Thursday, January 31, 2013




Father John O'Malley, SJ has written a strong OPINION piece for America Magazine entitled, "Misdirections: Ten sure-fire ways to mix up the teachings of Vatican II. Press this sentence to see it."

He makes some very good common sense points but taken to an extreme he tries to eliminate any dissension from the progressive agenda for the Church, but covers it with academic good will. I suspect we could call it academic clericalism or subterfuge. But he makes very many valid points but these certainly are not above criticism. It is important to read these sorts of memes in their proper literary genre, that is, it is purely an opinion piece. And even as an academic and a theologian, whose role is to raise issues and assist the Magisterium in handing on the faith, these same people are not a parallel magisterium, try as they have since Vatican II to elevate themselves into one. In that sense it can be very self-serving, which is rather obvious to most.

You must read his article and comments to understand mine! Keep in mind, that we can be in rupture with academic theologians and their sentiments. We can dissent from them try as they may to persuade us otherwise by semi-infallible statements that are really opinions. His is an opinion piece as is mine. So read it in its proper literary form and context to interpret it properly and disagree with it properly or agree with it if you wish! We are free to do that, you know as much as they may protest!

My comments are in BOLD. Again you must read his opinion to juxtapose it to mine (press here for the America Article).

1. Insist Vatican II was only a pastoral council. Agreed. It is far more than a Pastoral Council. Vatican II changed things and did so in broad strokes, from Liturgy, to governance to ecumenism to interfaith and no faith dialogue. It was indeed more than just a Pastoral Council and reiterated infallible teachings from other Councils and the popes in the most authoritative ways. It asked that Latin be maintained, but some vernacular allowed and that Gregorian Chant have a pride of place in the Church's liturgies. I guess you could say this is just pastoral, but I would say these are things screaming to be implemented and not optional.

2. Insist it was an occurrence in the life of the church, not an event. Again, this ties in with #1. Vatican II is not just a pastoral council or an occurrence, it has ramifications for the Church many of which are yet to be implemented or realized. For example how far have we drifted from VII's Constitution on the Church: "In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent.” Or how seriously do we take the following from the same: "This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will."

3. Banish the expression “spirit of the council.” I agree with Fr. O'Malley's sentiments here: "spirit, rightly understood, indicates themes and orientations that imbue the council with its identity because they are found not in one document but in all or almost all of them. Thus, the “spirit of the council,” while based solidly on the “letter” of the council’s documents, transcends any specific one of them. It enables us to see the bigger message of the council and the direction in which it pointed the church, which was in many regards different from the direction before the council." My assessment is that in most areas, we have failed the "spirit" of the Council and implemented an anti-spirit. Pope Benedict is correcting this by going back to the actual documents and its true spirit and modifying how the Liturgy was revamped to better reflect the spirit of the council as well as how ecumenism is practiced to better reflect the spirit of the council and making sure that the Constitution of the Church is understood as the spirit of the Council demanded. We just have to refrain from the "spirit" of the cultural upheavals of the 60's and 70's which is really anti-Council and anti-Spirit and in some cases "anti-Christ.

4. Study the documents individually, without considering them part of an integral corpus. This is a no-brainer and it is applicable to the Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law. It is applicable to Church history too. It is need for "reform in continuity" quite obviously.

5. Study the final 16 documents in the order of hierarchical authority, not in the chronological order in which they were approved in the council. Agreed!

6. Pay no attention to the documents’ literary form. Agreed!

7. Stick to the final 16 documents and pay no attention to the historical context, the history of the texts or the controversies concerning them during the council. We have to understand the first half of the 20th century and even the latter part of the 19th century to understand the Council. We also have to understand the sentiments that developed as a result of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Of course this means that some of what it was reacting to is no longer applicable today, so in that sense we have to react to what is happening today and formulate new strategies. This would certainly be in the "spirit" of the Council and the "reform in continuity" of the present day.

8.Outlaw the use of any “unofficial” sources, such as the diaries or correspondence of participants. Agreed, but just don't make them more important than the Council itself and the living Magisterium after the Council. The Church didn't ended in 1965! Take into account the notes of significant people in the Church after the Council, such as Avery Dulles, John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger and in the present day!

9. Interpret the documents as expressions of continuity with the Catholic tradition. Here, O'Malley is truly diversionary. He knows full well that Pope Benedict's "reform in Continuity" implies change but not rupture. Rupture in defined doctrines and dogmas, in moral theology and also in pastoral practice is not what the Council intended. It cannot be called rupture but development in continuity; it is in other words change and in the positive sense of the term.. The term rupture on the other hand is negative. The Council was not negative! And here we need to distinguish been pastoral practices, such as telling a wife she needs to stay with a husband who beats her to preserve the sanctity of marriage, to telling her to do all she can to save her marriage and her husband and to take care of her safety and peace of mind, and physical well being and to get out of an abusive relationship and seek a legal separation. This is not rupture, this is change in continuity. The same can be said of ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with non-believers. We shift the paradigm in a positive way. This is not rupture, this is change! or "reform in continuity" which is a far superior term than "rupture." Who wants a rupture after all?

10. Make your assessment of the council into a self-fulfilling prophecy. O'Malley writes: This principle is not so much about misinterpreting the council as it is about employing assessments to determine how the council will now be implemented and received. The principle is dangerous in anyone’s hands but especially dangerous in the hands of those who have the authority to make their assessment operative. In this regard “the party slogan” in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four hits the nail on the head: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” This is good old 1960's rebellion against legitimate authority and tells us once again that the generation up next for elimination from the world scene by the plan of God is my generation, since our parents are the ones that are mostly gone now. This last statement says it all and is what the new generations of Catholics must recognize and reform and truly do so in terms of RUPTURE! Keep in mind, academics are human and fallible and we can question them and we can dissent from them! I think that bothers them!

MY FINAL COMMENT: The last statement of Fr. O'Malley says it all and reveals the true intent of his opinion piece. Let's all yawn and dissent from it but keep what is good. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater as this generation of theologians did!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Macon is under a Tornado watch for the rest of the day. Schools were let out earlier today at 2:00 PM. Things are ripe for the perfect storm. There is high humidity and warm weather. The low last night was 64 degrees. The high so far today is 76 degrees (Savannah is predicting 84 degrees!) We've had an unseasonably warm January with 80 degree temps a week or so ago for several days!

Global warming? I report you decide.

But please keep Georgia and other areas of the country that are in store for big Tornadoes today! One has already happened in north Georgia, above Atlanta:

"Lord Jesus, quash the winds of tornadoes and thunder storms and other threatening systems as you quelled the sea for Your disciples. Please, oh Lord, diminish the winds! Inject forces of nature that perturb the organization of these. Dissipate its evil. Weaken it. Deplete its interior! Throw it into confusion. Send it harmlessly into the waters. Let all realize the sin that brings such a threat and work to purify instead of suffering destruction. Oh Lord, sway these winds; Your Might is vastly greater even than the strongest storm. Sway it, oh Lord; let it wobble; let it stray to open waters, where it can dissipate without harm. Chase it from every shore and spare every life in its path!"

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in peace †. God became Man †, and the Word was made flesh. † Christ was born of a Virgin. † Christ suffered. †. Christ was crucified. †. Christ died. †. Christ rose from the dead. †. Christ ascended into Heaven. †. Christ conquers. †. Christ reigns. †. Christ orders. May †. Christ protect us from all storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning. †. Christ went through their midst in peace, †. and the Word was made flesh. †Christ is with us with Mary. Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root David, has won. †. Holy God! †. Holy Powerful God! †. Holy Immortal God! Have mercy on us. Amen!

