I wonder if this was staged for Pete's humble sake?:
Pope backs down, OKs resignation of divisive Nigerian bishop
Pope Francis backed down Monday and accepted the resignation of Nigerian
bishop who had been rejected for years by the priests of his diocese,
setting a precedent that could have repercussions in Chile and elsewhere
when papal authority is challenged. The announcement came after Francis
in June issued a harsh ultimatum to the priests of Nigeria's southern
Ahiara diocese, warning they would lose their jobs if they didn't obey
him and accept Monsignor Peter Okpaleke as their bishop. Francis gave
each priest 30 days to pledge their obedience. The Vatican said Monday
that 200 priests obeyed, but some still expressed problems in working
with Okpaleke. Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Okpaleke to Ahiara ...
Let me start with the short Low Mass. I had a parishioner who is a snowbird and lives in Richmond Hill for about 6 months during the colder time up north where his primary residence is. He told me while saying, hint, hint, that the Sunday Mass he attends up north at his home parish lasts about 35 minutes--which means that the priest races through the prayers and there is no singing.
Is this a good idea to keep Catholics in our pews by giving them a short Low Mass each Sunday? I can remember loving the Low Mass as a child, especially in the heat of Augusta's red hot summers when our pastor would mercifully tell us that he would dispense with the homily because it was too hot in the church and the loud humongous fans we had drowned him out anyway. Who needs the homily anyway, it's not really a part of the Mass or is it?
And now for Ash Wednesday. My new church seats about 1,200 people and if it were only standing room only, about 1,500 people could get in there if not more. The church was built with future growth in mind as Richmond Hill is about to explode as the up and coming premier suburban bedroom community of Savannah.
We have a Saturday Vigil Mass and two on Sunday with the 11 AM Mass what I would call our principle Mass or the most heavily attended. However, we seldom have more than half the church full, but that is about 500 or 600 people which would have been a packed church in my Macon parish church that only could seat 550.
But on Ash Wednesday, our 7 PM Mass was packed, absolutely packed. Many there I did not recognize so I suspect they were Christmas, Easter and Ash Wednesday Mass attendees only.
What is it about Ash Wednesday that we get so many inactive Catholics attending Mass?
And how can we get the nearly 70 to 80 % of Catholics who don't attend Mass, but still consider themselves Catholics, not "nones" to come to Mass more frequently--where did the reforms of Vatican II go wrong? Does the fact that in many places in the world almost 90% of Catholics no longer attend Mass indicate that Vatican II must see the advent of Vatican III, especially on the nature of the Church and her liturgical style to reform Vatican II? Is it Vatican II that needs reform and not the Church?
Let me say this. Today inactive Catholics aren't looking for Latin and their moral lives could better be described as amoral not even immoral. And there is so much more for them to do on the weekend than in years past.
So is it the poor liturgies we have which are uninspiring? Or is a Low Mass that is short, more appealing to the 80% or more Catholics who don't attend? Would they be more likely to attend a 15 minute Mass with no homily even an EF Mass?
It is my contention that pre-Vatican II parishes were much, much more inclusive of a wider variety of Catholics than rigid post-Vatican II parishes are. So what I am about to write is to preface what Fr. Anthony Ruff writes about why Catholics come late and leave early, but my thoughts on pre-Vatican II inclusivity first:
In the old days, traditional Catholic practice allowed for people to arrive before the Gospel and to leave after Holy Communion or during its distribution of Holy Communion and still fulfill their Sunday obligation. This was touted as an exception but allowed nonetheless even though I was taught prior to Vatican II that good Catholics arrived at Mass about 15 minutes early for prayer and adoration and remained until the priest departed the sanctuary (usually by the side sacristy door).
Thus the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church allowed for "bad" Catholics to fulfill their Sunday obligation with a shorter Mass by coming late and leaving early; it was codified!
Because of the lengthy fast in order to receive Holy Communion, most Catholics did not go to Holy Communion on Sunday, not so much because they were in mortal sin, but chose, without sin, to break the fast and not receive Holy Communion. "Bad" Catholics could fulfill their Sunday obligation by coming late and leaving early, were not stimatized as mortal sinners since even the holy, good and pious Catholic seldom went to Holy Communion either and all that was required was the Easter duty, meaning a Catholic must go to Confession at least once a year and receive Holy Communion during the Lenten/Easter season.
Thus pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism was way more tolerant of "bad" Catholics allowing for minimum requirements for them which encouraged Sunday Mass attendance in a very inclusive way for these less than disciplined Catholics.
Thus prior to Vatican II, bad and good Catholics went to Mass (if only partially for the bad) which meant that up until the silly liturgical theologians tried to purify the Church of these less than perfect Catholics and their allowed for bad practices were told they had to come at the start of Mass and remain until the end because Vatican II did away with fulfilling one's obligation by arriving right before the Gospel and leaving at Communion time.
