Boston Catholic Journal

“Salus animarum supemus lex esto” — the salvation of souls … must be the supreme law in the Church.” Canon Law (1752)

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

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Today’s Martyrology


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


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

 That understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding
(Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1st Vatican Council, S.3, C.2 on Revelation, 1870 ex cathedra)


We no longer recognize the Catholic Church since Vatican II

Stinging Truth from a Pulpit — but not a Priest

We are not worthy of persecution. We are Christians not worth killing.
Matthew Walsh


The State vs. Frankie

Pope Francis's Face of Mercy

Capo di tutti capi


 “Pope Francis’ sexual abuse prevention summit planned for winter’s end [next year!] in Rome
with the world’s bishops
will apparently not address protections for the demographic found in recent months to be at significant risk from sexual predators in the Church: seminarians.”
Lifesite news


In other words, while the house is on fire and crumbling around us, Francis will schedule yet another ...conference” — next February ... five months away ... to “look into” the issue — rather than address the disaster NOW!



This is nothing less than madness, insanity, irresponsibility, deafness, blindness! I reiterate, it is MADNESS! And if it is not madness, worse still it is complicity.

In the meanwhile, shall we pretend that it is not happening (as we have pretended for over 50 years) until — to our everlasting shame — the arm of the State in the form of Grand Juries and subpoenas forces the Church’s hand to comply with Justice (a Cardinal Virtue, remember?) and turn over to competent authorities what documents they have not yet shredded — but in the ensuing 5 months will have plenty of time to.

If the Church obstinately refuses to punish her own children for crimes, then the State will address what are no less than felons unsparingly — as it should. No one should get a pass, no matter the color of his biretta or the trim of his robe — from priest to pope! Put them right in the slammer — for God’s sake if only to protect the young and innocent. What a parody of the Church: the State must occupy the moral high ground and attempt to justly incarcerate those whom the Church has no manifest intention of defrocking or denouncing as reprobate — and expelling them from the Body of Christ! There are sins that incur automatic excommunication no matter what ecclesiastical office is occupied! That is the interior court of Justice that cannot be escaped and in which there is no plea-bargaining. One may cleverly elude the State, but remains on intimate terms with his guilt — which will exact its tribute. Now or later. With apodictic certainty.

Consider the following:

Pennsylvania: over a thousand children and youths were raped by over 300 homosexual priests. Three hundred! Three hundred! The number is staggering!

MASSACHUSETTS: If the Archdiocese ever comes clean, the numbers in Pennsylvania will pall before the overwhelming predation of children, minors, youths, and young men that has occurred here. Over the years in my own parish (typical Novus Ordo) I knew, over the years, that certain priests were homosexual (the sashaying, lisping, the feminine hand gestures, the many movements we associate with women) and was once even propositioned in the Confessional in a Church the next town over.

One priest at my parish left the priesthood (presumably) to “marry” another priest. I would never have suspected him. Never. And that is scary. No feminine gestures. No clues — which means that you cannot tell — until the hand is on your thigh. At Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton in the late 70’s I attended some “Days of Recollection” for young men considering the priesthood. At once I could sense, see, the femininity of the young men — and more troubling still, the priests themselves who led the “Days of Recollection.” After attending several times I found myself set apart and alone …. marginalized — presumably because it must have been apparent that I was not one of the girls. The atmosphere was permeated by homosexuality … without the merest hint of the “odor of sanctity”.


Saint John’s Seminary was in desperate need of fumigation. It reeked of homosexuality. I considered contacting the Chancery about this openly scandalous state of affairs but had learned that any letter to any bishop was answered politely but dismissively by one of his assistants (who himself may have been homosexual and not particularly sympathetic to any request for addressing the issue.)

Talking with other young men later — who were married and with children — their experience was the same. They chose the vocation to the priesthood but were not allowed to go beyond the pink doors — because they were straight, or worse still, straight and adherent to Church teaching. After much soul-searching they found their vocation elsewhere — just as I did. There were, I found, lots of vocations to the priesthood — but their fidelity and masculinity were an impediment that did not sit well with those who made the decisions. No scent of Lavender? Then the Pink Door slams in your face.