(On the † make the sign of the cross, preferably with a crucifix)


Translate this!

Now, I really can't imagine Italians putting up a fuss about anything! The following is from the Blog, Chiesa by Sandro Magister and you can read his full article by pressing here.

ROME, January 29, 2013 – As the Vatican “recognitio” of the new Italian version of the Roman missal is nearing its conclusion, the dispute over the translation of “pro multis" in the formula of the Eucharistic consecration has seen new developments.

The latest comes from the theologian and bishop Bruno Forte.

In an article in “Avvenire" on January 19, 2013, Forte once again sided decisively with translating “pro multis" as "per molti" (for many), instead of as “per tutti" (for all),, as has been done for more than forty years in Italy and is similarly done in many other countries.

“For many" is the translation that Benedict XVI himself is demanding be adopted in the various languages, as he explained in a letter to the German bishops in April of 2012.

For some time, in effect, the translation “for many” has been returning to use in various languages and countries, at the prodding of the Vatican authorities and the pope himself.

But resistance is also being seen.

MY COMMENT HERE (AND ISN'T THIS REALLY ABSURD!): It has been noted, for example, that in London, in Canterbury, and in other places in England various priests are intentionally modifying the “for many” of the new English version of the missal approved by the Vatican, and saying: “for many and many.”

In Italy, the new version has not yet entered into effect. But when here as well the “per molti" becomes law – as it surely will – protests and disobedience have already been announced.


A couple of Sunday's ago, I watched a local baptism at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church and reported that there were some idiosyncrasies associated with that particular Baptism. You can read my blog post on it A QUESTION OF THE VALIDITY OF BAPTISM, ESPECIALLY AS IT CONCERNS THE RECEPTION OF CHRISTIANS BAPTIZED IN PROTESTANT COMMUNIONS HERE!

Now, and it is almost as though I anticipated this in a clairvoyant way, there is an agreement between some Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church concerning the acceptance of the validity of baptism of the respective communions with the Catholic Church.

I wonder, though, if these Protestant communions have any peculiarities in terms of what they do for baptism like what I saw in the Methodist Church, such as "We Baptize you in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and only placing a slightly dampened hand (actually only a bit of his fingers did he place in the water) on the head of the child.

I welcome these kinds of agreements and makes me wonder if we should only recognize the baptisms of the various Protestant communions in which we have such an agreement. I particularly welcome the Catholic Church's insistence that these baptisms be properly recorded and records kept in the various churches.

So, do we have an agreement with the United Methodist Church and other Protestant communions apart from the ones listed in the article below? Perhaps PI can fill us in.

Churches to sign historic baptism agreement in Austin

Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin says the mutual recognition of baptism is a response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one.’

By Juan Castillo

American-Statesman Staff

Leaders of U.S. Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches will sign a historic agreement Tuesday in Austin by which the two traditions will formally recognize each other’s liturgical rites of baptism.

The product of seven years of talks among five denominations, the agreement will be signed at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a prayer service and celebration at St. Mary Cathedral. The service will be open to the public and will be part of the opening day activities of the national meeting of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., which will continue through Friday in Austin.

Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christian Reformed Church in North America, Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ will sign the document.

“This ecumenical effort, this mutual recognition of baptism, is part of our response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one,’ ” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin.

Before the agreement, Protestant denominations of the Reformed Church tradition normally accepted Catholic baptisms, but the Catholic church did not always accept theirs, said the Rev. Tom Weinandy of the Catholic bishops conference in Washington.

Weinandy, who participated in the discussions that led to the agreement, said Catholics questioned the validity of baptisms if they did not invoke the names of the Trinity.

The document to be signed Tuesday says, “For our baptisms to be mutually recognized, water and the scriptural Trinitarian formula “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28: 19-20) must be used in the baptismal rite.”

The agreement confirms that baptism is the sacramental gateway into the Christian life and that it is to be conferred only once.

“We wanted to assure one another that we had common liturgical practices and a common theology to the extent that the baptism of one church would be recognized by the other churches,” Weinandy said.

Denominations also agree to keep standard baptism records.

Keeping records “becomes especially important in the Catholic Church when you have marriages between a Catholic and someone who is not of the Catholic Church,” Weinandy said. “It’s important to the other churches as well.”

A representative for the Presbyterian Church in San Antonio said it welcomed the agreement.

“We’re very much in concert with it,” said Ruben Armendariz, associate presbyter of the San Antonio-based presbytery, which includes the Austin area. “It’s a historical moment.”

Armendariz said the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has always accepted Roman Catholic baptisms and baptism administered in the name of the Trinity.

The Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. conference will gather representatives from 36 denominations and seven organizations who will focus their talks on immigration, said the Rev. Carlos L. Malavé, the group’s executive director.

The organization was formed in 2001 as a forum for diverse denominations, some of which were estranged.

“It was a way to come together for dialogue,” Malavé said.

The group hopes to produce a public statement on immigration reform that has the agreement of all the denominations, Malavé said.


What is it about the photo above (probably photo-shopped) of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict and below of the good Bishop Alexander Sample, now Archbishop-elect of Portland, Oregon (home of Oregon Catholic Press, OCP), that makes those who have tried mightily hard to deconstruct the Catholic Church and her liturgy and re-imagine it (her) into something else, become apoplectic? And those who have done this have demanded "obedience" as though their theology and their interpretation of Vatican II are infallible. And usually these people who demand obedience and see themselves as the infallible interpreters of Vatican II are not even bishops.

Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, now Archbishop of Portland, Oregon. Congratulations to His Excellency and to the people of his new archdiocese:
And this is sure to raise blood pressures in the infallible left wing of the Church when is comes to obeying their authority in all things liturgical and their interpretation of Vatican II, its notes and some of its bishops. This is in the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin where their bishop, Bishop Robert C. Morlino has encouraged ad orientem for the Ordinary Form of the Mass and where taking to heart their bishop's admonition, St. Mary of Pine Bluff has Officially Made the Move. East (as reported by The New Liturgical Movement). This means that all their Masses in the Ordinary Form are ad orientem. Can you imagine the progressive liturgists, living and dead, who are now twisting in agony? Delicious, isn't it? A view from the loft facing the liturgical east:
Now, do you really want to get blood pressures rising? Progressives in the Church would certainly applaud the following teaching from Vatican II but only when it confirms their ideological positions. The same for conservative Catholics. Fortunately, it is the pope who has the authority to teach and demand the following:

In Vatican II's document Constitution on the Church, the Council was very specific about the relationship between the faithful and those in the government of the Church: “In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent.” Of course there's nothing new here, this is simply a reiteration of Vatican I and certainly a Vatican II teaching within continuity of what preceded this council.

Then the Council continues:

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

Of course, Catholics give much more authority to the media and celebrities when it comes to faith and morals. You can read one person's opinion about this and the deleterious effect it is having on the Church and from which I took the above quotations by reading The Catholic Thing article:

If There Is a Pope . . .
By Bevil Bramwell, OMI
Sunday, 27 January 2013

by pressing HERE.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


There are actually Catholics of the progressive bent who think that the Benedictine altar arrangement which is actually the traditional altar arrangement was eliminated by Vatican II. Of course that is utter nonsense, just as removing kneelers, eliminating kneeling and so on and so on were all mandated by Vatican II.

This following picture shows a monastic chapel that I would call "noble austerity." I don't particular like the building and without the Benedictine altar arrangement, this chapel would truly be hopeless.

Yet the style of the altar raised several steps and the simple traditional adornments on the altar make all the difference in the world. Wouldn't you agree?


