Saturday, September 30, 2017


Published as received. The author is an administrative magistrate in Rome and a scholar of philosophy and of law. This commentary of his on the “correctio” addressed to Pope Francis for seven heresies he is alleged to have propagated sounds like the preamble to that “dialogue” on the interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia” which secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin yesterday defined as “also important within the Church,” which Cardinal Gerhard Müller wanted to be undertaken between a group of cardinals appointed by the pope and the critical and dubious, and on which Francis  himself commented on September 10 – when the “correctio” had already been delivered to him -  saying to the Jesuits of Colombia in a closed-door meeting, according to what was reported afterward by “La Civiltà Cattolica”:
“[I want] to say something else that I believe should be said out of justice, and also out of charity. In fact I hear many comments – they are respectable for they come from children of God, but wrong – concerning the post-synod apostolic exhortation. To understand 'Amoris Laetitia' you need to read it from the start to the end. Beginning with the first chapter, and to continue to the second and then on … and reflect. And read what was said in the Synod.
“A second thing: some maintain that there is no Catholic morality underlying 'Amoris Laetitia', or at least, no sure morality. I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist, the morality of the great Thomas. You can speak of it with a great theologian, one of the best today and one of the most mature, Cardinal Schönborn. I want to say this so that you can help those who believe that morality is purely casuistic. Help them understand that the great Thomas possesses the greatest richness, which is still able to inspire us today. But on your knees, always on your knees....”
by Francesco Arzillo
1. The publication of a formal “correctio” issued to none other than the pope is raising a number of questions.
Is it possible to correct the correctors? The medieval speculative tradition tells us that it is: it should suffice to think of the famous “Correctorium fratris Thomae” of William de la Mare, which in turn was contradicted by various “Correctoria corruptorii” produced by various authors.
In the face of such a grave and singular action, which exceeds with audacity the chasm that separates the “dubium” from the judgment in such a delicate matter, it is possible to limit oneself for now to a few questions, in relation to the seven propositions pointed out as “false and heretical” and to the related presuppositions that emerge from a reading of the entire text.
2. Let us begin with two questions on method.
2.1. In the first place, the propositions identified as heretical seem to constitute already the fruit of a hermeneutic of papal statements and documents, as well as - cumulatively – of the actions and omissions attributed to the same. This is a matter of “second level” propositions, so to speak.
The first question is therefore twofold:
- why does the central part of the text formulated in Latin not reproduce directly and exclusively the original propositions of the papal texts?
- in the case that the propositions should be understood as referring also to active and omissive behaviors of the pope, has a sufficient demonstration been furnished concerning the congruence of these same [propositions] with such behaviors?
2.2. The second question is:
- is the designation of heresy considered here in its proper sense, which pertains to doctrines that require the assent of theological faith (doctrines “de fide credenda”) in accordance with can. 750 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law?
Or do the architects also mean to attribute the designation of “heresy” to statements that contrast only with doctrines “de fide tenenda” as per can. 750 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law, which also include, according to the illustrative doctrinal note of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith attached to the 1998 motu proprio “Ad Tuendam Fidem,” not a few truths of a moral nature? And if so, how could this designation be justified, when it would not seem to be in keeping with the guidelines of this same note?
3. Let us now proceed with the questions following the seven propositions defined as “false and heretical”:
1) "A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin."
In what point of his teaching does the pope speak of the impossibility of observing the commandments on the part of those who are justified?
Is this referring to an absolute impossibility, or to a more or less serious concrete difficulty, even a temporary one?
Are the two hypotheses equatable in relation to the doctrine presented in chapter 11 of the decree on justification of the Council of Trent?
2) "Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live 'more uxorio' with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity."
3) "A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action."
Given that at no. 305 of “Amoris Laetitia” it states that “because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end,” in what sense would this passage reflect the statements referred to in the “heretical” propositions 2 and 3, when instead it seems to specifically contradict them, with reference to the requirement of subjective culpability?
Moreover, in what other passage of his documents or discourses has the pope stated that such Christians, in the presence of a full awareness of the nature of their action or with the full consent of the will, would not be in mortal sin?
4) "A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience."
From where has this proposition been taken, formulated in these terms?
5) "Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God."
In what relationship does this proposition stand with that of “Amoris Laetitia” 303? Where it states: “Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.”
Is this a matter of only a linguistic and expressive difference, or also of a difference of content?
6) "Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object."
Does the statement in “Amoris Laetitia” 304, according to which “it is true that general rules set forth a good which can never be disregarded or neglected, but in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations,” really contradict under every aspect the doctrine of the “intrinsece malum”?
Does this also happen where consideration is given, in evaluating the particular situations, to the characteristics pertaining to subjective culpability, which as such do not pertain to the object of the actions?
7) "Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it."
Is the intention here to say that the abandonment of the discipline (to be understood as canonical discipline) also subsists where recourse is made to the classical “probata praxis in foro interno,” revised in light of the guidelines of “Amoris Laetitia,” inasmuch as it pertains to absolution in confession?
Concerning the Eucharist, what is the relationship, according to the “mens” of the architects of the “correctio,” for the purposes of interest here, between the notion of “mortal sin” and the notion of “grave manifest sin” in article 915 of the Code of Canon Law as interpreted by the “Declaration concerning the admission to Holy Communion of faithful who are divorced and remarried” of the pontifical council for legislative texts, issued in the year 2000?
4. The questions suggested here do not exhaust the topic. It is hoped, however, that they may induce some further reflection in the authors of the “correctio” and in those who may agree with its proposal without even imagining the enormous complexity of the questions at play when the word “heresy” is used, in particular if it is applied to magisterial texts.
In any case, the Catholic believer who gives the requisite “religious submission of intellect and will” (can. 752) to the ordinary papal magisterium, the scope of which includes “Amoris Laetitia,” must be encouraged to continue in this positive disposition of spirit.
As for the rest, the matter of the interpretation and application of this text will probably see further developments and contributions on the part of pastors, of theologians, of the faithful.
Nor must one rule out the possibility of further - perhaps desirable - statements from the Petrine see, in the more or less near future.
(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)


