Saturday, July 25, 2015

Papers of the "Underground" Synod of the French, German, and Swiss Bishops' Conference

Courtesy of one of my colleagues, HERE are the papers (in French, German and Italian) given at the "Underground" Synod of the French, German, and Swiss Bishops' conference.

As my friend concluded: Let us pray for the Church. Indeed.

[Hat tip to E. Echeverria]

Tridentine Masses coming to metro-Detroit and east Michigan this week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tridentine Community News - Sacred Music Colloquium 2015 Report (Duquesne University, Pittsburgh), Detroit weekday EF Mass times

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 19, 2015):
Sacred Music Colloquium 2015 Report

The Church Music Association of America held its 25th Annual Sacred Music Colloquium at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June 29-July 4. Regular readers of this column may recall that this is one of the premier Latin Liturgy events of the year, with over 200 musicians participating.

The week was comprised of talks and opportunities for training, both in classroom format and one-on-one. Speakers included Fr. Jonathan Robinson, founder of the Toronto Oratory; Fr. Robert Pasley, pastor of North America’s first diocesan priest-led Extraordinary Form parish, Mater Ecclésiæ in Berlin, New Jersey; and Windsor’s very own Matthew Meloche, currently Music Director of Phoenix, Arizona’s Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral.

Attendees could choose from several tracks. Some of the world’s most prominent Catholic music directors led breakout choirs specializing in chant or polyphony: John Robison, Music Director of St. Paul’s Choir School in Cambridge, Massachusetts (featured in Extraordinary Faith, Episode 2, and pictured with his class, below); Charles Cole, Assistant Music Director of the London Oratory and Music Director of the London Oratory School and London Oratory Junior Choir; Scott Turkington, globetrotting Gregorian Chant instructor; and David Hughes, Music Director of St. Mary Parish in Norwalk, Connecticut (the latter three are all featured in upcoming episodes of Extraordinary Faith). Private instruction on the organ was available from Dr. Ann Labounsky of Duquesne University and Dr. Paul Weber of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Louisville, Kentucky. All of these instructors are experienced with the Extraordinary Form.

The major liturgies of the week were held at St. Paul Cathedral, a grand edifice in pristine condition, still containing a splendid High Altar, four Side Altars, and a Communion Rail. A Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form was celebrated ad oriéntem at the High Altar on Thursday, followed later in the day by Vespers in the Extraordinary Form. On Friday, a Solemn High Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form was offered (photo below), followed by Absolution at the Catafalque. At each of these liturgies, three to five choirs, each led by the aforementioned music directors, sang portions of the music. One choir was located in the choir loft, while the others were scattered around the church (see photo below). A particularly stirring moment was when all five choirs joined together to sing the Dies Iræ during the Requiem Mass. Imagine 200 professional-caliber voices singing that piece.

Curious to see more? Our crew from Extraordinary Faith was present to film the major liturgies of the Colloquium. We also interviewed several speakers and guests. While in Pittsburgh we also shot segments at local historic churches and interviewed some prominent members of the Pittsburgh Tridentine Mass community. We expect to be able to produce two episodes from the content shot. The 2016 Sacred Music Colloquium will be held in St. Louis, Missouri. More information will be posted about that event as plans are solidified.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 07/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Jerome Emiliani, Confessor)
  • Tue. 07/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Laurence of Brindisi, Confessor & Doctor)
[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 July 19, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Latin Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and eastern Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reduced summer schedule

For the next three weeks, I will be on a reduced summer schedule at this blog. I intend to do my best to keep abreast of things and to keep up with the regularly scheduled Latin Mass schedules and Tridentine Community News. But I will doubtless post less frequently.

Orémus pro invicem

Friday, July 17, 2015

The last Catholic left on earth

A friend recently sent me a book review with the following paragraph in it:
"I once asked in confession what was the very least, the minimalist interpretation of that great promise [of Christ that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church]. I was told that at its very least, in order for it to be fulfilled, at the Parousia there would be one Catholic left on earth. I was instructed to make sure that even if there was no one else left, I would be that last one. I suggest that the same instruction goes for all of us."

