"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pope John XXIII On Latin (partially translated)




1. language of the Western , shut up in Greek and Roman literature, and memorable teaching of ancient peoples, as well as a very bright, as if to herald the dawn of the Gospel of truth, which the Son of God, the judge and teacher of grace, the light and guide of the human race (1),proclaimed on earth . For the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, in the most excellent of the times of antiquity they acknowledged the memories of a kind of spiritual preparation for the supernatural riches which Jesus Christ in the dispensation of the fulness of times (2) communicated to mankind, out of which it came to pass, It is clear, as in the rebuilding of the Christian order of things, I really never lost his life, but the truth, and just, and noble, beautiful, finally, the obliteration of the acts of the ages.

2. For this reason, the teachings of the Church of the holy wisdom of such a nature, and the Greek and Latin languages ​​in the first place, as with a garment of gold, of the wisdom, the highest esteem served them: and even honored the words of others, who flourished in the quarters of the east, since the progress of humanity, and to be conformed to the character of not a little influence on the use of receiving them; whether in the religious ceremonies of the same have or have used in the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, even to the present time in certain regions, just as the living voices of antiquity never interrupted, but flourished.

3. Of these in the different languages, it certainly stands out, which first broke out in the territory of Latium, and later to as much as it is a wonder for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.If, indeed, it has come to pass, not without a divine plan, that we who have the word of a most magnificent of the Roman Empire, under the authority of the nations together for ever and a great number of sociavisset, he should escape and proper to the Apostolic See (3), and thus preserved for posterity, a strait, a bond of unity with other Christian peoples of Europe.

Of its very nature Latin among the different tribes to the effective promotion of the worship of anyone who'll have the whole of humanity is VERY CONVENIENT: It does not envy, when one nation, presents itself with equal parts of no man 's favor, and at last it is pleasing to all, and a friend.Nor must we overlook, in the nobility of Latin's formal structure and property, since the pressed style, rich, numerous, full of majesty and dignity (4) has, which is solely and clarity, and of gravity.

4. For these reasons the Apostolic See is not no time for reserving the use of Latin, carefully arranged and thought worthy of the heavenly doctrine and sacred laws tamquαm splendid dress(5) use it in their teaching practice, the same used by the sacred ministers. For these men, men of the church, wherever they are of the Gentiles, the use of language of the Romans, which are more ready to learn that they can of the Holy See, and easier to communicate with, and to each other.

It, therefore, to such an extent bound up with the life of the Church, have perceived by the use of knowledge and, not so much of humanity and of the letters, which is the difference of religion(6), as Our predecessor, the imm. frames. 11 warned Pius, who, by reason of the thing and a way not pursue them, and indicated three qualities of this language, to a remarkable degree with the Church's in perfect harmony with: For the Church, so that these things, and it embraces all the nations, and even to the consummation of the ages ... is that they shall remain, and the word by its very nature requires the universal, immutable, and no mean (7).

5. Nam cum Ecclesiam Romanam needful to sit omnem agree ecclesiam (8), cumque Summi Pontifices potestatem habeant true episcopalem, et ordinariam immediatam omnes et singulas Ecclesias in tum, tum in omnes et singulos pastores et fideles (9) cuiusvis ritus, cuiusvis gentis, cuiusvis tongue, consentaneum omnino videtur ut mortgage commercii instrumentum universal sit aequabile et, et maxime inter Apostolicam Sedem Ecclesias, quae eodem ritu Latin utuntur. Itaque tum Pontifices Romans, is quid catholicas gentes Docere volunt, tum Romanae Curiae Consilia, negotia expediunt you here, you here conficiunt decrees, to universitatem fidelium spectantia, always linguam Latinam Haud secus usurpant, vox ac is maternal ab innumeris gentibus Accepta and sit.

6. Not only universal but also immutable must be the Church's language. If the truths of the Catholic Church or delivered to some or many of the recent change languages, of which no other authority upon, it should get out of it, with the result that their power was not significantly or fully, by which variety they are, open to all, as there is no common and constant should be the norm, to which the meaning of other renderings. Indeed, such a language Latin, against the varieties have long since been rendered safe, and the meaning of words in the daily, popular use, which is wont to lead, what should we think is fixed and immobile; of some Latin words, new meanings as Christian teaching developed and explained and defended, but they are firm for a long time definite.

7. Denique Cum Ecclesia Catholica, utpote Christo Domino seasoned, inter omnes humanas societates longe dignitate praestet, profecto decet eam language used does not vulgari, sed et nous nobilitatis plena.

8. Praetereaque Latin language, quam dicere catholicam true possumus (10), utpote quae sit Apostolicae Sedis, et omnium Ecclesiarum Matris magistrae, worn perpetually consecrated, et putanda east thesaurus ... incomparandae praestantiae (11), et quaedam almost ianua, here aditus omnibus patet to IPSAS christianas veritates antiquitus acceptas et ecclesiasticae doctrinae monumental interpretanda (12); et vinculum denique peridoneum, quo praesens Ecclesiae aetas Cumulative superioribus cumque futuris mirifice continetur.

9. Nor, indeed, each can be in doubt, but that power is present or of great literature or language of the Romans, which was added to the very be drawn to conform to the tender minds of youth training, which was then for the principal faculties of mind and spirit exercises, matures and perfects, then sharpens the wits and the power of judgment ; It helps the young to be appointed to the better understanding of values ​​comprise them that all is right; and, lastly, the sum of the intelligent thought and speech.

10. Why do you think out of these two things, indeed, is understood to be the excellence and importance of Latin and the Roman Pontiffs have frequently and have maintained it in such a great praise, but also the study of the sacred and the use of both the clergy and regular, in perils of flowing that would result from its neglect.
The same causes, therefore, have been led to the most serious, in which Our predecessors have, and the Synod of Provincials (13), we, too, she brings forth a firm determination to, as of this language, have been restored to the dignity of one into his own, over and over again the study of the culture and effectively promoted. For when in many places in the The employment of Latin has recently been contested, and many are asking what the Apostolic See is in this think of a thing, have therefore decided to up his mind to the appropriate norms of the grave published in this document, to provide by the ancient and uninterrupted custom of Latin be maintained, and, where near the exoleverit, fully restored.

For the rest, that is to be the sense of ourselves in this matter, made ​​it quite plain, it seems to us, we have made ​​clear, since these are the words we have done to some eminent Latin scholars:Unfortunately, there are a sufficient number, they were taken captive by the marvelous progress of science, abnormiter, the study of Latin and other studies of this kind, or to repel the subjects of states to take ... Precisely for this urgent need for, or pursue the contrary, the way was of note. When made ​​on the mind at all, as is rather the nature of the dignity of man, and it is fitting that the acquisition is that which adorn the mind, and worship, lest those poor mortal creatures may in like manner as they build the machine, shivering, and love too hard for, should be devoid of (14).

11. PROVISIONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE STUDY OF things, a certain gift of our conscience and the authority of, the following, we establish and command.

§ 1. Bishops and superiors of religious orders shall give their attention to a match for the Master of the Supreme, that in their seminaries and in their schools, in which the young men trained for the priesthood of the Apostolic See in this matter diligently obey the will of all, and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.
§ 2. Paternal iidem sollicitudine caveant, it's here and dicione, Rerum Novarum scholars, against linguam Latinam sive in altioribus sacris disciplinis tradendis sive in sacris habendis ritibus usurpandam scribant, snow praeiudicata opinion Apostolicae Sedis voluntatem hac in D extenuent perperam interpretentur speed.

§ 3. As is the Code of Canon Law (c. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors the sacred rites of the students, before they begin the ecclesiastical studies proper, a method suitable for the space of time by those who are masters of the Latin language are permeated with the utmost precision,that too for this reason: lest later on, when major studies ... because of the ignorance of the word, that he may gain a full understand they can not, to say nothing of himself to exercise in those scholastic disputations which discharge disposition, temper, a brilliant young men to the defense of the faith (15). That, too, belong to them, we will, who was born grasping the duties of a divinely called to the priesthood, have handed down to the work of classical studies, or null or too thin. No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly and perfectly in this language is, and his using it.

§ 4. Wherever, however, on account of the SIMILAR program of studies, which obtains in the public schools of the city, of the partial withdrawal of the Latin language, with the loss of his sister firmaeque of doctrine, there is traditional method of teaching this language shall be completely restored, since each is convinced that it ought to be, this, too, in a matter of the sacred rites of the students the maintenance of the manner of formation be holy and sacred, not only as regards the number and kind of, but also the length of time devoted to the teaching of these concerns. But if, of time and place demand the course of other subjects to the common addition to the necessity of discipline, then it reason, or the lengthened course of studies, the same in the short, or discipline, they are forced to, or, in fact it should be repulsed the time of their study to another.

§ 5. Major sacred sciences, as with numerous previous, shall be taught in Latin, which, as we know from many centuries of use, is considered most suitable to the difficult and profound ideas and concepts are very appropriately, and clearly explaining with (16), since besides being long since been enriched by its own terms is clear and it is , best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic faith, even for empty babbling is very apt to be cut off. Athens, therefore, who, whether in the greatest, or professors of these sciences in the seminaries, and they are bound to speak Latin, and the books, appointed to the use of schools, written in Latin to apply. Who, if they obey the prescriptions of the Holy See to these, ignorance of Latin, they are not armed, in the teachers, to take their place, step by step, this qualified to be sufficient. The difficulties, however, if, or advanced by students or by the professors of which is proposed, the bishops and superiors, on the one side, the good will of the doctors, those in his mind it is necessary to let them be defeated.

§ 6. Quoniam Latin language east language alive Ecclesiae, to cotidie succrescentes sermonis necessitates comparanda, atque adeo novus iisque aptis et congruis ditanda vocabulis ratione quidem aequabili, et cum universal veteris linguae Latinae ingenio consentanea - quam scilicet rationem et Sancti Patres et optimi scriptores, quos scholasticos vocant, secuti sunt - mandamus propterea S. Consilio Seminariis Studiorumque Universitatibus praeposito, ut Academicum Latinitatis Institutum condendum Curet. Huic Institute in quo corpus doctorum confletur He must, Linguis Latin et Graeca peritorum, former variisque terrarum orbis partibus arcessitorum, illud praecipue ERIT propositum, ut - Haud secus atque singularum civitatum Academiae, suae cuiusque nationis linguae provehendae constitutae - simul prospiciat congruent linguae Latinae progressions , Lexico Latino, opus sit, additis verbis cum eius nature et convenientibus own color; simultaneous de scholas habeat universal cuiusvis Aetatis Latinitate, cum primarily de Christiana. In quibus scholis to pleniorem linguae Latinae scientiam, for eius usum, to genus scribendi proprium et elegans ii informabuntur, here vel to linguam Latinam in Seminariis et Collegiis ecclesiasticis docendam, vel to decrees et iudicia scribenda, vel to epistolarum commercium exercendum in Consiliis Sanctae Sedis , in Curiis dioecesium, in Officiis Religiosorum ordinum destinantur.

§ 7. But when the Latin is closely allied to Greek both in nature and shape of the writers of his own, and have been handed down by the weight of old, to her, therefore, as is often the number of Our Predecessors have, it is necessary are those who will be of the order of the sacred ministers of the lower and middle schools be instructed in Thus, with the study the higher sciences, and especially on the Sacred theology is, or with the Holy Scriptures, or aiming for a degree, it is the very opportunity, and not only the Greek sources of scholastic philosophy, which they call, but then they of the Sacred Scriptures, the liturgy, of the Most Holy. 

Access for purposes of understanding the manuscripts of the Greek Fathers primiformes (17).

§ 8. To the same command, moreover, the Sacred Council, so that the teaching of Latin, from the all shall faithfully observe, obediently, just give those who follow the knowledge of the language and the use of capture was imminent. Such a reason, if circumstances demand it, the Ordinaries of a group of in any other way, indeed, will be able to digest, but they must never curtail it or alter nature. Ordinaries that their plans had until these have been examined and approved by the Sacred Congregation, that they had not eat the sacred food as possible.

12. Finally, we establish that this Our Constitution, decrees, issued a notice that command, and approved to continue to stop, and all those things, and sure we will and command of Our Apostolic Authority, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, worthy of special note.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on 22 day of the month of February, the Chair of St. Apocalypse of Peter. the sacred, in the year 1962, the fourth of Our Pontificate.

(1) Tertull., Apol. 21; Migne, PL 1, 394.
(2) Eph. 1, 10.
- The text published in the AAS 54 (1962) 129-35, and in L'Oss. Rom. Febbr 24. 1962, p. 1-2.
(3) Epist. S. Congr. Stud. Vehementer heal, ad Ep. universes, 1 IUL. 1908: Ench. Cler., N. 820.Etiam cf. Epist. Rev. Pii XI, Unigenitus Dei Filius , 19 Mar. 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 141.
(4) Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Offιciorum omnium , 1 Aug. 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 452-453.
(5) Pius XI, Motu Proprio Litterarum Latinarum, 20 Oct. 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 417.
(6) Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Offιciorum omnium, 1 Aug. 1922: AAS 14 (1922) 452.
(7) Ibidem.
(8) S. Iren., Adv. Haer. 3, 3, 2, Migne PG 7, 848.
(9) See CIC, can. 218, § 2.
(10) Cf Pius 11, Epist. , Ap. efforts of all the, Aug 1. 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
(11) Pius XII, Allocution. Magis quam , 23 Nov. 1951: AAS 43 (1951) 737.
(12) Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Since the day , 8 Sept. 1899: Leonis XIII Acta 19 (1899) 166.
(13) See Collectio Lacensis, praesertim: vol. III, 1918s. (Conc Prov. Westmonasteriense, a. 1859), vol. IV, 29 (Conc Prov. Parisiense, a. 1849), vol. IV, 149, 153 (Conc Prov. Rhemense, a. 1849), vol. IV, 359, 361 (Conc Prov. Avenionense, a. 1849), vol. IV, 394, 396 (Conc Prov. Burdigalense, a. 1850), vol. V, 61 (Conc Strigoniense, a. 1858); vol. V, 664 (Conc Prov. Colocense, a. 1863), vol. VI, 619 (Synod. Vicariatus Suchnensis, a. 1803).
(14) to the convent of internat. Ciceronian was promoting his Studies », 7 of September. 1959, inan interview Discorsi Messaggi del Santo Padre Giovanni 23, 1, p. 234-235; cf. also Address. to the pilgrims of the Diocese of Piacenza, Apr 15. 1959: L'Osservatore Romano, April 16,. , 1959; Epistle. the Father of mercies, Aug 22. , 1961: AAS 53 (1961), 677; Address. of the solemn inauguration of the College of the Philippine Islands at Rome, 7 Oct. 1961: L'Osservatore Romano, 9-10 Oct. 1961 Epistle. lucunda laudatio, Dec 8. , 1961: AAS 53 (1961), 812.
(15) Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, 1 Aug. 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
(16) Epist. SC Studiorum, Vehementer healthy, 1 Eh. 1908: Ench. Cler., n. 821.
(17) Leo, 12, lit. Catholic Church. Providentissimus God, Nov 18. 1893: Journal of the Lion 's13, 13 (1893), 342; Epistle. Clearly, there will be understanding, 20 May 1885, Acts of the , 5, 63-64; Pius 12, Address to. More than, 23 of September. 1951: AAS 43 (1951), 737.

Source: www.vatican.va

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Catholic Church in Canada “too much fun not to be blogged” 
says theology prof
Friday, 24 February 2012 08:24 By Deborah Gyapong Canadian Catholic News
OTTAWA (CCN)— Colin Kerr has discovered his “initial assumption that Canadian Catholic bloggers are a bunch of cranks didn’t add up”---but he has discovered a Canadian content problem.

The assistant professor of theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy (OLSWA) in Barry’s Bay, Ontario has found more than 100 English language blogs in his investigation of the Catholic blogosphere in Canada. The father of five who blogs at http://thetheologyofdad.blogspot.com said he is surprised at the quality.

“These blogs were not narrowly political, angry or philistine,” he said in an email interview. “They were well-written, by people who seemed to be alive in their faith, in their families, in their priestly and religious vocations.”

But he never thought he would be echoing the Canadian content prescriptions of mainstream Canadian media.

“Frankly, we look south too much,” he posted at the Society of Canadian Catholic Bloggers (SCCB) (http://canadiancatholicbloggers.blogspot.com/), a new site he created to capture each new Canadian post in a constantly updating blog roll. “The negative in this is that we pay less attention to our own problems and blessings.”

“Do we know the great American bishops and other personalities better than we know our own?” he asked. “Our bishops and our 'personalities' are the ones who should be 'informing' us (in the Aristotelian sense) - otherwise we will be too 'represented' by people like Justin Trudeau.”

The Society’s blog roll gives Canadian Catholic personalities a chance to shine. It includes blogs by bishops such as Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and Montreal Bishop Dowd, blogs by priests and religious, blogs by organizations such as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and Salt and light TV, blogs by homeschooling moms, pro-life blogs like Big Blue Wave, blogs on liturgy, on theological reflections, on parenthood, and on religious life inside a monastery.

Many posts are veritable gems of inspiration, beauty and encouragement.

The SCCB also includes some blogs that might make people angry or upset.

When Kerr put the word out that he wanted to launch the Society, he laid down some general standards. “I like a good debate,” he said. “Too many people want to stifle thought and expression these days.”

“Sure, charity and respect are important, but there is a way to interpret even them too narrowly,” he said. “We do that these days. And, it’s a very common tactic to shut up those who disagree with you.”

So some of the blogs he has included might raise eyebrows. “We’ll develop our internet etiquette eventually,” he said. “It is a new forum. The thing is, acrimony is boring. People want good news, and I’d like to influence Canadian Catholic bloggers in that direction.”

Catholic blogs have been criticized for setting themselves up as an alternative Magisterium, and thus undercutting the authority of bishops as teachers, but Kerr said he did not find that. “Not even the cockier ones presented themselves that way. “

“That latter kind, sure, they have a zeal for the truth, but I think they just want their pastors to exercise greater leadership,” he said.

One site Kerr did not add immediately was Sylvia’s Site (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/), which focuses almost exclusively on documenting the clerical sexual abuse scandal in Canada. Blogger Sylvia MacEachern has developed perhaps the most extensive data base on priestly abuse in Canada, with links to newspaper articles she has scanned from as far back as the 1980s.

“It makes for a hard read,” Kerr admits. “No one wants to read this kind of thing for itself. But, I have to admit that love for the Church, love for the truth – which has to be the hallmark for every Catholic, especially every theologian – means looking in the face of evil at times.”

“Child abuse is not a rare event,” he said. “I know more than a few victims.”

“If I may worry about the emotional state of people who become pre-occupied with single-issues, like the Latin Mass, or even terribly important issues like child abuse or abortion, I nevertheless regard these people as legitimate members of the Catholic community,” he said. “We have to get away from the ‘Church of only the beautiful people.’ It’s arrogant.”

Syvia’s Site grew out of MacEachern’s coverage of the 2006 Cornwall Inquiry into sexual abuse by members of the city’s establishment, including some Catholic priests.

One priest who asked not to be identified said Sylvia’s Site is a daily stop. Not only does it have the biggest archive in Canada on the sexual abuse scandal, it keeps track of court dates for sexual abuse cases across the country. He joked that maybe the CCCB should hire her. But the priest raised concerns about the publication of unproven allegations that can harm reputations unfairly.

“I think as the years have rolled by and I get closer to this, I realize that my concern for children and the vulnerable trumps my concerns for the rare instances in which there may be false allegations,” MacEachern said in telephone interview. “And they truly are rare.”

The anger of victims against the Church is one of the hardest things for MacEachern to deal with. “I am a practicing Catholic and I do love my church.”

But the native of Northern Ireland who converted to Catholicism 30 years ago understands their anger. “We shouldn’t have these men in the priesthood. We shouldn’t have cover ups. We shouldn’t have people put willfully at risk.”

Her site has uncovered three cases of convicted sexual abusers continuing in public ministry in other dioceses, she said, noting all have since been removed.

Kerr recognized the role blogs have played in breaking news on both sides of the border. He considers them a “boon to free speech.”

But just as universities were supposed to be places for freedom of thought, the “PC thought police come along and begin to try and control what gets said there,” Kerr said. “We need to resist these forces. It is a Christian duty.” But he admitted there are consequences to speaking one’s mind and one has to be ready for them.

“In my opinion there is a great deal of space between imprudence and cowardice,” he said.” With my blog, thetheologyofdad, I try to navigate within that space. I’m not always ‘theologically correct,’ and neither do I always get family life right, but we can learn together online, or at least we should.”

“It’d be safer if I stopped blogging, but I need to be able to look at myself in the mirror too,” he said. “Jesus didn’t convert me so that I might live the safe life.

“A few people have chosen to blog anonymously, and there’s a place for that, I think. But as a theologian I have a duty to live my doctrine publicly, otherwise I bring shame upon the Church,” he said.

“In this I find a great deal of inspiration from some great Churchmen, like Archbishop Prendergast, or Fr. De Souza. Need I mention the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York? This is true leadership for bloggers like me,” said.

Among the anonymous and highly controversial blogs Kerr has included in the SCCB is The Heresy Hunter (http://heresy-hunter.blogspot.com). Begun in 2009, and reaching a relatively small audience of about 200 regular readers, The Heresy-Hunter sometimes publishes posts that could add up to a dozen printed pages, complete with footnotes.

Kerr joked that the author probably irons his jeans because of his attention to minute detail. But the posts reveal writer well-versed in philosophy, theology and the personalities in the Canadian Church, even if he makes fun of them or lambastes them.

“I don’t think that he and I would ever be good friends were we to meet,” Kerr said. “I’m not that intense! Just reading him exhausts me. But he is smart. So much of what he says is true.”

“But would I ever refer to a bishop as ‘Sparkles,’ for instance?” Kerr said. “Not publicly I wouldn’t. But you have to admit it’s funny. There is funny and there is just plain mean.”

“Intense blogs like his aren’t my cup of tea, but I believe it deserves to be listed on the SCCB because it is an absolute trove of information, and it provides a legitimate perspective,” Kerr said.

The Heresy-Hunter who calls himself TH2, cannot be criticized for lack of Canadian content. He takes aim at every icon or institution in the Canadian Catholic world.

TH2 has put the CCCB, Catholic media and individual bishops and prominent Catholic personalities under his gaze, making caricatures of them. He even lists most of them, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in his blog roll under the heading: “Subversives/heretics/apostates.” Which might come across as outrageous unless one considers the listing is a form of satire.

Contacted by his Twitter account, TH2 said he uses satire and his sometimes “outlandish” sense of humor to “lighten” what are otherwise serious topics. He said he aims to cross-check or validate the claims and opinions of Catholics in the media, in education and those holding official positions in the Church, using the Magisterium, Catechism and the saints as benchmarks.

TH2 said the mainstream Catholic media has been “unable” or has refused to tackle issues of heresy because of connections and income from the Catholic establishment. He said they exhibit an “obliviousness to the modern crisis in Catholicism.”

Kerr agrees the Internet has opened up many forums for discussion. “Thought is no longer so easily controlled by CBC, NBC and whomever else,” he said. “That is an unimaginably good thing.”

But he acknowledged some Catholic shepherds might be reluctant to be too bold in the public square for fear of being labeled as “unfeeling, unthinking zealots.”

“Religion gets a bad rap these days,” he said.” Pastors are expected to be smiling teddy bears if they are to escape censure.

“In the past the clergy were expected to tow the hard line, to be condemning and puritanical, and so they were,” he said.

“Of course, the clergy runs the Catholic media, generally speaking, and so the expectation to never offend percolates down to the editors and writers,” he said.
The Priest Was Facing The Other Way

by Matthew Warner Friday, February 17, 2012 4:00 PM

As I mentioned in a post last year, I’ve never gotten to attend a celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form (aka the “Latin Mass” or the “Tridentine Mass,” etc.). I’ve tried a few times and it didn’t work out for various reasons. And I really didn’t even know it existed or what it exactly was up until 5-10 years ago. I’ve been interested in attending ever since.

I grew up where all I ever knew was the Ordinary Form (this is the same form of the Mass that’s been said in various translations since Vatican II). If you’re under the age of 40 it’s probably all you’ve ever really known, too.

Not too long ago, however, I attended an Ordinary Form of the Mass where the priest was facing away from the congregation during the consecration. Of course, that was the normal practice prior to Vatican II. But I had never experienced it. In the Ordinary Form of the Mass today, the priest faces the congregation the whole time.

I know there are theological reasons to support both practices. And my point here is not to argue them or to say that either is objectively “better.” All I want to say is that when the priest held up the bread and wine and offered them up to the Father as the Body and Blood of His Son, I experienced Mass in a different way than ever before.

At every other Mass I had ever been to, I had seen the priest holding up the Body and Blood toward me. Holding them up for an audience to see - or at least, that is what I naturally perceived from the way it was done. If you are just observing the Ordinary Form of the Mass, this is the part where you’d say, “Oh, this is where the priest holds up the bread and wine to the congregation.”

But when the priest was facing away from me this time, I got a very different impression. It really hit home to me more than ever that in that moment I was participating in something, not just observing. That I wasn’t just being shown something, but that we were the ones offering the something together — through the priest. All because the priest was facing the other way. The position of his body just seemed to resonate more with what we were doing. That’s all.

It just reminded me that the motions of the liturgy are always communicating something important. And that depending on one’s background or perspective, they impact you differently.

I’m thankful for the latest improvements to the Mass translation. And I’m hopeful that we’ll all continue to uncover, embrace and express the mysteries of the Mass together as we go forward as the Church.

I also thought the following words from Cardinal Burke regarding the long tradition of the Mass were both interesting and promising:

Many Catholics now see that the Church’s “ordinary form” of Mass, celebrated in modern languages, “could be enriched by elements of that long tradition.”

In time, Cardinal Burke expects the Western Church’s ancient and modern forms of Mass to be combined in one normative rite, a move he suggests the Pope also favors.

“It seems to me that is what he has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite – the ‘reform of the reform,’ if we may – all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.”

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/the-priest-was-facing-the-other-way/#ixzz1nQLs0ylZ

Homily on the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent by Pope St Gregory the Great

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 12, 2011
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It is often asked by some people what spirit it was by which Jesus was led into the wilderness, on account of the words a little further on: Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and again: The devil took Him up into a very high mountain. But in truth, and without any further searching, we may believe it was the Holy Ghost who led Him up into the wilderness. His own Spirit led Him where the evil spirit found Him to tempt Him. How ever, when it is said that He, God and Man, was taken up by the devil, either into a very high mountain or into the holy city, the mind shrinks from believing, and the ears of man tingle when hearing it. Yet we know that these things are not incredible, when we consider certain other things concerning Him. Indeed, the devil is the head of all the wicked, and every wicked man is a member of that body, of which the devil is the head. Was not Pilate a limb of Satan?  Were not the Jews who persecuted, and the soldiers who crucified Christ, likewise limbs of Satan? Is it then strange that He should allow Himself to be led up into a mountain by the head, Who allowed Himself to be crucified by the members? Therefore it is not unworthy of our Redeemer, Who came to be slain, that He should be willing to be tempted. It was meet that He should thus overcome our temptations by His own, even as He came to overcome our death by His own. We ought to know that temptation works under three forms. There is first the suggestion, then the delectation, or pleasure, and, lastly, the consent. When we are tempted, it often happens that we fall into delectation, and even into consent, because in the sinful flesh of which we are begotten, we carry in ourselves matter to favour the attack. But God, when He took flesh in the womb of the Virgin, and came into the world without sin, did so without having in Himself anything of this lusting of the flesh against the spirit. It was possible, therefore, for Him to be tempted in the first stage, namely, suggestion; but there was nothing in His mind, in which delectation could fix its teeth. Thus all the temptation He endured from the devil was without, and none within Him.
If, now, we consider the order of the temptations attacking the Redeemer of the world, we see with what power our Saviour delivered us from the snares prepared for us by the enemy of our" salvation. For, when the old Serpent rose against the first man, the father of the human race, he attacked him with three kinds of temptations, namely, intemperance, vain-glory and avarice. And being thus tempted, he was overcome by the devil, for he gave his consent. When Satan showed to man the forbidden fruit, and persuaded him to eat of it, he attacked him with the weapon of intemperance; then he tempted him with vain-glory, saying that he would be like to God; lastly, avarice was his weapon, since he assured him that he would possess the knowledge of good and evil. For avarice consists not only in the inordinate love of riches, but also in the desire of exaltation; and we are in reality avaricious, when in an ambitious manner we desire to obtain dignities to which we cannot lay claim. This is also the teaching of St. Paul, who, speaking of Jesus Christ, says: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant (Phil 2:6, 7). The devil, therefore, attacked our first parent with the arrows of avarice, for he awakened in him the desire of exalting himself.
But this tempter, the old dragon, who by his artifice had overcome the first man, was in his turn overcome by another Man, with the very same weapons he had used in former times. For our Redeemer, the Man-God, was assailed by the devil in the same manner as our first parent; first, with the sensual appetite, since he said to Him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Then he tempted Him with vain-glory, asking Him to cast Himself down from a pinnacle of the temple, and so to show that He was the Son of God, saving His life by a miracle. Lastly, he tempted Him with avarice, when he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and promised to give them to Him, if falling down He would adore him. But our Saviour overcame this enemy by the same means that He had employed to tempt the father of the human race. And after this defeat he was enchained by our Lord, and forced by Him to go out of our heart by the same door by which he had entered to enslave us. Yet, beloved brethren, there is another lesson contained in this temptation of our Lord. He could cast His tempter into the eternal abyss by one single word, He being the Eternal Word. But He only answered with the commandments contained in Holy Scripture, so as to give us an example of His patience and moderation, instead of a brilliant sign of His almighty power. By this He teaches us that, when our sufferings are caused by the wicked, we should make good use of such persecutions, and be instructed by them, rather than take revenge. But are we not ashamed, when we consider, on one side God’s patience, and on the other our own impatience, when suffering injustice? It often happens, when we are unjustly treated or despised, that anger fills our heart at once. We try to take revenge, as far as lies in our power, and even threaten with a revenge of which we are powerless. Our Lord overcame the temptations of the devil through His patience and meek words. He bore an enemy who deserved the arrows of His justice, and He is thus the more worthy of our admiration and praise, since He was victorious over that enemy by His moderation rather than by the stripes of His anger.
Take notice of the fact that, as soon as the devil left Jesus, Angels came and ministered unto Him. Thereby we are given to understand that there are two natures in Jesus Christ. By the temptation of the devil we know that He was true Man, whilst the coming of the Angels and their ministering to Him, teach us that He is also true God. Let us, then, recognise our own nature in our Saviour, for the devil would not have dared to tempt Him, had he not perceived in Him our humanity. At the same time we bring Him our adorations, for the Angels would not have considered it their duty to minister unto Him, were He not as God exalted over them and all creatures.
This Gospel, calling to our mind the forty days and forty nights of fasting spent by our Lord in the desert, entirely agrees with the fast we observe during this holy season. But why was this number of forty days fasting sanctified? We read in the history of the Israelites that Moses prepared himself for the reception of the Law by fasting forty days; that Elias observed the same fast; that Jesus, before beginning His public life, abstained from food for forty days and forty nights; and lastly, that we also, as far as lies in us, observe this abstinence and fasting during the time of Lent. Though several motives may be set forth to explain this law of the Church, we can say in all truth that, by observing this commandment, we offer to God the tenth part of the year granted to us for satisfying our corporeal necessities. After living solely for ourselves during the course of the year, we now in Lent live for God, offering Him by our abstinence a part of that year. Now, after deducting from the six weeks of Lent the Sundays on which we do not fast, we find that there remain thirty-six days, so to speak, the tenth part of the year that we offer to God. The Lord God, beloved brethen, commands you in the Old Law to offer to Him the tithe (tenth part) of your possessions; it is, therefore, just that you should give Him the tithe of your days. For this reason it is every body s duty to mortify his body, according to his strength, to crucify his desires and subdue his sinful passions, that he may be, as St. Paul says, a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1). For we are a living sacrifice when, as long as we live, we mortify the desires of the flesh. Just as the lust of the flesh led us to commit sin, true penance must bring us back to God. Consider, again, that since by the eating of the forbidden fruit we were shut out of heaven, so we must endeavour to re-enter these gates by that temperance and abstinence which will atone for all the offences against God committed by our intemperance.
Yet, let us not think that our fasting will be sufficient to appease God, if it is not accompanied by the merits of almsgiving; for He said to us: Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen? Loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and harbourless into thy house; when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh (Isa 58:6, 7). This testimony teaches us that the fasting most pleasing to God is the one accompanied by alms offered by our hands, that is, by the love for our neighbour, perfected through works of mercy. Of what soever you deprive yourselves, give it to your poor neighbour, to relieve him; and these goods, of which you deprive yourselves by mortifying your appetite, will re joice your neighbour who is in need. Hear the Lord’s complaint: When you fasted and mourned, did you keep a fast unto Me? And when you did eat and drink, did you not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? (Zech 7:5, 6). Now, we eat for ourselves when the needy has no share in the food we are taking, which, being a gift of God, has been created for all men. And he keeps a fast for himself, who, depriving himself for a time of the food he used to take, preserves it to satisfy his desires later on, instead of giving it to the poor. The prophet Joel exhorts us to sanctify a fast (Joel 1:14), teaching us, if we wish to make our abstinence worthy of God the Almighty, to unite the mortification of our flesh with the practice of other virtues; to refrain from anger and banish hatred from our heart. In vain do we chastise our body, if the mind is not subdued by our victory over sinful passions. God Himself declares this through His prophet: Behold, in the day ofyour fast your own will is found, and you exact of all your debtors. Behold, you fast for debates and strife, and strike with the fist wickedly (Isa 58:3, 4). No injustice is committed when you ask your debtors to pay what they owe you. Yet you easily understand that he, who practises penance, will even abstain from exacting that which is owed to him in justice. When he mortifies himself in this manner and feels real sorrow for his sins, then God will be ready to forgive the debts due to His justice, seeing that for His sake the sinner forgives to others what they owe him in justice.

Lenten Resources

Here are several good resources to help you have a good Lent:


May God bless you,
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Since the introduction of the new liturgical texts this past November, I’ve attended Mass in Australia, California, New York, Rome, Washington, and Phoenix, and in none of these venues have I detected any of the calamities confidently predicted by opponents of the new texts. Not only has there been no visible distress over “consubstantial”; the People of God seem to have rather quickly and painlessly adjusted to the changes, so that, three months into the process, it’s a rare “And also with you” that escapes the lips of an unthinking congregant. In fact, most of the people who’ve spoken to me about the changes have applauded them.

Things are not-quite-the-same with priests.

One implicit purpose of the new translations, with their deliberate recovery of a sacral vocabulary and their adoption of a more formal literary rhythm, was to discipline the tendency of priests to turn the Mass into an expression of the celebrant’s personality. The difficulties some priests have had with adjusting to the changes suggests that this tendency was, in fact, a real problem in implementing the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Prominent Catholic psychologist Paul Vitz once wrote of this as a problem of “clerical narcissism,” and while the phrase undoubtedly stings, there’s something to it—something that needs correcting.

At Mass in the cathedral church of a major American city recently, I ran headlong into the problem in a rather striking way. The celebrant in question seemed not to understand that the invitation to the penitential rite is now prescribed, and not a matter for personal chattiness. Having failed to set up the Missal properly before Mass, he nattered on about his difficulty with “new books” while searching for the Collect of the day. He belted out those parts of the Offertory that the Missal prescribes as being said “quietly.” He rearranged several phrases in Eucharistic Prayer II to his liking. And he prefaced the Prayer after Communion with another voluble commentary on the difficulty of finding the right page.

I’m sure the priest in question is not a wicked or ill-intentioned man;he doubtless imagines that he’s making the Mass more user-friendly by taking liberties with the Missal. But, objectively speaking, he’s a prime example of clerical vanity: a man who imagines that his chirpy personality is the key to what Vatican II called the people’s “full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.” It was neither the time nor the place to challenge this essentially narcissistic assumption after Mass. But had I the opportunity, I would have told this priest, in as kind a way as I could manage, that what he deemed helpful was in fact distracting; that what he thought user-friendly was silly and offensive (as it seemed based on the notion that a congregation of adults would be amused by such shenanigans); and that what he intended as an aid to prayer was in fact an obstacle to prayer and reflection.

Bad habits built up over decades are as hard to break in liturgy as they are in any other facet of life. So it will take awhile for the nobility of the new Mass texts to elicit a similar nobility of manner from celebrants who have acquired bad habits over the years. But as Lent is an appropriate time for addressing bad habits, here’s a suggestion for all priest-celebrants: make a Lenten resolution—This Lent, I will do the red and read the black. Period.

In the Missal, rubrical instructions are in red; the words to be spoken by the celebrant are in black. Priests who simply “do the red and read the black” for the six weeks of Lent will have gone a long way toward breaking bad habits that have become default positions. They will also, I predict, garner a lot of thanks from their congregants, most of whom are quite uninterested in celebrants acting like talk-show hosts.

The point, as always, is not liturgical prissiness. The point is to celebrate the sacred liturgy so that it’s experienced as the participation in the heavenly liturgy that it is.

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.


Clergy in German speaking countries divided over “Call to Disobedience”

The rift in the German speaking Catholic Church grows

An open war is going on in the German speaking Catholic world between liberals and conservatives, with numerous appeals and counter-appeals

The conflict between liberal and conservative currents in the German speaking Catholic world has led to “an open split” within the clergy. This is according to the latest issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel. A communiqué published last week by the Network of Catholic Priests, a conservative group made up of approximately 500 parish priests, caused the clash that has been going on for months now to escalate.  The communiqué, signed by Fathers Guido Rodheudt, Hendrick Jolie and Uwe Winkel as well as German, Austrian and Swiss priests, launches a harsh attack on the “Call to Disobedience” which was published last summer by the Priests’ Initiative, a liberal movement with roots in Austria, that is asking for a review of the Church’s stance on homosexuality, celibacy and women’s access to the priesthood. “The Priests’ Initiative is yet another sad symptom of the de facto schism that has existed under the bishop’s noses in German speaking territories,” the communiqué said. This schism “does not separate lay people from the clergy, or German speaking Countries from the Roman Curia,” but rather, those who accept the Church’s doctrine and system from those who are on the path towards “creating a Church of their own.”

The document strongly criticises the reaction of bishops to the Call to Disobedience amongst other things. The impression is that “bishops are afraid to speak frankly and prefer to look on as the Pope’s authority as pastor of the whole Church is undermined.” In German speaking Countries today, “those who draw attention to forms of liturgical and doctrinal disobedience are branded as “disloyal”, whilst those who launch appeals in favour of  disobedience are courted” and receive more attention. This leads one to draw conclusions as to “the mental attitude of those who are responsible for German speaking dioceses.”

 The document ends with an appeal to bishops to “intervene in a determined manner against the dubious “reform efforts” of the Priests’ Initiative”: those who limit themselves to watching “sin against the unity of the Church. Time is running out.”

Last June, the Priests’ Initiative, which has approximately 400 members, sent out an appeal, asking for women and married people to be allowed into the priesthood amongst other things. Its authors announced they wanted to administer the Eucharist to faithful that have divorced and remarried, to members of other Christian churches and, in some cases, even to those who have abandoned the Church. The appeal expressed its support to priests who are no longer able to exercise their ministry because they chose to marry. The appeal that was launched by Fr. HelmutSchüller remains very popular in Austria: according to a survey published in by Die Presse on 20 February, two out of three Austrians (68%) are adamant that the Initiative will not give up that easily. Indeed, 82% believe “it can no longer be stopped.” 89% of people interviewed are convinced that women should also be able to enter the priesthood while 60% believes obedience is not a Catholic obligation.

The new appeal sent out by the Initiative in January was also met with overwhelming approval. It took the form of a list of five “No’s“ that ended with the slogan: “Say NO to a canonical law that pronounces sentences that are too harsh and merciless towards divorced individuals who wish to remarry, towards same-sex couples, towards priests who leave celibacy to enter relationships and towards people who obey their conscience rather than a man-made law.“ According to the survey published by Die Presse, this appeal is supported by 67% of Austrians.

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Keep Your Children Catholic

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

This is surely an unusual subject for today’s conference, “How To Keep Your Children Catholic.” The subject may be unusual but it is desperately important.

I would like to briefly address myself to three questions, expressed in three words, Why? What? and How?


I don’t think anyone here has any doubt about why we should speak about keeping our children Catholic. 

The widespread loss of young Catholics to the true faith is unparalleled in Christian history. Millions of teenagers and those in their early twenties are leaving the Catholic Church in one so-called developed country after another. I will never forget the dinner I had with a Catholic father and mother who sadly told me that their seventh child had just left the Church. All seven had been given a nominally Catholic education, at great sacrifice to their parents.

The experience in the United States has been duplicated in Europe. Young people in England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy are leaving the Church of their Catholic heritage in droves.


What is the cause of this tragic phenomenon? To begin with, let me say that no one loses the Catholic faith. It is the Church’s infallible teaching that a person who has been baptized as a Catholic and has learned at least the basics of his religion does not lose the true faith. We must say such a person abandons the faith. In other words leaving the Catholic faith implies culpability.

Behind this teaching are two facts. No one can reason himself out of the Catholic Church. There are no rational grounds for giving up one’s Catholic commitment. Moreover, God is never wanting with His grace to preserve the faith He has once given to us and we have professed.

How then explain the deluge of departures of so many young people from their Catholic heritage? Only God knows the final explanation.

But this much we can say. The modern media of communication, in the words of Marshall McLuhan, “are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth.” From infancy, children are exposed to all the means of communication. The masters of communication are not friendly to Christianity. In fact, most of them are openly hostile to the teachings of Christ and, with resounding emphasis, to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Add to this, young people from their earliest days are exposed to the good things of this world to a degree never before known in human history. Is it any wonder that our dictionaries define “nonsense” as whatever cannot be perceived by the senses. On these terms, the human soul, angels and saints, even God Himself is nonsense. Prayer becomes a pious practice of persons who are living in an unreal world.

We return to our opening question: How to keep your children Catholic? To keep your children Catholic:
Be a channel of grace to them.

Pray with and for them every day.

Train them to understand what they believe.

Channel of Grace. In His ordinary providence, God communicates His grace through other people. He uses believing Christians as channels of His grace of faith to others. He uses loving Christians as channels of His grace of charity to others. He uses trustful Christians as channels of His grace of hope to others. He uses prayerful Christians as channels of His grace of prayer to others. He uses chaste Christians as channels of His grace of chastity to others. He uses patient Christians as channels of His grace of patience to others.

What are we saying? We are saying that the first and most fundamental way in which parents can keep their children Catholic is for the parents themselves to be authentic, and I mean authentic, Catholics themselves.

This is more than giving a good example. This is the mystery of serving as a conduit of God’s grace to everyone whose life we touch.

There is no one on earth who is a more important and indispensable channel of divine grace to children than their parents.

God does work miracles. But, unless parents are expecting God to work a miracle, they must live a truly, fully Catholic life themselves if they expect their children to remain Catholic in today’s Christless world.

Pray with and for the Children. No words can describe the necessity of a family praying together in order to obtain the blessings of God.

At the heart of a Christian family is the supernatural life that requires constant light and strength to be sustained.

Father Peyton’s well-known statement, “The family that prays together stays together,” is not a pious cliché. It is the verdict of twenty centuries of Christianity. Just a few practical recommendations: say the Rosary together, if possible, every day; recite the Angelus together at least once a day; say the grace before and after meals as a family; have a holy water font inside the front door for people to bless themselves as they enter the house; have at least a small shrine to our Lady inside the house; have a crucifix and some sacred pictures on the wall.
Every one of the above recommendations was the way I was brought up from childhood by my widowed mother.

Train the Children to Understand their Faith. It is one thing to believe; it is something else to grasp what we believe. In today’s academically sophisticated world there is no choice. Either understand your faith or lose it.

It is not enough for parents to have their children know their prayers and memorize certain articles of faith. The children must grow in their faith. Parents must explain the meaning of what their children believe. Children ask questions from infancy about, “Who is Jesus? Where is God? Does God know what I am thinking? Why should I pray if God already knows what I need?”

Moreover, children are now exposed to all kinds of confusion. One priest says one thing, another says something just the opposite.

Children grow not only in size and weight. They grow in intelligence. Parents must make sure that their sons and daughters mature not only in body but also, and especially, in spirit.

In the gospel of St. Matthew, our Lord gives the parable of the sower who went out to sow, all good seed, but not all on good ground. The first seed fell on the wayside. Immediately the birds of the air came down and picked up the seed lying on the hard ground. So the seed produced no fruit. When Jesus explained the meaning of this parable, He told His disciples the seed falling on the wayside symbolizes those who have received the word of God into their hearts, but fail to understand it. So what happens? The devil comes along and steals the word of God from their hearts.
Of course, you parents must yourselves understand what you believe if you are to explain to your children the meaning of their faith.
Let me close with a short prayer: “Mary, Mother of the Holy Family, obtain for us from Jesus the light we need to keep our children in the Catholic faith. Ask your Son to give us the strength we need to bring our families to heaven, to the arms of the loving God from whom they came. Amen.”