Friday, January 31, 2014


A great video that I saw at NLM and it showcases what the iconoclasm of the 60's did to the building and the liturgy and the recovery of tradition and in a marvelous way:


Pope Francis: Doctrine is not abstract but must serve the people of God

Pope Francis on Friday addressed participants at the Plenary meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying their task is to ensure that people receive the faith in its purity and its entirety.

Susy Hodges reports on his address:

Quoting from his Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis said right from the earliest times of the Church there has been a temptation to consider the doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a series of abstract and crystallized theories. But in reality, he said, the doctrine’s sole role is to serve the life of God’s people and is meant to ensure a solid foundation to our faith. There is a great temptation, he continued, to take control of the gifts of salvation that come from God to domesticate them, maybe even with good intentions, according to the views and spirit of the world.

However, safeguarding the integrity of the faith, the Pope went on to say, is a very delicate mission entrusted to them, always in collaboration with local Pastors and with the Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences. It serves to safeguard the right of all the people of God to receive the depository of the faith in its purity and entirety. In their work, he said, there is always a need to maintain a constructive, respectful and patient dialogue with the other parties and show charity and fraternal help.

The Pope concluded his address by thanking the participants for their work in handling serious crimes, especially cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He urged them to think of the wellbeing of children and young people, saying they should always be protected and sustained in their human and spiritual growth. The Pope said in this regard they are studying a possible link between the work and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the special Commission for safeguarding children which he has set up and which is intended to be an example for all those wishing to promote the wellbeing of the young.

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website



This story is on my Yahoo Search Engine this morning (keep in mind there was no story yesterday on Yahoo about Pope Francis chastising Notre Dame for its shame and calling them and all Catholics to fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, her doctrines and moral teachings! No story whatsoever!)

But this stupid story is on Yahoo with ABC News logo and from AP and I wonder why. Do they really think that the pope blessing the pet parrot of a male stripper who is also a porn star but also married with children means that Pope Francis supports his lifestyle and knew what the owner of this bird actually does in his life? How many sinners are in Saint Peter's Square and our churches at any given time? I suspect about every person there!

This is what the liberal press is doing and under the influence of Satan, trying to make Pope Francis look like the anti-Christ or an anti-Pope. Why? to cause confusion and distrust of the pope in rank and file orthodox Catholics and they do so gleefully. Strike the shepherd and scatter the sheep, this is the mission of the devil! The press did it to Pope Benedict in a not so veiled way, but they are also doing it to Pope Francis but in the darkest, most covert way possible.

Pope Francis Gladly Blesses Parrot Belonging to Male Stripper

By Anthony Castellano
Jan 30, 2014 9:56pm
ap Francis Bird ac 140130 16x9 608 Pope Francis Gladly Blesses Parrot Belonging to Male Stripper
L'Osservatore Romano/AP Photo
Pope Francishas dined with homeless people, made the cover of Time and Rolling Stone and now has blessed a parrot belonging to a male stripper.

The parrot, named Amore, was initially passed up by Pope Francis as he rode around in the popemobile during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday. Eventually, Francis went back to bless the bird and hold it on his finger.
The bird’s owner was identified as Francesco Lombardi, and according to ANSA, he’s a former male stripper turned erotic film actor.

“It was fun,” Lombardi told ANSA after meeting the pope. “A sort of mixing of the holy and the profane.”

Lombardi said Amore parroted back “Papa,” which the crowd was chanting at Pope Francis.
Lombardi, who has also been the head of the town council of Trezzano, near Milan, told ANSA that he attended the pope’s general audience with his wife and two daughters.

Pope Francis’ bird blessing comes days after two white doves released by children standing next to him were attacked by a crow and seagull in St. Peter’s Square as tens of thousands of people watched.

With a few feathers lost, the doves managed to break free and fly away, though it’s unclear what happened to them.


Yes, Pope Francis is a populist. Yes, Pope Francis has never worked in the Vatican, has never been a worldwide celebrity and has never been pope except now for about eleven months.

Yes, Pope Francis has a pastor's heart and wears it on his sleeves. Yes, Pope Francis is a Jesuit with a vow of poverty and yes, Pope Francis as a Jesuit took the name of the first Franciscan, St. Francis of Assisi. And Yes, just as Pope Benedict took the name Benedict for symbolic reasons concerning the liturgy, Pope Francis took the name Francis for symbolic reasons concerning reform and simplicity.

Yes, Pope Francis has been given a mandate by the cardinals that elected him to reform the governance of the Church and to reform the clergy and the religious and the laity. And yes Pope Francis has been given a mandate by the cardinals to reform the Vatican, its bank, its diplomacy and its rank and file workers and to rid the Vatican of corruption and careerism.

Yes, Pope Francis has already excommunicated and/or laicized a couple of dissenting priests and certainly approved of the dismissal of one of his Jesuit brother-priests from the Jesuit Order.

Yes, Pope Francis has called Notre Dame University to accountability for its slide into secularism and its idol worship of the current POTUS. In fact this is the sober analysis of the very sober Whispers in the Loggia's blogger, Rocco Palma has to say about the Holy Father's words to priest-head of Notre Dame (the one who could hardly contain his starstruck gaze on President Obama which his university honored much to the chagrin and alarm of his local bishop):

"Over time, the propagated notion of a Pope bent on "changing" those aspects of church teaching that conflict with secularized Western society has aroused increasing concern among Francis' team, spurring a new strategy of increasingly explicit rebuttals. The latest example came just yesterday amid the cover piece for the forthcoming Rolling Stone – the first-ever papal fronting on the iconic magazine – which included a sidebar on "10 conservatives who have gone liberal" and was promptly rapped by the VatiSpox, Fr Federico Lombardi, as having "disqualified itself" by "falling in the usual mistake of a superficial journalism."

