Saturday, June 30, 2012


Father Adams studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and was fortunate enough to be selected to read the second reading at Pope Benedict's 2010 Midnight (10:00 PM) Mass. Fr. Adams is from Cordele, Georgia, about one and half hours south of Macon on Interstate 75 and it is a small town. Bishop Hartmayer joked during his homily that all of Cordele was at the ordination Mass in Savannah.

A few hours ago I got back from a priestly ordination for Father Jason Adams at our Cathedral, our new bishop's first priestly ordination.

The music ministry was provided by St. John Catholic Church's youth choir in Valdosta and their cantor, choir director and organist.

It was splendid and I will note that the Cathedral has finally dropped the contemporary Litany of the Saints (thank God) and for the first time in a decade used the traditional one. It has been slightly revised and this was the first time I heard the revised English Litany. It was done marvelously by a very well "voiced" cantor and the organist discreetly making some accompanying melodies, but very discreetly.

The youth choir is the parish's elementary school's choir. They are indeed first class. All their motets such as "Ave Verum," "Take and Eat" and "Do You Know Your Shepherd's Voice?" done at Holy Communion were outstanding.

As well for the Investiture with stole and chasuble they sang "the Call" by Toolan--outstanding. I haven't heard that in many years, but they sung it in such a classical way and it was very moving!

Their processional was "God we Praise You" and recessional choice was Te Deum Laudamus (Bedford) with a refrain that was too difficult for the congregation due largely in part because it was unknown.

Now my critique:

First this choir and music ministry was outstanding and blew me away and they could sing at any Cathedral in the world, they were that good!

My biggest complaint or alarm had to do with the Instrumental Processional that was absolutely stunning, but I believe inappropriate for an ordination or really for any Church liturgy. It was "Entrata Festiva" (Flor Peeters) and had all kinds of fanfares, organ, trumpets,tympani and cymbals. It was entirely too triumphalist and coronation like in style. But it was stunning, absolutely stunning, although the cymbals sounded out of place in the Church and way too loud in our Cathedral's acoustics, although I love tympani. Can the cymbals though! Cymbals are thoroughly too loud and have a cheesiness quality during the Sacred Liturgy!

The Gloria was the Mass of Creation as were the Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Agnus Dei. They were sung classically but I think I would have liked a different Gloria sung straight through and without refrain and a choir Agnus Dei.

I would have preferred the English Missal's chant for the Sanctus and perhaps using the Jubilatio Deo Mass in Latin for all Cathedral Liturgies especially bilingual ones although yesterday's ordination was not bilingual. The Gregorian Chant melodies would have brought a more humble and sober note to the quality of the music.

Instead of the coronation fanfare for the first part of the Procession, I would have loved to have heard this choir chant the EF's Introit for Ordinations and then go into "God We Praise You." That would have set a different tone and signaled this was an ordination of a humble transitional deacon and not the triumphal coronation of a king.

Please note this Hollywood Production (which doesn't sound Hollywood at all compared to the Hollywood sound of the "Entrata Festiva" and some of the other music in this production). The processional is like a horse race, but it is the music I would like for you to note especially at the Entrance and other parts and how Hollywood knew how to portray the sacred character of the EF's Ordination Rite, very sober, isn't it?

The other antiphons were lacking too at the Offertory and at Communion. I don't know what is prescribed for the various parts of the ordination but I would always suggest using that first.

But overall, this ordination was marvelous and the music exquisite. I would simply encourage the Cathedral Music Ministry to move in the direction of becoming a model for the rest of the diocese in the recovery of the official Propers of the Mass, the Introit, the Offertory and Communion Antiphons as well as the propers of particular rites during the actual rite such as Ordinations and weddings.


Why in the world are progressive Catholics fearful, phobic, of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the possible normalization with the full communion of the Church of the SSPX?

1. Do they fear the priest turning his back to the congregation?

2. Are they horrified by communicants kneeling for Holy Communion?

3. Does Latin totally baffle them?

4. Is uniformity of celebration and formal rubrics anathema?

5. Is the lack of guitars and other contemporary elements of music insulting?

6. Are they narrow minded?

7. Are they self-loathing? Do they hate their family of origin, meaning the Catholics of the Pre-Vatican II Church?

I always thought that the term "progressive Catholic" meant that a Catholic was an open person to that which is new and that which is old and there is a live and let live philosophy of life.

But it turns out that progressive Catholic share a common feature with retro-Catholics, fear of change and rigidity. How odd!

Friday, June 29, 2012


It is remarkable that the Anglicans are singing this and quite remarkably, which isn't remarkable!

Many criticize the Sistine Chapel Choir for not being as good as they should be. Well, Westminster Abbey Choir (Church of England!) sang the Mass this morning for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, singing Latin chant and some Anglican style music putting to rest the notion that the Sistine choir is almost as good. It isn't!

There is no reason on God's good earth that the Vatican cannot have a top rated choir, it is improving and for them to hear the Westminster Abbey choir sing along with them and separately will certainly inspire excellence in style for the Sistine Choir. Ecumenism is good!

The Pallium was imposed on the new Metropolitans as a prelude to the Mass. As soon as the Pallium ceremony concluded, the Mass began with the Sign of the Cross, greeting, penitential act and Kyrie and the Gloria by the Westminster Abbey Choir. The pope should have worn cope for this prelude and changed into chasuble for the Mass, oh well.

As is the custom in Rome for concelebrated Masses which should become the norm in the USA, the concelebrants do not receive the Sacred Host during the Agnus Dei as is the custom here, but rather they approach the altar as others are receiving Holy Communion, take the host from a ciborium and intinct (dip)the Most Sacred Host into a chalice of the Most Precious Blood. It is very sanitary to say the least and quite acceptable!

At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father greeted the choir directors of the Westminster Abbey Choir which sang directly behind the altar, then the Holy Father knelt at the "confessio" of Saint Peter and the choir sang marvelously "Tu Es Petrus!" It doesn't get any more ecumenical than that!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


My comment first: YIKES, He hits the nail on the head and what further is there to write, read it and weep! How ironic that at a Eucharistic Congress where the Holy Father gives an locution on the nature of Liturgy and the on-going need for the reform of the reform that the liturgy itself in Dublin makes evident the problem to which the Holy Father speaks!

Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth stinging appraisal of the Dublin Mass:

"The Holy Father then went on to say (in a video message to the assembly at the Closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin) that:
“not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and "active participation" has been confused with external activity”

"In my view, this is the very crux of the matter and I would like to illustrate it with reference to the Mass at which Pope Benedict’s remarks were heard – the closing Mass of the recent Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. The improvements in liturgical culture and particularly the improvements in liturgical music, that have become increasingly evident throughout this papacy, particularly in large-scale celebrations were sadly almost entirely absent from this occasion, giving the event a sort of ‘eighties’ feel to it. More specifically:

- the entire liturgy had a ‘performance’ quality to it, with the assembly as the principal focus. This was borne out by the fact that musicial items were frequently greeted with applause.

- There was a frequent disregard for the provisions of the GIRM. This was particularly evident with reference to music:

+ None of the antiphons of the proper were sung for the entrance, offertory and communion processions (cf GIRM #40)

+ Gregorian Chant was conspicuous by its absence (cf GIRM #41). None of the Missal chants was used for the people’s parts of the Order of Mass (with the single exceptions of the gospel and preface dialogues), even though the liturgy was predominantly in English and these chants would have been known by most people present.

