Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I have a disclaimer, I do wear my watch during Mass and on the right wrist because years ago I developed a rash under the watch on my left wrist.

But prior to Vatican II, it was the custom to remove one's watch to celebrate Mass so that nothing would distract from the elevations and at other times during the Mass.

Today even modern popes wear their watch during Mass, I think beginning with St. Pope John Paul II and continuing with Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis (unfortunately Pope Francis even looks at his watch during Mass, ugh!).

The other thing I don't like, and never have done is wear a ring since becoming a priest. I think only a bishop should wear a ring and certainly no priest should every wear rings during the celebration of the Mass! How tacky!

But with that said, is Bishop Conley's watch a distraction?


I saw this at the Deacon's Bench! Cool, no?
From The Catholic Review in Baltimore:
A man fishing at the Loch Raven Reservoir in north Baltimore County some two decades ago was convinced he had snagged a big fish after his line hooked something substantial.
After reeling in his haul, the angler had no fish. He had, however, caught something even more remarkable: a large Gothic monstrance used by Catholics to hold the Eucharist for worship.
Unsure what the ornate object was, but thinking it looked “churchy,” the man took the monstrance to a local Catholic church. A priest examined the vessel, suggesting that the man take the beautiful brass finding to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, where it subsequently remained in storage for years.
During a joyous Nov. 23 Mass that attracted hundreds of people to the historic basilica, Archbishop William E. Lori placed the consecrated host inside the restored monstrance fished from the water and carried it in a solemn procession to the church’s undercroft.
There, he placed the monstrance atop a gleaming altar inside a new adoration chapel that he dedicated to be used in a special way to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
“Using a monstrance fished out of a lake, we will ask the Lord to send us new ‘fishers of men,’ ” Archbishop Lori said in his homily prior to dedicating the new chapel, “both here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in the whole church.”
How the monstrance found its way into the reservoir is a mystery, Archbishop Lori said, “but how it found its way here to the basilica is a remarkable sign of God’s providence.”
Archbishop Lori announced that the new adoration chapel will be dedicated to the basilica’s 24th rector, Monsignor Arthur Valenzano, in gratitude for his “goodness and priestly example.” The surprise announcement stirred the congregation to give the priest a prolonged standing ovation during which Monsignor Valenzano, who is battling cancer, smiled and placed a hand over his heart.
Monsignor Valenzano established a small adoration chapel in the same spot as the new one in 2011. It is located near the tombs of several archbishops of Baltimore, including the nation’s first bishop, Archbishop John Carroll.
The new chapel features an altar inspired by the basilica’s side altars in the upper church.
The adoration chapel altar includes an octagonal baldacchino, a canopy with metal shingles that Archbishop Lori said were set in a pattern inspired by the design of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
“The tiles of blue glass which cover the interior of the baldacchino and serve as a backdrop for the monstrance recall the water of the lake from which the monstrance emerged,” Archbishop Lori said, “and also the words of the Lord to the Apostles, the first fishers of men, to ‘put out into the deep.’ ”
Read more.


Except for House Hunters and House Hunters International and maybe Bizarre Foods and a couple of other HGTV shows, I hate reality television shows, like the Housewives of Atlanta and the Kardashians, so you get my drift?

But will this Lifetime Television show make it? Will it inspire more vocations to women's religious orders? At least Lifetime knew that the ratings would plummet if they chose an LCWR group of women religious to be the orders that these girls would consider, just like LCWR vocations have plummeted. So there is some good logic here that even TV execs know but the LCWR types are complete obliviously, in denial in other words.

But here's the movie trailer:


When I die and go to heaven (I know, I know, I'm being presumptions here), I want to find out as quickly as possible who assassinated President Kennedy and the behind the scenes intrigue.

And now retired Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has elevated a conspiracy theory about the election of Pope Francis to an unnecessary level with a letter to the editor in London's Daily Telegraph on November 25th, three days after the anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. You can read the whole story on it HERE. Again, this is DaVinci Code stuff. I'm sure a movie based on the book will soon follow:
"Papal Plot" would be a good name for the new movie produced by Oppie Taylor, I mean Ronnie Howard!


