Saturday, December 14, 2019


This photo is of St. Joseph Church in Augusta, Georgia after my sister's wedding in July of 1966:

Please note the six high candlesticks, which at one time would have been the trademark of any Catholic Church, simple like this one or more ornate.  You see, as well, the temporary altar placed in front of the original pre-Vatican II altar (although his church was completed in 1958). I remember it clearly as the legs straddled the three steps to the high altar, but made the table part on an equal level with the old altar's table and kept the priest on the same level as the third step.

If you look closely between my sister and brother and law you see the tabernacle still on the old altar. The priest's chair is to the side as it was prior to Vatican II.
This photo of the same sanctuary is my first Mass on June 8, 1980 some 14 years after my sister's wedding photo:

 Some time around 1971 or 72, the new odd-legged altar was removed and this old altar pulled away from the back wall so Mass could be celebrated on it facing the congregation. The celebrant's chair was place directly behind it one step higher and the tabernacle was removed to a side altar.  The trademark six altar candles are completely gone.

I remember seeing this look for the first time on a Sunday in the early 70's and thinking the pastor had stripped our church and it looked so Protestant to me. It was really sad for many people.

And we all wondered at the time why in the name of God and all that is holy, the pastor would put his chair dead center, higher than the altar behind the altar and the tabernacle demoted to a lower side altar. It was scandalous then and still is in my mind today.


The Christian Withdrawal Experiment

The Christian Withdrawal Experiment The Christian Withdrawal Experiment. Image above: Priests of the Society of St. Pius X. Father Patrick Rutledge, the parish rector, is on the left.                                                Half an hour down the highway from Topeka, Kansas, not far from the geographic center of the United States, sits the town of St. Marys. As waves of young people have abandoned the Great Plains in search of economic opportunity, St. Marys has managed to attract families from across the nation. Story continues


There are some very good points coming from this Vatican expert in the article I link below. It gives much needed context. I happen to think that more is made about priest abusers compared to Protestant ministers or other kinds of religious ministers, because priests make a promise or vow to celibate chastity and thus in the case of the Church, especially the mismanagement by bishops, hypocrisy is as much an instigator towards magnifying the priesthood issue as is an animus against the Catholic Church and her role in the public square.

I think that celibacy isn’t the issue, because if a priest is celibate he isn’t having sex with anyone and certainly not abusing anyone. Thus priests who are sexually active in normal or deviant ways aren’t celibate.

Celibacy does cause more interest and preoccupation with the sexuality of the priest by the media and others to a greater extent not present with married clergy. Normally society allows spouses to supervise their partner’s peccadillos in this regard, not their work-place superiors.

However, the vow to marital fidelity is as important as the vow/promise to celibacy but there is more scrutiny about celibates and their promise/vow than married people and their vows.

What is no longer being discussed by Church officials are the two types of sexual abuse of minors. I find this rather suspicious and I wonder why this is the case. When I was vocation director, workshops on this kind of thing always made the distinction in psychological terms between pedophilia and ephebophilia. This doesn’t seem to be the case any more.

True pedophilia is rare in the Catholic priesthood, has to do with prepubescent children/toddlers and infants. One abuser could have hundreds of victims especially in a profession that cares for children. This mental disorder has nothing to do with one’s adult preferences in sexuality. In fact heterosexuals are more inclined to abuse small children of either sex.

What is more common in the priesthood and other religious traditions is the abuse of teenagers (ephebophilia) manipulated or taken advantage of by an adult man or woman. In this regard, it is the sexuality of the abuser who takes advantage of the teenage minor be it homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. Thus the ones targeted are of the gender that the abuser has an attraction.

As it regards teenagers, though, there are cultural considerations to be taken into account. In the past and perhaps even today, some states allowed girls as young as 13 years old to marry much older men with parental permission. This presumes a dating scenario at a younger age and an awareness of sex and sexuality at that age.

Other countries and cultures have a great deal of latitude concerning the age of marriage and when a teenager can give consent to sex. Some teenagers, especially in our culture, are quite mature and active when it comes to sex.

Our American culture until rather recently glorified teenage boys having sex with older women in order to learn the ropes. Female teachers who have sex with minor teenager boys are not stigmatized as much as male teachers doing the same.

