Friday, January 22, 2016


The late Bishop Raymond Lessard of Savannah as far back as I can recall, perhaps beginning in 1972 when he became bishop, washed the feet of both men and women at the Cathedral's Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. However, he did not want 12 people. He only would have six. There is the symbolism of 12 apostles in choosing twelve men and washing the feet of women would have had a politically charged symbolism about women becoming priests and Bishop Lessard knew the politics of that period of time very well in the 1970's.

But of course, the laity that are chosen are usually not priests in normal parishes, so the literal symbolism of actual apostles (bishops) is lost when 12 lay men or boys are chosen for this ritual.  I guess one could say the 12 symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel which includes women, but again Jews would need to be chosen if one sees this ritual literally.

Pope Francis has reinterpreted the liturgical meaning of this ritual. Unfortunately, the rubric should say that if all men are not chosen, then only 6 to 10 should be or any number more or less than 12, to avoid the 12 apostles literalism.

I am ambivalent about this ritual. In the context of Holy Thursday which as two official Masses, that of the Cathedral's Chrism Mass and the other of the Mass of the Lord's Supper. The Chrism Mass is celebrated first and specifically for priests and their bishop, and celebrates Christ's institution of the priesthood so necessary for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.  The Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper in parishes celebrates the Holy Eucharist instituted  by our Lord at that first Holy Thursday in anticipation of His cosmic Sacrifice on Good Friday and the means by which it is to be offered again and again by His ordained priests who take His place until the Lord returns.

But bishops, priests and deacons (those in the ministerial Sacrament of Holy Orders) must know and show symbolically during the Holy Thursday's Mandatum that the Catholic priesthood in comparison to the Old Testament Priesthood is not primarily ritualistic and concerned with ritual purity or worried about becoming unclean by doing "dirty work" like cleaning feet, touching the poor and their wounds, forgiving sin and burying the dead by touching their bodies. These would have rendered the Old Testament priest ritually impure and thus incapable of carrying out his duties of offering sacrifice. Not so for the priesthood of the New Dispensation, doing the dirty work of mercy is necessary for the ordained priesthood and the general priesthood of the laity both of which are configured to the High Priesthood of our Lord, His exclusive Priesthood!

The Catholic Priesthood, that of the ordained and the general priesthood of all the baptized, the laity, offering sacrifice in no way is compromised by the work of ministry be these the Corporal or Spiritual works of Mercy which the washing of feet shows forth once a year in an optional Catholic Ritual done only during the Mass of the Lord's Supper after ordained priests have been to the Chrism Mass with their bishop and renewed their priestly vows.

And this is the true interpretation of John's Gospel's inclusion of this fact of what Jesus' did for the Apostles, all 12 of them to include Judas, whom He knew would betray Him in washing their feet. The High Priest who offers the final Sacrifice which all Old Testament sacrifices prefigure is not rendered impure by his ministerial service of using his hands to wash dirty feet!

John Gospel does not present us with the Last Supper narrative of instituting the Mass. The Gospel clearly presumes it, but on Matthew, Mark and Luke make it explicit. Rather John's Gospel focuses on Jesus washing the dirty, "unclean" feet of his 12 Apostles prior to our Lord's High Priestly ritual Sacrifice which He institutes or shows forth later during the Last Supper. The Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, is not rendered impure to carry out the priestly ritual of Sacrifice after touching something unclean, He goes on to institute and celebrate the new and eternal Sacrifice of the New Covenant. 

So Pope Francis' reinterpretation of the Mandatum for the Catholic Mass is not heterodox in the least nor is it clerical which could lead to a clericalism of sorts in the men only version of it.

There is also a trickle down element of the laity having their feet washed (and keep in mind again, that in most parishes all bishops are not chosen to have their feet washed, all priests are not chosen to have their feet washes, all deacons are not chosen to have their feet washed and all seminarians are not chosen to have their feet washed. No lay men, who are not priests and most will never become priests are chosen. Thus 12 laity, men or women, boys or girls, could symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel which the 12 Apostles and their successors symbolize in the New Dispensation. We all come under the original 12 tribes and are the fulfillment of what the Old Testament prefigures.

But the laity participate in the baptismal priesthood of the Church both in its sacrificial and service aspects. That's the true symbolism of the Mandatum for the priesthood, be it the general priesthood of the baptized or the ministerial priesthood of the ordained. Nothing stinks about that!

And Pope Francis makes this aspect of his revised rubrics abundantly clear and thus emphasizes that the priesthood is sacrificial just as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is:

I take this opportunity to say to you that for  some time I have been reflecting on the rite of the "washing of the feet", contained in the Liturgy of the Mass of the Lord's Supper, in order to improve implementation of options, to express fully the meaning of this gesture by Jesus at the Last Supper, his self-oblation [self-giving, sacrifice] to the end for the salvation of the world, his charity without borders.

For those who see the Mass simply as a meal and the priesthood simply as presiding at this ritual meal, what Pope Francis is teaching will be a source of tremendous dismay and contempt. Pope Francis is speaking of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as well as the Catholic priesthood, in its general and ministerial forms,  as sacrificial a sign of Jesus self-oblation. Now that's pre-Vatican II and Post Vatican II, make no mistake about it!


Vox Cantoris said...

It is amazing that for over a thousand years or more of the structured Triduum, the Church was wrong and now suddenly enlightened as if by some Gnostic revelation.

The 1955 change to invade the Holy Mass with a paraliturgy was the fundamental problem. It was the first time that the Mass was interrupted for such a thing. Sacraments such as Confirmation and Matrimony were done before or outside of Mass.

No, this is wrong. It is wrong because it now legitimises the breaking of the Law by Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentine, your bishop referred to and thousands of others who took it upon themselves in arrogance, to ignore the norms.

But who cares about the Law when we can do it as we please. Where does it stop?

What's next?

Well, I think we all know, don't we?

Anonymous said...

I would have had no problem if a pope changed the rubric to allow females to be included in the ceremony on Holy Thursday.

I have a real problem with Francis, who as bishop violated the rubric for decades when he had no authority to do so. That is arrogance and clericalism.

Even if he had changed the rubric first when he became pope then washed the feet of woman I wouldn't have a problem with it. But he didn't. He violated law for all the world to see. He set an example that authority doesn't matter. He caused scandal. All of it could have been avoided. He has the authority to change the rubric, why did he choose to violate it when he had the power to change it? Why? There was no reason to cause scandal to faithful people Catholics who have to endure liturgical abuse at 99% of all Masses attended worldwide. He choose to violate the law because he could and nobody could do anything about it. He choose to cause problems when they could have been avoided. A mature, reasoned, honest, charitable person doesn't do that. A pastor doesn't do that. A self absorbed person with power does things like that. That's a problem.

Dialogue said...


Gene said...

Fr, it pains me to see you defending this man...defending the pitifully. It is like saying of Hitler, "Well, he liked dogs, he was a good artist, and he was good to his mama."

Wolverine said...

So sad to watch the Church implode from within!

Anonymous said...

As I said in the earlier post, I think it is completely lacking in any decency that a man - any man or woman wash the feet of any man or woman that they are not married to. Pope Francis demeaned the role of the papacy when he washed women's feet and provided tittilation for the press and the world. This is demeaning for the priesthood as well. When Cardinal he saw nothing wrong with a tango at Mass and, unsurprisingly, has welcomed women to breastfeed in his presence, which to me also demeans motherhood and turns breastfeeding into a spectator sport. Since then I have seen women breastfeeding at Mass with their breast exposed in front of men and women. All standards of decency are going out the window. Morals are notoriously low in Argentina and some other South American countries and it is unfortunate that what we are seeing is a lowering of everything in the Church down to the lowest common denominator.

Jusadbellum said...

NPR explicitly drew the connection between washing women's feet and female ordination. Now, sure, they're "NPR" but an awful lot of liberal Catholics (as well as the rest of us) listen to NPR and heard that gleeful theory that the male only clergy is premised on Jesus' election of the 12 apostles. But shazam, if symbolically we can dispense with 12 men for the washing ceremony, we all know the LOW INFORMATION people will demand a doctrinal change to make things "fair".

If you give communion to Lutheran priestesses how can you refrain from giving communion to Catholic adulterers? If it's OK to wash a non-believing Muslim's feet, and one need not even be Catholic to receive communion, aren't we - in the name of "mercy" undermining the whole doctrine of the Church as a definite Body?

Are we advancing the notion that by "mystical" we mean a body of no definite shape or boundary, no definite "in" or "out"? A body where EVERYONE is welcome except those who hold on to the traditional Catholicism of yesterday (and of all the saints, martyrs, etc.)?

Gene said...

Jusad, indeed you are correct...rather than mystical meaning no definite shape or boundary, perhaps it is more of non-discriminatory amoeba, incorporating everything in the path of culture and fad. It is a no brainer that the libs and other enemies of the faith will connect this with female ordination. Then, with female Priests, they will do to the Church what men seek to do to them...only they will do it better.

Mark Thomas said...

Not surprisingly, in regard to Pope Francis' decree in question, the spin machines are at work within the liberal and traditionalist wings of the Church.

The Associated Press, for example, quoted the press release from The Women's Ordination Conference (are they within the Church?), "a group that has long advocated for female priests, celebrated the decree as a sign that "change is possible."

Here is the group's press release in question:

The Associated Press also turned immediately to Rorate Caeli, which the news media treat as the face and voice of Traditional Catholics. (However, Rorate Caeli does not represent such to me.)

The Associated Press reported that "the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli, meanwhile, warned that the accommodation could lead to questions about the inviolability of the all-male priesthood and bring the Catholic Church the way of the Anglican Communion, which has been badly divided over allowing female priests and bishops and blessing same-sex unions."

I believe that the respective responses from the Women's Ordination Conference and Rorate Caeli are much ado about nothing. The Church, via most recently His Holiness Pope Francis, has made it clear beyond question that it is impossible for the True Church to ordain women to the priesthood.

I don't have any doubt about the following: Frankly, other than to a small portion of the liberal and traditionalist wings of the Church, 99.99999999 percent of Catholics couldn't care less about Pope Francis' decree in question.

1. At least throughout the West, the majority of Catholics do not assist at Mass regularly.

2. Among those who assist regularly at Mass, only a microscopic percentage attend Holy Thursday Masses.

3. As a result of their disinterest in the Church, the majority of Catholics have Z-E-R-O interest in whether this or that person's foot is washed on Holy Thursday.

The only folks today who have attached any great meaning, at least in regard to women's ordination to the priesthood, to Pope Francis' decree in question, are tiny groups within the liberal and traditionalist wings of the Church.

Actually, I believe that the majority of liberals, rather than traditionalists, are more likely to reject the notion that the Pope's permission to include women in the foot-washing ceremony has opened the door to priestesses within the Church. I imagine that liberals, as compared to traditionalists, will react with greater realism to the decree in question.

Anyway, nobody else cares about whose feet are washed once a year during Mass...particularly on a non-obligation day that has few Catholics in attendance.

About the only thing of importance in regard to Pope Francis' decree in question is that once again, we have been reminded that the Novus Ordo is filled with liturgical innovations. But then, we have known that for decades.

I appreciate that as Catholics, we have the right to discuss respectfully whether the decree in question, the latest Novus Ordo liturgical novelty, will benefit the Church. Pope Francis' prudential decision in question is not infallible. He has said that he favors frank discussion within the Church.

But again, as we are aware that the Novus Ordo is filled with novelties, is it worth getting bent out of shape in regard to Pope Francis decree in question? The Novus Ordo is what it is.


Mark Thomas

DJR said...

On this matter, the pope, when he was Ordinary, set an example of disobedience to proper authority. That speaks volumes.

Jusadbellum said...

Everyone is welcome to receive the Body without even believing it IS the Body of Christ, without accepting the Creed as their own, without accepting personal responsibility for sin.... everyone is "welcome" thus to commit sacrilege and blaspheme, and the sin against the Holy Spirit because 'inclusion' and 'mercy'?

It stands mercy on its head or twists it into license, permissiveness.... and charity likewise twisted into not caring whether someone is actually reborn into Christ via baptism etc.

But how can this be?

We acknowledge in on breath a cratering of Mass attendance among the young... we acknowledge that chasing after the pop culture, watering down out faith so as to make it 'relevant' is a non-starter...but then we declare that including 6 women with 6 men will help?

How many people attend Mass who are under the age of 40? If you have more over the age of 40 in your Masses than under 40, your parish is in terminal decline. Do the kids even care about feminism and the battles of the 1960s? No.

They don't even have a grasp on the basics and we're still arguing about symbolic inclusion which they don't even understand the significance of because half of them don't believe in the Real Presence.

It's hard to keep positive when the Church makes bone-headed "rubrical" changes to great fanfare thinking it's going to really help, when all the data points to it not amounting to a hill of beans difference so long as the youth remain the thralls of a full throated post-Christian secular hedonist culture which all our watered down efforts to emulate are doomed from the start as we can't out pop culture the pop culture.

John Nolan said...

The traditional (i.e. pre-1955) rite specified the number at thirteen, not twelve, of either clerics or 'poor people'. It would have been inappropriate for a priest or bishop to have washed and kissed the feet of women (for obvious reasons) but a Mother Superior would wash the feet of nuns, and in the 1550s Queen Mary Tudor washed the feet of poor women.

Interruption of Mass to confer sacraments and sacramentals (except in the case of ordinations) is an odious modern practice which should be discontinued forthwith.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... Anyway, nobody else cares about whose feet are washed once a year during Mass...

Well, obviously, the Supreme Pontiff cares.

In fact, he cares so much about this matter that he was willing to disobey past popes in regard to it.

I'd say that's caring quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I agree with DJR. As I see it, there is little point in further discussing anything that Pope Francis has done or will do until the end of his papacy. Let's face it, the Church as we knew it is over, until such time as she is rebuilt. It has been on the slippery slope since Vat II when liberals took over the Council. We have almost reached the bottom. The Church has had an internal reformation and most Catholics are now Protestant - although, in some instances much worse than the protestants, denying the divinity of Christ, believing in transendental meditation, wicca etc. It is more or less impossible to list the deviations from Catholic truth that are now acceptable to some in the Church. The liberals are now fully in charge as they were at the Council. No doubt soon Archbishop Milingo will be rehabilitated.

There is no spin on the actions on what this Pope does, only the spin of those who try to make what he does appear okay, when in fact most of what he has done has broken with former Popes, as DJR and others have said. Catholics are following two different paths - either the traditional path or the liberal path. There is no in between. Those who are clinging on to the Novus Ordo Mass in the vain hope that there is going to be some sort of restoration led by Cardinal Sarah, I'm afraid, are going to be sadly disappointed. He obviously doesn't have the backbone for it. The only way to avoid novelty is to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass - although some are even trying to interfere with that.

The only thing left is to pray for Divine intervention.

Mark Thomas said...

Mark Thomas said... Anyway, nobody else cares about whose feet are washed once a year during Mass...

DJR said: "Well, obviously, the Supreme Pontiff cares. In fact, he cares so much about this matter that he was willing to disobey past popes in regard to it. I'd say that's caring quite a bit."

Yes, Pope Francis cares about that. But the gist of my comments concerned the attempt by various Traditionalists (as well as the liberal Women's Ordination Conference) to claim that the Pope's decree in question opened the door to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

The majority of Catholics, at least throughout the West, don't assist regularly at Sunday Mass. Beyond that, just a tiny amount assist at Mass on Holy Thursday. It is mainly throughout the West where the push for priestesses exists.

Therefore, the massive majority of Catholics who do not assist at Holy Thursday Masses will not be influenced remotely by the Pope's decree. Even more, as the washing of women's feet is optional at said Mass, a great many priests who wash the feet of males only on Holy Thursday will continue said practice.

Again, in the context of my original comments, "nobody" cares about the Pope's decree in question.

Other than various Traditionalists and a few fanatical women's ordination special interest groups, nobody else views the decree as having opened the door to women's ordination.

By the way, discussions about the decree in question has received little attention on the liberal blogs that I have read. Again, other than the pro-priestess fanatics, rational liberals realize that the decree will not pave the way to ordination of women to the priesthood. Interest in the decree has been limited mainly to Traditional Catholic blogs.

My main interest in the decree is linked to the "reform of the reform" argument...that is, that the Novus Ordo can be reformed to the extent that it can renew the (Latin) Church.

I believe that the decree is simply the latest sign that the Novus Ordo is what it is...a liturgy filled with innovations that has been rendered beyond repair. Yes, we must attempt to imbue the Novus Ordo with as much Tradition as possible. But even at that, the Novus Ordo will not renew the Latin Church.

The Novus Ordo must become "Traditionalized" to enable Catholics to someday transition to the TLM. The TLM is are best hope to save and renew the West.

Other than that, as regards the decree, countless parishes years ago introduced the washing of women's feet on Holy Thursday. Therefore, to many Catholics among the overall tiny amount who assist at Holy Thursday Masses, the sight of priests washing women's feet will be a non-event.

Again, "nobody" cares about the decree...nobody except Traditionalists...and we represent but a drop in the Catholic ocean.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jan, there is very much a spin on Pope Francis' declarations and actions. Example: Many Traditionalists as well as some fanatical women's ordination groups have spun the decree to suggest that Pope Francis opened the door to priestesses.

Sorry, but that spin is not remotely viable.

Many Traditionalists overacted to Pope Francis' reforms of the annulment process. They attempted desperately to spin said reforms as "proof" that "evil" Pope Francis had destroyed the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony...and had brought divorce into the Church.

As Father McDonald reported today in a different thread, Pope Francis' remarks to the Roman Rota defended and promoted Holy Tradition in regard to marriage. Pope Francis has just shattered the spin that many Traditionalists had placed upon his reform of the annulment process.

At the beginning of his Pontificate, and even late as September 2014 A.D., when news had broken that Bishop Fellay would meet that month with the Holy See, many Traditionalists insisted that Pope Francis hated the SSPX and would destroy the Society.

That spin proved wrong...ridiculously so. Pope Francis, even during his days in Argentina, has been a great friend to the SSPX.

Sorry, Jan, but there has been a great deal of spin has been placed upon Pope Francis' declarations and actions. Time and again, said spin has been way, way off base.

As to your comment..."Those who are clinging on to the Novus Ordo Mass in the vain hope that there is going to be some sort of restoration led by Cardinal Sarah, I'm afraid, are going to be sadly disappointed. He obviously doesn't have the backbone for it. The only way to avoid novelty is to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass - although some are even trying to interfere with that."

I agree overall with you. I don't know about your comment about Cardinal Sarah's "backbone"...but overall, I understand your point. However, Jan, we must attempt to imbue the Novus Ordo with as much Tradition as is possible. To do that is better than nothing. We have to do something to stabilize the Novus Ordo to some extent.

But the Novus Ordo, even "repaired", must give way to the TLM...but unless God grants us a miracle, that time is a long, long way off...if ever. Perhaps our Popes will never depart from the Novus Ordo. I guess that that's possible. Anyway, only the TLM can save the West.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Mark, there is no spin on the fact that as Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis went against Church law and washed the feet of women. There is no spin on the fact that Pope Francis as Pope went against the teachings of the Church in washing the feet of women and in doing so set a bad example to others.

Here is what the SSPX had to say about him on his election:

"{DICI obtained the opinion of Fr. Christian Bouchacourt, District Superior of South America, on the evening of the Pope’s election.

Cardinal Bergoglio wishes to be a poor man among the poor. He cultivates a militant humility, but can prove humiliating for the Church. His appearance in the loggia of St. Peter’s in a simple cassock without his rochet and mozzetta is a perfect illustration. He is a fine politician… And idealistic apostle of the poverty of the 70’s, he is completely turned towards the people, the poor, but without being a disciple of the theology of liberation.

Very conscious of the dilapidated state of his clergy, he did nothing to fix things. Never has the seminary of Buenos Aires had as few seminarians as today. It is a disaster, as have been the liturgies presided over by the “Cardinal of the Poor.” With him, we risk to see once again the masses of Paul VI’s pontificate, a far cry from Benedict XVI’s efforts to restore to their honor the worthy liturgical ceremonies.

He was firmly opposed to abortion. But while he wrote a beautiful letter to the Carmelites of Buenos Aires against the homosexual “marriage” bill – which was unfortunately voted through in the end – he had a regrettable discourse read during the protest against this bill, in which the name of Our Lord was not pronounced even once, while the Evangelistic pastor who spoke before him to excite the crowd delivered a more courageous discourse…(see DICI #219, July 24, 2010).

During an ecumenical meeting, he knelt to receive the blessing of two pastors.

He is a man of consensus, who hates confrontations. He kept his distance from the Catholics who denounced the blasphemous expositions that were held in Buenos Aires.

I have met him 5 or 6 times and he has always received me with benevolence, seeking to grant me what I wished, without going out of his way to overcome obstacles….

(sources : SSPX – DICI #272, March 15, 2013)

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald-permitting...part 1 of 2...

Jan, I am, familiar with the information that you posted about Father Bouchacourt's take on His Holiness Pope Francis. But what does that have to do with the fact that liberals, Traditionalists, secular folks...all have placed various spins upon Pope Francis' declarations and actions. I can produce one example after another of false information that various groups attached to Pope Francis.

-- "Who am I to judge?" Liberals pretended that Pope Francis had "softened" the Church's teachings in sodomy. They did so to pretend that Pope Francis belonged to their radical camp. Traditionalists pretended that Pope Francis had "softened" the Church's teachings on sodomy to "prove" that Pope Francis was an evil heretic.

Why has each group in question lied about Pope Francis' "Who am I to judge" remark? The transcript of the Pope's press conference that featured the "Who am I to judge" remark is very clear...

...Pope Francis presented Catholicism 101 in regard to sodomy and sin. He stated clearly that when a person "commits a sin and then converts, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we confess our sins and we truly say, “I have sinned in this”, the Lord forgets, and so we have no right not to forget, because otherwise we would run the risk of the Lord not forgetting our sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying..."

Why do liberals and Traditionalists continue to insist that Pope Francis presented a radical change to the Church's teachings on sodomy via his "Who am I to judge" press conference?

-- Why do liberals and Traditionalists continue to spin Pope Francis as a man who supports divorce and remarriage? Why do they do so when Pope Francis has time and again promoted the Church's teachings on divorce and remarriage?

Why don't liberals and Traditionalists, for example, quote from Pope Francis' August 5, 2015 A.D. General Audience during which he declared of Catholics who divorce and remarry that the "Church well knows that such a situation contradicts the Christian Sacrament?"

-- Two months ago,several Traditionalists bloggers promoted a story in which they claimed that Pope Francis said that holy, devout priests "scare him". The problem is that the bloggers never offered one quote from Pope Francis that had him saying any such thing.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Part 2 of 2...

-- Last September, Rorate Caeli promoted a preposterous story about a supposed "Mafia-club" group of Cardinals who had met secretly to oust Pope Benedict XVI and elevate Cardinal Bergoglio to the Throne of Saint Peter.

Rorate Caeli published a photo of actor Marlon Brando from the movie The Godfather. The caption read "Pedophile-enabler and protector Danneels was Bergoglio's Godfather."

Here is the false story in question, which tried desperately to smear His Holiness Pope Francis:

The disgraceful story was discredited immediately. However, Rorate Caeli continued to promote the absurd story, particularly via Twitter. Even though the story had been discredited, here is what Rorate Caeli had posted:

"UPDATE (September 26): Since late Friday/early Saturday Danneels' biographers are trying to fix the mess they created by revealing the Mafia that (first made life hell for the late years of John Paul II, tried to elect Bergoglio in 2005, made life hell for Pope Ratzinger), deposed Benedict XVI, and finally elected Bergoglio in 2013, and are now trying to say that he actually didn't say what he actually said.

"WE WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH THIS WHITEWASHING! This is an extremely grave matter that touches upon the very cornerstone of the 2013 events, and Danneels, so proud to have been a king-deposer and a kingmaker that he was not afraid to reveal so much, knows the gravity of what he revealed and now wants to push back out of fear. He did the same when faced with the truth in the Vangheluwe scandal, he pretended then he had nothing to do with it all. But this WILL NOT GO AWAY. IT WILL DEEPEN. IT WILL NOT GO AWAY."

Guess what? The story went away. To their credit, several Traditional bloggers acknowledged that the story was garbage. They discarded the story immediately. However, Rorate Caeli refused to do so. They tried desperately to promote a vile story that made Popes Francis look bad.

It was just another "BREAKING NEWS...EXCLUSIVE...EXPERT COMMENTARY" bit of garbage from Rorate Caeli that had flopped. I could post additional examples of false spin...false reports...that have circulated against our Holy Father.

Spin doctors work overtime to attempt to discredit Pope Francis. The situation in question is disgraceful.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jan said..."Mark, there is no spin on the fact that as Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis went against Church law and washed the feet of women. There is no spin on the fact that Pope Francis as Pope went against the teachings of the Church in washing the feet of women and in doing so set a bad example to others."

I am aware that then-Cardinal Bergoglio had washed the feet of women. I did not say otherwise. But I wonder about the following that I posted today to Vox Cantoris' fine blog:

Archbishop O'Malley to wash women's feet Holy Thursday

"Boston, Mass., Mar 22, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA).- After angering women during Holy Week last year, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley decided that he will wash the feet of women and men Holy Thursday, after having consulted with the Vatican, reported the Boston Globe. According to the archbishop’s spokeswoman, Ann Carter, the Congregation for Divine Worship “affirmed the liturgical requirement that only the feet of men be washed at the Holy Thursday ritual. However, it said the archbishop could make a pastoral decision that is best suited for his diocese."

Perhaps then-Cardinal Bergoglio had received similar permission from Rome that then-Archbishop O'Malley had received.


Mark Thomas

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... Perhaps then-Cardinal Bergoglio had received similar permission from Rome that then-Archbishop O'Malley had received.

The only logical inference from the insinuation above is that two popes publicly prohibited the practice while at the same time they actually allowed it.

And they did this for 20 years.

In other words, they purposely misled the entire Church on the matter.

And, of course, bishops, like Cardinal O'Malley, who actually read the rubric and obviously decided that it prohibited the practice, didn't really need to consult "the Vatican" because the permission was there all along, even though the rubric says the permission is not there.

Faithful priests who, for years, refused to wash women's feet and publicly stated that the prohibition was in place, were merely mistaken. Even though two popes, for two decades, said no, the two popes actually meant yes.

And, of course, the Holy Father's change to the rubric is meaningless, as it does not change anything but the rubric. The permission has always been there.

It stretches credulity to the breaking point.

Obviously, there are some who even made excuses for Pope Stephen VI when he ordered Pope Formosus' body dug up, put on trial, and thrown in the river, after which he declared him an antipope.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... Anyway, nobody else cares about whose feet are washed once a year during Mass... Again, "nobody" cares about the decree...nobody except Traditionalists...and we represent but a drop in the Catholic ocean.

That's an untrue statement.

The "liberals," for lack of a better term, most certainly care about this decree, as it furthers their agenda. They are delighted with it.

If they didn't care about the issue, they would not have ignored the prohibition, nor would they have been promulgating public statements about the issue.

Your statement is absolutely incorrect.

Mark Thomas said...

DJR, I agree with you in that, overall, liberals, for various reasons, are pleased with the Pope's decree. But the liberals in question are, in general, the folks who control one Chancery and parish after another. Fanatical women's ordination folks are pleased as they can pretend that Pope Francis has opened the door to priestesses.

But outside the Church's two wings of the Church (liberal and Traditional), "nobody" cares. The majority of Catholics (in the West) don't assist regularly at Mass. The Church means little to them. Among those who assist regularly at Sunday Mass, only a microscopic amount assist at Holy Thursday Masses.

Many priests in recent years have opted out of the ceremony in question. Among those who employ the ceremony, many have washed the feet of women for years during Holy Thursday Masses. Besides that, the Novus Ordo is feminized heavily. Parishioners are used to seeing women overrun Sanctuaries.

I am confident that the "average" Catholic in the pew has little interest in the Pope's decree.

We disagree about that. I understand that. Peace.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...


I don't know whether Pope Francis during his days in Argentina had received permission from Rome similar to that of then-Archbishop O'Malley to wash the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

I don't offer that possibility to cover up for Pope Francis. I simply read that in 2005 A.D., the Archdiocese of Boston stated publicly that then-Archbishop O'Malley had received permission from Rome to wash the feet of women during Holy Thursday Mass. From there, I wondered whether the future Pope Francis had received similar permission.

If not...then he didn't...but for whatever reason(s) he believed that it was acceptable for him to have done so.

That is between him and God.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas, I agree one thing that you are a complete apologist for Pope Francis but the Church is in a very sorry state since his election and people are totally confused by him. Only a liberal would not agree with that view. People who were in his diocese have said he says one thing one day and one thing another and that has been borne out to the letter. Any spin that is put on what he does and says is applied by people like yourself who are determined to uphold his papacy, come what may, in the face of the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas - a later story on Cardinal Danneels - the Cardinal who appeared on the balcony with Pope Francis on the day of his election - SPIN YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS ONE IF YOU CAN. Note that Cardinal Danneels was invited to reply but he chose not to.

"Still Controversial: Cardinal Danneels and the Conclave of 2005
German journalist Paul Badde recounts the actions of the Belgian cardinal — whose participation in the recent family synod drew criticism — at the time of Pope Benedict XVI’s election.
by EDWARD PENTIN 11/05/2015

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ choice of Cardinal Godfried Danneels to attend last month’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family as one of his 45 papal delegates was heavily criticized on account of the Belgian cardinal’s record.

The archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990, told a victim of clerical sex abuse to keep quiet and refused to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools. He also once said same-sex “marriage” was a “positive development” and congratulated the Belgian government for passing same-sex “marriage” legislation, although he has sought to distinguish such a union from the Church’s understanding of marriage.

The cardinal, who was pictured standing next to Pope Francis on the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica on the night of the Pope’s election, also admitted in September to being part of what he called the St. Gallen “mafia” club that was opposed to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and campaigned to prevent him being elected in 2005.

German journalist and author Paul Badde reported on their campaign at that time. In this interview with the Register, Badde, an expert on the Holy Face of Manoppello, recalls the events that took place in 2005, including the strong resistance of German Cardinal Joachim Meisner to the group’s campaign, which, he insisted, contravened conclave rules.

On Nov. 6, the Vatican is expected to announce Bishop Jozef De Kesel of Bruges, who is supported by Cardinal Danneels, as the new archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. He will replace Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, viewed as a “Ratzingerian,” who had his resignation immediately accepted upon turning 75 over the summer.

The Register contacted Cardinal Danneels Nov. 3 to see if he would like to respond to the concerns raised about his actions, but he declined the request.


Anonymous said...


You say that during the 2005 conclave there was resistance to efforts by members of the so-called St. Gallen group to have Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio elected. Can you elaborate on that?

Paul Badde: I hadn’t heard of a so-called St. Gallen group in those days. I just knew that a certain group of cardinals had met in Villa Nazareth [a college residence in Rome founded by Cardinal Domenico Tardini] at the invitation of Cardinal Silvestrini, an ardent opponent of Cardinal Ratzinger. I knew that from a very reliable source, who had told me that they were trying to have Jesuit Cardinal [Carlo] Martini elected, the popular archbishop from Milan. It’s true, also Cardinal Bergoglio from Buenos Aires was considered “papabile,” but wasn’t mentioned in that context. And [I learned] that they tried everything to prevent the election of Joseph Ratzinger. In the first photo after Benedict’s election, however, in the Sala Ducale, beside the Sistine Chapel, standing next to the new pope, a meter away, was Cardinal Joachim Meisner [then archbishop of Cologne] on his right side — with then another vacant meter on the right of Cardinal Meisner. It looked as if nobody would dare to come close to Cardinal Meisner, as if he were still glowing — as after an enormous fight.

How do you know this?

That’s what the photo is telling me. We were with Meisner on April 4, 2005. John Paul II had died April 2, but two days later, we went to Manoppello [famous for the Holy Face of Manoppello]. It was an appointment arranged in January of that year. And although his friend, John Paul II, had died two days before, the cardinal and I managed to slip away to Manoppello on Monday, April 4, sharing a long car ride together. He was enormously impressed by the Holy Face. He was the first bishop I know of who immediately identified the Sacred Veil with the “Soudarion” from the Holy Sepulchre mentioned in the Gospel of the Resurrection of St. John. He knelt down. We prayed a Rosary there, then returned to Rome by noon and prayed another Rosary right in front of John Paul II, who was lying in state in the Cappella Clementina, before he was carried to St. Peter’s Basilica later that afternoon. So the whole day was a very intimate situation, as you can imagine. It was no wonder that I called him later to ask for his advice when I heard right before the conclave that something was cooking in the Vatican that the media hadn’t heard of. That was on April 16, 2005.

What exactly did you hear?

Well, I’ve been told that, on April 5 — only three days after Karol Wojtyla’s death! — a group of cardinals had gathered secretly to prevent the election of Joseph Ratzinger, the right hand of the Polish Pope for decades.

Who was involved?

I’ve seen a list naming the cardinals: Silvestrini, Danneels, Murphy O’Connor, Martini, Lehmann, Kasper and Audrys Juozas Bačkis of Lithuania, and I had heard that “their absolute aim is to get Ratzinger out of the race”; and that they met at Villa Nazareth.

What was Cardinal Meisner’s reaction to this news?

He was upset, telling me that a conspiracy like this one was “absolutely against the explicit rules” which John Paul II himself had reshaped in his apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, of Feb. 22, 1996.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... From there, I wondered whether the future Pope Francis had received similar permission.

If not...then he didn't...but for whatever reason(s) he believed that it was acceptable for him to have done so.

That is between him and God.

But it has ramifications for us.

It shows the type of person who now holds the highest office. He is willing to disobey his superiors when it suits him, and he in fact did so.

That permits us to make certain judgments in his regard.

There's nothing in Catholic theology that states we have to live like ostriches, nor are we required to do everything a pope enjoins.

The history of the papacy is replete with examples.

When Pope Stephen VI dug up the body of Pope Formosus and put him on trial, the Catholics at the time were not required to acquiesce to that.

Nor did Catholics have to ignore the fact that Urban VI had some of his cardinals "offed."

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... But outside the Church's two wings of the Church (liberal and Traditional), "nobody" cares.

Your assertion is belied by the undeniable fact that this rubrical change, which allegedly nobody cares about, made international news and was covered by all the mainstream media.

When every major news outlet in the world, Catholic and secular, is talking about something, it is patently obvious that "somebody" cares.

Anonymous said...

To add a little more from the above interview given by Paul Badde, I think it shows why we have had so many problems since Vat II. Pope Benedict asked that we pray that he may not fall prey to the wolves. We didn't pray hard enough and so he did. I think now the St Gallen's group were the wolves he referred to who have been playing a behind the scenes role for some time from what we read of what Mr Badde says:

"How important is it to understand the reform agenda of the St. Gallen group who met at Villa Nazareth? How much does that give us a clue about where this pontificate is heading?
They have an agenda, and have had it since right after the [Second Vatican] Council, after Humanae Vitae. Then we had a synod in Würzburg: They said it’s up to the parish priest to teach about contraception. So they had an agenda from then on. Then it’s important to note that nothing is new about what Kasper is declaring. He was talking about this in the early 1990s, but then it was a dispute between him and Cardinal Ratzinger. He was angry at Ratzinger, that he had won the day. Now, Ratzinger can’t say anything anymore, so his [Kasper’s] time has come.

Should there be some pressure from the faithful?
There was some, including a petition, but I don’t think it will lead anywhere. Of course, it was a signal that Pope Francis had invited Cardinal Danneels to the synod. And don't forget, from the same group that did everything, legally or illegally, to prevent Cardinal Ratzinger from being elected as pope in 2005, Cardinal Bačkis from Lithuania and Cardinal Kasper play key roles in last month's synod.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier and others said an agenda and ideology were pushed at last year's extraordinary session, leading to accusations of an engineered synod. Did you see this latest one in the same way?
No. But I hope this synod won't be remembered as the “Mafia Synod” one day, deriving it from Cardinal Danneels’ own words. But then the synod shouldn’t be overestimated anyway, since it will be Pope Francis alone who is going to decide which direction the Church is heading — no matter what the synod has declared. His decision will be remembered.

Read more:

Mark Thomas said...

DJR said..."When every major news outlet in the world, Catholic and secular, is talking about something, it is patently obvious that "somebody" cares."

Yes, somebody cares. But the "somebody" who cares about such things is limited to a tiny portion of the laity. "Nobody", meaning the greatest portion of the laity, is interested in whether a priests washes the foot of a woman during Holy Thursday Mass. Nobody cares about that.

Now, it is not surprising that major news media outlets reported the story in question as everything that pertains to the Pope is major news. Just four months ago, Pope Francis shopped in Rome for a new pair of sunglasses. That story generated international headlines in the news media.

USA Today, for example, reported the Pope's shopping trip for new sunglasses as a major international news story:

I just performed a Google search of the Pope's purchase of sunglasses.

The Google search revealed that 1,812 news media outlets reported the story about Pope shopping for a pair of sunglasses.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jan..."Mark Thomas, I agree one thing that you are a complete apologist for Pope Francis but the Church is in a very sorry state since his election and people are totally confused by him. Only a liberal would not agree with that view."

Jan, I guess that yours truly, a Traditionalist (I consider myself simply a Catholic), is, at least via your understanding, a liberal, as I am not at all confused by His Holiness Pope Francis.

That is, as far as the True Religion is concerned, I am not at all confused as Pope Francis' teachings on faith and morals are very clear. I know exactly what to believe as a Catholic. Pope Francis has not confused me one bit in that regard.

Thanks to Pope Francis' clear teachings on faith and morals, his exhortation to the Faithful to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and his exhortation to remain in communion with one's bishop, I, Deo gratias, am very clear as to Holy Mother Church's teaching.

Now, as to Pope Francis' interviews with an atheist who doesn't take notes, off-the-cuff remarks, second-hand accounts of supposed things that he has told people, supposed "insults" that Traditionalists claim have been directed at them (even though nobody really knows that for sure)...I am as confused as anybody else is to all of that.

However, I don't collapse in despair at such things as I am interested only in the Holy See's official declarations on Faith and morals. Again, in that regard, Pope Francis' teachings are clear to me.

Now, that doesn't mean that I believe that the confusion that Pope Francis has sometimes brought about...confusion that has often required the Holy See to issue "clarifications" good for the Church.

That said, in fairness to Pope Francis, I have found that the bulk of the "confusion" that has surrounded Pope Francis' Pontificate has been generated by secularists, secular news media, and the liberal and Traditionalist wings of the Church. Each group in question daily attempts to spin Pope Francis' words and actions.

I heed Pope Francis' teachings on faith and morals. I am in communion with my bishop. I am attached to the Traditional Latin Mass. I study Church-approved catechisms. I know the Faith. Unfortunately, I don't live the Faith always as I am a sinner. Please pray for me. Thank you.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Jan said..."To add a little more from the above interview given by Paul Badde, I think it shows why we have had so many problems since Vat II. Pope Benedict asked that we pray that he may not fall prey to the wolves. We didn't pray hard enough and so he did."

How did Pope Benedict XVI "fall prey to the wolves" when he made it clear that such was not the case? Pope Benedict XVI said that the only thing that he had fallen prey to was his "advanced age". He said that due to his age, his strength of mind and body" had "deteriorated" to "the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome..."


Mark Thomas

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... "Nobody", meaning the greatest portion of the laity, is interested in whether a priests washes the foot of a woman during Holy Thursday Mass.

Stated in that fashion, I agree with the statement.

But if the "nobody cares" category depends on percentages, you would be hard pressed to ever say "somebody cares" about any particular Catholic topic.

Even if tens of millions of churchgoing Catholics cared about a particular issue, the greatest portion of the laity worldwide doesn't bother going to Mass or practicing the Faith in any manner, so under your definition, the tens of millions would still fall into the category of "nobody."

I would say that, worldwide, you could find at least 100,000 Catholics who care about this issue and have at least a mildly strong opinion about it, either one way or another.

Nearly 40% of that figure can be found in just one relatively small area of the world.

However, I agree that, using your definition, which involves percentages, 100,000 qualifies as "nobody."

But then, using your definition, so would 100 million.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas said, "However, I don't collapse in despair at such things as I am interested only in the Holy See's official declarations on Faith and morals. Again, in that regard, Pope Francis' teachings are clear to me."

Yet, on the other hand you admit that the Pope has caused confusion. You should be concerned at the loss of souls that this confusion may well bring about.

The Pope has given a number of interviews to an atheist who doesn't keep notes. Therefore the Pope is at fault for giving interviews to someone that he can't be sure will report him correctly.

The Pope has been publicly disobedient to canon law - therefore be becomes responsible if others follow his lead and disobey canon law when it suits them.

The Pope appointed Kasper, Dannells and others who dissent from Church teaching to the Synod on the Family. Their dissident views on marriage and abortion, etc, are well known. Therefore, by doing that, the Pope shows that to dissent means you are likely to be placed into positions of influence within the Church.

So, contrary to everything you say, Mark, there is very real reason for orthodox Catholics to be concerned with what is occurring in the Church. These things Pope Francis has done off his own bat and cannot be put down to his words being misconstrued by Traditionalists, liberals or anyone else. His actions speak for themselves, but apologists like you twist his words to try to make a silk purse out of what is in reality a sow's ear. Your spin does not alter the facts.

All I can say is that you are simply very naive or in denial or you know the truth of the situation but refuse to admit it. Whatever, you are trying to put the blame on Traditionalists for a situation that is of Pope Francis' own making. Even Cardinal Muller is on record as saying he has to tidy up after him. Benedict XVI has also issued a document correcting what Pope Francis has had to say. I think you would be better to try another tack because, after several years now of what Pope Francis has said and done, no orthodox Catholic is going to accept your type of spin.

Gene said...

Mark Thomas goes on other blogs, as well, and constantly runs off at the mouth. Others have told me how tired they are of reading the endless lines of verbiage.

Anonymous said...

And I think, Mark Thomas, you are using the same tactics to object to Catholics preaching orthodoxy that Cardinal Burke refers to here. You have decried Rorate Caeli and others, just as the liberal bishops and cardinals are labeling orthodox bishops, I think that you are firmly in the liberal camp of Cardinal Wuerl, Cupich and others:

"Cardinal Raymond Burke is speaking up in defense of faithful bishops labeled "enemies of the Pope" for preaching orthodoxy.

In the third installment of a recent interview in The Wanderer, Cdl. Burke acknowledged the complaints of fellow bishops suffering mischaracterizations in the media. One archbishop approached him and asked, "How is it that those of us who teach what the Church has always taught are now called enemies of the Pope by the media and others?"

After admitting that the situation can be "discouraging," Burke replied, "The Pope cannot teach us or urge us to do anything other than what the Church has always taught and practiced. ... The Deposit of Faith is given to us by the Church and we must stick to that. We do not betray or abandon it by following all kinds of popular trends."


He also emphasized the need for the laity to speak up against error. "The laity needs to write about these things," he insisted. "If we remain silent, it gives the impression that we, too, are going along with all of this confusion and error. That, we know, is the work of the Devil — he is the master of confusion and error."

Asked to offer his thoughts on Pope Francis' comments to a Lutheran couple in November seeming to imply permission for non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion, Cdl. Burke clarified they were spontaneous remarks whose meaning remains unclear, and then went on to set forth the Church's teaching:

The bottom line is this: The Pope cannot teach anything that the Church has not always taught with regard to reception of the Holy Eucharist. One who does not have Catholic faith in the Eucharist may not approach to receive the sacrament. Moreover, the faith required to receive the Eucharist is not something one can decide on his or her own."

Marc said...

If you're concerned about the Holy See's official teachings on faith, then you have good reason to be concerned. Here's an example of overt error in the official teachings of Pope Francis:

Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
"We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked".

Ecumenical Council of Florence (1438-1445)
It firmly believes, professes and teaches that every creature of God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because according to the word of the Lord not what goes into the mouth defiles a person, and because the difference in the Mosaic law between clean and unclean foods belongs to ceremonial practices, which have passed away and lost their efficacy with the coming of the gospel.

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo
Similarly, we profess that the legalities of the Old Testament, the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law, the rites, sacrifices, and sacraments have ceased at the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ; they cannot be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel

Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi
29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Jewish law and temple worship are related to but separate from Gods covenant with Israel. " the calling and election of God are Irrevocable." St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle...