Restoring the Sacred

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Fr. Nix: Christmas Octave Sermon

[This sermon was taken from the Christmas “Puer Natus” propers, but it is released today on the Christmas Octave.]

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column: December 31, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
December 31, 2017
This week the regular pastor's column yields to Saint Gregory Nazienzen, whose feast is January 2.

   The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature for the good of our nature, and unites himself to an intelligent soul for the good of my soul, to purify like by like.

   He takes to himself all that is human, except for sin. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary, who had been first prepared in soul and body by the Spirit; his coming to birth had to be treated with honour, virginity had to receive new honour. He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit. Spirit gave divinity, flesh received it.

   He who makes rich is made poor; he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of his divinity. He who is full is made empty; he is emptied for a brief space of his glory, that I may share in his fullness. What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first.
 Holiness had to be brought to man by the humanity assumed by one who was God, so that God might overcome the tyrant by force and so deliver us and lead us back to himself through the mediation of his Son. The Son arranged this for the honour of the Father, to whom the Son is clearly obedient in all things.

  The Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep, came in search of the straying sheep to the mountains and hills on which you used to offer sacrifice. When he found it, he took it on the shoulders that bore the wood of the cross, and led it back to the life of heaven.
 Christ, the light of all lights, follows John, the lamp that goes before him. The Word of God follows the voice in the wilderness; the bridegroom follows the bridegroom’s friend, who prepares a worthy people for the Lord by cleansing them by water in preparation for the Spirit.

  We needed God to take our flesh and die, that we might live. We have died with him, that we may be purified. We have risen again with him, because we have died with him. We have been glorified with him, because we have risen again with him.

Like what you're reading? If so, please consider making a special donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column!

Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
424 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001

Friday, December 29, 2017

TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM: International Youth Movement

From The Remnant Newspaper:
When even more conservative bishops such as Alexander Sample find it necessary to partner with Evangelical outfits such as the 'non-denominational' ministry, ‘Young Life, to try to get disenfranchised Catholic kids to come back to the Church, it's obvious there's a big problem. 
Just 50 years after Vatican II the Catholic world has lost its Catholic identity to such an extent that the bishops are reduced to consulting non-Catholic ministries to help them stop the hemorrhaging of Catholic young people out of the Church. One wonders if a non-denominational Protestant partnership can help resolve problems caused by a largely Protestantized Catholic liturgy.  But there is a Catholic alternative that is working and that is taking root all over the world. 
What is it? It's called going back to the future, and it’s an international Catholic youth movement based on the Traditional Latin Mass.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Fr. Perricone: Christmas and Nietzsche’s Abyss

From Crisis Magazine today:

In 1609 the last great altarpiece was painted in Sicily. Its artist was the Renaissance genius, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, known to the generations simply as Caravaggio. The title of the masterpiece is the Adoration of the Shepherds. It is a strange painting, insomuch as it depicts the familiar Christmas scene with no angels, no trumpets, no human tributes and no celestial light. All the spectator sees is the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a refugee mother owning nothing but the clothes on her back... 
When Bethlehem fades from the heart and souls of men, then their starved souls escape to a dead-end transcendence. Look at our culture without Christ. Its men and women, especially its young, seek to step beyond their flattened world by absorption with ghosts, and zombies; with end of the world obsessions and cartoon superheroes. In Eliot’s arresting lines from Burnt Norton, they “distract themselves from distractions by distractions.” A thousand pities—for the true Hero is so close—awaiting them in the unintimidating face of a Divine Child... 
Christmas imposes upon every Catholic a solemn obligation: to tell the world that our joy, our answer, our peace and our rescue lay in the humility of Bethlehem. We must tell them that looking anywhere else is staring into the abyss.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fr. Nix: The Last Jedi and the Priesthood

A must read from Fr. Nix:

Here's a clip:

Our Lady of Good Success

In 1600, the Mother of God appeared to Mother Mariana of Jesus Torres y Berriochoa, a nun of the Conceptionist Order, in Quito, Ecuador. These apparitions are known as Our Lady of Good Success and they are Vatican-approved. Shockingly, Mary told Sr. Mariana some very specific things that would happen to the Catholic Church in the 20th century. Again, remember that Sr. Mariana wrote this in around 1600 regarding the coming issues of the Catholic Church 400 years later.  Here are just seven things I chose to share that Mary said to Sr. Mariana: 
1) “Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in authority.” 
2) “The sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned. Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing this sacrament. They will make it easy for all to live in sin, thus multiplying the birth of illegitimate children without the Church’s blessing….” 
3) “Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure general corruption…There shall be scarcely any virgin souls in the world. The delicate flower of virginity will seek refuge in the cloisters.…Without virginity, fire from heaven will be needed to purify these lands…” 
4) “The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden sacrileges!” 
5) “In those times, the sacrament of Extreme Unction will be largely ignored… Many will die without receiving it, being thereby deprived of innumerable graces, consolation, and strength in the great leap from time to eternity.” 
6) “Religious communities will remain to sustain the Church and work with courage for the salvation of souls… The secular clergy will fall far short of what is expected of them because they will not pursue their sacred duty. Losing the divine compass, they will stray from the way of priestly ministry mapped out for them by God and will become devoted to money, seeking it too earnestly.” 
7) “Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground.” 
How can anyone deny that these have come true in the Catholic Church in the 20th century and the 21st century?
But there is great hope, because the Mother of God promised this to Sr. Mariana: 
“The free men from this slavery of heresies, those whom the merciful love of my most Holy Son will destine for the restoration, will have a great strength of will, constancy, valour and much trust in God. To test this faith and trust, there will be times in which everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This, then, will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column: December 24, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
December 24, 2017

Saint Paul was converted by the risen Christ, who appeared as a blinding light. Later, he would meet Peter and James who had seen the actual risen body, which had changed from the way it appeared during Christ’s three years with them

   The body of the resurrected Christ had four characteristics. First, it could no longer feel pain. This “impassibility” was a triumph over the horrors of the Passion. Second, by “subtlety” the body was no longer subject to the laws of physics. During his earthly life, Christ had to knock on doors to enter, but in the Resurrection, he could appear in a room though the doors were locked. Third, the “agility” of Christ’s body had a strength that freed him from the constraints of motion and enabled him to bi-locate. Fourth, the “clarity” of the risen body radiated a brilliance that emanated from the divine intelligence: “light from light.” This was glimpsed in the Transfiguration, and was what blinded Paul on the Damascus road.

   These lines would seem to be an Easter meditation, but they are a Christmas meditation as well, for the two mysteries are inseparable. Without the Resurrection, the Nativity would be just another birthday, for even extraordinary people like Alexander the Great or Mozart had ordinary births. Because Christ is the Divine Word who created all things, the restrictions of his human nature are no less wonderful than the glory of his divine nature.

   The infant in Bethlehem was not impassible: he hungered and cried like any other baby. Without subtlety, he was confined to the stable. While in the Resurrection his agility could cast aside the shroud, in the manger he was bound by swaddling clothes. And as for clarity, his infant body could be glimpsed in the darkness only by frail lamplight. As he has no beginning and no end, his divine glory was not something he attained as he grew up: rather, it was what he allowed to dim when he came into time and space. He “emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).

   So Christmas is about two caves, and the birth in a stone stable would be only a sentimental reverie without the fact of the burial cave burst open. The Holy Infant in the manger is a kind of graphic hint for our limited intelligence, of the indescribable Ruler and Judge of the Universe. And the qualities of his risen body intimated what he would let us become in eternity.

   That youngest of the apostles wrote in his old age: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is” (1 John 3:2).


Like what you're reading? If so, please consider making a special Advent donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column!

Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
424 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column, December 17, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
December 17, 2017

Saint Catherine of Siena said that all the way to Heaven is already Heaven for those who love the Lord. To keep Advent is to peek into Heaven especially on “Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday,” when we rejoice at what is about to happen. This glimmer of light prefiguring the Light coming into the world has exquisite poignancy.

   Let us not be selfish: Christmas is for the faithful departed as well as for those still in time and space. There need be no sadness at Christmas when we remember our forebears who are no longer at our table, for in the Holy Eucharist we are united with “the whole company” who are with the Lord.
This brings to mind one of our own, Bishop Jean Dubois, the third bishop of New York who died in 1842 on December 20, after nearly seventeen years of arduous labor serving the entire state of New York and much of New Jersey with the help of just eighteen priests. He founded churches and institutions, including a seminary and two future universities.
Jean Dubois was trained in Paris just when the French Revolution rose up with diabolical furor against the Church. A chief architect of the Reign of Terror, which slaughtered countless priests and nuns, was Robespierre who tried to replace Catholicism with a “Cult of the Supreme Being,” declaring on May 7, 1794 that “priests are to morality what charlatans are to medicine.”  Nonetheless, Robespierre had been a friendly classmate of Dubois in the
Collège Louis le Grand and, old school ties being strong, he disguised Dubois and helped him to escape. Ironically, Robespierre would be beheaded on his own guillotine.
With letters commendatory from Lafayette, Dubois made it to America where he lived with future president James Monroe. There had been two bishops of New York, both Dominicans living in Rome: Concanen who was impeded by the Napoleonic blockade of Naples; and Connolly, who worked himself to death establishing parishes. The small but growing numbers of Catholics were opposed to a “foreign” bishop, for they did not appreciate that the Church Universal is also international. The Irish objected that their new bishop spoke French-accented English, this in spite of the fact that the English tutor of Dubois, Patrick Henry, had been impressed by his proficiency. The bishop’s claim that Saint Patrick was French further irritated his flock.
After many trials, Bishop Dubois asked to be buried under the front steps of the old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, so that people could “walk on me in death, as they did when I was living.”
At Christmas, gift giving also requires that we accept gifts from the Lord, and among them is the gift of those who served him in this world and who join us at the altar every day.
   “Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations” (Sirach 44:1).

Like what you're reading? If so, please consider making a special donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column!

Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
424 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fr. Nix on The Pater Noster

Fr. Nix weighed in today on the most recent controversy introduced by Pope Francis:

Star Parker tells US Judiciary Committee slavery and abortion are the same

From Roman Catholic Man today:

Christoph Dalitz, Rorate Caeli

Fr. Hunwicke on The Pater Noster (2)

(Continued from yesterday)

11 December 2017
Will he never stop ... (2) Pope Francis, the Our Father, and the next Conclave
Lead us not into temptation. It is unlikely that the Greek and Latin words translated by temptation meant the sort of thing we mean by 'temptation' in the confessional ... the 'temptation' to steal something, or to speak uncharitably, or to suspend the Custody of the Eyes. Peirasmos has been thought to refer much more probably to the time of testing, that is to say, of being tortured or intimidated to give up our Faith. Scripture teaches us that the End Times will indeed be marked by just such testings or persecutions. It is natural to ask God, whose providence disposes the times, to spare us this. [See for example Mt 26:41; Luke 8:13; Apocalypse 2:10 and 3:10.]
(And, by the way, Evil could be either masculine or neuter (tou ponerou). Many, probably most, people think it refers to the Evil One.)
So, in my opinion, PF is proposing a revision which is not, as he appears to have been told, a revised translation but a radical change in the meaning of the Greek original. With sorrow, I have to say that this new example of his gigantic self-confidence does not surprise me.
What repeatedly ... it seems, almost daily !! ... irritates me about PF is his endless propensity to treat the Depositum Fidei, the Universal Church and what she has inherited from the Apostles or from the generations since, as something which is at his disposal to change, to criticise, or to mangle in any way that appeals to his personal whimsy at any particular moment. He is like a toddler who has been given toys to play with ... a big, boisterous and wilful child who likes to play with them rather roughly; whose commonest phrase is "I want ...". If anyone suggests that he should perhaps handle them rather more gently, he throws a tantrum. I am immensely sorry to have to write like this about Christ's Vicar but, ever since his election, PF has appeared to me to want attention to be drawn particularly to those parts of his personal 'style' which mark him as most radically different from his predecessors. A pope who disliked close scrutiny and the consequent criticism would keep the journalists and cameramen at a distance, say a very great deal less, and speak only after taking competent advice. An ecclesiastic who deliberately sollicits attention is ill-placed to complain if he gets it, nor can his sycophants plausibly do so on his behalf. This pontificate did not invent the unfortunate modern phenomenon of the celebrity pope, but it has shown how very dangerous and divisive that cult is.
PF's election was, I suppose, the responsibility of the Cardinal Electors ... to whom one has to add such Cardinal non-Electors as Murphy O'Connor, who, we are told, dinnered his way around Rome encouraging his friends, and the other Anglophone Cardinals, to vote for Bergoglio (as he had every right to do). But there are also perhaps systemic problems here too. I do not think that even those whose analysis of this pontificate is totally different from mine will wish to disagree with much in what follows. Firstly ...
Time was when the Church was blessed with perhaps a dozen or two cardinals, pretty certainly not more than seventy; so that, in a conclave, each elector was more likely to know something about at least the more prominent and papabili of his brethren. If there are 120 or more electors, you are inevitably going to have the sort of situation in which an Eminent Father "from the peripheries" who knows next to nobody, will be open to be influenced by fellow electors who appear knowledgeable and who combine to assure him that Cardinal X is a Splendid Fellow. Additionally, PF has (significantly) suppressed the open discussions which the Cardinals used to be allowed to have with each other when they met formally in consistories. His once-claimed passion for parrhesia did not survive his experiences in his two 'synods'.
Secondly, it has come to be felt that it is edifying ... that the World will be impressed ... if a pope is elected within a couple of days. Almost as if it would be dangerous if the electors got to know each other, or if it became apparent to the waiting Press that there were deep divisions inside the Sistine Chapel. Even those simple souls (Ratzinger and I think they are misguided) who believe that the Holy Spirit chooses the pope, might have trouble giving a plausible theological explanation as to why the Holy Spirit should be so keen to operate through a quick-fire conclave rather than through a more lengthy and carefully considered one.
And, thirdly, PF will bequeath to the next interregnum a Church ... and a Sacred College ... much more deeply and ideologically divided than has been true for a very long time, possibly for ever.
I pray that the next conclave may be very, very, lengthy, even if that does encourage the Vatican press corps endlessly to lecture the watching World on such arcane mysteries as Blocking Thirds. Surely, their Eminences will have learned the lessons of the last five disastrous, destructive, divisive years?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fr. Nix Sermon: Second Sunday of Advent 2017

Fr. Nix's sermon today at Immaculate Conception Basilica, Jacksonville.

Fr. Hunwicke on The Pater Noster

From today's Blog:

10 December 2017
Will he never stop ... (1)
PF thinks the traditional translations of the Oratio Dominica need to be changed. Lead us not into temptation displeases him. Why should God lead people into temptation to sin? Obviously, this must be a Bad Translation. Would May we not be led into temptation be better?
Fundamentalist traddies are likely to be outraged. Changing the Our Father!!!!!
Although of course I am a Rigid Pharisee, I am not that sort of fundamentalist. The Lord's Prayer contains a number of mysteries. Let me go off at a tangent and give you an example from elsewhere in the Prayer. Let me tell you about Give us this day our Daily Bread. The Greek word translated Daily is particularly mysterious. Epiousion is pretty well a hapax legomenon (a Greek word occurring only once) and Origen remarked that you never heard it used in his time. It looks as though it should be related to epiouse, which means coming. Put that together with hemera (day) and it would mean our bread of the coming day, and S Jerome knew of a Hebrew Gospel which did indeed render it by mahar, of tomorrow. Might it mean the Bread of the Kingdom? Might it mean the eschatological Food, tomorrow's Bread which we are allowed to receive today ... i.e. the Blessed Sacrament? Or might epiousion mean supersubstantial? Etymologically, it could do so. And so on. Far from finding my Faith disturbed, I find such questions exhilarating. If you wanted to go further, you could compare the Lucan version of the Our Father with S Matthew's. TheTradition, in all its breadth, gives us such riches upon which to meditate ... 
Despite the different possible interpretations of parts of this Prayer, if I were a person of immense authority, I would not choose to use my power to change one single inherited rendering. My first reason for not doing so would be that I am profoundly aware that I am not infallible. And that a rendering which appealed to me 100% today might no longer do so in a year's time. And it is worth remembering that the Church has got along for two millennia without prescribing to us what meaning we should each attach to the words of this prayer. Two Millennia of hermeneutical freedom ... until we reached the Age of Mercy, the Aetas Bergogliana. Now, it seems, we need to be tied down to those particular interpretations and meanings which appeal to this particular, all-wise, pope. 
It's almost as if PF has decided to give a big plug to the recent e-book, The Dictator Pope by Professor Marcantonio Colonna, about which I wrote a few days ago.  
And let me make this clear: the Greek original and its Latin version do not mean what PF wants them to mean. Anybody who claims that they do, is either ignorant or dishonest. PF's proposal is not a translation, but an alteration. But I'll return, D v, to that tomorrow. (I'm afraid it has occurred to me that all this might be a ploy to provoke yet another disagreement with Cardinal Sarah, with the intention of finally getting rid of him. After all, PF is suggesting that a change be made in liturgical texts which involves eliminating the actual words of what the Greek and Latin and Syrian bibles say the Lord actually said, and replacing them with what a twenty-first century Roman Bishop says he prefers. It is Cardinal Sarah's job, quite frankly, to resist the imposition of a gratuitous mistranslation of an authorised original.) 
My second reason for making no change is pastoral. Back in the 1970s, we in the Church of England did indeed experiment with 'modern' translations of the Pater noster. Those experimental forms are now, I think, rarely used. The reason is: the clergy discovered that among infrequent church-goers, including the house-bound sick and elderly, and those attending Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals, and the Midnight Mass brigade, the Lord's Prayer was the only formula they knew. Any other liturgical memories they had lingering from their childhoods had been rendered out-of-date by the liturgical revolutions of the 1960s. Was it 'pastoral' to deprive such people of the only remaining bit of a worship-experience which was in the least familiar to them ... which had any sort of purchase upon their memories? So most of us just changed Our Father which ... into Our Father who ... , and left it at that. 
Incidentally, the 'modern language' Anglican version ... in case you were wondering ... finds no problems whatsoever in the phrase which makes PF and, we gather, some French and Italian bishops, lose so much sleep.  
We were right not to meddle.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column, December 10, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
Sunday, December 10th, 2017

As a chaplain in a state mental hospital, I quickly learned two things. First, sometimes it was easy to mistake a psychiatrist for one of the patients. Second, and more importantly, the mentally ill can be highly intelligent. If one begins with an illogical premise, one may convincingly make a fallacy seem cogent. An unfortunate man in a locked ward who thinks he is Napoleon Bonaparte can almost convince a visitor that he is there because he lost the battle of Waterloo
   Insanity is not a lack of brains; it is a lack of judgment. The Second Sunday of Advent focuses on the right use of reason, in preparation for the coming of Christ the Logos, the source of all creation. He is the Righteous Judge because he is supremely logical, and it would be a form of madness not to expect the Logos to be so.

   Our society has employed cleverness to justify moral madness, rationalizing a radical overhaul of social order as “hope and change.” George Orwell anticipated this in his “doublethink” which means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and accepting both of them, so that, for instance, ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery. Currently there are those who call censored speech “freedom of speech” and redistribution of wealth “income equality,” and who varnish anarchy as “resistance.” Infanticide is responsible parenthood, infidelity is independence, decadence is progress, common sense is bias, and natural law is hate speech. When the modern moral collapse euphemized as “sexual liberation” redefined vice as freedom, defective judgment unleashed a host of contradictions, so that the very institutions that promoted libertinism affect to be scandalized when celebrities are revealed to have done precisely what the euphemizers wanted. LikeCasablanca’s Captain Renault they are “Shocked! Shocked!”