The on-going secular revolution as it concerns human sexuality, gender roles and the elimination of natural law when it comes to same sex attractions and the promotion of same sex marriage should be a cause of some concern for Church-believing (and God-believing) Catholics.

I've said it before, the Catholic Church and other religions who uphold traditional morality when it comes to sex and here I am speaking of same sex, sex, will be painted and are being painted as bigots similar to the white supremacists who actually were/are bigots.

How do we acknowledge what is good in the secular revolution in terms of treating people with charity and fairly and eliminating unjust practices towards minority groups or groups that have in the past been wrongly maligned and still uphold, Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law?

It will take courage and people like San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. It will also mean letting go of Catholics who don't like the Catholic Church anymore and want something else, more like the Episcopal Church or no church at all. We have to say to them make your choice! You have free will! You will no longer be allowed to "re-imagine the Church" according to your own needs and make Holy Mother Church into the image and likeness of the secular revolution.

Here is what San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone had to say to the Catholic Herald of the United Kingdom recently:

My comment first: Which group or groups in the Church will scoff the loudest at what the good Archbishop says? And what does that tell you about them?

All our detractors can do is call us names’

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone tells Mary O’Regan we can achieve ‘spiritual greatness’ in the fight for marriage

By Mary O'Regan on Monday, 28 January 2013

If you had no idea that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is an Italian-American who had four Sicilian grandparents, his hands would give the game away. From the minute we start talking in the parlour of the London Oratory, he gestures with his fingers and swirls his hands for emphasis. I even wonder whether, if his hands were tied, he would be able to speak.

But speak up he must. Now, as Archbishop of San Francisco, he is one of the most vocal members of the US bishops’ conference in objecting to the re-definition of marriage.

Promoting marriage is not a new mission for the shepherd. As a newly ordained diocesan priest in California, he confronted the situation of preparing young couples for marriage who were not always fully practicing their Catholic faith. Then, as a veteran canon lawyer of the Apostolic Signatura, his specialty was the legal points of marriage. This month he was invited to London in his capacity as a member of the working group on the liturgy for the Anglican ordinariates. Archbishop Cordileone’s contribution is to bring the perspective of a canon lawyer and a pastor. This was especially helpful in preparing the rite for marriage that will be used by former Anglicans who are coming into the Catholic Church, so that their traditions are incorporated into the marriage ceremony, while it remains an entirely Catholic and canonically correct rite.

The 56-year-old is a native of San Diego and grew up in a strong, inter-dependent Italian-American family, with his paternal grandparents living next door and his maternal grandparents a few miles away. During his childhood he was in constant contact with his grandparents, who spoke the old Sicilian dialect with his parents, as well as with his entire extended family on both sides. They didn’t keep every feature of life from the old country; as he says, “our generation lost the old Sicilian language”. But the family remained loyal to the traditional pieties of Sicilian Catholicism. St Joseph was the focal point of their devotions.

On the feast day of Jesus’s foster father they set up an altar in their home with his statue and three loaves of bread to represent the Holy Family, which included a braided loaf of bread for Our Lady. They would stage a drama of the Holy Family coming into the home, with a young girl as Mary, an older man as Joseph and, on several occasions, the young Salvatore was in role as Jesus.

The archbishop says there was never a time when he struggled with his faith or did not believe in God. He did, however, feel the stirrings of a vocation, while also feeling drawn to being a husband and father.

“My main challenge in seminary was interior, in discerning if this was really my call,” he explains. “When I entered the seminary at the age of 19, in 1975, I felt strongly inclined in that direction but was not yet absolutely convinced that God was calling me to be a priest. It was when I gave my life totally to God, I felt a burden was lifted from my shoulders, and had the confirmation of my vocation to the priesthood.”

At seminary he developed a keen attachment to St Peter Claver, a favorite saint whose courageous ministry to African-Americans and radical holiness has inspired him throughout his 30 years of priesthood. Now, as a member of the Church hierarchy, he continues to pray to the patron saint of slaves, for “commitment to the Church’s mission and for graces to help the poor and marginalised”.

As Archbishop Cordileone was a seminarian in the 1970s, the obvious question is whether he inclined more to the spirit of rebellion of that time or if he held true to the Church’s time-honoured teachings.

“I’m quite a law-abiding type who doesn’t have a problem with authority,” he says, “but more than that, the Church’s teachings are completely rational and made sense to me.”

It was the time of the Humanae Vitae wars: did he have any problems with any of the details in the most resisted encyclical of the age? No, in fact, in 1978 he and some fellow seminarians travelled from San Diego to San Francisco so that they could attend a symposium held by the archdiocese in honour of the 10th anniversary of Humanae Vitae.

After he was ordained in 1982, he was assigned to St Martin de Tours church, near where he had grown up, which was a very friendly parish. This was, however, the era immediately after the sexual revolution and as a young priest starting out he found it difficult to know what to do when couples who were living together wanted to be married in the Church.

“To begin with, I was naïve enough to think that people would follow reason, and I would say to couples that, if they wanted a Catholic wedding, were they not aware that they were violating Catholic teaching by cohabiting? They would respond that it was ‘special’ to get married in the Church. But I learned that you can’t make a blanket policy; you have to look at each case separately. You have to know the couple well first, and pick your moment for asking that they live separately before the wedding. One couple had coped with a lot of addiction problems and had come very far in their journey of faith very quickly, and they didn’t have family close by. So I was concerned that asking them to live apart would jeopardize the progress they had made so far. But instead I asked them to sleep apart before their wedding, and I believe them when they told me they did.”

After he finished his stint at St Martin of Tours, he was sent to Rome in 1985 to study canon law. The 1983 code had been promulgated, and he was one of the priests selected to go to Rome. It was while studying at the Gregorian University that he got to know the future cardinal Mgr Raymond Burke, when the Wisconsin-born prelate taught a course on jurisprudence. Archbishop Cordileone says that Cardinal Burke was the same then as now, “very gentle and gracious, wise and holy”.

It is often said that Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Cordileone were colleagues, collaborating on projects together for years at the Apostolic Signatura, but in reality this was not the case. Fr Cordileone started at the Vatican’s canonical court in early 1995, just as Mgr Burke was leaving to return to America. At the Apostolic Signatura, Fr Cordileone’s main duty was to advise bishops on their tribunals, especially regarding annulments of marriage on grounds such as “psychic incapacity”, which refers to an instance where a person may not be capable of understanding what they are committing themselves to in marriage. It was no mean feat that he had responsibility for all the English-speaking countries and select Spanish-speaking countries.

Having earned his stripes at the Apostolic Signatura, he returned to California and became an Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego in 2002. A new chapter in his priestly ministry began when he was asked by a group of lay people to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form. An elderly Augustinian priest, Fr Neely, taught him how to offer it. Archbishop Cordileone is quick to add that the task was made easier because “I only had to learn the rubrics. When I worked at the Apostolic Signatura, I would go to a Benedictine convent to celebrate the Triduum. There I learned to sing the Mass in Latin and the chants are the same in both forms of the Mass.”

For nearly 10 years Archbishop Cordileone has accepted invitations to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. In the middle of our interview, the Oratorian priest Fr Rupert pops in and asks the archbishop if he will offer the 8am Tridentine Mass the next day, and he enthusiastically agrees to do so. Commenting on what he feels distinguishes the Extraordinary Form, Archbishop Cordileone says: “With that form of Mass you can feel the Church breathing through the centuries.”

