Saturday, August 31, 2013


Is this the next Pope? The final pope? The pope of the Apocalypse name Pietro, POPE PIETRO? Even John Allen seems to think so! Cue the Twilight Zone Music!

At least he has good taste in miters, Pope Peter, I mean, Archbishop Pietro Parolin:

John Allen, that orthodox plant in the heterodox National Chismatic Reporter, NCR, has more news about the Vatican and our Holy Father's other appointments, things my mind, like a crystal ball, did not see coming:

Here are some excerpts from this morning's communique from John Allen, that orthodox reporter from the heterodox NCR:

A veteran Vatican diplomat, Parolin has served for the past four years as the papal nuncio, or ambassador, to Venezuela, and has been on the front lines of shaping the Vatican’s response to virtually every geopolitical challenge of the past two decades. By naming a consummate insider, Francis appears to want to "reboot" the Vatican's operating system back to a point when it was perceived to operate efficiently, rather than scrapping it entirely.

Pope Francis this morning also confirmed that the other top officials of the Secretariat of State will remain in their jobs, including Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the substitute, or top official for internal church affairs, and French Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s top official for foreign relations, as well as American Monsignor Peter Wells, the assessor, who has key responsibilities for day-to-day administration.

Francis also confirmed that German Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the key aide to Pope Benedict XVI, will remain head of the papal household.

Over the years, the former number three official in the Vatican’s diplomatic service has come to be seen as one of the “best and brightest” of his generation of ecclesiastical leaders. Admirers regard Parolin as hard-working, well informed, and gifted with the capacity to see issues from multiple points of view.

In 2006, Inside the Vatican magazine named Parolin one of its Top Ten people of the year, citing his work on nuclear disarmament, dialogue with Iran and North Korea, and the fight against human trafficking. The magazine called Parolin “one of the church’s most tireless and effective diplomats.”

The pick has been keenly anticipated, given that frustration with perceived breakdowns in governance under Bertone was part of what led the cardinals in March to elect a Latin American outsider to the papacy, handing him a clear reform mandate. Parolin now profiles as a key figure in that effort.

At the same time, longtime Vatican-watchers caution that Parolin may not wield quite the same power as his immediate predecessors, Bertone under Benedict and Cardinal Angelo Sodano under John Paul II.

Francis is a pope who takes the reins of government into his own hands, making him less dependent on aides, and the creation of a council of eight cardinals from around the world to assist him means that key decisions may be hammered out by that body rather than in the Secretariat of State.

In effect, the Secretary of State under Francis may profile more as a chief of staff rather than a sort of “vice-pope.”

Parolin was ordained to the priesthood in 1980, and did his academic work in canon law. He entered the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1986 and spent time in embassies in Mexico and Nigeria before returning to Rome, initially as the Secretariat of State’s desk officer for southern Europe.

Parolin also fits the profile many Vatican-watchers had regarded as the ideal candidate to become Francis’ Secretary of State: Someone who knows the system from the inside but who isn’t associated with the perceived dysfunction of the Bertone years.

Though Parolin served under Bertone and moved up the ladder on his watch, he was already a fixture in the Secretariat of State before Bertone was given the top job by Benedict XVI in 2006. When he was shipped off to Caracas in 2009, some took it as a sign that Parolin had fallen out of favor with Bertone – a perception seen as damaging then, but ironically helpful now.

Italians with long memories are reading the appointment as a sign that Francis wants to take the Secretariat of State back to its perceived glory days, under powerful and über-competent figures such as Giovanni Benelli, who served Paul VI, and Agostino Casaroli, who held the same position under John Paul II.

Indirectly, it’s also being taken as a backhanded admission that the “Bertone experiment” – bringing in a complete outsider as Secretary of State, counting on his loyalty and decency to make up for his lack of experience – really didn’t work.

Parolin is fluent in French, Spanish and English in addition to Italian.

Standing back from the details, the choice of Parolin would seem to offer at three insights about the kind of pope Francis intends to be.

First, Francis does not appear determined to dismantle the bureaucratic structures of the Vatican, but rather to make them work. If he wanted to blow things up, Francis would hardly have reached out to a career Vatican official, as well as an Italian churchman who hails from the Veneto region – two strong indicators of continuity.

In effect, this outsider pope has acknowledged he needs some insider help. In that sense, his reform shapes up not as a wholesale rejection of previous ways of doing things, but rather as a sort of “system restore" operation.

Second, by naming a veteran diplomat, Francis has signaled that he doesn’t want the church’s political and cultural relevance to dim while he puts out fires and fixes internal problems.

In Parolin, Francis didn’t just hire a CEO but also a statesman.

Third, Francis has also confirmed the moderate and pragmatic stamp of his papacy. Parolin profiles as basically non-ideological, a classic product of the Vatican’s diplomatic corps who prizes flexibility and realism.

It’s telling that during Parolin’s four years in Venezuela, which coincided with the final years of Hugo Chávez, Parolin never engaged in the testy back-and-forth with the leftist strongman associated with many of the country’s bishops, preferring to practice quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy.

The Secretary of State is a cardinal’s job, so for now Parolin will technically be named “pro-secretary” until the next consistory, when Francis presumably will elevate him to the College of Cardinals.

Though being Secretary of State is a prestigious gig, a mini-boom of speculation on the Internet back in 2006 had Parolin in line for an even higher position. A note about the papal prophecies of the medieval Abbot Malachy posted on the Wikipedia website speculated that Parolin might be the Petrus Romanus, or “Peter the Roman”, whom Abbot Malachy predicts will be the last pope before the end of the world. (“Pietro” means “Peter” in Italian.)

Whether Parolin will ever be elected pope, and whether that triggers the apocalypse, obviously remains to be seen, but already this particular Peter is now a very big deal. (MY COMMENT, as I blush!, Does John Allen who wrote this last sentence intend what he wrote about "this Peter is now a very big deal" certainly I'm reading things into this crass statement? :) )


Pope appoints Ab Parolin new Secretary of State

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis named Archbishop Pietro Parolin to succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as the Holy See’s Secretary of State. Until now, Archbishop Parolin had been Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela. From 2002 until 2009, he served in the Secretariat of State as Undersecretary for Relations with States. Archbishop Pietro Parolin is fifty-eight years old and has been a priest since 1980. He was ordained bishop in 2009.Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

Statement by Archbishop Pietro Parolin on the occasion of his appointment as Secretary of State.

At this moment, in which my appointment as Secretary of State is made public, I desire to express deep and affectionate gratitude to the Holy Father, Francis, for the unmerited trust he is showing me, and to make known to him once again my willingness and complete availability to work with him and under his guidance for the greater glory of God, the good of the Holy Church, and the progress and peace of humanity, that humanity might find reasons to live and to hope.

I feel very strongly the grace of this call, which is yet another and the latest of God’s surprises in my life. Above all, I feel the full weight of the responsibility placed upon me: this call entrusts to me a difficult and challenging mission, before which my powers are weak and my abilities poor. For this reason, I entrust myself to the merciful love of the Lord, from whom nothing and no one can ever separate me, and to the prayers of all. I thank all those who have shown and who, starting now, will show me understanding, as well as for any and all manner of help that anyone might desire to offer me in my new undertaking.

My thoughts go to my family and to all the persons who have been part of my life: in the parishes into which I was born and in which I served; in the dear Diocese of Vicenza; at Rome; in the countries in which I have worked – from Nigeria, to Mexico, and most recently in Venezuela, which I am sorry to leave. I think also of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, who ordained me bishop, I think of the Secretariat of State, which was my home for many years, of His Eminence, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, of the other Superiors, colleagues and collaborators and of the whole Roman Curia, as well as of all those who represent the Holy Father and the Holy See diplomatically around the world. I owe a great debt to all.

