Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Last week saw a turning point in the Church. Where it will lead, I do not know, for contrary to my protests, I am not clairvoyant. There I said it!

Thanks to Michael Voris for this witness to his Catholic Faith and fidelity to Pope Francis!



You can read the complete post about the "mandatum at a wedding"  over at Praytell 

Basically, there is a trend in liturgical land to add the mandatum to the Nuptial liturgy. It is suppose to symbolize that they will be of service to each other and the wider community! It is a nice sentiment but I suspect my first creative suggestion below is better suited for the nuptial liturgy if we want to add to it and get creative. I'm told it is in the Sarum Rite although a bit modified.

However, now that Praytell has gotten me in the creative mood liturgically at least for Nuptial liturgies, let me make some creative suggestions to brides and grooms:

My number one pick first that will please rigid traditionalists as Pope Francis characterizes them!

Brides should cry, as they normally do at their weddings, and use their tears to wash the feet of their new husband as a reminder to her that she must completely submit to the authority of Christ, whom her bridegroom represents in all things in their marriage. She should then  dry the feet of her new husband and anoint them with oil and kiss them! How powerful would that be!

My number two pick which will please flaky, bleeding heart progressives has Pope Francis characterizes them:

At the end of Mass the bride and groom should "jump the broom" than in an act of true humility and servanthood, the bridegroom then picks up the broom and sweeps the aisle of the church clean of all debris left by the flower girl as she processed in dropping flower pedals. This will be a sign that the husband will share in the housework or do it completely. So sweet! No?

Can we "jump the shark" in liturgical creativity??? I ask; you respond!


My comments first: When we look at what has happened to mainline Protestant Churches who have become liberal, post-Christian Churches, we see it happened in the so-called general assemblies where the Word of God as they would understand it was put up to a vote or a referendum. This allowed them to change the doctrines of the Church on many areas. Think Episcopal, Methodist and Presbyterians and also Lutherans. Think female ordination, condoning of homosexual acts and marriage and doing away with natural law as a basis for sexual morality.

Is this where Pope Francis has brought the Catholic Church with this recent synod of bishops? Or is he doing to the Catholic Church what religious orders, such as his own Jesuits did to their religious orders in the 1960's and 70's which has led to their decline and fall? Religious orders, especially women's religious orders, were very proud of the processes they used to involved their members to change their orders. The process was deemed beautiful regardless of what it produced including the mess that now has led to their demise.

Is this what Pope Francis has in mind for the Catholic Church? Pray, pray, pray that it isn't 1960's again and if so, pray, pray, pray that we go back to the future as a Church!

Crux has a brief article that shows the angst of sober prelates such as Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Thomas Tobin:

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island has called on Catholics to “relax” following the tumultuous synod on the family, but nonetheless expressed concern over how bishops, cardinals, and even the pope conducted themselves earlier this month.

“Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?” Tobin wrote on the Diocese of Providence website.

In a piece entitled “Random Thoughts About the Synod on the Family,” Tobin said that “it’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families.”

He argued against what he called the pope’s suggestion that the Church “accommodate the needs of the age.” If that happens, he wrote, “the Church risks the danger of losing its courageous, counter-cultural, prophetic voice, a voice that the world needs to hear.”

“Pope Francis is fond of ‘creating a mess.’ Mission accomplished,” Tobin wrote.
He expressed support for Cardinal Raymond Burke, a favorite of the Catholic right who is expected to be demoted next month. Tobin called Burke “a principled, articulate and fearless spokesman for the teachings of the Church.”
Tobin, known as an outspoken, socially conservative bishop, asked how the Second Vatican Council would have looked “if social media had existed,” and wondered if American bishops would follow the synod’s structure during their November gathering in Baltimore.

“The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant,” he wrote.

Tobin’s comments came a day after Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, a leading conservative voice in the US hierarchy, says he was “very disturbed” by the debate over Church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at this month’s Vatican summit, saying it sent a confusing message and “confusion is of the devil.”
In a lecture delivered Monday evening in Manhattan, Chaput also suggested that in the wake of the rapid series of court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in more than 30 states, Catholic priests might consider opting out of certifying civil marriages as a sign of “principled resistance.”

Chaput is expected to host Pope Francis in Philadelphia next September for a global World Meeting of Families, and his criticisms tracked complaints by other conservatives who were upset with Francis for encouraging a freewheeling discussion among the 190 cardinals and bishops at the Vatican’s two-week Synod on the Family.

The 70-year-old archbishop, who was not part of the Rome summit, made his remarks in response to a question after a lecture event sponsored by the journal First Things.

“I was very disturbed by what happened” at the synod, Chaput said. “I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion.”
Still, he said there was some value in the synod.

“We also need to thank God for the gift of this present, difficult moment,” Chaput said. “Because conflict always does two things: It purifies the church, and it clarifies the character of the enemies who hate her.”

Material from the Religion News Service was used in this report.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The comment below is from an anonymous commenter on another thread but apropos to all that we have seen and heard in the last week:

NEVER in my life have I witnessed a Catholic priest be rude, mean or insulting to a divorced person, a single mother, a gay person, a gay couple, a woman who had an abortion. But I have seen Catholic priests be rude to Traditional Catholics who want to kneel for communion, who chapel veils, who want to pray the Stations of the Cross etc. the truth is the Catholic Church has always shown mercy to sinners but not to sin. Let's get it straight. I hardly call a bishop who, during the Mass, constantly calls people he disagrees with nasty names merciful. And it's not a traditional bishop who is doing this, but a very liberal one.


My comments first: I think that William Oddie hits the nail on the head and it should be a comfort to all of us orthodox Catholics. Where Oddie also hits the nail on the head is the "style" of the pope is what is creating chaos whether intentional or not on the part of the pope. And in doing so His Holiness is radicalizing the polarized forces in the Church, the very two sides he chastises in his stereotypical analysis.  Thus His Holiness polarizes opposites in the Church are not only radicalized but driven further apart eventually causing great harm to the unity of the Church and leading to more fragmentation and semi-schisms if not outright schism!

I emphasize in red Oddie's points which are his not mine and the red points are very, very important for us Orthodox Catholics which includes the pope:

Well, Pope Francis, as Cardinal Burke implored, has now firmly upheld the depositum fidei: but has he let loose forces he can’t control?

But why is Cardinal Burke himself, the hero of the synod, being eased out? And what are these disquieting rumours about Cardinal Müller?

By on Tuesday, 21 October 2014

My last piece was headlined “If Francis doesn’t soon make it clear that the synod can’t abandon Catholic teaching, his pontificate could spin out of control”. I didn’t, I fear, hold out much hope that he would; and nearly everyone seems to have taken it for granted that he didn’t, even those who, like John Thavis, claim to have read the Holy Father’s address closing the Synod, an address in which it’s quite clear to me THAT HE DID unambiguously and with emphasis make it clear that the depositum fidei had to be the foundation of everything.

And yet in all the many comments on the Synod’s end I have read, not one writer so far as I can discover noticed what the Pope actually said. Does nobody read (rather than just skimming through, half-blinded by prejudice or wishful thinking) what anyone says or writes anymore?

Of the Pope’s actual words, more presently: but this is what Thavis thought had happened by the end of the Synod itself: “The short-term result making headlines is that in the concluding report, the more conservative members of the Synod of Bishops on the family managed to pull back some of the amazingly open language regarding those living in ‘irregular’ unions, including gays. But I think the long-term results are more significant. Chief among them is that Pope Francis clearly placed the Church on a new path, toward an evangelising style that is less focused on doctrine and more willing to invite people in, no matter what their ‘status’.”

Well, undoubtedly, it’s true that certain conservative bishops, notably Cardinals Burke and Pell, did manage to have some of the “amazingly open” (ie. utterly irresponsible) language of the concluding report struck out, largely because it was a complete distortion of what had actually taken place. But that the Pope placed the Church on a new path, less “focused on doctrine”, is just not the case, if what that means is that the Church’s teachings on faith and morals had been junked.

Certainly the Pope mentioned, among the various temptations of groups like the synod “a temptation to hostile inflexibility [trans: rigidity], that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve.

“From the time of Christ”, the Pope went on, “it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – ‘traditionalists’ and also of the intellectuals.” Well, there’s actually nothing there that a real traditionalist (rather than many of those so-called) — that is, someone wholly committed to the traditio, to the living and developing but also unchanging magisterium of the Church — could object to.

And the Holy Father makes THAT clear by the other temptations he then goes on to reject:
The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo: 'self-righteousness', maybe?], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the ‘do-gooders’, of the fearful, and also of the so-called ‘progressives and liberals’.
The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4)
The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.
The temptation to neglect the ‘depositum fidei’ [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it].
All that, it seems to me, is a more than adequate response to Cardinal Burke’s entreaty, made last week: The Catholic World Report asked the Cardinal whether he thought the Pope should make “a statement soon in order to address the growing sense — among many in the media and in the pews — that the Church is on the cusp of changing her teaching on various essential points regarding marriage, “remarriage,” reception of Communion, and even the place of “unions” among homosexuals?” Cardinal Burke replied simply “In my judgment, such a statement is long overdue”.

Now, the Pope has made a full and emphatic statement which does just that. His words require the close attention which so far they have not had. In particular that reference to “the temptation to neglect the ‘depositum fidei’, not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]…”. Isn’t that a profound and deadly accurate dismissal of the liberal mentality?

This Pope isn’t a liberal. But he has given the liberals their head; and it remains to be seen whether that particular genie can be got back into the bottle. At the next synod, some of those who just about saved this one won’t be there. Cardinal Pell will be: but the hero of this Synod, Cardinal Burke, is (in my opinion deplorably) being eased out of his influential post as head of the Vatican’s supreme court. And there are deeply disquieting rumours that Cardinal Gerhardt Müller’s days as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are numbered, too.

What will happen next? And what, for the matter of that, just happened? “Some”, as John Allen sums it all up, “believe the soap opera quality of the two-week gathering, with conservatives complaining of a plot to stifle their voices and liberals grousing about a lack of nerve, suggest Francis has let loose forces he can’t control. ‘I don’t think he’s much of a strategist,’ one cardinal told Crux on Sunday night. ‘I used to think there was a plan underneath the chaos… now I’m wondering if the chaos is the plan’.”

“I must admit,” says Fr Blake, “I still don’t understand Francis. Is he the greatest thing since unsliced bread, a cunning old Jesuit, a conservative, a trad, a prophet, a fool or even the anti-Christ; a breath of fresh-air or the stench from the tomb of those rather detestable men who surrounded the Blessed Paul VI and added to his suffering?”

Well, I don’t think he’s THAT. He’s certainly more conservative than people think: but has he, as many undoubtedly believe now, let loose forces he can’t control, one thing a Pope should never do? That’s the question nobody seems to be able to answer.


Archbishop Bruno Forte:
Are the sacraments for remarried divorcees a doctrinal issue?
“The doctrine is clear on this: the indissolubility of marriage is unquestionable. The pastoral question is to do with the situations and circumstances in which these people should be allowed to receive the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist. This already happens in certain situations, for example when there is a serious illness involved or when someone is on their deathbed. Can these sacraments be granted in any other special situations? We will have to wait and see what the local Churches have to say in order to work out which of these cases are most urgent.”
Some priests and even bishops grant these sacraments when in the confessional or when they know the person in question well...
“Some of the Synods Fathers did in fact say that this does sometimes happen. This is perhaps partly a clearer direction is needed.”

MY COMMENTS: I have mentioned time and time again that the there are two possible solutions to helping Catholics in irregular marriage situations. The first which must always be used first is the external forum which we call annulments. There are strict Church canons to govern this procedure.

The second option which in fact is used by many priests is the "internal" forum. There are no canons governing this but it is used. Is it licit or not? There is great disagreement since there is no Church law governing this forum.

My understanding of its use is tied to Archbishop Forte's answer to the question above concerning pastoral procedures clearly mandated by the Church. If someone is dying or entering into a phase of health crisis, like a serious operation, and even though that person may recover, the sacraments are allowed to them, that of Confession, Anointing of the sick and Holy Communion. I've done this twice in the past week in my parish!

The less clear pastoral procedure using the internal forum is when the annulment process is exhausted and a penitent comes to a priest asking for an internal forum solution during Confession. Let's say no one knows of the person's second marriage (or don't care) and that the persons have been married outside the Church for many years, have reared their children in the Church and are otherwise living exemplary lives. The person seeking the internal forum believes that their first marriage was seriously flawed and that the current one not recognized by the Church is good. This is the penitent's judgment. The priest says that the burden of conscience is on the person and that they are seeking God's mercy, but the opposite could take place at the day of personal judgment. Properly warning the penitent, and there is no public scandal for them to begin receiving Holy Communion, the person, on their own, and not with actual permission from the priest returns to the sacraments.  If scandal might be present the priest warns them to receive in a parish where their situation isn't known. 

The door is still open that the person might face a negative judgement at their death from God. So the burden is on the penitent in terms of this decision of conscience.

Why have we become so judgmental about those who receive Holy Communion. After all, it will be God's responsibility to sort it all out at everyone's personal judgement. 

MY FINAL COMMENT: I am staying with Peter through this rough time for the Church. At almost 61 I know my time left on earth is limited. This is God's Church and He is the One to sort out the pastoral mess that the lay faithful and lower and higher clergy create for the Church in various epochs of Church history.


Archbishop Bruno Forte, portrayed as the villain in all this and perhaps Pope Francis' next Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, replacing Cardinal Mueller who has openly challenged the papal position through His Holiness' surrogate, Cardinal Kasper, gave this post synod interview to the Vatican Insider (what do your think about it?):

How do you view the final result of the Synod?
“Very positively because there was widespread consensus on all the points contained in the final document, even those which did not obtain he two-thirds majority; these were nevertheless approved by a significant majority, meaning that more than 50% of bishops agreed.”

Is the Church divided?
“No, on the contrary. As far as I could tell, the Synod Fathers worked closely with the Pope. Although participants spoke frankly and although we did argue quite a bit, everyone tried to be supportive to families, particularly those facing difficult situations. We are all pastors who are in touch with the people and we all share the same goal: to proclaim God’s love to everyone.”
But neither the paragraph which outlined the positions of those in favour and against granting remarried divorcees access to the sacraments, nor the paragraph relating to gay people obtained a two-thirds majority…
“The paragraph on gay people presented two texts from the Catholic magisterium which have already been assimilated by the Church, while the paragraph on remarried divorcees outlined two positions which emerged during the Synod debate. The outcome of the vote cannot therefore be seen as a sign of disagreement against something, because as I said, both viewpoints were mentioned. In my opinion, the result shows a need to reflect and mature further. The Pope wants us to continue reflecting. Now, the entire final document will be merged into the text that is going to be sent to the local Churches. This journey is not yet over, it is still work in progress.”
Cardinal Erdo pointed to you as the author of the controversial paragraph on gay people contained in the post-discussion summary which was significantly altered in the final version. Don’t you think it was a bit imbalanced?
“I should point out that I was by no means the only brains behind the document, nor the only author I was coordinating the drafting process. There is no single author…”

But it was the most contested paragraph in the whole assembly as the debate in the circoli minori – which we read a summary of – demonstrates.

 “As far as I recall, everything that was said during the debate was reported faithfully. In any case, the final text is clear about the Church opposition to marriage being equated to same-sex unions. At the same time, however, it is welcoming and does not discriminate.”

So why did the paragraph on gay people not get the necessary two-thirds majority?
“Some may have expressed disagreement because they wanted more to be said. Or they wanted the issue to be dropped. I would like to remind you, however, that the main message to gay people is one that is central to Francis’ pontificate: communicating the faith and mercy. These are not acts of do-goodery or weakness.”
Are the sacraments for remarried divorcees a doctrinal issue?
“The doctrine is clear on this: the indissolubility of marriage is unquestionable. The pastoral question is to do with the situations and circumstances in which these people should be allowed to receive the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist. This already happens in certain situations, for example when there is a serious illness involved or when someone is on their deathbed. Can these sacraments be granted in any other special situations? We will have to wait and see what the local Churches have to say in order to work out which of these cases are most urgent.”
Some priests and even bishops grant these sacraments when in the confessional or when they know the person in question well...
“Some of the Synods Fathers did in fact say that this does sometimes happen. This is perhaps partly a clearer direction is needed.”
What is the path that has opened up from thi smoment unil the Synod in October 2015?
“Above all, I foresee that this path is going to be a calm one. There is a great deal of faith in the local Churches, in listening, in considering various possibilities, in examining things further and finally in proposals. There is a need for great freedom of expression and for us to listen in the spirit of truth and of charity, continuing in the footsteps of this Synod. The Pope gets the last word and we all agree on this. He holds the keys and the power which is given to him as Vicar of Christ and as the Successor of Peter.”

Monday, October 20, 2014


We don't need synods to teach pastors how to be pastors. There is a wealth of information already on that from the magisterium of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict. No one should ever, ever be critisized for being orthodox. But if the orthodox lack in a heart deal with it in a letter to priests and those who have pastoral care.

The heterodox should be reprimanded for breaking communion with the Church no matter how kind they are or how much blood gushes from their bleeding heart.

Let's stop calling Catholic positions conservative or liberal, political categories, but rather let us use Orthodox and heterdox. Heretical and apostasy are useful too. Pastoral and unpastoral are good too.

Rorate Caeli hits the ball out of the park with this post about a Polish archbishop who points out the obvious and shares the fears of so many there that the synod's primary purpose was to make the Church more like the Anglican communion with South American ideologies.

From Rorate Caeli:

From La Stampa's Vatican Insider:

Gądecki: "Had I not spoken up, the Synod would have ended up worse"

Marek Lehnert

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, archbishop of Poznan, Poland, and president of his nation's episcopate, is glad with himself and with the others who thought as he did for the determined criticism of the relatio post disceptationem of the Synod on the Family. The Polish prelate denounced a clear separation with the teaching of John Paul II on the issue, as well as the unclear vision about the purpose of the Synod itself.

Speaking yesterday to Polish radio, Gądecki reiterated that many of the Synod Fathers shared his feelings, considering that text "strongly ideologized, because it considered more the sociological than the theological side," but above all because "some of its theses seemed to devastate the magisterium of the Church." 

"I am under the impression that, had I had not spoken up, things might have ended up even worse. I consider that there was a need to say something, because of the calls rising up from the families, they were terrified. Something had to be said, so as not to confirm to people the certainty that we were about to abandon the doctrine of the Church. Because everything had to have a more serious format, more detailed and analyzed."

"Thanfully - the Polish prelate added - the circuli minores carried out a very serious work, considering word by word, and that which ended up in the third text is much more serious, thank God."

The President of the Polish bishops considers that at the recent Synod "nothing revolutionary happened." The 1981 exhortation 'Familiaris Consortio', of John Paul II, "had already expounded everything long before that." What happens is that "everyone has forgotten it, and now there is the impression that the Church has suddenly become merciful, while she wasn't before. That she has become enlightened, and wasn't before."

