Friday, July 20, 2007


I've been "memed" or is it "tagged"? I'm not really up to sp33d with teh ling0. Thanks Anita; I make it a rule not to engage in this kind of thing. However...

So here are five things I love about Jesus:

1. He's Jesus.
2. I am not Jesus.
3. Er.
4. That's it.
5. Did I mention He's Jesus?
I tag Abdul bin Rachmann, quartermaster, Holy Martyrs of the Prophet, Queens branch, NY, NY; Jackson Alexander Piffle, Master Mason of the Shrine of Light Mistletoe, Lodge #66B, Norfolk, Virginia; and, last, and by all means least, Morgana de Morgana, Priestess of the Order of The White Stag (Druidic Rite of Hoth), c/o "Hazels Nails and Bouffant Salon", 32 Blue Plate Boulevard, Klinghofferburg, PA.

Friday posts.

I've been busy lately and have yet to recover my composure (?) thanks to Summorum Pontificum. What is there to say? We've all read the responses from bishops around the world, the bad, the good, the indifferent. I do not understand those who are silent, have spoken not a word, not even to acknowledge it's existence. What game are they playing? It cannot be that they hope to hide it's existence by saying nothing. Perhaps they are really not sure what to say; perhaps it is a form of intimidation; perhaps they are waiting to see what who gets away with what.

Well, here are my offerings for today.

Doncha feel the healing?

First video I found. Fantastic!

Roman Catholic Womenpriests respond to Los Angeles. Bridget Mary Meehan, spokesperson [:-)] for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, [wimmin, surely?] issued the following statement:

The Roman Catholic Womenpriests community offers prayers for the survivors of sexual abuse in Los Angeles. We stand in solidarity with the courageous survivors in their long journey to speak truth to power and to obtain justice in response to the violations they suffered and the subsequent cover-up of sexual abuse by the hierarchy of the church. [what kind of sexual abuse? Characterize the victims. Sex? Age? Why won't you tell the truth?]

This is a classic video.

We offer the church a gift of a renewed priesthood that is open, inclusive and accountable to the communities we serve. The present clerical structure of the Roman Catholic church needs to be transformed from a model of domination with powers reserved to clergy into an open, participatory model that honors the gifts of God in the people of God. The present gap between clergy and lay needs to be eliminated. We must move from an unaccountable top-down, hierarchical structure to a people-empowered discipleship of equals. We advocate a community model of ministry based on union with the people we serve. It is our conviction that a church community such as this would ensure that power is not abused, and our children would never again be put at risk of abuse by our priests, nor will misconduct on the part of priests be overlooked and/or covered up.

Third time I have posted this video. Do you think these wimmin are mentally-ill?

The goal of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests community is to bring about the full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church [no, it is to destroy the sacerdotal priesthood, the sacraments, the Church, souls: you are evil and malign]. The mission of Roman Catholic Womenpriests North America is to spiritually prepare, ordain, and support women and men from all states of life, who are theologically qualified, who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to minister within the Roman Catholic Church

Worldwide, the RCWP community has over 50 ordained, and over 100 candidates in preparation. In North America, for example, Roman Catholic Womenpriests serve in inclusive parish communities such as Mary of Magdala in San Diego and the Spirit of Life Catholic Community of Justice and Joy in Massachusetts. There are also two communities in Philadelphia: The Sanctuary of Peace and the Community of St. Mary Magdalene. As priests, we serve in nursing homes, hospices, retreat centers and house churches. The Roman Catholic Womenpriests’ communities are reaching out to build bridges of reconciliation and healing to alienated, and traumatized Catholics as well as with many sisters and brothers who are interested in worshipping together in dynamic, renewed communities of faith.[Sick. They are going to parley homosexual abuse (is that a tautology?) into advancing their heretical, evil, evil, movement]

For 1200 years some popes, bishops and scholars accepted women's ordination as equal to men's. In the 10th century Bishop Atto of Vercelli wrote about the early church practice of ordaining women to preside over the churches because of the great need. In 1976 The Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded that there is no biblical reason to prohibit women's ordination. In the 21st century, women have reclaimed our ancient Catholic heritage of ministry as deacons, priests and bishops in a community of equals. Women as priests remind us that women are equal symbols of the holy and that the identity of priests should reflect the experiences and spiritual authority of women. The call for the full equality of women in the church, including the priesthood, is the voice of God in our time. [Delusional: " the voice of God..."]

Roman Catholic Womenpriests pray that healing will come to all who have suffered abuse in our church, and warmly welcome survivors of sexual abuse and their family members to join us in building together a renewed Roman Catholic Church rooted in Gospel equality and justice. We extend this invitation to all who have been impacted by this scandal in our church, as parishes and parishioners suffer the consequences of this behavior, and will bear the burden of this just settlement, we invite you to likewise work with us to rebuild our church into a community where the “Good News” is lived faithfully and justice and integrity are our cornerstones.[why won't they say this abuse was done by homosexuals? Why? I wonder...]

For more information about Roman Catholic Womenpriests, visit our website at

Text from the dissenting blog, Journey to Vatican III.

He swerves into teh turth!

"Much fuss is being made over the rumor that the Tridentine Mass is allegedly going to be “restored.” If anything happens, and it probably will, the decision will have more to do with power and politics than Latin and liturgy.

"The issue is not Latin in the liturgy. Any priest can say the current Catholic liturgy in Latin. Nor is the issue the Tridentine or pre-Vatican II mass. Any priest, with the permission of his bishop, can say the Tridentine Latin mass.

"The real issue is the power of local bishop to decide whether the Tridentine mass will be said in his diocese. Right now, a local bishop has the power to approve or not approve the use of the Tridentine mass in his diocese. Under current practice, a priest or a group of people petition the bishop to allow them to use the Tridentine mass. He then investigates the situation and decides on pastoral grounds whether it is a good idea or not. Often he will require that the petitioners state that they accept the new liturgy and Vatican II as legitimate.

"Some bishops, especially in France, have said no because they judge that the petitioners reject the reforms of Vatican II and are divisive in their dioceses. If the pope issues a Motu proprio allowing the use of the Tridentine mass without the local bishop’s permission, he is basically saying that he does not trust the pastoral judgment of the bishops. Those who have been fighting the bishops over the Tridentine mass will celebrate this as a victory over the bishops.

"Some in the Vatican, including Benedict, hope that allowing free use of the Tridentine mass will make possible reunion with Society of St. Pius X, the schismatic group started by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The leaders of the group, however, have indicated that their rejection of Vatican II goes way beyond the vernacular liturgy.

"Some in the Vatican hope that greater use of the Tridentine mass will undermine support for the Lefebvrite leaders and bring some of the society’s members back into union with the Catholic Church.

"Rumors that the Tridentine Mass was giong to be made more easily available date back to the papacy of John Paul II. So far the bishops have been able to fight it off, but the record shows that when it is an issue of papal power versus episcopal power, the Vatican usually wins. Other than embarrassing the bishops and pastors who have opposed wider use of the Tridentine mass, the Motu proprio will probably have little effect since public opinion polls show overwhelming support for the new liturgy among Catholics."

Thomas J. Reese, S.J., from Journey to Vatican III, June 1st 2007. Warning, this blog is a dissenters blog.

Chris Ferrara's Friend, Thomas Woods.

I cannot believe I have lived to see this. Pope Benedict XVI has just announced that effective September 14, any priest in the Roman Rite may offer Mass according to the Missal of 1962 (the most recent edition of the Church’s traditional rite) or the Missal of Paul VI (1970) in wide use today.

To non-Catholics I am sure it sounds all rather technical, but I assure you that with the publication of the Pope’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum an event of staggering importance has just taken place in the Catholic Church. Although I’m in the midst of publicity work for 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, which was released just yesterday, I am delighted to set that aside in order to write what follows.

To make a long story short, in 1969–70 a new liturgy was introduced in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. Far from the minor changes that most bishops had thought they were approving at the Second Vatican Council, the Missal of Pope Paul VI was a sweeping and radical overhaul of the traditional Mass, which was in turn suppressed de facto (though not abolished de jure, as Benedict explains in the motu proprio). Nothing like it had ever been seen in the history of Catholic liturgy, as the man who later became Benedict XVI repeatedly protested.

Even before the new liturgy was fully introduced, the initial changes were enough to make novelist Evelyn Waugh refer to Mass-going as "a bitter trial." Father C. John McCloskey estimates that hundreds of thousands – I think even more – left the Church in the wake (and as a direct result) of the liturgical reform and its consequences.

Accompanying the new missal were profanations of various kinds. The Church’s extraordinary musical patrimony was abruptly discarded and replaced by a string of forgettable banalities. Church architecture suddenly became weirdly humanistic, with theater-in-the-round seating, denuded sanctuaries, the elimination of altar rails, and the like. Sanctuaries were literally bulldozed so the priest could "face the people" across the altar – despite ancient practice to the contrary, researchers discovered after it was too late.

Whether any of this had any necessary connection to the new missal or was merely an unfortunate byproduct is a contentious issue that cannot be sorted out here. The fact is that this frenzy of "de-sacralization" – to use Benedict’s term for it – compounded the disorientation that the new missal in and of itself would have produced.

When it seemed as if the old liturgy would never be heard from again, a group of European intellectuals, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, sent a petition to Pope Paul VI urging him not to suppress this venerable rite. The signatories, who included Agatha Christie, Graham Greene (no conservative he), and Malcolm Muggeridge, urged the Pontiff to reconsider. If the Vatican were suddenly to order the demolition of all of Europe’s great cathedrals, they said, it would be the intellectuals who would have to stand up and resist. But those great cathedrals had been built for the celebration of this beautiful rite that was itself in danger of suppression.

"The signatories of this appeal," the petition concluded, "which is entirely ecumenical and nonpolitical, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the traditional Mass to survive, even though this survival took place side by side with other liturgical forms."

This, among other reasons, is why people have been driving hours at a time, or even relocating across the country, in order to attend one of the few traditional Masses that Pope John Paul II’s 1988 indult once again made available. Now, at long last, their sacrifices have borne fruit.

So no matter how many news reports misleadingly portray the issue as pitting those who favor "Mass in Latin" over those who prefer "Mass in English," the issue is not merely one of language. The Missal of Paul VI can just as easily be offered in Latin. It is a question of two different ways of saying Mass.

Although we have come to expect the mainstream media to get major stories wrong, the stories about the motu proprio and its aftermath are in a class of their own. Three-quarters of every article is devoted to interviewing the various strains of emotional hypochondriac who think the world is ending because people can worship the way they want.

If we had a media with the tiniest shred of intellectual honesty, or even just some normal human curiosity, we might have heard these naysayers asked questions like, "Why are we supposed to feel sorry for you, when these people are asking only that their favored liturgy be tolerated? Are you happy only when other people have their spiritual aspirations denied?" Instead, our liturgical vandals have been allowed to portray themselves as the victims here. We are the victims, we Catholics who lived through the series of experiments that people like this have been putting us through since the 1960s.

The fact is, Roman Rite Catholics all over the world could be found rejoicing after the release of these documents (the motu proprio itself and the explanatory letter to bishops that accompanied it). People actually held motu proprio parties at their homes, as indeed did we. Parishioners at church after church sang the Te Deum.

Not a word about any of this in a single mainstream report. Not one word. Instead, Catholics are said to be walking around moping that reverence and dignity might come back to their churches.

Now part of me sympathizes with those who say we should be magnanimous in victory, and not seek to score points against those with whom we have been at odds on liturgical issues in the past. Indeed most of me takes this eirenic view.

But I am convinced that this cannot be right. There is an essential lesson in what has just transpired, a lesson that must be properly absorbed even if it means ruffling a few feathers for one last time. The liturgical warfare of the past four decades has caused too much anguish for us simply to walk away in triumph and learn nothing from it.

For several decades, not only the Catholic left but also the "orthodox" Catholic right condemned supporters of the 1962 Missal as disobedient, wicked, schismatic – you name it – because they believed that what was beautiful and venerable yesterday could not cease to be beautiful and venerable today. They likewise found it hard to believe that they were considered a little bit crazy, perhaps even in need of counseling, because they longed for the traditional Mass, the very thing they had been taught their whole lives to venerate. They rightly refused to believe that being Catholic meant living in a scenario straight out of Orwell or Kafka.

Speaking of Orwell, the chaplain at a Catholic university I spoke at not long ago scolded a group of students who asked for the traditional Latin Mass on campus. The new Mass, he insisted, "is the traditional Mass." Since authority had decreed it, a brand new rite became ipso facto traditional. It is this kind of nonsense that Cardinal Ratzinger never accepted, and that as Pope Benedict he has buried once and for all.

There is no need to mention names – that would be uncharitable at a time like this, and in any event they (and we) know who they are.

The point is this: if it is right and good to honor the 1962 Missal now – as our critics, having been gently rebuked by the Pope, now concede – then it was right to do so 30 years ago as well, and it was wrong to scold people for it. And we love it now not because the Church’s highest authority has said it is to be loved (much as we genuinely appreciate that important statement) but because it is venerable in and of itself.

Catholicism becomes a contemptible caricature of itself when people are suddenly considered deranged for honoring in the evening the very things they had been told to honor that afternoon. The current pope, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, once observed that "the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent."

In 2001 Ratzinger told a liturgical conference at the Benedictine abbey of Fomtgonbault that "a venerable rite such as the Roman rite in use up to 1969 is a rite of the Church, it belongs to the Church, is one of the treasures of the Church, and ought therefore to be preserved in the Church." And "what was up until 1969 the Liturgy of the Church, for all of us the most holy thing there was, can not become after 1969…the most unacceptable thing."

Both themes come through in the letter to bishops that accompanied the motu proprio: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

There is nothing sinister about what the Pope has done, ignorant news reports to the contrary notwithstanding. His liberation of the Church’s traditional liturgy is a matter of justice and simple common sense.

Many of us have accepted, with grim resignation, that over time the world is simply destined to get worse and worse: uglier, more vulgar, more perverse. And yet, in the midst of it all, we get an extraordinary development like this. A major aspect of life in the West, and around the world for that matter, is suddenly about to improve dramatically. It is truly astonishing.

Normally I’d have been a little upset when something broke at my house the other day. Instead, I said to myself, "Oh, well, we still have the motu proprio."

On few occasions in my life have I been so utterly overjoyed. Justice has truly prevailed. A great wound has been dressed by the Church’s chief physician.

July 11, 2007

The Fearmakers and their fear.

The wit and wisdom of Frank K. Flinn. Emphasis throughout in italics is mine.


Concilium Vaticanum IIum, vale!
By Frank K. Flinn July 10, 2007

CATHOLICS AROUND the world should now have no illusions. Pope Benedict XVI's recent decision to encourage wider use of the traditional Tridentine Mass in Latin is the latest move in his long campaign to undo liberal reforms in church practices popular with Catholics since the 1960s.

The move may well trigger liturgical schisms in dioceses throughout the world.

The form of the Mass was promulgated by Pope Paul V[sic] in the Roman Missal in 1570. In this rite the priest stands on an elevated altar, facing away from the people and mumbling the most sacred parts of the liturgy in Latin.

The Tridentine Mass lasted until the new form promulgated in 1969 by Pope Paul VI at Vatican Council II (1962-65). While drawing on some of the most ancient Christian forms of worship, the new Eucharist[sic] was translated into local languages. The priest now faced the congregation. Around the world liturgical music expanded to include gospel music, African chants and drumming, Mexican mariachi bands, folk music, and even pop rhythms. Immediately conservative Catholics attacked the new rite, but[!] Paul VI warned that the gospel would be lost to the modern world if it were not addressed to people in their language and their customs.

Criticism continued unabated by a traditionalist minority. In 1988 former French Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre led a small minority of Catholics into schism over what he and his followers labeled the heretical "Mass of Paul VI." The Lefebvrists not only rejected the new liturgy, they rejected key doctrines of Vatican II on ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality. Collegiality was the central ecclesiastical concept that shaped Vatican II. The depth of the traditionalists' hatred of Vatican II teachings was and remains astounding.

On the other edge[but not schism, he's implying "cutting edge"] of the church, progressives wanted to advance the openings begun at Vatican II, not only in the liturgy but also in ecumenism, lay involvement, Christian social action (liberation theology, feminism, ecology), and ethical theory (priestly celibacy, birth control). Paul VI started to apply the brakes, but Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, his new prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , went in for a whole new brake job.

They set out to thwart the progressive side of the church. In the 1980s they silenced the liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, removed Swiss Hans Küng and American Charles Curran from their teaching posts, and unscrupulously oversaw the unlawful excommunication of the Indian Tissa Balasuriya. (That act was reversed.) Just this year the pope censured Salvadoran Jesuit liberation theologian Jon Sobrino by using the old Vatican tactic of stringing together quotations out of context. [Reversing after applying the brakes? Here is what was at stake, and some more. You can see in this what Frank likes about this priest's beliefs...if they are his beliefs. It doesn't matter what his beliefs are: what matters is what the CDF thought they were and the action to stamp his errors (if they were errors) out: a little weak though, the world environment is target rich too, why so little action?]

In contrast, the papacy remained inexplicably lenient toward the schismatic Lefebvrists despite the scorn they continued to heap in the direction of the Vatican itself. Indeed, in the 1980s Cardinal Ratzinger gave them free ammunition. In the preface to a liturgical treatise he accused modern Masses of being faddish "showpieces" and "fabrications." He went on to praise the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Eucharist as exemplars of an "eternal liturgy." One can detect a Eurocentric prejudice in his remarks.

The pope has not been evenhanded in his dealings with the many branches of the Catholic church. He has simply capitulated to the Lefebvrists, who continue to look down contemptuously on average Catholic parishioners who like to worship in their own tongue and see their priest face-to-face. The appeal to an "eternal liturgy" is false. The liturgies of the earliest churches were both multiform and multilingual within the first generation going from Aramaic to Greek and Syriac in short order. The earliest known church, recently excavated at Megiddo in Israel, has the altar not elevated and apart but at the very center of the worshiping community. A true traditionalist would gladly embrace the many languages and cultures of the world as did the early church. [Eh? What happened to the evolving Church?]

Why do I say farewell to Vatican II? One of the roots of that council was the liturgical movement that preceded it by half a century. The liturgical reformers were convinced that the liturgy was of, by, and for the whole people of God, clergy, and lay alike. The very word liturgia in Greek means "the work of the people." [Yes, quite, your understanding excludes God and it condemns itself!] This notion embodies at its fullest the principle of collegiality, the key theological idea that shaped Vatican II. The Tridentine Mass is the work of the priest. By turning back the liturgical clock not to the creative multiplicity of the early Christian communities but to the heyday of the Inquisition and papal monarchism at Trent, Pope Benedict XVI is abandoning the principle of collegiality that embraces all bishops, all priests, all deacons, and all lay people as the worshiping community of the beloved faithful. That says to Vatican II, "Farewell!" [Indeed!]

Frank K. Flinn, adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University in St. Louis, is author of "Encyclopedia of Catholicism."

From a non-Catholic.

You may want to read the "Fearmakers" post first.


I'm not Catholic so I'm not clear on just what a motu proprio is. I do know that you could probably produce a pretty decent, critically-acclaimed horror movie around the concept:

[Cue scary baritone voice] Motu Proprio. At Mass, no one can hear you scream.

considering the way it scares the living daylights out of some people. Like this guy:

"I can’t fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop," Luca Brandolini, a member of the liturgy commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, told Rome daily La Repubblica in an interview on Sunday.

"It’s a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled."

The Rev. John F. Baldovin , a professor of historical and liturgical theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts thinks it'll bring out the nuts.

But I think this is the wrong way to go about redressing some of the mistakes of the last 40 years, and a lot of crazy people are now going to come out of the woodwork, people who are discontent with the way the church has gone for the last 40 years.

Seems to me that if you and the family start driving from St. Louis to Indianapolis to visit Grandma, the fact that your wife insists that you get off westbound Interstate 70 and turn around doesn't make her crazy. Father Thomas Reese of the Society of Jesus, an Episcopal a Catholic religious order, thinks the whole idea isn't Episcopalian enough:

Rumors that the Tridentine Mass was going to be made more easily available date back to the papacy of John Paul II. So far the bishops have been able to fight it off, but the record shows that when it is an issue of papal power versus episcopal power, the Vatican usually wins. Other than embarrassing the bishops and pastors who have opposed wider use of the Tridentine mass, the Motu proprio will probably have little effect since public opinion polls show overwhelming support for the new liturgy among Catholics.

Stupid popes. Thinking they know more than bishops do. Frank Flinn, adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University, here in St. Louis, thinks Benedict is out to destroy The Most Important Event In Christian History.

"Catholics around the world should now have no illusions. Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to encourage wider use of the traditional Tridentine Mass in Latin is the latest move in his long campaign to undo liberal reforms in church practices popular with Catholics since the 1960s."

Not only that but the Pope wants to split the Catholic Church apart.

"The move may well trigger liturgical schisms in dioceses throughout the world."

I have no idea what a "liturgical schism" is. None whatsoever.

"The form of the Mass was promulgated by Pope Paul V[sic] in the Roman Missal in 1570. In this rite the priest stands on an elevated altar, facing away from the people and mumbling the most sacred parts of the liturgy in Latin."

[Cue scary baritone voice] WARNING: Exposure to spoken Latin may be too intense for young children.

"The Tridentine Mass lasted until the new form promulgated in 1969 by Pope Paul VI at Vatican Council II (1962-65). While drawing on some of the most ancient Christian forms of worship, the new Eucharist was translated into local languages. The priest now faced the congregation. Around the world liturgical music expanded to include gospel music, African chants and drumming, Mexican mariachi bands, folk music, and even pop rhythms. Immediately conservative Catholics attacked the new rite, but Paul VI warned that the gospel would be lost to the modern world if it were not addressed to people in their language and their customs. "

Flinn? When I was still Episcopalian, I attended more than my share of folk-music services. Even sang in a folk choir back in the day. That is not something I look back on with pride, Flinn. But you know what's really going on here, don't you? Benedict XVI really wants to SILENCE THE PROGRESSIVES!!

"On the other edge of the church, progressives wanted to advance the openings begun at Vatican II, not only in the liturgy but also in ecumenism, lay involvement, Christian social action (liberation theology, feminism, ecology), and ethical theory (priestly celibacy, birth control). Paul VI started to apply the brakes, but Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, his new prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , went in for a whole new brake job."

"They set out to thwart the progressive side of the church. In the 1980s they silenced the liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, removed Swiss Hans Küng and American Charles Curran from their teaching posts, and unscrupulously oversaw the unlawful excommunication of the Indian Tissa Balasuriya. (That act was reversed.) Just this year the pope censured Salvadoran Jesuit liberation theologian Jon Sobrino by using the old Vatican tactic of stringing together quotations out of context."

Not to mention Turning Back the Clock.

"Why do I say farewell to Vatican II? One of the roots of that council was the liturgical movement that preceded it by half a century. The liturgical reformers were convinced that the liturgy was of, by, and for the whole people of God, clergy, and lay alike. The very word liturgia in Greek means "the work of the people." This notion embodies at its fullest the principle of collegiality, the key theological idea that shaped Vatican II. The Tridentine Mass is the work of the priest. By turning back the liturgical clock not to the creative multiplicity of the early Christian communities but to the heyday of the Inquisition and papal monarchism at Trent, Pope Benedict XVI is abandoning the principle of collegiality that embraces all bishops, all priests, all deacons, and all lay people as the worshiping community of the beloved faithful. That says to Vatican II, "Farewell!" "

To sum up, Benedict's motu proprio is to be opposed because a certain segment of the Catholic Church fears that it will slow or even halt the Roman Catholic Church's march toward lukewarm Episcopalianism, something that segment desperately wants.

The theological implications of this motu proprio are, of course, beyond my meager knowledge. But I find the reaction to it fascinating because it demonstrates why I think both liberal Episcopalians and "sophisticated" Roman Catholics view any manifestation of Christian tradition as a threat.

To these people, the progressive triumph is inevitable. But such is liberal insecurity that the progressive triumph must be seen to be inevitable and any suggestion that it might not be or any intimation that a mistake may have been made back there somewhere must be ruthlessly slapped down.

In the Episcopal Church, the 1928 edition of The Book of Common Prayer, ECUSA's "Tridentine Mass" if you like, may not officially be used. Women's ordination, which used to be optional, is now all-but mandatory.

This seems to be driving a lot of the overreaction to Benedict's motu proprio which I understand is actually a rather modest thing. I just hope the Pope doesn't get out the papal tiara any time soon. Academic theologians everywhere would drop dead at the sight.

Classic, superb, very funny!

Tremendous fun! I have italicized throughout. Enjoy.
Catholic Church's Shift Toward Tradition
from the Christian Science Monitor.

The leader of 1.1 billion Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, is completing a significant theological shift of the Roman Catholic church — a sweeping change that not only eclipses 40 years of a more moderate and collegial Catholicism, but seeks to reassert the spiritual supremacy of the Vatican and more openly proclaim the authority of the office of pope[sic., throughout] among all Christians.

Some two years after taking the reins, say Protestant and Catholic theologians and religious experts, the Bavarian-born pope is moving swiftly to affirm orthodox doctrines and medieval church[sic] rituals that undermine the spirit of Vatican II, a period of modernization in which the church[sic., throughout] appeared to be rethinking its centuries-long insistence that it had exclusive claims to matters of grace, truth, salvation, and church structure in the Christian world.

Liberal Catholics go so far as to characterize Benedict as leading a counterreformation in the church, in which fervent backers of traditional Catholic identity and faith are favored, even at the expense of popularity. [!!!]

"While Vatican II said that the Holy Spirit was in operation among the people, now we are saying, no, the Holy Spirit is operating in the bishops. It is an enormous change," says Frank Flinn, author of the "Encyclopedia of Catholicism." [First, nice mischaracterization. Second, who is the "we" here?]

The "impression [previous Pope] John Paul II gave was to emphasize teaching so that all may be one.[He's referring to Ut Unum Sint]. But Benedict is turning around and saying to churches, 'you aren't all one.' It is destroying the ecumenical movement." When the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope on April 8, 2005, many Catholics felt he might soften his reputation as a hard-line "enforcer of the faith." [Excellent gobbledygook]

Yet his tenure has shown few signs of mellowing. In the space of three days this month, for example, he promoted the old Latin Mass, which contains references to the conversion of the Jews,[!] then issued a blockbuster doctrinal clarification statement saying that Orthodox and Protestant churches were "lacking" and only authentic through their relationship with Rome.

"Benedict has fought for the same thing for 30 years, and now he is putting it to work," says Frederic Lenoir, editor of Le Monde's religious supplement in Paris. "His main aim in being pope is to unify the true believer groups, and he will lose members or destroy religious dialogues, if that's what it takes." [Sounds like an endorsement to me]

Defenders say that only by a radical reassertion of traditional Catholicism can the church become the body able to bring clarity, order, and moral authority to a troubled world. The various attempts to adapt the church to modernity in the 1960s, they argue, have resulted only in muddled meanings and a lack of proper moral concepts. Beyond that, the opening of the church allowed Jewish, Protestant, atheist, and Islamic ideas to compete against what is seen as God's church, instituted by Christ and[?] the apostle Peter. [This is interesting. A reasonable (though incomplete), sober, matter-of-fact synopsis of the problem. He does not grasp the gravity...or does he grasp only too well?]

Since Vatican II (1964-1969), the Roman Catholic Church in Europe has lost tens of millions of churchgoers at a time when Muslim populations are increasing in Europe. Benedict has stated his central mission is to restore the Catholic Church in Europe and to bridge the gap with Eastern Orthodox churches that more closely share a traditional Catholic suspicion of modernity, the Enlightenment, the Reformation, pluralism, and secularism.[The truth from unlikely sources?]

"We think this pope may be starting back on the proper pathway," says a friar at the St. Nicolas du Chardonnet church in Paris, a center of the ultra-traditional Lefebvrist Catholic sect. "We think he understands the real faith. What we object to is his visiting of the mosque in Turkey. He shouldn't have done that."

Last September, the pope stirred the Muslim world following an academic talk that made reference to Islamic teachings as inherently violent. It was the kind of religious assertion, described later by the Vatican as a "misunderstanding," that was rarely if ever heard under Pope John Paul II.[Well, perhaps next time he can kiss the demonic Koran and invoke him of whom God says no greater was born of a woman (John the Baptist) to bless and protect the religion of Satan? Not that any Servant of The Servants of God would ever do such things]

"The previous pope was friendly, down-to-earth, and a good pastor,"[LOL] says Daniele Garrone, a Rome-based theologian of the Waldensian church, a reformed faith.[ I understand your commendation] "But Benedict is emphasizing theological clarity,[tsk!] and I think he is painting himself into a corner.[classic!] If you believe the church is the sole authority, and you teach this, you have to pay the consequences.[What is this heretic actually saying about JPII...hmm?] Benedict takes it seriously, so I really feel he is suffering right now.[Eh?] He doesn't take this lightly, but feels it is his duty. I wouldn't want to be pope at this point."[Then we are in agreement about one thing then]

Pope Benedict was a German academic and prolific theologian. In the early years of his career, he studied with Hans Kung, a highly influential liberal Catholic theologian whom Benedict would one day reprimand for questioning[? More than that my dear] the concept of papal infallibility[sic].

