Monday, August 31, 2015

"Petered Out"?

Our underground correspondent we keep on retainer, Guy Noir - Private Eye, caught me completely by surprise this evening by walking right through my door at 6:37pm, unannounced and visibly agitated, and handing me a print-out of an internet article that quite apparently had him all riled up.

"This is harsh, no doubt," he said, chewing on a cigar stub. (Since when did Noir take up cigar smoking?) "But I have to admit that Ann Coulter-like broadsides aside, it raises a point that deserves comment," he added, a gravelly growl in his voice.

"What point?" I asked, studiously, trying to steady him.

He took the article from my hands and read: "The Church is supposed to be about religion. It’s not salvation from hunger or poverty or illness or global warming that Christ died on the cross to effect. Can we please have a little religion, now and then."

He snorted, his face flushed with anger: "At what point in the process of making religion modern and reasonable and inoffensive do we decaffeinate it to the point of neutering it?"

"Well, you raise an important question," said I, cautiously.

"Arnold Lunn in Whithin That City has some terrific lines on this I will have to find... Meanwhile, prepare to be offended," he declared, handing me back the print-out of his article and rubbing out his cigar stub in a saucer lying on the kitchen table.

He sighed and cleared his throat, scanning the room. "Got any Scotch around here?" he asked.

Hilary White, "Petered Out" (Remnant, August 26, 2015):
In late July, the very secular paper, USA Today, reported: “Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once Teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pontiff’s favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59% from a 76% peak early last year. Among conservatives, the drop-off has been especially sharp: Just 45% view Francis favorably today, as opposed to 72% a year ago.”

Some of the pope’s most tireless Catholic “conservative” defenders – including some who have suggested he could just wave his magic pope-wand and allow the cohabiting and divorced to receive Communion – are finally wearying of the constant barrage of nagging. Elizabeth Scalia, the doyenne of Patheos’ neo-Catholic bloggers, wrote recently that she is growing weary of Pope Francis’ constant “scolding” on his pet topics of capitalism, the poor, the environment or the ill-defined “mercy”.

Ms. Scalia observed recently that of a group of Catholics on an internet forum discussing the pope’s environmental encyclical, “some were weary-negative of the encyclical; some were weary-positive. What struck me most was that they all seemed in some way weary.”

“Some of them wish Francis was clearer in his meaning; they’re tired of trying to ‘figure out’ his point, which often seems ambiguous. Others are tired of trying to defend and explain him.” Either way, she says, “I’m just tired of feeling scolded.”

Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, noted Scalia’s backing away from Francis and also wrote in July that more Catholics on the “right” of the US Church were getting worn out by this “hyperbolic and exhausting” pontificate. Read more >>

Slouching toward the Synod ...

With the October Synod only a month away, one wonders what the rival factions are preparing in the wings. One recalls the secret meetings of the revisionist Teutonic bishops in Rome, and the recent publication of the defense of traditional marriage doctrine by eleven cardinals, like a gauntlet thrown at their feet. Should be interesting, to say the least.

From Michael Voris one has, as one should expect, this robust anticipation of the battle ahead with greetings and solicitations for support.

On the other hand, from a far different quarter, one has Amateur Brain Surgeon [TM] and this rollicking jaunt through fantasy land.

Blog & Mablog, culture wars, and the joy of battle

"In the spirit of Rachel Dolezal’s spray tan, and Bruce Jenner’s lipstick,
I propose this simple reversal of color as a way of moving forward . . ."

Doug Wilson, "And Then Swash Some More" (Blog & Mablog, August 1, 2015):
C.S. Lewis says somewhere that if war is ever lawful for a Christian, and it is, then the martial spirit is also lawful. There are times when the spirit of war descends, and in a lawful cause there are few things more exhilarating.
Consider what an eventful few months we have had. On April 24, Bruce Jenner attained unto girlhood. On June 16, Rachel Dolezal grew into her spray tan. Then on June 17 we had the Charleston shooting and subsequent uproar over the Confederate battle flag — a symbol for sober heads of states’ rights. Then just a few days later, on June 26, the SCOTUS beclowned itself an egregious assault on those very same states rights, not to mention Biology 101. And then somewhere in there some enlightened brass in the military started talking about a transgendered fighting force, I mean, what could go wrong there? Then in early July the first eucatastrophic torpedo from CMP landed amidships at Planned Parenthood. Now none of this means that God wants us to stop fighting. But it very plainly means that He wants us to be happy.

Speaking of triumphalism, this is related to triumph. And in Scripture, it is bad when the wicked triumph, and it is good when the righteous do. “Lord, How long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked triumph?” (Ps. 94:3). Good question, and we should pray that question more. “Moab is my washpot; Over Edom will I cast out my shoe; Over Philistia will I triumph” (Ps. 08:9). But isn’t saying that Moab is your washpot kind of trash-talking, kind of taunting? Isn’t it kind of like saying we are going to scale their city walls and then slap their mamas?

C.S. Lewis mentions that this spirit of battle joy is part of how Chesterton made a conquest of him.

“The sword glitters not because the swordsman set out to make it glitter but because he is fighting for his life and therefore moving it very quickly” (Surprised by Joy, p.191).

Winning, triumph, does present its spiritual challenges. We should consider them thoughtfully if and when we get there. But for the time being we have better things to do . . . like fighting. Like fighting all in. We must fight, and not like a grim-faced, moralistic thug either. We must fight like cavaliers. We must swash and we must buckle, and then we must swash some more.
 [Hat tip to JM]

More Juicy Ecumenism ...

Mark Tooley, "Evangelical Focus on the Smart, Young & Beautiful" (Juicy Ecumenism: The Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog, July 31, 2015) -- with relevance for German bishops and Vaticanistas too!  (And this time from a former CIA employee who is now president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.)
In recent years there’s been much understandable and laudable Evangelical conversation about expanding Christianity’s reach to attract diverse demographics through creative branding, especially but not exclusively Millennials.

These exertions have led to rhetorical, liturgical and sometimes theological innovations whose goals are greater persuasive power with the unchurched and unevangelized. Sometimes the tweaking is primarily about packaging, like the preacher shedding his shirt and tie for skinny jeans and t-shirts. Sometimes and more problematically it is about the substance of the Gospel, particularly sexual ethics but also about the exclusivity of Christ, the full authority of Scripture, and emphases on Christian social justice.

This ongoing conversation disproportionately focuses on reaching a particular kind of fairly narrow demographic: typically very educated, overwhelmingly Caucasian, white-collar, socially liberal, urban-minded and upwardly mobile young people. Not in-coincidentally, this well-heeled and fashionable social subset is also a preoccupation for secular commercial advertising. It’s an important group, as its members wield or will wield influence over our culture for decades to come, influencing millions. But does this demographic merit preoccupation to the near exclusion of others in Evangelicalism’s public conversation?

