Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Monsignor Bux: We Are in a Full Crisis of Faith

Edward Pentin (National Catholic Register, June 21, 2017) writes: "Theologian and former consulter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith calls on the Pope to make a declaration of faith, warning that unless the Pope safeguards doctrine, he cannot impose discipline." Read more here >>

[Hat tip to JM]

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The impact of Catholic culture on Hemingway

Hemingway rejected the sentimental piety of his mother and the liberal 'social gospel' of the Methodism in which he was raised in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. After witnessing the brutalities of war in Europe, he could no longer accept the conceits about the 'perfectibility of man' found in his erstwhile suburban Methodist religious culture.

Hemingway was not, however, insensitive to religious ideas and practices -- particularly those found in Catholic cultures -- as is abundantly clear from Matthew Nickel's "Young Hemingway's Wound and Conversion" (Pilgrim: A Journal of Catholic Experience, 2013), excerpted and adapted from the first chapter of his recent work, Hemingway’s Dark Night: Catholic Influences and Intertextualities in the Work of Ernest Hemingway (Wickford, RI: New Street Communications, 2013).

One of the most striking early remarks by Hemingway is in a letter to Ernest Walsh, dated January 2, 1926, in which he refers to himself a Catholic in connection with the Sacrament of extreme unction given to him on the battlefield:
If I am anything I am a Catholic. Had extreme unction administered to me as such in July 1918 and recovered. So guess I am a super-catholic.... Am not what is called a ‘good’ catholic.... But cannot imagine taking any other religion seriously.
Nickel then observes:
It is impossible to know exactly what occurred on the battlefield between Hemingway and the priest, but regardless, there is ample evidence that Hemingway practiced Catholic rituals and that he talked and wrote to others about being a Catholic after World War I. Also, the results of a canonical inquest into Hemingway’s standing in the Catholic Church by the Archdiocese of Paris – which on April 25, 1927 reported he was “certified a Catholic in good standing” -- are telling.
One cannot, of course, sidestep the brute fact of his subsequent depression and suicide in Idaho in 1961. But there is clearly more than meets the eye in the standard secular accounts of Hemingway's life and work.

[Hat tip to Christopher Blosser]

Tridentine Community News - The Ambrosian Rite; TLM schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (June 18, 2017):
June 18, 2017 - External Solemnity of Corpus Christi

The Ambrosian Rite

Disclaimer: These are the author’s initial reactions to his first experience of the Ambrosian Rite Mass and are not meant to be authoritative descriptions of the rite.

This year’s Sacra Liturgía conference was held in Milan, Italy June 6-9. As always, it was an informative and uplifting experience. One feels intimately connected to the worldwide Latin Mass movement at such an event, being part of an international crowd with likeminded interests. Vatican Congregation of Divine Worship Prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah once again delivered the keynote address, in which he reiterated his recommendation from last year for priests to celebrate the Ordinary Form of Holy Mass ad oriéntem. This year His Eminence also made the case for Holy Communion to be received kneeling and on the tongue. Cardinal Raymond Burke delivered an address about the positive effects of the first ten years of Summórum Pontificum. Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was in attendance, as were several other bishops and countless priests.

A principal objective of this year’s event was exposing the attendees to the Ambrosian Rite. The rite, named after Milan’s Patron Saint, St. Ambrose, is native to the Archdiocese of Milan; it is also used at a handful of other locations in Italy and Switzerland. Several talks on the history of the rite were presented, and Masses and Vespers in the traditional and modern forms of the rite were offered. An elaborate Traditional Ambrosian Solemn Mass in the Presence of a Greater Prelate [Cardinal Burke] was offered in the standing-room-only Church of Sant’Alessandro in Zebedia. [Photo above; both photos by Sacra Liturgía]

Unlike the Traditional Premonstratensian, a.k.a. Norbertine, Rite, which has only a few variations from the Traditional Latin Mass, the Traditional Ambrosian Rite differs in some significant ways:

There are three readings instead of two. There are two additional chanted Propers: an Antiphon after the Gospel and a Confractórium Antiphon after the Canon during the breaking of the host. The Confractórium takes the place of the Agnus Dei, which is omitted in the Ambrosian Rite.

In both the Masses and the Vespers offered at the conference, there were elements shared with the Byzantine Rite: There were several instances of Kyrie, eleison chanted back and forth. There were Dóminus vobíscum’s at unexpected points, such as before antiphons. Unlike its restrained handling in the Tridentine Mass, the thurible – without a lid – is swung around in an expansive circular motion, almost like a lasso.

Only four priests in the Archdiocese of Milan are familiar with the Traditional Ambrosian Rite. As a result, that version is only offered in two locations.

The Modern Ambrosian Rite shares many of the characteristics of the traditional version, though the celebrant may face the people. This rite is the norm in most parishes in Milan. In the Modern Ambrosian Mass offered at the conference in the Basilica of St. Ambrose, the first reading was, oddly, not taken from Sacred Scripture, but was rather a history of Ss. Ambrose, Gervase, and Protase. The Sign of Peace takes place before the Offertory.