Pope Benedict also contributed to Vatican II, a period when the church was engaging Martin Luther's concept of the "priesthood of all believers" and vesting more authority in and pastoral attention to ordinary churchgoers.[Once again, has the truth about what has been going on emerged from a most unlikely source?]

Yet during the German student riots of 1968, a chaotic time when many young Germans were demanding that their parents face up to the Nazi past, Ratzinger felt deeply that the Vatican II project was coming unhinged. He became archbishop, then cardinal in 1977, and in 1981 was made prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the Vatican, a meteoric rise.

Ratzinger began to pursue and censure liberal theologians favorable to Vatican II. He issued a paper, "Instruction Concerning Certain Aspects of the 'Theology of Liberation,'" that started to quash liberation-theology movements, particularly in Latin America. [If you want to read it, it's on the Holy See's website, right here. This also from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, which is "part b".]

His tenure as prefect became synonymous with a host of conservative positions [not "the truth"?] on abortion, homosexuality, and birth control, [the world is obsessed with sex] earning him the informal nickname of "the enforcer." [Earning? Who said it? Names please] In 2002, he was made dean of the College of Cardinals, the pope's right-hand man. In the first year, he issued "Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life" that requested bishops not to allow communion to politicians that did not uphold the church teachings on abortion.

Pope Benedict's press officer, Fr. Federico Lombardi, told the Monitor that the church is not changing its theological positions but is simply clarifying them and seeking to "end the confusion" inside Catholic seminaries about church beliefs. He felt the main difference is a stronger emphasis on "Catholic identity," however. [Inside seminaries? Stunning admission]

Mr. Garrone argues that the church must appear to have continuity and can't admit it is changing. "Many nuns, priests, sisters, theologians, and Catholics felt that Vatican II was a new beginning in the history of the church. But by emphasizing 'continuity,' Benedict is saying the second Vatican council was not a new beginning." [Do you understand this paragraph?]

The new papal favoring of Latin Mass is an example. Also known as the "Tridentine" Mass, it is performed by priests who turn their back to the congregation and speak in Latin. This Mass was largely abandoned after Vatican II, partly because it was incomprehensible to lay Catholics and because it contained negative references to Jews. The Latin Mass has long been hated by Jews for its emphasis on the Jewish role in turning Jesus over to the Romans for crucifixion and for its call for Jews to come into the church.

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the Latin Mass initiative as "a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations." [Excellent: if Foxman dislikes it, full-speed ahead]

While the Vatican is not forcing local Catholic churches to say the Latin Mass, it is encouraging local members who want it to lobby their parishes. Some priests argue that this may create further strains on their resources and possibly bring contention. [Fine: well your job is to 1. stop the "contention" and 2. stop this obession with the Paul VI Mass in the vernacular, and multiple vernacular languages other than the dominant one, 3. Given that there are no altar girls and no extra-ordinary minions of unholy confusion permitted, perhaps the 1962 will actually help?]

On July 10, the Vatican issued "Regarding Certain Aspects of Church Doctrine." It argued that churches emerging from the Reformation outside the direct authority of Rome "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense."

Protestants, in particular, "suffer from defects," are properly called communities, not churches, and must one day recognize "the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him" — a major affirmation of papal authority. [Not an affirmation of "the truth"?] While Catholics may engage in ecumenical activities, they must do so through a stronger sense of Catholicism as the true church.

Not surprisingly, the July 10 statement brought a mixture of anger and irritation in other churches.

The Rev. David Phillips, an Anglican official, described it as "ludicrous" to "accept the idea that the pope is in some special way the successor of the Apostle Peter," and added: "We are grateful that the Vatican has once again [ambiguous] been honest in declaring their view that the Church of England is not a proper church. We would wish to be equally open; unity will only be possible when the papacy renounces its errors and pretensions." [drop dead]

The Vatican said it was surprised Protestants would feel anger at being described as less than churches in hundreds of stories in English-language papers around the world and asked them not to "overreact." "This isn't about Protestants, it is an internal theological document for purposes of clarity," Father Lombardi stated. [They act the way they do because their consciences are accusing them, and they cannot stand it. Why do they get so upset that the Church they reject confirms them in their rejection? They reject Peter, Peter agrees, they get upset with Peter]

Some analysts say that, as with the September controversy over Islam, the Vatican sought to downplay the issue even as the hard-line message was amplified in the world media, putting Rome in the position of defining the issue. ["hard-line"? So much of this piece uses the langauge of politics]

"Benedict wants to say that Vatican II is not threatened, but the document on July 10 shows a very different reading," says Christian Mercier, religion editor of the Paris-based Catholic magazine, La Vie.

In the past year, the pope has visited the mosque in Turkey, met with Eastern Orthodox prelates, written to Catholics in China, visited Brazil, and authored a best-selling book about Jesus.

Many theologians say the shifts under Pope Benedict aren't simply a small matter of rules, rituals, clarifications, and a tidying up of doctrine. Perhaps one of the most significant, though little noticed, changes has to do with the changing concept of the meaning of the kingdom of heaven. The current pope has a different vision of time and eschatology.

Under Vatican II, it was accepted that the coming of the kingdom is possible to experience on Earth and not simply in the afterlife. Vatican II stressed concepts like "becoming," "change," and "newness," and championed social justice and liberty as linked to ideas of grace.

Pope Benedict has begun to roll back such ideas, says Mr. Flinn, the Catholic theologian at Washington University in St. Louis, and his theology is "pessimistic, in the sense that heaven and Earth are separate concepts, and that Christ's kingdom can't be experienced here." "It is the old vertical eschatology," Flinn says.

"Liberal Catholics read the scriptures as saying the kingdom is already here, but not yet. The Vatican seems to be saying the kingdom is not yet, not yet, until the end of time, when Jesus returns. Meanwhile, the church is in charge, the pope is the vicar of Christ, and the church has the full truth." [Yep, that's pretty much it]

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More from Daniel Yon.

Where is Harry Reid? Where is the MSM? Where is Nancy Pelosi? Where am I?

Bless the Beasts and Children part 3 (including video).
Bless the Beasts and Children part 2 (including video of Iraqi Army Captain, Baker, information about the killing of Zarqawi).
Bless the Beasts and Children part 1.

More for the useful idiots out there.

I watched a very interesting lecture last night on North Carolina State University extension service TV all about bees and bee keeping. To cut a long story short, if you've noticed the price of honey has gone up significantly in the last 3-5 it's because certain parasites (especially Varroa jacobsoni, and Varroa destructor) from Asia and southern Africa have made their way into the United States decimating (not literally, it's more like 1 in 2 have been killed) kept bees, and (it is thought), wiping out every single wild honey bee colony, about 3 million of them. Naturally this causes pollination problems...

The lecture concluded in typical serial-fashion by leaving those interested hanging -- "next week we'll look at new methods to deal with these new parasites" -- so, annoyed, I flipped to University of North Carolina TV and caught the BBC at their finest and most blatant: the BBC, propaganda central. The BBC are about as subtle as CBS, but they get away with it. Well the story that made me squirm, and delivered in the most fawning tones imaginable (go on, imagine) was this:


JOHANNESBURG: Melding serious statesmanship and a large slug of audacity, the former South African president Nelson Mandela [comment: murderer, communist, and terrorist] and a clutch of world-famous figures plan to announce on Wednesday a private alliance to launch diplomatic assaults on the globe's most intractable problems.

The alliance, to be unveiled on Wednesday during events marking Mandela's 89th birthday, is to be called "The Elders." Among others, it includes the retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu; Jimmy Carter, the former U.S. president; the retired United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, and Mary Robinson, the human-rights activist and former president of Ireland.

Many, including Mandela, have been early and harsh critics of President George W. Bush and American foreign policy, particularly toward Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The group's members and backers insisted in interviews, however, that they are guided neither by ideology nor by geopolitical bent.

Mandela states in remarks prepared for Wednesday that the fact that none of The Elders holds public office allows them to work for the common good, not for outside interests.

"This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken," the remarks state. "Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair."

Whether governments that become the objects of The Elders' freelance diplomacy will agree remains to be seen. One of the group's founders and principal sponsors, the British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, said that those leaders whom he had briefed - including Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and the South African president, Thabo Mbeki - "very much support the initiative."

"There will always be skeptics of any positive initiatives, but these are people giving up their time for nothing," he said of The Elders. "Most individuals in the world would welcome a group of people who are above ego, who, in the last 12 or 15 years of their lives, are above partisan politics."

Precisely what problems The Elders will tackle is unclear; none have yet been selected.

A spokeswoman said the group would jointly decide where to step in, based in part on the seriousness of an issue and their ability to contribute to a solution.

In interviews, Branson and Carter offered two quite different hypothetical situations: The Elders might be able to help resolve regional crises like the wave of guerrilla fighting and kidnapping in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger River delta, Branson suggested.

For his part, Carter said the group might address problems like the waste and lack of coordination among aid organizations providing health care in developing nations. "The Elders won't get involved in delivering bed nets for malaria prevention," he said. "The issue is to fill vacuums - to address major issues that aren't being adequately addressed."

