29 June 2016

Clarification of Blog "Mission Statement"

There aren't many left who care, perhaps, but I thought it a good time to put down in writing what I have been thinking awhile about the nature of this platform. The need has been reflected in the sporadic and unfocused posts of the last year.

I started the blog to support the traditional faith and sacramental practice of the Catholic Church, and secondarily to support and defend Cardinal Burke (then-Archbishop of St. Louis) from unjust attack.  Woven in and out of this mission was my intent to spout off on other topics as I saw fit, but keeping in mind the mission above. Part commentary, part comedy, part devotional, part news.

As the fortunes of Cardinal Burke and the traditional Mass rose (as the world measures such things), so did the relative reach of this blog.  As they have receded (as the world measures such things), so has the relative reach of this blog. So be it. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Lately, I don't know if you've noticed it, there has been this unprecedentedly horrible pontificate with lots of problematic documents, interviews, disciplinary decisions and the like. This pontificate, if you haven't heard, is wildly popular with people who hate the Church, and has wounded, divided and dismayed the ever-dwindling number of people who love the Church.

Because of this phenomenon, I have gotten bogged down, personally and blog-wise, with trying to say something about it to help people who love the Church-- to sound the alarm, to rally, to confront as each day's outrage seemed to prompt me. The problem with this is that I am not uniquely qualified to do any of that, and the blog's content may sometimes give a false impression that things are hopeless, or that I am in danger of despair, or even have given into despair. I have not despaired. My faith in the Church is strong, maybe stronger than ever. I remain optimistic even about the Church's future, knowing that Christ's triumph is certain.

More than anything, blogging about events has been a constant temptation to sin for me personally in many ways, even while also at times being an inspiration to persevere as well.  Complicated.

The real issue with my lack of unique qualification to "fix" things is that whatever good can be done by good people speaking out, there are at least several others out there doing it better than I am and with a far greater reach of readership than I have.  SLC too often has been a mere echo chamber for them. Nothing wrong with that per se, but not worth the time and energy I have given it. That ends today. 

Because the news of the bad never stops with this pontificate, and the alarm has been sounded. 

All who have ears have heard it, and all who plug their ears will never hear.

This is not to say that I will back down from defending the faith. With God's grace, never. But I needn't have the pretense of thinking you need to hear from me on every controversy when it is well covered elsewhere.

The constant controversies have distracted from my main goals as originally conceived. Even certain local persons who love the traditional Mass have distanced themselves from this blog, and that is something that bothers me greatly.

Back to basics.

I'm not retiring, but I will focus on what I intended to do from the beginning. Support the traditional Mass, sacraments and faith. Support faithful prelates, priests and laymen. Mix the news and commentary with devotional items and humor.  Focus on quality over quantity. Be a place for faithful Catholics to visit and enjoy. 

The new old Saint Louis Catholic.

28 June 2016

Consider This

Scott Adams has a unique and exceptionally insightful post on why the issue of "gun control" will never be solved by consensus in this country. Warning, the post might make you uncomfortable, because it asks you to think honestly. Excerpts:

On average, Democrats... use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime.

On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense.


So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine.

So let’s stop acting as if there is something like “common sense” gun control to be had if we all act reasonably. That’s not an option in this case because we all have different risk profiles when it comes to guns. My gun probably makes me safer, but perhaps yours makes you less safe. You can’t reconcile those interests.

Our situation in the United States is that people with different risk profiles are voting for their self-interests as they see it. There is no compromise to be had in this situation unless you brainwash one side or the other to see their self-interest differently. And I don’t see anyone with persuasion skills trying to do that on either side.

27 June 2016

This Isn't News

If you were expecting anything different, you are smoking some of that grass in which St. Gabriel Parish has their annual Mass. Note, Justice Scalia's death made no difference in the outcome. Note, Reagan-appointee Kennedy ensures that babies will continue to be sacrificed to Moloch without even a nod to protecting the lives of their murderers mothers.

The system is exposed as thoroughly venal, corrupt, immoral, vile.  The same happens in every worldly institution and, God help us, with so much of the Church.  The masks are off.

All those little arms and legs and crushed skulls and salinated, exploded corpses will rejoin on Judgement Day and they will be pointing at us.

Who can abide the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appeareth?

Kyrie Eleison!

Just Like That...