Bishop Jame Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Mass in his ultra-modern Cathedral (I think it was built in the late 1960's, but I don't know for sure).  But with the traditional altar accoutrements and the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem in this con-celebrated Ordinary Form Mass, even the modern Risen Christ imposed on the cross, popular in the late 1960's and 70's doesn't look bad.

In fact, the most modern church in the round even, would be vastly improved with the traditional altar arrangement and ad orientem Mass.

I've always thought the stripping of the altar of its tall six candlesticks and central crucifix really made the altar and sanctuary look bare. I hated it the first Sunday I saw it in my home parish in Augusta (without any word from the pastor as to why it what done, btw) in the late 1960's.  It had two small rinky-dink candles on it and the priest's chair behind it in the central place where the tabernacle had been with the tabernacle moved to a side altar. As a young teenager the symbolism of this to me was that the priest had elevated himself to the starring role of the church building and Christ in the tabernacle had been demoted. It was incongruous to me at the time and still is today.

But anyway here is some liturgical eye-candy:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


John Allen at CRUX writes about Pope Francis and the two most powerful speeches of his pontificate today directed towards Europe's ruling class:

STRASBOURG, France — History’s first pope from outside the West traveled to the heart of secular Europe Tuesday and delivered a sharp wake-up call, warning European leaders that the continent risks irrelevance if it doesn’t recover its founding values, drawing in part on its Christian legacy.

Pope Francis delivered back-to-back speeches to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe that amounted to a strong call to Europe to get both its social and its spiritual house in order.

Before roughly 750 members of the European parliament, Francis bluntly said today’s world is becoming “less and less Eurocentric,” that Europe often comes off as “elderly and haggard,” that it’s less and less a “protagonist” in global affairs, and that the rest of the planet sometimes sees it “with mistrust and even suspicion.”

“Where is your vigor?” Francis asked the Council of Europe, deliberately speaking through it to the entire continent. “Where is that idealism that inspired and ennobled your history?”

Despite being on the ground just four hours, Francis’ presence seemed historic since, in a sense, the New World was meeting the Old Continent.

Speaking in Italian, Francis argued that many of the specific political problems facing Europe, from immigration and extremism to rising youth unemployment, have a spiritual core. He denounced what he called a “cult of opulence which is no longer sustainable,” based on exaggerated individualism that breeds violations of human dignity.
To shake off its malaise, he said, Europe needs to recover a sense of values and mission, one foundation for which is religious conviction.

“A Europe which is no longer open to the transcendent dimension of life,” Francis said, “is a Europe which risks losing its own soul.”

Francis said that despite his sober diagnosis, he wanted to deliver a message of “hope and encouragement” that Europe can dust off its original vision, based on the post-World War II founders of the European Union who were often inspired by Christian ideals, including the social teaching of the Catholic Church.
Tuesday’s brief day trip had been billed as the pontiff’s chance to lay out a vision for Europe and he didn’t disappoint, delivering two of the most substantive speeches of his papacy in a span of less than four hours.

The European Parliament is the lone institution whose members are directly elected by the 500 million citizens living in 28 member states of the European Union, while the Council of Europe brings together 47 countries whose combined population is more than 800 million. Francis’ appearance marked the second time a pontiff has addressed these two institutions, after John Paul II in 1988.

(On that occasion, the late Ian Paisley, then-leader of Northern Ireland’s Protestants, had to be dragged out of the parliament chamber while denouncing the pope as the Anti-Christ. No such disruption marred today’s speech, as Francis drew strong applause at several points and an extended standing ovation at the end.)

Heading into the trip, Francis was expected to engage the hot-button questions facing Europe’s political class: rising immigration and youth unemployment, gains posted in May by far-right nationalistic movements, and backlash against austerity measures imposed by many governments as part of the ongoing Eurozone crisis.

The pope did raise several such issues. On hunger, for instance, the pontiff said “it is intolerable that millions of people around the world are dying … while tons of food are discarded every day from our tables.”

