Friday, October 31, 2014



For more than 30 years we have been lamenting the abysmal state of catechesis and spiritual/moral formation of our Catholics. And for 30 years all that has been done is to lament this fact and Cardinal Wurel does it once more:
One way to address the widespread confusion about the nature of marriage would be to properly catechize children and teenagers about the faith, the cardinal continued, beginning in Catholic schools. 

But in my most humble opinion the problem is much deeper than just light catechesis. It is a problem of faith or the loss of Catholic Faith to be exact.

What has contributed to this for the last 50 years? Change, change, change. The Church prior to Vatican II with all its warts was at least a rock and one knew exactly what the Church taught and there was little or no room for dissent.

After Vatican II even more warts came to be but now the Church wasn't a rock or any kind but a marshmallow! No one knew or knows what to believe any more and this has led to the ambivalence with have today and the fact that Catholics are more influenced by the secular culture and its ideologies than the Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ and His Church!

Before we start with catechesis as important as it is, may I suggest a hierarchy of things that need to be addressed?

1. The Reform of the Mass to make it more like the EF Mass and more standard worldwide. Kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue. This will emphasize the superiority of God to the individual and that God is to be adored!

2. Emphasize the four last things, death, judgment, heaven and hell! That should be the number one thing taught and everything falls thereafter! 

3. Make sure that all Catholic schools elementary through graduate school use proper catechetical materials, proper worship and teach reverence for God almighty and fear of displeasing God.

4. Continue what Pope Francis is emphasizing, popular devotions and the very real power of the very real Satan!


I copy this from "The Vatican Insider":
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Burke: “There is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm”


After his criticisms about the Synod being manipulated and censored, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, is continuing to raise concerns – in an increasingly distressed tone – about the direction the Church is taking, criticising the Pope, whilst at the same time claiming he does not wish it seem like he is speaking out against he Pope.” His latest interview with Darío Menor Torres was published by Spanish religious news weekly Vida Nueva.

“Many have expressed their concerns to me. At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm, whatever the reason for this may be; now, it is more important than ever to examine our faith, have a healthy spiritual leader and give powerful witness to the faith.”

“I fully respect the Petrine ministry and I do not wish it to seem like I am speaking out against the Pope. I would like to be a master of the faith, with all my weaknesses, telling a truth that many currently perceive. They are feeling a bit sea sick because they feel the Church’s ship has lost its bearings. We need to set aside the reason for this disorientation because we have not lost our bearings. We have the enduring tradition of the Church, its teachings, the liturgy, its morality. The catechism remains the same.”

“The Pope rightly speaks of the need to go out to the peripheries,” the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura said. “The people have responded very warmly to this. But we cannot go to the peripheries empty-handed. We go with the Word of God, with the Sacraments, with the virtuous life of the Holy Spirit. I am not saying the Pope does this, but there is a risk of the encounter with culture being misinterpreted. Faith cannot adapt to culture but , must call to it to convert. We are a counter-cultural movement, not a popular one.”


Popes cannot change defined Church teachings, only clarify them or make doctrine what is already believed since the early Church. This is true of the moral law.

And Cardinal Wuerl has some encouraging words about the indissolubility of marriage as reported by EWTN HERE.

The Guardian out of GB has an interesting opinion piece by Andrew Brown. Press the title below to go to the link to read it. Personally, I doubt authentic Catholics would go into schism. We wait thinks out.  However, I do find Cardinal Pell's homily to traditionalists in Rome last week peculiar, very peculiar. Do you?

A Catholic church schism under Pope Francis isn’t out of the question

Thursday, October 30, 2014


This Mass which I saw over at Fr. Z's blog is amateur film taken of the Ordinary Form of the Mass on February 12, 1945 prior to Iwo Jima - 7000 killed, 20,000 wounded, probably included some of these men as Fr. Z writes.

Note that the ship is rocking and rolling and so is the priest and the parishioners. One could get sea sick simply watching this!

Please note the reverence of the men and their reverence in receiving our Lord in Holy Communion.
I am sure by now most of them are dead but maybe not all, keep the faithful departed in your prayers!

This Ordinary Form Mass in 1945 is rather awesome, completely reverent and in no way banal!


I must say that the enigma that Pope Francis is continues to baffle me. He is very traditional when it comes to devotions, angels, saints and the devil, especially the devil.

Yet His Holiness sends out conflicting or ambiguous messages about who should be receiving Holy Communion. Yes, all Catholics, in fact anyone whosoever, is invited into the door of the Church the Catholic Mass and other liturgies. Yet we don't invite everyone, whosoever, to receive our Lord in Holy Communion. We ask that Catholics, practicing Catholics, without any kind of impediment, to receive but only after being properly prepared (one hour fast, no mortal sin and if so, confession prior to Holy Communion or at least a "perfect contrition when confession isn't possible" and then Holy Communion and actual confession).

The Holy Father must make clear to us once again if Mortal Sin that is not forgiven or is institutionalized in a lifestyle alien to the Catholic moral law no longer prohibits a Catholic from receiving or any baptized Christian for that matter or anyone baptized or not who is seeking the Lord!

It would seem to me that any institutional change in Church teaching on the revealed moral law in Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law would be of the devil!

Here's Pope Francis' excellent homily this morning on the devil:

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis described Christian life as a continuous battle being waged against Satan, the world and the passions of the flesh. His comments came during his homily at Mass celebrated on Thursday morning at the Santa Marta residence. He stressed that the devil exists and we must fight against him with the armour of truth.

Pope Francis's reflections during his homily were taken from the words of St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians where the apostle urged Christians to put on the full armour of God in order to resist Satan’s temptations.  A Christian life, he said, has to be defended and it requires both strength and courage. It’s a continuous battle against the three main enemies of Christian life which are the devil, the world and the passions of the flesh.

“From whom do I have to defend myself? What must I do?  Pauls tells us to put on God’s full armour, meaning that God acts as a defence, helping us to resist Satan’s temptations.  Is this clear?  No spiritual life, no Christian life is possible without resisting temptations, without  putting on God’s armour which gives us strength and protects us.”

Saint Paul, continued the Pope, underlines that our battle is not against little things but against the principalities and the ruling forces, in other words against the devil and his followers.

“But in this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him.  Paul tells us this, it’s not me saying it! The Word of God is telling us this.  But we’re not all convinced of this.  And then Paul describes God’s armour and which are the different types that make up this great armour of God.  And he says: ‘So stand your ground,  with truth a belt around your waist.’  The truth is God’s armour.”

By contrast, said Pope Francis, the devil is a liar and the father of liars and in order to fight him we must have truth on our side.  He also underlined the importance of always having our faith in God, like a shield, when fighting this battle against the devil, who, he noted, doesn't throw flowers at us but instead burning arrows.

“Life is a military endeavour.  Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness: the joy that the Lord is the victor within us, with his free gift of salvation.  But we’re all a bit lazy, aren’t we, in this battle and we allow ourselves to get carried away by our passions, by various temptations. That’s because we’re sinners, all of us!  But don’t get discouraged.  Have courage and strength because the Lord is with us.”

My Final Comment: How many of you have heard your parish priest speak about the devil in this way? How many?!


Our choirs had their final rehearsal Wednesday night for Faure's Requiem on Sunday, November 2nd, at 12:10 PM at Saint Joseph Church, Macon, Georgia.

Our 12:10 PM Mass is "ad orientem" for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. However, it is an Ordinary Form Mass. We normally celebrate the EF Mass with this Requiem, but since it falls on a Sunday this year, we decided to celebrate it at one of our normal but extra-normal Ordinary Form Sunday Mass and what better Mass than the Ordinary Form celebrated ad orientem each Sunday!

We will incorporate, though, some EF elements into this Mass. It will be primarily in Latin, but with English for the Collects, Preface and readings. Vesture for Celebrant, deacon and subdeacon will be black!

However, we will substitute the EF's Gradual for the Responsorial Psalm, Gregorian chanted in Latin.
After the second reading (Epistle) the Dies Irae will be chanted in Latin as the Sequence. The Latin Tract will follow and act as the Gospel Acclamation. All the Propers will be chanted, the Introit and Kyrie from Faure's Requiem as well as the Offertory Chant and Communion Chant.

The Final Commendation will be as is in the Ordinary form (catafalque with six candles will be present at all our Sunday Masses). This means that after the Prayer after Holy Communion, prayed from the chair, the celebrant goes to the center of the sanctuary, faces the congregation and as the Introduction to the "Chant of Farewell." As the choir then sings Faure's "Libera Me" the catafalgue is sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed. Then there is the concluding prayer, Final Blessing and Dismissal with the "In Paradisum" sung from Faure's Requiem.  Both the Libera Me and In Paradisum are stunningly moving.

2012's EF Version of Faure's Requiem:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Cardinal George, outgoing Archbishop of Chicago gives a good interview in America which you can read HERE.

This is what he said about the inglorious English translation of the Mass in 1970 compared to the glorious new one we now use and are properly being formed in the Catholic Faith by it:

8. You were prominent in the work of  theInternational Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and the development of the new liturgical translations. Now that they have been in use for nearly two years, are you satisfied with the translations pastorally and theologically?

 It’s hard for me to give an unbiased judgment on the value of the new translations. First of all, the first full translation of the missal of Paul VI was ideologically charged. Since the liturgy, along with Sacred Scripture, is the primary carrier of the tradition that unites us to Christ, the loss of the theology of grace, the domestication of God, the paraphrasing that deliberately omitted nuances of understanding, the deliberate omission of biblical references in the liturgical text itself, etc. left the church for forty years without a way of worship that adequately expressed our faith. This was clear for those of us who used the Roman missal in Spanish during those years; their translation was far more adequate.

The bishops had the obligation to see that the translation into English of the third edition of the Roman Missal was faithful and also able to be used communally. I believe it has been well done. Some of the expressions in the Prefaces are a bit “clunky,” but the collects are truly beautiful if a priest takes the time to interiorize the structure of  dependent clauses and use his voice so that the prayer is comprehensible to the faithful. Normally, people paid little attention to the collect; they couldn’t tell you what the priest said as soon as they sat down. Hopefully, a more deliberate style of declamation with a more adequate text will help draw people into a climate of worship and prepare them to hear the Word of God in Scripture.

The canons are very well done, even the most difficult, Canon One, because it is a compilation from various sources. Criticism of the scientific inaccuracy of the word “dewfall” in Canon II is a bit absurd coming from those who easily accept and speak of “sunset.” Some of the criticisms have an extrinsic rationale. The bishops’ choice of experts meant that many who had been more involved in the work of ICEL previously were no longer engaged. The loss of a work to which one had given oneself is always hurtful. Some others just opposed any exercise of episcopal authority; in principle, the bishops were just supposed to rubber-stamp what the “experts” were doing. Some, surprisingly, objected to the re-introduction of the biblical metaphors and allusions, while others underestimated, I believe, the native intelligence of the average English-speaking worshiper. There were a few more justified criticisms of the process, which was open in places to accusations of last-minute manipulation. I have to say that I enjoyed going back and working through Latin texts, something I hadn’t done since minor seminary.


There is something unusual going on within the last two weeks. Pope Benedict seems to be reemerging from his self-imposed monkhood in the cloister at the Vatican Gardens and what a cloister it is! I've seen it!

First we see His Holiness concelebrating the Solemn Mass for the Beatification of Blessed Paul VI.

Then the next day, His Holiness' secretary reads a rather wonderful exhortation at a Roman academic symposium that shows the clarity of thinking of the Emeritus Pope and how unambiguous His Holiness is when it comes to teaching the faith.

Then later in the week, His Holiness welcomes the large gathering in Rome celebrating His Holiness' Summorum Pontificum. His Holiness praises the fact that the Old Use Mass has now been integrated into the liturgical life of the Post Vatican II Church. He also praises the "GREAT" cardinals who are celebrating this form of the Mass, which includes Cardinal Raymond Burke who celebrated the Solemn High Version of the EF Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the "Altar of the Chair of St. Peter!" I think it significant that Cardinal Burke is indirectly called by His Holiness a "GREAT" cardinal.

The on Monday, His Current Holiness, Pope Francis praised Pope Benedict XVI at the unveiling of a bust of His Emeritus Holiness at an academic institution in Rome. This is what Pope Francis said:

Pope Francis referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a “great Pope” as he unveiled a bust of his predecessor during an October 27 visit to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. 

Pope Francis assessed Benedict as “great for the power and penetration of his intellect, great for his significant contribution to theology, great for his love for the Church and of human beings, great for his virtue and piety.”His Current Holiness also stated that Pope Benedict's Magisterium would continue to influence the Church in the future.

Then His Holiness, Benedict XVI just yesterday (Tuesday, October 28) wrote the following about the Anglican Ordinariate which His Holiness established five years ago:

“Your thanks for the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has greatly moved me, and I ask you to convey my thanks to all its members,” wrote Benedict XVI, who was born in Bavaria.

“Naturally, I am particularly glad that the former Bavarian Chapel has now become your ordinariate’s church, and serves such an important role in the whole Church of God. It has been a long time since I have heard news of this holy place, and it was therefore with all the more interest and gratitude that I read the description with which you accompanied your letter.” 

November 4 marks five years since Benedict XVI issued the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which led to the creation of the personal ordinariate. The ordinariate enables groups of former Anglicans to retain elements of their patrimony within the Catholic Church.

My Comments: On the heals of the tempestuous Synod on the Family where Pope Francis was publicly and privately criticized for trying to manipulate the Synod with post-Catholic ideologies concerning marriage and sexuality and perhaps even castigated for trying to erase the Papal Magisteriums of both Pope Benedict and St. Pope John Paul II, I find all this emerging Pope Benedict stuff interesting. Do you? And if so, Why?


When the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal was issued in 2002 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the approval of the Congregation for Divine Worship and disicipline of the Sacraments' Prefect, Jorg A. Card. Medina Estevez allowed for an American adaptation  for the "Norms for the Distribution and Reception of holy Communion under Both Kinds in the dioceses of the United States of America.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, then President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the American decree or adaptation on March 28, 2002, Holy Thursday.

The following are the pertinent excepts from this American Adaptation in the 2002 GIRM:

1. (42)Among the ways of ministering the Precious Blood...Communion from the chalice is generally the preferred form in the Latin Church, provided that it can be carried out properly according to the norms and without any risk of even apparent irreverence toward the Blood of Christ."

(Other Forms of Distribution of the Precious Blood)

2. (48) Distribution of the Precious Blood by a spoon or through a straw is not customary in the Latin Dioceses of the USA.

3. (49) Holy Communion may be distributed by intinction...(a brief description on how to do this is included)

My final comments: #42 contains a fib. Communion (by drinking) from the (common) Chalice cannot be seen as the "preferred" method of distributing the Precious Blood in the Latin Rite because it simply is not done in Rome or at the Vatican. It is always done by intinction there, not drinking directly from the chalice and even by the concelebrants at a papal liturgy. In fact this norm of intinction for all concelebrants in the Latin Rite is indicated in #249 of "The Different Forms of Celebrating Mass) in the normal GIRM!

I see an agenda in this liturgical norm of the USA perpetuated by some liturgist who wrote this lie.  However receiving the Precious Blood by intinction is receiving the Precious Blood from the chalice which can rightly be understood as the "preferred" form in the Latin Church, as opposed to receiving by way of a spoon or straw. I've never seen a spoon or straw used in a Latin Rite parish, but certainly in the various Eastern Rites this may well be the case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



“So the Synod—when speaking of the pastoral care of those who after divorce have entered on a new union—rightly praised those couples who in spite of great difficulties witness in their life to the indissolubility of marriage. In their life the Synod recognizes that good news of faithfulness to love which has its power and its foundation in Christ. Furthermore, the fathers of the Synod, again affirming the indissolubility of marriage and the Church’s practice of not admitting to Eucharistic communion those who have been divorced and—against her rule—again attempted marriage, urge pastors and the whole Christian community to help such brothers and sisters. They do not regard them as separated from the Church, since by virtue of their baptism they can and must share in the life of the Church by praying, hearing the word, being present at the community’s celebration of the Eucharist, and promoting charity and justice. Although it must not be denied that such people can in suitable circumstances be admitted to the sacrament of penance and then to Eucharistic communion, when with a sincere heart they open themselves to a way of life that is not in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage—namely, when such a man and woman, who cannot fulfill the obligation of separation, take on the duty of living in total abstinence, that is, abstaining from acts that are proper only to married couples—and when there is no scandal.”