He has strong opinions about Latin. “It is the common language of the Catholic world and it’s especially advantageous when people of different language backgrounds come together,” he says. “The irony is that the Church made the move to the vernacular just at the point in history when, because of migration and tourism, people began traveling all over the world. Thus, it would be convenient to have a shared language that we can all worship in. But it does make sense to have parts in the vernacular, such as the Propers and especially the readings.”

We get on to discussing why there is a relatively high number of young men pursuing vocations in seminaries dedicated to the Extraordinary Form. “The Old Rite corresponds more to a masculine spirituality in that the masculine psyche is one that protects, defends and provides, and during the Mass the priest is the one who dares to approach God to reconcile His people to him. In the Old Rite there is a greater sense of the priest as intercessor, offering a sacrifice for the people and bringing God’s gift to the people.”

While women may not become priests, Archbishop Cordileone clarifies that women do not in any way occupy second place. Instead, he pinpoints why women should be shown the highest respect and says that chivalrous practices such as holding a door open for a woman ought to be the norm. “A woman should walk out, ahead of the man, because she is the life-giver and, in holding a door for a woman, the man is recognizing her special place as the one who gives life.” He says that mantillas, or chapel veils, are a way for a woman to veil their sacredness: “In Christian worship what is sacred is veiled, women are sacred because they are the life-givers.”

Why are the youth associated more and more with the Old Rite? “It follows the phenomenon of young people being more traditional in their religion,” he says. “In the years after the Council there were social revolutions in religious groups and the thinking was that the Church should be more like modern culture. Prayerfully minded young people of this generation want something different or opposed to secular culture. But they perceive the failures of western civilisation. They want something seriously Catholic and meaty.”

He does say, however, that being drawn to the external beautiful trappings of Catholicism is not enough. “We won’t deepen their faith by window dressing. They might be attracted to externals and there’s nothing wrong there, but we also have to bring them to a deeper faith.”

People are quick to say there is something staunchly “traditional” about Archbishop Cordileone. He says the rosary every morning. He traces many modern-day problems back to the secular doctrine that discounts the differences between men and women (the specific confusion, he explains, is that men and women are conditioned to think of themselves as the same and not complementary). And he loves the Tridentine Mass. But he sees a potentially dangerous trend in the traditionalist movement, if it simply wants to revert to a distant time in the past and stay there. Here, Archbishop Cordileone refers to Ronald Knox, who called this blinkered outlook “an impoverishment of our heritage”. But where does one find a happy medium between the old and the new? He hails the London Oratory, with its Ordinary Form in Latin and frequent Benediction, as “the ideal model of the hermeneutic of continuity, which has been so consistently promoted by Pope Benedict”.

Other than being a leader in liturgical renewal, Archbishop Cordileone is best known as the chairman of the US bishops’ subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage. He was appointed to this position in 2011. Since then, he has earned the ire of many gay marriage campaigners and his appointment to San Francisco was met with sharp words from some outspoken progressive locals. From our point of view in Britain, we may think the gay marriage lobby is surrounding Archbishop Cordileone on all sides, but support for him often outnumbers the opposition. On his installation day, October 4 2012, there were reportedly a maximum number of three dozen protesters outside. But many more people came to show support, chief among them being members of the Neocatechumenal Way, who held banners proclaiming: “Teaching the Truth about the Family.”

If people of Italian blood sometimes have a reputation for being hot-tempered, Archbishop Cordileone defies this image by being unflappable. He consistently uses level-headed logic in arguing against same-sex marriage.

He says: “Truth is clear. Wanting children to be connected to a mother and father discriminates against no one. Every child has a father and a mother, and either you support the only institution that connects a child with their father and mother or you don’t. Adoption, by a mother and father, mirrors the natural union of a mother and father and provides a balanced, happy alternative for when a child may not be reared by their biological parents.”

I tell him that I’m searching for good theological answers against gay marriage, but he corrects this notion by saying: “If you use theology, you will play into their hands and they will say you use religion to control people. Marriage isn’t primarily in theology; marriage is in nature. Theology builds on the natural institution, giving us a deeper mystical and supernatural sense of its meaning.”

I admit that I didn’t step up to the plate when Channel 4 invited me on live television to debate gay marriage, because I didn’t want to become a hate figure. I feared my career would suffer and I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent. The archbishop sighs and responds: “You say that you can’t debate it without suffering for your beliefs, so who is being discriminated against? Who is being intolerant? It is the secular orthodoxy that allows no dissent and will punish those who do.”

When I concede that I feel like a coward for passing up the opportunity to argue the case for marriage on television, Archbishop Cordileone says: “It’s a lot easier for us priests to speak out. Fellow clergy are not going to marginalize us. And we’re not going to be passed up for a promotion or lose our jobs!”

While speaking out may be less daunting for priests, he encourages lay people to embrace the challenge, which
for us in Britain means actively opposing the forthcoming gay marriage Bill. Archbishop Cordileone urges us to see it as a way of winning grace. “Fighting for marriage is our way of loving God, and the struggle is the particular gift that God has given our generation. This is our particular trial, and by overcoming it we may achieve spiritual greatness. It will entail suffering if we are to oppose gay marriage, something which poses such destruction to the understanding of natural marriage, which is a child-oriented institution.”

Archbishop Cordileone cautions against over-using the term “gay marriage”, advising that it should be used “only sparingly” because it is a natural impossibility and if we keep talking about gay marriage we might fool ourselves into thinking it is an authentic reality, which only needs government approval to make it legitimate. He compares it with another impossibility: “Legislating for the right for people of the same sex to marry is like legalizing male breastfeeding.”

One could get the impression that Archbishop Cordileone is an uncompromisingly serious person. It’s true that his face can be set in deep contemplation and his compelling blue eyes can seem still and sombre, but his face lights up when he laughs and his eyes shine with mirth. When I lose my train of thought, mess up a question and excuse myself as not being Mensa but Densa, he curls up in a spontaneous fit of boyish giggles. He finds the idea of going on Twitter hilarious, and says: “I don’t know where I’ll find the time for a Twitter account. But if I can find a way to go on Twitter, then I will!”

Even if opponents do not agree with his stance on same-sex marriage, he commands respect for his persistence in arguing for marriage between a man and a woman, in the face of being called homophobic and charged with the erroneous idea that he discriminates against gay people and lesbians. All the same, it must be unnerving at times to be on the receiving end of such hostility in San Francisco. But he doesn’t let it get to him. “All our detractors can do is call us names,” he says. He throws his hands up in the air, and adds: “Big deal if they shout at us or throw insults!”

When I say that people in Britain who oppose gay marriage have been slammed as “bigots”, by people who won’t allow any opinion but their own, he says: “How ironic!”

It’s not that Archbishop Cordileone is so indifferent and hard that he does not feel the sting of slurs. Rather, he knows that winning the battle is more important, even if it will mean personal suffering. Courage is writ large on his determined face, and he is living up to the demands of his Italian surname, which means “heart of a lion”.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Let's start with Catholic dissenters and what they hate most about their own Catholic Faith. These are Tradition and Natural Law because these two legs of Catholic teaching prevent the Church from reforming herself in the way Catholic dissenters want.

The corrupt German survey of my previous post summarizes pretty well what these Catholic dissenters want and most of it is based upon the "pelvic issues" that have so bothered them since 1968 (and thus these dissenters are my age and older, the dying generation of the Catholic Church, of which, unfortunately, I will be included in the biological solution our Lord and God has established in numbering our years.) Oh the misery and anomie of it all:

"Internal dogma and rules that had been tacitly accepted until about a year ago are now openly criticized by faithful. Criticisms range from complaints about “discrimination against women” and celibacy, to the condemnation of homosexuality, contraception and sex outside wedlock, to the marginalization of lay people involved in Church life."