So the culture is quite all over the place when it comes to teenagers and the age that a teenager can give sexual consent.

My last observations has to do with Protestant ministers who are allowed to get married after ordination. It was/is quite common for these ministers to date members of their congregation to find a spouse. How do they determine what is consensual in this regard and/or the manipulation of a vulnerable parishioner who is of age, at least 18 years old in my state?


Top Vatican official says celibacy, homosexuality not cause of abuse crisis

Friday, December 13, 2019


An arsonist burned down Blessed Sacrament Church in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  There are more and more cases of fires and vandalism committed against Catholic churches and outdoor shrines.

In this case, the 1970's as "ugly as sin" design of Blessed Sacrament Church, can be redeemed by a new and improved design that recaptures a much more traditional look. That's how good can come from the awful evil of arson in this case.

Let us pray that the pastor of this parish did not accompany the arsonist as he set fire to his church as Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia suggests pastors do, like holding the hand of a mortal sinner who with full consent of the will and much forethought and planning chose assisted suicide to end her life! I am still outraged and scandalized over that one and an archbishop in such a high place who is so stupid and clueless.

My recommendation for a new church design to make sure good does come from evil:

This is Saint Mary Help of Christians Church in Aiken, South Carolina and yes, it is a new church and with this bell tower, Blessed Sacrament can recycle its bells!




The National Chismatic Reporter has posted a number of letters to the editor concerning the EF/OF Mass wars of words. You can’t read it HERE..

Most complain about the Latin and that is what people want. Others complain about the actual verbal participation and the lack of it from the congregation at Latin Masses. Others complain about others’ actual participation that is too private and devotional.

Leave people alone in terms of how they wish to participate in either form of the Mass. We don’t need 1970’s type of micro managing the laity as to how they choose to participate. I can remember a priest in our diocese shoving a hymnal into someone’s hands as the procession began because he insisted everyone should be holding the hymnal and SINGING! Gestapo tactics!

But let me say this and let me say it clearly. It isn’t the Latin that most people who attend the EF Mass want. They would be just as pleased with an EF Mass completely in the vernacular but celebrated as any EF Mass would be celebrated in its various levels.

This past Sunday the EF Mass was celebrated at the High Altar of the Savannah Cathedral for the first time in 50 years and of course ad orientem. In the Name of God and all that is Holy, why would anyone denigrate that? Everyone there loved it, especially the hoards of tourists who participated in that Mass by accident!

They love the EF Mass, especially its Solemn High Form because it is Liturgical Dance, meaning the Mass is choreographed in a very specific way as a minuet would be. It’s choreography is art and is beautiful. The OF cannot compare with this in any way in terms of choreographed dance because in the OF Mass, silly secular style dance has to be imposed on the Mass which has nothing to do with the Mass.  It’s like singing songs at the Mass rather than singing the Mass. The Mass itself is the Song! The Mass itself is the Dance! The EF Mass gets it! The OF Mass, not so much!

Those who love the EF Mass love the silences as disturbing as these are for some.

Those who love the EF Mass love the masculinity of it, its military-like regimentation and that only males are in the sanctuary as disturbing as this is to some.

And finally those who love the EF Mass love kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving Holy Communion from their priest who is their shepherd and the only time they have a person to person contact with him. Is that so horrible? NO!

I have consistently called for formal permission for the EF Mass to have the option of the vernacular for the changing parts of the Mass. Those who deride even the thought of this are shooting themselves in the foot because with more vernacular for the changing parts, more Catholics would find it palatable and more priests would not hesitate in celebrating this Mass in their parish at a regular Sunday Mass. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019


This is from Vatican Radio and it all sounds very good and  sound to me and good advice to priests!

2018.12.13 Foto di famiglia di Jorge Mario Bergoglio da giovane 2018.12.13 Foto di famiglia di Jorge Mario Bergoglio da giovane 

Pope Francis: 50 years of priesthood serving God and His people

December 13th marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Vatican News celebrates this milestone recalling some of Pope’s reflections regarding priests and the priesthood.
By Sergio Centofanti

On 13 December 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest. His vocation dates back to 21 September 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector converted by Jesus: it was during a confession that day, that the future Pope had a profound experience of God's mercy.