On labor, Francis said “the time has come to promote policies which create employment,” and to “restore dignity to labor by ensuring proper working conditions.”

“What dignity can a person ever hope to find,” the pope asked the parliament, “when he or she lacks food and the bare essentials for survival, and worse yet, when they lack the work that confers dignity?”

Some of the pope’s most passionate language came in a call for “fair, courageous and realistic” immigration policies, especially on behalf of waves of poor migrants from Africa and the Middle East who often try to reach Europe by making perilous crossings over the Mediterranean Sea.
“We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery!” the pope said, referring to the estimated 20,000 people who have died over the past two decades attempting to make the journey.

As other victims of what Francis once again denounced as a “throw-away culture,” Francis cited “the terminally ill, the elderly who are abandoned and uncared for, and children who are killed in the womb.”

Francis also delivered a strong ecological message, saying “our earth needs constant concern and attention” and insisted that it must not be “disfigured, exploited and degraded.”

Francis took up one of the standard complaints lodged against European political institutions, which is that they suffocate diversity under a bland bureaucratic uniformity. Resentments along those lines have been credited with fueling the rise of far-right Euro-skeptic parties, including the National Front in France and the “Five Star” movement of comedian Beppe Grillo in Italy.

“Unity does not mean uniformity of political, economic, and cultural life, or ways of thinking,” the pope said. “Indeed, all authentic unity draws from the rich diversities which make it up.”

On most of those points, the pope drew strong applause. The heart of his argument, however, seemed to cut deeper than a laundry list of specific political concerns.

Francis rued what he called a “great vacuum of ideals which we are currently witnessing in the West,” including “forgetfulness of God.” In place of a humanistic vision, he said, what Europe breeds today are “uniform systems of economic power at the service of unseen empires.”

Francis insisted that recovering Europe’s Christian history and entering into “meaningful” and “open” dialogue with its religious traditions “does not represent a threat to the secularity of states, or to the independence of the institutions of the European Union.”

Instead, he said, it’s the basis for “a humanism centered on respect for the dignity of the human person.”

The 2,000-year history that links Europe and Christianity, he said, “isn’t free of conflicts and errors, even sins,” but at its best, it’s driven by “the desire work for the good of all.”

Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was often accused of being “Eurocentric,” in the sense of focusing excessively on European culture. To date, Francis has faced the opposite charge, often being seen as neglectful of Europe in favor of focusing on zones of greater growth and dynamism for the Catholic Church today, such as Asia and Africa.

Yet Francis’ twin speeches on Tuesday suggested that substantively he’s got much the same agenda for Europe as his two predecessors, and both texts frequently cited John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
In fact, his Strasbourg speeches were arguably the most “Ratzingerian” texts of Francis’ papacy, featuring references and vocabulary often associated with Pope Benedict: The risks of “dictatorships of relativism,” as well as a philosophical tendency to see human beings as radically isolated “monads.”

In other words, this may have been a pope from the New World, but the message for the Old Continent hasn’t changed: If Europe wants to save its soul, it needs to make room for values inspired in part by its Christian past.


If the Congregation for Divine Worship simply emphasizes the sobriety of the Latin Rite Mass and its reverence and piety, then the Congregation for Divine Worship will have provided an "immensity of majesty" ethos for the Liturgy and its proper celebration throughout the world, which this photo below does not convey in the least. May this come to an end!
 What can we expect from the Congregation for Divine Worship under Cardinal Sarah? I'm not sure, because this congregation has moved slowly but methodically over the years and in a more orthodox, traditional way since St. Pope John Paul II. He ordered the revision of the English translation of the Mass as far back as the late 1980's. He revised the General Instruction of the Roman Missal in 2002.

The unknowns concern the vernacular revisions of the Roman Missal. The one in English is completed. I don't see any major change by going backwards  in any dramatic way with future revisions of the English Roman Missal. I do think there will be some tweaking, but that will be minor and most laity won't even notice it.

For example, some of the phrasing and/or wording of the Prefaces of the revised English need some tweaking. The Preface for Christ the King has this oddity: "the immensity of your majesty." Certainly there is a better way to translate this?