There are other major, often unreached for the Gospel demographics that are maybe not as prestigious but no less spiritually important and in some cases far more numerous. A gun-owning middle aged white man in West Virginia or central Pennsylvania who’s a truck driver or living on disability is not a major part of the Evangelical conversation. A near retirement age housewife who works part-time at Wal-Mart in a small Midwestern city is typically not part of the conversation. A Millennial age high school drop-out, unwed mother is typically not part of the conversation. Working class or unemployed black people are typically not part of the conversation. Nor are Asian or African immigrant families who come from traditional cultures, especially if they’re not doctors or engineers and are instead driving cabs and/or working retail. Hispanic immigrants are often topics of Evangelical public conversation because of immigration politics. But evangelistically appealing to a 35 year old Guatemalan construction worker or restaurant cook is not typically central to the conversation.

Juicy Ecumenism: wherein a Mennonite sees more clearly than many Catholics?

At the very least, this should give pause as to how the Catholic magisterium is being perceived by Evangelicals under the present pontificate:

Rick Plasterer, "Prospects and Perils for the Synod on the Family" (Juicy Ecumenism: The Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog, August 28, 2015): 
Christians believe that God has revealed eternal truths, and thus we necessarily believe that this revelation does not change regardless of changes in the world. This is the irreducible confession of faithful Christians, and is necessarily “conservative.” Our faith may be about to be put to the test, regardless of which historic branch of the Christian faith we belong to, by possible change in the formally sanctioned Catholic practice regarding sexual morality, which may result from the upcoming Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, to be held in Rome in October.

To review where the Catholic Church is at this point, Pope Francis has dramatically altered the course of the Catholic Church, from the clear direction of doctrinal orthodoxy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, itself a reaction to the attempted accommodation of the world by the Second Vatican Council, which shook the Church to its foundations. The clear direction of these popes not only cheered and rallied the Catholic faithful, but also drew support (and with some, conversion) of non-Catholic Christians similarly threatened by the inroads of the modern world into Christian life and faith. Thus, any weakening of the Catholic Church’s strong defense of historic Christian faith and morals, of God as a supreme ruler, of Jesus as offering salvation from personal sin, and of Christian sexual morality condemning sexual activity outside of the divinely ordained marriage of man and woman affects not only Catholics, but all Christians in their struggle with the world, the flesh and the devil.

Reading Pope Francis’ commitments and intentions have become something of an esoteric science, like the old science of Kremlinology, which attempted to discern the intentions and future moves of the Soviet leaders. But it does seem clear from his commitment to truth as evolving, rather than absolute, is that whatever traditionalist structures he maintains at the present time in the Catholic Church, his orthodoxy is held inside large liberal brackets. Like the Jesuits of old, in their battle with the fierce Jansenists, who championed an Augustinian emphasis on sudden conversion, Pope Francis favors “gradualism,” drawing people toward the holiness that Christ and the apostles require of believers while accepting them in the life of the Church on easy terms. It is not easy to defend this strategy from the Bible (Matt. 5:18, Matt. 5:28, I Cor. 6:18, I Thess. 4:3, II Thess. 3:6, to give a few examples), but it is an approach likely stood more chance of success in drawing people to holiness in the pre-modern world. The modern assault on the truth of the Biblical revelation is so strong and pervasive that a policy of gradualism is likely to be subverted into accepting worldliness as holiness. Feminists, homosexual activists, and those who reject the Christian doctrine of sin and salvation as an imposition on human autonomy do not want forgiveness, but acceptance as being righteous by the Church and all its people. The Pope’s statement that “the Holy Spirit has surprises” seems to foreshadow this.

So called "gender fluidity" and the distortions of language

Our friend, Guy Noir - Private Eye, sent us the link to the following (quite good) piece in a recent telegram from Western Union (his technology skills seem to have relapsed a bit): Melanie R. Cameron, "'Gender Fluidity' and the Language Contrary to Catholic Teaching (Installment #2)" (, June 25, 3015).

Guy appended this additional comment in his telegram:
I grew up in Fairfax County. So this piece struck me. People in and outside the church ask why believers can't just let all this be. The truth of the matter is no one will let us be. The historical antecedent might be different, but that certainly is the case now. Also note two things in this article. One, she is talking about eighth-graders. Absolute children. Too, I observed the double backflips she does to make sure no one thinks she is remotely prejudicial. Even so, she produces the sort of thing one would hope you hear from Rome these days. Hope, but not…

Boy Scouts of America caves to LGBT propaganda

Back on August 5, Fr. Z posted this piece, a statement by Bishop Kagan of Bismarck, ND, on the Boy Scouts decision on homosexuals.

A reader, commenting on the piece, wrote:
I’m very conflicted about this. I’m an Eagle Scout, as are my brother, father, uncles, and many male cousins. There’s a lot of great things about scouting. But even when I was still active in the early 2000s certain scouts (and scouters, as the adult employees are called) were distributing rainbow knot patches to be worn alongside the other awards on the uniform. (Above the left breast pocket, where the Ad Altari Dei relgious knot would also go.) Talking with people still involved, it seems the rainbow knot movement has grown, and is rampant in the Northeast. (My experience of the same is in Silicon Valley.)
David L. Alexander (or manwithblackhat), in another comment, writes:
As an Eagle Scout, a member of the Order of the Arrow (essentially Scouting’s honor roll), and a local Scout Commissioner for the last eleven years, I’ve been watching events with no small amount of concern. This latest decision surprises me only for its haste, but not its eventuality.

Two years ago, when restrictions on the basis of sexual orientation were lifted for youth, it was suggested that, benignly interpreted, this might not be a problem. Granted, many children in the pre- and early-adolescent years suffer from identity issues, at times in the area of psycho-sexual maturity. But there was more to the new policy than that, and those who were in denial (including, I’m sorry to say, some of the leadership of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting), expected it to go no farther. Indeed, upon becoming National President of the BSA, Dr Robert Gates insisted he would not revisit the issue during his term. One year later, he insisted on revisiting it, not just later in the year, but by this summer, citing not only the changing times, but the mounting pressure from legal challenges, not only by volunteers, but by job applicants in states with anti-discrimination laws, and once-supportive corporate foundations with anti-discrimation policies.

With little in the way of consultation from the rank-and-file, the vote by the National Executive Board last month was overwhelmingly in favor of the change, and effective immediately. Religious institutions could still select leaders on the basis of their own moral tenets, but the units they sponsor do not exist in a vacuum, not all Catholic boys can find a Catholic-sponsored troop nearby, and “Family Life” is one of the required merit badges for Eagle.

You see where this could go, right?