It is with trepidation that I place myself in this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis, but also with trust and serenity – disposed – as the Holy Father asked us at the beginning – to walk, to build and to profess.

May our Lady, whom I like to invoke under her titles as Our Lady of Monte Berico, Guadalupe and Coromoto, give us, “The courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward.”

And, as they say in Venezuela, “Que Dios les bendiga!”.

Caracas, 31 agosto 2013

Vatican Radio translation

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website


As some of you know, when I was pastor of The Church of the Most Holy Trinity in downtown Augusta, one of the parochial vicars was Father Daniel Munn (RIP). He was a former Episcopal priest, married with adult children and a grandfather who was one of the first former Episcopal priests to be received into the Church and the Catholic priesthood under the pastoral provision of Pope John Paul II. He and I served together for almost 14 years.

On his car, to prove to his former buddies in the Protestant communions, was a front bumper license plate that read, PAPIST!

As an Episcopalian coming into the full communion of the Catholic Church, being a papist obviously meant that the Queen would no longer be viewed as the head of the Church of England, but the true visible head is the pope and the bishops in union with him. This is the fullness of ecclesiology that Anglican/Episcopalians lacked apart from a valid priesthood and thus valid sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick and obviously Holy Orders. But at least they had the "baptismal and matrimonial" aspect right, except they didn't really have matrimony right since King Henry VIII! So they had baptism and thus some proper ecclesiology, not to make ecclesiology into a god or anything like that.

To a certain extent, I am a papist too, as most of you who know me know! So I was somewhat disheartened by the blog I recently read called, Catholic Stand and an article there titled, The End of the Papist Cult: What Pope Francis is Teaching Faithful Catholics by David L. Gray on Aug 26, 2013. YOU CAN READ IT HERE!

Here is his premise in his own excerpted words based upon the discomfort that the right-wing/conservative/faithful/natural/non-Orthodox orthodox feel toward the current occupant of the Chair of Peter, the former papists because of the current pope and he uses Archbishop Chaput as a model of this:

"It is becoming very clear to us all that Pope Francis is a ‘back to basics’ type of Pope. As I discussed in my article The New Papal Diet – From Benedict Steak to Francis Milk obviously that is what the Holy Spirit believes that the universal Church needs most at this moment, and as time goes on I think we will all be able to see more of the picture that the Spirit of God is painting with the hands of Francis. Indeed, within that painting is the reformation that our new Pope is inspiring within the minds of (right-wing/conservative/faithful/natural/non-Orthodox orthodox) Catholics."

Then he writes this:

"I noticed this reformation in myself the other day when someone on my Facebook wall was talking about how we need to love homosexuals (duh), by prefacing it with “as Pope Francis said”. In response to him I said, “Regardless of what Pope Francis said, what the Church teaches is that [insert the Church's teaching on homosexuality from the Catechism HERE].” I couldn’t believe what I had just typed. I never would have said such a thing during the Papacy Benedict XVI. Even though I converted to the faith in 2006, from what I read of Pope John Paul II, I could not imagine I would have said such a thing during his tenure either. What happened to me I wondered, and then I realized it … I … I am no longer a member of the Papist Cult. I … I … I’m just a Catholic."

But then I kind of agree, maybe wholeheartedly agree with the concluding remarks of this essay:

"I believe that it is absolutely true, that, rather than wait to see if Pope Francis will validate and affirm us as Popes in the past have, let us embrace what he is teaching. What our Pope is teaching (right-wing/conservative/faithful/natural/non-Orthodox orthodox) Catholics is that our faith is not about who the Bishop of Rome is, that our faith is not grounded in who sits behind the bulletproof glass of the popemobile, that it is okay if we don’t look forward to the general audience speeches anymore, that Catholicism isn’t a personality cult. Pope Francis is teaching us (right-wing/conservative/faithful/natural/non-Orthodox orthodox) Catholics that we don’t need a champion in Rome to front-load our causes, that it’s okay to put on our big-boy pants and big-girl dresses and bring awareness to our agenda ourselves, even as we tweak our message in union with his ‘back to basics’ approach to our Lord’s teachings.

Yes, we are waking up to realize that we have been spoiled for a long time. No longer can we ride on the coattails of the Pope, or hide behind his words. We have been set free from the Papist Cult. In contrast, the (left-wing/liberal/borderline-heretical/non-Orthodox non-orthodox) Catholics haven’t had a champion in Rome for so long that they are grasping at imitation straws to make Pope Francis their own, just as they have tried to claim Vatican II as their personal license to reinterpret the articulation of the faith.

Therefore, let us not wait and see if we still have a table in the Papist Cult, but, rather, let us embrace this moment to be the laity that Vatican II has called us to be."

And this is what I believe to be absolutely true from this essay:

In contrast, the (left-wing/liberal/borderline-heretical/non-Orthodox non-orthodox) Catholics haven’t had a champion in Rome for so long that they are grasping at imitation straws to make Pope Francis their own, just as they have tried to claim Vatican II as their personal license to reinterpret the articulation of the faith.

MY FINAL COMMENTS: Yes, I am still a papist. I love Pope Benedict but I wished he would have been able to connect better with rank and file Catholics on the level of personality and pastoral outreach. But I loved his liturgical style, his orthodoxy and his brilliant teachings which were more than "breast milk" for babies, but meat and potatoes for grown up Catholics. I loved his pointing away from himself and pointing toward the majesty of the papal ministry and its 2000 year history. I like the old trappings that he brought back and in such a stylish way and I loved his sense of the liturgy and where he really wanted to lead the Church. But he did not connect very well with rank and file Catholics on the level of personality.

Pope Francis does. Is it because he has eschewed the pomp and circumstance, the trappings of the papacy which he feels distances himself from the smell of the sheep? Perhaps, but wouldn't it be grand to have the trappings of the papacy smell like the sheep. I think this pope would be just as popular if he had maintained what Pope Benedict reintroduced and made it smell like the sheep!

The same is true of Liturgy. Pope Francis in his own words is more emancipated that his papal Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini is (but read: Pope Benedict) while he can appreciate some of the facetiousness of the MC and the Emeritus Pope.

But would it not be better to continue to emphasize the major theme of the previous pontificate, that of "reform in continuity" and not pitting the "Post Vatican II Church against the Pre-Vatican II Church and her liturgy?"

But what Pope Francis does marvelously well so far and in fact far better than Pope Benedict is the following and yes, this is in continuity with all that Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict tried to do all his years in the Vatican:




Liturgically, he is very much in continuity with Pope Benedict in style and piety (obviously not liturgical vestments, though) as he celebrates the Mass. What I fear though is the disconnect between his orthodox, sober style and what he will encourage in terms of inculturation, liturgical music, liturgical emancipation and relegating Latin to an idiosyncrasy. Give the progressive liturgists an inch and they take a mile and then they will emphasize the "spirit of Pope Francis" over the letter of Pope Francis, just as they did/do with Vatican II! UGH! YIKES!

Friday, August 30, 2013


As I gaze into my mind, that crystal ball of future knowledge, I see a new Secretary of State for the Holy Roman Church to replace the current Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State since 2006.

His replacement, very soon to be announced is, drum roll please,the present nuncio in Venezuela, Archbishop Pietro Parolin.

Rumors swirled earlier in the year, but not confirmed by my clairvoyance until today, that the Nuncio of Venezuela would be named the new Secretary of State. It was funny, though, on another more liberal blog, a sometimes off the wall commenter, really frequently off the wall commenter, was glad that he would be a third world archbishop from a South American country. I'm not sure the Venezuelans would like being called third world and the good Archbishop who is definitely Italian, from Vincenza, a third world South American. Also implied was that Italy is a third world country.

He was born one year and one month after me in 1955, January. And he was ordained the same year as I in 1980, a very good year indeed.


Recently while I was on vacation our parochial vicar, Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski wrote the bulletin letter concerning artificial contraception. It didn't mince any words and of course proved to be controversial for some.

But oddly enough I just met with a 20 something married woman in our parish who wants to start a support group for other married women who have chosen to swim against the tide of our culture's artificial contraception mentality. I have given her the go ahead to start this group in our parish. She is a convert herself and having attended Mercer University and during that time when she was studying gender issues, she became aware that she didn't want to stuff her body with hormone changing pills to regulate births. She said only the Catholic Church had a viable, sensible solution to her natural law concerns and going natural in this regard. It helped convince her to become Catholic.

But back to Fr. Dawid's bulletin letter, I have received a few emails commending Fr. Dawid for it. Here is but one sent to him and copied to me:

Dearest Father Dawid,

You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Our family thanks God for your priesthood, for your devotion to our Lord and His Divine Will and we are forever grateful for your presence in our lives!

I've been meaning to send you a note, but since procrastination has almost gotten the best of me lately, I'm resorting to this impersonal e-mail to thank you (THANK YOU!!!!) for the beautiful message you posted in the St. Joe's bulletin on August 4th. I thank John the Baptist for making me sit and type this up today. I'm praying that he intercede for you.

My mother was visiting her dear friend earlier this month and brought home the bulletin. I am so thankful that God brought her to St. Joseph's that weekend, or I may not have seen your note. You know that I am a woman of many words (pray for my husband!), but not even I have enough words to express my gratitude and joy over the wonderful proclamation of truth that you shared with your flock in the August 4th bulletin!!! I am almost certain that while meditating on the gift God created in your ability to express His Truth so boldly, I heard the Lord say of you, "well done, my good and faithful servant."

As you know, I am a convert and, as a Baptist, I took the pill for almost 15 years (prescribed by a Doctor when I was an early teen as "treatment" for a medical condition). Not surprisingly, one of my first hurdles to overcome upon introduction to Catholicism was contraception (thanks be to God that I had [my Catholic husband] to lead me in the right direction!) Ironically, my own mother (wouldn't mind me telling you that) she was on the pill for more than 10 years, before she "accidentally" conceived ME! So, I've always felt a great passion for spreading the truth about the dangers of contraception. I once was lost, but now I'm found. Thanks be to God!!!

We don't hear this message from priests enough, in my opinion, although Catholic couples are consumed with the temptations of this culture of death and we know that many contracept, unaware or blinded by the sin so that they don't see how harmful this is to their souls. What a shame it is that so many (clergy and lay people) feel unable to speak of the "elephant in the room" (contraception) when it is killing us from within!

I shared your Aug. 4th article with the families in our home school group that week and asked them all to pray for you, Father Dawid. I am certain they did. Be assured that I have offered countless prayers to St. Michael on your behalf, asking that he shield you from the enemy that I know wants to discourage you from ever posting another message like this again. I wish you could have heard the cheers, the awe and sheer JOY of the families that I shared your message with! Note that at least 3 of the Catholic couples in our group used contraception during their marriage, before understanding the Church's teaching and confessing that sin. Thank God they are all on the right path now; these couples, especially, were so very grateful for the courage you displayed in this message to the faithful. Those of us who have journeyed away from contraception all said, "If only we'd read such a message sooner..."

I can only imagine that your note MUST have stirred a change in at least one soul and I hope when you get to heaven, Mary will lead you to the soul that entered this world because YOU were not afraid. Then, won't any injury you've incurred as a result of the bulletin note be well worth it? (Rhetorical question-I know you agree!)

On a final note, I think the manner in which this message was composed is absolutely beautiful. It is not easy to relay such information, however, I feel that your approach was loving and generous, even in your closing.

Be assured of our continued prayers. You inspire us, truly; thank you. I am so grateful that our children know and love you, too. They've been praying for you, too, which is why I know St. Michael heard the prayers.


Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“"Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. Therefore, we base our words on
the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when we are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process has already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is to be absolutely
excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned,
as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization,
whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly
excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.
Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal
relations can justify sexual intercourse, which is deliberately contraceptive, and so
intrinsically wrong.”

Just a little over a week ago the Encyclical Humane Vitae (Human Life) celebrated its
forty-fifth Birthday; therefore, I decided to bring back its very powerful message filled with trust and faith in the goodness of God’s teachings. The teaching was largely rejected by the Western world and, as some theologians say, the rejection was a sign of their disobedience to the commandment of God to love your neighbor, resulting in a weakened
family life. Marriage, as a divinely instituted entity and chastity, is our way of respecting the image of God we carry from the moment of our conception. After the teaching of the
church was criticized, the Pope said:“It does not surprise the Church that she becomes,
like her divine Founder, a ‘sign of contradiction’; yet she does not, because of this, cease
to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both the natural law and the law
of the Gospel.” The teaching was reaffirmed by all Popes who succeeded Paul VI, including Pope John Paul II in Gaudium et Spes and Pope Benedict XVI who said:” The teaching expressed by Humanae Vitae is not easy, yet it conforms with the fundamental structure through which life has always been transmitted since the world's creation.''

Once again, I remind you that your membership in the Catholic Church is
a privilege, and the only price we pay for it is our Love for God, which is
expressed by trusting Him and being obedient to His Will. If you live in a
contraceptive marriage please stop receiving Communion. If you are
confused and would like advice, please contact one of our priests. If you
have been using contraception but would like to receive communion,
come to the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus did not die so we could be
“cafeteria Catholics” picking and choosing what we please, or what
pleases us. The Lord is full of mercy and love, but to those who are
willing to change.

May the Lord who said:” "He who seeks his life will lose it, he who loses
his life for my sake will find it" (Lk 9.24) help you to see His love for you.

Fr. Dawid


I hate our American news media. They are not impartial and give us only part of the news in the world. How many Americans know that Christians are being singled for ethnic cleansing, when in fact Christians have been a part of the middle East long before Muslims arrived on the scene?

When discussing what is happening in the Middle East, only the interests of America are taken into account and the hawks in our government and in rank and file Americans continue to want to use military might to push our own special interests. Isn't there another way?

Yes there is and we have to listen to the religious voices of reason especially in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches of the region. Have you heard anyone in the main stream press report on religious sensibilities regarding peace. Has anyone reported on what Pope Francis is saying about it? No! It is a part of the main stream media, news and entertainment to marginalize Christianity and our Christian moral perspective not only on peace, of course, but every other moral issue, especially those concerning the "pelvic" issues!

The Coptics in Egypt think that it is a good thing that the Muslim Brotherhood has been overthrown as this group has been burning Christian churches and killing Christians. The Orthodox Coptic bishop says the USA should not support the previous regime that was ousted by the military in a coup.

Now in Syria, there are rumors that the USA will go it alone and launch air strikes on Syria to flex some muscle. Is this the way to go?

I think we should listen to the Catholic bishop of that region.

Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo Antoine Audo told Vatican Radio this week that armed intervention in Syria could lead to another World War, and says he hopes that what he calls animal “instincts and anarchy” will not win out over dialogue and reconciliation.

“The duty of the international community is to help, to support…peace and reconciliation . The duty of the international community,” he says, “is not to use the (base) instincts, or anarchy. Really for us this a big question as Christians in this situation.”