Musically, there is a whole repertoire of Ambrosian Chant, whose sound is quite rich and full, sonically falling somewhere between the often thin Gregorian Chant and complex polyphony. Many of our readers are familiar with the Ambrosian Glória, which the Milanese call Glória Tono Festívo. An updated book of Ambrosian Chant was introduced at the conference.

Perhaps the most moving moment in all of the liturgies offered took place at the beginning of the Modern Ambrosian Rite Mass. As the entrance procession arrived at the altar, the two acolytes and crucifer turned to face the clergy behind them. The clergy and servers in the procession turned to face each other, while the celebrant remained at the back of the procession [photo above]. The choir then began a 12-fold Kyrie, alternating with the clergy. A video of this entrance is here, with the Kyrie beginning at 2:30:

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Julia of Falconieri, Virgin)
  • Tue. 06/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Silverius, Pope & Martyr)
  • Sat. 06/24 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for June 18, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Community News - Extraordinary Faith Episode 11: San Francisco Part 2 of 2; TLM scheudule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (June 11, 2017):
June 11, 2017 - Trinity Sunday

Extraordinary Faith Episode 11: San Francisco Part 2 of 2

The last episode of Season 1 of Extraordinary Faith has been posted to YouTube and Vimeo for viewing on-line. This episode, as well as all of the other episodes of Season 1, continues to be re-run on a weekly basis by EWTN on all of their global satellite feeds. EWTN’s strong support for Extraordinary Faith is directly attributable to the feedback they receive at, and we thank our readers who have taken the time to send in a good word.

Episode 11 – San Francisco Part 2 of 2 – begins with an interview with Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco, who is attempting to organize an Oratory of St. Philip Neri there. He explains what an Oratory is, and the noteworthy Oratories in London, Birmingham, and Oxford, England, and Toronto, Ontario, all of which are renowned for traditional liturgy.

The Tridentine Mass isn’t the only form of traditional Catholic liturgy that is regaining popularity in modern times. The traditional Dominican Rite is also enjoying a resurgence, and one of its proponents and celebrants, Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP, Associate Professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology in Berkeley, California, explains what it is and how it differs from the Roman Rite. We interview Fr. Anselm in San Francisco’s Dominican parish, appropriately named St. Dominic, and pastor Fr. Michael Hurley gives us a tour of this English Gothic church.

Traditional orders continue to grow and be founded. Fr. Vito Perrone – no relation to Detroit’s Fr. Eduard Perrone – explains the mission of his new order, the Contemplatives of St. Joseph, which offers both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms in San Francisco.

Next we head to the southern part of the Bay Area, to San Jose, the hub of Silicon Valley. You would expect to see modern buildings housing tech companies there, but you might be surprised to discover a beautiful historic church, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, which is home to a Latin Mass community. Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King takes us on a tour.

When you think of Marin County, located north of San Francisco on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, you might think of vineyards and beautiful vistas. In the midst of that scenic countryside is the St. Vincent School for Boys, a residential school for disadvantaged young men which has an expansive, architecturally ornate campus. The centerpiece is a stunning chapel which hosts a Tridentine Mass community on Sundays. Facilities Director Jacqui Devine gives us a tour.

Episode 11 may be viewed on the Extraordinary Faith channels on YouTube and Vimeo. A high-res direct link is here: Soon it will also be viewable – along with some behind-the-scenes photos – on our web site, As always, we encourage you to like the Extraordinary Faith page on Facebook, so you’ll be notified about the latest air dates and additional info about the places we visit.

Season 2 of Extraordinary Faith will debut soon. It begins with a local slant: The first three episodes cover our local Latin Mass scene here in Windsor and Detroit. Details will be provided when EWTN sets their broadcast schedule.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/12 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John of San Fecundo, Confessor)
  • Tue. 06/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor & Doctor)
  • Sat. 06/17 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Gregory
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for June 11, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Saturday, June 17, 2017

AIM Report: Did Mueller Know Hoover’s Dark Secret?

Another underground agent, let's call him "Guy Rouge - private eye," writes:
The republicans know this but they will not fight against the establishment which hired Mueller to take Trump out.

Politically, Trump is a dead man walking and his executioner is man whose hands are covered with the same blood that Irish Mobster, and rifleman man Flemmi, spilled in Boston with the knowledge and assistance of the FBI.

Mueller knew....
"AIM Report: Did Mueller Know Hoover’s Dark Secret?" (Accuracy In Media, April 14, 2002):
It may be the worst scandal in FBI history: Joseph Salvati spent three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was put there by uncorroborated, false testimony from an informant under the protection of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There is compelling evidence that the Bureau knew Salvati was an innocent man and then conspired to keep him in prison for more than three decades. Knowledge of the Bureau’s actions seems to have gone right to the very top; documents uncovered recently show that then-Director J. Edgar Hoover monitored the case from Washington.

The FBI scandal was investigated for two years by the House Government Reform Committee, then under the chairmanship of Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), who introduced legislation to remove Hoover’s name from FBI headquarters as a result of what he learned.

