Father Z and Michael Voris are sponsoring a Lenten cruise/retreat. Some take issue with it.

cruiseship

Be sure to peruse the reader comments!

Re: Catholic bloggers – Father Z (as usual) has it quite right!

Catholic bloggers are to the establishment and the dissident Catholic media what talk radio and cable are to the old time news and entertainment establishment.

The great majority of Catholic bloggers would (and perhaps might have to) go to the wall for the Catholic bishops in a good cause and with good leadership…

I, in turn, call upon the U.S. Bishops to do what the Holy See did: host a conference… call a meeting with bloggers.

I ask fellow Catholic bloggers to pick up and renew this proposal on their own blogs.  Propose that the bishops organize a blogger summit, a blogger confab, a blogger powwow, a blognic on steroids.

Read more

Comments on despotism from Father Z, St. Thomas More, Sir Winston Churchill, and readers

Here are the words of Sir Winston Churchill on More:

“The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand. They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom. They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter. More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook. He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness. Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”

Link

Father Z: Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. No outs.

Since Omnium in mentem took effect on 9 April 2010, defection from the faith no longer has any canonical effect.  “Defection” does not release one from ecclesiastical law, including the observance of canonical form in marriage.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic is not just cultural, or emotional… it is juridical.    Baptism to death, friends.

From 23 November 1983 until 9 April 2010 if one formally “defected” from the faith, one was released from certain merely ecclesiastical laws, including the observance of canonical form ofr marriage.

Merely walking away or attending a non-Catholic Church does not qualify as a formal defection. That makes one a “lapsed Catholic”.

Father Z on priests, holiness, and avoiding a spiritual peril.

Turning priests or bishops into idealized icons of holiness is fraught with spiritual peril.  Admire the admirable, of course.  But we need a necessary corrective in our admiration, namely, that the sole Holy One of God is Jesus Christ, the only perfect High Priest and actual minister of all graces which Holy Church’s ministers have the honor to mediate.

An accusation leveled at a priest is a horrible thing, because it is nearly impossible today for a priest to have a fair hearing. There is no perfect justice or charity in this world, but these days falsely-accused priests don’t get anything like even the world’s “justice”.  But even when priests are guilty of that by which they are accused, it doesn’t surprise me that priests are sinners or in the worst cases commit bad crimes.  Yes, priests and bishops should be held to high standards.  After all, even the devil holds them to high standards.  The devil hates priests and works tirelessly to trip them.  Holy Orders doesn’t make a man less human.  Should I be surprised that priests are sinners?  I am a sinner.

The bottom line is that you cannot depend on the personal holiness of priests or bishops for your own personal holiness.  The only true Holy One is the Lord.

Read more

Father Z Recommends These Archdiocese of Kansas City Lenten Resources

These Catholic resources on Lent and Confession will be continually updated throughout Lent. Please check back frequently during your Lenten journey.


Reflections on Lent and Confession

Pope Benedict XVI – Message for Lent 2011

Daily resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Ash Wednesday – What’s it all about?

How to make a good confession – Our Sunday Visitor

Printable handout on confession – excellent resource for catechists from Our Lady of the Rosary, Inc.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Rising Again to New Life – from http://www.beginningcatholic.com

An examination of conscience for adults

An examination of conscience for children

On the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation — Bishop Thomas Doran, Diocese of Rockford

What is absolution?

The Priest and Confession — Pope John Paul II, apostolic exhortation

A Vatican prayer service for confession of sins and asking for forgiveness

Videos on Lent and Confession

Why must I confess my sins to a priest? – Msgr. Eric Barr, Diocese of Rockford

I’ve had an abortion. Will God forgive me? — Msgr. Eric Barr

A video reflection on the Sacrament of Penance

The spiritual benefits of saying “I’m sorry.”

Father Larry Richards on Prayer and Confession

Making things right with God

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Confession:
Part I Part II Part III Part IV

Father Robert Barron on Confession and the IPhone app

Site Link

Fr. Z explains Heroic Virtue

We live in this fallen world, in this vale of tears, with wounds to our intellects and will, constantly dealing with the world, the flesh and the devil.

We are called to holiness.  We are actually called to holiness in a heroic degree.  Let’s understand “heroic” properly.

The “heroism” to which we are called does not consist mainly in great or famous or dramatic acts or accomplishments.  It might include those, but it does not mainly consist of those.  Every person has the possibility of this sort of heroism, even if he does nothing spectacular.  When it comes to the causes of saints, very often people with more dramatic or famous lives comes to the attention of others, and therefore they are more likely to be the subjects of causes.

Living a virtuous life even in the tedium of routine or the obscurity of everyday living can be heroic.

Accepting God’s will, living in conformity with God’s will is the true test of a Christian.  That is the essence of “heroic” virtue, not what appears outwardly to be heroic (though that may also be heroic, as in the dramatic case of the martyr).

Furthermore, people don’t, except by a rare gift from God, instantly or easily attain the state of living a life of virtue heroically.  Virtues are habits.  Some virtues, the theological virtues, are infused into us by God with baptism and sacraments.  They “dwell” in us “habitually” (“dwell” and “habit” are etymologically related… think of a “habitat” where critters “dwell”).  Virtues are habits, good practices and attitudes which are in us to a degree that it is easy for us to do them rather than hard.  This usually takes time and maturity.  We don’t suddenly, except by a special grace, become virtuous.  It can take a whole lifetime and many stumbles along the way.

Read more

Father Z: We should be Catholic because … one day … we’re going to die!


Try as I might, with the possible exception of the fact that Jesus founded her, I cannot think of a more important reason to be a member of Holy Catholic Church than the certainty that one day I will die. I will die and I will be judged. You will too.