+ In the Profession of Faith, after the Cardinal celebrant had intoned Credo III, lectors read the Apostles’ Creed (which has a different intonation to the Nicene Creed) in a variety of languages, spoken paragraphs were punctuated by the sung response ‘Credo, Amen!” This is not recognizably one of the modes for the Creed described in the GIRM (cf GIRM #48).

+ Much music did not ‘correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action’ [GIRM #41] such as the celebrity spot during the distribution of Holy Communion of 3 clerical tenors, ‘The Priests’, singing the impossibly sentimental song “May the road rise up to meet you”. I feel like asking, just what is wrong with the Communion antiphon and psalm?

+ Despite the international character of the occasion, the use of Latin in the people’s sung parts was almost non-existent (cf GIRM #41).

The depressing cumulative effect of the disregard for all these principles in a major liturgy, celebrated by a papal legate, and broadcast throughout the world, is hard to underestimate. If I were given to conspiracy theories, I would almost feel persuaded that this was a deliberately calculated attempt to broadcast a different message and to oppose the better liturgical spirit of recent times. But surely it cannot be so?

I think we have to ask such questions and indeed to surmise that the influence of former barons of the liturgical establishment has found a new and conspicuous arena of activity in which to model their example of poor liturgy. There can be no talk of the reform of the Roman Rite until the GIRM is enforced as the minimum requirement. If it remains a largely fantasy text at the beginning of our altar missals then ‘the rebuilding of the broken down city’ will take a very long time."


My comments first: Although the U.S. Catholic bishops have opposed the law initially, believing its anti-abortion provisions were insufficient, they have never once called for the law's repeal.

The U.S. bishops' conference should continue to press for a resolution on the federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization in health care plans that too narrowly outlines the definition of a religious employer and other concerns.

The Church should not involve itself in the fight against a particular way of providing universal health care which the Church believes to be a fundamental right of all people, but the Church should fight immoral aspects of any law, especially if those laws infringe upon religious liberty and freedom of conscience as it concerns the Church's teachings on various medical ethics issues and if the right to life from conception until natural death is in any way taken away from the defenseless, innocent unborn or those in the last stages of life and those even if guilty on death row.

Bishops Renew Plea To Congress And Administration To Repair Affordable Care Act

June 28, 2012

Supreme Court decision does not address fundamental flaws in the law
Legislation still needed to fix conscience, abortion funding, immigration problems

WASHINGTON—Today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision upholding as a tax the provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires individuals to purchase a health plan—the so-called "individual mandate."

For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been and continue to be consistent advocates for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable.Although the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) did not participate in these cases and took no position on the specific questions presented to the Court, USCCB's position on health care reform generally and on ACA particularly is a matter of public record.The bishops ultimately opposed final passage of ACA for several reasons.

First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy.The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of "high risk" insurance pools that would have covered abortion.

Second, the Act fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context.We have provided extensive analyses of ACA's defects with respect to both abortion and conscience.The lack of statutory conscience protections applicable to ACA's new mandates has been illustrated in dramatic fashion by HHS's "preventive services" mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.

Third, ACA fails to treat immigrant workers and their families fairly.ACA leaves them worse off by not allowing them to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges created under the law, even if they use their own money.This undermines the Act's stated goal of promoting access to basic life-affirming health care for everyone, especially for those most in need.

Following enactment of ACA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has not joined in efforts to repeal the law in its entirety, and we do not do so today.The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws described above. We therefore continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, legislation to fix those flaws.


This poor beast, a 600 pound black bear was hit and killed by a car (hit and run!) on Interstate 16 just south of downtown Macon! Yes, in good old Macon, Georgia!

This too weighing 600 pounds was killed in downtown Macon , Georgia's Catholic rectory of Saint Joseph Church in September of 2010 where a certain eccentric blogging priest resides and still has current and post-traumatic stress syndrome effect because of it; this was not killed in a hit and run but by the jaws of death, a good,old fashioned rat trap and this rat wandered the entire rectory including said eccentric blogging priest's bedroom!


I did a yahoo image search for the Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass and this came up! So,indeed, yes to style of reform:

But this image popped up too and no to this style of reform, indeed!

My Comments first: Below is an audio recording link from a talk by Msgr. Wadsworth, a noted liturgical scholar and instrumental in the new English translation of the Mass. Below the link of his talk, that has a bit of a long introduction and the recording is not the best, is my summary of his points as accurately as I could list them as he spoke.

In a nutshell this is what he says about the future reform of the Latin Rite: A. More silence before, during and after Mass! B. Chant the Mass and its propers, use less hymns imposed on the Mass! C. Kneel for Holy Communion! D. Use true sacred chant and music, not secular tunes set to sacred words! E. Priest and ministers are not performers and the congregation is not to be entertained which implies that the priest should not face the congregation for most of the Mass and neither the cantor and choir!



Synopsis of the talk:

1. Unwarranted wholesale revision of the Roman Rite after the Second Vatican Council which created a breach with the unchanging character of the Liturgy since about the 6th century (unchanging in the sense of organic incremental development of the Roman Rite codified at the Council of Trent) but the revision of the Mass after Vatican II was imposed rather than actually building on the liturgical developments of the 1940's and 50's in a conservative way and using flawed scholarship, the biggest elephant in the liturgical room of the reformers of the Mass under Pope Paul VI's charge!

2. Flawed scholarship implementing Sacrosanctum Concilium was the basis of some of the reform which was imposed and this needs to be uncovered, admitted and rectified

3. Some positive developments in the post Vatican II period, the Sacred Triduum, the Liturgy of the Hours prayed by greater number of laity, wider selection of readings, greater appreciation of the proper role of chant and music in the liturgy, Baptism as the foundation of liturgical participation, Eucharistic adoration in parish life

4. Some negative developments and irregularities such as myopic, congregationalism, no longer understanding of belonging to the universal Church with a universal liturgy; transferring solemnities to Sundays, such as Epiphany and Ascension; any amount of music of any type of genre is acceptable; spontaneity and improvisation with the official prayers of the Mass; proliferation of liturgical ministries confusing the ministerial role of the ordained; priests and ministers cast in the order of performers and congregations expecting to be entertained; manner of distribution and reception of Holy Communion creating irreverence; proliferation of Communion Services in the absence of a priest presided over by lay persons; banality of liturgical music, causing an anti-liturgical culture; active participation has been confused with external participation,

5. Stinging criticism of the closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress just held in Dublin, Ireland and the damage this caused to the true renewal of the Liturgy when broadcast throughout the world!

6. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal must be enforced

7. Much still remains to be done for true liturgical renewal, the liturgy of the future:

A. sense of reverence for the texts of the Roman Rite and our unity in the Roman Rite which is more evident in the revised English Text

B. Read and study Sacrosanctum Concilium rather than the spirit of the Council so many liturgists have shoved down our throats in the post-Vatican II period, including those who revised the Mass according to flawed scholarship!