If the concept and the name seem a bit outsized - a diplomatic league of superheroes, one might say - that may stem from their ties to Branson, who rarely does anything in a small way.

In a telephone interview, Branson said that he began thinking about a the notion in 2003, after he sought to persuade Mandela and Annan to travel to Baghdad to ask Saddam Hussein to relinquish power in Iraq. The two agreed, but war broke out before arrangements were completed.

Later, after working on a concert for one of Mandela's charities, Branson flew home with Peter Gabriel, the British rock musician and human-rights activist. "I was talking about the need for a group of global elders to be there to rally around in times of conflict," he said, "and Peter said he'd had a similar idea, but using the global Internet to help elders relate to the world community."

Thus was born The Elders, named after the preeminence of elders in African village societies. Over the last year or so, Branson held a series of meetings at his Caribbean base, Necker Island, at which potential members and backers were recruited to the cause and asked to contribute their own ideas.

Carter said the meetings were a tightly held secret. "Before we went I didn't know what the meeting was all about," he said. "I went because of Sir Richard. We'd talked earlier about the possibility of a biofuels plant in my town, Plains."

Branson and Gabriel contributed funds to begin the project. Asked how much it would cost, Branson replied, "Obviously, it's not cheap." But enough donors have given money to finance The Elders' first four years of work, he said, and he anticipates that raising still more will not be difficult.

By Michael Wines
Published: July 17, 2007, Internationl Herald Tribune.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vatican Web Site.

Excellent. Take a look.

Vatican City State. "Vatican City State is governed as an absolute monarchy. The Head of State is the Pope who holds full legislative, executive and judicial powers..."

Sweet music. Democracy? Origins at the tree...


Horrible post. Glad I deleted it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

After all that... the post below, I forgot to mention what precipitated my litany of grievances involving the US Army, Department of Homeland Security and Direct-TV: it was this...the final straw.

For the last 15 years I have received an annual statement from the UK giving me the low-down on a retirement policy (sort of like my Roth IRA here) I have over there. I set it up in 1988 when I opted out of the state retirement "plan." My plan is with Royal London. I forgot to tell them I had moved since the last (2005) statement I received, so the 2006 statement was forwarded from my old address and I got it two weeks ago. I called them by means of the electric telephone, and discussed in general terms the nastiness that would occur if 1. I cashed it in now, and 2. transferred the money over here (at todays exchange rate!). We decided against that no matter what the details actually were. I was told when it came to the change of address I have to mail them the change of address form (can't do it over the phone) attached to the statement. The chap at the other end decided just before hanging up to actually check my details.

You guessed it...when I read out to him my policy number and spelled my name out for the umpteenth time...I did not exist. There is no record of me or my policy. I tried to help by saying this was a problem as I have their statement in my hand. He said " is a problem." I said, "It is an old policy, back in the late 80s when the Tories let folks opt out." He said "I know..." (he knew because the first digits indicate the year of the policy).

However, he could not explain why I seemed not to exist. I said "thanks" and hung up. Now I have to mail a change of address to the UK, a change of address form attached to the statement they sent me viz. a person and a policy that does not exist.


This post and the one below remind me of these famous exchanges from the BBC TV series Blackadder IV:

Scene, The Western Front 1917.

General Melchett: Good man. Now, Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field. [they gather around a model of the battlefield]

Captain Blackadder: Now, would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches and walking slowly towards the enemy sir?

Captain Darling: How can you possibly know that Blackadder? It's classified

Blackadder: It's the same plan that we used last time, and the seventeen times before that.

Melchett: E-E-Exactly! And that is what so brilliant about it! We will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard! Doing precisely what we have done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time! There is... however... one small problem.

Blackadder: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten

Melchett: That's right! And Field Marshal Haig is worried that this may be depressing the men a tadge. So, he's looking to find a way to cheer them up!

Blackadder: Well, his resignation and suicide would seem the obvious


Private Bob Parker: Oh sir, please don't give me away, sir. I just wanted to be like my brothers and join up. I want to see how a real war is badly.

Captain Blackadder: Well, you've come to the right place, Bob. A war hasn't been fought this badly since Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of all the Vikings, accidently ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.


Captain Darling: What the general means, Blackadder, is...there's a leak.

General Melchett: Now leak is a positively disgusting word.

Darling: The Germans seem to be able to anticipate our every move. We send up an aeroplane, there's a Jerry squadron parked behind the nearest cloud; we move troops to Boulogne, the Germans have bought the whole town's supply of lavatory paper. In short: A German spy is giving away every one of our battle plans.

Melchett: You look surprised, Blackadder.

Captain Blackadder: I certainly am, sir. I didn't realise we had any battle plans.

Melchett: Well, of course we have! How else do you think our battles are directed?

Edmund: Our battles are directed, sir?

Melchett: Well, of course they are, Blackadder -- directed according to the Grand Plan.

Edmund: Would that be the plan to continue with total slaughter until everyone's dead except Field Marshal Haig, Lady Haig and their pet tortoise, Alan?

Things that make you go argh!

I call US army records in Missouri. I don't exist...I am a non-person. I've got all my discharge papers, complete file right in front of me, but I don't exist. I call D.C. and I do exist.

My new green card gets lost in the mail, INS / USCIS sent it to my old address, despite the fact 9 months prior I filed an AR-11 a. by phone, b. by mail, c. electronically, to change my address. I am now told that the department that deals with changes of address does not communicate changes of address to the department that actually handles green-card renewals. That is, you have to change your address twice one told me that. Insane! They sent the notification that the green card was on its way to my old address, the post-office then forwarded it. They actually sent the new green card (shortly after the notification) to my old address...but that has not been forwarded and has not been returned to INS / USCIS. I have been told a. the post office is not supposed to forward mail from them, and b. the post office is supposed to forward mail.

I have been told to file a new form I-90 (to ask for a replacement green card) on-line. I tried that, but I couldn't because the reason "lost in mail / never received" is an option excluded from on-line filing. I call again and am told that, no, I must file a hard-copy request. I am told at one point that the INS / USCIS has actually filed a request for me (with themselves!)...but am now told they haven't and I must do it myself via the mail.

I have been told that even if I ask for a new green card because the replacement was lost in the mail, I might not get it because the one that was lost in the mail has not been returned to them(!), and it must be returned, before a new replacement is issued. that puts me in green card limbo. Then I am told this is not the case and that if I file for a new card it will be issued right away as all my details are on file and I don't have to go down to Charlotte again and start the whole process from scratch...which contradicts a phone call from a couple of weeks ago, that I might well have to go down to Charlotte and waste a whole day.

Then we come to Direct TV. We decided after 2.5 years of boycotting TV (except Netflix dvd service), and in honour of Manchester City's new owner and manager, and because the Rugby World Cup is coming up in September in France, to sign up for one year with Direct TV..."#1 in customer satisfaction."

So they say.

We signed up (last Wednesday) for Direct's "Choice" package, with Sentana Sports package, and 2 receivers (we just bought a new TV from the bargain basement section at Circuit City). We got a great deal from Direct...unbelievable, including a free portable DVD player and $100 gift card for Disney. Then, after signing up, we decided to get another TV from Circuit City's bargain basement using a combination of coupons and gift cards. This meant we had to order another receiver. We called Direct back to make what we thought was a simple addition to our currently-existing order:

"Sorry, we can't just call the installer and get him to pick up another on his way out of the door, we'll have to do your order from scratch."

Okay, well, they also gave us (and they insisted) a new account number (I thought that was suspicious) as well, and a new installation date, and a new price.

We called them back again to check: now they are pretending that the old deal we signed up under is no longer effective, but worse, they are also pretending the old deal never existed, i.e. that the free stuff and $20 per month for 10 months rebate on their "Choice" package -- a package that usually sells for $49.99 per month -- is a figment of our imagination, despite the fact I have their glossy sales brochure in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers and am waving it at the receiver. They're insane! This installation date business is also ridiculous. I don't know what we are going to do with them. I wouldn't mind, but one person over the phone said they had no record in their system of our "former" account/ deal / order...whilst another person admitted they could see it right in-front of them on their monitor.

Now we could go back to Dish from 2.5 years ago. However I have a problem with them. When I called them to cancel...back in the days of yore...they asked for a reason: I told them I could no longer tolerate the crap I pay for but never watch (95% of the channels), especially the commercials which one struggles to avoid whatever channel one watches. The response on the other-end of the line was "if you can't afford it, we can put you on a budget plan." Now that annoyed me. Frankly, cost was not the issue, but if it was I would have told them so. My translation: they are calling me a liar. Next, they told me that because I was cancelling, if I wanted to sign up in the future I would have to put -- get this -- a six month non-refundable deposit down before they would begin service again. This, despite the fact in the almost three years we had been using their service we had never missed a monthly payment, i.e. been late. I was sooooooo annoyed.

Baronius Press of England, 1962 Missal.

I fixed the link in the post below. Not sure why it didn't work the first time. Here is a direct link to their 1962 missal. I don't fancy buying another Missal, I already have three (1945, 58, 61). I bought their D-R bible a couple of years ago, very nice. In illo tempore my gran had to place the order in England then have it delivered here. Now, however, you can buy their stuff even if you don't enjoy the overseas agency of a sweet, old, gray-haired.
Okay, okay, so maybe I will buy one.
Had some good conversations Sunday and yesterday with parishioners / members of the parish council about Summorum Pontificum. I'll post about them later in the hopes they'll be encouraging.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Novus Ordo apologists.

You know, no one, no one, is responsible for the disaster that is the last 40 years. If you want proof that the last 40 years has been horrendous, ask me and I'll provide the numbers (as I have in part over the last month on this blog. look under labels, "Kenneth Jones"). We hear correlation is not causation, which actually has the reek of fatalism dressed as logic about it, post hoc ergo proper hoc: however if "the numbers" improve, well, then that is a different matter altogether isn't it? In such a case correlation and causation are consonant.


Baronius Press announces its intention to launch a new “Motu Proprio” Edition its best selling 1962 Missal.

Following the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, Baronius Press, is delighted and honoured to announce a Motu Proprio Edition of the 1962 Daily Missal, to be published on the Feast of the Holy Triumph (September 14th 2007).

This will include the full text of the Motu Proprio in Latin and English.
Copies can be pre-ordered at our website , and will be shipped as soon as printing has been completed (Sept/Oct 2007).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cardinal Mahony: Los Angeles settles for 660 million you long time?

A few days ago I posted a something tongue-in-cheek: that Cardinal Roger Mahony on the eve of the huge sexual abuse trial in Los Angeles this summer would leave the United States to take up his new post in Rome as head of the CDF. There's been a settlement: it amounts to the same thing.


I have posted this before from Father James Farfaglia, a priest from Corpus Christi, Texas. let me post it again without any comment.

"Finally, another cause of the present state of emergency with regard to the liturgy could be the underlying cause of the entire mess we're in.

Having taught the Catechism of the Catholic Church to a large number of parishioners, I have found the following insight of the Catechism to be quite amazing. When discussing the Ninth Commandment, the Catechism states:

'The sixth beatitude proclaims, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' Pure in heart refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of the truth and orthodoxy of faith. There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith' (#2518).

It is interesting to note, based upon a lifetime of observation, that those priests who habitually carry on with women, or those active homosexual priests who carry on with their proclivities, are guilty of the most obtrusive and bizarre liturgical abuses. There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith."


You may read any report below in full by clicking on the links.

First from Free Republic 2002 for some background:

"The most damaging allegations against Cardinal Mahony concern the case of Rev. Michael Stephen Baker, accused of molesting boys as young as 5 years old. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Baker described going to the offices of the archdiocese in 1986 and telling Mahony of his problem with sexual abuse. He said that in one meeting, an archdiocese lawyer suggested calling the police but that Mahony said no….. Baker continued to have frequent access to children over the next 14 years while he was assigned to nine different parishes. Six of the churches where Baker worked had elementary schools adjacent to the rectory… In an interview last month, the cardinal said the archdiocese had few options in dealing with Baker because the allegations against him were unproven. ‘Our biggest problem was that ... he wasn't found guilty of a criminal act,’ Mahony said. ‘That's a big problem.’” So, just in case you missed it, Cardinal Mahony knew that Baker was a child molester and refused to inform the police, and then gave Baker continued access to children on the grounds that Baker had not been convicted of molestation. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But wait, there’s more. Not only weren’t the police informed, but the victims’ parents, and even the other parish priests, were not informed that Baker posed a danger. Some additional details, courtesy of the LA Times: Two years ago, Cardinal Mahony authorized a secret 1.3 million dollar settlement with two brothers who complained that Baker had molested them for years. However, Mahony was still trying to keep the case from the police: “But leaked e-mail correspondence between top archdiocese officials reveals that Mahony was reluctant to turn over Baker's name to police as recently as late March.”


Now, from 2004:

"Confidential documents and sworn statements by Cardinal Roger Mahony were released last week, ending two years of legal maneuvers to shield "his eminence" from examination in the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal. The cardinal’s testimony, memos and letters offer a rare glimpse into Mahony’s formative years as a priest and young bishop in Fresno and Stockton from 1962 to 1985, and reflect on his moral standing as shepherd of 5 million Catholics in Los Angeles and ranking prelate in the United States.

Compelled by the court after months of resistance, Mahony was deposed recently at his lawyer’s office in downtown Los Angeles. Five lawyers representing hundreds of sex-abuse victims questioned Mahony for six hours about how he responded to accusations that priests in his charge had molested children. His stubborn refusal to answer all questions with candor was a virtual dare to his adversaries to dig deeper for the truth.

The result is 265 pages of testimony that shows Mahony distancing himself from his own career. 'As I get older, more distant things I can’t remember,' he says. Like a crooked screw, his story just doesn’t fit, no matter how hard he twists.

Mahony’s credibility will be an issue in 544 lawsuits headed for settlement in Los Angeles. Lawyers for abuse victims have shown they will relinquish the fight for accountability if the price is right. They recently settled 87 lawsuits with the Diocese of Orange for $100 million, after the diocese promised not to conceal documents that likely will emerge only after lawsuits are dismissed. While attorneys contend a large enough settlement could cost Mahony his job, Sipe believes the truth could be more effective. 'If the real story gets told, lay people will realize that Los Angeles is more corrupt than Boston,' he says.

Thomas Brandlin, a deacon in Los Angeles, has a theory about Mahony. In 1986, Brandlin was accused of molesting a boy in Santa Barbara. Even after Brandlin obtained a declaration of factual innocence from the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, Mahony denied his full faculties for 10 more years, until Brandlin hired a canon lawyer and brought his case to the Vatican. 'He has no plan,' Brandlin says of Mahony. 'He does and says what he needs to get out of whatever situation he is confronted with.'

Maybe Mahony should stick to memory loss after all."


Now let's take a trip back in time to December 2006, when the Diocese of Los Angeles settled for $60 million for 45 victims.

" 'Not everyone is willing to accept that Mahony has suddenly had a change in heart around the issue of clergy sexual abuse. Barbara Dorris, spokesperson for the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests [SNAP], isn't buying Mahony's beneficence in the settlement. "Cardinal Mahony's goal has always been self-preservation. He desperately wants to avoid trials at which horrific and shocking secrets about the church cover-ups of child sexual abuse will be exposed. This settlement doesn't signal or suggest any change whatsoever in Mahony's M.O," Dorris said.' "

"Mahony directly supervised priest Oliver O'Grady, who molested and raped hundreds of young children in his parishes, from 1980-1985 -- a period not covered by the settlement..."

Let's look at that again:

"Cardinal Mahony's goal has always been self-preservation. He desperately wants to avoid trials at which horrific and shocking secrets about the church cover-ups of child sexual abuse will be exposed. This settlement doesn't signal or suggest any change whatsoever in Mahony's M.O."


From May 2007, this gem:

"Mahony commented, “I have often said over the past years that God’s grace is more powerful than the evil of sinful actions.” As a result of the abuse scandal, “Our Church has become more humble, more faithful, and more centered upon our primary mission: to evangelize all peoples in the name of Jesus Christ.”


Now lets look at parts of Cardinal Mahoney's statement today, just before trial:

"Over the past year, it has been my privilege and grace to meet with many, many victims one by one..."

"Sometimes I honestly had reached the bottom. I didn't know what to do next. It seemed like everything I tried to do was wrong, somebody thought it was wrong. I think spiritually ... when you are totally empty, the only way up—without your resources—is God. Spiritually, it's been an enormous time, times of frustration but also times of great spiritual strength, knowing that I don't have all the answers and relying on God to show us the way forward."

"John Manly, a lawyer for 50 of the plaintiffs in the case, said they had been forced to use the civil courts to expose sexual predators and call church officials to account because the criminal justice system had failed.

'I think the question people need to ask themselves is how can Roger Mahony pay three-quarters of a billion for criminal acts, and essentially walk free?” Mr. Manly said. “Especially since it’s other people’s money, and he has clearly been give special treatment by law enforcement and the power structure in L.A. When is there going to be some accountability, and if not, why?'

Cardinal Mahony said at a news conference this afternoon, 'Yes, I’ve made mistakes.'

'But I didn’t know,' he said, that the treatment programs where he sent some predatory priests, before returning them to ministry, were not effective.

He said to the victims that he wished he could restore their lives to where they were before the abuse occurred. 'Your life, I wish, were like a VHS tape' that could be rewound, he said."

I've decided to leave the Church.

The following appeared over on Clerical Whispers, as a contribution (from a Protestant). I read as far as "the Roman Church is not..." when I knew what I must do. I trust reading this well-reasoned post, containing assertions never-before heard (and thus never refuted), and devoid of errors of fact, will persuade others to come out of the Whore of Babylon and join me to await the rapture this Tuesday, at 13:33 hours EST USA, behind the trash dumpster, Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits, New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina (bring bottled water in case it's a hot one).

Save yourselves brothers and sisters! Read "Are Roman Catholics Christians?" by Jack Chick for more information.


Benedict’s claims to the contrary, the Roman Church is not Christ’s church nor is it the only way to heaven and it is asinine, arrogant, and audacious to suggest otherwise.

He bases his claim on apostolic succession; however, he is reaching for straws.

There are many problems with his theory but the big problem is that Roman Bishops and Popes cannot be linked back to the Apostles so there is no apostolic succession and no authority—and no legitimate church!

Pope Stephen VII (896-897) had Pope Formosus (the former Pope) dug up, dressed him in regal papal vestments, propped him upon a throne, tried him and found him guilty!

He was mutilated and his corpse thrown to a howling mob who dragged him to the river and pitched him in.

But Pope Stephen was not finished because he had all Formosus’ ordinations declared invalid.

Evidently, Pope Stephen didn’t realize the problem he was making for hundreds of priests, Bishops, and future Popes.

To them, he had broken the link with the Apostles!

Pope Steve had ordained numerous priests and Bishops who in turn ordained many others, who ordained many others so the line was further corrupted and any church official living today who was ordained by a protégé of Pope Steve is an imposter.

It is interesting that both Pope Stephen and Pope Formosus are Popes-in-good-standing down at the Vatican.

What a mess!

The Catholic “bloodline” or apostolic succession from the Apostle Peter (who was never a Pope) has been corrupted, really corrupted, hundreds of times. It is disingenuous, deceptive, and dishonest for Benedict to claim as a fact that which is falsehood and fraud. Evidently Ben has no shame.