1970's heterodox Catholics, like the current superior of the Jesuits, promoted the angels and fallen angels (the devil and demons) as figurative or symbolic of good and evil. In other words, they are not to be taken as literally or seriously. This mentality undermines the actual roles of angels in our lives, like our personal guardian angels as well as the Church's important ministry of major and minor exorcisms.

Pope Francis is not heterodox when it comes to devotions to our Blesed Mother, the angels and saints and His Holiness drives progressive liturgists crazy when he incenses the statue of our Blessed Mother which he has placed near the altar at all Masses he celebrates.

And Pope Francis constantly speaks of the real threat of Satan:

ROME - The archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael help encourage and accompany Christians on life’s journey and defend them from the devil, Pope Francis said.
While the three archangels serve the Lord and contemplate his glory, God also “sends them to accompany us on the road of life,” the pope said in his homily at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Sept. 29, the archangels’ feast day.
They have “an important role in our journey toward salvation,” he said. For instance, Michael has been tasked with waging war against the devil, who is a “nuisance in our life.”
The devil seduces everyone, like he did Eve, with convincing arguments and temptations, the pope said.
“The Lord asks (Michael) to wage war,” he said, and “Michael helps us wage war, to not be seduced.”
Gabriel, on the other hand, is the bearer of good news, the news of salvation. He, too, is with the people and helps when “we forget” the Gospel and forget that “Jesus came to be with us” to save us.
Raphael, the pope said, is the one who “walks with us,” protecting people from the “seduction of taking the wrong step.”
The pope asked that people pray: “Michael, help us in the fight; everyone knows what battle they are facing in their lives today. Every one of us knows the fundamental battle - the one that puts salvation at risk. Help us.
“Gabriel, bring us news, bring us the Good News of salvation, that Jesus is with us, that Jesus has saved us, and give us hope,” he continued. “Raphael, take us by the hand and help us on the journey to not go the wrong way, to not remain immobile, always walking, but helped by you.”

Friday, September 29, 2017


An amazing blast from the past!


I am somewhat left with writer's cramp but Praytell has this translation of the Austrian media report story on the new bishop of Innsbruck, Austria, appointed by Pope Francis:

Is this a fake translation?

Newly Named Bishop of Innsbruck Advocates for Women Deacons

Hermann Glettler, recently appointed bishop in Innsbruck, said that he is “definitely for” the admission of women to the diaconate. Now that the pope has appointed a commission on women deacons, Glettler would be very happy if it “came into the home stretch relatively soon and were decided positively.”

Asked about ordination of females priests, Glettler said this is “not so (optimistic).” But first steps are needed such as female deacons.

Asked if he is open to giving Communion to the divorced and remarried, the bishop-to-be responded, “Very.” To give Communion to those whose marriage failed and live in a new relationship has “very, very much sense based on the Gospel.” But it is also sensible to accompany those who come to the conclusion that they will not receive Communion. It is a matter of “accompanying, distinguishing, and then leaving open whether someone says, I will deliberately go to Communion or I will deliberation forego this, based on specific inner motives.”

