Saturday, April 21, 2018


I know, I know, we've talked about this before.

I hate celebrations of life for funerals, be it Catholic or Protestant although I really can't complain about the Protestant ones such as the one for Barbara Bush. 

I was watching a portion of Former First Lady, Barbara Bush's low Episcopal Celebration of Life kind of funeral.

What a magnificent church and edifice, so Catholic looking in the pre-Vatican II splendor.

But the liturgy is all about Mrs. Bush and the manner in which the liturgy is experienced or communicated, all the way from all kinds of relatives proclaiming a single Scripture reading with the best part if there is strong emotion or crying in doing so.

Then there are the eulogies, one after the other.

But who am I to judge an Episcopal Celebration of Life!

But the triumphalism of the music and celebration would put any pre-Vatican II papal celebration to shame.

When I die, my plans which the diocese has is that the Propers are chanted in Latin borrowed from the EF's Requiem--no gathering hymn please.

The lengthy EF's Offertory antiphon is to be chanted, nothing else.

I will have the EF's Epistle and Gospel  in English but with the EF's Gradual and Tract in chanted in Latin as also the Dies Irae. We'll have a booklet with the English translation of the Latin parts.

No Eulogy whatsoever, just a homily on the last four things, death, judgement,heaven and hell and God's Divine Mercy in the face of it all!

The Latin parts of the Mass using the Jubilatio chant.

In addition to the Latin Communion proper, Panis Angelicus will be sung.

I'll have the OF's final Commendation with its proper chant as my mortal remains are incensed. No hymn!

And I will be taken away by flights of angels with the sober Latin Chant "In Paradisum."

Yes, sober, boring and not about me--so me!

Friday, April 20, 2018


Pope Francis celebrates Mass during his pastoral visit to Molfetta, Italy, April 20.
Pope: Without the Eucharist, Every Effort of the Church Is Vain
During day-trip Mass, Francis reminds faithful: ‘It’s beautiful to be couriers of hope, simple and joyful distributors of the Easter alleluia.’

VATICAN CITY — During a brief day trip to two small Italian cities, Pope Francis stressed the centrality of the Eucharist in the life and actions of the Church, saying without Christ’s love and self-sacrifice, everything would be done in vanity, since everything Jesus did was for others.

“The Eucharist is not a beautiful rite, but it is the most intimate, the most concrete, the most surprising communion that one can imagine with God: a communion of love so real that it takes on the form of eating,” the Pope said April 20. (would not it have been better to say that the Eucharisst is not only a beautiful rite, but.....)

The Christian life begins again at each Mass, “where God satiates us with love. Without him, the Bread of Life, every effort of the Church is vain,” he said, and, quoting deceased local Bishop Tonino Bello, he said that “works of charity are not enough, unless those works are done with charity.”

“If love is lacking in those who do the works, if the source is lacking, if the point of departure is lacking, which is the Eucharist, then every pastoral commitment is merely a whirlwind of things,” rather than an act of service.

Pope Francis spoke during Mass in the Italian town of Molfetta. He traveled to the city after making a brief visit to Alessano as part of a half-day trip to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Bishop Antonio Bello, known as “Don Tonino,” an Italian bishop whose cause for beatification opened in 2007.

In his homily, Francis said whoever receives the Eucharist takes on the face and mentality of the Lord, who is the Bread that was broken for us. And this Bread, he said, does not “rise with pride,” but is given to others.

People who receive the Eucharist, he said, “cease to live for themselves, for their own success, to have something or to become someone, but they live for Jesus, as Jesus, which is for others.”
Quoting Bishop Bello, Francis said the Eucharist “does not support a sedentary life,” and that, without rising from the table, one remains an “unfulfilled sacrament.” He asked those present to question themselves as to how they leave every Mass and whether or not they go out as “people of communion.”

He then emphasized the importance of the word of God, which he said is a second element that can be taken from the day’s Gospel reading from John, in which the disciples asked themselves: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” after Jesus spoke about the need to eat his flesh in order to obtain salvation.

“Many of our words are similar to this,” the Pope said, noting that some people might ask: “How can the Gospel solve the problems of the world? What use is it to do good in the midst of so much evil?”
By doing this, “we fall into the error of that people, who were paralyzed by discussion about the words of Jesus, rather than ready to welcome the change of life asked by him,” Francis said, adding that these people did not understand that the words of Jesus were the path to life.

Jesus, he said, “does not respond according to our calculations and the conveniences of the moment, but with the ‘Yes’ of his whole life. He does not look for our reflections, but our conversion.”
Pointing to the conversion of Saul, who later became St. Paul, Pope Francis noted how, when Saul was thrown from his horse, he was told to rise, go into the city and do what he would be asked.

“The first thing to avoid is staying on the ground” or staying “gripped by fear,” he said, stressing that a true apostle of Jesus “cannot simply get along on small satisfactions,” but must always get up and look forward.

And, just as Saul was told to go into the city, each Christian is also told to go, rather than staying “closed in your reassured spaces,” he said. “Risk!”

Christian life “must be invested in Jesus and spent for others,” he said, adding that a disciple cannot remain stationary after the Resurrection, but must “go out, regardless of the problems and uncertainties.”

“We are all called, in whatever situation we find ourselves, to be bearers of paschal hope” and to be “servants of the world, but resurrected, not employed; without ever complaining, without ever resigning ourselves.”

