Thursday, March 31, 2016


The old Henry Ford Saint Anne Catholic Church, Richmond Hill, Georgia:
The new Saint Anne Catholic Church dedicated in February (video of highlights of dedication below):

I just found this video on the internet. It is a reprise of the Dedication of our newest Catholic Church in the Diocese of Savannah. It took place in February. Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, our bishop, along with our emeritus bishop, Bishop Kevin Boland together consecrated the building and altar.

The church seats 1000!!! I was unable to attend the Mass. The church is St. Anne Church in Richmond Hill, Georgia which is a suburb south of Savannah off of I-95. It is a growing suburb. The original church was built by Henry Ford as Richmond Hill in the early part of the last century was a vacation spot for those traveling from the upper reaches of the mid west. The old church was originally a congregationalist church. I'm not too sure how the Catholic Church was able to acquire it.

The original church will be used for daily Mass, weddings and funerals.

The church property is appropriately on Ford Avenue!

Kudos to all at St. Anne's and to Father Joseph Smith who is pastor and his leadership that has led not only to this multi million dollar church but also a very nice social hall and he acquired a lovely home to be the rectory in a regular neighborhood.

Fr. Smith was a member of the Cathedral men's choir when I was the associate pastor of the Cathedral from 1985-91. I was also vocation director. He entered the seminary and the rest is history. If not for me, no telling what kind of church St. Anne's would have today! :)

The Church is cruciform and a wonderful blend of tradition and modern sensibilities:

This is the parish video promoting the fund raiser:


Let me be clear, I think that the punishment should fit the crime. If you are caught speeding, even though there is no one else on the highway, you should pay the fine.

If you let someone you know who is drunk get in his car to drive away after a party at your home, and that person kills or injures someone, you should be punished in a court of law or at least sued.

If abortion becomes illegal, it should be made clear to those who provide illegal abortions that they will be arrested and sentenced according to their crime.

And those who use the illegal facility should be punished as well just as anyone who uses a prostitute, or goes into an illegal gambling business, or is frequenting a drug establishment.

Many criminals have been sentenced to prison for killing a  mother and her unborn baby. Yes, they were charged with two counts of murder. Is this wrong? No!

If a priest can be sentenced to prison for fondling a child inappropriately, I don't understand why anyone would think it outrageous if a mother hires someone to kill their unborn child. Don't people get arrested and sentenced to prison for hiring others to kill loved ones and those who are a nuisance in their lives?

All that I say above has to be based upon law and what constitutes a crime and what the consequences are if one is guilty for breaking the law.

People go to prison everyday for much less than killing a child or hiring someone to do it.


And on March 18th, nine Augusta teenagers were arrested for murder in this riot videoed by one of the participants. One of these in the brawl was stabbed in the neck and died resulting in the nine arrests. Should these teenagers get away with murder?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Praytell has a post on the death of Mother Mary Angelica. There were several comments that were mortal sins against charity and never speaking ill of the dead. Credit must be given that the blog administrator removed those comments and from the cadre of commenters there that are so typical of the lost souls of the 1970's generation.

Then more comments were added of the same nasty ilk. This morning I noticed that those comments too have properly been removed and the Comments tool is deactivated, meaning comments closed.

What has happened to Catholics in terms of faith, hope and charity in the liberal, progressive post Vatican II era? It ain't good and it is down right nasty, ugly! Liberal blogs and periodicals that allow for comments, like Praytell, the National Catholic Reporter and CRUX show forth in a brilliant way the failure of liberal Catholicism and that it is a nasty cauldron of insults and epitaphs. Who in the world would be attracted to this kind of Catholicism and her liturgies concocted by the same nasty groups? If there was ever a case for the Vertical crushing the horizontal, liberal, progressive, nasty Catholics are it and so too with neo-conservative, neo-traditional nasty Catholics.

Read about the following by pressing the following:

Mother Angelica's last days: priest describes her suffering, death on Easter


Under Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict, the American bishops were very much a part of the culture wars in this country. Politically they didn't succeed in persuading very many Catholics from voting for pro abortion politicians such as President Obama. They couldn't change the judicial manipulation of this country when it came to same sex marriage. They may well fail at protecting the religious liberty of the Church when it comes to President Obama forcing the Church's insurance companies to provide birth control and abortion services. Even Cardinal Dolan who once fought the city on forcing the St. Patrick's Day parade to include gay groups capitulated in a magnanimous way because he was on a losing trajectory. I think this was due in large part to the "Francis effect." If Pope Benedict was still in place, I don't think he would have capitulated.

But isn't speaking the truth in charity and rallying the faithful a part of the Church's mission. Do we throw in the towel because it is humiliating to be crucified and defeated? Thank God Jesus Christ didn't throw in the towel or else where would we be?

And now Pope Francis seems to hint that he's getting a sense of the bigger picture of how the dictatorship of secularism as Pope Benedict accurately described it, is trying to get the Church to eat pork.

This is John Allen of Crux assessment of things and the paradox of Pope Francis when it came to Pope Francis' Good Friday Prayer at the Way of the Cross at the Roman Coliseum:

 Faith in the public square
O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who wish to remove you from public places and exclude you from public life, in the name of a pagan laicism or that equality you yourself taught us.--Pope Francis
"In general, Francis is seen as a pope on friendly terms with the secular world, chatting amicably with left-wing atheist journalists, calling up radical politicians when they’re sick, appearing on the cover of pro-gay magazines, and generally playing well with the lapsed and unchurched.
His Good Friday language, however, was a reminder that Francis is not a naïf when he looks at secularity, grasping that there are situations in which its alleged neutrality to religion shades off into overt prejudice.
Spaniards, for instance, heard his language as a reference to a recent dust-up in Madrid, where a new left-wing mayor this year overhauled an annual civic parade celebrating the Epiphany, marking the Biblical story of the three kings, known as the Cabalgata de los Reyes. Changes included adding an homage to Mother Earth, a DJ truck and dancers and musicians from Africa and the Arab world, and having a woman play one of the kings.

Critics saw it all as an attempt to de-Christianize the festival. That perception was reinforced by a recent push in Seville, which ended up failing mostly because of its impracticality, to eliminate religious references in all street names, in a city where half its avenues and boulevards are named for saints.
Similar trends are evident elsewhere, including the United States, and the kinds of Christians most likely to be outraged — those who see secularity as potentially menacing, and who for whom defending the faith from its encroachments as a priority — aren’t necessarily accustomed to thinking of Francis as their strongest ally.
On Good Friday, however, Francis hinted that he sees the lay of the land, too, and perhaps may become more outspoken."

Fidelity and fruitfulness

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in families that live their vocation of married life in fidelity and fruitfulness.--Pope Francis
As the Catholic world awaits the impending release of Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, drawing conclusions from his two tumultuous synods of bishops, concern continues to be palpable that Francis is so focused on broken and “irregular” situations, such as the divorced and civilly remarried or people living together outside marriage, that he may end up discouraging Catholics who are trying to live the full truth of what the Church teaches on marriage and sexuality.
In that context, it’s striking that his one clear reference to the family on Good Friday accented precisely the qualities he’s often accused of playing down:

  • “Fidelity,” meaning, in part, marriage as an indissoluble lifetime commitment.
  • “Fruitfulness,” which is often a sort of Catholic code for openness to new life and adherence to the traditional ban on artificial contraception.
Using those two keywords was a way for Francis to signal that he’s not jettisoning the Church’s traditional understanding of family life, whatever he may end up doing on specific points in his document.

My final comments: Truly I believe Pope Francis is trying to win the world, meaning secularism, to the Church by being nice to them and not portraying himself as a culture warrior. Of course history will have to tell us which of the two methods of promoting the teachings of the Church work, anathemas or  appeasement, backbone or spinelessness.

I think we all know that progressive liberalism is a secular religion and its crusades and inquisitions against the true Church will be like nothing we saw during the actual crusades and inquisitions.

Nice guys, like Jesus Christ get crucified, died and buried. The same may well happen to the Church under this pope. The question is, will the Church rise again on the Third Day. If the Church is who she says she is, Jesus Christ's crucified and risen body, with He as its Head and we as His body, well yes, the Church will rise again gloriously triumphant.

But Jesus Christ rubbed His enemies and the true enemies of authentic Judaism the wrong way and He had harsh words for them.

Pope Francis must be more Christ-like in this way if He is to succeed in being crucified. He has to stop equating believing, practicing Catholics in the clergy and laity as Pharisees and name the true enemies of the Church both inside her ranks and outside. That will get His Holiness crucified like it did Pope Benedict XVI!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


This is how Reuters is reporting what Governor Nathan Deal said yesterday (My comments follow news article):

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said on Monday he will veto a so-called religious freedom bill passed by the state legislature that has drawn national criticism for discriminating against same-sex couples.

The measure, which states that no pastor can be forced to perform a same-sex wedding, was recently passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

Under the bill, faith-based groups could not be forced to hire or retain an employee whose beliefs run counter to the organization's, while churches and religious schools would have the right to reject holding events for people or groups to whom they object.

Deal, a Republican, said he could not support the legislation, which had drawn wide criticism from corporations and had triggered threats of a state boycott by the entertainment industry.

Deal said he was not bullied into his decision but felt a law was not necessary.

"I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia," Deal said at news conference on the legislation, noting his religious faith.

Similar bills in states such as Indiana and Arkansas sparked storms of criticism last year, forcing many lawmakers to retreat, and North Carolina is currently seeing protest over a new law that bars transgender people from choosing bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Deal's decision was immediately celebrated by gay rights advocates, including the national Human Rights Campaign.

“Our message to Governor Nathan Deal was loud and clear: this deplorable legislation was bad for his constituents, bad for business, and bad for Georgia’s future,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

He added that Deal had "set an example for other elected officials to follow."

Mike Griffin, spokesman for the Georgia Baptist Convention, which lobbied for the bill, said his group's 1.3 million members will continue fighting for it.

"All we wanted was protection from government overreach,” he said, noting his disappointment in Deal, a two-term governor. “We feel that he’s let down the people of faith and all of Georgia by not signing the bill.”

Critics of the legislation included marquee Hollywood stars, such as Anne Hathaway and Julianne Moore, as well as movie and TV studios 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal, Time Warner, Walt Disney, AMC, Viacom and Marvel Entertainment.

More than 300 large corporations and small businesses, including Delta Airlines and Coca Cola also came out against it.

"Georgia is a welcoming state," Deal said.

My comments: I don't think that a Catholic parish or either of the two dioceses in Georgia could be sued by anyone who according to Canon Law has an impediment preventing them from celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church.

A few years ago I had a Baptist woman call me because she wanted to be married at St. Joseph Church--in fact I get many calls from brides who want to use St. Joseph Church as a destination wedding.

The local Baptist woman was outraged that she couldn't rent our church building for her wedding and accused me of being narrow minded and unwelcoming of her! Could she sue and force us to allow her to use our church building for weddings. I doubt it, but in today's climate I am not so sure. I do think that Catholic parishes will have to be very careful about ecumenical allowances,  such as allowing a Protestant denomination use our church for weddings. I allowed a Lutheran Wedding at St. Joseph some years ago. Neither the bride or groom were Catholic. Neither had any impediments to being married. The bride was the Lutheran and had attended Catholic school in Macon from Kindergarten through High School. Her Lutheran Church was too small for the number of guests she invited to her wedding. So I allowed her Lutheran pastor to perform a Lutheran wedding at St. Joseph.  It was an ecumenical gesture.

Apart from those who might be opposed to this kind of ecumenism, I think that doing this act of ecumenical charity could open the Catholic Church to being sued if we allow some but not others. I would no longer allow this at St. Joseph given the climate of those who seek to sue if we don't comply with what is happening in our society.

I think the Archdiocese of Atlanta is at a greater risk to face some law suits as the gay lobby there is very powerful and gays with an agenda against what God teaches about sexual morality and chastity would love to rub the Church's face into their excrement.

Time will tell.

I think that the only solution to preventing a demand by a gay couple or any heterosexual couple with an impediment to being married in the Church, Catholic Church, is to make sure we don't rent our facilities out to any  group for anything. 

Then I think we as a Church seriously have to rethink allowing Catholic Clergy to sign civil marriage licenses after the Celebration of Holy Matrimony in the Church--the fact that I sign the civil license and thus act as an agent of the state  could open the door to lawsuits when Catholic clergy act as an agent of the state in signing civil licenses for the civil requirements of a lawful state marriage.

All that would be needed is for the Church to tell those Catholics being married in the Church that they have to have a civil magistrate, such as a justice of the peace or notary public, perform the requirements that legalize their marriage according to state law. Then they present their civil marriage certificate for the pre-nuptial file and the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated in the Church. Thus the Church is no longer the legal agent for the civil marriage aspects.

The Church requires civil legal recognition for marriage in the Church but we don't have to be the agent for that aspect of what the Church requires. IN FACT I THINK IN THE FUTURE CATHOLIC PRIESTS SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN BY CHURCH LAW TO ACT AS AN AGENT OF THE STATE FOR THE CIVIL LAW ASPECTS OF CIVIL MARRIAGE.

The greater problem for the Catholic Church is her employees. I can see many lawsuits in this regard and we've already had on high profile one at our Catholic high school.

Catholic priests don't hire themselves out to do weddings for money. We don't charge for weddings. Ministers who do hire themselves out for weddings and charge a fee are the ones most vulnerable to lawsuits by those who want to hire them for their wedding. 

Let's face it the Secular Magisterium is more dogmatic and more authoritarian and more dictatorship-like that the Catholic Magisterium ever was. There is a price to pay if a governor or state disobeys them. The price to pay is the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR!

Critics of the legislation included marquee Hollywood stars, such as Anne Hathaway and Julianne Moore, as well as movie and TV studios 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal, Time Warner, Walt Disney, AMC, Viacom and Marvel Entertainment.

More than 300 large corporations and small businesses, including Delta Airlines and Coca Cola also came out against it.

Monday, March 28, 2016




I copy this from Sandro Magister's Chiesa blog. 

From “Informe sobre la esperanza”

by Gerhard L. Müller


Precisely those who until now have shown no respect for the doctrine of the Church are using an isolated phrase from the Holy Father, “Who am I to judge?”, taken out of context, to present distorted ideas on sexual morality, reinforcing them with a presumed interpretation of the “authentic” thought of the pope in this regard.

The question of homosexuality that gave rise to the question posed to the Holy Father is already present in the Bible, both in the Old Testament (cf. Gen 19; Dt 23:18f; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Wis 13-15) and in the Pauline letters (cf. Rom 1:26f; 1 Cor 6:9f), treated as a theological subject albeit with the influences inherent to the historical nature of divine revelation.

It can be gathered from Sacred Scripture that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, since they do not proceed from a true affective and sexual complementarity. This is a very complex question, because of the numerous implications that have forcefully asserted themselves in recent years. In any case, the anthropological conception that can be gathered from the Bible involves several inescapable moral demands, and at the same time a scrupulous respect for the homosexual person. These persons, called to chastity and to Christian perfection through self-mastery and at times with the help of a disinterested friendship, live something that “constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357-2359).

Nonetheless, in addition to the problem raised by the decontextualization of the aforementioned phrase of Pope Francis, pronounced as a sign of respect for the dignity of the person, it seems evident to me that the Church, with its magisterium, has the capacity to judge the morality of certain situations. This is a truth beyond question: God is the only judge who will judge us at the end of time, and the pope and bishops have the obligation to present the revealed criteria for this final judgment that is already anticipated today in our moral conscience.

The Church has always said “this is true, this is false,” and no one can interpret in a subjectivist way the commandments of God, the Beatitudes, the counsels, according to his own criteria, his own interest, or even his own needs, as if God were only the backdrop of his own autonomy. The relationship between the personal conscience and God is concrete and real, illuminated by the magisterium of the Church; the Church has the right and the obligation to declare that a doctrine is false, precisely because such a doctrine misleads ordinary people from the path that leads to God.

Beginning with the French Revolution, the subsequent liberal regimes and the totalitarian systems of the 20th century, the objective of the principal attacks has always been the Christian vision of human existence and of its destiny.

When its resistance could not be overcome, some of its elements were allowed to remain, but not Christianity in its substance; the result was that Christianity ceased to be the criterion of all reality, and the aforementioned subjectivist positions were encouraged.

These have their origin in a new non-Christian and relativistic anthropology that dispenses with the concept of truth: contemporary man sees himself obliged to live permanently in doubt. More than that: the affirmation that the Church cannot judge personal situations is based on a false soteriology, namely that man is his own savior and redeemer.

In subjecting Christian anthropology to this brutal reductionism, the hermeneutic of reality that results from this adopts only the elements that are of interest or convenience to the individual: some elements of the parables, certain benevolent acts of Christ or those passages that present him as a simple prophet of social welfare or a master in humanity.

And what is censored, on the contrary, is the Lord of history, the Son of God who invites to conversion or the Son of Man who will come to judge the living and the dead. In reality, this merely tolerated Christianity is emptied of its message and forgets that the relationship with Christ, without personal conversion, is impossible.

Pope Francis says in “Evangelii Gaudium” (no. 47) that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” It is worthwhile to analyze this phrase in depth, in order not to misunderstand its meaning.
In the first place, it must be noted that this statement expresses the primacy of grace: conversion is not an autonomous act of man, but is, in itself, an action of grace. Nevertheless, it cannot be deduced from this that conversion is an external response of gratitude for what God has done in me on his own account, without me. Nor can I conclude that anyone may approach to receive the Eucharist even though he is not in the state of grace and with the appropriate dispositions, simply because it is nourishment for the weak.

First of all we must ask ourselves: what is conversion? It is a free act of man, and at the same time it is an act motivated by the grace of God, which always precedes the acts of men. This is why it is an integral act, incomprehensible if the action of God is separated from the action of man. […]

  1. In the sacrament of penance, for example, one observes with absolute clarity the need for a free response on the part of the penitent, expressed in his contrition of heart, in his resolution to correct himself, in his confession of sins, in his act of penance. This is why Catholic theology denies that God does everything, and that man is a pure recipient of divine graces. Conversion is the new life that is given to us by grace, and at the same time it is also a task that is offered to us as a condition for perseverance in grace. […]

There are only two sacraments that constitute the state of grace: baptism and the sacrament of reconciliation. When someone has lost sanctifying grace, he needs the sacrament of reconciliation to recover this state, not as his own merit but as a gift, as a gift that God offers him in the sacramental form. Access to Eucharistic communion certainly presupposes the life of grace, it presupposes communion in the ecclesial body, it also presupposes an ordered life in keeping with the ecclesial body in order to be able to say “Amen.” Saint Paul insists on the fact that he who eats the bread and drinks the wine of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 11:27).

St. Augustine affirms that “he who created you without you will not save you without you” (Sermo 169). God asks for my collaboration. A collaboration that is also his gift, but that implies my acceptance of this gift.

If things were different, we could fall into the temptation of conceiving of the Christian life in the manner of automatic realities. Forgiveness, for example, would become something mechanical, almost a demand, not a question that also depends on me, since I must realize it. I would then go to communion without the required state of grace and without approaching the sacrament of reconciliation. I would take it for granted, without any proof of this on the basis of the Word of God, that the forgiveness of my sins has been granted to me privately through this communion itself. But this is a false concept of God, it is tempting God. And it also brings with it a false concept of man, with an undervaluation of that which God can bring about within him.


Strictly speaking, we Catholics have no reason to celebrate October 31, 1517, the date that is considered the beginning of the Reformation that would lead to the rupture of Western Christianity.
If we are convinced that divine revelation is preserved whole and unchanged through Scripture and Tradition, in the doctrine of the faith, in the sacraments, in the hierarchical constitution of the Church by divine right, founded on the sacrament of holy orders, we cannot accept that there exist sufficient reasons to separate from the Church.

The members of the Protestant ecclesial communities look at this event from a different perspective, because they think that it is the opportune moment to celebrate the rediscovery of the “pure Word of God," which they presume to have been disfigured throughout history by merely human traditions. The Protestant reformers arrived at the conclusion, five hundred years ago, that some Church hierarchs were not only morally corrupt, but had also distorted the Gospel and, as a result, had blocked the path of salvation for believers toward Jesus Christ. To justify the separation they accused the pope, the presumed head of this system, of being the Antichrist.

How can the ecumenical dialogue with the evangelical communities be carried forward today in a realistic way? The theologian Karl-Heinz Menke is speaking the truth when he asserts that the relativization of the truth and the acritical adoption of modern ideologies are the principal obstacle toward union in the truth.

In this sense, a Protestantization of the Catholic Church on the basis of a secular vision without reference to transcendence not only cannot reconcile us with the Protestants, but also cannot allow an encounter with the mystery of Christ, because in Him we are repositories of a supernatural revelation to which all of us owe total obedience of intellect and will (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 5).

I think that the Catholic principles of ecumenism, as they were proposed and developed by the decree of Vatican Council II, are still entirely valid (cf. “Unitatis Redintegratio,” 2-4). On the other hand, I am convinced that the document of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith “Dominus Iesus,” of the holy year of 2000, not understood by many and unjustly rejected by others, is without a doubt the magna carta against the Christological and ecclesiological relativism of this time of such confusion.


The question of whether women's priesthood is a disciplinary matter that the Church could simply change does not hold up, since this is a matter that has already been decided.

Pope Francis has been clear, just as his predecessors were. In this regard, I recall that Saint John Paul II, at no. 4 of the 1994 apostolic exhortation “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” reinforced with the royal plural (“declaramus”), in the only document in which that pope used this verb form, that it is a doctrine defined as infallibly taught by the ordinary universal magisterium (can. 750 § 2 CIC) that the Church has no authority to admit women to the priesthood.

It is up to the Magisterium to decide if a question is dogmatic or disciplinary; in this case, the Church has already decided that this proposal is dogmatic and that, being of divine law, it cannot be changed or even reviewed. This could be justified with many reasons, like fidelity to the example of the Lord or the normative character of the age-old practice of the Church, but I do not believe that this matter must be discussed again in depth, since the documents that deal with it sufficiently present the reasons to reject this possibility.

I do not want to fail to point out that there is an essential equality between man and woman on the level of nature, and also in relation with God through grace (cf. Gal 3:28). But the priesthood implies a sacramental symbolization of the relationship of Christ, head or bridegroom, with the Church, body or bride. Women can have, without any problem, many positions in the Church: in this regard, I gladly take the opportunity to thank publicly the large group of lay and religious women, some of them with specialized university degrees, who lend their indispensable collaboration in the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. (My comment: I have been excoriated by one or so on this blog and on other blogs, for highlighting the obvious. The way to deconstruct the Catholic Church is to ridicule her philosophical and natural law underpinnings!)

On the other hand, it would not be serious to advance proposals in this regard on the basis of mere human calculations, saying for example that “if we open the priesthood to women we will overcome the problem of vocations” or “if we accept women’s priesthood we would present a more modern image to the world.”

I believe that this way of presenting the debate is very superficial, ideological, and above all anti-ecclesial, because it neglects to say that this is a matter of a dogmatic question already defined by those who have the task of doing so, and not a merely disciplinary matter.


Priestly celibacy, so contested in certain present-day ecclesiastical circles, has its roots in the Gospels as an evangelical counsel, but also has an intrinsic relationship with the ministry of the priest.

The priest is more than a religious functionary who has been given a mission independent of his life. His life is in close relationship with his evangelical mission, and therefore, in Pauline reflection as also in the Gospels themselves, clearly the evangelical counsel appears connected to the figure of the ministers chosen by Jesus. The apostles, in order to follow Christ, have left all human security behind them, and in particular their respective spouses. In this regard, Saint Paul speaks to us of his personal experience in 1 Cor 7:7, where he seems to consider celibacy as a particular charism that he has received.

Currently, the link between celibacy and the priesthood as a special gift from God through which the sacred ministers can more easily unite themselves with Christ with an undivided heart (can. 277 § 1 CIC; "Pastores Dabo Vobis", 29), is found in the whole universal Church, although in different forms. In the Eastern Church, as we know, it concerns only the priesthood of the bishop; but the very fact that it is demanded for them indicates to us that this Church does not conceive of it as an external discipline.

In the aforementioned atmosphere of the contestation of celibacy, the following analogy is very widespread. A few years ago it would have been unimaginable for a woman to become a soldier, while today, instead, modern armies count a great number of women soldiers,  entirely fit for a task traditionally considered as exclusively masculine. Could the same thing not happen with celibacy? Is it not a longstanding custom of the past that must be reviewed?

Nonetheless the substance of military activity, apart from a few questions of a practical nature, does not demand that the army belong to a certain sex; while the priesthood is instead in intimate connection with celibacy. Vatican Council II and other more recent magisterial documents teach such a conformity or internal adaptation between celibacy and priesthood that the Church of the Latin rite does not feel that it has the faculty to change this doctrine with an arbitrary decision that would break with the progressive development, lasting centuries, of canonical regulation, beginning from the moment in which this internal bond was recognized, prior to the aforementioned legislation. We cannot break unilaterally with a whole series of declarations of popes and councils, nor with the firm and constant adherence of the Catholic Church to the image of the celibate priest.

The crisis of celibacy in the Latin Catholic Church has been a recurrent issue in especially difficult moments in the Church. To cite a few examples, we could recall the times of the Protestant Reformation, those of the French Revolution, and more recently the years of the sexual revolution, in the ’60’s and ’70’s of the past century. But if there is something we can learn from studying the history of the Church and of its institutions, it is that these crises have always demonstrated and reinforced the goodness of the doctrine of celibacy.

English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.



I recall, but most of you won't, but in the early 1970's Mother Angelica was a flaming charismatic nun and I actually saw her a few times on Jim and Tammy Faye's PTL Club television show in their heyday.  Mother was the darling of charismatics and the evangelical community.

In the video from 60 minutes in 1984 below, you will see Mother and her gang in their 1980's glory, singing Glory and Praise Music, and the then ever popular classic, "Here I am Lord..." and you will even see Mother Angelica playing a snare drum at liturgy!!!!!! What a hoot! That's the way we were and I include myself in this 1984 ditty! Unfortunately so many my age and older, some younger, are still stuck in the 1980's liturgy world and contemporary Glory and Praise music. It is to laugh for us while those stuck are dead serious! Blah!

Mother's interview takes about a minute to get to but it is well worth the wait and watch the whole thing! It isn't just a soundbite from 60 Minutes who is very good at this kind of interview:


I just heard on EWTN a call in, Mrs. Jacobs, who said she wasn't getting up this morning to watch Mass on EWTN but her cat jumped on her and made her get up (cats do that!) to feed him and she turned on EWTN's Mass which was a Memorial Mass of the Dead for Mother. The caller did not know that she had died but was uplifted by the Mass and her cat. Mother had a cat she loved in her last years too as pictured below:
As I watch ETWN's live show remembering Mother Mary Angelica, as I type this, I thank Jenny for reminding me that I was on Mother Angelica Live for the full hour in the late 1990's. I almost forgot! Unfortunately, Mother was not able due to a health issue host that particular show and Jeff Cavins did the interview. It was on the restoration the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta, an authentic restoration, not a "wreckovation."  Jenny, if you video type is in good condition, could you have it digitized? I lost the copy I had which EWTN actually sent to me.

I have to laugh now, but after that show was aired live and then shown over and over again in reruns all over the world, by the way, I would get emails from people everywhere asking me to be their liturgical consultant for their parish as they either wanted to build a new church or undo the damage that a wreckovation wrought on their old church! Of course I am not a liturgical consultant and felt if I gave in to the invitations to be one and go where I was invited I would be a charlatan.  I blush now thinking that people thought I was something I wasn't!

But what the show I am watching now reminded me of is that Mother Angelica always focused on Jesus and that all of us should have a right relationship with Him through His Holy Catholic Church. Mother was concerned not just about the wreckovation of church buildings but the symbol it was about the more demonic wreckovation of Holy Mother Church by modernists who are like the liberal Protestants of the Enlightenment period of the late 1800's.  The center for them is mankind and building a new Tower of Babel where the hand holding kumbaya singing congregation becomes so self-referential that Jesus is hidden or worse yet, left out altogether!

Mother Angelic always in her habit, first when she entered religious life in the full Poor Clare habit and then later in a very traditional modified habit and then even later once again in the full habit, was the nun that taught a new generation of Catholics the way the older generation of nuns had taught the Church, with clarity, charity and no nonsense. For the most part, in the pre-Vatican II era when we had nuns galore teaching us in Catholic schools and CCD programs, they were the ones who brought scores of children and their parents into a closer relationship with Jesus in their everyday contact with us. They were the ones who encouraged young boys and teenagers to consider the priesthood. The huge number of candidates we had by the 1940's and 50's was in large part due to the good sisters who promoted vocations to both the priesthood and religious life in a wonderful way. And we children saw the good, bad and ugly of the sisters but loved and respected them nonetheless even when we knew who we liked and didn't like and who we would stay close to and away from! Religious life was presented to us in a real way, everyday and not in a plastic way whatsoever.

I thank Mother Angelica as a true Servant of God, Mother Angelica the Great. She was/is the most powerful woman in modern Catholic history perhaps second to soon to be saint, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  But she wasn't, isn't just the most powerful woman, but the most powerful person, man or woman. Yet she always pointed to Jesus and the authentic Church. Her style of teaching, very nun like, is perennial and what she taught won't ever be considered passe. You can watch her 1990's shows and these are relevant for today. (Her shows transcends the time in which they were produced much in the way that I Love Lucy does.)

What I love about Mother Angelica and her EWTN network is that she was/is a thorn in the side of progressive religious and laity who were trying to deconstruct the liturgy and thus the Church and place the focus on themselves and others in a horizontal, idolatrous way and to make Vatican II, a mere pastoral ecumenical Council, into an immutable false god of the most dogmatic and authoritarian type!

Mother Angelica always focused on Jesus and that we have a right relationship with Him through the true Church before we died in order that we be spared the fires of hell and be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven by our Lord at our particular judgement.


As a populist, Mother Angelica brought the true traditional faith of the Church to rank and file Catholics who had grown tired of what the modernists had done in the most pre-Vatican II authoritarian way to the Church their loved, the Mass they loved and the religious life they had loved.

Mother long before Pope Francis, another populist, ministered to rank and file, bread and butter Catholics who had been marginalized and shoved to the periphery by Church leaders, cardinals, bishops, priests and modern religious who had their own horizontal image of the Church where they and the laity would be central, not Jesus Christ the King reigning in glory and leading us out of our horizontal enclosed circle of ideologies. And Mother, long before Pope Francis, used a language to teach Catholics which was humorous, memorable and on target! She used a language that intellectual academic theologians, amateurs and professionals, would scoff at. In many ways, Mother had a disdain for intellectuals in the Church that sterilized the message of the Church. Pope Francis would be in agreement with Mother in this regard and how to teach the faith to the populace!

Eternal rest grant unto Mother Mary Angelica O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her. May she rest in peace. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace through the mercy of God!


