Saturday, September 24, 2016


Msgr. Francis Manion writes the following: (My comments at the end as it pertains to the Baltimore Catechism.)

by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion
Two national studies produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), based at Georgetown University, finds that young Catholics are abandoning their faith starting around the age of 10, and certainly by age 17 (Confirmation catechists, please note!).
Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they no longer identify themselves as Catholics by the age 17, and another 23% said they stopped regarding themselves as Catholic by  the age 10.
Of those who had left the faith, only 13% said they were ever likely to return to the Catholic Church.
The reason most often given is the tension young people perceive between faith and religion. While this factor is highest among students at public school, it is also remarkably high among students at Catholic schools.
There is an emerging profile of youth who say their religious formation is incompatible with what they are learning in public high school or university.
Dr. Mark Gray, a senior researcher with CARA, speaks of an unprecedented “crisis of faith” among youth. “In the whole concept of faith, this is a generation that is struggling with faith in ways that we haven’t seen in previous generations.”  There is a severe compartmentalization between education in faith and in science. The fundamental problem is that youth may go to Mass once a week but spend the rest of the week learning “how dumb” their faith is.
On a positive note, Christian Smith, a professor of sociology at Notre Dame University, states that there are three factors that yield a high retention rate among young Catholics. The first is that the young people have a “weekly activity” like catechesis, Bible study, or youth group. The second is the availability of adults (not their parents) with whom they can discuss their faith. The third is the possibility of providing “deep spiritual experiences.”
I am no sociologist of religion, least of all of that which deals with youth. But my own experience tells me that besides the three factors mentioned here, there are the three additional factors: There is daily prayer in the home, parents and children talking about their faith, and some kind of weekly charitable service made possible for the young people.
Some (like me!) worry about the quality of religious formation of children and youth. Things have improved a lot since the horrid days of religious formation in the 70s and 80s. But, having kept an eye on the kind of texts being used, even the better ones are inadequate. If you want your child to be well informed in the faith, then don’t look at the typical text available. We have a long way to go in this area. For one thing, we need to bring back a thoroughly updated question-and-answer catechism.
There is also the question of parish religious education teachers and Catholic school teachers. Would you be surprised to know that many of them do not go to Sunday Mass regularly and have “difficulties” with the Church? Surely this has to have a disastrous effect on the students for whom they have responsibility. I have seen no data on this, so I am basing what I say on what I have observed and read over the years and what other pastors tell me.
Finally, there are the parents, who rarely if ever talk to their children about the faith and the necessity of growing strong in it. And do parents, even of Catholic school children, go to Mass on Sundays? The vast majority, I fear, do not.
Msgr. Mannion is pastor emeritus of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Salt Lake City. Reprinted by permission of Catholic News Agency.
MY COMMENTS:  The elephant in the room is a "spirit of Vatican II" mentality which refuses to look at what was good and timeless, and let me underline timelessness, of the pre-Vatican II Church, especially her experience in the 1950's.
There needs to be a study of the timeless quality of Catholic life and how this life strengthened Catholic families. Then there needs to be a concerted universal thrust or catchesis to shape the culture of the Catholic Church and her members.
Let me list my wish list:
1. Bring back the Baltimore Catechism and make it the catechism of our country. It might need some minor tweaking but leave it as it is with some updated examples. It's simplicity but depth forms a foundation for Catholics even if they stop going to religious education after they are Confirmed. It is simple enough for them to use as a reference book even later in life. Theolgically it only needs some minor post-Vatican II updating as it concerns ecumenism and the liturgy (without doing away with the chapters on the Tridentine Mass but simply adding the reformed version. 
2. Bring back the culture of Cathoicism lived at home and the world, especially a more rigorous fasting and abstinence as in the 1950's or early '60's. This extends Cathoicism into the home and work place and identifies us as Cathoics to a secular culture. Bring back ember days and all of the Holy Days of Obliagation as in the 1950's without silly exceptions like it falling on a Friday or Monday and thus not obligatory. 
3. Instill a sense of obligation as the basis for religious practice even when religious practice doesn't seem personally satisfying. This ties into "suffering as a virtue" and the need to see suffering as a good when it leads us to faithfulness. 
4. Focus on the Liturgy in either form as instilling depth to faith, seriousness, piety and reverence.
When I visit various classrooms and teach, I use the Baltimore Catehcism and tell the kids there will be a test at the end. I use the fill in the blank and true or false questions provided by the Baltimore Catechism. We do it out loud and it is fun and engages the children. We need a recovery of this. It is possible but there has to be national and universal leadership which is lacking. It is pre-Vatican II phobia!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


I wonder what our non Catholic friends think about our veneration of the body parts of saints. It must seem spooky and pagan to them. But it is so Catholic. I love it!