He added: “It’s beautiful to be couriers of hope, simple and joyful distributors of the Easter alleluia.”


In new article ++Müller says it is “of utmost importance to remember that neither the bishops nor the Pope have any competence to intervene in the substance of the sacraments” or initiate processes that sow “errors and confusion in sacramental practice”

My comment: Doesn't this seem like a no-brainer? That a cardinal of the Catholic Church seems to be reminding the pope and the bishops of this is truly stunning, no?

You can read Cardinal Mueller's Article:

Who May Receive Communion?
by Gerhard Ludwig Müller

But here is an interesting paragraph:

Today theology is often subordinated to ideology and ecclesiastical politics. Instead of exchanging arguments in open debate, one discredits people. Every problem is made to center on persons, and thus it is neutralized. Even if someone knows Holy Scripture by heart, has studied the Fathers of the Church and proves to be an expert in modern philosophy and science, to discredit him it is enough for some backwater journalist or amateur theologian to call him “conservative,” and all his knowledge will be neutralized, just as the best wine becomes undrinkable when a drop of poison is mixed into it. 

Each newly appointed bishop is tested at the first press conference and labeled conservative or liberal—whatever this is supposed to mean—depending on whether he expresses himself “for or against” the ordination of women, “for or against” the blessing of homosexual couples, “for or against” priestly celibacy, and “for or against” Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried.” Other topics are of no interest and differentiated arguments do not count. Thus, allegations of personal ideological bias take the place of objective discussion. Those who would like to see a looser connection between ecclesial communion and the communion of the sacraments—allegedly in order to make it easier for the people of today to come to the faith—immediately accuse their critics of closed-mindedness and rigid pharisaic adherence to dogmas that the secularized Christian can no longer understand. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


From the Vatican Insider!

Here, Cardinal Marx is exclaiming, "What the....!" but in the German language and tradition of Fr. Martin Luther:

Eucharistic hospitality in Germany, towards a meeting in Rome

The German Bishops’ Conference denies press reports over a Vatican rejection of the pastoral handout approved during the Spring Assembly
The German Bishops’ Conference denied, through its spokesman, press reports according to which the Vatican had rejected the document on Eucharistic hospitality for the non-Catholic spouse of couples belonging to two different Christian denominations, usually Catholic and Protestant. On this issue - a case far from rare in Germany and a theme on which the Church defines her very presence in today’s society - a meeting in the Vatican will soon be held at the Pope’s request.
...... Today, a new chapter adds to the affair. On the Austrian wesite, first, and then in other media there is news that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith led by Monsignor Francisco Ladaria would have rejected the German proposal in a Pope-approved letter.  
In a note issued at the beginning of the afternoon, the spokesman for the bishops, Matthias Kopp, summarized and specified: first of all, “regarding the letter of seven members of the German Bishops’ Conference to various departments in the Vatican and Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s reaction to his confreres, the president has informed the Bishops’ Conference. Cardinal Reinhard Marx has also informed the departments in the Vatican about his reaction”.

Secondly, “the members of the German Bishops’ Conference had until Easter to propose modifications (”ways”) to the resolution approved during the Spring Plenary Assembly in Ingolstad on the above-mentioned document. The reports received were incorporated into the document, the final version of which - as decided by the plenary assembly - is established by the president of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, the president of the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism and the president of the German Episcopal Conference. Marx will inform the Permanent Bishops’ Council on the state of affairs at the meeting on 23 April. The document was not sent by Marx to the Vatican. More than two thirds of the members of the German Bishops’ Conference approved the document as a pastoral handout”.

The President of the German Bishops’ Conference has accepted the Holy Father’s wish to hold a debate in Rome on the subject. Marx expressly welcomed the Holy Father’s desire” Matthias Kopp says.

Finally, “news that the document has been rejected in the Vatican by the Holy Father or by the departments are false”. 


As US mourns history's 2nd First Lady/First Mother, lest anyone forgot, the builder of the massive “New Church" at Barbara Bush’s Episcopal parish – where her Funeral will be held – is now Msgr Larry Gipson, a “Roman Catholic" priest of the Anglican Ordinariate: (link:


Paul VI and the Liturgical Reform. He Approved It, But Didn't Like It Much

“The pope wants it.” This is how Monsignor Annibale Bugnini (1912-1982), the author of the liturgical reform that followed Vatican Council II, silenced the experts every time they contested one or another of his most reckless innovations.
The pope was Paul VI, who in effect had entrusted to none other than Bugnini the role of secretary and factotum of the council for the reform of the liturgy, headed by Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro.
Bugnini had a terrible reputation among some of the members of the council. “Sinister and smarmy,” “schemer,” “as devoid of education as of honesty”: this is how he is described in the “Memoirs” of the great theologian and liturgist Louis Bouyer (1913-2004), highly esteemed by Paul VI.
Which pope, in the end, was on the point of making Bouyer a cardinal and punished Bugnini by exiling him as nuncio in Tehran, having realized the damage that he had done and the duplicity of that “The pope wants it” with which the reprobate shielded himself.
Over the subsequent decades, nevertheless, the heirs of Bugnini dominated the field. His personal secretary, Piero Marini, was from 1983 to 2007 the master of pontifical ceremonies. And recently books have been published on Bugnini, glorifying his role.
But getting back to Paul VI, how did he experience the unfolding of the liturgical reform? The defenders of the preconciliar liturgy point to him as the one ultimately responsible for all the innovations.
In reality, between Paul VI and the reform that was taking shape little by little there was not that affinity for which the critics rebuke him.
On the contrary, it was not unusual for Paul VI to suffer on account of what he saw taking place, which was the opposite of his liturgical culture, his sensibility, the spirit in which he himself celebrated.
There is a brief book published in recent days that sheds new light precisely on this personal suffering of pope Giovanni Battista Montini over of a liturgical reform that in many ways he did not condone:
“Paolo VI. Una storia minima,” edited by Leonardo Sapienza, Edizioni VivereIn, Monopoli, 2018.
In this book Monsignor Sapienza - who has been regent of the prefecture of the papal household since 2012 - collects various pages of the “Diaries” compiled by the master of pontifical celebrations under Paul VI, Virgilio Noè (1922-2011), who became a cardinal in 1991.
With these “Diaries,” Noè carried on a tradition that dates back to the “Liber Notarum” of the German Johannes Burckardt, master of ceremonies for Alexander VI. In his account of every celebration, Noè also recorded everything that Paul VI said to him before and after the ceremony, including his comments on some of the innovations of the liturgical reform that he had experienced for the first time on that occasion.
For example, on June 3, 1971, after the Mass for the commemoration of the death of John XXIII, Paul VI commented:
“How on earth in the liturgy for the dead should there be no more mention of sin and expiation? There is a complete absence of imploring the Lord’s mercy. This morning too, for the Mass celebrated in the [Vatican] tombs, although the texts were beautiful they were still lacking in the sense of sin and the sense of mercy. But we need this! And when my final hour comes, ask for mercy for me from the Lord, because I have such need of it!”
And again in 1975, after another Mass in memory of John XXIII:
“Of course, in this liturgy are absent the great themes of death, of judgment….”
The reference is not explicit, but Paul VI was here lamenting, among other things, the removal from the liturgy for the deceased of the grandiose sequence “Dies irae,” which in effect is no longer recited or sung in the Mass today, but survives only in concerts, as composed by Mozart, Verdi, and other musicians.
Another time, on April 10, 1971, at the end of the reformed Easter Vigil, Paul VI commented:
“Of course, the new liturgy has greatly streamlined the symbology. But the exaggerated simplification has removed elements that used to have quite a hold on the mindset of the faithful.”
And he asked his master of ceremonies: “Is this Easter Vigil liturgy definitive?”
To which Noè replied: “Yes, Holy Father, the liturgical books have already been printed.”
“But could a few things still be changed?” the pope insisted, evidently not satisfied.
Another time, on September 24, 1972, Paul VI replied to his personal secretary, Pasquale Macchi, who was complaining about how long it took to sing the “Credo”:
“But there must be some island on which everyone can be together: for example, the ‘Credo,’ the ‘Pater noster’ in Gregorian….”
On May 18, 1975, after noting more than once that during the distribution of communion, in the basilica or in Saint Peter’s Square, there were some who passed the consecrated host from hand to hand, Paul VI commented:
“The Eucharistic bread cannot be treated with such liberty! The faithful, in these cases, are behaving like.. infidels!”
Before every Mass, while he was putting on the sacred vestments, Paul VI continued to recite the prayers stipulated in the ancient missal “cum sacerdos induitur sacerdotalibus paramentis,” even after they had been abolished. And one day, September 24, 1972, he smiled and asked Noè: “Is it forbidden to recite these prayers while one puts on the vestments?”
“No, Holy Father, they may be recited, if desired,” the master of ceremonies replied.
And the pope: “But these prayers can no longer be found in any book: even in the sacristy the cards are no longer there… So they will be lost!”
They are brief remarks, but they express the liturgical sensibility of pope Montini and his discomfort with a reform that he saw growing out of proportion, as Noè himself noted in his “Diaries”:
“One gets the impression that the pope is not completely satisfied with what has been carried out in the liturgical reform. […] He does not always know all that has been done for the liturgical reform. Perhaps sometimes a few matters have escaped him, at the moment of preparation and approval.”
This too must be remembered about him, when next autumn Paul VI is proclaimed a saint.
By way of documentation, the following - in Latin and contemporary language - are the prayers that the priests used to recite while they were putting on the sacred vestments and that Paul VI continued to recite even after their removal from the current liturgical books.
Cum lavat manus, dicat:
As he washes his hands, he shall say:
Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam: ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.
Grant, O Lord, that my hands may be clean from every stain: so that I may serve you with purity of mind and of body.
Ad amictum, dum ponitur super caput, dicat:
At the amice, as he puts it on his head, he shall say:
Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos diabolicos incursus.
Place, O Lord, on my head the helmet of salvation, to overcome the assaults of the devil.
Ad albam, cum ea induitur:
At the alb, as he puts it on:
Dealba me, Domine, et munda cor meum; ut, in sanguine Agni dealbatus, gaudiis perfruat sempiternis.
Purify me, O Lord, and cleanse my heart: so that, purified in the blood of the Lamb, I may enjoy eternal delights.
Ad cingulum, dum se cingit:
At the cincture, as he cinches it on:
Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et extingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentiae et castitatis.
Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and extinguish in my loins the ardor of concupiscence; so that the virtue of continence and chastity may be preserved in me.
Ad manipulum, dum imponitur bracchio sinistro:
At the maniple, as he places it on his left arm:
Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris; ut cum exsultatione recipiam mercedem laboris.
May I be worthy, O Lord, to bear the maniple of grief and pain: so that I may receive with joy the recompense of my labor.
Ad stolam, dum imponitur collo:
At the stole, as he places it around his neck:
Redde mihi, Domine, stolam immortalitatis, quam perdidi in praevaricatione primi parentis: et, quamvis indignus accedo ad tuum sacrum mysterium, merear tamen gaudium sempiternum.
Restore to me, O Lord, the stole of immortality, lost through the prevarication of the forefather; and although I may approach unworthily your sacred mystery, grant that I may merit eternal joy.
Ad casulam, cum assumitur:
At the chasuble, as he puts it on:
Domine, qui dixisti: Iugum meum suave est, et onus meum leve: fac, ut istud portare sic valeam, quod consequar tuam gratiam. Amen.
O Lord, who said: My yoke is easy and my burden is light: grant that I may bear this in such a way as to attain your grace. So may it be.
(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)


Defining The Truth In Your News

fake news
The only thing more frightening than a revolution- is not knowing one is going on.
Praytell is apoplectic about this news as is Cardinal Marx and the German Bishops' Conference who calls Kath news fake news but it doesn't seem so:

This is a google translation of German and tortured English as are my posts written in Italian and google translated into English for my readers:

Last week, the letter from seven German local bishops, including the Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, caused a stir. These had turned to Pope Francis with a request for clarification on this issue. has reported.

The emeritus curia cardinal Paul Josef Cordes had previously stated that the "initiative of the Episcopal Conference" could not claim to be "theologically covered."

The German Bishops' Conference (DBK) has, after a inquiry, how the DBK responds to the question whether the DBK guideline on inter-communion was rejected by Pope Francis, meant that a "rejection of the guidelines" was not known. Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the DBK, told that there is no final text yet. The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Bernhard Kellner, says after a request only: "You have to sit up an error message. There is no help yet. "

Meanwhile, other Catholic media, including the National Catholic Register and the CNA, who have also requested directly from Vatican sources, confirmed the information from

Particularly explosive is the revelation of the Vatican journalist Edward Pentin. The usually well-informed journalist reports on Twitter, citing Vatican sources, that Pope Francis did not want the congregation's rejection of the proposal of the German Bishops' Conference to be publicly known. Pentin later reports to the National Catholic Register, citing high-ranking sources from Germany, that the letter is a rejection of the pastoral plan. Here there would be no difference between Archbishop Luis Ladaria, the present Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and his predecessor, Gerhard Kardinal Müller.

Also interesting is the "language regulation" of the DBK agency KNA. This one said last night in one of the report first that the DBK had rejected a report by to receive communion for Protestant spouses. Later, the KNA then writes that there are "different voices" in Rome, claiming that the Vatican's attitude does not amount to a "flat rejection", but rather to "a remedy." According to KNA, this should be "however discreet". The KNA even claims that the concern of the German bishops is therefore "based on understanding".

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Updated below Netflix twists and turns!

The bombshell, and it is a bombshell, of Pope Francis putting the breaks on intercommunion in Germany may well mean Divine and human intervention behind the scenes is occurring at the Vatican. We can only pray!

I found this amusing comment on an ultra conservative blog concerning Pope Francis' perhaps forced about face:

Feels like we are on episode 20 out of 22 on some Netflix series we can't stop binge-watching, but know the end is near, but fully expect a lot of plot twists to be crammed in during the final minutes of the last episode.

Ending of episode 22: "Habemus Papam"...and we see feet walking out on the balcony, in red shoes. Then we here a voice in a distinctive Wisconsin accent "I will 
take the name Pius XIII, you cheese head". Cut to credits.

UPDATE 4-18, 7:45 pm: German media are now reporting on the German bishops’ conference statement:

“A rejection of the pastoral guidelines is not known to us,” spokesman Matthias Kopp stated. Cardinal Marx did not send the guidelines to the Vatican. The relevant draft is still being worked on.” Kopp emphasized: “The report made by is not conherent and we are unable to confirm it.”


Vatican Rejects German Bishops’ Intercommunion Proposal
Sources confirm that, with the Holy Father’s approval, the Vatican’s head of doctrine has thrown out the bishops’ pastoral guide allowing Holy Communion for some Protestant spouses, but the Pope wishes the rejection letter to remain secret.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Francis, has written a letter to German bishops rejecting their proposal to allow some Protestant spouses to receive Holy Communion, but the Pope does not wish the letter to be made public, the Register has learned.

Sources in the Vatican and Germany say that Archbishop Luis Ladaria, the current prefect of the CDF, wrote the letter and that it was given papal approval.

“It’s a rejection of the pastoral plan,” said a high level source in the German Church, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that there are “no differences” between Archbishop Ladaria and his predecessor, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, on the matter.

But two senior sources have also confirmed that the Pope wants the letter to remain secret for reasons unknown.
The Austrian Catholic website revealed Wednesday that the Vatican had issued its response, which came after seven German bishops, led by Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, wrote to the CDF last month to say they believed the proposal contradicted Catholic doctrine, undermined Church unity and exceeded the competence of the bishops’ conference.

At their spring conference in February, Germany’s bishops voted overwhelmingly in favor of producing a guide, or pastoral handout, to allow a Protestant partner of a Catholic to receive the Eucharist in some cases and under certain conditions.

They decided that permission could be granted if, after having made a “serious examination” of conscience with a priest or another person with pastoral responsibilities, the partner “affirms the faith of the Catholic Church,” wishes to end “serious spiritual distress,” and has a “longing to satisfy a hunger for the Eucharist.”