Voris vs. Matt on the proper Catholic attitude toward SSPX

Michael Voris, "The Vortex - Rome has not Spoken" (Church Militant, July 15, 2015)

Michael Matt, "News from Remnant TV ... Obsessed with the SSPX: Michael Voris & the CMTV Witch Hunt" (The Remnant, July 16, 2015)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

R.R. Reno on the strengths and weaknesses of Laudato Si

R.R. Reno, editor of First Things, says in his substantial article that the conjunction of concerns in the Pope's recent encyclical is fitting [emphasis mind]:
The end of the Cold War has allowed global capitalism to develop as the world’s dominant system. Capitalism has many virtues, but there are “externalities,” as economists call them—social and environmental harms and costs that may end up being very significant. Global capitalism also resists political control, posing a challenge to existing governmental and regulatory institutions. Most important of all, perhaps, this global system requires and encourages a technocratic elite that now dominates political and cultural debates. As a result, it’s increasingly hard to imagine an alternative.
Pope Francis, he says, discusses these issues and more, making "a much-needed effort to grasp and respond to today’s global realities." Then he adds, "But, taken as a whole, Laudato Si falters." While advancing strong criticisms of the secular technological project driving modern capitalism, many aspects of the alternative he proposes "draw upon the achievements and methods of that very project."

Pontiffs who venture beyond instructing the faithful to exhorting the whole world by means of book-length encyclicals open themselves to scrutiny and criticism and manipulation by the media from multiple quarters in ways unimaginable in the past. Reno, a faithful Catholic, offers filial criticisms (as well as appreciations) of points in the Pope's publication. Interesting. Here is an abridgement:
Chapter 1, “What Is Happening to Our Common Home,” outlines Francis’s take on environmental issues.... If it were just a matter of landfills, industrial waste, and the failure to recycle, we’d be okay.... The issue is much larger, however. Francis addresses the mother of all problems—and the central ecological issue today—which is global climate change.

The position put forward is the worst-case consensus. It holds that the fossil fuel–dependent economies of the developed and developing world have set in motion a process of global warming that will accelerate.... The rhetoric of crisis runs throughout the document. “Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth.”

The encyclical then turns to a diagnosis of the theological and social-cultural roots of the ecological crisis, spelling out its social dimensions. Chapter 2, “The Gospel of Creation,” calls for us to acknowledge creation as a gift from God, our Father....

... God-forgetfulness is at the root of our global problems today: social, economic, and ecological.

This line of criticism follows a long tradition....

Chapter 3, “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” analyzes what Francis takes to be the perverse spiritual logic of a scientific-­technological culture....

... A “Promethean vision of mastery” and “excessive anthropocentrism” lead to the same ecological and social disasters as ­God-forgetfulness.

At this point, Francis develops his fullest account of the crisis he believes we face.... Global capitalism is a Shiva-like force in human history—the Great Destroyer driving global warming.

... Francis is keen to point out that this suppression of larger ethical and spiritual questions allows the rich and powerful to disguise their unjust advantages and ratchet up still further their global oppression of the poor.

Given this dark picture of the global system, it’s not surprising that Francis calls for “a new synthesis,” “radical change,” and “a bold cultural revolution.”

There’s something to be said for his particular suggestions in Chapters 4 (“Integral Ecology”) and 5 (“Lines of Approach and Action”). Calls for action to address climate change are needed, as is a spiritual alternative to consumerism. But my concern is with the cogency of the encyclical as a whole. A great deal of what is commended as an alternative to the global system sounds to me like just another version of it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A "Fighting Irish" Archbishop

New York's first Archbishop, John Hughes, was apparently not one for the "softer, gentler" approach when his churches and a convent were burned down by anti-Catholics in the 19th century. He did not, like Mr. Obama, call his constituency to a "thoughtful introspection and self-examination" to consider whether they may have offended their attackers or harbored any latent hostilities that might have provoked their anger. He did not, like Cardinal Kasper, call for a more "merciful" and "pastoral" approach toward sinners. No. The response of this native Irish fighter was to punch back and defend his flock. His response was to threaten the burning of protestant churches if one more Catholic church burned.

