31 October 2014

The Hit Job on Cardinal Burke in the Press is Ongoing

Hello all, back in the States at last. After a great trip with my lovely wife, back to the grind. As we finally made it past customs in the country formerly known as land of the free, I remarked to my wife that I felt like Gandalf being welcomed into Orthanc and hearing a click as the door closed.

But, to the point of the post: certainly the hit job on his Eminence isn't news to you. But, the duplicity of the "religious" press is especially nasty. Headlines are saying things Cardinal Burke didn't say. The headline at this article is particularly odious, and dangerously misleading:

Cardinal says church under Pope Francis is a ‘rudderless ship’

Now, it doesn't matter that the actual subject of the headline is accurate. We are like a rudderless ship. Or it seems so to actual Catholics. I think, on the contrary, that there is a strong hand on the rudder. And this hand is seemingly steering us over the falls.

But Cardinal Burke didn't say this. They are positioning Burke as a flagrant malcontent who is defying the humble Pope. That is not Cardinal Burke. He is a gentle and holy man who loves the Church and is trying to shepherd so many confused Catholics in the midst of constant attacks on the faith. These attacks are being made from low to high and inside and out.

But wait, you say! That's what the media does to Pope Francis, and you don't defend him. Well, Mark Shea, that is exactly wrong. It is certainly ironic that modernists are doing to Burke what the shills and water carriers of the neocatholics say is happening to the Pope. But saying ain't doing.

Francis is being reported accurately, more or less, as the press usually performs. The odd misquote perhaps, but accurate in sum. The attack on Burke is intentional. He is demonized, demoted, attacked, smeared-- with tactics no true Catholic should condone. He already had to explain the misquote about 'the Pope' having 'done a lot of damage.'

What does it matter whether Cardinal Burke said this or that, or whether there is a tone, context, or nuance he utilized instead? Well, all the difference in the world. His Eminence isn't some blogger or Church media wag, with the liberties of style and informality. He is a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church, a close advisor to the Successor to Peter. He is loyal to the Pope, and would not seek to embarrass him. It's a big deal. He knows his place. Only faithfulness to Christ is making him as outspoken as he has been in opposition to Francis' agenda.

Francis is allowing this. Think about that for a minute. Don't waste time wondering if he is behind it, or ordering it. He could stop it in a minute. One of those daily press conferences or speeches-- "Leave Cardinal Burke alone, I need him." Or "I am not demoting Cardinal Burke." Or maybe praise his serene theology. He could stop it instantly.

Things are bad, worldly-speaking, for the Cardinal.

But don't worry, there is surely worse in store for this hero of the faith.

They are lately trying to equate Burke with Lefebvre. They think that's an obviously bad thing. Not true, of course, but if it has a degree of truth, it's not exactly bad, is it? He is a stalwart, but there is no controversial, 'schismatic act' to cloud the waters. He has been praised for years for his faithfulness, promoted by the Pope. Gentle, loyal. Now he's evil?

Trying to stretch his promotion of the truth into rebellion against the Church is a bridge too far. There is no selling that dog. Yes, they did that with Lefebvre, before the Internet and before forty years' more destruction in the Church. And importantly, the understandable but wrong episcopal consecrations-- after twenty years of persecution-- don't figure into this calculus.

And I think the lessons of the past will help Cardinal Burke and us.

We shall see. As I said, above it all, there is a strong hand on the rudder. But above that hand is a stronger, unstoppable Hand.

Where are we headed and when will it end?

27 October 2014

St. Louis in St. Louis, St. Louis in France

I apologize for the light blogging, but sometimes fun gets in the way. My wife and I are blessed enough to be able to anticipate our 25th wedding anniversary by visiting our eldest daughter in France, and spending some time in Spain before returning to normal life in these most abnormal times.

I've been checking in on the news when I can. I suppose you could already guess my general take on it, if you've ever read here for at least seven seconds. But I might do a roundup about all that late this week.

That being said, it seems that the presence of Saint Louis surrounds our journey both before and during. I posted earlier on the very beautiful procession and vespers with benediction at the Oratory. Well, I wanted to link to a really nice article by Jennifer Brinker at the St. Louis Review covering the same. At the link is a beautiful slideshow of the occasion, too.


The celebration of St. Louis last weekend at St. Francis de Sales Oratory was certainly fit for a king.