I’ve spent the last two years being a pain in the neck at meetings, warning my colleagues that their indifference would kill the very movement they thought they were saving. I could tell them “I told you so,” but they still wouldn’t believe it, and it still wouldn’t heal a broken heart. It certainly hasn’t helped that for the past two years, Catholic leaders involved in Scouting have maintained that the policy concerning youth did not violate Catholic teaching as long as no open sexual activity was involved. (They’re still saying it now with respect to adults, but not without reservations.) On top of that, adult volunteers who attend seminars listen to their intelligence being insulted: “The mission has not changed, the mission has not changed …” Had we not buried our heads in the sand, there might have been alternatives.

Catholic units could have organized a certain degree of separation, much as what was proposed when the BSA was founded in 1910 with the support of the very Protestant (and hence very anti-Catholic) YMCA. Catholic-sponsored units would be formed for Catholic boys, under the guidance of Catholic chaplains. Indeed, up to now, units of the Mormon Church (where it is a required priesthood formation program for boys 11-15) have long operated more or less independently. With numbers amounting to 16 to 18 percent of the youth membership, they were a force to be reckoned with.

(Now, even the Mormons were caught by surprise, and are already considering pulling out of the BSA, in favor of their own boys’ movement on an international scale.)

The other alternative could have gone a step farther, as many Scout associations in Europe are organized as “federations,” with semi-autonomous associations divided along ethnic or sectarian lines. (Switzerland’s has separate associations for French-, German-, and Italian-speaking Scouts. Israel’s has seven separate associations; for Jews, Christians, Arabs, Druze, Orthodox, and so on.) Under those circumstances, differences of religious beliefs and cultural norms are simply not fodder for conflict, and a world brotherhood of more than a century continues to flourish.

But it may be too late for the BSA. Between some trying too hard to make nice, and (I say this somewhat guardedly) others giving up the fight too early, we are seeing the end of the Boy Scouts of America as an influence on the fabric of American life. From 1999 to 2012, they lost 22 percent of their youth membership. In the two years that followed, they lost just over half that much more. If the Mormons pull out, and other disaffected parties follow, the BSA could lose as much as 25 to 30 percent MORE of its youth membership in one to two years.

They’ll tell you it’s because they increased the membership dues. They’ll tell you anything. What they won’t tell you, is what they don’t want to admit to themselves.

In the end, I never left Scouting; Scouting left me.
And this, a comment related to Confession but applicable to analogies being tossed around more broadly ...
The analogy of the Church Militant as a spiritual field hospital is pretty good, provided that we remember that in field hospitals lots of people don’t make it.

We are like pilgrim soldiers in the Church Militant, on the march to our objective of salvation in the patria. We are beset by enemies even from even within (the world, the flesh and the Devil). The Church herself is beset by enemies even from within! So, the march is hard. We cannot take the smooth and easy roads, where ambushes await us in even greater numbers and severity. Ours is the harrowing steep, narrow path. Even there the Enemy is crafty and seemingly numberless. We are going to take wounds along the way. Some of them – those of our own doing – will be serious.

The adage “all bleeding stops” applies to the spiritual life too: one of these days, people, you are going to run out of time. You are going to die and go before the Just Judge. Some people are going to run out of time and bleed out rather than [recover in a] field hospital.
[Hat tip to JM]

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Grappling with Kasperism"

"Its long-winded, repetitive and exhausting but I tried grappling with Kasperism," says the author (That the bones you have crushed may thrill, August 30, 2015).

"Treason of the Clerisy"

In case you missed it, by Maureen Mullarkey, "Treason of the Clerisy" (First Things, July 27, 2015), on the fortunes of parishes rejuvenated by Fr. Rutler's administrative tenure and taken over by his successors. On the stripping of icons as a case study in pastoral stupidity. The article begins thusly:
I foresee churches with their Jesuit bureaucrats open daily from 9-5, closed on weekends.

Georges Bernanos

Jesuits are blameless in this article, but the point stands, says Mullarkey. It always stands.

[Hat tip to JM]

GQ on Coulbert: "Totally smoking ..." Ha-ha!

Or, says our underground correspondent, Guy Noir - Private Eye, perhaps, with an eye to the pope on the cover of Vanity Fair and Colbert in GQ, the title of this post should read "AMERICAN CATHOLICISM 2015"

See Joel Lovell's GQ article: "The Late, Great Stephen Colbert" (GQ, August 27, 2015), and then this video:

And then there's Bishop-elect Robert Barron's "Stephen Colbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Henry Newman, and the Providence of God" (CWR, August 25, 2015), although I something tells me we won't be seeing Bishop Barron making the cover of either Vanity Fair or GQ, as much as he may covet the honor.

Oddie: "This Pope Does Not 'Do' Doctrine"

William Oddie, "This Pope Does Not 'Do' Doctrine" (Crisis magazine, August 28, 2015).

[Hat tip to JM]

Fr. Perrone: politics, patriotism, and national repentance in perspective

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, August 30, 2015)
Patriotism, like politics, is itself not a religious subject. That said, a lot of things not properly the province of religion have gotten much consideration by theologians in recent years, especially since Vatican Council II, even by the magisterium of the Church. This tendency may be an obfuscation of the Church’s defined mission which is to teach all nations the Gospel of Christ which has to do with eternal life. Today however we have become inured to statements by bishops on social issues (and even, with the pontificate of Pope Francis, on the subject of global warming). Personally, I decry this tendency, not because people of faith should not have these concerns, but because it is the duty of the laity, not the hierarchy, to apply the benefits of their received supernatural faith and bring them into the world.

Without entangling myself more in this moot subject–(kindly note, dear reader, the distinction between ‘moot,’ meaning disputed, and ‘mute,’ meaning silent–words often confounded and a source of irritation to the pastor)–I want to encourage your participation in the We Humble Ourselves event [LINK] taking place today/tomorrow at Ford Field Park in Dearborn. The free exercise of faith for everyone is a highly cherished right in this country, one that’s being challenged today by the menacing encroachments of government, notably in the pressure to strong-arm Catholics to provide contraception and abortion coverage for those employed by the Church and, even more recently, by the swell of public opinion, abetted by the Supreme Court, in favor of gay marriage to exert its force against the Church for upholding the irrevocable, God-given meaning of marriage. Even aside from these particulars, there is a generally perceived sense that our country is fast losing its distinctive American savor and is become prey to an uncharacteristic corporate mood of dejection and helplessness–not very healthy for the people of any nation.

Could the cause of this unsound spirit be a want of Christian faith in our country? Whenever any institution radically changes its original, inspiring purpose and motivation, the result is typically failure. Our country was founded on Christian principles (somewhat flawed, from a Catholic perspective as the founding fathers were not generally Christians of an orthodox kind). If those Christian basics of the USA’s foundation are undermined or jettisoned, will we then be the same thing we will have been, or will we rather not have become something else? Moreover, the removal of the basic moral underpinnings that have stabilized our country are supported and sustained by the Christian faith, now on a downward slope. We are thus finding ourselves to be in some strange land morally and spiritually, feeling the effects of the absence of God from public life. Our daily news tells the sad story.

