31 March 2015

We Interrupt this Holy Week-- or Perhaps Not

Patrick Archbold, principal author of the terrific blog Creative Minority Report, and former-- yes, former-- contributor to the National Catholic Register, has been sacked by the Register. The crime, as usual, is for being too Catholic.  

Now I can refer to the Register as NCR without having to distinguish it from the other NCR.  See how easy it is?:

Mr. Archbold's columns were really the only reason for distinguishing the two publications anyway.

Don't worry, the paid gigs for Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher are safe and sound!

It is very merciful and humble, I must say, to relieve a good man of some portion of his income during this penitential season.  I haven't subscribed to the other NCR in many years; I suppose that streak will now be guaranteed to continue.

Have a blessed Holy Week. As Our Lord said, we should expect persecution. Keep Mr. Archbold in your prayers.

During Holy Week, Bearing Our Share of the Cross

When Jesus made His way to Calvary, bowed under His heavy cross, He fell down beneath its wight-- He, Virtus Dei, "the Strength of God"; we see Him humiliated, weak, prostrate on the ground, He is incapable of carrying His cross. This was a homage his humanity rendered to the power of God. Had he so willed, Jesus, in spite of His weakness, could have carried His cross all the way to Calvary; but at that moment His divinity wills, for our salvation, that His humanity shall feel weakness, in order that it merit for us the strength to bear our sufferings.

To us also God gives a cross to carry, and everyone thinks his own cross to be the heaviest. we ought to accept our cross without argument, without saying "God could have changed this or that circumstance of my life." Our Lord told us: "If anyone wishes to come after me"-- wants to be my disciple-- "let him... take up his cross, and follow me."

In that generous acceptance of our cross,  we shall find union with Christ. For note well, that in carrying our own cross, we truly take our share of that of Jesus. Consider what is recounted in the Gospel. The Jews, seeing their victim becoming weak, and fearing He would not have the strength to reach Calvary, stopped Simon of Cyrene upon the way, and forced him to help the Savior. As I have just said to you, Christ, had He so willed, could have drawn on His divinity for the necessary strength, but He consented to be helped. He thereby wished to show us that each of us ought to aid Him to carry His cross. Our Lord says to us: "Accept that part of my sufferings which, in my divine prescience, on the day of my Passion, I reserved for you."

How could we refuse to accept, from the hands of Christ, this sorrow, this opposition to our wishes, that adversity? to drink a few drops from the cup which He Himself presents to us, and from which He has drunk first? Let us therefore say to Him: "Yes, Divine Master, I accept this share, with all my heart, because it comes from you." Let us therefore take hold of it, as Christ took hold His cross, for love of Him and in union with Him. We shall sometimes feel our shoulders sag beneath the burden; St. Paul confesses that certain hours of his existence were so full of worry and annoyances that he was "weary even of life." But, like the great apostle, let us look at Him who so loved us that He delivered Himself up for us. At those hours when the body is tortured, or the soul crushed, or the mind lives in darkness, or the deep action of the Holy Spirit in His purifying operations makes itself felt, let us unite ourselves to Christ with more love still. Then the power and the unction of His cross will be communicated to us, and we shall find there, along with strength, that peace and that inner joy which knows how to smile in the midst of suffering: "I overflow with joy in all our troubles," declares St. Paul.

Those are graces Our Lord has merited for us. Indeed when He mounted to Calvary aided by the Cyrenean, Christ Jesus, God-man, thought of all those who in the course of the centuries would help Him carry His cross by accepting their own. He at that time merited for them inexhaustible graces of strength, resignation and self-surrender that would make them say, as He did: "Father, let your will be done, not mine!"

-- from Christ in His Mysteries, Blessed Columba Marmion

30 March 2015

Meatless Friday Monday: Shameless Plug Edition

State Champions
For no special reason, the above photo is of a local team of Catholic homeschoolers from the Archdiocesan Roman Catholic Homeschool Co-op, who yesterday won the Missouri State High School Mock Trial Competition.  They beat out a field of more than sixty Missouri high school teams from public and private schools.

The team defeated another talented team from Kirkwood High School in the final trial, presided over by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Rhodes Russell.

They advanced to the National High School Mock Trial Championships in North Carolina in May.