Thursday, September 28, 2017


It seems that heresy charges lodged against the Pope has caught the eye of concern of the next highest prelate in the Church, the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Parolin. The heresy word is serious and if taken up by the college of cardinals could have the most serious ramifications if the judgment is affirmative, the pope would cease to be the pope and in theory receive the title of antipope.

Pope’s deputy urges dialogue after Francis accused of heresy

Pope’s deputy urges dialogue after Francis accused of heresy
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, is seen at the Vatican May 26. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Thursday that those who don't agree with the pope are free to express themselves, "but on these things one must reason and find ways to understand one another." His remarks were in response to a so-called "filial correction," prepared by a few dozen traditionalist academics and clergy, accusing Pope Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document 'Amoris Laetitia


The PBS time capsule video illustrates how Pope Saint John Paul II was heroically trying to reestablish the great discipline and orthodoxy of the Church run amuck by false interpretations of Vatican II.

The video also made clear problems that Pope Paul VI could not adequately address as His Holiness became very feeble, distressed and depressed in the later years of his papacy between 1975 to 1978 when he died.

The immediate problems just a few years after Vatican II had to do with heterodox teachings from well-know theologians whose teachings were used in the seminary of that period.

But heterodox practices were taking place on the parochial or parish level too and well into the 1990's.

I knew priests who would gladly give Holy Communion to people he knew were excluded to receive because of a valid prior marriage bond. There was no accompanying the person, calling them to conversion and integrating them, the priest simply wanted to be popular and easy with his parishioners and not make them feel excluded. It was as simple as that. "If you feel you should receive Holy Communion, go ahead, who am I to judge."

And I have known priests who have actually blessed illicit marriages without seeking an annulment. Of course if you allow them to receive Holy Communion which is a sign of being in Full Communion with the Church, why the heck not offer them the Sacrament of Marriage even if they aren't legally allowed to receive it. Why should we be so rigid with Marriage if we aren't discriminate with Holy Communion?

Also, I have known priests who invite non-Catholics (baptized or not) to receive Holy Communion at weddings and funerals. I witnessed it indirectly in my parish in Augusta in the 1990's when a visiting priest celebrated a large wedding in my church. I happen to be in the sacristy and heard him at Holy Communion time say explicitly that all present could come up and receive Holy Communion if they believed in Jesus Christ. It was as simple as that and certainly made him popular for being so magnanimous to the visitors who weren't Catholic. They all felt a apart of the joyful wedding between a Catholic and a Protestant who both received Holy Communion too.

And of course, when Catholics went to a Protestant Church where communion was served, they were glad to do so because they didn't want to offend anyone in the congregation by not going. 

I think we are heading back to this flexible, welcoming inclusiveness  and away from rigid, unwelcoming exclusivity when it comes to heterodoxy.


Back to the future:
I was ordained in 1980!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Pittsburgh Diocese Reorganizes Parishes for Future Evangelization

Church consolidation will secure new growth, says Bishop David Zubik.

Is this the Francis effect??????????????

The soundbites:

The Diocese of Pittsburgh announced in early September that it would eventually reduce the number of parish entities from 188 parishes with 225 church sites to 48 parishes with the majority clustered into approximately two to three church sites...

...Bishop Zubik said the restructuring is aimed at positioning the Church for future growth through evangelization, not “managing the decline.”
“It is all about evangelizing and deepening our relationships with Jesus Christ,” he said. “It is about inviting people to be involved in the growth of the Church.”...

...According to the diocese’s statistics, the Catholic population has declined by 121,000 over the past 16 years, when the diocese counted 753,000 Catholics in 2000. Weekly Mass attendance across the diocese also dropped in 2016 to 138,000 Catholics, a decline of 108,000 since 2000. Internal figures at the diocese estimate that 10,000 fewer Catholics attended Mass in the diocese in the past year alone....

...The diocesan figures show 21% of Catholics attend Mass on a regular basis, down from a third of Catholics attending regularly in 2000. Similarly, the diocese has seen drops between 40%-50% in marriages, baptisms, confirmations, first Communions and K-8 enrollment in Catholic schools....

...Approximately 50% of all parishes now operate in the red, up from 32% three years ago....

My comments: The last 50 years for the Church in America and elsewhere has been a disaster. So many of the experiments with the priesthood, religious life, the liturgy and parish life have left most Catholics with a loss of Catholic identity,culture and most of all Faith and Morals.  The ambiguities of the 1960's and 70's now once again recovered in the current papacy will accelerate the continued decline. There is no Francis effect in Pittsburgh or other places that I can tell.

