Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help a Traddy out...

No. I don't want your money.

I want your referral.

If you happen by this page, and are from the Scranton Diocese in particular, send my link to someone else you know in the diocese.

What this blog was meant to be is a place where catholics living in the Scranton Diocese can come together to discuss, piss, moan, and generally learn about and shape what goes on in our diocese.

So keep a Traddy blogging and get those referrals in. I'll see about getting you a plenary indulgence if you do!

Vocations for local church!

Congratulations and prayers are in order for two parishoners of a local Scranton Diocese church. Kathryn Keifer and Lauren Gillenkirk of St. Michaels Roman Catholic Church in Scranton are both off to the nunnery! St. Michaels is run by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and exclusively offers the Mass and sacraments according to the 1962 Missal.

Hope they like soccer, obviously they play alot of it.

How many of you, in the Scranton diocese or not, that attend a Novus Ordo church, have ever seen the announcement in your bulletin that not one, but TWO people were entering the convent?

No, me neither. I have never seen an announcement that a young man has entered the seminary either. Although I can count two personal friends that have dropped out. Does that count? I mean, they must have announced it in their bulletin that my two friends were entering seminary. Did they announce when they left too?

As long as we have the relativist attitude that pervades our clergy and churches today, this trend will continue. The diocesan system countrywide is devoid of young men and women discerning their vocation, while the traditionalist orders are turning people away. Perhaps by the time I go to see God, there will be more traddy priests and sisters, and the diocesan realtivists will be in the minority, leaving us with tradition riding high in the churches!

And there will be much rejoicing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Egan upset with Giuliani

.- During Pope Benedict’s visit to the U.S. just over a week ago, some pro-abortion politicians, including Rudy Giuliani and John Kerry, received Communion at the papal Mass. Today Cardinal Edward Egan, the Archbishop of New York, released a statement expressing his displeasure with Giuliani for receiving the Eucharist.

Cardinal Egan began by repeating the Church’s position on abortion and his defense of that position. “The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind,” he said.

According to Cardinal Egan, he had established “an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani”, that dated back to when he first became “the Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York”.

The understanding was, “that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion,” the cardinal said.

The head of the Church in New York expressed his deep regret that “Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York” and added that he “will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.”

Giuliani's spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, responded to the cardinal's statement by saying that Giuliani is willing to meet with the cardinal but added that his faith "is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential." (Not when a "catholic" makes a public show of defiance. He didn't take the Eucharist confidentially in a dark room locked away from our eyes, he did it at a Papal Mass. That was a public act. Giuliani just doesn't like being chastised publicly.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

150 million for WYD?

.- According to the government of New South Wales, the Catholic Church will pay a “significant amount” of the bill for World Youth Day in Sydney, reports.

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma on Monday said that taxpayers in the Australian state would contribute $86 million towards staging the July event, which will include a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict at Randwick Racecourse.

Iemma’s figure did not include a $42 million compensation package to the racing industry for using the racecourse.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Church said the Church was paying $150 million for the event, raising some of the money through pilgrim registration fees.

Organizers say the event will attract about 225,000 Catholics from around the world. World Youth Day 2008 will be the biggest event hosted by Sydney since the 2000 Olympics.

"The Catholic church is paying for a significant amount of the costs," Iemma said. "What we are doing with policing and transport, these are the arrangements that have to be put in place for massive events."

Iemma said the event would showcase the city to a global audience and generate $150 million in revenue. He said the event would bring many benefits to Sydney, and said the revenue estimate did not include the impact on the tourism industry.

Green Party members said the Catholic Church should pay most of the bill.

"The Catholic church is the organization that will gain the biggest benefit from this event, not the people of New South Wales," Greens New South Wales MP Lee Rhiannon said on ABC radio, according to

"It's a clear promotional event and, therefore, they should be footing the main part of the bill,” Rhiannon continued.

Sydney Chamber of Commerce executive director Patricia Forsythe said hosting the event would generate $231 million for New South Wales and globally promote economic and tourist interest in Sydney.

"It's critical that we measure World Youth Day not in terms of public expenditure, but in terms of the economic activity which it generates," Forsythe said.

"Tsunami of interest'!

.- St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, New York, has received dozens of applications following Pope Benedict’s visit, the New York Daily News reports.

"It's been like a tsunami, a good tsunami of interest," said Father Luke Sweeney, the Archdiocese of New York's vocations director. “I've been meeting people all week and have a lot of e-mails I haven't had the chance yet to respond to. It has been incredible.”

For the first time in 108 years, the seminary had been preparing for a year with no students. Only 23 seminarians are expected to be ordained for New York City over the next four years. A study carried out by Catholic World Report claims the archdiocese’s ratio of priests to congregation members is among the worst in the country.

Currently there are only 648 diocesan priests for the Archdiocese of New York, which has 2.5 million Catholics.

“We are facing a severe shortage,” Father Sweeney said. The vocations director recently launched a recruitment campaign that uses the slogans “The World Needs Heroes” and “You Have To Be a Real Man If You Want to Become a Priest.”

“We were hoping the Pope would convince many who were considering the priesthood to make the next step. It looks like he did,” he said.

The Pope spoke to a rally of 25,000 young people on the seminary’s grounds last Saturday, April 19.

Father Sweeney described how the Pope’s words affected one new applicant.

“One said he came, saw the crowd, heard what the Pope said and then called us," the priest said. "He said his questions and concerns were answered when he heard him speak.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Padre Pio's Body Venerated

SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy — The body of Padre Pio, a hugely popular 20th century Italian saint, went on public display Thursday in a southern Italian town where thousands gathered to pray.

Padre Pio, who died in 1968 at age 81, was a mystic monk who many Catholic faithful believe bore "stigmata," or wounds like those Jesus suffered at his crucifixion, on his hands and feet. He was made a saint in 2002.

Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican's sainthood office, lead an open-air Mass for thousands of faithful before the unveiling of the saint's body in a church in San Giovanni Rotondo, where the saint had lived.

"Today, we venerate his body, opening a particularly intense period of pilgrimage," Saraiva Martins said. "This body is here, but Padre Pio is not only a corpse. Looking at his remains we remember all the good that he has made."

Saraiva Martins and other church officials later descended into the church's crypt for a private viewing of the body. State-run broadcaster RAI showed the body in a casket enclosed in crystal, wearing a monk's hooded dark robe.

The officials gathered solemnly around the crypt, and prayed. The faithful, who will be able to file past the body later Thursday, followed the ceremony through maxi TV screens outside.

The Capuchin monk, whose original name was Francesco Forgione, had an enormous following in Italy and abroad. He lived for decades with inexplicable bleeding wounds on his hands and feet.

Church officials exhumed the body so the faithful could pray before it, since this year marks the 40th anniversary of his death. They also wanted to take measures to ensure it was being well preserved.

Since the unearthing in March, the body has been prepared for public viewing in the crypt of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in San Giovanni Rotondo, a town near the Adriatic in southern Puglia.

Church officials have said there was no sign of the so-called stigmata on his limbs after an initial examination, and that the body was in good condition.

Organizers say they expect 15,000 people to pay their respects to Padre Pio on the first day of the viewing. It is not yet known when the body will be reburied.

Padre Pio had a huge public following in life, as in death, and his beatification and canonization ceremonies drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Vatican.

For decades, though, many in the Vatican were uneasy about his popularity and scorned him, doubting that his wounds were real and that mystical virtues attributed to him were authentic. He was barred for years from saying Mass in public, even as his following grew immensely.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nancy and Kevin

I have a suggestion for Nancy and Kevin, the morning talk radio hosts at WILK.

Come in at 6, record a 30 second opinion, go home and relax. Then just have the engineer play it all morning.

Because that's all they seem to do live. Not being encumbered with callers, the two hapless hosts must endlessly rehash the same things all morning.

Today they were bashing John McCain over the equal pay bill currently in the senate. Apparently McCain believes that ALL people should receive pay commensurate with their experience and ability to do the job. Not on what they have between their legs.

But the Democrats think that the government should be this huge monster that intrudes itself into every aspect of our lives, and that includes deciding how much money you make. Isn't that nice?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dismemberment and evacuation

Here's what you sinful democratic "catholics" in Pennsylvania voted for yesterday when you overwhelmingly voted for Hildabeast. You should be ashamed.

SSPX: No agreement

The Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, signed his latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors last Monday - and it was published in the current edition of the official newsletter of the Fraternity, DICI, made available today.

This is the heart of the letter:

The Motu Proprio which introduced a hope of change for the better at the liturgical level is not accompanied by logically co-related measures in the other areas of the life of the Church. All changes introduced at the Council and in the post-Conciliar reforms which we denounce, because the Church has already condemned them, are confirmed. With the difference that, from now on, it is said, at the same time, that the Church does not change…[sic], which means that these changes are perfectly in the line of Catholic Tradition.

The disruption at the level of concepts joined with the reminder that the Church must remain faithful to her Tradition may trouble some. Since the facts do not corroborate the new affirmation, it is necessary to conclude that nothing [sic] has changed in the will of Rome to follow the Conciliar orientations, despite forty years of crisis, despite the deserted convents, the abandoned rectories, the empty churches. The Catholic universities persist in their ramblings, the teaching of the Catechism remains unknown at the same time that the Catholic school does not exist anymore as particularly Catholic: it has become an extinct species… [sic]

This is why the Fraternity of Saint Pius X cannot "sign an agreement" [ne peut pas "signer d'accord"]. It openly rejoices on the papal desire to reintroduce the ancient and venerable rite of the Holy Mass, but it also discovers the resistance, at times brutal, of whole episcopates. Without despairing, without impatience, we observe that the time for an agreement has not yet come. This does not prevent us from continuing to wait, from continuing on the path defined in the year 2000. We continue to ask the Holy Father for the repeal of the decree of excommunication of 1988, because we are persuaded that that would do much good to the Church and we encourage you to pray that it may take place.

But it would be very imprudent and hasty to thrust ourselves unwisely in pursuit of a practical agreement which would not be founded upon the fundamental principles of the Church, particularly on the faith.

+ Bernard Fellay
Menzingen, April 14, 2008

Rigali gets it!

This is a good first step from my Cardinal. The Diocese of Scranton has had nothing to say about Summorum Pontificum except for an article in the bi-weekly diocesan newspaper, there has been nothing else about it. Almost as if it never happened. This reaffirms that something is at least being done in the Arch-Diocese. Perhaps I shall write a letter to the Cardinal suggesting a workshop by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter to instruct diocesan priests how to say the Mass. I mean, how hard can it be? The FSSP church is only ten minutes away from our cathedral, it can easily be arranged.

PHILADELPHIA (Zenit) - Since Benedict XVI has said that the Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII should be available to those who prefer it, seminarians should be taught to say it, says Cardinal Justin Rigali.

The Pope clarified in his apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum" that there are two forms of the liturgy in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church: ordinary and extraordinary.

To learn what some bishops are doing to implement the document in seminaries, ZENIT spoke with Cardinal Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, about his plans to introduce seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Cardinal Rigali also suggested why priests already in active ministry should become familiar with the Missal of 1962.

Q: What practical steps are being taken to incorporate "Summorum Pontificum" into the life and curriculum of the seminary?

Cardinal Rigali: First there will be a lecture offered on the "motu proprio" that elucidates the theology underlying the 1962 missal so that the seminarians are afforded a clear understanding of the "motu proprio" and the Holy Father's pastoral concern for the faithful who have a deep love for the Tridentine liturgy.

Since nearly all of the seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary have grown up attending Mass according to the "Novus Ordo" -- Missal of Paul VI -- it is important to offer an exposition of the Mass according to the 1962 missal -- Missal of Blessed John XXIII.

Further, seminary course work in theology, liturgy and Church history will cover and expound upon the Holy Father's initiative. It will be helpful for them to see the continuity between the two expressions, but will also afford the opportunity to address the changes that took place in the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council.

Sometime in the spring semester, after the lecture, Holy Mass according to the extraordinary form will be celebrated once for the entire St. Charles Borromeo Seminary community. This will demonstrate to the seminarians the liturgically correct manner in which the extraordinary form of the Mass is to be celebrated.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reverend Joseph T. Gilbert 1953-2008

Reverend Joseph T. Gilbert, Chaplain of Holy Cross High School, Scranton and Dunmore and a resident at St. James Parish in Jessup, died suddenly on Sunday, April 20, 2008.

Father Gilbert, son of Joseph R. and Mae Esposito Gilbert, was born in Scranton on December 3, 1953. He completed his early educational studies at Lafayette Elementary School and West Scranton Senior High School, Scranton. He graduated from St. Pius X Seminary, Dalton, the University of Scranton and Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, New York, where he completed his studies for the priesthood.

Father Gilbert was ordained to the priesthood on September 1, 1979, in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Scranton, by the Most Reverend J. Carroll McCormick, D.D., late Bishop of Scranton. Father served as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Snows, Clarks Summit, St. Matthew's, East Stroudsburg, St. Mary's, Old Forge, SS. Peter and Paul, Towanda, Sacred Heart-St. John the Evangelist, Wilkes-Barre and St. Peter's, Wellsboro.