Why are we Catholic? Why bother with Mass? With the Church’s teachings about moral issues? Why stand against the wind in the public square and twist in it, just to lose friends, status, and comfort?

Why? Our Saviour established the Catholic Church as our way to salvation. No matter how bad some fellow members of the Church may be, or how alluring the world surely is, or how tough we think we have had it, we are going to die one day, some of us pretty soon. That’s why we are Catholic. Trump that.

Read more

Father John Zuhlsdorf: A prayer before logging onto the internet.


(Click on picture to enlarge)
Permission is granted to use the picture
as computer wallpaper,

or to reproduce it for any other good purpose.

Many thanks to Father John Zuhlsdorf,
who composed this prayer.

A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good,
true and beautiful,

especially in the divine person of Thy Only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
G
rant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession
of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor,

during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee

and treat with charity and patience
all those souls whom we encounter.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Link to Father Z’s translations in other languages


A Blessed and Happy New Year to you and yours,
from me and mine! – Doug

Fr. Z’s advice to seminarian: Smile a lot and keep your mouth shut.

From a seminarian:

I was wondering if you could offer some advice. I am what people in today’s church would call ‘ultra-conservative’ I love the Old Mass, Old Breviary etc. etc. I’m at a very [minor] seminary right now …. The problem is that in a year I’m going to end up being sent by my bishop to a warm and fuzzy pastorally correct seminary for theology.  I’ve seen many people who have a ‘traddy tendencies’ go there and come out very warm and fuzzyish, and most certainly do not want this to happen to me, however, the chances of me being somewhere solid for theology are extremely poor.

Read more

Father Z: Lay people fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation if they go to an SSPX chapel for Mass.

Lay people fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation if they go to an SSPX chapel for Mass.  They can even give some money when they go for the upkeep of the chapel.  While I don’t recommend receiving Communion at their Masses, there are conditions under which it would be okay to do so.

Link

Father Z sets Time Magazine writer straight about the Catholic Church and how it really works.

Editor’s note:

Father Z’s stuff (in red) is great, but don’t forget to spend some time reading the viewer comments, too.

The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone

By Tim Padgett

What a rich coincidence we Roman Catholics got to experience at Mass on Sunday, July 18. The scheduled Gospel passage was Luke’s story about Jesus visiting the sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany (who Catholic tradition says was Mary Magdalene). Many biblical scholars believe the narrative shows Jesus encouraging Mary to assume the role of a disciple, [That’s okay.  She is sitting at the Lord’s feet in the manner of a disciple.] like Peter and the guys. [Nooo… he goes to the zoo on that.  But move along.] That notion lent some cable-news significance to the reading — coming as it did just days after the Vatican issued an avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, [Could be a self-description.] that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia. [Again, anyone who actually read and understood what the Holy See did by issuing the new norms, and who is honest about them, knows that that is not what happened.]

Rome’s misogynous declaration, tossed into its new guidelines on reporting clerical sexual abuse, did more than just highlight the church’s hoary horror at the idea of female priests — or its penchant of late for sticking its papal slippers in its mouth every chance it gets. [Blah blah blah… keep reading…] It also pointed up an increasingly spiteful rhetoric of bigotry. [Look in the mirror, Padgett… but keep reading…] When Argentina in mid-July legalized gay marriage, the country’s Catholic bishops weren’t content to simply denounce the legislation; they used the occasion to argue for the subhumanity of homosexual men and lesbians, the way many white Southern preachers weren’t ashamed to degrade African Americans during the civil rights movement. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio not only called the new law “a scheme to destroy God’s plan”; he termed it “a real and dire anthropological throwback,” as if homosexuality were evolutionarily inferior to heterosexuality. [I don’t think many people would consider it a dire anthropological throwback to say that homosexuality is actually evolutionarily inferior to normal sexuality.  Think about it.]

Link to more at Father Z’s site

Father Z provides some commentary on the Pope’s remarks, while in Portugal

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“It is written in the book of Psalms, … ‘His office let another take’. One of these men, then […] must become a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:20-22). These were the words of Peter, as he read and interpreted the word of God in the midst of his brethren gathered in the Upper Room following Jesus’ ascension to heaven. [Pay attention: This is, once again, Peter reading and interpreting the Scriptures in the midst of the brethren gathered. Benedict is Peter.] The one who was chosen was Matthias, who had been a witness to the public life of Jesus and his victory over death, and had remained faithful to him to the end, despite the fact that many abandoned him. The “disproportion” between the forces on the field, which we find so alarming today, astounded those who saw and heard Christ two thousand years ago. It was only he, from the shore of the Lake of Galilee right up to the squares of Jerusalem, alone or almost alone at the decisive moments: he, in union with the Father; he, in the power of the Spirit. Yet it came about, in the end, that from the same love that created the world, the newness of the Kingdom sprang up like a small seed which rises from the ground, like a ray of light which breaks into the darkness, like the dawn of a unending day: it is Christ Risen. And he appeared to his friends, showing them the need for the Cross in order to attain the resurrection.  [The Holy Father is also trying to spur a “new evangelization”.]

On that day Peter was looking for a witness to all this. Two were presented, and heaven chose “Matthias, and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26). Today we celebrate his glorious memory in this “undefeated city”, which festively welcomes the Successor of Peter. I give thanks to God that I have been able come here and meet you around the altar. I offer a cordial greeting to you, my brethren and friends of the city and the Diocese of Oporto, to those who have come from the ecclesiastical province of Northern Portugal and from nearby Spain, and to all those physically or spiritually present at this liturgical assembly. [That means you, dear reader.] […]

Read more