Monday, October 20, 2014

A wonderful new book on . . . Hobbits!

Jay Richards and Jonathan Witt, The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot(Ignatius Press, 2014), have apparently done a bang-up job on this new book on Tolkien's Hobbits.

So says our undercover researcher, Guy Noir, anyway, in his latest missive: "Yes, I know," he writes, "But it has to be better than the devolving series of films about Smaug!"

But wait! There's more! "See these pretty unusually full-throttle book blurbs where no one calls the authors by their first names! Thomas Howard calls it "glorious"! And the ever edgy Spengler likes it too."

Yes indeed. See for yourself!
"Beautifully written, this work gives fascinating insights into the realm of Middle-Earth. Moreover, it is a tour of the important issues of our world through Tolkien's eyes, including limited government, man's temptation to power, freedom, just war, socialism, distributism, localism, love, and death. These topics are woven seamlessly throughout, and you will leave the book with unforgettable impressions of these themes illustrated by Tolkien's imagery."
Art Lindsley, Vice President, The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

"J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most widely read but arguably misunderstood of the twentieth century's literary geniuses. In this book, Witt and Richards lift the veil on Tolkien and reveal a political and, yes, economic thinker who constantly surprises readers and whose insights are even more valuable for our time than his own. Tolkien fans who read this book will never think about this great author the same way again."
Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute Author, Becoming Europe

"This book is a 'drop everything and read it' book. Richards and Witt have opened up an often ignored aspect of Tolkien's work, namely the sense in which his myth bespeaks a political and economic order that stands in stark, even violent, contrast to the presiding power structures that dominate this unhappy globe. It should be made required reading in all courses in political philosophy. It's a glorious book."
Thomas Howard, Author, Dove Descending: A Journey into T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets"

"Witt and Richards do a brilliant job of rescuing Tolkien's literary legacy from the clutches of the cultural left. They reveal Tolkien as a profoundly Catholic thinker, with deep insights into the fundamental issue of religion, namely man's attempt to grapple with his own mortality. As a conservative’s companion to Tolkien, The Hobbit Party renews our appreciation of Tolkien’s contribution to literature and his profound impact on our culture."
David Goldman, Author, How Civilizations Die
Also interesting:

Tolken as a Soldier: Daniel Hannan, "Supposing him to be the gardener: Sam Gamgee, the Battle of the Somme and my Great Uncle Bill" (The Telegraph, April 28, 2014):
There’s a moment in the film version of The Lord of the Rings which doesn’t appear in the books, but which I find rather beautiful. Faramir, with a hint of repressed mirth, asks Samwise whether he is Frodo’s bodyguard. “I’m his gardener!” replies the little hobbit, in a manner which is supposed to be dignified, but which comes across as gnomic. When the hobbits later part ways with the Men of Minas Tirith, Faramir, now overcome with respect, tells Sam, “The Shire must truly be a great realm, Master Gamgee, where gardeners are held in high honour.”

Peter Jackson, the producer, was making overt what Tolkien had gently left as subtext. Sam, who is about to become the true hero of the story, has been dragged from a world of growth and fecundity into a blasted wasteland. Having previously tended to living things, he has been turned into the unlikeliest of soldiers.

... Tolkien was very clear that his books were not allegories. Still, his experiences as a lieutenant on the Western Front could hardly fail to suffuse them.... “My ‘Sam Gamgee’ is indeed a reflection of the English soldier,” Tolkien later admitted, “of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognised as so far superior to myself.”
[Hat tip to G.N.]

Roman retrospectives

In case you missed them, here are some of the more illuminating interviews over the last few days from the Synod in Rome:

Robert Royal has been consistently clear; and here he is interviewed by Raymond Arroyo of EWTN:

George Cardinal Pell proved to be a helpful voice in the crunch as well:

Robert Royal's final word is also worth a review if you haven't seen it; very good: "Opportunities Lost: A Synod Wrap-up" (The Catholic Thing, October 20, 2014): "[M]any opportunities," he says "were lost through bungling in this Extraordinary (in several senses) Synod. And the Holy Spirit certainly didn't intend that."

[Hat tip to JM]

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A pastor thinks we may be receiving Communion too often

Pastor of Assumption Grotto parish in Detroit, Fr. Eduard Perrone, offers an interesting and thoughtful counter to Pope St. Pius X's recommendation of frequent, even daily, Communion in his weekly parish newsletter, "A Pastor's Descant" (updated weekly) (Assumption Grotto News, October 19, 2014). He writes:
... I’ve begun to think that we generally may be receiving Communion too often. This opinion – radical, controversial and much against the grain – is a reversal of the thought of Pope Saint Pius X who, in his time, encouraged the frequent and even daily reception of Holy Communion. His motives then must be seen in the context of the times in which he lived. Times have changed, however, and men’s attitudes have changed as well. What I’m proposing for consideration is that we fast from frequent Holy Communion for a time in order to make us hunger and yearn for Christ. Analogous to this would be the dietary problem of many Americans today who are eating far too much and too often, and as a consequence have health problems. In a similar way, we’re overeating the Holy Eucharist, being unmindful of Christ’s Presence therein, and being poorly suited to receive Him. The result is spiritual illness – ironic to say so – and perhaps even, according to Saint Paul again, physical sickness as a consequence (cf. 1 Cor. 11:30).

Consider those who receive Communion without a thought to Who it is they’re receiving; or take someone who frequently sins and confesses and receives Communion but without having made a firm resolution to sin no more. Saint Paul had sharp words of reproach to those who receive the Eucharist, without examining themselves as to whether they are worthy of Communion or those who communicate without “recognizing the Body.” Perhaps we should stop what we’re doing so thoughtlessly, taking “time out” from receiving Communion, in order to recover our spiritual senses. For this, a fast, that is, a refraining from Holy Communion for a while might help us to become healthier, expanding our desire for receiving Christ, becoming hungry for Him. Making acts of Spiritual Communion, prayers of desire to receive the Holy Sacrament, is useful towards that end. Hours of adoration and visits to the Blessed Sacrament may also help stimulate an appetite for a devout reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Am I proposing a new Jansenism? I think not. We’re sorely in need of a greater awareness of the Inestimable Gift of the Eucharist and of the requisite worthiness to receive It. We’ve become gluttonous children of God who need to hunger for Him....
Related: Fr. Perrone interviewed by parishioner, Michael Voris, on the mode of receiving Communion.

Well, in terms of process, last night saw a clear reversal of the Synod in regards to transparency. In the final press briefing, those present were handed not only copies of the final amended translations of the Relatio, but copies of the Popes final address to the Synod. The Pope also required an up or down vote from the Synod fathers on each paragraph of the Relatio, a reportedly unprecedented move.

Pretty much as expected and predicted, the final upshot of the Synod -- formally anyway -- has been nothing particularly surprising: no new doctrine, no revisionism, no change in Church teaching, as the liberal press (and perhaps some liberal prelates) may have been hoping. (The fall-out from the drama of destabilizing ambiguities earlier last week may be another story, but that's another matter.) His Holiness has weighed in as Pope, whose duty, as he put it, is "that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church ... [and] reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ."

Granted, he did not once mention, let alone address, the controverted issues specifically, but rather listed a series of "temptations" to be avoided, among other things portraying the guidance of the Holy Spirit as steering between -- on the one hand, the temptation to hostile inflexibility, which he identified with today's "traditionalists" and "intellectuals," and, on the other hand, the temptation to "deceptive mercy" that treats the symptoms but neglects the radically-needed cure, which he identifies with "progressives and liberals."

One of my colleagues, thrilled after reading the Pope's closing address, suggested that perhaps he had listened to Cardinal Burke (who had called for a papal intervention). It goes without saying that some will see the Pope's address as falling somewhat short of the needed intervention, since it may too much appear that he continues to straddle the fence, like Rorate Caeli site that referenced it with the question: "Via Media or Laodicea? ..." Others, such as the radical French "progressive," Odon Vallet, sees the results of the Synod as a "resounding defeat" for Pope Francis and a "huge victory" for traditionalists, which will make it difficult for Francis to advance much beyond the present point "without risking schism." A BBC report carried the amusing headline: "Catholic synod: Pope Francis setback on gay policy"

Some fear that the unprecedented confusion permitted following the dramatic mid-term report of the Synod will carry over into a more permissive latitude in respect of the implementation of the Church teaching on faith and morals, especially on the issues of divorce and "re-marriage," and "same-sex" orientation. Whether the final upshot of the Synod, along with the Pope's remarks, will help to slow the progress of confusion on these issues or not, as Michael Voris suggests, remains to be seen.

