Thursday, February 28, 2013

Journalist Woodward threatened by administration

The POTUS stooped to new lows of mendacity and machiavellian madness over the last couple of days, trying to blame his political enemies for the Sequestration, which was his own idea; rejecting Republican authorization to choose where the cuts would be least damaging; trying to intimidate journalist Bob Woodward (the liberal journalist who exposed the Nixon administration) for telling the truth about the the Obama administration (see his recent book, The Price of Politics), and trying to silence him. Woodward calls out the President for his Sequestration "Madness":

Pope Weigel?

"Please, Pope Weigel, resign from your Pontificate" (Rorate Caeli, February 28, 2013):
"Not the 'Küng left', not the 'schismatic Lefebvrist hard-right', but I, the virtuous via media, hold the keys to authentic Evangelical Catholic reform, as I explain in my book, available in bookstores everywhere - just $ 9.99!," thus saith Supreme Pontiff Weigel descending from Mount Manhattan.

Can't Pope Weigel at least wait till the conclave is assembled to put forward his candidacy? Can't he at least wait till 8PM Rome time today to proclaim his declarations of apostasy and schism?...

The lack of restraint from those who wish to "frame" the next pontificate is astounding. Küng has tried it, Weigel, still not fully recovered from the end of the Wojtyla pontificate, is trying it as well. As for the "schismatic Lefebvrists", their only program seems to be this novena for the election of the Sovereign Pontiff, starting tomorrow. Now, which of these programs seems to be the truly Catholic one?
Well ... that is a bit of a problem, isn't it. Perhaps it's a good example of THE problem.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Conflicting reactions to the resignation

"No more nice words: The resignation is a catastrophe" "Benedict XVI: why have you abandoned us?" (Rorate Caeli, February 24, 2013), relating reports from the French daily, La Croix, in which two conservative Catholic thinkers express their dismay at the empty chair of St. Peter (Sede Vacante).

"Benedict XVI responds: 'No, I am not abandoning you!'" (Rorate Caeli, February 24, 2013):
Dear brothers and sisters, I feel that this Word of God is particularly directed at me, at this point in my life. The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain", to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength. Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she always help us all to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and works of charity.

Monday, February 25, 2013

An old lady our socialists love to hate

"Kitty Werthmann -- 85 Yr Old Austrian Lived Under Hitler -- Speaks of Socialism and Gestapo: Alan Colmes, Salon Deems Her a Wing Nut" (Before It's News, Jan. 6, 2013):
Kitty Werthmann is 85 years old. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen. At 85 she stands tall, walks like a much, much younger woman and has no trouble explaining that Hitler was elected by 98% of Austrians because he gave a good speech. As I look around the InterTubes for information about her, I see the Left hates her. I see that Alan Colmes gave her his WingNut award. Salon is confused about the “political path” she is taking and also refers to her as a “wing nut.” The loose transcript and video below is from a June 2011 TeaParty speech. Don’t miss her mention of Senator Barbara Boxer, then a U.S. Representative from California and what happened to Austria’s educational system under Hitler. Read more >>

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Can Catholics still play chess?

Garriso Keillor once joked on Prairie Home Companion, asking: "Why can't Episcopalians play chess?" Answer? "Because they can't tell the difference between a bishop and a queen."

Given the contemporary trajectory of things coming to light closer to home (see, for example, the previous post below), I'm now tempted to ask: "Can Catholics still play chess?" I certainly hope so. But you'll forgive me for feeling the need to ask.

Lavender blackmail, background of Papal resignation?

A reader sent me the article linked below:

John Hooper (Guardian's Rome correspondent), "Papal resignation linked to inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper" (The Guardian, February 21, 2013): "Pope's staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking 'Vatileaks' affair and discovery of 'blackmailed gay clergy'":
A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders....

The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair....

According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising "two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red" had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope's successor upon his election.

The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual orientation"....

[La Repubblica] quoted a source "very close to those who wrote [the cardinal's report]" as saying: "Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments."

The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.

La Repubblica said the cardinals' report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop....

La Repubblica's report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a "sting" organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.

In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.
The reader who called my attention to this article, commented in the sent email:

And yet you would think the parties are warring over global warming or Left-handedness.

Really, people are prisoners of their own dented thinking. Read the last two sentences of the last paragraph of this piece:

The Vatican does not condemn homosexuals. But it teaches that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered".

Will these two statements make sense to moderns? Do they make sense at all? No. Does the Vatican "condemn" anyone? Any person? Of course not, not even Bishop Williamson. It would not condemn even Hitler as a man. But it is impossible to NOT "Condemn" homosexuals if you condemn homosexuality.

This is why the 'Born That Way" argument is in fact important (even if not decisive). But we have all but ceded the ground. There is absolutely NO conversation about the immorality or sinfulness of homosexuality, only noble posturing about "Defense of Marriage." You can't find arguments about it that include the idea that all other arguments aside, the practice of gay sex is itself wrong and should not be given any sort of tacit approval.