C. Careful attention to the calendar and the norms of the liturgy

D. Dignified and reverent liturgy with careful preparation that focuses on the vertical aspect of the Mass and subjugates the horizontal aspect of the community

E. Recovery of the Latin tradition of the Roman Rite, need the recovery of the teaching and learning of Latin

F. Far greater commitment to silence, before, during and after the celebration of the Liturgy!

G. Exclusion of music that is not liturgical, contemporary or classical

H. Music that only expresses secular culture must be eliminated; the idiom of chant must be recovered in Latin and English

I. Commitment to the art of celebrating the Latin Rite by priests and deacons

J. Devotions need to be in harmony with the Liturgy

K. Singing of the proper texts rather than the endless singing of substitution of the propers with hymns

L. The liturgy is a gift we receive from the Church rather than what we make for ourselves

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Experimenting with looks? What do you think?


The LCWR is not alone, they have company. I wonder if the priest dissidents of Austria will start a bus tour or sing their way into exile like the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music?

Austrian Cardinal cracks down on rebel priests, read all about it by pressing here!


My Comment first: This is brick by pallium brick in terms of the renewal of the liturgy by "following a logic of development in continuity!" I love that phrase! The names of the archbishops will be called prior to the procession, and the imposition of the pallium from what I can tell will be at the beginning of Mass, kind of like a prelude from what I can tell, and not unlike the Rite of Sprinkling of Holy Water in the Extraordinary Form. Or it might take place in place of the penitential act or after the greeting but not replacing the Penitential Act. We'll have to watch to see.

But this all reminds me of our 12:10 PM Mass for St. John the Baptist this past Sunday, by that I mean, the "following a logic o development in continuity" whereby we had an Extraordinary Form Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water as a prelude to the Mass (certainly not a part of it as that would not have been kosher) and we celebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist Ad Orientem and allow people now to kneel for Holy Communion if they so choose to do so. In fact we make the following disclaimer: "The norm in the United States is to stand to receive Holy Communion, the exception is to kneel to receive Holy Communion, both ways are allowed but the choice is yours."

With the Holy See, I can say of last Sunday's Mass in continuity that:

Things remained substantially the same, but last Sunday, following a logic of development in continuity, it was decided simply to move the Rite of Sprinkling to before the Mass using the EF Form of the rite itself and to offer the Liturgy of the Eucharist Ad Orientem according to the most venerable and longstanding tradition of the Church in both the east and the west.

Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS)

- The Holy See Press Office today issued a note explaining the new form of the rite for imposing the pallium on metropolitan archbishops, which takes place annually on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.

"Things will remain substantially the same", the note reads, "but this year, following a logic of development in continuity, it has been decided simply to move the rite itself, and it will now take place before the Eucharistic celebration.

"The modification has been approved by the Holy Father and is motivated by the following reasons:

"1. To make the rite shorter. The list of new metropolitan archbishops will be read out immediately before the entry of the opening procession and the singing of 'Tu es Petrus', and it will not be part of the celebration. The rite of the palliums will take place as soon as the Holy Father reaches the altar.

"2. To ensure that the Eucharistic celebration is not 'interrupted' by a relatively long rite (the number of metropolitan archbishops now stands at around forty-five each year), which could make attentive and focused participation in the Mass more difficult.

"3. To make the rite of imposing the pallium more in keeping with the 'Cerimoniale Episcoporum', and to avoid the possibility that, by coming after the homily (as happened in the past), it may be thought of as a Sacramental rite. Indeed, the rites which take place during a Eucharistic celebration following the homily are normally Sacramental rites: Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick. The imposition of the pallium, on the other hand, is not Sacramental in nature".


The HHS mandate illustrates three liberal ideological commitments that treat religious freedom as an afterthought.

What do the University of Notre Dame, EWTN, and the Archdiocese of New York have in common?

More than you probably think. Each is a Catholic institution, of course. Each is also suing the Obama Administration over the HHS “contraception” mandate. Each is going to be spared the Hobson’s choice between complying with the mandate and betraying its mission if any one of four possible scenarios comes to pass. Each nonetheless continues to stand in grave peril of institutional martyrdom.

The first scenario will play out by June 29, the last day of the current Supreme Court term. If the Court throws out the whole Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the mandate will go with it. The reason is not that the pending decision is about contraception or religious liberty. It is that the mandate depends entirely for its force upon the survival of PPACA.

The second scenario will go down on November 6. If Mitt Romney is then elected our next president, you can be sure that he will soon thereafter announce his intention to rescind the mandate.

The chances that one of these two scenarios will occur are pretty high. The chances that the Obama administration will fare poorly in the pending lawsuits (by Cardinal Dolan, et al.) are pretty high, too. When those dim prospects become apparent to the administration, it is likely—and this is the third scenario—to invite the complaining Catholic institutions to the bargaining table, to significantly expand the current wafer-thin exemption from the mandate. But if the administration imprudently digs in its heels, some time in 2014 the Supreme Court is likely to rule that the exemption must be expanded in order to comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That would be scenario number four.

Because it is almost certain that at least one of these possibilities will come to be, the day of reckoning for Notre Dame, Mother Angelica, and Cardinal Dolan will be postponed.

I say “postponed,” and not “canceled,” advisedly. The ideological commitments that have emboldened the Obama administration about contraception are deeply held. They are held to be very important. They are resilient. They are not limited to the reproductive rights supposedly protected by access to contraception, even when contraception is broadly defined to include abortifacient drugs. These deep convictions about liberty and equality and religion entail trouble for religious liberty, no matter which exit route the present mandate takes.

I say “entail” advisedly, too. Religious liberty in the new dispensation is derivative of these deeper moral and (as we shall see) epistemological commitments. Religious liberty is, from this point of view, an afterthought, a residue which is unfortunately too vaporous to protect Catholic institutions from existential crises.

What are these ideological commitments? There are three of special note.

The first is dedication to advancing the ideology of “equal sexual liberty.” This powerful complex of ideas comes in both straight and “gay” versions.

When President Obama announced his phony “compromise” about the mandate on February 10, he plainly stated what the mandate was for: “Every woman should be in control of the decisions which affect her health. Period.” Given the context of these remarks, Obama meant, specifically, what is usually called “reproductive health.” His overriding commitment to this reproductive health—evidenced by, for example, the “contraception” mandate—presupposes that women will and should have lots more sexual intercourse than they have interest in conceiving children. According to this widespread view, sexual license should never impede a woman’s lifestyle, at least no more than it does a man’s. Marking the most recent anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the President said that “our daughters must have the same opportunities as our sons.” Obama’s notion of equal opportunity extends to the bedroom as well as to the boardroom.

Catholic Charities in Boston and Washington, D.C., already have been martyred by the “gay” version of “equal sexual liberty.” They were obliged to abandon their adoption charities when public authority refused to accommodate their objections to same-sex “marriage.” Right now, Catholic schools in Ontario are being bullied by an “anti-bullying” law that compels parochial schools to set up “Gay-Straight Alliances.” These clubs would contradict the sexual morality that every Catholic institution is obliged before God and the Church to teach, by word and by deed. Were they to comply with this “bullying” law, Ontario’s Catholic schools could not give the perspicuous witness to the faith that is their raison d’etre, just as America’s Catholic schools could not, were they to comply with the Obama Administration’s “contraception” mandate.

This far into the Age of Aquarius, no more needs to be said about the meaning and seductive appeal of “equal sexual liberty.” It is the emerging public orthodoxy about where sexual satisfaction, expression, and identity fit into the good life, and about the government’s responsibilities to establish conditions that make this life achievable for all with ease. This orthodoxy commands the cultural heights and has achieved ascendancy in the academy. We are in the midst of a high-stakes fight over its grip on our law. The outcome of this battle is in doubt.

It is easy to see already that “equal sexual liberty” is a natural predator of Catholic institutions, which are standing contradictions of almost all that the new orthodoxy proposes. What is not so apparent, however, is why the new orthodoxy has so totally eclipsed considerations of conscience, tolerance, and liberty in the thinking of self-identifying liberals such as Barack Obama. It is scarcely surprising that he and other like-minded officials are beguiled by “equal sexual liberty.” It is nonetheless curious that they should so remorselessly subordinate religious liberty to the new ideological colossus. One would think that our cherished “first freedom” would have a bit more staying power.

Looking at what Obama and like-minded folks think about religion dispels the curiosity. I do not mean here to consider their opinion about the value of religion, which value Obama (for example) affirms to be very high. I refer instead to their understanding of religion’s relationship to certain strategic moral propositions, and to the truth-value of religious claims as such.

Hence, the second ideological commitment is to treat the moral propositions that undergird the conservative alternative to “equal sexual liberty” as subjective religious beliefs incapable of rational defense. These include the propositions that people begin at fertilization; that marriage is strictly limited to the union of man and woman; and that the norms of sexual morality are many and that they are rooted in the marital relation. These propositions combine to refute the emerging orthodoxy of “equal sexual liberty.” Being propositions about morality, moreover, they are asserted by their adherents as truths of reason, albeit truths that are confirmed by religious authorities and by revelation.

Promoters of the new orthodoxy nonetheless boldly declare these claims to be “religious beliefs,” tout court. They just as boldly declare that, because they are “religious beliefs,” these claims are rationally indefensible. They may be held by the faithful as if they are genuine truths. But in reality these putative truths are subjective projections, verbal formulae which may function as the ligaments of a community, as so many fallible and revisable expressions of the ineffable depths of spiritual experience. They are badges of individual or religious communal identity. Because they are rationally indefensible, they are to be perceived and to be treated by outsiders as prejudice. Religious “doctrine” is thus a species of bias. So, the Church’s moral condemnation of sodomy and opposition to same-sex “marriage” amount to hallowed homophobia.

The third commitment is to identify the public value of institutional ministries, such as Catholic Charities and Saint-Somebody Hospital, entirely with the “secular” services they offer.
Adherents of the new orthodoxy can and often do recognize the value of these organizations’ religious identity—to the religious people who staff them. Anyone can see that religion supplies added motivation, enthusiasm, and meaning to many of those working in these ministries. But these peculiar satisfactions are construed by the new orthodox to be private; they are personal delights that do not register as any sort of public good. The public value of these ministries is comprised of just so many hot lunches prepared, heart bypasses performed, and reading competency tests passed. Viewed from the public square, then, these organizations’ religious character is invisible. Being invisible, it cannot have measurable value. Having no detectable value, it cannot serve to justify any allowance that would impair the government’s provision of conditions conducive to “equal sexual liberty.” So, exempting Catholic Charities from placing kids with a “gay” couple is a concession to private bias that is productive only of public mischief, insult, net loss.

An English Law Lord recently expressed this sum of the three orthodox commitments, in a case where he denied relief to a relationship counselor who could not in good conscience endorse the sexual activities of same-sex couples. Lord Justice Laws declared that any exemption would be “unprincipled,” for it would not “advance the general good on objective grounds, but … give effect to the force of subjective opinion.” How so? Laws asserted that it “must be so, since in the eye of everyone save the believer religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence. It may of course be true; but the ascertainment of such a truth lies beyond the means by which laws are made in a reasonable society.” Against the demands of “equal sexual liberty” for homosexuals and lesbians, solicitude for the opaque commitments of the religious subject count for nothing.

It is natural, and right, to say that the HHS mandate undermines religious liberty. But it is important to add that this argument about religious liberty is more about the adjective than it is the noun. It is chiefly an argument about whether religion is about reality, truth, the way the cosmos is really structured, or whether it is about the byways of an individual’s psyche.

Originally appeared in Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, NJ.


At another blog, whose name will go unmentioned, a controversy was begun when it was reported that a certain bishop of a certain Wisconsin diocese had mandated that from here on out violet or black vestments must be used for funerals, I mean, Requiems.

It turns out that it was hysterical reporting based upon eye-witness rumors. Sadly, it wasn't true, but it made for some good hysterical comments showing the adolescent attitudes toward authority which seem to grip so many who are nostalgic for the 1970's.

But what if it were true? Or better yet, what if a certain pastor in a certain small southern city in a certain diocese where a certain novel, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"which was set in the diocese's namesake, and said pastor who has an eccentric, eclectic blog allowed for options for funerals, I mean, Requiems, such as what is listed in the "rubrics" for the appropriate liturgical color, violet, white or black? What would you choose?

We all know that in our American culture there is denial of the grief that death brings about, denial about judgment, denial about purgatory and outright denial about hell. There is also a denial about the goodness of the body, now tattooed and pierced to the nth degree and not in the most visible places either. Bodies are cremated and the ashes are lucky to be given a Christian interment. Usually these are left with the funeral director to dump, or placed in a closet or put in a weird urn and kept in odd places. And to make matters worse, the Church is now enabling this contempt for the body.

I've had parishioners who are "bereaved" tell me that they want happy, peppy,uplifting music at the loved one's funeral, I mean, Requiem. Sing me no dirge!

What we (I) have done at St. Joseph Church is to narrow the choices for adjunct hymns, required that the official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons be sung.

At the Final Commendation, there are only three official chants as music selections and these are all the official chants that are in the funeral, I mean, Requiem ritual.

The recessional must be "May the Angels Lead you into paradise..." either in Latin or a contemporary English version. (The contemporary English version is the big hit and no one asks for a substitute hymn anymore.)

I encourage that any eulogies by laity be given at the Vigil for the Deceased at the funeral home and once the Vigil Prayer Service is concluded. If a family insists, though, I will only allow one person to offer a eulogy at the Requiem and that person must be a believing,practicing Catholic.

And we now give the bereaved the choice of which liturgical color will be used and place it on the form they fill out for their readings and adjunct music selections, and ask them to circle one, violet, white or black.

What choice would you pick for your loved one and why?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Archbishop Di Noia [new Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei] told Catholic News Service June 26 the Vatican needed to help people who have strong objections to the Second Vatican Council see "that these disagreements don't have to be dividing or keep us from the same Communion table."

"It is possible to have theological disagreements while remaining in communion with the see of Peter,"
he said.

"Part of what we're saying is that when you read the documents (of Vatican II), you can't read them from the point of view of some liberal bishops who may have been participants (at the Council), you have to read them at face value," Archbishop Di Noia told CNS. "Given that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church, the documents cannot be in discontinuity with tradition."

MY COMMENTS: When I was in the seminary, theologians around the world were pushing (like the LCWR) that they were like a parallel magisterium often offering dissent toward the hierarchy like the loyal opposition of various political parties.