In the pre-Vatican II days, nearly 95% of Catholics, good and bad, went to Mass, but once perfection was touted after Vatican II, the majority of these bad and good Catholics gave up altogether and today we have only 12% to 25% more or less attending each Sunday of the good and bad Catholics since liturgical reformers ran off all the other good and bad Catholics with banal and irreverent liturgies that all had to experience in its miserable totality!
Today, with fewer and fewer Catholics attending Mass in the 50 years following the reform of the Mass and the reform of Catholics, we have a priest quoting the pope who said that it takes 100 years to implement reforms of an ecumenical council. Fr. Anthony thinks and evidently Pope Francis thinks that all we need to do is 50 years more of what was tried for the last 50 and its dismal results and somehow by magic we will get good results!!
So, in 50 year, be prepared to see about 1% of Catholics attending Mass with about a third of those still leaving Mass early and coming late!
Mental illness involves doing the same thing over and over again and getting bad results but thinking good results will eventually happen. (Think of liberal orders who reformed themselves out of business and continue with their same stale reforms thinking that eventually people will join them.) It is time to be more inclusive of lax Catholics and less rigid toward them or we will lose everyone!
Below is a money quote from him. What do you think? :
Be it noted: leaving after Communion is entirely compatible with a deeply “traditional” Catholic piety and understanding of priesthood, sacrifice, and real presence. Leaving Communion fits quite well with a “sacred” and “reverent” liturgy conducted in Latin. Centuries of history suggests that there is even a sort of inevitability about the liturgical culture and the resulting lay practice. There is a reason why the liturgical reform happened, and there is a reason why the magisterium (Pope Francis) considers it “irreversible.”
And a half century of liturgical renewal since Vatican II shows that thingism, quantityism, dispenserism, and obligationism have amazing and distressing staying power, even as the form of the liturgy is now more communal, scriptural, and imbued with the paschal mystery.
While it is easy to be hyper critical/negative about some of the 1970's aspects of the current papacy, one thing that is truly outstanding is Pope Francis' emphasis on the devil, his influence in the world and our personal lives and the means by which we are to do spiritual combat.
It is a part of Pope Francis' overall emphasis on the "world, the flesh and the devil" although His Holiness doesn't seem to mention the "flesh" too often from what I can read or hear. But two out of three ain't bad.
This is a great Angelus address this Sunday morning:
Angelus for 18 February 2018 - Full text
Full text of Pope Francis' prepared remarks at the Angelus for 18 February 2018. Translation by Vatican News.
Dear brothers and sisters, good day!
In this first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel recalls the themes of temptation, of conversion, and of the Good News. Three themes: temptation, conversion, and Good News.
The Evangelist Mark writes, “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and He remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.” Jesus goes into the desert to prepare Himself for His mission in the world. He has no need of conversion, but, insofar as He is man, He must pass through this trial, both for Himself, to obey the will of the Father, and for us, to give us the grace to overcome temptation. This preparation consists in fighting against the spirit of evil, that is, against the devil. For us, too, Lent is a time of spiritual "training" [It: agonismo], of spiritual combat: we are called to face the Evil one through prayer, to be able, with God’s help, to overcome him in our daily life. We know, unfortunately, that evil is at work in our existence and all around us, wherever violence, rejection of the other, being closed, wars, or injustices occur. All these things are works of wickedness, of evil.
Immediately after the temptations in the desert, Jesus begins to preach the Gospel, that is, the Good News, the second word. The first was "temptation,", the second, "Good News." And this Good News requires of human beings conversion — the third word — and faith. He proclaims, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel!” — believe, that is, in this Good News that the kingdom of God is at hand. In our life we always have need of conversion — every day! — and the Church has us pray for this. In fact, we are never sufficiently oriented toward God, and we must continually direct our mind and our heart to Him. To do this we need to have the courage to reject all that leads us astray, the false values that mislead us, by attracting, in a deceitful way, our selfishness. Instead we must entrust ourselves to the Lord, to His goodness, and to His project of love for each one of us. Lent is a time of repentance, yes, but it is not a sad time! We must be attentive to this: it is a time of repentance, but it is not a sad time, a time of mourning. It is a joyful and serious duty to strip ourselves of our selfishness, of our ‘old man,’ and to renew ourselves according to the grace of our Baptism.
Only God can give us true happiness: it is useless for us to waste our time seeking it elsewhere, in riches, in pleasures, in power, in careers… the kingdom of God is the realization of all our aspirations, because it is, at the same time, the salvation of man and the glory of God. In this first Sunday of Advent,[I am glad to see that even Vatican Radio can have a lapse in the editing unless the Holy Father actual said Advent and not Lent!!!! So don't blame me for mine since I am in good company!] we are invited to listen attentively and to take up this appeal of Christ to be converted and to believe in the Gospel. We are called to begin the journey towards Easter with commitment, to welcome more and more the grace of God, who desires to transform the world into a kingdom of justice, of peace, of fraternity.