LOWELL — A shiny black van pulled up to Immaculate Conception Church on Wednesday morning, accompanied by a police officer on a motorcycle, lights flashing. The van’s side door slid open, disgorging five Capuchin friars in hooded robes. One carried a silver vessel in the likeness of a house.
Inside the house was a glass box. In the box, a dried-out human heart.

The heart belonged to St. Padre Pio, a mystical Capuchin friar from Southern Italy and one of the most popular figures in Roman Catholicism. He is said to have bled from stigmata — holes in his hands, feet, and sides, as if he’d been nailed to a cross like Jesus — from 1918 until his death in 1968.

His heart’s visit to Boston this week marks the first time any major relic of Pio has traveled outside Italy. Its appearance enthralled hundreds who lined up to pray, to kiss the reliquary, and to touch prayer cards, rosaries, and medallions to the glass encasement.

“It was overwhelming,” said Leslie Allain, of Farmington, N.H., who wept after her encounter with the encased heart Wednesday.

She believes her desperate prayers for Padre Pio’s intercession 26 years ago helped save her severely ill newborn, Hunter, who was expected to die in infancy but is now an adult.

“As soon as we heard about this we were like, ‘We’re taking the day and we’re coming,’ ” she said.
David L Ryan/Globe Staff
People lined up at Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell to venerate the reliquary containing the heart of St. Padre Pio. He is said to have bled from stigmata — holes in his hands, feet, and sides, as if he’d been nailed to a cross like Jesus — from 1918 until his death in 1968.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston and a Capuchin friar like Pio, asked to have the heart brought to Boston because of Pio’s popularity here, said the Rev. Mariano Di Vito, director of the Fondazione Voce di Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, the small town where Pio spent most of his adulthood. The town hosts a shrine to Pio visited by some 3 million people a year.

Pio is particularly beloved in two countries from which many Bostonians trace their heritage, said Michael Di Giovine, an anthropologist at West Chester University in Pennsylvania: In Italy, the saint is regarded with a familial affection, and in Ireland, his trademark bloodied fingerless gloves are seen as having healing properties. Di Giovine said Pio’s direct encounters with pilgrims from all over the world help account for his massive following.

“When you ask people why they believe in him or pray to him, they say, ‘Well, he was alive when I was around,’ ” Di Giovine said.

Pio’s remains were exhumed in 2008 and found to be remarkably well-preserved. His body, fitted with a silicone mask, is now on display at his Italian shrine. The heart was cut out of the body — it, too, was intact — and chemically treated so it could be exhibited, Di Vito said.

Pope Francis has extolled Pio as an exemplar in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which ends in November. Last winter, the pontiff had the corpses of Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, another Capuchin, brought to Rome as part of the celebration.

“I admit it’s quirky, but it’s also profound and deep and spiritual and serious, having the heart of a great saint so focused on healing the world come here to inspire us,” said the Rev. Paul Soper, secretary for evangelization and discipleship for the Archdiocese of Boston. Soper said it gives Catholics “a connection to that mercy that is palpable.”

Pio spent most of his days hearing confessions, rebuking people he deemed insincere. Devotees believed he could heal and appear in two places at once. They said they smelled roses or violets in his presence, Di Giovine said.

Detractors dismissed Pio as a charlatan during his lifetime, and many still do. An Italian historian, Sergio Luzzatto, recently wrote a book positing that Pio used carbolic acid to keep his wounds fresh. The Vatican once considered him a fraud, and even forbade him from saying Mass in public for a time, but Pope John Paul II eventually canonized him in 2002.

Thousands are expected to travel to Boston from across the country this week to venerate the relic, which the Italian Capuchins escorted to Boston on a British Airways flight. (The relic, housed in a wooden case, had its own seat, Di Vito said.)

After spending the day in Lowell, the relic traveled Wednesday evening to St. Leonard Church in the North End. It is expected to be at the Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Center in Braintree during the day Thursday and at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End in the evening.

On Friday, the relic is scheduled to remain at the cathedral, with O’Malley saying Mass at 7 p.m., followed by veneration until midnight.

At Immaculate Conception, worshipers prayed and sang, as a long line of people waiting to venerate the relic snaked around the sanctuary. The noontime Mass drew a standing-room-only crowd of about 1,000, including several hundred school children.

“You feel a lot of love,” said Emily Dupuis, 84, of Lowell, a widow who lost her daughter several years ago. “It’s almost like a little bit of heaven.”
Pat Ponticelli of Amesbury, a nutrition counselor who is suffering from brain cancer, came in a polka dot dress, with electrodes affixed to her head, part of a treatment for her tumor.
“I just really wanted him to see my soul more clearly, so that if I do end up succumbing to cancer, I’ll have a clean soul as I face God,” she said.

