Tuesday, April 30, 2013

THE DEVIL YOU SAY? THIS POPE REALLY BELIEVES IN SATAN AND PREACHES HIM, THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD!



MY COMMENTS FIRST: This Holy Father constantly reminds us of the Devil. How many times have you heard reference to the devil in homilies in your church? I have lost count now how many times in two short months Pope Francis has made reference to the Devil and that the devil is the father of lies. Yes, folks, the Holy Father, Francis, knows that we are in a spiritual battle and that we need God's grace to assist us. Therefore we must pray for the Church, all of us who comprise the Church, each of us. Jesus is the only one who can look in the face of evil (the prince of this world, the devil) and overcome it! Got that?

This Pope is calling us to simplicity of faith, not to be worldly, to be Christ-centered. Fasten your seat belts we're in for a bumpy ride. And they thought Pope Benedict was a RESTORATIONIST! Wow! They ain't seen nothin' yet! Pope Francis is restoring the true Catholic Faith to the Church, mark my word!

FROM THE HOLY FATHER'S THOUGHT OF THE DAY GIVEN AT HIS MOTEL 6 PLACE OF RESIDENCE DURING MASS IN ITS CHAPEL ON TUESDAY, APRIL 30!

Pope: A worldly Church cannot transmit the Gospel

(Vatican Radio) A worldly Church is a weak Church. The only way to stop this from happening is to entrust the Church to the Lord through constant prayer. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass Tuesday morning, celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, also known as APSA. Emer McCarthy reports:

"We can safeguard the Church, we can cure the Church, no? We do so with our work, but what’s most important is what the Lord does : He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it. The prince of the world comes but can do nothing against me: if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world. Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord's Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church ... It' s yours. Your Church is [made up of ] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart".

Then, Pope Francis remarked that "it is easy to pray for the grace of the Lord", "to thank Him" or when "we need something." But it is fundamental that we also pray to the Lord for all, for those who have "received the same Baptism," saying "they are Yours, they are ours, watch over them".

"Entrust the Church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the Church grow. It is also an act of faith. We can do nothing, we are poor servants - all of us - of the Church: it is He who keeps her going and holds her and makes her grow , makes her holy, defends and protects her from the prince of this world and what he wants the Church to become, in short more and more worldly. This is the greatest danger! When the Church becomes worldly, when she has the spirit of the world within herself, when that peace which is not that of the Lord - that peace when Jesus says, 'I leave you peace, my peace I give you', not as the world gives it - when she has that worldly peace, the Church is a weak Church, a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross ... She cannot transmit this if she is worldly”.

During his homily, Pope Francis returned several times to the importance of prayer to entrust "the Church to the Lord", the path to "the peace that only He can give":

"Entrust the Church to God, entrust the elderly, the sick, the children, the youth ... 'Safeguard your Church Lord ': she is yours! With this attitude, He will give us, in the midst of tribulations, the peace that only He can give . This peace which the world cannot give, that peace that cannot be bought, that peace which is a true gift of the presence of Jesus in the midst of his Church. Entrusting the Church that is in distress: there are great tribulations, persecution ... there are. But there are also small tribulations: the small tribulations of illness or family problems ... entrust all this to the Lord guard your Church in tribulation, so she does not lose faith, so she does not lose hope. "

Pope Francis concluded : "May the Lord make us strong so we do not lose faith, so we do not lose hope”. Entrusting the Church to the Lord “will do us and the Church good. It will give us great peace [and although] it will not rid us of our tribulations, it will make us stronger in our sufferings”.



Monday, April 29, 2013

DOES THIS HOMILY SOUND LIKE POPE FRANCIS IS TRYING TO CLERICALIZE THE LAITY? I REPORT, YOU DECIDE!


BOMBSHELL FROM POPE FRANCIS: Pope: Shame is a true Christian virtue!

MY ONLY COMMENT: THIS POPE'S AGENDA IS SACRAMENTAL, ALL BASED UPON THE ACTUAL REFORM THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND LAITY--THE CALL THE REPENTANCE AND THE CALL TO THE HOLY LIFE AND GUESS WHAT? IT ISN'T ABOUT LITURGICAL MINISTRIES OR CHURCHY MINISTRIES, AS ENAMORED AS THE 1970'S POST-CATHOLICS ARE, IT'S ABOUT LIFE, LIFE IN THE SECULAR WORLD!

FROM THE HOMILY AT THE CHAPEL OF THE VATICAN'S MOTEL 6, WHERE POPE FRANCIS RESIDES AND PROVIDES US HIS DAILY HOMILY, FOOD FOR THE THOUGHT OF THE DAY!

(Vatican Radio) The Confessional is not a ‘dry cleaners’ where our sins are automatically washed away and Jesus is not waiting there to ‘beat us up’, but to forgive us with the tenderness of a father for our sins. Moreover, being ashamed of our sins is not only natural, it’s a virtue that helps prepare us for God's forgiveness.

This was the central message of Pope Francis’ homily Monday morning during Mass celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and religious present in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports:

Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states " God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all," Francis Pope pointed out that "we all have darkness in our lives," moments "where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark”, but this - he pointed out - does not mean we walk in darkness:

"Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: 'If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us ... This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. "

"When the Lord forgives us, He does justice" - continued the Pope - first to himself, "because He came to save and forgive", welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: "The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him "and with tenderness," He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. " "This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation" even though "many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner" to clean the dirt from our clothes:

"But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "

Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness".

"Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go .... He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness .... "

This confidence, concluded Pope Francis "gives us room to breathe." "The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. "


THE IDEOLOGICAL THRUST OF THE 1970'S BREATHING ITS LAST BREATH, GOD WILLING!

THE IDEOLOGICAL ESSENCE OF THE CHURCHY MENTALITY OF THE 1970'S, POLLUTED SWAMP AIR, THAT POPE FRANCIS IS STRIVING TO OPEN THE WINDOWS OF THE CHURCH TO LET IN NEW AIR, SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN NATURE TO WHAT POPE BENEDICT TRIED TO DO. THE 1970'S MENTALITY AMONGST THOSE MOST ENAMORED WITH IT, THE CURRENT GENERATION DYING OFF, IS TRYING MIGHTILY HARD TO BOX POPE FRANCIS INTO THEIR SWAMP-AIR MENTALITY, OF WHICH HE IS NOT!

The end all and be all of the 1970's mentality for the laity, women in particular:

I know nothing of the Benedictine priest who died recently and God bless his soul. But I did know Fr. Paul Philibert who I had for theology classes at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore in the 1970's. Just to be clear, I liked him very much as a person and he was an excellent teacher. He had a great personality but was a bit eccentric, but aren't we all.

So my comments after this little bit of what he wrote recently as a review of the book "A Virtuous Church" isn't about the deceased, for I do not know him and I offer a prayer for the happy repose of his soul. I simply want to comment on Fr. Philibert's 1970's perspective of which Pope Francis is moving the Church beyond, although Pope Francis as a Jesuit would be very familiar with the 1970's mentality for better and of course for worse and what he would see as the "clericalization" of the laity.

In the forthcoming May issue of Worship Fr. Paul Philibert OP has a review of the recently released book A Virtuous Church: Catholic Theology, Eithics, and Liturgy for the 21st Century. Philibert begins:

“A Virtuous Church,” [Benedictine Father] Kevin Seasoltz [who very recently died] analyzes the forces that have enabled the restorationist reaction to Vatican II. Drawing on the social sciences, biblical studies, the Catholic tradition of moral theology, and contemporary ecclesiology and liturgiology, he underlines how poorly founded and inept is the present option of the Church’s leadership for authoritarianism, centralization, and clericalism. With the Roman Catholic Church more centralized than ever before in its history, bishops have become vicars of the pope rather than vicars of the apostles, women feel intensely marginalized, and the laity have not been able to achieve fully the role proposed for them by the Second Vatican Council.