Certainly none of this confusion and ambiguities in trying to fix something that wasn't broken, like the priesthood, religious life, the Mass and parish life was intentional. Many foolishly and pridefully thought there was going to be a new springtime for the Church but it has turned into a long fall and winter.

Why so many continue the same old things that have caused the loss of Catholic identity, culture, Faith and Morals is beyond me.

And just when we needed a strong Catholic Faithful, built upon the precepts of the Church, her Deposit of Faith and her culture and centuries of tradition and Tradition, all that collapsed as a result of the theology of rupture employed by so many bishops after Vatican II with the Church prior to Vatican II. Thus the clergy sex abuse scandal truly scandalized the faithful, especially the bishops' mismanagement of their clergy and thoughtlessness towards victims and potential victims. Mercy run amuck for the perverted!  There was nothing left of the Catholic faith and her traditions to bolster the authentic faith and resolve of strong Catholics rigidly fixed on doctrine and Christ to help them grapple with such despicable evil. In fact, many Catholics were/are coloring book Catholics and don't believe in Satan, the power of his repression, deception and possession. Vatican II has not and cannot help them to cope with Satan who seeks the ruin of souls and the destruction of the Church.

I have no real answers. We can't force a pre-Vatican II model on the universal Church if people didn't and don't take Pope Benedict seriously. But I know there was more interest in the Church as a result of Pope Benedict and more younger people engaged in his perspective on renewal in continuity than there is for Pope Francis' approach. Am I wrong?


There has been a trend since Vatican II's revision of the ancient Mass to return to it some things that should not be returned, such as the Leonine Prayers after the Mass is ended. In recent years, some have added the Prayer to St. Michael.

Some priests add the "Hail Mary" to the end of the Universal Prayers. Fund raisers insist that the prayer for the Capital Campaign be included somewhere in the Mass, usually as a prelude or at the Universal Prayer or after Holy Communion as a kind of meditation.

Our diocese recommends, which as a former vocation director, I obediently offer, our diocesan prayer for vocations which is prayed by the entire congregation, now by heart, as the last petition of the Universal Prayer:

"O God, hear our prayer, and let our cry come unto You. Bless our diocese of Savannah with many vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. Give the men and women You call the light to understand Your call and the love to follow always in the footsteps of Your priestly Son. Amen."

The other thing I don't think priests or bishops should do is to say out loud the private prayers of the priest prior to concluding the Holy Sacrifice by the priest's reception of the Sacrificial Victim. This includes not saying out loud, "May the Body (Blood) of Christ keep me safe unto life everlasting."

What do you think since liturgy today all hinges on our personal likes and dislikes in order to make the determination about what is good liturgy?


To me the liturgies of the Church should focus on worshipping God through the Church's praise and thanksgiving for the one Sacrifice of Christ which alone merits our eternal salvation.

By Church I don't mean a self enclosed congregation but rather the Catholic Church's three expressions: the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. All three are present in EVERY VALIDLY CELEBRATED HOLY MASS. From the lowest to the highest valid Mass the Church, the entire Body of Christ, is present with the One who makes this possible, the Head of the Body, Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest.

It doesn't get any better than that, good Liturgy that is!

Read this America Magazine article on what comprises "good liturgy." I find it depressingly lacking:

How do you rate the quality of liturgy in your parish?

When asked to rate the quality of their parish liturgy, the majority of respondents told America that it was either high (29 percent) or very high (27 percent). Juanita, of Florida, rated the quality of liturgy at her parish as very high, writing, “We have a priest who makes everyone feel welcome, says Mass with great reverence and gives meaningful homilies.”
Readers who judged their parish liturgy to be of high quality were more likely than others to call for better lay engagement at their parish. Sheila, of Minnesota, explained, “We are a welcoming parish, with well-done liturgies, but we want all present to be actively involved and feel they belong.”
Other respondents told us that liturgy was of neither low nor high quality in their parish (22 percent). Only 21 percent of readers rated their parish liturgy as low (16 percent) or very low (5 percent). Kelly, also of Minnesota, told America: “I always have high hopes. The congregation seems responsive, but a sense of togetherness is missing. Our parish has been suffering for a number of years. I appreciate our pastor; his homilies just usually lose me.”
Readers who were dissatisfied with the quality of liturgy at their parish repeatedly cited preaching as most in need of improvement. Daniel, of Arkansas, described the preaching at his parish. “We have a very small parish and do the best we can. If enthusiasm were the criterion, we’d have great homilies,” he said. “But lack of preparation, disorganization, questionable (when not simply incorrect) theology, and verbosity don’t equal good preaching.”

