Friday, March 30, 2012

Dawkins calls for public mockery of Catholics

At a March 24 “Reason Rally” (tee-hee-hee) in Washington, D.C., according to CNA (March 27, 2012) "an estimated 20,000 atheists and agnostics heard author and activist Richard Dawkins encourage mockery of Catholic beliefs and those of other religions."

Mockery is a game that can be played by two sides, as I endeavored to illustrate back in 2005 in a little parody of Dawkins' mockery of anti-Evolutionist Fundamentalists [HERE].

But contrary to scads of eminently rational Catholics and other Christian intellectuals who have offered serious-minded and duly argued rebuttals of the New Atheism [I won't even bother to list them: just go to Amazon and search for "New Atheism"], Richard Dawkins -- who should know better -- has long ago abandoned the chambers of serious argument for the limelight of grandstanding ad hominems, mockery, insinuation and innuendo.

Just listen:
“Don't fall for the convention that we're all 'too polite' to talk about religion,” Dawkins said, before urging rally attendees to ridicule Catholics' faith in the Eucharist.

“Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged – and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt,” he told the cheering crowd on the National Mall.

“For example, if they say they're Catholic: Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?”

If the answer is yes, Dawkins suggested atheists should show contempt for believers instead of ignoring the issue or feigning respect.

“Mock them,” he told the crowd. “Ridicule them! In public!”
Sad to say, given his audience, this is powerfully effective stuff. It produces the desired effect: the smug satisfaction in those who then feel empowered by their derision of Catholics and all they stand for.

But it also lacks the least shred of intellectual integrity and honesty. He has chosen the tools of the classic Sophist: taking the worse side of an argument and making it appear the better through distortion and mockery over honest argument, with the goal of winning over the jury at any cost. Why? Because, like the Sophist, he no longer believes in truth, no longer knows what truth is, so that all that remains is persuasion -- not persuasion of truth by means of argument, but persuasion to agree through victory in mockery. Richard Rorty, you may recall, defined "truth" as "what your peers let you get away with saying." Dawkins has turned Rorty's definition of truth into a regular modus operandi.

Call it "science." Call it "reason." Call it whatever you want. Even call it "truth." It's nothing of the kind, but sheer hatred of truth, posturing as moral high ground. Get real. It's not hard to imagine you eventually calling for Catholic extermination camps and calling it the "greening of the planet" or "love of liberty." We're on to you, Dawkins. You're simply a poor intimidated English white boy who finds himself still trying to defend with self-congratulatory panache the dying and bloodless values a liberal agnostic Establishment. You're "age of reason" is dead. Your "reason rally" exhibits no more intelligence than the crowd at a National Wrestling Federation event.

Sacred music in Rome set to tank?

"What’s up with sacred music in Rome? Nothing good, it seems" (WDTPRS, March 30, 2012), based on Sandro Magister's gloomy prediction: "Not Sacred Music, but Sounds of Attack" (www.chiesa, March 30, 2012): "After the choir of the Sistine Chapel, the conservatory of the Holy See is also about to be conquered by those responsible for the musical disarray of recent decades. To silence from the pope."

A very sad article and a pitiful situation, if it is the least bit accurate. Machinations of saboteurs behind the back of a tired pope, that point to musical trends "as far as can be from the 'spirit of the liturgy' which informs his entire vision as theologian and pastor." Not merely pitiful. Pathetic.

Build it, and they will come



[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

What's happening to Obama?

Something creepy, according to Peggy Noonan (WST, March 29, 2012).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

So much to pray for ...

  • Lenten resolutions
  • Supreme Court decision
  • World peace (Iran, Israel, Korea ...)
  • Pope's intentions
  • Bishops and priests of the Church
  • CDF-SSPX petitions
  • US Presidential election
  • Health of the Holy Father
  • Next conclave
  • The salvation of souls
  • Souls of the departed
  • The good of the Church
  • Ourselves and our families
  • and so much more ...

For the record: Syracuse University study shows global warming in medieval times

Ted Thornhill, "Is this finally proof we're NOT causing global warming? The whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2 emissions, says new study" (MailOnline, March 26, 2012).

Summertime ... not long now!



And nobody does "Summertime" from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess like Ella Fitzgerald.

Cardinal Martini supports same sex relations in new book

John-Henry Westen, "Cardinal martini and the false theology promoting homosexuality" (LifeSiteNews, March 27, 2012): Now retired in Jerusalem, the papabile archbishop of Milan, has published a controversial book opposing Church teaching on same-sex marriages. A favorite of "social justice" Catholics among the possible candidates for pope at the 2005 conclave, Cardinal Carlo Martini's prominence in the Church points to "powerful counter-ideology that has made significant inroads into the Church’s teaching on the matter of homosexuality."

In related news:

"New Archbishop of Montreal trashed by homosexuals, feminists. Excellent sign!"



Patrick B. Craine, "‘Extremely unfortunate’: Homosexualist, feminist leaders unhappy with new Montreal archbishop" (LifeSiteNews, March 22, 2012).

As Fr. Z. says, "When homosexuals and feminists stage a nutty over the appointment of a bishop, Rome probably picked the right guy."

"Excellent sign!"

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"New Voris video addresses where the 'action' is in Catholic communities"

Fr. Z reports (WTDPRS, March 28, 2012):
"Michael Voris has a new video about the use of the 'Traditional Latin Mass', the Extraordinary Form. After his travelogue, start paying attention about about 1:45.

"He speaks about the young people who are attending the Extraordinary Form. This is obvious to most of us (who aren’t liberals… cough).

"Mr. Voris hits the point I am constantly harping about: Catholic identity!"

A bit cheeky there at the end. But that's Voris. God love 'im.