At the time, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference, said the guide would be a “pastoral handout” and that the intention was not to “change any doctrine.” He said the proposal also ruled out any path for Protestant spouses to conversion, otherwise known as an “ecumenism of return.” It also left much discretion to the local bishop.

The Register learned that only 13 of Germany’s 67 bishops voted against the proposal, or abstained. But the proposal caused considerable unease elsewhere: Cardinals Francis Arinze, Gerhard Müller, Walter Brandmüller, and Paul Cordes all decried the move.

Cardinal Müller called the proposal a “rhetorical trick” pulled on believers, most of whom he noted are not theologians. He stressed that interdenominational marriage is “not an emergency situation,” and that “neither the Pope nor we bishops can redefine the sacraments as a means of alleviating mental distress and satisfying spiritual needs” as they are “effective signs of the grace of God.”

Cardinal Brandmüller said the German bishops' weak opposition to the proposal was a “scandal, no question.”

Damaged Power Base

Today’s news of the Vatican’s decision will come as an embarrassment to Cardinal Marx who is facing a revolt by bishops in Bavaria. The German daily Bild noted this week that "five out of six Bavarian bishops have publicly challenged Marx on a central question (Holy Communion),” and that it was therefore clear: “His power base is damaged.” Quoting one of the rebel bishops, the newspaper added: “It’ll soon be basta [the end] for Reinhard.”

The German bishops' conference has tried to deny the reports. Spokesman Matthias Kopp said the conference was “unaware” of any such rejection, but in any case, he said Cardinal Marx had not sent the handout to the Vatican, and it was only a “draft subject to revision.” He added that the information provided by was therefore “inconclusive and we cannot confirm it."

Bernhard Kellner, Cardinal Marx’s spokesman, said “no comment,” when asked about the letter by the online German website Merkur. 

But a source close to the German Church poured scorn on Kopp’s response, saying it was the equivalent of “throwing sand in one’s eyes” and a case of “smoke and mirrors.”

He is using a “classic tactic” of the Left, he said. “Try to get something through the backdoor by submitting a draft, then see if you can get away with it, and if you can’t, say it was ‘only a draft.’”

The source also stressed the intercommunion idea has been floating around the halls of the German bishops’ conference for years, and didn’t just suddenly appear. “It’s no coincidence that it came out now,” he said.

Another source with detailed knowledge of the German Church said that more German bishops opposed the move than the voting numbers suggest, but he added that the bishops find it difficult to mount any significant resistance due to powerful figures behind the episcopate. In particular, he cited Jesuit Father Hans Langendörfer, general secretary of the German bishops' conference, and Kopp.

Both, he said, control almost all of the German Catholic media, including the German section of Vatican Media and News, backed up by significant funding.

But the predominant issue remains: why does the Pope wish the rejection letter to remain secret?

One probable reason, according to some observers, is because the rejection does not fit the narrative and direction of this pontificate.

The Pope, they recall, showed his sympathy for the German bishops' proposal in 2015 when he appeared to allow a Lutheran spouse to receive Holy Communion in accordance with her conscience.


SKIDAWAY ISLAND, Ga. — Popping into the world in a two-toned coat of downy feathers, a Georgia osprey chick has made its internet debut.
The Sunday hatching was long-awaited for the Skidaway Island osprey couple who produced three eggs last year that hatched a single chick that died. The newly-hatched chick shouldn’t be an only child for long; the nest holds two more eggs that were laid about three days apart.


United States
United Kingdom
South Korea


7 reasons why fake news goes viral, according to experts

A friend sent me this tweet last night with no other information. Has anyone else seen this? What do you make of it? Fake or real?

A prominent American prelate known as an ally of Pope Francis, who will remain anonymous here, has been quoted as saying that if a papal conclave were held today +Burke would be elected.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


I have buried a number of Catholics with little or no faith. Are they saved? Catholics don't make that determination in individual, specific cases. We have no authority to do so, not even the pope can declare someone in hell, not even Adolph Hitler.

We can speculate about what can bring about damnation and the fires of hell and use theoretical examples.

Thus we see the pastoral side of a pope trying to reassure a young child whose father had passed away, an atheist.

This is the description of the encounter with the pope and grieving child (keep in mind this is an English translation of Italian from an Italian paper, The Vatican Insider, not known for faithful English translations of the pope:

The child whispered in the Pope’s ear. Emanuel asked him if his father, who was an atheist but had his four children (his two brothers and a sister) baptized, went to heaven after his death. And not to hell (the child’s full question included a specific quote regarding the danger for Emanuel's father to end up in Hell). This is what Francis answered (explaining afterwards that he asked Emanuele for permission to publicly report the question the child had whispered to his ear): "If only we could cry like Emanuele when we have pain in our hearts. He cries for his father who died and had the courage to do so before us because there is love in his heart - he points out - his father was an atheist, yet he had his four children baptized, he was a good man. It's nice that a son says that about his father, that he "was good". If that man was able to raise his children like that, then he was a good man. God is proud of your father".  
Francis then emphasizes: "God has the heart of a father, your father was a good man, he is in heaven with Him, be sure. God has a father's heart and, would God ever abandon a non-believing father who baptize his children? God was certainly proud of your father, because it is easier to be a believer and have your children baptized than to be a non-believer and have your children baptized. Pray for your father, talk to your father. That is the answer”.  