24 June 2016

"The Lord hath called me from the womb"-- The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today's Gospel, Luke 1: 57-68:

1 57 Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come: and she brought forth a son.
1 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her: and they congratulated with her.
1 59 And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him by his father's name Zachary.
1 60 And his mother answering, said: Not so. But he shall be called John.
1 61 And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
1 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
1 63 And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. 1 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed: and he spoke, blessing God. 1 65 And fear came upon all their neighbours: and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.
1 66 And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.
1 67 And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost. And he prophesied, saying:
1 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people.

21 June 2016

In a Nutshell: "We have a Pope who is convinced that in all matters, not just marriage, the Church ought to be conformed to the way he thinks things ought to be, regardless of all prior teaching and discipline."

The unfortunate but entirely unsurprising debacle of Francis' remarks last week on marriage (most Catholic marriages are null but many fornicating shack-ups are true marriages) continues to resound in the Church.  The well is so poisoned for the bishop, priest, or layman who tries to uphold the sacramental reality that the incident bears continued deploration. In the context of the internet, a whole week is forever, but until this thing is repudiated by Francis himself it should be deplored forever.  

It is with that in mind that I present a take by Christopher Ferrara on this subject, one in which he also notes the dismay of Phil Lawler and Ed Peters. As usual, clearly thought out and persuasive.

In other news just normal for the end of the world, Ann Barnhardt came out and declared her opinion that Francis is an antipope, and that Benedict XVI remains the true pope-- based on her view of the invalidity of the purported abdication. Rorate, whether in response to her or not, I know not, published a piece opining that Francis is just the horrific (but real) pope we deserve.

Since it is my blog, and you are still reading this, I'll restate my take, which you can assume unless I ever publish something to the contrary.  I understand the theory that Benedict may have either resigned out of grave fear, or may have not resigned everything of his office (the ludicrous papal expansion/ two popes/ active contemplative thing). If true, his abdication would not be effective and he would remain pope. I also get the argument, which I find less persuasive, that the irregularities in the conclave that elected Francis made the election invalid-- though I find this most unlikely. The problem with these theories is that whether they are true or not, we do not have enough information to confirm them. Ann Barnhardt, God bless her, has strong opinions and is not afraid to share them (good).  But she has a habit of taking one possible scenario and declaring it as an established fact, as though her own act of concluding it is a foundational piece of evidence.

On the other hand, Rorate's editorial that Francis is true pope, and a scourge sent from God, is also an opinion.  They make that clear in the title of their post: Editorial. That's what an editorial is, an opinion. They say that our sins have earned such a pope; they are 100% right about that.  But one could also say that our sins have earned an antipope. Like Ann Barnhardt, and indeed most of us in the world, we do not have enough information to discredit the notion that Benedict didn't abdicate.

Which is worse? Does it matter?

The end result for me is that until we have such evidence to confirm or deny the abdication of Benedict XVI, I must assume that Francis is actually the reigning pope. And believe me, it is not because I like that assumption.  As a lawyer, everything is easier for me if Francis is antipope, because all his nonsense and purported changes of Church policies (or worse) are simply null and void, legally. A practical mess of biblical proportions, maybe, but legally void. The charism of the Church, her spotlessness, her infallibility, are all blissfully untouched and unbesmirched. It isn't an impossibility; the Church has had many antipopes. Why not now? Yet again, I certainly see God smiting us with a horrible pope. In the face of uncertainty, I have to give the apparent results of 2013 the benefit of the doubt.

If I were not trying to be a faithful Catholic, but merely an observer with a legal education placing a bet at a Vegas book, I would state that I think it more likely than not that Benedict's purported abdication was invalid, and that he is still pope, making Francis and anyone who comes after him during Benedict's life an antipope. But that is too light a burden of proof for so weighty a matter, and I distrust my own motives and opinions.

Well, there's another wordy post coming to an end. I'm sorry it's so long, and I really do regret that I felt the need to write explicitly what I have felt for a long, long time. My own struggle with this whole stupid blog exercise comes down to this: I don't want to deny Christ before men, I want to be "on record" in support of Him. I submit to the Roman Pontiff and love the Church.  Yet I don't want to lead any well-meaning readers astray with what are, essentially my own very fallible opinions. So I seek prudence. And finally, I definitely don't want to be among the lukewarm, whom Christ will begin to vomit from His mouth. I simply lack the wisdom to know the right answers on this, and thus you see my blog go silent, careen from "positive" to "negative" without warning.

In the end, pope or antipope, we are called to resist any directives of Francis or anyone else that are sinful. And we are called to submit to the Roman Pontiff if we are to be among the saved. Unam Sanctam is still in effect.