The priest and mercy

Divine Mercy has characterized his entire priestly life. Pope Francis speaks of priests as quietly leaving everything to engage in the daily life of communities, giving others their own lives, moved, like Jesus, when he sees people exhausted and “like sheep without a shepherd".

Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, the Pope said: “In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and a servant to all… Whoever is wounded in life, in whatever way, can find in him attention and a sympathetic ear....Wounds need to be treated… We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy first means treating the wounds”.

Archbishop Bergoglio in Buenos AiresArchbishop Bergoglio in Buenos Aires

The priest and the Eucharist

Pope Francis describes the priest as a decentralized man, because at the center of his life there is not him but Christ. In his homily during the Jubilee for Priests on 3 June 2016, he said: “In the Eucharistic celebration we rediscover each day our identity as shepherds. In every Mass, may we truly make our own Christ’s words: ‘This is my Body, which is given up for you’. This is the meaning of our life: with these words, in a real way we can daily renew the promises we made at our priestly ordination”.

The priest and the confessional

The priest plays an important part of his service to God and His people in the confessional, where he can become an expression of God's mercy. Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, Pope Francis said: “It is normal that there be differences in the style of confessors, but these differences cannot regard the essential, that is, sound moral doctrine and mercy. Neither the laxist nor the rigorist bears witness to Jesus Christ, for neither the one nor the other takes care of the person he encounters. The rigorist washes his hands of them: in fact, he nails the person to the law, understood in a cold and rigid way; and the laxist also washes his hands of them: he is only apparently merciful, but in reality he does not take seriously the problems of that conscience, by minimizing the sin. True mercy takes the person into one’s care, listens to them attentively, approaches the situation with respect and truth, and accompanies them on the journey of reconciliation”.

Pope Francis in the confessionalPope Francis in the confessional

The priest and prayer

Pope Francis has always said that the priest needs to be, above all, a man of prayer. It is union with God, he says, that overcomes the countless temptations of evil. In his Letter to Priests marking the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, the Pope suggests reciting the Rosary every day. “To contemplate Mary”, he writes, “is to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her, we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong, who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves”.

The priest and the poor

According to Pope Francis, a priest’s spirituality is embodied in the reality of everyday life. His is a prophetic voice in the face of the oppression that tramples on the poor and the weak. In Evangelii gaudium, para. 183, he writes of how the Church "cannot and must not remain on the side-lines of the struggle for justice". The Kingdom of God begins here on earth and it is already here that we encounter Jesus: the last judgment will focus precisely on what we have done to Christ in the poor, the sick, strangers, prisoners. We will be judged on how we have loved. But, as Saint John Paul II said, there can be no love without justice.

Pope Francis in prayerPope Francis in prayer

The priests risking their lives

In his Letter to Priests for the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, Pope Francis thanks those priests "who make their lives a work of mercy in regions or situations often inhospitable, distant or abandoned, even at the risk of their own lives". He thanks them "for their courageous and constant example" and invites them not to be discouraged, because "the Lord is purifying His Bride and is converting all of us to Himself"
In the same Letter, Pope Francis addresses the question of abuse. While confirming his closeness to the victims, he expresses his gratitude “to all those priests who faithfully and generously spend their lives in the service of others”.

The priest and weariness

During the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, on Holy Thursday 2015, Pope Francis spoke openly about “the tiredness of priests”, saying it was frequently on his mind. “I think about it and I pray about it often”, he said, “especially when I am tired myself. I pray for you as you labour amid the people of God entrusted to your care, many of you in lonely and dangerous places. Our weariness, dear priests, is like incense which silently rises up to heaven. Our weariness goes straight to the heart of the Father”. The Pope described this weariness as something positive, because it comes from being in the midst of people: "It is the tiredness of the priest with the smell of sheep".

The priest and humour

Pope Francis often reminds priests "the saint is capable of living with joy and a sense of humor”. This joy comes from union with Jesus, he says, adding that he himself prays for a sense of humour every day. In a November 2016 interview with Italy’s TV2000, the Pope described how “a sense of humour lifts you up”. It is something very human, he said, but it is also close to the grace of God.

The smile of Pope Francis

The smile of Pope Francis

The Pope's appeal to support priests

Pope Francis asks priests to be always close to the people, but at the same time he asks the faithful to support their priests. During his homily at the Chrism Mass on 28 March 2013, he said: "Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart”.