May Mary Most Holy help us to live this Lent with fidelity to the Word of God and with incessant prayer, as Jesus did in the desert. It is not impossible! It means living the days with the desire to welcome the love that comes from God, and that desires to transform our life, and the whole world.
It seems to me when the emphasis is on the congregation as is the case
in many Ordinary Form parishes, factions do develop both on the left and
the right. By this I mean that those on the left encourage those who do
not conform to Church teaching to be flamboyant about it by making it
known they are gay, or bi or trans or lgbtq and to look the part if they so desire. In allowing this the parish is being very inclusive not only of
the person(s) but also the sin(s) of the person.
On the right in
these kinds of parishes, with the focus on the congregation, one only wants those who are like them and
don't want to be associated with those who flaunt their sins in a public
way. In this scenario where even conservative Catholics in ordinary form parishes focus on who belongs to the parish, there is an exclusivity of sorts.
Whereas prior to
Vatican II, Catholics and their visitors knew to go to Church in their Sunday best to please the
Lord and not offend the sensitivities of reverence and awe before God
or scandalize others.
A homosexual Catholic in the 50's who might have
been living a secret life but going to confession regularly about it, no
one would have known his sex life business or try to "out" the person or peer into the person's personal life. And no one would have cared
to know about anyone's sex life in or out of marriage. Voyeurism was frowned upon. And certainly voyeurs would have kept it a secret from the congregation if they were one.
would say the inclusiveness of the pre-Vatican II Church was expected. All Catholics, be they sinners, even public sinners, were required to attend Mass by way of fear of mortal sin and eternal punishment if one freely chose not to attend Sunday Mass.
But there was respect and prudence for the Church, her teachings and expectations about proper attire and not impinging on other people's space by hand holding, kissing, touching, and revealing the details of one's life be it holy or not.
In other words, pre-Vatican II inclusiveness was and is more inclusive than the faux inclusiveness of today's Church.
While there are pockets of renewal of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, I often wonder just how prevalent it is. I don't think that it is very prevalent nor a desire to change the bland status quo.
I was on vacation last weekend and attended Mass in a very large parish with almost 900 people there. The priest in his homily lamented that so many people don't go to Mass anymore despite the fact that his Mass was packed with people who do go.
But the Mass was blah and visually uninspiring. Thus I kept my eyes closed for the most part and only looked in adoration during the elevations and "Behold the Lamb of God." I found nothing edifying to my personal sanctification by looking at the face of the priest who was front and center the entire time.
The two major renewals that could increase the visual appeal of the Mass and and bring about the traditional devotional qualities and reverence for the reception of Holy Communion are despised by way too many people in places where these decisions could be made.
What are these two reforms? Ad Orientem and Kneeling for Holy Communion. These two powerful helps for the renewal of the Mass are totally dismissed by the majority of people, in particular bishops, in a phobic sort of way or a prejudice towards anything that appears to be pre-Vatican II.
Until hearts of bishops and lower clergy are renewed and there is a willingness to have a powerful catechesis about these two awesome ways to renew the Mass in our day, the status quo of the blah and uninspiring will continue unabated.
This article from The National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) tells you why there is what some might call an over correction because of progressive/heterodox so called liturgies but called "services" in the article below.
Please note how the article denigrates traditional forms of the Mass and upholds as ideal the aging hippies having a "Service." These photos are worth a thousand words as to the wisdom of the need for a radical correction that some might say is an over correction:
Disenchanted Catholics look afield in Madison's Morlino era
The community at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin, holds a worship service. (NCR photo/Peter Feuerherd)
PLATTEVILLE, WIS. — At the 4 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Mary Church here, Fr. John Blewett recites the prayers with his back to the congregation. Only occasionally does he turn around to face the worshipers gathered on this typical Wisconsin winter afternoon of 9-degree temperatures.
Blewett is accompanied by three altar boys (the parish prohibits girls from serving). His hands are neatly folded in the formal prayer position. At Communion, there are no lay ministers to dispense the sacrament.
There is no small-talk banter among the congregation about the weather or football. The Mass is preceded by a half-hour recitation of the rosary, setting the somber liturgical mood.
Before Mass, some parishioners turn to the parish bulletin, which features an article arguing that a Milwaukee pastor — who declared himself gay in an NCR article — has endorsed sin.
Blewett is a member of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, a community based in Spain brought to the Madison Diocese eight years ago by Bishop Robert Morlino. Blewett oversees a parish recovering from turmoil, riven by a gap between those uncomfortable with pre-Second Vatican Council practices and supporters who welcome a more traditional flavor of Catholicism.
Located 71 miles southwest of Madison, near the Iowa border, the parish is the centerpiece in Morlino's efforts to reshape the diocese after arriving in 2003 from Helena, Montana. As Pope Francis declares a welcoming church, the parish leadership here has dug in its heels. Morlino, a former Jesuit and seminarian professor with roots in Scranton, Pennsylvania, publicly says he is in accord with Francis. At the same time, he embraces the concept that the church is better off smaller in number if its adherents remain zealous.