Often the dissent of the loyal opposition of these theologians hinged on the "pelvic issues" of:
1. women deacons, priests and bishops
2. married clergy
3. redefining the Sacrament of Marriage
4. redefining Original Sin so as to throw it out altogether
5. redefining sin so as to make it more palatable
6. redefining the liturgy to make it more appealing to Protestants and inviting inter-communion

So, is what Archbishop Di Noia suggesting for the ultra conservatives in the Church not having to agree with everything that the Church proposes apply to the loyal oppostion on the left?

Just wondering?



My Comment (UPDATED): A study of the propers and orations of the Extraordinary Form Mass versus the Ordinary Form Mass reveals a underemphasis on hell and damnation. The traditional Missal contains 1182 orations. About 760 of those were dropped entirely from the New Mass. Of the approximately 36% which remained, the revisers altered over half of them before introducing them into the new Missal. Thus, only some 17% of the orations from the Traditional Mass made it untouched into the New Mass. What’s also striking is the content of the revisions that were made to the orations. The Traditional Orations which described the following concepts were specifically modified from the New Missal: the depravity of sin; the snares of wickedness; the grave offense of sin; the way to perdition; terror in the face of God’s fury; God’s indignation; the blows of His wrath; the burden of evil; temptations; wicked thoughts; dangers to the soul; enemies of soul and body. Also eliminated were orations which described: the hour of death; the loss of heaven; everlasting death; eternal punishment; the pains of Hell and its fire. Special emphasis was made to abolish from the New Mass the orations which described detachment from the world; prayers for the departed; the true Faith and the existence of heresy; the references to the Church militant, the merits of the saints, miracles and Hell.

The loss of the fear of damnation, can this account for Catholics gone wild both clergy and laity? I report, you decide!

The study, appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is lower in societies where people's religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent.

A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal.

The finding surfaced from a comprehensive analysis of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries.

'The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation's rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation's rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects,' said Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the UO.

'I think it's an important clue about the differential effects of supernatural punishment and supernatural benevolence. The finding is consistent with controlled research we've done in the lab, but here shows a powerful 'real world' effect on something that really affects people - crime.'

Last year, in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Shariff reported that undergraduate students were more likely to cheat when they believe in a forgiving God than a punishing God.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Not today's Mass, but like it, this one is March 19th, St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Solemnity

Please note: This afternoon's Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass was recorded and as soon as Lovel Miguel in Houston gets it and formats it for the internet and thus my blog, I will post it. It will take a couple of weeks though.

Well, it was glorious! Our 12:10 PM Mass was the Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, at a regularly scheduled Sunday Mass! Please note my comments about the liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem at the end of this post!

One of my EF fans who likes the EF Mass and would love to go to it exclusively writes in a comment at another post about this afternoon's Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass:

Blogger Marc said...

The 12:10 Mass today at St. Joseph was precisely what is needed in the Church. I think we all recognize that a complete abrogation of the Novus Ordo followed by a complete return to the Tridentine Mass is unlikely. In that case, Masses like today's are perfect.

Many were singing with gusto the Asperges and the Gloria in Latin (less so the Credo, to be honest - might be best to keep that in English). I would be interested if anyone was "put off" by the ad orientem worship during the Canon.

Even I, a staunch advocate against lay readers, was less put off by the reader today in the greater context of the Mass.

Just a fantastic Mass that included the normal 12:10 Mass goers, as well as some who normally travel to the FSSP parish. It may just be the perfect compromise to unite the regular Mass goers and the more Traditional leaning Catholics under one umbrella. I am not a big proponent of the "Reform of the Reform" as I have articulated in these comments before. However, today's Mass was a Mass I would happily live with week after week (unless an FSSP parish opens up next door).

Kudos to Fr. McDonald. I hope you get enough good reaction to think about continuing this practice at the 12:10 Mass on a weekly basis.

June 24, 2012 3:36 PM

My Comments:

As much as I love the EF Mass, its rubrics and style of celebrating, I love the vernacular and a little Latin goes a long way for me.

I love the EF's Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water as a prelude to the Ordinary Form Mass as I find the reformed Rite of Sprinkling in place of the Penitential Act pedantic and preachy, just awful. The EF's version is not like that at all and it works well as a Prelude and in some ways mimics the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar as a purification rite.

I think we had a wonderful mix of English hymns and Latin chants. The processional to the altar prior to the Rite of Sprinkling was "For All the Saints." The Asperges was in Latin with the Latin conclusion. I changed from cope to chasualbe as the choir sang the official Introit, EF's version for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, I reverenced the altar, kissed it and incensed it and went to the presiding chair as the Introit was concluded by the choir--it was marveloous.

The Sign of the Cross, Greeting, introduction was chanted in English by me, the Confiteor was recited by all in English, the Kryie was chanted using the Mass of the Angels and The Gloria was intoned by me and chanted using the Jubilatio Deo version. The congregation did well with it.

The Collect was chanted in English.

The lay lector came from the congregation and read the readings and the Responsorial Psalm was chanted in English with a fine English refrain.

We used the Latin Chant Credo III which the congregation did not have the music for, but our new hymnal that should arrive this week has it. The Credo was followed by the English Universal Prayers.

The altar was prepared, ad orientem,the Offertory Antiphon Chanted in latin, the offerings brought foward in procession and received.
The Sanctus was Orbis Factor, the Latin chant, Mystery of Faith, simple Great Amen. I prayed the Sanctus in English quietly by myself and prayed quietly the first part of the Roman Canon until the English "Hanc Igitur" and waited for the schola to end the Sanctus. I chanted the Epiclesis and words of institution in English and continued the Roman Canon aloud in English until the Great Amen.

The Lord's prayer and its embolism was the traditional English chant we use. I turned for the Peace of the Lord... and the exchange of the sign of peace.

The choir and congregation sang during the Communion Procession and the Communion Antiphon was chanted in Latin as the Holy Eucharist was reposed.

The Prayer after Holy Communion, blessing and dismissal were from the Presiding Chair.

This is it folks--no need for any other changes, except some minor rubrical ones. This is it, what Vatican II envision in Sacrosanctum Concilium!

Just a note about Ad Orientem, I absolutely love it for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and presiding at the Chair for the Introductory Rite, Concluding Rite and Credo and Universal Prayer.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist was perfect ad orientem. At our 4:30 PM Mass, someone had a fainting spell as I prayed the Eucharistic prayer facing the congregation that distracted me to no end as I couldn't tell what was happening and if it was serious--it wasn't just a child fainting. At the 7:45 and 9:30 Masses, several distractions occurred during the Canon of the Mass, people getting up, others coming in the side door late, etc--distracting me to no end!

Facing the opposite way eliminates all of that and I can focus on the prayer of the Church and what I am doing in this marvelous priestly prayer!


It's Catholic identity stupid! The Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass has to go beyond the Mass to the whole panoply of Catholicism and finding the "Baby" that was tossed out with the bathwater.

At one time and not too long ago, within my living memory, and of course I am oh so young, there was a clear Catholic identity that Catholics certainly knew what that identity was and also non-Catholics.

Catholics were fish eaters, meaning they abstained every Friday of the year. They went to Mass every Sunday. They were virgins when they got married and they didn't divorce. They didn't practice birth control and they were obedient to the Church, meaning the Magisterium of the Church and exclusively in the areas of faith, morals and Church precepts (canon law). They had a strong Catholic conscience which meant that they had a lot of Catholic guilt and relieved that guilt and the punishment due their sins by going to confession regularly. They truly believed in judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory and were grateful to the Church of the gifts of indulgences that would lessen their experience of purgatory after death or could help their brothers and sisters in the fires of purgatory.

Anything missing there? Oh, yes, they believe in the Triune God, Jesus Christ the judge of the living and the dead, in His mother, Mary most Holy and all the angels and saints. They believed in the real and literal presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament and their Church view was not congregational or horizontal but worldwide and vertical. The transcendent God outranked community and the exaltation of the human Church. Reform was not their God, Church organization and lay participation was not their God, and Vatican II wasn't their God, God was their God and fidelity to Him was their goal for the alternative, infidelity to God on the personal or corporate level would be damnation in the eternal fires of hell.

Catholic identity was built upon a deep sense of loyalty and obligation to God and, family, neighbor and country.

Of course all of this developed from two aspects of every Catholic's prayer life, the public, which included Mass every Sunday, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament regularly, popular public devotions and novenas, missions, and personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in Churches that were always open, the Holy Rosary and sundry other popular private devotions and novenas.

Catholics also promoted vocations from their big and small families and participated in the various apostolates of the Church often called Catholic Action to assist the poor and promote healthy political awareness.

The Reform of the Reform has to go way beyond reforming the way we worship today; it has to go the the heart of Catholic identity and recovering the precious gifts of Catholic identity that have been lost in the last 50 years.

Did Vatican II intend for us to lose our Catholic identity? No, but those who promoted the breach between the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council and the so-called renewed Church after the Second Vatican Council, often referred to as the "spirit" of Vatican II intended to refashion Catholic identity along ecumenical lines, interfaith ambiguity and openness to the world's secularism often at odds with traditional Catholic identity and faith.

The way they would do this is to corrupt the Mass of Pope Paul VI, destroy popular devotions, denigrate obedience to the Magisterium of the Church in the areas of faith, morals and Church precepts and become libertines when it comes to sexuality, contraception, abortion and divorce.

Unless the hierarchy of the Church, meaning our bishops and the "lowerarchy" of the Church meaning our priest, deacons and laity realize what is at stake in the reform of the reform and then start to "rebuild my Church" from the mandate of Christ to Saint Francis, then the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass will make us more like High Episcopalians, Catholic facade only and no real Catholic substance, all of the gilt and not of the guilt. It will be more of the same of lite Catholicism whereas true Catholicism is heavy man.

So what do we recover in the reform of the reform? Well everything below flows from the recovery of the meaning of TRUE LOVE, true love of God and neighbor. This means tossing out the ideology of love as a feeling, especially a sexual feeling, and recovery of love as calling people to God, His Church and His truth. It means helping people to stay close to God and not ENABLING people to be happy in their immoral life-choices that go against the faith, morals and precepts of the Church. Love does not mean embracing sin or the sinner's immoral lifestyle. It does mean calling them to conversion, repentance and the hard choices that both entail. In the traditional sense it means quite literally: LOVING THE SINNER AND HATING THE SIN BUT LOVING GOD FIRST! THE CLEAREST SIGN THAT ONE HAS LOST THEIR CATHOLIC IDENTITY IS WHEN THEY CAN'T DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE SIN AND THE SINNER!

1. For the Mass: the use of more Latin, Gregorian Chant, ad orientem and good taste in the Liturgy and Church architecture. Keep the reform of more active participation but coupled with interior spirituality based upon Catholic sensibilities.

2. Recover popular devotions both private and public, such as Benediction, Novenas, the Holy Rosary and the like, but also continue to make better use of the Liturgy of the Hours for the laity.

3. Recover sound obedience, but adult in nature, for the Church's Magisterium in the areas of Faith, Morals and Church Precepts. This means of course teaching the Catholic faith in a sound way so that Catholics know what is the Faith, Morals and Church Precepts and aren't confused where obedience must be given and where it should never be given.

4. Emphasize traditional Catholic families and be counter-cultural in terms of the politically correct number of children Catholics should have and teach that children are a gift from God to be embraced not a disease to be eliminated.

5. Emphasize that the Catholic family is the Church in miniature, that the Father is the head of the family and its "pastor" or good shepherd. That he is the bridegroom and to imitate Jesus Christ in that regard and that His bride represents the Church and that through her they beget spiritual children for the Kingdom of God. That like Christ who will lay down His life for His bride and never abandon or divorce her, so too the married couple must have the same fidelity.

6. Acts of penance must return both public and private built around regular confession, indulgences, meatless Fridays and added days of fasting and praying (ember days).

7. Chasity as it pertains to one's state in life, married, single, in religious life or Holy Orders.

8. Healthy suspicion of interfaith dialogue, ecumenical relations and openness to secularism but viewing all of these as an opportunity to bring true Catholicism to the public square which is diverse and where the laity and the clergy, well versed in strong Catholic identity can dialogue but without giving up any aspect of their Faith, Morals and Canon Law.

Did I leave anything out?

Saturday, June 23, 2012



I was in Augusta when the sex abuse scandal broke in Boston in 2002. Of course everyone blamed it on the Catholic Church and our so-called repression of healthy sexuality. Of course we all know that if we go to our local prison and keep up with court cases there are a huge number of cases concerning child sexual abuse, from inappropriate touching to the most egregious forms of rape. In Augusta, I learned that at the Medical Prison there at one time there was a Jewish Rabbi and about 14 protestant ministers incarcerated there for child endangerment and sex abuse. None of them made the press for some odd reason and there were no Catholic priests in prison there for the same reasons.

Two cases yesterday remind us of the nature of this horrible sin and crime perpetrated against young people. The first has to do with a very famous Penn State Coach, Jerry Sandusky and the other with a Catholic priest convicted of child endangerment in the same state. In both convictions we see the intersection of what goes on in Church and state.

First you have people who are not usually suspects in such heinous crimes and sins, fathers, mothers, uncles, coaches, doctors, priests, rabbis, ministers and the like who take advantage of their status and others who look away, like wives, siblings, co-workers, and supervisors.

Then you have Monsignor William Lynn who worked for the Cardinal of Philadelphia who following orders of his superior shuffled abusing priests around to unsuspecting parishes and children who became victims.

Our Catholic Culture in the past, which in fact is our human culture and transcends the Church itself, has preferred to deal with crimes of abuse against children in secret ways and usually without calling in the law. Italian justice apart from the judicial system can be quite brutal toward the abuser. But normally things were handled quietly and brushed under the carpet in family life, or just ignored, a form of psychological denial.

I have had many women who were abused when they were children by their fathers tell be that they felt their own mother knew what was happening but the mother blamed it on them! I think this is very common. But most families including the Church family did not want their dirty laundry aired out in public and would do everything to avoid tarnishing the institution, be it the family or the Church by involving law enforcement.

The Church up until the 1980's dealt with sex abuse by priests in a similar fashion and law enforcement usually looked the other way or participated in the cover-up and were glad to see criminal priests transferred to other jurisdictions if they were aware of the crimes. Bishops and parishes were more than happy to keep the police out of the picture. Parishioners who knew that a priest was an abuser were quite content to keep things quiet and have the priest reassigned. Usually they hoped he would get over his sin.

Parents were more than happy to reach a settlement with the Church if it prevented the crime from being made public and their children being known as victims and in the press and court system.