Others came with broader concerns.

“The world’s in big trouble right now, there’s no love left,” said Randy Nicewarner, 48, of Brookline, N.H., who held the reliquary to his own heart when it was his turn to venerate it. “I could feel the power of his heart inside of mine.”

Christine Lemieux came with her seven children from Pelham, N.H. Over the summer, she rescued three children from drowning at Profile Lake in the White Mountains. She could not, however, save the children’s father in time, and he drowned.

“It’s been very hard for us,” said Lemieux, who said she has had a longtime devotion to Pio.
In the presence of the saint’s heart, she said, she was able to cry for the first time since the tragedy, and to feel a little peace.

“I just took in the moment, it was very personal,” she said. “I felt such grace.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


This of course is an over simplification. Catholics on the left of the 1960's ilk (that's me folks, I'm an aging baby boomer) think that the garbage they were fed in the 60's from radical bishops, priests and religious sisters was the divine truth, infallible, immutable. They are the ones having the hardest time with orthodox liturgy, doctrine and morals. They prefer a more "flexible" arrangement to allow for mortal sins. In fact, most of them think mortal and venial sins are out-of-date terms!

On the right, we have the rigidity of those who claim orthodoxy but who are quite willing to split and join semi-schismatic groups or go the way of authentic, full blown schism of the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is a disconnect in all of this. As well, they claim they are more Catholic than Pope Francis is, yet they denigrate His Holiness at every turn, usually hiding behind the curtain of anonymity. Never mind that they sin in a mortal way (they believe in mortal sin, btw) against the virtue of charity. To a certain extent too they break canon law when they publicly denigrate the pastors of the Church and their office, be it the Supreme Pastor or less than supreme ones.

They you have the group in the middle who are content with Mass on occasion, claiming the veneer of being Catholic but really more concerned about the secular sentimentality of the age. They work hard, live well and go about their business without having a fight to pick with the Church. They could care less about Church politics and fights and whether Pope Francis is a favorite of the liberals or the wishy-washy.

Perhaps that is the problem with post Vatican II Catholics, they are too churchy or not churchy enough and forget that supporting the Church financially is critical to their faithfulness as Catholics (paying), that their personal relationship with God manifested at Mass, other liturgies, devotions and a sacramental life (praying) is foundational as is complete and full assent to the Deposit of Faith and the canon laws of the Church expressed by the living Magisterium of the Church be it Ordinary or Extraordinary (obeying).

It really is quite simple and uncomplicated, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


This is from the blog "Eye of the Tiber" and is an attempt at fall humor.I have a sense of humor, but with nostalgia for the Church of What's happening Now" of the 1970's returning with a vengeance, when hosts were made of spice and honey and other ingredients, is this really funny or is it sacrilegious? I report; you bloviate.  

When I was in the seminary of the 1970's the bread we used for the "Eucharist" had honey in it and other stuff. Many complained that the traditional hosts were more difficult to beleive that they were bread let alone Jesus. I had a hard time believing the new and improved ones were bread or Jesus.


Some seminarians called it "chewy" Jesus. Thus you see the seeds of irreverence planted firmly in seminarians of the 1960's and 70's and what has led to the decline of the Catholic Church worldwide.


From the Eye of the Tiber:


Hipster Priest Consecrates Fresh Batch Of Seasonal Pumpkin Spice Eucharist

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Just in time for the start of Fall, local hipster priest Fr. Kale Adams announced this morning that he has consecrated his first batch of Pumpkin Spice Eucharist.
Although the seasonal pumpkin flavor of Jesus’ body has been condemned by the Vatican, Fr. Adams has told his parishioners that they’re not sheep, but rather, “free souls that can’t be contained by the man or the Vatican.”
“Pumpkin Spice Eucharist allows me to express myself and my love for JC in ways you wouldn’t believe,” Adams told EOTT as he sat down to finish knitting a cover for his iPad. “And listen, to all those establishment bishops in Rome,  I was consecrating before it was cool. And that’s why my parishioners dig me and why so many of them have returned to the Church in the first place. You gotta give them what they want. And what they want is Jesus…Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, with a flawless blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.”
At press time, Fr. Kale Adams is trying on his brand new hemp vestments.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


I won't comment directly on Ross Douthat's opinion piece in the New York Times, but rather will highlight in red what I see as truly important.

Pope Francis and divorce

The sin of a second marriage is not serious enough to justify excluding people of good intentions from the sacraments.

Last weekend, Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and a churchgoing Catholic, briefly escaped obscurity by telling an audience of LGBT activists that he expects his church to eventually bless and celebrate same-sex marriages.

In short order, his bishop, Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia, had a statement out declaring that the Catholic understanding of marriage would remain “unchanged and resolute.”

In a normal moment, it would be the task of this conservative Catholic scribbler to explain why the governor is wrong and the bishop is right, why Scripture and tradition make it impossible for Catholicism to simply reinvent its sexual ethics.

But this is not a normal moment in the Catholic Church. As the governor was making his prediction, someone leaked a letter from Pope Francis to the Argentine bishops, praising their openness to allowing some divorced-and-remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
The “private” letter was the latest move in a papal dance that’s been going on since Francis was elected. The pope clearly wants to admit remarried Catholics to Communion, and he tried by hook and crook to get the world’s bishops to agree. But he faced intense resistance from conservatives, who pointed out that this reform risked evacuating the church’s teaching that sacramental marriages are indissoluble and second marriages adulterous.

The conservative resistance couldn’t be overcome directly without courting a true crisis. So Francis has proceeded indirectly, offering studied ambiguity in official publications combined with personal suggestions of where he really stands.

This dance has effectively left Catholicism with two teachings on marriage and the sacraments. The traditional rule is inscribed in the church’s magisterium, and no mere papal note can abrogate it.

But to the typical observer, it’s the Francis position that looks more like the church’s real teaching (he is the pope, after all), even if it’s delivered off the cuff or in footnotes or through surrogates.

That position, more or less, seems to be that second marriages may be technically adulterous, but it’s unreasonable to expect modern people to realize that, and even more unreasonable to expect them to leave those marriages or practice celibacy within them. So the sin involved in a second marriage is often venial, not mortal, and not serious enough to justify excluding people of good intentions from the sacraments.

Which brings us back to Kaine’s vision, because it is very easy to apply this modified position on remarriage to same-sex unions. If relationships the church once condemned as adultery are no longer a major, soul-threatening sin, then why should a committed same-sex relationship be any different? If the church makes post-sexual revolution allowances for straight couples, shouldn’t it make the same ones for people who aren’t even attracted to the opposite sex?

An allowance is not the same thing as a blessing. Under the Francis approach, the church would not celebrate second marriages, and were its logic extended to gay couples, there wouldn’t be the kind of active celebration Kaine envisions either.

Instead, the church would keep the traditional teaching on its books, and only marry couples who fit the traditional criteria. But it would also signal approval to any stable relationship (gay or straight, married or cohabiting), treating the letter of the law like the pirate’s code in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies: More what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.

The cleverness of this compromise, in theory, is that it leaves conservative Catholics with that letter to cling to, and with it the belief that the church’s teaching is supernaturally guaranteed. Thus, there is no crisis point and less risk of imitating Anglicanism’s recent schisms.

In the short run, this may indeed be clever. (Clearly, conservative bishops have no idea how to handle Francis’ maneuvers.) But how long will liberal Catholics be content with a settlement that still leaves same-sex relationships in a merely-tolerated limbo and that leaves open the possibility that a new pope — an African conservative, let’s say — might reassert the letter of the law and undo Francis’ work?

How long can conservative Catholics persist in waiting for such a pope, and in telling one another — as they’ve been doing, rather miserably, of late — to obey the church of 2,000 years rather than the current pontiff?

And how effectively can a church retain the lukewarm or uncertain if it keeps its most controversial teachings while constantly winking to say, “Don’t worry, we don’t actually believe all that?”

This instability makes it unlikely that Francis will be remembered as a great conciliator or unifier. It’s more likely now that his legacy will be either famous or infamous.

If liberal Catholics have read Providence’s intentions rightly, he will be the patron saint of all future reformers.
If not, he will join a group even more select than the communion of saints: The list of popes who came close — too close — to teaching something other than the Catholic faith.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Last year, the Diocese of Orange presented design schemes for the renovation of the former "Reformed Church" Crystal Cathedral of Dr. Robert Schuller. I did not like what I saw and evidently word has gotten to the higher ups from others as it appears an entirely new scheme has been developed that, in this ultra modern non-Catholic space, is more traditional.

Here it is as the Crystal Cathedral:
Here is the original plan from last year's renovation proposal:

And here is the new redesign of it:

This is a difficult space to make into a Catholic Cathedral, but I like the latest design plan much more than the former one.


Both Saint Joseph Church in Macon and the Cathedral in Savannah have Sacred Heart Shrines. They are both located as follows:

The Sacred Heart Shrine is on the Gospel Side of the Church and the Marian Shrine is on the Epistle Side.

However, when there is no Sacred Heart Shrine or Chapel, the Marian Shrine is traditionally on the Gospel Side of the Church.

