Sunday, July 29, 2007

Regensburg II

The pope's personal secretary shows that he too has a pair and isn't affraid to point out the elephant in the room:

Pope Benedict's personal secretary, Msgr Georg Gaenswein, says that attempts to spread Islam in the West are undeniable and that the Catholic Church sees the "threat to Europe's identity" and is not afraid to say to say so.

The Economic Times reports that Msgr Gaenswein warned against the spread of Islam in the West in an interview with a German newspaper published on Friday.

"We cannot deny the attempts to spread Islam in the West. And we should not be too understanding and let this blind us to the threat to Europe's identity," he told the weekly magazine of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

"The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected with it should not be ignored out of a wrongly understood respectfulness," the magazine quoted him as saying.

Gaenswein described as "prophetic" the highly controversial speech the pope made at the University of Regensburg when he visited Germany last September in which he seemed to link Islam to violence.

"The speech was precisely meant to counter a kind of naivete. It is clear that there is not only one Islam and the pope does not know anybody who speaks with binding authority to all Muslims," he said.

"The concept groups many different schools ... some of whom use the Koran to justify reaching for a gun," he said.

In the speech at the University of Regensburg in his native Germany, Pope Benedict quoted a medieval Christian emperor who criticised some teachings of the Prophet Mohammed as "evil and inhuman".

The lecture sparked days of sometimes violent protests in Muslim countries, prompting the pontiff to say that he was "deeply sorry" for any offence and to attribute Muslim anger to an "unfortunate misunderstanding".

But he stopped short of apologising for the remarks.

God bless Msgr. Gaenswein and God bless Benedict XVI.

If anyone is interested in this particular topic of Europe losing its identity to Islam and again with secularism, I highly recommend the book "Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam: co-authored by Benedict XVI and Marcello Pera.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My local Catholic newspaper on Summorum Pontificum

I've been waiting for the latest issue to come out so I could see how they would treat the Motu Proprio. The whole article is actually pretty long and goes into detail, but I'll just quote a small portion. I was actually pleasantly surprised:

"The extraordinary form of the mass differs from the ordinary form in a number of ways." (notice the use of the term "extraordinary" and "ordinary" as opposed to more perjorative terms)

"The priest celebrating the extraordinary form faces the same direction as the congregration and prays the mass in latin." (YAY! the reporter didn't try to spin it by saying "with his back to the people" and didn't refer to latin as a "dead language no one understands")

"While the ordinary form of the mass does not prohibit either this posture or the usw of Latin for all or parts of the Mass, in practice, the great mystery is celebrated in the local vernacular with the priest facing the congregation." (I found this a nice comment showing that such a practice isn't completely alien to the ordinary form, contrary to popular belief.)

"Also, much more of the extraordinary form of the mass is prayed in a low voice, including the entire canon." (Again, notice the missing spin as others against the MP would say "mumble")

"The silence, ritual and prayer can lend a more transcendant nature to the Mass and and attracts Catholics of all ages, said Fr, Kenneth Fryer, FSSP, pastoral administer for Mater Misericordiae Mission, which celebrates the extraordinary form of the mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish." (Who is a very pious and kind man, btw. When I go up for communion I always notice beads of sweat on his face--this guy's putting everything he has into this mass. That's dedication.)

"The extraordinary form 'expresses itself perhaps in a more sublime way,' he said, explaining why younger peole who never grew up with the 1962 missal are attracted to it." (Again, a comment that the mass is seeing a lot of youth participation, and not just for nostalgic old people.)

Interestingly enough, nowhere does the article bring up the SSPX like so many others do, as an attempt to spin the Holy Father's decision as mere pandering to "radtrads".

The article also provided a small quote from our Bishop about the MP:

"Bishop Thomas J, Olmsted said that this document reflects the Holy Father's desire to 'strengthen the Church's Liturgical life.'

" 'It reflects his long-standing love of the Sacred Liturgy and his profound understanding of the history and theology of the eucharistice sacrifice,' the bishop said.

" 'It also shows his deep appreciation of the 2,000 year tradition of the Holy Mass, and especially of the way that this tradition grows organically over the centuries,' he added."

He gets it.

I only with every other bishop in the west felt the same way. I feel very blessed for our new bishop, and my heart goes out to those whose bishops limit or forbid them from experiencing the extraordinary form that I have such wide access to.

God bless bishop Olmsted and God bless the Holy Father.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Funny Church Bulletin Announcements

here's a few kneeslappers (That's what us old farts call "jokes")

"• For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."

"• This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends."

"• This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar."

Read the rest over at Salve Regina:

Today's Special Remembrance

Today the Church honors St. Camillus of Lellis

"Son of a military officer who had served both for Naples and France. His mother died when he was very young. Spent his youth as a soldier, fighting for the Venetians against the Turks, and then for Naples. Reported as a large individual, perhaps as tall as 6'6", and powerfully built, but suffered all his life from abscesses on his feet. A gambling addict, he lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins; they converted him.

He entered the Capuchin noviate three times, but a nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, each time forced him to give up. He went to Rome for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. Priest. Founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians) who, naturally, care for the sick both in hospital and home. The order expanded with houses in several countries. Camillus honored the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. Reported to have the gifts of miraculous healing and prophecy."

Born: Naples, Italy 1550, Died: Genoa, Italy 1614


St. Camilus, ora pro nobis

Summorum Pontificum on EWTN

"The World Over", a news program hosted by Raymond Arroyo on EWTN, recently covered Summorum Pontificum in fair detail. In case you missed the original showing and the encore, you can download the episode as an mp3 from their podcast section.

Podcasts last for about a week, I think, until they're updated. So if you want it, get it now.

Anti-Catholicism at CNN

This just pissed me off enough to write about it. Special thanks to for bringing this to light.

Roland S. Martin decided to write an editorial about the latest document released by the CDF. Here we go:

"(CNN) -- Non-Catholics who are up in arms of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the only true church in the world is that of Catholicism shouldn't even bother getting upset. Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention."

As the spiritual leader of the largest christian faith on earth, and given his lack of public appearances in contrast to JPII, I doubt he has a hard time getting, or desires, more attention. That's quite a juvenile argument.

"For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life."

And it seems you, sir, are wholly ignorant concering from whence those scriptures came. The Catholic Church was nearly 400 years old by the time the bible was put together. This argument is also a strawman, as the document states other christian faiths can provide some truth to its followers which can lead to the full truth. There is no such thing as "true" salvation" as there is no such thing as "fake" salvation. It either is or isn't.

"Sorry, let me take that back. I've really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That's because those first 25 years were spent as a die-hard Catholic."

So for those first 25 years you never knew the scriptures? Well whose fault is that? Did you expect the Holy Father himself to yank you off your lazy bum and shove a bible in your face? What the hell were you doing when three readings as well as pslams were read every week at mass? Don't try to pin your own laziness on the Church.

You seem to hold to this "either-or" mentality that you're either a card-carrying Catholic or you're well-read in the scriptures. Why not both? oh, because that would make your own scriptural illiteracy your own fault and not the Church's.

"That's right, I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. One of the first meetings to build the church I was raised in -- Our Lady Star of the Sea in Houston -- took place in my grandparents' living room. Many of my Saturdays and Sundays were spent serving as an altar boy, Catholic Youth Organization leader, dedicated student of Catechism, and constantly reciting the Holy Rosary."

Is that a bad thing? If you were an altar boy then you must have heard all of the scripture readins during mass. No? then how about when you were a "dedicated student of the Catechism"? There's plenty of scripture in there. No? What about the rosary, those prayers are scriptural. Still no dice? Wow, you're either a lazy ignoramous or a lazy liar.

"And the reality is that we were never really encouraged to study the Scriptures. The standard practice was for all of us to read the same pamphlets passed out by the church, recite the readings from the New and Old Testaments, listen to the Scripture chosen for us in the Gospel and hear a normally bland homily."

Last I checked, readings from the Old and New testaments as well as the gospel count as reading scripture... Unlike most denominations, there's more to Catholicism than scripture alone.

However, the Church grants a partial indulgence for reading scripture, a plenary indulgence of this reading is at least for a half hour.