Once Tradition and Natural Law are eliminated from the Catholic scene then these Catholic dissenters can focus on Sacred Scripture and only Scripture as supposedly Martin Luther did, and then reinterpret those areas that are opposed to their "pelvic issues" as purely cultural and thus to be disregarded.

By the way, Catholic dissenters absolutely fear and completely hate Pope Benedict's interpretation of the Second Vatican Council as "reform within continuity." They also hate the "reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass" to make it more like the Mass from which it was reformed and they absolutely despise the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (the so-called non-reformed Mass) and its ecclesiology. For Catholic dissenters, ecclesiology is their false god.

The other group that hates Tradition and Natural law are the godless secularist who are social engineers. This group would be symbolize by its modern guru and HIGH PRIEST, President Barack Obama and the far left of the Democrat party.

They despise the Church's teachings on sexual morality, especially birth control and abortion, but also they completely despise the Catholic Church on her position that she cannot ordain women to the priesthood. Even more antagonistic to them is the Church teaching on unnatural sexual practices such as sodomy, fornication and adultery.

Thus these godless, political secularists and social engineers join ranks with Catholic dissenters and strive by law to force the Catholic Church to change her teachings based upon the three legs of our moral and doctrinal teachings, Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law.

Of course, like Sodom and Gomorrah, those who wish to corrupt God's law will end up in a very sorry place and the Holy Church of God will remain triumphant. So let's all take out our hymnals and sing that great Lutheran Hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." It says it all! It should be the 21st Century's New Catholic Counter-neo-Reformation Anthem:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Saturday, January 26, 2013



A study on Germany's Catholic community reveals the discontent of faithful with the ecclesiastical institution. But proposals for solutions are lacking

Alessandro Alviani

The Pope’s ecclesiastical policies are “backward-looking” and suspected of trying to take the Church back to the pre-Second Vatican Council period. As for the Church’s leaders, they are “cut off from reality, reactionary and obstructionist.”

This is the opinion German faithful have of Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church according to a study by Sinus Institute and consulting agency MDG (which the German Church controls). In-depth interviews were conducted with 100 Catholics from different social backgrounds. According to the study, which picks up on a similar one carried out in 2005, German faithful are convinced that today’s Church finds itself in a “desolate situation” and the most obvious manifestation of this is the sex abuse scandal.

The authors of the study wrote that the scandal seriously damaged the image of the Church, even in the eyes of the most fervent Catholics, whose faith was deeply shaken. The scandal was seen as confirmation of the Church’s “modernization deficit”. The Church lost a great deal of credibility not just as a result of the accusations of paedophilia made against it but also because many believe it dealt with the abuse issue inadequately.

Internal dogma and rules that had been tacitly accepted until about a year ago are now openly criticised by faithful. Criticisms range from complaints about “discrimination against women” and celibacy, to the condemnation of homosexuality, contraception and sex outside wedlock, to the marginalisation of lay people involved in Church life.

Another factor that is creating animosity, is the organisational restructuring that is taking place in Germany, with a number of parishes being merged because of the shortage in parish priests, for example.

The study also shows the Church’s detachment from the weakest sections of society: it would make no difference to the lower social classes if the Church ceased to exist.

Despite their criticisms, however, faithful still look to the Church for “spiritual guidance” and “meaning”. The majority of them do not want to lose their Catholic identity and few consider leaving the Church.

So what do German faithful expect from the Church? They want lay people involved in the Church to play a greater role; they want more women in leadership roles; the possibility for women to be ordained priests; the elimination of celibacy; a different attitude towards sexuality and contraception; the sacraments to be administrated to all Christians, regardless of their denomination or sexual identity; less ostentation and less abuse of power and a greater focus on God’s love and love for one’s neighbour.

My Comments: The manner in which the Catholic Church has handled scandal, including the sex abuse scandal, has been abysmal and certainly must account for a great deal of division and dissatisfaction in the Church.

But my question remains. There have always been scandals in the Church, because we are composed of sinners, just as there are scandals in the regular population of people.

How we deal with scandals, crosses and the like is the question that begs to be asked.

If Catholics had had a more of a "reform in continuity" approach to Church, liturgy and morality, would we have weathered these scandals better? Who knows? We'll have to wait for the parallel time machine of heaven to let us see various outcomes depending on what path was chosen (like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life.")

Keep in mind, though, Germany has had dissent from official and traditional Catholic teachings for a much longer time than the United States and thus their Catholics are more tainted and less rooted in the traditions of the Church, except the dissent tradition which is only about 50 years old.


(One of the greatest compliments and badges of honor I have been given and on a progressive blog, no less, is that I have idiosyncrasies and I am idiosyncratic! How sweet and how "oh so true!" To prove the point I post once again our Ordinary Form Facing the East or Facing God Mass at Saint Joseph Church's "Church Music Association of America" Gregorian Chanted Mass at the end of this post, in case you missed it!)

This method of the so-called "Benedictine altar arrangment" is the best solution as everyone faces the same crucifix with the Corpus on it. The first photos are our Holy Father modeling the most ancient direction the Mass is prayed in the Church. The third is our parochial vicar, Father Dawid Kwiatkowski doing the same. It is perfectly natural, perfectly canonical and simply, just perfect, isn't it?
However, the Holy Father also models "ad orientem" or facing God together, by having a crucifix placed centrally on the altar facing the priest when he faces the congregation. It is not as perfect as the above pictures, but it will due as a temporary measure in a time of great liturgical renewal and transition where everything old is made new (renewed/renewal) again! The first photos are our Holy Father modeling the Benedictine altar arrangement facing the congregation and the last two are Bishop Gregory Hartmayer doing so at Saint Joseph Cathedral, I mean Church, in Macon, Georgia:
The following article written by Fr. Victor R. Claveau, gives a wonderful historical and theological analysis of the Mass facing East or toward God, with both the congregation and priest facing the same direction:

Facing East

Victor R. Claveau, MJ

According to the rule laid down in the Apostolic Constitutions (written in Syria about AD 380), churches were to have the sanctuary at the east end, the reason being that by this means the Christians in church were able to pray as they were used to pray in private, i.e. facing the east.

―After this, let all rise up with one consent, and looking towards the east, after the catechumens and penitents are gone out, pray to God eastward, who ascended up to the heaven of heavens to the east; remembering also the ancient situation of paradise in the east, from whence the first man, when he had yielded to the persuasion of the serpent, and disobeyed the command of God, was expelled‖ (Apostolic Constitutions, Book II, §LVII.).

Joseph Jungmann‘s book on the Early Liturgy informs us that the early Christians all faced east for prayer! Why east? Because east symbolized the return of Christ in glory.

St John of Damascus describes the practice of the Church in these words:

When ascending into heaven, He rose towards the East, and that is how the Apostles adored Him, and He will return just as they saw Him ascend into heaven, as the Lord has said: ―Just as the flash of lightening rises from above and then descends downward, so will be the arrival of the Lord
Waiting for Him, we adore Him facing East. This is an unrecorded tradition passed down to us from the Apostles.

Just as Moslems today turn toward Mecca for prayer, and just as the ancient Jews turned toward Jerusalem, so the early Christians turned toward the east. In the early Egyptian liturgies, we find the instruction ―Look towards the East! Included at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer. St Augustine would conclude his homilies with the command Conversi ad dominum ―Turn to face the Lord. And St Basil the Great confirms the Damascene‘s claim that the practice of facing the east to pray is an unwritten custom passed down from the Apostles.