When the Church caters to Catholics as though they are consumers and need to be given what they want for funerals:

The post Vatican II ethos that the liturgy should be planned by committees, creativity should reign and we need to give the customer (parishioners) what they want has denigrated  the Ordinary Form Mass in general and the Funeral and Wedding Masses in particular.

In the 80’s we encouraged Catholic schools to have various grades plan out the school Mass. Horrible results! We asked CCD classes to do the same. We gave liturgy committees carte Blanche in planning Sunday liturgies. And the priest, he was either active or passive in all of this trying to please his customers, I mean parishioners.

Have you ever filled out a parish survey asking you what you want for the liturgy? And then the pastor tries to give it to you (never tradition, but super-creativity?).

The National Chismatic Reporter of all fake Catholic news there is, has an article on Chicago’s stricter guidelines for funerals,  "When the Time Comes: A Resource Guide for when Catholics enter Eternal Life," This is a portion of what the NCR article states:

"It is very hard for pastors or pastoral ministers, in dealing with families, who basically feel that they have the right to whatever they want — which is again a very consumer-driven understanding of what church is about," Gecik said, counting the experiences of people hijacking the liturgy with a 20-minute, improvised eulogy that "thoroughly embarrassed the family" among the horrible results.


Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago swings a censer over the casket of retired Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St . Paul and Minneapolis during his funeral Mass Sept. 30, 2019, at the Cathedral of St. Paul. (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, Catholic Spirit) 
The Chicago guidelines state, "Experience shows that sharing personal remarks at the Funeral Mass can be inopportune for a number of reasons. It can create hard feelings if hurtful things of the past are raised or create discomfort in ill-advised attempts at humor. There are also concerns in view of past experiences that eulogies can overshadow in length and attention the Funeral Mass itself, especially if those offering words turn the Church's rites into a celebration of life that focuses only on the accomplishments of the deceased's past, with scant attention to our faith in the resurrection."
My final comment and question? Just who allowed the laity to think they have a right to demand this, that or the other from their parishes as it regards the Mass when the Mass, no matter which type, is already prescribed? It was Vatican II or its spirit and pastors and priests who allowed it or gave their authority to those who should not have it!

I went to a parishioner’s home yesterday to plan the funeral of the husband/father of the family. It was so easy. The widow simply said, father you choose the readings, have someone from the church read the first reading and you pick the music.

But then she asked if one or two people could offer some words during the liturgy. I said to her very calmly that we have a policy that lay speakers should speak at the time of visitation the night before or after the funeral Mass at a reception or luncheon.

She said, you know that’s a good idea. God bless her!


The smoke detector went off at the Savannah Cathedral’s Solemn Sung Mass for the Immaculate Conception and the Second Sunday of Advent. Fortunately it only sounded in the narthex, but it could have been a catastrophe if the full alarm went off as Mass was celebrated at the high altar for the first time in 50 years. I credit Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for isolating the alarm to the vestibule and would like to attribute the miracle to the intercession of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen to our Immaculate Blessed Mother!

So there you have it and the beatification can move forward!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019



We enter into the realm of the Twilight Zone:

From Crux:

ROME – A leading Vatican official says he would “hold the hand” of someone who was dying from assisted suicide, even though he considers it wrong, because “no one is abandoned” by the Church.
Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia was speaking on Tuesday during the presentation of an upcoming symposium on end-of-life issues co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, which he heads.

“I believe that from our perspective, no one is abandoned, even if we are against assisted suicide, [!] because we don’t want to do death’s dirty job,” the archbishop said, when asked about one bishops’ conference’s directive that a priest not be in the room if euthanasia or assisted suicide is performed.

“To accompany, to hold the hand of someone who is dying, is something that every faithful must promote as they must promote a culture that opposes assisted suicide,” Paglia said.

My Comment: 

Should anyone in the Church, clergy or laity, hold the hand of a person who is committing mortal sin and thus cuts themselves off from Holy Mother Church and sanctifying grace necessary for salvation after death?

As a priest do I go to an abortion clinic to hold the hand of my parishioner who has chosen to have an abortion?

As a priest, do I go to a bank robbery and hold the hand of the person doing the stealing?