Related: The Young Shock Troops (03-29) [interesting notes on the masculine spirituality of the TLM]

The empirical facts: John Allen on the world-wide war on Christians


Not a man I'm in the habit of promoting, but his talk is cogent, compelling, and overwhelming in incontrovertible data -- thoroughly au courant with, among other things, current developments in the Mid-East.

Fr. Z writes:
Allen gives a REALLY good talk about the world-wide war being waged on Christians.

While you listen, remember that even though this isn’t the topic of Mr. Allen’s talk, more people are being killed world-wide by abortion.

Do listen to this. (When he gets to the very end, about where he grew up, you can start to tune out. Furthermore, I think he comes to a false conclusion at the end about “tribalism”. While he has a point of unity, he overlooks the fact that some people really do get some doctrinal points wrong. There is no excuse for saying, for example, that abortion is okay or that contraception is okay or that homosexual acts are okay or that woman can be ordained or that bishops don’t have jurisdiction or that Christ didn’t physically rise from the dead, etc. Some people are just wrong, when it comes to certain things. That doesn’t mean we still can’t have common goals, but we also cannot overlook the differences. The last half hour or so is Q&A.)

Interviews with Chekada, author of Work of Human Hands

With the requisite disclaimers, from Rorate Caeli (March 26, 2012):
"... as it has happened in such occasions in the past, our readers know that we post information we consider useful even if we deeply disagree, in fundamental and non-negotiable principles, with their authors. That is the case, for instance, when we post encouraging news from the Eastern Orthodox. And it is also the case today as we post two excerpts on an interview granted by Fr. Anthony Cekada exclusively related to the liturgical history of the Mass of Paul VI, as explained in his well regarded book, Work of Human Hands.

"Work of Human Hands has been praised by reviewers as diverse as author Dr. Geoffrey Hull ("well documented… original and worthy of attention"), liturgical historian Dr. Alcuin Reid ("flags the big question we've not been prepared to face"), ICEL Director Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth ("an important contribution to the current debate"), and Dr. Stephen McInerney ("the definitive traditionalist critique"). One of Abp. Bugnini's closest collaborators in his liturgical work, Fr. Matias Augé, who was closely involved in preparing and organizing the orations in the Missal of Paul VI, declared about the book: "The title itself is an open polemic against the Pauline reform — as if it were nothing more than the product of human scheming."

"With this disclaimer, we present the interviews, with introductions by the author himself."
See interview videos here >>

Monday, March 26, 2012

Two Ave's

These are two classic settings for the beautiful Latin hymn, Ave Verum Corpus, the first by Byrd, the second by Mozart -- fun to compare, both beautiful, in different ways:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bishop Sample Confers Extraordinary Form Ordinations

Tridentine Community News (March 25, 2012):
Last Saturday, March 17, His Excellency Bishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan conferred Ordinations to the Diaconate at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska according to the Extraordinary Form. This is the first time since the liturgical reforms of Vatican II that a reigning Michigan bishop has employed the classic rite. In an interesting sign of the times, this event barely received any publicity.

Readers may recall that Bishop Sample celebrates the Tridentine Mass publicly every month at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. A well-known YouTube video of a homily from one of these Masses has been posted on YouTube, wherein His Excellency elaborates upon the attractiveness of the Extraordinary Form. It would be fitting for all of us to offer a prayer of thanks for Bishop Sample’s example and quiet advocacy of traditional liturgy.

The Pre- and Post-1955 Ceremonies of Holy Week

Reports have been emanating from the International Federation Una Voce and other sources that the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei has embarked upon a process to make some updates to the 1962 Missal. We can safely assume that those changes will include the addition of new Saints to the Calendar and Propers, and new Prefaces, both of which were envisioned by Pope Benedict XVI in Summórum Pontíficum. Speculation has arisen that also under consideration is a return to the traditional ceremonies of Holy Week.

Most of those reading this column either have no recollection of pre-Vatican II days, or remember the Mass as celebrated from 1955 onwards. Not well-known is the fact that the set of liturgies for Holy Week was changed in 1955 by some of the same Roman authorities who would later create the Ordinary Form. As such, it is often argued that the 1955 Holy Week was the first major act of reform to the Holy Mass, the process of which accelerated after Vatican II. Indeed, the 1962 Holy Week ceremonies have much in common with their Ordinary Form counterparts.

There are historical and theological arguments in favor of restoring the old Holy Week. Liturgical historian Gregory DiPippo explains many of these in a detailed set of posts on the differences between the pre- and post-55 rituals for The New Liturgical Movement blog. Google “Compendium of the 1955 Holy Week Revisions” to see the articles. While the entire list of differences goes beyond the space available in this column, a few notable details are worthy of mention:

Palm Sunday: The palms are blessed on the altar pre-55; on a freestanding table facing the people post-55. The vestments for the Procession with Palms are violet pre-55; red post-55. A prayer at the end of the procession has been added, facing the people. The Passion of St. Matthew has been truncated. At a Solemn High Mass, deacon and subdeacon wear folded chasubles pre-55; dalmatic and tunicle post-55.

Holy Thursday: The Collect at the end of the Washing of the Feet is to be prayed facing the people post-55. The Creed has been omitted.

Good Friday: The priest and deacon and subdeacon wear black chasuble and black folded chasubles pre-55, and black and violet chasuble and dalmatics post-55. The Passion of St. John has been truncated. The Solemn Prayers are prayed at the Epistle side of the altar pre-55, and at the center of the altar post-55, with the novel placement of the missal at the center of the altar. The Pater Noster before Holy Communion is recited by all present post-55, while sung by the priest alone pre-55. Holy Communion is received only by the celebrant pre-55, but is distributed to the faithful post-55.