In the churches of the patristic Church, the Holy Table was typically located in the east end of the building, with the building built on an east-west axis. The altar was free-standing (though we know that in at least one Syrian ante-Nicene church it was actually attached to the east wall). The celebrant would stand on the west side of the altar and together celebrant and congregation would face the Lord for praise and worship.

However, this rule was by no means universally observed. The ancient churches in Rome, including St. John Lateran, are arranged with the entrance at the east and the sanctuary at the west. This allowed the early morning sun to flow into the building through the open doors. So do we not have here a counter-example with the priest facing the congregation? Not so! The apostolic rule was to face the east for prayer, and so the bishop faced the east and only incidentally therefore did he face the congregation. The big question is —which direction did the congregation face? I‘m not sure if anyone knows the answer to this question for certain, but I can tell you that Joseph Jungmann, Louis Bouyer, and Klaus Gamber (all very respectable liturgists) believe that in these churches the congregation too would have turned to face the east! Western Churches built after the 4th century conformed to the eastern practice and sited the altar in the east end.

The practice of priest and congregation facing the Lord in praise, worship, and prayer belongs to the fundamental grammar of Christian liturgy.
The versus orientem promotes a sense of God‘s transcendence. We stand together facing the mystery of the Holy Father, offering to him the body and blood of his Son through the ministry of our great high priest. We participate in the heavenly liturgy of the Triune God, sharing in the eternal self-oblation of the Son to his heavenly Father.
The priest is an instrument of the risen Christ. As St John Chrysostom states, the priest but lends Christ his voice and hands.

St Augustine:

―When we rise to pray, we turn East, where heaven begins. And we do this not because God is there, as if He had moved away from the other directions on earth …, but rather to help us remember to turn our mind towards a higher order, that is, to God‖ (Quoted in Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy [1993], p. 80)

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedict XVI) Feast of Faith (1986):

―The original meaning of what nowadays is called ‗the priest turning his back on the people‘ is, in fact–as J. A. Jungmann has consistently shown–the priest and people together facing the same way in a common act of Trinitarian worship, such as Augustine introduced, following the sermon, by the prayer ‗Conversi ad Dominum.‘

Priest and people were united in facing eastward; that is, a cosmic symbolism was drawn into the community celebration–a factor of considerable importance. For the true location and the true context of the eucharistic celebration is the whole cosmos. Facing east‘ makes this cosmic dimension of the Eucharist present through liturgical gesture. Because of the rising sun, the east–oriens–was naturally both a symbol of the Resurrection (and to that extent it was not merely a christological statement but also a reminder of the Father‘s power and the influence of the Holy Spirit) and a presentation of the hope of the parousia. Where priest and people face the same way, what we have is a cosmic orientation and also an interpretation of the Eucharist in terms of resurrection and Trinitarian theology. Hence it is also an interpretation in terms of parousia, a theology of hope, in which every Mass is an approach to the return of Christ.(pp. 140-141)

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedict XVI) The Spirit of the Liturgy (2000):

―The Eucharist that Christians celebrate really cannot be adequately be described by the term meal.‘ True, the Lord established the new reality of Christian worship within the framework of a Jewish (Passover) meal, but it was precisely this new reality, not the meal as such, that he commanded us to repeat. Very soon the new reality was separated from its ancient context and found its proper and suitable form, a form already predetermined by the fact that the Eucharist refers back to the Cross and thus to the transformation of Temple sacrifice into worship of God that is in harmony with logos. Thus it came to pass that the synagogue liturgy of the Word, renewed and deepened in a Christian way, merged with the remembrance of Christ‘s death and Resurrection to become the Eucharist,‘ and precisely thus was fidelity to the command 'Do this‘ fulfilled. This new and all-encompassing form of worship could not be derived simply from the meal but had to be defined through the intercommunion of Temple and synagogue, Word and sacrament, cosmos and history. (pp. 78-79)

―The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning toward the east was not a 'celebration toward the wall‘; it did not mean that the priest had his back to the people‘: the priest himself was not regard as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together 'toward the Lord.‘… It was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession toward the Lord. They did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another; but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us. (p. 80)

―A common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue but of common worship, of setting off toward the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle but the common movement forward, expressed in a common direction for prayer. (p. 81)
(An excerpt from the chapter on eastward orientation can be found at the Adoremus site:

Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (1993):

―The custom of facing East in prayer is as old as the Church; it is a tradition that cannot be changed. It symbolizes a continuous 'looking out in the direction of the Lord‘ (J. Kunstmann), or, as Origen says in his tract about praying (c. 32), it is an allegory of the soul looking towards the beginning of the true light, ―looking forward to the happy fulfillment of our hope when the splendor of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus will appeal(Tit. 2:13). (pp. 172-173)

K. G. Rey, ―Signs of Puberty in the Catholic Church, cited in Gamber, Reform of the Roman Liturgy:

―While in the past, the priest functioned as the anonymous go-between, the first among the faithful, facing God and not the people, representative of all and together with them offering the Sacrifice, while reciting prayers that have been prescribed for him–today he is a distinct person, with personal characteristics, his personal life-style, his face turned towards the people. For many priests this change is a temptation they cannot handle, the prostitution of their person. Some priests are quite adept–some less so–at taking personal advantage of a situation. Their gestures, their facial expressions, their movements, their overall behavior, all serve to subjectively attract attention to their person. Some draw attention to themselves by making repetitive observations, issuing instructions, and lately, by delivering personalized addresses of welcome and farewell … To them, the level of success in their performance is a measure of their personal power and thus the indicator of their feeling of personal security and self-assurance. (pp. 86-87)

Aidan Nichols, Looking at the Liturgy (1996):

Today the question [of orientation] should be determined, in my judgment, in relation to the threat of what we can call 'cultic immanentism‘: the danger, namely, of a congregation‘s covert self-reference in a horizontal, humanistic world. In contemporary 'Catholic communalism,‘ it has been said: Liturgical Gemutlichkeit, communal warmth, friendliness, welcoming hospitality, can easily be mistaken for the source and summit of the faith.‘ Not unconnected with this is the possibility that the personality of the priest (inevitably, as president, the principal facilitator of such a therapeutic support-group) will become the main ingredient of the whole ritual. Unfortunately, the 'liveliest church in town‘ has little to do with the life the Gospel speaks of. (p. 97)

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Friday, January 25, 2013


When I was prepared for my First Holy Communion in the Second Grade, which was prior to Vatican II, the 1960-61 school year, Sister Angela, CSJ taught us not to chew the Host, to allow it to dissolve and then before the Host completely dissolved to swallow the Host. We were also told never to allow the Host to complete dissolve, because we were to partake of Holy Communion by receiving our Lord as Food and Drink (Body and Blood)to be consumed.

I can remember having holy fear when the Host stuck to the roof of my mouth and not knowing what to do if the Host dissolved completely there. Such were the wonders of Catholic childhood back then and the profound sense of reverence we had that we can smile at today as adults. But our children today have no sense of this same type of holy fear and reverence so well instilled in us pre-Vatican II Catholics by simple cultural, religious expectations.

We were also told not to chew the Host. It is here that I wish we had received a better explanation. We were told we should not hurt Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Of course this did lead to a profound reverence in the Real Presence.

But after Vatican II we told Catholic adults and children preparing for Holy Communion that we're receiving food, real bread and to eat it as you eat real bread by chewing it! And thus we saw communicants receiving on the run returning to their pews chewing the Host as though a cow chewing cud! That really instills reverence and holy fear into people!

This video below gives a very good rational for kneeling to receive Holy Communion and to receive the Host on the tongue.