Father Gilbert served as Director of Religious Formation at Bishop Neumann High School, Williamsport and Seton Catholic High School, Pittston. During his years of school work Father Gilbert was a resident at St. John the Evangelist, Pittston, St. Luke's, Jersey Shore, Ascension and Annunciation, Williamsport and St. Mary, Help of Christians, Pittston. He also resided at St. Mary's, Swoyersville and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Wilkes-Barre. He was Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Elkland. Father Gilbert also served as Dean of Tioga County from 2005 through 2006.

In addition to his parents he is survived by a sister, Elaine Davitt and husband Martin, a brother, James and his wife, Susan, all of Scranton and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Esposito and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ciliberti.

Viewing will take place at Saint Peter's Cathedral Rectory, 315 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, on Thursday, April 24, 2008, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Transferal will be celebrated at Saint Peter's Cathedral, Thursday Evening, April 24, at 7:00 p.m., with the Reverend John V. Polednak, Dean, presiding.

A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, D.D., Hist., E.D., Bishop of Scranton, on Friday, April 25, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Scranton. Viewing will also take place in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Friday morning, prior to the 10:00 a.m. Funeral Mass. Interment will be in Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.

This is funny!

I know it has nothing to do with catholicism, but I needed a good laugh!

Pennsylvania Catholics!

It's primary election day!

You know what that means, I shouldn't have to tell you.

But I will.

It is a mortal sin to vote for a candidate that supports the murder of babies in the place where they should be the safest - the womb. Leave it to Satan to figure out a way to destroy the innocent souls among us before they have a choice to choose God.

Vote correctly today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

False Ecumenism and You!

Yesterday my NO parish priest advanced the cause of false ecumenism during his homily. How did he do this?

He told us that catholics are not the only ones that go to Heaven, that everyone is invited to the banquet. But as usual he failed to give us directions how to get there.

And then he said that "it's amazing how narrow-minded some people can be".

Church teaching tells us that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Pretty plain and simple.

Ecumenism as dialog which leads to conversion is one thing. But we should just call it by it's true name - evangelization.

False ecumenism is when we feel that we must change the truths of the Church to make it seem more appealing. The whole reason we are evangelizing in the first place is so that people come to know the truth - the truth that Jesus Christ founded one Church, with Peter as it's head. That church survives to this day and we that are a part of it, we all have a share of salvation - but within the Church.

Maybe he didn't mean to teach error, but his comment about "narrow-minded" people that thought otherwise, makes it hard for me to believe he didn't mean everything he said.

I wrote him a letter quoting the catechism and some other things. I don't expect much from him though. We'll see what happens.

Remember class, we cannot teach error as truth. That's what I have a problem with.

And you should too.

Requiéscat in pace

Father Joseph Gilbert of the Diocese of Scranton, and the priest that married my wife and I died yesterday.

Please pray for this good priest's soul.

I will have more info when it becomes available.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Heretics receive communion at Papal Mass!

Abortion-rights supporters Kerry, Pelosi take communion at papal Mass
They described it an act of faith, rather than of defiance.

Several Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights, including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received communion today at the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, in apparent disregard for the pope’s views on the issue.

Four years ago, when questions arose over whether then-presidential candidate Kerry should receive the sacrament, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote that it could be withheld in certain circumstances, such as “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.” One example of such sin, he said, “was consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.”

Ratzinger’s letter did not mention Kerry by name, and in any case, he recommended a pastoral, rather than prosecutorial approach — talking to the individual before turning them away from the Communion rail.

But the pope’s visit has already reignited the issue at a time when Democrats are attempting to woo moderate Catholics. A staunch anti-abortion group, American Life League, took out full-page ads this week in the Washington Times and Politico, calling on the pontiff to protect the church from “the bloodstained hands” of Catholic politicians who support abortion rights - complete with photos of 20 lawmakers.

American Life League President Judie Brown said the ad’s objective was to prevent politicians from trying to “exploit” the pope’s visit. “There’s no other word for it than defiance of church law,” she said. Brown’s organization asked Catholics attending the Mass to report back if they saw any abortion-rights supporters receiving Communion.

Both Kerry and Pelosi expressed admiration for the pope in statements this week, attempting to steer clear of the abortion debate.

“In a nation and a world facing such extraordinary and daunting challenges, the pope’s visit promises hope, inspiration and great wisdom,” Kerry said.

Yesterday, when Pelosi greeted the Pope at the White House, she bent to kiss his ring. “In these challenging times, there are many opportunities for the world community to work for justice and come together on issues such as human rights and climate change,” she said in a statement.

The Vatican had invited all Catholic lawmakers to the Mass at Washington’s Nationals Park, and many went to the service, although their offices deflected questions. Rep. Jose Serrano was one of the few to confirm he had received communion.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, told Politico that the church had no plans to police communion.

“You presume that everyone there knows the rules of the church and follows them,” she said. “No one is policing that. People go to church and people go to Communion if they feel in their heart they are prepared to receive Communion.”

Pelosi had been among 48 Catholic lawmakers — some in favor and some opposed to abortion rights — who signed a letter in 2004 complaining about statements by “some members of the Catholic hierarchy” that focused on the issue of abortion to the exclusion of others.

If Catholic legislators are scorned and held out for ridicule by Church leaders on the basis of a single issue, the Church will lose strong advocates on a wide range of issues that relate to the core of important Catholic social teaching,” they wrote. “Moreover, criticism of us on a matter that is essentially one of personal morality will deter other Catholics from entering politics, and in the long run the Church will suffer.”

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Liturgical stew boils over in DC

It was obvious that whoever planned the music for this Mass has never read anything His Holiness has written on Liturgy. It reminded me of a broadway show at a local community theatre.

Salsa music, African rhythms, Marty Haugen, electric piano, drums and bells. That music did not raise my thoughts to God, but to whom I should complain to about the poor choices made.

If someone had a statement to make to the Pope regarding their views on liturgical music, they sure made it. And they made American Catholics look like idiots.

Good job.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My book's on the way!

I just ordered The Organic Development of the Liturgy by Alcuin Reid from Here is the review by our Papa before he was our Papa.

Reviewed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

In the last few decades, the matter of the right way to celebrate the Liturgy has increasingly become one of the points around which much of the controversy has centered concerning the Second Vatican Council, about how it should be evaluated, and about its reception in the life of the Church.

There are the relentless supporters of reform, for whom the fact that, under certain conditions, the celebration of the Eucharist in accordance with the most recent edition of the Missal before the Council -- that of 1962 -- has once more been permitted, represents an intolerable fall from grace.

At the same time, of course, the Liturgy is regarded as "semper reformanda", so that in the end it is whatever "congregation" is involved which makes "its" Liturgy, in which it expresses itself. A Protestant "Liturgical Compendium" (edited by C. Grethlein--Ruddat, 2003) recently presented worship as a "project for reform" (pages 13-41), and thereby was also expressing the way many Catholic liturgists think about it. And then on the other hand there are the embittered critics of liturgical reform --not only critical of its application in practice, but equally of its basis in the Council. They can see salvation only in total rejection of the reform.