Quality of Liturgy Infographic

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict, the divisions in the Church were kept at bay and there was a kind of peaceful coexistence. I often said I preferred the Church of the 1990's (and through Pope Benedict) than the Church of the 60's, 70's or 80's.

That's all changed under Pope Francis who has returned us to the 1960's and 70's rancor but this time on steroids!

Cardinal Gerhard Müller.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller. (Edward Pentin photo)
  Sep. 26, 2017
Cardinal Müller Suggests Pope Francis Appoint Group of Cardinals to Debate His Critics
The prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says the Pope deserves “full respect” and his “honest critics deserve a convincing answer” as the Vatican declines to comment on a filial correction of the Holy Father, made public on Sunday.


(Excerpt from the Daily Beast)

Francis can easily choose to ignore the mad chatter against him, even as it grows louder. In fact, there are whispers of a schism and deep fractures within the clergy. But the bottom line is that Francis still enjoys considerable popularity among regular Catholics who quite like the fact that the circumstances of their complicated lives at least seem to be more easily accepted by the Catholic Church under his direction.

My brief comments: Gone are the days when the pope, bishop or priest didn't really matter (especially when the Mass was ad orientem). Who counted was Jesus Christ and His Church making the sacrifices necessary to please Him by knowing, loving and serving Him through His Holy Church.

I think we have to admit that it was the former stage actor, become pope, Pope St. John Paul II who brought about a kind a celebrity pope, or pope of the personality cult. This is in line with the modern Mass's emphasis on personality, be it the bishop, priest, deacon or the congregation. In fact, don't people now join Catholic parishes because they like the people of the parish or the gregarious personalty of the priests on the staff?

Thus, in keeping with popular personalities,  one should read this story from the Daily Beast (and no, the writer isn't 666):

Is the Pope Catholic Enough for Conservatives?

The Daily Beast


Monday, September 25, 2017


In Pray Tell’s first installment of Do It Rite, Johan Van Parys talks about the use of incense in the Catholic Church.


He’s here with us’

(Please note the ages of the congregation members who are interviewed. Please note, too, that my age is not given and not even my name mentioned as the once of month fill-in celebrant--in line wth my true humility!)

Mass with ‘mystery’ has been around 10 years at cathedral since use of Latin was reapproved


What: Latin Mass
Where: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 222 E Harris Street, Savannah
Info: 912-233-4709 or
Hear: The Latín Mass Schola SavannahLatinMass Community/videos/vb.1514066975480911/1995261054028165/?type=2&theater


The hour-plus drive from Metter each Sunday is trivial compared to what Christy Kimsey finds when she arrives.
The transcendence, the reverence, the beauty, the real presence of Jesus, she says — it’s what she’s been missing her whole life.

“It brings me to tears almost every time,” she says, holding her hand to her chest after the 1 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist one recent Sunday.


And to be clear, she’s speaking of the Latin Mass, or “extraordinary form” mostly in Latin.

She attends the ordinary form in English, “new Mass” to some, closer to home throughout the week.

The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s approved use of the liturgy in the language of the people.
Then 10 years ago in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the extraordinary form was officially accessible to the church’s faithful, too.

“This just gives people another option,” says cathedral parishioner Felix Maher.

In 2002, the service was already held at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Thunderbolt after Maher pushed for it.
The dentist enjoyed the Mass while working out of town in bigger cities like Atlanta and Chicago. He feels that the new liturgy lacks a bit spiritually in the sense of sacredness, and that the Latin Mass is more mystical and spiritually fulfilling.

Compared to the new Mass, the Latin service has longer periods of silence, offers Gregorian chant and the priest faces east with the congregation, his back to them, praying with the people.

And of course, much is in Latin.

The priest’s sermon is in English, and Maher read twice from Bible passages in English. Otherwise, “amen” may be the only familiar part for newbies.

The extraordinary form is often met with resistance from the clergy, Maher says.

“Certainly, it was a struggle to get started,” he says.

He tried to convince the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah to have the mass locally, finally asking, what harm is it?

“We’re all worshiping Christ,” Maher says.

The attendance grew after the service moved from the Thunderbolt church to the beautiful, downtown cathedral, recalls Father Daniel Firmin.