As a bishop, does he hold the hand of a priest as he molests his young parishioners?

The stupidity coming from high places in the Vatican is absolutely astounding and reminds me of the 1970's when anything went because there were no anathemas, no mortal sins and no hell.


There are many, many reasons for the decline of the Catholic Church in Britain and here. That's very clear. But one cannot discount the upheaval that occurred after Vatican II, especially as it concerns the Mass, as one of the big reasons. Generations of Catholics were affected by the first generation to experience Mass alienation.

Today we live in a very angry polarized Church that is also associated with the fact that Catholics, clergy and laity alike, have abandoned the traditional faith and morals of the Church.

Not to be excluded in this moral abandonment are those in the more traditional quarters of our polarized Church who resort to insults and name calling to make their point or to marginalize their perceived opponents.

Who would have thought those proclaiming traditional morality and orthodoxy would shoot themselves in the foot by disobeying God's two greatest Commandments and thus calling into question what otherwise might have been sincere motives?

Mass Exodus: Catholic disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II, by Stephen Bullivant 

Catherine Pepinster 11 October 2019

Hope, not nostalgia, is Catherine Pepinster’s prescription for RCs

“ONCE a Catholic, always a Catholic,” is a familiar saying. But the hold of the Roman Catholic Church over its members has weakened dramatically over the years, and now just 13 per cent of British Catholics now attend mass weekly. Just as startlingly, 37 per cent of baptised Catholics answered “None” when asked whether they had a religion.

That Rome has so powerfully lost its grip is the subject of the theologian and sociologist Stephen Bullivant’s Mass Exodus, which examines what he calls disaffiliation among American and British RCs since the Second Vatican Council (Features, 6 September). Bullivant distinguishes between those who have lapsed — who still identify as Roman Catholic and might attend family weddings and funerals — and those who sociologists of religion call “nones”.

Bullivant points out that decline had begun before Vatican II — that brave new dawn of the 1960s which rocked the RC Church with its greater part for the laity to play, more emphasis on scripture, and mass in the vernacular. But, while there was decline, for him, the age before Vatican II seems a golden one, of close-knit communities, popular devotional practices, and congregations flocking every Sunday to the Tridentine Latin Mass.

I am old enough to (just about) remember being shocked when the priest faced us across the altar for the first time. I can also recall how large numbers of people did not fully participate at mass, and spent their time fiddling with their rosary beads. It’s hard to believe that they stopped going at all because they could now recite the Creed in English
Certain things were lost, however. As Bullivant argues, Vatican II encouraged a more middle-class Church, in which the laity helped to run parishes through numerous committees, while the less educated felt excluded. In Britain at least, however, recent arrivals from overseas have changed the Church again. I’ve watched as kissing statues, the rosary, and Stations of the Cross have become popular once more.

Bullivant’s eventual conclusion is that Vatican II was indeed the cause of decline. Change came too fast; people were unsettled; obligations were abandoned.

Yet as he admits, change was everywhere in the ’60s, and other denominations suffered decline, too — indeed, more so than the Roman Catholic Church. I’m inclined to think you’d need a parallel universe, with no Vatican II, to really discover its impact (or otherwise) on mass-going; and neither Bullivant nor, I think, anyone else has explained why the very things that cause some people to leave — church teaching on birth control, say, or liturgical change — cause others merely to shrug their shoulders and carry on attending mass.

What has undoubtedly had an impact on mass-going in recent years is something else of equal historical importance: the abuse crisis, and not just assaults on children, but cover-ups by bishops. Vatican II encouraged a rethink about ecclesiastical authority, and the abuse crisis then destroyed many Catholics’ belief in it. And the pre-Vatican II Church certainly played its part in the current crisis: a sizeable number of cases recently investigated go back to that era.

Bullivant’s analysis is dense, but, nevertheless, filled with fascinating detail. Yet it lacks something: that sense of hope that fills the Christian heart, and the faith that needs to be transformed by love if it is to move mountains.

Catherine Pepinster is a former editor of The Tablet and the author of The Keys and The Kingdom: Britain and the papacy from John Paul to Francis.