"These are all delusions, that are the product of nearsightedness, of the fact that we look at the past two weeks to exclaim: this did not exist before! Instead, all this already existed. The impression cannot be given that for two millennia there had been no mercy in the Church, that mercy now shows up unexpectedly. Mercy makes sense if it is related to truth," Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki declared to Polish state radio. [Source, in Italian]


The scandal of Cardinal Kasper from the reporter's perspective. In this sorry event, and now Cardinal Kasper has apologized to Africans, we see how the surrogate voice of the Pope on changing Catholic moral teachings to become contrary to the teachings of Christ, faced judgement day and reversal of fortunes that called into question the entire program of Kasper, i.e. the pope--it had to be a working of the Holy Spirit! This is very much in line with the true Pharisees who want to trip up Jesus but he trips them up in surprising ways, very surprising ways! None of this would have happened without the new media under the guidance of the Holy Spirit:


The papal conclave of 1492 and the pope that got elected, Pope Alexander VI, perhaps one of the most corrupt popes ever and I mean ever, saw no Second Coming of Christ and the Church merrily progressing to the Council of Trent almost 200 years later. So perspective is always welcomed in papal history and hysteria!

From Wikipedia: Papal conclave, 1492

There was change in the constitution of the College of Cardinals during the course of the fifteenth century-especially under Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. Of the twenty-seven cardinals alive in the closing months of the reign of Innocent VIII no fewer than ten were cardinal-nephews, eight were crown nominees, four were Roman nobles and one other had been given the cardinalate in recompense for his family's service to the Holy See; only four were able career churchmen.[5]

On the death of Pope Innocent VIII on 25 July 1492, the three likely candidates for the Papacy were the sixty-seven year old Borgia,[5] seen as an independent candidate, Ascanio Sforza for the Milanese, and Giuliano della Rovere seen as a pro-French candidate. It was rumoured but not substantiated that Borgia succeeded in buying the largest number of votes and Sforza, in particular, was bribed with four mule-loads of silver.[11] Although this was portrayed in the Showtime TV series The Borgias (2011) it is a popular falsehood about Pope Alexander. Mallett shows that Borgia was in the lead from the start and that the rumours of bribery began after the election with the distribution of benefices; Sforza and della Rovere were just as willing and able to bribe as anyone else.[12] The benefices and offices granted to Sforza, moreover, would be worth considerably more than four mule-loads of silver. Johann Burchard, the conclave's master of ceremonies and a leading figure of the papal household under several popes, recorded in his diary that the 1492 conclave was a particularly expensive campaign. Della Rovere was bankrolled to the cost of 200,000 gold ducats by King Charles VIII of France, with another 100,000 supplied by the Republic of Genoa.[13] Borgia was elected on 11 August 1492, assuming the name of Alexander VI (due to confusion about the status of Pope Alexander V elected by the Council of Pisa).

In contrast to the preceding pontificate, Pope Alexander VI adhered initially to strict administration of justice and orderly government. Before long, he began endowing his relatives at the church's and at his neighbours' expense. Cesare Borgia, his son, while a youth of seventeen and a student at Pisa, was made Archbishop of Valencia, and Giovanni Borgia inherited the Spanish Dukedom of Gandia, the Borgias' ancestral home in Spain. For the Duke of Gandia and for Gioffre, also known as Goffredo, the Pope proposed to carve fiefs out of the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples. Among the fiefs destined for the duke of Gandia were Cerveteri and Anguillara, lately acquired by Virginio Orsini, head of that powerful house. This policy brought Ferdinand I, King of Naples, into conflict with Pope Alexander VI, who was also opposed by Cardinal della Rovere, whose candidature for the papacy had been backed by Ferdinand. Della Rovere fortified himself in his bishopric of Ostia at the Tiber's mouth as Pope Alexander VI formed a league against Naples (25 April 1493) and prepared for war.[

My Final Comment: Things may be disconcerting today. But hey, these are great today when one looks at the history of things and how the Holy Spirit sees us through!


There is no doubt now where Pope Francis' ideologies reside. When a Cardinal, still but not for long a member of the pope's curia, says publicly and perhaps as a surrogate for other cardinals too timid to be so bold because the personal stakes are just too high for them, that the pope is not fulfilling his role as teacher, you know that things are at a crisis level. Was Cardinal Burke a surrogate voice for Pope, so-called emeritus, Benedict?

Many had opined that Cardinal Ratzinger was a polarizing force in the Church, but Papa Bergoglio has proven he can raise polarization to radicalization of polarized opposites! This is far from being a Pontiff, another word for Bridgebuilder.

The Holy Father seems to suggest that the possibility of changing doctrine, moral doctrine which can never really be dogmatized in every situation, would be a suprise from the God of suprises. We should not fear change because our God is a God of these sorts of things. Certainly this is merely opinon and easily ignored by Catholics.

At any rate Rorate Caeli provides the opinion of a non conservative  Antonio Socci about the week that was, an important page in the colorful history of the Church:


[T]he "uprising" of the orthodox prelates of the past Thursday (the anniversary of Wojtyla's election) was an epic and almost miraculous event.

The Church faithful to Tradition prevailed on that day. It was thus established that, just as it had happened in the [February 2014] Consistory [after the presentation of the Kasper proposal], Papa Bergoglio found himself in the minority, practically with a "vote of no confidence".

For this reason, in his final address he rushed to repair things, trying to detach himself from the more Progressive [Fathers], and find for himself a tardive position super partes. Between those who said that two plus two equals four (the orthodox) and those who supported that it equals six (Kasper), Bergoglio proclaimed that it equals five. Jesuitical. But wrong.

The "revolutionary" position of Kasper, who always said (which was never denied) that he spoke in Bergoglio's name, did not win. But it is not clear what the conclusions of the Synod are.

Bergoglio, quoting Benedict XVI, recalled a truth that many of his supporters during these days have forgotten: "the Church is Christ's" and "the Pope... is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant ... the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim."

Perhaps the truth is that he tried it and (for the time being) couldn't do it. In the end, there is only one sure outcome: the split of the Church, and great confusion in her Magisterium. [Source: Libero, October 19, 2014]

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Two Texas dioceses that are contiguous with one another, Dallas and Fort Worth, have two different approaches to the common chalice and the risk of contagion it exposes to communicants as it concerns flu viruses and other such "bugs".

I would say that this policy from Fort Worth was not written by a liturgical ideologue but by someone with pastoral common sense (press here for the complete policy):

The Blood of Christ (under the form of "wine") will not be offered during Mass. The Host will be placed in the hands, not on the tongue. At the "sign of peace" no handshake or kiss should be exchanged simply a smile or nice eye-contact. And the faithful should not hold hands while reciting the “Our Father.”

The only thing I quibble with is not allowing Holy Communion on the tongue. The reason is that there is a thought that the minister's fingers will touch the saliva of a person's mouth when giving Holy Communion to the tongue. However, as the photo below shows clearly, most of us who distribute Holy Communion to someone's hands touch there hands directly, which are contaminated with the most germs and viruses  possible and then that person takes their hand that hasn't be washed, touches the host and places the Host in his mouth--lots more germs and viruses this way!

(Please note how the hand of the one distributing Holy Communion touches the hand of the communicant, who then uses his hand to place the Host in his mouth and his hand may well have serious contagious viruses on it! The Fort Worth Dallas got this completely wrong!
Notice with Pope Benedict distributing Holy Communion to a communicant's tongue that the person receiving doesn't use her contaminated hands to touch the host and transfer a contagious virus to her system. The Holy Father does not touch her at all! This is especially easy to do when the communicant is kneeling, not to touch the tongue when giving Holy Communion in this way:

However, the Dallas Diocese has a very ambiguous, warm, Utopian view of how to prevent contagion without impinging on post-Vatican II "signs and symbols" of the fuller experience of receiving Holy Communion. This has to be written by a liturgist who cares only for liturgy and not people (my comments in red):

There is no reason to withhold the Precious Blood for Holy Communion: it is the decision of each individual to receive the Precious Blood. If Catholics suspect the onset of influenza or are simply not feeling healthy, then they should make the decision to refrain from receiving the cup. Receiving the Body of Christ (consecrated host) is advised until the person feels well again. Pastors are encouraged to continue to offer Holy Communion in its “fuller form” (cf. GIRM, n. 281) since there is no clear evidence of any epidemic. Personal common sense regarding the sacramental species is the best course of action. [This is like asking criminals to police themselves. We all know that sick people who are pious don't think that the Lord would allow anyone to get sick from the common chalice and that it is a lack of faith to think one can! So they go to Holy Communion asking God for healing. This is the most egregious thing I have ever read! This opens the diocese to lawsuits in spreading false information about no reason for withholding the Precious Blood (meaning consecrated wine, as the Body and Blood of our Lord is present in either form of the Holy Eucharist!)]

The faithful should be advised of their individual responsibility in taking the Precious Blood, which depends on their own personal health situation.[I am sorry, this is just plain naivete of a liturgist who can't let go of agenda for liturgy! I don't trust communicants, they are sinners!]  Again, individual responsibility is the norm. [Really?!!!!]

(You can tell a damn liturgist wrote the following caring nothing about people at Mass but only safeguarding their idea of good liturgy but suggesting that everyone practice good hygiene! We can't get Catholics to observe the one hour fast are we going to trust them with hygiene?! Such small mindedness and naivete!)Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should practice good hand hygiene before leaving their seats to minister the Body of Christ and the Precious Blood. Rather than ritualize the act of hand-washing at the credence table (this is not part of the Catholic Mass), ministers should use a small alcohol-based hand rub after the Sign of Peace, and then move to perform their ministry. (Recall also that direct contact with body fluids promotes the spread of the Ebola virus; healthcare workers must be especially vigilant, it seems doubtful that those who distribute Holy Communion would have occasion for this type of contact.) Sacristans and others who wash the vessels (noting that the priest, deacon, or instituted acolyte must purify the vessels beforehand [And drink the ablutions that contain bacteria, viruses and maybe Ebola! This really makes my precious blood boil!]) should take care to use detergent and hot water to wash the vessels. (Does the Health Department make sure that vessels are properly sanitized after 30 people have drunk from them?)

My final comments: Oddly enough, before these edicts came from the two Texas dioceses, one very good but with one fatal flaw and the other one pure garbage, I contacted Bishop Gregory Hartmayer asking if he would be issuing any guidelines or if the decision to eliminate the common chalice could be a local pastoral decision as we approach the flu season (which has already begun with serious cases involving children). He told me that he had no planned diocesan decision but that each pastor could make his own determination. 

I have done so and beginning next Sunday and for every Mass, the common Chalice will be eliminated. This in part will be in next Sunday's bulletin:

Beginning the weekend of October 25/26, we will no longer provide the common Chalice to the congregation. As we learned from the H1N1 Flu epidemic a few years ago, it is quite possible to contract this virus and others like it from the common chalice because of saliva that is on the rim of the chalice and actually in the Consecrated Precious Blood.  Many of our parishioners have voiced concern to me about this possibility especially with the flu season about to gear up. We cannot prevent anyone from receiving from the chalice that has a bad cold, the flu or some other kind of communicable virus. 

Every parish in which I have been for the last 35 years has had the common chalice available for those who wish to receive the Precious Blood from it. However, we were taught in the 1970’s when this custom was made available to the laity that the alcohol content of the wine, the use of a purificators (napkin) to wipe the rim of the chalice and the turning of the chalice would prevent most germs from spreading. We now know that this was and remains false. H1N1 flu, other flues and other viruses can indeed be spread by drinking after one another from the Chalice. Saliva is a bodily fluid!

However, I want to make clear that when the laity only receive the Consecrated Host, the Precious Body of our Lord, they are receiving our Risen Lord completely, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. You are not receiving only half of Jesus’ glorious risen Body under the palatable form of “Bread.” You receive Him completely under either form of “Bread or Wine.” You are not being short-changed in any fashion whatsoever of the abundant graces our Lord gives to us in Holy Communion when we receive Him worthily!