   “Doublethinkers” cannot cope with the consequences of their manipulation of logic. Immature students riot when a professor disagrees with them, and voters scream at the sky when an election does not go their way. Their intolerance calls itself tolerance, but it is the false kind of tolerance which, as Chesterton said, is the virtue of the man without convictions.

   The same people who ask “Who am I to judge?” judge right judgment to be tactlessly judgmental, and they politicize the judiciary to appoint justices who will usurp the function of legislators. Certainly, our Lord forbids any attempt to judge the human heart or the fate of a soul (Matthew 7:2), but blurring the line between right and wrong, which the theologians call antinomianism, turns an entire culture into a raucous asylum.

   “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand” (Ezekiel 3:18).

Like what you're reading? If so, especially during this holy season of Advent, please consider making a special donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column!

Ramirez: Hamas: Before & After Jerusalem Recognition

Catholic Family News: USCCB Caught Funding Cult of Death: "Catholic Campaign for Human Development" is Radical-Left Money Machine

From the blog of Catholic Family News:

Friday, December 8, 2017


Catherine's Speech

We need another Catherine!

Fr. Ray Blake's Blog: The Dictator Pope

Dictator Pope - some thoughts

I finished that book, 'The Dictator Pope', a few days ago. There was very little that was new in it but it is shocking when scandals are brought together in a catalogue of vice. This is certainly not a book I would recommend most people reading, especially those who are easily shocked.

It portrays a picture of an arbitrary self-seeking princeling with few virtues and practically every vice. For those who hear confessions regularly it gives an insight into the cup which is clean on the outside but full of corruption on the inside.

It gives an insight into the contemporary Church, certainly into the psychology of many of its leading clergy and perhaps into the heresy of Mercy. In the abuse crisis so many of our leaders like Cardinal Daneels, who comes in for much criticism, not only defended abusers, telling their victim they needed to repent but they simply pretended there was no problem. Maybe they were not as bad as Cardinal Maradiaga who chairs Francis' Council of Nine, he dismissed the whole matter as a construction of the 'Jewish media'.

A false, heretical understanding of Mercy reduces God to being tolerant of everything, to the point where sin disappears and black becomes white, the foolish are regarded as wise, the corrupt become virtuous. A tolerant God means mankind has no need of Redemption or Salvation, the whole Christological drama becomes unnecessary and humanity has no need of a moral compass, because whatever is done, so long as it doesn't undermine the Enlightenment virtues, is fine.

An excess of Mercy has a tendency to remove any critical faculty. God becomes the watchmaker who having finished his work, sets it in place to run by itself, he is not as scripture portrays him concerned by our every action, nor is he the one who will come to judge between sheep and goats, and certainly not the one who is concerned about our personal integrity, our truth telling, our sexual or financial morality and our craving for power. It works well for a dictator, in that any criticism or expression of doubts or any questioning about this new god (the god of theological speculation, rather than God revealed by Jesus Christ in scripture and Tradition) becomes a sign of sickness, rigidity, even heresy but worst of all of the unforgivable sins of divisiveness and disloyalty.

What I find so shocking in this book, which hardly reveals any new secrets, just adds a few details, is that such corruption as it reveals causes dis-ease in so few. Indeed, those who do raise concerns are hussled to the margins and vilified. Colonna gives us insight into a court that seems to be hotbed of neurotic revenge, nepotism, financial corruption, homosexual practice and where surveillance and gossip are rife and where image is all. A quote from the book, a priest said, "It is not who or what you know, it is now about what you know about who you know", he was talking about a culture of blackmail.

Why is it tolerated? Why is it so easily accepted? Why do so few denounce it?
Perhaps it is that Catholicism in particular has seen so many changes in recent years that there are so few points of stability from which bearings can be taken. Even the Gospels, the actual revealed words of Jesus are pushed to the background and replaced by 'the sublime theology' of some German Cardinal. The author makes the point that what has been lost in the last few years is Jesus's 'Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no',

Being anxious that some fragment of the Lord's body might be lost or desecrated should be important to priests, nowadays being deeply concerned that a word, a comma of Lord's being lost should be a deep, deep concern of every Christian because where sin and vice abounds Christ cannot be tolerated
But then many bishops and religious superiors simply turned a blind eve to sexual abuse and abusers.....

Posted by Fr Ray Blake:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"Resist, Resist, Resist" : CFN Exclusive Interview with Fr. Alessandro M. Minutella

"I am dumbfounded that in Italy, I am still the only one."
Suspension and Double-Excommunication: "These are medals of honor"
"Resist, resist, resist!"

Editor's Note: Father Alessandro Maria Minutella is an Italian priest of the Archdiocese of Palermo. Born in 1973 and ordained in 1999, he became known in the past month to English speakers around the world thanks to a Youtube video about resisting Pope Francis and Amoris laetitia. Catholic Family News is happy to present this exclusive interview with Don Minutella, (to our knowledge) the first such interview in English.

CFN: Father Minutella, thank you for your availability. Until a few weeks ago, you were essentially unknown outside of Italy. However on November 16, 2017, you were suddenly and universally introduced to the English-speaking world. A translation of your video, “The Courage of [the] Truth” - itself released on November 9, 2017 on Radio Domina Nostra’s Youtube channel - appeared with the title “Don Minutella and the Pope Francis Regime.” At the end of November, it has over 29,000 views. Can you please introduce yourself: tell us when and where you were born, your date and place of ordination, what were your priestly assignments like?

Don Minutella: Firstly, I would like to thank you for this opening to the English-speaking world (which I was not looking for, so it's decidedly Providential). Certainly the number of views have started to become considerable in your part of the world, but for some time already in Italy, television networks have labelled me a “web star,” specifically due to the number of hits. One sees how Our Lord always loves to reveal His plans using small instruments, in the manner of the Blessed Virgin.
I was born in 1973 in Palermo, the city of a thousand contrasts, known throughout the world only for the Mafia, a multifaceted and multiformed city of a thousand cultures, the masterpiece of the Mediterranean. In the Gospel of John we read how when Nathaniel was told by Phillip that the Messiah had come from Nazareth, he responded laconically: “Can anything of good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46). My formation so far has been truly enriching. I have had as spiritual fathers the blessed martyr, Fr. Giuseppe (Pino) Puglisi [beatified May 2013] and Fr. Gabriele Amorth, SSP, the world-famous exorcist [died September 2016]. I entered the seminary in Palermo in October, 1992 and was ordained there on December 27, 1999, at the hands of Salvatore Cardinal De Giorgi.
I obtained my first doctorate in Systematic Theology in 2002, and a second doctorate in the History of Dogma and Spiritual Theology in 2007, from the Pontifical Gregorian University. I have published different works, one of which (on St. Gregory the Great) was reviewed in L'Osservatore Romano.
And yet, I never had the role of academic teacher (I have always thought this was due to my fierce fidelity to Tradition), while in these eighteen years I was a pastor three times, in three different working-class parishes on the peripheries. These were always full - even during the week - with many souls. When in the videos even speaking of theology, I am able to make myself understood by simple people, it's not without irony that I say one can smell like the sheep on the peripheries of the Church, even in a cassock and with the rosary in hand, without giving in to the excesses of what I call today the “false church.”