"Who am I to judge?" has become the emblematic public utterance of Francis. By contrast, critics see a regular cascade of judgments from the chancery offices and Morlino himself. During his 15-year tenure in Madison, Morlino has:
Opined that the hymn "All Are Welcome" contains a wrong message — Morlino argued that the church is a community that embraces only those willing to accept its precepts;
Castigated the values of Madison, arguing that the college town and state capital's liberal attitudes were contrary to Catholic faith;
Wrote a column in his diocesan newspaper before the 2016 election widely interpreted as an endorsement of presidential candidate Donald Trump;
Provided a diocesan home for Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a blogger and frequent critic of Francis.
Regarding St. Mary and St. Augustine, an adjacent parish that serves the university community at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Morlino has held firm, resisting petitions to change the priests there.
St. Mary Church in Platteville, Wisconsin (NCR photo/Peter Feuerherd)
Liturgy frequently becomes a battleground when Catholics argue with each other, and so it has at St. Mary. When the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest came here in 2010, controversy over changes they instituted filled the pages of the local Platteville Journal. The priests of Society of Jesus Christ the Priest instituted Mass in Latin, and while the Saturday vigil Mass remains in English, the celebrant's back to the congregation is a pre-Vatican II practice largely abandoned in most American parishes.
Parishioners were told that non-Catholics were going to hell. Liturgical rubrics were enforced in a restrictive manner. A confirmation sponsor requesting Communion in the hand, a common practice in most U.S. dioceses, was refused the sacrament.
The reaction was swift. Forty percent of the parishioners signed a petition urging the bishop to oust the new leadership. Morlino responded by threatening an interdict, a punishment rarely invoked, that would deny the sacraments to those opposed to the pastors he installed.
St. Mary suffered a decline in attendance and finances. Weekly collections went from $11,500 to below $3,000. The parish school closed, with many of its supporters blaming the uproar in the parish created by the new clerical team.
Many of the parishioners who were upset with the direction of the parish moved on to other congregations. Richard Wagner, a member of a local Presbyterian church, estimated that his congregation has brought in some 30 families who used to attend St. Mary.
"They're not being fed," he said over lunch at a local restaurant, describing why some Catholics exited the parish. At St. Mary, "you have to eat Latin."
His wife, Kristie, raised a Catholic, is a Sunday school teacher at the Presbyterian church, assisting fellow teachers there in understanding the Catholic questions of some of the students.
Other former St. Mary parishioners have landed at the local Methodist congregation. Some attend Mass at Catholic parishes in nearby towns not under the jurisdiction of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest priests.
One former parishioner, a local business owner who wanted to remain anonymous, told NCR that the Catholics in Platteville are still divided. Even after eight years, emotions are still raw.
He was bothered by the priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest regularly repeating that non-Catholics were damned.
"I'm not a hypocrite. I don't believe that. I have a lot of friends who are non-Catholic. I don't believe they are going to hell," he said.
If St. Mary is the prototypical parish for the Morlino era, the community at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, on a hilltop overlooking the city of Madison and its picturesque lakes, is its antithesis.
The Sunday service at Holy Wisdom retains most of the Catholic liturgy, but includes women preaching and presiding. Congregants pass the eucharistic bread and wine among themselves. Holy Wisdom declared itself an ecumenical community in 2006, with a congregation drawn from many faith backgrounds. It is independent of the diocese and Morlino has warned priests to stay away.
For some Catholics disenchanted with Morlino, the community has become a spiritual home. Yet members of the congregation emphasize that the ecumenical thrust of the community, rooted in the Benedictine tradition, is not just a haven for those opposed to Morlino.
"It's much more than that," said Dick Wagner (not related to the previously-quoted Richard Wagner), a member who was attracted to the community by its prayer rituals, including Taizé days of reflection and other forms of monastic prayer. The monastery community bulletin notes a series of parish-like activities, including religious education for children, social justice committee meetings, and pastoral support for those encountering difficult times.
Paul Knitter presides at a service at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin. (NCR photo/Peter Feuerherd)
Joyce Wodka said the Wisdom community experiences an increase in membership whenever Morlino issues another controversial edict or makes an inflammatory statement. On one recent Sunday, the meeting space was nearly filled with more than 200 congregants.
"Since Morlino has been our bishop, the Catholic Church has become less inclusive," said Wodka.
The Wisdom community tries to fill that void. Welcome are Methodists, Lutherans, other Protestants and the occasional Buddhist. Sometimes the Sunday service is led by an ordained Protestant minister (the duty of Sunday presiding and preaching is rotated among members, with 16 homilists and six presiders). Maintenance of the expansive grounds focuses on the environment, keeping it as close as possible to its natural Wisconsin prairie state.
"It's catholic with a small c," said Wodka. She added that the Wisdom community is about "imagining the church of the future."