Asked if Syrians themselves support foreign intervention, Bishop Audo admits his opinion cannot represent all the myriad points of view in Syria. But “as Christians, as people of the Church, generally we are wondering about this way of understanding (military intervention)… we don’t have to use (base) instincts or the anarchy of the people.”

Foreign intervention in Syria he warns, would be dangerous for the entire region. “The circle of war is without end, without solution.”

Christians, he suggests, want the international community “to be the big brother, the big father, a mother for the others and to seek a solution of reconciliation and peace.”

The Vatican and Pope Francis, Bishop Audo points out, have made very clear calls for a non-military solution to the crisis, urging dialogue and reconciliation between the different sides in the conflict.


After a summer hiatus, although our 12:10 Ordinary Form Mass, which has the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem, featured more Latin and the sung Latin propers during the summer, our monthly Extraordinary Form Mass returns this Sunday, September 1st at 2:00 PM. I will be the celebrant and after the Mass, will depart for Augusta and then later in the week for Rome for my three month sabbatical at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City and their Institute for Continuing Theological Education. PRESS HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND TO SEE WHERE I WILL BE LIVING FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS!

Father Dawid Kwiatkowski will celebrate the other High Masses while I am away and our new parochial vicar from Ghana wants to learn this form of the Mass, Fr. Godfred Boachie-Yiadom!


INTROIT: Psalm 85: 1-3

Incline Thine ear, O Lord, to me and hear
me: save Thy servant, O my God, that
trusteth in Thee: have mercy on me, O
Lord, for I have cried to Thee all day.
Give joy to the soul of Thy servant; for to
Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul. V.
Glory be to the Father.


Let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend
Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord;
and because it cannot continue in safety
without Thee, govern it evermore by Thy
help. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE: GALATIANS 5:25-26, 6:1-10

Walk in the Spirit. Let us not be made de-
sirous of vainglory, provoking one an-
other, envying one another. Brethren, and
if a man be overtaken in any fault, you,
who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the
spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest
thou also be tempted. Bear ye one an-
other’s burdens, and so you shall fulfil the
law of Christ. For if any man think himself
to be something, whereas he is nothing, he
deceiveth himself. But let everyone prove
his own work, and so he shall have glory in
himself only, and not in another. For every
one shall bear his own burden. And let
him that is instructed in the word, com-
municate to him that instructeth him, in all
good things. Be not deceived: God is not
hose also shall he reap. For he that
soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall
reap corruption: but he that soweth in the
spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlast-
ing. And in doing good, let us not fail; for
in due time we shall reap, not failing.
Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work
good to all men, but especially to those
who are of the household of the faith.


It is good to give praise to the Lord; and
to sing to Thy name, O Most High. V. To
show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and
Thy truth in the night.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. For the Lord is a great
God, and a great King over all the earth.

GOSPEL: LUKE 7:11-16

At that time Jesus went into the city of
Naim; and there went with Him His disci-
ples, and a great multitude. And when He
came nigh to the city, behold a dead man
was carried out, the only son of his mo-
ther, and she was a widow, and a great
multitude of the city were with her. And
when the Lord saw her, He had compas-
sion on her, and said to her: Weep not.
And He came near and touched the bier.
And they that carried it stood still. And He
said: Young man, I say to thee, Arise: and
he that was dead sat up, and began to
speak. And He delivered him to his
mother. And there came a fear on them
all: and they glorified God, saying: A great
prophet is risen up amongst us, and God
hath visited His people.


With expectation I have waited for the
Lord, and He had regard to me; and he
heard my prayer, and He put a new canti-
cle into my mouth, a song to our God.


May Thy Sacraments, O Lord, be our safe-
guard, and ever defend us against the at-
tacks of the evil one. Through our Lord.


It is truly meet and just, right and for our
salvation, that we should at all times, and
in all places, give thanks to Thee, holy
Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who,
together with Thine only-begotten Son
and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one
Lord: not in the Oneness of a single Per-
son, but in the Trinity of one substance.
For what by Thy revelation we believe of
Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy
Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without
difference or separation; so that in con-
fessing the true and eternal Godhead, in It
we should adore distinction in persons,
unity in Essence, and equality in Majesty:
in praise of which Angels and Archangels,
Cherubim also and Seraphim day and night
exclaim, without end and with one voice


The bread that I will give is My flesh for
the life of the world.


In soul and in body, O Lord, may we be
ruled by the operation of this heavenly gift;
that the graces flowing there from, and not
the impulses of nature, may inspire all our
actions. Through our Lord.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Pope Francis celebrated Mass yesterday with the Augustinians, you know the religious order of Friar Martin Luther. During the Mass we hear once again Pope Francis' vision for the pastoral ministry of the Church for priests and religious. He once again used a word that women religious would find insulting, that of the "hag" "old maid" or more sanitized version "spinster."

He also, as you will note, celebrated Mass facing the congregation in the "ad orientem" sort of way with the Benedictine Altar arrangement. Too bad he wasn't invited to use the real altar behind this faux altar. As you can see from the video, one's eye is drawn to it and its magnificence rather than the silly one in front of it.


UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE: The following photo, circa 1956 in front of our apartment in East Point, GA next to the fence that separated it from the army post, Fort McPherson, is my father, mother, sister and brother and I in our Sunday best and ready to go to Mass at Cantonment Chapel!

On June 7, 2011, the Cantonment Chapel, also known as St. Micheal's Chapel at Fort McPherson, Georgia (bordering the West End of Atlanta and East Point, GA) was closed as has this army post since. My father was stationed there from July of 1956 until March 31 of 1960. We attended this chapel for Sunday Mass and it was in walking distance of our apartment, the entire complex now torn down. Oddly enough the Chapel was closed on the 31st anniversary of my priestly ordination.

In this chapel, I experienced for the first time cognitively the pre-Vatican II Mass and its glories that fascinated me to no end! The bells and smells of this liturgy and the army chaplain who was a good preacher and made us laugh by telling us moral stories of Mr. and Mrs. Spaghetti Bender. I remember especially Midnight Mass and bringing my best friend's mother to it who was a Protestant. She complained that there was too much kneeling and standing!

I also remember the pre-Vatican II reverence of those who attended especially those who after having received Holy Communion would return to their pew and place their head on the pew in front of them and cover their face. I asked my mom out loud what was wrong with them, were they sick or sad? My mom said they were sad that Jesus' died for them!

I also remember a woman fainting in the middle aisle and no one helping her. It was the consecration and no one could be distracted from this awesome moment at Mass!

I also remember the good choir they had which sang in the choir loft and sang the Mass in Gregorian Chant. What I remember too, oddly enough, was the choir coming downstairs first to receive Holy Communion and going up to the altar railing while the priest was having his Holy Communion rite. Then those standing in the aisle would fall to their knees when the priest turned around and proclaimed "Ecce Agnus Dei..." I was impressed that people would do that. Keep in mind I was 3 to 6 years old during this period!

So, maybe my vocation started there! Who knows but God?

It was a simple white frame building, very intimate and at that time with the pre-Vatican II altar and altar railing and I remember very beautiful lace altar clothes that glistened in the church's lights. The pews remain as does the crucifix above the altar and the stations of the cross. I think the stain glass windows were added much later after we moved to Augusta.

Unfortunately this Catholic chapel went through an iconoclasm or wreckovation a few times in the 1970's. The old high altar with the tabernacle was removed and the six candle sticks and the ironing board wooden altar replaced it and the Blessed Sacrament was placed in a side chapel. The choir and organ was brought downstairs next to the altar and the choir loft made into a cry room! Folk music reigned supreme.

Now it is closed...

The Baltimore Review picked up the story and you can read it here!

Great pictures of the building here which are copyrighted so I can't copy them, won't even let me! Look Here!