If you simply say, "Of course gays cannot marry. We can't approve of the essential sexual act the defines them, much less institutionalize it in a a sacred ceremony!" you have clarity. You would also have California rumbling so hard in rage it would detach itself from the continental plate. If you default to: "Well, the real purpose of marriage is after all procreation...," like our primary objections are functional, you turn the exercise of moral theology into a farce. The fact that marriage is meant for procreation is a far secondary argument. Marriage is made for men and women because Sex is made for men and women. To engage arguments that assume otherwise is to give them some legitimacy. Once you do that, unfortunately, you immediately lose all ground. If the boundaries of normal and abnormal, natural and unnatural, are blurred, there is no focus at all.
[Hat tip to J.M.]

And then there is this: "The Pope & Homoheresy," based on "a blockbuster report produced by a PhD priest at the Pontifical University in Kraków, Poland, who was asked to prepare this report by various bishops and cardinals. It details how the secret homosexual lobby of priests and bishops in the Church is trying to gain a stronger foothold in his native Poland and how much damage has already been done by them in other parts of the world throughout the Church, from active homosexual clergy among priests to active homosexuals among bishops and those that are friendly to them, that promote them and protect them, as well as those who had been hidden and covered up the resultant child sex abuse at the hands of predator homosexual clergy." [The report: by Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D., "With the Pope Against the Homoheresy" - PDF]

Update (2/26/13):

Of Hamsters and Sequesters

George Will, "The manufactured crisis of sequester" (Washington Post, February 22, 2013):
Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying “Wolf!” about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying “Hamster!”

As in: Batten down the hatches — the sequester will cut $85 billion from this year’s $3.6 trillion budget! Or: Head for the storm cellar — spending will be cut 2.3 percent! Or: Washington chain-saw massacre — we must scrape by on 97.7 percent of current spending! Or: Chaos is coming because the sequester will cut a sum $25 billion larger than was just shoveled out the door (supposedly, but not actually) for victims of Hurricane Sandy! Or: Heaven forfend, the sequester will cut 47 percent as much as was spent on the AIG bailout! Or: Famine, pestilence and locusts will come when the sequester causes federal spending over 10 years to plummet from $46 trillion all the way down to $44.8 trillion! Or: Grass will grow in the streets of America’s cities if the domestic agencies whose budgets have increased 17 percent under President Obama must endure a 5 percent cut!

The sequester has forced liberals to clarify their conviction that whatever the government’s size is at any moment, it is the bare minimum necessary to forestall intolerable suffering. At his unintentionally hilarious hysteria session Tuesday, Obama said: The sequester’s “meat-cleaver approach” of “severe,” “arbitrary” and “brutal” cuts will “eviscerate” education, energy and medical research spending. “And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf.”

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral to Hold Special Tridentine Mass on August 30

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (February 24, 2013):
Sometimes a development occurs that causes one to sit up and take notice. That happened this week when Juventútem Michigan announced that it is organizing a Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be held on the evening of Friday, August 30 at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, with the approval of Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Thanks are due to His Excellency, to Cathedral Rector Msgr. Michael LeFevre, and to Juventútem Michigan leader Paul Schultz for making this possible.

As the September 2, 2012 edition of this column noted, an increasing number of cathedrals worldwide are hosting Tridentine Masses. In this region, London, Ontario’s St. Peter Cathedral hosted ordinations to the sacred priesthood for the Fraternity of St. Peter in March, 2000. Lansing’s St. Mary Cathedral is home to a fledgling Tridentine quasi-parish, the Blessed John XXIII Community. Kalamazoo’s St. Augustine Cathedral for many years hosted a regular Mass.

Now Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral joins these ranks. Built in 1930 as Blessed Sacrament Church, this Norman Gothic edifice was designated as the cathedral in 1937 when the Diocese of Detroit was raised to the level of an Archdiocese. As the below historic photograph shows, Blessed Sacrament was built as a splendid home for the Tridentine Mass, with a soaring ceiling to elevate the mind to God.

After the Second Vatican Council, some relatively minor modifications were made to the sanctuary, most notably the removal of the central part of the Communion Rail and the installation of a freestanding altar. In 2003 the entire church was redesigned. The High Altar, High Pulpit, and remaining Communion Rail sections were removed, replaced by a sanctuary in the modern idiom clearly designed solely with an eye to the Ordinary Form.

Nevertheless, even with this configuration, with some creative thinking, the cathedral can accommodate the Extraordinary Form. Over the coming weeks measurements will be taken for an altar frontal [cloth], and supplies will be gathered so that the Mass may be appropriately celebrated in this sacred space. More information will be reported as the date of the Mass draws nearer.

Two Special Tridentine Masses on March 10

We have a pleasant quandary to present: On Sunday, March 10, there will be two special High Masses in the Extraordinary Form offered in our region on the same afternoon:

At 12:15 PM, Ss. Peter & Paul (west side) will have a High Mass offered by Fr. Mark Borkowski.

At 2:00 PM, Holy Redeemer Church will have a High Mass offered by Fr. Clement Suhy, OSB.

Let’s take the positive view and consider this an embarrassment of riches.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)
  • Tue. 02/26 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 24, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Musical legacy of the Holy Father

Jeffrey Tucker, "Pope Benedict XVI’s Musical Legacy" (Crisis magazine, February 12, 2013). Excerpt:
We are not out of the woods yet but the progress is very much in evidence. The future is clear. Chant will again be the universal music of the Roman Rite. New compositions will be inspired by it. It will have first place in the liturgy. Music appropriate to the liturgy will follow its inspiration.

