Friday, November 30, 2018


I am sure everyone will love the ad orientem of this Liturgy. But which rite of the Church is it??????
And of course, the perennial Advent color of vestments conundrum will visit us once again as we begin the First Sunday of Advent.

Should we use, like in the photo below, the bluer hues of violet????????




I read obituaries, that’s what I do. At one time in the Bible Belt most people indicated their Church affiliation in their obituary. More and more, no religious affiliation is indicated and services are deferred to a later date TBA. This is code for there won’t be services!

I wonder if being a none contributes to the aimlessness of so many lives and to subsequent mental disorders?

Suicide pushes down life expectancy

NEW YORK — Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live.

Overall, there were more than 2.8 million U.S. deaths in 2017, or nearly 70,000 more than the previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. It was the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago.

The increase partly reflects the nation's growing and aging population. But it's deaths in younger age groups — particularly middle-aged people — that have had the largest impact on calculations of life expectancy, experts said.

"These sobering statisticsareawake-upcallthat we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable," Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC's director, said in a statement.

The suicide death rate last year was the highest it's been in at least 50 years, according to U.S. government records. There were more than 47,000 suicides, up from a little under 45,000 the year before.

For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. Now it's trending the other way: It fell in 2015, stayed level in 2016, and declined again last year, the CDC said.

The nation is in the longest period of a generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910s, when World War I and the worst flu pandemic in modern history combined to kill nearly 1 million Americans. Life expectancy in 1918 was 39.

Aside from that, "we've never really seen anything like this," said Robert Anderson, who oversees CDC death statistics.

In the nation's 10 leading causes of death, only the cancer death rate fell in 2017. Meanwhile, there were increases in seven others — suicide, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, flu/pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases and unintentional injuries.

An underlying factor is that the death rate for heart disease — the nation's No. 1 killer — has stopped falling. In years past, declines in heart disease deaths were enough to offset increases in some other kinds of death, but no longer, Anderson said.

(The CDC's numbers do sometimes change. This week, CDC officials said they had revised their life expectancy estimate for 2016 after some additional data came in.)

CDC officials did not speculate about what's behind declining life expectancy, but Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention expert at George Washington University, sees a sense of hopelessness.

Financial struggles, a widening income gap and divisive politics are all casting a pall over many Americans, he suggested. "I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide," he said.

VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of the electorate conducted by The Associated Press, found voters expressing pessimistic views about the future: About half of voters nationwide said they expect life in America for the next generation to be worse than it is today.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


The National Catholic Register has an article on the morality of tattoos.  You can read it here:

I must say that my visceral reaction to tattoos has evolved over the years. Clearly some tattoos are done as a desecration and/or mutilation of the body. But others are works of art. I guess it is all a matter of perspective. It does seem to be a cultural shift in our country.

Catholics are to respect our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. That is why we are to give our mortal remains, even after cremation, a Catholic/Christian burial or entombment. 

But with that said, I have come to appreciate many elaborate tattoos. Of course we have no idea how some of these will look on young men and women now when they enter their 70's and 80's. And of course some people age much sooner than others with sagging, crinkled, crepe like and creepy like skin.

 Do tattoos show contempt for the body or the glorification of it?  What do you think about the Catholic morality about tattoos?


At least Bristol Murunde of HGTV's Flip or Flop Las Vegas has a Catholic religious icon on his arm.



The Pope: if necessary, the Church goods are to be sold to help the poor

Message to the conference on the decommissioning of unused places of worship: “Change should not be welcomed with anxiety but as a sign of the times that requires us to adapt.

vatican city 
“The Church should not see “with anxiety” that “many churches, until a few years ago needed, are now no longer necessary, for lack of faithful and clergy, or for a different distribution of the population in cities and rural areas”, but welcome this change “as a sign of the times that invites us to reflect and requires us to adapt”. The Pope emphasized this in a message to the participants at the conference: “Doesn’t God dwell anymore? Decommissioning places of worship and integrated management of ecclesiastical cultural heritage” (29-30 November), stressing that “Decommissioning must not be the first and only solution to be thought of, nor must it ever be carried out with scandal on the part of the faithful” but should recall, at the same time, the “constant ecclesial teaching which, while teaching the duty to protect and preserve the goods of the Church, and in particular the cultural goods, declares that they have no absolute value, yet in case of need they must serve the greater good of the human being and especially in the service of the poor”.