Some interesting reading of related interest follows:
  • John-Henry Westen, "Pope Benedict’s private secretary speaks on Synod, divorce, same-sex relations" (LifeSiteNews, October 14, 2014).
  • David Warren, "Rock of Ages" (The Catholic Thing, October, 17, 2014): "Call them 'conservatives' or 'fundamentalists,' as you please. It is not the rock learned churchmen are defending. They are defending us – all liberals included – against being broken upon that rock."
  • Andrew Walker, "A Church in Exile: Hillsong Shifts on Homosexuality" (First Things, October 17, 2014): "This is, as I’ve written elsewhere, a gentrified fundamentalist withdrawal rooted in the belief that the foreignness of Christianity can’t overcome the tired intellectual patterns of cultural decay."
  • Damian Thompson, "Pope Francis, please don't turn into the Dalai Lama" (The Telegraph, May 26, 2014): "Perhaps His Holiness should take a look at the full list of 'great world leaders' honoured by CNN. They include Angelina Jolie and, God help us, Bono."

Extraordinary Community News: The Deposit of Faith, Exorcism, and News

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

Tridentine Community News (October 19, 2014):
The Deposit of Faith

There has been a huge amount of press coverage of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in recent weeks. Secular media, Catholic media, and bloggers have been weighing in on their interpretation of the discussion of the Synod Fathers. This column will make no attempt to report or comment on the proceedings, however a relevant subject is to consider how the Church guards and treats its Deposit of Faith.

Holy Mother Church moves slowly and deliberately. The official pronouncements of the Church are written and vetted by appropriate Vatican dicasteries. Even personal responses to dubia (questions) submitted by the faithful are often reviewed by at least one other official besides the one writing the response. This careful process, which can seem frustrating at times because of the slow speed at which Rome seems to operate, is intended to ensure that casual and potentially inaccurate statements do not become perceived as official rulings.

Conversely, off-the-cuff comments by Vatican officials, up to and including the Pope, must not be seen as reflecting the official Church position on matters. This is the case even when comments seem to favor the sentiments of Traditional Catholics. For example, in 2008 the esteemed Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos made a statement that Pope Benedict XVI wished for the Extraordinary Form to be offered in every parish of the world. His Eminence’s statement seemed a little extreme at the time; setting aside parish politics, what would happen in parishes which are only able to offer one Mass per week? Where one priest serves multiple parishes? Logistics could make such a possibility untenable. Yet the statement had been made by the then-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei, the highest ranking authority in the Church on the matter of the Tridentine Mass. History has shown that it was more likely optimistic speculation rather than fact. Certainly if Pope Benedict really wished for such a thing to happen, he could have enacted legislation to make it so, though the wisdom of doing so would have been debatable.

For this reason, Catholics [as well as, perhaps, others] must be careful only to consider as official only those statements which are issued by the Magisterium, the official congregations and departments of the Holy See which speak in a formal capacity for the Pope in union with the Bishops. Press releases and interviews with Cardinals or even the Holy Father himself are not authentic teachings. This is a key way by which the Catholic Church guards its doctrine and laws, by providing a formal process by which official pronouncements are made. We should resist the temptation to be encouraged or discouraged by what are, in essence, merely discussions and speculations.

Book Review: An Exorcist Tells His Story

Fr. Gabriele Amorth served for many years as an Exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. The first of two books he has written as an account of his experiences, An Exorcist Tells His Story,is a valuable read for Catholics for several reasons which may not be evident from the title of the book. For those who harbor any doubts that Satan and his minions are real, Fr. Amorth’s personal experiences make it abundantly clear that demonic activity of various sorts, while relatively rare, does actually happen. Particularly when he relates any one of a number of stories of a demon who has possessed an individual, evidence such as the superhuman strength which can be exhibited by the possessed, or the knowledge which the demon, speaking through the possessed, has of situations and experiences that the possessed could not possibly know, leaves the reader with no doubts.