What I find most impressive is the method that the pope used to achieve this. It was through inspiration and not imposition. For this reason, this change is fundamental and lasting. Mark my words: chant will come to a parish near you. We can thank Benedict XVI for his wisdom and foresight in achieving what most people thought was impossible.

As he has understood, the musical question is only superficially about style. The real substance of the question concerns what elevates the text and reflects the liturgical purpose of glorifying God. In the long run, there can be no separation between the Roman Rite and the music that is native to it. If that point seems obvious now, it is only because the papacy of Benedict XVI made it so.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For the record: "Benedict XVI - SSPX: Quarter to midnight"

"Benedict XVI - SSPX: Quarter to midnight" (Rorate Caeli, February 20, 2013):
... What threats can the hotheads on the SSPX side make? They have been expelled, or have excluded themselves.

What threats can the extremist liberals on the Rhine basin side make? Threaten schism, as they repeatedly (reportedly) did to John Paul II? Ask for the Pope's head, as they did in 2009? The Pope has delivered his head! On a tray, like the Precursor: the German-speaking and French-speaking Salomes cannot demand anything else.

From religioblog, the blog of the usually very well-informed religious writer of French daily Le Figaro:
"A quarter to midnight, Bishop Fellay." This parody of the title of the film dedicated to Dr. Schweitzer, a great Protestant, is badly chosen to recall the very Catholic Lefebvrist question, but it happens that this dossier, that seemed lost, could mark the last days of the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. Discussions, late [discussions], are taking place between Rome and Écône... Up to the end the Pope tries to reach an agreement...." Read more >>
Update (2/21/2013): "Society of Saint Pius X: Benedict XVI to pass on the dossier to successor" (Rorate Caeli, Feb. 21, 2013) [was not an "ultimatum"]

Extraordinary community news

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (February 17, 2013):
The Liturgical Restoration Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Among the numerous accomplishments of our retiring Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the record books are sure to give him particular credit for reinvigorating Catholic worship in both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms. It is not an overstatement to say that his actions have had a major positive impact on the faith lives of countless souls worldwide.

The 2007 Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum and its 2011 follow-up document Univérsæ Ecclésiæ certainly top the list for readers of this column. Any priest is now permitted to celebrate the Tridentine Mass on his own initiative, no longer requiring the permission of his bishop. Within three years after Summórum was published, the number of Mass sites in North America doubled to over 400. Among the most enthusiastic celebrants of the Latin Mass worldwide are young, newly ordained priests.

Five months prior to the release of the Motu Proprio, Pope Benedict released the Apostolic Exhortation Sacraméntum Caritátis, in which he asked that the faithful become familiar with the [Ordinary Form] Latin Mass and that seminaries train future priests in Gregorian Chant and the celebration of the [OF] Latin Mass. He also recommended that tabernacles be located in the center of the sanctuary, in a high altar if one exists, and that the celebrant’s chair not block it.

Pope Benedict set important examples: He restored use of chanted Propers and elaborate traditional vestments to his Ordinary Form Masses in the Vatican Basilicas. He distributes Holy Communion only on the tongue to kneeling communicants.

Tridentine Masses have been held at several prominent altars of the Major Basilicas of Rome, including St. Peter’s Basilica. A fairly large church in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, was given to the exclusive use of the Extraordinary Form.

In 2010, the Vatican Press published an Altar Missal for the Extraordinary Form, which has ever since remained among their best-selling books. Even today it is the first book listed on their web site,, along with Extraordinary Form versions of the Roman Ritual and the Breviary.

Much press coverage has been devoted to Pope Benedict’s efforts to reconcile with the Society of St. Pius X. Less well known is the successfully completed reconciliation with the formerly schismatic Transalpine Redemptorist priests in Papa Stronsay, Scotland. New groups have also been welcomed: In 2006 in France the Institute of the Good Shepherd was founded, a society of priests devoted to the Extraordinary Form, now with apostolates in four countries. Several smaller groups of priests and nuns devoted to the EF have also been founded or regularized.

In 2009, Pope Benedict restructured the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei, the Vatican department in charge of the Extraordinary Form, placing it under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Via the aforementioned documents Summórum Pontíficum and Univérsæ Ecclésiæ, the PCED has been given greater authority in assisting the faithful to obtain Tridentine Masses in their local dioceses.

Prior to Benedict’s papacy, it was a rare sight for a bishop to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, and if they did so, it tended to be done rather quietly. Today an increasing number of bishops, including San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Portland Archbishop-designate Alexander Sample, make celebration of the EF a regular part of their schedule. One of the highest profile celebrants is Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is inspiring to realize that the head of the Vatican’s department in charge of the Ordinary Form makes it a point to celebrate the Extraordinary Form with some regularity.

Speaking of the CDW, in August, 2011, Pope Benedict issued the Motu Proprio Quærit Semper, in which His Holiness gave the CDW “a fresh impetus to promoting the Sacred Liturgy in the Church...on the basis of the Constitution Sacrosánctum Concílium.” The first major step was the creation of a new office of the CDW which will establish guidelines for sacred architecture and liturgical music, ensuring that the rich traditions of the past are guiding principles in the design of new church buildings and the composition of new sacred music.