A particular sore point in the Morlino tenure has been strained relations with the LGBT community. The Wisdom community consciously offers welcome.
Vicki Clark, who is in a same-sex civil marriage with her partner, Lynn Lemberger, said that the Wisdom community is accepting. "People know us as a gay married couple. We are allowed to be who we are," she said.
If the Wisdom community is the church of the future, for many Madison diocesan Catholics the church of the present continues in their parishes. Some pastors take the suggestions of the bishop seriously. Others less so.
Joseph Hasler, a Reedsburg attorney and Catholic, said that Morlino has introduced to the diocese a vision of 15th-century Catholicism. "He believes he is the sole arbiter of all that is Catholic," he said.
"You hear the positive news emanating from Rome," said Hasler, referring to the direction Francis has taken the wider church. "But it isn't going to happen here."
Madison, Wisconsin, is seen from nearby Middleton. (NCR photo/Peter Feuerherd)
Morlino, by contrast, has brought a culture-warrior emphasis to the diocese, focused on sexual morality and using demands for reverence at Mass as a way to exclude, said Hasler.
Groups such as Call to Action, once active in opposition in the early Morlino years, have largely dropped their efforts. A frequent complaint among them is that the optimism Francis has brought to the wider church has largely bypassed southwest Wisconsin. They await four years for the retirement of Morlino when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Morlino and the priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest declined NCR requests for comments.
Meanwhile, the work of the diocese and parish continues. St. Mary is marking its 175th anniversary. A banner outside St. Mary promotes a planned re-opening of the parish school this year. The campus ministry at nearby St. Augustine has been infused with new building projects despite the decline in income. Still, priestly edicts struggle to find an audience at the parish.
Parishioners are urged to kneel for Communion and receive the host on the tongue. At St. Mary, many parishioners still accept the option of Communion in the hand. At each Communion post are temporary kneelers, used by some before receiving the sacrament. The congregation is split, as the options can be bewildering.
Parish shopping is a regular endeavor. "There are many Catholic churches. I can go down the road 10 minutes from here and go to a church that doesn't preach what these guys preach," said the estranged St. Mary parishioner quoted earlier.
Perhaps the divisions in the Madison Diocese are best reflected in differing metaphors about smells, both pleasing and rancid.
In a 2009 ordination ceremony for the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, Morlino congratulated the new clergymen. He offered some advice, telling them that their goal should be "to smell good to the people. You will be aromatherapy for those of a spiritual sort."
By contrast, four years later, Francis suggested that pastors should accompany their people, welcoming both saints and sinners. He urged them not to be "collectors of antiquities or novelties." Rather, he said, they should be like shepherds who take on the smell of their sheep. He did not mention aromatherapy.
[Peter Feuerherd is a correspondent for NCR's Field Hospital series on parish life.]
We have always had mentally ill and maniacal people in the world who act out in violent, murderous ways. In times past we had Jack the Ripper, Son of Sam and John Wayne Gacy, all mass murderers.
We have always had mentally ill students. Usually they take their own life not others.
But there is a sea change in our culture that enables the maniacal to go out in a blaze of glory and encourages them to imitate behavior they find in the media both old and new. In other words, the medias now weaponize/radicalize the mentally ill, give them ideas, brainwash them, fulfill their hope of a glorious notoriety and the worse kind of narcissism.
The media, all of it, new, old, on-line, video games and the like, are very, very violent. Even the warning of "violent content not suited for some" is an enticement to watch or purchase. We, and I include myself, are cooked today in the crockpot of real and make-believe violence, death and chaos.
The 24 hour news channels make these tragedies into a reality show for rating not just for information and the promotion of their particular political ideologies. It began on CNN even before the gunman was captured.
The Walking Dead, a horribly violent show has very high ratings and it is tame to some of the things our young can access.
And yes, automatic, military-like weapons in the hands of these kinds of people exacerbates the situation when they become radicalized or spiral out of mental control. There must be laws outlawing military weapons in the hands of civilians who in a fit of temporary rage or severe mental illness kill so many.
As with so much in our society, from the Playboy lifestyle that denigrates the Church's sure and certain Faith about human sexuality in all aspects that then snowballed into the degradation of woman and men exploited and abused by others in and out of power to the violence portrayed on all medias, the blame must be fixed directly on "Hollywood" which I use in the generic/ pejorative sense. And the root of all this immorality and amorality is the almighty buck that can be traced to the wallet of these capitalists and their industries industries.
In addition to this, we are no longer watching the medias together, each has his own "channel." Compare this to the golden years of TV and movies. There were only three or four networks, no tape machines and we basically watched the same thing and talked about what we watched and critiqued it too with others. We also had breakfast, lunch and supper with our family, we didn't eat alone or at different times as many families do today.
Individualism without others to supervise, talk about or critique is bad for everyone especially the young who are so easily influenced and indoctrinated by what they hear and watch.