Read the Army's story on it HERE.


This happened in Italy just last year lest anyone think clown Masses were dead. When is the last time you saw a clown Mass? No, no one might have been dressed as one, but the Mass was a clown Mass?

This is the dialogue, dialogue, dialogue that mysterious Marc and I had on another post yesterday concerning the Mass in Biloxi!

Marc said...

Go to the Diocese of Biloxi Mississippi. The silliness from the left definitely took over there... I am dreading this Sunday's visit to that cesspool of error and abuse.

August 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Blogger Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, don't mince your words, say what you really think!

August 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Anonymous Marc said...

It's really terrible there, Father.

As an example, during what purported to be the Offertory, the priest had all the children return from "Children's Church", come to his presider's chair, and hug him.

Then, the teenagers held hands with him around what purported to be the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer.

This is in addition to the usual suspects: stole outside the chasuble, shaking hands during the precession, Father's stand-up comedy bit as an introduction...

I did like how he had some woman get up at a microphone to introduce him like a rock star just before his entrance: "Ladies and Gentlemen! Today's celebrant is...!"

The second parish to which I went was only marginally better. The priest did a pretty long improvisational Eucharistic Prayer, left out some words...

A few years back, in a completely different part of that diocese near a university, we prayed for the Gay-Straight Alliance.

August 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Blogger Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Well, at least he's not celebrating the EF Mass!

August 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Anonymous Marc said...

Yes, that terrible Mass that we all must fight against or else we are Pelagians!

It seriously puts my faith in jeopardy to have to go to these sites masquerading as Masses. Someone should maybe look into fixing this situation. I think my parents would probably convert based on their experiences with us at St. Joseph, but this sort of thing keeps people away. There are real consequences to these shenanigans...

Side note - There was a brave priest saying the Traditional Mass in a very rural part of the diocese, but not anymore. I don't think that lasted very long unfortunately.

August 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

MY COMMENTS: When I travel and visit a Church for Mass on Sunday, I have to prepare myself psychologically for what I will encounter. In south Florida there was one pastor-celebrity who had choir/cantors celebrities staring at us in the face and waving and smiling and acting, well, like celebrities. At the end of the Mass as the priest departed, he was like a celebrity, smiling and waving and shaking hands with his parishioners, some I suspect congratulating him on his performance.

More than 15 years ago I attended Mass at the Cathedral in Palm Beach. Their cathedral is a duplicate copy of the Church of the Holy Family in Hilton Head, South Carolina. But apart from that, the choir, musicians and cantor acted like celebrities there too. The music had a studio sound and was overpowering (although technically good) and before Mass all the actors of the Mass were introduced by name, to include the priest, deacon, altar servers, lectors communion ministers and principles of the music ministry. The music ministry was in front and elaborate equipment for sound board and other things hooked by computers were quite visible. The music was so staged and so theatrical, that I left before Mass was over as I became so angry at what I was experiencing that it would be compound the sins I saw and I was committing for me to remain.

No matter where I go on Sunday and it is seldom that I'm not in my own parish, I experience Mass that irritates me and it is usually because the Mass is sloppy, entertainment oriented and people appear irreverent and casual about things that are holy and sacred.

Now with that said, I don't think that one should get all bent out of shaped when the Mass is well said, reverently and with a wide variety of actual engagement in the Mass. Women in the sanctuary are allowed. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are allowed. The common chalice is allowed. A variety of styles of music are allowed.

But when it becomes sloppy, irreverent, casual and entertainment, yes, I get mad and I get even madder that the clergy and laity who still attend these kinds of Masses (20% of the Catholic population only) actually like this trite, casual pseudo entertainment called worship. I get even more angry that the bishop who is in union with the pope allows this and doesn't correct this liturgical abuse which Vatican II nor its spirit ever desired for the Mass.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


"As provincial, says the author, Bergoglio did not support changes made by Vatican II, banned books by Jesuits sympathetic to liberation theology, replaced new songs with old Latin hymns at Mass and opposed Decree Four on social justice at the 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus. The most controversial incident concerns two older Jesuit priests, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, who had been Bergoglio’s theology and philosophy professors during his Jesuit training, and later insisted on living with the poor in a small community. Bergoglio ordered them to leave the shanty town and, when they refused, expelled them from the Jesuits."

Read the rest of the article at America Magazine by pressing HERE!



Okay, I can see why some religious orders were called to update their habits, especially those that were non-cloistered and worked in schools, hospitals, and with the poor:

Mother Angelica prior to the Vatican II renewal:

Mother Angelica in the disintegration of Vatican II renewal:

Mother Angelica and the recovery of Catholic sensibilities:

Mother Angelica's temptation to join the LCWR:

Mother Angelic becomes a pirate:

MY COMMENTS FIRST: Dr. Jeff Mirus gives a good, brief account of why some women's religious orders needed renewal and Vatican II encouraged it. He also shows how a goodly number of these orders went from one extreme to the other and disintegrated into a post-Catholic feminism that legitimized "disloyal dissent" from not only the good of the order but from the faith, morals and canon laws of the Church. Of course even a 5th grader knows that there is no such thing as loyal dissent when it comes to the truths of God and the legitimate authority of the Church. In the areas of faith and morals of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium of the Church all dissent is disloyal.

There are parallels with this disintegration in women's religious life and in the seminary programs of the 1960's and 70's. Most of the problems can be traced to a grotesque iconoclasm of all things Catholic and substituting a post-Catholic ideology vapid and uninspiring. Hence the loss of new candidates uninspired by the stark ugliness of what so-called renewal replaced.

Even today, parishes that are leaning toward post-Catholicism may have lively parishes and worship like Unitarians do, but they aren't Catholic, they've become something else with a veneer of Catholicism. Just because there are pockets of post-Catholic (gnostic/pelagian)parishes is no indication of their success. Success in Catholicism is fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, living and deceased, Ordinary and Extraordinary.

Sisters in Crisis: The Definitive Guide

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( August 27, 2013 5:38 PM

Among the more important books released by Ignatius Press recently is an updated edition of Ann Carey’s Sisters in Crisis. Originally published in 1997, the initial study closed before the more dramatic efforts of the Vatican to reform women religious in the United States. The new 2013 edition, Sisters in Crisis Revisited: From Unraveling to Reform and Renewal, brings the chronicle up to date, including the Apostolic Visitation of Women Religious and the response to it, and the investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Carey’s work is no mere overview. It does not simply summarize the conclusions reached long ago by knowledgeable Catholic insiders. The author has done both comprehensive and meticulous research into the patterns of religious life in the United States between about 1950 and the present, enumerating the stresses and strains caused both by explosive growth in the mid-20th century and by the revolutionary secularization of religious culture as the century wore on. The reader gains a clear idea of why the Vatican was talking about the renewal of religious life even before the Second Vatican Council, why that renewal was very slow to be undertaken, and how a spirit of rebellion and dissolution overtook many religious communities after the Council, during the last third of the century.

Sisters in Crisis is divided into three parts. The first, “Post-Vatican II Sisters: Ready for Renewal or Revolution?”, portrays the state of religious life at the close of Vatican II. The second, “How Did All of This Happen”, explores the progressive indoctrination of women religious, the rise to dominance of those in rebellion against the Church, the first efforts of the Vatican to redirect this process through the spectacularly unsuccessful Quinn Commission in the 1980s, and the ultimate ideological transformation of mainstream religious leadership organizations. The third, “Where Do Sisters Go from Here?”, explores the triple crisis of contemporary female religious life in America (vocations, finances and the elderly), the apostolic visitation, and the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR—the text of which is included in an appendix...