“Following the thought of the ecclesial Magisterium”, one can elaborate “almost a theological discourse on cultural goods, considering that they have a part in the sacred liturgy, in evangelization and in the exercise of charity”, the Pontiff writes in the message read by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi at the opening of the conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture, in collaboration with the Italian Episcopal Conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The “common sense of the faithful”, first of all, “perceives for the environments and objects destined for worship, the permanence of a sort of imprint that does not end even after they have lost that destination” Francis says. Moreover, “ecclesiastical cultural goods are witnesses of the faith of the community that has produced them over the centuries, and for this reason, they are in their own way instruments of evangelization that are alongside the ordinary instruments of proclamation, preaching and catechesis” with an “original eloquence” that “can be preserved even when they are no longer used in the ordinary life of the people of God, especially through a proper exhibition in museums, which not only consider them documents of art history, but give them almost a new life, so that they can continue to carry out an ecclesial mission”.

The cultural heritage “is aimed at the charitable activities carried out by the ecclesial community,” the Pope continued, who stressed the traditional iconography that represents the Roman martyr Lorenzo in the act of selling some precious ritual furnishings and distribute the proceeds to the poor: “This - the Pope said - constitutes a constant ecclesial teaching which, while inculcating the duty of protection and conservation of the Church’s goods, and in particular of cultural goods, declares that they do not have an absolute value, but in case of need they must serve the greater good of the human being and especially in the service of the poor. Your conference is now well placed, therefore. The observation that many churches, needed until a few years ago, are no longer necessary, because of a lack of faithful and clergy, or because of a different distribution of the population in cities and rural areas - Jorge Mario Bergoglio stressed - should be welcomed into the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflect and requires us to adapt”.

“This reflection, started some time ago on the technical level in the academic and professional sphere, has already been addressed by some episcopates”, the Pope adds. “The conference will certainly give suggestions and indicate lines of action, but the concrete and final choices will be up to the bishops. To them I strongly recommend that every decision be the result of a choral reflection conducted within the Christian community and in dialogue with the civil community. Decommissioning must not be the first and only solution to think about - the Argentinean Pontiff underlines - nor must it ever be carried out with scandal on the part of the faithful”.

“If necessary, it should be included in the ordinary pastoral planning in good time, be preceded by adequate information and be as shared as possible”, Francis writes, who concludes by explaining that “even the building up of a church or her new destination cannot be dealt only from a technical or economic point of view, but must be evaluated according to the spirit of prophecy: through it, in fact, passes the witness of the faith of the Church, which welcomes and values the presence of its Lord in history”. 


 The National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) has an interest article. Below the photograph I copy an excerpt. You can read the entire article by pressing their title below. My comments follow the excerpt.


Ikea insight for Catholics: When home doesn't feel like home

With romanticized nostalgia, the holiday troubadours tell us, "There's no place like home for the holidays." With blunt but slick marketing, the international furniture store Ikea tells us, "For a third of us, home doesn't even feel like home anymore."
According to Ikea's surprisingly existential annual Life at Home Report:

  • 29 percent of people don't feel at home where they live;
  • 45 percent of Americans go to their car – not their home – to have a private moment;
  • 53 percent of young families don't get a sense of belonging from their residential space;
  • 33 percent of respondents don't feel their residence provides a sense of security;
  • The five core needs identified for feeling at home are privacy, security, comfort, ownership and belonging.

