What is urgent is the evangelization of a world that not only does not know the basic aspects of Christian dogma, but in great part has lost even the memory of the cultural elements of Christianity.

                          Pope John Paul II

Boston Catholic Journal

I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.

                          Pope Benedict XVI


Suggested Reading:

The Problem
of Evil

The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America

Boston Catholic Journal

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Boston Catholic Journal

Today's Martyrology

Welcome Home to the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church

Welcome Home ... to the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church

 “As the purpose of the Church is a purely religious one, she has in herself (per se) no political, economic, social and profane cultural tasks to perform. *



Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Picture source: http://www.c-span.org/video/?328699-1/hillary-clinton-testimony-house-select-committee-benghazi-part-1


“… deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” (click to listen)

(Democratic Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton, April 24, 2015 at the Women in the World Summit in New York City 2015)


How is that, Hillary? If they “have to be changed”, how will that be done?

Will you set up a commission to re-write the Bible?

Or will you ban it as “hate-speech”?

Will you push for an amendment to the Constitution to nullify the First Amendment which prohibits “impeding the free exercise of religion” together with the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

Will you deploy the National Guard to empty churches?

Outlaw religious gatherings?


The Democrat’s Deity

Unlike your infamous predecessor who declared that it was “above his pay grade” when demurring from answering a deeply ethical question concerning abortion, you have no such hesitation. After all, only a god can re-write or revise a religion … and since you are necessitating such a change, the inference is inescapable, isn’t it?

If your platform is to change religious beliefs — and you ardently wish to; indeed, will strive to— what else are you willing to change in lesser matters concerning the laws governing this country?

And, O, yes, the rights once “enshrined” within it? It is, after all, a far easier endeavor for an apparent goddess who is greater, wiser, more enlightened and more compassionate than the True and Living God that you have replaced… to change mere laws than to change the content of religion. Yes?

Indeed, how do you propose to change the conscience of a people or a nation to accord with your own vision of what we should believe “according to Hillary”?

Perhaps start with classrooms? The earliest grades possible! Yes! By Executive Order you can mandate the teaching of atheism — (although, in all honesty, atheism is a religion, as well) to our children much as Stalin mandated the schooling of children in his own atheistic “Party” ideology (although that did not work, did it?).

You can outlaw the teaching of religion in the home!

You can even send in the police to confiscate Bibles and religious literature, and like Hitler have them burned to purify your own ideology of any dissidence (you even have company in Saudi Arabia and other strict Muslim countries who have Religious Police and do precisely that … but then, they are doing it in the name of Islam, a religion, so maybe the analogy is not altogether appropriate).

How can you set yourself up against God (the greatest good) and anticipate a good outcome?

Tell me, Hillary, who was the first to set himself up against God (hint: non serviam!) and what do we call him? You are not original. You are not even a good counterfeit.

But someone has to break it to you, Hillary: you are not God.

In many ways you are much closer to His enemy … and ours.

Boston Catholic Journal

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The Perpetual Authority of the Latin Mass

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

What part of the word Forever do we no longer understand?



(Pope St. Pius V - July 14, 1570)


On the third day of April 1969 the temporal concept of forever was astonishingly and arbitrarily quantified by Pope Paul VI — much to the perplexity of historians and physicists — as 399 years—  or to be precise, 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days.

On that day Pope Paul tampered with time and eternity by expurgating or otherwise expunging the ancient Latin rite of the Mass known as Quo Primum— which unambiguously states that this present Constitution … will be valid henceforth, now, and forever— and replacing it, by a tour de force, with his own Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, otherwise known as the Novus Ordo, or The New Mass.

This does not mean, of course, that Pope Paul VI explicitly stated that:

“Henceforth the word, the concept, and the notion of forever now — as of this third day of April 1969 — only means 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days.”

However — and this is vital to understand — it is the inescapable logical consequence of replacing the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum — which unambiguously states that the Tridentine Mass (as we have come to call it) is, and always will be, the only valid Mass, incapable of being altered, modified, or changed in any way by any person whomsoever — “henceforth, now, and forever”.

Pretty clear, yes?

But this unalterable Mass had, in fact, been superseded by the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order Mass) following Vatican II, despite the fact that Quo Primum was to be in force “forever” and in no way “altered”. What was decreed to remain both unalterable and forever … was neither, following Vatican II.

We were left asking ourselves what, in fact, the word “forever” had suddenly come to mean, together with all the ramifications of this re-definition of a clearly understood concept. In other words, if “forever” does not mean “for all time and into eternity” … what, precisely does it mean?

If what is held to be “forever” is abrogated in its intension by the introduction of something that re-defines it in such a way that it is nullified. Why is that?  Simply put,  anything “other than” our understanding of the intensionality of “forever” eo ipso nullifies it, for it must be less and cannot be greater than “forever” as we had always understood the concept “forever”— and what is less is already understood in other temporal terms, in which case the re-definition of “forever” becomes merely redundant of other and already existing temporal concepts such as “now”, “past”, “present”, and “future”.

In other words, if “forever” is in any way abbreviated to something less, then it is determinate and if it is determinate it is quantifiable. In the present case it is reduced to 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days, or the period between Quo Primum (the Latin Mass) in 1570 and its being superseded by Missale Romanum  (Mass in the vernacular) in 1969. What was deemed as binding “forever” in 1570 and the following 400 years was breached by something new (novus) and different in 1969. But how is this possible if what was binding “now, henceforth, and forever” in 1570 was replaced in 1969? How could “forever” come to mean, “only in force for 400 years after which it is susceptible to being abrogated”? Logically such a breach cannot occur without somehow re-defining the concept of “forever”. But this is fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions that make any effort of the sort possible.

Consider the following verse: “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever (St. John 6.51) What do we understand by this? That those who “eat of this bread” shall live for 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days? Of course not. We understand that they shall live forever, for all time into eternity. The word “forever” or “for ever” occurs 472 times in Holy Scripture and it is always spoken of or understood in terms of limitless perpetuity, e.g. “for his mercy endureth forever.” (Ps. 135.20) By what possible warrant can we understand God’s mercy as enduring for a finite quantum of time, say, 160 years, 6 months and two days? In other words, how do we quantify forever? We cannot. It is not a quantifiable sum.

When Saint Paul says of Christ: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same forever”, how are we to hold “yesterday” as meaning, “the day before this present day”, and “today” as “this present day” — but “forever” as meaning “399 years, 9 months, and 11 days”? After that limited duration of time does Christ become something different? Why did Saint Paul not say “Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and for 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days”?