Let's be clear, writes Adfero, in "Catholic Archbishop threatens violent uprising against enemies" (RC, July 14, 2015), "we are not suggesting violence against those who persecute us today. What we are saying emphatically is that we need more than the weak-kneed responses of those of Wuerl, Cupich or the Great Silence of Pope Francis on the attack on true marriage in the United States, Ireland and elsewhere."

Adfero also suggests: "click here to listen to a wonderful sermon on His Excellency John Hughes."

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what does it mean?

This is a photo of Evo Morales Ayma, the president of Bolivia, presenting the medal he had created, named after the "martyred" leftist Jesuit Luis Espinal, the cold war-era Marxist Liberation Theologian who designed this crucifix, composed of a crucifix mounted on a Communist hammer and sickle.

Some maintain that the Bolivian president placed the Holy Father in a difficult position by this gift.

Others, like Antonio Socci, suggest that this was hardly the case, since the ceremonies were arranged beforehand so that the 'gift' could hardly have been a surprise; that Morales, as a significant head of state, did not have the attitude of a 'provoker', but rather was an admirer of Bergoglio; and, as in this photo, Bergoglio "smiled courteously at the explanation of the symbols and wore that obscene representation round his neck."

Socci reports yet another 'gift' from Morales: when Bergoglio came down from the aircraft’s stairway, Morales placed round his neck a traditional 'chuspa' - the container for coca-leaves which is used in Andean countries - and that news from the Bolivian government already had caused quite a stir by reporting that the Pope intended to chew on some coca-leaves when he arrived in Bolivia.

The site “Dagospia”, which has a flair for trash, rightly commented: “The only things missing were a Che Guevara T-Shirt and one of Bob Marley’s bongos,” says Socci - and then asks: "Is it not devastating to degrade the figure of the Pope to this extent?"

For the record, Rorate notes that Pope Francis has personally stated that he was not offended by Hammer-and-Sickle "crucifix", and explicitly acknowledged the Marxism of its Jesuit originator -- and praised him.

According to Socci, "Bergoglio’s trip to South America helps us understand, why, precisely in that once very Catholic continent, the Church over the last decades is in freefall, with a statistical collapse of membership which has no equal in the world. Where priests and bishops are syndicates and demagogues, people feel no attraction for the faith. If the discourses of the ecclesiastics resemble those of Evo Morales – why continue going to church? It is for this reason, that the religious question and the attraction for the supernatural is conveyed through other forms of religiosity and many, many people are abandoning the Catholic Church."

Rorate calls this image "the defining image" of Pope Francis' pontificate, although others may be inclined to point out numerous other candidates as well (the Holy Father addressing Kenneth Copeland's Protestant Pentecostal congregation comes to mind).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cantius Youth Choir to sing at EF High Mass at Assumption Grotto on July 16th at 1:00 PM

Via Te Deum Laudamus! (July 13, 2015):

I received a message from  Br. Matthew Schuster, who is a 'son of Grotto' that he is helping to lead a pilgrimage with the youth choir from St. John Cantius in Chicago into Canada and they will be stopping at Assumption Grotto for a special 1:00 p.m. EF High Mass on July 16, 2015 - the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The roughly 50-person youth choir will sing Missa Brevis in F by Gabrieli, Salve Regina of Poulenc and Ave Maria of Ramiro Real.

This Mass is open to anyone who can attend.  This notice comes late, but hopefully not too late for those who are free.  Please spread the word.

[Hat tip to D.K.]