How to live this? Pray, be faithful to the duties of our state of life, fast, give alms, avoid sin, try to get to heaven. The identity of the pope in this mission is irrelevant.  

Welcome to our wonderful times.

20 June 2016

Go Ahead and Tell Me Where He is Wrong

This is a Foreward by Michael Matt at the Remnant to an article there.  He discusses the importance to Modernists of changing the Mass before attempting to change doctrine. I can't find fault with it:

It is becoming apparent to this writer that many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, are waking to the harsh reality of what Pope Francis is all about. The next step is to help these same good people understand the harsh reality of what the entire Modernist revolution has been about ever since the days of St. Pius X, when popes were still vigorously battling this great ‘synthesis of all heresies’.

The Modernist revolution ‘came out of the closet’, if you will, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, but nowhere was its agenda made more abundantly apparent than in the systematic destruction of the Roman Rite, which took place in the aftermath of Vatican II and with the full blessing of the Spirit of Vatican II.

Once it is understood why Modernists at the ‘heart and bosom’ of the Church attacked the Mass first—because it was the liturgical stronghold, if you will, in which Catholic doctrine had been protected for centuries, and in which even the Latin itself made experimentation and novelty nearly impossible, and which day after day reinforced Catholic ideas so repugnant to Modernist notions of ecumenism, dialogue, universal salvationism, and ultimately the false moral liberty (a mere extension of the Modernists’ crowning achievement of a false religious liberty) on which the rise of abortion, contraception and the destruction of Christian marriage were wholly dependent—then it is easy to understand what’s been going on in the Church for a long time. Quite simply, we are all the victims of a massive Modernist coup d’état, for which our poor, beleaguered pontiff is nothing more than the ultimate poster boy.

The ascendency of Pope Francis to the Chair of St. Peter has always been the endgame of the Modernists—to get one of their own at the very top. Francis did not emerge from a vacuum, and it is unfair to him to suggest otherwise. This has been a long time coming, but, in so many ways, the success of the entire Modernist revolution that he now represents was wholly dependent on the destruction of the Roman Rite, the so-called Tridentine Mass—both from the spiritual as well as the practical perspective.

You don’t like Latin? You prefer vernacular? You enjoy the priest facing the people so you can see his face? Of course, and this is because through no fault of your own, you have been brainwashed by Modernists, causing your understanding of what liturgy is supposed to be to become fatally flawed. You think that liturgy should be all about you, and how it makes you feel, and how you respond to it, rather than about God and the proper worship owed to the Creator. And when it fails to entertain or to make us "feel" something, it becomes irrelevant to us, just as it became irrelevant to millions of fallen-away Catholics since the introduction of the Novus Ordo.

How you and I “feel” about the Mass is really quite irrelevant. In true Luciferian fashion, the point and purpose of the Mass have been inverted. The Modernists knew what they were doing, and superficial abuses such as altar girls and use of the vernacular pale in severity when compared to what they were really all about—the end of the worthy sacrifice that since the beginning of history man knew he owed to God. Thus tables replaced altars, women and guitar strummers diverted attention away from priests, communion rails were razed to make room for ‘gathering spaces’, tabernacles--the holy of holies--were shoved off to the side if not removed from the church altogether, and celebrating the communal meal suplanted God offering God to God on the altar of sacrifice.

Come Quickly, O Mother of God!

In Quito, Ecuador, on Jan. 20, 1610, Our Lady appeared carrying a crozier in Her right hand and her Divine Son in her left arm so that “all will know that I am merciful and understanding. Let them come to me, for I will lead them to Him.” She told Mother Mariana that in the twentieth century “the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs, for Satan will reign almost completely by means of the Masonic sects. They will focus particularly on the children in order to achieve this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times.” Obviously she is speaking of the secular humanist revolution about which so much has been written that has completely invaded the secular as well as religious institutions of our times.

Our Lady continued, describing the abuses that would attack each of the Sacraments: “Woe to the children of these times because it will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and also that of Confirmation.” She warned that the devil would assiduously try to destroy the sacrament of Confession and Holy Communion. She lamented the many sacrileges and abuses of the Blessed Sacrament that would occur. The Sacrament of Extreme Unction would be little esteemed and many people would die without receiving it, thus denied assistance they would need for that “great leap from time to Eternity.”