But we still await the Italian revision and the Portuguese revision (being one of the worst of all translations) as well as other translations. Will the translating method be changed? Will it be shifted to Bishops' Conferences. If these things happen, then yes, we will be going backwards, not walking forwards.

What has happened with the Congregation for Divine Worship since Pope Francis became pope that might give us some indication of where this congregation will go?

First of all many things that Pope Francis approved where in the works under Pope Benedict. Pope Francis confirmed these right away:

1. The name of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was added to all Eucharistic Prayers. It was first added to the Roman Canon under the pontificate of St. Pope John XXIII. Pope Francis approved this immediately, within weeks of becoming Pope.

2. The revised Anglican Ordinariate Roman Missal was approved by Pope Francis. It allows Elizabethan English for the Mass, a revised Roman Calendar that is more like the EF's Calendar while still faithful to the Ordinary Form's Lectionary. It allows in the appendix, EF elements to be used as an option for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, Ad Orientem, Holy Communion kneeling, the EF's Offertory Prayers and the Last Gospel, all as options.

In my mind, the Anglican Ordinariate's Revised Roman Missal is the big news of this Pontificate. Pope Francis approved it, although it was certainly prepared under Pope Benedict. Pope Francis could have certainly revised it or ordered its approval delayed after evaluation of it. He did not.

I'm not sure why other bloggers do not understand the significance of this revised Missal which was a collaboration of both the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In fact, when I was in Rome last year at a visit to the Congregation for Divine Worship, I asked an official there if we could expect the options allowed to the Anglican Ordinariate Missal to be applied to the Ordinary Latin Rite Missal. He said, if there are advocates for it, certainly.

I would think there are advocates. I believe Cardinal Burke still sits on the Congregation for Divine Worship as a member of one of its committees. Does anyone know if this is still true? He would be a wonderful advocate.

3. Finally, this congregation issued a decree that the Kiss of Peace would not be moved to a different location in the Ordinary Form of the Mass but it mandated that it be sober and that it is merely an option, not required.

So Cardinal Sarah, given the immensity of the majesty of his orthodoxy, will continue a trajectory for the Congregation that is already established but he will do so as Rocco Palma indicates:

...The office's new mission is likely to hew closer to Francis' own liturgical approach – as one op summarized it, "Go by the book. Don't make a fuss about it. And remember that liturgy's always a means to an end, not an end in itself."

Not only can I live with Rocco's summary, I wholeheartedly endorse it for everyone in the Church! I also endorse Cardinal Sarah as the next successor of Saint Peter!

As I have said time and again, I love both forms of the Mass and want both forms celebrated as prescribed. The Ordinary Form has many options. These are legitimate but regardless of the options, this Mass needs to recover reverence, piety and awe and it can easily be accomplished on the local level when there is attention to detail and small reforms are initiated. 

But our worship of God at Mass is meant to make us disciples of Jesus in order to bring our faith and good works to the world. Our lives as Catholics should be so attractive that it will draw others to consider what makes a Catholic different and Catholic lives so beautiful.

Is there a beauty in post-Vatican II Catholics' everyday lives? I honestly ask that question especially of the laity. Are Catholics living beautiful lives that attract others to our faith or are they not? 

Monday, November 24, 2014


 We all know that Cardinal Kasper was defacto the mouthpiece of Pope Francis in floating the ideology that Catholics in a second marriage while still being in a Church recognized first marriage could receive Holy Communion under certain circumstances after a penitential act of some kind.

Then at the Synod on the Marriage the next logical consequence of allowing Catholics in an "institutionalized" form of mortal sin, an adulteress second marriage, would be for those who are living together without the benefit of marriage to receive Holy Communion and for same sex couples even in legal so-called marriages to do the same by legitimizing the ideology of gradualism in a so-called new doctrine of pastoral care. 

Then an act of God took place. Cardinal Kasper made racist's remarks to Edward Pentin a reporter saying that Africans have nothing to teach us. It was stunning in and of itself but to add insult to injury Cardinal Kasper lied to the international press and said he had said nothing of any sort until Edward Pentin produced an audio recording proving the Cardinal did say it showing he was not only a racist in this regard but a bald face liar. It was stunning!

