It really is all about being “pro-choice”…

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2011

If one is to believe the “rumors” currently circulating around Washington, DC—otherwise called “reactions to trial balloons”—the Archbishop of New York, Most Rev. Timothy Dolan, walked away a winner following his meeting with President Obama last week.

Apparently, the Archbishop of New York convinced the President to uphold the so-called “conscience clause” that would allow religious institutions to be exempt from certain healthcare regulations that are to be promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, on August 1, 2012.

In the crosshairs is the contraceptive-coverage rule which specifies a more general provision in the Obamacare healthcare reform.  It requires all new insurance plans to cover “preventive services”—including birth control and abortofacients—without co-pays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket costs.

Knowing how Washington, DC, works, some Democrat lawmakers have taken note of the administration’s trial balloon and have gone on the offense.

According to an article in the Washington Post, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) raised the issue with President Obama while she was campaigning with him in New Hampshire.  That discussion followed conference calls last week between other top White House officials and members of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.  U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) said:

I think in the 21st century, most people are stunned to hear that we would even be talking about whether women can buy birth control through their insurance policies.  You would be denying millions of Americans the ability to have an essential part of their insurance coverage because of some attenuated religious affiliation of their employer.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CN) opined:

What’s baffling is not just the policy, but the political calculus here.  The effect would be to undermine, if not eviscerate, the energy and enthusiasm of huge numbers of young people, women and independent voters who believe in the President.

The President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, called it “unthinkable” that the administration would incorporate the conscience clause in the final regulations.

More interesting to The Motley Monk than all of that political posturing is the article’s report of a discussion involving a graduate student, Taina Vargas:

However, if [Catholic] organizations were to be exempted from the federal rule, these individuals would have to continue paying out-of-pocket charges for birth control—about $20 to $30 per month, according to Planned Parenthood.

Taina Vargas would not even have that option. Vargas, a graduate student studying for a master’s degree in diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall University, said she was surprised to learn that the Catholic institution’s health plan does not cover her birth-control prescription.

“This really is an issue of principle for me,” said Vargas, who is not Catholic.

“If young women like myself choose to be sexually active and don’t want a child right now so we can focus on our education, I think [birth control] is something the university should provide…

I don’t think it’s right for someone else to make this decision for me.”

Even though Taina Vargas is attending a Catholic university, she is “surprised,” citing some unnamed principle that would require Seton Hall to provide her with birth control so that she can be sexually active and not have a child “right now.”

Vargas’ story raises two important questions:

  1. Exactly what does attending a Catholic university mean for someone like Taina Vargas?
  2. What “principle” does she hold that would trump Catholic moral teaching?

The answers are obvious and are precisely why the conscience clause should prevail.  In this instance, when people go to work for or to attend Catholic universities or colleges, they should fully expect those institutions to uphold Catholic teaching unconditionally.

That’s where Taina Vargas may have it correct: It is a matter of “choice.”

If invited, one can choose to work for or to attend a Catholic institution of higher education with full awareness of its animating moral principles.  If one does not agree with those moral principles, they can choose to turn down the invitation.


To read the Washington Post article, click on the following link:

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14 Responses to It really is all about being “pro-choice”…

  • Ms. Vargas’ principle is obvious: Choice for me but not for thee. Of course, her “choice” should be to attend a university that has no inhibitions to providing the insurance coverage she desires. If it’s that important of a principle for her, she should simply complete her studies somewhere else.

    And these are the people who will be involved in future “diplomacy” and “international relations”.

    Of course, the statemtn that she does not have an “option” is a complete lie – she can pay the visit and prescription out of her own pocket if it’s that important to be “sexually active and not have a child right now.”

  • Tim may learn that Obama says one thing and acts otherwise.

    It’s all good. It’s justice and peace.

  • So Taina Vargas said, “If young women like myself choose to be sexually active and don’t want a child right now so we can focus on our education, I think [birth control] is something the university should provide…”

    Does she mean that (being unmarried as one is led to believe) she just has to act like a mindless baboon, wallowing in sexual filth for the titillation of her genitals without the responsibility of the concurrent pregnancy that would otherwise inevitably ensue, and she wants us to think she is rational and educated and sophisticated?

    Horse manure! She wants to fornicate in filth like every other fornicator, and then expects the insurance companies or the tax payers to pay for her fornicating ways.

  • My advice for Ms. Vargas: Effective birth control costs a penny.

    Here is what you do when you’re with the man of your dreams (You know the one that loves you so much he could defecate!) and he wants to express his undying love.

    Take your penny and hold it snugly betweeen your knees until he realizes you are so much more than his sex toy.

    Then, find a man who loves you.

  • ” I think [birth control] is something the university should provide…

    I don’t think it’s right for someone else to make this decision for me.”

    Even though Taina Vargas is attending a Catholic university, she is “surprised,” citing some unnamed principle that would require Seton Hall to provide her with birth control so that she can be sexually active and not have a child “right now.””

    Ah, perpetual childhood with nanny University or State providing for the perpetual child, including the items necessary to allow the child to fornicate as she wishes so she will not have a child. For Ms. Vargas her University is merely a form of adult day care. I would bet a fair amount of money that she is an advocate of the Occupy Wall Street temper tantrum. Perhaps one day she will mature sufficiently to be a perpetual adolescent which would be an improvement over her current perpetual toddler stage.

  • Agreed. & that must be why it’s so common to find discarded pennies, they don’t use them!

    “If young women like myself choose to be sexually active and don’t want a child right now so we can focus on our education, I think [birth control] is something the university should provide…”

    Focus on education is a precious opportunity to learn and practice the great discipline of cerebral activity. When else?

    This non-cerebral activity has become on par with food and shelter for a generation.
    I have to say this: The Ten Commandments could be posted on Catholic campuses and dorms, with a reminder of God’s omniscience. Love in the heart and mind bringing one to God’s mercy, whereas adultery as love doesn’t. For the sake of their souls.

  • Obama is going to do what he damn well pleases. At this late stage anyone who thinks that Obama can be convinced to do the right/moral thing is a fool.

  • Paul P,
    well said, amen.