Latin Mass attendance has about tripled from a decade ago to roughly 160 attendees, though still well under the roughly 700 typically at the cathedral’s earlier 11:30 a.m. ordinary Mass.

John Brenton, 35, is among the Latin Mass faithful. About a decade ago, the Pooler resident attended the service hoping it would suit his Latino wife.

But it wasn’t a Hispanic service; it was a holy one that astounded Brenton, a new Catholic.

“And it turned out me being just floored,” he says. “I knew I wanted more and wanted to connect with it.”

He likes that it is ancient, beautiful, has incense and Gregorian chanting.
People get hung up on the Latin part, he says. And it takes about seven services to be able to follow along, according to Brenton.

But there is enough beauty in the service to absorb that people don’t need to understand every word.

“The point is that Jesus shows up,” he says.

Jared Seff, 26, also attends. The fine arts painter grew up Jewish, and converted to Catholicism after moving to Savannah and attending Savannah College of Art and Design. Like other Catholics, he goes to ordinary Mass throughout the week.

Yet Seff finds the Latin Mass a better fit.

“It allows me to get into my transcendental space,” he says.

The artist believes that creating art relies on inspiration, and is a spiritual matter. He mentions the link between the words “inspiration” and “spirit.” Some matters, however, are less defined.

Attendees mention “the mystery,” and appreciate complex spiritual matters, such as Holy Communion. Not knowing the service’s Latin language is just one part.

Firmin, who presides over the afternoon service, thinks unfamiliarity may actually help people pay attention versus hearing familiar English each week with a temptation to zone out.
And language is just one tool besides art, music and others; the Lord touches souls regardless, according to Firmin.

Kimsey is one soul-touched witness.


John Allen at Crux uses the term narcissism:

In the last few days, Pope Francis has faced three remarkable accusations -- one of suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, another of heresy, and a third of dropping the ball on financial reform of the Vatican. In trying to sort through it all, one towering problem is that in an environment defined by hysteria, separating legitimate criticism from the same-old, same-old is increasingly difficult.

....Among other things, Brittos cites a letter from two former Jesuit novices under the future pope, who assert that he was self-promotional about his virtues of humility and simplicity, and that he sought complete submission and loyalty from his disciples - both indicators, according to Blondet, of a narcissistic personality. He goes on to cite clinical descriptions of the disorder, which he claims also characterize Francis’s leadership style as pope...

Read the article here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I hate that this is being nailed to the door of Santa Marta, Pope Francis' place of residence and also nailed to the internet, but here we go again! Will this be celebrated by the Vatican 500 years from now?


And read the names of those who signed it here.

Associated Press Report:

Theologians accuse pope of heresy

VATICAN CITY — Several dozen tradition-minded Roman Catholic theologians, priests and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

In a 25-page letter delivered to Francis last month and provided Saturday to The Associated Press, the 62 signatories issued a “filial correction” to the pope — a measure they said hadn’t been employed since the 14th century.

The letter accused Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document “The Joy of Love” and subsequent “acts, words and omissions.”

The initiative follows another formal act by four tradition-minded cardinals who wrote Francis last year asking him to clarify a series of questions, or “dubbia,” they had about his 2016 text.

Francis hasn’t responded to either initiative. The Vatican spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Saturday.

None of the signatories of the new letter is a cardinal, and the highest-ranking churchman listed is actually someone whose organization has no legal standing in the Catholic Church: Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. Several other signatories are well-known admirers of the old Latin Mass which Fellay’s followers celebrate.

But organizers said the OVERSET FOLLOWS:initiative was nevertheless significant and a sign of the concern among a certain contingent of academics and pastors over Francis’ positions, which they said posed a danger to the faithful.

“There is a role for theologians and philosophers to explain to people the church’s teaching, to correct misunderstandings,” said Joseph Shaw, a spokesman for the initiative, signatory of the correction and senior research fellow in moral philosophy at Oxford University.

When it was released in April 2016, “The Joy of Love” immediately sparked controversy because it opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Church teaching holds that unless these Catholics obtain an annulment — a church decree that their first marriage was invalid — they cannot receive the sacraments.

Francis didn’t create a church-wide pass for these Catholics, but suggested — in vague terms and strategically placed footnotes — that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis after accompanying them on a spiritual journey of discernment.

Organizers said the last time such a correction was issued was to Pope John XXII in 1333 for errors which he later recanted.


As I approach my 64th birthday at the end of this year (and thus in 2018 will be in my 65th year), I do not have the energy in my new parish to promote something that under Pope Benedict I thought would become the norm again, but realize under Pope Francis, there is no intention of continuing to push that agenda.

