Friday, 14 October 2016

Archbishop Chaput Comments on Wikileaks Catholic Bashing and the 2016 Election

[Originally published at DC-LausDeo.US]

Wikileaks has released some batches of John Podesta's emails which reveal that Hillary Clinton confidants have some scathing views of Catholics.  Some had suggested that there should be a "Catholic Spring" to overthrow "a middle ages dictatorship" and impose a democratic cult which honors gender equality (and presumably progressive approaches to hot button social issues).  Other emails mocked how conservative Catholics were pseudo-intellectuals who spouted sophisticated sounding nonsense.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput responded to these scathing critques stemming from the highest echelons of Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential campaign.
Archbishop Chaput responds to Wikileaks Podesta emails mocking Catholics and commenting on the 2016 Election

It is quite  a clever turn of phrase of Archbishop Chaput to quip:"In a nation where 'choice' is now the unofficial state religion, the menu for dinner is remarkably small." Chaput pithily impeaches America's obsession with choice (abortion), reflects on dangers to America's tradition of religious liberty while lamenting the paucity of choices to be elected Commander-in-Chief.

Not withstanding the sardonic style of the riposte, Archbishop Chaput has consistently eviscerated both major party Presidential candidates, as seen from his recent speech at Notre Dame University.

We love to label in order to create intellectual order in our minds.  But terms like liberal and conservative do not translate well into Church politics.  Archbishop Chaput can be considered a conservative in Church circles, as he is cautiously embracing implementation of the New Mercy contained in Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.  However, it would be mistaken to automatically assume that Chaput is a political conservative or would ever vote for Donald Trump.

It is a pity that Archbishop Chaput was passed over to be named a Cardinal  by Pope Francis' recent announcement for the November 19th consistory.  Philadelphia, like the large Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is traditionally blessed with a Cardinal.  Pope Francis, however, chose three "red hats" which went to Dallas, Indianapolis and to Archbishop Blase Cupich from the longstanding Cardinal seat of Chicago.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Bishop Athanasius Schneider Events in the Northeast USA - October 2016

All Masses are Traditional Latin Masses unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016, 6:00 PM
Pontifical Low Mass, Dinner & Conference, St. Titus Church
Aliquippa, PA

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 2:00 PM (Note time change.)
Lecture, St. Vincent de Paul Church
Berkeley Springs, WV

Thursday, 20 October 2016, 6:00 PM
Lecture, Cosmos Club
Washington, DC

Friday, 21 October 2016, 7:00 PM (Feast Day of Blessed Karl of Austria)
Solemn Pontifical Mass & Reception, St. Mary Mother of God Church
Washington, DC

Saturday, 22 October 2016, 8:30 AM
Pontifical Low Mass & Morning of Recollection, St. Thomas Apostle Church
Washington, DC

Sunday, 23 October 2016, 10:30 AM
Solemn Pontifical Mass & Conference, Mater Ecclesiae Church
Berlin, NJ

Monday, 24 October 2016, 6:00 PM
Solemn Pontifical Mass, Church of the Holy Innocents
Manhattan, NY

Tuesday, 25 October 2016, 6:00 PM
Pontifical Low Mass & Conference, Church of the Holy Innocents
Manhattan, NY

Thursday, 27 October 2016, 9:30 AM (Note time change.)
Solemn Pontifical Mass, St. Peter Church
Steubenville, OH (7:00 PM evening lecture, St. Peter Church.)

These Masses and conferences are coordinated by the Emperor Karl League of Prayer with the support and cooperation of the following Traditional Knights of Columbus councils and organizations:

Regina Coeli Council 423, Manhattan, NY
Potomac Council 433, Washington, DC
Woodlawn Council 2161, Aliquippa, PA
Agnus Dei Council 12361, Manhattan, NY
Mater Ecclesiae Council 12833, Berlin, NJ
The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP)
PLMC, Inc.
Una Voce Steubenville

Knights of Columbus Latin Mass

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Roodmas Reflections Through the Prism of Merciful Love

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (also known as Roodmas) is a solemnity which celebrates three distinct historical events: the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena, the retrieval of the sacred relic by Emperor Heraclius in 629 from the Persians and the ineffable powers of the instrument of Christ's redemptive sacrifice and our salvation. 

The Holy Cross is exalted like Moses lifted up the Bronze Serpent in Exodus and those who looked upon it lived. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself so that we all may enjoy eternal life. 

In the early 20th Century, Sister Maria Teresa Desandais was blessed with mystical experiences about Jesus' Merciful Love. She wrote about these experiences under the pseudonym  "Sulamitis PM".  In 1912, Sr. Desandais, who had no training in painting, was inspired to create the picture "Merciful Love" which depicted Christ crucified looking towards heaven with a host in the background with the initials JHS.  Rays of light emanating from the Sacred Heart of  Jesus illuminate a  Bible laying at the foot of the cross turned to the passage "Love one another as I have loved you" alongside a crown.  That is an incredible amount of symbolic meaning suffused in one scene, particularly for an amateur painter. 

Sister Maria Teresa Desandais on Merciful Love

This message of Merciful Love was widespread in France and Spain after the First World War. To bolster devotion to Merciful Love, Sr. Desandais sent two of her paintings to Spain.  The painting sent to Juana Lacasa effectively became a place of pilgrimage. The other painting was installed at the Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha in Madrid where Sister Maria Teresa's order was attached.

 It is quite conceivable that the message of Merciful Love of Jesus with the exhortation to be servants who love one another may well have influenced Pope Francis for the Year of Divine Mercy.

Part of Sister Maria Teresa's revelations was an offering to Merciful Love:

Holy Father, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer to you Jesus, your beloved Son, and I offer myself in Him and through Him, and with Him for all your intentions, and on behalf of all creatures.

A Bit on Robert Royal's Analysis of a "Bizarre Papal Move"

Robert Royal on Pope Francis Bizarre Papal Move on Sacramental Marriage

Robert Royal, the editor of The Catholic Thing, published a scathing critique of Pope Francis' "Bizarre Papal Move" regarding sacramental marriage, particularly the circumstance around the question of receipt of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics.

It is troubling to see how there seems to have been a Kabuki show of holding two Extraordinary Synods on the Family, in which a clear majority of Bishops reaffirmed the traditional teaching, yet that formal process seems to have mooted by unclear footnotes in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and papal private letters.


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Bit of Cardinal Burke Disputing Contemporary Religious Relativism

Cardinal Raymond Burke Challenges Contemporary Religious Relativism on Islam

During a press availability to promote Hope for the World: Unite All Things in Christ (2016),  his new book length interview with French journalist Guillaume d'Alancon, Cardinal Raymond Burke opined that it was highly questionable if Christians and Muslims worship the same God and that Islam is a religion of peace.

Cardinal Burke is an American bishop whose pedigree carries a tremendous amount of credibility. Burke was the Archbishop of St. Louis who was called to be the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican's highest court) and is now the Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Amoris Laetitia: From Divorce to the Death Penalty

When writing my first piece on Amoris Laetitia I said it would be the subject of controversy. Since then the controversy has developed with very heavyweight criticisms from theologians and others – people who are expert in these matters. It has therefore seemed somewhat otiose for myself as a layman to add anything to this chorus of criticism when I have no training in theology etc.

However, I still wish to express my views as an ordinary layman with nearly 80 years experience of being a Catholic and actual experience of the matter under discussion. Even if nobody else is interested in my views at least setting them out forces me to consider this very important document carefully. So I carry on!

After the controversial paragraph 3, Pope Francis continues with some introductory remarks saying that the opening chapter would be inspired by the Scriptures, that he would then deal with the actual situation of families – the reality – and then on to recall essential aspects of the Church's teaching on marriage, two chapters on love and then highlighting some pastoral approaches with a chapter on raising children. Finally, he will offer an invitation to mercy and pastoral discernment of irregular situations (which he says will be challenging) and a discussion of family spirituality.

Chapter one is therefore on marriage in the light of the scriptures. This is inspiring writing covering the teaching on marriage in both the Old and New Testaments. The one notable omission is that although he refers, in paragraph 19, to Christ's teaching in St Matthew Chapter 19 verses 3 to 9 as a dispute about divorce he does NOT say what Christ actually said about divorce. Indeed, there is no mention of the indissolubility of marriage or any reference to the relevant commandments in the Ten Commandments. Sexual fidelity and adultery do not get a mention.

Pope Francis then goes on to what the Bible says about work – he mentions unemployment (para 25) and what he calls social degeneration of which he sees environmental issues as an example – indeed - the sole example he gives (para 26). He finishes the chapter insisting on tenderness in the marriage.

The second chapter is about the experiences and challenges of families. It owes much to the Final Relatio of the Synod. Sometimes it is more than a bit obscure. At the end of paragraph 32, there is a reference to 'social structures' which I think means the wider or extended family but that is merely a guess. Indeed, presumably something has been lost in translation in para 33: more and more people are choosing to live alone or simply to spend time together without cohabiting. I am not at all clear to what he is referring; hermits, monks and nuns would seem to fit this description but perhaps that is not what is meant. One has to guess what is meant by the concluding sentence in para 33: We can also point to a praiseworthy concern for justice; but if misunderstood, this can turn citizens into clients interested solely in the provision of services.

The meaning of 'way station' in para 34 is not obvious. The rest of the chapter sets out the multiple problems that affect marriage in the modern world. Pope Francis describes it as a brief overview but this chapter does have 28 paragraphs over 24 pages and as one difficulty is mentioned after another the effect is somewhat mind-numbing. The biblical account of marriage in chapter one indeed becomes rather remote from the harsh picture of reality presented in this chapter two.

At para 36 Pope Francis writes:

36. We also need to be humble and realistic, acknowledging that at times the way we present our Christian beliefs and treat other people has helped contribute to today’s problematic situation. We need a healthy dose of self-criticism. Then too, we often present marriage in such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation. Nor have we always provided solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite.

Where is there an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation? I have never heard that. Often to-day marriage can be romanticised so that it is regarded as just about loving someone and the idea of having children hardly features. It is surely right for the Church to remind couples that in the normal way of things children are born especially in this age when birth control is incessantly promoted. You may fall in love with someone and think that you would like to spend the rest of your life with them but should you not stop to question whether this particular person is the one you want to parent your children? As to this almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families just what is he referring to? As to inspiring trust in God's grace some have said that the document fails to do just that; but we can come back to that later.

Paragraph 38 says we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness.Well you could have fooled me but the absence of denunciations of a decadent world by the clergy is surely one of the most striking features of today's Church. Many clergy inside and outside the Catholic Church seem to be more preoccupied as to whether they can indulge in buggery. Just think of the depraved programme on Channel 4 where people view and discuss each others genitals. Has any clerical voice been raised about that?

In describing the various ills that undermine marriage there is no mention of the facilitating of easy divorce. Indeed, divorce is hardly mentioned; there is no mention of the terrible suffering that results; the innocent party who sees their life's dream in ruins and faces a very uncertain and difficult future.

Above all there is no mention of how children of the first marriage suffer; suffering and instability that can be passed down through generations. Both at the Synod and in this document concern is expressed for the children of a second marriage even to the point of justifying a second adulterous marriage but at the same time ignoring the children of the first marriage. I find this narrative both astounding and worrying. I wonder whether the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage is not being undermined.

Chapter three is entitled “LOOKING TO JESUS: THE VOCATION OF THE FAMILY” and the first sentence reads:

In and among families, the Gospel message should always resound; the core of that message, the kerygma, is what is “most beautiful, most excellent, most appealing and at the same time most necessary”.

The word 'kerygma' is meaningless to the vast majority of the laity and its use is a turn-off and pretentious. Why not say 'preaching'? However, the chapter does set out the teaching of the Church as related by the fathers at the Synod. Indissolubility does gets a mention. However it is described as a gift rather than a yoke. Does not Jesus speak of a yoke elsewhere? And will not some not claim that they do not have the gift?

Para 63 is particularly important quoting from the Synod:

'Jesus, who reconciled all things in himself, restored marriage and the family to their original form (cf. Mt 10:1-12). Marriage and the family have been redeemed by Christ (cf. Eph 5:21-32) and restored in the image of the Holy Trinity, the mystery from which all true love flows. The spousal covenant, originating in creation and revealed in the history of salvation, takes on its full meaning in Christ and his Church. Through his Church, Christ bestows on marriage and the family the grace necessary to bear witness to the love of God and to live the life of communion.'

This chapter is a good exposition of the Church's teaching on marriage. But is this teaching not the almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families which Pope Francis decries above? Does he think it an ideal not possible of attainment? I suspect the answer is that somebody else drafted most of this chapter although one can detect a few wobbles towards the end which bear the imprint of Pope Francis.

Familiaris Consortio does get a mention but not the crucial point about communion for the divorced and remarried. It does repeatedly mention the requirement of openness to life. Did not Pope Francis think this was insistence on the duty of procreation? Evidently not or he did not spot it!

One point that has concerned many people is that the final sentence of para 83 says:

Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty”. 

This last point about the death penalty is a quote from the Relatio Synodi of 2015 – the concluding document of the Synod on the Family. It is para 64 which refers to para 2258 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). In fact the CCC does NOT say that but rather:

'God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.'

Was this misquotation carelessness or deliberate on the part of those writing up the Relatio Synodi? It is plain wrong and cannot be taken as a new teaching that the death penalty is wrong in all circumstances. The Synod fathers were undoubtedly thinking of the wrongness of euthanasia at that point and it seems very odd that they should have introduced such a statement at that point out of context. Indeed, the 40 theologians who have appealed to the Cardinals to ask for clarification of Amoris Laetitia have classified this statement as heretical and pernicious. They point to the correct teaching in CCC 2267. This statement in Amoris Laetitia “ the Church … firmly rejects the death penalty” is certainly not an ambiguous statement.

It has been reported in America the National Catholic Review that Pope Francis has set up a commission on the subject as they say the Pope is for condemning the death penalty in all circumstances. However, there is a great deal of difference between advocating its abolition in developed countries where it is obviously not necessary and saying it is wrong even in the most extreme circumstances. I suspect this is just another muddying of the waters.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Feast of Blessed Titus Brandsma

Upon this the Feast of Blessed Titus Brandsma, I wish all readers of this blog, all contributers to this blog, all Catholic journalists, bloggers, commentators and those using the the media and the new media to spread the fragrance of the Gospel a very happy Feast. Blessed Titus is a patron of Catholic journalists. The love of Blessed Titus for Jesus Christ and His Church was sealed with his blood at the concentration camp in Dachau. 

As DC Calamity has posted already, it would not be fitting to overlook on this blog the immense sacrifice - the ultimate sacrifice that took place yesterday, in events unprecedented for Europe - if increasingly common for other parts of the world - of another priest, a Frenchman named Fr Jacques Hamel, who, like Blessed Titus, sealed his love and service to Christ and His Church with his blood. 

May Fr Jacques join Blessed Titus to intercede for Europe and for France from his place in Heaven, for the Church, for Europe and the World, that all may come to know the love, mercy and peace that comes from Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our God. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus welcome those who, living and believing in error, spread hatred, fear and terror into the hearts of mankind.

Remembering a Modern Martyr of Normandy

Two terrorists aligned with ISIS took hostages during a morning Mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy France.  The Muslim terrorists forced Fr. Jacques Hamel to kneel at the altar and then they slit the throat of the 84 year old curate as they reportedly videotaped the brutality.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi. S.J., lamented the martyrdom of Fr. Hamel, noting: “We are particularly stricken because this horrible violence occurred in a church — a sacred place in which the love of God is proclaimed — with the barbaric killing of a priest." 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Catholic Identity Conference 2016

9-11 September 2016

Weirton, West Viginia

Registration Info.

For the fourth consecutive year, this three-day conference will be held in Weirton, West Virginia.  As in past years, the speakers will represent a broad spectrum of traditional Catholic viewpoints with the stated aim being to highlight areas of agreement, without glossing over differences, and to encourage communication and rapport between traditional Catholic individuals and groups.  No attempt is made to silence or marginalize.  If one holds fast to traditional Catholic doctrine, and worships in a traditional Catholic manner, or would like to learn more about traditional Catholic doctrine and worship, they are welcome to attend and participate.

The featured speakers represent a range of organizations and expertise, and include both clergy and laity.  There are priests from the two largest traditional religious orders along with Catholic journalists, a historian, lawyer, broadcaster, and a representative from a Catholic youth organization.  The setting is intimate and affords participants with ample opportunity to meet the speakers and engage them in conversation.  There will be daily Traditional Latin Masses.

(Updated) Featured speakers for 2016 include:

For additional information and to register, visit the Catholic Identity Conference website.

For a brief summary of the talks and to order the CD's, visit here.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A Bit on Reorienting Vatican II Catholics' Divine Worship

Cardinal Robert Sarah on Reorienting Vatican II Catholics' Divine Worship

Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship Cardinal Robert Sarah's strong defense of ad orientem worship is no surprise.  However, Cardinal Sarah suggestion at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in London to push to re-orient Vatican II Catholics posture away from versus populum positioning during the Liturgy of the Eucharist by the beginning of Advent 2016 was shocking. The announcement was greeted by prolonged applause at the Conference, indicating that the mostly clerical audience was behind the move.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Jeweller's Polish, By Marie Ann Dean


Paperback, Ebook
The Jeweler's Polish by Marie Ann Dean
For libraries, academic institutions and volume orders, please contact us directly.

By ​Marie Ann Dean

The Jeweler's Polish is a Catholic historical fiction novel set primarily in the small Mediterranean island of Malta at the time of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John. Containing a near-gothic narrative that includes knightly orders, Masons, Illuminati, conspiracies, curses, mysterious jewels, apparitions of spirits, poisoners, gender dysphoria, the evil eye, and incest, The Jeweler’s Polish presents to readers the 21st century young Englishwoman, Emerald Rohan Grady, and her ancestral namesake, the Lady Emerald Esther Maria de Rohan, niece of the kindly but corrupt Grandmaster Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc. But who, in reality, was Lady Emerald? Who was Lucas de Pinto? What made Captain Azzopardi meet his men in secret, at nighttime, in the historical city of Valletta? Who betrayed the kingdom of God and worked for the kingdom of Man? Why did Lady Emerald have to meet Pope Pius VI in Rome? How were the Jesuits and the Masons involved? Above all, who was the Repentant?

Marie Ann Dean’s familiarity with the isle of Malta and her literary skills are put to good use in constructing a near-gothic narrative, combined with an intriguing apocalyptic storyline involving the identity of the Antichrist and the timing of the Second Coming. The result is a highly entertaining read, reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code but of higher literary quality and more complex . . . a very diverting and compelling first novel that leaves enough plot threads untied to demand a sequel or two. The Jeweler’s Polish leaves the reader wanting more! - Mary Ann Beavis, Ph.D., Professor of Religion and Culture, Saint Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.
From the start of the story, Marie Ann Dean draws the reader into an historical mystery that will capture the imagination. She does a masterful job of tying the past history of the Church and of Europe to current times. The heroines, Emerald both of old and of new, guide the reader through an exciting adventure that falls just short of discovering the biblical Antichrist. I highly recommend The Jeweler’s Polish - James A. Toups,author of The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope, Principal at RMR Corporation.
In The Jeweler's Polish, the heroine Emerald's plans to travel initiate a journey to seek the 'jewels' of her heritage. The story is immersed in intrigue, secrecy, and the adventurous danger of the hunt. Traitors, mistresses, knights, and monks fill the pages of an effervescent novel. The pages turn quickly: Dean diligently weaves the tale of Emerald's search for her hereditary matrix that serves both to elude and define her. Any reader of The Jeweler's Polish who has sought family trees, or who has been fascinated by the Da Vinci Code, or Angels and Demons, will no doubt be riveted to Emerald's search. The mystery is laced with danger and delight, discovery and disappointment, with new clues uncovered and the real hidden treasure of the heroine's beneficence . . . Is it not everyman/everywoman's journey to seek their source and uncover treasures hidden for the ages - whether in Tehran, Tokyo, or New York? In The Jeweler's Polish, one finds fellow seekers, while enjoying a well of literary refreshment - Reverend Brian Miclot, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Saint Ambrose University.
Malta is a fascinating, yet somewhat mysterious, island nation known throughout history as the home of the famous, but somehow also mysterious, Knights. In The Jeweler's Polish, accomplished author Marie Ann Dean brings us on one woman's fascinating voyage of self-discovery to Malta. Dean adroitly weaves together the tale of that woman's journey with events in the lives of historical figures connected with the Knights in Malta and elsewhere. As her prose portrays transformations in her characters, the reader is also brought to contemplate profound, yet very simple truths. You will enjoy The Jeweler's Polish - Monsignor Richard Soseman, J.C.L., Official of the Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican City State.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Report: Solemn Consecration of the City of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

On Saturday, 4 June 2016, in a historic ceremony sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Woodlawn Council 2161, the City of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, was solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The consecration was performed by the pastors of the three Catholic parishes located in Aliquippa, and the mayor.


Reverend Father Paul C. Householder, Pastor
St. Titus Roman Catholic Church, Aliquippa

Reverend Father Mykhaylo Shkyndya, Pastor
St. George Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic Church, Aliquippa

Reverend Father Michael Polosky, Pastor
Ss. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, Aliquippa

                                                             The Honorable Dwan B. Walker
                                                             Mayor of the City of Aliquippa

The ceremonies began with a procession into St. George Church with the icon of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, the praying of the Holy Rosary, and a Divine Liturgy in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  This was followed by the solemn consecration of the city.

The faithful then moved to nearby St. Titus Church for a Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass offered in thanksgiving for the consecration.  Canon Jean-Marie Moreau of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest offered the Votive Mass of Christ the King assisted by Fr. Ladis J. Cizik as deacon, and Fr. David G. Rombold as subdeacon.  The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh sang Mozart's Coronation Mass.

Additional information and a selection of photos can be viewed on the Knights of Columbus Woodlawn Council 2161 Latin Mass blog by clicking here.
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