The CDW has also announced that it will soon be issuing a “Manual to Help Priests Celebrate Mass”. One of the topics included will be a suggestion that Mass in the Ordinary Form be celebrated ad oriéntem, with the celebrant facing in the same direction in the congregation as he leads them in prayer, as is the norm in the Extraordinary Form. Pope Benedict himself gave regular example of this liturgical posture at the Masses he celebrated at the High Altar in the Sistine Chapel.

In February, 2003, the only diocesan-approved Tridentine Mass in metro Detroit was in a humble nursing home chapel in Windsor with a congregation of 12 people. Ten years later, in February, 2013, there are 15 churches in the area that offer the Mass, serving a combined congregation of almost 1,000 every Sunday. Whereas it used to be difficult to interest priests in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, nowadays there is no lack of priests who desire to say the Mass; the only real challenge is their availability. To the surprise of many of the older guard, it is young priests, young musicians, and young adults in general who are leading a local – and to large extent a worldwide – resurgence of interest in something they may not even have known existed ten years ago. That is Benedict’s legacy in metro Detroit and Windsor.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)
  • Tue. 02/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
  • Fri. 02/22: At Holy Family, Detroit:
* Rosary at 6:00 PM
* Stations of the Cross at 6:30 PM
* High Mass at 7:00 PM
* Pasta & Salad Dinner after Mass – no charge
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 17, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Catholics: You need to hear this

This is a presentation I found disturbing. I did not see it until this evening, but I found it unnerving. We've all heard about petty corruption in big bureaucracies, but I never supposed anything quite this perfidious, vicious, base and unconscionable was afoot. Worst of all, it's evidently emanating from those very places where one should hope to find caring, compassionate and trustworthy shepherds of the faithful.

Can anyone believe the Lord of Heaven would permit anything of this sort to go unpunished? No wonder AmChurch is dying. No wonder we've been seeing books with titles like David Carlin's The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America(Sophia Institute Press, 2003) selling on Amazon over the last decade. Where is the sense of mission? vocation? commitment? sacrifice? What has happened to the Church in America?

Whom did Jesus call, in white-hot anger: "Hypocrites!" "Sons of hell!" "Blind guides!" "Brood of vipers!" "Whitewashed tombs!" etc.? It was the Scribes and Pharisees, who did not practice what they preached. He did not fault them for their theology, but for their hypocrisy. (Mt. 23:1-4)

We have our Lord's promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church; but we do not have His promise that the Catholic Church in America or Western Europe or the United Kingdom or Ireland (or even in Rome) will persevere until the end. Indeed, if these reports out of Boston are any indication of the financial modus operandi of American Catholic dioceses, we should be not be surprised in a decade or two to find anything more than a few scattered, smouldering cinders left of the dying AmChurch establishment. If anything, we should expect divine judgement.

But lest I forget my "pastoral" manners, might I add: "Smile, God loves you. Have a nice day!"

Update: a reader writes:
Your readers may be interested in discovering what their local Diocese spends on salaries for its employees.

They can use this link

and create an account for free and check the 990 forms.

Rutler with a retrospective on frail and dubious historical papacies

Rev. George W. Rutler, "Benedict’s Decision in the Light of Eternity" (Crisis Magazine, February 13, 2013). An excerpt:
What God knows is not necessarily what God wills. Each pope is guaranteed the protection of the Holy Spirit from fallible definitions of faith and morals, but to suppose that each pope is there because God wants him there, including the unworthy successors of Peter, comes close to the unforgivable blasphemy against the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Twenty year old Benedict IX was at least as nightmarish as his successor Gregory VI who usually is counted with his predecessor among the popes who relinquished their office....

The Petrine office is not indelible like Holy Orders, and in 1415 Gregory XII nobly and efficiently made his resignation a kind of security for healing the Western Schism. Dante was so frustrated by what he considered dereliction of duty, that he put the abdicated Celestine V into the Inferno but that was his own Commedia, when the Church, not in fancy but in fact, knew he is in Heaven. In 2009 photographs were widely circulated showing Benedict XVI leaving his pallium at Celestine’s tomb, and many commentators then thought that this was more than a gesture of incidental piety.

As with the Spiritual Franciscans as a whole, almost in tandem with the earlier Montanists, Celestine V proved the utter impracticality of dovelike innocence without serpentine astuteness, and Boniface VIII was as right as was John XXII in condemning these “Fraticelli.” But Boniface also proved the desperate shortcoming of cleverness without innocence. Benedict XVI’s serene retreat to pray will not be like the last months of Pope Celestine who might nearly qualify as a martyr for the terrible treatment he endured for ten months until death when immured in the walls of the Fumone castle in Campagna. Celestine was confined to an unsanitary cell hardly large enough for a bed and an altar. We see in this the contempt that venal souls have for the motives of the humble, and Celestine was nothing if not humble. The role of Boniface in Celestine’s degradation has often been sanitized, but, as John Henry Newman wrote in the Historical Sketches: "glosses are put upon memorable acts, because they are thought not edifying, whereas of all scandals such omissions, such glosses, are the greatest.” ... Read more >>
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pope to Rome's priests on Vatican II as, he saw it