We have new insights from Pope Francis in this morning's Crux article. These revelations are very clearly an attempt at damage control concerning the worst scandal in Catholic history which Pope Francis' recent pilgrimage to CHILE exacerbated.
My own evaluation of Pope Francis is that His Holiness is a caricature of the very things His Holiness condemns over and over again, talks too much, isn't really humble but arrogant, is too judgmental, shuts down dialogue with those who have legitimate concerns about Amoris Laetitia and some aspects of the very poor and chaotic implementation of Vatican II in a hermeneutic of rupture destructive of the Faith.
In terms of being judgemental, it seems His Holiness has castigated and thrown under the bus the four Cardinals, two now dead, who served the Church in exemplary ways. In terms of some questionable aspects of the implementation of Vatican II, His Holiness seems to imply that even Pope Benedict XVI was a part of the resistance to Vatican II and thus he is not to be trusted. Pope Francis' words seem to dig a deeper hole each time His Holiness speaks off the cuff. Traditionalists should be heard and allowed to speak unless they themselves are seeking schism or are heretical.
Here is a sound bite from the Crux article:
But “when I become aware of true resistance, I suffer,” he said. It was particularly troubling when “someone joins a campaign of resistance” to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, he added.
While he knew about the websites of traditionalist organizations, he preferred not to read them “to preserve my mental health,” adding that historians believe it takes a century to absorb an ecumenical council, and therefore “we are still halfway there.”
In what will be seen as a reference to so-called “dubia letter” written to him by four cardinals protesting Amoris Laetitia, he said that when he became aware of doctrinal resistance, “I seek dialogue whenever it is possible; but some resistance comes from people who believe they possess the true doctrine and accuse you of being a heretic.”
“When I cannot see spiritual goodness in what these people say or write,” he added, “I simply pray for them. I find it sad, but don’t dwell on this feeling for the sake of my psychological well-being.”
Press the title for the complete article from Crux:
In this file photo, Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with Jesuits and laypeople associated with Jesuit institutions in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 10. Also pictured is Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Rome-based Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica. On Thursday, the magazine published the accounts of his meetings with Jesuits during his visit to Chile and Peru. (Credit: CNS photo/courtesy La Civilta Cattolica.)
Ash Wednesday often is just symbolic and in theory for most. For many today in South Florida, the reality of evil, human disorders that lead to maniacal killings is not a theory or symbolic.
In a day and age where so many young people who are parents, religion, any religion is put on the back burner or simply given a nod in some sort of spirituality of positive thinking.
There are way too many "nones" out there.
Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
We need a kinder, gentler nation, one that reveres God, allows Jesus to talk to us and where celebrity figures don't denigrate what they don't understand.
We need to be pro-life. If an inconvenient child in her mother's womb can be conveniently removed through legal killing, what does that say to our "disordered" younger and older people who see pro-choice advocates advocating for the most heinous right to choose to kill and conditioning them to make the logical leap to take out those they find inconvenient and the source of their problems?
Repent and believe the Good News!
Pray for all victims of violence, those who were killed and loved ones who grieve. Deliver us, O God, from evil.
Below is an article from the National Catholic Register concerning the flu epidemic. It concerns the Diocese of Buffalo and their precautions during the flu season.
Interestingly enough, our very own bishop, Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer is from Buffalo. However, his recommendation is somewhat left to each priest and communicant. We can elimiante the common chalice or we don't have to if we warn people. Holding hands or shaking them should not be foisted on anyone, etc.
I decided to simply warn my parishioners about the danger of germs and told them one can contract the flu or any other communicable diseases from the common chalice no matter the season but I was not going to eliminate the common chalice until there was a common sense year round policy concerning it. In other words, I'm leaving it to the communicant to decide.
But in the EF Mass all of this is so foreign as there is no common chalice, no extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion in the congregation glad handing everyone and no shaking of hands or holding hands during Mass. In other words the EF Mass is healthier (on many fronts I might add).
The only disagreement I have with the article below is that one diocese is telling communicants to receive on the hand rather than the tongue out of germ concerns.
However, when I distribute Holy Communion into someone's palm, my fingers or part of them always touches their hand in one way or antoher. I don't drop the Host into anyone's hand.
But when I distribute Holy Communion to kneeling communicants, the fact they are keeling, stick their tongue out, tilt their head back means that I never have to touch their tongue even accidentally. This is not true, though, when one receives on the tongue while standing, especially if the person is taller than me. It's the kneeling that prevents the tongue touching!
BY THE WAY, GUESS WHICH PRIEST WHO HAS CRITICIZED ME FOR MY GERM CONCERNS HAS BANNED THE COMMON CHALICE IN HIS PARISH DURING THE FLU CRISIS? JUST GUESS!
Feb. 12, 2018
Flu Season Prompts Dioceses to Take Measures at Mass
Preventive actions include skipping
the sign of peace or exchanging only verbal greetings and offering the
Eucharist only in the form of hosts — and advising sick parishioners to
As the nation deals with a severe flu
outbreak, Catholics in some dioceses are being asked to abstain from
shaking hands and drinking from a common Communion cup at Mass.