The Sacred Sacrament of Holy Orders would be ridiculed, oppressed and despised. The demon would labor unceasingly to corrupt the clergy and would succeed with many of them. And these “depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church to fall upon all priests. This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings upon the good pastors of the Church.”

About the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, she said this: “Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin.  The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of Faith until it reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. In these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury that would conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, those who should speak will fall silent.”

Our Lady told Mother Mariana, the religious Conceptionist who received the revelations, that the souls who would remain faithful in those difficult times would need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. Moments would come when everything would seem to be lost and paralyzed, but that would be the moment, she promised, of the “happy beginning of the complete restoration.” “My hour will arrive” she foretold, “when I, in an amazing manner, will overthrow proud Satan, crushing him under my feet, chaining him in the infernal abyss, leaving the Church and the land free of this cruel tyranny.”

Pewsitter and Canon 212 News

Many readers have followed Pewsitter as a faithful Catholic news aggregator.  I would say it had a faithful Catholic editorial bias, with a strong predisposition to traditional Catholic expression. Not long ago, though, the person running parted ways with the site, leaving it in the hands of the former aggregator.  Now, I would classify it as faithul, but a bit neoconservative/neocatholic in its bias. Worth reading, but noticeably different than before.

Well, in good news, the recently departed aggregator has a new site functioning as it did before.  I am happy to link it at right:  Canon212.com.  

Best of luck on the new site, hope it builds traffic quickly.  It isn't like there isn't a need for it in these days of constant change.

17 June 2016

Ed Peters Lights a Candle

Look, fine canonist that he is, I have had some run-ins with Ed Peters in the past, particularly during the Unknown Canon Lawyer X debates over veiling (what a wonderful, whimsical time that now appears to be!). But today he has written a simply great piece on the validity of most sacramental marriages.  

Cursing the darkness is necessary sometimes, but this article is a nice, common sense candle that sheds real light.  I thank him for it. Excerpts, with a few emphases of my own:

...Consider: Marriage is that natural human relationship established by God as the normal way for nearly all adults to live most of their lives. God blesses marriage and assists married persons to live in accord with this beautiful state in life. When, moreover, baptized persons enter this quintessential human relationship, Christ adds the special graces of a sacrament and assists married Christians to live as signs of his everlasting spousal union with his Church.

To assert, then, that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” is really to claim that the great majority of Christians have failed to enter the most natural of human states and have failed to effect between themselves the exact sacrament that Christ instituted to assist them in it. The collapse of human nature presupposed for such a social catastrophe and the massive futility of the Church’s sanctifying mission among her own faithful evidenced by such a debacle would be—well, it would be the matrimonial version of nuclear winter. I am at a loss to understand how anyone who knows anything about either could seriously assert that human nature is suddenly so corrupted and Christ’s sacraments are now so impotent as to have prevented “the great majority” of Christians from even marrying! How can anyone responsibly even posit such a dark and dismal claim, let alone demonstrate it?


This is just a blog post so, simply invoking the same extensive credentials to speak on Catholic marriage law that I invoked two years ago, let me just say that I believe that the great majority of Christian marriages are valid, that a matrimonial contract was therefore effected between the parties at the time of their wedding, and that by the will of Christ an indissoluble sacramental bond simultaneously arose between those spouses. To be clear, I also hold that many marriages are (and could be proven to be) canonically null and that the percentage of null marriages has indeed risen over recent decades, but I can and do reject anyone’s claim that the majority, let alone “the great majority”, of Christian marriages are null.

Time for Prayer. Always Time. But Especially Now.

Please don't ever say, "Things can't get any worse." Every time I say it, they always do.

15 June 2016

Christopher Manion Agrees with Me

Not that he knows or cares.  In fact, it might make him rethink his position.  But, for what it's worth, here is his entry at the LRC Blog:

Prediction: It’s Trump v. Biden

Christopher Manion

Why would Rollin’ Eyes Joe write a letter to the Stanford rape victim?

Oh, that’s right. He’s expressed his condolences to Bill Clinton’s victims too… Juanita Broaddrick was effusive in her gratitude to the Vice President for his warm and understanding letter….

Uh-oh – wrong universe.

So what’s really going on?

Joe sends letter to preempt Hillary in defense of women against rich boorish white males (yeah, like Joe. But I digress).

Joe is planning a silent coup. Bernie’s carcass is buried, but to no avail: Hillary’s campaign is beginning to smell like one too.

Superdelegates couldn’t “Feel the Bern” but they’ll switch to Joe in a heartbeat when Hillary’s numher comes up – indictment or no, she’ll be dry, cold toast.

And Joe will be hard to beat: Trump has already engraved “Crooked Hillary” in the nation’s subconscious. But he hasn’t yet patented a “Biden Brand” (although he has hinted, only hinted, that Biden will be his opponent in the fall).

[And then, there's this aside that nails the pornography culture prevalent today and gives an excellent piece of dating advice to young women:]

By the way: Joe’s boorish exploitation aside, the Stanford rape issue is a serious one. A freshman there tells me that porn virtually rules — as it does everywhere else, alas.

The Stanford rapist was merely acting out the “rough porn” that the addict invariably comes to prefer, and then long for. Eventually, he acts out his foul fantasy.

There will be much blather about alcohol, or when “yes” means “yes,” when classes reconvene in September. But there’s a much easier way for girls to maximize their safety:

“Do you do porn? SO LONG, LOSER!”

What Do Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey, Jr., Sam Kinison and Kurt Vonnegut Have in Common?

They all appeared in the 1986 comedy Back to School, of course. 

After throwing Bob Dylan pearls before Beatles swine for some time now (no offense to you if you like the Beatles, Modernism has had its hold on us for some time now-- Depart from Her!), I'm giving up on culture for a while.

Let us now celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Back to School with this little fluff piece taking you behind the scenes.  

14 June 2016

I Address This to All the Righteous Voters Who Wanted Me to Hold My Nose and Vote for McCain and Romney

Tell me again how you are #nevertrump? 

Let me see: I had to vote for a Hindu Mormon polytheist, or a total warmongering liberal neo-con, but not Trump?

What's that? He's personally immoral?  Did you vote for George H.W. Bush? Multiple marriages?  Did you vote for Reagan? McCain? He's been a libertine and a braggart? Did you vote for W? He's not really pro-life at heart?  Did you vote for Romney?

You don't want to vote because the system is rigged, or busted? That I get.  But if you believe that your vote matters, yet won't vote for Trump because your delicate conscience bothers you?  That I don't get.

Back to your telescreens.  Two Minutes' Hate is coming on.

I'm with Francis

You read that right.

In a fascinating little news item, Francis just rejected a donation from the President of Argentina to some favored foundation of the Pope's because it contained the digits "666" within the amount-- specifically, 16,666,000 pesos.  Not 666 pesos.  16,666,000 pesos.

Yes, this is weird.  If the amount were an intentional thing, like "I don't like you so my donation will contain the apocalyptic mark of the beast within it," then I'm with the Pope.  I don't want someone playing games with the See of Peter and it's not funny, so stick it, pal.

But, on the other hand, if it is an accidental occurrence like a random currency conversion thing, then I would likely ignore it. In fact, like most Francis gestures, this sure was made public so that all could see it.

Like I said, weird, though I get it. Maybe it strikes a nerve.

13 June 2016

Practicing True Mercy, Mercy 1.0

Crisis Magazine, one of the neo-Catholic opinion leaders for many years, has published an article quite favorable to the work of theInstitute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, focusing on their work in Chicago in the wake of the fire at the Shrine of Christ the King.  To have the good work of the Institute noted by Crisis is what I consider to be a very healthy development for us all-- even more importantly, the article by Michael Tamara contains a very good lesson on just what Mercy is, and what it is not.

I so often hear complaints in the comboxes on some liturgical posts that assume that no traditional expression of Catholicism could possibly include charity towards the poor, loving help to sinners, etc. Knowing that it isn't true doesn't lower the annoyance factor. One of my recent favorites involved a person saying they would start listening to my point of view when they saw traditionalist going into Africa and meeting the people where they were or some such.  I was happy to post links to-- the Institute, of course-- and their missions there, where the traditional expressions have found a happy home.  I would add that the other "traditional" Societies of Apostolic Life also have a strong missionary presence.

So, thanks to Crisis.  Here are some excerpts from the full article:

After referring to the Year of Mercy] ...As wonderful opportunities for extra graces continue to abound, confusion and debate over the true nature of mercy appear to be in no short supply, either. Alongside what Holy Mother Church has always understood the mercy of God to be, what we might call an unofficial “mercy 2.0” seems to have emerged in parallel. What is the difference, and how does this tie to Benedict XVI’s observations?

In brief, mercy seeks to lift and convert all souls to Christ in order to be perfected and saved in him; whereas mercy 2.0 seeks the precise inverse: to level and conform Christ to manmade ideas in order to produce affirmation, with or without conversion. Mercy challenges, builds, and draws upward; mercy 2.0 concedes, flattens, and tranquilizes.

Thanks to mercy 2.0, it is easy to get the impression that orthodoxy is an enemy of mercy, or at least a major obstacle toward it. One may get the sense that the two are mutually exclusive, or that pastoral sensitivity requires our churches and liturgies to be anything but traditional, deep, beautiful, or otherworldly.

“Humility” has come to imply shunning vestments, sacred vessels, and liturgical appointments of the highest quality and detail. “Approachability” and “relevance” have dictated the discarding or maiming of anything reminiscent of the way the Church “used to be,” including beautiful church interiors, the universal tongue, incense, Gregorian chant, and ultimately, transcendence itself. “Mercy,” depending on who is using the term, may now mean circumventing those definitive truths of the faith that are the most challenging for pluralistic societies, like the one discussed by the Holy Father Emeritus.

But why must it be this way? Mercy and evangelization—whether through words, gestures, music, or art and the built environment—certainly do begin with meeting people wherever they may be. However, is not the real and ultimate objective then for us to be called to something higher; to something eternal; to someone named Truth through his Holy Bride, the Church, in order that we may achieve salvation in Christ?


[After relating the fire at the Shrine and the decision of the Institute to rebuild] ...The entire neighborhood—including the nearby University of Chicago and the adjacent Presbyterian community, which generously volunteered space of their own to serve as a temporary home for the Shrine while the rebuilding takes place—seems profoundly grateful for the archbishop’s final decision. This is because what they see emanating from the Shrine is true vitality and true mercy, and it has been a saving grace for the community.

“We really need to offer people today solid food through their senses,” says Canon Talarico. “The Catholic faith is incarnational, so we have to be very present and accessible to the people through tangible things, like prayer processions in the streets, for example.” He says it’s about meeting people where they are, but in order to lift them up to Christ. “The Institute is trying to accompany people, but ultimately be the instrument of their sanctification.”

The Shrine is more than just a place where Catholics spend an hour on Sunday. It serves as a forum where people from the neighborhood can come together, network, and partake of cultural opportunities. For example, free classical concerts are regularly offered, where families and kids can meet and converse with the musicians afterward. The goal is to uplift and help people begin to find God through beauty. “We have people in the neighborhood who have left the Church previously, but are becoming reengaged socially, and that’s sometimes the first step in coming back to the sacraments,” remarks Canon Talarico.

What really draws people, however, is the anchor of the community: the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. “People are looking for reverence,” says the Canon. “People sense that there’s much more here than utilitarianism, and that our life is primarily about adoration of God. We come from him and realize we’re going back to him in heaven.”


But could the Shrine of Christ the King and other cases like it demonstrate a viable alternative to the conventional thinking of the past fifty years? Despite the fire, the congregation is growing, not shrinking, and one will find no sign of the two-sided crisis here; no trace of mercy 2.0. Nor will one find a contrived divorce of pastoral practice from immutable doctrine. A rich tenderness and charity are present, and they are effective precisely because the ICKSP has not removed or reinterpreted its reason for existence, but confidently asserted it like a beacon on a hill.

What we see here are simple stewards, not innovators or apologizers. They are being blessed by God with vibrancy and life against all worldly odds, and it’s happening without projection screens, laser shows, pop tunes, or patronizing gimmicks. Instead, it is the simple appeal of lasting mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ—channeled via the transcendent beauty of two millennia of Catholic tradition—that they are allowing to pour forth in all its radiance, unfiltered and unedited, so that many may come to believe.

Fatima Conference in St. Louis July 29-31

A word to the Fatima-wise in St. Louis: there is a conference being held in our fair town this July with a good roster of speakers on the topic, Fatima: The World's Only Hope.  Information can be found here.

Unpleasant Truth

First, of course the prayers of any decent person go out to those who were murdered in Orlando and to their families.  No one can know the state of any person's soul at death, except God.  This used to be basic knowledge in Catholic circles. This is why we are always called upon to pray for the dead, and not to assume that they are magically transported to heaven "just because", nor, even, to assume they are damned. A homosexual nightclub is a tough place from which to meet your Maker. May God have mercy on their souls.

We are even called to pray for the soul of the murderer.  Again, it doesn't look good to us, but who knows what went through his mind as he died, or what opportunity for repentance for his unbelief and his sins God showed him?

Now, the other reason for this post. It seems to me that whatever the cause, whatever the conspiracy theory, whatever the spin-- the image of a Muslim mowing down the masses of the effeminate West is as sure a symbol of our doom as I can imagine. If this really is an act of Islamic terrorism, the weak and cowardly reaction of our leaders in politics, the media, and the dependent mob sure isn't likely to deter other such attacks.

Not exactly a Lexington and Concord moment, if you get my drift.

I would say enjoy the ride to destruction, but I'll go ahead and guess it won't be pleasant.  

Keep the faith. It's all we have.

10 June 2016

Yo, Meatless Friday: Old Coot Edition up in Here

Dear Readers, 

I have charmed you in the past by posting an essay of the great Taki Theodoracopulos in which he lamented the demise of professional football.

Now, stand amazed, as I post an essay by the same Taki, lamenting the demise of professional tennis! Excerpts:

A former model by the name of Géraldine Maillet has made a documentary about the 2015 French Open, not exactly a stop-the-presses kind of story as it hit the video shops just as the 2016 Open began. The French Championships, as they were back then before the Open era of 1967, was my favorite tournament—Paris being Paris, the Parisian girls being, well, beautiful and easier than most, and a very laissez-faire attitude among tennis officials making it so.

Needless to say, the French Open is now a very different affair. Top players are multinational corporations, marketing is a sine qua non, and if one wants to speak to a player, one goes to his agent’s agent and negotiates an appointment. Everything is machinelike: the play, the way players act, their training, even the umpiring, with Cyclops overruling the human error. Players are protected from prying eyes inside the locker room, and from getting in each other’s heads by their limited access to them. Coaches, trainers, gurus, and dietitians make sure of it. Tennis is a soulless game made so by technology and hucksters who sell it to advertisers who in turn sell it for big corporation dollars. Hype rules supreme and debases the game. Everyone, with very few exceptions, looks and plays the same. The most banal questions precede and follow the matches by hacks who are basically cheerleaders. Welcome to the modern game of pro tennis. And we also have the elephants on court: doping and betting. The last two were Greek to the old-timers. No longer.


My story begins back in 1956, when I first hit the circuit, when money was paid to the stars under the table and players had no chairs between games, no umbrellas to shield them from the fierce sun, no bathroom breaks, no injury time, no masseurs, no tie-breaks, and no ball boys to hand them a towel between points. The big names were Rosewall, Hoad, Laver, Emerson, Newcombe, Drobny, Patty, Fraser, Krishnan, Washer, Pietrangeli, Santana, Osuna, I could go on. The atmosphere was one of youth, athleticism, good sportsmanship, fun, and long lazy hours waiting to play a match in country clubs, except for the four Grand Slams, which were played in stadiums.


We were all friends, traveled together, and only the Australian team had a coach, Harry Hopman, who was there to keep the boys out of trouble. Here’s an example of how raw things were back then: My doubles partner, Nico Kalogeropoulos, and I faced the top American team, Richey-Froehling, in the first round of the French. We won the first two sets and were in a long third one when Richey decided to break into the drinks container that no one had bothered to unlock before the match. While doing it he sprained his hand. Nicky and I decided that if he defaulted we would be robbed of a victory, so we gave him twenty minutes to fix his hand. They then proceeded to win 6-4-in the fifth set. Rafael Osuna, who had won the U.S championship in Forest Hills the year before, beating Frank Froehling in the final, loathed Richey, a Texan with no manners but a great fighter on court and almost as great a whiner. Rafe was so upset that I had lost—and seeing Richey not even thanking us for the break we gave him—he took out a knife and advanced towards Richey. I threw myself between them, telling Rafe that “a piece of s*** like Richey wasn’t worth jail time.” Richey apologized and we all shook hands. Rafael Osuna died soon after in a plane crash.

Yes, they were innocent, beautiful days—an Eden, as far as I’m concerned. But now let’s see the replay and listen to a message from our sponsor.


There.  Now be quiet, or I'll post on bullfighing again, with Bob Dylan signing in the background!

08 June 2016

Integrist is Intended to Be an Insult; Here is Why I Embrace the Term

Steve Skojec gets it.  The Liturgy is the key to everything.

Until the novus ordo is abolished, the novus ordo regime will survive.  Nothing gets fixed until the n.o. is history.

Sound harsh?  Too bad. It's true.