What is the pope to say--your father is condemned to the everlasting annihilation? No, the pope gives the child hope and all of us too.

If we are created in the image and likeness of God, isn't goodness a sign of God's grace? 

No we can't say the father is annihilated or in a state of hell, Catholics have a reason to hope in God's power to save the sinner. 

But yes, Catholicism has a Pelagian streak for better or for worse and Italian Catholics are experts at it and yes, the pope's answer was Pelagism at its best. 

But the pope is right. Only God decides who is in heaven or hell and we can speculate even in specific cases about who is in heaven, but not in hell.  


Say what you may about Pope Francis, he has recovered the Church's role in the world beyond Catholicism as had been the role of the Vatican for decades. Unfortunately, under Pope Benedict, this seem to fade not so much because of Benedict himself, but those who chose to support his ministry. Pope Benedict was betrayed on many fronts.

So this is good news from the pen of Sandro Magister a Vaticanisto:

What Had Never Been Said In Saudi Arabia. A First For Tauran


Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has been in the capital of Saudi Arabia since April 13, and will stay there until April 20, thereby repaying the visit made to the Vatican on September 20, 2017, by the secretary general of the Muslim World League, the sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Welcomed by Prince Muhammad bin Abdurrahman bin Abdulaziz, vice-governor of Riyadh, Cardinal Tauran gave at the headquarters of the Muslim League, during his meeting with the sheikh Al-Issa, an address without precedent in the history of relations between Christianity and Islam, not because of the things that were said but because of the place where they were pronounced.

It was in fact the first time that in Saudi Arabia, the homeland of Wahhabism, one of the most radical currents of Islam, a leading representative of the Catholic Church has spoken out in public and with clarity on capital questions like freedom of religion and equal rights for believers of all faiths.
Here is a brief anthology of the things that Cardinal Tauran said in Riyadh, printed in “L'Osservatore Romano” of April 17.


“What is threatening all of us is not the clash of civilizations, but rather the clash of forms of ignorance and radicalism. What is threatening coexistence is first of all ignorance; therefore, to meet together, speak, build something together, are an invitation to encounter the other, and also means discovering ourselves.”


The cardinal recalled how the Christian sacred places, “in the Holy Land, in Rome or elsewhere, together with the numerous shrines in many parts of the world,” are “always open to you, our Muslim brothers and sisters, to believers of other religions, and also to every person of good will who does not profess a religion.” Besides, he added, “in many countries the mosques are also open to visitors,” and this, he said, “is the kind of spiritual hospitality that helps us to promote mutual understanding and friendship, contrasting prejudice.”


“Religion is the dearest thing a person has. This is why some, when they are called to choose between keeping the faith and remaining alive, prefer to accept paying a high price: they are the martyrs of all religions and of every time.”


“In all religions there are forms of radicalism. Fundamentalists and extremists may be zealous person, but unfortunately they have deviated from a solid and wise understanding of religion. Moreover, they consider those who do not share their vision as unbelievers who must convert or be eliminated, so as to maintain purity. They are misled persons who can easily go on to violence in the name of religion, including terrorism. They become convinced, through brainwashing, that they are serving God. The truth is that they are only  hurting themselves, ruining the image of their religion and their coreligionists. This is why they need our prayer and our help.”


After clarifying that “religion can be proposed, never imposed, and then accepted or rejected,” Cardinal Tauran identified as one of the fields in which Christians and Muslims must be in agreement, seeing that “in the past there has been a great deal of competition between the two communities,” that “of common rules for the construction of places of worship.” In fact, all the religions must be treated in the same way, without discrimination, because their followers, together with the citizens who do not profess any religion, must be treated equally,” he remarked in referring to the always relevant theme of “full citizenship” for all. In part because “if we do not eliminate the double standards of our behavior as believers, religious institutions and organizations, we will foster Islamophobia and Christianophobia.”


“Spiritual leaders have a duty: to keep the religions from being at the service of an ideology, and to be able to recognize that some of our coreligionists, like the terrorists, are not behaving correctly. Terrorism is a constant threat, and because of this we must be clear and never justify it. The forms of terrorism want to demonstrate the impossibility of coexistence. We believe the exact opposite. We must avoid aggression and denigration.”


“All authentic interreligious dialogue begins with the proclamation of one’s own faith. We do not say that all religions are equal, but that all believers, those who seek God and all persons of good will devoid of religious affiliation, have equal dignity. Everyone must be left free to embrace the religion that he wishes.” After this came the concluding appeal to join forces “so that God, who created us, may not be a motive of division, but rather of unity.”

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)


I know, I know, once a priest always a priest if validly ordained, no matter what twists and turns take place in that priest's life.

Thus it is with the former priest, former Catholic, (I know, I know, once a Catholic always a Catholic) Dr. Bill Cummings who wrote an editorial each Sunday in Macon's newspaper. Often it was a diatribe against the Catholic Church which had betrayed him after the hopeful 1960's when he thought all things would change as radical priests and nuns had hoped in that period. He truly fit the stereotype of a Catholic stuck in the 1960's.

Like so many, and he was one among the many of the 1960's, he eventually left the priesthood and evidently the Catholic Church but always decrying how he longed for the good old days of his seminary preparation and early priesthood in Rome at the time of Vatican II actually happening.

There are so many spirit of Vatican II Catholics his age and older who lost their faith.

He took me to task in his editorials a couple of times as I did to him in letters to the editor. He didn't like being challenged as most progressives don't.