Religious Orders? Fumigate them, too

As I searched and searched for a Religious Order (surely Religious Orders were not infected …) as an External Postulant for the Capuchin Franciscans (who, at the time, had a monastery in Milton) my Vocation Director, a certain Father Matthias, asked me if I believed all that the Church taught. Unhesitatingly I truthfully answered “yes”. WRONG ANSWER! “No”, he replied at once. “We must question.” The Catholic Church? As a philosophy student in graduate school I knew the intricacies of inquiry and the spurious  “imperative” that a scholar — especially in philosophy — accept that nothing is certain (the “doctrine” of nearly every university in America). “That is not good”, Father Matthias continued — as I processed in my mind everything from Saints Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Saint Anselm and a dozen others as we walked. I briefly wondered if I had wandered into a Jesuit retreat house. They, too, lost God after Vatican II. But Father Matthias wore a habit — that more than likely cloaked his disbelief. Jesuits do not and are generally contemptuously unapologetic about it. I thought of a Barren Fig Tree.

But Father Matthias was the one whose skewed and illogical “spirituality” I had to get around if I hoped to make it to the Order’s main monastery in Garrison, NY (now The Garrison Institute for Transformational and Contemplative Ecology — a non-sectarian pseudo-sanitarium dedicated to “The Science of Contemplative Practice and neuroplasticity” where people actually pay to be indoctrinated with “climate change and environmental advocacy, neuro-, behavioral and evolutionary economics, psychology, social networking, policy-making, and investing and social media to work together on ways to shift behavior on a large enough scale to realize substantial emissions reductions.” It’s true.

I never made it to Garrison because God had other plans for me that included a wife and four children — I never looked back.

But now, over my shoulder, and with inexpressible anguish in my heart — I see Rome burning. And Nero fiddling.


Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
September 16, 2018

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Philadelphia as Boston:

A Shameful and Deadly Remix


Father Michael Ascmitz on the sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvani

Do good priests share your outrage?


And THIS is the man Francis hand-picked to address the problem Church-wide?

(Those who ignore warnings probably have a vested interest in ignoring them — and collaborate when the berm is breached. Will it work this time?)

Cardinal O'Malley wkipedia

“We remain shamed by these egregious failures to protect children and those who are vulnerable and affirm our commitment that these failures will never be repeated.” (Cardinal O’Malley of Boston — 16 August 2018)
O’Malley, chairman of Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, faces accusations of ignoring a priest’s letter trying to warn him three years ago about now-disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick”
Boston Herald 28 August 2018



“Failures”?  …“Failures”? ...  I really bristled at this.

What hypocrisy!

What hogwash!

Who can believe that? Who in Boston? In Brighton? On Planet Earth? 

He came here, to Boston, in 2003 — 15 years ago — to “correct” the criminal behavior, the homosexual deviancy that infested the priesthood and raped our children — and especially festered at Saint John’s Seminary where, if you could not pass the Color Pink, you would never see Holy Orders. Why? Because it was the seedbed of the homosexual culture that infiltrated, dominated, shamed, and broke the Church in Boston — and then the rest of the world.

Where do you first look when attempting to uncover widespread crime? How about a Criminal Organization? If it is theft, a gang of thieves! If it is political corruption, the State House and the Legislature!

If it is perversion in the priesthood — how about the seminary?

“Elementary, my dear Watson.”


He came. He saw. He “conquered” — and left Saint John’s Seminary as filthy as it was when he arrived as the Vatican’s “White Knight” in 2003. And now he wishes to “affirm our commitment that these failures will never be repeated” even as he himself now stands in the shadow of complicity.

Did he not say something of that nature 15 years ago?