According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, the current flu season is approaching the peak of the
2009 pandemic, with a high hospitalization rate and more than 53
pediatric deaths so far. The CDC says all U.S. states, except Hawaii and
Oregon, are reporting widespread flu, and the number with a high
incidence of flu-like illness has risen to 42, plus New York City and
the District of Columbia.
In response, some dioceses are directing parishes to temporarily skip
the sign of peace or instruct parishioners to exchange only verbal
greetings instead of handshakes. Other measures being implemented
include offering the Eucharist only in the form of hosts and suspending
the use of the common Communion cup.
Among the dioceses that have issued such directives is Buffalo, New
York, which, besides suspending distribution of the Precious Blood
during Communion, has reminded extraordinary ministers of Communion to
wash their hands before Mass and to avoid touching the tongue or the
hand of each communicant. The sign of peace is to be offered without any
physical contact, and the diocese has suggested bowing in place of
Parishes in the western New York diocese also are being told to drain
their holy water fonts regularly and clean them with disinfecting soap
before refilling them. Finally, parishioners are being reminded that if
they have a contagious illness, they are absolved from the Sunday Mass
obligation and should stay home.
“We felt this was a commonsense response to some of the news we had
been hearing about how serious the flu had become statewide,” said
George Richert, director of communications for the Diocese of Buffalo.
He added that the guidelines mirror some of those offered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and include a few of the diocese’s own.
Dioceses that have announced similar directives include Rochester,
New York; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Sacramento, California; and Norwich,
Connecticut. In addition to the other precautions, Sacramento has told
parishioners not to hold hands during the Our Father, and Norwich is
asking parishioners to receive the Communion host in their hand, instead
of on the tongue.
Pope invites the faithful to "Pause", "See" and "Return" to the tenderness of God during Lent
Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. As per tradition the ceremony started at the Basilica of St. Anselm where the Pope led a penitential procession to the nearby St. Sabina, marking the beginning Lent, the time of preparation for Holy Week.
Pope Francis urged believers to unmask the demons that deaden and paralyze the soul to allow their hearts to beat in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus.
The Pope was speaking during the homily as he celebrated Holy Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome.
During the homily which resounded with the invitation to “Pause” in order to look and contemplate, to “See” the real face of Jesus and to “Return” without fear, to experience the healing and reconciling tenderness of God, the Pope said the season of Lent is a time “to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life.”
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ homily:
The season of Lent is a favourable time to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life and to receive the ever new, joyful and hope-filled proclamation of the Lord’s Passover. The Church in her maternal wisdom invites us to pay special attention to anything that could dampen or even corrode our believing heart.
We are subject to numerous temptations. Each of us knows the difficulties we have to face. And it is sad to note that, when faced with the ever-varying circumstances of our daily lives, there are voices raised that take advantage of pain and uncertainty; the only thing they aim to do is sow distrust. If the fruit of faith is charity – as Mother Teresa often used to say – then the fruit of distrust is apathy and resignation. Distrust, apathy and resignation: these are demons that deaden and paralyze the soul of a believing people.
Lent is the ideal time to unmask these and other temptations, to allow our hearts to beat once more in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus. The whole of the Lenten season is imbued with this conviction, which we could say is echoed by three words offered to us in order to rekindle the heart of the believer: pause, see and return.
Pause a little, leave behind the unrest and commotion that fill the soul with bitter feelings which never get us anywhere. Pause from this compulsion to a fast-paced life that scatters, divides and ultimately destroys time with family, with friends, with children, with grandparents, and time as a gift… time with God.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the need to show off and be seen by all, to continually appear on the “noticeboard” that makes us forget the value of intimacy and recollection.
Pause for a little while, refrain from haughty looks, from fleeting and pejorative comments that arise from forgetting tenderness, compassion and reverence for the encounter with others, particularly those who are vulnerable, hurt and even immersed in sin and error.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the urge to want to control everything, know everything, destroy everything; this comes from overlooking gratitude for the gift of life and all the good we receive.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the deafening noise that weakens and confuses our hearing, that makes us forget the fruitful and creative power of silence.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the attitude which promotes sterile and unproductive thoughts that arise from isolation and self-pity, and that cause us to forget going out to encounter others to share their burdens and suffering.
Pause for a little while, refrain from the emptiness of everything that is instantaneous, momentary and fleeting, that deprives us of our roots, our ties, of the value of continuity and the awareness of our ongoing journey.
Pause in order to look and contemplate!
See the gestures that prevent the extinguishing of charity, that keep the flame of faith and hope alive. Look at faces alive with God’s tenderness and goodness working in our midst.
See the face of our families who continue striving, day by day, with great effort, in order to move forward in life, and who, despite many concerns and much hardship, are committed to making their homes a school of love.
