Concerned about upcoming changes to the Mass …

Q: I am not so excited about changing the Mass. Forty years of hearing Mass in English is tradition to me.  People think changes will give more meaning to them. “‘What can the church do for us?’ has to be changed to ‘What can we do for our parish?’

A: The changes that are coming up next year are (virtually) all in English. They are just corrections to the very sloppy, rush job that was done in the 60’s. No big deal to learn.

As for the Latin Mass … some people like it. Some don’t. I appreciate both.

Any time Jesus becomes present on the altar for us, so we can worship God through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, (and that happens in every approved and faithfully conducted Mass liturgy) I have no complaints.

The problem lies in the fact that people fail to understand the reason and purpose of the Mass … so they fail to fully participate in the church … and they subsequently miss out on all or most of the grace that’s necessary to accomplish the things that you mention. That same weakness is manifest is the many liturgical abuses … which have become so common, as to be almost expected.

John 15:1-7 I am the true vine: and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now you are clean, by reason of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me: and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.  If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you.

It’s virtually impossible to abide in Jesus Christ without full, faithful and regular participation in the Mass and the sacraments.

If the sacred liturgy fails to “deliver” a clear and truthful “message” then the mission of the church is easily compromised and/or watered down. That’s pretty much what happened during the last 40 years.

So … weak, confused liturgy makes for weak, confused Catholics … while solid, authentic liturgy makes for solid, well-informed Catholics … and that’s pretty much the whole point.

Pope Benedict (when he was younger, as a priest and bishop) is largely responsible for the “Spirit of Vatican II” that led to many of the liturgical abuses and other wacky innovations, so now that he’s pope, it’s nice to see him trying to fix some of the messes he helped to make.

Perhaps you missed this article on the Mass changes that I posted, a while back. You can read all of  the changes, word-for word.

Submitted by Marcia C.

Bishop Warns of “A systematic deconstruction of the structures of Marriage and Family.”

I-Today’s Challenges to Marriage and the Family

It is commonplace to qualify Western society of today as permissive. Effectively, in the matters of social mores, sexuality, and marriage, we are well within a permissive society where subjective or partial values are exalted, values that in reality are not experienced at an ethical level.  Among them, absolute individual liberty, well-being under its hedonistic form (the search for the greatest possible pleasure), or still the casting off of moral constraints; within the sphere of the affective life, only immediate emotion, affective well-being and physical desire are so considered to be constitutive of the nature of love.  A strict separation is worked between liberty and nature.  Eventually, this contributes to the destruction of the structural and foundational link between marriage and family.

a) A systematic deconstruction of the structures of Marriage and Family

We see today a total separation between the traditional and religious conception of Marriage and the so called new family model proposed by the post modern culture. Traditionally, there was no difference between what the civil authorities and the religious families understood about the concept of marriage. Till 30 or 40 years ago, when a man and a woman would come to the Mayor to be civilly married, they were asked to take the same vows a Christian couple does in a Christian marriage. They promised each other fidelity, and manifested their openness to welcome eventual fruits of their love; and naturally marriage was fundamentally understood as the union between a man and a woman. The only difference was the Christian education the Christian couple commit had to give to their Children.

It is important to note that the Church never changed in this. Still today she requires the same from the engaged couple who come to the parish to receive the sacrament of Marriage. The Church with all the due preparations assures the spouses of her support and acceptance as a new couple in the Christian community and helps them in building a better family. In all this, the Church remains perfectly relevant and consistent. She has always recognized the fact that the family is founded upon a contractual commitment between a man and a woman called marriage, an institution inscribed in the nature of man: a fact that even the entire body of legislations accepted until several decades ago.

On the contrary we can say that a systematic deconstruction of the institution of Marriage and Family is at the fore; to wit, in some countries, marriage does not mean anymore the union between man and a woman but “between persons”. How is this possible? Simply by denying the existence of two different ways of being human, masculine and feminine; and sexual difference is reduced to a mere question of choice and culture. It is exactly what the ideology of the gender proposes. But where does this bring us?

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St. Pio: body … soul … and reports of his ability to bilocate

On the feast of Padre Pio, many good Catholics and also many non-Catholics and even atheists recall the stories of his miraculous bilocations. St. Pio of Pietrelcina was known to have bilocated many times throughout his life, a phenomenon which has become central to the telling of his mystical life.