The subtitle of this weekend’s event is Turning a Nation Back to God.’ Not a bad goal that. The premises are that God-fearing people make for a strong, safe and morally prosperous country and that our present woes are the consequence of a brash disregard for God’s laws and, indeed, for snubbing the Almighty Himself. While Catholics claim specific, effective remedies for moral troubles (Confession, the offering of the holy sacrifice of the Mass, prayers of reparation, Eucharistic adoration, recitation of the rosary, etc.), yet they ought not discount the capability and value of banding together people of diverse faiths to beseech God to turn our country around, that is, turning it towards Him. Such, I believe, is the aim of this non-sectarian event.

The displays and today’s (Sunday’s) play and concert in Dearborn will also remind attendees of our nation’s past in order to bestir us to rediscover that deep-seated patriotism that was once so characteristic of the American people. There is no cost to you (hotdogs and pies are optional and would be your only expense. Ample parking is available

As I said at the outset, patriotism may not itself be a concern of the Catholic faith in the narrow sense, but it is nevertheless a moral virtue related to justice, and it’s a partial fulfillment of the Fourth Commandment, an honoring of the fatherland. By all means, pray, and do your distinctively Catholic part to bring about a restoration of the American spirit–if for no other reason than to preserve the religious freedom that allows the free exercise of our Catholic faith. But, as an inspiring aside, you might want to join us who will be participants in the events of this weekend to renew your hope for the future welfare of the USA, for yourselves and for your children.

Fr. Perrone

John Paul II: "We are facing the final confrontation .... it is no longer possible to avert the coming tribulation"

I picked up a flyer on the way out of Mass this morning. Apparently a group called "A Call to Mary" (along with "Men of the Sacred Hearts" and "The International Marian Catechist Apostolate") is presenting an "Urgent Conference" in commemoration oft he forthcoming 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima in 1917. The title reads: "Fatima: Hope for the World ~ A Warning and Final Plea from Heaven to return to the Mercy of God."

The conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the St. Louise Chapel, 3477 S. Lapeer Rd, Metamora, MI 48455 (248-808-8954), and speakers include Fr. Ben Luedtke, Msgr Arthur B. Calkins, Fr. Ladis Cizik, Prof. Robert Fastiggi, Dr. William Thomas and Matthew Hill.

But what interested me were two quotes on the flyer from John Paul II, which struck me as clearly prophetic:
  • "We are now standing int he face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, between Christ and Antichrist." (Pope St. John Paul II, Philadelphia, 1976)

  • "We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, with a total dedication to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers it is possible to mitigate the coming tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectually renewed." (Pope St. John Paul II, Germany, 1980)

Tridentine Community News - EF priests traine at Fort Hood; TLM times this week

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 30, 2015):
Extraordinary Faith Priest Training Report: Fort Hood, Texas Army Post

The latest entity to take advantage of Extraordinary Faith’s offer to train priests to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass is no ordinary parish: The Army Post at Fort Hood, Texas is the largest U.S. military base in the world by population.

Ft. Hood is a modern city unto itself, with shopping centers, multi-story office buildings, major chain restaurants, a bank, a hospital, and even [private] hotels run by IHG (Holiday Inn). It’s a far cry from the stereotypical Gomer Pyle-style barracks of the past.

Military chaplains are supplied by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, which in turn “borrows” priests from dioceses around the world. There are only four Catholic priests assigned to Ft. Hood, versus approximately 100 Protestant chaplains. Those priests are busy: not only are there tens of thousands of Catholics at the post, but daily Mass is offered, versus only weekly Sunday Protestant services. Confessions and counseling are often urgently required, given the pressures of military life and the difficulties of adjusting to life back home after combat duty.

Chaplains’ Assistant Sergeant Major John Proctor had been driving an hour and a half each way with his family to the Sunday Tridentine Mass offered at Austin’s St. Mary Cathedral. He was seeking a way to train Ft. Hood’s Catholic chaplains on the Extraordinary Form without taking them away from their myriad responsibilities at the post. Extraordinary Faith’s two-day intensive training program was a more practical solution than the week-long off-site seminars offered by others.

SGM Proctor had a significant asset up his sleeve. Most if not all chapels at U.S. military installations are non-denominational by necessity, having to host a variety of services. Ft. Hood has numerous chapels across its vast acreage, but one stood out from the rest as uniquely suited to the Tridentine Mass: The Old Post Chapel has a High Altar, a Communion Rail, stained glass with Christian symbolism, pews with kneelers, a choir loft with organ, no freestanding altar, and best of all…no scheduled services. This underutilized traditionally-appointed edifice is currently used only for an occasional class.

Chaplains Fr. Lito Amande and Fr. Pawel Zemczak, along with two veterans interested in learning altar serving, participated in the two-day training at the Old Post Chapel on August 25 and 26. Fr. Amande took the significant step of celebrating his first Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the afternoon of the 26th, a moment of great grace. [Above photo by Amy Proctor]

This enterprising group has ambitious plans: One of their first goals is to celebrate a Tridentine Requiem Mass in honor of Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun. Fr. Kapaun was a U.S. Army chaplain during the Korean War who was taken as a prisoner of war by Chinese soldiers and died while in captivity. Photos abound of him celebrating Mass on the hood of a Jeep. It just so happens that a Korean War era Jeep has been preserved on the grounds of the Ft. Hood Museum. SGM Proctor and Fr. Amande [pictured below] intend to build a platform in front of it so that the Requiem for Fr. Kapaun can be celebrated on the hood of that Jeep, just as Fr. Kapaun himself used to do. Beyond that, the main objective is to establish regular Holy Masses in the Old Post Chapel.

Fr. Amande remarked that he hoped that learning the Extraordinary Form would help him celebrate the Ordinary Form with greater reverence. This is a recurring theme expressed by many priests who have devoted themselves to learning the Traditional Liturgy. If you know of a priest interesting in learning the EF, please e-mail the address at the bottom of this page.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Raymond Nonnatus, Confessor)
  • Tue. 09/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Giles, Confessor)
  • Fri. 09/14 12:00 Noon: High Mass at Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio (Votive Mass of Our Lady of Consolation) – Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz will be the celebrant. Call Prayer Pilgrimages at (248) 250-6005 for bus tour registration.
  • Fri. 09/04 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 30, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Friday, August 28, 2015

Brother Joseph Matthew Emeric professes his vows

One of my former students, Steven McIver, made his first profession of vows this evening with the Canons Regular of St. Thomas Aquinas at St. Josaphat Church in Detroit in the presence of Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reese and other clergy.

