Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

Will Watch the Video

CNA/CWR: Alasdair MacIntyre: True friendships are rare, but possible

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Overstating the Case?

Transubstantiation is not, then, one disconnected and esoteric doctrine that a Catholic can take or leave. It is an articulation of faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist seeking understanding in the theological context of a deep appreciation of the relationship between God and creation. To affirm it is to affirm something foundational to the whole Christian worldview. Not to put too fine a point on it: it affirms that God is God and creation is creation.

Transubstantiation is more than the doctrine of the Real Presence. It is a theological explanation of the latter.

Church Life: Transubstantiation Isn't a Disconnected Doctrine by Brett Salkeld

Friday, November 15, 2019

Permissive Will, Again

But is this what Francis meant?

CWR: Which God’s Will? by Dr. Randall B. Smith
On permissive and positive will, the multiplicity of religions, salvation, and the mystery of evil.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Anglicanorum Coetibus Society 2019 Conference

Why the NYT?

AmCon: The Trial Of Conservative Catholicism by Rod Dreher

Dreher links to Douthat's analysis and interview of Cardinal Burke. Why is the NYT publishing this? Why did it hire Douthat in the first place? To demoralize its enemies?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Elder Joseph

OrthoChristian: The Story Behind “My Elder Joseph the Hesychast” by Hieromonk Ephraim, St. Nilus Skete, Alaska

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

10-Year Anniversary Jubilee

NCReg: Ordinariates Mark 10 Years of Anglican Traditions and Catholic Communion by Peter Jesserer Smith
The Catholic Church is marking the tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s historic apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

True Light Podcast: Episode 07 Evangelization

Reprints of Books by Joseph C. Fenton

Missed this in 2018.

First Things: Fenton Returns by Patrick Carey

Fenton told readers of his “The Ecumenical Council and Christian Union” (1959) that the council’s ecumenical work would amount to nothing more than the Church’s previous emphasis on a “return of dissident Christians to the one true fold of Jesus Christ.”
He probably included the Orthodox as dissident Christians.

Cardinal Ottaviani and the Council by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton

1966 Letter Reveals Cardinal Ottaviani’s Post-Conciliar Concerns

Monday, November 04, 2019

More on the Development of Doctrine

CWR: The Spirit versus the letter: Responding to a false view of doctrinal development by Eduardo Echeverria

Sergio Centofanti’s recent essay for Vatican News claims that the Church teaches, “It is necessary to follow the Spirit, rather than the strict letter.” This opposition could not be further from the truth.

I am not of course suggesting that there is not development. But there is development without change even when there is reversal in Church teaching. Centofanti completely overlooks the distinctions between development, continuity, change, and reversal. He focuses on examples of reversals (unbaptized babies, the exegesis of 1 Timothy 11-12 regarding the place of woman in the Church, and religious liberty) but never refers to the theological notes that qualify certain teachings as infallible such that they possess the highest degree of certainty. This means that he fails to account for development, clarifications, reformulations, while nevertheless maintaining the stable continuity of fundamental meaning and truth of authoritative dogmas/doctrines. I will return to this point below.

But does Echeverria make enough distinctions between theological opinion (even if it is of the bishop of Rome) and dogma? Let us look at the two examples of reversals: religious liberty and ecumenism. Was religious liberty (or anything pertaining to the political community and the laws that it may or may not issue) part of Divine Revelation? No -- religious liberty, like contemporary Roman Catholic Social Teaching, pertains to moral theology, and so papal theological opinion on this point isn't "reversed" as if it were dogmatic (even if some Latins think it is) but contradicted.

As for ecumenism -- precepts concerning whom to admit to worship, or with whom one can pray is more a human determination that is (ecclesiastical) positive law than a precept of Divine Law, something taking into consideration goods secondary to God Himself. And so in so far as we are dealing with ecclesiastical positive law, that can be changed. As for human judgments as to who is a heretic or schismatic, those judgments can be erroneous and are not protected by an Latin notion of infallibility.

In order for theories of doctrinal development to be taken seriously, we must talk about doctrine, what constitutes doctrines, whether there are levels of doctrine, and if historically what has been understood to be doctrine was mistaken.

(MAJOR VATICAN EVENT: Schneider, Burke Speak During Amazon Synod)

CHRISTUS VINCIT: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age

DEFEND & RESIST: Michael Matt Interviews Bishop Schneider

Saturday, November 02, 2019

And what does it mean for him?

A return to a first-millenium proclamation of the kerygma, something more patristic?

VOCES8: Pie Jesu by Gabriel Fauré

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Abbey of St. Columbanus


Arvo Pärt: Passio / St. John Passion / Johannespassionen

Whose Latin Christianity? Which Hermeneutic?

Another essay on... Vatican II.

Reading the Signs of the Times by Douglas Farrow

The Church,” says Gaudium et spes, “has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.” A few paragraphs later, that duty is parsed in a positive way. The Church, we are told, “labors to decipher authentic signs of God's presence and purpose in the happenings, needs and desires in which this People has a part along with other men of our age” (emphasis added). 

What happened to the Church being the sign of God's presence and purpose to the world?

The Idolatry of Human Niceness Masquerading as Mercy

First Things: Why Biden Was Denied Communion by Edward Peters

CNA/CWR: Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’
“If only saints could receive Holy Communion, we wouldn’t have anybody at Mass, including myself, alright?” Dolan said.

Fake Synodality

This is Faggioli pushing for fake synodality, that has no resemblance to what was or may have been practiced in the early Church.

Dealing with Death

CWR Dispatch: November and remembering our beloved dead by Adam A. J. DeVille
The vacuous talk used today in addressing death is becoming common, but it is the disappearance of practices around death that is infinitely worse.

I need to reread what St. Augustine recounts is St. Ambrose's objection to the following practice:
Edifying in an even more physically basic fashion is to have a picnic in a cemetery, which may seem the height of weirdness to some, but it was a wonderfully jovial and human thing to do. After the prescribed panachyda was prayed (a short memorial office in the Byzantine tradition) we relaxed by sharing drinks and food while recounting stories of those whose graves became makeshift tables for our libations. Our solemn prayers and tears were mingled with laughter and shots of vodka as we feasted in anticipation of the wedding feast of the Lamb, where there will one day be neither mourning nor dying, but all of us reunited around the table of eternity.

Latin Claims Concerning Clerical Continence

"Apostolic" in origin.

Sandro Magister: Married Priests? Yes, But in Perfect Continence. The Lesson of the Church’s First Centuries

Tracey Rowland Reviews A Poetic Christ: Thomist Reflections on Scripture, Language and Reality

CWR Dispatch: New book by French Dominican skillfully defends Gospels, uniqueness of Christ by Tracey Rowland
A review of Olivier-Thomas Venard’s A Poetic Christ: Thomist Reflections on Scripture, Language and Reality

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Response to a Latin Polemicist on Clerical Celibacy

A comment found here:

The Council of Trullo, to which Father referred, was a synod held in the palace of the Byzantine Empire, in 692. Its members included bishops of the Church of Constantinople and other Eastern churches in communion with it. (It is also well to remember that this was when Constantinople was in communion with Rome.) The council enacted a number of disciplinary decrees that are, to this day, observed among both the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. This included recognition of the already long-established custom wherein married men could submit themselves for all degrees of Holy Orders, save the episcopate—and who could likewise continue to licitly exercise their conjugal rights. Like the familiar modern discipline of the “permanent” diaconate in the West, Trullo also provided that only already-married men could be ordained; if widowed, they could not remarry. Also, like the Latin Church in general, single men were prohibited to marry with ordination to the diaconate.

While the provisions of the Trullan council were not enacted in the Latin West, their canons are regarded by Rome as absolutely normative and legitimate in the Christian East. This includes a married (non-monastic) priesthood, with all that would imply for Christian men.

The institution of continence among married clergy, while certainly widely practiced in the early Medieval period, was by no means the only legitimate discipline among the married clergy (as Fr. Stravinskas seems to imply). It perhaps was regarded as an “ideal,” but this practice was by no means general or universal. While existing in both East and West for a time, it by no means invalidates the exercise of intimacy among married clerics. In fact, it affirms the truth that marriage may rightly be lived in all its aspects among the clergy. It is, and has been for most of the history of the Church, a righteous way of life—just as it is, in a different fashion, also a righteous observance among the clergy who have renounced their marital rights while remaining together. (In fact, some clergy and their wives have voluntarily observed such abstinence into the modern period.)