I ask this question, because the new Saint Anne Church has a Sacred Heart Statue, but it is placed on the right niche of the Epistle Side of the Church and the St. Joseph Shrine, which is to its left and in a recessed small chapel (which is its traditional place when the Marian Shrine is on the Gospel side of the church).

Our Marian Shrine is on the Gospel side of the church in a similar recessed small chapel and next to its left is a statue of St. Michael the Archangel on a wall niche.

I would like to place the Sacred Heart statue, which is quite lovely, where the current Marian Shrine is; move the Marian Shrine to where the Saint Joseph Shrine is and place the Marian Shrine where Saint Joseph now is, which would put the Mary statue and the Joseph statue on the same side of the church, the Epistle Side.  We would leave the St.Michael statue as is to the left of the Sacred Heart Chapel on the Gospel side of the church.

Is this liturgical law or simply tradition? Does anyone know and can you back my moving of the statues with architectural canonical norms for churches?


At first, the ecologist that I am, I was thrilled that this parish decided to save the planet by turning off the lights and burning candles instead. But then I thought to my self, "Self, isn't this even worse for our planet and contributes more to greenhouse gases and thus the insidious human cause of climate change once known as global warming?

What do you think? Should the greenhouse gas police be alarmed?


Most Catholics today fall into the heresy of dualism. They believe that the soul will be saved and automatically go to heaven (another heresy) but they care little or nothing about the body.

Our society's contempt for the human body manifests itself in many ways. We see plastic surgeons promoting their trade to those who despise their body so that they might, like Frankenstein (say it right!), recreate it into something different.

Then there are those who go bizzerk tattooing their bodies. I think there is room in Catholic teaching for a sober approach to tattoos but excessive tattooing seems to be a sin to me, a sin against moderation.

And now so many choose cremation rather than Christian burial of the body. Many who choose it no longer believe in the resurrection of the body and thus do it for pagan reasons or expediency. What happens to the ashes once these are returned to the family and how many families no longer give their loved ones a Christian burial. Sometimes there is no religious service whatsoever.

The Catholic Church beleives in the unity of Creation, body and soul, material and spirit. While disordered because of Original and Actual Sins, Jesus' passion, death and resurrection point to all, body and soul, material and spiritual being redeemed and saved, restored.

This is from Newsmax:

Pope Francis: Believe in the 'Logic' of Resurrection

Image: Pope Francis: Believe in the 'Logic' of Resurrection
(AP Images)

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Friday, 16 Sep 2016 02:30 PM

During his Friday mass in Vatican City, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said questions what happens after death can lead to people not understanding Christianity's "logic of the future," the Catholic News Service reports.

Believers will rise again in body and soul like Jesus Christ did following his Crucifixion, that logic follows.

"A spiritualistic piety, a nuanced piety is much easier; but to enter into the logic of the flesh of Christ, this is difficult. And this is the logic of the day after tomorrow. We will resurrect like the risen Christ, with our own flesh," the pontiff said.

"Tomorrow's logic is easy: We will all die. But the logic of the day after tomorrow, that is difficult … You also need the great grace of the Holy Spirit to understand this logic of the day after tomorrow; after the transformation, when he will come and will carry us transformed above the clouds to be with him always."

He made the remarks during a morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. (Vatican Motel 6: We Leave the Lights Off to Save the Earth)

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Pope Francis: Mary is our Mother, who defends us   

(Vatican Radio) In a “world that suffers the crisis of a great orphanhood,” we have a Mother that accompanies and defends us. That was the message of Pope Francis during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
The Gospel of the day brings us to Calvary. All the disciples had fled, except for St John and a few women. At the foot of the Cross is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Everyone is looking at her, saying, “That’s the mother of this delinquent! That is the mother of this subversive!”

“And Mary heard these things. She suffered terrible humiliation. And she also heard the dignitaries, even some priests, whom she respected, because they were priests, [saying] “You who are so good, come down! Come down!” With her Son, naked, there [on the Cross]. And Mary had such great suffering, but she didn’t go away. She didn’t deny her Son! He was her flesh.”

Pope Francis recalled that, when he was in Buenos Aires and would visit prisoners in the jails, he always saw lines of women waiting to enter:

“They were moms. But they were not ashamed: their flesh was there inside. And these women suffered not only the shame of being there – “Look at her! What did her son do?” -- but they also suffer the ugly humiliation of the searches they had to undergo before entering. But they were mothers, and they went to find their own flesh. And so it was with Mary: she was there, with her Son, with that very great suffering.”

Jesus, the Pope said, has promised not to leave us orphans, and on the Cross he gives us His Mother as our Mother:

“We Christians have a Mother, Jesus’ [Mother]; we have a Father, Jesus’ [Father]. We are not orphans! And she gives birth to us in that moment with such great sorrow: She is truly a martyr. With a pierced heart, she accepts giving birth to all of us in that moment of sorrow. And from that moment she becomes our Mother, from that moment she is our Mother, the one who takes care of us and is not ashamed of us: she defends us.”