And so, as I hold this information, I wonder: What if, instead of Ikea, it said the Catholic Church? What if, instead of a residential space and a sense of belonging, it was the parish church and a sense of belonging? I suspect that it's not just a growing number of Americans who don't feel at home in their home, but a growing number of Catholics who don't feel at home in their church; after all, we continue to bleed more adherents annually than any other Christian denomination. With these results, I also wonder if Ikea should sell some Dante inspired merchandise. A circular "All hope abandon, ye who enter here," door mat seems appropriate.

My comments: 

Is the premise of Mark Piper true as it concerns Catholics not feeling at home in their parish church?

I would suspect yes, because Catholics are no longer united on what it means to be a Catholic. We have become so polarized, so Balkanized you will get no real answers to the question what makes a good Catholic, what makes a lukewarm, tepid Catholic and what makes a bad Catholic.

In pre-Vatican II times, like it or not, there were rigid guidelines about what constituted good, medium and bad Catholics.

Good Catholics did not divorce, commit adultery or fornicate.  

Good Catholics knew that charity began at home, the family was the Church in miniature and that one had to follow the laws of God and of the Church. 

Good Catholics knew that they were to pray, support the Church and be obedient to the Magisterium in the realm of faith, morals and canon law. They were to carry out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Good Catholics fulfilled their Sunday Mass obligation not expecting to be entertained at Mass but simply to be present and worthily receive Holy Communion. For those who wanted  noble simplicity in the Mass prior to the Council, the Low Mass was the go to Mass! Extravagance in the style of Mass meant one with chants and some as high as the Empire State building, but these weren't for rank and file good Catholics but for super Catholics who also went to daily Mass.

Good Catholics knew they had to go to Confession regularly, sometimes weekly, get married in the Church, stay marry and raise their kids in the Church and instill in them that the Catholic Church is the true Church and to leave her, even partially, is a mortal sin condensing their immortal soul to hell.  

Because of all of the above and clear expectations but also the Sacrament of Mercy, Confession, I ahve always felt at home in whatever parish I belonged or visited, unless things were over the top super creative or out of sync   with what I consider orthodoxy and traditional styles of the Mass.

But today, Catholics don't feel at home in the parish if the priest preaches the truth, calls people to live by the truth and to name mortal sin what it is mortal. They want their disorders recognized as intrinsic to who they are and thus of God not opposed to Him.  

So if a priest preaches that all people are called to chastity and explains what that means in concrete situations of being married or single and that marriage and the marital act are only for those who are male and female and committed to a life long Sacrament through the Church, they will get up and leave feeling insulted.

Interesting, nop? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


This is from The Vatican Insider:

Müller, “No one has the right to indict the Pope”

The cardinal, “The attacks hurt the credibility of the Church. I am convinced that Francis is doing everything possible against abuses. The American bishops should have sent the texts to Rome earlier” 

 At the end of August Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published a dossier accusing the Pope of allegedly "covering up" for Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and going as far as to ask Francis to resign: what do you think?  

 "No one has the right to indict the Pope or ask him to resign! Clearly it is possible to have different opinions on the existing problems and on the ways to resolve them, but we must discuss them according to the roles of each and in the end, it is the cardinals, as representatives of the Church of Rome, who can help the Pope or ask the Pope for some explanations. But this must take place in private, in the proper places, and without ever making a public controversy with attacks that end up questioning the credibility of the Church and her mission. I am personally convinced that Pope Francis is doing everything possible to counter the phenomenon of child abuse and to foster a new spirituality for priests, who must act according to the heart of Christ and do the good of all people, especially children and young people".  
  Today even the terrible scandal of abuse is used for internal battles in the Church. Do you agree? 
 "We must all work together to overcome this crisis that is hurting the credibility of the Church. Unfortunately we have these groups, these "parties" - the so-called "progressives" and "conservatives". We are all united in the revealed faith, and not by the prejudices of political ideologies. We are not a political entity, the Church was instituted by Jesus Christ and is led by the bishops and especially by the Successor of Peter who is the permanent and fundamental principle of the unity of the Church in revealed truth and sacramental communion, in our being brothers and in trusting one another, as we read in the Council Constitution Lumen Gentium at number 18. I hope that the Pope may take some initiative for reconciliation. For example, to manage the crisis that followed the abuse scandal in the United States, he could appoint a commission of cardinals he trusts, to study the situation and then, on the basis of solid information, make some proposals, beyond oppositions, struggles between factions, mutual suspicions, and propaganda carried out by media campaigns. We need a solid base of information: only in this way decisions can be made for the future".  