27 March 2015

A New Low in the Media's Coverage of Cardinal Burke

Even by the poor standards of journalism historically exhibited by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this is appalling.  (As commenter Jack noted in the combox, this title is running at other outlets, too. So I don't know if it is good or bad that the Post reprinted it in toto.). 
Anyway, the headline:

The underlying story, by David Gibson of RNS, is merely a run-of-the-mill hatchet job on the good Cardinal, filled with the usual "sane people vs. believing Catholic" rhetoric.  The writer of the headline is unknown.

Lest you think that anyone could see the inherent cowardice and unfairness of this headline, and make their own independent judgements of the Cardinal's actual words in context, just click on the comments section of the story.

If I hadn't cancelled my subscription long ago, I would.  Does anyone not a blogger even read this stuff?

Prayers Needed for These Stalwart Priests

Check out this post at Rorate, wherein is contained the letter of hundreds of British priests who publicly commit to upholding the unchangeable doctrine of Christ on the indissolubility of marriage and who commit further to upholding the necessary coupling of the discipline of the sacraments to this doctrine.

Make no mistake, this required bravery, and will require further bravery.  As the treatment of Cardinal Burke and others has already shown, yes, these are sad times when being Catholic can get you persecuted by the Church's hierarchy itself.

Call me a softy, but I found it actually quite inspiring.

Times are bad, but there are so many still faithful.  

Oremus pro invicem!

25 March 2015

"Indissolubility is not a curse, it is the great beauty of the marital relationship."

Cardinal Burke is a good interview at any time, but this interview at LifesiteNews is very, very good.  Just hearing the truth out of the mouth of anyone on the Church's payroll is welcome these days. But in Cardinal Burke we have so much more than that.  He is the standard-bearer among the hierarchy for true Catholic Charity-- love and truth, mercy and justice united. We must remain steadfast; we can do nothing else.

Just a few money quotes from an interview that should be read-- and studied-- in its entirety:


LSN: It was said after the publication of the relatio post disceptationem that there was a manipulation that consisted in putting into the synod questions that actually have nothing to do with the family. Would you accept to express yourself on how and why this “manipulation” took place? Who is benefiting?

CB: It's clear that there was a manipulation because the actual interventions of the members of the synod were not published, and only the mid-term report, or the “relatio post disceptationem”, was given, which had really nothing to do with what was being presented in the synod. And so it's clear to me that there were individuals who obviously had a very strong influence on the synod process who were pushing an agenda which has nothing to do with the truth about marriage as Our Lord Himself teaches it to us, as it is handed down to us in the Church. That agenda had to do with trying to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex and, in a way, clearly to relativize and even to obscure the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage as a faithful, indissoluble, procreative union of one man and one woman.

- - -

LSN: Repeatedly, even the synod fathers who have touted the issues of “remarriage” of divorcee and homosexual or non-marital unions have repeated that the question is not doctrinal, but pastoral. What is your response to that?

CB: That simply is a false distinction. There cannot be anything that's truly pastorally sound which is not doctrinally sound. In other words: you cannot divide the truth from love. In other words still: it can't be loving not to live the truth. And so to say that we're just making pastoral changes that have nothing to do with doctrine is false. If you admit persons who are in irregular matrimonial unions to Holy Communion, then you're directly making a statement about the indissolubility of marriage, because Our Lord said: “He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” And the person in an irregular matrimonial union is living in a publicly adulterous state. If you give Holy Communion to that person then somehow you're saying that this is alright doctrinally. But it can't be.

LSN: So the simple fact of putting that under discussion is already an error.

CB: Yes. In fact I have asked more than once that these subjects which have nothing to do with the truth about marriage be taken out of the agenda of the synod. [If people want to discuss these questions, fine, but they have nothing to do with the Church's teaching on marriage.] And the same goes for the question of sexual acts between people of the same sex, and so forth.

- - -

LSN: How can the Church really help all those concerned: abandoned spouses, children of legitimate marriages who are hurt by the divorce of their parents, people who are struggling with homosexual tendencies or who have in a way let themselves be “trapped” into an illegitimate union? And what should our attitude be: the attitude of the faithful?