Moreover, Christ did not tell Peter he was the foundation for the Catholic Church as Rome teaches. It was Peter’s confession that was to be the foundation.

Catholics don’t like to admit that Augustine, one of their “saints,” backed off believing in Peter being the Church’s foundation.

He later confessed that Christ’s church was based upon Peter’s confession: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Peter was neither a pope nor the foundation for any church. Christ was and is.Of course, there was a succession of Bishops (pastors) in the church at Rome but they were not Popes until hundreds of years after Christ ascended into Heaven, and the “succession” was not unbroken.

Slowly the early church was polluted with false doctrine and wicked, influential pastors grabbed power from less influential pastors.

As the Roman Empire decayed, the Christian church in Rome advanced toward hierarchical control of the other churches in the empire.

A point that must be emphasized: even if Peter (a married man) had been the first pastor at Rome, that does not prove apostolic succession nor does it provide a foundation for popery!

Roman priests and bishops are not raising the dead and giving sight to the blind! Nor do they say, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

They are obscenely wealthy but have no power to heal the lame.

Jesuit John McKenzie, when professor of theology at Notre Dame, wrote: “Historical evidence does not exist for the entire chain of succession of church authority.” The Roman Catholic Church (New York, 1969), p. 4.

Moreover, the New Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “. . . the scarcity of documents leaves much that is obscure about the early development of the episcopate . . .” (1967), Vol. I, p. 696.

So honest Catholics admit the lack of historical foundation for apostolic succession.

The early Christian churches started to splinter not long after the Apostle John died.

Historian, Will Durant states: “Celsus [second-century opponent of Christianity] himself had sarcastically observed that Christians were ‘split up into ever so many factions, each individual desiring to have his own party.’ About 187 (A.D.)

Irenaeus listed twenty varieties of Christianity; about 384 (A.D.) Epiphanius counted eighty.”—The Story of Civilization: Part III—Caesar and Christ. p. 616.

All this simply proves that men are often self-serving sinners and conferring ordination on them does not change anything.

The Roman Catholic Church faction simply came out on top with the money, churches, leadership, political contacts, etc.

However, true New Testament Churches were still in existence and because they resisted the heretical innovations of the early power grabbers, the genuine Christians were identified as heretics when it was the bejeweled pontiffs who were the heretics.

Yes, churches, one of them being the church at Rome, had succeeding pastors but none with apostolic authority since to be an apostle one had to have seen the risen Lord.

Yes, there is one faith that has been preserved from the apostles until now, but it is not the apostate Roman Catholic Church which in reality is a cult—a corrupted offshoot of a Bible-preaching church established by Christ.
The errors and heresies of Rome include papal infallibility, apostolic succession, worship of idols, praying to saints, purgatory, limbo, confession to priests, absolution, indulgences, penance, Mary worship, celibacy, the mass, works for salvation, and on and on and on.

What a pity.

The Roman Catholic Church is the con job of all time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bless The Beasts & Children.

Perhaps you won't see this on the TV, you might not read about this in newspapers:

Bless The Beasts & Children. *warning pictures that tell the truth*
Update: Bless The Beasts & Children.


While we were driving in the belly of the Stryker into Buhriz, I asked Abu Ali, “What did you do to al Qaeda?”

Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims... Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda...they asked the Americans to join the attack.

Al-Qaeda on the Run: Feasting on the Moveable Beast *with video*
Gates of Fire *real combat it*
I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

Summorum Pontificum for Dummies: so let it be written, so let it be done.

Trautman, was sagen sie?

Ich befehle hier!

Ich scherze nicht!

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you...If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools...

"So let it be written, so let it be done."

From an email.

Further to the post below ('s long, but one can't treat everything in a couple of lines or soundbites) I sent an email...this is part:
"I am very suspicious about how he [Fishwomyn] is going to interpret stability and why he changed the wording of the MP from "group" to "community" in his letter. This is something I would certainly watch in any furher communications, i.e. the word group never appears but it is always community...he is trying to limit this [MP] to specific parishes, i.e. he does not want each parish having a Latin mass and sacraments per 1962; he does "worry" about division within parishes (which he wants though as I say in my post): if he has to give in, he wants it confined (quarantined) to certain parishes. I suspect blackmail will be the order of the day: it will be made known, that if catholics / priests don't push the intra-parish issue, then obstacles will curiously disappear and invitations to form "personal parishes" will be the order of the day."
The question of "group" and "stability" and attempts to prove the Pope wrong on the issue of division are what enemies of this Pope will use to render the MP a dead letter. Watch out for the gray-haired dearies in your parish...

Trautperson: enemy of the Pope?

Statement from Bishop Trautman on Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum”. Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D, S.S.L., Bishop of Erie, issued the following statement on July 9, 2007 regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Summorum

The recent apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI on widening the use of the
liturgical books of 1962 is prompted by his desire to reach out to those
Catholics in schism because of their non-acceptance of the liturgical reforms of
the Second Vatican Council.


Intermission for ice cream and popcorn.

Oops: Bold-faced fibs! Is it these reforms that have lead to "schism" or is it deeper than that? Cardinal Ricard and the Pope say deeper. Is Trautman trying to insulate himself? Yes, he is.

Oops: is Trautperson one of those about whom Cardinal Bertone spoke of in November: "Much more worrisome[than atheists] are those inside the Church who work to distort its faith and moral principles, or who oppose the Pope and his design for renewal of the Church." Let's see what the Pope actually says in Summorum Pontificum...but before we do that, let's see what another enemy of Summorum Pontificum says:

"Cardinal Jean Pierre Ricard, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, said this week the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI “is intended for Catholics faithful to the Pope and respectful of the authority of the Council (Vatican II) and who desire to use the 1962 Missal.”

Oops: So according to Cardinal Ricard's full statement[click link] it is not only for schismatics [he means SSPX]; Bishop Trautwoman says it is. Do they think we cannot read? There are many Catholics who refuse to accept the suppression of the Latin Mass, but what does that have to do with VII?

There are many who refuse to accept Bishop Trautwoman's interpretation, his rupture, and this has nothing to do with VII. Is the Pope a schismatic? He must be under his implied definition. In anycase, a reading of the article at the end of this post from Adoramus, and Bishop Fishwoman's weeping intervention at America that I have linked to at the end should leave no-one in any doubts. The Pope is probably not on Bishop Fishwoman's annual Animating-Spirit liturgy list.

Bishop Fishwoman is attempting to equate a refusal to accept ipso facto his interpretation of the liturgical reforms of the Council - of which he is the sole authentic interpreter - with a. the reforms themselves, and b. a refusal to accept the (illegal) suppression of the Latin Mass, making either determinative of whether one is schismatic or not. He is his own personal magesterium. Okay, so what does the Pope say? For whom is the Motu Proprio given, and what prompted it? Whither Bishop Fishwomyn's insulation?

First, the letter:
"The document is the fruit of much reflection, numerous consultations and prayer...[this] Missal was never juridically abrogated... [a] good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite...[Many] people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear."

Bishop Fishwomyn: would he care to comment on the meaning of "many", as in "Many People"? Is that "many" or "all"? How does he understand "clearly accepted"? CLEARLY. Do you think the Pope is speaking about men like Bishop Fishwomyn when he says "This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal,...". Goodbye insulation? More from the Pope:

"[I] have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church."

Bishop Fishwomyn: He has, in his letter, slandered millions of Catholics by associating them with schismatics. He should ppologize. More from the Pope:

"...[it] has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them."

Bishop Fishwomyn: Is he a hypocrite? He has, in his letter, slandered millions of Catholics by associating them with schismatics. He should apologize. Interior reconciliation? More from the Pope:

"...[the] positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation..."

From the Motu Prorio itself: what prompted this?
"Following the insistent prayers of these faithful [the faithful that "adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms"] long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and after having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006, having reflected deeply upon all aspects of the question, invoked the Holy Spirit and trusting in the help of God, with these Apostolic Letters we establish the following..."

Back to the main feature: Bishop Fishwoman continues...

The Second Vatican Council, an ecumenical council of the Church, restored
and adapted the liturgy recommending vernacular languages for the worship
life of the Church. Pope Benedict, sensitive to those still clinging to the
Tridentine Latin Mass (the 1962 missal) and liturgical rites prior to Vatican II,
now grants a more generous application of that former liturgy. [my emphasis]


Oops: note he mentions nothing of the sacraments as a whole. Note how he focuses on "those still clinging". Is this a different "those" from "those Catholics in schism" he mentioned in the first paragraph above. Notice how he characterizes VII and the Council Fathers. Note how he speaks about "application" (which he will determine absolutely) and "former".

Bishop Trautwoman continues...


Since the Diocese of Erie already permits the celebration of the Tridentine
Mass in two locations, St. Ann Parish in Erie and St. Bernadette Parish in
Saegertown, I do not foresee a pressing pastoral need on the part of our people.
In the future, I will be issuing diocesan norms to help apply and order the
specifics of the pope’s letter. Priests who might want to celebrate the
Tridentine Mass will be given a rubrical and Latin exam to comply with the
pope’s own statement, “The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree
of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language.”


FEAR: for months I have been warning about how this issue of training (obvious it would be mentioned in any MP) will be open to abuse. This Bishop is going to issue norms to help frustrate and disorder the specifics of "the pope's [sic] letter." Note also how the issue of a stable group - which he calls community (think, why would he do that? The Motu says group. Why would he say community? Habit, or something else...I think I know, what do YOU suspect?) - appears. Can you imagine how someone unsympathetic to the Motu Proprio can toy with "stability"...the how, the what, the where? What is this "common good" of the parish? We know what it means, it means this: if any parishoner objects to the establishment of the Latin Mass or sacraments per 1962 in any parish, the issue is closed. The Pope has stated that fears about division are groundless, right? Thus, where non exists, perhaps Trautman will create; where they are weak, perhaps he will exacerbate; where they are latent, perhaps he will foment.

Bishop Trautperson continues...

Further, there will be need to ascertain that the common good of the parish
prevails and to ascertain what constitutes a stable community of those
requesting the 1962 missal. We must keep in proper perspective the pope’s
more generous use of the liturgical rites prior to 1962. The pope himself has
said: “It is clearly seen that the new missal will certainly remain the ordinary
form of the Roman rite.”


COMMON GOOD: do you want an idea of what this Bishop thinks is the "common good"? We are already aware of his "John and Mary Catholic" remarks. Try this:


Adoramus Bulletin, Online Edition - Vol. IX, No. 8: November 2003

Bishop Trautman to Liturgists: "Keep up your courage"
Doctrine Committee chairman urges liturgists to resist "pullbacks", "reform of the reform"

"Coworkers in the Liturgical Ministry of Christ" was the title of Erie Bishop Donald Trautman's acceptance speech on October 10, as he received the annual Frederick A. McManus Award from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) at the organization's national meeting in San Antonio.

Bishop Trautman, former director of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) and current chairman of the Doctrine Committee, began his remarks with a tribute to Monsignor McManus, emeritus professor of Canon Law at Catholic University of America and a principal architect of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform.

Vision, passion.
"I recall the many meetings of the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy on which Fred served as a consultant", said Bishop Trautman. "He was always a voice of calm and reasoned discussion in liturgical matters. Tonight I urge all liturgists to be the continuation of Fred's voice -- a voice of expertise -- a voice of balance -- a voice of truth -- a voice of charity. A recognized expert in canon and liturgical law, Fred represents the very best of this National Federation", he continued.

"Fred was present 40 years ago when the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was debated and approved at Vatican II", the bishop told the group.

"As a peritus to the Council, he saw firsthand the workings of the entire four sessions of Vatican II. This experience gave him a vision and passion to bring renewal to all parishes. Fred gave invaluable assistance to the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy. He was a founding member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and was intimately connected to the foundation of this Federation", Bishop Trautman noted.

"Today liturgists need to imitate his spirit more than ever -- his spirit of perseverance, his spirit of courage, his spirit of dedication and commitment to the liturgical principles of renewal. We need to be his voice -- knowledgeable, persuasive, respectful of all sides of the question but ever insistent on the baptismal rights of the assembly for full participation".

The Euphoria Has Ended.
But "the euphoria of Vatican II" has ended, and liturgists must face "major challenges" today, the bishop remarked. "It is not a fad, it is not the work of liturgical terrorists, not the invention of liberal liturgical scholars; the liturgical movement is the will of the Spirit for all of God's people".

Bishop Trautman enumerated some of these "challenges":

"As the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy fades in time, is it also fading in influence?" he asked. "Do we recognize a pullback from the liturgical principles, a lessening of collaboration, a return to devotionalism rather than Eucharistic celebration? Is there a liturgical backsliding that causes us to be disillusioned, dejected, disheartened? We need to recall the founders of the American Liturgical Movement. These liturgical pioneers did not give up and we must not give up. We must not surrender the progress made at Vatican II".

"Do Not Quench the Spirit."
"Do not quench the Spirit", the bishop repeatedly exclaimed as he urged the FDLC members to resist what he termed "pullbacks" and "liturgical backsliding".

"When we encounter those who advocate a 'reform of the reform', we must say, 'Do not quench the Spirit'. The Holy Spirit was present at Vatican II and gave us new liturgical direction. When we encounter people who harken back to rigidity in rubrics, we must say. 'Do not quench the Spirit'. When inculturation is denied and one liturgical form is forced on all, we must say, 'Do not quench the Spirit'. When the Scripture translations in our Lectionary are flawed and not proclaimable, we must say, 'Give us the richness of God's Word: Do not quench the Spirit'. The Holy Spirit prompted the renewal and reform of the liturgy. Now, more than ever, we must say, 'Do not quench the Spirit'".

Who's Quenching?
In the 1990s, Bishop Trautman led opposition to the Holy See's intervention in translation both of Scripture (Lectionary) and other liturgical translations (International Commission on English in the Liturgy's "Sacramentary" revision). The bishop, as head of the BCL and member of the Lectionary committee, was a strong proponent of so-called "inclusive language", and a free approach to translation. Recently he has published articles critical of the Instruction on translation, Liturgiam authenticam, issued in 2001.

Although Bishop Trautman did not directly accuse Pope John Paul II of "devotionalism" for strongly encouraging the revival of Eucharistic devotions, nor did he mention by name the Vatican cardinals he believes are responsible for impeding "progress" in translation and other aspects of the Liturgy, Bishop Trautman called for strong resistance to any perceived "pullback".

He singled out for particular concern the forthcoming "prescriptive" directives that the Holy Father called for in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, released in March 2003.

"A recent draft of a forthcoming Vatican instruction included several problematic elements -- elements which were neither pastorally sensitive nor liturgically correct" Bishop Trautman told the liturgists. "While we are thankfully reassured that more competent and more sensible judgments have prevailed, we need to ask how could such proposals be drafted and approved for submission in the first place?

"When such Roman liturgical drafts call us to return to a liturgical mentality prior to Vatican II, we need to say to one another: Keep up your courage. When liturgical expertise is not respected, we must say to one another: Keep up your courage. When fundamental principles of liturgical renewal are reversed, we must remind one another: Keep up your courage. When liturgical offices are closed and liturgical budgets are slashed, we must say to one another: Keep up your courage. When we see liturgical renewal still wanting in many parishes and when we feel the pain of the clerical sex abuse scandal and its impact on worshipping assemblies and presiders, let us give hope to one another".

Bishop Trautman concluded his address to the FDLC with a call to action:

"I say to you who are in the liturgical ministry of the Church: Persevere; let no one quench the Spirit; give one another courage; keep the liturgical movement alive, keep the liturgical movement alive".


Does this remind you of his John and Mary moment? It does me.

"What is sadly missing in the present moment is the voice of liturgical scholars and the voice of the laity, the assembly. I was dismayed when I recently learned that our liturgists — professionals with degrees and experience, teaching at our academic institutions — did not have access to the work of ICEL."

He means these people at the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) . Pass the sick bag.

If you find His Excellency Bishop Trautman's tongue-right-down-the-back-of-the-pants praise of Fred amazing, enjoy the recent stroking Bugnini receives from the mouth of Bishop Luca Brandolini: Brandolini and Trautman, apocalyptic bedfellows.

On the Motu Proprio:
"This day is for me a day of grief. I have a lump in my throat and I do not manage to hold back my tears...I cannot hide my sadness for the putting aside of one of the most important reforms of the Second Vatican Council...I am living the saddest day of my life as a priest, as a bishop, and as a man...It is a day of grief, not only for me, but for many who lived and worked in the Second Vatican Council. Today, a reform for which so many labored, at the cost of great sacrifices, animated solely by the wish to renew the Church, has been an important reform of the Council was undermined...The episcopal ring which I carry on my finger belonged to archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the father of the Conciliar liturgical reform. I was, at the time of the Council, a disciple of his and a close co-worker..."

BTW: do NOT try to download any pdf files from the FDLC site to see what they are doing. I did, and, I kid ye not, my McAffee Security Center stopped a file cold because it detected a...Trojan. Try it yourself here: scroll down half-way, look for "Bulletin Inserts" and try "Reverence, by Melissa Nussbaum." I warned you. You know, there ARE a lot of wimmin involved with this organization.

What does the blog really say?

Am I the only person blocked from Father Z.'s blog? This happened about a month ago, then all of a sudden I had access again. A week ago I found myself blocked again, and this continues. Any ideas?

More Catholic Wisdom on the CDF note.

What always stuns me is how the Catholic Church can say the same thing over and over and over again and still it shows up on the "news" as a "shock" or "bombshell".

I understand that non-Catholics would of course disagree with Catholic ecclesiology (duh) but how can any of these documents be considered shocking news?

Second Vatican Council says that one must apply objective criteria when deciding what methods of family planning are licit and says that the true church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church.

Humanae Vitae reiterates a SVII teaching on family planning and the news drops like a bombshell apparently harkening back to the pre-Vatican II dark ages.

Dominus Iesus reiterates SVII teaching on subsist and another bombshell harkening back to pre-Vatican II dark ages.

And now a practical clone of Dominus Iesus comes out and shocks the world again. Comedians around the world must envy the Roman Catholic Church's charism of being able to create shock without needing to invent new material.
Posted by Burnt Marshwiggle email at July 10, 2007 07:28 PM

---------------------- is the best one....from cnn's front page...

"vatican stresses inferiority of protestants"
Posted by Matthew Kelley email at July 10, 2007 10:16 PM


"Comedians around the world must envy the Roman Catholic Church's charism of being able to create shock without needing to invent new material."

I actually snorted root beer out my nose reading this. Not only is it funny, it's so true.

I'm so tired of the rampant, flat-out ignorance about the Church... and the media just makes it worse. Sheesh.
Posted by Lisa Noonan email at July 11, 2007 01:12 AM


From: The Curt Jester.

The Wisdom of Paul.

My favorite part is that those who really don't have any interest in being part of what Catholics call The Church are most offended when Catholics say they're not part of The Church.

We say that to be a Church, you have to be founded by Christ, have Apostolic succession, a ministerial priesthood and valid sacraments.

They say all you need is the Book.

(I wonder if a Protestant would be pleased to be given the owner's manual to a Lexus as a present. Then he could say he has a Lexus, right?)


Paul, just this guy, you know.
From M'lord Catholic of the Cave.