In my new parish, there is no groundswell either for Latin or the Extraordinary Form. Perhaps the reason for that is the Cathedral EF weekly Mass in downtown Savannah which I am fortunate to celebrate once a month.

So in my new parish, I simply have the modified "Benedictine Altar Arrangement" for facing the congregation similar to the arrangement in my previous parish.

In my previous parish after about 10 years there, I begin to celebrate one of our 5 weekend Mass, the 12:10 PM Mass ad orientem simply for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In all other ways it was like the Ordinary Form Masses celebrated at other times facing the people (we did restore kneeling at the altar railing for the 12:10 PM Mass once our altar railing was restored.

Then I took the bold step of celebrating our once a month additional 2 pm EF Mass and moving it to the ad orientem 12:10 PM OF Mass, once a month. No one complained to me about these two major liturgical changes nor did the bishop ever tell me he received letters complaining about it. I did my job of catechizing the parish about it and did things slowly and methodically over the 12 years I was in Macon.

I simply don't have the energy to push this agenda in my new parish, because I feel it needs the full backing of the local bishop who is the primary liturgist of the diocese and it needs the backing of cardinals like Cardinal Sarah. But it also needs papal support which is lukewarm or non existent today.

Will Cardinal Sarah's vision of the renewal of the Ordinary Form of the Mass happen in the future? I don't know, but of course everyone knows that I am clairvoyant so I will venture, as a liturgical visionary, that it will happen--but not before I retire at the age of 70 when I will simply enjoy being a priest celebrating Mass free of all administrative headaches and in-house, hot-house liturgical and other politics associated with the Church today.

But I like this article from last August's National Catholic Register!!!

Facing East

It has been one year since our parish changed over to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass facing the liturgical East. My decision to switch to ad orientem was prompted by Cardinal Sarah’s encouragement of the return to this ancient practice of the Church.
The reception of this change by parishioners has been largely positive. Visitors attending Mass naturally remark upon it, expressing in general surprise but only occasional dissatisfaction. Some remark that they are happy to participate in the Mass as they remember it from their childhood. The priests of the parish (and most visiting priests) have found this change to be a great improvement that promotes a prayerful and recollected celebration of Mass.
Cardinal Sarah spoke again recently about the celebration ad orientem in a conference published in the French magazine La Nef (July-August 2017). He said:
To be oriented towards God is before all else an interior action, a conversion of our soul towards the one God. The liturgy should foster in us this conversion towards the Lord who is the Way, the Truth, the Life. To do this it uses signs, simple means. The celebration [of Mass] ad orientem is part of this. It is one of the treasures of the Christian people that permit us to preserve the spirit of the liturgy. The oriented celebration should not become the expression of a partisan and polemical attitude. On the contrary, it should be the expression of the most intimate and essential movement of all liturgy: turning ourselves towards the Lord who comes.
The spiritual truth that worship is a turning to the Lord is visually communicated to the worshiping faithful in the pews when the priest does not look at them when addressing God, but rather looks towards the crucifix, towards Christ, towards God.
Mass of St. John of Matha by Juan Carreño de Miranda, 1666 [Louvre, Paris]
The Rorate Caeli website recently published a translation of a short piece Paul Claudel wrote in Le Figaro in 1955 protesting against the incipient spread in France of the celebration of the Mass facing the people. Claudel expressed a severely negative judgment on this innovation: “The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.”

Claudel’s insight rings true, in my experience. The priest celebrant leads and brings the people with him as he raises his hands and voice to God in prayer and worship. They are not spectators but rather fellow pilgrims who look with the priest towards Christ. In reply to the objection that the people need to see the entire liturgical action at the altar, which is not possible during the ad orientem celebration, Claudel writes: “It is true that in the traditional liturgy the most touching, the most moving part of the Holy Sacrifice is hidden from the view of the faithful. But it is not hidden from their hearts and their faith. To demonstrate this, during Solemn High Masses the sub-deacon stays at the foot of the altar during the Offertory, hiding his face with his left hand. We too are invited to pray, to withdraw into ourselves, not in a spirit of curiosity but of recollection.”

That recollection helps us to see with the eyes of faith the hidden presence of Christ in the sacred host and the chalice as they are elevated by the priest following the consecration. In the ad orientem celebration, the people do not have to look at the expression on the priest celebrant’s face (for weal or for woe) when he elevates the host and the chalice. This unnecessary distraction is eliminated and his role as mediator between God and man is best expressed when he offers no competition to the Holy Eucharist for the faithful’s glance.

Claudel further observed: “The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by ‘following’ it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.”

My happy experience at the parish is that the ad orientem celebration of Mass, combined with the practice of the priest now sitting along the side wall of the sanctuary and no longer seated directly behind the free standing altar, has resulted in a more prayerful and Christ-centered liturgical experience. The priest celebrant is not an unending center of attention – as he can easily become when he first sits overlooking the congregation during the readings – and then when he stands behind the altar looking at the congregation while offering the prayers of the Mass to God.

Cardinal Sarah observes: “Allow me to express humbly my fear: the liturgy in the Ordinary Form could lead us to run the risk of turning ourselves away from God because of the overwhelming and central presence of the priest. He is constantly in front of the microphone, and ceaselessly has his eyes and his attention turned towards the people. He is like an opaque screen between God and man.”

After one year of the ad orientem celebration, I am absolutely convinced that Cardinal Sarah is correct. Turning physically and contemplatively towards the Lord promotes a deeper experience for both priest and people of prayer and worship at Mass.


The 11 sisters of Siervas are a rock band like ‘nun’ other

CHALLENGE RODDIE Diocese of Orange via AP
Siervas, a nun rock band, performs live on Sept. 8 at the Festival de Cristo at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. The band was born in a Peruvian convent three years ago and has gained an international following.

Members of Siervas rehearse on Sept. 7, a day ahead of their performance at the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, Calif.
Eleven nuns take the stage wearing traditional black-and white habits but are anything but old school as they belt out songs to the ringing of electric guitar and a rock ‘n’ roll beat.
Known as “Siervas,” the band was born in a Peruvian convent three years ago and now travels far and wide to perform.
Of all the extraordinary things about Siervas the most remarkable may be they are not just a novelty. They have a genuine international following.
Their songs of love and faith have earned over a million YouTube views, led to the release of two CDs and now they are waiting to see if they are among the honorees when Latin Grammy nominations are announced Wednesday.
Siervas recently traveled to Southern California and drew 4,000 people when they headlined a Spanish-language Catholic music festival.
“Everyone was calling our office saying we want to see these nuns, when are they singing?” said Ryan Lilyengren, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which organized the event. “They’re sharing their message in a way people are willing to hear it.”
The nuns, who come from eight countries and range in age from 20s to 40s, insist they aren’t rock stars. But they certainly act the part when on stage performing to the electric guitar, steady drumbeat and catchy lyrics, uniformly smiling as silver crosses dangle from their necks.
Their name Siervas – Spanish for “the servants” – comes from the convent where the band was formed and still lives.
At first, they composed and played music together as a hobby after spending days praying with incarcerated women and the poor in Peruvian shantytowns.
When Siervas had enough original music they compiled a CD. That led to a concert performance that attracted local media attention in Peru and then invitations to perform in nearby Colombia and Ecuador. Interest skyrocketed on the internet and the group released a second CD.
Now, they rehearse together twice a week, melding upbeat lyrics with Latin pop and rock. Each nun also practices daily on her own, honing skills on instruments ranging from cello to electric guitar.
A YouTube video of the group standing on a rooftop helipad overlooking Lima, Peru, and belting out their song “Confía en Dios” – or “Trust in God” – has more than 1 million views.
The band’s popularity comes at a time when the Catholic Church and other religious organizations are seeking to draw younger people. Among America’s so-called millennial generation, more than a third reported no religious affiliation and only 16 percent identified as Catholic, according to a 2014 study by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.
“Modern times have modern music,” said Sister Monica Nobl, a 40-year-old vocalist. “Pop-rock music is a kind of music we’ve heard all or lives. We grew up with that kind of music, so it’s also just natural to use it.”
Sister Andrea Garcia, 47, remembers listening to Michael Jackson when she was a college student. She thought she’d pursue a career in biology, but found faith instead.
“We think this music, or this genre, resonates with young people today,” said Garcia, a composer and vocalist from Argentina. “Our goal is that through the melodies, our lyrics will reach people.”
They sing in Spanish and their themes are Christian, but fans post messages to them on social media from Asia and Europe as well as Latin America. And while many fans are devout Catholics, others are from different denominations or even atheists, Garcia said.
Milagros Izagara, a 53-year-old real estate agent in Simi Valley, California, said she isn’t particularly religious but was drawn to the band’s songs encouraging unity.
“I am not a churchgoer, but I love this music,” said Izagara, who helped start a Peruvian community organization in Southern California. “I love it because they are breaking a paradigm. They are out of the box.”