And that's the way it was and that is what has led to this unending sex abuse scandal in the Church and in society (you can't separate the two, try as they do, those who hate the Church all the while winking and nodding at what goes on in society) not so much that there are abusers, but abusers were given a pass and allowed to molest over and over again. The Penn State example of Jerry Sandusky who was known to be an abuser but allowed to continue is precisely what happened in the Church. It was an institutional failure built upon a societal failure.

Monsignor William Lynn is a lacky who is guilty of the crime with which he is charged and found guilty. He will have to do his time. But in fact there are many others in the Church and much higher who did the same thing and there are many in law enforcement, including lawyers and judges, not to mention police, who are co-conspirators.

It is all a part of a secret culture in regard to child sex abuse that is being purified and hanged out for judgement. IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE CHURCH, TRY AS LIBERAL SECULARISTS AND BETRAYING CATHOLIC PROGRESSIVES TRY TO PAINT IT.

It all reminds me of what our personal judgment will be like and what the final judgment will be like, something progressive Catholics have failed to embrace and often neglect, especially the horror of sin and its effects on the soul and on those who are harmed.

At the final judgment, Jesus will lay bare for all to see not only the failures of individuals in terms of sin but of institutions and the Church primarily being held up to such awful scrutiny.

But we don't have to wait to the Second Coming for either our personal judgment or the final judgment. It's happening now; but now is the time to repent.

So it all goes back to the sacramental system of the Church and our actual beliefs about us poor miserable sinners which progressives in the Church have neglected and abused.

It's time for the reform of the reform and to put it in high gear.

The Church is slowly but surely dealing with its own institutional failure as is society. As painful as this judgement day is, it is important and purifying, like fires of purgatory!

Traditional Catholicism minus its secrecy and self-policing is the wave of the future, not progressive Catholicism which play a huge part in this scandal which is a miserable failure on all fronts, especially orthodoxy.

Finally, The Diocese of Savannah under our former Bishop Raymond Lessard formulated a diocesan sex abuse policy in the late 1980's which included the reporting of these crimes to the police.

This reporting of sex abuse crimes to the police is now standard policy in every diocese in the country.

Call the police if you suspect a child is being abuse in any way, especially sexually and by anyone even if that anyone is the one you would least expect.

Friday, June 22, 2012



UPDATE: St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken, SC is planning a new spectacular Church as the one in the video only seats about 200 people and they use their school's gym for Sunday Masses. It is a parish of almost 2000 families in downtown Aiken, a very lovely city with a very rich horse-racing community.
This are drawings of their new proposed Church. Impressive and ambitious to say the least:

This video only has images of the Extraordinary Form of the Solemn Sung Mass with a music overlay. It is well done, but I would have liked to hear it actually sung.

This Church is St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Aiken, South Carolina, about 16 miles from downtown Augusta. Many of their parishioners would come to the Church of the Most Holy Trinity for our monthly Latin Sung Mass on Saturdays. It along with Most Holy Trinity are wonderful parishes, although I must say that Most Holy Trinity is perfectly suited to the EF Mass as everything is intact for its celebration including its historic altar railing. The historic altar has always been used even after Vatican II as in 1966 the parish had the insight to simply separate the table part of the altar from the reredos to which it was attached so that the priest could get behind it, similar to the renovation of the chapel at the Vatican that Pope Benedict uses frequently.

In my day there, we further enhanced the historic altar and even in the late 1990's I celebrated some "concert" Latin Masses in the Ordinary Form ad orientem at it. I was ahead of my time even then!

You might notice that this Church in Aiken has a silly looking free-standing altar in front of its historic altar--there is absolutely no reason for it anymore and hopefully it will be removed and the EF and OF Masses celebrated on this historic altar seen in this video.

My former parish's interior, Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Augusta:


On this Memorial of the Martyrs Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More!

The Martyrdom of Saint Thomas More

A Man for All Seasons

The story takes place in 16th century England. But men like Sir Thomas More, who love life yet have the moral fiber to lay down their lives for their principles, are found in every century. Concentrating on the last seven years of English chancellor's life, the struggle between More and his King, Henry VIII, hinges on Henry's determination to break with Rome so he can divorce his current wife and wed again, and good Catholic More's inability to go along with such heresy. More resigns as chancellor, hoping to be able to live out his life as a private citizen. But Henry will settle for nothing less than that the much respected More give public approval to his headstrong course. Written by alfiehitchie

King Henry VIII's desire for a son and heir leads him to seek a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Anne Boleyn. He had already received a dispensation from the Pope to marry Catherine - she was his brother's widow - and he seeks the support of Sir Thomas More who is soon named Chancellor. More is a devout Catholic and while he does not agree with the King's desire to divorce, he is completely silent in his opposition. His principles are tested however when he also remains silent after the King is named the head of the Church of England and subsequently when Parliament requires all to take an oath of allegiance. His silence is not sufficient for the King who wishes to have More's public endorsement. He is eventually brought to trial on charges of having accepted a bribe but it is one of his former supporters, Sir Richard Rich, who perjures himself leading to More being found guilty and beheaded.


Yes, Virginia, this is the Ordinary Form of the Mass at St. Joseph Macon for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19th, make no mistake about it:

This Sunday's Ad Orientem, Reform of the Reform Ordinary Form Mass will be videoed and eventually formatted for my blog and worldwide distribution. This is the program for this Sunday's 12:10 PM Mass in the Ordinary Form:

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
June 24, 2012
12:10 PM Mass

Today’s Mass is the Ordinary (Reformed) Mass and mostly in English. However it features the Extraordinary Form’s Rite of Sprinkling of Holy Water (Asperges) as a prelude to the Mass. The Mass itself begins after the priest changes from cope to chasuble, and the official Introit is sung as he incenses the altar. The Men’s Schola will lead us in the Latin parts of the Mass, but the bulk of the Mass will be in English. Page numbers for either our hymnal or the Order of Mass booklets so that you can join in singing or follow the English translation. The chant versions of the Kyrie, Gloria, and Credo being used today may be familiar to many of you, and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei will be familiar to anyone who attends the monthly Latin High Masses. The Introit and Offertory and Communion Antiphons are sung in Latin Chant, and English translations are provided for you.

The Introductory and Concluding Rites of the Mass are celebrated at the priest’s chair as is the custom of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. However, the Liturgy of the Eucharist will be celebrated “Ad Orientem,” meaning that the priest is facing the “liturgical east.” The symbolism of this is that just as the sun rises in the East, so too will Jesus Christ return from the east “sacramentally at the altar” but also from the east at the end of time for the final judgment. An added symbolism of the priest facing the liturgical east is that he is joining the congregation in facing in the same direction towards the altar and crucifix as he prays, thus situating the priest in the same configuration as the congregation. Pope Benedict prefers this for the Liturgy of the Eucharist although he hasn’t mandated it. In lieu of this posture, when facing the congregation, he places a crucifix centrally on the altar to show that both the priest and the congregation are together facing Christ.