Mass Exodus: Catholic disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II Stephen Bullivant 

OUP £25
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Monday, December 9, 2019


From the National Catholic Register:

Verona’s Faith and Culture Conference Focuses on Catholic Tradition
Msgr. Nicola Bux, a former collaborator of Benedict XVI, delivers an uncompromising diagnosis of the current situation of the Catholic Church and reaffirms the necessity to protect its traditions.
Article main image
You strongly support maintaining tradition within the Church, especially with regard to liturgy. Why is it so important for you?

When we talk about tradition, we speak about the process of transmission of the faith, which started with Christ, with Revelation, and comes to us through the Apostles. Liturgy is one of these places of transmission of the faith. It is not something at our disposal, subject to whatever we can or want to do, because liturgy then would no longer be sacred. It would become our own liturgy, entertainment or something else.

So, this is why liturgy belongs to the driving [force behind] the transmission of the faith. So true is it that the Fathers of the Church used to say that the rule of the faith and the rule of prayer are interdependent. Today, I could say that I can understand what you believe from the way you pray. If the way you pray changes, it means that even the way you believe has changed.

Sacred liturgy is something very delicate. But we have been through a time of desecration in which it seems that the sacred dimension has been overshadowed by new fashionable dimensions. There is the prevailing impression that everything should be desecrated, secularized.

Young people seem more and more attracted to traditional liturgy nowadays. How do you explain that? 

Several studies confirm that. I see it all the time, especially among young men. And I also want to note that today the participants in this Fede e Cultura gathering [whose sensitivity is openly traditionalist] was mostly made of men — which does not diminish the female presence, of course.

But these tendencies are symptomatic. Because Christianity has a masculine liturgy. It is not feminine in the sense of a sentimental approach. However, nowadays liturgy is often reduced to emotions, to feelings. So, clearly, how could men recognize themselves in this?

Liturgy, by its very nature, is masculine, objective. Liturgy doesn’t fall within the ambit of emotions. Liturgy must gather objectively all the human beings’ states of mind, maintaining such feelings on a low level, because at this very moment, we are worshiping God, not ourselves.

You were a consultant in four different Vatican congregations during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. How have these congregations changed in the last few years? 

I believe they are affected by some of the new orientations that are being given to them … it is something I have noticed, especially at the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.

For example, recently, some processes were opened or even concluded with great ease, even though some of them were very questionable — something that wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. I think this was the case for Argentinian Enrique Angelelli, to name one. It ends up generating a great sense of confusion among the faithful.

Historically, the modalities for such processes have always been extremely rigorous. The Church always used to ask for miracles — two for beatification, and at least two others for canonization. This requirement means that the final declaration, even if it cannot be totally infallible, has a very limited margin of risk. But unfortunately, it has become relative.

Relativism has also reached this congregation in other ways too. I believe things have become more political now. We are trying to promote a “martyrdom of charity.” What does this mean? Martyrdom has always been suffered in odium fidei, which means that the person is killed because of Jesus’ name. When a priest or a lay person is killed because he showed solidarity, he certainly is a hero, but not a martyr. If he gets killed because his charity is a direct expression of the faith he professed, then he really is a martyr. But these things are no longer clear enough.


Many thanks to Mary Clark Rechtiene for these photos except those marked by an X;



X above and below

While I love a well celebrated Ordinary Form Mass and very much love the vernacular Mass, I have come to the conclusion that it places too much emphasis on the priest, his talents and looks and personality and tempts him to mold the Mass into his own image. And the vernacular divides parishes rather than unites them.

I also feel that the Latin Rite Mass should unite  Catholics and specifically Catholics in their own parish into a common language. Today parishes are rent into division over language. We find parishes and parish priests pushed to the brink of craziness trying to please all the language groups in their parish with Masses taylored to their language. This is in addition to trying to please everyone with a particular style of music they like and dividing parishes into various special interests groups, young, old and in between.

The Liturgy today is used as a tool to divide the Church rather than unite the Church especially on the parochial level.

I love the EF Mass because at this Mass I feel not like a conductor, not like an actor, not like a facilitator of lay ministries during the Mass, but rather I feel like a priest in the cultic sense. Isn't that the high calling of a priest? To celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Preach the Word? Celebrate the other Sacraments and as a pastors to call the laity to do their apostolates in the world, in the public square? Helping the poor and caring for migrants and being open to welcoming sinners and calling them to repentance and conversion.

What would I like to see in the organic development of the EF Mass is to look at what the Council Fathers requested and in a very conservative sense. A little bit more vernacular, especially for the Scritpure Readings. A little bit more simplicity especially as it regards the Pontifical Solemn Masses, Solemn Sung Masses. And a way to encourage actual participation apart from the contemplative aspect, vocally.

What I find totally unacceptable is the animus that so many clerics have toward the EF that borders on a psychological rigidity especially given the outrageous abuses that take place regularly wth the OF Mass.

So there you have it.


In this 1970's video , Archbishop Sheen is reacting to 1970's enablement of evil behavior under the guise of mercy. More mercy is shown to criminals than to their victims. With the return of the 1970's mentality in the papal magisterium, do you think those who support the return of the 1970's fear that beatifying Venerable Fulton will give fuel to what these people call "Catholic fundamentalists?" In the 70's they called them "so pre-Vatican II" a kind of "n" word directed toward these suffering souls. Catholic Fundamentalists nomenclature  is a similar "n" word as used by many today.

But mercy gone berserk could be applied to 1960's, 70's and 80's bishops who showed more mercy to perverted priests and little to no mercy to victims and their families, and most of all potential victims by reassigning perverted priests to new parishes over and over again. The question is whether or not Venerable Fulton is guilty of the same thing he preaches against?

And do these new 1970's bishops today fear the wrath of the LGBTQ lobby because of how Venerable Sheen characterizes them in this video????? Is there no prophetic word coming from some in the Magisterium to challenge the enablement of immorality by the LGBTQ lobby?


I expand this photo, one of the oldest of our Cathedral, to high light the crucifixion scene. This photo has to be an 1870's or so photo. I do not know if it is pre-fire or post-fire. But what do you think of the crucifixion scene with the "Our Savior" banner over it. The pieta is on the other side and still exists in the cathedral but elsewhere. The crucifix in this photo is now over the far right side altar and the other part, unfortunately elsewhere. I do not know why it was seperated and is quite a pity that it isn't in tact. This kind of artwork is historic kitch I believe. I don't mean that in a derogatory way.

Sunday, December 8, 2019


When I was stationed at the Cathedral from 1985 to 1991 as the associate pastor, as we were called back then, rather than parochial vicar, I was not in favor of the return of the Latin Mass or even having some of the Mass in Latin. Bishop Lessard encouraged me to make sure we used the Jubilatio Deo Mass parts in Latin at the Cathedral's 10 AM Mass which featured the men's choir.

I told him no one sings it and we have so many tourists at Mass that they are perplexed too.

In addition to that, Bishop Lessard consulted with the chancery staff at the time, of which I was a part as Diocesan Director of Liturgy, if we should implement Pope John Paul's liberalization of the use of the Tridentine Mass. I was opposed to it. I said, why don't we just do the "new" Mass in Latin and ad orientem, wouldn't that be enough????

Flash forward to 2007 and I am all in favor of the EF Mass being celebrated has Pope Benedict indicated in Summorum Pontificum.

Flash forward to 2016 and I start celebrating the Cathedral's EF Mass once a month on a rotating basis.

Flash forward to December 8, 2019 and I am the priest-celebrant of the Solemn Form of the EF Mass with deacon and subdeaon and using the Cathedral's high altar for it, which hasn't been used for Mass in about 50 years or so.

The high altar, unfortunately, has become a flower and decoration pedestal and reredos for the new altar which is beautifully crafted and is exactly the same design and facade of the old high altar.

I will remember all those Cathedral bishops and priests who celebrated Mass at this high altar since the late 1800's. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord. Requiem eternam.

Saturday, December 7, 2019


When a Catholic wants to marry in the Church, we ask both parties if they have had any previous marriages.

If the Catholic had an illicit marriage outside the Church they must fill out a “lack of form” case that requires two witnesses.

Let’s say that either the female or the male contracted a “same sex civil marriage” but decided that they were actually heterosexual and divorced.

Now they present themselves for a Catholic marriage. Does the Catholic party have to fill out the “lack of form” paperwork to clear up any questionable and/or invalid marriage?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Before and After: St. Francis of Assisi in Grapevine, Texas

St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Grapevine, Texas
Gardiner-Hall Associates


A closer look at the altars: