are no longer available, the New York Times reportedlast fall. It is not even clear how long Barrett has been affiliated with the group.
When I asked the group’s current leader, Craig Lent, about whether the group continues to practice control over members’ lives in the ways described by Reimers’ paper, he declined to talk on the phone.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with interviews over the past several days and I’m going quiet now to get some work done,” said Lent, who is a physics professor at Notre Dame. He added that the critiques leveled by Reimers came from someone who said he left the group in 1984.
Lent has not said much publicly about the degree to which People of Praise has changed or evolved since its early days. He told the Chicago Tribune that the group is “big on personal freedom.”
“Obey your conscience. The only person you can control is yourself,” he said. And Lent told the National Catholic Reporter that the religious community is “always growing up in the Lord.”