There is no doubt that child abuse is a crime and an abominable sin. But don't you believe that there are - within the Church - those who trust too much in best practices and norms as a solution to the problem? Isn't there a risk of forgetting that the Church is not a company? 
"Canon Law is for us an instrument, a necessary aid to the Church, which like every society needs its rules. In Canon Law we have norms of divine law that we cannot change, but also norms of human, ecclesiastical law that we can change and update to better respond to the needs and circumstances to be faced. But, we, the Church, are a sacramental and spiritual reality and more important we are the dimensions of morality and faith: rules, norms, external discipline are not enough. We need spiritual renewal, prayer and penance, drawing on the grace of the sacraments, reading and meditating on the Bible, entering into the spirit of Jesus Christ. We must be priests according to the heart of Jesus, the heart of Jesus Christ on the cross, who suffered and died for the love of all sinners and every human being. The priest is an alter Christus, not because of his skill or ability, but because he gives his heart for humankind. We must bear witness to this and in so doing restore the credibility of the Church so that people may encounter faith".  
In the face of the scandals of abuse, Benedict XVI and Francis insisted on the path of conversion and prayer... 
 "It's the most authentic way. There are procedures that have been established to combat the phenomenon, but spiritual renewal and conversion are more important. There are priests who never go to spiritual exercises, never approach the confessional, never pray the breviary. And when the spiritual life is empty, how can a priest act according to Christ? He risks becoming a "mercenary", as we read in the Gospel of John".  
  The Holy See asking the American bishops to postpone the vote on the new anti-pedophilia norms  -which provided for the establishment of commissions of laity to investigate the responsibility of the bishops - has caused quite a stir. How do you judge what happened? 
 "According to the sacramental institution of the Church, the bishops have their responsibility, the Pope has his, but all must collaborate. We have sufficient norms in Canon Law, there is the motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutelaof 2001, there are the already existing norms of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, yet not always all the bishops have collaborated with our department. They have not informed as it is ought to be done. First we must do what is already established and indicated as necessary and obligatory by the existing norms. And then one can collaborate, in a spirit of brotherhood and collegiality, and perhaps discuss whether the tone of the proposed text was adequate. They told me that the text arrived in Rome from the United States at the last moment: why was it not sent earlier? We must avoid confrontation and public controversy, and first discuss together to then arrive at a decision. We need to talk more before. I thought it was necessary for the presidency of the American Bishops' Conference to first consult with our experts at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Holy Father is a single person, he cannot deal with everything. That is why there are the departments of the Roman Curia, to collaborate and arrive at a well-developed proposal to bring to the Pope".  
  Today there are those who insist on saying that the problem of abuse is in reality linked to the problem of homosexuality of the clergy. What is your opinion on this issue? 