Also, we as Catholics are exhorted not only by St. Jerome (the first transcriber of the Bible) to read scripture, but by Pope Leo XIII in Providentissiumus Deus, Benedict XV in Spiritus Paraclitus, and Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu. But I guess that's just more old men trying to get attention, right?

"That isn't always the case at some Catholic churches. If you visit St. Sabina in Chicago, Father Michael Pfleger will surely have your soul jumping with his strong sermons and willingness to engage the community to get involved in direct action."

Ah, yes. The obligatory "display the other side of the argument". Too bad this is the only time you'll do so.

"Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ."

Yes, YOU definitely wasted your time, not the Church. You didn't even pay attention. Jesus Christ was with you, mere feet away from that altar boy so many years ago. But God knows what took precedence over Him, as you don't even remember scripture readings in mass.

"And that's why Pope Benedict XVI is meaningless, along with his decision to re-state the primacy of the Catholic Church. This week, the pope released a document correcting interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, which some say modernized the church. But for hardliners like Pope Benedict XVI, the liberals went too far in some of their declarations."

But not far enough for liberals like you, right? After Benedict XVI and you die, we'll see who's more meaningless. Only the Catholic Church makes its claim of primacy and only the Catholic Church can back it up. And it drives people like you nuts. The gall of some people...

What about "feed my lambs" "feed my sheep" "You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church" "I give to you the keys of heaven and earth" power to bind and loose, etc. Yeah, you're right. He's meaningless.

"But what ticked folks off was his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves true churches are ones that can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ's original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects"

Well you should know now that since you're no longer under the tyranny of Rome that scripture stresses the importance of fidelity to doctrine, and unity of doctrine; doctrine that is to be preserved by the successors of the apostles, just as Paul teaches:

2Ti 2:2 "And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also."

This shows four generations of teachers: first Paul, second Timothy, third the men Timothy teaches, and fourth, of those they teach. Fidelity to the successors of the apostles is fidelity to the truth the apostles taught.

Unity in doctrine:

Acts 4:32 "And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. "

1Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. "

Eph 4:3-5 "Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism."

Eph 4:14-15 "That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:"

1Ti 1:3 "As I desired thee to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some not to teach otherwise,"

1Ti 4:1 "Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,"

1:9 "Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers."

2Pet 3:16-17 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness."

Aww crap, a Catholic who knows scripture... whooda thunk?

But who needs all that when you have mass to ignore?! Moving on:

"This is nothing but a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to "own" Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as its leader. He refuses to acknowledge the reality that Jesus didn't consider a church to be most important. What was? The Great Commission."

But what, pray tell, what the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1Ti 3:15) as well as the mediator in disputes? (Mat 18:17) Not the bible, but the Church. And that Church must have been of some importance considering Paul in Eph 4 and Eph 5 describes the Church as the Body of Christ. So Jesus Christ is the head of the Catholic Church. It's not the Church that own Jesus as it is the Church that is the unspotted bride of Christ.

If you can prove yours or any other Church was around during apostolic times and therefore the term "church" refers directly to you, i'll convert on the spot. If not, then kindly shut your mouth.

"The Bible records in Matthew 28:16 that Jesus called his 11 disciples (the other, Judas, hanged himself after betraying Jesus) to Mount Galilee and decreed, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (New International Version)."

Exactly. But who was He addressing in that quote? Does that apply to all of us? Or does that apply to the apostles first and us second? Streesing unity in doctrine and the primacy of Catholicism follows directly with the great commission, as Jesus told his apostles to spread the truth. Given the many thousands of protestant denominations, the truth got lost somewhere.

Jesus sure stressed to Peter about feeding his sheep and lambs and the whole deal with the keys of heaven and earth and building the Church upon the Petra and all... He sent the Church to teach the world, not men with books.

"It doesn't matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, not what a man of God has to say. This is not an attempt to completely dismiss religious leaders, but is further evidence of what happens when ego is more important than the work of Christ."

Prove to us that this is ego. Perhaps it is your ego that is bruised because you know your denomination can't be the first and only Catholics can back up that claim?

Since Christ has acended, who do we listen to? You?