03 June 2016

Rejoice! The Thoughts of His Heart are from Generation to Generation

To deliver their souls from death and feed them in time of famine. 

So says today's Introit.  

Blessings to you and yours on this great day, during this time of famine. This is the door open to heaven, the narrow gate of His wounded Heart that opens so widely to sinners.

If you haven't hit Mass yet, go to St. Francis de Sales Oratory at 6:30pm.

02 June 2016

Like a Slap in the Face with a Wet Fish

While looking for a stock photo, I stumbled across this oldie-but-goodie about taking the kids to the movies.  I repost it here to highight that I used to write better, and apparently was in a better mood.

Happy Birthday to My Better 1/3

To the love of my life-- you're still too good for me!

01 June 2016


Pope to Celebrate "Reformation" in Sweden with "Common Prayer Service

Writing on Luther and the Errors in the 95 theses, the Pope declared:

"...No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are, how opposed they are to all charity and reverence for the holy Roman Church who is the mother of all the faithful and teacher of the faith; how destructive they are of the vigor of ecclesiastical discipline, namely obedience. This virtue is the font and origin of all virtues and without it anyone is readily convicted of being unfaithful.

Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord's field as harmful thornbushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church. Now Augustine maintained that her authority had to be accepted so completely that he stated he would not have believed the Gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church had vouched for it. For, according to these errors, or any one or several of them, it clearly follows that the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit is in error and has always erred. This is against what Christ at his ascension promised to his disciples (as is read in the holy Gospel of Matthew): "I will be with you to the consummation of the world"; it is against the determinations of the holy Fathers, or the express ordinances and canons of the councils and the supreme pontiffs. Failure to comply with these canons, according to the testimony of Cyprian, will be the fuel and cause of all heresy and schism.

With the advice and consent of these our venerable brothers, with mature deliberation on each and every one of the above theses, and by the authority of almighty God, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we condemn, reprobate, and reject completely each of these theses or errors as either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth. By listing them, we decree and declare that all the faithful of both sexes must regard them as condemned, reprobated, and rejected . . . We restrain all in the virtue of holy obedience and under the penalty of an automatic major excommunication....

Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin, whether in Latin or any other language, containing the said errors or any one of them; and we wish them to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected. We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them. They will incur these penalties if they presume to uphold them in any way, personally or through another or others, directly or indirectly, tacitly or explicitly, publicly or occultly, either in their own homes or in other public or private places. Indeed immediately after the publication of this letter these works, wherever they may be, shall be sought out carefully by the ordinaries and others [ecclesiastics and regulars], and under each and every one of the above penalties shall be burned publicly and solemnly in the presence of the clerics and people.

As far as Martin himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors? For after we had cited him, wishing to deal more kindly with him, we urged him through various conferences with our legate and through our personal letters to abandon these errors. We have even offered him safe conduct and the money necessary for the journey urging him to come without fear or any misgivings, which perfect charity should cast out, and to talk not secretly but openly and face to face after the example of our Savior and the Apostle Paul. If he had done this, we are certain he would have changed in heart, and he would have recognized his errors. He would not have found all these errors in the Roman Curia which he attacks so viciously, ascribing to it more than he should because of the empty rumors of wicked men. We would have shown him clearer than the light of day that the Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, whom he injuriously attacks beyond all decency, never erred in their canons or constitutions which he tries to assail. For, according to the prophet, neither is healing oil nor the doctor lacking in Galaad.

But he always refused to listen and, despising the previous citation and each and every one of the above overtures, disdained to come. To the present day he has been contumacious. With a hardened spirit he has continued under censure over a year. What is worse, adding evil to evil, and on learning of the citation, he broke forth in a rash appeal to a future council. This to be sure was contrary to the constitution of Pius II and Julius II our predecessors that all appealing in this way are to be punished with the penalties of heretics. In vain does he implore the help of a council, since he openly admits that he does not believe in a council.

Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation as one whose faith is notoriously suspect and in fact a true heretic with the full severity of each and all of the above penalties and censures. Yet, with the advice of our brothers, imitating the mercy of almighty God who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather that he be converted and live, and forgetting all the injuries inflicted on us and the Apostolic See, we have decided to use all the compassion we are capable of. It is our hope, so far as in us lies, that he will experience a change of heart by taking the road of mildness we have proposed, return, and turn away from his errors. We will receive him kindly as the prodigal son returning to the embrace of the Church.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father's love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency."

--Exsurge Domine, Leo X, 1520