The mystics of the early centuries, Pope Francis said, counsel us to take refuge under the mantle of the Mother of God in moments of spiritual turbulence: “The devil can’t enter there.” He continued, explaining that Mary is a mother, and she will defend as a Mother. The West later took this advice to heart and composed the Latin version of the Marian antiphon: Sub tuum praesidium, “under your mantle, under your protection, O Mother!” We are safe there, he said.

“In a world we could call an orphan,” Pope Francis concluded, “in this world that suffers the crisis” of a great experience of being orphaned, “perhaps our help lies in saying ‘Look to your Mother!’” We have a mother “who defends us, teaches us, accompanies us; who is not ashamed of our sins. She is not ashamed, because she is our Mother. May the Holy Spirit, this friend, this companion along the way, this Paraclete or advocate Whom the Lord has sent, make us understand this very great mystery of the maternity of Mary.”


Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

Pope Francis greets faithful as he arrives at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, July 30, 2016 - AP
Pope Francis greets faithful as he arrives at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, July 30, 2016 - AP
15/09/2016 12:55
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another in several different specific areas regarding the discipline of the sacraments, and ecclesial identity of the faithful.

The Holy Father has introduced material changes only to the Code of Canon Law that governs the Latin Church, in order to bring the Latin code into harmony with the Eastern code, especially as regards the valid celebration of marriages with spouses of mixed Rite, the circumstances under which a spouse may change Rite, how to determine the Rite to which a child belongs properly, and other questions in a similar vein.

A note issued by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts explains that the reason for the reforms is that of responding to the desire to facilitate the pastoral care of all the faithful, especially of those  very great and increasing numbers of Eastern Christians living in predominantly Latin environments.