CB: What the Church can do, and that is the greatest act of love on the part of the Church, is to present the teaching on marriage, the teaching that comes from Christ's very words, the teaching which has been constant in the tradition, to everyone, as a sign of hope for them. And also, to help them to recognize the sinfulness of the situation in which they find themselves, and at the same time  call them to leave that sinful situation and to find a way to live in accord with the truth. And that's the only way the Church can help. That was my great hope for the synod: that the synod would hold up to the world the great beauty of marriage, and that beauty is the truth about marriage. I always say to people: indissolubility is not a curse, it is the great beauty of the marital relationship. This is what gives beauty to the relationship between a man and a woman, that the union is indissoluble, that it is faithful, that it is procreative. But now one almost begins to get the impression that somehow the Church is ashamed of the very beautiful treasure which we have in marriage, as God made man and woman from the beginning.

- - -

LSN: Would you agree, as a number of people are saying, that many Catholic marriages today, through insufficient preparation or ignorance of the meaning of the marriage vows, are often invalid? What was your specific experience on this point as prefect of supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura?

CB: I thing it's very unwarranted to make general statements about the number of marriages which are valid or invalid. Each marriage must be examined, and the fact that people may have not been well catechized and so forth certainly can weaken them for the married life, but it would not necessarily be an indication that they would give an invalid matrimonial consent, because nature itself teaches us about marriage. We saw this at the Apostolic Signatura: yes, there were more declarations of nullity of marriage but in examining those cases there were many that came forward in which the nullity of marriage was not established, was not shown to be true.

- - -

LSN: Do you think there is a link between the “death of the cult” – non adoring, anthropocentric liturgy – and the culture of death?

CB: I'm very convinced that where abuses entered into liturgical practice in the Church, abuses which reflected a very anthropocentric direction, in other words, where the sacred worship began to be presented as the activity of man instead of the action of God in our midst, that clearly has led people in a wrong direction, and has had a very negative impact on the life of every individual and in a particular way upon married life. The beauty of married life is in a very particular way perceived and confirmed in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.n to be true.

- - -

LSN: How can we best remain faithful to the Church and to the Pope in these troubled times?

CB: By adhering very clearly to what the Church has always taught and practiced; this is our anchor. Our faith is not in individual persons, our faith is in Jesus Christ. He alone is our salvation, and He is alive for us in the Church through her teaching, through her sacraments, and through her discipline. I say to people – because many people today are in communication with me who find themselves quite confused, they're worried and upset – no, we must remain calm, and we must remain full of hope by coming to an ever deeper appreciation of the truth of our faith, and adhering to that. That's unchanging, and that will be victorious in the end. Christ told Saint Peter when he made his confession of faith: "The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church." We know that this is true, and we have to suffer in the meantime for the truth, but we must be confident that Our Lord will win the victory in the end.


May God bless Cardinal Burke, and may He protect His Church.

24 March 2015

"Go, and now sin no more.": The Mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ

What is quoted above are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the God-Man Who alone among men had the power to forgive sins. The Lord Who handed on this power to forgive sins, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to priests and bishops. They forgive sins in His name and by His power.

They are the men He designated to effect His mercy to penitent sinners.

I quote the above ending to John 8:11, because our Holy Father preached again yesterday on the topic of mercy and excoriated the "rigid who punish in the penitent [what] they themselves hide in their own soul."

He gives the beautiful example of forgiveness and mercy recorded in the eighth chapter of John, involving the woman caught in adultery.  His Holiness stated, "I would just say some of the most beautiful and moving phrases from the Gospel: 'no one condemned you?' - 'No, no one, Lord' - 'Neither do I condemn'. Neither do I condemn you: one of the most beautiful phrases because it is full of mercy."

In what is likely an oversight, the remainder of verse 11 was omitted.  

- - -

This, of course, is the crux of the upcoming "Year of Mercy" and the looming threat of the Synod against on the Family.  Our Lord-- addressing the woman caught in adultery-- states as follows:

"Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? 11Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more."

That is true mercy: forgiveness, and liberation from sin.  The admonition to "sin no more", and the freedom to "sin no more."

Our Lord said it Himself.  He also spoke very clearly about the indissolubility of marriage and the impossibility of divorce and remarriage (Mark 10: 2-12):

And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

And I consider this one of the most beautiful phrases of the Gospels, as it upholds marital love and dignity, and ensures the viability and protection of families.  Families of human beings with immortal souls, destined for heaven.

Please note, moreover, that it was the Pharisees who sought to tempt Him by asking if divorce were permissible.  And Jesus told them that the Mosaic concession of divorce was in the Old Law because of their hardness of heart.

Who are the rigid ones again?

