Monday, September 30, 2019


Pope Francis this is one antidote to the Clericalism you decry:

Pope Francis believes that when the priesthood is equated with power rather than service, clericalism ruins the priesthood.

What Robert Cardinal Sarah writes below sounds a lot like the clericalism that Pope Francis fears, priesthood associated with power. In this case, the priest has power over God. But is this really what the good Cardinal is saying?

I would say that the greatest problem in the Church is a new form of dualism which is also associated with power and thus is clericalism. On one level most laity believe priests to be who they say they are, obedient to Holy Mother, Church through their bishop, who is also obedient, and actually striving to live the promise or vow of celibate chastity.

The breach in power comes not from what Cardinal Sarah states below, but from the hypocrisy of this dualism. By all appearances, the laity's presumption of obedience and celibate chastity gives way to the reality that the bishop is a poor father to his priests and enables bad behavior through benign neglect, a fear to confront errant priests, censure them, remove faculties or even warn them even with behavior that is not only immoral but also criminal. The great discipline of the Church is swallowed up in a corrupt understanding of mercy which leads to enablement.

In the pre-Vatican II Church, it was presumed that there was a great disiciplined order of clergy and relgious under the good order of superiors and bishops. This all collapsed overnight after 1965's conclusion of Vatican II. When the disicipline collapsed Pandora's Box opened. Priests and religious who toed the line because of the strict discipline of the seminaries and superiors, did not toe the line from any internal locus toward self-discipline. This explains why pre-Vatican II trained priests lost it after Vatican II and the collaspe of external discipline. This explains why 1974 has the highest number of priests accused of sexual abuse, most of whom were trained in a more externally disciplined priesthood.

 But despite this ugly reality, bishops and preists acted as though this discipline was still in place and the laity believed it. Clericalism!

Coupled with this was the loss of the "majesty" of living the priesthood in an internal and external way, both in the liturgy, in prayer and on the street and in public. Our late Bishop Lessard often decried the loss of the "majesty" of living out the priesthood both internally and externally.

Finally, to temper and humiliate this "majesty" of the priesthood, celebrating Mass ad orientem humiliates the person of the priest himself and elevates the priesthood, both that of the human ordained priest and the High Priest of Jesus Christ which exalts the ministerial priesthood. At Mass the ad orientem position makes every ministerial priest the one Priest.

What do you think about Robert Cardinal Sarah's comments below. Does it cause clericalism and the abuse of lay people in benign or malignant ways:
What I have become I also owe to my parents: Alexandre and Marie Claire. The priest – here is the most magnificent work, the most generous gift that God has given to humanity – is the most precious and inconceivable treasure that exists on earth: the Curé of Ars, Saint John-Mary Vianney was deeply convinced of it.
He said: “If we had faith, we would see God hidden in the priest like a light behind the glass, like wine mixed with water. How great is the priest! If he really understood (this), he would die. … God obeys him: he says two words and Our Lord descends from heaven at hearing this voice and closes himself in a small host.” The priest is “a man who stands in the place of God, a man who is clothed with all the powers of God. …Look at the power of the priest! His tongue makes God of a piece of bread!”
However, this happens only if we priests agree to be crucified with Christ, if each of us is ready to say, like Saint Paul, in the concrete web of our existence: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (cf .Gal 2.19-20). Christ, the Son of God, only through the Cross and at the end of an extraordinary descent into an abyss of humiliation, comes to confer on priests the divine power to celebrate the Eucharist and to tear men, his earthly brothers, from the slavery of sin and death, to make them partakers of his divinity.
The Eucharist takes place only if our life is marked by the Cross. According to St. Josemaría Escrivà, the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is the vital motivation of the priest, the pillar on which his priestly existence is built. In his motto he wrote it this way: “in laetitia nulla dies sine cruce: in joy, no day without the Cross”. The priest lives joy in its fullness in the Holy Mass, which is the raison d’être of his existence, what gives meaning to his life.
During the Mass, on the paten and in the chalice, the priest is close to the Host, he is truly before and together with our Lord Jesus Christ: Jesus looks at him and he looks at Jesus. Are we really fully aware of what the real presence of Christ himself really means before our eyes, under the Eucharistic species? During daily Mass the priest comes face to face with Jesus Christ and at that precise moment, he is identified, he becomes identified with Christ, becoming not only an Alter Christus, another Christ, but he is really Ipse Christus, Christ Himself. He is conscious of being invested by the Person of Christ himself, configured in a specific sacramental identification with the High Priest of the eternal Covenant (cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia n.29).

Sunday, September 29, 2019


And per usual the young schola sent everyone into spiritual ecstasy by their absolute magnificent a cappella complex Gregorian Chant and polyphony!!!!!!


#1,934,187,1701870,481,738,748,374,187,013,740,701,741 WHY THE COMMON CHALICE SHOULD BE DISPENSED AND INTINCTION THE NORM!


Just think of all the hairy germs deposited on the chalice and its contents! You know this kind of thing drives me CRAZY!

From Fr. Z's blog:

I have a fairly bushy mustache. I don’t feel comfortable receiving the Precious Blood as I sometimes get liquids on my mustache, my morning coffee is sometimes a chore.
That said, a friend said I was missing out on part of the sacrament, which I’m certain is untrue. However I am just doublechecking, should I go with a Boston Blackie mustache and receive under both species? Is there some sort of rubric or regulation about facial hair and the chalice?
You can read Fr. Z's answer here. But just think about it, just visualize it, if you follow this guy in the Common Chalice queue! 

Saturday, September 28, 2019


I understand this new bishop is very orthodox. Maybe he can upright the ship of liturgy there?

The architecture of this church is Rambusch, I am certain of it by the manner in which the altar platform, can't really call it a sanctuary, is thrust into the nave with seating all around and choir behind and the placement of altar, ambo and chair but the addition of the ridiculous song leader's podium added.  Rambush did this to my first parish at St. Teresa in Albany, Georgia around 1981 or so. For the most part it's been undone there but not here!

And the music for a bishop's installation--bar style piano music and the playing of a movie's theme song! And the happy, clappy bantering leading to laughs and applause. Jay Leno would applaud that too I am sure--great comedy routine.

And the damnable version of the Litany of the Saints that is selected which was outlawed with the new English translation of the Litany! Illicit to say the least!

Can anyone really take any of this seriously?

And this is called renewal of the liturgy. O my! And we wonder why no one seems to take the Mass seriously any more, so many don't come and those who do attend Mass don't really believe what the Jesus teaches about the Most Holy Eucharist. Where is the awe, wonder and reverence which for centuries characterized the Mass and Vatican II actually wanted to maintain?


To me, the endorsements of Cardinals Sarah and Burke as it concerns the Ordinary Form of the Mass being celebrated ad orientem and kneeling to receive the Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ is a no-brainer.

These two things alone will help Catholics who attend Mass to recover the Mystery that is the Mass and the awe and reverence discarded by silly liturgists beginning leading up to Vatican II and then its spirit applied in a haphazard way to the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

It will allow Catholics who seldom attend Mass to sense something important is happening in the sanctuary that they should reconsider their tepid Catholicism.

It will allow seeker, aka, inquirers, as well as visiting non-Catholics to see how awesome and reverent the Catholic Mass is and how reverently the priest and communicants adore and receive the Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

It would not take too much to upright the listing ship that is the Church and Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Ordinary Form.

Why, then, in the Most Holy Name of God and all that is Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship, ignored and marginalized by the papal Magisterium?  Shouldn't a Cardinal from the peripheries, even in the Vatican itself, be empowered to serve the Church as His Eminence office demands?

Friday, September 27, 2019




Monte Gargano, Italy (492)

Today's feast commemorates an apparition of St. Michael the Archangel on Monte Gargano in southern Italy in the year 492.

In that year, a man named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.

Accompanied by his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.
This mighty leader of the heavenly host, the vanquisher of Lucifer and his followers, has appeared on other occasions during the Christian ages; for example, it was he who summoned St. Joan of Arc from the care of her flocks to the command of armies. We may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. The angelic visitor has always been honored by the Church as her guardian under God, and as the protector of the faithful.

It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1) Compare this text with Chapter 10 of the Apocalypse of Saint John.


INTROIT Ps. 102:20
Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands.
Ps. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy name.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, who wondrously directs the services of angels and men, grant that our lives on earth may be guarded by the angels who stand ever before Your face ministering to You in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

LESSON Apoc. 1:1-5
In those days, God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John, Who hath given testimony to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from him that is and that was and that is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before his throne: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
Holy archangel Michael, defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the dreaded judgment. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 18:1-10
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: "Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand, or thy foot, scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven."
O Lord, graciously accept the Sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the Angels' prayers of intercession. Through our Lord . . .