In other words, does the word “forever” in Sacred Scripture, and in ordinary discourse, mean something different than it meant in Quo Primum, and if it does, why just Quo Primum? If we re-define the concept of “forever” it must apply to each and every iteration of it, wherever it occurs, sacred or profane. Are we prepared to do this? Is it even logically possible? In a word, no.

Moreover, we must then ask, what then is the periodicity of the concept “forever” once it acquires a terminus, an end — and what is more, and of far greater importance, what lies beyond it? If it is merely the most extensive temporal concept in an array of other lesser, but equally determinate temporal concepts, then its durability is finite — notwithstanding that the notion of time itself is indefinite (for being discretely, and however arbitrarily enumerated, it is at least conceptually infinite by mere addition). As Saint Augustine pointed out in broaching the concept of eternity (in which there is no time as we understand it) it is pointless to ask “what preceded eternity?” for the notion of precedence is itself a temporal notion, and to ask “what preceded eternity?” (in which there is no time) is to ask “what preceded time before there was no time.” We are now asking, “what succeeds forever when “forever” as a determinate time frame expires?” What do we call it? Can we concatenate a series of “forevers” indefinitely? And if we do, what shall we call it? Forever? We cannot — for “forever”, as we had said, has become a determinate time frame following the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of Vatican II. Perhaps you begin to see the inconsistency, the absurdity really, of tampering with the notion of “forever”.

Even if we argue that the Pope has the authority and the ability to re-define and abbreviate the notion of “forever” by invoking Christ’s pronouncement to Saint Peter: “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in Heaven” (St. Mat. 18.18), we still have not circumvented the problem. Heaven itself is the paradigm par excellence of “forever” (and so, too, is Hell). Time and logic are not in the arena of “Faith and Morals” in which alone the Pope is competent and infallible. (Nor, incidentally is economics). Even if a pope repeals a former pope’s Apostolic Constitution, he cannot repeal logic nor re-define the intensionality of a concept, in this case “forever”. To say that St. Pius V did not “intend” to use “forever” in the way we, and all our predecessors understood it, is absolutely without warrant or justification. 1 He meant that The Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum would be binding forever. If not, why the severest admonition at the end of Quo Primum?

 “Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Further consider the force, extent, clarity, and absolute perpetuity of the following twelve excerpts from Quo Primum:

  • It is most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass

  • This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever

  • This new rite alone is to be used

  • This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

  • This present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever

  • "Nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it

  • We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us

  • They must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal

  • This Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used.

  • This present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retain its full force

  • The Missal [must] be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors

  • Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Since Vatican II, however,
forever, it appears, has a terminus after all ... and does not mean ... well ... forever … at least in the reinterpreted and novel concept of time enunciated by Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum — which abolished, or more properly expurgated the notion of “forever” to accommodate changes that could not be reconciled with that concept. Quo Primum leaves absolutely no room for ambiguity as you will see in the document itself which accompanies this article. If the proposal on the table is in open conflict with the concept of “forever”, then one must go: the proposal or “forever”. Paul VI opted for the latter. It must either be redefined or abolished. He did both.

From a purely philosophical point of view, this quantification of the temporal category that we understand as "forever" poses not simply significant, but insuperable problems in any discussion concerning the nature of any conceivable temporal discourse. Let us look at a few instances.

If forever" does not mean uninterrupted continuity without end", then by that same logic it simultaneously and necessarily abrogates every other temporal permutation:

  • Never does not mean at no time — either in the past, the present or the future.

  • Now does not mean at this moment or in this present time

  • Before no longer means preceding or anteceding the present

  • And by the Past we no longer understand what had preceded the present

Altering the connotation or intension of any of these five categories (forever, never, now, before, past — but especially forever), not simply alters, but abolishes the connotation or meaning of each and all of them.

Consider the following diametrically polar concepts of temporal permutations which — if forever no longer means absolute perpetuity — no longer connote, or mean, what we had erstwhile understood them to mean in the temporal ordering of any state of affairs:

  • FOREVER / never, periodicity

  • NOW / before or after

  • PRESENT / past, future, soon

  • EARLY / late

  • OLD / new

  • MODERN / ancient

  • FIRST / last, second, third, etc. (i.e. a series) — also, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century, millennium, etc.

  • ETERNAL / temporal

As we see, quite a bit follows from "forever no longer being understood as forever but rather, as 399 years at which time "forever expires.

We must understand that the term forever subsumes all the temporal categories and inflections under it, all of which are determinate and finite extensions of time relative only to forever" (for all time and into eternity) which had erstwhile been understood as indefinite and indeterminate — as so many parts, or segments, if you will, of an infinitely extensive concept (forever) that is indeterminate by definition.

In a word, if forever is arbitrarily determined as a finite quantum, all that it subsumed beneath it and understood relative to it is also susceptible to arbitrary determination and we can no longer coherently enter into temporal discourse of any kind that presumes to bind any state of affairs to a determinate referent in time. A week, or month, for example, is only what we arbitrarily understand it to be according to our purpose at hand.

The implications of implicitly redefining the temporal concept of "forever" are enormous. Think of it. They pertain, according to the canons of reason, not only to the simplest geometric concept of a line (A line has only one dimension: length. It continues forever in two directions.), but to the trajectory, and ultimately, the destiny of the human soul according to the most fundamental notions of Christian doctrine: the eternity of God and the immortality of the soul.


"Now" as 3-minutes-27-seconds

Let us look at this more closely. If, by a pure fiat, we are no longer to understand "now" as "the present moment", but a duration of "3 minutes and 27 seconds" — what follows? Indeed, can we even ask the question, what follows? since following is a temporal concept meaning occurring after the present moment, or now”.

What happened in the intervening 3-minutes-27-seconds ?

How do we understand that 3-minutes-27-seconds vacuum? We cannot say that it did not exist, or that what occurred within it did not occur — nor is it possible that nothing occurred within it. Such an assertion accords with neither reason nor experience. In the 3-minutes-27-seconds that intervenes between the present now and the next now (3-minutes-27-seconds later) what do we say of what we did or what had happened in that time frame? Whatever it was, it did not occur in a now, but in the hiatus between 2 successive 3-minute-27-seconds nows.

When then did it occur? We do not have the apparatus to determine this, for we have created a false and illogical time narrative that involves not just inconsistencies but contradictions. By interjecting 3-minutes-27-seconds between successive “nows” we have superseded the model of time and, of course, of the notion of a clock which was ticking between, and enumerating those 3-minutes-27-second “nows”.