...A juxtaposition of passages from earlier and later portions of the book will serve to illustrate the importance of the theme. First, religious life at the time of the Council:

…change was resisted by most women’s orders, which continued to follow practices needing reform. For example, in many orders, even in the early 1960s, sisters were required monthly to ask their superiors for permission to perform routine tasks such as bathing, obtaining toothpaste and soap, doing assigned work, and even praying. Some sisters needed permission for normal adult activities such as using the telephone, even when doing so was an implicit part of their job. Behind this practice of requesting permission was an interpretation of the vow of obedience in which everyday activities didn’t have merit unless they were done as acts of obedience. Thus, all actions, even daily routines that every adult must perform, came under the authority of the superior. (p. 30)

After this, some religious communities eventually began the long process of renewal called for by the Council and by subsequent popes. Carey identifies these groups as following a “traditional” model.

But a great many institutes flew off on an immense tangent of feminism and Modernism. Sadly, this won them the praise of the world while putting them at odds with the Catholic Faith and causing their numbers to plummet as dramatically as has ever been seen in history. Carey, who deliberately avoids unattractive labels, calls these groups “change-oriented”. Thus:

…the institutes of women religious that carried experimentation and renewal to extremes that were neither intended nor authorized by the Second Vatican Council are in decline. Statistics show that these change-oriented institutes have lost a greater percentage of their membership than the traditional institutes, for their average age is in the seventies. In these institutes, the lifestyle of the sisters evolved to a point at which it became impossible to distinguish sisters from their lay professional counterparts…. A myriad of problems have arisen in aging orders, including retirement funding, building maintenance, and even decisions about continuing the existence of the institute. Still, as these problems escalated in the twenty-first century, many leaders of women religious continued to be more willing to accept the inevitable demise of their institutes than to admit that they had made mistakes. (p. 325)

In between these two snapshots, an overworked and under-appreciated workforce of women religious lost nearly 75% of their numbers overall, including a whopping 96% of sisters who taught in schools. The path through this sweeping destruction was marked by countless horror stories, deliberate indoctrination in modern ideologies, a crushing loss of faith, and direct defiance of ecclesiastical authority.

And yet there is great hope for the institutes which, whether early or late, have followed the authentic path of renewal, and for new institutes founded upon the principles of renewal the Church has set forth. Almost uniformly, their vocations are growing rapidly. Their apostolates are, once again, expanding into the world.

It is all thoroughly chronicled and explained in this remarkable book. If you want to delve more deeply into the history of the life of women religious in the United States over the past sixty years, do not be deceived by propaganda from any other source. Ann Carey knows the real story, the complete story, and she tells it extraordinarily well.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Interestingly, the Holy Father is quoted as saying that he wants pastors to become bishops, not those priests in academia. Does the Holy Father know something that only a few others would dare say? That the problem in the Church for the past 50 years has been an academic one where academics and other "professional" Catholics have foisted on the rank and file, bread and butter Catholics of the world a Pelagian mindset about making the Church, her worship and her life, new and improved and doing it by our own actions.

What is considered the recipe to bring back fallen away Catholics, make parishes alive and prospering and keep Catholics in the Church. Let me count the ways:

1. keep on tinkering with and making the Church's worship, Mass and other forms, new and improved looking for that right technique and recipe.

2. Make Church life comfortable and inclusive of every aberration possible and don't call it sin or anyone to repentance and confession, but this might hurt their feelings and they might not come back again.

3. Make sure people are warm and friendly, with a smile on their face and that the clergy in particular model this warmth and hospitality.

4. Don't talk about hell or purgatory and make sure everyone feels good after very funeral by obfuscating grief and the possibility of encountering God's judgement.

5. Give people what they like and tell them the Church is just another Home Depot to help them do it themselves.

Isn't Pelagianism truly about thinking that what we do in the realm of religion is what will save us, gain us more members and make our worship so wonderful that people will like it and not change churches as one changes the channel on their television while surfing for the just right show.

Isn't Pelagianism the temptation to turn pastoral sensibilities and concerns into infallible dogmas? Isn't this more a problem with those who are well immersed into post-Vatican II theologies.

The problem with the Church in the USA and its dramatic decline since Vatican II is thinking we can make or break the Church rather than relying on God to do it. And yes, he can chastise the Church for her members' infidelities and He can turn people away from the Church if he so chooses and He can lead them there. He does it, Blessed be God forever.

Who deconstructed the Church after Vatican II with their "spirit" of Vatican II ideologies that led to Sister Florence Deacon to say recently at a LCWR convention, "Our situation reflects larger questions and concerns such as the ongoing implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the ecclesial role of women religious and the of the laity, especially women; understandings of authority, faithful dissent, and obedience and the need for spaces where honest, probing questions about faith and belief can be raised and discussed."

Faithful dissent! What garbage, what silliness and what an outrage.

Monday, August 26, 2013


In the south, our Protestant friends always accused us Catholics that we could sin all they wanted on Friday night, go to Confession on Saturday and be like a saint on Sunday receiving Holy Communion piously. Is Pope Francis perpetuating this myth? This is Vatican Radio's summary of Pope Francis' Angelus talk on Sunday. My comments at the end:

(Vatican Radio)
In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke about the words of Jesus from the day’s Gospel: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”

The Holy Father noted that Jesus was responding to the question of how many people will be saved. But, the Pope said, “it is not important to know how many are saved. Rather, it is important to know what is the path of salvation.” Jesus Himself is the gate, a gate “that allows us to enter into God's family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him. This gate is Jesus Himself.”

Pope Francis emphasized that “the gate that is Jesus is never closed . . . it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges.” Jesus, he continued, does not exclude anyone. Some people might feel excluded because they are sinners – but Pope Francis definitively rejected this idea. “No,” he said, “you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you.”

We are called to enter the gate that is Jesus. “Don’t be afraid to pass through the gate of faith in Jesus,” Pope Francis said. Don’t be afraid “to let Him enter more and more into our lives, to go out of our selfishness, our being closed in, our indifference toward others.”

Jesus speaks about a narrow gate not because it is a “torture chamber," but “because it asks us to open our hearts to Him, to recognize ourselves as sinners, in need of His salvation, His forgiveness, His love, needing the humility to accept His mercy and to be renewed by Him.”

Finally, the Holy Father emphasized that Christianity is not a “label” – it is a way of life. Christians must not be Christians in name only: “Not Christians, never Christians because of a label!” he said. He called us to be true Christians, Christians at heart. “To be Christian,” said Pope Francis, "is to live and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. For the narrow gate which is Christ must pass into our whole life.”

MY COMMENTS: I personally love the way Pope Francis speaks. He is down to earth and people easily understand his concepts. The problem isn't so much with what he says, but with what he doesn't say which he may presume is known, but as most of us know today, we can't presume that Catholics and others who hear the pope know the Catholic Faith.

"Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you." But what the Holy Father doesn't say is the need for "repentance" on the part of the sinner as a prerequisite for forgiveness of sins committed after Holy Baptism. Is he taking for granted that people, even Catholics, know that?

It is one thing to know my need for salvation, for forgiveness, for love and the need for humility to accept His mercy and be renewed by Him, but another thing altogether that I am willing to repent and by God's grace change my life.

Don't get me wrong, I know the Pope is Catholic and that he knows repentance on the part of the sinner, which of course is made possible only by God's grace, is necessary for forgiveness.

I also know that many people who come to Christ at Mass and come to Holy Communion have no intention of changing their sinful lifestyles because they either don't think it is sinful or they simply have given up trying to change and thus justify their behavior and their receiving Holy Communion. Others don't think Christ cares that they are unrepentant sinners.