Today, the clarification of substance fell to Francis himself, during a mostly effusive hourlong meeting with a group from the University of Notre Dame, in Rome for the opening of the Golden Dome's new base in the city, and the winter meeting of its board of trustees"

My Final Comments: While the Holy Father's imprecise words or words that could be interpreted in a variety ways is causing some confusion amongst traditionalists, some joy amongst some progressives and some euphoric manipulation by secularists with a secularist agenda to promote, the Church and the papacy are front and center on the world stage today. And all the news is not dour or pessimistic or critical, but one of great interest and intrique. I suspect the Holy Spirit might be behind all this.

And don't the Sacred Scriptures and the very words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel cause the same sort of reaction amongst the various diverse groups of people in the world as some of the words of Pope Francis. Is Pope Francis Christ-like in confounding people?

Despite this, though, one thing is perfectly clear: Pope Francis is a son of the Church and he has proven it time and time again as I repeat it time and time again:

1. He calls every Catholic to fidelity to the Deposit of Faith (a term that drives progressives wildly crazy).

2. He calls for fidelity to the pope and the bishops in union with him, the Magisterium (another thing that drives progressives wildly crazy).

3. He is reviving the pre-Vatican II culture of popular devotions and sees these as the best vehicle of inculturation of the faith (which drives progressives wildly crazy).

4. He is bringing pre-Vatican II popular devotions' piety into the Mass, especially as it concerns veneration of the The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, which I personally witnessed twice a humongous papal Masses in St. Peter's Square at the Mass consecrating the world to Mary and the Mass for the Close of the Holy Year of Faith where Pope Francis held the bones of Saint Peter as He prayed the Credo! This is like a pre-Vatican II Catholic holding Rosary Beads during Mass (which drives progressives wildly crazy). 

5. He has preached time and time again about the devil (which drives progressives wildly crazy).

6. He celebrates the Mass by saying the black and doing the red and has done so in a sober, sudued "ad orientem sort of way" when facing the congregation but has also celebrated the Mass in a strictly ad orientem way twice now, as far as we know and have seen for ourselves (which drives progressives wildly crazy).

7. He has maintained the pre-Vatican II altar arrangement and has celebrated the OF Mass completely in Latin several times (which drives progressives wildly crazy)

8. And I predict he will celebrate an EF Mass before its all said and done (which will drive progressives wildly crazy and off the cliff like pigs possessed).

Thursday, January 30, 2014


MY COMMENT FIRST: I have said time and again, that Pope Francis demands fidelity to the Magisterium and pastors of the Church and has done so time and time again! While he is pastorally progressive, he is orthodox when it come to the Deposit of Faith and the moral teachings of the Church. Notre Dame has tended toward appeasement with secularism and heterodoxy as it concerns the Deposit of Faith, the Church's religious freedom in the USA and moral issues surrounding sexual ethics including contraception and abortion!  

Notre Dame's Shame! and Pope Francis' rebuke!

In my recent Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel, I stressed the missionary dimension of Christian discipleship, which needs to be evident in the lives of individuals and in the workings of each of the Church’s institutions. This commitment to “missionary discipleship” ought to be reflected in a special way in Catholic universities (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 132-134), which by their very nature are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life. Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness. And this is important: its identity, as it was intended from the beginning. To defend it, to preserve it and to advance it!
January 30, 2014

UPDATE: What the Holy Father said above to Notre Dame, the Holy Father said in a different way at his morning Mass at the chapel of his place of residence, the Vatican Motel 6:

The Pope said the first fruit of our Baptism is to make us a part of the Church, a member of the people of God. Recalling the words of Pope Paul VI, he said it’s absurd to claim that we love Christ without the Church, that we listen to Christ but not the Church, that we are with Christ but on the margins of the Church. The Gospel message, Pope Francis said, comes to us through the Church and our path to holiness must be found within the Church.

Speaking of the three pillars which underpin our sense of belonging to the Church, the Pope said the first is humility and the realization that the story of salvation does not start or end with us. A person who is not humble, he said, cannot feel with the Church but only feels what he or she desires. Instead, humility helps us understand that we are just a small part of the great people of God, that is following the way of the Lord.

The second pillar, Pope Francis said, is faithfulness to the teachings and doctrine of the Church. Quoting again from his predecessor Paul VI, he said we receive the Gospel as a gift and we must pass that gift on to others in faithfulness, rather than seeing it as something that belongs to us.

Thirdly, the Pope said, we must remember to pray with and for the Church in all parts of the world. Do we really pray for the Church, he asked, not just at daily Mass but also when we are at home? May the Lord help us, he concluded, to follow this path, to deepen our sense of belonging and feeling with the Church.

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website


A disclaimer before anyone becomes hysterical, this is tongue in cheek or irony for those who don't get it at first scan!

Atlanta's half inch snowpocalypse!

Now Atlanta, Georgia is blaming the weatherman for not telling them that they were going to get an inch and a half of snow and thus the pandemonium, hysteria, and lack of snow driving skills, once the inch or so of snow came would occur as true southerners who run the city don't know how to handle even one ice particle or snowflake, so all true southerners go into blizzardmonium and snowsteria as a part of their survival skills in the south where there is no skill with snowflakes or ice particles. Evidently northern Yankees in Atlanta did not know that they need to be inculturated in this survival mode even if the weather is 70 degrees when the predictions are made of a snowflake or ice particle.

Given the fact that Atlanta now is 5 million plus in population and the 9th largest city in the country, you would have thunk that they would have had their snow plans in place in a city that infrequently experiences it, yet more than those of us south of the airport!

And therein lies the problem. Atlanta is no longer a southern city. It has carpetbaggers galore and the Yankees by now who have overrun this once beautiful southern belle just don't get it.

In the true south, when there is a hint of a snow flake or an ice particle falling from the heavens, true southerners go into blizzardmonium and snowsteria! True southern towns, such as Macon and Augusta, when they heard that a snow flake was coming on the weather channel on Monday, despite the fact that yours truly who happened to be at his mother's townhome in Augusta, with temperatures nearing 70 degrees and both front and back doors open to get fresh and refreshing warm air into the town home, knew that they had to act and act quickly. So that by mid morning on Monday, everything from schools to jobs was canceled for Tuesday! And then canceled for Wednesday. And guess what folks, despite the fact the roads are now clear, school, public and private is canceled for today (Thursday!).

Macon and Augusta have acted in true southern fashion when the hint of a snowflake or an ice particle cascading from the heavens is even a remote possiblity. We shut everything down and days before and warn everyone to stock up and be safe!

Atlanta? Well that is a sad story. Did they cancel school on Monday, for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? No! Those damn Yankees thought they could cope with an inch of snow and so they ignored the fact that even the prediction of snow should have caused them to remain home, after having emptied the grocery and home goods stores, for the duration. This means of course closing schools and businesses even before the bad weather comes and even if it is 70 degrees outside!



MONEY QUOTE FROM HIS HOLINESS, POPE BENEDICT XVI:  The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society.  But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life. (My comment: Those who have done so are the true "schismatics" yet to be called to true accountability by an act of excommunication that leads to true reconciliation.)

I had forgotten about this letter that Pope Benedict personally penned when outrage was heaped upon him by those who favor ecumenism with those who are very far from us but despise taking steps to heal a possible schism in the Church by reaching out to an ultra-traditionalist movement whose illicitly ordained bishops had been excommunicated. Pope Benedict had lifted that excommunication and the progressives in the Church were in alarm mode because of this and Pope Benedict's benevolence in allowing the liberal use of the 1962 Roman Missal. 

One can read a bit of alarm, in terms of the pope's words, in this letter because of the outrage from the some in the College of Bishops. At the same time, the Holy Father remains steadfast in his decisions. He writes with great precision and clarity. He also sheds some light on what is a schismatic act and what is an actual schism.

Through it all, Pope Benedict's heroic overture to this group, despite the outrage that it evoked from quite a few in the College of Bishops, was rebuffed by the very group that Pope Benedict had extended an olive branch. It is quite a sad tale.

It also gives us some insights into why the College of Cardinals elected who they elected and the new style and emphasis of the current papacy. Certainly and in the highest places, there was great displeasure with the direction of the previous papacy and the style it had assumed. And this also a part of the ongoing sad tale for the still living Pope Emeritus!

concerning the remission of the excommunication
of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre

Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!

The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.

An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.
(MY COMMENT: THIS PARAGRAPH CLARIFIES WHAT IS A SCHISMATIC ACT NEEDING SOME KIND OF REMEDY, THAT OF EXCOMMUNICATION, AND WHAT IS ACTUALLY SCHISM, WHICH THE EXCOMMUNICATION IS TRYING TO AVOID): Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment – excommunication – with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level.  
The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

In light of this situation, it is my intention henceforth to join the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" – the body which has been competent since 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of Saint Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Pope – to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes. The collegial bodies with which the Congregation studies questions which arise (especially the ordinary Wednesday meeting of Cardinals and the annual or biennial Plenary Session) ensure the involvement of the Prefects of the different Roman Congregations and representatives from the world’s Bishops in the process of decision-making. The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society.  
But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.
I hope, dear Brothers, that this serves to clarify the positive significance and also the limits of the provision of 21 January 2009. But the question still remains: Was this measure needed? Was it really a priority? Aren’t other things perhaps more important? Of course there are more important and urgent matters. I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: "You… strengthen your brothers" (Lk 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: "Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15). In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses "to the end" (cf. Jn 13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love "to the end" has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church’s real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But 
I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who "has something against you" (cf. Mt 5:23ff.) and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents – to the extent possible – in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this "biting and devouring" also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love? The day I spoke about this at the Major Seminary, the feast of Our Lady of Trust was being celebrated in Rome. And so it is: Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to her Son, in whom all of us can put our trust. He will be our guide – even in turbulent times. And so I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the many Bishops who have lately offered me touching tokens of trust and affection, and above all assured me of their prayers. My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May the Lord protect all of us and guide our steps along the way of peace. This is the prayer that rises up instinctively from my heart at the beginning of this Lent, a liturgical season particularly suited to interior purification, one which invites all of us to look with renewed hope to the light which awaits us at Easter.

With a special Apostolic Blessing, I remain
Yours in the Lord,


From the Vatican, 10 March 2009

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Photos from the Macon Telegraph, WOODY MARSHALL — Buy Photo

Read more here:



Yes, the New Evangelization means reaching into places where no Catholic has evangelized before. And maybe Pope Francis making the cover of Rolling Stone will have a positive effect on the secularists, agnostics, atheists and anti-Catholic people who read and write for it. But my clairvoyance says MAYBE NOT!

Does Pope Francis really want to be associated with what is written about his immediate and  still living predecessor, Pope Benedict in comparing the two popes?

Surprising desk clerks at the hotel where he'd been staying during the papal conclave by showing up to pay his own bill; panicking bodyguards by swigging from a cup of maté (the highly caffeinated tealike beverage popular throughout South America) handed to him by a stranger during a visit to Brazil; cracking up cardinals with jokes at his own expense hours after being elected (to those assembled at his first official dinner as pope, he deadpanned, "May God forgive you for what you've done").

After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis' basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being "obsessed" with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion ("Who am I to judge?" Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss' son.



February 2nd, no matter what day it is, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Candlemas.

The reason for the name Candlemas is that candles are blessed on this day as a prelude to the actual Mass (kind of what the blessing and sprinkling of Holy Water is in the the 1962 Missal.)

Of course, our parish is quite ready for this Sunday. At each and every Sunday Mass including our Saturday Vigil as well as our first of the month Extraordinary Form Mass (and thus the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) we will pass out candles prior to Mass, then at the time Mass is to begin, everyone's candle will be lighted, all will be instructed to turn toward the entrance of the Church and the priest will bless these candles using the formula in the Roman Missal.

In the EF 2 PM Mass, the candles are at the epistle side of the altar and are blessed in a basket unlighted and then distributed to all.


Pandemonium in Macon last night and today with a blizzard of historic proportions!
And this picture from the Macon Telegraph, taken in front of St. Joseph but out of sight to the immediate right of the photo:

We had a blizzard last night! At least two inches of snow on the ground this morning. Macon is paralyzed not just in anticipation of such an event, but because of the actual blizzard last night.
Pictures to follow when daylight comes!

...and I in my cap,
Had just settled [my] brain for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
[but a blizzard in Macon so dear!] 

some photos I took just about an hour ago:


On some other blog, and ever since we received from God, through the human actors of Holy Mother Church's processes, the new, accurate, melodic and gloriously literal re-translation of the Latin Mass into English, there has been whining and whining and whining to the point of obsession and useless repetition of the whine. Some want to go to another translation and others to the old English translation and of course adolescent authority issues and unresolved childhood parental issues abound in those who fixate on the Church's liturgy and that they can't have it their way. One wonders if they aren't spoiled brats.

But let's face it liturgists are terrorists, no excuse me, let me say that right as the old joke goes, the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist!

When I was Director of Liturgy for our diocese and for only six years (and at the same time Vocation Director and at the same time the Bishop's master of ceremonies and of course at the same time the associate pastor (rector) of the Cathedral in Savannah), I went to one and only one National Conference for Diocesan Liturgists. I found it altogether too much and focused on control and telling those bishops who was really in charge and coming up with all kinds of actions items that would set those bishops straight. It was too much to take, so I never went back again!

I loved, though, the national conventions for vocation directors who understood their service as not one of control and manipulation but of service. I always went to those in the 13 years I was vocation director.

But I digress. What does my clairvoyance tell me about the liturgy under Pope Francis, whose priorities lie in service to the poor in the periphery and not in liturgy. He's very austere in his liturgical celebrations and I don't see too much talk about liturgy from His Holiness other than he likes austerity, simplicity and celebrating the Mass as it is prescribed.

There is no proclamation voice as he knows that as the main celebrant and thus an "actor" in the liturgy his role is of service not of overpowering the liturgy and pointing to himself and his skills in a narcissistic way. Rather, he says the black and reads the red and he is consistent in doing so. He speaks in soft, reverent tones and everyone knows that when he prays, he prays the prayers to God, never gesturing to the laity either physically or in voice inflections and eye contact. He prays the Mass facing the congregation in an ad orientem sort of way. He doesn't proclaim his prayers in a Gettysburg sort of showoff way, thus showing off his acting skills, but rather prays these prayers in a devotional, spiritual way so as not to make the congregation think he is acting, although he is an actor in the liturgy.

But with that said,  I predict that the English Mass as we currently have it will have only minor, minor, revisions to enhance its current elegant, literal texts in any subsequent revisions. Minor revisions occurred with the previous translation as new missals were issued in the last 40 years, nothing major, just minor tweaking until the glorious grand tweak of a new translation three years ago.


I predict that Pope Francis will celebrate a Low Extraordinary Form Mass somewhere in the existential periphery and it will be with the Franciscan of the Immaculate! (You read it here first!)

I predict that with Pope Francis' approval or authorization, similar to his authorization for the new Anglican Use Roman Missal, that the appendix of our post-Vatican II Missal will allow for the following now gloriously allowed to our Anglican Use Roman Catholics albeit unfair just for these Johnny-come-lately's and not for us cradle Latin Rite Catholics, but I digress:

--Prayers at the Foot of the altar
--Revised Order of the Introductory Rite when PATFOTA are used
--The 1962's Missal's Offertory Prayers to include the infusion of blessed water and the Lavabo
--The clear options of ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion
--The Last Gospel
--The Revision of the Roman Calendar to correspond to the Anglican Use Roman Calendar

Yesterday, when it was about to blizzard outside here in Macon and mass hysteria and pandemonium had broken out the day before in near 70 degree weather, I only had three people in attendance at our Tuesday EF Low Mass and one of those was the altar server.