The Pope spoke to the clergy of Rome today, several thousand strong, extemporaneously today (no prepared text), and notably at ease, on how he viewed Vatican II. For the record, here's an excerpt:

[Hat tip to R. Moynihan Report]

Important - The Pope explains the Council "The Virtual Council was stronger: its results are calamitous" The Council of the Fathers was replaced by the 'Council of the Media'" (Rorate Caeli, February 14, 2013).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Target engaged: V-II in sights of traditionalist critics

I glanced at Sandro Magister's piece when it was first posted, but never got back to read it. So I was glad when a reader sent me the link to the following summary over at Rorate Caeli, with the words: "Highly involved historical analysis, interesting only for those both interested and vetted in such things ... Also underscores the wisdom of human intuition: If you find convoluted and prolix discourse suspicious, it is because you most likely should!"

"La trahison des clercs - Barsotti, Radaelli, and the 'original sin' of the Council: a pastoral language born of the diabolical pride of clerics" (Rorate Caeli, February 9, 2013):

"It is not a matter that concerns the members of a specific priestly society, or even all traditional-minded Catholics - it is the main concern of the future of the Church. What does she want to be: the chosen people of God and sacred depositary of His treasures of salvation, to be transmitted to all the world as faithfully as her Lord first gave them to her, or something else? Outside her own structure that is her proper language - the words of the Word, via, veritas et vita -, her message falls apart, as well as her purpose and her vitality. (Read also: Obedience and the Power of Modernists, by Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P.)

Fr. Divo Barsotti, a major Italian theologian of the 20th century and a friend of Paul VI, and Prof. Enrico Maria Radaelli, the great disciple of Swiss Catholic thinker Romano Amerio - known to all Traditional Catholics by his popular work on the Council Iota Unum -, are the main voices of what can surely be considered the most relevant article by Sandro Magister in a long time."
In a new book sent to the printing press in recent days, Professor Enrico Maria Radaelli - philosopher, theologian, and beloved disciple of one of the greatest traditionalist Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century, the Swiss Romano Amerio (1905-1997) - cites three passages taken from the unpublished diaries of Fr. Divo Barsotti (1914-2006).


Fr. Barsotti wrote:

"I am perplexed with regard to the Council: the plethora of documents, their length, often their language, these frightened me. They are documents that bear witness to a purely human assurance more than two a simple firmness of faith. But above all I am outraged by the behavior of the theologians.”

"The Council is the supreme exercise of the magisterium, and is justified only by a supreme necessity. Could not the fearful gravity of the present situation of the Church stem precisely from the foolishness of having wanted to provoke and tempt the Lord? Was there the desire, perhaps, to constrain God to speak when there was not this supreme necessity? Is that the way it is? In order to justify a Council that presumed to renew all things, it had to be affirmed that everything was going poorly, something that is done constantly, if not by the episcopate then by the theologians.”

"Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in his death.”


In Radaelli's view, the current crisis of the Church is not the result of a mistaken application of the Council, but of an original sin committed by the Council itself.

This original sin is claimed to be the abandoning of dogmatic language - proper to all of the previous councils, with the affirmation of the truth and the condemnation of errors - and its replacement with a vague new “pastoral” language.

Anything to avoid the actual issues!!!

So Senator Marco Rubio gives this brilliant, well-crafted, engaging speech to the nation, following President Obama's State of the Union speech, and what do the usual trendy-lefty media suspects talk about? His bottle of water?????

This is hardly an exceptional fluke, when it comes to media response. No, we've seen it all before. It's part of a pattern in the drive-by media generally, as well as with congressional Democrats and even some Republicans.

Take "gun control." The actual statistics show that deaths by firearms have actually declined under the Obama administration. Gun control was an issue that Obama never raised once during his first term as President when he had a Democratic majority in both houses of congress and might have got something done if he had wanted.

So why now? Easy. The obvious elephant in the room is the looming economic disaster precipitated by his insane addiction to deficit spending, which even with the sequester, will give us an additional $7 trillion in national debt over remaining years of his second term. The emperor has no clothes. Talking about gun control is terribly convenient. The Newtown disaster was convenient. As as Rahm Emanuel advised, "you never want a serious crisis go to waste."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Big day in Rome

The Holy Father took the world by surprise by announcing his resignation, and the world is abuzz with speculation.

Update: Phil Lawler, "The challenge Pope Benedict has left for his successor—and for ordinary Catholics" (, February 11, 2013) -- an observation on resignation, with due balance [Hat tip to J.M.]

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Extraordinary community news

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (February 10, 2013):
Holy Family Church to hold Tridentine Mass and Dinner

Detroit’s beautiful historic Sicilian parish, Holy Family, is pleased to announce their second special Mass in the Extraordinary Form, a High Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, on Friday, February 22 at 7:00 PM. The Rosary will be prayed at 6:00 PM and Stations of the Cross at 6:30 PM. Fr. Mark Borkowski will be the celebrant, and the choir of Windsor’s Assumption Church will provide the music. After Mass, everyone is invited to a Parish Salad & Pasta Dinner in the lower level Social Hall. There will be no charge for the dinner, however free will offerings may be made.

Juventútem Michigan has designated this Mass for their monthly Fourth Friday gathering. Young adults age 18-35 are invited to register on the Facebook event page that has been set up.

The church is located on the southbound I-75 service drive adjacent to the Blue Cross tower downtown. Limited parking is available on the drive surrounding the church. Additional parking is available in the Blue Cross parking structure on the south side of the church; please enter the structure on Congress Street.

Holy Family has a long tradition of offering Latin Masses in the Ordinary Form. They hope to offer additional Tridentine Masses if the turnout is good for this one. Special thanks to Holy Family’s Fr. Pino and Bonnie & Bill Leone for their support.

Churches Turn to the East

Those who attend Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form are accustomed to the celebrant facing in the same direction as the congregation as he leads them in prayer. This is known as ad oriéntem worship, facing (Liturgical) East, facing Christ, the rising Sun and Light of the world. In view of the recent news that the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship will be releasing a document suggesting that Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form be celebrated in this same traditional orientation, it is worth noting that an increasing number of churches are reinstating ad oriéntem worship for most, if not all, of their Ordinary Form Masses. Locally, St. Joseph Church in Detroit celebrates most of their scheduled Masses at their High Altar. Assumption Grotto Church recently did away with their freestanding altar; all of their Masses are now at the High Altar.

Some churches are taking even greater steps to make this sort of change. Recently, Holy Innocents Church in Long Beach, California conducted a wholesale remodel, with the approval of Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez. A Communion Rail and High Altar were installed, and all of their Masses, Ordinary and Extraordinary Form, are now celebrated facing East. The below before-and-after photos posted on various blogs this past week show the impressive results.



Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Our Lady of Lourdes)
  • Tue. 02/12 7:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Seven Holy Servite Founders, Confessors) – University of Windsor Campus Ministry Visit to the Tridentine Mass. Pizza dinner and discussion about the Extraordinary Form with Juventútem after Mass in the Student Lounge at Assumption University
  • Wed. 02/13: Ash Wednesday – Call St. Josaphat or Assumption Grotto for Mass times; not determined as of press time
  • Sun. 02/17 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (First Sunday of Lent)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 10, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Look which companies are dumping Boy Scouts

The Steady Drip displays a thorough listing of corporations, highlighting names. Craven capitulators all.

[Hat tip to Sir Anthony Sistrom]

Gun control: the other side

"Blade Runner" future in Detroit

"California's 'Blade Runner' Future comes to life ... in Detroit" (Lex Communis, February 4, 2013):
#7 Approximately one-third of Detroit's 140 square miles are either vacant or derelict.
#8 The city government of Detroit has closed dozens of schools and has decided to cut off public services to the "heavily blighted areas".
#9 According to one estimate, there are 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots in the city of Detroit today.
#10 The median price of a home in Detroit is just $9,000, and there are some areas of Detroit where you can still buy a house for $100.
#11 There are more than 85,000 streetlights in Detroit, but thieves have stripped so much copper wiring out of the lights that more than half of them are not working.
#12 Mayor Bing has announced a plan to reduce the number of streetlights in the city of Detroit to just 46,000.
#13 According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate at this point..
#14 The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City [but still lower than in Mr. Obama's beloved Chicago-- Site Mgr.].
#15 There were 377 homicides in Detroit in 2011. In 2012, that number rose to 411.
#16 Justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by an astounding 79 percent during 2011.
#17 In one recent year, the rate of self-defense killings in the city of Detroit was 2200% above the national average.
#18 Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit. Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
#19 Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
#20 Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are are telling people to "enter Detroit at your own risk".
[Hat tip to C.B.]

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize

David J. Theroux, "Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize" (The Beacon, Feb. 2, 2013), writes:
The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has recently received the prestigious Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy, awarded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Departments of Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, and the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science. Plantinga is widely known for his work in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics and Christian apologetics, and he has revolutionized scholarly interest in Christian theism, shown naturalism/atheism to be self-refuting and incoherent, and set the new standards for the defense of free will, individual agency, consciousness, rational inference, science, objective truth and morality, and more. As a result, Plantinga has both directly influenced the entire field of philosophy and has mentored and inspired new generations of top scholars who are critiquing the reductionism, relativism, materialism, collectivism, scientism, positivism, determinism, and de-humanization of the modern era. In short, Plantinga has devastated the prevailing view in Western elites that human beings are merely “matter in motion” (i.e., purposeless, accidental, robotic products of a closed, natural world ruled solely by physical laws and that truth, reason, morality, and God are illusions).

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Canonist examines concealed carry weapon policies for churches

Canonist Ed Peters has come out with an interesting look at pending Arkansas' legislation for churches to determine concealed carry policies. Fr. Z. carries a post on Peters, offering his own feedback, which is also interesting. As the latter says, summing up: "The key concept in the issue seems to be subsidiarity – letting the decisions be made at the most local level feasible." A brief excerpt from Peters:
Assuming this bill becomes law—and setting aside some questions I can’t answer about how Arkansas defines a “church”, etc.—canonically, it seems to me that, as parishes are “juridic persons” under canon law (c. 515 § 3) and pastors represent parishes in juridic affairs (c. 532), local pastors get to make this call. For several reasons (cit. om.), I think a prohibition against carrying would have to be announced if that were desired as policy in a given parish.

That said, I think a bishop would have the authority (c. 381) to prohibit Catholics (as subjects of canon law) along with others (by dint of civil law) from carrying weapons in any Catholic sacred place (c. 1205). Of course, enacting such a policy would require of ecclesiastical leadership a conscientious weighing of its pros-s and con-s (including an assessment of the trend in recent years whereby lunatics target schools and churches as places packed with defenseless victims), of the enforceability of any policy as might be enacted, and of the consequences envisioned for violation of such a policy (which consequences might run up against certain canonical rights, say, to receive sacraments). In short, I don’t think there’s an obviously right, or wrong, answer to this one. [Fr. Z. adds: "Right or wrong? Not sure. Easy or hard? Definitely HARD! So, maybe it is one which bishops would do well to stay away from?"]

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Hogan's slogans

A noble and practical-minded colleague of mine, whose surname rhymes with "Logan," recently offered this bit of down-homey Catholic wisdom over a plate of Slows slow-smoked barbecue in Corktown, the old Irish neighborhood near downtown Detroit: There are four necessary things -- indispensable things -- he said, which any Catholic needs to know in order to survive in today's world:
  • The Book of Genesis,
  • The Gospel of St. John,
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended version of the movie), and
  • Selections from the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Another recurrent theme in conversations with him is this: the family. People in Detroit never go on talking too long without the conversation coming back to the discrepancy between the latent potential in the City of Detroit and the sad state of disrepair and near-bankruptcy in which this former "Paris of the Midwest" now finds herself. No solution to the problem can ever hope to succeed, my friend is fond of saying -- not a light rail system, not a structural reorganization of the City Council, nothing -- if it does not also involve the rebuilding of robust and healthy domestic families in Detroit. I think he may be right; and part of that may depend on producing a generation familiar, minimally, with the aforementioned "four necessary things."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Shouldn't Richard III be given a Catholic burial?

Al Pacino as Kind Richard III

UK researchers confirmed that the long-lost remains of King Richard II have been found and identified, after sitting under what is now a parking lot in Leicester, in the English Midlands, for more than half a millenium. ("Remains Confirmed as King Richard II's," Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2013)

Now there is passionate talk suggesting that the Prime Minister ought to take charge and demand a ceremony that shows British schoolchildren how the English can venerate their past in a truly grand, national context, with a burial of Richard III in Westminster Abbey. ("To bury Richard III in Westminster Abbey would finally give a proper national resting place to our most unfairly maligned monarch of all," Mail Online, February 5, 2013)

King Richard, however, who was the last of the royal Plantagenet line before it was supplanted by the Tudors who famously broke with Rome over Henry VIII's libido, was a Roman Catholic. Is it proper that the contemporary descendants of the historic usurpers of the authority of the See of Peter over the Church in England impose their own novel and alien religious rites upon the remains of King Richard III? His religion was not that of the Church of England.

Miranda rights for foreign terrorists, Drone strikes on Americans, Pro-lifers now "terrorists"

  • 1) Middle Eastern terrorists get the Miranda rights read to them and are tried in civil courts of law. [Source 1, & Source 2]
  • 2) Drone strikes aimed at killing Americans are authorized. [Source]
  • 3) Pro-lifers the new "terrorist threat." [Source]

"Saint Worship"

By Orestes Brownson

All love is demonstrative. It seeks always to express itself, and the expression of love is worship. From love springs alike the worship of God and of all that is godlike or related to the supreme and central object of love.

In every age of the Church saint-worship has obtained – never, I believe, by virtue of any positive precept, but from the overflowing of the pious Catholic heart. It is, if I may so speak, a necessity of Catholic piety. The love with which the regenerate and faithful soul is filled, cannot be satisfied without it. That love must worship, and it must worship the universal God: God in Himself and God in His works, all of which through His creative act partake of His divine being and are, through the medium of the act, identified with Him. The worship would seem to the soul incomplete, defective, if it did not embrace the creature with the Creator, and especially if it did not include the saints, who of all His creatures are the nearest and dearest to Him. The heart that does not include them in its love to God, and honor them in its honor to Him, may break no positive command, but it may be assured that it has at best only a stingy love, and no reason to applaud itself for either its logic or the fullness of its devotion.

The Protestant sects regard the worship which we render to the saints, especially to the blessed mother of our Redeemer, as idolatry. But this is because they do not consider that to worship God in His creatures, especially His saints, redeemed by His Blood and sanctified by His grace, is still to worship God; or that the worship which we render to the saints is never that which we offer to God Himself. Supreme worship is due to God alone, and to give it to another is idolatry, is treason to the Most High, to the Majesty of heaven and earth; none know this better than Catholics.

Have some nations lost the will to live?

I was listening to a radio interview this afternoon on my drive home, and a gentleman was saying that at present birth-and-death rates, within another generation or so, the Japanese will lose 58% of their population. More diapers are being sold in that country for adults than children. The Finance Minister made a public statement urging the aged and infirm, in effect, to "hurry up and die," because the younger generation could no longer sustain the financial burden of supporting them.

The interviewee went on to tell his radio audience that the problem is endemic to certain modern industrialized countries today -- including many in Western Europe -- but the worst, he said, are Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Russia, with Germany not far behind. The phenomenon is almost mystifying, he suggested. It's almost as if the human species in those countries has become asexual.

But how can that be? These are precisely those countries that are overdosing on pornography and sex. Oh, but I almost forgot: they have also completely severed the sexual act from its natural end of procreation. In other words, they are sexing themselves out of existence. Irony of ironies! For Rome it was the vomitoriums. For Moderns, it's sterile sex. What a way to go!


KS Bp Finn tells National Catholic FISHWRAP to stuff it

As reported on ChurchMilitant.TV ...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Extraordinary Community News

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (February 3, 2013):
The Blessing of Candles and Throats on the Feast of St. Blase

February 2 and 3 are connected days of sorts in the Liturgical Calendar. February 2 is the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This day is also known as Candlemas Day, as the Mass Propers include a Blessing of Candles and – logistics permitting – a procession with candles during the Mass.

February 3 is the Feast of St. Blase, Bishop & Martyr. St. Blase, also sometimes spelled St Blaise, was Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia and was martyred in 316 A.D. He is known for saving a child from choking on a fishbone. The Church has memorialized this in a formal way with another special blessing of candles, followed by blessing of throats of the faithful using those blessed candles. The blessing must be performed in Latin.

Blessing of Candles and Throats [1961 Colléctio Rítuum]

℣. Adjutórium nostrum in nómine Dómini.
℟. Qui fecit cælum et terram.
℣. Dóminus vobíscum.
℟. Et cum spíritu tuo.
Omnípotens et mitíssime Deus, qui ómnium mundi rerum diversitátes solo Verbo creásti, et ad hóminum reformatiónem illud idem Verbum per quod facta sunt ómnia, incarnári voluísti: qui magnus es, et imménsus, terríbilis atque laudábilis, ac fáciens mirabília: pro cujus fídei confessióne gloriósus Martyr et Póntifex Blásius, diversórum tormentórum génera non pavéscens, martýrii palmam felíciter est adéptus: quique eídem, inter céteras grátias, hanc prærogatívam contulísti, ut quoscúmque gútturis morbos tua virtúte curáret; majestátem tuam supplíciter exorámus, ut non inspéctu reátus nostri, sed ejus placátus méritis et précibus, hanc ceræ creatúram bene+dícere ac sancti+ficáre tua venerábili pietáte dignéris, tuam grátiam infundéndo; ut omnes, quorum colla per eam ex bona fide tacta fúerint, a quocúmque gútturis morbo ipsíus passiónis méritis liberéntur, et in Ecclésia sancta tua sani et hílares tibi gratiárum réferant actiónes, laudéntque nomen tuum gloriósum, quod est benedíctum in saécula sæculórum. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti Deus, per ómnia saécula sæculórum.
℟. Amen.

[He sprinkles the candles with Holy Water.]

[Holding the candles in the form of a cross at the throat of each of the faithful, he says:]

Per intercessiónem sancti Blásii, Epíscopi et Mártyris, líberet te Deus a malo gútturis, et a quólibet álio malo. In nómine Patris, et Fílii, + et Spíritus Sancti. ℟. Amen.

Blessing of Candles and Throats [English from and the 1961 Colléctio Rítuum]

℣. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
℟. Who made heaven and earth.
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.

Almighty and most gentle God, Who didst create the multiplicity of things through Thine only Word, and didst will that same Word through Whom all things were made to take flesh for the refashioning of man; Thou, Who art great and without measure, terrible and worthy of praise, a Worker of wonders: the glorious Martyr and Bishop Blase, not fearing to suffer all sorts of diverse tortures because of his profession of faith in Thee, was suited happily to bear the palm of martyrdom: and Thou didst grant to him, among other graces, the favor that he should by Thy power cure all kinds of illnesses of the throat: we humbly beg Thy Majesty not to look upon our sins, but to be pleased by his merits and prayers and to deign in Thy venerable kindness to bless + and sanctify + this creature of wax by the outpouring of Thy grace; that all whose necks in good faith are touched by it may be freed by the merits of his sufferings from any illness of the throat, and that healthy and strong they may offer thanks to Thee within Thy Holy Church, and praise Thy glorious Name, which is blessed forever and ever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
℟. Amen.

[He sprinkles the candles with holy water.]

[Holding the candles in the form of a cross at the throat of each of the faithful, he says:]

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, Bishop and Martyr, may God deliver you from all disease of the throat, and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Ghost.
℟. Amen.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/04 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Andrew Corsini, Bishop & Confessor)
  • Tue. 02/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Agatha, Virgin & Martyr)
  • Sun. 02/10 1:00 PM: High Mass at St. Hyacinth (Quinquagésima Sunday)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 3, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Friday, February 01, 2013

Worst fears about Cardinal Mahony confirmed

Letter from Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, posted under the title, "So we were right about what we presumed regarding the Mahony regime?..." (Rorate Caeli, February 1, 2013), who also links to George Neumayr's Cardinal Mahony's Cosa Nostra (Real Clear Religion, January 25, 2013).