What about that and is Pope Francis confirming this attitude?

Sunday, August 25, 2013


The following is the Latin Opening Collect for today's Mass which has been in our revised Ordinary Form Missal since 1973 and unchanged all these years:

Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis, da populis tuis id amare quod praecipis, id desiderare quod promittis, ut, inter mundanas varietates, ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia.

The following is the former Opening Collect (Prayer) for this Sunday's Mass, a loose equivalent translation into English of the Latin prayer above for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time from the 1973 Roman Missal. The last time we heard this was two years ago:

Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart.

It is quite fitting for the prayer above to be associated with this kind of church interior architecture:

This is the revision of this prayer using the more literal method of translating the original Latin into English which we heard for the first time last year and will also pray today (21st Sunday in Ordinary Time):

O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.

The renovation of this English translation of the original Latin fits quite well with the renovation of the same Church above into this:

In other words, this is to the old English translation of the Mass:

To what this is to the new and glorious English translation of the Mass done right:

But the most dramatic example of how the dumbed down equivalent translation of the Mass from Latin into English fits in well with the most dumbed down Catholic sanctuary that was most common in the 1970's is this before photo:

But in anticipation of and because of the new glorious Literal English translation of the Roman Mass, the Church was renovated to reflect the actual theology of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which was always present in the Latin version of it, but made clear in the new and glorious translation that we now experience by the grace of God and because of Pope John Paul II and his good buddy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and also by God's grace. For without them, we would have had an even worse revised English translation of the Mass that would be better suited to the immediate photo above rather than the reformed sanctuary below, which is the photo of the after the renovation of the same church, believe it or not:

MY FINAL COMMENT: We can see in pictures worth a thousand words that the law of prayer is the law of belief.

The dumbed down English translation of the Mass and its corresponding sanctuary design leads to the Pelagian/gnostic heresies revival and the new and glorious English translation of the same Mass and its corresponding sanctuary design leads to the orthodox/orthopraxy revival. So this really is about heterodoxy and orthodoxy, heteropraxis and orthopraxis isn't it?

Thank God for giving us Pope John Paul II, and the good triplets, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his other good triplet, Pope Benedict the XVI and his other good triplet, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Because of the restrictions placed against the Friars of the Immaculate concerning their liberal use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, many people believed that Pope Francis would ultimately do away with the liberal allowance of this Mass in parishes. He really doesn't have to do that, because most priests who are opposed to the EF Mass won't allow it anyway. But I digress.

Father Z at WDTPRS, suggests that the Holy Father is fearful of two things in regards to this particular community:

"Also, a reliable source passed along to me (and I don’t have a way to verify this from a second source, so … take it as it is), that the restrictions on the use of the Usus Antiquior, established by the Congregation’s decree, were desired by Pope Francis to assure that:

1) there is no compulsion to use the Usus Antiquior;
2) this choice of the Usus Antiquior is not motivated by an ideological rejection of the Novus Ordo.

The Pope’s moves were not motivated by any animus against the Usus Antiquior. He is not against Benedict XVI’s legislation. Francis desires, once the above-mentioned conditions are verified, that permissions be granted to the friars who request to use also the Usus Antiquior. These points were made by the Holy Father to “a high-ranking Prelate in a recent personal conversation.”

Already, individual priests are being granted permission to celebrate the EF Mass regularly.

But keep in mind, there are some priests in parishes who are zealously foisting this form of the Mass on the laity because some of them do object to the Novus Ordo. This has caused great division in some parishes.

But it is good to know that the Holy Father isn't opposed to the EF Mass in principle but that he doesn't want it foisted on any one and we can only hope he will support those who do desire it as long as they don't reject the Ordinary Form of the Mass in this desire.

Perhaps Pope Francis is also on the same page of some future new missal that is more EF in ethos while preserving the best of what the OF now offers. Time will tell. The Church works in centuries.


Exactly 60 years ago I was preparing for my Italian debut, not in Rome but in Naples, Italy. You see, I was in my mother's womb preparing for my birth on December 21st 1953. Today some almost 60 years later, I am in the womb stages of preparing for my debut not in Naples, but in Rome as I prepare for my Roman Holiday, I mean, sabbatical just around the corner in September. I return to the parish in early December! Unlike my actual birthday where I was full term at the time of my birth and 10 pounds, I will be premature in arriving in Rome this time and well, let's just say a tad bit over 200 pounds.


Communion by intinction standing:

Communion by kneeling:

Let me make a disclaimer. As many of you know, I went to St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore between 1976 and 1980. It was a time of great upheaval in seminary training and St. Mary's was at the forefront of deconstructing a very strict, monastic model of seminary in favor of a university setting where there was much freedom.

The Liturgy of the Church in the seminary's main chapel was decidedly "low church" but done, for the most part, but not always, with great dignity. But things were definitely stripped down. The old high altar under the magnificent baldachin had been stripped of candelabra and tabernacle. A portable altar placed in different locations, usually in the aisle of the chapel confronting a movable ambo so as to make both look equal in dignity were used. Vestments were stark and without ornamentation. There was one candle at the ambo and one at the altar and no crucifix on the altar although the large crucifix over the former high altar remained.

The seminarian acolytes did not vest, using rather dressy clothes, but not clerical as no clerics were allowed for the seminarians. In fact we dressed casually for class, usually shorts and flip flops. We did get a bit of a dress code for the main floor when someone wore bib overhauls without a shirt to class. That seem to be the straw that broke someone's back. And yes we smoked in class as we studied Sacred Scripture and Tradition. At that time, I was a chain smoker.

But back to my point. The liturgy was low, there were many experimentations with the Mass but it was done well basically in its own styles. We had an eclectic kind of liturgical music, folk, contemporary and traditional. But there was no such thing as a chanted official introit, or offertory and communion antiphons. These were never chanted and to be honest I didn't know these existed to be chanted. We were led to believe these were passe and that we shouldn't even speak the entrance chant that is printed in the missalette or the Roman Missal.

In the parishes I've been in, we have tried to celebrate the Ordinary Form Mass with dignity and in an EF sort of way, while still maintaining what is allowed, really required for the Ordinary Mass, such as lay lectors and active singing and speaking of the parts of the Mass by the congregation to assist in a fuller actual participation or engagement in the liturgy.

But so many parishes celebrate the Mass in casual ways, or entertainment ways or without much thought to the choreography of the lectors and altar servers and the like. Vestments are sloppy, albs and cassocks and surplices are wrinkled and old. The music is abysmal and sung at the people with people at the front acting like they are on Ed Sullivan. (I know many of you don't know who he is; so lets just say like "America's Got Talent.")

There is a phobia amongst some who think the OF Mass should not be celebrated in an EF sort of way. But if we did, still allowing for all that is allowed for the OF Mass, it would greatly impact upon the reverence due the Mass and the Real Presence of Christ.

My suggestions:

1. Move the choir and cantor to the choir loft. Don't have someone leading the music from the sanctuary and don't have any rehearsals in the Church. For example, we started using a new set of music for the Kyrie, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Agnus Dei this summer. I told the congregation where they could find this setting in our hymnal and that when they felt comfortable they could start joining the cantor or choir in singing and that by the end of the summer everyone would be familiar with it and sing it well. I was clairvoyant because we are nearing the end of the summer and everyone is singing it without the hymnal in front of them and singing it well!

2. Get a good, traditional hard back hymnal and keep it until it falls apart and stick to what is in it for the congregational hymns--this alone will build a repertoire that the congregation knows.

3. Have nice vestments, albs, cassocks and surplices that are clean and ironed.

4. Work at choreographing the Mass with lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and most importantly altar servers. Make sure the altar servers know what to do, do it gracefully and feel comfortable doing it. If they do they will stay until they graduate high school and some will stay even longer!

