Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2012 Rite of Canonization discarded

For the record: interesting details HERE.

Thanksgiving: Catholics did it first (facing East, no lest)

Christine Niles, "Catholics Did It First" (Laudem Gloriae, November 16, 2011):
If you're anything like me and don't take kindly to celebrating a holiday commemorating a group of Calvinists who set up a Puritan theocracy in New England known for persecuting Catholics, then you can rest easy; the protestants were not the first to celebrate Thanksgiving in this country--Catholics were.

Saint Augustine, Florida is the oldest settlement in the United States, founded in 1565 by Spanish Catholic explorers. On first sighting land on August 28, the feast of St. Augustine, they named the city after him. On September 8, the Nativity of Mary, they came ashore with great fanfare--to the astonishment of the natives. A Mass of Thanksgiving was held, after which a communal feast was celebrated with the local Seloy tribe. It was the first communal thanksgiving celebration in the first permanently settled European colony on American soil.

Others say the date of April 30, 1598, is also significant: Spanish settlers from Mexico set up camp in the American Southwest, held a Mass of thanksgiving, and named the land New Mexico in honor of God and of their king, Philip II. A feast was held, with Franciscan priests blessing the food before everyone ate their fill. At the end of the meal, plays were enacted depicting scenes of Native Americans upon first hearing the Catholic faith.

But what about Plymouth Rock and Pilgrims, etc?

Queen Elizabeth had little patience for Catholics, but even less for Calvinists, who complained the Church of England remained too papist. In their desire to complete the Reformation and "purify" religion of popish trumperies, the Puritans broke from the Anglican Church, rejected the Book of Common Prayer, and preferred the anti-royalist Geneva Bible to the King James version. They instituted an independent congregationalist ideal that upheld the notion of the common priesthood of all believers, and thus granted an equal say among congregants in the election of the minister (some claim the roots of American democracy lie here). All of this naturally brought down on them the wrath of the Crown, and persecution commenced. A number of Puritans fled England and sought refuge in Holland, where they lived for a dozen years, before deciding to leave for the New World. After meeting another group of Puritans in Southampton, all boarded the Mayflower on September 16, 1620. Sixty-five days later, they sighted Cape Cod. The communal meal we know of as "Thanksgiving" took place in 1621 with about ninety Native Americans, and lasted three days.

After the Catholic Spanish were defeated by the British and driven out of the (largely Protestant) colonies, it became more expedient and attractive to focus on the 1621 date marking the arrival of the Pilgrims to celebrate this national holiday of thanksgiving--and Americans have done so ever since, entirely obliterating from national memory any influence from earlier Spanish Catholic settlers.

But don't let such revisionist history fool you; Catholics have as much claim to this celebration as anyone, if not more. And as all good Catholics know, eucharistia is Greek for "thanksgiving"--so be sure to leg it to Mass that day and pay your respects to the Giver of all good gifts.

Multicultural Christmas gifts for the Co-exist crowd

Matthew Archbold, "Multicultural Christmas Sweater for the Co-exist Crowd" (Creative Minority Report, November 21, 2014) relates the following item from The Daily Mail:
A spokesperson for the company said: 'For us, the festive season is a time for celebration and togetherness. And we think that now more than ever, the world could use a little more unity.

'Which is why this year, British Christmas Jumpers has made the Multicultural Christmas Jumper.

'It is a Christmas jumper for modern Britain.'
Further, he quotes Weasel Zippers as saying that it's perfect for those who have Coexist bumper stickers.

Then, of course, there are come-backs like this one making use of the logos of firearm manufacturers that might make a nice complement.

[Hat tip to JM in part]

Pope Francis appoints strong conservative to head CDW

As indicated in yesterday's Vatican bulletin, Pope Francis has appointed Robert Cardinal Sarah as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

As noted by Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Sarah had "distinguished himself as one of the strongest conservative voices at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops this year. 

Read more>>

In other news, as Christine Niles noted yesterday, Archbishop Bruno Forte remains a synod organizer for next year: 
"The traitor bishop who did untold damage by inserting those scandalous pro-gay paragraphs in the Midterm Relatio will be a synod organizer--along with the rest of the same crew, plus Cdl Napier (a good man).

"Not demoted, kicked out, or disciplined for his betrayal, but instead left in a position of power and prestige--while the great Cdl Burke gets a public smackdown."
Perhaps, though I remain open to the possibility that the "God of surprises" may have a propitious surprise for us in the offing in this regard.

In any case, par for the course at the moment seems to be something like "one step forward, one step back."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another prayer request

Please pray for a 43-year-old pregnant mother who has been married 18 years, has no children, and has had two miscarriages.  She is not five weeks pregnant and dearly hopes and prays for a "miraculous" safe and healthy delivery.  Thank you in advance for your intercessions for her.  Her name is Kelly.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Pope Benedict's Big Edit."

Old news, for the record: Dale Price, "Pope Benedict's Big Edit" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, November 18, 2014):
It appears that Pope Benedict XVI did not care at all for Cardinal Kasper's attempt to press-gang him into supporting the latter's assault on indissolubility. 

How do we know that? According to the largest newspaper in his homeland, the Pope Emeritus has removed his previous (1972) support for giving communion to civilly-remarried divorcees from the official collection of his theological works. Instead, he now favors a revised annulment process. The editorial framing notes this development with disapproval, calling it "political."

For those who have made politics a substitute religion, I imagine it is.

For those who care about the Catholic teaching on marriage, this is big news. And a most welcome note of support.

[Update, 11/19/2014: Father Zuhlsdorf has more detail about the story, including the fact Pope Benedict addresses his change of mind in the introduction.]

Never go full osterich, son

Dale Price, "The problem with letting a smile be your umbrella?" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, November 13, 2014). After a brief discussion of Cardinals Burke, Müller, Pell in the context of Vatican politics, Price asks:
Still, why should you care?

Number 1, "Vatican politics" gives you your bishop. Cupich, remember. In other words, "Personnel is policy." If it's "clericalism" to worry about who your shepherd is going to be, then we should all be clericalists.

Second, there's a trend here, and it's pretty much all bad:

Pope Francis has made statements against the two tendencies of progressivism and traditionalism, without however clarifying what these two labels encompassed. Yet, if by words he distances himself from the two poles which confront each other in the Church today, by facts all tolerance is reserved for “progressivism”, while the axe falls upon what he defines as “traditionalism”.

Precisely. If you're a solid progressive, you get high-profile invites to significant Church events even if you're a coddler of abusive priests. [Read more about the dreadful Danneels in the reliably rad-trad Tablet.] Sadly, it appears that mercy is only for those of confirmed progressive bona fides. Whereas demotions, removals and defenestrations of entire orders are reserved only for those with the odor of Tradition.

But I'm sure none of that would ever percolate down to the local level, right?

[Hat tip to JM]

"Jesus, Girls, and Marcus Mariota"

Carl E. Olson, "A walk on the lighter side: 'Jesus, girls, and Marcus Mariota...'" (Catholic World Report, November 22, 2014), for what it's worth.

[Hat tip to JM]

Bernard Chazelle on the "Cosmology" of Bach's music

Bernard Chazelle, "Discovering the Cosmology of Bach" (On Being, November 13, 2014):
Bernard Chazelle is Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University,  a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and a member of the European Academy of Sciences. He's authored an extensive collection of essays on music for A Tiny Revolution.
Chazelle has an original take on what music works in us — especially the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Just as mathematicians talk about discovering rather than inventing great equations, so, he says, Bach set out to “discover” the musical rules behind the universe. After hearing this conversation, you may never listen to any piece of music — whether Bach or Jay-Z — in quite the same way again.
[Hat tip to M.W.]

The ends of impurity

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, November 23, 2014):

Hard to believe it. I drove past a Catholic Church last week and Behold! there on the front lawn were life-size plastic nativity figures set in place. While I annually rail against preempting Christmas in the commercial world, this act, by a church no less, arouses wonderment that can’t be matched by the secularists. Has the whole world gone mad? Our thoughts at this time of the end of the Church Year ought to be on the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Advent opens next Sunday, but it is not the Christmas season.

I find myself becoming ever more upset over the loss of souls in the deluge of impurity that’s squeezing the spiritual life out of more and more people. I’m beginning to wonder whether chastity even has a chance in our world. The media, the entertainments, the internet abuse, the conversations of people, their immodest manner of dress and filthy speech–these are becoming suffused with sex to the point that its normal and only permissible expression, in valid marriage, is almost not even referenced. The relentless push of the gay agenda (as it’s been called) makes me believe that perversion is becoming the accepted norm in the USA. I wonder how this could possibly be so since human nature itself is so obstinate in asserting normality and since conscience is an inescapable reality for everybody. The idea then hit me that there must be a line, a trajectory of sexual expression which begins with normalcy but which moves downward, from lesser sins of impurity (though all of them are mortal sins) to the stranger ones, and then on to the perverse, and finally to violence and even murder, perhaps with demonic worship (and possession) being the end of the line. All along the way there would be as a result, a progressive madness–literally speaking, that would begin to take over the person. This hunch–too primitive to call a theory–is that anyone is potentially capable of moving along this line of sin, from normalcy to beastly brutality and to ultimate irrationality. According to this view, it would not then be a question of whatever tendencies one claims to have gotten from birth which determine his life’s direction, but rather of the degree of willful daring that one has to venture down this ‘road’ away from uprightness. In other words, I challenge the claims that are often made about abnormal tendencies as inherited from birth. I’m proposing rather that everyone’s nature can incline him to venture away from the norms of goodness towards sin, more and more, depending on his boldness to transgress the just limits imposed by nature. This is another way of asserting the condition of fallen human nature due to original sin. Anyone could be a potential pervert if he would only let himself go far down enough, that is, to abandon right reason to be bold and wicked enough to experiment with evils’ fascination. If I am right about this, there would be no such thing as a sexual compulsion or a proclivity to sinful activity but only the absence of the moderating and restricting regulation of one’s will to develop virtue. This hypothesis takes away the call for us to pity those whose proclivities are wayward and the demand for us to be accepting of any forms of deviancy as permissible, and even legally protected. No one has the right to transgress the laws of nature that God implanted in our souls, and therefore no one should cultivate a false compassion for those who choose to sin. The only right attitude towards sinners is regret over their deliberate sinfulness and the hope that God may give them the actual grace to see the error of their ways and to reform their thinking and their conduct. 

Without the development of the virtues from our youthful years which curb sinful tendencies of all kinds, we are all prone to be sinners–prone, I say, not destined by an irresistible force. But because family life is fast eroding and because Catholic teaching and practice is dwindling away, and because education in morals is not well imparted, the result is that more and more people will be traveling down this ‘line’ from normality to depravity, coming to a stop at whatever place he would dare not venture further. Surely, I hope this will not happen to everybody, but I see that it’s happening more and more–the ever increasing usage of pornography propelling the movement along.
We must make up our minds to be very good Catholic people–with the help of God.

Fr. Perrone

Prayer request

Please pray for my Japanese "sister," Noriko, who is suffering from cancer, undergoing radical chemo therapy and expecting surgery thereafter. She is the sister of my deceased adopted Japanese brother, Yoshiro ("Thomas"), whom we met for the first time during my sabbatical in Japan last September, with her brother and other sister.

There is no Christian faith in her family background. Like most Japanese, their lives are largely secularized, with bits of Buddhism and Shintoism in their ancestry. I see an opportunity for God's grace here, and I've told her and her family that we will be praying for her healing. Please of your kindness, assist me in these intercessions.

Extraordinary Community News - EF priest training in Alabama, De Profundis, Mass times

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

Tridentine Community News (November 23, 2014):
Extraordinary Faith Priest Training in Alabama

The priest training side mission of the Extraordinary Faith television show project continues to bear fruit: The week of November 10, we partnered with Nick Hosford and Joseph Cheney of Una Voce Northern Alabama and Fr. Bryan Jerabek of Holy Rosary Church in Birmingham for our largest Tridentine Mass class yet:

An amazing seven priests from the Diocese of Birmingham took us up on our offer of training in the Extraordinary Form, including the Vicar General and Chancellor of the diocese. Some came with no experience, others to round up knowledge they already had. Despite the large number of students, we were able to have many dry run Masses and one actual First Mass.

If one diocese in Alabama could assemble this many priests, imagine how much clergy interest could be drummed up in other dioceses, too. Clearly there are many opportunities for additional classes elsewhere; the challenge is primarily to invest the time to organize such efforts. [Pictured is Fr. Tom Woods preparing for a practice Mass]

De Profúndis

The Offertory Antiphon that is repeated on the concluding Sundays of the Liturgical Year is the De Profúndis, taken from Psalm 129. This selection is associated with the penitential season of Lent as well as with the month of November, the month of prayer for the Souls in Purgatory.

One of the more memorable selections in our choir’s repertoire is Antonio Salieri’s setting of the De Profúndis [YouTube]. The piece begins softly, then gradually builds towards a crescendo in the concluding Glória Patri. This increasingly insistent tone, reminiscent of the buildup in Ravel’s Bolero, compellingly conveys man’s utter dependency upon God’s Mercy.

Holy Mother Church has enriched the praying of the De Profúndis with a Partial Indulgence when said as an Act of Contrition, especially in preparation for Confession. The text is as follows:
De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine:
Dómine, exáudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuæ intendéntes,
in vocem deprecatiónis meæ.
Si iniquitátes observáveris, Dómine:
Dómine, quis sustinébit?
Quia apud te propitiátio est:
et propter legem tuam sustínui te, Dómine.
Sustínuit ánima mea in verbo ejus:
sperávit ánima mea in Dómino.
A custódia matutína usque ad noctem,
speret Israël in Dómino.
Quia apud Dóminum misericórdia,
et copiósa apud eum redémptio.
Et ipse rédimet Israël
ex ómnibus iniquitátibus ejus.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saécula sæculórum. Amen.

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord!
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark our iniquities:
O Lord, who shall abide it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness;
and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even unto night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Christmas Day Mass

Through the kind permission of Sr. Bridget Bearss, RSCJ, Head of School at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, we will have Christmas Day High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Academy Chapel at the usual time of 9:45 AM.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 11/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. John of the Cross, Confessor & Deacon)
  • Tue. 11/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Holy Name of Mary (St. Catherine, Virgin & Martyr)
  • Sun. 11/30 2:00 PM: High Mass at St. Hyacinth (First Sunday of Advent) – Celebrant: Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for November 23, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lisa Ling's "Called to the Collar," featuring our own seminarians

Many of you may find this video interesting, featuring a notable exception to the lamentable declining number of priestly vocations: in the Diocese of Lansing, there has been a consistently high number of vocations over recent years, with the seminarians coming through Sacred Heart Major Seminary and going on be ordained in their home diocese. Some inspiring stories here about some men "close the the heart," as they say at Sacred Heart; like Fr. Todd and Fr. Gary, the identical twins who both heard the call to the priesthood but initially kept it a secret from each other.

Watch their answers to Lisa Ling. Some are notably clever, sometimes amusing, Ling's questions during the interviews often seem perfectly positioned to invite a teachable moment. There's even a shot of Ling having a beer with our seminarians inside O'Berg's, the seminary pub.

On the whole "death with dignity" thing

From Guy Noir: "A Protestant sermon on Euthanasia that is essentially Catholic moral theology.

"Well-done; and far more connecting in its directness than a polite interview with Rev. James Martin, I daresay."

John Piper, "We Are Not Our Own: On God, Brittany Maynard, and Physician-Assisted Suicide" (Desiring God, October 31, 2014).

[Hat tip to JM]

"Canonizing the Second Vatican Council"? -- the Vindication of Paul VI

[Advisory & disclaimer: See Rules 7-9]

In an essay from this past spring, "Paul VI and John Paul II on the Council and Its Interpretation -- and Fatima" (Saint Louis Catholic, April 29, 2014), the article's author writes [added emphasis is his]:
I've been struck in the last several days by the observation of many that by the canonizations and beatification of this year that Pope Francis was in effect "canonizing the Second Vatican Council". This effort has been obvious to me for some time, but for some reason the phrase kept sticking with me last weekend.

Therefore, I was more than usually struck by comments I recently read from these popes themselves about the Council they are being used to "canonize", and of its consequences.

This first passage is from Paul VI [during his 1967 pilgrimage to Fatima], and I actually feel very sorry for him-- his worry and disillusionment come through. And note he comments about the Council's interpretation and then speaks of Fatima:
... The ecumenical council has reawakened many energies in the bosom of the Church.... What an evil it would be if an arbitrary interpretation, not authorized by the Magisterium of the Church, were to transform this spiritual renewal into a restlessness which dissolves the Church's traditional structure and constitution, substituting the theology of true and great teachings with new and partisan ideologies which depart from the norm of faith, that which modern thought, often lacking the light of reason, neither comprehends nor accepts, finally transforming the apostolic anxiety of redemptive charity into an acquiescence in the negative forms of the profane mentality of worldly customs. What a disenchantment, then, would be caused by our effort at a universal approach!

This thought carries our memory at this moment to those countries in which religious liberty is practically suppressed and where the denial of God is promoted... We declare: the world is in danger. Therefore we have come by foot to the feet of the Queen of Peace to ask for the gift that only God can give: peace.... Men, think of the gravity and the greatness of this hour, which could be decisive for the history of the present and future generation. The picture of the world and of its destiny presented here is immense and dramatic. It is the scene that the Madonna opens before us, the scene we contemplate with horrified eyes."

-- from the Homily of Paul VI, at Fatima, May 13, 1967 (emphasis added [by SLC])
St. John Paul II also echoed these thoughts fourteen years later:
We must admit realistically and with profound suffering that Christians today feel lost, confused, perplexed and also disappointed; there are diffused ideas in contrast with the truth as revealed and always taught; there are diffused true and proper heresies in the field of dogma and morals [...] the liturgy has been altered; immersed in intellectual and moral relativism and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, by agnostics, by agnosticism, by a vaguely preached illuminism and by a sociological Christianity, deprived of definite dogmas and moral objectivity. It is necessary to begin all over again.