* * * * *
Processional Hymn “For All the Saints” Hymnal #521

The Asperges “Asperges me, Domine, hyssop, et mundabor: Schola
lavabis me, et super nivum dealbabor.
Misere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Asperges me, . . . . . ”

(Thou shalt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed;
Thou shalt wash me, and I shall become whiter than snow.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Thou shalt sprinkle me . . . . )

Priest: Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam.
(Show us, O Lord, your mercy.)
All: Et salutare tuum da nobis.
(And grant us Thy salvation.)
Priest: Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
(O Lord, hear my prayer.)
All: Et clamor meus ad te veniat..
(And let my cry come unto Thee.)
Priest: Dominus vobiscum..
(The Lord be with you.)
All: Et cum spiritu tuo.
(And with thy spirit.)

Introductory Rite

Introit (From my mother’s womb the Lord called me by my name; and he made my mouth like
unto a sharp sword; he protected me in the shadow of his hand, and he made me as his chosen arrow.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to praise your name, O Most High. Glory to the Father and to the Son….)

Penitential Act (“I confess…”) Green OM Booklet p. 3

Kyrie Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. Schola and Congregation
(Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.)

Gloria Hymnal # 105

Liturgy of the Word

Readings Missalette p. 146


Credo (Schola) Please see Order of Mass booklet p. 12 for English translation.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Offertory Antiphon (The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree; he shall grow up like a cedar of Lebanon.)

Sanctus (Schola) Please see Order of Mass booklet p. 16 for English translation.

Memorial Acclamation (Schola) Please see Order of Mass booklet p. 21 A for English translation.

Communion Rite

Our Father, English chanted version

Agnus dei (Schola) Please see Order of Mass booklet p.29 for English translation.

Communion Antiphon (You , child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.)

Communion Hymn “O Sacrament Most Holy” Hymnal #544

Concluding Rite

Blessing and Dismissal

Leonine Prayers for the Fortnight for Religious Liberty and Freedom of Conscience

Recessional “O God, beyond All Praising” Hymnal #488

Thursday, June 21, 2012



These first two images are absolutely essential for the completion of the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ at every Catholic Mass--it must occur:

The Holy Communion of the Laity is important, but not necessary for the completion of the Holy Sacrifice which belongs to the priest alone to complete.

Did you know that in the pre-Vatican II Liturgy, especially with its stringent fast from midnight to the time of Mass and fasting from food and water, that often Holy Communion wasn't even offered to the laity present. Yes, only the priest received. And in doing so both the Sacrifice and the Banquet of the Body and Blood of Christ who is the Sacrificial Victim or Holocaust were completed.

It is absolutely necessary according to orthodox Catholic Eucharistic doctrine for the priest who celebrates any EF or OF Mass and in the Ordinary Form for all con-celebrants to receive the Sacrificial Victim's Body and Blood consecrated at that particular Mass (meaning not from the tabernacle) in order to complete the Sacrificial action of the Mass. And they must receive both the consecrated Bread and Wine, the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord.

Then the laity are offered a portion of that same Sacrifice. In fact the GIRM of the 2012 missal states that the laity should receive Holy Communion consecrated at the Mass they are attending rather than routinely given hosts from the tabernacle consecrated at a previous Mass. The simplified fast helps to facilitate this and I do believe that it is not permitted in the Ordinary Form to deny anyone to receive Holy Communion who is free to do so, meaning having observed the one hour fast and being in a state of grace. The reception of the Sacrificial Victim is a sign of the eternal banquet of the perfectly redeemed in heaven. Unforgiven sinners are not in heaven and thus for an unforgiven sinner to receive Holy Communion corrupts the heavenly sacramental symbolism of the Banquet aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

While the norm for the laity to receive Holy Communion consecrated at the Mass they are assisting, it is not mandatory for the validity of the Sacrifice of the Mass, for their reception of Holy Communion is not essential for the "completion of the Sacrifice" as it is for the priest who celebrates the Mass. On top of that, the laity are not mandated to receive from the Chalice the Precious Blood of Christ as the priest-celebrant is required to do.

But how many Catholic know what I just described? I doubt that the majority of of my parishioners know. In fact I didn't really know this until about a few years ago myself. It just has not be emphasized in post-Vatican II theology on the Mass. Can it be because the meal aspect has been overemphasized to the detriment of the Sacrifice and its completion by the ordained priest. I report, you decide.

In a "spirit" of post-Vatican II Eucharistic theology, the communion of the priest has completely been obscured by a theology that all eat and consume the meal (note that it isn't called the "Sacrificial Victim or Holocaust.")

The very clear theology of the Sacrifice of the Mass prior to the Council was that the priest consume the sacrifice first in order to complete the Sacrifice. This truth is still paramount to the Ordinary Form of the Mass but never taught because many feel that it denigrates the Laity's Communion and their baptismal priesthood which is viewed on par with the ordained priesthood.

In fact, in some places trendy priests allowed the laity to receive first and then the priest receives what is left over at the end of the laity's communion! On top of that a similar abuse, but not entirely as egregious, which I was taught to do in the seminary and which we did the first five years of my ordination was to have the Eucharistic Ministers come up at the Sign of Peace. The priest would give each EMCH their host in the hand and then all, including the priest would receive together as though the EMCH's were concelebrants. Then they would approach the altar for their particular chalice and the priest and laity would drink at the same time and then each would go to their station.

You can see the corrupt theology at work here that progressive liturgists were shoving down the throat of the Church collective. The ordained priest is only a leader and the priesthood of the laity is no different than that of the ordained. That is not the theology, doctrine or dogma of the Mass in either form or any recognized rite of the Catholic Church but how many priests and laity know that today?

The blurring of the role of the ordained priest with the role of the common priesthood of all the baptized has been the single biggest culprit in the corruption of the Church and her sacramental system and has led to the diminution of the role of the ordained priest in the life of the Church and compromised priestly vocations. Of course, progressives like this because then they can have their way and open up the priesthood to married men and women.

The progressives knew what they were doing and were/are gleeful for the confusion of the various degrees of the priesthood in the Church today and for the decline in vocations. It fits their agenda rather nicely.


This photo is dark, but this cathedral leaves much to be desired and surely needs some help:

This is an artist rendering of the proposed renovation of the same cathedral, with new supports for the "dome" so that the space around the sanctuary is not constricted by the original pillars that held up the dome, very cleverly done. However the look of the older dome over the altar is more appealing to me than the modern redesign of the dome itself--the first looks a bit more "timeless" and the new more trendy. I like the new look and the emphasis is on the the altar, ambo, cathedra, baptismal font and tabernacle and the tabernacle is well designed and promotes Eucharistic devotion.

My comments:
It's hard to tell from a rendering what it will actually look like when completed, although this is a very nice computer generated rendering. I would like to see the bishop's cathedra to be a bit more cathedra looking and a good place for the chair of the lowly priest who is celebrating Mass in this facility.

I would also recommend making the altar longer so that beautiful candlesticks can be placed on the altar itself and in the "Benedictine style." However, with the crucifix hanging above the altar, there would be no need for an additional one on the altar.
I think we should move away from floor candlesticks but make sure the altar is long enough so that candlesticks on the altar don't clutter it.

I think the altar itself should be up at least one step more, or better two steps more, or best three steps more to allow for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to be celebrated on it and to allow for Ordinary Form Ad Orientem Masses.

I think places for those who desire to kneel to receive Holy Communion should be built in and an altar railing isn't out of the question similar to what is in the original church above.

But maybe it would have been better not to waste money on this particular building and just build a new cathedral like Raleigh, North Carolina. They know what they are doing up there!