But the scandal gets worse than that. When Burton tried to acquire official records on the case from the Justice Department, he was stonewalled, and Attorney General John Ashcroft persuaded President George W. Bush to invoke “executive privilege” to block the committee’s subpoenas. This was President Bush’s first, and thus far only, use of executive privilege to withhold information from the Congress. Some think Bush is trying to protect current FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston during part of the relevant time period. The confrontation with Burton prompted columns on the controversy by William Safire and Robert Novak.


Tridentine Masses coming this week (June 18-24) to metro Detroit and southeastern Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week








* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Fr. James Martin, "bridges," and the triumph of the therapeutic mentality

"One would think that in a book about human sexuality, an author writing from a Catholic perspective would identify the specific sexual struggles of the moral life in Christ as the sixth commandment bears upon them, and the corresponding sexual sins against chastity. But no, they receive no attention; they do not figure in this book at all."

Eduardo Echeverria, "Fr. James Martin, 'bridges,' and the triumph of the therapeutic mentality" (CWR, June 16, 2017).

Echeverria's article carries the following quote as a welcome caveat given the disposition of Fr. Martin's book:
“There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith” (CCC, no. 89).
He begins with definition:
By the therapeutic mentality I mean a subjectivist philosophy in which a feeling of well-being, feeling good about oneself, is the only, or dominant, criterion by which we measure what is acceptable or not to us. A good example of this mentality is found throughout the recent book by James Martin, SJ, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (New York: HarperOne, 2017; hereafter, BB).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2357; hereafter, CCC) teaches: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’.” Fr. Martin doesn’t cite this passage. I’ll return to this matter below. All he cites is the phrase found in CCC that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” (no. 2358). After this, we see the therapeutic mentality at work in the following remark. “The phrase relates to the orientation, not the person, but it is still needlessly hurtful. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love—is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel” (BB, 46-47).

Fr. Martin doesn’t say that the problem with this term is solely with the language used that otherwise correctly describes the homosexual condition. So, let’s just change the language to describe an expression of human brokenness as a consequence of man’s fallen state. He doesn’t consider whether the term is morally right about homosexual practice; or even whether it is, however inadequately, getting at the reality of the homosexual condition.

Rather, he only considers how the term leaves one feeling about himself, hurt or abused verbally. That’s it. Read more >>

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Ends of Marriage

By Unam Sanctam Catholicam. Examining the traditional Catholic understanding of the ends of marriage relating to why homosexual relationships can never be the basis for any authentic marriage. The relation between fertility and marital union and why acts which directly impede or negate fertility are immoral.

Homosexuality and the Bible

"Brought to you by Unam Sanctam Catholicam. Do the Bible and Christian Tradition allow for any acceptance of homosexual actions? This video answers this question with a resounding 'no', addressing common objections including: homosexuality and the Old Testament prohibition on eating shellfish, St. Paul's condemnations of homosexual deviancy, the Catholic saints on homosexuality, the biological ordering of sex to procreation and more."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week








* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

New Detroit Archdiocese coat of arms design

Do any of you have an opinion about the new Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Detroit? Some people seem quite upset by it, like the website that calls it an "Epic Fail," and a logo rather than a coat of arms. I think the archbishop's post-synodal letter will help the viewer to understand some of the imagery in the new design, though whether you like it or not is another question. (Here are images of the designs, old on the left, new on the right.)

Friday, June 09, 2017

Catholic Herald: Is there really an Old Mass revival?

Well look for yourself and see. For starters, here is Fr. Z's analysis of the question (Fr. Z's Blog, June 9, 2017).

The epiclesis - a later addition?

Fr. Hunwicke, "The epiclesis of the Roman Rite" (Fr. Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment, September 2, 2010) writes:
Dear old Fortescue's The Mass records the long debates of liturgists a century ago about where the epiclesis of the Roman Rite originally was before it ... er ... "dropped out". Their assumption, of course, was that the epiclesis was original to Christian liturgy and that the Oriental rites which preserve it were more 'primitive' than the Roman Rite. Now, happily, we know better. We see the Oriental epiclesis as a comparatively late fad in the evolving liturgical tradition. Rather than seeking traces of a lost epiclesis in the Canon Romanus, we realise that the prayer Supplices te rogamus, in which we pray that our offerings be taken to the Heavenly Altar, represents an earlier and lovelier expression of the linkage between our offering and the eternal oblation of the Eternal Son at the Heavenly Altar. Patrimony liturgists such as E C Ratcliffe played a large role here, not to mention Dom Gregory. Read more >>
In "Consecration in the Roman Mass 2" (Fr. Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment, March 15, 2015), Fr. Hunwicke adds:
Why this Gadarene preoccupation, in the 1960s, with epicleses asking the Spirit to be sent to change Bread into Body? The answer is embarrassingly simple. Pretty well all rites except the Roman had an epiclesis. Therefore it must be 'Primitive'. Therefore it was desireable. The alternative possibility, that Rome lacked an epiclesis because it was older than those other rites, occurred to very few. So, for a hundred years or more, the question had been (not why did the other rites add an epiclesis, but) Whatever Happened to the Roman Epiclesis ... deemed to have existed originally but, for some mysterious reason, to have gone missing. Readers who still have on their shelves The Mass by Adrian Fortescue can still find page after page describing the ingenious pursuits, by entire generations of clever and erudite men, of this particular invisible (well, to be frank, mythical) fox. The conviction was bolstered by an inclination to believe that all the existing rites of Christendom must have descended from an Original Liturgy which, at least in its dominant features, was fairly uniform, and could therefore, in principle, be reconstructed from a comparison of existing liturgies. This assumption, as the pendulum swings, is currently highly unfashionable; an Anglican liturgist called Paul Bradshaw has spent most of his life rebutting it. Read more >>
[Hat tip to L.S.]

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Monday, June 05, 2017

Fr. Rutler: Pentecost was not an occasion for 'Enthusiasm'

Fr. George W. Rutler's article, "Pentecost Was Not An Occasion for 'Enthusiasm'" (Crisis Magazine, June 1, 2017), has all the appearance of being timed in anticipation of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal's celebration of it's Golden Jubilee on Pentecost Sunday.

After meandering through a number of typically learned and eloquent distractions, the irrepressible Fr. Rutler comes round to his thesis: how the Catholic Charismatic movement, like the Montanist enthusiasms of the ancient Church, is a heretical distortion. While "not unsympathetic toward the noble integrity of John Wesley," he writes, Monsignor Ronald Knox, in his masterwork entitled Enthusiasm, "holds up the spiritist movements from the second century Montanists to the latter day Quakers, Jansenists, and Quietists as examples of how people go to extremes to confuse themselves emotionally with the Holy Spirit."

Turning his attention to Phrygia of Asia Minor in what is now Turkey during the second century, Rutler writes:
A convert priest named Montanus stirred up a lot of excitement when he confused himself with the Holy Spirit and proclaimed various “prophecies” while in a trance like a sort of divine ventriloquist. In the manner of a typical fanatic so defined, he was confident that God would agree with him if only God had all the facts. In a languid and dissolute period, the local churches already having become formalistic and arid (contrary to romantic depictions of the uniform zeal of all early Christians, and not unlike the motivation of John Wesley to stir up the dormant Church of England), the ardor of Montanus attracted many as far as North African and Rome itself, not all of whom were innocent of neurosis. Even the formidable mind of Tertullian welcomed it. Sensational outbursts of emotion were thought to be divinely inspired, and the formal clerical structure of the Church was caricatured as the sort of rigidity that quenches the spirit. Avowing that prophecy did not end with the last apostles, new messages were pronounced, false speaking in tongues pretending to be actual languages was encouraged, and women like Priscilla and Maximilla left their husbands and decided that they could be priestesses and prophetesses.

In the twentieth century, the Montanist heresy sprung up again. The Pentecostal sects, and even many Catholics were attracted to “re-awakenings” that gave the impression that the Paraclete promised by Christ who never lied had finally come awake having slumbered pretty much since the early days of the Church. While its extreme forms were bizarre, such as dancing in churches and uncontrolled laughter and barking like dogs while rolling on the floor, any quest for novelty quickly grows bored, for nothing goes out of fashion so fast as the latest fashion.

... Heresies are fads. The estimable Servant of God Father John Hardon, whose talks would never be called ecstatic, bluntly said that the modern Charismatics are Montanists. It is true that the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church wisely was blessed insofar as it not denigrate from or add to authentic dogma. But in the second century the pope Eleutherius was inclined to condone the Montanists too, until the anti-Tertullian theologian Praxeas explained its problems.
More to it, of course, but that seems to be intended nub of something like a warning shot across the bow of the unbridled ubiquitous ebullience of the present season.

Is Pope Francis a 'Postmodernist'?

I'm not sure the discourse of the Holy Father rises (or 'sinks') to the level of academic abstraction sufficient to qualify him as a 'Postmodernist,' but when you read some of the seemingly hyperbolic praise he heaps on the likes of nihilistic Postmodern writers like Michel de Certeau (right), you can see how someone might come up with an article like that of the pro-life activist, Fred Martinez, "Pope Francis and Nihilism" (Catholic Monitor, Sunday, May 28, 2017).

[Hat tip to J. Likoudis]

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Tridentine Community News - More new churches in a traditional style: Our Lady of Good Voyage, Boston; Christendom College Chapel; Restoration of Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross; Penecost Octave at Old St. Patrick; TLM schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (June 4, 2017):
June 4, 2017 - Pentecost Sunday

More New Churches in a Traditional Style: Our Lady of Good Voyage, Boston

Continuing the theme from last week’s column, we bring to your attention two more churches newly built in a traditional style:

The Archdiocese of Boston is more recently known for closing churches, but in April it opened a new Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage to take the place of an older chapel. Designed by Cram & Ferguson, a Massachusetts church architecture firm featured on Extraordinary Faith whose founder designed St. Mary of Redford and Hamtramck’s St. Florian Church, the chapel is traditionally arranged and boasts a relocated and restored High Altar. [Photo by WBUR-FM]

Christendom College Chapel

Many of our readers know Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia to be one of the most impressive orthodox Catholic institutions of higher learning around. In March the college announced that they would be offering Tridentine Mass exclusively on one Sunday per month, to ensure that all students receive exposure to it. The school already offered the Extraordinary Form on most weekdays and every Sunday (non-exclusively). Now the college is embarking on a plan to construct Christ the King Chapel, a liturgically fitting locale for the Latin Mass, complete with ornate High Altar and Communion Rail.

