Act of Consecration for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honouring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.

Amen.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saint Thomas More: Nothing can come but what God wills.

From today’s Office of Readings for the Feast of St John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs:

Extract from Saint Thomas More’s letter written in prison to his daughter Margaret
(The English Works of Sir Thomas More, London, 1557, p. 1454)

With good hope I shall commit myself wholly to God

Saint Thomas More’s farewell to his daughter, Margaret

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness.  His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.  God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty.  In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest.  I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God.  Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly.

By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.  I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help.  And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.
And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby!  Still, if this should happen, afterward I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.

And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost.  I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him.  And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice.  But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy.

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.

COLLECT
O God, who in martyrdom
have brought true faith to its highest expression,
graciously grant
that, strengthened through the intercession
of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More,
we may confirm by the witness of our life
the faith we profess with our lips.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Francis effect: ‘Courageous priest’ retreats ‘into the longstanding Tradition of the Church’

By Dexter Duggan at The Wanderer:

A veteran clergyman described by an admirer as “the most courageous priest in our San Diego Diocese” warned at his pre-retirement party that although the priority of Christianity is saving souls, he was hearing more from prelates concerned about earthly matters than religious ones.

Fr. Richard Perozich, sometimes involved in news events reported in The Wanderer, gave a farewell talk in early June to about 30 members of Ecclesia Militans of San Diego, conservative lay Catholics for whom he served as spiritual adviser.

Perozich’s final assignment as pastor, ending at the close of June, is at Immaculate Conception Church in San Diego’s historic Old Town, near where St. Junipero Serra offered his first Mass in California in 1769. Perozich plans to move to the Hawaiian island of Maui, living, he said, “more as a hermit monk.”

According to his text provided by a listener to The Wanderer, Perozich told the Ecclesia Militans gathering, at the La Jolla home of one of its members:

“I hear new opinions substituting for truth. I hear studied ambiguities, carefully crafted statements which allow for multiple interpretations. I hear calls to change language of truth to a language that will not offend sinners. I hear sophistries, good-sounding arguments with just enough truth, but which are misleading.
“When those who are supposed to care for me are not doing so, in my opinion, I must retreat from them into the longstanding Tradition of the Church. I have to be vigilant about my own holiness in the Holy Spirit so as not to be drawn into their spirit of this age and be corrupted by it,” he said.

He criticized both the long-serving retired San Diego bishop, Robert Brom, and current Bishop Robert McElroy.

The Wanderer asked Kevin Eckery, the diocese’s vice chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs, if he or McElroy was aware of the critical comments or had a reaction to them.

Eckery promptly replied on June 9: “No reaction, Dexter. Wasn’t there.”

In its September 11, 2014, hardcopy issue, The Wanderer reported that prominent dissenter Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former master general of the Dominican order and a foe of traditional Church teaching on homosexuality, would be a major speaker at the San Diego Diocese’s annual convocation for its priests later that month. However, Perozich declined to attend that convocation. The California Catholic Daily website posted a story that July about Perozich’s refusal headlined, “Guess who might get in trouble? Guess who doesn’t really care.”

Local conservative Catholics said a speaking invitation to Radcliffe was extended by Fr. Michael Murphy, the pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Coronado, a beautiful, wealthy residential community across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego.

After Bishop Brom retired in 2013, he was succeeded by coadjutor Cirilo Flores, who didn’t even complete a year as bishop before dying of cancer in early September 2014. McElroy, previously an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, was named by Pope Francis to succeed Flores and was installed in April 2015.

The December 15, 2016, hardcopy issue of The Wanderer reported that McElroy rebuked Perozich after the priest emphasized the non-negotiable moral issues in the November election for his parish voters. McElroy subsequently issued a statement saying there were other issues as well, including poverty and economic justice, the environment and immigration.

Perozich told his farewell gathering in La Jolla in early June:

“It can be a little more daunting when one is a priest and whose spiritual father and brothers seem to me to be moving away from clarity of truth to ambiguity, from the spiritual to the worldly, from holiness into sin. Recent sophistry: bishop wanting solar panels in every parish, gays and lesbians welcomed in every parish, their children in our Catholic schools.”

Allyson Smith, one of the Ecclesia Militans members present for the talk, told The Wanderer:

“Father spoke how we can no longer depend on major political, educational, and economic institutions, including the Church, to protect and enable us to practice our Catholic faith, and so therefore we must find a ‘Benedict Option’ that entails rebuilding our own societal structures and ‘intentional communities that more fully embody our Christian faith.’
“He detailed some of the problems with the Church at large, and within our local Diocese of San Diego, such as the trend toward acceptance of sexual immorality and opinions now being substituted for truth, that have led him to seek his own version of the Benedict Option in retirement, living as a hermit monk community of one,” Smith said, adding:
“Above all, he exhorted us to be holy, as Christ is holy; to continue daily Scripture reading, prayer, and reception of the sacraments.”

Currently in the diocese, Perozich told his listeners: “Priests who were ignored before because of their lifestyles are now on boards and giving talks and photographed with the bishop; others are promoted in the diocese. It has reached a level too great for me to tolerate, so I choose the Benedict Option for myself.”

He said some people believe the Benedict Option equates with disengaging and withdrawing. But, Perozich said, it’s “all about being active and engaging the problems of society. It recognizes, however, that solutions will begin locally, in the relationships that we can influence. Rebuilding will begin there. Do we really think that our political, educational, and economic institutions will provide a secure future for the practice of our Christian faith?”

Complaints Perozich listed against the San Diego Diocese included, “Vapid days of recollection and retreats for us priests” and “Public promotion of sodomy and adultery with Holy Communion.”

“My skills are pastoring, anointing, Confession, Mass, preaching, teaching,” he continued. “I can balance a budget, rebuild a failing parish, speak Spanish and be faithful to the Tradition of the Church. I cannot be faithful to the sophistries promoted by prelates. . . . “Other than be faithful myself, I am unable to influence my fellow clergy except for about ten priests here,” he said. “Most just go along, and if they are faithful, they are silent about it. I cannot be that way. . . . I have an intentional community of one, living apart more as a hermit monk.

“I support the Church financially, but not any diocese and certainly no parish who has drag-queen ministers, openly homosexual employees, giving Communion to adulterers, supporting community-organizing groups for $15 minimum wage, open immigration, inviting Muslim refugees but not our brother Christian ones who are being killed in the Middle East. I have other ways of giving money to the church and to faithful ministries,” he said.