And despite the machinations of Cardinal Kasper and others of whatever ecclesiastical rank, the Vicars of Christ for nearly 2,000 years have witnessed to the immutability of this doctrine and the necessary corollary that to allow unrepentant sinners to receive Holy Communion would be to encourage and sanction sacrilege.  Pope John Paul II, who was canonized by the current pope, addressed this matter in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.  After discussing the difficulties of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, he stated this:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."(180)

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord's command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.

Now, of course the truth does not have an expiration date, but even by Vatican II standards, this authoritative teaching is of recent vintage.  

In fact, it is but 33 years old-- the same age as Our Lord when He was executed by His enemies for preaching the Gospel.

19 March 2015

Feast of St. Joseph

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales to St. Joseph

Glorious St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, grant us thy paternal protection, we beseech thee by the Heart of Jesus Christ.

Oh thou, whose power extends to all our necessities and can render possible for us the most impossible things, open thy fatherly eyes to the needs of thy children.

In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee. Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries. Make its happy outcome be for God's glory and for the good of his devoted servants.

Litany of St. Joseph

V/ Lord, have mercy.
R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Christ, have mercy.
R/ Christ, have mercy.

V/ Lord, have mercy.
R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Jesus, hear us.
R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.

V/ God, the Father of Heaven,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Holy Spirit,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ Holy Trinity, One God,
R/ have mercy on us.

R/for ff: pray for us.

Holy Mary,
St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world.
R/ have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of his household.
R/ And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever. R/ Amen.

18 March 2015

Homework Assignment

On the road today. Check out Hilary White's excellent post at The Remnant (see sidebar), which I plan to address at length tomorrow. 

16 March 2015

God Bless Mark Shea

He stoops down to link to my blog, and lumps me in with about 357 other blogs, writers, news services, publications and politicians on his (I guess) enemies list.  There doesn't seem to be any common thread among us, though, except that we aren't Mark Shea. Is it a compliment or not?  I can't make it out. Maybe it is intended as a humor piece.  Who can say in this crazy, workaday world?

Well, let me be the first to try to make the peace.  Mark, you are my brother in Christ.  I wish you nothing but the best.  You are always a fascinating read.  God bless you!  

Always a Master of Timing...

Rorate reports that Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly of the SSPX, will (presumably illicitly) consecrate one or perhaps two new bishops, as soon as the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19. 

You undoubtedly recall that the making public of Bishop Williamson's holocaust-musing interview caused great damage to the Pope and the SSPX at the time of the lifting of the Lefebvre/Castro-Mayer/SSPX 4 excommunications.

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Bishop Williamson certainly seems to be gauging the boundaries of it.  Not content with one lifting of one excommunication, perhaps he will seek a second.

Now, watch for the media to lump this action in with either 1) the SSPX and their status; or, 2) all traditional Catholics.  Or both.

Launch of New Canon Law Assistance Non-Profit Organization


I am happy to post notice of the formation and my recommendation of a new, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity whose aim it is to assist souls who have need of the professional help of a canon lawyer. It is founded and directed by an excellent canon lawyer personally known to me who has served the Holy Father in the Roman Rota in the Vatican and in Diocesan Tribunals across the globe. Canonical Aid offers rare, expert assistance to Priests, Religious, laity, and canonically-recognized entities.

One of the more intriguing elements of Canonical Aid is its intention to back up faithful who have suffered from: 1) Grave Doctrinal Error from the pulpit or in the classroom, 2) Denial of Holy Communion or other grave liturgical violations, 3) Other abuses of any kind from those holding ecclesiastical authority, e.g. priests or seminarians in need of help.

To learn more about and benefit from services offered, or to support this praiseworthy effort with a tax-deductible donation, please click here for their website. I also link it at the sidebar.

13 March 2015

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Archbishop Carlson Remind Clergy and Faithful not to Attend Medjugorje Events

Archbishop Carlson has written a letter to all clerics of the Archdiocese that they are to avoid events promoting the alleged-but-not-approved Medjugorje apparitions. An event that was scheduled next week has been cancelled. Good to see vigilance at the Chancery and CDF on this.

John 12: 1-6

Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made him a supper there: and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.