Restoration of Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross

New construction isn’t the only good news in Boston: The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is being un-wreckovated: As part of a comprehensive restoration of the church, the High Altar, formerly reduced to non-functional decorative use, is being restored, a Communion Rail from the closed Holy Trinity Church is being installed, Side Altars are being restored [pictured], the sanctuary and statuary are being put back to a more traditional arrangement, and the carpet is being removed to improve the acoustics. A Latin Mass community currently using the traditional but cozy lower level chapel expects to increase the frequency of holding Masses in the soon-to-be-more-hospitable-to-the-Tridentine Mass upper church.

Pentecost Octave at Old St. Patrick

Once again this year, Old St. Patrick Church in Ann Arbor is offering Tridentine Masses daily for the Octave of Pentecost. All will be High Masses, with the possible exception of Saturday, June 10. The schedule is:
Monday, June 5 – 7:00 PM
Tuesday, June 6 – 7:00 PM
Wednesday, June 7 – 8:30 AM
Thursday, June 8 – 8:30 AM
Friday, June 9 – 8:30 AM
Saturday, June 10 – TBD
Sunday, June 11 – 12:30 PM
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 06/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Pentecost Monday)
  • Tue. 06/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Pentecost Tuesday)
  • Sat. 06/10 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Pentecost Saturday)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for June 4, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Saturday, June 03, 2017

“No Enemies to the Left” [pas d’ennemis à gauche] — Still!

By Kenneth D. Whitehead

In July-August 2001, Kenneth D. Whitehead, R.I.P., a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, was a writer living in Falls Church, Virginia, and a Contributing Editor of the NOR. His latest book was One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: The Early Church Was the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 2000).

Ed. Note: Throughout 2017, in commemoration of our fortieth year of publication, we are featuring one article per issue from the NOR’s past. This article originally appeared in our July-August 2001 issue (volume LXVIII, number 7) and is presented here unabridged. Copyright © 2001.

Ideological slogans might not always seem to be very important. Sometimes, however, they can reveal basic and persistent mindsets. This is the case with the slogan that originated in the French Revolution, “No enemies to the Left.” Students of European politics will recognize that this slogan has persisted, and that the ideas behind it still apply to today’s politics.

In his 1928 classic, The French Revolution: A Monarchist History, Pierre Gaxotte describes the inexorable logic of revolutionary “progress”:
The revolutionary period was characterized by allowing successive avant-garde parties or factions to take political power while riots and disturbances in the streets dictated the actual government policies that were adopted. Against the royal court and the privileged classes, the members of the National Assembly appealed to the turbulent sectors of the capital. Even while privately deploring the excesses committed from July 13 on, they closed their eyes to them because they wanted to hold in reserve the power of the clubs and of the streets. Thus they became prisoners of the alliance they had made; they became prisoners of the formula “no enemies to the left” (pas d’ennemis à gauche).
The relative moderates initially responsible for getting the Estates General convoked in order to deal with the financial crisis of the French monarchy were very soon shunted aside by the more radical elements, who quickly resorted to extra-legal means to convert the Estates General into a National Assembly. These revolutionaries in the Assembly soon fell from power, however, giving way to yet more radical elements. Each successive party or faction that came to power faced the same ongoing, volatile revolutionary situation.

Continuing agitation in the country at large, but especially in Paris, kept the streets, the press, the factions, and the clubs in constant ferment. What was taken to be public opinion marched relentlessly forward. Yesterday’s impossible, unthinkable measure became today’s “idea whose time has come”; yesterday’s progressive Assembly member became today’s reactionary, if not traitor to the cause. The revolutionary mechanism ground mercilessly on.

Gaxotte correctly identifies one of the reasons why the more radical revolutionary elements were repeatedly able to displace the successively outmoded “progressives”: In a revolutionary climate, where events are thought to be leading ineluctably to human “liberation,” a “better world,” and the perfecting of the human condition, the more radical forces not only exhibit more consistency and determination toward attaining these ends, they also come to occupy the perceived moral high ground — they are the ones who appear truly dedicated to the cause, and thereby usually gain at least short-term popular support. Meanwhile, those who are more moderate and potentially more reasonable become awed or intimidated by the zeal of the zealots and tend to yield to them.

If, by definition, the Revolution is going to usher in freedom, eliminate oppression and injustice, and create a better world, then those who are more committed, energetic, and intolerant of any kind of compromise with injustice and oppression acquire a considerable psychological and moral advantage — while those who are or have become more lukewarm about the cause, or who, at the very least, have become concerned about their jobs or careers, can no longer effectively oppose the zealots and the true believers.

