1. Cardinal Burke is publishing a book on the Eucharist, Divine Love Made Flesh. The St. Louis Review has the story.
2. You can check out the most recent updates (though essentially we are all in the "treading water" stage) on the SSPX situation at Rorate Caeli. There are several posts, but many are contained under the main entry here.
3. If you haven't read Robert Hugh Benson's Oddsfish!, you are really missing something. When it comes to his historical novels, in my opinion, it clocks Come Rack! Come Rope!, The King's Achievement, and By What Authority?, by a mile.
4. By now you probably have heard that the CDF (still headed by outgoing Prefect Cardinal Levada) is "cracking down" on the (choose all that apply) communists/atheists/earth-worshippers/neo-pagans/feminists/lesbians/heretics over at the LCWR, the umbrella organization for the dead and dying modernist orders of women religious. Maybe, maybe not. But at least the Congregation is starting to call a spade a spade, as St. Guy pointed out to me in this excerpt from the assessment:
The doctrinal Assessment found that many of the materials prepared by the LCWR for these purposes (Occasional Papers, Systems Thinking Handbook) do not have a sufficient doctrinal foundation. These materials recommend strategies for dialogue, for example when sisters disagree about basic matters of Catholic faith or moral practice, but it is not clear whether this dialogue is directed towards reception of Church teaching. As a case in point, the Systems Thinking Handbook presents a situation in which sisters differ over whether the Eucharist should be at the center of a special community celebration since the celebration of Mass requires an ordained priest, something which some sisters find “objectionable.” According to the Systems Thinking Handbook this difficulty is rooted in differences at the level of belief, but also in different cognitive models (the “Western mind” as opposed to an “Organic mental model”). These models, rather than the teaching of the Church, are offered as tools for the resolution of the controversy of whether or not to celebrate Mass. Thus the Systems Thinking Handbook presents a neutral model of Congregational leadership that does not give due attention to the responsibility which Superiors are called to exercise, namely, leading sisters into a greater appreciation or integration of the truth of the Catholic faith.
I read on various websites' comboxes that this effort is a waste of time or, more often, "too late"-- and thus scorned by these commenters. Well, you can't have it both ways. Are they going to whine that the Vatican doesn't do anything, or whine that it is too little or too late? Which is it? I applaud any effort on the part of the CDF to do something to warn the Sisters themselves of their peril, to warn their supporters of the anti-Catholic theology of this group, and to stand up for Catholicism generally.
Recall, most importantly, that this is an act of mercy to the Sisters themselves. Since heresy has doomed these groups to destruction and that the median age of the LCWR sister is 138, it is good that they think of their last end, and now.
All that being true, to me, the real key to this effort is the symmetry in which the CDF lets the modernists know that the SSPX isn't the only group that must be "vetted" in order to be considered "in full communion". In fact, in the Cardinal's letter he actually states the need of the LCWR to implement an ecclesiology of communion. This is the term that many, including Bishop Williamson, have noted as a novel expression of a concept of Catholicity that historically centers around orthodoxy in doctrine and obedience in practice. The good news here is that the Holy Office is applying it to the leftist ladies' conference in precisely this fashion-- a matter of doctrine and obedience. Yes, it is late in coming, but it would be far worse if it never came.