29 September 2010

Get Ready for Global Cooling

Not a typo. 

The global elite, the wheels of whose wagons of global warming are long off their axles, now have a new medicine show to peddle.  Enjoy the ride.


O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.
V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.


For those who can take a long lunch, there will be High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory today at 12:15pm.

28 September 2010

Another Rorschach Test

This painting is called "One Nation Under God", by Jon McNaughton (click here for a greatly enlarged image, and the artist's own take on the work).  It depicts Jesus Christ with the U.S. Constitution, surrounded by various hagiographic depictions of historical American figures.  The huddled masses, as it were, seem to be in awe of the document itself.

What do you think?  It seems pretty creepy to me.  Just as I would not limit Our Lord to be a super-duper Karl Marx, as the liberation theologians would have it, so I would not limit Him to be a front-man for the Constitution.  This is without regard to what the Constitution is or is not.  It strikes me, too, to have a sort of "Mormon" quality to the depiction of Christ.  You know, like you see in the less-good examples of their literature--"here Jesus is distributing communion to the native Americans who were really the lost tribe of Israel, etc."  And, finally, what kind of traditional Catholic would I be if I didn't admit to a certain level of discomfort with Christ surrounded by such a fawning representation of known Freemasons, freemasonic symbols, and a secular document drafted in large part by Freemasons.

Your thoughts in the combox.  Am I crazy?  Strike that question; I know the answer.  What do you think about the painting?

Enjoy Your Smartphone Here in Oceania

GPS and the Police State We Inhabit: Living in Oceania

By John W. Whitehead

27 September 2010

Executive Director of ICEL Celebrates Extraordinary Form at St. Francis de Sales Oratory

Yesterday, Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, appointed by the Holy See as Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy in March 2009, celebrated solemn high Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.  Monsignor also preached the sermon.

As you are likely aware, the new and more accurate English translation of the (new) Roman Missal is finished, and will (God willing) be implemented in English-speaking parishes in Advent 2011.  Thanks to the work of Monsignor Wadsworth and many other liturgically faithful experts in the field, this translation is vastly superior to the treacly paraphrases so many Catholics have been subjected to for four decades.

Any movement in the direction of more reverent liturgy, and a more accurate and elevated vernacular translation, will go a long way in restoring the sense of awe and mystery in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Monsignor's sermon emphasized exactly this point; moreover, he also lauded the return to more widespread usage of the Extraordinary Form.  He pointed to the fact that he was the first priest since the new Mass was promulgated that celebrated the traditional Mass the day after his ordination.  He explained that he retains this devotion to the Extraordinary Form, and that his familiarity with the traditional Mass constantly informed his work on the new English translations.  Monsignor preached that we as Catholics must never become lax about the majesty and sacredness of what occurs in the Holy Sacrifice and other Sacraments.  Certainly his work is another in the growing number of ties returning the Church to its traditional understanding of its praxis.

Monsignor Wadsworth is a former official of the Latin Mass Society in England, and has been prominent in training English-speaking priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. 

Also on Sunday, the Oratory was honored to receive the visit of Father Michael Witt, the interim Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.  It is always a blessing when the Archdiocese and the Institute collaborate in the worship of God in the Mass.

26 September 2010

Save the Date: the Battle of the Oratories on October 17

Are you ready to Ruuuuuuuuummmbuuuuulllllllle??!!!!

Announcing the First Ever St. Lawrence Gridiron Classic

The Battle of the Oratories:

Saint Francis de Sales


Saints Gregory and Augustine

October 17, 2010

2:00 p.m.

on the field of St. Louis Priory
530 S. Mason
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Fathers and/or sons 13 & up

Sign up following Mass at either Oratory or email this blog at saintlouiscatholic[at]hotmail[dot]com


  • You can be either father or son (needn't be a matched set)
  • Due to the weakening of catechesis following Vatican II, this will be a flag or touch football game, TBD (no tackling)
  • More specific details to follow
  • At SS. Gregory and Augustine, see Alex for details, and at St. Francis de Sales, see the other (Abbe) Alex
  • Cheerleaders and responsible tailgating allowed, following Pius XII's admonition about not having too much fun with bratwurst.
BE THERE!!!!!!!

24 September 2010

Meatless Friday: Every Suspect, Victim, and Witness in This Story Lie to Try to Frame the Police

OK, that isn't the headline of this story, but I'll just assume that's what happened.  My readers have spoken, and I have learned my lesson.

OK, I can't resist one more comment.  The title of the video is: "Officer shoots dog in Landover", not, "Officer gets victim of attempted shooting in headlock and punches him repeatedly in the face".  Is this not interesting?  Oh, yeah, back to the title of this post.  (Your blogger now getting ready to duck rotten eggs...)