History is instructive on this point. Between the end of the Middle Ages and the late seventeenth-century, nearly all of the current Eastern Catholic Churches reestablished ecclesial communion with Rome. In no case did the Holy See require, in any fashion, the abrogation of Trullo’s provisions among the Byzantine churches. The imposition of diaconal or priestly celibacy (as observed in the Latin Church) as a general condition before or after reunion was never required or even sought. (It was only in the twentieth century that the American Roman Catholic hierarchy tragically pressured the Holy See to impose Latin-style celibacy upon Eastern Catholic secular priests in the US. This was eventually extended worldwide, outside of Europe and Asia. Thankfully, the Holy See reversed this injustice in 2014.)

While celibacy is a counsel of the Lord, its imposition by the Church upon clergy was and has always been a purely ecclesiastical (i.e. in this instance, man-made) requirement. It has existed in various forms—all of which are legitimate, when so recognized by the Church. While the exercise of marital continence is always meant to anticipate the coming Kingdom of God, “where men will neither marry or give-into marriage” (cf. Mt 22:30), it by no means makes clergy who are legitimately married and fully enjoy a Christian marital life any “less” than those who, for the sake of the Kingdom, do not. How could it when permitted and recognized by the Church (even if not in the Latin West) for at least two-thirds of the Christian era?

Like the Church’s disciplines, the grace of God also comes in a variety of forms. While it may be argued by some that, in one sense, the “sign value” of a celibate clergy might be “higher” than one which is not, divine grace can be fully and richly operative in both ways of life. The lives of the saints and the general experience of the Holy Church have proven it so.

A Different Take on Vatican 2

The Vitality of Vatican Council II
A presentation by Massimo Faggioli of the University of St. Thomas, followed by a conversation.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 9

I didn't post the last 2 installments as they were primarily Weigel's ruminations on Weigel's favorite topics.

First Things: LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD-2019: #9

First something on liberation theology:
The fact that “the project” is a northern European export has long been clear, although digging deeply into the history of ideas in modern Catholicism is necessary to grasp the point. For over forty years now, the world media’s presentation of liberation theology as an indigenous, populist phenomenon native to Latin America—a bit of fake news amplified by Catholic enthusiasts for “the project”—has done a good job of obscuring who-taught-what-to-whom. The fact of the matter, however, is that virtually nothing in the various Latin American liberation theologies criticized by St. John Paul II at the 1979 Puebla conference of the Latin American episcopate, or rejected in the 1984 Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was native to Latin America. The reading of history, the ecclesiology, the concept of the sacraments and the ministry that shaped most liberation theologies was exported to Latin America from Belgian, French, and German theological faculties through which Hegelian and Marxist winds had blown with considerable force in the late 1960s. Those radical reconsiderations of the nature of the Church, its mission, and its relationship to both the unconverted and to politics—some of it the work of very intelligent but deeply wrongheaded men—was carried home by romantic and passionate young Latin American priests who had studied in those faculties, and who would become bishops in the latter part of the twentieth century. These currents of thought were highly influential in the Brazilian bishops conference in particular.
And he raises a good question, but it may be too late for such an untangling to resort, at least not without drastic changes in the practices of the "institutional" Church.
In several major cities of Latin America, especially the old viceroyal capitals,  the visitor cannot help but notice the proximity of the viceregal palace to the cathedral, usually in a great plaza. Has that historic linkage between Church and state power—whatever its historic accomplishments—become an obstacle to realizing the evangelizing mission of the Church in the twenty-first century, especially when the alliance today is with failed socialist regimes? That certainly ought to have been a topic of discussion in a synod dedicated to “new paths for the Church.” Was it? If so, its echoes outside the Synod Hall were faint.

As usual with regards to the Amazon synod, he overestimates the problem because he cannot see that the patriarchate of Rome is not identical to the Church Universal, but he is probably correct in identifying the difficulties posed by the synod and the current pontificate of Francis, which serve not to undermine the Church but actually Latin claims about the office of the bishop of Rome with respect to the Church Universal.

See also Rod Dreher, The Pachamama Synod Ends and Marco Tosatti

Weigel's essay was also republished at EPPC.

50th Anniversary of?

Catholics who do not give themselves trustingly to the 2,000-year tradition of the Church will not be in contact with the whole doctrine and morality of Catholicism. This is hard to hear, but so is much of the teaching of Our Lord: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16, 24). The same is true, in a way, of tradition: we have to deny our modern prejudices, take up the blessed burden of our tradition, and follow it, in order to be integrally Catholic.

Let us be more precise:

Roman Catholics Latins who do not give themselves trustingly to the ecclesial tradition of the patriarchate of Rome...