Immediately Pope Francis had to distance himself from his mouthpiece. He had to name an African  who was critical of the manipulation of the Synod and evidently with Pope Francis' backing, to a leading position in writing the final agreement that was very conservative.

This whole affair was a turning point for this papacy and high ranking cardinals and not only Americans began to question Pope Francis' style of leadership and the confusion he is sowing in the Church as aging hippies in the Magisterium long for the good old days of the 1970's and are trying to bring it back by making bishops and priests into social workers and the Church into a non-governmental organization (NGO). Folks, that is what was happening in the 1970's and the theology of the priesthood shifted from the cultic to social worker status. The same for the laity's baptismal priesthood too!

Because Pope Francis had aligned himself so closely with a now percieved racist and liar, His Holiness had to distance himself from Kasper and show that His Holiness takes the orthodoxy of Africans seriously. Now in a effort at even greater damage control, His Holiness has named Cardinal Robert Sarah as the only African in the Curia thus far under this pope's pontificate.

Would this have happened without the Holy Spirit revealing the true nature of Cardinal Kasper????Was the Edward Pentin affair only coincidental? I doubt it!

Read also what John Allen wrote about Robert Cardinal Allen prior to the conclave when he had a series of articles in the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) on the "Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope" by pressing this sentence!

I post Fr. Z's post about Cardinal Sarah as it has links to show that Cardinal Sarah would have none of this making God's priestly people, be they ordained or not, into social workers where authentic worship is regarded as secondary or even non-important:

Pope Francis has appointed Robert Card. Sarah, 69, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

Hitherto, Card. Sarah, from Guinea, has been the head of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.
Not long ago, I posted here about Card. Sarah’s remarks concerning the poor.
Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.
Also, he seems to have seen through the machinations of a certain element active during the recent Synod of Bishops on the family regarding homosexuality.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, emphasized to CNA Oct. 16 that “what has been published by the media about homosexual unions is an attempt to push the Church (to change) her doctrine.”
“The Church has never judged homosexual persons, but homosexual behavior and homosexual unions are grave deviations of sexuality,” the cardinal, who is from the west African nation of Guinea, added.
Card. Sarah wasn’t happy about the manipulation of the Synod.  HERE
I think it was precisely this sort of input from Africans that Card. Kasper feared during the Synod.


Francis has nominated the 69-year-old African cardinal as head of the Congregation that handles affairs relating to liturgical practices in the Catholic Church. He fills the position that was left vacant by Cañizares

Everyone was on tenterhooks waiting to see who would take over from Spanish cardinal Antonio Cañizares as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. The answer came at midday today: The man Francis has chosen to lead the dicastery that deals with liturgical affairs of the Church, is Cardinal Robert Sarah, currently President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, one of the Curia bodies that is eventually going to be merged as part of the Curia reform process.

Cardinal Sarah was born to Catholic family on 15 June 1945 in Ourous, Guinea. He was ordained priest on 20 July 1969 in Conakry and studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a licentiate in Scripture at the "Studium Biblicum Franciscanum" in Jerusalem. In 1979, John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Conakry at the young age of 34. He was consecrated bishop by the Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, who was formerly Nuncio to Senegal. In 1985 he was appointed President of the Guinean Bishops’ Conference.

In October 2001 he moved to Rome after John Paul II nominated him Secretary of Propaganda Fide. Nine years later, on 7 October 2010, Benedict XVI chose him as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and created him cardinal of the Deaconry of San Giovanni Bosco in Via Tuscolana (Saint John Bosco in Via Tuscolana) in the November Consistory. Sarah is Guinea-Bissau’s first cardinal.

After today’s nomination, the Vatican has an African cardinal leading a Vatican Congregation once again. Nigerian cardinal Francis Arrinze was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008, while Cardinal Bernardin Gantin from Benin headed the Congregation for Bishops from 1984 to 1998.