But wait, Christ said he'd be with the apostles to the end of teh age, so we should listen to them right? Oh, but wait, they're dead too...

Hold on, didn't they name successors? I mean, they did it for Judas, why not the rest? Do you think Jesus would remain with their successors since obviously the apostles didn't live until the end of the age? What's the only Church that can trace their lineage back to the apostles? Hmm...

"John 14:6 says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Nowhere does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church."


Show us where we said Peter or the Pope is the leader of the Church and Jesus Christ is not. You won't because you can't.

"It is these kinds of missives by Pope Benedict XVI that do nothing to support or build the community of faith. All it does is divide."

Coming from the theological progeny of Martin Luther, that's quite a bold statement. Benedict is preaching unity in doctrine, yet you seem to imply that only serves to divide. How can dissonance in doctrine unify, exactly?

"Protestant leaders: Don't buy into the foolishness. Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations. If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus, then you'll make more headway in doing the work of Jesus than any 16-page document will."

Oh yeah, and always remember: Christianity started in the 16th century, and Jesus founded a book. And it doesn't matter what exactly you believe, doctrinal "diversity" unifies whereas doctrinal unity divides. Four legs bad, two legs better. And for a protestant, you sure talk about works a lot.

And one last thing, don't forget the whole source of your identity as protestants is the Catholic Church, whom all protestants protest against. It must be something to have your entire spiritual identity summed up in the word "nay-sayer". Protestantism proves the Catholic Church's legitimacy; the Church was obviously around first, else protestants would have nothing to protest.

And I almost forgot why I never watched CNN.

Nah, I lied, I've always remembered. :P


Friday, July 13, 2007

Mahony and the Latin Mass

I bet all of you are wondering what exactly Cardinal Roger Mahony is thinking in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.

Well, one thing's for sure; The silence is defening.

In a recent statement in the L.A. Times online, Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the L.A. Archdiocese said,"The appeal of a Mass only in Latin is quite limited," The article went on to say that the archdiocese estimates about 650 people attend the TLM each month.

Now this can be very misleading. And here's why:

A quick look on the L.A. archdiocese website shows the venues and times of the TLM's offered in the diocese. Out of five venues, only one offers the TLM every sunday. The other four alternate once-per-month services. Three of those four are a chapel in a hospital, a house for the Little Sisters of the Poor, and a chapel at a university. All five venues are not close to one another. So unless you feel like driving all over and not being able to enjoy a stable parish life, you're only gonna get a Latin mass once per month.

It's not the appeal of the Latin mass that's quite limited, it's the availability! More people would go if there were more than eight TLM's per month dispersed across the entire diocese.

Here in the Phoenix diocese we have three venues that offer the TLM, two of those have daily TLM's, with the third having them weekly. Bishop Olmstead has elevated the TLM community to mission status (named "Mater Misericordiae") with the future goal of making it an official parish (This is all listed on the website)

Here in Phoenix we have 64 TLM's per month compared to LA's 8. It's more than obvious that Mahony only bothers to have a Latin mass at all just so he can say he offers it.

On a realted note, also on the LA archdiocese website's indult page there's this quote,"Only the celebrations listed here are licit and authorized by the Archbishop. The Tridentine Mass is also offered elsewhere in the region by groups that call themselves Catholic but which are not in communion with the Holy See."

This is an obvious stab at the SSPX. How dare Mahony call the SSPX non-Catholic given the antics at his orgy of heresy AKA "Religious Education" Conferences. The only religion anyone learns there certainly isn't Catholicism.

No one can point out anything the SSPX teaches that is heretical, yet anyone with eyes can point out several things at Mahony's dissent-fest that's blatently heretical. But perhaps he's right; according to his version of Catholicism, tradition is, in fact, heresy.

He'd better be careful which standards of orthodoxy he holds others to when casting stones from his glass throne. But that's ok. God shall judge him on his orthodoxy, just as he judges others on theirs.

Tambert's statement:,1,160197.story?coll=la-headlines-world&ctrack=1&cset=true

LA archdiocese indult info:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Someone to keep in mind on Friday

Friday is the feast day of St. Henry. He became Duke of Bavaria in 995 and was crowned king of Germany in 1002, and of Pavia in 1004. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII, of the Emperors he was the last of the saxon dynasty. He married St. Cunegunda but never had children. He defeated a rebellion led by his brother but they later reconciled. Henry "Founded schools, quelled rebellions, protected the frontiers, worked to establish a stable peace in Europe, and to reform the Church while respecting its independence. Fostered missions, and established Bamberg as a center for missions to Slavic countries. Started the construction of the cathedral at Basel, Switzerland; it took nearly 400 years to complete. Both Henry and Saint Cunegunda were prayerful people, and generous to the poor."

Memories of great people are often lost to time, having been forgotten, faded into legend, or ursurped by the "me and now" social ethos. While great saints did not do great things that they should be remembered, being remembered is how we honor their greatness. These people led by example of christian charity. Henry in particular was given much and gave much to serve his people. So when a feast day rolls around, be sure to read and meditate on their life; They achieved and lost much for their faith, so it's the least we can do. Let Henry's and other saints' memories never fall into obscurity, that we may learn from and honor them as examples of true Sons of God.

St. Henry, ora pro nobis.

Picture, quote, and paraphrase from:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New CDF document clears up "subsisit"

"Subsisit" in Lumen Gentium has continuously been a popular loophole for liberal Catholics who use it as a way to justify their beliefe that the Catholic CHurch is simply one of many Churches that make up the Church of Christ.

It has been reiterated over and over again that the Catholic Church is the one Church Christ founded on earth. Perhaps now it will finally stick and end this madness once and for all.




The Second Vatican Council, with its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, and its Decrees on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and the Oriental Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum), has contributed in a decisive way to the renewal of Catholic ecclesiolgy. The Supreme Pontiffs have also contributed to this renewal by offering their own insights and orientations for praxis: Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam suam (1964) and John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995).

The consequent duty of theologians to expound with greater clarity the diverse aspects of ecclesiology has resulted in a flowering of writing in this field. In fact it has become evident that this theme is a most fruitful one which, however, has also at times required clarification by way of precise definition and correction, for instance in the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (1973), the Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Communionis notio (1992), and the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), all published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The vastness of the subject matter and the novelty of many of the themes involved continue to provoke theological reflection. Among the many new contributions to the field, some are not immune from erroneous interpretation which in turn give rise to confusion and doubt. A number of these interpretations have been referred to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given the universality of Catholic doctrine on the Church, the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate.


First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?
Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation"3. The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention4.

Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

Response: Christ "established here on earth" only one Church and instituted it as a "visible and spiritual community"5, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.6 "This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him"7.

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church8, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.9 Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church.10

Third Question: Why was the expression "subsists in" adopted instead of the simple word "is"?

Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are "numerous elements of sanctification and of truth" which are found outside her structure, but which "as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity"11.

"It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church"12.

Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term "Church" in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

Response: The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. "Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds"13, they merit the title of "particular or local Churches"14, and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches15.

"It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature"16. However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches17.

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history18.

Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery19 cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense20.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ratified and confirmed these Responses, adopted in the Plenary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 29, 2007, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

William Cardinal LevadaPrefect

+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.Titular Archbishop of SilaSecretary

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil."

So I guess being hated by the world is just a sign of the truth, right?

I was looking around the media reports on the recent release of Summorum Pontificum and came across this poll on AOL's news site:

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."

"And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Motu Mania Celebrations!

This video is just too good not to see. Special thanks to Fr. Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity as well as Fr. Z at

Summorum Pontificum

Well, our day has finally come. Summorum Pontificum is out. With special thanks to Fr. Z over at, who has an excellent analysis of the Motu Proprio, as well as the entire document itself in eglish and latin.

Here I will discuss some interesting highlights as well as my own thoughts.

"Art. 1 The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the Lex orandi (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same Lex orandi, and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s Lex credendi (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents Quattuor abhinc annis and Ecclesia Dei, are substituted as follows:"

Here the MP establishes the misal of 1962 as an extraordinary expression of the Roman Rite, with the current missal as the ordinary, as well as a formal statement that the liturgical books from 1962 were never abrogated.

"Art. 2 In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary."

"Art. 4 Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may – observing all the norms of law – also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted."

Here we have that any priest is allowed to celebrate the TLM in private, with no permission required. Additionally, if people as to attend, they may. What is interesting here is, how would a priest announce a private TLM so the people could ask to attend? This may be a way to get around the Bishops who refuse permission, by allowing attendence to TLM's that aren't part of a parish's regular sunday lineup. This is only my opinion, however.

"Art. 5 § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church."

Strong language, but falls short of "must". Even so, going against it may not be rejection of authority, but against the will of the Pope.

"§ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.
§ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages."

Interesting here, as well as throughout the document, it deals with the pastor, and not the bishop. Can the Bishop still forbid it? Mr. Tribe at NLM (Much more attuned to such things than I) says no; a priest does not need the permission of the local bishop to celebrate the TLM either publically or privately. The bishop merely oversees it. I hope he's right :)

"Art. 6 In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See."

Not a bad thing, although usually, the epistle and gospel are re-read before the homily in the vernacular anyway.

"Art. 7 If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 § 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”."

"strongly requested", not "required", but still strong language nonetheless. (Note the reference again to the discretion of the pastor, not the bishop) Also, it seems the faithful, faced with a bishop who forbids the TLM, may take the matter to ecclesia dei. What exactly can ecclesia dei do for this situation? Let's take a look:

"Art. 11 The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, erected by John Paul II in 1988, continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it."

Ok, so how much authority does the pope wish to assign it in these matters?

"Art. 12 This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions."

Aye, there's the rub. We see that if a pastor refuses to allow a TLM at the parish, we can take it to the bishop. If the bishop refuses, we can take it to Ecclesia Dei, who exercises the authority of the Holy See pertaining to matters outlined in this Motu Proprio.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Bishops who allowed the TLM widely, especially my Bishop. But there are those who forbade it altogether (Like my previous Bishop) which wasn't the aim of JPII that permission be widely given. The bishops who allowed it weren't the problem, it was the bishops who forbade it. Now, the faithful have somewhere to go about such things, as well as a way to attend a TLM when a priest says it privately.

Not quite Quo Primum, but a great boon to traditionalists nonetheless. The TLM is formally recognized as an equal alongside the current mass, priests do not need permission to say it privately, and the faithful are allowed to attend such masses. When faced with a bishop who forbids its celebration, the faithful have someone to turn to, who has the authority to do something about it. It is still quite powerful, this is quite a gift. If Mr. Tribe is correct that the celebration of the extraordinary rite is now at the pastor's discretion, then this is quite a powerful document indeed.

Summorum Pontificum goes into effect on 14 September, so that's plenty of time to speak with your pastors and bishops, as well as prepare your parish for a TLM. And remember, when going to speak with your pastor or Bishop about this, take the honey and leave the vineagar.

The entire document can be read here:

Summorum Pontificum at WDTPRS

More excellent analysis here:

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I just don't get it sometimes.

I just stumbled across this a few minutes ago, I thought I'd share. Yup, it's gonna be one of "those" churches. Link

"The Great Cross:"

From their site:

"The crucifix, a Cross with an image of Christ on it, was not used in the early centuries while crucifixion was still customary. After that, triumphal crosses became popular, showing the glory won by Christ on the Cross, depicting Him in robes, without nails, with a royal crown. After the Reformation, crucifixes of the suffering or dead Christ appeared. Recent liturgical revival somewhat favors Christ glorified and ruling from the Cross.
Current guidelines require a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, to be on or near the altar. Our Great Cross is made of an ancient reclaimed beam. The Processional Crucifix is positioned upon it during liturgies."

Writing our own history, are we? (with that tine crucifix, you'd think they only have one beacuse they have to...) There is a crucifix in Vienna with no robes or crown, with the corpus showing the wounds of crucifixion nearly 1000 years old; centuries before the reformation.

What does history actually say about the use of the crucifix?

"But from the sixth century onward we find many images -- not allegorical, but historical and realistic of the crucified Saviour." -- Newadvent

6th Century, huh? That beats out the reformation by a good millenium.

What does pope Pius XII say about the use of the crucifix?

"one would be straying from the straight path were he to...order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings."--Mediator Dei.

Now where's my can of B.S. remover? Going on:

"Stations of the Cross:"

And just which station is that supposed to be? You decide! From their site:

"There will be a greater emphasis on the cross; ashes in the sign of a cross, adoration of the cross, a special Lenten environment throughout our church building and signs. Many signs! An abundance of signs! One unique series of signs is The Stations of the Cross. The Stations might be considered road signs on a journey; the journey to the cross and resurrection beyond. That is why our stations are placed in the floor of the ambulatory that encircles our Worship Space, so that we might walk the road. And in walking this path, through prayer and meditation, we might ourselves move closer to resurrection...

"One reason that we have no pictures on our Stations of the Cross, is that there are many ways to pray the Stations. The Jerusalem Stations begin with Jesus being condemned to death. The Scriptural Roman Stations begin with Jesus praying in the Garden of Olives. There are Stations of the Cross written with justice issues in mind. There are Stations written for teens and their daily concerns. What all of them have in common, though, is that the Stations are meant to be walked in a prayerful way, with each station being a time to meditate on how we are doing in our faith journey.

Throughout lent we will be offering alternative ways for you to experience the Stations of the Cross. We will provide special booklets with different ways to walk the Stations anytime the Worship Space is free. We will also have a Stations of the Cross Coloring Book for Children designed by our own ALL GOD's CHILDREN Ministry, so you can walk the Stations with your children at their own pace and then have them color the images at home."

Uh-huh. So we can just make it up as we go along? The cafeteria is open for business!

"The Music Ministry Area:"

From their site:

"We are pleased to have a wonderful instrument in our Rogers Trillium 967 Digital Organ and we are just now starting to explore the unique in the round installation. We also use other instruments like the piano, drums, guitar, brass, woodwinds and strings."

Drums, guitar, and brass? Golly, I never would have guessed.

"The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states, "Singing is a sign of the heart's joy...for this reason...great importance should be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass." At a birthday party, we would not just recite "Happy Birthday" or during the 7th inning stretch at a ballgame, only say" Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and it doesn't matter if a person can "carry a tune" or not. Singing is part of celebration. It creates a sense of the importance of the occasion. Imagine being at a retirement party and only saying "For he's a jolly good fellow." Singing lifts up the words we use and gives them a heightened dignity and beauty, often making them more memorable in the process. Singing also expresses and fosters the sense of unity among those gathered whether in worship or to celebrate an event. Singing is the primary way that a group of people can speak with one voice. It is also a way of praying, of giving thanks. I know I give thanks to God every day that I have a voice with which to sing!"

Funny, nowhere do I see that singing is a form of worship to God. I read a whole lotta "community," and not so much worship. Moving on:

"'Wind of the Spirit' Stained Glass Window"

Yes, that's the tabernacle.

Our tour gathers us around the ALTAR

See the tabernacle way back there in the room behind the altar? Not very "pride of place," huh?

"We gather around the altar, [Introibo ad altare populi,] especially in our configuration at Holy Spirit. Why? Because through our baptism and gathered around the altar we are transformed and as we heard in our scriptures this week, “made...into a kingdom…priests for his God and Father.” (Rev. 1:6) The altar is “the center of thanksgiving that the Eucharist accomplishes.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal)"

Interesting they bring up the GIRM. If they cared about the CDW's interpretation of #101 in the GIRM they'd read:

"During the liturgy of the eucharist, only the presiding celebrant remains at the altar. The assembly of the faithful take their place in the Church outside the "presbyterium," which is reserved for the celebrant or concelebrants and altar ministers. [Notitiae 17 (1981) 61]"

But hey, it's all about "community," right?

"Sacred Art"

"'Stairway to Heaven'
The fabric of a multi-cultural community; the red signifying the Holy Spirit within us, woven together by the threads of life with hopes to be raised to a higher level. Our foundation, the blueprint, concrete evidence that a strong faith exists and is solidified by its building; home for all. A staircase of copper wire twisting and turning, mirrors life’s trials, not always clear and straight, but with the help of a rail, (conduit), becomes a strong flowing link of communication between us, and with consistency of our creed, eventually leads us on a course to heaven."