Battling Over Latin Christianity

Latin traditionalists and "conservatives."

1P5: Bishop Barron and the ‘Unhappy’ Renewal of the ‘Trad’ Movement by Timothy Flanders

Pope Benedict would later write concerning his formative years before the Council about his “anti-Roman resentment … imparted to us by our studies” [1] and that “we all had a certain contempt for the nineteenth century; it was fashionable then, somewhat kitsch piety and over-sentimentality — we wanted to overcome all that. We wanted a new era of piety” [2].
He recalls that when he saw the original document on revelation at Vatican II (on behalf of which Ottaviani had pleaded), he wished to circumvent the Magisterium in order to impose his own interpretation of Tradition upon it [3]. He “wanted out of classical Thomism[.] … Thomas’s writings were textbooks, by and large, and impersonal somehow[.] … I didn’t want to operate only in a stagnant and closed philosophy, but in a philosophy understood as a question — what is man, really? — and particularly to enter into the new, contemporary philosophy” [4].
Such castigation of the fathers of the immediate past and the imposition instead of their own interpretation of Tradition seems to be the defining characteristic of the Nouvelle Théologie party. This was the party that, in Barron’s words, “won the day at Vatican II.” This attitude on display by these men appears to run contrary to piety, opening up questions about the continuity that is claimed.
Is the reference to piety here when talking about Tradition and its expressions misplaced? Is a particular linguistic and theological expression of Tradition more important than the Person of Christ?
But at Vatican II, the conservatives switched sides and allied themselves with the liberals in order to overcome the prior Magisterium. They successfully convinced enough bishops to throw out all the original documents (save one, written by Bugnini). They suppressed all the warnings from Ottaviani and others, who stated that their dreams of a springtime were naïve. But after the Council was done, Barron notes, the liberals and conservatives immediately broke into two warring parties, represented in the journals Concilium and Communio.
 But was reconciling the Church with modernity or the modern world the only goal of these "conservatives" or these reformers aligned with or following Ressourcement?
This crisis will be overcome when conservatives renounce forever their alliance with the liberal heretics and unite themselves in charity to the traditionalists they once shunned. They must renew their filial piety toward the pontificates of Bl. Pius IX and St. Pius X.
This is to be stuck in an ecclesiological and theological rut, and of course merely re-confirms the Latin belief that Magisterium of the Church is to be centered in the person of the bishop of Rome.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

St. Demetrios


More on the Pachamama Cover-Up

CWR Dispatch: Analysis: Why ‘Pachamama’ took a dip by JD Flynn

Eduardo Echeverria on Latin Moral Teaching

CWR: No, @JamesMartinSJ, the analogy between slavery and homosexuality does not hold by Eduardo Echeverria
The moral laws, whose core is the Ten Commandments, retain their direct and unchanging validity, on the grounds of the objective moral law.

Can We Say "Rigged" Yet?

CNA: Amazon synod document calls for married priests and increased role for women
In his remarks in the synod hall on Saturday, Francis said that he hoped to issue an exhortation before the end of the year, time permitting.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Part 2 Better Have More Substance

1P5 Marco Tosatti: A Refresher on Liberation Theology

Weigel's Narrative

First Things: The Ideological Hijacking of Pope St. John XXIII by George Weigel

And as those excerpts from Gaudet Mater Ecclesia in the Divine Office make clear, John XXIII knew that that evangelical mission would only meet the needs of the day if it were anchored in the ancient, abiding truths bequeathed to the Church by divine revelation: truths manifested in the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus himself, and developed through the Church’s doctrinal reflection as guided by the Holy Spirit.

To be sure, John XXIII understood that evangelization was not an exercise in logic-chopping; most modern men and women were unlikely to be converted by the proclamation of syllogistic proofs. So the Church needed a contemporary way of expressing ancient truths. But as Pope John insisted in Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, those truths must be expressed “with the same meaning and the same judgment” (in some translations, “with the same meaning and import”). That was a direct quote from St. Vincent of Lerins, a 5th-century monk who wrote an important treatise on what we know as the “development of doctrine.” And it stands in sharp contrast to, and critique of, the bogus image of John XXIII as a pope unconcerned with doctrinal solidity and continuity.