La Mare de Déu de la Mercè

Today is the feast of the patroness of Barcelona, which day is marked by the city's major yearly party.  With fond memories of La Mercè 1998...

23 September 2010

A Thursday Monarchist Quiz

Since we all loved the monarchist post, I thought I would give you this quick pictorial quiz of currently reigning monarchs and also those persons who are considered "pretenders" to thrones today.  Some reign, some ought to, some never will. 

Here's how it works:  I will post several pictures, and you can use the combox to give both the name of the person, and the nation whose throne they currently occupy or claim.  Answers to appear after a while.  Enjoy.

1.  The first is from yesterday:

2.  The next one has also recently been pictured on this site:

3.  You ought to know this one:

4.  Permissive country allows interesting hat:

5.  Will ye nae guess this one:

6.  Tricky:

7.  Downright difficult:

8.  Hint:  reigning co-princes--name both:

22 September 2010

A Monarchist States His Case

There is a really excellent article in the Remnant Online, the first of a multi-part series, by John C. Medaille, stating the case for being a monarchist in the modern age. This first part compares and contrasts monarchy and democracy in light of his contention that monarchy better represents the will of the people; he then examines the reasons why modern democracies become instruments of oligarchy.

In his opening salvo, he states the plight of a confessed Monarchist pretty well:
The announcement that one is a monarchist is greeted with the same regard as the announcement that one has joined the Flat-Earth Society, or espouses geo-centrism, or has expressed a belief in a world only 6,000 years old.

Politically, monarchism has a prestige just a tiny bit better than fascism, but not nearly as respectable as being Amish.

Funny-- and true. But read on:
Therefore, it behooves me to cut directly to the chase, and state very clearly why I am a monarchist: I am a monarchist because I am a democrat. That is, I believe that the will of the people, their traditions and customs, their concern for their families, their communities, and for the future should determine the shape of any political order. And monarchy is the highest form of this democracy.

Now, the first response to that is likely to be, “That is what our democracy does, and what a tyranny doesn’t do; democracy enthrones the will of the people, while monarchy enthrones the will of the tyrant.” But it is clear to me, especially in this late date of our democracy, that it enthrones the will of determined and well-financed minorities, that it dissolves the customs and traditions of the people, and that it has no concern for the future. And a king may indeed be a tyrant, but such is the exception rather than the rule.

Tyranny is a degeneration of proper monarchy and generally happens only in degenerate times, and even then, the king has to be speaking for some other and greater force, such as a strong army or a commercial oligarchy. A king, no less than a president, must consider the forces and interests in his kingdom. But a king is free to judge the justice of the arguments; a president is free only to count the votes. And while the president might attempt to engage in persuasion, in the end he himself can only be persuaded by power, that is, by whoever controls the votes, which is very likely to be the one who controls the money. A king may also be persuaded by power and money, but he is always free to be persuaded by justice. And even when a king is a tyrant, he is an identifiable tyrant; much worse is when a people live in a tyranny they may not name, a system where the forms of democracy serve as cover for the reality of tyranny. And that, I believe, is our situation today.

The remainder of this first installment contains a critique of democracy as it exists today. If you have an open mind-- that's if, mind you-- then I suggest you might enjoy the piece.
Read the rest of the article here.

OK, one more quick paragraph I liked:

But in abandoning both the past and the future, democracy abandons even the ability to represent the present, because without the guidance of the past and the concern for the future, even the present moment loses its reality. The present moment is always ephemeral, because as soon as one grasps it, it is already history. Without tradition and an orientation to the future, the present moment becomes a kind of cultural Alzheimer’s, with no memory and no direction.

The Glories of Facebook

From STLToday, with no comment from me:

Standoff with man threatening explosion ends in Fairview Heights

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS -- A police standoff overnight in Fairview Heights with a man who claimed to have explosives and had made threats against President Obama and the Muslim community ended peacefully about 2 a.m. today.

No one was injured, he was taken into custody and neighbors who had been evacuated were being allowed back into their homes.

During the standoff, the man wore what he claimed was a suicide belt strapped to his waist. He also had 55-gallon drums he said would explode. Only after the seven-hour standoff did the bomb team inspect them and found them to be hoaxes.

The suspect, identified as Roman R. Conaway Jr., 50, claimed on his Facebook page that he was going to burn a holy book Quran at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Then, Conaway wrote on his site:

"i need everbody with a camera phone or video phone or video cameras to come to 9030 summit drive in fairview heights illinois. the media and your goverment thinks this isa joke. im not joking."