Between these two groups, the radical reformers and their radical opponents, the voices of those people who regard the Liturgy as something living, and thus as growing and renewing itself both in its reception and in its finished form, are often lost. These latter, however, basing this on the same argument, insist that growth is not possible unless the Liturgy's identity is preserved, and further emphasize that proper development is only possible if careful attention is paid to the inner structural logic of this "organism": Just as a gardener cares for a living plant as it develops, with due attention to the power of growth and life within the plant, and the rules it obeys, so the Church ought to give reverent care to the Liturgy through the ages, distinguishing actions that are helpful and healing from those that are violent and destructive.

If that is how things are, then we must try to ascertain the inner structure of a rite, and the rules by which its life is governed, in order thus to find the right way to preserve its vital force in changing times, to strengthen and renew it. Dom Alcuin Reid's book takes its place in this current of thought. Running through the history of the Roman Rite (Mass and Breviary), from its beginnings up to the eve of the Second Vatican Council, it seeks to establish the principles of liturgical development, and thus to draw from history -- from its ups and downs -- the standards on which every reform must be based.

The book is divided into three parts. The first, very brief part investigates the history of the reform of the Roman Rite from its beginnings up to the end of the nineteenth century. Part two is devoted to the Liturgical Movement up to 1948. By far the longest part -- the third -- deals with liturgical reform under Pius XII, up to the eve of the Second Vatican Council.

This part is most useful, because to a great extent people no longer remember that particular phase of liturgical reform, yet in that period -- as, of course, also in the history of the Liturgical Movement -- we see reflected all the questions concerning the right way to go about reform, so that we can also draw out from all this criteria on which to base our judgements.

The author has made a wise decision, in stopping on the threshold of the Second Vatican Council. He thus avoids entering into the controversy associated with the interpretation and the reception of the Council, and can nonetheless show its place in history, and show us the interplay of various tendencies, on which questions as to the standards for reform must be based. At the end of his book, the author enumerates some principles for proper reform: this should keep being open to development, and continuity with the Tradition, in a proper balance; it includes awareness of an objective liturgical tradition, and therefore takes care to ensure a substantial continuity. The author then agrees with the Catechism of the Catholic Church in emphasizing that "even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy". (CCC No. 1125, p. 258) As subsidiary criteria we then encounter the legitimacy of local traditions and the concern for pastoral effectiveness.

Criteria for Liturgical Renewal

From my own personal point of view I should like to give further particular emphasis to some of the criteria for liturgical renewal thus briefly indicated. I will begin with those last two main criteria.

It seems to me most important that the Catechism, in mentioning the limitation of the powers of the supreme authority in the Church with regard to reform, recalls to mind what is the essence of the primacy as outlined by the First and Second Vatican Councils: The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and is thereby able to oppose those people who for their part want to do what has come into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile. The "rite", that form of celebration and prayer which has ripened in the faith and the life of the Church, is a condensed form of living tradition in which the sphere which uses that rite expresses the whole of its faith and its prayer, and thus at the same time the fellowship of generations one with another becomes something we can experience, fellowship with the people who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite is something of benefit which is given to the Church, a living form of paradosis -- the handing-on of tradition.

It is important, in this connection, to interpret the "substantial continuity" correctly. The author expressly warns us against the wrong path up which we might be led by a neo-scholastic sacramental theology which is disconnected from the living form of the Liturgy. On that basis, people might reduce the "substance" to the material and form of the sacrament, and say: Bread and wine are the material of the sacrament, the words of institution are its form. Only these two things are really necessary, everything else is changeable.

At this point Modernists and Traditionalists are in agreement: As long as the material gifts are there, and the words of institution are spoken, then everything else is freely disposable. Many priests today, unfortunately, act in accordance with this motto; and the theories of many liturgists are unfortunately moving in the same direction. They want to overcome the limits of the rite, as being something fixed and immovable, and construct the products of their fantasy, which are supposedly "pastoral", around this remnant, this core which has been spared, and which is thus either relegated to the realm of magic, or loses any meaning whatever. The Liturgical Movement had in fact been attempting to overcome this reductionism, the product of an abstract sacramental theology, and to teach us to understand the Liturgy as a living network of tradition which had taken concrete form, which cannot be torn apart into little pieces, but has to be seen and experienced as a living whole. Anyone like myself, who was moved by this perception in the time of the Liturgical Movement on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, can only stand, deeply sorrowing, before the ruins of the very things they were concerned for.

Archeological enthusiasm

I should like just briefly to comment on two more perceptions which appear in Dom Alcuin Reid's book. Archaeological enthusiasm and pastoral pragmatism --which is in any case often a pastoral form of rationalism - are both equally wrong.

These two might be described as unholy twins. The first generation of liturgists were for the most part historians. Thus they were inclined to archaeological enthusiasm: They were trying to unearth the oldest form in its original purity; they regarded the liturgical books in current use, with the rites they offered, as the expression of the rampant proliferation through history of secondary growths which were the product of misunderstandings and of ignorance of the past. People were trying to reconstruct the oldest Roman Liturgy, and to cleanse it of all later additions.

A great deal of this was right, and yet liturgical reform is something different from archaeological excavation, and not all the developments of a living thing have to be logical in accordance with a rationalistic or historical standard. This is also the reason why -- as the author quite rightly remarks -- the experts ought not to be allowed to have the last word in liturgical reform. Experts and pastors each have their own part to play (just as, in politics, specialists and decision-makers represent two different planes). The knowledge of the scholars is important, yet it cannot be directly transmuted into the decisions of the pastors, for pastors still have their own responsibilities in listening to the faithful, in accompanying with understanding those who perform the things that help us to celebrate the sacrament with faith today, and the things that do not. It was one of the weaknesses of the first phase of reform after the Council that to a great extent the specialists were listened to almost exclusively. A greater independence on the part of the pastors would have been desirable.

Pastoral pragmatism

Because it is often all too obvious that historical knowledge cannot be elevated straight into the status of a new liturgical norm, this archaeological enthusiasm was very easily combined with pastoral pragmatism: People first of all decided to eliminate everything that was not recognized as original, and was thus not part of the "substance", and then supplemented the "archaeological remains", if these still seemed insufficient, in accordance with "pastoral insights".

But what is "pastoral"? The judgements made about these questions by intellectual professors were often influenced by their rationalist presuppositions, and not infrequently missed the point of what really supports the life of the faithful. Thus it is that nowadays, after the Liturgy was extensively rationalized during the early phase of reform, people are eagerly seeking after forms of solemnity, looking for "mystical" atmosphere and for something of the sacred.