It is interesting to note that Fr. Amorth believes that the Extraordinary Form Ritual has a number of key advantages over the Ordinary Form Book of Blessings: First, he notes that the Rite of Exorcism had not yet [as of the date of publication of the book] been revised, thus he continued to employ the older form in Latin. [In 1999, the Church did issue an updated Rite, however the traditional form may still be used.] Second, he notes the advantages of the classic form of Baptism and blessing of Holy Water which involve exorcisms of the salt and water used. Why employ a reduced rite when the classic ones so effectively purge the dark forces?

The author is not shy in relaying his dismay at bishops who downplay the role of demons and who fail to provide sufficient exorcists for their diocese. A priest can only function as an exorcist at the delegation of his bishop, thus responsibility to provide this ministry rests solely with the episcopate.

Fr. Amorth emphasizes that living a prayerful and sacramental life is the surest defense against demonic influences. If one regularly avails oneself of Confession and Holy Communion, and makes prayer an integral part of one’s day, demonic possession will most likely not occur, as the devil targets those of weaker or no faith.

While the book contains a few graphic descriptions of exorcisms, it is not a horror story and will not cause nightmares. Rather, An Exorcist Tells His Story is more likely to serve as a boost to one’s faith, for in demonstrating that hell and its minions are real indeed, it likewise shows that in the majority of cases, demons flee when a Rite of the Church is used at an early enough stage of a person’s troubles. Rarely do we see the forces of good and evil facing off in such an exposed manner, with good clearly having the upper hand. We can rest assured that God, the Creator of the Universe, is infinitely more powerful than any of His creatures, even Satan, and gives us via His Church the means to triumph.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. John Cantius, Confessor)
  • Tue. 10/21 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (Daily Mass for the Dead)
[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 Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 19, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to the metro Detroit and East Michigan area

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Roman drama updates and more

Sobrino on the Franciscan antinomian revolution

Oswald Sobrino's article, "If laws don't lead people to Jesus, they are obsolete, pope says" (CNS, October 13, 2014), was called to my attention recently by our correspondent, Guy Noir, who commented:
Here is this item from CNS, that I believe highlights the motivating note behind the current Franciscan efforts at 'reform.' Conservatives need to answer this, because it is the recurring accusation that conservatism = legalism, and that God is not a God of rules and regulations but love and grace.

My question in response would be, will looser Church 'laws" lead people to a proper understanding of and encounter with Jesus, or with their culturally-constructed and self-imagined Jesus? [PP: Reminds me of Freud's promotion of a more permissive society, arguing that looser mores would serve as a valve to relieve pent up animal inclinations. On the contrary, we have seen how feeding rather than starving such appetites causes them to grow and proliferate.]

The parable of the Rich Young Ruler seems instructive if we want to balance out this being bashed over the head with Gospel anecdotes. Jesus loved him, and sent him away. The call was to sacrifice. Somehow, it is popular to judge the rich, but not those who get ensnared in vice other than money. The question of the hour is, are the suggested reforms really merciful, or simply more democratic. Will they encourage the pursuit of holiness, or simply church attendance? I don't think the two are in the least bit synonymous. In fact, attending church can easily be its own form of 'keeping the law.'
Noir also said he was reminded of evangelical singer Amy Grant's comment upon her divorce, asking if it does not 100 percent sound like Pope Francis:
Grant recalls something a counselor told her. "He said, ‘Amy, God made marriage for people. He didn’t make people for marriage. He didn’t create this institution so He could just plug people into it. He provided this so that people could enjoy each other to the fullest.’ I say, if you have two people that are not thriving healthily in a situation, I say remove the marriage. Let them heal."
The trouble here, as Noir points out, is this: "People are not the most important thing. Nor is doctrine. They are equally important. People make doctrine matter, while doctrine, ideals, these show people their worth.... Seems like current interpretations discard the wisdom of tradition. And tradition, or a contrived 'masterpiece of perfect law,' doesn't seem like it is trapping anyone much these days anyway, at least not near my address.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Breaking: Cardinal Burke's stunning declaration

Confirms that the Pope ousted him, declares that the "Pope has done a lot of harm by not saying openly what his position is," and that the Synod was "designed to change Church's teaching" (RC, October 17, 2014):

Bruno Forte is evidently the front man for the revolutionary faction, but the orthodox counter-offensive weighed in on Thursday: "such a day had never happened before, not even at Vatican II" (RC, October 17, 2014).