11 March 2015

Well I wandered alone through a desert of stone
And I dreamt of my future wife
My sword's in my hand and I'm next in command
In this version of death called life
My plate and my cup are right straight up
I took a rose from the hand of a child
When I kiss your lips, the honey drips
But I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

Every day we meet on any old street
And you're in your girlish prime
The short and the tall are coming to the ball
I go there all the time
Behind every tree, there's something to see
The river is wider than a mile
I tried you twice, you can't be nice
I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

Here come the nurse with money in her purse
Here come the ladies and men
You push it all in and you've no chance to win
You play 'em on down to the end
I'm laying in the sand getting a sunshine tan
Moving along riding in style
From my toes to my head, you knock me dead
I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

I count the years and I shed no tears
I'm blinded to what might have been
Nature's voice makes my heart rejoice
Play me the wild song of the wind
I found hopeless love in the room above
When the sun and the weather were mild
You're as fine as wine, I ain't handing you no line
But I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

All the merry little elves can go hang themselves
My faith is as cold as can be
I'm stacked high to the roof and I'm not without proof
If you don't believe me, come see
You think I'm blue, I think so too
In my words, you'll find no guile
The game's gotten old, the deck's gone cold
And I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

The game's gotten old, the deck's gone cold
I'm gonna have to put you down for a while

-- Huck's Tune
, by Bob Dylan

The New Holy League

A group of Catholics concerned about the state of affairs these days has formed a new group to encourage men to be steadfast in their faith.  Supported by Cardinal Burke, the group's website provides the following information:

Holy League History

Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. By prayer and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the Ottoman Turks, saving Christendom and western civilization. At this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching. The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12). In response, faithful Catholics are longing to come together to combat these preternatural forces of evil. These men need something that will bring them together so that they can all work toward a common goal. The goal is to be in the state of grace, and that is why a new Holy League is being formed.

Holy League Vision

The Vision of the Holy League is to develop a network of parish based regular monthly Holy Hours with confession and fraternity for men.


The Holy League, in a Spirit of Marian Chivalry, under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Joseph, seeks to provide opportunities for the faithful to unite in prayer, especially monthly Eucharistic Holy Hours, for purification from sin and predisposition to Supernatural Grace for the fuller exercise of the threefold offices of Priest, Prophet, and King received at Baptism. The particular prayer of the Holy League is the monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour.

The Holy League, in fidelity to its mission as a Roman Catholic solidarity movement:
  • provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates: Eucharistic adoration, prayer, short spiritual reflections, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity;
  • encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Purest Heart of Joseph;
  • promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church; especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary;
  • creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat;
  • strives to have a regular monthly Holy League Holy Hour available to men in every Roman Catholic parish.

09 March 2015

The Best Satire is the Kind You Think Could Be Real

With all kinds of thanks to the Beer Baron, this piece of wonderfulness from SFWeekly:

San Francisco Parents Shocked to Learn that Catholic Schools Are Catholic

By Benjamin Wachs

San Francisco parents of children enrolled at local Catholic schools were recently shocked to discover that their children are attending schools run by Catholics.

The discovery was made after the local Archbishop, an official of the Catholic Church, sent letters to local teachers employed by the Catholic Church, reminding them of some of the things that the Catholic Church believes in. Those things offended many San Francisco parents, who say they were horrified to discover that the church which they have asked to educate their children might be influencing the way their kids think.

“I had no idea this was really a Catholic school,” said San Francisco mother of two Benita Bentley. “I thought it was just an extremely ironic public school. You know: ‘look at us, we’re so Catholic.’ Like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”

Local father Greg T., who self-identifies as gayer than you, said that he finds the idea that the Catholic schools are Catholic to be offensive.

“I strongly object to the hateful, oppressive, messages the Catholic church has been constantly sending out for the last 2,000 years,” he said. “So when I entrusted my children to them, I expected better. To find out that the Church which has never accepted me doesn’t accept me … well, obviously I’m going to sign a petition.”

Parents say that the letter sent by the Archbishop, which reiterated that the Catholic church objects to abortion and sex of any kind outside of marriage, among many other things, was “judgy” and “might make people protesting the Catholic church feel that it is not welcoming.” They have signed a petition asking the Archdiocese to change its positions, or at least never mention them where other people could hear about it.

San Francisco father Jon Davidson, who contributes to a local atheist blog, was among the petition's organizers. “Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse: for the Catholic church to believe in God in their own schools, and expose my child to it … or for the God they believe in to have opinions about things. Either way, this is a violation. I don’t know how this happened. We were all completely blindsided.”

But it’s not just parents who are upset. Local teachers at area Catholic schools say they can’t believe they are being asked not to dispute Catholic doctrine.