“I cannot leave the Church even if its leaders deviate. It still is protected by the Holy Spirit from total destruction, but can still be damaged. Now, I do need to care for my own spiritual health and will do so intentionally in a way I find fulfilling,” Perozich said.

 

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A Morning Laugh!

From Nick Donnelly

“The absurdity of Francis’ pontificate in a tweet”

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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

 

On June 21st, the Church celebrates the memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, a 16th century Jesuit seminarian known for his radiant purity and holiness. He was born March 9, 1568, in Castiglione, Italy, to a wealthy and influential family. His father had big plans for his oldest son. He sent Aloysius to serve in the court of King Philip II of Spain. Although destined for the military, unbeknownst to his father, at age 9, Aloysius dedicated himself to religious life, making a vow of perpetual virginity. Saint Charles Borromeo gave him his first Holy Communion.

A kidney disease prevented Aloysius from having a full social life. Consequently, he spent his time praying and reading about the lives of the saints. He was drawn to spiritual things more than material wealth. As a teenager, he asked permission to renounce his inheritance and to pursue his religious vocation. At first his father opposed him, but in time relented. When he was 18, Aloysius joined the Jesuits.

In 1591, a plague ravaged Rome. The Jesuits would open a hospital in response. As a young seminarian, Aloysius went around the city looking for the sick whom he carried to the hospitals where he bathed them himself and prepared them for death. Because he nursed patients, washing and caring for them, he contracted the disease. His fever persisted and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Still, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing he would die.

In a letter to his mother shortly before his death, he reveals a steward’s understanding that everything, even death, is God’s gift: “When [God] takes away what he once lent us, his purpose is to store our treasures elsewhere more safely and bestow on us those very blessings that we ourselves would most choose to have.”

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was born into eternal life on June 21, 1591, at the age of 23. He was named the patron of youth by Pope Benedict XIII at his canonization. In addition to his selfless love for others, especially the sick, the helpless and the dying in whom he saw the crucified Christ. He was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Almighty ever-living God, giver of heavenly gifts, who in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga joined penitence to a true innocence of life, grant through his merits and intercession that we may follow his example and imitate him in penitence.

 

Saint Aloysius’ Act of Dedication to the Virgin Mary

O Holy Mary, my Mother,

into your blessed trust and custody,

and into the care of your mercy

I this day, every day,

and in the hour of my death,

commend my soul and body.

To you I commit all my anxieties and miseries,

my life and end of my life,

that by your most holy intercession

and by your merits

all my actions may be directed

and disposed according to your will 

and that of your Divine Son. Amen.

 

(source: Big Catholics)

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Pope Francis ignores Cardinals’ request for an audience to discuss Dubia

These are anxious times for the Church. Doctrinal anarchy and unorthodoxy are reigning in Rome. We had hardly caught our breath after the shocking news of the new heretical appointees to the Pontifical Academy of Life, when we hear about this….

ardinal Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop emeritus of Bologna, asked for an audience on behalf of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals. (Edward Pentin photo)

National Catholic Register correspondent, Edward Pentin, had only two days earlier reported on the ‘Doctrinal Anarchy’ as Bishops’ Conflicting Positions on Amoris Laetitia Show: “Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent”, and the urgent necessity for a final Papal clarification on these confusing conflicting interpretations of AL, when news of the latest rebuff towards the four Cardinals who signed the Dubia hit the headlines. Card. Caffara wrote a Letter requesting an audience with Pope Francis to discuss the Pope’s continuing refusal to respond to their questions a year on from when Amoris laetitia was published, but has been met with….. (you guessed it) total SILENCE. Ed Pentin reports:

“The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Reasons for Going Public:

The cardinals’ decision to go public with the letter demonstrates increasing frustration on their part at receiving no response to their request, as they have an overriding concern that souls are at stake, that the Church is becoming deeply divided, and that many Church leaders and their flocks are very confused, concerned and wanting clarity.

Also evident in their request is their emphasis on dialogue, seeking to keep channels of dialogue with Francis open to give him the chance to answer, and their unquestionable respect for the Petrine Office whose authority they are keen to preserve.”

We are now informed that Fr Hunwicke’s excellent hard-hitting analysis of the situation has been blocked by Facebook and Twitter. The PC cyber police are out in full force! Therefore we republish it here below.

Cardinals, Collegiality and Amoris Laetitia UPDATE.

By Father John Hunwicke (19th June 2017)
UPDATE (20/6)
This morning the Settimo cielo blog prints the text of the latest appeal by the Four Cardinals for an audience to discuss the Dubia which they raised earlier with the Sovereign Pontiff. I repeat, below, the piece I published yesterday, Monday.

Collegiality did not wait to be invented by Vatican II. In the 1950s, Papa Pacelli, Pius XII, wrote to each bishop of the Catholic Church to ask (1) whether he believed in the Corporal Assumption of the Mother of God; and (2) whether he considered it opportune for the dogma to be defined. The subsequent Solemn Definition followed upon the overwhelming consensus apparent in the replies of the world-wide episcopate.

More than a year has passed since the emergence of the divisive and poorly drafted document called Amoris laetitia. In this time, many Bishops and episcopal conferences have issued guidelines making clear that nothing has changed since St John Paul II in Familiaris consortio, and Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, reemphasised the Church’s immemorial discipline: ‘remarried’ divorcees who will not repent of their adultery and undertake either to separate or at least to try, with the help of God’s grace, to cohabit chastely, exclude themselves from the Sacraments during the time of their impenitence.

A few conferences and Bishops have issued statements understood as meaning that the thusly impenitent may, by virtue of Amoris laetitia, receive the Sacraments. Yet other conferences, such as that in England and Wales, have been manifestly unable to agree among themselves. It is clear that the Universal Episcopate is not united behind a ‘German’ interpretation of Amoris laetitia. Very far from it.

In the context of the Unity of the Una Catholica and of the collegial nature of the Universal Episcopate, cum et sub Petro, the time has surely come for this ‘dialogue’ to be moved to a new stage. Manifestly, if we are to persist with the embarrassing notion that we belong to one Church with one Teaching about the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, steps must be taken to move in the direction of coherence, harmony, and united witness. The idea that someone who is excluded from the Sacraments by his own impenitent rejection of the Gospel needs only to walk across the border between Poland and Germany, or from one American diocese to another, to be welcomed enthusiastically as a communicant in good standing, is obviously a profoundly unCatholic absurdity which needs speedily to be resolved. Indeed, if one of Bishop Lopes’s Ordinariate parishes in America were geographically within a ‘liberal’, Cupichoid, diocese, the dissonance between the two in doctrine and discipline would be even more ludicrous.