We rely on the prayers of the blessed Archangel Michael, O Lord, that the Sacrament that we have received upon our lips may always remain in our hearts. Through our Lord . . .

English: Icon of Archangel Michael in Cathedra...
English: Icon of Archangel Michael in Cathedral in the name of Archangel Michael (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Clue: it is a half century old!


My comments at the end and my reactions in red within the text:

How can we avoid falling into clericalism during the formation of priestly ministry?

Francis: “Clericalism is a true perversion in the Church. It demands that the pastor be always at the fore, establish a course, and punish with excommunication those who move away from the flock.  In sum: it is precisely opposed to what Jesus did. Clericalism condemns , separates, beats, despises the people of God. (Does anyone have any examples of this in real parish life that they have encountered?) Clericalism confuses priestly  ‘service’ with the priestly ‘power’. Clericalism is climbing and supremacy. In Italian it is called ‘arrampicamento’ (climbing). Clericalism is a direct consequence rigidity.  Have you ever seen young priests all rigid in a black cassock and hats in the shape of the planet Saturn on their heads? (Holy Father, should we judge the priest by the cassock and hat he wears? Are stereotypes really helpful or divisive????) There are serious problems behind all this rigid clericalism. One of the dimensions of clericalism is the exclusive  moral fixation on the Sixth Commandment. A Jesuit once told me to be careful in giving absolution,  because the most serious sins are those that have a greater ‘angelic’ character: pride, arrogance, dominion.  Those which are less angelic, such as gluttony and lust. We focus on sex and then we don’t give weight to social injustice, to slander, to gossip, to lies .” (Holy Father, it's not either/or but both/and, no?)

This priest wears a cassock and a hat in the shape of the planet Saturn.  But he doesn't strike me as rigid or into clericalism, power, beating the dead or living and despising the people of God. Is the Holy Father infallible in his derision of certain priests who look like Fr. Brown????


I have long opined that ordinations of deacons, priests, but especially of bishops are too triumphant as it concerns the type and style of music chosen, long processions of concelebrants and trumpets, tympani and a variety of over the top sounding instruments and vocal machinations.

For the past three years, I have celebrated regularly the Cathedral’s EF Sunday Mass on a once or twice a month basis. The young schola there is magnificent and all they chant, they chant a cappella! They chant complicated Gregorian Chant and some polyphony. They chant the Mass, its propers and parts.

Could you imagine an ordination of a deacon or a priest but especially a bishop being celebrated in the manner of the Cathedral’s EF Mass in terms of the chants? This would be possible even in an OF Mass.

Could you see clergy not processing in, but already seated but wearing choir dress, not as concelebrants?

This is what the Philadelphia Inquirer article has to say about the type of ordination or installation of Philadelphia’s next archbishop:

Imagine, for example, that Philadelphia’s new archbishop forgoes a lavish installation ceremony. Instead, he presides at a modest mass, adorned in the simple vestments of a parish priest. What follows is not a formal banquet in his honor, but a visit to the city’s largest homeless shelter, where he and archdiocesan seminarians serve lunch to the guests.

That’s just for starters. Read it all there by pressing here!

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, of Praysniff, I mean, Praytell, actually agrees with Cardinal Burke!!!!!! Read what he says:

  • My concerns about the synod preparatory document? To varying extents, I actually share every concern articulated by Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider. They’ve usefully pulled together the most problematic bits all in one place. I’m hoping a good synod discussion starting with great sensitivity to the local culture and respect for their ways of doing theology and worshiping can still affirm the centrality of Christ and the Gospel, which must transform all cultures including the Amazon. The goal is to bring all to Christ and to the waters of baptism. I hope it’s not too old-fashioned or imperialistic to say that! As I wrote in an editorial Amen Corner I just submitted for our Worship journal, “Christ is the only savior of humanity. In a globalized world that affords heightened awareness of religious and cultural pluralism, we must reaffirm this central truth of Christianity, particularly in progressive circles where it perhaps has weakened.” But Burke’s and Schneider’s approach is not good – it’s overstated, lacking in humility, attacking positions they’ve put in the worst possible light. Could we all please admit that the Catholic Church historically has failed to respect non-western cultures? Could we admit that we have to be open to new approaches in places like the Amazon? And if you analyze the Burke/Schneider claims of heresy with a lawyerly precision, you’ll see that the evidence they proffer does not quite support their charges in any case. And with their manner of attack, setting themselves up as the sole arbiters of truth, they are unlikely to get a fair hearing – meaning the church risks missing out on what is legitimate in their concerns.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


One of the things that I have loved promoting is Catholic Stewardship. Why, you ask? Because it is about Catholic spirituality and piety, faith and good works.

When the laity become more involved in their personal faith and devotion and strive to grow in their faith by attending Mass, regular confession  and popular devotions, especially devotions that can be accomplished at home or anywhere, this is bound to have a good effect in the parish.

When the laity are concerned about their personal salvation, this too bear abundant fruit in this life too!

And when Catholics are involved the life and ministries of the parish, they are more likely to take an vested interest in supporting all the parish does with their time, talent and treasure.

This is St. Anne's first ever stewardship video shown at all the Mass a couple of weeks ago:


My comment first, take it or leave it: For the most part, the South American Church as well as the Central American Church has failed to evangelize Catholics and keep them in the true Church. The reason evangelicals have made such in-roads into Catholicism there is that the spirit of Vatican Catholicism can’t compete with the Evangelical’s emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus, the impetus to share Christ with others, what Pope Francis derides as proselytism. The Church there is more concerned with taking power away from the elites and give political power to the disenfranchised. Jesus is left out of the picture. And then to deal with evangelicalism, the Catholic Church tries to mimic its Pentecostal worship but fails because Pentecostalism is not Catholicism. Pre-Vatican II Catholicism is Catholicism

What I highlight in red below says it all about the crisis of Catholic identity under the current Magisterium. 

Venezuelan cardinal: Synod document strong on ecology, weak on ecclesiology

Venezuelan cardinal: Synod document strong on ecology, weak on ecclesiology
ROME - According to Venezuelan Cardinal Jorge Urosa, the preparatory document for the upcoming Vatican summit of bishops on the Amazon region is “flawed, weak” because Christ is misrepresented.
Do you see the need for a synod on the Amazon?
The synod has two main objectives. The first is to promote an integral ecology for the Amazon area. And the second is to propose new paths for the Church in that area.
From the point of view of the ecological, sociological and cultural issue, a synod would not be necessary. The pope has nevertheless wanted to convene a synod for the Church to reflect on this and make a contribution. And there is the other part, ecclesiological and missionary, which is properly speaking, the ecclesial part. But of course, everything will have a synodal development.
There are several aspects that are important to highlight and have been touched upon in the so-called instrumentum laboris. I would like to distinguish between the synod and the instrumentum laboris prepared for the synod. It is a document that goes through both lines. It addresses the ecological and sociocultural issues, and also addresses the missionary and ecclesial issues.
From an ecological point of view, it’s pretty good. But as for the ecclesiological and missionary issues, it suffers from many failures. That will be a problem for the synod, because the instrumentum laboris somehow sets the tone [of the discussions].
The ecological aspect is interesting and makes a necessary defense of the Amazonian territory, the environment and the Amazonian populations that are not only indigenous. They are being subjected to an extractive exploitation of raw material that is damaging the ecology of the region which has an impact on the entire world. An unfortunate fact has been the terrible fires that occurred this year. The defense of the Amazon is very important, and thank God the Church has taken a very valuable initiative.
However, the problem of the Amazon from the ecclesiological point of view has not been well addressed. Moreover, most of those who speak of the synod touch only on the ecological and socio-cultural aspects, and very little on the ecclesiological and pastoral aspects.
There is an imbalance, because the main work of the Church is evangelization, bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, to all populations, both the indigenous and the urban population in the Amazon - there are millions living in cities like Manaus, Belen de Para, Iquitos, not only the indigenous in isolated areas.
These people require a direct, explicit, open evangelization of Jesus Christ. And that is little touched on in the document.
The document presents an almost idyllic Amazonian population, the perfect man, the noble savage of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They are normal people, human beings with the same problems, virtues and defects as all people in the whole world. And to them too we have to bring the Gospel.
The text talks a lot about accompanying, following, understanding and dialoguing with, but little about the need to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that, in some ways, explains the reality of the growth of the Pentecostal and Evangelical churches in the region, while the Catholic faith in the Amazon is not growing with the same force.
We must make a serious study, a good examination of the ecclesial reality of the population of the Amazon. We must ask ourselves why Evangelicals and Pentecostals grow, and the Church does not. That should call the Synod Fathers to reflection.
The instrumentum laboris has to be very well reviewed because it has many flaws and omissions, and we must insist on the true objective and mission of the Church, which is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. We are not asked to bring Western culture to native peoples. We are asked to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all cultures. It is not about supplanting one culture with another, but about taking the Gospel to the original peoples of the Amazon.
It is about a strong and intense evangelizing effort in the Amazon region.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


My first rant has to do with my clericalism post below and also has to do with the elitism, better than everyone else (pharisaical) superior spirit of Vatican II type where humility is flung at the rest like a monkey flinging his excrement at those gawking at him.

Tell me what you think of this comment on clericalism from the Praytell blog and am I wrong to characterize it as I do above--the worst of post spirit of Vatican II Catholicism pride and elitism, i.e. The clericalism of the laity in this era:

Where did this young priest get this curious idea?I’ve belonged to a cathedral parish for over 50 years. I no longer attend diocesan liturgies (Mass of the Chrism, ordinations) because I find them overpoweringly clerical.
And then there is what I would call a teenage brat that needs some discipline and a reality test about that which she can't control, no one can control, the inevitability of the dead of every human being and eventually the planet. All things created by God in the natural order will die because of Original Sin and yes, actual sin. It will be only at the final consummation of the earth (and I was taught by fire, not thinking global warming would be the cause of that fire) that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead as well as all the institutions of the world to include religious and political institutions. Then the resurrection of the body will occur and each to his just reward or condemnation for eternity.

But look at this little brat. Her motivating force is teenage rebellion and anger but for a just cause that she thinks politicians and others can change, global warming. Even if my dad dispised the current president, he would have taught me manners as a child and would not tolerate his son doing what this daughter is doing in her anger and contempt. Blame her parents for allowing this child to be used for political purposes and worldwide notoriety. I think is is child abuse, no?


Eucharistic Problems and Concelebrating Clergy

Press title above for full article, but two money quotes below:

During the faction rite, I went to the tabernacle to remove the ciborium because I was not sure whether there were in fact enough hosts consecrated. I placed some reserved hosts in one of the two patens alongside hosts consecrated at the Mass. The puzzling exchange occurred as I was in the process of ushering clergy to one of the stations. One of the more recently minted priests comes running up the aisle to me from the rear of the church to say with alarming seriousness that by mixing the reserved and the consecrated hosts together I had invalided the Mass and prevented priests directed to that one paten from receiving Eucharist.

I was Bishop Raymond Lessard's MC for six years at our cathedral. When we had the Chrism Mass or ordinations  and priestly retreats/conferences, where most of our clergy were concelbrating, I always made sure there were enough Hosts for all the priests to receive Hosts they concelebrated as well as enough wine for the Precious Blood.

While I never miscalculated and always had more than enough, if I had made a mistake, I would simply say I made a mistake and the few priests at the end would have to receive only the Precious Blood and hosts from the tabernacle. It seems more likely that I would miscalculate the amount of wine needed as I have no control over priests who sip or gulp.

But in the article above, the priest MC writes in the most self-serving way a justification for his mistake that the problem was the priest who intervened and challenged his lack of knowledge that priests have to receive Hosts and Precious Blood that they concelebrated, not the reserved Sacrament.

Herein lies the true clericalism. The priest MC feels like everyone thinks he should not be the MC because he retrieved Hosts immediately from the tabernacle and saw no problem with this. So he justifies himself by calling the priest who intervened and concelebration creeping clericalism when in fact he is the one who is into clericalism.

But with that said, I agree that concelebrations are problematic. Prior to Vatican II, I think conclebration was only at the ordination of priests and the new priests concelebrated with the bishop. All other priests would be in choir dress, cassock and surplice, and they would receive Holy Communion just from the Host and kneeling as the laity would do.

I remember celebrating a funeral at the cathedral in which Bishop Lessard attended in choir dress. At the Eucharistic Prayer, he knelt at a kneeler. At Communion, I gave him Holy Communion as he knelt and he received on the tongue.

So in one sense, I think it would be wise to eliminate some concelebrations be it with the bishop or other priests, but the priests should be in choir dress, assume all the liturgical positions of the laity and receive as the laity would in these situations.

My question is directed to priests older than me. Prior to Vatican II and widespread concelebrations, when on a priestly retreat, where private Masses would not be possible given the location of the retreat, did priests forgo their own celebration of Mass and simple dress in choir dress and attend the Mass the bishop celebrated? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Monday, September 23, 2019


How many parishes do you know which only use for Holy Communion, Host consecrated at the Mass the communicants are attending? I suspect very few. But who really knows? I am not sure that we can tell by the difference it makes in the parish community and the lives of parishioners outside of the church building where they receive Holy Communion consecrated at the Mass they are attending.

We do know that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states the Holy Communion should be received by communicants from Hosts consecrated at the Mass they are attending.

So much for the GIRM. It also allows for the option of receiving under both "species" by intinction too.

I do not get apoplectic then I attend Mass and the minister of Holy Communion offers me a Host from the tabernacle which means the Host was consecrated at some other Mass that I did not attend.
The Mass is the Mass in since the Mass is an experience of eternity and I was able to receive a Host preserved in a miraculous way from a Mass offere in the second century, I would still be receiving our Lord consecrated at the Mass I attended since eternally speaking there is only one Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Father John Hunwicke agrees with me and thus I repeat my title, to tabernacle or not to tabernacle: that is the question:

To be communicated from the Tabernacle with a host consecrated at a previous Mass reminds one that every Mass is the One Mass; that, as that great Separated Doctor of Catholic Truth (Fr Aidan Nichols' phrase), Eric 'Patrimony' Mascall, put it, a plurality of Masses is "the same thing - the same essentially, the same numerically - not just a lot of different things of the same kind, but the very same identical thing ... the one redemptive act which Christ, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification, perpetuates in the Church which is his Body through the Sacrament of his body and blood."

Sunday, September 22, 2019


It seem that the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, a known person of high orthodoxy, is in a running controversy with Jesuit Father James Martin  about how the Church treats homosexuals and all the LGBTQ stuff out there now. You can read about the archbishop's concerns here:

Chaput: Fr. James Martin’s message causes confusion about Church doctrine 

But that begs the question and answer, do orthodox Catholics focus more on sex and getting hyper about immorality surrounding it and forgo the bigger social justice issues, like climate change, nuclear war, hunger, poverty and the rest of it?

Do progressive heterodox Catholics ignore the sexual moral teachings of Jesus which He has inspired the Magisterium to teach for a couple of thousand years in favor of the larger issues like global warming? Why do they obsess on what most people can't change because like terminal cancer death will happen and ignore personal issues which most people can change, like sexual immorality?

And what about climate change? Can we actually do anything about it? Is it the cancer that will lead to the final consummation of the world and the Last Judgement? Are progressives in denial about this terminal disease and in denial about the cancer of sexual immorality that could lead to the eternal fires of hell if not properly repented and a moral way of life adopted? 

Just wondering? 

Friday, September 20, 2019


Details:  Calls for a boycott of the company began to spread nationwide earlier this decade after news of the company’s donations to organizations opposed to same-sex marriage. Since then, the chain has more than doubled its annual sales and opened nearly 700 more locations, growing to be one of the most popular fast-food restaurants in the nation. Founded in 1967 in the food court of suburban Atlanta mall by S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A began to expand into brick and mortar restaurants in… Read more

Thursday, September 19, 2019


Poor Fr. Anthony OSB over at Praytell (or sniff if you wish). His attempt at irony and sarcasm fell flat on its face with his liberal, dour, no sense of humor and can't take any form of conservative diversity in the Church, crowd.

And the epitome of liberal ugliness, Bill deHass, even attacks poor Fr. A! Can't believe he still is allowed to comment there. That's sarcasm too! Of course he's allowed to comment there, silly me!

Read for yourself:

For Amazon Synod: 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Today the 40 days of prayer and fasting for the Amazon synod called for by Cardinal Burke begins. I’m in, are you? One decade of the Rosary daily, one day per week of fasting. Let’s all unite with our Amazon brothers and sisters for this wonderful, dynamic event in the life of the church.


  1. I have enjoyed following you but to see the name burke appear disappoints me. I sure he is praying for nothing to happen outside the traditional. With regrets I will no longer follow you.
    1. Sorry to hear that, Carl Opat. I hope it’s clear to everyone that my prayer intention is positive and constructive – surrounding whatever is negative and judgmental in other people’s prayers with lots of love and grace and good energy.
      You’re always welcome back to follow us!
  2. Some have said that Cardinal Burke’s 40 days of prayers and fasting are actually an act of repentance in advance of the disaster that he thinks the Synod will be….. In fact the headline in your link says that this is an act of prayer against the Amazon Synod. Perhaps we could pray for the success of the Synod in other more constructive ways.
  3. Are you kidding?
    I would never do anything that Burke suggested.
    His approval automatically makes even good things questionable.
  4. Sad – think I can see your attempt to make an anti protest into something good by changing the focus and goal……not sure it works for me!!!
    As my classmate, Rory Cooney, says – when statements, actions, etc. by the Burkes of this world happen, find a quiet, dark place in your soul to rest and meditate.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


I just ate my very first Impossible Whopper! If I had not been the one to order it, I would not have known that it was not a regular beef Whopper!

It is a no beef Whopper made of plant materials from outer-space or manufactured by aliens from another planet  who are in Roswell, not Georgia, Nevada and have a plant burger facility there to make money.

And now the conundrum. Can a Catholic safely eat an Impossible Whopper on Good Friday or any Friday of Lent and not commit the mortal or venial sin of disobeying Holy Mother Church as it regards her laws of abstinence?  Impossible minds want to know!


Yes, many Catholics who no longer practice their faith do not practice because of the sickening scandals reported unceasingly as well as legal action that has taken place that depletes the Church of money donated by once faithful Catholics.

Yes, many Catholics who no longer practice their faith do not practice because they no longer believe what the Church teaches on morality, who can be priests and other things. Secularism, be it from politics or the media or their favorite celebrity and how they live their lives is what guides them, not faith in God or what God teaches or saints and martyrs model.

But I wonder just what kind of foundation the post-Vatican II Church gives Catholics. It appears it isn't strong enough to withstand the tremors and earthquakes associated with sin and evil, indifference and loss of faith. Is it time to rethink Vatican II and the progressive agenda that has destroyed so much under the misguided name of renewal and a new springtime for the Church. Are our pope and bishops  in denial about the root cause of all of this and grasping at straws to place the misdirected blame?

Here are some sad statistics in the growing area of the Diocese of Providence Rhode Island:

PROVIDENCE (AP) — The Diocese of Providence says Catholic churches across the state have experienced a steep decline in the number of parishioners in recent years.

Rhode Island is one of the most heavily Catholic states. WPRI-TV reports the diocese released statistics from 2000 to 2018 earlier this month online in the diocesan newspaper.

The newspaper states that the number of parishioners dropped by about 200,000, to roughly 321,000 in 2018. Fewer people chose to get married, attend Mass or have their children baptized in the church. Fewer students attended Catholic schools and fewer men became priests.

Rhode Island's population grew over that time period and the church faced sex-abuse scandals worldwide.

 "The inescapable conclusion from reviewing the report is that the Diocese of Providence is experiencing a quantitative decline. The numbers of ordained priests, registered parishioners, Sunday Mass attendees, faithful receiving the sacraments, and students in Catholic education have all fallen significantly in recent years," the bishop wrote in the profile. "The fact that this decline in religious practice is not at all unique to the Diocese of Providence – but is common to other dioceses in our part of the world and to other faith communities as well – is not much of a comfort."

 Turning to weekend mass attendance, the numbers are equally grim. In 2000, 187,708 Rhode Islanders went to mass weekly, down to just 79,936 in 2018. The number of weekend masses themselves have decreased as well, along with parishioners, even as the state's population grew.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


It seems to me that being pope today is a herculean task where no one is always pleased? This is in fact a result of Vatican II being interpreted as a rupture with the past and the "spirit" of Vatican II Catholics who have promoted this rupture and thus fomented schism.

Yes, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict all experienced push-back from a variety of sources. Paul VI's heartbreak with Vatican II's spirit developed toward the end of his papacy and his depression was palpable. Benedict, the truly humble, was overwhelmed with administrative issues and did not have the best people in important positions. They let him down.

 Pope Benedict was vilified by the left in the Church and secularists outside of the Church? Why? Because of his clarity, his orthodoxy and his humility.

But from day one, Pope Francis in a not so humble way, tried to make himself out as the anti- Benedict and the golden boy of the progressives and those who actually believed in Vatican II's spirit. Yet his version of Vatican II is stuck in the 60's and 70's which both John Paul II and Benedict brought about a great deal of healing and proper direction.

The fact that Pope Francis has tried to exterminate the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict has brought us to the brink.

Bishop Bransfield of West Virginia, happily no more, though, blamed everyone else for his exhorbitant spending and lifestyle of the rich and famous. He should have blamed himself.

I would suggest some soul searching by the current pontiff would allow the proper blame to be placed in the proper place. 

Humanized Francis speaks as a leader whose movement is falling apart

Pope Francis' blunt assertions about his opponents during his return to Rome from Africa not only marked how swiftly popes have become earthlings but suggest that Francis in particular is under worrisome stress.

From his warning about "ideology" infecting theology and his stunning admission that schism could happen, reported well by NCR Vatican correspondent Joshua J. McElwee, the pope's edgy remarks in response to reporters' questions indicate that the drumbeat of criticisms of his papacy is angering and preoccupying him.

This is not the public side the world has come to know — the compassionate, accepting, amiable face that has earned him a wide following. Rather, these stiff responses to sharp challenges hint at the inner man, the dimension that popes never intentionally displayed until recent decades...

...Starting 60 years ago with Pope John XXIII's casting off of lofty papal symbols, and the pope's enormous popular appeal, that image began to change. Modern media exposed more about John and his successors. Pope John Paul II broke barriers between the Vatican and the press by giving impromptu interviews on airplanes, and gradually the person behind the office began to show itself.

None has taken it so far as Francis, who, from the beginning, opened himself to magazine and television articles and specials, creating a vast audience for his essentially progressive views on things like ecology, human rights and clerical privilege. Holding that back to an immeasurable degree is the ongoing calamity of sex abuse charges against priests and bishops. That has yet to play out.

But as his latest comments show, Francis has at the same time bristled over the attacks from detractors among prominent Catholic writers and clerics who accuse him of selling out aspects of authentic tradition. Though he maintains a warm, gregarious demeanor in his appearances, his direct effort to defend himself and to infer that political (ideological) motives have been employed to discredit the church's, and his, theology, point to a pope who has been deeply affected by those critics and may be suffering considerable inner turmoil.
It may also disclose painful realization that his best intentions receive nowhere near ready deference from most Catholics.

Francis, in his comments, projects woundedness. He has reached out to address the church's many deep crises and has faced defiant opposition on most fronts. From the start of his papacy, he has had an inclination to couch his hopes in brief clues but provides few if any action plans to back them up.

He shuns autocratic rule and seeks decisions through consultation and consensus.(my comment: this sentence is pure fantasy; he's not called the dictator pope for no reason.)  He has received little of that; instead, resistance and confrontation from insiders.

If he is now showing shock and chagrin, and a strain of emotional reaction that becomes far-fetched (whose "ideology" for example?) or overwrought, it could be a sign of serious despair.

Astonishingly, he allows that schism could take place, prays that it doesn't, but says, "I am not afraid." It is that bad. He speaks as a leader whose movement is falling apart. Did Pope Leo X say something similar before Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door?...

...There is power in mystery and secrecy, misleading as it may be, and Francis has chosen to forsake that. Pope Paul VI said little but looked stricken by the internal wars and massiveness of the job. John Paul II had the confidence and courage to give some of himself while disclosing little of his darker moments. Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, explained his retirement as due to failing health but many observers believe the pressures and conflicts of the job broke him down.

Francis may be on the fringes of something similar, perhaps taking more of the offensive as a means of taking his critics' challenge, or retreating into less risk and quieter initiatives. But his comments on the airplane appear to signal a disquiet and urgency that warrant close attention to the pope's well-being and the politics of the Vatican.

[Ken Briggs reported on religion for Newsday and The New York Times, has contributed articles to many publications, written four books and is an instructor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.]