“The Lord has given me a gift I do not deserve and it is also a call to love the Lord even more on the occasion of the Consistory; it is also a call to love the Lord more and to die for Him, for the Gospel, for the salvation of the world… I would like to thank the Holy Father for deciding to grant me this honour. However, I also see this call as having come from God; it is a call to me to lead a more priestly and Christian life. I think today’s world needs God’s people, people who live their lives in such a way that they represent God’s physical presence in the world.”

Sarah is known for his deep spirituality: In nominating him head of the Church’s liturgical dicastery, Francis has chosen a pastor with 22 years of experience leading a diocese. In recent years the new Prefect for Worship attracted a great deal of media attention  after he reminded the world that Africa was exploited by international powers and after a homily he pronounced in 2011 during an ordination ceremony for priests and deacons at the Communauté Saint-Martin in Candes. On this occasion, there was a big focus on liturgical formation and Sarah reminded pastors of their duty to faithfully announce Jesus’ teachings and urged them not to keep quiet about “serious” moral “deviations” 

In an interview with Catholic news agency Zenit last 23 October, the newly-appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship talked about the recently held Extraordinary Synod on the Family and said he did not see the question of the Eucharist for Catholics who divorce who remarry, as one of the “real important challenges that affect families today.” “The crisis of today’s family is in how the concept of marriage and family has changed” as a result of “the effects of a secular and relativistic society.” In another interview with Catholic New Agency published last month, Cardinal Sarah criticised international bodies for making financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations based on gender ideology.

The profile of Robert Sarah, a Curia member with a long experience serving as a pastor in Africa, is rather traditional: On 24 October he had a meeting with priests taking part in the annual Roman pilgrimage of faithful that celebrate mass according to the Old Rite. Hia arrival as head of the dicastery for Worship is therefore unlikely to herald any innovations in the liturgical field.

Those who know Cardinal Sarah well, say he is leaving his current position as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum – the Pope’s international emergency charity service with a certain trepidation. They also say that the African cardinal took some time to reflect on the nomination which is why it was not announced in a matter of days or weeks. Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke was also informed some time ago – around the same time rumours started going round in the media – about his transferral from the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura to the Order of the Knights of Malta. In fact he was informed about this before the Synod, which would prove wrong those who speculated that his removal and new nomination were to do with the views he expressed during the recent Synod Assembly on the family.


These two things are GREAT! as Tony the Tiger says:

Cardinal Sarah had distinguished himself as one of the strongest conservative voices at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops this year. 

From a 2012 address on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, in Lyon (France):
The spirit of the Council has at times been understood in a wrong way, as, for instance, in the temptation of making use of the criteria of the world to engage in dialogue with the world. I think in particular of liturgical abuses, of the downsizing of salvation to a temporal messianism, to an understanding of the Christian life as a sort of humanitarian commitment, to the foundation of social actions inspired by dialectic, and therefore losing the originality of the Christian message. But "opening up to the world" does not mean abolishing the contradiction between the Gospel and the world, nor to tone down the Christian message. It is rather to present to our world the message of the Gospel in all its purity. It is Christ who is the light of the world, as the Council affirms.  
 --From Rorate Caeli 


My comments at the end of this Whispers in the Loggia post this morning. I have to say this is great news considering the fact that the other Marini was rumored since the beginning of Pope Francis' pontificate. The best thing that Rocco Palma writes is that Pope Francis wants someone who will promote the liturgy and to celebrate it by the books and without a big fuss over it (obsessing over it like the progressives do with all their stupid creativity and improvisation (such as changing the words of the text and other stupids things that so many (some in Macon) do!) In other words look for more "read the black and do the red!" And look for a revised appendix in the normal Edition of the Roman Missal that allows for the EF elements in the Ordinary Form of the Mass as in the Anglican Ordinariate's new Roman Missal! This is great news to say the least!

From Whispers in the Loggia:
After several weeks of rumors of an impending Curial "earthquake" – ahead of schedule, the first throes of a sweeping, Francis-driven restructuring – the Holy See released a one-line statement that "At 9.30 this morning, the Pope presided over a meeting of the dicastery heads" who comprise the church's central government.

