Sunday, June 28, 2015

After Friday, It's No Longer Business As Usual

Not a word was said at Mass today about the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country on Friday, June 26, 2015.  It was business as usual.  Reacting to news on Friday has its challenges. But plenty of Catholic bishops reacted.  Did yours?  What does your diocesan's web site home page look like this morning?  Let's take a look at a few:

My own diocese - nothing.
Diocese of Manchester:
Archdiocese of Boston, in the ground-zero state; see red circle - sort of lame:

Archdiocese of Boston:
USCCB's - same lame-ness, although two references:


Now, is an initiative of the USCCB: Nothing on the home page, but I did find this:
Now, here are some mainstream media (MSM) newspaper front pages on Saturday, June 27, 2015:

The differences are shocking are they not?  The Catholic Church is not keeping up.  Michael Voris from sumamrizes it well.

The Vortex - American Rome

We should test the fairness of the MSM coverage of this issue by publishing full-page ads of this image from / in the New York Times and Washington Post, to name a few.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On the Tongue and From A Priest

In fact, the faithful regarded themselves as guilty, and rightly so as Origen recalls, if, after they had received the body of the Lord and kept it with all reverence and caution, some part of it were to fall to the ground through negligence. (para. 58, Mysterium Fidei,

I stopped receiving Holy Communion in the hand about 5 years ago.  Around the same time, I stopped being an Euchartistic Minister.  I typically will not receive the Precious Blood.  And almost always, I will receive Holy Communion only from a priest (I do make exceptions for a deacon).

Mother Theresa
I can recall at least two of a few things that have brought me to this point.  The first is the outstanding series from series "Sleight of Hand: The Reception Deception (  The second is my experience as an adult altar server.

I learned from the series that from Pope Paul VI, to Saint Pope John Paul II, to Pope Benedict XVI, and to Pope Francis, receiving Holy Communion in the hand was and is not a favorable practice to them.  In fact, none of them recommended it.  If you attend a Papal Mass in Rome, you can only receive Holy Communion on the tongue from the Pope or (only) a priest (there's plenty of footage of Papal Masses on YouTube that you can see for yourself). The practice of receiving only on the tongue at Papal Masses is not meant to showcase the steep tradition of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue only in Rome.  It is meant to show the entire Holy Church how it should be done.

The abuse of receiving Holy Communion in the hand started after Vatican II, during the time of Pope Paul VI.  It started in Germany and in the Netherlands.  This abuse was not new - it was used by Protestants centuries earlier to protest their beliefs that our Blessed Lord did not mean literally what he said in John 6 and at the Lord's Supper.  

Of the 16 official documents that were released as part of Vatican II, only one, Sacrosanctum Concilium, pertained to the liturgy.  There was no mention of changing the manner in which one was to receive Holy Communion in this document. In fact, the document called for "Latin to be retained and Gregorian chant to be given a place of preference in the liturgy."
Pope Paul VI asked his fellow bishops what they thought of the reception of Holy Communion in the hand - the majority of the bishops were not in favor of the practice.  From this survey of bishops arose three ways to handle the current abuse: no concessions, the practice must stop; allow both forms of receiving Holy Communion; allow a concession only where the abuse had started and was difficult to stop.  The bishops were in favor of the first option; Pope Paul VI chose the last. Through a series of other attempts to find a balance between cease-and-desist and conciliatory approaches, reception of Holy Communion in the hand was approved by the then NCCB (USCCB) in 1977, through the use of a very narrow exception to Rome's petition process.

I recall my time as an adult altar server where I assisted the deacon with preparing the altar.  The altar was prepared with reverence and care.  At one particular Mass, I observed the priest putting down the chalice using his middle, ring, and pinky fingers, while keeping his index finger and thumb together.  This is to prevent particles of the Precious Host from falling!  

If so much care is given to handling of a consecrated host by the priest, what business do I or anyone have as a lay person touching the host for its reception or distribution?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

St. Joseph Was Quite A Guy

Let's set aside any doubt about Mary's vow of perpetual virginity for the moment.

