Consecration of Virgins

October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008: Consecration of seven cloistered Franciscan Sisters of the Immacolata in the neo-classical Basilica of Imperia, located on the Ligurian Sea in the north of Italy. The rites were according to the usus antiquior of the Roman rite.



Eleventh Hour Election Alert!

October 29, 2008

The fight against Futurechurch: seminarians

October 27, 2008

From the Telegraph:

Do you know what makes liberal Catholic clergy wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night? It’s not the return of the Tridentine Mass. It’s not the fact that Ratzinger is Pope. It’s not their rapidly dwindling congregations.

Seminarians are taking over the world

What terrifies the old trendies is a new generation of conservative seminarians, who are gradually turning into a new generation of conservative priests – just as the supply of liberals is drying up.

Until very recently, seminaries managed to screen out the more orthodox candidates. “Psychologically immature” was the code for “obedient to the Magisterium”, and so effective was the process that dozens of vocations were successfully squashed. In the 1980s and 90s, English seminaries were run by a grey-shirted Magic Circle politburo, assisted (not to say bullied) by frightful middle-aged women whose liturgical preferences were only just the right side of Wicca.

One or two conservatives slipped through the net, by hiding copies of Fortescue under their beds and slipping each other photographs of fiddleback chasubles that they could admire in private. In public, however, they were careful to wear the seminary uniform of jeans and CND T-shirt, and even to swallow the Bitter Pill without gagging.

But times are changing. Dreary Leftist seminary rectors have retired or became Magic Circle bishops, the Wiccan “pastoral advisers” have fallen out of favour, and conservative candidates for the seminary have started presenting themselves faster than they can be turned down. “It’s a bit like the Somme – no sooner have you wiped out one wave of infantry than another appears,” says my source.

Futurechurch is losing this battle. Some Magic Circle rectors are ready to run up the white flag. I could mention a couple of English seminaries where orthodox doctrine is taught pretty rigorously. That’s in sharp contrast to the situation 20 years ago. (As one London priest told me this week, “I came away from seminary knowing only two things – that St Augustine of Hippo and St Augustine of Canterbury were different people, and that Julian of Norwich was a woman.”)

The other day, I saw a photograph of seminarians and staff at Allen Hall, Westminster. I reckon you could tell just by looking at them that the students were more conservative than their teachers. The same is true of the Venerable English College in Rome, where – perhaps because it is a breeding ground for bishops – the Magic Circle is clinging on to power. “Students still have to don a false beard if they slip out to attend a Tridentine Mass,” I’m told.

Some of the really Left-wing dioceses have adopted a disgraceful tactic: rather than put forward conservative candidates for ordination, they’ve stopped looking for future priests completely. Hence all this guff about “lay empowerment”: the lay people being empowered are all “made men” (if I can use such a sexist term) in the mafia of the mediocre.

But don’t despair. Conservative seminarians are getting ordained, and in a few years’ time the dioceses will run out of goody-goody Tabletistas on whom to bestow plum parishes. And then, who knows? A conservative bishop? Stranger things have happened.

Somebody didn’t get the memo to Barabara West

October 27, 2008

Shocking the media, and everyone else who knows all questions are to be geared toward placing Obama in the presidency, Barbara West breaks from this sacred ground and asks tough questions. Here is just one blogger’s view:

Funny how Barack Obama would be more than happy to speak and negotiate with Ahmadinejad but is now afraid to speak with Barbara West and WFTV.

Obama stands ground on meeting with Ahmadinejad

Sen. Barack Obama stood his ground Monday on his controversial remarks earlier this year that he would meet with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate,” Obama said, quoting John F. Kennedy.

“Meeting with somebody is not tantamount to agreeing with them,” he later added when taking questions from reporters after announcing an endorsement by the New York City Correctional Officers Benevolent Association in Manhattan.

And how does camp Obama respond when asked some basic questions in an interview?

Obama campaign cuts off WFTV after interview with Joe Biden

“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

Yes this is what we would be dealing with if we have an Obama Biden White House.

From the Media Research Center:


The Liberal Media Exposed (PDF Report): Formatted, easy-to-print pages detailing the key results of nearly two dozen surveys about media bias. The report also includes quotes from top journalists denying a liberal media bias, plus comments from journalists acknowledging the problem. Updated May 2007.

How the Media Vote
. Surveys of journalists’ self-reported voting habits show them backing the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1964, including landslide losers George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In 2004, a poll conducted by the University of Connecticut found journalists backed John Kerry over George W. Bush by a greater than two-to-one margin. See Section.