It is true that power relationships and the abilities and opportunities of individuals, as well as a host of other factors, play important roles in how a particular revolutionary situation develops; but if the whole aim of the Revolution is to clear away the obstacles on the road to human liberation, progress, and a better world, then those least deterred by moral or other considerations in the face of the obstacles encountered will be out in front of others who might have second thoughts, or even scruples, or who are otherwise deterred by various obstacles.

These are among the reasons why, in a revolutionary situation, there are “no enemies to the Left.” For it is the Left, after all, that by definition represents where the Revolution is supposed to go.

Friday, June 02, 2017

"Pope Francis never ceases to amaze"

Alessandro Zangrando, Culture and Arts editor for the Venice desk of the national newspaper Corriere della Sera and Rome Correspondent for The Latin Mass magazine, writes:
Pope Francis never ceases to amaze. For readers in Argentina he has created a new weekly edition of L'Osservatore Romano. As director he has named Marcelo Figueroa, the Argentine Protestant pastor of the Presbyterian Church and director for twenty-five years of the Argentine Bible Society. Figueroa is a longtime friend of Bergoglio, who accompanied him on the famous trip to Lund, Sweden, for the celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. [Source: The Latin Mass: The Journal of Catholic Culture and Tradition, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Winter/Spring 2017), p. 5]

"Pope Francis, pray for us"???

Commenting on Confitebor's observations about the shameless papalotry represented by this pewter cross in a Catholic religious store -- a cross bearing the image of the Holy Father and the words, "Pope Francis, pray for us" -- Guy Noir - Private Eye, now our mid-Atlantic Piedmont correspondent, declared:
If every recent pope ends up canonized, what should we expect?

The cult of the saints becomes "cult like," encouraging veneration of people that ought to go to God's Son.

I used to think canonizations were exercises in papal infallibility. That confidence has been completely eroded. The modern Church has pushed its credibility on this score past the breaking point, with John Paul II himself, sadly, leading the way via removing the Devil's Advocate. Another example of how the Church's leaders do not seem overly keen to protect its enduring credibility in an age of disbelief. I just don't get it. Sanctity should not need overly aggressive PR hacks.

Prayer request

Please kindly pray for Hannah Cabrini, our daughter, who is scheduled to be confirmed at the Cathedral this Sunday, June 4, at the Mass of the Holy Spirit. She has chosen the Confirmation name of "Perpetua."

Tridentine Masses coming the week of June 4 to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week








* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week








* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community News - Fr. Peter Hrystyk to be Named Archpriest; Rites of the Catholic Church; The many church constuction projects of McCrery Architects; TLM Mass schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 28, 2017):
May 28, 2017 - Sunday After the Ascension

Fr. Peter Hrytsyk to be Named Archpriest

On Sunday, June 11 at 10:00 AM at Ss. Vladimir & Olga Church in Windsor, Toronto Ukrainian Eparchy Bishop Stephen Chmilar will formally elevate Fr. Peter Hrytsyk to the title of Archpriest. Roughly analogous to the Latin Rite title of Monsignor, the Ukrainian Rite title of Archpriest is given in recognition of a distinguished career of service to the Church. Besides being Chaplain of the St. Benedict Tridentine Community, Fr. Peter has long been Associate Pastor of Ss. Vladimir & Olga, as well as a Vice Principal serving the Windsor & Essex County Catholic District School Board at a number of schools.

Rites of the Catholic Church

While we are on the subject of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, one of the Eastern Rites in union with Rome, it may interest you to examine the below graphic, which illustrates the structure of the Western and Eastern branches of the Catholic Church.

The Many Church Construction Projects of McCrery Architects

Much of the publicity about new churches being constructed in a traditional style rightly goes to prolific architect and Notre Dame professor Duncan Stroik. But there is only so much work one man and one firm can do, and as demand for traditionally-outfitted churches grows, it is only natural that an increasing number of architectural firms enter the fray. One firm that has been quietly building a reputation in this field is McCrery Architects of Washington, DC, led by architect James McCrery. Two of their latest projects are particularly encouraging:

St. Mary, Help of Christians in Aiken, South Carolina, a parish which offers the Extraordinary Form, in 2015 dedicated a new, ornate church built in a classical style, with a baldacchino over their main altar. Interestingly, they also retained their original, historic church along with its separate Adoration Chapel. [Photo below by Fr. Gaurav Shroff]

The new Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a similar grand design, with completion expected in 2018. [Wikipedia photo by Nheyob] Notably this parish does not offer the Latin Mass, yet they clearly value traditional design. There are many interesting drawings of these and other church projects on McCrery’s web site:

We commend McCrery and the parishes commissioning these edifices for their commitment to elevating the faith of the people through classic, inspiring designs. If your friends lament the banality of the new churches they see, tell them that beautiful designs are indeed coming back into prominence, one project at a time.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 05/29 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, Virgin)
  • Tue. 05/30 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Felix I, Pope & Martyr)
  • Fri. 06/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (Ss. Marcellinus, Peter, & Erasmus, Martyrs) – Celebrant: Msgr. Ronald Browne. Choir will sing William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices. Devotions to the Sacred Heart before Mass. Reception follows Mass in the parish hall.
  • Sat. 06/03 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Vigil of Pentecost)
  • Sun. 06/04: No Mass at OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for May 28, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fr. Hunwicke on why Pope Francis is not a heretic