While whatever transpired remains to emerge, the most-awaited of the expected moves has been released with today's appointment of Cardinal Robert Sarah, the 69 year-old Guinean until now in charge of the Vatican's humanitarian efforts, as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. (Above, Sarah is seen on a visit to the Philippines in the wake of last year's Super-Typhoon Yolanda, the catalyst behind the Pope's own planned visit in January.)

Ordained a bishop at 34, in the post overseeing the global church's formal life of prayer, Sarah succeeds Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who was returned to his native Spain – by some accounts, at his own request – in late August as archbishop of his native Valencia.

Having served as head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum – in the coming shuffle, likely to be merged with the body for Justice and Peace – since 2010 and before that as #2 at the Propaganda Fide, not much is known about Sarah's background or expertise in matters of worship; lacking a doctorate, the cardinal's final degree was a licentiate in the Scriptures. Then again, the CDW under Francis is not expected to continue along the office's path of recent decades, which saw the congregation preside over revolutionary shifts (e.g. the sweeping re-translation of the English Missal) alongside maintaining an intense disciplinary oversight of liturgical abuses – whether real or perceived – at the local level.

Instead, the office's new mission is likely to hew closer to Francis' own liturgical approach – as one op summarized it, "Go by the book. Don't make a fuss about it. And remember that liturgy's always a means to an end, not an end in itself."

Along those lines, the choice of a prefect whose ministry has been immersed in charity work and the perils of the missions – far removed from the ceaseless boutique "wars" so beloved by polarized Anglo-European elites (whose churches aren't necessarily thriving) – serves above all as a fresh pointer to the risks and messiness of the "peripheries," the concept which remains the key to everything in this pontificate.

MY COMMENTS: The best thing that Rocco Palma opines is that the good Cardinal will do what so many of us who are right minded about the Liturgy have been calling for: "Read the black and do the red" and don't make a fuss about it. It is the heterodox and progressive creatives of the liturgy who have made such a fuss over the liturgy changing it, imposing their personality on it and dumbing it down for decades now. Maybe all this nonsense will come to an end and the true reform of the reform will be actually to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium and do the modern missal as it is written and do the EF as it is written!

Finally, I think we will see the reforms of the Anglican Ordinariate Missal applied to the ordinary Latin Rite reformed missal as an option in the index, and here I mean the EF elements and bringing the two calendars for the Ordinariate and from the normal Latin rite into a unity. This would be the best news of all!

But when Praytell was opining if the new Prefect would be this cardinal, here are the first few comments, but go there to read others that will be added. That they will be weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth is simply delicious! I am sure they will add another post on this great news for them. Stay tuned!

  • #1 by Karl Liam Saur on November 22, 2014 - 11:42 am
    Well, were this to come to pass, it would strike me as orthogonal to the First World liturgy warriors at both ends.
    Guinea is an overwhelmingly (85%) majority-Muslim country. It would seem to place liturgy in the context of evangelisation under challenging local conditions. Rather than aesthetics or First World-ruddered programs of social justice.
    And, again if it comes to pass, points to people who forthrightly eat crow over the non-appointment of someone like Piero Marini.
  • #2 by Dismas Bede on November 22, 2014 - 1:16 pm
    How interesting. Should he become prefect, and his brother prelates see the accompanying picture, might they all start throwing together various pieces of their wardrobe, and wearing things that were never meant to be worn together. Is it a case of “The more red, the better?”
    Seeing this, the eminent Burke must be dying… again.
    Seriously, though, there is a need for many prelates to be refreshed – or informed for the first time – as to what to wear… when… and with what.
  • #3 by Peter Haydon on November 22, 2014 - 1:36 pm
    I wonder if Cardinal Kaspar’s comments on African bishops are part of the story here.
  • #4 by Reyanna Rice on November 22, 2014 - 2:29 pm
    This seems like such an unlikely pick. I did not read anything in his background to indicate he has any liturgical “chops”. Is this wishful thinking on the part of some?? Papa Francesco usually picks people who have some skill level for the position they will be holding. He is quite logical in this.
  • #5 by Jordan Zarembo on November 22, 2014 - 4:29 pm
    Why wouldn’t Pope Francis pick a head for the CDW who is from the global south? North Americans and Europeans have already built and earnestly defend their respective Maginot Lines of liturgical friction. Liturgy in Africa and Asia is often overshadowed by liturgical ideological strife in the aforementioned areas. Pope Francis would act with eminent logic to appoint Cardinal Sarah or one of his brother African bishops.
    I should hasten to mention that Africa and Asia are diverse continents with many different cultures. I also suspect that Pope Francis knows this, but he is forced to choose a secretary who has the greatest depth and breadth of liturgy across the worldwide church outside of North America and Europe. This is no small task for Pope Francis or his choice for the post.
  • #6 by Jack Feehily on November 22, 2014 - 10:23 pm
    Let’s just hope this is a false report. It makes no sense to me.
  • #7 by Paul Inwood on November 24, 2014 - 5:40 am
  • #8 by Nick Basehore on November 24, 2014 - 5:40 am