What is noteworthy here is not that orthodox voices will prevail, but that they should meet with such opposition within their own ranks. One can hardly say this is unprecedented, given the long sweep of Church history, but it is certainly noteworthy, to put it mildly.

  • A measured response to the Interim Report of the synod by one of my colleagues at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Eduardo Echeverria, "The Synod’s Interim Report: Ambiguity and Misinterpretation" (Crisis Magazine, October 17, 2014).

  • In what might seem a brassy title, here's another interesting read by Rev. Dwight Longenecker, "Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod" (Crisis Magazine, October 14, 2014).
  • Artur Rosman, "Synod14: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again!" (Patheos, October 16, 2014):
    Even Damon Linker, the usually level-headed religion reporter for The Week and appreciative critic of the truly Machiavellian Catholic Neo-Cons, speculates about the Machiavellian (yes, that’s precisely his phrasing) intentions of Pope Francis to liberalize the Church:
    Francis would like to liberalize church doctrine on marriage, the family, and homosexuality, but he knows that he lacks the support and institutional power to do it. So he’s decided on a course of stealth reform that involves sowing seeds of future doctrinal change by undermining the enforcement of doctrine today. The hope would be that a generation or two from now, the gap between official doctrine and the behavior that’s informally accepted in Catholic parishes across the world would grow so vast that a global grassroots movement in favor of liberalizing change would rise up at long last to sweep aside the old, musty, already-ignored rules.

    If this is what Pope Francis is going for, I don’t blame conservatives for beginning to express serious misgivings. It’s a brilliant, clever, supremely Machiavellian strategy — one that promises to produce far-reaching reforms down the road while permitting the present pope both to claim plausible deniability (“I haven’t changed church doctrine!”) and to enjoy nearly constant effusive coverage in the secular press.

    What’s happening in Rome isn’t yet “revolutionary change.” But it just may be what eventually prepares the way for exactly that.
  • Sandro Magister, "The True Story of This Synod. Director, Performers, Assistants" (www.chiesa, October 17 2014).

  • And, yes, Jimmy Akin, whose title I just love: "Good news from the Synod of Bishops! 12 things to know and share" (Jimmy Akin, October 15, 2014).

  • Dale Price, "The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Episcopalian." (Dyspeptic Mutterings, October 13, 2014).

  • Dale Price, "Here's why the Synod will likely fail" (Dyspeptic Mutterings, October 15, 2014)

[Hat tip to JM for many of these links]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Church Militant TV reports from Rome


Sunday, October 12, 2014

For the record: Synodical twists

"Cardinal Burke a pariah? Not for the Synod Fathers! - Pope unexpectedly names 6 liberals, including Wuerl, to draft report" [Source]:
Cardinal Burke was among those elected by his fellow bishops of one of the three English-speaking circles (the Anglicus A) as moderatore (chairman) of the group to help in the writing of the group reports that make the final report. There were many "conservatives" elected in the different groups, including Cardinal Sarah, moderator for Gallicus (French-speaking) A, Abp. Léonard, relatore (rapporteur) for Gallicus B; Cardinal Bagnasco, moderator for Italicus B; Cardinal Robles Ortega, moderator for Ibericus (Spanish-speaking) A.

So, what was the Pope's response to these surprising votes?

He personally appointed ad hoc, and without prior announcement on this before the synod, six other prelates for the composition of the final report (the "Relatio Synodi"), all known as strong liberals: Cardinals Ravasi and Wuerl, Abps. Victor Manuel Fernández, Aguiar Retes, and Bp. Peter Kang, and the Superior General of the Society of Jesus Fr. Adolfo Nicolás Pachon.
A translation of the Italian transcript is provided by Rorate Caeli (October 11, 2014), including the above-cited commentary.

Related: Fr. Z, "Play by Play: Card. Burke's video interview recap!" (Fr. Z's Blog, October 12, 2014), which Fr. Z describes as "the video interview that has sent a few of the catholic Left to swoon upon their feinting couches, others to beat the air vainly as so many windmills, others to erupt in spittle-flecked nutties."

Extraordinary Community News: the wisdom of the saints on the Holy Mass & carrying one's cross, plus the latest news

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

Tridentine Community News (October 12, 2014):
The Hidden Mystery of the Holy Mass

From Dr. Taylor Marshall’s blog: Ten quotes from the Saints about the importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
  1. “When the Eucharist is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom
  2. The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.” – St. Augustine
  3. “If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.” – St. John Vianney
  4. “The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the Cross.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
  5. “Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God’s goodness and asked our Lord ‘How can I thank you?’ Our Lord replied, ‘Attend one Mass.’”
  6. “My Son so loves those who assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that, if it were necessary He would die for them as many times as they’ve heard Masses.” – Our Lady to Blessed Alan
  7. “When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a well-being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt.” – St. John Vianney
  8. “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.” – St. John Vianney
  9. “When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee.” – St. John Vianney
  10. “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Francis de Sales on Carrying One’s Cross

This Saint reminds us that good can exist even in tribulation:
“The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost Heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His Divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.”
St. Anthony, Temperance, Michigan Holds First Tridentine Mass

On November 3, 2013, this column reported that St. Anthony Church in Temperance, Michigan had installed a new High Altar and removed its freestanding altar. In a logical next step of this architectural restoration, we are pleased to report that parish pastor Fr. Brian Hurley celebrated his first Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form there on Saturday, October 4. Hopefully this will be the first of many regular Tridentine Masses at the parish, located just north of the Ohio border. [Photo by Paul Schultz]

All Souls Day Mass

Because of the impending closure of Assumption Church and the relocation of the St. Benedict Tridentine Community, there will be no Mass in Windsor on All Souls Day, which is moved to Monday, November 3 in the Extraordinary Form this year.

Holy Mass will still be provided elsewhere, however: Fr. Mark Borkowski will celebrate a Tridentine High Mass for All Souls Day at Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Wyandotte, Michigan on Monday, November 3 at 7:00 PM.

Ss. Cyril & Methodius to Continue Tridentine Masses

Fr. Ben Kosnac has reversed his earlier decision and has rounded up additional priest assistance to allow the parish to continue their weekly Saturday 6:00 PM Extraordinary Form Masses.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. Edward the Confessor, King)
  • Tue. 10/14 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Callistus I, Pope & Martyr)
  • Sat. 10/18 8:00 AM: Low Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Luke, Evangelist)
  • Sun. 10/19 12:00 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost)
[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 Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 12, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Phil Lawler: "What's wrong with this Synod, II: Debate is free, open (and censored)"

Phil Lawler's article HERE.

Among other things, Lawler reports the following:
Speaking to the Synod of Bishops on its first day of discussions, Pope Francis urged the participants to speak out boldly, “without human respect, without timidity.” The secretary-general of the Synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, echoed that message, saying that “discussion at the Synod is to be open.” This, we were told, would be a meeting marked by candor, by open debate, by an absence of restraint on the free flow of ideas.

The reality has been quite dramatically different. The Synod meeting of October 2014 has been far less transparent than previous sessions. The information reaching the Catholic world has been tightly controlled, heavily filtered—and, therefore, easily manipulated.

... We don’t know what is happening inside the Synod hall; the discussion sessions are closed....
Our own underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep it's secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, comments from Rome this week:
It gets old, doesn't it? It is exactly the same rhetorical chess game President Obama pays, using words that mean something very different from what scenarios they spark or launch. You would have to be tone-deaf and circumstance-blind not to see the obvious manipulation afoot. And after the abuse scandals, mea culpas, and talk of openness, it really is nothing sort of jaw-dropping of people to willingly accept such governing tactics. Transparency, openness, forthrightness, directness? I see none of these, whatsoever. The 'cunning' Jesuits are infamous for makes no sense at all when they hold the key seat of power. Then such cunning becomes nothing so much as ingenuous. And disingenuousness should win no one sainthood, not even The Advocate's Person of the Year (funny, I have read not a single Catholic commentator's reaction to that laurel, btw).
Noir told me he had left behind his Valium tabs, thinking he could handle the assignment without them, but reversed his decision and wired me to overnight his meds to him in Rome; so I told him to lay off the liquor for a while, if he was going back on the Valium. He does like his liquor, as we both know.