Some interesting reasoning here. [Advisory: Rules ##7-9]

Essentially, Fr. John Hunwicke seems to be suggesting that, whatever the material content of the Holy Father's locutions, they lack sufficient theological sobriety and propositional restraint to rise to the level of formal heresy. Here's the first of four posts he has on the topic: "Is the Pope a heretic? (1)" (Fr. Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment, May 18, 2017):
To this question there can only be one answer: NO. And NO means, as Mrs Brexiteer May might put it, NO. Pope Bergoglio has NEVER, to my knowledge, formally enunciated doctrines which are unambiguously heretical. The claim one sometimes hears, to the effect that he has formally, as if from his chair, made doctrinal assertions which the Church has formally defined as heretical, is NONSENSE. When such assertions tip over further, into the idea that he has ceased to be pope because of his alleged errors, the mistake is even more grievously EVIL because it runs the risk of detaching souls for whom Christ died from the Ark of Salvation, from the One Fold of the Redeemer.

One easy reason for being confident that the Sovereign Pontiff has not formally taught heresy is the simple fact, confirmed pretty well every time he opens his mouth, that he despises theology and holds doctrine in not-even-barely-concealed contempt. To be a heretic, or, more precisely, to be a formal heretic, it is in practical terms necessary to operate within the respectable constraints of propositional discourse. The fact that Bergoglio does not do this is proved by the fact, written large over this whole pontificate, that nobody ever quite seems to be sure what he means. The DUBIA which the four Cardinals put forward provide a good example of this. Four men of erudition (not to mention seniority) thought they needed to ask the Bishop of Rome what he meant. His tardiness, so far, in exercising the Petrine Ministry of Confirming his Brethren demonstrates his resolute determination not to be tied down by propositions. I do not believe that it is possible to convict such a man, operating such a policy, of being a formal heretic. Those who wish to do this are walking up quite the wrong garden path. And I will argue that they are guilty of a genre-error.

Further parts will follow. No comments will be enabled until they are all finished.
Here are the subsequent posts: Part 2; Part 3; Part 4. In Part 4 he concludes: "Is this a dangerous pontificate? Not nearly as much as panicky people fearfully imagine. Come off it! And cheer up! The ease with which Pope Francis and his associated ideologues, while studiously "not changing doctrine", in fact over-ride and ignore the Magisterium of his predecessors, will make it pitifully easy for his successors to dump his 'teaching' with only the most perfunctory of formalities, and then to restore the simple lucidities of the Tradition handed down through the Apostles, the Deposit of Faith.... Just hold tight whenever the roller-coaster seems to be going dangerously fast, and remember that her Immaculate Heart will prevail. This is Fatima Year!"

[Hat tip to L.S.]

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mainline media plagiarizes Mad magazine: "Dear Time editors: The Kremlin is not a church. Dear CNN politicos: Churches are not mosques"

As Guy Noir - Private Eye observed recently: "Remember when big news weeklies had religion reporters of the caliber of Kenneth Woodward? Instead of twenty-somethings who have never worked a day outside of media in their lives?

"I do, vaguely. It was a time now shrouded in mists, a time when the phrase when 'biased news' was heard but a phrase like 'fake news' would have been laughed at... I have an MA in Journalism. At this juncture in history I view it as pretty much worthless. SAD!"

He then referred to this: Terry Mattingly's "Dear Time editors: The Kremlin is not a church. Dear CNN politicos: Churches are not mosques" (GetReligion, May 18, 2017).

When an Oxford Don goes rogue and comes out in support of traditional marriage and family values

I understand Oxford Don Richard Swinburne created quite a stir when he addressed the Midwest meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers last fall. "The difficulty," according to The Editors of First Things, was that in the course of exploring these topics, Swinburne characterized homosexuality as a “disability” and a condition that, while sometimes “to a considerable extent reversible,” in many instances is “incurable,” given the present state of medical research.

The Editors continue:
Given the current state of public life and the stringency of academic moral codes in favor of diversity and tolerance, it will be no surprise to our readers that the president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Michael Rea, subsequently expressed his “regret regarding the hurt caused by” Swinburne’s paper, suggesting that Swinburne’s ideas were inconsistent with the Society’s “values of diversity and inclusion.”

Rea’s message has triggered a reaction on the other side. So far the situation has been commented on by Joseph Shaw, Edward Feser, and Rod Dreher, along with eighty-seven philosophers who signed a letter of protest against the principles implied in Rea’s apology. We at First Things were curious about the paper that prompted all the to-do, and so we asked Professor Swinburne whether he would be willing to let us make his paper available. He has generously agreed.

You can read it here [PDF download].
Here is a video of Swinburne's live presentation:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"What makes Bach so successful among the Japanese?"