The Patriarchate of Rome (not the "Church") has its structural issues which have come to light with the sex abuse scandal -- clericalism is still alive and bishops are unable to deal with the challenges confronting the "institutional Church." No council or synod will be able to fix this, as it requires leadership but also collaboration with the laity, and very few Latin bishops have what is required for either. John XXIII, nor have his successors, did not realize that the Church lost to the modern nation-state, and attempts at greater centralization and the fake alternative of fake "synodality" (which is still attempting a top-down solution) will fail. There can be no sustained and effective effort at evangelization until the local Church is revitalized, and this includes a reform of liturgical praxis. No matter how many times Mr. Weigel attempts to turn this failure into a triumphalistic narrative he cannot tell us our "lying eyes" are wrong.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 6

First Things: Letters From the Synod-2019: #6 by Xavier Rynne II

The conversation at Synod-2019 drinks more deeply from the wells of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Margaret Mead than from the living waters of biblical revelation.

What Future for (Latin) Seminaries?

CWR: Seminaries and formation: One priest’s perspective and suggestion by Fr. John Chalny, STD
Carrying out the formation of priests in a monastic setting might seem counterintuitive. However, it is less so than it seems.

It is old news, I think, that our current seminary system is often inadequate and lacking. The seminaries designed after the Council of Trent served their purpose, but society and the Church’s self-understanding about its relationship with society are quite different today. This difference was already visible in many churchmen writing during the mid-twentieth century, and became macroscopically obvious during and following the Second Vatican Council. Liturgical and educational experiments ensued, often with disastrous results. Today, the pendulum has swung back toward more traditional proposals in many places, while in other places a reaction to the reactionaries has kept things more “liberal” and “open”, fluffy and formless. To this observer, both options seem ill-equipped to guide the flock without harming and dispersing it, either through excessive action or through paralyzed inaction.

The proposals given in the essay make sense in so far as the priesthood remains reserved to celibate men in the patriarchate of Rome. But the masculinity crisis needs to be addressed first.
The description given in the essay may fit older, especially Boomer, priests:

Many parishes and communities approve of their priest because he is “one of the guys”. So, in some locales, priests aim to become enthusiastic about football and hunting and beer. In other company, they might also take up golfing and learn about the finer points of coffee preparation.

But among the younger priests, even those who are more conservative/traditional often there is something missing to their masculinity. I have seen some exceptions to this and perhaps not unsurprisingly many of those candidates for the priesthood have served in the military or had a job that helped them develop masculine virtue. Perhaps "priestly" gravitas should just reflect being a mature man, rather than an affectation for the sake of preserving status and a formal distance from the laity.

Jesuits in the World of Orthodox Christians, Paul Shore

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Best of Silver Age Scholasticism?

Church Life Journal

An African Missionary's Perspective on the Amazon

Sandro Magister: A Missionary Called By the Pope To the Synod On the Amazon Explains What the Church Gets Wrong

A Lightning Rod for Latin Traditionalists

Rorate Caeli: Christus Vincit: Bishop Schneider’s Powerful and Luminous New Book — And Its Presentation in Rome

Peter Kwasniewski

Edward Krasevac, OP on Nature and Grace

Amateur Hour at the Vatican

Vatican spin on the Amazon synod statue. Who represents life? Christ. We are alive only insofar as we live in him. The Theotokos is the "Mother of all the living," those who live in Christ. So why not an icon of our Lord or the Theotokos?

Does anyone there think like a Christian? Instead we get people who think like the world with respect to interior decorating for meetings.


Reception by the Faithful and All That

CWR Dispatch: John Henry Newman in Full by Bishop Robert Barron
Buffeting from both sides made almost the whole of Newman’s life difficult, and it is not hard to see why he saw much of his career as a Sisyphean exercise in futility.

Newman was not of the "left" or "liberal" -- he merely sought to reclaim the Latin churches from clericalism, a problem which still infects the patriarchate of Rome now. That some did not understand this and could only put it in political terms of the age shows how blind they were to the problem and their slavish adherence to their notion of hierarchy.

Thomas Aquinas as Mystical Theologian

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 5

First Things: Letters From the Synod–2019: #5 Edited by Xavier Rynne II
Reports and Commentary, from Rome and Elsewhere, on the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region: “New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology”

The First Ecumenical Council

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fetomaternal Microchimerism

Church Life Journal

Too Early to Say: "Latin Synodality"?

Fr. Z on Weinandy's Article on Schism

Fr. Z: PODCAzT 178: Fr. Weinandy and the possible “Internal Papal Schism” - mp3

Dr. Stephane Rene Has a Blog

Coptic Iconography

Essence and Existence

Much Ado About...