Taylor Marshall on two possible options at the October Synod

Taylor Marshall, "Could Gay Marriage be PASTORALLY Approved at Synod on the Family?" (July 13, 2015)

As a reader pointed out, the following comment by a Spanish-speaking woman named Cindy is telling and, I would add, disturbing (#comment-14993):
I want to believe that the Holy Spirit will prevent this from happening although I really believe that only a supernatural miracle could prevent it from happening. I'm Hispanic and I've heard many conversations our current pope had while he was bishop in Argentina. They are on the internet and in Spanish language. I've also viewed a disturbing video of him while pope, where he says we should not try to bring people into the Church. He talks in Spanish and I understood CLEARLY what he said and that's exactly what he said. He said we should walk with people, not try to make them Catholic and let God do all the work of bringing them into the Church. One of my concerns with the holy father is that apparently, he's tainted. What do I mean by that? I think throughout his life and while he's been a cleric, he's experienced pharisee type, hypocritical Catholics and they have left a real sour taste in his mouth. Those experiences have led him to equate orthodoxy with a lack of mercy, a lack of love and "rigidity". I heard a story he told of very pious women in his parish (when he was a priest), who were extremely pious, yet he found out they expected and seemingly approved of their married sons also having access to their house maids as "more than maids". He was shocked and taken aback by their hypocrisy. He's also recounted the legalism of going to confession because he brushed his teeth before Mass and swallowed a little of the water within the time allotted for fast, and believed it to be a serious sin. I think he is suspicious of orthodox Catholics. Why is that important? Well, because he will tend to side with those whom he perceives to be merciful and charitable.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tridentine Community News - EWTN's Extraordinary Faith Episode 5: Chicago Part 2 of 2; 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 (July 12, 2015):
Extraordinary Faith Episode 5: Chicago Part 2 of 2

EWTN will be broadcasting Extraordinary Faith Episode 5 – the second of our two episodes filmed in Chicago – this Wednesday, July 15 at 3:00 AM and 6:30 PM Eastern time. [Previous episodes of Extraordinary Faith can be viewed at this site.]

Chicago has more weekly Extraordinary Form Mass sites than any other city in North America. Our first stop in this episode is St. Mary of Perpetual Help (pictured below), an historic church which has been ramping up its own Extraordinary Form Mass. Celebrant Fr. Bart Juncer takes us on a tour and explains how his church is making traditional liturgy an integral part of the parish experience, undaunted by the fact that there are numerous other prominent Tridentine Mass sites in the city.

Canon Matthew Talarico of Chicago’s Shrine of Christ the King explains how the Institute of Christ the King has undertaken the restoration of the former St. Gelasius Church. Just an empty shell when they arrived, the Institute has managed to outfit the structure with sufficient fixtures to allow for solemn liturgies and a full parish life, while they fundraise to make a more permanent restoration of the structure.

Around metro Detroit we hear a lot about Juventútem, the group of young adults who support the Tridentine Mass. It’s not the only such group. The Institute of Christ the King, which does an excellent job of marketing itself in print and electronic media, has established its own young adult group “brand,” Sursum Corda. There are chapters of Sursum Corda at various Institute parishes. We interview two young ladies from the Sursum Corda group at Chicago’s Shrine of Christ the King, who explain the social and devotional activities their organization makes available.

Incidentally, Chicago is perhaps the only city with chapters of both young adult groups: There is also a chapter of Juventútem based at St. John Cantius Parish.

A visit to Chicago would not be complete without a stop at St. John Cantius. One of America’s showcase parishes for the Extraordinary Form, St. John Cantius actually was threatened with closure when pastor Fr. Frank Phillips arrived there in the 1980s. Instead of throwing in the towel, Fr. Phillips relates how he embarked upon an ambitious campaign to “Restore the Sacred,” which has completely revitalized the parish. Both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Mass are celebrated there, with an emphasis on reverent worship. A community of priests, the Society of St. John Cantius, has been established. Assistant Pastor Fr. Scott Haynes explains the role of the parish’s numerous choirs and pipe organs in supporting their multifaceted sacred music program.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 07/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria)
  • Tue. 07/14 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
[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 July 12, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming to metro Detroit and eastern Michigan this week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

For the record: Michael Davies Memorial Lecture

Roberto de Mattei, "From the Second Vatican Council to the Synod: The Teaching of Michael Davies" (RC, July 11, 2015)