Journalists’ Political Views. Compared to their audiences, journalists are far more likely to say they are Democrats or liberals, and they espouse liberal positions on a wide variety of issues. A 2004 poll by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press found five times more journalists described themselves as “liberal” as said they were “conservative.” See Section.

How the Public Views the Media. In increasing numbers, the viewing audiences recognize the media’s liberal tilt. Gallup polls have consistently found that three times as many see the media as “too liberal” as see a media that is “too conservative.” A 2005 survey conducted for the American Journalism Review found nearly two-thirds of the public disagreed with the statement, “The news media try to report the news without bias,” and 42 percent of adults disagreed strongly. See Section.

Admissions of Liberal Bias. A number of journalists have admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle. During the 2004 presidential campaign, for example, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas predicted that sympathetic media coverage would boost Kerry’s vote by “maybe 15 points,” which he later revised to five points. In 2005, ex-CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter confessed he stopped watching his old network: “The unremitting liberal orientation finally became too much for me.” See Section

Denials of Liberal Bias. Many journalists continue to deny the liberal bias that taints their profession. During the height of CBS’s forged memo scandal during the 2004 campaign, Dan Rather insisted that the problem wasn’t his bias, it was his anybody who criticized him. “People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, ‘Because he won’t report it our way, we’re going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain,’” Rather told USA Today in September 2004. “They know that I’m fiercely independent and that’s what drives them up a wall.” See Section.

Evidence of Bias in News Coverage. The Media Research Center continuously reports on instances of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. Daily CyberAlerts offer a regular roundup of the latest instances of biased reporting, while our NewsBusters blog allows Web users to post their own reactions. Media Reality Check fax reports showcase important stories that the news media have distorted or ignored, and several times each year the MRC publishes Special Reports offering in-depth documentation of the media’s bias on specific issues.

Free to Express Reverence

October 27, 2008


From Steve Ray’s Blog:

Saturday evening my wife and went to a new parish (new for us) to visit and I genuflected before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. I was reprimanded by the Extraodinary Minister while he handed me the host. After Mass I was reprimanded by the priest. I told them they were both wrong and the letter that follows explains why.


May 16, 2004

Dear Father:

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending Mass at Transfiguration for the first time Saturday evening, May 15. I found the Mass very reverent and your homily delightful and instructive. I appreciated the explanations about the Council of Jerusalem and the authority of Peter and the need for flexibility within the bounds of the Catholic Church’s teaching. I told you afterwards that I enjoyed your homily very much. We just moved to this area and just discovered Transfiguration Church.

Having said that, I would like to comment on one other matter—namely, being confronted in a rather brusque way about genuflecting while approaching to receive the Eucharist on our first visit to your parish. In addition, I was inappropriately “corrected” by an Extraordinary Minister while receiving communion. The GIRM 160 indicates that even priests should not argue with communicants about posture when they are receiving Communion, saying that they should provide ‘proper catechesis’ (no doubt when the communicant is not in the Communion line). Consequently, it is certainly inappropriate for an extraordinary minister to do so.[i]

First, I am not ignorant of the GIRM’s latest instruction about bowing in reverence before receiving as the norm. The GIRM establishes the norm but in doing so does not forbid other appropriate signs of reverence, including genuflecting or receiving while kneeling. If the GIRM specifically mentions that kneeling is allowed, as it does, it must certainly not forbid the lesser action of genuflecting, especially if it is done in the line prior to actually stepping up to receive. In fact, the GIRM gives specific instructions that even if one kneels they are not to be denied the Eucharist.

Colin B. Donovan, STL (degree received from Angelicum in Rome) commented on the matter by saying:

“The bishops have set the bow as the norm. They have not forbidden kneeling or genuflecting. They cannot, as the Roman interpretations of the norms have made clear. Genuflection is a one knee kneel. It is contained within the statements permitting kneeling, since it is a lesser reverence than kneeling, though stronger than bowing. Standing and bowing replaces kneeling, as the original legislation authorizing bishops’ conferences to choose standing over kneeling makes clear. . . . Indeed, the real issue is not whether genuflecting is allowed but whether the USCCB having chosen standing and bowing as the norm criminalizes or makes disobedient those who desire to do something else. To that question Rome has answered an emphatic no, with respect to kneeling and implicitly genuflecting, and warned the clergy about making it seem so.”

It does not necessarily follow that since bowing is the norm that genuflecting is therefore criminalized.[ii] Though this can potentially be confusing for Catholics, I would suggest that the recent Redemptionis Sacramentum[iii] was promulgated to clarify matters. In no. 90 it says: “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. ‘However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms’” (176). Also, “Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing” (no. 92).

As I understand it, even though the American norms specify that the sign of respect before receiving is a bow of the head, when the Sacred Congregation for Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was queried about whether continuing to genuflect was forbidden, they responded in the negative. Consequently, if genuflecting is not specifically forbidden by Rome, the burden of proof to the contrary certainly falls on the one trying to enforce such a non-existent prohibition.

“The way Americans read law; the norms would be interpreted strictly. But that interpretation is misleading. The law has to be understood in the sense in which it is intended by Rome (which approved the law and whose interpretation of the law is definitive), and Romans do not read law the same way Americans do. Americans tend to take a much stricter interpretation of law that admits of no exceptions unless they are stated in the text itself. Vatican officials, however, often understand laws in a more permissive way that allows for unwritten exceptions” (Jimmy Akin). There are a number of examples I could cite that refer specifically to posture during Mass (e.g., See attachment #2).

Again, genuflecting is a lesser act than kneeling and kneeling is specifically mentioned as an allowed and acceptable posture for receiving Holy Communion. I know I was not denied the Eucharist on Saturday, but even being reprimanded during reception and after Mass for something not disallowed—but even approved of—could prove to be a problem. But the real matter is that if the Holy See has allowed reception by standing or kneeling, genuflecting ahead of time is certainly not a violation of Church law.

I am a ten-year convert to the Catholic Church and have always genuflected out of my great reverence and love for the Eucharist and the Church.[iv] I have always been encouraged to do so. For me it is a personal way of demonstrating my love and utter reverence for the Eucharist, the liturgy, and the Church. I have genuflected while receiving before our own presiding bishop many times (as lately as last week), twice with the Pope in a private Mass; with Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Schonborn, Cardinal Wamala, Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Foley and Bertoni in Rome, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem, the archbishop of Smyrna (St. John’s successor), two Papal Nuncios, and many other knowledgeable and holy priests, bishops and archbishops, including bishops in the United States. Never before have I been reprimanded for expressing my reverence to Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Sometimes I think the reprimand should be for those who refuse to show any reverence toward the Eucharist, but then again that is just my humble opinion.

I understand that you are trying to instruct your community on the norms for worship and I appreciate your efforts and commend you for it. I would suggest though, that tact is a virtue when instructing the faithful and that the postural leniency allowed and protected by Rome should be also allowed and protected in the parishes.

Other than that, as I commented before, I found you very impressive and knowledgeable, celebrating a very reverent liturgy. I plan on visiting your parish again since it is so close to our new home. I look forward to more excellent homilies.

 Thanks for being a priest and serving Our Lord and the Church in such a marvelous capacity. I hope this is letter is not taken in an offensive or challenging way. It is simply an honest communication and with the hope we can be friends in the future. I pray for all of God’s blessings on you and your ministry.

Respectfully yours in Christ and in His Church, 

Steve Ray

Translating Crazy Progressive Catholic Dialect

October 27, 2008



From Red Cardigan:


I know, I know, why bother getting riled up over something printed in the National Catholic Reporter in the first place? From high school on my Wanderer-reading friends and I referred to the paper as the Distorter, since their unofficial motto seemed to be: “Promoting the writing of unabashed heretics since Day One!” So it’s not really a surprise to see this rag publishing an editorial about how the United States Bishops’ efforts to remind Catholics that we’re not permitted to overlook the abortion issue when voting is really a “narrow anti-abortion effort” that “hurts the pro-life cause.” Consider: 

Another presidential election cycle is nearly ended, and once again the Catholic bishops in the United States have sadly distinguished themselves for the narrowness and, in too many cases, barely concealed partisanship, of their political views.

Cycle after cycle they have promulgated the same message: Abortion trumps all other issues and the only credible approach to fighting abortion is voting for candidates who express a wish to overthrow Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

We have persistently criticized the American bishops on this page for such a limited political strategy. For more than a quarter of a century they have generally used whatever political capital they might have in attempts to deliver the Catholic vote to whomever is making the most agreeable promises that year.

Year after year, however, the bishops get little in return for their antiabortion political endorsements, while often aiding in the election of politicians who have little regard for the rest of the church’s social agenda.
The abortion rate has been going down steadily in America, from a high of 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 1981 to 19.4 abortions for the same demographic through 2005, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

No one has the definitive answer on why the rate is decreasing. Depending on political persuasion and which side of the debate one falls on, the possible reasons range from more emphasis on abstinence programs to better education and more funding for prevention of pregnancy. Undoubtedly, one unquantifiable element is continuing education about the reality of abortion and the sacredness of life that has persuaded some to bring pregnancies to term.

No one, however, is suggesting that politicians promising to overturn Roe had any influence on a woman’s choosing to bring a child to term.

I know my readers are a talented and well-educated bunch, but it’s just possible that a few among you might not speak “Progressive Catholic.” I was, sadly, immersed in it in parochial schools until my parents courageously took us out of school and taught us at home, where I learned to my astonishment that such concepts as “mortal and venial sin” “male priesthood” and “respect for life from conception until natural death” had not, as my “progressive” teachers insisted, been done away with by a new church that was being sung into being, albeit by tone-deaf singers wailing truly unfortunate songs.

I did, however, become relatively fluent in “Progressive Catholic,” and will translate the above paragraphs into ordinary English (warning to the progressives among us: I may even use non-inclusive pronouns!!):

Paragraph One:

Although only a little more than a quarter of U.S. bishops have urged their flocks to remember the unborn when they are voting, we find this an alarming trend away from the narrowness and, indeed, naked partisanship of former ages, when we could count on the U.S. bishops all but endorsing the Democrat candidate. We’ve never had a problem with bishops talking about preferential options for the poor, a “seamless garment” ethic, illegal immigration and access to health care, and so long as it was tacitly understood that all of these issues in the balance scale outweighed the whole abortion problem we were fine with bishops being narrow and partisan. But this new trend of 1/4 of the bishops failing to be narrowly partisan in favor of the Democrats is alarming to us, since we’ve believed for ages that only the Democrats correctly reflect Jesus’ social Gospel of wealth redistribution.

Paragraph Two:

Though this is the first time in living memory so many bishops have pointed out that when a choice exists between two candidates one of whom is a much greater enemy to unborn human life than the other, Catholics must place abortion as an issue of primary importance in making their selection, we know some bishops have consistently done so (probably the malcontents who don’t like liturgical dance and yelled at Sister Helen when she offered to give the homily). Even though it’s pretty foolish to pretend that bishops have routinely counseled their flocks to remember what we owe in solidarity to our unborn brothers and sisters when we vote, since if they had done so all these years we’d probably be closer to outlawing abortion altogether than we are now, we’re going to assert this anyway. After all, we feel as though it’s true.

Paragraph Three:

This descends into utter ridiculousness. If the bishops over the past twenty-five years have expended any political capital at all, it has been in the “peace and justice” arena, and has involved bishops withholding their taxes to protest nuclear weapons and sternly lecturing their flocks about the need for amnesty for illegal aliens. No one can credibly make the claim that the American bishops have been in the pocket of the Republican party for the last twenty-five years–or at any other time. Still, we feel justified in engaging in pure snit because we feel abandoned and betrayed, and are this close to talking about brokenness and nourishing each other. We mean it–don’t push us.

Paragraph Four:

This paragraph contains the money quote, which, in case you missed it, was this sentence: “Year after year, however, the bishops get little in return for their antiabortion political endorsements, while often aiding in the election of politicians who have little regard for the rest of the church’s social agenda.” This is our unshakable paradigm: Democrats are true Christians in every way (even if you have to squint to get past that speck in their eye called abortion) while Republicans take as their model the innkeeper at Bethlehem, whose concern for his evil profit margin made him put the Holy Family in a stable and made the Baby Jesus cry. Democrats champion the oppressed; Republicans try to figure out new ways of oppressing the poor, coming up with such evil strategies as objecting–can you believe it!–to giving federal income tax rebates to people who don’t actually pay federal income taxes in the first place. Since it is perfectly clear (to us anyway) that Jesus would have insisted on wealth distribution and community organizing “power” strategies as the only basis for a just Christian society, we can’t understand how the bishops could possibly let concern for the unborn trump all of this.

Paragraphs Four (b), Five and Six:

Of course, the abortion rate has been going down. But it’s not because the bishops keep talking about it, and it’s certainly not because pro-life politicians have been elected and continue to be elected. We don’t know why the abortion rate has been going down–education, maybe? We like teachers, so we’ll call it that. Of course we’re ignoring the abstinence-focused education programs pushed by those pro-life politicians, because we know that had absolutely nothing to do with the decline in abortion. We mention it briefly, but we don’t want our readers to stop and think about it, because if abstinence education works, and if abstinence education is proposed by pro-life Republicans and hated by pro-abort Democrats, then our entire premise that the bishops are shilling for pro-life political candidates without getting anything in return is as faulty as a lay-led liturgy workshop at a bishops’ conference. Lucky for us, our readers aren’t terribly strong in making logical connections–if they were, they wouldn’t read our paper for very long.

Having carefully translated most of the NCR editorial for the benefit of And Sometimes Tea readers who may have escaped the “Progressive Catholic” dialect in their own youths, I’ll just repeat the title of this post in summation: balderdash.