The Canons Regular of St. Thomas Aquinas, according to the bulletin distributed for the occasion, "are a Catholic association of men living a life of common prayer and charity according the the rule of St. Augustine and the more ancient liturgical expression of the Catholic faith. Members take private vows of the three evangelical councils to be lived according to the Statutes of their community, presently under ecclesiastical review. First vows mark a progression in one's membership in the community past the stage of the novitiate."

The evening began with solemn Vespers (five psalms coupled with antiphons, a short reading from Sirach, the hymns Iste Confessor and Magnificat, prayer for the dead and Angelus, all chanted in Latin). After the singing of the hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, a greeting and explanation of the vows was made by the pastor. This was followed by the profession of vows in Latin by Brother Steven McIver, who adopted the religious name, Brother Joseph Matthew Emeric.

The rite was concluded by the solemn chanting of the Te Deum. The religious community asks that we keep their newly professed and members in our prayers. God bless you, Brother Joseph Matthew Emeric.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Opposing factions wait to spin Pope's visit in their favor

Michael O'Loughlin, "A Catholic tug of war in the US awaits Pope Francis" (Crux, August 26, 2015).

"When Pope Francis starts his US road show next month, Catholics to his left and right will all be hoping to pull him a bit closer to their own causes," writes Guy Noir...

"... Just who is CRUX interviewing? Oh, that's right: Micheal Sean Winters, Robby George, and George Weigel. You know how some people are irked that all the Supreme Court Justices come from Harvard and Yale...."

Book Review: Pre-Synod Book "Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family"

Exclusive at Rorate Caeli (August 25, 2015).

Eleven Cardinals Defend Traditional Catholic Moral Teaching on Marriage and the Family , a book review by Dr. Maike Hickson. [The book will be available from Ignatius Press in September.]

Monday, August 24, 2015

Africa isn't buying Obama's sodomy sales pitch: "Is this what Obama wants to bring to Africa as a human right, to eat the poo poo ..."

"Obama selling sodomy. Africa ain't bying." (ABS, August 7, 2015). As ABS blogger points out, the main reason for his post is the second video, which is it "not only one of the funniest vids to be seen anywhere, it does make a point and the facial responses of his audience are fantastic."

New textament (Bible in text-message language)

From New Oxford Review ...
Ed. Note: This year marks the tenth anniversary of The News You May Have Missed. In celebration of this milestone, we bring you the “top ten” entries, as determined by the editors, from the first ten years of this column.

10. New txtament (Dec. 2005)

The Bible Society in Australia has translated the Old and New Testaments into text-message language, the form of shorthand communication made popular on the Internet and cell phones. “In da Bginnin God cre8ed da heavens & da earth,” the SMS (short message service) version begins. “Da earth waz barren, wit no 4m of life; it waz unda a roaring ocean cuvred wit dRkness.” A spokesman for the society commented, “The old days when the Bible was available only in a sombre black cover with a cross on it are long gone” (emphasis added) (Telegraph, Oct. 7, 2005).

The marriage license office clerk

Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license." 

"Names?", said the clerk.

"Tim and Jim Jones."

"Jones?? Are you related?? I see a resemblance."

"Yes, we're brothers."

"Brothers?? You can't get married."

"Why not?? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?"

"Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's incest!"

"Incest?" No, we are not gay."

"Not gay?? Then why do you want to get married?"

"For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don't have any other prospects."

"But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who've claim they'd been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman."

"Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I'm straight doesn't mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Something religious

Quoted in the latest issue of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 1/2 (Spring/Summer 2015), p. 42:
"If the Church were not Divine, the Council would have buried her."

-- Giuseppe Cardinal Siri

Something political

A reader writes, saying "Hey, chew on this from Thomas Sowell":
In her latest book, Adios, America! Ann Coulter says, “if Romney had won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, instead of 27 percent, he still would have lost. On the other hand, had he won just 4 percent more of the white vote, he would have won.”
[Hat tip to JM]

Saturday, August 22, 2015

So Facebook lets you choose between 58 gender options, but you're locked out if you're a priest and call yourself "Fr. Jones"

The regime of "tolerance" is at it again. Have a look ABC identified 58 gender options for Facebook users, including Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Cisgender male, Cisgender female, Female to Male, Gender Fluid, Intersex, Male to Female, Trans Female, Trans Male, Transgender Female, Transgender Male, Transsexual Female, Transsexual Male, etc.

The regime is willing to accommodate nearly any conceivable sexual variant or deviation; but let a priest ("gasp!") use the prefix "Fr." or "Msgr." and -- horror of horrors! -- the threat of religious prejudice might offend some of these lilly-livered tyrants, so: "Cut 'em loose!!"

This may seem trivial, but it's not. Big things start small. First they slowly slide. Then they gather momentum. Soon insanity morphs into totalitarian tyranny. Then hell is unleashed. In the name of "love, peace, and tolerance."

See: Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, "Facebook locks out Catholic priest Msgr. Charles Pope, for being a 'Monsignor'" (Fr. Z's Blog, August 21, 2015).

Holy Innocents - Manhattan: Blue Mass ... TLM!!!

Via Fr. Z:

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Tridentine Community News - Bp Hanchon Mass moved to SS. Augustine & Monica; Book on history of Holy Name of Mary parish; Mass times

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 23, 2015):
New Location for Bishop Hanchon’s Mass: St. Augustine – St. Monica Church, Detroit

This Friday, August 28 at 7:00 PM, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon will celebrate a Pontifical Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Augustine at Detroit’s St. Augustine – St. Monica Church, at 4151 Seminole St. This is a new location for the Mass; the previously advertised location, St. Paul on the Lake Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, had to close unexpectedly for ceiling repairs. This will be the first Tridentine Mass to be held at St. Augustine – St. Monica in 45 years. Juventútem Michigan will host a dinner for young adults following the Mass. [Photo by Mark Nemecek, Detroit Church Blog]

Book Review: A History of Holy Name of Mary Parish by Michael Power

First-time visitors to the St. Benedict Tridentine Community’s First Sunday and every-Tuesday site, Holy Name of Mary Church, may be somewhat perplexed upon entering the building. Clearly this English Gothic edifice was originally built for the Traditional Mass, but many of its historic architectural components have been removed. There’s a classic three-step platform for a High Altar, surmounted by a tester (a mini-baldacchino) but…no High Altar. There are niches for Side Altars…but only a statue of our Blessed Mother on the left, and the Tabernacle on a post on the right. The walls are painted stark white. How did it look originally?

The 1984 book, A History of Holy Name of Mary Parish by Michael Power provides the answers, with photos of the original sanctuary arrangement, adorned with beautiful sacred art. The book documents the founding of the parish, originally known as Our Lady of Prompt Succour. Largely a biography of Msgr. John Rooney, the founding pastor who led the parish for 51 years, 1917-1968, the book conveys the dedication this one priest had for the parish during its heyday. Our Lady of Prompt Succour changed its name to Holy Name of Mary in 1943 upon Msgr. Rooney’s recommendation, because the original name was determined to be confusing and unmemorable.

The reader gets the distinct impression that the parish was founded in a very different era. One of the highlights of the book is the address which then-reigning Diocese of London Bishop Michael Fallon delivered at the cornerstone laying ceremony for the “new” church in 1926:

“There is a society that attracts the attention of all mankind. It has members in every land, and numbers among its followers men and women of every known colour, race, and speech. These members are found in all continents; they have crossed the seven seas. This society is the most remarkable that the world has ever known or ever will know. It was founded by One Who died on the Cross at Calvary – a criminal in the eyes of His executioners.

Yet, the society He had founded did not end with His death. It was propagated by a little band of poor fishermen, and has spread all over the world, into all parts of the earth that are inhabited by man. This society is the Roman Catholic Church.

This society differs from all the other societies that have ever existed, or will ever exist, in the aims it has in view. Other societies have been organized for fraternal, political, and financial reasons, but there is only one that has a purely spiritual aim – the sanctification and salvation of the souls of mankind.

The one, single purpose of the Catholic Church is to save souls. It is true that there is no human interest that is foreign to the sympathy, support, and prayers of the Church. It is true that masters of art and of architecture, poets and leaders in national affairs have been her children, but the fact remains that all these things are of secondary importance to her. The Catholic Church thinks more of the soul of one little child than it does of all the material greatness of the earth. With her, material bulk is not the greatest factor – the salvation of souls is her one primary consideration.

The Catholic Church, therefore, is a centre for the salvation and sanctification of souls. It is the place where little children are baptized, and where they receive the teachings of Christianity. Again, it is a place where their lives are directed as they grow older; and when the shadows of life lengthen, it is the place where they are given solace.”

We can only admire the clarity with which His Excellency expressed the above thoughts. A History of Holy Name of Mary Parish is unfortunately out of print, however copies may be available for borrowing from longstanding parishioners or staff at Assumption Parish.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
  • Tue. 08/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Louis IX, King & Confessor)
  • Fri. 08/28 7:00 PM: Pontifical Missa Cantata at St. Augustine – St. Monica, Detroit (St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor) – Bishop Donald Hanchon, celebrant. Dinner for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juventútem Michigan
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 23, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Friday, August 21, 2015

The middle way between being a "Cafeterial Catholic" and a "Feeding Tube Catholic"

John Zmirak, "Catholics: Are You a Cafeteria or a Feeding Tube Catholic?" (The Stream, July 15, 2015): "There is a middle way between haughtily choosing among Church teachings, and lying back like a coma patient ingesting whatever the Vatican Press Office sends you."

[Hat tip to L.S.]

Maltese bishop: remove communion ‘barriers’ so adulterers can "savor the delicacies of God's love."

"Maltese bishop: remove ‘barriers’ to those who have remarried outside the Church" (, August 21, 2015). The head of the diocese said, among other things:
One is hopeful that in the coming Synod, our Mother the Church, while remaining faithful to the Gospel of the Family, and sustains those families who are “steady” on their feet, seeks to be faithful to the Gospel of God’s Mercy, and as she acted in the remote forgotten past, today succeeds to find the pathways which would enable those who, in spite of the fact that they did not succeed in their first marriage/relationship, and hope in God’s mercy, to savor the delicacies of God love. We should not keep back from releasing the therapeutic energy which Jesus entrusted to us, His Church, to help the penitent sinner who yearns to break free from his past prison and reconcile himself with God and with the Church without expecting him to shoulder burdens which he morally cannot do.
Sigh ...

What were they teaching in the seminaries back when these prelates were in school? Either they are uninformed, or intellectually inept, or malevolent, or simply caving to social pressure. I suppose the most charitable assumption is the latter. Lord, send Malta strong, manly bishops! [Hat tip to P. Borealis]

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Republicans shoot themselves in the foot

This intelligent woman was shut out of the first Republican (Fox News) debate. Why? Ratings: she's virtually unknown because Republicans would rather listen to threadbare bumper sticker platitudes than think through an intelligent proposition. Idiots. This tops Plato writing about philosopher kings. What? Philosopher queens? Nobody's going to buy it. Which is too bad, because it's nice to see a credible intelligent woman addressing our political mess. For a change.

Magister: a Japanese perspective on Benedict XVI, Argentinian political perspectives on Bergoglio

[Hat tip to JM]

Monday, August 17, 2015

"The Covenant Theology of the Rainbow and Why the Homosexual Community Uses It"

Not bad: Taylor Marshall.

Monica Miller contra Mark Shea and Robert George on the ethics of the Planned Parenthood videos

Monica Migliorino Miller, "Were Planned Parenthood Videos Produced Unethically?" (Crisis Magazine, August 17, 2015).

Tridentine Community News - Resurgence of the Dominican Order; Recipe for Dominican Vocations Success; Bishop Hanchon's Mass location; more

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 16, 2015):
he Resurgence of the Dominican Order

When one considers the situation of vocations to the priesthood in North America, a few trends are evident: 1) Most dioceses are severely challenged with relatively few candidates for the diocesan priesthood, insufficient to replace priests who are retiring and dying. 2) Many old-line religious orders such as the Redemptorists and the Basilians are struggling to attract new candidates to their communities.

There are some bright spots, however. Many if not most religious orders and communities of priests devoted to the Latin Mass have more vocations than they can handle. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, and the London, England and Toronto Oratories of St. Philip Neri are examples of such institutions.

With regards to the diocesan priesthood, the dioceses where faithfulness to Sacred Tradition is embraced and encouraged have the least problem attracting vocations. Lincoln, Nebraska and Madison, Wisconsin come to mind.

In addition to these groups, one longstanding religious order has regained significant traction over the past decade: The Order of Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominicans. In recent years the Dominicans have developed a newfound enthusiasm for their own traditional liturgy, the Dominican Rite Mass. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum granted permission for religious orders to revive and celebrate their own historic rites, alongside the universal Roman Rite Extraordinary Form. Like the Norbertine usage of the Roman Rite and the Ambrosian Rite of Milan, the Dominican Rite is a Latin Mass celebrated ad oriéntem, with its own calendar, readings, and modified rubrics. Photos often depict the celebrant standing at the altar with fully outstretched hands, a distinctive posture not employed in the Roman Rite Extraordinary Form.

The Dominicans have taken Summórum’s freedoms to heart: Holy Rosary Church in Portland, Oregon; Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska; St. Dominic Church in San Francisco; the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California; Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle; St. Patrick Church in Columbus, Ohio; St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City; and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC are among the many sites that now hold occasional if not regular Dominican Rite Masses.

Perhaps the most outspoken advocate of the Dominican Rite is Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., who runs a blog on the subject: Fr. Augustine is behind Dominican Liturgy Publications, an effort to publish and republish a broad spectrum of liturgical books useful for churches offering the Dominican Rite: (The faithful might benefit from obtaining a Dominican Hand Missal to follow the Mass.) Tutorial videos on the Dominican Rite are available at:

The Recipe for Dominican Vocations Success

Enthusiasm for religious traditions is not the sole reason the Dominicans have experienced vocations success. Going hand in hand with that is a contemporary approach to publicity: The Dominicans have an extensive promotional program utilizing the web and social media. For examples of how to “do vocations right”, take a look at,, and The Dominicans could give lessons on how to convey the appeal of traditional practices while still being contemporary in outreach and relevant to mainstream Catholic society. No one would consider them antiquarians or look askance at their unique habits after investigating them a little further.

Consider this one-line vocations solicitation from the OPEast vocations site: “Young men, 18-35 years old, considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers are invited to a 3PM Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite for the Solemnity of our Holy Father, St. Dominic (old calendar) organized by St. Patrick’s Catholic church in Columbus, Ohio.” What other religious order not primarily or exclusively devoted to the Extraordinary Form would make such a pitch? Others may wish to take heed: their approach is working. The Dominicans have enjoyed a 15% increase in vocations over the past decade as they have embraced this new philosophy.

It’s worth noting that one of the St. Benedict Tridentine Community’s altar servers joined the Dominicans in 2014: Br. Augustine Marogi.

New Location for Bishop Hanchon’s Mass

The Tridentine Mass that will be offered by Bishop Donald Hanchon on Friday, August 28 at 7:00 PM will now be held at Detroit’s St. Augustine – St. Monica Church, the first time that Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form will have been offered there in 45 years. The original location for the Mass, St. Paul on the Lake Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, had to close unexpectedly for ceiling repairs.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Hyacinth, Confessor)
  • Tue. 08/18 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Daily Mass for the Dead)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 16, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fr. Perrone on the Assumption of Mary

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, August 16, 2015):

“You, Lord, will not allow your faithful ones to undergo corruption.” 

This line from the psalter applies in a particular way to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose body, soon after Her death, did not begin the process of decay as it must for the rest of us mortals. She indeed had had Her share in the sufferings of Christ through what we call compassion, a sensitive participation in the agony of soul and even, one would think, the physical pains of Her Son’s Passion. Though not Herself the Redeemer, She is a sharer in the work of redemption, a “co-redemptrix” (the Latin suffix indicating the feminine gender). It was only right then that Her unsullied soul should not long be separated from Her body after death but be shortly (if not immediately) reunited with Her body in a state of glory, the prelude to Her glorious arising into the heavens, trailing after Her Son’s Ascension. 

The reason why the Assumption is little known and appreciated is that the Virgin Mary is an unfathomable mystery which only the infinite God fully comprehends. If we could grasp the significance of a soul–anyone’s–in a state of grace, we would be in a state of perpetual wonder. How then would it be to understand the one human person who was ever “full of grace,” even from the moment of Her conception? How ineffably marvelous would She then appear? One of Her many titles in the litany is “Mirror of Justice,” a curious metaphor which indicates in a covert way that Holy Mary was so pure a light, that is, so suffused with grace, that She, like a mirror, seemed as if to be the light reflected. The truth is that only God is Light. Mary then is the reflected light, so clearly shining as light would reflect into a mirror. The words ‘of justice’ there signify utter goodness, righteousness, before God. Only the Holy Virgin stands thus before God, so radiant Herself that, if we were to see Her in all Her heavenly splendor, we would be led to think She Herself were God. As I indicated, the reason why the mystery of Mary is little appreciated is because of the disability of our minds to be able to understand what it means for anybody to be in a state of grace. Grace is something entirely supernatural, dazzlingly brilliant as it is, but entirely evading our senses. So impoverished are we in regard to spiritual things generally in our overly sensate condition that we tend to downplay, if not disregard entirely, supernatural things. Too bad for us, this blindness to divine truth. We should not on that account belittle things we do not, cannot understand. We should rather rely on the teachings of holy Church to which the revelation of Mary’s greatness has been conveyed and thank God that there was at least one human person who lived in an extraordinary way so as to have been found wholly pleasing and acceptable to Him, without any deviation or compromise. Her incomparable greatness is the reason why Saint Bernard said, “Of the Virgin Mary there can never be enough.”

This is our parish’s great feast day. I have been the fortunate pastor of this parish for twenty years now, yearly recalling some new aspect of the fascinating mystery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Were I to go on as pastor for another score of years–Heaven forbid!, you may say–I could never begin to discover all the richness of this single mystery of the Catholic faith. (If full comprehension of any aspect of natural science is impossible–e.g. the complete knowledge of the working of a single cell in a human body–how much more so is the impossibility to comprehend supernatural things.)

I am hoping, as I write this in advance, that our day will be another blest day. Our Lady’s Heart appeals to Her Son to grant graces untold upon all those who implore Her help. We are indeed much in need of Her intercession. As our world goes ever farther from the ways of truth and morality, we need the Mother of Christ to speak to Jesus as She did at Cana when She said, “they have no wine.” Applied to our time this becomes, ‘they have little truth, few guides, little faith, hope, and love.’ Our Lord knows the sound of Her voice and stands ever at the ready to Her prayers.
May all benefit from the maternal goodness of Mary this Assumption Day 2015, and especially those who make their way to visit our parish and our Grotto to honor Her and spend their prayers. I am grateful to be the unworthy pastor of such a blest place, and am grateful to all of you as well, parishioners and visitors, for carrying on in the long line of tradition which recognizes and celebrates a mystery we can never completely appreciate: Mary’s triumphal Assumption into heaven.

Fr. Perrone

Who's afraid of the October Synod?

The mainstream Voice of the Family group has amassed a collection of articles anticipating the October Synod this fall that raises serious concerns about where things are heading. Here are some examples: Here are some quotes from the second post listed above:
John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family, said: “The Instrumentum Laboris threatens the entire structure of Catholic teaching on marriage, the family and human sexuality.

“The document undermines the doctrine of Humanae Vitae on contraception, is neutral on the killing of unborn children by IVF, and prepares the ground for Church acceptance of cohabitation and same-sex unions.

“The Instrumentum Laboris also resurrects the discredited Kasper proposals for Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers, reduces the indissolubility of marriage to a mere ‘ideal’, and undermines the position of parents as their children’s primary educators.”

Mr Smeaton continued: “Voice of the Family urges Catholics not to be complacent or give in to a false sense of obedience, in the face of attacks on the fundamental principles of the natural law.