Latin traditionalists may bemoan the fact that Pope Francis has done away with the reform by Benedict XVI of the rite canonization, using a simpler formula and omitting the petitions before the formula. (See, for example, Fr. Hunwicke.)

Some remarks:
1. Regarding the pope's response to the third petition in the Benedictine reform: "Let us, then, invoke the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life, that he may enlighten our minds and that Christ the Lord may not permit his Church to err in a matter of such importance."

One can invoke God's help, but if the act exceeds the authority given by God, is there any point?

The second petition itself was rather presumptuous:
"Most Holy Father, Holy Church, trusting in the Lord's promise to send upon her the Spirit of Truth, who in every age keeps the Supreme Magisterium free from error, most earnestly beseeches Your Holiness to enroll these, her elect, among the saints."

The Church Universal? No. A few members and representatives of the patriarchate of Rome and maybe representatives of those non-Latin particular Churches which have been Latinized to one degree or another and are still under the captive sway of Rome in their mindset.

2. It is inferred that the papal decree of canonization is an infallible act because it is supposedly an act regarding the Church Universal, and not the way around (e.g. the act must be proper to the pope because it is or needs to be infallible, and only the pope, representing the whole Church is infallible.)

But if it is not properly an act regarding the whole Church, despite what the decrees may say, but regarding only his patriarchate, the urgency of determining whether such an act is infallible is mitigated.

3. Even if the Benedictine reform is "better" at emphasizing certain aspects of the Latin conception of the authority of the bishop of Rome than the simpler formula now being used by Francis, the simpler formula nonetheless in its essence still reflects that same Latin conception, maximalist as it is.

See the document of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, "NEW PROCEDURES IN THE RITE OF BEATIFICATION":

In the 11th century, the principle that as universal Pastor of the Church the Roman Pontiff alone has the authority to prescribe a public devotion began to gain ground, both in the particular Churches and the universal Church. With a Letter to the King and Bishops of Sweden, Alexander III asserted the Pope's authority to confer the title of Saint and the relevant public cult. This norm became a universal law with Gregory IX in 1234. 

Historical evidence that non-Latin particular Churches were agitating for this? And just because a pope decrees it doesn't make it a universal law.
Canonization is the supreme glorification by the Church of a Servant of God raised to the honours of the altar with a decree declared definitive and preceptive for the whole Church, involving the solemn Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff. 
 And there it is.

Holy Fear

Cyril O'Regan

Monday, October 14, 2019

Is There Any Party That Would Not Claim Newman for Their Own?

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 4

First Things: Letters From the Synod–2019: #4 by Xavier Rynne II

We honor the memory of John Henry Newman, this newest of God’s saints, by imitating his courage, and the conviction that underwrote it.

Perhaps It Is Too Late to Implement

CWR: St. Newman’s Idea of a Catholic University: An Alma Mater, not a foundry, mint, or treadmill by Tracey Rowland

As we celebrate the canonization of John Henry Newman this week and re-read his publications on this subject, the gulf between his vision of Catholic education and what we currently have is stark.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11

Rorate Caeli: Feast of the Divine Maternity — or of Papa Roncalli? by Peter Kwasniewski

Yeah, Sure

Let's see what happens.

ROMAN ENCOUNTERS by Gerhard Müller

EWTN Publications

Is the cardinal responsible for the English subtitle: The Unity of the Faith and the Holy See's Responsibility for the Universal Church? Perhaps not, but I do think that the book is probably ultramontane in leaning, conflating the patriarchate of Rome with the Universal Church.

Letters from the Amazon Synod, Part 3

First Things: Letters From the Synod–2019: #3
October 11, 2019 / by Xavier Rynne II

The “neo-colonialism” of dumbed-down expectations compounded by the imposition of First World preoccupations on Third World societies has been evident at Synod-2019.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Adam DeVille Has Some Practical Considerations for Latin Reformers on Clerical Celibacy

But will they listen, even if they were aware of him and his writing?

