Friday, July 31, 2020


We have been told countless times by liturgists, that the Council Fathers felt the liturgy was in need of reform and thus they suggested some conservative reforms that blossomed into what we have today in the Liturgy. If the pre-Vatican II liturgy needed reforming and renewal, what would the Council Fathers say about the reformed Mass.

What is it about the reformed mentality that this would be seen as pastorally advantageous? Why would a bishop not intervene and say to his priests this is unacceptable? Why do bishop and many priests refuse the laity their liturgical right to the older rites of the Church, not just the Mass, but the other sacraments?

These are all good questions during these absurd times.

This will not make your last Friday of the month happy or maybe it will:

Thursday, July 30, 2020


It makes practicing Catholics want to scratch their head and simply ignore the Vatican when you read stuff like this. This is coloring book catholicism on steroids. Conversion to ecology is idolatry. Our conversion is to Jesus Christ and Him alone! Good grief.

One has to wonder if the heresy of universalism isn't active in this document too. Is the pope and the Vatican seeking a cyncretized religious system where all are equal even godless secular religion which is developing? What stupidity! 

This is copied from Crux and John Allen:

Vatican’s Academy for Life rejects charge its COVID doc isn’t Christian

Vatican’s Academy for Life rejects charge its COVID doc isn’t Christian

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. (Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP.)

ROME – Facing criticism that its recent document on the coronavirus pandemic lacks a Christian perspective and vocabulary, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life came to its own defense Wednesday, issuing a statement insisting it was trying to communicate “in a way accessible to all.”

“We want to enter human situations, reading them in the light of faith, and in a way that speaks to the widest possible audience, to believers and non-believers, to all men and women ‘of good will’,” the statement said.

“In the pandemic, we meet God to the extent that revelation and our relationship with God helps us understand who human beings are and what their role is in the world,” the statement said.

“Christ is the truth about the human person,” it said. “We decline that truth according to a perspective where anthropology and theology meet, seeking to communicate in a way accessible to all.”

The statement came in the form of a letter to the editor addressed to the Italian news outlet La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (“New Daily Compass”), led by veteran Italian journalist Riccardo Cascioli. The outlet carried an editorial July 28 critical of the academy’s document.

“The new document of the Pontifical Academy for Life regarding COVID-19 is embarrassing,” it said. “It says nothing, nothing about life and nothing Catholic. It asks for conversion to the environment and solidarity, completely excluding the religious dimension. It’s a document that will be very pleasing to many world leaders.”

The academy response was signed by Fabrizio Mastrofini, a longtime employee of Vatican Radio who today serves as a spokesman for the academy.

Issued on July 22, the document was titled ‘Humana Communitas’ in the Age of Pandemic: Untimely Meditations on Life’s Rebirth.”

(The phrase “untimely meditations” is a reference to a collection of essays published under that title by the German existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche. That choice also elicited criticism in some quarters, suggesting it betrayed a “nihilist” perspective.)

The academy’s document presents greed and exploitation of the planet as root causes of the pandemic, what it refers to as “a symptom of our earth’s malaise and our failure to care.” It also voices concern that fallout from the coronavirus may exacerbate already existing economic inequities.

“Though all, rich and poor, are vulnerable to the virus, the latter are bound to pay the highest price and to bear the long-term consequences of lack of cooperation,” it said.

The academy’s July 29 statement indicated that the earliest criticisms of the document came from “an American site,” presumably a reference to a blog entry by veteran American Catholic journalist Phil Lawler posted the same day the document was issued.

“Despite stretching to well over 4,000 words, the Vatican document does not mention God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, prayer, or even charity,” Lawler wrote. “Even the word ‘Christian’ does not appear in the text.”

“There is admittedly a call for ‘moral conversion,’ but in context it is clearly a call for an ideological rather than religious conversion,” Lawler said.

From there, the academy’s statement notes, such criticism was picked up by “Spanish sites and finally also in Italy by some enthusiastic bloggers.”

Mastrofini’s response insists that word counts are not the right way to assess whether the document reflects a Christian perspective.

“I don’t know, at this point, if a job of philological ‘accounting’ about how many times some key words occur in a text is useful,” he wrote.

“It would be preferable to enter into the merits of the themes,” he said. “We’re here to face serious questions that have to do with the future of all humanity.”

Founded in 1994, the Pontifical Academy for Life was known during the St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI as a beachhead within the Vatican for the church’s most staunchly pro-life participants in the wars of culture.

Pope Francis has attempted to steer the academy in a somewhat different direction, naming Paglia, whose background is with the center-left Community of Sant’Egidio, to head the body in 2016, and opting not to reappoint some members known for strongly conservative views.

Paglia also heads the Pontifical Institute John Paul II, which has also been the subject of controversy among critics who charge it has lost its tight focus on life issues.


There is a raging controversy about the ringing of the bless at the elevations in the Extraordinary Form.

The practice in Macon and Savannah is that the server rings the bell once when the priest first genuflects after either consecration and then rings the bell THREE times at the elevations and then once when the priest genuflects the second time.

However, there is a purest causing major problems and controversy. She insists that the bells are rung only three times collectively for the consecrations. Once at the first genuflection, once at the elevation and once at the second genuflection.

Which practice is correct???? Inquiring EF Mass goers want to know!

And now this controversy concerns both forms.

The Church teaches that the Host becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ at its consecration. The same for the wine.

Let's say that the priest dies or becomes incapacitated after consecrating just the Host and the Mass is not concluded by any other priest even at a later time.  Is/are the Host(s) consecrated even though the wine was not? And of course for the validity of the Sacrifice, the Holocaust must be consumed by the celebrant. In this case it isn't.

Can you have a consecration of one element without the other and without the sacrifice????????????????


I copy this from the Deacon's Bench:

July 28, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

On Monday July 27, 2020, Msgr. Charles Pope self-reported that he has tested positive for COVID-19 virus. He is recuperating and getting better each day. For the next two weeks, he and the other priests and seminarian that live in the rectory will be self-isolating as a precaution. We will be sure to keep you updated.

It is important for everyone to continually monitor their health. Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms. Generally, danger is minimal unless you had close contact with Msgr. Pope for 15 minutes or more and masks were not worn. It is important to follow all guidelines provided at this time including wearing masks and practicing social distancing. For more information about symptoms and testing, please use this link: In addition, the District of Columbia shares important information at the following link: or by telephone at 1-844-796-277.

As a precaution, the Church is being professionally deep cleaned and sanitized this week. We will continue to follow the recommended norms of social distancing, wearing of masks, making hand sanitizer available for all, using alcohol to clean the clergy hands when distributing the Eucharist and sanitizing the pews after each Mass.

Stay tuned for another communication over the next day or two about our plans for Mass.

The rectory office is currently closed until further notice.

Please keep Msgr. Pope in your prayers and know that he is doing the same.

In a recent blog post, Msgr. Pope wrote about COVID-19:

Prudence has its place, but my concern as a pastor and physician of souls is that we are allowing unrelenting fear to drive our response. Until we as the Church confronting the situation and “man up” as Christians should, fear will masquerade as prudence, and folks like me who question whether we’ve gone too far will be called irresponsible and even reprehensible.

For the time being, follow the recommended precautions, but ask yourself, “When will this end, and who will get to decide that?” The Church, and each one of us, has a role to play in ending the fear that this pandemic has set loose. COVID-19 can undoubtedly be a serious illness, but contracting it is far from an automatic death sentence. However, getting sick and even eventually dying is a part of living in this world. Some will call me insensitive for even mentioning this truth, but our parents, grandparents, and more distant ancestors went forth daily into a world that was far more dangerous than anything we have experienced. They lived life, accepting both its blows and its blessings. What about us today? Is God no longer with us? Are sickness and death the worst fate or is crippling fear a far more painful and dehumanizing sentence? Isn’t there more to living than just not dying or not getting sick? Will we as a Church be part of this conversation or will we remain fearfully silent? Will we simply reflect the beliefs and opinions of the current culture, or will we influence it with a theology that insists that suffering and death have meaning and an important role in our lives?

No doubt some readers will think me imprudent, irresponsible, and insensitive. I accept that. But my take is that fear is a far more serious ailment than COVID-19. Life is risky, but there is greater ruin for us if we do not accept it and live anyway. At some point we have to break out of the huddle and run the play. God will be with us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


I think the USA even prior to Vatican II had more "rubrics" for the laity's posture during Mass than did Europe.

As a child, our family normally went to Sunday Low Mass. For most of the Mass the laity knelt. It was way too long and many people chose a "sit/kneel" position, knees on kneeler and butt on edge of pew.

So in my proposal, which of course will go no where is the following:

First, we need to have the same postures for the EF Mass in its high and low form. It makes no sense to me that at the low Mass people are primarily kneeling and the High Mass is closer to the USA rubrics for the Ordinary Form.

Secondly to have some continuity between the OF and EF I recommend the following:

Introit/Entrance chant (stand)
PATFOTA/Penitential Act (kneel)
Gloria and Collect (stand)

Scripture readings (sit)
Gospel Acclamation and Gospel (stand)
Homily (sit)
Creed (stand)
Intercession (OF/kneel)

Offertory (sit)
Orate Fratres (stand)
Secret/Prayer over Offerings (stand)
Preface (stand)
Sanctus (EF kneel, OF stand)

Pater Noster (stand)

Agnus Dei (stand)

Ecce Agnus Dei (Kneel)

Post Communion (stand)

Final blessing (kneel)

Obviously there would be some slight differences in the EF over the OF but there could be a merging in the other areas.


You know, I kind of felt the way the writer of this letter to the editor feels. How about you?

Three cheers for Fr. Barnett | Letters

I commend Fr. Bruce Barnett for having the courage to share his belief with the parishioners at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton

It’s a sad day in America when a group of people who have an agenda that is opposed to the priest’s belief can put the pressure him to apologize for including “misinformation” in his homily. I’ve read your article twice, searching for “misinformation,” but all I find is information that we’re being given daily that may or may not be accurate.

How can we trust the numbers when words such as “probable cases” are being used, not to mention that the so-called medical professionals who’re suppose to be advising President Donald Trump have regularly changed the “dos and don’ts” of their guidelines?

I agree that we should re-open our shops, churches, schools, cut out the burning, looting, and get back to normal, and I’d bet “the multitudes” would agree.

The media promotes fear to keep our economy shut down. We need more faith and we need to question why this virus was hyped so much from the time China sent it over to us.

My favorite statement by Fr. Barnett, as quoted in your paper, is “I trust in God, but everyone else bring data.” I would make one change to that so it would read “bring undoctored data.”

Edie Rodgers


Read more here:


This is the money byte:

(Cardinal Kasper) added that the “perennial debate” over celibacy, the ordination of women priests and management teams was causing uncertainty, which was to blame for the shortage of priests, alongside other factors. 

Let’s dig into what post-Catholic bishops in Germany desire as expressed by most parishes over the past fifty years in this country:

1. The reformed liturgy is more feminine in ethos than what proceeded it thus not capturing the imagination of young boys and teenagers to consider being the celebrant of such. The ancient liturgy with it military, masculine precision and no nonsense is more attractive the the masculine man. The loss of the masculine ethos of the Mass has contributed in a deleterious way to the decline in vocations to the priesthood.

2. Altar boys become altar servers as females are invited into this ministry which at one time laid the foundation for future vocations to the priesthood. This has had a deleterious effect upon recruitment to the priesthood of young health masculine males

3. At the liturgy and in the parish the priest is viewed as an “animator” and director of ministries and at Mass the priest is to be a friendly host, chatty, smiley and friendly. 

4. The liturgy becomes horizontal. Hospitality is viewed as the congregation’s responsibility whereas in the ancient Mass and its ethos, it is the Lord Jesus who welcomes us and calls us to conversion which leads to faith and good works in the world and ultimately welcomes us into the Kingdom of heaven. His hospitality is what counted.

The post-Vatican II ethos or spirit sees the decline in the number of men interested in the priesthood as good because the laity can take over and fill roles the priest previously filled. This is what Cardinal Kasper is speaking about as well as the “reimagining” of the priesthood to include women, transgenders, lesbian, queer and the full array of LGBTQA personas. 

Can the true Church accept this? No and the progressive Cardinal Kasper knows it. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


German bishops continue debate over Vatican document on parishes

German bishops continue debate over Vatican document on parishes

BONN, Germany — The Vatican instruction on the reform of Catholic parishes continues to stir debate in Germany, where some bishops say the current parish model with a priest in charge is no longer sustainable because of a lack of vocations.

Cardinal Walter Kasper defended the paper following widespread criticism, such as by Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, who said: “In no manner does the instruction take note of the fact that we in Germany — but also in many other countries of the universal church — can no longer shape church life according to the model of the people’s church we have known up till now.” Critics especially cited the lack of priests.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported that, in a guest commentary for the church website in Cologne, Kasper wrote: “The German criticism completely misses the actual point of the instruction, the pastoral conversion to missionary pastoral work.”

Kasper, who was responsible for ecumenical relations at the Vatican for many years, said the first chapters of the document and the summary made extensive reference to the common responsibility of the whole congregation. Emphasizing the responsibility of the parish priest was theologically legitimate, he said.

He added that the “perennial debate” over celibacy, the ordination of women priests and management teams was causing uncertainty, which was to blame for the shortage of priests, alongside other factors. The cardinal said the document tied bishops to enforceable criteria if they want to restructure parishes.

Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki also praised the instruction and thanked Pope Francis for the guidance it provided.

The 22-page document, titled “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the church,” was released by the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy July 20.

While it does not introduce new legislation on pastoral care, the Vatican press office said it was developed by the congregation as a guide related “to the various projects of reform of parish communities and diocesan restructuring, already underway or in the planning process.” It also clarifies the role of the deacons, consecrated men and women, as well as the laity, in dioceses where there is a shortage or lack of priests.

Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke of Eichstatt said the instruction provided valuable impetus for a missionary awakening in the parishes.

“The document encourages and supports all those who have already taken such paths,” Hanke said July 28.

“Pastoral conversion as a vitalization of the missionary spirit should renew the local church, the parish with its traditional structures. This renewal process is done through evangelization.”

Hanke said the instruction from Rome should not be seen as “a struggle for the roles in the church or being in terms of winners and losers.”

By contrast, Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg criticized the document, reported KNA.

“As learners we gladly accept suggestions,” Feige wrote in pastoral letter to members of his diocese. “As a bishop, however, I won’t let myself be paralyzed and blocked by their restrictive orders, since much in it is quite unrealistic — especially with regard to our extreme diaspora situation, which they evidently cannot imagine — and since no positive solutions are indicated in view of the mounting lack of priests.”

Feige said the document will demotivate some people from working for the Catholic Church at all. He warned that the structure of the church will change even more dramatically than before.

“It does not help at all just to conjure up noble principles and to refer to canonical guidelines,” he said.

Instead, there should be a responsible, sensitive and creative consideration of what form parishes can survive in given the circumstances.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck called the instruction “a strong brake on the motivation and the appreciation of the services of laypeople.” Bode is chairman of the forum on the role of women in the church, one of four forums of the Synodal Path reform dialogue in the Catholic Church in Germany, and deputy president of the German bishops’ conference.