Of course, Padre Pio was not the only saint to have bilocated, but he is certainly the saint most commonly associated with the mysterious gift.

Without denying the fact of bilocation as a phenomenon, there is still some difficulty in explaining just what this event really is. By “bilocation,” do we mean that Padre Pio was present in two places at the same time? If yes, was he present both in his soul and in his body, or just in his soul? If just in his soul, was he materially present, having acted through a momentarily constructed physical body, or was his presence only a spiritual action visible only to the intellect? What follows is more speculative than most of the writing on this blog.

I offer this speculation neither to give any definitive answers nor to induce doubt, but rather to help us all wonder at the glories of God’s works.

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Pope John Paul II, St. Padre Pio, and the Miracle that United them.

Dr. Wanda Poltawska was a specialist in family issues, and made important contributions to Wojtyla’s early thought on family matters. [6]  Many of her ideas were incorporated in his first non-fiction book Love and Responsibility in 1960, and eventually influenced Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae. [7]   Much later, after Wojtyla had become Bishop of Krakow, she assisted him in founding an Institute for the Family at the curia.

Though still a young man, Karol Wojtyla had lost both of his parents and his brother, and had no real family of his own. But his loneliness was assuaged by the deepening of his friendship with the Poltawskas. The couple’s own family life had been enriched with children, and eventually Wanda and Andrei were blessed with four young ones. Wojtyla was so close to them that they grew up calling him their “uncle.”

As the years progressed, he earned two doctorates, became a university professor, and eventually was nominated auxiliary bishop of Krakow. Then, while participating in the Second Vatican Council in Rome, he received the tragic news from his adopted family that Wanda had been diagnosed with an intestinal tumor. The doctors had decided to operate, and if the growth were cancerous, she was given only eighteen months to live. [8]  They also told her that there was a ninety-five percent chance that the tumor was malignant.

When the news that his close friend and collaborator had been hospitalized reached Bishop Wojtyla, he immediately began to ask for prayers from his fellow priests, friends, and religious sisters. Wojtyla prayed intensely that further tragedy would not strike this woman, who had endured five cruel years in a concentration camp. Dr. Poltawska was only forty years old, and her four children still needed her. The Polish bishop’s thoughts soon turned to a man he had not seen for fifteen years, a man whose sanctity and prayers he greatly respected.

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Mass, priesthood and sacrifice must never be separated


We must never lose sight of Mass as propitiation, or of the priest as offering sacrifice to God.  This deep current in Holy Mass must inform every word and gesture, ornament and sign.

For example, when the priest is standing at the altar in the place of Christ, Head of the Church (in persona Christi capitis), he isn’t always talking to you in the congregation– or at least he shouldn’t be.  If Father’s style during Mass, his ars celebrandi as Benedict XVI calls it (cf. Sacramentum caritatis) reflects talk show host chumminess or open mic night at the Ha Ha Club rather than the priest renewing our deliverance from eternal damnation, perhaps it would be good gently and respectfully to help him get reoriented.

Tell him your aspirations for our sacred liturgical worship.  Treat Father like a priest, not a pal.  Support clerical dress, especially the use of the cassock – at least in church.  Provide materially for liturgical decorum through the purchase of worthy vestments and vessels.  Do not praise liturgical abuse.  Pray, fast and give alms for the intentions of your priests.  Pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood.

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Propitiation

Modern Catholicism Lacking In Traditional Elements

The new Roman Missal, once it’s implemented in all English-speaking Catholic parishes in 2011, will be a vernacular missal faithful to the original Latin text of the traditional Mass. The English Missale Romanum that was approved in 1970 was a mere paraphrase of the original Latin text of the old Mass (or the Extraordinary Form), rather than a translation. The changes in the 2011 Missal will be significant. Regarding the future Missal, even Pope Benedict acknowledged that “many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation.” Those in the know say that the tone of the new Missal will emphasize the sacredness of the Divine Liturgy.

It’s inevitable, I suppose, that some Catholic modernists are not happy about the coming changes. Since Vatican II, different factions of Catholics have emerged: traditionalists, conservatives, and liberals can barely agree on anything and in many instances they are at war with one another. The coming “return to tradition” Missal has so enraged some liberal Catholics that the National Catholic Reporter, a modernist Catholic newspaper, has initiated an online petition asking that the publication of the new translation of the Missal be “delayed indefinitely.”

Ironically, Vatican II never called for the wholesale reconstruction of the Mass. Instead, Vatican II specifically envisioned Catholics learning to sing the key parts of the so called New Mass in Latin. Clearly, certain unwarranted liberties were taken over the last forty years, and this is what the Pope wants to change.

When I left the Church as a young twenty something I thought it was because I was an agnostic, but the fact is, I was unhappy at the new style of Catholic worship. In those days I felt I was the only one who felt that way but since then I’ve come to see that thousands, even millions of Catholics, are on the same wave length.

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Obama and Romney: Ideological brothers?

First, he (Romney) is directly to blame for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. While its supreme court instructed the state assembly to enact a law legalizing same-sex marriage, the assembly never did. Undeterred, Romney, with no legal authority whatsoever, ordered county clerks to start issuing wedding licenses to homosexual couples or get fired.

Note well: no law has ever been passed in Massachusetts to legalize same-sex marriage. The supreme court gave the assembly 180 days to pass such a law, but it didn’t do it. Homosexual marriage is still technically against the law in the Bay State.

So Gov. Romney violated state law when he legalized homosexual marriage by executive fiat. he ordered state employees to break state law or face the threat of termination. He will never be able to run away from that, and thus it is no surprise that sanctity of marriage got scant mention in his Values Voter Summit speech.

Second, he has also fatally wounded himself by pushing RomneyCare through in Massachusetts, a state version of ObamaCare. We are seeing in Massachusetts what government-run medical care and a health insurance mandate looks like in action. The cost of health care is skyrocketing, the cost of health insurance is skyrocketing, folks are gaming the system by waiting until they get sick to get coverage (because it’s cheaper to pay the fine while you’re healthy), businesses are dumping their employees into the public system, fewer doctors are taking Medicare patients, and one doctor after another is leaving the state or retiring early.

The more people become aware of the eerie similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare, the farther Romney’s star will fall.

And third, to make matters grotesquely worse for Mitt, RomneyCare provides the cheapest abortions in the nation. For just a $50 co-pay, a woman can arrange to have her baby butchered in the womb. No wonder sanctity of life got one scant mention in Romney’s Values Voter Summit speech.

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The key to the Pope’s success in Great Britain

Now the analysts who had predicted a disaster–or perhaps, at best, a polite irrelevancy, are struggling to explain how the Pope confounded their expectations. I think I can explain. When they predicted an unsuccessful papal visit, analysts were basing their judgment on an assumption. They took it for granted that Pope Benedict would respond to the criticism that had dominated the British media during the last few weeks before his arrival. They assumed that the Pope would be worried about the protests and nervous about the likelihood of popular rejection.

Clearly he was not. Speaking with reporters during the flight from Rome, Pope Benedict said that he recognized anti-Catholicism as a force in Britain, but was not disturbed by it. He voiced his confidence that a deeper, stronger, fundamental commitment to the Christian heritage would also come into play. When asked how he would propose to make the Catholic Church more attractive to the people of Great Britain, he gave a surprising answer:

“I would say that a Church that seeks to be particularly attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for her own ends, she does not work to increase numbers and thus power. The Church is at the service of another: she serves, not for herself, not to be a strong body, rather she serves to make the proclamation of Jesus Christ accessible…”

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Submitted by Doria2 

New 4D video: A window into the world of the pre-born

Watch the amazing video

Submitted by Doria2

“You see, young man, the age of the Church is past, in which he said, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’ To which Aquinas replied, “True, holy father, but the age is also past, in which he could say to a paralytic, ‘Rise up and walk.'”

Trouble with the Vatican Bank

With the trip to England, the Pope has stepped fully into the papacy. There were no major setbacks and he presented the Church as still the most dignified representative of humanity — and did so in the secular heart of the secular continent (stepping into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and leaving unwounded; indeed, with new and well-deserved respect). Thus far it is the high point of Benedict XVI’s pontificate, coming at a time when Church credibility in Europe is in crisis and to a region that has been of special cause to him. The British media admitted that Pope Benedict “succeeded in presenting himself as a lovable, elderly figure,” as one news service stated. “What the visit accomplished above all was to unify Catholics and humanize a pope who has so often been perceived as cold, aloof and authoritarian,” wrote Catherine Pepinster, editor of a Catholic newspaper called The Tablet.