But what it states about not chewing the Host and the reason why, is what I wish I had been taught as a child because it is excellent:

#4 "Let the Host soften in the mouth, then swallow. by doing this you'll avoid having the smallest particle of our Lord stuck in your teeth where it might be desecrated later by coming into contact with the profane."

If only our children today and our adults had such holy fear and reverence!


This type of Catholicism is doomed to failure because it is bogus and it is corrupt:
Catholics who are reverent and modest are young and vibrant and the wave of the future and this scares the beegeebees out of old Catholics stuck in the '70's:
I copied the following from Linen on the Hedgerow Blog, which you can press here to see:

(My comments will be interspersed in the text below and (ITALICIZED),with final comments at the end).

There are old Catholics and there are bold Catholics......
......but there are no old, bold Catholics.

I'm sorry to snaffle the old aviation joke but it rings true for the state of the Catholic laity today.

A phenomonen occurred in the wake of Vatican II; seemingly orthodox and conservative Catholics became, within ten years, rabid left wing liberals.

They embraced the new religion much as, in Reformation times, the population embraced Protestantism.

The mantra went up a la Animal Farm, 'New good, old bad' and that has now become so embedded in the liberal psyche that many modern Catholics will challenge the Holy Father and Church Doctrine on all matters that, fifty years ago, would have been obediently accepted.

(This is certainly true and I recollect it very well and saw it occur in many families and divided many families as well--what a pity! That didn't have to happen with the correct implementation of Vatican II and a less rigorous revamping of the Mass and its theology!)

Two comments that I have heard in the past couple of years from liberal Catholics;

"I don't like the Pope" and, "The Pope's an idiot"

Both are unacceptable and the latter is most certainly untrue. But what is it that provokes such antipathy?

(Just read publications like the National Catholic Reporter and liberal or progressive blogs and those who comment on them and you will see this outright rejection of what is essential to Catholicism. It makes one wonder if they have not left the Church in fact but want to corrupt the Church they left by remaining. Isn't it time for honesty from these people??? Does an take an act of excommunication to make their reality true, why can't or won't they do it for themselves? There is a sinister aspect to all of this and Pope Paul VI hit the nail on the head when he said "the smoke of Satan had entered the sanctuary!")

We could now debate the decline in moral values and increase of relativism but that is not really my point. The fact is that those who stand up for the Faith today are not the children of the sixties but the new generation; children of the 80s and 90s.

Look at the increase in home schooling and then look at the average home schooling family; young, traditional and loyal to the magisterium.

(Homeschoolers that I know remind me of Catholics in the 1950's who sent their children to Catholic schools. These homeschoolers embrace the faith completely, are respectful to the Church and are modest in all they do, what Catholic school's families once were able to do in their homes while sending their children to our schools.)

Look at the 70 and 80 year old liberals and you see bitterness, regret, paranoia and the sins of Adam and Eve reflected in their faces; pride, envy and jealousy of God. All are gateways to disobedience.

(I've written it before and I'll write it again, my generation of Catholics my age and older are rabidly fearful of the new direction of Catholicism either because they now know they swallowed the Kool Aid of the 1960's hook, line and sinker and thus allowed themselves to be duped, or they are the ones who duped others, the latter having a higher price to pay come judgement day!)

And, most poignant of all, it is those who follow the liberal theology who are now classed as old fashioned and outdated.

Dancing on the sanctuary, standing to receive in the hand, obliteration of the Sacrament of Confession, chattering in Church, extraordinary ministers - all look as topical as flared trousers and men's ponytails.

Reverence, humility, obedience and the old rite of Mass are all cutting edge.

Posted by Richard Collins at Sunday, January 20, 2013

MY FINAL COMMENTS: If we follow our Holy Father and his interpretation of Vatican II as "reform in continuity" we will have the correct recipe for regaining the essentials that we lost in our Catholic culture over the last 50 years.

If we follow our Holy Father as he models the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Catholic Mass, we will also recover the traditional culture of piety and reverence that marked our Catholic Churches prior to the Council and which the Council never intended to overthrow.

We can have reverence, humility, and obedience from the majority of Catholics, both lay, clergy and religious, in the Ordinary Form of the Mass celebrated as Pope Benedict celebrates it, if only we could have that in every Catholic parish throughout the world.

Then true renewal would take place and in 50 more years time, the Catholic Church would have recovered so much that has been lost and corrupted these past 50 years.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


These photos are stunning as are the vestments for the Requiem for Louis the XVI and you can see more at their website by pressing this sentence!


Dialoguing the Catholic Church to death?
Dialogue is pushed as a panacea to solving all problems. But when does an adult say enough is enough, talk is cheap and we have to do it this way, period!

Parents know all to well when their children try to talk them to death in order to get what they want. The children will keep the dialogue and conversation going until the parent is worn down and finally gives in. That might mean that a teenage girl will start dating boys at the age of 14 rather than the age of 21 the parents desire or a 6th grader will get not only an iPad but an iPhone and internet connections and you know the rest!

The same is happening in the Church on both the left and the right.

On the left it is all about continuing the dialogue about who can minister, opening the ordained life to females and making the divine institution of the hierarchical Church into the marshmallow of democratized principles that puts every single teaching of the Church to a vote and the so called "sense of the faithful" meaning not fidelity to the Church but what they happen to believe at any given point in time.

So the ultra progressives will wear the hierarchy down and win over the laity by pushing for female priests, same sex marriage and the abandonment of Sacred Tradition and Natural Law in formulating timeless truths. Then they will use only Sacred Scripture but interpret it only from the historical critical perspective and do away with any cultural aberrations that might have been in place in the life the times in which the Scriptures were orally communicated and finally put into a written form.

They will then accuse anyone who wants to maintain a rigid orthodoxy based upon Scripture, Tradition, Natural Law and Canon Law as being biblical and dogmatic fundamentalists and literalists, the worst slur you can hurl as orthodox Catholics, kind of like using the "n" word toward them!

But how about the ultra-conservatives like the SSPX'ers? They do the same and are quite dogmatic about their positions and that their way is the only way; they are the ones who are faithful and Vatican II corrupted the faith, even a literalist approach to Vatican II.

What they despise the most about Vatican II apart from the liturgical changes is "ecumenism" and more charitable approach to the Jews and other religions and even to non believers all of which Vatican II suggested, not in a dogmatic way but in a pastoral way.

Of course pastoral ways change and Pope Benedict has modeled marvelously how these pastoral constitutions should be interpreted in current day circumstances and in light of the past 50 years and what has worked and what hasn't.

But the SSPXers and others like them will hear none of that and will talk the hierarchy to death until they get their way.

But my, how times are changing! The hierarchy, meaning the pope and the college of bishops are taking the reigns once again and are teaching, ruling and sanctifying as they are divinely commissioned and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is ending dialogue that leads to a corruption of the Church, the watering down of the faith and the perversion of the Church as institution and people of God and her sacramental system.

Vatican II must be accepted by both the left and the right and thank God for that and for the hierarchy's insistence upon it!


There is a brouhaha brewing in Ireland over a priest who has gotten into very hot water with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and could well be excommunicated and perhaps laicized if he does not be obedient to the teachings of the Church and the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially "Lumen Gentium."

He may well experience the same fate as the former Maryknoll priest, Mr. Roy Bourgeois, who resides in the Diocese of Savannah, in Columbus, Georgia.

The following is this Redemptorist's priest's explanation (Fr. Tony Flannery and founder of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland) of what is happening to him and through his lens or filter and shared on a website called Association of Catholic Priests (in Ireland):

Some clarifications of stories that are doing the rounds in the Media.

Some clarifications of stories that are doing the rounds in the Media.

1. The Irish Catholic says that I am not threatened with excommunication.
In June of last year, 2012 I received a document from the CDF which contained the following paragraph:
“The Church’s canon law (c. 1044) calls a priest who has committed the delict of heresy ‘irregular for the exercise of orders received’, while canon 1364 says that ‘a heretic … incurs a latae sentientiae excommunication’. Before imposing the sanctions provided for in the law, it is the practice of the CDF to take steps to restore a priest to the faith, and to ensure that he is not in a state of contumacy regarding the position(s) he may have taken. Only should these remedies fail would the canonical penalties be required”
I am not a theologian, but to me that definitely reads like a threat. If the Vatican has now decided to withdraw that threat I would be very glad. Though I would be happier still if they allowed me to continue my ministry as a priest. But if that is the case I would like to get it in writing from the CDF, but this time on official paper and with a signature! Hearing it from that classic journalistic cliché of an ‘informed source’ telling the editor of a minor Irish newspaper is not totally convincing.

2. The second issue is what exactly the argument between me and the Vatican was about.
It is correct that at first it concerned a few sentences taken for various articles I had written in Reality Magazine over the years, to do with the origins of Church and priesthood. During the early part of last year I worked on this, and in June presented the following statement to the CDF through the head of the Redemptorists:

Since some concerns have been raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith over possible interpretations of articles I have written in the past few years. I respectfully take this opportunity to clarify my views and to offer the reassurance necessary to lay those concerns fully to rest. Such words as I have written were written in good faith with absolutely no intent whatever to imply anything contrary to the truths we are all obliged to hold by the divine and catholic faith to which I fully adhere and to which I have always adhered.
I believe and accept that the Eucharist was given to us by Christ Himself; that in the Eucharist we receive “the Bread of Life”, which is “the food of Eternal Life”. I not only believe and accept this; over nearly forty years of ministry I have come to know the reality of it through my faith experience and I have been privileged to offer witness to it through my priestly ministry.
I believe and accept that the Eucharist cannot be celebrated without a validly ordained minister.
I believe and accept that the origins of the Eucharist and the Priesthood can be found in the Last Supper, where, as Sacred Scripture tell us, Jesus gave the command to the Apostles gathered around the table to “Do this in memory of Me”.
I believe and accept that the call to Priesthood, indeed to all our Church’s ministries, comes from God through Jesus Christ.
I believe and accept that the Church has both the right and the duty to teach and preach the good news of salvation as promised by Jesus Christ and that we are reminded of this mission in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. The decree on the Church’s Missionary activity tells us that the Church strives to preach the Gospel to all men, and that it is the duty of the successors of the Apostles to carry on this work. (cf ‘Ad Gentes’)
It is my hope that the clarity and intent of this letter will be accepted in full satisfaction of the queries raised.
Fr. Tony Flannery C. Ss. R.

This statement was accepted by Cardinal Levada, the then head of the CDF. I am told that the exact words he used were: “This is a fine statement”.
It was my understanding that this put the matter to bed, and would be published in Reality Magazine.
But in September the new head of the CDF, Archbishop Gerhart Meuller sent the following document:
Necessary Amendments to the Statement of Reverend Tony Flannery C.Ss.R.
The following additions should be incorporated by Fr. Flannery in his Statement, which is the basis of the article of clarification that he intends to publish:
1. Regarding the Church, Fr. Flannery should add to his article that he believes that Christ instituted the Church with a permanent hierarchical structure. Specifically, Fr. Flannery should state that he accepts the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, as found in Lumen Gentium n. 9-22, that the bishops are the divinely established successors of the apostles who were appointed by Christ; that, aided by the Holy Spirit, they exercise legitimate power to sanctify, teach and govern the People of God; that they constitute one Episcopal college together with the Roman Pontiff; and that in virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church, which he is always free to exercise.
2. Regarding the Eucharist, Fr. Flannery should add to his article that he believes that Christ instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper; that in the Eucharist, under the forms of bread and wine, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained; that the Eucharist is a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross; and that only a validly ordained priests can validly celebrate the Eucharist.
3. Regarding his statement concerning the priesthood, Fr. Flannery should add to his article that he accepts that the Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and that the apostles did the same when they choose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry; and that the Church recognises herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself, and for this reason the ordination of women is not possible.
4. Furthermore, Fr. Flannery should state that he accepts the whole teaching of the Church, also in regard to moral issues.

Take note of nos. 3 & 4. These were new issues brought in at this point, – the question of women’s ordination and the ‘moral issues’. (In Church circles today that phrase most usually refers to sexual morality.
Up to this point I was happy to clarify my position, and give the Vatican the statement they desired, as I had done in June. But it was points 3 & 4 of this document that were the breaking point for me. And that is why I have stated clearly all this week that this is about the issues of womens’ ordination and sexual teaching. And I was told very clearly that the only way I would be allowed back into ministry would be to sign and publish this statement.
I hope this clear up the matter for those who are interested.

Tony Flannery


This is my sister Mary Elizabeth's wedding to my brother-in-law Bob Smith on July 9, 1966 at St. Joseph Church in Augusta. Please note the new altar placed in front of the old for the Tridentine Mass facing the people, but note how the old altar is still majestic looking in its Tridentine decor. What's interesting about the new altar is that its legs are longer on the front to straddle the three steps to the old altar and the priest still stands facing the people on the same level as the old altar. Later the old altar was pulled away from the wall, lowered one step and placed on the edge of the second step and stripped down and the tabernacle placed on Mary's side altar and the celebrant's chair directly behind the altar--it all became truly blah!

Let's face it, most parishes cannot build Gothic or Romanesque churches. Most have to build simple buildings. In the past, prior to Vatican II, these simple structures were still rather elegant because the parishes followed strict guidelines for the sanctuary.

For example, the parish in which I grew up, St. Joseph Church in Augusta, was a typical low ceiling, A frame building. It was cheaply constructed but had exposed painted wooden ceiling beams in the A frame style.

What made it warm and attractive and very conducive for Mass and private prayer were the following norms at the time that the pastor followed in building the church.

1. The sanctuary was up one step from the nave, but the altar was up an additional three steps to accommodate the movements of the Tridentine Mass. Although the altar was an extremely simple marble structure, it was placed against the back wall and had the traditional six tall candlesticks for high Mass and two smaller ones for low Mass.

Above the crucifix and altar was a "corona" which had lights in it, but made the ceiling above the altar look different from the rest of the ceiling. It was not a work of art, but served a liturgical purpose and I believe that in pre-Vatican II times every altar was to have some kind of canopy/corona, even if very abbreviated, above the altar of sacrifice.

They used very nice altar clothes that hung slightly over the mensa and were very attractive but differed when changed.

2. There was a very nice, large crucifix on the back wall above the crucifix and a very lovely drape, in a red color, custom made for the wall and the crucifix.

3. There was a very simple altar railing and two side altars, one for Saint Joseph and the child Jesus to the right and to the left was the Blessed Virgin Mary's altar. Each side had votive candles.

That was it, the stain glass windows were simply colored glass and quite cheap at that, but I love that little old church, which has since be replaced with a more modern one and it turned into a social hall. In fact, I made my First Confession, First Holy Communion, Confirmation in that old Church, my sister was married there and I had my first Mass there and my father's funeral was there.

Here is another church, much more elegant than the one I describe from my childhood which undergoes a transformation.

Here is the before look toward the sanctuary:
Here are two after looks: