Sunday, January 1, 2017



I never thought I would be all "poped" out but I am because there is just too much on the internet about this pope. How I longed for the days of the "big three" American networks that only had 15 to 30 minutes of national and international news on their evening news shows and newspapers that filled in the rest and the five minute newscasts on radio. There never was overkill as there is now on 24 hour news stations and the plethora of written and verbal diarrhea on the Catholic blogs, like this one.

So to start out the glorious New Year in the Year of our Lord 2017, let's praise Pope Francis for maintaining the sobriety of the Latin Rite's liturgies, be it the Liturgy of the Hours solemnly celebrated as at the Vigil of Holy Mary, Mother of God or at Sunday's Mass in Her honor.

And what better way to start off a New Year in the Year of our Lord than to celebrate the maternity of the Most and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother!

The first video followed by the Holy Father's homily is First Vespers for Holy Mary Mother of God and the second video is this morning's Mass celebrating the same followed by the Holy Father's homily. There is nothing in any of these to cause the caustic to carp and be uncharitable and thus sin in a mortal way.

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saturday, 31 December 2016
“When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
These words of Saint Paul are powerful.  In a brief and concise way, they introduce God’s plan for us: he wants us to live as his sons and daughters.  The whole of salvation history echoes in these words.  He who was not subject to the law chose, out of love, to set aside every privilege and to appear in the most unexpected place in order to free us who were under the law.  What is so surprising is that God accomplishes this through the smallness and vulnerability of a newborn child.  He decides personally to draw near to us and in his flesh to embrace our flesh, in his weakness to embrace our weakness, in his littleness to envelop our littleness.  In Christ, God did not put on a human mask; instead he became man and shared completely in our human condition.  Far from remaining an idea or an abstract essence, he wanted to be close to all those who felt lost, demeaned, hurt, discouraged, inconsolable and frightened.  Close to all those who in their bodies carry the burden of separation and loneliness, so that sin, shame, hurt, despair and exclusion would not have the final word in the lives of his sons and daughters.
The manger invites us to make this divine “logic” our own.  It is not a logic centred on privilege, exemptions or favours but one of encounter and closeness.  The manger invites us to break with the logic of exceptions for some and exclusion for others.  God himself comes to shatter the chains of privilege that always cause exclusion, in order to introduce the caress of compassion that brings inclusion, that makes the dignity of each person shine forth, the dignity for which he or she was created.  A child in swaddling clothes shows us the power of God who approaches us as a gift, an offering, a leaven and opportunity for creating a culture of encounter.
We cannot allow ourselves to be naïve.  We know that we are tempted in various ways to adopt the logic of privilege that separates, excludes and closes us off, while separating, excluding and closing off the dreams and lives of so many of our brothers and sisters.
Today, before the little Child of Bethlehem, we should acknowledge that we need the Lord to enlighten us, because all too often we end up being narrow-minded or prisoners of all-or-nothing attitude that would force others to conform to our own ideas.  We need this light, which helps us learn from our mistakes and failed attempts in order to improve and surpass ourselves; this light born of the humble and courageous awareness of those who find the strength, time and time again, to rise up and start anew.
As another year draws to an end, let us pause before the manger and express our gratitude to God for all the signs of his generosity in our life and our history, seen in countless ways through the witness of those people who quietly took a risk.  A gratitude that is no sterile nostalgia or empty recollection of an idealized and disembodied past, but a living memory, one that helps to generate personal and communal creativity because we know that God is with us.
Let us pause before the manger to contemplate how God has been present throughout this year and to remind ourselves that every age, every moment is the bearer of graces and blessings.  The manger challenges us not to give up on anything or anyone.  To look upon the manger means to find the strength to take our place in history without complaining or being resentful, without closing in on ourselves or seeking a means of escape, looking for shortcuts in our own interest.  Looking at the manger means recognizing that the times ahead call for bold and hope-filled initiatives, as well as the renunciation of vain self-promotion and endless concern with appearances.
Looking at the manger means seeing how God gets involved by involving us, making us part of his work, inviting us to welcome the future courageously and decisively.
Looking at the manger, we see Joseph and Mary, their young faces full of hopes and aspirations, full of questions.  Young faces that look to the future conscious of the difficult task of helping the God-Child to grow.  We cannot speak of the future without reflecting on these young faces and accepting the responsibility we have for our young; more than a responsibility, the right word would be debt, yes, the debt we owe them.  To speak of a year’s end is to feel the need to reflect on how concerned we are about the place of young people in our society.
We have created a culture that idolizes youth and seeks to make it eternal.  Yet at the same time, paradoxically, we have condemned our young people to have no place in society, because we have slowly pushed them to the margins of public life, forcing them to migrate or to beg for jobs that no longer exist or fail to promise them a future.  We have preferred speculation over dignified and genuine work that can allow young people to take active part in the life of society.  We expect and demand that they be a leaven for the future, but we discriminate against them and “condemn” them to knock on doors that for the most part remain closed.
We are asked to be something other than the innkeeper in Bethlehem who told the young couple: there is no room here.  There was no room for life, for the future.  Each of us is asked to take some responsibility, however small, for helping our young people to find, here in their land, in their own country, real possibilities for building a future.  Let us not be deprived of the strength of their hands, their minds, and their ability to prophesy the dreams of their ancestors (cf. Jl 2:28).  If we wish to secure a future worthy of them, we should do so by staking it on true inclusion: one that provides work that is worthy, free, creative, participatory and solidary (cf. Address at the Conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, 6 May 2016).
Looking at the manger challenges us to help our young people not to become disillusioned by our own immaturity, and to spur them on so that they can be capable of dreaming and fighting for their dreams, capable of growing and becoming fathers and mothers of our people.
As we come to the end of this year, we do well to contemplate the God-Child!  Doing so invites us to return to the sources and roots of our faith.  In Jesus, faith becomes hope; it becomes a leaven and a blessing.  “With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, Christ makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew” (Evangelii Gaudium, 3)

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
1 January 2017
“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart! (Lk 2:19).  In these words, Luke describes the attitude with which Mary took in all that they had experienced in those days.  Far from trying to understand or master the situation, Mary is the woman who can treasure, that is to say, protect and guard in her heart, the passage of God in the life of his people.  Deep within, she had learned to listen to the heartbeat of her Son, and that in turn taught her, throughout her life, to discover God’s heartbeat in history.  She learned how to be a mother, and in that learning process she gave Jesus the beautiful experience of knowing what it is to be a Son.  In Mary, the eternal Word not only became flesh, but also learned to recognize the maternal tenderness of God.  With Mary, the God-Child learned to listen to the yearnings, the troubles, the joys and the hopes of the people of the promise.  With Mary, he discovered himself a Son of God’s faithful people.
In the Gospels, Mary appears as a woman of few words, with no great speeches or deeds, but with an attentive gaze capable of guarding the life and mission of her Son, and for this reason, of everything that he loves.  She was able to watch over the beginnings of the first Christian community, and in this way she learned to be the mother of a multitude.  She drew near to the most diverse situations in order to sow hope.  She accompanied the crosses borne in the silence of her children’s hearts.  How many devotions, shrines and chapels in the most far-off places, how many pictures in our homes, remind us of this great truth.  Mary gave us a mother’s warmth, the warmth that shelters us amid troubles, the maternal warmth that keeps anything or anyone from extinguishing in the heart of the Church the revolution of tenderness inaugurated by her Son.  Where there is a mother, there is tenderness.  By her motherhood, Mary shows us that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong.  She teaches us that we do not have to mistreat others in order to feel important (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 288).  God’s holy people has always acknowledged and hailed her as the Holy Mother of God.
To celebrate Mary as Mother of God and our mother at the beginning of the new year means recalling a certainty that will accompany our days: we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans.
Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and egotistic tendencies, to our lack of openness and our indifference.  A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the “feel of home”.  A society without mothers would be a merciless society, one that has room only for calculation and speculation.  Because mothers, even at the worst times, are capable of testifying to tenderness, unconditional self-sacrifice and the strength of hope.  I have learned much from those mothers whose children are in prison, or lying in hospital beds, or in bondage to drugs, yet, come cold or heat, rain or draught, never stop fighting for what is best for them.  Or those mothers who in refugee camps, or even the midst of war, unfailingly embrace and support their children’s sufferings.  Mothers who literally give their lives so that none of their children will perish.  Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children.
To begin the year by recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary, in the maternal face of the Church, in the faces of our own mothers, protects us from the corrosive disease of being “spiritual orphans”.  It is the sense of being orphaned that the soul experiences when it feels motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim.  This sense of being orphaned lodges in a narcissistic heart capable of looking only to itself and its own interests.  It grows when what we forget that life is a gift we have received – and owe to others – a gift we are called to share in this common home.
It was such a self-centred orphanhood that led Cain to ask: “Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen  4:9).  It was as if to say: he doesn’t belong to me; I do not recognize him.  This attitude of spiritual orphanhood is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul.  We become all the more debased, inasmuch as nobody belongs to us and we belong to no one.  I debase the earth because it does not belong to me; I debase others because they do not belong to me; I debase God because I do not belong to him, and in the end we debase our very selves, since we forget who we are and the divine “family name” we bear.  The loss of the ties that bind us, so typical of our fragmented and divided culture, increases this sense of orphanhood and, as a result, of great emptiness and loneliness.  The lack of physical (and not virtual) contact is cauterizing our hearts (cf. Laudato Si’, 49) and making us lose the capacity for tenderness and wonder, for pity and compassion.  Spiritual orphanhood makes us forget what it means to be children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, friends and believers.  It makes us forget the importance of playing, of singing, of a smile, of rest, of gratitude.
Celebrating the feast of the Holy Mother of God makes us smile once more as we realize that we are a people, that we belong, that only within a community, within a family, can we as persons find the “climate”, the “warmth” that enables us to grow in humanity, and not merely as objects meant to “consume and be consumed”.  To celebrate the feast of the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we are not interchangeable items of merchandise or information processors.   We are children, we are family, we are God’s People.
Celebrating the Holy Mother of God leads us to create and care for common places that can give us a sense of belonging, of being rooted, of feeling at home in our cities, in communities that unite and support us (cf. Laudato Si’, 151).
Jesus, at the moment of his ultimate self-sacrifice, on the cross, sought to keep nothing for himself, and in handing over his life, he also handed over to us his Mother.  He told Mary: Here is your son; here are your children.  We too want to receive her into our homes, our families, our communities and nations.  We want to meet her maternal gaze.  The gaze that frees us from being orphans; the gaze that reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, that you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh.  The gaze that teaches us that we have to learn how to care for life in the same way and with the same tenderness that she did: by sowing hope, by sowing a sense of belonging and of fraternity.
Celebrating the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we have a Mother.  We are not orphans.  We have a Mother.  Together let us all confess this truth.  I invite you to acclaim it three times, standing [all stand], like the faithful of Ephesus: Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God.


Gene said...

The positive aspects of this Papacy:


Anonymous said...

1. Francis is pope and Mr. Gene is not.

Nothing more is needed. This papacy is a complete success!


Anonymous said...

It's had a positive effect on the Orthodox Church, our entire catechumens class, minus 2 Protestants, is made up of disinfranchised Catholics. So, I think the "Bergolian" papacy has made many Catholics question the historical realities of infallibility & supremacy....but that isn't really a plus for y'all. Out of curiosity I follow Catholic blogs occasionally, and it doesn't seem like Francis has done much good, but what do I know, I'm just a insubordinate Eastern schismatic :)


George said...

Mary, Mother of God

Just as the first light of the dawn heralds the appearance of the sun from which it comes forth, so the Blessed Virgin was that first light of the Dawn of Redemption from which the Son of God would spring forth.
Just as the sun would be of no benefit to man without the atmosphere - and the moisture and oxygen it contains, so also was the human flesh of Mary necessary to provide flesh to Christ, the Son of God, by whom man would be redeemed.
Just as the moon sends down to us light which is not of it's own generation, but comes from the sun, so does the Mother of God reflect down to us the Light of her Divine Son, by whose Light we are spiritually re-generated. So on this first day of the year we honor her who is first among angels and men.

Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the Incarnation and embodiment of the New. It is fitting that the first major feast day following the Nativity of Our Lord is the Solemnity of the Mother of God. It is also fitting that it is the first day of the new year. Just as the old year has been fulfilled and we then celebrate the New Year on the first day, so we celebrate the Blessed Virgin, who is the first and greatest beneficiary of the New Covenant, the Old having been brought to fulfillment. She is our Mother whose concern and solicitude is fro our spiritual welfare.Her Magnificat is ours also if we do what God requires of us by obeying His Holy laws and become the instruments of His Divine Charity

It was from the Blessed Virgin that Christ received His Flesh and Blood, His human body, the substance of our substance, by which it was necessary according to the means He chose for the Redemption of man. By this special privilege was the Holy Mother of God granted a unique and special role in our Salvation.
Just as Christ brings about the sanctification of matter in the Holy Sacraments instituted by Him out of His Love, Divine Mercy and Generosity, in the Divine Maternity of Mary He sanctified and made holy the role and privilege of motherhood.
The Son of God, who sustains our body and soul through His own Body and Blood, has two natures, one human and one Divine, which are bound in an inseparable unity comprising one person. This is why we honor The Blessed Virgin as Mother of God, as one who gave birth to this one Person. It is right that we venerate her because in doing so, we give honor and glory to God and in this way we please Him by doing what He desires of us.

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Mother of Christ, hear thou thy people's cry,
Star of the deep and portal of the sky!
mother of Him, who thee from nothing made,
sinking we strive and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

Mark Thomas said...


It is unfortunate that one "traditional" Catholic blog after another refuses...and I mean refuses...daily to offer even one positive story about His Holiness Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has time and again promoted the Culture of Life, Confession, sober liturgies, exhorted Catholics to reclaim Sunday as a day to focus upon the Eucharistic, spiritual reading and meditation, as well as family activities...

...exhorted us to cultivate devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and all Saints, pray the Holy Rosary...has promoted indulgences...condemned the persecution of Christians, employed the term "genocide" in regard to the extermination of Christians...

...promoted the traditional family unit, Indulgences, and Eucharistic Adoration.

But one "traditional" Catholic blog after another refuses to note such things. Instead, hour after hour via the Internet, they attack our Holy Father. They pretend that he never, ever, ever, ever, promotes any of the above. They, as well as commenters who read their blogs, gather to denounce Frank The Hippie, the Evil Clown, FrancisMercy, FrancisChurch, FrancisBishops, FrancisCardinals...

...they spew venom around the clock at Pope Francis, as well as any Cardinal, bishop, priest...anybody who doesn't march in lockstep with their depressing, conspiratorial mindset.

Conversely, at my local FSSP parish as well as several parishes familiar to me, one finds waves and waves of uplifting brothers and sisters in the Faith. They don't spew venom at Pope Francis.

The overwhelmingly amount of my brothers and sisters in the Faith whom I've met, as well as those whom I've observed at Mass, are, I believe, humble, positive people (although they deal with many serious issues) who, in their respective ways, do their best to connect to the Mass as they worship God.

Following a given Mass, they converse with each other in uplifting fashion.

I do not encounter comments about the "heretical" Apostolic Exhortation...about the Evil Clown, Frank The Hippie...about the Four Cardinals, the supposed schism...about heading to the SSPX, "which is the only place where the True Church exists."

I encounter humble worshipers who love God, are in communion with Pope Francis, whom they love as their holy Roman Pontiff, and connect in their respective ways to the Divine Liturgy offered by their holy priest.

They are oblivious to the horrifically depressing nonsense that, via certain blogs, is spewed around-the-clock at Pope Francis. Rather, they possess a serene attitude in regard to Pope Francis.

Deo gratias for His Holiness Pope Francis — the great promoter of the Culture of Life.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Mina's said..."It's had a positive effect on the Orthodox Church, our entire catechumens class, minus 2 Protestants, is made up of disinfranchised Catholics."

At least since the 1960s, long before Pope Francis' Pontificate, the (Latin) Catholic Church has witnessed the departures of tens of millions of Her children from the Faith.

I believe that the only way to repair the (Latin) Church is via the restoration of the Traditional Roman Mass. But from Pope Blessed Paul VI to Pope Francis, the Roman Pontiffs have disagreed with that notion.

Anyway, nobody should be surprised that your catechumens contains many "disenfranchised Catholics."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

"Deo gratias for His Holiness Pope Francis — the great promoter of the Culture of Life."

You have got to be kidding. Are we talking about the same man, who:

Remained silent when all of Ireland turned it's back on Christ and His Church when they allowed gay "marriage"
Remained silent about baby body parts being sold like meat the same week he spoke before a joint session of Congress.
Remained silent when cardinals of the Roman Church asked for clarification on doctrinal points.
Remained silent about a presidential candidate who believes in aborting a baby at the moment of birth but accused Donald Trump of not being a Christian because he wants to secure the borders.
Remains silent when entire bishops conferences openly teach heresy yet silences orthodox cardinals and bishops who dare to ask questions.
And the list goes on. And let's not forget about a phony synod of bishops who voted down the Kasper proposal (even though Francis had tried to rig the votes by installing a majority of liberal, like minded bishops) and insisted it be included in the document anyway and lied to the world saying the bishops voted for it.

Chaos and confusion is NOT of God and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

"Positive elements of his papacy"? GOOD JOKE!!!

In regard his Mother Mary homilies look at that what is going on in that aspect ('quotes from certain prophecy about Bergoglio's church)

"By giving the impression that they honour the Mother of God, many Catholics will be led into a false sense of security. This will mean that any doubts, which they would otherwise have, when they witness the strange new amendments to the Mass and Sacraments, will be instantly forgotten. How this brings me great sorrow. My image will be deliberately used to insult my Son."

Don't expect anything GOOD from this papacy. It will not happen, quite a contrary, we are just entering the WORST PERIOD OF CATHOLIC CHURCH, from the time of Judas, the betrayer.

Mark Thomas said...

Here is a beautiful, uplifting story (and photograph) about Pope Francis, which failed to see the light of day upon one "traditional" Catholic blog after another...blogs where it's claimed that Pope Francis doesn't speak about pro-life issues.

Pope Francis Visits Neonatal Unit and Hospice to Highlight Pro-Life Values at Both Ends of Life

"By visiting the neonatal unit, Pope Francis wanted to “send a strong signal about the importance of life from its first moment until its natural end,” according to the Vatican."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

To: Anonymous. In regard to Pope Francis' address to Congress.

-- Pope Francis Tells Congress to “Defend Life at Every Stage of Development”


"Pope Francis brought a consistent pro-life message to the nation’s leaders today and admonished members of Congress in a speech today to “defend life at every stage of development.”

Pope Francis: “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

Excerpt from a press release by Priests for Life:

PHILADELPHIA – "Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization, today issued the following statement on Pope Francis’s address to Congress."

"Also, when Pope Francis declared that we must ‘protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,’ he reminded Congressional lawmakers of a fundamental principle of lawmaking, namely, that the law must protect human life from the moment it begins."

"This affirmation of Pope Francis to Congress today is not made in a vacuum. Every pope speaks and writes in the context of established Church teaching. His reference to the need to protect life from conception involves the body of teaching found in so many Church documents. There is no question that this is the most important foundation for advancing other human rights."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Remained silent...?

"Pope Francis today reaffirmed Catholic opposition to gay marriage as he opened a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world but said the Church had to show love and understanding towards all." 4 Oct 2015

"A senior Vatican official has attacked the legalisation of gay marriage in Ireland. The referendum that overwhelmingly backed marriage equality last weekend was a “defeat for humanity”, he claimed." 26 May 2015 (The Secty of State speaks for the Pope)

Anonymous said...

Pope Francis today reaffirmed Catholic opposition to gay marriage as he opened a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world but said the Church had to show love and understanding towards all." 4 Oct 2015

My such strong language. (That's sarcasm) Francis has no problem judging and condemning someone he doesn't know and publicly says they are not Christian. But he says we should show love and understanding to sodomites. If that is your argument for Francis upholding the teachings of the Church you are kidding yourself. My crystal ball tells me that the next "synod" will do away with clerical celibacy and will publicly bless gay unions. All the while declaring nothing about the doctrine of th Church has changed. Francis needs to go and be declared the antipope that he probably is.

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous at January 1, 2017 at 2:20 PM said..."accused Donald Trump of not being a Christian because he wants to secure the borders."

That is false. Even Donald Trump denounced the news media for having misrepresented Pope Francis' remarks in question.

February 17, 2016 A.D., Vatican transcript of Pope Francis remarks in question.

"Philip Pullella from Reuters referred to statements made by Donald Trump, who is campaigning to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States. In an interview, Trump called the Pope a political pawn. He also said that, if elected, he would build a wall 2,500 kilometres long between the United States and Mexico and deport 11 million illegal immigrants. The journalists asked what Pope Francis thought about such statements and whether a Catholic in the U.S. could vote for this kind of person."

Pope Francis: "Well, thank God he said that I am a political person, because Aristotle defined the human being as a “political animal”: at least, I am human! And that I am a pawn... well, perhaps, I don’t know... I’ll leave that to your judgement and that of the people.... Then, a person who thinks only of building walls, wherever it may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. What you were asking me, who to vote for or not: I won’t interfere.

"I only say: if a man says these things, he is not Christian.

"We have to see if he said these things, *******and thus I will give him the benefit of the doubt."*******


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous at January 1, 2017 at 2:20 PM said..."accused Donald Trump of not being a Christian because he wants to secure the borders."

Donald Trump during an appearance on CNN:

Video, 56 seconds, Donald Trump denounced news media for having misrepresented Pope Francis' comments about Mr. Trump.

"Trump called the Pope a "wonderful guy" and blamed the day's drama on the press. I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."

"Donald Trump backed off his fight with Pope Francis late Thursday, saying the pontiff's remarks about Trump's immigration stance were "misinterpreted" by the media.

"On Thursday night at a town hall hosted by CNN, Trump said, "I think he was very much misinterpreted and I think he was given false information."


Mark Thomas

Православный физик said...

When the Pope stops with the insults, name calling, and actually doing the one job he's supposed to do, I'll be positive or emphasise the positive aspects of what I see. The very fact that he does mention positive things such as going to confession, the devil, etc, is completely undermined by the ambiguity on other issues.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with what Joe P. said. I WANT to listen to the pope, I WANT to hear what a pope has to say. But when he continually, purposefully gives outrageous interviews again and again and again and again and again with a notorious enemy of the Church.....what am I to think. I can understand Francis making imprudent mistakes in the beginning of the papacy but it NEVER stops. And the insulting language and the arrogance never stops. He is undermining himself along with the Church. Sorry to say but I turned him off a long time ago and no longer care to listen to what he says or does anymore.

Gene said...

It would be more soothing to listen to a wildcat strapped to a jackhammer than to listen to this Pope.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thank you for posting these homilies, Father McDonald. They are uplifting and I enjoyed reading them. Pity that some of the commentators on this thread—including the usual suspects—ignore them, preferring instead to continue wallowing in their misery over this papacy. So, Happy New Year everyone!

Gene said...

Anon 2, I don't think people are in "misery" over this papacy. Most of the believers and devout Catholics I know have responses that range from disgusted amusement to righteous outrage. Given the direction the Church has been headed since Vat II, I don't think anyone is really surprised that someone like Bergoglio became Pope...they are rather disappointed that their greatest concerns were confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Most of the believers and devout Catholics I know are neither disgusted nor outraged.

They are grateful for a pope who is willing to step away from the trappings of European monarchies, who is willing to accompany, rather than shun, those who struggle with on-going sin in the lives, and who is willing to call the Church to be more of a field hospital than an unresponsive bureaucracy bent on keeping rules rather than evangelizing.

Julie said...

What a Wonderful Way to Start the New Year with such positive Homilies.
Thank You Father McDonald. I pray that this will be a wonderful year for you and our church.
I pray for you every night. God Bless.

John Nolan said...

The First of January has since the sixth century been celebrated as the Feast of the Circumcision. Layered with this feast are two others - the Octave day of the Nativity, and the celebration of the Mother of God. The liturgy reflects all three elements.

This was of course too untidy for the 'trio of maniacs' who produced the Novus Ordo calendar; out went the Circumcision (too Jewish, perhaps?) and what we have is in effect a votive Mass of the BVM with the Introit 'Salve Sancta Parens'. A similar hatchet job was carried out on Candlemas (2 Feb). Fortunately I don't have to put up with the new calendar or lectionary, and so have no need to defend them.

Pace Mark Thomas, there are sober, scholarly and extremely well-informed men who have come to view this papacy as increasingly dysfunctional, and are prepared to voice their concerns. They are not conspiracy theorists, and to dismiss them as such is exceedingly foolish.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas, what would you like Father Z, Rorate Caeli, The Remnant Newspaper, New Liturgical Movement, California Daily Catholic, St. Louis Catholic, and Traditio to say that is POSITIVE about Pope Francis, you sir may love to live in the Novus Ordo world of clowns, dancing girls, giant puppets at Mass, hand holding, kiss of peace, female lectors, altar girls, drums, guitars, banjos and other profane instruments, protestant music, communion in the hand while standing, these sir are the many reasons the Traditional blogs will NOT glorify this man Francis and they shan't until a brave savior takes over the Chair of Peter and restores the Traditional Roman Rite. Meaning the TLM and traditional sacraments, return to the habits for nuns, LATIN LATIN LATIN, Gregorian chant, the organ, Roman and Gothic vestments, altar boys, communion rails, high altar, then they will heap praise upon a REAL POPE.

Православный физик said...

There is nothing shunning about speaking the Truth of the Faith. If the Faith were merely about our feelings, I would have been gone decades ago.

The most merciful thing that can be done for any sinner is to tell them the Truth of the Faith. Coddling to insert feelings here only transforms the situation into where man becomes the center of the Faith, and not Christ God. Anyone who does not preach the fullness of the Faith has an absolute hatred for souls.

If anything during these days, the Church doesn't suffer from a lack of mercy, but rather the lack of love to tell people the Truth of the Faith.

It is not by accident in the Byzantine Liturgy we pray "we have found the true faith, and we worship the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us."

It is also, of course, true that telling the Truth doesn't mean being a jerk, though that should go without saying really.

Forgive me for being a bit harsh, but it needs to be said, sometimes the best of intentions has the worst of consequences. This is true both in the political order, and in the spiritual order as well. I certainly don't think Pope Francis is evil, or an anti-Christ, but for the good intentions that he has, he more often times than not undermines those good intentions by doing (or more often times than not saying) something in complete opposition to what he did earlier. At this point, I'm sick of hearing about Pope Francis, my eyes are on the Trinity and not worried about the Circus that's happening. Had the Fathers at Vatican I known that the age of mass media was going to evolve as it has, they would have never defined papal infallibility. Count me among the amusingly this point it's nearly comical.

Once he (Pope Francis) starts actually showing some real mercy to those who disagree with him, he'll get more mercy from those who are upset with him for various reasons. It's as the old saying goes, one can't get respect, if respect isn't given. At least during the previous pontificate, those who disagreed were at least treated with some respect, not demoted, immediately dismissed...Perfect example, Pope Benedict XVI working with Abp Pietro Marini, even though the two completely disagreed liturgically....Pope Benedict XVI may have not had great managerial skills, but at least he was respectful to everyone even if he disagreed with them.

For Francis Pope of Rome, let us pray to the Lord, because he needs it.....

TJM said...

John Nolan, a voice of knowledge and reason has returned!!! Deo Gratias

Anonymous said...

Re: Change from Circumcision to Mary, Mother of God -

"The older emphasis on the circumcision was meant to highlight His humanity, and the humility and obedience of Mary (and Joseph) in complying with the law, which is also one focus of the Presentation. It spotlighted the OT prophecies, "a Son is given to us" in the obviously appropriate human act of obedience to the Law of Moses and Christ's birth as a descendent of Abraham. At the time the feast of the Circumcision was established Christ's humanity was under attack by heretics.

The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God is meant to remind us that Christ's humanity and divinity are united in one Person, and the doctrine of his full divinity, which is also under attack in our own time. The doctrine that Mary is Theotokos, Mother of God, confirmed at the council of Ephesus in the early Church in response to heretics, also needs enunciation today, where it is under attack by neo-Arians in many denominations that call themselves Christian."

God FORBID that a celebration dating to the 6th century should ever be adjusted, changed, replaced, removed..... There can be NO reason for such liturgical gerrymandering!

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 5:52

Perhaps you would care to attribute the quotation; it is an accurate reflection of the mindset of those who in Bouyer's words set themselves the task 'of recasting from top to bottom and in a few months an entire liturgy it had taken twenty centuries to develop.' It reinforces my comment.

The celebration of Mary as Theotokos is present in the Feast of the Circumcision (Collect, Secret and Postcommunion of the Mass; First and Second Vespers, passim) which is a good example of the genius of the Roman Rite in assimilating older traditions rather than simply replacing them with what some 'expert' at the time deems 'more relevant'.

Note also that the Novus Ordo also suppresses the feast of the Holy Name. Whoever did that would no doubt loftily point out that it was only added to the calendar in 1721. Yet it retains (on a different day) Holy Family, which was added 200 years later.

Your closing sarcastic comment only serves to highlight a profound ignorance, tinged with contempt, of the Roman Rite and its development prior to the seventh decade of the twentieth century. It's what one has come to expect from you, but it's sad nevertheless.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."Pace Mark Thomas, there are sober, scholarly and extremely well-informed men who have come to view this papacy as increasingly dysfunctional, and are prepared to voice their concerns."


-- There are sober, scholarly and extremely well-informed men who have come to view this papacy as a beautiful, holy success...the perfect Pontificate for our time.

-- There are sober, scholarly, extremely well-informed men who insist the TLM is a dreadful liturgy. They insist that the TLM renders worshipers into silent spectators during Mass.

-- There are sober, scholarly, extremely well-informed men who insist that the Vatican II Era liturgical reform has been a great success.

-- There are sober, scholarly, extremely well-informed men who insist that global warming is nonsense.

-- There are sober, scholarly, extremely well-informed men who insist that global warming is real.

-- There are sober, scholarly, extremely well-informed men who insist that Jesus Christ never performed miracles.

=========================================================== much for sober, scholarly, well-informed men.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Anonymous, maybe while we are it we can replace Christmas and Easter with something more "meaningful." Thanks, you're really thinking,like the 1960s!

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."Pace Mark Thomas, there are sober, scholarly and extremely well-informed men who have come to view this papacy as increasingly dysfunctional, and are prepared to voice their concerns. They are not conspiracy theorists, and to dismiss them as such is exceedingly foolish."

You may have figured me incorrectly. I favor frank, charitable discussion about Holy Mother Church. I believe that it's good to discuss Amoris Laetitia. Let Catholics discussion the Council of Trent. Let us discuss Vatican II. Let us discuss the Vatican II Era liturgical reform.

Let us discuss whether Pope Venerable Pius XII's reforms, such as his having launched the Church into the Ecumenical Movement, Holy Week changes to the Divine Liturgy, and changes to fasting practices, benefitted the Church.

Let us discuss Saint Peter. Let us discuss Pope Francis' Pontificate. Fine.

What I dismiss — the following is undeniable — is the around-the-clock misrepresentation of Pope Francis in which many "Catholic" so-called "Traditional" engage.

More than a few "Traditional" "Catholic" blogs have, literally from the first seconds that his name was announced to the Church and world, promoted flat-out lies about Pope Francis.

When said blogs were proved wrong about Pope Francis, I don't recall that one apologized to Pope Francis or even acknowledged their false claims in question.

Example: About one month ago, one "traditional" "Catholic" blog after another insisted that "heretical" "Evil Clown" Pope Francis had dispatched his "henchman," Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, to declare that the Four Cardinals were in danger of losing their Red Hats.

1. Monsignor Pinto never said that.
2. Obviously, Pope Francis did not dispatch Monsignor Pinto to offer said warning.

Did any "traditional" "Catholic" blog (as well as their anti-Pope Francis commenters who attacked the Pope and Monsignor Pinto) even acknowledge that they were wrong, let alone apologize to Pope Francis and Monsignor Pinto?

Has any "traditional" Catholic blogger who misrepresented Pope Francis' "who am I to judge him" comment ever apologized for their having claimed that Pope Francis had rejected the Church's teachings on homosexuality?

Has any "Catholic" blogger/blog commenter, who fomented hatred against Pope Francis early in his Pontificate via the claim that Pope Francis planned to excommunicate the SSPX and "outlaw" the TLM, ever acknowledged that they had trafficked in nonsense?

I object not to frank, charitable discussion that is acceptable within the Church. Rather, I object to the flat-out lies and misrepresentation in which certain "Catholic" blogs and blog commenters engage in daily in regard to Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

To: Anonymous at January 3, 2017 at 4:43 PM:

I favor the restoration of the ancient Roman Mass and Holy Tradition to Latin Church parishes throughout the world.

I believe that as long as the Novus Ordo serves as the Latin Church's primary Mass, that She will remain in the state of collapse in which She has been engulfed throughout the Vatican II Era.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, any good that Francis does is far outweighed - as other have noted here - by the ambiguous and the downright bad stuff he has done: Amoris Letitia and acknowledging Martin Luther being among the worst. I find his whole gruff manner and the way he refers to priests, name calling to be more than off-putting. The Church has become very much demoralized since he took office. I never thought to ever see a Pope don a clown's nose or use the crude language he has used. I no longer read anything good or bad about him. To me the papacy and the Church is in limbo until he either retires or passes on and it can't come soon enough.


Anonymous 2 said...

I notice that those commentators who are so critical of Pope Francis continue to ignore the two homilies that Father McDonald posted and apparently show no interest at all in engaging with what Pope Francis says in them. I can’t help wondering why this is. Could it be, perhaps, because some of his words challenge cherished economic, social, and/or political beliefs? Indeed, isn’t this what is really behind much “traditionalist” opposition to Pope Francis? And if so, does such opposition and such refusal to entertain these challenges represent a certain type of hardness of heart?

Anonymous said...

"I notice that those commentators who are so critical of Pope Francis continue to ignore the two homilies that Father McDonald posted and apparently show no interest at all in engaging with what Pope Francis says in them. I can’t help wondering why this is."

Really?! Have you read the comments? Let me put it really really easy in 3 points.

1. Faithful Catholics want to listen to what Pope Francis has to say.

2. Faithful Catholics HAVE listened to what Pope Francis has to say and are horrified.

3. Because faithful Catholics have listened and heard the scandalous, uncharitable, VULGAR, hateful things this pope says and teaches we no longer care what he has to say anymore.

Gene said...

Anon 2, your assumptions are all egalitarian, globalist, and progressive...all of which have nothing to do with theology or Church doctrine. His economic, social, and political beliefs are not the issue...although, one can assume that any Third World theologico-politico would espouse Leftist views that would also color his theology. However, the Pope's semi-cerebrate ramblings have Pelagian, Gnostic, and Arian implications. He still seems to have enough sense not to state them outright but, if you follow the logic, that is where you end up. One does not have to couch Christian exhortations to care for the poor, exercise compassion, and show mercy in Marxist, anti-Western rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Once again, just by throwing in "some" Latin and thinking that is "Traditional" is just plain silly, you can still have the Novus Ordo said with some Latin and incense thrown in, yet have altar girls, hand holding, kiss of peace, drums, guitars, clowns, giant puppets, polka, mariachi, folk music, communion in the hand while standing, protestant music, lay lectors, women and men handing out the communion cookie and koolaid. The TLM is NOT the same as the Novus Ordo in Latin, my points are stated above, so please don't equate that Latin tossed into the Novus Ordo makes it Traditional, it simply is a false statement.

Anonymous 2 said...


Yes, I understood those points. Evidently, you did not understand mine. Your rationalization for ignoring what Pope Francis says is convenient, isn’t it? Many “traditionalists” were also “horrified” from the get go by what Pope Francis said about the economy or the environment? Were you among them?


Your use of the “scare” buzz words “egalitarian, globalist, and progressive” to characterize my “assumptions” is also convenient, as is your characterization of Pope Francis’s words as “Marxist, anti-Western rhetoric” and your apparent dismissal of any Catholic evaluation and critique that focuses on this world as implicitly “Pelagian, Gnostic, and Arian.”

I also am not particularly interested in the Pope’s economic, social, and political beliefs per se. I_am_interested in his moral and spiritual beliefs and how they challenge our economic, social, and political beliefs, or will you now suggest that economics, social relationships, and political arrangements and activities are amoral and irrelevant to one’s spiritual life or state?

Anonymous said...

"Communion in the hand while standing..."

Well, Anonynmous at 1230, that is how communion is received in the hardly liberal Eastern Orthodox Church...and that was how communion was received in early Church history. And what is wrong with lay lectors?

Anonymous said...

The Catholic faith is globalist according to it's divine origins. (Mark 16:15)

The Catholic faith is egalitarian - al people are equal in the eyes of God and deserve equal rights and opportunities. We are all responsible for the Common Good. "The common good therefore involves all members of society, no one is exempt from cooperating, according to each one's possibilities, in attaining it and developing it." (Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), 417; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, 46: AAS 63 (1971), 433-435; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1913.)

The Catholic Church is progressive. "This process of internalization gives rise to greater depth and realism in social action, making possible the progressive universalization of attitudes of justice and solidarity, which the people of the Covenant are called to have towards all men and women of every people and nation."

And, "The inner transformation of the human person, in his being progressively conformed to Christ, is the necessary prerequisite for a real transformation of his relationships with others."

And, " In the course of history and with the light of the Spirit, the Church has wisely reflected within her own tradition of faith and has been able to provide an ever more accurate foundation and shape to these principles, progressively explaining them in the attempt to respond coherently to the demands of the times and to the continuous developments of social life."

And, related, "Our modern era is marked by the complex phenomenon of economic and financial globalization, a process that progressively integrates national economies at the level of the exchange of goods and services and of financial transactions."

All of these have a great deal to do with the Church's doctrine.

All quotations from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Anonymous said...

Mass need not be TLM in order to be Traditional.

The NO celebrated in English (or the vernacular) is every bit as Traditional as the TLM, which should really be the tLM.

TJM said...


Thanks for the laugh. So the "Bugnini Special" concocted by a committee and which has been with us less than 50 years (and is altered at the whim of the celebrant) is "traditional" like the EF which was developed over 1500 years. Got it.

Gene said...

Anonymous @ 2:33, You do not understand the meaning of the terms egalitarian, globalist, or progressive. You want to couch theology in socio-political terms. The Christian Faith is neither egalitarian, globalist, or progressive as those terms are commonly used today. In fact, the Christian Faith is exclusive to the max, and the only thing "globalist" about it is that this globe and everything on it is sold under sin and destined to be destroyed and renewed by Christ. Progressivism is a just plain stupid notion based upon unbelief and humanistic philosophy. You really need to read a book now and then.

DJR said...

Anonymous said... "Communion in the hand while standing..."

Well, Anonynmous at 1230, that is how communion is received in the hardly liberal Eastern Orthodox Church...and that was how communion was received in early Church history. And what is wrong with lay lectors?

This is not correct. The only people who receive Holy Communion in the hand in the Orthodox Church are deacons. Everyone else receives via a spoon. In some cases, by intinction, and given directly into the mouth.

Standing, yes, but never by hand.

Anonymous said...

Gene - I do know what the terms mean. Beyond that, I know what the Church teaches.

Unlike you I do not try to read the Church's teaching in a way that fits my prejudices and predispositions. Rather, I ask the Spirit to guide me so that I will fit the doctrine of the Church.

You ugliness toward others here is sufficient evidence to show just how much your spirit has yet to be conformed to the teaching of the Church.

Anonymous said...

I for one NEVER call myself a "Traditional" Roman Catholic I think the Novus Ordonarians love to say that as to say we are NOT Catholics, I just prefer the TRUE MASS OF ALL TIMES which simply makes me a Roman Catholic.

Adam Michael said...

One of the generally positive aspects of Pope Francis' pontificate is his compassionate approach to various moral issues. Some aspects of this approach were expressed by the Dominican priest, Fr. Gerald Vann, in the 1950s. Unfortunately, this compassion by the current pontiff often goes beyond the clarity of the Church's magisterium and even leads to the rejection of Church teaching by many churchmen and laity. This destroys much good will that, I suspect, many Catholics (I include myself) would otherwise extend toward Pope Francis' desire to emphasize the merciful aspects of the Church's moral teachings.

Adam Michael said...

"This is not correct. The only people who receive Holy Communion in the hand in the Orthodox Church are deacons. Everyone else receives via a spoon. In some cases, by intinction, and given directly into the mouth."

Maybe he was thinking about the reception of the antidoran (blessed bread) after the Sunday Divine Liturgy, which is picked up by hand.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 5:35 pm:

Fine. So, if preferring the TLM makes you “simply . . . a Roman Catholic,” what are those who prefer the Novus Ordo or who support the social doctrine of the Church? Are they then the ones who are “NOT Catholics”? Or do you concede that they are “simply . . . Roman Catholic” too?

John Nolan said...

The claim by 'Anonymous' that a vernacular Novus Ordo is 'every bit as Traditional as the TLM' is one he has made many times before. At first sight this appears to be the height of absurdity, yet there is an underlying logic to it. The preamble to the GIRM, paras 6-9, speaks of 'A Witness to Unbroken Tradition'. It should be remembered that this preamble was added at the last minute (it is not in the 1969 version which was withdrawn by Paul VI following the 'Ottaviani intervention' and which is still available in Latin for those who care to look it up).

Although the distinction between tradition and Tradition is a conceit of the author's, depending as it does on the vagaries of capitalization in just one language (English), it is a fact that the validity of the Novus Ordo depends on its connection with tradition, not on the fact that it was signed off by a pope or even authorized by a General Council (and the latter is debatable).

Although I believe the Roman Rite (in its entirety, not just the Mass) is a far better expression of the Church's tradition and lex credendi than the rite which replaced it in the 1960s, I do not consider that rite to be invalid per se and have no qualms about attending it in certain circumstances. Therefore logically I must concede that 'Anonymous' has a point.

Anonymous said...

Since we are communicating in English, vagaries of capitalization in other languages are moot.

The NO is Traditional in the same way the EF is Traditional. The Church, in her wisdom, has given us both, hence...

Tradition (cap T) trumps tradition (small T). Always has, always will.

It may have been traditional to celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision, but as the Church is the guardian of Tradition, and, as such, can change feasts and celebrations, has done so. The change may not be to one's liking, but the regulation of the liturgy is Traditional.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 11:06

I conceded your point 'the NO is Traditional in the same way the EF is Traditional' since it is patently true. But don't push your luck. Centralized regulation of the liturgy is a comparatively recent phenomenon and can hardly be regarded as traditional, regardless of capitalization. In the Middle Ages there were many Uses of the Roman Rite but this was not because local bishops devised and regulated them; in fact episcopal, still less papal, interference with the liturgy was not an issue.

If you have evidence to the contrary, feel free to cite it. Until then, refrain from pontificating on matters concerning which you are obviously ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I didn't pontificate on a thing.

I said nothing - noting - about a centralized regulation of the liturgy. You brought that up.

I said nothing at all about the many Uses of the Roman Rite. You brought that up.

Many here, yourself included I suspect, love to cite papal comments from many centuries past, glorying in the "centralized" power of the papacy. But when it suits you, you trumpet the opposite regarding the liturgy.

John Nolan said...


What then, did you mean when you said that 'the regulation of the liturgy is traditional'? It was only after the Protestant Reformation, when the reformers started devising their own liturgies, that Rome saw the need for regulation.

What you are trying to do is to justify the post-1965 'reform' by claiming historical precedent. Not long ago you opined that the Roman Rite had been changed 'time and time again' but gave no evidence as to what was changed or who changed it.

The notion of a Mass without the Roman Canon (the oldest anaphora which has come down to us, in other words the most traditional in the strict meaning of the word) being more-or-less normative would have been unthinkable before the second half of the 20th century.

Your last paragraph presumably refers to those who cite 'Quo Primum' to argue the immutability and sole validity of the 1570 Missal. I would not do so, and neither would any serious student of liturgical history; and I find the insinuation that I might 'cherrypick' or invent facts to score cheap points difficult to sustain if one considers what I have actually written.

And even you, the master of the cheap jibe, must realize that one cannot 'trumpet' any pronouncement, papal or otherwise, which was never made in the first place. By the way, it is better to engage with an argument, rather than fall back on the unconvincing defence of 'I didn't use that exact word so I didn't say that'.

You may not have said anything about the various Uses of the Roman Rite, but the fact that they developed without papal or episcopal regulation, were remarkably consistent over time, and despite variations had far more in common with each other than any of them has with the Novus Ordo (if you don't believe me, do a textual comparison) - all this is surely germane to the argument.

Anonymous said...

Regulation of the liturgy is traditional, meaning that the liturgy has been regulated at various times and in various ways and by various authorities since very early times.

I said, "I said nothing - noting - about a centralized regulation of the liturgy." See that little word there - CENTRALIZED?

The Roman Rite has been changed time and time again. You have read the histories and know them well, so you know the statement to be true.

Mass without the Roman canon, while not traditional, is Traditional. It is so because the Church, in her infinite wisdom, has chosen to make it so. (Remember, this conversation is in English, so capitalization matters.)

I was not referring to Quo Primum or A Quo Primum or any other specific document.

I think exact wording matters. So do you.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous (aka Fr Kavanaugh)

If Mass without the Roman Canon is traditional, for example in the Visigothic Rite which is distinct from the Roman Rite but is easy to compare since both are in Latin, then so be it. But it is not traditional to the Roman Rite.

The idea that the Church 'in her infinite wisdom' has chosen (note the perfect tense) to make traditional what was heretofore not so, is patently absurd.

But of course you never said that, did you? Crawl back into your cave and stop trying the patience of those who actually know what they are talking about.

Adam Michael said...

"Tradition (cap T) trumps tradition (small T). Always has, always will."

The two are not meant to be in opposition. The Catholic Church has historically been characterized by a strong recognition and appreciation of the work of the Holy Spirit in the development of her traditions, which serve to preserve and strengthen the Sacred Tradition of her Deposit of Faith.

“Many here, yourself included I suspect, love to cite papal comments from many centuries past, glorying in the "centralized" power of the papacy. But when it suits you, you trumpet the opposite regarding the liturgy.”

The centralization of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church is a normative occurrence that has characterized both the Latin Rite and the Christian East. While hardly the ancient order of things, over time the liturgies of the Church gradually correspond to the usages of the major patriarchal sees, with monastic/religious and regional usages becoming, consequentially, less influential. This, in turn, also leads to more centralized supervision of the Church’s Liturgy by the appropriate metropolitan or patriarchal authorities. This is more pronounced in the Latin Church, where the Council of Trent inaugurated a supervised liturgical reform aimed at centralization of mainstream liturgical usages, than in various Eastern usages (both Uniate and schismatic), where liturgical centralization continued to occur more organically. However, by the second half of the 20th century, liturgical tradition in both the Latin Church and the Christian East was sufficiently centralized and unified. To argue that anyone is “trumpeting the opposite regarding the liturgy” is hardly true and does not do justice to the nuanced nature of liturgical development in Christianity or its relationship to Church governmental authority.

It is even more problematic to contrast the centralization of the Church’s government to the centralization of the Sacred Liturgy. The respect and restraint manifested by the Latin Church in every age (until the 20th century and especially after the Second Vatican Council) regarding her liturgical patrimony reveals that papal centralization of government was not incompatible with traditional liturgical preservation. If not, one would observe a direct correlation between a rise in recognition and emphasis on the centralized authority of the Roman Pontiff and liturgical alteration, which would have transformed the so-called “Counter-Reformation era” of the Latin Church (1563-1962) into one of liturgical reform instead of uniformity around a traditional liturgical rite. Ironically, history will record that it was the era characterized by collegiality and a general hesitancy of Popes to use their unique and divinely-established prerogatives in maintaining strict discipline in the Church that witnessed the greatest breakdown in the defense and preservation of the historical liturgical patrimony of the Latin Rite.