 "Pedophilia and homosexuality are expressions of psychology that help the Church in her moral theology. But for us, the dimension remains the moral one: that is whether we act according to the Commandments, according to the holy will of God, or not. This is the problem for us. We must collaborate with psychology and sociology, but we in the Church at the level of the Magisterium must not put these disciplines in the foreground. Instead we must base ourselves on moral theology. It is clear that according to God's will, it is not possible for the lay faithful to have sex outside of marriage, and for a priest - who has committed himself to celibacy - it is not possible to have sex. Nor is it possible for anyone to sexually abuse children or young people. Child abuse is an abominable sin that steals the souls of the children entrusted to our care, it is something diabolical! We must raise the moral level of the clergy. As for your question: we cannot speak of "homosexuals". There are no "homosexuals" as a category. There are concrete people who have certain tendencies, and there are temptations. Our hearts are wounded by the original sin and we must overcome temptations with grace, the new life in Jesus Christ. Always calling sin a sin and recognizing it as such, so as not to fall into the corruption of those who sin and self-justify themselves".  
  Pope Francis speaks of abuse of power and clericalism to indicate that before being sexual abuse, namely clerics' abuse of children (and vulnerable adults), it is an abuse by those who exercise authority over the victim. For this reason it can be said - for example - that McCarrick did not simply have homosexual relations with his seminarians, but abused them. 
 "I believe that the Pope would like to underline the fact that in the sexual abuse against children committed by priests there is always an abuse of the natural and spiritual authority of the priest. The clergy man is a representative of Jesus the Good Shepherd, children and young people trust him and he exercises paternity over them. Sexual abuse begins with an abuse of authority and conscience. This, I believe, is what the Holy Father meant. If one has a secularized heart, for him power, interest, luxury, money, pleasure become idols. The priest must not become worldly: our time, our being, is for the people, for the people of God.  
Pope Francis insists on warning against clericalism... 
 "I don't like this word because it's ambivalent, but as I said, here we mean the abuse of office powers by the priest. Who stops being a good shepherd according to the heart of Jesus and turns into a mercenary. These are the words of the Bible".  
Your Eminence, how do you judge the polarization and the emphasis with which certain groups and certain media exploit certain wrong appointments, perhaps with significant omissis depending on the group to which they belong? 
 "We have very clear examples in the Bible: Jesus himself called the twelve apostles and one of them was a traitor, Judas. Even today it is possible that the Pope may appoint a person who is "false", who is not suitable for the role, for the episcopate. Jesus Christ himself, even though he knew everything thanks to his divine intellect, left freedom to the traitor Judas. Everyone is then responsible for their sin: we can, through the process of selection with the Congregations, through all our human judgments, do everything possible to elect a good candidate. But the Pope is not responsible for what these bishops then do, as the bishops are not responsible for everything their priests do. Everyone is personally responsible for the evil they commit".  
  How, then, can the process of selecting bishops be improved? 
 "For us men it is not possible to formulate an absolute, perfect judgment: we do it according to our limited possibilities, according to what we are given to know. One must look for suitable candidates for the episcopate, but the Pope is not infallible in the nomination. And even in the future we will not be able to avoid errors altogether. We must learn from mistakes, try to make less and less of them, try to make the selection work better and better. But we are men, and as such we are sinners and fallible. We all need God's mercy and forgiveness, we must all recognize ourselves as sinners. We do not need those who stand as judges or avengers and consider themselves just. I am convinced that a significant step would be to promote greater collaboration between the various departments of the Roman Curia for the good of the Church. The individual departments all already refer to the Pope, but horizontal collaboration should be strengthened".  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Pope Benedict still has his flashes of  corrective righteousness ! I am sure His Holiness must have other corrective thoughts about things very high up in the ecclesiastical community!

This is from this morning's Vatican News:

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI Pope emeritus Benedict XVI  

Pope emeritus Benedict: Dialogue with the Jews, not mission

The Pope emeritus “corrects” an article by theologian Michael Böhnke and rejects as “absolutely false” the insinuation that Benedict has called into question the foundations of Jewish-Christian dialogue.
By Vatican News
In a “correction” sent to the German monthly Herder Korrespondenz, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI affirmed that Christians are called to a “dialogue” with the Jews, rather than a “mission.” The Pope emeritus was responding to an article by theologian Michael Böhnke of Wuppertal. In the September issue of the journal, Böhnke had commented disapprovingly on statements made by Benedict concerning the relationship between Jews and Christians.

A completely false insinuation

Judaism and Christianity, said Benedict, are “two ways of interpreting the Scriptures.” For Christians, the promises made to Israel are the hope of the Church, and “those who abide by it are in no way questioning the foundations of the Jewish-Christian dialogue.” The accusation contained in the article, he continued, is “grotesque nonsense and has nothing to do with what I said about it. I therefore reject his article as a completely false insinuation.”
Böhnke had argued that Benedict XVI, in an article for the theological journal Communio, had demonstrated a problematic understanding of Judaism, and had ignored the suffering Christians had inflicted upon Jews.

Not "mission," but "dialogue"

In his “correction,” Benedict also addressed – among other theological issues – the delicate question of the “mission” to the Jews; that is, the question of whether the Church should proclaim the Good News of Christ to the Jews. Benedict wrote: “A mission to the Jews is not foreseen and not necessary.” At the same time, it is true that Christ gave His disciples a mission to all peoples and all cultures. For this reason, Benedict affirms, “the missionary mandate is universal – with one exception: a mission to the Jews was not foreseen and not necessary because they alone, among all peoples, knew the ‘unknown God’.”
For Israel, then, it was not a mission, but a dialogue about whether Jesus of Nazareth was “the Son of God, the Logos,” for whom, according to the promises made to His people, Israel, and the whole world without knowing it, was waiting. Taking up this dialogue anew, Benedict said, is “the duty given us at this time.”
Benedict’s “correction” appeared in the December issue of Herder Korrespondenz, and was signed “Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI.”

Reflecting on Relations with the Jews

The original article in Communio, critiqued by Böhnke, was intended as an in-depth study of a document published in 2015 by the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, entitled, “The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable (Rom 11:29): A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic– Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Nostra aetate’ (no.4).”
The sixth heading of that document, “The Church’s mandate to evangelize in relation to Judaism” deals precisely with the questions raised by Böhnke:
It is easy to understand that the so–called ‘mission to the Jews’ is a very delicate and sensitive matter for Jews because, in their eyes, it involves the very existence of the Jewish people. This question also proves to be awkward for Christians, because for them the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ and consequently the universal mission of the Church are of fundamental importance. The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah


Monday, November 26, 2018


This was a fairly good interview until the end. How can children formed in this liturgical crap take the Church and their Catholic Faith seriously as an adult??????


Then why do I have a feeling of dread?

Now held regularly (2-3 times a year) under Francis, but focused as ever on one or two specific topics, Vatican says Pope convened a full “Cabinet” meeting of his Curia chiefs this morning – agenda not disclosed.


Rocco Palmo has a great Requiem for the late Bishop Morlino of Madison which you can read HERE.

If anything, Bishop Morlino's style, and what you see is what you get and don't get, proves that faithful Catholicism leads to a strong Catholic identity and a true springtime of renewal for the Church. The current mush from the Pope on down is a recipe for the same old tired 1960's idea of Church, reimagined into something unrecognizable and no one, except mushy progressives, want to partake.

Bishop Morlino knew what it would take to deal with an unfaithful generation in his diocese and he did it with skill and a glint in his eye!

Here are some excerpts from Rocco Palmo's great obituary I link above:

Still, the octane level of the quotes in print obscured the piece that made it work – the telling glint in the eye that his bark was far worse than his bite. In other words, even if Morlino's zingers made it sound like he'd chew your leg off (if not both), in reality, odds were he'd end up cooking you dinner instead... and sitting down to eat in an open shirt, still wearing his apron – then running back and forth to serve everything himself – those meals were something to behold.

The penchant for controversy hid something else, too. Given Madison's brutal winters, you'd think the day the locals call "Skin Friday" – the end of the first warm spring week – would see the college kids thronged in the streets and down on the lakes, not packed into a downtown adoration chapel at mid-afternoon... but there they were.

Indeed, well beyond recruiting a crop of seminarians that peaked at 35, some 40-plus already ordained – both stunning figures for a diocese of less than 300,000 – Morlino drove an uptick of youth ministry and engagement that would be a standout boast anywhere in the American church. And with the "living stones" already bolstered, last year brought the culmination of the effort: the dedication of a sprawling, almost majestic new Catholic Center on the University of Wisconsin campus (above), replacing a structure wrecked in the '70s whose baptismal font was literally a derelict above-ground swimming pool, its tabernacle a plexiglas black box.

There will be a time to talk the Madison succession, and this isn't it. For now, it nonetheless bears noting that the void in Morlino's wake adds yet another challenging personnel-choice on top of a docket already brimming with them... but considering the unique state of the diocese the big man leaves behind – one which, among other aspects, hasn't had a cathedral since St Raphael's burned to the ground in 2006 – who takes his place in the "People's Republic" might just be the most fascinating pick of all.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


We can only imagine what kind of renewal and springtime the next bishop will endorse. Those dubia cardinals and others who offer a different vision or paradigm of the Church don't seem to last very long do they?

Interestingly, it appears in the article below that Bishop Morlino was ordained as a Jesuit. Very interesting.

This is copied from Catholic World Report:

Bishop Robert C. Morlino dead at age 71

The fourth bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, died Saturday night November 24 after suffering a “cardiac event” the day before Thanksgiving.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino on August 1st, 2018, after celebrating Mass on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of his installation as bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo: Joseph Hanneman)

Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, died Saturday night November 24 after suffering a “cardiac event” the day before Thanksgiving. A priest for more than 44 years and a bishop for nearly 20, Morlino died at 9:15 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. He was 71.
News of Morlino’s death came only a few hours after Diocese of Madison Vicar General Msgr. James Bartylla put out an urgent call for prayers for the ailing bishop. Bartylla asked the faithful to invoke the intercession of Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, the great Dominican pioneer and explorer who established dozens of Catholic churches in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. In addition to prayers for a miracle, Bartylla said the faithful should pray that Morlino “be given the grace of a happy death.”
Morlino was undergoing planned medical tests in Madison on Nov. 21 when he was stricken with cardiac trouble. Per Morlino’s preference, decision was made to delay announcement of his health crisis until after Thanksgiving. The diocese released a statement on Morlino’s health on Friday, Nov. 23.
The diocese was holding an all-night vigil for Morlino at Holy Name Heights in Madison. Father Richard Heilman, pastor of St. Mary of Pine Bluff Catholic Church, was praying before the Blessed Sacrament when he felt an urgent need to go to St. Mary’s Hospital. “…I rushed down to the hospital,” Heilman wrote on Facebook. “Just as I arrived, Bishop passed. I was there. Isn’t that always the way? When you are close to someone, you know. You just know.”
Heilman, one of the vicars forane in the Diocese of Madison, described Morlino as “a saint in our midst” and a “St. Athanasius against the rampant modernism in our times.”  Heilman said Morlino was “a dad to me and countless others.”
Morlino was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Madison on May 23, 2003 and installed on Aug. 1, 2003. He succeeded retiring Bishop William H. Bullock. Morlino just celebrated the 15th anniversary of becoming Madison bishop on Aug. 1 at  St. Mary of Pine Bluff Catholic Church near Madison. The 11-county diocese covers south-central and southwestern Wisconsin.
Morlino was previously the ninth bishop of Helena, Mont., named to that post by Pope St. John Paul II in July 1999. A native of Scranton, Pa., Morlino was ordained to the priesthood in the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus on June 1, 1974. He taught at Loyola College in Baltimore, St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, Boston College, the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College. He held a variety of positions in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., and was rector of St. Augustine Cathedral before being named a bishop.