I didn't expect anyone to come actually so I decided rather than celebrated the EF Low Mass that I would celebrate the OF Latin Mass (I have the OF Latin Mass Missal) in an EF sort of way.  So I did so completely ad orientem, except for the Liturgy of the Word which was in English in the normal OF way at the Ambo (I omitted the Universal Prayer, as this is permitted as well as the Sign of Peace).

If the options above that my clairvoyance tells me will eventually become actual options in the OF Roman Missal's Appendix could have been used at yesterday's OF Latin Mass celebrated in an EF sort of way, no one would have known the difference between the 2002 Latin Roman Missal and the 1962 Roman Missal.

Only the discerning liturgist in the Congregation would have detected that this Mass was an OF Mass in Latin by the Liturgy of the Word (which could still have the Gradual rather than the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia) and the Rite of Holy Communion with the streamlining of the Prayers after the Pater Noster, the elimination of the dual communion rites for priest and congregation and the elimnation of the three-fold "Domine Non Sum Dignus(es)" although that could easily remain as a option!

Do you think my clairvoyance actually sees into the future or maybe not, that it opens new doors, breaks through windows and goes to new dimensions? Twilight Zone music please!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Yesterday, when it was still about 70 degrees outside in both Macon and Augusta, all public and private schools were closed for today and Wednesday because someone forecasted snow flurries!

Well it is now 2:25 PM and guess what, no snow! And the roads are dry! And guess what, the kids at my Catholic school could have been in school today!!!!!!

Do you think we overreact to bad weather here in the south? Yes!

But I do remember 1973 in both Macon and Augusta and I think it was in February when we actually had a blizzard and got more than 13 inches of snow!  But the kids went to school that morning and by midday, when it looked like the snow would stick, they went home early! O, for the good ole days!


MY COMMENTS FIRST: Anyone my age and older knows full well that what happened after Vatican II in the late 1960's and well into the 90's from that point, created such confusion, dissension and outright rebellion that the Church has yet to recover. 

But more pernicious is the fact that many Catholics formed in the drug-like induced euphoria of the "coloring book era" of the post-Vatican II era and who remained in the Church practicing frequently or infrequently actually believe the Catholic "lite" they were taught and to boot, they think that the Church actually changed the substance of her teachings in the areas of faith and morality, what is called the "Deposit of Faith." They think it is perfectly fine to approach the Catholic Faith with a subjective mentality and to pick and choose what they will accept and won't. 

Those progressives in the Church when confronted with empirical evidence about the terrible declines in the Church since Vatican II glibly say that things would have been worse with no change. 

I say, bunk! If we had actually implemented Vatican II by the letter rather than some made up spirit of Vatican II things today would be 100% better! And if the older 1962 Missal could have been allowed along side the newer one, things would have been 100% better and if the priesthood and religious life did not depart from a sound renewal shortly after Vatican II and make religious life ugly and completely irrelevant things would be 100% better today.

I'd say if there had been no change, no Vatican II, in lieu of what could have been with the proper implementation of Vatican II, things would be 100% better today compared to the silly "spirit" of Vatican II that continues to rear its ugly head.

But things are that are and most of us are realists. There is no going back prior to Vatican II. There is no going back to the actual Vatican II documents and actually implementing them as these are written.  The major problem is when those in leadership in the Church see the empirical data of the decline and then shrug their shoulders in resign and do nothing or keep doing the same things that have caused this dramatic slide thinking that what was done isn't responsible for what has happened! That's insanity! I know this, because a real genius has said so!

This is from:

Traditional Catholic Priest

by Fr. Peter Carota

Before and After Vatican II Statistics Do Not Lie

Here are some more factual statistics about the Holy Roman Catholic Church before Vatican II and after here in the United States.  These Statistics are from CARA Georgetown University.500px-Gap_Between_Priests_and_Catholics_in_USA.svg
Priests: 1945 = 38,451  1950 = 42,970  1955 = 46,970  1960 = 53,796  1965 = 58,000
Priests: 2013 = 38,800  Diocesan Priests = 26,500 and  Religious = 12,300
Ordinations to the Priesthood: 1965  =  994
Ordinations: 2013  =  511
Seminarians: 1965  =  49,000  Graduate level: = 8325
Graduate level Seminarians: 2013  = 3694
Religious Sisters in the whole world 1973  = 1 million.  In 2013  =  721,935.
Parishes: 1965  =  17,637
Parishes: 2013  =  17,413
Mass Attendance in 1965: 65 % of Catholics attended Sunday Mass
2013, Only 24 % of Catholics attend Sunday Mass.  mattendGraph from CARA Georgetown U.
You can see by this graph, that since Vatican II, 50 % more Catholics have stopped attending Sunday Mass.
Students in 1965 at 8414 elementary schools = 2.6 million.
Students in 2013 at 5636 elementary schools = 1.5 million.
Marriages in the Catholic Church have gone down to very few too.mstatusGraph from CARA Georgetown U.
World wide there were 419,728 priests in 1970.  In 2013 there are only 412,236.  Yet the Catholic population has doubled from 653,000 in 1970 to 1,196,000 in 2013.
Out of all the increased Catholics, why are not more vocations?  Because we live the Catholic lite religion.  So many call themselves Catholics, but do not live out their faith.
The average age of priests in the US in 1970 was 35.  In 2013 it is around 63.  Here is a photo of priests at a funeral in California a month ago.20140107__local_funeral~1_GALLERY
In the traditional orders you find a way much younger age medium.
traditional-religious-nunsAs the saying goes, Biological Solution, Biological Solution.  Soon we will be out of the “Vatican II Generation” and in not so long of a time into the “Traditional Catholic Generation”.  Death comes sooner or later for all of us.  Jesus save your Church.