Below, please find the full text of the motu proprio in Latin
Litterae Apostolicae Motu Proprio datae
            Quibus nonnullae normae Codicis Iuris Canonici immutantur.
De concordia inter Codices valde solliciti, quasdam discrepantias animadvertimus inter Codicis Iuris Canonici et Codicis Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium normas reperiri.
Duo enim Codices partim communes normas continent, partim vero peculiares ac proprias, id quod utrumque autonomum reddit. Oportet tamen ut etiam peculiares normae apte inter se componantur. Namque discrepantiae, si et quatenus adsint, in pastorali praxi incommoda secum ferunt, praesertim cum relationes inter membra tum ad Ecclesiam latinam tum ad aliquam Ecclesiam orientalem pertinentia moderandae sunt.
Id accidit praesertim nostris temporibus, cum nempe ex populorum migratione sequatur ut plures christifideles orientales in regionibus latinis degant. Quaestiones pastorales et iuridicae haud paucae inde sunt exortae, quae ut solvantur accommodatas normas postulant.  Speciatim est memorandum christifideles orientales ad suum cuiusque ritum servandum teneri, ubicumque terrarum inveniantur (cfr CCEO can. 40 § 3; Conc. Oecum. Vat. II, Decr. Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 6), ac proinde auctoritatis ecclesiasticae competentis est maximopere curare ut congrua media apparentur quibus ipsi hanc suam obligationem implere queant (cfr CCEO can. 193, § 1; CIC can. 383 §§ 1-2; Adhort. ap. postsyn. Pastores gregis, 72). Normarum concordia  haud dubie medium est quod valde iuvabit ut venerabilium rituum orientalium incremento faveatur (cf. CCEO can. 39), ita ut Ecclesiae sui iuris curam pastoralem efficacius exercere valeant.
Prae oculis tamen habenda est necessitas agnoscendi peculiares notas disciplinares illius regionis in qua relationes interecclesiales eveniunt. In Occidente enim, qui est maiore ex parte latinus, oportet consentaneam aequilibritatem servari inter tutelam iuris proprii minoris partis orientalis et obsequium exhibendum erga historicam traditionem canonicam maioris partis latinae, ita ut indebiti concursus et conflictus vitentur omniumque catholicarum communitatum in illa regione commorantium  fructuosa cooperatio foveatur.
Accedit et alia ratio ut normae CIC expressis quibusdam compleantur dispositionibus, iis quidem similibus quae in CCEO continentur, postulatio nempe ut accuratius determinentur relationes cum christifidelibus ad Ecclesias orientales non catholicas pertinentibus, quorum in praesentia auctus est numerus in territoriis latinis.
Prae oculis quoque habendum est canonistarum commentaria animadvertisse discrepantias quasdam inveniri inter utrumque Codicem ac fere unanimiter ostendisse quae sint praecipuae quaestiones et quomodo eae concordes sint reddendae.
Finis igitur normarum quae his Litteris Apostolicis Motu Proprio datis introducuntur in eo consistit ut perveniatur ad concordem disciplinam, quae certam signet viam sequendam singulis in casibus in exercitio curae pastoralis.
Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus per Commissionem peritorum in Iure canonico orientali et latino quaestiones repperit quae prae ceteris egere videntur accommodata renovatione legislativa sicque textum elaboravit transmissum ad triginta circiter totius orbis Consultores et Iuris canonici cultores necnon ad Auctoritates Ordinariatuum latinorum pro orientalibus. Expensis receptis animadversionibus, novus textus approbatus est a Sessione Plenaria Pontificii Consilii de Legum Textibus.
 His omnibus perpensis, quae sequuntur decernimus:
Art. 1. Canon 111 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur, in quo adiungitur nova paragraphus et nonnullae expressiones mutantur:
§1 Ecclesiae latinae per receptum baptismum adscribitur filius parentum, qui ad eam pertinent vel, si alteruter ad eam non pertineat, ambo concordi voluntate optaverint ut proles in Ecclesia latina baptizaretur; quodsi concors voluntas desit, Ecclesiae sui iuris ad quam pater pertinet adscribitur.
§2 Si vero unus tantum ex parentibus sit catholicus, Ecclesiae ad quam hic  parens catholicus  pertinet adscribitur.
§3 Quilibet baptizandus qui quartum decimum aetatis annum expleverit, libere potest eligere ut in Ecclesia latina vel in alia Ecclesia sui iuris baptizetur; quo in casu, ipse ad eam Ecclesiam pertinet quam elegerit.
Art. 2. Canon 112 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur, in quo adiungitur nova paragraphus et nonnullae expressiones mutantur:
§1. Post receptum baptismum, alii Ecclesiae sui iuris ascribuntur:
1° qui licentiam ab Apostolica Sede obtinuerit;
2° coniux qui, in matrimonio ineundo vel eo durante, ad Ecclesiam sui iuris alterius coniugis se transire declaraverit; matrimonio autem soluto, libere potest ad latinam Ecclesiam redire;
3° filii eorum, de quibus in nn. 1 et 2, ante decimum quartum aetatis annum completum itemque, in matrimonio mixto, filii partis catholicae quae ad aliam Ecclesiam sui iuris legitime transierit; adepta vero hac aetate, iidem possunt ad latinam Ecclesiam redire.
§2. Mos, quamvis diuturnus, sacramenta secundum ritum alius Ecclesiae sui iuris recipiendi, non secumfert adscriptionem eidem Ecclesiae.
§3. Omnis transitus ad aliam Ecclesiam sui iuris vim habet a momento declarationis factae coram eiusdem Ecclesiae Ordinario loci vel parocho proprio  aut sacerdote ab alterutro delegato et duobus testibus, nisi rescriptum Sedis Apostolicae aliud ferat; et in libro baptizatorum adnotetur.
Art. 3. Paragraphus secunda can. 535 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
§ 2. In libro baptizatorum adnotentur quoque adscriptio Ecclesiae sui iuris vel ad aliam transitus, necnon confirmatio, item quae pertinent ad statum canonicum christifidelium, ratione matrimonii, salvo quidem praescripto can. 1133, ratione adoptionis, ratione suscepti ordinis sacri, necnon professionis perpetuae in instituto religioso emissae; eaeque adnotationes in documento accepti baptismi semper referantur.
Art. 4. Numerus secundus primae paragraphi can. 868 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
§1. 2° spes habeatur fundata eum in religione catholica educatum iri, firma § 3; quae si prorsus deficiat, baptismus secundum praescripta iuris particularis differatur, monitis de ratione parentibus.
Art. 5. Canon 868 CIC posthac tertiam paragraphum habebit ut sequitur:
§3. Infans christianorum non catholicorum licite baptizatur, si parentes aut unus saltem eorum aut is, qui legitime eorundem locum tenet, id petunt et si eis corporaliter aut moraliter impossibile sit accedere ad ministrum proprium.
Art. 6. Canon 1108 CIC posthac tertiam paragraphum habebit ut sequitur:
§3. Solus sacerdos valide assistit matrimonio inter partes orientales vel inter partem latinam et partem orientalem sive catholicam sive non catholicam.
Art. 7. Canon 1109 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
Loci Ordinarius et parochus, nisi per sententiam vel per decretum fuerint excommunicati vel interdicti vel suspensi ab officio aut tales declarati, vi officii, intra fines sui territorii, valide matrimoniis assistunt non tantum subditorum, sed etiam,  dummodo alterutra saltem pars sit adscripta Ecclesiae latinae, non subditorum.
Art. 8. Prima paragraphus can. 1111 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
§ 1. Loci Ordinarius et parochus, quamdiu valide officio funguntur, possunt facultatem intra fines sui territorii matrimoniis assistendi, etiam generalem, sacerdotibus et diaconis delegare, firmo tamen eo quod praescribit can. 1108 § 3.
Art. 9. Prima paragraphus can. 1112 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
§ 1. Ubi desunt sacerdotes et diaconi, potest Episcopus dioecesanus, praevio voto favorabili Episcoporum conferentiae et obtenta licentia Sanctae Sedis, delegare laicos, qui matrimoniis assistant, firmo praescripto can. 1108 § 3.
Art. 10. Canon 1116 CIC posthac tertiam paragraphum habebit, ut sequitur:
§3. In iisdem rerum adiunctis, de quibus in §1, nn. 1 et 2, Ordinarius loci cuilibet sacerdoti catholico facultatem conferre potest matrimonium benedicendi christifidelium Ecclesiarum orientalium quae plenam cum Ecclesia catholica communionem non habeant si sponte id petant, et dummodo nihil validae vel licitae celebrationi matrimonii obstet. Idem sacerdos, semper necessaria cum prudentia,  auctoritatem competentem Ecclesiae non catholicae, cuius interest, de re certiorem faciat.
Art. 11. Prima paragraphus can. 1127 CIC integre sequenti textu substituitur:
§ 1. Ad formam quod attinet in matrimonio mixto adhibendam, serventur praescripta can. 1108; si tamen pars catholica matrimonium contrahit cum parte non catholica ritus orientalis, forma canonica celebrationis servanda est ad liceitatem tantum; ad validitatem autem requiritur interventus sacerdotis, servatis aliis de iure servandis.
Quaecumque vero a Nobis hisce Litteris Apostolicis Motu Proprio datis decreta sunt, ea omnia firma ac rata esse iubemus, contrariis quibuslibet non obstantibus, peculiari etiam mentione dignis, atque decernimus ut per editionem in actis diurnis L’Osservatore Romano promulgentur et deinde in Actis Apostolicae Sedis commmentario officiali edantur.
Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die XXXI mensis Maii anno MMXVI, Pontificatus Nostri quarto.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