“Catholics have a duty to oppose the direction being taken at the Synod. If that direction is not reversed, the greatest victims will be those who are most vulnerable, especially children, born and unborn”, concluded Mr Smeaton.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday Aug. 14th CM Headline News

See online video summary HERE.
  • Bishop: 'False Prophets Inside the Church'
    "A certain clerical pressure group" is pushing a politically correct Marxist agenda. FULL STORY COMING SOON
  • Head of Pope's Gang of Nine to Lead Conference Attacking Church Doctrine
    Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga will be part of a "Shadow Council II." FULL STORY COMING SOON
  • CO Court Rules Against Christian Baker
    Rules Christian man must bake cakes for gay weddings. FULL STORY COMING SOON
  • Bishop Condemns Sodomy, Apologizes
    He still faces criminal complaints. FULL STORY
  • 11-Year-Old Paraguayan Girl Gives Birth
    She's been the center of an abortion fight in the conservative country.

For the record: "Voris obtains 'clarification' from Bishop Schneider which confirms SSPX not in 'schism'”

[Disclaimer: See Rules 7-9]

"Voris refuted by clarification from Bp. Schneider" (SSPX news & events, August 14, 2015).

The Vatican, the Devil, and the United Nations

A Lepanto Institute report of some historical and contemporary interest: Catholic dollars to pro-abortion, same-sex 'marriage' causes, and much more.

Tridentine Community News - Seminary Day for altar boys; Pópulus Summórum Pontíficum Event in Rome; St. Josaphat Mass Mob; Detroit Cathedral Mass report; Ordained altar servers return to Windsor Mass; New location for London, Ontario TLM; and more

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 2, 2015):
In case you missed it, this column is from August 2nd, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost:

Seminary Day for Altar Boys Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary is holding a Seminary Day for Altar Boys on Saturday, August 14 from 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM. The event is open to young men who have completed 7th grade through high school and is intended to expose those who have served at the altar to seminary life. Many priests first developed an interest in their vocation while assisting at the altar, and that has certainly been our experience here in the Detroit and Windsor Latin Mass Communities. For more information or to register, visit or call (313) 868-7050 by August 9. This same web site also contains information about discernment retreats and other events offered throughout the year for men young and not so young who are contemplating the priesthood.

An analogous day is being planned in the near future for young women considering the religious life. More details will be printed here when they are announced.

Pópulus Summórum Pontíficum Event in Rome

It started with 1,000 people in 2013, then 1,500 pilgrims in 2014. More are expected this year. We’re talking about the annual Pópulus Summórum Pontíficum pilgrimage to Rome, to be held this year from October 22-25. Supporters of the Traditional Mass from around the world gather for fellowship and worship. The highlight will be a Pontifical Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on October 24.

For more information, visit

Our crew from Extraordinary Faith is currently making arrangements to film this event.

St. Josaphat Mass Mob

Next Sunday, August 9 St. Josaphat Church will hold a Solemn High Mass at 9:00 AM, in anticipation of the Detroit Mass Mob Mass (Ordinary Form, English) there at 12:00 Noon. The St. Joseph Cappella will sing at the 9:00 AM Mass. The St. Josaphat parking lot is for handicap only that day; all other parking will be at the field next to Sweetest Heart of Mary Church, with a shuttle bus starting at 8:00 AM. A parking document has been created: On Sunday, August 16, Mass at St. Josaphat returns to its usual time of 9:30 AM.

Detroit Cathedral Mass Report

Over 150 faithful turned out this past Friday, July 31 for the second Extraordinary Form Mass held at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral since Vatican II. Altar servers from the Oakland County Latin Mass Association and the St. Benedict Tridentine Community assisted. The celebrant was frequent OCLMA celebrant Fr. Clint McDonell, the Deacon was Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz, and the Subdeacon was Fr. David Bechill. Joe Balistreri and members of the Archdiocesan Chorus ably provided the music.

Ordained Altar Servers Return to Windsor Mass

Former Windsor Tridentine Mass altar servers Deacon John Tonkin and Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz returned to the St. Benedict Tridentine Community for last Sunday’s Solemn High Mass at St. Alphonsus Church. Deacon John served as Deacon and Fr. Joe served as Subdeacon. Deacon John will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Athanasius Schneider on October 17.

New Location for London, Ontario Tridentine Mass

Effective ... August 2, the London, Ontario Extraordinary Form Community has a new home at Holy Angels Church in St Thomas. Holy Angels happens to be the parish where principal celebrant Fr. John Johnson is assigned. Holy Mass will be held every Sunday at 1:30 PM.
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 2, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Friday, August 14, 2015

Catechesis and the Average Catholic

Ever wonder what the “average American Catholic” looks like?

The reference to this piece in the New Oxford Review was sent to me by Guy Noir - Private Eye, who quite rightly asserts that the Sheen quote at the end is worth the whole piece!
“In religious matters, the modern world believes in indifference. Very simply, this means it has no great loves and no great hates; no causes worth living for and no causes worth dying for. It counts its virtues by the vices from which it abstains, asks that religion be easy and pleasant,…dislikes enthusiasm and loves benevolence, makes elegance the test of virtue and hygiene the test of morality, believes that one may be too religious but never too refined. It holds that no one ever loses his soul, except for some great and foul crime such as murder. Briefly, the indifference of the world includes no true fear of God, no fervent zeal for His honor, no deep hatred of sin, and no great concern for eternal salvation.”— Fulton J. Sheen

Beautiful article about Pope Benedict

In case you missed it: Damian Thompson, "The return of Benedict XVI" (The Spectator, July 11, 2015): "The Pope Emeritus has not vanished into monastic silence. He’s still offering comfort for those who prefer his vision to that of Pope Francis."

One of the finest speeches Benedict XVI ever delivered was about sacred music. It is a small masterpiece, in which Benedict recalls his first encounter with Mozart in the liturgy. ‘When the first notes of the Coronation Mass sounded, Heaven virtually opened and the presence of the Lord was experienced very profoundly,’ he said.

Benedict robustly defended the performance of the work of great composers at Mass, which he insisted was necessary for the fulfilment of the Second Vatican Council’s wish that ‘the patrimony of sacred music [is] preserved and developed with great care’.

Then he asked: what is music? He identified three places from which it flowed. First, the experience of love, opening ‘a new grandeur and breadth of reality’ that inspires music. Second, ‘the experience of sadness, death, sorrow and the abysses of existence’. These open ‘in an opposite direction, new dimensions of reality that can no longer find answers in discourses alone’. Third, the encounter with the divine. ‘I find it moving to observe how, in the Psalms, singing is no longer enough for men — an appeal is made to all the instruments: reawakened is the hidden music of creation, its mysterious language.’

You can find footage of part of this speech online. It shows Benedict in his prime, speaking with light fluency, dressed in papal robes and appearing thoroughly relaxed in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

Ah, the good old days, traditionalists may sigh. But perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t referred to ‘Pope Benedict’. That is because he gave the speech last Saturday.

When Benedict suddenly vacated the chair of Peter in February 2013, he announced that he would live out his days in silence in the Vatican monastery of Mater Ecclesiae. If that was a promise, he has never quite kept to it.