5. Sing the propers.

6. Use incense every Sunday at the principle liturgy.

7. Chant as much of the Mass as possible, to include the Lord's Prayer and its doxology.

8. Be as reverent as possible in handling the sacred, always genuflect to the tabernacle containing the Most Blessed Sacrament and never act casually in the church even outside of Mass but certainly not during.

9. Pray all prayers even if toward the congregation in an ad orientem sort of way and have ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist for at least one Sunday Mass.

10. Allow the option of kneeling for Holy Communion, if the communicant so desires, by having a kneeler in front of the Communion stations.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Pope Francis, like Saint Pope Pius X, criticizes more in depth the Gnostics (modernists) of the Church than the so-called Pelagians, ultra-traditionalists. Post Modern Catholicism is in for a purification under this Pope Pius X kind of pope in the Holy Father Francis!

The National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) features an editorial by the former priest turned psychologist who certainly by now must be in late retirement, who gushes at what he perceives to be Pope Francis' broadside of the Pelagians, (Catholic right-wingers)as the pope describes them, when in fact the pope really broadsides the Gnostics, post-Catholicism born of the enlightenment. You can read the full editorial HERE.

But here is an excerpt:

Just when Pope Benedict XVI had reassured traditionalist Catholics that his reform of the reform would overturn the Second Vatican Council and make it safe for them to stay out of the sanctuary and yield it to the clerical culture cardholders who, backs turned to the faithful, could make the Mass mysterious again by mumbling it in Latin, along comes Pope Francis who, to traditionalists' horror and discomfort, is recalling the church to Vatican II and emphasizing its themes.

My Comments: The Former Father Kennedy, who left the priesthood in the heady days after the Second Vatican Council thinking it was all over for celibacy and chastity, is really deceitful in his commentary as the Holy Father has never criticized those Catholics who have a powerful Marian devotion, acknowledge the smoke of Satan in the Church and that as a real entity, the devil prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls. The Holy Father has never singled out for criticism those Catholics who are faithful to the pope and the Magisterium to include this new Pope's Magisterium and the bishops in union with him. This Pope's themes have consistently been about fidelity, fidelity, fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and the Pope as the Supreme legislator and his call to Marian devotion and fear of the devil.

Is there one word about the core of Pope Francis' Magisterium from the good, former priest, Kennedy in his broadside of a rather small group of traditionalists in the Church, the SSPX and its off-shoots which he seems to want to include Archbishop Chaput, who is far from that category? What does the Former Father Kennedy fear and why is he setting up straw men in this regard?

Yes, there are some traditionalists who don't like how the pope dresses or his liturgical style in this regard. He is, as he himself has stated, more emancipated liturgically than his excellent Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini.

But when it comes to calling Catholics to fidelity, fidelity, fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, a powerful Marian devotion and rediscovering other devotions (popular piety) as well as acknowleging the reality of the devil in the world and unfortunately in the Church, this pope has no recent equals, not even the Emeritus!

In this regard, Pope Francis is like Saint Pope Pius X whom the Church just celebrated on August 21. This great saint-pope (and there aren't too many popes who are saints) condemned Moderism in the CAtholic Church which was born of the Enlightenment. Isn't this exactly what Pope Francis is doing and isn't Pope Francis in many ways more like Pope Pius X than Saint Francis of Assisi?

Zenit has an article of Saint Pope Pius X comparing him to Pope Francis. You can read the entire article which includes a link to the Encyclicals of Pope Pius X also by pressing HERE.

Here are some excerpts:

Commemorating the anniversary, L’Osservatore Romano this week paid tribute to his life with text and pictures. One reflection proposed some similarities between him and Pope Francis. It noted Pius' disdain for ecclesiastical triumphalism, his sober and modest style, and it claimed that, like Francis, he had a “more pastoral than magisterial interpretation of the role of Peter.” It recalled how Pius XII paid tribute to him at his canonization, describing him as a “country priest” – a label also given to Pope Francis.

[Pope Pius encyclical] Pascendi Dominici Gregis has many striking passages, not least his solemn warning that modernists wish to “lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires.” Then, having struck at this root of immortality, he adds, “they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.” He stresses that agnosticism is the movement’s “philosophical foundation”, and one whose natural end is relativism and atheism.

Three years later, in 1910, St. Pius required all priests, religious superiors and seminary teachers to take an oath against the modernist heresy, a requirement that Pope Paul VI abolished in 1967.

Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be,” Pius X explains, adding that although Jesus was “kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared.”

“He loved them all,” Pius says, “but He instructed in order to comfort them.”

Jesus, he continues, “was as strong as he was gentle” and “He reproved, threatened, chastised.” He lifted up the lowly, but “not to instil” rebelliousness and disobedience. Jesus did not announce a “reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished,” Pius adds. “He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven, the royal way of the Cross.”

Such teachings are “eminently social” he says, and show Jesus Christ as someone “quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.”

St. Pius X doesn’t hold back from reprimanding Catholics who seek to establish “the reign of love and justice” on earth based solely on the uniting influence of a “generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can.”

He reminds them that establishing the “Christian City” needs much more than a “vague idealism and civic virtues”, and instead requires “the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man.”

Presciently, St. Pius says he fears worse is to come. “The end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish,” he says. Instead it will “be a religion [more] universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men to become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God", "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."”

With this in mind, Pius X encourages the bishops to “carry on diligently with the work of the Saviour of men by emulating His gentleness and His strength.” He urges them to “preach fearlessly their duties to the powerful and to the lowly” and to “form the conscience of the people and of the public authorities.” He further calls on the bishops to “ take appropriate measures, with prudence but with firmness also” with regards the Sillonists, and ends by calling on the Church to pray that the Lord may cause them to understand the “grave reasons” for any particular sanction placed on them.

Pius X was a prolific writer during his 11 years as Pope, penning 16 encyclicals all of which can be read in English on the Vatican Web site here. While some passages are clearly suited to another era, for many Catholics St. Pius X’s uncompromising style makes welcome reading in a world where the modernist heresy has long taken hold.

MY FINAL COMMENT: The neo-schismatics of the Church such as the Former Father Kennedy and those who support the drivel of the National Chismatic Reporter are in gross denial about the sentiments of Pope Francis and his affinity for Saint Pope Pius X and his condemnation of the Gnosticism of his era, Modernism in the Catholic Church.

Faithful Catholics who love the Church and her Magisterium and understand the need for fidelity and not some sort of loyal opposition or dissent either in the Pelagian way or God-forbid in the worst way possible, the Gnostic way, know that Pope Francis in continuity with his predecessors will guide the Church in a way that is faithful to God, not to man.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The unvarnished truth is that fewer people are coming to the sacraments simply because the overwhelming majority of our sacred hierarchs, from the 1960’s on forward, have ingested every limp-wristed, weak-kneed, kumbaya-style ambiguity the conciliar text has to offer, only to regurgitate them back to the souls in their care at every opportunity like pelicans feeding their young.

Along the way, an entire generation or more has come of age having been nurtured on little more than the fast food of modernism by pastors who have utterly ceased to proclaim the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church as the solitary means of salvation, and therefore the paramount importance of the sacraments that the Lord has entrusted to her.

All of this being the case, is it any wonder that the Catholic Church in our day is in the throes of a full-scale institutional collapse?

You can read the rest of "The Catholic Institutional Collapse" with more vague language from an Italian who knows how to do it, Louie Verrecchio at his blog by pressing HERE. I just wish he would write what he means and not beat around the bush!