  • I’m trying to hold back my hysterical laughter at the highly amusing banter on this forum. Spot on with the commentary! I only hope Ms Vargas reads them. They will do her more good than her whole university education.
    Dear Ms Vargas and crew, Shop shoving your sexual rights down everyone’s throats. If it’s not the pill, it’s the same-sex mob. If it’s not the same-sex mob, it’s the pro-choice idiots. I wish people would wake up and throw their civil libertaran crap back to the 1970’s. Back then, they were high on pot, what’s the exuse for the idiotic campaigning today? Too much Glee, I think.

  • Dr. Tim Grey stated in his 1Corinthians study that the new Corinthian lifestyle can be found at our Universities. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.


  • Dear Motley Monk,

    I was a bit surprised to find the name of Jean Sibelius here, considering he’s a dead Finnish composer…the name you want is Kathleen Sebelius. 😉

    Other than that, I couldn’t agree more.

  • I concur with daledog.

  • Thank you for telling me about my error, enness. I must have been listening to Finlandia when writing the blog! That’s certainly better than listening to the Right and Honorable Ms. Sebelius!

Remembrance of Turkeys Past

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2011





As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and as we recall our blessings and thank God for each and every one, let us also remember the humble turkey and the various disasters that result when that proud bird is not treated with the care that it deserves, dead or alive.    Oldtimers like myself will recognize the above video as part of the famous “Turkey Drop” episode from WKRP, a sitcom from the Seventies.


Of course Turkey Disasters are not, unfortunately, restricted to the realm of fiction.    Deep frying a turkey poses various risks.

Here we have a case of the flaming avian:



William Shatner warns of the dangers of deep frying turkeys:

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16 Responses to Remembrance of Turkeys Past

Thanksgiving 1863

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2011

If a nation ever needed Divine assistance it was our own America during the Civil War.  Riven in two, the nation must have seemed on a path to destruction by many of those who lived through that terrible trial.  Abraham Lincoln, as he led the United States through that struggle, increasingly found his mind turning to God.  This Proclamation was written by Secretary of State Seward, but the sentiments are no doubt ones in which Lincoln fully joined.


By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

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One Response to Thanksgiving 1863

  • I habitually re-read Vermont’s Royster’s two Wall Street Journal editorials: “The Desolate Wilderness” and “And the Fair Land.” They have been published each Thanksgiving eve since 1949. It gives me occasion to say to myself, “That is worth the subscription price.”

We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2011


Hattip to Joe Carter at First Things.  A truly remarkable video showing the development of us humans from our conception to our birth.  While I was watching it I thought of Psalm 139:14:  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  Tomorrow as we thank God for his manifold blessings, we should always keep in mind our chief blessing:  His gift of life to us.

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3 Responses to We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Lying Worthless Political Hack Hates Catholic Conscience

Tuesday, November 22, AD 2011



It will come as little surprise to faithful readers of this blog, but the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as I affectionately refer to ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D. San Francisco), took  the opportunity during an interview with the Washington Post to slam the Church she purportedly is a member of:

On abortion

Pelosi recently was criticized for the way she characterized a bill to amend Republican-proposed conscience exemptions for health-care reform that allow providers to refuse to perform abortions. Pelosi called the measure, which passed last month with some help from Democrats, “savage,’’ and said, “When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”

In retrospect, does she think that assessment went too far? Not at all, she said: “They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’

Catholic health-care providers in particular have long said they’d have to go out of business without the conscience protections that Pelosi says amount to letting hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it .?.?. but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.

On one occasion, she said, laughing, one of her critics on the topic of abortion, speaking on the House floor, said, “Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. They think like this. And of course I do — I think the pope would agree — and I know more than you, too, mister.’’

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9 Responses to Lying Worthless Political Hack Hates Catholic Conscience

  • The Church in America deserves all the trials and tribulations it is getting simply because Her Bishops will NOT turn over to Satan people like Nancy Pelosi. That’s what St. Paul told the Church at Corinth to do with a man sleeping with his father’s wife. And that is exactly what he would tell us to do with a woman promoting and extolling the infanticide of the unborn. 1st Corinthians 5:4-5:

    In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus

  • Don”t blame me. I voted for McCain.

    Plus, she made millions $$$ on trading inside info from her legislative activities.

  • She’ll receive communion, no questions ask, the first Sunday in Advent, with the tacit approval of her local ordinary.

    We can rage all we want at her, but she’s a symptom of the actual malady.

  • “askED.”

    Grrr. My two year old is going to have to reconsider her current vocation of living alarm clock. Stat.

  • Kind of makes me hope the atheists are right, because WE have MUCH to answer for allowing narrowbacks like Pelosi ruin this country!!!

  • Couldn’t help noticing in the video, Obama mentioning that defining when life begins is above his pay-grade.

    With the benefit of experience, it appears that most other things are as well.

    As for Pelosi, I wonder what her P.P and other parishioners think of her at her home parish – or does she scuttle off somewhere where she is less recogniseable?

  • “With the benefit of experience, it appears that most other things are as well.”

    Indeed Don! Some men rise to the challenge of high office, but unfortunately Mr. Obama is not among their number.

  • He has risen to the level of incompetant.

  • Pingback: Pelosi: Anti-Catholic Polical Hack | Cowboy Papist

Thanksgiving 1908

Tuesday, November 22, AD 2011

Theodore Roosevelt, that force of nature that was once President of these United States, was a deeply religious man.  He attended church faithfully his entire life.  (He was Dutch Reformed, but he often attended Episcopal services with his wife.)  He opposed putting the national motto “In God We Trust” on currency, for fear it would cheapen the  noble sentiment, as would be the case, in his view, if it were used on postage stamps or in advertisements.  He was opposed to all religious bigotry as he would state immediately after the campaign of 1908 when the Unitarian Willam Howard Taft came under fire for his religion:

“I did not answer any of these letters during the campaign, because I regarded it as an outrage even to agitate such a question. … To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular Church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any Church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life. … I do not for one moment believe that the mass of our fellow-citizens, or that any considerable number of our fellow citizens, can be influenced by such narrow bigotry as to refuse to vote for any thoroughly upright and fit man because he happens to have a particular religious creed. … I believe that this Republic will endure for many centuries. If so, there will doubtless be among its Presidents Protestants and Catholics, and very probably at some time, Jews. … In my Cabinet at the present moment there sit side by side Catholic and Protestant, Christian and Jew, each man chosen because in my belief he is peculiarly fit to exercise on behalf of all our people the duties of the office. … In no case does a man’s religious belief in any way influence his discharge of his duties, save as it makes him more eager to act justly and uprightly in his relations to all men.”

A frequent reader of the Bible, Roosevelt once opined that a thorough knowledge of it was more valuable to a person than a college education.

His Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1908 rejoices in the material well being of the country, but notes that there is far more to life than piling up material possessions.  He would have vigorously dissented from the idiotic bumper sticker:  “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  Here is the text of the Proclamation:

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3 Responses to Thanksgiving 1908

Why Do Those Bitter Clingers Vote Republican?

Monday, November 21, AD 2011



Liberal elites frequently profess astonishment at why so many  middle class Americans vote Republican.  Thomas Frank in 2004 published a book, What’s The Matter With Kansas , in which he bemoaned the fact that his fellow Kansans, or former fellow Kansans I should say since he resides in Washington DC, did not share his love of the Party of the Jackass.  Lee Siegel at The Daily Beast has a brilliant column in which he explains the political facts of life to the Liberal elites in the form of a letter from Occupy Harvard to their parents:

The man you think is a “sucker” because he votes for Republican candidates who don’t seem to give a hoot about him will vote for them every time. He looks at you, the crowd of The-Fix-Is-Always-In, and he casts his lot with the crowd of wealth and initiative.

You see, Mom and Dad, they don’t lie about his prospects. They tell him that he has to sink or swim. They don’t disrespect his willpower by promising that government will make life easier for him. They tell him that they respect his individuality. They tell him straight out what you, the liberal elite, know to be true but will never say. They tell him that life in America is winner-take-all, and that they are the people who will let him keep what he has. They tell him that his religion, his wife’s capacity to reproduce, his children—whether they are “successful” or not—are his treasure. They tell him that they don’t care if he is a person of modest ambition, little sophistication, and humble means. What they value is his capacity to change his own life.


What you tell him is that he should put his life in your hands. Yet you scorn his religion. You mock his faith in the sacredness of conception. You deride his belief in family. You tell him that his love for hunting makes him a murderer, and that his terror at being economically displaced makes him a xenophobe and a racist. Then you emasculate his hope for the future by telling him that if his ship comes in—that dream of a ship that makes the grinding disappointment of daily life worth living through—you’ll help yourself to a big slice of it. And you expect him to believe your rhetoric about fairness and equality when, all the while, you are accusing him of gullibility in his politics and bad faith toward the least fortunate of his fellow citizens. When, all the while, you are living untouched by your own policies. When you are cushioned against life’s hardness, not by government, but by simply knowing other people in your class. You expect him to buy your talk about equitable distribution of wealth when you are sailing through tax loopholes off into the sunset. For this man, his emotions make all the rational sense in the world.

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5 Responses to Why Do Those Bitter Clingers Vote Republican?

  • Brilliant!

    Thank God 52% of “we the people” persist as producers and taxpayers.

    In general, democrat constituencies, e.g., the OWS crowd are amoral, cretinous, immoral, indolent, languid, vulgar creatures who seem convinced that it is the government’s duty to provide for them.

    Last week, a gang of self-identified “patriotic” millionaires was in DC propagandizing (up-scale street threater?) to end evil tax-cuts-for-the-rich. A right-wing provocateur asked each one (and gave the IRS Form) voluntarily to pay additional monies. They all refused.

    I would have sent them to the nearest US Army Recruiting Station.

  • I especially love the reference to the “Party of the Jackass”. Perhaps the party’s new
    slogan should be “Always Braying, Always Obstinate, Always Sterile”.

  • I read the Daily Beast column. Eh. Seems like a strawman argument to me. Ooo, those lousy rich hypocrites making fun of your hard work and your unborn child! Boo!

    I haven’t read Thomas Frank’s book, but I’ve read other things he’s written, and in my opinion he can’t grapple with the fact that the Republican Party is socially populist and economically elitist, and the Democratic Party is socially elitist and economically populist. That’s not to judge whether either party’s policies are correct; it’s just an acknowledgement that a lot of people are split between their social and economic interests.

    Frank looks at Kansas and can’t figure out why people vote against their economic interests. Well, Frank, that depends first of all on whether you think they are voting against their economic interests. But more than that, the idea that people vote strictly according to their pocketbooks is ridiculous. It reminds me of a question that Charles Murray asked: if you passed away, would you rather your children be adopted by a rich couple with poor morals or a good couple who was just scraping by? I think most people would choose the latter.

    Anyway, sorry if I went off on a tangent there, but lately I’ve been getting equally frustrated by the Bill O’Reillys and the Chris Matthewses.

  • Actually Pinky, Chris “Tingle up my leg” Matthews is sounding fairly frustrated about Obama these days.

  • Regarding Oama’s re-election hopes:

    Bray for a miracle!

Lessons For America From the European Fiscal Meltdown

Monday, November 21, AD 2011

Another fine econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.   This video exlores the lessons that America can learn from the current European fiscal and debt crisis.

The lessons are very simple:

1.  Higher taxes lead to higher government expenditure and not reduction of government debt.

2.  A value added tax is a recipe for run-away government expenditure.

3.   A welfare state breeds dependency.

4.   Fiscal reform and reduction of government expenditure is impossible once more people are living off the government than are paying taxes to support the government.

5.   Bailouts do not work.

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5 Responses to Lessons For America From the European Fiscal Meltdown

  • Let a candidate take those exact 5 points and build a platform of specifics for election 2012, using campaign funds to hire this young student with a clear, studied vision as advisor in chief. Why let history repeat itself.

    The person talking to the curtains in the opening video, who was pooling (how gross!)guns, religion, and antipathy as a result of frustration with government, isn’t on a path to avoid crippling what’s left of the human spirit.

    While the OWS are still enmass, wouldn’t it be great for them to have the benefit of this 7:05 minute lesson in Econ 101 for America?

  • It is less complicated.

    When government (taxes and spending) grows faster than GDP there will be a disaster.

    PM: It won’t work. They have been taught what to think (brainwashed), not how to think. While we have them all in one place, . . .

    Bray for peace!

  • Wow !!
    She had my vote well before the economics started 😉

    Seems that’s a lesson that most western governments need to take on board, but are turning a blind eye to.

  • 1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No
    5. No

  • Art,

    Care to elaborate?

Quas Primas

Sunday, November 20, AD 2011


Venerable Brethren, Greeting and the Apostolic

In the first Encyclical Letter which We addressed at
the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We
referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was
laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due
to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law
out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in
politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to
submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a
lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the
Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power.
In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not
be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the
restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge
the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener
interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign
that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled
themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the
duty of obedience.

2. The many notable and memorable events which have
occurred during this Holy Year have given great honor and glory to Our Lord and
King, the Founder of the Church.

3. At the Missionary Exhibition men have been deeply
impressed in seeing the increasing zeal of the Church for the spread of the
kingdom of her Spouse to the most far distant regions of the earth. They have
seen how many countries have been won to the Catholic name through the
unremitting labor and self-sacrifice of missionaries, and the vastness of the
regions which have yet to be subjected to the sweet and saving yoke of our King.
All those who in the course of the Holy Year have thronged to this city under
the leadership of their Bishops or priests had but one aim – namely, to expiate
their sins – and at the tombs of the Apostles and in Our Presence to promise
loyalty to the rule of Christ.

4. A still further light of glory was shed upon his
kingdom, when after due proof of their heroic virtue, We raised to the honors of
the altar six confessors and virgins. It was a great joy, a great consolation,
that filled Our heart when in the majestic basilica of St. Peter Our decree was
acclaimed by an immense multitude with the hymn of thanksgiving, Tu Rex
gloriae Christe. We saw men and nations cut off from God, stirring up strife
and discord and hurrying along the road to ruin and death, while the Church of
God carries on her work of providing food for the spiritual life of men,
nurturing and fostering generation after generation of men and women dedicated
to Christ, faithful and subject to him in his earthly kingdom, called by him to
eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven.

5. Moreover, since this jubilee Year marks the
sixteenth centenary of the Council of Nicaea, We commanded that event to be
celebrated, and We have done so in the Vatican basilica. There is a special
reason for this in that the Nicene Synod defined and proposed for Catholic
belief the dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Onlybegotten with the Father,
and added to the Creed the words “of whose kingdom there shall be no end,”
thereby affirming the kingly dignity of Christ.

6. Since this Holy Year therefore has provided more
than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the kingdom of Christ, we deem it
in keeping with our Apostolic office to accede to the desire of many of the
Cardinals, Bishops, and faithful, made known to Us both individually and
collectively, by closing this Holy Year with the insertion into the Sacred
Liturgy of a special feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This
matter is so dear to Our heart, Venerable Brethren, that I would wish to address
to you a few words concerning it. It will be for you later to explain in a
manner suited to the understanding of the faithful what We are about to say
concerning the Kingship of Christ, so that the annual feast which We shall
decree may be attended with much fruit and produce beneficial results in the

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A Funeral of Sorts: The Last of the Old Translation

Sunday, November 20, AD 2011
Last year on the First Sunday of Advent, I wrote a piece about the passing of the Propers in the soon-to-be-defunct translation of the Roman Missal.  While we had an entire year to say goodbye to the current Ordinary, each Sunday for the past year has presented us with a set of Propers that would never be heard again.  As we have journeyed over the course of the last fifty-two weeks through the new translation of the Ordinary, we didn’t give nearly as much attention to the once-a-year texts.  Yet these prayers, belonging mostly to the priest, are some of the most exquisite and exciting changes in the new translation of the Missal.

Today is the very last Sunday of the lame-duck translation.  Never again will we hear the translation with which most of us grew up.  While many parishes have already incorporated the people’s Ordinary into their Sunday celebrations, this weekend marks the end of the rest.  (Of course if you are one for “long goodbyes,” there is always the opportunity to go to Mass during this week for a series of last hurrahs.)

It seems timely, then, to visit the Collect (or the “Prayer-formally-known-as-the-Opening-Prayer”) for the very last Sunday in the liturgical year: The Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  The current rendition reads:
Almighty and merciful God,
you break the power of evil and make all things new
in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe.
May all in heaven and earth
acclaim your glory and never cease to praise you.

As far as these things go, it is not all too bad.  Yet the new and improved version does quite a bit more to emphasize the majesty of our Lord and of this great celebration:
Almighty ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the universe,
grant, we pray,

may render your majesty service

that the whole creation, set free from slavery,
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.  

May we, too, be set free from the slavery of a translation that was in desperate need of being cleansed of its iniquities, and may we ceaselessly praise our Lord and Savior, the King of the universe, through this great gift that has been given to us: The New Translation of the Roman Missal.

As a complementary bookend to this last Sunday of the last year of the old translation, I give you the article written, nearly a year ago, on the first Sunday of the last year of the old translation:


A Funeral of Sorts … every Sunday for the Next Year
November 28, 2010

I feel like each Sunday this year presents a funeral of sorts … a passing of Mass texts that will never be heard again.  Rather than mourning this passing, my heart finds solace in the assurance that these texts will rise again in a more perfect form with the “advent” of the new translation.  While we have a full year to pay our respects to the passing Ordinary, there is a rejoicing of sorts that the current Propers have reached the end of the proverbial line: their days are numbered, their time has passed, and blessed be God for that.

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, provides the first example of such a passing.  The Collect, in Latin, reads:
Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,
hanc tuis fidelibus voluntatem,
ut, Christo tuo venienti iustis operibus occurrentes,
eius dextrae sociati, regnum mereantur possidere caeleste.
The current, Lame Duck Translation (to borrow the phrase from Fr. Zuhlsdorf) … what we all heard at Mass this morning … reads:
All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming
and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven.
The new translation will read,
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
The Mickey Mouse rendering of 1973 lacks a certain dignity when compared with the more new and improved translation.  The later is more faithful to the Latin, but more importantly, it has an aesthetic quality that leaves the Lame Duck version grounded, or perhaps six feet less than grounded.
Let us not prematurely break into the Dies Irae for the passing of the old, decrepit, 1973 translation, for while it seems to have met its certain death with the passing of today’s Sunday liturgy, it pains me to say that its ghost will live on.

Those who regularly pray the Liturgy of the Hours know that the Collect from Mass is often used in the Proper of Seasons and Proper of Saints for the Divine Office.  This is done deliberately, of course, and provides the faithful a perfect opportunity to unite the sanctification of the day found by saying the Liturgy of the Hours with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the source an summit of the liturgy.  If one is faithful to all the hours, the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent is recited four times today (Office of Readings, Lauds, Daytime Prayer, and Vespers), as well as once yesterday (Vespers for the Vigil).

Once the new translation takes effect, there will be a disconnect between the Collect from the Sunday Mass and the Collect found in the breviary.  I sincerely hope that the Bishops allow the new translations to be used during public recitations of the Liturgy of the Hours in order to remedy this disconnect.  Is it possible that new breviaries are printed?  Possible, yes.  Plausible, no.  In the absence of a new printing, a supplement of Collects could be printed to be used alongside the Psalms and Readings from the breviary until such a time that ICEL decides to retranslate the Liturgy of the Hours.  (Don’t hold your breath, by the way.)

All things considered, however, this should not distract us from the burial of these texts that we experience this year.  At least in terms of the Holy Mass, the 1973 “Opening Prayer” for the First Sunday of Advent has met its maker, kicked the bucket, bit the dust, bought the farm, breathed its last, and indeed … croaked.  This is not a cause for mourning, but rather a looking forward to the day of resurrection; for the Latin soul of this prayer is indeed filled with grace, so when it rises again as the 2010 Collect, it will be gloriously triumphant.  We could, in fact, say that that new translation renders the prayer “worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.”

One Sunday down, 51 more to go.   UPDATE: 51 Sundays down, 1 more to go.
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2 Responses to A Funeral of Sorts: The Last of the Old Translation

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  • Oh my, it was a sad day indeed, when the pastor warned the little girl acolytes to go home and pump iron in order to be able to carry the BIG book next Sunday. And if we in the pews think we have it bad, he has for every 1 word we have to learn, at least 50 that has to be reprogrammed. And this is the only translation he has ever known, and gosh darn it, he is going to miss it and it is a lot of work for him and we should feel grateful that we are not clergy and blah, blah, blah….

    Grow up and claim the Church as having wisdom and grace. Please stop the whining already.

General Washington and the Lord of Hosts

Sunday, November 20, AD 2011

We live in an age where scoffing at religion and believers in God is all the rage.  In some ways the Eighteenth Century was like this time period.  In the Age of Enlightenment much of elite Western European opinion mocked Christianity and some  openly embraced atheism.  It was considered witty and daring and fun by the cultural avant garde.  It seemed much less humorous at the tail end of the century when the French Revolutionary regime for a time persecuted Christians and slaughtered them for their faith.  This type of hostility was much less in evidence in Eighteenth Century America.  Even those, for example Thomas Jefferson, who had doubts about the divinity of Christ, praised His teachings and had no doubt as to the existence of God.

George Washington, the commanding American figure of his day, was a very conventional Christian.  He attended church regularly, said his prayers and read his Bible.  His faith was as much a part of him as his love of his wife, his love of Mount Vernon and his ability to lead men through sufferings in the War of Independence that most of us today would find simply unimaginable.  Pious without being sanctimonious, Washington had no doubt that the fate of America in the Revolution was firmly in the hands of God.

We see this belief in the General Order he issued to the Continental Army on March 6, 1776:

Thursday the seventh Instant, being set apart by the Honorable the Legislature of this province, as a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation, “to implore the Lord, and Giver of all victory, to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness’s, and that it would please him to bless the Continental Arms, with his divine favour and protection”—All Officers, and Soldiers, are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverance, and attention on that day, to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts, for his mercies already received, and for those blessings, which our Holiness and Uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through his mercy to obtain.

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Gettysburg Address: November 19, 1863

Saturday, November 19, AD 2011

Johnny Cash in the above video does a superb job of reading the Gettysburg Address.  Go here to read my analysis of the Gettysburg Address.  Winston Churchill, certainly the greatest orator of the English language in the last century, deemed the Address, “The ultimate expression of the majesty of Shakespeare’s language.”  Lincoln’s masterpiece of concision packed with thought will endure as long as our American republic does, and the truths it contains will endure far beyond that time period.

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5 Responses to Gettysburg Address: November 19, 1863

  • Interesting that Lincoln talks about “this nation under God”. Churchill, not a religious man, spoke in the dark days of 1940 that “in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might” would in effect save the Old. Ever the historian, he was consciously echoing Canning in the 1820s. Can one imagine a modern politician invoking the Deity in such a direct manner?

    Actually, I have a vested interest in the idea of the New World having stepped forth for the liberation of the Old. As a FOO in West Germany in the 1970s my life expectancy was around six minutes; thanks to the nuclear deterrence provided mostly by the USA I’m still around. I understand that the Church has said nuclear deterrence is immoral. I’m going to have to reserve my judgement here.

  • Actually John I believe the Church gave approval to nuclear deterrence, although the teaching in that area tends to be fairly arcane and convuluted, at least to me.

    I have always been very fond of Churchill and this is one of my favorite Churchill quotes:

    “You ask, What is our policy? I will say; “It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.” You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival. ”

  • Lincoln’s law partner described his voice as “shrill, squeaking, piping, unpleasant”. Were there a Bob Dylan rendition, It would probably be more appropriate than this one.

  • How fortunate HA for Lincoln, and for us, that he lived in a time when people actually listened to what a speaker said rather than how he said it.

  • Say what you will of the last couple of decades, but Bob Dylan’s career would not have been possible in any age that cared more about how someone said something than about what he actually said.

Adagio for Brass

Saturday, November 19, AD 2011

Something for the weekend.  Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings performed with brass instruments.  It makes a fit accompaniment to the above video which reminds us of the veterans who ensured that we enjoy the freedom next Thursday to give thanks to God for that freedom and all the other blessings He has showered upon us in this land.  May we be worthy of their sacrifice.

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4 Responses to Adagio for Brass

  • Each evening, I remember and pray for them each and every one.

    “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.”

  • ‘ “May we be worthy of their sacrifice.” and “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.” ‘
    Your lips to God’s ears.
    So many lives entangled, past and present, in the ravages. I pray that we sober up as a people and open our hearts before we lose what’s left.

    Don’t know why it’s at the top of my mind at the moment, but I remember from 9/11 aftermath a time sitting in church. A mother, always a quiet steady person, whose son was deployed to the desert, stood up afterwards and tearfully asked us to realize that her son among others needed toothpaste. He is home now teaching in the military branch.

    That’s about as upbeat as anything I can think of to say about the depths of the cost of our freedom. Thanks giving to God and His people for it.

  • Indeed! Think of them on Thursday and on Christmas Day. Imagine Christmas Day in a COP in Afghanistan. Imagine the wives and mothers unsure if their husbands or sons are dead or maimed at any moment.

    At this moment, two young soldiers are in the next room watching TV. A third staying with us is attending a local college football game. There are at least five combat deployments between them. One told me his COP was hit with 200 rockets and RPG’s in the year he was there. My son spent a month in the Karangal Valley . . .

    One is a medic with the ranger battalion that is deploying this month. No complaining here.

    Merry Christmas!


    Uncle Sam!

    A month ago as I was dropping one soldier at the airport to return to Fort Benning, I thanked him for his service. He thanked me.

  • May God keep them safe, body, mind and soul. We are indeed very fortunate to live in this free country. May we be worthy of their sacrifice.

November 18, 1861: Jefferson Davis Reports

Friday, November 18, AD 2011


On November 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis issued a report to the Confederate Congress on the progress of the War.  It is a fascinating document.  It details how he perceived the War at this early stage.  Here is the text of the report, interspersed with comments by me:

Richmond November 18th 1861

The few weeks which have elapsed since your adjournment have brought  us so near the close of the year that we are now able to sum up its  general results. The retrospect is such as should fill the hearts of our people with gratitude to Providence for His kind interposition in their behalf. Abundant yields have rewarded the labor of the agriculturist,  whilst the manufacturing industry of the Confederate States was never so prosperous as now. The necessities of the times have called into  existence new branches of manufactures, and given a fresh impulse to the activity of those heretofore in operation. The means of the Confederate States for manufacturing the necessaries and comforts of life within  themselves increase as the conflict continues, and we are gradually  becoming independent of the rest of the world for the supply of such  military stores and munitions as are indispensable for war. The  operations of the army soon to be partially interrupted by the  approaching winter have afforded a protection to the country, and shed a lustre upon its arms through the trying vicissitudes of more than one  arduous campaign, which entitle our brave volunteers to our praise and  our gratitude.

The Confederacy would expand its industrial plant enormously during the War, but it could never compete with the industrial might of the Union.  The crop of 1861 was indeed bountiful, and it did small good for the Confederacy since Davis had decided on an informal cotton embargo which it was assumed would convince Great Britain to recognize the Confederacy since the British textile industry relied upon cotton from the South.  It was a ghastly mistake.  With the Union blockade in its infancy, most of the cotton crop of 1861 could have been shipped to Europe and earned much-needed hard currency for the purchase of badly needed supplies and weapons.  Instead, what cotton was not used for domestic purposes in the Confederacy in 1861, simply sat in warehouses and on docks.  This policy was one of the main blunders of the Davis administration in 1861.

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One Response to November 18, 1861: Jefferson Davis Reports

  • For all their talk of states rights, in the pre war years there is evidence that citizens in slave states had no qualms whatsoever about using federal means to protect or extend the peculiar institution. Though I have no doubt defending states rights was used extensively as propaganda, and honestly believed by both policy makers and voters, I just cannot justify putting it on equal par with slavery as a cause for southern secession when teaching the causes of the civil war.

Should I Take the Case?

Thursday, November 17, AD 2011
Hmmm, I just received this in my e-mail.  Should I take the case, it sounds very lucrative!
Dear Counsel

name is Isabella Minoru. I am contacting your firm in regards to a divorce
settlement with my ex husband Franklin Minoru who resides in your

I am currently on assignment in South Korea. We had
an out of court agreement for him to pay $623,000,00 plus legal fees. He has
only paid me $122,000.00 since.

I am hereby seeking your firm`s
assistance in collecting the balance from him or litigate this matter if he
fails to pay as promised because He has delayed for too long. If you are in the
position to represent me at the moment kindly advice immediately.

Isabella Minoru.

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14 Responses to Should I Take the Case?

  • You’d be a fool not to take it!

  • Good call – don’t take the case.

    Did I ever tell you about the time I went to Burkina Faso? That taught me to just delete those scam emails, let me tell you!

  • I wanted to sarcastically say “You cannot have her, she is my client already” but then I thought of the ethical rules, forming attorney-client relationships, etc and decided not to say anything.*

    * Except what I have stated herein.

    ** Is there a way I can make small print so I can attach a disclaimer that is unreadable?

  • It’s only a $501,000 case, so I’d say no. Now, if it were $502,000, that might be a different story.

  • Dear Isabella,
    Our law firm would be happy to represent your claim. However we are currently representing your ex-husband Franklin in matters unrelated to this dispute. Therefore we are unable to represent you at this time. We do recommend that you contact the law firm of Jeffrey Anderson. He would be happy to discuss this matter with you.

    yours truly,

  • Tell Isabell that you represent Franklin and she will be receiving a demand letter for $122,000 very soon.

  • “Tell Isabell that you represent Franklin and she will be receiving a demand letter for $122,000 very soon.”

    Best option available.

  • Lionel Hutz, an attorney we only can aspire to emulate. See for bio.

  • In the second item in your link.

    blessed be the hand that grivets. “

    Is that another Beatitude, an Islamic blessing, or simply another way of saying “grovels

    Take it – What’ve you got to lose???? 😉

  • On second thoughts, you just need to get the guy’s address and then send around the Mongrel Mob.

    Oh, hang on, you’re in the USA, not NZ. 🙂

  • The e-mail did remind me of the first “nut” case I was ever asked to take. A gentleman appeared at the office and wanted to see an attorney. I was in my second year of practice and had some free time so I told my secretary to send him back. He was a well-spoken individual and mentioned that he had worked in various Latin American countries as an engineer. He then said that he had a claim against five Latin American nations worth hundreds of millions of dollars. I asked him if he had a written agreement with the governments of any of the nations. He ignored my question and said that he wanted an attorney to represent him on a 10 percent contingent fee. Realizing at last that my prospective client and I did not occupy the same frame of reality, I told him that I would need an initial retainer of $100,000.00 for such an important case. Sadly he lacked the funds and asked if I could refer him to an attorney who might take his case. Biting my tongue and not naming an attorney who was in my bad book, I said that alas no attorney came to mind.

    Then there was the one armed client, who after he retained me shoveled snow from my office walk way unasked. I later learned that he believed the mother of his seven adult children had been unfaithful to him, seven times, and that she had penned the biography of Joan of Arc written by Mark Twain. When I told him that was impossible, he remarked that I didn’t know how cunning his wife was. I withdrew from that case on a Good Friday.

    Ah, of such memories are a legal career made!

  • Tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people got similar offers from scam artists. They wanted your bank account info and they took from therein.

    It seemed they were mostly Africans.

  • I think it constitutes a large portion of the gnp T. Shaw of Nigeria!

  • I’m sure you will get more requests like this one. I’ve received a similar one multiple times.

Edmund Burke and Political Reform

Thursday, November 17, AD 2011

Edmund Burke is the political thinker most central to shaping my own political views.  Regarded as the founder of modern conservatism, Burke was an odd mixture of idealistic philosopher and practical politician.  Although he presents his ideas in luminous prose, he has often been caricatured as a mere reactionary.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Burke realized that societies change all the time, just as individuals change as they proceed through life.  How the change occurred in the political realm was to Burke of the greatest moment.

Rather than a reactionary, Burke was actually a reformer, fighting against abuses in his time, for example the penal laws which treated Irish Catholics as helots in their own land, and English Catholics as foreigners in theirs’.  When the colonists in America carried on a decade long struggle against the colonial policies of the government of George III before rising in revolt, Burke ever spoke on their behalf in a hostile Parliament, and defended his stance before a hostile electorate.  He prosecuted the first British Governor General of India, Warren Hastings, for crimes committed against the native population.

One of the things that has always struck me about Burke is his consistency, whether defending the rights of Irish and English Catholics, of the American colonists, of the Indians under British rule or attacking the tyranny of the French revolutionaries.  He was always against arbitrary power and held that government could not simply uproot societies.

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The new Roman Missal is a “net plus”…

Wednesday, November 16, AD 2011


With the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal just around the corner, Crisis magazine reprinted its 2000 article “Worship Gone Awry.”  Its author, Maureen Mullarkey, advanced some excellent arguments about some problems with the Ordinary Form of the Mass (OF), many of which that only became increasingly obvious as the decades of the 1970’s, 80’s, and ’90s unfolded.

But, does that mean the OF is as bad as Ms. Mullarkey indicates?  More importantly, should the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (EF) be made more readily available, as Ms. Mullarkey seems to be implying?

On both counts, The Motley Monk thinks the answer is a resounding “No” if only because Joseph Jungmann’s concept of the “developmental nature of the liturgy” cannot be so easily dismissed.  As the Lutheran theologian, Jaroslav Pelikan, noted one generation ago: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead.  Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.”

History teaches that what is now the EF developed out of multiple strands constituting a “tradition” of worship, introducing “reforms” to that tradition.  In contemporary language, to make that tradition meaningful—daresay I, “relevant”—in a new era.

The development of medieval Masses and, finally, of the Tridentine Mass also represents a reflection on the part of pastors and theologians in terms of what was not working right in the Mass.  While it is true that the patristic Mass in the West resembled more of  the OF than the EF, great Church Fathers like Augustine inherited a form of the Mass from an earlier time (St. Cyprian of Carthage) in which sacramental theology, especially in terms of the concept of mystery, was not as developed as it was by Augustine’s time.  In this way, Augustine and other Church Fathers from the 5th century onward provided the sources for a later medieval rethinking of liturgy.  So, it’s not the form of the Mass that, say, an Augustine said, that indicates what he really thought, but the deeper sacramental theology in his writings which then influences later medieval developments.  In that sense medieval/Tridentine liturgy was a correction and, perhaps arguably at the time, an improvement over the patristic liturgies.

The same is true of the OF.  It also developed out of a very longstanding tradition of worship, introducing its own “reforms” that hearkened back to the pre-patristic era, “leapfrogging” backwards over the EF’s reforms of the patristic era’s form of authentic worship.

That said, in its intent and design OF may very well have erred in the direction of allowing worship to be made so meaningful—daresay I, “relevant”—that it becomes banal.  And, there certainly is much to support that assertion.  But, that is to overlook the fact that Ms. Mullarkey has emphasized only one side of that history by seizing, as she has, upon post-Vatican II excesses.  That does not mean, ipso facto, that the OF is errant.  After all, the same observation can be made about the EF.  Its attention to the details of historical artifacts—the stuff of maniples, burses, Gothic vestments, birettas, precious metals—can err in the direction of emphasizing what was relevant in previous generations so that that it errs in the direction of being irrelevant in this generation.

There are some real problems with the OF Ms. Mullarkey didn’t mention in her article, but likely would agree with.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • The OF can be celebrated in a prayerful and dignified way.  But, “ad populum” Mass can be problematic in that the celebrant inevitably is reduced to the role of “Entertainer-in-Chief,” even if he keeps his eyes focused upon the altar and not upon the congregation.  Like it or not, the OF encourages people in the congregation to vote implicitly concerning how they “feel” about a particular celebrant’s “style.”  Not only does that verge on Donatism, but it also focuses worship on the person of the ordained minister not the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ through whom God is authentically worshipped.
  • The OF totally and irrevocably erases the “apophatic elements” that are present—even if they are over-emphasized—in the EF.  “Tossing out the baby with the bathwater” may represent a very great loss, one that is known only in retrospect.  After all, authentic worship in any form should “raise up” the congregation’s spiritual sensibilities to the ineffable, not drag them down into the banal.  Clowns, puppets, and vestal virgins prancing around bearing incense buckets, and priests bedecked in vestments decorated with disco-glitter only encourage the latter.
  • In the OF, there is an over emphasis upon Word.  In reality, there are four readings each Sunday if the Responsorial Psalm is counted.  In many instances, the Epistle also has absolutely no connection to the first reading, the gospel, and the “bridge” of the psalm.  And that’s to say nothing about the fact that the celebrant’s prayers are entirely disconnected from the “theme” presented in the readings.  For a sacramental ritual that is supposed to reflect the “best” in that its principles dignify worship of God, this error alone seems egregious.
  • The OF appeals to children and adults who need to be kept busy and entertained because they are easily bored.   However, those who designed the OF appear not to have know or did not realize that the threshold for boredom lowers as people get accustomed to the little gestures and words that they perform, so that even the participation in the Mass signalled in the Missal inevitably becomes boring.  The OF has fallen into the trap of trying to ward off boredom throughout the Mass by getting the congregation “involved.”   But, even that becomes “boring” and can only be reversed if there is continuous change in the liturgy.  So, liturgists keep inventing new gimmicks and tricks for people to perform and remain actively engaged during the Holy Mass.  Even that term, “Holy Mass,” seems somehow unrelated to the OF.

  • The EF requires mental concentration if one’s worship to get absorbed in it in a way that makes what one does a form of engaged participation.  This is not singing.  Nor is it gesturing.  It is being actively engaged with one’s mind (and hopefully, too, one’s heart).  In contrast, participation in the OF has come to mean “everybody does everything.”  And even where that is not yet the case, there is a built in inevitability of people thinking that they are being excluded if there is something the priest does that they can’t do.  This may be the most damning criticism of the OF: it breeds a form of egalitarianism that has very little, if nothing to do with Roman Catholic hierarchalism and everything to do with post-Enlightenment individualism.


More likely than not, both the EF and OF err in the direction of crafting idols out of their definitions of “relevance” so that authentic worship today becomes an more of an afterthought rather than a guiding principle.

For what it’s worth, the new translation of the Roman Missal, celebrated/prayed/said (whatever word is appropriate these days) will go a long way in correcting the excesses in terms of relevance.


Let the discussion begin…


To read Maureen Mullarkey’s article in Crisis, click on the following link:

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6 Responses to The new Roman Missal is a “net plus”…

  • MM said:
    ‘It also developed out of a very longstanding tradition of worship, introducing its own “reforms” that hearkened back to the pre-patristic era, “leapfrogging” backwards over the EF’s reforms of the patristic era’s form of authentic worship.’
    Respectfully, this premise, upon which your observation that OF has as much credibility as the EF, is flat out, whopper-like wrong.

    First, the New Mass developed from nothing. It was, from start to finish, a “banal, on-the-spot product” as our current Pope put it. It has become crystal clear after the historical investigations of the past 40 years, that Bugnini and the Concilium concocted the rite from whole cloth with the aid of an ecumenical, i.e., un-Catholic consultative group. This same Pope Benedict, speaking as Card. Ratzinger, put it this way:
    “What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it–as in a manufacturing process–with a fabrication, a banal on- the-spot product.”
    Dr. Smith, a Lutheran member of this ecumenical committee, once said of the New Mass, “We have finished the work that Martin Luther began.” Bugnini had no compunction in declaring that his intention in drafting the NO was “to strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.”

    Many commentators have exhaustively shown that the changes in the liturgy were in no way envisioned or called for by the Council, but were imposed after the Council by this group of what were, frankly, revolutionaries.

    It is also a canard that the NO hearkens back to earlier rites; again, many learned commentators have shown this, and moreover, the simple fact of a return to some earlier practice, even if that’s what happened, is no selling point. Pius XII in the years before the Council had already condemned this antiquarian spirit,
    “But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.”
    (Mystici Corporis Christi) Hmmm, sounds like the late Pope knew exactly what was coming.

    Lastly Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who served as head of the Holy Office under three Popes, wrote shortly after the promulgation of the NO that it “represents a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in the Council of Trent,” and that there are “implicit denials of Christ’s Real Presence and the doctrine of Transubstantiation.”

    Much could be said beyond what the limit of a combox allows, but while one may for some mysterious reason prefer the banal on the spot product, one cannot honestly claim that it is the result of a development or a wonderful return to some pretended golden age of antiquity.

  • I read that St.Teresa saw angels about the Altar when the bread and wine were Transubstantiated into Christ’s Body and Blood. Sorry that I cannot see them. I am lacking. I know the angels are there.

    Are we allowed to take notes at Mass?

    At 7:30 Mass last Sunday, Father McCartney explained (he read the two versions: translation and re-write) how the other Catholic national languages basically translated the pre-VatII Mass prayers. OTOH, the English Mass was a re-write serially deleting the Eternal words and replacing with (my words not Father’s) secular/worldly, feel-good pabulum.

    Even an idiot such as myself can translate “Et cum spiritu tuo” into “And also with your spirit.”

    I don’t know much about philosophy or theology. If modernism was once a heresy, sure it ain’t no more.

  • We went over it this past Sunday and it doesn’t feel that different. While it’s been a part of the Penitential Rite in other languages, English participants are supposed to do the triple breast strike for the first time. Let’s see if it’ll catch on or if it’ll be ignored like the profound bow during the Profession of Faith and the bow of the head before receiving Communion.

  • “The OF has fallen into the trap of trying to ward off boredom throughout the Mass by getting the congregation “involved.” But, even that becomes “boring” and can only be reversed if there is continuous change in the liturgy. So, liturgists keep inventing new gimmicks and tricks for people to perform and remain actively engaged during the Holy Mass.”

    Excellently expressed! The whole post is right-on.

    I agree that liturgical reform per se need not be resisted. The problem with the OF, IMHO, was the way it was seemingly slapped together, the spirit of the times in which it was introduced, and the abruptness with which the EF was abandoned, all of which contributed to the notion that everything old and traditional in the Church was being jettisoned. And that notion is what has had such terrible consequences.

  • Let’s see if it’ll catch on or if it’ll be ignored like the profound bow during the Profession of Faith and the bow of the head before receiving Communion.

    Though I’ve been surprised at how much these have caught on over the last 15 years. It’s gotten to where nearly everyone in the parishes I’ve been to in the last 2-3 years does these.

    Catholics can change — it’s just a bit of a slow evolution.