CFN: You did not study in a traditionalist seminary, you weren't ordained, for example, for the Society of Saint Pius X or even an Ecclesia Dei community like the Fraternity of Saint Peter or the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Would you call yourself a “traditionalist priest”? Do you reject the Second Vatican Council, or the Novus Ordo Mass?

Don Minutella: I have great respect and gratitude for the groups you mentioned. As a student in Rome I was able to visit one of these traditionalist groups, savoring their love for the ancient liturgy, decorum, the spirit of authentic fidelity to sound doctrine. In particular, I was able to keep in contact with the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest founded by Monsignor [Gilles] Wach, a priest who emits Catholic authenticity.
If today I find myself, let's say persecuted, it is because I have indeed proven to be a traditionalist priest. Not only because I celebrate the Old Rite daily, but I would say more deeply in the spirit of Tradition: Eucharistic worship, Marian devotion, priestly spirituality, and -on a wholly-theological level - firm opposition to pastoral and doctrinal novelties.
In truth, I know that I am considered a bit excessive in tone (Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider have asked me to use greater moderation!), yet I have found full solidarity and support from the traditionalist world, regarding [my message's] content. The question you asked me merits a deep reflection, however, briefly, I'll tell you what I think. Vatican II created not a few ambiguities, which in the current progressivist establishment are “straddled,” [in order to] to change the sound Catholic spirit. In my book which was just published (and which will be translated into English), called The false church and its destiny, I stress above all the liturgical and ecumenical question; I hold that in the future (when our prayers and sacrifices will obtain for us a Pope who will be Catholic again), a correction of the Council - which was pastoral and not dogmatic - will have to be made, and I believe the whole Church will return to the Old Rite.

CFN: How did you arrive at the point of making your “Appeal to Pope Francis” of March 26, 2017 (20,000+ views on Youtube.) And then, your “Historic Homily” of March 31, 2017? (43,000+ views.)

Don Minutella: My appeals were made driven by love for the Church and the sound Catholic spirit which, in in these times as never before, risks arriving - on a theological, liturgical and pastoral level - at the very real danger of schism. In my catechesis on the web, I never neglect referring to the Third Secret of Fatima. You in the USA have had the testimony of Archbishop Fulton Sheen who, in a precise way, described the characteristics of an anti-church governed by a Judas Iscariot who would betray the Catholic Faith. For me, the supernatural reference is crucial. So, I wanted to “play my cards” to the fullest, even though I'm paying dearly for it. The stakes are high: the very survival of Catholic Tradition and the sound Magisterium.
Obtaining a clarification regarding the so-called “openings” of Amoris laetitia was the objective of my appeals. Too much confusion [has been] caused by a lack of clarity. The Church can never allow a divorced and “remarried” couple to receive Holy Communion. It is a doubly-grave profanation: both of the Eucharist and of matrimony. I have found that the clergy in Italy are too afraid to react, and so, asked directly by the Blessed Virgin (in intimate and personal ways)* I wished to expose myself.

CFN: Can you explain your sudden removal as pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Palermo's Romagnolo neighborhood, on June 27, 2017? Didn't the Archbishop of Palermo, Corrado Lorefice, insist that you were not suspended?

Don Minutella: The possibility of a removal was already in the air. In the meantime, in Italy, I had become the most embarrassing “spokesman” in the face of the “openings.” However, the removal was carried out as a sort of pastoral “coup.” I had to leave my beloved parish on the very day of the removal letter's delivery. Many souls suffered and were disheartened by the methods of "the church of mercy. It seemed like the cleansing of a regime. Whoever doesn't think like the establishment has to be marginalized and pushed out.
Archbishop Lorefice is, without a doubt, one of the youngest and most-promising representatives of this merciful church, so I couldn't expect anything other than a condemnation. In the meantime, the national media with trashy programs (although highly watched) launched a defamatory campaign about me, even involving the State TV network, Rai 1, which aired a trial without an opposing opinion, where I was presented as the founder of a “sect.”
It's like this! The person who decides to remain steadfastly Catholic, Apostolic, Roman, is now a sectarian: one has to adhere to the Lutheran, neo-modernist new church! And so I, who for nine months kept silent through obedience to my bishop, understood clearly that it was all an unworthy maneuver to get me out. So I returned to defend, usque ad mortem [until death] sound Catholic doctrine. On the other hand, as a proverb states, “the devil puts the pots [on the stove] but forgets the lids.” Prominence due to State TV station Rai 1, brought me to the attention of ordinary people.

CFN: You wrote a letter on September 21 to your Archbishop, copying also the Congregation for the Clergy, during your canonical recourse. You confirmed holding all the doctrines of the Church, as well as the submission of will and intellect to the Roman Pontiff. The Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Beniamino Stella replied, telling you that the recourse was suspended until December 8. An unprecedented request followed, “suggested” by the Cardinal: that you publicly profess fidelity to Pope Francis on social media. You then asked for his reasoning in this regard, noting that you had already affirmed your fidelity to the Pontiff in a previous letter. On November 9, 2017, after waiting, and no response, you were suddenly summoned to the Archdiocesan Chancery. What did the Archbishop tell you?

Don Minutella: In reality, the Archbishop never made himself present following my forced removal as pastor. He was completely uninterested in one of his priests, despite having come to the Archdiocese shortly beforehand with the promise of being “a father to all.” I maintain that he was forced to meet with me, due to pressure from the Holy See. The Archbishop knows well that I am not in fact a heretic. My upstanding priesthood is noted in the Archdiocese, it's clear how I've acted in eighteen years of priesthood. Many of the faithful from all parts of Italy were on his case in supporting me, so I believe that he really wasn't happy to meet with me. In any case, he informed me that two latae sententiae excommunications were ready for me, if I didn't publicly declare fidelity to Pope Francis on the web. I had 48 hours available. In the meantime I made the decision to go online, where I made it known that I had already pledged fidelity to the Roman Pontiff through the appropriate channels and with the expected criteria, and furthermore, that this request seemed to me to be unacceptable blackmail. We know how things went.

CFN: Why did you refuse to write or sign another letter?