Sorry, I can't speak "hippie"

“Holy Spirit…Ascension” and:


From Sacrosanctum Concilium:

"...Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing."

How does the Church genuinely and certainly require this? Maybe I'm being too harsh but I just don't see it.

Anyways, in conclusion:

Word count:

"Worship Space": 9

"Faith journey": 1

That's bad enough.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"And the Lord said to him: If I find in Sodom fifty just [men] within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

Let's hope that still stands.

"Kansas Store Video Captures Five Shoppers Stepping Over Dying Stabbing Victim"

"WICHITA, Kan. — As stabbing victim LaShanda Calloway lay dying on the floor of a convenience store, five shoppers, including one who stopped to take a picture of her with a cell phone, stepped over the woman, police said.

[. . .]

"It was tragic to watch," police spokesman Gordon Bassham said Tuesday. "The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks rather than helping this innocent young woman is, frankly, revolting."
The woman was stabbed during an altercation that was not part of a robbery, Bassham said. It took about two minutes for someone to call 911, he said.
Calloway, 27, died later at a hospital.

[. . .]

"This is just appalling," [Wichita Police Chief Norman] Williams told the newspaper. "I could continue shopping and not render aid and then take time out to take a picture? That's crazy. What happened to our respect for life?"

Isn't that the question of the century...

Ask Jane Roe.

"And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me...Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels... Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me."

I hope that cell phone picture was worth it.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Flies through the air with the greatest of ease, the daring young priest on the flying trapeze...

Ok. I know this is probably old news but I just came across it. I was google'ing pictures of vestments when my eyes suddenly gave out in a vain attempt to save me from the horror on my screen.

Then things started clearing up; images of the Dumbo movie and frosted animal crackers yak'ed out and coalesced onto a chausible came into horrid, painful focus.

+Lord, have mercy on my eyeballs.+

What the @#$% are they wearing?!

At first I thought it's ok, it's ok. Just take a deep breath, they're probably not Catholic.


Apparently they were celebrating a "circus" mass.

Now, I know what you're all thinking. But I have no idea of the antics that went on at the celebration. But from what it says, it's a local tradition that started in the 30's where the Ringling circus would do a single-ring show on Christmass eve to help pay off the Church. A very warm and touching sentiment.

But let's get real here, these are chausibles, not pediatric nurse scrubs. Don't these guys get the phrase "there's a time and place..." ? Y'know maybe, just maybe, people would dress with a little more respect if these priests did the same. It's almost as if they're making light of the special duties they have. I mean, these are sacramentals, not mere liturgical fashion. Did that ever cross their minds?

Must be all the cotton-candy.

What's next, instead of handing out communion they give out bags of warm peanuts?

Circus mass

Sunday, July 1, 2007

New cathedral in Oakland... Oy...

"According to the Oakland Tribune, the city’s rising Cathedral of Christ the Light complex is “the most expensive in American history.” The complex, which includes the nuclear reactor-like church itself, chapels, a plaza, a mausoleum, a conference center, diocesan offices, “gathering places,” and Bishop Allen Vigneron’s residence, is currently running about $190 million – $10 million more than the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, (An equally bowel-moving abonination of architecture,) which opened in 2002. "

For how expensive it is you'd think it would look a little more... well... Catholic.

Just goes to show money still can't buy class.

Catholics teaching muslims how to be better muslims?

From with special thanks to The Curt Jester

"The newly appointed head of the Vatican office that specializes in relations with Muslims pledged Wednesday to back the moderate forces within Islam to improve dialogue and help defeat extremist groups that encourage terrorism.

"We must help our Muslim friends rediscover the roots of their religion and therefore favor these moderate Muslims achieve a dialogue that will bring a civil and harmonious cohabitation," Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said."

So the Church requires a position to help muslims "rediscover their roots"? Is that even in the Church's job description? To help non-Catholics fix their own religion?

How about Cardinal Tauran drop the muslim stuff and "teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I [Christ] have commanded you..."

I mean, that is the Church's mission still, right?