Morlino had a reputation for being staunchly pro-life and anti-modernist. He supported development of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese of Madison, and often celebrated the Pontifical Mass at the Throne at the diocesan chapel and various churches around the diocese. He ordered that the tabernacles in all the churches of the diocese be moved to a central place of prominence. He encouraged the faithful to receive Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling.
Morlino was steadily working toward restoring the sacred to Catholic worship, Heilman said, with a minimum of collateral damage. “Bishop knew that the rich treasury of our Catholic Church is what, ultimately, will lead people to a deep and strong faith,” Heilman said late Saturday. “In this sense, he was a true shepherd.”
Morlino did much to build up vocations to the priesthood, raising $44 million in pledges for the “Priests for Our Future” endowment fund. Morlino’s goal had been $30 million. “His great mission was vocations to the priesthood,” Heilman said. “He worked very hard at this. When he was named Bishop of Madison, there were six men studying for the priesthood. In the last half of his 15 years, the numbers have hovered around 30 men studying. It’s one of the highest per capita in the country.”
Morlino often drew the ire of progressives in the liberal city of Madison and across the United States for defending church teaching on abortion, marriage and sexuality. In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal surrounding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Morlino condemned the “homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church” in a letter to his flock in August 2018.
Morlino condemned the sexually predatory actions of priests and bishops as evil “that cries out for justice and sin that must be cast out from our Church.” He said the seeming acceptance of sin by some in the Church, and the cover-ups of scandal by others, must be met with just punishments and a clarion call to sanctity.
“We must be done with sin,” Morlino wrote. “It must be rooted out and again considered unacceptable. Love sinners? Yes. Accept true repentance? Yes. But do not say sin is okay. And do not pretend that grave violations of office and of trust come without grave, lasting consequences.”

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Pope to Choirs: ‘Help community sing, don't replace its voice'

Pope Francis invites choirs and singers around the world to promote the Church community’s participation and prayer during liturgical celebrations, rather than replacing its voice.

By Devin Watkins

“You have awoken the Vatican!”

With those joyful words, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the musical art shown by participants in the 3rd International Meeting of Choirs, during a Saturday audience in the Paul VI Hall.

“Your music and song are truly an instrument of evangelization to the extent that you bear witness to the depth of the Word of God, which touches people’s hearts, and to the extent that you assist in the celebration of the Sacraments, in particular the Holy Eucharist, allowing us to perceive the beauty of Paradise.”

Some 7,000 musicians and singers are participating in the Meeting of Choirs, a three-day event organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

Liturgical animators

The Pope encouraged the choristers to continue giving voice to the emotions that lie at the heart of the Church community.

“Music and song can often make certain moments unique in a person’s life, because they become a precious memory that has marked their lives.”

Pope Francis warned choirs against the temptation of letting their talent outshine the Church community, discouraging the people in the pews from actively participating during Mass.

“You are the musical animators of the whole congregation. Don’t take its place, depriving the people of God of the chance to sing with you and bear witness to the Church’s communal prayer.”

The Holy Father commended the choral singers for studying ways to “promote prayer in liturgical celebrations.”

Popular piety

Pope Francis also invited them to give space to more popular forms of religious expression. “Feasts of patron saints, processions, dances, and the religious songs of our peoples are themselves a real heritage of religiosity that is worth appreciating and supporting, because they are nonetheless an action of the Holy Spirit at the heart of the Church.”


Finally, Pope Francis said music should act as an instrument for promoting unity. He said music can help “make the Gospel efficacious in today’s world, through a beauty that still captivates and makes it possible to believe, entrusting ourselves to the love of the Father.”


I have Sirus/XM Satellite Radio in my car. I only listen to a few stations of the galore that there are. If not the news stations, it's Old Time Radio, which I love, especially Suspense, Fibber Mac Ghee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeves, The Life of Riley, Jack Benny and many, many more!

I also love 1960's pop music and so I listen to a station exclusively devoted to it, as I was just doing in my automobile.

As I was driving and distracted, I began to realize that one of the songs I was listening to didn't sound like 1960's rock at all. It sounded like Nashville Country music, which I like too, but a little of that goes a long way for me! I thought, what's going on here.

Then I looked at my radio which tells you what is being sung and by whom and when. The song was called "Act Naturally" and was released in 1965 by the Beatles! Ringo Star is the soloist, but you wouldn't know by listening to it or its style.

I don't remember hearing this song in the 1960's but certainly I must have as I loved the Beatles, especially in their first few years.

And thus here it is for your listening pleasure. Tell me what you think. Would you believe this is a Beatles Song?