Before as 2-minutes-17-seconds

What logically holds true for the concept “now” equally holds true for every other category of re-interpreted time. If, for example, we reinterpret “before” as preceding “now” by 2-minutes-17-seconds, we face the same conundrum. It devolves through every other permuation of re-interpreted time until we can have no coherent discourse or discussion involving temporal characteristics. This is to say that we cannot have a discussion in which anything is spoken, for “spoken” is the past tense of the present tense “speak”. In a word, all discourse is inescapably temporal. It occurs or had occurred or will occur.

We cannot say a lot in 2-minutes-17-seconds which, by this reasoning, would qualify it as speaking “now”. Moreover, when the 2-minutes-17-seconds are up, how are they differentiated from the “following” or “previous” 2-minutes-17-seconds? Is there a hiatus between the “previous” 2-minutes-17-seconds and the “following” 2-minutes-17-seconds? What is its duration? And what can — for something must — occur within it? How then, shall we speak of it?

Once specific determinacy is predicated of temporal concepts they lose all coherence.

 You may say, “Well, a clock enumerates 60 seconds for each minute and 60 minutes for each hour, and so on — so there is a specific and determinate time frame.” Yes … for atomic clocks and the like (which are arbitrarily and artificially divided to begin with — why, for example, 60 seconds for a minute and not 136, and what is the specific duration of a second that is not already arbitrarily based on the present caesium model (The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom. The International System of Units ) that is in itself a qualified model. 2 Would the same numeric values hold true if the model were based on barium?) In other words, this may hold true for certain atomic clocks, but not for concepts.


Quo Primum and the indefeasible Concept of Forever

All this has been a rather long and roundabout way of demonstrating the most important fact that pertains to Catholics: that “forever” as it pertains to time is not a finite quantum, but means, as it has always meant, and will always be understood to mean: "uninterrupted continuity without end". This pertains to Heaven and it pertains to Hell. Therefore it intrinsically pertains to Christian Doctrine. If either Heaven or Hell are merely 399 years, 9 months, and 11 days, the question naturally arises: what happens after that? As we see ,we cannot escape the notion of “forever” without logical inconsistency — and if Quo Primum states “forever” concerning the way we celebrate Mass, it was a definitive, unambiguous, and unimpeachable statement that clarified, once and for all, the manner in which the Mass was, is, and always will be celebrated — forever.

Even popes cannot change the nature of time and the consistency of logic. Quo Primum and the traditional Latin Mass prior to its enervation (or evisceration: you choose, for both apply) following Vatican II, remains binding upon all Catholics (read Quo primum which follows) — forever. It is inescapable. Pope Saint Pius V forever bound every successor to the Chair of Peter to it, together with every Catholic.

The extremely frightening question that follows is ineluctable: what does this mean concerning the validity of virtually every Mass “celebrated” since Vatican II? If we can prescind from an authentic Apostolic Constitution that binds us forever to the Mass as it was celebrated prior to 1962, from what else are we prepared to illicitly dispense with in the way of the Deposit of the Faith and authentic historical Catholic dogma? We already see it unfolding before us, especially under the papacy of Francis among those who deplore a “throw away culture” but appear to embrace a “throw away” Church.

 Somewhere in every part of the world the authentic Latin Mass is being celebrated; many under conditions similar to the underground Church in China, and the only difference is that those who police and brutally suppress these recalcitrant congregations outside of atheistic China are the heavy-handed bishops of the Church itself — many of whom appear to have lost the Faith — but not the comfort and perquisites of their office.


1  Despite the purely conjectural assertion by apologists such as Likoudis and Whitehead that, "Quo Primum [was] … not attempting to fix one particular version of the Roman Missal for all time.” And that “the ‘Tridentine Mass’ and the ‘New Order of the Mass’ constitute different versions of the same Missal” — they do not even upon the most cursory reading of both.  The Pope, the Council, and the Mass: Answers to Questions the Traditionalists Have Asked, 1981 and 2006, Emmaus Road Publishing

2  http://www.bipm.org/en/publications/si-brochure/second.html  “The frequencies of all primary frequency standards should therefore be corrected for the shift due to ambient radiation, as stated at the meeting of the Consultative Committee for Time and Frequency in 1999.”


What forever really means:




Pope Pius V Catechism of Trent


From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God's help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God's help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper —  for it is most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass — We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.

Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women — even of military orders — and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.

All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription — except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.

It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore, in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats, payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum impressionem).

Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there. Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at St. Peter’s in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.




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Boston Catholic Journal




The rich man also died and was buried and from the netherworld, where he was in torment ... [he cried out] 'I am suffering torment in these flames. ... warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.'  (Saint Luke 16:19-31)

Dore's Depiction of Hell from the Divine Comedy of Dante Allighieri

It is frighteningly odd. We no longer hear of of Hell ... although we see it leaching into our lives and the lives of those around us everywhere —  it crouches, either feeding on our malice and greed, or lurking in some obscure corner of our lives that shrinks from the light.

Contrary to “progressive” theological speculation, Hell has not been abolished ... nor has its rage abated. Look around you.

Like children fearing to invoke the very evil they fear through merely uttering it, we have somehow convinced ourselves that if we resolutely ignore Hell, it will go away; that if we pretend that there is no such place, then it will become a fiction and therefore we have nothing to fear ... and also nothing to avoid. It is — we are told, and therefore tell ourselves — a quaint vestige of pre-enlightened  and distinctly medieval thought, of long gone days of dismal dogma; in fact a notion abolished after Vatican II as unkind, as severe, and therefore “unworthy of God. This is not true.

But still, we whistle in the dark as we pass a graveyard or a place of darkness fraught with a sense of looming evil. Odd. Very odd.

Despite all that Christ has told us, all that Holy Mother the Church has taught us, we will not hear of it ... we insist on our way. Christ knows this. That is why He gives us the Parable of the Rich Man.1  Do you doubt it?

Ask yourself this: have you ever (that is to say, even once) been to a funeral Mass where the bereaved are not told, indeed, completely assured, that their dead (who, like the rest of the congregation, had apparently never sinned) are already in Heaven smiling down benignly on our obsequies even as we utter them?