“No other employer would punish an employee for publicly protesting their product to their customers,” said mathematics teacher Wilma Marker, who says she finds the Catholic church to be “vile, reprehensible, and come with an excellent benefits package.”

“I disagree with everything they stand for, and use all my summer vacations to undermine their cultural authority, but other than that it’s a great fit,” she added. “I just need them to shift a bit on their doctrines and principles. You know, so I’ll feel comfortable.”

Reached for comment, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he didn’t understand the controversy. “This was not meant to offend anyone,” he said, in Latin, “only to reinforce the iron grip of clerical authority over everyone’s personal lives. I’m sure that if I’m given a chance to explain, calmly and gently, that we will judge the quality of their souls on the basis of their lifestyles, that everyone will fall in line. Trust me: we’re really good at this. It’s what we’re famous for.”

Parents were not convinced. “It’s almost enough for me to send my children to public school,” said Thompson. “But I mean, not really, I would never do that.”

"We sadly find the need to speak about 'traditional' marriage, as if there were another kind of marriage."

The great defender of the faith, Raymond Cardinal Burke, delivered these words in a speech this past weekend for the UK pro-life group Voice of the Family. From the full post:

On Friday evening in Chester there was standing-room only as the Cardinal spoke on the theme “Remaining in the Truth of Christ on Holy Matrimony”. Bishop Mark Davies, Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury was present, as were many priests, journalists and families who had travelled from all over the UK. Cardinal Burke said: “Today, for example, we sadly find the need to speak about ‘traditional’ marriage, as if there were another kind of marriage. There is only one kind of marriage as God has given it to us from the Creation and as Christ has redeemed it by His saving Passion and Death.”

He continued: “Even within the Church, there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy, who condone the violation of the conjugal union by means of contraception in the name of pastoral understanding, and who, in the name of tolerance, remain silent about the attack on the very integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

The cardinal said that the faithful must be ready to suffer, as Christians have suffered down the ages, to defend the sanctity of Holy Matrimony.

True words, for whether or not we care to suffer for the sanctity of Holy Matrimony and the sacraments, suffering will indeed come to us.  May God give us the graces we need to suffer with charity and joy.

06 March 2015

Credit Where Due

I don't agree with some of his tactical decisions, and sometimes with his tone, but it is undeniable that Michael Voris does a lot of good with his apostolate. Vox Cantoris, in light of Fr. Rosica's backing down of his lawsuit threat, posted this thank you to Voris and others. I am happy to link to it here.

05 March 2015

Pilgrimage Opportunity: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest Ordinations, June 27 to July 6, 2015

Canon Michael Stein, ICRSS, will be leading a pilgrimage from the United States to Italy for the Institute's Ordinations Week this summer.  The ten-day pilgrimage runs from June 27 to July 6.

The faithful will visit the Institute's Seminary in Gricigliano, where they will receive a guided tour.  They will see seminarians receive their cassocks and ordinations to the Minor Orders.  They will assist at Pontifical Masses for the Ordinations of Subdeacons, Deacons and Priests.  This year's priestly ordinations will be conferred by His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke, in Florence.

There will also be sightseeing in Florence, Siena, Orvieto and Rome.  At Rome, the faithful will attend the Pope's Sunday Angelus and assist at Mass at the Institute's Roman apostolate Church, Gesu e Maria.  Holy Mass will be offered daily in the Usus Antiquior throughout the pilgrimage.

For more information, see the Institute's website here.

Prayer of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus

O Christ Jesus, Incarnate Word, Who came down from heaven so as to reveal to us the secrets that You, the only-begotten Son of God, ever contemplate "in the heart's-embrace of the Father," I believe and I acknowledge that You are God, as the Father is; His equal. I believe in You; I believe in Your works; I believe in Your Person; I believe that You came from the Father, that You are one with the Father; that whoever sees You sees also Him. I believe that You are "the resurrection and the life." I believe this and, believing it, I adore You, and consecrate to Your service the whole of my being, the whole of my activity, the whole of my life.  I believe in You, Christ Jesus, but increase my faith.

-- from Christ in His Mysteries, by Blessed Columba Marmion

02 March 2015

Lenten Retreat for Ladies at the Oratory on March 14

Saturday, March 14, 2015, from 8 am to 3:30 pm at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Rev. Canon Jean-Marie Moreau, ICRSS, Retreat Master.