Easter Vigil: At a Solemn High Mass, deacon and subdeacon wear folded chasubles pre-55; dalmatic and tunicle post-55. Twelve Old Testament readings are read pre-55; four post-55. The Blessing of the Baptismal Font is done after the Old Testament readings pre-55; in the middle of the Litany of the Saints post-55. After Holy Communion, First Vespers of Easter are sung pre-55; an abbreviated Hour of Lauds post-55.

Most currently-in-print hand missals contain the post-55 Holy Week, but three notable ones do not: The Fr. Lasance Missal, the St. Andrew Missal, and the St. Joseph Missal, all reprints of pre-55 editions. This can be an advantage if you are interested in reading the pre-55 texts, but a disadvantage if you want to use these missals to follow our Holy Week liturgies. Of course, Propers Handouts will be provided to help everyone follow the 1962 ceremonies regardless.

The vast majority of Extraordinary Form Mass sites follow Vatican directives and celebrate the 1962 Holy Week, but there are reports that the Institute of Christ the King and others have secured permission to celebrate the pre-55 Holy Week in certain locations. The (Protestant) Anglican St. Clement Church in Philadelphia also celebrates the pre-55 Holy Week; we mention this because their web site has extensive photos of the pre-55 ceremonies, not often seen elsewhere.

One of our readers raised an interesting semantic question: Is it accurate to refer to the 1962 Holy Week as “Tridentine”, when in fact there are substantial departures from the Holy Week codified at the Council of Trent? This is one case where the term “Extraordinary Form” might be more appropriate, as it is less date-specific. Practically speaking, however, “Tridentine” terminology has to suffice, as it has come to represent an entire category of liturgy. After all, most of us are comfortable with the terms “Chinese” food and “Kentucky” Fried Chicken, too, despite the inaccuracy of those terms.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 03/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Tue. 03/27 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Passion Week)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for March 25, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Church Photo Collection

Tridentine Community News (March 18, 2012):
Readers of a certain age have a radio jingle carved into their memories: “And the hits...just keep on comin’...” [followed by a well-known station’s call letters – If you don’t know which one, ask almost any native Windsor or Detroit resident age 45-65, or e-mail the address at the bottom of this page for a recording]. So it is with our subject today: More of a good thing has appeared.

In recent weeks we have mentioned some important photo libraries of Detroit’s historic churches that have been posted on-line, namely Andrew Fanco’s Detroit Church Blog, David Keyser’s DET Catholic Churches web site, and Andy Hoxie’s “cath4ever” Flickr photo library. This week we have learned of yet another significant collection of photos, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s “AODFilmServices” set, found at http://aodfilmservices.smugmug.com and created originally to make the movie industry aware of potential filming sites. Almost every parish in the Archdiocese has its own set of photos, though not every set includes photos of the particular church’s interior. One example is this photo of Dearborn’s St. Barbara Church:



Additional Churches for the Historic Church List

Readers’ input and a perusal of the AODFilmServices collection have yielded some more churches that deserve inclusion in the list of architecturally significant churches featured in this column’s February 26, 2012 edition. We will therefore continue with the count, again classifying the churches into three categories (A=Historically intact, B=Somewhat modified, C=Significant modifications but still possessing original features).

A Class: 34) St. Stephen, New Boston; 35) St. Benedict, Highland Park; 36) St. Barbara, Dearborn

B Class: 37) St. Veronica, Eastpointe; 38) St. Michael, Monroe; 39) Immaculate Conception, Lapeer

C Class: 40) Christ the King; 41) St. Suzanne; 42) St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac; 43) St. Mary, Royal Oak; 44) Sacred Heart, Yale

Forty-four architecturally significant churches in the Archdiocese is certainly an impressive number. If we care about the lessons in the Faith that such edifices impart, we must strive to preserve these buildings for future generations.

Anglican Ordinariates Adopt Tridentine-Like Calendar

he Anglican Personal Ordinariate for the Chair of St. Peter in the United States and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales have published their first Liturgical Calendars. In keeping with Anglican tradition, which is itself based upon the Traditional Latin Mass Calendar, the liturgical year will include the pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima; the Pentecost Octave; Rogation Days; Ember Days; Sundays After Epiphany; and “Sundays After Trinity”, a concept resembling the Extraordinary Form’s Sundays After Pentecost. There will be no “Ordinary Time”.

In both its Calendar and its Ordinary (the unchanging parts of the service), the new Anglican Ordinariate Liturgy in many ways resembles an English translation of the Tridentine Mass. It is no surprise that our new brethren Roman Catholics of the Anglican tradition have selected such elements; their love of traditional worship has long distinguished them from other Protestant denominations. The more examples of traditional liturgy approved by the Holy See, the better for the Extraordinary Form in the long run.

Triduum & Easter Tridentine Mass Schedule

Once again St. Josaphat Church will be offering the complete Triduum in the Extraordinary Form. On Good Friday a later service will also be offered at Windsor’s Assumption Church to suit everyone’s schedule.

Thu. 04/0 7:00 PM: Holy Thursday Mass at St. Josaphat

Fri. 04/06 1:30 PM: Good Friday Service at St. Josaphat
Fri. 04/06 5:30 PM: Good Friday Service at Assumption-Windsor

Sat. 04/07 8:00 PM: Easter Vigil Mass at St. Josaphat

Sun. 04/08 9:30 AM: Easter Sunday Mass at St. Josaphat
Sun. 04/08 2:00 PM: Easter Sunday Mass at Assumption-Windsor

Sun. 04/15 9:30 AM: Low Sunday Mass at St. Josaphat

Sun. 04/15 3:00 PM: Low Sunday Mass at Assumption-Windsor, preceded by Confessions and the Divine Mercy Novena

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 03/19 6:00 PM: High Mass at St. Joseph (Feast of St. Joseph) – Replaces the usual Monday Mass at St. Josaphat

Tue. 03/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)

Sun. 03/25 12:15 PM: High Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side) (Passion Sunday)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for March 18, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Most seminarians would prefer the older, traditional rite"

In another "Brick by brick" entry (March 21, 2012), Fr. Z writes:
As you know, the plural of “anecdote” is “data”. And I have good “data” about the preferences of seminarians when it comes to the older or newer forms of the Roman Rite.