The real illusion ... and it is not Hell

It matters not that “the departed were cruel and miserly, utterly indifferent to the poor; that they profited from the pain, misery, sin and degradation of others, caring nothing for God and even less for men — and we know it! We knew it while yet they lived, and were ourselves often keenly aware of their selfishness, their lust, pride, and greed — even their open depravity. Unrepentant to the moment of that clap of thunder that ended the illusion of tomorrow, they went to death as they had lived — and we "celebrate their lives ...  instead of trembling before their death.  In the lowest octave of our “celebration we instinctively discern a deeply dissonant note that is discordant with our carefully revised narrative. It is deeper than the human voice, and more ancient still. We know that we “celebrate" a fiction of our own making to dispel the remorseless truth that stirs uneasily within us: that Heaven alone is not, after all, the abode of all our dead; that we have something to deeply lament, rather than celebrate; in fact something to fear rather than to rejoice in.

Has the question, let alone the concern, of the deads urgent and utter need for every possible prayer ever once so much as arisen? Are we ever invited, urged, to so much as to pray for our dead? * Are they not in need of our prayers? They were in life, yes? But somehow death appears to have abrogated this necessity. For all practical purposes and appearances, “being dead" is synonymous with "being canonized". The dead, in every aspect of today's liturgy, are, as it were, "by right (and rite ...) — in virtue of the fact that they are dead — already "in the company of the Angels and Saints.

Strangely enough, we acknowledge ourselves to be sinners — if we acknowledge sin at all — but in a remarkable dispensation that quite suddenly becomes concomitant with death, not the recently departed ... who yesterday was “one among us, that is to say, a sinner also. What he needs most the “celebrant carefully contrives to conceal from us: the need of our prayers. One day perhaps this day —  I will need them ... and so will you.

We no longer pray for our dead

Why is this?

Praying for the dead is very closely connected to a sober recognition of the reality of  ... other alternatives than Heaven. Lesser alternatives, frightening alternatives, even everlasting alternatives. We wish to spare our dead either a measure of that privative state of purgation preparatory to Heaven through the suffrage of our prayers, or were it possible, the pains of Hell through an impassioned petition to the Judge.2 In any event, the outcome at least admits of doubt in terms of clearly distinguishable consignments.

Monuments and mirrors

For many years we could find the following inscribed on tombstones both in Europe and America:

Fui quod sis, Sum quod eris (As you are, I once was; as I am you shall be)

It was as much a reminder of the brevity of this life as an admonition to live our lives in recognition of realities that we cannot avoid, minimize, or simply wish away — and that these realities, moreover, will correspond with how we have lived.

If we do not, we have nothing to hope for and nothing to fear. We are not Catholics. We are not even Christians. We are atheists and everything ultimately means nothing. But if we are either, we do —  we  have an abundance of the one or the other: either much to hope for or much to fear.

If we do not, we have nothing to hope for and nothing to fear. If we do, we  have an abundance of the one or the other: either much to hope for or much to fear.

We reject the first option offhand, that is to say, the notion that death brings total extinction. We are ... after all ... Catholics, and that flies in the face of everything Christ said and did.

But neither do we embrace the alternative (of either much to hope for or much to fear), at least in the eschatological terms enunciated by Christ Himself involving death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell.

We cannot have both.

Neither, then — in our preferential and subjective cosmology that accords with neither reason nor revelation — can we have a Heaven and a Hell. So we abolish Hell much in the way that we may succeed in abolishing Mount Aetna by our preferring to say that it is not there, despite persistent and troubling reports that it is.

Dives, the rich man in this parable, would have a decidedly different opinion on the matter — were he present to offer it, but Dives is being ... detained. Indefinitely. Even eternally. Or Christ is a liar.

“Go to my brother”, he would importune us, as he did Abraham. Unfortunately, we ourselves would tell him very much what Abraham told him: “It would be of no avail.

They think you're in Heaven! The priest told them so; he assured them ... remember? They think that you are looking down on them, having no clue that, could you see, all that you would see of them would be the soles of their shoes!

It’s a hell of a situation: Priest, Rabbi, Minister, even their psychologists, are all of one accord: there is no such thing as Hell.

The hell there isn’t!

Ah, the price of constant gratification! Yes, such lies console the bereaved, but are a definite disservice to the dead who stand much in need of prayer and, could they tell you, would be eternally grateful for it.

But even if they did — like the rich man in the parable — you would not believe them either ... would you?


* Of course, during the Mass the names of those who have died recently are, in fact, announced, and a perfunctory prayer is offered for them — but rarely with pleas for mercy since mercy presumes sin ... and the hope of forgiveness by God.


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1  "There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores,

Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man' s table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abrahams bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented.

And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my fathers house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.

And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead. (Saint Luke 16.19-31)

Saint Luke 18.1-8




for Properly Celebrating the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: A Primer for Clueless Catholics

DO NOT DO at Mass  what you would never have done were you standing at the foot of the Cross with Christ visibly before you.

DO at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass what you would have done were you standing before Christ hanging on the Cross in front of you — for at Holy Mass you are at the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross — really and truly.

Had you closed your eyes for a moment while standing immediately before Christ upon the Cross, 
you would be where you are this day at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

DO, then, what you would have done ... and DO NOT DO what you would never have done.

This is the proper disposition of the soul at every single Mass.



Personal Sanctity — all that is left in a World without God


“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me” (St. John 17:9)


The corruption  — on every conceivable level — of the world and in the world — especially in the West (often, and accurately, referred to as the “Post-Christian world”) — is nothing less than staggering. In the last 50 years (since Vatican II) we have encountered unprecedented levels of what can only be called malignant decadence — spiritual, moral, and social. It takes ones breath away.

We have lost God, and as a consequence we have lost not only ourselves, but our very identity often painfully acquired over the last 2000 years. We no longer recognize who we are and what we are. “Progress” and “the perverse” have become synonymous. We have become — for all the wrong reasons — self-loathing: detesting ourselves and the patrimony of a Catholic culture through which our very identity both as individuals and nations had been articulated.

Many hate the Church and a significant element within the Church hates the Church, remaining within Her as a cancer in its host. Western Christian culture is repudiated, ridiculed, and contemned as anachronistic, imperialistic, homophobic, racist, and misogynistic.

 Repudiating the true God as inimical to our passions and perversions, we have made our own gods, and they are many — in fact, as many as we are ourselves. Women are taught  — indoctrinated really — to hate men and everything they deemed “patriarchal”.  Everything that pertains to our loins, or more accurately, the loins of others — especially of the same gender — has supplanted, displaced, and superseded the numinous, anything authentically divine, and most especially, the holy. The very terms have been relegated to the periphery of polite discourse, when not entirely expurgated from it.

The world has fled God into the illusion of a utopian garden that is a desiccated dessert. It is populated by fictions and the rim of the horizon of our desires is the pretension that there is an end called satisfaction instead of an endlessly recursive vanishing point.

We find few paradigms of holiness in this City of Man — sadly, not even among many of our priests, and, sad to say, even fewer among our bishops. To what, then, shall we strive to attain in this increasingly lonely place we call life without Christ? What vision are we presented, and to what end are we called?

Mother Teresa, in an interview some years ago, explained the obvious. Rational persuasion, logical coherence, even the most impassioned homily will not bring a person to conversion, to Christ, and therefore o the Church. One thing only is capable of this monumental task: example; the example of holiness that we encounter in others that becomes the impetus to emulation: we want to be like them. And they are like Christ.

We are sadly lacking in example as Catholics. How often do we feel compelled to say to ourselves, “I want to be like her, like him!” when we observe an act, some instance, of holiness that overwhelms us in its simplicity? What examples, what paradigms, do we confront in our lives in Christ that compel us to holiness?  We must not confuse the exemplary with the popular, nor must we confuse it with carefully orchestrated events intended to inspire us. The exemplary is unrehearsed and has no concomitant agendum that is concealed within it. It is utterly spontaneous! And therefore, we sense, utterly genuine.

What figures in our lives as Catholics attain to this extraordinary state of the exemplary that motivates men and women to imitation?  To what are we exposed that motivates us not to the common and ordinary, but to the uncommon and exemplary? What do we see before us that calls us beyond ourselves and beyond the gray and geometric sterility of the world to what lies beyond it? Where is the differentiation between the Church and the world, the common and the extraordinary, the profane and the sacred? Let us be truthful and acknowledge the obvious: the world has permeated the Church to such an extent that we can no longer coherently differentiate the two except upon the most tenuous of distinctions. Increasingly the agenda of the Church is the agenda of the world. This is not the leaven Christ spoke of. It is the leaven of the world.


Personal Sanctity

First, let us understand this with complete clarity: we cannot attain to sanctity apart from the Church and Her Sacraments. We cannot become holy schismatics, that is to say, apart from the Church which is the Body of Christ. However sterile we have found it since the spurious  and self-promoting euphoria of Vatican II … however trampled the Vineyard and however littered with discarded and never-to-be-revised Roman Missals, Religious habits, Chapel Veils, Priestly collars, Roman Cassocks, kneelers … even the centrality of the Eucharistic Presence of Christ, and an understanding of the Mass as a Sacrifice; however grotesquely crippled and contorted the buildings we call our  “Churches” have become — more redolent of civic auditoriums than Sanctuaries, there … there … abides the Living God, hidden in Tabernacles we often do not see and only find with much difficulty. He is there! However much we shunt Him aside as both an ecumenical and chronological embarrassment, all the litter of what has been discarded cannot conceal Him from us. He beckons us, and even under the most humiliating circumstances, we can look upon Him Who ever looks upon us.

Apart from the Church, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … we can do nothing, become nothing, worthy of the Most Precious Blood poured out for us upon that Altar. To be holy we must be part of the Church for the Church, as we have said, is the Body of Christ, and He Who is the Head of the Body is God Himself. Christ Jesus. God Alone is Holy — and it is  He Who participates His holiness to us that we may be, in the most clear way possible, what we were created to be; what we essentially are, despite the filth of sin that covers it, obscures it, and defaces it: the imago Dei, the image of God Himself!

In this wasteland barren of spires and empty of cloisters, ugly, squat, geometric and concrete, Bauhaus pretensions emerged from the rubble of “clustered” demolished churches (Churches without anyone left to worship in them one of the many “successes” of Vatican II). They are no longer grand structures striving to equal the soaring Faith of men and women in heights contiguous to Heaven itself … but stooped, square, economical structures that could as well be mortuaries (or athletic facilities, commercial structures, municipal offices “functional” things that could, in an instant, reflexively duplicate any of the above in need. 


“Faith Communities”

Indeed, we no longer have “churches” as such but in some paroxysm of needless novelty we now have “Faith Communitiesonly parenthetically “Catholic” lest they offend broad ecumenical sensitivities, for are there not other “Faith Communities” distinct from, if often antithetical, even inimical, to the Catholic Faith? By a “Church” we  immediately understand something quite different from a “Mosque”, a “Synagogue" , a “Temple”, or a “Kingdom Hall”. Understood as a “Faith Community”, a Catholic Church is no different from any of these. In an age of unbridled ecumenism are they any less “Faith Communities” than our own, we implicitly, even necessarily ask, not just minimizing but marginalizing the unique mission and commission of the Church established by Christ upon Saint Peter? If they were established by Muhammed, or Lao Tzu, or Martin Luther, are not such “Faith Communities” equally acceptable to God in the sweeping logic of ecumenism?  If indeed they are, then the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross is emptied of all value and meaning. He died for no reason if every “Faith Community” is the way to salvation. His death was not necessary in the economy of salvation: hence He died needlessly ... even gratuitously. This, of course, is a scandal to the very Gospel He Himself proclaimed. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” 12 But in the malformed logic of ecumenism, even if other “Faith Communities” despise the Triune God of Catholics and hold to other gods, are they not equal expressions of man’s faith and legitimate venues of salvation? In the “correct” atmosphere of post-Vatican II theology, would we dare to assert that they are not? “All roads lead to Rome” … that lead away from Rome  —  and every paradigm of the holy, however contradictory, is deemed legitimate and authentic, and the end of each is the same: Heaven and salvation. Saint, heretic, infidel and atheist alike go to God. The Catholic Church has no corner on salvation. She is now simply one among many, and Christ erred in proclaiming Himself, “the way, and the truth, and the life”, and deceived us in  insisting that, No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.”

We are so damnably democratic … We must “spread our tent pegs”, we are told, to be inclusive of all, even if God is not. The strange thing, however, about “spreading our tent pegs” is that the wider, the more inclusive, the more “horizontal”, they become, the lower the apex of the tent. We achieve the horizontal at the expense of the vertical. We sacrifice the magnificent height to accommodate the factious width. Ask any camper. Even happy ones. Eventually the fabric rips and the structure collapses. Most often in the rain. And in great ruin. The “stitching” did not, could not, hold this multiplicity of opposing forces however benevolent or brainless our intentions.

Accompanying this ecumenical impulse was, necessarily, theological ambiguity. How, otherwise, hope to bring hoped-for consensus out of conflicting doctrines? It is this ambiguity that afflicts pulpit and podium alike in nominally Catholic institutions. In matters of Faith, morals, and doctrine, it is rather like equivocating on geometric postulates or axioms; or in mathematics holding in abeyance quantitative relationships that are otherwise held to necessarily obtain between integers. Much like Dostoyevsky we reach a point where we declare,

“To me that 2+2=4 is sheer insolence. I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.” (Notes from Underground)

This is largely the state of Catholic theology, and, eo ipso, Catholic homiletics. We are no longer I repeat: no longer (for once, and for a very long time we were … prior to Vatican II) certain of just what Holy Mother the Church teaches, given this priest or that theologian and whether it was Wednesday or Thursday. “Officially” She teaches “this”, but depending on the audience She or better yet, and to be fair, Her spokesman in the person of a priest, nun, sister, bishop, pope, or theologian proposes, or at least appears to suggest the contrary or openly rebels against it! For the average Catholic layman or laywoman, they: the bishop, the priest, the Religious, are the consecrated symbols of utter fidelity to the Church, and for that reason it is a scandalous state of affairs.

How then do we live our lives as Catholics — not post-Catholics in a post-Christian world

—as they had been fervently lived for 2000 years prior to the insipid, diffident, confused and eclectic — and at times even implicitly pantheistic  —  impulses and subsequent teachings that emerged from Vatican II, an unnecessary Council which effectively and efficiently tore down the edifice of Catholicism as distinct, distinguishable, and unique? As a way of life? In other words, lacking visible paradigms of sanctity, how do we go about living lives of holiness amid the detritus of so much we once considered sacred and that now litters the ecclesiastical landscape of the Modern Church or the American Church or the European Church — all of which are conflatable into one ecclesiastical body that appears to articulate itself as distinct from the Roman Catholic Church? In practical terms it is an increasingly autonomous body. We see this most strikingly today in Germany.

Shall we go more frequently to Mass?

This is an obvious paradigm from another and past generation. It once was true, but if we are remorselessly candid, it is no longer so.  How often do we go to Mass and leave no more enlightened or fervid than when we had entered? Much of what was distinctively and historically Catholic is no longer there. “God loves you. The weather is great. You are all going to Heaven (and your dog, too). Be nice. Shalom. Go in peace.” If we are honest we cannot leave fast enough.

How about the Sacrament of PenanceConfession

... now called the Rite of Reconciliation practiced face to face in a room with well-appointed and comfortable chairs strangely reminiscent of a psychotherapist’s office? The bulletin indicates that it is only available 45 minutes per week or “by appointment” … as with a “therapist”. Frankly, this is not much of an option, especially since the evisceration of the concept of Mortal Sin (a term no longer in use because no longer applicable) and the paucity of “real” sinners like you and me.

What about a Spiritual Director?

Good luck finding one at all, let alone one who knows and will give you the mind of the Church — rather than currently prevailing spiritual trends. Once again, we effectively encounter,  “God loves you. The weather is great. You are going to Heaven (and your dog, too). Be nice. Shalom. Go in peace.”

Perhaps we Should Go to Medjugorje to listen to the “Seers” of the “Gospa”?

The “Seers”, beginning June 24, 1981 — youngsters then, adults now, some 34 years later — surely have an answer somewhere in the thousands of appearances of the “Gospa” (Mary). 1 Make expensive travel arrangements through them to visit Medjugore (including hotels, meals, and even meeting with one of the “Seers” themselves) and watch your rosary turn into gold! You will hear much of the pronouncements of Vatican II validated by the Mother of God Herself, such as:

Before God all the faiths are identical.  God governs them like a king in his kingdom.” All sufferings are equal in hell; and Mirjana quotes the Gospa as telling her that people begin feeling comfortable in hell. … When the Madonna is asked about the title, “Mediatrix of all graces,” she replies, “I do not dispose of all graces.” 2

Perhaps the “Gospa” will reveal the way of holiness to you, although her track record over the past three decades (and thousands of “appearances”)  has been uniformly dismal in the way of predictions and has led to open schism with the local bishop who insists (with the Church) that the “Gospa” and her six now-not-so-little-confederates are not authentic (yes, despite the organized parish visits, in direct disobedience to the Church, with your local priest you can make a “pilgrimage” to a site condemned as spurious by Rome.)


What then? What is Left?

Personal Sanctity  —  Apart from any organized approach to holiness though the Mass (and the incredibly bad music that is a perpetual distraction from it), or Confession (barely extant), or sound Spiritual Direction (almost universally absent) there is one venue, and one alone that is open to you in these sterile, confused, contradictory, and tepid times in which the Church appears as clear and distinct as a Microsoft hologram: the commitment to personal sanctity guided by the Lives of the Saints, rather than disaffected theologians. “You are surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses”, we are told 3 who have gone before you and have arrived at genuine sanctity, at complete and indissoluble union with God in Heaven. Let them — by their words and by their example — be our teachers who had taught and guided the Church for two millennia.

Personal Sanctity requires effort. You must come to know the mind of the Church and authentic Catholic doctrine and dogma. That is to say, you must be catechized. “But I went to CCD!” you protest. “And what did you learn?” I will ask. “Why did God create you?” And you will have no answer. In a word, you learned nothing despite the expensive, glossy textbooks your parents had to pay for, and which were far, far, more pictorial than substantial. They were … trendy. Empty. Worthless. And even back then, you knew it. Indeed, your CCD teacher knew as much about the Faith as you did. Catechesis has not been an important agendum to your local bishop; even while it should be the most preeminent as that upon which all things subsequent depend.

Immerse yourself in authentic Catholic doctrine  —  and assiduously avoid anything else, even with (or without) an Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat that post-dates 1950.The Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat are no longer any guarantee that what you read is consistent with the mind and historical teachings of the Church. Once they were legitimate stamps of approval as consistent with the Magisterium of the Church, but they have long ceased to be so. Open the first few pages of any ostensibly Catholic book and look for the date of the first printing. This will tell you much in the way of their authenticity and reliability as instruments appropriate for the formation of a Catholic Conscience. If it precedes 1950, politely put it down despite the rave reviews of any nominally Catholic source, to say nothing of any secular source.

In a famous line from the movie “The Exorcist” (based on fact) by William Peter Blatty, the elderly Father Merrin warns the much younger Father Karras who is suffering a crisis of Faith that, “He is a liar, the demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien. And powerful. So don't listen, remember that, do not listen.”

By and large, Catholic literature dealing with matters of Faith, Morals, Doctrine, and Dogma — either as pamphlets or scholarly tomes had been, prior to 1950,  carefully vetted by competent and faithful Catholic theologians, priests, or bishops. They are credible sources and remain so, although many have fallen out of print — not from desuetude but as inconsistent with present and “popular” Catholic thought, often percolated through Rogerian psychology.

The famous library at Alexandria 4 in classical antiquity was burned by the Muslims in 642 in an effort to destroy any book incompatible with the Quran.“ Modern” Catholic theology and literature has engaged in a similar enterprise. Many of the greatest books in Catholic literature are now only available on-line or through small publishing houses committed to preserving genuine Catholic teaching.

Apart from this treasury of 2000 years of Catholic teaching we are left with incomplete, contradictory, and confusing doctrines, not of the Church, but of dissident and disaffected theologians, priests, and would-be “priestesses” who, in today's “inclusive” seminaries are the instructors (the role models?) of what few candidates to the priesthood we have left following their decimation by homosexual clerics. Richard McBrien, Hans Kung, and Teilhard de Chardin  — all voluble and nominally Catholic writers  — two were collarless priests — are among the most eminent examples of this theological dissidence, confusion, fiction, and heresy. In their writings we are presented with a mixture of some truth (to entice us) and many lies (to confuse us) reminiscent of the stratagems of the demon in Blatty’s, The Exorcist. Where is a Catholic to go to re-acquire an authentic Catholic identity consistent with the Church and the Saints for 2000 years?


Grayscale Memories

Many of us have them. We cleave to them as to invaluable possessions, for they introduced us to an awareness of the holy and of places other than Earth; to a belief in things more profound than venal democratic institutions and more enduring than perverse social issues. They opened the vista to things eternal and resplendent in glory, to things holy that the world could not possibly sully and debase because of the ontological distance that separated them, a distance as great as sanctity from sin. They are in carefully kept albums from a time of innocence, and inscribed in the Family Bible placed beside a statue of Mary the Mother of God. They are indelibly impressed in our memories; our First Holy Communions, May Processions, the Baptisms of our children, and on the memorial cards of those we love and who now live, please God, in a place called Paradise, forever beyond this jaded Earth.


So How do We Get Back?

A soul at a time, beginning with our own.

Let us look at a few fundamental concepts with which we ought to familiarize ourselves if we are committed to persevere to Personal Sanctity. Once we have acquired these we have the tools through which to articulate our own lives, whatever our vocation in life, to accord with the mind of Christ and the mind of the Church in matters dealing with the Faith, the Faith that has been faithfully transmitted to us through the Deposit of Faith, for what we are striving toward is nothing less than Exemplary Holiness which itself is nothing more than Personal Sanctity.

      Devotion to Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar:

We recognize that HE is there, REALLY and TRULY, in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This is the character of exemplary Catholicism: the recognition of God Himself in the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity really and truly present to us in the Tabernacle. Without His Presence, without Him, the building we call a Church is nothing but a meaningless and empty edifice. He is there! And He awaits you. Anytime of the day or night. For the most part He is left alone and unrecognized. We do not kneel before Him, but have the hubris to stand as before an equal! Is that how you will approach Him in the Last Judgment? We do not have the humility to genuflect when we pass before Him, acknowledging Him … and yet we would not dare pass a mere man we know without greeting him with some gesture of recognition …

Frequent, but Discerning Reception of Holy Communion:

You are familiar with the spectacle of  everyone going to Holy Communion as though there were no sinners in the pews.  This indiscriminate partaking of the Bread of Angels with no Examination of Conscience prior to approaching Christ in Holy Communion is itself a Mortal Sin if one is aware of an unconfessed Mortal sinned that has not been absolved in the Tribunal of Penance (Holy Confession). In the state of Mortal Sin and not sufficiently cognizant of the true and real Presence of Christ in the sacred species of Holy Communion, it is an act of blasphemy and therefore the death of the soul in conspectu Dei (in the sight of God), for Saint Paul is very clear: “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” 5 Most often, apart from ignorance, the source of this sin is the Capital Sin of Pride which refuses to constrain us to conspicuously remain in the pews in recognition of his unworthiness, through Mortal Sin, to receive Holy Communion — when everyone else is.

Recognition of the real Distinction between Venial Sins and Mortal Sins:

This is not the venue of a discussion of the distinction between Mortal and Venial Sin. Suffice it to say that a Mortal Sin must contain all three of the following: (1) the matter of the sin must be serious, (2) one wills to commit the sin, and (3) one commits the Mortal Sin. A Venial Sin is not serious in nature, is committed without a full understanding of the detrimental nature of the sin, and/or is not committed with the total consent of the will. Venial sins do not preclude participation in Holy Communion. Mortal Sins do.

Devotion to Mary:

One preeminent hallmark of Catholic piety is the love of Mary, Mother of God. Devotion to Mary is the sine qua non of the fully lived Catholic life. Her place in the economy of salvation is absolutely singular: she alone gave flesh (her flesh) to the Word Incarnate. Hence “every generation shall call me blessed” 6 She is our Mother. 7

Recognition of the Reality of Heaven and Hell

It is the Sin of Presumption to assume that, as a matter of course, we will go to Heaven and stand before the Beatific Vision of God eternally. Even Saint Paul worked out his salvation “with fear and trembling.” 8 Despite the total absence and silence at the pulpit of any mention of Hell, it is quite real and many go there. 9

Recalling The Four Final Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell

In many old graveyards you will find the following inscribed upon many humble markers: “Sum quod eris, fui quod sis” — essentially, “As you are I once was, as I am you will one day be.” Understand your mortality, recognize the inevitable, and act accordingly. Remember the distinction between “life” and “life everlasting” … however it will be lived in Heaven or Hell. Have always before you the Last Four Things that will surely come to pass instead of the present “popular” things in vogue with a Church that has become heavily feminized in every aspect of its “Liturgy” and social teachings.

Never Pass a Church without recognizing Christ within:

“Gloria tibi, Domine!”
(Glory to You, Lord!), or “Laus tibi, Domine” (Praise to You, Lord!). A devout Catholic always makes some sign of recognition of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar when he passes a Church. This is accompanied by tracing the Sign of the Cross on our forehead or over our heart. When this becomes instinctual (as it had been prior to Vatican II) it will assist us in recognizing Who abides there and for what reason. It is the instinctive call to holiness.

Receive Holy Communion on your Knees

Remarkably, this is no longer the norm in modern Novus Ordo Masses. Saint Francis himself, it is said, refused Holy Orders (becoming a priest) because he did not think himself worthy to hold the Sacred Body of Christ in his hands. You may be reproached by the priest in your parish for not following the “approved posture” adopted by the USCCB. As Saint Peter responded to those who discouraged his preaching the Gospel, “Is it better to obey God, or men?” 10 For 2000 years Holy Communion was received this way, and nowhere in the documents of Vatican II does it suggest otherwise. Would you approach Christ in less an attitude of humility and adoration? Think of it: would you just saunter up to Him (as most do), shake His hand, and go your way  — if you saw Him with your living eyes? You would fall on your knees and you know it! Do not fear being scorned for what others may consider your “sanctimony”. It is Christ Himself you kneel before! What thought of anyone else should occupy your mind? What of their derision? What of their thoughts of you? Would it matter, does it matter, when you kneel before Jesus Christ your Lord, your God? The very Angels do! (Heb.1.6) Will you do less?

Honor the Saints and the Company of Martyrs

They, not your Parish Council, are your  faithful and eternal friends. If they are no longer honored in the present Martyrology, honor them still, and invoke their aid and protection. Remain in their company, the Company of Martyrs who behold the face of God in Heaven. It is the Company to which you are called! It is the Company of the few who paid the supreme price to enter it! And you are called there, too ... Read about them and learn what genuine Faith impelled them to, heedless of their sufferings and the mockery of those about them. Honor them by imitating them ... not the “entertainers” at Mass, either within the Sanctuary or standing in a “Music Ministry” beside it, demanding your applause. Applause ... at the foot of the Cross? Do you not know where you are — and would you applaud the crucifixion of Christ? You are not at a mere Meal or a Fellowship gathering ... but at a Sacrifice — and the Blood is on the Altar!

Christ Himself promised us that the very Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. And yes, the Church, as we limply excuse ourselves, is “made up of sinners.” But it is also made up of saints. That is our universal vocation: to be nothing less than saints, whatever our earthly vocation. But we are not saints yet. As Saint Francis famously said, “Let us begin. For up to now we have done nothing.” Do not be afraid of sanctity. It is the very character of the image in which you have been created.

Whatever the Church now suffers on earth it has suffered before, if not on so vast a scale. And that is precisely why your call to sanctity is so vital. You must pursue the sanctity that the Church at present appears to have lost, or spurns as too onerous … too “other-worldly” in this Age of Man. You must be the sign of contradiction that is the Sign of the Cross, and Him Who was crucified upon it for you. You must be in the world but not of the world, for Saint John warns us,

“Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.”  11

Spurn the world — and the empty love and praise of the world! Keep all that is holy before you and this day begin to dwell already in the Mansion prepared for you by Christ before the foundation of the world.


Boston Catholic Journal


1 See http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/medjugorje-private-revelation-and-the-seer-ing-truth.htm,
2  http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-devil-and-medjugorje
3  Hebrews 12.1
4  “In AD 642, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim army of Amr ibn al `Aas. Several later Arabic sources describe the library's destruction by the order of Caliph Omar. Bar-Hebraeus, writing in the 13th century, quotes Omar as saying to Yaḥyā al-Naḥwī: “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them.” Later scholars are skeptical of these stories, given the range of time that had passed before they were written down and the political motivations of the various writers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria 
5  I Cor. 11.29
6   St. Luke 1.48
7  St. John 19.26
 Philippians 2.12, 2 Cor. 13.15.
9  St. Mat. 7.13
10 Acts 5.29
11 1 John 2.15-17
12  St. John 14.6

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Note: An invaluable source for historically authentic Catholic teaching including the writings of the Church Fathers can be found at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/  and http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/

The indispensible Baltimore Catechism  — universally used by the Catholic Church until it was discontinued following Vatican II can be found (and downloaded as a PDF) at: http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/baltimore_catechism.pdf . It presents a clear, concise, and readily understandable presentation of our Holy Catholic Faith. We encourage you to explore it.



 “What is Holiness?”

Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of the will to the will of God.


Archbishop Fulton Sheen

If you listen to no other homily on being a Catholic and your obligation to love God and your neighbor ... listen   to this: The Law of Love by Venerable Servant of God Fulton Sheen


* “As the purpose of the Church is a purely religious one, she has in herself (per se) no political, economic, social and profane cultural tasks to perform.” Ludwig Ott, 1952, The Purpose of the Church 3.2, p. 275  —  the de facto standard reference work on Dogmatics


Complete Roman Martyrology in English

The Complete Martyrology in


for Daily Reflection

Semen est sanguis Christianorum— The blood of Christians is the seed [of the Church], Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50



Wednesday November 25th  in the year of Grace 2015

Season after Pentecost

This Day, the Twenty-Fifth Day of November

The birthday of St. Catharine, virgin and martyr, under the emperor Maximinus. For the confession of the Christian faith, she was cast into prison at Alexandria, and afterwards endured a long scourging with whips garnished with metal, and finally ended her martyrdom by decapitation. Her body was miraculously conveyed by angels to Mount Sinai, where pious veneration is paid to it by a great concourse of Christians.

At Rome, St. Moses, priest and martyr, who, with others detained in prison, was often consoled by the letters of St. Cyprian. After he had withstood with unbending courage not only the Gentiles, but also the Novatian schismatics and heretics, he was finally, in the persecution of Decius, crowned with a martyrdom which fills the mind with admiration, according to the words of Pope St. Cornelius.

At Antioch, St. Erasmus, martyr.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, St. Mercury, soldier, who vanquished the barbarians and triumphed over the cruelty of Decius through the protection of his guardian angel. Finally, having acquired great glory from his sufferings, he was crowned with martyrdom and went to reign forever in Heaven.

In Aemilia, a province of Italy, St. Jucunda, virgin.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. (“All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us”, from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.


Roman Martyrology by Month

January February March April May June
July August September October November December



Why the Martyrs Matter

Each day
we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!).1

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles 2. “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised "De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.



by J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore

THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized. In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and practices what He commands.

If the world has its "Legions of Honor," why should not also the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and women who have been tainted with vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if man, why should not God? Thy friends, O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly exalted. Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on ages.

The wisdom of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated. The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently even than did their words to the men of their own generation, while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into which they have entered still lingers in their bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent utterances.

The Church knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion If other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?

It is a consoling evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country to find the Martyrology here published, for the first time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population. It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to the members of our numerous religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and with great profit, the brief page of each day’s models of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.

Let all, then, procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for us in Heaven!

Imprimatur,  J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916

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1   The Lapsi were early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor, or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution and death, and who later returned to the Faith when persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us, “Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But he that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)

2 St. John 13.15


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