Yet because -- necessarily, and more and more clearly -- people's judgements as to what is pastorally effective are widely divergent, the "pastoral" aspect has become the point at which "creativity" breaks in, destroying the unity of the Liturgy and very often confronting us with something deplorably banal. That is not to deny that the Eucharistic Liturgy, and likewise the Liturgy of the Word, is often celebrated reverently, and "beautifully" in the best sense, on the basis of people's faith. Yet since we are looking for the criteria of reform, we do also have to mention the dangers, which unfortunately in the last few decades have by no means remained just the imaginings of those traditionalists opposed to reform.

Liturgy must not be man-centered

I should like to come back to the way that worship was presented, in a liturgical compendium, as a "project for reform", and thus as a workshop in which people are always busy at something. Different again, and yet related to this, is the suggestion by some Catholic liturgists that we should finally adapt the liturgical reform to the "anthropological turn" of modern times, and construct it in an anthropocentric style. If the Liturgy appears first of all as the workshop for our activity, then what is essential is being forgotten: God. For the Liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age. As against this, the Liturgy should be setting up a sign of God's presence. Yet what is happening, if the habit of forgetting about God makes itself at home in the Liturgy itself, and if in the Liturgy we are only thinking of ourselves? In any and every liturgical reform, and every liturgical celebration, the primacy of God should be kept in view first and foremost.

With this I have gone beyond Dom Alcuin's book. But I think it has become clear that this book, which offers a wealth of material, teaches us some criteria and invites us to further reflection. That is why I can recommend this book.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

81 years old and going strong!


Why didn't the USCCB do this?

Why is it up to the laity to get this message to the Holy father? Doesn't say much about our Bishops, does it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just so you know...

...he's here!

Eat up while you can, Johnny!

We all know what the Church's teaching is when it comes to "catholic" politicians that support abortion. The teaching is that they must be denied communion.

We all know these "catholic" politicians won't miss the opportunity to be front and center for the Papal Mass in Washington D.C.

The real question is do we know if they will present themselves to the Pope for communion? Would John Kerry or Teddy Kennedy dare to try to politicize the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by such actions?

What will the Pope do in the face of heresy?

Oh, I can't wait to see that Mass now!

Vote Now, and Vote Often!

For ME, of course!

Over at The Crescat I am nominated for a few awards. Go and vote for me wherever you see my name. I may not win anything, but it'll sure help my self esteem!

Vatican guide PDF

Here is a link to the Vatican's site, where you will find a PDF download book of his visit. Enjoy!


I missed this as I was excited about the NYC music. Here is the list of the Washington DC music that will offend our ears.

Music Scoop for the Pope's Visit to the US

Check this link for the info on the liturgical music for the Holy Father's visit.

This lady to the left is Dr. Jennifer Pascual, she is the Director of Music at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.

Here's a bit:

Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York will be overseeing all of the music for the liturgical events taking place in New York during the Papal Visit.

She is the first woman and the first Fil-Am to hold one of the most prestigious sacred music appoinrments in the United States at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as the special appointment for the Papal Visit. She also conducts the New York Archdiocesan Festival Chorale and has just been appointed Professor and Director of Music of St. Joseph’s Seminary and College in New York.

Jennifer earned a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where she studied with David Higgs. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied with Nina Svetlanova and studied organ privately with Mc Neil Robinson. She received The Bachelor of Music Degrees in Piano and Organ Performance and Music Education from Jacksonville University in Florida where she studied with Mary Lou Wesley Krosnick and William Saunders. She has served as an organist and choir director in the Dioceses of St. Augustine, FL and Rochester, NY and the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ and New York City, NY.

An example of Liturgy for the world!

You may remember yesterday I made a remark that priests should use Papal Masses as examples to model their own liturgical celebrations on. Well, it seems I am not alone in that. Read on.

Every now and again when a papal Mass is covered here at the NLM, and the importance of the practical re-orientation of the pope's own liturgical celebrations and their re-rooting in sacred tradition is being stressed, - and I am sure it will happen again during the Papal visit to the USA, for which the Holy Father has just departed - someone will question whether this is really all that relevant. This questioning can come from different angles. One is: "This is all good and well, but who is following these liturgies in the real world anyway, apart from geeks on liturgical blogs." Another one is: "Please stop concentrating on all those externals, and focus on what Holy Mass is really all about." A lot could be (and has been) said in answer to these objections. But today (while looking for something else entirely) I chanced upon a quote, which tells how the Holy Father himself thinks about this, and what importance he attributes to his liturgies as examples to the world. The quote is contained in an allocution he gave to the members of the Pontifical Sistine Choir on 20 December 2005, which was mentioned on the NLM at the time, but for one reason or another did not receive much attention.

This is the quote:
"The Pope's liturgy, the liturgy in St Peter's, must be an example of liturgy for the world. You know that today, with television and radio, a vast number of people in every part of the world follow this liturgy. From here, they learn or do not learn what the liturgy is, how the liturgy should be celebrated." -

The New Liturgical Movement

Pay no mind to the heretic on CNN

Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, is the official "spokesman" for the Catholic Church, appointed by Jesus Christ and given the Holy Spirit.

Should you watch any network other than EWTN's coverage of B16's visit this week, keep in mind that the following individuals cannot be trusted to speak for the orthodox Catholic Faith, as demonstrated by their behavior in the past.

"Sister Joan Chittester, OSB, who opined that the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI was the equivalent of a ‘spiritual tsunami’ will be the most conspicuous ‘expert’ consulted by the social progressive, secular humanist media elite. [She is also one of the leading proponents for lady priests]

"Then of course, Father Thomas Reese (everyone’s favorit Jesuit) and Fr. Richard McBrien (who will mysteriously find and wear his clerical attire while on camera, but just on papal visits, mind you) will be given a chance to spew their ‘side’ of the story. American media thinks it is being ‘fair’ when they give equal time to theological dissenters just as if this were the Democratic response to the Republican President’s State of the Union Address."

--From The Black Biretta by Fr Trigilio

Monday, April 14, 2008

US Papal Visit!

Don't forget my people, tomorrow the Holy father will be arriving in the US of A.

Check this page EWTN has dedicated to covering his visit, and hopefully you will be able to see most of it. They do broadcast encores if you miss it the first time.

Get your Tivo ready!

It's all about the money


Just when I thought I was done blogging for a few minutes, my old friends over at the SDACT gave me reason to rethink my decision.

In their unending quest to bend the Bishop to their will, they today began a "permanent picket" outside the chancery office in Scranton. Michael Milz, president of SDACT said “We’re going to picket every day, for varied times at varied lengths at least once a day, somebody will be picketing in front of the chancery.”

They will be there from 3-5 today. My job-related duties require me to be in Scranton between 3-5 today as well. I'll have to stop over and see them. I don't have my camera with me today, but maybe I'll try to talk to one or two of them.

Or maybe I'll shout anti-union slogans at them instead. *grin*

Sounds pretty simple to me

So why can't the USCCB get it? "Catholic" politicians such as John Kerry that support abortion should not receive communion. All you liberal "Catholics" out there, thank whatever lucky stars you pray to that I'm not your bishop because I would extend that ban on communion to include all the sacraments. If you support abortion and think you can be a Catholic, guess what?

Bada boom! Excommunicated!

I can't believe I just wrote bada boom!

ROME, March 5, 2008 ( - Some Catholic Bishops in North America seem to be on a different page from the Vatican when it comes to reception of Communion for Catholic politicians who support abortion. Since the controversy came to a head in the 2004 US federal election, most Catholic bishops in the US have either remained silent on the issue, or have made softer statements than the authoritative word from Rome: a word that has been re-affirmed many times and continues to be reasserted regularly.

Most recently, Francis Cardinal Arinze, speaking at a Catholic family conference in Ohio last November, referred to a letter on the subject sent by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who said that such politicians "must" be "refused" Communion.

Video footage, posted recently by the conference organisers and made available on YouTube, shows Cardinal Arinze, the head of Vatican office of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, replying to the question of pro-abortion politicians and the inaction of their bishops. He said "You may have heard about the letter which the present Holy Father, as prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, sent to American bishops on that issue, so the matter is very clear."

He told those in attendance that the question is not one of Church teaching, but of the immutable divine law of God. "It isn't just that they [the politicians in question] have gone against church teaching, but they have gone against divine law; thou shalt not kill."

But since the insistence of Rome has failed to induce positive action from most bishops in the North American hierarchy and abroad, reporters continue to ask the same questions.

Romans in the know, however, repeat that the Pope's letter on the matter has solved the issue. spoke last month about the issue with Msgr. Andrew R. Baker a professor at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome, one of Rome's major historic institutions.

Professor Baker told, "Certainly you'd have to apply that famous canon of 915 that says one who persists in manifest grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion."

"And I think the possibility of looking at the moral principles outlined in the letter attributed to Cardinal Ratzinger that came a number of years ago - those are good moral principles to apply that canon 915."

Professor Baker's opinion is a repetition of that given in Ohio by Cardinal Arinze, who told conferees that he agrees action ought to be taken against bishops who refuse to enforce Canon 915.

Arinze elicited much laughter and applause when he made the analogy, "To the person who says, 'Personally I'm against abortion, but if people what to do it, I'll leave them free', you could say, 'You are a member of the senate or the congress, personally I'm not in favour of shooting the whole lot of you, but if somebody else wants to shoot all of you in the Senate, or all of you in Congress, it's just pro-choice for that person, but personally, I'm not in favour.'

"That is what he is saying. He's saying he's personally not in favour of killing these millions of children in the womb, but if others want to do it, that's pro-choice. That's what he is saying.

"And then you ask, what does the Holy See do? Why doesn't the Pope send 12 Swiss Guards to arrest them all?"

Arinze said that he is regularly asked if a person who votes for abortion can receive Holy Communion. He replies, "Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?

"Get the children for first Communion and say to them, 'Somebody votes for the killing of unborn babies, and says, I voted for that, I will vote for that every time.' And these babies are killed not one or two, but in millions, and that person says, 'I'm a practising Catholic', should that person receive Communion next Sunday? The children will answer that at the drop of a hat. You don't need a cardinal to answer that."

WQOR - You better listen!

Here's a heads up for those of you in the Diocese of Scranton. Holy Family Communications sold WQOR The Station of the Cross to a Forty Fort couple. That's old news.

The station has been up and running and I understand they have increased their signal strength. I know this cuz I can get them at my home in Wilkes-Barre now. When HFC had them, I couldn't.

I have contacted them, I would like to get involved over there. They do need to get the word out they are here. They need the support of the local parishes. Catholic Radio is a great tool, and we are blessed to have it once again on our air waves.

WQOR 750am. Support them. Pray for them.

Hoyos interview translation

Thanks to the New Liturgical Movement for translating the entire L'Osservatore Romano article.

In the Liturgy the Sense of Catholicity and Unity

"Benedict XVI's apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform carried out in 1970 is making return to full communion with Rome also some non-Catholics. Requests in this sense are arriving after the pope has renewed the possibilty to celebrate according to the old rite." This says cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, who in this interview with our newspaper, after the publication of the papal document on Acta Apostolicae Sedis, clarifies its contents and highlights its importance as a means to conserve the treasure of the liturgy that dates back to St. Gregory the Great and for a renewed dialogue with those who, because of liturgical reform, have distanced thmeselves from the Church of Rome. The publication on the Acta preceded by a few days the appointments by Benedict XVI of Monsignor Camille Perl, the previous secretary, as vice president of Ecclesia Dei, and of Monsignor Mario Marini, the previous adjunct secretary, as secretary.

The letter, in the form of motu proprio, does not refer to the present normal form - the ordinary form – of the Eucharistic liturgy, which is that of the Roman missal published by Paul VI and then reissued on two occasions by John Paul II, but refers to the use of the extraordinary form, which is that of the missale Romanum prior to the Council, published in 1962 with the authority of John XXIII. This is not a case of two different rites, but of a twofold use of the one Roman rite. It is the form of celebration – explains the Colombian cardinal - "that has been used for more than 1400 years. This rite, which we could call Gregorian, has inspired the Masses of Palestrina, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, great cathedrals and wonderful works of painting and sculpture."

"Thanks to the motu proprio not a few have requested the return to full communion and some have already returned - the president of Ecclesia Dei adds -. In Spain, the "Oasis of Jesus the Priest", an entire cloistered monastery with thirty sisters led by their founder, has already been recognized and regularized by the Pontifical Commission; then there are cases of American, German and French groups on their way of regularization. Lastly there are single priests and lay people who contact us, write to us and call us for a reconciliation, and on the other hand there are so many other faithful who express their gratitude to the pope and their gladness for the motu proprio."

Osservatore Romano: Some have accused the Pope of wanting to impose a liturgical model in which the language and gestures of the rite appear as the exclusive monopoly of the priest, while the faithful would be extraneous and therefore excluded from a direct relationship with God.

Cardinal Castrillón: On the occasion of the Baptism of the Lord, for example, Benedict XVI actually celebrated in the Sistine Chapel with the face towards the crucifix. The Pope celebrated in Italian according to the ordinary form, which does not exclude, however, the possibility of celebrating towards the altar and not versus populum, and which also foresees celebration in Latin. Let us remember that the ordinary form is the Mass that normally all the priests say, according to the post-conciliar reform; while the extraordinary form is the Mass prior to the liturgical reform, which according to the motu proprio today everyone can celebrate, and which has never been prohibited .

OR: Yet some criticisms seem to come even from bishops?

C: One or two have difficulties, but those are a few exceptions, because most agree with the Pope. Rather, we find expressed some practical difficulties. We need to be clear: this is not a return to the past but a step forward, because this way you have two treasures, rather than only one. This treasure, therefore, is being offered, respecting the rights of those who are particularly attached to the old liturgy. There then may follow some problems to be solved with common sense. For instance, it can happen that a priest does not have the appropriate preparation and cultural sensitivity. Only think of priests that come from areas where the language is very different from Latin. But this does still not mean a rejection: it is the presentation of a real difficulty, which is to be surmounted.

Our own Pontifical Commission is thinking about organizing a form of aid to seminaries, to dioceses and to bishops' conferences. Another possibility being studied is to promote multimedia resources for coming to know and learning the extraordinary form with all the theological, spiritual, and artistic richness also linked to the ancient liturgy. Furthermore it seems important also to involve groups of priests who already use the extraordinary form, who will offer thmeselves both to celebrate and to demonstrate and teach the celebration according to the missal of 1962.

OR: So the problem does not exist?

C: It is rather a dispute which has arisen from acertain lack of knowledge. Some ask permission for example, as if it were a concession or an exceptional case, but there is no need: the Pope has been clear. It is a mistake of some people and some journalists to believe that the use of the Latin language pertains only to the ancient rite, whereas, to the contrary, it is also foreseen in the missal of Paul VI.

Through the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" the Pope offers to all priests the possibility to celebrate Mass in the traditional form, and to the faithful to exercise the right to have this rite when the conditions specified in the motu proprio are met.

OR: How have groups such as the Fraternity of St. Pius X reacted, which refuses to celebrate the novus ordo Mass established after the Second Vatican Council?

C: The Lefebvrians from the outset have maintained that the old form had never been abolished. It is clear that it has never been abrogated, although before the motu proprio many have deemed it forbidden. But now, it may be offered to all the faithful who wish it, depending on the possibilities. But it is also clear that if there is not a priest adequately prepared, it can not be offered because it is not only about the Latin language, but also about knowing the old use as such. We must comprehend some differences: the larger room for silence for the faithful, that fosters contemplation of the mystery and personal prayer. Finding again spaces of silence is today for our culture not only a religious necessity. I remember having participated as a bishop in a high-level business management course, where there was talk of the need for the manager to have available a half-dark room where to sit down to think before deciding.

Silence and contemplation are necessary attitudes also today, above all regarding the mystery of God.

OR: Eight months have passed since the promulgation of the document. It is true that it has attracted a lot of supporters also in other ecclesial realities?

C: The pope offers to the Church a treasure which is spiritual, cultural, religious and catholic. We have received letters of agreement also from prelates of the orthodox churches, from anglican and protestant faihtful. Lastly there are some priests of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X who, singly, are seeking to regularize their position. Some of them have already signed the formula of adhesion. We are informed that there are traditionalist lay faithful, close to the Fraternity, who have begun to frequent Masses in the older rite offered in the churches of the dioceses."

OR: How is a return to "full communion" possible for people who are excommunicated?

C: The excommunication concerns only the four bishops, because they have been ordained without the mandate of the Pope and against his will, while the priests are only suspended. The Mass they celebrate is without a doubt valid, but not licit and, therefore, participation is not recommended, unless on a Sunday there should be no other possibilities. Certainly neither the priests, nor the faithful are excommunicated. Let me reiterate in this regard the importance of a clear understanding of things to be able to judge correctly.

OR: Do you not fear that the attempt to bring back inside the Church men and women who do not recognize the II Vatican Council could provoke an alienation in those faithful who see in Vatican II a compass for navigating the barque of Peter, especially in these times of constant changes?

C: First of all, the problem regarding the Council is not, in my opinion, as grave as it might seem. In fact, the bishops of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, headed by Monsignor Bernard Fellay, have expressly recognized Vatican II as an Ecumenical Council and Monsignor Fellay has reiterated this in a meeting with Pope John Paul II, and more explicitly in the audience of 29 August 2005 with Benedict XVI. Nor can it be forgotten that Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre has signed all the documents of the Council.

I think their criticism of the council concerns rather the clarity of certain texts, in the absence of which the way is opened for interpretations which are not in accordance with the traditional doctrine. The biggest difficulties are interpretative in nature or have to do with some gestures in the ecumenical field, but not with the teaching of Vatican II. These are theological discussions, which may take place inside the Church, where in fact there are different discussions regarding the interpretation of the texts of the Council, discussions which can continue also with the groups returning to full communion.

OR: So the Church extends her hands to them, also through this new motu proprio on the ancient liturgy?

C: Yes, certainly, because it is precisely in the liturgy that the whole sense of Catholicity is expressed and it [the liturgy] is a source of unity. I really like the novus ordo which I celebrate daily. I had not celebrated anymore according to the missal of 1962, after the post-conciliar liturgical reform. Today in resuming sometimes the extraordinary rite, I myself have rediscovered the richness of the old liturgy that the Pope wants to keep alive, preserving that age-old form of Roman tradition.

We must never forget that the ultimate point of reference in the liturgy, as in life, is always Christ. We have therefore no fear, also in the liturgical rite, to turn towards Him, toward the crucifix, together with the faithful, to celebrate the holy sacrifice, in an unbloody manner, as the Council of Trent has defined the Mass.

Pope to use Pius IX staff in America!

It's refreshing to see these slow changes becoming the "norm". If only more parish priests would take things such as the altar arrangements, music and vestments from the Pope's masses as examples to be emulated.

My parish priest, for example, looks at the inadequate trappings of the other priests around him, and settles for their examples. Shame on him.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Benedict XVI processes to the altars where he will celebrate Mass in Washington and New York, he will be carrying the pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told Catholic News Service that the 19th-century pastoral staff, topped with a cross instead of a crucifix, "is becoming the usual one for papal celebrations."

On Palm Sunday, March 16, Pope Benedict started carrying the older staff, which was used by every pope from Blessed Pope Pius to Pope Paul VI.

"This is the typical staff used by the popes because it is a cross without a crucifix," Msgr. Marini said April 10.

It is taking the place of the staff with the rugged crucifix on top that was created by Italian artist Lello Scorzelli for Pope Paul in the mid-1960s. The Vatican's yearbook, "Activity of the Holy See," includes a photograph of Pope Paul holding the Scorzelli staff on Easter 1965.

But the piece has become closely identified with the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and is placed alongside a photograph of him in the renewed "Vatican Splendors" exhibit currently touring the United States.

Msgr. Marini said there actually are two copies of the Scorzelli staff: the one in the exhibit, open in St. Petersburg, Fla., through May 11, and "the other which is here in the pontifical sacristy."

The Scorzelli crucifix remains the model for the crucifix on the rosaries Pope Benedict gives to his guests.

Feminists strike again!

This time they have actually made a sacrament invalid!

I don't know how I missed this one, but I don't remember seeing any other bloggers mentioning it, so here ya go: BREAKING NEWS!


Vatican, Feb. 29, 2008 ( - The Vatican has warned that Baptism is not valid when the celebrant uses a popular new formula.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released a statement on February 29 saying that a baptism "in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier," is not a valid Christian sacrament.

The invalid formula, the Vatican statement points out, arises from feminist ideology, and an attempt "to avoid using the words Father and Son, which are held to be chauvinistic."

However, the revised formula can "undermine faith in the Trinity," the CDF says. Citing the Gospel of St. Matthew, the CDF notes that Jesus ordered his apostles to baptize "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." That formula is an "adequate expression of Trinitarian faith" and a response to Christ's command, the CDF notes; "approximate formulae are unacceptable."

Anyone who has been baptized using that formula should be re-baptized, the Vatican document states. For canonical purposes, the CDF states, people who were baptized with that new formula should be considered unbaptized.

The February 29 document was a response to questions from the English-speaking world. The Vatican notes that while the novel formula has been used mostly by English-language clerics, the same formula could be expressed in other languages.

The statement from the CDF was specifically approved by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), the Vatican notes. The document was signed by Cardinal William Levada and Archbishop Angelo Amato, the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the CDF.

Pope calls for "spirtual renewal" in America

And boy do we need it!

.- After his Sunday Regina Caeli prayers, Pope Benedict XVI addressed in English those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, asking them to pray that "spiritual renewal" would result from his upcoming apostolic journey to the United States.

In his remarks recorded by the Vatican Information Service, the Holy Father alluded to the theme of the papal visit, “Christ our Hope.” The U.S. visit will last from April 15 to April 20.

In his greeting to English-speaking pilgrims, the Holy Father said, “This Tuesday I leave Rome for my visit to the United Nations and the United States of America. With the various groups I shall meet, my intention is to share our Lord’s word of life.”

“In Christ is our hope! Christ is the foundation of our hope for peace, for justice, and for the freedom that flows from God’s law fulfilled in his commandment to love one another,” the Holy Father said.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you all to pray for the success of my visit, so that it may be a time of spiritual renewal for all Americans. Upon each of you present, I invoke the protection and guidance of Jesus the Good Shepherd,” he concluded.

Speaking in Italian before the Regina Caeli prayers, the Holy Father entrusted his upcoming “special missionary visit” to the United States to Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace.

Pope Benedict also asked all Catholics to accompany him in their prayers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"No" means "No".

The Diocese has said the decision concerning SDACT was final. They reiterated it in a statement issued yesterday. But the union officials, like impetuous children stomping their feet in the corner, continue to move their campaign forward to force their will on the Diocese .

Daily protests and a trip to New York City to demonstrate during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI are in the near future for Diocese of Scranton teachers.

After two weeks of planning and re-energizing, teachers are now pushing the campaign forward once again.

“This is not going away until there’s some kind of resolution,” union President Michael Milz said Thursday.

In January, the diocese announced it would not recognize the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers as a collective bargaining unit, and instead it has implemented an employee relations program. Since then, teachers have campaigned against the decision.

On Monday, supporters will hold a picket outside the chancery on Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. The rally, which will be from 3 to 5 p.m., is expected to draw a couple hundred people, Milz said.

The rally will be the start of daily picketing in front of the chancery, in which groups of people will demonstrate outside the building every day for an hour or so, Milz said.

During the pope’s visit to New York City on April 19, the union will have an “informational demonstration” outside St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers where he is scheduled to speak.

“We hope to at least wave to the pope and have him read our banner,” Milz said, adding that he hopes to fill 50 seats in a bus that a parent has donated for use on the trip.

The union’s campaign has already gotten the attention of the Vatican, as the Congregation for Catholic Education will soon review the case and issue a decision that could uphold or overrule Bishop Joseph F. Martino’s decision. Milz said he expects a preliminary decision within a month.

In addition, several labor unions are planning a “sizeable labor rally,” which may be held at a local stadium or arena, Milz said.

“We’re looking at this to be thousands of people coming to the area to march or campaign on our behalf,” Milz said, adding he would know more details later this month.

That rally could include the display of a giant inflatable rat, which labor unions have used in various demonstrations across the country.

Despite the demonstrations and events planned, the decision to not recognize the union will not change, the diocese said in a statement Thursday.

“The decision regarding recognition of SDACT is final and will not be revoked … SDACT’s continued opposition to the program is pointless and will not change the decision,” the statement read.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

One year annivesary of legalized abortion in Mexico!

6,400 abortions, 22 women injured, 8 women dead. Keep plugging away Mexico, you'll soon be as good at it as we are!

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, April 7, 2008 ( - Jorge Serrano Limón, president of the Mexican National Pro-Life (Provida) Committee, told the local press on April 4 that he had information proving the recent deaths of eight women due to legal abortions, according to a report by Spero News.

"We have the information, dates, and hospitals where they died; the authorities will only recognize the underage girl who died in Balbuena Hospital," said Limón.

The girl Limón referred to was 15-year-old Vianney "N," who died in Balbuena Hospital from a hemorrhage incurred when her baby was being sucked out of her by the aspiration method of abortion. The abortion was a legal abortion, but several violations of the health codes and negligence by physicians led to her death.

According to Serrano Limón, his organization has saved 3,100 children from abortion since May of last year. He reports the latest statistics every three months to the bishops. He also commented that the bishops were "indignant" over the total number of abortions that had occurred in less than one year, according to El Economista.

According to Provida, 6,400 abortions have been performed in Mexico since abortion's legalization in the Federal District in April 2007. 22 women have been injured and 8 have died as a result of abortion treatments since then.

Provida is among a group of organizations that requested that the Mexican Supreme Court hold public hearings on the legalization of abortion, a measure the Mexican Supreme Court has agreed to. Serrano Limón says that he will give "scientific evidence" to the justices to show that life begins from the moment of fertilization, according to the Mexican publication El Economista.

"We are confident that the associate justice ministers will adhere to the Constitution, and we beg and call upon them to not make any pronouncements that are ideological or partisan, and that they understand that life is the most important right," said Limón.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Moses was high, researcher is stupid

Ok. So get this. A "researcher" does a "study" about Moses probably being high on Mt. Sinai. He provides two other options for what happened, which he doesn't believe.


So his third option he attempts to pass off as a scientific study because he believes this is more probable.

And some yahoos publish it. Why doesn't he do a study about Mohammed being high instead? Why is it always more fashionable to attack anything associated with Christianity?

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

"As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics," Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the "burning bush," suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

"The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon," he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to "see music."

He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil's Amazon forest in 1991. "I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations," Shanon said.

He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.