As the standoff was happening, two nieces and other relatives and friends used that forum to plead with him to surrender. One of his nieces replied on the social networking site, "uncle jr.. please dnt do this.. ur my favorite uncle :( i love u very much"

The FBI, Secret Service and Fairview Heights Police Department surrounded the home on Summit Drive on Tuesday night after he apparently had been making threats to members of the Muslim community earlier in the day.

It all began about 1 p.m. Tuesday when the St. Louis division of the FBI got information that Conaway was making "incendiary comments about the Muslim community and possibly threatened the president."

That information was relayed to the Springfield, Ill., office of the FBI. They teamed up with the Secret Service and the Fairview Heights Police Department to go to Conaway's home.

When they approached the house with the joint terrorism task force on Tuesday, Conaway came out of the house with his wife and son.

"He was wearing a belt that he claimed was a suicide explosive belt. He also showed us two 55 gallon drums which he claimed had explosive material inside," said Stu McArthur, special agent in charge of the FBI's Springfield division.

FBI officials said they were told he had some sorts of explosives training, although they couldn't verify that and don't believe it's true. Only after the standoff ended did the FBI realize that the explosives weren't real. Officials identified the material around the man's belt as plastic "play-doh" material.

McArthur said police negotiated with Conaway. Five or six hours later, negotiators convinced him to release his wife and son. At 2:15 a.m. today, Conaway surrendered.

"He removed the device around his waist as well as dismantled the devices around these 55 gallon drums and surrendered to law enforcement," McArthur said.

Bomb-squad members inspecting the devices and found them to be hoax devices.

Conaway was arrested and will face charges for threatening to use an explosive device and possibly threatening the president.

"We are still investigating, at this time, to get more information about the exact nature of this information that came to us earlier yesterday," McArthur said.

Conaway's rantings on his Facebook page criticize the government, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Obama, a local judge and others. In one posting in July, he writes: "he obama adm.needs to clean up the org.crime starting with law inforcements.i hope the next attack on u.s.is ill.and they leave nothin left."

People from the neighborhood were evacuated for several hours to the nearby Sterling Baptist Church, at the corner of Bunkum and Highland roads. The area is near the Illinois 157 interchange with Interstate 64.

As of 8 a.m. today (Wednesday), the FBI said it hadn't yet interviewed Conaway to know more about his motives, said Brad Ware, a spokesman for the FBI's Springfield division. Authorities planned to present evidence to the U.S. attorney's office for charges, Ware said.

21 September 2010

Ramon: What this is about is a big country,
the United States...

...making war on a little country.

Ted: In the US government's view,
which I'm not in any way endorsing...

...the US policy is...
(notices some ants on the ground nearby)

Maybe this will help. Take these ants.

In the US view, a small group,
or cadre, of fierce red ants...

...have taken power and are oppressing
the black ant majority.

The stated US policy
is to aid those black ants...

...opposing the red ants,
in hopes of restoring democracy...

...and to stop the red ants from assisting
comrades in neighboring ant colonies.

Ramon: That is the clearest and most disgusting
description of US policy I've ever heard.

The Third World is just a lot of ants to you.

Ramon's Friend: Those are people dying, not ants!

Ted: You don't understand.
I was reducing everything to ant scale-- the US included. An ant White House...

...an ant CIA, an ant Congress,
an ant Pentagon.

Ramon: Secret ant landing strips...

...illegally established on foreign soil.

Fred: - Where are the red ants?

Ted: - There.

(Fred grabs a large rock and smashes ants)

(Later, at the car...)

Ted: - That was terrible.

Fred: - You're blowing it way out of proportion.

Those red ants were bad news.
They weren't good for anybody.

Ted: I was trying to convince them
to look at Americans in a new way.

Then, in one stupid move,
you confirm their worst assumptions.

Fred: I didn't confirm them,
am their worst assumption.


Better Gifts than CDs of the Leader's Speeches

Maybe the occupant of the White House can take a lesson in thoughtful gift-giving between heads of state by checking out the gifts exchanged by the Holy Father and Queen Elizabeth II:

Pope and Queen exchange gifts
Sep 16 2010

The Queen and the Pope exchanged gifts at a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today.

The Pontiff received from the monarch a facsimile edition of 16th century drawings by German artist Hans Holbein the Younger.

The 85 sketches were encased in a white papal binding specially produced by conservation staff at Windsor Castle.

Including a portrait of Sir John More, the pictures are considered among the greatest treasures in the Print Room at Windsor Castle.

The Vatican’s gift to the Queen was a copy of the Lorsch Gospels dating from 778 to 820.

The gifts were exchanged in the Morning Drawing Room and a private audience with the Queen followed at which the Duke of Edinburgh was also present. [...]

20 September 2010

Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.

--Nick Smith

Our Passive-Aggressive Culture

I saw the article last week about a little boy who committed the most heinous crime known to the modern school system-- he brought a toy gun to school-- and the continued persecution he suffers at the hands of those we pay to provide his intellectual and social formation. I read this after just having run two posts critiquing the public and private schools, so I almost let this one pass. But after reading a blog post on Fred Reed's curmudgeonly site, putting the incident into the larger context of America's passive-aggressive culture, I changed my mind.

I'll use excerpts from that post below, but a warning to readers that
the full post contains some material unsuitable for minors. So, to some of the salient paragraphs:

I find this inspiriting headline polluting my inbox like rotting road-kill. It's from Broward County, Florida:

“Child Still Expelled for Toy Gun - a Year Later

Parents want their child back in school. School board says no way” [...]

“School board officials said the rules are quite clear and that the toy gun constituted a weapon.”

Me, I figure the school-board officials constitute a pack of priggish low-Board simians who ought to be swinging in trees instead of trying to run a school. But then, I’m a curmudgeon.

Think about it. Kid—he’s eight—shows up with toy gun after watching 12,000 hours of shoot’em-ups on the lobotomy box, Luke Skywalker blasting funny-looking milkmen like a pretty little mollycoddle turned psychopath. Kid sees war coverage with heroic GIs in Afghanistan killing anybody they can see. He watches recruiting ads for the Marines, who carry guns and want A Few Good Persons. Why would he possibly be interested in a toy gun?

And why would nominal adults, even the barely educated variety characteristically found on school boards, want to wreck the kid’s life? Actually of course it is passive aggression, an attack on the tyke, said attack masquerading, or perhaps marauding is the better word, as high moral endeavor. See, they’re protecting Western Civilization.

The US these days rolls in passive aggression. The country grows daily more mean-spirited, more wrapped in a miasma of diffuse anger, but you still can’t just go up to a child and hit him with a ball bat, or throw acid in his face. No. Instead you find a smugly righteous way to set him back two years in school, thus making him into a guaranteed social misfit. How very…I don’t think “intelligent” is an adequate word. Perhaps “sublime” is better. Or “supernal.”

As tensions grow in America, as divisions flourish, and the nation leads up to something unseen but ugly, prissy vindictiveness and moral sadism become normal. We have become a gotcha culture, watchful for transgressions meaningless but forbidden, so that we can make the malfeasor squirm. How we enjoy the squirming, the writhing on camera, the heavy punishments inflected for nothing.


I agree that the country, and Western civilization, roils in passive aggression. This incident is not unknown in the context of public school news. Remember the little boy who was called to the principal's office for bringing a toy Lego guy with an itty-bitty Lego gun? If a student draws a picture of a stick-figure firing a gun it becomes a cataclysmic event. Last week, a local school district went into lock-down because some hunter left a gun he legally owned and possessed in his car parked on the school lot. The students were saved and the hunter was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

Forget weapons. We live in a sexually-oversaturated society. Not only is hardcore pornography available in two clicks of a mouse, but the great inculturators of television, movies and music push nearly hardcore porn on the young. Our children are sold dolls that look like prostitutes; housewives are sold pole-dancing aerobics classes. Impurity is a cloud that surrounds us. Contraception, abortion, adultery and worse are presented as lifestyle choices. But just don't ever be politically incorrect, because you will be punished severely.

An adoloscent raised on pornography produces a deviant character; if this person expresses his deviancy one way, that is a celebrated freedom; but stray in a different direction, and society wags its collective beard, clucks its collective tongue and brands you for life. You can cheat on your wife, unless you get caught. There is no more sin, there is only the inappropriate.

Society urges every libertine excess, and selectively punishes the politically incorrect. This is not a healthy way of organizing a people, or of enforcing a system of laws, or of building a culture.

And yet, the faux-culture being pushed on us is widely accepted. The parents of the little boy who was expelled by the school district is begging that same abusive system to take him back, and are admitting their son's "mistake" in a classic Stockholm syndrome plea for readmission into the Matrix.

Back to the eight-year-old. "He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don't understand that," said Magdiel Burgos, Sam's dad.”

What? The child did not make a mistake. He’s freaking eight. He brought a toy to school. Since eight is too young (at this writing) to be made to snivel on camera in delicious autohumiliating, his parents per force do it for him.

The correct solution to the problem, if there were a problem, would be to tell the kid, “Hey, you aren’t supposed to bring stuff like this. Don’t, OK?” When he is a little older, he might be told that the entire scholarly (which it barely is) establishment constitutes a dry run by Darwin, which he judged a failure and meant to discard, but forgot.

There is something wrong, something fetid and cruel, about anyone who will so treat little boy. It gets stranger:

“The school board said they would admit Samuel into a correctional school for problem children who have been expelled located in Hallandale Beach.”

Oh joy! Reform school! What better way to turn him into a happy and stable boy? (Which he is anyway.) Why not Leavenworth? We could try him as an adult. I recommend solitary, to protect the other inmates. And don’t let him bring his teddy bear. He has to learn that actions have consequences.

I thrash about in search of understanding. It cometh not. Perhaps the explanation lies in physics: The stupidity of a closed system tends to remain the same or to increase. Usually, increase.

This sort of neurotic theater has gone on for years. I remember the boy expelled for pointing (so help me) a chicken finger and saying “Bang!” another for bringing plastic soldiers to school, another for drawing a picture of a soldier with a gun, another for swatting a girl on the butt on the playground. This last resulted in the calling of cops, a handcuffed kid, and compulsory psychiatric treatment instead of an admonitory, “Don’t do that again, Bobby. Do you understand me?” How does a society come to this?

I can make guesses that sound vaguely plausible. The United States is not a happy country. People waste their lives in meaningless jobs, trapped by the credit card, the mortgage, the student loan. They know they are wasting their lives. Racial anger runs high. Women resent men. Divorce screws up kids. There is the two-hour commute to the cubicle and back to the sterile box in the anonymous subdivision, the lack of influence over their lives, life from paycheck to paycheck. And anger at affirmative action, either because they suffer from it or because they need it. Life is just flat stressful.

People get spiteful, mean, like mistreated dogs. They want to make others as miserable as they secretly are themselves. So they torment a little boy. I’m going to change my phylum.

Blessed John Henry Newman

Ora pro nobis!

17 September 2010

Different Elizabeth

Regnans in Excelsis

Excommunicating Elizabeth I of England
Pope St Pius V - 27 April 1570

Pius Bishop, servant of the servants of God, in lasting memory of the matter.

He that reigneth on high, to whom is given all power in heaven and earth, has committed one holy Catholic and apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, to one alone upon earth, namely to Peter, the first of the apostles, and to Peter's successor, the pope of Rome, to be by him governed in fullness of power. Him alone He has made ruler over all peoples and kingdoms, to pull up, destroy, scatter, disperse, plant and build, so that he may preserve His faithful people (knit together with the girdle of charity) in the unity of the Spirit and present them safe and spotless to their Saviour.

1. In obedience to which duty, we (who by God's goodness are called to the aforesaid government of the Church) spare no pains and labour with all our might that unity and the Catholic religion (which their Author, for the trial of His children's faith and our correction, has suffered to be afflicted with such great troubles) may be preserved entire. But the number of the ungodly has so much grown in power that there is no place left in the world which they have not tried to corrupt with their most wicked doctrines; and among others, Elizabeth, the pretended queen of England and the servant of crime, has assisted in this, with whom as in a sanctuary the most pernicious of all have found refuge. This very woman, having seized the crown and monstrously usurped the place of supreme head of the Church in all England to gather with the chief authority and jurisdiction belonging to it, has once again reduced this same kingdom- which had already been restored to the Catholic faith and to good fruits- to a miserable ruin.

2. Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who persevered in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorious among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defense or evasion.

3. We, seeing impieties and crimes multiplied one upon another the persecution of the faithful and afflictions of religion daily growing more severe under the guidance and by the activity of the said Elizabeth -and recognizing that her mind is so fixed and set that she has not only despised the pious prayers and admonitions with which Catholic princes have tried to cure and convert her but has not even permitted the nuncios sent to her in this matter by this See to cross into England, are compelled by necessity to take up against her the weapons of justice, though we cannot forbear to regret that we should be forced to turn, upon one whose ancestors have so well deserved of the Christian community. Therefore, resting upon the authority of Him whose pleasure it was to place us (though unequal to such a burden) upon this supreme justice-seat, we do out of the fullness of our apostolic power declare the foresaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and favourer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ.

4. And moreover (we declare) her to be deprived of her pretended title to the aforesaid crown and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever.

5. And also (declare) the nobles, subjects and people of the said realm and all others who have in any way sworn oaths to her, to be forever absolved from such an oath and from any duty arising from lordship. fealty and obedience; and we do, by authority of these presents , so absolve them and so deprive the same Elizabeth of her pretended title to the crown and all other the above said matters. We charge and command all and singular the nobles, subjects, peoples and others afore said that they do not dare obey her orders, mandates and laws. Those who shall act to the contrary we include in the like sentence of excommunication.

6. Because in truth it may prove too difficult to take these presents wheresoever it shall be necessary, we will that copies made under the hand of a notary public and sealed with the seal of a prelate of the Church or of his court shall have such force and trust in and out of judicial proceedings, in all places among the nations, as these presents would themselves have if they were exhibited or shown.