Thanks be to God and because of the post-Vatican II New Liturgical Movement, we have today thanks as well to Pope Benedict and to Pope Francis who authorized it, the Ordinariate's Roman Missal: "Divine Liturgy, the Missal"
We also have the revised so-called new and improved 1970 Roman Missal undergoing a "reform of the reform" thanks to Pope Benedict which is making its celebration more 1962 Roman Missal-like. Much more official reform is expected to come within the decade to make the 1970 Roman Missal more like the first truly new Roman Missal that the Ordinariate has which will include many 1962 Roman Missal elements:

And of course we have the 1962 Liturgical patrimony of the Church returned to local parishes by Pope Benedict the Great!! Ideological, corrupt liturgists didn't see this coming and are trying in vain to suppress this Mass once again. They will not succeed:

The new post Vatican II liturgical movement of the new millennium promotes  the most important liturgical task today is for both traditionalists and progressives to come together to affirm that there exists now two forms of the one Roman Rite.

Today, we have 20/20 hindsight about how a corrupt ideological version of Vatican II was implemented by progressive liturgists in the most pre-Vatican II authoritarian way. The only way for these corrupt liturgists to imposed from on high the "new" Mass was to rid the world of the older one, the 1962 Missal. These ideologues said that the old Mass was no good and even harmful, and that the new and so-called improved Mass would  replace the old and useless one by authoritarian fiat or their own edict which of course they had no authority to do so, none whatsoever!

Of course no pope has said that the 1962 Liturgical patrimony was to be suppressed and that the fabricated liturgy was completely perfect and wonderful for the Church to include Pope Paul VI who lamented time and time again the abuse of the new Roman Missal as implemented by corrupt liturgists. He did not repress the 1962 Missal altogether either. Older priests were allowed to continue celebrating it and England very soon after the Council was given a special indult to maintain the older, traditional liturgy in certain places. 

Pope St. John Paul II expanded the indult for the 1962 Missal worldwide and encouraged bishops worldwide to allow this Mass to those who requested it but still under the tight ideological control of local bishops often beholden to corrupt liturgical theologians.

Then of course Pope Benedict expanded the use of the 1962 Liturgical patrimony almost unrestricted and gave the authority to celebrated directly to priests themselves by placing it on par with the so-called new and improved Mass and liturgies that flow from it. This was breathtaking in scope and destabilized the progressive liturgical ideologues with their gestapo-like authoritarianism in maintaining an exclusive death grip over how the new Mass would be celebrated and the older one suppressed. 

 Pope Francis who will, with the help of God, fully reintegrate the SSPX back into the full canonical status with  the Church shows by His Holiness' solicitous concern for this ecclesial community on the periphery of the Church, his willingness to allow the two forms of the Latin Rite to coexist with the Ordinary Form ecclesial communities of the Catholic Church, just as the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church do with their elaborate eastern liturgies. And of course in continuity with the desires of Pope Benedict toward disaffected former Anglicans/Episcopalians, Pope Francis has authorized the first truly new Roman Missal since Vatican II, "Divine Worship, the Missal" which includes not only some Anglican liturgical patrimony consistent with Catholic liturgical doctrine and tradition, but also wonderful recovered elements of the 1962 Roman Missal!

  The divisiveness of progressive liturgists who tried to suppress the 1962 Missal after the 1970 one was issued, created the divisions we have now, not what Pope Benedict did in being truly and authentically liberal in allowing both forms to coexist. If this had been allowed in the first place, we would be in a much different place today. 

There is no going backwards to 1970's authoritarianism about the reformed liturgy being superior to the one that preceded it. Today they are co-equal. To denigrate either form properly celebrated by saying the black and doing the red is divisive to say the least and not suitable for today's truly post-Vatican II new liturgical renewal!

Elevating the horizontal, sociological aspect of the liturgy to an idol and making it more important than what the Mass is meant to do and every valid Mass does which is to new in an unbloody, palatable way the One Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross for our salvation. The Sacrifice and Banquet of Word and Altar are present in the Church's two forms of the one Latin Rite and this is the foundation that cannot be overwhelmed with silly ecclesiological items that make the Church a self-referential community closed in on itself by a liturgy that sees active participation and laity doing this that and the other as the basis on "good Liturgy!" Poppycock! It is Christ who is the center of the Liturgy and opens a vista to our salvation and gives us grace to strengthen our faith and good works in the world!

Pope Benedict makes very very clear that it isn't either/or when it comes to the two forms of the one Latin Rite, but BOTH/AND! And this is what is truly Catholic!

Sunday, March 27, 2016


It's 10:15 PM and past my bedtime. In light of the Resurrection, I dare to watch "The Walking Dead" and now "The Talking Dead."  I can hardly keep my eyes open, but Dr. Buck Melton sent all kinds of wonderful photos of our Easter Vigil and those we baptized, confirmed and gave their First Holy Communion.

I don't have time now to post all of the photos but will do so tomorrow after a good nights sleep.

And by the way "The Walking Dead" has a strong Catholic character and her Holy Rosary has now been in three episodes and plays a significant part in tonight's The Walking Dead reminds me a great deal of The Twilight Zone which always freaked me out as a child and had to watch it with my mother!

Of course if my mother is watching The Walking Dead with me now, she'd be one of them! YIKES!


I have to say that our Palm Sunday and Easter Triduum liturgies were beautiful. All of them solemn and appropriate for each day. My favorite of the Triduum has always been Holy Thursday. This year's Good Friday Liturgy seem to move well and feel integrated. In the past I always found its nature to be disjointed.

We are fortunate to have a music program where we can have cantors chant the passion of Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

Our Easter Vigil was 2 and a half hours long. We baptized four adults, three children and received into the full communion of the Church 14 other adults. I felt our Easter Vigil went very well. Our PV, Fr. Vernon chanted the Exultet beautifully. And a day of rain gave way to sunshine prior to the Vigil and our ability to begin outdoors for the Blessing of the Paschal Fire, Candle and procession into the darkened Church.

We read four Old Testament readings, the Epistle and Gospel. It was a completely OF Easter Vigil but quite solemn and traditional as the OF in the vernacular can be. The music was wonderful.

Our 9:30 AM Mass was standing room only and people were in the vestibule and outside under the portico. It was a completely OF Mass, with choir, organ, timpani and trumpet, very upbeat and very OF but in a powerful way.

Then our 12:10 PM EF High Mass was packed but enough room for all to be seated. Our mixed schola was magnificent. We began with the "Vidi Aquam" and all was traditional. For many, it was the first time they had participated in an EF Mass and for others who were visitors (we are in the midst of our International Cherry Blossom Festival and we are on Interstate 75) many older Catholics told me that they had not been to a Mass like that in over 50 years--they had tears in their eyes.

Our organist said they she felt more people in the congregation were chanting the Latin parts of the Mass with gusto than the 9:30 English Mass did. The congregational  EF singing was more robust!!!!!! This is properly Sacrosanctum Concilium's theology of actual participation affecting the EF Mass as it should.

I wore my biretta and I had so many kids ask me about it, both girls and boys. And the parents of the younger children told me that the Latin Mass kept their children's attention and that they were fascinated by it! (I was too as a pre-elementary school child!)

As reverent as our OF Masses are; there is something more reverent about the EF Mass and more mystical, less cerebral and more engaging and reverent. It feels more Catholic to me; I feel more Catholic; I feel more like a PRIEST!

There is no doubt in my mind that the EF Mass properly celebrated as it was in my parish today could well turn around the Church in her decline if implemented from the Vatican on down. It would lead to the new evangelization and a new springtime for the Church!


Mother was/is perhaps the most influential person in modern Catholicism, male or female. And she never aspired to be a woman priest! She died on Easter Sunday, today at the age of 92. Requiescat in Pace!

I am sure her Requiem will be quite beautiful and I pray in the EF!


Saturday, March 26, 2016


Papal Mass for the Vigil of Easter:
Papal Open Air Mass for Easter Sunday: 
Urbi et Orbi:

Homily For Easter Vigil:
Please find below the English translation of Pope Francis’ homily at the Mass of the Easter Vigil

“Peter ran to the tomb” (Lk 24:12). What thoughts crossed Peter’s mind and stirred his heart as he ran to the tomb? The Gospel tells us that the eleven, including Peter, had not believed the testimony of the women, their Easter proclamation. Quite the contrary, “these words seemed to them an idle tale” (v. 11). Thus there was doubt in Peter’s heart, together with many other worries: sadness at the death of the beloved Master and disillusionment for having denied him three times during his Passion.

There is, however, something which signals a change in him: after listening to the women and refusing to believe them, “Peter rose” (v. 12). He did not remain sedentary, in thought; he did not stay at home as the others did. He did not succumb to the sombre atmosphere of those days, nor was he overwhelmed by his doubts. He was not consumed by remorse, fear or the continuous gossip that leads nowhere. He was looking for Jesus, not himself. He preferred the path of encounter and trust. And so, he got up, just as he was, and ran towards the tomb from where he would return “amazed” (v. 12). This marked the beginning of Peter’s resurrection, the resurrection of his heart. Without giving in to sadness or darkness, he made room for hope: he allowed the light of God to enter into his heart, without smothering it.

The women too, who had gone out early in the morning to perform a work of mercy, taking the perfumed ointments to the tomb, had the same experience. They were “frightened and bowed their faces”, and yet they were deeply affected by the words of the angel: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (v. 5).

We, like Peter and the women, cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope. Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord so that he may enter and grant us life. Let us give him the stones of our rancour and the boulders of our past, those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls. Christ wants to come and take us by the hand to bring us out of our anguish. This is the first stone to be moved aside this night: the lack of hope which imprisons us within ourselves. May the Lord free us from this trap, from being Christians without hope, who live as if the Lord were not risen, as if our problems were the centre of our lives.

We see and will continue to see problems both within and without. They will always be there. But tonight it is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them. Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: the Lord “is not here, but has risen!” (v. 6). He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.

This is the foundation of our hope, which is not mere optimism, nor a psychological attitude or desire to be courageous. Christian hope is a gift that God gives us if we come out of ourselves and open our hearts to him. This hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). The Paraclete does not make everything look appealing. He does not remove evil with a magic wand. But he pours into us the vitality of life, which is not the absence of problems, but the certainty of being loved and always forgiven by Christ, who for us has conquered sin, death and fear. Today is the celebration of our hope, the celebration of this truth: nothing and no one will ever be able to separate us from his love (cf. Rom 8:39).

The Lord is alive and wants to be sought among the living. After having found him, each person is sent out by him to announce the Easter message, to awaken and resurrect hope in hearts burdened by sadness, in those who struggle to find meaning in life. There is so necessary today. However, we must not proclaim ourselves. Rather, as joyful servants of hope, we must announce the Risen One by our lives and by our love; otherwise we will be only an international organization full of followers and good rules, yet incapable of offering the hope for which the world longs.

How can we strengthen our hope? The liturgy of this night offers some guidance. It teaches us to remember the works of God. The readings describe God’s faithfulness, the history of his love towards us. The living word of God is able to involve us in this history of love, nourishing our hope and renewing our joy. The Gospel also reminds us of this: in order to kindle hope in the hearts of the women, the angel tells them: “Remember what [Jesus] told you” (v. 6). Let us not forget his words and his works, otherwise we will lose hope. Let us instead remember the Lord, his goodness and his life-giving words which have touched us. Let us remember them and make them ours, to be sentinels of the morning who know how to help others see the signs of the Risen Lord.

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is risen! Let us open our hearts to hope and go forth. May the memory of his works and his words be the bright star which directs our steps in the ways of faith towards the Easter that will have no end.



Early on Pope Francis exclaimed, "Who am I to judge?" And time and time again, His Holiness has made it clear that HE IS THE ONE TO JUDGE FOR HE IS:

- His Holiness The Pope;
- Bishop Of Rome And Vicar Of Jesus Christ;
- Successor Of St. Peter, Prince Of The Apostles;
- Supreme Pontiff Of The Universal Church;
- Patriarch Of The West;
- Servant Of The Servants Of God;
- Primate Of Italy;
- Archbishop And Metropolitan Of The Roman Province;
- Sovereign Of Vatican City State


This is how the Huffington Post describes what Pope Francis said after the Way of the Cross at Rome's Coliseum. Below their comments is what the Supreme Pontiff actually said and said it as a prayer. You can judge, then, if the POPE IS THE ONE WHO JUDGES in answer to His Holiness own question "WHO AM I TO JUDGE?":

Pope slams Europe over migrants, denounces paedophile priests

Rome, Ella Ide, AFP - Pope Francis decried what he called Europe's "indifferent and anaesthetised conscience" over migrants, during Good Friday prayers in Rome during which he also slammed paedophile priests, arms dealers and fundamentalists.

Tens of thousands of Catholic faithful gathered for the service, many clutching candles in the imposing surrounds of the city's famous Colosseum, where thousands of Christians are believed to have been killed in Roman times.

"O Cross of Christ, today we see you in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas which have become insatiable cemeteries, reflections of our indifferent and anaesthetised conscience," the 79-year old pontiff said, referring to the thousands who set off in unseaworthy boats to reach Greece and the rest of Europe.

Francis has long called for the global community to open its doors to refugees and fight xenophobia -- appeals which have intensified since a controversial deal between Europe and Turkey to expel migrants arriving in Greece.

The Argentine pope did not spare his own Church, fiercely denouncing paedophile priests whom he described as those "unfaithful ministers who, instead of stripping themselves of their own vain ambitions, divest even the innocent of their dignity".

The Roman Catholic Church continues to be dogged by cases of predatory priests and past cover-ups. Just this month a French cardinal faced calls to resign over allegations he promoted a cleric who had a previous conviction for sexual abuse.

In the wake of this week's deadly attacks in Brussels, Francis slammed "terrorist acts committed by followers of some religions which profane the name of God and which use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence".

The pope added it was "arms dealers who feed the cauldron of war with the innocent blood of our brothers and sisters" and raged against "traitors who, for thirty pieces of silver, would consign anyone to death".

- 'Egotistical and hypocritical society' -

Francis also evoked the expressions on the faces of children fleeing war "who often only find death and many Pilates who wash their hands" -- a reference to Pontius Pilate, who, according to Christian tradition, said he was bowing to public demand in ordering Jesus's crucifixion, in a bid to shrug off personal responsibility.

In his wide-ranging diatribe, the head of the Roman Catholic Church lashed out at persecutors of Christians in particular, lamenting "our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence".

He also turned a steely gaze on Western cultures, talking of "our egotistical and hypocritical society", which casts off the elderly and disabled and lets its children starve.

During the service, a small group of believers carried a cross between 14 "stations" evoking the last hours of Jesus's life during the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession, amid visibly heightened security at the former gladiator battle ground.

Sitting under a red canopy next to a large cross, Francis listened earlier to a lengthy meditation written by Italian Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, who spoke of the darkest moments of humanity, where belief in God is most deeply shaken.

"Where is God in the extermination camps? Where is God in the mines and factories where children work as slaves? Where is God in makeshift boats that sink in the sea?", he said in reference to the migrant vessels and the many who have drowned.

Good Friday is the second of four intensive days in the Christian calendar culminating in Easter Sunday, commemorating Christ's resurrection.

On Saturday, the pontiff will take part in an evening Easter vigil in St Peter's Basilica, before celebrating Easter mass on Sunday and pronouncing the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" blessing to the world.


O Cross of Christ! (My Comment: The first half of the prayer is directed to the "goats on the left" as the Holy Father judges and condemns them, like Jesus will do at our personal judgment and ultimately at the General Judgement, those who are "anti-Christ." The second half of the prayer is directed to the "sheep on the right" as the Holy Father commends them and invites them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.)

(This first part of the Holy Father's prayer is directed to the goats on the left!):

O Cross of Christ, symbol of divine love and of human injustice, icon of the supreme sacrifice for love and of boundless selfishness even unto madness, instrument of death and the way of resurrection, sign of obedience and emblem of betrayal, the gallows of persecution and the banner of victory.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the faces of children, of women and people, worn out and fearful, who flee from war and violence and who often only find death and many Pilates who wash their hands.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those filled with knowledge and not with the spirit, scholars of death and not of life, who instead of teaching mercy and life, threaten with punishment and death, and who condemn the just.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in unfaithful ministers who, instead of stripping themselves of their own vain ambitions, divest even the innocent of their dignity.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the hardened hearts of those who easily judge others, with hearts ready to condemn even to the point of stoning, without ever recognizing their own sins and faults.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in expressions of fundamentalism and in terrorist acts committed by followers of some religions which profane the name of God and which use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who wish to remove you from public places and exclude you from public life, in the name of a pagan laicism or that equality you yourself taught us.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the powerful and in arms dealers who feed the cauldron of war with the innocent blood of our brothers and sisters, and give their children blood-soaked bread to eat.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in traitors who, for thirty pieces of silver, would consign anyone to death.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in thieves and corrupt officials who, instead of safeguarding the common good and morals, sell themselves in the despicable market-place of immorality.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the foolish who build warehouses to store up treasures that perish, leaving Lazarus to die of hunger at their doorsteps.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the destroyers of our “common home”, who by their selfishness ruin the future of coming generations.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the elderly who have been abandoned by their families, in the disabled and in children starving and cast-off by our egotistical and hypocritical society.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas which have become insatiable cemeteries, reflections of our indifferent and anesthetized conscience.

(This is the second part of the Holy Father's Good Friday prayer and it commends the sheep on the right:)

O Cross of Christ, image of love without end and way of the Resurrection, today too we see you in noble and upright persons who do good without seeking praise or admiration from others.

O Cross of Christ, we, too, see you in ministers who are faithful and humble, who illuminate the darkness of our lives like candles that burn freely in order to brighten the lives of the least among us.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the faces of consecrated women and men – good Samaritans – who have left everything to bind up, in evangelical silence, the wounds of poverty and injustice.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the merciful who have found in mercy the greatest expression of justice and faith.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in simple men and women who live their faith joyfully day in and day out, in filial observance of your commandments.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the contrite, who in the depths of the misery of their sins, are able to cry out: Lord, remember me in your kingdom!

O Cross of Christ, we, too, see you in the blessed and the saints who know how to cross the dark night of faith without ever losing trust in you and without claiming to understand your mysterious silence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in families that live their vocation of married life in fidelity and fruitfulness.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in volunteers who generously assist those in need and the downtrodden.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those persecuted for their faith who, amid their suffering, continue to offer an authentic witness to Jesus and the Gospel.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who dream, those with the heart of a child, who work to make the world a better place, ever more human and just.

In you, Holy Cross, we see God who loves even to the end, and we see the hatred of those who want to dominate, that hatred which blinds the minds and hearts of those who prefer darkness to light.

O Cross of Christ, Arc of Noah that saved humanity from the flood of sin, save us from evil and from the Evil One. O Throne of David and seal of the divine and eternal Covenant, awaken us from the seduction of vanity! O cry of love, inspire in us a desire for God, for goodness and for light.

O Cross of Christ, teach us that the rising of the sun is more powerful than the darkness of night. O Cross of Christ, teach us that the apparent victory of evil vanishes before the empty tomb and before the certainty of the Resurrection and the love of God which nothing can defeat, obscure or weaken. Amen!

My final comment: I must say this is one powerful, traditional Catholic Prayer!