Bishops and others in formation of seminarians should take this to heart. The more you try to keep seminarians in the dark about the Extraordinary Form, the more you inspire them to learn it. Once they do… game over.

A seminarian, having found an old poll about preferences for Extraordinary Form or the Ordinary Form, wrote with a note (edited):
I’m from the [SEMINARY] in [PLACE].

It seems clear to me that, yes, most seminarians would prefer to be ordained in the old-Latin rite.

Does that mean I am demonizing the “new” rite in any way?

No.

Hands down, I would pick (as well as most seminarians today) the old-rite.

Sorry liberals!
Sorry! (Not!)

Thank you, Pope Benedict, for Summorum Pontificum.

Once priests learn the older form, they never say the Ordinary Form the same way again. Over time, this will affect a congregation’s understanding of who they are at Mass, who the priest is, and who is the true Actor in our liturgical worship.

Priests learn new dimensions about who they are as priests at the altar. Mass is a Sacrifice. Sacrifice requires priesthood. [The] older form emphasizes the priest’s role as priest acting as mediator in the act of sacrifice. A priest’s ars celebrandi changes when, in our new context of healing discontinuity after decades of deprivation and distortion, he learns and beings often to say the Extraordinary Form.

We need celebrations of the Extraordinary Form everywhere.

I hope that during the summer seminarians and young priests will seek out tools, resources and other priests to help them learn the Extraordinary Form.

Make a plan, men.
And check out the links at the bottom of Father's original post.

For Greater Glory: Official Trailer



[Hat tip to New Catholic, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam]

Related: Rome Reports: 'Who were the Cristeros'?

"Diocletian Hussein Obama"

From Fr. Z:
Cyrus became God’s instrument to build up the Temple again. Obama is unifying Christians. He may very well have some victories in the short term, but our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Obama, like Pilate, ought not forget that any power he now wields was given to him from above.

If Pres. Obama can be, in this context, compared to Cyrus, then my friend, the great Fabricius Romanus (who rants far better than I rant and who knows US politics better than 99% of us reading and writing here) has provocatively dubbed our President as "Diocletian Hussein Obama." Fabricius explicat:
Mutatis mutandis the agenda of Diocletian wasn’t so different, and not just about Christians: he too was a big spender who exploded the debt and devalued the currency, he too sought to regulate the economy by centralized planning with catastrophic results, expanded the bureaucracy to unprecedented levels and planted the economical-administrative roots of the final collapse of the Empire. At least he had Galerius crush the Sassanid Persians. Let’s hope the Incompetent in Chief of today won’t try to imitate that last part too in the next few months, and solely for electoral purposes.
That’s a “No” vote from Rome.

Cyrus or Diocletian… Pres. Obama must be a one term president.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Impurity

I just saw this video clip by Michael Voris (the first in a series, apparently) on the spiritual effects of masturbation, which reminded me of something I'm been meaning to post.

Faithful Catholics have sometimes lamented that they hear so little teaching or preaching these days about the "hard" doctrines of the Church. It certainly must be tempting for priests to preach on the easy subjects that win the approval of parishioners fed on the New Age values of Oprah Winfrey.

I remember being surprised the first time I heard a priest preach against contraception. It was an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia some ten or fifteen years ago. One seldom hears teaching on such subjects, except from champions like Janet Smith, which is part of the problem of the abysmal response of lay Catholics to the administrations current HHS mandate.

Even more surprising was to actually hear one of our intrepid priests at St. Josaphat Church in Detroit actually discussing the subject of sexual impurity in a couple of homilies recently. He wasn't exactly preaching a series of homilies on the subject. He simply brought up the subject in two consecutive sermons in the course of discussing self-denial during Lent in a succession of Sunday sermons.

So few priests are willing to spell out Church teaching in any sort of practical way. But without having Catholic morality spelled out for them, people remain at sea, often in complete ignorance about these subjects. And if they're never mentioned, they don't take them seriously.

This is where our priest was a remarkable exception. He brought up the subject in the context of discussing the significance of the Lenten disciplines of self-denial, not just during Lent, but as a matter of cultivating good moral habits generally. Unless one sometimes denies himself the immediate satisfaction of indulging in physical pleasures (sleeping in, satisfying his sweet tooth, enjoying a hot shower, sating his appetite, etc.), how can he ever expect to master the virtue of self-control in the area of sexual purity? Cold showers or hair shirts anyone?

What is remarkable about traditional Catholic teaching on this subject is how seriously it takes something the rest of the world treats with jocular indulgence if not indifference. Not only is there Woody Allen's awful joke in Zelig about being late to a class he's teaching on masturbation at the university and not wanting the class to start without him; even Evangelical champion of family values, James Dobson, for whom I otherwise have considerable respect, tells followers of his Focus on the Family magisterium not to worry too much about masturbation, because it's probably something with which God isn't really too concerned.

By contrast, St. Thomas Aquinas treats the subject among "unnatural vices" that are the "greatest sins among the species of lust." Not as evil as incest, beastiality, or sodomy, certainly; yet, because of it's disordered and unnatural character, worse than many other sins people today would generally consider far worse. But then, Thomas also regarded the rape of a wife as far worse than adultery, which reveals that there may be more at work in his moral reasoning here than may meet the eye, especially if one enjoys Woody Allen.

"Blessed are the pure in heart," says Jesus at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount, "for they shall see God." Think about the logic here and the seriousness with which He takes this subject will be soon apparent.

Kierkegaard adds: "Purity of heart is to will one thing." What we need today is a single-mindedness in the love of our Lord that can root out the duplicity of a divided mind.

Updates:

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Solemnity of St. Joseph. I regret only that we were unable to make THIS EVENT on this auspicious feast day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Death

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.

"To lose one's wealth is sad indeed. To lose one's health is more. To lose one's soul is such a loss that no one can restore."
A bit cheesy, perhaps, but to-the-point.

Not at all cheesy is St. Francis de Sales's An Introduction to the Devout Life,which I've had the pleasure of reading for the first time this Lent. Every word of it is good, but the first meditation that really caught my eye was No. 5 on death:
Preparation.

1. Place yourself in the presence of God.

2. Entreat His grace.

3. Imagine yourself to lie in extremity on your deathbed, without hope of recovery.

Reflections

1. Consider the uncertainty of your dying day. O my soul, some day must thou quit this body. When will it be, summer or winter? in town or in the country? by day or by night? will it be suddenly or after due warning? will it be in sickness or by an accident? Wilt thou have time to confess thy sins or not? will thy spiritual father be present to assist thee? Alas! of all this we know nothing; this only is certain, that die we must, and that for the most part sooner than we expect.

2.Consider that then the world is at an end, so far as regards you; there is none any more for you. Everything will then be reversed, all pleasures, vanities, worldly joys, and vain attachments will then appear as mere phantoms and vapors. Woe is me, for what delusive trifles have I offended my God! Then will you discover that you have forsaken God for nothing! On the other hand, how beautiful and desirable will good works and devotion then appear; why have you not followed on that holy and blessed road? Truly at that hour sins which before seemed as trifles will was great as the mountains, and how faint, how weak, will your devotion then appear!

3. Consider the painful farewell which your soul must take of this lower world. It must take leave of wealth, of vanities and vain society, of pleasure, of amusements, of friends, and neighbors, of parents and children, of husband and wife, in short of everything earthly. Last of all it must take leave of the body, which it will leave pale and sunken, forsaken, hideous, and vile.

4. Consider the haste with which that body will be hidden beneath the ground, and when that is done the world will scarcely bestow another thought upon you. You will in your turn be forgotten, as you have forgotten others. God rest his soul, will be said, and no more. O death, how unsparing, how pitiless thou art!

5. Consider that when the soul quits the body, it must go either to the left hand or the right. Whither will yours go? which will be its path? even such as it has chosen whilst on earth.

Affections and Resolutions

1. Pray to God, and cast yourself upon Him. Lord, in that dreadful day receive me into Thy care! Turn that hour into blessedness to me, and then let all the previous hours of my life be bitter and sad.

2. Despise the world. Since I know not, O world, at what hour I must quit thee, I will not attach myself to thee. O dear friends, treasured hopes, grant me only to love you with a holy friendship which may endure throughout eternity. Why should I be bound to you with ties that must be severed here?

I will prepare for this hour, and make fitting preparation to accomplish the journey well; I will diligently strive to make my conscience clear, and to set in order its deficiencies.

Conclusion

Thank God for enabling you so to resolve, offer your resolutions to His Majesty, and repeatedly implore Him to grant you a happy death, through the merits of His Son. Implore the healp of Our Lady and the Saints. Pater. Ave.

Weave a nosegay of myrrh.
A bracing nosegay of myrrh indeed: DESPISE THE WORLD. MEMENTO MORI, REMEMBER YOU WILL DIE. And let your joy be deep and full.

Another recollection that comes to mind is a visit to Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome with a crypt full of floral designs made from the skeletal remains of 4,000 bodies of former Capuchin friars buried by their order. A plaque on the floor before one of the exhibits, in English translation, reads: "What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be."

Update: A friend suggested that St. Francis de Sales' attitude could be construed as too negative toward the created world without the qualifications I introduce in the comment box. Hence, with thanks to my friend, I refer the interested reader to my comments in the comment box linked below.

Vatican Communiqué: SSPX invited to 'clarify'

New Catholic, "SSPX-ROME - Holy See Communiqué: SSPX invited to 'clarify' - UPDATES: today's meeting; why the Pope will not give up" (Rorate Caeli, Marcy 16, 2012).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The audacity of Voris

Here I am using the term "audacity," not in its pejorative sense, but in its meaning of "boldness or daring." You remember how John the Baptist got himself beheaded by pointing out Herod's immorality. After taking a quick look at some of Voris's recent episodes of "Vortes," I am amazed at his utter lack of hesitation to speak uncomfortable truths of the kind that will likely get himself shut down sooner rather than later by the Pelosi thought police. At the same time, his doubtless offensive broadsides are laced with a number of significant insights about current political developments that many would find much less offensive if they were simply better catechized:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Stational Churches of Rome

Tridentine Community News (March 11, 2012):
You may have noticed in liturgical calendars or in hand missals that every day in Lent and the Octave of Easter is assigned a “station”, a church in Rome. For example, the church assigned to the Third Sunday of Lent is St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

In the first centuries of the Church, the Bishop’s liturgy was considered the most significant in the diocese. The Bshop made his way to each of the stational churches on the set days. After evolving over preceding centuries, a standardized list of Rome’s stational churches was published by Pope St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century. In the ninth century, Pope Leo III expanded the list to comprise 94 churches in all, spread over 92 days, though the ones designated for Lent and Easter remain the best-known.

Today, the stational churches present an opportunity for a Lenten pilgrimage. On its designated day, each stational church offers a procession, praying of the Litany of the Saints, and veneration of relics. While we are not aware of a published listing of the times of these services, the Pontifical North American College [Seminary] in Rome offers Mass in English at each of the stational churches each morning; a schedule is published at: http://www.pnac.org/station-churches/the-roman-station-liturgy/

The Church enriches pilgrimages to the stational churches as follows:
“...a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who assist in the sacred functions held in any stational church on its designated day; if they merely visit the church devoutly, the indulgence will be partial.” [Excerpt from the 2006 Manual of Indulgences]
For people in our era, the stational churches remind us of how many significant and truly historic churches there are in the Eternal City. The depth and commitment of our ancestors’ faith and the Communion of the Saints are made vivid when one participates in ancient devotions and customs in these edifices.

The tradition is explained in detail in a book entitled, fittingly enough, “The Stational Churches of Rome”, by Fr. Frank Phillips, C.R., and available at www.birettabooks.com.

The complete list of stational churches, with photos, is available at: http://www.frcoulter.com/pics/station-churches/index.html

St. Stephen Church Reinstalls Communion Rail

In an update to our report on local Tridentine Masses from our February 19 column, we are pleased to report that St. Stephen Parish in New Boston, Michigan, near Detroit Metro Airport, continues to hold Extraordinary Form Masses several times per month. The designation of which Holy Masses are Tridentine is not posted on their web site or in their parish bulletin, so one must call the parish to learn the schedule.

In a parallel and encouraging development, St. Stephen has installed a new Communion Rail in its historic church. The original Communion Rail had been removed decades ago. This is the second local parish which has undertaken such an effort: A few years ago, Ann Arbor’s Old St. Patrick Church installed a Communion Rail in preparation for the introduction of Extraordinary Form Masses at the parish.

This is a growing trend. It goes without saying that churches being built primarily for the Tridentine Mass, such as those administered by the Fraternity of St. Peter, incorporate Communion Rails. More significantly, some new churches built primarily for the Ordinary Form of Holy Mass are also including Altar Rails. Examples include the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin; Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California; and the Fathers of Mercy Chapel of Divine Mercy in Auburn, Kentucky. The first two of these regularly host the Extraordinary Form.

Summórum Pontíficum permits any priest and church to hold Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Because of this new legislation, the pastorally sensitive approach when planning new churches or renovations is to include a Communion Rail, a component central to the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form. Further, Pope Benedict XVI’s example of distributing Holy Communion only while kneeling is a reminder of the merits of that approach in the Ordinary Form. The rail has a practical purpose, to facilitate the devotional kneeling posture, as well as a theological purpose, to demarcate the sanctuary where sacred actions take place from the more profane rest of the church. Another element of our Catholic tradition is on the road to restoration.

Special High Mass for St. Joseph Day

A reminder that Mass on Monday, March 19 will be at the special time and place of 6:00 PM at St. Joseph Church for the Feast of St. Joseph, rather than at St. Josaphat.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 03/12 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)

Tue. 03/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for March 11, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Friday, March 09, 2012

Blacks who won't be played: "Duh Bro Gotta Go!"

President Obama recently announced, reading from a script on his teleprompter, that he was launching a 2012 initiative called "African Americans for Obama." Some have raised questions about a double standard they see it as represented in a political environment that would hardly tolerate with equanimity the prospect of, say, Newt Gingrich announcing the launch of a "Caucasians for Newt" initiative. But there are other questions that bear examining.

How have Blacks fared under the Obama administration? Many initial expectations were certainly unrealistic. Not only did President Obama inherit a significant deficit. His policies have compounded the problem by such unimaginable multiples of deficit spending, that only a fool would think he could deliver on all his promises. You can't fund social initiatives on funny money indefinitely. Furthermore, how much have his extravagant spending initiatives actually helped Blacks?

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), the unemployment rate is 8.3 percent as of January 2012. The unemployment rate has doubled since the beginning of the recession in December 2007. Obama’s first year in office (2009), saw a record jump in the poverty level from 13.2% to 15% -- defined in 2010, as at or below an annual income level of $22,314 for a family of four. The percentage of people in deep poverty was 13.5 percent of all African Americans and 10.9 percent of all Hispanics, compared to 5.8 percent of Asians and 4.3 percent of Whites. Under Obama, child poverty has jumped from 19% to 20% and among the 18-64 demographic, the level jumped from 11.7% to 12.4%. Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.

While you won't hear about this on MSNBC, there is considerable debate in the African American community about whether the Obama administration has actually helped or hurt the economic situation for American Blacks, as a quick search of the Internet will quickly verify. Some feel that they have been "played" by the President, precisely in such initiatives as his launch of "African Americans for Obama," and have no desire to be taken in again.

"The world has changed . . ."


"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost. For none now lives who remembers it."

True in Tolkien's Middle Earth. Truer still in living history.

Think about this: when Ronald Reagan was seven years old, he read and heard in the news about Vladimir Lenin masterminding the Bolshevik Revolution. Reagan died only seven years ago.

Sometimes I now doubt that the change he smelled in the air in his day was much more sinister than that which I smell now.

Baptism -> Confirmation -> Eucharist

"American Bishop receives kudos from the Pope for reordering sacraments" (WDTPRS, March 8, 2012). Well, Confession should go in there; but you get the idea. A badly needed re-ordering.

As the Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo observed, these changes have the salubrious effect of also distancing the Sacrament of Confirmation from “some false theologies that see it as being a sacrament of maturity or as a sacrament for ‘me choosing God.’" Indeed.

Soon to be totalitarian regime?

More of the "hope" and "change" we can believe in: the approved assassination of U.S. citizens without charging them with any crime. Welcome home Cesare Borgia.

If you doubt that democracy can become totalitarian, read J. L. Talmon's The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy,and wake up. Even a close study of J.-J. Rousseau's Social Contract could have shown you that.

[Hat tip to Z.M.]

Monday, March 05, 2012

More revelations on Sandra Fluke

Stephen Gutowski writes, in "Sandra Fluke, Gender Reassignment, and Health Insurance" (mrctv, March 5, 2012):
Sandra Fluke is being sold by the left as something she's not. Namely a random co-ed from Georgetown law who found herself mixed up in the latest front of the culture war who was simply looking to make sure needy women had access to birth control. That, of course, is not the case.

As many have already uncovered Sandra Fluke she is, in reality, a 30 year old long time liberal activist who enrolled at Georgetown with the express purpose of fighting for the school to pay for students' birth control. She has been pushing for mandated coverage of contraceptives at Georgetown for at least three years according to the Washington Post.

However, as I discovered today, birth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if "gender reassignment" surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance. She makes these views clear in an article she co-edited with Karen Hu in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.
Read more >>

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Gingerich weighs in on Limbaugh, 2012

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A Lenten Reflection: The Tremendous Value of Holy Mass

Tridentine Community News (March 4, 2012):
In this holy season of Lent, it does us well to reflect upon the immeasurable graces that flow from each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We must never take the Mass for granted. This text, originally attributed to St. Leonard of Port Maurice and found on a 1923 holy card with an Imprimatur by Archbishop Henry Moeller of Cincinnati, gives us much to ponder:
At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation.

Every Mass will go with you to Judgment and will plead for pardon for you.

By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervor.

By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.


Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all the venial sins which you are determined to avoid. The power of Satan over you is diminished.

By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.

One Holy Mass, heard during your life, will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.

Through Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass.

During Holy Mass you kneel amid a multitude of holy Angels, who are present at the Adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.

Through Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

When you hear Holy Mass devoutly, offering it to Almighty God in honor of any particular Saint or Angel, thanking God for the favors bestowed on him, etc., you afford that Saint or Angel a new degree of honor, joy, and happiness, and draw his special love and protection on yourself.

Every time you assist at Holy Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it in honor of the Saint of the day.
St. Issac Jogues & St. Angela OF Latin Masses

Ordinarily this column tries to keep its ears to the railroad tracks, but news of a few particular developments managed to escape us until now. For several months in late 2011, St. Isaac Jogues Parish in St. Clair Shores offered Holy Mass in the Latin in the Ordinary Form on the Second Sunday of the month at 7:30 AM. The idea was to expose parishioners to the Church’s Sacred Language on a trial basis.

When a new administrator was assigned to St. Isaac, it was decided to move the Latin Mass to St. Angela Parish in Roseville. St. Angela’s Mass will debut on the Sunday, March 4 at 7:30 AM and will continue on the First Sunday of each subsequent month.

While not in the Extraordinary Form, it is still newsworthy to note this and similar unpublicized efforts. For example, we recently learned that in 2009, Dearborn’s Divine Child High School Latin Class held a “traditional Latin Mass”, celebrated by Fr. Clint McDonell. It is not clear whether it was in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, but what really matters is that Latin in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass continues to make inroads into parish life. Each such exposure can inspire souls to learn more about the great treasures available in the Church’s traditional liturgy.

Special Upcoming Masses

Sun. 03/11 2:00 PM: High Mass at Sacred Heart-Yale (Third Sunday of Lent): Have you ever thought about visiting Yale? A Solemn Missa Cantata will be held at Sacred Heart Church this day – more solemn that their usual Masses.

Sun. 03/18 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Fourth Sunday of Lent – Lætáre Sunday)

Mon. 03/19 6:00 PM: High Mass at St. Joseph (Feast of St. Joseph – no Mass at St. Josaphat that Monday)

Sun. 03/25 12:15 PM: High Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul (west side) (Passion Sunday)

Weekday Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 03/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)

Tue. 03/06 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for March 4, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Tallus Scholars perform Allegri's Miserere

A long-time favorite of mine has been this recording of Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars performing Allegri's Miserere in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. I had the audio recording long before discovering this video of the recording on YouTube, which shows the effect of the placement of the three different groupings of the choir members throughout different parts of the ancient basilica. Absolutely magisterial. And, for anyone who doesn't know Latin, they're singing the greatest of all the Penitential Psalms, Psalm 51 -- quite appropriate for Lent.



Psalm 51 (excerpt):
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit....
The story about the fourteen-year-old Mozart hearing the piece performed in the Vatican, memorizing it, and sneaking it out to the public is backed up by family letters. (Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!) What a legacy!

Freedom of religion a threat to homosexualism

Theologian George Weigel wrote on Secretary Hillary Clinton's speech at Georgetown University, "For those with ears to hear in Gaston Hall that day, the promotion of the so-called LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/ transgendered) agenda had just been declared a human rights priority of the United States, in the same sentence in which the secretary of state had offered an anorexic description of religious freedom that even the Saudis could accept."

Watch Chuck Colson as he reminds the world that religious freedom is God-given, and not a gift from government.

Also, I add: please note (1) the critical distinction drawn by Colson between "freedom of worship" (which the world may construe as private and non-threatening) and "freedom of religion" (which has public dimensions that cannot avoid threatening the world's partisans of public vice) -- as well as (2) Secretary Clinton's subtle and nefarious conflation of "freedom of to love in the way you choose" with "freedom of worship," as though they were equivalent human rights and liberties ... a symptom of jurisprudential positivism gone to seed!

"One Child Policy" in America's future?

Via LifeSite comes the story about Chinese women fleeing China to the USA in order to save their babies from the Chinese "One Child Policy."

"In the future," writes Fr. Z., "if Pres. Obama has his way, this won’t be possible. Let’s not forget that he promoted infanticide in Illinois.

"I think this is where we are headed in the USA if Obamacare is permitted to take root.

"Call me crazy. Go ahead. Do it."

See Fred Lucas, "Sebelius: Decrease in Human Beings Will Cover Cost of Contraception Mandate" (CNSnews.com, March 1, 2012).

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Te Deum laudamus

For anyone wishing to learn to chant this awesome hymn, this is one of the standard classic Gregorian settings I like best:

The death of feminism

Why is it, do you think, that so many people appear to be more concerned about Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke (and Danica Patrick) than about what Fluke and Patrick themselves said?

Feminism began as a "women's liberation" movement. Women wanted government to remove legislation they considered repressive. They wanted government to get out of their private lives and bedrooms and to allow them to take responsibility for themselves and their bodies.

Now we have Fluke testifying before Big Brother in behalf of an HHS mandate that would coerce Georgetown University and other similar institutions, in violation of their conscience, to pay for medical coverage for abortion, sterilization, and contraception.

Now it's a free country. There is nothing preventing anyone from purchasing contraceptives if they like, many of them quite inexpensively as one can see at any local drugstore. Fluke suggests, however, that her concern is on behalf of those such as herself and other students at Georgetown who find the out-of-pocket costs for contraceptives "untenable burdens" during their tenure as students. She cites a figure of $3000.00 as the cost of birth control over the years a student is enrolled in Georgetown, and appeals to the Jesuit motto of the institution (cura personalis, or "care of the whole person") as a reason why Georgetown should consider contraceptives a health entitlement in order to meet student "medical needs" and not to "impede [their] academic success."

Fluke cites the example of morally uncontroversial non-contraceptive use contraceptives in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. But an allowance for such use hardly calls for a "universal" mandate. But as others have noted, only a fool would deny that the primary purpose of contraceptive drugs and devices is to make sex “worry free” by detaching the procreative act from procreation. Even assuming that Fluke herself were an icon of chastity and virtue, her description of the "crushing demand" for contraceptive and reproductive "services," the "untenable burdens" such expenses impose on students, and her promotion of such services as a health entitlement suggest little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to garner contraceptive coverage for the purpose of facilitating sexual promiscuity and a morally irresponsible lifestyle.

And then what about what President Obama said in his phone call to Fluke? That her parents should feel proud of her? A Georgetown law student who complains that she and other students can't foot the $3000.00 bill that contraceptives would cost over the course of their law-student careers? "Proud"? Nobody finds that a tad odd?

One thinks of Chesterton:
The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered ... it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone...

But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.... The truth is that there is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.
And so we are offended by tiny words with concrete references, like the inclusive use of "man" in the above paragraph, and substitute hypostatized abstract nouns like "humanity." We are offended by those hard small words with specific denotative definitions, like "heretic," "apostate," and "prostitute" -- because they strike us as harsh and unfeeling -- and we substitute loosey-goosey terms for their benign connotative values, like "liberal-minded," "progressive," and "free-spirited" instead.

It reminds me of my years in the American South where the term "Christian" used to be employed to connote more-or-less the same thing as "decent citizen," regardless of what the person believed or how he (no, I'm not using the damned plural, "they") lived. Modernity has tied people's minds up like pretzels, so that they refer to third person singulars as third person plurals, and a young woman living like a 'ho' can be told that her parents should be "proud" of her.

"Freedom" used to mean, among other things, freedom from sin, vice, and corruption. Today it has come to mean freedom to embrace sin, vice, and corruption. What once was called the "bondage of the will" now is called "free self-expression."

Today we have become so open-minded, it seems, that we have forgotten what it is to think. "Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out," warned Chesterton; "the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."

[Hat tip to Zachary Mabee for image; and to B.S.O and D.O. for precision in details.]

Related: Fr. John Zuhlsdorff comments:
"I read that Rush Limbaugh apologized for what he called the activist from Georgetown who wants taxpayers to pay for her contraceptives.

"I am sure that Nancy Pelosi will now apologize to other members of the House whom she accused of trying to kill women."

Friday, March 02, 2012

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce launches discussion papers on 1962 Missal

New Catholic reports: "The Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) is launching a series of short 'position papers' on aspects of the 1962 Missal, with a view to stimulating debate on aspects of the 'Extraordinary Form' which have been criticised in the past, and might be subject to change in the future." Says the FIUV:
We have a two-fold goal. First, to contribute to a debate, which has been on-going since at least the mid 20th Century, about the theological appropriateness and pastoral effectiveness of (what is now, in the Holy Father's phrase) 'the former liturgical tradition'. We wish to equip those attached to this tradition with the best possible arguments, backed by the best authorities, for maintaining the organic integrity of this tradition, expressed as succinctly as possible but, we hope, comprehensible to a wide audience. We hope in this way to raise the standard of debate which takes place no longer only in the seminar room, but wherever Catholics meet, particularly on the internet.

Secondly, we do this in light of the Holy Father's letter to Bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum: "For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard." More here >>
[Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The “Lesbian Denied Communion” issue: some posts and updates

HERE. The media these days are not to be trusted to be fair or balanced on any issue related to Catholic hot-button issues. Bending over backwards apologizing for one's Catholic distinctives is not going to pacify the beast either. Let the Church unapologetically be the Church and let the world be the world. One of the first things you realize if you stand for ANYTHING is that you aren't going to please everybody. Get over it. Stop the hand-wringing and apologizing for your priests. Defend them. They're doing what they're called to do.

And while we're on the subject of CONTROVERSY, have any others of you read any reviews of Ruth Rosen's Called to Controversy: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus? Excerpt from a review:
Let’s admit it. We pastors can be cowards. We can slip into institutional maintenance, rather than keep pressing the gospel forward....

The Jews for Jesus website comments, “Moishe Rosen was controversial and vigorously opposed by many because he believed with all his heart and chose to proclaim with all his might the truth about Jesus. . . . Throughout history, people have tried desperately to domesticate Jesus, to round off some of His sharp edges, to downplay the implications of His life and temporize the impact of His teaching. . . . Those who take Jesus’ words at face value have always been a minority, and not only among Jewish people. There is nothing new in the effort to paint a more comfortable picture of Jesus—one that omits the controversy and ignores the implications of His death on the cross and His resurrection.”
[Hat tip to J.M.]