Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas To The White House.

A bit risque, so be warned. (Zucchetto spin to Orange Joe.)

What I Got For Christmas, Pt. I.

Alas, no one has yet gotten me anything on my principal gift list (not even a u-boat captain's or a Kolchak hat), but, hey, Christmas isn't over for a few weeks yet.

A great family in the parish did get me my own Chiabama head. I will water him and fertilize him… and put him in the sun....and name him Barry!Then at a time of my own choosing, he will go in a dry, dark closet. And I will repeat the process! Muahahahaha!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ben Nelson Wimps Out.

Never trust a Democrat. Never trust a Senator. Never, never trust a Democrat Senator. So much for pro-life Democrats.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What To Get Your Priest For Christmas.

I'm just saying....

What If We Just Don't Wait.

The lovely and gracious Miss Adoro informs us of a petition that supports the implementation of the new English translation of the Roman Missal. Here is the text of the petition:

We believe that the newly approved English translation of the 2002 Missale Romanum needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
We believe that the Church in English-speaking nations has waited far too long for an accurate, faithful translation of the original Latin.
We believe that the current translation currently in use in English-speaking nations is overdue to be replaced, as it was developed using the method of dynamic translation, a method rejected by the Vatican in the document Liturgiam Authenticam.
We stand united with the English-speaking bishops' conferences in their approval of the new translation.
We oppose any efforts to continue to delay this new translation.

You know you agree and want to sign!

About Time? Amen.

The Vatican has announced that Emmanuel Milingo, former Archbishop of Lusaka, exorcist, charismatic, excomunicant, and Moonie stooge, has been defrocked. My admittedly unscientific and personally biased survey of the web finds that the usual reactions, "About time!" To this I say, "Amen!" It seems to me that for too long Rome has treated erring bishops with kid gloves. Some of this is due to a right concern and desire for their repentance. But, I think the larger portion is due to a fear of schism. Well, guess what at least in Milingo's case, the schism, as well as heresy, was already present. It is heartening to see Rome recognize this and take decisive action. Would they they would do more of it, particular in cases where if the miscreant were a simple priest the defrocking would be a fore-drawn conclusion. There must not even be the appearance that an old boys club is circling the wagons around one of their own. In this country, this would mean that the Dallas Charter would apply to bishops as well as priests and deacons. Anyone want to bet how quickly after that ebtter safeguards protecting the rights of the accused would be added?

Where in the world is Mr. Emmanuel Milingo? Who cares. Hit it Rockapella.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

All Ahead! Full Steam!

The Famous LarryD reports that there is a group of Trautmanites agitating for a halt on the new English Translation of the Mass. Signatories include a who's who of dissenters and trendy liturgists. Thomas Reese, check. Archbishop Hunthausen, check. One will also discover many authors of modern liturgical music. (I guess they fear for their royalty checks.) I was greatly edified in seeing only one signer from Utah. But who else did I see? The liturgy sister (and nemesis) from my time at the seminary! If I had any doubts about the new translation (which I don't and have not), they are washed away in the light of this revelation. Anything she opposes has to be good!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Woot! About Six Months Until My Next Wedding.

School Penance Services...

not a big fan. Don't get me wrong, I like hearing kids confessions, even though Archbishop Sheen's line about being stoned to death with popcorn comes to mind. However, I think that all too often it lets parents off the hook with regards to getting their kids to Confession and robs them of an opportunity to avail themselves of the sacrament. All too often, schools of all stripes are doing things which are more properly the duty of the parents. (Can you say feeding kids?) Much the same applies to Holy Day of Obligation Masses at school. I am not a big fan of seasonal penance services anyway. They seem to educate people to go to Confession only twice a year. I still have them though, hypocrite that I am.

Prayer Request.

Please pray for Luke the 15 month old nephew of a parishioner who was severely injured in an accident yesterday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tridentine Observations, Part II: The Rites and Blessings.

Let me beginning this installment of Tridentine Observations with a meta-observation. An appreciation of traditional liturgy and measured criticism of the ordinary form does not mean that one dislikes, rejects, or ignores the Second Vatican Council. Far from it! A true traditionalist embraces all that the Church teaches whether it was 10, 50, 100, or 1000 years ago. An Ecumenical Council must be accepted and embraced. What can and must be rejected is a view of Vatican II as an uber-council that represents a rupture with the past rather than a continuation and a deepening. I was speaking with a priest friend today and he rightly pointed out that people may have seen my old banner as a rejection of Vatican II, hence the new and improved banner. (Thanks Vincenzo!)

Now, about the rites and blessings. One of the lesser known benefits of the Motu Proprio allowing the free celebration of the Mass of Blessed John XXIII was that it also allow the use of the older rites for the sacraments and the Rituale Romanum. So far, I have done 3 baptisms, 1 extreme unction,1 confession, and 1 burial according to the extraordinary form. To say that it is eye-opening is an understatement. I had assumed that the changes in the rites were mainly cosmetic. While the central rite of the sacraments remain the same, the attendant rites were significantly altered and not only by the addition of a liturgy of the word and intercessions to just about everything.

