Monday, December 25, 2023


Saint Peter’s Square seconds before the entrance of Pope Francis to St. Peter’s loggia for the Christmas Urbi et Orbi Blessing: 

 I don’t think we can say that Pope Francis’ missionary outreach and evangelization in any measure can compare to Pope Benedict’s missionary outreach and evangelization. 

We have seen dramatically, I mean, dramatically, smaller and smaller numbers of faithful and tourists at Pope Francis’ papal events, even major ones, like the Vatican II opening-like opening of the Synod on Synodality as well as the installation of new cardinals. These crowds were quite embarrassing. 

And thus it is with today’s Christmas Urbi et Orbi Christmas message of Pope Francis.

This is what St. Peter’s Square looked like for Pope Benedict’s Christmas blessing:

This is what St. Peter’s Square looked like this morning for Pope Francis’ blessing and a day very similar to one above with Pope Benedict’s blessing that includes, todas, todas, todas, Pope Francis, not at all:

Saint Peter, we have a problem!


TJM said...

A nasty old man does not attract - other than fellow lefties who venerate the Global Warming Religion !

rcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJM said...



rcg said...

I don’t completely understand this lack of enthusiasm for the Pope. Surely there are enough people who appreciate his efforts to fill the square. Or maybe those who do support him, the sort of people that he appeals to, don’t do that sort of thing. They may be devout Catholics but don’t feel the need to go to addresses, Mass, etc.

Edited cor stupidity 😂

rcg said...

TJM, sort of. I try to seethings from the Holy Father’s POV but have to wonder if he is getting the results he wanted.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I know that JOII and Benedict XVI both had their detractors, but Pope Francis has brought things to an unprecedented point of polarization never seen in my lifetime to include the chaos of the immediate post Vatican II period.

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi address yesterday portrayed accurately the horrific human condition in regard to the numerous wars that rage throughout the world. The address noted that violence, not limited to warfare, abounds on earth .

For example, His Holiness referenced violence that is related to abortion. "In the Scriptures, the Prince of Peace is opposed by the “Prince of this world”, who, by sowing the seeds of death, plots against the Lord, “the lover of life”.

"We see this played out in Bethlehem, where the birth of the Savior is followed by the slaughter of the innocents. How many innocents are being slaughtered in our world!"

"In their mothers’ the lives of all those little ones whose childhood has been devastated by war. They are the little Jesuses of today..."


But the overall theme of Pope Francis address yesterday is positive and uplifting. Pope Francis noted that the "message of Bethlehem is indeed “good news of great joy”."

"What kind of joy? Not the passing happiness of this world, not the glee of entertainment but a joy that is “great” because it makes us great. For today, all of us, with all our shortcomings, embrace the sure promise of an unprecedented gift: the hope of being born for heaven."

"He, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives us “power to become children of God”. This is the joy that consoles hearts, renews hope and bestows peace. I t is the joy of the Holy Spirit: the joy born of being God’s beloved sons and daughters."

"Isiah, who prophesied the Prince of Peace, looked forward to a day when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation”, a day when men “will not learn war any more”, but instead “beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks”.

"With God’s help, let us make every effort to work for the coming of that day!"


Mark Thomas

ByzRus said...

To the observer, it does seem that the earth is shifting slowly beneath the Roman Church. Roman believers are seemingly being groomed to anticipate additional shift. Kwasniewski I believe it was had an interesting piece about the three camps that now exist: The followers whose faith is almost blind (look no further than the com box here every time a certain poster "goes to work" crusading for an individual and his ideological pursuits), the "nothing to see here" cohort who will press all present to believe that absolutely nothing is changing despite that which is being insinuated (again, we witness this here) and those who see the faith of the ancestors being reimagined, dreading what could be coming next - the inch, invariably becomes a yard. Is it any wonder that some of the faithful have chosen not to participate. Inches of quotes will do nothing to change the minds of believers whose faith has been shaken.

"O Come let us adore him". Now, more than ever, we should bring our petitions, whatever they might be, to the newly born Jesus hoping for stabilization.

Here's an Orthodox blog post regarding Patriarch Sviatoslav (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) and his response to FS. This blog, run by a priest if memory serves, watches the goings on with astonishment. An outsiders viewpoint and reaction is indeed healthy to consider:

TJM said...


Excellent analysis. Many thanks for the link to the other blog. Hopefully, our papalotar will leave that blog alone!

TJM said...

"According to the traditions of the Byzantine rite, the concept of “blessing” means approval, permission, or even a spiritual directive for a certain type of action, prayer or ascetic practice, including certain types of fasting and prayer. Obviously, the blessing of a priest always has an Evangelical and Catechetical dimension, and therefore can in no way contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church about the family as a faithful, indissoluble, and fruitful union of love between a man and a woman, which Our Lord Jesus Christ raised to the dignity of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. Pastoral prudence urges us to avoid ambiguous gestures, expressions and concepts that would distort or misrepresent God’s word and the teaching of the Church."

Would that the leftists running the Vatican have this much faith and prudence.

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Francis' address yesterday reminds me of the RADIO MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS PIUS XII TO THE PEOPLE OF THE ENTIRE WORLD, 24 DECEMBER 1944 A.D.

Pope Francis declared that to say “yes” to the Prince of Peace, then, means saying “no to war, to every war and to do so with courage, to the very mindset of war, an aimless voyage, a defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly. This is what war is: an aimless voyage, a defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly."

In line with the above, on December 24, 1944 A.D., Pope Venerable Pius XII denounced the folly of war. He called for a "war on war" so as to outlaw war.

He declared that "For alas...the Christmas dawn breaks again on battlefields spreading ever wider, on graveyards where are gathered the remains of victims in ever-increasing numbers....What desolation!"

"Thus while the armed forces continue to engage in murderous battles with weapons ever more deadly, the statesmen, responsible leaders of nations, meet for talks, for conferences, to determine the fundamental rights and duties on which should be built a community of states, and to blaze the trail towards a better future, more secure and more worthy of mankind.

"There is a duty, besides, imposed on all, a duty which brooks no delay, no procrastination, no hesitation, no subterfuge: It is the duty to do everything to ban once and for all wars of aggression as legitimate solution of international disputes and as a means towards realizing national aspirations."

"...the idea of war as an apt and proportionate means of solving international conflicts is now out of date."

"No one could wish success to this common effort...than he who has conscientiously striven to make the Christian and religious mentality reject modern war with its monstrous means of conducting hostilities."


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

ByzRus, in true American fashion I see a fourth group, another area of the QuadChart, as it were: Those who see the train wreck coming, the unsteady hands on the wheel, and blissful passengers rejecting what they can see with their own eyes. Everyone on the Train are warned and heed not, because they reject the messengers. We will sit by the waters of Babylon and weep because they run in a deep canyon and the bridge is out.

TJM said...

MT = Empty Suit,

No one cares about your non sequiturs. The National Anti-Catholic Reporter and the Atheistic DNC would love them!

TJM said...

Pius XII would never tolerate his intellectual inferior Francis

TJM said...

Here is a priest bucking to be made a bishop in Pope Mercy's Church:

A church in Italy took considerable backlash for its “dangerous” and “blasphemous” nativity scene featuring a figure of a second woman — in place of Joseph — alongside the figures of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus.

The Church of Saints Peter and Paul, in Capocastello di Mercogliano, is under fire after Father Vitaliano Della Sala decided it would be a good idea to have a “more inclusive” nativity in his church, Reuters reported."

Remember folks, the "problem" is the Latin Mass, not fruitcake priests like this. If this "priest" were my pastor, he would not be sitting for a week.

Mark Thomas said...

Many leaders/politicians, Catholics, and non-Catholics, of nations, know the way of war, unfortunately. In regard to Catholic leaders/politicians: It is unfortunate that they, among all people, have often embraced war/utilized military force.

That is a shame as time and again, the Popes of our collective lifetime (among us on Father's blog), from Venerable Pius XII to Francis, have stressed peace, peace, peace. Said Popes have reminded us repeatedly that war is folly.

May each Catholic on earth embrace the following from Pope Francis' December 2023 A.D. Urbi et Orbi address:

"Brothers and sisters, we are approaching the season of grace and hope that is the Jubilee, due to begin a year from now."

"May this time of preparation for the Holy Year be an opportunity for the conversion of hearts, for the rejection of war and the embrace of peace, and for joyfully responding to the Lord’s call, in the words of Isaiah’s prophecy, 'to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.'"

"Those words were fulfilled in Jesus, who is born today in Bethlehem. Let us welcome him! Let us open our hearts to him, who is the Savior, the Prince of Peace!"


Mark Thomas

ByzRus said...


In my experience, the TLM is not nor has it ever been the "problem".

-Sure, language obsolescence regarding the moveable parts could have been easily addressed.
-Sure, some of the pomp could have been deemed extraordinary, not ordinary therefore preserving its usage for appropriate times. Gold straws used by the pope, I don't think anyone misses them. Special slippers and gloves, mostly/wholly unnecessary. Preserve the purity of the right, maybe rethink some of what crept in over the years.
-Some gravitate to an excessive usage of lace. Lace has nothing to do with the TLM. My understanding is it really became prevalent as a regional craft and when nonna would make an alb for her grandson priest etc.
-The TLM mostly developed organically. I say mostly as it took until Trent to codify it in a consistent way. Certainly more organic than what happened in 1969.

Coming from true "Ancient Faith", I appreciate and respect tradition in most forms. The TLM was tried and true and wasn't fundamentally broken - it's spiritual armor was as thick as always. Therein lies my perception of the "problem". Reformers/ideologues found that their whims/proclivities/agendas/lifestyles you-name-it couldn't penetrate that which nourished saints and believers for centuries. How to advance said agendas and "make" them compatible, change the mass and groom believers to believe that what was their rock of ages was now trite, obsolete, repetitive and out-of-step with "the times". Pius XII warned of this. So here, well, you are on the eve of 2024. You are old-fashioned and rigid being regularly chastised by the leader in the white suit. Then, the same leader and his minions are again grooming the believers that remain to expect additional change bowing to social change. You are told you are rigid, nothing is changing, yet I think to myself, if nothing is changing/going to change, why would headquarters take the time to write a document stating what was always the case accompanied by now requisite ambiguity? Edge anathema without crossing its line is the conclusion I generally reach. They must really think we're stupid. Yet, inches of quotes on its "beauty" and reassurances that "nothing is changing" filled this blog in recent weeks. You cannot come from an ancient faith as I do and not see through some of this. We do not waste time or words in this way. My only current discomfort is the encroachment on our doorstep as the Orthodox have rightly pointed out. I thank goodness we are currently unaffected by treaty and a separate set of cannon laws. But like you said, it's all the TLM's fault.

TJM said...


Very well stated. I agree with your analysis. They either think we’re stupid (clericalism on steroids) or they are happy to manage the decline and chase normal folks away like many of the mainline Protestant Churches.

Happy New Year!

Jerome Merwick said...

The entire Novus Ordo culture, which Bergoglio has amped up to steroid level, NEVER attracted conversions, never attracted vocations and, well, never really worked. It's rather like watching a bunch of economics professors push socialism and insist that in spite of its records of proven consistent failure, we must embrace it.

Catholic modernism, Novus Ordo Catholicism is B-O-R-I-N-G. The artery-hardened geriatric liberal geezers who push this failed agenda are the ecclesial equivalent of a TV network trying to interest young people into watching the Lawrence Welk Show.

(my apologies to the late Lawrence Welk, who WAS, to his credit, a decent Catholic man, albeit a purveyor of some very bland music)

ByzRus said...

Happy New Year to you as well, TJM!

Likewise, rcg, Jerome Merwick, Fr. AJM and all other posters.

TJM said...

Jerome Merwick,


ByzRus said...

In 2023/4 terms, the Lawrence Welk Show is beyond corny.

As a kid, I used to watch it with my grandmother when she was looking after myself and my sister.

In that light, I have a fondness for the program. Say what you will about the music, it was quality with Joe Feeney, Myron Floran, the Lennon Sisters, Pete Fountain, Henry Cuesta, among others.

Jerome Merwick said...

Byz Rus,

I quite agree. I even met some musicians who worked for Lawrence Welk and they all agreed that he was an exacting taskmaster, had high moral standards and they loved working for him because he offered them a stable gig in an industry utterly lacking any stability. That is another reason I offered my apology.

I used him as an example because his audience was overwhelmingly geriatric and young people, for the most part, did not relate to his music. To this day, I can smell polyester and Polident at the mere mention of his name.

And so it is with the increasingly tedious Novus Ordo aesthetic that stinks up our churches. It smells of habitless nuns in polyester pant suits, bell-bottom pants and Up With People. It's dated, it's old and it's being preserved on life-support people who love an aesthetic and ideal of revolution more than they love orthodoxy.

Jerome Merwick said...

I would also add that is is REALLY embarrassing to bring a Protestant to Mass. They expect something timeless and, instead, groan through the "See? We're Relevant Too!" show. Particularly cringeworthy are parishes that use a "Gloria" that mimics the melody to a children's cartoon called "My Little Pony".

What motivation would a Protestant have to convert? Especially in a Church where conflicting bishops insist there is no need for conversion?


TJM said...

I had a childhood crush on the Lennon Sisters, but I agree, Lawrence Welk was pretty cheesy, just like the typical Novus Ordo Mass