He read this blog and commented a couple of times.

I will offer a Mass for the repose of his soul.

Here's his obituary. Do you detect the saddest part of it?

Dr. William F. Cummings (1931 - 2018)

Dr. William F. Cummings
July 6, 1931 - April 12, 2018

Forsyth, GA- Dr. William F. Cummings is an internationally known scholar, consultant, teacher and speaker. His multi-faceted career has taken him across the United States, Europe, and the Far East, and inside the world's most powerful corporations, as well as its most prestigious universities & hospitals.

Dr. Cummings received his high school education in a California Monastery, and then attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned degrees in philosophy and divinity. At Catholic University in Washington, D.C., he received an STL in Theology and an MA in Semitic Languages, followed by extensive doctoral work in Rome, Italy, where he earned his SSB Re Biblica and his SSL Re Biblica from the Pontificium Institutum.

Upon completion of his formal education, Dr. Cummings held teaching positions at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, Notre Dame, Indiana, and the Monastery in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, before entering the business world with TWA in New York. From 1967 to 1975 he was Manager of Organizational Development for Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco, and from 1975 to 1986, he was Vice President for Charter Medical Corporation in Macon, Georgia.

Dr. Cummings retired from the corporate world in 1986 and launched his own companies: Cummings Consolidated Corporation, and Cummings Management Consultants. Through them, he leads seminars, designs and conducts strategic planning, recruits executives, lectures on leadership and customer service, teaches and coaches business and academic chairmen, presidents, and managers, and produces weekly leadership articles. His clients have included universities, hospitals, and physician groups throughout the world as well as corporations such as Bechtel, GEICO, TWA, GFB, Quaker Oats, KFC, BB&T Bank, 13 WMAZ TV, and Heiberg of Norway.

Dr. Cummings is a past president of Macon Rotary Club, past chairman of the United Way of Macon, and has served on numerous Boards such as Wesleyan College, the Georgia Bar Disciplinary Board, the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, the Georgia Bar's Fitness Board, the Georgia Industrial Children's Home, the Macon and the Forsyth Chambers of Commerce, the Macon Volunteer Clinic, & Medical Billing Resources.
He is the author of more than five hundred published articles on Leadership, more than one thousand TV shows on Leadership and the author of "Behind Your Back". His new book is called "My Daily Dose", "a prescription for every working symptom with directions included".

Dr. Cummings is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ann Conkey Cummings of Forsyth; son, William F. Cummings, Jr. (Bernt Heiberg); daughter, Gena Cummings Howell (Mike); grandchildren, Michael Howell and Austin Howell; brother-in-law, Dr. George Austin Conkey.

A casual reception and celebration will be held from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Morgan View Farm, 34 Shi Road, Monroe County. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the donor's favorite charity.



Car News

Happy Birthday, Ford Mustang!

We celebrate decades of Ford’s iconic muscle machine.


Happy 45th Birthday, Ford Mustang!

2018 Ford Mustang GT: Photos just don’t do it justice
Long about 1964 on this day in the Queens borough of New York City, the public got its first look at the Ford Mustang. The reception was, to say the least, buoyant.

“When the Mustang was unveiled, the reaction was so positive that there was no doubt it was going to be a success,” recalls Joe Oros, chief designer of the original Mustang (technically a 1965 model but widely known as a 1964½ because it was launched at an unusual halfway point in the year). The Ford folks were right: 22,000 orders were taken on the first day the car went on sale.

We loved it, too, and since then, we have had devoted hundreds of pages and five 10Best awards to Ford’s second-most-iconic automobile (after the Model T, of course). A quick perusal of our archives unearthed no fewer than 143 stories on the Mustang, including 32 comparison tests, 22 road tests, and dozens more news items, previews, and auto show stories during which we wax about its distinctly American take on performance—and barrage readers with an infinite number of horse- and pony-related puns and metaphors. Here on, a quick search of the word “Mustang” returned 199 results at the time of this writing and anniversary coverage will push us over 200, a milestone in itself.

We’ll congratulate ourselves privately for that, but know that Ford is spending the weekend dancing in the streets, corralling Mustangs and Mustang lovers alike in numerous locations from Dearborn, Michigan, to Buena Park, California. The biggest party is being thrown by Ford Motor Company and the Mustang Club of America in Birmingham, Alabama. Wanna go? Check out for more info.

My, How You’ve Grown

Of course, the Mustang has evolved massively since its first showing at the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Now in its fifth generation, the current vehicle looks more like the original than any Mustang since, well, the original. However, it goes faster, turns better, and is more comfortable, safer, and far better equipped than any previous Stang. Still, through the years, many Mustang qualities have remained constant: it has always been one of the most stylish American cars (save the Mustang II); it has appealed equally to men and women alike; and it has been generally successful in bringing automotive muscle to the masses.

Of course, the modern Mustang faces its stiffest competition ever now that the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are back from the grave. But with fuel-economy concerns and economic woes dominating the headlines, we’re fearful this competition may not last very long. And so we join Ford and the rest of the automotive community in wishing a big Happy Birthday to the amazing Mustang.

Monday, April 16, 2018


I have to say this Archbishop is very clear, unambiguous and his solutions most welcomed. Rome should follow suit!

The Maronite Church: Stop the online “doctrinal brawls”

A document signed by Patriarch Béchara Raï tries to curb the controversy and personal attacks unleashed over some aspects of the Church’s doctrine and teachings. A rampant phenomenon that even Pope Francis takes into consideration in his Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et exsultate”
The Maronite Patriarch Béchara Raï

Pubblicato il 16/04/2018
Ultima modifica il 16/04/2018 alle ore 14:35
Intra-ecclesial online brawls on doctrinal matters are now spreading among Christians in the East. A drift that the Maronite Church is now trying to counter with a singular initiative: a doctrinal handbook, with pastoral instructions, which paradoxically is directed not to those who approach Christianity for the first time, but to all those - priests, religious, self-proclaimed experts and “insiders”, internet “gurus”, and lay “militants” belonging some ecclesial acronym or gang - who on traditional media and social networks are turning the contents of the Catholic faith into a relentless battlefield. 

The document, signed by the Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, is entitled “The truth that liberates and unites”: it was released on Monday 9 April, and presented as a doctrinal compendium to which all those who speak or debate on questions and issues concerning the Catholic faith and the teaching of the Church must adhere. 

One of the declared objectives of the patriarchal pronouncement is to neutralize the spiral of controversy, personal attacks, poisonous doctrinal accusations launched against priests, bishops through small virtual doctrinal tribunals that are now multiplying even in the Maronite blogosphere, often using fake social media accounts. The patriarchal text tries to “set things straight” by claiming the magisterial function of ecclesiastical authority, represented “in the person of the Patriarch and the bishops”. The document calls on members of the clergy and religious communities to deal with doctrinal and ethical issues in the media only after obtaining the authorization of their own bishop or superior; it reminds all “web communicators” the canonical dispositions that would eventually affect those who misuse the media to transmit ideas and contents that are not compatible with the teaching of the Church, or those who slander others by acting far from any spirit of “fraternal correction”.  

The trolling inquisitors  
The case of Ramzi Jreige was the tip of this alarming iceberg of these emerging “virtual pulpits” exploited to strike attacks on doctrinal matters. Jreige was a priest who got targeted with heavy accusations after he had broadcasted an episode on Marian devotion on his own tv show on a network not linked to the Church. The internet swarms with videos against bishops, while around single figures - who claim themselves guarantors of doctrinal orthodoxy - small “online churches” made up of fanatical followers are joining together to hunt down heretics and “enemies”. 

The doctrinal Handbook  
As the Maronite bishops realized that the ferocity of the attacks online along with the endless controversy on doctrinal issues was sowing confusion and bewilderment among the baptized, many faithful have turned to the Patriarch and the bishops to ask for action, which took form in the six chapters document, a sort of doctrinal “handbook” aimed at proposing anew the official teaching of the Church on the issues and themes most often used as a pretext to fuel intra-ecclesial brawls and ad personam attacks on social media.  

The list of topics covered by the patriarchal document is more than eloquent. Among other things, the Patriarch is called to clarify and repeat that the divine public Revelation was fully accomplished with Jesus and is considered to have ended with the death of the last of the Apostles, and that private revelations do not add content to the Depositum fideiThe Patriarch reiterates that the truths of faith are not subject to revision and correction in their content because they are based on divine Revelation, but at the same time the Holy Spirit enlightens the Church and guides her in deepening her knowledge of the Mystery. About Hell, the Patriarch echoes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes it as a “state” of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God, and not a physical place; he also repeats that the Church rejects the Apocatastasis doctrine, according to which at the end of time, all creatures, including Satan, will be reintegrated into the fullness of the divine. On the worshipping of Mother Mary and the saints, the document repeats that their intercession is based on the sole mediation of Christ, the one and only Saviour. And regarding the devil, chapter V of the document rejects the theories and conceptions that attribute him absolute power over the world, arriving at conceiving him as a “bad divinity” capable of competing with the omnipotence of God. The document also calls for sobriety and moderation in the prayers and healing rites, recalling that exorcism practices must also be carried out under the supervision of the bishop, avoiding every kind of media spectacularization. 

Pastoral instructions  
In Chapter VI, the one containing pastoral indications, the Maronite Patriarch reaffirms that those who use social media, writings, teaching and any other activity to spread content incompatible with the doctrine of the Church are sinning against Christ, “who taught the truth and handed it over to the Church”. In this regard, the document reiterates that under “Church laws and special Maronite law”, members of diocesan and religious clergy who wish to use the media to present programs or deal with matters of faith must obtain special permission from the bishops of their dioceses and superiors.  

Global contamination  
Already in June 2017, during their annual synod - as Fides Agency reports - the Maronite bishops had requested the drafting of a theological-pastoral compendium that would also serve as a reference tool to attempt to regulate online disputes over doctrinal issues. On that occasion, Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï denounced the weakening of the “theological, dogmatic and spiritual preparation” of the clergy, which he linked to the phenomenon of priests committed to self-applauding for their presence on the media. 

It is still too early to measure the effects of the Maronite Patriarchate’ initiative taken in an attempt to counter the fierce controversy and personal attacks that loom over the ecclesial environment. Most certainly the pastoral concern and critical approach expressed in the document echo some of the considerations expressed in Gaudete et exsultate, Pope Francis’ last Apostolic Exhortation, “Christians too “ the Bishop of Rome writes in the text he signed last March 19 “can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned”. Thus - the Pope adds - “ people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others”. While it would be appropriate to keep in mind, especially within the Church, that “ It is not good when we look down on others like heartless judges, lording it over them and always trying to teach them lessons “.