He said the Vatican instruction had taken the bishops completely by surprise and that he would have expected it to be preceded by an examination of the realities of local parish life on the ground, and to have shown greater respect for the frequently pledged synodality.

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz wrote in a statement that he could “not simply accept” what he described as an “interference” in his episcopal office. The pastoral theologian said the instruction left him worried about “the many who are (still) committed.” He stressed: “Soon they will have (had) enough if their commitment is only suspiciously watched and evaluated from on high.”

He added that he was worried about the priests in his diocese.

“We can’t fill vacant positions as it is. Many priests complain that they are overwhelmed by the administration and bureaucracy.” He said it also seemed “absurd to have every merging of parishes approved by Rome on a case-by-case basis.”

The Vatican instruction bars laypeople from leading parishes and emphasizes the role of priests. It directly opposes efforts to hand over the management of parishes to teams made up of priests and dedicated church members as well as other staff.

Earlier in July, KNA reported that in the Munster Diocese, the pastoral guidance of a Catholic parish is being conducted by a layman and not a priest. The diocese called it an experiment with a new governance model. The parish was to be headed by a pastoral assistant, who has a degree in theological studies. His job is to perform pastoral care, but pastoral assistants are not ordained priests and may marry and have a family.

“There are simply not enough priests around who can assume the duties of a leading pastor,” stressed Munster Auxiliary Bishop Christoph Hegge.

Similar leadership models have also been introduced in other dioceses, in some cases with women holding positions. For example, the Osnabruck Diocese appointed a woman as the pastoral envoy for the North Sea island of Langeoog, supported by a “moderating priest” from the diocese.

The Vatican recently stopped plans drafted by the Trier Diocese to establish 38 large-scale parishes to be co-led by a priest and a group of laypeople.

Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German bishops’ conference, said the bishops will carefully study the Vatican document and discuss it at their next meeting.


Sandro Magister publishes two articles, a google translation:

The dispute over Vatican II is increasingly heated.  The letters of a theologian and an archbishop

 I receive and publish the following two letters.  Both on the issue - now more disputed than ever - of the Second Vatican Council.

 Francesco Arzillo, author of the first, is a magistrate from Rome who is an appreciated writer of essays on philosophy and theology.

 Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, author of the second, in diplomacy until 2010, is one of the most systematic scholars of Vatican Council II, as well as a fierce critic of the reconstruction of that event produced by the "Bologna school" founded by Giuseppe Dossetti and then directed  by Giuseppe Alberigo and Alberto Melloni.

 In a letter of 7 October 2013 addressed to him and then made public, Pope Francis himself wrote to him:

 "Once I said to you, dear Archbishop Marchetto, and today I want to repeat it, that I consider you the best hermeneut of Vatican Council II".



 Dear Magister,

 the media coverage of the traditionalist criticisms of Vatican II, with annexes and connections, is quite worrying and in some ways surprising.

 First of all, there is an emphasis on the Council as an "event": with a singular methodological subordination to the well-known concepts of progressive brand (of the "Bologna school" but not only).  The use of historiographic methods and criteria with theological-doctrinal purposes seems to overlook the fact that the Council, as well as the documents of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes, are acts of magisterium to be interpreted according to theological and canonical criteria, without confusion of the  investigation.

 Paradoxically, then, we end up talking too much and almost exclusively about Vatican II, which is a Council already "metabolized" by theologians as well as by the faithful, starting from the next generation: a fairly contradictory position (if we want, even on a logical level) with respect  to the traditional premises of those who profess it.

 We even go so far as to say that hermeneutics, interpretation, should be excluded from the doctrinal field.  But in this way the unacceptable radical hermeneutic philosophies (which reduce the truth - and ultimately the same being - an interpretative event) are confused with the physiological use of the believing intellect in the comparison with the dogmatic texts: use that has always existed and  which must respond to certain canons, of which the ultimate guarantor always remains the ecclesial magisterium.

 It is easier for us today to consider en bloc, for example, the outcome of the Christological councils of the first centuries;  but we cannot ignore the centuries-old interpretative conflicts that took centuries to settle, even after the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

 Of course it is true that dogmatic formulas have an immediate sense, potentially knowable by anyone (it is the basis of the common sense doctrine).  But if further interpretative and doctrinal questions arise in reading them, they must (and have always been) faced with the method proper to Catholic theology.

 The problem therefore is not the fact of interpretation, but the identification of the related criteria.

 Among them, a criterion of diachronic and synchronic totality must certainly be recognized.  In the diachronic profile there is that of continuity over the centuries, which excludes doctrinal contradictions, provided that the contradiction is correctly identified, in relation to the precise scope of a truth and its doctrinal "weight" (the classic "theological note").

 It is evident that on some things it is not possible to settle.  Think of the need, recently defended by me, of the use of the language of "substance" also in Eucharistic matter ("transubstantiation").

 It is not possible to adhere to Karl Rahner's epistemology, to the extent that it potentially excludes representations and interpretations that would not necessarily be part of it from the binding content of the proposition of faith: this is a discourse that ultimately excludes the same identifiability as the referent  of doctrinal discourse, which in some way needs appropriate concepts, such as included in the content of the dogma and not interchangeable "ad libitum".

 But this does not mean that every linguistic change or every accent shift implies a doctrinal contradiction.

 For example, on the traditionalist side the statement of "Gaudium et spes" 22 is often referred to according to which "with the incarnation the Son of God united himself in a certain way with every man" ("cum omni homine quodammodo se univit"  ).  The use of the adverbial phrase "quodammodo" (which, moreover, is typical of the great classical theology, inspired not by the criteria of geometric-mathematical uniqueness, but respectful of the Mystery), however, warns us to draw hasty conclusions.

 In a remarkable article published in the magazine "30 Days" in 2010, the great Jesuit biblical scholar Ignace de la Potterie recalled the previous Thomistic according to which "considering the generality of men, all the time in the world, Christ is the head of all  men, but according to different degrees "(" Summa theologica "III, 8, 3) and explained:

 "But if the words" according to different degrees "and" in a certain way "were not removed from the phrase" Summa theologica "and from the phrase" Gaudium et spes ", all the data of the Catholic faith would not be respected.  And in fact the Council itself, in the dogmatic constitution 'Lumen gentium' (13), faithfully following Tradition, clearly distinguishes between the call of all men to salvation and the actual membership of believers in the communion of Jesus Christ.  According to the method proper to all biblical revelation. "

 This is a simple, great example of hermeneutics of continuity applied to a fundamental point of Catholic doctrine, for which the Christian is not such by nature, but by grace.

 It is only a matter of proceeding on the basis of the "intellectus fidei", putting aside the postulates and apriorisms proper to certain practices that are likely to affect also in the field of politics, ecclesiastical and otherwise.

 Thank you!

 Francesco Arzillo



 Dear friends and acquaintances,

 happy holidays, if you can enjoy it!  But I think I owe you these lines that touch my "love", the Vatican II Ecumenical Council.  In fact there is a novelty: I want to say that up to the beginning of this summer there were many who testified the fall of interest - let's say so - for the last Great Synod, despite my high lai.

 In fact, I believe that the current "crisis" from which the Catholic Church suffers is also caused by this abandonment, by the question of its correct hermeneutics, the one announced precisely by Pope Benedict XVI, that is, not "of rupture and discontinuity, but of  reform and renewal in the continuity of the one subject Church ".

 Now, since the beginning of the summer, there has been an unfolding of an interest which is also revealed in conflicting relationships.  I will not report here, but instead two remarks, namely that there is no mention of the need for non-rupture (accepted instead from the extreme positions radicalized after Vatican II, with weakening of the intermediate interpretation, that is to say, of the "et ... et"  hermeneutics, that is the so-called "traditional", a quite different category than those who are called "traditionalists") and little emphasis is given to the "continuity of the one subject Church".

 This is especially due to the introduction of "new parameters" or "new ecclesial pragmatics" which does not worry too much about this continuity, thanks also to the exorbitant evaluation of the "signs of the times". In fact they cannot be considered almost as if they were  a new, added Revelation (it was a question addressed in the Council) and here we find the great question of their interpretation, indeed we could say frankly of the critical relationship of the Church with modernity, better, with the contemporary world, with today.

 This is not enough, because the serious initial historical-ideological conditioning of the vision of Vatican II as an "event" has remained (see the French historiography, for the historical vision, especially after "Les Annales"), which leads the  correct interpretation.

 In this regard - as I was able to present better in the first history of the Council's historiography (see my "Vatican II Ecumenical Council. Counterpoint for its history", LEV, Vatican City 2005, p. 407) -  it turned out that the work of the "school of Bologna" was largely published with great historical and ideological gaps, both as regards private council journals, but above all because it was performed without the support of official documents essential for understanding the  Magno Synod, such as the Acts of its governing bodies and the general secretariat.

 Today, then, we can resort to that extraordinary source of knowledge of Pope Paul VI which is the Diary of Cardinal Pericles Felici, a publication edited by me.  From my studies in fact (in addition to the volume cited above, see also the one entitled "The Vatican II Ecumenical Council. For its correct hermeneutics", LEV, Vatican City 2012, p. 380) I draw the belief that even those who recall,  praising them, other hermeneutic tendencies, that of Peter Hünermann, for example, or John W. O'Malley, Gilles Routhier or Christoph Theobald, actually brings polluted water to the same mill.

 Indeed, we went into the factual, claimed reception of the Great Synod, skipping the intermediate step of hermeneutic weighting.  Perhaps thinking, erroneously, that "what made boss has".

 With the best wishes and best regards.

 Agostino Marchetto

Monday, July 27, 2020


I felt the same way when I visited England and Ireland for the first time and discovered that all the great ancient cathedrals had been converted into Anglican or Church of Ireland cathedrals. I feel the same way about Sacred Heart Church in Augusta, now a secular cultural center. 

The renderings below show what the Basilica of Hagia Sophia would have looked like when constructed as the Basilica of St. Peter’s of the Eastern Empire and the Church of the East in Constantinople:

The Historical Christian Arrangement of Hagia Sophia

The Historical Christian Arrangement of Hagia SophiaThere has, understandably, been a great deal of focus in recent weeks on Hagia Sophia  which, for most of its existence, was the patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul), built in A.D. 537 under the Emperor Justinian.  While it is commonly referred to a…

O MY!!!!

Bluffton, South Carolina is next to Hilton Head Island. Bluffton is a booming community and St. Gregory the Great Church is the largest church there and growing.

The priest who apologized based his statements on being an engineer who needs proof. In that statement he reminded me of a certain scientist priest who often comments here who uses his knowledge of biology to make incorrect statements about contagion from the common chalice now suspended during the pandemic as a probable source of contagion to the unsuspecting communicant.

This story appeared in this morning’s newspaper, The Island Packet. 

Bluffton church priest apologizes for homily comparing COVID-19 and flu deaths
A priest at one of Beaufort County’s largest churches has apologized for a homily he gave in late June that contained misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, calling his statements a miscommunication.

The June 27 homily was given during an in-person Mass at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton, which has more than 10,000 members.

During the service that was also streamed live on the church’s Facebook page, Fr. Bruce Barnett spent his segment talking about COVID-19.

Barnett critiqued political leaders in a number of states, saying “they’re using a virus as an excuse to close our churches” as beer distributors, cannabis dispensaries, florists, and bookstores are being deemed essential while churches are being “lumped with” hair salons, movie theaters, and gyms.

Although S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster imposed a “work or home” order in April and put limits on large groups and capacity sizes in buildings such as restaurants, he never closed churches.
In fact, he said he wouldn’t stop churchgoers from attending Easter services, citing the First Amendment, although he did encourage them to stream services online, have church outdoors or otherwise ensure people social distance.

Barnett told the congregation the 15-day lockdown instituted to flatten the coronavirus curve was based on “faulty model predictions” but “the doomsday prophecies never happened.”

“As a former engineer I want to see the proof,” Barnett said in the homily. “I trust in God, but everyone else bring data.”

“The actual data predict that the number of deaths will be about the same as the normal flu season,” he continued. ”While this number is tragic, we live every day with much greater risk. Each of you took a much greater risk driving to church today to attend this Mass.”
The facts are at odds with those statements.

As of Friday morning, the CDC reported there’s been 3,952,273 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and that 142,755 people have died from the illness.

CDC data from the 2018-19 influenza season estimates about 35 million people in the U.S. contracted the flu and roughly 34,200 died from it.

According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, 31 people have died from COVID-19 in Beaufort County.

Barnett also pointed to increased rates of issues such as domestic violence, drug addiction, and depression that may result from being isolated at home.

“If we are all eventually going to be exposed to this virus and there’s no way to prevent that then the sooner the overwhelming majority of people recover and resume their daily routines, the sooner we will be better able to protect the vulnerable and assist the sick.”

He then called for a “prudent return” to church, school, business, sports, recreation, politics, entertainment, travel, “and all the other things that give shape and meaning to our lives” to avoid another lockdown.

“For some time ahead there will be a constantly growing number of new infections,” he warned. “But that is not a cause for panic.”

Through a July 10 emailed statement from the Diocese of Charleston’s media director, Barnett said he was trying to spread hope.

“With so many people suffering due to COVID-19, it is especially important that we work to be prophets of hope,” the email said. “During my homily on June 27, I did not mean to dismiss the severity of the pandemic, but to convey a message of hope. I am sorry that I miscommunicated my message to some people.”

The June 28 video of the Mass that included the homily has since been deleted from the church’s Facebook page, but a church official says it wasn’t because of the content.

“It was normal practice for us to remove recorded Masses from our virtual platforms after they had been online for two weeks to ensure fresh content is available to parishioners,” St. Gregory Monsignor Ronald R. Cellini said in an emailed statement. “Over the past few months, Masses were left online longer; however, we are back to our previous procedure of regularly removing the videos from our online presence.”

St. Gregory reopened for in-person Mass on May 11.

“Parish officials require parishioners who choose to attend Mass to follow protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,” an emailed statement from the church said.

“Some of these requirements include limiting the number of people allowed inside the church, wearing masks and practicing social distancing.”

While churches that are having in-person services are being cautious, a number of other churches in the Lowcountry are holding a limited number of face-to-face services or choosing to continue solely livestream instead. 


 Sorry for the big print, blogger has new format in posting and I can't figure out some of the new stuff:

I don't disagree completely with the Winters of the Chismatic. But coming from the National Chismatic Reporter which regularly spews schismatic theology, just think about its call to have women ordained priests as a matter of feel good social justice not to mention its support of abortion, same sex unions and the like. However, I agree Archbishop is a loose canon and that he should be disciplined, not by other bishops complaining about him, but the one who has the authority to do so, the Bishop of Rome. Of course a meeting should take place in private and then a follow-up if Vigano doesn't recant his complete disrespect for the person of the Pope. Pope St. John Paul dialogued with Archbishop Marcel Lefebrev before he ultimately had to excommunicate him when he ordained bishops without papal approval. So the Bishop of Rome is the only one who can do anything and His Holiness silence is not the solution but the problem.

Who still stands with Viganò?

CNS-010 march c.jpg

Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, second from left, and U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, second from right, and other clergy participate in the sixth annual March for Life in Rome May 8, 2016. (CNS/Paul Haring) 
Next month will be the second anniversary of the infamous "testimony" of former nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, published first at the EWTN-owned National Catholic Register. It was obviously the work of a profoundly disturbed person, all the settling scores, spewing accusations hither and yon, demonstrating that he, and he alone, was virtuous. He even called upon Pope Francis to resign! The timing — at the end of Francis' visit to Ireland — was designed to gain maximum exposure.
At a press conference on the plane back to Rome, Francis chose not to engage the charges Viganò had leveled. "I will not say a single word on this," the pope said about Viganò's screed. "I think this statement speaks for itself, and you have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions."

Sunday, July 26, 2020


Monsignor Charles Pope has a good article on the pandemic in the good NCR, National Catholic Register. You can read the full article HERE, but here is an excerpt:

In the current pandemic, which is admittedly severe, we have quarantined the healthy along with the sick, the resilient along with the vulnerable. Crippling fear has seized so many people, and at some point, fear begins to feed on itself. We have shut down our economy, depriving many of their livelihoods and of the dignity that comes from working, from using their talents and from providing for their families.

In the Church, collectively speaking, we too have cowered and capitulated. We have not summoned people to trust and faith. We have hidden our teachings on the role of suffering in bringing forth holiness and future glory. We have not presented the theology of death and dying at a time when it is so needed.

We have limited and even denied the sacraments to the faithful, conveying the silent message that physical health is more important than spiritual health. In some dioceses, churches were locked, confessions forbidden, and Holy Communion inaccessible. Some priests who tried to supply Holy Communion to the faithful in a creative manner were criticized by liturgists and bishops. Some tried offering outdoor or “drive-in” Masses and were met with rebuke. In some cases, Mass was forbidden by local authorities, and many backed down in the face of this external pressure. While we could not recklessly disregard civil ordinances, too many of us were content to hunker down and forego public Mass. We would not utter the biblical cry, “Do not be afraid,” out of fear of being called insensitive or irresponsible.


As we all know, the funeral rites of the Catholic Church were "wreckovated" after Vatican II. What happened, even before it became popular in our denial of death culture, is that our funeral rites became a "celebration of life" and worse yet, a canonization of the deceased.

Accompanying this "wreckovation" of Catholic funeral theology was the denial of grief, depression and anxiety about the death of a loved one.

The first thing to go was the use of "black" or "violet" vestments for the funeral rites. White was mandated by liturgists and almost without exception every parish in the USA acquiesced to these liturgists denial of grief, depression and anxiety in the face of the death of a loved one.

We are a resurrection people these liturgists told priests at liturgical workshops across the country. Once a priest heard anything at a workshop after Vatican II, it was implemented the next day.

Even the laity were told not to wear black to funerals, wear white or joyful colors because of course your loved one is in heaven. The suffering of purgatory and the finality of damnation lost its favor in the resurrection lie (not Christ's resurrection but our automatic canonization of soul and eventually body).

After joyful canonizations of loved ones, celebrations of life, bright and happy colors for funerals, and the denial of grief in our liturgical life as it concerns death, people grieve nonetheless after the joyful, uplifting and happy not sad funeral rites. But they feel guilty because their faith isn't strong enough to give them lasting joy about the death of someone they love and life changed as they knew it.

BLACK VESTMENT MATTER and much more that we need to recover for our funeral rites that were "wreckovated" after Vatican II


#1 I commend you on a beautiful & educational letter this week for all those who don’t know or understand the Latin Mass; also, very creative & honest tie in to this current virus!

#2 I agree with you on silence at least 10-15 minutes before Mass begins and then directly after. It is a shame that people cannot abide by this out of respect for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God almighty!.... The other point that you made about holding hands and "Sign of Peace",I disagree with you... The Holding Hands to me showed 'Community and Compassion" for our fellow Catholics while the "Sign of Peace" to me showed that the whole group of people attending mass wanted 'peace" in our lives,the world,etc. just the same way that Christ and God wants for and from us...

Saturday, July 25, 2020


We could declare that "ad orientem" is more ecumenical liturgically speaking than the priest facing the congregation, something novel imposed upon the Latin Rite portion of the universal Church around 1966. Up until that time, in a particularly non ecumenical period, the Catholic Church had more in common with its direction of worship with most liturgical Protestants and certainly with all of Eastern Orthodoxy.

The change to facing the congregation at Mass in 1966 separated the Catholic Church liturgically from the one branch of Christianity that we should enjoy the most ecumenism, especially in the sharing of the Sacraments, the Eastern Orthodox.

I believe it is wrong to say that ad orientem means facing God or Christ. It is a facing of a geographical location on earth and an eternal location based upon the one on earth, the heavenly Jerusalem.

It is the geographical symbol both here on earth and in heaven that has been lost when the priest prays to God facing the congregation especially when no cross is centrally placed upon the altar facing the priest.

Of course we can experience ad orientem both literally or symbolically.  But facing the east symbolically or literally means facing Jerusalem on earth and the new Jerusalem in heaven, facing Golgotha/Calvary, facing the rising sun.

Why? Because the allegory of Christ's second coming, symbolized in the Divine Liturgy, is that He will return from the East, from the new and old Jerusalem, from the direction of His tomb blown open by the atomic qualities of the resurrection yet gentle and non destructive.

It is a smoke screen of out date liturgists imbued with a 50 year tradition of facing the congregation to say that it doesn't matter which way the priest faces as God is omnipresent. Balderdash!

We are facing a direction of Christ's actual return at the end of time and that is important, too important to pooh-pooh as modern liturgists are prone to do.

Friday, July 24, 2020


Pastor’s Letter

Dear Parishioners,

In the COVID-19 age in which so much has changed, I pray that we will look to that which does not change—Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and tomor- row. The great thing about God is that He is not bound by human constrictions. He does not have to “social distance” Himself from us. His relationship to us can be as intimate in private prayer and devotions, even in a “Spiritual” Communion, as it is when we are together with one another and receive Holy Communion
in “community” rather than by watching on an internet live feed.

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life, including the Church, and has placed many of us on edge. Once again, I encourage you not to overdose on the news, especially CNN, Fox, and MSNBC.
All of these become toxic to each of us and our society if we overdo it or think they do not have a political and social agenda with which they are trying to manipulate a wide swath of the population.
Those of you old enough to remember the Church prior to Vatican II will know that the Church of that period might have been better suited to the new norms of social life in this period of COVID-19.

At Mass and prayer and in the church building, people were not to socialize. Everyone faced the altar at Mass, and I remember Sister Angela and Sister Lillian warning us children never, ever,
turn to look behind us at Mass. Our eyes were to be focused on the tabernacle and the altar and what was happening in the sanctuary.

The Mass in Latin was not an encouragement for the congregation to speak or sing (thus no chance of viruses being spread by way of these two things in a confined area). Most of the Mass was prayed in a low voice by the priest as the theology behind this is that prayer is directed to God and He has great hearing! There was no such thing as holding hands during prayer, no “sign of peace,” and no socializing with each other before or after Mass in the church building.

Of course, the pre-Vatican II Mass was suspended in 1970 as the “new” Mass was introduced in the vernacular, with more of a social aspect a part of it, hand holding encouraged, the Sign of Peace before Communion, and socialization before and after Mass. However, Pope St. John Paul II allowed the ancient Traditional Mass to resume on a limited basis by the mid 1980s, and on July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict allowed every priest who had a working knowledge of Latin to celebrate the older form of the Mass.

Pope Benedict’s vision for the Mass is that the older and newer forms converge in continuity with each other. It appears that COVID-19 physical distancing directives is accomplishing this. Our attention during Mass is toward God and less so towards one another in a touchy-feely sort of way. Personally, I don’t miss the “sign of peace” or handholding during Mass, and like many of you prefer silence in the church before and after Mass. It is good to contemplate the glory of God in silence, especially in these noisy and divisive times. God bless you.

Your pastor,
Fr. Allan


Unless you are a coloring book Catholic or a neo Gnostic, you know that schism is denigrating the pope and not accepting his authority in matters of faith, morals and discipline. Coloring book catholics of course think they have personal knowledge that leads them to reject all of what is essential concerning papal authority in those areas including public dissent and animosity toward the Supreme Pontiff. Some of these so-called tending towards schism (breaking with the pope) post here. And to complicate their egregious mortal sins toward the Supreme Pontiff, they glory in their mortals sins against the two greatest commandments which sum up the 10, charity.

Here’s a left leaning example of this heterodoxy which also has a “right” leaning fraternal twin:

This priest often in my diocese in Columbus, ga in prison there, is excommunicated by Pope Francis and laicized, yet the NCR prints his heresy:

It's time to end male supremacy in the Catholic Church

20140714cm00728 c.jpg

Women priests in in York, England, react after the General Synod of the Church of England voted in 2014 to authorize the ordination of women as bishops. (CNS/Nigel Roddis, Reuters) 
In these challenging times, I am filled with hope to see so many people in our country speaking out about racism and white supremacy. It seems that an increased awareness of the need for equality is taking hold where before we saw apathy and indifference.
Another form of supremacy — male supremacy — has run rampant in our world for far too long. Having served as a Catholic priest for 40 years, I am well acquainted with the injustices that result when institutional power rests solely in the hands of an elite group, in this case, the all-male priesthood. As the world around it struggles toward equality, the church hierarchy clings to its hold on power, trotting out the same tired justifications for women’s subordination, much of it rooted in pseudoscience and the ignorant musings of medieval philosophers....

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


The College of Consulters met with Savannah’s new Bishop Elect. Apart from the Bishop to be, all the priests including the photographer are from Augusta, Fr. Allan McDonald, Fr. Tim McKeown, Fr. Dan Firmin, Fr. Kevin O’Keefe, and Fr. Pablo Migone.


I agree with Cardinal Scola. It is true, too, that the one who is the cause of polarization should do an examination of conscience to help neutralize it: