Tuesday, October 18, 2016


This is from a retired bishop but should not be understood as controversial if applied in a generic way!
Most Catholics are unaware that there have been instances in Church history when a pope either taught heresy, or failed in his duty to suppress heresy. And if it happened before, it can happen again.
For example: Pope Nicholas I said that baptism was valid whether administered in the name of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity or in the name of Christ only. In this Pope Nicholas was mistaken. Baptism in the name of Christ only is not valid.
Pope Honorius, in order to justify a compromise with heretics, said in 634: ‘We must be careful not to rekindle ancient quarrels.’ On this argument, the pope allowed error to spread freely, with the result that truth and orthodoxy were effectively banished.
St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, almost alone, stood up to Pope Honorius and accused him of heresy. Eventually the pope repented, but died without repairing the immeasurable harm he did to the Church due to his compromising principle. Thus, the Third Council of Constantinople cast its anathema upon him, and this was confirmed by Pope St. Leo II.
Pope John XXII said at Avignon, on the feast of All Saints, 1331, that the soul does not enter the beatific vision until the resurrection of the body, at the last day. After which, the pope was rebuked by the theologians from the University of Paris. They rebuked the pope because they knew that this theory of the pope was a heresy. It wasn’t until shortly before John XXII died in 1334 that he recanted his error.
A pope enjoys the full infallibility promised by Christ only when he fulfills all of the following conditions:
  • Teaches on a matter of faith and morals
  • Teaches to the whole world
  • Teaches after lengthy consultation with the bishops and theologians
  • Proclaims his teaching in a solemn manner before a large assembly of cardinals, patriarchs, bishops, priests and laity
Otherwise, he is merely giving a press conference and enjoys little if any of the infallibility promised by Christ.

Originally published at Renew America

Monday, October 17, 2016


I found two interesting articles on Praytell this morning. (I returned to Rome from Israel last night, only a three hour or so flight and one hour difference, ahead of us).

Both are balanced articles on the liturgy and the sort of the "reform of the reform" or what I prefer, mutual enrichment of the contrived liturgy Pope Paul VI gave us in 1970.

One writer comments on interpreting Cardinal Sarah correctly. This is what he writes:

But it is worth it to read accurately what drives him, and not let oneself be scared away by ecclesio-political geography that divides everything into “right” and “left.” Sarah critiques a liturgy that is too wordy, too explanatory, too rational, and yet is too sensitive. “We risk reducing the holy mystery to good feelings,” he says in an interview with the French traditionalist monthly magazine La Nef.
One need not share Sarah’s enthusiasm for eastward liturgical orientation [ad orientem] to find this critique plausible: Worship services in which every step is explained because one does not trust the worshiping community to celebrate actively and responsibly. Worship services that trust the liturgy so little that symbolic rituals are invented. Worship services that trust Scripture so little that touchy-feely children’s books, from “The Little Prince” to “Rainbow Fish,” are lifted up to be readings.

The other is a good progressive deacon who sometimes comments here, Deacon Fritz, who writes:
Many of the liturgical reformers of the post-conciliar period were not particularly attentive to these liturgical neighborhood people. Tending to be cosmopolitans themselves, the reformers seemed not to understand how a tacky shrine or some badly warbled chant from the Requiem Mass or saccharine devotions to Our Lady of Wherever could actually be central to the religious life of the neighborhood people. The anthropologists Mary Douglas and Victor Turner were voices crying in the wilderness in the post-conciliar period, warning against the vandalism being carried out by the cosmopolitan reformers against the religious sensibilities of the neighborhood people.
I do not think, however, that what the liturgical neighborhood people of today want or need is for someone to come along an put things back “the way it was.” First, because such a thing is not really possible; unless the liturgy is thought of as a zone hermetically sealed off from the rest of life, we cannot recreated the liturgical experience of the immigrant Church of the first half of the twentieth century. But, second, the neighborhood people have moved on. Some, alas, have moved on out of the Church. But others have adapted, willy-nilly, and have made themselves a home in the reformed liturgy, and love it as “the particular patch where they were raised” spiritually. 
In an odd twist—the sort that history so often provides—it is now those who would replace Eagles Wings or Amazing Grace with the chants of the traditional Requiem who are the cosmopolitans that seem unaware of or unconcerned with how deeply these songs have sunk their roots into the lives of the liturgical neighborhood people. The neighborhood people are offended when Mrs. Murphy, who has served as a “Eucharistic Minister” (as they ignorantly call the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion) for thirty years and brought communion to Pop when he was in the nursing home, is told by the new pastor that now only he and the deacon will be distributing Holy Communion at Mass, because this is more traditional. They feel shunned when the new young priest, fresh from the seminary, turns his back on them during Mass to pray the Eucharistic prayer, not only making them feel cut off from what is going on, but also blocking their view of the consecrated elements. They don’t care if this is the recovery of a very ancient practice; it is not a practice that they have ever experienced.

We should keep in mind that the good deacon is mixing apples and oranges. The progressives were vicious in attacking all things Catholic, not just liturgy, to make the Church an ecumenical marshmallow, more Protestant than Catholic. They almost succeeded if not for St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. Any return to the 1970's that we are experiencing now I firmly believe is the final battle between those represented by Pope Benedict (of his age I mean) and those of Pope Francis' age. They represent the two schools of thought of the 1970's, one of rupture and seeing rupture as moving forward and the other of continuity and seeing continuity as remaining faithful to the Deposit of Faith and even the culture of Roman Catholicism which includes the patrimony of the Liturgy that begins before 1970.
Progressives were vicious in destroying the devotional and doctrinal faith of the neighborhood people, meaning those who weren't as smart as they (academic clericalism which I so often express to you). 
And now the academic clericalists are crying crocodile tears because they know better than the new cosmopolitans but don't have the same control over them they once had in their arrogance. 

They don't want to have happen to them what they did to the Faith of the Church. They want their corrupted views and practices to be protected. 

Time is running out on the two schools of the age I speak of above. Somehow common sense tells me that Catholic identity in its fullness as represented by Pope Benedict will win the day in the very near future. 

Friday, October 14, 2016


FROM RORATE CAELI: (Cool if they are completely regularized while I am in Rome. The progressives in the Church must be apoplectic to say the least! This could not have happened in the 1970's, the heyday of hatred for all things pre Vatican and the marginalization of those with SSPX sensibilities !

IMPORTANT: SSPX Superior-general Bp. Fellay met Pope and CDF yesterday

Bp. Fellay, the Superior-general of the Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) met Pope Francis yesterday, October 13, in Casa Santa Marta.

Afterwards, he held a meeting with the highest authorities of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Card. Müller, Prefect, and Abp. Ladaria Ferrer, Secretary. Bp. Fellay was joined by his two assistants, Fr. Nély and Fr. Pfluger.

According to the SSPX General House, the CDF meeting, "foreseen for a long time," "is the second one since September 13, 2014", and "is part of the framework of relations that the Society of Saint Pius X has always had with the Roman authorities, in particular in these past few years, by the doctrinal visitations that took place in the several seminaries of the Society, and that will continue in the upcoming months."

[Source: DICI, via La Porte Latine (District of France) - en français]

Thursday, October 13, 2016


I am currently at Pilgerhaus Tabgha, a retreat house run by German Benedictines on the Sea of Galilee in Tiberius, Israel.

We've been in Jerusalem and the dangerous areas of Palestine since Monday. We've had Israeli troops with machine guns board our bus twice as we departed Palestine controlled areas. And signs warn Israelis that if they enter Palestine areas, it will be dangerous to their lives.

I am conflicted about the Palestine and Israel perspectives on things political. The Palestinians, many are Christians, not all are Muslims, are treated like dirt on their own soil.

The Christian Palestinians are the ones leaving because they can trust no one, Jews or Muslims. Everyone is a fault for the problems in the Land of Jesus, the Holy Land.

But at least I don't have to hear about Hilary and the Donald. The American election in Europe and Israel is viewed as a joke this time around and the Donald is seen as American Berlusconni.

Posting is sporadic as I am on the road and WIFI is limited.


Cardinal Sarah is not a throwback to the 1950's. He doesn't want to return the Church prior to the Council but want the Second Vatican Council to be interpreted properly. I would suspect too, that His Eminence understands too, that Vatican II is a bit of a time capsule and that its pastoral theology is a bit dated. He understands too that pastoral theology is not doctrine and certainly not dogma, although many in the Church speak of the pastoral theology of Vatican II (which is in the same category as the theology on Limbo, neither right or wrong, but just not doctrine) as though it is dogma. They have replaced Jesus Christ, Scripture and Tradition with Vatican II says this, that and the other.

When it comes to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Cardinal Sarah wants Vatican II implemented from the highest levels of the Church. It hasn't been, only a particular ideology has been and this ideology came from the "liturgical experts" of the Church who are the kinds of academics Pope Francis has such disdain. It did not come from the faith of grandmothers in other words.

Cardinal Sarah hits the nail on the head in diagnosing the dark hole the liturgy has descended in so many parishes throughout the world. But liturgists, those experts in the field, (and liturgists are not known for humility) insist that the "renewal" that has taken place is renewal. Delusional to say the least.

When it comes to mega Masses at St. Peter's Square and the truly million mega Masses elsewhere, Cardinal Sarah makes very valid points and he needs to rock that boat and rock it hard! I concelebrated Mass at St. Peter's Square last Sunday with Pope Francis. I held a ciboria. But I consecrated it to be sure along with the Holy Father. Others distributed Holy Communion from Hosts consecrated at other Masses.

I would agree that only one section of these mega Masses should include Holy Communion to the congregation. I would recommend that no more than 2000 hosts ever be consecrated at any single Mass. Or maybe 5000 to keep the Biblical imagery of the multiplication of the loaves.

Yes at the Vatican Masses in St. Peter's and certainly in the Square, many non Catholics, non Christians and non Believers are receiving Holy Communion and many are taking the Host home as a  relic of their time in Rome as tourists.

Here is a portion of Cardinal Sarah's, truly a doctor of liturgy, making the right diagnosis of the cancer that has been eating the liturgy of the Church since about 1966:

The Reform of the Reform “Will Happen.” The Pope Wants It, Too

This is what Francis has said in private to Cardinal Sarah, only to deny the whole thing afterward in a statement. But the prefect of the liturgy is promising it once again, in a book of his that goes on sale today, entitled “The Power of Silence”

by Sandro Magister

ROME, October 6, 2016 – With Cardinal Robert Sarah Pope Francis cultivates a relationship with two distinct profiles. Benevolent up front, hostile at a distance.

Sarah is presumed to be one of those churchmen with a “heart of stone” against whom the pope often lashes out without naming names, for example in the address at the end of the synod last October 24:

> "The closed hearts which hide behind the Church’s teachings…"

And it was Sarah, this time with first and last name, in his capacity as prefect of the congregation for divine worship, who was the target of an unprecedented, humiliating statement from the press office of the Holy See this summer, against his aims for a “reform of the reform” of the liturgy:

> Jesus Will Return From the East. But at the Vatican They Have Lost the Compass (14.7.2016)

“But who can touch him? He is African, and he enjoys great popularity,” they murmur in the court of Pope Francis.

In effect Cardinal Sarah, 71, an African from Guinea, is a figure of the first rank in today’s Church, who has risen to extraordinary notoriety and universal admiration thanks to a book he published last year that is both autobiography and spiritual mediation, in the style of the “Confessions,” entitled “Dieu ou rien,” God or nothing: 335,000 copies sold in thirteen languages:

> A Pope from Black Africa (10.4.2015)

And now Sarah is returning to the field with a major new book: “La force du silence,” the power of silence. It is edited, like the one before it, by Nicolas Diat and concludes with a poignant conversation between the cardinal and the abbot of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps, dom Dysmas de Lassus.

The book goes on sale today, the feast of Saint Bruno, founder of Carthusian monasticism, for now only in a French edition by Fayard, but it will be released soon in Italian, English, and Spanish, published respectively by Cantagalli, Ignatius Press, and Palabra.

“Contre la dictature du bruit,” against the dictatorship of noise, the subtitle says. And in effect the deafening noise of modern society, with has even penetrated into the Church, is the soundtrack of that “nothing” which is forgetfulness of God, the focus of the previous book.

While vice versa it is only silence that allows one to “hear the music of God.

“The reform of the reform will happen, the future of the Church is at stake”

by Robert Sarah

From “"La force du silence", Fayard, 2016


Some priests today treat the Eucharist with perfect disdain. They see the Mass as a chatty banquet where the Christians who are faithful to Jesus’ teaching, the divorced and remarried, men and women in a situation of adultery, unbaptized tourists participating in the Eucharistic celebrations of great anonymous crowds can have access to the body and blood of Christ, without distinction.

The Church must urgently examine the ecclesial and pastoral appropriateness of these immense Eucharistic celebrations made up of thousands and thousands of participants. There is a great danger here of turning the Eucharist, “the great mystery of Faith,” into a vulgar revel and of profaning the body and the precious blood of Christ. The priests who distribute the sacred species without knowing anyone, and give the Body of Jesus to all, without discernment between Christians and non-Christians, participate in the profanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist. Those who exercise authority in the Church become guilty, through a form of voluntary complicity, of allowing sacrilege and the profanation of the body of Christ to take place in these gigantic and ridiculous self-celebrations, where one can hardly perceive that “you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26).

Priests unfaithful to the “memory” of Jesus insist rather on the festive aspect and the fraternal dimension of the Mass than on the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The importance of the interior dispositions and the need to reconcile ourselves with God in allowing ourselves to be purified by the sacrament of confession are no longer fashionable nowadays. More and more, we obscure the warning of Saint Paul to the Corinthians: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill” (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-30).


At the beginning of our Eucharistic celebrations, how is it possible to eliminate Christ carrying his cross and walking painfully beneath the weight of our sins toward the place of sacrifice? There are many priests who enter triumphantly and go up to the altar, waving left and right in order to appear friendly. Observe the sad spectacle of certain Eucharistic celebrations. . . Why so much frivolity and worldliness at the moment of the Holy Sacrifice? Why so much profanation and superficiality before the extraordinary priestly grace that makes us capable of bringing forth the body and blood of Christ in substance by the invocation of the Spirit? Why do some believe themselves obliged to improvise or invent Eucharistic prayers that disperse the divine phrases in a bath of petty human fervor? Are the words of Christ so insufficient that a profusion of purely human words is needed? In a sacrifice so unique and essential, is there a need for this subjective imagination and creativity? “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words,” Jesus has cautioned us (Mt 6:7).


We have lost the deepest meaning of the offertory. Yet it is that moment in which, as its name indicates, the whole Christian people offers itself, not alongside of Christ, but in him, through his sacrifice that will be realized at the consecration. Vatican Council II admirably highlighted this aspect in insisting on the baptismal priesthood of the laity that essentially consists in offering ourselves together with Christ in sacrifice to the Father. [. . .]

If the offertory is seen as nothing other than a preparation of the gifts, as a practical and prosaic action, then there will be a great temptation to add and invent ceremonies in order to fill up what is perceived as a void. I deplore the offertory processions in some African countries, long and noisy, accompanied with interminable dances. The faithful bring all sorts of products and objects that have nothing to do with the Eucharistic sacrifice. These processions give the impression of folkloric exhibitions that disfigure the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and distance us from the Eucharistic mystery; but this must be celebrated in sobriety and recollection, since we are immersed, we too, in his death and his offering to the Father. The bishops of my continent should take measures to keep the celebration of the Mass from becoming a cultural self-celebration. The death of God out of love for us is beyond all culture. 

“FACING EAST” (par. 254)

It is not enough simply to prescribe more silence. In order for everyone to understand that the liturgy turns us interiorly toward the Lord, it would be helpful during the celebration for us all together, priests and faithful, to face the east, symbolized by the apse.

This practice remains absolutely legitimate. It is in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the Council. There is no lack of testimonies from the first centuries of the Church. “When we stand up to pray, we face the east,” says Saint Augustine, echoing a tradition that dates back, according to Saint Basil, to the Apostles themselves. Churches having been designed for the prayer of the first Christian communities, the apostolic constitutions of the 4th century recommended that they be turned to the east. And when the altar is facing  west, as at Saint Peter’s in Rome, the celebrant must turn toward the orient and face the people. 

This bodily orientation of prayer is nothing other than the sign of an interior orientation. [. . .] Does the priest not invite the people of God to follow him at the beginning of the great Eucharistic prayer when he says” “Let us lift up our heart,” to which the people respond: “We turn it toward the Lord”?

As prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I am intent upon recalling once again that celebration “versus orientem” is authorized by the rubrics of the Missal because it is of apostolic tradition. There is no need for particular authorization to celebrate in this way, people and priest, facing the Lord. If it is physically not possible to celebrate “ad orientem,” a cross must necessarily be placed on the altar, in plain sight, as a point of reference for all. Christ on the cross is the Christian East.


I refuse to waste time in opposing one liturgy to another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. What is needed is to enter into the great silence of the liturgy; one must allow oneself to be enriched by all the Latin or Eastern liturgical forms that favor silence. Without this contemplative silence, the liturgy will remain an occasion of hateful divisions and ideological confrontations instead of being the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. It is high time to enter into this liturgical silence, facing the Lord, that the Council wanted to restore.

What I am about to say now does not enter into contradiction with my submission and obedience to the supreme authority of the Church. I desire profoundly and humbly to serve God, the Church, and the Holy Father, with devotion, sincerity, and filial attachment. But this is my hope: if God wills, when he may will and how he may will, in the liturgy, the reform of the reform will take place. In spite of the gnashing of teeth, it will take place, because the future of the Church is at stake.

Damaging the liturgy means damaging our relationship with God and the concrete expression of our Christian faith. The Word of God and the doctrinal teaching of the Church are still listened to, but the souls that want to turn to God, to offer him the true sacrifice of praise and worship him, are no longer captivated by liturgies that are too horizontal, anthropocentric, and festive, often resembling noisy and vulgar cultural events. The media have completely invaded and turned into a spectacle the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the memorial of the death of Jesus on the cross for the salvation of our souls. The sense of mystery disappears through changes, through permanent adaptations, decided in autonomous and individual fashion in order to seduce our modern profaning mentalities, marked by sin, secularism, relativism, and the rejection of God.

In many western countries, we see the poor leaving the Catholic Church because it is under siege by ill-intentioned persons who style themselves intellectuals and despise the lowly and the poor. This is what the Holy Father must denounce loud and clear. Because a Church without the poor is no longer the Church, but a mere “club.” Today, in the West, how many temples are empty, closed, destroyed, or turned into profane structures in disdain of their sacredness and their original purpose. So I know how many priests and faithful there are who live their faith with extraordinary zeal and fight every day to preserve and enrich the dwellings of God.


The book:

Robert Sarah avec Nicolas Diat, "La force du silence. Contre la dictature du bruit", Fayard, Paris, 2016.


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.


Sunday, October 9, 2016


Another cool thing and totally unexpected was that Pope Francis named new cardinals at the end of the Mass following the Angelus which is a part of the concluding rites of the Mass when the Holy Father celebrates a large outdoor Mass on a Sunday.

You can watch the Marian Mass for the Year of Mercy by pressing here!
At communion time you can see us priests going into the congregation to distribute Holy Communion   From the Gospel side of the altar. We held our ciborium for us to consecrate along with the Holy Father.

At the end of Mass when the pope is greeting us priest I am visible quite a few times. I have sun glasses on. Can you pick me out????

These are the new cardinals that His Holiness announced to the world and I was there!

Pope announces 17 new Cardinals in consistory

Pope announces 17 new Cardinals in consistory during Angelus - AP
Pope announces 17 new Cardinals in consistory during Angelus - AP
09/10/2016 12:51

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis at the end of his Angelus on Sunday announced the creation of 17 new Cardinals. A consistory will be held on the 19 of November, the eve of the closing of the Jubilee of Mercy.
13 of the new Cardinals will be under 80 years and will be eligible to vote in a conclave.
The Holy Father said that the those chosen come from five continents. They include three American Archbishops and Archbishops from Mauritius and Bangladesh.
Below find the list of new Cardinals
Archbishop Mario Zenari, Italy
Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Central African Republic
Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra, Spain
Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha, Brazil
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, U.S.A. 
Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, Bangladesh
Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Venezuela
Archbishop Jozef De Kesel, Belgium
Archbishop Maurice Piat, Mauritius
Archbishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, U.S.A.
Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, Mexico
Archbishop John Ribat, Papua Nuova Guinea
Archbishop Mons. Joseph William Tobin U.S.A.
Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez, Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Archbishop Renato Corti, Archbishop Emeritus of Novara Italy
Archbishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai, Bishop Emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek Lesotho
Father Ernest Simoni, presbytery of the Archdiocese of Shkodrë-Pult, Scutari – Albania.

(Lydia O'Kane)
09/10/2016 12:51


(Above photo I took three year ago)

I am in the twlight zone this weekend. Yesterday, Saturday, I joined our Holy Father in Saint Peter's Square for the Year of Mercy Marian Celebration which included a grand procession of statues and icons of Our Lady prior to the Holy Father entering to lead us in a beautiful recitation of the Holy Rosary which concluded with a homily and Pontifical Blessing.

This Sunday Morning, I am joining the Holy Father and con celebrating with him the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in St. Peter's Square.

However, back at home in Richmond Hill, the town still remains evacuated due to the damage that Hurricane Matthew has brought. Evidently the roads are impassable and there is no electricity so the authorities have asked those who evacuated not to return.

In addition our bishop suspended the "obligation" to attend Mass in our coastal regions hit by the storm. So there is no priest or Mass at St. Anne Catholic Church in Richmond Hill!!!!

My Mass with the Holy Father for will be for my parishioners, especially those who may have suffered damage from the storm. But who knows what damage? I haven't heard a peep from the local media about Richmond Hill and what happened there.

As it concerns my family condo on Hilton Head Island, about 40 miles north of Savannah, which was also hard hit by the storm, I did find a video of the street on which our condo is situated and fortunately our area doesn't seem to be as bad as some other areas.

You can view the video of South Forest Beach Drive (near the Coligny shopping and beach area) by pressing this sentence here!

The reporter filming the auto tour remarks about half way in about a new hotel on the left side of the street and how unlucky for them to have their grand opening now. Then the camera goes to the right side of the street and the condo office with a green metal roof is shown with no exterior damage. A bit down on the right is our condo complex and the condos that face South Forest Beach seem unscathed as well. Ours is in the interior of the complex and would have been buffered by these condos. Who knows, though, about any large trees toppling onto ours or others in the interior. Ours, as well, is a bit higher up from the ground which would help with any interior flooding.

But I won't know for sure until two weeks from now when I return to the Savannah area. Tomorrow our group flies to Israel. We will be going to Catholic Relief Services ministries to learn how they approach helping those who need help from man made or natural disasters. A big part of their ministry is to help them to help themselves so that once they are gone, their recovery continues.

This will bring us into some areas of Palestine and Israel that are not very tourist or pilgrimage friendly. Pray for everyone.

Friday, October 7, 2016


I just had cena at a trattoria at the end of Borgo Pio. Afterward Fr. Patrick Foley and I went to a gelatoria across the street. There were three Benedictines in the gelatoria and one of them was the newly elected PRIMATE of all Benedictines. He is from Conception Abby in Missouri.

Small world but very nice visit with him and the two other Benedictines!

American elected new abbot primate of Benedictine order

American elected new abbot primate of Benedictine order
Abbot Gregory Polan. (Credit: http://www.conceptionabbey.org/)
Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey in Missouri has been elected the new Abbot Primate of the worldwide Benedictine order, an office designed to represent the Benedictines at global meetings and to promote the unity of the order's various abbeys and priories.


The internet is either a blessing or a curse. But I am watching WTOCNEWS in Savannah live streaming! It is non stop coverage of Hurricane Matthew! This sounds very serious.

Richmond Hill is evacuated under mandatory evacuation as is all of Savannah. SAvannah is a huge metro area and extends into South Carolina and the Hilton Head area.

We are not sure how the Hurricane will affect our area. The biggest problem will be flooding if high tide and the surge occur at the same time. Savannah and Hilton Head both have extremely high and low tides that go miles inland. It is rather amazing, almost like the Bay of Bundy in New Brunswick, Canada.

So I am in a bit of a panic in being an absentee father in such a big crisis for my parish. OF course, I would have had to evacuate with everyone else and more than likely would have gone to Augusta where my sister lives.  That's about 2 and a half hours away compared to 11 hours here in Rome by jet!

Please pray for all who are in harm's way. The WTOCNEWS is telling everyone to get out and if they don't they won't have emergency services and more than likely will die! That is scary.

I concelebrated Mass this morning at the tomb of St. Peter's at the Basilica. My Mass intention was for the SAvannah and Charleston dioceses and its people living on the coast. God bless them all.

Please pray that people will be wise. There were people on Hilton Head Beach a few minute ago when WTOCNEWS had a live story from the beach near my family's condo! Stupid are some to say the least.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I arrived in my new parish of Saint Anne Church in Richmond Hill, about 20 miles south of downtown Savannah off of Interstate 95 this past June.

I bought a small piece of property in nearby Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at the same time to be used as my retirement location in about seven years as well as for days off and vacation in the mean time. Hilton Head Island has fabulous beaches and nice affordable amenities.

Yesterday all of the low country of South Carolina is under mandatory evacuation including the large metro area of Charleston.

Closer to the parish the Islands off of Chatham County (Savannah) are in a mandatory evacuation. The storm is expected to hit late Friday or early Saturday.  Currently, the projection is that the eye will be about 45 miles off shore. This is not good although the western side of a hurricane is less severe than the eastern side.

Savannah and Hilton Head have beautiful trees, Hilton Head almost jungle like. I hate to see those devastated along with the human made properties. But the Lord gives and takes away!

Haiti has already experienced the worst of it with many deaths and loss of properties. Others will be affected and those who hunker down and refuse to evacuate are placing their lives in peril. Many may well die.

Pray for everyone. Depending on what happens in Richmond Hill, Savannah and Hilton Head Island, I may have to cut my continuing education program, which I am funding along with our annual stipend for continuing ed, short.

Here is a great prayer and idea from what was formerly called WDTPRS:

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English from Sancta Missa.]
The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, in which the following invocation is said twice:
From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.
At the end of the litany the following is added:
P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit. .[]
Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.
We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.
Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.
Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.
Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016



On my previous post, this last part of Cardinal Sarah's interview, a very cogent, well thought out response to the questions posed to him, which shows his clairity of thought, is so important, that I give it its own space here.

I am particularly impressed with His Emminence's thoughts on mutual enrichment (rather than using the outdated term, "reform of the reform" where he encourages, as I have consistently done so, adding back elements of the older liturgy to the revised Mass. This means having what the Ordinariate's glorious new Missal has: Prayers at the Foot of the Altar (along with the older form or the Order of Mass), the clear option of the Gradual and Tract, along with explicit use of the Introit in the ancient form, along with the Offertory and Communion antiphonal, the older form of the Offertory Prayers, the older form of the conclusion of the Mass to include the Last Gospel and the older rubrics for the Eucharistic Prayers. In other words, the revised Mass in whatever vernacular with the older Mass's exquisite sensibilities which will never be considered out of date except by those who are literally out of date.

This tells me that the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship in fact is preparing a new or reformed Roman Missal for general use in the general Latin Rite part of the Church which will be very similar to the Ordinariate's Missal with all its EF options to include elements of the older form of the Calendar, such as the season of Septuagesima, the Octave of Pentecost, ember days and the like.

But Cardinal Sarah also has my same sentiments concerning mutual enrichment when it comes to the EF Mass. Why can't there be some vernacular such as for the lectionary, for the changing parts of the Mass? Why can't there be more of a push to engage the congregation in actual participation of being mentally but quietly engaged in the Mass but also verbally, be it spoken or sung?

I love Cardinal Sarah's cogent analysis of the current situation of the Church and how the devil has used the liturgy and the catechesis crisis of the last 50 years to sow division and discontent amongst Catholics.


After your conference in London last July, you are returning to the topic of the orientation of the liturgy and wish to see it applied in our churches. Why is this so important to you, and how would you see this change implemented? 

Cdl. Sarah: Silence poses the problem of the essence of the liturgy. Now the liturgy is mystical. As long as we approach the liturgy with a noisy heart, it will have a superficial, human appearance. Liturgical silence is a radical and essential disposition; it is a conversion of heart. 

Now, to be converted, etymologically, is to turn back, to turn toward God. There is no true silence in the liturgy if we are not—with all our heart—turned toward the Lord. We must be converted, turn back to the Lord, in order to look at Him, contemplate His face, and fall at His feet to adore Him. We have an example: Mary Magdalene was able to recognize Jesus on Easter morning because she turned back toward Him: “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” “Haec cum dixisset, conversa est retrorsum et videt Jesus stantem. – Saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there” (Jn 20:13-14). 

How can we enter into this interior disposition except by turning physically, all together, priest and faithful, toward the Lord who comes, toward the East symbolized by the apse where the cross is enthroned? 

The outward orientation leads us to the interior orientation that it symbolizes. Since apostolic times, Christians have been familiar with this way of praying. It is not a matter of celebrating with one’s back to the people or facing them, but toward the East, ad Dominum, toward the Lord. 

This way of doing things promotes silence. Indeed, there is less of a temptation for the celebrant to monopolize the conversation. Facing the Lord, he is less tempted to become a professor who gives a lecture during the whole Mass, reducing the altar to a podium centered no longer on the cross but on the microphone! The priest must remember that he is only an instrument in Christ’s hands, that he must be quiet in order to make room for the Word, and that our human words are ridiculous compared to the one Eternal Word. 

I am convinced that priests do not use the same tone of voice when they celebrate facing East. 

We are so much less tempted to take ourselves for actors, as Pope Francis says! 

Of course, this way of doing things, while legitimate and desirable, must not be imposed as a revolution. I know that in many places preparatory catechesis has enabled the faithful to accept and appreciate the orientation. I wish that this question would not become the occasion for an ideological clash of factions! We are talking about our relationship with God. 

As I had the opportunity to say recently, during a private interview with the Holy Father, here I am just making the heartfelt suggestions of a pastor who is concerned about the good of the faithful. I do not intend to set one practice against another. If it is physically not possible to celebrate ad orientem, it is absolutely necessary to put a cross on the altar in plain view, as a point of reference for everyone. Christ on the cross is the Christian East. 

You ardently defend the conciliar Constitution on the liturgy while deploring the fact that it has been implemented so badly. How do you explain in retrospect the last fifty years? Aren’t Church leaders the ones primarily responsible? 

Cdl. Sarah: I think that we lack the spirit of faith when we read the conciliar document. Bewitched by what Benedict XVI calls the media Council, we give it an all-too-human reading, looking for ruptures and oppositions where a Catholic heart must strive to find renewal in continuity. More than ever the conciliar teaching contained in Sacrosanctum Concilium must guide us. It is about time to let ourselves be taught by the Council instead of utilizing it to justify our concerns about creativity or to defend our ideologies by utilizing the sacred weapons of the liturgy. 

Just one example: Vatican II admirably described the baptismal priesthood of the laity as the ability to offer ourselves in sacrifice to the Father with Christ so as to become, in Jesus, “holy, pure, spotless Victims”. We have here the theological foundation for genuine participation in the liturgy. 

This spiritual reality ought to be experienced particularly at the Offertory, the moment when the whole Christian people offer themselves, not alongside of Christ but in Him, through His sacrifice that will be accomplished at the consecration. Rereading the Council would enable us to avoid having our offertories disfigured by demonstrations that have more to do with folklore than with the liturgy. A sound hermeneutic of continuity could lead us to restore to a place of honor the ancient Offertory prayers, reread in light of Vatican II. 

You mention “the reform of the reform” which you say you wish for (no. 257): what should this consist of chiefly? Would it involve both forms of the Roman rite or only the Ordinary Form? 

Cdl. Sarah: The liturgy must always be reformed in order to be more faithful to its mystical essence. What is called “reform of the reform” and what we perhaps ought to call “mutual enrichment of the rites”, to adopt an expression from the magisterial teaching of Benedict XVI, is a spiritual necessity. Therefore it concerns both forms of the Roman rite. 

I refuse to waste our time contrasting one liturgy with another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. It is a matter of entering into the great silence of the liturgy; it is necessary to know how to be enriched by all the liturgical forms, Latin or Eastern. Why shouldn’t the Extraordinary Form be open to the improvements produced by the liturgical reform resulting from Vatican II? Why couldn’t the Ordinary Form rediscover the ancient prayers of the Offertory, the prayers at the foot of the altar, or a little silence during some parts of the Canon? 

Without a contemplative spirit, the liturgy will remain an occasion for hateful divisions and ideological clashes, for the public humiliation of the weak by those who claim to hold some authority, whereas it ought to be the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. Why should we confront and detest each other? On the contrary, the liturgy should make us “all attain to unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.... Thus, by living in the truth of love, we will grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (cf. Eph 4:13-15). 

In the current liturgical context of the Latin-rite world, how can we overcome the mistrust that remains between some devotees of the two liturgical forms of the same Roman rite who refuse to celebrate the other form and consider it sometimes with a certain disdain? 

Cdl. Sarah: To damage the liturgy is to damage our relationship to God and the expression of our Christian faith. Cardinal Charles Journet declared: “Liturgy and catechesis are the two jaws of the pincers with which the devil wants to steal the faith away from the Christian people and seize the Church so as to crush, annihilate and destroy it definitively. Even today the great dragon is keeping watch on the woman, the Church, ready to devour her child.” Yes, the devil wants us to be opposed to each other at the very heart of the sacrament of unity and fraternal communion. It is time for this mistrust, contempt and suspicion to cease. It is time to rediscover a Catholic heart. It is time to rediscover together the beauty of the liturgy, as the Holy Father Francis recommends to us, for, he says, “the beauty of the liturgy reflects the presence of the glory of our God resplendent in His people who are alive and consoled” (Homily for the Chrism Mass, March 28, 2013).