Wednesday, May 31, 2023


When I was in the 1970’s seminary and those immediate years after ordination, most of us in the clergy really thought that Vatican II desired all the situational ethics   that Jesuits then and now were promoting. There were many others as well, Charles Curran being a big one in this country. 

But there were sane voices in the hierarchy fighting back. Pope Paul VI, enfeebled by depression and old age, was not a strong leader but he pushed back and lamented so much of what was being proposed. But he was ineffectual and compromised. But at least he held the line on truth. 

We owe a great debt of gratitude to St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The aging generation of revolutionary baby-boomers who fail to see the folly of their folly and the disaster it has created in the past and now in the present know time is running out for them. But those younger than them, need to stop being passive and silent. Passivity and being docile may be the curse of younger generations.

This is a Time Capsule report for me. It clearly tells me that there is one person in the Church who complains the most about going backwards who is the one doing precisely that:

Professor Seifert: Catholic Church in ‘Terrible Danger of Complete Collapse in Many Countries’ Unless Cardinals and Bishops Speak Up (Edward Pentin)

Catholic philosopher Josef Seifert has said he sees a “terrible danger of a complete collapse of the Catholic Church in many countries” unless cardinals speak up about a “tremendous crisis” within the Church, one he says is possibly the greatest she has ever faced.

In comments following the publication of an open letter he wrote April 30 calling on all cardinals, bishops and Church leaders to stand up for the truth of Catholic teaching in the face of prevailing relativism and situational ethics, Seifert observed what he described as the cardinals’ “frightening silence” on this unique crisis that runs “from the top of the Church down.”

The respected Austrian professor, who in 2017 founded the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family as a counterweight to the once respected Pontifical Academy for Life now led by dissenting Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, said it was his love for the truth and the Church, and the fact that key elements of Pope Francis’ teaching run contrary to Pope St. John Paul II, that prompted him to put pen to paper.

He recalled that in his 1993 encyclical on the moral teaching of the Church, Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II “elucidated magnificently” the truth of recognizing “non-negotiable wrong acts,” defending it against relativist ethical positions which “seek loopholes everywhere” in order to try to justify “adultery, sodomy, contraception, idolatry, apostasy, denial of purgatory, hell and last judgement.”

Tracing such dissent to criticisms of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae which underscored the use of artificial contraception as intrinsically evil, Professor Seifert stressed that the Church’s teaching on the subject has deep roots…


And the good professor’s letter: Professor Seifert’s open letter to cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


In extremely high places in the hierarchical Church or the middle of the endless circle of the chattering class, there is extreme anxiety or a deep dark phobia about going backwards in order to go forward again on the right road. 

Part of the phobia might be based upon the need for those who guided the Church on the wrong road to repent and get straight again. That's tied into a lot of pride to overcome and to admit the wrongness and mistakes made in the past. You have to go backwards to examine your conscience so you can go forward again on the right road. 

Going backwards to the immediate post-Vatican II Church, let's say between 1965 and 1978, what detour did Church leaders insist we take to triumphantly take the road of The New Springtime of the Church?

1. The destruction of the Traditional Latin Mass, its culture, discipline, beauty and non-tribal celebration throughout the world. 

2. The de-emphasis on the Sacrament of Holy Orders in order to elevate the Sacrament of Baptism and the priestly people of God leading the the laicization of the clergy and the clericalization of the laity

3. The destruction of the manner  in which formation and life of the clergy and religious was lived, throwing the baby out with the bathwater

4. The destruction of Catholic culture in terms of fasting, ember days and other liturgical rites and devotions as well as the traditional Roman Calendar

Because of these factors and so many more, especially scandals associated with Vatican II's new morality (the old immorality disguised as new and moral) Mass attendance in the USA approaching more than 95% of all Catholics at the time of the Council has declined/plummeted to a miserable/minuscule 5% in the northeast and other parts of the world to about 20% elsewhere. 

And of the 95% or so of all Catholics attending Mass, about 99.9% of them believed what the Church teaches about the Mass as Sacrifice, Sacrificial Banquet and Transubstantiation. All of this, of course, was tied to the TLM and no parishes had Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, only occasional periods of Solemn Exposition. But churches were open for prayer and usually overnight so people could pray before the tabernacle front and center.

Yes, putting the Church into reverse in order to find the right road forward is an excellent thought and a great action!


As I have astutely acknowledged previously, the bishops’ plan for Eucharistic Revival is too expensive, too “time constrained” and will be completely ineffectual. All is needed is this free plan but local bishops must make sure it is implemented. Don’t leave it to one or two pastors to do it only to have a new pastor come in and undo it.

It is a no-brainer, so I worry that these 14 practical steps will be ignored for something more complicated, like an expensive program!

Catholic commentator Phil Lawler has recently suggested 14 practical steps the bishops could take to accomplish this objective for little or not cost.

  1. Encourage the practice of receiving Communion kneeling—a traditional posture of reverence—and on the tongue. If the bishop favors this practice, he might announce that it will be normative whenever he celebrates Mass.
  2. Encourage priests and ushers to watch carefully, to ensure that communicants consume the Blessed Sacrament.
  3. Encourage the faithful to receive Communion from consecrated hands. Discourage the routine reliance on extraordinary ministers—particularly when there are enough priests and deacons on hand to distribute Communion.
  4. Encourage those present to remain for a few minutes after Mass in prayerful thanksgiving. Discourage social gatherings in the pews after Mass. (Encourage parishioners to take their conversations outside, or to the church basement.)
  5. Encourage regular Confession. Discourage the assumption that everyone will receive Communion at every Mass. Encourage ushers to be sensitive to the privacy of those who do not come forward for Communion. Discourage spontaneous “first Communions” by non-Catholics at weddings and funerals.
  6. Encourage parishioners to realize that they must not receive the Eucharist if they are not in a state of grace. Discourage the reception of Communion by public figures who are causing scandal.
  7. Encourage a spirit of recollection during the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Discourage haste. Encourage silence. Discourage constant background music.
  8. Encourage the perception that the sanctuary is the “holy of holies, set apart from the rest of the world and even from the rest of the church (by an altar rail, perhaps?). Discourage lay people from clustering around the altar during or after Mass.
  9. Encourage the use of Eucharistic Prayer #1, the Roman Canon, which is more closely connected to the tradition of Temple sacrifice and offers a greater prayerful exposition of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Discourage Eucharistic Prayer #2, which was written in haste and seems to be favored simply because it is shorter. (If a priest has a valid reason for needing to finish Mass quickly, suggest a shorter homily.)
  10. Encourage priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem, so that the focus of attention is on the altar rather than the celebrant. Discourage priests from making themselves the center of attention.
  11. Encourage every organic practice of devotion to the Eucharist (kneeling, genuflecting, fasting, etc.), even if it is not obligatory. Discourage any public denigration of Eucharistic piety. If a priest or theologian (or bishop or cardinal) says that we put too much emphasis on the Eucharist, correct him!
  12. Encourage the placement of the tabernacle in the center of the sanctuary, reflecting the centrality of the Eucharistic Presence. Discourage the use of a prominent central “presider’s chair” that overshadows the Blessed Sacrament.
  13. Encourage Eucharistic processions. Discourage liturgical abuses. In fact, take stern disciplinary action against priests who are guilty of liturgical abuses, to show the faithful that these are serious offenses.
  14. Encourage Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and Eucharistic Adoration. Start with just an hour of adoration each week, and watch the practice grow.

Monday, May 29, 2023


On Memorial Day, Monday, May 29th, Pope Francis does what he seems to do consistently. He abuses his flock when it is convenient for him to show how arrogant and self righteous he can be. Today, he humiliated a “rich woman” as he sarcastically calls her, from the time he was a priest. Read it for yourself. I wonder how she feels this morning if she has read this speech and discovers the pope, of all people, has tattled on her and inaccurately and on an international level! 

Did the Pope accompany her to find out that her motives in making sure her two adopted children were baptized and being brought up in the practice of the Faith were completely virtuous and in keeping with Catholic Tradition and Canon Law? It is this kind of nonsense from the pope that has damaged his papacy and perhaps the institution of the papacy.

It would be complete clericalism to give any pope a pass on this kind of thing. Ignoring abusive behavior of popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity is what has caused the epochal scandal which is ongoing in the Church in terms of abuse of any kind. 

Apart from the gossip about this “poor” rich woman, the talk is good but the abuse he deals out to his sheep as an example of not to follow is both wrong in substance and style and accompanying a woman trying to do her best as a Catholic mother. 

This pope has prided himself, no connection with pride month, I don’t think, but hey, in saying the catch phrase of his papacy, “Who am I to judge.” He’s the pope and he judges constantly and abusively. 

Audience with the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites) and the spiritual family of St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria, 05.29.2023
This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (Barnabites) and the spiritual family of Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of his canonization.

We publish below the speech that the Pope addressed to those present during the meeting:

Speech of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters, welcome!

I am pleased to share this moment of meeting with you, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria and as you prepare for two important General Chapters. You are fathers, sisters and lay people, gathered in three "colleges", as your Founder defined them; all animated by the apostolic spirit of Saint Paul, which inspired your origins and under whose protection you still work in various parts of the world.

I take inspiration from a characteristic expression of Saint Anthony Mary. He said to his followers: «You must run like crazy! Running towards God and towards others!» – run like crazy, don't be crazy that they run, that's another thing! – I would like to underline three aspects of this typically Pauline exhortation: the relationship with Christ, apostolic zeal and creative courage.

In the experience of Zechariah himself, the basis of the mission is "running towards God", that is, a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus, cultivated from his youth on a serious path of growth, in particular by meditating on the Word of God with the help of two good religious. This is what led him first to catechetical commitment, then to the priesthood and finally to the religious foundation. This type of relationship with Christ is also fundamental for us, to tell everyone, having experienced it personally, that life is not the same with or without the Lord (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 266), to continue to "run towards the goal”, as Saint Paul says, and to involve the people entrusted to us in this race (see 1 Cor 9:24-27). Our missionary announcement is not proselytism - I stress this a lot - but sharing a personal encounter that changed our lives! Without this, we have nothing to announce, nor a destination to walk together.

I had a bad experience with this in a youth meeting some years ago. I came out of the sacristy and there was a lady, very elegant, she too could see that she was very rich, with a boy and a girl. And this lady, who spoke Spanish, said to me: "Father, I'm happy because I converted these two: this one comes from this place and this one comes from this one". I got angry, you know?, and I said: "You have not converted anything, you have disrespected these people: you have not accompanied them, you have proselytized and this is not evangelising". She was proud to have converted! Be careful to distinguish apostolic action from proselytism: we do not proselytize. The Lord has never proselytized.

«Run towards the others»: this is the second indication. This is also essential. In fact, if we lose sight of the horizon of proclamation in our life of faith, we end up closing in on ourselves and drying up in the desert lands of self-referentiality (cf. General Audience, 11 January 2023). It happens to us like an athlete who continues to prepare for the great race of his life without ever setting off: sooner or later he ends up depressed and begins to let himself go, his enthusiasm fades. And so he becomes sad disciples. We don't want to become sad disciples! Here too I ask a question: is there that worm of sadness inside me? Sometimes in me, religious, layman, do I let that worm enter? Someone said that a sad Christian is a sad Christian: it's true. But sadness must not enter us consecrated persons, and if someone feels that sadness, he should immediately go before the Lord and ask for light, and ask some brother or sister to help him get out of itRunning towards others»: this is the second indication. This is also essential. In fact, if we lose sight of the horizon of proclamation in our life of faith, we end up closing in on ourselves and drying up in the desert lands of self-referentiality (cf. General Audience, 11 January 2023). It happens to us like an athlete who continues to prepare for the great race of his life without ever setting off: sooner or later he ends up depressed and begins to let himself go, his enthusiasm fades. And so he becomes sad disciples. We don't want to become sad disciples! Here too I ask a question: is there that worm of sadness inside me? Sometimes in me, religious, layman, do I let that worm enter? Someone said that a sad Christian is a sad Christian: it's true. But sadness must not enter us consecrated persons, and if someone feels that sadness, he should immediately go before the Lord and ask for light, and ask some brother or sister to help him get out of it.

For this reason, Jesus places the mandate at the very roots of the Church: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15); and Saint Paul confirms this when he says, speaking of his apostolate: "I cannot help it, and woe to me if I do not proclaim Christ" (cf. 1 Cor 9:16). There was no place for sadness, he wanted to go on. Woe to us if we do not proclaim Christ! Therefore I encourage you to go forward in the direction indicated by your charism: "Bringing the living Spirit of Christ everywhere". The "living" Spirit of Christ is the one that conquers the heart, that doesn't make you sit in an armchair, but makes you go out towards your brothers, with a light backpack and a look full of charity. Carry this Spirit everywhere, excluding no one and also opening yourself up to new forms of apostolate, in a changing world that needs flexible and open minds, shared paths of research, to identify suitable ways to transmit the one Gospel ever.

And with this we come to the third point: «running like madmen» – which is not the same as madmen who run, it is different – ​​that is, creative courage. It is not so much a question of developing sophisticated techniques of evangelization, but rather, as Saint Paul says, of becoming "everything for everyone, to save someone at any cost" (1 Cor 9:22), of not stopping in the face of difficulties and looking beyond the horizons of habit and quiet living, of "it's always been like this". St. Anthony Mary had this courage, giving life to new institutions for his time: a congregation for the reform of the clergy at a time when many ecclesiastics had become accustomed to a comfortable and well-off life; a non-cloistered female religious congregation, dedicated to evangelization, at a time when consecrated life was foreseen only in cloisters for women; a congregation of lay missionaries actively involved in proclamation, at a time when a certain clericalism dominated. They were all new realities – he was creative, but with fidelity to the Gospel – these realities did not exist before: the Founder understood that they could be useful for the good of the Church and of society, and for this reason he invented them and it has defenses against those who did not understand its meaning and opportunity, to the point of coming to Rome to account for it. And there is an important teaching in this too, because he did not exercise his creativity outside the Church: he did so within it, accepting corrections and reminders, trying to explain and illustrate the reasons for his choices and safeguarding the communion in obedience.

I conclude by recalling one last important value for your "colleges": the importance of working together. Communion in life and in the apostolate is in fact the first witness you are called to bear, particularly in a world divided by struggles and selfishness. It is written in the DNA of Christian life and the apostolate: "So that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21), as the Lord prayed. After all, the very word "college" indicates precisely this: chosen to be together, to live, work, pray, suffer and rejoice together, as a community. And so, dear brothers and sisters: "Run like crazy, towards God and towards others, together!". And may Our Lady, who hastened to help Elizabeth, accompany you. I bless you from the bottom of my heart. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.

[00984-IT.02] [Original text: Italian]

Saturday, May 27, 2023


 First, look at the pictures below. Which Mass captures the imagination of the young which will remain with them until their dying breath? I would say it is the Mass that conveys the sacred, reverence and transcendence. It is the Mass that is not ordinary but extraordinary in style and attention to detail. 

Can the Modern Vernacular Mass as it is celebrated in most places capture the imagination of the young and not so young as the TLM does. NO! NO! NO!

Can the Modern Vernacular Mass celebrated like a TLM, although in the vernacular, with rubrics that allow a TLM ethos capture the imagination of the young and not so young? YES! YES! YES!

My constant prayer, every time I pray for the pope in the Canon of the Mass, is my hope that the next pope go back to the future, not 1970, with Pope Benedict’s liberal allowance of the TLM and may that lead to Pope Benedict’s desire that the Modern Vernacular Mass look, feel and sound like the TLM—that’s the way forward if we want to be a young Church for the young who will remain in the Church until they are old and dead. 

After these photos, I post a Rorate Caeli article about La Croix’s finding that the young and not so young love the TLM while also appreciating the MVM. La Croix can be a liberal rag or fish wrap or a crock, like the NCR, but with this article they get it! 

(This Mass is the MVM but with TLM sensibilities:)

La Croix: "Exclusive Survey - Traditional Mass: a Rite that attracts Young Catholics"

 La Croix
May 25, 2023

Traditional Mass: a rite that attracts young Catholics

EXCLUSIVE SURVEY: between sacredness, tradition and identity, some young French Catholics are attracted to the Tridentine Mass. The 2023 edition of the Chartres pilgrimage is set to break attendance records, thanks in no small part to young people.


A first in living memory. The Chartres pilgrimage, organized by the Notre-Dame de Chrétienté association, is sold out this Pentecost weekend: a record 16,000 walkers are expected. And for the first time in the history of this pilgrimage, in which Mass is celebrated using pre-conciliar missals, the organizers have been forced to close registrations in the face of the influx of pilgrims, half of whom are under the age of 20.

Can we conclude from this that the "Trad" mass is really making an impression on young people? At the very least, some of them like it. According to a survey carried out by La Croix among participants at the WYD in Lisbon, 38% of them say they appreciate this liturgy: 8% say it's their favorite Mass, 11% say they like it as much as the French Mass, and 19% attend it occasionally. In many churches, 18-35 year-olds make up a large part of the congregation, "a good third, not counting the children", according to several of them in various French dioceses.