Given at St. Peter's at Rome, on 27 April 1570 of the Incarnation; in the fifth year of our pontificate.

Pius PP.


Seeing His Holiness attending evening prayer at the occupied Westminster Abbey with Rowan Williams sure does signal a different time. But still, it is weird to think that he would have incurred excommunication not that long ago if he weren't the Pope...

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Friday Afternoon Pole Questions

1. Who is this Pole?

2. Who are these Poles?

Ads for 7 out of 10 ____________ Schools Fail to Mention ___________ in the Ad

Lest I only point out my peeves with public education, here is an unsurprising, but disappointing, encounter with our Catholic counterparts. Perusing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch print edition today, I found a two-page spread advertising Catholic high schools in the area. There were 20 such schools represented, each with an approximately 3" X 5" ad for its own, with graphics, the name of the school with contact information, and a large space for a description of the school's mission and unique characteristics.

Out of these twenty schools, only four used the word "Catholic" to describe their school's program. I am not even talking about how convincingly or unconvincingly the school sold the Catholicity of the product-- merely whether the word "Catholic" was used. These schools were St. Elizabeth Academy, St. Joseph Academy, Rosati-Kain, and Chaminade.

Another two, Kennedy and Gibault (in the Belleville Diocese) used the word "Catholic" as part of the official name of the school, though not in the description about their program. Even giving these two the benefit of the doubt, that leaves 14 out of 20 Catholic high schools that did not see fit to describe themselves as Catholic.

Lots of schools used some buzzwords that make people less uncomfortable than the word "Catholic". Faith. Spirit. Inspired. Empowering. Bishop DuBourg used the laudable term "Christ-centered", which gets some points but would have been unmistakable if linked to the religion it professes.

The worst four ads in terms of lacking any noticeable Catholic identity came from Barat Academy, SLUH, Cardinal Ritter, and CBC. They might as well be Burroughs for all of the Catholicity of their ads.

Some of the twenty high schools are private schools, but others are Archdiocesan.

Archbishop Carlson is right to focus on the Catholic identity of our schools as a key to their continued viability. He may have a long road ahead of him if the schools themselves don't think it important to recruit at least in part on that basis.

16 September 2010

More Money for Public Schools! Not.

I still maintain that the best way to improve any community in this country is to cut both the public school budget and the police budget in half.

KMOV's Craig Cheatham ran
a story tonight about the excessive salaries pulled down by many area prison school wardens superintendents. You don't see as many "progressives" lamenting the Potemkin-CEO compensation packages scored by these public servants. Check out the interactive map on the website to survey the relative looting.

The big winner in the Superintendent lottery comes from the 5,000 student Kirkwood school district, who draws a $242,000 annual salary, plus $42,000 in benefits, and a $500 a month transportation allowance.

I don't know if this compensation package makes his district's graduates any less likely to mindlessly follow the socialist diktats implanted by the state into its other (re)education programs. Maybe.

(But don't worry-- public education is

A Canticle for Leibowitz is:

  1. a beautiful affirmation of the timeless truth and beauty of Catholicism;
  2. a subtly mocking refutation of Catholicism;
  3. both of the above;
  4. none of the above.
I am undecided.  Any help?  Explain, if you dare.

15 September 2010

A Little Peek into a Hidden Way of Life

The photos for this post were taken by a young lady named Rachel who is about to become a postulant with the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest. Rachel previously posted an account of her visit to the motherhouse in Sieci (near Florence) earlier this year, as she explored the possibility of pursuing a vocation with the Sisters.

The post at her site is lengthy but well worth reading. She gives a unique insight not only into the Adorers, but also into a bit of the practical process involved as a soul discerns God's plans for her.

A few small excerpts:

When I visit active congregations they keep me pretty busy and I usually can't even find time to keep up with my diary. With the cloistered congregations I visit some of the nuns at the grill for an hour or so, and have the rest of the day to myself. The Adoratrices are in between, mostly contemplative but not strictly cloistered. They were founded to support the priests of the Institute, chiefly by prayer, but they also envision sending sisters out to some of the parishes to help the priests there in the sacristy or with catechism. Right now they're almost all at the motherhouse, and I gather that the apostolate will have to wait until more of them have finished formation. In any case they intend that prayer and contemplative life will always be the main thing.


The Hours are chanted in Latin. In the morning they chant on that single high note that I encounter almost everywhere I visit-- the bane of my second-alto existence. In the evening they do a really pretty chant accompanied by the organ. I was pleased by how much Latin I understood just from praying the same Psalms in English. If I could figure out one line from cognate words, I might recognize which Psalm it was, and that would help me figure out the rest of it.