UPDATE: As i reread the homily synopsis from Vatican Radio which I post below the video, is it possible that in an "informal" way, Pope Francis has declared Father Jacques Hamel to be a martyr of the Church and thus a saint, Saint Jacques? It sure seems like it to me with this quote:
This history, the Pope said – continues with our Father Jacques: he is part of this chain of martyrs.

“Father Jacques Hamel was slain as he celebrated the sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion. A good man, a meek man, a man who always tried to build peace was murdered (…). This is the satanic thread of persecution” he said.

Pope Francis concluded his homily holding up Fr Hamel and his example of courage and said we must pray to him to grant us meekness, brotherhood, peace and the courage to tell the truth: “to kill in the name of God is satanic”.

The Mass was also offered for the martyred French priest, Father Jacques Hamel. But clearly, it wasn't for the "repose of his soul" but rather, to elevate him to the altar of martyrs.

Please note that the Holy Father says the Introit prior to the Sign of the Cross, which is what I do at daily Mass as well.


Of course a glaring omission in the current Ordinary Form Missal (not the Ordinariate's missal, thank God) is that there is no Offertory Antiphon although there is, thank God, the Communion Antiphon which I recite after I have received my Holy Communion, which completes the sacrifice, my communion, not the antiphon.

To the congregation gathered at Santa Marta and which included Archbishop Dominque Lebrun of Rouen, along with 80 other pilgrims from the diocese, Pope Francis said that “to kill in the name of God is satanic”.

Reflecting on the many martyrs that are part of the history of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said: “this is a story that repeats itself in the Church, and today, he said, there are more Christian martyrs than there were at beginning of Christianity”

Today – he continued - there are Christians "who are murdered, tortured, imprisoned, have their throats slit because they do not deny Jesus Christ".

This history, the Pope said – continues with our Father Jacques: he is part of this chain of martyrs.
“Father Jacques Hamel was slain as he celebrated the sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion. A good man, a meek man, a man who always tried to build peace was murdered (…). This is the satanic thread of persecution” he said.

And, Pope Francis continued: "What a pleasure it would be if all religious confessions would say: 'to kill in the name of God is satanic'".

Pope Francis concluded his homily holding up Fr Hamel and his example of courage and said we must pray to him to grant us meekness, brotherhood, peace and the courage to tell the truth: “to kill in the name of God is satanic”.
On the altar, a simple photograph of Fr Hamel who was slain by two Islamist fanatics while celebrating Mass in the Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on 26 July 2016.