MY FINAL COMMENT:  I realize that it is mean spirited to call upon the nuclear option of the death of all clergy and laity my age and older in the next 40 years. But as mean spirited as this hope is, it is true, my age generation as well as those older than me, especially those in the throws of enjoying a brief revival of the 1970's euphoria that caused all the problems to begin with, we'll all be gone in the next 10 to 40 years, Gone With the Wind and the younger, more traditional minded clergy and laity will ascend to leadership.

Let's pray that they won't make the same messes. But let us trust that the Lord will get the Church through despite herself!

Monday, January 27, 2014


As I sit in the townhouse in Augusta on my day off I have the front and back doors open creating a nice circulation of outside air which is 68 degrees and on our local TV station a permanent banner is up telling us of the Winter storm watch for all the counties in our area! Pandemonium has broken out in Augusta despite the fact it is almost 70 degrees outside right now and sunny!


Yesterday I had all three of our morning Masses. One parochial vicar is out of town, our priest from Ghana and the other, our priest from Poland was filling in for the pastor at our neighboring parish who had knee surgery and he is from Nigeria! But I digress! (Of course I'm from Italy, with a Canadian father, but thoroughly southern having grown up in Georgia.) But I digress!

Our first two Masses, the 9:30 AM what I would consider our principal Mass with full choir, are the same in terms of music, although the 7:45 AM Mass has cantor only to lead our congregational singing. Both these Masses and our 5:00 PM Sunday Mass as well as our 4:30 PM Saturday, Sunday's Vigil Mass are celebrated toward the congregation. We have the modified pre-Vatican II altar arrangement, not as strict as what Pope Francis has in Rome.

Our 12:10 PM Sunday Mass for the past two years now has the exact same music/chants as all our other Masses. The only difference is that the Liturgy of the Eucharist, beginning with the Preparations of the Offerings is ad orientem.

While there may have been some who dislike this arrangement, when we instituted it two years ago, I had only one person, who doesn't attend this Mass but went to experience it, who wrote to me that they did not like it. No one else has complained and there is not  been any noticeable decline in attendance at this Mass.  In fact at yesterday's Mass I was quite impressed with the number of young people there and young families who far outnumbered those approaching the grave, my age and older.

But I digress. I love celebrating Mass in either direction as well as the Extraordinary Form, although as I have stated before, while I love Latin, I love the vernacular and wish we could use the amount of English used in the 1965 Missal for the 1962 missal. I find it ridiculous that we can't.

But let's get back to our normal ad orientem 12:10 PM Mass. The Introductory Rite as well as the Concluding Rite are at the chair as is every other OF Mass we have. The Liturgy of the Word is identical. We have Holy Communion under both kinds and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to allow for this and the various stations we need, six chalices and four Host stations.

But for me personally (I can't speak for those in the congregation) I find the Liturgy of the Eucharist to be more solemn and more devotional for me. It also emphasizes better the two aspects of Holy Mass, the Sacrifice and the "Supper" or the Banquet of the Holy Eucharist in the Rite of Holy Communion.

Let me explain. Liturgical progressives formed in the deformed theology of the Mass in the 1970's, forgot or denigrated or ignored the sacrificial aspect of the Holy Eucharist and especially that of the Eucharistic Prayer, which actually begins with the Preface Dialogue and all that follows through the Great Amen and no matter the Eucharistic Prayer that is chosen.

Some progressives believe erroneously that the Eucharistic Prayer in its entirety is consecratory of the bread and wine which become the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our gloriously risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is simply false!

The bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecratory words, the words of institution.  Each at their separate consecrations, but both are completely the Risen Christ albeit in a sacramental mode of presence.  So, if the priest dies after the consecration of the host prior to the consecration of the wine, or he dies after the consecration of both, but before continuing with the rest of the Eucharistic Prayer, are the "accidents" consecrated or not? As far as I understand it, YES!

But the Mass as a sacrifice is not completed and if not completed would be invalid as a sacrifice, but the hosts or the hosts and "Wine" would nonetheless be consecrated. Technically another priest should conclude the Mass in the event that the celebrant dies prior to doing so to make the sacrificial part of the Mass valid, meaning that the Risen Lord in the Offerings is then actually offered to the Father!

And thus my point about the Eucharistic Prayer no matter which one. The entire prayer is needed not for consecration, but for Sacrifice. Progressive theologians and rank and file clergy and laity are completely oblivious to this since they only focus on the "meal" aspect of the Eucharist and not on the sacrificial.

The priest acting in the person of Christ, must offer the risen Lord, in an unbloodly, sacrificial way to the Father, he isn't offering unconsecrated "accidents." The bread and wine must be the Risen Lord to be offered to the Father. When does this take place? At the preparation of the offerings? No! During the Preface, Sanctus and first part of the EP after the Sanctus but prior to the words of consecration to include the calling of the Holy Spirit upon the offerings known as the Epiclesis? No! At the consecration? No!

The SACRIFICIAL OFFERING of our Risen Lord under the forms of "Bread" and "Wine" takes place after these become the Body of Blood of our Lord. It occurs during the "anemesis" which is the prayer immediately following the consecration but not the entire part of the EP following the consecration, but only that portion which the main celebrant either chants or says alone prior to any concelebrant taking over.

The reason why I think that the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharistic Prayers are best made clear in the ad orientem Liturgy of the Eucharist is that it is clear that this part of the Mass is sacrificial! No one is to eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ prior to the Rite of Holy Communion which begins with the Pater Noster! And it is absolutely necessary for the completion of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the priest to consume the Holocaust even if no laity receive Holy Communion.

Certainly the "Per Ipsum" makes clear also, the sacrificial aspect of the second part of the Eucharistic Prayer as the priest(s) offering our Lord to God the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, which we know and believe that God the Father accepts! But God the Father returns to us (in the resurrection and in each and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) His Son whose Sacrifice He lovingly accepts for all eternity. Our "eating and drinking" of the Body and Blood of Christ is for us and our salvation but not independent of the Sacrificial aspect of the Eucharistic Prayer and the Offering of our Lord on the Cross, the Father's acceptance of this and His return to us of His Son in Holy Communion, meaning the Rite of Holy Communion, not during the Eucharistic Prayer!!!!!

Howe many of you know this? How many Catholics after Vatican II until today really know and believe this? Even if the laity do not receive Holy Communion at a particular Mass (the celebrant must though to complete the Sacrifice) the Sacrifice of the Real Presence of Christ after the consecration is what is necessary for us to see and hear! As well as the self-offering of the Risen Christ to His Heavenly Father which the Father accepts and returns our Risen Lord to us in the Banquet part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! Do you know this and has the Liturgy of the Eucharist facing the people with the priest proclaiming the prayer in such a fashion as it makes it appear to being read or proclaimed to the congregation????? Tell me about this. (BTW, I am not calling into question the sacrificial aspect of any Mass celebrated toward the congregation, but only the "sign" value of such and what this has done to rank and file clergy and priests and not for the better in the last 50 years!

So when I turn away from the altar and toward the congregation prior to my receiving Holy Communion to complete the sacrifice and the laity being allowing to receive the same Offering after me at their Holy Communion, it is clear at that point, when the priest says, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world, Blessed are those who are called to the Supper of the Lamb, followed by all saying "Lord I am not worthy..." this is the point of the supper or banquet of the Mass and certainly the priest should be gesturing toward the congregation, not during the Eucharistic Prayer and certainly not at the consecrations which too many priests and bishops actually do!

That's why I think ad orientem is the best posture for the priest at all Masses and specifically for the Eucharistic Prayer!


These bullies of giant seagulls and ravens use to hang out at the Pontifical College North American where I lived for 3 months, these same ones which attacked the two beautiful, domesticated doves that Pope Francis and the two children had just released at yesterday's Sunday Angelus! I recognize these bullies! And the Roman seagulls and ravens are some of the biggest I have after seen! For those with sensitive eyes, skip past these vicious birds to my text below!

While I was in wonderful Roma for three months in the fall (and, btw, I still miss it) I saw first hand these giant, macho seagulls and ravens that are all over the place and especially like to hang out at St. Peter's and my place of residence next to the Vatican, yes, these same ones! I recognize these culprits! Remember the seagull perched on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel which led me to have a post on the religious symbolism of the seagull (and this was on the day that Pope Francis was elected pope!)? PRESS HERE TO GO TO THAT POST WHICH I POSTED ON THE DAY POPE FRANCIS WAS ELECTED (MARCH 13, 2013, YIKES THE THIRTEENS!) BUT PRIOR TO HIS ELECTION! AND THE RELIGIOUS LORE CONCERNING THE SEAGULL ALSO CONTRASTED IT WITH THE RAVEN OR CROW! AM I CLAIRVOYANT OR WHAT? BY THE WAY, ALSO LOOK AT THE COMMENTS THERE ON MARCH 13, 2013 WHICH HAVE A COUPLE EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON PRIOR TO THE ELECTION AND THEN SOME IN THE LATER AFTERNOON AFTER THE ELECTION! NOTE THE COMMENTS THERE THAT HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE! WHAT A CLAIRVOYANT MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MY BLOG!

I watched yesterday's Angelus live and the Holy Father along with two young people released two "peace" doves from the Apostolic Palace window. The camera man did not follow what would be the horrible aftermath of a bully seagull of immense proportions along with a similar sized raven (crow) attacking these poor unfortunate domesticated peace birds!

Is there some kind of omen in this? I hope not given the strife in the world and the Church today all of which are focused on ideologies and the bullying of the various factions against one another.

On another note, I'm in Augusta today for my normal Monday day off. Today it is predicted that it will be above 65 degrees!!!! In Macon too! But tomorrow is another story. The giant bullies of the north are sending once again one of their polar vortexes to us poor southerners. And on Tuesday and Wednesday we will not have temperatures in the mid 60's but rather we will have the effect of the bullies encroaching upon us sending in a big attack of polar air. We will have a wintery mix of sleet and snow and the prediction is that we will have up to 3 or 4 inches of this mix!

Of  course, I can tell you that hysteria has already broken out in both Augusta and Macon and I am sure that plans are being made to close all schools (even today prior to any appearance of a snowflake) to prepare for the disaster that looms. I am sure all stores have been emptied already of all provisions to get us through this wintery mix catatrophe. You think I am using hyperbole? Think again!

As soon as the first flake of snow of the first sighting of sleet happens there will be pandemonium, absolute pandemonium!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


A Further Perspective

‘Fantasy’ Francis?

He is real enough.

Okay, a disclaimer. I recognize that Pope Francis is a progressive when it comes to pastoral sensitives, reforms in the governance of the Church, especially the Curia's much needed reform, and pastoral policies concerning ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with non-believers and secular interests. (I would not call him a liberal, because that is a political term).