CWR Dispatch: The realities and challenges of the married priesthood: An Eastern Catholic perspective
Seven points of caution for those who support or hope for possible alterations to the requirement of clerical celibacy in the Latin Church.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019


Sandro Magister: Infanticide in the Amazon. There Are Those Who Defend It, Even in the Church

Updated: Bishop Kräutler Also Knows That in the Amazon They Practice Infanticide. But He Does Not Want It To Be Punished

Letters from the Amazon Synod Part 2

First Things: Letters From the Synod–2019: #2
Edited by Xavier Rynne II

Catholics are growing dispirited by a Church that increasingly presents itself as a global NGO whose primary concerns are political rather than spiritual.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Monday, October 07, 2019


Of Course He Would Say That


Video of Benedict XVI


A New Series Edited by Xavier Rynne II

First Things: Letters From the Synod-2019: #1 Edited by Xavier Rynne II
Reports and Commentary, from Rome and Elsewhere, on the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region: “New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology”

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Another Latin Defense

CWR: Celibacy: A brilliant jewel, a pearl of a great price by Conor Dugan
Fr. Carter Griffin offers a beautiful and compelling apologetic for celibacy and why the Latin Church should maintain her teaching and practice of the celibate priesthood.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

The New Cardinals

They actually believe this is proper representation for the patriarchate, when they should be rethinking the patriarchate. Institutional inertia.

Who wrote this address?


More on Newman

Friday, October 04, 2019

Two from Magister

Even a Cardinal Close To Bergoglio Is Condemning the Dangers of the Synods of the Amazon and Germany
From the Amazon To Germany and Its “Anti-Roman Complex.” The Lesson of Cardinal Brandmüller

Fallacy by Association

Active participation is bad because it was an ideal promoted by Bugnini and others after Vatican 2!

It doesn't matter what different Latin proponents of the 20th century liturgical movement may have thought. (Not all thought that everything had to be in the "vernacular" and even a few did not even consider translating the liturgy into another language.)

Are there any instances of good active participation involving a version of the vernacular, hieratic or not? One does not expect comparative liturgy from a Latin traditionalist.

1P5: ‘Virtually Impossible with an All-Latin Liturgy’: A Brief History of Active Participation by Sharon Kabel

Some Reading on Newman

Thursday, October 03, 2019

The Pretensions of Constantinople

Mozarabic Breviary

What Justification for This?

Ecumenism? Fraternity? While some Lutherans may be close to apostolic Christianity, is this true of the state church of Sweden? And how can one be face to face with a female fake bishop without some sort of correction? I never understood that part of being "diplomatic."

Pre-Order the CD

Monday, September 30, 2019

A New Neocat Seminary in Macao

Sandro Magister: Neocatechumenals Heading Into the Sunset, With a Push From the Pope

Il Collegio Redemptoris Mater per l’Asia – l’Osservatore Romano – Agenzia Fides

Sarah, Burke, Savino

Sandro Magister: Amazon. Three More Cardinals Rebuff the Base Document of the Synod

Theology in the Life of the Church

Fordham: Theological Education in Focus at Orthodoxy in America Lecture


The Eucharist and the Real Presence

Is the same old catechesis coupled with more second millennium Latin (paraliturgical) Eucharistic devotions the answer?

Latin traditionalists might say yes, it is a partial solution. (A return to the EF would be an additional part.) I suppose the Latin bishops in the U.S. have a few years to try before they are overwhelmed by other developments.

Freskenzyklus mit Szenen aus dem Leben des Hl. Martin von Tours, Kapelle in Unterkirche San Francesco in Assisi, Szene: Die wundersame Messe des Hl. Martin

Master of the Rio Frio. Altarpiece of St. Martin (Spanish; c. 1500). Musée de Cluny, Paris.

Oxford. Bodleian Library. Psalter.

I think it is the typical representation of the Mass, choosing the elevation of the Host during the Consecration as the key or representative moment, and this is undoubtedly linked to the Latin notion of sacrifice as it is applied to the redemptive work of Christ, focused primarily (though probably not exclusively) on Christ's death on the cross. Even if the elevation was originally modified to a greater height for the purpose of affirming the Real Presence and showing the Gifts to the people so that they may adore Christ, in response to heresies denying the Real Presence of Christ in the Gifts, I think in the "traditional" popular Latin understanding of the Mass offering/"sacrifice" has impacted how the elevation is understood. We can see this mentality present in the association of the elevation (both before and after the reform of Eudes de Sully?) with the elevation of Christ in the cross in allegorical explanations of the Mass. Or in the theological explanation (one seemingly warranted by the liturgical texts themselves) that the Church offers Christ to the Father.