Nearly 250 people in their Sunday finest — many young families, with women in dresses and lace veils and men in crisp suits — processed the streets surrounding the south St. Louis Oratory Oct. 19 with a relic of St. Louis IX, King of France. The procession was followed by a sermon from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, evening prayer sung in Latin and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


According Canon Wiener, it's "permissible and profitable" to venerate the relics of the saints. "The bodies of the saints were living members of Christ and Temples of the Holy Ghost. They will again be awakened and glorified, and through them God bestows many benefits on mankind," he said.

In his sermon, Archbishop Carlson described the city's patron saint as "a husband, a father, a man of justice and faith." St. Louis once said that the day of his baptism was far more important than being crowned King of France in 1234.

"St. Louis served his subjects with kindness, building hospitals and homes for those in need as well as serving food to the poor," the archbishop said.

St. Louis serves as a great example in making our city a better place.

"There are challenges in our city — poverty, violence, injustice and a lack of respect for human life, to name a few," he said. "With courage may we dare to dream how we can help. God is influencing every good thing we do."

As the procession proceeded around the oratory, neighbors on nearby Iowa Avenue came out of their homes to see what was going on. Esmeralda Herrejon and her family from O'Fallon were visiting friends when they heard the sharp blasts of a bagpipe. Herrejon, who attends Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie, said she had never seen an outdoor procession like this.

"I see it as a public display of faith," she said. "It's good to see people are still believers."

Here in France, there has been a surprising (to me, in such a secular country) amount of attention paid to the 800th Anniversary of the birth of Saint Louis. Sharon and I hit a sizable temporary exhibit on the saint at the Conciergerie in Paris. That seemed ironic to me, as the Conciergerie was in some sense the anteroom of the guillotine, at least for Marie Antoinette (I remarked to my wife that the Conciergerie is infamous for briefly detaining me-- and Marie Antoinette). The exhibit was very well done, and held some remarkable surprises, including the shirt in which he died, his cilice (discipline) and hair shirt, as well as his seal, and the charter of Saint-Chapelle. There were also reliquaries, containing his relics, and a thorn from the Crown of Thorns which of course he built Saint-Chapelle to house. Speaking of, there were some of the remains of the original statuary of Sainte-Chapelle, sacked courtesy of the Revolutionaries whose ideological descendants will kill us and sack our remaining churches soon. Finally, his personal Bible and Missal, and much, much more, as they say.

We also toured Sainte-Chapelle itself, which speaks of the personal piety and integrity of the great man in a form so beautiful it cannot be described.

Still in Paris, we visited the Cluny Museum (Museum of the Middle Ages), which puts into context the political, artistic and spiritual milieu of his day. If you ever get to Paris, this museum should not be missed, and particularly so for Catholics. The sheer number and quality of the items preserved are astounding. Among its treasures are a number of items from Sainte-Chapelle, and the reclaimed heads of the Kings of Judah that used to reside atop their bodies on the façade of Notre Dame-- sacked courtesy of the Revolutionaries whose ideological descendants will kill us and sack our remaining churches soon.

After Paris, we traveled to Angers, where the castle built by Blanche of Castile, Louis' mother, still sits majestically overlooking the Maine River. Saint Louis spent considerable time there in his youth. As great as this 12th century chateau is, and it is, the highlight of the place is the set of magnificent Apocalypse Tapestries, 66 huge panels depicting in great and moving beauty, pathos, and terror, the events recorded in the Apocalypse. Just the thing for my late mood.

As I posted yesterday, we were fortunate to come back to Paris for the Feast of Christ the King, assisting at the same Mass at which Saint Louis assisted, in the common language of our Church. Many different nationalities were represented there, but one common tongue, worshipping God as the Church has handed down. After Mass, the organ intoned the Salve Regina, in the arrangement known so well. As we all sang that hymn to Our Queen, in unison, together in song and in heart, it moved me to tears.

The restoration will come-- or something better. Be ready.

Just as the Apocalypse relates, and the tapestry so beautifully portrays, Christ, already victorious, will come to vindicate Himself, and us, at the end. The faith of Saint Louis is in the same God-Man in whom we believe. Our triumph will be in common if we hold true. May Saint Louis pray for us, may he ask blessings for our safe journey home and more so to our heavenly home.

26 October 2014

Feast of Christ the King

Wherever you are on this great feast day of Our Lord and King, I wish you Christ's blessings.