He is, reportedly, putting together yet ANOTHER ... “PANEL” ... to investigate what was already “investigated” long before.  According to NECN,

Cardinal Sean O’Malley from the Archdiocese of Boston says he’s not able to verify or disprove these allegations, but wants the investigation to start as soon as possible … Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement, The allegations made this week are a source of serious concern to me as Archbishop of Boston.”

He must be scratching his head: “Haven’t I heard something like this before?” As we see, O’Malley is STILL only tentatively scandalized by homosexual predators in the Episcopacy and the priesthood! He is yet — some 15 years after the loathsome scandal broke in Boston — simply “unable to verify or disprove these allegations, you understand.  No, you are not in some parallel dimension. Fifteen years after this nauseating and pandemic putrescence in the Church burst like a vesicle  ... a boil ... from a diseased Body — O'Malley is not yet ready (as Francis famously was not in the priest-bishop-homosexual pedophilia scandal in Chile) to give credence to the such ... allegations ... however many, and however grave the scandal to the Faithful. Perhaps he misunderstood Christ:

But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Saint Matthew 18.6)

Let us offer our clueless Cardinal in absentia … a few clues obvious to most Catholics, but apparently opaque to most cardinals:

Doesn’t a cardinal or bishop have to be a priest first? And do not priests first have to be seminarians? And do not seminarians attend places like Saint John’s Seminary? “Elementary, my dear Watson”.

How about “starting that the beginning”, O’Malley? You know, like the people responsible for admitting candidates to the seminary? And the teachers who instruct them? The bishops who consecrate them? Surely none of them were among the homosexual predators ... too?

You MUST have been there before. It is on Lake Street in Brighton. Of course we know that you share the habits of Francis — who is enamored of you — by living in a simple residence, and maybe you cook your own meals, too? But how about the weightier matters? The Faith? The Flock? Remember them? “The Little Ones” … you remember them, too?

Ask yourself: when was the last time you saw O’Malley? At a photo-op with Francis? You have listened to his “sermons” — mostly monetary appeals — ON RECORDINGS in your parish — in place of a homily embodied in a physical presence?

Did you ever write him about an abuse in your parish? If you did, you never heard from him. You heard from his “secretary” who told you that Father so-and-so was held in O’Malley’s “highest esteem”. In other words, GFY! This is a Catholic Journal so I will not spell it out for you.


O’Malley is the poster boy of all the insincerity we now find in the Church. He talks the talk. He kind of looks the part. But face it, by now it is apparent that he is most likely one of the Old-Boys from the 60’s culture that devastated the Church and has no real intention of correcting a vicious crime. Wasn't he famously brought in 20 years ago to clean this mess up? But it hadn't been “cleaned up”. It festered like a boil until the suppuration (the foul and putrescent pus) finally burst in a scandalously ugly mess that no amount of editorial “sanitizing” could keep the reek away from any sentient being. And you come again to rectify it — a second time?  We suggest that it is time to Lawyer-up, O'Malley!

The horror that emerged from Pennsylvania will teach the hierarchy nothing: 300 priest-homosexual-predators identified (so far) and over 1000 children — not to count the pre-and-post-pubescent, the seminarians, the young adults preyed upon by priest, bishop, and cardinal alike. “Surely the “hierarchy would have acted had it known ...” but the problem was the hierarchy and the systematic cover-up of crimes too horrible, too shameful to stain the pages of any Catholic journal.

Francis — himself now suspect of cover-up should have acted — but could not without indicting himself ... and very likely many of his “closest advisors” like the homosexual apologist and pro LBGT Father James Martin, S.J who Francis invited to speak in Ireland at (of all things) the World meeting of Families about Showing Welcome and Respect in our Parishes for ‘LGBT’ People and their Families while at the same time denouncing “Homophobic pastors”. But that would mean gathering the criminals and clapping them in irons! Who, then … would “man” the emptying churches which, since Vatican II, have been largely emptied of meaning anyway. If this concatenation of absurdities does not point to the End of the World, as some frightfully sober men suggest, it is, at the very least, the End of Sanity in the World — at least the world inhabited by rational Catholics ... whose Warden at the moment is the principal Inmate.