Yet, we know that Pope Francis is a believing Catholic (I won't use the political term conservative or the loaded term traditionalist) when it comes to the Magisterium, the Deposit of Faith (found in the CCC) the authority of bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, and the dogmas and doctrines of the Church to include morality, the sacraments and the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints, including the fallen Archangel and his minions, Lucifer and the demons.

He has reiterated that women cannot be called to Holy Orders because of the infallible teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church concerning the sacramental nature of the Sacrament of Holy Orders which requires by Tradition and dogma that only men be ordained. He teaches that a woman's place is in the home being a good wife and mother while children are being formed into good practicing Christians. This does not exclude women taking on other important roles in society and the Church, after much prayer and reflection, as long as the primary vocation of a woman who is married is to be a good wife and mother. 

The Holy Father is not about to change the Church's teaching on chastity as it concerns heterosexuals or homosexuals as sex outside of marriage goes against Scripture and Tradition and unnatural sex of any kind of any gender and of any orientation goes against natural law thus making these acts illicit and immoral and when turned into an agenda to overthrow traditional Church teaching on morality it becomes an ideology of the Evil One. Marriage will remain as a sacrament and institution for one man and one woman and for a life time despite any pastoral overtures to those in irregular situations. 

Oh and yes, Pope Francis is not opposed to celebrating Mass ad orientem, either in facing the congregation with the pre-Vatican II set-up for the altar or facing toward the wall as he has done in St. Peter's and now in the most explicit way possible and in continuity with Pope Benedict in the Sistine Chapel for the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord.  

We can say Pope Francis is a traditionalist, in the classic meaning of the word, when it comes to popular piety or what he refers to as "popular spirituality" of the lowly, the rank and file Catholics of the world, especially in his beloved South American Continent. He sees in popular piety the inculturation the Church needs. This was very profound in the pre-Vatican II Church, which he acknowledges in his recent Apostolic Exhortation, that was called into question and denigrated in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II, but with a healthy recovery in the years since, especially under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

A few years back, maybe two or three only, John Allen, who is wise enough to know that his talents were being wasted at the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR), so he quit and has moved on to a slightly higher notch at the secular Boston Globe or Glob, depending on your point of view, stated that the Vatican was quickly becoming irrelevant due to the sex abuse scandals, the internal Vatican scandals and the horrible banking scandals. It had lost its clout in the world of diplomacy which had always been its strong suit under previous pontificates.

What a difference 10 months makes. The Vatican is once again regaining lost ground as it concerns diplomacy and was a major player in preventing President Barack Obama from intervening in a war-hawk fashion in Syria. It appears the Vatican is also playing a significant role in pursuing true peace in Syria. This is the classic role of the Vatican as a City-State and Pope Francis is single-handedly responsible for this quick recovery!

But I digress. The point of this post is to bitterly complain about how the Catholic and secular press report on the Church and her pope as though the pope and the Church are some kind of human, political party with special interests when in fact she is a supernatural organization, the Mystical Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ, with Christ as her head and we as His Body. The Church is the People of God imbued with the Holy Spirit and in an indelible way.

And despite the strengths and weaknesses of her members,popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, the vices, sins and immoral acts clergy and laity commit, Jesus Christ has said the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church!

I use Yahoo as my internet search engine. Currently there are no less than 4 stories on the pope or the Catholic Church on their home page and usually the stories are from either AP or Reuters. But the reporting is terribly political and portrays Pope Francis as a secular political leader who is going to change the Church by changing doctrine rather than pastoral direction.

The secular presses is deluded into thinking that Pope Francis will change our moral teachings on sexuality and gender identity when he says "who am I to judge" a gay person's salvation if that person earnestly seeks God and recognizes his sin and seeks God's mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance through the repentance of sin.

The secular press thinks that when Pope Francis states that some in the Church (and he really means the secular press) are obsessed with contraception, abortion and sex, that he will change the Church and make her unfaithful to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who reveals through Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law the truths of God.

And they actually believe that when he says the Church should expand the role of women that this means they will one day be ordained deacons, priests and bishops. They do not realize the absurdity of such claims in light of what Pope Francis and other popes have said in the areas of faith and morals to which all popes must be faithful themselves. They have no authority to change doctrine or dogma or natural law, no authority whatsoever. Popes are limited in what they can do!

With the above said, read in the SPECTATOR BY PRESSING HERE, an article by George Neumayr who thinks Pope Francis is the most liberal pope ever. He is reporting his findings as a political reporter, not a religious one and cannot distinguish between Pope Francis' pastoral theology and leadership (compared to Pope Benedict) and the sure and certain unchangeable elements of Catholic dogmas, doctrines and moral teachings (with natural law included in the moral teachings) that Pope Francis will not change since he cannot change these even if he wanted, which he doesn't, because he's Catholic and has no authority to change these. But this is what politicized Catholic Neumayr believes:

"While some of the media’s claims about Francis are excessive, at least one is dismayingly real…: that Francis is more liberal than his predecessors. Indeed, not a week passes without some new papal statement or action to puzzle conservatives and embolden liberals."

My final comment: Those in the media, Catholic or secular, twisting and spinning Pope Francis for their own ideological reasons are the ones who are deluded and will be extremely unhappy by Pope Francis' successes in his progressive pastoral endeavors and in maintaining Catholic orthodoxy (right teaching) in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Faith and Morals, (Natural Law) and what is called the Deposit of Faith and fidelity to the Magisterium!