Unless Christ reigns as King we will never have peace, either in this world or the next. 

Christus vincit!  Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

20 October 2014

A Glorious Evening with St. Louis IX

The above photos capture (poorly) my view in the procession last night, where Archbishop Carlson and Canon Wiener, with a relic of the great King of France, led about 300 of us through the streets of the city that relies on his patronage.

Neighborhood residents came to view the scene, police blocked the streets for the procession, and local media had cameras rolling. I reflected at the time that this was such a better occasion for citizens, police and media to converge than what we've endured lately.

This is the everyday Catholic life that influences the culture and informs it-- or rather, it should be.

The procession was followed by a sermon by His Grace on the merits of our saint, a glorious Solemn Vespers and Benediction. Sublimely beautiful.

We should be grateful for events like these while we have them. Pray to St. Louis for his powerful intercession for our city and Church!

STLToday's Lily Fowler had a nice write-up of events:

On a clear Sunday afternoon, about 300 Roman Catholic faithful led a procession in a south St. Louis neighborhood.

They were there to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Louis IX, king of France, and the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of St. Louis, and they took something special with them.

As they marched up and down the streets surrounding St. Francis de Sales Oratory — the neo-Gothic church known for practicing the Latin liturgy and for its soaring, 300-foot steeple — they carried a relic of St. Louis IX, a piece of bone thought to be hundreds of years old. The relic is kept in a Vatican-sealed glass case; the church is unsure exactly which bone it is.

Archbishop Robert Carlson, as well as the Rev. Michael K. Wiener, St. Francis de Sales’ rector, led the crowd as bagpipes played.

Parishioners gathered inside the church after the procession to listen to Carlson speak about the patron and namesake of the city of St. Louis.

Carlson described St. Louis IX as a “husband, a father, a man of justice and faith, a saint who said the day of his baptism ... was far more important than the day he was crowned king of France.”

“As we celebrate 250 years of faith and thank God for our Catholic heritage we ask St. Louis to intercede for us and ask God to keep us strong in faith and give us hearts that desire to serve,” Carlson said, noting St. Louis IX’s humanitarian work, such as building hospitals and serving food to the poor.

The Rev. Anthony Ochoa of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, a predominately Hispanic parish, invited his parishioners to the liturgy so they could become better acquainted with the city.

It’s a “nice way to connect to the community,” Ochoa said.

Chantel Deneus, 56, who is temporarily in St. Louis visiting her son who attends St. Louis University, called the liturgy “extraordinary.”

“It was beautiful. I don’t have the words to describe how I felt,” Deneus said.

The procession follows a weekend of Roman Catholic celebrations in August that were attended by Prince Louis de Bourbon, a direct descendant of St. Louis, as well as numerous bishops and archbishops from around the country.

18 October 2014

At the Oratory Sunday: Archbishop Carlson Leads Procession with Relic of St. Louis IX

From The St. Louis Review

Archbishop Carlson to lead procession with relic of King St. Louis IX

ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will lead a procession with a relic of King St. Louis IX, patron and namesake of the City of St. Louis, on Sunday, October 19. The solemn event will begin at St. Francis de Sales Oratory (2653 Ohio Ave.) at 5 p.m. Archbishop Carlson will give a homily about King St. Louis IX after the procession. A reception will follow in the church basement.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been an active participant in the STL250 celebrations commemorating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the City of St. Louis. Additionally, the year 2014 marks the 800th anniversary of King St. Louis IX's birth. The procession this Sunday follows a weekend of celebrations in August that were attended by Prince Louis de Bourbon, a direct descendant of St. Louis, as well as numerous bishops and archbishops from around the country. Collectively these events are affectionately referred to as "CatholicSTL250." :

17 October 2014

Prayer Request

Please, of your charity, could you say a prayer for a special intention of mine, that it be granted if it is God's will?  Thank you.

Psalm 67 Unto the end, a psalm of a canticle for David himself.
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him flee from before his face.
As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
And let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness.
Sing ye to God, sing a psalm to his name, make a way for him who ascendeth upon the west: the Lord is his name. Rejoice ye before him: but the wicked shall be troubled at his presence,
Who is the father of orphans, and the judge of widows. God in his holy place:
God who maketh men of one manner to dwell in a house: Who bringeth out them that were bound in strength; in like manner them that provoke, that dwell in sepulchres.
O God, when thou didst go forth in the sight of thy people, when thou didst pass through the desert:
The earth was moved, and the heavens dropped at the presence of the God of Sina, at the presence of the God of Israel.
10 Thou shalt set aside for thy inheritance a free rain, O God: and it was weakened, but thou hast made it perfect.
11 In it shall thy animals dwell; in thy sweetness, O God, thou hast provided for the poor.
12 The Lord shall give the word to them that preach good tidings with great power.
13 The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved; and the beauty of the house shall divide spoils.
14 If you sleep among the midst of lots, you shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and the hinder parts of her back with the paleness of gold.
15 When he that is in heaven appointeth kings over her, they shall be whited with snow in Selmon.
16 The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain.
17 Why suspect, ye curdled mountains? A mountain in which God is well pleased to dwell: for there the Lord shall dwell unto the end.
18 The chariot of God is attended by ten thousands; thousands of them that rejoice: the Lord is among them in Sina, in the holy place.
19 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts in men. Yea for those also that do not believe, the dwelling of the Lord God.
20 Blessed be the Lord day by day: the God of our salvation will make our journey prosperous to us.
21 Our God is the God of salvation: and of the Lord, of the Lord are the issues from death.
22 But God shall break the heads of his enemies: the hairy crown of them that walk on in their sins.
23 The Lord said: I will turn them from Basan, I will turn them into the depth of the sea:
24 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thy enemies; the tongue of thy dogs be red with the same.
25 They have seen thy goings, O God, the goings of my God: of my king who is in his sanctuary.
26 Princes went before joined with singers, in the midst of young damsels playing on timbrels.
27 In the churches bless ye God the Lord, from the fountains of Israel.
28 There is Benjamin a youth, in ecstasy of mind. The princes of Juda are their leaders: the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali.
29 Command thy strength, O God: confirm, O God, what thou hast wrought in us.
30 From thy temple in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to thee.
31 Rebuke the wild beasts of the reeds, the congregation of bulls with the kine of the people; who seek to exclude them who are tried with silver. Scatter thou the nations that delight in wars:
32 Ambassadors shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God.
33 Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: Sing ye to God,
34 Who mounteth above the heaven of heavens, to the east. Behold he will give to his voice the voice of power:
35 Give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence, and his power is in the clouds.
36 God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.

Sad News at NLM; Prayer Request

New Liturgical Movement posted this yesterday:

RIP Jacques and Simone Wach, Parents of the Prior General of the ICK


Via the blogs Notions Romaines and Sancta Trinitas Unus Deus, I learned today that the parents of Msgr. Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King, both passed away very recently, Mrs Simone Wach on September 7th, and Mr Jacques Wach on Monday. Please be so good as to pray for the repose of their souls, and for the peace and consolation of their family members and friends.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


I knew of the death of Monsignor Wach's mother, but the death of his father so close in time must be so difficult for him. Please pray for Monsignor Wach, the founder and Prior General of the Institute, who has done so much good for the Church.

16 October 2014

Cardinal Burke to Those Who Do Not Link the Morals Crisis with the Liturgical Crisis

Cardinal Burke, in the interview in Il Foglio I linked in my previous post, has this to say about the link between liturgy and morals.  When we understand this truth, restoration is possible. 

Q:  Do you not think that the crisis in morals is deeply involved with the crisis in liturgy?
A:  Certainly.  In the post-conciliar period a collapse of the life of faith and of ecclesiastical discipline has taken place, seen especially in the liturgical crisis.  The liturgy has become an anthropocentric activity. It has ended up by being a reflection of the idea of man instead of the right of God to be adored as He himself asks.  From here, in the moral sphere attention is focused almost exclusively on the needs and wants of men, instead of on what the Creator has written in the hearts of his creatures.  The lex orandi is always bound to the lex credendi.  If someone does not pray well, then he does not believe well and therefore he does not behave well.  When I go to celebrate the Traditional Mass, for example, I see so many beautiful young families with so many children.  I do not believe that these families do not have problems, but it is evident that they have more strength to confront them.  This has to say something.  The liturgy is the most perfect and most complete expression of our life in Christ, and when all of this is lessened or is betrayed every aspect of the life of the faithful is harmed.

Everyone Else Can Post It So Why Not Me?

No, not the newest Cranberries release, but the in-depth interview of the great Cardinal Burke at Il Foglio, thanks to Rorate as usual. Must read stuff.