Don Minutella: Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote that he would drink freely to his own conscience, and then to the Pope. Everyone can see that the current pontificate is more or less ambiguous, regarding the divorced and “remarried,” but not only in this regard. So as a Catholic priest, considering, too, the heroic testimony of St. Athanasius or St. Catherine of Siena, I didn't hesitate in remaining firm in having already made a profession of fidelity to the Roman Pontiff; without giving in, in any way, to the unacceptable blackmail of Cardinal Stella. I am dumbfounded that in Italy, I am still the only one. But I have souls and the defense of the Faith at heart. Defensor Fidei: how I am moved by this label!

CFN: Yet in the past year, Martin Luther has been effectively rehabilitated. In fact, the Italian Bishops Conference’s Secretary General, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, recently called the Protestant revolt “an event of the Holy Ghost.” We learned last month that there exists a petition, on the part of the Pontifical Council for Culture to Pope Francis, to remove the Holy Office's 1962 doctrinal monitum against modernist-evolutionist Teilhard de Chardin. Despite all the ecumenism, the de facto permissiveness, and the “mercy” of the present Pope and his bishops, you were threatened with two excommunications. How is this possible? For what canonical offenses, or delicts? Is this something like serving prison sentences for different crimes, concurrently? Why the discrepancy: Luther is praised but you are to be punished?

Don Minutella: I deal with these themes extensively in my just-published book, which will be released soon in English. Luther constitutes, overall, the worst snare for the Catholic spirit. Bringing him back, if not actually canonizing him, is demonstrative of a philo-heretical direction.
Sister Lucy of Fatima said in the 1960's that if Heaven's appeals weren't heard and it was decided not to obey the requests of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, this would be considered by God a sin against the Holy Ghost, which is unforgivable. The punishment for this would be the blinding of the Bishops and of the highest levels of the hierarchy. When in Italy, the Bishops Conference's secretary Bishop Galantino spoke of Luther as moved by the Holy Ghost, when a statue of Luther was exhibited at the Vatican, the anniversary [of the Lutheran revolt] was celebrated with a commemorative stamp: these are decisive symptoms of the blindness underway, foreseen by Sr. Lucy.
I would not be surprised if I am excommunicated, even with a further excommunication than Luther received. Today's false church (increasingly neo-modernist and Lutheran every day) can't help but rid itself of a poor priest steadfastly determined to remain Catholic. What was heresy yesterday is magisterium today, and what was Magisterium yesterday has become heresy today.

CFN: What would you ask [of] Pope Francis?

Don Minutella: I find this question to be a bit surreal. It seemed in the beginning [of this Pontificate] that the Church would become more open, instead it's closed-off today more than ever before. If you don't think the same way, you're marginalized and condemned. In any case, I would beg the Pope to give absolute first place to the subject of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus gave us Himself in the Eucharist. In the present magisterium, it seems that the Eucharistic question (always so central in the Catholic Magisterium) has become irrelevant. This forgetfulness corresponds to an unbearable [nagging, annoying] appeal to social themes; especially the generic one regarding the poor, which in reality, risks transforming the Church into an international organism in favor of the wealthier classes. Jesus is at the center of the life of the Church. Some questions, such as that of Communion in the hand (as Bishop Schneider has commendably emphasized) are decisive.
And then the subject of the reform of the reform; the liturgy, and in particular the Mass, merits greater pastoral care. I believe an appeal to rediscover the Old Rite is urgent, as is a guarantee of greater protection of the Novus Ordo from the creative experimentalism which has brought about enormous abuses. Further, I would ask [Pope Francis] to espouse a clear and spotless language - not an ambiguous one - regarding Amoris laetitia and Communion for the divorced and “remarried.” The subject of the Dubia presented by the four Cardinals (two of which have since died), and the fact that in Poland one thing is said while in Germany another is said, is a worrying warning of a drift that risks bringing about an internal schism.
The recent statements of Russian patriarch Kirill, according to which we have decisively entered those times foreseen by the Apocalypse which only the blind cannot see, and also those of Cardinal Burke which more or less repeat the same thing (linking, however, in a significant way to the Third Secret of Fatima) confirm this. I personally hold, though, that things will only worsen until the promise of Our Lady of Fatima is fulfilled: “in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph” which means that the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church; the one, true Church which confesses the only Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, her Spouse and Founder, will triumph.
In the meantime I believe that we will witness, as already happened to the Second Vatican Council (as Ratzinger said), the manipulation of the Catechism and the insurgence of thinking that is no longer Catholic, unfortunately [on a] official and dominating [level]. Catholics remaining such, throughout the world, will have to leave the official structures and descend once more into the “catacombs.” Perhaps they will have to accept excommunication and interdict, but they will be witnesses of a new burst of Pentecost. Holy Mother Church will come out of this stronger and brighter, since the persecution will provide a necessary purification. I also believe that Our Lord will give us a strong shepherd solid in the Faith, like Pope Saint Pius X, who in the manner of a “Marian lion” will lead the small, Catholic remnant to victory.

CFN: We have examples of resistance in the Church throughout history: of St. Paul to St. Peter (Galatians 2:11), St. Athanasius contra mundum, those who corrected Pope John XXII in the 1300’s, etc. Aren't we also to resist the innovations of Pope Francis and other prelates, today?

Don Minutella: I believe I've already responded to this in the preceding questions. I am amazed when people make a point of my courage, because I hold that a priest has the duty and the grace of state to confront the present deception. I believe the moment has come, in which the emphasizing [exposing] of heresies, which Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw as the "strange church," is no longer sufficient. We need an across-the-board movement of Catholic resistance which - attention! - has the Marian dimension as its first reference. The Rosary will save the Church. In this sense, I have been covering the whole Italian peninsula for some time already, to sustain Catholic circles all associated by a great devotion to Our Lady. Perhaps the moment has come for this movement (lacking strong powers, money and worldly alliances) to reach Catholics on the other side of the ocean.

CFN: How do you see the situation in the Catholic Church today, especially in light ofAmoris laetitia?

Don Minutella: There is total confusion. I see an increasingly-widespread apostasy, a magisterium parallel, if not directly counterpoised - as in the case of Amoris laetitia - to the Catholic patrimony of the ages. The upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod, as well as the Synod for the Youth can be dangerous platforms for reinforcing the identity of the false church, in the manner of the preceding Synod on the Family.

CFN: How do you view your penalties of (de facto) suspension, or excommunications?

Don Minutella: For me these are medals of honor, like when a simple soldier carries out meritorious actions, and the commander rewards him. I hope, however, that one of the Cardinals who remain Catholic, will recognize it. I'll need this [support], even though Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Sarah have already encouraged me privately. The best spoils for the priest are souls. Saint John Bosco told Our Lord: Da mihi animas et coetera tolle! “Give me souls, and take the rest!” It is said of St. John of the Cross that Jesus appeared to him, saying: Ioanne, quid vis pro laboribus? “John, what would you like [as a reward] for your labors?” The Spanish saint responded: Domine, pati et contemni pro te, meaning “Lord, to suffer and to be despised for Thee.” It is something that I have expected since my time in the Seminary, and despite the heavy weight of suffering, I experience the supernatural joy of the Cross.

CFN: What practical suggestions do you have for Catholics throughout the world, wanting to resist these novelties? Do you have a parting word, especially for the English-speakers reading this interview?

Don Minutella: Here is my answer: resist, resist, resist! There is a formula, which I wrote recently, where I say: Ego sum famulus tuus Maria, Mater mea! Ego sum famulus tuus Maria, Regina mea! Ego sum famulus tuus Maria, Domina mea! “I am Thy servant, Mary my Mother! I am Thy servant, Mary my Queen! I am Thy servant, Mary my Lady!”
I would recommend to all my dear American Catholic friends a few things: Eucharistic and Marian devotion, adherence to the sound Catholic Magisterium, daily recitation of the Rosary, use of sacramentals during this time in which satan – as Pope Leo XIII was given to see – is launching his last and most decisive attack on the Catholic Church. Because of this, the Blessed Virgin has taken the field. Recently, She has willed to tell me: “Do not fear, My son, where you go, others will see My maternal footsteps.”*
I leave you with this fiery auspice of St. Louis Marie de Montfort: Adveniat Regnum tuum Domine, adveniat per Mariam! “Lord, may Thy Reign come, may it come through Mary!”

*CFN does not express judgement regarding any locutions or other supernatural activity reported on Don Minutella's part, described online in various places and mentioned in passing in this interview. We focus instead, on the priest's recent dealings with the Roman and local hierarchy.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Council of Trent on The Holy Eucharist

The Council of Trent was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. Considered one of the Church's most important councils, it convened in Trent for three periods between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563, as a response to the Protestant Reformation.

(New World Encyclopedia)

The following blog post is from Padre Perigrino (Fr. Nix):

Meet Lawyer Arguing Jack Phillips’ First Amendment Case Before Supreme C...

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fr. Nix: Eastern Churches, Vatican II and SSPX

What about the people in Protestant Mega-“Churches,” Jehovas Witnesses, Mormons, Russian Orthodox, Greek-Catholics, SSPX and sedevacantists? This was supposed to be “Traditional Latin Mass Class 4” but it turned into many Questions and Answers at the opening paragraph.

(Update: This class was originally “Traditional Latin Mass 4” but it [happily] got derailed into a Question and Answer regarding unity within the Church. Mass podclasses will continue next week)

Fr. Nix Sermon: First Sunday of Advent

How to understand the importance of our short time on earth before the return of Jesus Christ, regardless of His timing on the Final Judgment.

APOCALYPSE NOW: The Romans Are Coming Again

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Trump Praises: "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column: December 3, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
December 3rd, 2017

The explanation for your sense of expectation is that you have an imagination. Unlike animals guided by instinct, we can imagine past and future. Advent is the time of expectation. Since Christ is not limited by time, he can be born again in our lives at every Christmas.
Expectation requires thinking about the four most important matters of existence: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. These are the primary mysteries that arrest the attention of minds awake, more compelling than holiday shopping and attempts at partying before Christmas begins.
To look at death at the start of Advent is what we do on a small scale when we look at the end of anything, whether it be the end of the day or the end of some project we have been working on, or even the end of a movie or a song. The question is: Does the end of life have a purpose? C.S. Lewis answered that in a typically lucid way: “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
Along with the sense of expectation is the intuition that what is expected is more vital than what we now have. On the day after Christmas in 1941, Winston Churchill stood before the joint houses of Congress and spoke of “. . . my life, which is already long, and has not been entirely uneventful.” Then a full twenty-four years later, his dying words were: “I’m bored with it all.” That was really wonderful because, though skeptical about the Gospel, he knew that things as they are, are not enough. He was a bit like Benjamin Franklin who, while far from an orthodox Christian, playfully wrote his own epitaph as a printer, comparing himself to a worn old book: “For it will, as he believ’d, appear once more, In a new and more perfect Edition, Corrected and amended, By the Author.”
There is a worthy movement now to rebuild the lamented old Pennsylvania Station, constructed on the site of our original church. That church was destroyed in 1963, in the arrogant period when many classical churches were wrecked by misguided liturgical experts who shared the modern contempt for anything old. The restoration of the old station would cost about $3.5 billion, an immense amount but small change compared to the $20 billion of innocuous glass boxes rising around us in the Hudson Yards development.
Jesus spoke of rebuilding the Herodian Temple in three days (John 2:19). That was at the price of his own blood, for he was speaking of his body. He did raise it. And he can do the same for us.

Like what you're reading? If so, please consider making a special donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column!

Chicago Parish Going Ad Orientem for Advent

This was posted today on the Blog of New Liturgical Movement:
St Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Chicago, under the care of the Congregation of the Resurrection, is returning to the historical custom of the Church and facing East for the Advent and Christmas season.
To read the whole post, especially the letter from Fr. Anthony Bus, the pastor, click on the below link:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Islam, Catholicism and the Fallout from Low Standards: Derya Little

From yesterday's National Catholic Register:
Every mosque has a fountain in its yard, so that the worshiper can fulfill the requirements of ritual ablutions before entering Allah’s house. There is an order to the washing of hands, face, mouth, nose, neck and the feet. With every action of physical washing, there is an accompanying prayer.
The reverence that starts well before the Muslim enters the Mosque only intensifies once inside. All superfluous and frivolous activities cease, only hushed whispers could be heard. During the prayers, the imam turns to Kaaba with everyone else to genuflect before Allah who is the ultimate master, the unreachable judge...

Catholics, on the other hand, have the Real Presence of Christ in every single church. The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the One True Triune God. It is unbelievable, because it is miraculous. For almost two millennia, churches attempted to provide a worthy dwelling with beautiful stained glass windows, painstakingly carved statues and breathtaking altars. The goal was to create a timeless atmosphere where Christ’s sacrifice quieted our busy minds and reached our stubborn hearts. We needed the beauty, the labor, the solemnity in the physical world to make our souls receptive. Everything pointed, or should point, to the Eucharist.
That awe and sense wonder that made us fall to our knees in silence diminishes when we decide to make the priest, not Christ, the center of attention and allow everyone to touch the Eucharist. Even the misguided Muslims understand that the one who leads the worship should first and foremost face the One that is worshipped. Centuries ago, they tapped in something we have lost recently...
Read the entire piece by clicking on the link below:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pope Benedict XVI and the Great Reveal

Posted by The Bones, November 20, 2017:

The election of Pope Francis represents the definitive crossing of the rubricon for the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is temporary, perhaps it is not, but both Amoris Laetitia and Magnum Principium are documents that suggest we have reached a moment of full disclosure, a moment in the Church's history when the Church's slide into irrelevance, of being subsumed into the decaying culture of the once Catholic West is virtually guaranteed. There is no trumpet to announce the surrender of the Catholic Church from false apostles to announce the Church's surrender to the evil forces at work in the world. There will probably be no announcement to this effect. All we will receive as Catholics is mini-announcements. Praise for an abortionist here. A bishop reinventing the Mass there. The invitation of Planned Parenthood to the Vatican here. Such are, I am sure many readers will agree, the announcements of a counter-Church established within the bosom of the bride of Christ.

Read the whole essay by clicking on the link below:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Anthony Esolen: True Deiversity (Crisis Magazine)

Anthony Esolen writing today at Crisis Magazine:

You could not have, among the Christians of old, some people who still sacrificed to Bacchus and men who still went after boys and women who still procured abortions; that would have been the same old world, with a little perfume. So now we cannot have a diversity that means no more than conformity to the world. Things are clearer than ever. Unity in Christ alone can give the world the diversity it needs.

Fr. Nix Sermon: 24th Sunday after Pentecost

This sermon is about how to get your kids to heaven in 15 minutes a day.  The featured image is Holy Ghost parish in downtown Denver.  Some families of this parish used the Baltimore Catechism in the 1980s, and it paid off.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fr. Rutler's Weekly: Column November 26, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
November 26th, 2017

A professor told me of two experiences he had when civilization was picking up its pieces after World War II. He was in the crowd when King George VI visited Cambridge University and was greeted with loud cheers. Then, as a U. S. soldier in occupied Japan, he watched as a vast throng became stone silent when the Emperor alighted from the imperial train, all heads bowed and eyes downcast. Hirohito no longer had divine pretensions, but the customary reverence was palpable. The one king embodied the familial aspect of a monarch as father, and the other was a reminder of a ruler transcending the ordinary commerce of life.

  On the Feast of Christ the King, the Church proposes a sovereignty both human and divine: the Holy One who walked the roads of this world as a man among men was at the same time of Heaven, the Supreme Being.

  This mystery stretches the limited intellect, as in the case of Pontius Pilate, who remains a fascinating psychological study, as he tried to figure out if Jesus was a king. Why he posed the question is not clear, and Jesus asked if the question was his own or a reaction to the cynicism of the mob. Pilate was a paramount cynic himself, not a skeptic who doubts whether something is true, but a man who doubts that truth exists at all. That is why Nietzsche, whose only god was selfish power, considered Pilate the only powerful character in the Gospel. But then, it was Nietzsche who said, “I am no man, I am dynamite.” Consistent with his claim, he ended up insane.
 Because Pilate was too vindictive even for the Roman imperium, the governor of Syria, Lucius Vitellius, removed him from the prefecture of Judea. One theory is that Pilate committed suicide in what is now Vienne in modern France. As for his birth, there is more confusion: possibly Tarragona in Spain, or more implausibly in the Perthshire Highlands of Scotland, or Forchheim in Germany, or most likely in the Abruzzi of Italy. You might say that he was born wherever men refuse to recognize truth when they see it, and destroy themselves when they have walked away from it. The moral chaos is more widespread now than in the academic groves of the classical world, and we see its effect in the campus riots of today and the mental floss of such philosophers as Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida.

  This much can be said for Pontius Pilate: He inscribed that sign “King of the Jews” and would not remove it. It may have been sheer irony, the cynicism of a cynic. Or perhaps when he began to roam the hills of exile, he sensed that the ultimate and only choice in life is holiness or madness: “And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the virtuous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

Like what you're reading? If so, please consider making a special donation to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at 424 West 34th Street, so that we can afford to continue distributing the column! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fr. Nix Sermon: Superfruit Sunday, November 19, 2017

                                     (St. John Chrysostom & St. Gregory the Wonderworker)

FR. Schall on Sad Songs at "The Catholic Thing Blog"

Yet all sad songs have this “remembering Zion” about them, this sense of how things might have been but were not. The Man of Sorrows’ love was and still is rejected by many. He did not abolish sadness. He redeemed us through it. It is not the greatest evil. This awareness of what is at stake is what we learn from listening to the sad songs of our kind, songs from the streams of Babylon to the waltzes danced in Tennessee.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column, November 19, 2017

Father Rutler's Weekly Column
November 19th, 2017

   The Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas has been made a shrine, for the massacre there has left it a hallowed place for mourners. A red rose marks where each of the victims died, and then there is one pink rose. That is for the unborn baby that died in the womb. To the frustration of some, Texas is one of 38 states that recognize an infant in utero as a victim when the mother is assaulted. Federal law also accords legal rights to the unborn in cases of federal and military crimes. A pink rose is at least a tacit acknowledgement that a human life existed before birth, and Catholics know that life is life, with no varying shades. This is one example of how truth prevails despite attempts to obscure it.

   Confusion has also muddled marriage. When marriage is refashioned into an oxymoronic “same-sex marriage,” along with ambiguity about procreation and the permanence of natural marriage, the social order loses interest in it altogether. Even among self-professed Catholics, whose population has increased in the last forty years, there has been a 60% decrease in weddings.

   As the Religious life is a consecrated form of spiritual marriage, opaqueness about such commitment has caused the virtual evaporation of many communities. In the past five years alone, with the exception of communities solid in doctrine, there has been a loss of over seven per cent among women religious, while orders of men declined somewhat less.

   St. John Paul II spoke clearly about priestly charisms, and during his pontificate the number of seminarians worldwide increased from 63,882 to 114,439. The years of Pope Benedict XVI saw the numbers grow to 118, 257. Since then, in a time of confusion in the Church and society as a whole, there has been a consistent global decline. In our own vast archdiocese, of the small handful of recent ordinations none was a native New Yorker.

   Yet often where there is clarity of doctrine and high morale, the picture is bright. In 2015, the most recent year for statistics, there was a 25% increase nationally in ordinations. The archdiocese of St. Louis, with a Catholic population roughly less than a quarter the size of the archdiocese of New York, has considerably more seminarians, and the dioceses of Madison, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska, relatively small in population, each have about twice as many seminarians as we have in “the capital of the world.”

   In the pro-life movement, on the federal level there are positive developments correcting the anti-life legislation of recent years. And where better instruction is provided, Catholic marriages are becoming more purposeful and stable. Then too, a new generation of young priests sound in doctrine and liturgy is appearing. There is strength in clarity. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8).

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