I got to meet with Mother Caroline a few times once she got back from her travels. We went walking up the road together and she told me about the order and answered all my questions. They have a bunch of patron saints but it sounds like the one that most influences their spirituality is St. Francis de Sales. They don't have much corporal penance but they try to accept everything that God sends them, every circumstance whether good or bad, for love of Him. That of course can be very hard. They do expect to be sending their American nuns back to America, but there's no guarantee of that. Joining them means going wherever the superior sends.

And of course, you can learn about second breakfast, too, if you have a mind to do so.
I just thought it might be nice for many of the Institute's friends who read this blog to see one practical result of prayers for vocations, and to encourage all of us to keep Rachel and the Sisters in constant prayer.

Standing with the Oddballs

In a typically well-written post today on Inside Catholic, John Zmirak takes on the notion of beauty in Catholic worship and the order of things. In that post, the following excerpt about growing up as an against-the-current traditional Catholic struck me as particularly insightful. It could describe the situation of the traditional Catholic still today, even three years after Summorum Pontificum-- and I know from friends that it nails what the situation was like for them years ago:

There are worse ways to spend one's twenties. I could have been living out in the suburbs at a parish built or wreckovated in the 1970s, yawning on a padded, snot-green pew, as "Gather Us In" was strummed incompetently on a guitar. You know the kind of church I mean -- where banality and comfort set the tone, where the stark strangeness of the divine and human sacrifice that is the Mass are swathed and obscured in a mauve haze of cozy emotional uplift, to the point where kneeling before the Host seems a crude and archaic gesture. Beauty at such a place would seem . . . out of place, like a laurelled Olympic athlete in a Grecian tunic stranded at an overweight biker's bar. Just so, a studied mediocrity of music, preaching, and artwork has come to prevail in modern churches. The sanctuary, once the site where the Holy of Holies was honored as best the impoverished congregation could sacrifice to afford, becomes instead God's refrigerator, where all our slapdash art projects are pinned by plastic magnets. A doting, senile grandma, God loves us just as we are, so our half-baked efforts are plenty. As I've found myself muttering on the way out of such places, "Nothing's too crappy for God."

Given the alternative, I'm proud to stand with the oddballs. I'm glad I was one of those weird enough to insist -- in the face of all apparent evidence -- that the Church's historic liturgy wasn't dead, that it would someday be revived and embraced throughout the Church around the world. Wherever that fugitive, exquisitely un-modern creature poked up her head, we hunted her -- in crumbling Armenian chapels filled with puzzled Ecuadorians, in abandoned Italian parishes kept alive only to conduct Mafia funerals, in mental hospital chapels where the bishop consigned us "crackpots," or forgotten graveyard chapels where we tried (it seemed) to raise the dead. We chased her down the nights and down the days, we chased her down the arches of the years; we chased her through the labyrinthine ways of canon law, and pastoral provisions. And at last, by the grace of Pope Benedict XVI, who chivalrously conducted the holy lady out of hiding, we welcomed her, still-blinking, back into the light.

"Why shouldn't we be on the camera, too?"

Indeed.  Interesting question.

Have you ever gone to a sporting event in town and seen the dreadful "Kiss-cam"?  I think of it as sign #23,417 of the end of the world.  In case you don't know that of which I speak, let me describe it to you.  You are at a baseball game, which we all know is not exciting enough for the constant-video-stimulated modern mind to exist on its own.  Therefore, there is the giant video board to command your attention, lest you actually be forced to watch the Cardinals' latest attempt at impersonating a contending team.

At some point or points during the game, this giant video screen pans the crowd for couples, initially unsuspecting, who are put on the spot to perform public displays of affection for the gratification of the crowd.  Not exactly the equal of Roman gladiators sacrificing their lives for mass entertainment.  More like lowest-level patheti-porn.  And such is the power of peer pressure, or perhaps the desire for "fame", that people comply and kiss each other for the amusement of others.  Perhaps some have refused to do so, but I have never seen it. 

My lovely wife Sharon and I have never been the target of this camera, probably because of my appearance frightening children, but if we ever were, I would not perform like a trained monkey for the benefit of the lumpendrunk.

Am I a kill-joy?  Perhaps.  But I shudder to project into the future five years and think of the Mardi Gras-cam.

"But timman," you ask, "what does this have to do with homosexuality?"  Good question.  I'll clue you in.

As any sentient being will have noticed, the homosexual movement is never content with being allowed, or tolerated-- no, It. Must. Be. Celebrated!  Look at me!  Wee!!!!

Thus, the kiss-cam meets the new "civil rights" movement.  STLToday has a story about homosexuals who want to partner with the St. Louis Cardinals to hold an "OUT at the Ballpark" event at the stadium on Saturday.  Predictably, this isn't enough for them.  They. Must. Be. Celebrated!  And what better way to force you to celebrate their gravely disordered "lifestyles" than to make you watch them kiss each other on the Jumbotron?

From the full article:

About 200 gay men and lesbians were planning to partner with the St. Louis Cardinals to hold an "OUT at the Ballpark" afternoon at Busch stadium on Saturday, hoping for nothing more than good weather and an inspiring performance from the Redbirds.

But now members of the group, which was organized by Ethan Barnett of Pride St. Louis, are hoping to get on the team's "kiss cam," to protest what they say is discrimination at sports venues against members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) community.


The idea for a kiss cam moment came about after Sunday's Ram's game against the Arizona Cardinals. During the game, the kiss cam focused on two men in Arizona jerseys who jeered at the camera and made expressions of distaste toward one another.


"We always felt left out because the kiss cam always singles out heterosexual couples," Harrison Roberts said today. Roberts is the manager of Just John's on Manchester Avenue in The Grove, where the official after-party will be held on Saturday following the game.

"Why shouldn't we be on the camera, too?"

I am all for equal rights; in this case, this means the right to avoid watching other people engage in public displays of affection.  Kill the kiss-cam, regardless of the proclivities of the performers, and spare us the ordeal for good. 

14 September 2010

Helping to Cope

OK, bad pun. But in a remarkable display of generosity, Canon Karl W. Lenhardt, former Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, recently sent a gift of beautiful custom-made cope for the Oratory's use in its weekly devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. When Canon Lenhardt announced he would leave to take a new assignment at the Institute's seminary in Gricigliano, of course many people gave gifts of appreciation. Well, Canon Lenhardt has made use of these gifts to further the beauty of the celebration of the liturgy in St. Louis.  The cope is pictured here, with stole.

Thank you, Canon Lenhardt!

For your information, you can see this cope in person any Tuesday evening following 6:30 Mass during Our Mother of Perpetual Help devotions, tonight included.

Below is a copy of the letter sent by Canon Lenhardt to Canon Wiener on the occasion of the gift:

Gricigliano, August 10, 2010

Reverend and dear Canon Wiener,

It is with greatest spiritual joy and profound gratitude that I am sending you today a cope to be used on the occasion of the devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.

When I left St. Louis in September 2008 in order to follow my new assignment at the Institute’s International Seminary in Gricigliano I received many generous gifts as expressions of thankfulness for our work in St. Louis. I found it very fitting to use these gifts for the greater beauty and dignity of the liturgy at the oratory.

As I consider the restoration of the Archconfraternity of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to be a particular grace during my time at the oratory and as I also had the joy to gratefully experience the help and intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in my prayers, in my work and in the greatest difficulties I thought that a cope for the regular devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help would be a good renewed expression of my own gratitude towards our Heavenly Mother. It took almost two years to prepare this cope and I offer it not only as an act of thanksgiving, but also in the intentions of the faithful and friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory and in particular for the restoration of this most beautiful church.

This cope is made of a custom-made fabric. The design of this fabric follows the painted curtain that is the background of the painting of the Annunciation of Our Lady on the exterior wings of the “Dombild” of Stefan Lochner from 1442, in the cathedral of Cologne. The fabric is woven in goldthread and in the Institute’s blue.

I am deeply grateful for all the good I received during my time in St. Louis and I hope that the gift of this cope can be a humble manifestation of our continued unity in prayer.

While I wish you and all the faithful of the Oratory the superabundance of blessings and graces through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, St. Louis and St. Francis de Sales, I assure all of you of the pious and grateful remembrance of your intentions in my prayers and at the altar and I humbly beg you for your prayers for me and my work.

Yours devotedly in Christ the King,
Canon Karl W. Lenhardt

I Can Think of Worse Places to Be...

...than enjoying this view of the Tuscan landscape from the motherhouse of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, where the Sisters hosted a reception for Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Dom Forgeot of Fontgombault, and the priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest during the Institute's 2010 General Chapter.

Below are just a few of the many fine photos of the Chapter at the ICRSP's french site. These show some people familiar to St. Louisans:

The Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis, left. and Monsignor Wach, Prior General of the Institute, right.

Archbishop Burke, center, Canon Aaron Huberfeld, left, and Canon Karl Lenhardt, right.

Archbishop Burke, left, and Canon Jason Apple, right. 

Canon Michael Wiener, Rector of the Oratory, at right.

Canon Wiener, left, and Canon Glenn Gardner.

Canon William Avis at right.