Uwe Siemon-Netto, "J. S. Bach in Japan" (First Things, June 2000). What an amazing article! Here are a few teasers ...
Twenty-five years ago when there was still a Communist East Germany, I interviewed several boys from Leipzig’s Thomanerchor, the choir once led by Johann Sebastian Bach. Many of those children came from atheistic homes. “Is it possible to sing Bach without faith?” I asked them. “Probably not,” they replied, “but we do have faith. Bach has worked as a missionary among all of us.” During a recent journey to Japan I discovered that 250 years after his death Bach is now playing a key role in evangelizing that country, one of the most secularized nations in the developed world....

... “In their frenetic pursuit of production, speculation, and consumption,” Repp said, “the older Japanese have provided their offspring exclusively with materialistic values. But the youngsters are yearning for something more. The result is an enormous gap between the generations; they are no longer able to communicate with one another.”

... ”What people need in this situation is hope in the Christian sense of the word, but hope is an alien idea here,” says the renowned organist Masaaki Suzuki, founder and conductor of the Bach Collegium Japan. He is the driving force behind the “Bach boom” sweeping Japan during its current period of spiritual impoverishment. “Our language does not even have an appropriate word for hope,” Suzuki says. “We either use ibo, meaning desire, or nozomi, which describes something unattainable.” After every one of the Bach Collegium’s performances Suzuki is crowded on the podium by non-Christian members of the audience who wish to talk to him about topics that are normally taboo in Japanese society—death, for example. “And then they inevitably ask me to explain to them what ‘hope’ means to Christians.” ...

Japan’s Bach boom does, however, have one baffling aspect: how is it possible that melodies and rhythms from eighteenth-century Germany should please people of an entirely alien culture thousands of miles to the east? Tokyo musicologists have come up with an astonishing answer: Bach’s appeal to today’s Japanese is directly linked to a Spaniard’s first attempt to evangelize their ancestors 450 years ago.

... Believers were crucified, burned at the stake, tortured to death, or hanged upside-down over cesspools to intensify their suffering. Few Japanese were aware of this sinister aspect of their history until last year, when the Tobu art gallery in Tokyo commemorated the 450th anniversary of Francis Xaviér’s arrival with a massive exhibition spread over three floors.

The enormous crowds filing through this show were horrified by the cruelties its images portrayed. But there was one thing they did not learn at the Tobu Gallery: Western music managed to survive the persecution. The Jesuits had introduced Gregorian chant to Japan and built organs from bamboo pipes.... By the time Christianity was totally outlawed in Japan in the early seventeenth century, elements of Gregorian chant had infiltrated Japan’s traditional folk music. That influence remained strong enough to help Johann Sebastian Bach’s music sweep across the island nation more than four centuries later.

This explains the amazing success of Bach’s collected works, which were published by Sogakukan, a Tokyo company, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. This collection of fifteen volumes, including 156 CDs accompanied by books with the original lyrics in German and Latin plus their Japanese translations, cost a staggering $3,000 each. Within weeks the first edition of five thousand copies was sold out.

The collection’s editor, Tesuo O’Hara, described himself as one of Christianity’s sympathizers, though not a believer. He could have fooled me. “What makes Bach so successful among the Japanese?” I asked him. O’Hara replied, “Bach gives us hope when we are afraid; he gives us courage when we despair; he comforts us when we are tired; he makes us pray when we are sad; and he makes us sing when we are full of joy.”
[Hat tip E. Echeverria]

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"What, then, remains of Luther?"

In the early part of the twentieth century there were prominent Protestant theologians like Reinhold Seeberg of Berlin and Wilhelm Braun of Heidelberg who lamented the bitter fruits of the Reformation. Fr. Joseph Husselein, S.J., writing in "What, Then, Remains of Luther?" in America, Vol. IX, No. 14 (July 12, 1913), p. 320, suggests that nowhere is this Protestant chagrin over the bitter fruit of the Reformation more faithfully reflected than in an article written by the Protestant theologian Braun for Evangelische Kirchenzeitung, March 30, 1913. Braun, upon reading the historical and theological exposés of Luther by Father Heinrich Denifle, O.P. [photo below left], in Luther und Luthertum and by Fr. Hartmann Grisar, S.J., in Luther, asked "What, then remains of Luther?" After candidly admitting the superior facilities possessed by the Dominican and Jesuit authors over Protestant theologians and historians in the field of Luther research (p. 169), Braun draws up the following remarkable summary of his impressions:
The reading of Grisar should afford food for reflection to us Evangelical theologians. With strips cut from our own skin the Catholic author has pieced together his 'Luther.' How small the Reformer has become according to the Luther studies of our own Protestant investigators! How his merits have shrivelled up! We believed that we owed to him the spirit of toleration and liberty of conscience. Not in the least! We recognized in his translation of the Bible a masterpiece stamped with the impress of originality -- we may be happy now if it is not plainly called a 'plagiarism'! ... Looking upon the 'results' of their work thus gathered together, we cannot help asking the question: What, then, remains of Luther?
Considering the bitter legacy of the Reformation -- a Christendom shattered into a thousand pieces -- these eminent Protestant scholars considered that it would be more appropriate for Protestants, rather than celebrate the fourth centenary of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, should do penance in sack-cloth and ashes. But then, that was a century ago.