Let's focus on Baptism. The extra-ordinary form of Baptism focus' significantly more on the breaking of the power of sin and Satan over the person baptized. There are multiple and explicit minor exorcisms with very powerful verbal images. Also, there are minimal explanations of the rites. They are allowed to speak for themselves. The Concilium seems to have felt the overwhelming need to explain everything in detail and ad nauseum. The new rite has readings from Sacred Scripture and allows a homily. While I have found the readings from Sacred Scripture very useful, I have never found a homily to be needed or appropriate. (On the other hand, I have no use for the readings during the rite of anointing.) The new rite takes about half the time and that is not counting the ritual for the blessing of baptismal water. (I do appreciate the new rite's strong encouragement of blessing new water for each baptism.) The new rite seems, well, too bare bones. Noble simplicity is not bare Bauhaus.

In general, I find that the old rites have better imagery and seem to be more willing to allow God's action to be mysterious. Also, it seems to me a better option to have the scripture integrated into the rite rather than as an obvious and clumsy 'liturgy of the word'. Like the calendar, some changes and tweaking were required, but I think a wholesale revision was a mistake, particularly the watering down of the minor exorcisms in baptism. (The worst of these being the new liturgy for confession, which as I have said before is practically unworkable in the parish setting.) Also, it is my opinion that, with the exception of Matrimony and Holy Orders, the Sacraments should not be celebrated in the context of the Mass. What is the purpose of trying to put everything in the Mass? (I particularly dislike baptisms during Mass.)

Now as regards the blessings, give me the Rituale over the Book of Blessings any day. I actually want to bless things.

Give Me A Break!

Today's Gospel reading ends with, "Whoever has ears ought to hear." So, Our Lord is giving us a suggestion. I think not. Our Lord commands: He does not suggest. This is the fruit of language castration. The translators are so afraid of offending the feminists that they would rather weaken the Scripture. Let he who has ears hear!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tridentine Observations, Part I : The Calendar.

For over a year, I have been celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, publicly, at least once a week. I have also been able to celebrate several of the sacraments according to that form. I must confess that I have been interested in the Old Mass since before my conversion. I have collected (i. e. rescued) old missals and altar cards. One of the things that attracted me to the Catholic Faith was its history and continuity. It was established by Christ and our practices stand in continuity with those of the Apostolic Church. While I recognize the validity of the new liturgy, what bothered Cardinal Ratzinger also bothers me. It was an artificial construct, not an organic development. (One should also note the archeologism and romanticism on the Bugnini crowd.) Intellectually, I knew about the traditional rite. I knew what it said and looked like. However, I have become convinced that one cannot really say one knows a liturgy until one has celebrated it. So, over the next little while, I will post at least three reflections on the Ordinary Form.

First, let's begin with the calendar. Remember, the Extraordinary Form has its own seasonal and sanctoral calendar distinct from the revised calendar of 1970. In many ways, they really aren't that different. The main seasons are present in both calendars. However, the mini-Lent before Lent, Septigesima, was dropped from the new calendar as was Passiontide. The option was given to the bishops' conferences to move many holy days to Sunday, which was done with a vengeance. (Give me back my holy days!) Many saint's days were suppressed, moved, or conflated. (One of the ladies in my parish has never forgiven the Church for twice moving the feast of her patron, St. Jane Frances de Chantal.) The intention seems to have been to make the structure of the liturgical year more rational and relevant, which it may have done. But it also made it more sterile and less mysterious. Modern minimalism played a big part, but at least in this case, less is not more, The whole year was something holy, not just Sundays (important as they are). There was an arrogance in saying we know so much more than those of the past, so lets adjust the calendar to fit modern scholarship and preconceptions. When something is changed, it is made less stable, less a fixture of our lives. Certainly, there could have been some minor adjustments to the calendar, but wholesale change wasn't called for.

Then there is what they did to Advent. It is no longer the fast before the Feast of the Incarnation. It is the "season of joyful expectation." Can some please tell me what that means? That we are happy that the Lord has come and will come, but we don't need to do penance to prepare ourselves for his coming? Bunk! Penance isn't spiritual masochism reserved for Lent. It is an integral part of the Christian Life where we pull away from sin and draw closer to the Lord. Traditionally, there was always communal penance before a feast. The Incarnation is surely so central a mystery that it requires an explicitly penitential season to prepare for its celebration. So put away your blue vestments and return Advent to its proper character.

While we are at it, can't we come up with a better term than "Ordinary Time" or "within in the year"? "X Sunday after Pentecost" is much better.

All in all, while the old calendar could have been tweaked a bit, I wish they had left it alone.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


The Crescat is having a tacky creche contest. And what do I find while perusing it? A bulldog creche. This is so wrong, this is the wonder of the Incarnation we are talking about. But, it is bulldogs! It is sacrilegious. But, it is bulldogs! I am conflicted!