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
(23 November 2014)

Today’s liturgy invites us to fix our gaze on Christ, the King of the Universe.  The beautiful prayer of the Preface reminds us that his kingdom is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace”.  The readings we have listened to show us how Jesus established his kingdom; how he brings it about in history; and what he now asks of us.

First, how Jesus brought about his kingdom:  he did so through his closeness and tenderness towards us.  He is the Shepherd, of whom the Prophet Ezekiel spoke in the First Reading (cf. 34:11-12, 15-17).  These verses are interwoven with verbs which show the care and love that the Shepherd has for his flock: to search, to look over, to gather the dispersed, to lead into pasture, to bring to rest, to seek the lost sheep, to lead back the confused, to bandage the wounded, to heal the sick, to take care of, to pasture.  All of these are fulfilled in Jesus Christ:  he is truly the “great Shepherd of the sheep and the protector of our souls” (cf. Heb 13:20; 1 Pt 2:25).

Those of us who are called to be pastors in the Church cannot stray from this example, if we do not want to become hirelings.  In this regard the People of God have an unerring sense for recognizing good shepherds and in distinguishing them from hirelings.

After his victory, that is after his Resurrection, how has Jesus advanced his kingdom?  The Apostle Paul, in the First Letter to the Corinthians, says: “for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (15:25).  The Father, little by little, subjects all to the Son and, at the same time, the Son subjects all to the Father.  Jesus is not a King according to earthly ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father, to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfillment.  In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and the Son.  The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father.  “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:26).  And in the end, when all things will be under the sovereignty of Jesus, and everything, including Jesus himself, will be subjected to the Father, God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15:28).

The Gospel teaches what Jesus’ kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged.  This is the great parable of the final judgement in Matthew 25.  The King says: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (25:34-36).  The righteous will ask him: when did we do all this?  And he will answer them: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).

The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom.  The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity.  In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters.  Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other.  Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom.  But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity.  If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel.

Today the Church places before us the example of these new saints.  Each in his or her own way served the kingdom of God, of which they became heirs, precisely through works of generous devotion to God and their brothers and sisters.  They responded with extraordinary creativity to the commandment of love of God and neighbour.  They dedicated themselves, without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims.  Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and measure of their unconditional love of God.  In fact, they sought and discovered love in a strong and personal relationship with God, from whence springs forth true love for one’s neighbour.  In the hour of judgement, therefore, they heard that tender invitation: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).

Through the rite of canonization, we have confessed once again the mystery of God’s kingdom and we have honoured Christ the King, the Shepherd full of love for his sheep.  May our new saints, through their witness and intercession, increase within us the joy of walking in the way of the Gospel and our resolve to embrace the Gospel as the compass of our lives.  Let us follow in their footsteps, imitating their faith and love, so that our hope too may be clothed in immortality.  May we not allow ourselves to be distracted by other earthly and fleeting interests.  And may Mary, our Mother and Queen of all Saints, guide us on the way to the kingdom of heaven.  Amen.