"A Sense of the sacred"

Friday, May 26, 2023



ROME – After a packed afternoon with multiple appointments the day before, Pope Francis did not hold any meetings or public audiences Friday morning due to a fever, a Vatican spokesman has said.

In response to reporters, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said, “Due to a feverish state, Pope Francis did not hold any audiences this morning.”

And the words of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin sound more ominous and paving the way to a more serious announcement: 

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters Friday. "The Pope was tired, he had a very busy day yesterday, he saw many people, there was the Scholas Occurrentes meeting, he wanted to greet them all. At a certain point, your resistance wanes," said Parolin on the sidelines of a meeting at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See. 



‘We Don’t Have an Agenda,’ Synod on Synodality Organizer Says in New EWTN Interview

Cardinal Mario Grech says that while he believes ‘a synodal Church is a more spiritual Church,’ it is important to remember that the Church ‘is not a democracy.’

Pope Francis has become rather defensive about the Synod on Synod. The chattering group, less than 1% of worldwide Catholics, like it because they like to bloviate and put forth what they believe to be true which more often than not is the heresy of Gnosticism. 

But yesterday, when His Holiness met with the Italian bishops and the chattering group of laity on the synod, Pope Francis stated that as he came into the hall, someone shouted to him in Spanish and an Argentinian vulgar phrase that translates into Italian as very vulgar too, that his synod is a mess.

The word mess is a clean version of the word used. 

The pope became defensive and said that yes a mess is being created but Pope Francis blamed that on the Holy Spirit who makes messes, plays with the faith of people and makes them anxious, perplexed and thinking that the Church is a joke. But, the Holy Father, defensively went on, that the Holy Spirit eventually repents and makes things orderly. (This is my loose translation of what the Holy Father said.)

Then Cardinal Grech one of the big chattering honchos of the Synod on the Synod, gave an interview to EWTN, yes, he actually spoke to EWTN, and acknowledged that the synod on synod has gone off the rails, but not to worry, because the Church is hierarchical and not a democracy and all the time, money and effort to listen to the gnostic voices of the less than 1% of Catholics who are of the high chattering class will amount to nothing.

The synod is a spirituality not a democracy, wehre people talk incessantly to one another but not to God.

We’ve been told by the pope, Grech and others that the synod on the synod is not a parliamentary procedure where the Pope’s pre-planned agenda will come to fruition through the principles of democracy and voting. But if it looks, smells, acts and sounds like a parliament, it is!

And this is what Bishop Bätzing said to Edward Pentin, btw, it is to laugh because if it looks, smells and acts like a schism, it is!

Thursday, May 25, 2023



Inclusivity ideology gone bonkers in some of the clergy and laity of the Church, has inoculated these Catholics against any sense, common sense really, of righteous indignation about over-the-top parodies that mock God, the Church, our religious and all that is holy. It promotes the satanic and evil as perfectly normal and acceptable. 

Inclusivity in the Church is not a theology it is a worldly ideology and a mortal sin when sin is accepted as good and the mockery of God and Church embraced in the most inclusive way possible. 

Tolerance in the Church is not a theology it is a worldly ideology and a mortal sin when sin is accepted as good and the mockery of God and Church is tolerated. 

Why are so many Catholics so afraid of those who mock God and thus tolerate and include them to avoid the ire and hatred of those who are perverted? Whatever happened to the old virtue of correcting the sinner even to the point of exclusion to enable them to see the errors of their ways.

Inclusivity, tolerance and encouragement of sexual deviants in the Catholic Church hasn’t served us too well especially in the clergy of the Church. 

Why are some religious leaders and their followers advocating for the mainstreaming of sexual deviancy? It’s beyond common sense to say the least.

A commentator at the Jesuit America Magazine thinks it is okay to mainstream this kind of crap and celebrate it at America’s pass time, baseball. So much for red-blooded Americans, baseball, hotdogs and apple pie!

This link might entail a paywall unfortunately, but the title says it all. Thank you Jesuits for all your corruption:

Drag queen ‘nuns’ will be included in LA Dodgers Pride Night. I have complicated feelings about it.
Last week, the Dodgers announced that they would honor what you might call “drag nuns” during their Pride Night on June 16, a common promotional event at many Major League ballparks during the month of June.


 I watched the Introductory Rite of the Mass that Cardinal Zuppi celebrated for Italian bishops at St.Peter’s Basilica. BORING!

Instead of using the words in the Roman Missal to introduce the Penitential Act, the good Cardinal decided to become didactic as most priests and bishops do, and give a mini-homily and teaching. It was delivered in a boring style setting the tone for the Modern Mass which is more often than not, lacking in transcendence, beauty and mysticism. 

Am I being pedantic in pointing this out?

And of course the good Cardinal delivers his prayers while surveying the congregation before him indicating that his style of prayer is didactic too in that he is speaking to the congregation in prayer to make sure they are watching him pray and teach them what the prayer is suppose to teach those who are supposedly listening. Am I being pedantic in pointing this out.

And then we have a bishop in Australia with concelebrants wearing a necklace of snickers bars, not my favorite candy, I prefer mounds or joys or baby Ruth’s to those, but I am sure there was a didactic message being proclaimed by the erudite bishop. Am I being pedantic in pointing this out? 

At the risk of being both didactic and pedantic simultaneously, these sorts of didactic things don’t happen in the modern celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. What is it about the Modern Vernacular Mass that encourages the kind of ugly didaticness that I highlight above in the most pedantic way possible?

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


 Sunday best means different things to different Christian cultures. In the USA, a melting pot of cultures, Sunday best up to the 1970’s meant coat and tie, dress shoes for men and modest dresses and head covering for women. 

In warmer climates, the coat for a man might have been optional but not shirt and tie. Most, though, would not forgo the suit or at least a sports coat. 

Today, the laity wear the frumpy, dumpy look that is beyond casual. Yes, many still wear what once was called “Sunday best” but not all. 

T-shirts and shorts, even short shorts (Daisy Duke shorts) are quite common along with flip flops on both men and women. 

But look at this liturgical disconnect photo. The priest is dressed to the nines. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, not so much. 

I am not opposed to EMs if they are needed. I would hope that the formal ministry of acolyte which is now allowed for both men and women, would include the wearing of the alb for this ministry. The same for lector!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Joseph Ratzinger during the Council and immediately afterward was the darling of progressives in the Church. He seem to canonize the Second Vatican Council, although its scope was not doctrinal or dogmatic, but pastoral and thus limited in scope. 

By 1968, Joseph Ratzinger passed his adolescent stage as a theologian and began to realize that the adolescents pushing a progressive, heterodox agenda in the Church, were precisely that-- adolescents--or they were in arrested development as it concerned the dogmatizing of the “new and improved” over the “ancient and supposedly stale”. 

The post above this where Cardinal Ratzinger writes the Chilean bishops about Vatican II and the liturgy in general, shows the growth into maturity of the good Cardinal. He puts Vatican II in its proper place, as he will do during his magnificent papacy. And he makes clear and should have declared infallibly that what previous generations considered sacred could not then be considered not so by subsequent generations. This was specifically geared toward the Mass of the Ages, the Traditional Latin Mass and giving this form of the Mass pride of place. 

He also knew that if one could critique and dismiss the TLM so too could one do the same for the Mass of Pope Paul VI which was contrived by progressives in the pope’s papal court. 

Ratzinger as a theologian, as a bishop, cardinal and then pope never dismissed Vatican II but acknowledged not all of its documents carried equal weight and some of them were time-constrained by facets of life prior to and during the Council. None of the documents break new dogma or doctrine or anathematize errors of the Tridentine period. 

As it concerns the Liturgy, I think Pope Benedict would have preferred the conservative, modest proposals of the Council Fathers rather than the committee that hijacked the Council’s desires for the Liturgy. But he knew that one could critique the errors of the reformed Mass and the reasons why the small group of reformers wanted them and dogmatized them. 

Pope Francis never matured past 1968 and embraces all that Pope Benedict called out!

This is what Cardinal and later Pope Ratzinger would have desired and could have affected or is it effected:

1. The Order of the Mass would not have changed.

2. The useless repetition of the double Confiteor and absolutions for the priest and servers could have been combined in to one set for both. The same for the Rite of Holy Communion for the priest and then again for the laity. Psalm 42 should not have been eliminated except during Passiontide as the Council wanted more Scripture not less!

3. Gregorian Chant for the Sung and Solemn Sung Mass for the Propers should have remained and not changed or made optional

4. Latin for the fixed parts of the Mass should have been maintained.Vernacular as an option for the other parts.

5. None of the private devotional prayers of the priest should have been eliminated and should have allowed for optional vernacular.

6. The Roman Calendar should have not be radically revised nor the Lectionary. The TLM lectionary in the vernacular should have been maintained as Year A and two additional Years, B and C modeled on A but with more use of the Old Testament and readings not in the TLM lectionary. Vernacular for the Readings as an option. A good revision of the daily Mass lectionary according to the Paul VI lectionary is advisable.

7. No need for additional Eucharistic Prayers but more Prefaces with the option of the vernacular, since these are changing. 

8. No change to Holy Communion practices in terms of manner of receiving and the fast (three hours before Mass).

What I have highlighted above is what Vatican II desired, no if’s, and’s, or’s about it!

Monday, May 22, 2023



Here are a couple of excerpts:

While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek a refuge in the traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there. After the Council there were many priests who deliberately raised “desacralization” to the level of a program, on the plea that the New Testament abolished the cult of the Temple: the veil of the Temple which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross is, according to certain people, the sign of the end of the sacred. The death of Jesus, outside the City walls, that is to say, in the public world, is now the true religion. Religion, if it has any being at all, must have it in the nonsacredness of daily life, in love that is lived. Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things.

The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of “super-dogma” which takes away the importance of all the rest.

This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy—the form in which the liturgy was handed down—suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the Council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the Faith—for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc.—nobody complains or only does so with the greatest moderation. I myself, when I was a professor, have seen how the very same bishop who, before the Council, ad fired a teacher who was really irreproachable, for a certain crudeness of speech, was not prepared, after the Council, to dismiss a professor who openly denied certain fundamental truths of the Faith.

Sunday, May 21, 2023


Vatican II: Rupture or reform?


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To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II Hardcover – October 4, 2022

 I just ordered George Wiegle’s new book on Vatican II. I think it is a must read book for any Catholic today, given all the ambiguities and incoherence of the current papacy and his less than faithful advisors. 

You can read a somewhat very good critique of the book by America Magazine’s Gregory Hillis  HERE. I hope you can open it as it might be behind a paywall, but often they allow some free peaks. 

Wiegle, like any faithful Catholic, and I include myself in that category, knows that no one can dismiss an ecumenical Council and call it heretical or call a heretical interpretation of the Council and call it orthodox. 

Within that context, he points to the two polarized groups that are opposed to the actual Second Vatican Council, those on the far-right heterodox who dismiss the Council altogether, some of whom make comments on my most humble blog, and others who read the documents of Vatican II or rely on others to tell them what Vatican II taught, which they misrepresent, who see the Council in a complete rupture with with had transpired in the Church prior to St. Pope John XXIII and the beginning of the Council, which concluded under a different pope, St. Pope Paul VI. The rupture is from the far left heterodox, but make no mistake, if it is from the left or the right, their ideology or belief is heterodox. 

Wiegle, a brilliant historian and theologian in his own right, shows the proper way and it is the way that St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict traced in their two papacies which spanned almost two generations of Catholics, from 1978 until 2013. 

Here is an excerpt from the Hillis critique of Wiegle’s book:

While Weigel argues that the neo-scholastic language and theology that dominated prior to the council was unable to address the modern human condition in ways that would be compelling to contemporary people, it becomes clear that he thinks the more biblical, patristic and pastoral language of the council caused more problems than it solved. Because the documents did not provide the kind of “precise vocabulary, finely honed distinctions, and tight logic characteristic of Neo-Scholasticism,” they were open to distortive interpretations that ran amok in the decades after the council. And because the council defined no doctrines, articulated no creed, anathematized no heresies, legislated no canons and commissioned no catechism, there were no interpretative “keys” to correct distortions after the council.

So even though he spends significant time earlier in the book exploring the theology of the council documents, Weigel appears to believe that the documents themselves are not enough because they lack the kind of theological rigor that he had criticized as being incapable of addressing modernity adequately. What is needed, he argues, are interpretive keys to rein in distortion, and he argues that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI provided precisely those keys during their pontificates. By this he means that the council documents should be read through the lens of the teachings of these two popes because their theologies admitted no ambiguity.