The time has surely come for the Four Cardinals who intervened last year with their Dubia to revisit the question. And the time for Bishops, Successors of the Apostles according to the teaching of Leo XIII and of Vatican II and not mere vicars of the Roman Pontiff, to speak with courage, clarity and unanimity. And for clergy, laity, and academics to do the same. Remember that, at the height of the Arian Crisis, it was not among the Bishops or even in Rome that the Faith was most conspicuously preserved and defended. Remember the careful and lucid teaching of Blessed John Henry Newman, beloved Patron of our English Ordinariate, on the Suspense of the Magisterium.

Parrhesia, boldness in witnessing to the Truth, a virtue which was once (only a couple of years ago … it seems like an eternity, doesn’t it?) so very incessantly on the lips of the current occupant of the Roman See, is surely still an obligation for all faithful Catholics.

The more who speak boldly, the more difficult it will be for individuals to be put under unsympathetic pressure.

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URGENT PRAYER ALERT! The Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia ask an AUDIENCE

4 cardinals 5 dubiaFrom Edward Pentin at the faithful National Catholic Register (not to be confused with faithless Fishwrap):

Full Text of Dubia Cardinals’ [The Four Cardinals who submitted the Five Dubia] Letter Asking Pope for an Audience
The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Edward Pentin

Here below is the full text of the letter, signed by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on behalf of the four dubia cardinals, asking Pope Francis for an audience to discuss deep concerns over the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The Holy Father has yet to acknowledge the cardinals’ written request. […]

“Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.  [An Audience Sheet…]

Most Holy Father,

A year has now gone by since the publication of Amoris Laetitia. During this time, interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from, but contrary to, the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. Not only access to the Holy Eucharist for those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin, and intend to remain in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on. One is reminded of the bitter observation of B. Pascal: “Justice on this side of the Pyrenees, injustice on the other; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent lay faithful, who are deeply in love with the Church and staunchly loyal to the Apostolic See, have turned to their Pastors and to Your Holiness in order to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine concerning the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist. And in these very days, in Rome, six lay faithful, from every Continent, have presented a very well-attended study seminar with the meaningful title: “Bringing clarity.

Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an Audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in Your prayers, as we pledge to remember You in ours. And we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra

Rome, April 25, 2017

Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

*

AUDIENCE SHEET [NB]

1. Request for clarification of the five points indicated by the dubia; reasons for this request.

2. Situation of confusion and disorientation, especially among pastors of souls, in primis parish priests.”

In primis, parish priests.

Pray, friends, pray.

PRAY.  Offer fasts and mortifications.  PRAY.

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Catholics, you have been robbed of the Mass

From Une Voce Miami. (With a h/t to our longtime visitor from Australia, Geoff Kiernan, for alerting us to this video)

*****

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Numerous men, both before and after the Novus Ordo Mass was promulgated in the wake of Vatican II, have warned us about the dangers inherent to the Faith in changing its liturgical worship. The statistics have shown us that the great falling away from Mass attendance over the past fifty years is sufficient proof that they were right.

“To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorises, cannot but be a sign of division – a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith – is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.” ~Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci

Catholic author, Michael Davies, in ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’, pp. 142-143 writes:

“What matters in the Tridentine Mass is the reverence due to God, that the sacrifice should be celebrated in a manner appropriate to the majesty of God to Whom it is offered. Article 14 of the ‘Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’ is unambiguous, attention must be focused upon the congregation rather than God.”

Thus, Vatican II officially teaches that attention in the Mass must be on man rather than God. And this is why at the New Mass we hear about every kind of abomination which are all directed to making the worship conform to the assembly.

Michael Davies, ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’, p. 170:

“…the most evident characteristic of the new liturgy is that it is the Cult of Man rather than the Cult of God. The last thing it intends to convey is that we are in but not of the world; the last thing it intends is that we should be drawn out of our ordinary lives. The leit-motiv of contemporary writing on the [new] liturgy is that the congregation must be made to feel at home during Mass and this is best done by insuring that that the liturgy reflects its particular milieu… This is particularly true in the case of children…the Directory on Children’s Masses….”

Perhaps that is why so many children have left the practice of their Faith once they reach adulthood: they outgrow it! This tragedy was foreseen but the warnings went unheeded.

Many have also warned about the dangers of changing the language of the Mass from Latin into the vernacular….

Much more ore could be said on the subject: the abuses that followed in with the NOM are legion. Although some of these changes to the Mass could be justified by ambiguously written passages in V2 documents, there are plenty of others that have no justification whatsoever, and yet have gone uncorrected by ecclesiastical authorities.

It must also be said that there are many good priests who offer the NOM with due reverence and piety, making the most of its shortcomings and its greatly reduced aspect of adoration of God. This is especially so when it is celebrated ad orientem and in Latin.

However, since Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, an Apostolic Letter that of his motu proprio by which he specified the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church may celebrate Mass with no restrictions in the holy Tridentine rite (also called the Traditional Latin Mass), there has been a slow but steady comeback to the Faith through the Church’s ancient and beautiful Liturgy. The initial problem was the lack of priests who know how to celebrate the old rite, and the reluctance of the many seminaries steeped in Modernism to teach it! But this is being gradually solved by a surge of young traditionalist vocations to the priesthood, and some laudable new orthodox orders.

Yet the fact remains: it is now young Catholics, who never knew the strong and flourishing pre-Vatican II Church, who are discovering the truth and wonders of our Catholic heritage and the incomparable Mass of the Ages who (as Geoff Kiernan mentioned the other day on the Chartres pilgrimage post) will be the torch-bearers of the resurgence of Our Glorious Faith in the coming years.

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Reflection for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (N.O.): Second Sunday after Pentecost (E.F.)

In many places, this Sunday features the (moved) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lord.

On a solemn feast like this many things occur that might be preached and taught. Here are three areas for reflection: the reality of the Eucharist, the requirement of the Eucharist, and the reverence for the Eucharist. We will look at each in turn.

I. The Reality of the Eucharist – On this solemn feast we are called above all to faith in the fact (as revealed by the Lord Himself) that the Eucharist, the Holy Communion of which we partake, is in fact a reception of the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, whole and entire, in His glorified state. We do not partake of a symbol. The Eucharist is not a metaphor; it is truly the Lord. Neither is it a “piece” of His flesh; it is Christ, whole and entire. Scripture attests to this in many places.

A. Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

B. 1 Cor 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a partaking in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a partaking in the body of Christ?

C. Luke 24:35 They recognized him in the breaking of the bread.

D. 1 Cor 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

E. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.

This last quote is a profound theology of the Eucharist from Jesus Himself. He makes it clear that we are not to think of the Eucharist as symbolic or metaphorical.

As Jesus spoke the words saying that the bread was His flesh, the Jewish people grumbled in protest. But Jesus did not seek to reassure them or to say that He was speaking only symbolically when saying that they must eat His flesh. Rather, He became even more adamant, shifting His choice of words from the polite form of eating, φάγητε (phagete – meaning simply “to eat”), to the impolite form, τρώγων (trogon – meaning to “munch, gnaw or chew”).

So insistent was He that they grasp this, that He permitted most of them to leave, no longer following in His company due to this teaching (cf Jn 6:66). Yes, the Lord paid quite a price for His graphic and “hard” teaching (Jn 6:60).

Today, He asks us, Do you also want to leave me? (Jn 6:67) We must supply our answer each time we approach the altar and hear the words, “The Body of Christ.” It is at this time that we answer the Lord, “Amen,” as if to say, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! (Jn 6:68)

Would that people grasped that the Lord Himself is truly present in our Churches! Were that so, one would never be able to empty our parishes of those seeking to pray with the Lord. As it is, though, only 25% of Catholics attend Mass regularly. This is more evidence of the “narrow road” and of how few there are who find it. Jesus experienced that most left him 2000 years ago, and many today continue to leave Him (or stand far away), either through indifference or false notions.

What father would not be alarmed if one of his children stopped eating? Consider, then, God’s alarm that many of us have stopped eating. This leads us to the next point.

II. The Requirement of the Eucharist – This is where the “Unless!” in my title comes in. When I was young I thought of Church and Communion as just something my mother made me do; it was just a bunch of rituals and stuff. I never thought of it as essential for my survival. But Jesus teaches something very profound in John’s Gospel today. In effect, He says that without Holy Communion (the Eucharist) we will starve and die spiritually.

Here is what Jesus says: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (John 6:53).

As a child and even as a young adult I never thought of Holy Communion as essential for my life, as something that, if not received regularly, would cause me to die spiritually. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? If we don’t eat food in our physical lives, we grow weak and eventually die. It is the same with Holy Communion with respect to our spiritual lives.

Remember in the Book of Exodus that the people in the desert were without food and feared for their lives. So God gave them bread from Heaven called “manna” that they collected each morning. Without eating that bread from Heaven they would never have made it to the Promised Land; they would have died in the desert.

It is the same with us. Without receiving Jesus, our Living Manna from Heaven, in Holy Communion we will not make it to our Promised Land of Heaven! I guess it’s not just a ritual after all; it is essential for our survival.

Don’t miss Holy Communion! Jesus urges you to eat.

A mother and father in my parish recently noticed that their daughter wasn’t eating. Within a very short time they took her to a doctor, who diagnosed the problem; now the young girl is able to eat again. Those parents would have moved Heaven and Earth to make sure their daughter was able to eat.

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It is the same with God. Jesus urges us to eat, to receive the Holy Communion every Sunday without fail. Jesus urges us with this word: “Unless!” Holy Communion is our required food.

III. The Reverence for the Eucharist – One of the mistaken notions about the Eucharist is confusing this sacred meal with the table fellowship Jesus had with sinners. He was known to “welcome sinners and eat with them.” But Holy Mass is not one of those sorts of meals. The Last Supper, wherein the essential reality of the Mass was first set forth, was held in the context of the Passover. This was a sacred meal shared within the family. And thus Jesus celebrated that Last Supper with the twelve Apostles.

The confusion by many today about the difference between the sacred meal of the Eucharist and common table fellowship leads many to misconstrue the Eucharist; it also helps to explain the Church’s stance.

Those who think of the Mass as the mere table fellowship Jesus had with sinners, think of the Eucharist as a “Come one, come all” sort of meal. And many also add, “Come as you are.” In their view, there are no requirements; all that matters is that Jesus is offering. “Don’t worry,” they say, “about ‘membership’ or the need to be reconciled from sin. After all, Jesus ate with sinners and didn’t worry about that stuff.”

But again, this is not what the Last Supper was. Jesus celebrated the Mass in the context of the Passover. Such meals presupposed that the people gathered together were family. This was an intimate meal celebrated in the context of faith, however weak or strong, but a faith that was presupposed. Jesus said to them, “You are the men who have stood by me in my trials” (Lk 22:28).

This is one reason that the Church has always limited the Eucharist to those who are initiated, who are “members of Christ’s Body” through faith, and who keep communion with His Body the Church through assent to her teachings, remaining members of His Body by being in a state of grace.

It further explains the need to receive the Eucharist worthily by first confessing our serious sins through the Sacrament of Confession. St Paul teaches,

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died (1 Cor 11:28-30).

So here, too, we see that the Mass is not akin to the table fellowship that Jesus at times kept with sinners. Rather, it is a sacred meal that presupposes membership in Christ’s Body through faith and the forgiveness of all serious sins that might have severed that communion. Holy Communion is meant to strengthen a communion that already exists. And thus our “Amen” upon receiving Holy Communion is not a lie, but is consonant with the reality of existing communion.

For now, simply note that our reverence for Holy Communion requires us to receive worthily, in a state of grace that has preserved the communion we celebrate. Further, to receive worthily also requires that we have the faith of the Church, the Body of Christ, and keep communion by a belief in conformity and communion with it.

On this Solemnity of the Body of Christ we are summoned to deepen our faith in the Lord, present in the Eucharist and acting through His Sacraments. Routine may have somewhat of a dulling effect, but it cannot be so much so that we receive the Lord of glory in any way that could be called mindless or lacking in the reverence we ought to have for Him.

Ask the Lord to anoint your mind so that you never forget your need for the Eucharist. Unless! Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you (cf Jn 6:53). But receive this great gift worthily and with a communion that befits the Holy Communion to which we are summoned.

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Second Sunday after Pentecost (E.F.)

The Epistle today reminds of us of the imperious duty of loving our fellow men. Like Christ who gave himself for us, we must love our neighbour to the point of giving our life for him, as He did.

In the Gospel the parable of the guests invited to the supper is applicable to the Eucharist as well as to the Messianic feast to which we are all invited. Whenever we approach the holy table we should that this ‘communion’ with God prepares us for the final union in the life to come. The sanctifying anticipation that we enjoy in this Sacrament qill achieve its full consummation in the glory of heaven.

The Collects invite us to centre on our love of God, to wean ourselves from earthly things and to ‘make our life more like the life of heaven’.

INTROIT

The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. Ps: I will love Thee O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

Grant Lord that we may have a perpetual fear and love of Your Holy Name; forr You never fail to direct and govern those whom You establish in the steadfastness of Your love. Through Our Lord.

Epistle:  1 John 3.  13 -18.  Gospel:  Luke 14.  16 -24

POSTCOMMUNION

Having received Your sacred gifts, we implore You, Lord, that by our assiduous assistance at these holy mysteries, they may the more surely avail to our salvation. Through Our Lord.

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Jesuit Scholar: Seeking to Defend Islam at All Costs Is Betraying the Truth

CP&S comment:  A perceptive analysis in an interview with Jesuit Father Henri Boulad on the misguided views some are preaching about Islam. To attempt to make out that the ideology for jihadist terrorist attacks is due to a perverted interpretation of the Koran is not backed up by the evidence. The call to jihad is written all through the Islamic ‘holy book’ and has ignited the previous (relatively) dormant hatred of members of the Islamic faith system once again, leading to the many Islamic atrocities of recent times. Denying this reality helps no one and, as Fr Boulad reveals, it is a betrayal of the truth.

Jesuit Father Henri Boulad. (www.cathkathcatt.ch)

In an interview with the [National Catholic] Register, Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad explains why he believes Islamist terrorists are applying what their religion teaches them, and why the Church fails to address this because she has fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.

By Edward Pentin

The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam has asserted.

Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and Christian charity.”

In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”

“Christians,” he wrote, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”

Some said the Pope took a diplomatic yet slightly firmer line on Islam when he gave an address to Al Azhar university in Cairo at the end of April.

Father Boulad, 85, an Egyptian and a relative of the Jesuit scholar of Islam, Father Samir Khalil Samir, also discusses in this interview why he believes Islamists are merely carrying out what their religion teaches, whether Islam is capable of reform, and how, despite its problems, the religion can help the Church in acting as a bulwark against secularist ideology.

 

Father Boulad, what evidence is there to show that Islam is inherently violent?

Here are clear statements of the Koran itself :

“Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191

“Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood.” Koran 9:123

“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5

“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85

“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”… Koran 9:30

“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33

“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19

“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65

“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28

“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12

“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

Added to these are a few samples of Muhammad’s teachings and life. Here are some quotations taken from Muslim sources:

– “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” – (Muslim 1:33)

– “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq 992). Muhammad’s life was a succession of warfare, plundering and killings… and every Muslim is invited to imitate this supreme “model”.

– Muhammad owned and traded slaves – (Sahih Muslim 3901), and ordered his followers to stone women for adultery. – (Muslim 4206)

– He himself beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys, (Abu Dawud 4390) ordered the murder of women (Ibn Ishaq 819, 995) and killed those who insulted him. – (Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)

– According to him, Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold. – (Muslim 4645)

– In his last ten years, he ordered 65 military campaigns and raids. – (Ibn Ishaq) and killed captives taken in battle. – (Ibn Ishaq 451)

– He encouraged his men to rape enslaved women, (Abu Dawood 2150, Quran 4:24), he put apostates to death, plundered and lived off the wealth of others, captured and enslaved non-Muslim people.

– After Mohammed’s death, his followers attacked and conquered the populations of 28 countries and declared holy war on the people of five major world religions.

Examples from Islamic history:

– In the first 240 years, 11 of the first 32 caliphs were murdered by fellow Muslims.

– Muslim clerics have always engaged in or condoned terrorism all along history and up till now.

– We witness daily religious violence against Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians. The converts to Christianity are beheaded.

– The victims of slave traffic done by the Arabs during almost ten centuries amount to tens of millions of people.

– Each year, thousands of Christian homes and churches are torched or bombed by Muslim mobs, and hundreds of Christians, priests, pastors, nuns and other church workers are murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists. The so-called justification varies, from charges of apostasy or evangelism, to purported “blasphemy” or ” insulting” Islam. Innocent people have even been hacked to death by devout Muslims over cartoons. Islam is an open-ended declaration of war against non-Muslims.

 

Are the extremists simply being faithful to an authentic Islam in your view?

Clearly YES. Extremists are just applying what their religion teaches them to do.

 

Should the Pope and the Vatican shed what some view as political correctness and address Islam for what scholars and others believe it really is?

Of course. To illustrate my view, I quote here some excerpts of my personal letter to Pope Francis addressed to him last August:

“It seems to me that — on the pretext of openness, tolerance and Christian charity — the Catholic Church has fallen into the trap of the liberal left ideology which is destroying the West. Anything that does not espouse this ideology is immediately stigmatized in the name of “political correctness”. Many think that a certain number of your positions are aligned with this ideology and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions and compromises in compromises at the expense of the truth.”

“The West is in an ethical and moral debacle, both religious and spiritual. And it is not by relativizing the painful reality that these societies will be helped to emerge from their disarray. By defending at all costs Islam and seeking to exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name, one ends up betraying the truth.”

“Jesus said to us, ‘the Truth will set you free.’ It is because he refused any compromise on this point that he knew the fate which was his. Following him, countless Christians preferred martyrdom to compromise, as is the case in Egypt and elsewhere to this day.”

“In the extreme fragility of Christians — both in the West and in the East — they are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality. Your predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had the courage to take a clear and unambiguous position. His attitude has raised a lot of shields and earned him many enemies. But is not a frank confrontation healthier than a dialogue based on compromise? When the Jewish hierarchs asked the apostles to stop announcing the Gospel, they replied: “As for us, we cannot not proclaim what we have seen and heard …” (Acts 4:20).

“It is high time to emerge from a shameful and embarrassed silence in the face of this Islamism that attacks the West and the rest of the world. A systematically conciliatory attitude is interpreted by the majority of Muslims as a sign of fear and weakness. If Jesus said to us: Blessed are the peacemakers, he did not say to us: Blessed are the pacifists. Peace is peace at any cost, at any price. Such an attitude is a pure and simple betrayal of truth.”

 

How much is violence more of an Arabic problem, given the significantly fewer violent attacks in, for example, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation?

One can say that ‘Arabs’ are naturally violent. But the same could be said of the Barbarians who conquered Europe in the past. These invaders have been progressively ‘civilized’ by the Christian faith to become what they are now. In my opinion, the religious element plays an essential role in shaping a society. The fact that Christian ‘Arabs’ are different than Muslim Arabs is a proof of the strong connection between religion and society.

 

Are there genuine and workable possibilities for reform of Islam and can dialogue ever be effective?

All attempts to reform Islam by liberal open-minded Muslims have tragically failed so far and I doubt that a ‘reformed Islam’ will still remain ‘Islam’. Here are six unsuccessful attempts to reform Islam in the last two centuries:

1. Reformism in the 19th century: Afghani, Mohamed Abdo, Rashid Reda

2. The Renaissance — or Nahda — in late 19th-early 20th century: Yasji, Girgi Zeidan, Taha Hussein, Salama Moussa, Tewfik el-Hakim…

3. Kemalism and the secularization of the Turkish state — Kemal Atatürk — 1923

4. The Baath and its Pan-Arabism ideology: Michel Aflaq, Bitar, George Habash and the PLO

5. Egyptian nationalism and the neutrality of the state (principle of secularism) – 1919 : Saad Zaghloul: “Religion is God’s affair and the State everybody’s. ”

6. Reversal of the decree on the abrogating and abrogated. At the instigation of El-Azhar institution, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was hanged in Khartoum on 18.1.1985 for wanting to give the pre-eminence to the Mekkan verses over the Medina ones inciting to war, hated and intolerance.

 

The Church has often allied with Islamic countries in the past in defense of life issues. Islamic countries can also act as a filter against secularist ideas, preventing such trends as gender ideology from entering their society. How can Islam’s strengths in these areas be best promoted despite its associations with violence?

On such ethical issues, and others, the Church should ally with Muslims to fight against whatever demeans and degrades the human being. This is fertile ground for understanding between the two religions. It can also pave the way for us to denounce anything which is morally unacceptable in Islamic teaching.

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The secret to the remarkable success of the Chartres pilgrimage: penance

In these days of the worldwide solemn celebrations of CORPUS CHRISTI – tradionally celebrated on the Thursday after the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, but in most places now moved forwards to the following Sunday – this article from the Catholic Herald seems highly appropriate. It was written by Hugh Burling, a pilgrim who recently took part in the Chartres pilgrimage. His surprise and pleasure to rediscover the profoundly moving liturgy of the Extraordinary Form Mass again (also known as the Tridentine Mass) on the pilgrimage – he hadn’t been forewarned! – makes interesting reading.

The Chartres pilgrimage (John Aron)

By Hugh Burling

The pilgrimage draws people from all over the world. There’s a reason they keep coming back

This Pentecost Sunday, I found myself sitting on the dry grass of a field, turning my socks inside out for freshness, amid nine and a half thousand Catholics awaiting the celebration of Mass outdoors. It was about half past twelve, and we had been walking since half past seven. We were all pilgrims, en route from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres.

Over Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning we were to travel roughly 70 miles, entirely on foot. My girlfriend had invited her sister and me, but hadn’t told us the details beyond what to pack. I went expecting something like a mobile retreat. Retreats I have been on have always been reflective, but also, typically, relaxing. But that distance, in that time, was penance. Of course we prayed, and our chapter – a group of between twenty and fifty pilgrims, typically gathered from a parish, school or scout troop – had two priests, one to hear confessions and another to lead meditations. But apart from prayer, there was work, and pain. Offering it up – along with the gifts of the French sunshine, and the breeze rippling the wheat fields – made me more ready for the sacrament than I have ever been.

The route between Paris and Chartres is the first leg of the Way of St James. In itself, however, it has been a pilgrim’s path since the Merovingians, thanks to a well in Chartres into which martyrs’ bodies were thrown. In the ninth century, Chartres Cathedral acquired a new relic: the Sancta Camisa, Mary’s veil or part of her shirt, which we know to be silk from first-century Palestine. Then 35 years ago, a young group decided to revive the route by gathering people together to make the pilgrimage annually at Pentecost, when a bank holiday weekend makes it more feasible for French pilgrims to complete the whole route.

They have since organised themselves into Notre Dame de Chrétienté, the charity which organises the pilgrimage with military efficiency. The pilgrimage now draws chapters not only from every region of France, but from all over the world. We had three chapters from England, and it was not so surprising when, one morning, I bumped into an American acquaintance I had met in Indiana last year. Mass at Chartres was preceded by a parade of the flags and banners of each chapter down the nave, then around and behind the altar. It seemed endless: each one a symbol of dozens of acts of love, gathered to God from east to west.

Apart from the distance, an element of the pilgrimage of which I had not been forewarned was its association with parishes, orders and organisations sometimes called the “traditionalist movement”. All the Masses were in the Extraordinary Form, and I hadn’t been to one since my undergraduate days. My girlfriend hadn’t thought the connection needed mentioning: where she grew up in France, this was an unremarkable part of Catholic practice.

Continue reading…

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Amoris Laetitia, Fully Implemented

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By Steve Skojec at OnePeterFive:

In the 14 months since the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was published, countless pixels have been spilled discussing it, dissecting it, breaking it down, and lamenting its clearly heterodox intent.

We’ve seen its ambiguous provisions allowing Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried” implemented in more concrete fashion in the Philippines, in Argentina, in Malta, in Belgium, in Germany, and even in Rome. It was in fact the Argeninian bishops of the Buenos Aires region who brought to light the pope’s personal interpretation of his exhortation, when he confirmed their allowance for sacraments for the “remarried” with a letter stating, “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

It appears that one bishop in Argentina — elevated to the episcopacy in 2013 by Pope Francis himself — has decided to go all in on this interpretation, of which the pope insists there is no other:

This past Sunday at the Parish Church of San Roque, Reconquista, Santa Fe (Argentina), the local bishop, Msgr. Macín, appointed by Pope Francis in 2013, carried out a monumental and sacrilegious scandal that clearly shows what’s behind Amoris laetitia.

In this church he organized a solemn Mass, in which he publicly announced that according to the norms sent in a letter more than 6 months ago by Pope Francis, and within the framework of the integration of Christians who are “marginalized” because of their irregular situation of being divorced and remarried or in an irregular situation (the divorced in a new union), after having completed a period of 6 months of meetings on Saturdays called the “path of discernment”, it was determined in accordance with what was previously stated (by order of the Pope) TO INCLUDE THEM IN FULL AND SACRAMENTAL COMMUNION, which would happen in the ceremony. At no point was mention made that those people had taken some vow of chastity or of living “as brothers [and sisters].”

In the same way, communion was given to all those mentioned (some 30 couples) accompanied by their relatives who took photos in a festive atmosphere. At no point was reference ever made to the Scriptures which condemn adultery, and again and again the excerpts of Amoris laetitia are mentioned where it is said that the divorced and remarried ought to be included in full communion.

We have reached the last train station on the line, ladies and gentlemen. This is the full implementation of Amoris Laetitia, and it didn’t take long to get here.

If the pope wants to make a course correction, to pull back and say this isn’t what he really intended, now is the time, and this is the case. If he does nothing about it — which we can all reasonably conclude that he won’t — this puts an end to the debate, forever, over whether or not this is exactly what he wanted Amoris Laetitia to do.

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2017 Pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres

 

It is a whole week now since I returned from my tenth pilgrimage to Chartres! (Apologies for the delay of this report, but recent personal and family events have kept me preoccupied elsewhere.) Once again, over three days of the Pentecost weekend, Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th of June, we walked 70 miles between the two magnificent cathedrals dedicated to Our Lady, Notre Dame de Paris and Notre Dame de Chartres, with an estimated 11.000 other Catholics. (Yet over 17.000 pilgrims took part in the last day’s march into Chartres!) “Christendom on the march”, as many call it, is surely one of the most amazing events ever witnessed in its joyful manifestation of our Catholic Faith and traditional Catholic values.

Some members of our British chapters in front of Our Lady of the Pillar in Chartes cathedral

I have often written my own account of the pilgrimage, e.g., see HERE and HERE, but knowing I could never match up to Michael Matt of The Remnant‘s mind-blowing article that he wrote on his return this year, I shall leave to him to describe the 2017 pilgrimage here below.


 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
An American Cardinal in Chartres: Pentecost Pilgrimage Huge Success

Record Numbers Walk from Paris to Chartres

This year’s Notre-Dame de Chrétiente Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France, concluded Monday, June 5 with a magnificent Pontifical High Mass offered by His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres.

For 26 years I’ve walked this pilgrimage, and well do I recall my old friend, Arnaud de Lassus (RIP), describing to me how it had been when he and his friends had arrived in the old city some 35 years ago, after having rejuvenated the old pilgrimage after Vatican II. Those first pilgrims were not even allowed into the Cathedral, but were obliged to offer the Traditional Latin Mass outside the locked doors of Notre-Dame de Chartres.

I wonder if any of those first Chartres pilgrims ever imagined that some day high-ranking prelates would celebrate Solemn Pontifical High Masses not only in Chartres at the conclusion of the Pilgrimage, but also at Notre-Dame de Paris at its beginning.

I wonder if they ever could have anticipated that prominent political figures, such as Marion Jeanne Marechal-Le Pen—niece of Marine La Pen, Front National candidate who came in second in this year’s race for the presidency of France—would one day be walking among the pilgrims to Chartres every year.

Standing there locked out of their own Cathedral 35 years ago, could they have imagined pilgrims from all over the world would travel thousands of miles to join the pilgrims on the road to Chartres.

Because of their humble efforts, the Pilgrimage to Chartres would one day blossom into an international event, more than any other, provides living, breathing proof of the youth and vitality of a growing Catholic restoration movement.

The pilgrims to Chartres stand on the shoulders of giants, in other words—men who refused to abandon the Faith of our Fathers.

Cardinal Burke (Chartres pilgrimage 2017)

This year, some seventeen thousand pilgrims arrived in Chartres on Pentecost Monday. The procession into the Cathedral included over one hundred traditionalist priests, monks and a handful of abbots, along with the Bishop of Chartres, Michel Pansard, and, finally, Cardinal Burke himself in full traditional regalia.

Just ahead of the Cardinal was the reliquary containing the glory of Chartres—the Veil of Our Lady, Christendom’s most holy relic, and the reason the Cathedral was built. The Veil was elevated on the shoulders of several scouts, and, some with tears of joy in their eyes, the pilgrims knelt in veneration as it passed. This is the silk garment which Our Lady used to cover the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem’s cave. It was discovered, along with the true Cross, by St. Helena, and was later given to Charlemagne by the Byzantine Empress Irene. Its history is rich and meticulously chronicled, since Charlemagne’s grandson, Charles the Bald, donated the veil to Chartres in the ninth century. Recent carbon 14 analysis of the veil reveal evidence of first century pollen from Palestine in its weave.

It was to venerate this holy veil that the pilgrims of the Middle Ages came; and for the same reason they come today–that and to proclaim the kingship of Christ. And while this holy veil caused Christendom’s gothic jewel in Chartres to become the fourth most popular place of pilgrimage in Christendom, for a time in the last part of the nineteenth century the popularity of the Chartres Pilgrimage began to wane. Its rejuvenation was sparked in the early part of the 20th century when a then-agnostic poet named Charles Péguy took it upon himself to walk from Paris to Chartres in search of the intercession of the Mother of God.

His story is well worth the retelling, as it offers yet another powerful testimonial to the efficacy of Our Lady’s intercession, especially when prayed for at the place Henry Adams describes as “Our Lady’s Playhouse”.

[Read the account of Charles Péguy THERE]

In the Footsteps of Péguy

Twenty-six years ago, The Remnant began organizing the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage. In May of 2017, over one hundred Americans again crossed the Atlantic seeking to find what Péguy had found. Like him, they sought to place themselves in the hands of the Mother of God.

Like Péguy’s Marcel, their children are also dying, in the sense that their souls are under constant assault from those who would sooner see them dead than Catholic.

Like Péguy’s, their world is also on the brink of war, perhaps literally, but certainly morally and spiritually.

Like Péguy, the pilgrims are not saints, which is why during this worldwide offensive against marriage and the family, the unborn, the innocence of children and the Church herself—they recognize no better means of surviving the onslaught than falling to their knees before the Mother of God.

The sight of the Cathedral—after walking three days, sleeping on the ground for two nights, eating the meager pilgrim’s fare—offers promise of home. Along the road to Chartres, it’s as if the revolution in the Church never happened.

A Shepherd in the Camp

At the end of the second day, as the American chapter made its way down the steep embankment into the camp, we were surprised to find Cardinal Raymond Burke, greeting each chapter as the miles-long column of pilgrims entered the camp.

After being subject to so much derision for his strong defense of marriage and the family, here in camp the Cardinal was hailed as a hero, as a thousand pilgrims knelt to kiss his ring. He seemed filled with joy, as if here he’d found the Church Militant as it should be— fully and unapologetically Catholic!

It was a beautiful moment, as Cardinal and Pilgrim seem to be reassuring each other that all is not lost and that, together, we will keep the faith.

U.S. Chapter of Guadalupe 2017, with the Bishop of Chartres, Michel Pansard

The Pilgrimage came to an end in Notre-Dame de Chartres on Pentecost Monday. Eight thousand pilgrims packed the cathedral, and another seven thousand filled the square outside. In one voice the massive assembly brought their pilgrimage to a glorious conclusion with the Chez Nous—the love song to Our Lady. And now it’s back to the front—the blisters, rocky ground, damp sleeping bags, meager soup, hard bread and endless walking having once again become the happy memories of the grand Catholic adventure that is the Pilgrimage to Chartres.

The years move along. They young French scouts who dominate the pilgrimage, were not yet born when I made my first walk to Chartres. To them I suppose, if they think of me at all, I’m the old pilgrim from America who walked to Chartres with their mothers and fathers many years ago. But I wonder if they realize how much they mean to me—how much hope the sight of them singing or praying or playing stirs in this old American’s heart. Where did they come from? How did they survive…these beautiful Catholics with their smart-looking blue uniforms, big boots and broad, easy smiles? How is it that they were spared the all-out assault on innocence that is the purview of the modern world?

The answer is obvious: Throughout their new, little lives they’ve been walking to Chartres every Pentecost weekend. They go there to find their Mother, to sing for her and to blithely place themselves under her protection. Chartres is her playhouse, and these are the children with whom she plays—the children she makes her own. They belong to her, safe and protected beneath her veil.

Maybe that’s why we all go back Chartres each year—to be with her, to become Mary’s children again, who trust and hope in her so intuitively and so completely that she can’t refuse to make us her own. At Chartres, Mary makes us hers again, and on this side of heaven’s gate there is no greater feeling than that.

Chez nous soyez Reine, nous sommes a vous. Regnez en souveraine, Chez nous, chez nous.

 

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More on the Most Holy Trinity

There will always be those who, when unable to comprehend the profound mysteries of our Glorious Faith revealed to us by the Word of God, and defined by His Holy Bride, the Church, turn to mockery or denial. Unbelievers and heretics, and those who have to “see to believe”, suffer from a lack of trust and humility, and an overpowering conviction of their own self-righteousness.

 

A homily by Father George W. Rutler:

The Feast of the Holy Trinity follows Pentecost because it is only by the inspiration of the Third Person of the Trinity, who leads into all truth, that the mystery of the Trinity can be known. Human intelligence needs God’s help to apprehend the inner reality of God. Certainly, human reason can employ natural analysis to some extent to describe God in terms of causality and motion and goodness. Saint Anselm, who models the universality of Christendom by being both an Italian and an Archbishop of Canterbury, said that “God is that, than which nothing greater can be conceived.”

A house is a house because it houses. But what is in the house is known only by entering it. Since creatures cannot enter the Creator, he makes himself known by coming into his creation. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him” (John 1:18).

Had we invented the Trinitarian formula, it would be only a notion instead of a fact. There are just three choices: to acknowledge what God himself has declared, to deny it completely, or to change it to what makes sense without God’s help. That is why most heresies are rooted in mistakes about the Three in One and One in Three.

Unitarianism, for example, is based on a Socinian heresy. Mormonism is an exotic version of the Arian heresy. Islam has its roots in the Nestorian heresy. All three reject the Incarnation and the Trinity but selectively adopt other elements of Christianity. Like Hilaire Belloc in modern times, Dante portrayed Mohammed not as a founder of a religion but simply as a hugely persuasive heretic, albeit persuading most of the time with a sword rather than dialectic. These religions, however, are not categorically Christian heresies since “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith . . .” (Catechism, 2089). Only someone who has been baptized can be an actual heretic.

Cultures are shaped by cult: that is, the way people live depends on what they worship or refuse to worship. A culture that is hostile to the Holy Trinity spins out of control. In 1919, William Butler Yeats looked on the mess of his world after the Great War:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . .

That is the chaotic decay of human creatures ignorant of their Triune God. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” But to worship the “Holy, Holy, Holy” God as the center and source of reality is to confound anarchy: “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

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Dr. Ingo Dollinger, R.I.P

From OnePeterFive:

 

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and Father Ingo Dollinger, 1

On this Trinity Sunday, 11 June 2017, Dr. Ingo Dollinger died. We just received notice from his secretary in Germany that he peacefully died at 3:57 P.M. German time, in his home, surrounded by his secretary and friends. He had been weak and in pain for quite some time now. As his secretary said to me: “His face shines beautifully in his death.”

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, whose spiritual son Father Dollinger was, had once told him that he was to have much to suffer at the end of his life. This turned out to be true.

But, at the same time, Dr. Dollinger was to give a true witness at the end of his life, a witness to the fact that, in June of 2000 and shortly after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger admitted to Dr. Dollinger in person that there was still something left unpublished. We have given reports about this important event here and here.

Dr. Dollinger’s secretary once also helped us to write down the important events in Dr. Dollinger’s life which we then published. He had been instrumental in the publication of the 1983 Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with regard to the incompatibility of Freemasonry and the Catholic Faith.

Dr. Dollinger was known for his immense love for God and for man. He was beloved by many faithful and, until the final days of his life, there were buses filled with people that stopped at his home to visit him. Still, during his long-lasting illness, Dr. Dollinger was always eager to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and he was assisted by priests from the Fraternity of St. Peter whose seminary is located in the same Bavarian village of Wigratzbad, Germany, where he lived.

The priests from the Fraternity of St. Peter will be celebrating Dr. Dollinger’s Requiem Mass. We will update you as soon as we know more about dates and other details.

May we now all pray ardently and gratefully for the repose of the soul of Dr. Dollinger, a priest who gave his life to the Church and who gave so much to so many souls.

May he be rewarded for his life, work and suffering by the Holy Trinity now. May he be warmly welcomed by Our Blessed Mother and her Son.

If God wills it, may he now also already intercede for us and help us to sustain our Faith in these trying times, and even to grow in our Faith. And may he help us with the intention that the Third Secret of Fatima, in all of its integrity and fullness, and to include the added explanations from Sister Lucia, may be published soon. For the greater good of the Church.

Thank you, Dr. Dollinger.

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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