See the "Mass of St. Gregory":

End of 15th century


Diego Huanitzin

The new offertory prayer in the Pauline/Bugninian reform was probably invented and not recovered from the Roman liturgical tradition, but it does seem to be more in accord with the Eucharist being a development and perfection of Jewish Thanksgiving/korban. Who was responsible for its creation? I am not sure if Bouyer addressed that part of the reform specifically.

If sacrifice were understood instead as Thanksgiving for the gifts we receive from the Father (and ultimately the Thanksgiving of the Son to the Father), what would be the best pictorial representation of the Eucharist? The presbyteros at the altar united with the Christian people in prayer (and all facing East)? (How would this be distinguished from some other prayer service, except by inclusion of the Holy Vessels and Holy Gifts in the picture?) The reception of the Holy Gifts by the people?

See for example, this image from the 15th-century Calderini Pontifical:

The elevation could be understood as an affirmation of the Real Presence in this particular Holy Mystery (Sacrament), and one necessary component of the Son's Thanksgiving, the Son Himself, who desires that we share in His life by receiving Him in the Holy Gifts, which have been given to us by the Father. This is the core of the (Christian) Mystery, the Gospel, but I think a new catechetical explanation of the Eucharist would be required for Latins to modify their understanding.

I am curious as to how old the offertory prayer is in the DL of St. John Chrysostom, and if there are analogues in the other rites and how far back they date.

Can someone really render thanks to God if he does not respect or have holy fear of God? How many have received a counterfeit Gospel and heresy instead of the authentic Saving Message Who is Christ?

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Futile Moves to Save Dying Churches

“Recent Challenges of the Ordained Ministry in the Church”

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ohly told the symposium that it was a “gift” for priests to be able to conform their lives to Christ in such a way.

“The gift of the priest’s conformation to Christ consequently becomes his mission, in his style of life, his personal attitudes, his life of prayer as well as in the duties assigned to him.”

In her comments to the symposium, Dr. Marianne Schlosser also noted that the priesthood is not a functional role but a vocation of “personal identification with Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

A celibate life seems to follow as part of this vocation, she added, because it was “Christ’s own way of life, who gave his life for humanity, even unto death.”

“Celibacy is a telling witness of the faithful person’s hope for eternal life. By renouncing marriage and the founding of a family, celibacy wants to foster a generous love for the entire (family of Christ) as well as a personal bond with the Lord,” she added.

But all Christians are personally identified with Christ; why shouldn't they be called to celibacy as well?


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fr. Z's Opinion on Deacons

ASK FATHER: Are permanent deacons necessary?

An excerpt, but the whole is worth considering.

With the shortage of priests in these USA at least, one can see how having deacons who can help with Communion calls and so forth, sacramental prep, service at the altar for solemn worship is desirable. Frankly, I wish I had a couple of permanent deacons around whom I could train up for Solemn Masses. That would make my life a lot easier.

It seem to me that, while priests are existentially necessary for the life of the Church (e.g. Mass, confessions, anointing), and permanent deacons are not in the same way necessary (e.g. they do none of those), having them in service depends a great deal on both the urgency of the need and the quality of formation. That isn’t very definite, I know. First, every cleric ought to be well-formed.

We can’t do without priests, and so we can get on with priests who aren’t so sharp. But we can get along very well without deacons who aren’t so sharp.

Are they necessary? Well… it depends. It depends on if you want to work priests into their early graves and it depends on the level of formation.

Lastly, reception of Holy Orders means that there was a vocation from God to be ordained. We humans can and do get in the middle of that through formation programs, etc. However, God’s involvement means that if permanent deacons are necessary, then they are going, somehow, to be ordained, just as a flower finds purchase and manages to spring up in the crack of a sidewalk. I cannot pass any sort of judgment on God’s role in this matter of the permanent diaconate.

One of the first things that the Apostles did was choose men for the diaconate. That tells us something.

If the same conditions pertain in our day, deacons will be necessary for us just as for the Apostles. Circumstances play a role, and we can discern something of God’s will in the circumstances, as the Apostles did.

Cardinal Sarah Visits the Monastère Saint-Benoît

More photos

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Latin Defense of Transubstantiation

1P5: Substance and Accidents: A Beginner’s Guide to Defending the Eucharist

Both the application of substance and substance/accident as applied to bread must first be corrected, and then we can see if verbally, the theologoumenon that is transubstantiation can still be maintained. Regardless, a naive application of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics is no longer viable given how sophisticated received opinion on material reality has become.