The review concludes:

The author writes that many people today “wonder whether the Lord Jesus, as master of the Church, has gone on a very long journey and left the Church as an orphan in [the] charge of rascals” (195). The deepest cultural challenges and opportunities for the Kingdom of God have been systematically ignored in order to buttress the Roman option for a classicist theology and for juridical approaches to ministry that mask the universal call to holiness and the universal responsibility for the Church’s apostolic life. The virtue of this book is that the author explains calmly and clearly what that means and how it happened. As a carefully documented work of theological synthesis, it will be not only enriching but also important for theologians and pastors, catechists and ecclesial ministers. We are in debt to the author for a potent prod to assess what we see happening in the Church and to address it, each of us within the sphere of our capacities.


MY COMMENTS: Fr. Philibert writes, "Women feel marginalized in the Church?" Why? Because they can't be a bishop, a priest or a deacon? Is that the end all and be all of the Church? Yes, for the liberals of yesteryear, that is the essence of the Church, clericalism, whether it is the clericalism of the ordained, even if they be women, or the clericalism of the laity, which I use to call "laityism." It is all about the churchy things the laity do, whether they are in positions of control or not. Whether they are lectors, or altar servers, deacons or priests or bishops and that is the essence of the apostolic ministry to them. To Fr. Philibert it is about laity preaching from the pulpit of the Church, being the president of the parish council, being in roles of authority in the parish, the chancery and the curia. It is about all the things priests do in their clerical lives.

And I know that Fr. Philibert, very much in line with his 1970's theology, would like to see the laicization of the clergy, so they begin to act as laity, married with children and preoccupied by all the things of the laity that takes them away from the "churchy" things that this minority of men in the Church have traditionally taken care of so that the laity could be free to do the real work of the laity of being a leaven in their family, their work and their play, bringing the Gospel and the Catholic way of life to the secular world.

But for Pope Francis, who will be more collegial than his last two predecessors, this is all nonsense. He does not want the laity clericalized. He wants them to find their "ministry" which I would think would be more aptly called, "apostolate" in their lay state. So mothers and fathers have a more profound apostolate in the Church forming their children in the ways of faith, not as domestic administrators, but as mothers and fathers who nurture their children with love and show for the love of Holy Mother Church. I would suspect that the most important "ministry" that women have in the Church is precisely being mothers and wives if they are married, that that would be their primary and most important ministry. Wives show forth the nature of the Church as the bride of Christ. Together with the head of the family, the husband, they form the Church in miniature, caring for the family, and their children who could be considered the poorest of the poor, clothing them, teaching them, sheltering them and feeding them. This is what the Church universal is called to do as well on the institutional level and where the laity work primarily to promote the cause of Christ to the poor in their midst, whether the laity contribute to the needs of the poor, work directly with them, assist the government to take care of the poor in the political sense. The laity, the Catholic laity, are to bring Catholic sensibilities to all they do, political and otherwise!

Father Philibert characterizes the struggle in the Church as a class struggle between the clergy and the laity that is epitomized in the liturgy of the Church with its 1970's mentality and flair. He would certainly have had disdain for Pope Francis' recent priestly ordination Mass where only men did the primary roles of the liturgy, bishops, priests, deacons and installed readers on their way to priesthood, who read the lessons and installed acolytes who functioned during the Mass. The only laity functioning in the Mass were the man and woman who brought the offerings to the pope and the laity in the choirs.

For Fr. Philibert, that recent liturgy of Pope Francis' is an insult to the laity and to Vatican II, so misunderstood by the 1970's generation still stuck in 1970. But for Pope Franics the laity who formed their boys in the ways of faith that led to their answering God's call to be priests is the most profound ministry that any parents could have, way above being pope, bishop or priest. Of course for Fr. Philibert, that doesn't count as it isn't mimicking the ordained life in churchy, liturgical things or in seizing clerical power in the liturgy, the parish, the diocese or the Vatican. How sad!

Compare what Fr. Philibert writes in his 1970's dying theology, and thank God for that--that it is dying, breathing its last breathes, because it smells like a polluted swamp, to the fresh air of Pope Francis. In fact, the 1970's generation, still stuck there, can't smell the bad swamp breath that they exhale with every word they write and speak:

"The reform that’s needed is “neither to clericalize nor ask to be clericalized. The layperson is a layperson. He has to live as a layperson… to be a leaven of the love of God in society itself…. [He] is to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from a pulpit but from his everyday life. And like all of us, the layperson is called to carry his daily cross—the cross of the layperson, not of the priest.”

MY FINAL COMMENT: Fr.Paul Philibert and others of his ilk of the 1970's musty, polluted swamp air era, despise Pope Benedict and his papacy and prior to that as Cardinal Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Philibert fails to realize that the Holy Spirit was at and is at the core of every papacy no matter how good or how bad that papacy is and God will use every papacy for the advancement of the true nature of the Church as we walk forward in faith toward the Second Coming of Christ. Pope Francis' papacy would be quite different if it had merely followed Pope Paul VI's and not the previous three popes.

What Fr. Philibert and others of his 1970's mentality fail to recognize about Pope Francis building upon Pope Benedict, is that his vision of the Church isn't about continuing the liturgical wars or the ecclesiology wars or the lay ministry wars, it is about living our Catholic faith and the holiness of both the laity and the clergy, that from the Holy Mass and their popular devotions at church and home, leads them to trust in God's mercy (Penance), to go into their homes and workplaces and recreational places with the Good News, knowing that the Devil wants to thwart them, make them "churchy" and "worldly" and rob them of the love of Christ, His mercy and His true homeland for them, heaven.

It's time to move on from the ideologues of the 1970's, Fr. Paul Philibert and the one he reviews, and follow the new Pope into the new frontier Pope Francis sets before us! His papacy as Bishop of Rome will entail what Vatican II actually sought to do, reform the Church, meaning, renew the laity and clergy and show forth the simplicity of the Gospel and how to live it in the world, not so much in the institution of the Church that prior to Vatican II had become self-absorbed and clothed in too much trappings that made her appear to be aloof and apart from the world the majority of Catholics lived in, worked in and played in, a rupture between the secular and the sacred.

For the laity, the pre-Vatican II trappings of the clerical life, that of clerical power distributed to the laity, in the liturgy as lectors, Communion ministers, lay ecclesial ministers, leaders of prayer, parish council presidents, heads of departments in the chancery and in the Vatican's curia need to be revisited and stripped to the more essential roles of the laity in the secular life of the world.

It is easier to say one is a good Catholic depending upon their churchy role whether they are clergy or laity. It is much more difficult to say one is a good Catholic apart from the churchy, institutional things clergy and laity do, such as being a holy person and a good Catholic everywhere else after Mass and when one goes home, to work and to play!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ONE OF MY COUSINS IN NEW YORK SENT ME THESE PICTURES, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHO THE HECK THEY ARE!

I haven't seen some of these pictures in many, many years, probably since these were taken and never saw the last one until recently!


We were certainly one of the first in 1960 in Augusta, Georgia to have a "Chinese Pug!" His name was G.G. and he was a great dog! He died at 16 when I was in my early 20's! Everyone would say "he was so ugly, he's cute!" The dog! not me! BTW, I still have that Santa Claus; he holds a bottle of coke. I got him in 1958! That television was our family's first one, we got it in 1957 or 58 in Atlanta from Sears, the most exciting day of my life!

Now tell me, how cute is he! And I'm a Italian cowboy on our terrace in Napoli, my place of birth!

I've never seen this picture of my dad, in 1941 or so, when he was just drafted into the army and stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. This was before he went into World War II in Africa and Europe and by 1960 was living 90 miles away from Ft. Jackson in Augusta, Ga where he would die in 1987! From Cape Breton, to Detroit, to Brooklyn, to Ft. Jackson, SC, to Africa, to Italy and there married in 1945, to Atlanta and then to Augusta!

FOR 70,000 TO BE CONFIRMED THE HOLY FATHER OFFERS THREE SHORT AND SIMPLE THOUGHTS!

UPDATE!!!!A MAJOR CHANGE IN PAPAL LITURGIES! I've posted the video below. There is a hymn for the procession and then the Holy Father goes to the front of the altar to be greeted by a bishop who introduces the nature of the Mass of Confirmation. After this, the Introit is chanted, the Holy Father goes,kisses the altar, incenses it and goes to his papal throne to begin the Mass from there! This is a vast improvment to say the least, normally this has been done after the greeting of the Mass and is so long and has no place there! Thank you Holy Father for changing this!
Please note the hermeneutic of continuity at work in the Benedictine Altar arrangement!


MY COMMENTS FIRST: This pope gives great sermons and the best part is how short these are and filled with something to take home and chew on. I think too that in these three short points, the Holy Father gives us his "Marshall Plan" for the Church, meaning, not just the functioning of the Church, like the curia, or the liturgy of the Church, or the other sacraments, but the people of the Church, those fully initiated into the Church,those led by the Pope and Bishops in union with him, led by the Magisterium that hands on the complete Deposit of Faith and of the moral life that leads to holiness.

The three points of Pope Francis' Marshall Plan"for the rebuilding of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church":

1. Let us open the doors to [God], let ourselves be guided by him, and allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us! How beautiful it would be if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person!

2. To follow the Lord, to let his Spirit transform the shadowy parts of our lives, our ungodly ways of acting, and cleanse us of our sins, is to set out on a path with many obstacles, both in the world around us, which often fails to understand us, but also within us, in our own hearts.

3. There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion to our sinfulness. Let us trust in God’s work!

MY FINAL COMMENT: The hermeneutic of continuity and rupture continue in the Holy Father's Masses. The Benedictine Altar arrangement continues, the austere style of Pope Francis continues in vesture and demeanor. At Holy Communion the Holy Father continues to give Holy Communion only to the deacons who kneel before Him and by way of intinction. Others distribute Holy Communion to communicants who either stand or kneel, receive on the tongue or in the hand. Those confirmed by the Holy Father were kneeling at an altar railing set of kneelers and they received Holy Communion kneeling, most received on the tongue, many received in the hand while kneeling. At Communion time, it isn't either standing or kneeling, in the hand or on the tongue, it is both and what a marvelous compromise!

The Masses in the Square continue to have two places for the Liturgy of the Word, the First Reading, the Responsorial Psalm and Epistle Reading are at the Epistle side of the altar area at a smaller ambo and the Gospel is proclaimed at the larger ambo at the Gospel side of the altar. Interesting, no? In St. Peter's itself, they only use the larger ambo, no Epistle ambo.

Parts of the Mass of the congregation were chanted in Latin, the Pater Noster was spoken in Italian, the prayers of the Holy Father all in Italian.

Homily of Pope Francis celebrating Confirmation Mass

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Dear Confirmands,
I would like to offer three short and simple thoughts for your reflection.

1. In the second reading, we listened to the beautiful vision of Saint John: new heavens and a new earth, and then the Holy City coming down from God. All is new, changed into good, beauty and truth; there are no more tears or mourning… This is the work of the Holy Spirit: he brings us the new things of God. He comes to us and makes all things new; he changes us. And Saint John’s vision reminds us that all of us are journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the ultimate newness which awaits us and all reality, the happy day when we will see the Lord’s face, and be with him for ever, in his love.

You see, the new things of God are not like the novelties of this world, all of which are temporary; they come and go, and we keep looking for more. The new things which God gives to our lives are lasting, not only in the future, when we will be with him, but today as well.God is even now making all things new; the Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live. Let us open the doors to him, let ourselves be guided by him, and allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us! How beautiful it would be if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person!

2. A second thought. In the first reading Paul and Barnabas say that “we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). The journey of the Church, and our own personal journeys as Christians, are not always easy; they meet with difficulties and trials. To follow the Lord, to let his Spirit transform the shadowy parts of our lives, our ungodly ways of acting, and cleanse us of our sins, is to set out on a path with many obstacles, both in the world around us, which often fails to understand us, but also within us, in our own hearts. But difficulties and trials are part of the path that leads to God’s glory, just as they were for Jesus, who was glorified on the cross; we will always encounter them in life!

3. And here I come to my last point. It is an invitation which I make to you, young confirmands, and to all present. Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion to our sinfulness. Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses.

The new things of God, the trials of life, remaining steadfast in the Lord. Dear friends, let us open wide the door of our lives to the new things of God which the Holy Spirit gives us. May he transform us, confirm us in our trials, strengthen our union with the Lord, our steadfastness in him: this will be a true joy! Amen.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

SO-CALLED DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH SPEAKING AGAINST THE APOSTLES (BISHOPS/POPE/MAGISTERIUM?)


YOU CAN LISTEN TO VATICAN RADIO'S TAKE ON POPE FRANCIS' SATURDAY MORNING HOMILY BY PRESSING THIS SENTENCE. THOSE WHO THINK THEY ARE DEFENDING THE TRUTH ARE SPEAKING SLANDER AND SPREADING GOSSIP NOT THE WORD OF GOD. I SUSPECT THIS COULD APPLY TO THE SSPX, THE LCWR, THE NATIONAL CHISMATIC REPORTER, THE REMNANT AND ALL OTHER DISSIDENT CATHOLICS.

IF POPE BENEDICT HAD SAID THESE THINGS, THE CATHOLIC LEFT WOULD BE MOCKING HIM IN DERISION!

A pope doesn't have to wear one of these to actually wear one of these, his words and actions indicate what he is wearing! The pope teaches with authority and not like the scribes!

COULD YOU IMAGINE HOW HOT UNDER THE COLLAR THE "POST-cATHOLICS" OF THE CHURCH WOULD BE IF POPE BENEDICT HAD SAID THE FOLLOWING?

Here are the "money quotes":

To the LCWR: ..."Then highlighted the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the important mission of Religious to promote a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium (Cf. Lumen gentium, nn. 43-47). He also emphasized that a Conference of Major Superiors, such as the LCWR, exists in order to promote common efforts among its member Institutes as well as cooperation with the local Conference of Bishops and with individual Bishops. For this reason, such Conferences are constituted by and remain under the direction of the Holy See (Cf. Code of Canon Law, cann. 708-709)."

To clergy and laity: "The reform that’s needed is “neither to clericalize nor ask to be clericalized. The layperson is a layperson. He has to live as a layperson… to be a leaven of the love of God in society itself…. [He] is to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from a pulpit but from his everyday life. And like all of us, the layperson is called to carry his daily cross—the cross of the layperson, not of the priest.”

To Scripture scholars of the Pontifical Biblical Commission: "We must place ourselves in the current of the great Tradition that, under the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Magisterium, has recognized the canonical writings as Word addressed by God to his people and has never ceased to meditate on them and discover in them inexhaustible riches. The Second Vatican Council confirmed this with great clarity in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum: “For all of what has been said about the way of interpreting Scripture is subject finally to the judgment of the Church, which carries out the divine commission and ministry of guarding and interpreting the word of God.” (n. 12).

As the aforementioned Constitution reminds us, there is an indissoluble unity between Sacred Scripture and Tradition, because both come from the same source: “There exists a close connection and communication between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth, they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.” (Ibid., 9).

To the cardinals and laity: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil."

"It is not possible to find Jesus outside the church."

"The disciples do not make the Church – they are the messengers sent by Jesus. And Christ was sent by the Father: “The Church begins there,” he said, “in the heart of the Father, who had this idea ."

"The Catholic Church is hierarchical and Catholic, so be it!"

"The Pope commented on the number of mothers present at the Mass. “How would you feel,” he asked, “if someone said: she’s a domestic administrator? 'No, I am the mother!' And the Church is Mother. And we are in the middle of a love story that continues thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit. All of us together are a family in the Church, who is our Mother."

"And these, on the road of duty, load everything on the shoulders of the faithful. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from – from [whatever side] – is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues – as we have seen in the history of the Church – end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness – and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing."

If Pope Benedict had said any of these things, there would have been hell to pay. BUT POPE FRANCIS SAID ALL THESE THINGS! ALL OF THEM! DOES ANY OF THAT SOUND LIKE POST-cATHOLIC DRIVEL OF THE LEFT? I SAY NO!


Friday, April 26, 2013

PONDERINGS BEFORE A NEW POPE IS ELECTED


Our parish has a monthly newsletter that we send to every household through the mail. I always write an article for our newsletter. The following one is the letter I had in April's newsletter and I wrote it before Pope Francis was elected:

Dear friends in Christ,

As I write this letter, the new pope hasn’t been elected. The media has its choice; progressive Catholics have their choice as do conservative Catholics. We could also call some of us traditionalists and others of us iconoclasts who have their choices. But all these labels are a bit unfair and tend to divide rather than unite.

By the time you read this letter, the only choice for pope that counts is God’s choice and God has given us a new pope!
The primary ministry of the Bishop of Rome as denoted in one of his titles, Pontifex or Pontiff is to be a “bridge builder.” He is to unite the people of God under his ministry as the universal pastor and as our “papa” or “pope” in English. But he does not do so only by the force of his personality, because some popes are outgoing and others more introverted; he does so by virtue of his teaching office, to hand on the Catholic Deposit of Faith in all its fullness and to call Catholics throughout the world to be obedient to the Faith, Morals and Canon Laws of the Church.

It is in the teachings of the Church revealed by God in the areas of faith and morals that Catholics are obligated to be obedient, to give the assent of the will; when we do so we build up the unity of the Church rather than bring division. Our unity as Catholics hinges on our foundational belief that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried and on the third day, rose from the dead. He was seen by the apostles and many, many others after his death and resurrection. He continued to teach and heal in those 40 days and then He ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God interceding for us and preparing an eternal dwelling for us. But He has not left us alone, He sends us His Holy Spirit to guide the Church and protect her in the tempests that toss her about, some of our own making and others that are inflicted upon us. He has not and will not abandon us, either as a Church or as individuals.

However and only in the last 50 years an evil spirit of “dissent” has entered into the Church and many Catholics have become like Southern Baptists who believe that each believer has a certain infallibility in terms of interpreting the Scriptures.

Fortunately the Catholic Church only accords infallibility to one person and that is the pope and only in the strictest sense of faith and morals. He can only declare something infallible as long as there is a precedent for it in Tradition and it is believed from the earliest centuries by the Church. In other words, he can’t make it up as he goes and he can’t change something that is already considered infallible. Infallibility is also accorded to the Bishops in union with the pope when they gather in an ecumenical council and define a particular teaching to be infallible.

The hottest and most divisive issues for Catholics today seem to revolve around sexuality and gender roles. Those who are influenced by secular trends (which are not always bad, unless these are used to manipulate the Church into being unfaithful to deposit of faith and morals) desire the Church to be as libertine as our culture is on matters of sexuality. This means specifically giving permission to Catholics to use artificial birth control (which goes against natural law) to have abortions, to have sex outside of marriage and any type of sex one is inclined to do and to extend the Sacrament of Marriage to same sex partners. In other words they want us to do away with the 6th Commandment and all that it implies and they want us to do away with natural law and all it implies and they want us to do away with 2000 years of Tradition and all that it implies.

Oh, on top of that (which goes in line with same sex marriage) they want women to be ordained to Holy Orders. Of course the sacramental image of the Catholic priest when he is celebrating the Mass is that he is a “sacramental” sign of Jesus Christ who is the Bridegroom of the Church and the gathered community of souls (anima in Latin which is a feminine word) is the sacramental sign of the Bride of Christ. If it doesn’t matter what gender spouses are, if the Church then allowed for the ordination of women, the Church would then allow that a woman can be a sacramental sign of a “bridegroom” who traditionally is a man.

Of course the Church can’t go against natural law and she never will. So don’t expect the new pope to do so, because he has absolutely no authority to do so. No Catholic has that authority. The pope’s infallibility is severely limited by Catholic teaching. He can’t contradict natural law. He cannot contradict Sacred Scripture and he cannot contradict Sacred Tradition. He is not the “Wizard of Oz” or “Oz, the Great and Powerful!” He is the pope, the bridge builder to Christ and he does so by fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Tradition and natural law.

We Catholics are united by the Petrine Ministry, the pope who is the Vicar of Christ and only in the areas of faith, morals (natural law) and canon law we Catholics owe obedience. When we are obedient in these areas, we are united in the mission that Christ as given the Church, to know, love and serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. We also propagate the truths of God to the world and call the world to conversion by our dialogue with the world. There is a danger in dialogue in that if we are wishy-washy in our own beliefs, we may be tempted to be converted by the world to its godless falsehoods.

Stick with the pope in the areas of faith and morals and you can’t go wrong and you won’t go to hell. God bless you.
Your pastor,
Fr. Allan J. McDonald

JUST WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom:

Western Rite Ordinary Form Mass:

Western Rite's more ancient, but not as ancient as the Eastern Rite's Divine Liturgy, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Tridentine):

I thank Fr. G for sending the full length video to me of Pope John Paul II celebrating the Ukrainian Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. This liturgy is more ancient than the Tridentine Liturgy of the West and certainly more complicated and more mystical than even the Tridentine Mass. When we compare it to the modern Ordinary Form Mass, the OF Mass appears as child-play and trite to the extreme, quite banal. Mystery and mysticism are stripped as well as ceremony.

But that is not my point. My point is that in 1996 Pope John Paul II celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom which is far more clerical and far more complicated than the 1962 Roman Missal for pontifical Mass

Yet there is a phobia of Latin Rite bishops, including the Bishop of Rome and the Emeritus Bishop of Rome to actually celebrate this 1962 at the papal altar of St. Peter's. What's up with that. The 1962 missal is a part of the two forms of the one Roman Rite and deserves a place of pride in the Latin Rite.

Of course when Pope John Paul II celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in 1996 there wasn't immediate access to it on the internet and no one except for the few in attendance and those who saw it later by video even knew it had happened. Apart from that it was a "pontifical secret!"

Let's grow up about the two expressions of the one Latin Rite and not be phobic about either of them and celebrate both of them well and by the book. Let's pray that a pope in the present or the future will celebrate again the glories of the Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy and the glories of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the 1962 missal. You can't go wrong with the Holy Sacrifice of our Lord in whatever legitimate form it is celebrated and in receiving our crucified, risen and glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, to which every liturgy of the Church makes available to the clergy and faithful.

POPE FRANCIS' THOUGHT OF THE DAY FROM HIS MOTEL 6 PLACE OF RESIDENCE CHAPEL


My Comments first: Pope Francis is a marvelous homilist and precisely because of the simplicity of the words he preaches and the images he uses. He eschews academic formulas and style which I think he sees as an enemy of Catholic faith when it remains a head-trip. This is what Pope Francis has to say about academic ideologues who corrupt the simplicity of the Catholic Faith:

"And these, on the road of duty, load everything on the shoulders of the faithful. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from – from [whatever side] – is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues – as we have seen in the history of the Church – end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness – and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing."

From Vatican Radio's website:

Pope: Preparing for the heavenly homeland

(Vatican Radio) Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae (Motel 6). On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. Emer McCarthy reports:

The Gospel of the day recounts Jesus saying to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled”.

"These words of Jesus are really beautiful words. In a moment of farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, really from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad, because they realize that things are not going well. He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled. And he starts to talk like that, just like a friend, even with the attitude of a pastor. I say, the music in the words of Jesus is how the pastor should behave, like a shepherd with his sheep, right? ... Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God, in me '. And what does he start to talk about? About Heaven, about the definitive homeland. 'Have faith in me': I remain faithful, it is as if he said that, right? ... Like an engineer, like an architect He tells them what He will do: 'I am going to prepare a place, in my Father’s house is my dwelling'. And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. "

Pope Francis asked: "What is that place like? What does 'prepare a place' mean? Does it mean renting a room up there? ‘Prepare a place’, means preparing our ability to enjoy the chance - our chance - to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of that homeland towards which we walk ".

"And all of Christian life is the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit to prepare a place, prepare our eyes to be able to see ... 'But, Father, I see fine! I don’t need glasses! ': But that's another type of vision .... Think of those who are suffering from cataracts and have to undergo an operation to remove them: they can still see, but after surgery what do they all say? 'I never thought you could see so well without glasses!'. Our eyes, the eyes of our soul they need, they have to be prepared to contemplate the beautiful face of Jesus. Our hearing must be prepared in order to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all our hearts must be prepared: prepared for love, to love more".

In our life’s journey – said Pope Francis- the Lord prepares our hearts "with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things":

"The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, as he did with the good thief: he only had a few minutes to prepare him and he did it. But the normal run of things goes this way, no?: in preparing our heart, eyes, hearing to arrive in this homeland. Because that is our homeland. 'But, Father, I went to a philosopher and he told me that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that life is this, the concrete, and no-one knows what’s beyond ...'. Some think this is so ... but Jesus tells us that it is not so and says, 'Have faith in me'. This I tell you is the truth: I do not cheat, I do not deceive. "

"Preparing for heaven - said the Pope – means beginning to greet him from afar. This is not alienation: this is the truth, this is allowing Jesus to prepare our hearts, our eyes for the beauty that is so great. It is the path of beauty and" the path to the homeland. "

Pope Francis concluded with a prayer that the Lord will give us " this strong hope," the courage and the humility to allow the Lord to prepare “our eyes, our hearts, our hearing” for the heavenly homeland, "the definitive dwelling. So be it. "


Thursday, April 25, 2013

MAKIN' MOVIE MAGIC IN MACON! "NEED FOR SPEED!"

HERE IS THE AWESOME MUSTANG THAT IS BEING USED IN THE MOVIE "NEED FOR SPEED" BEING FILMED NEAR OUR CHURCH AND OUR CHURCH WILL BE FILMED NEXT WEDNESDAY, NEWS THEN!

HERE'S A COUPLE OF SHOTs, THE FIRST ONE IS THE ACTUAL MUSTANG AND THEN THE ONE THEY USE FOR CLOSE-UPS WHILE IT IS MOVING WHICH IS JUST A SHELL OF A MUSTANG, COOL NO?


See all of WMAZ TV's photos HERE!

THIS IS TOO COOL, POPE JOHN PAUL II CELEBRATES THE UKRANIAN RITE BYZANTINE LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM IN A 1996 DIVINE LITURGY AT THE PAPAL ALTAR IN SAINT PETER'S BASILICA!

This is the complete liturgy which begins with the procession about 5 minutes into the video. The Eastern Rite Chant of the Ukrainian Church is marvelous! Please note the altar as it is vested for this liturgy and that the Holy Father celebrates the Liturgy with his back to the nave, which is quite interesting too, since the Basilica when the Bishop of Rome celebrates Mass facing the nave is ad orientem toward the actual geographical east! Many thanks to Fr. G for sending this link!

THE CHURCH, SAYS OUR HOLY FATHER, FRANCIS, IS NOT JUST ANOTHER NGO!

Pope Francis said in his first homily in the Sistine Chapel: "We can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a compassionate NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil."


Ever since Pope Bergoglio said that the Church is not just another "NGO" I have wanted to look up what acronym NGO is. Yahoo News just gave it to me as I forgot all about it:

"The Church is not an NGO (non-governmental organization). It is a story of love," Pope Francis said, according to a transcript published by Vatican Radio.
"I know that people from the IOR (Vatican Bank) are here, so excuse me. Offices are necessary but they are necessary only up to a certain point."
It was the first time Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, had mentioned the Vatican bank in public since his election.
The account of the sermon in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, omitted the mention, however. Italian media said this was a sign of conflict within the Vatican on how to deal with the bank.
Vatican sources have said the pope could restructure the IOR and has the power to close it if he wants to
.


This then brought me back to Pope Bergoglio's first homily as pope in the Sistine Chapel where he briefly outlined the thrust of his papacy as Bishop of Rome:

In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.

Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.

Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a compassionate NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups – there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage – the courage – to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.

POPE BENEDICT'S HARD WORK TO RECONCILE WITH THE ORTHODOX LED HIM TO ATTEND AN ORTHODOX DIVINE LITURGY WHICH IN TURN ENABLED THE PATRIARCH OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH TO ATTEND POPE FRANCIS' INSTALLATION MASS

Pope John Paul II celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the papal altar of St. Peter's in 1996. A Latin Rite priest must use Latin Rite vestments when concelebrating a Divine Liturgy and evidently when the main celebrant:

Pope John XXIII celebrates the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom:

Pope Benedict in 2006 attending Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy with Patriarch Bartholomew as celebrant

Patriarch Bartholomew attends Pope Francis Installation Mass, the first time since the Great Schism! This is due in large part to Pope Benedict's efforts!

At Divine Liturgy, pope, patriarch affirm commitment to unity in 2006

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service


ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNS) -- Claiming the brotherhood of their respective patron saints -- the apostles Andrew and Peter -- the spiritual leaders of the world's Orthodox and the world's Catholics joined together in prayer and solemnly affirmed their commitment to the full unity of their churches.

Incense and ancient hymns chanted in Greek set the atmosphere as Pope Benedict XVI paid homage to the Orthodox church by attending a Nov. 30 Divine Liturgy celebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

The liturgy at the Orthodox Church of St. George in Istanbul marked the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the patriarchate.

The pope and patriarch greeted each other with kisses on the cheek, but then the pope moved to a raised wooden throne at the side of the church while the patriarch celebrated the solemn liturgy.

After the almost three-hour liturgy, Patriarch Bartholomew led Pope Benedict to a balcony overlooking a courtyard. They both blessed the crowd, then the patriarch took the pope's hand and held it aloft as they waved and smiled at the applauding crowd below.

"In the liturgy, we are reminded of the need to reach unity in faith as well as in prayer," the patriarch said in his homily.

"Therefore, we kneel in humility and repentance before the living God and Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious name we bear and yet at the same time whose seamless garment we have divided," the patriarch told the pope and other members of the congregation.

"We confess in sorrow that we are not yet able to celebrate the holy sacraments in unity," Patriarch Bartholomew said. "And we pray that the day may come when this sacramental unity will be realized in its fullness."

As the Orthodox faithful processed up for Communion, they bowed to the pope before receiving the consecrated bread and wine.

But one little boy, dressed in a dark suit and tie, stepped out of the line to kiss the pope's ring.

Although the Orthodox church in Turkey has fewer than 5,000 members, Pope Benedict told reporters that the patriarchate's standing in the Orthodox world as the "first among equals" made a visit almost obligatory.

"Numbers, quantity, do not count," the pope told reporters Nov. 28 on the way to Turkey. "It is the symbolic, historical and spiritual weight that counts" and the fact that the patriarchate "remains a point of reference for the whole Orthodox world and, therefore, for all of Christianity."

Addressing the congregation at the end of the liturgy, Pope Benedict said the service was an opportunity "to experience once again the communion and call of the two brothers," Peter and Andrew, chosen by Jesus to be his apostles and sent to different cities to preach the same Gospel.

The fact that the brothers also had different roles within the Christian community, with Peter and his successors in Rome having a "universal responsibility," has "unfortunately given rise to our differences of opinion, which we hope to overcome, thanks also to the theological dialogue which has been recently resumed," Pope Benedict said.

While Orthodox generally recognize the importance of the church of Rome, they object to the way in which popes have tried to exercise direct jurisdiction over all Christian communities.

Pope Benedict said he wanted to "recall and renew" the invitation issued by Pope John Paul II for a discussion among Christians on possible ways for exercising the papal ministry to serve the unity of all Christians.

"It is only through brotherly communion between Christians and through their mutual love that the message of God's love for each and every man and woman will become credible," the pope said.

Like the patriarch, he expressed his sadness at the fact that although they share the same faith and recognize the validity of each other's sacraments, Catholics and Orthodox cannot regularly share each other's Eucharist.

"May our daily prayer and activity be inspired by a fervent desire not only to be present at the Divine Liturgy, but to be able to celebrate it together, to take part in the one table of the Lord, sharing the same bread and the same chalice," the pope said.

At the end of the liturgy, he gave Patriarch Bartholomew a chalice as a gift.

The patriarch, in turn, gave the pope a Book of the Gospels, expressing his hope that Catholics and Orthodox would be imitators of Christ and would allow love, unity and peace to prevail.

After the liturgy, the pope and patriarch signed a joint declaration committing their churches to continuing theological dialogue and greater practical cooperation, especially in promoting Christian values in increasingly secularized societies.

They also expressed their concern for the poor and for victims of violence -- especially in the Middle East -- and terrorism and those whose religious freedom is not recognized fully.

In the afternoon, the pope continued his ecumenical visits, meeting Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Mesrob II and Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Filuksinos Yusuf Cetin.

LITURGICALLY SPEAKING, WHAT WE HAVE SEEN THUS FAR

This is as close as Pope Francis has gotten to modeling a truly ad orientem Mass, although at Saint Peters inside or outside when the Pope faces the nave or the people, he is celebrating ad orientem!


Of course he' only been pope not quite two months. Traditionalists are besides themselves because he can't chant, so they wonder what kind of direction he will give when it comes to chanting the liturgy. He can't lead by example here. Pope Benedict's chanting wasn't that great but he did it anyway and showed that liturgical chanting isn't about virtuoso, it is about prayer.

He doesn't evidently like lace, lace albs or lace surplices. Evidently Pope Francis has ordered that they not be seen at his liturgies, although I have seen some nice lace-like inserts into albs and surplices recently. Passive aggressiveness?

He doesn't want to appear to be a consumer of fine vestments and he won't wear Roman chasuble or brocade. I was a bit worried that Pope Francis would only use the one set of vestments that he brought from Argentina, which are quite elegant and I would love to have that set as these are in my taste range. But for a pope, I like a little bit more flair and we got it with the vestment he borrowed in continuity with Pope Benedict at Sunday's ordination Mass. And a new miter to boot. Nice!

He has maintained the Benedictine altar arrangement but I don't think we will ever see him celebrating Mass ad orientem. Since he has ordered that lace not be seen at his liturgies, one would think that he would have ordered well before now that the Benedictine altar arrangement be squashed too by now. He hasn't. The six candles are more angled on the altar (which I certainly appreciate) but the crucifix and bishop's candle remain dead center. The chapel of the Vatican hotel's altar is as it always was with a peculiarly European style of two candles on one side and bouquet of flowers on the other and a small crucifix in the center. There is a large crucifix hanging behind the altar. One would think that if he didn't like the crucifix dead center that he could easily have had the small one moved to the side or taken away altogether. He hasn't.

I noticed too that at his Argentinian cathedral there was the Benedictine altar arrangement for his Masses there and also elsewhere.

He does not distribute Holy Communion to the laity, except at the Easter Vigil he gave Holy Communion to the newly baptized, but that was a small number and he did so by intinction, but they stood before him at his chair directly in front of the papal altar. However, he gives Holy Communion to the deacons of the Mass by intinction as the deacons kneel before him. So he isn't opposed to kneeling or standing for Holy Communion--a perfect compromise.

He has also shortened the offertory procession and this is a compromise because at his very first few Masses there was no offertory procession.

At the ordination Mass on Sunday there were no lay lectors and only two lay people brought the gifts to him.

Pope Benedict well into his papacy began to recite the Preface and Canon of the Mass exclusively in Latin even when most of the Mass was in the vernacular. This led many to believe that this would become a universal norm. Pope Francis does not maintain this tradition reciting the Canon in the vernacular at mostly vernacular Masses, such as the Ordination Mass and the Masses at the two other basilicas. However at international gatherings of people, the Mass has been entirely in Latin including the Eucharistic Prayer.

So how does this all impact local dioceses and parishes? I don't think at all. Everyone will continue to do what they have done.

As I have said, if the majority of parishes in the world simply copied the liturgies that Pope Francis has thus far modeled, both in vesture and style, what an improvement that would be! And certainly the music of all his public Masses, except for the Holy Thursday Mass at the youth detention center are exemplary!

How has Pope Francis impacted Mass in my parish of Saint Joseph in the heart of Georgia? Not one bit. We are doing what we have always done. We have four Masses on Sunday and our 12:10 PM Mass is ad orientem only for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and all our Masses are completely in the vernacular except of course for our monthly EF High Mass. We provide kneelers for those who wish to kneel to receive Holy Communion, but the majority still stand and receive in the hand, so all options are honored and the choice is the communicant's. We provide the common chalice at all our Masses Sunday and daily. We experimented with intinction which was very well received and found that more people were receiving the Precious Blood through intinction, meaning that those who would refuse to drink after someone from the common chalice were more than happy to receive Holy Communion by intinction. In fact when we returned to the common chalice, people were displeased.

Just as an aside, many people think that Pope Benedict was stuffy and prissy about his liturgies and perhaps he was. I like that about him. But when he visited Roman parishes for Mass, he did as the Romans did.

These three videos explode the myth of Pope Benedict's aloofness and inability to adapt and prove it as Pope Benedict XVI eggs the congregation on to applaud at Mass for some children. The second shows that he didn't not forbid Italian folk music at his Mass accompanied by guitar! And Pope Benedict provoked thunderous applause after Mass too with pep rally style shouting and screaming in the Church accompanied by guitar and Italian style Folk music!



You have to go to this link for the guitar music since it doesn't have an embedded code for me to post the video:

For Pope Benedict allowing guitar music of a particular quality to be sung at one of his Mass, press HERE!

For Pope Benedict provoking thunderous applause at the end of Mass and then accompanied out of the Church by guitar music a la Italian style, press HERE!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

THERE HE GOES AGAIN CALLED THE CHURCH, MOTHER AND TEACHING THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT A HUMAN ENDEAVOR BUT GOD'S DIVINE INITIATIVE OF LOVE--THE HOLY FATHER, FRANCIS

Moms, how would you like being named domestic administrators rather than mother? And then that wild and crazy Pope Francis again calls the Church, "MOTHER!"

I absolutely loved Pope Francis' homilies from the chapel of his Motel 6 residence. These are jewels to say the least and what a jewel today's is! This is but one quote that will drive the progressives crazy as they see the Church as being what they do, how they make the liturgy and on and on and on, babel, babel, babel, but the Pope makes clear that the Church is God's divine institution, not a human construct much less a functionary, intermediary or domestic administrator, She is Mother!:

"The disciples do not make the Church – they are the messengers sent by Jesus. And Christ was sent by the Father: “The Church begins there,” he said, “in the heart of the Father, who had this idea . . . of love. So this love story began, a story that has gone on for so long, and is not yet ended. We, the women and men of the Church, we are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love. And if we do not understand this, we have understood nothing of what the Church is."

Pope Francis: Church is in a love story

(Vatican Radio)
The Church is not a bureaucratic organization, but a love story. This was Pope Francis’ message during Wednesday’s Mass in the Chapel of the Casa Santa Marta.

Attending the Mass this morning were employees of the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly called the Vatican bank. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father.

The day’s readings tell the story of the growth of the first Christian community. In his homily, the Pope warned against being tempted to make "deals" simply to get "more partners in this enterprise."

Instead, he said, “the road that Jesus willed for His Church is otherwise: the way of difficulties, the way of the Cross, the way of persecution . . . And this makes us wonder: what is this Church? Because it seems it is not a human enterprise."

The Church, he said, is "something else." The disciples do not make the Church – they are the messengers sent by Jesus. And Christ was sent by the Father: “The Church begins there,” he said, “in the heart of the Father, who had this idea . . . of love. So this love story began, a story that has gone on for so long, and is not yet ended. We, the women and men of the Church, we are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love. And if we do not understand this, we have understood nothing of what the Church is."

The temptation is to focus on the growth of the Church without taking the path of love: "But the Church does not grow by human strength. Some Christians have gone wrong for historical reasons, they have taken the wrong path, they have raised armies, they have waged wars of religion: that is another story, that is not the story of love. Yet we learn, with our mistakes, how the story of love goes. But how does it increase? Jesus said simply: like the mustard seed, it grows like yeast in the flour, without noise."

A head of state once asked how big the Pope’s army was. The Church does not increase “through military might”, said Pope Francis, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is because the Church is not just another organisation: “she is Mother” he said. The Pope commented on the number of mothers present at the Mass. “How would you feel,” he asked, “if someone said: she’s a domestic administrator? 'No, I am the mother!' And the Church is Mother. And we are in the middle of a love story that continues thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit. All of us together are a family in the Church, who is our Mother."

The Pope concluded his reflection with a prayer to Mary, asking that she might "give us the grace of the spiritual joy of participating in this love story."



HOLY MOTHER, CHURCH, YOU SAY, WELL YES YOU DO NOW IN THE MARVELOUS NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ENGLISH MASS AND SO IS POPE FRANCIS IN HIS PAPAL TEACHINGS AND HOMILIES WHO IS SHOWING THE WORLD THAT THEOLOGICALLY THERE IS A RUPTURE BETWEEN HIM AND POPE BENEDICT! POPE FRANCIS IN AREAS OF METAPHORS AND DOCTRINE IS TO THE RIGHT OF THE HOLY FATHER EMERITUS!


Those on the left are almost giddy by what they see as a rupture between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. And true enough, there is a rupture in the style of clothes, liturgical and otherwise and in the style of personality (although not at Mass) and in the style of governance. Perhaps the style of governance will be the most welcomed rupture as Pope Francis isn't going to put up with too much careerism and infighting in the Vatican and he is going to be more collaborative or collegial, but he isn't going to sell the farm of Papal authority out to anyone. The Catholic Church is hierarchical and Catholic. Did you get that? I think in terms of the exercise of authority, Pope Francis, while collegial, will be more authoritative than Pope Benedict and will back up what he "models" with mandates. But it is a bit to soon to get too giddy about this as I certainly don't want to imitate the silliness of the progressives in this regard.

But I want to focus on one metaphor that the Holy Father has used frequently in the past month or so. He refers to the Church as a Mother, Mother Church, Holy Mother Church. There is nothing unusual about that at all. But in this country and in all English speaking countries, from our very poor 1973 translation of the Mass that neutered the Church and called her "it" most Catholics ceased understanding the Church as Holy Mother unless the priest emphasized it in his homily and teachings, but most progressive priests influenced by the drivel of progressive post-Catholic nuns bought into the gender neutral language they promoted almost as a parallel magisterium, a bogus hierarchy. So not only was the Church neutered so was God! How many times I heard nuns and priests of a particular ideology, intermediaries of the product they were selling of catholic, radical feminism used the following in calling upon the Most Holy Trinity, "In the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier!" In their minds God is good for nothing except for what He (I mean, God) does (can't use He, I forgot). It is a very materialistic view of God and a consumer approach to what God does and what God gives and not Who God is, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

They also hate the sacramental view of Christ as a High Priest, as the Son of Man, as the Bridegroom for obvious implications in terms of who it is that God calls to the priesthood, only men, since only a man can be a "sacramental sign" of "son of man" "High Priest" and "Bridegroom." This really burns feminists in the Church up!

However our marvelous new and literal translation of the Mass from the original Latin has kept Church as mother and refers to her as her and she. How wonderful!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ON THE HEELS OF THE BLOCKBUSTER, "42, THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY" MACON IS POISED FOR THE MAKING OF ANOTHER MOVIE, "NEED FOR SPEED" AND SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH WILL BE IN IT AT THE END!


They filmed part of the movie "42" about three doors up from our school on High Street. Now they're are filming another movie titled "Need for Speed" starring Michael Keaton, who I believe is a practicing Catholic. We have signed a contract and will receive a "stipend" from the movie producers to light up our church in a powerful way this Wednesday night. From what I understand the car will be racing through downtown Macon and we'll be prominent in that night scene which I think is toward the end of the movie. How fun is that, except all the movie lights will keep my bedroom illuminated all night long. Will I then be an Illuminati?

POPE FRANCIS, IN A RUPTURE WITH MANY POPES, IS MORE LIKE POPE JOHN PAUL II, POPE JOHN PAUL I AND POPE JOHN XXIII IN TERMS OF HIS ABILITY TO CONNECT AND COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE

What is wonderful, though, is that Pope Francis while thanking the young people who were chanting his name in a celebrity type fashion, told them there is another Name they should be Chanting and that is the Holy Name of Jesus and he got them chanting it.

Pope Francis knows how to communicate in Italian by voice inflection and typical, ordinary Italian ways of saying thing. He is a populist in this regard, not an academician, not that there is anything wrong with orthodox academicians.

Pope Francis is getting huge crowds for Sunday's Regina Coeli (replaces the Angelus during Easter):

HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE A POPE WHO IS MISSIONARY AND SAYS YOU CAN'T FIND CHRIST WITHOUT THE CHURCH AND THAT THE CHURCH IS BOTH HIERARCHICAL AND CATHOLIC--SO BE IT!

UPDATE: Some video of Pope Francis Mass this morning. Please note he is celebrating Mass in the Pauline chapel. Pope Benedict would celebrate Mass at this altar ad orientem although it is also designed for facing the people. Pope Francis is not about to celebrate Mass ad orientem, but please note that there is the "Benedictine Altar Arrangement" with the crucifix and Bishop's candle dead center, just as Pope Benedict indicated in one of his books is a very powerful way to pray "ad orientem" even when facing the congregation. The hermeneutic of continuity at work in a pope quite different than Pope Benedict, but quite hierarchical. He also used Pope Benedict's staff this morning. I think the one with the crucifix would be better for Lent, Pope Benedict's better for the Easter Season and perhaps a third better for Ordinary Time. What do you think? I personally like Pope Paul VI's staff.



Some trends in trendy theology that has gotten not a few theologians into trouble with past popes is when they say that Christ can be found independently of the Church or Christ is not the only way to salvation, a sort of revising of the heresy of "universalism." Thank God Pope Francis in continuity with his predecessors is on the side of orthodoxy and continuity not only with the history of the Church but with his immediate predecessor also on such things.

Here is his homily for today's Feast of the Martyr Saint George, which is Pope Francis' patron saint "Jorge."

The [first] reading today makes me think that the missionary expansion of the Church began precisely at a time of persecution, and these Christians went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, and proclaimed the Word. They had this apostolic fervor within them, and that is how the faith spread! Some, people of Cyprus and Cyrene - not these, but others who had become Christians - went to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too. It was a further step. And this is how the Church moved forward. Whose was this initiative to speak to the Greeks? This was not clear to anyone but the Jews. But ... it was the Holy Spirit, the One who prompted them ever forward ... But some in Jerusalem, when they heard this, became 'nervous and sent Barnabas on an "apostolic visitation": perhaps, with a little sense of humor we could say that this was the theological beginning of the Doctrine of the Faith: this apostolic visit by Barnabas. He saw, and he saw that things were going well.

And so the Church was a Mother, the Mother of more children, of many children. It became more and more of a Mother. A Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity. But the Christian identity is not an identity card: Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these belonged to the Church, the Mother Church. (MY COMMENT: POPE FRANCIS ORTHODOX AND IN CONTINUITY BOMBSHELL, OF COURSE NOTHING NEW ABOUT A POPE BEING ORTHODOX!:)Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful.

And the third idea comes to my mind - the first was the explosion of missionary activity; the second, the Mother Church - and the third, that when Barnabas saw that crowd - the text says: " And a large number of people was added to the Lord" - when he saw those crowds, he experienced joy. " When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced ": his is the joy of the evangelizer. It was, as Paul VI said, "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And this joy begins with a persecution, with great sadness, and ends with joy. And so the Church goes forward, as one Saint says - I do not remember which one, here - "amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of the Lord." And thus is the life of the Church. If we want to travel a little along the road of worldliness, negotiating with the world - as did the Maccabees, who were tempted, at that time - we will never have the consolation of the Lord. And if we seek only consolation, it will be a superficial consolation, not that of the Lord: a human consolation. The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.

Let us think today about the missionary activity of the Church: these [people] came out of themselves to go forth. Even those who had the courage to proclaim Jesus to the Greeks, an almost scandalous thing at that time. Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom She gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus Himself says in the Gospel: " But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not come to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance. And let us think of the consolation that Barnabas felt, which is "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And let us ask the Lord for this "parresia", this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, "hierarchical and Catholic." So be it.



Monday, April 22, 2013

THE HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY BETWEEN POPE BENEDICT AND POPE FRANCE

Pope Francis wears the same chasuble at Sunday's ordination of priests that Pope Benedict wore at the Beatification of Pope John Paul II:


Have you read that Pope Francis is humble when compared to Pope Benedict? Have you read that Pope Francis eschews what Pope Benedict wore? Have you read that Pope Francis would stand to greet people rather than remain kneeling and make them kiss his ring while Pope Benedict never did that?

Well, let's lay Pope Benedict's so-called inferior humility compared to Pope Francis' humility to rest. These false dichotomies do not exist except in the mind of the "Church of the Media" not us who compose the true Church. Watch this video of Pope Benedict beatifying Pope John Paul II and then note the vestment (except for the miter) that Benedict is wearing is the same chasuble that Pope Francis wore on Sunday for the Ordination of priests. Continuity in many ways and more to come I suspect! Also please note the last of the video after the Pope greets the priest who put everything together for John Paul's beatification--the MC opposite Msgr. Guido Marini, wearing that marvelous surplice is crying! He is Polish! Very touching and I almost missed it:

IS POPE FRANCIS A FUNDAMENTALIST? NO, HE IS A CATHOLIC! HE CONTINUES TO PUT ACADEMICS IN THEIR PROPER PLACE!


Or is the Pope a fundamentalist?


In today's homily (WHICH YOU CAN READ BY PRESSING HERE) at the chapel of his place of residence, the Motel 6 of the Vatican (thank God it isn't the motel 666! :)) the Pope exclaimed, "Some of you may say: '[Holy] Father, you're a fundamentalist!'." But he said no, he wasn't, but basically went on the explain the Gospel of the Mass for today. It was about taking the narrow path and the Gate to that path is Jesus Christ."

So the Holy Father went further: "No, simply put, this is what Jesus said : 'I am the gate', 'I am the path’ [He] gives life to us. Simple. It is a beautiful gate, a gate of love, it is a gate that does not deceive, it is not false. It always tells the truth. But with tenderness and love. However, we still have […] the source of original sin within us, is not it so? We still desire to possess the key to interpreting everything, the key and the power to find our own path, whatever it is, to find our own gate, whatever it is. "

What the Holy Father does so well, which academic theologians sometimes obfuscate is the simple message of the Gospel.

Compare what the simplicity of Pope Francis explanation of today's Gospel is with what he said last week at another Motel 6 Chapel homily about "intellectuals or academics" when he said the following:

And these, on the road of duty, load everything on the shoulders of the faithful. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from – from [whatever side] – is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues – as we have seen in the history of the Church – end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness – and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing.

And then understand Pope Francis from what he said to the academic Biblical theologians of the Biblical Pontifical Commission only two weeks ago:

It follows, therefore, that the exegete (Biblical theologian) must be careful to perceive the Word of God present in the biblical texts by placing them within the faith of the Church. The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church. This norm is essential to specify the correct relationship between exegesis and the Magisterium of the Church. The texts inspired by God were entrusted to the Community of believers, the Church of Christ, to nourish the faith and guide the life of charity. Respect for this profound nature of Scripture conditions the very validity and effectiveness of biblical hermeneutics. This results in the insufficiency of any interpretation that is either subjective or simply limited to an analysis incapable of embracing the global meaning that has constituted the Tradition of the entire People of God over the centuries, which “in credendo falli nequit" [cannot be mistaken in belief – ed](Conc Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. VAT. II, Dogmatic Cost. Lumen Gentium, 12).

The Holy Father is correcting one of the three legs of the "stool" that is undermining the Magisterium of the Church and leading Catholics into perdition by opening a gate that is not Jesus and a path that does not lead to heaven, to the world of true "Godless" secularism. That leg is "academia" when they become "intellectuals without talent, ethicisits without goodness..."

The other two legs of Godless secularism are the media in its many secularist forms and government itself when opposed to true religion, when confrontational with the Church.

The three biggest problems for the Church today which strive to guide our people to a secular godless religion or no religion at all are "Academics, Media and Government."

The pope is starting the in-house purification with those who have undermined the true Faith for the past 50 years by a bogus interpretation of the Second Vatican Council that has led to a bogus interpretation of the Bible which then leads to a bogus interpretation of Tradition. God bless him. He is not a fundamentalist! He is a Catholic and Catholic to the core. Is the Pope Catholic? Yes, yes, yes! Alleluia!

WAIT UNTIL HE GETS TO THE LCWR AND OTHERS IN THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE WHO HAVE BASTARDIZED THE THREE VOWS THAT MOST MAKE OF "POVERTY, CHASTITY AND OBEDIENCE" REINTERPRETING THEM IN A WAY THAT THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL NEVER INTENDED. I CAN'T WAIT!

Those leading the institutional Church into Post Catholicism by re-imagining her through the deconstruction of the true faith, your days are numbered!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

WAS THERE NO LAY PARTICIPATION, MALE OR FEMALE, AT TODAY'S PRIESTLY ORDINATION WITH POPE FRANCIS?


As I watched the ordination of priests from Saint Peter's Basilica with Pope Francis, I noted that the only ministries of the Mass that lay people were involved with was with the choirs. No lay lectors. The lectors were candidates for the priesthood who have been installed in the formal ministry of "Lector."

So what does this say about Pope Francis allowing such a thing at a pontifical Mass? After all, didn't Vatican II say that the laity should be involved in the Liturgy of the Church?

Yes, actively so, both silently and verbally and through singing. And there was plenty of this type of actual participation at this Mass. But, yes, not lectors and certainly no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and only two lay people brought up the offerings, not a hoard of them.

So are we getting a message here? I don't think so since lay people have read at Masses with Popes Benedict and Francis. But Pope Francis has said that the worst thing to happen to a priest or lay person is clericalism. We've clericalized the laity in the last 50 years and they have knelt before us asking to be. But Pope Francis understands that the ambo (pulpit) of the laity is the world in which they live, the churchy ambo is the ordained priest's place to preach, but also with his life.

Pope Francis makes clear that the laity's primary ministry is in the world, in their homes, their marriage, in the work place and in politics and at play. That's pretty powerful stuff and their actual participation in the world by bringing their Catholic faith and morals to it is what we should have been focusing on for the past 50 years rather than all the liturgical stuff as important or unimportant it these has been! Could you imagine if we had spent as much time, energy and resources on liturgical renewal and renovations as we should have on the laity's proper formation, what a better Church we'd be today with all the generations of Vatican II and afterward actually renewed and living their faith and not just 20 to 25% of them. How awesome would that be! Let's open the windows with this new springtime with Pope Francis and stop breathing the waters of a swamp, and it had a bad smell.