To be "bethrothed" meant a state of marriage without cohabitation¹.  Only a formal divorce could dissolve a bethrothal. So, Joseph would have known about Mary's vow of perpetual virginity.  There's no way that Mary would have kept that from him. Yet, he "married" her anyway!  This obviously implies Joseph's own vow of perpetual virginity!

When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant (St. Matthew 1:19-20), part of his dismay was based on her vow of perpetual virginity - "Mary! What do you mean you're pregnant?  I thought you took a vow to be a virgin for life? I was planning to do this along with you!"

Getting back to Mary, when she "said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?" (St. Luke 1:34, DRB), Mary was stating not only her present condition of virginity, but her intention of her future state (the Greek present tense of "know" implies current and future).²

Truly indeed this couple was planning a remarkable marriage!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Cemetery Visits for the Souls In Purgatory

Appleton Cemetery, Deering, NH
I'm not sure exactly when it was that I started to find cemeteries to be peaceful places.  They are filled with so much hope!  My feelings were only reinforced after reading Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg. I finished reading it at the end of October this year, just before the All Soul's Day.

This book is a fascinating read of the supernatural with one remarkable difference - the stories in this book are verified by the Catholic Church.  It talks about the differences between demons and "poor souls" - souls in Purgatory permitted by God to visit people on earth.  The book reveals that many, many well-known saints were often visited by poor souls. The modern-day Saint Padre Pio (who died in 1968) once said that "there were more souls of the dead who came up that road [the road leading to the monastery] then souls of the living (Hungry Souls, pg. 109)." The book details the items on exhibit in the Little Museum of  Purgatory in the Sacred Heart of Suffrage Church in Rome, a collection of "objects bearing visible, physical traces left by the souls in Purgatory (Hungry Souls, pg. 45)".

This year was the second year I was able to complete the Octave of All Saints - eight days of visiting area cemeteries and praying for the souls in Purgatory.  Beginning on November 1st, I visited eight area cemeteries and prayed:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Mount Calvary Cemetery, Manchester, NH
There are prayers for the faithful departed for each day of the week.  I prayed the appropriate prayer for the day, an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the following concluding prayer:

O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligence, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
St. Joseph Cemetery, Chelmsford, MA
 On the eighth and last day, I visited my Dad's grave. I spent some time at the cemetery searching for my paternal grandparent's grave which I found, and my maternal grandparent's grave, which I did not find.  Interestingly enough, my father's parents grave was marked with a monument making it easier to find. My mother's parent's grave was not marked by a monument but by only a veteran's marker. Even with information about the grave site, searching for it was really difficult in November with the ground covered in leaves.

My mother does not know where her parents are buried in this cemetery. This saddens me.  Perhaps several years ago it would not have saddened me.  By by the grace of God, who has blessed me with knowledge of Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment, I vow to find their grave as well as forever remember where it is.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Catholic New Evangelization Running Amok

This statement below was posted and then quickly removed from the Archdiocese of Washington's website on September 3rd, 2014.

Thank you Msgr. Pope!

Time to End the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner?

By: Msgr. Charles Pope 

The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific.

Decades ago the “Al Smith Dinner” was a time for Republicans and Democrats to bury the hatchet (even if only temporarily) and come together to raise money for the poor and to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us. But in the old days the death of 50 million infants was not what divided us. We were divided about lesser things such as how much of the budget should go to defense and how much to social spending. Reasonable men might differ over that.

But now we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love and that LGBTQIA… (I=intersexual, A= Asexual) is actually a form of sanity to which we should tip our hat, and with those who stand four-square against us over religious liberty.

Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.

In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.

It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world.

But don’t go to the parade; stay away from the Al Smith Dinner and all that “old school” stuff that hangs on in a darkened world. And as for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades and dinner with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools.

End the St Patrick’s parade. End the Al Smith Dinner and all other such compromised events. Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

How say you?