See the faces of our children and young people filled with yearning for the future and hope, filled with “tomorrows” and opportunities that demand dedication and protection. Living shoots of love and life that always open up a path in the midst of our selfish and meagre calculations.
See our elderly whose faces are marked by the passage of time, faces that reveal the living memory of our people. Faces that reflect God’s wisdom at work.
See the faces of our sick people and the many who take care of them; faces which in their vulnerability and service remind us that the value of each person can never be reduced to a question of calculation or utility.
See the remorseful faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes, and who from their misfortune and suffering fight to transform their situations and move forward.
See and contemplate the face of Crucified Love, who today from the cross continues to bring us hope, his hand held out to those who feel crucified, who experience in their lives the burden of failure, disappointment and heartbreak.
See and contemplate the real face of Christ crucified out of love for everyone, without exception. For everyone? Yes, for everyone. To see his face is an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation. The face that invites us to cry out: “The Kingdom of God is possible!”
Pause, see and return. Return to the house of your Father. Return without fear to those outstretched, eager arms of your Father, who is rich in mercy (cf. Eph 2:4), who awaits you.
Return without fear, for this is the favourable time to come home, to the home of my Father and your Father (cf. Jn 20:17). It is the time for allowing one’s heart to be touched… Persisting on the path of evil only gives rise to disappointment and sadness. True life is something quite distinct and our heart indeed knows this. God does not tire, nor will he tire, of holding out his hand (cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 19).
Return without fear, to join in the celebration of those who are forgiven.
Return without fear, to experience the healing and reconciling tenderness of God. Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfil the prophecy made to our fathers: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek 36: 26).
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun speaks at the Asianews Conference at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. (2014 Bohumil Petrik/CNA)
There is major push back against Pope Francis concerning what many believe to be a betrayal of the underground Catholic Church in favor of the Chinese Government controlled Church.
The strongest voice against Cardinal Parolin who evidently spearheaded the betrayal is retired Cardinal Zen. He has had unbelievably strong words against a brother Cardinal and semi directly against Pope Francis. You can read the entire article HERE.
Here's the bombshell statement in the longer article:
Given the recent controversies, I feel the desire to clarify my relationship with Pope Francis who, whenever I meet him, fills me with tenderness.
It is true that my revelations of a private interviews may have caused him embarrassment and for this I am sorry. But I am still convinced that there is a void between the way of thinking of His Holiness and the way of thinking of his collaborators, who readily take advantage of the Pope's optimism to pursue their goals. Until proven otherwise I am convinced that I have defended the good name of the Pope from the responsibility of the erroneous judgement of his collaborators and that he has communicated his encouragement to my brothers in China who are, as we say in China, "in the burning fire and in deep water".
If, by chance, one day a bad agreement is signed with China, obviously with the approval of the Pope, I will withdraw in silence to "monastic life". Certainly as a son, even if unworthy, of Don Bosco I will not make myself the head of a rebellion against the Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Christ on earth.
Let us pray for Pope Francis "that the Lord will preserve him, give him strength, make him happy, and save him from the hands of his enemies."
A former parishioner just alerted me to what he saw on Yahoo and sure enough here it is which Yahoo copied from Miami! WOW!
AT THE MIAMI HERALD, YOU CAN PRESS THE PHOTO WHICH IS A VIDEO. THIS VIDEO WAS A MACON TELEGRAPH'S INTERVIEW TWO ASH WEDNESDAYS AGO, I THINK IN 2016 AT ST. JOSEPH CHURCH IN MACON.PRESS HERE TO SEE VIDEO. THE MIAMI HERALD IS OWNED BY THE SAME COMPANY THAT OWNS THE MACON TELEGRAPH.
Why this Valentine’s Day is challenging for Catholics — and how they can celebrate
Miami Herald13 hours ago
This Valentine’s Day could prove tricky for Catholics. That’s because
the holiday for lovers will also fall on Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting
and prayer that starts off the 40-day Lenten season. Along with
receiving ashes on their forehead — signifying that “you are dust, and
to dust you shall return”
— Catholics are expected to eat just one
normal meal and two smaller ones as a part of their fasting, according
to The New York Times. In the past, many Catholics have been given a
pass when St. Patrick’s Day and a Lenten Friday have fallen on the same
date, The New York Times wrote. You’re not supposed to eat meat during
those Fridays, but the Irish holiday is known as a day to indulge in
How did Shrove Tuesday become Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras and a day of excess rather than a day to prepare for Ash Wednesday. How did pancakes fits into all of this as well?
On Shrove Tuesday, we should be shriven not fattened! We should recover this venerable tradition:
Shrove is the past tense of the word shrive, which means to hear a confession, assign penance, and absolve from sin. In the Middle Ages, especially in Northern Europe and England, it became the custom to confess one's sins on the day before Lent began in order to enter the penitential season in the right spirit.
And do Catholics eat pancakes today????????????????????????????????????????????