The day will include Mass, three spiritual conferences, adoration, benediction and confession. A light breakfast and full lunch will be served. Ages 17 and over.

Cost: $35. For more information call (573) 459-5531 or email oratoryretreat@gmail.com.

There Was Joy in the Catacombs

Not merely fear, but true joy.

Further to my post about learning from Jesus in the desert how to fight with joy, I have been wanting to provide a link to an Ann Barnhardt post called Plausible Hypothesis on What Exactly the “Abomination ofDesolation” Might Be, but haven't had the time to write the introduction to it that I wanted to make sure readers read first.  You see, I like her work. She is obviously intelligent, faithful, and willing to fight for the faith. She is an intense, pull-no-punches type, though, and since I don't necessarily agree with all of her positions I didn't want to get lots of emails lamenting the link and my intransigence, etc. 

You see, I don't mind disagreeing with people for whom I have respect, and I don't mind acknowledging agreement with others with whom I don't always agree.  I know this is common sense, but in the social media-driven, PC environment, filled with products of modern education systems, it needs to be stated.

Well, back to the link.  I was shaken out of my lethargy by a Jeff Culbreath post called Preparing for the Catacombs, that covered the Barnhardt post and added his own observations.

To sum up:  Barnhardt speculates on the possibility that the Synod against on the Family this October might produce a system that is the "abomination of desolation" about which Our Lord warned us. And she states what she would do about it.  Culbreath gives his own take, that the semi-underground network faithful Catholics have tapped into as a lifeline for the last couple of decades or more will be severely tested and much reduced. 

Read both posts. They are well worth your time.

My take on both?  I enjoy the speculation game as much as anyone. But whether the result of the Synod, should it abandon the very words of Our Lord on marriage and Holy Communion, is or isn't the abomination of desolation, it remains that it will be an unmitigated disaster.  And tremendous pressure will be brought to bear on faithful priests and on the faithful themselves.  One can easily see a purge within the Church on priests, and a secular persecution (undefended against by the official Church and with its tacit blessing) outside the Church on the lay faithful.

Our response must be faithfulness and joy.  As Cardinal Burke said, the victory is assured, but first, our way is the Way of the Cross. There will be suffering, but there must be joy, or else we are unworthy of the Name of Jesus. Our fathers embraced the catacombs and their own gruesome deaths, all for the sake of the Name. We must be grateful, joyful Christians, for we will be smeared as the schismatics and heretics.  So be it.

This is why prayer in advance of the Synod is so necessary, along with making our voices in defense of the truth known.  It would be very nice if this did not come to pass; we are told to pray that we be not led into temptation, but delivered from evil.  Martyrs, to be martyrs, need special graces, and now is not the time for presumption.

Again, referencing Cardinal Burke, we need to support each other and be close to each other more than ever now.

"We know that the gates of Hell will not prevail, but in the meantime, our way is the Way of the Cross."

"I frequently say to those who are writing to me and are expressing such discouragement, or are asking for direction in what seems to be a very troubled situation, that when, in times like this, there seems to be some confusion in the governance of the Church, then we have, more than ever, to steep ourselves in the Church's constant teaching and to hand that on to our children and to strengthen the understanding of that teaching in our local parishes and our families.

And our Lord has assured us -- He didn't tell us that there wouldn't be attacks on the Church, even from within, but He has assured us that the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church. In other words, Satan, with his deceptions, will never finally prevail in the Church. We have to have that confidence about us and go about it with great joy and great determination, in teaching the faith, or in giving witness with apologetics to souls who don't understand the faith or who have not yet become members of the Church.

We know that the gates of Hell will not prevail, but in the meantime, our way is the Way of the Cross. And when we have to suffer for the sake of what we believe, what we know to be true, we can embrace that suffering with the knowledge of the final outcome: that is, that Christ is the Victor. He is the one that ultimately overcomes all the forces of evil in the world and restores us and our world to the Father.

That is the way in which I try to encourage faithful Catholics. I think it's important, too, that devout traditional Catholics get to know one another and support one another, to bear one another's burdens, as the Scripture says. We ought to be prepared to do that and be sensitive to families that might be suffering some particular difficulty in this regard, and try to be as close to one another as possible."

-- Raymond Cardinal Burke, responding to a question on how His Eminence would encourage traditional Catholics in these dismal times. Full interview at Rorate Caeli.