It was a huge victory, the product of courage, which means it was the product of faith. A Crucifix he held even seemed to radiate. “This was a much more successful visit than the Roman Catholic hierarchy had dared to hope,” said the Daily Mail newspaper. “The crowds were larger than had been forecast, if not as big as they were when the charismatic Pope John Paul II came to this country 28 years ago.” The Sun added: “The pontiff’s visit proved much more substantial than anticipated.”

Upon his return, the Pope was met by what may or may not turn out to be another scandal — an investigation by Italian authorities of the Vatican bank’s chief and the impounding of $30 million of Vatican assets.

It is too early to tell if there is merit to the investigation or whether the Italian authorities and media are playing it up as a little taste of persecution (perhaps the devil’s response to the success in England). The bank chief, Ettore Gotti Edeschi, says it was all caused by an error in procedure: money transfers from one account to another that were not “money-laundering,” which is what authorities ostensibly are guarding against.

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Tom Roeser claims the political battle in Delaware is just heating up … and has national significance

Christine O’Donnell is supposed to be a wacko, right? She made a  remark  in 1999 that she dabbled in witchcraft as a high school kid. Her opponent Chris Coons described himself as a “bearded Marxist” in a college newspaper column. Oh, says the liberal Democratic apologist Media Matters, Coons was only kidding and when he wrote that  he was just a kid.  What about O’Donnell being a kid when she talked about witches?  Uh-uh. Doesn’t work.  Burn her.

But now we get to the interesting person Chris Coons is. Wonderful pedigree.  A member of the professional class. Amhurst undergrad. Yale Law.  Yale divinity. As a young idealist he crossed the ocean to Africa to South Africa and Kenya to do “relief work.”  Relief work. That’s all the contemporary press says. Relief work for whom?   Well, relief work for the South African Council of Churches.  And digging a little farther, we find Politico reporting that his experiences in Kenya and South Africa turned Coons “to the left.”  Oh. The South African Council of Churches was at that time engaged in liberation theology under a guy named Frank Chikane who was interested in the liberating religious goal of state ownership of all businesses but Chikane was close to a guy named James Cone who was involved candidly in pro-Marxist, pro-socialist, anti-capitalist views.

This story is not over yet, friends. It has a lot more mileage to go. It turns out that Chris Coons was more than “volunteering”; he was deeply involved in abetting socialist Africans who supported liberation theology through leaders who have had tied with the McCormick Theological Seminary here and Trinity United Church of Christ in Hyde Park.  And it turns out that as a young man this same Chris Coons wrote a lot of stuff about the glories of liberation theology and socialism.

All of this means that the battle is far from over…Judith Miller and Charles Krauthammer who so cavalierly consign O’Donnell to the ash heap.  As Captain Tom Parker told the Lexington Minute Men:
“Stand you ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. If they meant to have war, let it begin here.”
They…the liberal media…the elitist professional class…mean to have war and the battlefield is Christine O’Donnell. From what I’ve seen of the record, given Coons’ extensive involvement in black liberationist theology and socialist advocacy, the battle for the midterms 2010 may well be decided and won on the Delaware turf.

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Exorcist says Satan exists but without ‘horns, wings or a tail’

“Yeah. Right!”

In an interview with the newspaper El Tiempo during his recent visit to Colombia, Fr. Fortea said, “The devil does not have a body, a color, or a visual form, nor does he have horns, wings or a tail.  He is an invisible, bodiless entity.”

“Believing in God means believing in what he has said.  And he has spoken of the existence of the devil,” the priest remarked, recalling that “at the end of the ‘Our Father’ he warned, ‘Deliver us from evil’.”

Fr. Fortea then explained that though he has never seen a demon, he knows they exist, saying he has felt the presence of evil. “I have approached this like a scientist: even though I wear a habit, I am not void of reason.”

“On a certain number of occasions, alone at my house or other places, I have felt an evil presence.” He continued. “I would be lying if I did not acknowledge that I felt that evil presence in an intense and powerful way.”

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Moses also had “horns”

Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.


Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.

So,… the Pope of Rome goes into Westminster Abbey, a church dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles, and – while wearing Leo XIII’s stole – reminds them that he is the Successor of Peter.

And they applauded!

The title of this entry is a bit lighthearted, but the issues at hand are very serious.

Benedict XVI teaches through signs. Signs point to deeper issues. Vestments are signs.

In the person of Pope Benedict, Peter’s Successor came to Westminster. In Benedict, in a symbolic sense, Leo XIII came to Westminster as well.

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The Seven Daily Habits of Holy People


There are various ways to come to know Jesus. We are going to speak briefly about some of them in this article. You want to come to know, love and serve Jesus the same way you learn to love and stay in love with anybody: your spouse, family members, and close friends, i.e. by spending a considerable amount of time with him on a regular and, in this case, daily basis. The payoff, if you will, is the only true happiness in this life and the vision of God in the next. There are no easy substitutes. Sanctification is a work of a lifetime and it requires our determined effort to cooperate with God’s sanctifying grace coming through the sacraments.

The seven daily habits that I propose to you are the morning offering, spiritual reading (New Testament and a spiritual book suggested to you by your spiritual advisor), the Holy Rosary, Holy Mass and Communion, at least fifteen minutes of mental prayer, the recitation of the Angelus at noon, and a brief examination of conscience at night.

These are the principal means to achieve holiness. If you are a person who wants to bring Christ to others through your friendship, these are the instruments by which you store up the spiritual energy that will enable you to so. Apostolic action without the sacraments and a deep solid interior life will in the long run be ineffective. You can be sure that all the saints incorporated in one way or another all of these habits into their daily routine. Your goal is to be like them, contemplatives in the middle of the world.

Read more by Fr. McCloskey

Once upon a time, there was a Catholic Saint who could fly

St. Joseph of Cupertino “cruising”

On hearing the names of Jesus or Mary, the singing of hymns, during the feast of St. Francis, or while praying at Mass, he would go into dazed state and soar into the air, remaining there until a superior commanded him to come down.

Joseph, and God,  liked zero-G so much, He decided to let Joseph experience anti-gravity on a pretty regular basis. But the event that caught everyone’s attention? I thought you’d never ask.

Joseph’s most famous flight allegedly occurred during a papal audience before Pope Urban VIII. When he bent down to kiss the Pope’s feet, he was suddenly filled with reverence for Christ’s Vicar on earth, and was lifted up into the air. Only when the Minister General of the Order, who was part of the audience, ordered him down was Joseph able to return to the floor.

Imagine something like that happening during Our Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom today. Guess what else?

Joseph gave off a sweet smell because he was pure. Joseph could also smell the bad odor of a sinful person. When they would come, sometimes he would tell them that they stank and that they should go wash themselves. By this, he meant for them to go to confession.

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A “Feud” with the Flying Saint

Excellent wrap-up of all the events of the pope’s UK trip


The Catholic Herald is featuring an excellent summary of all the key events of Pope Benedict’s four-day visit to the U.K.

The definitive guide

Complete list of articles

Why was the world-wide Church so slow to tackle the matter of priestly child abuse?

Despite the mythology of the church as rigidly hierarchical and ultra-centralized, the reality is that the church is top-down only on matters of doctrine. On everything else, it is actually one of the most decentralized institutions on earth. (There are 1.2 billion Catholics and only about 2,000 officials in the Vatican. That’s a ratio of citizens to bureaucrats that would be the envy of any other government on the planet.)

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Pope’s Visit to Britain: ‘Astonishing’

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster described the events of yesterday in which the Pope gave addresses in Westminster Hall, Westminster Abbey, and Lambeth Palace as “astonishing.”

It was the first time the Successor of Peter had ever set foot in any of these historic buildings which at any one time have been pillars of Church and State in Britain for the past thousand years.

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The Pope has routed his enemies and brought joy to the faithful

How does one sum up the papal visit in a few words?

A survey of the four days, event by event – four days which began (so far as I am concerned) in anxiety which quickly turned to relief and ended finally in euphoria – simply can’t be done in less than the length of a short book, and I have only 400 or 500 words for this post, though in the print edition of the paper which appears later this week I shall be given more than double the space for an extended version of it, in which I shall look also at the very interesting coverage of the visit by the secular media.

That aspect of the visit will have to be briefly summarised here by the words of Dr. George Carey in the News of the World: “he came, he saw, he conquered”.

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Pope Benedict’s visit to U.K.: “Simply Courageous”


St. Daniel the Prophet
spent just one night in the lion’s den.
Benedict XVI was in there
for 4 days.

Benedict’s bold teachings