Salus animarum? The Salvation of souls? That is last on the list of O’Malley, just as it is last on the list of Francis. The Beatle’s song “Imagine” invokes two things indispensable to both men from that hallucinogenic era of the 60s: imagine a world of “the brotherhood of man” and “no religion too?” This is the “Post-Conciliar” Church. This is Vatican II. This is Francis — and, apparently, O’Malley.

God? Heaven? Hell? Salvation? All such silliness was stamped out by Vatican II — and both men are eminent products of that “Council” that became the ecclesiastical equivalent of Dresden. Once again O’Malley comes, not as a shepherd, but to collect the ashes of faith, mix them with the tears of the sodomized, and somehow to mold a monument to this crushing horror with the promise, yet again, that “these failures will never be repeated.”

“Failures”?  You call them mere “failures”?  How dare you?!

The rest of us— your “Eminence”—  call them our “Children”.

Vae vobis!


Boston Catholic Journal
September 3, 2018

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Francis as “the Prince”


Francis: The Machiavellian Prince


and the Logical Conclusion of Vatican II



Francis is the logical conclusion of the Second Vatican Council understood as the Assisted Suicide of the ChurchHe is the logical consequent of nearly every flawed statement, every questionable postulate, and every sophistical premise either substantive or implicit, within Vatican II as so many antecedents to a catastrophically spurious argument.  As he himself stated as early as 2013 — but not before a rude  slap in the face to all his predecessors (one still alive: Pope “Emeritus” Benedict):   

“In the interview, Francis denounced the “Vatican-centric” nature of the Holy See administration and acknowledged that popes past had been infatuated with the pomp of the
Vatican and its “courtesans.”
and then:

“He said the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought the church into the modern world, had promised such an opening to people of other faiths and non-believers,
but that the church hadn’t made progress since then.”

He then went further, to make the paradoxical claim that:

I have the humility and ambition to do so,” he said.” 1

In other words, “I, Francis the celebrated, acclaimed, and famously humble and unpretentious — propose to fully actualize all the nonsense embodied in the equally celebrated (albeit spurious) ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ because I alone among all my predecessors have the real humilityand ambition — that they lacked — and the iron will to do so! Bet on it.”


 Let us ponder that for a moment, for it is fraught with significance.

Does a humble man boast of his humility? Of course not, for he sees the contradiction inherent in such a question.

More troubling still is the question: is ambition consonant with humility in a pope?

At the apex of power (at which Francis now sits) ambition can dangerously verge on Machiavellian. As Niccolo observed  in his famous work, The Prince, “Ambition is so powerful a passion in the heart, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.”

How Far?

Machiavelli was a vehement atheist. Francis is an unbridled progressivist (radical liberal).  In both cases, however otherwise divergent, the pressing question appears identical: “How far can I go? What can I get away with? To what extent can I push the limits of this power vested in me? To the point where power prevails over truth?”

These are serious questions, especially as they pertain to the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Has the Church, as Francis insists, really been stagnant for 50 years — until the epiphany of Francis who alone can achieve what Vatican II proposed — because he alone has the humility to accomplish this, coupled with an unbending determination? Is there something disconcerting about this statement? Even contradictory?

What is more, we need only look at the anemic state of the Church following Vatican II:  the dearth of clergy, religious, seminarians — the aging and emptying pews … to see that no such “stagnation” in the Church occurred. To the contrary, prior to Vatican II it was a Church full of vitality in every conceivable metric — and growing exponentially!

To understand how Francis arrives at this spurious conclusion we must first understand that Francis is the quintessential product of a unique generation.  He is among the last of that now dwindling generation (thank God) who themselves were products of the psychotropic culture of the 1960’s — which, in our rear-view mirror — is a now barely visible, and from which we cannot speed away fast enough. It has long begun to fade to fatuity. Most of us have, by now, come to our senses and recognize this.

A Deadly Age

It was a deadly age, a noxious age whose poison still leeches into Western society. At a given stratum it will be percolated through reason, eventually strained of its poison, and become the historical nonsense it was — even if it contaminated so much and so many lives before it was bleached out of our consciousness and finally became innocuous , together with the psychedelic caricature of a reality it had never known. Timothy Leary, et alia, “Turned on, tuned in, dropped out” and in alignment with his not-so-famous literary micropiece “Design for Dying — Dying? Throw a House Party! ” — dropped dead.

The Age of Aquarius and the Psilocybin mushroom are dead and what is left of that sad crop are dying leaves on a withering tree, fretted by songs still strummed by the arthritic hands of the elderly on guitars three times the age of the audience. They are pathetic figures clinging to a youth that betrayed them to an old age that wasn’t supposed to happen in the euphoric Flower Days.

In truth it was a miserable age that opiated America; an age that filled the valleys and made the mountains low — for the coming of the Flower Child who littered it with filth. It was Woodstock after the rain and the music stopped: a wasteland of plastic trash, condoms and roach clips.

The Segue into Vatican II

Same time, same culture, same euphoria, same mantra against inhibition, same contempt for authority, same disdain for absolutes. It was the time to experiment with society, with minds, and — most sadly — with souls. While students occupied the chancellor’s office at the university, “liberated” Catholic theologians, together with Avant-guard bishops and their ecumenically requisite Protestant advisors occupied the Vatican.

“The Establishment” was shut out — in academic, ecclesiastic and civil society. “Old school” was out. “New school” was in: a new and radical school of theology and spirituality; new interpretation, “exegesis”, “hermeneutics”, and now “discernment”.  “Dogma” became “anathema” and “anathema” was finally scrubbed from the Catholic lexicon altogether: both became something  pejorative: nothing was incontrovertibly true (itself a reflexive contradiction).

Latin as an Ecclesiastical Marker or Identifier was out. Banality was in. Priests spoke the vernacular and finally realized that they had nothing to say. Homily became comedy. Comedy became skit. The Guitar is King! — no longer Christ Jesus. And the only Choir we know is not of Angels: they ceased their accompaniment with us when “Liturgists” discarded Gregorian Chant in favor of the insipid ditties of Marty Haugen who is Lutheran or the “Saint Louis Jesuits (not all of whom remain Jesuits, or priests, or even Christians.”1)


No going back: DNR and the Church as a Hospice

New vestments, new language(s), new Mass, new spirituality that emphasized man through a unilateral (Catholics gave up virtually everything. Protestants relinquished nothing) effort at a newly-reformulated notion of “ecumenism” instead of salvation. Nun’s and Sister’s Habits were shortened, then abbreviated, then thrown out. The new “cool” was the collarless priest, the unidentifiable Sister. The various “Conferences of Catholic Bishops” (which have no binding authority) became social, then political. The Church effectively became the “field hospital” envisioned by Francis — but it was also the only patient — mortally wounded, and strapped to it was the purple rescript DNR (“Do Not Resuscitate or Revive”) upon the inauguration of Francis as pope with a ready hand on the plug. Vatican II, it turns out, was really an act of Assisted Suicide as Francis has more than amply demonstrated and the Church has become less a “field hospital” than a hospice. “Better that the one true Church die than acknowledge our mistakes and return to the business of saving souls as we had done for the 2000 years preceding Vatican II.” But even the model of a hospice is inadequate, for after the last Catholic dies, the hospice itself altogether ceases to be. This is nihilism — not Catholicism — and it has been for some time.

The Birth of Theo-Politics

was born. Peace, Poverty, Immigration, Inclusiveness, Equality, Linguistic Neuterization in the Liturgy, Feminism, and “Ministries” without meaning or number became the New Evangel. The salvation of souls?  Not a chance. That outdated mandate belonged to the 2000 years prior to the Second Vatican Council — and is something of an embarrassment to contemporary Catholic priests, theologians, scholars, and … yes … laymen. Ask yourself: when was the last time you so much as even heard that phrase at Church? Modernism — that synthesis of all heresies — replaced every vestige of the theological concept of Tradition that is inseparable from the identity of the Church especially as it is articulated through infallible Church Teaching and Dogma.

The Kingdom of God became the Polity of Man. Language was purged of “salvation”, “soul”,  “Hell”, “Penance”, “repentance”, “Mary”, woman, virgin, man, he, she, her, hers, his, gender, evil, the devil, conversion,  sin, suffering, chastity, mortification — anything that stifled the desires of men and the ambitions of women. Heaven now has Open Borders — and they are coterminous with earth.

A Replica or a Counterfeit?

We built a simulacrum, a meretricious and largely plastic replica of the Kingdom of Heaven and placed in on earth — complete with electric votive candles.  And yet, for all its semblance we secretly fear it is counterfeit.  It is little wonder that we fear dying and leaving our Kingdom … for, perhaps, another and fabled Kingdom of which we heard long ago where Someone else ruled and in which the totality of man did not abide, given his sin, selfishness, cruelty, malice and indifference to God — a place of ceaseless Light and no fire divided from a chasm of ceaseless fire with no Light.

 But we know that Vatican II — or at least it’s true “spirit” abolished all that 50 years ago. “Everyone and everything goes to “Heaven” — despite the explicit teaching of Christ to the contrary (Saint Matthew 7.13-14).

 Does this appalling vision offend you? Have I injured your “sensibilities”?

Reality is like that — much like the “Reality TV Shows” that you probably watch. Not every episode has a good ending. Many do not even have a good beginning — much like Vatican II — and even more apropos of the spectacle that is Francis as its culmination.


1 Associated Press


3 Niccolo Machiavelli — The Prince


Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
April 19, 2018

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Martyrology for today:

EMBER DAYS BEGIN TODAY: Wednesday 19, until and including Saturday the 22nd

Fasting and abstinence by observant Catholics is required of us by Holy Mother Church



Wednesday September 19th in the Year of Grace 2018

Time after Pentecost

This Day, the Nineteenth Day of September

At Puzzoli, in Campania, the holy martyrs Januarius, bishop of Benevento, Festus, his deacon, and Desiderius, lector, together with Sosius, deacon of the church of Misenum, Proculus, deacon of Puzzoli, Eutychius and Acutius, who were bound and imprisoned and then beheaded during the reign of Diocletian. The body of St. Januarius was brought to Naples, and buried in the church with due honors, where even now the blood of the blessed martyr is kept in a vial, and when placed close to his head, is seen to become liquid and, bubble up as if it were just taken from his veins.

At Nocera, the birthday of the holy martyrs Felix and Constantia, who suffered under Nero.

In Palestine, the holy martyrs Peleus, Nilus, and Elias, bishops in Egypt, who were,with many others of the clergy, consumed by fire for the sake of Christ during the persecution of Diocletian.

The same day, the holy martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon, senator, under the emperor Probus. By command of the governor Atticus, at Antioch, Sabbatius was scourged until he expired. Trophimus was sent to the governor Perennius at Synnada, where he and the senator Dorymedon consummated their martyrdom by decapitation, after enduring many torments.

At Cordova, in the Arabian persecution, St. Pomposa, virgin and martyr.

At Canterbury, the holy bishop Theodore, who was sent to England by Pope Vitalian, and  was renowned for learning and holiness.

At Tours, St. Eustochius, bishop, a man of great virtue.

In the diocese of Langres, St. Sequanus, priest and confessor.

At Barcelona, in Spain, blessed Mary de Cervellione, virgin, of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. She is commonly called Mary of Help on account of the prompt assistance she renders to those who invoke her.

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



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: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Contributing Editor
oston 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 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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(and 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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